By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 211)
Rosenberg, Texas at Fort Bend Epicenter
Aired live October 18, 2023 on TBS
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired and then Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Schiavone checked in on commentary… Justin Roberts was the ring announcer and conducted the introductions for the opening match…
1. Jay White (w/Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes). White brought the AEW World Championship belt to the ring with him. Penta performed a flip dive onto Robinson and the Gunns and then took White down. Penta threw White in the ring to start the match and then hit him with a double stomp for a two count. Taz praised the referee for waiting until Penta was in the ring to start the match.
A short time later, White knocked Penta off the ropes, causing him to tumble to the floor. White followed and slammed Penta face first onto the ring apron. Back in the ring, White tied Penta’s mask to the middle rope and then slapped him and kicked him. White suplexed Penta into the corner and then covered him for a two count heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Penta hit White with a flip dive at ringside. Back in the ring, Penta made a big fuss over taking off his glove and tossed it to Abrahantes while White stood in front of him selling. Penta finally chopped White, who returned the favor. White talked Penta into removing his shirt and then the chops continued with Penta getting the better of the exchange.
Penta hoisted White onto his shoulders and then slammed him. White stuffed the Fear Factor and then put Penta down with a uranage. White followed up with a brainbuster for a two count. White executed a sleeper suplex and then set up for his Bladerunner finisher, but Penta countered into another slam for a near fall.
Penta set up for the Fear Factor, which brought White’s allies onto the apron. While the Gunns distracted the referee, Robinson hit Penta with the Left Hand of God punch. White followed with a Bladerunner and scored the pin.
Jay White defeated Penta El Zero Miedo in 13:20.
After the match, White took the mic and put the title belt over his shoulder. He taunted MJF while claiming to be the real world champion. White recalled offering MJF an eight-man tag team match and mocked MJF for not being able to find any partners.
Robinson took the mic and issued a spoiler warning before claiming that he would win the Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale. Robinson said he would then face MJF for his “stupid ring” and then pointed out that his TJ Maxx ring is better. Robinson threatened to pawn the Dynamite Diamond Ring and get another gold tooth. Austin led the “two words for ya” and “Gunns Up” closing line…
Powell’s POV: A good match with the logical outcome given that White is challenging MJF for the AEW World Championship at the Full Gear pay-per-view. I could have done without the outside interference. I get that it establishes the threat of the other Bullet Club Gold members, but I think it would have been bigger for White had he won clean.
Backstage, Renee Paquette interviewed MJF, who said he would be on commentary for the battle royale. He also said he would get his title belt back before Full Gear. He said the people at the New York City comic con reminded him of White because they were losers running around with belts while cosplaying as world champions. MJF prayed that Robinson would win the battle royale so that he could face him next week. Paquette asked for an update on Adam Cole.
Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn showed up. Caster recalled offering their services to MJF for an eight-man tag match with Bullet Club Gold and said they could scissors afterward. MJF shot that down. Caster said he would enter the battle royale and then face MJF, who would have to “put a ring on it” after Caster beat him. MJF stormed away. Gunn said MJF is a scumbag. “Yeah, but he’s my scumbag,” Caster said… [C]
Powell’s POV: I still don’t get this strange shift for Caster, but I am all for the idea of The Acclaimed shaking things up before the scissoring schtick gets old. By the way, it looks like AEW is just moving on from the anti-Semetic comments that Robinson made. An apology would have been nice, but at least they didn’t dig their heels in on that horribly timed angle.
A brief video package focused on Hikaru Shida facing Emi Sakura and then entrances for the match took place…
2. AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Emi Sakura in a non-title eliminator match. Sakura jumped Shida to start the match. Sakura took the title belt and kissed it. Referee Aubrey Edwards took the belt away and then called for the opening bell. Sakura was in offensive control heading into an early PIP break. [C]
Sakura put Shida down with a Tiger Driver for a near fall. Sakura went to the ropes and went for a moonsault that Shida avoided. Shida hit a Kitana and covered Sakura for just one. The broadcast team said Sakura blocked the knee strike. Sakura used a La Magistral to get a near fall. Shida performed a falcon arrow for a near fall. She followed up with the Kitana again and scored the pin…
AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida defeated Emi Sakura in 8:50 in a non-title eliminator match.
Renee Paquette conducted a sit-down interview with Adam Copeland. He said he was confused by Christian Cage not wanting to reform their tag team until he started thinking back on their friendship.
Copeland recalled he and Cage agreeing to write an essay contest to win a free spot in a wrestling school. Copeland said he wrote an essay and it turned out that Cage did not. He also recalled putting a word in for Cage after he landed a dream gig, which he said you don’t do when you are a new guy.
