AEW Dynamite Fight For The Fallen: Jericho vs. Gage

Kenny Omega (Photo by New Japan Pro-Wrestling/Getty Images)
Kenny Omega (Photo by New Japan Pro-Wrestling/Getty Images) /

Tonight, on AEW Dynamite featured a huge 10 man tag featuring The Elite vs. The Dark Order, and if the Dark Order wins, Hangman Page gets a title shot against Kenny Omega, along with a tag title match for Evil Uno and Stu Grayson. Chris Jericho also faces off against deathmatch legend Nick Gage in the main event in his second Labour of Jericho.

Hangman Page and the Dark Order got a full superstar entrance with Hangman finally wearing Dark Order colours on his way down to the ring, and the rest of the Dark Order wearing bandanas and other cowboy gear. This was awesome. Hangman got a massive pop when he came out.

The Elite came out wearing basketball gear and looking like dorks, but they thought they are cool, which is the best. They are fantastic heels. AEW got a Space Jam sponsorship out at that moment, which was cool for them too.

The Dark Order (Hangman Page, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Evil Uno, & Stu Grayson) vs. The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Doc Gallows, & Karl Anderson) w/ Don Callis & Michael Nakazawa – 10-Man Elimination Tag Team Match

The match started fast The Elite and The Dark Order brawling all over the place. Alex Reynolds was isolated in the early portions and was eliminated with a pull of the tights. Soon thereafter Karl Anderson found himself aloen in the ring with Hangman, Silver, Uno, and Grayson. All 4 men attacked, and Uno and Grayson hit the Fatality on Anderson to eliminate him.

So far, in the early part of this match was that Kenny Omega attacked Hangman from behind, but that was the only contact that either man had. Uno and Grayson showed some great tag team wrestling with an assisted powerbomb on Matt Jackson, as the Dark Order got to isolate him a bit.

Grayson did a springboard Sky Twisting Press, and crashed into the floor hard as no one caught him, and that looked brutal. Gallows and Grayson brawled into the crowd and Grayson hit a dive from the stairs onto Gallows. Both Gallows and Grayson were counted out. Uno and Omega were in the ring, and Uno did some lucha to the delight of the crowd.

Uno went for a Senton Bomb, but Omega got his kness up and hit V-Trigger and then the One Winged Angel for the pinfall. Uno was eliminated. Hangman and Jon Silver are left against the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. Silver took it right to Matt Jackson, but Jackson raked the eyes of Silver and taunted Hangman and the audience.

The Bucks continued to get heat on Silver for the next few minutes. They also attacked Hangman and powerbombed him on the apron, leaving him laying. Silver hit a kick on Nick Jackson, knocking him off the middle rope, hit a cannonball off the apron on Omega, and then a pump kick on Matt Jackson, taking all 3 men out toa huge roar from the crowd.

Nick Jackson slipped out of a suplex and shoved Silver into a V-Trigger from Omega. The Bucks then hit an Indytaker to the floor while trying to dunk on a basketball net, and missed the dunk, but hit the Indytaker. They then hit the BTE Trigger on Silver and pinned him, leaving Hangman Page alone with The Elite. This is great babyface booking as he has to overcome the odds. The Bucks then decided to leave Hangman to Omega.

Kenny Omega spit in Hangman’s face and they started exchanging strikes. Omega hit a V-Trigger and Page responded with a rolling elbow. The Bucks hit a double superkick, and then the Elite hit a triple superkick on Hangman, but he kicked out. Nick Jackson hit a 450 splash on Hangman for a 2 count, as Hangman’s mouth was bleeding.

Hangman landed on his feet after a German suplex, and hit a lariat on Omega, dropping him, then a double clothesline on the Bucks. Hangman hit a moonsault on all 3 to the floor, laying them all out. Hangman hit a pop-up powerbomb on Omega for a 2-count. Hangman went for the Buckshot Lariat on Matt Jackson, but he caught him and they went for a Meltzer Driver, but Hangman countered that too.

Hangman hit a double Buckshot on the Young Bucks and pinned Matt Jackson. Omega tried to hit him with a belt twice, but Hangman managed to hit the Deadeye for a 2 count on Omega, who barely kicked out. Nick Jackson distracted the referee, and Omega nailed Hangman with the AEW World Championship for a 2-count. Omega then hit a One Winged Angel and pinned Hangman, who barely lost.

