Preview: The beginning of a massive week for AEW is coming up next. Dynamite is a loaded card and sure enough, TBS has granted them extra time as they intend to go over the allotted 2 hours. Eddie Kingston and Proud and Powerful are finally going to get their hands on the Jerricho Appreciation Society in a trio’s match. CM Punk takes on Penta Osccuro, MJF takes on Captain Shawn Dean in a rematch of one of MJF’s only losses, and Powerhouse Hobbs teams with Ricky Starks against Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee. In the Main event, Minoru Suzuki defends the ROH Television Championship against Samoa Joe. This should be a really fun night of wrestling, live from New Orleans, Louisiana.
AMAZING CM Punk vs. Penta Oscuro: It’s Wednesday night, and you know what that means! The crowd is absolutely ripping for, “Cult of Personality,” and this stacked card is underway. The lights go out and it’s the dark version of Penta El Zero Miedo, Penta Oscuro. He spits black mist into the air and stomps to the ring carrying a shovel. For those wondering, Punk is wearing the classic short black trunks this time, with green trim on the sides and on the stars. The match starts slowly with dueling chants for both men. Penta and Punk trade chops in the center of the ring and the crowd is already on their feet. The chops turn to punches and now the fans are in stitches. Penta is able to break loose and land a superkick but Punk is still game. More feints and evasion tactics follow before Punk nails an armdrag off the top rope and takes control in the corner. Penta quickly reverses momentum by grabbing an ankle lock, but Punk has it scouted and rolls through to send Penta into the corner. Punk attempts his corner-knee-bulldog combination but Penta has that one scouted and responds with a sling-blade. More back and forth follow before CM Punk hits a tope-suicida through the ropes to send us to commercial. In picture and picture the pace is equally fast. These two could probably go the whole show if they had too. What a start to Dynamite this has been. In my eyes, Punk looks the best he has since he’s been back, other than maybe the Dog Collar match. Out of the break CM Punk is in control until Penta smashes him with an enziguri while the Second City Saint was up on the top rope. As Punk fought back he looked to deliver a move of some sort and then there was a clear botch off the top rope. It looks like Punk may have a legitimate knee injury. He gives the referee the go ahead and Penta goes after him on the ground. I’m unsure if this is a work as far as the knee thing for Punk or a shoot. Now that he’s landed a hurricanrana off the top rope, I’m leaning towards work and I’m digging it. Penta is all over Punk, but CM manages to lock up an Anaconda Vice, dead in the center of the ring. Oscuro manages to get to the ropes but just barely. Punk is wrestling on one leg, no matter the deal, and these two warriors begin to trade punches up on the apron. Penta attempts a Package Piledriver he calls the Fear Factor on the apron but Punk is able to escape. He follows with a springboard lariat and a knee in the corner and Punk looks to be on a roll. He gives the GTS sign and hoists Penta up for the Go to Sleep. Penta catches the knee and lifts Punk for a Package Piledriver, but Punk escapes again. Punk Catches Penta off a springboard and this time the Go To Sleep lands, Punk wins. What a way to start Dynamite, that match was absolutely incredible. Start to finish, the crowd was electric and Penta and Punk brought the best out of each other tonight, without question.
Result: CM Punk by Pinfall via Go To Sleep
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 4.00 Stars
Jericho Appreciation Society Airport Arrival: The Jerricho Appreciation Society are exiting a private plane and Eddie Kingston is there with Santana and Ortiz. The artists formerly known as 2.0, Angelo and Matt are laid out on the airstrip as the car drives off with the culprits. Too short to rate but a hilarious segment.
