By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 213)
Louisville, Kentucky at KFC Yum Center
Aired live November 1, 2023 on TBS
[Hour One] Dynamite opened with a video package that recapped recent events…
Powell’s POV: Finally! I love that Impact Wrestling opens most of its shows with recaps. With AEW now producing five hours of weekly television, recapping the key events is more important than ever for fans who don’t watch every AEW television show.
Renee Paquette stood backstage and welcomed viewers to Dynamite before introducing AEW World Champion MJF. Paquette brought up MJF needed three tag team partners for his eight-man tag match against Bullet Club Gold. MJF said he needed some help.
A scruffy bearded Adam Cole checked in on a television next to the interview set and praised MJF for becoming the longest reigning AEW World Champion. He also suggested that MJF accept Samoa Joe’s offer to help. MJF said he didn’t know if he would, then said he would successfully defend the ROH Tag Titles at AEW Full Gear.
Roderick Strong called out “Adam” and wheeled onto the interview set with Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. Strong called out MJF for leaving mid-conversation and said he would never do that to Cole. He also accused MJF of being the devil mask culprit. Cole blew off Strong and ended the video call and then the person wearing the Devil Mask appeared on the screen briefly…
Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Schiavone checked in on commentary. Justin Roberts conducted the introductions while entrances for the opening match took place…
1. Orange Cassidy vs. Claudio Castagnoli (w/Wheeler Yuta) for the AEW International Championship. Excalibur noted that this was the first singles match between Cassidy and Castagnoli. The match spilled over to ringside where Castagnoli pressed Cassidy over his head and dropped him on the barricade. Cassidy came up selling his right elbow.
Yuta stood over Cassidy and taunted him. Hook walked out. Referee Bryce Remsburg ejected Yuta and Hook from ringside. Back inside the ring, Castagnoli superplexed Cassidy, who rolled to the floor heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Footage aired from during the break of producer Pat Buck and security standing between Hook and Yuta. Hook exited the building. In the ring, Cassidy went for a Stundog Millionaire, but Castagnoli had a cool transition into the Giant Swing. Castagnoli put Cassidy in the Sharpshooter and then a crossface.
Cassidy eventually rallied and performed Beach Break. Castanoli rolled to the floor to avoid being pinned and returned at the referee’s nine count. Cassidy threw light kicks that became faster and stiffer and then performed repeated stomp kicks. Cassidy threw a PK and then went for an Orange Punch, but Castagnoli avoided it. Cassidy put Castagnoli down with a DDT for a near fall. Cassidy followed up with a huracanrana into a pin and got the three count…
Orange Cassidy defeated Claudio Castagnoli in 17:00 to retain the AEW International Championship.
After the match, Jon Moxley made his entrance to “Wild Thing” and entered the ring. Cassidy, who was down at ringside, entered the ring and charged Moxley, who put him down and hit him with repeated punches. Two security guards ran in, but Moxley and Castagnoli quickly cleared them from the ring. Moxley went back to attacking Cassidy until Castagnoli pulled him off…
Powell’s POV: A very good match to open the night. It was great to see a no nonsense finish. I was hoping that Moxley would take offense to Castagnoli pulling him off of Cassidy. Blackpool Combat Club isn’t doing much for me, but no luck on this being the split.
MJF stood outside Kenny Omega’s locker room door and knocked on it. Chris Jericho answered the door. MJF asked if Omega was in the ring. Jericho smirked at him and closed the door.
As MJF walked away, Wardlow showed up and shoved him into the wall. Wardlow said MJF took everything from him and now he would take everything from MJF when he least expects it. Wardlow released MJF, who gathered himself and walked around the corner.
Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn were standing around the corner. Bowens held his fingers in a scissors and asked MJF to team with them. MJF stormed away. Bowens told Caster that they hid backstage for nothing. Caster apologized… [C]
Jon Moxley delivered a backstage promo. He said Rey Fenix sacrificed his body just to put him down for three seconds. Moxley implied that he should have had the first shot at Fenix. Moxley said he’s not doing good and maybe Cassidy is just the wrong guy at the wrong place at the wrong time. He spoke of what he would do to Cassidy at Full Gear…
Entrances for the next match took place…
2. Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. Toa Liona, Bishop Kaun, and Brian Cage for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles. The broadcast team noted that Prince Nana was not in the corner of the challengers and said it’s because he was avoiding Page after he and Swerve Strickland broke into Page’s home last week. The champions were in offensive control heading into a PIP Break. [C]
Powell’s POV: For a second there, I thought they might actually take the logical approach and Nana’s absence was due to a storyline suspension.
