Overall, tonight’s wrestling quality was as consistent as could be asked. There were multiple matches that pushed to crack 4 stars, but it didn’t quite get there. In spite of that, this was an entertaining show that filled in all the necessary gaps as we head into the Forbidden Door Pay Per View. Jon Moxley will take on the winner of the tournament at NJPW Dominion for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship. Outside of that we saw an awesome match between Marina Shafir and Thunder Rosa, and while she lost tonight, Marina is not done with Thunder Rosa. David Finlay took a loss against Hangman Page, but he definitely made his mark in his AEW debut. Oh yeah, Will Osprey and Aussie Open showed up and cleared the ring of Trent and FTR. Are the United Empire on a collision course with FTR?
Preview: AEW is back with Dynamite, live once again from Independence, Missouri. We’ve found ourselves in a bit of a pickle over the last few weeks, given the injury to CM Punk. Tonight, all those problems are set to be solved. In the opener we’ve got a battle royal to determine who will face the number one contender Jon Moxley for the Interim Title. While an interim title may be looked down upon naturally, considering our proximity to Forbidden Door on June 26th, it could be argued this is the most important Interim Title in the history of Wrestling. Beyond that, Hangman Page is scheduled to face NJPW star David Finlay. Thunder Rosa will defend her AEW Women’s World Championship against Marina Shafir and With two hours to fill, this is one of those Dynamites where it seems like anything could happen.
GREAT Casino Battle Royal to determine the number 1 contender for the AEW Interim Championships: Darby Allin and Eddie Kingston enter to start the show. Lance Archer, and Tony Nese are already in the ring. Lance Archer has taken over the ring at the beginning but then Darby Allin and Eddie Kingston briefly team up to move Archer to the outside. On the second wave of entrances we get Ricky Starks, followed by Jake Hagar, Rey Fenix, Swerve Strickland, and then Keith Lee. The action in the ring has reached untrackable levels. The Acclaimed as well as The Gunn Club entered in the second wave and then we hit the first commercial break of the night. Out of the break the third wave enters the match, and the headliner of the beginning of the third wave is Powerhouse Hobbs. He is followed by Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish together. Wheeler Yuta joins the action as well fresh off the plane from Japan, after competing in the Best of the Super Juniors event. The ring is full of people and Max Caster becomes the third elimination. The 4th and 5th eliminations are the, “Ass Boys,” and they are eliminated by Keith Lee. Like it or not, Swerve Strickland eliminates Keith Lee. The last entrant in the match is Andrade El Idolo. It is still crowded as could be, but as soon as the last entrant is in the ring, it begins to clear out. As the contenders are narrowed down it seems that Swerve has stolen the show in this match, but he is drilled with a big boot and eliminated from the battle royal. Rey Fenix and Andrade go back and forth but not much comes of the exchange. Wheeler Yuta eliminates Powerhouse Hobbs and the final 4 is Kyle O’Reilly, Wheeler Yuta, Andrade El Idolo, and Rey Fenix. El Idolo eliminates Rey Fenix and now he and O’Reilly gang up on Wheeler Yuta. El Idolo is eliminated and then Yuta and KOR trade strikes on the apron. Kyle O’Reilly eliminates Wheeler Yuta and he will now face Jon Moxley in the main event for the interim AEW World Championship.
Result: Kyle O’Reilly by Eliminating Wheeler Yuta in the final two.
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
Jon Moxley Backstage Promo: Mox is ready to see anyone in NJPW, and he mentions that he has been game for a long time to face anyone in either NJPW or AEW. He’s as ready as any man could be for Kyle O’Reilly in this main event. He ends the promo with, “Love you mom.” I can tell you this much, tonight isn’t a night I’d like to run into Jon Moxley in a dark alley.
All Atlantic Title Announcement: AEW has announced a new championship and it is called the All Atlantic Championship, it represents AEW’s global impact, and the inaugural champion will be crowned soon. This was an intriguing segment, but it’s also too short to rate.
