Preview: Live from MJF’s hometown of Long Island, New York, It’s another Wednesday edition of Dynamite! We have an incredibly stacked card on tap that includes multiple Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Matches. The first between Adam Cole and Dax Harwood of FTR, the second being the main event between Jeff Hardy and Darby Allin. On the Women’s side of the tournament Toni Storm will take on Jamie Hayter in a match that has been built up for weeks. The hometown kid Maxwell Jacob Fiedman will have a face to face with Wardlow to discuss his contract situation and much more on this episode of Dynamite!
AMAZING Adam Cole vs. Dax Harwood, Owen Hart Foundation Tournament match: Cole is definitely the heel as far as this crowd is concerned. Dax is cheered as if he’s a top singles babyface during his entrance, and the match starts quickly with classic chain wrestling. Cole manages to take over briefly, but this is back and forth without question. Owen Hart would assuredly be proud of the effort from these two. Adam Cole takes the action to the outside and drives Harwood into the steps over and over. Dax is fighting back as best he can, but he may have a rib injury stemming from his match with his tag team partner Cash. That is the story being told from the commentary team and it makes perfect sense. Cole continues to work the ribs and body of Dax as we watch in, picture in picture. Harwood takes a sternum first bump into the turnbuckle a-la Brett Hart and the psychology in this match is off the charts to the extent that I’m not sure I’m able to do it justice in writing. This is a go back and watch situation, even after you read this. Harwood hits a slingshot powerbomb for the nearest fall yet, but this one has classic written all over it. The crowd is scalding hot and this is just so well thought out it’s hard to deny. They trade near falls and when Harwood goes to the corner he finally eats a superkick from Adam Cole. The crowd serenades them with “AEW,” chants as Cole goes for the Panama Sunrise. Harwood reverses and gets Cole up for a vicious Spike Piledriver. Adam Cole kicks out at two but Dax locks in a sharpshooter. The damage to Harwood’s ribs is too much for him to apply the necessary pressure on the sharpshooter and Cole is able to escape as well as knock Dax to the outside. As Harwood gets back in the ring on the count of 9, he is caught with a sharpshooter from Cole. Dax is fighting with all his heart but his ribs are too damaged and he taps out. The camera pans to Dr. Martha Hart who clearly enjoyed the match, which is awesome to see! Adam Cole is the winner via sharpshooter and what a match this was. Both men delivered in every single way possible in this one.
Result: Adam Cole by Submission via Sharpshooter
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 4.25 Stars
GREAT CM Punk vs. John Silver: Hangman Page joins commentary for this one and CM Punk enters wearing a John Tavares Islanders jersey, on Long Island, which is cracking me up. Silver enters with the rest of the Dark Order to a huge reception from his hometown. Punk looks like the heel tonight and he also looks like he is very comfortable with that. Silver knocks him down with a shoulder block and Punk is now less comfortable looking than he was before. He slides out for a breather but Silver chases him and the crowd loves “Johnny Hungy!” Punk is now dominant but the crowd is still firmly behind Silver. Johnny finally gets going and lands some kicks but he is met with a backslide from CM Punk. Silver nails a sheer-drop-brainbuster but it’s not quite enough. Punk lands a roundhouse to regain control. He follows with his classic knee bulldog combo and then taunts the crowd. Punk lands a buckshot lariat to put John Silver away and Hangman Page is not a happy camper as he stomps to the ring. This was a solid match, but the Punk and Page faceoff after the match is what makes the whole thing.
Result: CM Punk by Pinfall via Buckshot Lariat
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
CM Punk and Hangman Page in ring promo: Page is not happy about Punk using the Buckshot, and Punk doesn’t care. This staredown is outstanding. It’s too short to rate but it’s one of the best segments in weeks as far as the AEW World Title picture is concerned.