Result: The Elite

Rating: ****1/4 (4.25 stars)

This was an excellent opener, and the story in this one was that Hangman had it won more than once, but just couldn’t overcome the numbers. This leaves the heat firmly on The Elite and makes the fans want to see a one-on-one match even more, but I do hope this loss doesn’t cool him off here. I don’t think it will, as Hangman as the underdog chasing works so well here, and there are many ways to get to that title match.

Team Taz was out and they were celebrating Ricky Starks win of the FTW Championship, including an entire marching band. Starks said that he was the glue keeping Cage in Team Taz, and that he was angry about how Cage didn’t check on him when he broke his neck. Starks cut an awesome promo here, but he was cut off by Cage, who decided to crash the party.

Cage destroyed the marching band, including breaking a drum over the head of the drummer. Starks threw a bouquet of roses and ran from the ring. This was fine.

A video aired of Hiroshi Tanahashi saying he was going to challenge the winner of the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship match tonight! Holy cow!

Santana & Ortiz (The Inner Circle) w/ Konnan vs. FTR (The Pinnacle) w/ Tully Blanchard

It was hard for these guys to follow the last match and the announcement of Tanahashi, but this was such a fundamentally solid tag match that it was probably the right match to have there. The first 5 minutes or so of this match had FTR getting the heat on them, but when they came back from commercial break, Santana hit a tope con giro on Cash Wheeler. Ortiz powerbombed Harwood and then Santana hit a frog splash on Harwood for a 2 count. After an exchange of moves, Santana powerbombed Wheeler for a 2-count. The match never really picked up in the way I expected. I think Wheeler got hurt at the ring post, and they went to the finish early, with Harwood hitting a vertical drop brainbuster on Ortiz for the win.

Result: FTR

Rating: **1/2 (2.5 stars)

This was a good match, but it felt like it never got started in some ways. The work was really good, but it was just heating up and the finish came out of nowhere. I hope Wheeler is okay, because his arm was bleeding a lot.

Britt Baker cut a promo about the match with Nyla Rose last week. Baker said that it seemed strange she kept getting hurt while wrestling with Rose, and that she needed to have someone else with her to watch her and Rebel (not Reba)’s back.

Tony Schiavone announced that AEW Rampage was coming to the United Center in Chicago on August 20th, and the crowd immediately started chanting CM Punk. Darby Allin was backstage and he said that AEW was the best place to prove that he is the best and he called out the Best in the World, and this also popped the crowd.

Hikuleo (Bullet Club) w/ King Haku vs. Lance Archer (Suzuki-gun) w/ Jake Roberts – IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship

Hikuleo took Archer to the floor early in the match, but Archer was able to send Hikuleo into the guardrail. Archer sold his right hand a lot in this one because of the damage that was done to the hand against Jon Moxley last week. Haku locked on the Tongan Death Grip on the floor and drove Archer into the guardrail, which let Hikuleo get the advantage. Both men ended up on the top turnbuckle and Archer hit a superplex and followed it with a Black Out for the pinfall.

Result: Lance Archer

Rating: **1/2 (2.5 stars)

The announcers indicated that Archer was now going to travel to Japan to face Tanahashi soon, so Archer will be coming home to Suzuki-gun with a title around his waist, which must make Minoru Suzuki happy.

Malakai Black and Cody Rhodes brawled to ringside, and Black was able to drop Cody with a flying knee. Wrestlers came out to try and separate them, and Black hit a spin kick on Fuego del Sol knocking him out.

Miro cut a promo, saying that he accepted Lee Johnson’s challenge for next week. He said he was going to be a wrathful god who destroyed him, and there was nothing he could do about it.

The Hardy Family Office (Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy, & Angelico) w/ Matt Hardy vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) & Christian Cage w/ Marko Stunt

Christian started the match Angelico and showed some nice technical wrestling here, but it wasn’t long before Matt Hardy got involved and Christian and Marko Stunt chased him backstage. Luchasaurus hit a German suplex on all three members of the opposing team at the same time, which was great.

Private Party flipped out of a chokeslam and hit double kicks on Luchasaurus, but it was for naught as Jungle Boy sent Quen into a chokeslam by Luchasaurus and took out the other two with a tope con giro. Cage then hit a frog splash on Quen for the pinfall.

Result: The Jurassic Express & Christian Cage

Rating: **3/4 (2.75 stars)

Good little tag match here, with the babyfaces getting most of the offence and looking strong. This was a perfect way to ease the crowd back into it after some heavy heat angles previously. Archer before that, and this match were placed perfectly for that to keep the mood of the crowd up.

