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AEW Dynamite- March 31, 2021
by Samoa Rowe
Live from Daily's Place. Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur are your hosts for the evening.
Christian Cage vs. Frankie Kazarian
The general mood about Christian coming to AEW has been sour ("he's not a HOF signing that was promised, he's too old, he is forcing himself into the main event," etc) so a good showing here could go a long way. Christian and Kazarian trade wristlocks and Kazarian snapmares into an armbreaker. Side headlock by Christian, but Kazarian shoulder blocks him onto the ramp. Christian slaps the face but then gets backdropped into the ring. Kazarian controls the action and spills Cage off the top rope to ringside, which would definitely set up a commercial break if this was WWE. Christian crawls back in for Kazarian's guillotine leg drop, and sadly he's looking like a 47 year old man who hasn't wrestled a singles match in 7 years. Kazarian works a front headlock and hits a twisting neckbreaker for 2. Christian huffs and puffs through a comeback, hitting a tornado DDT for 2. Christian digs deep to appear more confident as he rallies and delivers a flying uppercut. Christian blocks a chicken wing but Kazarian reverses the Killswitch, but Cage stumbles back with a reverse DDT. Christian misses a frog splash and Kazarian locks on the crossface chicken wing. Christian retreats into the ropes, prompting a frustrated Kazarian to stomp while talking trash, and Cage nearly pins via a roll-up. Kazarian recovers with a springboard leg drop for a tight 2 count. Cage blocks a superplex, but Kazarian fires back with a headbutt and Flux Capacitor, but Cage kicks out! Christian is either putting in a masterful selling performance or he's totally out of gas. Cage blocks another leg drop and connects with the frog splash for only 2. Christian hits some timely counters to set up the Killswitch to win at 16:35! This developed into an interesting match after a clunky start. Cage will need some more time to work off the ring rust, ***.
Winner: Christian Cage
Darby Allin and Sting video package. They throw some money off a bridge and cosplay as Matt Hardy in front of a burning pile of cash. Matt's money doesn't mean sh!t to Darby.
Jade Cargill hype video, helpfully reminding Red Velvet that she can't measure up to her.
Cody Rhodes (with Dustin Rhodes and Billy Gunn) vs. QT Marshall
Special Referee: Arn Anderson
Other members of the vaguely defined Nightmare Family are lurking around ringside like unofficial lumberjacks. No televised entrance for QT really hammers home just how much he ranks below Cody in the pecking order. They lock up and Cody repeatedly gets the better of his little buddy. They run the ropes and Cody scores a pair of arm drags. QT wrenches Cody down with a wristlock takedown, and Cody resists the urge to stomp QT's face in. QT shoves, which inspires Cody to hit his patented uppercut. QT doesn't want to play around and goes to work on Cody's shoulder as they head to commercials. They return in time for Cody's comeback, but he hesitates to put his friend in a Figure Four. He can't bring himself to hit Cross Rhodes either, so QT slaps him. QT misses a running crossbody and takes a timeout. QT punches out Arn and retreats up the stage. A portion of the young Nightmare Collective guys (Aaron Solow, Nick Comoroto, and Anthony Ogogo) then TURN on the veterans and Lee Johnson! QT piledrives Dustin onto the steel steps. They hold up Cody to take body shots from Ogogo, and decide they've had enough when Red Velvet arrives to shout at them. I am glad this QT heel turn went somewhere quickly, and now Cody has some fresh archvillians to keep him busy.
Backstage interview with Red Velvet, who declares she's got Cody's back, but Jade Cargill ambushes and leaves her down and out.
Jon Moxley talks to the camera. He's pissed that the Good Brothers broke Eddie Kingston's ankle and also that the Young Bucks couldn't decide if they wanted to be in the fight or not. Now he has to deal with Baywatch stand-in, Cezar Bonono, who might be a big star for AEW someday, except he's going to kill him.
