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AEW Dynamite- March 10, 2021

by Samoa Rowe

Cody Rhodes

From Daily's Place, with Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur on the call. It's also now been a whole year since Dynamite was held in front of a normal arena crowd, you can thank me for the cheerful reminder @SamoaRowe.

Rey Fenix (with Pac) vs. Matt Jackson (with Nick Jackson)

They feel each other out to a loud dueling chant from the wrestler crowd. Fenix flips out of an arm drag and hits a flying rana to ringside. Fenix sprints into a soaring plancha. Fenix superkicks the head, Matt attempts a monkey flip and then counters a super rana into an avalanche Liger Bomb! Slingshot senton by Matt gets 2, as does a facebuster. Fenix quickly escapes a sharpshooter. Fenix mounts a comeback with his educated feet and scores a missile dropkick. Fenix' back gives out in a fireman's carry, but recovers with a cutter. Fenix hands Matt around his back for a swinging sidewalk slam. Fenix misses a tightrope walk penalty kick and Matt nails a Destroyer. Fenix rolls to the floor, so Matt hits another Destroyer at ringside. Fenix avoids the countout and Matt hits a flying elbow for a good 2 count. Fenix barely escapes a second Sharpshooter. Fenix misses a low dropkick and hits Nick instead. Matt retaliates with a superkick on Pac. Matt nails some superkicks but Fenix kips up for a roundhouse kick, and they take a breather. They duke it out and Fenix nails a piledriver to win at 14:17. State of the art athletic showcase, ***¾.
Winner: Matt Jackson

Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley are hanging out on a patio, enjoying a fire and adult beverages. Kingston talks about his post-traumatic stress from prison caused him to faint when he expected the ring to explode. Moxley wants to know if the bomb came from Impact Wrestling in a box labeled "Acme." Mox may not have regained his championship, but he got his drinking buddy back. The united duo puts Kenny Omega on notice. This partnership could be awesome. I appreciate the effort to salvage the botched ending at Revolution as a storyline.

Cody Rhodes (with Arn Anderson) vs. Seth Gargis

Gargis has comparable size to Cody, but gets wrenched off his feet. Cody wastes no time going for a jackhammer and Figure Four. Gargis taps at 0:49. Efficient squash matches are so underrated.
Winner: Cody Rhodes

Tony Shiavone gets a word in with Cody after his grueling victory. Cody is ready to vent his frustration about losing at Revolution, but he's interrupted by Penta El Zero M and an interpreter. Penta fancies himself to be better than Cody, and declares himself the "Lord of Lucha Libre." He wishes he'd focused more on Cody's bad arm and preventing him from being able to hold his newborn baby girl. Cody rushes at Penta and they're held apart.

Meanwhile, Chuck Taylor finds Orange Cassidy asleep in an arcade, slumped over in a Fast and the Furious game. Chuck wants one more match against Miro, and volunteers to be his butler for life if they lose. They set a stipulation that the ring will be surrounded by arcade machines and Cassidy chimes in that they'll break Miro. Time to wrap this feud up, guys, but if the endgame is a super fun brawl with video game setpieces, maybe it will have all been worth it.

Tony Shiavone hosts STIIIIIIIIING on the stage. Spirits are high after Sting and Darby Allin beat Team Taz in a cinematic street fight. He's interrupted by Lance Archer and Jake Roberts, who complain about their lack of TV time. Tony asks them to leave, so Jake departs with "Bye, Stanger." Sting was finished anyway.

Backstage interview with QT Marshall and Lee Johnson. QT doesn't want to talk about his dissension with Dustin Rhodes and shifts the topic to Lee's match. The segment suddenly ends as Ethan Page's music hits. There is a production glitch as Page's music drowns out all other audio, including an inset promo.

Ethan Page vs. Lee Johnson (with QT Marshall)

The sound is still screwed up at the opening bell, but I can sort of hear the commentators. Lee leap frogs into a dropkick. Page comes back with clubbing offense. They quickly cut to commercial, presumably to fix the audio (sounds like an NBA game is overdubbed). Back from the break, the sound is STILL screwed up and it's extremely distracting. Page blocks a superplex with a top rope power slam and flies into a cutter for 2. Lee seems to injure his knee on a leap frog and Page boots the face. Lee rolls to ringside, where QT doesn't seem to care, and Page hauls him back for an Eagle's Edge to win at 7:45. Fine debut for Ethan, but all anyone will remember from this will be the insane NBA sound effects.
Winner: Ethan Page

Dustin Rhodes arrives to check on Johnson.

Alex Marvez checks in on Adam Page, who has been on a shopping spree since winning Matt Hardy's paycheck, and is riding a mower around. The Dark Order all climb on, except for Alan Angels, he'd put them over the weight limit, and they drive off for ice cream.

Tony Shiavone tries to introduce Christian Cage, but gets interrupted by the broom dancers, signaling the arrival of AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, accompanied by Don Callis and the Good Brothers. Callis touts Omega's victory at Revolution, adding "King of the Death Match" to his resume. Callis refuses to confirm or deny if they were involved with the dud explosion, but are pleased to have taken a moment away from Moxley and Kingston. Omega laughs at Eddie's embarrassment for passing out to sparklers. Eddie Kingston has heard enough and storms to the ring. Callis says he fired Eddie from Impact Wrestling because he always finds a way to screw up his opportunities. He gives Eddie 10 seconds to get out before he unleashes his guys on him. They then replay the countdown clock and the Good Brothers mockingly protect Omega from an invisible explosion. Eddie drops Kenny with a hard shot and the Good Brothers swarm him. Jon Moxley runs in to help. Christian Cage saunters out to survey the chaos and finds Omega alone in the ring. Christian rejects a handshake and blocks a cheap shot, and Callis pulls Kenny out of a Killswitch. Christian picks up the AEW title and gives it a long, meaningful look. Looks like Kenny is going to have his hands full.

Dr. Britt Baker (with Rebel, not Reba), Nyla Rose (with Vickie Guerrero), and Maki Itoh vs. AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida, Thunder Rosa, and Ryo Mizunami

The babyfaces attack the heels during Itoh's singing entrance, and she just keeps on singing without helping. Itoh has Shida dumped in front of her and she opportunistically hauls her to the ring. Itoh flips the double bird, so Shida grabs her fingers for a throw. Mizunami tags and unloads chops on Itoh. Rosa and Rose tag in for a slugfest. Vickie's distraction lets Nyla take control just in time for picture-in-picture. Back from break, the babyfaces are all running wild and triple teaming poor Britt. Itoh helps out with her brutal head butt. Rosa dropkicks Nyla out and hits a twisting senton onto everyone at ringside. Itoh recovers with a swinging DDT on Rosa for 2. Rosa blocks Rebel's crutch and spikes Itoh for the win at 8:49! Not the smoothest outing, both in terms of narrative and in-ring execution, but the women's division feels alive again, **½.
Winners: Thunder Rosa, Hikaru Shida, and Ryo Mizunami

Britt goes nuts smashing the crutch over Rosa while her friends restrain Shida and Mizunami. Britt applies Lockjaw while Vickie poses and Rebel smushes the crutch into Rosa's head.

Private Party hang out with Matt Hardy at the bar, lamenting his financial loss to Hangman Page. Matt says he has enough money to carry them through and reveals that he's hired the services of Butcher and Blade, who will destroy the Dark Order at his command.

TNT Championship:
Darby Allin © vs. Scorpio Sky

Sky had to win a grueling ladder match for this opportunity, he might want to talk to Joey Janela's agent. Bell rings and they start with some good old fashioned chain wrestling. They trade close nearfalls, and Sky looks spooked. Match restarts with Sky frantically rolling around to break Allin's waistlock. Sky breaks and shoves Darby away. Darby throws Sky through the ropes to break a waistlock and seems to injure his ankle while flipping around. Sky takes advantage and hits a backbreaker stretch to send us to commercial. Back from break, Sky is dominating with an abdominal stretch. Darby escapes and reverses a sunset flip into a cover, but Sky answers with a hard right hand. Allin answers with a leaping stunner for 2. Code Red by Allin gets another 2. Big boot by Sky and rolling German suplexes and buckle bomb. Allin's suicida is reversed into a sick cutter onto the floor! Brainbuster by Sky isn't enough to win. The Coffin Drop is reversed into a sitout powerbomb! Allin reverses a TKO into an inside cradle for the desperate pinfall at 13:17. Darby lives to fight another day. Darby's rolled ankle took the flow away for a while, but they regained their rhythm down the stretch, ***¼.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Darby Allin

Sky loses his temper and puts Allin into a heel hook, refusing to break as referees swarm him.

The Inner Circle come to the ring for a War Council. Chris Jericho admits that the group has been on a decline as of late, but they are smart enough to remedy this. Jericho thinks they should add someone new to the group, but MJF thinks it's time for someone to go. They're interrupted by Sammy Guevara, who has some footage he thinks Jericho should see. The big screen reveals that Sammy had set up a hidden camera in the Inner Circle's room and MJF got Santana, Ortiz, and Jake Hager on board with a change of leadership. MJF orders an attack on Jericho, but instead they turn around, united against MJF! Jericho shoves MJF down and fires him! MJF pretends to cry and then reveals he was building his own inner circle. The lights flicker and reveal Wardlow, FTR, Shawn Spears, and Tully Blanchard! The faux-Horsemen win the brawl and beatdown the Inner Circle! Spears curb stomps Guevera through a chair while FTR handcuff Santana and Ortiz. Wardlow chokeslams Jericho into a knee strike, and then holds him in position for MJF to cheap shot with the Dynamite Diamond ring. They haul Jericho to the stage for Wardlow to powerbomb through a crash pad.

Final Thoughts: This was a rough episode from a production standpoint, but did a nice job resetting the table after a long awaited pay-per-view. The main event segment was really well done, and a satisfying conclusion to MJF's infiltration of the Inner Circle. MJF comes out of this looking like a big time villain and FTR and Spears should make good henchmen. The Inner Circle are also effectively turned babyfaces, which makes sense considering that most fans have been waiting for permission to cheer for Santana, Ortiz, and Guevara this entire time, and Jericho is a perennial favorite. I kind of wish this babyface turn for Jericho wasn't coming two weeks after he gleefully helped MJF assault a middle aged non-wrestler, but I digress.

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