By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 192)
Colorado Springs, Colorado at Broadmoor World Arena
Aired live June 7, 2023 on TBS
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage. The broadcast team was Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Schiavone, and Justin Roberts was the ring announcer… Entrances for the AEW International Championship match took place. Orange Cassidy flew solo. Swerve Strickland was accompanied onto the stage by Prince Nana, Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun, and Toa Leona, but only Nana accompanied him to the ring…
1. Orange Cassidy vs. Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana) for the AEW International Championship. Taz said he felt that Strickland was the biggest threat to Cassidy’s championship reign. Cassidy had tape on his hand, neck, and back to sell his injuries from previous title defenses. Excalibur read through the advertised matches and said that Ricky Starks vs. Jay White would be the main event.
Strickland ended up at ringside and taunted Cassidy by putting his hands in his pockets. Cassidy went to the floor and was run into the barricade. Cassidy came back with a huracanrana and then followed up with a suicide dive.
Back inside the ring, both men ended up fighting on the middle rope. Both men drove the other’s head into the top of the turnbuckle, causing both wrestlers to fall to the floor heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Cassidy performed a tornado DDT for a near fall. Strickland fired back with a Death Valley Driver on the apron. Swerve went to the ropes for a double stomp, but Cassidy moved to prevent him from attempting the move. Cassidy pulled Strickland off the apron with a DDT on the floor. Back in the ring, Cassidy leapt from the middle rope and performed another DDT for a near fall.
Cassidy set up for an Orange Punch. Strickland popped up Cassidy instead, but Cassidy performed a huracanrana into a pin for a near fall. Nana climbed onto the apron to distract Cassidy, who moved when Strickland tried to take advantage of it. Swerve knocked Nana off the apron instead. Cassidy hit an Orange Punch and followed up with a Beach Break for a good near fall.
Swerve rolled to the floor. Cassidy went for a leaping DDT, but Swerve caught him and gave him a brainbuster on the floor. Swerve rolled Cassidy back inside the ring and went for the House Call kick, but Cassidy avoided it and got another near fall. Swerve rallied and hit the House Call kick and then followed up with a top rope double stomp for another near fall. Both men traded pin attempts. Cassidy ended up getting the three count.
Orange Cassidy defeated Swerve Strickland in 15:40 to retain the AEW International Championship.
After the match, Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun, and Toa Leona hit the ring and attacked Cassidy. The lights went up. When the lights turned on, Sting and Darby Allin were standing in the ring with baseball bats in hand while the heels were at ringside. Sting and Allin helped Cassidy to his feet and both men raised his arm before he fell back to the mat and sold neck pain.
Powell’s POV: A good title match with legit drama regarding the outcome. My years of WWE viewing made me think Cassidy was going to retain once Taz started playing up Strickland as a major threat to win the championship. That said, it’s not really an issue with Taz’s commentary because I genuinely have no idea whether he knows the match finishes or not. I guess old viewing habits die hard.
Excalibur ran through the upcoming lineup… A video package focused on the main event with brief comments from Jay White and Ricky Starks… Bryan Danielson’s video challenge to Kazuchika Okada from NJPW Dominion aired…
Danielson joined the broadcast team and said that Okada is referred to as a once in a lifetime performer. Danielson said he is as well and said he would prove that he’s better than Okada ever was when they meet at Forbidden Door. Excalibur hyped the six-man tag for after the break… [C]
2. Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta vs. Rocky Romero, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor. The babyface trio was introduced as Chaos. Excalibur jumped in and explained that the faction name stems from their work in NJPW. The Blackpool Combat Club entered through the crowd while “Wild Thing” played. Bryan Danielson was on commentary for the match.
Once Moxley arrived at ringside, Taylor threw a chair at his head (Moxley wisely put his hands up). Romero followed up by diving from the top rope onto Moxley. Beretta superplexed Yuta into the ring. Taylor put Yuta down with a piledriver and covered him, but Castagnoli broke it up.
The babyfaces cleared the ring and did their group hug routine. Moxley put Taylor down with a cutter. Yuta and Castagnoli followed up with a Hart Attack clothesline while Excalibur played up the idea of jet lag being an issue for Moxley and Castagnoli because they worked NJPW Dominion over the weekend. The show cut to a PIP break with BCC in offensive control. [C]
Romero picked up a two count on Moxley. Danielson said that Moxley wouldn’t be pinned with a cover like tht. Moxley set up Beretta for a piledriver, but Beretta reversed it and then Taylor helped him execute a spike piledriver on Moxley. Beretta went for the pin, but it was broken up.
