This week’s AEW Dynamite featured the continuation of the tournament to crown the #1 Contender for the AEW World Championship.
AEW Dynamite opened with a confrontation between Sammy Guevara and MJF. Guevara made it clear he didn’t like MJF, and then just as the tension was reaching a peak, Wardlow’s music hit, and MJF walked him out to the ring.
Hangman Page vs. Wardlow
This was a great opening match between Hangman Page and Wardlow. Wardlow showed some impressive agility with a Senton Bomb off the top rope, but he was not able to hit it. The stakes of the match were high, so we saw Hangman hit a moonsault off the top turnbuckle to the floor. Wardlow hit the F10, but Hangman rolled to the apron to escape.
Hangman threw Wardlow across the ring when both were on the top rope and then hit a Buckshot Lariat that didn’t take Wardlow down, so Hangman hit a second one.
This was a fantastic match that showed the stakes of the tournament with Hangman Page having to pull out all the stops to beat Wardlow. When compared to Kenny Omega’s first match, Hangman had a much harder time with his opponent. Hangman’s road to the #1 contendership is already harder than Omega’s, which will be a compelling story going forward.
Result: Hangman Page
Rating: ***1/2 (3.5 stars)
Jon Moxley cut an awesome promo about how he was going to take it to Eddie Kingston when he defends the AEW World Championship.
Eddie Kingston cut a promo saying that he was tired of talking, and that he wanted to fight, but Moxley wasn’t there tonight because he was a coward. Kingston then said he was going to take out Matt Sydal, who stole Kingston’s thunder in the Casino Battle Royale, and Kingston reminded Lance Archer that he was never eliminated from that one either.
Matt Sydal vs. Eddie Kingston
The story of this match was Sydal trying to avoid the bigger Kingston with fast-paced offence, keeping Eddie on the ropes in the early portion of the match. However, as the match went on, Kingston used some cheap tactics like eye gouges to get the advantage, and then started hitting with his rugged offence. Kingston hit several hard chops and elbows, and ended up killing Sydal with a Backfist to the Future and then choked Sydal out with a bulldog choke the same way Moxley did to him.
Excellent match here that showcased Kingston, while keeping Sydal as a threat, but firmly established that Kingston is a real main eventer that can stand up against Moxley. Kingston then called Sydal “Moxley” and told him to say “I Quit” before he released the hold.
Result: Eddie Kingston
Rating: ***1/2 (3.5 stars)
Excalibur sat down with the Young Bucks and FTR, and asked about Matt Jackson’s sprained ankle. Matt insisted that he wasn’t going to let the injury slow him down. FTR said they were more interested in holding the titles than they were in a dream match. Excalibur said that Matt’s injury could be seen as comeuppance for their behaviour, and Matt said that “sometimes good people do bad things” and it was when FTR started to manipulate their friends that a switch went off and the old Young Bucks were back.
FTR cut off Excalibur and left because he had more questions for the Bucks, but the Bucks continued saying that they were putting it all on the line. If they don’t win the tag titles at Full Gear, they announced that they will never challenge for the tag titles ever again. This is a huge stipulation for the AEW World Tag Team Championship match.
The Inner Circle Town Hall
Luchasaurus had a question for MJF, asking about the economic impact of MJF joining the group. MJF has a graph showing increased profits. Britt Baker asked Jericho how he could trust him, given his track record. Jericho said that they would beat the crap out of MJF if he turned on them, but MJF promised he wouldn’t.
Peter Avalon asked to join the Inner Circle, and they laughed. Eric Bischoff showed up and asked MJF what MJF could do for the Inner Circle and asked what the Inner Circle could do for him as well. Bischoff then asked about the primadonna tendencies in both, and what the chances were of them killing each other.
Jericho wanted MJF to answer the question, and MJF said he did everything he could to prove himself to Jericho. MJF then asked what he hasn’t done. Jericho said, “You haven’t beat me” and then said that he was going to have a match with MJF at Full Gear, and if MJF wins, he gets to join the Inner Circle. MJF said he was going to do whatever it takes, and then Ortiz challenged MJF to a tag match next week: Ortiz & Sammy Guevara vs. MJF & Wardlow. This was a fantastic segment.
A highlight video aired of Will Hobbs’ climb in AEW, and how Taz wanted a decision from him about joining Team Taz. This was very good.
Cody vs. Orange Cassidy – Lumberjack Match for the TNT Championship
Apparently, the reasoning behind the Lumberjack match was that AEW didn’t want the Dark Order to interfere in the match, so having them and a bunch of babyfaces at ringside should take care of it. I think it would have been easier to ban everyone from ringside. There were some issues with the babyfaces as Trent and Chuck wanted to take cheapshots at Cody, but ultimately they did the right thing and just threw him into the ring.
Cody suplexed OC from the top rope onto all the Lumberjacks as they started fighting with each other. This was a cool spot. The ref got distracted by Ten coming in the ring. John Silver hit a pump kick on OC, and then Arn Anderson dropped OC with a right hand when Cody wasn’t looking. Cody hit the Cross Rhodes on OC for the pinfall, but he didn’t see any of the interference.
Rating: *** (3 stars)
This was a weird match. I have no idea why the finish was so overbooked. It was a great match, but Arn Anderson attacking OC seemed quite out of character, and was definitely a heelish move. I don’t really know what to think of that outside of the match being quite solid.
Kip Sabian & Miro attacked The Best Friends backstage for them destroying their arcade cabinet last week.
Serena Deeb vs. Leyla Hirsch: NWA Women’s World Championship
Deeb and Hirsch had a very solid match here, showcasing the new NWA Women’s World Champion while making Leyla look like a star too. Deeb is quite good in the ring, and Hirsch was very impressive. Hirsch missed a moonsault, so Deeb hit a Twist and Shout, and then a Rude Awakening before locking on a half crab for the win.
Result: Serena Deeb
Rating: **3/4 (2.75 stars)
A very solid showcase for Deeb here, and AEW should absolutely sign Leyla Hirsch. She brings a unique look to the division and is clearly very talented in the ring. I think they would benefit quite a bit from having her.
Hikaru Shida challenged Nyla Rose to a title match for Full Gear.
Shawn Spears vs. VSK
This was a standard squash. Spears hit the C4 for the finish right away. Spears pulled someone in a bull costume out of the crowd, but it turned out it was Scorpio Sky and he attacked Spears and hit a TKO. How lucky was it that Sky was in that suit.
Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr. (w/ Rey Fenix)
Omega’s Sweepers came out wearing the masks of Fenix and Pentagon. As Fenix was injured last week, the result of his match with his brother was reversed. Omega slowly revealed the AAA Mega Championship, the title he beat Rey Fenix for, and Pentagon and Fenix were upset. Omega acted fully heelish throughout this whole match, but that did make for a weird match up as Pentagon was also a heel.
Pentagon hit a Canadian Destroyer on the ramp, which was absolutely insane. Pentagon followed that with a Package Piledriver and it had me convinced that Omega was losing for just second. It was a ridiculously close nearfall. Pentagon ate a brutal V-Trigger, but Pentagon countered a One Winged Angel into the arm breaker, which was fantastic. The closing sequence here was awesome. Kenny countered a springboard with a V-Trigger and then hit the One Winged Angel for the pinfall.
Result: Kenny Omega
Rating ****1/4 (4.25 stars)
This was an awesome match to close the show and setup the finals for the #1 Contender Tournament for the AEW World Championship. The finals have been set: Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page on November 7th for Full Gear.
Show Rating: **** (4 stars)
This was an excellent episode of AEW Dynamite that setup all the matches for Full Gear and advanced all the major stories quite significantly.