By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 214)
Portland, Oregon at Moda Center
Aired live November 8, 2023 on TBS
[Hour One] Tony Schiavone stood backstage on the interview set and introduced AEW World Champion MJF. After congratulating Jay White for pinning him last week, MJF said it would not happen again. MJF took a call from Adam Cole, who was shown on the television screen. Cole suggested that MJF take up Samoa Joe on his offer. MJF said he wouldn’t pick Joe and would defend the ROH Tag Team Titles without him.
Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard, and Angelo Parker showed up on the set. MJF said he’s proven that it’s talent over tenure and said he wanted to give Garcia a shot to do the same. MJF asked Garcia if he was getting a sports entertainer or a professional wrestler. Garcia stepped up and said he would get a professional wrestler, and then he, Menard, and Parker left the set.
Roderick Strong called out “Adam” and was wheeled onto the set by Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. MJF made a quick exit. Strong told Cole that the devil would walk away like MJF just did. Cole ended the call. Strong looked into the camera and said it was time to show everyone who he is…
Pyro shot off on the stage and then Excalibur checked in on commentary and said he would be joined by Taz and Schiavone… Ring announcer Justin Roberts delivered introductions for the AEW Championship match…
1. MJF vs. Daniel Garcia (w/Matt Menard, Angelo Parker) for the AEW World Championship. Excalibur said the main event would feature Jay White putting his AEW Championship match on the line against Mark Briscoe. MJF offered a sportsmanship handshake early and the crowd chanted “sportsmanship.” Garcia slapped MJF’s hand away and then teased doing his dance, but MJF thumbed Garcia’s eye. MJF was in offensive control heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Garcia targeted the knees of MJF. Garcia sold arm pain when he tried to pick up MJF. Garcia eventually used one arm while performing a piledriver, which led to a close near fall. Garcia applied the Dragon Tamer. MJF countered into the Salt of the Earth, which forced Garcia to tap out.
MJF defeated Daniel Garcia in 10:30 to retain the AEW World Championship.
After the match, MJF offered his hand. Garcia was about to shake it, but Menard and Parker stepped in and stopped him. MJF asked Garcia if he was really going to follow Menard and Parker. Garcia tried to shake MJF’s hand, but he was stopped by Menard and Parker again and then the trio left the ring. MJF celebrated his win… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good title match. It didn’t go as long as I would have anticipated a title match to go, but it was a good television match. Meanwhile, are they really having Jay White put his Full Gear title shot on the line just because Briscoe asked him to? Shouldn’t White demand that Briscoe put something on the line?
A video package aired with Mark Briscoe noting that it would be the first time that he and Jay White would meet in a singles match. He recalled White cutting his teeth (in ROH) and said now he has his minions doing his bidding. Briscoe called for White to put his Full Gear title shot on the line…
Sting and Darby Allin made their entrance while their opponents were already inside the ring…
2. Sting and Darby Allin vs. “The Outrunners” Truth Magnum and Turbo Floyd. Allin had his bad shoulder taped and was isolated by the Outrunners briefly. Floyd held up Allin for a vertical suplex, but Allin was able to tag out. Magnum pulled Allin to the floor and ran him into the barricade. The Outrunners performed a double shoulder block on Sting and did an over the top pose while Sting no-sold. Sting and Allin came back with Stinger and Coffin Splashes. Sting put one of his opponents in the Scorpion Death Lock and got the submission win.
Sting and Darby Allin beat “The Outrunners” Truth Magnum and Turbo Floyd in 3:00.
After the match, Sting took a lap around the ring and slapped hands with fans…
Powell’s POV: A quick spotlight match for Sting and Allin. I’m surprised that it was just a brief match without anything happening afterward given that it took place on Dynamite. No complaints. It’s okay to have a brief match and move on.
Footage aired of a sit-down interview that Tony Schiavone conducted with Hikaru Shida and Toni Storm, who was accompanied by Luther. The interview was in black and white. Storm spoke about how the spotlight belongs to her and signed the contract. Shida also signed it and said she would beat Storm at Full Gear. Storm removed her shoe. Shida slapped the shoe out of her hand and then they had a staredown…
Swerve Strickland made his entrance with Prince Nana, who encouraged the fans to do his dance with him. The cameras cut to fans who were doing the dance. Excalibur said that due to Swerve and Nana breaking into Hangman Page’s home, Page was banned from ringside for the upcoming match. Penta El Zero Miedo and Alex Abrahantes made their entrance…
Powell’s POV: Wait, what? Swerve broke into Page’s home, but Swerve, who was never punished, is protected by Page being banned from ringside during his match?
3. Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes). Penta got off to a quick start and performed a flip dive onto Strickland at ringside heading into a PIP break. [C] Penta performed a Destroyer on the apron, which drew a “holy shit” chant from the lively live crowd. Back in the ring, Penta performed a double stomp for a two count.
Swerve tripped up Penta on the ropes, causing Penta to fall on the back of his head. Swerve covered him for a two count. Swerve had Penta draped over the apron when he hit him with a double stomp, which drew another “holy shit” chant. Swerve went up top and attempted a 450 splash that Penta avoided. Penta wrenched the arm of Swerve and followed up with Made in Japan for a near fall.
Penta went for Fear Factor, but Swerve slipped away. Swerve hoisted up Penta and put him down with a Death Valley Driver style move. Swerve wrenched on the arm of Penta and then followed up with a top rope double stomp that led to the three count.
Swerve Strickland beat Penta El Zero Miedo in 13:20.
After the match, Swerve went after the mask of Penta. Hangman Page ran out with a chair and chased Swerve out of the ring. Taz explained that Page was banned from ringside during the match, but the match was over. Page followed Swerve to the stage and hit him with the chair before chasing Nana to the back.
Page hit Swerve with two more chair shots. Two security guards ran out and ate two chair shots from Page, who then performed a Deadeye on Swerve from the stage through a table on the floor. Page knelt over Swerve and told him that he’s a dead man while referees pulled him off…
Powell’s POV: A strong match that played to a hot crowd and good intensity from Page afterward. It’s nice to see AEW playing to such a lively bunch again. The party atmosphere was such a big part of AEW’s early success. They don’t sell as many tickets as they did back in those days and they oddly run in a lot of NBA sized venues, which has hurt the atmosphere at some shows. Fortunately, that’s not the case with this crowd.
Bullet Club Gold members Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn were interviewed by Alex Marvez on the backstage interview set. White said he watched AEW Collision and mocked MJF telling him to compare some online graphs (Google Trends). White said MJF searches his own name in hopes of appeasing all of his insecurities. White said he will always be better than MJF. White said he’s truly elite and will show that against Mark Briscoe…
A video package on the Don Callis Family aired. Callis said they believe in unquestioned loyalty. Callis said they are not concerned with AEW rules and are prepared to do things that can’t be fathomed. Kenny Omega chimed in with his own voice over… [C]
Renee Paquette interviewed Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho on the backstage interview set. She called next week’s eight-man tag the “Final Boss Battle” and asked them about it. Jericho said he didn’t think Callis realized they would bring in Paul Wight and Kota Ibushi.
The Young Bucks duo of Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson interrupted the promo. Matt said they set up shop in the broom closet with the extras. Matt mocked Omega and Jericho for having a cool team name (Golden Jets) and said the Elite name is pretty cool too and said they are the guys “who started the whole damn place.”
Jericho said that the Bucks are such good friends that they didn’t have Omega’s back when Powerhouse Hobbs beat him up. Jericho also said it was the four of them who helped launch AEW. Matt said Jericho would say that. He said that they created the revolution and then Jericho waltzed in and cashed another big check.
Jericho told the Bucks to remember who they were talking to. Jericho said he and Omega are two of the greatest to have ever done it in the history of pro wrestling. Jericho said the Bucks might be the greatest tag team in the world, but he still thinks that he and Omega can beat them. Omega looked uncomfortable.
Matt challenged Omega and Jericho to face him and Nick at Full Gear and noted that it’s in their hometown. Jericho said he liked the idea, but he wanted to put more steam on it. Jericho said that when he and Omega win, they get the Bucks’ tag team title shot. Matt said that when he and Nick win, the Golden Jets are no more.
Omega said the Bucks are the greatest tag team of all-time and he doesn’t want to wrestle them. “But if you’re asking me if I think I can beat you, we’ve been down that road, I’ve done it before,” Omega said. Omega took issue with the attitude that the Bucks brought and said maybe the Bucks will start acting like real adults instead of “a bunch of sissy, whiney, bitchy children.”
Omega said he thought the Bucks needed to hear that from someone like him. Omega said he would see them in LA. Jericho said he looked forward to beating their spoiled brat asses and added that he had his own dressing room…
Powell’s POV: Simple and effective. The match came together quickly, but there was good tension between the teams. I enjoyed the way that Omega went from looking uncomfortable when Jericho and Matt exchanged words to having enough of the Bucks’ complaints and telling them off.
