AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from August 17
Daniel Garcia scored the biggest victory of his young career by defeating Bryan Danielson via referee stoppage on the July 27 episode of AEW Dynamite.
Wednesday, the self-proclaimed "Dragon Slayer" sought to make it 2-0 against the veteran as they battled in a 2-Out-of-3 Falls main event.
Would The American Dragon avenge the humbling defeat or would Garcia earn more momentum for both himself and the Jericho Appreciation Society as All Out approaches on September 4?
Find out with this recap of the August 17 episode, including grades, reaction and analysis of all of the night's action.
- Best 2-Out-of-3 Falls match: Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia (Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat as guest timekeeper)
- AEW World Trios Championship Tournament quarterfinal: The Young Bucks and Mystery Partner vs. Rush, Andrade El Idolo, and Dragon Lee
- Toni Storm vs. KiLynn King
- Varsity Blonds vs. Gunn Club
CM Punk Kicks Off Dynamite
For the first time since having surgery for an injured foot in June, AEW world champion CM Punk spoke to the fans and wasted little time dropping the pipe bombs he has become synonymous with during his career.
He took aim at "Hangman" Adam Page before turning his attention to interim world champion Jon Moxley.
Punk drew on his rival's history as one-third of The Shield, insulted his friend, Eddie Kingston, and insinuated he was the big-money draw in All Elite Wrestling and not Mox.
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"I am the heart and soul of this company and every time they call me 'Interim Champion' it makes me think of you and it makes me sick"<br><br>Things have gotten HEATED between Jon Moxley and CM Punk here at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> LIVE on TBS! <a href="https://t.co/H9xaP2YDxz">pic.twitter.com/H9xaP2YDxz</a>
Moxley had less to say but had no problem throwing hands with Punk, resulting in a brawl that needed numerous security guards and AEW coach Ace Steel to break it up.
This was a red-hot opening segment that saw Punk pick up right where he left off with his tweener-style promos that target top babyfaces while remaining hugely popular with fans.
During Wednesday's promo, he revealed he will square off with Moxley at All Out in Chicago. That match will be one of the most anticipated bouts of the year if the participants can keep up the heat that was on display here.
Throw in what should be great, physical ring work and you have every reason to believe this personal main event will be on the short list of Match of the Year candidates.
It will be interesting to see if Punk makes a full heel turn in the near future, too, especially with the likes of Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Eddie Kingston and Kenny Omega poised to make up the top of the babyface roster.
- "There's someone from around these parts and I'd like to challenge him to a rematch right here, right now," Punk said before calling out Page. The former champion did not appear, though, which drew boos.
- "Everyone wants to be the champ until it's time to do champ s--t!" Punk said as the fans broke out in a chant of his name.
- "Jon Moxley is the third-best guy in his own group and, to me, that sounds like a recurring theme in his career."
- "His best friend is the third-best Eddie I've ever been in the ring with. He's the second-best Kingston I've ever shared a locker room with."
- "...Not even the first 'John' I've beaten in Chicago for a championship belt. Definitely not No. 1 there."
- "Look out, ladies and gentlemen, CM Punk's dropping pipe bombs!" Moxley said.
- "You think you're the best wrestler in the world. Most of the time, you're not even the best wrestler in catering," Moxley added.
- "You can be the heart and soul. I'll be the dollars and the cents," Punk replied.
- "We both know you ran out of fighting spirit a long time ago," Moxley told Punk.
- "If I touch you now, I'm afraid you're gonna bleed all over me," Punk said, making light of the interim champion's penchant for wearing the crimson mask.
Best 2-Out-of-3 Falls Match: Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia
Daniel Garcia stunned Bryan Danielson three weeks ago to set this one up.
The 23-year-old then shocked AEW fans in Charleston, West Virginia on Wednesday by cleanly defeating his rival with a Dragon Sleeper. A DDT on the concrete floor during the commercial break further disadvantaged Danielson. Garcia led one fall to none.
A bloodied Danielson evened the score, outwrestling his overzealous opponent and scoring a quick pinfall victory from out of nowhere. Danielson and Garcia tied at one fall apiece.
The action continued with neither man able to grab a sustained offensive. Ultimately, Danielson applied a triangle choke to Garcia and transitioned into a LeBell Lock for the submission victory. Danielson won two falls to one.
After the match, the competitors exchanged a sign of mutual respect before Chris Jericho left the commentary position and attacked the victor. Garcia stopped him, smacked his finger away and stood tall as fans chanted "You're a wrestler!"
