Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-17-2021) – St. Patrick

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

So if you haven’t noticed, things have been pretty quiet on the website and I’m several days late on this recap.  It turns out moving from one place to another is REALLY DIFFICULT and REALLY TIRESOME, so I’ve gotten myself woefully behind on just about everything including my weekly wrestling schedule, but fear not for most of the boxes have been unpacked and I was able to squeeze a few hours into the wee hours of the evening to finally watch this episode of Dynamite!  Was it worth the effort after a week of strenuous box lifting and stair climbing, or was I better off calling this week a loss and sleeping for more than a few hours?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Rhodes Vs. Penta El Zero M

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

AEW likes to start their show strong and for a lot of storylines it’s all about setting up that opening match.  Last week’s confrontation between Cody and Penta was all it took for a grudge match to be set up between these two, and for what it’s worth they definitely wrestle like there’s something big at stake here.  For the most part, Penta is working Cody’s arm who manages to grit his teeth and fight through the pain to keep Penta from running away with this.  Cody early on lands a Top Rope Hurricanrana on Penta which is the last straw for him and he starts working Cody’s shoulder EXTRA hard with a lot of kicks and stomps that leave Cody writhing in pain, but Penta once again lets his ego get in his way and eats a kick from Cody while taunting Arn Anderson.  This cycle repeats a few times with Penta getting the lead only to lose it to Cody either from sheer hubris or an explosive comeback from Cody, and he even gets close to losing the match when he does his Zero Fear taunt which allowed Cody an opening to fight back and land a Canadian Destroyer which get a two count.   Cody is firmly in control now and even lands a Cross Rhodes on Penta, but he just won’t give up on this match; even after Cody gets dirty and smashes Penta’s knee into the post before putting him into a Figure Four Leg Lock.  In retaliation for this, Penta gets Cody to the ground and snaps his arm back, but while celebrating his dastardly deed Cody rolls him up and gets the pin.  Yeah, the match just kinda ends which was a bit odd considering how much each guy was kicking out of big moves, but Penta doesn’t let it end on a high note for Cody as he starts pounding on him after the bell rang and has to be chased out by the Gunn Club.  The setup last week was very basic and the match itself reflected that straightforward attitude with a classic Heel/Face dynamic, but while there aren’t really any surprises to be found the two guys fought with a lot of heart and pulled off some very impressive moves.  A fun way to start the show, even if not an incredibly memorable one, and I’d definitely like to see a much longer program between these two in the near future.

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The Bucks are being interviewed in the back about their upcoming match against Rey and Pac, but it gets interrupted by Don Callis who spends several minutes talking mad trash about The Bucks just to get their dander up.  It’s not like there’s anything The Bucks recently did for him to complain about, so it’s mostly just generalities about them being LOSERS now despite being reigning and defending champs of the Tag Team titles, but I guess Don is the eternal pot stirrer and if he’s not messing with SOMEONE on this show then it’s a week wasted for him.

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Jade Cargill Vs. Dani Jordyn

Very much a squash match as Dani Jordyn gets like ONE move of offense in before Jade starts to tear her apart.  She looks fine doing it I suppose, but there’s still not much evidence that she can (or should) hang with the bigger stars here; at least not until she gets some serious seasoning and some genuine grit.  I’m glad she’s getting some time in the ring after all these weeks, but she still feels like a sideshow and I’m not sure what the future holds for her if Shaq isn’t going to wrestler with her every few months. 

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MJF & Tully Speak!  Who Is This New Faction!?

It seems to be the rule when it comes to Heel factions that they come out in sharp suits and proclaim themselves saviors and/or forbearers of the wrestling industry with a name to signify that fact b.  It was true for Ric Flair’s Fortune, it was true for Evolution (which was also with Ric Flair), and now it’s true for these guys who call themselves… The pinnacle.  A bit on the nose, but these are guys not known for their subtly.  Tully starts things off with some strong words about The Inner Circle, and while he’s not quite at Ric Flair’s level, but he’s got more fire in his gut and venom to spit than he’s EVER had here at AEW which was certainly a pleasant surprise!  He doesn’t have long to say his piece though before MJF takes over and starts tearing down Chris Jericho and everyone else in the group as fools for having ever believed in him.  Doesn’t seem like the thing you’d want to say in front of your NEW faction, but MJF is still one of the most compelling guys on the mic, and he makes sure to suck up to his new friends to smooth things over and quell any fears about his turncoat nature.  That said it’s kinda funny when he gets to the odd man out Shawn Spears and has to kind of ad lib some positives about a guy who wears Tully Blanchard underwear; a fact we learned when he got pants by Dustin Rhodes.  In any case, while MJF doesn’t declare any sort of specific challenge to the Inner Circle, he does let Jericho know in no uncertain terms that his new group is going to destroy him and his pals, so we’re sure to see some more chaos between these two factions as they go to war!