GREAT Jurassic Express vs. ReDragon for the AEW World Tag Team Championships: ReDragon enters to a pretty sizable pop and so does Jurassic Express. This crowd in New Orleans is great, they have been really loud for every minute of the show thus far. Jungle Boy starts with Bobby Fish and this match is going to be electric. They don’t mess around and the initial exchange, which Jungle Boy gets the better of, is so smooth. Fish manages the tag to his partner O’Reilly and KOR is looking good until Jungle Boy gets the tag to the big man. Luchasaurus knocks Kyle O’Reilly into next week and gets a near fall. O’Reilly gets to Fish for the tag and Luchasaurus doesn’t see it and that is gonna cost him. He is thrown into the guardrail and ReDragon starts to take over as they have Luchasaurus isolated in their corner. He fights his way out and gets the tag to his partner Jungle Boy who lands consecutive tope-suicidas before Fish and O’Reilly retreat to the ramp where Luchasaurus is waiting with a moonsault off the apron. That was a classic Jurrassic Express spot, but one that never gets old and it was so well delivered. We head to our first break and this match is a dead heat. Out of the break Luchasaurus lands a standing moonsault and O’Reilly kicks out at 2. Fish sweeps Jungle Boy off the apron and the distraction allows for O’Reilly to do more work on Luchasaurus’ knee. Jungle Boy manages to recover and land a superkick to give time for his partner to tag him in. He and Fish go at it but he doesn’t see him make the tag to Kyle O’Reilly. After some tandem offense from ReDragon, KOR locks in the cross armbar. Jungle Boy barely makes it to the ropes, and Kyle O’Reilly drags him up to the top turnbuckle. As Fish and O’Reilly try to double team, Luchasaurus runs across and lands a pump kick on Fish, but it was a glancing blow. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus attempt a move off the top rope but Bobby Fish recovers and breaks it up. O’Reilly and Fish nearly finish Jungle Boy and then the pace picks up. There is so much back and forth it is so exciting and could go either way. Finally Luchasaurus catches Bobby Fish and hoists him over to Jungle Boy for Thoracic Express! That is it, Jurassic Express are still the champions. As they celebrate, Kyle O’Reilly enters the ring with a chair and drills both Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy, laying them out. They leave up the ramp upset about their most recent loss, but are interrupted by FTR’s music who make their way down the ramp. FTR stares down ReDragon and a shoving match breaks out on the ramp before the segment ends as FTR’s music plays.
Result: Jurassic Express by Pinfall via Thoracic Express
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
Wheeler Yuta backstage interview Blackpool Combat Club: Wheeler Yuta is officially a member of the Blackpool Combat Club. He will debut in a trio’s match with Moxley and Danielson against the Gunn Club! Too short to rate.
Jaimie Hayter vs Toni Storm: Toni doesn’t say a word. Jaimie runs her down in every way saying it’s her crowning moment and she’s going to break Toni’s face. Toni walks away with a smirk. Too short to rate.
GREAT MJF vs. Captain Shawn Dean: MJF is accompanied by his accountabilibuddy Shawn Spears and the crowd is firmly behind the other Shawn, Dean. MJF starts hot, but the big screen shows backstage and security guards are laid out everywhere. Wardlow is nowhere to be found though and MJF goes back to work on Shawn Dean. As he spills to the outside and gloats near the guardrail he fails to notice the security guard behind him is actually Wardlow. The crowd erupts as the War-Dog finally gets his hands on that slimeball MJF even if for only a split second. Spears is there with a chair and hammers Wardlow in the back, he no-sells it completely and throws Spears on his head for his troubles. Security spills out of the back subduing Wardlow as MJF scurries up the ramp. While MJF is safe from Wardlow he is unaware that referee Bryce Remsberg has been counting him out the whole time. As he gets to a count of 9, MJF grabs a microphone and pleads that he will, “triple the referee’s pay if he stops the count,” after briefly considering it the referee counts MJF out, for his second loss to Captain Shawn Dean! MJF is seething at first on the ramp and he stomps down to get in the face of the referee, who is not afraid and shoves MJF back. Spears grabs MJF before he gets himself fined and the camera pans backstage to Wardlow destroying over 20 security guards at once, before giving Max an ultimatum in relation to releasing him from his contract.
Result: Captain Shawn Dean by Countout
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
Darby Allin vignette: Pretty cool Darby vignette of him skating around New Orleans and addressing Andrade. He calls for a Coffin Match and it is booked! Too short to rate.
House of Black vignette: Malakai starts on screen and calls out Fuego Del Sol. He compares the two of them and he and the House are not done with Fuego Del Sol. Too short to rate.
