AEW Dynamite (Oct. 5, 2022) emanated from Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, DC. The 3rd anniversary show featured MJF and Hangman Page in action heating up their world title triangle with Jon Moxley, Chris Jericho teaching Daniel Garcia a lesson as sports entertainers of honor, and much more.
Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
AEW world title triangle
AEW has a triangle affair steaming over the world championship. Jon Moxley currently stands as the titleholder, Hangman Page is ready to rumble for the belt on October 18, and MJF is looming large with a shot to cash in at his desire. The orbits of all three were intersecting on Dynamite.
MJF was up first in the opener against Moxley’s Blackpool Combat Club cohort in Wheeler Yuta. This was MJF’s first bout in 129 days. Yuta was on fire early, but MJF won the battle in mind games to gain a physical advantage. The pace picked up in the second half when Yuta exploded for four consecutive German suplexes. The two engaged in a frisky package of pinning exchanges as a low-impact style to pop the crowd. Yuta wanted to fly high off the turnbuckles on numerous occasions, however, MJF continually thwarted takeoff with tactics such as rolling out of the ring. Yuta finally had his chance when MJF didn’t roll away far enough. Yuta dove across the ring for a splash.
MJF targeted Yuta’s arm often, and that strategy paid off in the end. The maximum climax began with Yuta hammering elbows. Yuta went for the seatbelt pin, but MJF countered for the Salt of the Earth armbar. As Yuta inched toward the ropes for a break, MJF flipped over the position to crank hard. Yuta tapped out.
After the match, Yuta aggressively offered a handshake of sportsmanship. MJF teased inner conflict whether to accept. Boom! Lee Moriarty sacked Yuta from behind. MJF was not pleased and shouted that Moriarty was not ordered to do that.
.@The_MJF stands conflicted, after The Firm's @theleemoriarty assaults @WheelerYuta after the bell! An interesting development here on #AEWDynamite’s 3-Year Anniversary Show LIVE on @TBSNetwork! pic.twitter.com/cKbFCZM1w4— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 6, 2022
Stokely Hathaway handed over the Dynamite Diamond Ring, and MJF reluctantly set up the loaded punch. Before MJF could pull the trigger, William Regal exited commentary with a pair of brass knuckles for an electric showdown. MJF backed away to close the scene.
MJF often talks about not needing to do flips and fancy moves to have good wrestling matches, and this was a great example of that. MJF and Yuta worked a plan that had the crowd hooked. They used taunts, eye pokes, and roll-ups to build drama. The way MJF set up Yuta’s flying splash had the spectators eating out of their hands once Yuta landed the move. MJF took it home in a manner to show he’s a better tactician than the BCC star student. Even though MJF has a world title shot in hand, this win was important to elevate his momentum for the future.
The aftermath has me stymied. I don’t understand why AEW would book a compassionate MJF ready to shake hands with Yuta. That is a babyface move in this particular circumstance. It could be considered an acceptable scenario if AEW planned on turning MJF. However, MJF has had a rude and crude attitude since his return. They have done everything in their power to present MJF as rotten to his core to avoid cheers as best they can. He’s clearly bad guy numero uno. So, why book an angle designed to manipulate emotions into supporting MJF? I don’t get it. Plus, MJF is going to be the bad guy anyway against Moxley or Hangman. That makes the timing of this even more questionable.
PS, Regal’s brass knuckles moment was awesome.
The next side of the triangle saw Hangman Page compete against Rush. Cameras made sure to show MJF scouting this bout backstage in case the cowboy is the next world champ. Physicality popped in this contest. Jose The Assistant pestered Hangman whenever he tried for the Buckshot Lariat. Down the stretch, Jose trifled long enough for Rush to counter for a straitjacket piledriver. Hangman dug deep to kick out.
Rush fired up with theatrics for the Bull’s Horns finisher. That delay allowed Hangman to pop up for a thunderous clothesline. The cowboy seized the moment lickety-split for the Buckshot Lariat before Jose could interfere. Hangman hit the mark for the win.
Whew. That was a rough and tumble fight, like the kind found in bars from cowboy movies. Both men strut with star power on display. This was a quality win to keep Hangman’s momentum strong. His performance prevents any cooling down from being inactive prior to the future world title fight on October 18. Hangman demonstrated that he is in peak form to challenge Moxley, and that should have a positive effect on the anticipation for the bout.
