By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 179)
Sacramento, California at the Golden 1 Center
Aired live March 8, 2023 on TBS
[Hour One] The show opened with a brief AEW Revolution video package… Pyro shot off on the stage while Excalibur checked in on commentary with Taz and Tony Schiavone. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer…
Entrances for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship match took place. Orange Cassidy came out with Danhausen, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor. Danhausen had one of his arms in a sling. When Cassidy was introduced, a single pyro flare shot off. Cassidy headed to the ring without his crew.
Jay Lethal made his entrance with Jeff Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh. Pat Buck and a group of referees came out and ordered the extras to the back, so Lethal headed to the ring with only Paul Walter Hauser’s Golden Globe award. Oddly, the broadcast team’s audio track played in the arena for a moment…
1. Orange Cassidy vs. Jay Lethal for the AEW All-Atlantic Title. Excalibur said Lethal’s crew was banned from ringside for the match. Lethal targeted the knee of Cassidy. Lethal tossed Cassidy to ringside and then did the Jarrett strut. Lethal picked up Cassidy at ringside and ran his bad knee into the ring post heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Lethal mocked Cassidy by simulating that he was putting his hands in his pockets coming out of the break. Cassidy fired up and took some shots at Lethal, who stuffed a Stundog Millionaire attempt. Cassidy put Lethal down with a brainbuster moments later.
Lethal went for a corner splash that Cassidy avoided. There were “Let’s Go Lethal” and “Lethal Sucks” chants. Cassidy leapt from the ropes and DDT’d Lethal on the way down. Cassidy followed up with another DDT for a near fall. Cassidy sold knee pain and Lethal put him in a figure four. Cassidy eventually rolled to the ropes to break the hold.
Both men ended up on the apron. Lethal chopped Cassidy, who did his light chop back. Cassidy eventually fired up and hit Lethal with clotheslines that sent him back inside the ring. Cassidy followed, but Lethal continued to target his bad knee. Lethal hit the Lethal Combination. Lethal went up top and attempted his elbow drop, but Cassidy put his knees up.
Cassidy sold knee pain and then went for an Orange Punch, but Lethal caught him with a cutter and covered him for a near fall. Lethal hoisted up Cassidy and dropped him over the top rope. Lethal kicked Cassidy and then went for the Lethal Injection, but Lethal’s shoulder or elbow gave out. Cassidy blasted Lethal with the Orange Punch and then pinned him…
Orange Cassidy defeated Jay Lethal in 14:45 to retain the AEW All-Atlantic Title.
After the match, Lethal grabbed the Golden Globe and wanted to go after Cassidy, but the referee stopped him. Jeff Jarrett entered the ring behind Cassidy and put him down with The Stroke. Jarrett slammed a guitar over Cassidy’s bad knee. Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor ran out and chased away Jarrett, who exited through the crowd and then taunted the babyfaces from a distance…
Powell’s POV: Lethal sold an arm injury earlier in the match, so his collapse didn’t just come out of nowhere. The match was well worked. But I can’t say that I’m crazy about starting the post pay-per-view edition of the show with a brief Revolution recap video and lengthy match for the company’s least important men’s championship.
Excalibur recapped the story of Wardlow’s car being broken into, which resulted in someone stealing his title belt and gear…
Renee Paquette interviewed Powerhouse Hobbs, who said he wouldn’t have had his title belt or his gear stolen “in these neck of the woods.” Hobbs said the one thing Wardlow has left is being called a champion, and Hobbs said he would take that from him…
Ricky Starks made his entrance for a promo. He spoke about beating Chris Jericho at Revolution and said people have been asking him what’s next. Starks said he’s not sure. He said it’s not a matter of what he’s going to do next, it’s a matter of where he’s going to go next.
The Bullet Club music played and the faction’s logo appeared on the big screen. Juice Robinson entered the ring behind Starks and punched him. Robinson put Starks down with a DDT and then stood over him while the Bullet Club music played… [C]
Powell’s POV: For those keeping score at home, that’s back to back segments with the babyfaces being attacked from the side of the ring that is opposite the stage.
Wardlow was interviewed by Tony Schiavone in the backstage area. Wardlow said he’s dealt with a great deal of loss lately. He wore an FTR shirt and said he borrowed some clothes. Wardlow challenged Hobbs to face him in a falls count anywhere match…
Renee Paquette stood in the ring and introduced Ruby Soho, who made her entrance and joined her inside the ring for an interview. Paquette asked Soho why she joined Saraya and Toni Storm. Soho said the fans created this monster. She recalled losing to Britt Baker and said the people were thrilled. She recalled beating Kris Statlander in the Owen Hart Cup tournament and being booed “out of the damn building.”
