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Cook’s AEW Dynamite Review 5.17.23

May 17, 2023 | Posted by Steve Cook
AEW Dynamite The Elite Hangman Page Image Credit: AEW
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Cook’s AEW Dynamite Review 5.17.23  

Hey kids! It’s Tony Acero’s week off this month, so you’re stuck with me. AEW’s got a big show in Austin tonight…it should be a hoot & a holler! Let’s get dangerous…

Excalibur is with Taz & Tony Schiavone, and it’s been a historic day! We’re getting right to the action, and TNT Champion Wardlow makes his way to the ring. Last week, Christian Cage had a lot of mean things to say. The fans chant “Wardlow”. Wardlow wants to see Christian follow through with the promises he made last week, and invites him to the ring. Christian takes Wardlow up on his offer, with Luchasaurus in tow. Some jawjacking off microphone between the two. Wardlow with the chokehold, & Luchasaurus attacks. Christian gets clotheslined, a powerbomb is teased, but Wardlow ends up getting low blowed by Christian. Luchasaurus goes down to ringside to find a ladder while Christian punches Wardlow. Christian is handed the ladder, and he rams Wardlow right in the hands! I meant face. The ladder is propped in the corner and Luchasaurus chokeslams Wardlow on it. The ladder bends in half, but is still useful enough for Christian to deliver a Killswitch to Wardlow on it. Christian poses with the TNT Championship while Wardlow rolls around in pain.

The announcers look back to last week, when Don Callis stabbed Kenny Omega right in the face. At least he didn’t do it in the back, right? We’ll hear from Don later tonight.

Orange Cassidy & Darby Allin vs. Lee Moriarty & Big Bill: Orange & Lee start us off as the fans chant “freshly squeezed”. Lee with a headbutt to the stomach, then a series of near-falls for both men in an attempt to blow up Bryce Remsburg. Some devastating strikes from OC, hands in the pockets, headscissors & a nip-up. Big Bill tags in, as does Darby. Bill wins that tieup, spins Darby in the air and lets him down. Darby with a big slap, then Bill charges over the top up. Lee tossed onto Bill on the outside, then some stereo tope suicidas. We go to picture in picture. OC’s attempt at an orange punch ends up with him getting knocked to the floor. Bill stomps OC down in the corner and appeals to the crowd. Tag to Lee, who kicks Orange’s taped spine for a two count. Bill tags back in, knocks OC down and mocks the crowd. A shame Bill didn’t show this personality during his heel turn on Enzo years ago. Bill stands on Orange’s throat. Delayed vertical suplex, which Darby tries to break up, but Bryce didn’t see the tag so it doesn’t count. Lee runs into an elbow, Bill misses, OC almost gets the tag but it doesn’t happen. OC slips out of a suplex attempt and tags Darby. Darby throws himself at Bill & Lee repeatedly. Bill accidentally hits Lee in the corner. Assisted chokeslam attempt is slipped out of by Darby, but he jumps into Bill’s arm and the Bossman Slam gets two. Darby slips out of the full nelson, OC tags in. Bill misses in the corner ahain, a tiltawhirl DDT by Orange. Lee hits a big suplex into a modified Ctossface. OC gets out, tags Darby. Lee placed up top, OC & Darby with the double superplex! Bill clotheslines both men down. OC counters a suplex into a stunner, Darby with a Code Red! OC with a Beach Break on Lee, then the Coffin Drop by Darby. Darby opts to end the match with a headlock takeover as a message to MJF.

Winner: Orange Cassidy & Darby Allin (11:11 via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***1/2

Alex Marvez is with the Young Bucks, but not for long as the Blackpool Combat Club appears. It’s three on two, and Claudio Castagnoli throws Nick onto a truck. Matt’s injured arm is slammed into said truck, and Jon Moxley tells us that he & his friends are the Elite. Wheeler Yuta was there too, he might have done something but all the chaos was tough to keep track of.

Renee Paquette is with Wardlow, Arn Anderson comes in and is mad that he wasn’t out there. Arn asks Wardlow what he’s prepared to do. Wardlow says he’ll beat Christian at his own game, at Double or Nothing in a Ladder Match.

A sportsbook wants you to bet on wrestling. Seems risky to me!

Renee is with Orange Cassidy and asking him about Kyle Fletcher. OC says he’ll take him on at Double or Nothing if he wants. Renee asks somebody to get him a chair.

Sammy Guevara vs. Exodus Prime: Sammy is billed from the Great State of Texas. I assume he has to leave the building right after this match per stipulations in later matches. Big knee strike from Sammy and the GTH finishes this in short order.

Winner: Sammy Guevara (0:26 via pinfall)
Match Rating: SQUASH

Sammy talks about how he remembers wrestling the indies up and down Texas. All of it brought him here and made him who he is today. He’s made a lot of mistakes, but it takes a few wrong turns to get to the right place sometimes. That right place is Las Vegas at Double or Nothing. He listens to his heart, which tells him he will be the new AEW World Champion.

We see a video package covering the history between AEW’s Four Pillars.

Last week, an AEW World Tag Team Championship match was booked for Double or Nothing.

Tony Schiavone is in the ring, and he welcomes the challengers at Double or Nothing. Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt make their entrance. Guitars with “Cash” & “Dax” are shown, but FTR attacks on the stage! Santam is pushed off the stage through a table. Lethal is backdropped on the outside. It’s Cash with a chair to Jeff’s back. Dax whips Jay over the timekeeper’s table. Jarrett is sent into the ringpost & rolled into the ring. The Shatter Machine is set up, but Cash gets low blowed by…Karen Jarrett? Dax gets Stroked. Satnam makes his way to the ring and double chokeslams FTR. The guitars make their appearance and get smashed over the heads of FTR. Jarrett & Lethal pose with the Tag Team Championships. Did they smash the guitars over the right FTR members’ heads?

Renee is with Darby Allin, and she brings up the headlock takeover. Darby says it’s a message to MJF. This match is the biggest in their careers. Sammy appears and says he respects Darby. He won’t lay down for Max and one of them needs to take the title off of that prick. A fistbump of honor!

Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. & Hikaru Shida vs. Ruby Soho & Toni Storm: A little strange to see Baker & Shida on the same team, but it’s a thing against the Outcasts. Fistbump of honor between those two. Soho & Storm attack right away. Shida with a rana on Storm, and she suplexes Soho onto Storm in the corner. Ten punches in the corner on Ruby. Missile dropkick by Shida. Ruby blocks a suplex and knee strikes Shida. Tag to Toni, who stomps away on Shida. Shida with a kick and a tag to Baker. Baker with some forearms. Tristing fisherwoman suplex gets two. Saraya trips up Britt, and Toni hip attacks the Doctor off the apron. Saraya with some kicks to Baker. Storm whips Baker into the barricade and back into the ring. Ruby stomps away as we go to picture in picture. Ruby gets a nearfall on Britt and chokes her against the middle rope. Saraya & Storm do the same when the referee is preoccupied. Storm with a snap mare on Baker, a vertical suplex gets two. Ruby gets rolled up for two, but she clotheslines Britt down right after. Rear chinlock on Britt. Ruby yanks Britt down by the hair. We return full picture to Britt hitting a running neckbreaker on Toni. Tags to Shida & Soho, elbow strikes are exchanged. Shida wins that battle. Running elbowstrike. Storm & Saraya get elbows as well. Shida body presses those two on the floor. Soho gets kicked down for two. Kick knocks Toni down. Falcon Arrow to Soho. SHE DID THE DEAL but it only gets two. Baker tags back in, hits a suplex. Shida with a Meteora off the top, Britt covers for two. Baker takes both Outcasts out and covers Ruby for two. Baker goes for the Lockjaw, Ruby counters for two. Toni tags back in, Baker with the Air Raid Crash, then the Stomp. Saraya on the apron, Storm gets rolled a can of spraypaint, gets Britt in the eyes and hits the Storm Zero for three.

Winner: Ruby Soho & Toni Storm (9:14 via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***1/4

Renee is with Orange again, and apparently 20 people went to talk to Tony Khan about that title shot. He’ll fight them all in a Blackjack Battle Royal at Double or Nothing. Renee doesn’t want to be in it.

