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AEW Dynamite - September 6, 2023
by Doc Allen
Live from Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 2,899. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Taz, and Excalibur.
They kick off with Orange Cassidy, who just lost his International Championship to Jon Moxley in the main event of All Out. He's moving gingerly and is bandaged up, the fans chant "Thank you, Orange." Cassidy says he was told to stay home, but he's going to continue being on Dynamite every week. Because HE IS ORANGE CASSIDY AND...he doesn't have a catchphrase.
AEW International Championship:
Jon Moxley © (with ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli) vs. AR Fox (with Darby Allin)
Not sure what Fox has done to warrant a title shot, but here we go. Moxley seems to agree with me and tries to make an example of Fox with stiff offense. Dropkick by Fox sets up a wild tope to ringside. Moxley answers with a flipping powerbomb. Fox answers with a leaping DDT between the ropes. Moxley retaliates with a hip toss into the rails and then throws Fox into the stands. Back from commercials, Mox is still in control and the fans seem to be on his side. Fox musters some fan support with a spirited comeback. Fox hits a running SSP from the ring frame and then hits a 450 splash for only 2. Moxley angrily traps the wrist and unleashes hammer and anvil elbows. King Kong lariat by Moxley and the Death Rider ends this at 8:24. Decent TV match with some cool tricks from Fox. Moxley never seemed to be in any real trouble, **½.
Winner and still AEW International Champion: Jon Moxley
Darby checks on Fox and raises his arm for some applause. Suddenly, Christian Cage and Luchasaurus confront Nick Wayne on the KhanTron. Christian drags Nick's dead father some more and argues that he'd make a better mentor than Darby.
Kris Statlander ©vs. Emi Sakura
Sakura is taking Kris up on an open challenge. Statlander is riding a wave of momentum after having defeated Ruby Soho at All Out. Sakura dodges a lockup for some showboating, and sends Kris outside with a running crossblock. Sakura hits a second crossblock into the ring steps. Kris sells the damage and engages in a stiff chopfest. Sakura wins the exchange, but they both go down with stereo clothesline attempts. Statlander nails a leaping elbow drop. They trade counters and Sakura hits a vicious delayed double underhook backbreaker. Kris stumbles up to counter with an electric chair slam. Lariat by Statlander and the tombstone piledriver finishes it at 4:28! This was hard hitting nonstop action and a perfect example of the type of TV match that I believe would attract more casual viewers, ***.
Winner and still TBS Champion: Kris Statlander
Roderick Strong (still in his neckbrace) and The Kingdom talk to the camera. Roderick shares some painful details about his childhood. His parents were deadbeat losers and pro wrestling gave him an outlet. He vows to win the Grand Slam tournament.
Le Sex Gods (Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher)
Don Callis joins commentary to stir sh!t up. Jericho and Davis start things off, Jericho pokes the eyes and hits some chops. Le Sex Gods hit Davis with double shoulder blocks and take time to pose. Fletcher tags and hits a scoop slam on Sammy, who pops right up to exchange chops. Le Sex Gods deliver a tandem delayed vertical suplex, while Davis rightfully protests from the apron. Back from commercials, Aussie Open had taken control, but Sammy backflips over them to make a hot tag. Jericho tries to run wild, but Aussie Open catch him with stereo punches. They try another round, but Sammy flies in with a flying cutter. Jericho hits Fletcher with the Codebreaker for only 2! That was generous of Jericho. Sammy helps with a dive onto Aussie Open. Jericho hits a slingshot crossbody outside, but gets ambushed with a superkick. Aussie Open scoop Le Sex Gods for a spinal collision. Aussie Open swarm Jericho with tandem offense for a great nearfall. Fans chant "AEW!" Sammy surprises with a standing Spanish Fly on Davis, Fletcher blocks the Liontamer. Brainbuster by Fletcher, but Jericho kicks out! Cue the "This is awesome!" chant. Jericho accidentally knocks Sammy from the apron, but saves face with the Judas Effect to pin Fletcher at 11:25. This developed into a red hot match after the break, Aussie Open look like stars despite the loss, and Jericho and Sammy still seem to have their problems, ***½.
Winners: Le Sex Gods
Guevara and Jericho get into a shoving match and get split up by security.
Video recap of Ricky Starks and Bryan Danielson tearing each other up in a strap match at All Out. Starks eventually passed out from a strap assisted crossface. Later, Starks rants to the camera about how tough he is for not submitting.
Replay of Samoa Joe pushing MJF out of his way at All Out (in a clever nod to an NXT moment when MJF was an extra).
Renee Paquette is standing by with Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita, and a mysterious easel. Don puts Takeshita over as the new big deal in AEW after defeating Kenny Omega at All Out, and they'll reveal their next target on Collision.
