By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 144)
Rochester, New York at Blue Cross Arena
Aired live July 6, 2022 on TBS
Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Schiavone opened the show on commentary. Wardlow made his entrance first for the opening match street fight. He was followed by Scorpio Sky, who was accompanied by Dan Lambert, Ethan Page, and a grab bag of guys from American Top Team. The crowd chanted for Wardlow while Sky completed his entrance.
1. Wardlow vs. Scorpio Sky (w/Dan Lambert, Ethan Page) in a Street Fight for the TNT Title: Sky used his speed in the early going to evade Wardlow, and landed some quick strikes. He then hit the ropes, but ran into a Wardlow shoulder block. Sky then responded with a low blow, but Wardlow shook it off and landed an overhead suplex. He then landed a couple of biel tosses, and Sky rolled to the floor. Wardlow followed, and was confronted by Lambert and Top Team. Sky threw Wardlow into the ring steps, and the Top Team guys all stomped on Wardlow until he escaped into the ring…[c]
Wardlow took over during the commercial break and landed heavy shots on Sky in the corner. Sky avoided a charging Wardlow, who then collided with the ring post. Both men then ended up on the top turnbuckle. Wardlow shoved Sky back into the ring, and then landed a Swanton from the top. Wardlow got to his feet and set up for a Powerbomb. The ATT guys jumped into the ring to prevent further damage to Sky, but Wardlow quickly neutralized them and took them out.
Sky ambushed Wardlow with a belt shot as he fired up the crowd. He then covered for a close near fall. Lambert called for the TKO, but Wardlow escaped and shoved Sky into Lambert, who had jumped on the apron. Wardlow then fired up for a Powerbomb, and delivered one. Not long after, he delivered two more and put his foot on Sky’s chest to get the win.
Wardlow defeated Scorpio Sky to win the TNT Championship at 8:01.
After the match, Wardlow celebrated with the TNT Championship as confetti was fired from ringside. Wardlow briefly celebrated and headed to the back while some fire blasted from the stage…
Backstage, Jon Moxley said people have lost a lot of money betting against him. Tonight, those people are licking their lips and hoping somebody comes along and surprises him with a beating he can’t recover from. Moxley said he knows exactly what kind of monster he’s dealing with in Brody King, and thinks people might be forgetting what kind of monster he is. He said he took someone he deeply respected in Hiroshi Tanahashi, and beat him within an inch of his life.
Moxley said he grinded people against the cage in Blood and Guts for fun, and called it Sunday Golf for him. He knows exactly who Brody King is, and his friends, and he questioned whether he had the heart to beat him. Moxley then said the Blackpool Combat Club does its research, and he knows how to take people to their absolute limit. He said it was step up or get stepped on later tonight…[c]
My Take: A fun opener that really squashed the threat posed by American Top Team, Page, and Sky. AEW has some work to do building them back up, and hopefully Wardlow succeeds to the point where a lopsided beatdown of the entire squad feels worth it. Moxley’s promo was very good, but I wish he got to do more of these in front of live crowds.
Backstage, Tony Nese and Mark Sterling approached Keith Lee with a petition to remove Swerve Strickland from the roster, because he’s a menace. Lee said Swerve was still his partner, and they were still winning, and he walked away…
Christian made his ring entrance. He was quickly joined by Luchasaurus. Christian had a microphone. He said they were on the heels of Blood and Guts, but he was the Cage everybody is talking about. Christian called the crowd pieces of crap, and said they were demanding answers from Luchasaurus just like they demanded answers from him. He started to address Luchasaurus remaining aligned with him, but was interrupted.
Matt Hardy came out and said Christian is the Michael Jordan of being an asshole. He called Jungle Boy a friend, and said that JB had trusted Christian before he screwed him over. Christian responded and said he shouldn’t pretend to know Jungle Boy like he did, and told Matt that he was making his brother sound like the sober one. The crowd called him an asshole.
Matt responded and said that he sees what he’s doing with Luchasaurus, and that he’s just trying to make money off of him. He said he wasn’t going to be a hypocrite, and acknowledged that he did the same in the Hardy family office, which he regretted very deeply. He said he wouldn’t allow Christian to do that to Luchasaurus. Christian replied that Matt was a clout chaser, and that he was willing to use anyone around him to stay in the headlines. Christian said he used his wife, his kids, a dilapidated boat, his father in law, and even overlooked his brother’s issues so he could have one more run.