Romero caught Moxley in an armbar in the ring. Beretta dove from the rope toward Castagnoli, who hit him with an uppercut. Moxley somehow countered into his bulldog choke. Yuta took out Taylor while Moxley got the submission win.
Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta defeated Rocky Romero, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor in roughly 8:15.
Yuta continued to fire elbows at the head of Taylor after the match concluded. Yuta let out a primal scream once he released the hold. Castagnoli patted him on the head…
Powell’s POV: A well worked match with some crowd pleasing moments. The outcome was never in question given that BCC are the top heels.
Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson spoke from backstage. Page said Dynamite would be held in Washington D.C. where the show started. Page challenged Moxley, Castagnoli, and Yuta to face him and the Young Bucks without help from Danielson or Konosuke Takeshita. Danielson, who was still on commentary, said BCC has never backed down from a challenge and then accepted the match. Excalibur labeled Page and the Jacksons by their Hung Bucks name…
Excalibur hyped MJF as speaking after the break… [C] A video package promoted Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP U.S. Championship for the Forbidden Door pay-per-view…
AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance with a mic in hand while Schiavone (rightfully) gushed over the two matches announced for Forbidden Door. MJF said he knew the Colorado fans had smoked their braincells away, but they needed to keep their mouths shut while the champion spoke.
MJF said he nearly offed himself when he was told that he was contractually obligated to appear because Colorado Springs is the most boring place in the world. MJF said he knows about being bored because there’s no competition for him in AEW. “Nobody is on the level of the devil,” MJF said.
Adam Cole made his entrance. Cole entered the ring and set up for the “boom” part of his entrance routine, but MJF called for the music to stop playing, which generated good heat from the live crowd. MJF said he wouldn’t lie, he was excited that he finally had worthy competition. MJF claimed to be a big fan of Cole.
MJF said that he thought his pro wrestling fandom was over when CM Punk left him when he was a young fan. MJF said he came across a little TV show named Ring of Honor. MJF said he agreed with the fans who were booing him that ROH sucked and was filled with indy jabronies. MJF said he was about to turn the channel when he was hooked by Cole appearing on the show.
MJF said he got as much tape on Cole as he could. He said he watched him become the hottest free agent in the world and then go to Florida and shock the system. MJF said Cole was Shawn Michaels’ handpicked guy. MJF said Cole was the greatest champion in that company and said that is undisputed.
The fans chanted for Cole. MJF said that’s okay and held up the mic to encourage it. MJF said he followed in Cole’s footsteps by going to CZW and winning gold and then by conquering the independent scene. MJF said he knew that Cole would make the jump and they would have the rivalry of a lifetime.
“But then this guy showed up,” MJF said. “What happened to you, man? You used to be the Panama Playboy and now you’re the Panama Gameboy.” MJF spoke about Cole playing video games on Twitch and said that Britt Baker leaves the house with Cole’s balls in her purse. MJF said Cole used to have the body of a champion, but now he’s so frail that he makes crack whores jealous.
MJF said fans online say it’s not Cole’s fault because the company isn’t showcasing Cole properly. MJF said those fans don’t know what they are talking about. He said the company has done everything they can to make Cole seem cool. MJF asked Cole if he knows what the company does to make him cool. “They ring the freaking bell,” MJF said.
MJF said he read an online rumor that Cole jumped to AEW because Vince McMahon didn’t think Cole had what it took to be a top guy. “Big fan, by the way,” MJF said of McMahon. MJF said he thought the old man had lost his mind for not thinking Cole was a top guy. MJF said now that he was in the ring with Cole, he thinks Vince was right.
Cole had someone pass him a microphone. “Really, is that the best that you’ve got?” Cole asked. He said MJF verbally destroys people, but he was coming across like an internet troll. Cole said he would ignore the Britt Baker part because he was pretty sure she could beat the hell out of MJF. Cole wondered why MJF was so obsessed with other people’s relationships and then recalled MJF’s girlfriend leaving him.
Cole labeled MJF a world class douchebag. Cole said the body thing is old news. He spoke about his body of work and said that MJF can’t touch him. Cole they could go backstage and piss in a couple of cups and see who is natural and who is not. Cole assumed MJF didn’t want to do that.
