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AEW Dynamite- March 3, 2021

by Samoa Rowe

Shaquille O'Neal

From Daily's Place, with Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur calling the action. There's a bigger than usual crowd of about 1,100 in attendance.

Cody Rhodes (with Arn Anderson) and Red Velvet vs. Shaquille O'Neal and Jade Cargill

Crowd loves Shaq and is fired up at the opening bell. Cody goes for a wristlock but Shaq shoves him over and flexes. Shaq shuffles and throws Cody into the buckles, then lights up his chest with a nasty chop. Shaq follows with a competent back drop. Cody is borderline overselling the chops. Jade tags herself in. Velvet avoids a fireman's carry, but Jade elbows her down and poses. Jade misses some wild punches, and Velvet hits a (glancing) roundhouse kick. Jade throws Velvet and does some pushups. Jade rolls through Velvet's high crossbody and hits an overhead slam. Jade punches Cody, prompting him to knock Shaq off the apron with a running knee. Austin Gunn randomly hits Shaq with a chair, prompting the big guy to go berserk on the Gunn Club. Red Velvet ambushes Jade with a moonsault to ringside, but Jade answers with a figure four in the ring. Jade sets up a table, but Velvet cuts her off and (struggles but) sets up a second table. The men tag back in and Shaq smashes Cody with a jackknife powerbomb! Cody answers with a scoop slam for 2! The women return for a slugfest. Jade hits a spinebuster, but Cody breaks the cover. Cody tackles Shaq off the apron and they both go through the tables! Jade is mortified and eats Velvet's spear for a great nearfall! Jade reverses into a facebuster and wins at 11:59! Wow, not only did this manage to not suck, but ended up being a fun match, albeit thanks to a careful layout and bells and whistles. Also, that table stunt bump was bonkers, **¾.
Winners: Jade Cargill and Shaquille O'Neal

Shaq appears to have been knocked out cold from the table bump.

During the commercial, Shaq was loaded into an ambulance. Tony Shiavone opens the door for an interview, looking like a goober in the process, but Shaq is gone!

Pac and Rey Fenix vs. John Skyler and D3

The Death Triangle boys swarm Skyler at the bell. Pac takes down D3 with a dive. Pac's 450 splash on Skyler sets up Fenix' driver for the win at 1:09. Satisfying squash.
Winners: Pac and Rey Fenix

Chris Jericho and MJF lead the Inner Circle to the ring to face the press. I've got to be honest, after what Jericho did to Papa Buck last week, I was kind of hoping the wrestlers in the crowd wouldn't sing along to Judas, but they belt out the song anyway. Jericho complains that it's been a year since he lost the AEW World title and it's time he held gold again. He touts his 7 World Tag Team Championships on his resume, and MJF is better than his previous partners, like Dwayne Johnson and Paul Wight. Conrad Thompson from Grilling J.R. wants to know if Sammy Guevara can rejoin the Inner Circle. Jericho bans the fat-head from the building for mentioning the name. A Barstool Sports guy wants to know why they attacked Papa Buck. MJF claims that Papa Buck attacked Jericho first, so it was self-defense, and the real tragedy was MJF's custom suit getting covered in blood. Santana mocks the Bucks for bringing in their b!tch-@ss dad to Dynamite in the first place, there's no line the Inner Circle won't cross. Eric Bischoff is next and asks Jericho if he knows Papa Bucks' condition, and also suggests Jericho is stupid for motivating the Young Bucks with the attack. Jericho doesn't know or care how Papa Buck is doing. The Young Bucks interrupt and express their outrage that the Inner Circle could hurt their family. Matt says their father was the greatest and did all the things for them that the Inner Circles' fathers failed to do. Papa Buck built them a ring and taught them to do the work themselves, which lead to the Young Bucks, Being the Elite, and AEW itself. Matt says that without AEW, Jericho would probably be jerking the curtain at the performance center! Oooh, that's going to upset some folks. Most importantly, Papa Buck taught them that sometimes you have to kick some @ss and they unleash a superkick party. The Good Brothers arrive on the stage with a table, allowing Nick to leap off the entrance tunnel through Ortiz, while Matt flies off the stage through Santana. Good go-home segment that hit many important notes.

Video package highlights the brutal history of the Exploding Barbed Wire Death match.

FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) and Tully Blanchard (with JJ Dillon) vs. The Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Marko Stunt)

Tully is sporting a killer robe and accompanied by Dillon, making this feel like a momentous occasion. Tully locks up with Stunt and takes him to school. Quick tag to Dax, and Stunt slips out of harms way to tag in Jungle Boy. Dax hasn't forgotten his loss to JB and takes the fight to him. JB leap frogs into a drop-kick and dispatches Wheeler with a German suplex. Snare Trap on Dax, but Cash breaks it up. JB puts Cash in the Snare Trap at ringside and Cash taps. Dillon helps with a shoe shot to JB for a fun nearfall. Tully and FTR cut the ring in half to work over Jungle Boy. Back from commercial, Jungle Boy hits a desperation back suplex on Dax, but Wheeler slams him into the buckles. JB blocks Wheeler's Vader Bomb and Luchasaurus storms in on a hot tag. Luchasaurus throws Stunt onto Tully, and then hits a double German on FTR! Dax sidesteps the dinosaur, but Stunt tosses him into a Luchasaurus cutter for 2. Cash hits Luchasaurus with a tornado DDT on the floor. Dax superplexes Jungle Boy into position for Wheeler's splash for 2. German suplex by Wheeler and a dragon suplex! Tully hits Stunt with a slingshot suplex! Crowd is loving this. Luchasaurus teases a chokeslam on Tully but hits a tail whip instead. They hit Wheeler with their back drop powerbomb combo for a late two. Jungle Boy's dive is interrupted by a masked man, and JB takes a hideous landing. The evil camera man hits Luchasaurus with a grip, and Tully helps FTR finish with a Spike Piledriver at 11:20! Tully pinned Luchasaurus! This was so much fun, ***½.
Winners: FTR and Tully Blanchard

The masked camera man is revealed to be the long missing Shawn Spears, now sporting a blonde mohawk. He embraces his stablemates, and it looks like they're all on the same page. Arn Anderson shows up on the stage to speculate, and Dillon gives him a friendly wave.

Tony Shiavone interrupts to talk about the new AEW Dark: Elevation show on Youtube and introduces his cohost, Paul Wight, to the Daily's Place crowd! Wight arrives to a monster ovation from the fans. He's wearing a "No More B.S" shirt and the crowd chants along. Wight says this was one turn no one saw coming and he's incredibly happy to be back on TNT. Wight says he's taking his color commentary job seriously and has a scoop for us: at Revolution, a huge Hall of Fame asset will debut, and it's not who you think. Color me intrigued! Wight seemed to be enjoying himself, I think this is the start of something really cool.

AEW Women's Championship Eliminator Tournament Finals:
Nyla Rose (with Vickie Guerrero) vs. Ryo Mizunami

The winner gets a shot at Hikaru Shida at Revolution. They lock up but Ryo slips away for some punches and a shoulder tackle. They trade forearms and Rose hits a shoulder block. Mizunami hits a back drop and then a series of shots in the buckles. Vickie's distraction lets Nyla hit a running boot and back senton for 2. Nyla hits a Jackhammer as they head to picture-in-picture. Back from commercial, Rose reverses a power slam. Rose misses a Swanton Bomb! Mizunami thrusts Rose off the apron, Rose fires back, but then gets tripped on the ring frame. Guillotine leg drop on the ring frame by Mizunami! Rose avoids a countout but eats another guillotine leg drop for a good 2 count. They trade short clotheslines but Rose dishes out a proper lariat and DVD for only 2! Rose hits the diving knee drop but Ryo kicks out! Mizunami desperately hits an exploder suplex, but Rose meets her on the top rope for a superplex! German suplex by Mizunami and a spear! Third guillotine leg drop by Mizunami and she WINS AT 12:46! That's a huge upset, right? This was all kinds of awesome, just a physical, bruising war, and a great way to wrap up the tournament. Even with the loss, I'm looking at Nyla with new eyes after her performances in this tourney, ***¾.
Winner: Ryo Mizunami

Shida presents Mizunami with her trophy and offers a handshake, but Mizunami clocks her with a forearm. Shida fires back with her own forearms and stands tall with her title.

