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AEW Dynamite - January 17, 2024
by Doc Allen
Live from the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 2,451. Ian Riccaboni, Excalibur, and Taz are on commentary.
Christian Cage © (with The Patriarchy) vs. Dustin Rhodes
Uh oh, Dustin is in need of a father figure. Maybe Christian could fill that role, despite being several years younger. Fans chant "Christian sucks" during the feeling out process. Body slam by Dustin forces Christian to flee. Dustin hits a flying clothesline from the ring steps. Christian blocks a superplex and lands a flying crossbody to ringside. Back from commercials, Christian misses a super unwise diving head butt. Dustin wins a slugfest and builds momentum with his usual bag of tricks. Christian blocks the Golden Globes, so Dustin hits a Canadian Destroyer for 2. Dustin thinks about a tope, but Christian snaps his neck onto the ropes. Frog splash by Christian only gets 2. Nick Wayne sneaks in to reverse Dustin's inside cradle for a fun 2 count. Christian blocks the bulldog, but now Dustin can connect with the Golden Globes. Superplex by Dustin, followed by Cross-Rhodes, but CHRISTIAN KICKS OUT AT 2.999! Fans chant "that was 3!" Dustin lets himself get distracted by the Patriarchy and gives Nick a Canadian Destroyer. Christian is able to comfortably hit the spear and Killswitch, but DUSTIN KICKS OUT! Second Killswitch finishes Dustin at 15:29. This was good, they were playing the hits for old time's sake and earned some quality false finishes, ***½.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Christian Cage
Renee Paquette chats with Swerve Strickland. He's laser focused on the AEW title and doesn't care if Samoa Joe or Hook is the champion. When asked about Hangman Page, Swerve gives him credit for having a chance against absolutely anyone, except for him.
Backstage interview with Chris Jericho, who came up short in a wild Street Fight at Battle of the Belts. Jericho blames the loss on Powerhouse Hobbs and Konosuke Takeshita's interference. Matt Sydal interrupts to ask for a match on Rampage.
International Champion Orange Cassidy and Trent Beretta (with Chuck Taylor) vs. Komander and Penta El Zero Miedo (with Rey Fenix and Alex Abrahantas)
Penta has no patience for Cassidy's antics and unleashes stiff kicks. Cassidy answers with armdrags. Penta blocks a DDT and superkicks Cassidy to keep his hands out of pockets. Blind tag by Trent, but Komander enters with a springboard kick. Komander takes time for a tope on Cassidy and then walks into Trent's inside out suplex. Back from commercials, Penta receives a babyface reaction while running wild with Sling Blades. Made in Japan on Cassidy gets 2. Trent breaks up Fear Factor, Cassidy plants Penta with a tornado DDT. Trent pie faces Komander and roughs him up (since he's gradually turning heel). Komander lures Trent into place for Penta's enziguri. Penta hits a Canadian Destroyer from Komander's back, Komander hits a springboard splash, OC breaks the pinfall. Komander removes OC with a roundhouse kick but misses a Phoenix Splash on Trent. Cassidy saves Trent from Penta and hits Beach Break. Orange Punch on Kommander, Trent finishes with the Dude Buster at 10:15. Good match that was kind of random on paper, but the hot crowd gave them a nice assist. Trent's slowburn heel turn continues, **¾.
Winners: Trent Beretta and Orange Cassidy
Best Friends' victory hug is interrupted by The Undisputed Kingdom, minus Adam Cole. Roderick Strong has had enough of Cassidy's shtick and orders him to remove his sunglasses. Cassidy wants Strong to shut up so badly he offers to defend the International title here and now. Roderick rejects the offer, because he can wait until Revolution, and this way Cassidy has to think about how he's just keeping the belt warm.
Renee Paquette interviews Hangman Adam Page backstage. No one covets and respects the AEW title like Page, so he wants a longer and bigger title reign. When asked about Swerve, Page says he doesn't matter because he's not the champion.
Mark Briscoe comes out to commemorate the one year anniversary of Jay Briscoe's death. Briscoe family members are scattered in the front row. Jay's daughter was injured in the crash and not expected to walk again, but here she is on her two feet! Wonderful moment, we can use all the good news we can get.
Renee Paquette sits down to chat with The Young Bucks. They chastise her for disrespect. They are EVP's and insist on being referred to as Nicholas and Matthew Jackson. They make some dog whistle comments about CM Punk. The vibes in AEW began to decline when they started leaning on yesterday's self-serving superstars. This might be about Sting, but Sting represents the problem with AEW. This company was about changing the world, so it's time to say goodbye to Sting and anyone like Sting.