Soho said that when she was pinned by the favorite homegrown talent in Jamie Hayter at Revolution, she knew she would never be appreciated. Soho said Storm wasn’t appreciated to the point that the company wouldn’t call her an actual champion. Soho said the fans begged Saraya to come out of retirement and the neck bearded trolls turned on her.
Soho said you can’t build on a broken foundation, you can only start new. She said the broken foundation is in the back and is the entitled women who think they deserve the win. Soho called for her homegrown opponent to come to the ring, and then Skye Blue made her entrance…
2. Ruby Soho vs. Skye Blue. Excalibur accused Soho of having a very selective memory. Taz said she made some legitimate points. Excalibur said the other women in the back had Soho’s back through thick and thin. Soho was in offensive control heading into a PIP break. [C]
Blue performed a crossbody block from the ropes for a two count. Soho stuffed her Code Blue attempt and then avoided another move before hitting Destination Unknown and scoring the pin.
Ruby Soho defeated Skye Blue in 6:50.
After the match, Saraya and Toni Storm headed to the ring with spray paint. Storm handed a can to Soho, who sprayed an “L” on Blue. Willow Nightingale ran out wearing an AEW t-shirt and took the can from her. Nightingale tried to talk to Soho while Saraya and Storm left the ring. Saraya and Storm walked around to the stage side of the ring and then attacked Willow from behind. Saraya spray painted both of the babyfaces…
Powell’s POV: Soho delivered a quality promo and had good heel logic to support her turn. The match was what it needed to be with Blue getting a little offense, yet Soho going over clean and strong. The spray paint thing doesn’t do anything for me, but it looks like it’s here to stay.
Hangman Page was interviewed by Paquette in the backstage area. Page’s left eye was blackened. Page said he let his heart blacken on Sunday. He said that if someone wants to push him, he will take them to hell. He said he would rip off their flesh and choke them out before he rides out.
Page apologized to Paquette for what she had to see on Sunday. Page said that if Paquette wanted to blame someone, she shouldn’t look at him. Page said that as far as Jon Moxley goes, he’s finished with the feud now that they had their Texas Death match…
Excalibur hyped the six-man tag match for after the break… [C]
A video aired that featured a post Revolution promo from MJF. He boasted that he beat Bryan Danielson and said he had horns growing out of his head. MJF said his birthday is on March 15 and he would stroll into Winnipeg. He said he wouldn’t have a regular birthday. He said he would have a “re-bar mitzvah.” MJF said his reign of terror has just begun…
Tony Schiavone stood inside the ring and introduced “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler. A loud “FTR” chant broke out. Harwood went to the ropes and played to the fans. Wheeler said he missed that. Wheeler recalled losing to The Acclaimed and The Gunns, and said they lost three sets of tag team titles in roughly a month. He said they also lost one of their best friends in wrestling.
Wheeler said they weren’t going to let the Gunns claim to be the best in the world. He called them spoiled and entitled little assholes. Wheeler said their father gave them everything. Wheeler spoke about the lessons his father taught him and said they would pass those on to the Gunns.
Harwood spoke about his love of the fans. He said it wasn’t a rah rah babyface speech, but he said he loved the fans. A loud “FTR” chant broke out. Harwood recalled closing one of the greatest trilogies in pro wrestling and said they had it taken away from them moments later by the Gunns. Harwood said it was time for retribution and they wanted to hit the Gunns where it hurt by taking the AEW Tag Team Titles…
Paquette interviewed TBS Champion Jade Cargill, who was accompanied by Leila Grey. Cargill called for “one of you whack ass Canadians to step up and get stepped on” for next week’s show in Winnipeg…
“Jericho Appreciation Society” members Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Sammy Guevara, Angelo Parker, Matt Menard, and Jake Hager made their entrance. AR Fox and Top Flight made their entrance…
3. Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, and Sammy Guevara (w/Angelo Parker, Matt Menard, Jake Hager) vs. AR Fox, Dante Martin, and Darius Martin. Schiavone spoke about how JAS had the numbers advantage.
[Hour Two] Fox performed an early dive over the top rope onto Jericho at ringside. Later, Dante leapt from the ropes into a punch from Garcia heading into a PIP break. [C] Dante was isolated during the break and then tagged in Fox shortly after it ended.
Fox put Guevara and Garcia down with a double cutter and then covered Garcia for a two count. Darius and Jericho tagged in. Jericho took a standing Spanish Fly from Darius, who covered him for a two count. Dante took out Garcia with a dive. Guevara threw a kick at Dante from the apron. Fox performed a move on Guevara.
In the ring, Darius caught Jericho in an inside cradle for a two count. Darius got up and ran the ropes, but Hager hit him with Jericho’s bat while referee Aubrey Edwards was made to look stupid on International Women’s Day by checking on Jericho. Moments later, Jericho dropped Darius with the Judas Effect and scored the pin…
Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, and Sammy Guevara beat AR Fox, Dante Martin, and Darius Martin in 9:40.
After the match, the JAS crew delivered an in-ring promo. Menard noted that it was the one-year anniversary of the faction forming. Garcia said they should be No. 1 contenders to the AEW Trios Titles. Guevara said they are the sexiest group alive. Jericho told the House of Black to turn out the lights, do one of the greatest entrances in pro wrestling history, and get their asses to the ring.
The lights went out and when they turned on, “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson were on the stage. “Carry On Wayward Son” played briefly. “Oh, hi, Chris,” Omega started. Omega said that for the better part of two years, they’ve stayed out of each other’s lanes. Omega said he wanted to believe it came from a place of mutual respect. Omega brought up the AEW Trios Titles.
Don Callis ran out and took the mic from Omega. Callis said everyone knows that The Elite established the AEW Trios Titles. He said that after the match they had at Revolution, The Elite are the number one contenders. Callis said he and Jericho have been friends for 33 years and he feels that Jericho is one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all-time.
“Unfortunately, Chris, you’re only the second greatest wrestler from Winnipeg,” Callis said. Omega got a kick out of it. Callis said that if he had a couple of months to train, then Jericho might be third on that list. Jericho called for Callis to bring his wormy ass to the ring.
“The House of Black” Malakai Black, Brody King, Buddy Matthews, and Julia Hart interrupted via the big screen. Black said they were both equally deserving to be humiliated in their hometown. “So next week, if you want these…” The lights went out. When the lights turned on, House of Black was standing on the entrance ramp between the two factions. “Come and get them,” Black said. The lights went out and when they turned on, the House of Black was gone. Jericho barked into the camera about how there would be new champions next week…
Excalibur spoke about how there would be a three-way trios match next week…
Powell’s POV: The one-year anniversary of JAS and yet it somehow feels like this faction has overstayed its welcome by two years.
Backstage, Tony Khan said Orange Cassidy had “requested an open challenge match next week in Winnipeg” against Jeff Jarrett. Khan said he was honoring the request. Khan said it represents an important milestone for the company. Khan said next week would be the fifth and final defense of the AEW All-Atlantic Championship on international soil. Khan said it’s the only title to ever change hands on international soil.
Khan said that in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery to support the release of the new Shazam movie, it will be Cassidy vs. Jarrett for the AEW International Championship. Khan said they would be leveling up the championship. A Shazam trailer aired with clips of Cassidy, Jarrett, and the title belt mixed in…
Powell’s POV: How about they just merge the title with the TNT Title and move on? No? Well, this is a decent compromise, as at least they are ditching the name that doesn’t mesh with the some of the flags on the actual title belt. Even so, I have no idea whether the TNT or AEW International Title means more. More than anything, I’m happy that Khan didn’t give this the “tune in for a very special announcement” treatment.
A video package featured footage of MJF vs. Bryan Danielson with post match comments from Danielson. He spoke about MJF being right in saying that he was putting himself in front of his family. He said that more than passing out, that made him more ashamed than anything else. Danielson said it was time for him to go home…
Powell’s POV: A good video that put over the emotion of Danielson losing and feeling like he wasn’t doing right by his family. It will be interesting to see what brings his character back. Perhaps his character will feel compelled to return if the other members of Blackpool Combat Club turn heel?
4. Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli (w/Wheeler Yuta) vs. John Silver and Alex Reynolds. The entrances of both teams were televised. Castagnoli dumped Reynolds to ringside and then Moxley clotheslined him on the floor heading into a PIP break. [C]
Silver tagged in and worked over Moxley with kicks and then performed a German suplex for a near fall. Moxley caught Silver in a triangle, which Silver rolled out of. Silver threw knees to the side of Moxley’s head until Castagnoli came in and kicked Silver.
Silver and Reynolds took out Castagnoli with a double team move. Moxley caught Reynolds in a rear naked choke and then suplex him while Castagnoli brought Silver to the floor. Moxley choked out Reynolds until he tapped.
Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli beat John Silver and Alex Reynolds in 10:25.
After the match, Moxley put Reynolds in a rear naked choke. Castagnoli stopped the referee from breaking it up. Silver ran in and threw punches at Moxley, but Castagnoli cleared him from the ring. Moxley put Reynolds in the Bulldog Choke. Evil Uno ran out and attacked Moxley. Uno set up for a move, but Yuta ran in and chop blocked Uno’s knee.
