After last week left a little to be desired, AEW began this week with a very strong show, with consistently great action and vastly improved pacing and structure. The show was nicely bottlenecked with the MJF/White storyline, and the main event in particular I thought was outstandingly entertaining. I wish the opener was given more time, with the same being said about Julia Hart and Red Velvet, two great matches that had the potential to be amazing with slightly more time to tell their stories. The storytelling was mostly solid across the board with some good enough developments and a great final angle, but the decision for Samoa Joe to vacate the ROH TV Title after such a long reign was so misjudged and baffling it majorly hurt the show’s storytelling overall, at it is just so damaging on so many levels and makes ROH as a brand seem completely perfunctory. A shame such a terrible decision was on such an otherwise great show, as it leaves a giant stain. Taking that huge misstep away I had a very good time with this show, and it was a huge improvement on last week’s All Elite offerings.
Tonight on AEW Dynamite, MJF and Jay White are both in action against Daniel Garcia and Mark Briscoe respectively. Keith Lee and Samoa Joe also lock horns in a match for the ROH TV Championship. Elsewhere on the card, Red Velvet returns to action against Julia Hart and Swerve Strickland goes one on one with Penta El Zero Miedo. Lets get at it!
Good opening segment once again setting out the stall for the nights action with MJF and Daniel Garcia locking horns and the usual interactions between MJF and Adam Cole. I really like Dynamite’s new habit of doing this. I think its a very smart summising of the story for the show and I am a big fan of it from a production standpoint
GREAT MJF vs Daniel Garcia
This was on course for something really special. Excellent fundamentals, some good psychology around MJF’s knee and an overall sense that Garcia was having a major breakout performance. The problem was it was simply just too short, and while the ending sequence was good, I was just so hungry for more, taking a match that could have potentially been outstanding to one that was ultimately just a really good and fun opening match, a shame given what the two were building together.
Result: MJF by Submission via Salt Of The Earth
David Sheldon WR Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
There was a nice video package for Mark Briscoe before his match with Jay White. Liked Briscoe’s promo style an awful lot more in this format than Collision.
SQUASH Sting and Darby Allin vs The Outrunners
A nice squash match that showcased Sting and Darby well, but it did make me appreciate The Outrunners a lot more as they were very nice traditional foils for The Stinger, and their body language and manner is very entertaining to watch. I enjoyed this is as a bit of throwaway action ahead of a more interesting 6 man on Collison, even if I wish that was advanced a bit further
Result: Sting by Submission via Scorpion Death Lock
Good promo from Storm in the black and white face to face, but I wanted more bite from Shida’s responses as it felt a bit inadequate in making me care about her.
AMAZING Swerve Strickland vs Penta El Zero Miedo- Watch Match Here
It is no great surprise that these two had a fantastic wrestlng match. Some really innovative spots, a brutal ending and just some really great chemistry between the two. I do think the mask could’ve been played into the internal match storyline more than he did, and the weak build did hurt the overall match itself. There was also some minor psychology issues with some iffy no sells. Still though, full marks for innovative, storytelling and atmosphere on this one as t was a PPV calibre encounter on free tv between two of wrestling’s best.
Result: Swerve Strickland by Pinfall via Swerve Stomp
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 4.25 Stars
Filler promo from Jay White saying not a lot of interest to be completely honest.
Promo for the 8 man street fight, only this time with a video game tie in for I think a game called ‘Like A Dragon Gaijun’ though to me it looked like a Yakuza game.
Why do AEW insist on Elite drama. We’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt several times. Omega and Jericho vs The Bucks is a terrific match for Full Gear, and the story of Kenny caught in the middle of the ego trip between Bucks and Jericho was fun, but we as fans I think just want full strength Elite this many years into the company’s run, and to not have it is a bit frustrating.