TONY KHAN says it’s great to be here tonight and it’s been one of the great days in AEW history. Collision will debut on Saturday, June 17. He runs through some of the tour dates for the show, and will tell us where the debut episode will take place next week. Another big announcement next week? Hell yes!

Falls Count Anywhere (Adam Cole & J.A.S. Banned from the Building): Chris Jericho vs. Roderick Strong: My apologies to Roderick Strong and his theme song, as it wasn’t CM Punk’s theme in WWE as I thought it was a few weeks ago. In fairness to me, it was like twelve years ago when Punk used a Killswitch Engage song. We’re all very old. At least I know what Jericho’s theme song is. Strong attacks right after the song ends and delivers some chops and some running elbows. Jericho’s jacket is stuck on his arms, which doesn’t help him with the whole chop thing. Now chops are exchanged. Strong kicks Jericho down and gets a two count. More chops are exchanged. Strong gets clotheslined out of the ring, gets up on the apron. Jericho joins him there and gets dropped on said apron for a two count outside the ring. Jericho with some forearms, he sends Strong into the table and throws a drink at him. Back in the ring, Strong blocks the Codebreaker, but Jericho blocks Strong’s gutbuster and locks in the Walls. Strong reaches the ropes as we go to picture in picture. Jericho sends Strong into the steps and punches away at him before sending him into the crowd. Jericho with a double axehandle off the barricade. They walk up the steps, with Jericho pausing to hit Strong with a sign. Strong fights back. He drops Jericho throat-first on the railing and continues walking him up the steps. More forearms and chops from both men. We return to full picture and Jericho gets dropped on the railing again for two. Jericho & Strong make their way to the concourse. Excalibur expresses condolences to the family of “Superstar” Billy Graham as Jericho suplexes Strong through a table. Strong fights back, and back suplexes Jericho on a counter. Jericho gets a piece of staging and bashes Strong with it. Now we’re in a stairwell, and on a pretty high platform. Jericho and Strong exchange chops. Jericho with a running strike gets two. They leave that particular area without much damage. Jericho gets a chair, but Strong throws some kitchen utensils at him and hits some chops. Some Mr. Softy to the face of Jericho! Roderick has some for himself. Jericho tosses a trash can at Strong as the fans follow them down the concourse. Now they go outside, with Strong backpedaling…there’s ADAM COLE! He attacks Jericho in the greenery! The Boom to Jericho, and Strong hits a jumping knee for three!

Winner: Roderick Strong (13:11 via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***3/4

It’s a rare occasion when Jericho gets outsmarted, but that’s what happened tonight.

“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Rush (w/Jose the Assistant): Jack offers a handshake, Rush kicks it away. Rush piefaces Perry out of the ring and rams him into the barricades all across the ring. Jose gets the cables while Rush keeps ramming Jack’s head into the barricade. Rush dominates early on and has some uncomplimentary Spanish for MJF. Perry is busted open and thrown over a barricade into the crowd. Rush does the Tranquilo pose as we go to commercial. Rush rams Jack’s face into a chair. Perry tries to fight back but gets tossed back to ringside and into the ring. Rush with some headbutts to a seated Jack in the corner. A big chop sends Perry down. We return and Jack fights back. Jack’s clothesline gets no-sold & Rush kicks & headbutts away at him. Rush with a cup check, and that sets Jack off. Dropkick to Rush, but Jack runs into a thrust kick. They go up top and exchange shots. Jack with a leaping rana on Rush off the top. Jose tries a distraction, but it doesn’t work and Perry locks in the Snare Trap. Rush reaches the ropes, a rarity when one is in the Snare Trap. Shots are exchanged on the apron, with Rush taking the advantage and suplexing Perry to the floor! Perry darn near landed on his head there. A cocky cover gets 2.75 for Rush. Rush gets Perry in the corner, but has some words with the official! Rush gets rolled up by Perry for the three count!

