AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 5
For the first time in company history, AEW presented Blood & Guts, a violent, unforgiving, two-ring match contested inside the confines of a steel cage between Chris Jericho's Inner Circle and MJF's Pinnacle.
The match, the first major encounter between the factions in an escalating rivalry, headlined a much-anticipated episode of Dynamite that also featured world champion Kenny Omega in action, the crowning of new top contenders to the AEW tag team titles, Cody Rhodes seeking a measure of revenge against longtime friend-turned-bitter enemy QT Marshall, and Dr. Britt Baker in singles competition.
Who left Blood & Guts victoriously, what long-term effects did the brutality dealt inside the steel structure have on the participants and what developments dominated headlines as AEW prepares for Double or Nothing on May 30?
Find out with this recap of the May 5 episode.
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston vs. Kenny Omega and MT Nakazawa
MT Nakazawa and Don Callis made their way to the ring to kick off the show, the latter claiming Kenny Omega was not able to compete tonight and therefore Nakazawa would compete on his own.
As Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston made their way to the ring for the advertised tag team match, Omega attacked the babyfaces. A brief onslaught by the heels on Kingston came to a sudden end as Moxley entered the ring and teed off on the opposition.
The fight spilled to the floor, where Moxley pounded away at Omega and Kingston unloaded on Nakazawa. Back in the ring, Nakazawa choked away at Kingston while Omega joined in from the ring apron.
The heels worked over Kingston, cutting him off from his partner until a knife-edge chop from the AEW world champion seemingly woke him up. Kingston threw chops back at Omega until an enzuigiri halted his momentum.
Kingston made the tag to Moxley, who exploded into the match and took the fight to Nakazawa. Mox punished him, dropping him with a piledriver. Omega broke up the pin, but the babyfaces forced him to the floor. Mox applied the rear-naked choke to Nakazawa while Kingston dared Omega to get back in the ring.
The world champ walked out on his friend, leaving Moxley and Omega to deliver a half-and-half finisher for the win.
After the match, The Young Bucks appeared and provided a distraction that allowed The Good Brothers to attack. The heels beat the victors down, leaving them lying in time for Omega to saunter his way to the ring. The champion delivered the One-Winged Angel to Kingston and pinned him while one of his cohorts mockingly counted to three.
Moxley and Kingston defeated Omega and Nakazawa
This was all about further establishing Omega as a cowardly heel. He evaded as much contact with Moxley and Kingston when they were on the offensive as possible, walked out on his own partner and then returned just in time to partake in a six-on-two beatdown of the babyfaces.
From a character development standpoint, it was fine enough. We have known Omega is the cowardly heel reliant on the numbers game. It has been something AEW has been insistent upon presenting for the last few months. Had this furthered things at all, it would have graded better.
Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall; Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page Assault Darby Allin
Cody Rhodes attacked QT Marshall from the opening bell, looking to avenge the shocking betrayal that fractured their friendship beyond repair. He pummeled his opponent, and Arn Anderson got in on the fun until referee Bryce Remsburg sent The Enforcer packing.
Marshall dominated the action through the commercial break, but Cody fought back after. He dropped QT with a DDT and looked for the Cody Cutter, but Marshall countered and delivered his opponent's own Cross Rhodes finisher. Rhodes kicked out.
Marshall delivered a buckle bomb and tried for a tombstone piledriver. After a series of reversals, Rhodes delivered the move but could only keep his opponent down for two.
The physicality intensified until Rhodes offered to help his former friend to his feet. When Marshall flipped him the bird, a pissed-off American Nightmare applied the Figure-Four for the win.
After the match, Anthony Ogogo hit the ring and blasted Rhodes with a shot to the midsection. He proceeded to bury him underneath the Union Jack.
Elsewhere, Alex Marvez interviewed Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page about their attack on Sting and Darby Allin a week ago. The TNT champion interrupted and brawled with the heels until the numbers game proved too great. The heels sent Allin crashing down a flight of stairs. The medical staff arrived on the scene to close out the segment.
