By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 158)
Washington, D.C. at Entertainment & Sports Arena
Aired live October 5, 2022 on TBS
The Dynamite intro video aired, followed by Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz, and William Regal starting the show at the commentary table. MJF’s music hit and he made his way out onto the stage. Justin Roberts delivered ring introductions for the opening match. He was followed by Wheeler Yuta.
1. MJF vs. Wheeler Yuta: A big Yuta chant started the match. MJF ducked an early attack from Yuta and strutted about, but then ate a series of strikes in the corner. Yuta fired back with an arm drag and did some strutting of his own. He then went to the top rope, but MJF rolled away and then tripped Yuta into the middle turnbuckle pad. MJF then tossed Yuta into the corner, and then applied a rear chinlock. They both got back to their feet and MJF landed a gutwrench slam and covered for a two count…[c]
MJF remained in control during the break. Yuta broke free and went for a German Suplex, but MJF held the ropes to avoid it. After a struggle, Yuta was able to reel in MJF for a series of German Suplexes for a near fall. He held onto the waistlock, and delivered a fourth suplex with a release. Yuta then fired up and climbed to the top rope, but MJF walked out of range again. MJF caught Yuta charging in with an elbow.
MJF countered a head-scissors attempt into a powerbomb onto his knee, but failed to make a cover. He then slapped Yuta repeatedly, which fired him up. MJF landed an eye poke, but Yuta replied with an enzuigiri that crumbled MJF to the mat. Both men then traded a series of back and forth near falls. They then had a number of Tombstone Piledriver reversals that led to more rapid fire near falls, and then a double clothesline and put both men on the mat.
Both men traded blows in the corner. MJF set up for a top rope Tombstone Piledriver, but Yuta escaped and pulled off a top rope huracanrana. Yuta climbed to the top again, and MJF tried to roll away, but Yuta dove a long way across the ring to land a splash for a near fall. MJF recovered and managed to pull Yuta into a Salt of the Earth Fujiwara Armbar. Yuta attempted to escape, but MJF pulled him back into the center of the ring and applied an inverted version of the hold and got the win.
MJF defeated Wheeler Yuta at 14:45
After the match, Wheeler spun MJF around and offered a handshake. MJF acted like he was going to shake his hand, and Lee Moriarty attacked Yuta from behind. MJF scolded Lee and said that he didn’t ask him to do that. Stokely Hathaway jumped on the apron and handed a conflicted MJF the Dynamite Diamond. He was going to wind up for a punch, but William Regal walked down to the ring from the commentary table wearing a pair of brass knuckles. MJF thought better of it and left.
After that segment, a video package hyped the history and ongoing drama between Bryan Danielson, Daniel Garcia, and Chris Jericho. It was a well produced video package. Backstage, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, and Chris Jericho scolded Daniel Garcia for teaming with Danielson, and told him to do the right thing. Sammy Guevara appeared at the end to tell Garcia that they would end him. Jericho said tonight would be a taste of how he would desecrate the memory of Ring of Honor and leave Toronto and the Ring of Jericho Champion.
In the arena, Jay Lethal made his entrance, followed by Darby Allin.
2. Darby Allin vs. Jay Lethal: Both guys trade holds and mat reversals to start the match. Darby nearly collided with the referee after being catapulted into the corner. Lethal focused on the left knee with a low dropkick and some kicks. Darby couldn’t put any weight on the knee when Lethal tossed him into the ropes, and he crumpled to the mat. Darby reversed a vertical suplex attempt into a reverse DDT, but Lethal got right back on offense by targeting the knee…[c]
My Take: Good opener between MJF and Yuta. The conflicted MJF after the match is an interesting character wrinkle. I guess we’ll see if they do anything with it, or if it was just because of his personal history with Yuta. TMZ is reporting that Sammy Guevara and Andrade got into a backstage altercation, so it was a little surprising to see him appear on the show.
The pattern of the match continued, where Darby starts to build up a little hope, and then Lethal goes back to attacking the knee. He pulled Darby off the top rope with a dragon screw leg whip, and then locked in a Figure Four. Darby attempted to claw towards the ropes, and eventually succeeded. Lethal went for a Lethal Injection, but Darby upended him during the sequence and then dumped on his head. Allin followed up with a Code Red for a near fall.
Like Clockwork, Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt appeared on the stage. Lethal told them that he didn’t need them. Both men then traded a series of pinfall attempts without a count. Darby then pulled Lethal into his Last Supper pinfall bridge for the win.
