This week’s AEW Dynamite featured a huge tag team match main event with FTR facing The Young Bucks while Adam Cole battled Christian Cage in the opening match.
It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. The commentary team of Jim Ross, Excalibur and Tony Schiavone welcomed us to the show.
It was right to the action this week with Adam Cole entering first followed by the veteran Christian Cage. There was a hot crowd as the wrestlers stood in opposite corners to start the match.
Adam Cole vs. Christian Cage
Christian got a shoulder tackle knockdown on Cole. Cole drove Christian to the corner while putting his foot on Christian’s throat. Christian tried the Killswitch, but Cole left the ring and then he spit on Christian. When Cole ran around the ring, Christian cut him off with a clothesline on the floor. Christian chopped Cole a bunch of times. Christian set up Cole on the top rope, Cole slipped out and Cole kicked Christian in the ankle. Cole kicked Christian while Cage was upside down. They left the ring with Cole whipping Christian into the barricade and the steel steps. That led to a picture in picture break.
Cole was in control with a headlock, then he ran the ropes and Christian sent Cole over the top to the floor. Christian jumped off the top onto Cole on the floor. Back in the ring, they exchanged strikes followed by Cole getting an enziguri kick to the head. Cole jumped off the middle rope, Christian got his feet up to block nothing from Cole and Christian jumped over Cole with a sunset flip for two. Christian with a pendulum kick in the corner followed by a swinging DDT out of the corner for two. Cole with a knee to the ribs, Christian wanted Killswitch, Cole got out of that and when Christian went to the turnbuckle, Cole hit a backstabber for a two count. Christian got an inside cradle on Cole for two followed by a reverse DDT. Christian went up top, he jumped off, Cole moved and Christian hit the mat. Cole with a kick to the leg, a superkick and the running knee for two. Excalibur tried to explain it that Cole didn’t lower the knee pad before the knee strike. The fans chanted for both guys as Christian stood on Cole’s back while against the ropes. Christian with an uppercut punch. Christian jumped off the middle ropes with nothing and Cole hit a superkick for two. Cole went to the turnbuckle, Christian with a punch and a hurricanrana off the top for two. Christian charged, Cole kicked the knee and Christian avoided a Panama Sunrise, but Cole hit a pump kick. Cole lowered the knee pad, Christian avoided the Boom knee and Christian got a rollup for two. Christian hit a Spear on Cole for a two count. Lots of cheering from the crowd along with an “AEW” chant. Cole did the dreaded eye poke and the Boom knee (with no knee pad) to the back of the head for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Adam Cole
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a great match full of action. Lots of counters from both guys. Plenty of nearfalls as well. In the end, it was the dreaded EYE POKE OF DOOM~! that led to Cole staggering Christian leading to the Boom knee to the head for the win. I figured Cole would win because Christian is at a level where he’s not wrestling that much and he’s going to lose to a guy like Cole, who is still in the AEW World Title hunt. It was a fun match to watch and smart choice to open the show.
Post match, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly attacked Christian, so Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus made the save. Cole was still alone in the ring when “Hangman” Adam Page made his entrance with the AEW World Title. Cole said he wanted a title shot. Page told Cole that’s fine with me and told Cole that they will have a Texas Death Match on a live Rampage next Friday. Page warned Cole that he has a week, so he should get his affairs in order. Cole backed out of the ring.
Analysis: It’s interesting that they would do it on Rampage next week (April 15) instead of Dynamite. I think that’s because they know the Rampage audience is going down and they need to set up some big matches for Rampage. Putting the AEW World Title on the line will help the Rampage numbers for that week at least.
A video aired from ROH Supercard of Honor with Jay Lethal challenging ROH World Champion Jonathon Gresham to a match. After Lethal and Sonjay Dutt attacked Gresham, Samoa Joe made his AEW/ROH debut (he’s signed to deal) to choke out Dutt while Lethal ran away.
Samoa Joe made his entrance to a thunderous ovation. This is his first AEW match. Max Caster did a rap on his way to the ring saying Joe was injury prone and then added that “when we beat them in the ratings, he was their champ.” That’s a reference to Joe as the former NXT Champion. Nice line there.
Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Qualifying Match: Samoa Joe vs. Max Caster (w/Anthony Bowens)
Caster tried to get in Joe’s face, so Joe knocked him on his ass and did some dance moves. Joe delivered a chop, a running elbow and a jumping kick to the head. Joe hit an elbow drop leading to Caster bailing to the floor. Joe ran the ropes leading to an elbow suicida, which means a suicide dive with an elbow at the end. Caster got in a cheap shot on the floor, but when they went back into the ring Joe hit him with an elbow smash. Joe hit the Muscle Buster for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Samoa Joe
Analysis: * That’s the right way to book a dominant win. Caster got in a few moves, but it wasn’t much as Joe ran over him rather easily. It’s fine with me because Joe is one of my favorite wrestlers of the last 20 years and I like to see him look dominant like that. Good to see the Muscle Buster again.
Post match, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt appeared on the video screen. Dutt is a Producer in AEW if you’re wondering. Lethal said that for four months he tried to call Joe for some advice, but he never answered his phone. Lethal claimed Joe only answers the phone for billionaires and he should have a shirt that says: “Samoa Joe – Gold Digger.” Lethal said that next week in New Orleans, Joe’s number one student Lethal will give him a present in New Orleans. That was it as Joe applauded the fans for his AEW debut.
Analysis: At least they have a storyline for Jay Lethal to be a part of after not having much to do for several months. Joe facing Lethal eventually is going to be a great match.
The announcers hyped up what’s coming later in the show.
The Blackpool Combat Club group of Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley and William Regal were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Danielson has a match against Trent Beretta and Moxley will face Wheeler Yuta, so they talked about that. Bryan didn’t speak while Regal talked about how they were impressed by Yuta.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman joined commentary for the next match.
Shawn Spears vs. “Captain” Shawn Dean
Spears with a backbreaker followed by a stomp to the head and Spears tossed Dean over the top to the floor. Spears pointed at a sign about how AEW security had to prevent Wardlow from getting into the building. Spears hit a neckbreaker and then picked up Dean after a two count. Spears picked up Dean on his shoulders, then the video screen showed some security guys that were laid out in the backstage area. The fans were chanting “Wardlow” while Spears and MJF were freaking out. Wardlow was shown in the arena while beating up “security” guys that took turns going up to him and Wardlow beat them up easily. Wardlow walked into the arena in the back part of the building and he beat up more security guys by tossing one of the guys into the barricade. Three police officers showed up to take Wardlow away. There was still a match, so Dean did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Spears to win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: “Captain” Shawn Dean
Analysis: 1/2* It was a storyline more than a match because it was all about showing Wardlow beat up security guys while he made his way down to the ring. At some point, the story will evolve with Wardlow getting out of his MJF deal and signing with AEW, but for now, it’s a slow build to it. The story is working because of how well the crowd is responding to them. It’s a good job of building Wardlow into a babyface that the fans like a lot.
There was a backstage interview with the Best Friends with Chuck Taylor talking to Wheeler Yuta with Chuck talking about how he has helped his career. Trent Beretta didn’t like that Wheeler was spending time with the Blackpool Combat Club and told him to watch what Trent does to Bryan Danielson on Rampage. Trent shoved Wheeler a bit.
Sammy Guevara and girlfriend Tay Conti had cue cards to entertain people during the break. Thrilling.
There was a video shown of Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz beating up the Jericho Appreciation Society in some hallway in the building earlier in the night. Eddie Kingston threw a TV screen at them. Jake Hager was driving a car leading to the Jericho Appreciation Society leaving the building.
Let’s Hear from Eddie Kingston and Friends
Eddie Kingston walked into the arena along with Santana and Ortiz. Eddie called Jericho a two-faced coward while mocking him for running away. Eddie said that he will attack Jericho wherever he sees him while mentioning the others in the group. Santana called them the “Jericho Bitch Society” while calling them scrubs. Santana said that this is what they do and told them to bring the hardest fight. Ortiz suggested that Jericho come to Louisiana next week so they can have a six-man tag team. Eddie said that they are going to beat their ass like a Junkyard Dog-Butch Reed style. That was the end of the promo.
Analysis: A quick promo by the three faces making their intentions known about wanting to face Jericho’s group in a match. Simple enough.
They showed a video about Hook avoiding being cursed by Danhausen. I don’t know where it’s going. I don’t think I care that much to think about it, but Hook’s cool and Danhausen is fine as a comedy gimmick.
There was a Tables Match up next.
The TBS Champion Jade Cargill and Smart Mark Sterling were interviewed on the stage by Tony Schiavone. Jade is undefeated with a record of 29-0 and got a pyro display while on the stage. Jade told Tony to “cut the shit” because I guess that’s a catchphrase. Jade had a “baddie section” of beautiful women sitting in the crowd. Some hairy guy was pretty close to them. Jade called the fans “slobs” while saying she knows herself. Starling ripped on Boston for not having good-looking people, but Jade was able to do it. Sterling ripped on Marina Shafir saying she is not a baddie. Cargill said that she is tired of these MMA losers coming to her ring on her show. Cargill mentioned Marina calls herself “The Problem” while Jade said she was the problem solver. That was it.
