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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Aug. 9, 2023): Legends rule!

AEW Dynamite (Aug. 9, 2023) emanated from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH. The show featured the Young Bucks battling the Hardys for bragging rights, Rob Van Dam delivering high spots, Sting roughing up hooligans, and more on the road to All In.

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

Oh yes, it’s legends night, and the feeling’s right. Oh yes, it’s legends night, oh what a night. Okay... It wasn’t officially legends night on Dynamite. I’m using the term ‘legends’ fast and loose for the recap to string together a theme for a show without any major angles or major matches. The bottom line was that the legends were the most exciting moments on the show. Legends rule!

Young Bucks cementing their legacy

With all this talk about FTR’s tag team legacy, the Young Bucks are being overlooked as an afterthought in the conversation. The Bucks had business at hand against legendary rivals in the Hardys to determine bragging rights for the best tag team brothers.

The Bucks and the Hardys put on a quality match. It was just like old times, except with the knees of men twice their age. The Hardys almost threw a wrench in the plans when Jeff Hardy connected on a swanton. Matt Jackson was able to make the save on the pinfall.

Matt Jackson made a savvy move to turn the tide when he superkicked Jeff Hardy’s ankle to fall off the turnbuckles. The Bucks sensed their window of opportunity and pounced for a BTE Trigger on Matt Hardy to win.

That was a fun contest for the circumstances. It was probably the best match we can get out of the Hardys at this point in their careers. They moved spirited with lively offense. The chemistry was clear between opponents with familiarity for counters. It was good wrestling between two legend teams in their styles. The strong win sets the Bucks up nicely with momentum heading into All In.

When the Bucks grabbed a mic, FTR interrupted for a showdown in the ring. The Jacksons were all in to accept the title fight challenge for Wembley Stadium.

Back to the topic of legacy. With all this tooting for FTR, let’s not forget that the Bucks have as good a shot as anyone to win. What would that say about the Bucks’ legacy then? Would they be considered the best tag team in the world (relative to the AEW storyline talking point)?


Rob Van Dam was ready to fight for the FTW title against Jack Perry.

FTW rules were in effect, which meant anything goes and falls count anywhere. RVD strut his stuff for creative offense, such as this doozy of a leg drop off the apron to Jungle Boy hanging over the barricade.

RVD gave the people wanted they wanted for the nostalgic high of Rolling Thunder.

Van Dam also connected on a frog splash.

Funny business was afoot around the splash. Right before that moment, Perry threw a chair that hit Bryce Remsburg. Ref down! RVD hit his signature five star finisher. The crowd chanted to 10 on the cover before Aubrey Edwards slid into the ring as backup referee. Perry kicked out of the official pinfall. Perry struck with a low blow and shoved RVD colliding head-first into a chair in the corner. Jungle Boy scooped a roll-up and grabbed the tights to secure the win.

RVD was great in his role on this evening. He turned back the hands of time to give fans a taste of his legend status. Van Dam put out his best to leave the people wanting more. The screwjob finish seemed unnecessary to that extent as a way to protect RVD in defeat, however, I think the real intent was to show how treacherous Perry has become. AEW is doing their best to shovel the shit on top of him as a prime scoundrel. It is all piling up for cathartic payback at the hands of Hook.

It’s Sting!

Sting is back. The Icon returned to kick ass on the Mogul Embassy.

Swerve Strickland was surrounded in full by his goons as AR Fox called out Darby Allin. The enigma had a different version of events leading to Fox’s bad attitude. He saw Fox’s demons and knew Fox had to beat them alone. Allin realized that Fox was jealous that Allin helped Nick Wayne get into AEW. Allin noticed Fox’s new friends. Well, he has friends too. Lights out with Tony Schiavone lathering up to shout, “It’s Sting!” Stinger smashed with a baseball bat.

When the dust settled, Sting was alone with Swerve. He pointed the bat toward the All In sign as a challenge. AEW announced Allin & Sting versus Swerve & Fox in a coffin match at the PPV.

There was nothing breaking new ground for Sting in this appearance. It’s been pretty much a rinse and repeat cycle for his AEW career. It never gets old though, because Sting still has that special aura. You know something cool is going to happen when Sting is on screen. Legends rule.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

JAS breakup. The Jericho Appreciation Society held a mandatory meeting to air grievances over Chris Jericho’s wandering eye toward joining the Callis Family. The common talking point was Jericho being selfish. Each member had their turn to vent and quit JAS one by one. First it was Daniel Garcia, followed by Jake Hager, Tay Melo, Anna Jay, Cool Hand Ang, Daddy Magic, and lastly Sammy Guevara. Sammy made it clear that he wasn’t turning his back on his friend, but he was leaving Jericho for now. Once Jericho gets his head straight, Sammy might be there for him.

Backstage, Don Callis apologized to Jericho for any tension he might have caused. Jericho informed Callis that he made up his mind about the Callis Family, and he’ll give his answer next week. Callis was giddy. He ran off to make arrangements with a positive assumption that Jericho will join.

The JAS meeting scene was productive in getting to the next step of the Jericho story. Even though there were good deliveries on the mic, especially from Daddy Magic, the segment as a whole wasn’t all that entertaining. Well, expect for Garcia hilariously dancing his way out of the ring. That was gold.

