By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 153)
Buffalo, New York at KeyBank Arena
Aired live September 7, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired. CM Punk, the Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega were no longer included in the video… Excalibur opened the show and introduced a video package that recapped MJF’s return at All Out and the new faction he joined in the process. No mention was made of CM Punk. Tony Schiavone and Taz joined Excalibur on commentary, while the crowd chanted for MJF. Tony Khan was shown in a pre-recorded announcement. He vacated both the AEW World Championship and Trios Championships. Best Friends will take on Death Triangle to crown new Trios Championships tonight.
A tournament was announced for the AEW World Championship. tThe winner of the quarterfinal match between Hangman Page vs. Bryan Danielson will face Chris Jericho in a semifinal match, and the winner of Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara will face Jon Moxley in the other semifinal match. The tournament will finish up at AEW Grand Slam in New York in two weeks. Danielson will face Page later on in the show in a first round match…
MJF’s music then hit, and he headed to the ring with a Josh Allen Jersey on. He celebrated with Taz and posed with fans along the rampway. When he got in the ring, he dropped to his knees, and made the announcement that the devil is back. He asked the crowd if they are excited to see MJF, and called Josh Allen the greatest QB of all time. He praised Buffalo and brought up the fact that the last time they saw him he said some offensive stuff.
MJF tried to play it off like he was just kidding, and said he loved this place and would never go anywhere. He started an AEW chant, and said he didn’t mean it when he called them all stupid marks. MJF then encouraged the crowd to chant for themselves, because without them there wouldn’t be an MJF. He then insulted an obese woman in the crowd, and immediately apologized and said he’d see her after the show.
MJF addressed the World Title Tournament, and said he’s all about working smarter and not harder, so he’s not going to do that. He’s got a guaranteed title shot, and Tony’s already paying him a boatload of money. MJF said right now the fans might think this is dark times, but what they need right now is leadership, and he’s the most qualified leader in the company. He told the story of Moses parting the Red Sea and leading his people to the promised land, and called himself better than Moses. He concluded by leading the crowd with an “I’m better than you, and you know it” chant.
Jon Moxley’s music hit and he came out to greet MJF through the crowd. He had a microphone in hand and they stood a few feet apart. Moxley told him he was absolutely full of crap. MJF asked if he thought he wasn’t being sincere in front of all these grotesque lard-asses with the worst football team in all of America? He then wiped his ass with the Josh Allen jersey and threw it into the crowd.
MJF said he has a point, maybe he doesn’t care about AEW or these people, and considers it a bargaining chip in the bidding war of 2024. He threatened to take the title to a real wrestling company with real fans, and real wrestlers like his hero The American Roller Coaster Cody Rhodes. MJF said he could go work for a real boss, the only Khan in wrestling worth a damn, jolly old St. Nick. He quoted his favorite wrestler “The Game”, and said that’s what would be best for business.
Moxley replied and told him that he wasn’t in the mood, and that he needed to leave the ring right now or he would make him leave. MJF took off his scarf and his shirt comedically, and then left.
Moxley told him his theme music sucks. He then said he was pissed off and embarrassed about a good many things, but mostly about no longer being the AEW World Champion. He said it represents passion for this sport, passion for this business, the passion of the people in the back, and of the fans in the arena.
Moxley said the three letters in the AEW Championship represent the heroes the world needed during the pandemic, and the death of the dark parts of the business that should have been left behind in another generation, and it represents everything that he loves about professional wrestling. He said the fact remains on Sunday that he lost, and that’s on him, and he was supposed to be on vacation until about two days ago. Moxley said this tournament is another chance to push the rock up the hill one more time. He put over the other competitors in the tournament.
Moxley said the best players always want the ball, and this was his time to take the ball and run with it. He said now was the time to become a legend. He then celebrated briefly and headed back up the ramp…
The announce team ran down the card for the remainder of the show. The Trios Title match is up next. Death Triangle made their entrance first, followed by The Best Friends…
My Take: Incredibly strong performances from both Moxley and MJF that accomplished a few different things. MJF is established as the next threat to the tournament winner, and Moxley did his best to return some honor to the company after the disgraceful proceedings that took place after the PPV. MJF was very entertaining in firing up the crowd before gutting them, and Moxley was very sincere in his disgust over what had happened over the past few days.
