By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 205)
Indianapolis, Indiana at Indiana Farmers Coliseum
Aired live September 6, 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…
Orange Cassidy made his entrance while Taz put over the effort that he put in despite losing to Jon Moxley at All Out. There was a “thank you, Orange” chant. He started his promo by saying, “Hey.” He said he was told to stay home, but he said he wouldn’t do that. Cassidy said he would be there every single week. He closed by delivering his “I do not have a catchphrase” catchphrase and exited the ring.
“Wild Thing” played and then Jon Moxley made his entrance from the concourse with Claudio Castagnoli. Cassidy stopped on the entrance ramp and then turned around and watched as Moxley arrived at ringside and held up the AEW International Championship.
Cassidy started to walked to the back when AR Fox’s entrance music played. Cassidy stopped on the stage and looked at Fox, who was accompanied onto the stage by Darby Allin. Fox headed to the ring while Cassidy and Allin went to the back…
1. Jon Moxley (w/Claudio Castagnoli) vs. AR Fox for the AEW International Championship. Fox performed an early dive over the top rope onto Moxley at ringside. Fox picked up a near fall once they were back inside the ring. Moxley rolled to ringside. Fox followed and was roughed up on the floor. Moxley tossed Fox over the barricade heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Fox hit a top rope 450 splash for a near fall. Moxley came right back and threw elbows to the side of Fox’s head. Moxley ran the ropes, but Fox hit him with an enzuigiri. Fox ran the ropes again and ate a lariat. Moxley put Fox down with a Death Rider and scored the pin.
Jon Moxley defeated AR Fox in 8:20 to retain the AEW International Championship.
After the match, Moxley bumped fists with Castagnoli and then they exited through the crowd. Darby Allin entered the ring, checked on Fox, and raised his arm.
Meanwhile, Nick Wayne was shown on the big screen. Christian Cage and Luchasaurus confronted him. Cage said Wayne is a fine boy. He said he went back and watched footage of Nick’s father and said he owed him an apology. “He was even worse than I thought he was,” Cage said. He added that if Wayne needed a mentor, he should consider it being a champion. “Say hello to your mom for me,” Cage said before walking away…
Powell’s POV: A good opener that didn’t overstay its welcome. Fox was given a decent amount of offense, but the new champion went over clean and decisively. Meanwhile, Cage’s zingers continue to crack me up.
Kris Statlander made her entrance for her TBS Title match… [C] Emi Sakura made her entrance. Excalibur noted that Sakura accepted an open challenge…
2. Kris Statlander vs. Emi Sakura for the TBS Title. After some early back and forth action, both wrestlers threw simultaneous clotheslines and stayed down for a moment. Sakura held Statlander upside down before executing a backbreaker that led to a two count.
Statlander got Sakura in Electric Chair position and dropped her face first on the mat. Statlander followed up with a lariat and her Wednesday Night Delight finisher for the win…
Kris Statlander defeated Emi Sakura in 4:25 to retain the TBS Title.
Powell’s POV: A nice showcase win for Statlander. Much like the opener, this felt like it was given the appropriate amount of time as opposed to going long just for the sake of going long.
Footage aired with Roderick Strong seated and wearing a neckbrace while Mike Bennett and Matt Taven sat on opposite sides of him. Strong spoke about having a tough upbringing and how pro wrestling was and is his everything. Strong said Adam Cole knew all of this. Strong said he grew up alone and would win the Grand Slam tournament alone…
Don Callis made his entrance and joined the broadcast team on commentary for the next match. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara made their entrance to “Judas” and were followed by their opponents Aussie Open…
3. “Le Sex Gods” Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara vs. “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis. Guevara put Fletcher down with an early dropkick and played to the crowd, which resulted in a brief “Sammy” chant. Callis said Jericho, who tagged in, is the master of letting Guevara do all the work before he comes in and takes all the glory. Jericho and Guevara performed a double team vertical suplex on Fletcher. [C]
Guevara performed a flip dive that took out both opponents on the floor. Jericho executed a tope, but he ended up hitting Guevara. Fletcher and Davis picked up Jericho and Guevara and ended up ramming them together.
Back in the ring, Davis held up Jericho and Fletcher hit him with a cutter from the ropes, which led to Davis getting a two count. Guevara took out Davis with a standing Spanish Fly. Jericho tried to put Fletcher in the Walls of Jericho, but Fletcher spun out of it.
