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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Mar. 24, 2021): Relentless hunger

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AEW Dynamite (Mar. 24, 2021) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured the Young Bucks walking away from Kenny Omega, a challenge for Cody Rhodes, and Darby Allin defending the TNT Championship against John SiIver.

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

Relentless hunger

The main event for the evening was Darby Allin putting the TNT Championship on the line against John Silver. Allin brought a relentless spirit, while Silver brought the hunger for success.

Together, they put on a barn burner. Allin controlled the pace early with technique to grind Silver. It didn’t take long for Silver’s unbridled intensity to erupt. Silver bum-rushed Allin out of the ring with a tremendous shoulder block.

Silver used his strength advantage to hip toss Allin across the ring and a second time into the corner. Sliver blitzed with an overhead press into the turnbuckles, a running knee, and a brainbuster. Allin kicked out on the cover.

The Dark Order was ringside and played a minor role. 5 shoved Silver out of the way to sacrifice himself taking a suicide dive. It’s Sting! That interference brought out the Icon to keep things honest. Allin wasn’t so trusting. Later in the match, he made a point to attack with a Coffin Drop to wipe out the Dark Order.

For the finish, Silver made a major mistake. He had Allin down with a fireman’s carry super slam. The pin was too close to the ropes, and Silver’s hook of the legs actually caused Allin’s feet to touch the ropes for a break. Silver went for a powerbomb to salute Mr. Brodie Lee, but Allin countered into a Code Red for the win.

This was a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots type of match adjusted for their unique styles of offense. The intensity was outstanding. I loved the sequences when both men fired strikes.

Silver showed well, but I never quite believed he could win. That’s more on the random nature of the matchup and lack of building Silver than the actual action in the ring. In a rematch, I can go 50/50 either way. Both wrestlers came out looking better, and it was nice to see respect exchanged in the aftermath.

Speaking of the aftermath, the show ended in chaos when the Hardy Empire went bonkers to attack the Dark Order. Allin had the last laugh by pummeling Matt Hardy.

Cody’s friend

The most interesting angle of the evening, in my opinion, involved QT Marshall. Yes, you read that correctly. He spoke with Tony Schiavone about his attitude as of late. QT spilled the beans that he is frustrated being seen as just the friend of Cody Rhodes. All QT’s hard work gets ignored. QT pointed out how he keeps working as his wife goes to bed alone, while Cody goes home with Brandi. To prove himself, QT requested an exhibition against Cody.

Cody came out with his shoulder in a sling. The Prince of Pro Wrestling accepted the challenge, but he clarified that he would not hurt QT. If Cody sets up a finisher, he will not pull the trigger. Cody views QT as a friend, perhaps his best friend. Arn Anderson will be the referee.

Although QT’s attitude issues aren’t quite justifiable, his frustration is certainly relatable. That promo added a human layer to the man who was otherwise being viewed as a jealous dumbass. He could still be a jealous dumbass, but at least we now understand why.

The best friend layer from Cody adds genuine drama. The assumption is that QT will view the lack of finishers as an insult, so he will get chippy. That chippiness will grate Cody’s hotheaded temper. The question becomes who will stand tall in the end. Since it is not an actual match, QT could be the answer by crossing the line. The uncertainty and subsequent fallout has me intrigued.

Elite soap opera

The Elite drama continued to unfold like sands through the hourglass. (I don’t know any other soap opera openings, so accept that these are the Days of Our Lives.) This week had a major breakthrough. The Young Bucks officially walked away from Kenny Omega.

Omega’s evening started with the opener as he competed against Matt Sydal. The carrot was that a win by Sydal would earn a future title shot. Sydal put on a game effort, but he is not a professional wrestling god. Therefore, Sydal met defeat.

Omega used his power advantage often, however, it was his ring savvy that helped him prevail. Sydal was on point by escaping various attempts at the One Winged Angel. Sydal had momentum and launched for a Meteora flying knees, but Omega caught him on his shoulders to deliver a buckle bomb.

Omega followed with a powerbomb and a V-Trigger. He was lazy on the cover, which allowed Sydal space to kick out. Omega connected on another V-Trigger. One Winged Angel? Sydal countered into a poison rana. Omega cut short the rally by leaning into the ropes to knock Sydal off-balance on the turnbuckles. Omega pounced for one more V-Trigger. One Winged Angel? Not this time. Sydal countered for a victory roll resulting in a very tight 2 count. Omega attacked with a V-Trigger. One Winged Angel? Yes. Omega hit his finisher to win.

Smart choice in having Omega victorious. Pro wrestling often relies on cheap tactics like non-title matches to build challengers. It often results in making the champ look weak. Omega is AEW’s top dog and should be able to defeat Sydal. I also like that the win was clean, and he even kicked out of Sydal’s Lightning Spiral slam finisher. Omega’s aura is heightened by dispatching a four-star opponent. That will pay off down the line when Omega finally meets his demise.

For those interested in the AEW crossover with Impact, this bout makes me wonder if it will be the blueprint for Rich Swann when he challenges Kenny Omega in Impact world title versus AEW world title at Impact’s Rebellion PPV on Sunday, April 25. Swann will have to get creative to top Sydal’s efforts.

Bonus points to Don Callis on commentary. When Excalibur inquired in a presumptive manner if Omega is fractured emotionally, Callis turned the tables to wonder why a grown man on commentary wears a mask. Callis suggested psychiatric help for Excalibur. That exchange gave me a chuckle. Callis did cover by explaining Omega’s life away from the camera is fantastic.

As for the Young Bucks, they teamed with Brandon Cutler against the Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid. The contest had all the flippy excellence you would expect. Jim Ross described it perfectly as a human demolition derby. The downside was that there wasn’t much smoothness in flow in terms of a match story. It was primarily cool move after cool move. A showdown between Fenix and Nick Jackson was a standout sequence. Here’s a partial clip.

In the end, the Bucks took out Fenix and Pentagon. Laredo Kid saw his opening to execute a Spanish Fly slam on Cutler for victory.

Immediately after the match, Omega stormed the ring to stomp Laredo. Those two have history in putting on a jammer when Omega retained the AAA MegaCampeonato at Triplemania XXVIII in December 2020. If you want to see more Laredo Kid, he currently competes in AAA and has been moonlighting in MLW.

Omega’s feathers were ruffled about the Bucks picking Cutler over him. When AEW was getting started, Omega joined the Jacksons because they were family. It wasn’t about AEW. It was about believing in his friends. Omega gave them one more chance for a Too Sweet salute. The Jackson boys left him hanging. They turned their backs and exited the ring.

At that moment, the Lucha Bros got a little payback with a double superkick to Omega. Once everyone left, the Good Brothers finally arrived to tend to their fallen leader. Omega was dazed and bloody from the mouth. He comically gave a thumbs up to signify to the fans that he’ll be alright.

The Young Bucks have finally made their decision. They found their conscience last week by saving Jon Moxley from a broken neck at the hands of Omega, however, the Bucks have been wishy-washy during their entire run in AEW. These are the kind of actions that make me want to root for the Bucks. I could do without Matt Jackson making a point to ooze arrogance in his match though. I suppose that could be justified to add doubt in the Omega saga that proceeded.

The evening’s soap opera wasn’t over yet. In a related story, Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston had words for Omega. Kingston’s lower leg was in a cast. He was riled up with threats of putting Omega and the Good Brothers in the morgue. For once, Moxley was the sane one. He doesn’t like the Young Bucks, but he does owe them one for the save last week. Mox doesn’t like owing favors, and he has no patience for the Bullet Club drama. If the Bucks want to be in the game, then they have to be willing to get their hands dirty.

That ultimate payback for Mox and King will be sweet. It is a bummer that Kingston is in a cast. I want that fire unleashed post haste. It does feel like AEW is building to a grander scheme, so that leads me to a question for the people. If Moxley and Kingston did join forces with the Young Bucks for a Blood & Guts type of match, who should be Omega’s fourth alongside the Good Brothers? It could be whittled down to a trios bout, but, man oh man, do I want Kingston’s passion in the contest.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Hangman Page defeated Cezar Bononi. The cowboy rallied to overcome Bononi’s power with clotheslines, a high collar suplex, and a buckshot lariat to win the short match. Hangman then celebrated with beer. Ryan Nemeth and JD Drake were in the front row to support Bononi, but they had no effect on the match.

This was an effective win to keep Hangman on the winning track toward a title shot. Overcoming a more powerful man also adds variety to Hangman’s resume. The cowboy will be ready physically and strategically for whoever he ends up facing when wrestling for the AEW World Championship. His only weakness is confidence.

Hardcore legend. Tony Schiavone interviewed his pal, Dr. Britt Baker DMD. She was very ornery the week after her bloodbath with Thunder Rosa. Baker wanted credit for writing history with blood, but she doesn’t need adulation. That led to an insult for Mick Foley. He needed 20 years to become a hardcore legend, while she achieved that status in 1 night. Baker has put AEW on the map.

Excellent promo to make Baker the scallywag once again. It would be easy to root for her grit and determination after last week, but Baker cleverly reminded us that she deserves our scorn. Slighting a legend is an efficient way to earn ire. Mission accomplished. Boo, Dr. Baker DMD!

FTR & Shawn Spears defeated Dante Martin & Varsity Blonds. The full Pinnacle crew was ringside. The underdogs had an offensive flurry, then the Pinnacle exited the ring to regroup with guidance from Tully Blanchard. They went forth to dismantle their young opponents onward to victory. Spears pinned Martin with a C4 DVD.

The Pinnacle hasn’t convinced me yet that the super group elevated their game. They should have won, and they did win. It wasn’t dominant or ruthless enough to make me take notice. Martin was the star of the match with his flashy bursts of creativity.

Afterward, Wardlow hit his knee strike finisher to Brian Pillman Jr. for good measure. Schiavone begrudgingly interviewed the Pinnacle. The message was that they are a real family. Those bonds make them more difficult to defeat. FTR called out Santana & Ortiz. MJF called out Chris Jericho. MJF also teased a gift for the Pinnacle next week.

The winner of this week’s pinnacle was Wardlow. He was treated like an ultra badass. His mere presence halted a triple suicide dive during the match. In the interview, his hand on Schiavone’s shoulder silenced the man when trying to mention the reason for the Inner Circle’s absence. More Wardlow, please.

Tay Conti defeated Nyla Rose. Vickie Guerrero had Rose’s back, and the Dark Order showed support for Conti during her entrance. Both women were aggressive. Rose flaunted her power advantage, while Conti’s fighting spirit shined through. Conti triumphed with a head kick, running knee attacks, then a hammerlock DDT.

Despite the rankings of Conti as #1 and Rose as #3, this should be considered an upset. Conti had lost the previous two encounters against Rose. Conti showed the necessary improvements to make me believe she is ready to shine on the big stage. I wouldn’t put her over Hikaru Shida for the women’s title, but I would consider booking the bout for a TV main event or definitely a PPV contest.

After the match, Rose cheap shot Conti. Shida ran out for the save with a kendo stick. Bunny was next as the one to stand tall. Matt Hardy explained that his client is being overlooked no longer. Shida & Conti versus Bunny & Rose was booked for next week.

Notes: Kenny Omega’s Sweepettes will never cease to be entertaining.

Lance Archer had a message for Sting. He looked up to the Icon, but it is his time now. People will pay attention to the Murderhawk Monster. One way or another, it will be showtime.

Christian Cage was chumming it up backstage with Dante Martin, Griff Garrison, and Brian Pillman Jr. Frankie Kazarian came up to greet his old pal, and a match was made for next week between Cage and Kaz. The verbal exchange was friendly competitiveness with a touch of tension. Kaz is a good choice of opponent to provide familiarity, a worthwhile name to build toward a title shot, and the ability to hide any rust for Christian’s return to the ring.

Team Taz addressed conspiracy theories of strife within. Brian Cage rolled his eyes at Taz’s declaration that all was well. When asked to confirm everything was okay, Cage did not voice any dissension.

Jade Cargill threatened Red Velvet via vignette promo. Velvet is a pitstop on Jade’s path to greatness. Since both are undefeated in singles action, Jade made it sound like a match is coming soon.

Brandi and Cody will be starring in their own reality show on TNT. Rhodes to the Top is coming soon.

Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor will fight Miro & Kip Sabian in an Arcade Anarchy match next week.

Scorpio Sky is tired of being screwed over. Humility only gives a reason to underrate him. Sky promoted a singles bout against Mike Sydal for Dark: Elevation on Monday.

Stud of the Show: John Silver

Silver rose to the occasion in his first big spotlight. His performance was a positive step toward establishing himself as a legitimate threat for success.

Dud of the Show: QT Marshall’s relationship with Bunny

Remember the storyline about QT dating Bunny? Well, it seems that QT is married. It didn’t sound like the relationship was a quickie stop over in Las Vegas, so it leads me to question whether QT was unfaithful while romancing Bunny. What people do in their private lives is up to them, however, QT and Bunny flaunted for all to see on national television. It didn’t mesh well with the idea of QT’s wife sitting happily in the stands supporting him. For the same reason, I didn’t particularly like it when Blade was acknowledged as Bunny’s mate. Both marriages were an inefficient mix of reality to wrestling storylines.

Grade: B-

This was an average episode of the Dynamite experience. That means exciting moves and consistent storyline progression. AEW didn’t give me much of a reason to be invested in the matches going into the show, and none of them won me over enough to get lost in the moment. All of the contests were serviceable though. The multitude and variety of promos were the strength to round out the entertainment.

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

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