The Blade attacked Christian as he was celebrating, laying him out with brass knuckles for Matt Hardy. The announcers were driving home that Christian was moving up the ranks and should get a title shot against Kenny Omega soon as he is undefeated, and since Hangman lost in the opener, he might have to move back down the card a little bit.

A hype video aired for Nick Gage, who insisted that Jericho would never see labour number 3, as there was nothing that Jericho could do to him that he hasn’t seen in the ring. Gage, however, could do plenty to Jericho, MDK.

Julia Hart w/ the Varisty Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) vs. Thunder Rosa

Rosa got a huge pop from the crowd here. I like her working with Hart, as Rosa can really help these younger women gain experience and it gives them a change to work with someone that will help elevate them. Rosa outclassed her through most of the match, but she did giver her a little shine in it. Rosa hit the Fire Thunder Driver for the pinfall not too long into the match.

Jon Moxley cut a promo about how Tanahashi didn’t show up when he was champion, but that the Forbidden Door might be open, but there is nothing good on the other side. He said he signed a ton of contracts and sent them to the office in Japan, and said you never know what was going to happen next. This was awesome.

‘The Painmaker’ Chris Jericho (Inner Circle) vs. ‘MDK’ Nick Gage

MJF joined commentary with great joy at the destruction he was about to see. Gage ran a pizza cutter across Jericho’s arm as thy were doing the introductions, and cut Jericho’s arm. Gage hit a spinebuster and they brawled around ringside. Gage hit superplex and a falcon arrow for a 2-count on Jericho.

Jericho locked on the Liontamer, but Gage pulled himself to the floor to get out of it. Gage sent Jericho into the ring post and he was busted open. Gage pulled light tubes out from under the ring, but Jericho cut him off with a bat and nailed him with that. Gage hit the chokebreaker on Jericho and cut him with a pizza cutter.

Gage hit Jericho with a chair and then setup a pane of glass between two chairs. Goodness, this is not my kind of match. Does that make Gage the Panemaker? No? I’ll see myself out. Jericho hit a hurricanrana off the top rope through the glass on Gage, and glass went everywhere. Gah. Jericho went for the Code Breaker, but Gage caught him and slammed him into the glass and then broke light tubes over Jericho.

Gage hit a piledriver on Jericho, who was bleeding absolutely everywhere. Gage used a broken light tube on Jericho’s head. Good Lord. This is horrifying. Jericho spit poison mist into Gage’s face, broke light tubes over his head, hit the Judas Effect, and scored the pinfall, as MJF lost his mind.

Result: Chris Jericho

I don’t feel right giving this rating, as deathmatches are not my thing, but man, credit to Jericho for working Gage’s match. Jericho was a bloody mess and left wrecked in the ring as MJF cut a promo announcing the third Labour of Jericho: Juventud Guerrera! Jericho must hit a move off the top rope in order to win, which seems easy enough, but he also has to compete with Juvi, who was a legendary high flyer in WCW.

Show Rating: ***1/2 (3.5 stars)

This was another very good episode of AEW Dynamite, featuring a ton of different styles of wrestling, and a lot of forward movement in their stories they are telling. I’m not sure where they are going with Hangman Page next, but him losing to Kenny Omega one more time here is just the next step in the story of him finally overcoming him and winning the title down the line.

It feels close to the time where Hangman should beat him, but it’s perfectly fine if they want to wait a bit. If they are going with Christian for All Out, I expect they will be heating him up big time by next week. However, if that is a red herring and it is Hangman, they will find a way to make it happen.

The Jericho/MJF storyline is proving to be quite entertaining, and Jericho is clearly crazy for working a deathmatch, and AEW is probably crazy for putting it on TV, even though it was relatively mild by deathmatch standards. Nonetheless, this was brutal. It is not my kind of wrestling. I have all the respect in the world for Nick Gage and how he has turned his life around. I am so happy he has gotten a great payday from AEW here, let alone getting to work with Jericho.

This is still not my kind of wrestling, but man, if you like deathmatches, that one is for you. It was a good deathmatch, if I am be objective, and while I don’t personally enjoy that style much, if it is done right it can work. Moxley has done that well in AEW, for example. This, however, was a bit much for me. With that said, if this is your thing, I totally get why you would love this match. I’m just blown away they actually did it on national TV.

AEW’s growing relationship with NJPW is very exciting, as it seems therer are a lot of things at play that no one expects. I can’t wait for the day when Okada shows up to face Omega again, because you know it’s going to happen eventually. AEW feels like the hottest promotion on the planet, and this episode certainly drove that home.