By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 140)
Independence, Missouri at Cable Dahmer Arena
Aired live June 8, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] The Dynamite intro aired and Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur joined in on commentary. Darby Allin was out first for the Casino Battle Royale. He was followed by Eddie Kingston.
1. Casino Battle Royale for a chance in the Main Event against Jon Moxley: Tony Nese, Daniel Garcia, and Lance Archer were already in the ring. Garcia and Kingston traded slaps and strikes to start. Archer stared off Allin and Nese, and Darby went underneath the middle rope to the floor and grabbed his skateboard. Nese tried to create a plan with Archer, but ate a chokeslam for his trouble. Archer then ate some skateboard shots from Darby Allin, the last of which sent him through the middle rope and out to the floor. Darby the splashed him on the floor.
Kingston and Allin then stood off and traded heavy shots. Kingston got the better of it and dropped Allin with a hard right hand. The first crew of wrestlers made their way out. Ricky Starks was first. Allin took him down with a Canadian Destroyer immediately. Jake Hager, Rey Fenix, Swerve Strickland, and Keith Lee followed quickly after. The action in the ring quickly became chaotic with the additional entrants and resembled a more traditional Battle Royal format.
There was a long period without much in the way of significant action. Nese and Swerve ended up out on the apron, where Mark Sterling got involved. Nese landed some kicks on Swerve, but was clubbed down by an intervening Keith Lee. After a few seconds, Lee just shoved Nese to the floor for the first elimination.
The timer counted down and our next group of wrestlers was supposed to come out….but nothing seemed to happen. The Dark Order graphics appeared on the screen but no one emerged. Archer was eliminated when Keith Lee picked him up in a powerbomb position and dropped him over the ropes and out to the floor.
Jon Silver finally made his way out, followed by Konosuke Takeshita and Max Caster. Despite all logic, The Acclaimed and the Ass Boys did their whole routine while the match was going on. Caster did take credit for breaking Punk’s foot. Austin and Colten Gunn joined Caster in the ring…[c]
My Take: This must be getting considerable time because not much happened in the first 10ish minutes.
Powerhouse Hobbs, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Dante Martin, and Wheeler Yuta made their way out after the break. Darby Allin did a Coffin Drop from the top rope to the floor onto Red Dragon. Dante Martin and Rey Fenix did some impressive aerial maneuvers among the chaos. Caster and The Ass Boys managed to scissor each other in the middle of it all too. Rey Fenix landed a kick to Caster while he was seated on the top turnbuckle, and he was eliminated.
Fenix landed a double cutter on the ass boys, and then Keith Lee eliminated them both. Swerve eliminated Keith Lee for some reason, and then stared him down smiling as Lee seethed about it. The last entrant and the Joker was Andrade El Idolo. The announce team drew attention to the lack of Wardlow’s participation, and Tony said he would talk to him about that later.
Jon Silver and Eddie Kingston were eliminated by Hobbs and Jake Hager, respectively. Hager and Garcia beat down Kingston on the floor. Takeshita landed a Blue Thunder Bomb on Starks, and traded lariats with Powerhouse Hobbs. He then attempted to toss Takeshita over the top, and got some help to finish the job from Starks.
Dante Martin sent Starks to the apron, but got low bridged on the follow up and was eliminated. Fenix and Starks battled, and Fenix landed a springboard kick and sent him to the floor from the apron. He then turned his attention to Swerve, who reversed an irish whip and sent Fenix to the apron. Darby and Andrade traded blows, and the crowd chanted for Darby. He and Swerve then worked together to land some heavy shots on Andrade in the corner.
Swerve landed a blindside dropkick on Bobby Fish, and then a backbreaker on Kyle O’Reilly. Replays were shown from the commercial break, where Kingston had eliminated Hager and Garcia. Darby managed to toss Bobby Fish, but was betrayed and sent to the floor by Swerve. Andrade capitalized and eliminated Swerve while he was gloating. Andrade and Fenix traded heavy shots, but were interrupted by Powerhouse Hobbs, who landed a spinebuster on Fenix.
Hobbs picked up Fenix and placed him over the ropes, but Wheeler Yuta snuck up behind Hobbs and eliminated him. Fenix managed to hold onto the ropes with his feet. The Final Four were Kyle O’Reilly, Wheeler Yuta, Rey Fenix, and Andrade El Idolo. KOR and Andrade made a temporary alliance and stomped out Fenix. Yuta climbed to the top rope and landed a missile dropkick on Andrade. O’Reilly responded with a head kick and a lariat that took down Yuta.
