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AEW Dynamite - January 11, 2023
by Doc Allen
Live from the KIA Forum in Los Angeles, California. Wrestletix estimated 8,627 tickets sold as of this morning. Our hosts are Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Shiavone.
Jon Moxley vs. Hangman Adam Page
Both guys tear into each other at the bell. The crowd is split down the middle, but Moxley leans into the de facto heel role by targeting Hangman's previously concussed head. German suplex by Mox leaves Hangman grabbing his head. Hangman is in trouble, tries an early Buckshot, but Mox knocks him into the rails. Hangman bounces off the ring frame for a modified Buckshot, but Moxley answers with a King Kong lariat for 2. Back from commercials, Hangman escapes the Bulldog Choke with a back suplex. Moxley pops up and Hangman meets him with a lariat. Hangman blocks another German and spins around for another lariat. Fans chant "this is awesome" while Hangman nails a top rope moonsault outside. Moxley reverses the Buckshot into Death Rider but HANGMAN KICKS OUT! Irate, Moxley delivers hammer and anvil elbows and returns to the Bulldog Choke. Piledriver by Mox only gets 1! Moxley flips off the fans, Hangman counters into Deadeye. Moxley is dazed, but stomps Hangman down for a breather. They brawl back to their feet with open hand shots. Lariat by Hangman sets up the proper Buckshot for the decisive, clean victory at 14:11! Intense, no-nonsense fight, with a cathartic conclusion, ****.
Winner: Hangman Page
Moxley is in a stupor and tries to attack Doc Sampson and Paul Turner.
Tony Shiavone is in the ring. It gives him no pleasure to welcome ADAM COLE to the ring! The fans give him a hero's welcome. Cole had a long time to reflect on things while he was recovering from serious head injuries. He experienced severe anxiety and would pace around his room at 3 in the morning, scaring Britt in the process. Cole thanks the fans for all the love and support they showed him over the past 6 months while he was unable to give them anything in return. Cole teases us with some "bad news"... for the AEW locker room, because he's back! This is the day that The New Adam Cole™ is born, and he promises to one day become World Champion. Heckuva passionate promo from an alleged vanilla midget with no charisma. I think it was smart to bring him back as a babyface, because fans tend to like him even under normal circumstances, and MJF is likely settling in for a long heel title reign.
AEW Tag Team Champions The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass Billy Gunn talk to the camera. They think they're getting stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Considering all the turmoil happening over in Connecticut this week, I wouldn't be surprised if Tony Khan didn't want to trust Max Caster with a live mic tonight.
The Firm (Big Bill and Lee Moriarty, with Stokely Hathaway) vs. The Jungle Hook (FTW Champion Hook and Jungle Boy Jack Perry)
Moriarty and Perry start by exchanging stiff slaps. Perry hits the springboard armdrag. The Jungle Hook hit double back elbows, Hook goes after Lee's arm. Hook slams Moriarty into position for Perry's dropkick. Hathaway grabs Perry's boot, so he goes for a dive. Big Bill blocks for an attempted chokeslam, but Hook flies in for the save. The Firm still manage to trap Perry in their corner. Bill misses a corner splash, but boots Perry to outside for Moriarty's flying knee. Back from commercials, Perry reverses Morarity's triangle choke with a powerbomb. Hook gets the hot tag and hits Moriarty with a Northern Lights suplex. Bill breaks the cover, so Hook gets right into his chest. Bill blocks a couple of suplexes, but Perry assists with a missile dropkick! Hook gives Bill an exploder suplex and Bill can't believe it! Perry puts Moriarty into the Snare Trap for the win at 7:42! They packed a ton of fun into this short package, **½.
Winners: The Jungle Hook
Renee Paquette interviews All-Atlantic Champion Orange Cassidy and Danhausen. They're joined by Paul Walter Hauser, who Danhausen confuses as a member of the Hausen family. Paul has a surprise that will have to wait for Rampage. The Best Friends arrive and insist everything is cool, but things don't seem that cool. The thick plottens.
