By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 198)
Boston, Massachusetts at TD Garden
Aired live July 19, 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…
Jack Perry’s old entrance theme played, but he didn’t come out. The lights went out and then a video package aired with Perry dragging a body wearing his old Jungle Boy boots into a grave. A limo arrived and Perry looked back at the grave and then hopped in the vehicle. Perry came out to a classical music entrance theme. He went to ringside and got in the face of smirking kid and then Hook made his entrance…
1. Hook vs. Jack Perry for the FTW Title. The match was held inside the ring closest to the entrance ramp (there are two rings due to Blood & Guts). The referee called for the bell. Hook stood in his corner facing the crowd. Perry tried to jump him from behind, but Hook moved and then threw a series of punches.
Both men quickly fought ringside and into the crowd. Hook clotheslined Perry over the barricade and back to the ringside area. They eventually returned to the ring and Perry took offensive control. He went to the ropes and got good heat from the crowd. Perry sent Hook back to ringside heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Hook suplexed Perry off the apron to the floor. Both men stayed down and the crowd chanted “holy shit.” Perry regrouped and draped Hook’s legs over the apron and then DDT’d him on the floor. Hook returned to the ring at referee Paul Turner’s nine count.
Perry booted Hook, who got up and swung for the fences. Perry ducked it and then suplexed Hook, who popped right up. Hook executed a suplex of his own for a good near fall. Hook performed a second German suplex into a bridge and got an even closer near fall.
Perry grabbed the referee and shielded him while he kicked Hook below the belt. Perry ran the ropes and hit Hook with an elbow to the back of the head and then covered him for a near fall. Perry went to ringside and returned to the ring with the FTW Title belt. The referee tried to stop him and it led a REF BUMP!!!
Hook suplexed Perry and got the visual pinfall while the referee stayed down. Hook tried to wake up the referee, then went back to Perry, who blasted him with the FTW Title belt. Perry made the cover and the referee recovered and made the three count…
Jack Perry defeated Hook in 11:40 to win the FTW Title.
Powell’s POV: That was a blast and the best Hook match to date. You had to figure that it was Perry’s night when the video showed him burying his old persona. His heel turn is off to a great start and they should be able to have a strong feud with Hook trying to regain his father’s title belt.
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Alex Marvez directing a cameraman to film a lunch discussion that Don Callis and Chris Jericho were having. A security guard stood by the table and eventually Callis pointed out the camera. The security guard approached the camera to end the segment…
An MJF and Adam Cole video aired from “last night”. Cole took MJF to a Chinese restaurant, which didn’t please MJF. Once they were at the table, MJF started embellishing about his performance against Big Bill in last week’s tag team match. Both men had spicy food and couldn’t handle it. They started guzzling their drinks. MJF told the waiter that it tasted funny. The waiter said that it was 100 percent alcohol. They cut to both men being drunk. Cole said the waiter looked like Sammy Guevara. MJF said he looked like Daniel Garcia. They agreed that the only thing left to do was a double clothesline. Slow motion footage showed the duo approaching the terrified waiter… [C]
Powell’s POV: This footage was better than their gym video, yet not nearly as fun as last week’s video. On the bright side, it looks like the storm has passed, so I should be good to go (knock on wood).
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Marvez waiting in the parking lot. Callis and Jericho arrived. Marvez asked them if a decision had been made. Both men mocked Marvez (which makes them babyfaces in my book)…
Britt Baker made her entrance while her opponent was already inside the ring…
2. Britt Baker vs. Kayla Sparks. Baker performed an early sling blade clothesline and then put her glove on. Sparks avoided Baker’s finisher briefly, but Baker eventually went over with the Lockjaw…
Britt Baker beat Kayla Sparks in 1:05.
Powell’s POV: A quick spotlight match.
