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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Mar. 17, 2021): Bloody hell

Thunder Rosa Dustin Rhodes’ Twitter

AEW Dynamite (Mar. 17, 2021) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured Cody Rhodes having zero fear of a broken arm, Jon Moxley overcoming the odds, as well as Thunder Rosa and Dr. Britt Baker DMD going through bloody hell to steal the show for St. Patrick’s Day Slam.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent live results and play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.

Bloody hell

AEW made company history by rolling with their first women’s main event for Dynamite. Thunder Rosa and Dr. Britt Baker DMD were scheduled in a lights out unsanctioned match. The two competitors went through bloody hell to earn a spot on the short list for best Dynamite matches in history.

(Yes, I know I was pumped for the Shaq tag match as a match of the year contender. That doesn’t mean I’m overdoing the praise for Thunder Rosa versus Baker. This one also deserves special recognition. Watch it for yourself if you don’t believe me.)

The match started with a firecracker as action spilled onto the stage. Baker connected on a spear through the ropes then an Air Raid Crash on the entranceway. That set the tone for things to come.

Rosa was the first to bleed as Baker stomped her head into the steel steps. The pain intensified for a superplex onto a pile of chairs.

The next big spot was Rosa using a shotgun dropkick to smash a ladder into Baker. That also drew blood.

Rosa came close to finishing with a super DVD onto a ladder leaning through the ropes. I could feel her pain on that collision. Baker came back with a DDT onto an open chair then a curb stomp onto the closed chair.

As if that wasn’t enough violence for this heated feud, Baker upped the ante by bringing out a sack of tacks. It backfired when she was powerbomb onto the tacks.

Baker persevered through the pain to work for a Lockjaw submission, but Rosa smartly countered with a roll-up forcing Baker’s back onto the tacks to break the hold.

The finish came down to Baker with momentum on a thrust kick. As she climbed the corner, Rosa snatched her down for a fire driver off the apron through a table. It was so brutal and yet delightful. Baker was out for the three count as Rosa was awarded the win.

Hot damn was that match badass. Drama? Check. Proper intensity for the occasion? Check. Violence? Check. Rewatchability? Most definitely a check. This match is certainly in the running for best Dynamite match ever. I can’t say for certain off the top of my head, but it stacks up with the crème de la crème.

The action had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I had no clue who would win. That’s part of what made the story so riveting. The blood certainly added flair to the event. I’m not a fan of thumbtacks, but the visual of them sticking out of Baker’s back was crazy. Credit to Reba for getting in on the action too by taking a dropkick to fall through a table.

Baker taking the loss is just fine after an effort like that. Her character can easily overcome due to her personality. Thunder Rosa was already a top star of the women’s division, and this gives her a defining moment for her career.

Prince of Pro Wrestling

There were two other marquee matches on the card. Unfortunately, both had questionable finishes. The opener put the Prince of Pro Wrestling in Cody Rhodes against the Lord of Lucha Libre in Pentagon. It started hot with Pentagon hitting a flying attack on the stage during Cody’s entrance.

There were a few stories playing out in the action. Cody’s tender shoulder was an issue going in. Pentagon threatened to focus on doing damage to that joint. There were some moments of pain for Cody, but Pentagon never truly made it the center of his attack. Another story was Cody using a few moves familiar to Penta. Rhodes landed a super hurricanrana and a Mexican Destroyer. Granted, those moves are not unique to Pentagon, but I viewed it as Cody trying to show up the Lord of Lucha Libre. That’s my interpretation, so I could be wrong and that was not Cody’s true intention.

The biggest issue throughout was Pentagon’s lackadaisical covers on pinfalls. He seemed more motivated to ham it up rather than secure the three count. The lack of urgency ended up biting Pentagon in the end. The luchador was able to counter a figure-four into an arm snapper. Crack! Pentagon tweaked Cody’s limb, then he stood up to gloat. Cody seized the moment for a roll-up victory.

This was a solid match with quality action and some tense moments. I don’t mind Cody winning. How he won was kind of a dud. Rebounding right out of the arm snapper was a touch ridiculous. One of the more disappointing things about Pentagon’s run with AEW is that his arm snapper has been completely devalued. It doesn’t even finish matches, let alone stun an opponent anymore. I understand he can’t be injuring the roster every single week, but it has lost all mystique by being so ineffective.

