AEW Dynamite (May 5, 2021) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured Blood & Guts fighting with the Inner Circle and the Pinnacle, the Elite pummeling Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston, and Miro delivering the line of the night.
Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
Blood & Guts
AEW ventured into dangerous territory with the debut of the Blood & Guts match. They pulled it off overall as a supreme sports entertainment spectacle. The Inner Circle and the Pinnacle battled in brutal warfare with a crazy finish.
The Blood & Guts structure was set up as a giant roofed cage covering two rings. The rules were simple. Two men to start for 5 minutes, followed by a new entrant every 2 minutes alternating between teams. Once all wrestlers were inside the cage, a finish could be obtained by submission or surrender.
Blood & Guts began with Sammy Guevara and Dax Harwood. The camera panned out to show a cool visual of the distance between the two men. Sammy attacked with a running leap over the ropes.
The order of entrance ended up being Shawn Spears, Ortiz, Cash Wheeler, Santana, Wardlow, Jake Hager, MJF, then Chris Jericho. The physicality picked up quickly with foreign objects and lots of blood. Early standout moments that jump to my mind are Wheeler with a Gory Special causing Ortiz to be wedged between the cage and the ring as well as Wardlow and Hager cleaning house in opposing rings leading to a hoss showdown in the center.
Once all ten men were inside the cage, the squads regrouped to attack. The Inner Circle dominated. FTR ripped up the ring canvas to reveal wood, but that backfired when they ate double assisted piledivers from Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz. Spears was jacked up after a chair coast to coast dropkick from Sammy. Wardlow was out-hossed by Hager. That left MJF to take a bloody beating.
Shenanigans occurred when Tully Blanchard blasted the referee to steal the key to open the cage door. MJF climbed atop the roof to escape. Jericho gave chase. Le Champion locked in the Walls of Jericho submission, but MJF broke free with a low blow. Jericho refused to quit to the Salt of the Earth armbar. MJF turned the tide with a Dynamite Diamond Ring punch to Jericho’s face. MJF stood proud only to be showered with boos.
When Jericho refused to give up, the gears turned in MJF’s head to toss him off the roof. Jericho’s mates became concerned about their leader. MJF offered to spare Jericho in exchange for surrender. Guevara took the bait as the Pinnacle were declared the winners. MJF then tossed Jericho off the roof anyway crashing through the stage.
Blood & Guts was as much fun as I imagined. The entertainment kept me on the edge of my seat with insane action. Applause to everyone involved for putting their bodies through pain for our enjoyment. The first half was done very well to deliver hot spots, violence, and stories within the story. The match wasn’t perfect though. It bogged down a little when Inner Circle took dominant control. I would have liked to see more competitive pacing when all ten men were in the ring.
One minor peeve I had was the Inner Circle’s reaction to Jericho being thrown off the cage. I figured one of them would go loco to climb up the cage to get retribution for MJF’s malfeasance. That’s what I would have done in a rage of anger at the dastardly deed. However, I do understand that AEW wanted to let the moment breathe.
It should be pointed out that Jericho explained, in an interview with Arda Orcal, how Blood & Guts is only the start of this feud. That finish would have stunk as a blow-off. Knowing that the clashes will continue makes the finish work well. It clears Jericho out for others to step up before he makes a dramatic return. MJF was cemented as a super scumbag that people will pay to see get tortured. The regular matches will allow the Pinnacle to finally pick up steam with victories. That is more toward their prowess than the vicious game of caged warfare.
As the Elite turns
The latest chapter of the Elite soap opera kicked off the show as Kenny Omega teamed with MT Nakazawa to battle Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston. Don Callis informed the audience that Omega was unable to attend the contest. Commentary immediately called Callis out on his baloney, since they had previously seen Omega in the building. It was all a ruse for Omega to ambush Mox and King with the AEW World Championship as a weapon. The match was pure mayhem with barely any rules enforced. Nak actually held his own alright as the weak link by cheating. In the end, Omega quit and left Nakazawa alone to get destroyed with a combo move. Moxley chugged for a clothesline to kick-start a half-and-half suplex from Kingston to win.
After the match, the Young Bucks came out as a distraction for the Good Brothers to attack from behind. Omega returned to execute a One Winged Angel to Kingston.
The predictable result of Nakazawa eating the pin played out as expected, but it was still entertaining enough. The opening trap did well to keep the vibe chaotic. The referee never really regained control after that. The finish was nice teamwork with vicious delivery. As much as I want to see Kingston versus Omega, that now takes a backseat to Moxley & Kingston versus Young Bucks. The Bucks are at level 11 on the scoundrel meter. Mox & King are perfect as polar opposites to the Bucks to knock them down a peg or two. I’m curious to see how those flippy dips handle a pair of mad dogs.
As for Omega, he’ll have a new challenger emerging next week for the Double of Nothing PPV. It was announced that Omega will meet the winner of PAC versus Orange Cassidy next week on Dynamite. Omega dismissed the idea of Cassidy being championship caliber, so OC came out on stage. Since Cassidy robbed Omega of his valuable time, Omega took Cassidy’s sunglasses to place on Nakazawa. That was AEW’s way to show Cassidy will care and will try if he happens to meet Omega at Double or Nothing.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
Cody Rhodes defeated QT Marshall. Solid match from both men with the appropriate rage to meet the story. QT whipped Cody with his Cody Killer belt. Cody used eye gouges and raked QT’s back. Even Arn Anderson was more than a fuddy-duddy on this evening. When QT mushed his face, Arn peppered QT with a backhand slap and grated his face against the ring post. That earned Arn an ejection.