Darby Allin defeated Jay Lethal at 9:49
After the match, Darby Allin tried to tell Lethal he didn’t need Singh or Dutt. Allin shoved him and offered a handshake, and Lethal gave him one. We then got a vignette for Prince Nana and The Embassy to give Brian Cage an opportunity to say nobody is better than him. After the video, Cage made his ring entrance with Prince Nana. Wardlow followed with his entrance.
3. Wardlow vs. Brian Cage for the TNT Championship: Cage landed some early shots in the corner, and then Wardlow turned then tables and landed some of his own. Both guys flashed some agility with Wardlow landing a dropkick and Cage landing a head-scissors. He set up for a 619, but Wardlow caught him and landed a slam. Cage recovered quickly and picked up Wardlow for a spinebuster…[c]
My Take: Allin and Lethal wrestled in front of a dead crowd. I’m not sure why we had two handshake gimmicks at the end of the first two matches. Maybe give them some space. Wardlow got a decent reaction based on visual inspection, but the crowd noise was a bit piped in.
Wardlow landed an impressive step ladder moonsault as the show returned from break. He then followed up with a series of German Suplexes. Wardlow then went back up to the top rope, but Cage intercepted him and knocked him down to the apron with a kick. He then pulled Wardlow back into the ring with a vertical suplex for a near fall. Cage set up for the Drillclaw, but Wardlow avoided it and landed a spinebuster for a near fall.
He then took a wild wind up for a lariat, but Cage ducked it and landed an F5 for a close near fall. Cage set up for a powerbomb, but Wardlow avoided it and landed a couple of headbutts. He then landed his big wind up clothesline and dropped his straps. Wardlow then landed a huge powerbomb, and then called out one more time to the crowd. Wardlow then delivered a second powerbomb, and then played to the crowd again.
Wardlow picked up Cage for a third, and then a fourth, and got the win.
Wardlow defeated Brian Cage at 9:40 to retain the TNT Championship
After the match Wardlow celebrated briefly. The Gates of Agony team, Toa Liona and Kaun, made their way to the ring to beat down Wardlow. Samoa Joe then ran down to help make the save, but the numbers were too much for him. FTR’s music hit and they walked down to the ring, and they had a stare down with the Gates of Agony on the apron…[c]
My Take: This feels like an ROH show at this point. A good match from Wardlow that made him look like a real powerhouse. Hopefully this will lead to FTR having an honest to goodness tag team match, but it probably won’t be on AEW TV.
Backstage, Britt Baker said she had an obligation to answer the question that everyone is asking, and that is the fact that Saraya will not be wrestling in AEW because the Doctor’s won’t clear her. She then said AEW was her house now.
In the arena, Penelope Ford made her entrance with Kip Sabian. She was joined on stage by Serena Deeb and Jamie Hayter. Britt Baker walked down with the heel squad. Saraya then made her way out onto the stage, and she brought out the team of Willow Nightingale, Athena, and Toni Storm.
3. Toni Storm, Athena, and Willow Nightingale (w/Saraya) vs. Serena Deeb, Jamie Hayter, and Penelope Ford (w/Britt Baker and Rebel): Athena and Penelope Ford began the match in the ring. After some posturing, Athena struck first with a dropkick and a powerslam for a two count. Deeb tagged in and immediately got hit with a springboard splash from Athena. Toni Storm tagged in and landed a shotgun dropkick. Toni landed a hip attack, and setup for Storm Zero, but Hayter provided a distraction.
Deeb landed a chop block on Storm thanks to the distraction, and capitalized with some mounted punches…[c]
My Take: I have to assume the “Saraya isn’t cleared” message is a misdirect, otherwise why not have Saraya bring it up herself?
Storm was controlled for the bulk of the break and broke free to tag Willow Nightingale shortly after the show returned. Saraya broke up some interference on the outside when Rebel and Baker tried to use a crutch on Willow. Deeb hit the ropes and Willow managed to land a pounce. Penelope entered the match and Willow took her out with a lariat. After some chaos in the ring, Willow got the win by landing a Doctor Bomb on Penelope and making the cover.
Willow Nightingale, Athena, and Toni Storm defeated Serena Deeb, Jamie Hayter, and Penelope Ford at 8:48
After the match, a brawl broke out that included Saraya. The babyfaces cleared the heels from the ring and Saraya stood tall after taking out Rebel with a kick.
