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AEW Dynamite - January 25, 2023

by Doc Allen

Mark Briscoe

Live from Lexington, Kentucky. WrestleTix estimates 5,277 tickets sold as of this morning. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Excalibur, and Taz.

The JAS (Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara, with Daniel Garcia) vs. Action Andretti and Ricky Starks

Andretti blocks Sammy's thrust kick and they trade quick counters until reaching a stalemate. Sammy makes Action blink and blasts a thrust kick. Fans chant “Sammy Sucks!” Andretti hits a hurricanrana, forcing Guevara to take a timeout. Sammy sneaks back to hit a corkscrew dropkick. Sammy toys with the fans by teasing a dive. Andretti's dive misses and takes out Garcia, and Sammy hits an ambush plancha. Andretti blocks Sammy's top rope rana by landing on his feet and then nails a standing Spanish Fly. Starks and Jericho tag in, and the fans stand for their brawl. Starks builds some steam and taunts with his tightrope strut, but Guevara flies in with a springboard cutter! The JAS go to work on Starks and celebrate with the vintage Le Sex Gods pose. Starks counters Sammy's top rope attack and Andretti runs wild on a hot tag. Andretti hits consecutive dives and then a tornado DDT on Guevara. Springboard crossbody by Andretti gets 2. Sammy and Action bump ribs in a mid-air collision. Tags are made, Starks hits a spear on Jericho, Sammy breaks the pin. Jericho pulls Ricky's tights for a nearfall, Starks answers with a Liger Bomb for 2.9. Andretti returns with a senton and enziguri, but Jericho blocks his split legged moonsault. Sammy tags, GTH is blocked, Jericho interferes with hair pulling, Starks knocks him into the post. Andretti is free for a poison rana on Sammy, then a TKO, but GUEVERA KICKS OUT! Meanwhile, Starks gives Jericho a Roshambo on the floor. Andretti reverses Sammy's flying cutter, but Garcia clocks him with the bat, and Sammy finishes with 12:44. Fun match that benefited greatly from all the recent upsets in this feud, creating many convincing nearfalls. The screwjob finish feels like a bummer, but in a productive way that continues the feud, ***¼.
Winners: The JAS

WBD finally caved in, so now we get a proper Jay Briscoe tribute video. It's an especially good montage, with ROH footage across 20 years, home video footage of Jay being a fun dad to his daughters, and repurposed closeups from various Brisco promos that portray him in a soulful light. Mark Briscoe will be facing Jay Lethal in the Dynamite main event.

TNT Championship:
Darby Allin © (with Sting) vs. Buddy Matthews (with Julia Hart)

Darby is busted up after teaming with Sting and The Great Muta in Pro Wrestling NOAH this past week. Buddy scores first with a knee lift and then throws Darby into the barricades. Darby desperately tries to dive, but Buddy reverses with a powerbomb onto the apron. Buddy swings Darby against the rails, but Darby fights back using the barricades. Fans chant for Darby. Buddy pulls the ring skirt to injure Allin's bad knee, and then hits a Meteora onto the jaw. Darby bites back and hits a stunner and Coffin Drop to outside. The lights out gimmick signals the arrival of Malakai Black and Brody King. Ortiz runs in to brawl with the House of Black. Back from commercials, Darby makes a feisty comeback with a poison rana. Darby batters Buddy agianst he rail yet again, but Buddy rolls through a crossbody. Crucifix bomb by Allin gets 2! Buddy blocks Code Red and hits a Buckle Bomb. Curb Stomp by Buddy only gets 2. Darby counters into Code Red for another 2. Buddy looks for a superplex, but Darby reverses into an avalanche Scorpion Death Drop! Darby hits a Coffin Drop onto a draped Matthews and wins at 12:50! Really terrific outing and babyface performance by Allin. The scenario and action makes Darby look strong, yet fortunate to have won, ***½.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Darby Allin

Tony Shiavone congratulates Allin for his victory and continued win streak. ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe interrupts on the big screen. Joe still fancies himself to be the True King of Television, and he wants the TNT title back. The stage is set for a rubber match.

Adam Cole video package, this time recapping his first workout in a real AEW ring since his injury. He isn't sure when his first match will be, but whaddya know, he's staring right at the Revolution banner hanging from the rafters.

The Firm and Matt Hardy come out to classic Hardy Boyz music by mistake, and Ethan Page orders that it off.

Ethan Page and Matt Hardy (with Stokely Hathaway and Isiah Kassidy) vs. The Jungle Hook (FTW Champion Hook and Jungle Boy Jack Perry)

Jack strikes first with a rana onto Page. Quick tag by Ethan causes an early breakdown and standoff. In the chaos, Ethan tries to give Hook an Ego's Edge, but Jack breaks it with a tope. Ethan trips Perry, allowing Hardy to trap him in The Firm's corner. Back from commercials, Perry is in bad need of a tag. He throws Hardy out and crawls through Ethan's lets to tag in Hook for total destruction. Ethan fights back, and Hardy pulls Hook outside to smash his spine against the apron. Matt tags himself in and hits Perry with the Side Effect. He signals the Twist of Fate, but Ethan demands a tag. Perry counters into the Snare Trap, and Ethan taps at 7:00. Not bad, the crowd really got into it, but this was hindered by getting eaten up by the commercial break, and by the fact that Hardy's entire fiasco with The Firm has been taking place off Dynamite thus far, **.
Winners: The Jungle Hook

It's time for some Family Therapy with The Gunn Club, The Acclaimed, and Daddy Ass Billy Gunn. Austin and Colten are hurt that they always come second to Billy. Anthony Bowens calls out the Gunns for betraying their father over the slightest feeling of jealousy. The Gunns are still mad about the time Max Caster hit them with a crutch. Billy cuts to chase and wants to know what his sons need to be happy. The Gunns want the AEW Tag Titles, and that's it.

Renee Paquette interviews Hangman Adam Page about what he wants to do next. Since he and Moxley are 1-1, he wants to knock Moxley out again in Dayton, Ohio. Moxley's buddy, Wheeler Yuta, is offended by Hangman's plans and challenges him to a match on Rampage.

Bryan Danielson vs. Brian Cage (with Prince Nana)

Bryan needs to win to keep his hopes of facing MJF in an Iron Man match alive. Cage knocks him down and flexes his suspiciously massive muscles. They lock knuckles, Bryan counters into a stiff kick to the knee. Cage throws some loud chops, Bryan answers with body shots. Cage absorbs many elbows to the face and gets stuck in the LeBell Lock. Brian gets the ropes, so Danielson hits a baseball slide dropkick and tope against the barricade. Flying crossbody to outside by Danielson, YES kicks, but Cage answers with a press slam into the buckles. German suplex by Cage, followed by a hammerlock suplex onto the apron! Back from commercials, Bryan has to fight out of a bear hug with repeated headbutts. Cage reverses a moonsault into a backbreaker! Cage nails a second rope vertical suplex with ease. Cage follows with a German suplex from the ropes for 2. Cage tries an avalanche powerbomb, Bryan slips free for a shotgun dropkick and superplex! Series of YES kicks gets a nearfall. Bryan traps the arms and stomps the face, Cage reverses the triangle choke, so Bryan reverses back with an ankle lock and German suplex. Cage no-sells for a thrust kick, and they trade apparent KO blows until Cage serves a vicious buckle bomb. Powerbomb by Cage, but Danielson reverses the cover to win at 12:33. Good stuff here, Danielson excelled at bumping for Cage's moveset, ***½.
Winner: Bryan Danielson

Cage angrily powerbombs Danielson after the bell. AEW World Champion MJF marches in and aggressively gets a chair for Cage to wrap around Bryan's neck and drive him into the ring post! MJF calmly removes his jacket and then emotionally pummels Bryan against the canvas. Cage wraps Bryan's arm in the chair and MJF prepares a Pillmanizer, but Konosuke Takeshita runs in for the save! MJF flees, leaving Cage to suffer Takeshita's leaping knee! Medics check on Danielson while Takeshita throws insults at Cage and MJF. Great moment for Takeshita.

Renee Paquette asks an injured Bryan Danielson for an update. Bryan is ignoring the doctor's concerns because he once wrestled 60 GD minutes with a separated shoulder. MJF is scared of him, so Bryan isn't giving up or going on the shelf.

Toni Storm vs. Ruby Soho

This was supposed to be a triple threat match, but Dr. Britt Baker is injured. Storm is upset that Ruby is backing up the "homegrown misfits" of AEW. Ruby may not be "homegrown" but has made AEW a home. Storm stalls for time early, in case you were still confused about last week's heel turn. She stomps Ruby's toe and knocks her down with a big boot. Ruby comes back with combination strikes, but Storm answers with a hip attack from the apron. Back from commercials, Ruby mounts a plucky comeback and hits a Saito suplex. Second Saito suplex by Ruby, followed by a back heel trip. Toni pulls the tights for 2, Ruby hits No Future for 2 as well. Ruby misses a flying attack, Toni fakes a nose injury to buy some time. Toni ambushes and hits a German suplex. Brutal hip attack by Storm, and then a DDT for only 2. Toni's powerbomb is interrupted by the arrival of Dr. Britt Baker, who looks pretty healthy to me. The distraction lets Ruby hit Destination Unknown to win at 8:48. Great, the dreaded distraction finish has been spotted in AEW. At least the action was pretty good beforehand, **¾.
Winner: Ruby Soho

AEW World Champion MJF talks to the camera about his grievances with Danielson and Takeshita. The AEW title turns his catchphrase into a fact, because no one can argue that he isn't better than them. MJF admits the title is the only thing that brings him any happiness. He reveals that Danielson's next opponent will be none other than Timothy Thatcher! That's my idea of a dream match.

Video package hyping up Jamie Hayter vs. Emi Sakura on Rampage. I don't think we've seen Sakura on Dynamite since 2019, no joke. She wrestles on Dark Elevation constantly in meaningless tag team matches, so I guess she was due for another opportunity.

Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman join Excalibur on commentary for the main event.

Jay Lethal (with Sonjay Dutt) vs. Mark Briscoe

It's been a little over a week since Jay Briscoe was killed in a car accident that also left his young daughters in the hospital. The Briscoes had previously been banned from appearing on TNT/TBS by WBD, but they dropped the edict, so here we go. The live crowd knows exactly who Mark is and give him a proper ovation. Mark has both ROH Tag Team belts with him. Mark and Lethal shake hands and lock up for the feeling out sequence. Scoop slam by Mark, Lethal answers with an arm drag for the stalemate. They exchange knife edge chops. Mark builds steam and hits a low dropkick. Lethal hits a hip toss into a dropkick. Mark answers with a neckbreaker for 2. Back from commercials, Mark hits a flying chop to the skull. Enziguri by Mark, followed by an Iconoclasm for 2. Lethal blocks the J-Driller and hits the Lethal Combination for 2. Facebuster by Lethal, then Lethal Injection, but Mark rolls to safety outside. Lethal tries a flying elbow through the timekeeper's table, but Mark sprints back in and hits a baseball slide dropkick! Mark nails a blockbuster from the apron! Mark steals Lethal's idea and nails a Froggy Elbow through the table! Fans chant "This is awesome!" Lethal blocks the J-Driller again, Mark answers with a mean lariat. Second lariat by Mark, then finally a J-Driller to win at 12:31. I'm not crying, you're crying. No rating, but everything about this match was just right.
Winner: Mark Briscoe

The AEW roster fills the stage to applaud Mark and Lethal.

Final Thoughts: Another tight episode of Dynamite that took care of business before the Jay Briscoe tribute main event. You shouldn't miss this one.

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