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AEW Dynamite: August 25, 2021
by Samoa Rowe
Live from the UWM Panther Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ticket sales for this event had been sluggish, but really picked up after CM Punk's arrival in AEW. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur.
Orange Cassidy (with Best Friends) vs. Big Money Matt Hardy
The live fans play along with a "DELETE" vs. sloth kick exchange. Hardy sticks his hands in pockets, but pulls out wads of bills. OC hits a dropkick and casually puts some money into his own pockets. Hardy blocks a dive and hits a Side Effect at ringside. Hardy builds steam with a series of back suplexes. Matt takes a break to pick up stray dollars and mockingly hits some sloth kicks. Scoop slam by Hardy and then an elbow drop for 2. Hardy hits a scoop slam and then digs into OC's pockets to get his money back. Cassidy survives a surfboard stretch, but his back is too hurt to hit Beach Break. Hardy hits a mean Razor's Edge sitout powerbomb for 2. Twist of Fate is blocked, and OC forces Matt to ringside for a tope suicida! High crossbody by Cassidy and then a tornado DDT for only 2! Matt's nose looks broken and he's a bloody mess. OC blocks a superplex and nails a hands-in-pocket somersault senton! OC mocks with DELETE gestures, but Matt answers with a flying elbow to the lower back. Cassidy reverses and steals the Twist of Fate, but MATT KICKS OUT! Orange Punch misses, OC blocks the Leach, and rolls Matt up (with hands in pockets for leverage) and wins at 9:46! Fantastic opener with tons of great character moments. This was Cassidy's best TV match in forever, ***½.
Winner: Orange Cassidy
Malakai Black cuts a spooky pretaped promo. He offers to let Brock Anderson duck their match, because it's idiocy to face him. Black has lots of anger to take out on any and all members of the Nightmare Family.
Chris Jericho comes to the ring to address his future. Jericho's spirits are lifted by the fans singing along with "Judas" but he's still sore after losing to MJF. Jericho is being driven by yet another loss, and if he cannot beat MJF, maybe he shouldn't be in AEW anymore. Jericho challenges MJF to one more match at All Out, and if he loses again, he'll never wrestle in AEW again. MJF comes out wearing a custom shirt mocking his win/loss record against Jericho, and he's not an idiot like the people in Milwaukee and sees through Jericho's agenda. Despite this, MJF agrees to the match, because he's better than Jericho and Jericho knows it. Refreshingly straightforward promo exchange.
The Varsity Blondes (with Julia Hart) talk to the camera about their tournament match against Lucha Bros. They put over their unity and feel it's their destiny to challenge the Young Bucks at All Out.
AEW Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Tournament:
Lucha Bros. (Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo, with Alex Abrahantes) vs. Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison, with Julia Hart)
The Young Bucks, Good Brothers, and Brandon Cutler show up to watch on the stage. Griff starts against Fenix, who attempts to Big League him. Griff holds his own and they reach a stalemate. Penta flips in on a tag, but Griff responds with a somersault because he isn't intimidated. Pillman eats a superkick, but answers with a dropkick. Rana by Pillman, but Penta hits Sling Blade. Lucha Bros. have the upper hand to send us to commercials. They return with the match breaking down. Fenix meets Pillman and hits a thrust kick and missile dropkick. Fenix hits a rolling cutter for 2. Griff and Penta battle on the apron, Pillman helps out with a missile dropkick. Lucha Bros. hit stereo superkicks at ringside. Fenix hits a wild dive and Penta helps aim him at Varsity Blondes. PIllman recovers with a powerbomb on Fenix for 2. Garrison hits a springboard elbow. Penta superkicks Griff, Fenix superkicks Pillman, and they both hit stereo thrust kicks. Lucha Bros. hit a tandem piledriver to finish Pillman at 8:26. Delightful match, ***½.:
Winners: Lucha Bros.
Jurassic Express interrupt the Lucha Bros' celebration to remind them who they're dealing with. The Young Bucks attempt an ambush, but Jurassic Express and Lucha Bros. work together to clear them out.
Andrade El Idolo video promo, talking more sh!t against Pac. They'll meet at All Out.
Jamie Hayter (with Dr. Britt Baker and Rebel) vs. Red Velvet
We're not in Pittsburgh anymore, but I don't sense the crowd likes Velvet all that much. That might be a good thing, as Hayter controls the early action with a fallaway slam (the fans are chanting for Britt). Britt likes what she sees as Hayter dominates, at least until Velvet uses a low bridge to hit a pair of suicide dives. Velvet jaws at Britt, so Hayter forces her into the ring post. Britt smashes Velvet into the rails to send us to a picture-in-picture break. If you ever wonder why I don't do PBP for the commercials, it's because they usually cut away to straight up ads halfway through, and it happens again here. They return with Velvet struggling to make a comeback. Velvet hits a standing bulldog and then hits double knees to the back. Velvet takes a swing to knock Britt from the apron, and Hayter capitalizes with a brutal backbreaker. Lariat by Hayter ends it at 7:05. Another classic example of a glorified squash match that did not need two segments, *½.
Winner: Jamie Hayter
Kris Statlander runs in to save Velvet from a beatdown, the bad guys retreat to live another day.
The Dark Order talk to the camera about how they seem to lose constantly. Evil Uno says they stand together and support their friends, which earns a derisive chuckle from Alex Reynolds, who then questions Uno's leadership. Just because Uno's name has "1" in it doesn't make him the leader of the Dark Order. Interesting, could this be planting the seeds for Windham Rotunda?
