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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Oct. 26, 2022): MJF swerve

AEW Dynamite (Oct. 26, 2022) emanated from Chartway Arena in Norfolk, VA. The show featured Jericho Appreciation Society versus Blackpool Combat Club, an Elite tease, Jon Moxley defending the AEW World Championship, and an MJF swerve.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.

AEW World Championship

Jon Moxley versus MJF for the AEW World Championship is set for the main event to the Full Gear PPV on November 19. That’s assuming Moxley is still king by then. Mox was itching for violence, and Pentagon stepped up with zero fear for a random title match on Dynamite.

This match had a major swerve. Moxley did not bleed.

Okay, okay. There actually was a story swerve, but we’ll tackle the title bout first.

Moxley and Penta lit it up in a firefight of physicality. Pentagon brought his A-game. He had Moxley well-scouted. The champ is the champ for a reason. Moxley also had Penta’s tendencies studied. For example, when Penta charged for a Mexican Destroyer on the ring steps, Moxley countered for a DDT onto the steel. Penta did manage to snap Moxley’s arm, but that didn’t earn a victory. Pentagon surprised the arena when he connected on a package piledriver. That moment had me on edge wondering if a slight chance at an upset was in the works. Nope. Mox kicked out and continued the fight.

In the end, Moxley turned up the gears to catch Penta for a Paradigm Shift and Death Rider back-to-back. Moxley earned a hard-fought win to retain.

This was a rugged bout that lived up to expectations, even with an obvious outcome. The action was intense. Pentagon came with zero fear. He took Moxley’s best without backing down. A lot of Pentagon fans are believers from a different era. I think this performance against Moxley was strong enough to establish his value to newer fans in AEW. If Pentagon can take Mox to the limit, then he can take anyone to the limit. Hopefully Penta gets more opportunities like this in the near future.

The aftermath of the main event had the MJF swerve.

MJF swerve

Seeds were planted earlier when MJF hyped his future challenge against Moxley at Full Gear. He walked back the idea of not trying to cheat against Mox. MJF will wrestle the match relatively clean. You have to expect some chicanery from him. MJF did promise not to use the Dynamite Diamond Ring as a foreign object. All MJF needs is a grudge to fuel his fire. They stack up like a chip on his shoulder to prove doubters wrong.

Stokely Hathaway interrupted to (wink, wink) confirm not softening up Moxley before the PPV. MJF was serious about wanting no excuses from Moxley in defeat. Hathaway didn’t seem to accept that notion at face value, so MJF made it clear. If the Firm lays a hand on Moxley, then Hathaway will be fired from MJF’s payroll.

Fast forward to after the main event, and the Firm ran out to attack Moxley. The numbers game was too much after a grueling match. MJF entered the scene on stage. He hesitated to intervene as the little angel on one shoulder argued with the little devil on his other shoulder. Eventually, MJF ran in to stop the violence.

MJF then turned around into a high kick from Ethan Page. Hathaway’s statement was clear. They no longer take orders from MJF. W. Morrissey added the exclamation point to chokeslam MJF through the timekeeper table.

So, huh. That was an odd swerve on MJF. My initial reaction was that this seems like an overbooked mess. It feels like adding too much on top of a title fight that sells itself. However, I am curious to see the story play out. Is this part of an MJF babyface turn? He hasn’t changed much himself, but AEW has presented seeds to sympathize on his behalf.

MJF’s promo gave me an odd feeling. His confidence is too strong, and AEW has a habit of forecasting these big title changes. An MJF win seems too obvious at this point. It makes me believe screwiness is in the works and that the world title match won’t be relatively fair and square. Could this Firm swerve be part of a larger con from MJF?

Something is fishy in this story. Personally, I’m going to keep a close eye on MJF to make sure he actually cashes in his Casino chip. I could see him finagling the match for free and losing in a clean effort. Upon failure, MJF could call in the cavalry to truly cash in for victory to become world champ. Does that idea sound like a convoluted mess? Yes. That’s just a longshot guess though.

Whatever the case, AEW bought time to extend the story with fresh tag bouts as MJF and Moxley are unified with a common cause to kick the Firm’s ass.


You want more feuding between the Jericho Appreciation Society and the Blackpool Combat Club? Well, AEW is your hookup. Holler if you hear them. Dynamite had two bouts to satisfy that desire. Chris Jericho & Daniel Garcia engaged in tag team action against Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta and Sammy Guevara dueled with Bryan Danielson in singles activity.