Winner: Jack Perry (9:59 via pinfall)
Match Rating: ***

Preston Vance joins Rush & Jose in the post-match attack, but Darby Allin comes down to make the save. Now it’s Darby getting beat down, but here comes Sammy Sammy Sammy! Rush gets kneed by Sammy. Jose gets Scorpion Death Dropped, Vance gets double dropkicked out of the ring by Darby & Sammy. The Three Pillars stare at each other and Jungle Boy’s music plays.

Renee is with MJF, who seems a bit unsettled at the moment. Renee asks Max how he feels, and Max slaps her microphone to the ground.

Renee is with Toni Storm, who has four wins in the last five days. Toni doesn’t see Jamie Hayter setting records like that. She’s an entirely different animal now, and she challenges Hayter to a match at Double or Nothing.

Ricky Starks vs. Jay White (w/Juice Robinson): Austin is Ricky’s second home and the fans are behind him. White goes outside the ring. Starks chases him and gets stomped for his trouble. Starks stomps White down in the corner and sends him outside. Starks sends White into the barricade. Starks barely beats the ten count while staring Juice down. White with a hot shot for two. Starks got his bell rung there, and gets chopped by White. Starks with a back body drop and some posing. Back outside, and White takes advantage. Juice distracts Ricky, and White drops Ricky on the apron. We go picture in picture. White with a dragon screw, but Ricky fights back with some punches. White with a side slam for a two count, then a reverse bearhug. We return to full picture and Starks works White over in the corner. Big clothesline by Starks, but that knee is giving him some trouble. Atomic drop and a kick from Starks. Elbow in the corner. Tornado DDT blocked, but Starks overhead suplexes White. There’s the Tornado DDT for two. White headbutts Starks in the abs, then hits a DDT. Juice gives Starks some words, White elbows Starks in the corner and drops him on the top rope. Starks blocks a German, but White hits a urinaki for two. White goes for a choke, Starks eventually elbows his way out but gets sent over the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring, Starks with an inside cradle for two. Swinging neckbreaker by Starks. Starks with a Snow Plow for the two count. Starks & White reverse out of each other’s finishers in a fun sequence. Spear by Starks, then the Roshambo gets blocked! Juice misses with a chair, but Ricky doesn’t! He then uses it on Jay White, and that’s a rare disqualification.

Winner: Jay White (12:16 via disqualification)
Match Rating: ***1/2

Things really got cooking with these two in the last couple of minutes. I think there’s a really big match to be had between them, and we’ll see it fairly soon.

Tony Schiavone is in the ring, and it gives him absolutely no pleasure to introduce Don Callis. Security guards flank the ramp to keep Don safe from whoever might be looking to attack him. The fans chant “piece of shit” at Don. Tony asks “Why”. Don says he’s going to talk about what Kenny Omega did to him. There’s only one victim in this scenario, and it’s Don Callis. After everything he did for Kenny. The IWGP title. Jericho vs. Omega. The AEW Championship. Without him, there is no Kenny Omega. Kenny appears on stage, and starts fighting the security. The BCC comes out and attacks Omega from behind. Paradigm Shift on the ramp by Jon Moxley. Bryan Danielson is still grinning from last week. Moxley says that Kenny and his friends can’t touch them. They are the real Elite! The Young Bucks appear behind Kenny, they’ve got some weapons. They pause before attacking, and Hangman Adam Page’s music plays! Kenny hands him the barbed wire broom! It’s a 4 on 4 melee! Well, not for long, as poor Wheeler seems to have been left to take the punishment. BTE Trigger, then a Buckshot Lariat! Page still has an eye patch, and says they are the heart of this place, and are the Elite. Page says the two groups will face off at Double or Nothing in Anarchy in the Arena. Staring ensues as we fade to black.

Well that explains why we had the main event interview!

The final score: review Good
The 411
AEW needed to start setting things up for Double or Nothing, and they did a lot of that this week. Almost every segment resulted in some match being made, or building up an already made match. Smart. The wrestling was solid, though I wasn't really blown away by anything. I really liked the Jericho/Strong brawl, but your mileage may vary. I do think they could have held off on the Billy Graham mention until after the Falls Count Anywhere match, but it's a minor complaint. Fun little episode of Dynamite that hopefully gets people interested in the PPV.

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AEW Dynamite, Steve Cook