Renee Paquette interviewed Adam Cole and MJF on a backstage set. They both spoke about their matches. MJF revealed that he bought matching tights for him and Cole, who then revealed that he bought them matching jackets. Cole said he had one more surprise for MJF, but he’d have to wait to see what it was. After they left the set, Roderick Strong showed up looking concerned and called for Cole…
Entrances for the blind eliminator tournament final took place. Cole’s surprise for MJF was that he had a mashup that blended their theme songs. MJF was giddy. Chris Jericho sat in on commentary and said that he and Callis were still negotiating. The referee wanted to call for the bell, but Garcia stopped him and did his dance. MJF returned the favor. They went back and forth going Garcia’s dance.
MJF called for a dance off. He went to ringside and pushed a production button, which triggered some dance music. Guevara and Garcia danced first. MJF followed while Cole sat in the corner looking mystified. MJF pointed to Cole, who did some bad pelvic thrusts. MJF had to stop him once the music stopped. Garcia and Guevara attacked Cole and MJF and were rewarded by the referee, who called for the bell to start the match…
3. Adam Cole and MJF vs. Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia in the Blind Eliminator Tournament final. MJF put Garcia down. MJF and Cole said “double clothesline” simultaneously. They set up for the move, but Guevara pulled Garcia to the floor. MJF ran the ropes repeatedly and then smiled. Guevara pulled Cole off the apron and then Garcia put MJF down heading into a PIP break. [C]
MJF was isolated. Guevara and Garcia called for a double clothesline, but MJF ducked it and made the hot tag. Cole worked over both opponents. Garcia avoided the Panama Sunrise and then put the boots to Cole. Garcia did his dance and backed up the referee, then turned into a superkick from Cole. Guevara checked in, but Cole put him down.
MJF and Cole called for the double clothesline. Guevara ducked the move and then performed a double Spanish Fly. Guevara went for a cutter from the ropes that MJF blocked. Guevara rolled up MJF, but Cole superkicked him. Garcia made a blind tag and put down both babyfaces. Garcia put Cole in his Dragon Slayer hold, but Cole reached the ropes to break it.
Guevara and Garcia ended up at ringside. Cole told MJF to perform a dive. MJF teased it and then thought better. Cole kicked both the heels from the apron and then MJF ended up hitting them with a suicide dive. The crowd responded with “holy shit” chants.
Back in the ring, Cole performed the Panama Sunrise on Garcia. Cole and MJF called for the double clothesline. MJF tagged in and then he and Cole finally performed the move on Garcia. MJF covered Garcia and got the three count.
Adam Cole and MJF defeated Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia in 10:45 to win the Blind Eliminator Tournament to earn a shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles.
After the match, Jericho said he had to console his guys. Jericho met Garcia and Guevara on the stage. They walked past Jericho, who looked surprised before chasing them to the back.
In the ring, Cole was looking at the AEW World Championship belt. MJF spotted it, yanked it away, and asked him what the hell that was. Cole told him he was going to give it to him. MJF and Cole ended up hugging. When Cole turned away, MJF’s face went from a smile to very serious.
AEW Tag Team Champions “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler made their entrance. They entered the ring and jawed with MJF and Cole while Excalibur hyped their AEW Tag Team Title match for July 29 on AEW Collision…
Powell’s POV: This was great. Okay, so I may have nightmares about Cole’s pelvic thrusts, but I really enjoyed everything after the dance off. They finally hit the double clothesline and the fans ate it up. The post match angles were really good with Guevara and Garcia blowing off Jericho, MJF showing anger once Cole turned his back, and then simple bickering between FTR and their next challengers. I get that the sports entertainment silliness isn’t for everyone, but this is strong, episodic television that should keep viewers coming back for more.
Excalibur set up a recap of Saturday’s AEW Collision that showed the finishes of each match…
The broadcast team showed off the official AEW Owen Hart action figures…
[Hour Two] Renee Paquette interviewed Darby Allin, Nick Wayne, Kris Statlander, Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor. Paquette spoke about their upcoming matches and noted that Allin and Wayne would be in the Royal Rampage, which is for a shot at the TNT Title. Allin praised AR Fox for taking him in at one time and asked Cassidy to give him a title shot. Cassidy agreed to defend the title against Fox on next week’s show. The Best Friends group stuck their hands in and invited Allin and Wayne to join them, but they both walked away…
Powell’s POV: Statlander is still with Best Friends? Why? Meanwhile, if Darby asking Cassidy to do him a solid by giving Fox a title shot doesn’t get you excited about that title match then nothing will. Or something like that.
The broadcast team spoke while the Shark Week mascot danced behind them. Excalibur listed the following matches for AEW Rampage: The Royal Rampage, Kris Statlander vs. Marina Shafir, and Johnny TV, QT Marshall, and Aaron Solo vs. The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn. Excalibur also hyped House of Black vs. The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn for the AEW Trios Titles for Saturday’s AEW Collision. He said additional Collision matches will be announced on Rampage…
Powell’s POV: But we’ll all be watching ROH Death Before Dishonor. Right? No? Well, I will be and I’ll be doing live coverage, so feel free to join me while Jake Barnett handles our WWE Smackdown live review.
A brief video package aired on the Blood & Guts match. The rules appeared on the screen. Justin Roberts stood at ringside and belted out, “This is Blood & Guts”… Claudio Castagnoli made his entrance through the crowd to classical music as his team’s first entrance… [C] Kenny Omega made his entrance.
4. “The Golden Elite” Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. “Blackpool Combat Club” Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, Konosuke Takeshita, and Pac in a Blood & Guts match. Castagnoli and Omega started the match and Rick Knox was the referee. Some fans chanted “use this ring.” Claudio teased tossing Omega into the second ring, but he stopped and taunted those fans.
The chant started again and this time the wrestlers ended up in the second ring. Both men were down when Pac made his entrance through the crowd as the second entrant for BCC. Pac took his sweet time getting to the ring, but drilled Omega with a missile dropkick once he was inside the cage. Pac put the boots to Omega heading into a PIP break. [C]
Hangman Page was the second entrant for The Golden Elite team. Page performed a fallaway slam on Pac, then followed up with a powerbomb. Page followed up with a moonsault form the middle of the top rope onto Castagnoli. Claudio recovered and drove Omega into the cage wall.
Here comes the blood. Jon Moxley was the third entrant for BCC and made his entrance through the crowd to his “Wild Thing” entrance theme. Moxley brought a fork into the ring with him and used it on both Page and Omega. Moxley also bit the finger of Omega. Moxley jabbed the fork onto both opponents again.
Moxley slid to the area between the cage and the ring and pulled out a bucket. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Er, he poured broken glass out of the bucket and onto one of the rings.
Nick Jackson was the third entrant for The Golden Elite. Nick put missile dropkicked Moxley, who landed on the broken glass. Moxley returned the favor by slamming Nick onto the glass a short time later. Moxley and Castagnoli performed a double suplex on Omega and dropped him on the broken glass. No one actually bled from the glass.
Wheeler Yuta made his entrance as the fourth BCC entrant. Yuta jogged to the ring with a chair in his hand heading into a PIP break. [C] Matt Jackson made his entrance as the fourth entrant for The Golden Elite team. In a shocking development, Moxley bled from the forehead. The Jacksons isolated Castagnoli in one ring for a bit, but then Moxley got involved. In the other ring, Omega drove Yuta’s face onto the broken glass.
Konosuke Takeshita was the final entrant for the BCC team. Takeshita ran to the ring with a chair in his hand and jabbed Page with it. Takeshita grabbed one Jackson, who grabbed his brother, and then Takeshita performed a double German suplex. Takeshita turned Omega inside out with a lariat clothesline.