Jon Moxley vs. Cezar Bononi (with Ryan Nemeth)
Moxley dares Bononi to hit him and gets harder than he was expecting. Bononi beats Mox into the buckles. Moxley hyperextends the leg over his shoulder and hits a dragon screw leg sweep. Moxley applies a half crab and follows with chest kicks, but Nemeth grabs his ankle to allow a Bononi suplex. They cut to picture-in-picture. Back from break, Bononi is controlling the action with Performance Center style offense. Bononi misses a running boot and tweaks his bad knee. Moxley slaps the face and hits a German suplex. Superplex by Moxley gets 2, so he locks on a cross armbreaker. JD Drake distracts the reeree while Nemeth runs in to eat a Paradigm Shift. Bononi looks for a pump handle slam, but Moxley reverses into a rear naked sleeper to win at 7:55. Good "overcoming the odds" over the J.O.B. Squad.
Winner: Jon Moxley
Team Taz talk to the camera, but Brian Cage and Ricky Starks are getting on each other's nerves. Taz insists everything is good in Team Taz, but Hook and Powerhouse Hobbs aren't buying it.
MJF and the Pinnacle are hanging out in the Inner Circle's old room and gives out gifts, including a Soda cooler. MJF opens a door to reveal the Inner Circle and he tries to casually walk away, but Jake Hager was blocking the exit. The Inner Circle beat down the Pinnacle. Sammy Guevara slams a door into Shawn Spears. Hager puts Wardlow through a table with a uranage. Santana and Ortiz throw Cash Wheeler into an ice bath, and smash furniture over Dax Harwood. Chris Jericho gives MJF a swirlie, declares "The worst is yet to come," and throws him through the Pepsi display! The Inner Circle drags MJF into the hallway and retake their territory. This was an excellent beatdown.
Alex Marvez talks to the Young Bucks, who aren't interested in airing their dirty laundry on TV. Don Callis interrupts and chases off Marvez. Nick leaves too, for some reason. Callis says he loves Kenny Omega and accuses the Bucks of breaking his heart. He slaps Matt Jackson across the face, and Matt resists the urge to choke him out. Callis says the Bucks make him sick and takes off.
Laredo Kid and Lucha Bros. (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix) vs. AEW World Champion Kenny Omega (with Don Callis) and The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows)
Omega and friends get caught off guard on the ramp by a Laredo Kid's dive and Fenix' tightrope moonsault. The luchadores continue the hot start with triple super kicks and triple dives. Laredo Kid hits Omega with a pair of moonsaults for 2. Omega explodes into a bulldog of sorts, and Gallows tags in. Anderson's distraction lets Gallows hit a roundhouse kick to take control of Laredo Kid. The beatdown lasts through a commercial break. Laredo Kid absorbs an awkward triple splash and then catches Gallows with a tornado DDT. Penta storms in on a hot tag, and Fenix powerbombs him onto Omega and Anderson. Somersault senton by Fenix gets 2 on Anderson, but Omega breaks it up. Omega and the Good Brothers swarm Fenix and nearly finish him with a triple powerbomb. Fenix survives Anderson's DDT, and Penta breaks up the Magic Killer. The match continues breaking down until everyone is down and out. Omega blocks Laredo Kid's flying head scissors and serves up a V-Trigger. One Winged Angel is blocked and Laredo Kid wipes Omega out with a wild tope suicida. Lucha Bros. dump Good Brothers for Penta's springboard crossbody. Fenix catches Omega with a tight rope Penalty Kick, and LK hits a Falcon Arrow for 2. Omega dodges a Phoenix Splash and hits LK with a V-Trigger and One Winged Angel to win at 14:18! Routinely wild stunt show, hampered by a few mistimed spots and moments when you could see the guys waiting patiently for things to happen before they hit their next spot, ***¼.
Winners: Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers
Jon Moxley arrives on the ramp to size up Omega and the Good Brothers. The Young Bucks arrive to fight alongside Moxley, and they chase the heels from the ring.