Fletcher hit Jericho with a series of moves that he capped off with a brainbuster for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Jericho accidentally knocked Guevara off the apron. Fletcher rolled up Jericho for a two count. Jericho got up and dropped Fletcher with the Judas Effect and pinned him.
“Le Sex Gods” Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara beat “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis in 11:25.
After the match, Guevara was upset and pulled his arm away when Jericho raised it in victory. Guevara shoved Jericho, who returned the favor. Two security guards entered the ring to keep them apart. Why? Anyway, Guevara exited the ring, hopped the barricade, and exited through the crowd…
Powell’s POV: A competitive match that made Aussie Open look good in defeat. That said, if Jericho and Guevara are not going to last as a tag team, then I would have preferred to have seen Aussie Open go over due to Jericho accidentally hitting Guevara. The same story would have been told for Jericho and Guevara, and the win would have been more meaningful for Fletcher and Davis.
A video package recapped Bryan Danielson beating Ricky Starks in the strap match at All Out. The video included footage of Starks with welts on his body. He said he proved a point by not tapping out. Starks said there’s not a man in the business who can tap him out. Starks asked when it’s going to be time for someone like him. He said not to give him a piece of bread and claim he’s been fed, he wants a full course meal…
Excalibur hyped that Bryan Danielson will speak on Saturday’s AEW Collision… Footage aired of the MJF and Samoa Joe angle from All Out… [C]
Renee Paquette interviewed Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita on the backstage set. Callis noted that Takeshita beat Kenny Omega twice in a week. He also pointed out a covered painting and said they would reveal Takeshita’s next target next week…
AEW World Champion and ROH Tag Team Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance wearing both belts. MJF recalled living in Indiana while he was working the independent circuit. “Indy, who’s your daddy?” MJF asked. He held his arms open while they chanted his name.
MJF recalled successfully defending the ROH Tag Titles at All Out. MJF said he returned backstage and “that mark Tony Khan” informed him that he had to defend his title on September 20. MJF said he wasn’t happy initially, but he realized that it’s Grand Slam in New York. MJF said regardless of who wins the tournament, nobody is on the level of the devil. MJF said there is one person who might need to be taught a lesson.
ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe made his entrance. Joe said he wanted a front row seat so that he could see what MJF was going to say. “What seems to be the problem, kid?” Joe asked. MJF, who had tape on his neck to sell his injury from All Out, said Joe must have rushed out because he confused the MJF entrance theme for an ice cream truck.
Joe said that was good, but the last time he had anything to do with an ice cream truck, he was busy being the biggest star on the other company’s network. Joe repeated his question and called MJF “kid” again. MJF played to the crowd by asking the fans if they wanted to hear him get creative.
MJF spoofed Joe with Pillsbury Dough Boy and a tiny dick joke, which actually led to a “tiny dick” chant. Joe said that was clever coming from a guy whose bris was postponed because the rabbi had a lack of stuff to work with. Joe insulted the Midwest fans and asked the question again. MJF said he would knock Joe’s teeth down his throat if he called him “kid” again.
[Hour Two] MJF said Joe wanted him to get worked up. A “F— you, Joe” chant broke out. Joe told the fans they were sounding like their mothers. MJF recalled trying out for WWE in Brooklyn when he was 19 years-old. MJF said he said he knocked it out of the park.
MJF recalled William Regal pulling him aside and saying he would sign him, but he was too young. MJF recalled Regal telling him to send him an email once a month only to then blow him off. The crowd chanted “He f—ed up.” MJF said he knocked out Regal and sent him back to NXT where he belongs. MJF threatened that Joe could be next.
MJF recalled that he worked as a security guard and was in charge of walking a legend down to the ring. MJF recalled Joe shoving him into a brick wall and laughing at him. MJF said Joe did it because he was a kid and Joe knew he could get away with it.
MJF said he’s full grown and is the best wrestler and the man who headlined the most historic pay-per-view of all-time. MJF went face to face with Joe and told him to stay out of his way “or I am going to kill you.” MJF delivered his catchphrase while glaring at Joe and then tossed the mic aside.
An unimpressed Joe told him it was a point beautifully made, but there was one problem with it. Joe said he didn’t think of MJF as a kid when he pushed him. Joe said his thought MJF was a little bitch. MJF slapped Joe.
Joe said MJF was trying to provoke him, but he wouldn’t take his bait. Joe said he would enter the tournament, beat everyone in it, and then he was coming for MJF. “Until then, champ, have a nice day,” Joe said before dropping the mic.
