The last few weeks of AEW have been quite wretched. I wasn’t all that interested in tonight’s show with the exception of one match. But the first thign I noticed was that the show was at a pretty decent sized arena where it was broadcast from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MI. The Target Center holds near 20k worth of people and I couldn’t tell if this was sold out. But the crowd was pretty hot for this show although it did get quiet at times. Still, the real question was how many misses would be had given the recent string of boring shows with bad booking.
Darby Allin Vs. Brody King
This was a “coffin match” that I barely paid any attention to. I wasn’t sure what the point of all this was except that I heard that Brody is good friends with Darby and probably got some rub through Darby to get this small push. But it was the usual mess that shed some blood, despite what would happen for the main event. Interestingly enough, AEW Dynamite tonight did not start with the usual main event type of match and this was more of a reasonable opener that had moderate people to start the show. Darby ended up getting the win after Brody “fell” into the coffin. Some interference happened here and there with Sting coming out of the coffin to attack Buddy Matthews and other silly House of Black nonsense with the usual lights on/lights off bit. So as you can tell, I’m not thrilled so far.
Jon Moxley/Chris Jericho Promos
I hardly paid attention. None of this was memorable.
Lucha Bros Vs. Andrade / Rush
The Slopppy Bros vs Mr Charlotte Flair and Rouge (kinda like that class in WoW). It’s what you would expect from these guys. They did the usual tie Penta’s mask up with Alex Abrahantes trying to make the save with a spare mask that Andrade grabbed and hurled into the crowd. The best part of the match was someone in the crowd apparently catching it while the crowd shouted, “Throw it back!” If I was that guy in the crowd, I would’ve stuck that mask in my pants and tossed it back. Would’ve been funny seeing if Penta would’ve worn such a thing thereafter. Either way, surprisingly Andrade/Rush got the win. Now that HHH is back in WWE as the top dog, I really wonder if Andrade is going to crawl back so he can be with his wife.
Bucks / Dark Order /Adam Page Backstage Segment
People I don’t care about. Yay. Skip.
Luchasaurus Vs. Anthony Henry
Jungle Boy got on commentary. Luchasaurus has not abandoned his new music and look and people have stated that he didn’t put his hands on Christian. I think they’re leaving this whole thing open ended right now. That said, Luchasaurus is wrestling like a monster and squashed that jabronie Anthony Henry. If I’m not mistaken, Anthony teamed up with JD Drake and had a horrible tag match on their Dynamite debut because he kept fucking up. Well, at least here, he was given no offense and knew his role as a proper jabronie.
Christian right after tried to comment on the situation which lead Jungle Boy to chase him to the backstage area. Luchasaurus came to help and destroyed some poor backstage hand that caused them to look for help. So Luchasaurus is the one actually getting more focus than Christian and Jungle Boy. If they keep him as a monster heel, then fine. But this thing is dragging on a bit and we all know that it’s leading to the PPV so that Christian and Jungle Boy will have a match.
Miro Backstage Promo
Miro is doing an Ultimate Warrior type of late 80s promo, although he is a religious guy. The crackpot part comes when Julia Hart comes out of nowhere to try and tempt Miro who tells her to essentially fuck off because his wife is far hotter. Honestly, I would have popped hard if Lana/CJ Perry did show up and slap Julia Hart hard going, “Get away from him you skank!” But the point of his rambling was that he wants to take on the House of Black. I’m guessing that down the line we’ll see Sting, Darby Allin and Miro team up. At least, Sting and Miro have religion in common so I wouldn’t mind seeing that pairing while Darby does have some history with Miro since Miro was the one who beat him for the TNT Title when it once meant something.
Jay Lethal / Sonjay Dutt / Satnam Singh In Ring Promo
Basically, Jay Lethal wants another shot against Wardlow and I feel terrible for Lethal. Obviously, this whole thing is so that Satnam Singh eventually gets a shot at Wardlow because it’s obvious that Tony Khan doesn’t care for Jay much in all of this and his real agenda is to get more favoritism from India. But the right thing does happen when Wardlow comes out and FTR follows suit. Now, this part does make some sense. FTR never really turned on Wardlow and they all (except Shawn Spears) left MJF. In fact, FTR mentioned that they were still friends with Wardlow so seeing the three of them together again was actually cool. Too bad Jay Lethal is going to be setup for failure in all of this.
Jericho Appreciation Society Segment
I’m way over 2.0 at this point. If I see Anna Jay, I just tune out and fast forward. And Garcia has the emotional range of a dirty floor. Nothing interesting here to me.
Ricky Starks Vs. Aaron Solo
Aaron Solo is just a jobber but at least Ricky is starting to get a face push. Match didn’t last long but it ended with Starks getting surrounded and bolting through the crowd. I didn’t like that because Starks isn’t DDP where he’s using ambush tactics to get at the heels. Instead, him away from QT Marshall’s reticent jobber group just devalues Starks in my book. Also, they need to get QT Marshall off of all TV. That includes his hands on the formatting.
The Gunn Club
More I don’t care shit. Danhausen shows up and I’m paying more attention to my Clash of Clans accounts than AEW. Leave him on Dark already.