The Acclaimed made their entrance. Max Caster made fun of Senators ripping us off with insider trading. Bowens did his Scissoring Celebration with Billy Gunn. There was a podium in the ring. Bowens said Daddy loves to Scissor. He welcomed everyone to National Scissoring Day. He broke down that Scissoring is a handshake and a sign of friendship, and the sign of a real team. Bowens said people want the Tag Titles represented by a real team, not a couple of guys thrown together like Keith Lee and Sneaky Swerve.
He said Sneaky Swerve wants you to believe they should be the Tag Team Champions, and that they are the most popular team in AEW, but that’s wrong because everybody loves the Acclaimed. Billy Gunn interjected to say that this is Daddy Ass’ house. Gunn then said he went down to City Hall today, and was asked to present the Acclaimed with a gift. He pulled out a giant novelty pair of scissors.
Caster then told the audience to turn to the people to their left and right and make an offer of peace through scissoring. He then said he wanted to talk about greatness. He said 40 years ago in DC greatness was achieved when Washington won the Super Bowl, and it means a lot to him because his Dad was on that Championship Ring. He said he still wears his Super Bowl Ring proudly, just like he wears his AEW Tag Team Championship
He called for everyone to put up their scissors and said that DC might represent the partisan division in the US, but everyone loves the Acclaimed. There is no red or blue tonight, because The Acclaimed wear pink and everybody looks good in Pink. Swerve interrupted them and said the titles should both be on Billy’s shoulders because without him they wouldn’t be the tag team champions. Swerve challenged Billy to match next week in Toronto.
For some reason, Mark Sterling walked down and offered to represent The Acclaimed in their dispute with Swerve in Our Glory. They quickly disposed of him, and Billy accepted the match for next week. They then scissored to close the segment.
We then got a quick video package that hyped up Dark Order challenging for the trios championships…[c]
My Take: So Saraya is cleared at least to trade a few worked punches. The Acclaimed cut a very fun promo, but having it all lead to a match between Swerve and Billy Gunn leaves a bit to be desired.
Backstage, Skye Blue and Madison Rayne were confronted by Tay Mel and Anna Jay. They criticized Blue for her lack of charisma. Blue responded that she’d work on her charisma if they work on their wrestling. She then challenged them to a tag match on Rampage. Jay said that Sports Entertainers always beat pro wrestlers.
In the arena, Rush made his ring entrance, followed by Hangman Page for the next match.
4. Hangman Page vs. Rush: Both men traded strokes to start the match. Hangman went out to the apron. In an awkward spot, Rush did the Tranquilo pose. Jose was very late to grab Hangman’s ankle, so it looked like Hangman was frozen in place waiting for Rush to punch him. The action spilled outside, and Rush choked Hangman with a camera cable and sent him into the barricade…[c]
Hangman fought back to his feet and caught Rush coming off the ropes for a cross body. He then tossed him with a fallaway slam. MJF was shown backstage watching the match with his poker chip. Rush rolled to the apron. Hangman landed a springboard punch and then splashed Rush on the outside. He then landed a Death Valley Drive back in the ring for a close near fall.
Rush landed a hard forearm that crumpled Hangman in the corner. Rush stood on him to choke him in the corner, but Hangman somehow forced his way to his feet and landed a jack knife cover for a two count. He then set up for a Buckshot Lariat, but Jose grabbed his foot again. Hangman made an attempt, but Rush landed a headbutt and a straight jacket piledriver for a near fall. He then set up for the Bull’s Horns, but Hangman popped up and landed a lariat. He then followed up with a Buckshot Lariat for the win.
Hangman Page defeated Rush at 9:16
After the match, Private Party walked into the ring. Jon Moxley then made his way to ringside through the crowd and nodded at them that it wasn’t going to happen. Mox grabbed a microphone and said he has been waiting for this for three years. He said he had been watching and studying him, and they had been circling each other for three years. Mox said they had beaten everyone there is to beat in AEW except each other
Mox said on October 18th in his home arena in Cincinnati, where he used to smoke and drink under the bridge outside, there would be only one man standing. He said he would cave in his face and choke him until he turned blue, because he was in the way of him being the AEW Champion and the best in the world. Mox said he respects him as a man, but when that bell rings he doesn’t have any respect for anyone.
Hangman grabbed the mic and said if he’s been waiting for so long, where was he going now? Moxley returned to Hangman and said he’s going to left him off the hook this one time. Like a lot of young guys around here you keep talking that shit and your mouth gets you in trouble. Mox told Hangman he’s got 13 days, and until then he better watch his mouth.