SQUASH Danhausen vs. Tony Nese: Danhausen is absolutely beloved. The pop he gets from the crowd is thunderous during his entrance. Tony Nese is already standing in the ring with Smart Mark Sterling. The match doesn’t start with a lock up. It starts with an attempted “Curse” by Danhausen, a knee from Nese, and then a Running Nese to finish the match. Sterling takes the microphone and is making fun of Danhausen as Nese delivers another Running Nese. Mark tells Nese to do it again, but Action Bronson hits and the Cold-Hearted-Handsome-Devil they call Hook is on his way down to help Danhausen. The two share a handshake in the center of the ring, and Hookhausen is in full effect.
Result: Tony Nese by Pinfall via Running Nese
MJF-Wardlow Dark Side of The Ring Vignette: This isn’t a rateable segment, but it is incredibly entertaining and notable. This makes the entire face to face segment coming up that much more exciting.
AMAZING MJF-Wardlow in ring faceoff: Believe it or not the fans on Long Island love MJF. He sits adjacent to Wardlow at a table in the ring. Wardlow is unfazed. MJF runs his mouth about how great Long Island is. The War-Dog is cuffed by the way, which I probably should have mentioned earlier. MJF is about to finally let Wardlow speak, but he’s still got one more thing, he asks the fans to give the loudest boo ever. The crowd obliges and Wardlow isn’t allowed to speak. MJF is so good on the microphone it is wild. He is on fire in this promo, while the in house crowd is behind him, he’s so hateable it’s amazing. Wardlow has to wrestle Spears inside a steel cage at Double or Nothing, with Maxwell Jacob Friedman as the special guest referee. If Wardlow can get past that he will be released from his contract with MJF. If he loses, he’s never allowed to sign with AEW, ever in his life. Wardlow tries to sign the contract nearly without hesitation, but the cuffs are getting in the way. MJF approves Wardlow being un-handcuffed to sign the contract. After having the cuffs taken off Wardlow signs but he will not let them be put back on. Wardlow lays out the entire security detail as MJF hides behind Shawn Spears. The ring is cleared and only Wardlow, Shawn Spears and MJF remain. Spears is disposed of quickly and MJF is set up for a powerbomb. Smart Mark Sterling jumps on the back of Wardlow before he can slam MJF and Max is able to escape. Wardlow however isn’t done and he Powerbombs Smart Mark Sterling through the table. The deck is stacked against Wardlow at Double or Nothing but this is such a good story, and this chapter lived up without a doubt.
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 4.0 Stars
GREAT Jungle Boy vs. Ricky Starks FTW Championship match: Starks and Jungle boy are both cheered by the crowd. It’s almost split. It’s interesting because this has been very much a Long Island crowd thing when it comes to AEW. Starks works to ground Jungle Boy early, due to his agility advantage. Absolute Ricky is on his game tonight, but finally Jungle boy gains some momentum and knocks Starks to the outside with a dropkick. Jungle Boy scores with a comebacker lariat and has his first advantage of the match. He tries for a ddt through the ropes but Starks shows his power and lifts Jungle Boy into a suplex position. Jungle Boy figures it out though and delivers the initially intended ddt. He follows with a Snare Trap and Starks is in huge trouble, he manages to get to the ropes though to break the hold. Ricky hangs Jungle Boy up over the top rope and then goes to the outside to grab the FTW Championship. Swerve Strickland runs down to stop Ricky Starks but the distraction allows him to land a cheap shot on Jungle boy. Starks scores the victory with Roshambo and that is the end of the match. Ricky retains the belt and this was definitely entertaining, it was hard to follow what happened in the first hour, but they came very close. Christian and Luchasaurus stomp down to the ring and it appears they have issues with Swerve. This is interesting but not much comes of the exchange just yet. Hobbs and Starks get in Strickland’s face though, and that brings Keith Lee into the fold. Nobody wants any part of Keith Lee, and this is a standoff that is just that, a standoff. With only Jungle Boy left in the ring, Christian sticks around to give him a hug to end the segment.
