Carnage was set to ensue in Indianapolis on AEW Dynamite this week as the main event saw Darby Allin take on Jon Moxley after his open challenge from last week. Did they tear the house down? Let’s see.

Rey Fénix vs Nick Jackson

What an opener to a TV show. In an age where we have Baron Corbin carting out a man in a dog costume to open WWE RAW, AEW put on an absolute spectacle of a match here between these two. You may know them for their tag teams, but you’ll certainly remember them for this match.

Some of the spots here were insane. There was a dodged top rope flip from Nick Jackson that was countered into a rolling cutter from Fénix, a tightrope head scissors and a gorgeous destroyer. This was stunning from start to finish, words won’t do it justice. This is the match you should watch if you don’t want anything else from this week. Fénix picked up the win with muscle buster for the pin and refused to shake Nick’s hand after the match.

Britt Baker vs Hikaru Shida

An entertaining match with a well-deserved victory here from Hikaru Shida. This was a competitive match up with lots of back and forth which made both women look strong. Baker got a bloody nose early on but that didn’t stop the momentum of the match which had a steady pace and build throughout with a lot of drama added by Shida’s incredibly last-minute kick-outs.

The finish saw a nice sequence where Shida went for a pin after a running knee before being rolled over into an attempt by Baker to lock in the Lockjaw. Shida got the break and fought back to manage to land a second knee strike after a Falcon Arrow for the win and making her the new #1 contender for the AEW Women’s World Championship. Shida has been a total standout every time she’s been featured on AEW and she would be a more interesting competitor to Riho than Baker has shown herself to be.

Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal

As the title suggests, a dozen superstars entered this match with the two finalists going on to fight for a chance to win the Dynamite Diamond Ring. Those competitors were Hangman Adam Page, Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Kip Sabian, Jimmy Havoc, Jungle Boy, Marko Stunt, Pentagon Jr, Sonny Kiss, Joey Janela, MJF and a surprise final entrant in Billy Gunn.

While this was a bit of a mad dash brawl, as most battle royals are, there were some clever little kernels of storytelling that lead into other feuds. Surprisingly, Pentagon Jr was first eliminated after Christopher Daniels revealed he was masquerading as Rey Fénix distracting Pentagon enough to let Chuck Taylor eliminate him. Gunn eliminated both Havoc and Stunt before Havoc returned to the ring to puncture all of the competitors with a staple gun before being escorted out of the ring.

As Joey Janela seemed to be hitting a hot streak, Shawn Spears blindsided him with a chair as he set up on the top rope leading to him being eliminated. The crowd feared for Billy Gunn’s life as Orange Cassidy laid into him with a furious series of combination shin kicks before MJF eliminated him before the final blow, which was met with thunderous boos.

MJF would try and mouth off at Gunn before he was planted with a Fame Asser which MJF sold like the Rock taking a Stone-Cold Stunner. It wouldn’t be the end of MJF though as Wardlow made a distraction to save him with Page taking advantage to eject Gunn. It didn’t take long for the rest to be eliminated, Sabian and Penelope Ford teamed up to remove Taylor followed by Jungle Boy using a hurricanrana to get rid of Sabian.

It seemed like we’d have a showdown between Jungle Boy and Page before MJF came back to pull down Jungle Boy, leaving MJF and Page as the winners who will face off next week for the Diamond Ring. This was fun if perfunctory, however, it had enough storyline beats within it to make it a worthwhile use of TV time. It’s okay to have a silly battle royal every now and then, provided there’s something more to it than simply filling time.

Chris Jericho’s Major Announcement

Jericho and his heavy Jake Hager came to the ring where Jericho struggled to squeak out an apology for his tantrum last week after his loss to Scorpio Sky. He then announced that next week there will be “Chris Jericho’s Thanksgiving Thank You Celebration” from Chicago.

He was interrupted by SCU with Scorpio Sky rightly bringing up that he scored the first pin on Le Champion in his AEW tenure. An enraged Jericho challenged Sky to a one on one match before SCU played with Jericho’s petulant emotions to manipulate him into him putting the AEW World Championship on the line.

After a staredown, the rest of the Inner Circle came down to mug SCU, handcuffing Daniels and Kazarian to the ring ropes. Aid would come from the Jurassic Express but Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt couldn’t save SCU. Luchasaurus entered the ring as the Inner Circle left all but Hager who stared down the big dino before retreating.

Scorpio Sky has been expertly built as a title contender and is definitely over with fans judging from the crowd reaction. Jungle Boy got a great pop here too and should be another contender for title opportunities in the future. The last moments seeing Luchasaurus and Hager teased seems like an obvious pairing when they’re standing face to face but has likely not crossed many fans minds.

Peter Avalon vs Luchasaurus

Avalon didn’t last long here, Luchasaurus kicked him in the head and flattened him like a pancake with a piledriver to facebuster finisher. Jurassic Express are guaranteed stars, a fun gimmick with a host of great talent in the team.

Santana & Ortiz vs Private Party

After their confrontation last week, it was inevitable that these two teams would face each other. Marq Quen would take a lot of punishment early on with Proud N Powerful continually targeting his back. Quen would manage to get the hot tag off to Isiah Kassidy who used his speed to run circles around his opponents before attempting a pin that had an odd cut off where the referee just decided to stop counting. It’s likely someone missed a cue.

The work done to Quen’s backstopped Private Party from landing the Silly String giving Proud and Powerful the edge. Santana and Ortiz would look to resort to using the slapjack but Nick Jackson disarmed Santana giving the chance for Private Party to make the comeback hitting the Gin and Juice for the win.

After the match, Sammy Guevara attempted to beat down Private Party and Nick Jackson but Dustin Rhodes came down for the save. This was a fun match that showed that Private Party can work with psychology beyond pure flippy prowess. Santana and Ortiz may have taken a loss here but they still looked damn strong with a dominant offence throughout the match.

Jon Moxley vs Darby Allin

Allin came flying out of the gate attacking Moxley before the bell had even rung. However, Moxley would counter the attempt at an early advantage slamming Allin into the ring post. Moxley would continue to bully Allin as Moxley blocked and powered out of nearly every attempt Allin took to take control of the match. This really cemented Allin as the underdog and made Moxley look like a vicious killer. A superplex tease from Moxley was thwarted as Allin took aim at his fingers utilising the turnbuckle screw giving him some breaking distance from Moxley.

Allin blasted out of the ring with a flying senton at Moxley but still couldn’t put the big man down. The body bag Allin brought to the ring was used against him as Moxley trapped Allin inside it and stomped him half to death before the ref ordered the bag be opened. Biting the fingers as he left the bag, Allin hit a Stunner on Moxley but he still couldn’t stop him as Moxley countered yet again.

A roll-up and a Yoshi Tonic wouldn’t put Moxley away and neither would the Coffin Drop as Moxley caught the manoeuvre into a sleeper. Even a pinning counter from Allin from the sleeper only gave him a close two count. Moxley would put Allin away finally with an avalanche Paradigm Shift.

Moxley looked incredibly strong here and Allin took way more punishment than expected. However, he always looks good in defeat regardless. A brutal main event with Moxley continuing to be a natural main eventer while Allin solidifies himself as the ultimate underdog.

Another great episode of AEW Dynamite had superb in-ring action and enough threads to make you want to tune in next week. For pure wrestling spectacle, AEW can’t be beaten and it’s only a matter of time before the wrestling viewership takes notice.

All pictures and videos provided by Lee South/AEW and AEW