Christian continued that his brother wasn’t even the biggest embarrassment to his family, he was. Hardy threw down the microphone, and got a headbutt from Luchasaurus. The action spilled outside, and Luchasaurus gave Hardy a boot into the ring post. He then chokeslammed Matt through the timekeeper’s table…
A video summary of Blood and Guts aired…
Claudio Castagnoli and Jake Hager were interviewed by Tony Schiavone in the backstage area. Tony said they had agreed to no physicality tonight. Hager said Claudio had never been a World Champion anywhere he wrestled, and he wouldn’t be a champion in AEW. Hager called himself an undefeated MMA professional and demanded the respect he was owed. Claudio replied that anyone who has to demand respect doesn’t deserve any. He said he defeated Zack Sabre Jr in his first match, and beat the team run by the guy who Hager carries on his back. Claudio said he was undefeated in AEW where ratings matter, and would make it 3-0 when he defeated Hager…
Butcher and Blade made their entrance in the arena with the Bunny. They were followed by Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland.
2. Butcher and Blade (w/Bunny) vs. Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland: Lee landed a head butt on Blade, which prompted a tag out to Butcher. Lee and Butcher tied up, and Butcher was backed up onto the second turnbuckle. Lee biel tossed him into the ring. Butcher rolled to the floor and started to grab a chair, but Blade convinced him otherwise. Blade and Strickland then tagged into the match.
After a bit of back and forth, Lee tagged back in and they started isolating Blade in their corner. Both men landed dropkicks, and Lee landed a two handed slap to the chest. The Bunny created a distraction, which allowed Butcher to knock Lee from the apron, and Blade to trip Swerve from the apron out to the floor…[c]
My Take: This show is going 1000mph tonight. Christian and Matt Hardy had a notable promo, if for no other reason than all the Jeff Hardy talk. I can’t say I’m thrilled about bringing Matt into the program, as I think it muddies what should have been a pretty straight forward program. Claudio and Jake Hager should be an interesting match, just to see if Hager brings his best game.
Swerve bit the hand of the Butcher as both men struggled on the ropes. Strickland knocked Butcher back into the ring, and landed a diving uppercut. He then made a tag to Lee, who entered in and splashed Blade in the corner. He then bieled Blade into Butcher, and then tagged Swerve back in. Lee and Swerve landed a double team spinning kick onto Butcher, but Blade pulled Swerve into the way of a body block from Lee that sent him hard into the ropes.
Butcher and Blade landed some rapid fire double team offense on Swerve, and Lee was late to break up the pin, but the ref stopped the count anyways. Lee sent Butcher to the floor, and he and Strickland then landed their Powerbomb Double Stomp combo on Butcher and got the win.
Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland defeated Butcher and Blade at 9:41
Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs walked out immediately after the match, and Hobbs called them a trick ass bitches. Starks did his best Ric Flair impression and started shouting a bunch of nonsense about Lee and Strickland and what they had done to them previously. Starks called himself and Hobbs the best team in the company.
AEW Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks came out. Matt Jackson congratulated them on having good matches lately, and said everyone is eating well, but told them not to forget about who set the table. Nick Jackson said they had a very good match at Double or Nothing, 4.5 stars, but that’s an off night for the Young Bucks. They then laid down a challenge for both teams, and said they could have a Triple Threat Tag Team Title match next week at Fyter Fest…
We then got a video promo from Malakai Black. He said he envied Jon Moxley for his decisions and the violence he inflicted on himself. Black said they didn’t have the luxury of those decisions, and said he would make sure that Brody King leaves his mark on him, and that it would go far beyond the realm of physical pain…
Back in the arena, Eddie Kingston made his entrance for an interview with Tony Schiavone. Eddie first gave congratulations to Wardlow, and everybody who was on the team that won Blood and Guts. Kingston said Jericho made him a liar, and that he didn’t taste his blood because he didn’t bleed
Jericho appeared on the tron backstage, where Jericho forced Kingston to watch as Tay Conti slammed a car door on Ruby Soho’s arm. He told Kingston that if he continues to get in his way, that would happen to him…[c]
My Take: There was a match in there somewhere. It was alright. The Young Bucks referencing star ratings was a big eye roller for me. The build for the main event has been pretty good. Jericho getting his heat back was predictable, but necessary.
The Dark Order made their entrance with Negative One. John Silver had a microphone. He said the Dark Order was in Rochester, and Rochester is Dark Order Country. Evil Uno grabbed a microphone and said they have a special announcement, and thanked them for supporting them from day one. He then said the six of them are there to stay, and that the Dark Order is forever. Uno called it a new beginning, and that comes with a proclamation, and he knows exactly who should say it.
