AEW Dynamite Review — 11.30.2022 — MJF Returns As AEW Champion
MJF Makes His Return To AEW Television as The Newly-Crowned AEW World Champion
Last week, AEW delivered not only one of the best episodes of wrestling TV for all of 2022, but one of the best editions of AEW Dynamite over the past 3 years. With a lively Chicago-based crowd on hand, last week’s show featured a lot of big moments, storyline developments, and great wrestling. This week would feature the first apperance of MJF since becoming AEW World Champion, Death Triangle vs The Elite III, and a first-time-ever match between Bryan Danielson and FTR’s Dax Harwood. Would this week’s episode be able to live up to some of the best episodes of AEW Dynamite? Let’s talk about it!
So sit back, and enjoy this review of AEW Dynamite from November 30th, 2022! SPOILERS FOR THIS EPISODE OF AEW DYNAMITE AHEAD, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Jon Moxley Speaks…
The former AEW World Champion opens up the show, receiving a very welcoming reaction from the crowd tonight, stating that there are three certainties in life; Death, Taxes, & Jon Moxley. He is at the top of the food chain here, and the AEW ring belongs to him. Mox states that there is nobody in AEW that can step to him… OUT COMES HANGMAN PAGE! Returning after going down with a scary injury ahead of Full Gear, Moxley would joke about the concussion and Page not remembering the match, with Hangman taking it to him for a violent brawl at ringside, as security and the referee corps would make their way out to try and break these two apart! Moxley would eventually take an accidental spill off the stage before they would be separated, for a very hot, surprising opening to the show.
I won’t spend too much time on this as it was under ten minutes, but as a huge fan of Hangman Page, I had no idea how long he’d be out after that injury a few weeks ago. Thankfully, I’d get my answer here tonight! Hanger is back and he’s targeting Moxley. With this direction, likely setting up a feud between the two men, it does seem as if MJF and Moxley will not be continuing their feud, which is good because…
Bryan Danielson vs Dax Harwood
Our first match of tonight’s show came about last week, as following their ROH Tag Team Championship defense against Top Flight, Dax Harwood would challenge Bryan Danielson, arguably the best wrestler alive. During the opening moments of this, commentary would heavily mention MJF and William Regal in relation to Danielson, which at least to me, indicated that we will be getting a Bryan Danielson vs MJF feud in the coming months (what I was referring to above). Dax would get control of the actual match early on, out-wrestling The American Dragon before Danielson would send Dax into the front row of fans ahead of the commercial break.
Back from the picture-in-picture, Dax would send Bryan reeling with three German Suplexes in a row before teasing going high. Bryan would roll across the ring to avoid the dive, before both men would offer reversals for one another. Strike misses from Dax, a huge roundhouse fails for Danielson, and Harwood scores a two count with a Piledriver out of nowhere. Dax goes high again, flying off the top with a headbutt, though Danielson gets out of the way. Baseball slide misses from Dax, with Bryan flying off the apron with the knee strike as both men go down on the floor.
Both men go up top, as Dax gets crotched on the top turnbuckle. Danielson gets into position behind him before coming down with 10 Hammer & Anvil Elbows, then going for a Back Suplex off the top. Dax counters midair, as Danielson also counters to connect with the suplex still for a nearfall. Harwood goes for a headbutt, which causes Bryan to unleash a series of hard headbutts to the tag champion. A short-armed lariat from Dax then has Bryan heat up again, firing off his own as both men come to life and just slam each other with stiff shots before both falling down in the center of the ring to a great reaction. Spin Kick looked for from Bryan, but Dax counters into his Slingshot Powerbomb off the ropes, which Danielson counters into a hurricanrana! Busaiku Knee gets blocked, as Dax lands the Slingshot Powerbomb for a nearfall before transitioning into the Sharpshooter though Bryan gets the rope break. The men trade a series of pinfall attempts with small packages for two counts before Danielson locks in The Lebel Lock in the center of the ring. Dax Harwood taps out as Bryan Danielson picks up a big win!
I don’t know how anyone could not love this. It was a masterclass in wrestling from Bryan Danielson, one of the best wrestlers of all time, and Dax Harwood, one of the standout wrestlers of 2022. These two went to war, and while Danielson’s chest may not have been gushing blood like Chris Jericho last week, Dax left Bryan with some true battle scars. This was simply fantastic and just a very exciting opening match. People have been clamoring for Bryan Danielson to get something to sink his teeth in, and this match gave him a huge singles win outside of the JAS vs BCC feud while commentary also seemingly established that we are headed towards MJF vs Danielson down the line. If we can get more FTR stuff, that would be great great great!
Ricky Starks would be interviewed backstage, announcing that he is entering the Dynamite Diamond Ring Battle Royal next week because he wants to come for everything that MJF has when they face off at Winter is Coming. He wants the Dynamite Diamond Ring and the AEW World Championship.
Back from commercial break, fans would be treated to more of an ongoing backstage brawl between Hangman Page and Jon Moxley, with Hangman sending Mox into one of the arena’s garage doors as the referees and security would continue to try and break things up.
After this, we would jump to a sit-down interview hosted by Renee Paquette, between Jake Hager, 2.0, & Jake Hager and Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta. Matt Menard takes over, suggesting that when Claudio has to become a Sports Entertainer, he should become a yodeler. Castagnoli says that he has to win so he can prove to himself that his World Title win wasn’t a fluke. Jake Hager shows that he has a second purple hat, Yuta challenges Garcia to a rematch for the ROH Pure Championship and a tag match is made for next week with Hager & Garcia vs Claudio & Wheeler.
Samoa Joe vs AR Fox — AEW TNT Championship
It would be announced earlier today that AR Fox had officially signed with All Elite Wrestling, following a series of impressive outings on AEW Dark and after stealing the show during a Trios Match against Death Triangle. Tonight, Samoa Joe would offer an Open Challenge for his newly-captured TNT Championship, with Fox taking the shot. Out of the gate, Joe would take control of AR Fox in the corner, with elbows and foot stomps before nailing a headbutt in the center of the ring. Fox would matrix-dodge a clothesline before taking Joe down with an Enzuigiri. Fox would fly over the top rope with a huge flipping dive, as Joe would side-step casually, before the camera revealed that Fox had landed on his feet! Great spot, and great camerawork on it as well. The Champion would take control headed into the break.
Back from the break, Joe would catch Fox with a side slam for a two count. With Fox up top, he flies off the rope with a Tornado DDT and a duo of superkicks before a Cutter! Off the top rope, AR Fox nails a 450 Splash for another two count as the crowd comes to life for him. Up top once more, Fox looks for a Swanton, but Joe again side-steps before pouncing his challenger into the ropes. The Muscle Buster connects from Joe and he retains!
Post-Match, Joe grabs both of his championships, the TNT and ROH Television Championships, as he also proclaims himself to be the King of Television. Wardlow calls him out, saying it is Wardlow’s World and he’s coming for what is his.
As a huge AR Fox fan (thanks to Lucha Underground for introducing him to me), I was thrilled to see him signed today and he had yet another great showing here in his first singles match on Dynamite. Joe looked dominant as well, with both guys just meshing really well together. Both of the side-step spots from Joe were great, with the first one being done extremely well thanks to Fox’s ability to land on his feet following his crazy dive. Very solid TV match, and all I can hope for is that Joe’s booking stays strong, unlike the former champion. Speaking of Wardlow, while his promo game is still not great and his call-out to Joe was pretty corny, I am looking forward to their singles match.
A brief vignette for Powerhouse Hobbs airs, with him looking very intimidating as he seemingly walks around his hometown. To Be Continued…
Another brief vignette airs, recapping Hook’s FTW Championship defense against Lee Moriarty, narrated by Taz as he explains the technicality behind the match.
William Regal would make his arrival, with his own entrance video and theme song, clearly indicating that he is leaving the company. Commentary would refer to Moxley’s promo from last week about Regal being told to “walk away and never come back”, noting that as soon as Moxley was kicked out of the building, Regal would arrive. The Villain would introduce the new AEW World Champion, as MJF would arrive to a much more unwelcoming reaction than as of late, indicating that the ending to Full Gear worked as planned. MJF would be met with “Shut the Fuck Up” chants before he would reveal Regal’s email, stating that following The Firm’s attack on Max, Regal saw that he was weak and offered his help, stating that if he wanted to become the greatest villain of all time, he would not have to grab the Dynamite Diamond Ring, you have to grab the Brass Ring.
Instead of using his Diamond Ring, Regal instructed Max to win using the Brass Knuckles in order to humilate and emotionally scar Jon Moxley. In speaking about The Firm, Max states that he respects them for smelling the blood in the water with his own weakness, but he is above them. Talking about the AEW World Championship, MJF says that he made a promise to himself, he would usher out the old and bring in the new. The belt is tacky, lacks class, and it reminds him of all the men that came before him, and while they were all class, none of them are on his level. And so, this version of the title is garbage… MJF then drops the belt out of the ring as Regal reveals the new AEW World Championship, which looks identical aside from an extremely ugly Burberry Leather Strap as Max refers to it as the Triple B; The Big Burberry Belt. It is the most prestigious belt in pro wrestling and nobody deserves to be recognized as World Champion aside from him. Not fake tough guys like Eddie Kingston, Ricky Starks, and fake wrestlers like Bryan Danielson.
Max states that he is going to be the AEW World Champion for a long, long time, until the Bidding War of 2024, when he uses Triple B to earn the biggest contract in wrestling. He hopes that the right Khan foots the bill, stating that he hopes its Nick Khan and Trips! Maybe he won’t go to WWE though, as MJF states he is sick of wrestling fans, and he’ll take his talents to Hollywood. Max isn’t deaf, he knows that some fans were happy that he won the championship, but he knows that fans are fickle and that they will turn on him. During his long and illustrious reign, MJF states that he will rarely defend the belt and rarely wrestle, as he is a special attraction. 9 times out of 10, fans will have to pay for a PPV to see him defend the belt. He is about to have a world title reign that makes Jeff Jarrett, JBL, and Hulk Hogan’s look fun and short, and he will make Bruno Sammartino roll over in his grave as his Reign of Terror has just begun. Before he can wrap things up, MJF says that without Regal and the Brass Knuckles, he wouldn’t have been able to do this, from the bottom of his heart… MJF NAILS REGAL IN THE BACK OF HIS HEAD WITH THE BRASS KNUCKLES!
MJF says, Will, the game has changed, and MJF only hires world class athletes and performers. When he becomes one, send him his stuff. Yours Truly, Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Danielson and the medical team would come out as a Stretcher Job would be done.
RIGHT! So this was pretty insane. Surely there was a lot of people hating on the choice to not have MJF on TV last week, but with him filming The Iron Claw and him also being the top heel, it worked. They established Regal as a heel, who willingly betrayed Moxley and the Blackpool Combat Club, seemingly throwing in his lot with MJF. Since then, rumors had begun that Regal would be heading back to WWE, only to then be stated that he was with AEW until 2025. This all came to a head this week with an insane promo from MJF, with Regal being fully onboard with Max. We got a brand new championship, established that MJF is going to be treated as a special attraction, set up multiple marquee feuds with Ricky Starks, Eddie Kingston, and Bryan Danielson all being made as future challengers for MJF, and tying things back to the Bidding War of 2024, with a genuine possibility that MJF holds this belt until that year. The closing moments would see a genuine “Holy Shit” moment, as MJF would swerve everyone by nailing Regal in the back of the head with the Brass Knuckles, knocking his evil mentor out and causing Bryan to run out. While this could be seen as a way to write of Regal if he is indeed heading back to WWE, it seems more likely that he will be off TV for a while before returning to aid Danielson during a feud with MJF, likely at Revolution next March. This was a fantastic, captivating, and shocking segment. Exactly what MJF needed to kick off his reign as the face of AEW.
Ricky Starks vs Ari Daivari
Prior to this match beginning, Ethan Page and The Firm would arrive, allowing Daivari to score some offense. Starks would cut it off with a Spear and the Rochambeau. Ricky Starks Wins!
Jamie Hayter & Britt Baker would be interviewed backstage. Britt would take the lead, putting over the Pittsburgh Steelers before Jamie suggests that next week, Tony has a sit-down with Jamie Hayter. It’s set!
Willow Nightingale vs Anna Jay A.S.
As commentary would note, this singles match between Willow and Anna is a continued build off of the issues that began on AEW Dark between Willow & Skye Blue and Anna & Tay Melo. Nightingale would take control early on, with the Indianapolis fully behind her as Willow would offer two hip attacks in the corner before Anna fired up with a big leg lariat in the corner and a diving Blockbuster for a two count.
Gory Facebuster from Anna Jay A.S. scores a two count, as the crowd lights up with “Willow” chants. Anna goes for the Queenslayer, but Willow just falls back to break it! Doctor Bomb gets looked for, but Tay hops up onto the apron for the distraction. Anna goes for a roll-up, but Willow kicks out! Nightingale kicks Anna’s arm during a lariat attempt, as she lands one of her own before dropping Anna Jay with the Doctor Bomb. Willow Nightingale Wins!
After the match, Ruby Soho would make a shocking return, taking out Tay Melo following an injury back in September. Ruby would take out Anna Jay, garnering huge “Ruby” chants as she would take out both Anna and Tay at the ringside area to massive “Welcome Home” chants before leveling Tay with the Destination Unknown!
As has been established, Anna Jay very rarely loses, so her taking a clean loss to Willow Nightingale on Dynamite is a pretty huge moment for her. This also ended up being a fairly good match, with Anna playing the heel well enough and Willow being great as always. It wasn’t must-watch, but the post-match return for Ruby Soho was surprising and effective! As the women’s division continues to improve, Ruby’s return is another great thing for AEW. Great reception too!
Jade Cargill’s TBS Championship Celebration
Jade Cargill would arrive in the ring, alongside Red Velvet and Leila Grey, wearing practically nothing at all with what I can only desribe as a hundred dollar bill bikini. Seriously, this was insane lol. Anyways, flustered comments aside, Jade cut a confident promo here to star, calling out Velvet & Leila’s loyalty after both were seen hanging out with Kiera despite Jade firing her. Nobody in the division has her face, body, or aura. Fans can play, but Jade puts asses in seats, she wrestles for Bad Bitches, ordering the cameramen to get a shot of her Baddies Section. She states that she creates careers, and notes that Bow Wow’s career is a joke. Bow Wow appears on the screen, noting that he is done with his tour and that he can’t wait to see Jade.
So, Jade’s outfit stole the show here. I cannot overstate how insane this looked, but she pulled it off. She has also now given Velvet and Leila an out of the Baddies for when the group eventually dissolves. The big question here is… Bow Wow? There are really only two options that seem to be at play here, one of which is great, the other… not so much.
- Bow Wow said he’s all about that “money”, and we know that Sasha Banks has recently trademarked the name “Mercedes Mone’”. With Bow Wow’s ties to Snoop Dog, could this be a way for AEW to introduce Mercedes as a hot new signing for the Women’s Division?
- The less great option is that we are going to get Bow Wow vs Jade Cargill in an intergender match. Please, no.
The Acclaimed & Daddy Ass talk backstage, scissoring as Max & Bowens suggest that they are going to give an AEW World Tag Team Championship shot to the second-best team in the company.
