AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 12
Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian have been pillars of All Elite Wrestling's tag team division from day one but Wednesday on Dynamite, they faced a turning point in their careers.
A win over The Young Bucks for the world tag team titles would ensure they continued their journey as a tandem. A loss would bring about the end of their long partnership.
That emotional showdown was just one of the championship encounters on this week's broadcast, which also saw Jon Moxley defend his IWGP United States Championship against Yuji Nagata and Darby Allin look to make it 10-in-a-row as he defended against the mighty Miro.
What else went down on a show that promised a new No. 1 contender to Kenny Omega's world title and a major announcement from Cody Rhodes about his Double or Nothing match?
Find out with this recap of the show.
Already announced for Wednesday's show are:
- IWGP United States Championship Match: Jon Moxley vs. Yuji Nagata
- AEW World Tag Team Championship Match: SCU vs. The Young Bucks
- TNT Championship Match: Darby Allin vs. Miro
- World Title Eliminator Match: Orange Cassidy vs. Pac
- Tony Schiavone interviews Jade Cargill
- The Pinnacle coronation
- Cody Rhodes' Double or Nothing announcement
Coverage begins at 8 p.m.
IWGP United States Championship Match: Jon Moxley vs. Yuji Nagata
Jon Moxley entered Daily's Place to "Wild Thing" by The Troggs for his defense of the IWGP United States Championship against Yuji Nagata. Wild was the perfect way to classify the opening moments of the match as Moxley and Nagata threw stiff forearms before the champion took the fight to the floor, catching the challenger with a knee to the back.
Moxley dominated the action but Nagata caught him with an exploder for a two-count. He faked the champ out and caught him with a kick, then added another. The grizzled veteran threw a forearm at Moxley that incited another physical exchange.
The champ dished out a lariat clothesline and the challenger answered with an avalanche exploder from the top rope. Nagata looked for the armbar but the champ made it to the ropes to force the break. Nagata rocked him with an enzuigiri but Moxley rebounded with a short lariat.
He looked for the bulldog headlock but Nagata survived. He could not kick out of the Paradigm Shift, though, as Moxley successfully retained his title. After the match, Moxley showed Nagata great respect, bowing to him and raising his arm in tribute.
Moxley defeated Nagata to retain
This was a hell of an opener.
Incredibly physical, with hard-hitting strikes from all and a potentially broken nose for Moxley, it was everything you would expect. Add to it a big-fight atmosphere, aided by Moxley's electric entrance to "Wild Thing" and Nagata's first appearance on TNT in two decades, and you had a phenomenal presentation to kick off the show.
That this had nothing to do with any ongoing storylines and was allowed to be exactly what it was only helped its overall quality.
It was yet another example of that forbidden door being kicked in and wrestlers from different promotions, styles, and backgrounds being able to showcase themselves on a major cable TV production.
Above all, it allowed Moxley to showcase a side of himself we haven't always had the opportunity to see Wednesday nights on Dynamite.
Cody Rhodes Makes His Double or Nothing Announcement
Cody Rhodes made his way to the ring, one week after a victory over former friend QT Marshall, for a special announcement regarding his Double or Nothing plans.
He inexplicably referenced political parties, went on a disjointed rant about America and patriotism, and reminded Anthony Ogogo that he didn’t leave his home country to chase the UK dream.
At Double or Nothing, he will battle Ogogo, but not as The American Nightmare. Instead, he will embrace a moniker far bigger than he: that of the American Dream.
Cody is one of the best talkers in the business but this was not good.
It was rambling, oftentimes lacked direction, but ended emphatically with the return of his late father’s nickname. Unfortunately, the feud with Anthony Ogogo is not one befitting that occasion and using it will not elevate the significance of what is otherwise a midcard feud at best.
It’s disappointing, too, because Rhodes using the American Dream nickname really could have meant a ton to a better, more significant program.
AEW World Tag Team Championship Match: SCU vs. The Young Bucks
SCU faced the very real possibility that they were working their last match as a team Wednesday night on TNT as Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian challenged The Young Bucks for the AEW world tag team titles.
Matt and Nick Jackson found themselves on the defensive early but seized control of the match entering the commercial break. Back from the timeout, SCU regained the upper-hand but the Bucks halted their momentum for a second time, sending Daniels face-first into the ring post and busting him open.
