By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 182)
St. Louis, Missouri at Chaifetz Arena
Aired live March 29, 2023 on TBS
[Hour One] Pyro shot off on the stage. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Taz were on commentary. Excalibur hyped the premiere for AEW All Access for after Dynamite. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer… Entrances for the opening match took place…
1. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Matt Hardy (w/Ethan Page). Perry and Hardy shook hands to start the match. There was an AEW All Access logo in the middle of the ring that listed the day, time, and had the TBS logo. Perry went for an early suicide dive, but Hardy stuffed it and performed a uranage slam.
Footage aired of Darby Allin watching the match on a backstage monitor, and a separate shot showed Sammy Guevara doing the same while also making out with Tay Melo.
Page took a cheap shot at Perry while the referee was distracted. Perry and Hardy ended up trading forearm shots on the ring apron. Perry got the better of it, but Hardy grabbed him and uranage slammed Perry onto the apron heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Hardy superplexed Perry and covered him for a two count. Page climbed onto the apron and barked at referee Aubrey Edwards about her count. Hook came out to his entrance theme. Page and Hook fought at ringside. Hardy went to the floor and held Hook. Page threw a punch that Hook ducked and ended up hitting Hardy.
Perry performed a suicide dive onto Hardy. Back in the ring, Hardy stuffed a top rope move from Perry, who then stuffed a Side Effect. Perry eventually performed a Flatliner and then hit Hardy with a running elbow to the back of the head and scored the pin…
“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry beat Matt Hardy in roughly 10:30.
AEW World Champion MJF made his entrance and joined Perry inside the ring. MJF said he didn’t appreciate Perry interrupting his re-Bar Mitzvah. He said it was kind of a Kanye move. MJF insulted the locals and then recalled Perry previously stating that MJF had things easy.
A “shut the f— up” chant broke out and went uncensored. “No,” MJF told the crowd. MJF turned his focus back to Perry and boasted that his job is actually easy because he rarely wrestles, insults the crowd, rarely breaks a sweat, and then hops on a Learjet back to Long Island (he worked in a plug for next week’s show being held there).
MJF recalled facing Perry in a match in 2020 and said that when he went to the back, he felt that he met his equal and thought they would be rivals for years to come. MJF said he shook Perry’s hand backstage and asked if he recalled what he told him.
Perry recalled MJF telling him that nice guys always finish last. Perry said MJF told him to ditch his friends and not care about anyone else. MJF mocked Perry for continuing to hang out with Marko Stunt, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage. MJF said Perry was held back by all of them and his new buddy Hook won’t be any different.
MJF said they could have run AEW together, but Perry had to be the nice guy for all of the fans. MJF said that three years later, he’s the AEW World Champion while Perry “is still just Jungle Boy.” Perry recalled thinking at one time that he and MJF would be friends. Perry said he wished that he could talk like MJF, have his confidence, or not care about people.
Perry got in MJF’s face and said he wished that he didn’t care about being the most narcissistic piece of shit on the entire planet. Perry said that’s not him. Perry said that when he beats MJF, he won’t wake up alone every day and hate the person that he sees in the mirror. Perry dropped the mic.
MJF said that was good and told the crowd to give it up for Jungle Boy. MJF said it only took Perry four years to learn how to talk. MJF said there was a time when he thought they could have been friends or partners, but not anymore because Perry is a massive disappointment.
MJF claimed that Perry’s “hot piece of ass girlfriend Anna Jay” told him that Perry is weak between the knees. Perry and MJF fought. Perry put MJF down and stomped him in the corner. Perry followed up with a lariat. Perry went for his finisher, but MJF fled the ring. MJF stood on the entrance ramp and boasted that he’s still the world champion…
The broadcast team was shown and then Excalibur ran through the lineup of matches…
Alex Marvez entered Kenny Omega’s dressing room where he was preparing for his match while Don Callis and a trainer stood by. Callis said he lost his balance while he was in the ring with Hangman Page last week. Callis asked Omega why he assumed Page got physical with him. Callis said he was going to find Page and apologize for everything…
Powell’s POV: The opening match was a momentum building win for Perry. The verbal exchange was well done and I like the recent trend of AEW adding more meaningful verbal segments. I like that Callis said he slipped, as that eliminates the scenario that Omega wouldn’t watch the show or hear from a friend what Callis pulled when he clearly took a dive.
