Welcome back to your AEW coverage on Snap Mayors! The All Elite crew are firing on all cylinders heading into their next PPV, Full Gear, which is (checks notes) this weekend! So, yep, this is the go-home edition of Dynamite.
Let’s do this.
After the standard opening video, we go backstage to Dasha Gonzalez, standing by with Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle. Le Champion is set to be Le Commentator for the night, but before he does, he puts over his Inner Circle buddies, specifically Jake Hager, who won his MMA fight last week (article about that on the main page). Hager is busted up but he’s still standing strong. MJF interrupts the love-fest, alongside Wardlow. He says that there’s some tension between them, but he’s going to prove he belongs in the faction. Jericho agrees that MJF ticks a lot of boxes, but there’s something missing. Jericho accuses Max of lacking the killer instincts and being “soft”. MJF responds, “Just watch.”
Fozzy’s Judas blares over the speakers, and Jericho makes his entrance to get on the headset and spit fire. The crowd sings the song even after the music is cut.
Match 1: Sammy Guevara & Ortiz vs. MJF & Wardlow
Ortiz starts against Wardlow. Jericho puts over the “lunacy” of Ortiz as a positive trait, being willing to take on the monster. Wardlow soon asserts him with a massive chokeslam of sorts. Wardlow does most of the heavy lifting in beating down Ortiz, with MJF tagging in for some quick shots here and there. Ortiz creates separation with an enziguri, and gets the hot tag to Sammy. Sammy comes in with full on babyface fire, cracking Wardlow with another enziguri, followed by a kick combination. Double springboard crossbody wipes out Wardlow and MJF. He takes out both men on the outside with back to back corkscrew suicide dives! Wow!
Back in the ring, Wardlow breaks up an attempted double team on MJF. Ortiz dropkicks him away, and MJF takes the opportunity to hit a double stomp off the ropes onto Ortiz’s arm! MJF Irish whips Ortiz into Wardlow, but Ortiz uses the momentum to his advantage, wiping out the big man with a Cactus clothesline. That leaves MJF and Guevara in the ring. After a flashy sequence, Maxwell scores with a thumb to the eye. Guevara responds with a flying knee. “Sammy’s having a night,” JR says. He follows up with GTH/Feast Your Eyes for a near fall. Sammy, not JR.
Ortiz & Guevara wipe out Wardlow with a succession of flashy team moves. Wardlow recovers quickly enough to prevent a double superplex on MJF, turning it into a Tower of Doom. Wardlow hits Ortiz with a F-10 and covers at a strange angle- and it’s to allow Sammy to break the count with a Frog Splash. MJF tags in and Sammy throws him to the outside, following by a springboard 450! Sammy flips off someone in the crowd wearing a Serpentico mask… who then throws a chair at him! It’s Matt Hardy!
Back in the ring, Ortiz looks to continue the attack on MJF- who immediately pulls him into the Salt of the Earth armbar! Ortiz hits the mat like Travis Barker during an intense drum solo, and that’s all she wrote.
Winners: MJF & Wardlow (at 9:41)
Star Rating: ***1/4. Sammy Guevara was the star of that match, without question. It ultimately accomplished the goal of making MJF look good by overcoming the chaos, but damn, Sammy looked like a major babyface star here. Too bad about his punchable face.
Post-match, MJF yells at Jericho, “I’m tough!” Then he launches himself at Le Champion, tackling him through the announce team set! The Inner Circle members pull the two apart, but Jericho is smiling… he got MJF to unleash the aggression he was looking for.
We go to an interview with Kenny Omega. My god, the echos! AEW have had issues with their audio for months, never getting the mix right when they throw to backstage segments. It takes a good 10 seconds to be able to decipher what Omega is saying. (Apparently it’s a broadcasting issue rather than the actual recording, YouTube seems to have it clear as day.) He says that the house he and Schiavone are sitting in isn’t even his house. He’s relocated to Jacksonville to focus on the tournament. Omega mocks the idea that AEW is a “sports-based” product- just quietly, PWA are doing an infinitely better job at that right now with the Premiership tournament. He insinuates that he should have received a bye to the finals. Tony brings up that Omega vs. Page in the finals was obvious. Omega says he was betting on Wardlow. Omega brings up his own success in tournaments, saying that he’s “destined” to win this one. Omega is continuing to lean harder into the arrogant side of his character.
Match 2: Miro (w/ Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford) vs. Trent (w/ Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy)
This is actually Miro’s singles debut in AEW. He overwhelms Trent early, clubbing him down to the mat and generally being extra intense and aggressive. All for the love of the arcade machine Trent broke a couple of weeks ago. Big suplex shows off the power of Miro. Trent takes a shot at Kip on the outside. Miro charges Trent in the corner but misses. The two men trade chops.
On the outside, Penelope Ford confronts Orange Cassidy. She slaps the sunglasses off his face, so Orange takes hers and puts them on instead. Suddenly, the Dark Order are on the scene and John Silver blasts through Cassidy! Miro wasn’t happy about them being there so they took off. Trent comes back with a big clothesline, Miro pops up to respond with a clothesline of his own, but Trent ducks and scores with the half and half suplex. Trent goes for a flying knee, but Miro catches him and nails a spinning side slam for a near fall.
The action heats up from this point, as Miro starts to look a little less invincible. Miro lines up for the Machka Kick (I don’t think it has a new name in AEW yet), but Trent rolls him up for a 2 count. Big time tornado DDT gets a near fall. Trent lines up for a springboard, but slips off the ropes. May have been intentional as he immediately eats a kick, followed by the Game Over submission, and Trent is out of coins.
Winner: Miro (at 11:03)
Star Rating: ***. More competitive than you might expect Miro’s first singles match to be, but I like that they had Trent hold his own, as the established AEW talent against the “WWE guy”. One of the things that annoyed me about TNA back in the day is how they had most ex-WWE guys come in and dominate, making their homegrown guys look a bit shit. Sure, Miro got the win, but it wasn’t easy. Commentary note that it was Miro’s first singles match in 9 months, and he looked like he hasn’t missed a beat. Far better outing than the messy tag match where he busted his ankle.
Post-match, Miro grabs a mic. He says that Trent has no manners, and that it is because of his mother. Orange Cassidy hits Miro and Kip with his trust fall dive.
We go to a pre-taped interview with Hangman Page and JR. Once again, ridiculous amounts of echo and issues with the audio. Amateur hour. These are key segments promoting Full Gear, and large chunks of it can’t be understood due to the piss-poor production. Page has a drink in his hand, and JR notes that it must be happy hour. Clips of the tournament play, and from what I can tell, JR asks Hangman how he feels about his chances in the tournament. Hangman says he knows Omega’s moves and has him scouted, and feels good about it. JR calls bullshit, saying that Page appears nervous. He focuses on the drinking a little, and Hangman is stumbling and slurring his words a little. He admits that this is his first shot at the gold since the first title match against Jericho, and if he comes up short, he doesn’t know what he’s got other than this glass of whisky. Ross says, “Moderation, my boy. Good luck on Saturday.”
There’s a video package promoting FTR vs. Young Bucks at Full Gear. People give their predictions on the match, and discuss the ramifications of the stipulation- if Bucks lose, they can never challenge for the titles again. Again, crazy amounts of echoing. Seriously, Tony Khan, fire your audio people! That gave me a headache to listen to.
Taz comes out to cut a promo alongside Brian Cage and Ricky Starks. He addresses Will Hobbs, who he’s invited to join Team Taz, but hasn’t got a response yet. But he turns his attention to Tony Khan. He sat outside his office for hours but couldn’t get an audience with the AEW owner. Taz brings up the rankings system, and that Cage is #1, but he’s not on Full Gear. Ricky Starks has won all his matches but isn’t even ranked. Taz promises that there will be a FTW presence at Full Gear.
Private Party make their entrance for a tag match, accompanied by Matt Hardy. Sammy Guevara runs out and hits Hardy with the Twist of Fate on the ramp! “Go, Sammy, go!” yells Jericho.
Match 3: Private Party vs. The Young Bucks
They tell the story of Matt Jackson having an injured ankle which Matt sells by limping through his moves. Both Bucks go through their standard double team moves, culminating in stereo dives to the outside. Matt pulls it off, but clutches his leg in pain afterwards.
Kassidy manages to level Matt with a clothesline, and makes the tag to Quen. They fire off a series of flashy tag moves of their own, including a camel clutch/double stomp combo. Ouch! They dive to the outside onto the Bucks. Kassidy goes up top again, but he gets shoved off and crashes and burns on the ramp. Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver, but Quen counters with a DDT/STO combo. Slick.
The Bucks beat down Quen, but he creates separation with a double hurricanrana. Tag made to Kassidy, and he cleans house. Private Party hit Gin & Juice for a near fall. Quen goes for a shooting star on Nick, but misses. Matt follows up with a spear. The Meltzer Driver is attempted again, but instead a series of victory roll near falls takes place, playing off the finishes of their previous matches. With the Meltzer Driver not paying off tonight, Bucks go to the BTE Trigger for the victory!
Winners: Young Bucks (at 14:37)
Star Rating: ***1/2. The Bucks and the Party have tremendous chemistry. Compare the work they do to any tag division in WWE and it’s night and day. I loved the finishing sequence playing into the history these two teams have. Private Party upset Young Bucks very early in Dynamite’s run, and regardless of where either team is in the rankings or the title hunt, it’s believable for Quen and Kassidy to go 15 minutes with the Jackson bros, because of that established history.
Post-match, Matt Jackson’s ankle is still killing him, and FTR storm the ring with Tully Blanchard in tow. They hit the Goodnight Express, and looked set to attack the ankle with a chair, but Hangman Page and Kenny Omega hit the ring to make the save. Maybe The Elite isn’t completely dead… but Page and Omega stare each other down once FTR are out of the picture.
Tony Schiavone is in the ring, and he introduces Eddie Kingston. Thank god they’re doing this in the ring after how terrible the backstage segments have sounded. AEW World Champion Jon Moxley makes his entrance next, and champion and challenger go face to face. Tony Khan has decreed that neither man can touch the other until Full Gear, otherwise the match is off.
An emotional, fired-up Kingston got right in Moxley’s face. They were so close they were pressing noses, technically breaking the “no touching” rule. He promises to take the championship from Moxley. He would take it home to his mother. “This is why you don’t have a daughter in law! This is why you don’t have a grandson!” This is why Kingston became the person he is, why he’s become everything he’s ever hated.
Moxley responds in a more cool and collected manner. He never thought that Kingston would betray him. He knows Eddie’s mother too- he promised her that he would always look after Kingston. Moxley says that he’s the AEW Champion and the best wrestler in the world. Unfortunately, Kingston made a promise to his mother that he can’t keep.
Wow. That’s a money segment. Moxley and Kingston have made their match must-see just through their words over the past several weeks, and this was an absolute home run. To be honest, I wasn’t that excited for this match when it was announced, but now it’s the match I’m most looking forward to on Full Gear. The art of the promo.
We then go to a pre-taped video from Pac. It shows Pac sitting in a room by himself, watching Dynamite from home. They use some cool video trickery to show various Pacs around the room, seemingly going crazy. Pac talks about being in isolation and having no one to play with. He says he’s stronger and better than ever. Not much in the way of actual news, but some really cool visuals there.
We cut to the Natural Nightmares backstage with Alex Marvez. The Bunny (Allie) interrupts, throwing QT’s credit cards at him, saying they’re maxed out. Butcher and Blade attack them with trash can lids and kendo sticks.
Match 4: Nyla Rose (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Red Velvet (w/ Brandi Rhodes)
Brandi has been scouting Velvet on Dark. Velvet gets a quick start, but is soon decapitated by a Nyla clothesline. Velvet tries to come back with a top rope rana, but is caught with a Beast Bomb. Nyla covers, but pulls her up at 2. Staring down Hikaru Shida at ringside, she uses Shida’s running knee finisher for the win.
Winner: Nyla Rose (at 1:57)
Star Rating: *. A complete squash, but effective in promoting Rose vs. Shida at Full Gear.
Post-match, Vickie grabs a mic. Oh god. She labels Brandi “the Chief Bullshit Officer”. She gets in Shida’s face, which results in a brief scuffle between Rose and Shida.
A video package plays on Omega vs. Page. Luckily, minimal audio issues here, although a little echoey for some of the talking heads. Don Callis makes an appearance! Impact/AEW crossover. Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Gone by Cinderella plays over highlights of Omega and Page as a team, as well as key moments of their dissolution.
The commentary team run down the Full Gear card. Orange Cassidy vs. John Silver has been moved to the main card, and Serena Deeb vs. Allysin Kay for the NWA Women’s Championship has been added to the Buy-In. Ridiculously stacked.
A video package airs for Darby Allin. There’s a car with “Face of TNT” painted on it. He smashes the car with his skateboard. He gets in the car and runs over a dude wearing a Cody mask. Well then. Cody and Darby have had two of my favourite straight-up singles matches in AEW so far, so I’m excited for their match at Full Gear too.
Match 5: Cody & The Gunn Club vs. Dark Order (John Silver, 10 & Colt Cabana)
Darby is watching this match from up in the stands. By himself, social distanced, all that jazz. Cody hits a quick neckbreaker then tags in Austin Gunn, the son of Billy, making his official Dynamite debut. Blockbuster gives the young Gunn a near fall on John Silver.
Veterans get tagged in, and Billy and Cabana face off. It is ridiculous how much Billy Gunn dwarves everyone in AEW. Billy hits Colt with a suplex and brings Austin back in. Dark Order get a brief advantage when they lead Austin to their own corner and land some cheap shots.
After a while and a commercial break, Billy gets a hot tag and wipes out everyone. Seriously, the size difference between Billy and Silver is like me vs. my little brother. Biggggg tilt-a-whirl slam. Billy hits the Fameasser on 10 for a near fall that is broken up by Cabana. Cody intervenes and wipes out Colt with a springboard dive to the outside. In the ring, 10 hits Billy with a cutter for a near fall. Austin tags back in and hits a Cross Rhodes, followed by the Quickdraw (hip toss into a neckbreaker) for the win!
Winners: Cody & The Gunn Club (at 9:10)
Star Rating: **1/2. Surprising to see Austin be the one to pick up the victory, especially on the go-home episode before Full Gear, but that had some nice energy down the stretch. Billy Gunn is 57 years old. Just thought I’d put that out there.
Post-match, John Silver tried to attack the winners with a steel chair, but Orange Cassidy came out and hit him with a Superman Punch. Cody grabs the mic and says that Darby is telling the world that TNT doesn’t want Darby Allin as its representative. Cody says they would love it, and if things were different, Cody would want that too. He reminds Darby that he signed him when the other EVPs were unsure. But he’s coming after the “Ace” Championship, and he’s not the Ace in AEW.
This was the ideal template for a “go-home” show before a PPV. Almost every segment on this show was designed to promote Full Gear. Every match received some attention, even undercard stuff like Orange vs. Silver. Sound issues aside, all the video packages were really well done. The Moxley vs. Kingston promo was among the best talking segments AEW have ever done. Two guys who convey their characters so well, to the point that they don’t feel like characters. They feel like two men who believe in every word and action on that TV screen. It gave me goosebumps. But with all that hype and promotion, we still had some quality wrestling to enjoy on its own merits, with Sammy Guevara and Bucks vs. Private Party being the in-ring standouts of this Dynamite by a considerable distance.
Overall Score: 8/10
Until next time, take care,