By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 165)
Chicago, Illinois at Wintrust Arena
Aired live November 23, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Schiavone welcomed everyone to the show. They recapped the conclusion to Full Gear and tossed to William Regal, who was already in the ring. Regal asked the crowd if they wanted to hear from the new champion Mr. Friedman (MJF), and said they would….next week. He said Mr. Friedman does not have time to come to…..where are we….Chicago. He said Mr. Friedman is on the set of a major motion picture, and would answer all of their questions next week. He mentioned an email that he sent to Regal a few weeks ago, that everyone would become privy to next week.
Jon Moxley’s music played and he stalked his way to the ring through the crowd. He mean mugged Regal on the way to the ring and then stared him down from the apron. Bryan Danielson ran down and put himself between Regal and Moxley. They had a shoving match until Danielson picked up a microphone and said he didn’t know why Regal did what he did on Saturday, but they’ve all done bad things. He said Regal had a bad neck and two bleeds on his brain, so please don’t hurt him.
Moxley paced around the ring and Bryan pleaded with him before slapping him. Danielson apologized and asked him to listen. He spoke about his Dad going through the same kind of struggles that Moxley had gone through, and explained that the only person who helped him through that time was Regal. Bryan explained that because of Regal, he was able to understand his father and love him for the last 10 years of his life. He asked Moxley to imagine someone helping his daughter to love him in spite of his troubles, and again asked Moxley to spare him because he loved him.
Moxley shook with anger against the ropes and stared Danielson in the face. He grabbed the microphone from Danielson and told him to get out of the way. Moxley then walked up to Regal and looked him in the eyes. He called him Lordship, and said he only wanted one thing from him, and that was to run away from him as far as he can and never ever come back. He then pointed over Regal’s shoulders and told him to walk, and keep on walking. Regal turned around and walked away, and Moxley bent over and sighed with exhaustion…
My Take: A really great opening segment with Danielson, Regal and Moxley. It’s the most story tension that’s been built in an AEW ring in recent memory, and a good showcase for why these types of segments are important for driving interest in the show. The crowd was understandably unhappy about MJF not being present, but they were obnoxious about it and it made the focused performances from Danielson and Moxley even more impressive given what they had to fight through dealing with the crowd
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Chris Jericho was plugged for later, and Orange Cassidy vs. Jake Hager is up soon…
Backstage, Renee Paquette asked Keith Lee where he stood with Swerve Strickland after Full Gear. Before he could speak, Swerve approached and Lee told him to choose his words wisely. Swerve covered the camera and told him they should talk…
Back in the arena, Jake Hager made his entrance with Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard, and Angelo Parker. Orange Cassidy followed with Rocky Romero, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor…
1. Orange Cassidy (w/Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, Rocky Romero) vs. Jake Hager (w/Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker) for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship: Cassidy landed some light kicks to start, but Hager quickly blew him off and took him down with a lariat. Cassidy knocked off Hager’s hat when he sent Hager into the turnbuckle. He then sent Hager to ringside and teased putting the hat on, but Garcia prevented him from putting it on. Cassidy dove on Hager at ringside while still holding the hat, and Hager caught him and slammed him into the ring post. He the put his hat back on…[c]
Hager tossed Cassidy to the floor, where he was caught by Taylor and Beretta. Cassidy took out Menard and Parker on the floor and then landed a Stundog Millionaire and DDT on Hager in the ring for a two count. Cassidy sold his back after being in a bear hug from Hager during the break. He set up for the Orange Punch, but Hager avoided it and landed a Uranage for a near fall.
After putting his hat back on, Hager applied an Ankle Lock. Cassidy stole his hat off and Hager broke the hold. Cassidy then landed an Orange Punch and rolled up Hager for the win.
Orange Cassidy defeated Jake Hager to retain the AEW All-Atlantic Championship at 8:41
Cassidy held his back after the match, and was tended to by Beretta, Taylor, and Romero. After the match, “The Factory” QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, Nick Comoroto, Lee Johnson, and Cole Karter made their way out to the ramp. Marshall said that since Cassidy didn’t have a problem giving away All-Atlantic Title matches…..the Factory surrounded the ring and the lights went out.