ROH Six Man Championship:
The Mogul Embassy © (Brian Cage, Toa Liona, and Bishop Kaun, with Prince Nana) vs. Bullet Club Gold (Jay White, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn)
White holds his own against Liona with stiff chops. Liona knocks him down with a single chop. Jay fights out of The Embassy's corner with a dragon screw on Kaun. Tag by Austin, but Cage overpowers him with a German suplex. Austin suffers a backstabber/elbow drop from the Gates of Agony. Back from commercials, Colten Gunn gets a hot tag right on cue. Colten looks good running wild and slams Kaun for 2. Liona ambushes Colten with a wild POUNCE! The Gates of Agony swarm Colten with powerbombs and Samoan Drops, but Austin breaks the pinfall. White shakes off some interference and nails a Uranage on Kaun. Lariat by Cage, but he turns around for the Gunns' tandem DDT. Nana trips Jay, allowing Kaun to hit the double knee gutbuster for 2.5. Anthony Bowens runs in to stop Nana's interference. Jay finishes Kaun with Blade Runner at 9:33! Might as well change the titles, would be nice to see them merged with the AEW version. Totally respectable TV match, **¾.
Winners and new ROH Six Man Champions: Bullet Club Gold
The Devil Adam Cole plays manager to Wardlow in a backstage promo. He expects Wardlow to become AEW World Champion in the not-too distant future.
AEW Women's Champion Toni Storm (with Luther and Mariah May) frolics her way to commentary.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Anna Jay
Toni Storm's banter on commentary steals the show while Deonna and Anna feel each other out. Jay snaps Deonna's neck on the ropes. Back from commercials, Deonna comes back with a Russian leg sweep and pump kick. Anna responds with a backstabber for 2. Deonna blocks the Queenslayer, Jay quickly escapes an armbreaker. They exchange forearms until Deonna locks on the Venus de Milo to win at 6:44. Absolutely nothing match, this just served as a backdrop to Toni hamming it up on commentary, *.
Winner: Deonna Purrazzo
Renee Paquette interviews Deonna immediately afterwards. Deonna is baffled by the changes in Toni Storm. Deonna brands herself the greatest women's technical wrestler in the world. Toni angrily climbs onto Luther's shoulders and scolds Deonna for questioning her past. Toni throws her shoe into the ring, Deonna throws it back at her. Toni continues shrieking her many amusing catchphrases while Deonna tries not to laugh.I endorse all of this. Watch for the shoe, darlings!
Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) vs. Top Flight (Dante and Darius Martin)
Darius and Kassidy start things off with a fast paced exchange resulting in a stalemate. Tags are made, both teams stand off. Cooler heads prevail, Quen and Dante feel each other out. Kassidy returns with a springboard crossbody on Dante, followed by a cutter onto the ropes on Darius. Back from commercials, Darius has Kassidy grounded in an armbar. Kassidy shakes off a 2 on 1 situation and makes the hot tag. Quen sprints in with a series of dives, endearing himself to the fans in the process. 450 splash on Dante gets 2. Top Flight answer with a combination of quick attacks, Kassidy breaks it up. The match breaks down into a contest of who can hit the fanciest kick. Gin and Juice on Darius, Dante breaks it up, but Quen pulls the ropes for leverage in an O'Connor roll for the win at 10:18. Super fun match that felt like 2019 AEW. This was crafted to feel like the first chapter in a long rivalry, ***.
Winners: Private Party
Action Andretti comes in to back up Top Flight while they complain that Private Party cheated. Better luck next time, I guess.
Video package highlighting all the fun cinematic matches and vignettes Darby Allin and Sting have put together over the last three years.
AEW World Championship:
Samoa Joe © vs. FTW Champion Hook
This match is presented COMMERCIAL FREE, thanks to the Suicide Squad (seriously), but there's only 10 minutes left in the broadcast, so that's not saying much. That's okay, I don't think they're going to hold anything back. Hook sprints at Joe at the bell, they quickly spill to ringside. Hook hits a springboard forearm from the rails. Back to the ring, Joe hits a nasty back elbow shot. Joe unleashes rapid body shots and his trademark enziguri. Hook answers with a sliding lariat, then a phenomenal forearm from the apron. Joe responds with a brutal uranage onto the announce table! Hook flips double birds, so Joe powerbombs him onto the ring frame! Hook meets the 10 count, but Joe is waiting with a powerslam for only 2! Death Valley Driver by Joe gets another 2 count. Muscle Buster by Joe, but HOOK KICKS OUT AT 1! Hook finds his second wind and unleashes a flurry of lariats and body shots. T-bone suplex by Hook, but Joe reverses Red Rum into the Coquina Clutch! Hook succumbs to the hold at 8:41. This was basically what I imagined it would be, a fast paced sprint in which Hook would take a beating, tease an upset, but ultimately fall short in exciting fashion. Really nice TV main event, ***½.
Winner and still AEW World Champion: Samoa Joe
Joe hits Hook with another Muscle Buster just to be a d!ck. Hook pulls himself up. Joe prepares more punishment, but Hangman Adam Page runs in. Joe backs off, but then gets spooked by Swerve Strickland staring him down from the crowd.
Final Thoughts: This was a TV show full of TV quality matches, with some decent plot developments thrown in along the way. The main event and post-match angle should prove to be memorable in the long run. Easy episode to sit through, easy recommendation.
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