Andrade kicked Fenix out of the air and tried to throw him out, but it didn’t work and he rebounded into the ring. Andrade managed to catch Fenix with a low blow and tossed him out. Yuta launched a charging Andrade out of the ring as he was tied up with O’Reilly. Yuta and KOR ended up on the apron and traded kicks. O’Reilly managed to get back in the ring and tied up Yuta in the second rope. O’Reilly then landed a kick to the face and sent Yuta to the floor.
Kyle O’Reilly won the Casino Battle Royale and qualified for the Main Event at 25:21
After the match, Jon Moxley said he has been blazing a trail in AEW and big game hunting in New Japan pro wrestling. He said it hadn’t been easy, much harder than people know. He said in January he said he would grab wrestling by the balls, and described O’Reilly as the wrong guy in the wrong place. Moxley said June 26th is his moment 3 years in the making, and the forbidden door and the entire sport of Professional Wrestling belong to him. Pac vs. Buddy Matthews is up next…[c]
My Take: I think the most interesting moments in that Battle Royal belonged to Swerve Strickland. It wasn’t a bad match, but also not an exceptional one in any way. O’Reilly and Moxley seems like a foregone conclusion at this point, unless Tony Khan has a really questionable plan for the Main Event.
JR and Excalibur announced that CM Punk had successful surgery today, but not much new information was known. The announce team then introduced a new “All Atlantic” Championship, which represents AEW’s international community. They announced an 8 man tournament would begin tonight, with the inaugural champion crowned at Forbidden Door. There are four qualifying matches and a four-way will determine the champion at Forbidden Door. Buddy Murphy made his entrance for the next match, followed by Pac.
2. Buddy Matthews vs. Pac in an All-Atlantic Tournament qualifier: They tied up and traded some mat holds early on. They then hit the ropes and Pac showed off his quickness. Pac teased a dive to the floor, but then avoided an attempted interception by Matthews. After a bit of cat and mouse, they had a staredown on the floor…[c]
My Take: An All-Atlantic Title? Did we need another Men’s Singles title in AEW? Can we bring back the NWA Western States Heritage Title?
Matthews controlled the action during the break, but Pac pulled him into the ring with a gnarly DDT as the show returned. Pac attempted to capitalize on the DDT, but Matthews got the better of a striking exchange. Pac replied with a superkick, and then a German Suplex. He then fired up and landed a lariat that turned Matthews inside out. Both men climbed the ropes in the corner. Matthews shoved Pac into the ring, and then dove into sunset flip. That turned into a Liger Bomb for a close near fall.
Pac replied with a huge Poison Rana a moment later, and then the Black Arrow for the win.
Pac defeated Buddy Matthews at 10:32 to qualify for the four-way match to crown the first AEW All-Atlantic Champion
After the match, Rey Fenix and Penta ran down to celebrate with Pac. Penta Oscuro will face Malakai Black in a future tournament match. Eddie Kingston was shown backstage for a promo. Eddie Kingston blamed Hager and Garcia for costing him a World Championship opportunity. He told the Jericho Appreciation Society he hated them, and that he wanted Jake Hager in a match on Friday’s Rampage. Eddie resented being counted down, and pulled the production worker into frame and told him that he could tell the truck he’s done.
My Take: A very energetic and enjoyable match from Pac and Matthews. Pretty much exactly what you’d expect from two very impressive in ring talents. It would make sense for someone like Pac to carry the All-Atlantic Title if the idea is that it will be defended in places like Europe and Mexico.
Trent Beretta was in the ring and said he was bummed out because it was National Best Friends Day and they weren’t there. He said something else was bothering him, and he mentioned the Roppongi Vice title match from a few weeks ago. He said they didn’t win, but they didn’t lose either, and he asked FTR to come out and make it right by giving them another match.
FTR made their way out and Cash Wheeler had the microphone. He said the match bothered them too, because they wanted to prove they were the best week in and week out. Dax called Jeff Cobb and The Great-O-Khan Will Ospreay’s bitch boys. That brought out Will Ospreay, who the announce team called him the leader of United Empire.
The rest of the United Empire got into the ring and aided Ospreay in assaulting FTR and Beretta. Aaron Henare, Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis were the members in the ring. Davis and Fletcher landed a slam, and then Ospreay landed his hidden blade elbow.