Page set up for a Buckshot Lariat, but he was distracted by Swerve Strickland and Prince Nana walking onto the stage. Swerve did his usual “Whose house?” line. He added that he was at Page’s house last week. Page ran left the ring and chased Swerve and Nana backstage, leaving his team shorthanded.
Cage drilled Matt with a knee to the face and then his partners slammed Matt to the mat. Kaun covered Matt and got the pin while Nick was down at ringside…
Toa Liona, Bishop Kaun, and Brian Cage defeated Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson in 7:50 to win the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles.
After the match, there was a split screen shot that showed security pulling apart Page and Strickland while the new champions celebrated. They switched to a full screen shot of the pull apart.
They went back to a full screen shot of Matt Jackson throwing a tantrum. Matt knocked over the timekeepers table and then grabbed a chair and battered one of the table legs with it before slamming it against two ring posts while Nick watched from the ring. Excalibur said Adam Copleland was speak after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Anyway, throwing a tantrum over losing the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles in 2023 is like a coach blowing a gasket over losing the college basketball NIT Tournament. That reminds me, RIP Bobby Knight.
MJF was shown preparing to knock on Samoa Joe’s door, but he stopped and walked to the next door, which had Darby Allin’s name on it. MJF took the plastic name sign and wrote “Emo Bitch” on it and then said “loser.” When MJF turned around, Caster, Bowens, and Gunn were standing there. Caster held an “MJF Pick Us” sign and pointed at it. MJF walked away. “Dammit, Max,” Bowens said to Caster…
Powell’s POV: While it’s silly to think that MJF wouldn’t line up his partners in advance, I like that they are turning this into a mystery that is playing out through the course of the show. That’s the type of thing that will keep viewers watching.
Tony Schiavone stood inside the ring and introduced Adam Copeland, who made his entrance. Copeland put over Schiavone for “all the hats he wears backstage.” Copeland recalled Sting getting in his face. Copeland said that while people may have been confused by Sting saying that they went way back, he said they do. He said they had the same injuries and used each other as a sounding board. Copeland and also praised Darby Allin. He said people want to know if he will team with Sting and Allin at Full Gear.
Christian Cage’s entrance theme interrupted and he walked onto the stage with Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne. Cage said he wanted to paint a picture for Copeland before he makes his decision. Cage claimed he will retire Sting at Full Gear and then spoke about Allin’s “gimp arm.”
Cage said he also didn’t need to remind everyone about Copeland’s neck problems. Cage said he’d hate to see Copeland’s fairytale turn into a nightmare. Cage started walking to the ring with his crew and told Copeland to back down or he would snap his neck and leave him in a wheelchair. Cage told Luchasaurus and Wayne to give Copeland a preview.
Luchasaurus and Wayne rushed the ring and were fought off by Copeland. There was an awkward spot where Copeland and Wayne weren’t on the same page, but they got back on track. Copeland caught Cage entering the ring, but Luchasaurus hit Copeland’s neck from behind. Wayne followed up with a cutter that put Copeland down. Wayne slid Cage chairs for a Conchairto.
Sting made his entrance and disposed of Wayne once he charged at him on the ramp. Darby Allin ran past String and tackled Cage. Copeland cleared Luchasaurus from the ring and then went to the corner and watched while Cage put the boots to Allin. When Cage turned around, Copeland speared him for a big pop.
Copeland picked up the mic and said that Cage wants to snap his neck, but he’s going to beat his ass. “It is on, you little son of a bitch,” Copeland said. Copeland told Sting and Allin that if they wanted a partner at Full Gear, he was their man. Copeland’s entrance theme played…
Powell’s POV: A good angle to officially add Copeland to the six-man tag match at Full Gear.
