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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (May 10, 2023): Cage match heartbreak

AEW Dynamite (May 10, 2023) emanated from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI. The show featured heartbreak in the steel cage match between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley, the returns of Miro and Thunder Rosa, two title bouts, and much more.

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

Cage match heartbreak

The main event of the evening was Kenny Omega versus Jon Moxley inside a steel cage. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Omega and Moxley ratcheted up the violence with a heartbreaking finish.

This match had the big-fight appeal. Seeing the cage being lowered gave me goosebumps.

Moxley brought the fight to Omega to rumble on the rump. The Blackpool Combat Club had a trick up their sleeve. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta came out from the crowd to ambush Omega. The Young Bucks ran in for a superkick party. The outsider action spilled off stage with Nick Jackson leaping onto the bodies below. Security intervened to restore order. That fracas closed the door on the Bucks, Claudio, and Yuta from returning.

Omega and Moxley were finally inside the cage for the match to officially begin. It didn’t take long for Omega to pull out a barbed wire chair. He pummeled Mox to slice and dice the man’s forehead and back. Moxley was bleeding. No surprise there, but at least there was a reason for it. Mox took it all in stride to kiss the camera.

Moxley dished out his share of brutality. Bryan Danielson sat in on commentary grinning with glee about Moxley’s violence.

The match progressed with Moxley taking apart the top rope turnbuckles to fish-hook Omega, Omega slamming Moxley onto shards of broken glass, and a slap fight erupted. The best spot of the match came off a V-Trigger. Omega clobbered Moxley crashing through the fence panel down to the floor. Since escapes are not part of AEW cage match rules, the fight continued.

Moxley rose up first, and he grabbed a screwdriver. It appeared that Mox would have free reign to do some stabbing. That’s when Don Callis ran to the ring to snatch the object away. Omega pounced for a ripcord V-Trigger and the One-Winged Angel. Moxley was toast. Nobody kicks out of the One-Winged Angel. 1, 2, ... !!! Callis struck Omega to break the pinfall. Betrayal! Moxley covered Omega for the easy pin to win.

Oh my goodness. The chaos. The insanity. What has Callis done? I think many figured Callis would turn on Omega at some point in time. After all, Callis is a slimeball. I wasn’t figuring it to be right here in this moment. It caught me by complete surprise. For what it is worth, Danielson played it off as unexpected as well. His reaction laughing at the backstabbing was priceless.

That has to be a heartbreaking moment for Omega. It made me think of this verse from the New Edition song, “N.E. Heartbreak.”

It’s off to another city
Where everybody knows my name
But when I meet that perfect honey
Is it me she wants or is it my fame

Callis had been Omega’s perfect honey all that time, figuratively speaking, and it turned out that Callis only wanted Omega’s fame. So sad. Sad enough to shed a tear, if I wasn’t howling with laughter at the lunacy of the moment. That felt like an Attitude Era classic throwback of epic pandemonium.

The match itself was a violent spectacle. Omega and Moxley put on a heck of show. The savagery of barbed wire and glass shards isn’t really my thing, but it definitely fit the feud. The cage smashing V-Trigger was a memory to stand the test of time. That was badass and also took me by surprise. Two thumbs up for the efforts of Omega and Moxley.

Moving forward, this is exactly the type of angle that will make fans eager to tune in next week. Will Callis convince Konosuke Takeshita to join Blackpool Combat Club? And if not Takeshita, then who could Callis have in mind to help even the odds against the Elite? Without Callis as a bad influence, will Omega finally mend feelings with Hangman Page?

Big returns

Business is picking up in AEW. In addition to all the rowdy in-ring action, there were also a pair of major returns.

Miro! Where’s Miro? Here’s Miro.

The Redeemer entered Tony Khan’s office.

Miro was the first of two surprises. The second was Thunder Rosa. (THUN-DER RO-SA! Followed by unintelligible growling from her theme song.) Thunder Rosa also entered TK’s office.

A short while later, Khan delivered a promo. He spoke about wrestlers lining up for a chance to strut their stuff, so AEW is ready for more content each week. TK teased a huge announcement for next week. Don’t focus so much on his delivery, which looks like a hostage reading cue cards. Focus on the content.

Seeing Miro and Thunder Rosa was an instant injection of intrigue. The obvious assumption is that Khan will reveal the rumored weekly Saturday night show to make it official. If so, then bringing in wrestlers from the black hole of catering is a smart way to hype anticipation.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

ROH Double Jeopardy: Claudio Castagnoli defeated Fenix. Claudio entered as ROH world champion, and Fenix entered as ROH tag team champion. The winner earns a future title shot at the loser’s belt. This bout was high-octane action from beginning to end. There was a wide array of badass moves, but there was also strategy involved with smart counters. In the end, Claudio executed an Alpamare Waterslide slam, then he swiftly transitioned to hammering elbows. Claudio finished with the Ricola Bomb for victory.

That was a delicious display of talent in the bout. The match was a non-stop ride of cool stuff showcasing their impressive abilities. I love how Claudio turned up the heat to win. He created a window of opportunity, recognized it was open, then blitzed Fenix with punishment. It was the type of performance where I left thinking that is why Claudio is a champion.

One amusing moment unrelated to the action was referee Aubrey Edwards counting to ten in Spanish to aid Fenix. In the future, Claudio should demand that she officiate using his native tongue as a champion’s advantage.

Four Pillars. AEW aired promo packages from the Four Pillars prior to their four-way world title clash at Double or Nothing. All four videos were very good in character exploration. MJF went first. He compared the Four Pillars to the Beatles. MJF viewed himself as Paul McCartney, since he is the one primed for the most longevity for career success.