Backstage, William Regal told Kyle O’Reilly to think of his wife and children tonight, because he’s facing Jon Moxley, who is on another level. He then said he would be in commentary to watch him get his skull caved in. O’Reilly said he thinks about his wife and daughter before every match, and that he’s got all the momentum in the world at his back. He recounted recent victories over Darby Allin, and Jungle Boy. Cole told him he had this, and that he was joining on commentary for the next match.
In the arena, Cole joined in on commentary. David Finlay made his entrance, followed by Hangman Page.
3. Hangman Page vs. David Finlay: Hangman landed a shoulder tackle early on that went awkwardly. Finlay grabbed an arm bar and dragged Hangman down to the mat. He then transitioned to a front facelock, and then a standing headlock. Finlay followed up with a shoulder block of his own. Hangman replied with a body slam and a high boot. He then followed up with a series of chops, and then dumped him out on the apron. Hangman then sent Finlay to the floor, and then followed up with a suicide dive that sent Finlay hard into the barricade.
Back in the ring, Finlay was able to reassert control by targeting Hangman’s knee…[c]
My Take: The New Japan stuff continues to be presented as a surprise while the announce team frantically tries to add context to what the audience is seeing. I think some video packages or introductions of some kind really could have helped here.
Hangman caught Finlay off the ropes and landed a fallaway slam. Hangman performed a kip up, but his knee paid a price for it. Hangman followed up with a series of chops and sent Finlay to the floor. Hangman splashed Finlay on the outside, and grabbed his knee yet again. Hangman caught Finlay with a sit out powerbomb, but didn’t make a cover. Finlay avoided a Deadeye attempt and landed a backbreaker and covered for a near fall.
Final attempted a second roped dive, and Hangman caught him, but his knee gave out and Finlay rolled him up for a two count. He then went for a German Suplex, but Hangman avoided it and landed a discus lariat. He then followed up with the Buckshot Lariat and got the win.
“Hangman” Adam Page defeated David Finlay at 10:22
Hangman grabbed a microphone after the match and said there was a lot he wanted to say about the AEW Championship. He said tonight wasn’t the night, because he wasn’t in the little Battle Royal, and he’s not getting a title shot anytime soon. He then remembered that there is more than one World Championship in wrestling, and then made a challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Forbidden Door. He then followed up and said he wanted Okada.
Adam Cole piped up and reminded Page that he was no longer a champion, and told him he doesn’t think like a champion, because it might not even be Okada at Forbidden Door, it could be his friend Jay White. He said he has won the Owen Hart Tournament, and Cole had lost his title, so if anyone deserves a shot at the IWGP Championship it was him. He called himself the Franchise Player in AEW, and no one was going to stop the roll he was on.
[Hour Two] Backstage, Marina Shafir confronted Thunder Rosa and demanded to be her next title challenger. She said she wanted to be her problem, and asked she could solve her…
In the arena, Wardlow made his entrance for an interview with Tony Schiavone. Wardlow grabbed the mic and welcomed the crowd to Wardlow’s World. He then said he asked not to take part in the Battle Royal because CM Punk is their Champion. Wardlow said if he’s not tapping him out or pinning his shoulders to the mat, he didn’t want it yet. He then turned his attention to another title, one that had an incredible amount of respect but has now fallen because of the last few Champions.
Wardlow said he had held this title 3 months ago, and he’s thought about it every day since. He demanded a shot at the TNT Title, which brought out Scorpio Sky. Dan Lambert and Ethan Page gave chase and stopped Scorpio. Wardlow said he would wait until Wardlow is 110 percent, because he’s now All Elite and he’s got time.
Mark Sterling was then shown backstage, and said Wardlow could face him in a court of law, or face 20 Security Professionals in a handicap match next week… Marina Shafir vs. Thunder Rosa is next…[c]
My Take: That Wardlow logic was gawd awful. Kind of embarrassing honestly. Now he has to beat up 20 security guards next week? All in a day’s work I guess. Adam Cole still carrying around his Owen Hart Tournament belt is very silly and pointless.
Backstage, the Young Bucks recounted their week and said they were back after defeating The Lucha Brothers and Jurassic Express. They wanted a title shot, but were interrupted by the Hardy’s who also feel they deserve a title shot. Christian and Jurassic Express walked in, and laid out a challenge to both teams for a ladder match for the Tag Team Titles next week on Dynamite. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus didn’t seem too happy with Christian for making that challenge on their behalf.