Nigel McGuinness stood backstage with Tony Khan and noted that Khan had a huge announcement. Khan spoke about the success they had at Wembley Stadium.
[Hour Two] Khan said Christmas trees are going up around the world. He said he can’t think of a better gift to give the fans than a ticket to AEW All In on August 25, 2024. Khan said tickets go on sale on December 1. He said that fans don’t have to wait, they can sign up for the pre-sale and had McGuinness deliver the specifics…
Powell’s POV: The little boy who cried wolf strikes again. There’s no reason that Khan couldn’t have labeled his announcement as being related to All In. Instead, he turned it into a cheap ratings stunt. Weak.
Entrances for the next match took place…
3. Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho vs. Matt Menard and Angelo Parker (w/Jake Hager). Don Callis sat in on commentary and had Powerhouse Hobbs, Konosuke Takeshita, and Kyle Fletcher behind him. Omega and Jericho were on the offensive heading into a PIP break. [C]
Late in the match, Menard passed Jericho’s baseball bat to his partner. Parker swung the bat at Jericho, who ducked it and then dropped Parker with the Judas Effect elbow strike. Jericho covered Parker and scored the pin. Excalibur said Parker was willing to risk disqualification to do Callis’s dirty work.
Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho beat Matt Menard and Angelo Parker in 6:35.
Callis and his crew walked onto the entrance ramp. He said Omega and Jericho are like cockroaches in that they were hard to get rid of. Callis challenged Omega and Jericho to face his family in a street fight in two weeks on Dynamite in Ontario, California.
Jericho mocked Callis for calling them dummies and then handed the mic to Omega, who accepted the challenge. Omega said they weren’t going to accept the fight alone. Omega announced that Kota Ibushi would be on their team. Callis said they were still a man short. Jericho recalled saying that he had a friend who was bigger than Hobbs. Callis said no one is bigger than Hobbs. Jericho said Hobbs isn’t a giant.
Paul Wight made his entrance dressed in his ring gear. Fletcher ran to the stage and was dropped with a single punch by Wight…. [C]
Powell’s POV: Wight looked like he was leaning to one side while just standing on the stage. I hope he’s up for this or that they don’t ask him to do too much during the match.
Paquette interviewed Omega and Jericho in the locker room while Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson were in the background. Jericho spoke about the street fight until Matt interrupted them. Matt asked what the point of putting The Elite back together was and asked Omega if the forgot about what “this prick” did their father “all those years ago.”
Jericho told the Jacksons not to take out their frustration over losing the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles on him. Omega said Jericho was with them in their fight against the Callis Family. Matt told Omega that Jericho and Callis are cut from the same cloth. Matt told them to enjoy the locker room and clean it up once they were finished…
Entrances for the AEW Women’s Championship match took place. Schiavone said the Young Bucks were just upset and would cool down…
4. Hikaru Shida vs. Willow Nightingale for the AEW Women’s Championship. Willow offered a handshake, which Shida accepted. Shida sent Willow to the floor and then dove from the middle rope and hit her with a crossbody block before a PIP break. [C]
Willow put Shida down with a lariat, but Shida actually hooked her into a pin and got a couple of two counts. Shida followed up with a knee strike for a near fall. Shida hit the Kitana and scored the pin. Excalibur said Shida had successfully defended the title three times in seven days. Shida and Willow shook hands.
Hikaru Shida defeated Willow Nightingale in 10:00 to retain the AEW Women’s Championship.
Toni Storm made her entrance and was accompanied by her butler Luther. Shida exited the ring and knocked something out of Luther’s hand. Storm was posing on seated on the stage when Shida ran up and hit her with a knee strike. Shida ripped Storm’s robe off and chased her to the back.
The lights went out. When they turned on, Julia Hart was standing in the ring behind Willow, who turned around and was offered a handshake. Skye Blue ran out and went face to face with Hart, who nodded at her. Blue turned around and stared at Willow, but they turned around again and sprayed blue mist at Hart. Blue smirked while Hart seethed at ringside…
Powell’s POV: Willow came up short in her previous outing, which was a four-way No. 1 contenders match. So it made no sense that she was awarded this title match. That said, it was an enjoyable match. They crammed too much in afterward. I just hope that Willow and Skye not turning heel after being sprayed with mist means they are finished with that nonsense.