Rhodes defeated Marshall
If the goal is for Rhodes to continue feuding with The Factory, as the post-match with Ogogo would suggest, why sacrifice Marshall here instead of building a higher-profile match between them at a later time?
Booking Rhodes against the young stars of The Factory feels like something you do to make him earn his way to Marshall. Instead, he beat the leader right out of the gate.
Assuming Ogogo is up next, the promising Brit will benefit exponentially from working with Rhodes.
What was a perfectly acceptable match between Rhodes and Marshall was helped, from a grading standpoint, by the angle that followed involved Page, Sky and Allin. The heel tandem, associates by way of their shared goals, continued their warpath and left Allin in a heap. It remains to be seen which one will challenge Allin first, but the smart money is on Sky dethroning the face-painted antihero when the time comes.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs. Julia Hart
Dr. Britt Baker DMD made her way to the ring for a match with young Julia Hart, just moments after learning she will challenge Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women's Championship at Double or Nothing.
Baker dominated, wiping Hart out with the sling blade early and applying the Lockjaw for the submission victory.
Baker defeated Hart
This was intended to get Baker on TV, put her over and hype her match with Shida at Double or Nothing.
It worked, showcasing the growing arrogance of the good doctor in the process.
4-Way Tag Team Eliminator Match
The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster), Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus), Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison) and SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels) battled in a Four-Way Tag Team Eliminator match for the right to challenge The Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Championships in one week.
Lightning-quick action, undoubtedly the result of time constraints, saw things break down fairly quickly, with each team hitting signature moves down the stretch.
Pillman, wearing his legendary father's tights in tribute, took the fight to Kazarian late and nearly scored an upset victory for his team. Daniels appeared and delivered the Best Moonsault Ever, though, earning the win for SCU.
SCU defeated Varsity Blondes, The Acclaimed and Jurassic Express to earn the title shot
This was definitely hurt by time constraints, as there was no real rhyme, reason or flow to it. It was a bunch of super-talented wrestlers hitting spot after spot before the inevitable victory by SCU.
Daniels and Kazarian vowed to break up after their next loss, setting the stage for a highly emotional match between them and the Bucks. It will be a hugely significant match and one that brings an end to SCU while further establishing the current champions as the irreverent, mocking and insufferable heels.
Unfortunately, SCU didn't have the opportunity to earn the title match in a better bout than this.
Double or Nothing Championship Announcement
Tony Schiavone introduced AEW world champion Kenny Omega, seconded by MT Nakazawa, and announced that next week, top-ranked competitors Pac and Orange Cassidy will battle for the right to challenge him for the title at Double or Nothing.
Omega put over the idea of a match with Pac, even reminding the audience that he has lost to the Brit on more than one occasion. This brought out Cassidy, whom Omega disrespected and downplayed as a threat before taking his sunglasses and giving them to Nakazawa.
After the break, Miro approached Schiavone and revealed that he has a contract for a TNT Championship match against Darby Allin next week. He vowed to win it, no matter how many risks Allin takes.
In one promo, Omega managed to make fans want to see both a match with Pac and, more so, a showdown with Cassidy. He was great as he built up the Pac match before completely disrespecting Cassidy, looking past him as a valid challenger to his title.
Miro being this wrecking ball of a competitor while also taking advantage of a beaten-down Allin is a great bit of business and adds yet another can't-miss title match to next week's show, which already features Jon Moxley vs. Yuji Nagata for the IWGP United States Championship.
Blood & Guts: The Inner Circle vs. Pinnacle
The historic Blood & Guts match between The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle kicked off with Sammy Guevara and Dax Harwood representing their respective teams. Guevara bloodied his opponent just in time for Shawn Spears to enter, giving Pinnacle the one-man advantage for two minutes.
The Spanish God absorbed considerable punishment until Ortiz entered the ring, unloading on the heels. He blasted Spears with a chair while on the top rope, giving way to a Spanish Fly by Guevara.
Cash Wheeler entered for Pinnacle next, wiping out Guevara before joining Harwood for an assisted brainbuster on Ortiz.