The final side of the triangle took place after Hangman’s success. Private Party had been ordered by Jose to assist in AFO business, otherwise risk a tampering lawsuit with Matt Hardy. Private Party reluctantly surrounded the ring looking to pile on Hangman. Moxley entered through the crowd to protect his current rival. The implication was that he wants Hangman at his best.
Moxley grabbed a mic to explain. This duel has been simmering for three years. Moxley knew this matchup would eventually come to prove who is the top guy in AEW. He respects the cowboy outside the ring, however, he respects nobody once the bell dings with the world title on the line. Mox plans to break Hangman’s face, choke him blue, and prove he’s the best in AEW. As Mox exited, Hangman called him back to fight. Moxley gave Hangman a free pass. He won’t do the same next time Hangman talks himself into trouble.
Moxley’s promo was spoken like a true ass-kicker. He hyped the fight and hyped his opponent all the while talking shit. It was done in a way to elevate all involved. AEW is doing a good job keeping all the aspects of this world title triangle heated. The element of mystery is strong, because all three have been presented as strong. I assume Mox retains and MJF eventually prevails in the end, however, no outcome would surprise me due to everyone looking their best for the build.
Sports entertainers of honor
The main event of the evening had a dark cloud cast when news broke that Andrade was sent home after a backstage fight with Sammy Guevara. There’s lots to digest about that drama, however, the focus here will be what was presented on television.
The feature spectacle involved Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara teaming against Bryan Danielson and traitor Daniel Garcia. Jericho planned on teaching his protege hard lessons.
This bout was given a 15-minute overrun for the anniversary special. The story was the interactions between Jericho and Garcia. Le Champion offered a handshake, which Garcia accepted. Quick arm drag by Jericho. Garcia answered by stunting technical proficiency to clown on Jericho.
Later, Jericho landed a cheap shot punch to Garcia on the apron. When they were both legal men again, heavy punches were exchanged in a slobberknocking sequence. Garcia took control for a Sharpshooter. Sammy made the save with a thrust kick to the face.
Down the stretch, Garcia and Danielson unleashed hammering elbows and LeBell Locks in unison. Jericho and Danielson paired off on the outside. Jericho slammed his nemesis through a table. Garcia and Guevara dueled in the ring. When Garcia had Sammy trapped in a Sharpshooter, Jericho blasted Garcia with the ROH world title belt. That gave Sammy the easy pin to win. JAS celebrated, but Jericho kept a concerned eye on young Garcia.
The action was a doozy, but the character work carried the intrigue for the match. Every exchange between Jericho and Garcia burst with emotional tension. From Jericho’s perspective, it was clear that he hoped to teach a lesson of tough love to keep Garcia’s loyalty. From Garcia’s perspective, it was a chance for him to prove his value as more than a lapdog taking orders. Even though Jericho cheated at times, it was done without malice toward Garcia. Jericho’s actions were all about earning the win as a sports entertainer of (dis)honor.
Given outside circumstances, it’s a curious call to give Sammy the winning pin, but I feel that is what’s best for the story. AEW can roll right into Sammy challenging Garcia for the ROH Pure Championship. Since Jericho didn’t pin Garcia himself, doubt remains who would win a singles bout.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
Darby Allin defeated Jay Lethal. The story was both wrestlers going solo without backup to prove who is the better wrestler. Lethal focused on tenderizing the knee. He executed a vicious avalanche dragon screw off the top turnbuckle then followed with a figure-four. Allin reached the ropes for the break. Allin rallied by undercutting Lethal on a handspring for the Lethal Injection. Allin pounced for a Code Red. When Lethal was in deep trouble, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh arrived on stage. Once Lethal noticed, he told them to split. Allin took advantage of the situation for the Last Supper pin to win.
Afterward, Allin tried to talk Lethal into ditching his pals. Lethal was not pleased and shook Allin’s hand out of honor. Lethal exited with his crew.
That was a simple yet flashy match. Lethal worked the leg with style. He had a handful of attacks that made me wince in pain, especially the avalanche dragon screw. Allin added his brand of insanity for rally offense. The finish was kind of whack in the aspect of judging Allin. He was the one who requested a straight singles match. Lethal obliged. When Lethal did the honorable thing to send his uninvited friends packing, Allin stabbed him in the back by charging from behind directly leading to defeat. I guess no good deed goes unpunished. As for the future of this story, I hope it leads to Singh pinning Sting to get the super rub. I want to see the internet burn when reacting to that.
