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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Aug. 10, 2022): Epic main event & Punk return

AEW Dynamite (Aug. 10, 2022) emanated from Target Center in Minneapolis, MN. The Quake by the Lake special featured Jon Moxley versus “Lionheart” Chris Jericho in an epic main event for the AEW Interim World Championship, CM Punk in a surprise return, Darby Allin besting Brody King in a Coffin match with a little help from Sting, the Young Bucks drama saga mending fences with Hangman Page, and so much more.

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

Epic main event

Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho put on a fantastic main event for the AEW Interim World Championship. The backstory was deep, but the lead in was simple. Moxley wanted Jericho as the last survivor of Stu Hart’s dungeon. Moxley wanted Jericho as the Lionheart. Jericho obliged, and the match was set.

Moxley hyped the bout by being ornery about interim context. He viewed himself as the real world champion. Call it the FYI belt forged in Cincinnati about pain and endurance. His explanation doesn’t conveniently fit as an FYI acronym, so I would suggest forged upon Cincinnati to call it the FUC title. Moxley is going to push Jericho to the limit. If Lionheart’s fighting spirit won’t break, then his body will.

Jericho had his promo turn to counter that he will stretch the shit out of Moxley to be the next world champion.

Even Daddy Magic, Cool Hand, Daniel Garcia, and Anna Jay grabbed the wheel to hype the bout. Sadly, no nipple talk from Daddy Magic, but they were pumped for the celebration party. There will be fondue and a little bit of the bubbly. Anna Jay acted like a lunatic choking out a random person.

Side note unrelated to the main event, Garcia talked trash about Bryan Danielson, and it was announced that they will meet in 2-out-of-3 falls next week.

Jericho entered the main event with classic Lionheart music, wearing Lionheart tights with a Lionheart vest, and sporting a ponytail.

Moxley did his usual Wild Thing entrance through the crowd. The hype job was complete. AEW played all the notes perfectly to this point for an electric atmosphere. Ring the bell!

Middle fingers from both men. Lockup, arm drag by Jericho, and a hair floof. Lockup again, and a second arm drag by Jericho. On the knuckle lock, chants were loud for Moxley and even louder for Lionheart. Stalemate shoulder blocks and an exchange of slaps. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho. Moxley twisted out, so Jericho went for a llave hold learned in the Stu Hart dungeon to stretch Mox. Jericho showed he was playing as the real deal on this evening.

Moxley likes to talk a lot about pain. Well, Jericho served him that dish cold by ripping out an earring for blood to flow.

The match progressed with Jericho utilizing Lionheart maneuvers, such as a super hurricanrana. Moxley fired back with rugged offense. Jericho was able to latch on the Liontamer submission for deep pain. Mox managed to roll it over, so Jericho stomped his face and went to the Walls of Jericho. The champion eventually reached the ropes for the break after enduring through tremendous punishment.

Moxley rallied with a flying double axe handle to the outside. Mox aimed for another flying attack on the inside, but Jericho caught him for a Codebreaker. After Mox kicked out, Jericho went to his well of shenanigans. He began removing turnbuckle pads as a ploy to keep the referee busy. Sammy Guevara threw in a baseball bat from the crowd. Jericho popped Moxley. 1, 2, kick out. Mox went for a standing choke. Jericho escaped by sending Moxley into an exposed turnbuckle. Moxley ricocheted back right into a Judas Effect. 1, 2, Moxley kicked out. Whoa!

Jericho grabbed the title belt as a foreign object. Moxley ole’d Lionheart into the exposed steel. Rear naked choke by Mox. Transition to a bulldog choke. Jericho escaped and hammered elbows for the Liontamer. Mox escaped to bludgeon Jericho with vicious elbows. Moxley worked for a grapevine sleeper on the mat. Jericho made his last gasp to escape. Moxley trapped the free arm to reapply the choke. Jericho lasted as long as he could before tapping out. Moxley retained in a bloody duel.

That was an epic match. Drama was off the charts. The first three-quarters and the finish rank up their as one of my favorite matches of the year. I could have done without all the shenanigans toward the end, but it is what it is.

Moxley and Jericho created intrigue with the Lionheart angle, and they fully delivered on that concept. Jericho was so good with his llave holds and athletic attacks that he had me rooting hard for him by the end. I was in a booing mood after Mox kicked out of the Judas Effect. Even Moxley stepped his game up with a creative way to bleed. If he was going to shed red and you knew that he was, ripping out an earring is a way to form a lasting memory.

The excitement did not end there.

Epic return

CM Punk is back!

After the main event, Jericho Appreciation Society, Blackpool Combat Club, Eddie Kingston, and Ortiz ran out for a huge brawl. Just as Jericho was winding up a chair to hit Moxley, Punk’s music hit. The crowd erupted so loud that it made me wonder if they quaked a lake. Punk cleared the ring and shared an intense staredown with Moxley.

