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AEW Dynamite - July 12, 2023
by Doc Allen
Live from the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 3,266. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Excalibur, and Taz.
Chris Jericho vs. Komander (with Alex Abrahantes)
The partisan crowd chants for Jericho, even when he palms Komander in the face. Jericho gets overconfident and is surprised when Komander does a top rope headstand to gain the upper hand. Springboard flipping hurricanrana by Komander, followed by a corkscrew senton to outside. Jericho takes control by attacking the lower spine. Back from commercials, Komander struggles to make his scheduled comeback when Jericho hits double powerbombs. Komander dodges the Lionsault and backslides him for 2. Jericho blasts a lariat but loses focus by flipping off the fans. Komander is then able to block a superplex and nail a tightrope walk Shooting Star Press for only 2! Jericho misses his springboard missile dropkick and Komander does a full tightrope walk into a springboard plancha to ringside! Fans chant “Holy sh!t!” Springboard Phoenix Splash by Kommander doesn't quite connect and Jericho kicks out again. Komander then flies into a Codebreaker for 2. Komander ducks the Judas Effect, but Jericho reverses a springboard somersault rana into a deep Liontamer to win at 12:52! What was shaping up to be a glorified squash shifted into a stellar lucha battle, ***¾.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Don Callis comes out to bother Jericho about joining his faction again. He runs footage of Jericho and Callis in cahoots together with Bad News Brown back in the Canadian territories in the mid 90's. This trip down memory lane seems to make Jericho feel feelings, but he still doesn't have an answer for Don.
Video recap of the Jack Perry/Hook saga. Cut to live, and Jack Perry is refusing to get out of his car because of an unsafe work environment. Hook ambushes him anyway and Perry flees the scene yet again.
Renee Paquette asks Don Callis if there's any update regarding Jericho. Don dodges the question but does promise to announce the fifth member for his Blood and Guts team later. Renee thinks it's brave of Don to go out there alone, but Don feels fine because Kenny Omega is too gutless to do anything to him.
Adam Cole and MJF continue their team bonding sessions with shots at a pub. Cole admits that he lost MJF's shirt, which offends MJF until he's distracted by a flock of women. MJF thinks they should share the women together, but Cole insists he's faithful to Britt. MJF doesn't mind, that just means 4 for him. MJF returns sometime later, completely “spent.” It's Cole's turn to choose an activity, so they go play Fight Forever in their hotel room. MJF is stunned that video games are more fun with friends. They confess they were planning on turning on each other, but now want to become Tag Team Champions. This was by far the best Cole/MJF vignette yet.
Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament:
Darby Allin and International Champion Orange Cassidy vs. The JAS (Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia)
Fans chant “Freshly Squeezed” while Cassidy and Guevara exchange taunts. They exchange rapid armdrags until Cassidy strolls away to put hands in pickets, so Guevara relaxes on his side. They sprint to a stalemate, and Garcia ambushes OC. Darby shotgun dropkicks Garcia to ringside, and shakes Sammy's hand before grappling. Garcia cheap shots, so Allin makes him pay with a tope suicida. Garcia interrupts Darby's springboard attempt, and blocks Cassidy's tope. Garcia tags himself in and hits a spinning front chancery on Allin. Back from commercials, Darby puts Sammy into a Scorpion Deathlock, but Garcia instantly breaks it up. Darby hits Code Red, but Garcia ambushes for a crucifix pin attempt. Hot tag to Cassidy, who lures Garcia in for turnbuckle smashes. High crossbody by Cassidy, and a Michinoku Driver for 2. Garcia blocks the Orange Punch, but Cassidy blocks a sleeper. Garcia reverses into the Dragontamer. Allin interrupts, and Orange hits Stundog Millionaire. Stunner by Darby, and tornado DDT by Cassiy needs a save from Guevara. Sammy knees Darby in the face, but Cassidy catches him with Beach Break. They go down with stereo big boots. Tags are made, and Guevara and Allin meet for a hockey fight and then bonk heads. Meanwhile, Garcia gives Cassidy a uranage onto the apron. Guevara knees Darby in the face but then misses a wild SSP! Prince Nana strolls in as Garcia has Cassidy in the Dragontamer on the floor, and passes Garcia a skateboard. Darby tries to disarm Garcia and Swerve Strickland sneaks in for a knee strike. Guevara easily hits Allin with GTH to win at 12:52! Everything before the screwjob finish was incredible, combining thoughtful character work with high level action. These guys were simply jamming out there, ****¼.
Winners: Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia
Despite the screwy finish, Guevara offers a handshake to Darby, who accepts.
Footage of Nick Wayne training in his garage gym. He tells the tale about when his mother sat him down on their wrestling ring to tell him that his father died from heart problems. That only increased his drive to become a professional wrestler. Professional wrestling might not be ready for him.
Renee Paquette is waiting for Adam Cole to get off the phone for an interview. Roderick Strong in a neckbrace interrupts to question Cole's friendship with MJF. Cole reminds Strong that they were rivals at one time too. Cole gets a text from MJF, who seems to be trying to call out sick from their match, and he runs off.