Analysis: Jade forgot to call herself “that bitch” but she did say “cut the shit” so I think that was edgy enough.
MJF and Shawn Spears were interviewed by Alex Marvez. MJF said that next week there will be twice as many security guys to keep Wardlow out. MJF said that he’s going to face Shawn Dean and he’s going to hurt him.
Tables Match: The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. The Butcher & The Blade (w/The Bunny)
The rules are that a wrestler had to be put through a table due to an offensive move by the opponents. Both wrestlers had to be put through a table to lose a match for a team.
Jeff worked with Blade in the ring leading to Blade running through a table that was in the corner. That did not count as a move through a table since Blade ran through it. Butcher battled Matt on the floor with Butcher throwing a chair at Matt’s face. Matt and Jeff hit a double DDT on Butcher. Matt set up Butch on a table in the middle of the ring, Jeff went up top and Blade tripped up Jeff. Blade hit a twisting neckbreaker on Matt. Butcher held up Jeff for a suplex and Blade jumped off the top to drive Jeff through the table. They went to a picture in picture break.
The match returned with Matt working over Butcher with a chairshots to the back. Matt set up Butcher on a table while knocking Blade off the apron. Matt jumped off the top and hit a leg drop on Butcher to drive him through the table to eliminate Butcher. Matt jumped off the apron, Blade moved and Matt bumped on the table. That did not eliminate Matt since he went through the table on his own. Butcher helped Blade at ringside as they teased a move where they would put Matt through a table that was there. They tried double suplex, but Jeff pulled the table away to save his buddy away, so Matt was suplexed on the floor. Jeff tripped up Butcher on the floor leading to a double leg drop on the ribs. Jeff hit a Twist of Fate on Blade and Matt also hit a Twist of Fate on Blade, which laid out Blade on the floor. Jeff brought out a black ladder from under the ring and hit Butcher with it in the ribs. Matt hit Butcher with a Twist of Fate on the floor. There were two tables set up side by side on the floor while Jeff set up a ladder beside them. Jeff climbed the ladder while the referee Bryce Remsburg and Matt held the ladder with Blade under underneath it. Jeff went to the top of the ladder and hit a Swanton Bomb on Blade through the table. Blade going through the table meant that the Hardys got the win. It went 12 minutes. The fans loved it.
Winners by pinfall: The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy)
Analysis: *** It was a solid Tables Match. I’m all for doing a different kind of match like that because if it’s a regular tag team match then it feels too repetitive, so if you do something that we don’t see as often then it can feel fresh. The stipulation that both guys on the team have to go through a table is a good thing because it can prolong the match and keep it as a match with all four guys involved. The ending spot with Jeff Hardy hitting the Swanton Bomb on a guy through a table is something we have seen many times. It still generates a big reaction like it did here.
Andrade El Idolo appeared with Jose The Assistant, The Bunny and Private Party. They are all allies with Butcher and Blade. While Andrade’s group was in the aisle, Sting’s music hit at the Stinger walked out with a bat in his hands. Sting beat up Private Party easily, then Andrade hit behind The Bunny and backed away from the fight.
Analysis: That should lead to a tag team match again at some point. It’s AEW. Doesn’t everything lead to tag team matches? There are a lot of teams and groups. Just saying.
Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus (the AEW Tag Team Champions) and Christian Cage were shown backstage for a promo. Christian was mad and just walked away. Jungle Boy said ReDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) don’t even deserve a title shot based on their record, but they will put the titles on the line next week. Luchasaurus did some yelling.
A video aired about AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa and her next challenger Nyla Rose (with Vickie Guerrero) exchanging words. They agreed to a title match at Battle of the Belts on Saturday, April 16 on TNT.
Jamie Hayter and Toni Storm were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. They have both qualified for the Owen Hart Cup tournament. Jamie said that if anything deserves to win this it’s her. Storm said this has only just begun.
Women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Qualifying Match: Hikaru Shida vs. Julia Hart
Julia wrestles with an eye patch since Malakai Black spit some dreaded black mist in her eyes months ago. Hart choked Shida with her jacket while Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. didn’t like that, so Julia told them to leave. Shida got in some offense with some running knees that knocked Hart out of the ring. Shida jumped off a chair leading to a dropkick on Hart. Back in the ring, Hart kicked Shida in the leg followed by a DDT. Hart punched Shida leading to a break.