Goosebumps! That closing scene was a roller coaster of emotion. When all the goons ran out, I groaned thinking it was beyond time to turn the page. Then Punk arrived as a surprise and glee took over my body. That is the way to set up a PPV main event. Two megastars ready to collide. I can’t wait for All Out on September 4 for the world title unification bout between Punk and Moxley. I have no idea who will win, and I love that feeling. It makes a world of difference in the AEW product.

Epic apology

Hangman Page! Young Bucks! Back together? Well, not quite.

The latest turn in the Elite soap opera revolves around the upcoming AEW World Trios Championship tournament. Brackets were revealed:

  • Death Triangle vs. Will Ospreay & Aussie Open
  • Andrade, Dragon Lee, & Rush vs. Young Bucks & ???
  • House of Black vs. Dark Order
  • Trustbusters vs. Best Friends

If you’ll notice, the Bucks are in the tournament without an official third. The Jacksons aimed to remedy that by approaching Hangman in the Dark Order locker room to apologize.

The Bucks have their tournament match next week and asked Hangman if he would join them. Matt and Nick apologized for how they treated their former friend. They had great times together with the whole gang running and gunning on the way to building a revolution. The Bucks acknowledged that they got selfish along the way. Matt lacked courage to personally congratulate Hangman on winning the AEW world title. The Bucks might be bad people, but it is Hangman who brings out the good in them. Matt popped the question to Hangman, “Will you be our trios partner next week?”

Hangman appreciated the apology, but he had to decline the invitation. Hangman would love to reunite as the Hung Bucks, however, he felt loyalty to the Dark Order. They stood by his side on the way to the top, and he should repay the favor by supporting them in the tournament. The Bucks sheepishly exited with Brandon Cutler offering his services as a teammate.

That was a well done scene of drama and intrigue. The Bucks seemed sincere in their apology. It would have been great to see the Hung Bucks ride again, however, it is even greater to see Hangman stand by his Dark Order pals. It is a true and pure babyface move from the cowboy.

That doesn’t mean Hangman and Bucks are completely off the table. I strongly suspect that Cutler will be in the trios match when the Bucks don’t have any other options. A loss in the tournament is an opportunity for a hot feud against Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly. The Bucks will need a third for that one, and we all know Hangman would oblige in that scenario.

As for the tournament itself, those are great selections, except the Trustbusters. Ari Daivari’s group is being forced on us too quickly without enough development as a serious threat, and they will clearly be taking a first round loss. The NJPW trio with Will Ospreay keeps the Forbidden Door vibes thriving. And then there is Dragon Lee. Yes! I’ve been waiting for his arrival to show the AEW world his skills.

There’s a lot of room for unpredictability in the finals. Death Triangle, Los Ingobernables, House of Black, and Best Friends would make sense in the semifinals. I can see any one of those teams winning the whole enchilada. The Dark Order is a strong dark horse due to story reasons. Bring it on!

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Coffin Match: Darby Allin defeated Brody King. Allin attacked out of the darkness during King’s entrance and whacked the monster with a studded skateboard. King regrouped to stomp the skateboard in half. Allin came back for a super Code Red off the turnbuckles. King took control to maul Allin, but he missed the mark on a flying splash to crash through a table. Lights out, lights on. Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews, Julia Hart, and King pummeled Allin. They opened the coffin for King to finish the job. It’s Sting!

Stinger was lying in wait inside the coffin to help his little buddy. Sting cleaned house, so Black sat down in the corner to play mind games. Sting tossed his bat over to Black. The House of Black leader declined to engage and exited. Sting gave chase in a brisk walk up the ramp for a staredown.

Back to the fight, Allin and King duked it out with heavy moves. Cannonball from Allin, body slam by King onto the ring steps. King went for his hanging choke, but Allin cracked him with a chain. Allin used the chain to choke King out cold. King tumbled off the apron falling into the coffin with the lid closed shut. Allin was victorious.

That match was loads of fun with wild action. The intensity was on point for this feud. Allin’s fighting spirit makes me a fan. When House of Black showed up by King’s side, Allin didn’t care and was going to do a suicide dive anyway. That’s the kind of chutzpah I can root for.

As enjoyable as it was, I wouldn’t necessarily call this a satisfying conclusion for this feud. Mainly because I don’t think this is the end, even though, it was a coffin match. The finish was cool with how it played back into the previous choke spots on the apron. I’m thinking more with the interaction between Sting and Black that means this feud will still continue. They made me wonder if those two were awkwardly standing face-to-face through the entire finishing sequence. Either way, I’m still excited to see Allin and Sting versus the House of Black.

Allin and Sting may not be alone. They have common enemies with Miro. The Redeemer cut a promo questioning the darkness from Black’s black mist. Julia Hart encouraged him to embrace the gift. I thought she was Lana for a second and popped. That made it even funnier for me when he said that only one woman can touch him and it is not Julia. Miro made a decision. He will accept the gift and use it to destroy the House of Black. The lighting shift added a cool effect to give me goosebumps for maximum ass-kicking.

Los Ingobernables defeated Lucha Bros. Lucha libre tornado rules for total chaos with a furious pace. They manipulated an excellent false finish by tying Penta Oscuro’s mask tail to the ropes as Fenix ate a flying dropkick from Rush. 1, 2, Penta unmasked himself to make the save. When Alex Abrahantes threw in a backup mask, Andrade intercepted and tossed it into the crowd. That pretty much put Penta out of the fight. Fenix was smashed with the Bull’s Horns running dropkick from Rush and a hammerlock DDT from Andrade to win.

The action was non-stop athleticism from all four men. The story told an interesting tale of divide and conquer. Due to the tornado rules, it was tough to get separation long enough for a winning pin. However, Los Ingobernables managed to achieve it with creativity. Rush and Andrade looked like stars ready for bigger things.

Luchasuaurus defeated Anthony Henry. Squash won with the Fossilizer fireman’s carry slam. Nothing much to react to there.

The real story was Jungle Boy on commentary then attacking Christian Cage. After the dino’s win, Christian was on the big screen clapping. JB observed the scene and figured out where Christian was located. He ran backstage looking for a fight, but security blocked him from his prey. Luchasaurus added a helping hand to free JB. Christian was already gone.

That was a quick jolt to keep the story hot for the inevitable showdown between Jungle Boy and Christian at All Out. There might be another layer to this story now. In Luchasaurus’ zealousness, he headbutt Pat Buck. I’m not sure why we’re supposed to care about Pat Buck, who is an agent for AEW. Perhaps that was an introduction on screen to assist Christian down the line.

FTR returned for a reunion. Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh called out Wardlow. Their beef isn’t over until Lethal holds the TNT Championship. Wardlow arrived despite being outnumbered. FTR’s music hit to stand by Wardlow’s side. The bad guys backed away. Lethal tried a sneak attack, but he ate a Big Rig for his troubles.

I have mixed feelings on these developments. For the positive, it was nice seeing FTR stand by Wardlow’s side as a surprise. It calls back to their time together in the Pinnacle. For the negative, Lethal angling for another title shot so soon after losing clean makes wins and losses feel like they don’t matter. It was the same thing with Adam Cole rematching Hangman Page. Lethal didn’t do anything the first time around to make me yearn for round two. Maybe this is fluff leading to a blow-off trios match where Wardlow powerbombs Singh. In that case, I will be pleased as punch.

Ricky Starks defeated Aaron Solo. QT Marshall and the Factory crossed paths with Will Hobbs backstage. They promised to take care of Starks. Hobbs warned not to become a problem. The former indie teammates had a short match with Starks running the ropes to duck a corkscrew kick and win via spear.

Afterward, the Factory tried to violently pummel Starks, but he escaped and exited to safety. Hobbs was watching backstage and smashed the television screen in anger.

Starks picked up a win to keep his momentum rising. The curious part is where the Factory will fit into the feud between Starks and Hobbs. Neither of them like QT and his crew. If AEW books Hobbs to fight the Factory too, then he’ll be getting cheers as the heel in the Starks story.

TBS Championship: Jade Cargill retained against Madison Rayne. Kiera Hogan was ringside for timely distractions. Jade’s power was trouble early. Rayne rallied for a jawbreaker, hanging neckbreaker, flipping neckbreaker, and front chancery DDT. Hogan distracted again and ate a pump kick from Jade when Rayne moved away. Jade kept her wits and landed a pump kick on Rayne. Jaded counter escape to Cross Rayne counter escape to Jaded for the win. Afterward, Athena snuck in for a back attack to the champ.

That was a nice match. Jade looked good with power offense, such as a one-arm stalling suplex. Rayne did her job as veteran putting over the rising talent. Her expression of fear at the peak of Jaded was an amusing touch. Athena did more of the same to drag this feud toward All Out. Athena versus Jade is a match I definitely want to see, but the wait is getting old.

Notes: Billy Gunn wanted his sons to toughen up, so he booked a match for them on Rampage. Stokely Hathaway entered trying to recruit Austin and Colten. Grandpa Ass shooed him away, then Danhausen entered the scene. The Ass Boys’ match will be against Danhausen and a big bearded fellow. That person was later announced to be Erick Redbeard (aka Erick Rowan).

Ari Daivari and the Trustbusters tried to recruit Orange Cassidy. He wasn’t interested. Daivari will teach OC what happens to people who say, “No,” in a singles match on Rampage.

With Kris Statlander out due to injury, Toni Storm is the #1 contender for the AEW Women’s World Championship. Storm enjoys palling with Thunder, but her main goal has always been to be world champ. Thunder was reluctant about the potential match with the idea that being opponents could take a toll on their friendship. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dr. Britt Baker DMD is added to the mix.

Stud of the Show: Chris Jericho

Jericho turned back the hands of time for a special performance. It was awesome, and I want more Lionheart.

Match of the Night: Jon Moxley vs. Chris Jericho

Excellent match that had me in the palm of their hands the entire time.

Grade: A

This was an epic episode of Dynamite. So much epicness. The energy was high all night long for the show to zip by. The big matches delivered big, and the surprise of CM Punk was outstanding. It was the kind of show with so much excitement that it makes it hard to go to sleep afterward.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?

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