For the first time in nearly 20 years, industry leader WWE has some legitimate competition on its hands. In the opening night of what pro wrestling fans are calling the “Wednesday Night Wars,” All Elite Wrestling (AEW) will debut its weekly “Dynamite” TV show (TNT, 8 p.m. ET) in a move that positions the upstart promotion in a head-to-head ratings battle against WWE’s NXT brand, which moved to a live slot on USA Network two weeks earlier.
AEW’s quick rise and talented roster — featuring the likes of Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks and Jon Moxley (f.k.a. Dean Ambrose in WWE) — has the promotion poised to fill a role as chief rival for WWE that hasn’t been in place since WCW in the 1990s (and briefly with TNA one decade later). Backed by entrepreneur and Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner Tony Khan, AEW has already proven successful over the past year in merchandise sales and ticket selling for pay-per-view shows. This week, however, sees the promotion taking a massive step forward with the launch of a live, two-hour weekly show in prime time.
CBS Sports will be with you the entire way Wednesday updating this story with live results and highlights along with a detailed recap and grades at the bottom of the post. Be sure to subscribe to the State of Combat with Brian Campbell podcast for a complete review of AEW Dynamite on Thursday morning and wrestling episodes each week.
AEW Dynamite matches
- Chris Jericho & vs. Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks
- AEW Women’s Championship: Riho vs. Nyla Rose
- Adam “Hangman” Page vs. PAC
- MJF vs. Brandon Cutler
AEW Dynamite live results, highlights
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AEW Dynamite recap, grades
Cody def. Sammy Guevara via pinfall: The first match in AEW Dynamite history was a hot one with something legitimate at stake as Cody secured a shot at inaugural AEW champion Chris Jericho at the Full Gear pay-per-view. It was Jericho who also made his presence known after the match when he used the distraction of Guevara slapping and then shaking the hand of Cody to brutally attack him from behind. Jericho commandeered a ringside camera to take pictures of himself posing over a prone Cody before assaulting him further with a chair and powerbombing him onto a pair of folding chairs.
The match was greeted by a glowing soundtrack from the excited crowd and featured PPV intensity over the second half as both wrestlers traded big moves and near falls. Guevara did well to establish himself as a heel by pulling Brandi Rhodes in front of him to bear the brunt of Cody’s tope through the ropes. Brandi gained revenge late by using her shoe to strike Guevara from outside the ring before Cody hit a Disaster Kick for a near fall. The wrestlers then traded huge high spots as Cody hit an inverted superplex for two before Guevara hit a majestic Spanish Fly off the top rope. The finish came when Guevara’s shooting star press attempt caught knees from Cody and a small package for the 1-2-3. An aborted post-match interview attempt from Tony Schiavone saw Cody break kayfabe briefly by crying as the two embraced. Grade: A-
MJF def. Brandon Cutler via submission: Good piece of brief business here to establish MJF as such a vile and lead heel. MJF cut his own entrance music short to deliver a strong pre-match promo in which he ripped the fans (prompting “asshole” chants). Cutler worked well in the underdog role, hitting a suicide dive into a Thesz press onto the floor. But MJF created a diversion shortly after by pulling the referee in front of him in the corner. The distraction allowed Friedman to land a crushing elbow strike and apply his Salt of the Earth armbar for an instant tap. Grade: B-
Jay & Silent Bob cut a promo: In the crowd to promote their upcoming movie, which features a cameo by Jericho, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes got into an argument with Angelico and Jack Evans, who came down to ringside to talk trash to them. Private Party came out a bit late in the process to protect Smith and Mewes, and the segment just ended from there.
SCU, Lucha Bros. prepare for the tag team tournament: Standing outside the White House, a suited Scorpio Sky did an impression of President Barack Obama as Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian stood by as his Secret Service. They cut a quick promo there and then did again inside the arena with Sky announcing Daniels and Kazarian would be teaming up for the tourney. As Sky finished talking, the Luchas Bros. reminded the crowd they are the “best tag team in the universe” before the five men got intoa brawl and were separated by officials and agents.s