Big Bill and Brian Cage (with Prince Nana) vs. AEW World Champion MJF and Adam Cole
MJF's showboating and stalling tactics result in nothing happening until Bill boots him at 3:00. Back from commercials, Big Bill and Cage are enjoying beating up MJF in their corner. Bill rips off MJF's shirt and wipes his butt with it. That was a mistake, as MJF cares a lot about his merch, and he bites Bill's finger on his way to hitting a power slam to a massive pop. Fans sarcastically chant “Holy sh!t!” Cage tries to stop a tag, but MJF pokes him in the eyes. Cole storms in to clean house, and even pokes Cage in the eyes MJF-style. Big Bill helps with a double clothesline, but MJF and Cole cut him down with stereo superkicks. Cage returns with a double lariat and piles both opponents onto his shoulders for a fallaway slam! Cole superkicks Cage into position for MJF's Heatseeker. Cole drops the Boom to win at 10:13! Red hot tag match that successfully establishes Cole and MJF's odd partnership, ***.
Winners: MJF and Adam Cole
MJF grabs a mic and panders to the Devil Worshippers in the crowd about how over they are. He encourages Cole to do his pose and pimps their merch. MJF promises that they will hit a double clothesline sometime soon and gets the fans to chant “Double Clothesline!” They shift to Storytime with Adam Cole, and Cole is surprised that this partnership is working. They are going to win this tournament and become Tag Team Champions, because they're better than us and we know it. Meanwhile, Roderick Strong is watching and doesn't look happy.
Renee Paquette chats with Jake Hager and his awesome, purple bucket hat. Hager checks in on Chris Jericho and can't believe he might take Don Callis up on his invitation. Jericho admits that the classic footage moved him. Hager brings up their personal history and argues that he deserves to know what's going on, because this decision affects his career. Hager leaves Jericho with his bucket hat and dramatically takes off.
Owen Hart Foundation Tournament:
Ruby Soho (with The Outcasts) vs. Skye Blue
Ruby starts with a friendly foot stomp and slap to the face. Skye answers with a wild slap of her own. Toni Storm's distraction doesn't work, and Blue makes her pay with a penalty kick. Skye plants Ruby onto the ring apron. Toni ambushes, sending Blue crashing into the ring steps. The ref catches wind of the shenanigans and throws The Outcasts out. Ruby wrenches Skye's knee into the ring steps. Back from commercials, Skye makes her comeback right on time. Skye tweaks her knee injury on a roll-through, but still manages a knee strike to the face. Swinging neckbreaker by Blue gets 2. Ruby blocks Code Blue and wrenches in a deep knee bar. Skye gets the ropes and manages Code Blue for 2. Ruby hides behind the ropes to set up No Future to win at 8:50. Good-ish match with a great heel/face dynamic, **¾.
Winner: Ruby Soho
Video package recapping recent happenings on Collision.
It's time for the world premiere of "Rap Class" by Harley Cameron. She's actually not terrible at this, but the song is a disappointingly straightforward attempt, not a silly diss track against The Acclaimed. It only takes up about 60 seconds of screen time, so I'll allow it.
Swerve Strickland (with Prince Nana) vs. Nick Wayne (with Darby Allin)
Nick is newly 18 and now allowed to be a part of AEW. Swerve and Nick know each other well from the indies and rekindle their feud with an aggressive lockup. Wayne gets a clean break and pats Swerve on the face, sparking an urgent sprint to a stalemate. Fans give them an ovation. Swerve hits a boot to the face, but Wayne answers with a rana. Nick gets caught in the moment but fends Swerve off for a fisherman suplex. Nana trips Nick, but he saves face with a leaping rana from the apron. Back from commercials, Nick survives a chinlock and punches Swerve in the face. Shotgun dropkick by Wayne, roundhouse kick, and back handspring stunner. Flipping inverted DDT by Wayne gets 2. Swerve counters with a Torture Rack backbreaker for 2. Fans chant for Wayne as Strickland prepares top rope destruction, but Allin returns to support his guy. Wayne counters with an avalanche poison rana! Wayne's World connects, but Swerve surivves with a rope break! Swerve counters into an avalanche powerbomb and hits a knee strike, but WAYNE KICKS OUT! Fans chant “This is awesome!” Swerve looks at Darby before ripping Wayne's shoulders to shreds. Swerve finishes with a Driver at 10:234! Incredible debut by Wayne who looked like an instant rookie star before falling to the veteran, ****.
Winner: Swerve Strickland
Footage of Lance Archer dominating fools in Rev Pro. He's coming back for Rampage!
Don Callis returns to the ring to unveil the fifth member of his Blood and Guts team. First, he talks about how he knows The Real Kenny Omega, and he's a punk and a coward! This brings out Kenny Omega in-the-flesh for a confrontation. He gets ambushed by Jon Moxley, Konosuke Takeshita, and Pac! I guess we know who the fifth man is. They hold Omega in place for Don to stomp his head. Pac grabs a mic and gloats about finally getting a chance to pay Omega back for shattering him. They get ready to Pillmanize Omega, when his own fifth man is revealed to be Kota Ibushi via video package! The lights go out and The Elite are on hand to clear out The BCC. The Elite vow victory in Boston.
Final Thoughts: This might be the best episode of Dynamite I've seen all year (granted, I missed many episodes this winter and spring). Go check it out.
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