AEW Dynamite (July 7, 2021) emanated from James L. Knight Center in Miami, FL. The special Road Rager show featured Cody Rhodes strapping QT Marshall, a shocking debut from an unexpected former WWE wrestler, and the Young Bucks proving they have the chops to thrive in street fight action.
Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
Champs of the street
The main event of Road Rager saw the Young Bucks defend the AEW World Tag Team Championship against the rough and tumble duo of Eddie Kingston and Pentagon in a street fight. The Jackson boys were not scared, since they are street fighting veterans from the mean streets of Rancho Cucamonga.
The match was contested as no DQ and unofficial tornado rules. That meant a constant stream of chaos and action. Chairs, tables, and trashcans were the weapons du jour. The high spot early was Pentagon executing a mouth-dropping Mexican Destroyer to Matt Jackson off the apron through a table.
Nick Jackson added his sizzle with a flying senton onto a trashcan on top of Kingston.
The drama intensified when the challengers were screwed but not really screwed because of the no DQ rules. Kingston trapped Matt in a rear naked choke. Nick Jackson decided to do a 450 splash onto referee Rick Knox to save the titles.
Good thing Nick did that, because Matt was tapping out soon after. The match broke down at that point. The Good Brothers ran in for extra hands. Pentagon took them out with a tope con hilo. Brandon Cutler tried to use his aerosol spray trick, however, Frankie Kazarian powerbombed him through a table. The Good Brothers handled Kaz with a Magic Killer on the floor.
During all this calamity, Pentagon scored a package piledriver on Nick. Kingston followed with a spinning backfist. Unfortunately, the referee conveniently disappeared, so no count was made. A backup referee ran in, then Nick pulled him out of the ring.
Oh, the insanity only escalated from there. Kingston emptied a sack of thumbtacks. Matt smartly grabbed a pile to toss in Kingston’s face. Pentagon bashed Matt in the head with a trashcan. Nick connected on a super hurricanrana to Pentagon onto the thumbtacks. Luckily for the challengers, Kingston was able to break the pin.
The damage was already done though. The champs continued their onslaught by shoving thumbtacks in Kingston’s mouth to eat a superkick. That sealed the deal for the Young Bucks to retain.
There are two ways to look at this match. One, it was a ridiculous spectacle of sports entertainment in a positive way. The street fight concept lived up to the hype with thrills, chills, and spills. All four men put their bodies on the line to suffer pain. The challengers were arguably robbed twice of sure victory. That added to the tension as the match progressed. The Bucks prevailed once again to build heat on themselves. Even in these circumstances, they still managed to keep the belts. Two, it was an overbooked hodgepodge of disorder. There were ref bumps and outside interference muddying the spirit of competition.
I agree with both outlooks. The action was wild and crazy to keep me glued to the screen. On the other hand, it was a bit lame when the Good Brothers decided to come out. It caused me to roll my eyes as a played-out tactic. Shouldn’t Kaz strike preemptively in the locker room by now? At least, all the chicanery made sense in terms of the story.
Going forward, it should be amusing to hear the Young Bucks flaunt their bragging rights as champs of the street. There is no one in line at the moment to believably rise to the challenge and dethrone them.
South Beach Strap Match
The opening honor for Road Rager went to the South Beach Strap Match between Cody Rhodes and QT Marshall. It also marked the return of Cody’s fantastic entrance with the elevator coming up through the floor.
The rules were four corners. The long strap was attached at the wrist. QT comically bailed before the bell, so Cody attacked with a suicide dive. QT’s students were ringside, but Dustin Rhodes brawled with them early after interference. The match was one-on-one for the most part.
The dramatic first strap whip came from Cody as QT was in the middle of a moonsault. It wouldn’t be a Cody match without blood. QT was busted open after colliding with a ring post. Cody actually managed to keep all his plasma inside his body on this evening. The popping power move for the bout was QT countering a super hurricanrana into a super powerbomb.
Down the stretch, Cody anchored his weight to prevent QT from touching the fourth corner. QT began whipping Cody with the strap, but that only fired up the Codester. He ran a streak of offense with strap lashings culminating in a flying cutter.
Cody went around for the corners. One, two, mule kick low-blow for three, then QT sandbagged to prevent the fourth. QT had the audacity to spit in Cody’s face. Bad move, dude. Cody erupted for three straight Cross Rhodes. Cody touched all four corners with ease en route to victory.