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Jurassic Express & Bear Country ((Bear Bronson & Bear Boulder)) Vs. Matt Hardy, Private Party, and The Butcher & The Blade

Hardy’s latest acquisition of Butcher & Blade was certainly a surprise last week with no word from them or Kingston about why this change in allegiance occurred, but Jurassic Express are a good team to try something new with, and Bear Country as well could a bit of their shine if they hope to be anything more than Dark guys for the rest of their careers.  It starts with Mark and Hardy as the latter is definitely in craven Heel mode, but with some creative help from Jungle Boy, the little dude manages to get the upper hand and forces Hardy to rely on his hired talent.  At least they seem to be on the same page though as Bear Country are just not gelling with Jurassic Express.  Some of it seems very intentional as they toss Marko over the ropes without any warning to land on a few guys out there, but other spots like when Boulder accidently clips Jungle Boy with Marq Quen’s boot seem a bit more sloppy than intentionally antagonistic.  Then again, this DOES lead to the heat segment as the Heels start pounding on Jungle Boy during the commercial break, but whether or not their work is on point or botch-a-rific, I’m just not digging this group so far.  Thankfully they barely have anything to do in the match as Jungle Boy gets the hot tag to Luchasaurus who runs wild on everyone for a bit (He tosses Quen so high that he could have easily sailed right over the ropes if he was any closer to them) and eventually gets a two count on Isaiah Kassidy; a nearfall that didn’t end the match only because The Butcher came in to break it up.  Luchasaurus eventually tags in Bronson who gets one or two moves in before he starts arguing with the rest of his team, and in frustration Marko just tags himself in so that at least SOMEONE is fighting their opponents.  Sadly this proves to be a BIG mistake as Private Party manages to land the Gin and Juice on Marko which was enough to knock him out, but Matt Hardy convinces them to tag him in so that he can land a Twist of Fate and get the pin himself.  The match didn’t give us anything we haven’t already seen from Butcher & Blade but at least it proved that they are still steady and competent workers in this new status quo.  The same can’t be said for Bear Country who look like absolute jerks throughout the match, and if the plan is for them to go Heel I don’t know why they even bothered with this match.  It’s not a swerve if we’ve never seen them be good guys (or seen them do ANYTHING of note), and with a team like Jurassic Express they just couldn’t do anything memorable with the little time they were given.  It was an okay match I suppose, but I expected much more out of it.

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Moxley and Kingston are in the back and talk about how much they don’t like Gallows & Anderson.  I’m not sure WHAT their ultimately point is, but these two have such great chemistry that I could listen to them babble nonsense for an hour without losing interest!  In any case, they have a match tonight against The Good Brothers which is why they’re bringing them up, but before we can get to that, we cut to…

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Christian Cage Speaks Too!  Was It Worth The Wait!?

As I’ve said before, I don’t know the first thing about Christian and so I don’t have any real expectations of what he will do here.  He definitely has a look, a great entrance theme, and a face that says this is a guy you shouldn’t mess with (he looks like every Jaded Rogue in every sci-fi and fantasy story ever), but can he deliver on the promos?  Eh… kinda.  He honestly just kinda rambles when brevity would have served him quite well here, and for all his words about being a workhorse there’s not much of a goal here.  Kenny Omega seems to be WAY down the line for him and he’s got a LONG way to go if he plans to “outwork everybody”, but Cage definitely has his strengths and I hope AEW finds a way to take full advantage of them.  And with that, we finally get to…

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Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston Vs. The Good Brothers