Kazarian fended off the champions, surviving an onslaught that culminated with a tombstone piledriver and running knee strike before Daniels somehow made the save.
Interference from Doc Gallows at ringside, a cheap shot with a can of cold spray, and Matt mocking the “I’m sorry, I love you” conclusion of the Shawn Michaels-Ric Flair WrestleMania classic could not put away the challengers.
The relentless, unforgiving Young Bucks rocked Daniels with a BTE Trigger for the win, Matt scoring the fall as Nick cut off a last-gasp attempt to break the pin up by Kazarian.
After the match, cameras cut to the backstage area, where Moxley and Eddie Kingston tore The Elite’s locker room up.
The Young Bucks defeated SCU to retain
The ending moments of this segment demonstrated a key difference between AEW and WWE. Vince McMahon and Co. would have let fans invest in the emotional conclusion of SCU. They would have focused on the split, really milked the emotion of it because at its best, pro wrestling elicits emotion.
That is something AEW and its production team will discover as it grows and evolves as a company.
As for the match, it was every bit as good as you would expect. It was incredibly dramatic, even as you expected the Bucks to retain. Daniels bleeding may not have been necessary but it definitely drummed up sympathy for him and his partner and, more importantly, made the Bucks that much more hateable.
And that was the goal.
The Bucks have introduced this wholly unlikable side of themselves and what better way to further escalate the audience’s disdain for them than by having them bring about the end of a beloved tandem that served as pillars for the tag team division?
It worked and the inevitable showdown with Moxley and Kingston and Double or Nothing should be a red-hot fight as a result.
World Title Eliminator Match: Orange Cassidy vs. Pac
The stakes were never higher for Orange Cassidy and Pac than Wednesday night when they battled in a World Title Eliminator Match, the winner to challenge Kenny Omega for the AEW Championship in the main event of Double or Nothing.
Pac broke Cassidy’s shades early and Freshly Squeezed answered with Beach Break for a quick two-count. A tope suicida had the King of Sloth Style rolling entering the break, but The Bastard seized control during the timeout.
Pac tossed Cassidy into the guardrails before rocking his opponent with a pair of missile dropkicks, but could only hold him down for two. Pac tried for a third but Cassidy casually rolled out of the way, almost as if to taunt his opponent.
The Bastard delivered a Liger Bomb for two. The crash landing left Cassidy reeling and in need of a reprieve. He rolled to the floor, holding his head as referee Aubrey Edwards checked on him entering the commercial break.
Back from the timeout, Doc Samson checked on Cassidy while Don Callis made his presence felt. The Invisible Hand taunted The Bastard, allowing Kenny Omega to slide into the ring and blast Pac with the AEW title. Edwards counted both men down, the match ending in a no-contest.
Omega and Callis celebrated the outcome, suggesting Kenny would have the night off on May 30. Tony Schiavone emerged from the commentary table and revealed that Omega will defend the title against both men in a three-way.
It was clear after the Liger Bomb that Cassidy was out. He didn’t move for much of the rest of the match and everything after that move felt like an audible on-the-fly. It is unfortunate, too, because Cassidy and Pac were setting up for a hell of a match before that spot and probably would have delivered one of the better Dynamite matches in some time.
Especially if their Revolution 2020 match is any indication.
The idea of a three-way at Double or Nothing is super appealing because it is a setting we have not seen the world title defended in often, if at all. Cassidy and Pac already have incredible in-ring chemistry. Add Omega to the mix and there is no reason to believe they will not have a legitimate Match of the Year candidate.
That is, if Cassidy is ok. Hopefully, he is because that powerbomb looked rough.
The Pinnacle Coronation
The Pinnacle made their way to the ring for a special coronation, a celebration of sorts following their victory in Blood and Guts.
A braggadocious MJF touted his faction’s success and denied Inner Circle’s challenge for a rematch.
Tully Blanchard put over The Pinnacle and presented them with expensive watches. Just as the celebration seemingly crescendoed, an air horn interrupted the proceedings. Ortiz, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara entered Daily’s Place in a modified four-wheeler, complete with a Little Bit of the Bubbly banner.