QT Marshall interrupted and asked how long they had to put up with that charity case, until he’s 18? He told Negative One he wasn’t his father, and that he took after his mother. QT said he didn’t have any of his friends with him, and told Negative One to send his friends to the back and face him like a man. Hangman Page’s music hit and he helped Dark Order clean up QT and leave him lying in the ring. Negative One got on the mic and said he could pin him now, but instead he’d wait until he was 18…
Jim Ross joined in on commentary for the second hour of the show. After JR sat down, Penta Oscuro made his entrance with Alex Abrahantes and Rey Fenix. He was followed by Rush, who entered with Andrade and Jose.
3. Rush (w/Andrade El Idolo, Jose) vs. Penta Oscuro (w/Rey Fenix, Alex Abrahantes): Rush grabbed an early roll up, but only got a one count. Penta landed a kick and sent Rush out to the floor. He followed with a baseball slide, but Rush avoided it. They then traded kicks and slaps on the floor. Penta entered the ring and hit the ropes for a dive, but Rush met him in the ring with a forearm shiver. Rush made an insulting one foot cover for a one count.
He went after Penta’s mask, but got a Slingblade for his trouble. Rush rolled to the floor, and Penta dove on him on the outside. Jose and Alex Abrahantes then started to brawl on the floor, while Fenix and Andrade tried to get them under control…[c]
My Take: While I appreciate AEW’s continued efforts to honor the memory of Brodie Lee, I think the segment with Negative One could have been dark in the arena rather than getting as much TV Time as it did. They could have used that time to let a few more things on the show breathe a little bit.
Both men slapped and chopped each other. Penta landed a backstabber, and Rush replied with a Powerslam for a near fall. Penta then landed another Backstabbed out of the corner, and covered for a near fall himself. He then stomped on Rush in the corner, and then landed some right hands. They then resumed trading slaps to the chest. Both men then landed headbutts, and both men went down when Rush landed a rising knee strike.
Rush continued the assault with stomps in the corner. He then attempted to go up top, but Penta met him there. Rush shoved him away and landed a missile dropkick from the top for a near fall. He then went up top again for a Senton, but Penta was able to kick out again. Rush fired up for a running attack, but Penta intercepted with a cutter. He then hit his Fear Factor Piledriver. Andrade broke up the fall by placing Rush’s foot on the ropes.
Referee Bryce Remsburg had to pretend he didn’t see it despite looking right at it. More distractions resulted in a low blow on Penta, and Rush tore his mask off. He then rolled him up for the win.
Rush defeated Penta Oscuro at 11:20
After the match, Fenix and Alex helped Penta cover his face…
Backstage, Jay Lethal made his ROH TV Title match with Samoa Joe official for the ROH Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view on July 23…[c]
My Take: A solid match between Rush and Penta. I think they have a better match in them, as there were some execution mishaps, and the finish was nothing special. Bryce Remsburg was put in a bad position a couple of times to look like a doofus.
Mark Sterling approached Orange Cassidy about signing his petition to ban Swerve Strickland from the roster. Cassidy said he doesn’t sign anything without his lawyer present. Danhausen approached pretending to be his lawyer, and Nese told him he’d make him sign it. They decided on a match for Rampage. The Acclaimed and Gunn Club made their entrance in the arena, and Colten Gunn stole the microphone from Max preventing him from freestyling. The crowd chanted asshole…
4. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens and “Gunn Club” Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn (w/Billy Gunn) vs. Fuego Del Sol, Leon Ruffin, and “Bear Country” Bear Boulder and Bear Bronson: Fuego and Max Caster started. Bear Bronson tagged in quickly and proceeded to wreck shop. He sent Austin to ringside and landed a Choke Powerbomb for a close near fall. Austin had to hurry back in to break up the pin. Bowens turned things around for his squad, and tagged in Caster to land a top rope elbow drop. Colten Gunn tagged himself in during the elbow drop, and then entered the match to steal the pin.
The Acclaimed and Gunn Club defeated Bear Country, Fuego Del Sol, and Leon Ruffin at 3:54
After the match, Billy Gunn was upset at the dissension. He gave a big lariat to Caster. Bowens wanted to scissor him, but Gunn gave him a Fameasser instead…
We got a Miro promo. He addressed Malakai Black and said he collects weak men whereas Miro disposes of them. He said once he was done with the House of Black, they would have many eyes to cover. Miro said he was coming, and he was enraged…
Back in the arena, Nyla Rose and Marina Shafir made their ring entrance. They were followed by “Thunderstorm” Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm.
5. Marina Shafir and Nyla Rose vs. Toni Storm and Thunder Rosa: Storm and Shafir started in the ring. Rose and Rosa brawled on the floor to start, but then joined on the apron. Storm got the early advantage, and tagged in Rosa. She knocked Rose from the apron, and then Storm helped with an assisted dropkick in the corner on Shafir. Thunderstorm made quick tags in and out. They landed a double team suplex and Storm covered for a two count.
