AEW dedicated a good chunk of time on their Oct. 12 episode continuing to build to the World title match on their Oct. 18 episode, and the future of that scene beyond next Tuesday’s episode.
It was all done with promo work. And what exquisite promo work it was, starting with a backstage interview that continued Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s transformation into... maybe not a babyface, but something different that the heel he’s been to this point in AEW’s existence. We may still hate him, but MJF says he also hates what he’s turned himself into in the pursuit of greatness. That pursuit will lead him to use his Casino Ladder Match chip to become Champ, and there’s a good chance neither we or he will like the way he does it.
Casino Ladder match winner and self-proclaimed Devil @The_MJF did a lot of self-reflection after last week's win against @WheelerYuta claiming to have no choice but to be the bad guy. #AEWDynamite pic.twitter.com/UeAc6hc6Sy— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 13, 2022
Then, to steal a line from Mark Henry (and use it inappropriately), it was time for the main event. World champ Jon Moxley cut one of those perfectly in-character, effortless seeming promos he’s been delivering over the past several months of what pretty much everyone agrees is the best run of his career to date.
It perfectly set things up for the man who will challenge him next week in Mox’s hometown of Cincinnati. Hangman Adam Page put over Moxley as a wrestler and a man (in ways neither praised the last man they both feuded with over the belt... the specter of CM Punk has loomed over this entire program, and never more so than during this promo exchange, with Moxley talking about how others have crumpled quickly under the weight of being champ, and Page’s heartfelt delivery of a line about how his “old friends have disappeared”).
The segment hinged on Moxley doubling down on calling Page “a good kid”, and questioning if he’s ruthless enough to be champion. Foreshadowing for Friedman’s cash-in? Perhaps, but also a nice summation of the Hangman character. Not as good of one as Page’s fiery response, though.
He got a little shrill, and gave himself a hell of a mouse above his right eye. But this was the best Hangman’s come off since losing the belt. Hell, maybe since before he won it! I’m a huge Hangman Page fan, but I’d definitely admit he seemed to lose his way this year. Fortunately, that fits right into his act. Page, and specifically his own self-doubt, will always be the biggest challenge for Page to overcome.
And when Hangman goes to this place? There’s not a wrestler working today I relate to more. I may not be a millennial, but I’m hella anxious. “The medicine is not working, but I am still here,” resonates with me in ways I can’t even explain, but I’m willing to bet a lot of people know how I — and Page — feel.
It was a hell of a promo, is what I’m saying. Welcome back, Cowboy.
Let us know what you think, and check out the rest of the highlights from last night’s Dynamite. AEW doesn’t release all their YouTube videos at the same time. But we’ve compiled what they’ve released as of this morning in a playlist, and tried to catch you up with the rest of the episode via Twitter clips below that.
- Is MJF the Best Professional Wrestler in the World?
- The Acclaimed Made History on National Scissoring Day
- Why Was Jericho & Guevara’s Win Anything but Honorable?
#TheFirm's @OfficialEgo challenges #PrivateParty's @IsiahKassidy this FRIDAY on #AEWRampage! If Isiah wins, Private Party is free from The Firm. If Ethan Page wins, the Firm also owns @MattHardyBrand's contract too.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 13, 2022
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/6YL1M0vLej
Self-proclaimed "TBS Champion" @NylaRoseBeast accepts #SportsEntertainer Anna Jay.A.S' challenge vowing to whoop her A.S.S. this FRIDAY on #AEWRampage! #AEWDynamite is LIVE on TBS!@annajay___ pic.twitter.com/0sRP4qfjHs— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 13, 2022
A HUGE victory for the team of @shidahikaru and #AEW Interim Women's World Champion Toni Storm, after an incredible tag team battle here on #AEWDynamite LIVE on @TBSNetwork! pic.twitter.com/Ml8nREVadK— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 13, 2022