By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 155)
Albany, New York at MVP Arena
Aired live September 14, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] Excalibur was joined by Taz, Tony Schiavone, and William Regal to start the show. Jon Moxley made his entrance for the first match of the night. He was followed by Sammy Guevara, who was not accompanied by Tay.
1. Sammy Guevara vs. Jon Moxley in an AEW Tournament of Champions semifinal match: Guevara bailed to ringside immediately to avoid the initial conflict with Moxley. After he entered the ring, Mox took control with some mat offense. Sammy replied with some strikes in the corner but was turned inside out by a lariat in return. Both men traded slaps and chops, and Moxley mocked Guevara in the process. Sammy sent Moxley to the floor and landed a series of dives to the floor. He then sent Moxley into the ring steps on the outside, and then ground him into the steps with his boot…[c]
Sammy remained in control during the break and worked over Moxley with strikes in the corner. He then sent him out to the apron and set up for a piledriver, but was unable to execute. Moxley turned the tables by driving Guevara’s head into the apron with a gnarly looking bump. Sammy took until 7 to answer the count and return to the ring. Moxley followed up with a series of lariats in the corner, and then some hard chops.
Moxley set Guevara on the top rope and raked his back. He then bit him, before pulling him back into the ring with a butterfly suplex for a near fall. Moxley applied a double wrist lock, but Sammy reversed out and applied a Boston Crab. Moxley escaped, but Sammy quickly hit the ropes and landed a springboard cutter for a near fall. Sammy set up for the GTH, but Moxley slipped out and applied the bulldog choke.
Sammy attempted an escape, but Moxley landed some 12 to 6 elbows. He then set up for a King Kong Lariat, but Sammy reversed with a Spanish Fly for a near fall. Guevara then went up to the top rope, but was intercepted by Moxley, who threw him back into the ring with a German Suplex. Taymelo and Anna Jay then ran down to ringside, and Moxley told them to buzz off. Anna Jay distracted the ref, and Tay landed a low blow out of view of the referee.
Guevara then rolled him up for a near fall. He quickly ascended the top rope and attempted a Swanton, but Moxley moved out of the way. Moxley then went for Wheeler Yuta’s seatbelt rollup but didn’t quite get it and Guevara kicked out at two. Guevara landed a series of kicks and went for the GTH again, but Moxley landed on his feet and lifted Guevara up for the Death Rider. He then covered for the win.
Jon Moxley defeated Sammy Guevara at 13:46 to advance to the finals of the tournament for the AEW World Championship
Moxley celebrated after the match and the announce team put over his appearance in the Finals of the World Title Tournament next week. Jericho and Danielson will face each other in the main event. The announce team said that MJF was demanding a microphone backstage…[c]
My Take: A solid match, but not something I’ll be thinking about next week. The finish was a bit of a miss for me, because it was sold as a brilliant reversal by Moxley, but the only thing that stopped Sammy from landing the GTH was that he didn’t lift his knee. In any case, this was the expected outcome, and I look forward to seeing what Moxley and Jericho/Danielson put together for the final.
MJF cut off his own music and told Albany to keep their fat mouths shut. He addressed Moxley and said he hasn’t slept a wink since they went toe to toe last week. MJF said Moxley looked like a man that had no fear, and that pissed him off. He said he wasn’t the same man they were the last time they got in the ring together. MJF said that Moxley is the one playing a character, not him. He mentioned reading his book, and said he was just like these people, a filthy white trash loser from the sticks.
MJF told Moxley that he took that and built a great character, and that’s why these morons cheer for you every week. MJF said he knew deep down that he was still the same scared little boy from the slums of Cincinnati, but now he was old enough to drown his childhood trauma in alcohol. He gave him credit for beating his disease, but said his brain is more dangerous than his disease.
MJF continued and said the same applies to Danielson or Jericho. Bad things happen to people who get in his way, and he made sure to let the crowd know that it was his title. MJF recalled Moxley describing a demon who told him that he didn’t deserve anything he had earned since he left the slums of Cincinnati. He then told Moxley that if he isn’t careful, he would find out that MJF is in fact that demon, and he is not one that is easily slain.