AMAZING Buddy Matthews vs. Pac: This is an All Atlantic Championship Tournament match. Pac and Matthews are both primed and ready for an absolute war, and given their 205 live history, can we expect anything less? Matthews grabs the early advantage with an arm drag, but Pac has him scouted. They chain wrestle for a while and it is so obvious how well these two know each other. Matthews is able to ground Pac but Pac uses his legs to escape the headlock and gain control of the grappling advantage for the first time in the match. Pac sends Matthews to the ropes and they both have each other perfectly scouted to this point. It is a complete stalemate. Buddy utterly dominates Pac through the commercial break. Freshly out of the break, Pac begins to mount a comeback with strikes. He drills Matthews with a spike tornado DDT and the crowd pops for Pac. They trade forearms in the center of the ring to follow and then Pac is nailed with a spinning back kick to the gut. He responds with kicks of his own but is met with a huge European Uppercut from Pac. The Bastard lands a superkick but Buddy responds with a flying knee. Pac lands a german suplex and then follows with a lariat. Matthews hits Pac with a Liger Bomb and nearly wins the match but this thing isn’t over yet. Pac drills Matthews with a poison-rana and what a match this is. He follows with a pump kick and then the Black Arrow. That is the end of this one, Pac wins and the crowd goes absolutely wild for this match. What a back and forth and awesome wrestling match this was to open the show. Death Triangle run down to the ring to celebrate with their friend Pac. House of Black meets Matthews at the ramp and there is an interesting staredown to end the segment.
Result: Pac by Pinfall via Black Arrow
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 4.00 Stars
Eddie Kingston Promo: Eddie announces he only has a minute of time before he starts the promo. He immediately calls out Jake Hager who eliminated him from the opening battle royal. Too short to rate, but Kingston is not messing around here.
AMAZING FTR in ring Promo: FTR is in the ring with Trent and they are talking about how great they are as a tag team. Dax Harwood calls out Will Ospreay’s, “bitch boys,” and they are immediately interrupted by not only Will but Aaron Henare and Aussie Open as well. The crowd chants, “Holy Shit,” as both members of FTR and Trent are decimated in the ring. The United Empire stands tall to end the segment.
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 4.00 Stars
Kyle O’Reilly and William Regal backstage promo: This is too short to rate but William Regal has leveled the ultimate warning in the direction of Kyle O’Reilly. KOR takes over and then essentially pumps himself up before his match with Moxley.
GREAT David Finlay vs. Hangman Page: Adam Cole joins commentary and he is clearly still not a fan of the Hangman Adam Page. David Finlay, son of Fit Finlay, gets a nice reception from the crowd and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. The crowd is very much behind Hangman to start the match, and the initial exchange is as snug as any wrestling fan could ask for. Page and Finlay trade arm locks as the match moves along, but it appears Page has Finlay well scouted. The match wears on and Page delivers a momentum swinging scoop slam. Finlay is clapped across the chest with chops from Hangman and then he catches a tope suicida on the outside as well. Hangman takes a sweet sip of beer from a fan in the front row and then sends Finlay into the corner. We head to commercial with the corner exchange and then out of the break, Page sends Finlay up and over for a fallaway slam. Page hits a lariat in the corner and then follows it with chops. Finlay is sent to the outside and Hangman slingshots himself over the top for a crossbody. Page hits a powerbomb for a near fall and the match is coming to the final minutes. Hangman is able to hit the Buckshot Lariat for the win. Post match he is interrupted by Cole as he calls out Okada. Adam Cole is ready and makes sure that Hangman needs to know that , “Jay White might be the champion,” He says that Hangman, “didn’t even think of that.” Adam Cole finishes by calling himself the, “new franchise player in AEW,” it appears not only is the Hangman-Adam Cole story far from over, but it could be anyone in the IWGP Heavyweight Title match at Forbidden Door.
Result: Hangman Page by Pinfall via Buckshot Lariat
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
GOOD Wardlow in ring interview: Wardlow opted to skip the battle royal for the match against Jon Moxley tonight and Tony Schiavone has given him the opportunity to explain himself. He says the reason he declined is that, “CM Punk is our champion,” and he says, “If it’s not his shoulders on the mat, or me making him tap, I don’t want it yet.” He then pivots and addresses the TNT Champion Scorpio Sky. Just as he is about to make his point, Scorpio Sky is on his way to the ring to talk trash to Wardlow. He is stopped by Dan Lambert, and then interrupted again by Smart Mark Sterling. It looks like this lawsuit is going to be an issue. Also, Sterling is going to take on 20 AEW security staff to get out of this lawsuit.
