AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 23
On the heels of AEW Full Gear, the wrestling world had one question: Why, William Regal, why?
The admitted villain revealed the motivations behind both his betrayal of Jon Moxley and why he assisted MJF in winning the AEW World Championship on this week's Dynamite.
Regal's first words since the pay-per-view headlined a broadcast that always featured match No. 2 in the Best-of-Seven Series for the AEW Trios Championship between The Elite and Death Triangle.
How would the Chicago audience greet Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks following their controversial last few months, what did Regal have to say and what else went down on the post-Full Gear broadcast?
Find out now with this recap of the November 23 episode.
- Ring of Honor World Championship Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Chris Jericho (c)
- AEW All-Atlantic Championship Match: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Jake Hager
- Full Gear World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals: Ricky Starks vs. Ethan Page
- Best-of-Seven Series for the AEW World Trios Championship: The Elite vs. Death Triangle (Match No. 2; Death Triangle leads series 1-0)
- William Regal promo
- Incident between Jade Cargill and rap star Bow-Wow relived
William Regal Explains His Actions
William Regal kicked off the show by informing the fans in Chicago that new AEW World champion MJF would not be there tonight. Before he could explain himself, Jon Moxley marched through the crowd and attempted to confront his mentor.
Bryan Danielson interrupted and talked him out of physically assaulting Regal, but the former champion still ordered the villain to run and never return.
This was an...interesting segment, to say the least.
Danielson attempted to connect to Moxley by relating his teammate's alcoholism with that of his father's, then slapped him and repeatedly uttered the word "sorry."
Moxley resisted the urge from The American Dragon, reminding him of Regal's health issues, then ordered him away, with no clarification for why the future Hall of Famer did what he did. Sure, we heard from Regal, but the promo segment accomplished nothing except for seemingly writing the Brit off of television.
Not exactly the hottest start, and the crowd let them hear it as Danielson tried to establish emotion.
- Chants of "CM Punk" could be heard over Excalibur's commentary intro, setting the stage for the night's show and crowd interaction.
- Regal revealed MJF was on the set of a major motion picture, likely referring to "Iron Claw" starring Zac Efron and based on the legendary Von Erich family.
- "I don't know why he did what he did on Saturday, but you've done bad things, too. So have I. We've all done bad things," Danielson pleaded with Moxley not to attack Regal.
- "Lordship, I only want one thing from you: run. Run as far as you can and never come back," Moxley said to his mentor.
AEW All-Atlantic Championship Match: Orange Cassidy vs. Jake Hager
Orange Cassidy kicked off the in-ring portion of this week's show by defending his AEW All-Atlantic Championship against Jake Hager.
The artist formerly known as The All-American American dominated the competition, overpowering Freshly Squeezed for the majority of the bout before a late comeback sparked by a tornado DDT.
He withstood a final attempt at an ankle lock by Hager, rocked him with an Orange Punch and rolled him up for the win.
After the match, The Factory appeared, only to be interrupted by the returning House of Black. Malakai Black, Brody King and Buddy Matthews laid waste to everyone, including prelim wrestlers and security.
They stood, united, atop the ramp to close out the segment.
And that is how you reintroduce a faction and immediately make it feel like one of the biggest deals on the entire show.
The House of Black looked like world-beaters there, an unstoppable force indiscriminate in its path of rage. Black and Co. laid out babyfaces and heels and earned a huge ovation from fans in doing so.
For the first time since his debut angle with Cody Rhodes, Black looked like the star he should have been a long time ago. More of this, please, Tony Khan.
As for the match, it was perfectly acceptable wrestling between one of the best in-ring guys in AEW all year (Cassidy) and a dude who rarely competes in singles matches (Hager).
Cassidy defeated Hager to retain
C+ for the match, A+ for the post-match
- The pop for Cassidy's entrance was electric and reflected just how much the fans love him.
- Cassidy knocked Hager's hat off his head, infuriating him and leading to the heel's sustained heat segment.
- Julia Hart appeared, rose her hand, and when she did, the lights came back up and House of Black began their attack.
Full Gear World Title Eliminator Tournament Final: Ricky Starks vs. Ethan Page
Ricky Starks entered Wednesday's Full Gear World Title Eliminator Tournament final nursing injuries suffered at the hands of Lance Archer over the last two weeks. To earn a shot at MJF's AEW World Championship at Winter Is Coming would take a gutsy performance from the former FTW titleholder.
That is exactly what Starks delivered.
He overcame a focused attack by Page and rocked him with two spears to score the pinfall victory and set up the biggest match of his young career.
The match was good, interrupted as usual by a picture-in-picture commercial break that always negatively affects the flow of the match. Still, Page looked like the vastly superior wrestler on this night and gained quite a bit out of the push that got him to this match.
In the end, Starks' resiliency earned him the win and a first world title opportunity under the AEW umbrella. That match against MJF should be an extraordinary one that makes Starks a bigger star.
Starks defeated Page
- It probably was not intended the way it came out, but Tony Schiavone insisting Page had an easier path to the finals than Starks, regardless of the injury Absolute incurred along the way, was a slap in the face to Eddie Kingston and Bandido.
- Referee Stefon Smith ejected Stokely Hathaway from ringside, preventing him from getting involved in the outcome of the match.
Best-of-Seven Series: The Elite vs. Death Triangle (Match Two)
The Elite lost to Death Triangle Saturday night at Full Gear, thanks to a shot to the face with the timekeeper's hammer from Rey Fenix. Wednesday night, that same weapon would fell Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks once more.
The match was an action-packed, party match that got a little too cute, with The Elite mocking CM Punk and receiving a chorus of boos for it. Still, the guys involved do this type of match so well, keeping fans engaged and pulling off explosive action in the process.
The real meat of this match, though, was the finish, which saw Penta El Zero Miedo take a page out of PAC and his brother Fenix's book by rocking Matt Jackson with the same timekeeper's hammer for the win and the 2-0 lead in the series.
This is almost certainly setting up a come-from-behind win for The Elite in which they win the Trios titles, but it would do wonders for Death Triangle for them to emerge victoriously.
Regardless, this was another strong in-ring effort and, potentially, even better depending on your personal preferences.
Death Triangle defeated The Elite
- The fans in Chicago responded overwhelmingly negatively to The Elite, booing them and chanting "CM Punk" in response to the drama surrounding All Out and the alleged brawl that followed it. If you have been living under a rock, Google it.
- Omega bit PAC, assuredly a reference to the aforementioned brawl.
- Omega delivered a GTS for two, drawing another loud reaction.
- Fenix argued with Penta after the match, taking exception to his brother's actions despite doing the same thing just days earlier to win the first match.
Willow Nightingale and Skye Blue vs. TayJay vs. Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter
AEW World Women's champion Jamie Hayter teamed with Dr. Britt Baker to battle Anna Jay and Tay Melo and the team of Willow Nightingale and Skye Blue in a Three-Way Tag Team match set up during a backstage confrontation earlier in the day.
All Elite Wrestling @AEW
After a confrontation escalated in a preshow interview, TONIGHT on the Thanksgiving Eve <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> @ 8pm ET/7pm CT on TBS, it will be a 3 way tag match<a href="https://twitter.com/taymelo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@taymelo</a>/<a href="https://twitter.com/annajay___?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@annajay___</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/willowwrestles?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@willowwrestles</a>/<a href="https://twitter.com/Skyebyee?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Skyebyee</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/RealBrittBaker?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RealBrittBaker</a> & NEW AEW Interim Women's World Champion <a href="https://twitter.com/jmehytr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jmehytr</a> TONIGHT <a href="https://t.co/BUp3f48J3o">pic.twitter.com/BUp3f48J3o</a>
A competitive match saw all three teams spotlighted prior to the match's final stretch, which saw Baker and Hayter roll, the former delivering a stomp to Blue for the hard-fought victory.
AEW may have something in the team of Nightingale and Blue, who are great babyfaces but need that one key win to build some credibility with the audience. Throw in the stuff with Baker intentionally overshadowing Hayter to continue the slow burn to their eventual rivalry and you have the positives from this segment.
The sloppy, thrown-together nature of the match itself, not to mention the handling of the women's title situation from the start, continues to highlight the shortcomings of the company's women's division.
Yes, Hayter is great, Baker is a phenomenal heel, and what the new champion accomplished with Toni Storm at Full Gear was fantastic. However, there is so much underutilized talent and an entire division being underwritten.
Put some of the effort reserved for other male programs on the show into the women's division and reap the rewards because the AEW women's roster is loaded with interesting characters, unique performers and competitors the crowd is ready to get behind.
As soon as the creative powers that be do.
Hayter and Baker defeated Nightingale and Blue and TayJay
- Prior to the bout, Renee Paquette announced that Thunder Rosa and AEW had mutually agreed to strip her of the AEW World Women's Championship because of injury, and as a result, Hayter was officially recognized as the rightful champ.
- Baker ensuring she scored the pin instead of Hayter, despite disingenuously showing support for her friend and new champion, is great stuff.
- Two quick segments followed: the setup for FTR vs. Top Flight Friday on Rampage and an in-ring promo from The Acclaimed that was more fan service and the instigation of a feud with Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett than anything.
ROH World Championship Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Chris Jericho
A brutal, hard-hitting match capped off the night's action as Chris Jericho defended his AEW World Championship against New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Tomohiro Ishii.
Defined by blood-drawing strikes early, it evolved into a dramatic encounter that saw two double-tough competitors throw everything in their arsenals at one another before Jericho trapped The Stone Pitbull in the Liontamer and tapped him out to retain his title.
The crowd ate all of this up, and justifiably so.
For all of the criticisms about Jericho, his overexposure, and whatnot, he was great. He broke out the strong style, had a badass match with Ishii, and wrapped up the show by selling a hard right hand from Claudio Castagnoli to set up their feud in time for Ring of Honor's Final Battle.
This was Jericho's best performance of the last year and probably, beyond that. He does not have many of these physical wars in him at this point in his career, but this fit his skill set, and he excelled.
Maybe battling a proven tough guy like Ishii motivated him. Whatever the case, the champion earned his props, and this writer will give them when warranted.
Jericho defeated Ishii to retain
- An exchange of open-hand palm strikes to the face kicked off the match while Excalibur informed the audience that Jericho and Ishii first met during the former's run as a junior heavyweight in Japan.
- Jericho's chest was bloodied, the result of an uncountable barrage of chops from The Stone Pitbull.
- Ishii kicked out of the Codebreaker, then countered the Judas Effect and rocked Jericho with a headbutt.
- The challenger delivered a lariat for a dramatic two count.
- Jericho applied the high-angle Liontamer, to which Ishii resisted tapping out initially and flipped him off.