Jade Cargill Vs. Madison Rayne
Rayne didn’t last long in terms of any kind of push here. So I guess she’s going to end up in the Ruby Soho line of jobbers that get shoveled back to Dark. Athena came to the ring and more than likely they’ll be facing off at the PPV. But poor Rayne. She’s finally on a big stage and no one really cared. To me that goes to show you why staying over at Impact is just the death knell of your career.
Toni Storm and Thunder Rosa Backstage Interview
Officially, Kris Statlander is injured which leaves Toni Storm as the #1 contender for the AEW Women’s title. Toni Storm probably is the one female wrestler in AEW that I actively try to watch (and maybe Jamie Hayter). This segment was pretty bland and I’m not convinced that Toni Storm will win the title. But I believe she should win that title because Thunder Rosa’s title reign has been meh.
Jon Moxley Vs. Chris Jericho
Finally, a REAL main event. AEW had this bad habit of putting on their main events first to draw viewers into the show but as the show progressed, they stopped caring and would have lousy “main events” towards the end that was like having a dressing-less salad for dessert. But this match was for the AEW World Title, it went on last and it featured actual stars, even though Moxley’s reign up to this point was just filler. And I will say that this match was actually decent. The whole “angle” they were trying to do was Moxley calling out the “Lionheart” version of Chris Jericho, the survivor of the Hart Dungeon, etc. For the first half of the match, they were doing normal wrestling moves. I was impressed.
There was a nasty moment where Jericho ripped Moxley’s ring from his ear that looked legitimate. That sparked a “you sick fuck!” chant from the crowd which amused me. But the visual was awful. I don’t know why Moxley would have agreed to that spot.They did the horrible trading blows spot and Moxley was selling his ear a bit. There was a good spot where Moxley went to the apron to sell his ear and took Jericho’s old springboard dropkick that actually made sense. Moxley’s overall selling is not good but he was trying here and there in this match. Moxley did a very rare top turnbuckle to the outside double sledgehammer that I thought looked decent for Moxley. I don’t care for every single flip but I don’t mind people just going back to basic top rope moves like the double sledgehammer. There was a bad moment when Sammy Guevara threw a baseball bat towards the ring and overshot it. That was terrible because someone could have legitimately been hit that wasn’t a participant in this match. It didn’t matter anyway because the bat did nothing against Moxley.
Eventually, Jericho forgot that he was supposed to be doing the “Lionheart” version of him and removed two of the turnbuckles. Moxley took the first head bump and Jericho took the other. Jericho looked to have busted his nose hard way on that turnbuckle bump as he was bleeding too. He tried to go for a Judas Effect but couldn’t secure the three. They eventually tried trading submissions where Jericho got a low Lion Tamer on Moxley but Moxley would reverse it for his submission and locked in Jericho’s arms for the tap out victory.
It wasn’t the best match I’ve seen but I think all things considered this might’ve been Moxley’s best AEW match I’ve seen. For Jericho, it wasn’t that bad except some of the execution on hits looked soft. But he’s old so there’s some forgiveness there. Also, Moxley needs to lose Danielson’s hammer and anvil elbow strike to the throat/head because it looks bad. It’s just too soft. He really doesn’t know how to throw a good looking worked hit unless he’s chopping someone for real.
Then the schmozz fest happened with Guevara and Hager coming to the ring to attack Moxley while he was recovering. From there, the rest of the Blackpool Combat Club came out to help which in turn brought in more reinforcements from Jericho’s group. Then the best thing to happen to this show outside of FTR showing up with Wardlow was CM Punk’s return. The place erupted and it felt like a good program again. Punk cleared the ring. Best moment was when Sammy when for a dive and Punk actually side stepped it. Why doesn’t anyone else do something like that? That was by far the best response to a plancha I have seen in a long time.
There was a small interaction with Jericho and Punk that actually got me excited. They had some history in the WWE at one point so that’s got to eventually come up, knowing that Punk is smart enough to understand whom he can draw money with. But of course the first thing that needs to be addressed is Moxley. Punk got in the ring and got the people hyped up, looking at Moxley as Moxley came around. Finally, Moxley stood up and the two confronted each other. They let this whole thing breathe for once with Punk looking at the crowd. The people were eating this up because they knew this was a HUGE moment. So Moxley gave Punk the finger and rudely shoved Punk out of the way with a shoulder bump, which got a chorus of boos. As Moxley left the ring, Claudio greeted Moxley like a bro and gave him a hug even though Moxley appeared pissed. Now, who wouldn’t want to see an eventual Claudio vs CM Punk encounter?
Punk stayed in the ring as the crowd went berserk. The announcers correctly noted that Punk still is the real AEW World Champion and you can tell that Punk when he’s in control of a segment, he makes it mean something.
The show for the most part was filler until the main event. FTR coming out to backup Wardlow was great but they didn’t do anything else which was disappointing. I would have liked hearing from FTR since Tony Con promised them doing something. But that was like being given a single chocolate chip from a giant cookie rather than the whole cookie itself. The fact that those three aren’t in the trios match is mindboggling until you see the rest of the goofballs.
The main event was a real main event for once. I wish they did more to hype that match. It really deserved more. It wasn’t a superb match like the Claudio vs Takeshita match from Rampage. But it was a match that had people invested. And for what it was worth, I think it did its job.
Of course, the thing that hooked me was the return of CM Punk. You can see whom the real star of this company is. One thing I’ll say is that if Wardlow and FTR are teaming up as a group, add Punk as their leader. Now, that would be one hell of a group.