Before the match even begins, The Good Brothers surprise attack Moxley and Kingston who go down like a sack of potatoes.  For about seven straight minutes (including a commercial break), Kingston is just getting pummeled by The Good Brothers in of the longest heat segments we’ve gotten in a while, but Kingston eventually manages to fight his way back to his corner where he gives Moxley the Hot Tag.  Moxley doesn’t look much better though with a wrapped up shoulder, but he gives it his all and manages to just barely get the advantage on Anderson who only manages to survive a Pile Driver from Moxley due to Gallows breaking up the pin.  Gallows gets in the ring soon after and it looks like they might just be able to take out Moxley, but Kingston runs some interference which leaves a recently tagged out Gallows face down outside the ring and Moxley manages to rolls Anderson up for a pin JUST long enough for the three count.  Just like the LAST Babyface win though, the Heels immediately start attacking them for having the hubris of winning the match; but unlike with Cody the only person who comes out to make the save is another heel as Omega saunters to the ring to pick the bones.  Kingston tries valiantly to save Moxley from an attack, but after ONE good shot at Omega he’s immediately trampled by The Good Brothers and they use a chair to wreck his ankle.  It’s not until they put Moxley’s NECK in the chair and threaten to break it that The Bucks come out to make the save and they argue with their former Bullet Club brothers until it’s clear that whatever bond they may have had is finally shattered.  It probably had more to do with the placement of the commercial break than anything else, but the opening onslaught from Gallows and Anderson just went on too long and made it difficult for me to get into the match once things started to heat up.  Even so, Moxley and Kingston make a good team whenever they’re allowed to shine, and we’re at least making some real progress with this Bullet Club storyline.

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As hard as it is to believe, we get a rare treat this week as Tony Schiavone calls out Sting to do an interview!  Can you IMAGINE something like that happening on AEW!?  Okay fine, sarcasm may not be fully warranted here as Sting is definitely proving himself to be a huge positive for the show even if his segments are rather repetitive, and on top of that it’s actually more about Darby Allin who comes out and ACTUALLY speaks on the mic which is something he does very rarely!  Like many of us, he’s not too pleased about how few title defenses he’s had as TNT champ and has decided to offer an open challenge to The Dark Order if they want to get back the belt that Brodie Lee made famous!  Before Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, or even John Silver can come out and accept the challenge, Lance Archer comes out from the back to yell at Sting about how many interviews he’s gotten… despite Darby being the one talking and Sting is off to the side saying nothing.  Jake Roberts offers some cryptic threats before he and Lance are satisfied and return to the back, but once AGAIN they get interrupted; this time by Team Taz who want to yell at Sting as well.  Surprising everyone however, Brian Cage grabs the pipe from Taz and actually admits how much he respects Sting which sends all of Team Taz into a tizzy and forces them to retreat to the back.  So… is someone from The Dark Order going to challenge Darby Allin!?  Later in the show they DO have a Dark Order segment where Silver is chosen to represent them (I personally would have gone with Stu Grayson), but I REALLY wanted to see them show up in the segment itself to lend the match a bit of gravitas instead of relying on their goofy backstage stuff once again.

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We get a video package from Scorpio Sky where he frankly just sounds whiney about not getting enough opportunities.  He’s not exactly exuding a lot of Heel energy, but maybe a few more matches where he gets to be the bad guy will make it work.

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Rey Fénix Vs. Angélico

Rey is accompanied to the ring by Pac

I can’t believe that Angélico from TH2 got a jobber entrance considering just how good he is when given a chance, and I’m not sure why Jack Evans isn’t here either.  It’s a shame to because Angélico has a pretty great match with Rey here and he continues to have an impressive presence whenever he shows up!  He’s always been a tall guy, but up against Rey he looks like freaking Slender Man, and yet he fights like a submission specialist instead of a big guy, so Rey ends up fighting from underneath these long and flexible limbs which is definitely a change of pace from your typical Rey Fénix match.  He eventually manages to escape from Angélico’s various holds and lands a Thrust Kick followed by a very cool Cutter to get a two count, but Angélico is not to be taken lightly and lands the Navarro Death Roll which SHOULD have spelt doom for Rey if Angélico hadn’t done the move so close to the ropes.  The two of them start trading some impressive moves back and forth as well as trading a few pin attempts, but Fénix lands a Crucifix Bomb out of NOWHERE and follows up with a Sit Out Pile Driver to get the pin.  This was short, sweet, and full of AMAZING action which makes it easily the best match of the show so far!  It’s really Rey Fénix’s time to shine and he’s been making the most of his spotlight which hopefully won’t be moving away from him any time soon!

