Welcome to AEW Dynamite.  As much as I wanna get snarky, it is wonderful that they will offer a tribute to the late Jay Briscoe (‘bout time, Warner Bros-Discovery!) between Mark Briscoe and Jay Lethal in the main event. So we’re gonna dive right into the show starting with the First Match of the night between…

Le Sex Gods (Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara, with Daniel Garcia) vs. Ricky Starks & Action Andretti

Andretti and Starks are able to stay on top and a step ahead of Jericho and Guevara and Starks really showboats a little with Jericho as he gets a wristlock and does a tightrope walk on the top rope. His cockiness makes him a prime target as Guevara with a cutter for a cover of two. Starks is Absolutely in Peril by Le Sex Gods as they work him over, followed by the Pose of Douchenozzlery.

Guevara goes for a high-risk move as he leaps and Starks gets his legs up to knock him out to create space.  He crawls and gets the hot tag to Andretti and he spring to Action en Fuego, first by diving into Jericho on the outside, and then goes back into the ring for another tope suicida to Guevara.  He sends Guevara back in the ring, and a swinging DDT by Starks and then a corkscrew splash by Andretti get another cover for two.  Guevara and Andretti run the ropes and collide into each other with a double splash.  Jericho gets back in the ring and Starks nails him with a spear to cover, but Guevara breaks the count.  Jericho attempts a codebreaker, but Starks reverses with a powerbomb for a close two count.  Starks assists in a slingshot senton by Andretti and then nails the split-legged Moonsault but Jericho gets his knees up. Tag back to Guevara and he hits a jumping knee and goes for a GTH, but Andretti gets out of the finisher before it connects.  With his back turned, Jericho grabs Andretti by the hair until Starks pulls him off the mat and gives him the RoShamBo on the floor.  Andretti scopes Guevara until Garcia strikes Andretti with Floyd the Bat and Guevara finally delivers the GTH to end the match.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara

There’s a video package on Jay Briscoe, and I’m not gonna lie I choked up at the end.

Now, back to the show with another…

TNT Championship Open Challenge: Darby Allin (with Sting) vs. Buddy Matthews (with Julia Hart)

Slam! Writer Boris Aguilar and I discussed the topic of  Allin on SNME Radio as part of the Rampage Ramble on and it does feel formulaic how Allin manages to come back after a big beatdown.  Plus, he and Sting have faced House of Black, so it doesn’t have the same urgency. there is a point midway through the match when the arena goes dark, and Brody King and Malakai Black appear.  The numbers game favors the House for a minute until Ortiz comes out with a kendo stick and he and Sting even the odds to drive them to the back.

Matthews still is in the driver’s seat until Allin lands the Code Red for a two count, and climbs up the top turnbuckle for the Coffin Drop, but Matthews has it scouted and cuts him off at the pass. They fight up top, but Allin twists and nails an avalanche Scorpion Death Drop to cover for a close two count.  Allin goes back to the top.  Matthews tries to beat him down, but he sends him down to the ring apron.  As Matthews climbs between the ropes, Allin delivers the Coffin Drop and gets the decisive victory.

Your Winner, and Still AEW TNT Champion:  Darby Allin

After the match, Tony Schiavone is in the ring with Allin and lists off his victories since winning the belt from Samoa Joe.  Before Allin can talk, Joe appears on the ‘Tron and he ain’t happy that he took one of his belts.  Joe states “the king will not be usurped” and challenges Allin for the title.  Let’s see if he’s up for the rubber match next Wednesday on Dynamite.

We get another video package on Adam Cole’s recovery to the ring. Bottom line, he’s coming back soon, and it’s interesting when the camera catches a glimpse of the AEW Revolution PPV banner.  

