Welcome to the AEW Dynamite review here on TJRWrestling. They are calling this one Homecoming since they are in Jacksonville again. I want to also let you know that I plan on reviewing AEW Rampage every week just like I review Dynamite. It’s a Friday night 10pmET show for one hour, so my review will probably be posted on Saturday mornings.
The show began with the AEW intro song and then a shot of the crowd at Daily’s Place. Jim Ross greeted us with the familiar phrase: “It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means.” JR is joined on commentary by Excalibur and Tony Schiavone as usual.
Chris Jericho made his entrance to a big pop. Last week he was in the main event and this week he’s in the opener. The fans sang along to the “Judas” song. Jericho had a bandage on his forehead after having a bloody deathmatch last week. Juventud Guerrera got a good pop and he wrestled with a mask off even though he wrestled for many years without the mask. Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance to join commentary for the match.
Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera
This is the third Labour of Jericho set up by MJF. Jericho has to win five matches to earn a match against MJF. The stipulation is that Jericho must win with a move off the top rope. Jericho is 50 years old while Juvi is 46 years old.
Juvi was aggressive with chops and forearms. Juvi jumped off the top with a headscissors that didn’t look great in terms of how Jericho sold it. They did another headscissors that looked even worse. Juvi sent Jericho over the top with a clothesline. The action spilled out to the floor with Juvi hitting a dive off the top rope onto Jericho on the floor. Back in the ring, Juvi hit a missile dropkick for two. Jericho sent Juvi to the apron and ran the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Jericho worked over Juvi a bit on the floor. Back in the ring, Jericho went up top and hit a cross body block for two. Juvi with several spin kicks, then off the ropes and Jericho with a double chop to the throat. Juvi hit a superkick for a two count. Jericho went for a sunset flip, Juvi landed on his feet and hit a kick to the head for two. Juvi applied a submission pulling back on Jericho’s arms, Jericho got up and Juvi chopped him into the turnbuckle. Jericho came back with at wo shoulder tackles, then a forearm to the face and Jericho jumped off the top with a double axehandle for two. MJF called referee Aubrey Edwards a “floozy” for her refereeing job. Jericho with a backbreaker into a pin, but Edwards said no because he had to win with a move off the ropes. Jericho tore at Juvi’s mask as if we haven’t seen Juvi’s face for decades. Juvi sent a charging Jericho into the turnbuckle. Jericho was seated on the top rope, Juvi went for a hurricanrana and Jericho took control with a Walls of Jericho submission with Juvi getting his hand on the bottom rope to break the hold. Juvi with a neckbreaker and a superkick for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. MJF said it’s awesome that Jericho is about to be done. Jericho went for a Powerbomb, but Juvi slipped out and hit a DDT. Juvi hit the Juvi Driver for a two count. Juvi ran the ropes right into a Judas Effect elbow from Jericho. Jericho realized he couldn’t pin, so he went up top. Jericho jumped off the top with a Judas Effect elbow on a standing Juvi for the pinfall after about 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho
Analysis: *** This was a solid match between two veteran wrestlers that haven’t had a match in a very long time, but they did good enough. Jericho’s an all-time favorite of mine that is starting to show his age (he’s 50). Maybe he’s really banged up from all the recent matches. I don’t know what it is, but Jericho looked exhausted at times in this match. I like that Juvi got plenty of offense along with some believable nearfalls even though we all knew Jericho was going to win.
Post match, Jericho was attacked by Wardlow, who is MJF’s buddy. Wardlow gave Guerrera his spinning slam like the F5 and a rising knee to Jericho while Jericho was on the turnbuckle.
MJF informed Jericho that his opponent for Labour #4 is Wardlow. MJF said that the stipulation is that he’ll be accompanied by…Maxwell Jacob Friedman. The fans booed loudly.
Analysis: Jericho will win again. Wardlow doesn’t get singles matches that often on Dynamite, so I’m interested to see what he can do. You can present Wardlow as a threat all you want, but I doubt most AEW fans can name the last time he won a singles match on Dynamite. (I looked it up and it was January 6th. It’s been a while.)