1. “Death Triangle” Pac, Rey Fenix, Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. “Best Friends” Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor for the vacant AEW Trios Championships: Penta and Orange Cassidy began the match and taunted one another a bit. Penta took off one of his gloves and tossed it to Alex at ringside. Orange Cassidy took off his glasses and tossed them to Danhausen, and put his hands in his pockets. Penta kicked him in the gut, but Cassidy responded by taking Penta down with a flying head-scissors.
All six men ended up in the ring and Best Friends were cleared from the ring. They quickly re-entered and sent Death Triangle to ringside, and then Orange Cassidy dove on all three men at ringside…[c]
Pac worked over Trent as the show returned. Trent fired back with some chops and a double stomp. Orange Cassidy tagged in and was caught with a hard back elbow from Pac. Danhausen jumped on the apron and pointed at Pac. Abrahantes pulled him off the apron, and Danhausen cursed him and punched him in the balls. Pac then went to ringside and took out Danhausen with a pump kick. Cassidy recovered and landed a cross body on Pac, followed by a Tornado DDT. Chuck Taylor tagged in and tossed Fenix into Penta in the corner. They looked to knock heads awkwardly but seemed to be ok. Penta delivered a slam and covered Chuck for a two count.
The announce team said Swerve in Our Glory will have a rematch with The Acclaimed at Arthur Ashe. Trent and Chuck gave each other a hug. Trent landed a tornado DDT on Fenix. Pac and Fenix then cleared Trent from the ring. After a bit of chaos, Fenix landed an assisted Code Red on Trent for a close near fall. Orange Cassidy returned to land an Orange Punch on Penta. Trent landed the Awful Waffle, but Pac broke up the pin.
All Six Men recovered and got to their respective corners. There was a Triple Canadian Destroyer from Death Triangle onto the Best Friends. Fenix and Penta followed up with Dives on Cassidy and Trent on the floor. Pac landed the Black Arrow on Chuck and got the win.
Death Triangle defeated Best Friends at 11:37 to win the AEW Trios Championships
Backstage, Dark Order was interviewed. Preston “10” Vance was offered another contract by Andrade’s assistant Jose, and they were rebuffed by Uno and John Silver. Vance never refused himself. Andrade walked up and said something I didn’t quite catch. Even the Dark Order seemed confused about what it was about. He tossed Vance a crutch…[c]
My Take: Death Triangle are a natural replacement for The Elite as Trios Champions. The lack of any story about the absence of CM Punk and The Elite is a bit odd though. Are viewers supposed to think they were needed back on their home planets?
A video recap was shown of the result of the interim AEW Women’s Championship match from Sunday. Hayter was shown wheeling her luggage past Britt Baker, and refused to speak to her after the match…
In the arena, Penelope Ford made her entrance, and Kip Sabian joined at ringside with a box on his head. Toni Storm then made her ring entrance to a solid reaction…
2. Interim AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm vs. Penelope Ford (w/Kip Sabian) in a Championship Eliminator: Ford made a clever escape from a head scissors, which seemed to impress Storm. Both women traded headlocks and escapes. Ford offered a handshake, which she used to pull Ford in for a shoulder tackle. Storm knocked Ford down in the corner and set up for a hip attack, but Ford moved out of the way. Both women ended up on the floor, where Ford sent Storm into the ring steps…[c]
Ford controlled the action during the break, but Storm made a comeback once the show returned. She landed a strong forearm that dropped Ford in the corner. Ford seemed to attempt a Northern Light Suplex, but Storm awkwardly reversed and then got the pin. I’m not sure if there was an injury there or just an awkward spot.
Interim AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm defeated Penelope Ford at 5:59
After the match, we got a video package that se tup Action Bronson and Hook confronting 2.0 at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Acclaimed made their entrance in the arena. Before they could finish the entrance, Swerve interrupted them to prevent Caster from rapping. He asked if the crowd was there to hear more corny rap jokes, and they cheered. Swerve said he had a joke for them…and they started an asshole chant. The joke was The Acclaimed as AEW Tag Champions.
