After a resoundingly successful All In event last weekend, AEW has only a week to set the card – and build up the hype – for this coming weekend’s All Out PPV. Unfortunately, Wednesday night’s episode of Dynamite wasn’t the best way to get there. With three lengthy talky segments and a handful of mediocre matches, the episode felt like a deflating balloon, and really missed the mark – both as the follow-up from the company’s biggest event ever, and as the go-home show for Sunday night.

The show started with a short highlight package of All In before Excalibur welcomed everyone to the show and ran down the lineup for tonight.


Match 1: Jon Moxley vs. Komander (w/ Alex)

Moxley hit a huge Boot to the Head at the bell, and was in control for a bit until Komander hit some Flippy-Doos and then a huge High Cross Body off the top to the floor which Mox pretty much no-sold, of course. Komander missed a Flying Corkscrew Dive and splatted hard on the mat. During the picture-in-picture commercial break, Mox hit some of his weak-looking Chest Stomps and then dragged Komander to the floor where he beat up Komander some more, using a table and the ringside barricade to add to the pain.

Komander countered and whipped Mox into the barrier while referee Aubrey Edwards did some perfunctory gestures to get them back into the ring instead of, you know, enforcing the rules and counting them out like a referee should do.

They finally got back in the ring where Mox caught Kommander in another High Cross Body attempt and converted that into a Spinning Backbreaker. Mox went for a Powerbomb but Kommander countered with a Face Plant of some kind that left them both bleeding.


Kommander used some kicks to stun Mox and then hit a Lung Blower for a 2-count. Kommander went for a Tightrope 450 Splash but Mox got the knees up. Mox hit a Piledriver but Kommander kicked out. Cue the bad-looking Elbows by Moxley and then an Armbar that forced Kommander to tap out.

This was pretty much a showcase for Moxley, who challenges for the International Title at All Out.

Winner: Jon Moxley

A video package of the International Champion Orange Cassidy aired. He says he’s not the same Orange Cassidy that started four years ago and at All Out he’ll show Moxley why. He’s already looking past Penta who he defends against tonight. About not being the same as he was four years ago, arguably he’s gotten even worse, so that’s not inaccurate.

They showed a clip of a locker room interview with the Young Bucks after their match at All In, where they came up short in challenging FTR for the Tag Team Championship. Before they could say anything, FTR walked in to question why the Bucks wouldn’t shake their hands in the ring. The Bucks explained that they were just too disappointed with the loss in the moment. They got up to shake FTR’s hands, but before the respect could be shown, they were all interrupted by Bullet Club Gold who barged in. The two foursomes started jawing at each other, and this led to a challenge for an 8-man tag team match at Sunday’s All Out PPV.

A highlight video aired of the Women’s Championship match from All In that saw Saraya win the title in front of her home country crowd.

Backstage, Renee Paquette interviewed Saraya’s fellow Outcast Toni Storm, who was the one Saraya pinned after spray-painting Toni in the face. Toni said she was happy for Saraya, but was upset that she was abandoned by all of her friends and that she can’t trust anyone anymore. Toni was playing this like an over-the-top melodramatic bad soap opera actress.


Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara clear the air

Jericho came to the ring and grabbed a mic. He trumpeted the success of All In, and said that was a weekend he will never forget. But he wanted to forget how he treated Sammy Guevara at the event, when he rebuffed Sammy who tried to help Jericho during his match against Will Ospreay. He asked Sammy to join him in the ring, and Sammy came down the ramp and did so.

Jericho said he never should have shoved Sammy, and that it was the frustration over his loss that made him act hotly in the moment. He said at the time he didn’t realize that Sammy had done everything he could to help Jericho, but after watching the footage and seeing that Sammy clocked Will in the head with a baseball bat, he realized that Sammy did indeed do everything he could. Jericho apologized and extended his hand to Sammy. Sammy shook his hand and said that he would always have Jericho’s back and that a push wouldn’t break them up.

Jericho thought about what he could have done differently to beat Will, and suggested that it would have helped if Sammy had hit Will harder with the bat. Sammy took umbrage with this, and said maybe Jericho should have hit Will harder with the Judas Effect. Jericho said that sometimes Sammy doesn’t do everything the way Jericho tells him to do it. This led to Sammy saying if he didn’t always try to help Jericho, maybe he would have been on the All In card instead of having to be there to support Jericho’s losing effort.

They made some more digs at each other, with their tones getting more and more heated. Jericho tried to cool things down and suggested they stop arguing and instead regroup, refocus, and reform the Le Sex Gods with the goal to become Tag Team Champions. Jericho suggest that they start their journey down that path next week. Guevara agreed and they shook hands and embraced, their friendship seemingly rekindled and renewed. They left the ring together in good spirits, much to the chagrin of the crowd who seemed to want them to split.

Backstage, Moxley was with his BCC colleagues Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta. He cut a promo, saying that he and the BCC aren’t about the bark. And that whoever walks out of All Out as the International Champion will be the one with the biggest bite. I agree: Moxley bites.


Match 2: Wheeler Yuta vs. Eddie Kingston (c) – for the New Japan Strong Openweight Championship

Eddie was all bandaged up after the Stadium Stupidity match at All In, and his bandages – particularly the one on his arm – were targeted by Yuta. Yuta grounded Eddie, going after the injured arm, finally tearing off Eddie’s bandage, leaving the arm exposed and unprotected. Eddie tried to fight back, but any use of that arm pained him as well as Yuta.

Yuta bashed Eddie’s head repeatedly, which dazed Eddie and had him throwing air-punches. But when Yuta tried to go up top, Eddie smashed him down to the floor, and Eddie followed that up with a huge Flying Dive.


Eddie fired up, hitting Yuta with strikes, fists, stomps, and throws. After a quick strike exchange, Yuta hit a Bridging German Suplex for two, but then crashed and burned when Eddie got his knees up when Yuta went for a Superfly Splash.

The action went back-and-forth after this, with both men getting some offensive flurries. IN the end, though, the heart of Kingston won out. After absorbing a number of strikes, Eddie fired up, and hit Yuta with two Spinning Backfists, knocking Yuta down and out for the pin.

After the match, Claudio Castagnoli marched down to the ring and collected Yuta, taking him back to the ring. Notably, he didn’t even look at Eddie Kingston, showing him no respect whatsoever.

This was good. Eddie brings some strong emotions into his matches, and his selling here was particularly strong. He’s a bit too slavish to the Japanese strong style at times, but it wasn’t overplayed here.

Winner, and still NJPW Strong Openweight Champion: Eddie Kingston

After a highlight package from the All In main event that saw MJF beat his friend Adam Cole to defend the World Championship, they aired a video of MJF and Cole in the locker room after the match.

MJF crowbarred in a couple of announcements. First, on this week’s Rampage, there will be a Battle Royal to determine which team will face them at All Out for the ROH Tag Team Championship. Second, there will be an upcoming tournament to determine who gets to challenge MJF for the World Title at Grand Slam on September 20th. In the meantime, MJF said he was going to be taking the rest of the week off. He, CM Punk, and Jack Perry, apparently.

Backstage, Renee Paquette interviewed Sammy Guevara. Sammy barely finished saying that he and Jericho were back on the same page, when Don Callis walked in. He badmouthed Jericho and tried to recruit Sammy onto his side in the war against Jericho, but Sammy would have none of it and told Callis to get lost.


Story Time with Adam Cole (Bay Bay)

Adam Cole made his entrance and grabbed a mic.


He thanked the AEW audience for making All In the greatest night of his career. Cole said that his night wasn’t perfect, being that he lost his match against MJF, but that he knew he would get another opportunity at some point down the road. He assured the fans that though MJF is banged up today, he and Cole will both be at full charge at All Out.

Cole was interrupted by Roderick Strong who came to the ring with Mike Bennett and Matt Taven (the Kingdom). Strong whined that Cole cares more about MJF’s condition than Strong’s. Cole said that he didn’t recognize who Strong has become and blamed it on Strong hanging out with the Kingdom.

That fired up the Kingdom who delivered their retort. Bennett reminded Cole of their their professional and personal history and their longtime friendship that started back in ROH. Taven said that Cole abandoned them to join the Bullet Club and sold that friendship out for some T-shirt money. They referenced Cole’s NXT past, saying he used the ROH crew to prop himself up as champion while there. And now he was leeching off of MJF, hoping to glom off him in order to ultimately win the AEW World Title. Taven said that Cole doesn’t care about anyone but himself.

Cole apologized if he made them feel that way. But they need to accept that MJF is not only his friend, but his best friend. Strong said he couldn’t accept that – and that he was going to enter the tournament to earn a title shot against MJF. And he would go on to beat MJF with Taven and Bennett by his side. And if Cole were his real friend, Cole would root for him while he did.

Cole was concerned and said that Strong’s neck was in no condition to go into the tournament, but Strong said he was good enough to beat anyone, bad neck or not. He and the Kingdom left, while Cole was in the ring trying to argue that he did nothing wrong.

Taven and Bennett were really good in this segment.

They cut to a pre-taped promo from Penta El Zero Miedo and Alex who said that Penta would beat Orange Cassidy tonight, and that he would go on to make Moxley bleed at All Out.


Match 3: Kris Statlander, Hikaru Shida, and Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose, Marina Shafir, and Emi Sakura

In a dumb babyface moment, Sakura attacked the faces when they were talking pre-match strategy, hitting Shida with a Splash in the corner while Statlander and Baker simply watched it happen. The miscommunication between the faces continued, with them not on the same page when tagging each other in and out. Some pretty bad wrestling ensued, particularly when Shafir was in there.

Baker got beat up for a while until she finally tagged in Statlander, who elevated the quality of the match immeasurably when she was in there.

More miscommunication issues plagued the faces, and at one point, Baker accidentally hit Shida with a Crescent Kick to the Head – though, it happened while they were doing an illegal double-team move, so shame on them anyway. And shame on everyone but Statlander for this one, really. She impressed with a big High Cross Body off the top that took out everyone on the floor. Statlander then hit a Wednesday Night Fever (Cradle Tombstone Piledriver) on Shafir to get the pin.

After the match, as Shida and Baker jawed at each other on the floor, nobody saw Ruby Soho sneak into the ring and clock Statlander with No Future, knocking Statlander out. Soho stole Statlander’s TBS Championship belt and ran up the ramp, leaving the title in the middle of the rampway, as a message to Statlander who she faces at All Out.


Hoo boy, this was not good.

Winners: Kris Statlander, Hikaru Shida, and Britt Baker

A video package aired for Shane Taylor, who challenges Samoa Joe for the ROH Television Championship at All Out.

Backstage, Don Callis and Honosuke Takeshita were holding a strategy session for Takeshita’s match against Kenny Omega at All Out. Callis had various X-ray photos that highlighted Omega’s various injuries, and suggested moves that Takeshita should use to exploit those weakened body parts. Callis said the backup plan would be to use a screwdriver on Omega. This was effective.


The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn – Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Max Caster’s rap included a dig at former President Donald Trump’s mugshot which was funny, and a shot at Mitch McConnell which I think he did before so didn’t land as hard.

The new Trios Champions entered the ring, which was decked out with a giant pink ribbon, a podium, and something covered up by a black cover. Billy Gunn kicked things off saying that Daddy Ass was back. His pink shirt had a patch of a bright green pair of open scissors on it, resembling an X, which was a nice callback to his former faction.

They said they wanted to elevate the Trios Titles and they would start that with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Gunn took out a giant pair of scissors and cut the ribbon to a great ovation. Bowens said that the ring is now the House of Ass.

They said that they needed to do something special to open said house (as opposed to opening said ass). They removed the cover from the table to reveal new title belts. These ones are pink leather straps and the strap ends are wedged so that they can scissor one another, and this is highlighted by the visual of a pair of scissors drawn on each end. OK, that was a neat touch.

They announced that they would be defending the titles this Saturday on Collision.

A video package ran down the participants in Friday night’s Tag Team Battle Royal to determine who faces Cole and MJF at All Out. Then Excalibur ran down a bunch of matches taking place on Rampage, Collision, and All Out. He didn’t scream as quickly as normal here, but it was still very shouty.


Match 4: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo (w/ Alex) – for the AEW International Championship

To clarify, whoever comes out of this match as champion will defend the title against Jon Moxley at All Out. One would think that it would make more sense for Moxley and Penta to wrestle for the chance to win a title match, but who am I to question the Booker of the Year’s realistic sports-based presentation?

Anyway, this started off with a choreographed gymnastics routine, and then Orange Cassidy put his hands in his pockets, and I was tempted to turn the TV off and cut this report short so as to not sanction such buffoonery. But that would be unfair to our Slam readers, so I paused the show and had a couple of drinks to get me through OC’s nonsense. At least he got kind of what he deserved when Penta Gorilla Threw him into the ringside barricade pretty hard to take us to commercial.

After the ad break, Cassidy hit a Flying Dive to the floor, but Penta retaliated with a Flying Somersault Dive to the floor. Cassidy reversed a move to hit Slumdog Millionaire and then hit a DDT for a 2-count. Penta came back with some moves, including a Backstabber for a 2-count.

During the picture-in-picture, Penta argued with members of the audience for some reason until Alex reminded him that he was in a match. Though the people in the crowd actually looked more legitimate than Cassidy. That time-wasting let Cassidy recover and soon they were exchanging haymakers in the ring (Penta and OC, not Penta and the audience members).

Penta won the exchange and then locked on an arm submission, but OC escaped by putting his hands in his pockets, and then hit his slow punches, and then they exchanged Canadian Destroyers, and this was so ridiculous that I fast-forwarded through this idiocy until the end.

I stopped fast-forwarding when I saw them fight on the apron where Penta hit OC with a Package Piledrive that should have killed OC, but OC grabbed the bottom rope to break the pin. Less than a minute later, Penta hit another one in the middle of the ring but OC kicked out and then rolled up Penta for the win, and you’ve got to be joking, right?

This match exemplified the worst instincts of both guys and of Tony Khan.

Winner, and still International Champion: Orange Cassidy

After the match, OC sat down in a chair in the middle of the ring and grabbed a mic. He said he was tired and that even though he is tired and beaten up, he will always defend the International Championship. He said he does it to prove wrong the people who told him he would never make it in the business. He said he would defend the title for as long as he wants, and that nobody – even Moxley – would take the title away from him.

Moxley stormed his way to the ring and he and OC slapped each other. After a brief intense head-to-head, Moxley flipped OC the double birds and left, bringing the show to a close.


AEW Dynamite - August 30th, 2023

NOW Arena - Chicago, IL

As a follow-up from All In, this was not good. As a go-home show for All Out, this was not good.  There was a small handful of highlights: Kris Statlander. Eddie Kingston. Adam Cole’s entrance music is catchy and it’s fun to say “Boom” and “Adam Cole Bay Bay”. Don Callis is always entertaining. Yeah, that’s about it. This was not good.