The finish came down to old friends being familiar with one another. QT ducked a Disaster Kick and countered a springboard cutter into a Cross Rhodes. The two also had a triple over-the-top reversal sequence of the tombstone piledriver with Cody coming out on top to execute the maneuver. Cody piled on a Cross Rhodes, but QT kicked out. Cody was hesitant to continue dishing out pain, then QT gave the necessary ammunition by flashing the middle finger in Cody’s face. A figure-four leglock had QT tapping out. Somewhere along the line, Cody was cut and began bleeding profusely during the submission to provide a lasting image.
Afterward, Anthony Ogogo came to the ring to surprise Cody with a gut punch. Ogogo draped the UK flag over Cody’s body.
Another match with very little doubt about the result, and it was still entertaining. QT wrestled well with slams and suplexes. He definitely stepped his game up. I’m not saying I want more QT weekly, just that he took Cody to deep waters in a believable manner. Cody delivered on his fondness for pomp. Cody and QT kicked out of numerous heavy moves. That made me scratch my head a little for QT, but it was effective in adding to the drama. Cody continues to put on cool matches whenever he steps into the ring. I have all the faith in Cody that he will make Ogogo shine when they finally duke it out.
Oh yeah, QT also had his buttocks exposed.
Dr. Britt Baker defeated Julia Hart. Squash win with an Air Raid Crash then the Lockjaw submission. This was filler on a stacked card.
SCU won #1 contender match. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian prevailed over Jurassic Express, Varsity Blonds, and The Acclaimed in a four-way dance to earn a tag title shot against the Young Bucks next week. The match had the exciting action you would expect. The finish came down to Kaz and Brian Pillman Jr. Kaz got the better of the mullet, then Daniels swooped in to finish the Best Meltzer Ever combo move for victory.
SCU is coming to a crossroads. They finally rose to the top with their stipulation weighing heavy. SCU has vowed to split next time they lose. Next week’s match against the Bucks should be a banger with extra emotional drama.
Notes: Scorpio Sky had harsh words for Sting as a mosquito sucking on AEW. Ethan Page called out Darby Allin and his history injuring Allin on the indies. Allin came out of nowhere to bring the ruckus. Sky put him down with a trashcan, then Page tossed Allin down the stairs. The TNT champ squirmed in pain when medical assistance arrived. Sky and Page chuckled with glee. Good segment to give Sky and Page some edge and build comeuppance heat.
Technique by Taz profiled the Killswitch from Christian Cage. Three cheers for the best recurring segment in wrestling today. Taz’s breakdowns are informative and well done. I wish AEW would feature Technique by Taz on Elevation to air more often, so he could provide expert knowledge without it being connected to a storyline.
Is the "honeymoon" coming to an end for #ChristianCage? @OfficialTAZ breaks down @Christian4Peeps Frog Splash & Killswitch on #TechniqueByTaz— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 6, 2021
Watch #BLOODandGUTS #AEWDynamite Now on TNT! pic.twitter.com/CTq3Frmc4a
AEW aired a package to hype Jon Moxley defending the IWGP United States Championship against Yuji Nagata next week on Dynamite. Death Rider versus Blue Justice. Thumbs up to set the story in a quick manner.
#AEWDynamite Wed, May 12 LIVE, #YujiNagata returns to @tntdrama for the 1st time in nearly 23 years to face @JonMoxley for the @njpwglobal U.S. Championship!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 6, 2021
Watch Dynamite every Wednesday at 8/7c on TNT! pic.twitter.com/yig0mnpHxU
Stud of the Show: Miro
Miro announced that he signed a contract to wrestle Darby Allin for the TNT Championship next week. The madman then delivered a badass line. The world will find out what happens when the man who doesn’t mind dying meets the man who doesn’t mind killing. That sounds straight out of an action movie, and I love it.
Dud of the Show: PPV build
Dynamite has been stacked with big matches lately. That seems to have left AEW in a pickle when putting together the Double or Nothing PPV card for May 30. As a prize-fighting card, I could be persuaded. In terms of stories, it is looking to be lackluster for throwing $60 down.
I mention the PPV build, because AEW announced two title matches for Double or Nothing. It was a bit lame to finally announce in an offhand graphic that Dr. Britt Baker DMD will receive her big title bout against Hikaru Shida without allowing the doctor the opportunity to celebrate. That would have been a better use of time than the squash match. Baker has been built up as a character, but AEW has given me no reason to believe she can dethrone Shida. Baker has lost her two highest profile bouts and feasted on cupcakes to get back in the mix. Kenny Omega will defend the AEW World Championship against either Orange Cassidy or PAC. There is no heat with OC, and Omega hasn’t crossed paths with PAC in so long that their previous beef needs to be recooked. AEW has major work to do in three short weeks.
I will give positive credit for building to Young Bucks versus Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston. That has been very solid. There are other directions brewing that should lift the card, so I’ll have to wait and see which matches get made official. As of now, the PPV feels like an extra long Dynamite rather than a super special primo jam.
Blood & Guts hit the mark in terms of entertainment. Overall, the action tended to veer toward the crazy side all night long. The results were all fairly predictable throughout, but the path to winning was interesting. Stories progressed with heat to build anticipation for resolution. Next week’s show was set up strong.
Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?