Will Dustin Rhodes retire?

Let’s get straight into this weeks Dynamite…

The show opens with Cody looking over footage of his opponents in a surveillance type promo. He asks himself, “who am I?” while looking back at being called a 3-star specialist, as well as the moment he broke the throne at Double Or Nothing. The segment is meant to hype up Cody’s journey through the TNT tournament and his next week in the Semi-Finals.

Jericho and Schiavone back on commentary this week, so be prepared for an entertaining time. Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin both have short video packages ahead of their match, with Allin’s done in the style of his other promo segments in the past.

A False God?

Next up is the Spanish God Sammy Guevara versus Darby Allin in a rematch from their blow-off at AEW Revolution. The winner will face Cody in the semi-final of the TNT tournament. Guevara dives onto Allin while he’s making his entrance, throwing him into the barrier outside before the bell. Guevara then gets a ladder from under the ring and places it between the apron and barricade. He places Allin on the ladder before climbing to the top rope, jumping off and landing on Allin. The match is still yet to officially start.

After a break, Guevara pulls Allin into the ring and the bell rings. Guevara covers Allin immediately but he kicks out. Guevara maintains control by attacking him in the corner, they make their way to the top ropes but Allin manages to push Guevara off, catch his legs and attempting to pull off his boots while working on the ankle. Allin then Headbutt the ankles while on the ground, working further on the exposed ankle. Guevara fights back by hitting an Enzuigiri, then attempts a springboard cutter. He goes for a cover but only gets a two-count.

Allin is busted open somewhere but manages to take Guevara down into an ankle lock. In an attempt to reach the ropes, Allin pulls him back and puts the ankle lock back on. Both then start trading blows, finally getting back to their feet; Guevara hits a Spinning Back Fist and a knee to the face for a cover and a two-count.

Allin throws Guevara out of the ring and attempts to go for a dive to the outside, missing and crashing straight into the railing. Guevara takes back control, getting him back in the ring, while Jericho makes comments about “Pineapple Pete” (Check last week’s AEW recap) in the crowd. Guevara makes his way to the top rope, hitting a 730 on Allin. Guevara goes for a cover but Allin grabs the rope.

Allin and Guevara both fight back and counter each other, with Guevara catching Allin on his shoulders, attempting to drop him with a Knee Strike; Guevara is countered and pinned by Darby Allin’s Last Supper, a technical roll-up pin, for the win.

Darby Allin defeats Sammy Guevara via Pinfall – Grade: B

A great match, but not as good as their last affair. There were a few spots in which moves weren’t executed as well as they may have hoped, but still an enjoyable match to kick off Dynamite.

Matt Hardy’s promo on “le hole of the ass” Christopher Jericho is next. He talks about inviting Jericho to his compound for the “elite deletion” a few weeks ago but never seeing a reply. He mentions that on last week’s Dynamite was the Bubbly Bunch, in which only Sammy Guevara mentioned his name. Hardy challenges Sammy Guevara, inviting him to the compound at his own risk, stating, “come here and I will sentence you to DELETION”.

The promo swaps from Broken Matt Hardy to his normal Matt Hardy persona while he talks about Jericho. He states that “AEW is a platform for the future” and that he wants to protect that concept. Hardy threatens to kick every one of the Inner Circle’s asses before he gets to Jericho. As the promo ends, Jericho states on commentary that, “Matt Hardy better shut his fat mouth.”

Technique By Taz is back, this week focusing on Kenny Omega’s V-Trigger and Snap-Dragon ahead of his match on the show.

Kenny Omega vs Alan Angels is next on the show, with Jericho talking about his past with Omega, ignoring the fact that he lost to Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Stating that if he did lose, it was because Omega had the home-field advantage. Schiavone states that their match was one of the greatest he’s ever seen, with Jericho replying that it was mostly because of him. He still puts Omega over as one of the best in the world.

This is an Omega showcase, but Angels does get some offence in, taking Omega down. Omega takes back control, hitting a Backbreaker for a two-count. Kenny maintains control until Angels gets some offence in the corner. Omega hits a Clothesline before Angles attempts to crawl out of the ring, being pulled back in but dragging the ring skirt with him.

Angels eventually rolls out, pulling the ring skirt from beneath Omega’s feet, knocking him down. Angels then hits a Dropkick for a two-count. Angels maintains control with a spinning kick to Omega, he then heads to the top rope. He misses, but Omega also misses a V-Trigger. After some more offence, Kenny hits a Snap-Dragon, followed by a V-Trigger. Angels somehow kicks out, but Omega picks him up, hits a Powerbomb and another V-Trigger for the win.

Kenny Omega defeats Alan Angels via Pinfall – Grade: C+

Next up is a Scorpio Sky documentary, talking about his past injuries and surgery. He was told he wouldn’t be able to wrestle anymore, but after some improvements to his health he decided to, “give pro-wrestling one more chance.” The segment ends with a to be continued, as Scorpio Sky is cut off before talking about the start of SCU in December 2017.

Cody Rhodes reacts to Dustin stating over voicemail that if he can’t beat Kip Sabian tonight, he’ll retire. There is also a segment advertising Being The Elite’s 200th episode, which will feature a match between Matt and Nick Jackson.

A recap of last week where Jimmy Havoc attacked Orange Cassidy is shown ahead of their match.

Freshly Squeezed!

Jimmy Havoc is heading to the ring next to face Orange Cassidy who is accompanied to the ring by the Best Friends. Havoc attacks Cassidy before the bell, taking control. He throws Cassidy’s jacket out to Penelope Ford, who throws it on the ground. Havoc then takes off Cassidy’s shirt, choking him with it.

Havoc dumps Cassidy outside the ring, throwing him into the guard rail before picking him up and dumping him on top of it. Havoc hits a vertical suplex on the floor; He chops Cassidy in front of Trent, before throwing him into the ring post and chopping him again. Cassidy ducks a later chop, but is met with a poke to the eye and is thrown back in the ring.

Havoc continues his control of the match, trying to choke out Cassidy and injure his hand. Cassidy fights back with some kicks, but Havoc takes back control, getting a cover for a two-count. Havoc hits a lariat and attempts to go for a submission, but Cassidy reaches the ropes. He continues to work on the fingers and hand of Cassidy, going so far as to bite his hands, putting them into his pockets and punching him in the face. Cassidy rolls out of the way eventually, hits a Dropkick, then a dive to the outside on Havoc, throwing him back into the ring and hitting a Crossbody and a DDT for a two-count.

Cassidy knocks Havoc off the top rope, hitting a lazy Frog Splash (in true Cassidy style). Havoc hits back hard and goes for his ripcord lariat, but Cassidy dodges and fights back. Penelope Ford tries to distract Cassidy, the Best Friends attempt to stop it but are hit with a dive from Kip Sabian. Ford attempts to go to the top rope, but misses the following move, accidentally distracting Havoc enough for Cassidy to get a surprise roll-up victory.

Orange Cassidy defeats Jimmy Havoc via Pinfall – Grade B-

Havoc and Sabian attack Cassidy after the bell but are chased off by the Best Friends.

MJF cuts a typically comedic MJF-style promo from outside his home about why he has not wrestled on Dynamite. He blames it on an injury while gambling backstage at Dynamite on his last appearance. He says the injury became “life-threatening” after he continued to gamble. He ends it by stating his catchphrase, “I’m better than you and you know it,” before we head back to the ring for MJF’s henchman, Wardlow.

Fast & Furious

Lee Johnson is Wardlow’s next victim on AEW Dynamite. Wardlow looks like he’s going to decimate Lee, but Lee escapes and hits a Dropkick. However, this doesn’t last long as Wardlow catches him by the throat, picks him up and slams him to the ground.

Wardlow hits two huge release duplexes before attempting another, but Lee escapes. Wardlow takes back control, placing him on the top rope, pulling him down and hitting him with a Knee Strike. Wardlow finishes the match with an Aeroplane Spin, releasing Lee in mid-air and covering for the win.

Wardlow defeats Lee Johnson via Pinfall – Grade: C

Just a standard squash match, but one that was probably needed, it didn’t last too long and Johnson got some offence in.

A vignette shows wrestler, Preston Vance, sign up and join the Dark Order. The promo transitions into an interview with Vance and Brodie Lee, for a position in the Order. “You are one of us now… you are Dark Order,” states Lee, before we head to the ring to see the Exalted One in action.

Making a Statement

Justin Law faces Brodie Lee next; Lee’s eyes stay fixated on Law as he makes his entrance. Lee dominates throughout, ending a run of offence with a devastating looking Superkick. He hits multiple suplexes before chopping Law in the corner. Lee continues to dominate while staring down Marko Stunt in the crowd. He hits the Discus Lariat for the win.

Brodie Lee defeats Justin Law via Pinfall – Grade: C-

Squash matches start to have diminishing returns as time goes on, especially when they involve the same people. Lee has been on the winning end of multiple squash matches over the past few weeks, and it would be nice to see him get his teeth into a bigger feud.

The match was more of an angle to set up a match next week between the Exalted One and Marko Stunt, as Lee confronts Stunt in the crowd before walking away.

There’s a backstage interview with the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy, where Trent challenges both Havoc and Kip Sabian. The Bubbly Bunch is back with the Inner Circle, edited in the same style as last week. They all talk about Hager’s loss to Moxley last week and film Tik-Tok style videos doing the “Flim Flam” dance move.

Ahead of the main event, a Dustin and Kip Sabian video package plays, with both discussing their match and the tournament.

Retirement Match?

Dustin Rhodes is accompanied to the ring by Brandi Rhodes, while Penelope Ford accompanies Kip Sabian. Kip shows off his athleticism early on, but Dustin drops a knee on his bicep to end that run of offence. Plenty of bouncing off the ropes and dodging before Dustin takes down Kip into an arm lock. Dustin hits multiple chops in the corner as Penelope Ford looks worried in the crowd.

As Dustin is in the corner, Ford sneakily grabs his foot, allowing Kip to take advantage. After a while, Ford chokes Dustin against the ropes while the ref’s back is turned. Kip is still in control as AEW comes back from the break, with Kip capitalising on Dustin’s weakened knee. Most of Kip’s offence in the next few minutes is focused on that knee.
Kip (barely) hits a Dropkick and covers for a two-count. Dustin immediately rolls Kip up afterwards for another two-count.

The two trade off before Dustin attempts a Scoop Slam, only for Kip to fall on top of him for a cover and a two-count. Later on, Kip hits a Knee Lift and a Discus Lariat for a near-fall. Kip attempts to choke Dustin out, but manages to escape, though Kip stays in control by hitting a Snapmare and a kick to the back. Dustin hits a Spinebuster to take back control, gaining a second wind and knocking Kip down with a Running Lariat. Dustin manages to hurt his knee again during a Reverse Atomic Drop but stays in control. Rhodes manages to hit a Powerslam for another near-fall.

Kip gets back in the ring, hitting a DDT for a two-count. He then taunts Dustin on the ground, stating, “This is my moment”, before delivering some blows to the face. The referee pulls Kip off Dustin while Brandi and Ford have a confrontation on the outside that leads to Brandi delivering a spear in the middle of the ring. Dustin Rhodes hits a surprise Destroyer on Kip Sabian to get the pinfall victory and will face Lance Archer in the Semi-Finals.

Dustin Rhodes defeats Kip Sabian via Pinfall – Grade: B-

Dustin avoids retirement and continues on in the tournament… until he gets destroyed by Lance Archer in a few weeks time… we all know it’s happening.

The match was decent, but it wasn’t my favourite main event in recent weeks. The abrupt finish hurt the match a little, and the stipulation of Dustin’s retirement wasn’t totally believable. I highly doubt Dustin’s retirement match would be on a random episode of Dynamite against Kip Sabian.

Overall Grade: C+

A decent episode of Dynamite this week, kicking off the show with a great match between two of the best young talents AEW has to offer. The show suffered from multiple throwaway matches and squashes, something that the pre-recorded shows of late have had a lot of. The show was still entertaining, but it’s one of my least favourite of recent months.

By Jimmy Ioannou

Images provided by AEW

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