Dynamite – August 9, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 9th August 2023
Date: August 9, 2023
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz
We are less than three weeks away from All in and the show is starting to come together. The World Title match is now set and there are a few other matches that are all but official. Those matches should make for a nice foundation, but there are more matches that need to be added. Throw in All Out a week later and there is a lot of work to be done. Let’s get to it.
Here is the Jericho Appreciation Society, minus Chris Jericho, for a special meeting. Jericho is called to the ring and tries to calm things down. Daniel Garcia cuts him off and rants about how Jericho will never pick them. Garcia has done everything for him but he can’t do this so he’s out. Jake Hager says he’s known Jericho longer than any of them and while he liked his hat, he does NOT appreciate Jericho, so he’s out too. Tay Melo is feeling sick but it’s not because of the baby. She’ll be back in a year to be a champion without Jericho because she quits.
Anna Jay quits because Jericho is selfish and Angelo Parker talks about how he has given everything to Jericho, with nothing left to give. They’re both out, leaving Matt Menard and Sammy Guevara. Menard talks about using his first check to buy a Chris Jericho shirt. Then when his wife was 8 months pregnant and he didn’t have a job, Jericho heard his story and brought him underneath his wing. Menard gets why people he looked up to hate Jericho though and walks out. Guevara says he isn’t quitting, but once Jericho figures this out, maybe he’ll be around. Jericho has nothing to say and that’s the segment.
Post break Don Callis comes up to a distraught Jericho and says he’s sorry if he caused any of that. Jericho has an answer for Callis and they’ll announce it next week. Why not now?
Hardys vs. Young Bucks
Jeff takes over on Matt Jackson’s arm to start and the Hardys drop Nick onto his brother for a crash. Matt Hardy comes in and plants Matt Jackson for two. Nick makes a save and the Bucks get to clean house, including Risky Business to Matt Hardy. We take a break and come back with Matt Hardy fighting out of trouble and bringing Jeff back in for the house cleaning.
The Whisper In The Wind gets two on Nick Jackson but the Bucks superkick Jeff down. Something close to a 3D gets two but Matt Hardy breaks up the Meltzer Driver. The Swanton hits Matt Jackson with Nick making the save. Jeff loads up another Twist of Fate but gets his leg superkicked out, setting up the BTE Trigger to finish Matt Hardy at 11:10.
Rating: C+. First and foremost, this could have been FAR worse. There was a chance that this could have been a disaster but instead it was mostly fine. That being said, they were in a bind here as the match is billed as a dream match but they can’t do anything epic or even long with it because the Hardys are broken down. That left it as kind of stuck under a hard ceiling, but they did as well as they could.
Post match respect is shown before the Bucks call out FTR. Cue FTR and the match is official. Well that was quick.
There will be a tournament to set up a four way Women’s Title match at All In, though Toni Storm has cashed in her rematch clause and is automatically in. Who isn’t in you ask? Champion Hikaru Shida, who is defending in a first round match. This is overthinking something even by AEW standards.
Adam Cole and MJF bonded again, by going to a trampoline park. They also have video games, a ball pit (!) and dodgeball. MJF likes the idea of dodgeball and assaults some children (in slow motion), while yelling various insults such as “I slept with your mom” and “you’re adopted”. Cole comes up to say MJF can’t do this but a young girl says they must be nerds for being adults in a trampoline park. Cole has to hold MJF back, but one more insult lets MJF chuck the ball at her as well. This was so ridiculously over the top that it was hilarious.
We recap the Blackpool Combat Club being all violent recently.
The Blackpool Combat Club is happy to have hurt the Best Friends and Pac.
FTW Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Perry
Perry, in Jerry Lynn style gear, is defending under FTW Rules (pretty much anything goes and falls count anywhere). Perry jumps him to start but gets rolled up for a fast two. Van Dam knocks him out to the floor and the spinning legdrop to the apron CRUSHES Perry, with commentary laughing at how hard it hit.
We take a break and come back with Perry missing Rolling Thunder and getting kicked in the face. There are a bunch of chairs in the ring (one in the corner) and a table set up at ringside as Van Dam monkey flips Perry. The dropkicked chair into the corner hits Perry and Rolling Thunder onto the chair gets a delayed two.
The split legged moonsault misses (mainly because Perry moved before Van Dam flipped) but Perry’s thrown chair hits the referee in the head. Perry catches Van Dam on top but gets sent through the table on the floor. Back in and the Five Star (not bad) hits Perry for no count. Another referee comes in for the count but Perry sends Van Dam into the chair in the corner and gets the pin at 9:22.
Rating: C+. The weapons stuff was a bit annoying but it does fit with the ECW theme. Van Dam was the only real option to make this work, but this needs to be the absolute end of the ECW stuff. It didn’t exactly look great to start with and there is pretty much no one else who is going to be interesting and able to have a decent match from ECW’s past. The match itself was perfectly decent, though they got out exactly when they should have.
The Lucha Bros promise revenge on the Blackpool Combat Club.
Here are Adam Cole and MJF for a chat. MJF has seen something about footage of him saying that everyone in the midwest is dead but that footage was HEAVILY doctored. May God strike him down dead if what he is saying isn’t true, but his favorite place in the country is the midwest! Cole and MJF cringe but MJF survives, leaving Cole to promise to take the World Title at All In. MJF: “So you want a little promo battle eh? OK!”