Now it’s time for…

JungleHook (“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry and Hook) vs. Ethan Page and Matt Hardy (with Isaiah Kassidy and Stokely Hathaway)

The Hardy Boys’ entrance music comes up before Page and Hathaway halt that happy crappy, and since Page insists he’s the star they go down to the ring to HIS music, to no one’s pleasure.  Most of the match has Perry wind up in the middle of a double team with Page and Hardy during Picture in Picture, making him a Jungle Boy in Peril.  But Perry escapes another double team for a hot tag to Hook and he enters the ring as a Cold Hearted Handsome Devil en Fuego.  It’s raining suplexes for everyone and even gives a T-Bone suplex to Page.  As the match loses control, Perry and Hardy are in the ring and the veteran wants to delete Perry after a Side Effect.  As he readies the Twist of Fate, Page signals he wants to tag in to finish the Jungle Boy off.   Hardy reluctantly tags out, and Page goes for his finisher Twist of Fate finisher but too much time passes, and Perry recovers to get him locked in the Snare Trap.  OPage tries to fight off the submission as he reaches for the tag back to Hardy, but Hook comes around to pull him off the mat.  With no choices left, Page taps out.

Your Winner via Submission:  JungleHook

Meanwhile, The Gunns and The Acclaimed are in a family mediation with Billy Gunn.  

(Author’s Note:  I could whip up a Haiku in Review™, find a squash recipe to replace this, or even cut and paste what took place via a clip from Twitter, but there comes a time for all to realize some things are better left unsaid.

You can hunt for it if you want, but I.  Just.  Can’t.)

So…moving along.

Renee Paquette is backstage with “Hangman” Adam Page and notes that he and Jon Moxley are 1-1, and he wants to knock him out next week in Dayton, OH.  Wheeler Yuta comes in and wonders why he’s challenging someone who isn’t medically cleared but offers a suggestion and he offers to fight him this Friday on Rampage.  Page is down for that, and now I got something else to look forward to next week.

Speaking of Big fights, next up is another step on the road to the AEW World Heavyweight title between…

“The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. Brian Cage (with Prince Nana)

This is a straight Power versus Speed and Guile matchup between The Machine and The Dragon.  Danielson takes advantage early on with his offense, raining hammer-and-tong elbows to the side of Cage’s head, followed by the LaBelle lock.  Cage quickly gets out of the submission, and now Danielson goes up top to dive on The Machine to the floor below.  Pretty soon, Cage gets his set in, and he’s punishing Danielson with an enzugiri in the corner.  He gets Danielson in a modified double wristlock to a bearhug to wear him down further, but he head-butts Cage to escape the hold.  Danielson goes for his patented leap over from the corner, but Cage catches him and smoothly transitions to a shoulder breaker.  Danielson goes outside the ring, but Cage grabs him and then deadlift suplexes him in the center of the mat.  Cage repeats again, this time with a deadlift German suplex to cover for two.  He sets him for a high-risk maneuver on the top turnbuckle but Danielson fights out and nails a superplex to the big man.  Then it’s “Yes!” kicks and stomps, but Cage transitions to a triangle.  Danielson spryly reverses to an ankle lock, and Cage reaches the ropes.  Now both men are throwing big bombs, and as Danielson goes for the Busaiku Knee, Cage grabs him midair and throws him in the corner for a buckle bomb not once, but twice. He goes to the well for a third time and Danielson rolls him up for pin and the win.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Bryan Danielson

After the match, Cage attacks, and then MJF comes out from the back.  He grabs a chair, and then he and Cage wrap the steel chair around his arm and then ram it into the ring post to create a shoulder separation. MJF rains down fists on a broken Dragon in the ring, and he and The Firm get ready for another round of Pillmanizing Danielson’s arm until Knosuke Takeshita runs from the back and chases all three men.  MJF just eyes Takeshita.   

Paquette is backstage talking with AEW Head Medic Dr. Samson about Daneilson’s injury. He lists it as some type of partial separation (it’s something doctor-y; you look it up), and doesn’t like his chances.  Danielson gets heated and says he’s gonna wrestle, noting he once “wrestled sixty goddam minutes with a separated shoulder, and there ain’t nobody stopping him. He promises to expose MJF as the fraud he is, and he will claim the AEW title.

Next up is…

Courtesy of AEW

Ruby Soho vs. Toni Storm

There’s a new attitude by Storm, and not a good one as Excalibur and Taz and Tony Schiavone talk on commentary how she has shunned former friends like Saraya and others.  They also note that this was supposed to be a three-way match, but Dr. Britt Baker was pulled out at the last minute, possibly due to some injury.  

The match is all Storm, and she gets Soho with a thumb to the eye and then hits a nasty hip attack that sends her from the ring apron to the floor outside. 