It was like watching an uncomfortable intervention. Jericho absorbed the criticism realizing his team was falling apart. Nothing in particular made me root for any of the JAS members moving forward, as in any babyface turns. They all seem to be the same characters, just not aligning with Jericho. The tease is what happens next week. Will Jericho try to make amends with his friends or will he be fully committed to the Callis Family?

Brochachos. Adam Cole planned a special night for MJF at the... trampoline park. MJF got excited when learning that dodgeball was available. He pelted kids with force as dramatic conqueror music played. Cole tried to tell MJF that his actions weren’t cool, but a kid mouthed off and flashed the middle finger. Cole gave MJF the okay to bury her too. This scene was peak brochachos comedy. Be sure to watch it, if you haven’t already.

Later in the evening, MJF and Cole shared promo time in the ring. Cole was appreciative of the world title bout, but he wanted to do even better. The world enjoys them as a tag team, so Cole proposed chasing the ROH tag titles. He put over the value of those particular championships in his personal story to make it feel important. Cole wanted it to go down on the All In pre-show. MJF was reluctant to accept wrestling twice in the same evening, but he relented. The brochachos are coming for Aussie Open.

The segment didn’t end there. Roderick Strong stomped on stage in a hissy fit about Cole palling with MJF. Maxwell shouted insults, so Strong tried to guilt Cole for allowing it to happen. The Kingdom was conveniently waiting on the side to embrace poor Roddy with a hug. Cole felt that sting and shoved MJF for making fun of Strong. Tensions rose, but Cole calmly collected his composure to hug MJF as an apology.

Boy, AEW is really laying on the emotion thick. Everything is so over the top that I still can’t tell who to trust. I want to believe MJF and Cole have a pure bond, however, I can’t shake the feeling that backstabbing is on the horizon. And it could go either way. Aside from potentially winning the ROH tag titles, I’m also interested to see if Cole works light in that match to tire out MJF. This was Cole’s idea after all, so it would make sense as a master plan. He did tell Strong from day one to trust him. Is this all part of an evil scheme to manipulate MJF? AEW is doing a good job keeping the mystery alive in this story.

Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli defeated Fenix & Pentagon Jr. The Blackpool Combat Club cut a promo about not fearing death.

The Lucha Bros responded by calling them the Blackpool Coward Club.

Ring the bell! This was a hot match to entertain the masses. Intensity ignited from the start and never let up. Moxley and Penta shared a gnarly chop fight. Claudio and Fenix held up their end with thrills. The coolest moment was Fenix leaning backward to dodge the clothesline on a Doomsday Device.

Wheeler Yuta was the deciding factor in victory. The Lucha Bros had momentum aiming for their teamwork package piledriver finisher, but Yuta grabbed Fenix’s foot on the turnbuckles. Alex Abrahantes pulled Yuta down. Fenix saved Alex by landing a moonsault onto Yuta outside. Meanwhile, Claudio saved Moxley by pulling off Penta’s mask. Mox stole the win with a roll-up grabbing the trunks to cheat. Afterward, BCC stomped the luchadores, and Claudio wore Penta’s mask giving zero f-cks, instead of Cero Miedo.

This was a dandy of a fight as a unique style matchup. They were given plenty of time as the match progressed from kicking out of heavy-duty moves into a free-for-all. The cheap finish and post-match antics make it feel like this feud is far from over. BCC usually isn’t content to win on a triple cheat, and Pentagon will surely want revenge for removing his mask.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida retained against Anna Jay. The women filled the main event slot. There were about ten minutes remaining in the program once the opening bell rang. Jay controlled the first half with help from Daddy Magic and Cool Hand Ang. Shida rallied in the end to break free from the Queen Slayer choke. Shida climbed the corner with Jay still hanging on her back with the submission to crash down from high above. Jay was dazed. Shida pounced for the Falcon Arrow slam. Jay kicked out. Shida didn’t skip a beat to attack with the Katana spinning knee for victory.

This match was fine to showcase Shida as champion. Her fighting spirit is on a higher level, and that helped her prevail. The bout didn’t have enough time to go back and forth to truly create a higher level of emotion in the ring to shine as a main event.

Notes: Shida is scheduled to defend the women’s title in a four-way at All In in London to honor the history of the original All In, which also had a four-way women’s bout. AEW framed it poorly as a tournament. The champ fills one slot. Storm cashed in her rematch to get a bye to the final. Saraya wrestles Skye Blue on Rampage, and Dr. Britt Baker DMD meets Bunny next week on Dynamite. Those winners complete the four-way.

Kenny Omega will have a sitdown interview with Jim Ross next week to discuss his plans for Don Callis, Konosuke Takeshita, and All In.

Stud of the Show: RVD

Rob Van Dam hit his high spots and looked good doing it. His performance was satisfying in the legend spot.

Match of the Night: Young Bucks vs. Hardys

Satisfying is the buzzword again. The Bucks and Hardys exceeded expectations for a match with minimal build at the tail end of their careers. It doesn’t compare with any previous classics in the rivalry, but it was a solid contest nonetheless with an interesting finish.

Grade: B-

Overall, the episode offered several moments to bring joy and laughter. The stories were more in the sense of setting the table for All In rather than any explosive events. I think one aspect where this show suffered was the order of segments. It started with an energy downer on the JAS meeting, and the women’s title bout was a bland choice to close. In hindsight, Young Bucks versus Hardys with the FTR challenge would have left a better lasting impression to finish the show.

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

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