The 55th episode of AEW Dynamite celebrates its one year anniversary – emanating from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida – by having every AEW Championship defended on the show!
- FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) Vs. Best Friends (Trent & Chuck Taylor) for the AEW Tag Team Championship
- Cody Vs. Orange Cassidy for the TNT Championship
- Hikaru Shida Vs. Big Swole for the AEW Women’s Championship
- Jon Moxley Vs. Lance Archer for the AEW World Championship
FTR defeat Best Friends via Pinfall, retaining the AEW Tag Team Championship in 16:44
- FTR kept Trent isolated throughout the match, with Best Friends gaining the most momentum when Chuck Taylor was tagged in.
- Trent missed Wheeler with a spear and ran through an arcade machine Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford were playing at ringside, with Sabian telling Ford to “go get him!”
- FTR pick up the win after Wheeler hit Taylor with one of the titles, allowing Harwood to pick up the pinfall victory.
- Afterwards, Miro attacked Best Friends in revenge for them destroying the arcade machine.
Analysis: Fairly fun opener, though I felt it never got a chance to get into gear like the match with Hybrid2 last week. FTR retain handily, as they should, and Best Friends seem to be going onto a feud with Sabian & Miro which I think will give both teams more flexibility – particularly in the character department.
Miro & Kip Sabian defeat Lee Johnson & Sean Maluta via Submission in 2:26
- Miro dominated through the match, levelling Maluta with clotheslines and running Johnson into the barricade.
- Sabian tagged in and hit a single Frog Splash before tagging out again.
- Miro locked in the Game Over to get a very quick submission win.
- Miro says it’s “Game Over” for Best Friends after they destroyed Sabian’s arcade machine.
Analysis: Dominant performance from Miro as expected. AEW have a surprising lack of dominant people, especially in the tag division, so for once I’m excited to see someone run through other competitors. Miro should run rampant over Best Friends in a fun, but short feud.
Chris Jericho invites MJF… to a steak dinner?
- MJF comes out with Wardlow to make his ‘groundbreaking announcement’ before he invites Chris Jericho & the Inner Circle to the ring.
- MJF compliments Jericho, even touching his hair at one point, before Jericho tells him to “cut the sh*t” and MJF stutters through asking to join the Inner Circle.
- Santana says the Inner Circle don’t want him in but Jericho says they’ll talk it over and in the meantime, he invites MJF to a steak dinner next week. MJF accepts.
Analysis: This love/hate dynamic that Jericho and MJF have going on is fantastic! The chemistry these two have makes for some great comedy whilst also putting across a semi-serious slow-building feud between the two. I’ve no idea what to expect from this steak dinner on next week’s AEW Dynamite, though it sounds similar to NXT’s Dinner with the Garganos which were great.
Tony Schiavone gets a chest wax (no I’m not kidding)
- Britt Baker says that rule 5 of her rules is the ‘be the baddest b*tch on the block’ before seeing Tony half-naked interviewing her and screaming.
- Baker and Rebel give Schiavone a chest wax after recovering from their fright.
- After cleaning up Tony, Britt announces that she’ll be competing in-ring next week.
Analysis: Another duo who have chemistry off the charts, Britt and Tony’s segments are always entertaining with this being no exception. For an AEW Dynamite segment that was only really to announce Britt wrestling next week, this was really endearing and made me care about what some would consider a throwaway segment.
Orange Cassidy Vs. Cody ends in a Draw after reaching the time limit of 20:00
- Darby Allin is shown watching from the cheap seats throughout the match as it’s announced he will challenge for the TNT title at Full Gear.
- Cassidy starts with his usual laissez-faire attitude but Cody knocks off his glasses and Cassidy gets serious, getting a very close near-fall in the final minute.
- John Silver attempted to hit Cody with the TNT title midway through, but Cassidy took the title from him. The referee ejected Silver and the rest of the Dark Order from ringside.
- Cassidy looked like he was going to beat Cody, but the time limit expired before he could get the three count.
Analysis: Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with this. It had the same issue as the opener in that it didn’t get to that ‘next level’ until very late in the match, though I get this was moreso meant to be a battle with the time limit than with each other. The last minute and half of this was great though, with Cassidy hitting multiple Beach Breaks and getting the advantage over Cody before the time limit expired. Made me want to see more from these two, so I guess it did its job.