GREAT Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia, and Chris Jericho of the Jericho Appreciation Society vs. Eddie Kingston and Proud and Powerful: The crowd still sings Judas, but I assume they will quickly turn on Jericho and crew as soon as the other side makes their entrance. My prediction comes true as the crowd pops huge for Eddie, Santana and Ortiz. Eddie Kingston is wearing a, “Thump,” t-shirt honoring Junkyard Dog. Jericho flips the bird to Santana as they start in the ring together. Santana hammers Jericho with a right hand and gains the early advantage. Chris looks to be in much better shape of late which is really refreshing to see. He and Santana spend a long time in the ring before the action spills to the outside where Hager and Garcia get some fists from Ortiz and Kingston. Ortiz is tagged in, and Eddie Kingston just continues to run around the outside and go after Daniel Garcia. Hager is then tagged in for his side, and the Jericho Appreciation Society is finally able to slow the pace down. Hagar works Ortiz to the ground and brings back in Jericho as we head into break with Ortiz stuck in the corner. The JAS dominates through the break. As soon as we are back, Ortiz evades the Lionsault and nearly gets the tag to Eddie Kingston. Jericho brings in Daniel Garcia who’s fresh and stops Ortiz briefly. After fighting free we finally get that hot tag to Eddie Kingston and he absolutely cleans house! Santana is quickly tagged in for 3 amigos and a frog splash for the nearest fall of the match thus far. What a great tribute to Eddie Guerrerro that was. Kingston is tagged back in and he lands machine gun chops on Garcia before bringing back in Ortiz. Eddie knocks Hager out of the way with a Tope Suicida as Jericho breaks up the Street Sweeper attempt. Matt Menard and Angelo make their way down as Eddie Kingston is tagged in. During all the comotion the referee is distracted and Eddie Kingston is drilled in the back with Jericho’s bat Floyd. Garcia gets the cover for the win, and then all 5 members of the Society gang up on Kingston, Santana and Ortiz. Judas plays and the Society stands tall to end the segment.
Result: Jericho Appreciation Society by Pinfall via Baseball Bat shot
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.50 Stars
MJF backstage interview: MJF is not happy, and it is obvious. Mark Sterling is standing with MJF and Shawn Spears, but only MJF speaks. Max says he has something else for Wardlow, and it’s the Butcher. He will be facing the Butcher next week in a match booked by MJF. Too short to rate.
SQUASH Marina Shafir vs. Sky Blue: Shafir enters to her music and I’m not sure it fits if she is working the babyface side of Jade Cargill. Red Velvet and Kiera Hogan are in Jade Cargill’s Baddies section this week, which is interesting to note. Marina is utterly dominant in this one, she is all over Sky Blue who does not appear to have anything resembling a chance in this one. Marina grabs onto a Triangle Armbar for the submission victory. Jade Cargill seems unconcerned, but Marina Shafir was absolutely dominant in this one.
Result: Marina Shafir by Triangle Armbar
Hook backstage interview: Just as Hook’s interview begins he is interrupted by Tony Nese. Hook stands up and Tony Nese and Smart Mark Sterling are gone as quickly as they arrived. Hook walks away too but throws the medicine ball he was holding over his shoulder. It turns out Danhausen was behind him and he catches the medicine ball but is knocked over hilariously in the process, which ends the segment. Too short to rate.
Men of the Year and Dan Lambert backstage interview: Page and Lambert start in on Sammy and Tay right away. At Battle of the Belts it will be Scorpio Sky against Sammy Guevara for the TNT Championship. Too short to rate.
AMAZING Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks vs. Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee: This is a really fun tag team match up between guys we aren’t used to seeing work with each other every week. The reception from the hometown crowd for Ricky Starks is huge, but when Keith Lee makes his entrance the crowd goes absolutely wild. “Oh bask in his glory,” chants break out as Swerve and Hobbs start the match. Those chants turn into, “Who’s house? Swerve’s house,” chants before Hobbs swings him into the corner to stop the momentum. When Ricky is tagged in he goes Old School and walks the ropes before delivering a huge shoulder block to knock Swerve to the ground. Swerve manages to evade a kick and land a dropkick of his own before tagging in the 400 plus pounder, Keith Lee. Starks throws a chop at Keith Lee and that was a terrible idea. Lee double chops Starks across the chest and that one echoed on Bourbon Street. Both Ricky and Starks are thrown to the outside. Swerve uses Keith Lee’s chest for a springboard moonsault onto both opponents at the base of the entrance ramp. That was the most creative spot of the night by far. So cool, I thought he was going to leap off his shoulders but the springboard was just awesome. Lee and Swerve are mostly in control as he and Swerve land a punch/enzuigiri combination for a near fall on Starks. Swerve is in control but only momentarily before Starks hits a spear. He follows the spear with a Canadian destroyer and that is nearly the win. Swerve is on the top turnbuckle now and Keith Lee gets a tag that Ricky is unaware of, they smash Starks with a shoulder block but Hobbs reinserts himself in the action. Tazz walks down the ramp and the crowd starts to chant, “ECW,” the distraction hurts Hobbs as Tazz is in the way of him trying to take out Swerve. Ricky Starks lands a diving spear on Lee in the ring but Swerve is now available to break up the pin, and he does so with a 450 splash. Hobbs gets the tag into the match as does Lee. The Limitless One knocks Hobbs to the mat and then hits the ropes, but Tazz grabs his foot. It slows him down enough that Hobbs hoists him up for a Spinebuster and the 1, 2, 3. What an insane tag match that was. I really didn’t think the ReDragon-Jurassic Express match from earlier could be topped, but this was just as good, if not better. Ricky Starks and Hobbs both looked great, Keith Lee was outstanding, and Swerve may have stolen the entire show.