[Hour Two] Cole spoke about how he is respected in the locker room. Cole swore on his life that no one in the back respects MJF and said they think he’s lazy and does the bare minimum. “No one respects you,” Cole told MJF, which led to a “no respect” chant from the crowd.
MJF said he would cry in all of his money about how he’s not respected. “That’s an awful lot of tough talk coming from Keith Lee’s manager,” MJF said. Cole laughed and said MJF was creating a false narrative because he’s a coward who was trying to avoid fighting him. Cole said that if MJF remembered anything form their conversation, he should remember that “You won’t fight me because I’m better than you and they know it.”
MJF got fired up and said he would fight Cole any day of the week and would beat his ass. “Atta boy, champ,” Cole responded. “It looks like we got ourselves a match.” Cole left the ring while the broadcast team praised him for goading MJF into accepting the match…
Powell’s POV: I’m not crazy about the idea of MJF taking jabs at Cole’s physique. I remember when EC3 mocked a fellow wrestler for skipping leg day while both men were in Impact Wrestling. I never really noticed that the wrestler had thin legs until EC3 brought it up and then it became the first thing I noticed about the guy. And don’t even get me started on the idea of the champion being accused of using performance enhancing drugs. Putting those two big issues aside, I enjoyed the rest of the verbal exchange.
Footage aired from Double Or Nothing of Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Hook beating Ethan Page, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn. Excalibur recalled that Matt won the right to take control of Page’s contract… Backstage, the Hardys made Page apologize to Isiah Kassidy and shake his hand. Matt said he wants to make Page a better man…
Hook and Jack Perry made their entrance. They were attacked from behind by their opponents…
3. Hook and “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Dralistico and Preston Vance (w/Jose) in a Texas Tornado match. Referee Rick Knox rewarded the pre-match attack by calling for the bell to start the match while both teams were still at ringside. Dralistico brought a production cable inside the ring to choke Perry with it while Hook got the better of Vance in the crowd. Perry regrouped and started tearing at the mask of Dralistico heading into a PIP break. [C]
Hook wrapped a chain around his fist and then leapt from the barricade and hit Vance, who came up bleeding heavily from his forehead. Vance whipped Hook into the barricade twice. Perrywent for a suicide dive, but Vance caught him. Perry whipped Vance into the barricade. Dralistico dove from the top rope onto Perry on the floor.
Late in the match, Vance choked Hook with a chain on the apron. Perry hit Vance with a chair (Vance wisely put his hands up). Hook suplexed Vance off the apron through two tables that were set up on the floor. Perry DDT’d Dralistico onto a chair inside the ring. Jose ran in and broke up the pin. Hook approached Jose from behind and put him in his Redrum submission hold. Perry put Dralistico in the Snare Trap and got the win…
Hook and “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry defeated Dralistico and Preston Vance in roughly 7:45 in a Texas Tornado match.
Powell’s POV: A wild match. I’m not really sure that the feud reached a point where a Texas Tornado match was needed, but the live crowd enjoyed it.
Tony Khan stood backstage and announced the first AEW Collision main event as Jay White, Juice Robinson, and Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler in a six-man tag match…
Powell’s POV: It’s a nice six-man tag team match, but I’m surprised they are not going with something a little more high stakes. I guess the appeal is seeing Punk not only return but also have his first match back. If nothing else, it’s nice that Punk and Joe are finally crossing paths. I’m still baffled that Punk has never shared a camera shot with Joe or Bryan Danielson in AEW.
Konosuke Takeshita made his entrance without music and was accompanied by Don Callis. His opponents was already inside the ring…
4. Konosuke Takeshita (w/Don Callis) vs. Damon Ace. Takeshita dropped Ace to his knees with an elbow strike. Takeshita followed up with a shot to the back of his head. Callis called for Takeshita’s next move. Takeshita performed a running knee strike and scored the pin…
Konosuke Takeshita defeated Damon Ace in 1:30.
Callis joined Takeshita inside the ring and was booed. Callis said he had something to say and would be heard. Takeshita spoke in Japanese. Callis told the crowd they would want to hear this. The boos continued. Callis said he was going to tell them the truth about Kenny Omega. Callis said everything Omega has in his life is because of him. Callis said it’s all Omega’s fault. Callis also took credit for everything The Elite has. Callis said Omega is a cancer and you cut out cancer. Callis sad he and his family would cut The Elite out of the company for good…
Powell’s POV: Great heat, but the promo was nothing we haven’t heard before. I like that Callis is talking about his “family” as that seems to imply that he’ll have his own stable. Correction: I mistakenly listed Ace as Shawn Spears. My apologies for the error.