Hangman Page ran out dressed in street clothes and entered the ring. Page checked on the Dark Order members. Castagnoli tapped him on the back. Page punched Castagnoli, who got up and put Page down. Moxley, Castagnoli, and Yuta put the boots to Page. Uno returned to help and then a group of referees intervened while some fans chanted “Let them fight.” Excalibur hyped the main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Blackpool Combat Club members continue to show more of a mean, heelish streak. The Dark Order does nothing for me, so hopefully they’re just a bump in the road to help cement BCC as heels. For that matter, Page and Moxley had a great feud, but I fear it will overstay its welcome if they try to extend it.
Renee Paquette interviewed “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens, who were accompanied by Billy Gunn in the backstage area. Paquette asked them what’s next. Bowens said they are on the road back to the AEW Tag Team Titles.
Matt Menard and Angelo Parker showed up and said The Acclaimed are sports entertainers at heart. Parker indicated that they wanted to join forces, but The Acclaimed laughed at them and walked away…
Excalibur announced the following matches for Friday’s Rampage: Action Andretti vs. Sammy Guevara, The Acclaimed in action, Konosuke Takeshita vs. Preston Vance, and Nyla Rose vs. Riho.
Excalibur announced the following matches for next week’s Dynamite: Orange Cassidy vs. Jeff Jarrett for the AEW International Championship, MJF celebrates his “re-bar mitzvah”, and House of Black vs. The Elite vs. JAS in a three-way for the AEW Trios Titles…
Justin Roberts stood in the ring and delivered the introductions for the main event. Wardlow’s music played, but he didn’t come out. Cameras cut backstage where Wardlow and Hobbs were fighting near a car. Hobbs pulled out the brass ring he won in the Face of the Revolution ladder match and hit Wardlow with it.
5. Wardlow vs. Powerhouse Hobbs in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the TNT Championship. The bell rang while the wrestlers were fighting in the parking area. Hobbs suplexed Wardlow onto the hood of the car. Wardlow came back and backdropped Hobbs through the windshield and covered him for a two count heading into a PIP break. [C]
Wardlow and Hobbs fought in the ring and the fans called for tables. Hobbs performed back to back spinebusters on Wardlow and covered him for a near fall. Hobbs went to ringside and removed the padding from the top of the ringside barricade. Hobbs threw Wardlow into the barricaded, which swung open. Hobbs pulled out a table and got a pop as he set it up on the floor.
Wardlow spat water in the face of Hobbs and then worked him over with punches that left him lying on the table. Wardlow went up top and performed a Swanton Bomb that put Hobbs through the table. Wardlow covered Hobbs for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.
Wardlow powerbombed Hobbs on the bottom of the entrance ramp. Ouch. Wardlow clutched his abdomen in pain for a moment and then brought Hobbs to the stage in front of the broadcast table.
QT Marshall showed up wearing a QTV shirt and hit Wardlow with a chair. Wardlow no-sold it, but Marshall kicked him in the balls and hit Wardlow with more chair shots. Marshall helped Hobbs to his feet and told him to have at Wardlow. Hobbs and Marshall picked up Wardlow and tossed him off the stage onto a padded platform off the stage. The referee counted Wardlow down.
Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Wardlow in a Falls Count Anywhere match in roughly 10:00 to win the TNT Championship.
Afterward, Marshall jumped into the arms of Hobbs, who then set him down and celebrated with the TNT Championship belt. Hobbs posed on the stage while Marshall continued to celebrate. Highlights from the match were shown and then they cut back to Hobbs and Marshall celebrating…
Powell’s POV: The QTV logo popped up on the screen last week and probably additional times that I missed, so they have been teasing Marshall’s return with this new gimmick. I’m all for Hobbs winning the championship. He’s great and obviously he’s a much fresher champion than Wardlow was during his brief second reign. I’ll take a wait and see approach on how Marshall fits in. I’m all for safety, but that Wardlow bump onto the obviously padded area was awful.
Overall, this show was a mixed bag. Some of the pay-per-view fallout worked, some of it did not. I don’t think they did nearly enough to put over the Iron Man match as the classic that it was, though I really enjoyed Danielson’s video package. It also came off like Danielson was the only wrestler truly bothered by his pay-per-view loss. I suppose a case could be made that Moxley’s ruthless approach is a product of him losing to Page, but it felt like business as usual for the other match losers who appeared on this show. I will have a lot more to say about this episode in my weekly same night audio review of Dynamite for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Dynamite by grading it below.
So Double J is gonna feud for a title in 2023. This company is in the toilet
Wait, so you put down the fact that Cassidy and lethal just put on a bad ass credible match in which they sold more than they ever have? Title defenses like that only make the championship more credible
I took issue with the placement of the match. I also think the title was a joke from the start due to the name and the flags on it not matching. I also think AEW has too many title belts and they’d be better of merging the AA Title with the TNT Title. But my real issue is coming out of a hot pay-per-view with a match that had very little to do with the PPV. If you want matches, matches, and more matches, then this approach works. I think AEW needs a better balance and their recent ratings would seem to support that I’m not alone.
Yes bc that title will never mean anything and neither will the trios titles. Just bad ideas. No one wants to see Jay Lethal every week either.
And we now have the first three segments ending in beatdowns. But yeah, Tony is Booker of the year…
I’m liking Dynamite so far, but I was mainly impressed with Ruby Soho’s promo she was getting good heat from the crowd. So far they made the right move turning her heel as I’m digging that new faction with Saraya, Toni Storm, and Ruby Soho so far as Ruby being heel is a good thing for her character.
I guess the spray paint thing is a signature for them, but to be honest Saraya, Toni & Ruby don’t really need it to get over. They’re already over in this new heel stable. They should just keep kicking girls asses after matches and let it be that as they really don’t need need the spray paint aspect.
No one cares about the former WWE women’s stable. Saraya/Paige is the worst signing ever and that’s really saying something
They could rename that championship anything and it’s still garbage and worthless. Are they gonna keep adding championships until every member of the roster has one?
First Dynamite I’ve gotten to watch all the way through in a while and it’s fucking awful. This whole damn thing is just the shits.
Why the fuck are Hobbs and Wardlow having a falls count anywhere match? Is there a storyline reason I missed, or is it just the result of cocaine and adderall vomiting out ideas for no reason again?
Interference to end the show. Hot garbage
Remember when Wardlow was the hottest star going? Not only did they bury Wardlow further but they played hot potato with the title again making it even more worthless. #bookeroftheyear
All the worst parts of Cocaine Tony’s booking are being doubled down on while the few positives are almost exclusively on PPV these days. Just the absolute shits as a promotion and the 2/3 empty building tonight reinforces how small the niche audience for this style really is.
I enjoyed this Dynamite more than the past few Dynamites. Not that great all the way through, but there were some great spots like Ruby Soho’s part and I love Hobbs winning the TNT title. Wardlow since his bad booking from his first TNT title run lost a lot of steam. People seem to be behind Hobbs more right now, so this was the right move and I like the association with QT Marshall at the end as I didn’t see that coming honestly.
Jason, I liked your review you were very fair here. It didn’t seemed biased. That’s one thing that I hate with the AEW community these days, people are either super positive or super negative about AEW, there’s no in between with these people. You were very much in the middle on this show, you were critical and fair when you needed to be. It was a mixed bag show, but better than past Dynamites. Awesome review, I wish more people in the community were as fair as you are.
Thank you. I just call it as I see it regardless of the company.
Starting your comment off w “Cocain tony” discredits all of your opinions. The match was a falls count anywhere because wardlows gear was stolen. And no you can not just get gear I’m a few hours. So it made total sense. The spray paint is used to get them over because it’s what they are known for. And it’s worked. Sarayas been a great heel and ruby only makes them so much stronger. Gonna lead to 6 woman matches once thunder rosa makes her return from injury.
I don’t get what you mean about to many titles.
While I hated the all Atlantic title name, I love the name change and the change alone makes the title feel legit.
Something was different about this show tonight. Wrestlers slowed down in every match and took more time to sell. So I wonder who caused that. I loved it
No one’s cares about Ruby and the ex WWE women. No one cares about Wardlow because of the lousy booking. Hobbs has been an afterthought for so long and now he’s supposed to be a big deal because of an alliance with QT who never has meant anything
World title main belt
Woman’s world-main belt
Tnt title-secondary men’s belt
Tbs title-secondary woman’s single belt
Tag team title-main tag belt
6 man title- created for all the factions to fight over
International title-now possibly the main secondary title. We will have to see
Smack down world champ
Raw world champ
So 10 belts compared to 7. And don’t tell me about the brand split because it hasn’t meant anything in over 15 years
Not enough titles? AEW men’s world, TNT title, AEW International, AEW women’s, TBS championship, AEW tag team titles, Trios championship, FTW title, ROH heavyweight, ROH TV title, ROH pure, ROH tag team titles. I’m sure I’m forgetting something
One of the first things HHH did was get rid of the 24/7 title. The WWE and Universal title and both sets of tag team titles are unified at least for now anyway