Matt Hardy announces he is clear to compete, Sammy Guevara lays down a challenge
- Matt Hardy appears ringside with his wife and kids before announcing he is cleared to return to in-ring action.
- Sammy Guevara appears on video, saying that every time Matt is cleared he’ll send him straight back to hospital.
- Sammy ends by saying he’s out to send Matt ‘home for good’.
Analysis: I’m still optimistic that these two can pull off a really good match, but I think a lot of people have been put off after the All Out incident. Hopefully they don’t try anything too crazy, though this is Matt Hardy & Sammy Guevara we’re talking about so I feel like them trying crazy stuff is almost to be expected.
Four-Way Tag #1 Contenders Competitors Revealed
- Tony Schiavone is in the ring to announce there will be a four-way tag match to determine who will challenge FTR for the AEW Tag Team Championship at Full Gear.
- They randomly select four teams for the match from a tombola: Private Party, Dark Order (Silver & Reynolds), Butcher & Blade and the Young Bucks.
- Young Bucks clear Dark Order and Butcher & Blade from the ring before superkicking Private Party. They then stared down the champions.
Analysis: I thought AEW were determining contenders and such through their rankings? Why are challengers suddenly being picked through a completely random system with no explanation? I mean, I get this is so we get a tease of Young Bucks Vs. FTR at Full Gear but it goes against AEW’s whole rankings system that they’ve built up over the last year. This match on next week’s AEW Dynamite should be very fun though, especially between the Bucks & Private Party as they’ve put on magic in the past.
Hikaru Shida defeats Big Swole via Pinfall, retaining the AEW Women’s Championship in 8:53
- Shida and Swole had a fairly back-and-forth contest with nearly really gaining the upper hand throughout.
- Swole nearly got a pinfall victory over the champion, but Shida grabbed the bottom rope at the last second.
- Shida ultimately got the win with the Tamashii no Three Count.
- Nyla Rose was seen staring down the champion from ringside after her victory.
Analysis: These two kicked it up to the highest notch a match tonight has gotten to, but the issue is there’s just NO story to get invested in. Even as someone who considers themselves a more wrestling-focused fan, you need a little bit of story and character to get you invested. Shida, unfortunately, has had nothing since winning the title though this might change if the seemingly impending feud with Nyla is anything to go by. Hopefully next week’s AEW Dynamite can kick-start a much needed story within the AEW Women’s Championship picture.
Jon Moxley defeats Lance Archer via Pinfall, retaining the AEW Championship in 12:38
- The match became No Disqualification during Shida/Swole after both competitors attacked each other backstage. Eddie Kingston joined commentary for the match.
- The two men exchange near-falls throughout: Moxley hits a Paradigm Shift right away, Archer hits a chokeslam through two chairs.
- Moxley barely retained after exchanging a series of roll-ups with Archer with one of them eventually keeping ‘the Murderhawk Monster’ down for the three count.
- Kingston & the Lucha Bros clear off Archer as he begins attacking Moxley. Kingston praises Moxley, saying he’s so proud of him and praising him for carrying the company the last year.
- As he goes to raise Moxley’s arm, he delivers a Spinning Backfist and locks in a Rear Naked Choke. Kingston picks up the AEW Championship and berates the crowd as the show goes off the air.
Analysis: A decent main event, with the two bringing out the level of brutality I was roughly expecting. The No DQ stipulation definitely helped, not sure these two would have been right wrestling a normal, straight match. Kingston’s bait-and-switch attack on Moxley was done pretty well and it looks like he’ll be Moxley’s challenger for Full Gear. Hopefully there’s some sort of stipulation involved as I think, like Archer, Kingston will thrive in a more extreme environment.
And that was this week’s AEW Dynamite: Honestly, I was fairly disappointed. I had high expectations going in but unfortunately most of the card felt like it either lacked energy or was rushed.
The low points for me were the AEW Women’s Championship match, which was good pure wrestling but had very little character or story to invest in, and the four-way tag competitors announcement segment, which completely negated AEW’s entire ranking system. There was some good on the show though: When Cody Vs. Orange Cassidy picked up in its final few minutes, it was the most enjoyable match of the night, and both MJF and Britt Baker’s segments were great as always.