Venue: Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center (Charleston, WV)
A video recap of last week’s time limit draw between Pac and Jon Moxley led into footage of a disgruntled Moxley heading down the hallway to Tony Khan’s office. It’s there where Khan informed him that his match with Kenny Omega at Full Gear will not be sanctioned and thus will not count in the win/loss records of either competitor. The Purveyor of Violence didn’t take kindly to the news.
“You’re saying it doesn’t count? You gotta be f***ing kidding me man. Win over Kenny Omega? I’ve been working for this. I’ve been working for this for months ever since I showed up here. I had the balls to go after the top-guy…your boy. And now you’re saying it doesn’t count. You’re gonna make me a freak show. You’re gonna put me in a box. You’re gonna treat me like everybody else treats me. You don’t want me to have a win over your boy? You won’t sanction me? I’m unsanctionable? What happens to Kenny is now on your hands, alright. His ass is on the line because of you.”
Sammy Guevara vs. Adam “Hangman” Page (8:08:05 – 8:16:14)
“This could be a main event match 10 years from now between the two top stars in AEW.” -Excalibur
“Let’s Go Hangman!” chants from the crowd before the opening bell. Page wasted no time bringing the action to Guevara, hitting him with a boot, some slaps and a suplex. His first pin attempt garnered just a one count. Guevara showed off his athleticism with a backflip over a charging Page and a kip up before hitting a suplex of his own.
Guevara attempted a dive off the middle rope but was caught and Page slammed him over his head before showing off his athleticism with a kip up of his own.
It only took three minutes before the first barricade spot of the night, as Guevara slammed Hangman near the timekeeper’s area. Sammy brought Page back into the ring where he taunted the crowd and showed a lackadaisical pace before hopping off the top rope and slapping his opponent in the face. Page did not take too kindly to that, returning the favor with a few slaps, a clothesline and a boot in the middle of the ring. Guevara then rolled onto the apron where he was hit with a modified Sidewalk Slam.
After a failed pin attempt by Page, the action headed back outside where Hangman hit a Moonsault onto the floor. Upon returning to the ring, the two had a boot-knee-elbow strike exchange before Page hit a thunderous Buckshot Lariat for the win.
Result: Page pinned Guevara following a Buckshot Lariat (8:09)
This was a good opener that got Page a much-needed singles win and helped reestablish him as a viable threat. Afterwards Page took the mic and told the crowd what his plans were for Pac.
“I’m going to do some real cowboy sh*t and I’m going to take Pac’s head off.”
The crowd then chanted “Cowboy Sh*t!” before the show headed to its first commercial break.
Commercial Break No. 1 (Picture In Picture)
Shanna vs. Hikaru Shida (8:24:00 – 8:34:44)
This was the AEW debut for Shanna, who’s billed as “Portugal’s Perfect Athlete.”
The two traded wrist locks before Shanna hit a few arm drags. The action soon spilled to the outside after Shanna’s charge through the ropes was rebuked by a knee by Shida. Hikaru then set up a chair for a running knee that got a nice “Oh!” reaction from the crowd.
“Referee was a little lenient with that count outside the ring. Very generous.” – Jim Ross
The crowd chanted “Shida!” as she hit a backbreaker and started working Shanna’s back. Shanna nearly pulled off a surprise pin with a quick inside cradle but Shida was able to kick out at two.
Commercial Break No. 2 (PIP)
Returning from the break, the two were up on the second rope, trading blows. Hikaru’s suplex attempt was thwarted by Shanna who hit a headbutt before bringing all her weight down with a Double Foot Stomp onto Shida’s shoulders. After a close call pin attempt, Hikaru was able to power up with Shanna on her back and slam her neck first into the mat. After a suplex from the second rope, Shida got a near fall of her own.
Shida seemed to have the match won after hitting a Running Knee followed by a Falcon Arrow, but a lackluster pin attempt didn’t get the job done. JR, who has certainly not been shy about calling out lazy pin fall attempts during his time as an AEW announcer, summed up the fault saying, “There was no pressure on the shoulders. She left the shoulders unattended.”
Shanna seemed to hear JR’s critique. She then proceeded to hit another Running Knee and hooked both legs to secure the victory.
Result: Shida pinned Shanna following a Running Knee (10:44)
There was a slight “This is Awesome!” chant emerging before the final knee strike and the crowd seemed very engaged and into the match throughout. Shanna got enough stuff in to look formidable but this match was mostly about Shida who displayed terrific striking ability, especially on her knee strikes.
A Brandi Rhodes promo video was shown featuring her apparently summoning Awesome Kong in some type of strange evocation ceremony with candles and dolls.
