AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Oct. 16
AEW Dynamite invaded Philadelphia on Wednesday for a TNT broadcast that was more than lacking in brotherly love.
Headlined by a Philly Street Fight in which Darby Allin challenged Chris Jericho for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship and a star-studded tag team match pitting "Hangman" Adam Page and Kenny Omega against "The Bastard" Pac and Jon Moxley, the broadcast continued the steady march to Full Gear on November 9 in Baltimore.
Who emerged victorious from those two marquee bouts? Was Riho able to successfully retain her women's title against Dr. Britt Baker? Which teams advanced in the tournament to crown the first tag team champions?
Find out with this recap of the October 16 episode.
AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament: SCU vs. Best Friends
SCU's Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian made their way to the ring to kick off this week's show with some AEW Tag Team Championship action.
As the trio made their way to the ring, The Lucha Bros attacked from behind, laying them out at ringside. Referee Rick Knox threw up the "X" insinuating serious injury to Daniels.
The Young Bucks arrived on the scene to check on the fallen competitor, who was stretchered out of the arena. Scorpio Sky arrived, wrapped up his fists and joined Kazarian for the showdown with Best Friends' Chuck Taylor and Trent.
Already at an emotional disadvantage given the way the show started, Kazarian found himself on the receiving end of a double-team by Taylor and Trent, who scored a near-fall off an assisted cutter. A piledriver/running knee combo continued Kazarian's suffering.
The aggressors turned their attention to Sky, injuring his ankle and pairing off on Kazarian on the arena floor.
Back in the squared circle, Kazarian attempted to fight out of a superplex but found himself on the receiving end of a Tower of Doom superplex. Kazarian fought through the pain and made the hot tag to Sky, who exploded into the ring, taking both Trent and Taylor out despite competing in just one shoe.
Sky dodged a tope from Taylor, who wiped out his own partner. Kazarian flew, continuing SCU's onslaught and Sky added one of his own to pop the crowd before throwing his other shoe into the audience, much to the delight of the fans.
An assisted tornado DDT by SCU nearly earned them the victory, but Trent shot his shoulder off the mat to prevent the defeat.
Recovered, the heels continued to use their double-team offense to great effect until Sky sent Taylor into the guardrail and Kazarian backdropped Trent on the apron. From there, SCU double-teamed the latter and scored the win to advance in the tournament.
SCU defeated Best Friends
SCU's tag team credibility was such that putting them at an early disadvantage helped the story of the match. Suddenly, Sky was shoved into service and worked well enough with Kazarian to score the win, erasing his own doubts that SCU needed the veteran duo of Kazarian and Daniels to bring the tag titles home.
The pre-match beatdown also helped further lay the groundwork for a feud with Lucha Bros that was hinted at two weeks ago in Washington D.C., when Pentagon and Fenix interrupted SCU's promo and incited a brawl. That match could well be a high-stakes part of the tournament to crown the first champions in AEW's tag team division.
Santana and Ortiz vs. Alex Reynolds and Johnny Silver
The Inner Circle's Ortiz and Santana made their first appearance in traditional tag team action, battling Alex Reynolds and Johnny Silver in a match that promised to be short.
Santana and Ortiz punished the competition and finished them with a double-team blockbuster for the short and decisive victory.
Santana and Ortiz defeated Reynolds and Silver
This was a squash match in the best way possible. The former LAX obliterated their opponents, showing a dominance that was not presented on the first episode, where they teamed with Chris Jericho to defeat The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega in a far more competitive Six-Man Tag Team match.
This was a great introduction to the team's oppressive, smothering offense and put them over as a genuine threat to The Young Bucks, a team Jericho appeared on the screen and challenged after the bout.
AEW Tag Team Championship Match: Jurassic Express vs. Lucha Bros
Early Wednesday afternoon, it was announced Luchasaurus had suffered an injury and would be unable to compete in the night's scheduled match in which he and Jungle Boy would battle the Lucha Bros' Pentagon Jr. and Fenix. Replacing him? Marko Stunt.
Fenix and Pentagon talked trash prior to the match, establishing themselves as the heels. They even shoved referee Aubrey Edwards, drawing heat.
However, Stunt and Jungle Boy silenced the masked villains with a lightning-fast onslaught. The babyfaces controlled the early portion of the match, to the surprise of the opposition, until a nasty superkick by Pentagon wiped Stunt out.
Open-hand chops from Fenix stunned both opponents, and his unparalleled aerial assault left them in the defensive. A modified driver from Pentagon earned a near-fall for the Lucha Bros, much to their dismay.
Frustrated, they obliterated Stunt's chest with a wicked chop, then another, silencing the crowd before each one. With his chest reddened and his body punished, he found himself in a one-handed gorilla press courtesy of Pentagon. A big kick from Fenix left him lying in a heap in the center of the ring.
Finally able to create some separation, Stunt blasted Pentagon with a knee to the face and made the hot tag to Jungle Boy, who exploded into the match with an arsenal of offense that included a kneeing moonsault to the back. A 450 splash by Stunt and a running Shooting Star Press by Jungle Boy were enough for a count of two.
Pentagon swung Stunt around by his hair and put him away to secure the win.
The Lucha Bros defeated Stunt and Jungle Boy
Like the match featuring Santana and Ortiz earlier, Pentagon and Fenix needed this to establish themselves as ruthless heels. At times, they have been babyfaces; at others, villains. This, combined with the violent attack on Christopher Daniels earlier in the show, firmly entrenched them on the heel side of things.
We knew they were stars, though. What we didn't know was how Stunt would fare in his first exposure on TNT. He was fantastic here, though, showing a penchant for taking an ass-kicking but showing just enough guts to keep fighting, even when it was easier to quit.
His performance was at the center of the story of this bout and helped put it over as the David vs. Goliath showdown it was from a credibility standpoint.
AEW Women's Championship Match: Riho vs. Dr. Britt Baker
Two weeks after making history by capturing the AEW Women's Championship, Riho defended her title against Dr. Britt Baker, a wrestler who has been at the forefront of the company's division since day one but was robbed of a shot at winning the gold by rival Bea Priestley at All Out on August 31.
Baker trapped Riho in her finisher early, looking for the mandible claw to ensure her victory, but the champion fought to the ropes and forced the break.
Moments later, Riho sprinted across the squared circle and caught Baker with a knee to the face. She scaled the ropes and tried for a double stomp, but Baker rolled out of the way and caught her with a sling blade.
A basement dropkick from Baker continued her roll until Riho scored a tandem of quick rollups. A suplex by the doctor halted her momentum and a kick nearly earned her the victory.
Baker looked to finish her off, but Riho escaped and delivered a slap. A northern lights suplex earned the champion another near-fall, but Baker narrowly escaped with her championship aspirations intact.
Riho followed with a single-leg crab, but Baker fought to the ropes for the break. A double stomp and a running double knee continued the champion's ferocious onslaught but failed to put Baker down.
Baker downed Riho and applied a crossface and fought for the claw, but Riho turned her momentum against her for the roll-up victory.
Riho defeated Baker to retain the title
This was the best Baker has looked thus far in AEW, coming up big in her first opportunity to capture championship gold. She rose to the moment and turned in a great performance in which she easily could have won credibly.
Riho continued to build momentum for herself, though, with another spectacular victory as the tenacious babyface who is never really out of a fight.
The sign of respect by the competitors after the match suggests this may be a one-off match. Even if that is the case, Baker is a star in the making and Riho is the right competitor to carry the division in its infancy.
'Hangman' Page and Kenny Omega vs. Pac and Jon Moxley
Two of the more intense rivalries in AEW clashed in a star-studded tag team match pitting Jon Moxley and "The Bastard" Pac against "Hangman" Adam Page and Kenny Omega.
Moxley waved Omega on, daring him to enter the ring with him just weeks before their hotly anticipated bout at Full Gear in Baltimore on November 9. Omega did, disregarding chants of "happy birthday" to attack Moxley at the bell. On the floor, Page laid into Pac, not forgetting the controversial fashion in which The Bastard defeated him two weeks earlier.
Omega continued to wage war with Moxley until a well-placed knee to the midsection cut off his momentum. The Best Bout Machine created separation and tagged Page into the match. Hangman blasted Moxley with a big clothesline and sent him to the floor. He teased a moonsault from the top rope to the floor but a distraction from Pac allowed Moxley to shove Page from the top, back-first across the ring apron.
A handspring moonsault from Pac, from the ring and onto Page on the floor, earned the heels their first sustained control of the bout.
Pac was braggadocious as he took the fight to Page, punishing him in the center of the ring. He joined Moxley in a big suplex that further put the babyfaces in dire straits. Moxley applied a cloverleaf to Page and taunted Omega. That momentary distraction allowed Hangman to rock him with a discus clothesline and allow the former top contender to the AEW title to make the hot tag to Omega.
The birthday boy fired off a flurry of offense that grounded Pac and allowed him to score a two-count. He turned his attention to Moxley, dropping his Full Gear opponent before soaring through the air and wiping Pac out at ringside. Mox followed suit, though, wiping Omega out with a tope suicida. Page put an exclamation point on the sequence with a top-rope moonsault.
A sit-out spinebuster and shooting star press to Pac combination by the babyfaces continued their roll. But Moxley dumped Omega to the floor and flattened Page.
The action continued to break down as chants of "AE-Dub" filled the Liacouras Center. Omega and Moxley paired off in the center of the ring, peppering each other with rights and lefts before the former broke out a series of knees that stunned Moxley. The unpredictable madman of AEW answered with a lariat that turned Omega inside out.
From under the ring, Omega retrieved the barbwire-wrapped broom from a week ago and entered the squared circle with it. Moxley did the same with the bat from the same show. Pac, unimpressed by the weaponry, tossed it to the floor. Moxley responded by dropping his partner with the double-arm DDT and bailing on the match.
Page delivered the Buckshot Lariat and Omega followed with the V-Trigger. Page finished Pac off, applying the first blemish to The Bastard’s win-loss record in AEW.
Page and Omega defeated Pac and Moxley
This did exactly what it had to do in that it built heat for Omega vs. Moxley at Full Gear by introducing those same weapons teased on last week’s show and gave Page a bit of retribution on Pac for the controversial loss on the debut episode of Dynamite.
Furthermore, it created a scenario where Page and Pac can compete again, with each claiming victory over the other. A rubber match on pay-per-view is exactly what that program deserves.
The chemistry between the four competitors made for a hell of a tag team match that ranks among one of the best bouts in the short history of Dynamite.
Philly Street Fight for the AEW Championship: Darby Allin vs. Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho may have a high-profile date with Cody at Full Gear ahead, but there was no guarantee The Painmaker would arrive in Baltimore with his AEW title reign intact as he defended against the enigmatic Darby Allin in a Philly Street Fight to close out this week's broadcast.
Allin, in the biggest match of his young career, wasted little time taking the fight to the champion, grounding and pounding him in the ring. Jericho sought to control things during the break, but the unconventional offense of the challenger proved problematic and left him on the receiving end of an onslaught of strikes.
Back from the break, Jericho downed Allin on the floor and rang the bell, prematurely declaring himself the victor as the fans in Philadelphia applauded his arrogance. He followed, dropping Allin across the guardrail. Confident he had his opponent where he wanted him, the champion rode Allin's skateboard around the ringside area.
Jericho retrieved a kendo stick from under the ring and brought it down across the back of his challenger. But the overconfident champion found himself on the receiving end of a crucifix roll-up that almost did in his title reign as Allin scored a two-count.
Jericho survived and applied the Walls of Jericho but Allin made the ropes. Some jaw-jacking with the official allowed Allin to blast him with the same kendo stick, but Jericho regained control over his outmatched opponent.
The champion retrieved a steel chair and blasted Allin with it. He teased sending his rival into a steel chair lawn dart-style, but the challenger countered into a stunner for a near-fall. Jericho shook it off and applied the Walls of Jericho, sitting down on it to maximize the damage.
Satisfied that Allin would not put up a fight, Jericho grabbed duct tape from underneath the ring and bound his opponent's hands behind his back. He proceeded to toss Allin around the squared circle, then teed off on his defenseless opponent.
That did not stop Allin from pulling off a springboard moonsault for a near-fall, though, or a tope through the ropes and onto Jericho at ringside.
Allin took to the sky for another near-fall that had fans on the edges of their seats. No longer amused by Allin's determination, Jericho blasted him and dropped him back-first on his own skateboard. It was still not enough to put the challenger down.
Allin dropkicked a chair in Jericho's face and scaled the ropes for the Coffin Drop when Jake Hager appeared and knocked Allin down. Jericho tapped Allin out to the Walls of Jericho for the win.
Jericho defeated Allin
There were quite a few excellent spots here that showcased Jericho's unabashed arrogance and, at times, overconfidence. He took Allin lightly and nearly lost the championship as a result.
Then, good ol' Hager reared his head and secured Jericho's title, ensuring The Inner Circle's dominance in AEW continued for another week. Speaking of whom, Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz joined their teammates in the squared circle for a bubbly-filled celebration as the show went off the air.
The faction figures to be a huge part of the show going forward, and Hager assisting Jericho not only helps put that group over, it also puts Allin over as a threat strong enough that the champion needed to rely on his backup to pick up the win.
It was not quite the brutality-filled battle fans may have expected, but there was enough creativity and inventive spots involved to make it a successful main event.