Footage aired of Matt Menard and Angelo Parker taking “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens and Billy Gunn to a suite at the St. Louis Blues game along with other activities. They all had a meal together and Parker asked them to make a decision regarding their offer to join the Jericho Appreciation Society. Bowens said they would announce their decision next week…
Dalton Castle and The Boys made their entrance for a six-man tag match when their opponents Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta came out and attacked them from behind.
2. “Blackpool Combat Club” Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta vs. Dalton Castle and The Boys. The referee rewarded the attack by calling for the bell to start the match once Castagnoli had one of the Boys down inside the ring. Castagnoli performed a sit-out powerbomb on one of The Boys and pinned him…
“Blackpool Combat Club” Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta beat Dalton Castle and The Boys in 0:45.
A video package focused on the Kenny Omega vs. Jeff Cobb match…
Hangman Page was interviewed by Tony Schiavone in the backstage area. Page said Nick Jackson suffered a dislocated shoulder while Matt had a partially torn biceps. Schiavone asked who attacked the duo last week. Page assumed it was the Blackpool Combat Club.
Don Callis showed up and apologized to Page. Moxley, Castagnoli, and Yuta attacked Page from behind and left him lying. Callis tried to play nice with the trio, but Moxley dropped him with a forearm and then put his foot on him while Castagnoli put on Callis’s glasses. After the BCC trio walked away, Callis was shown bleeding… [C]
Jeff Cobb made his entrance for the IWGP U.S. Championship match. Kenny Omega was shown warming up backstage. Tony Schiavone approached Omega and told him what happened to Callis and said he felt Omega should know. Omega made his entrance…
3. Kenny Omega vs. Jeff Cobb for the IWGP U.S. Championship. The broadcast team pondered how Omega might be affected by not having Callis in his corner. Omega had athletic tape on his left side. Omega performed an early flip dive and sold rib pain. Cobb came back with a brainbuster. The match spilled over to ringside where Cobb targeted Omega’s ribs by running him into the barricade heading into a PIP break. [C]
Cobb continued to target the ribs of Omega coming out of the break and splashed him in the corner. Omega went for a splash of his own, but Cobb caught him and suplexed him only for Omega to land on his feet. Cobb blasted Omega with a shot to the head. Omega ducked a clothesline and went for a backslide, then stood up and drilled Cobb with a V-Trigger knee to the head.
Omega performed a couple of snap dragon suplexes. Omega set up for another suplex, but Cobb stuffed it. Omega drilled him with another V-Trigger and then performed a snap dragon suplex. Cobb stood up and turned Omega inside out with a clothesline. Both men stayed down while the live crowd applauded.
Omega and Cobb traded strikes once they got back to their feet. Cobb sat Omega on the top turnbuckle and then joined him on the ropes. Omega headbutted Cobb, who returned the favor. Cobb performed a delayed vertical superplex from the middle rope. Cobb slowly rolled onto Omega and got a two count. Cobb performed a standing moonsault for a near fall.
Cobb mocked Omega’s pose and then hit him with a V-Trigger knee. Cobb hoisted up Omega for his own finisher, but Omega slipped away. Omega went for the One Winged Angel, but he gave it up and sold rib pain. Omega ended up knocking Cobb down and hit him with a V-Trigger. Omega powered up Cobb and walked around the ring before hitting the One Winged Angel for the win.
Kenny Omega defeated Jeff Cobb in 14:00 to retain the IWGP U.S. Championship.
After the match, Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta hopped the ringside barricade and surrounded the ring. Omega sold rib pain. The trio climbed onto the apron.
[Hour Two] Bryan Danielson made his entrance and joined Omega inside the ring. Danielson barked at his fellow Blackpool Combat Club members to stand down, which led to the three men dropping off the apron. Omega was leery of Danielson. The crowd chanted “no.” Danielson offered his hand to Omega and helped him to his feet. Yuta climbed onto the apron. Omega went after Yuta, who dropped to the floor.
Danielson blasted Omega with a running knee strike once he turned around. Danielson put Omega in a hold while the other members of BCC fought of Michael Nakazawa and security guards who tried to enter the ring to help Omega. The four members of BCC raised their arms and stood tall while Omega was still down in the ring…
Powell’s POV: A strong match between Omega and Cobb. It wasn’t as hot as last week’s main event, but it was well worked and enjoyable from start to finish. I was actually hoping that Danielson would align with Omega, but he is a member of BCC and it’s not like I’m going to complain about getting another Omega vs. Danielson match. It’s a big night in terms of truly establishing BCC as the top heel faction. By the way, I like that we haven’t heard Moxley’s crowd pleasing entrance music. It’s a fun song, but I hope we don’t hear it again until his next babyface run.
