Dynamite – October 25, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 25th October 2023
Date: October 25, 2023
Location: Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz
The road to Full Gear continues and this week’s show is centered around the Dynamite Diamond Ring. In this case we have MJF defending the ring (because it has to be defended) against Juice Robinson. The match is part of the setup for MJF defending the World Title against Jay White at Full Gear so let’s get to it.
MJF is in the back and calls Adam Cole, who actually answers. Cue Roderick Strong and the Kingdom with the former accusing MJF of being behind the devil mask. MJF shoves the wheelchair away (Roddy’s scream is funny) and promises to take out Bullet Club Gold tonight. We cut to someone in the devil mask nodding and shoving the camera away.
Dynamite Diamond Ring: Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Juice Robinson
MJF is defending the ring (not the World Title) and the Gunns are here with Robinson. The fight starts fast and MJF sends him to the floor, where Robinson is sent over a table, allowing MJF to grab some water. Said water is of course spat into Robinson’s face and Robinson is busted open (presumably by going head first into the post and not by the water).
The Gunns offer a distraction though and Robinson sends him into the steps to even things up. A DDT onto the apron rocks MJF again as Robinson is rather bloody. Robinson hammers away and here is Jay White to taunt MJF as we take a break. Back with MJF grabbing some slams and nailing the Kangaroo Kick. The Gunns offer a distraction though and Robinson’s leg lariat gets two.
MJF is fine enough to poke Robinson in the eyes and shrug a bit. Robinson spits in his face though and hits the big left. MJF fights back and loads up the Heatseeker but opts to dive onto the Gunns instead. Back in and the rope low blow sets up the forward DDT for two as White loses his mind on commentary. Robinson loads up his ring thanks to a Gunns distraction but MJF hits his own ring shot. The Heatseeker retains the ring at 15:02.
Rating: B-. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go as you don’t want MJF to lose but at the same time, it was a situation where Robinson had been built up to win. They had a good match though as Robinson is a ball of charisma and MJF is crazy over. At the same time, can we please drop the defending the ring tradition? MJF has literally had the thing since its inception and Robinson doing his “yeah I bought my own” kind of killed the whole point behind it.
Post match the Gunns run in for the beatdown but the Kingdom runs in for the save. Jay White runs in to uneven things but Billy Gunn and the Acclaimed make the real save. The Club bails and the Gunns challenge MJF for the ROH Tag Team Titles and of course MJF is in. He’s not waiting for Full Gear to face White though, so next week the eight man tag is on. Strong and the Acclaimed want the spot but MJF threatens to send Strong over a cliff.
As for the Acclaimed….he wouldn’t team with Max Caster if he was on fire. Caster: “So you’re saying there’s a chance!” Caster asks for some scissoring before MJF leaves….and that’s a big negative. As MJF leaves, here is Kenny Omega for a staredown. Omega says he wants the title so MJF offers him a title shot on Collision. Deal, with Omega saying “three days b****.” They packed A LOT into that first half hour and dang that’s a huge title match, but doing it in three days seems like it’s burning through what could be a PPV main event.
Wardlow talks about how he was away going to a dark place. He watched MJF become the face of this company despite him running through MJF when they fought. Now he wants revenge.
Hook/Rob Van Dam vs. Dark Order
Hook works on Reynolds’ arm to start and hands it off to Van Dam to quite the reaction. The Order is sent to the floor and we take an early break. Back with Van Dam striking away at Silver but having to kick Reynolds to the floor. Hook comes back in to slug away at Silver but Reynolds makes the save. Evil Uno brings in a chair and that means a Van Daminator. The Five Star hits Reynolds and Redrum finishes Silver at 7:47.
Rating: C. Much like every RVD match in AEW, I don’t want to see him around on a regular basis, but if he can still have a passable match, as he has each time, he’s a good choice for nostalgia. The fans are going to react to everything he does and it’s not like he’s beating anyone of note. Not exactly a classic match, but this was designed to get RVD out there and nothing more.
Toni Storm’s new movie plays during the commercial.
Here are Sting and Darby Allin for a chat. Sting thanks Philadelphia for the memories and thanks Darby for being the best partner ever. He also thanks Tony Khan for making the phone call to let him grapple a bit more. Tony Schiavone talks about Sting vs. Ric Flair from the first Clash Of Champions and here is the special gift from Khan: Ric Flair.
We get the big entrance and Flair praises Sting for the Clash Of Champions match. Flair talks about how great and nice Sting is and hopes to stick around until Sting hangs it up in March. Cue Christian Cage and company to say this is Tony Khan’s gift to Sting: a suit, some gold chains and a black liver. Cage talks about how he wishes Flair was dead and mocks Allin for his injured arm.
After the required jokes about the Philadelphia Phillies, Cage challenges Sting/Allin/someone else to a six man at Full Gear but his music doesn’t play. Sting sneezes because he’s allergic to jackasses and accepts the challenge. Of course Flair is there. If you like him then you probably liked this, but I’ve been sick of him and everything he does for years now so this was a major disappointment despite being what I was expecting when the announcement was made.
Earlier today, Chris Jericho talked about how Powerhouse Hobbs took him apart and banged him up, but the real damage might have been to his ego. Now Jericho is thinking about some revenge, but he’ll need someone bigger than Hobbs. As luck would have it, he knows someone who fits that description and maybe it’s time to call them. JeriShow lives again?