AEW Rampage — December 2, 2022:
- Renee Paquette Interviews Saraya
- We Will Hear From Swerve In Our Glory
- Kole Karter vs Darby Allin
- Private Party vs Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett
- Orange Cassidy vs QT Marshall — AEW All-Atlantic Championship Match
- The Acclaimed Will Speak
AEW Dynamite — December 7, 2022:
- Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal; Winner Faces MJF (Featuring Brian Cage, Matt Hardy, Shawn Dean, Jungle Boy, Dalton Castle, Ethan Page, Ricky Starks)
- Sit-Down Interview with AEW Women’s World Champion, Jamie Hayter
ROH Final Battle — December 10, 2022:
- Chris Jericho vs Claudio Castagnoli — ROH Championship Match (if Jericho wins, Claudio has to join the Jericho Appreciation Society)
- Daniel Garcia vs Wheeler Yuta — ROH Pure Championship
AEW Dynamite Winter is Coming — Two Weeks
- MJF vs Ricky Starks — AEW World Championship
- The Elite vs Death Triangle — Best of Seven Series, Match Four
The Elite vs Death Triangle — Best of Seven Series, Match Three
Attacking Death Triangle during their entrance, The Elite would look to take the advantage before the bell, with Kenny Looking for a V Trigger down the entrance ramp. PAC would superkick him to block it before Fenix & Penta would level the Young Bucks with dual cutters to send the match into commercial break.
Back from the break, madness would take place, with Rick Knox being taken out, Alex handing Penta the hammer, but Fenix would prevent it from being used. Big V Trigger from Kenny scores a nearfall on Penta, though PAC would break it up. Bucks would accidentally kick Kenny in the back, with Death Triangle nailing triangle trio moonsaults to each of The Elite members, as Penta would follow up with a Fear Factor on Omega for a nearfall! A Superkick Party breaks out between the Bucks & Lucha Bros, before Matt Jackson nails a dual Northern Suplex onto Fenix & Penta. PAC gets in to break things up as he and Omega go up top, with The Bastard attempting a Superplex, though Kenny would fight out of it, nailing the face mask on PAC repeatedly, only for PAC to headbutt Omega to open him up for an Avalanche Falcon Arrow for another huge fall.
Back from the break, Fenix and Nick Jackson would have another memorable exchange, with these two always delivering the goods against one another. Fenix would look for a double crossbody onto the Bucks, but he would escape, though Matt & Nick would nail More Bang For Your Buck for yet another nearfall, as Penta would make the save. The Fear Factor gets nailed by Death Triangle, as Penta then flies out to the floor to take out Nick and Omega, leaving PAC to get a nearfall on Matt.
Sheerdrop Brainbuster from PAC lands on Matt Jackson, but yet again, only a two count. PAC comes off the top rope, but Matt gets his knees up and rolls up The Bastard as Kenny blocks Fenix from breaking the pin. THE ELITE WIN! The Elite move to 1, as Death Triangle sits at 2.
Anyone doubting The Elite & Death Triangle ahead of this being announced as a Best of Seven Series, be dammed. Three Matches in, we have gotten 3 matches that have all been totally different. This main event was nuts and capped off another fantastic episode of AEW Dynamite, with back-to-back weeks of legitimate great episodes of the show. Aside from a bonkers main event, this show also offered an amazing promo from MJF with a shocking finale in the form of his attack on William Regal, a good promo from Jade Cargill (marred by the ending with Bow Wow), a solid little bout between Anna Jay & Willow Nightingale, the surprising returns of Hangman Page & Ruby Soho, and a phenomenal opening match from Dax Harwood & Bryan Danielson.
Samoa Joe’s TNT Championship reign is also off to a hot start, with his match against AR Fox likely sliding under the radar due to being stuffed between a lot of the meat on tonight’s show.
While I would not give this the 10 out of 10 that I scored AEW Dynamite last week, this was a great show from top-to-bottom with offerings for everyone and a continued focus on the women’s division + Bryan Danielson being given a bigger spotlight.
My Rating for AEW Dynamite, November 30, 2022–8 out of 10
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