Wrestling Junkie Staff
March 8, 2023 7:00 pm ET
If there’s a harder working champion in major pro wrestling right now than Orange Cassidy, we don’t know who it is. In stark contrast to his laidback vibe, Freshly Squeezed puts his All-Atlantic Championship on the line at just about every opportunity (he’s made 13 defenses since winning it last October), as he’ll do again tonight on AEW Dynamite from Sacramento.
What makes this time different is that it’s a rubber match of sorts. Jay Lethal has already had one crack at Cassidy’s title and came up short, but he also pinned Orange last August in their only other singles match. If Lethal can grab a victory on Dynamite, he’ll win not only the championship but also some bragging rights, and he’ll almost certainly have Jeff Jarrett, Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt in his corner to aid in that effort.
Another title is also on the line in Sacramento, as Wardlow squares off with Powerhouse Hobbs. Wardlow just reclaimed the TNT Championship at Revolution, and Hobbs won his shot in the Face of the Revolution ladder match just prior. Something obviously has to give in this battle of two very large, muscular men.
Other matches on this week’s Dynamite card include Blackpool Combat Club vs. Dark Order, Top Flight and AR Fox vs. the Jericho Appreciation Society, and Ruby Soho vs. Skye Blue. Plus we’ll hear from Hangman Adam Page for the first time since his brutal but triumphant Texas Death match with Jon Moxley at Revolution. Wonder if the cowboy has his eyes on a meeting with the world champ sometime soon …
AEW Dynamite results in 60 seconds:
- Orange Cassidy def. Jay Lethal by pinfall to retain the AEW All-Atlantic Championship, then gets attacked by Jeff Jarrett afterward
- Powerhouse Hobbs says it’s too bad Wardlow had his car broken into and his belt stolen, because tonight he’s going to take the only thing he has left way from him too when he wins the TNT title
- Ricky Starks was having a hell of a week … until he gets laid out by Juice Robinson
- Wardlow says since he doesn’t have his gear or the physical belt, why don’t they make his match with Hobbs Falls Count Anywhere, Anything Goes?
- Renee Paquette asks Ruby Soho why, and she blames the fans
- Ruby Soho def. Skye Blue by pinfall, then spray paints her and Willow Nightingale with help from Toni Storm and Saraya
- Hangman Adam Page tells Paquette that his heart went black on Sunday not because he wanted it to but because he needed it to, and he apologizes to Renee for what she had to see while saying things are done between him and Jon Moxley
- A bloody MJF is shown cutting a promo after his victory at Revolution, looking forward to his birthday on March 15 and his “re-Bar Mitzvah” in Winnipeg
- Tony Schiavone spends some time in the ring with FTR, who really want, no need, to beat The Gunns
- Jade Cargill tells Paquette there are no challenges left but wants the best possible opponent Canada has to offer next week
- Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia) def. Top Flight and AR Fox by pinfall
- The JAS makes its case for being the No. 1 contenders for the trios title, but The Elite has something to say about that, and the House of Black tells both teams to come get them
- Tony Khan says Cassidy will face Jarrett next week, when the All-Atlantic Championship will “level up” to become the International Championship
- Bryan Danielson cuts his own post-Revolution promo, saying that he tapped out because to keep fighting would have proved MJF right by putting himself before his family … and he says it’s time for him to go home
- Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli def. Alex Reynolds and John Silver by submission, and Hangman Adam Page gets clobbered by the whole BCC when he tries to help his friends after the bell
- The Acclaimed says they are on the road back to the tag team titles, and they laugh off a challenge from Matt Menard and Angelo Parker
- Powerhouse Hobbs def. Wardlow by 10 count in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the AEW TNT Championship, with some unexpected help from QT Marshall
Please scroll down for more details on every match and major non-match segment.
Orange Cassidy holds off Jay Lethal again but is attacked by Jeff Jarrett after the bell
Lethal is livid as a bunch of referees and officials force his entourage to return to the back, though he is allowed to bring the Golden Globes trophy to the ring. Cassidy wrestles an unusually technical style early on, which serves him well, while Lethal slowly gets a leg up by concentrating on one of the champ’s knees.