Ring Of Honor Six Man Tag Team Titles: Young Bucks/Hangman Page vs. Hardys/Brother Zay
Zay and the Hardys are challenging and Zay is sent into the wrong corner to stat. Page comes in with a top rope clothesline before it’s off to Matt vs. Matt with Matt winning a slugout. Matt Hardy’s Side Effect gets two and everything breaks down. The champs are sent to the floor as Matt Hardy and Zay do the Young Bucks’ pose and we take a break.
Back with Matt Jackson fighting out of trouble and bringing Page back in to clean house. Zay slips out of the Deadeye and the Silly String into the DDT plants Page. Everything breaks down and Zay hits a big flip dive onto Nick and Page. The Swanton gets two on Matt Jackson but the Bucks are back up with superkicks to the Hardys. The BTE Trigger finishes Zay to retain at 9:58.
Rating: C+. It’s almost hard to fathom how fast the Hardys have fallen through the floor in AEW. Nothing they do feels special and their matches are hardly worth seeing. Somehow they wind up getting one title shot after another though and that was the case again here, as the match was thrown out here. I’m sure the Hardys vs. the Bucks is still seen as a big deal in AEW’s eye, but it really wasn’t working great here.
Post match the champs celebrate but we get a video of Swerve Strickland and Prince Nana in Page’s house. Swerve rips up what appears to be a drawing from Page’s kid on the refrigerator, but then we move on to his kid’s room. Swerve talks about Page costing him a title shot and leaves a Mogul Embassy shirt in the crib, saying never forget.
Adam Copeland says he won’t fight Christian Cage but Darby Allin and Sting come in to say Copeland is missing what’s in front of him. Sting talks about having blinders on about people like Lex Luger and Ric Flair. Copeland needs to hear him and open his eyes.
Women’s Title: Ruby Soho vs. Hikaru Shida
Soho is challenging and takes Shida down to start. They fight over a rollup and roll around the ring until Shida gets two. Shida rains down right hands in the corner but Soho grabs No Future to send her to the floor as we take a break. Back with Shida winning a slugout and grabbing her torture rack drop.
With nothing else working, Soho grabs the spray paint and pretends that Shida blinded her. When that doesn’t work either, Soho grabs the belt as Shida has the paint…which only hits belt. The referee takes care of that and Destination Unknown gives Soho two. No Future connects but Shida hits a quick Katana for two. Shida manages to kick her into an exposed buckle and a bad Katana retains the title at 9:15.
Rating: C-. This really didn’t work, with way too much stuff going on involving the title and the paint, plus how bad that final Katana looked. Shida still feels like she is just kind of there, which means she almost has to face Toni Storm at some point in the near future. On the other hand you have Soho, who is still about where she was since her debut around here. Not a good match, and this was a rough sit.
Post match Toni Storm comes out for the staredown.
MJF is ready for Kenny Omega but here is Samoa Joe to offer to be his friend. All it costs is another shot at the title, with Joe saying he can wait for the answer. MJF is considering it.
Orange Cassidy/Kazuchika Okada vs. Bryan Danielson/Claudio Castagnoli
Cassidy and Danielson start things with Danielson taking over on the arm. Danielson pulls him down for the kick to the back before it’s off to Castagnoli vs. Okada. Castagnoli actually loses the slugout and Okada slams him down before handing it back to Cassidy. That’s fine with Castagnoli, who takes him into the corner for the tag off to Danielson. The chinlock goes on and we take a break.
Back with Cassidy fighting out of trouble and handing it off to Okada for the showdown with Danielson. They strike it out with Okada getting the better of things, setting up a running elbow. Another elbow in the corner sets up a DDT for two Danielson. Back up and some kicks stagger Okada but the LeBell Lock is blocked. Danielson flips over him out of the corner but they collide for the double knockdown.
Cassidy comes back in for the rapid fire kicks to Castagnoli, setting up the Stundog Millionaire. The tornado DDT hits Castagnoli with Okada making the save. The Orange Punch is pulled out of the air though and the Swing has Cassidy, uh, swinging. We hit the Scorpion Deathlock so Okada comes in for the save. Okada kicks him down and hits the top rope elbow but Cassidy hugs him in the middle of the Rainmaker pose. Danielson breaks it up but gets Orange Punched into the Rainmaker but Castagnoli uppercuts the heck out of Cassidy for the pin at 16:25.
Rating: B. Yeah this was good and I don’t think that is any kind of a surprise. Danielson vs. Okada was the draw here and they did about as well as you would have expected. At the same time, Cassidy vs. Castagnoli wound up being a fine showdown in its own right. Castagnoli getting an International Title shot could be quite the nice match as well, as this was a solid way to wrap up the show.
Post match Danielson is hurt so a bunch of people, including Hook and the Best Friends, come out to glare at each other. That’s kind of a weird ending, but it felt like a way to set up Danielson vs. Okada II at Wrestle Kingdom.
Overall Rating: C. I really wasn’t feeling this one as there were only a few good parts. The main event was by far the high point and the opening match/segment, while long, worked as well. The problem is pretty much everything else, with the Flair debut making the rest of the show feel down. There is a good chance that this is a one off miss, but I didn’t get into this one until the end and even that was watered down by the post match angle. Not a great week here, but that main event is worth a look.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Juice Robinson – Heatseeker
Hook/Rob Van Dam b. Dark Order – Redrum to Silver
Young Bucks/Hangman Page b. Hardys/Brother Zay – BTE Trigger to Zay
Hikaru Shida b. Ruby Soho – Katana
Bryan Danielson/Claudio Castagnoli b. Kazuchika Okada/Orange Cassidy – Uppercut to Cassidy
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