Copeland said part of him feels like Cage might still be working an IT job and wondering “what if” had he not opened doors for him. Copeland questioned why things needed to keep repeating. He said he didn’t come to AEW to take Cage’s spotlight or his TNT Title, but he knows that Cage will crash.
Paquette asked what Copeland wants at this point in his career if he doesn’t want the TNT Title. Copeland said he won’t fight Cage, but he knows that Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne will eventually leave him high and dry. He said that once that happens, he’ll be the one there to pick up Cage…
Powell’s POV: So Copeland is Rey and Cage is Dom? Hey, this approached worked nicely for the Mysterios, so making fans wait for Copeland vs. Cage could work in AEW too.
Wardlow made his entrance while his opponent was already in the ring…
3. Wardlow vs. Ryan Nemeth. Nemeth went right at Wardlow, who quickly powerbombed him. The referee checked on Nemeth and then called off the match.
Wardlow beat Ryan Nemeth in 0:25.
After the match, Wardlow exited the ring. Tony Schiavone entered the ring and asked for a minute of his time. Wardlow returned to the ring while Schiavone asked what he was back for. Wardlow held up his arm to show that he had “MJF” written on his wrist tape. Wardlow bumped Schiavone with his shoulder as he exited the ring. Schiavone fell to the mat and was helped up by a referee…
Powell’s POV: Man up, Schiavone! I’ve been guessing that the darker Wardlow character is pissed about the fans embracing MJF. I’m not sure if that’s exactly where this is headed, but I like that he’s targeting the world champion.
Kenny Omega was interviewed by Paquette on the backstage interview set. He spoke about facing Kyle Fletcher and then going after the Callis Family. He said once that’s done, the Omega of old might return in that he might challenge for the AEW Championship.
MJF walked onto the set and told Omega that he’s always admired him and been a massive fan. MJF offered Omega a handshake, which Omega accepted. MJF leaned in and whispered, “Thirteen days, bitch,” to Omega before walking away. Omega said we’d see about that… [C]
The latest video aired of Adam Cole, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett at Roderick Strong’s house. Cole brought Strong a drink, which Strong spat out before saying Cole knows he hates hot coffee. Strong said Cole made the best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when they started in ROH. Music played while slow motion footage aired of Cole making the sandwich. Strong took a bite and said Cole knows that he hates crust.
Cole finally had enough and said he hadn’t talked to MJF in weeks and needed to get surgery. Strong yelled “Adam” repeatedly, but Cole still left. Strong told Taven and Bennett that in order to get his best friend back, he’ll have to be nice to “that scumbag”…
Tony Schiavone stood in the ring and introduced Don Callis, who came to the ring with Powerhouse Hobbs and Konosuke Takeshita. Callis boasted that Hobbs manhandled Chris Jericho like no one ever has.
Hobbs recalled his grandmother buying him tickets to meet Jericho, only to have Jericho tell his grandmother to shut up and then told Hobbs to sit down. Hobbs swore to himself that day that he would hurt Jericho over and over again. Callis complained about Kyle Fletcher and accused him of screwing the Callis Family.
Kyle Fletcher came to the ring. Hobbs cut him off, but Callis told him that he wanted to hear what he had to say. Fletcher said he did the match for Callis as a favor after Will Ospreay called him and said Callis needed him. Fletcher said he would prove to Callis and everyone else that he doesn’t need help to beat Kenny Omega. Callis responded, but the cut out briefly and then Kenny Omega made his entrance while the Callis Family made their exit…
Powell’s POV: For a guy holding a longtime grudge, let’s just say that Hobbs showed a lot of patience by working for the same company as Jericho and yet waiting over three years to take him out.
4. Kenny Omega vs. Kyle Fletcher. Fletcher attacked Omega when he entered the ring. Callis sat in on commentary while Hobbs and Takeshita stood behind him.
[Hour Two] Omega sent Fletcher to the floor and then dove onto him. At ringside, Omega charged at Fletcher, who tripped him, causing Omega to tumble into a chair going into a PIP break. [C]
Fletcher had a nice run of offense and picked up a near fall. He performed a middle rope version of Snake Eyes and followed with a Michinoku Driver and and got another two count.
Omega came back with a knee strike to the back and then a Poison Rana. Omega powerbombed Fletcher and drilled him with a V-Trigger and made a cocky cover, but Fletcher kicked out.
Omega performed another V-Trigger and set up for his finisher, but Fletcher countered into a dragon sleeper. Omega came back with a V-Trigger while both men were running the ropes. Omega hit the One Winged Angel and scored the clean pin.