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.25 Stars
Young Bucks backstage promo: It’s the Bucks, it’s too short to rate, but guess what, it’s next week, it’s on Dynamite. Hardy Boys vs Young Bucks vs Jurassic Express for the AEW Tag Team Championships, but are we not stoked about this?
GOOD Thunder Rosa vs. Marina Shafir – AEW Women’s World Championship: This is an AEW Women’s World Championship match and its two former MMA fighters with legitimate credentials. The lock up is stiff, and Shafir takes immediate control. She grabs a cravate sleeper but is reversed into a kimura by Thunder Rosa. They trade roll throughs before Shafir is able to get a hold of Rosa’s foot. Thunder Rosa fights out and then they trade strikes in the center of the ring. Shafir is game for the striking encounter but it is clear she is much more comfortable in the grappling exchanges. Marina grabs a front facelock and then turns Rosa over for a snap suplex to send us into commercial. Out of the break Thunder Rosa delivers a northern lights suplex for a near fall but Shafir hits a leg kick and then a pumphandle takeover to regain control. Rosa kicks out at 2. She throws some hands to the body of Shafir and then lifts her up for a death valley driver. The DVD nearly wins the match but when they rise to their feet Shafir has recovered enough to go back to work in the grappling. They exchange rollups and on the wrong end of the last one is Marina Shafir. She fakes a handshake after the match and then delivers a switch kick to the body of Thunder Rosa. Shafir follows with a judo take down and then a Triangle/Armbar Combination that she calls, “Ingredient.” Toni Storm runs down to break up the beatdown but it is clear that Marina Shafir is not done with Thunder Rosa.
Result: Thunder Rosa by Pinfall via Rollup
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.00 stars
Jade Cargill Promo: It’s too short to rate, but I’ll tell ya what, it’s funny.
AMAZING Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jon Moxley: Mox and O’Reilly are both over and the levity of this situation has not eluded this crowd. The match starts with classic chain wrestling. It is an absolute stalemate in the opening moments of the match. Moxley delivers the first move with a takedown but is hit with a leg kick at the end of the exchange. Both men circle each other tentatively but Moxley is able to grab onto an arm to take O’Reilly down once again. In the picture, O’Reilly takes advantage of a compromised Moxley outside the ring, but has his leg caught on a body kick and is driven into the corner of the barricade. Mox is driven into the barricade himself on the back end and Kyle O’Reilly rolls in the ring to break up the countout. Out of the break they are back in the ring and trading strikes. As the show approaches its close they collapse on each other while delivering dueling right hands. Moxley is able to grab onto a rear naked choke, but he transitions to a bulldog choke. O’Reilly fights out but then Mox delivers a running Regal Knee and follows it with a Paradigm Shift. That is enough for the victory and Moxley will face the winner of Hirooki Goto Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi from the upcoming NJWP Dominion!
Result: Jon Moxley by Pinfall via Paradigm Shift
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 4.00 Stars
Overall: Overall, tonight’s wrestling quality was as consistent as could be asked. There were multiple matches that pushed to crack 4 stars, but it didn’t quite get there. In spite of that, this was an entertaining show that filled in all the necessary gaps as we head into the Forbidden Door Pay Per View. Jon Moxley will take on the winner of the tournament at NJPW Dominion for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship. Outside of that we saw an awesome match between Marina Shafir and Thunder Rosa, and while she lost tonight, Marina is not done with Thunder Rosa. David Finlay took a loss against Hangman Page, but he definitely made his mark in his AEW debut. Oh yeah, Will Ospreay, Aaron Henare and Aussie Open showed up and cleared the ring of Trent and FTR. Are the United Empire on a collision course with FTR?
Matches: 0.50/1 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. 3.50/5 Stars
Photo Credit: AEW
For inquiries about the rating criteria check out the article announcing the new system here: