AEW Dynamite (Nov. 2, 2022) emanated from Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena in Baltimore, MD. The show featured four fights with championship implications and a variety of mystery appearances ranging from Jeff Jarrett to Rick Ross.
Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
Jeff Jarrett has arrived in AEW. Yes, you read that right.
Jarrett’s story revolved around the opening bout between Darby Allin and Jay Lethal. The tease was Lethal revealing his friend who provided smart tips on how to beat Allin.
The bout erupted in fisticuffs before the opening bell when Allin attacked on the ramp. Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh made their way ringside to offer distractions. The best part of the match was Allin launching for a suicide dive and ricocheting off the giant Singh as if he hit a brick wall.
Referee Bryce Remsburg abused his authority to eject Dutt and Singh, even though, Allin was the instigator. That played right into the hands of Lethal. As the ref was distracted, Lethal’s friend appeared on the scene. Its Fake Sting!
A man in a Sting costume whacked Allin with a baseball bat to set up the Lethal Injection cutter for victory. The masked man revealed himself to be Cole Karter, and the crowd went mild.
Thankfully, that was a ploy. Sting’s music hit. That’s when Jarrett ran in to hit Allin with his guitar. The crowd went wild.
Jarrett joined forces with Lethal’s crew and explained that whatever you worship becomes your weakness. For Allin, his weakness is Sting. Jarrett used that to his advantage. Jarrett also issued a warning to the AEW locker room that there will be body bags when he’s through. The fingerprints of Jarrett’s family have been on AEW since day one, and he’s coming to collect.
There is bound to be a mixed reaction to Jeff Jarrett in AEW considering his past history in the business. I like it though. Jarrett is at his best as a dastardly heel. His work in AAA won me over with the way he’ll go as low as necessary to get a rise out of the crowd. The execution of the Jarrett reveal was fantastic. It was a slick touch rolling out a dud in Cole Karter to swerve viewers into malaise before the main dish was served. Personally, I went from making a pfft fart noise for Karter to going whoa for Jarrett. The idea of a tag team showdown with Sting has me salivating. That shows how effective the story played out on this evening. Honestly, who would think a match with Jarrett and Sting in 2022 would create anticipation? AEW pulled it off, at least in the short term.
As for Allin versus Lethal, that set the mood right as an opener. Allin immediately brought aggression to demand attention to the screen. Both fought smart with counters making sense to set up moves within the story of the match. Given that the contest ended in entertaining bullshit, their quality performance up to that point has me curious to watch the rubber match.
Colt Cabana has returned to AEW. Boom Boom was absent for quite a while amidst rumors of removal due to personal issues with CM Punk. Now that Punk appears to be on his way out, Cabana is back.
Cabana was a surprise to answer the ROH World Championship open challenge from Chris Jericho.
Cabana brought his A-game to take Jericho to the limit. One not so smooth move was tumbling off the turnbuckles trying to attempt the Chicago Skyline maneuver. Thankfully, Daniel Garcia was ringside to catch Jericho’s head to prevent potential for accidental injury. The match got back on track with Cabana emptying his arsenal of signature offense. Cabana came close to victory on a Billy Goat’s Curse reverse crab and a superman pin. Jake Hager was in the right place at the right time to slap Cabana’s hand knocking him off-balance to break the superman pin. Cabana maintained urgency by running the ropes for a Flying Apple hip check. Cabana ran the ropes again, but Jericho met him with a Codebreaker to win.
The show’s energetic vibe rolled on in this match. Cabana was a pleasant surprise, and he worked hard to make the fans happy with the match. In terms of Jericho having a tough time beating a journeyman, I’d give Le Champion a pass in this case. Cabana was hyped on adrenaline for his big return and shot at winning a world title. Jericho did put Cabana down with the Codebreaker, which isn’t a death finisher in AEW, so that does show Jericho as a level above Cabana.
After the match, we were treated to more fisticuffs between the Jericho Appreciation Society and the Blackpool Combat Club. JAS held ROH commentator Ian Riccaboni in place for Jericho to slap. Claudio Castagnoli rushed in to tackle Jericho. Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta, and Sammy Guevara also ran in with JAS having superior numbers. The key takeaway for that melee is a future ROH world title bout for Claudio. That’s not official yet, but the direction seems certain.
Katsuyori Shibata is in line for an AEW dream match against Orange Cassidy on Rampage. This story unfolded in the aftermath of Cassidy retaining the All-Atlantic Championship against Fenix and Luchasaurus.
The championship bout had three different angles playing out. First was Fenix and Cassidy teaming together to topple the destructive force known as Luchasaurus. They gained an advantage early, but the dino powered through to goozle Cassidy onto ring steps and chokeslam Fenix through the timekeeper table. As Luchasaurus hammered OC up the stage, the second angle flashed. Jungle Boy ran out with a chair to wallop his traitorous friend. JB tackled Luchasaurus off stage crashing through a table.
The third angle involved PAC’s desire for revenge on Cassidy. Prior to the bout, PAC suggested that Fenix use the hammer as a legal foreign object in triple threat rules. With Luchasaurus out of the picture, PAC ran in to hand the hammer to Fenix. The luchador declined to win without honor. He dropped the hammer and continued the fight. Unfortunately for Fenix, Cassidy was able to counter a rolling cutter with a superman punch for victory.
Afterward, PAC took out his anger on Cassidy’s weary body. Shibata arrived on the scene flanked by Rocky Romero and the Best Friends to chase PAC away. Per special stipulation for winning this contest, Cassidy had the right to name a dream opponent. Shibata requested the honor, and the contract was signed.
That was a very entertaining match. I appreciate how Luchasaurus was presented as a monster threat. It forced Fenix and Cassidy to get creative to take him down. That in turn made Luchasaurus look good, which will rub off on Jungle Boy for his eventual conquering of the dino. Overall, this match was definitely overbooked. However, I wouldn’t classify it as an overbooked mess. Everything made sense within context and increased the excitement.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on Shibata. I vaguely recognized him from Forbidden Door and wouldn’t have known his name without commentary’s help. This is one of those occasions to sit back and observe a star from abroad. The fans that knew him were very pleased by his appearance. That emotion piques interest enough to roll for the ride and see what the hype is about.
Rapper Rick Ross joined Swerve Strickland to sip on champagne and toast as music moguls. Keith Lee approached Swerve about his shady tactics winning the #1 contender match and cracking Billy Gunn’s scissor fingers. Ross kept the peace through positivity. Swerve proposed an 8-man tag with the Gunns against the Acclaimed and FTR. Lee wasn’t enthused, but he did agree to partake.
Ross was a scene-stealer in his appearance as hype man shouting words and repeating phrases. Accusations! Brotherhood! 8-man tag! I assume Ross is a busy man, but I hope AEW can secure his services for more segments like this.
Lamar Jackson was in the house. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback entered fashionably late during the bout between Jon Moxley and Lee Moriarty. The main reason I mention this was reaction of local fans ignoring the match with all eyes on Jackson. It struck me on the funny bone. It was also another interesting little surprise for the broadcast.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
Jon Moxley defeated Lee Moriarty. This was a world title eliminator bout with Moriarty earning a championship shot upon victory. Stokely Hathaway was ringside, and Ethan Page joined commentary once he felt confident in Moriarty. Taiga Style worked the shoulder throughout the match. Moriarty even secured the Border City Stretch submission, but Moxley was able to escape. The champ hammered elbows to soften Moriarty for an armbar. Moriarty tapped out in defeat. Afterward, Page sprinted to the ring to boot Mox in the mush.
This was a good breaking out effort from Moriarty. He’s been off TV for so long that it is easy to forget about his serious skills in the ring. This match reminded us all of Moriarty’s ability. It also showed there are levels to this game. As tough as Moriarty fought, he was out-dueled in the end when Mox turned up the heat.
Billy Gunn birthday bash. The Acclaimed celebrated Billy’s special day by adopting him as Daddy Ass. Before Billy could sign the paperwork, the Gunn sons interrupted with a surprise. W. Morrissey smashed the scissor crew. FTR arrived to scare the Gunns away. Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler handed the AEW tag titles over to Max Caster and Anthony Bowens, but tension was in the air for a future showdown in time.
That was a silly segment for chuckles and crowd work. Gifting Billy foam fingers to protect his injured scissoring fingers was goofy fun. The adoption papers were a creative way to build more heat against the Gunn sons. As much as FTR wants to act tough toward the AEW tag titles, I’m over them in this particular quest. There were ranked #1 for so long that it’s their fault for not pulling the trigger sooner to get a shot. I definitely want to see FTR versus The Acclaimed, but I’m not necessarily rooting for FTR to win all the gold anymore.
TBS Championship: Jade Cargill retained against Marina Shafir. Jade destroyed Shafir without much trouble to win via Jaded. The story was Nyla Rose on stage as a distraction with the stolen TBS title. Kiera Hogan tried to snatch the belt back, but the Native Beast escaped with the booty.
The idea for this segment sounds nice, but the execution was cluttered. The camera cut back and forth between the match and Nyla on stage too often to get into the flow of the action. Split screen was smart, but they didn’t stick with that too long. The match became an afterthought.
ROH World Television Championship: Samoa Joe retained against Brian Cage. Hoss fight! This one took a little bit to heat up. Once it did, heavyweight slams exploded. Cage lifted Joe like a sack of potatoes. Joe rallied with strikes. In the end, Joe escaped a slam to apply a rear naked choke for victory as the Machine tapped out.
Afterward, Gates of Agony and Wardlow squared off in the ring. As the ring cleared, Will Hobbs crushed Wardlow with a spinebuster to stand tall.
This was a solid hoss fight. Hoss fights are like pizza, always good no matter how bad. Not saying this one was bad in any way. It just didn’t reach epic proportions that I was hoping for. One factor was the lack of a ‘bull in the china shop’ furious collision moment. There were some shoulder blocks, but they were more on the methodical side. Joe maintained his badass aura in victory. Cage was damn impressive lifting Joe for a German suplex and a pumphandle driver. Cage also hit cool aerial attacks, such as a leaping cannonball to the outside and a rotating flying elbow drop.
Promo notes: A vignette for the Elite aired with footage of them winning the trios titles. The camera zoomed out to a computer screen as it edited the Death Triangle in for the Elite, who disappeared. This seems to be a sign that the Elite will return to take back the trios gold.
Dr. Britt Baker was a no-show for the sitdown with Saraya. When asked about medical status to compete, Saraya decided to save the information until next week. She wants to consult with one more doctor (Baker). Later, Baker explained that she wasn’t participating in Saraya’s conspiracy against her.
William Regal believes MJF has all the potential in the world, but he has a long way to go to be a true villain. This separate promo for Regal makes me believe there is a chance he swerves to help MJF. It was presented as making Regal part of the story. I think Moxley’s reaction to betrayal would be a shoulder shrug. He knows that Regal’s villainous nature runs deep into his soul.
House of Black aired a goth vignette with Julia Hart reviving Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews from the dead. This scene has a lot of imagery and prose to take on. I recommend checking it out, if not various times to soak it in. One thing I didn’t realize is that the House of Black was murdered. Did Miro kill them and he’s on the run from the law and that’s why no Dynamite for him?
Toni Storm versus Jamie Hayter for the AEW Interim Women’s World Championship is official for Full Gear. A promo package explained how they lived together as friends during the COVID pandemic. When Storm arrived in AEW, it was clear to her that Hayter changed, and they weren’t friends anymore.
Stud of the Show: Jon Moxley
Moxley delivered a great promo to single-handedly sell interest in the contest against Lee Moriarty. Mox explained that the Blackpool Combat Club liked Moriarty but felt he wasn’t nasty enough. Mox planned on teaching a lesson in pain and perseverance. Moxley was obviously going to win, however, this promo added an intriguing element to see what Moriarty has in the tank. It hooked me with curiosity to see how Moriarty handles the big stage against the world champ.
Match of the Night: All-Atlantic Championship
Orange Cassidy, Fenix, and Luchasaurus was a fun contest in several ways. All three looked strong in their own way to elevate the difficulty of victory. The extra involvement increased the thrill.
What a wild night. Genuine mystery reveals, cool cameos, matches with stakes, and entertaining ring action produced a rowdy show. One of the underrated aspects of AEW is the fun atmosphere. This episode delivered hard in that regard.
Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?