A brief video package recapped FTR offering to quit AEW if they can’t beat Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn to win the AEW Tag Titles next week…
Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn sat backstage and said FTR are one of the best tag teams of their generation. Austin said it took FTR 19 years, whereas it only took them two years to reach that level. Austin said they met their heroes and they don’t like or respect them. Colten said the only man they’ve ever respected is their own father and look what they did to him…
The Butcher and The Blade made their entrance. Orange Cassidy’s entrance followed. The Blade attacked Cassidy from behind and then The Butcher joined in. Butcher continued to rough up Cassidy while the referee cleared Blade from the ring and ejected him from ringside…
4. Orange Cassidy vs. The Butcher for the AEW International Title. The referee gave Cassidy a chance to regroup before the match officially started. Butcher had Cassidy down at ringside and had dominated the bulk of the offense heading into a break. [C]
The Butcher continued to dominate Cassidy and put him in a Boston Crab. Butcher shifted Cassidy into powerbomb position, but Cassidy raked Butcher’s eyes. Cassidy went for the Orange Punch, but Butcher avoided it and performed a backbreaker. Cassidy came back with a cutter and followed up with a DDT for a two count.
Cassidy went up top and hit a leaping DDT that resulted in a two count. Butcher grabbed the referee’s arm. The Blade returned and hit Cassidy with a crowbar, which led to a Butcher near fall. Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor ran out and took out The Blade. Butcher went to the floor. Beretta hit Butcher with the crowbar to the gut and then Taylor threw him back inside the ring. Cassidy hit an Orange Punch, but Butcher stayed on his feet. Cassidy followed up with the Beach Break and scored the pin.
Orange Cassidy beat The Butcher in 8:00 to retain the AEW International Title.
Afterward, Excalibur told the story that Cassidy resorted to some uncharacteristic tactics and speculated that things might be catching up to Cassidy. In the ring, the Best Friends did their group hug…
Powell’s POV: I like the storytelling that Cassidy’s slew of title defenses are catching up to him. While it could be a case of setting up for a title change, it may also just be a way to make viewers feel like his title reign is in jeopardy to make his upcoming title defenses more dramatic.
A pre-taped promo aired with Jade Cargill, Mark Sterling, Leila Grey, and a woman who was holding their cease and desist. Cargill said Taya Valkyrie is a problem. She complained that Valkyrie not only ignored the cease and desist regarding her use of the same finishing move as Cargill, but she performed the move on Sterling and Grey. Cargill said the woman is his legal processor and she would serve Valkyrie with an official court order. Cargill said she’s the only goddess in AEW and told the rest of her crew to get the job done…
Excalibur hyped the two remaining matches… [C]
Powell’s POV: Sterling’s character continues to be too silly for my taste. The idea that they are suing Valkyrie for using the same finishing move as Cargill adds a campy feel to a feud that should be more serious.
A video package featured Juice Robinson talking about his upcoming AEW Rampage match against Action Andretti. Robinson spoke about how his focus is on Ricky Starks and suggested that Starks watch the match to see a preview of the ass kicking he would give him…
5. Ruby Soho (w/Toni Storm, Saraya) vs. Willow Nightingale. Both entrances were televised. Soho stalled before locking up. Willow performed a series of bodyslams on Soho and then worked her over with chops and forearms. The heels used their numbers advantage. Soho distracted the referee while Saraya took cheap shots at Willow. Soho suplexed Willow and covered her for a two count. Soho suplexed Willow and covered her for a two count heading into a PIP break. [C]
Willow performed a spinebuster for a near fall coming out of the break. Soho begged off and wanted Willow to bump fists with her. Willow didn’t fall for it. Willow performed a nice Death Valley Driver for another near fall. Willow went to the ropes and was distracted by Storm shaking the ropes (while the referee watched).
Soho hit her Destination Unknown kick twice, but only picked up a near fall. Willow caught Soho in a backslide for a two count. Willow hit Soho with a Pounce that sent her crashing into the ropes. Willow pulled the straps of her singlet down and set up for a Doctor Bomb. Saraya distracted the referee while Storm grabbed Soho to prevent Willow from hitting her move. Soho rolled up a distracted Willow and used the ropes for leverage while Storm added additional leverage as Soho got the pin.
Ruby Soho defeated Willow Nightingale in 9:05.
After the match, the heel trio attacked Willow. Soho went to ringside and returned with a chair. Soho wrapped Willow’s leg in a chair. Riho and Skye Blue ran out and tried to fight the heels, but they were quickly outnumbered. The Outcasts set up Riho to be spray painted.
AEW Women’s Champion Jamie Hayter ran out in street clothes. Hayter slammed Soho onto her knee. Hayter set up for a short-arm clothesline on Storm, who escaped to ringside. Hayter shook hands with Riho, who then motioned for the belt due to their title match that’s scheduled for next week. Hayter left the ring and chased the heels to the back…
Powell’s POV: The match was enjoyable with Willow looking good in defeat. The post match angle had a little too much going on. It’s hard to be excited by Riho challenging Hayter when they showed that Riho and Blue couldn’t hang with the same three heels that Hayter dominated by herself.
Excalibur hyped the following matches for Friday’s AEW Rampage: Sammy Guevara vs. Konosuke Takeshita, “Best Friends” Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor vs. Malakai Black and Brody King, Taya Valkyrie vs. Marina Shafir, and Juice Robinson vs. Action Andretti…
Excalibur hyped the following matches and segments for next week’s Dynamite: Juice Robinson vs. Ricky Starks, MJF Day on Long Island, Jamie Hayter vs. Riho for the AEW Women’s Championship, Blackpool Combat Club speak, and Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn vs. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler for the AEW Tag Titles (or FTR must leave AEW if they lose)…
The main event was listed as coming up next… [C]
A Powerhouse Hobbs video aired. He spoke about March 24 being Powerhouse Hobbs day and spoke about some of his bigger wins. Hobbs said The Book of Hobbs states that the TNT Title will never leave his waist…
Powell’s POV: That was a forgettable video package and yet it beat the hell out of suffering through another QTV skit.
6. Adam Cole vs. Daniel Garcia. Both entrances were televised. The crowd erupted with an “Adam Cole” chant once the bell rang. Garcia performed an early piledriver. Cole grabbed his head and rolled to ringside. The referee checked on Cole as he laid on the ringside mat selling his head and neck going into a PIP break. [C]
Cole made a comeback and still sold his head and neck. Cole performed a neckbreaker onto his knee and covered Garcia for a two count. Garcia came back with a suplex. “Like it or not, it’s the right move to do,” Taz said. Garcia tuned up the band in the corner and then ran into a superkick from Cole, who got another two count.
A short time later, Garcia put Cole in a Sharpshooter, but Cole reached the ropes to break the hold. Excalibur hyped the ROH Supercard of Honor pay-per-view lineup while match graphics appeared in the lower corner of the screen.
Garcia posed while Cole continued to sell his head and neck. Garcia executed another piledriver and covered Cole for a near fall. Cole came back and hit the Panama Sunrise. Cole followed up with a Boom knee and scored the clean pin.
Adam Cole defeated Daniel Garcia in roughly 11:00.
After the match, the referee checked on Cole. Britt Baker walked to the ring and hugged Cole. The duo shared a kiss and then black and gold confetti was shot off. Cole went to the ropes and played to the crowd. Cole smiled while holding the back of his neck.
“Judas” played and then Chris Jericho walked to the ring with a scowl on his face. Jericho checked on Garcia, who was covered in confetti. Jericho pulled Garcia out of the ring and then looked over his shoulder at Cole before walking Garcia up the ramp. Once they made it to the stage, Jericho looked back over his shoulder at Cole, whose music played as Jericho and Garcia headed to the back.
Powell’s POV: I had flashbacks to when Bryan Danielson returned to the ring just in terms of how much they played up head and neck damage. It’s good to see Cole back and one can only assume that they are setting up Cole vs. Jericho for the next pay-per-view (if not sooner).
Overall, it was good to see another show with more mic time and storytelling from AEW. There are still too many post match run-ins and the pacing is still a bit chaotic, but I have enjoyed the last two episodes. I will have more to say in my weekly same night AEW Dynamite audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
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Jason do you know Tony Khan at all? Why does he insist booking a crash tv like show? Constant run-ins and nothing gets a chance to breathe
We were in the same room for the AEW Full Gear media scrum a couple years ago. He took my questions then and I’ve been on the AEW/ROH media calls, but it really ends there. Sorry.