Billy Gunn then interrupted and said it wasn’t Swerve’s house anymore….it was Daddy Ass’s house. Bowens reiterated that the uncrowned champions The Acclaimed would take on Swerve in Our Glory at Arthur Ashe, and he then did the scissor me Daddy Ass bit. Chris Jericho is up next…[c]
My Take: The crowd was hot that Caster didn’t get to rap, but it definitely helped get heat on Swerve that he didn’t. Storm and Ford had a decent match, but I wouldn’t call it a good one. The finish was very awkward.
Chris Jericho and Anna Jay stood with Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti backstage. Tony Schiavone conducted the interview. Jericho said the JAS was better than ever. He told the story of Ponce De Leon searching for the fountain of youth, but said he found it and called himself the best sports entertainer ever. He said he would beat Bryan Danielson next week (news to Hangman Page) and that Sammy Guevara would beat Darby Allin on Friday. He called AEW his company and that no one could take it away from him.
Jericho called Sammy and Daniel Garcia his sons in the locker room, and told Garcia that he was on his own later against Wheeler Yuta. Guevara commented on how sexy he and Jericho’s abs are.
[Hour Two] Wardlow made his entrance in the arena. Mark Sterling was in the ring with Challenger Tony Nese. This match is for the TNT Championship.
3. Wardlow vs. Tony Nese (w/Mark Sterling) for the TNT Championship: After a headbutt and a Symphony of Powerbombs, Wardlow made quick work of perennial loser Tony Nese.
Wardlow defeated Tony Nese at 0:59 to retain the TNT Championship
After the match, Wardlow pulled Mark Sterling into the ring and set up to give him a Powerbomb, but Josh Woods made the save. After the match, Wardlow said he’s been hearing a lot on the internet that Wardlow has lost his momentum, and he should do this and that. He thanked his fans that had stuck with him since day one, and reminded his critics that this is Wardlow’s World. After the promo, we got a video package that hyped up Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara for Rampage this week…
In the arena, Bryan Danielson made his entrance, followed by Hangman Page.
My Take: I can’t believe Jericho spoiled the finish to Page and Danielson. What a blunder. It’s nice of Wardlow to remind me that I’m an internet asshole who said he had lost momentum.
4. Bryan Danielson vs. Hangman Page in a Wild Card Match in the AEW World Title Tournament: The match began with some mat wrestling and reversals. After 90 seconds of that, Danielson backed Page in the corner and slapped him on the chest. Hangman replied with some chops, but Danielson quickly took him down and set up for a surfboard lock. Instead, he just decided to stomp on Hangman’s knees. They then traded chops and kicks, with Danielson getting the better of it.
Danielson climbed to the top rope, but was given a forearm that knocked him out to the apron. Hangman then followed up with a slingshot clothesline that dumped Danielson to the floor. Hangman attempted a dive to the floor, but missed. Danielson applied a hammer lock and then sent Page into the ring post…[c]
Hangman took control and landed a hard lariat in the corner. He followed up with a Death Valley Driver and covered for a two count. Hangman continued to get some boos from the crowd. Danielson fired back with corner dropkicks. On the third attempt, Hangman attempted a pop up powerbomb, but Danielson reversed into a head scissors takeover. He then followed up with a series of kicks to the shoulder and head. Bryan went up to the top rope, but Hangman quickly recovered and knocked him into a seated position.
Both men fought on the top rope, and Page pulled Danielson into the ring with a leaping slam. Page setup for a Buckshot Lariat, but Danielson rolled out of the ring to recover…[c]
Page and Danielson both rose to their feet and traded strikes. Page managed to land a sit out powerbomb for a close near fall. Both men showed signs of fatigue. Hangman placed Danielson on the top rope and climbed to meet him there. Danielson slipped out and hung him in the tree of woe. He then landed a baseball slide dropkick, and pulled Hangman back up to a seated position. Danielson then went for an avalanche back suplex, but Hangman landed on his feet. He then followed up with a lariat for a near fall.
Danielson managed to pull Hangman into position for the Lebell Lock. Page escaped, but Bryan landed a butterfly suplex and quickly transitioned from an armbar back into the Lebell Lock. Page rotated out again and landed some knee strikes. Both men got back to their feet, and traded some strikes. Bryan attempted what appeared to be a sunset flip, but Hangman countered into a Deadeye for a close near fall.
