All Elite Wrestling
Dynamite #123
Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall
Atlantic City, New Jersey

Watch: TBS

MJF promo

The show opens with Wardlow annoyed that he’s carrying life-size cutouts of MJF to the ring, where he further hands special instructions to Justin Roberts. Roberts then introduces FTR and Tully Blanchard, who are all carrying champagne glasses, followed by Shawn Spears. It’s pushed by the announcers that Wardlow received no entrance. MJF is then carried out to the ring on a palanquin. MJF’s promo is about how he’s the best wrestler in the world, and how he couldn’t have beat CM Punk twice in Chicago without the help of one man: Shawn Spears.

CM Punk then interrupts.  Says he’s brought some friends, who are Darby Allin & Sting, all three with baseball bats. Punk demands a rematch, and MJF refuses him. But Punk’s not talking to him, he’s challenging Wardlow, the man who beat him in Chicago and the only reason anyone in the Pinnacle won anything for the past six months is because of him. They exchange challenges, resulting in MJF putting up a rematch if Punk gets a tag partner and beats FTR.

A pretty good angle that set a few things up, though they managed to leave it on the table if Punk and Wardlow would be having a match or not.

Back from commercial, there’s a backstage segment with Andrade, Sting, and Darby Allin. Andrade still wants to hire Darby. Darby and Andrade both want the TNT Championship.

Wardlow def. The Blade

Wardlow sold his knee a lot after an early chop block by The Blade. JR got really fixated on the fact that Shawn Spears is eating something. This was longer than it should have been, but Wardlow eventually did four powerbombs and got the win. The crowd got loud for the finish, though. Of course, Shawn Spears did a chairshot on Blade. *1/2

 They did a promo hyping Penta coming back as something like Pentagon Dark from Lucha Underground.

 Inner Circle Team Meeting

Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, & Jake Hager come out without Santana & Ortiz, who then came out and told Jericho they’re done being in the shadows of Jericho. Jericho then talks about how it’s him and not Eddie Kingston that has pull in AEW. Jericho then says that he should have called the other two members of LAX instead of Ortiz & Santana. Guevara keeps them from fighting, but says he’s quitting if they don’t figure it out. Proud and Powerful challenge Jericho and Hager to a match.

What has Chris Jericho become now that he’s betrayed everyone he’s ever loved and pushed them all away?

We get a Roppongi Vice promo in front of a trailer hyping a match on Rampage against the Young Bucks. They start to fight, but Adam Cole blindsides the faces. They beat down Romero and tease doing a bigger move on Trent, but Jay White walks on camera and throws Beretta into the trailer.

And that was it for what is apparently Jay White’s debut. That was a little light on details.

Face of the Revolution Qualifying Match
Keith Lee def. Isiah Kassidy

It’s Keith Lee! He isn’t wearing a singlet! He’s so over. Keith Lee just threw Isiah Kassidy so far across the ring. Keith Lee pounces Kassidy out of the ring. Matt Hardy pulls a Jeff Hardy and walks out on the team through the crowd. Quen distracts Lee long enough for Kassidy to get a springboard stunner and a spinning tope on him. Keith Lee his Kassidy with a pop up Samoan drop and gets the win. This was a fun debut. It was a great set up for the future of Keith Lee and Kassidy was great at selling. ***

Afterward, Private Party tries to attack Keith Lee but Lee ends up powerbombing Quen onto Kassidy and then the apron.

They air a Mercedes Martinez & Britt Baker promo hyping Martinez vs. Thunder Rosa next week in a no DQ match.

We go to commercial, with Guevara doing a cue card promo about walking out on the Inner Circle and about Darby & Andrade’s challenges.

CM Punk & Jon Moxley def. FTR

Punk’s mystery opponent is JEAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWN MOXLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. As you might expect, this is a really good match. There was a fantastic spot where Mox did a tope onto a pile after FTR caught Punk on his own tope attempt. There were also some great spots where FTR denied a tag to Mox while working him over. Punk and Moxley pulling off a Doomsday Device was something I never thought I’d see. Cash Wheeler hitting a tornado DDT on the outside was also a highlight. The number of false finishes down the stretch made this a lot of fun. The finish of Mox & Punk hitting their finishers simultaneously was fun. All in all, this was a really good match. ****

I believe this is the first time a match ever happened on Dynamite without being hyped ahead of time.

TBS Championship
Jade Cargill (c) def. AQA

There was a hype package for AQA before this, which makes me think she’s under contract now. Cargill opens with an impressive throw of AQA. AQA has a really nice shooting star press. Cargill gets a few more really cool power spots, including a Tour of the Islands. **3/4

They cut to a backstage promo with the Young Bucks and Adam Cole. Cole takes credit for bringing in Jay White, though the Bucks are concerned about the beef between White and Kenny Omega.

The Professor’s Five Minute Rookie Challenge
Serena Deeb def. Katie Arquette 

She’s facing Katie Arquette. Deeb watches the clock until it hit four minutes, then makes Arquette tap out to a single leg crab. A short squash. NR

AEW World Championship – Texas Death Match
Hangman Page (c) def. Lance Archer

 Wins only come by knockout or submission. When Lance Archer’s music hits, he doesn’t make his entrance because he and Page are fighting behind the stage. Page throws Archer through a glass overlay they had for the heel tunnel. Page hit an early Buckshot Lariat but Archer got up at 8. Page did a tope into a trash can lid shot. Adam Lambert runs out to take down the top rope so Page can’t do the Buckshot lariat. Jake Roberts looks like he’s becoming a King of the Hill character. Archer stops Jake Roberts from hitting his DDT, which lets Page hit his own. Archer chokeslams Page on a trash can and then stabs him in the forehead multiple times with a fork. Archer pulls out a bunch of chairs from under the ring, including one with barbed wire stabled on it. Archer hits a Blackout onto the ring steps and Page just bounces right off it. Archer goes for a powerbomb onto the stack of chairs but Page gets the barbed wire and wraps it around his arm to hit Archer with. Page vaulted off Paul Turner to hit a Buckshot on Archer, driving both through a table to get the win. That’s a lot of blood. This was a great brawl with some wild spots. ****1/2

Afterward, Adam Cole comes out, picks up the title belt, and slaps it over Page’s shoulder.

Final Thoughts

This was a damn good show all around. The main event delivered. Cargill looked about as good as she ever has, and Keith Lee’s debut was fantastic. On the downside, I don’t think the Wardlow match worked as well as his other squashes have and the Jay White debut was weird.

You can follow Fred on Twitter @flagrantrasslin and get more of his writing on Patreon.

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