AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 18
With the next All Elite Wrestling pay-per-view not taking place until February 29, the company has a long time to figure out what it wants to do with that card. In the meantime, Dynamite will continue to feature its own feuds and storylines.
This week's show featured a contract signing between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega for their upcoming AEW World Heavyweight Championship match.
We also saw Top Flight debut on Dynamite to battle The Young Bucks, and the team of Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin took on Brian Cage and Ricky Starks.
After spending eight months isolated in his native England, Pac made his long-awaited return to the ring when he battled The Blade on this week's show.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Wednesday's episode of Dynamite.
The Young Bucks vs. Top Flight
Dynamite opened with a video package introducing Top Flight to the AEW audience before the duo and The Young Bucks came to the ring. Darius Martin is only 21 and Daunte Martin is only 19, so this was a big opportunity for the young tag team.
Nick Jackson and Darius started off with a quick exchange of counters and takedowns before Daunte and Matt Jackson tagged in and continued the quick pace. Top Flight scored the first near-fall.
The Bucks regrouped at ringside and nailed both members of Top Flight with some kicks and double-team combos when they got back into the ring. Matt applied a Sharpshooter on Daunte, but Darius broke up the hold.
The tag team champions stacked up the brothers in the corner with a powerbomb. They continued to go back and forth with double-team maneuvers as they traded control. The Bucks scored the win with the BTE Trigger.
After the match was over, Jack Evans and Angelico attacked Top Flight, but The Bucks chased them away. They helped Darius and Daunte to their feet.
If you like a quick pace and exciting tag team moves, this match likely appealed to you. If you like a slow burn with more psychology and mat work, this wasn't for you.
Both sets of brothers had several standout moments, but it sometimes felt like they were just moving from one sequence to another without giving anything time to have an impact.
This was a good showcase for Top Flight as newcomers to the AEW scene. The team looked good against one of the best high-flying duos in the business, but this match wasn't without some messy spots.
This bout could have used a little more selling, but it was still a fun exchange and a great way to introduce a young tag team to the national television audience.
Orange Cassidy vs. Kip Sabian
Moxley gave a promo from backstage and revealed the news that his wife, Renee Paquette, is pregnant before we went back to the ring for Orange Cassidy vs. Kip Sabian with Miro on commentary and Penelope Ford at ringside.
Cassidy ducked a punch and lightly slapped Sabian before Superbad took him down in a headlock. Sabian kept him grounded with a series of holds before dropping him on his back for a two-count.
OC blocked a drop toe hold and put his hands in his pockets. He kept them there while he rolled around the ring and hit a dropkick. He dropped Sabian at ringside with a suicide dive. Ford distracted him long enough for Sabian to hit a kick on the apron.
We returned from a break to see Cassidy beginning to build some momentum. He drilled Sabian with a diving DDT for a near-fall. Sabian hit several big moves but couldn't get the pin. Cassidy locked him in a unique pinning combination for the win. Miro immediately ran down and took OC's head off with a clothesline before Best Friends chased him from the ring.
By now, everybody knows what they are getting with Orange Cassidy. You either like his gimmick or you don't. There is not a lot of in-between with him.
Cassidy definitely has some talent, but his character is polarizing in many ways. One thing he definitely deserves credit for is creating a unique gimmick for himself that has found a following.
The match he had with Sabian definitely gave Superbad more opportunities to shine, which may have been by design. Sabian isn't used on Dynamite as much as he should be, so it's always great to see him get the chance to work a match that doesn't end too quickly.
Omega made his way to the ring for the contract signing, but when it was time for Moxley to come out, he was found knocked-out backstage.
Tony Schiavone asked Omega if he had anything to say, and The Cleaner said Moxley was just trying to avoid their fight. He signed the contract.
This was very anticlimactic and didn't do enough to make us wonder who attacked Moxley. Omega didn't act like he was guilty, but Schiavone should have accused him of having something to do with it.
We might find out more in the weeks to come, but this segment on its own didn't do much for anyone.
The Blade vs. Pac
The Butcher and The Bunny accompanied The Blade to the ring for his match against the returning Pac. This was his first AEW match in eight months since the start of the pandemic.
Pac immediately drove The Blade into the corner with a running dropkick as soon as the bell rang. He choked The Blade with his boot until the ref forced a break.
After hitting a missile dropkick, Pac got in The Butcher's face, and The Blade took advantage with a dropkick through the ropes. He threw Pac into the barricade a few times as The Bunny cheered him on.
After The Bunny tripped Pac while the ref was distracted, The Butcher took him out with a forearm smash. We returned from a commercial to see Pac starting to make a comeback. He hit a huge superplex for a close two-count.
The Butcher tried to get involved again, but Pac took him out with a superkick. He hit a shooting star press before locking The Blade in the Brutalizer for the submission victory. Pac tried to address Eddie Kingston, but The Butcher attacked him from behind.
Rey Fenix came out in an attempt to make the save, but the trio overwhelmed him. Penta El Zero Miedo came out with a steel chair in hand. It looked like he was going to attack his partner, but he went after Kingston and narrowly missed. The Death Triangle is back together.
Pac looked just as good in this bout as he did eight months ago. He had zero ring rust. If anything, he looked better than The Blade in a lot of ways.
Both men have a convincing intensity and used it to make this an entertaining fight. The Butcher and The Bunny's involvement was predictable, but it was kept to a minimum. They only interfered once.
The Blade is a good worker, but he hasn't been given a lot of opportunities to show the world what he can do in singles action, so it was nice to see him get that chance this week even if he was destined to lose.
If the idea is to make Pac a babyface or tweener, this match helped get him close. It will be interesting to see if he keeps showing heel characteristics or starts being more heroic. Now that he is reunited with The Lucha Bros, we will likely see them feud with Kingston's crew moving forward.
Serena Deeb vs. Thunder Rosa (NWA Women's Championship)
The NWA Women's Championship was on the line once again as Serena Deeb defended the belt against the former champion, Thunder Rosa.
They had a staredown before locking up. Rosa took Deeb down, and they began trading submissions and counters. Rosa began to build up a head of steam and scored a near-fall with a running senton.
We returned from a break to see Rosa hit a corner clothesline. She was favoring her left leg, and Deeb began to focus her offense on it. She hit a neckbreaker and a spear on the apron, but Rosa kicked out at two.
Reba appeared to distract the referee while Britt Baker spiked Rosa with a DDT behind the ref's back. Deeb took advantage and hit a powerbomb for a close two-count.
The former champion recovered and hit a series of moves for another near-fall. Serena finally won the match with her finisher to retain the title. After the match, Rose saw Baker in the crowd and attacked her until several officials came down to break it up.
This was a great match from two of the top women in the business. They were technically sound, hard-hitting and creative with their offense.
The interference from Baker did not end up bringing the match to a premature conclusion, but it did do the groundwork to set up a feud between her and Rose in the future.
There was nothing to complain about with this match. In fact, it stole the show. There isn't much more to say other than we should all look forward to seeing more action like this.
Brian Cage and Ricky Starks vs. Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin
Ricky Starks and Darby Allin started for their teams. They kept things technical early on with a sequence of holds and reversals. They slapped each other a few times, and Allin had to be pulled off Starks by the ref. Both men made the tag.
Brian Cage hit a running shoulder, but Cody Rhodes didn't go down. Cage turned a hip toss into a backbreaker but The American Nightmare recovered and hit a dropkick. Taz left the commentary table to coach his team from ringside.
Allin got the tag right as the show cut to a break. Arn Anderson was booted from ringside during the commercial. Starks yanked Allin from the apron to prevent a tag, and Cage hit a release German suplex for a near-fall.
Cody caught Cage with a Disaster Kick, but Starks nailed him with a spear right after. Cody hit Starks with Cross Rhodes, but Cage took him out with a torture rack slam. He sat Allin on the top turnbuckle, but the TNT champion hit a headbutt to knock him down.
The powerhouse picked Allin up and hit an avalanche Michinoku Driver from the middle rope for the pin and the win.
This was a solid main event. Cody and Allin worked well together, but it made more sense for the more established team to get the victory.
Cage is a super athlete who is just starting to show the world what he is capable of doing. Starks is a good partner for him, but Cage usually steals the show.
Will Hobbs joining Team Taz was a nice surprise to end the show. He and Cage will be a force to be reckoned with.
Overall, this was a good episode of Dynamite. It had its low points, but it provided some great wrestling and a few interesting storyline developments.