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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (July 19, 2023): Blood & Guts delivers

AEW Dynamite (July 19, 2023) emanated from TD Garden in Boston, MA. The show featured Blood & Guts between the Golden Elite versus the Blackpool Combat Club, brochachos MJF & Adam Cole earning a tag team title shot, Jungle Boy winning his first singles championship in AEW, and more.

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

Blood & Guts!

The marquee attraction for this episode was the Blood & Guts match. The Golden Elite assembled to take down the Blackpool Combat Club. The sides were set with Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks, Hangman Page, and Kota Ibushi against Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, Konosuke Takeshita, and PAC. The setup was two rings enclosed under a steel cage. Once all ten men entered, then the match can be decided by submission or surrender.

The match went roughly one hour. It was clean fighting until Moxley entered fifth with a screwdriver to stab Omega and Hangman. Mox also added broken glass to the equation by dumping a bucket full of shards onto the mat. Several wrestlers had their turn taking bumps on the glass.

With nine men entered, Moxley brought in a bed if nails. He dropkicked Omega onto the device of torture and also bodyslammed him onto the gruesome pallet of pain.

That set up Ibushi as the final competitor with about twenty minutes remaining in the broadcast. Ibushi took control to batter Mox.

Before we get to the finish, there are a few crazy moves to mention. Yuta and Matt Jackson climbed to the roof of the cage where Jackson went into locomotion for a train of northern lights suplexes. Also, PAC hung from the ceiling of the cage to drop down for a double stomp to Nick Jackson through a table.

The finish came down one team united and one team combusting. The BCC were in control when Omega dodged a corner attack that resulted in Claudio smashing PAC. Claudio and PAC had been showing tension toward each other all match long. Once that accidental contact happened, PAC bailed on the match. Don Callis sensed the swing in momentum, so he called for Takeshita to exit as well. Those departures made it three versus five in favor of the Golden Elite.

The Golden Elite handcuffed Moxley to the ropes and took care of Claudio. They isolated Yuta for Hangman to choke him out with a chain. It looked like Yuta’s head was going to pop off his shoulders. Commentary explained that Moxley surrendered to save his BCC mate.

Blood & Guts lived up to its name in the sense that there was blood and figurative guts. The match was pretty badass overall. Even though they used broken glass and a bed of nails, the violence didn’t seem overboard in my view. It never veered to the gross or trashy side. There were plenty of cool sequences, such as the arrival of Ibushi and the BCC submissions while Claudio did the giant swing. The dangerous spots brought thrills and chills. As the match climaxed with furious fisticuffs, it still felt like an even fight without showing their hand on the eventual winner.

Unfortunately, the story of the finish was not satisfying. AEW interjected a new storyline between Claudio and PAC into the mix to water down the Golden Elite’s victory. Sure, it made sense for PAC to leave, because he is an ornery bastard. However, that wasn’t the time to tell that story. I have to assume it was a rush job to set up the ROH Death Before Dishonor main event, since they were in a pinch needing an injury replacement for Mark Briscoe on the PPV. I understand all the reasons why it was done, but I still don’t like it as a viewer. With PAC and Takeshita bailing, the finish felt more like a whimper to what had been an epic war of attrition to that point. I do have to say that the visual of Hangman choking Yuta was definitely deserving of victory.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

FTW Championship: Jungle Boy won the title from Hook. Tarzan Boy played as JB’s entrance tune, then the lights went out. A video aired showing Jack Perry burying the Jungle Boy persona in the desert. His new song was Symphony No. 5 by Beethoven. Perry also wrestled in leather pants as a change in gear.

The spot of the match was Hook suplexing Perry off the apron.

Perry used cheap tricks down the stretch. He mule kicked Hook and blasted a running elbow to the back of the head. That wasn’t enough to keep Hook down. Perry grabbed the FTW title belt. One thing led to another, and they sandwiched referee Paul Turner in the corner. Hook hit a suplex and scored a three-count, but the ref was still down. As Hook tried to revive the official, Perry struck with the title belt as a foreign object. Perry lied on top with a grin of satisfaction to win the FTW Championship.