Tony Shiavone hosts none other than CM PUNK in the ring. While not on the level of the Chicago ovation, the fans still go apesh!t for The Best in the World. Punk cannot hear Tony's question over the fan's chanting, and he couldn't be happier about it. Tony wants to know what brought Punk back to the ring, and Punk explains it's the long list of fresh talent in AEW, particularly a guy named Darby Allin. Punk wants to retire his "Voice of the Voiceless" moniker, because these Milwaukee fans indeed have a voice. Punk knows that everyone wonders if he can still go, and if the answer is yes, then it starts with Darby, a man who would have been his favorite wrestler if he were 15 years old. The fans chant ‘YES!" and Punk says that is someone else's shtick, and they may need to be more patient. Punk wants to prove himself against Darby at All Out, and gives his wife a shoutout. I am enjoying CM Punk in AEW way more than I thought I would, and that's saying something because my expectations were high.
Video promo from TNT Champion Miro. He's becoming somewhat obsessed with "original sinner" Eddie Kingston, and he's going to judge him. Also, Miro's wife will love him, because he is the champion. I love everything about Miro these days.
Darby Allin (with Sting), Jon Moxley, and Eddie Kingston vs. The Wingmen (Ryan Nemeth, JD Drake, and Cezar Bonono, with Peter Avalon)
Drake is wrestling in suspenders and has to start against an aggressive Darby. Drake flees, forcing Nemeth to showboat against a brutal Kingston. Quick tag to Bononi, who holds Eddie back with shoulder blocks, but Eddie fires some chops. Moxley and Eddie put Bononi down with double shoulder blocks, and I guess we need a commercial break. They return with Moxley fighting out of the Wingmen's corner to tag in Kingston for an uranage on Drake. Moxley bites Drake to save Eddie from a top rope move, and Darby helps with Code Red! The fans LOVE this. Avalon trips Darby, which triggers some intimidation from Sting. The Wingmen use the chaos to their advantage and beat down Darby. Nemeth grabs a chair but gets taken down by Moxley and Kingston. Darby hits Drake with a Stunner and finishes with the Coffin Drop at 7:40. This was the best kind of glorified squash in that it tore the house down, **.:
Winners: Darby Allin, Eddie Kingston, and Jon Moxley
Daniel Garcia ambushes Darby after the bell. Sting fends him off, but Garcia lives to fight another day. AEW clearly sees a lot in Garcia, who has come out of nowhere (and your's truly got to see him up close in person at Limitless Wrestling last month).
Alex Marvez interviews Tay Conti about the Women's Casino Battle Royal at All Out. The Bunny interrupts to grill Conti about continuing to hang out with Dark Order losers. She invites Conti to a real family in the Hardy Family Office, which leads to a brawl.
FTR video promo. They aren't sure what the future holds for them after Cash Wheeler's gruesome injury, but they aren't finished.
Tony Shiavone hosts AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, Don Callis, and stooges in the ring. They are ready to take down Christian Cage at All Out, which leads to Christian coming to the stage to offer his rebuttal. Christiian provides video evidence that Callis is a "carney piece of sh!t" and the fans eat it up. Callis compares himself to the great promoters in history (including Vince McMahon) and claims he's smart for having manipulated Omega since he was 10 years old. A quick brawl is quickly ended, despite the arrival of Frankie Kazarian.
Jon Moxley talks to the camera. The only man in New Japan man enough to face him is none other than Satoshi Kojima, and they'll lock up at All Out.
The Gunn Club (Billy, Austin, and Colten) vs. The Factory (QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, and Aaron Solow)
Everyone on Twitter is freaking out about this match, because it's not "worthy" of a Dynamite with potential new Punk viewers, and because Hikaru Shida and Thunder Rosa aren't booked. Well, this is the Gunn Club's first Dynamite since early November 2020, so let's give them a break, shall we? Comoroto dominates the early going, quickly sending us to commercials after about a minute of action. They return with a young Gunn breaking Comoroto's bear hug. Paul Wight is on commentary to scout QT. Colten gets a tag tag and cleans house to polite crowd approval. Comoroto breaks the momentum, leading to Billy and Austin take him down at ringside. QT hits a Flatliner and taunts Wight on commentary, allowing a young Gunn to roll him up at 5:56. Not good, but also not the disaster that social media was prediciting, *¾.
Winners: The Gunn Club
Nick Lambert and his UFC goons talk more sh!t about AEW in a pretaped promo.
Backstage interview with Arn Anderson. He knows his kid is is over his head against the 19 year veteran, Malakai Black, but he's staying optimistic because every dog has his day.
Malakai Black vs. Brock Anderson (with Arn Anderson)
This is Brock's first singles match in AEW, so he has something to prove when he tackles Black. Knee strike by Black quickly turns it around. Black takes a break to stare down Arn, and then drags Brock by the hair to prove a point. Arn throws down his clipboard, Black orders him to toss it in. Brock capitalizes with a flurry of shots, but Black cuts him off with an Exploder suplex. The fans give Black a positive reaction while he dominates and easily wins at 2:30. Pretty ballsy of AEW to end Dynamite with a squash match, but this worked, *½.
Winner: Malakai Black
Arn shields his son from Black, and eats a series of kicks for his trouble. Hope Cody is enjoying his vacation on the Go Big Show. Lee Johnson hits the ring, forcing Black to back off. Nice of AEW to provide a backstory to an upcoming squash match.
Final Thoughts: As a setup show for bigger things to come, it doesn't get much better than this.
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