The tag bout opened the show. Daddy Magic, Cool Hand, Jake Hager, and Floyd were ringside. William Regal joined commentary. Down the stretch, Claudio had enough and went wild. He powerbombed Floyd (the bat) out of Jericho’s hands then executed the giant swing with Garcia up top for an airplane spin. Claudio ran around the ring bopping JAS members along the way. Back in the ring, Claudio pinned Jericho off the Neutralizer to win.

That was a surprising result to see Jericho eat the loss. I like it as a shake-up. Jericho has been a dirty cheater anyway as ROH world champion, so it’s not like he loses any luster in this instance. Claudio, on the other hand, looked magnificent at the end. It was the kind of effort that should earn him a title shot at ROH gold. That is the type of momentum I like to see as a way to make me believe Claudio could dethrone the champion. It immediately pumped me up for the idea of Claudio versus Jericho round two.

The match overall fit well within the context of the JAS versus BCC feud. It played out clearly as sports entertainers versus professional wrestlers. JAS brought the shortcuts without embarrassment, while BCC brought the technical style overflowing with aggressiveness. The start of the match set the tone for the whole way when Claudio answered Jericho’s middle fingers with furious uppercuts. Claudio and Yuta have great tag team chemistry together. That’s a duo I’d like to see develop as legit tag team title challengers once they finish their personal stories.

The saga continued with a backstage segment from BCC. Danielson planned to take out all his frustration on Sammy in their match. Yuta came in hot sassing Danielson. Claudio played peacemaker to sort through the issues like adults after the show. This was a feisty exchange planting seeds for a singles bout between Danielson and Yuta. Tension is building and patience is wearing thin. That should be a good scrap.

JAS offered their thoughts as well. Jericho and Garcia comically blamed BCC for cheating, even though, Jericho brought the baseball bat into the ring himself. Jericho was so annoyed at losing that he offered an open challenge for the ROH world title next week to any former ROH champion. Sammy planned to beat Danielson’s ass. It appeared to me that Sammy was eyeing Garcia as he said this. Garcia eyed him back. That little detail could be something or it could be nothing. Fighting for the love of Jericho will make people do strange things.

For Danielson versus Sammy, Tay Melo was ringside. Danielson took delight in aggressively attacking his opponent. Sammy’s moments of success were based on landing jumping knee strikes as counters to Danielson’s eagerness to attack. The American Dragon nailed kicks and chops to make mincemeat out of Sammy. Guevara’s athleticism placed him in a few sticky situations. Sammy kept flipping for moonsaults with Danielson dodging until the BCC leader trapped a LeBell Lock. Sammy was able to reach the ropes with his feet for the break.

In the end, Danielson escaped a GTH finisher to pummel Sammy with a reverse rana. Danielson exploded for his signature running knee. Instead of a cover, Danielson stomped Sammy’s head. Danielson wrapped a triangle choke and hammered elbows onto Sammy’s head. The referee called for the bell when Sammy went cold. Victory to Danielson.

Sammy works a finesse style with crazy risks, but he took a different kind of beating in this bout. Danielson showed no mercy in his striking. Sammy’s chest will be on fire all night long. Sammy worked a gameplan to show that he can hang against technical mastery. He executed counters in a smart way to take control for spurts. Overall, the match had an interesting story inside the ropes.

I’m not one eager to see more JAS versus BCC, however, the individual components all excelled on this evening. The matches were exciting, and the little things advanced stories with intrigue. The JAS versus BCC fun doesn’t end here. Claudio & Yuta will compete against Daddy Magic & Cool Hand on Rampage. You better believe that makes Daddy Magic’s nipples hard.

Tag team #1 contenders

FTR and Swerve in Our Glory competed to determine the next challengers for The Acclaimed and the AEW World Tag Team Championship. The Gunn sons were ringside in FTR costumes. Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn pulled up a chair to observe from the stage.

FTR had trouble with Keith Lee’s power, and they also had trouble with Lee’s agility. Check out this nifty leapfrog sequence from Lee.

The hits got harder as the match wore on. FTR had victory within their grasp when they managed to clobber Lee on a Big Rig maneuver. 1, 2, Swerve pulled Cash Wheeler out of the ring on the cover to save his partner. Swerve whipped Wheeler into the guardrail in front of the Gunns. Swerve hooked Dax Harwood on the apron, but Lee missed the mark and walloped Swerve by accident. That led to a roll-up from Harwood. Lee kicked out to send Harwood into the ropes. That’s when Swerve struck with a low blow. Lee didn’t see Swerve’s cheap trick and finished Harwood on a fireman’s carry powerslam to win. All the while the Gunns held onto Wheeler to prevent the save. Swerve & Lee are the new #1 contenders for the Acclaimed.