Page climbed to the top rope and attempted a moonsault, but Danielson got out of the way. He then landed a Busaiku Knee, but Hangman landed near the ropes and rolled out of the ring. Bryan attempted to dive at Hangman at ringside, but was caught and slammed into the ring apron. Hangman shoved him into the ring and went for a Buckshot Lariat, but Danielson avoided it and rolled up Hangman with an O’Connor Roll for the win.
Bryan Danielson defeated Hangman Page at 23:04 to advance to the semifinals of the tournament for the vacant AEW World Championship
After the match, Danielson looked at the AEW World Championship. We then got a video package for Jungle Boy and Christian. It was revealed that Christian left to have some surgery, and Jungle Boy said he just prolonged the inevitable. He then turned his attention to Luchasaurus, and said he had been left with no choice but to destroy him…[c]
My Take: A very good match that was spoiled by Jericho’s mistake earlier. It’ll be interesting to see if they pull the trigger on Danielson as Champion given his injury history. I have to assume it will be him and Moxley in the finals. AEW is doing a better job with adding more transitions and video packages to the show tonight.
Stokely Hathaway stood on the stage and said everybody wants an explanation for what he did at All Out. Somebody walked from off screen and told Stokely they didn’t have time to do this. Stokely told him that when he has a microphone, he is owed the same respect as that man’s father. Stokely’s crew consisted of the Gunn Brothers, Lee Moriarty, W. Morrissey, and Ethan Page destroyed the production assistant. Curiously, MJF was not present.
The announce team plugged Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara for Rampage, Claudio Castagnoli vs Dax Harwood, and an appearance from Samoa Joe for Friday’s AEW Rampage. We got a video package for Dax vs. Claudio.
Jericho vs. Danielson, and Moxley vs. Guevara or Allin will happen next week on Dynamite. Wheeler Yuta vs. Daniel Garcia is next…
Westside Gunn provided entrance music for Daniel Garcia. Caprice Coleman joined on commentary along with William Regal. Wheeler Yuta then made his ring entrance. Judges Jerry Lynn, BJ Whitmer, and Matt Sydal were shown at ringside. Apparently, Sydal had to fill in because all of the other producers are suspended.
5. Wheeler Yuta vs. Daniel Garcia for the Ring of Honor Pure Championship: I believe the match result is forfeit because they didn’t shake hands to start the match. Garcia landed a shoulder block as the crowd went crazy for him as the hometown guy. Wheeler picked his leg and applied an ankle lock of sorts. Garcia broke free and they had a shoving match. Both men traded holds without gaining a clear advantage…[c]
Yuta landed a flying elbow from the top. Garcia fired up with a hard slap and then landed a back suplex. He followed up with a lariat and covered for a near fall. Yuta avoided the Dragonslayer (Sharpshooter) and landed a series of German Suplexes. After a series of standing switches, Wheeler Yuta ate a German Suplex from the second rope that looked like it damn near killed him…[c]
Both men got to their feet and climbed back to the top rope. They traded strikes and Garcia pulled Yuta back into the ring with a Superplex. Both men struggled to their feet, and then frantically traded slaps. Garcia landed a big kick, and called for a standing ten count. Yuta made it to his feet at eight, and then Garcia applied the Dragontamer. Yuta used one of his rope breaks to escape the hold.
Yuta landed a closed fisted punch and received a warning from the referee. Garcia pulled Yuta into a Dragontamer again, but Yuta escaped and applied a Crossface. He transitioned into a Seatbelt pin for a near fall. Garcia applied the Dragontamer again. Yuta attempted to escape by cranking Garcia’s neck, but could not, and had to tap out.
Daniel Garcia defeated Wheeler Yuta for the ROH Pure Title at 16:12
After the match, Bryan Danielson walked out and entered the ring. Yuta shoved him away at first, and shook Garcia’s hand. Danielson then grabbed the Pure Championship Belt and clasped it across the waist of Garcia. Danielson then shook Garcia’s hand and raised it into the air. Jericho walked out onto the stage and was unhappy that Garcia had participated in the celebration.
My Take: A strong main event, but I’m curious how it does in the ratings with relatively low star power in comparison with the Danielson vs. Page match that came before it. Yuta and Garcia are both future stars if they can continue to add personality and promo success to their already strong in ring performances. Overall, this was a very odd episode of Dynamite that did its best to avoid the controversies that had been driving the news the past few days. Given that the show was presented business as usual, it’ll be interesting to see if people tuned out throughout the show.