Chris Van Vliet Interviewed The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express at the top of the stage.
“Gentlemen, how does it feel being back in Charleston?” – Van Vliet
“West Virginia! Woo!” – Ricky Morton
“You know Chris, 33 years ago, Ricky and I, we defeated Ole and Arn Anderson right here in this building.”
Before things could get too sentimental, LAX came charging out of the tunnel with a loaded sock before slamming Morton through the stage in a fashion similar to how the Outsiders slammed Eric Bischoff at the ’96 Great American Bash. The Young Bucks soon emerged from backstage to chase them off and check on a wounded Morton.
Commercial Break No. 3
Tony Schiavone and Cody were shown trading old Dusty Rhodes stories in the back of a limousine. Cody announced that his mother will be in attendance for his AEW Championship match with Chris Jericho at Full Gear.
“I’ve shared rings and locker rooms with Chris for over 10 years. I know he’s the best he’s ever been. But this is my run.” – Cody
John Silver, Alex Reynolds & QT Marshall vs. The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy (8:51:22-8:54:37)
The Best Friends decided to dress up as Rick and Morty, which was the only memorable thing about this match besides Orange Cassidy’s usual fire up spot, which did get a big pop from the crowd. The AEW fans love Cassidy.
Result: Trent Barreta pinned Silver following a Strong Zero (3:15)
I don’t really care about The Best Friends when they’re wrestling quality opponents. When they do comedy stuff like this against local indie level talent, it’s very not anything I’d like to see. It served its purpose of setting up the Adult Swim Rick and Morty commercial. AEW Dynamite has officially entered the ‘having matches just to set up commercials’ territory, as if having ‘Rick and Morty’ drawn on the turnbuckles wasn’t enough.
Commercial Break No. 4
The contract signing of Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes
Loud “You Suck!” chants interrupt a purple, pumpkin-themed blazer-clad Jericho.
I don’t suck, Schiavone (pronounced Skee-Ah-Vohne) sucks.” – Jericho
After the two shook hands and stared each other down. Sammy Guevara appeared on the screen behind them to reveal that he was in the parking lot area by Cody’s limo. It was there where “Undefeated Bellator Fighter” Jake Hager beat down Cody’s brother Dustin, slamming his head into the side of the car before slamming the back door on his arm.
“Dynamite has exploded tonight on TNT.” – Jim Ross
Eh. This was a so-so promo. Jericho got some good heat from the crowd referring to the fans as entitled millennial jackasses and hillbillies. However, Cody and him weren’t able to match the same intensity they had in last week’s concourse brawl. The Hager attack on Dustin was alright. The groin shot was a nice little touch. Overall, it didn’t really change my level of interest in seeing the match, but contract signing segments rarely do.
Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks vs. Jack Evans, Angelico & Kip Sabian (9:16:38-9:28:15)
The match started with a sneak attack by Evans, Angelico and Sabian. Kip neutralized both Bucks with a Springboard Senton to the outside while Evans & Angelico worked over Omega in the ring. But Kenny managed to overcome both of them on his own.
The Bucks then entered the ring and the three proceeded to beat down Sabian. “The Elite” chants from the crowd proved short-lived as Sabian and company regained the advantage. The match then cooled down on the chaos and a semblance of order was reestablished.
Commercial Break No. 5
Returning from the break, Matt and Nick Jackson were in control on Sabian, hitting him with tandem offensive moves. Omega came in like a ball of energy taking out all three members of the opposing team in succession as “Kenny!” chants rained down from the crowd.
Evans managed to avoid both a V-Trigger Knee and a German Suplex attempt by Omega before nailing him with a kick to the head. After Nick Jackson found himself perched on the shoulders of Angelico in the corner, Evans was able to use him as a springboard to hit a Moonsault onto Matt down on the floor below.
“These guys have absolutely no regard for their own anatomy. None.” – JR
Omega managed to save Nick from disaster by nailing Angelico with a knee. Before he could dive to the outside, Sabian cut him off and mocked Kenny’s ‘duh, duh, duh, duhduh’ thing. Kip then tried a dive of his own but was caught by Omega and The Bucks and slammed into the apron. The trio then headed into the ring to nail jumping Jack with a Triple Superkick.
Omega finished off the festivities with a V-Trigger Knee and One Winged Angel onto a helpless Evans for the 1-2-3.
Result: Omega pinned Evans following a One Winged Angel (11:37)
This was a fast-paced, non-stop action affair that featured plenty of big spots and not a lot of selling of those big spots by anybody. Basically it was what you’d expect from a Bucks/Omega six-man tag match that was crammed into 11 and change of match time.