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Miro is in the back doing pull ups as Marvez tries to get him to do an interview, but Kip comes in to have a talk with Miro that I’m sure he was hoping would go towards fixing the rift between them and cementing their bond, but instead Miro talks down to him and unequivocally makes himself out to be a total jerk.  He promises that they are still friends outside the ring which is fine I suppose, but I doubt Kip’s okay with him thinking that he and his wife are disposable pawns in his effort to become World Championship.  Still, they accept the challenge that Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy offered them last week so I guess they’ll be working together for a bit longer.  Personally I hope that Kip screws Miro out of the victory.  I get that you don’t want Miro to look bad if he’s about to get a big push, but I think if Kip just takes Miro’s abuse until he throws him away it’s going to cause MUCH more damage to him than whatever minor damage would happen to Miro if he was screwed out of a win.

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Britt Baker Vs. Thunder Rosa – Unsanctioned Lights Out Match

Baker is accompanied to the ring by Rebel (Not Reba)

I still don’t get why a Lights Out match involves ring announcers, entrances, and pyro, but in any case this is a match that has no rules and will not show up on either wrestler’s AEW record.  Knowing all this though, you’d think Thunder Rosa would have brought out an enforcer of her own as Rebel IMMEDIATELY interferes and hits her with a crutch, but it doesn’t take long for Rosa to fight back and start taking them both out with a couple of chair shots.  Baker eventually tosses her into a wall which takes her out for several minutes as Baker and Rebel (Not Reba) set up a table and throw lots of chairs in the ring that will surely be put to use soon enough.  A stomp to the head on the steel steps gives us the first blood of the night as Thunder Rosa starts bleeding like a sieve and she ends up eating a Superplex right onto the chairs which must have SUCKED for her, but she manages to kick out at two.  Then Rebel (Not Reba) brings a ladder into the ring which is ALWAYS a scary proposition, and sure enough Thunder Rosa IMMEDIATELY Bull Dogs Baker into the ladder which made a sickening cracking noise.  Britt starts bleeding even worse than Rosa after that which I assume must have been a blade job as iit looks like Baker just slapped the ladder and pushed her face down in one of the gaps, but whether it was a blade or a hard cut, it’s not something that a wrestler should do lightly and it’s clear that both of these women are giving it their all in this gory spectacle.  They really do get their money’s worth with that ladder as they take some awful bumps into it (the worst is probably a middle rope Death Valley Driver from Rosa that connected right at the top of Baker’s back) and of course you don’t set up a table unless someone goes through it and Rebel (Not Reba) takes the bump after a failed attempt to smash Rosa once again with the crutch.  The interference spot was to try and get Rosa softened up enough for Baker to toss her face first into a pile of tacks so that she can then force her to tap from the Lock Jaw, but instead Rosa manages to Powerbomb Baker into the tacks.  Baker somehow manages to kick out at two and even puts Rosa in the Lock Jaw when she tries to get down and throw a few punches at her, but before Rosa can tap she rolls Baker back into the tacks to break up the submission.  Baker manages to maintain control however and drags Rosa to the apron to try and put her through a second table.  Rosa however manages to fight back and puts Baker through the table with a pile driver which is FINALLY enough to get her the pin and win the match.  The only match I can compare this to is the Becky Lynch/Charlotte Flair Last Woman Standing match at the Evolution PPV which is one of the best women’s matches I’ve seen so it’s a very favorable comparison to make.  It’s not quite up to that level as the match runs much shorter at just fifteen minutes, but it’s still a jaw dropping display of ultraviolence and a darn good display of physical fortitude from both competitors!  The women’s division is the best it’s ever been at AEW, and the episode comes to an end with Rosa standing tall over the bloody and defeated Britt Baker.

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It took a while for me to get into the episode and I ended up watching it in chunks over five days, but it really kicked into high gear in the second half and I was very impressed with just how good the main even was and what it hopefully means for the division that’s been lagging behind for over a year now.  Some things could have worked a bit better like the Jurassic Express match and I wasn’t in love with the Good Brothers match either, but it was definitely an episode that showed off the depth of the company’s talent with show stealing performances from Rey Fenix and Angelico for what would otherwise be a throwaway match, and a risky main even that could have gone terribly wrong if Baker or Rosa hadn’t brought their A game.  It’s getting to the point where some of the undercard stuff (if you can call it that) is interesting me far more than the bigger picture stories, but regardless of that they put on a good show this week and I’m interested to see what happens next!

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