Breaking Down AEW Dynamite (1/18/2023)

(Photo Credit: AEW)

The AEW hot streak continues with another good Dynamite this week in the wake of the tragic passing of Jay Briscoe, with a graphic for him at the start of the show along with numerous wrestlers paying tribute on the show as well. But on the show we had some great matches, and further story with the women.

Orange Cassidy vs Jay Lethal – AEW All Atlantic Championship

Really the main beef here was Sonjay Dutt who needed to make sure he or anyone else from his crew did not attack any of the Best Friends, who were at ringside for the match, and during the match is when Dutt, Jarrett and Singh walked down to ringside through the crowd. Most of this match was fairly light hearted and not really too focused on the match and more so on what is happening outside of the ring. To be fair though, it is as you’d expect from these guys right now. But Orange Cassidy got the win while retaining the title, and it was a solid match, but it was less focused on the in-ring work.

Post match, Sonjay Dutt stopped both Satnam and Jarrett from attacking any of the Best Friends because he would’ve been fired if they did. So he keeps his job and I would assume this is all done. What they move onto next, at this point, who knows? I really do think Jay Lethal should be getting more spotlight on himself, but it doesn’t look like anything interesting is in the plans.

Top Flight vs The Young Bucks

When this match was announced it was obvious how this match was going to play out in terms of in ring, and it was exactly that, fun, full of action and jumps and dives. It was great and showed off once again how good Top Flight are, but I can’t say I expected to see Top Flight get the win here, which they did, over the Bucks which is great win for Top Flight. It’s very cool to see them get the win here to develop them more so because Top Flight so long as they stay healthy, will definitely be tag team champions at some point this year.

The finish of the match protected the Bucks somewhat though, as it was a roll up that Darius used to win the match, still positive for them and who knows, maybe this leads to a trios match for the titles with Top Flight along with AR Fox.

The Acclaimed & The Gunns at it again

Before the segment it was said we were supposed to hear from The Acclaimed, but The Gunns come out instead, they essentially take the credit for making The Acclaimed what they are. The Acclaimed interrupt, Austin Gunn stops Max Caster’s rap the first time, but he got his rap in after having Austin’s mic cut. Then they get into a bit of a brawl which Billy Gunn breaks up and quite simply states The Acclaimed are champions and need to start acting like it. Then left with two words, those being “family therapy”.

So this storyline will continue along next week with what might end up being an in ring segment, but it’ll further the story along between these two teams. My hope out of this is that The Acclaimed pick up a bit of an edge to them, because it’s important they have a bit more of a serious side to them.

Jake Hager vs Ricky Starks

Solid match here nothing too great, Ricky Starks got the win as you’d expect but the feud between him and the JAS will continue onto next week. It will be Jericho teaming with either Daniel Garcia or Sammy Guevara depending what happens on Rampage, going against the team of Ricky Starks and Action Andretti. It’s good that we’ll be seeing Andretti again, because to get him over he needs to be featured on TV.

This feud does feel like it may go on for a while yet but I think the best place to blow the whole thing off would be Revolution, I guess you could do a stipulation match between Starks and Jericho, maybe a steel cage match to try and keep out the JAS.

Bryan Danielson vs Bandido

Bryan Danielson in another match, and just keeps on delivering, another match of the night with Bandido this time. This was great, back and forth, fantastic action all throughout the match, and even some of the nearfalls were convincing before Bryan kicked out. Eventually Bryan picked up the win as he would do because he needs to win in order to get his iron man match. Bandido once again, like his match with Jericho a few months ago, was absolutely brilliant, he went out and delivered a display that will continue to get him over.

After the match MJF popped up on the screen in more of a serious manner this week, speaking on how so far we’ve only seen the masked Max, and that you don’t want to see him with that mask off. I liked the difference in promo here, always good to get the different sides of MJF. Later on we saw MJF pay off Brian Cage, who will be Bryan Danielson’s opponent next week, and MJF wanted him to break Danielson’s arm, which he then handed over the cash. So the match next week will be quite good I’m sure and it should progress the story nicely.

Toni Storm vs Willow Nightingale

Prior to the match, there was a pre-recorded segment that was aired, basically having Saraya disrespecting Shida once again. So during the match Shida comes down to ringside like she did last week. Now the match was alright, but the bigger story was the divide between Toni Storm, Saraya and Shida. After the match was probably the most interesting part, Saraya and Toni Storm started attacking Nightingale, like they were heels, and I think this is now the case or will be the case going forward. Shida did not get involved but it was Ruby Soho who made the save for Willow.

Based on how this has been built as AEW Originals against the Outsiders feud, we will probably see Shida alongside Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter against Saraya, Toni Storm and maybe even Ruby Soho, it is possible, but the main thing is here, is when will Shida switch sides? That will be the point we may see this feud really kickstart.

Darby Allin vs Kushida – TNT Championship

The TNT title once again being defended on Dynamite, and more Darby Allin, which is great. The spotlight for the title is a huge positive on the show, and it also brought out Kushida who answered the open challenge from Darby. This was a very good match, a big focus on the arm from Kushida on Darby. It was a slower, more technical match, but it was still great with Darby getting the win using the Last Supper pin.

Darby has been doing a fantastic job recently, and now with the TNT title bringing it back to prominence is a wonderful thing and it looks to be continuing. Obviously Darby is going to hold it for a bit, and he should continue to build the title back up. I don’t think Samoa Joe or Wardlow will come back for the title, just because of the unfinished business they have together. So I think the TNT title run will just continue along until a legitimate challenger comes along.

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