Konosuke Takeshita hits the ring for his scheduled match, but is surprisingly joined by AEW World Champion MJF. He heard on The Reddit that Takeshita is a big deal, but he hasn't actually seen any of his stuff, because MJF is the only part of the show that matters. MJF thinks his name is "Take A Shitta" so he better not take one in his pants against Danielson. Takeshita says something unfriendly in Japanese, MJF orders him to speak American. Takeshita clarifies that he told him to kiss his @ss. MJF hides behind Aubrey Edwards and turns his attention to the nerds in attendance. The fans don't think he can "last an hour" in the Iron Man match, so everyone better ask their moms, sisters, etc because he's all about pinning shoulders on mats and banging rats. MJF decides to pick on "celebrities" in the audience, like Ken Jeong and Freddie Prinze Jr. He actually gets a babyface reaction for roasting Prinze as a Scooby-Doobie-Douchebag. Bryan Danielson finally arrives to chase MJF away and we might get a match or something.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Bryan Danielson
MJF is still lurking nearby, but they ignore him to sprint into a stalemate. Bryan applies the Romero Special into a Dragon Sleeper. Takeshita reverses into his own Dragon Sleeper. Bryan escapes, and they test each other's striking abilities. Takeshita nails a running clothesline. Danielson answers with a double underhook suplex into an arm scissor. Takeshita aggressively fights out, and uses the ropes to block the LeBell Lock. Danielson builds steam with running dropkicks, but Takeshita counters with a big time Blue Thunder Bomb for 2. Fans chant "Takeshita." Danielson comes back with a running clothesline and they trade chops into commercials. They return with Takeshita hitting an unbelievable top rope lariat but BRYAN KICKS OUT! Bryan hits a head scissors over the ropes and flies into a botched spot where they both crash into the barricade. Takeshita capitalizes with a brainbuster on the floor! Bryan blocks a springboard senton and applies the LeBell Lock! Takeshita gets the ropes, so Bryan cuts him down with YES kicks. They slug it out until Takeshita hits a brutal lariat. Fans chant "AEW!" Bryan counters into hammer and anvil elbows, Takeshita counters into a sick Styles Clash and German suplex, but BRYAN KICKS OUT! Bryan blocks another German and unleashes the BuSaiku Knee but TAKESHITA KICKS OUT! Bryan traps the arms and stomps the face, then arbitrarily applies the LeBell lock for the instant submission at 14:45! Simply incredible outing, minus that one botched spot. This is AEW at it's best, delivering a "dream" match that gets over with an arena crowd, while serving as a meaningful match in storyline terms as it continues Bryan's chase of MJF. So many positive factors converge to make this a ****¼ outing.
Winner: Bryan Danielson
Danielson shakes Takeshita's hand and celebrates with the fans.
Renee Paquette interviews Juice Robinson backstage. Juice is in AEW to kick @ss, take names, and win championships. He's got his eyes set on Darby Allin, since he gives open challenges for the TNT title. Juice will get his shot on Rampage and we'll see if Darby is as tough as he thinks he is.
Toni Storm and Saraya vs. AEW Women's Champion Jamie Hayter and Dr. Britt Baker (with Rebel)
After Britt called herself "The Boss" of AEW, the fans are expecting Mercedes Mone and give Storm and Saraya a muted reaction, kind of waiting to see if anything happens to remove one of them from competing. It also doesn't help that Hayter is massively over in a cool heel kind of way. The fans chant for Hayter as she locks up with Storm. Shotgun dropkick by Storm, who then knocks Hayter off the apron from Saraya's cannonball senton. Saraya brutalizes Hayter with knee lifts and declares the KIA Forum as her house. Hayter reverses a double suplex to a big pop. Britt interferes with a neckbreaker off the apron on Storm. Hikaru Shida arrives with a kendo stick in hand. Back from commercials, Saraya gets the alleged hot tag, but the fans boo her. Knight Cap by Saraya gets 2 on Baker. Saraya blocks an Air Raid Crash and kicks the face for 2. Storm tags and hits a Hip Attack and Tornado DDT for only 2. Hayter saves Britt from Storm's Texas Cloverleaf. Britt reverses Storm into an avalanche Air Raid Crash but Toni kicks out! Hayter hits the Hayter Breaker, Saraya breaks the cover. Storm hits Hayter with a German suplex and Storm Zero, Britt saves the match. The match breaks down until Hayter and Storm slug it out alone. They knock each other down, Rebel distracts the ref while Britt hits Storm with a kendo stick. Hayter decapitates Storm to win at 11:24. This was something of a disaster, because even though they worked really hard, the heel/face dynamics were way off, and they lost the crowd after the commercials when it became more clear that Mercedes Mone wasn't showing up, *½.
