The debut episode of AEW Dynamite aired live from the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Here are 5 takeaways from the show:
Chris Jericho Attacked Cody After His Victory Over Sammy Guevara
Cody battled Sammy Guevara in the first match of the night. The bout had a 20-minute time limit. Cody got an incredible reaction from the crowd before the match.
A visible “Vince fears ratings” sign was held up in the crowd as Cody and Sammy locked up. The crowd chanted “Sammy sucks!” as Guevara shoved Cody to the outside.
Sammy laid down in the ring and posed as Cody got back inside. Guevara connected with a Dropkick and followed it up with a Moonsault for a one count. Sammy slapped Cody in the face and Cody got pissed off.
Cody planted Sammy with a Powerslam and went for the cover but Sammy kicked out at one. Cody locked in the Figure Four in the middle of the ring but Guevara was able to reach the ropes to break the hold.
Cody and Sammy traded chops before Cody lifted Guevara up in the air for several seconds. Cody slammed Guevara to the canvas and went for the cover but Sammy kicked out at two. Cody did some push-ups in the middle of the ring and then flexed as the crowd cheered him on.
Sammy connected with a boot to the face but Cody shrugged it off and hit a Springboard Cutter for a near fall. Guevara battled back with a Springboard Cutter of his own for another near fall.
Guevara connected with an Enziguri and took some time to pose and Cody capitalized with a kick that sent Sammy out of the ring. Cody went for a Suicide Dive but Sammy got out of the way and shoved Brandi into the line of fire. Cody landed on Brandi and Guevara capitalized by throwing Cody into the post as the crowd chanted “asshole!”.
Sammy climbed to the top rope and went for a Moonsault but Cody got out of the way. Guevara landed on his feet and quickly connected with a Shooting Star Press for a near fall. Cody distracted the referee and Brandi hit Sammy in the face. Cody then hit the Disaster Kick for a two count as Justin Roberts announced that there were ten minutes remaining in the match.
Cody perched Sammy on the top rope and hit planted him with a Reverse Superplex for a two count. Cody made his way back up to the top rope but Guevara leaped onto the turnbuckle and hit a beautiful Spanish Fly for a two count. Sammy climbed back up to the top rope and went for a Shooting Star Press but Cody got his knees up. Cody then rolled up Sammy Guevara for the pinfall victory.
After the match, Cody was interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Guevara interrupted and shook Cody’s hand. AEW Champion Chris Jericho rushed the ring and attacked Cody from behind. Jericho leveled Cody with a Clothesline and hit the Codebreaker as AEW went to a commercial break. Jericho continued his attack through the break and set up a couple of chairs and Powerbombed Cody on top of them.
This match started off rough but wound up being a great opening match for AEW Dynamite. The energy from the crowd was unbelievable and hopefully, that continues throughout the night.
MJF Tapped Out Brandon Cutler
Brandon Cutler squared off against MJF in the second match of the night. MJF demanded that his music be cut and referred to himself as the youngest and fastest rising star in the history of professional wrestling. MJF added that all of you losers get that the honor of watching him become a star tonight.
Cutler slapped MJF in the face and then rolled him up for a two count. Maxwell Jacob Friedman raked Cutler across the eyes and sent him into the ring post. MJF connected with a Body Slam but Cutler battled back and sent MJF to the outside. Cutler hit a Suicide Dive but apparently tweaked his knee and proceeded to awkwardly fall off the turnbuckle once they got back into the ring. MJF elbowed Cutler in the face and applied an Armbar for the submission victory.
I’m not sure what the hell happened at the end of this match but it was a bad finish. I hope Cutler didn’t actually injure himself but this wasn’t the best way to introduce MJF to a national audience. Friedman is insanely talented and eventually will get himself over with new fans regardless but this match wasn’t good at all.
PAC Defeated Hangman Adam Page
Hangman Adam Page faced PAC tonight on Dynamite. PAC and Hangman started off the match by trading punches in the middle of the ring. Page turned PAC inside out with a massive Clothesline and then threw him to the corner.
Page hit PAC with a chop to the chest and PAC rolled out of the ring to try and regroup. Hangman chased him out and there and launched PAC into the barricade. Page then connected with a Suicide Dive and PAC once again slammed into the barricade.
Back in the ring, Hangman connected with a Fallaway Slam for a near fall. PAC battled back but Hangman took control again and hit another Fallaway Slam off the second rope. Page connected with a Cutter and went for the cover but PAC kicked out at two.
PAC bounced Page’s face off the top turnbuckle and sent Hangman into the ring post as AEW went to a commercial break. During the break, PAC continued to control the action and beat Hangman down in the corner.
When Dynamite returned, Hangman battled back with a flurry of right hands and a massive Spinebuster. PAC retreated out of the ring but Hangman connected with a Moonsault off the top rope.
Back in the ring, PAC hit Page with a low blow as Earl Hebner was distracted. PAC climbed to the top rope and hit the Black Arrow. PAC locked in the Bruetalizer and referee Earl Hebner called for the bell.
Riho Is The First AEW Women’s Champion
Riho hit a couple of Dropkicks and went for another one but Nyla took her down with a shoulder tackle. Rose hit a Splash and went for the cover but Riho kicked out at two. Riho went for a Double Stomp but it had no effect on Rose.
Nyla locked in a Crossface in the middle of the ring. Riho reached the ropes and hit Rose with a knee to the face that knocked Nyla to the outside. Riho climbed to the top rope and went for Crossbody but Rose caught her. Rose connected with a Backbreaker and then grabbed a chair from under the ring.
Rose placed Riho on top of a stack on the chairs and hopped up on the ring apron. Nyla went for a Senton but Riho got out of the way and Rose landed on the chairs. Riho hit a Double Stomp off the apron and then rolled Rose back into the ring. Riho hit another Double Stomp and went for the cover but Rose kicked out at two.
Riho tried to counter a Powerbomb with a Back Body Drop but collapsed under her weight. Riho countered another Powerbomb but Rose kicked out at the last moment. Rose then hit a Death Valley Driver for another near fall.
Rose and Riho battled on the top turnbuckle and Riho somehow hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count as the crowd went nuts. Riho went for a running knee but Rose got out of the way. Riho stayed with it and hit Double Knees to the face for the pinfall victory. Riho is the first AEW Women’s Champion.
After the match, Michael Nakazawa tried to interview Riho but Nyla attacked him from behind. Rose almost dropped Nakazawa on his head but was able to lift him back up for a Powerbomb. Rose tried to attack Riho but Kenny Omega rushed the ring and separated them.
Riho and Nyla Rose had a great match tonight, despite some sloppy moments. I just assumed that Nyla was going to win this match and the ending completely caught me by surprise. The crowd once again was electric and really added to this match.
Moxley Attacked Omega & Jake Hager Made His AEW Debut
Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz battled Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) in the main event of the show. Omega started off the match in control and hit Santana with a Dropkick. Jericho got in the ring and locked in the Walls of Jericho on Omega but the Young Bucks broke it up with dueling Superkicks.
Matt and Nick took out Santana and Ortiz outside the ring as Kenny posed in the ring. Jon Moxley hopped in the ring behind Kenny and attacked him. Moxley threw Kenny out of the ring and then sent him over the barricade.
Moxley and Omega battled through the crowd as the action continued in the ring. Jon bit Omega’s face and then slammed him into a concrete wall. Omega grabbed a mop and hit bashed Moxley over the back with it.
Moxley slammed Omega into a door in the VIP area and then planted him with the Paradigm Shift (formerly Dirty Deeds) through a glass coffee table as the crowd chanted “holy shit!”.
When Dynamite returned, Matt connected with a Spear to Ortiz. Santana and Ortiz hit Matt with a flurry of Splashes and Sentons for a two count. Jericho tagged in and went for the Lionsault but Matt got his knees up. Ortiz tagged in and prevented Matt from tagging out of the match.
Matt connected with a Cutter but Ortiz was able to tag Santana in. Santana knocked Nick off the apron but turned around into a Northern Lights Suplex from Matt. Jackson then planted Santana and Ortiz with another Northern Lights Suplex and followed it up with a Bulldog/Lariat combination.
Nick hit a Moonsault and tagged Matt back in. Jericho took out Nick with a Codebreaker and Santana hit Matt with a Cannonball in the corner. Jericho then connected with the Judas Effect for the pinfall victory. After the match, Cody rushed the ring and started punching everyone in sight.
Sammy Guevara hit Cody with a low blow and then Dustin Rhodes rushed the ring. Jake Hager then rushed the ring and leveled Dustin. Hager connected with a Splash on Cody as the crowd chanted “we the people!”. Hager then slammed Dustin on top of a podium and Jericho hit Cody with the Judas Effect to close the show.
JR shouted “holy shit!” during Hager’s debut and I was right there with him. This was an epic way to close out the first episode of Dynamite and already has me looking forward to next week’s show.
There were certainly some dull points during tonight’s show but for the most part, I was very entertained. My only real complaint during AEW‘s first few PPVs was the camera work. There were countless occasions where the cameras completely missed spots during the matches but AEW has rectified that in their TV debut.
Dynamite was shot very well and the energy from the crowd added a ton to this show. As long as AEW keeps putting on shows like this, I don’t see any episodes of Dynamite suffering from a dead crowd as we have routinely seen on RAW and SmackDown.