After the match, as Matt and Nick were celebrating and high-fiving fans at ringside, LAX in Rick and Morty masks (gotta get those plugs in) attacked them and flung the two into the crowd before Omega realized what was happening and chased them off.
Commercial Break No. 6
Peter Avalon came out for an in-ring promo. Seeing Avalon with a microphone in his hand, my finger instinctively reached for the fast-forward button, but Jon Moxley thankfully decided to cut that shtick short, take the mic and cut a promo of his own.
Moxley announcing to the crowd that his Omega match is unsanctioned got some audible boos.
“AEW wants to treat me like some kind of freak. They want to treat me like I’m some kind of outsider. They want to try to put me in my little box over here so I don’t cause any trouble. I know what’s going on. I’ve been dealing with this my whole life. I’ve been dealing with this for years. I’ve got these suits, these yes men, these puppets come up to me and they say Jon, we know you’re a different type of cat. As if I don’t know what that means. As if I don’t know when I’m being insulted. As if I don’t know you’re trying to call me stupid to my face. Well I ain’t stupid. If this is how it’s going to be. AEW, you can take your win/loss records and shove them straight up your ass. Cause the truth is, the undeniable fact is, I am the baddest son of a bitch in this game. I’m the sickest son of a bitch in this game. And there ain’t a damn soul in AEW who is going to come out here and try to prove me wrong. You want unsanctioned. They want unsanctioned, huh? i’m unsanctionable. You want unsanctioned. I’m unsanctionable. I’m out of control. You think I’m out of control? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Be careful what you wish for. On Nov. 9 at Full Gear, I’m going to beat Kenny Omega within an inch of his life. On Nov. 9 at Full Gear, you are going to see beautiful, glorious wrestling violence, the likes of which we haven’t seen in this country in decades. Kenny Omega’s blood will be on AEW’s hands. I’ve got a message for AEW. I’ve got a message for the Turner execs who want to censor me. I’ll tell them the same thing I told those suits, those puppets. The same thing I would tell the teachers, the same thing I would tell the cops, the same thing I would tell anybody who thought they’d like the fact that I march to the beat of my own drum. It’s real simple, kiss my ass, stay the hell out of my way.”
That’s how you do a promo and sell a big match. That’s passion. That’s reality. That’s the promise of something to come that no fan would dare want to miss because it has an exciting and dangerous feel to it. It seems like such a simple formula but it takes a true promo virtuoso the caliber of Moxley to really make it feel like an art form.
Commercial Break No. 7
The Lucha Brothers vs. SCU (9:44:36 – 9:57:14)
All four participants began by slugging it out before Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix took control. Fenix hit his run along the top rope into a kick, which will never not look awesome. Frankie Kazarian hit a double clothesline on both to gain an advantage.
Dueling Lucha Brothers/SCU chants from the crowd.
“It’s hard to hate Lucha Brothers because they’re so damn good.” – Jim Ross
After tossing Kazarian over the top rope, Pentagon Jr. held him in place for Fenix to hit a leg drop over the top rope.
Commercial Break No. 8
After the commercial, the two teams went back and forth before a nasty looking Kazarian Hurricanrana attempt resulted in him hitting his head flush on the apron. The commentators noted how wobbly he looked before Pentagon Jr. hit him with a Canadian Destroyer, which certainly didn’t help his dazed state become any less cloudy.
After Kazarian whiffed on a boot, Pentagon took advantage and slammed him through the timekeeper’s table. The Lucha Bros. looked like they were about to take advantage of a two-on-one edge but Scorpio Sky rolled up Pentagon in an inside cradle to get a stunning victory to become the first ever AEW Tag Team Champions.
Result: Scorpio Sky pinned Pentagon Jr. with an inside cradle (12:38)
Wow. For the second week in a row, Dynamite ended its telecast with a finish that absolutely deflated a crowd that had been red hot all night long.
The Moxley promo was one of the best promos in all of pro wrestling this year. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t a lot else that was all that memorable about this show besides maybe the LAX attack on The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.
Page/Guevera and Shida/Shanna were well worked matches. The Cody-Jericho contract signing was a run-of-the-mill contract signing segment aided slightly by Jericho’s charisma. The Omega and The Bucks match was a fast-paced spot fest as expected but it was against three guys the crowd really has no investment in. The Brandi Rhodes segment was weird. The ending to the Tag Team Championship match was perplexing. The Best Friends’ ‘Rick and Morty’ thing was a commercial disguised as a match.
To sum it up: One great promo, a few decent matches, a good heel attack spot on some veteran legends and an ending the crowd didn’t like.