The match continued with Shida working over Hart with repeated punches. Shida sent Hart to the corner, Shida hit a running knee and a suplex. Shida went for a running knee, but Hart moved. Shida hit a superplex off the middle rope while Hart was on the apron. Hart did an eye gouge to get out of a move and hit a DDT for two. Hart went up top, she went for a twisting attack, Shida moved and Shida hit a forearm. Shida hit a spinning kick to the ribs and a Falcon Arrow slam for the pinfall win after eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Hikaru Shida
Analysis: ** The lone women’s match on the show (they almost never have two on Dynamite) was a basic match with the bigger name Shida beating Hart, who is showing heel tendencies. Hart hasn’t had many singles matches on Dynamite/Rampage, so maybe they’ll start using her a bit more. She is a young talent with a bright future.
Shida celebrated in the ring with her kendo stick. Serena Deeb’s music hit, she did not appear on the ramp and Shida turned around to see Serena there holding a steel chair. They had a staredown until Serena backed away.
Analysis: That Shida/Serena feud has been going on for months, so it was just a staredown for them.
Swerve Strickland was interviewed by Alex Marvez. Swerve talked about going to the Grammy Awards on Sunday and how he hasn’t forgotten about attacks from Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs. Swerve went into a room, then he was attacked by Starks and Hobbs, so Keith Lee showed up to help Swerve. The four guys got into a fight in the locker room area and it ended with Lee tacking Hobbs into some partition between two rooms.
Analysis: That was cool. Keith Lee tacking dudes or throwing things is always good to me.
This Friday on AEW Rampage:
* Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta
* Willow Nightingale vs. Red Velvet
* Swerve Strickland vs. QT Marshall
* Bryan Danielson vs. Trent Beretta
Next week on AEW Dynamite:
* Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz vs. Chris Jericho, Jake Hager & Daniel Garcia
* Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus vs. ReDragon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)
The main event was up next.
The Young Bucks made their entrance with the stooge Brandon Cutler for this match that was 18 months in the making according to Excalibur. They had a classic AEW Tag Team Title match at Full Gear 2020 and now they finally have a rematch with two more titles on the line. The FTR duo of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler entered as the Ring of Honor and AAA Tag Team Championships. Both of those titles were on the line in this match. The long-time voice of Ring of Honor, Bobby Cruise, did the ring announcing for the match. The Bucks threw their shirts at FTR during the introductions. The fans were cheering more for FTR.
ROH & AAA Tag Team Championships: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
The bell rang with about 20 minutes left in the show. Wheeler started with Matt with a shove that knocked Matt on his ass. The fans chanted for both teams, then Wheeler hit a shoulder tackle and put on one of the Bucks headbands while mocking them. Harwood had some athletic tape on his lower back while Wheeler had athletic tape on his left shoulder. Nick threw a headband or something at Harwood, so Harwood put it in his trunks. They did a spot where they left the ring, then a chase back into the ring and the teams faced off again. Matt was legal with Harwood, Nick tripped up Harwood and Wheeler tripped up Matt. All four guys went into the ring as they exchanged punches, the Bucks did a double hiptoss and a double low dropkick. Wheeler back in, so the Bucks did the double hiptoss and dropkick to him too, but Wheeler hit a clothesline. Both FTR guys applied Sharpshooter submission holds on both Bucks, so Nick did an eye gouge to Wheeler to break free. Bucks did a kick/clothesline combo in the corner followed by a cannonball/kick combo. Matt hit Wheeler with a diving elbow off the middle rope and he mocked a Bret Hart gesture since that was a Bret Hart move. Nick battled Wheeler leading to Wheeler going to the floor leading to a break.