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The disrespect shown by Jericho causes Garcia to intervene; is there dissension growing within the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JerichoAppreciationSociety?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JerichoAppreciationSociety</a>? It’s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> LIVE on TBS! <a href="https://t.co/7SxeWD7yf6">pic.twitter.com/7SxeWD7yf6</a>
The biggest takeaway here was that Garcia is a star of the future for AEW, and the teased babyface turn might be the best thing to happen to him in his young career.
Sure, joining the Jericho Appreciation Society earned him considerable television exposure but he never fit in as a so-called "sports entertainer" given his penchant for badass technical wrestling. Blackpool Combat Club, on the other hand, have always seemed to be a better fit.
Might an alliance with Danielson be the "in" to that faction that Garcia needs to take the next step in his AEW career? Given his showing here, and the fact that his strength is in the mat-based technical style, it would certainly appear so.
Danielson defeated Garcia, 2-1
B+, with the only thing keeping it from a higher grade being the commercial breaks that hurt the flow of the bout
- Garcia flattened Danielson with a piledriver that targeted his head and neck, then put him out to win the first fall with a Dragon Sleeper. Apropos given the promotional tie-in with HBO's House of the Dragon.
- Garcia dropped Danielson with a DDT on the exposed concrete floor...right in front of guest timekeeper Ricky Steamboat, who famously endured the same move at the hands of Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
- The combatants delivered a strong count-out tease that saw Danielson narrowly beat the referee's count back in the squared circle.
- Garcia utilized his opponent's own running knee against him as Excalibur put him over as a student of the game who studies opponents and uses their own arsenals against them.
- "Nobody's slapping their legs," Jim Ross said on commentary, saltier chicken-flavored ramen.
Moxley Called Out Punk, Steamboat Confronted Jericho, Varsity Blonds vs. Gunn Club
In lightning-quick succession, Moxley called out Punk and another pull-apart ensued, Steamboat confronted the Jericho Appreciation Society and suggested Danielson is a better mentor for Garcia, and Gunn Club squashed Varsity Blonds in seconds.
After the match, Billy congratulated sons Colten and Austin on their dominant victory over Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison, only to receive a beatdown from his own children after Stokely Hathaway appeared.
The Acclaimed made the save, chasing the second-generation stars out of the ring and reuniting with the WWE Hall of Famer to wrap things up.
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Billy Gunn seems to have reunited with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheAcclaimed?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheAcclaimed</a> for a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScissorParty?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ScissorParty</a> in the middle of the ring! Watch <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> LIVE on TBS! <a href="https://t.co/P9m2nZrpbS">pic.twitter.com/P9m2nZrpbS</a>
The brawl continued the red-hot program between world and interim champions, even if it was short-lived. Steamboat planting the seeds for Danielson to mentor Garcia was a nice move and utilized his star more effectively than just as a timekeeper.
The Gunn Club stuff was fine, and Anthony Bowens and Max Caster "scissoring Daddy Ass" was a fun call by the commentary team, but The Acclaimed are better than all of this and need to move up the ranks quickly to take advantage of their popularity at this point.
Gunn Club defeated Varsity Blonds
A for the Moxley-Punk brawl; B for the Steamboat vignette; C- for the "match" and aftermath
- Steamboat recalled his feud with Jericho, giving the confrontation some backstory and gravity.
- "Scissor me, Daddy Ass!" Bowens said, drawing a huge pop from the fans in the payoff to an otherwise disappointing segment.
Jungle Boy Challenges Christian Cage
The feud between Jungle Boy and Christian Cage wrote its latest chapter this week, with the former officially challenging Captain Charisma to a match at All Out.
Cage, a disingenuous heel of the worst kind, tried talking his way out of the match by suggesting a reunion with his former protege.
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"You are like a son to me... come back home"<br>Will Jungle Boy take Christian Cage up on his invitation? It's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> LIVE on TBS right now! <a href="https://t.co/I3oXtfsOiX">pic.twitter.com/I3oXtfsOiX</a>
It did not work.
Jungle Boy beat the life out of the former WWE and Impact Wrestling world champion, repeatedly bashing his skull into the steel stairs before doctors broke up the beatdown.
This was smartly booked, mostly because it supported what Cage claimed in his promo. Jungle Boy is out of control and allowed his rival to manipulate him into proving it. The grizzled veteran is light years ahead of the younger competitor and will use his experience to get him as far ahead as possible.
The storyline has been one of the best in all of AEW for months now and it doesn't appear that will change anytime soon.
- Cage telling Jungle Boy that the young babyface went too far and made things too personal was a great bit from a heel who is making the most of this run with one of AEW's young pillars.
- Backstage, TNT champion Wardlow and Ring of Honor and AAA world tag team champions FTR challenged Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt to a six-man tag.
Toni Storm vs. KiLynn King
Toni Storm looked to continue her march toward an AEW Women's Championship match against Thunder Rosa by defeating KiLynn King in singles competition.
A competitive contest saw King control throughout the commercial break, only for Storm to come back after countering a top-rope side suplex attempt into a crossbody.
The Antipodean utilized her trademark corner hip checks and put King away with Storm Zero for the hard-fought win.
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A hard-fought victory for Toni Storm, and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEW?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEW</a> Women's World Champion Thunder Rosa is keeping a close eye on the number 1 contender for the championship! Watch <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> LIVE on TBS right now! <a href="https://t.co/0V3kNfPOP3">pic.twitter.com/0V3kNfPOP3</a>
Storm feels like the surest thing to beat Rosa for the title but that program has been underwhelming, to say the least. And a win over King, who has not been seen on AEW TV in over a year, is hardly the way to build anticipation for the championship clash at All Out.
With that said, King is a strong wrestler who probably should have been signed to the company during her last run there.
Hopefully, this match opened up some eyes about her ability to be a player in the most inconsistently booked division in the company.
Storm defeated King
- The commentary team did an adequate job of putting King over as a threat to upset Storm and the No. 1 contender as someone ready to challenge Rosa for the top prize in the division.
AEW Trios Title Tournament Quarterfinal: The Elite vs. La Faccion Ingobernable
The entire world knew that, with the introduction of the AEW World Trios Championships, it was only a matter of time before Kenny Omega returned to the squared circle and joined The Young Bucks in pursuit of them.
The former AEW world champion did just that Wednesday night, joining Matt and Nick Jackson in battle against La Faccion Ingobernable's Andrade El Idolo and Rush and the debuting Dragon Lee.
There was little in the way of celebration for Omega as he quickly found himself on the defensive, beaten down and cut off from his partners. A desperation tag sparked a comeback for The Elite but their opposition, who were teaming for the first time, again turned the tide in their favor.
Omega tagged in to pop the crowd and spark a second comeback attempt and while he succeeded momentarily, the commentary team put over how he is still not fully healthy.
He certainly did not look it as he was wiped out at ringside by a torpedo-like Dragon Lee.
Omega recovered, though, rocked the masked luchador with the V-Trigger and put him away with the One-Winged Angel to score the win.
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Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks have advanced in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEW?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEW</a> World Trios Championship Tournament, after that incredible quarterfinals match in the main event of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> tonight! <a href="https://t.co/zxq5U2vqCw">pic.twitter.com/zxq5U2vqCw</a>
And just like that, the march to All Out has picked up considerably.
Omega may not be at full fitness, or he might be expertly selling the idea that he isn't, but his presence was met with overwhelming positivity by the fans.
While it was great to see him back, it's his health that will be the story of the match and the forthcoming tournament semifinals bout. He sported a brace, nursed his shoulder and barely executed his finisher to win on Wednesday.
Is he fully back from injury or is this simply part of a larger narrative that will culminate with Omega rediscovering his confidence and health to win gold with his friends? It is the most prominent and interesting story worth watching in a tournament that feels very much like a foregone conclusion.
This was a great main event, elevated by the Bucks' ability to show up and show out regardless of the situation. While they will always have their critics, their consistent ability to deliver in key situations is second-to-none, and they helped elevate a match Wednesday that was more story-heavy with the Omega injury stuff than some may have expected.
The Elite defeated La Faccion Ingobernable
- Omega wore a black shirt and should brace, putting over the idea that he is not 100 percent healthy.
- On the heels of the announcement that CM Punk and Jon Moxley will battle to determine the undisputed AEW world champion on free television next week, Excalibur added context by revealing Tony Khan knows there will be no controlling them until All Out so they will settle things next week. A great bit of dialogue from the lead announcer.
- With Rush and Jose holding Omega on the guardrail, Lee delivered a tope suicida that sent both him and The Cleaner into the stands.
- Omega executed an ugly One-Winged Angel, selling the shoulder injury and the story of a less-than-healthy former champion grinding his way to the trios titles in support of the Bucks.