Last night’s AEW Dynamite was so full that by the end of this review, you’d forget whatever cool intro I bust out for you — much in the same way that I totally forgot that Hangman Page got slaughtered in show opener by the end of the first hour.
So, “Penta says” we should dive right into this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite with out any further delay. Failure to comply results in broken arms.
Brian Cage def. Hangman Page
From the moment Cage attacked Hangman from behind and powerbombed him prior to the bell, there was just no coming back for the cowboy. What ensued was six minutes of “Swoleverine” hitting huge moves on Hangman, wondering why he wouldn’t stay down, and moving on to the next power move.
After those six minutes, Hangman finally managed a reversal that sent Cage flying to the outside, and with a huge Orihara moonsault to the floor, it seemed that Hangman was getting his heat back and kickstarting us into The Second Half of the Match.
This did not occur, as instead of just dodging the Buckshot and trading offense, Cage reversed Hangman’s lariat into a Deep-Sea Diverticulitis, hit him with a powerbomb to the mat followed by one into the corner, and finished him with the Drill Claw before the clock even hit 8:10 p.m.
In a vacuum, this match is a showcase for the powerful offense that Cage has to offer. In the grand scheme, this match furthers Hangman’s overall arc (as he was just the #1 Contender to Omega’s title and now isn’t) as well as Cage’s with Team Taz (as Taz said on commentary that Cage was able to win because Starks exposed the holes in Hangman’s game last week). There are a lot of complexities in having Cage win here, especially since Starks’s loss last week made him and Cage even in the rankings, but with Cage winning here, we’re going to see a lot of bright things for the beefy boy coming soon.
The Young Bucks def. the Sydal Brothers
After a limousine promo where new triple-world champion Kenny Omega set-up a match between Eddie Kingston and Omega’s “goon” MT Nakazawa, the Young Bucks came out looking like a pair of late ’90s Shawn Michaels and began the brother fight of the
Both Sydals brought their A-game tonight in their match against the champions, with Mike starting things off against Matt Jackson while Matt Sydal (confusing, right?) came in for the hot tag later and began throwing around his beautiful arm drags and moonsaults.
This match was an athletic masterclass as one would expect, but after the two teams spent the bulk of the match being more or less evenly matched (including one Sydal getting a 2.997 nearfall on Matt Jackson), Nick distracted Rick Knox while Matt did splits and punched Mike right in the nards, all the while mouthing, “Johnny Cage. Johnny Cage.”
This led directly into the BTE Trigger finish, but after “Young Boy” Brandon Cutler supplied the Bucks with ice packs and cold spray, SCU finally called out the Young Bucks. It was a fiery promo from Daniels and Kaz, and when the two teams finally clash, it’s going to be title vs career.
I believe Jade Cargill cut a promo around this time, once again saying that if someone wants to be her manager, they best have money. I am disqualified from this search.
Orange Cassidy def. Penta El 0 M
This is weird to say about a promotion that I enjoy as much as AEW, but this match is one of the few I can think of in recent history that lived up to my expectations. Other matches I’ve been excited about haven’t been “bad” — in fact, most of them have been good to great — but they’re typically not what I expected to see (e.g. Jungle Boy vs. Darby Allin being more methodical than the dead sprint I expected).
Orange vs. Penta was exactly the match you’d expect: full of taunts, character moments, goofy shenanigans, and loud kicks.
Penta said, “Cero Miedo.” Orange put his hands in his pockets. Penta got mad and walked right into Orange’s phenomenally confusing offense, and after slowing down a bit, Penta began kicking away at the apathetic wonder.
The tide fully turned against Orange when he did his thumbs-up to the camera only for Penta to grab his hand and bite it. This hampered Orange’s punches going forward, and because it weakened Orange’s arm, Penta decided he HAD to break it. This led to a fun spot where Penta got his arm in that breaker position, only for Orange to fight his hardest to put his hand safely in his pocket.
Canadian destroyers were hit, Orange Punches and Package Piledrivers were attempted, and Orange finally hit a Beach Break on Penta, only to cover him poorly. Alex Abrahantes caught that Orange was in control and tried to distract him, but Orange brought him into the ring and baited out both Penta and ref Bryce Remsburg. Bryce dealt with Alex while Trent passed Orange Alex’s microphone, allowing Orange to hit a loaded Orange Punch to win a very fun match.
After that, Britt Baker cut another promo about the AEW Women’s Division rankings and busted out her new catchphrase, “Shida Later.” She seemed very proud of that one.
The Inner Circle and Pinnacle’s Blood & Guts Parley
After explaining the rules of Blood & Guts (spoilers: it’s exactly a War Games match), the two baddest factions in AEW met to discuss which team would get the advantage going into the match. It ended up being a non-issue, however: Shawn Spears baited Sammy Guevara into accepting a Pinnacle advantage by questioning the strength of their team and the ring-readiness of Guevara himself.
Aside from Wardlow, Hager, and Blanchard, everyone got their hands on the mic in this one, each with their own agenda. While Guevara and Spears had their beef to start, FTR were interested in dragging out the mean Santana & Ortiz of old who weren’t Jericho’s lapdogs, also telling them to make peace with their families the same way Dax did with his. MJF obviously took shots at Jericho, calling him out for his constantly bloodshot eyes and saying that being on top of AEW is exhausting Jericho. MJF wants to rid him of that burden, that heavy crown.
Jericho, in response, told MJF that the youngster isn’t ready for that crown, that he’s going to have to win Blood & Guts to prove himself, and that no one in the Inner Circle is going to quit or surrender, so if MJF wants that crown, he’s going to have to kill them.
AEW already had their first wedding earlier this year. Get ready for their first funeral on May 12th.
Eddie Kingston “def.” MT Nakazawa
This wasn’t a match even in kayfabe. Kingston came out, said he only wanted to fight Omega, then got jumped from behind with a laptop once Omega did come out. Kingston decided to play Omega’s game for a moment, knocked Nak out with the backfist, and told Omega that he’d break Nak’s ankle with a chair unless Omega got into the ring.
Omega told Kingston to go ahead and try to break Nak’s leg—Omega had more than one goon. Cue Brandon Cutler…falling out of the entrance tunnel, clearly having been attacked.
It was time for Plan B, as Mox choked Omega from behind, dragged him into the ring, and had Kingston threaten to break Omega’s ankle unless Callis pulled strings to get the four competitors in the ring a tag match for next week. No ankles were lost that night. We’ve got a tag match, players.
Kris Statlander def. Penelope Ford
Fun fact: I can’t read “Penelope” without thinking of Booker T saying her name wrong after All In. “PEN-eh-lope.”
Anyways, this match started off hot since there was no “feeling out process,” as per commentary. The two women started brawling, but it was immediately clear that Ford was going to have to change tactics as Statlander is just way stronger than her.
Penelope failed to change tactics, instead picking up what little offense she could while being knocked around the place by Statlander, who hit knees in the corner, big slams, the whole shebang. Kip Sabian tried to get involved when Ford’s final burst of offense was cut off, but Orange Cassidy pulled Sabian off the apron and made him watch as Statlander finished off his wife with the Big Bang Theory.
Around this time, Christian Cage interrupted a Taz interview to set up a match with Ricky Starks. Neat.
QT, Solow, and Comoroto def. Dustin, Billy, & Johnson
Lex Nightmare Express pulled up to Daily’s Place as QT’s Crew hijacked Cody’s bus and drove it to ringside. Whoever’s playing AEW 2K21 clearly pressed X during their entrance as we quickly cut to The Factory in the ring as the Nightmare Family made their own entrance and started brawling.
Though seven men were involved with Ogogo at ringside, this match was really all about Comoroto and, yes, Ogogo. Comoroto spent the match squaring up with Billy Gunn and Dustin Rhodes, and though they were physically bigger than him, he was a bigger monster than them, bulldozing through them at will. And when that failed, Ogogo just threw out liver punches when the ref wasn’t looking.
Two liver punches to Johnson and Gunn allowed QT to get a pin over Big Shotty, but the fun didn’t stop their as Austin and Colten Gunn came out to ZERO POP FROM THE CROWD and started beating up QT. As his turncoat students reentered the ring to fight off Gunn Club, QT returned to the Nightmare Express and bumped into a returning Cody Rhodes. The two brawled up to the top of the bus (wait, what?) and concluded with QT tapping to Cody’s Figure Four way up high.
This ending segment was fun once Cody came back, but I lost all focus when it was announced after the match that not only is Jon Moxley defending the IWGP United States Championship on the May 12th Dynamite, but it’s against YUJI NAGATA, also known as my favorite of the NJPW Dads. Let’s freaking go!
Miro eats Kip Sabian
Sabian tried to clear the air with Miro, but that was idiotic. Miro threw him around the locker room, asking (yelling) where he’d been throughout the attack. Miro told Sabian he had to learn his lesson, slammed the locker room door on his arm, then said “I forgive you.” The band is back together, whether Sabian likes it — or has two arms — or not.
Darby Allin def. 10 to retain the TNT Championship
Maybe I read to much into things, but because part of this story was that these two did face off prior to 10 joining the Dark Order, I believe that Darby’s goal here was exposing Preston Vance. Not just proving that Darby is a better wrestler than him, but also showing off his face as he did so, getting into 10’s head and reminding him who he was.
Even if that’s not the mental story, the in-ring story was that 10 is big and Darby is small. 10 would do a thing and Darby would die a little. Darby would do a thing and 10 would flex and Darby would die a little more.
Darby’s big weapon was attacking 10’s wrists to weaken his full nelson, which came into effect after 10 caught Darby’s springboard Coffin Drop and went for the submission.
Now, prior to this, Ethan Page snuck in and attacked Darby, leading 10 to get some good licks in. By the time this full nelson was locked in, Darby was basically powerless to fight it. It was only through a push-off-the-corner reversal that Darby could pin 10, proving that 10 did not watch Lashley vs. McIntyre at WrestleMania.
Page and Sky attacked again post-match, this time forcing Darby to watch as Sky locked a deep heel hook in on Sting, but Lance Archer came in to save the day once more as the show faded to black.
A fun, jam-packed show that didn’t start or end on the best matches but delivered story-wise on a consistent basis. You COULD ask for more, but I was left very satisfied by the show’s end.
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