It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means? Yes, this is the go-home show before hopping across the pond to go All In at Wembley Stadium in London, England for the biggest pay-per-view of the young promotion’s history  Plus we’ll hear from Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Adam Cole ahead of their match for the AEW Heavyweight championship. So, pip pip and cheerio, folks;  This is All Elite Wrestling.

We first get the “In Memoriam” in honor of the recent loss of Terry Funk, and then we come to you from Gas South Arena in Duluth, GA. Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Schiavone have the call as we start with trios action. 

The familiar refrain of Carry On My Wayward Son lets us know the First Match is…

Courtesy of AEW.

The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt, and Nick Jackson) vs. Billet Club Gold (Juice Robinson, Austen, and Colten Gunn, with Jay White)

The Elite takes the fight up to the ramp and outside the ring to the Bullet Club members, and no bell has rung.  This is less a wrestling match than it is absolute pandemonium with mostly just big moves and no ref in sight as he got knocked out., and the bell hasn’t rung to signal the start of the match.  At one point Konosuke Takeshita comes in and attacks Omega from behind and feeds him to White for the Blade Runner, and the Bucks aren’t faring as well until FTR comes out from the back and makes the save.  They and the Bucks continue to battle Bullet Club Gold to the back, and Takeshita attempts to lay out Omega, who reverses and goes for the One Winged Angel but he bails from the ring and they have a brief staredown.  Since there was nothing official about this, let’s call it a…

No Contest

Renee Paquette talks to MJF, and he is “chubbed up” at the thought that 80,000 fans will be cheering for him at Wembley Stadium.  He even offers to give each fan a pint (at Tony Khan’s expense, no less).  However, The Devil does get serious and lets us know this is the biggest event of his career, and acknowledges the wrestling heroes of the past but he is ready for the pressure. Renee then goes into his relationship with Adam Cole, and MJF says he is more than his friend; he is his brother.  As for us fans, he is a scumbag, but he is our scumbag. 

Here’s hoping the bromance still lasts.

Speaking of things that may not last, the next match is…

Jon Moxley vs. Rey Fenix (with Alex Abrahantes)

This is truly a matchup of Death Jitsu© and Lucha Libre, and Mox and Fenix do not disappoint as they go for high-octane offense.  Fenix is lucha lit on the Blackpool Combat Club member, but Mox attempts to rip Fenix’s mask before giving him a stomp to the concrete on the outside.  Fénix is rocked to the core, as Mox slams him into everything outside the ring.  But the Lucha Brother continues to fight back and goes for a tightrope walk that Mox evades.  Then Fenix capitalizes on his speed until Mox clocks him, and even Taz opines, “Well, there goes the speed.  The speed just ended.” as Mox covers for a count of two.

During Picture in Picture, Mox slows the pace as Fenix tries to recover. He climbs back in the ring and Mox is there with a cutter for another two count and gives him more of his Death Jitsu©.  He nails a piledriver to Fenix and it’s another near fall.  He grabs his wrists and stomps away, and as he walks his stomping foot off, Fenix leaps up for a superkick and both men are down.  Fenix attempts a rolling cutter, but Mox reverses to a rear naked choke, but the luchador manages to get out of the submission.  Fenix returns to his offensive playbook and lands with a front splash for two.  He picks him up in a fireman’s carry, but Mox quickly drives down the hammer and anvil elbows to his head. Fenix goes for a springboard playbook, but Mox clocks him with a forearm on the way down to knock him silly.  They come back up to a vertical base and start firing live rounds, and then Mox sets Fenix on the top turnbuckle and nails a vicious avalanche Death Rider that catches the back of his head for a cover.  Fenix kicks out at two, and Mox immediately goes to the rear naked choke and he’s out like a light.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Jon Moxley

After the match, Castagnoli and Yuta come out with crowbars to beat Fenix down some more. Eddie Kingston and Penta El Zero run out and then Santana and Ortiz come out to a huge pop, and they not only beat down Kingston and Penta but apparently have aligned themselves with the BCC.  Then, Best Friends and Orange Cassidy come out to even the odds, but the damage has been done.

Meanwhile, the ring doctor is examining the status of Fenix to the point he gets stretchered and loaded into an ambulance in the bowels of the arena. Renee tries to get a word with Kingston, and he is clearly beside himself.  He yells at Renne that her husband did this, and vows he will fix this at Wembley Stadium.

Earlier in the day, Renee talked to Sammy Guevara about being in Chris Jericho’s corner during the contract signing, and then the former JAS members Daniel Garcia, “Daddy Magic” Menard, and “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker have a come to Jesus moment with The Spanish God.  They say (rightfully) that Jericho does what’s in his best interest for himself, and Guevara says he’ll always have his back because he’s had his since coming to All Elite Wrestling.

Tony Schiavone is in the ring for the Chris Jericho/Will Ospreay contract signing for All-In.  As Ospreay starts to sign the contract, DonCallis gets on the mic and is drowned out by boos from the crowd.  He tells Jericho he did what he did for four words:  Will “By God” Ospreay.  Then Ospreay gets on the mic and tells Jericho he wants him to take this seriously.  He says this is not going to be a vanity project for Fozzy to perform, bruv.  Ospreay is emphatic as he states, “After I beat you, I am gonna be the only man to say I’ve beaten Kenny Omega, Kaizuchika Okada, and Chris Jericho in two months!” He adds that after that night, he will prove that he’s better than The Elite, Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, and Chris Jericho.

Now Jericho has the rebuttal and reminds Ospreay it was five years ago that he called him up and told him to tone it down so he could be a top star with a long career like he has. He also lets us know that he and Ospreay were supposed to face each other in 2021 but the pandemic put the kibosh on that match in Tokyo.  He then says he is not treating this as a side project, and at All-In, this is bigger than WrestleMania or the TokyoDome, and wants to prove everyone who claimed Jericho’s career was over wrong. He then says that once that’s over, at least Ospreay will still; be standing unlike his childhood hero, The Dynamite Kid, laid up in a wheelchair.  Ospreay slaps the mic out of his hands and now we have the obligatory pull-apart that is the norm at these contract signings.

Renee is now with Adam Cole, and they get into the evolution of the bromance with MJF.  Cole says that after coming back from injury, he wasn’t back to his former self, and MJF helped regain his lost confidence. Then there is footage of Cole questioning MJF’s motives as well as his standing with Roderick Strong, and Cole has had it with Renee’s “gotcha” questions.

We head back to the ring for a…

Courtesy of AEW.

Tornado Tag Team Match: Swerve Strickland and AR Fox (with Prince Nana) vs. Darby Allin and Nick Wayne

We’re off to the races as Allin and Strickland fight outside and Wayne and Fox battle in the ring.  Unlike the Elite/Bullet Club match, this has some cohesion and an official start with a big spot right away as Fox nails a snap avalanche German suplex to Wayne and sends him outside as Strickland props them up as he follows with a reverse somersault senton.  Fox is wearing the bloodied tank top when he and Strickland beat Wayne down in the family dojo and then tosses it to Wayne’s mom, Shayna, who is in attendance in the crowd.  Wayne manages to get back on offense as he nails a double cutter followed by Allin with a Coffin Drop to both men on the outside.

During Picture in Picture, Allin sets up for the next move but Fox kicks him off the ring and then takes the fight to the fans in attendance, tormenting Wayne right in front of his mom (buncha jerks).  Back in the ring, Fox and Strickland land stereo rolling dropkicks that send Allin tumbling to the outside.  That leaves Wayne alone and they focus on a back suplex/neckbreaker combo to cover for a count of two.  Allin gets back in the ring but quickly launches with a tope to Strickland on the outside to crash into the commentary desk.  Fox attacks Allin from behind and then sets him on a chair as Strickland lands his signature Swerve stomp.

Wayne is isolated as Fox nails him with a corkscrew brainbuster for a two, then follows with a package DDT for another near fall.  Swerve connects with his House Call kick and that is still another two count and neither man can keep Wayne down.  Fox sets up for a 450 splash but Wayne dodges and he belly flops hard to the mat.  Wayne goes for the Jackknife pin with a bridge to Fox, and Allin grabs Swerve to hold him off as the ref counts to three.

Your Winners via Pinfall:  Darby Allin and Nick Wayne

After the match, Strickland gets the mic and laughs at how disappointing this is, looking right at Fox.  He says Fox blew it and calls him a loser for not beating an 18-year-old child. Fox pleads his case, and Nana fires him and that’s when Brian Cage comes in a serves the exit papers to Fox in the form of a Drill Claw. That brings back Wayne, Allin, and Sting to the rescue as The Mogul Embassy beats a hasty retreat.  As Allin reconciles with Fox in the ring, he asks Strickland who they got as they go to battle in the Coffin Match at All In.  Strickland laughs as Christian Cage and Luchasaurus come out. Since Cage knows a thing or two about dead dads (see Jack Perry) he goes hard in the paint as it concerns the late Buddy Wayne.  As Wayne seethes, Cage tells him he should avoid this match as it could give him flashbacks of his dad and would be the second time his family has to see a coffin lid get slammed closed.   Rightfully so, the arena burst into loud “@$$hole” chants at Cage, who still proclaims he is a great mentor as TNT champion.

If nothing else, Cage really knows how to harness The Power of Douchenozzlery™.

Renee now has FTR and The Young Bucks face-to-face ahead of the rubber match for the AEW Tag Team titles at All In.  Wheeler states they are not buddies, as they just want to know who is the best. Matt and Nick both agree that this being the biggest match of their career is an understatement, and FTR needs to beat them to even be on the same level as The Young Bucks. Harwood and Wheeler make it clear this is personal to them, and even though this is about the tag belts it’s about legacy.

There is a video package on the four-way match between, Hikaru Shida and Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D teaming up against Toni Storm and Saraya ahead of their four-way matchup for the AEW Women’s title at All In. 

That will take place on AEW Rampage, so…yeah.  There’s that.

So that leads to…

Courtesy of AEW.

Skye Blue vs. Ruby Soho

Soho has a video promo calling out the TBS champion Kris Statlander for her title. 

As for this match, this calls for a Haiku in Review™:


Little Skye Blue gets

Beatdown by Ruby Soho.

No Future for Blue.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Ruby Soho

Renee is backstage with Roderick Strong and The Kingdom, and he simply says this bromance is about finding out who the real MJF and Adam Cole truly are, and we’ll all see this Sunday in London.

There is another repeat of a video package from The House of Black destroying Billy Gunn’s boots. 

That brings The Acclaimed to the ring out minus their music, and they want a fight. The lights go out and The House of Black surround the ring and the numbers catch up quickly with Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. As Brody King winds up his chain-wrapped fist, Gunn runs down the ramp and the House makes a retreat. Gunn gets on the mic and said he was okay to walk away from the ring.  But then the House of Black made a few mistakes:  they hurt his “kids,” destroyed his footwear, and just pissed all over his legacy. So one more time, Gunn says he will step into the ring at All In and promises to take everything from the House.  However, he points out it won’t be Daddy Ass coming to face them…but a Bad Ass that will step into the ring once again.

And your Main Event is for the…

Courtesy of AEW.

Ring Of Honor World Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis)(c) vs. the Hardys (Matt and Jeff Hardy)

(Author’s Rant:  Yeah, I wish I could say this was a red-hot contest.  I wish I could, but this just doesn’t have the same pizzazz as what I know both teams can bring to the ring.  Maybe it’s because of the placement on the card or maybe after the last three matches, the steam just fizzled out in the show;  I dunno. It’s an okay match, but not a main event match.  Had this gone on earlier or been swapped out with The Elite and Bullet Club Gold, this would be fine. Heck, having the contract signing between Ospreay and Jericho at the end would have made more sense than this match.  As it is, it is just a Meh Event. As for any haiku or squash recipes, I just don’t have it in me for this one.  I blame the bookers for placing this as the last match.)

Zipping ahead, The Aussie Arrow wins it in one, two, and three.

Your Winners via Pinfall, and Still ROH Tag Team Champions:  Aussie Open

Davis gets on the mic and tells the crowd, “Oi, shut it!”  Fletcher then adds there will be no double clothesline and no kangaroo kick, and they will still be ROH champs. The music hits and Better Than You Bay Bay comes out and make a beeline to the squared circle.  Aussie Open beat them down briefly before Cole and MJF stage a comeback. Davis ducks out, and they set up Fletcher for a kick. Only he, too,  ducks away and MJF grabs Cole’s foot before it connects. 

The cracks are showing in the bromance, as MJF holds the AEW title aloft over Cole and shoulder bumps him to head out of the ring. He starts to put on the diamond ring, but then thinks better of it as he puts it back in his pocket.  He turns back around and he and Cole hug it out.  As MJF holds the Triple B aloft in the corner, Cole has a funny look on his face as the show fades to black.

AEW Dynamite - 08/23/2023

Final Thoughts:

I was just about to give this a lower rating due to the Meh Event between The Hardys/Aussies, but Cole and MJF rescued it in the end, and that 1 point in the rating made the difference.  Moxley and Fenix did bring the violence and that helped as well going into All In, and the contract signing between Jericho and Ospreay was the best moment of the show

Boris will be back next week to cover AEDW Dynamite, so see ya in seven!