By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 200)
Tampa, Florida at Yuengling Center
Aired live August 2, 2023 on TBS
[Hour One] An AEW Dynamite 200 graphic was shown during the opening. Pyro shot off on the stage and then Excalibur checked in on commentary with Taz and Tony Schiavone…
“Judas” played and then Chris Jericho and Konosuke Takeshita made his entrance with Don Callis while ring announcer Justin Roberts delivered the opening match introductions. The entrances of Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia followed…
1. Chris Jericho and Konosuke Takeshita (w/Don Callis) vs. Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia. Aubrey Edwards was back as the referee for the match. Jericho and Guevara started the match and traded chops. Guevara put Jericho down with a low dropkick. Jericho threw more chops. Guevara put him down with a knee strike that Jericho put his hand up to block.
Garcia tagged in and traded chops with Jericho, then danced in his face. Garcia put Jericho down, did his dance, and walked over Jericho in the process. Takeshita tagged into the match and clotheslined Garcia, then hit him with an elbow strike.
A short time later, Callis tripped Garcia as he was running the ropes. Jericho took advantage of the distraction by hitting Garcia with a big boot heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Takeshita put Guevara in the Liontamer, but Guevara escaped. Jericho tagged in and took a Spanish Fly, which resulted in a two count for Guevara. Jericho went for the Liontamer, but Guevara countered into an inside cradle for a two count.
Garcia tagged in and took a Codebreaker, which produced a near fall for Jericho. Moments later, Guevara took out Takeshita with a Shooting Star Press. Takeshita came up holding his face and Guevara spoke to him while Excalibur noted that Guevara’s elbow may have caught Takeshita.
In the ring, Garcia put Jericho in the Dragon Tamer. Callis hit Garcia with Jericho’s bat. Jericho stood up and asked, “What the f—?” Jericho covered Garcia and got the three count.
Chris Jericho and Konosuke Takeshita defeated Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia in 12:15.
Afterward, Jericho looked conflicted while the broadcast team said he chose the Callis Family over the Jericho Appreciation Society. They said Jericho made his choice even though he still looked conflicted…
Tony Khan stood backstage and noted the AEW 200th episode and spoke about All In approaching. He thanked the wrestlers and staff and said, “Let’s take a look at some of those great people now.” A video package of AEW Dynamite moments were shown…
Powell’s POV: I was disappointed that AEW didn’t do more to celebrate their history on their third anniversary show, so this was nice to see. But someone needs to move Tony’s cue cards so that it at least looks like he’s looking into the camera. As for the match, it was enjoyable. The broadcast team felt like they were really jumping to conclusions given how bothered Jericho seemed to be afterward.
Chris Jericho was shown walking backstage. Renee Paquette chased after him and tried to ask him about what happened. Matt Menard showed up and said there would be a mandatory meeting of the JAS next week…
Tony Schiavone stood in the ring and introduced FTW Champion Jack Perry, who came out to his classical music entrance theme. Perry took the mic from Schiavone and said he gave Jerry Lynn a week to get ready and told him to come out and take his ass kicking like a man.
Jerry Lynn walked onto the stage wearing an AEW polo shirt. Lynn said “Jungle” doesn’t run the show. Lynn said he’d love to make an example of Perry, but it would be child abuse. Lynn said he doesn’t run the show either, nor would a doctor clear him due to the neck issues he’s had. Lynn said he called a good friend of his who wrestled in ECW and still wrestles today.
Rob Van Dam made his entrance to Pantera’s “Walk” to a big reaction from the live crowd. RVD headed to the ring in non-wrestling attire and ended up going face to face with Perry, who backed down and exited the ring.
The crowd sang along to the Pantera song while Perry headed toward the back. Lynn joined RVD in the ring. RVD did his thumb point and the crowd chanted RVD. Perry returned and swung a chair at RVD, who ducked it. RVD threw a spin kick that Perry ducked. Perry left the ring and hopped the barricade and put a young girl in front of him as a shield while he sat in the front row for a moment before making his exit…
Powell’s POV: If you go back far enough, then you had to love RVD coming out to his old ECW theme song again after all these years. The rights to that theme can’t be cheap, especially with the new version of Pantera touring for the first time. That said, I can’t help but question the idea of booking RVD wrestle if that’s the plan given that he went public with his CTE diagnosis a couple years ago. One can only hope that the company did their medical homework or has a plan to limit what RVD actually does. All of that said, the crowd popped big for his first AEW appearance.
A video package aired on the AEW Women’s Championship match with comments from Toni Storm and Hikaru Shida… Entrances for the three-way match took place…
2. Jon Moxley vs. Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. Trent Beretta in an anything goes three-way match. All three entrances were televised. Moxley was out last. Beretta dove onto him and the bell rang to start the match even though Moxley never even entered the ring. Penta followed up with a dive onto Beretta.