Tony Shiavone hosts STIIIIIIIIIIING in the ring. Sting thanks Brian Cage for waking him up with the powerbomb a few weeks back and now he's ready for a Street Fight. Ricky Starks interrupts, but has to admit that Sting may still have it, but is no icon. They trade shots and Sting drops him with a clothesline. Starks eats a Stinger Splash and gets put into a Scorpion Deathlock. Powerhouse Hobbs and Hook run in to pull Starks to safety, while Brian Cage runs in for another powerbomb. Darby Allin rushes in to prevent the attack, and Cage eats a Stinger Splash and then a Darby shotgun dropkick. Team Taz is once again forced to flee. If I was booking this feud in EWR, Sophie would tell me that Team Taz has to win the feud, otherwise they'd look weak.

10 (with Negative 1 and the Dark Order) vs. Max Caster

Caster drops some mean rhymes, even threatening to whip Negative 1. The winner gets a spot in the Face of the Revolution ladder match. Caster is agile but 10 catches him with a clothesline. Crossbody block by 10 gets 2. 10 dominates in the sort of meandering way that makes me feel like it's time for a commercial. Caster gains the upper hand at ringside and then they head to picture-in-picture. They return from commercial just in time for 10's comeback. Spinebuster by 10 and a spear gets a close 2. Caster comes back with a brainbuster but misses a flying elbow. 10 counters into a powerbomb, but Caster gets a rope break. Jack Evans was randomly hiding under the ring and hits 10 with the boom box, allowing Caster to win at 8:52. Match was fine, if not a bit generic, **.
Winner: Max Caster

Big Money Matt Hardy gives Jack Evans a big fat paycheck for taking down 10.

Miro knows that everyone is waiting for him to stop playing games, and at Revolution, they'll get their wish. It's game over for Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor!

Big Money Matt Hardy and Marq Quen vs. John Silver and Hangman Adam Page

Silver starts with a twisting throw on Quen and looks for a headlock. Matt punches Silver in the kidney, allowing Quen to make a tag. Page tags himself in, and Matt throws Silver at him for an impromptu hug. Matt flees into a tag to force Quen to suffer Hangman's rage. They go right to commercial. Back from break, Silver is stuck in enemy territory, and Hardy hits the Side Effect onto the ring frame. Silver takes a beating but blocks Hardy's axe handle with a slick kick. Standing sliced bread by Silver puts Matt down, and Page storms in on a hot tag. Page is as good as anyone when it comes to hot tags and this is no exception. Page drops Quen with a DVD and tosses him towards Matt, daring him to tag in. Hardy refuses and rolls Quen back in. Quen dropkicks Page's knee, and NOW Matt is willing to tag and hits a neckbreaker. Page reverses Twist of Fate into a back suplex! Silver returns with a spear and he unloads on Hardy. Silver hits fast kicks and a brainbuster for only 2! Quen hangs Silver on the ropes and he stumbles into Hardy's back suplex. Quen hits Silver with a missile dropkick, but Page returns for a popup powerbomb. Silver hits Quen with a German, and Page finishes with the Buckshot lariat at 11:00! Rock solid match, ***.
Winners: Adam Page and John Silver

Hardy could have saved Quen from eating the pin, but instead waits to assault Page with a microphone after the bell. The Dark Order return to swarm Matt. The ring fills with heels involved in the Casino Battle Royal and the show ends with two dozen guys brawling into the night.

Final Thoughts: Tremendous show tonight, even if it was a bit front loaded. Dynamite feels alive in 2021.

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