Backstage, Willow Nightingale was confronted by Jade Cargill. She boasted about being 38-0, and Willow fired back that she would be 38-1, and she would be the one.
Back in the arena, Luchasaurus made his entrance with Christian Cage. Fuego Del Sol was already in the ring.
5. Fuego Del Sol vs. Luchasaurus: This one ended basically immediately as Luchasuarus landed a chokeslam and a Burning Hammer of sorts for the win.
Luchasaurus defeated Fuego del Sol at 0:29
After the match, Luchasaurus attacked Fuego some more, and Jack Perry made the save. Jack told him he was his best friend, and he broke his heart. He told Luchasaurus that he would break his fingers, and his arm, and he would break him piece by piece until he broke him entirely. Jack said to pick the time and place. Christian responded that the match wouldn’t be in the cesspool of Washington DC, it would be next week in his hometown of Toronto.
Excalibur ran through 200 plugs in 10 seconds. We got a video package for Pac vs. Trent Beretta for the All-Atlantic Championships. The Main Event is next…[c]
My Take: That was a crazy amount of content in between commercial breaks. The Rush vs. Hangman match was very good mechanically, though the outcome was pretty predictable. Moxley’s promo was excellent as usual, and I look forward to his match with Hangman. Jungle Boy came across as a bit more likable during his promo, but I would have leaned more into the heartbreak than the revenge.
Chris Jericho made his entrance with Sammy Guevara. Ian Riccaboni joined in on commentary. Daniel Garcia was out next, followed by Bryan Danielson
6. Daniel Garcia and Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara: Garcia started the match for his team. Jericho offered him a handshake, and Garcia accepted. Jericho gave him a weak looking handshake with a smile. Garcia took him down and spun onto his back. Jericho got up and chopped at Garcia. Guevara tripped Garcia from the floor and entered the match to a chorus of boos. He landed some strikes and then Danielson was able to tag in. A fan held up a sign that sign “Hire an HR Expert”.
Danielson knocked down Sammy and then dove on Jericho on the floor. Sammy tried to dive on Danielson, but he intercepted him with a hard right hand…[c]
Guevara and Jericho knocked Danielson off balance on the top rope. Sammy then pulled Jericho into the ring with a Spanish Fly. Danielson climbed back onto the apron after being knocked to the floor by Jericho during the break. Sammy and Jericho did a pose and then went back to landing chops on Danielson. Both Guevara and Danielson collided on a double cross body.
Garcia and Jericho both tagged in and Guevara tried to jump at Garcia, but was swatted out of the air. Jericho and Garcia traded rapid punches, and then Garcia stomped him out and landed a suplex out of the corner. Jericho recovered and attempted a Walls of Jericho, but Garcia reversed into the Dragontamer. Guevara broke it up with a superkick, and then dove on Danielson on the floor.
Jericho went for a Lionsault, and Garcia got the knees up. Sammy tagged in, but leapt into a submission from the top rope. Jericho tried to intervene, but both men got trapped in submissions by Danielson and Garcia. Both men placed Guevara on the top rope for a double team, but he flipped out and landed on his feet.
Guevara landed a running Spanish Fly on Danielson. He then went for a GTH on Garcia, but he reversed out and landed a piledriver. Jericho broke up the pin, but Danielson immediately caught him with a knee strike. Garcia and Guevara traded heavy strikes and were both down. Jericho suplex Danielson through a table on the outside. Sammy went for a GTH again and it landed flush.
Sammy went up top and went for a Shooting Star, but Garcia got the knees up and applied the Dragon Slayer again. Jericho landed a belt shot on Garcia to break up the hold. Guevara covered and got the win.
Sammy Guevara and Chris Jericho defeated Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia at 14:12
After the match, Jericho and Guevara celebrated. The JAS celebrated on the ramp and Jericho gave Garcia a glance of regret as the show ended.
My Take: Not a fan of the continued downgrade of Bryan Danielson. He didn’t get a lot of shine in this match and the idea of Jericho having his number feels like an unjustified level of plot armor. Jericho doesn’t need to look this strong as somebody that’s supposed to be a fragile champion who has to cheat to win. This was a good match in a technical sense, but it felt grimy due to the off-screen issues with Guevara and the fact that he was booked to win this one. I’m also not thrilled overall with the continued booking priorities around Ring of Honor and its championships, and how it doesn’t integrate well with the rest of AEW. There were a few strong match performances on this show, but the booking continues to let everybody down.