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AEW Dynamite - November 29, 2023

by Doc Allen

AEW Dynamite

Live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 4,608. Our hosts are Excalibur, Taz, and Bryan Danielson (later replaced by Tony Shiavone).

Continental Classic - Gold League
Jon Moxley vs. Jay Lethal

Lethal's goofy crew is banned from ringside, as is the BCC. The goal of this tournament seems to be an imitation of New Japan's G1, so they start with a super serious chain wrestling sequence. Lethal tries a Figure Four early, Moxley shakes him off by rolling to ringside. Lethal answers with a tope suicida and wastes time doing the Jarrett strut. Moxley takes advantage with a tope of his own. They duke it out and trade finisher reversals. Flying elbow by Lethal gets 2. Back from commercials, Mox hits a desperation cutter while selling a leg injury. Lethal hits a dragon screw leg sweep from out of the buckles. Another slugfest leads to a King Kong lariat by Mox. Lethal Combination gets 2. Mox reverses the Figure Four into an inside cradle. They trade pinning predicaments, Lethal finally locks on a proper Figure Four. Moxley collapses to avoid Lethal Injection, and surprises with a Death Rider. King Kong lariat and stuffed piledriver only gets 2! Mox immediately applies the Bulldog Choke for the submission at 11:15. Good match imitating a great match, ***.
Winner: Jon Moxley

A battered Eddie Kingston talks to the camera. He is tempted to quit the tournament due to his injuries, but vows to fight Bryan Danielson on Collision. This infuriates Bryan on commentary, because he's sporting an injured eye and has no doubts about his pending victory.

Tony Shiavone announces that Sting will have his final match in Greensboro, North Carolina. He's joined by Sting and Ric Flair, who reminisce about their classic World Championship match. Flair feels honored to be in Sting's corner. Sting is thrilled because "it's the 80's all over again!" That does seem to be what a sizable portion of the fanbase wants, so good on them.

Continental Classic - Gold League
Mark Briscoe vs. Rush (with La Faccion Ingobernoble)

Mark is ready for Rush at the opening bell, but Rush still manages an opening flurry. Mark clothesline Rush off the buckles and hits a dropkick through the ropes. They exchange knife edge chops and Rush throws Mark into the barricade. Mark answers with a back suplex onto the rails. Mark nails a flying elbow from the apron. They have another chopfest until Rush hits a mean German, but Mark pops up for a lariat. Back from commercials, Mark crawls out of a heel hook. They trade another round of chops until Mark lures Rush into an exploder suplex. Rush answers with a belly to belly buckle suplex. Mark counters the Bull's Horns with a spear! Neckbreaker by Mark gets 2. Rush counters with an overhead release suplex to the floor! Mark recovers with a Froggy Elbow for another nearfall. Rush blocks a J-Driller and hits another suplex into the buckles. Bull's Horns finishes at 11:22. Unapologetically stiff match full of ill-advised bumps. I dug it, ***½.
Winner: Rush

AEW Women's Champion "Timeless" Toni Storm looks distraught on her coach backstage. RJ City wants to know if she's worried about defending her title, which offends the champ. She demands that RJ take off her shoes.

AEW World Champion MJF comes to the ring for some words. He's defending against Samoa Joe at the next PPV. He doesn't like Joe as a person, but does respect him on a professional level. MJF admits that he was a fan of Joe during his TNA days. He puts Joe over for breaking the mold of what a top guy needs to look like and making alternatives matter. MJF then makes the case for himself, he's created a new alternative and Joe will have to put him down. The lights then go out and a group of masked men prepare to beat MJF down with a bat. Samoa Joe makes the unlikely save and the entire broadcast goes down. A hacked message reveals that Joe and MJF will be forced to team up next week. MJF is sick of all this "Scooby Doo bullsh!t" and promises to unmask The Devil.

Wardlow vs. AR Fox

No televised entrance for Fox, who greets Wardlow with a big boot and dive to ringside. Fox tries a moonsault, but Wardlow catches him for a power slam onto the apron. Fox escapes a press slam and hits a 450 splash for only 1! Wardlow absorbs a series of kicks and nails a mean lariat. Wardlow delivers a Powerbomb Symphony, and a final Last Ride gives him the win via referee stoppage. Good squash, but I hope this Wardlow push is going somewhere.
Winner: Wardlow

Video recap of Dante Martin suffering an injury at Supercard of Honor. He's back in action tonight.

The Hardys (Matt and Jeff) and Brother Zay vs. Top Flight (Dante and Darius Martin) and Action Andretti

Did someone order a spotfest? Action dropkicks Matt and hits a sunset flip. Hip toss by Matt sets up a tag to Jeff, and combination leg drops. Andretti and Jeff reach a stalemate. Tags are made, Zay and Darius trade quick attacks until Darius scores a dropkick. Top Flight swarm Zay with rapid fire offense. Back from commercials, Andretti is getting worked over in the enemy's corner. Comeback Kid Dante gets the hot tag and runs wild through Zay. Matt breaks a cover, but Dante blocks the Twist of Fate. The match breaks down, Zay takes Dante down in the chaos. Zay jumps off Jeff's back for a step up dropkick. The Hardys hit Poetry in Motion and hoist Dante for a Doomsday missile dropkick for only 2! Top Flight block another Poetry in Motion at ringside when Darius pops off Jeff's back. In the ring, Zay gets triple teamed and eats Dante's driver for the pinfall at 9:44! Great showcase win for Top Flight, but the big question is will this go anywhere? ***
Winners: Top Flight and Action Andretti

Penta El Zero Miedo, Komander, and El Hijo del Vikingo interrupt Top Flight and Andretti's victory interview to challenge them to a trios match.

TBS Championship:
Julia Hart © vs. Emi Sakura

The crowd is behind spooky Julia at the opening bell. Sakura tries to play games, but Julia bats her around and hits a somersault lariat. Sakura chops the neck and chest, but Julia regains control with a wristlock takedown. Sakura whips Julia into the ring steps for a running avalanche. Back from commercials, Sakura seems to be enjoying Julia's ineffective body shots. Delayed backbreaker by Sakura, but she taunts instead of making a cover. Julia reverses another backbreaker with a tight chinlock into a leg scissors. Sakura escapes into a Romero special. Fans chant "Julia" as Sakura misses a moonsault. Sakura taps out but due to "house rules" the match must continue. Julia hits a moonsault to win at 7:39. Good showing for Julia, overcoming some tough offense from a bottom card opponent. Not sure what the "house rules" stip really adds, but I digress, **½.
Winner and still TBS Champion: Julia Hart

RJ City hangs out with Mariah May backstage. She's from STARDOM and is just dying to show AEW what she can do. RJ has connections to Tony, which she uses to manipulate her way into Khan's office.

TNT Champion Christian Cage, accompanied by security, comes to the ring to talk. Christian is the legitimate TNT Champion after winning the belt from underling Luchasaurus in a 3-way match. He wastes little time calling out Adam Copeland, but is forced to wait. Adam Copeland finally answers the call, and Christian hides behind his security detail. Christian offers an apology, but the fans don't believe him and chants "bullsh!t." Christian can't help but bring up the fact that Adam grew up without a father. Christian claims to love Adam and thinks they should team up for the sake of Adam's late mother. Christian attempts a belt ambush, but Copeland knees him in the groin. "Nice try, dumb@ss." Adam vows to take the TNT title from Christian in Montreal, and finishes with "Go f*ck yourself" uncensored on live television. Hope someone has a swear jar nearby and waiting. Christian did a good job making this promo feel uncomfortably personal without crossing any lines into outright poor taste.

Continental Classic - Gold League
Jay White vs. Swerve Strickland (with Prince Nana)

This is a heel vs. heel match, but I imagine that the fans will accept Strickland as a de facto babyface. They tangle up, and take turns throwing each other into the barricade. Jay takes charge by attacking Swerve's bad shoulder. Swerve fights back with chops, but Jay snaps his neck over the ropes. Swerve answers with a back suplex onto the steel rail! Swerve hits a double stomp to the spine, but struggles to get back into the ring and allows White to hit a DDT. Back from commercials, White is methodically picking Strickland apart. Swerve tries a comeback, but White hits an exploder into the buckles. Swerve blocks a chop and hits a hammerlock back suplex! They trade rapid counters until Swerve hits a Flatliner into a vertical suplex for only 2! Jay responds with a DDT and German suplex, but Swerve pops up for a desperation lariat. Fans chant "This is awesome!" They stumble up, Strickland wins a slugfest, but Jay thrusts into the knee and nails a big uranage for 2. Jay tries a sleeper, but settles for an armbar. Swerve reverses into a brutal arm snap! Fans chant "you sick f*ck!" Jay hits an armdrag with his good arm, but Swerve counters into a backbreaker! Swerve double stomps the face but White kicks out! White surprises with Blade Runner, but Swerve rolls to ringside. Jay hauls him back, they exchange rapid counters until settling into another round of chops. Sleeper Suplex by White, but Swerve reverses Blade Runner into a cover to win at 15:28! This was two guys at the top of their game having a top notch TV main event, ***¾.
Winner: Swerve Strickland

Final Thoughts: Tight, focused episode of Dynamite, low on BS and high with serious, competitive in-ring action. I think this is a good direction to take through the holiday months. Recommended.

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