After beating NXT’s ratings soundly in its debut, what can AEW Dynamite do for an encore? Tonight’s show in Boston will see the beginning of the tag team title tournament and a match to determine the No. 1 contender for Chris Jericho’s world championship. Let’s not wait, then: To TNT we go, live to light the fuse.
Like the premiere, tonight’s episode of Dynamite begins with a vignette that tells new fans a little more about the Young Bucks and Private Party. Really only one of these teams requires any introduction, and I’ll let you figure out which one.
Match 1 – Young Bucks vs. Private Party – AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round Match
Interestingly, Jim Ross says if this match goes to a time limit draw, both teams will be knocked out and the winner of the other first round match on their side of the bracket will get a bye to the final. Doubt that will come into play, but we’ll see. This is a great choice for an opener, and the fans are way into it. Private Party hits the Gin and Juice on Nick Jackson, setting off an exciting sequence of plot twists that ends with a surprise: the Bucks lose.
AEW World Champion Chris Jericho, flanked by his new posse of Sammy Guevara, Ortiz, Santana and Jake Hager, wants you to know that the record ratings for the Dynamite premiere was all due to him. Jericho spends some time introducing the others, and when the fans start a “we the people” chant for Hager, Jericho calls it “bad creative that is dead and buried.” Apparently the Inner Circle is not bad creative, because that’s what the champ is calling his crew. Jericho has some especially pointed words for Cody, insulting not just him but his dad and brother too. Hey, he cursed! And in a case of giving the people what they want, the new Inner Circle shirt is already for sale on ShopAEW.com. Yes, I checked.
Match 2 – Jimmy Havoc vs. Darby Allin – Winner is No. 1 Contender for AEW World Championship
J.R. mentions that both men want to prove they can wrestle at a high level without resorting to weapons or hardcore gimmicks, and they get the opportunity to do that here. Allin prevails, which means he’ll face Jericho for the title next week in Philly. The “anything can happen” narrative is strong, with the announcers pointing to that Private Party win to start the show.
Match 3 – Bea Priestley and Sakura vs. Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. and Riho
It’s great that AEW does the side by side window thing during in-match commercials, but not so great to have to watch part of this one in a tiny box. Ross takes a bit of a shot at The Fiend by calling Baker’s finisher a “real Mandible Claw,” but it’s Excalibur who makes the better point that the doctor probably wants a shot at Riho’s belt sooner rather than later.
Why do the lights go out every time Orange Cassidy is around? This is a mystery man may never unravel.
Match 4 – Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Jon Moxley
Spears has dubbed himself the “Chairman” of AEW, which is cool, but we all know that La Parka was the Chairman of WCW. PAC joins the announcers to … probably glower at both men. He’s especially upset about Allin and Havoc getting championship opportunities before him. The fans love seeing Mox in action, and seem particularly psyched to see him get his hands on Blanchard. Moxley’s gimmick might be unscripted violence, but it’s Spears who pulls off the most violent spot, using a fireman’s carry driver to smash an upside-down Mox into the barricade. That’s simply a bump in the road for Moxley, though, who wins after hitting the Paradigm Shift. Kenny Omega appears on the ramp, ready to do battle with barbed wire-wrapped weapons, but PAC decides to clock Omega in the back with a chair. Moxley decides not to take advantage of the situation and walks to the back.
Match 5 – Hangman Adam Page and Dustin Rhodes vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara (w/ Jake Hager)
The announce team discusses the similarities between Page and Barry Windham, who once teamed with Rhodes long ago (and battled him a few times as well). Rhodes defies Father Time by taking to the air, which of course is something Page and Guevara can also do. Of course, Hager gets involved at an opportune time, allowing Jericho to hit Rhodes with the Judas Effect and get the win for his side. The Inner Circle goes to town on Rhodes after the bell, and Page’s attempt to come to the rescue leads him into a brawl with Hager. The fans chant for Cody to save his brother, and the lights go out … revealing Cody standing in the ring. Cody takes out Guevara with Cross Rhodes, but Ortiz and Santana make sure he never gets to Jericho. MJF is down next, wielding a chair. He teases going after Cody, but there is no turn coming tonight as he dishes out chair shots to the Inner Circle. He pauses a little too long to soak in the applause from the crowd, though, and gets hammered from behind by Jericho. That leaves the rescue work to the Young Bucks, and just when it appears the champ might escape the beating his teammates are getting, Allin comes down the ramp on a skateboard, using it as a weapon to lay out Jericho. He gets the last word, though, telling Allin next week in Philly will be his funeral. And on that note, see you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk has been with SLAM! Wrestling since the dawn of time, or at least since before the turn of the century. He spends his days doing PR things, but he’ll always make time to sneak away for some wrestling.