Kenny Omega defeated Kyle Fletcher in 12:55.
Excalibur said it was an incredible effort from Fletcher. Callis agreed and said it was a terrible result…
Powell’s POV: A hot match that lived up to my high expectations. These guys could have gone double the time they were given and produced something truly special, but the match length was logical at this point since they are not in the midst of a program together. The broadcast team did a really nice job of putting over Fletcher in defeat.
A Danhausen video aired… [C]
Coming out of the break, Lance Archer brought his opponent onto the stage and roughed him up on the way to the ring. Barrett Brown came back briefly, but Archer slammed him on the apron.
5. Lance Archer vs. Barrett Brown. The referee called for the bell once Archer was inside the ring. Archer dominated the action and put Brown away with the Blackout
Lance Archer defeated Barrett Brown in 1:00.
Powell’s POV: This is the first time Archer has worked an AEW match since July and just his second since March. I have no idea why he’s been gone so long, but he’s back and doing the same routine he did before he left, only without Jake Roberts.
Excalibur hyped the music video premiere of Swerve Strickland’s “Big Pressure remix.” Footage aired from the video, which they touted as being available on YouTube…
Prince Nana was shown pumping up Swerve Strickland about the release of his video. Swerve said it’s exciting, then asked why he’s not excited. Swerve blamed Hangman Page and told him the shouldn’t go to war with someone who cares less about life than he does. Swerve told Page to remember that it’s not always you who pays for your actions…
Tony Schiavone stood in the ring and introduced Sting, who made his entrance. Sting asked if he should say the word. He said before he did, he wanted to reflect. He recalled all the years of traveling with Lex Luger, The Steiners, and Buff Bagwell. He also spoke about Dusty Rhodes and called him the most charismatic human being he’d ever met.
Sting mentioned Hulk Hogan, who was booed. Sting said he heard the fans, but Hogan transcended wrestling and he learned something from him. Sting brought up Ric Flair and thanked him for all the moments.
Sting said he and other guys wondered what made the legends hang out as long as they did. He said now he’s in the same position. He said it’s the smell of the arenas, the camaraderie, and the fans. Sting asked if he should be jumping off balcony.
Sting pivoted back to “that word.” A “you’ve still got it” chant broke out. Sting thanked the fans. He said some will remember that he retired once already. He said that 2014 retirement didn’t sit right with him. He said there was a key moment in the speech that he made when he said that the only thing sure about Sting is that noting is for sure.
Sting said that brings him to the word retirement again. Fans booed. Sting said his first match with AEW was AEW Revolution 2021. He said his very last match will be AEW Revolution 2024. “The only thing for sure about Sting is that my retirement, Revolution 2024, is for sure,” Sting concluded. Sting played to the crowd before heading to the back…
Powell’s POV: Revolution is a March pay-per-view event, so this is basically Sting’s five-month warning. The show will be held the same month as Sting’s 65th birthday. He’s had a hell of a run and has gone above and beyond since arriving in AEW. I hope he gets closure in the months ahead.
RJ City sat on a chair on the backstage interview set and spoke about Toni Storm’s “Gone With the Storm” movie. Storm showed up and had the silent movie play during a PIP break… [C]
Jim Ross conducted a sit-down interview with Nick Wayne and his mother. Ross said that if Nick’s father was there, he could help them out. Ross said he couldn’t get over what Nick did to Darby Allin. He said having great friends in pro wrestling is rare.
Ross asked Nick’s mother what she was thinking when it happened. Nick’s mom said it was shocking and she can’t make sense of it. She said it was out of character for Nick. She recalled Christian Cage saying things about her and Nick’s late father. She said she doesn’t recognize her son and told him that this is not the way.
Nick got upset and said he was always in Darby’s shadow. He said it’s time to prove himself and why he’s in AEW. Nick told his mother that this is him and Cage is a better father figure than his father ever was. Cage showed up and asked, “Are you ready to come home, son?”
Nick got up to leave. Nick’s mom tried to stop him. Nick spun away and told her not to touch him. Nick said she was a terrible mother. Nick’s mom slapped him and immediately apologized. Nick said she’s dead to him. “You should have picked up the phone,” Cage said before closing the door.
There was commotion behind the door. Nick’s mom opened it and Cage was laid out while Darby was working over Nick. The broadcast team spoke briefly and then Allin and Nick arrived on the stage. Luchasaurus attacked Allin while Cage watched.
