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AEW Dynamite- July 26, 2023
by Doc Allen
Live from MVP Arena in Albany, New York. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 3,212. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Excalibur, and Taz.
Video package telling the story about how Darby Allin left home and started training with AR Fox. After a while, Fox discovered that Darby was homeless and took him in.
AEW International Championship:
Orange Cassidy © vs. AR Fox
Fox finds Cassidy's lackadaisical handshake to be disrespectful and goes hard at the champ. Fox grabs a wrist lock and Cassidy pretends to be too exhausted for a kip up. Fox cartwheels into a snapmare and locks a body scissor. Cassidy obnoxiously escapes by putting hands in pockets and wiggling free. Fox ducks an Orange Punch, Cassidy runs away from a cutter. Cassidy tries to saunter away from a dive, but Fox sprints for a surprise springboard moonsault. Cassidy counters with Stundog Millionaire, Fox mule kicks him into a cutter. Fox reverses a DDT into a twisting brainbuster for 2. Back from commercials, Cassidy fights back with desperation kicks. Cassidy shows rare emotional fire, but Fox responds with a leaping neckbreaker. Cassidy misses a senton, and Fox capitalizes with a senton of his own. Swanton Bomb by Fox only gets 2. OC is doing a little too much of moving himself into position to take these attacks. Tornado DDT by OC, followed by Beach Break for 2. Fox answers with a leaping Spanish Fly for a good nearfall. Fox climbs again but Cassidy rolls away, so Fox hits Rolling Thunder on the apron. Devastating DDT by Fox gets yet another nearfall. OC dodges a 450 splash, fakes an Orange Punch, and forces Fox's shoulders down for 3 at 13:48. Some cool moves and some disappointing botches and contrived setups here and there. This was the indie match that some people like to pretend happens on AEW every week, **½.
Winner and still International Champion: Orange Cassidy
Cassidy puts his shades on Fox, so they're cool and all. Or maybe not, Fox crumbles up the glasses and punches OC's lights out. Darby Allin storms in to demand an answer from Fox. Cassidy tries to regain his bearings in the ring, but gets ambushed by Jon Moxley, who hits Death Rider and spits on him.
Blood and Guts montage, reminding us that The Golden Elite emerged victorious.
Renee Paquette is standing by with Chris Jericho and Don Callis. Don offers Jericho the opportunity to team up with Konosuke Takeshita against Daniel Garcia and Sammy Guevara. Jericho is reluctant, but Don reminds him that he wanted the young guys to spread their wings. Chris agrees, so Callis offers a painting portraying him and Jericho as muscular god-like figures.
Video of former FTW Champion Hook sitting on a bench in a subway station. A train comes by and his FTW disappears. Another train passes, and Hook is gone. I'd say that Jack Perry should be shaking in his boots.
ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta talk to the camera. Here's a PSA for the young kids on the roster: don't mess with the Blackpool Combat Club. Jon Moxley wanders in, pleased with himself for punishing Cassidy after he'd flexed on Claudio at Death Before Dishonor.
Tony Shiavone hosts new FTW Champion Jack Perry in the ring. He's wearing an amusing "I beat Hook" t-shirt. Shiavone rubs the fans' boos in Perry's face. Jack doesn't care, because he beat Hook, and proved that he can't hang with the big boys, so he's disappeared on a train to nowhere. Perry vowed to win a championship, but didn't have the FTW title in mind, it was created in a second class company full of people like those living in Albany. Perry claims to be the best wrestler to get close to the FTW title and would run circles around Taz and all his friends. This brings out Jerry Lynn to defend ECW's honor yet again. Perry agrees to fight Jerry next week.
Renee Paquette interviews Dr. Britt Baker backstage. Britt was surprised that Taya Valkyrie called her out on Collision, but she's excited to drag her @ss around tonight.
Pac vs. Gravity
Looks like Gravity remembers Pac afterall. I don't know much about Gravity otherwise, he seems to have "Suicide from TNA" vibes and has been a regular on ROH TV tapings and might be Bandido's brother. They argue over who has the better physique, and Gravity attacks first with dropkicks. Pac takes a timeout. Gravity whips Pac into the barricade and hits a scoop slam and handstand splash off of the apron. Back from commercials, Pac is back on offense, trying to make sure Gravity never forgets him again. Avalanche brainbuster by Pac and the Brutalizer finishes things at 8:30. Was basically a total slaughter after the commercials, **.
Renee Paquette talks to Adam Cole and AEW World Champion MJF. Cole tries to talk, but MJF pulls the mic away. MJF is sick of Dax Harwood's “Mr. Clean, Yosemite Sam” routine and will punch him hard enough to make him spit out CM Punk's jockstrap. Cole says when this journey started he only wanted to win championships, but now it's about friendship, and MJF is quickly becoming one of his best friends. MJF promises to give Cole another shot at the AEW title no matter what happens in their FTR match. Roderick Strong angrily interrupts, convinced that MJF is up to no good. Cole loves Strong, but thinks he's acting insane. BOUNDARIES!
Renee Paquette chats with AEW Tag Team Champions FTR. Cash Wheeler is excited to face MJF and Cole, but feels bad because he likes Adam Cole but hates MJF. Dax Harwood tries not to get emotional but thinks MJF and Cole are making a mockery of tag team wrestling.
