AEW Dynamite results, recap, grades: Inner Circle arrives, Jon Moxley returns to action, stunning upset
Dynamite found its identity with some hot matches and and a beautifully overbooked ending
While the debut episode of AEW Dynamite last week felt like a big deal, this week's edition felt like the show where Dynamite truly found an identity. Chris Jericho cut a promo in Boston that ranks among the best of his career while introducing his new faction and making them feel special. Meanwhile, the rest of the show built on programs and felt like it mattered in moving everyone forward in the promotion.
Dynamite's second week felt like the work of a promotion that is not only a "true alternative" to WWE programming, but the effort of a group that, given time, can give the Goliath a run for its money. Let's take a closer look now at what went down in Boston on Wednesday night.
Subscribe to our wrestling podcast -- State of Combat with Brian Campbell -- and listen to our review of this week's AEW Dynamite below.
Chris Jericho introduces The Inner Circle
Jericho, addressing the actions of the new faction created at the end of the debut episode of Dynamite, declared himself, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana & Ortiz "The Inner Circle." While justifying the existence of the group and why he recruited each member, Jericho also shot down fan chants of "We the people." "We the people sucks, and it's dead and buried," Jericho said in possibly the line of the night. "It was a stupid idea from bad creative and all that's gone."
Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara def. Dustin Rhodes & Adam "Hangman" Page via pinfall when Jericho hit Rhodes with the Judas Effect. After back-and-forth action, Rhodes and Page appeared to have gained the upper hand, but Hager snuck into the ring and attacked Rhodes which allowed Jericho to score the victory. As the Inner Circle attacked Rhodes and Page following the match, the lights went out and Cody was in the ring when they came back on. Santana & Ortiz cut him down quickly before MJF ran in with a chair. After briefly teasing a turn on Cody, MJF laid out Santana, Ortiz and Jericho with a chair. Unfortunately for the faces, Jericho was able to lay out MJF before The Young Bucks made the final save. As Jericho was about to head up the ramp to leave, Darby Allin rode a skateboard down before using it to lay out Jericho and enter the ring to close the show standing tall with the Rhodes brothers, Young Bucks and Page.
Overbooked show endings on TNT have been badly missing from pro wrestling. Yes, it felt like half the roster was in the ring by the time the show came to a close, but every participant's involvement added a little something to the show's conclusion. The culmination of Allin getting one over on Jericho added juice to next week and helped him achieve a feeling of more than just "the guy who earned a title shot." Now, he's in the mix with the top names in the promotion. The match was good, but the show end was great. Grade: A+
PAC enters Omega-Moxley feud
Jon Moxley def. Shawn Spears via pinfall after hitting the Deathrider. Tully Blanchard got involved at ringside, continuing his role as a very involved manager during Spears' matches. After stopping Moxley from beating on Spears at ringside, he later took advantage of some ref distraction to throw Moxley into the ring steps. After some exciting back and forth, Moxley his finisher for the win.
After the match, Kenny Omega made his way to the entryway with a barbed wire baseball bat and barbed wire-wrapped broom. Omega tossed the bat to Moxley and encouraged him to pick it up. As Omega was staring down Moxley, PAC, who had been on commentary, blindsided him with a chair. With Omega down, Moxley chose to toss the bat away and leave "The Cleaner" down as he walked to the back.
Omega's woes in AEW continue, even in situations where it seems he has the upper hand. The atmosphere was electric during the staredown with the barbed wire weapons, but PAC didn't allow fans to get the brawl they wanted. An injury may have never benefited a storyline as much as with these men. Omega desperately wants to get one over on Moxley but has been put through a glass table and now blindsided by PAC. The angle, combined with the solid match, kept this segment hot from beginning to end. Grade: B+
What else happened on AEW Dynamite?
- AEW tag team championship tournament first round -- Private Party def. The Young Bucks via pinfall after a rollup. A brilliant, fast-paced tag match that had urgency building as the time limit crept closer. Private Party kept up move for move, and if AEW intends to make new stars, this is a great way to go about that process. Private Party picking up a huge upset in the first match of the tournament felt like a big deal and the crowd reaction did not hurt. A simply great TV tag match with the correct winners? That's pro wrestling. Grade: A
- Darby Allin def. Jimmy Havoc to become No. 1 contender to the AEW world championship. The finish came after Allin landed a Coffin Drop off the top rope. This was a great showcase for both men who work very unique styles compared to what you consider a "TV wrestler" in 2019. Allin has been treated as a guy with a lot of upside with the previous draw with Cody, and picking up a win over Havoc to earn a title shot at Jericho next week gives AEW an undeniable sense of being different than the standard offerings fans have been getting from WWE. Grade: B
- Britt Baker & Riho def. Bea Priestly & Emi Sakura via submission when Baker submitted Sakura with a mandible claw. AEW has continued to protect its women's champion by having her win almost every outing. She is now 5-1 overall in AEW competition. Grade: C+
- Best Friends cut a promo from ringside talking about their upcoming match with SCU. Rather than discussing how they're feeling about the match, they turned to Orange Cassidy, reclining in the crowd. Cassidy gave a thumbs up as the crowd erupted in approval.
The action stayed red-hot with a world title match in the third week of AEW Dynamite on TNT
NXT put many of its stars front and center, but the booking on Wednesday night failed to deliver
A major shakeup to the Fox network brand has taken place just two weeks following its premiere
The universal champion took the 'burn it down' catchphrase to a whole new level on Monday night
What you need to know ahead of WWE's return to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel
Breaking down every detail of the WWE Draft between SmackDown (Fox) and Raw (USA Network)