Sammy Guevara was second. He is the black sheep of the Four Pillars. Nobody wanted him there, but he is too good to deny.

Darby Allin was third. He knows where he is going and how to get there. The world title will be his at the PPV.

Jungle Boy was fourth. He is living his childhood dream as a professional wrestler. JB wants to be an example for those chasing their dreams.

All four packages were well done. It was an effective way to showcase the Four Pillars without having them live on the show. I really like the touches of adding comments from Chris Jericho, Sting, and Christian Cage. Those mentors provided an insider perspective of the Pillars.

AEW International Championship: Orange Cassidy retained against Daniel Garcia. Cassidy came in at less than 100% due to the grind of being a fighting champion. Garcia promised to target Cassidy’s injuries, and that he did. Cassidy vowed to find a way to victory. For the finishing sequence, Garcia worked submissions, then Cassidy rolled into the seat belt pin to steal the win.

Garcia was excellent in this matchup. Credit to Cassidy as well, since he wrestled at his usual high level. I want to focus on Garcia here to give props at his growth. Garcia worked the crowd like a sports entertainment veteran. He pulled their strings for boos, then he left them hanging for more boos. For example, Garcia shooed the crowd away to do damage to Cassidy on the outside, then he rolled OC back into the ring instead. Garcia forced the fans to move for nothing. Garcia also shined with technical skill in the ring to pick Cassidy apart. The finish was executed well for high drama. Garcia was at the point where he had me believing an upset was in the making. Nope. Cassidy was true to form with the heart of a champion finding a way to win. This was one of those matches were both wrestlers came out looking better.

As for what’s next for Cassidy, the champ was attacked backstage later in the show by Aussie Open’s Kyle Fletcher. My initial reaction was Macaulay Culkin as the culprit. I was wondering how in the world that would make sense until they said Fletcher’s name. I may need to buy glasses.

No Holds Barred: Julia Hart defeated Anna Jay. Chairs, kendo sticks, trashcans, and eye pokes were the methods of choice. Hart took a Gory Bomb onto a pile of chairs, and it looked like she suffered legit hip pain as a result. Hart pushed through the discomfort to rally for a superplex. The spot might have been intended to land on a pile of chairs, but they crashed slightly off to the side. Hart pounced for the Hartless Lock, and Jay tapped out.

Tony Schiavone summed it up well, “I’m digging this. These girls are letting it fly.” Hart and Jay were physical from start to finish. Their aggression earned my full attention. Applause to both for a wild outing.

AEW World Trios Championship: House of Black retained against Best Amigos. Open House rules in effect. Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, and Bandido weren’t even aware about the Dealer’s Choice gimmick. They had just seen Julia Hart win and wanted no part of her. The challengers blurted out that all witches are barred from ringside.

The match played out with moments to demonstrate the Open House rules, such as no rope-breaks and 20-second count-outs. The next stage was hot tag excitement. The finish came down to the House of Black dividing and conquering Taylor all alone. Buddy Matthews stunned Chuck with a knee strike, then he handed him over to Brody King for the Dante’s Inferno piledriver to win.

The action was as good as you would expect. The standout was the vibe of the match. AEW turned off the lights over the crowd for the whole match to give a black background for the House of Black. That effect alone elevates the HoB trios title matches as special. Add in the new rules, and it feels like star treatment for the champs. Another cool effect was the crowd joining in on King’s barking. I’m pretty sure it was the microphone being turned up, but that should set the scene for future crowds to join in. Imagine an entire arena woofing with King. It would be madness. And totally awesome.

Notes: Mark Briscoe informed FTR and Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal that he arranged the AEW tag title match for Double or Nothing, and he will be special guest referee. Briscoe tried to have a toast to cement the agreement, but Sonjay Dutt spit booze in Dax Harwood’s eyes. A skirmish ensued, and Harwood blindly crushed Briscoe on a piledriver. The bad guys pointed their fingers at FTR being horrible friends to Briscoe. This segment was right in line with the slimy silliness you would expect from Jarrett’s bunch.

Chris Jericho had legal paperwork banning Adam Cole from the building whenever Le Champion is there. Roderick Strong stepped in to challenge Jericho to a Falls Count Anywhere match next week. Jericho accepted with the confidence knowing JAS has his back. Strong revealed that JAS were banned next week.

The Outcasts mocked the fact that Hikaru Shida is once again back in Japan. They challenged Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Jamie Hayter to a trios bout next week. Challenge accepted. Baker and Hayter did not back down, and Shida will return in time for the bout.

Christian Cage went low insulting Wardlow and Arn Anderson. Wardlow found a new father figure, which was convenient since Arn was looking for a new son (shots fired at Brock Anderson’s limited exposure). Christian also shit on the Detroit crowd to get nuclear heat. This promo was an excellent piece of scumbaggery.

Ricky Starks wrestles “Switchblade” Jay White next week. Starks is sick of Bullet Club Gold. It is time to show them what a legend in the making looks like.

Studs of the Show: Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley

AEW promised violence. Omega and Moxley served it up as advertised. I’m not one to request these crazy feats of punishment, but I do have to applaud the effort of gritting through pain to entertain.

Honorable mention to Anna Jay and Julia Hart for taking their lumps as well.

Match of the Night: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Fenix

Cool clash of wrestling styles delivering maximum enjoyment.

Grade: A

Excellent broadcast. AEW hyped it as a PPV on free TV, and it delivered on that excitement. There were surprises and swerves. Every match met or exceeded expectations. The promos were effective in enhancing feuds. The one gripe I could point to was too many talking segments in a row at times. For example, I was properly heated up after the opener and then completely cool by the time the second match rolled around. To the credit of the promos, they were all necessary on the road to Double or Nothing.

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

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