Even though Pentagon met defeat, he did look tough by kicking out of a Cross Rhodes and also a vertebreaker. I thought for sure those would be finishes. Too bad Penta looked silly on the roll-up. It came across as very weak, especially immediately after the armbreaker. Granted, it is consistent with the history of his personality, so I can’t quibble too much. Vampiro would be shaking his head in shame. He was Pentagon’s teacher in Lucha Underground. After all those lessons in torture, he could never break Pentagon of that bad habit.

After the match, Pentagon went after Cody’s shoulder. Dustin Rhodes and the Gunn Club arrived to chase him away. QT Marshall was very late to the rescue party. The Nightmare Family was angry at his tardiness.

I hope this leads to a series between Cody and Pentagon. I think they could tear the house down once they get a little more familiar with each other in the ring.

Value diminished

The other attraction was Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston teaming up for the first time to take on the Good Brothers. Unfortunately for the Good Brothers, the result leaves them firmly entrenched in goon territory rather then a force to be reckoned with.

Mox and King set the mood with a jokey promo that turned serious. Moxley stepped back to take care of the real problem in his feud with Kenny Omega. That would be disposing of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows.

When it came time for the match, the Good Brothers ambushed Kingston in the entrance tunnel. Moxley took some time arriving. I assume he had been en route to doing his normal entrance through the crowd but had to change course quickly to help his pal. Anderson and Gallows kept the pressure on to take out Moxley with a Magic Killer on the floor.

Kingston was forced to fight without a partner for awhile. After an extended beatdown, Moxley finally recovered to run wild on the hot tag. Moxley executed a piledriver to Anderson, but Gallows saved the pin. Moxley got a case of the crazy eyes after a suicide dive to Gallows, then he ran into a spinebuster from Anderson. Kingston made the save on a Magic Killer to Mox. Kingston and Anderson tussled through the ropes down to the floor. In the commotion, Moxley rolled up Anderson for the win.

Well, that was a letdown in terms of building the Good Brothers. They couldn’t put down Kingston 2-on-1, and they also lost to a first-time tag team. Anderson and Gallows are supposed to be hot stuff with a championship résumé. This loss crushed all desire I have to see them in bigger matches, particularly against the Young Bucks.

The aftermath would lead into twists and turns of the Elite soap opera. Kenny Omega ran out to beat up Moxley and Kingston. The Bullet Club trio broke Kingston’s ankle with a chair. They set up Moxley with a chair around his neck for major misdeeds. Guess who made the save?

Elite soap opera

It has been awhile since sand passed through the hourglass in the days of the Elite’s lives. This episode provided some combustible progress between the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, the Good Brothers, and Don Callis.

The tension picked up early when Callis interrupted an interview with the Bucks. He admitted that he faked the black eye back when it was assumed that the Bucks beat him up at Omega’s beachside house in January. That was the scene with the magnificent beefcake painting of Omega and Callis. Oh, you know the one.

Callis wanted to bring out the fire from the Bucks that they once had back in NJPW. There is nothing elite about the Bucks anymore. Omega has transcended into a pro wrestling god, while the Jacksons are dwelling in the basement. Callis had one important question. When the Bucks look in the mirror, do they see the same Nick and Matt that Callis saw in New Japan? The answer was silence.

Fast forward to the aftermath of the Moxley match. As Omega was ready to break Moxley’s neck, the Young Bucks ran out to stop the insanity. Omega was taking it a step too far by trying to cripple Moxley.

Omega and his boys tried to emotionally manipulate the Bucks into a Bullet Club clink, but the Bucks stood up for themselves and walked away. Omega was irate and gave a Too Sweet to Matt Jackson’s face. The scene ended with Moxley recovering enough to swing a chair wildly as everyone scattered.

That post-match scene had a lot going on. The good is progression in the Bullet Club relationship. I actually rooted for the Jacksons in this scenario. Rooting for the Bucks doesn’t happen often for me.

The bad was that Kingston will be out of action. Omega versus Kingston was the money match I deeply desired. It appears that has been pushed to the side for now. I’m losing interest in the story with Moxley and Omega. The exploding barbed wire deathmatch was a perfect break point to let things breathe. It’s getting to the point of beating a dead horse with nothing resolved on either end.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Jade Cargill defeated Dani Jordyn. Squash. After eating a back elbow, Cargill attacked with a jumping knee, release German suplex, and double chickenwing wheelbarrow facebuster to win. Afterward, she jibber-jabbered with Red Velvet in the front row, but no fisticuffs broke out.

Impressive athleticism from Cargill. She definitely has the ‘it’ factor. But we already knew that. Since the match was so brief, we didn’t learn much about how well Cargill can carry a singles match.

The Pinnacle. MJF’s new crew hit the ring to reveal their group name as The Pinnacle. MJF claimed this was all in the works from the start of his interest in joining the Inner Circle. His goal was to end the strongest faction in AEW while building an even stronger one. That achievement puts this crew on the pinnacle of pro wrestling. They will take every premier championship this sport has to offer. Later in the show, they took the Inner Circle’s vacant locker room.

Even though I’m not buying this as a premeditated plan from the beginning, it was still a solid promo from MJF. He ditched the campy approach to speak with intensity. I hope he develops a tough guy side to match in the ring. That would cement him as a top guy in my eyes. One thing is for certain about the Pinnacle. They sure do look cool when stepping off a private jet.

Matt Hardy, Private Party, Butcher, & Blade defeated Jurassic Express & Bear Country. The story was difficulties getting along between the babyfaces. Bear Country heaved Marko Stunt over the ropes onto bodies below without asking. That drew the ire of Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. The bears also knocked over Jungle Boy inadvertently when Marq Quen’s feet hit him during the pickup for a slam. The bears then stole a tag intended for Stunt, although, the target was not entirely clear. In the end, the babyfaces bickered and were beaten up on the floor by the Hardy Empire. Private Party hit Stunt with Gin & Juice. Hardy demanded to tag in for the pin. He finished Stunt with a Twist of Fate.

There were some cool power moves. Other than that, it was more about the story than a genuine contest. As far as I’m concerned, Jurassic Express were acting like ninnies. They put up too much of a fuss instead of going with the flow in quest for victory.

Sting! And friends! Sting and Darby Allin were interrupted by Lance Archer with threats for violence. He wants the TNT title. Team Taz also interrupted. Brian Cage went against his crew to say he respects Sting after their street fight. He also gave back Sting’s Icon status, which had previously been removed by Ricky Starks.

Where there is smoke, there is fire. Cage and Starks had communication issues on Dark. Taz claimed there was no tension. Now, we have Cage making his own moves. It’s nothing that can’t be patched up, but Cage better keep one eye open if he intends to keep going against Team Taz’s grain.

Fenix defeated Angelico. Flashy style versus exquisite submissions. Fenix prevailed with a crucifix bomb and a fire driver.

This was a sneaky good match given the short amount of time to work. Both men rocked it hard with unique maneuvers.

Notes: Christian Cage is the workhorse of professional wrestling. He is in AEW to cement his legacy by taking Omega’s spot as AEW World Champion.

Darby Allin wants to be a fighting champion. He granted an open challenge to the Dark Order to honor Mr. Brodie Lee as the greatest TNT titleholder. John Silver got the nod to rumble next week.

Scorpio Sky addressed last week’s post-match attack on Allin. Sky was always told nice guys finish last. He aimed to be the exception to the rule, but that failed. Sky will not be a stepping stone again. He is a wrestling savant. If he has to hurt people to prove he is the best, then so be it.

Miro was not interested in Chuck Taylor’s request for a rematch. Miro wants to move on up the ladder. However, Kip Sabian isn’t ready to move on after the Best Friends ruined his wedding. Miro cautioned that Kip is too focused on Penelope Ford. Miro only cares about his destiny of being world champ. After Miro left on friendly terms, Kip accepted the tag team challenge against Taylor and Orange Cassidy.

AEW made a point to show Hikaru Shida observing the women’s main event from a monitor backstage.

Stud of the Show: Thunder Rosa

Honestly, both women deserve to be here. Thunder Rosa gets the nod for emerging victorious.

Honorable mention goes to commentary insults for Don Callis. They were hilariously rude. Excalibur said Callis is living up to his reputation as human garbage. He also called Callis the living embodiment of pond scum. Jim Ross piled on comparing Callis to a boil in the buttocks of life. Tony Schiavone believed they didn’t owe Callis anything, but Excalibur corrected Tony. They owe Callis an ass kicking. Harsh, but very funny.

Dud of the Show: Luchasaurus

This is the first time Luchasaurus lost my support. He was awesome as usual on the ring-clearing hot tag. It was his bickering with Bear Country that annoyed me. Win the match first, argue later.

Grade: B+

The main event was A+. It was a dynamo of entertainment. The rest of the show wasn’t quite so engaging at that peak level. The action delivered, however, the finishes and stories didn’t seem logically smooth.

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

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