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AEW Dynamite - November 15, 2023
by Doc Allen
Live from the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. WrestleTix guesstimates attendance at 3,635. Full Gear is this coming Saturday, so expect a promo-heavy, hard sell episode. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Excalibur, and Taz.
Last week, masked assailants attacked Billy Gunn and The Acclaimed. MJF rushed in to help and Samoa Joe was lurking around to mock the entire situation.
FTW Champion Hook and AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy vs. The Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley and Wheeler Yuta)
Cassidy has gotten into the habit of carrying his title belt around in a backpack. Hook and Cassidy rush to attack the BCC during their entrance. The BCC turn things around, Moxley chokes OC with his t-shirt, Yuta pummels Hook at ringside. The fight settles into a normal match in the ring, with the BCC enjoying a 2 on 1 advantage against Hook. Hook nails Mox with a German suplex, but Mox completely no-sells to maintain the BCC's control. Cassidy soars in out of nowhere with a tope onto Yuta. Hook gives Mox a T-Bone suplex, and Cassidy tags in for a diving DDT. Cassidy clutches his injured ribs while giving Mox sloth kicks that evolve into angry kicks. Yuta saves Mox with a running clothesline on OC. Back from commercials, Cassidy is getting his @ss kicked by the BCC. Cassidy "sloths up" with a hands-in-pockets dropkick. Hook gets the hot tag and brawls with Yuta. Hook's overhead suplex gets 2. Yuta no-sells and hits a German suplex. Hook also no-sells and nails a German. They finally both collapse, fishing for an ovation that doesn't come. Mox blindsides Hook, but OC tackles him away. Hook lariats Yuta, but Mox sneaks back for an Ace Cutter. OC ambushes with an Orange Punch, but Moxley no-sells. Hook catches Mox in Red Rum, but Yuta's assist sets up a Death Rider. Yuta traps Hook for the pinfall at 11:28. I'm never a fan of wild brawls that settle into normal matches. I'm also disappointed to see that Moxley continues to be badly miscast as a heel, **½.
Winners: The Blackpool Combat Club
Moxley grabs the mic, proclaims that Cassidy is nothing, and promises to grind him into dust at Full Gear.
The Golden Dragons of Dojima (Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, Paul Wight, and Kota Ibushi) waltz through the parking lot like the Reservoir Dogs, ready for a big street fight later tonight.
There's a Texas Death Match coming up at Full Gear, so Tony Shiavone hosts Swerve Strickland and Hangman Adam Page in the ring. If there's any physical altercation, both guys will be suspended for the remainder of 2023. Prince Nana is having way too much fun as Swerve's wacky, dancing manager. Page calls Swerve a waste of humanity and a dumbass, so much so that his fiance left him! Also, Swerve is so stupid he doesn't realize that Nana is using him. Swerve shouldn't have come into Hangman's house, so he'll send Swerve's house straight to hell. Since Hangman can't lay his hands on Swerve, he'll beat up Nana instead. Security tries to restrain Hangman to no avail and Nana eats a Buckshot Lariat.
Backstage interview with Roderick Strong (still in a neckbrace and now in a wheelchair) and The Kingdom. They chat with Adam Cole via Zoom. Strong accuses MJF of being the mysterious "devil" terrorizing AEW. Cole will take none of this and speculates that maybe Roderick is the devil.
Skye Blue vs. Red Velvet
Skye is undergoing a mean character overhaul and winning streak. Velvet beat Ruby Soho on Rampage, thus justifying this match for a shot at the TBS title. They trade holds until Velvet hits some arm drags. Skye stares daggers at Velvet, but absorbs more punishment. Skye takes a timeout and manages to lure Velvet into a DDT onto the apron. Back from commercials, Skye hits a stuffed superkick. Velvet reverses a powerbomb into a rana. They trade pinning predicaments until they pop up for the ugliest stereo big boot spot you'll ever see. Velvet builds some momentum and hits double knees to the shoulder. Skye reverses into Skye Fall for only 2. Velvet counters into a powerbomb for another nearfall. A polite "This is awesome" chant breaks out. Velvet hits an impressive reverse sunset flip bomb from the top ropes! Skye recovers with a superkick, Velvet answers with one of her own. Skye hits a knee strike and a mega sloppy Code Blue to win at 10:37. Frustratingly uneven match, with many cool moments mixed with messy spots, **.
Winner: Skye Blue
Miro video promo. He's at odd's ends with his wife, CJ Perry. Daniel Garcia has been hitting on CJ, so Miro is left with no choice but to murder him. So glad that AEW brought in Lana just to do more horrible soap opera angles better left in the past.
The show morphs into an old timey black and white film while super fangirl Mariah May visits Toni Storm lounging in her dressing room. Toni isn't terribly thrilled to meet May and tells her off for disturbing her relaxation. I chuckled, so it's okay.
ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe vs. Jon Cruz
Joe casually blocks the jobber's kicks and nails a vicious big boot. Jabs by Joe, followed by a running corner splash and enziguri. Joe nonchalantly walks away from jobber's flying shoulder block. The Coquina Clutch finishes him at 1:33. Fun squash full of Joe's smart-ass tricks.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Joe takes the mic, reminds us that he's from southern California, and offers a suspicious offer of friendship to MJF.
Tony Khan's newest tournament, the Continental Classic, will have a round robin format. Khan introduces Bryan Danielson as the first participant. Bryan is sporting another eye injury, but promises to deliver the best wrestling tournament ever!
Komander and Penta El Zero Miedo (with Alex Abrahantes) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson)
This is a homecoming for the Bucks and their parents are in the front row. Matt and Komander start with a fast paced exchange. Blind tags are made but no one can connect with leg drops. The match breaks down into a 2 on 2 confrontation. The Bucks shake their opponents' hands and immediately hit superkicks. Nick takes down the luchadores with a dive. Komander recovers with a Rocket Launcher onto Matt. Nick assists with a wheelbarrow facebuster combo. The Bucks clear the ring and enjoy a victory lap. Back from commercials, Komander ranas Matt into an errant enziguri by Nick. Komander hits a step up rana on Nick, followed by a tightrope walk hurricanrana sending Nick onto Matt. Penta hits a diving crossbody onto both Bucks. Sling Blade by Penta into an immediate tope and second Sling Blade outside. Penta throws his own SUPERKICK PARTAY and Komander soars in for double flying DDT's! Penta hits Made in Japan for only 2. Matt dodges another tightrope trick from Komander and hits rolling Northern Lights, capped off with a double suplex on both Luchadores! Komander ranas Matt into Nick yet again, and Penta helps with Fear Factor onto the apron! Komander traps Matt for a good nearfall, Komander hits a tight rope senton onto Matt while Penta drives Nick for another good 2 count. Matt and Penta stand forehead to forehead and duke it out. Quick tags are made, Nick hits some shameless low blows while the ref is distracted. Matt helps with a surprising Judas Effect! BTE Trigger finishes Komander around the 13:00 mark. There was no way the Bucks were going to lose in their home area, but this was a good old fashioned **** indie spotfest.
Winners: The Young Bucks
Backstage interview with The Young Bucks. They're asked about cheating in their hometown, and they just don't give a damn. Kenny Omega visits them and there's trouble among The Elite. The Bucks insist their problem is with Jericho, not Omega, and Chris Jericho strolls in for some disrespect. The Bucks attack Jericho, prompting Kenny and security to separate them.
The Gunns (Austin and Colten, with Juice Robinson) vs. A Pair of Losers
The Gunns dominate from the opening bell and quickly hit 3:10 to Yuma for the win at 0:19. Efficient match, I like this.
Winners: The Gunns
Bullet Club Gold linger to boast their upcoming victory against Adam Cole in a handicap match at Full Gear. Well, it'll only be a handicap match if Cole can't find a sub for MJF, but the Gunns are full of confidence that he won't.
Wardlow video promo. He has seen fear in MJF's eyes, so he's ready to make the devil his b!tch.
The Don Callis Family (Powerhouse Hobbs, Konosuke Takeshita, Kyle Fletcher, and Brian Cage, with Don Callis) vs. The Golden Dragons of Dojima (Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, Paul Wight, and Kota Ibushi)
I haven't watched or followed AEW in two months, so I have no idea how this match came together, but I must admit that I'm intrigued. Everyone meets on the ramp for a proper brawl. Wight rips Kyle's shirt off for a chop and then chokeslams him off the stage. Wight leaves for mysterious reasons. Takeshita hauls Ibushi into the ring, but Ibushi throws a roundhouse kick. The Golden Lovers double team Takeshita and hit stereo dives. Meanwhile, Wight is dismantling Hobbes in the parking lot. Jericho beats Cage with various weapons, Omega uses a wired bat against Takeshita. Cage reverses an Irish whip to send Jericho into the buckles. Ibushi amusingly rides a bicycle down the ramp and hits drive-by pipe shots before Cage clotheslines him down. Back in the parking lot, Hobbs slams Wight onto a car. Back in the ring, Takeshita is swinging Ibushi's bike around as a weapon. Omega gives Takeshita a brainbuster onto the bike! I'm simultaneously laughing and cringing. Back from commercials, Takeshita and Jericho are brawling in the lobby. Back at ringside, Cage and Fletcher set some tables up. Cage and Fletcher suplex Omega onto a plastic pallet for 2. Omega fights back with a V-Trigger on Fletcher and a Snap Dragon on Cage. Kenny smashes a bottle over Kyle's face, Cage ambushes with a lariat. Ibushi blindsides Cage with a missile dropkick. Meanwhile, Takeshita climbs some concession fridges and flies into Jericho's fire extinguisher! Back in the ring, the Golden Lovers get ambushed by Hobbs. Cage suplexes Kenny through a pair of tables! Hobbs gives Ibushi a spinebuster! Back from more commercials, Jericho hits a desperation Codebreaker on Hobbs. The match breaks down further with run-in finishers. Fletcher gives Ibushi a Tombstone Piledriver through a table! Jericho returns for a Judas Effect on Hobbs! Kenny and Jericho tape Hobbs to the ropes and tape his mouth shut. Kenny unloads weapon shots on Hobbs, but Cage makes the save. Omega blocks the Drillcalw and hits a V-Trigger. Poison Rana, V-Triggers, and One Winged Angel finishes Cage at 21:02! Top notch war that would have fit in nicely in the late 90's, ****¼.
Winners: The Golden Dragons of Dojima
AEW World Champion MJF comes out for the main event promo. He talks about his efforts to escape his past, but he feels cursed. He's sorry that The Acclaimed got caught in the crossfires of his life and hopes they get better. All he wanted to do was become a World Champion, but it's not all glitz and glam, it's actually pretty lonely, and he's worried about letting everyone down. He's still Maxwell Jacob Friedman, he's better than us and knows it, and he's going to find out who stole his devil mask and give them hell. He's joined by his Full Gear challenger, Jay White, who accuses MJF of embarrassing himself with a fake act. Jay claims to be truly elite and better than MJF. He unleashes Bullet Club Gold on MJF, who briefly fights them off before falling to Juice's uppercut and the Gunns' 3:10 to Yuma. White saunters in for a Blade Runner and visual ceremonial pinfall on MJF. White feels more like a Challenger of the Month than The Next Wolrd Champion, but nice try.
Final Thoughts: Admirable episode of Dynamite, because they delivered two great matches and were able to make me feel like I could comprehend (almost) everything that was happening despite my not having watched in two months. I don't get the impression that AEW has much momentum heading into Full Gear, and I'm not really sure how they can get out of this creative slump. Still, if great in-ring action is your priority, check this one out.
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