Hook brought the action, however, that match was about the character work from Perry. He firmly establish himself as a heel in so many ways. Taking away the fan favorite bopper is reason enough to earn scorn. Replacing it with classical music that won’t have a singalong is just plain mean. Perry’s new attitude was also shown when being content to win via count-out, whereas Hook made sure not to win in that manner. To top it off, Perry embraced MJF’s advice with cheating ways. All of that together worked. Perry is firmly cemented as a scoundrel. The story with Hook isn’t finished. Revenge will be had, and it will be glorious.

Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament final: MJF & Adam Cole defeated Sammy Guevara & Daniel Garcia. Before the bout, AEW aired another bonding session between the brochachos. They ate spicy food, accidentally got drunk, and hit a double clothesline on the waiter. Their friendship grew closer.

While preparing for their bout, MJF surprised Cole with matching trunks. Cole surprised MJF with matching jackets.

Cole had one more surprise. It turned out to be a mash-up of their theme songs. MJF’s jubilation was priceless.

The match was built around delivering the double clothesline. MJF and Cole were thwarted several times until the big pay-off. Guevara and Garcia even had the audacity to hit a double clothesline first. The big moment came after Cole planted Garcia on a Panama Sunrise. Tag to MJF. Double clothesline! The crowd erupted in excitement. MJF made the pin to win.

Just when everything seemed right with the world, Cole had to shit in our cornflakes. When the referee handed the world title to Cole during the post-match celebration, Cole was mesmerized by the gold. He gave that belt the jealous eyes. MJF caught Cole in the act. Cole tried to play it off as no big deal. The crowd shouted to hug it out, so they did. However, it was clear that MJF’s heart was broken was he gave the stink eye behind Cole’s back.

The prize for winning the tournament was a tag title shot. MJF & Cole will wrestle FTR for the AEW World Tag Team Championship on the July 29 edition of Collision. FTR came out for a tense staredown.

There was a lot going on the MJF & Cole story arc. The first to address is the most troubling. Cole being a greedy gobbler for that world title made him a clear heel in terms of how this story could unfold. All the trust that had been built was flushed by jealous eyes. His eyes were more jealous than Hulk Hogan’s. I wouldn’t even fault MJF for preemptively striking due to Cole’s lust for the Triple B.

Overall, the comedy was hilarious. On paper, lots of the actions could be cheesy, but it just worked in every aspect. From MJF repeating the epic body slam story to matching gear to a dance contest? Hell yeah, a dance contest! Garcia low-key stole that scene with his final Sex Gods pose between Sammy’s legs. That was so ridiculous in a fun way. Not to mention Garcia’s aggressive pelvic thrusts to back the referee away later in the match.

There was Roderick Strong all sad and being ignored like a third wheel. On top of all that was the epic double clothesline. That move was teased several times to set up the big pop upon delivery. As enjoyable as the fun and games are, AEW needs to make sure the match against FTR is serious. FTR don’t play that goofy game.

Notes: Scoops Marvez spied on Don Callis and Chris Jericho throughout the day trying to dig dirt on if Jericho accepted the offer to join the Callis Family. He interrupted their meal in a swanky eatery. Jericho was shirtless wearing his leather jacket. Does that count as a go-around to no shirt, no shoes, no service? Marvez came up empty-handed on news.

Sticking with the Callis Family story, Jericho and Callis arrived together at the venue. Jericho was on commentary for the JAS tag match. After the loss, he greeted Sammy and Danny, but they walked right past him. If Jericho doesn’t join Callis, then his JAS group might be over anyway.

Dr. Britt Baker DMD squashed Kayla Sparks to win via Lockjaw submission. This segment brought nothing of value to the show other than the fans having a chance to chant DMD.

Darby Allin asked Orange Cassidy for a favor. He requested a shot for AR Fox at the AEW International Championship. Fox helped Allin back in the days when Allin was homeless. OC was cool with Allin, so he agreed to the match. Allin didn’t even say thank you. When the Best Friends did a team handshake, Allin and Nick Wayne walked off declining to participate. I suppose that idea was comedy, but I viewed Allin as being an ungrateful jerk toward Cassidy.

Stud of the Show: Kota Ibushi

Ibushi looked like a star in his AEW debut. He could be inserted into the main event scene immediately, and it would feel right.

Match of the Night: MJF & Adam Cole vs. Sammy Guevara & Daniel Garcia

Double clothesline!

Grade: B+

Very enjoyable show with solid action and interesting character development. Blood & Guts rocked until the finish, in my opinion.

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

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