Strap matches can be a tricky proposition to execute well. I thought Cody and QT maintained an exciting flow throughout. Cody was the clear favorite to win, so they didn’t waste time teasing us with drama that QT could prevail. The story was about QT getting his lashes in and how badly Cody would kick QT’s ass. I thought there could have been a little more fury with the strap considering the bad blood, but it was sufficient enough. The triple Cross Rhodes was a satisfying conclusion for Cody to close this feud and move on to new business.
Speaking of new business for Cody, it arrived very unexpectedly. And it was badass.
During Cody’s strap match, the lights went out. It was unclear why. It happened as Cody was touching the corners, so it felt like there should be some purpose. The commentary team played it off as a weather related malfunction.
As Arn Anderson was being interviewed in the ring, the lights went out again. This time it lasted a little longer. When the lights flashed back on, the man formally known as Tommy End and Aleister Black stood before Double A and unloaded a head kick.
Excalibur chimed in that this man was going by the name Malakai Black.
Cody ran into the ring to protect Anderson. Black lulled him into a false sense of security then blasted away with a head kick to Cody.
Hot damn! That was awesome for a surprise debut. It came completely out of nowhere to maximize shock value. There was the nice touch of foreshadowing with the lights out mystery earlier. I’m a little surprised Tony Schiavone didn’t blurt out, “It’s Sting,” by habit. Black’s attack on Cody left an impressive impression. Bopping the golden boy in your debut means you are a big deal. Best of all, this should confirm that Cody’s feud with QT is finally over. I enjoyed their stint together, but that story has run its course. Time for Cody to have big feuds again. I’m pumped for Cody versus Black.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
Kenny Omega’s next challenger. Don Callis reiterated the dilemma that Omega has beaten all his competition. Fans chanted for Hangman Page. The Dark Order interrupted. Evil Uno wondered why Omega is ignoring the #1 ranked cowboy. Omega switched topics to ask Uno to name the capital of Thailand. Boom! Omega kicked Uno in the nuggets to signify Bangkok. Good Brothers attacked the Dark Order from behind. Hangman ran out to clear the ring. He teased a buckshot lariat to the champ then entered for a face to face conversation. Hangman and Omega exchanged heated chitter-chatter, but we were not privy to listen. Karl Anderson caused a distraction so Omega could retreat to safety.
Everyone involved played that great to rile up the crowd into cheering for Hangman. By avoiding his name, it forced the fans to fill in the blank with chants. It looks like AEW is full steam ahead with Omega versus Hangman, and I’m glad to see it. The fans are hot for it, so there is no need to hold back much longer.
Fight for the Fallen was teased as the date for Omega’s next defense. If the Hangman match goes down on July 28, then that could be the beginning for Omega’s empire to crumble. That stinks for Sami Callihan trying to win the Impact World Championship at Slammiversary on July 17. I doubt Omega would take a pin so close to the Hangman match. However, this date could be good news for Andrade competing against Omega for the AAA Megacampeonato at Triplemania XXIX on August 14. Once the first domino falls in the AEW World Championship, the other belts are fair game.
One thing I do question is Uno mouthing off to Callis. If they ever engage in a fight, I think I would pick Callis to win. Uno better not get too tough with his backtalk.
FTR & Wardlow defeated Jake Hager, Santana, & Ortiz. Tully Blanchard and Konnan were ringside. Hectic match with lots of heavy moves. Hager had Wardlow in an ankle lock, but Blanchard created a referee distraction for FTR to hit Hager with the Big Rig flapjack facebreaker combo. Wardlow scored the easy pin to win. I lost track of Santana and Ortiz to figure out why they didn’t break the pinfall.
Afterward, Konnan whacked Wardlow with his madball weapon. Wardlow no-sold as Blanchard clipped Konnan’s knee from behind.
This bout had high effort for a sneaky pick as match of the night. I would need to re-watch it to make a firm declaration, but it was action-packed and fast-paced. The moves were popping from all parties. Plus, we were treated to a hoss showdown.