Julia Hart stood on the ramp after music played. “House of Black” Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews has returned and they laid waste to Cassidy, Best Friends, and Romero. The Factory remained on the apron, and they were attacked next. House of Black continued the assault on the Friends and The Factory on the floor. Security and some prelim wrestlers walked out and were dropped on the ramp. Murphy grabbed one of the security guards and handed him to Brody King, who delivered a piledriver on the stage. Black then grabbed a microphone and addressed the House of the Black, and asked them to rise. The lights went back out…[c]
My Take: Good to see the House of Black return, but let’s hope they have a point this time. It is much more enjoyable for viewers. Cassidy and Hager had a passable match, but nothing you’ll remember tomorrow.
A video package recapped the situation between Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, along with their match at Full Gear…
Ethan Page made his entrance with Stokely Hathaway, who had a microphone. He introduced Page as the next AEW World Champion, and then handed him the microphone. Page told the crowd that after he beats Ricky Starks’ ass tonight, they can join him in the ring and cry. Starks then made his entrance with his shoulder and ribs taped up…
2. Ricky Starks vs. Ethan Page (w/Stokely Hathaway) in the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Final: Page kicked Starks in the ribs immediately, and then posed in the corner on the top rope. He followed with an elbow to the shoulder and a punch to the ribs. Page then did some jumping jacks and smiled. Starks then fired back with some strikes and beat down Page in the corner. The ref separated them, and Page replied with a headbutt to the ribs. He then took over with shoulder charges in the corner. Starks attempted to elevate over Page coming out of the corner, but got kicked to the ribs for his trouble. Page then delivered a knee to the ribs and taunted the crowd.
The crowd chanted “Let’s go Ricky” as Page continued to deliver strikes. He then hit the ropes, but Starks fired back with a spear. He then rolled to ringside and was unable to capitalize. Page followed him to the outside and landed some punches and kicks on the floor…[c]
Starks fired back with some punches in the ring. He attempted a tornado DDT, but Page dropped his ribs on the top rope. Starks recovered enough to avoid being dropped on the apron, and sent Page out to the floor. He then attempted a dive, but Stokely Hathaway pulled Page out of the way. The referee saw this and ejected Hathaway from ringside. Both men then battled on the top turnbuckle. Starks fought off a slam from Page and pulled him into the ring with a superplex. He then followed up with a swinging neckbreaker.
Page struggled to his feet, and Starks put him down quickly with a tornado DDT for a near fall. Starks attempted a Roshambo, but Starks avoided it and landed a hard right hand. He then landed a big powerslam for a close near fall of his own. Page setup for the Ego’s Edge, but Strarks rolled him up for a near fall. Starks then landed a spear and fired up. He then landed another spear and picked up the win.
Ricky Starks defeated Ethan Page at 12:57 to win the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament
Starks will challenge MJF at Winter is Coming on December 14th. After the match…
A video package recapped the TNT Title Change on Wednesday. Death Triangle vs. The Elite is up next…[c]
My Take: A solid match from Page and Starks. They made the choice to work a slower paced match and told the story of Starks overcoming the rib injury to put away a stronger healthy opponent. I was a little surprised we didn’t see more near falls for Page, but overall things were enjoyable. It’s going to be very difficult to sell audiences on the idea that Starks could dethrone MJF, but I hope they can prove me wrong.
A video was shown of Jade Cargill confronting Bow Wow at his concert in Miami…
Backstage, Jade Cargill was interviewed by Renee Paquette. She called Bow Wow a wack ass rapper, and said Chicago was a wack ass town not deserving of her title celebration. Red Velvet was back along with Leila Gray and Kiera Hogan. Cargill called in Mark Sterling to say she had no comment on the Bow Wow situation. Sterling then handed Hogan a piece of paper that said her services would no longer be required with the baddies…
The Elite made their entrance to “Carry On Wayward Son” in the arena. They were given a mixed reaction from the Chicago crowd, with more boos than cheers. Death Triangle made their entrance next. Don Callis joined on commentary. Pac wore a face mask to cover his broken nose.
3. Penta el Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, and Pac vs. Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson in the second match of the Best of Seven Series for the AEW Trios Titles: Omega laid out Rey Fenix to start the match. Chaos began immediately and The Elite cleared Penta and Pac from the ring to focus on Fenix. The action spilled out to the floor, where Nick and Matt Jackson delivered apron powerbombs to Penta and Pac. Omega delivered a sit out powerbomb to Fenix in the ring for a near fall.
Rapid fire spots continued on the outside. Omega hit the ropes for a dive, but Fenix popped up and landed a cutter. Fenix then jumped to the top rope and landed a tornillo on the Young Bucks on the floor. Death Triangle delivered a triple dropkick to Omega, followed by a Risky Business double splash combination for a near fall. Omega landed a kick to Pac’s damaged face, which caused him to roll to the floor. Nick Jackson then kicked him again, and Matt dove on Rey and Penta on the floor.