Nyla Rose (with Vickie Guerrero) and The Bunny (with The Hardy Family Office) vs. AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida and Tay Conti (with The Dark Order)
Matt Hardy blames The Dark Order for his recent financial woes and demands that The Bunny make Conti pay for it. Aggressive start by Rose leaves Shida reeling. The Bunny relishes the opportunity to attack a vulnerable Shida, but she gets caught in an armbar instead. Shida hits a running knee lift and takes a moment to tell Hardy off, and Rose ambushes from behind. Cue the commercials! Back from break, Shida suplexes Bunny onto Rose, and makes the hot tag. Conti storms in with judo throws and a running bicycle kick onto the Bunny. Conti hits Bunny with a penalty kick and swinging backbreaker, despite Hardy's protests. The Dark Order initiate a brawl with the Hardy Family Office. Conti takes advantage with a TayKO on Bunny, but Rose saves the match. Shida dives onto the field and gets caught, so Conti follows with her own dive to knock everyone down. Vickie hops on the apron to allow Bunny to hit Conti with a Kendo Stick and Down the Rabbit Hole for the win at 7:11. Fun train wreck, **¼.
Winners: The Bunny and Nyla Rose
Jurassic Express have strong words for Bear Country. They are stupid animals, er, mammals, and they won't be allowed to throw Marko Stunt around anymore. Stunt reveals his new King Kong tattoo, which royally offends Luchasaurus.
Miro and Kip Sabian (with Penelope Ford) vs. Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor
The ring is surrounded with arcade machines and prizes. OC and Chuck get the jump before the bell. Miro recovers with a body avalanche and fallaway slam on Taylor. Meanwhile, OC puts Sabian through a Wack-a-mole game and bashes him with the mallet. Miro grabs OC and body slams him onto the concrete. Miro wacks OC with the (soft) mallet and bridges a guard rail. Miro blocks a double team suplex and puts Chuck through the barricade. Miro pulls a chair off the prize wall and props it in the buckles. Miro smashes OC's skull through the chair. Taylor hits Miro with a missile dropkick off of a Mortal Kombat machine. OC and Taylor get weapons from the prize wall and swarm Miro. They ram a rail through Miro and the bury him under a pile of furniture, but Sabian flies in to prevent a cover. Sabian suplexes Taylor on the floor and dropkicks OC through the prize wall. Taylor rips open a teddy bear and pours Legos into the ring. Taylor looks for a superplex onto the Legos, but Sabian counters with a sitout powerbomb! OC saves the match! OC DDT's onto the Legos and hits a Beach Break for only 2. Orange Punch by OC, but Ford pulls referee Aubrey Edwards to ringside. Ford kicks Cassidy in the groin, but Kris Statlander climbs out of the claw machine for the save. Kris puts Ford through an air hockey table with a Blue Thunder Bomb! Miro returns to dominate OC with a series of chair shots. OC and Chuck try to crawl away, when suddenly Sue's van arrives and out hops Trent! He gives his mother a kiss and marches in to join the fight! Miro fends off the triple team from the Best Friends and attacks Sue's van, but Trent cuts him off. Miro lifts a Mortal Kombat II machine over his shoulders and throws it at Trent, barely missing. Trent wacks Miro with a gaming chair and spears him through a table. Chuck powerslams Sabian off the stage and through a crash pad to win at 14:32! This was a fun and inventive brawl with lots of cool and dorky twists and turns, ***¾¾.
Winners: Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy
The Best Friends and Kris Statlander embrace while Sue gives them a Thumbs Up from the van. If this doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will.
Final Thoughts: Feels like the creative effort level was turned up a few notches this week, there was a lot to mark out about. Dynamite has kind of been in a funk due to the fallout of the sparkler debacle at Revolution and are still working their way back into the general fanbases' good graces. I see a lot of great rivalries and pieces being put together, which should make for a strong march to Double or Nothing in May.
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