AEW World Champion MJF comes to the ring for a promo. The fans love him now. He's ready to defend his title at Grand Slam. ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe interrupts. The previously pro-MJF crowd chants "Joe's gonna kill you." MJF thinks Joe got out here quickly because he mistook his theme music for an ice cream truck. Joe wants to know "What's the problem, KID!" MJF fires off a series of fat jokes at Joe's expense. Joe no-sells the insults and calls MJF a kid again. This really triggers MJF, who threatens to knock his teeth down his throat. MJF regains his composure and reminds Joe that there's a tournament for his next shot. Fans chant "F*ck you, Joe" and Joe thinks they sound like their mothers. MJF reminisces about the time he had a WWE tryout, but William Regal thought he was too young. So he punched Regal out and sent him back to NXT where he belongs, and maybe Joe is next! Still, MJF was recruited for security to walk Joe to the ring, but the "great" Samoa Joe decided to shove a 19 year old kid into a brick wall. Well, now MJF is a generational talent, AEW World Champion, and the man who headlined the most historic PPV of all time. Bottom line, MJF is going to kill Joe because he's better than him and he knows it. Joe clarifies that when he pushed MJF he didn't know he was a kid, he just thought he was a little b!tch. MJF tries to leave, Joe kicks the ropes into his groin. MJF kicks Joe down, but Joe pops up for a uranage and prepares a Muscle Buster, but Adam Cole arrives for the rescue. Roderick Strong and The Kingdom arrive for Roddy's match and argue with Cole first.
Grand Slam Tournament:
Roderick Strong (with The Kingdom) vs. Trent Beretta (with Chuck Taylor)
As of now, AEW has only sold about 5,000 tickets to Grand Slam, which is a dramatic decrease from the past 2 years, so they've got some work to do. Strong has finally lost his neckbrace and is good to tangle with Trent. Strong runs into Trent's leaping double knees to the chest. They exchange chops until Roderick hits one of his infamous backbreakers. Trent answers with a back suplex and pauses to sell his own back. Tornado DDT by Trent sends Strong rolling outside. Trent shows some remorse and Strong pushes him into the ring post. Back from commercials, Trent is in survival mode and guts his way into a comeback. Trent hits a mean DVD for 2. Strong answers with a double knee gutbuster and sick kick for 2. Strong teases a top rope backbreaker, but Trent reverses into a super rana. Enziguri by Trent, followed by a half n' half suplex. Piledriver by Trent, but Roddy gets a rope break. Strong blocks an Alabama Slam and hits a backstabber-esque backbreaker to win at 11:01! Lively back and forth match with lots of brutal spots and Strong looks, um, strong in victory, ***©.
Winner: Roderick Strong
The Kingdom put Roddy's neck brace back on him while they celebrate.
Renee Paquette talks to insane Toni Storm backstage. Storm doesn't seem to recall her recent actions that cost Ruby Soho a title. Toni erratically rants "Chin up, tits out, and watch for the shoe!" Toni struts away and throws her shoe at poor Renee.
Hangman Adam Page comes to the ring for some words with Tony Shiavone. He's in a good mood after winning a battle royal on the All Out preshow. Hangman was able to donate $50,000 to a Chicago education fund, which is near and dear to his heart as a former high school teacher. That's news to me, my day job is teaching, so he just won some serious overness points with me. A jubilant Prince Nana and grumpy Swerve Strickland interrupt. Swerve thinks Hangman is wasting his charity on juvenile delinquents who will never amount to anything. He thinks AEW was built on Hangman's back and thinks it's strange that he was stuck on the All Out preshow. Swerve thinks Page is eating good after his contract extension and it's showing. If Swerve had been given the same opportunities as Hangman, he'd have been the first black AEW Champion by now. If Hangman is too comfortable to be on top of AEW, Swerve will be happy to take his spot. Page has heard enough of Swerve's sh!t and walks out. Swerve thinks it's a shame for Hangman's family to see him walk away from responsibilities, which lures him into an ambush by Brian Cage. Drillclaw for Hangman!
Hype video for the Grand Slam Tournament, featuring Jay Lethal vs. Penta El Zero, and Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy.
Grand Slam Tournament:
Darby Allin vs. Nick Wayne
It's Mentor vs. Mentee, by total coincidence, who'd have guessed? They show some respect and lock up. They trade rapid pin attempts. Darby shakes Wayne through the ropes but then misses a tope for a nasty collision with the barricade. Back from commercials, Wayne hits a superplex into a Fisherman Buster, but Darby kicks out! Wayne tries a frog splash, but Darby gets his knees up. Shotgun dropkick by Darby gets a routine nearfall. Darby applies a tight Figure Four, Wayne quickly reverses to force a rope break. Darby blocks a sunset flip and they collide in double crossbody attempts. They trade blows, Darby mocks Wayne for hitting like an 18 year old. Darby gives Wayne a free shot, so he hits a superkick for 2. Christian Cage (with TNT Champion Luchasaurus) make an uninvited appeared. Back from more commercials, Wayne nails a rana from the apron! Nick then hits a frog splash to outside! Glad to see Wayne has the same reckless abandon for his own wellbeing as Darby. Nick then hits a Cody Cutter for only 2. Darby can't manage to climb the ropes, but blocks Wayne's World. Code Red by Allin gets 2. Darby captures the arms and stomps the back of the head to win at 14:57. That finish was all kinds of bad-@ss. This felt like an indie match, and I mean that as a compliment, ***½.
Winner: Darby Allin
Christian Cage sarcastically applauds Darby and poses with Luchasaurus' TNT title.
Final Thoughts: As a reset show coming off of TWO pay-per-views, I felt like this hit the ball out of the park. Personally, I am not really that concerned with CM Punk's absence and I'm eager to see who can step up in the coming months. It's disappointing that AEW's attendance seems to be down in the states, especially in the New York market, but between that and Punk's firing, the roster does seem motivated to do something about it. This was a greatly enjoyable Dynamite, check it out.
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