In the arena, Marina Shafir made her entrance, followed by Thunder Rosa…
4. Thunder Rosa vs. Marina Shafir for the AEW Women’s Championship: Both women tied up and refused to let go in the early going. Shafir landed a knee strike and then tossed Rosa into the corner. Rosa escaped and applied a double wristlock. Shafir transitioned into a rear naked choke, but Rosa avoided it. Shafir went for an ankle lock, but Rosa twisted free. After some awkward hip strikes, Shafir landed a snap suplex…[c]
Shafir controlled the action during the break with holds and submission attempts. Rosa replied with some knee strikes and a double knee strike in the corner. She then landed a pair of running drop kicks and a Fisherman’s Suplex for a near fall. Shafir fired back with a judo throw, but Rosa got to her feet and landed a Death Valley Driver for a close near fall.
Rosa landed a series of kicks, and Shafir replied with the same. Shafir picked up Rosa for a Saito Suplex, but Rosa rolled through and got a three count.
Thunder Rosa defeated Marina Shafir at 8:15 to retain the AEW Women’s Championship
After the match, Shafir kicked Rosa in the back and landed a series of strikes. She then applied a confusing submission that didn’t look like it had any leverage. Toni Storm ran out and made the save. Rosa then delivered a Fire Thunder Driver to Shafir. Storm picked up the AEW Title and she and Rosa shared some looks over it…
Backstage, Stokely Hathaway was with Jade Cargill and The Baddies were backstage. Stokely couldn’t remember Kris Statlander’s name, and told Kat Highlander that she had a match with Red Velvet on Rampage. They said nobody could beat Velvet, and she’d have Statlander begging like Keith Sweat…
Excalibur ran through 1200 matches that I missed because I was 30 seconds behind and trying to catch up… Moxley vs. O’Reilly is next…[c]
My Take: That Rosa and Shafir match was a bit of a mess. I am looking forward to a potential Rosa vs. Toni Storm feud. I wouldn’t even mind a heel turn for one of them if it actually led somewhere interesting.
Kyle O’Reilly made his entrance for the main event, followed by Jon Moxley. William Regal joined in on commentary, as promised earlier.
5. Jon Moxley vs. Kyle O’Reilly in an AEW Interim Title Eliminator Qualifying Match: After some early mat work, Moxley tripped up O’Reilly and covered for a two count. He then slapped O’Reilly a few times, and they tied back up. Moxley applied a hammerlock, and then torqued on and snapped his fingers. He then attempted another wrist submission, but O’Reilly escaped and countered into a cross armbreaker.
Moxley escaped himself, but then Kyle landed a kickboxing combination. Both men then traded right hands, and O’Reilly took control briefly with some leg kicks. Moxley fired back with a lariat in the corner, but taunted the crowd and walked into a low dropkick. KOR then wrenched on a Dragon Screw with Moxley’s leg trapped in the ropes. He followed up with a top rope knee strike…[c]
O’Reilly focused on Moxley’s knee during the break. Moxley managed to pull O’Reilly into the ring with a superplex as the show returned. Both men traded more strikes, and it went to a stalemate with both men down on the mat. Moxley attempted a cross-faced chicken wing of sorts, but O’Reilly grabbed the ropes with his teeth. Moxley kicked the ropes to damage Kyle’s teeth.
Moxley landed more strikes, but O’Reilly replied with some stiff kicks of his own. Both men ended up down on the mat again. Moxley popped up and landed a cutter. He then picked up O’Reilly for a cradle piledriver, but O’Reilly reversed into a triangle sleeper. He then transitioned to a knee bar, but Moxley broke the hold by grabbing O’Reilly’s jaw and then punched him in the face.
He then followed up with a piledriver, but didn’t get a good cover and only got a two count. After a long slapfight, O’Reilly landed a series of strikes. Then both men landed 3 double clotheslines back to back. Moxley applied a sleeper, and transitioned into a bulldog choke. O’Reilly started to fade, and Moxley let him go and landed a Regal Knee. He then landed a Paradigm Shift and got the win.
Jon Moxley defeated Kyle O’Reilly at 14:32
After the match, Moxley celebrated with some blood around his nose and mouth.
My Take: A very enjoyable match with a predictable outcome. No offense intended to Kyle O’Reilly, but he would have made for an odd fit facing what I assume with be Tanahashi at the PPV. I assume Moxley is your Interim AEW Champion, which should make for an interesting showdown for CM Punk when he returns. Overall, this show was a mixed bag, with more negatives than positives for me.