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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Oct. 10, 2023): Two new champs, beatdowns, donnybrooks

AEW Dynamite (Oct. 10, 2023) emanated from Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, MO. The Title Tuesday special featured two new champions, violent beatdowns, MJF drama, the feud between Adam Copeland and Christian Cage erupting into a wild donnybrook, and more.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Sean Rueter.

New champions

Title Tuesday featured three championship contests, and two new champions were crowned. Hikaru Shida and Orange Cassidy are carrying gold once again.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida defeated Saraya to win the title. Shida came with intensity taking the fight to Saraya. Ruby Soho ran out from the crowd to interfere, but Shida used the spray paint back in Soho’s face. Toni Storm ran in to hit Soho with shoes.

Saraya took advantage of the hubbub to attack Shida. The Shining Samurai rallied for the Katana, but Saraya blocked the move to execute her cradle DDT finisher. Shida kicked out. Saraya duped the referee by grabbing a kendo stick as a red herring. When the ref snatched the foreign object, Saraya sprayed paint in Shida’s face. Cradle DDT again, kick out by Shida again. Shida fought back for a Falcon Arrow slam. Saraya and Shida exchanged roll-ups with Shida stacking on top for the win. Shida is now a three-time women’s champion.

What a surprise. I had my doubts about Saraya holding up as a full-time champion, but she was doing well so far. The matches were entertaining, and she took some hard lumps in this one, such as a stalling German suplex on the apron.

This match had riveting drama with the false finishes, especially Shida kicking out of Saraya’s finisher and continuing on partially blind from the spray paint. Shida fought out of instinct in the end. That was a pretty cool story execution. We already know Shida can deliver in the ring, so I’m looking forward to how AEW decides to sort out the women’s division. Will Shida go on a lengthy reign? Will a fresh face emerge as the next titleholder? Will AEW pick back up with the brewing beef between Shida and Dr. Britt Baker DMD?

AEW International Championship: Orange Cassidy defeated Fenix to win the title. Jon Moxley was the original opponent for Fenix, but it was announced that Mox was not cleared from injury. Hook stepped in to request a shot for Cassidy, since OC never received a rematch after losing the belt. Cassidy played coy at first. I like that Tony Khan forced the issue with a takeaway to push Cassidy into showing urgency and a desire to fight.

Cassidy didn’t waste this opportunity. He was uncharacteristically aggressive ramming Fenix’s back into the barricade, ring post, and apron. The damage was done and affected Fenix in a crucial point. Fenix went for a rolling cutter, but his back gave out. Cassidy was able to counter for the Beach Break. A superman punch sealed the deal. Cassidy is a two-time international champion.

Wow, another surprising result. This one wasn’t so much about Fenix losing but more how he lost. Moxley seemed like a favorite to regain the strap anyway with a rematch against Cassidy down the line. AEW can run the same story, just switch the roles with Cassidy as champ. Cassidy targeted Fenix’s weak spot by going kind of dirty. There was nothing illegal with what Cassidy did, but he’s been a true blue heroic babyface that wouldn’t stoop to that conduct only if necessary. It has me wondering if we are in the midst of character development for Cassidy. Fenix’s title reign will go down as a footnote. He was protected by injury, so perhaps he won’t be out of the picture for long.

The third title bout took place on the bonus pre-show.

ROH World Championship & NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Eddie Kingston retained against Minoru Suzuki. This was a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots slugfest. It was heavy hitting but also comedic in nature. This clip is a perfect example.

Kingston was dropped early, and he was on roller skates all match long. Kingston fired off a spinning backfist to turn the tide. He countered the Gotch piledriver into a back body drop then unloaded his signature strike. Suzuki was still game to fight, so Kingston added two more spinning backfists and a Northern Lights bomb to win.

This was an entertaining bout, but don’t confuse that with any sort of technical masterpiece. Kingston and Suzuki beat the stuffing out of each other to much enthusiasm from the fans. It worked well to warm up the crowd. Kingston was a little over-the-top with his knockdown theatrics. It was funny seeing him fall like a sack of potatoes, but it was also a stretch when he would flash between clarity and concussion so often. It’s like he had mental smelling salts. Suzuki delivered as always as an attraction.

The post-match respect was also amusing. Kingston and Suzuki exchanged more chops for good times’ sake before embracing in a hug.

Violent beatdowns

There were a pair of violent beatdowns on the card from Will Hobbs and Wardlow. Hobbs sent Chris Jericho to the hospital, and Wardlow made mincemeat out of Matt Sydal.

