Thursday, August 3, 2023

AEW Dynamite (August 2nd, 2023): 200th Episode

200 episodes of Dynamite... how 'bout that? And in a month, Impact Wrestling is going to hit its 1000th episode... I should probably give that a watch too...

So they brought back the old Dynamite set - the one with the two tunnels and the crowd being nice and lit so you can actually see them. I'm honestly surprised by how much I prefer the old set over their current set-up, but when you need to do three different shows (four?), you need something more generic.

Show opens with Chris Jericho and that Takeshita guy defeated Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia with an assist from a Don Callis-delivered chairshot to Garcia. So Callis is trying to recruit Jericho to his new "family" and Jericho is somewhat reluctant, which puts him at odds with his Appreciation Society, whom have called for a meeting next week. Oh, goodie. Other than that, the match was alright.

Tony Khan thanks everyone for 200 episodes of Dynamite... and then hours later, fans upload pictures of the Elitetron thanking Tony Khan. Hey, you know what? Good on him; the show is still on the air, which is a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Well deserved.

Jack Perry comes out for his "face-to-face" with Jerry Lynn, who comes out and dashes everyone's hopes for a big comeback, citing various back issues and such. He did bring in another ECW alumnus to face off with ol' Jungle that the crowd has already figured out. And sure enough, out comes The Whole F'n Show himself, Rob Van Dam... complete with his old ECW music (Walk by Pantera) that the crowd immediately starts singing. Perry walks off cool, then tries a sneak attack with a chair that goes badly, and jumps into the crowd to hide behind a little kid. What a heel.

So yeah, RVD vs. Jungle Jack is going to be a thing. RVD is still active these days, so that'll be interesting.

Trent Baretta defeated Penta and Jon Moxley in an anything goes match that saw Mox actually not bleed for once. Forget the match; this is news in and of itself!

But no, seriously, this was the usual, wild zany "let's hit each other with a bunch of stuff" brawl that I was expecting to be and it didn't disappoint. This then brings out the rest of the Combat Club, Best Friends, and other Lucha guy to participate... and then one of them challenges everyone else to finish the fight at Daily's Place... on Rampage. Does anyone still give a shit about Rampage these days?

Out comes MJF to a loud babyface reaction. Talks about his upbringing and tribulations and that's why he's a dick... because, you know, he's a heel. He brings out Adam Cole and gives him a contract to an AEW World title match at All In in Wembley - holy fuck, we're actually booking shit for All In! - and Adam Cole signs the contract... despite the crowd chanting "READ IT!" Because you see, Adam Cole is your idiot babyface in peril and MJF is the slimeball who will play the angel for a bit and then kick you in the balls. I thought AEW babyfaces were supposed to be smarter than this.

The Elite (Kenny and The Bucks) defeated Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, and that tall dude in the obligatory trios party match. Hey, did you know that the Elite has re-signed with AEW and that they'll be on Collision soon? I guess I gotta watch this Collision show... one of these days. Maybe they can... oh wait.

We then cut to Swerve Strickland and AR Fox coming into the old Buddy Wayne school and they beat up on poor young Nick Wayne, who figured out how to get in the ring at one year old, so he could probably win a Reverse Battle Royal. So Nick is getting bloodied up, there's a knife pulled... funny how this happened a couple days after I saw an old NWA-TNA show where someone pulled a gun. I thought this was a good segment and pushed Swerve and VR as potential threats, though I'd imagine this segment being very divisive and such, but hey, if it builds interest, why not?

There's an ROH tag title match that I missed, but they tried to give us the hard sell for Collision, which features CM Punk defending his so-called "REAL" World Championship against Ricky Starks... so I either watch this or Summerslam. Tough choice... oh wait, I live in Canada and Collision only airs on a shitty TSN app unless it's live from Canada because of Canadian Content rules and shit.

Or I could watch neither show... that's appealing too.

Last week, some poor editor cut to a shot in the crowd of a fan holding up a sign that said "BOOK THE WOMEN BETTER."

Hence our main event, which saw Hikaru Shida defeat Women's Champion Toni Storm in a hell of a match to win the title. I have nothing but good things to say about Shida, so I am happy that she got the win here. Hopefully, she gets a nice run with the title that includes people because she deserves it. Big props to Storm as well, who held up her end and gave Shida a foil to overcome. Granted, this only happened because Jamie Hayter is out of commission for a while, but Shida getting another run with the title is long overdue and I'm happy that it happened.

Yeah, so I don't knoe if this qualifies as "booking the women better," but at least Shida is getting better booking. Long overdue, too.

Well, that was a fun show, now wasn't it? Old-school vibes, top-to-bottom great card of action, and we're finally building towards that All In show that's going to be the rage. For a landmark 200th episode, I thought this was well done. I might actually keep going for the moment.

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