Backstage, Caster, Bowens, and Gunn made one more pitch to MJF. Caster said they would team with him if he scissored them and wore what was in a trash bag that he handed to him. MJF looked inside the bag and said no, then told the trio to leave.
When MJF turned around, he saw Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Satnam Singh, and Karen Jarrett standing in front of him. The heels indicated that they were willing to team with MJF, who looked back at the trash bag that Caster gave him…
Powell’s POV: I can’t blame MJF for choosing to team with the trash bag over Jarrett’s crew. What do you mean that’s not what they were going for?
Paquette stood backstage on the interview set and was interrupted by Strong, Taven, and Bennett. Strong called Adam Cole and asked if he could believe that MJF didn’t ask them to be his partners. Cole told Strong to shut the hell up… [C]
Bullet Club Gold made their entrance for the main event. The Acclaimed’s music played and the trio made their entrance. Caster rapped on his way to the ring. He was censored at one point and then said that BCG are New Japan rejects and the Ass Boys. MJF’s entrance followed and he came out wearing a pink version of his scarf along with other pink gear and a “Scissor Me” t-shirt…
5. MJF, Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn vs. “Bullet Club Gold” Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn. There was an MJF chant once he was inside the ring. Excalibur listed matches for Rampage and Collision while graphics were shown. Meanwhile, sixtieth birthday boy Billy got the better of his son Austin early on. They cut to an early PIP break. [C]
MJF acted uncomfortable while watching his partners perform the Scissor Me Timbers spot. MJF came in for the scissoring spot he agreed to, but his partners were pulled to the floor, which drew boos from the crowd. BCG put the boots to Caster on the floor and then isolated him back inside the ring.
Caster was tossed back to the floor. Caster’s partners ran over, but the referee cut them off and missed Robinson repeatedly kicking Caster before tossing him back inside the ring. Excalibur announced that Tony Khan(!) made the Strickland vs. Page match official for Full Gear and ran through the show’s lineup while graphics were shown.
Robinson and Colten tossed Bowens over the barricade and then ran Billy into the ring post. White mocked the scissoring while roughing up Caster, who eventually made the hot tag. White stood at ringside while MJF worked over all three of White’s partners.
White wanted a sneak attack, but MJF saw him coming and then chased him around and back inside the ring. MJF was cut off by one of the Gunns. The Gunns went for the 3:10 To Yuma, but MJF countered into a DDT. MJF hit the Kangaroo Kick on Robinson and Austin. MJF kipped up and played to the hard camera. MJF turned around and then White hit him with the Bladerunner and pinned him clean.
“Bullet Club Gold” Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn defeated MJF, Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn in 13:40.
After the match, White was setting up to hit MJF with the AEW World Championship belt, but Caster, Bowens, and Billy pulled Robinson and the Gunns to the floor.
[Overrun] White waited for MJF to stand up and tried to hit him with the belt, but Caster returned, shoved MJF out of the way, and took the belt shot instead. MJF chased White out of the ring and then the BCG crew headed to the stage. MJF stood on the ropes and watched BCG, then joined Bowens and Gunn in checking on Caster.
Caster held up his scissors fingers. MJF shoved his hand away. Billy jawed at MJF. All four babyfaces backed to separate corners and then did the scissoring routine to a nice pop. A kneeling Caster hugged MJF and patted his backside until MJF shoved him aside. MJF went to the ropes and joined his teammates in playing to the crowd to end the show
Powell’s POV: A good main event for what it was. It had the right finish with White pinning MJF clean heading into their title match at Full Gear. I’m still not a fan of Caster losing his cool to become an MJF obsessed creeper, but MJF teaming with The Acclaimed was actually fun.
Overall, I enjoyed the show. There was too much going on, as usual, but I like the way they told a story throughout the night regarding MJF’s search for tag team partners. The opening match was the in-ring highlight, and Tony Khan’s desperate ratings ploy was the embarrassing low point.