Winners: Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker
The fans are upset about the lack of Mercedes and boo the Rampage rundown. They quickly cut to a video promo with Eddie Kingston and Ortiz, who I feel like we haven't seen in ages.
The complete Jericho Appreciation Society come to the ring to a "Judas" sing-a-long. Angelo Parker thinks they look good in their matching gold glittery jackets. Matt Menard is still excited that Jake Hager powerbombed Ricky Starks through a table. Chris Jericho gushes about their great week, which included invading PWG Battle of Los Angeles. He proclaims that Action Andretti has been sent back to the minor leagues and that the Ricky Starks Experiment is over. They're interrupted by Ricky Starks and Action Andretti on the stage. They exchange generic insults, but Andretti cuts deep when he refers to Sammy Guerava as Daniel Garcia's babysitter, who also has no control over his own wife. Ricky wants to fight the "village idiot" Jake Hager and challenges him to a match next week. Hager likes his purple hat, but he also wears the hat of an undefeated MMA fighter, so he threatens to slap Ricky's face off of his face. Somewhere, Owen Hart is chuckling. This walked a fine line between being amusing and dumb, but they mostly stuck the landing.
AEW World Trios Championship Best of Seven Series (Match 7, Ladder Match):
Death Triangle © (Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix, with Alex Abrahantes) vs. THe Elite (Kenny Omega, Nick Jackson, and Matt Jackson, with Don Callis, Brandon Cutler, and MT Nakazawa)
A staredown quickly breaks down into a brawl. The Elite hit backstabbers, Matt blocks Penta's Fear Factor. Omega hits a backbreaker, but Fenix ambushes him with a springboard dropkick. Death Triangle hit a flurry of rapid high spots and drop Omega with a ladder. Fenix dives over the ladder to take out Omega. The Bucks answer with their tandem plancha. Matt reverses Fenix with a facebuster, tries to climb, but has to stop to give Penta a Destroyer. Fenix hits a springboard arm drag, but Omega ambushes him with a snap Dragon suplex. Snap Dragon on Penta! Kenny tips the ladder, Pac catches him with a missile dropkick. Snap Dragon on Pac! Omega misses a soaring plancha and puts himself through a table! Matt splashes Pac through another table! Back from commercials, Nick runs up a ladder to hit a ringside dive. Matt counters Penta with a backdrop through a ladder. Fenix hits Nick with a springboard rana through the ladder. Fans chant "Fight Forever." Pac crushes Kenny's fingers by stomping a ladder. Pac reverses One Winged Angel with a poison rana. Lucha Bros. hit Nick with a glancing Fear Factor. The Bucks throw a SUPERKICK PARTAY! Matt hits Fenix with rolling Northern Lights culminating with a ladder bump. Nick puts Penta through a table with a 450 splash! Matt climbs to the gold, but Abrahantes pushes him over. Cutler sprays Alex in the face, setting up Omega's V-Trigger! Omega tries to climb, but Pac takes him down with a hammer and gives him a Falcon Arrow at ringside. Pac and Matt meet at the top, Penta pulls Matt into a Fear Factor on a bridged ladder! Fenix reaches the gold, Kenny stops him with One Winged Angel off the bridge! Omega blocks Pac's Black Arrow! Kenny climbs up and retrieves the belts at 14:55! Absolutely incredible effort here, but they didn't do anything to distinguish this from the many crazy ladder matches from the last decade, ****.
Winners and new World Trios Champions: The Elite
Final Thoughts: The women's match was a bit of a blemish, otherwise this was just about a perfect episode of Dynamite. Highly recommended.
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