Moxley pulled out a bed of nails from underneath the ring. Moxley leaned it in one corner of a ring and eventually kicked Omega into it, which drew a “holy shit” chant from the crowd. Moxley picked Omega and slammed him onto the bed of nails. Omega had some scratches and light blood on his back.
Kota Ibushi made his entrance as the final member of The Golden Elite team. Yuta left the cage and ran to the stage. Ibushi quickly put Yuta down. Ibushi played to the crowd as he walked to the ring. Don Callis, who was on commentary, labeled Ibushi as the original codependent friend of Omega. Ibushi entered the cage and punched out multiple opponents.
Moxley stood on Omega’s hand and pressed it onto the bed of nails while taunting Ibushi, who then entered the second ring and dominated Moxley. Matt suplexed Yuta on the stage. Ibushi got Moxley on the bed of nails and then hit him with a standing moonsault. Castagnoli tossed Nick against the cage heading into a PIP break. [C]
Yuta climbed to the top of the cage during the PIP break and called for Matt to follow. Matt obliged and then traded punches with Yuta coming out of the break. Matt performed a his trio of Northern Lights suplexes. Matt teased another off the top of the cage, but Yuta stopped it and then climbed down.
Yuta rejoined the others inside the cage. Matt stayed on top of the cage and poured thumbtacks into one ring. Pac and Castagnoli were dumped onto the tacks. Nick, who was bleeding from the forehead, threw a series of superkicks at multiple opponents. Matt climbed down the cage and rejoined the match. The crowd actually chanted for tables. Nick obliged by setting one up in a corner of one of the rings. Omega and the Jackson hit a series of top rope moves on Pac heading into the final break. [C]
Matt was placed on a table in between the two rings. Pac swung from the cage and double stomped Matt through the table, which drew holy shit and AEW chants. A “fight forever” chant followed. The two teams ended up in opposite rings and then met in the stage closest to the stage and fought.
A short time later, Pac put Omega in the Brutalizer. Various wrestlers put opponents in submission holds. Castagnoli performed The Swing on Matt and then applied the Sharpshooter. Ibushi kicked his teammates free from submissions in one ring, then went to the other and threw kicks at Castagnoli, who finally release the hold after the third kick.
Moxley kissed Omega’s head and then kissed the camera and left a bloody stain. Takeshita blasted Omega with a Helluva kick. Castagnoli accidentally hit Pac, who was pissed and called him on it. Pac flipped off his teammates and then dropped off the apron and returned with a bolt cutters, which he used to escape the cage.
Omega had a flurry of offense on all four opponents while Pac made his way to the stage. Page performed a Buckshot Lariat on Castagnoli. Page went to the other ring and performed another on Yuta, who was simultaneously hit from behind by Omega. Page handcuffed Moxley to the ropes. Yuta bled from the forehead and took a kick from Matt.
[Overrun] Callis left the broadcast table and had Takeshita exit the cage and then head backstage with him. Page wrapped a chain around the neck of Yuta. The bell rang to end the match.
“The Golden Elite” Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson defeated “Blackpool Combat Club” Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, Konosuke Takeshita, and Pac in 51:15 in a Blood & Guts match.
Afterward, Schiavone explained that Moxley submitted to save Yuta. The Golden Elite team lined up and raised their arms as the show went off the air…
Powell’s POV: The match lived up to the Blood & Guts billing. I like that the brawl on top of the cage didn’t lead to the finish and that no one was thrown off the cage this year. It was a gritty brawl and the live crowd seemed heavily invested from bell to bell. I’m not a big fan of two men walking out because it took away from the Golden Elite’s win. It was nice to see Ibushi, but it’s hard to imagine that this match style allowed him to make much of an impression on fans who were unfamiliar with him. Hopefully he’ll be sticking around to do more in AEW because he really is a special talent.
Overall, the show was built around Blood & Guts and the match delivered. The MJF and Cole stuff is really over with the live crowds and I continue to appreciate the episodic nature. I will have more to say about this episode in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.