In the second week of the AEW and WWE NXT Wednesday Night Wars, AEW Dynamite controlled the ratings again. Unlike the first installment, I agreed that Dynamite was the better show than WWE NXT. It was unanimous. Both shows put out a strong product in week two, which is ultimately best for the wrestling business. This week, AEW Dynamite comes to the City of Brotherly Love. It’s a pleasure to cover this show being a part of a Philadelphia sports media outlet.
The WWE held their draft as the big switch to put Smackdown on FOX was implemented a couple of weeks ago. With a shift of the playing field to shake up WWE television, more eyes were going to their product as they would be featured on a bigger network. However, the additions of Cain Velasquez and Tyson Fury wrestling at an upcoming WWE Network special entitled “Crown Jewel,” may turn away the diehard wrestling fan. Wrestling fans aren’t as excited to feature another MMA fighter or boxer into the wrestling fold.
That all being said, here is the way that AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT unfolded through week three of the Wednesday Night Wars:
AEW Dynamite; Philadelphia, PA
As AEW Dynamite kicked off, SoCal Uncensored made their way to the ring to kick off the show to further the AEW Tag Team Championship tournament. Recently, Scorpio Sky stated that he wanted Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian to represent SCU in the AEW Tag Team Championship tournament. Before the entrance could even be made, the Lucha Bros attacked Daniels and Kazarian from behind. A Package Piledriver on the entrance ramp ensured that Daniels wouldn’t be able to compete. This forced Sky to make the save on Kazarian and the Lucha Bros retreated up the entrance ramp.
It was at this time that Scorpio Sky had to make the executive decision to either forfeit the opportunity in the AEW Tag Team Championship tournament or insert himself alongside Frankie Kazarian to take the injured Christopher Daniels place. Not giving up their position, Sky entered the AEW Tag Team Championship tournament with Kazarian. SoCal Uncensored is back in action.
1) SoCal Uncensored (0-0) vs Best Friends (2-2)
Philadelphia’s own, Chuck Taylor teamed up with his tag team partner, Trent Baretta in scheduled action to face SoCal Uncensored. A few neat double team moves from Best Friends included Taylor lifting Baretta on his shoulders to meet Kazarian on the top rope for an assisted Superplex. Kazarian would kick out of the pin. The big momentum shift was when Taylor went for a Front Flip over the top rope to the outside of the ring on Scorpio Sky but hit Baretta instead. Back to the inside of the ring, Sky gets deposited back to the outside and the Best Friends hug it out to get back on the same page.
Frankie Kazarian hits Trent Baretta with a Back Body Drop on the apron of the ring. This allows a double team Powerbomb/Dropkick finish from SoCal Uncensored on Baretta for the win. They’ll advance to the next round of the AEW Tag Team Championship tournament.
Winners: SoCal Uncensored (1-0)
2) John Silver and Alex Reynolds (0-0) vs Santana and Ortiz (1-0)
This match served as a showcase for Santana and Ortiz. Alex Reynolds was disposed to the outside to not come back in the ring. Inside the ring, Ortiz and Santana hit the Street Sweeper on John Silver to get the pin victory.
Winners: Santana and Ortiz (2-0)
After the match, Santana and Ortiz were accompanied by Chris Jericho at the top of the entrance ramp, issuing a challenge to The Young Bucks at AEW Full Gear.
3) Dr. Britt Baker DMD (3-1 vs Riho (5-1) (c)
This match is for the AEW Women’s Championship. There were a few sloppy moments in the early stages of the match, but Dr. Britt Baker DMD was able to use her power and size against Riho to stabilize the action. During the match, Riho goes to the top rope and connects with a Double Foot Stomp to the back of Baker. Riho seems to have Baker when she wants her and connects with a Running Double Knee Strike. Again, Riho goes for the Running Double Knee Strike, but Baker evades and hits a snug Ripchord Discus Forearm.
It looks like we are on the cusp of crowning a new AEW Women’s champion as Dr. Britt Baker DMD almost secures the Lockjaw on Riho. Riho uses her experience and reverses the submission into a pinning predicament for the win.
Winner AND STILL AEW Women’s Champion: Riho (6-1)
4) The Jurassic Express (0-0) vs The Lucha Bros (2-1)
This is the second match on the AEW Dynamite card to advance the AEW Tag Team Championship tournament. Luchasaurus is out with a leg injury, so taking his place alongside Jungle Boy is Marko Stunt. Early on in the match, Stunt seems to be reversing any offense from The Lucha Bros in a very stunning fashion. Stunt is one of the smallest wrestlers on the entire roster, but he puts on a heck of a performance. Eventually, Pentagon Jr delivers a Pumphandle Driver to Stunt and pins. Stunt would kick out of the pin.
The Jurassic Express almost get the upset win on The Lucha Bros when Marko Stunt hit a 450 Splash from the top rope on Rey Fenix Jr, followed by a Standing Shooting Star Press from Jungle Boy. The Lucha Bros do get the victory when Pentagon Jr pins Stunt after a Package Piledriver/Double Foot Stomp double team.
Winners: The Lucha Bros (3-1)
5) Pac (2-0) and Jon Moxley (1-0) vs Adam Page (2-3) and Kenny Omega (2-3)
This match refers to the idea of two singles wrestlers teaming up against a common enemy. Pac and Adam Page have been feuding with each other for about as long as Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega have in AEW. Fun fact: the referee in this match is a Temple University alumni. Eventually, Omega and Moxley are facing off with the same barbed wire weapons from last week’s AEW Dynamite. Omega has the barbed wire broom and Moxley has the barbed wire baseball bat.
Jon Moxley does hit Kenny Omega with the butt of the barbed wire baseball bat, avoiding contact with the barbed wire. Omega bends over and Moxley teases a strike across the back with the barbed wire portion of the baseball bat, but Pac removes the weapon from Moxley in an attempt to save his team from being disqualified. Strangely, this moment happens, considering that Moxley already hit Omega with the baseball bat once and wasn’t disqualified. Irritated with his tag team partner, Moxley turns on Pac, leaving him laid out via Paradigm Shift in the middle of the ring. Omega regroups and connects with a V-Trigger on Pac, followed by the Dead Eye from Adam Page for the pin.
Winners: Adam Page (3-3) and Kenny Omega (3-3)
6) Main Event: Darby Allin (2-2-1) vs Chris Jericho (4-0) (c)
This match is for the AEW World Championship and is a Philadelphia Street Fight. To have an idea of who has the experience edge, Chris Jericho has been wrestling for seven years more than Darby Allin has been alive. Allin began the match at a quick pace, hitting a Suicide Dive on Jericho. The two would trade shots with a kendo stick back inside the ring, shedding some blood in the match. Jericho upgrades to a steel chair and hits Allin with it.
Chris Jericho tapes Darby Allin’s hands together behind his back, acting as handcuffs. All with his hands taped behind his back, Allin connects with another Suicide Dive on Jericho. Another good spot in this match was when Jericho connected a Powerbomb on top of Allin’s skateboard. The finish looks like Allin may be able to connect with a Coffin Drop while his arms are taped behind his back, but Jake Hager ran in and hit Allin with a strong right hand. Jericho uses the Walls of Jericho to retain the AEW World Championship as Allin is unable to defend himself.
Winner AND STILL AEW World Champion: Chris Jericho (5-0)
The Inner Circle celebrates with “a little bit of the bubbly” as AEW Dynamite goes off the air.
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