This was a great episode of Dynamite with some killer matches and some interesting storyline progression. The Devil storyline takes some nice strides forward and The Continental Classic hit its stride with some good storytelling for Rush, Lethal, Moxley and Swerve, even if I wanted more for Jay White and maybe another major update or movement beyond the devil arc. The show did take a hit from some awkwardness in places, particularly in the really quite terrible Golden Jets segment, which briefly dragged an otherwise well paced show to a grinding halt in the middle. I also wanted more from the Winter is Coming branding, as the theming didn’t feel pronounced enough to give this show full marks in the production department. Still this was a really entertaining show with some fantastic wrestling and a lot of intrigue, and I'm excited to see what next week brings.
Tonight on AEW Dynamite, we see 4 Continental Classic matches in both the blue and gold leagues. In the headline clash, Swerve Strickland and Jon Moxley lock horns for supremacy at the top of the gold league. Elsewhere on the card, Hangman Page returns to the ring against Roderick Strong and Riho faces Ruby Soho. Lets get at it!
GREAT Samoa Joe Promo
I enjoyed this opening segment, proposing several understandable theories of the devil. Joe, Page and Strong all did their jobs well and it flowed nicely from promo to match. Nothing extraordinary and a bit short, but got everything it needed to across concisely.
David Sheldon WR Star Rating – 3.5 Stars
AMAZING Hangman Page vs Roderick Strong
I have made no secret of not being the biggest fan of Roderick Strong over the past few weeks but it is so nice to see the real Roddy back. This was a terrific back and forth match with both guys throwing a lot at each other. A clear and defined face/heel dynamic that came together really nicely for a nearly flawlessly wrestled match, with some nice story flourishes in there from Strong. I think after a few rough weeks we could see the best from Strong now he’s back in the ring
Result: Hangman Page by Pinfall via Dead-Eye
David Sheldon WR Star Rating – 4.25 Stars
AMAZING Brody King vs Andrade El Idolo
I was unfortunately unable to review Collision last week due to personal circumstances, but I did really enjoy the ruthless Andrade we saw in his punishing of Danielson’s eye. This is a continuation of Andrade at his best with another fantastic match against Brody King. Such a physical and brutal battle, starting a little slow but quickly climbing and climbing in brutality to a great finish of deception.
Result: Andrade El Idolo by Pinfall
David Sheldon WR Star Rating – 4 Stars
The Von Erichs are recruited by Orange Cassidy for a Rampage match. I like that but boy this was an odd promo. Despite me being his biggest fan, of all the people I wanted to see the Von Erich’s talk to on this show, Danhausen was not one of them
BAD Golden Jets Promo
The pace has been so strong to this point that it was this promo that I felt the pacing die. There were undeniably a few good lines in this, but otherwise it was like watching drunk uncles squabbling over the Christmas table with a bargain bin of wrestling themed Christmas cracker jokes. It was really really poor, poor in delivery, poor in structure, poor across the board, and no one seemed to know what the hell was going on. What a bizarre promo. This felt like the worst of early 2010’s WWE in terms of delivery.
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 2.25 Stars
GREAT Riho vs Ruby Soho
This was a very good match, showing just how great Riho is, and the two had excellent chemistry. The issue was that the match wasn’t especially memorable because my attention was consistently drawn to ringside where Toni Storm had legitimately an all time comedy performance on commentary. Everything was golden, from her taking line read’s to doing close ups like she’s in Zoolander. It’s legitimately some of the funniest wrestling comedy work I have ever seen and I was breathless with it. Did that take away a little from the action in the ring, yes it did, but it was still incredibly entertaining.
Result: Riho by Pinfall
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 3.5 Stars
Wardlow is coming for MJF soon. This is unsurprising.
SQUASH Jay Lethal vs Rush
Well that was quick. I give them credit for just getting over this match few people really cared about with quite a clever bit of storytelling. Rush taps out Lethal with the same move Moxley submitted him with. Post match Lethal looked upset and dejected with the Jarrett family, and this establishes character for both guys which is great. For a match that only went 4 minutes, I thought this did a lot to advance a story, feeling the most like a sports story in a sports league. Really good stuff
Result: Rush by Submission via Sleeper
Too Short To Rate
GREAT Jay White vs Mark Briscoe
These two tore the house down on Dynamite a few weeks ago, but circumstance made this a lot less interesting. Still very well worked as expected, but I never was able to invest nearly as much as before, as the threat of Briscoe playing spoiler felt a bit inconsequential. In their last match there was a tangible stake for Briscoe winning, so even if nearly impossible I could suspend my disbelief to invest. In this I’m not invested enough in White to care who wins this if I’m being completely honest. A very strong match in the ring, but it just felt more like a necessity of schedule than anything more. I needed more focus on White in this match rather than Briscoe to invest me in this legitimately interesting sports dynamic going into the final week of who needs to win what.
Result:Jay White by Pinfall via Blade Runner
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 3.5 Stars
AMAZING Swerve Strickland vs Jon Moxley- Watch Match Here
For a while I thought they wouldn’t get there, that it would merely be great and not amazing, and then they just kept going and it got better and better. Great chemistry, some really innovative stuff I certainly didn’t expect to see, and a really interesting finish protecting Swerve in defeat. A fantastic main event to close an excellent show
Result:Jon Moxley by Pinfall via Roll-Up
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 4.25 Stars
Just when you think the show is over, Hangman is attacked by the devil. Great story beat to end the show and leaves me greatly intrigued!
This was a great episode of Dynamite with some killer matches and some interesting storyline progression. The Devil storyline takes some nice strides forward and The Continental Classic hit its stride with some good storytelling for Rush, Lethal, Moxley and Swerve, even if I wanted more for Jay White and maybe another major update or movement beyond the devil arc. The show did take a hit from some awkwardness in places, particularly in the really quite terrible Golden Jets segment, which briefly dragged an otherwise well paced show to a grinding halt in the middle. I also wanted more from the Winter is Coming branding, as the theming didn’t feel pronounced enough to give this show full marks in the production department. Still this was a really entertaining show with some fantastic wrestling and a lot of intrigue, and I’m excited to see what next week brings.
Matches: 0.75/1 Stars
Show Structure: 0.75/1 Stars
Atmosphere: 0.75/1 Stars
Storytelling: 0.75/1 Stars
Production/Theme: 0.75/1 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling – December 13th 2023
For inquiries about the rating criteria check out the article announcing the new system here: