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AEW Dynamite - February 2, 2023

by Doc Allen

Samoa Joe

Live from the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 4,056. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Excalibur, and Taz.

Jon Moxley (with Papa Moxley and Wheeler Yuta) vs. Hangman Adam Page

Moxley has the homefield advantage and attacks Hangman in the aisle. Moxley hits a front sledgehammer from the barricade, Hangman answers with a running boot into a chair. Mox applies a Figure Four on the concrete and flips Hangman off. Hangman escapes by throwing a beverage into Moxley's eyes. They return to ringside, Moxley prepares a Pillmanizer, but Hangman launches the chair into his face. The bell finally rings as they brawl in the ring. Hangman escapes another Figure Four and throws a German suplex. Hangman goes to work on Moxley's bloody eye. Fallaway slam by Page, but Moxley reverses a lariat. They exchange counters on the apron until Hangman hits a fireman's carry slam into the ring post! Back from commercials, Page continues dominating with an avalanche slam. Moxley refuses to stay down and blasts a cutter. Moxley tries a sleeper, Hangman breaks with a backdrop suplex, Moxley pops up for another takedown. Fans chant "This is awesome!" Mox hits a front chancery superplex for 2. Moxley's onslaught leads to a cross armbreaker. Page gets the ropes, but Mox swats away his outside moonsault, and lariats the side of his head! Hangman answers with a pop up powerbomb through a table! Moxley kicks out and nails a King Kong lariat. Hangman busts out a small package driver for 2. Mox blocks the Buckshot, Hangman reverses into a Tombstone Piledriver! Buckshot Lariat but MOXLEY KICKS OUT! Page locks on a Bulldog Choke, but Mox rolls him over for the pinfall at 16:33! This was a nice new chapter in the rivalry. I like the story of Moxley refusing to stay down in his home state, and then squeaking out a win because Hangman used a move he's overly familiar with, ****.
Winner: Jon Moxley

The Blackpool Combat Club get between Mox and Page to prevent any further violence.

Video package explaining why Samoa Joe and Darby Allin need to hurt one another in tonight's main event.

Renee Paquette chats with the Butcher, Blade, Bunny, and AEW Women's Champion Jamie Hayter. Bunny thinks Hayter got outshined by Emi Sakura (even though Jamie won), so she wants an Eliminator Match. Jamie accepts on the spot. They're interrupted by footage of Saraya and Toni Storm beating up Dr. Britt Baker in the garage. Jamie runs away to help.

AEW Tag Team Champions The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens, with Daddy Ass Billy Gunn) vs. Two Extras from Mickey Rourke's The Wrestler

The jobbers act awfully big for their britches and mock the scissoring gesture. That earns them a hearty beatdown and Scissor-Me-Timbers. The Acclaimed hold a Scissoring Party before Bowens nails the Arrival. Caster finishes with the Mic Drop at 0:52. Top notch squash. Winners: The Acclaimed

The Gunn Club interrupt The Acclaimed's celebration to demand a title shot. Bowens polls the fans to see if the Gunns deserve a shot, the fans boo, so the Gunns' challenge is rejected. Papa Billy is sick of the bickering and leaves everyone behind to argue without him. The Gunns mock Billy for letting them down yet again and suggest he should drown his sorrows at the bottom of a pill bottom. Billy thinks if his sons want to wear big boy pants, they should get their title shot. The Acclaimed are flabbergasted, but I guess Billy makes the rules around here.

Alex Marvez chats with Jungle Boy Jack Perry about his future. Perry had an amazing time teaming with Hook, but he wants to focus on his singles career.

Konosuke Takeshita vs. Brian Cage (with Prince Nana)

They greet each other with boots to the face. Takeshita hits a running clothesline and boots Cage from the apron. Takeshita hits a wild plancha to outside. Cage answers with a powerbomb into the ring post. Sliding dropkick by Cage gets 2. They lock wrists and trade elbow strikes. Blue Thunder Bomb by Takeshita gets 2. Takeshita misses a running knee into the buckles, Cage makes him pay with a dead lift vertical suplex! Back from commercials, Takeshita blocks a powerbomb and fires off a missile dropkick. Dead lift German by Takeshita gets 2. Cage blocks a jumping knee with a buckle bomb. Taekshita reverses into a Liger Bomb but Cage kicks out! Backdrop driver by Cage, then a discus lariat, but Takeshita kicks out! Takeshita no-sells a brainbuster and hits one of his own for only 2. TKO by Cage, but Takeshita responds with an avalanche brainbuster! Takeshita hits a KO knee strike to win at 10:05! It's cathartic to finally see Takeshita win on Dynamite! Good back and forth match to put Takeshita over, ***.
Winner: Konosuke Takeshita

Renee Paquette talks to Chris Jericho and the JAS. Jericho is offended by the notion that they only beat Ricky Starks due to cheating. If Starks wants another match with Jericho, he has to run through the JAS gauntlet.

Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks hang out in a basketball court to challenge Top Flight and AR Fox to "shoot their shot" and come after the World Trios Championship. Stokely Hathaway, Matt Hardy, and The Firm interrupt to challenge them to a match on Rampage, because why should they have the week off?

Bryan Danielson vs. Timothy Thatcher

Bryan's quest for an Iron Man match against MJF continues, and he must win. Thatcher makes his money working for Pro Wrestling NOAH and is guest-starring. He looks for a quick armbar, forcing a rope break. Thatcher throws some uppercuts, and hits a nasty knee strike into the elbow. Bryan scores a leg sweep and applies a Bow and Arrow stretch. Thatcher escapes by comforting Bryan's fingers and stomping his bad arm. Running dropkick by Danielson, but Thatcher reverses into a nasty shoulder takedown. Back from commercials, Thatcher is sadistically working over Bryan's bad shoulder. He hits a front hammerlock suplex. Thatcher looks for a top rope butterfly suplex, but Danielson punches the ribs for separation. Danielson hits a pair of headbutts and then a missile dropkick! They exchange uppercuts until Bryan takes over with YES kicks. Thatcher blocks the last kicks, but Bryan reverses an armbar with a brutal KO kick. Hammer and anvil elbows by Bryan, then a chinlock. Thatcher knocks Bryan into the referee and then hits a back suplex. AEW World Champion MJF struts in with his Dynamite Diamond Ring, but Konosuke Takeshita flies in from the front row to prevent any interference. Meanwhile, Thatcher grabs an armbar, Bryan considers tapping but instead gets a rope break! Belly to belly suplex by Thatcher, German suplex by Bryan! BuSaiku Knee by Danielson gets the sudden win at 13:42! Strong technical wrestling contest, I suspect they have an even better match together in them, ***½.
Winner: Bryan Danielson

Meanwhile, Takeshita and MJF have a pull apart brawl in the backstage hallway. Renee Paquette pops up in the middle of the chaos to announce that they'll meet next week in an Eliminator Match! MJF goes into a rage, how dare Tony Khan make him wrestle on free TV!

Rampage recap of Swerve Strickland and Dustin Rhodes exchanging fighting words via video packages.

Backstage interview with Rush, who will be facing Bryan Danielson next week. MJF immediately interrupts to offer condescendingly Rush a cash prize if he can hurt Bryan. Rush doesn't seem to like MJF, but he does like money, so it looks as though they have a deal.

TBS Championship:
Jade Cargill © (with Leila Grey) vs. Red Velvet

Jade has her sights on her 50th win in AEW. Velvet attacks before the bell and hits a Thesz press. Jade answers with a back elbow strike. Velvet throws Jade outside and hits a messy baseball slide dropkick. Velvet hits a knife edge chop to the bosom and gets a late nearfall. Wheelbarrow suplex by Jade gets 2. Back from commercials, Jade is safely in the driver's seat and throws Velvet across the ring. Velvet makes a plucky comeback with a Codebreaker. She runs into Jade's devastating pump kick, but kicks out. Keira Hogan arrives to throw Grey into the steps. Velvet capitalizes with a roundhouse kick for a visual pinfall, but the ref was late. Velvet wraps up an elaborate hammerlock, but Jade reverses into a dead lift attempt. Jade blocks a sunset flip and hits Jaded to win at 7:11! This was mostly a formulaic TV match, but Jade really got to show off her strength in the final stretch, **¼.
Winner and still TBS Champion: Jade Cargill

Jade celebrates with her young daughter and how on Earth am I supposed to dislike Jade?

Renee Paquette looks for a health update from Dr. Britt Baker. Britt thinks she's just fine, but is spooked by Ruby Soho's interruption. Ruby denies having any involvement in Saraya and Toni's schemes, but Britt is suspicious because of all their history.

TNT Championship (No Holds Barred):
Darby Allin © vs. Samoa Joe

Darby enters wearing a hoodie covered in thumb tacs. Allin splashes Joe in the buckles. JOe dodges a second splash and wraps a towel around his arm for a clothesline. Joe removes Darby's tac jacket by force and takes over with bruising offense. Joe retrieves a table, but Darby knocks him down with a brutal tope. Joe reverses an Irish whip into the ring steps and Allin crashes into the crowd. Joe is bleeding, so prepare for lots of pontificating on Twitter about how there's too much blood in AEW. Joe hauls Darby up the staircase and hip tosses him onto the concrete! I'm worried for Darby's health, but let's take a break. Back from commercials, Joe is working a neck vice in the ring. Darby escapes and desperately throws slaps to the face, but Joe explodes with an STO from the corner. Joe leans a table against the rails, but Darby fights back with a jawbreaker. Joe throws Darby outside like a ragdoll. Darby crawls back and Joe makes him pay with a brainbuster. Joe sets up some chairs and gives Darby a backbreaker onto the spines! Fans chant "Joe's gonna kill you!" Darby blocks a powerbomb with powder to the eyes and hits Code Red! Stunner by Darby, who regains the tac jacket for a Coffin Drop! Joe kicks out! Darby uses a box cutter to cut all the ropes holding down the ring canvas and exposes the hidden wooden boards. Darby then misses a somersault tope and crashes through the leaning table! Joe powerbombs Darby onto his tac jacket and then forces it over his face. Darby gouges Joe's eyes and lands some chair shots. Joe shoves the ref to block a Coffin Drop and hits an avalanche Musclebuster onto the exposed boards! Joe pins Darby at 16:15 and once again become the undisputed King of Television! This was brutal and felt like a war, a few clumsy moments keep this from being truly great, ***¾.
Winner and new TNT Champion: Samoa Joe

Joe's celebration is cut short by the return of Wardlow, who runs in for a brawl! Joe slips away from a Powerbomb Symphony and lives to fight another day. Wardlow has to fight security instead.

Final Thoughts: I really like where Dynamite is right now. They've been hitting a strong, consistent, stride for the past few months and this has been shaping up to be one of my favorite "eras" of AEW. The good outweighs the bad by a country mile.

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