A barbed wire board and a trashcan were introduced as weapons. Moxley used the barbed wire on Beretta’s forehead. Beretta, who bled, dumped Moxley onto the barbed wire board. Abrahantes helped Penta set up a coupe of tables next to one another and placed Beretta on top of them.
Moxley used the barbed wire on Penta. Beretta recovered and ended up superplexing Moxley from the ring through the two tables at ringside heading into a PIP break. [C] There was a table set up in the ring and another leaning in the corner coming out of the break.
Penta put Beretta through the table in the ring with a Destroyer from the ropes. Moxley speared Penta through the other table moments later. Moxley poured thumbtacks in the middle of the ring. Moxley removed Penta’s shirt and set up for a Death Rider, but Penta stuffed it. Moxley stuffed a Penta move attempt and then performed a piledriver on the tacks, which resulted in a two count.
Moxley slammed Penta onto the tacks. Moxley performed a cutter on Beretta on the tacks. Trent came back with a move on Moxley on the Cutter. Penta kicked Beretta and then Moxley clotheslined Beretta, who landed on the tacks. Moxley put Penta down with a Paradigm Shift. Beretta took out Moxley with a knee strike and then pinned Penta.
Trent Beretta beat Jon Moxley and Penta El Zero Miedo in an anything goes three-way in 11:15.
After the match, Moxley put Beretta in a choke hold. Moxley’s fellow Blackpool Combat Club members Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta came out through the crowd. Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor cut them off and fought with them. The BCC got the better of Cassidy and Taylor. Beretta dove onto the BCC from the top rope. Taylor threw a chair at Castagnoli, who wisely put his hand up. Cassidy hit Moxley with the Orange Punch.
Taylor took the mic and challenged the BCC trio to face him, Cassidy, and Beretta in the parking lot at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville…
Powell’s POV: Great effort from all three men in the garbage match. Trent going over follows his loss in last week’s three-way tag match, so I guess the idea was that his loss would make this win feel like more of a surprise. Wait, did Moxley just go through a match with barbed wire and not bleed?
Footage aired of FTR beating MJF and Adam Cole to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles on AEW Collision, followed by MJF choosing not to hit Adam Cole with a chair from behind. Excalibur said MJF would speak after the break… [C]
Backstage, Paquette interviewed RVD, who challenged Jack Perry to defend the FTW Championship against him next week. RVD said he’s inflated the value of titles and then just retired them. He said it depends on how much fun he has next week…
Powell’s POV: RVD 420 clearly isn’t just a gimmick to Van Dam.
AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance. MJF recalled that he has ADD, which led to an ADD chant from the crowd. MJF said he wished his teachers felt that way. He also spoke about having rejection sensitive disorder. He said he can’t regulate rejection based emotions or behaviors.
MJF said he’s been bullied, abused, cheated on, lied to, battered, and beaten up. He said he blacked out a lot of it, but he still remembers the day that a handful of kids threw quarters at him as hard as they could and called him “Jew Boy” while telling him to pick them up.
MJF said it’s easy to be booed, but he struggles to open up and be vulnerable. He said the people made it so that he can. He said they had sympathy for the devil. MJF said that he’s still a scumbag, but now he’s ready to be “your scumbag.” The fans cheered while he cupped his ear.
[Hour Two] A “He’s our scumbag” chant broke out. MJF smiled and laughed. MJF credited Adam Cole for teaching him that living with hate in your heart is no way to live and for showing him that even he deserves a friend. MJF introduced Adam Cole as someone he considers to be one of the best wrestlers and best human beings in the world.
Adam Cole walked out without entrance music. Cole told MJF that he continues to impress him every day. Cole said he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world at a young age and said he’s also impressed by the man that MJF is becoming.
Cole said MJF is not alone. Cole said he was a jerk for years because he thought that’s what he had to do to succeed and it took him years to figure out what a man should be. Cole said the people love MJF because they know that deep down in MJF’s heart and soul there’s a good guy in there. Cole said he and the fans are incredibly proud of MJF.
MJF said he enjoyed Cole performing verbal fellatio on him, then recalled telling the fans that he’s still a scumbag. MJF recalled telling Cole that he would give him a shot at the AEW World Championship regardless of whether they won or lost the AEW Tag Team Title match.
MJF said Cole doesn’t deserve a match. MJF followed up by saying that Cole doesn’t deserve just any match. MJF pulled out a contract folder and said Cole deserves to face him in the main event of All In at Wembley Stadium. MJF said there’s no one he would love to make history with more than Cole and told him to sign the contract, which he did.
