AEW Dynamite Homecoming Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights
Malakai Black exploded onto the scene in All Elite Wrestling four weeks ago, immediately targeting Cody Rhodes and setting himself on a collision course with The American Nightmare.
Wednesday night, the dark met the light in a hotly anticipated showdown between the two men.
Did Rhodes vanquish another foe or did Black send an emphatic message to all of AEW by introducing one of its executive vice presidents to Black Mass?
Find out now with this recap of the special Homecoming episode of Dynamite.
- Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black
- Labours of Jericho: Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera
- TNT Championship match: Lee Johnson vs. Miro
- Trios match: Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston and Darby Allin vs. Daniel Garcia and 2.0
- "Legit" Leyla Hirsch vs. The Bunny
- Christian Cage vs. The Blade
Labours of Jericho: Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera
The latest in MJF's Labours of Jericho kicked off this week's show as Chris Jericho battled longtime rival Juventud Guerrera. The scarf-wearing spoiled brat of The Pinnacle sat in on commentary alongside Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross.
The quick, high-flying Guerrera kept Jericho off-guard early, only for The God of War to halt his momentum and deliver a crossbody from the top rope. The former AEW world champion delivered a backbreaker, but referee Aubrey Edwards refused to count, reminding the babyface that he has to win by coming off the top rope.
He countered a top-rope hurricanrana by Juvi and applied the Walls of Jericho. Guerrera fought out and hit the Juvi Driver one moment later for a near-fall. Jericho recovered, delivered the Judas Effect from the top rope and scored the win.
After the match, Wardlow attacked Jericho while MJF announced next week's Labour will be a match against the big man...with himself as the special referee.
Jericho defeated Guerrera
There was a time when Jericho vs. Guerrera would have been a badass match on TNT.
This was not that time.
The effort was there, as was the nostalgia. Kids, like this writer, who grew up watching Nitro on Monday nights felt a sense of familiarity watching this one. Once that wore off, though, it became apparent these are two guys who are no longer in their physical primes.
The opening minutes were a bit rough, but Jericho and Juvi recovered nicely to deliver a solid enough match down the stretch.
Considering the cool entries into the Labours of Jericho to this point, the Wardlow option feels a bit lackluster. Having MJF as the referee feels like overbooking is a certainty. Hopefully, the execution is perfect and we get a suitable penultimate stop on the road to Jericho vs. MJF.
Trios Match: Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston and Darby Allin vs. 2.0 and Daniel Garcia
Matt Lee and Jeff Parker of 2.0 teamed with Daniel Garcia to battle Darby Allin, Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley in a Trios match. The antiheros dominated early but a chop block by Lee allowed his team to takeover heading into the picture-in-picture timeout.
The action broke down coming out of the break, with Moxley running over Garcia at ringside and Allin wiping out Lee. A tag to Moxley sparked a comeback that culminated with Allin executing a Coffin Drop to Garcia for the pinfall victory. Afterward, the beloved threesome stood tall alongside Sting.
A video package recapping Brian Cage's feud with Team Taz aired.
Moxley, Kingston and Allin defeated 2.0 and Garcia
This was a fun, fan-friendly match that got some of the most popular AEW stars in front of the crowd in Jacksonville, Florida. It didn't further any storylines or evolve any characters; instead, it was just an energetic sprint of a match.
The crowd was appreciative, the performers appeared to be having the time of their life, and 2.0 had the opportunity to compete on TNT. Not too shabby for a throwaway contest.
Christian Cage vs. The Blade
Christian Cage battled The Blade, a week after suffering a nasty shot with brass knuckles to the face at the hands of the heel.
"Legit" Leyla Hirsch attacked The Bunny early, removing her from the equation and ensuring Captain Charisma would have a fair shot at beating the workhorse of the Hardy Family Office.
Blade managed to seize control of the match through the commercial break, but the wily Cage fought back. He withstood a late surge by The Blade to deliver the Spear and pick up the win, remaining undefeated in AEW singles action.
Cage defeated Blade
The Blade has been one of the unsung stars of AEW in recent months, a guy who can square off with any wrestler on the roster and deliver. He has earned the spotlight for his consistent output.
Christian winning makes sense, and the commentary team put over his unbeaten streak to such an extent that it feels like the veteran will be the next challenger to Kenny Omega's AEW world title. Perhaps that will be as soon as Rampage in Chicago on Aug. 20 or the Labor Day weekend's All Out.
There will be plenty who argue whether that is a good idea when fans will likely question why the WWE export is getting a shot ahead of the more logical choice in "Hangman" Adam Page, but Cage was almost certainly brought in to play a role at the top of the card and a high-profile title match fits that role.
Like that decision or not, at least the match will be seriously good.
Britt Baker Accepts Red Velvet's Challenge
Tony Schiavone introduced AEW women's champion Britt Baker, accompanied by her bestie, Rebel.
Baker cut a promo, only to be interrupted by Red Velvet. The young star expressed interest in challenging for the title, to which Baker reminded her she beat the prospective contender in three minutes.
Velvet touted her 21-4 record before The Doctor accepted her challenge, naming Rampage in Pittsburgh next week as the location.
She downed Velvet and added a Stomp before standing tall to close out the segment.
This was fine for what it was, but it could have taken place backstage or in a pre-taped vignette rather than in a minutes-long in-ring promo.
Baker didn't really add anything new and Velvet was somewhat timid early on in her contribution to the segment.
The impending match will be a big deal, if only because the champ will be competing in her home town and in front of friends and family. It will be a thunderous homecoming for one of the most popular stars in AEW and a reminder of what happens when you give performers the opportunity to discover themselves.
Velvet won't win, but a strong performance will continue her upward trajectory since signing with the company.
The Elite Beats Down 'Hangman' Page
"Hangman" Page joined Tony Schiavone for another in-ring promo but found himself cut off by the arrival of The Elite.
Kenny Omega accused his former friend of trying to rejoin The Elite, but the group doesn't allow losers, noting that everyone involved holds some kind of gold. Page reacted with a hard right hand but immediately incurred the wrath of his former friends.
Dark Order's Alan "V" Angels rushed the ring followed by his teammates, but Stu Grayson and Evil Uno prevented them from helping after Hangman seemingly severed his partnership with them earlier in the night.
The heels laid out Page and "Elite Hunter" Kazarian to end the segment.
The union between Page and Dark Order continues to be one of the most entertaining elements of AEW. Always introspective, Hangman took exception to him costing his new friends a championship opportunity and split from them.
Despite being hurt and confused, the group respected his wishes.
The result? Page endured a beatdown that added injury to the insult of last week's loss.
It will be interesting to see in the weeks to come if Page and Dark Order go through trials and tribulations that ultimately bring them back together. It would make the eventual reunion a crowd-pleasing moment that catapults both sides to championship gold.
As for Kazarian, can the guy please win a match against a member of The Elite because his credibility takes a hit when he fails and gets his ass kicked like this.
TNT Championship Match: Lee Johnson vs. Miro
TNT champion Miro defended against The Nightmare Family's Lee Johnson in the night's next match. The Best Man overwhelmed the challenger early and often, dominating the match through the commercial break. But the resilient young babyface fought back.
Johnson's comeback included a dive over the top rope, a crossbody and a superkick that momentarily rocked the champion. Miro recovered, though, and ultimately applied the Accolade for the submission victory.
Miro defeated Johnson to retain
This was a great underdog babyface vs. dominant heel match.
Miro was established right out of the gate as the unstoppable force, only to see his early lead evaporate. Johnson was energetic as he hit back and looked like a wrestler well beyond his years.
Miro sold well for him and is as good as he has ever been. He is motivated, energized and delivering some of the best in-ring work of his career. It will only get better once AEW comes up with an actual feud for him that doesn't involve weddings and arcade brawls.
The Bunny vs. Leyla Hirsch
Backstage, Christian Cage told Tony Schiavone he will be at Rampage next Friday night and insinuated he might confront The Elite and AEW champion Kenny Omega now that he is the undisputed No. 1 contender to the title.
In the ring, "Legit" Leyla Hirsch battled The Bunny for the right to challenge NWA women's champion Kamille. Bunny dominated entering the commercial break, shaking off an early attempt by her opponent to grab hold of an armbar, then exchanged glares with the titleholder at ringside.
The tenacious Hirsch mounted a comeback and applied a devastating armbar for the submission victory. After the match, Kamille confronted her in the center of the ring.
After the match, attorney "Smart" Mark Sterling and Jade Cargill checked in. Sterling revealed his client will return to action Monday on AEW Dark Elevation.
Hirsch defeated The Bunny
This was a solid match that showcased The Bunny's offense while putting over the toughness and resilience of Hirsch.
The babyface overcoming a match-long beatdown to tap her opponent out worked well in this regard because Hirsch is such a bulldozing competitor. She absorbs everything before snatching her opponent and not letting go until they've tapped.
Allowing her to go to NWA and challenge Kamille when there isn't much for her to do elsewhere in AEW right now is the perfect use of her and gives the other promotion a boost on cable TV. It's a win-win scenario.
Like her husband, The Blade, Bunny is an unsung hero of the women's division, putting in the work and oftentimes making her opponents look very good as they move onward to other stories and opportunities. Kudos to her for her selflessness.
Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes
Malakai Black menacingly made his way to the ring for the night's main event, a battle of light and darkness against Cody Rhodes.
The enigmatic heel sported black, while The American Nightmare wore white as the commentators touted the "big match feel" of the contest.
Black kicked the left knee of his opponent, gouged his eyes and applied a half crab early on. As Rhodes created separation and scaled the ropes, Black rocked him with a kick that knocked him from the turnbuckle and through a table at ringside.
As Rhodes limped back into the ring, Black obliterated him with Black Mass. Placing one foot on the chest of his opponent, the heel scored the decisive and mostly uncontested victory.
After the match, Rhodes cut a promo that hinted at retirement, even including a reference to in-fighting among the AEW EVPs. Before he could remove his boots and leave them in the ring, Black returned and blasted him with a crutch to end the show.
Black defeated Rhodes
This was an obliteration that announced Black as a big player in a big pond. He made Rhodes look like a Saturday morning jobber about to be fed to Papa Shango. It was a dominant performance that left no doubt who the superior competitor was.
Rhodes had no answer for his rival.
Then, when it appeared as though The American Nightmare would steal back the moment by announcing his intentions to retire, Black leveled him to take back the spotlight.
The feud is going to write several more chapters. And hopefully, the culmination of this story will not be another triumphant performance by Rhodes, shaking off self-doubt and retirement teases. If that is the case, all of this will be for naught.
That would be a shame because not since Brodie Lee has Rhodes put over a new face this definitively.