Swerve Strickland (with Prince Nana) vs. Darby Allin
Allin last eliminated Swerve to win last week's Royal Rampage match and picks up where he left off with a headlock. Swerve escapes, but Darby flusters him with a springboard arm drag. Darby forces Swerve to botch a dive and stuns him at ringside for a good early nearfall. Darby whips Strickland into the steps, Swerve reverses another whip and leaps off the steps for a well aimed kick to the face. Back from commercials, Swerve is dominating but unable to win. Allin fights back with desperation pin attempts. Allin spears Strickland off the apron! Allin tries a tope but flies into Swerve's spin kick. Diving double stomp by Swerve only gets 2. Darby reverses into a top rope stunner! Swerve blocks a Coffin Drop and hits a brutal avalanche DVD onto the ring frame! Nick Wayne looks on in horror from the front row. A hooded figure ambushes Darby while Wayne is occupied with Prince Nana. Swerve finishes with a driver at 12:06. Allin is a glutton for punishment yet again, his wild stunts upgrade this otherwise routine TV outing, ***.
Winner: Swerve Strickland
The hooded figure is revealed to be AR Fox and he's officially a part of The Mogul Embassy.
Renee Paquette chats with a somewhat disgruntled Jericho Appreciation Society. Jericho gathers the group together to talk about recent events, and they aren't happy to see Don's painting on the wall. Jericho asks Tay Melo how her pregnancy is going, but she only wants an explanation. Anna Jay thinks Jericho is being selfish, they've been appreciating him with nothing in return. 2point0 have lost faith in Jericho too, and urge him to think things over...fast.
Video package of Billy Gunn losing to The House of Black and leaving his boots behind in the ring.
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Taya Valkyrie
Taya grounds Britt with a waistlock takedown, Britt gets up with a headlock. Taya counters with a side slam, but Britt won't let the headlock go. Shoulder block by Taya, who stops to pose. Taya hits double running knees and a short arm clothesline for 2. Britt kicks the shin, and Taya counters with an unfortunately sloppy facebuster. Back from commercials, Britt is enjoying a hearty comeback. They exchange head kicks, Taya hits a knee strike and messy lariat for 2. Britt tries Panama Sunrise, but Taya counters into a Northern Lights suplex. Superkick by Britt and Panama Sunrise connects for 2. Britt's glove comes on, but Taya hits a spear. Britt reverses into Lockjaw to win at 9:48. Good win for Britt, continuing her rebuild. I've historically enjoyed Taya's work, but she seems a bit off in AEW, **.
Winner: Dr. Britt Baker
Video package hyping up Nyla Rose vs. Hikaru Shida. They're going to FIGHT FOREVER and ever and ever...
A bunch of tag teams make their SNME-style proclamations for why they'll win a tag team battle royal on Rampage.
Video package hyping up Andrade El Idolo vs. Buddy Matthews in a ladder match for Andrade's stupid black mask. I've totally soured on this feud, even if I think it was smart to shift Andrade into a babyface role.
Best Friends vs. Lucha Bros. vs. The Blackpool Combat Club
((huck Taylor and Trent Beretta vs. Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix, with Alex Abrahantes vs. ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli and Jon Moxley, with Wheeler Yuta)
I have no idea why this match is happening, other than some vague references to things that happened at ROH Death Before Dishonor. Best Friends and Lucha Bros start the fight without the BCC. All three teams battle outside the ring. Chuck hits a senton off the stage onto a crowd of enemies. Claudio and Fenix find each other in the ring for a showdown. The others find them and interrupt with consecutive drive-by attacks. Claudio catches Rey with a popup uppercut. The BCC pick Fenix apart with quick tags. Trent tags himself in, and wants to beat up Fenix just as much as Claudio. Trent gives Claudio a Saito suplex, but his tope is blocked with an uppercut. Moxley hits a monstrous lariat on Trent for 2. The BCC dominate through commercials. They return with Trent blocking Claudio's superplex and hitting a missile dropkick. Chuck gets an allegedly hot tag and gives Moxley some Sole Food. Chuck hits a German suplex, but Penta tags himself in for Sling Blade and a Backstabber. Claudio press slams Trent into Moxley's Flatliner. The match breaks down until everyone is down (no ovation). Everyone stumbles up, Best Friends share a hug and hit stereo piledrivers for 2. Lucha Bros. answer with stereo submissions on Best Friends. Penta might have broken Trent's arm and hits a driver that requires the BCC to break up. Claudio powerboms Taylor while Moxley stomps Trent's face in. BCC prepare to murder Trent when Orange Cassidy arrives with an Orange Punch on Wheeler. Moxley meets Cassidy for a brawl, meanwhile Trent crushes Claudio, but he's not the legal man so the ref won't count. Lucha Bros. capitalize and Penta hits Fear Factor to win at 14:25. The match was fine, the action was well executed and all, but I really didn't know what to make of any of this. Best Friends and Lucha Bros. have been missing from Dynamite/Collision all summer, and the BCC are badly miscast as heels, so I found myself struggling to care, **¾.
Winners: Lucha Bros.
The 3-way brawl continues after the bell. Cassidy gives Claudio a Stundog Millionaire on the floor. Orange Punch connects and the show just kind of ends.
Final Thoughts: I didn't really like this episode and thought a lot of it kind of stunk, or at least wasn't performed or executed as well as I would have liked. There is nothing here worth going out of your way to see.
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