MJF goes on to say that Cole is so skinny and white that if he had been around in the 80s, Hogan would have snorted him. Cole says that’s NOT what he wanted, because he thinks they want the Tag Team Titles. Er, the Ring Of Honor Tag Team Titles in this case. Cole talks about how much he’s done in Ring Of Honor over the years and what it means to him, but he has never won the Tag Team Titles. They already have the World Title match, but on the All In Zero Hour, they should win the Ring Of Honor Tag Team Titles!
MJF: “Normally when someone wants to make me wrestle more than once a year, I want to stab them in the face with a soldering iron.” He’s a sucker for a cheap pop though so he’s in. The challenge is officially on. Cue Roderick Strong to say he should be winning the titles with Cole, but MJF goes on a rant about how Strong needs to go listen to some Taylor Swift and shake it off. Strong says the Kingdom was right and here they are to leave with him. MJF laughs at Strong so Cole snaps, with MJF telling Cole to go check on him. Strong just looks so, so lame in all of this. Even if it is a swerve from Cole, my goodness it’s pathetic.
Video on Collision.
Lucha Bros vs. Blackpool Combat Club
The Bros jump them from behind to start and the big flip dives connect as the bell rings. Fenix’s rolling cutter into Penta’s top rope double stomp gets two and Made In Japan gets two on Castagnoli. Fenix adds a high crossbody but the stereo superkicks only hits the others’ foot. Moxley comes in to clean house as everything breaks down in a hurry. Wheeler Yuta belts Fenix and it’s a gorilla press into Moxley’s cutter for two. We settle down to Castagnoli working on Fenix’s arm and we take a break.
Back with Fenix chopping up but getting dropped with a spike piledriver. Castagnoli picks Fenix up into an electric chair but Fenix drops back to avoid the Doomsday Device. Fenix rolls over for the tag to Penta so house can be cleaned. Fenix’s superkick gets two as everything breaks down. Moxley hits a cutter (third of the match) and everyone is down for a bit.
Castagnoli and Fenix strike it out from their knees and then their feet until Fenix hits his rebound spinning kick to the face. Penta and Moxley come in to chop it out (for a long time) until the Fear Factor hits Moxley. The spike Fear Factor is broken up but Wheeler Yuta tries to interfere, only to get cut off by Alex Abrahantes. Moxley uses the distraction to roll Penta (who got unmasked somewhere in there) up with tights for the pin at 13:02.
Rating: B-. This was the all action match that you might have expected and it felt like one of those beat on each other until someone gets a pin rather than building up a match deals. That’s the Lucha Bros’ specialty and the match did well, but sometimes it’s nice to see a traditional match for once. Oh and again with the mask being ripped off, because that’s almost required in half of the Lucha Bros matches.
Post match the beatdown is on, with Castagnoli putting on Penta’s mask for a bizarre look.
Kenny Omega will be sitting down with Jim Ross next week to talk about what he’ll be doing at All In.
Here is Swerve Strickland, with the Mogul Embassy, for a chat. They went to Seattle to prove a point last week because they are above the law. AR Fox wants Darby Allin out here right now so cue Allin, saying he wants the whole story. Allin lived with Fox and his demons, but now Fox has some new friends. Well Allin has friends of his own, so the lights go out and Sting is back. Everyone but Sting and Swerve leave, allowing Sting to bat Swerve in the ribs. Sting (who appears to have a bit of the Joker face paint) points to the All In sign. That’s an escalation.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Sting/Allin vs. Fox/Swerve (in a coffin match) is officially approved by Tony Khan for All In. So did Tony Khan just have nothing planned for All In and is letting the wrestlers book the show for him?
Women’s Title: Anna Jay vs. Hikaru Shida
Jay, with Angelo Parker and Matt Menard, is challenging but this is also a first round match in the tournament to set up the Women’s Title match at All In. Shida shoves her down to start and they fight up against the ropes. A jumping knee staggers Jay but she manages to kick Shida to the floor. Then she throws Shida back inside for two and we take an early break.
Back with Shida hammering away and knocking Jay outside. The clothesline off the chair is broken up by Parker and Jay sends her face first into the steps. Anna gets the Queenslayer back inside but Shida climbs the rope and crashes back down for the break. A Falcon Arrow gets two, followed by the Katana to retain the title at 8:44, despite Parker trying to interfere and somehow failing.
Rating: C. This whole tournament is rather high up there on the list of Things AEW Has Overthought. We’re having a tournament to set up a four way title match and the champion has to qualify but the person she beat doesn’t. I’m sure there’s some logic in there and I’d rather it not be allowed to get out. The match itself was just ok, as Jay isn’t someone you want to try to have a big showdown. Shida held it together well enough though and they got out of there pretty fast.
Overall Rating: C. This show was all over the place and rather unfocused. They added stuff to All In, but it felt like a show that just had one thing after another put on the card with nothing feeling overly important. It also doesn’t help that the first hour of this show was primarily dedicated to Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam and the Hardys. That’s a heck of a tag match on a late WWF Raw but here it doesn’t quite measure up. The show was far from bad, but it needed a second or third draft to tighten up a lot of things.
Young Bucks b. Hardys – BTE Trigger to Matt
Jack Perry b. Rob Van Dam – Van Dam was sent into a chair
Blackpool Combat Club b. Lucha Bros – Rollup with tights to Penta El Cero Miedo
Hikaru Shida b. Anna Jay – Katana
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