AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction, Highlights for Anniversary Show
This week's episode of Dynamite celebrated the show's one-year anniversary with all four of the company's titles being defended and much more.
The Tag Team Championships were up for grabs when Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood put the belts on the line against Trent and Chuck Taylor of Best Friends.
The women's division was also highlighted when Hikaru Shida put the title up against someone who has been very successful in recent months, Big Swole.
Cody just regained the TNT Championship last week, but he was already willing to defend the title against Orange Cassidy.
And lastly, Lance Archer finally got his shot at the AEW World Heavyweight Championship after missing his originally scheduled match. We also saw Miro and Kip Sabian in action and some special surprises to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Dynamite.
Let's take a look at everything that took place on Wednesday's show.
Here is a list of the matches AEW advertised ahead of Wednesday's show:
- FTR vs. Best Friends
- Shida vs. Big Swole
- Cody vs. Cassidy
- Jon Moxley vs. Archer
- Miro and Kip Sabian in action
FTR vs. Best Friends (AEW Tag Team Championships)
The show started with both teams in the ring. Justin Roberts gave the official introductions, and the match got underway. As usual, Tully Blanchard was with FTR.
Taylor and Wheeler started things out with a basic lockup and shoulder-block combo. Wheeler quickly brought in Harwood as they began to focus on Chuckie T's left arm.
Trent eventually replace his partner and traded some chops with Harwood in the corner. FTR began to establish dominance as it used quick tags to keep both men fresh while they isolated Trent on their side of the ring.
Taylor tagged in to give his partner a break, but Blanchard tripped him at one point to give his guys the advantage. Trent came back in to help Taylor recover and take control. Harwood took out Taylor to make it a two-on-one fight for a few minutes. This allowed FTR to hit a few double-team moves, but they were unable to get the pin over a resilient Trent.
They began to pick up steam as both teams hit a variety of DDTs on each other. Trent and Wheeler fought into the crowd, and Sue's son ended up being thrown into an arcade cabinet. Sabian sent Penelope Ford running to the back.
Taylor returned just in time to prevent FTR's finisher. Wheeler was able to use the title belt to hit Taylor behind the ref's back, allowing Harwood to cover him for the win. Ford returned with Miro, and he absolutely destroyed Taylor and Trent for breaking the arcade game.
AEW's tag team division has been a big part of the company since the beginning, so starting the anniversary show with the tag title match seemed appropriate. FTR hasn't been part of AEW for very long, but Best Friends have been around since day one.
Any kind of dirty finish is going to anger a certain percentage of fans, but the ending to this match made perfect sense. Harwood and Wheeler are bad guys, and winning this way is a classic heel move.
The match itself was a lot of fun. They used traditional tag team setups but incorporated a few modern techniques to keep a quick pace. This was a good opening bout and a great way to set the tone for the rest of the show.
Kip Sabian and Miro vs. Sean Maluta and Lee Johnson
Miro and Sabian remained in the ring and took part in the second match immediately after the commercial break. Their opponents for the night were Sean Maluta and Lee Johnson.
Miro asserted his dominance right away by taking Maluta down and bringing him out of the ring so he could throw him into the barricade. Sabian tagged in momentarily, but he brought Miro back in right away so he could apply a deep camel clutch for the submission victory.
Miro and Sabian gave a promo directed at Best Friends. They blamed them for breaking Sabian's arcade cabinet, which he called his most prized possession.
As far as the match is concerned, this was quick and did not showcase Sabian's high-flying abilities at all. As a way to make Miro look unstoppable, it worked perfectly.
Some matches don't have to be long clinics or bloody battles to elevate someone. This was a good way to put over Miro, and that was exactly what AEW wanted to do with this bout. Unfortunately, the grade for a match like this will never be very high because it isn't long enough to stand out from other squashes.
Pairing Miro and Sabian with Best Friends for a feud will be the Bulgarian's first real feud in AEW. The conflicting personalities on both teams should make for some fun encounters.
MJF's Big Announcement
MJF was out with Wardlow after the break to reveal the big announcement he has been teasing all week on social media. He started out by addressing the boos he received and insulted the crowd.
He brought out Chris Jericho to be present for his announcement. Le Champion was not alone, as he had the entire Inner Circle by his side. Sammy Guevara didn't seem to want to wear his Inner Circle jacket because it was way too big, but Jericho made him put it on.
Jericho quickly tired of MJF's flattery and told him to get to the point. Maxwell Jacob Friedman brought up how both men are at the top of their game but have never crossed paths in the ring.
MJF struggled to say what he really wanted, but after several attempts, he said he might want to join The Inner Circle. Ortiz took the mic and said he doesn't want MJF in the group, but Jericho said he would think about it. He suggested MJF meet him next week for a steak dinner, which led to a small chant for steaks from the crowd.
MJF wanting to join The Inner Circle was somewhat surprising given how many times they have teased a match between the two, but that could still be where this story is heading.
This segment might have been a bit on the long side, but MJF and Jericho are entertaining enough to carry anything, so it worked out fine in the end.
It will be interesting to see how their dinner goes next week, but it has already been established that members of The Inner Circle do not like Friedman, so the odds of MJF ending up in the stable are slim.
Cody vs. Orange Cassidy (TNT Championship)
Darby Allin was shown watching from the crowd as Cody made his entrance for the TNT title match. Cody tried to get Cassidy to engage with him, but the slacker kept avoiding contact.
Freshly Squeezed teased locking up before putting his hands in his pockets. The American Nightmare shoved him back, and Cassidy decided it was time to try. He forced Cody to the corner and made a clean break. The champ immediately took control with a rear waistlock, but OC broke free with a unique counter.
You could see Cody felt disrespected by Cassidy's attitude as the show went to a commercial. As the match progressed during the break, you could see Cassidy putting more effort into the match as Cody became more vicious.
OC avoided a double ax handle and hit his trademark low kicks. Cody responded with an uppercut, but Cassidy fired back with a superkick and a suicide dive. John Silver ran down and tried to attack Cassidy with the TNT belt, but he failed and the entire Dark Order was booted from ringside. He handed the belt to Arn Anderson before rolling Cody into the ring.
The challenger hit a couple of his signature moves, but every time he hit one, the champ responded with a more impactful maneuver. He dragged Cassidy to the corner and slammed his knee into the ring post. He applied a half-crab submission but let go when he couldn't maintain the hold.
The American Nightmare hit a reverse superplex from the top rope, but Cassidy still kicked out at two. OC hit a diving DDT from the middle rope and a Michinoku Driver for a pair of two-counts.
OC hit a beautiful tornado DDT followed by a Beach Break, but Cody did not stay down for the pin. As the announcer informed them they had less than a minute left, Cassidy rolled Cody up. The ref counted to two before the bell rang because of the time expiring. OC was less than a second away from winning the title.
This was easily the best performance Cassidy has had in AEW. It even managed to outdo his Mimosa Mayhem match with Jericho in terms of the quality of wrestling.
Cody almost played the heel by default even if he wasn't employing a lot of illegal tactics. He showed some anger, broke a few rules and almost seemed like he wanted to make an example out of Cassidy for what he saw as disrespectful behavior.
This match told just as much of a story as they could have with a couple of weeks of buildup. These two make great opponents, and it would be a shame if this was just a one-off encounter.
The time-limit draw finish was a good way to keep both men looking good. We don't see this kind of ending very often, so it doesn't feel like a cheap finish the way a disqualification would have.
Hikaru Shida vs. Big Swole (AEW Women's Championship)
Swole offered a handshake to Shida before they locked up to get the action going. Shida hit a few body blows, but Swole shoved her down and started running the ropes.
They matched each other move for move until they knocked each other down. Shida missed the kip-up but still managed to take control and set up Swole for a running knee on the apron.
As the show went to a commercial, Swole shoved Shida into the cameraman. We returned just as the challenger nailed the champ with a big headbutt. They took the fight out of the ring where Swole hit a cutter on the stage. She hit another one in the ring but only scored a near-fall.
Shida hit a straitjacket German suplex, but Swole kicked out. Jim Ross correctly pointed out that Swole's shoulders were never on the mat. Both women hit their finishers but could not keep each other down for the pin. Shida finally finished Swole off with a running knee for the win.
This match started out well. They were hitting each other hard and putting on a good show. The longer it went, the more mistakes we started to see.
Missing a kip-up is one thing, but the ref trying to count a pin when Swole's shoulders were clearly off the mat was a big mistake.
The ending seemed a little abrupt, but the outcome made sense. Shida has taken on all comers, and defeating Swole, who has been on a roll lately, solidifies her as the top woman in the division.
Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer (AEW World Championship, No Disqualification)
Archer threw a member of the production crew through a pane of glass during his entrance. As soon as Moxley hit the ring, he dropped Archer with a Paradigm Shift for a quick two-count.
The Murderhawk Monster took control for a moment, but Mox dropkicked him off the apron and hit a suicide dive. When they fought around the ring, Archer used the barricade to turn the tables.
Moxley hit a clothesline, and Archer just smiled at him. They collided again, and it was Moxley who went flying. Archer hit a senton from the apron to take him down on the floor.
During the break, the challenger set up a couple of tables at ringside. He attempted a chokeslam, but Moxley countered to avoid disaster. They traded strikes until Archer blasted Moxley off his feet. Mox grabbed some chairs from under the ring and used one to nail his opponent in the face.
Archer chokeslammed Moxley through two chairs for a near-fall. Jake Roberts had to help his client escape an ankle lock by pulling him out of the ring. The Murderhawk Monster hit the champ in the face with a trash can. Moxley countered him on the apron and hit a Paradigm Shift to put Archer through the tables.
When they got back into the ring, Moxley hit his finisher again but only got a two-count. Archer picked him up and hit the Blackout, but when he went for the cover, Moxley rolled him over for the pin and the win.
Eddie Kingston and The Lucha Bros helped Moxley after the match and appeared to congratulate him on his win before Kingston hit him with a cheap shot and choked him out.
This match was only 15 minutes long with a commercial break, but they fit enough into it to make it feel almost twice as long in a good way.
Moxley and Archer took each other to their limit and hit all of their big moves along the way. Having Moxley retain was kind of predictable but was still the right call.
Starting a feud between Mox and Kingston is great, but it feels a little too soon. Kingston should rack up some more wins before he gets a title opportunity.
This match was a great way to end the anniversary show, and it definitely put Archer on the map as a main event player in AEW. All in all, this was a solid episode of Dynamite to celebrate the one-year anniversary.