Entrances for the ROH TV Title match took place…
[Hour Two] Joe and Lee adhered to the Code of Honor before the bell…
4. Samoa Joe vs. Keith Lee for the ROH TV Title. Lee performed a running crossbody block on Joe, who rolled to the floor heading into a PIP break. [C] Joe took Lee down with a dragon screw leg whip. Joe performed a senton splash, but Lee held onto him and then performed a German suplex.
Lee put Joe down with a Popup Powerbomb. Lee sold how much it took out of him to perform the move before covering Joe for a two count. When they got to their feet, Lee powered up Joe, who slipped away and countered into a Coquina Clutch. Lee eventually faded and referee Paul Turner called for the bell.
Samoa Joe defeated Keith Lee in roughly 10:00 to retain the ROH TV Title.
After the match, Joe took the mic and told the crowd that he’s the greatest ROH TV Champion of all-time. Joe said he didn’t come to merely be the television champion. Joe said hunger defines the greats and he is officially hungry. Joe announced that he was vacating the ROH TV Title and placed the belt on the mat. Joe said the next gold on his shoulder will be the AEW World Championship whether MJF likes it or not…
Powell’s POV: A nice clean finish to a battle of the big men. We’re seeing more clean finishes tonight and I hope that’s intentional and the start of a trend. One ROH title belt down and a few more to go. Seriously, let Final Battle be the final battle.
Orange Cassidy delivered a promo while Hook stood by on the interview set. Cassidy said Jon Moxley must have lost his mind when he said he doesn’t respect him. Cassidy said Moxley is the only person he’s been thinking about since Moxley left him in a pool of his own blood and took his AEW International Championship.
Cassidy said he didn’t pick up the pieces of Rey Fenix, he picked up the pieces of the AEW International Championship that Moxley dropped. Cassidy said holding the belt doesn’t feel the same because he needs to beat Moxley. “I have to beat you in order to be the International Champion that I know I am,” Cassidy said. He removed his glasses and said that he will beat Moxley at Full Gear…
The Gunns and Juice Robinson made their entrance while their opponents were already inside the ring…
5. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn (w/Juice Robinson) vs. “The Bollywood Boyz” Gurv and Harv. The Gunns dominated the match and won quickly with their 3:10 to Yuma finisher.
Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn defeated “The Bollywood Boyz” Gurv and Harv in 0:38.
After the match, Colten cut a promo about how they have been doing this for three years and are generational talents. Austin took the mic and said the only friends that MJF has left sit on the other side of the guardrail. He said hopes that MJF will pick one of the fans as his partner at Full Gear so they can send them on a ride with the 3:10 to Yuma.
MJF was shown watching the promo on the backstage interview set. Samoa Joe walked up behind MJF, who saw him and then walked away…
Powell’s POV: A squash win for the Gunns. Sure, these teams could have had a good match and I enjoy the Bollywood Boyz, but I’m all for the Gunns being showcased in dominant fashion.
Jon Moxley delivered a backstage promo while Wheeler Yuta stood by. Moxley said people have told him to give Cassidy a break because he just took advantage of an opportunity. Moxley said it’s not just about a belt. He asked what kind of example he would set for Yuta if he doesn’t beat the hell out of Cassidy.
Moxley asked Cassidy what kind of example he’s setting for his fans. Moxley said it will be gang warfare when they arrive at LAX. Moxley called Hook a young boy and told him to take notes if his fingers still work. Yuta called Hook a pretty boy and said they are messing with the wrong crew… [C]
A Wardlow video package aired. He said his first three years in AEW were a living hell because he had a foot on his neck. Wardlow said his potential was wasted and he felt worthless and it’s all because of MJF. He said MJF won’t know when or where, but once he finds out it will be too late. Wardlow said that the days of the devil ruling over AEW are coming to an end…
6. Julia Hart vs. Red Velvet. Both entrances were televised. Schiavone pointed out the brace on Velvet’s surgically repaired knee. Velvet had a nice run of offense. Velvet stood on the ropes and threw punches at Hart, who slipped away and tripped Velvet so that she crashed on the turnbuckle heading into a PIP break. [C]
Excalibur announced “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. Komander and El Hijo del Vikingo for Friday’s Rampage, and added Rush and Dralistico vs. “The Workhorsemen” Anthony Henry and JD Drake to the Collision lineup.
In the ring, Velvet pulled Hart from the ropes and slammed her to the mat before covering her for a two count. Hart came back and put the boots to Velvet. Hart went up top and executed a moonsault and got the three count…
Julia Hart defeated Red Velvet in roughly 8:30.
After the match, Hart put Velvet in her Hartless submission hold. Sky Blue made her entrance and went face to face with Hart, who examined her to see if she had mist in her mouth. Kris Statlander and Willow Nightingale walked out. Statlander stepped in front of Blue while Nightingale tended to Velvet. Hart left the ring…
Powell’s POV: The match was solid and it’s good to see Velvet back following her long injury layoff. The post match was a whole lot of nothing.
RJ City stood on the backstage set and introduced Mariah May as the newest AEW signing. She said it was nice to meet him and said she’s happy to be in AEW. She noted that she came from Stardom in Japan and said she’s a big fan of City. She said she went to Japan because Toni Storm went to Japan, and now she’s in AEW because Storm is in AEW. City said she could introduce them. May got exited and gave him a kiss on the cheek…
Powell’s POV: It came off like Mariah May will be a Toni Storm stalker.
Entrances for the main event took place. Gunn Club came out first, and Jay White wore the AEW World Championship belt that he stole from MJF. Mark Briscoe was out next and Taz labeled him the pride of Delaware…
7. Jay White (w/Juice Robinson, Colten Gunn, Austin Gunn) vs. Mark Briscoe for White’s shot at the AEW World Championship at AEW Full Gear. Good news, everyone. Schiavone announced that Tony Khan(!) just informed him that they would stick with the action as long as it took. Excalibur said Schiavone wasn’t the only one who heard from Tony Khan(!), who made Moxley and Yuta vs. Cassidy and Hook official for next week’s Dynamite.
White tossed Briscoe to the floor and then set up for a dive. White clutched his knee, causing the referee to check on him while Robinson and the Gunns attacked Briscoe at ringside heading into the final PIP break. [C] Briscoe went on the offensive and picked up a two count following a neckbreaker.
Briscoe performed his Froggy Bow elbow drop for a close near fall. White rallied with a big uranage slam. White followed up with a Kiwi Crusher for another near fall. Briscoe fired back with a chop once both men were on their feet, but White cut him off with a chop block. Briscoe stuffed a Bladerunner and countered into an exploder suplex.
Briscoe charged White, who cut him off with an elbow. White ran at Briscoe, who clotheslined him. Mark set up for the Jay Driller, but White backdropped him instead. White went for the Bladerunner again, but Mark threw chops at him to stop it. White suplexed Briscoe and then followed up with a brainbuster. White hit the Bladerunner and scored the clean pin…
Jay White defeated Mark Briscoe in 13:25 to keep his AEW World Championship shot at Full Gear.
After the match, MJF’s entrance music played while the Bullet Club Gold members were inside the ring. They all turned and faced the stage and then MJF entered the ring behind them. MJF punched out Robinson and both Gunns with the Dynamite Diamond Ring on his hand. White exited the ring to avoid facing MJF.
MJF took the mic and said he hoped White had fun playing dress-up as the top guy because play time is almost over. MJF said that when he won the title, he promised himself he would go down as the greatest AEW Champion of all-time or die trying. MJF said White would have to kill him to beat him.
MJF said he’s not just fighting for himself. He said he is fighting for everyone who has been with him since say one, Adam Cole, the fans at home, and the fans in the building. MJF said he’s not just a scumbag, “I’m their scumbag.”
[Overrun] MJF said White runs around with a fake gun and asked if he would be the first man to pull the (censored) trigger. The lights in the arena went out and then footage played on the big screen of masked men attacking Billy Gunn, Max Caster, and Anthony Bowens. The masked men threw Bowens through a glass window to a strange looking makeshift office. They cut to a shot of the man wearing the Devil Mask.
MJF rushed out of the ring and ran to the back. Once MJF arrived, he showed concern over what happened. Samoa Joe showed up and asked MJF how he was doing and then laughed before walking away…
Powell’s POV: Wait, there’s more! It’s John Cena!!! Oh, he’s just hosting Wipeout. Anyway, the main event good match and concluded with another clean finish. It was encouraging to finally see an actual development with the Devil Mask crew rather than just the random shot of the Devil Mask guy. But I have no idea why they went with the nonsensical stipulation that White agreed to put his title shot on the line while asking nothing in return from Briscoe. It added nothing to the match and White didn’t even address it during his promo. It came off like the creative forces felt that the match needed some extra juice, yet they didn’t put in the work to make it feel logical or meaningful.
Overall, though, this was a good episode despite some of the head scratching moments that I mentioned. It was refreshing to see so many clean finishes and the live crowd created a fun atmosphere. I will have a lot more to say about the show in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought about the show by grading it below.