Live from Jacksonville, it’s Saturday Night!
As soon as Sammy Guevara pinned Shawn Spears to close AEW’s third Double or Nothing event, AEW went straight into a holding pattern. NBA was about to usurp Dynamite’s TV time and, knowing there was no point in competing for ratings with WWE SmackDown on Fox, they just sort of gave up.
Dynamite’s Wednesday return is still days away, but Saturday Night Dynamite still gave us some of that good old fast-paced AEW action that Friday Night Dynamite was lacking. We got a hot crowd! We got big swerves! We got a huge title match!
We got “what” chants.
The real, raw energy of a live wrestling show is back and, as I write this moments after the show ended, I’m still incredibly jazzed up about everything we just saw.
So, without further ado, grab your favorite manager from IMPACT Wrestling as we triple-suicide dive into this week’s (last week’s?) edition of AEW Dynamite!
Hangman Page def. Powerhouse Hobbs
Before these entrances, Alex Marvez tried to interview Sammy Guevara until Shawn Spears bashed Sammy with a chair in MJF’s honor. Though there’s a lot to unpack here (since Marvez is 100% a paid member of the Pinnacle), the show quickly left the parking lot and brought us to sunny Jacksonville for the Powerhouse’s entrance.
Despite Hobbs being the bigger man, the story of this match was actually Hobbs trying to single out Hangman’s right arm to neutralize the Buckshot Lariat. The other story of this match was the crowd chanting “You still suck!” after Hobbs responded to their “You suck!” chants with a clobbering clothesline to Hangman.
Hangman tried to fight despite his busted arm — and a bleeding headwound after Hobbs threw him into the corner post — and Hangman did get some surprising power offense in on the big man. Sensing Hobbs was in danger, Hook (!) and Ricky Starks came out with Brian Cage’s FTW Championship in hand, hoping to turn the tide.
Cage came out to get his title back, which scared Starks away but didn’t distract Hobbs as he caught Hangman’s lariat attempt and turned into a spinebuster for a nearfall. Hangman fought back up, finally hit the Deadeye, and put Hobbs away with maximum effort.
Hobbs had likely his best match to date; Hangman got a big, crowd-pleasing win; and Cage’s story with Team Taz is progressing. A great start to a great show.
After this, the Young Bucks cut a promo on Kingston and Penta, all the while Brandon Cutler desperately tried to get in on the trash talk.
Konnan and Tully Blanchard have a war of words
The Inner Circle vs Pinnacle feud is devolving into stricter 1-v-1 — or, in this case, 2-v-2 — feuds, and to illustrate this, Santana & Ortiz brought in an old friend from their pre-Inner Circle days to be a mouthpiece for them.
Tully grabbed the mic and told Konnan that he could go first (despite having just gone first himself), but this was a tactical error as Konnan went on to fry this man. Konnan talked about the difference between southern bar fights and the northern struggle of walking around being racially profiled. He spoke Spanish at Blanchard and told him to learn the language “so you can communicate with your grandkids” — a specific reference to Tessa Blanchard and her husband, Daga.
Flabbergasted, Tully gave up on verbal barbs and threatened violence, telling Konnan that the Pinnacle were coming out here to beat him down. Konnan was two steps ahead, bringing out Santana & Ortiz. Tully, however, was four steps ahead, playing a video on the Khan Tron that showed the real Santana & Ortiz lying in a heap backstage.
The fake Proud ‘n’ Powerful revealed themselves to be FTR, who hit Konnan with a spike piledriver.
The promo was amazing, but that swerve genuinely boomed me. Tully is too good.
Matt Sydal def. Dante Martin
In the middle of Dante’s entrance, Vickie Guerrero came out and yelled “Excuse me!” so loud that I’m still physically recovering from it. She brought out Andrade and told the world that she had an announcement, but before she could say anything else, Matt Sydal’s music hit and he walked past them both, eyeing down Andrade in an act of pettiness that really ingratiated me to Mr. Sydal.
Matt and Dante had a match that’s so crazy it’s sort of hard to type up, but if you’ve ever seen Dante’s insane vertical leap before, imagine a match that uses that gimmick to its fullest. Springboard moves, top rope moves, a sunset flip as beautiful as the Florida sunset behind them. 20-year-old Dante really showed his potential in this match, and it goes even further than that crazy flipping stunner that he busts out often, including last night.
But, of course, this was Sydal’s match to win, and after putting submission holds on Dante’s leg earlier in the match, it paid off towards the end as Dante hurt himself jumping off the top rope. Sydal hit a sweet roundhouse kick, got Dante with the Lightning Spiral, and added a win to his record.
I foresee an Andrade match in Sydal’s near future, and I am HERE for it.
Promo Break: Jungle Boy, Jade, MJF, and Miro
Jungle Boy starts to speak on his main event match, but Christian Cage tells him that, instead of being happy to be here, Jungle Boy should be pissed that people like Kenny Omega don’t believe in him. Christian says that changes tonight.
Mark Sterling comes out and proves that he’s the best manager in wrestling because, on ShopAEW.com, the code THATB will get you 10% off of Jade Cargill’s shirts. That’s a shoot. I can’t believe he and Jade are this good already.