Storm stays on offense all through Picture in Picture, but Soho gets momentum on her side by driving double knees to Storm in the turnbuckles, followed by a Saito suplex.  Storm attempts to roll her up with tights for a two count, but Soho nails her in the head with the signature  No Future and covers for a two of her own.  Soho gets a high knee to Storm in the face, and she backs up as that was an injury she dealt with before.  As the ref separates the two women to assess the situation, Soho feels bad and goes to check on her, until Storm whips her hard into the bottom ropes for a stun gun, and then gets a German Suplex as she was playing possum. She nails Soho with another vicious hip attack in the corner and a DDT gets another close two.  She preps for Storm Zero, but the music hits, and Baker comes out to distract.  Storm focuses on Baker, and Soho uses that moment to deliver Destination Unknown for the three count.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Ruby Soho

MJF speaks and warns Takeshita to stay out of business. He goes on to say the AEW proves to everyone he’s better than you, and he won’t allow Danielson to take that away from him. He goes on and recalls knocking out William Regal not too long ago, or as he put it, ” a British guy that looked like Ellen Degeneres on meth (hah!)”, and he says he can find someone who will put the hurt on him next week on Dynamite.  That man…is Timothy Thatcher.  Apparently, since he left NXT he’s been at Pro Wrestling NOAH causing damage, and I am down to see this.

Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman join Excalibur on commentary for the Main Event, and if you ever need proof that Honor Lives, then look no further than…

Courtesy of AEW

Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal

Lethal and Sonjay Dutt come out first wearing the new Jay Briscoe tribute shirt where proceeds go 100% to his family.  Lethal already looks overcome with emotion, but when Reach for the Sky hits, Mark Briscoe comes out and he is revved up, still holding the recently won ROH World Tag Team belts. 

Bobby Cruise gives the Boxing Style intros for this special event, and both men adhere to the Code of Honor.

Already this is a fight that will showcase Lethal’s technical savvy versus the Briscoe brand of Redneck Kung Fu and fans loudly chanting, “Bris-Coes!”  Lethal tries to go from a hip toss to a cartwheel into a dropkick, but Mark reverses to a neckbreaker, and during Picture in Picture, they battle on the ring apron. Briscoe gets a clothesline to send Lethal back into the ring and he in turn dropkicks him off the ring apron.

Lethal is in the driver’s seat for most of the match and tries to put Briscoe away but can’t close the deal.  He sends Briscoe to the corner, flips over the top rope, and then connects with a karate chop to Lethal’s head.  He comes down from the top rope with a Kung Fu chop and Briscoe is feeling froggy. He picks up and slams Lethal from the top to a two count.  He goes for a double underhook for his brother’s Jay Driller finisher, but Lethal fights out and lands a Lethal combination that gets him a two-count.  He gets Briscoe with a front slam and nails the Lethal Injection.  Briscoe rolls out of the ring before he can capitalize on a pin.  Lethal follows to the outside and clubs Briscoe and sets him on the timekeeper table. He starts to go up top, but Briscoe cuts him off and sends him down to the floor. He gets a diving blockbuster from the ring apron, then sets Lethal on the table and he comes down crashing with a Froggy Bow. He drags Lethal back in the ring to cover for one, two…oooh, so close.  Briscoe attempts the Jay Driller again, but Lethal flips over to pin with a bridge, but he kicks out.  Another attempt at Lethal Injection, but Briscoe lands hard with a clothesline, and then another.  One Jay Driller connects and Briscoe covers for the one, two, and three!

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Mark Briscoe

Lethal was emotionally spent after the match, and Mark stayed in the ring and addresses the camera saying, “Love ya, Jamin.” The end shows all the ROH/ AEW roster come out to give support as Jay’s image appears on the ‘Tron, and Mark finally walks up the ramp to embrace everyone as they honor the memory of Jay Briscoe.


AEW’s Kentucky debut brought tears and joy

AEW Dynamite 01/25/2023

The Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.

Better late than never, but let’s blame Warner Bros-Discovery for that short-sightedness another day.  Jay Lethal and Mark Briscoe wore their hearts on their sleeves as they put on a great match.  The rest of the card was also a good one, but the main event does give me hope for the future of Ring of Honor, despite its big loss.

Until then, I’ll catch you this week for AEW Rampage, but Dale Plummer will see you in seven for next week’s Dynamite recap.