Alex Marvez stood outside of Christian Cage’s dressing room and heard a bunch of commotion. Cage emerged and spoke about Arn Anderson costing him the TNT Championship during the ladder match at Double Or Nothing. Cage said Brock Anderson got his father a great gift for Father’s Day. Brock Anderson was shown laid out by Cage and Luchasaurus…
Powell’s POV: I didn’t think we’d see worse acting on a major pro wrestling television show than what we get from Von Wagner on NXT, but Alex Marvez just made Wagner look like Sir Anthony Hopkins.
5. Kris Statlander vs. Anna Jay (w/Matt Menard) for the TBS Championship. Jay was in offensive control heading into an early PIP break. [C] Taya Valkyrie was shown hate watching the match on a backstage monitor. Statlander went to the ropes, but Menard distracted her long enough for Jay to toss her into the ring. Jay picked up a two count.
Jay went for the Queen Slayer, but Statlander broke it up by backing her into the corner. Statlander put Jay down with a discus lariat. Menard climbed onto the apron again. Statlander took the bait and was rolled into a Queen Slayer. Statlander powered up to her feet and tossed Jay to the mat. Statlander performed a lariat and backbreaker combo move, then performed a tombstone piledriver for the win…
Kris Statlander defeated Anna Jay in 8:20 to retain the TBS Championship.
Excalibur listed the following matches and events for Friday’s AEW Rampage: Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, and Bandido vs. Ethan Page, Lee Moriarty, and Big Bill in a trios match, Powerhouse Hobbs in action, Billy Gunn and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens vs. “Spanish Announce Project” Angelico, Luther, and Serpentico, Britt Baker vs. Skye Blue vs. Mercedes Martinez vs. Nyla Rose in a four-way for a shot at the AEW Women’s Championship…
AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm and Ruby Soho spoke backstage. Storm spoke about the four-way on Rampage and said the winner would face the greatest AEW Women’s Champion who ever lived…
Excalibur listed the following matches and events for next week’s AEW Dynamite: Toni Storm defends the AEW Women’s Championship, AEW World Champion MJF vs. Adam Cole in an Eliminator match, Darby Allin, Sting, Keith Lee, and Orange Cassidy vs. Swerve Strickland, Brian Cage, Toa Leona, and Bishop Kaun, Hangman Page and The Young Bucks vs. Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta…
As if that wasn’t enough info, Excalibur also hyped the Forbidden Door lineup, the first main event of AEW Collision, and the upcoming Dynamite main event… [C]
6. Jay White vs. Ricky Starks. Juice Robinson, Dax Harwood, and Cash Wheeler were banned from ringside. Starks attacked White during the entrances. White headed up the ramp and wanted to leave while Starks was messing with the ring steps. Starks ran to the stage and stopped White. They fought back to ringside. Starks suplexed White on the floor heading into a PIP break. [C]
White superplexed Starks for a near fall. Starks rallied and performed a tornado DDT for a near fall of his own. Starks followed up with a uranage slam for a near fall and then showed frustration over not getting the pin. Starks set up for his finisher, but White countered into a uranage slam of his own for a near fall.
Both men traded strikes while Schiavone said that Tony Khan told him they would stick with the main event as long as it took. Excalibur played up the altitude becoming an issue as the match went on. Starks went on the offensive and hit his Roshambo finisher, but White’s legs took out the referee. REF BUMP!!!
Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn ran out and hit THE 3:10 To Yuma on Starks and then exited the ring before the referee recovered. White hit Starks with his Bladerunner finisher and got the three count…
Jay White defeated Ricky Starks in roughly 13:00.
[Overrun] Afterward, Juice Robinson came out and applauded. Robinson ran to the ring and taunted Starks before raising the arm of White while the broadcast team wondered why the Gunns got involved…
Powell’s POV: The crowd didn’t react like this was a strong main event. It should have felt bigger because both wrestlers are main event worthy, but the booking has failed them. I assume that the Gunns will be members of Bullet Club Gold.
Overall, the show featured the usual good in-ring action and was light on storyline developments, aside from the start of the MJF and Adam Cole feud. By the way, I’ve been an advocate for MJF having the occasional match on television to show fans who don’t watch pay-per-views that he can go in the ring. I just don’t know why they didn’t officially announce that match while both men were in the ring rather than sandwiching it in during Excalibur’s usual speed reading session.