GREAT Keith Lee vs Samoa Joe
A dream matchup of mine for many years, this may not have reached the quality of what we could imagine for what both men could do in their prime, this was nevertheless a great little bit of brutality with both men slapping the daylights out of each other. Some fun bits of athleticism in here but mostly just slaps, hits and power moves, which the crowd and myself very much enjoyed
Result: Samoa Joe by Submission via Koquina Clutch
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 3.5 Stars
AVERAGE Samoa Joe Promo
Samoa Joe vacates the ROH TV Title after 574 days to become hungry for the AEW World Championship. There are several reasons why this is rubbish. First of all, we just watched a hard fought defence for nothing. We also have an ROH champion giving up a record breaking run for an AEW title, which makes ROH look like minnows, and not even giving anyone the rub of ending a nearly 2 year reign in the process. An awful decision from AEW, and a real nail in the coffin for ROH. Joe delivered it well which saves the rating somewhat from complete disaster but I don’t care because the storyline decision is just that poor.
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 2.5 Stars
Cassidy cuts a terrific promo on Moxley making his passion for the belt abundantly clear. That is what it means to want a title, take notes Joe.
SQUASH The Gunn’s vs The Bollywood Boys
A shame to see The Bollywood Boys treated in this way but it’s another simple win for the Gunn’s in a few seconds. Really want to see them have a properly competitive tag match now.
Result: The Gunn’s by Pinfall via 3:10 to Yuma
GREAT The Gunn’s Promo
I’m going to try to not dwell on how bad Samoa Joe’s promo made ROH look, because The Gunn’s cut a great little heel promo here for the ROH tag titles and why they want them. Nice bits of hypocrisy mixed with truth, and this all worked nicely in riling up the crowd and making me want to see MJF get their hands on them.
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 3.75 Stars
Very good Jon Moxley promo setting up some form of gang warfare next week. Excited to see that
Wardlow is still gunning for MJF. Very understandable reasoning from Wardlow here.
GREAT Julia Hart vs Red Velvet
So happy to see Red Velvet back on TV, and a great way to return. A real sleeper hit of a match here that was really quite brutal. It was so good I wanted more, and again like the opener caused it to feel just a little incomplete. Still very nicely put together and a great showing for both, just was itching for a few more minutes, always a sign that the action is strong.
Result: Julia Hart by Pinfall via Moonsault
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 3.75 Stars
Mariah May is All Elite. This is great news for the company. She appears to be playing Toni Storm’s obsessive fan. I don’t know what people who know more about her think of this, but watching this promo I think we could have a real winning formula there for tv gold.
MUST WATCH Jay White vs Mark Briscoe
The chemistry these two guys have is extraordinary, and I was completely enamoured with this match from start to finish. I should never have bought Mark Briscoe would ever beat Jay White, yet damn it Briscoe is so charismatic and likeable he makes you suspend your disbelief, and the simple storyline of the underdog face vs the dastardly cheating heel was done very well. This just all felt so natural, and I loved it from beginning to end. It wasn’t a perfect story, and the match could’ve been just a bit more innovative to get the full marks there, but otherwise I was enraptured by this and it’s proof that these guys really are that damn good.
Result: Jay White by Pinfall via Blade Runner
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 4.5 Stars
AMAZING MJF Promo
A terrific little segment to take us off the air. Loved the fire Max had here and the tease with the devil was a fascinating hook to end the show. We now know almost certainly the man in the mask is not MJF, and the masked goons are another bit of intrigue. I think this was a really strong way to finish a good show.
David Sheldon WR Star Rating- 4 Stars
After last week left a little to be desired, AEW began this week with a very strong show, with consistently great action and vastly improved pacing and structure. The show was nicely bottlenecked with the MJF/White storyline, and the main event in particular I thought was outstandingly entertaining. I wish the opener was given more time, with the same being said about Julia Hart and Red Velvet, two great matches that had the potential to be amazing with slightly more time to tell their stories. The storytelling was mostly pretty good across the board with some nice, if not exceptional developments, but the decision for Samoa Joe to vacate the ROH TV Title was so misjudged and baffling it majorly hurt the show’s storytelling overall, at it is just so damaging on so many levels and makes ROH as a brand seem completely perfunctory. A shame such a terrible decision was on such an otherwise great show, as it leaves a giant stain. Taking that huge misstep away I had a very good time with this show, and it was a huge improvement on last week’s All Elite offerings.
Matches: 0.75/1 Stars
Show Structure: 0.75/1 Stars
Atmosphere: 0.75/1 Stars
Storytelling: 0.5/1 Stars
Production/Theme: 0.75/1 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling – November 8th 2023
For inquiries about the rating criteria check out the article announcing the new system here: