AEW Dynamite Fallout: Jon Moxley Returns, Jake Hager Arrives in Explosive Debut
Expectations of gargantuan proportions chased All Elite Wrestling into its big Dynamite debut on TNT.
With superb production, one of the hottest crowds in recent wrestling memory and a star-studded cast, Dynamite managed to present a fresh product while staying true to the talents on the roster.
Chris Jericho was as devious as ever. MJF lit the world on fire with his effortless mic work. Pac thrived. The women's division slingshotted into best-in-the-world contention. Jon Moxley had another unforgettable moment, and the unveiling of Jake Hager felt important in a way that only AEW can make it feel.
These moments laid the foundation for a weekly viewing experience that feels chaotic in the best way possible. There's smooth production, but the anything-can-happen vibes fans have sought for so long have certainly returned.
These were the top moments that have set the stage for the coming weeks.
Chris Jericho Sends a Message
Did anybody really think Chris Jericho wasn't going to find a way to get his mug on the opening hour of the debut show's first broadcast?
Jericho took advantage of some Sammy Guevara distraction after the latter's match with Cody to deliver a beatdown, taunting fans and drawing the ire of observers in the process. He's not exactly a model champion for the first show, but he's the big bad rockstar.
And speaking of Guevara, his in-ring work and an excellent bit of background about him leading up to match leaves him looking like a million bucks. The selfless Cody went back and forth with him, and both guys benefitted.
These three would lay more long-term groundwork at the end of the show, too, but this was important—the smooth production and excellent commentary, as well as the crowd, gave a too-perfect feel.
Jericho immediately disrupted that for his own selfish gain while expertly continuing a feud that is headed for a title match at a pay-per-view.
Pac Makes Sure Fans Keep Him in Mind
The commentator chatter as the superstars made their entrance said it all—Pac has gone a little forgotten, if not overlooked.
He won't after a debut on TNT like this.
Pac, another guy who came over after stints at other promotions and feels larger than life, went back and forth with the homegrown talent Adam Page. Both had a few momentum swings over the course of their bout, with Pac throwing out some fun power and Page once again showing off the fact he's quietly one of the more athletic guys on the roster
But Pac wasn't coming out with a loss. A low blow the referee didn't see swung the tide. And, remember: wins and losses matter in AEW. It should be interesting to see how this plays. Pac technically won, but does the win-loss thing go beyond the column itself?
And how does Page start getting back on track after an unexpected deficit suffered at the first show? He had a big title shot he lost, now this. What now?
Riho Crowned First AEW Women’s Champ
With Dr. Britt Baker watching on, Riho and Nyla Rose put on the best match of the night.
Wrestling faithful aren't unfamiliar with the David vs. Goliath sort of match these two had. But the nature of the story told in the ring between superb work made it all feel fresh.
And so did the finish.
Riho went for the head and got the unexpected win, much to the crowd's pleasure. And while she got her proper shine, the post-match attack by Rose—on Riho and others—helped keep everything in place.
Rose lost, but she had visibly kicked out late, and the fact she was right back up causing destruction is nothing but a good thing.
And Kenny Omega running interference to stop the beatdown and restore order was just another example of the show shattering the comfortable feeling viewers might have been settling in to. This is professional wrestling and, indeed, anything can happen.
Moxley Guns for Kenny Omega Once More
Talk about one of the images wrestling fans won't ever forget.
Kenny Omega was in the middle of the ring doing what he does when Jon Moxley came out and did what he does—disrupt.
Moxley hit the ring and aimed a finger-gun right at the back of Omega's head, which doesn't need much in the way of explanation for fans who have been riding with the superstars for a long time.
Omega sensed the energy shift in the room, though, which was probably pretty similar to what happened when Moxley first made his debut with the company. They brawled again, with Moxley again getting the best of Omega (though there was a nice ode to Omega's Cleaner in there).
Moxley, darker than a certain segment of fans might remember, pulled off a brutal spot by putting both of them through a glass table in the VIP section. That ended that, but getting Moxley back in time for anything, let alone a spot like this on the debut show, is a massive win.
Delayed or not, this is one of the best things to monitor on a weekly basis as things continue.
Hager Looks Like a Star as Jericho Forms an Elite-Counter
Talk about the early magic of AEW. The company just takes guys who deserved more and makes them look like world-class, must-see material.
Think, Shawn Spears. And now, Jake Hager.
Hager showed up for a brawl featuring a ton of names to end the show. He aligned with Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Santana and Ortiz against The Young Bucks, Cody and Dustin Rhodes. And he looked huge.
He may have also looked a little dumbfounded by the whole ordeal, but he was a wrecking ball who took out anyone in his path. AEW needs big guys, and it clearly doesn't get much bigger than Hager.
The match was a whole lot of fun, too, as is usual with any Young Bucks showing. Everyone looked great, and kudos go to the referee, who didn't stop the match just because Moxley hopped in, stole one of the competitors and tossed them through a glass table.
Hager, though, is just another example of AEW taking a name and making it feel wonderfully fresh. This stable, or what seems to be a stable, has the ability to run roughshod on the Elite and AEW roster, so what comes next indeed classifies as must-see television.
Tune in to TNT on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET to catch all the action of All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite.