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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Apr. 28, 2021): Cody’s back

AEW Dynamite (Apr. 28, 2021) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured Kenny Omega being outsmarted by Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston, Hangman Page losing in an upset, and the return of Cody Rhodes.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Sean Rueter.

Cody’s back

Cody Rhodes is a master of the sports entertainment moment. He had not been seen for several weeks after QT Marshall’s dastardly turn to tear the Nightmare Family apart. Cody came back in grand fashion with a figure-four on top of a bus.

It started with QT joining Aaron Solow and Nick Comoroto against Dustin Rhodes, Billy Gunn, and Lee Johnson in trios action. QT’s crew entered in style by stealing Cody’s custom travel bus.

The match did well to showcase the youngsters and let them shine with flashy moves. Anthony Ogogo proved to be the difference-maker on the outside. As Johnson was on a role, Ogogo punched him in the gut. Billy ran over to intervene and was dished a punch to the bread basket as well. QT swooped in for the easy pin on Johnson.

Afterward, Comoroto clocked Dustin with a cow bell. The Gunn Club sons made the save, so QT ran away toward the bus. When the door opened, Cody was waiting to kick QT in the face. Cody ripped off his t-shirt for an impromptu street fight.

QT escaped to climb atop the vehicle. Cody gave chase. Blows were thrown, and Cody locked in the figure-four. Upon release, Cody flexed strong.

Great surprise. This was one of those absurd wrestling moments that put a smile on my face. QT has been so smarmy that the release of Cody’s aggression was satisfying to see. Leave it to Cody to make it grander by fighting on top of a bus. That’s one of those memorable images fans can look back on with glee.

Cody and QT will get it on the ring officially next week in singles action.

Hangman falls

The opener was a big-time bout. Hangman Page was on a roll as #1 ranked until running into Team Taz. Page was able to get past Ricky Starks last week. On this evening, the challenge was much larger in “The Machine” Brian Cage.

Team Taz did the cowboy dirty with a sneak attack during his entrance. Dark Order evened the odds, but the damage was already done after Cage powerbombed Page on the stage. Cage continued his assault when the bell rang. The Machine showed his power by curling the cowboy.

Page picked up steam by ramming Cage into the ring post. After a moonsault to the floor, Page set up his buckshot lariat finisher, but Cage caught him for an F5. Cage ran wild with a powerbomb, buckle bomb, and Drill Claw. 1, 2,.. 3. There was no kickout by Page. Cage was victorious.

Wow. That was quite a surprise. Page was being pumped up as #1. Even though Cage is no joke, I didn’t actually believe he would win. I like how the pre-match beatdown actually affected the result. All too often, those attacks are used for a super comeback. Not this time. Hangman never found his bearings. He had a few rallies, but Cage cut them short pretty quickly as the fresher man.

I’m curious to see how Hangman handles the loss. Will he mope back into drunkenness after being so close to a title shot? Or will he respond with fire to rise up once again? Let’s hope Hangman gets back in the saddle and rides hard.

As for Team Taz, they have unfinished business with Christian Cage. Christian came in to plant seeds of discord with claims of jealousy on Taz’s shoulders. Keep sending them, and Christian will keep teaching them a lesson. Taz’s crew will learn soon enough that they are better off without Taz.

Elite & Restless

This week’s Elite soap opera crisscrossed through many segments. The Elite was riding high after Kenny Omega won the Impact World Championship to make him a triple champ with AEW, Impact, and AAA. The boys celebrated in a limousine with Luke Gallows licking his own bicep. Omega was giddy but also a little angry about Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston driving a truck into their trailer last week. Omega wasn’t afraid of them. It was time to sick the goons on Mox and King.

Inside the venue, Omega refused to answer Kingston’s challenge, so he sent Michael Nakazawa in his place. Kingston was not interested in playing Nak’s silly games. He refused to participate and continued calling out the champ. Omega clarified that just because Kingston calls for the champ that doesn’t mean he gets the champ. Omega held firm on the idea of Kingston having to run through his goons first.

Nak hit Kingston on the back with a laptop. Kingston responded by dishing out pain with an exploder suplex and a spinning backfist. Kingston threatened to break Nak’s ankle with a chair. Omega laughed then snapped his fingers for a backup goon. Brandon Cutler crawled through the tunnel already beaten up. That’s when the realization that Moxley was nearby hit Omega. Boom! Clothesline to the back of Omega by Mox.

Mox put Omega to sleep with a rear naked choke in the ring. When they threatened to break the champ’s ankle, Don Callis ran out to negotiate. They agreed upon a tag match in exchange for sparing Omega. Next week will be Omega & Nakazawa versus Moxley & Kingston.

That was a fun segment with hijinks and hilarity. Omega’s Weekend at Bernie’s impression after the chokehold was humorous. I do wonder what the big picture is though as we head toward the Double or Nothing PPV on May 30. Moxley and Kingston don’t seem too concerned with titles at the moment, but do they parlay their future win into a shot at the Young Bucks? If so, I like it.

As for the Young Bucks, they were in action against the Sydal brothers. A win would earn a title shot. Matt Sydal put on a show with blitzes of moves, but it was not enough. In the end, the Bucks went full heel with a referee distraction by Nick Jackson so Matt Jackson could do a Johnny Cage splits groin punch.

After the win, SCU came out disgusted at who the Jacksons have become. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian were looking forward to wrestling their friends with the title on the line, but these new Bucks are buttheads.

Good job by SCU to make themselves the strong fan favorites. Likewise to the Bucks for their extreme heel behavior to make them hated. Despite Daniels saying SCU are #1 contenders, they still have to officially earn it in a 4-way next week against Jurassic Express, Varsity Blonds, and The Acclaimed.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Orange Cassidy defeated Pentagon. Trent and Alex Abrahantes were ringside. The finish came down to Abrahantes causing a distraction then having it backfire for OC to use a microphone for a Superman punch to win.

I have mixed feelings about this match. Cassidy leaned too much into his comedy antics for my liking. Pentagon was excellent though. Credit for that is to be shared with Cassidy, who took a vicious beating. It was interesting how Cassidy was destroyed whenever he lost his cool and rushed into moves. The finish was whatever. It leaned to the cheesy side, but it did pay proper tribute to the story with the bad guy receiving comeuppance.

Blood & Guts parley. The Inner Circle and the Pinnacle exchanged lengthy promos to hype the Blood & Guts match for May 5. The rules are two rings inside a cage, 5 minutes to start 1-on-1, alternating team entrants every two minutes after that, winner to be decided by submission or surrender once everyone is in the match. It was decided that the Pinnacle will have the man advantage and that Sammy Guevara will enter first for his squad. The parley ended without physical contact.

The parley had good intensity, good delivery, but so-so content. The hyperbolic tough guy talk about being prepared to die in order to win was cliche. Dax Harwood and Santana did well to carry the load for the side players. MJF and Chris Jericho exchanged words directly. MJF will do the favor of relieving Jericho of the stressful position as top dog carrying the show. Jericho said MJF will have to earn that right. Game on!

Kris Statlander defeated Penelope Ford. Orange Cassidy and Kip Sabian were ringside. This bout was a slobberknocker with style. Statlander prevailed by catching Ford on a handspring cutter attempt right into the Big Bang Theory piledriver. Sabian was on the apron to act, however, Cassidy stared him down. In the ultimate disrespect, Statlander booped Ford’s nose after the contest.

I’d say this was the second best match on the show behind Hangman versus Cage. It was fierce and fiery. Strong win by Statlander. She’s certainly ready to get back in the title mix.

TNT Championship: Darby Allin defeated 10. Sting and the Dark Order were ringside. At one point, Allin hit a flying attack to 5 and 10. Sting stepped up to make sure the Dark Order did not interfere. That allowed Ethan Page to smash Allin into the ring post behind everyone’s back. 10 was hesitant to take advantage. He eventually decided to go forward with a wheelbarrow German suplex then a full nelson submission. 10 ragdolled Allin close to unconsciousness. Allin was able to use his might to run up the turnbuckles and land backwards on top of 10 for the pin. 10 still had the full nelson applied as the referee counted his shoulders on the mat. 1, 2, 3. Allin retained.

Decent main event to sustain my attention. Allin has become somewhat of a weasel lately with his feral tactics. His use of eye-gouging, biting, and tearing 10’s mask are getting to be excessive. By the end of that match, I was actually rooting for 10 to win. I did enjoy Allin’s strategic touch of working 10’s fingers so he had trouble gripping the full nelson submission.

After the match, Ethan Page caused a distraction for Scorpio Sky to clip Sting’s knee. They forced Allin to watch as Sky locked in a heel hook to The Icon. Lance Archer and 10 ran out to chase off the baddies.

Notes: Mangers are interested in Jade Cargill, but she isn’t interested in giving them a percent of her money. She is still open to offers though. I didn’t quite understand that one. Does she want a manager to pay her for the right to earn no money off their work?

Dr. Britt Baker is #1 in the rankings, merch sales, demographic ratings, and bonafide star power. The AEW Women’s World Championship will be hers soon enough.

It was announced that Jon Moxley will defend the IWGP United States Championship against Yuji Nagata on May 12.

Stud of the Show: Miro

Miro’s best man gimmick was a dud. Thankfully, he has been fully rehabilitated as a badass after his meeting with Kip Sabian. When Sabian finally saw Miro, the Bulgarian threw him into a steel curtain, choked him with a chain, and smashed his arm with a door. Miro did not appreciate Sabian delaying his goal as champion.

Top notch scene from Miro. That punch into the locker sounded savage. The best part is that Miro still treated Sabian as a friend with a hug of forgiveness and his, “Good talk,” remark upon leaving. Perfect blend of action and comedy.

Dud of the Show: Young Bucks

Since the Young Bucks turned heel, they have fully embraced hot-dogging to build effective heat to see them get beat. The positives are them oozing arrogance and cheating to win. The negatives are hamming it up so hard that it makes the action look phony. Case in point, Matt Jackson’s terrible clothesline to Matt Sydal.

There were a few moments like that which really took me out of the action. It did a disservice to the illusion of professional wrestling by turning it into a clown show.

Grade: B

In my opinion, this was a hit or miss Dynamite depending on your preferences. Despite that, the show still delivered effort in the ring, story turns, and excitement. I appreciate the surprises of Hangman losing and Cody returning. That was enough to tide me over until Blood & Guts next week.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?

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