MJF went to leave the ring only to have Joe kick the ropes into his groin. Joe put the boots to MJF. Joe held up the AEW World Championship belt, but then MJF returned the favor by low-blowing him. MJF charged Joe, who caught him and gave him a uranage slam. Joe put MJF on the ropes with the idea of hitting a Muscle Buster.
Adam Cole ran out, causing Joe to release MJF. Cole checked on MJF while Joe gloated as he backed up the entrance ramp. “What’s wrong, kid, you don’t look so good,” Joe said while laughing on the stage.
Trainers tended to MJF, who sold his neck while the broadcast team played up his title defense in two weeks. MJF slowly rolled out of the ring while clutching his neck and was helped by the trainers. Joe taunted MJF again and headed to the back while MJF continued to sell his neck. MJF dropped to one knee on the ramp.
“Adam! Adam! Adam!” Roderick Strong yelled. Strong, Mike Bennett, and Matt Taven confronted Cole on the stage while the trainers took MJF to the back. Cole said MJF wasn’t okay and headed to the back to help him while Strong and the others headed to the ring… [C]
Powell’s POV: I find it comical that one company censors holy shit chants, while the other company’s champion encourages the crowd to chant uncensored F-Bombs. Hey, if the network doesn’t care, then why would I? Anyway, this was a good angle. I thoought Strong would win the tournament, but Joe throwing his name in the hat changes my prediction. By the way, is this going to be another tournament where they don’t show us the brackets before it starts?
Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor made their entrance…
4. Roderick Strong (w/Mike Bennett, Matt Taven) vs. Trent Beretta (w/Chuck Taylor) in a Grand Slam tournament match. Excalibur said the winner of this match would face the winner of the Dynamite main event of Darby Allin vs. Nick Wayne in a semifinal match that will be held on AEW Collision. The finals of the tournament will be held next week on Dynamite.
Beretta performed a tornado DDT. Strong rolled to ringside and sold neck pain while Bennett and Taven checked on him. Beretta went to ringside, but Bennett and Taven talked him into staying away. Strong stood up and shoved Beretta into the ring post, then slammed him on the apron heading into a PIP break. [C]
Beretta executed a half-and-half suplex and a piledriver and went for the pin, but Strong put his foot on the bottom rope. Strong came back with a knee strike and his backbreaker finisher and scored the pin…
Roderick Strong defeated Trent Beretta in 11:00 to advance to the semifinals of the Grand Slam tournament.
After the match, Bennett and Taven put Strong’s neckbrace around his neck and hoisted him up…
The brackets were shown for the tournament. As previously noted, Strong will face the winner of Allin vs. Wayne. The other side of the bracket has Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Jay Lethal and Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy in quarterfinal matches that will be held on Friday’s Rampage. The semifinals for both sides of the bracket will be held on Saturday’s AEW Collision, and the finals will be next week on Dynamite…
Powell’s POV: As much as I mock AEW for going overboard with tournaments, at least this one is playing out over the course of eight days. The match was well worked and the right guy went over given Strong’s storyline with MJF and Adam Cole.
Backstage, Paquette interviewed Toni Storm and asked her about costing Ruby Soho the TBS Title with a spray paint can. Storm played dumb and said they should look forward. Paquette said there would be a four-way match next week with the winner earning a shot at Saraya for the AEW Women’s Championship. Storm said that if Paquette is good, she would give her a sneak peak into her life. Storm closed by saying chin up, tits out, and watch for the shoes. Storm exited and then tossed a shoe at Paquette…
Hangman Page made his entrance… [C]
Tony Schiavone interviewed Hangman Page in the middle of the ring and recalled that he won the battle royale at All Out. Page said he gave the $50,000 prize to the Chicago Education Fund. Page said it’s near and dear to him because he was a high school teacher. He thanked teachers and said they are underfunded, underpaid, and under-appreciated.
Swerve Strickland’s entrance theme played. Prince Nana walked out and danced and then Swerve came out. Once in the ring, Nana sent Schiavone away and told the fans to respect Strickland. Swerve said he needed a couple weeks to reflect and said the first thing he thought of was Hangman.
Swerve asked if Hangman was AEW’s mascot now that he’s giving money to charity. Swerve said he was giving money to Chicago kids who wouldn’t amount to anything. Swerve spoke about Page’s early success in AEW and noted that he’s now working pre-shows.