Chris Jericho, sporting an arm brace, emerged from the back and issued a challenge to MJF for one last battle. When he denied it, Guevara turned a hose on the group, dousing them in the bubbly. An irate MJF accepted the challenge, this time for Stadium Stampede and if Inner Circle loses, they have to disband forever.
The beer truck? Really?
Not only did that feel like a blatant ripoff, even as 90-percent of pro wrestling is a ripoff of successful angles, it felt cheaply done. Add to it the fact that Jericho basically shook off his huge fall last week to come back here with only an arm brace and you have a couple questionable creative decisions.
On top of that, the segment felt like it dragged on and considering it was only a few minutes, that is not necessarily a good thing.
Stadium Stampede was a nice addition to last year’s Double or Nothing because it was a nice change of pace amid the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic. Now, it feels shoe-horned into a feud that really should have ended with last week’s Blood and Guts.
Why should anyone care about the split-up stipulation when we just saw SCU breakup, only for their goodbye after years of teaming to be shoved aside like it meant nothing?
Thunder Rosa vs. Jazmin Allure
Jim Ross interviewed Dr. Britt Baker DMD, who was uber confident in her ability to defeat Hikaru Shida and capture the AEW Women’s Championship at Double or Nothing.
Back inside Daily’s Place, the No. 2-ranked Thunder Rosa battled Jazmin Allure in singles competition.
The quick squash match concluded with Rosa driving Allure into the mat and scoring the uncontested victory.
Rosa defeated Allure
Rosa remains the No. 2-ranked competitor despite cleanly and definitively defeating the No. 1 contender in a much-publicized match back on St. Patrick’s Day, but who’s counting or even paying attention to the overall rankings at this point? Especially if they fly in the face of creative plans.
This was a squash match, nothing more, and served little more purpose than reminding people that Rosa is still associated with AEW, no matter how loosely.
TNT Championship Match: Darby Allin vs. Miro
Miro smelled blood as he entered the arena for his TNT Championship opportunity against Darby Allin and wasted no time punishing the titleholder before the bell. The Best Man launched Allin around the squared circle, ragdolling him and punishing the enigmatic babyface.
Referee Paul Turner confirmed with Allin that he wished to compete and the champion confirmed. Alert and elusive, he wiggled out of Miro’s grip and sent the challenger into the ring post. A release German suplex by Miro on the floor helped him regain momentum ahead of the final break of the night.
During the commercial break, Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky attacked Sting, taking way Allin’s backup and leaving him to fend for himself. Miro continued to toss his opponent around, Allin landing hard on his shoulder.
Allin fought back and applied a sleeper but the right arm, damaged in last week’s fall down a flight of steps at the hands of Sky and Page, prevented him from consistently applying pressure. Allin reapplied the hold on the floor but Miro sent him crashing spine-first into a piece of the Dynamite stage.
Miro continued to focus on the shoulder, targeting it and sending it into the turnbuckle, then the ropes.
Allin seized an opening and delivered consecutive stunners, then tried for the Coffin Drop. Miro caught him and tried for a release suplex, only for Allin to escape. He delivered the Code Red but could only keep the challenger down for two.
Miro recovered, downed Allin and applied the Accolade for the win and title.
After the match, Page and Sky again attacked Sting. The Dark Order made the save, chasing the heels off. As the show went off the air, Lance Archer entered the arena and stared Miro down.
Miro defeated Allin for the title
If there was a time to take the title off Allin, this was it. There were protections in place, stemming from the hellish bump he took down the steps, and a 16-match win-streak that, if broken, would do wonders for the star who did so.
More importantly, Miro was finally hot enough to warrant the title victory.
After a clunky start to his AEW career, he finally embraced the dominant badass persona most expected from him earlier and rode it all the way to the second-most coveted title in the company. Now, it appears as though a date with The Murderhawk Monster Archer might be on the horizon.
Considering Archer has been hanging around the title picture for awhile now, almost waiting for a heel to win it so he can swoop in and challenge for the gold, it feels right. Even if it results in another big-match loss for the former New Japan Pro-Wrestling star.
As for Sky and Page’s constant attacks of Allin and Sting, expect a tag team match come Double or Nothing to pay off their interactions.