MJF is interviewed about attacking Dean Malenko last week, but he spins it on the fans, saying that unlike us poors, he was able to give Malenko something he needed: an early retirement. Jericho and Hager try to jump MJF and Wardlow, but Spears keeps the Pinnacle on top until Guevara runs out for the save. He says next week, he’ll prove that he is the BEST EVER, and MJF knows it.
Finally, Miro thanked God for keeping him powerful and his wife flexible. Amen.
Ethan Page def. Bear Bronson
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky cheated a bunch! This is so out of character.
For real, though, Bronson just did a bunch of neat big man stuff while Page foolishly attempted the Ego’s Edge a bunch of times. My favorite moment of this match was, while the ref tried to keep Sky from attacking Bronson, Page backed into Bear Boulder, got the ref’s attention, and said, “He touched me!” While the ref tried to subdue the “raging” Boulder, Page and Sky beat down Bronson.
Their cheating escalated to an endpoint of Sky distracting the ref while Page hit Bronson with a low blow while Bronson was on the top rope. Page used the leverage to lift Bronson up for the Ego’s Edge, pinning him for a win.
After the match, Ethan said he wants to be the nail in Darby’s coffin (“What?”) — the nail in Darby’s (“What?”) — the nail (“What?”).
Ethan challenged Darby to a coffin match, which is fitting. Unfortunately, the downside of this one was “what” chants.
Now, I’m ALMOST okay with this because Ethan’s a good heel on the mic, and he played off the “You are stupid” chants earlier in his promo. But those suckers were starting to chant it at Konnan for a second, and by God, I can’t watch AEW crowds catch this particular illness. I don’t know if there’s a vaccine for it yet, and Lord knows WWE’s been looking for it for 20 years.
After this, Britt Baker and Rebel roasted Vickie Guerrero for having the ability to make any match and using it to put herself in a tag match with Britt. Though Vickie says in the following promo that this is an appetizer for Nyla prior to Fyter Fest Night 2, Britt says all Vickie’s getting is a butt-kicking and a nice prescription.
Kris Statlander def. Allie
Whereas Hobbs kept going for Hangman’s right arm earlier in the night, Allie seemed driven to get that running crossbody on Statlander tonight, but Kris just kept catching her.
While Statlander is continuing her comeback run where she reminds everyone just how strong she is and how dope her moves are, the Bunny is still keeping her matches slow and going for more irritating slaps than powerful offense. When it became clear that her mind games and crossbodies weren’t working, she and Blade went for old reliable: brass knuckles.
While Blade distracted the ref and “accidentally” dropped his knuckle duster in the ring, Orange Cassidy slid in and took the knucks from Allie before casually dipping them in his pockets. Allie’s upset, and it leads her directly into a Big Bang Theory from Statlander for the win. Bazinga.
Orange raises Kris’s arm after the bell, but Blade shoves Orange into her and beats Cassidy down with TH2’s help. Best Friends aren’t able to come out since Chuckie is with Trent in the hospital, and Kris can’t help because Tony Khan doesn’t like it. If this were IMPACT, though, just know that Kris would have easily bodied either member of TH2.
There was a mini promo break after this where QT got mad about Brock Anderson, Brian Pillman Jr. hyped up his match with Miro, and Penta and Kingston called out the Young Bucks, but because they announced that Kenny vs Jungle Boy was up next and led with QT’s face, it was hard to focus on anything onscreen. I’ve linked the ones that are on Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing, though.
Kenny Omega def. Jungle Boy to retain the AEW Championship
Before the match could really get under way, Paul Turner immediately kicked out Marko Stunt, then went ahead and got rid of Luchasaurus and the Good Brothers as well. This was a one-on-one encounter between a current main eventer and the future of AEW, so there was no room for shenanigans.
Though Omega and Jungle Boy started with a grapple, it soon became all about flight as Jungle Boy hit Omega with multiple front dropkicks into the barricade and later did the same but with suicide dives. Jungle Boy’s plan was to wear Omega down and lock him in a Snare Trap, and with speed on his side, it was starting to work.
However, Omega’s big counter for any move was a knee to the face. Jungle Boy went for a ripcord-something (who knows, it could have been a Rainmaker) and got hit with a knee to the face, a powerbomb, and another knee to the face. Jungle Boy goes to the ropes for a break? Knee to the head. Jungle Boy tries to do a top-rope Frankensteiner? Drop him head-first on the top turnbuckle and knee the back of his neck.
Jungle Boy did get one deep Snare Trap in that scared team Omega so much that they tried to interfere—only to be stopped by Jurassic Express and Frankie Kazarian—but aside from that, this match was strictly one-on-one. Both men got some surprising 2.85 counts off of moves that aren’t traditionally their finishers, but after Omega got one such nearfall after a Tiger Driver, he immediately picked Jungle Boy up and finished him with the One-Winged Angel.
Omega won the match fair and square, but he still went for a post-match beatdown using the AEW Championship. Christian Cage came out to save Jungle Boy this time, but not only did Kenny still have the Young Bucks at his disposal — Christian still has beef with the Hardy Family Office. Christian took out Private Party but fell victim to a double superkick and a Twist of Fate. The show closed with The Elite and Matt Hardy standing tall over a future prospect and AEW’s rowdy veteran.
This was a great show top-to-bottom and excelled in-ring and on the mic. It still doesn’t feel right not being on a Wednesday, but despite the factors surrounding this show, it’s still one of the best Dynamites of 2021. I cannot wait for this upcoming run of shows going into and through July.
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