MJF then turned his attention to Stokely Hathaway, and said he had more talent in his little finger than you pieces of shit have in your entire bodies. MJF introduced them as The Firm. Stokely entered with W. Morrissey, Ethan Page, Lee Moriarty, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn.
Stokely grabbed the mic and then MJF exited the ring. Hathaway described a meeting between himself and MJF where they put The Firm together. Stokely said this will be one of the rare times they are seen together, because when they aren’t MJF’s support system, they’ll go their separate ways. He described himself not as a publicist or a manager, he’s a friend with connections to get things done. Stokely said he does his best work when he’s hanging out and listening, because blackmail is what wakes him up in the morning.
Stokely went through his crew and spoke about their desires. He said he knows Morrissey wants respect and told him that he would get it and that he loves him. Stokely then told Lee Moriarty that he would restore honor to the ROH Pure Championship. He told the Gunns that they would stake out territory of their own away from their broke ass Daddy. Stokely then said he’s known Ethan Page for 10 years and been both bitter enemies and best friends. He said he knows he wants to represent his beautiful country of Canada and win the All-Atlantic Championship…
A video package addressed Jungle Boy wanting to get back into the swing of things, which led to him signing an open contract for Dynamite. We then got a return promo from Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt, who called him a stupid boy and said he would face a man tonight…
In the arena, Jungle Boy made his entrance, followed by Jay Lethal with Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt…
2. Jungle Boy vs. Jay Lethal (w/Sonjay Dutt, Satnam Singh): Jungle Boy has tape on his back from the chokeslam he took on the metal grate at All Out. Jungle Boy landed a dropkick and fired up the crowd. Lethal went for a dragon screw, but Jungle Boy countered into a pinfall attempt. The action spilled outside, but Satnam Singh prevented Jungle Boy from landing a dive through the ropes. Lethal landed a backbreaker onto the top turnbuckle, and Jungle Boy spilled out to the floor…[c]
My Take: Gotta be honest, not the strongest effort from either MJF or Stokely there. The entire faction feels pretty lukewarm and isn’t really a faction unless they are needed as MJF’s support system. If nothing else it feels needlessly complicated and lacking a bit of a cohesive chemistry between the members. MJF’s promo was decent enough, but it felt below par for him because he largely just shouted at people and his lines about Moxley’s past and his addiction weren’t particularly clever.
Lethal focused on Jungle Boy’s back during the break. They traded punches as the show returned, and JB got the best of it with a diving forearm. He then went for a brainbuster, but his back gave out and Lethal taunted the crowd. He went for a Lethal Injection, but Jungle Boy avoided it and landed a brainbuster for a near fall.
Lethal placed Jungle Boy on the top rope and landed an avalanche back suplex. He set up for Lethal Injection again, but Jungle Boy escaped and went for a Killswitch. Lethal quickly escaped and landed a Lethal Combination. He then dumped JB to the floor and landed a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Lethal attempted a kick, but got pulled into a Snare Trap. Dutt distracted the referee, which caused Jungle Boy to release the hold and attack him. Jungle Boy quickly reapplied the Snare Trap a moment later and got the win…
Jungle Boy defeated Jay Lethal at 8:41
A training montage of Hook and Action Bronson aired. They will face 2.0 at Grand Slam next week…
Backstage, Alex Marvez introduced Luigi Primo, the pizza tossing indie wrestler, as a tie-in for the New York show next week. Ethan Page quickly assaulted him, and said he’s the only one who takes things seriously around here. Danhausen walked up and mouthed off to Page, who challenged him to a match on Friday’s Rampage…[c]
My Take: I’m not certain why Lethal, Dutt, and Singh get featured so much on Dynamite over other talent, but I think they’ve fully worn their welcome with me. The act was always a bit corny and predictable, but never was that more on display here. Jungle Boy is fine, but if he’s going to be going by Jack Perry sooner than later, it might be time to upgrade his gear.
We got some Nitro Circus footage of Darby Allin attempting to kill himself on a Tricycle. Matt Hardy was then shown and he described his ongoing love/hate relationship with Darby Allin. He said he’s trying to get back on track in the ring, and challenged him to a match on Friday’s Rampage.