Cole told MJF that he loves him. MJF told Cole that he loves him too. MJF and Cole hugged. MJF told Cole that he’s obviously going to win. They both posed on the ropes.
Backstage, Roderick Strong, who was still wearing a neck brace, threw a fit by trashing various objects on the interview set. Matt Taven and Mike Bennett showed up. Taven said Cole always forgets about his real friends. Taven and Bennett walked away while Strong seethed…
Powell’s POV: Another terrific segment from MJF and Cole. The great thing about their dynamic both tonight and on Collision is that we as viewers have our guards up while assuming that one man could attack the other at any time. I love the way they continue to stretch this out. Will Cole turn on MJF now that he got what he wanted? Will the winner of MJF vs. Cole at All In will then face CM Punk in a unification match at All Out the following weekend?
3. “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson (w/Brandon Cutler) vs. Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, and Satnam Singh (w/Karen Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt). The entrances for both teams were televised. When Singh tagged in for the first time, Matt turned to his corner, but Omega and Nick dropped off the apron in a comedy spot.
Nick joined Matt in kicking Singh and then he ran through their double clothesline attempt and performed a running crossbody block. The heels mocked the Elite pose heading into a PIP break. [C]
Omega drilled Singh with a V-Trigger knee. The Jacksons took out Jarrett and Lethal at ringside. Omega tried to hoist up Singh for the One Winged Angel, but Dutt ran in and broke it up while Karen distracted the referee. Omega chased Dutt out of the ring.
Lethal put Omega down with a Lethal Combination. Cutler climbed onto the apron and used his cold spray on Karen until Dutt pulled him down. Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy ran out. Jeff hit Dutt with a Twist of Fate.
Jarrett brought a guitar in the ring and swung it at Omega, who ducked it. Hangman Page showed up and hit Jarrett with a Buckshot Lariat. Lethal picked up the guitar. Omega blasted Lethal with a V-Trigger and then simulated playing the guitar before hitting the One Winged Angel and pinning Lethal.
“The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson beat Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, and Satnam Singh in 9:00.
Afterward, Nick took his turn acting like he was playing the guitar while The Elite members celebrated. Omega said Page had something on his mind and encouraged him to tell the fans. Page said The Elite re-signed with AEW. He said they were happy to be there for Dynamite 200 and said here’s to the next 200.
Omega said whether it’s Dynamite, Ring of Honor, Rampage, and even Collision, the fans would be seeing more of them. Omega delivered his sendoff line…
Powell’s POV: This looked like a style mismatch, but the final sequence was laid out in a fun way even if it required referee Rick Knox to look like a doofus. The crowd was hot for The Elite and yet the announcement of them re-signing didn’t result in much of a pop. The post match promo will raise expectations that they are willing to work with CM Punk because most fans will assume that’s implied by saying they will appear on Collision. Of course, they could appear on that show on a week when Punk isn’t there, just as Punk appeared on Dynamite in Chicago when The Elite were given the week off. But they had to know how fans would take that line, so perhaps the ice has thawed and the two sides can make some money.
A video package featured Swerve Strickland, AR Fox, and Prince Nana. Fox said that if he and Darby Allin were so close, why didn’t Allin call him when he got signed to AEW. Fox said Allin didn’t say a word to him for five years. Fox said he will take away everything he gave Allin. Nana said he would get it back in blood. Swerve said they take care of ours, then spoke about a movie he just made.
Footage aired of Swerve and Fox showing up at Buddy Wayne’s Pro Wrestling Academy (in the Wayne family garage). Nick Wayne was in the ring with another wrestler. Fox threw a skateboard at the other wrestler. Swerve and Fox roughed up Wayne and fought off two more trainees.
Wayne tried to fight back, but Swerve smashed a framed photo over Nick, then showed that it was a photo of a younger Wayne with his late father. Wayne bled heavily and they caught him trying to reach for his phone. Swerve assumed Wayne was going to call Allin.
Swerve forced Wayne to unlock his phone and call Allin, who answered and assumed it was Nick. Fox said it wasn’t Nick. Swerve told Allin to shut up and listen or something worse would happen. Swerve questioned why Allin didn’t help Fox. Swerve said they are the ghosts of Allin’s past and were here to haunt him. Fox threw the skateboard through the garage window…
Powell’s POV: Great stuff. The heels came off as violent and remorseless, and this was a case where the blood enhanced the attack.
ROH Tag Team Champions “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis made their entrance.. [C] The challengers made their entrance coming out of the the break…
4. “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis vs. El Hijo del Vikingo and Komander (w/Alex Abrahantes) for the ROH Tag Team Titles. Davis held up Komander and then Fletcher leaped from the ropes and performed a cutter, which led to a two count. Excalibur hyped CM Punk vs. Ricky Starks with Ricky Steamboat as special referee for AEW Collision. The match continued heading into a PIP break. [C]
Davis hoisted up Vikingo on his shoulder. Komander jumped from the ropes onto the back of Vikingo and then put Fletcher down with a Destroyer. The champs were cleared to ringside and then the challengers walked the ropes and moonsaulted onto them.
Fletcher was rolled back inside the ring. Vikingo and Komander performed simultaneous 450 splashes and had him beat, but Fletcher broke up the pin. Davis avoided a top rope move from Komander and put him down with a kick. Fletcher tagged in and then he and Davis hit simultaneous clotheslines from opposite sides. Aussie Open hit Komander with their finisher and then Fletcher pinned him…
“Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis defeated El Hijo del Vikingo and Komander to retain the ROH Tag Team Titles.
Powell’s POV: A quality win for Aussie Open with the usual crowd pleasing high spots from Vikingo and Komander. If Vikingo is going to be a regular, it sure would be nice to see him have an actual program with someone as opposed to these random matches he works.
Excalibur hyped the Collision main event again and then set up a recap of the Punk and Starks segment from Saturday’s show. Excalibur added Kris Statlander vs. Mercedes Martinez for the TBS Title, and noted that FTR will defend the AEW Tag Titles against Big Bill and Brian Cage on Collision…
Excalibur hyped the AEW Women’s Championship for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: It’s good to see the AEW Women’s Championship match headlining this show. I wonder if it would have had it not been for that “Book the women’s division better” sign that was shown last week.
Entrances for the AEW Women’s Championship match took place…
5. Toni Storm (w/Ruby Soho, Saraya) vs. Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship. Soho brought a spray paint can with her (ugh). Excalibur hyped the Parking Lot Brawl between BCC and Best Friends, Anna Jay vs. Skye Blue, Swerve Strickland and AR Fox in action, and Keith Lee, Matt Hardy, and Jeff Hardy vs. Kip Sabian, The Butcher, and The Blade for Rampage.
Shida had Storm draped over the apron when she hit her with a knee lift from the floor. Shida ran Storm into the barricade and then worked her over with some soft shots to the head until Storm dumped her on the barricade. Storm threw Shida back inside the ring. Shida came back with a pair of suplexes.
Storm hit Shida with a hip attack that sent her to the floor. Soho and Saraya put the boots to Shida. Storm went to the floor and drove Shida’s back into the barricade and then the apron before rolling her back in the ring. Storm covered Shida for a two count heading into a PIP break. [C]
An Acclaimed promo segment was announced for Collision. Excalibur announced that Jack Perry vs. RVD for the FTW Title was official for next week’s Dynamite. Schiavone said they would stick with the main event as long as they had to.
In the ring, Storm and Shida traded strikes. Shida dropped to one knee. Storm went for a running kick that Shida avoided. Shida caught her with a knee and then executed a falcon arrow for a near fall.
Saraya grabbed the kendo stick that Shida brought to the ring with her and slid it in the ring. Referee Paul Turner stood and watched the champion and challenger fight over it and even the broadcast team was surprised he didn’t intervene. Shida got the stick and knocked Soho off the apron with it.
Storm grabbed the spray paint and used it on Shida while the referee cleared the kendo stick from the ring. Storm hit Storm Zero and covered Shida for a near fall. Storm set up for her finisher. Shida tried to backdrop her, but Storm countered into a rollup. Shida hooked Storm’s legs and pinned her.
Hikaru Shida defeated Toni Storm in 13:15 to win the AEW Women’s Championship.
Shida celebrated her win and confetti shot off. Excalibur said that Shida carried the banner of AEW during the pandemic era in Jacksonville, and won the championship heading into the biggest period in AEW history with All Out (oops) in London on the horizon. Excalibur hyped the Punk vs. Starks match with Steamboat as the “special outside enforcer” for Collision…
Powell’s POV: Yep, book the women’s division better. This made for a nice moment to cap off the 200th episode and was very well received by the live crowd, but it’s not like fans saw Shida embark on a journey to win the championship. Rather, she just beat Nyla Rose on Rampage and then they announced afterward that she earned a title shot. Again, the title change came off well, but I think it could have packed more of a punch with a stronger build to the match.
Overall, they packed a lot into the two hours in typical Dynamite style. I’m happy we finally got the All In main event announced, but I’m still baffled by the lack of match announcements and additional information about the event. They had special graphics for the 200th episode and the brief video package. I wish they would have shown more Dynamite highlights throughout the show, but something is certainly better than nothing.