TNT Championship: Wardlow retained against Brian Cage. Hot action hoss fight. Yes! Wardlow and Cage one-upped each other with power suplexes and marvels of athleticism for their beefy frames. Wardlow turned the tide by running up the turnbuckles for a twisting moonsault back at the Machine. Wardlow followed for German suplexes and belly-to-belly suplexes. Wardlow went for the wind-up lariat, but Cage caught him for an F5. Wardlow regained momentum with headbutts and a wind-up lariat to flatten Cage. Four powerbombs sealed the deal for Wardlow to win.
Muscle men did muscle moves, and it was glorious. Wardlow and Cage did well manufacturing drama. For example, the wind-up lariat tease put a smile on my face once Wardlow hit it successfully. Also, Wardlow seemed to have victory in hand during the powerbomb symphony, but he kept strutting to work the crowd. It felt like Cage might have a trick up his sleeve to steal the win. Nope. Wardlow went rapid-fire for the third and fourth powerbombs to secure an impressive victory as the crowd erupted.
After the match, the Embassy (Prince Nana, Cage, Kaun, & Toa Liona) attacked Wardlow. Samoa Joe made the save, but the numbers game was too much. FTR swung the deck. The Embassy retreated. It was later announced the FTR will defend ROH tag titles against Kaun & Liona at Battle of the Belts IV on Friday night.
Toni Storm, Athena, & Willow Nightingale defeated Jamie Hayter, Serena Deeb, & Penelope Ford. Deeb clipped Storm’s knee. Hot tag to Willow. The match broke down into chaos with moves all around. Willow scored the win with a doctor bomb to pin Ford.
Whoa. Willow getting the shine was a pleasant result. Of all the talent in the ring, she was last on my list expecting to earn the pin. Thumbs up for that surprise. Willow deserves the moment. She is brimming with potential.
Prior to the bout, Dr. Britt Baker DMD announced that Saraya was not medically cleared to compete in AEW. Both women were ringside for the trios bout. Afterward, fisticuffs erupted. Saraya dumped Baker from the ring and booted Rebel in the mush.
National Scissoring Day. The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn had a good time cracking jokes. Anthony Bowens explained that scissoring is a handshake of friendship. Max Caster used that moment to promote scissoring as a way to unite the world. Swerve Strickland interrupted. He wants to get back to business with Keith Lee to win the tag titles again. Swerve aims to eliminate Billy from the equation. A singles bout was booked for next week between Swerve and Billy. Mark Sterling butt in and got beat up.
Reaction to this segment will depend on how fond you are of scissoring. If you think it is stupid, then I don’t think this will win you over. If you are a scissoring fanatic, then the humor here was appropriate to provide chuckles. I like how The Acclaimed treated this as a serious topic underneath the cheeky wrapping. Spread love and unity though a silly hand gesture. The Sterling portion made sense but also felt out of place. His presence seemed shoe-horned as a way for The Acclaimed to beat someone up.
Luchasaurus defeated Fuego del Sol. Power squash destruction for the dinosaur. Post-victory, Christian Cage ordered more pain on the menu. Jungle Boy ran in with a chair for the save. His heart was broken when the dino chose to align with Christian. JB wants Luchasaurus any time, anywhere. Christian offered the bout for next week.
Jungle Boy had strong passion in his promo. For all the young stars that need promo improvement, I think JB is the closest to breaking out in that aspect.
Notes: Dark Order will challenge Death Triangle for the trios titles on Rampage to honor Mr. Brodie Lee. PAC will pull double duty to defend the All-Atlantic Championship against Trent on Battle of the Belts IV.
Madison Rayne sees endless potential in Skye Blue. Anna Jay and Tay Melo sassed about sports entertainment training. A tag match was made for Rampage.
Willow Nightingale requested a shot at Jade Cargill and the TBS Championship. That bout was booked for Battle of the Belts IV.
Stud of the Show: MJF
MJF backed up his cocky attitude with a rugged win to earn respect in the ring. Not that he cares about such things.
Match of the Night: Wardlow vs. Brian Cage
HOSS FIGHT! I love hoss fight action, and this one delivered the goods. It was more on the athletic tip but had its fair share of clubbering and clobbering. Lots of fun.
Strong matches throughout. AEW’s top stories advanced with intrigue.
Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?