Will Hobbs defeated Chris Jericho. Powerhouse crushed Jericho with ease. Total domination. It wasn’t necessarily a squash, because Hobbs took his time to crush spinebuster after spinebuster. Jericho rallied for a Codebreaker and the Walls of Jericho, but Hobbs was too strong. Overall, Hobbs hit six spinebusters and two front powerslams. He knelt on Jericho’s face for the winning pin. Powerhouse added one more front slam after the match. Side note, commentary stated that Kenny Omega was not in the building, so Jericho was left to fend for himself.

As a fan of Hobbs, the way that match played out excites me. That was a statement victory by dismantling a legend. It left me eager to see what’s next for Hobbs as a member of the Callis Family.

Wardlow defeated Matt Sydal. This was a pure squash. The referee waved off the match after four powerbombs. Just like last week, Wardlow exited with zip through the audience. Get Scoopz Marvez on the case to find out Wardlow’s motivation. I am intrigued to find out.

MJF drama

MJF was without both beloveds in his life. Adam Cole is out with injury, and the Triple B was kidnapped by Jay White. After Switchblade won his match against Hangman Page, MJF stormed on stage demanding the return of his property. White refused to acquiesce. He claimed that a champion needs to earn the title. White did offer a resolution while they wait for the main event showdown at the Full Gear PPV. King Switch proposed an 8-man tag, that is if MJF could find any friends. Juice Robinson chimed in that he will enter the Dynamite Diamond Ring battle royal next week to take MJF’s jewelry. Rock Hard pushed MJF over the line by threatening to knock him out with a roll of quarters. MJF flashed back to days of youth when he was bullied.

Renee Paquette caught up with MJF for comment, but he was in no mood to chat. MJF phoned Cole looking for advice. Cole’s phone cut out with bad reception. Enter Max Caster offering assistance from the Acclaimed. MJF walked away alone. Anthony Bowens and Billy Gunn weren’t on board with helping MJF, so Caster explained how they are actually old friends who broke into the business together. Caster also teased that he likes when MJF plays hard to get.

All in all, those scenes were important steps in story development. Little by little the pieces are coming together. It’s not getting rushed, and we are allowed to absorb the process. It’s sort of amazing how AEW is able to provoke sympathy for MJF after all the rotten things he’s done in his career. Using the Acclaimed for the babyface support has legs to reignite the daddy issues with the Gunns for a trios title feud as well.

So, where was Cole this week? Bay Bay was still at the home of Roderick Strong. Cole was busy mowing mowing Roddy’s lawn. The Neck Strong house conveniently did not have cell service or television, so Cole couldn’t keep track of MJF’s business in AEW.

This was a silly skit adding levity to the broadcast. There were lots of little things worth a chuckle, such as choosing a giraffe as the Neck Strong mascot. Strong will have Cole by his side for one more week. Cole better grow a spine soon, because he’s beginning to look like a schmuck being taken advantage of in obvious manipulation.

Adam Copeland & Christian Cage donnybrook

Christian Cage ushered in the broadcast from the production truck. Soak in his greatness.

Fast forward to the main event segment, and Christian explained why he couldn’t be bothered to join Adam Copeland to reunite their tag team. Christian wanted to know where that same sentiment was when Edge was being pushed to the moon while he was being held back in WWE. Now that Copeland is on the down side of his career, it’s convenient to latch onto Christian’s rising star.

Just when you thought Christian couldn’t get more despicable, he reached a new low. Christian was confident that his right hand of destruction would end Copeland, so he sent a message to Beth Phoenix to put on clean sheets for the new father of her daughters.

Copeland stormed to the ring. Nick Wayne grabbed his feet from behind, and Luchasaurus proceeded to dish out a beatdown. The first half was all dino power. Copeland rallied with the power of the people for a diving DDT on the floor.

The match progressed with Copeland in position for a spear. Christian caused just enough of a distraction for Wayne to place a chair in the corner behind Luchasaurus. Copeland charged forward, the dino leapfrogged, and Copeland rammed into the steel. Luchasaurus followed for a chokeslam. 1, 2, kick out by Copeland.

Copeland found his groove again for parkour off the ring steps to spear Luchasaurus.

Christian tried to cheat again. This time, Copeland snatched the TNT title belt to hit Luchasaurus as Wayne was distracting the referee. The dino thought Christian hit him, and that was the window of opportunity for Copeland to pounce with a spear to win.