The fast tags continued as Shafir was isolated in the corner. Rosa landed some hard slaps to the chest, and then tagged in Storm. Shafir landed some hard strikes to Storm, and then knocked Rosa off the apron. Rosa distracted the ref by trying to get back in the ring, which let Nyla Rose hit Storm with an umbrella…[c]
My Take: The Acclaimed and Gunn Club seemed to have an accelerated break up for whatever reason. I think they could have done some more storytelling there before pulling the plug on it. Miro and Malakai Black feuding has me a little hesitant about the promos we’re about to witness. Hopefully they stay focused and don’t stray too far off into amateur demonology and deities.
Storm made a tag out to Rosa, who entered and landed a cross body on Nyla Rose. She then fired up for some hard chops. Rosa used her quickness to trip Nyla into the ropes, and then landed a running dropkick. She then landed a second one, but Nyla caught her with a Uranage when she attempted a third. Shafir tagged in and landed a suplex, but Toni Storm broke up the cover.
Toni landed a DDT on Rose, who rolled out of the ring. She then landed a hip attack on Shafir. She and Rosa then landed a spike Fire Thunder Driver for the win.
Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm defeated Marina Shafir and Nyla Rose at 8:38
The babyface team celebrated together after the match…
Backstage, Stokely Hathaway was shown with Jade Cargill and Keira Hogan. Jade asked what that was last week, and Stokely said if AEW can have an interim champion, they can have an interim baddie. He said he offered Leila Grey $1,100, and he brought her into frame. She tried to shake the hand of Jade and Keira but was rejected. Jade said if she doesn’t work out, it’s Stokely’s ass…
Excalibur ran through the announced matches for Death by Dishonor. Challenger Daniel Garcia cut a brief promo on ROH Pure Rules Champion Wheeler Yuta, and said he doesn’t strike any fear into his heart with his fake tough guy act. Brody King vs. Jon Moxley is next…[c]
My Take: An enjoyable match from the women. Marina Shafir had a much better outing in this tag format than she had in singles matches recently. My interest level in the ROH PPV is pretty low. Feels like we’ve just had too many PPV’s recently.
Backstage, FTR challenged the Briscoes to a rematch at Death by Dishonor. Dax told the Briscoes if they want to be a King, they have to kill a King, and they ain’t dead yet.
My Take: Briscoes vs. FTR certainly adds a lot to the ROH PPV. Their first encounter was one of the best matches of the year thus far.
In the arena, Brody King made his ring entrance for the main event, followed by Jon Moxley.
6. Jon Moxley vs. Brody King for the Interim AEW World Championship: Both guy traded shots early, with King getting the better of it. The action spilled outside, where King tossed him into the ring post and the barricade. Moxley avoided a charging King, and sent him into the ring steps. He then sent King into the barricade with a Russian leg sweep. King fired back and dumped Moxley on his tailbone on the rampway. He then tossed him back into the ring.
Moxley fired back with a dragon screw, and then a figure four. He then focused on the left knee with elbow drops. Moxley and King traded blows, and then King put Moxley down with a Bossman Slam…[c]
King controlled the action during the break. Moxley clawed back in after King missed a cannonball in the corner. He landed a lariat in the corner, and then placed King on the top rope to land some hard chops. He then raked King’s back, and pulled him back into the ring with a Superplex. Mox went for a Bulldog choke, but King broke free. He then landed a dragon suplex for a two count. Both men got to their feet and traded hard shots. Moxley missed a big right hand, and King landed a huge lariat. He followed up with a piledriver for a near fall.
Brody attempted a choke, but Moxley backed him into the corner. He then pulled Moxley up with the choke to the top rope and dangled him there. Moxley slumped over, and King landed a cannonball in the corner. King missed a splash in the corner, and Mox landed a Paradigm Shift DDT. He then landed some hard elbows, and applied a choke of his own.
King got to his feet, and fell backwards in order to break the hold. Moxley released for a second, but then quickly reapplied the hold and turned it into the full Bulldog Choke. The ref had to stop the match when King stopped responding.
Jon Moxley defeated Brody King at 13:04 to retain the Interim AEW World Championship
Moxley celebrated for about five seconds before the show went off the air…
My Take: A very solid main event from two guys who work a physical style. There wasn’t much doubt about the finish, but they did a good job of executing the match and keeping up a satisfying pace. Overall, this show was more good than bad, but the pacing issues were pronounced at certain moments of the show. The first hour seemed much more packed than the second.