Jericho Appreciation Society Victory Celebration: The Sports Entertainers are dressed for the occasion and what an odd segment this appears to be. Chris Jericho is not a fan of Long Island and he can get heel heat in about any city in the world. He drops a, “Jericho 2:16 says, I just burned your face,” line and the crowd is disgusted. Daniel Garcia grabs the microphone and finally someone has something to say. That someone is Jon Moxley, and he appears to be in a very Jon Moxley-ish mood as he approaches the ring. Jericho tries to tell Moxley to leave, and tries to use the numbers game as his bargaining chip. Bryan Danielson’s music hits, and he’s joined by Wheeler Yuta and William Regal. Then wait, Kingston, Santana and Ortiz are behind the Society and the numbers game has finally swung the other direction. The Appreciation Society are beaten to pieces, including a stiff left hand from Lord William Regal to the jaw of Chris Jericho. They run away and try to regroup, and this was an awesome segment.
Result: Ricky Starks via Pinfall by Roshambo
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
GOOD Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm Owen Hart Foundation Tournament match: Storm and Hayter trade front face locks and chair wrestle to begin the match. This is high quality wrestling for sure. Storm is matching the physicality of Hayter step for step. Storm plants Hayter with a ddt in the ring and then follows it with a tornado ddt onto the arena floor. Storm climbs the top rope and scores on a huge cross body. She plants Hayter with a german suplex to follow, but as Hayter spills to the apron she is able to plant Storm using a Uranagi on that same apron. Hayter has the advantage briefly but is hit with Storm Zero and that is the end of this one.
Result: Toni Storm by Pinfall via Storm Zero
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 3.00 Stars
AMAZING Jeff Hardy vs. Darby Allin Owen Hart Tournament match: This one is a special no disqualification match, and should be a gem. I’m slightly shocked it’s the main event over Dax and Cole but we will see how this goes. Both men are over beyond belief, and somehow this crowd isn’t exhausted yet. Darby starts quickly with a shotgun dropkick and a tope suicida. He proceeds to bring a mountain of chairs out from under the ring. Darby eats a flatliner onto the steel steps but not before he has set up a fort of steel chairs at ringside. Jeff follows with a clothesline using the steps for the springboard. Allin drives Hardy into the steel ringpost and moves to the apron. Jeff hits a Twist of Fate over the ropes and reaches for a ladder under the ring as we head to commercial. Out of the break Darby is on top of the ladder in the ring. He must be 24 feet above Jeff Hardy and the floor. Darby delivers a senton all the way through Jeff and the bed of chairs, and the crowd is in stitches. It’s the spot of the week without question. Darby crashes and burns on a Coffin Drop attempt and is set up on the ring steps. Jeff Hardy attempts a Swanton Bomb, but Allin moves and he lands spine first across the ringsteps. This is absolutely insane, considering both men are not only still moving, but neither has anything resembling a leg up on the other. Allin moves the action back inside and lands the Coffin Drop this time! At a two count Jeff Hardy rolls Darby over and that is enough for the win! What a match and what a finish to Dynamite this was. The dream match lived up to the billing as best it could. It was a series of human car crashes but it all made sense and both men walked away looking like a million bucks. Speaking of Bucks, the Young ones walk to the stage and stare down the Hardy’s.
Result: Jeff Hardy by Pinfall via Roll up
Clark Taylor’s WR Star Rating – 4.0 Stars
Overall: AEW seems to have it figured out everytime they head back to Long Island. CM Punk wore a John Tavares Islanders jersey to get under the skin of the crowd and it worked to perfection. His rivalry with Hangman has officially found some direction. MJF is still the hometown kid and they love him on Long Island, but his faceoff with Wardlow still helped solidify Wardlow as the hero in the hearts of the global audience. The segment between the Jericho Appreciation Society, the Blackpool Combat Club, Santana, Ortiz and Eddie Kingston was outstanding and worth a re-watch. Jeff Hardy and Darby Allin put on the live version of an action movie, and there’s multiple highlights worth saving. Oh yeah, Dax Harwood and Adam Cole put on an absolute classic wrestling match in the opener, and the spirit of Owen Hart was felt, without a doubt.
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: AEW
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