With Cassidy on the outside, Lethal has time to do a Jeff Jarrett style strut. He goes outside and hoists Orange up to smash his leg into the ringpost, staying focused on his offense.
Side-by-side commercials change nothing, as Lethal is still in control and had enough time to mock Cassidy. Or he thinks he does, as Orange mounts a short rally that ends with a series of counters ending in a brainbuster.
Lethal actually has some chants going for him, though the “Lethal sucks” chants in response are louder. Cassidy hits a diving DDT, and while his knee is definitely bothering him, he covers for a near fall.
Lethal slaps a Figure Four on the champ, who eventually wriggles his way to the bottom rope to force a break. Cassidy attempts to springboard in from the apron and gets caught for several moves; he tries a rollup as well but gets countered into the Lethal Combination.
With Orange in the middle of the ring, Lethal wants a flying elbow but gets nothing but knees. He recovers quickly and nearly wins it with a cutter as a counter to the Orange Punch, with Cassidy barely kicking out before the three.
Lethal goes for the Lethal Injection but crumbles as he tries for the handspring, and Cassidy quickly hits him with the Orange Punch to retain. As Lethal motions like he wants to return to the ring afterward, it’s simply cover for Jarrett to sneak into the ring. Jarrett hits Cassidy with the Stroke, then breaks a guitar over Cassidy’s already damaged knee.
Ricky Starks says he's having a hell of a week, but Juice Robinson makes it less good
Though he’s happy about the success he’s been having against the Jericho Appreciation Society, Starks says he’s not sure what’s next for him.
He’s more interested in where he’s going next … and he’s about to elaborate when the Bullet Club logo appears on the big screen. As the crowd reacts, Starks is laid out by Juice Robinson, who stands over him triumphantly.
Ruby Soho tells the fans they created this monster
Asked by Renee Paquette to explain herself, Soho says it shouldn’t have come as any surprise. She talks about some of her big matches from the past, particularly getting booed after beating Kris Statlander.
And at Revolution, when she was pinned by “your favorite homegrown,” Jamie Hayter, Ruby realized no one was going to come to her defense when she lost or have her back. She says Toni Storm was never fully appreciated, nor was Saraya even when fans begged her to return.
Soho goes on a bit more about entitled members of the roster, and on that note, asks for her opponent to come out. Into her match with Skye Blue we go.
Ruby Soho proves her point against Skye Blue, and Willow Nightingale suffers for it too
Tony Schaivone and Excalibur think Soho showed some selective memory as people did have her back at times, but Taz believes she made some valid points. Her back heel trip plants Blue and gets her an early near fall before side-by-side ads arrive.
Can Blue fight back? That suplex isn’t going to help. But she’s brave, waving Soho into the corner and then evading her several times.
Skye pulls off a nice counter kick to the head and gets a boot up when Soho charges her in the corner. A high cross body off the top earns her a two count.
A thrust kick is on target for Blue, but Soho is able to counter her right after that (with some help from a hair pull) with Destination Unknown for the three count.
Toni Storm and Saraya enter the ring, spray cans in hand, and they start to mark her before Willow Nightingale runs down. All that gets her is attacked from behind, so now the heels have two spray paint victims instead of one.
FTR is back, baby, and they want The Gunns
Tony Schiavone asks for FTR to join him in the ring, and their huge crowd reaction makes it hard for Cash Wheeler to talk at first. As good as 2022 was for them, the last few months have been pretty bad.
They’ve lost big matches, titles and one of their best friends in the business, meaning Jay Briscoe. FTR needed to recharge, but Wheeler says he couldn’t in good conscience sit back and watch The Gunns call themselves the best tag team in wrestling. He says they are good, but also spoiled, entitled “little a–holes.”
Dax Harwood says he talks often about how much he cares about his family, but he also loves the fans. They never left him, never gave up on FTR. Harwood says the last memory he has of one of his best friends in this business was taken from him by The Gunns. Now FTR has to beat them and take their titles, for themselves, for the Briscoes and for the fans.
The numbers game helps the Jericho Appreciation Society vanquish Top Flight and AR Fox
The announcers wonder if this is a stylistic nightmare for the JAS team, though Tony Schiavone notes the rest of the group is ringside so Jericho and company are actually outnumbered. He’s not wrong.
Jericho gets an early taste of Fox’s aerial ability and doesn’t like it one bit. The whole JAS poses as Guevara has Fox momentarily grounded, but Darius Martin soon tags in to face Garcia. Dante Martin does a springboard moonsault onto Garcia when he’s outside on his side like it’s no big deal. Which for him, it probably isn’t.
During some picture-in-picture action, the Top Flight/Fox team does pretty well, with Fox once again proving too agile for the other team to keep under control. He hits a cutter out of the corner on both Guevara and Garcia and gets a two count on the latter.
Darius does a standing Spanish fly on Jericho for a two count, and the JAS has to save its leader from another pinning predicament a moment later. Now things are getting too crazy to try to recap, but suffice it to say that multiple men are flying to the floor.
That leaves Jericho alone with Darius, who nearly catches The Ocho with an inside cradle. Alas, Jake Hager has Jericho’s bat and sneaks in a shot from the floor, and Jericho follows with the Judas Effect to wrap up a JAS victory.
Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli take things a tad too far against Alex Reynolds and John Silver
The announce team says it’s impressive that Mox is even standing after the Texas Death match Sunday, let alone competing. He waves in some chops in the opening sequence, and the fans start chanting for Silver as he matches muscles with Castagnoli.
Their battle eventually swings in favor of Claudio, but Reynolds gives his side a spark when he tags in. He’s in need of a tag out by the time the next side-by-side ad break is done, but Castagnoli is doing his best to prevent that.
Reynolds finally hits a double stomp to the chest, then kicks Claudio way. Both Silver and Mox are legal, with Silver getting the better of their first exchange.
Moxley fights back with kicks to the chest but gets taken back down to the mat and hammered with elbows. Mox tries for a leg triangle, but Silver reverses it into his own submission hold until Claudio bails out his teammate.
Dark Order combines to nail Castagnoli with an elevated uppercut, but Reynolds takes a nasty half and half suplex, and Moxley locks on a D’arce Choke that earns the submission.
Moxley won’t let go of the hold after the bell, and Silver gets dumped out to the floor while Mox switches to a bulldog choke. Here comes Evil Uno
Powerhouse Hobbs wins gold with a hand from ... QT Marshall?
Though Wardlow’s music hits, he doesn’t emerge, and that’s because he and Hobbs are already duking it out in the back of the arena, fighting around and then on top of a car, with Hobbs getting backdropped onto the windshield.
While side-by-side ads appear, the two big men keep on scrapping through fun backstage areas and bringing various foreign objects into play as weapons. The crowd roars as they finally head out toward the ring, with Hobbs getting hurled over the barricade onto the floor.
Now they’re actually in the ring, where they stand and trade big punches. Wardlow’s lariat sends Hobbs to the canvas, and an F-10 follows for a two count. The fans chant for tables, but Hobbs connects on a pair of spinebusters for his own near fall.
Eventually, the fans get what they want: Hobbs is set up on a table on the floor, and Wardlow flies with a Swanton Bomb off the top to send him. Hobbs through it. Hobbs kicks out, and the crowd rewards them with a “this is awesome” chant.
Wardlow powerbombs Hobbs on the ramp, but now both men look the worse for wear. They rise and fight toward the announce position, but QT Marshall arrives and starts wearing out Wardlow with a steel chair. Together, Marshall and Hobbs powerbomb Wardlow off the stage through a padded platform of some sort. The ref makes a 10 count, and Hobbs is the winner.