Chaos ensued in the aftermath. Bryan Danielson ran out to save Copeland from Christian’s goon squad. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta helped against the numbers. The Mogul Embassy entered the mix. Hangman Page ran in to whoop on Swerve Strickland. The final salvo was Copeland spearing Wayne and Danielson tapping out Christian in the LeBell Lock prior to their TNT title bout on Collision.

The main event scene had all kinds of emotion. Christian is lower than low trying to warm Copeland’s bed, and I love it as a shocking heel move. It’s highly entertaining but also earns scorn. The match itself was a little plodding in the start to sell the story. Once Copeland got cooking, the energy heated up. Luchasaurus used to be seen as the weak link of the tag team with Jungle Boy. He’s shown he can hold his own during the TNT title run and this match with Copeland. Luchasaurus is very effective as a power monster. That spear into the chair actually had me thinking AEW might pull the trigger on a shocker to hand Copeland a loss in his first bout. That shows how effective it was in execution to maximize drama for the false finish. The closing donnybrook hyped up Collision nicely. How can you not want to see what happens when Danielson slaps on the LeBell Lock in sanctioned combat?

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Bryan Danielson defeated Swerve Strickland. The winner earned a shot at the TNT Championship on Collision. The action was creative in this contest. One example is Swerve suplexing Danielson from the floor upward to hang on the turnbuckles. Swerve then executed a flying stomp as Danielson was in that compromised position.

Swerve worked Danielson’s lower back throughout, and that affected the liver. Danielson was in charge when inadvertent contact with the turnbuckle forced him to crumble in pain. Swerve pounced for the House Call dropkick and a flying double stomp, but Danielson kicked out of the cover.

In the end, Prince Nana caused a referee distraction so Swerve could hit Danielson with the crown, but Hangman Page ran in to intervene. The cowboy prevented chicanery. Danielson and Swerve traded shifty counters, then Danielson hit the mark with the Busaiku Knee to win.

Mighty fine match. If anyone has doubts of Swerve being a main event player, this match should put that idea to rest. Swerve starred toe-to-toe with the best in the game. It’s getting real close to the point that AEW can’t wait much longer for his push. I’m hoping they can figure out a way to have Swerve challenge MJF soon. Danielson was his usual stellar self working technique and aggression. Putting the pedal on the gas to kick Swerve’s head in brought the crowd to their feet.

Jay White defeated Hangman Page. The cowboy kicked the shit out of White early. Switchblade got crafty to attack the right knee and get back in the game. Hangman grit through the pain for a cool avalanche fallaway slam. The closing story revolved around the Buckshot Lariat. White had his wits to prevent the move a few times. He ducked one to grab a Blade Runner, but Hangman countered for a Deadeye piledriver. The Bang Bang Gang had been on good behavior all match long, then they slithered in to buy White recovery time to kick out on the pin. Hangman then had to deal with Prince Nana trying to interfere as payback from earlier in the evening. Hangman saw it coming, but he didn’t see White scooping a roll-up and grabbing the trunks to win.

This was a solid matchup as their first one-on-one encounter in AEW. It lays a foundation for a future series down the line. Hangman was strong in defeat, and White took advantage of trickery. While I would have preferred White earn a cleaner win to get ready for his PPV world title fight, it’s fitting for an expert cheater to challenge MJF in his role reversal as a babyface scumbag.

Notes: Samoa Joe will begin his roll for championship gold on Collision. Joe is ready for his ascension toward greatness.

Daniel Garcia came to check on Chris Jericho, but Daddy Magic was in a mood talking sense to Garcia about how Jericho treated them. Garcia exited with Daddy Magic, and Jericho was taken to the hospital.

Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita let it be known that their revenge on Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho is far from over.

Toni Storm was ready for her Timeless spotlight with a silent film, Lover’s Lament. I applaud thinking outside the box on this one, even though, I thought it was on the boring side. Part 1 was charming. Part 2 was overkill on the same evening. My issue was that I didn’t know what story she was trying to tell with her pantomiming, other than the clue from the title. There will likely be a split love/hate reaction for Storm’s cinema.

AEW will be donating over 50,000 toys to Toys For Tots in the Christmas season. That’s a neat gesture of goodwill.

Stud of the Show: Will Hobbs

Legend killer.

Match of the Night: Bryan Danielson vs. Swerve Strickland

Creativity, athleticism, and drama on overload.

Grade: B+

Stacked card that suffered slightly from repetitive formulas. The two hoss squashes made the start of the main event feel a little redundant. There were the two cheating finishes involving Hangman, which made sense in story but also felt redundant on the same evening. Overall, it was a good night of entertainment with hot directions moving forward.

I’ll leave you with delightful visions of Prince Nana dancing.

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

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