Sting returned ran Luchasaurus into the barricade. Nick was shown laid out on the stage with blood coming form his mouth. In the ring, Sting tried to put Cage in the Scorpion Death Lock, but Luchasaurus pulled Cage to the floor. Sting and Allin stood in the ring. Cage checked on Nick, who pointed to his mouth. Cage yelled about what Allin did to Nick’s tooth…
Powell’s POV: So Nick’s mom still doesn’t have a name? Odd. Anyway, Nick did a solid job with his angst filled teenager performance, while his mom has a tougher task and felt a bit over the top.
Excalibur listed the following matches for Rampage: Mistico vs. Rocky Romero, Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta in action, Skye Blue vs. Ruby Soho, Kip Sabian vs. Brother Zay vs. John Silver for a shot at the AEW International Championship at Battle of the Belts.
Excalibur listed the following matches for Collision: Ricky Starks and Big Bill vs. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta for the AEW Tag Team Titles, and Miro vs. Action Andretti.
Backstage, Renee Paquette interviewed Orange Cassidy, Hook, Kris Statlander, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor. Statlander spoke about defending her TBS Title against Willow Nightingale. Cassidy said he knew he cared about the AEW International Title, but he didn’t know how much until he lost it. He said there’s unfinished business and he has something to prove at Battle of the Belts.
Excalibur listed the following matches for AEW Battle of the Belts: Cassidy defends the the AEW International Championship, Statlander vs. Willow Nightingale for the TBS Title, and Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn vs. Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard, and Angelo Parker for the AEW Trios Titles.
Excalibur listed the following matches and segments for next week’s AEW Dynamite: Tony Khan has a gift for Sting, Rob Van Dam and Hook in tag action, MJF faces the winner of the Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale…
Dustin Rhodes made his entrance for the main event… [C] Additional entrances for the main event and then MJF came out and sat in on commentary…
6. The Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale. The entrants were Juice Robinson, Dustin Rhodes, Johnny TV, Daniel Garcia, Max Caster, Trent Beretta, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Jake Hager, Matt Sydal, Komander, Matt Menard. Matt and Dustin eliminated TV. Schiavone announced that Tony Khan(!) informed him they would stick with the action as long as they could.
MJF walked to ringside and hopped on the apron. MJF held up some cash and then whispered to Dustin, who took the money. MJF returned to the broadcast table. Dustin hit Robinson with Shattered Dreams heading into a PIP break. [C]
MJF said he hoped Caster didn’t win. He spoke about how they trained until 4 a.m. back in the day and worked their asses off. He said Caster is now a scissoring weirdo and it pisses him off.
Komander was eliminated by Garcia and Menard. Beretta and Dustin did a Best Friends hug, which was broken up by Hager. Beretta knocked Hager off the apron moments later to eliminate him. Beretta and Menard fought on the apron. Menard eventually eliminated Beretta.
Garcia eliminated Jeff Hardy. Garcia was going to do his dance, but Menard stopped him, which led to pushing and shoving. They turned their focus to Dustin and put the boots to him. Garcia accidentally hit Menard, who was eliminated by Dustin. Garcia swooped right in and eliminated Dustin.
[Overrun] The final three were Robinson, Garcia, and Caster. Garcia did his dance. Robinson tried to eliminate him, but they ended up fighting on the ropes. Caster eliminated Garcia, leaving him and Robinson as the final two.
MJF spoke about the possibilities of facing either opponent and then swore on his mother’s brown eyes that he would murder Robinson if he ended up in the ring with him.
Meanwhile, Robinson and Caster fought on the apron. Robinson tried too pull Caster up to the top rope, but Caster shoved him into the ring. Caster hit Robinson with the Mic Drop.
Jay White came out and ended up fighting on the stage with MJF, who quickly put White down. MJF threw punches at White and then took his AEW World Championship belt back. MJF tried to hit White with the belt, but White low-blowed him and took the belt back.
In the ring, Robinson pulled out his TJ Maxx ring and hit Caster with it. Robinson picked up Caster and dumped him over the top rope to win the match.
Juice Robinson won the Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale in 14:35.
The Bullet Club Gold members celebrated in the ring while the broadcast team hyped MJF vs. Robinson for the Dynamite Diamond Ring for next week. On the stage, MJF got to his knees and put his Dynamite Diamond Ring on his finger and barked that Robinson would never take it from him…
Powell’s POV: What a random group of wrestlers to have in a 12-man battle royal for a shot at the AEW Championship. The outcome was pretty obvious. Heck, the final two with Robinson and Caster was pretty obvious. I wish they would have had more wrestlers who felt like true contenders in the match, but you had to know they would go with MJF vs. Robinson for the ring.
Overall, they threw a lot at viewers again this week. I enjoyed the show, but I’m still left wishing they would slow down and let things breathe. I will have more to say in my weekly same night audio review of Dynamite for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.