AEW Dynamite came to Memphis this week as the Inner Circle waited with bated breath for Jon Moxley’s answer to Le Champion’s invitation. Did Moxley succumb to the temptation of the bubbly like so many before him? The answer may surprise you.

Hangman Adam Page & Kenny Omega vs Private Party

Page and Omega continued their contentious tag team here as they took on Private Party who had the edge early on with their true and tested tag team chemistry keeping their opponents on the backfoot.

The pair spent a little too long gloating after hitting Say Cheese, which gave Page his chance to rally back and tag in Omega as they showed some comrade that’s been missing over the past few weeks.

Isiah Kassidy was getting brutalised by the former Elite allies but used his agility to regain the upper hand with a Flat-liner and got the hot tag to his partner Marq Quen who hit his signature outside dive flurry on both of his opponents.

As much as Page and Omega tried to fend off Private Party, their teamwork was too much to resist as the pair ran circles around their opponents before landing the Gin and Juice for a very close 2 count as Page broke up the pin. This led to the finish as Page and Omega hit a Buckshot/V-Trigger combo followed with the One-Winged Angel for the victory.

An exciting opener that didn’t go overboard with the dissent between the pair but laid some subtle hints that the Hangman still isn’t on the same page as Omega. After the match, the screen showed PAC backstage with Michael Nakazawa in the Brutalizer, demanding that Omega give him his one on one match he’s been asking for.

AEW Women’s World Championship match: Riho (c) vs Kris Statlander

Riho had control early on using her agility to thwart the power of Statlander but was stopped in her tracks by a harsh backbreaker. A stalling superplex had both competitors on their backs as Awesome Kong and Mel of the Nightmare Collective came to ringside.

Riho looked to be making a comeback as Mel grabbed Riho from the apron. Statlander responded by taking out Mel before hitting a suicide dive on Awesome Kong. Brandi Rhodes, who was on commentary for the match, came down to confront Statlander. Turned out it was a distraction as Dr Luther appeared from under the ring. Yes, you heard that right, Japanese deathmatch legend Dr Luther. A perfect fit for the AEW Women’s division…

The Collective beat Statlander up some more and gave Riho the chance to take the win but Riho instead dove onto Luther before actually getting back to the match with Statlander that saw the pair awkwardly try and finish up. Things ended when Awesome Kong pulled out Statlander’s legs during a piledriver attempt causing Riho’s apparently insurmountable weight to pin Statlander.

 

What an absolute abject mess. It was disorganised, ruined what should have been a fantastic one on one match and revealed Dr Luther in possibly the most ineffective manner possible. This sucked so bad it even sucked the ability out of Statlander and Riho by the end, 2 absolutely tremendous wrestlers that could have stole the show.

They say be careful what you wish for, can we go back to no storylines in the women’s division? At least the matches were good…

Christopher Daniels vs Sammy Guevara

After their confrontation last week, Daniels was ready to confront the Spanish God and teach the young man some manners.

Daniel’s veteran ring knowledge meant he had Guevara pegged but a referee distraction let Guevara land an eye poke to gain some momentum bullying his opponent with his trademark cocky swagger.

Daniels made a keen comeback and looked to set up the Arabian Moonsault that he opted out of on AEW Dark, but Pentagon Jr came down to the ring and goaded Daniels. The distraction was enough to let Guevara take the win. Short match but did the job of setting up more warring in the tag team division and was only compounded by the after-match fallout.

The Dark Order tried to recruit Daniels to restore his former greatness but he refused. Dark Order tried to beat him down but SCU and the Young Bucks came down to fend the group off.

The Lucha Brothers vs The Brotherhood /w Arn Anderson

The brothers quickly tagged in and out in varying combinations before Fénix took a cheap shot onto Cody as he turned to look at his brother Dustin.

The Lucha Brothers isolated Dustin in their corner but as Fénix was going to resort to a chair, AA took it away giving the distraction for Dustin to hit a spinebuster.