Swerve said Page lost his confidence and his spot. He said Page got a new contract and has been eating well. “It’s showing,” Swerve said while pointing at Page’s abdomen. Swerve said Page took a backseat to The Elite and got comfortable.
Swerve said he’d be the first black AEW World Champion had he been given all of the opportunities that Page has been given. Swerve told Page to move out of the way or man up and find the fire to show him and the people what Cowboy Shit is all about.
Swerve said Page could fight him for his spot. Swerve said he has no regard for human life and zero empathy. He said he would walk Page like a dog. “Either way, I’m coming for that spot that you act like you don’t even want,” Swerve said.
Page told Swerve to go to the back and get the match he wants, but he was done. Page exited the ring. Swerve said it was a shame that Page’s wife and child had to watch him run away from more responsibilities. Page returned to the ring and jawed at Swerve.
Brian Cage attacked Page from behind and put him down with a Drill Claw. Swerve squatted over Page and looked at him before leaving the ring with Cage and Nana…
Powell’s POV: Swerve took some solid jabs at Page that rang true. I’m definitely looking forward to their feud. Cage is clearly just the setup guy.
Excalibur listed the following matches for AEW Rampage: The Young Bucks vs. Matt Menard and Angelo Parker, Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy and Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Jay Lethal in Grand Slam tournament matches. A brief video aired with comments from the tournament entrants…
Excalibur listed the following matches for Saturday’s AEW Collision: The semifinals of the Grand Slam tournament, Bryan Danielson speaks, Bullet Club Gold in action, Saraya and Ruby Soho speak, and The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn speak.
Excalibur listed the following matches for Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite: The Grand Slam Tournament finals, Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose vs. Toni Storm in a four-way for a shot at the AEW Women’s Championship at Grand Slam, and Tony Khan (drink) made it official that Hangman Page will face Brian Cage, and Don Callis unveils his next masterpiece…
Entrances for the main event took place. Excalibur said it would be the first time Darby Allin and Nick Wayne had met in a match…
5. Darby Allin vs. Nick Wayne in a Grand Slam tournament match. The wrestlers shook hands and hugged before starting the match. Allin went for an early suicide dive, but Wayne moved, causing Allin to crash and burn. Allin expressed concern heading into a PIP break. [C]
Allin and Wayne took one another out by simultaneously going for running crossbody blocks. Both men stayed down. Once they got to their knees, Allin stick his fist out, and Wayne gave him a fist bump. They traded forearm strikes.
Allin grabbed the microphone and told Wayne to hit him like he wants to win. Wayne hit him with a forearm shot. Allin put his hands behind his back. Wayne wound up and then superkicked Allin out of nowhere and covered him for a two count. The broadcast team said it was a smart move by Wayne.
Christian Cage’s entrance theme played and he walked onto the stage with Luchasaurus heading into the final PIP break. [C] Roderick Strong and his crew were shown watching on a backstage monitor. Cage sat in on commentary.
Excalibur announced that Tony Khan (drink) told him that they would stick with the match as long as they needed to. Wayne performed a top rope splash on the floor. Well, actually he landed on his feet and then sprawled out on Allin. Anyway, he picked up a two count once he was back inside the ring.
Allin came back and had Wayne down. Allin went to the ropes for his finisher, but he thought twice about it and decided to cover Wayne for a two count instead. Wayne caught Allin in the Last Supper for a two count. Wayne went for Wayne’s World, but Allin stuffed it. Allin had a couple of near falls.
[Overrun] Schiavone announced that they were in overtime. Allin pulled Wayne’s arms behind him and then stomped the back of his head. Allin wrenched on Wayne’s arms and the referee called for the bell.
Darby Allin defeated Nick Wayne in 14:55 to advance to the semifinals of the Grand Slam tournament.
Cage applauded and said it was very impressive. Cage asked what would happen if Allin didn’t make it to the semifinals. Cage said anything could happen between now and Saturday. The updated graphic listed Allin vs. Strong as a semifinal match for AEW Collision. Excalibur hyped Rampage and Collision. Cage posed on the stage with the TNT Title belt. Allin checked on Wayne to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A decent main event. The crowd didn’t have any reason to root against either wrestler, so they weren’t as vocal for this match. I hope the first Allin vs. Wayne match serves a storyline purpose because it felt strange to give it away now without any build or fanfare.
Overall, this was a good episode with a nice steady pace as opposed to the chaotic approach that is used too often. I will have more to say about Dynamite 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.