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AEW Dynamite - August 31, 2022

by Doc Allen

Kenny Omega

Live from the NOW Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Shiavone, and Taz.

AEW World Champion Jon Moxley heads to the ring with something to say. The partisan crowd doesn't like him after the way he beat CM Punk in 3 minutes to become undisputed champion. Moxley leans into the reaction by speculating that Punk is still being mopped off the mat in Cleveland. Moxley accuses Punk of looking for a way out of their match once he realized the trouble he was in. He is "sorry" that Punk isn't the man everyone thought he was when he returned one year ago. Mox pulls out an open contract for an AEW title match at All Out. He's not scared of whoever signs it, because he's the heart and soul of professional wrestling.

AEW Official Ace Steel retrieves Moxley's contract from the ring and sticks it in his pocket. In case you forgot, Steel is CM Punk's homeboy.

Tony Shiavone has a word with Chris Jericho ahead of his All Out match with Bryan Danielson. Jericho thinks this is a nightmare match for Danielson, because he's had more impressive accomplishments in wrestling. Daniel Garcia arrives to apologize to Jericho and recommit to the JAS (crowd BOOS this).

Bryan Danielson (with William Regal) vs. Jake Hager (with Chris Jericho)

Hager corners Danielso and delivers a throw across the ring. Bryan applies a guillotine choke and tosses Hager for a tope suicida. Bryan dives off the apron but Hager powerbombs him through a production table! Hager knocks Bryan into the ring post and follows with a vertical suplex on the floor. Hager hits a power slam in the ring to send us to commercials. Back from break, Danielson hits a needed missile dropkick and rallies with YES kicks. Bryan hits MMA elbows, and counters into an arbreaker. Hager escapes and unloads blows, Bryan reverses into a triangle choke, but Hager reverses again into a powerbomb! Bryan absorbs more hammerfists before rolling into the LeBell Lock, but Hager reverses into an ankle lock. Danielson reverses back to the LeBell Lock but Hager gets the ropes. Hager cuts Bryan's charge off with a huge uranage. Danielson hits the Busaiku Knee at 10:45! Really strong match that played to both men's strengths. Danielson sold his butt off for Hager's brutal, credible looking offense, ***½.
Winner: Bryan Danielson

The JAS ambush Danielson after the bell, setting up the routine rescue by the Blackpool Combat Club. Jericho takes advantage of the chaos to sneak into the ring with a chair, but Daniel Garcia runs in to disarm him. Danielson puts Jericho down with a Busaiku Knee, and Garcia seems to be regretting his life choices.

The Wingmen hold a protest in the ring because they never get any TV time. W. Morrisey randomly appears and lays waste to the JOB Squad. This fails to get over with the fans, who boo Morrissey throughout, and I *think* this was designed to get a babyface reaction. Or maybe not, because Stokely Hathaway hands him a business card. Tony Shiavone demands to know what's going on, and Stokely gets physical with him.

Backstage interview with Will Ospreay and Aussie Open. They're quickly interrupted by Don Callis, who puts over Ospreay's hype as the next Kenny Omega.

Dr. Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter (with Rebel) vs. Hikaru Shida and Toni Storm

Shida and Hayter start with an unfriendly exchange. Shida botches a rana and spikes Hayter onto her head. Storm and Shida work Hayter over in their corner while I worry about Jamie's concussion risk. Quick tag to Britt, who manages to ground Storm as they head to commercials. Back from break, Shida gets a hot tag right on cue. Shida hits Hayter with a vertical suplex and follows with a springboard meteora for 2. Hayter reverses a double suplex and tags in Britt. Swinging neckbreaker by Britt gets 2 on Shida. Britt fetches her glove, but Shida blindsides her with a missile dropkick. Shida pulls Hayter onto the apron for another rough head bump. Storm helps with a DDT to outside while Shida kicks Britt in the head and pins her at 7:37. Take out that botched rana, you're left with a decent, yet formulaic placeholder match that didn't advance anything before the 4-way title match, **¼.
Winners: Hikaru Shida and Toni Storm

Kip Sabian video promo highlighting last week's pay-off to Sabian hanging out in the crowd with a box over his head for more than a year. We learn that Sabian had been pulling the same crap across the world, wherever Pac was defending the All-Atlantic Championship. Maybe this was well known to Dark viewers, but was news to me.

Miro video promo. The House of Black dared to put their hands on the Redeemer, so now he's in kahoots with Darby Allin and Sting. Looks like we have another six man tag for All Out.

CM Punk comes to the ring and appears to be walking comfortably. He looks to be down in the dumps but his hometown fans love him anyway. Punk talks about his broken foot, which needed 16 screws to fix (which is 16 times more than a fat heckler in the audience has ever been screwed). Punk worries that his foot is at 100%, but it's a "new 100%" and it might not be good enough. He claims to love the fans and is upset to have let everyone down. Ace Steel interrupts and introduces himself as Punk's trainer since day one. Ace reminds him that he sold out an arena on a rumor, so what if he lost in Cleveland! He slaps Punk and demands that he sign Moxley's open contract. This lights a fire under Punk and he completely changes his tune to how no one can kill him (especially in Chicago). He heads into the crowd to finish his promo and I daresay this will sell some pay-per-views. Punk signs the contract and now Twitter can stop complaining that All Out doesn't have a main event.

Jim Ross sits down with Christian Cage and Jungle Boy ahead of their All Out match. Christian plans on destroying JB and turning him into a has-been at age 25. Jungle Boy admits to feeling hurt because he did care for and love Christian, but fears this is the real Christian. He will come to All Out as Jack Perry for a fight.

ROH/AAA/IWGP Tag Team Champions FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) and TNT Champion Wardlow vs. Silas Young, Ren Jones, and Vic Capri

Jones pokes Wardlow in the chest and takes a headbutt for his disrespect. Wardlow nails a lariat and tags in Wheeler for a quick suplex. Dax dissects Jones with chops, but Jones forces a tag. FTR hit Capri with the Big Rig and Wardlow finishes with a Powerbomb Symphony at 2:00. Fine squash that got the desired reaction from the live crowd.
Winners: FTR and Wardlow

Jon Moxley returns to the ring for more words. He accepts Punk's challenge and promises to put on a display of pro wrestling violence unlike anything he's experienced. Moxley vows to show the difference between a fake champion/martyr and a real champion making himself a legend.

Tony Shiavone is backstage with The Dark Order, and we learn that 10 is injured and must duck out of the tournament. Evil Uno will take 10's place. Andrade el Idolo and Jose the Assistant interrupt in an attempt to buy Uno. The offer is rejected, so Andrade beats them up.

Dante Martin vs. Rush (with Jose the Assistant) vs. Rey Fenix (with Alex Abrahantes) vs. ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta (with William Regal)

I smell a spotfest! Scramble to start, then Rush power slams Yuta. Dante ambushes Rush with a springboard crossbody, and he hits Code Red on Fenix. Fenix comes back with a dropkick and soars onto Rush at ringside. Yuta dives onto Fenix, Martin follows with a springboard tornado senton! Crowd loves this. Rush dives onto everyone and poses to send us to break. They return with Rush perplexing Martin onto Fenix. Rush piledrives Yuta! Martin hits Fenix with a Side Effect. Fenix powerbombs Martin, Rush breaks the pin. Fenix kicks Rush to outside, Martin sneaks in for a poison rana! Yuta stops Martin's nose dive, Fenix leaps over him to Rush outside. Yuta misses a flying stomp, but rolls Martin up to win at 8:07. Unapologetic spotfest that felt more laborious than dazzling, **¾.
Winner: Wheeler Yuta

Tony Shiavone chats with Jon Silver and Alex Reynolds backstage. They are missing a third man for the Trios Tournament, but hey, Adam Page is here to offer his services. Silver isn't the booker, but he's sure Page will get cleared.

World Trios Championship Tournament:
The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Kyle Fletcher, and Mark Davis) vs. The Elite (Kenny Omega, Nick Jackson, and Matt Jackson, with Brandon Cutler and Don Callis)

Ospreay greets Omega with a boot to the face. Omega hits a shoulder block, Opspreay kips up for a slugfest. The match breaks down with the Bucks and Aussie Open brawling. Ospreay dumps Omega, but takes the Bucks' tandem rana. The Bucks go for stereo dives, but Aussie Open slam them into each other. Ospreay hits a ridiculous Sky Twister to outside! They brawl towards the stage, where Matt hits a stunt dive during the picture-in-picture break. They return with Davis slamming both Bucks at once. Fletcher hits a flying cutter on Matt. Omega gets the hot tag and runs wild with snap dragons. Ospreay superkicks Omega, but the Os-cutter is blocked. Ospreay blocks a dragon suplex and clears Omega for a missed back handspring dive. Omega finally gives Ospreay a snap dragon at ringside! Aussie Open hit a double delayed vertical superplex on Omega, Nick saves the match. Fletcher tears Omega's shirt off, exposing his bandages. Ospreay hits a spinning backbreaker for 2. Back from more commercials, Nick gets a hot dive and goes supernova on the United Empire. Ospreay blocks Nick's 450 splash and hits his own snap dragon. Omega confronts Ospreay for his move theft and they slug it out. Ospreay blocks a lariat and nails Omega with a Liger Bomb! Aussie Open hoist Nick, but he counters Ospreay with a cutter! The Elite swarm Fletcher and nearly finish via Superkick Party. Nick dives onto Davis outside. The Bucks signal the Meltzer Driver, Ospreay interrupts with an Os-cutter!. Ospreay hits a SHOOTING STAR PRESS INDIE-TAKER, but Matt kicks out! The match completely breaks down into another superkick party. The Elite hit Ospreay with the Indie-taker, but he's not the legal man! Omega finds Fletcher for a V-Trigger and One Winged Angel to win at 18:57! Unbelievable series of high-level stunts, complex tandem moves and reversals, and drama built around Omega's health. I don't smoke, but I think I need a cigarette, ****½.
Winners: The Elite

Final Thoughts: The situation with Moxley and Punk went in the exact direction I was hoping for, yet they managed to exceed my expectations with fiery, heartfelt promos, including a dramatic Ace Steel segment out of left field. There was more placeholder content than usual on this Dynamite, the women's tag and the 4-way match felt designed to maintain the status quo rather than add any further storyline threads before All Out. The main event was spectacular and worth seeking out if you enjoy high-level spotfests. Overall, great show, and they've got me hooked for All Out.

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