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AEW Dynamite - July 5, 2023

by Doc Allen

AEW Dynamite

Live from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 5,503. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Excalibur, and Taz.

Darby Allin asks for a word with his opponent, Keith Lee, and lectures him about having his head up his own @ss. That doesn't seem to put Lee in a good mood ahead of their match.

Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament:
International Champion Orange Cassidy and Darby Allin vs. Swerve in Our Glory (Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland, with The Mogul Embassy)

Darby greets Lee with a slap to the face, so Lee throws him across the ring with relative ease. OC nonchalantly tags in and offers up some sloth slaps. Lee isn't amused and slaps him down hard. Cassidy is unfazed and puts hands in pocket, only for Lee to slap him down into a heap. Darby tags himself in, OC decides to wake up and hits a pair of Orange Punches. Springboard Coffin Drop by Allin, but Swerve senses the danger and tags himself in. Swerve runs wild on Darby and hits a flying elbow to the head. Back from commercials, Darby gets buried under the steps, and Lee walks over him with OC on his back. OC hits a desperate Stunner, and Allin soars in for a Destroyer for a good nearfall. Swerve hits Darby with a backbreaker, but he and Lee have a miscue and Lee takes an enziguri. OC hits Lee with a diving DDT to ringside, leaving Darby to pin Swerve at 11:31! Good opener that allowed Darby and Cassidy to develop some teamwork and rekindle the Swerve/Lee feud, ***.
Winners: Darby Allin and Orange Cassidy

Video package telling the story of Darby Allin training at the Buddy Wayne Academy and learning about the untimely passing of his trainer. This lead to Darby taking on a mentor role for Nick Wayne, and eventually being allowed to offer him an AEW contract.

Recap of Hook chasing Jack Perry out of Hamilton. Tony Shiavone greets Perry in Edmonton for an interview. Perry is outraged at being attacked by thugs and wants to be treated like a professional. Hook tackles him out of nowhere and sends Perry fleeing the scene.

Footage of MJF and Adam Cole trying way too hard to be friends by hitting the gym together. MJF is disgusted by the sight of Puff and makes fat jokes at his expense. Cole doesn't think it's funny, but they can agree that Puff reminds them of Tony Shiavone.

The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) and Billy Gunn vs. The Blade and Bollywood Boyz (Gurv and Harv)

Gunn knocks Blade down and threatens to pull down his own tights. Blade tries a schoolboy, so Billy clocks him in the jaw. Caster tags in and runs wild with scoop slams. Bowens hits the Scissor Me Daddy flying leg drop, the fans love this. Back from commercials, Bowens gets a hot tag and runs wild with clubbing offense. Billy helps with the One and Only and Caster hits the flying elbow to win at 6:39. Extended squash match that did not need two segments, but did get the fans riled up.
Winners: The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn

The Scissoring Party is interrupted by Harley Cameron on the big screen. She fancies herself to be the most talented musician in AEW and threatens them with a rap video next week. Gunn risks a few lawsuits by telling her to "s*ck it."

Footage of Eddie Kingston winning the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship. This cuts to a Jon Moxley promo, where he complains about Kingston living in the past and not embracing the future.

Renee Paquette and RJ City host Matt Hardy for his blind tag partner drawing. His partner is JEFF!... Jarrett. Matt storms off muttering "I hate Jeff Jarrett!" I chuckled.

Video package hyping up tonight's big Kenny Omega vs. Wheeler Yuta showdown.

Chris Jericho comes to the ring to the usual "Judas" sing-along and reminisces about his history in Alberta. Driving around Alberta this week has reminded him of back when he was young, passionate, and wrestling was everything to him, and it still is. He's ready to become a better Chris Jericho, perhaps even his best version EEEEEVER! Don Callis interrupts to "F*ck you, Calis" chants. Don talks about calling Jericho to pitch a match against Kenny Omega, which is why everyone is here tonight. Jericho takes credit for helping Don get to AEW. Don needs a new friend and invites Jericho into the Don Callis Family. Jericho takes offense, because he doesn't join factions, he creates factions, but still gives Don a "maybe."

Video package for CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe part 4, taking place on Collision. Less importantly, Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ricky Starks part 2.

Renee Paquette interviews Roderick Strong, sporting a neckbrace after Collision. Adam Cole checks on his buddy and warns him to be careful. Strong is worried about Cole's budding friendship with MJF, but Cole brushes it off because he loves him.

Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament:
AEW World Champion MJF and Adam Cole vs. Matt Menard and The Butcher

MJF projects exuberance to be teaming with Cole, who seems a bit put off by his antics. Menard and The Butcher capitalize with a sneak attack. MJF pokes Menard in the eyes and locks an abdominal stretch. Cole thinks he's making a tag, but MJF holds onto his arm for leverage instead, FORCING COLE TO BE DIRTY! The stunt results in MJF getting stuck in enemy territory. Back from commercials, MJF escapes Butcher's abdominal stretch with a low blow. Menard reapplies the hold, forcing MJF to beg Cole for help. Cole refuses to break the rules, so MJF escapes with a hip toss. MJF pokes Menard's eyes and Cole storms in on a nice hot tag. MJF wants a tag but instead Cole finishes Menard with the Boom Drop at 8:54. Entertaining little story-driven match to further establish the Cole/MJF relationship, **.
Winners: MJF and Adam Cole

MJF grabs a mic and panders to the "devil worshippers" in the crowd. He gets Cole to showboat before turning it around and stating that they're both better than everyone. MJF wants their bromance to continue with more wacky antics and wishes Cole a happy birthday, complete with confetti, balloons, cake, and party hats. Before Cole can protest, MJF sticks a kazoo in his mouth and serenades him with the birthday song. Cole finally gets a word in, but MJF orders him to make a birthday wish. Cole plants MJF's face into the cake, which I'm guessing means his wish came true. Despite all this, Cole thinks what MJF did was really nice and thanks him.

Renee Paquette chats with Dr. Britt Baker backstage. Britt doesn't care what Ruby Soho says, but can't stand her lying. No matter what Ruby does, Britt will always be the first Owen Hart Foundation winner, so she might as well win it all again.

Renee Paquette is standing by the JAS, and Daniel Garcia is upset that Chris Jericho would entertain Don Callis' offer. Jericho asks Garcia and Sammy Guevara to win the Blind Eliminator Tournament on their own, and prove they can be okay without him.

Owen Hart Foundation Tournament:
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho (with the Outcasts)

They lock up and jockey for position until Ruby flees the ring. They resume chain wrestling until Britt hits a shoulder block. Sling Blade by Britt, but she then horribly botches a wristlock suplex. The Outcasts distract Britt long enough for Ruby to sneak attack and take control. Back from commercials, Britt makes her comeback right on cue. Britt puts on her glove, blocks Sole Food, but misses a Curb Stomp. Toni Storm trips Britt, allowing Ruby to hit a Saito Suplex for 2. Ruby misses a flying double stomp, Britt hits a thrust kick and rolls her into a backslide for 2. Britt tries Lockjaw, but Saraya distracts the ref while Ruby knocks Britt into Toni's title belt. Sole Food by Ruby, but BRITT KICKS OUT! Ruby steals Lockjaw, but she's not wearing a glove, so Britt reverses the hold. The Outcasts pull Ruby to safety, and Britt wastes time fighting them off. Ruby counters a Victory Roll and grabs the Outcasts for leverage to pin Britt at 10:08! This was not all that well executed, but managed to be an effective screwjob at the end, **½.
Winner: Ruby Soho

Skye Blue appears to remind Ruby Soho of what she's up against.

Wheeler Yuta vs. Kenny Omega

Yuta is the obvious underdog and has something to prove, so he takes it to Omega with aggressive chops. Omega returns fire and stomps a mudhole. Back body drop by Omega and then a backbreaker for 2. Kotaro Crusher by Omega, then the Finlay Roll, but Omega is too hurt to roll into his quick moonsault, and Yuta gets his knees up. Yuta nails a devastating missile dropkick, followed by a slick tope suicida. Yuta establishes control with a pair of hard Irish whips into the rails and a neckbreaker onto the floor. Yuta softens up Kenny's neck with the ropes. Back from commercials, Omega blocks a back senton, buying enough time to catch his breath and make a comeback. Angry fisherman buster by Kenny gets 2. Yuta answers with an Olympic Slam variation for 2. They meet on the top rope for an Omega superplex! They stiff each other with blows and Yuta hits some rolling Germans. Omega nails a V-Trigger to the back of the head and then a snap Dragon! Kenny hits a second snap Dragon, Yuta blocks a third, Kenny improvises with a V-Trigger. Yuta blocks the One Winged Angel, but Omega hits a deep V-Trigger for a 2.5. Don Callis arrives but gets flanked by security. Konosuke Takeshita sneaks in to hit Omega with a Blue Thunder Bomb! Yuta hits a frog splash but KENNY KICKS OUT! Yuta climbs again, but Kenny pulls him into One Winged Angel and wins at 16:16! In a night full of sports entertain-y silliness, I was buying the screwjob false finish, so kudos to them, ****.
Winner: Kenny Omega

Claudio Castagnoli and Takeshita assault Kenny afterwards, prompting the Young Bucks and Hangman Page to run in with chairs. BTE Trigger on Claudio! Page prepares a chair decapitation, but the Dark Order rush in to neutralize him and the show abruptly ends. Tough ending.

Final Thoughts: This was far from my favorite Dynamite with lots of goofy stuff up and down the show, not at all what I envisioned when AEW was first launched in 2019. The main event did a lot to restore some goodwill, although the technical glitch at the end hurts. I think you could skip this one.

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