Result: Keith Lee and Ricky Starks by Pinfall via Spinebuster
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 4.00 Stars
Thunder Rosa backstage interview: Interrupted by Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero who are holding a cake to celebrate the, “world’s shortest title reign.” Rosa is not having it and throws the cake in Nyla’s face. When Nyla tries to retaliate she can’t see through the cake in her eyes and she accidentally hits Vickie. Eventually she actually gets her hands on Thunder Rosa and throws her against the wall before exclaiming, “Jokes on you, I love cake.. and violence!” which made me laugh pretty hard. Too short to rate.
GREAT Minoru Suzuki vs. Samoa Joe ROH Television Championship match: The staredown is so intense and then it is quickly slap for chop and they are vicious. Both men’s chests are red right out of the gates. The chops turn into forearms and Suzuki is laughing now. The welts on their chests are already forming and it is unbelievable how tough these two are. There is blood from Joe’s chest on the hand of Minoru Suzuki. This is another planet of trading chops and strikes, and an entirely different level of stiff work. It’s as strong of style as you could ask for. Finally as Suzuki believes he has Joe rocked, the big man lands a shoulder block to ground Suzuki. Over by the ropes Minoru uses said ropes for an assisted armbar as the referee counts. Some damage is done to the arm but they quickly begin to trade strikes again on the outside. After a while both men pause and point to the ring where they proceed to move into to continue the madness. After more chops and slaps, Suzuki manages to grab onto a fujiwara armbar but Joe is able to fight his way out. They now trade headbuts before Joe is able to hoist Suzuki up for a powerbomb. On the ground Joe ties him up in a Lebell Lock at first before transitioning to a variation of the Rings of Saturn. Suzuki reaches the ropes to break the hold and then lands a boot to regain control of the momentum. Minoru teases a Gotch Style Piledriver and then shoves Joe away before screaming, “One more time!” They once again trade massive chops and slaps and Suzuki then spins around and locks in the sleeper. Joe’s neck is too thick for the sleeper to be deep enough to put him to sleep and he is able to fight out of it. Suzuki now tries the Gotch Piledriver again but it is not working with Joe’s size. Samoa Joe gets Minoru up for the Muscle-Buster and that is it. Samoa Joe is the new Ring of Honor World Television Champion! Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal have a present for Joe to celebrate and it is Jay Lethal’s middle finger. The lights turn out, and Satnam Singh(Former NBA Draftee, who has been training professional wrestling under Sonjay Dutt) is behind Samoa Joe. Singh, Dutt and Lethal absolutely decimate Samoa Joe, and there will be no title celebration for Joe tonight as the show ends with him writhing in pain in the center of the ring.
Result: Samoa Joe by Pinfall via Muscle Buster
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.75 stars
Overall: Tony Khan promised a wrestling centric night and that is exactly what was delivered. With minimal promo time allotted and multiple long matches this was an awesome night for wrestling fans. There were 2 incredible tag matches, 2 outstanding singles matches and the trio’s match was nothing short of exciting in its own right. Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs got the win in Ricky’s hometown of New Orleans, but now without some help from Team Tazz’s leader, Tazz himself. The Jericho Appreciation Society continues to show that with a 5-3 advantage they are capable of getting the better of Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz. CM Punk picked up a huge victory in an absolute war against Penta Oscuro, as he heads towards an eventual AEW World Championship opportunity. Jurassic Express was barely able to retain their titles against a very game ReDragon. Samoa Joe is your new ROH Television Champion, and his first challenger appears to be Jay Lethal, who will have some help from his friends Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh. Oh yeah, MJF still can’t beat Captain Shawn Dean, and we will finally get to see Wardlow return to action next week on Dynamite!
Matches: 0.75/1 Stars
Show Structure: 0.75/1 Stars
Atmosphere: 0.75/1 Stars
Storytelling: 0.50/1 Stars
Production/Theme: 0.75/1 Stars
Overall Rating. 3.50/5 Stars
Photo Credit: AEW
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