Lucha Brothers and Alex were interviewed by Dasha. Alex said that Pac’s travel plans were changed, so he wasn’t there. Andrade El Idolo showed up with his suited guy and manager Chavo Guerrero. Chavo offered them a chance to hang out with Andrade. Rey Fenix told Andrade they don’t work for him or anybody. Alex informed them that Penta says no. Chavo told Andrade don’t worry, they’ll come around.
The Dark Order was interviewed in the locker room by Tony Schiavone and Adam Page walked in to get a beer. Page said he cost the Dark Order their Tag Team Title match. Page said his issues are his own and he needs to do this own. Page talked about how they were friends, but he needs to do this on his own. Evil Uno said if this is what he wants then give him his space.
It was the debut of a new tag team called 2.0, who are Matt Lee and Jeff Parker, who were Matt Martel and Chase Parker in their NXT days. They were recently let go. They teamed with Daniel Garcia. The babyface team of Darby Allin, Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston all got big ovations from the crowd as three of AEW’s most popular wrestlers.
Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston & Darby Allin (w/Sting) vs. Matt Lee, Jeff Parker & Daniel Garcia
Garcia went for a crucifix pin on Allin. Garcia is very skinny like Allin is. Lee tagged in with a forearm on Allin, then Allin broke free with a boot to the face and Kingston tagged in to “Eddie” chants. Lee and Kingston exchanged chops with Kingston getting in knees along with stomps. Kingston into the ropes, Parker with a knee to the back and Lee with a chop block. The heels took over going into a picture in picture break.
The heels illegally went into the ring to cheap shot Kingston and that prevented a tag. Moxley ran over Garcia on the floor and tossed him out of the ring. Kingston tossed Parker out of the ring. Lee was standing in front of Sting, so Allin hit a suicide dive to knock Lee down. Kingston with a jumping kick and Moxley tagged in against Garcia with Moxley hitting a back body drop. Moxley with a German Suplex, then a clothesline and a suplex into a slam. Kingston with a spinning back fist on Parker. Moxley hit a Paradigm Shift on Garcia. Allin hit a Coffin Drop off the top onto Garcia for the pinfall win after about seven minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston & Darby Allin
Analysis: **3/4 It was an easy win for the three established AEW stars against three newcomers. There were only about four minutes of action shown if you don’t count the commercial. I think it would be better if they did a commercial before the match began and then show the whole seven minutes. People don’t buy 60-inch TVs to watch picture in picture. I don’t mind commercials. They pay the bills. I’m just saying they could time it better. Anyway, I’m glad the heels got some offense, but it’s not like they had any chance to win. There was no storyline here. It was just a random tag team match.
There was a funny moment as Moxley posed with Sting and Kingston. JR joked that Moxley was almost smiling. Sting has the same “they pay me a lot of money to barely do anything” look on his face he has every week like when he stands there and does nothing. Good for him getting paid.
There was a video package of FTW Champion Ricky Starks and Team Taz talking about Brian Cage, so then Cage did his own promo that was shown as well.
Christian Cage faces The Blade up next.
The Elite guys were backstage playing around with a basketball. Gallows and Anderson said that they would defend the Impact Tag Team Titles on Dynamite next week. The Young Bucks tried doing their comedy bits saying that there is nobody left and they are the greatest group of champions ever. The jobber Brandon Cutler tried to cut, but then they shut him up. Kenny Omega talked some trash about Adam Page blowing it last week, now he’s got no friends and he’s all alone. Cutler cut down the nets since they are the champions.
Analysis: It was fine for a heel promo. It was just another skit featuring the champions being jerks.
Christian Cage made his entrance with a 7-0 record. Christian failed to win the battle royal he was in, but that doesn’t count as a loss. The Blade entered, along with his wife The Bunny, to lose another match because that’s what he does.
Christian Cage vs. The Blade
Christian went after Blade on the ramp and tossed Blade into the ring. Christian knocked down Blade with some punches, so Blade bailed to the floor. Christian chased after Blade, Bunny got in the way and Christian managed to deck Blade with a punch. Christian tossed Blade into the barricade. Back in the ring, Christian with a shoulder tackle, Blade distracted the referee, Bunny grabbed Christian’s leg and Leyla Hirsch showed up to fight Bunny since they have a match later. The women went fighting to the back. Christian countered Blade into a reverse DDT for two. Blade with a suplex that sent Christian ribs-first across the top rope. That led to a break.
Blade was in control with stomps. Christian managed to avoid an attack by sending Blade out of the ring to the floor. Christian jumped off the top rope with a double axehandle on Blade on the floor. Back in the ring, Christian worked over Blade with repeated punches on Blade’s bald spot. Christian kicked the middle rope and then stood on Blade’s back against the ropes. Christian hit a sunset flip off the middle rope for two. Christian went for a DDT off the ropes, but Blade countered with a shove and Blade hit a powerslam for two. Blade tried to attack with the brass knuckles (after making the referee look at the turnbuckle) and Christian hit a Spear for the pinfall win after ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Christian Cage
Analysis: **1/2 An easy win for the pushed singles wrestler over the tag team wrestler that loses a lot. It was fine overall, but not that interesting to me. The announcers keep trying to talk about how great Blade is and yes he’s a good technical wrestler. However, when he loses nearly every singles match then the fans aren’t going to see him as a big deal. Anyway, good finish to the match since it was smart to end with a DDT as a counter to the brass knuckle attack.
There was a video about the FTR match against Santana/Ortiz. Dax Harwood said he almost watched his best friend Cash Wheeler die with an arm injury due to the blood loss. That’s a bit of a stretch, but that’s okay. Santana and Ortiz said this is far from over.
Analysis: The match ended suddenly last week due to Wheeler’s injury, so I expect a much better rematch whenever Wheeler can wrestle again.
Let’s Hear from Britt Baker
Britt Baker DMD entered as the AEW Women’s Champion with Rebel for an interview with Tony Schiavone. Baker said it was right here in Jacksonville at Double or Nothing where she became AEW Women’s Champion. The interruption was quick this week.
Red Velvet walked out to interrupt the promo. Red told Britt that red is not her color. Red said she wants a piece of D…M…D. Baker said that she’s happy Red joined them because Britt beat Red in three minutes in Jacksonville. Red said that things have changed. Red said she’s 22-4 with seven straight wins and she didn’t have to cheat to win them. Baker said that she’s a favorite wrestler because she’s “Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. the Women’s World Champion.” Baker said if Tony Khan approves then Red can get her title shot on Britt’s home turf in Pittsburgh on Friday, August 13 on the debut of Rampage. Rebel tried a cheap shot, Velvet knocked her down and then Baker knocked Velvet down.
Analysis: This was fine. That physical part at the end was lame. I assume most of Red’s wins are on Dark and Dark Elevation because I don’t remember seeing many on Dynamite. Baker should keep her title when they have the match. Baker will also be very popular in her hometown of Pittsburgh.
Andrade El Idolo was about to be interviewed by Dasha. Chavo Guerrero brought in Fuego del Sol saying that he needed him to sign Andrade’s shoes now. Fuego didn’t want to, so Andrade threw him into a garage door repeatedly. Chavo said that he needs to shine the shoes. Chavo said that if Lucha Brothers keep working for Pac then they will never be champions ever.
Analysis: Whenever Andrade wrestles Pac, Fenix or Penta it’s going to be great. I just don’t know when it will be.
Let’s Hear from “Hangman” Adam Page
Adam Page was in the ring for an interview with Tony Schiavone. Before Page could say anything, there was an interruption from The Elite group, so it was The Young Bucks, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Kenny Omega and their jobber friends Cutler and Nakazawa. Page said there was something he needed to say to them for a while.
Omega and the boys got in the ring saying that Page was trying to take his title while also trying to make a plea to join The Elite. Page said that was the last thing he was there to do. Omega said that Page has something in common with these people (the fans) saying he’s a “try hard” just like them. Omega said that they have thought about looking past Page’s sins and personal demons, but Page doesn’t fit the bill of being with The Elite. Omega said that The Elite they don’t have losers, failures and people that play second fiddle in their group. Page punched Omega, so then The Elite guys attacked Page. Gallows & Anderson hit the Magic Killer double team move. The Dark Order guys ran out to the ring for the save, but then Uno and Grayson made the guys stand back because Page wanted to do this alone. Young Bucks hit the BTE Trigger knees to the head three times in a row. Frankie Kazarian the Elite Hunter made the save by knocking Gallows & Anderson out of the ring, but then the Young Bucks threw Frankie out of the ring. The guys beat up Frankie on the floor. Omega hit Page with the AEW World Title to the head. The Elite’s music played while Omega posed wearing his Cookie Monster t-shirt. Cookie Monster is a badass.
Analysis: They are making it a point to say Page is not the next contender for Omega’s AEW World Title, but then they keep doing segments like this to tease it as a big match. This is what should be the main event of AEW All Out next month, but they are saying that Page isn’t the top contender. It was interesting how The Dark Order was about to make the save, but then they were stopped by other Dark Order guys because Page wanted to do this on his own as he said earlier in the show. Anyway, it was more of the same with Page getting beat up again.
Dan Lambert did a promo about how Lance Archer beat him up a few weeks ago.
Analysis: Lambert will probably do another promo based on Jim Cornette’s criticisms of AEW. That’s what it was like last time.
TNT Championship: Miro vs. Lee Johnson (w/Dustin Rhodes)
Johnson charged in with a Miro with Tony saying, “I’m not sure if that was a good move.” Gee, ya think? Anyway, Miro worked over Johnson with repeated shoulder tackles to the ribs and an uppercut. Johnson with a kick to the ribs, then punches, Johnson avoided a Miro charge and Johnson hit two kicks to the head. Johnson off the middle rope, Miro caught him and overpowered with a spinning slam. Miro does a nice job of staring at the hard camera. Johnson bailed to the floor leading to a break.
Miro was in control with a bearhug. They did a spot where Miro lifted Johnson and then Johnson hit an impressive Tornado DDT to take the big guy down. Johnson with a dropkick to the back that sent Miro to the floor. Johnson hit two suicide dives followed by Johnson hitting a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Miro tried to catch him, but they stumbled to the floor. Johnson went up top and hit a cross body block with Miro powering out of a pin attempt. Johnson charged, Miro caught him for a German Suplex, but Johnson flipped over and landed on his feet. Johnson with four superkicks in a row, Miro avoided another one and then Miro missed a corner charge when Johnson moved, so Johnson hit a fifth superkick. Johnson went up top and hit a Frog Splash for two. Good nearfall there. Miro got the momentum back with a shove into the ropes and then a superkick. Miro shouted “Game Over” with the crowd chanting along with it. Miro applied his Camel Clutch variation going down to the mat and Johnson tapped out. Miro wins after ten minutes.
Winner by submission: Miro
Analysis: *** This was a good match with Miro dominating a lot of it. I liked how Johnson got some offense in where it looked like there might be an upset and the fans got behind Johnson throughout the match. Johnson is a talented wrestler that keeps betting every time I see him. If they booked this as a squash in three minutes or less I don’t think it would have been a good idea, so I like what they did here with Johnson putting up a fight while Miro managed to keep his title again.
Miro celebrated with the TNT Championship as the announcers mentioned he was undefeated in singles competition.
Analysis: I hope they can find a rival for Miro before the All Out PPV.
The broadcast team for Rampage starting Friday, August 13 is Excalibur, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry and Taz.
Analysis: I like everybody involved, but do we really need four announcers for a one-hour show? I think a three-man team is more than enough. Four people are too many.
Christian Cage was interviewed backstage by Tony Schiavone, who informed us that Tony Khan said that Christian is the new number one contender for the AEW World Title. Christian said that he appreciated Leyla Hirsch helping him and said that Leyla had “best friends” helping her. Christian said he came back to wrestling to win championships. Christian mentioned he’ll be in Pittsburgh next week for Dynamite and Rampage. Christian said that he’s been known to stir up controversy and said: “stir up some shit” with Christian saying he’s better than good at it because he’s elite.
Analysis: Since they said that Tony Khan announced that Christian is the number one contender for the AEW World Title, I assume they are going to say that Christian will face Kenny Omega for the AEW World Title at All Out. However, there could be a swerve involved. Maybe they do Christian vs. Adam Page for the title shot in a match on Dynamite and then Page gets the title shot. It just seems like they keep teasing Omega vs. Page. Then again, they seem adamant about Page not getting the title shot, so it might be Omega vs. Christian at All out. I just think it *should* be Omega vs. Page. That’s what I would do and that’s what the fans want.
“Legit” Leyla Hirsch vs. The Bunny
The winner will earn an NWA Women’s Championship match at NWA Empowerrr PPV on Sunday, August 29. I don’t think they mentioned the PPV, but the winner faces NWA Women’s Champion Kamille there.
Leyla has Best Friends at ringside while Bunny has The Blade and Private Party with her. The action spilled to the floor quickly with Leyla hitting a suicide dive onto Bunny on the floor. Leyla went for an armbar. Bunny blocked a kick, then set up the leg around the middle rope leading to Bunny hitting a backstabber to the back. Leyla went to the floor, so Bunny hit a dropkick that sent Leyla into the barricade. Bunny walked up to Kamille, the NWA Women’s Champion, who was at ringside with her title around her waist. That led to a break.
The match returned with both women on the turnbuckle and Leyla hit a superplex, so both women sold that for a few moments. Leyla hit two German Suplexes, then a running forearm and Leyla hit double knees against the turnbuckle for a two count. Leyla applied a cross armbreaker on the left arm. Leyla with a trip followed by a knee strike to the head. Leyla went for a springboard moonsault, Bunny moved and Bunny hit a superkick. Bunny hit a Death Valley Driver for a two count. I thought that was it, but Leyla kicked out. Ley worked on the left arm with a cross armbreaker, she was relentless and Bunny tapped out. It went about ten minutes.
Winner by submission: Leyla Hirsch
Analysis: **1/2 It was a typical AEW women’s match getting under ten minutes and telling the story of the babyface Leyla coming back to get the win. They did a nice job in the second half of the match in terms of making it look like either woman could win at either time. I thought Bunny would win, but Leyla managed to get a big victory here.
Post match, Kamille got into the ring with the NWA Women’s Championship. There’s a big size difference since Leyla is 4’11” and Kamille is about six feet tall (especially wearing big heels), so they had a staredown.
Analysis: It would have been nice if the announcers mentioned that the match was at NWA Empowerrr, but they did not. Lucky for you, I did mention it. I will watch and review that show too. Of course, I will.
There was a Jade Cargill promo with “Smart” Mark Sterling. It was the usual promo about how big of a star Jade is and plugged the #JadeBrand hashtag. Jade is in action on Dark Elevation and Jade said: “I’m that bitch.” That’s nice to know.
Next week on AEW Dynamite:
* Chris Jericho vs. Wardlow in the 5 Labours of Jericho – Chapter 4
* Nyla Rose vs. Kris Statlander
* The Good Brothers defend the Impact Tag Team Championships vs. Evil Uno & Stu Grayson
Also, Britt Baker defends the AEW Women’s Title against Red Velvet on the Rampage debut on August 13.
Malakai Black made his entrance for the main event. The lights were out in the building for most of it with Black wearing some headgear that made him look scary. Black took that off and had a stare. Cool entrance. The crowd popped for it.
Cody Rhodes made his entrance for the main event with his brother Dustin Rhodes by his side, but then Dustin went to the back. Cody took his time getting into the ring as he handed his leather strap to some fans at ringside.
Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes
The wrestlers paused in the ring to soak up the crowd reactions a bit. Black got in a shot with a kick to the left leg. Cody hit an elbow to the face. Black with an ankle pick into a kneebar on the mat. Black gouged the eyes of Cody followed by a kick to the chest. Cody with an enziguri kick to the head. Black with a sweep kick leading to single leg crab submission. Cody fought out of that, he went for Cross Rhodes and Black got a kick to the head. Cody with another forearm. Cody was on the top rope, Black kicked him and Cody jumped off the top and bumped through the table that was by the ring announcer. That bump was ridiculous, but it drew a big pop. I just think it’s silly when you have to jump off the turnbuckle to take a bump like that. I have no idea if the referee was doing a regular count, but Cody managed to get back in before the ten count. Cody was favoring his left leg as he used the ropes to balance himself and Black hit the Black Mass (they didn’t have a name for the move) spin kick to the head. Black put his right foot on Cody’s chest for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall: Malakai Black
Analysis: *1/2 Squash city. I loved how this was booked with Black looking dominant the whole way although Cody did get some offense. This is the kind of booking that you need to do once in a while to build an aura around a guy and make him look like a huge star. This will help Black’s career a lot. It reminded me when Brodie Lee (rest in peace) beat Cody for the TNT in a short match that was done to make Lee look dominant. This was like that because it was a dominant win for a heel wrestler beating Cody easily. Black could be one of AEW’s biggest stars over the net few months. I think they know how to book the right way and I’m excited for him because I’m a big fan of this guy as a wrestler.
There were still several minutes left in the show. Tony Schiavone went into the ring to interview Cody Rhodes while the doctor slid in a crutch so Cody could get up since he had a left knee injury.
Tony asked Cody if he was okay. Cody said that legacy is a funny thing. Cody said he got into wrestling when he was 15 and he was a referee. Cody said that all he wanted to do was win the title that they took away from his daddy at The Garden. Cody said goals change, time flies and he’s had so much fun. Cody was selling the injury as he slowly got up thanks to Tony’s help. The fans chanted “Cody” a bit as Cody put the crutch against the turnbuckle. Remember that. Cody shook Tony’s hand and Tony left the ring.
Cody said that was his goal then, but then an unprecedented thing happened when “I fired them and they didn’t fire me.” Cody said he didn’t know what was going to happen, but then he met Matt, Nick and Kenny and then he said people were laughing at them saying they would be a revolution. The fans chanted “AEW” right on cue at that point. Cody said that now it’s like commonplace that this is destination viewing. Cody: “This isn’t an alternative, we’re competition.” Cody said that they set this table, so now maybe some new people can eat. Cody said for three years he’s got to carry the banner and he’s been so damn lucky. Cody said maybe some outside interest came his way, but he loves the other EVPs (Kenny and Young Bucks) and he will be forever tethered to them. Cody said Daily’s Place is like AEW’s amphitheater. More “AEW” chants there. Cody said there is no better place than there and there is no better time than now. Cody said that he says this with no bitterness in his heart. Cody said he loves the fans, you have made his life incredibly special and Cody took his left boot off. The announcers wondered what was going on here. JR said that it’s a time-honored tradition to leave your boots in the ring when you’re done. Malakai Black went into the ring and hit Cody in the back with a crutch! Cody was down in the ring. Black grabbed Cody’s left boot and stood over a fallen Cody. Excalibur: “Has Black retired Cody Rhodes?” Black was shown again and that was it.
Analysis: I really don’t think that Cody Rhodes is near retirement at 36 years old, but it’s an interesting storyline to do with Cody wondering if he still has it anymore. I know Cody has said he might retire by the time he’s 40 years old, but even in 2025, I doubt he’s going to be done. Wrestlers can go well into their 40s and beyond in this era. Anyway, I assume Cody is going to take a break to film a TV show or whatever else he’s got going on, and then he can come back in a few months to have a big match against Black as revenge for what happened. They can probably have Black beat up Cody’s friends and family like Dustin Rhodes in the coming weeks. Then it can lead to Black vs. Cody again at the Full Gear PPV in November assuming Cody is back by then.
Three Stars of the Show
- Malakai Black
- Cody Rhodes
This Week: 7 out of 10
Last Week: 7.25
2021 Average: 7.35
The matches were okay this week, but there wasn’t a great match. The better AEW Dynamite shows have four-star level matches. This week the matches were just average all around. A lot of the matches had predictable outcomes too. It’s not like anybody thinks that Juventud Guerrera was going to beat Chris Jericho or that Christian was going to lose to The Blade, for example. I get why it’s booked like that. I’m just saying it’s not that exciting to watch.
I liked all of the Malakai Black and Cody Rhodes stuff. It was built up as a big match, Black won in dominant fashion and then Cody teased retirement until Black shut him up with a crutch shot to the back. That should lead to Cody’s big return whenever he wants to come back.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. You can contact me using any of the methods below.