Cody had the hot tag laying out the brothers with a powerslam and a topé. Fénix countered a Cross Rhodes and hit a swift rebound rope kick followed by the Lucha pair trying as hard as they could to plant one of the Rhodes with their piledriver combo but to no avail.

Cody broke free giving Dustin the chance to land a lovely Canadian Destroyer to Fénix as Cody hit a Cody Cutter on Pentagon Jr. The Final Reckoning from Dustin on Fénix saw the Brotherhood take the win.

The Lucha Brothers are incapable of having a bad match and the Rhodes brothers didn’t disappoint either. A really enjoyable match throughout with lots of back and forth.

MJF calls out Cody

MJF came to the ring with Wardlow to demand Cody come out which was odd considering they must have passed each other on the way to the ring seeing as Cody just had a match.

Instead, DDP came out, not to defend Cody’s honour but to self-promote his social media accounts and state whether he’d have one more match.

MJF gave DDP 2 options. Kiss his ring and leave the company or receive a beatdown from the Butcher and the Blade so MJF could go screw his daughter. DDP struck MJF as the Butcher and the Blade attacked but DDP came back with a pair of Diamond Cutters. MJF managed to get the upper hand with a low blow but DDP was saved by Dustin and QT Marshall.

This segment was weird. It led to an announced 6-man tag match with DDP’s return to the ring but it all felt quite awkward and lacked flow. DDP’s shilling of his social media as well felt very tacky and weird. Not a good segment at all and puts the breaks on the red-hot Cody vs MJF feud in a weird way.

The Jurassic Express vs Best Friends & Orange Cassidy

This was a really fun final match of the night that definitely served to palette cleanse the awful women’s segment and awkward DDP segment.

Chuck Taylor and Jungle Boy started things off with a series of arm drags and counters with Jungle Boy coming out on top. Trent tagged in as Marko Stunt demanded he also be tagged in but Trent was just too strong for the small competitor as the fear of a chop was enough to send him running to his corner.

After the break, Luchasaurus finally got his chance after a hot tag from Jungle Boy as he took out the Best Friends with some keen kicks. He would be stopped in his tracks by the formidable force of Orange Cassidy’s destructive kick combo. The most casual stunner I’ve ever seen led to a hands-in-pocket dive to the outside and finally a big hug from the Best Friends.

Cassidy hit a gravity-defying top rope flip onto Jungle Boy but his pin was broken up by Stunt. Cassidy tagged into Taylor but he was unable to overcome Jungle Boy who took the win with a surprise hurricanrana pin.

Jon Moxley makes his decision

Jericho came out to the ring with Guevara, Hager and a hefty supply of the bubbly to welcome Moxley to the ring so he could make his decision. Most people thought they’d had this one sussed. There was no way Moxley, the ultimate rebel, was going to sell out and join the Inner Circle.

Moxley came down and spoke to the crowd stating they had no idea what his motives were before dropping the bombshell that he accepted Jericho’s offer, taking off his jacket to reveal a custom Inner Circle shirt of his own that Guevara revealed to also be sporting.

The group celebrated with a shower of bubbly to thunderous boos and was truly a shocker. Although it seems crazy to imagine, they sold the whole thing very well and let it ride out just long enough to convince even the most jaded fan. Then they pulled the rug out once again.

As Guevara and Hager left to head to the back with their crew, Moxley stopped Jericho and revealed he was just kidding and that there was only one thing Jericho could offer he wanted, his AEW World Heavyweight Championship. He capped off the swerve by breaking a bottle over Jericho’s head and laying him out with a Paradigm Shift.

This end segment made up for a slightly uneven episode of AEW Dynamite that has bungled some other aspects of its long-term story developments but stuck the landing really well. Despite some pitfalls, people are going to remember the double swerve at the end that I think was done to near perfection.

All pics and videos courtesy of AEW