The match returned with Wheeler hitting a suplex on Nick with about ten minutes left in the show. Matt tagged in, Wheeler knocked both guys out of the ring, Wheeler kicked Matt away and Nick hit Harwood with a superkick. Harwood was focused on getting tagged, but Nick was there to hit him with a superkick. Harwood avoided a double team kick by the Bucks, Nick tagged in, jumped off the top and Wheeler hit him with an uppercut. The crowd came alive as Harwood made the tag followed by punches, suplexes on each Buck and repeated uppercuts on Matt. Harwood got an inside cradle on Matt for two. Matt with a sunset flip on Dax for two. Matt and Dax fought over a backslide, Matt managed to keep Dax down for two and then Harwood hit a piledriver on Matt for a two count. Harwood set up Matt on the top rope, but Nick was there to stop that and Wheeler suplexed Nick on the apron. Matt went up top, Harwood hit the legs to trip him up and Harwood hit a superplex, Nick hit a hurricanrana on Wheeler, who was legal. The fans chanted “AEW” while the referee did a terrible job of restoring order. Nick with a bulldog leading to Matt hitting a dropkick. Nick kicked Harwood while he was on the floor, then an X-Factor on Wheeler. Harwood caught Nick on the floor with a brainbuster. Matt with a running dropkick on Harwood on the floor. Wheeler hit a Gory Bomb style move on Matt for a two count. The fans cheered. The announcers had their usual “this show is one of the best shows ever” discussions that they have every week. Calm down, guys. Tony isn’t going to give you another raise. Matt avoided a Big Rig double team move from FTR, Nick distracted the referee and Matt kicked Wheeler in the groin for the low blow! Bucks did the Big Rig move that FTR uses and Matt covered Wheeler for a two count. Great spot for a two count. Bucks hit their More Bang For Your Buck combo with a rolling senton, a 450 splash by Nick and Matt hitting a moonsault off the top for two on Wheeler. Nick grabbed one of the ROH titles, Harwood grabbed the belt from him and Wheeler got the rollup on Matt for two. Nick got the title from Harwood, so Nick hit Wheeler with the referee. The referee was right there, yet “didn’t see it” and Matt got a rollup on Wheeler for two because Harwood broke up the pin. Another awesome nearfall. Bucks with a double superkick on Harwood to send him out of the ring. Nick tagged in as if tagging matters in AEW. Bucks hit the BTE Trigger double knee to the face of Wheeler, but Wheeler got his foot on the rope to break up the pin. The bell rang, but the normally inept referee Rick Knox told them it was a two count. Matt tagged in, Harwood was back in and caught Nick going for a move. Harwood with a slingshot Powerbomb on Nick while Wheeler hit a Tombstone on Matt. FTR hit a BTE Trigger (double knee to the face) followed by a kiss on the cheek of Matt and the Big Rig double team move for the pinfall win for the victory right around the 20 minute mark.
Winners by pinfall: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)
Analysis: ****1/2 This was an outstanding match. It was one of the best TV matches this year from any wrestling company. FTR have been heels for their AEW run, but the crowd really got behind them in this match. It’s pretty cool to see how well FTR did as faces while The Young Bucks always know how to set up the big spots. There were definitely times where rules were ignored, the illegal man didn’t matter and stuff like that, but overall I enjoyed it a lot. It also helped that it wasn’t obvious who was going to win. While I figured it would be FTR to have them keep the titles they have, it certainly could have been a win for the Bucks. That uncertainty of who might win made it more fun to watch. I gotta give all four guys a lot of credit for the number of nearfalls in the match. They had some really special moments there like Wheeler getting his foot on the rope for a two count and Harwood diving into the ring at the last moment to make a save. The finish was well done with Bucks going for the double team move, but Harwood caught Nick to take him out and then it was a BTE Trigger into the Big Rig for the win. I loved it. I don’t think it’s five stars, but it’s certainly close to that. That’s what I rated their Full Gear 2020 match.
Tony: “Is there such a thing as a ten-star match? If there is I think we just saw the damn thing.” Not with me because a five-star scale stops at five. I’m sure Uncle Dave could do that for AEW.
The FTR duo of Harwood and Wheeler celebrated with their titles. The fans chanted “FTR” for them. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: Are FTR faces now? I don’t think it’s official. The weird thing is they are part of The Pinnacle heel group led by MJF, yet the group is barely shown together. It’s a strange situation. I’d say FTR are certainly on their way to being faces.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Young Bucks
- Adam Cole/Christian Cage
This Week: 8.5 out of 10
Last Week: 7.5
An excellent episode of Dynamite that was heavy on in-ring action. I loved the main event this week with FTR and The Young Bucks having a long match with a ridiculous amount of nearfalls leading to the finish. It was chaotic, fun and a hot crowd in Boston loved seeing FTR get the win. I am so impressed by FTR all the time, even now as a babyface team or at least that’s what they were in this match. I highly recommend this FTR/Young Bucks match. I enjoyed it.
Samoa Joe was booked perfectly in his AEW debut match. It was a dominant win for him and I like his storyline with Jay Lethal. Jeff Hardy jumping off a ladder to put dudes through tables has been done many times over 20+ years, but it still generates a loud reaction from the crowd. I also really liked Adam Cole/Christian Cage opening the show with a competitive match.
There were some promos, but not that much talking. I like how the next Adam Page/Adam Cole match was set up for Rampage next week.
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