[Hour Two] Nick taunted the crowd with a Randy Savage tribute of sorts, while Pac and Omega battled in the ring. Omega landed a Kotaro Crusher and tagged in Matt Jackson….[c]
Kenny Omega bit Pac on the face, and was reprimanded by the referee. Pac fired back with a German suplex, and then both teams tagged out. Penta and Nick Jackson tagged in, but both Bucks got in the ring. Penta took them both out with backbreakers and got fired up. Fenix tagged in and did about 20 things in 10 seconds. There was an impressive double springboard huracanrana on Nick Jackson. Pac and Omega tagged back into the match. Omega landed a V-Trigger to Pac’s back off a distraction, and then a snap dragon suplex.
Nick tagged in and The Bucks pulled the mask off of Pac’s arm. Omega took turns tagging with The Bucks and all three of them set up and delivered a BTE Trigger to Pac. Nick made a cover, but Fenix broke up the pinfall. Nick then dove on Penta and Fenix on the floor, and Omega landed another V-Trigger on Pac. He went for the One-Winged Angle, but Pac slipped out. Omega then landed a GTS on Pac instead, but he kicked out at 2.9.
Matt Jackson tagged in and they set up for the Indy Taker, but Fenix broke it up. He then dove on Nick Jackson and Omega on the floor. Matt landed a low blow on Pac. Matt then pulled out a hammer, but Penta had a hammer of his own and smashed him with it. Pac then covered Matt and got the win.
Death Triangle beat The Elite and have a 2-0 lead in the Best of Seven series at 18:46
After the match, Fenix wasn’t happy about the tactics again, but Penta seemed happy with himself. These two teams will face each other again next week in Indianapolis…
Renee Paquette stood on the stage to make an announcement. She announced the AEW management has asked Thunder Rosa to relinquish her championship, and Rosa agreed to forfeit her title for the benefit of all the women in AEW. She then welcomed the new AEW Women’s Champion, Jamie Hayter. Tony Schiavone lied again and said that Hayter had “absolutely earned the title.” Renee asked her how it felt to be the undisputed champion, and Britt Baker interrupted and said that Interim was never in their vocabulary. She then told Renee to step aside and let the champion walk to the ring…[c]
My Take: Baker bigfooting Hayter to take another shot at Thunder Rosa is pretty on brand. The Best of 7 match was once again chaos, but I think they are going to struggle not to run together with similarity. Undoubtedly very over with the live crowds, however. Just to note, this match featured Kenny biting Pac’s arm, Matt Jackson mocking CM Punk for not landing a Buckshot Lariat, Kenny Landing a GTS, and Nick Jackson leading the crowd in “F*** CM Punk Chants.”
Tay Melo and Anna Jay made their entrance, followed by Skye Blue and Willow Nightingale…
4. Britt Baker and AEW Women’s Champion Jamie Hayter (w/Rebel) vs. Anna Jay and Tay Melo vs. Willow Nightingale and Skye Blue in a three-way tag team match: Hayter used her power early on to control Tay Melo. She tagged out to Baker, who choked her in the corner and landed some strikes. Baker landed a snap mare and rolled up Tay for a two count. Tay fired back with some punches and tagged out to Anna Jay. Baker made a desperation tag to Willow Nightingale. She entered and splashed both Anna and Tay in the corner, followed by a scoop slam to Anna Jay.
Willow used Skye Blue for an assisted splash and covered Anna for a two count. Tay got involved from the floor and choked Willow with the top rope. She then pulled her to the floor an tossed her into the barricade…[c]
Hayter broke up a close near fall on Sky Blue as the show returned. Britt Baker tagged into the match and landed a swinging neckbreaker on Blue. Willow cleared Baker from the match with a slam, and Hayter landed a big boot on Blue. She followed up with a Hatebreaker on Blue, and Baker landed a stomp and got the win.
Jamie Hayter & Britt Baker beat Skye Blue & Willow Nightingale and Anna Jay & Tay Melo in a three-way tag by pinfall at 8:38
After the match, Excalibur announced that Toni Storm’s title reign will be counted as official in the AEW record books. Baker and Hayter celebrated after the match…
Backstage, “Top Flight” Darius Martin and Dante Martin and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler were interviewed together by Renee Paquette. Harwood told the Martins that he and Wheeler are very impressed with them, and told them they hoped they would take over tag team wrestling in the next decade. Darius thanked them for the nice words and then challenged them to an ROH Tag Title match on Friday’s Rampage. FTR accepted and the match was booked…
In the arena, Billy Gunn and AEW Tag Team Champions “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens made their entrance with the usual shtick. Caster talked some smack about Jay Lethal and Satnam Singh. The crowd erupted into a Scissor Me Daddy chant. Bowens said his shoulder felt better, and Billy took off his lobster claw tape. They then attempted to scissor each other.
Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh, Sonjay Dutt, and Jeff Jarrett interrupted and told them to keep their names out of their mouths. Jarrett called them ass clowns. Billy Gunn got the video cut off and scissored with Bowens before celebrating with the crowd…
Excalibur ran through the Rampage card, as well as MJF and Death Triangle/Elite for next week. Jericho vs Ishii is next…[c]
My Take: The women’s tag match felt completely bolted onto this show without any legitimate storytelling happening. Why not just let Jamie Hayter cut a longer promo, and begin the process of planting some real seeds for her obviously upcoming feud with Britt Baker? The Acclaimed are still mega over, but I think they need to add some depth to the act. It’s very thin.
Bobby Cruise made ring announcements for the Main Event. Tomohiro Ishii made his ring entrance first, followed by Chris Jericho. He did not have any seconds with him…
5. Chris Jericho vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the ROH World Championship: Jericho flipped the double bird to Ishii to start the match. Jericho yelled at Ishii in Japanese that he was an idiot, and they traded slaps. Ishii got the better of it and gave Jericho a snap mare, and then kicked Jericho in the spine. Jericho rolled to the floor and eventually returned to the ring. Both men traded more strikes, and Ishii delivered a back suplex.
Jericho grabbed a headlock, and Ishii shoved him off into the ropes. They traded shoulder blocks, and Ishii knocked Jericho down. They had another chop battle, with neither man getting the better of it…[c]
The show returned and both Ishii and Jericho were still chopping each other. Jericho was bleeding from an open wound on his chest. Ishii’s hand and face was covered in Jericho’s blood. Jericho landed a lariat and then several follow up Lariats in the corner. He mounted Ishii in the corner for punches, but it was reversed into a Powerbomb for a near fall. Both men screamed at each other, and Jericho landed a running forearm that sent Ishii to the apron. Jericho attempted to land a springboard dropkick, but Ishii interrupted it with a forearm shot.
Ishii pulled Jericho out to the apron, and Jericho responded by landed a DDT that sent both men tumbling to the floor. Back in the ring, Ishii landed a German Suplex. Jericho replied with one of his own. Jericho landed a second suplex, followed by a Lionsault that only got a one count. He then landed a Codebreaker for a near fall. The camera focused on Jericho’s bleeding chest as Ishii got to his feet. Ishii stuffed the Judas Effect and landed a headbutt that sent Jericho down. He followed up with a sliding lariat for a near fall.
Jericho recovered and went for the Walls of Jericho, but he rejected him. Ishii landed a Codebreaker of his own and a huge lariat for a close near fall. Ishii went for his Brainbuster, but Jericho countered and applied the Walls of Jericho. Ishii was trapped in the middle of the ring, but Ishii made the crawl for the ropes. Ishii managed to turn himself, but Jericho turned it into the Liontamer and got the tap.
Chris Jericho defeated Tomohiro Ishii to retain the ROH World Championship at 15:32
After the match, Jericho went to the stage and pointed at Ian Riccaboni again. Claudio Castagnoli walked up from behind Jericho and decked him to close the show.
My Take: I came in with pretty low expectations for Jericho and Ishii, and it ended up being my favorite match of the night. They beat the crap out of each other and wrestled a very old school Jericho match that ended up being a lot of fun to watch. Good pacing and strong selling from both men. Overall, this show benefitted from a strong opening segment and a good closing match. Everything in between was less exciting for me personally. The Triple Threat match being filled with jokes aimed at CM Punk didn’t help much. Maybe there are people who loved it, but I am not a huge fan of pettiness unless they are going to pay it off with Punk returning, which has seemed all but off the table. Jason Powell will be by shortly with his weekly AEW Dynamite audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).
So you are a CM Punk mark we get it.
The Elite EVPs just proved Punk right. Unbelievable.
I am not a fan of the Young Bucks as they do seem very douchey, however I have to admit the “Buckshot Lariat” bit was pretty funny.
Someone who isn’t brain dead would assume that the chances of Punk staying just rose significantly.