Santana entered the fray next, firing away with hard right hands and a uranage on Wheeler. He launched himself at FTR entering the break but found himself slammed face-first into the cage.
Wardlow entered the match for Pinnacle next and stood defiantly, daring Inner Circle to bring the fight to him. He fended off the attacks of Santana, Ortiz and Guevara. Tossing them aside like rag dolls.
Jake Hager entered next, tossing his Pinnacle opponents around and delivering a Hager Bomb to Wheeler. He applied the ankle lock to Spears, who tapped to no avail. With Wardlow back to his feet, big Hager came face-to-face with his fellow heavyweight. They exchanged rights and lefts before Wardlow gained the upper hand by sending him into the cage.
Spears hit the C-4 on Guevara just as MJF became the final member of his team to enter the fight. With Pinnacle rolling, the mouthy heel taunted Chris Jericho from inside the steel structure.
The cameras caught Wheeler pouring blood and putting over the barbarism of the contest. Jericho entered the match and the bell rang, meaning things would end with a pinfall or submission.
Le Champion produced Floyd the baseball bat, bashing his opponents with it and chasing Spears up the cage, where he choked him with the weapon. As the show headed to a picture-in-picture commercial break, Inner Circle thrived on the dominance of Jericho.
During the break, FTR exposed the wood of the ring for an attempted piledriver. Instead, Santana and Ortiz turned the tide on them and delivered spike piledrivers, with the assistance of Guevara.
With Spears in the Tree of Woe, Guevara went coast-to-coast, delivering a Van Terminator. Jericho bashed MJF with a steel turnbuckle, and Santana and Ortiz teamed up to gouge the spoiled brat with a fork to the face. The loudmouth heel poured blood as Inner Circle dominated.
The babyfaces obliterated Wardlow heading into the final break of the night.
During the commercial, Jericho fought MJF to the top of the cage while his teammates continued to dominate the action in the ring. Le Champion applied the Walls of Jericho, but MJF refused to tap. He caught Jericho with a low blow to force the break and then applied the Salt of the Earth armbar.
Jericho fended off the pain, but MJF answered with a shot to the face with the Dynamite Diamond Ring. He berated the now-bloodied Jericho on top of the cage and threatened to throw him off if Inner Circle didn't surrender.
Guevara, in the name of saving his friend and mentor, did, bringing the match to a screeching halt. Then, in typical heel fashion, MJF shoved him off anyway. Jericho took a big bump through the stage (i.e., particle board and a crash pad) to end the show as MJF stood triumphantly atop the cage.
Pinnacle defeated Inner Circle via surrender
There was a lot to love about this match.
The blood, the physical intensity and the way the match built as it went on were all positives. Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler absolutely stole the show, two old-school throwbacks who knew exactly how to sell and when to bump to maximum effect. They were the MVPs of the match.
Guevara was great and is destined to be the most beloved babyface in AEW one day. His guts, attitude and in-ring fearlessness will appeal to audiences in the same way Eddie Guerrero's did a generation earlier.
Kudos to Hager and Wardlow for pulling off a hell of a hoss fight, built to from the moment they first shared the screen months ago. They were great, throwing hands and running over each other.
For all the good, there were issues with the match, for sure.
With 15 minutes of airtime left, it became abundantly clear they needed to kill time.
The finish didn't help matters. MJF could have beaten Jericho by low-blowing him and hitting him with the Dynamite Diamond Ring and won the match in a way that would not have protected Inner Circle and led to more battles between the teams. While the finish we got helped establish the team's love for Jericho, it felt anticlimactic in a match that absolutely deserved an explosive finish.
Jericho's bump was exposed the moment the diamond plating was revealed to be particle board and a crash pad laid beneath. It would have been more forgivable had we not just seen Darby Allin take an unprotected fall down a flight of stairs and nearly break his damn arm just an hour earlier.
There were far more positives than negatives, and it was abundantly clear the men involved were fans of the match, of its rich history, and wanted to deliver a classic. They fell just short but still etched their names in the history books with a performance that will set the bar for everyone to follow.