Back in the arena Powerhouse Hobbs made his entrance. Local wrestler Matt DiMartino was already in the ring.
3. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Matt DiMartino: About 20 seconds in, Hobbs landed his spinebuster and got the win.
Powerhouse Hobbs squashed Matt DiMartino in 20 seconds.
After the match, Hobbs demanded a microphone. The crowd started a chant for Ricky Starks. Hobbs said at All Out defeated Ricky Starks. He acknowledged that he was tough, but it only took 4 minutes and 35 seconds for him to beat him. Hobbs called that chapter closed, and said it was time to open a new chapter in the book of Hobbs.
Ricky Starks walked down the steps in the crowd and approached the ringside area through the crowd. He played it cool at first, but then ran straight at Hobbs and landed some punches. He then blasted him with the microphone and sent him packing up the ramp…
A video package on Death Triangle aired. The Lucha Brothers challenged Swerve in our Glory for the AEW Tag Team Championships, so that everyone in Death Triangle would be Double Champions.
[Hour Two] Penta and Phoenix made their entrance after the video, followed by Swerve and Keith Lee.
4. “Swerve in Our Glory” Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee vs. “The Lucha Brothers” Penta el Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix for the AEW Tag Team Championship: Penta and Swerve started the match, and Penta took control with a couple of kicks. Fenix quickly tagged, but Swerve made his exit after landing a springboard head scissors. Lee tagged in and landed some hard shots that dropped Fenix quickly…[c]
My Take: The Hobbs and Starks match at the PPV was unsatisfying, so I hope they get more time to get the story right in their next match.
Penta landed a powerbomb on Swerve and went for a pin, but Keith Lee threw Fenix like a lawn dart to break it up. Swerve avoided an attempt at Fear Factor and made a tag to Keith Lee. He entered and used his power to take down both Lucha Brothers. Lee and Swerve set up for the Swerve Stomp, but Penta broke it up with kicks. Fenix landed a spectacular Spanish Fly on Swerve. Penta then took out Keith Lee with an improbable Canadian Destroyer but was too exhausted to take the fall. Swerve cleared Fenix from the ring, and Lee responded to Fenix with his Fireman’s Carry into a Powerslam for the win.
“Swerve in Our Glory” Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee defeated “The Lucha Brothers” Penta el Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix in 8:22 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles
After the match, The Acclaimed made their entrance. Max Caster told Swerve not to interrupt one of his raps again or he’d beat his ass. He then spoke normally and told Swerve to keep nut hugging every celebrity he knows, and roll his friend Keith into Arthur Ashe next week so they could be beaten by the Uncrowned AEW Tag Team Champions. Anthony Bowens did his bit and then scissored Billy Gunn…
Pac was interviewed in the back, but was knocked out by Orange Cassidy approaching from off screen. Orange told him he wouldn’t be a double champion for long…[c]
My Take: A good match, but I was surprised it didn’t get a bit more time considering who was involved. I guess this was basically a tune up for Arthur Ashe, so I can’t complain too much. Pac and Orange Cassidy should be a fun match when it goes down. Those two work very well together.
Toni Storm and Athena promised they would take out Serena Deeb and Britt Baker in the brief promo. Storm asked Baker why she was attacking Shida, when she should be patching things up with Jamie Hayter…
In the arena, Deeb and Baker made their entrances. They were followed by Athena and Toni Storm…
5. Toni Storm and Athena vs. Serena Deeb and Britt Baker: Deeb started the match with Storm. They worked some mat wrestling early on, ending up in a stalemate. Deeb backed Storm into the corner and landed some chops. Storm turned things around and repaid the favor. Athena tagged in and landed a splash on Deeb for a two count. She then picked up Deeb and dropped her into a codebreaker type move. Baker created a distraction at that point, which allowed Deeb to take control with a chop block…[c]
Baker and Deeb controlled the action during the break. Athena tagged out to Storm after landing an enzuigiri. Storm sent Deeb to the floor and set up for a hip attack on Baker. She rolled to the floor, but Storm followed and landed a swinging DDT on the floor. Deeb and Athena both tagged in, and Deeb caught a flying Athena and pulled her into an armbar submission. Athena used her power to get to her feet and land a slam. She then landed a Meteora and tagged out to Storm.
Deeb caught Storm with a half crab. Athena tried to break it up with Strikes, but Deeb shrugged them off. Baker kicked both Athena and Storm, and then sent Athena into the steps on the outside. After a Rebel ref distraction, Deeb shoved Storm into a chair that Baker held up at ringside. Deeb then rolled up Storm for the win.
Serena Deeb and Britt Baker defeated Athena and Toni Storm at 8:48
After the match, Athena tried to exact some revenge, but Baker shut her down with a superkick. Baker went to attack Storm with a chair, but Jamie Hayter ran down and grabbed the chair from her hands. She then hit Storm herself, and then jawed at Baker as she walked off. Baker tried to apologize, but she was ignored…
A video package set up Josh Woods vs. Samoa Joe for AEW Rampage. Penelope Ford vs. Willow Nightingale was added to Rampage. Pac vs. Orange Cassidy, and a Fatal Four Way between Athena, Britt Baker, Serena Deeb, and Toni Storm was announced for next week’s Dynamite. Chris Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson is next…[c]
My Take: The ref looked like a blithering idiot during the finish, but I guess they got where they wanted to go with the four-way being announced for next week. They must be cementing Jamie Hayter’s direction at that time.
Chris Jericho made his entrance for the main event, followed by Bryan Danielson. Both guys walked out of the heel tunnel, FWIW. William Regal joined in on commentary once again…
6. Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Jericho in an AEW Tournament of Champions semifinal tournament match: Danielson landed some hard chops and kicks in the corner. He then followed up with a running kick, followed by more chops. Jericho replied with a couple of his own chops, but was quickly overwhelmed again.
Danielson sent Jericho to the floor and landed a sliding dropkick through the ropes. He then landed a running knee from the apron. He sent Jericho into the post shoulder first twice, and then back into the ring. He then landed a top rope dropkick, and then a diving headbutt for a close near fall. Danielson continued to take Jericho apart with knees to the ribs, and then kicked the back of his elbow.
Jericho got back into things by ducking a kick, and then landed a release German Suplex. He then followed up with a springboard dropkick that sent Danielson to the floor. He then performed a springboard splash onto Danielson on the floor and taunted the crowd. Both men traded hard chops in the ring, and then collided with a double cross body…[c]
Danielson applied Cattle Mutilation and then transitioned into 12-6 elbows. Jericho trapped one of the elbows and turned it around into elbows of his own. Danielson got to his feet, and they traded hard chops. Jericho landed a Codebreaker, and Danielson returned fire with a Busaiku Knee. Jericho dumped Danielson to the floor, and he landed awkwardly. The ref and doctors had to check on him, but Jericho interrupted them and attacked the injured ankle.
Jericho swung Danielson’s ankle into the ring post several times and applied a Figure Four around the post. Back in the ring, Jericho landed a chop block on the injured leg, and then followed up with a knee breaker. Jericho picked up Danielson, who was able to fight him off with elbows. He attempted to hip at him for a knee strike but ended up in the Walls of Jericho. Jericho transitioned into a half crab that wrenched on the bad leg.
The crowd fired up and Danielson fought towards the ropes. Jericho pulled him towards the center of the ring and attempted a spinning toe hold, but Danielson sent him into the turnbuckle. Jericho replied with a Figure Four. Danielson punched his way free and applied the LeBell Lock after a struggle. He sunk it in deep and Jericho was forced to tap out.
Bryan Danielson defeated Chris Jericho at 19:49 to advance to the finals of the tournament for the vacant AEW World Championship
William Regal said it was a proud night for the Blackpool Combat Club. Daniel Garcia was shown in the bank and endorsed Danielson getting the win. Jon Moxley returned to the ring and Bryan hobbled to his feet. They had a brief stare down and then shook hands.
My Take: A very good match to close the show. The leg injury adds some interest to next week’s match. Could it be another very quick victory for Moxley that sets up the need for a rematch down the road? Does MJF get involved somehow? This show was helped by several strong efforts in the ring, but the booking still feels like it’s on fast forward at times. Programs aren’t given enough time to feel special before they are thrust into matches the following week. It does eat away at the feeling of high stakes.