After the match, the Gunns mauled FTR. The Acclaimed ran in for the save.

Energetic match all the way through. FTR excelled with teamwork. Lee was the powerhouse force. Swerve used his creativity to create offensive opportunities. I like how the fight presented moments of struggle leading to obstacles to overcome. A lot of these little touches added up to produce extra excitement. It takes the match to a higher cerebral level.

I’m a little surprised that FTR lost. It makes sense though if AEW doesn’t want to end the Acclaimed’s run this soon. The fan reaction is a gold mine toward the scissoring pair. FTR has a bunch of other tag titles to occupy their time until a showdown one day. I think that’s for the better to see the Acclaimed built up as strong as possible in the meantime. I don’t think the fallout from this result will be so cut and dry. Once Lee watches the tape, he surely won’t approve of Swerve’s dirty dealings. We’ll see if Lee’s moral compass accepts the future title match earned in such a manner.

The Elite?

A potential tease for the Elite aired during Dynamite. Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks vanished from past images.

This was an odd hint at the return of the Elite. Are they supposed to be the storyline victims for being suspended in the backstage altercation with CM Punk? Do they feel betrayed by the company? Is this the Elite’s opportunity to craft their NWO? If so, then I hope Omega returns with a Hollywood Hogan beard.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Jamie Hayter defeated Riho. Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Rebel were ringside to trifle. Riho started strong early with a flying crossbody to the outside. Hayter gained control using her strength advantage. Riho rallied for a wicked Code Red. Hayter was intent on hitting the discus lariat. After a few failed tries, she finally clocked Riho to win. Toni Storm arrived on the scene to taunt the bad girls with the interim women’s title. The implication was that Hayter is up next to challenge.

Solid match with the plucky underdog against the dominating powerhouse. Riho’s appeal shines in this style. Hayter earned a strong win. I appreciate that it was a clean finish. That makes me believe Hayter is ready for Storm.

Promo notes: Saraya was interrupted by Dr. Britt Baker DMD. As the two argued, Renee silenced them to do it right in an official segment next week.

The Kingdom aren’t scared of WarJoe. Matt Taven is a ROH grand slam champion. And soon, he’ll be the new TNT champion. Wardlow wasn’t worried. None of Taven’s accomplishments will stop him from an inevitable powerbomb symphony. Wardlow versus Taven was announced for Rampage.

Fenix has an eye on the All-Atlantic Championship. Christian Cage stepped in to push Luchasaurus to the front of the line. Orange Cassidy arrived to settle it in a three-way next week. I’m liking this new gimmick for how OC arranges matches.

Eddie Kingston is tired of friends being concerned about him. Just leave him alone. Kingston delivered this message while smiling passive-aggressively.

Darby Allin explained Sting’s absence. Allin wasn’t happy and wanted to disappear. Sting wouldn’t allow it, so Allin requested to prove himself alone. He’ll wrestle Jay Lethal in a rematch next week. Lethal advised to be careful what you wish for. They teased that the friend with the inside scoop on Allin will be there next week. The Allin video package is an interesting visual to consume.

Stud of the Show: Claudio Castagnoli

The way Claudio ran through the JAS was impressive. That was a superstar level sequence.

Dud of the Show: No update on Hangman Page

I’m bringing back the Dud honor for this particular occasion. Hangman had a scary situation resulting in a concussion last week. It was dangerous enough in the moment that his world title match against Jon Moxley was cut short and waved off. That does not happen very often in professional wrestling, so fan emotions were high with concern at the time.

Based on a Twitter statement after the show last week, we were led to believe Hangman was not in dire straits. That form of communication is fine for that same night. Don’t leave us hanging a week later though. AEW should have aired a brief message from the cowboy on this episode. It would have been nice to see a quick hello from Hangman that he could have filmed at home.

Match of the Night: Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee vs. FTR

Tag team action. Tag team action! This bout had several exciting sequences to build the emotion. The contest was anybody’s game without a telegraphed winner. Even when Swerve went low, I still wasn’t sure that would be the end until the three-count became official.

Grade: A-

Every match was high quality and entertaining. The emotion in promos created intriguing curiosity. The big angle to close left me scratching my head, but it has me interested in seeing how the story plays out. That counts as a win for AEW.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?

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