It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means? Yes, Monday nights suck in the ratings for certain wrestling promotions, and football season is a part of it. Tell me when I’m telling lies!

(Hey, the other guy ain’t using it, so I’m gonna!)

Welcome to All Elite Wrestling and it is a Grand Slam of wrestling at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, NY with title matches, grudges, and grappling galore. As we join Excalibur, Ian Riccaboni, and Taz at commentary, our First Match of the night is a…

Courtesy of AEW

Title vs. Title Match: Claudio Castagnoli (ROH World Championship) vs. Eddie Kingston (NJPW Strong Openweight Championship)

This is twelve years in the making, notes Riccaboni, and after a feeling-out process, it quickly becomes a chop fest.  Kingston sends Castagnoli out of the ring and proceeds to choke him on the guardrails.  He is taking it to the ROH Champ, but Castagnoli comes back with a gutwrench powerbomb.  Kingston still comes back at him but Castagnoli pulls him out of the ring and gives a belly-to-back suplex on the ramp.  Back in the ring, Castagnoli lands a TKO to Kingston but gets a two count, and Eddie just won’t go down. He’s getting fired up as Castagnoli goes to his European uppercuts.  Kingston comes back with a backslider for a two count, and then lands an enzugiri and transitions to an exploder suplex and then a Saito suplex, but can’t put him away.

Now we get into Kobashi-style machine gun chops and Castagnoli walks into it, but a shot to the jaw drops him.  Kingston goes for knees to his head, and Castagnoli pops him with a right of his own.  The Openweight champion returns back to chops but Castagnoli connects with a short arm lariat and then puts the hammer and tong elbows to the side of his head.  Castagnoli pulls out the stops and connects with a running European Uppercut that gets him a count of two, and then he nails the Ricola Bomb to Kingston and covers for one, two…that was a close one.  Chants of “Ed-die!” echo in Arthur Ashe as Castagnoli slips off his elbow cover. That’s when Kingston connects with two back fists, followed by a half-and-half suplex.  a third back fist has Castagnoli on rollerskates and Kingston delivers the Northern Lights bomb to cover for one, two…no!  Kingston attempts a piledriver but Castagnoli connects with a flash European uppercut, but he pops with a fourth Backfist into a powerbomb for the one, two…

He did it! Kingston did it!

Your Winner, and New ROH World Champion:  Eddie Kingston

Castagnoli extends his hand, and Kingston shakes it to adhere to the Code of Honor as Kingston silently mouths, “Thank you.” to the New York faithful in the building.

Meanwhile, on this episode of “General(ly a) Hospital”, The Kingdon holds a vigil over Roderick Strong and his poor neck.  Adam Cole comes to visit, but Matt Taven and Mike Bennett question his motives.

Ahh, nothing like emotional guilt-tripping.

Renee Paquette is backstage with Christian Cage and Luchasaurus.  Basically, they issue a challenge against Darby Allin and Sting on AEW Rampage, which will be covered this Friday.

(Author’s Note:  I’m doing this because The Man of A 1001 Podcasts©, Boris Roberto Aguilar is covering AEW Collision for me, and I do not want to subject him to that abuse.  Also, this is connected to the AEW Grand Slam weekend, hence the coverage.  Now, I’m not saying this Friday will be filled with Haikus in Review™…but I’m also not not promising Grand Slam Haikus™, depending on what I see.  You’ve been warned, TK!)

Tony Schiavone joins up with Excalibur and Taz and that means our next match is…


Courtesy of AEW.

Chris Jericho vs. Sammy Guevara

This is a match based on respect.  Guevara comes to the ring with a light-up vest a la Jericho’s old entrance gear with rapper Monteasy leading him to the squared circle.

Once the bell rings, neither man is holding back and they slug away, but Guevara is showing why he is The Spanish God of AEW.  Jericho still has some high flying in him but is no match for Guevara’s quickness and agility as he leaps and misses the mark.  Guevara connects with a space flying corkscrew splash to the floor below.

A standing Spanish Fly by Guevara is good for a count of two, but Jericho connects hard with a lariat for a two count.  Then the action spills outside once again, and Guevara lands a top rope moonsault that tweaks his left knee, but the adrenaline is pulsating through him as he sends Jericho back into the ring.  Guevara hits a leaping cutter for a two count and then attempts the GTH, but Jericho counters into the Walls of a Jericho and sits down to cause pressure to his lower back.  Guevara tries to get to the bottom ropes but Jericho drags him to the center to keep him down.  Guevara twists his hips to get out of the submission.  Jericho nails him with a kick and drags him up the top turnbuckle but Guevara fights back and nails a top rope cutter. Both men are exhausted and he drapes an arm on Jericho for another two.

They are slow to get back up, but Guevara gets whipped to the ropes and he hangs on. Then he goes for a top rope springboard moonsault and Jericho lifts his knees to catch him on the way down and then follows with a running bulldog into a Lionsault that finds the mark but still gets another count of two.  Guevara finally nails Jericho with the GTH and goes up the top turnbuckle with a shooting star press and Jericho catches with a codebreaker for the pin and the win.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Chris Jericho

After the match, Jericho and Guevara embrace to a round of applause.  Then Guevara kicks him in…err, The Ochos.  As he looks on at his handiwork, Don Callis walks down to the ring and leads Guevara away to almost Dominik Mysterio-level boos.

MJF rolls up in a Porsche and he says with Cole by his side, he will be ready to defend the Triple B, because They’re Better Than You.  However, Cole takes a call from a freaked-out Strong and needs to deal with this.  

Yes, folks, just inhale the aroma of this Bromance Triangle.  Wait, with the Kingdom involved is it more a Bromance Pentagram?

That’s too much math for my taste.

Renee catches Guevara and Callis asks about what just happened with him and Jericho.  Callis promises all will be revealed on Rampage (See, folks?  I gotta cover this). Daniel Garcia then comes into focus and stares him down.  Before Gevara can get in his grill, Callis steps in to let cooler heads prevail.

But we have another title match on the line, and this is for the…

Courtesy of AEW.

AEW International Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Rey Fenix (with Alex Abrahantes)

This isn’t the first time we’ve had these two face each other, but now The International title is on the line.  Never is it more apparent how important this match is as Fenix doesn’t wait and meets him up the ramp and kicks in the shoulder, followed by a somersault senton to the floor below.  Fenix is feeling froggy, but meets a forearm by Mox, and then a Freakin’ curb stomp for a two count.

The action goes to the outside and Fenix uses the guardrails to his advantage but gets pushed off and then Mox elevates his feet on the barricade for a DDT to the floor.  Fénix is in a world of hurt but manages to get out of the corner for a springboard thrust kick.  He follows with a frog splash for a two count, and as Fenix tries to continue the momentum, he eats a King Kong lariat.  Once again, they go back outside the ring, and he drapes Mox on the guardrails, and then climbs up the top rope and nails a leaping leg drop lariat to leave both men in a heap!

They get back to the ring, and Fenix leaps from the top and Mox kicks him on the way down and nails a DDT for another two count.  Mox quickly switches to a Texas Cloverleaf, then transitions to a bulldog choke and he finishes up with a Gotch-style Piledriver for another near fall.  Mox takes the tape off his wrists to choke him but Fenix is still in the fight.  They go up the top turnbuckle, and Fenix knocks him off and gets a springboard double stomp for a two count.  They battle onto the ramp and then Mox gives Fenix another Freakin’ stomp (wonder if Rollins gets royalties for that) and back in for a delayed piledriver for one, two…almost.  They battle up top, but this time Fenix knocks him down lands a swanton, and gets not one but two Fenix drivers that put down Moxley for good.

Your Winner, and New AEW International Champion:  Rey Fenix

He and Abrahantes celebrate, while this is another title loss tonight for the Blackpool Combat Club.

Samoa Joe cuts a promo on his match with MJF tonight, and he promises to leave with the AEW Championship held high.

The Hardys, Best Friends, The Kingdom, and The Righteous each make their case on why they should be the number one contenders for the Ring of Honor Tag Team championship, and they will face each other on Rampage. 

Okay, so far, this is looking like less haikus for me.

But let’s head back to the ring, as this next match is for the…

Courtesy of AEW.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Saraya (c)(with Ruby Soho) vs. Toni Storm

Storm is really going all-out with this incarnation, and faster than you can say Veronica Lake (Google her, kids!) we get a black-and-white intro.

As for the champ, it’s been one year since Saraya’s debut on AEW and she has turned a page, if you will. 

As for when the former Outcasts enter the ring, Storm just wants a hug and Saraya wants to slap the crazy out of her.  but pretty soon, Storm gets a crazy smile and chops away until Saraya lands a  thrust kick.  At one point, Storm goes under the ring. Soho pulls her out and gets hit by shoes.

To paraphrase the great philosopher Austin Powers, “Who attacks with a shoe? Honestly?”

Back in, Storm pulls Saraya out and using middle ropes as leverage nails a DDT on the ramp. As the ref and Soho check on her, Storm does the same move in the ring for a close two count.  As Storm goes to the corner to grab the spray paint, Soho pulls it away. Storm argues with the ref who misses the can now in Saraya’s hands.  As he turns his attention to Soho’s distraction outside the ring, she sprays in the eyes and nails the Knight Cap for a close two.

Saraya rams her head into the middle turnbuckles and almost sends her to an exposed turnbuckle but thinks twice about it. She goes for a kick and Storm catches it and gently sets her foot down.  She then kisses Saraya faster than you can say “Katy Perry” and nails Storm Zero for one, two…nope.  Now Storm places Saraya on the exposed turnbuckle and attempts a hip attack but the women’s champ dodges in time.  Storm gets the brunt of the exposed buckle and an elevated Knight Cap ends it finally.

Your Winner, and Still AEW Women’s Champion:  Saraya

Soho and Saraya celebrate the win gloating over their crazy former comrade on their way up the ramp.

and now we head to the Main Event, and this is for the…

Courtesy of AEW.

AEW World Championship: MJF (c) vs. Samoa Joe

As both men enter the ring, there is a vignette by MJF  in an homage to the “Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola” commercial.

Forget Wu-Tang Clan;  MJF is for the children!

We get boxing-style intros by Justin Roberts, and MJF has ring gear in  NY Mets colors and script, with elbow pads that show the “31” worm by former Mets catcher Mike Piazza.  Once the bell rings, you can tell Queens love their scumbag, but Joe does not, as he slams him hard to the squared circle on his taped-up neck.  Joe targets that area, but MJF gets a thumb in Joe’s eye and goes for a sleeper.  He performs a Judo throw to the mat, and Joe goes on offense with a big boot to a senton.  MJF comes back to connect with short arm clotheslines, and Joe rocks him with a lariat for a two count.  He rips off his Mets-style shirt to massive boos, and pie faces the AEW champion to disrespect him some more.

MJF comes back with forearm shivers and rams his head into the turnbuckles. Then he mounts Joe in the corner with nine punches and a bite, and the crowd goes wild as he loads up the Kangaroo Kick and connects to a massive pop.  He sends Joe out of the ring and MJF goes to dive and the ROH Television champ kicks him midway. Then he props him on his shoulders to a modified DVD on the ring apron. The ref checks on the AEW champ and Joe laughs at his handiwork.  He throws him back in the ring to cover for another close two count.

Joe drags him out to the floor and gives a uranage to MJF on a propped-up table.  Then he rips up the padding and nails MJF with a piledriver on the exposed concrete.  Joe goes for another lariat but MJF swings through and reverses to a Liger bomb for a two count.  They trade sleepers, and as MJF pulls the ref close, he gives Joe a mule kick.  As he comes down, he slips on the Dynamite Diamond ring, and then as he goes to crack Joe on the head with it, he pulls the ref in front and he gets caught red-handed.  Now Joe kicks him tit for tat and then gives the muscle buster for one, two…oh, so close.  Joe is flabbergasted and locks in the Coquina clutch and MJF starts to fade, but Cole finally runs out for support. MJF comes to and bites out of the submission to rollup for a near fall.  He goes for a rear naked choke on Joe and gets pushed into the corner as the ref ducks out of the way and is looked on by the doctors at ringside. Cole gets on the ring apron and Joe takes a swipe, and MJF tears off his wrist tape to choke him, and by the time the ref is back in he sees the choke applied and calls the bell.

Your Winner via Submission, and Still AEW World Champion:  MJF

As MJF tucks the tape into his armpit to conceal the evidence, the ref raises his hand in victory, and then MJF hugs him while Cole helps get rid of the tape that would incriminate him.  Joe comes to and before he can attack Cole, MJF gets in the way.  Joe then offers him his hand, and MJF shakes it in a show of mutual respect while Cole and his scumbag friend celebrate with the Queens crowd to close out the show.

AEW Dynamite Grand Slam - 09/20/2023

Final Thoughts:

Personally, I thought Guevara/Jericho should have been the first match, but that doesn’t take away the emotion of the Castagnoli/Kingston match.  Kudos to the Mad King on getting his proper due.

MJF winning such a scumbag fashion and getting cheered on by the fans over Samoa Joe is something I never thought I’d witness, but here we are.

Now if only All Elite Wrestling can have their Battle of the Belts be more like this every time.  But for now, see ya on Friday, and Boris will have AEW Collision this Saturday!