MJF’s stipulations. Chris Jericho tried to rattle MJF by claiming he will accept any stipulation for a future match with MJF, even if that means having sex with MJF’s mother... again. MJF was inspired by mythology and Hercules. He proposed five labors of Jericho. MJF will choose the first four opponents and particular stipulation. If Jericho wins all four, then MJF will be the fifth labor. Jericho signed the contract. MJF demanded a handshake to seal the deal. That display of bravado backfired when Jericho didn’t let go. He pulled MJF in for a Judas Effect elbow strike. MJF was unconscious as Jericho exited the ring.
I love the tie-in to Hercules’ labors. This has lots of potential to be very cool. Both men have creative minds to produce something special. I thought about brushing up on some reading to pick up hints, but nuts to that. I’ll just watch The Rock’s Hercules film to be reminded of the epic tasks.
Andrade defeated Matt Sydal. Andrade started strong with a twisting brainbuster. Sydal rolled away from a moonsault, but Andrade landed then executed a standing moonsault to hit his target. Sydal connected on some sweet moves too, but the match wasn’t about him. We all knew Andrade would win, and that’s what happened. Andrade finished with a hammerlock flatliner.
The #ElIdolo gets the win for @AndradeElIdolo against No. 5-ranked @MattSydal. And he adds insult to injury after the match.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 8, 2021
Tune in to @tntdrama NOW to watch #AEW #RoadRager LIVE! pic.twitter.com/h5wGMknJnh
Andrade was slick, smooth, and on point. That was a quality showcase for his debut match in AEW. Since he is a heel, I’m a little confused about using Eddie Guerrero tributes to pop the crowd. They were behind Andrade anyway, but it didn’t seem consistent with trying to build him as a bad guy. Of course, there was the connection with Vickie Guerrero ringside. Andrade’s mask and suit reminded me of that mystery magician from Breaking the Magician’s Code. What secrets will Andrade reveal?
Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander defeated Blade & Bunny. Mixed tag rules, not intergender. Statlander hit a 450 splash onto Blade.
Bunny pulled OC out of the ring on the cover. Blade clocked Cassidy with brass knuckles. Statlander snuck a tag to be legal and pounced on Bunny for a Big Bang Theory piledriver to win.
This match was an absolute mess (more on that later in the Dud section) through no fault of the wrestlers. The story was overcomplicated due to the rules. Three cheers for Statlander busting out that dope 450. I also popped hard for Blade punching Cassidy into another realm. I’ll always enjoy seeing OC get beat up.
Notes: Shawn Spears’ promo was interrupted by Sammy Guevara throwing a chair at his face. This fight is far from over.
Jim Ross interviewed Ethan Page and Darby Allin prior to their Coffin Match next week. Allin claimed jealousy as Page’s motive. Page agreed. He was chafed that Allin made it to AEW first. Page brought Allin into the limelight, and he will take Allin out as well. My takeaway was AEW finally got it right with the chairs. These sitdowns have often made the wrestlers look awkward. Page and Allin sat on standard chairs, so they could lean in and look mean.
Jon Moxley will defend the IWGP US Championship next week against Karl Anderson.
Britt Baker DMD was upset with Tony Khan for allowing last week’s match. Reba’s knee exploded, and Baker almost died from being powerbombed through a table. That was the price for Vickie Guerrero bringing in Andrade. Baker hopes Khan enjoys the blood money. Maybe he can run a show in Saudi Arabia. Baker was still confident that she will retain the AEW Women’s Championship against Nyla Rose in two weeks.
Earlier today @tonyschiavone24 interviewed @RealBrittBaker the #AEW Women's World Champion about her upcoming match up at #FyterFest Night #2 in Dallas, Texas - Wed, July 21, 2021— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 8, 2021
Tune into #AEWDynamite NOW on TNT! pic.twitter.com/9UaB8VA0o8
Matt Hardy versus Christian Cage will take place next week. Christian warned Hardy to get on his level or get out of his way.
Ricky Starks hired special security to protect him from being attacked by Brian Cage before their FTW title match next week. Taz was embarrassed by the scene, but Starks is doing what he has to do. Starks made mention of Cage’s wife (Lucha Underground’s Melissa Santos), and that prompted a violent response. Cage beat up the hired goons as Starks fled to safety.
Jungle Boy received a trophy for being the first man in AEW history to earn 50 career wins.
Dan Lambert, Jorge Masvidal, and Amanda Nunes were in the crowd. Lambert took over for a promo in the ring to bad-mouth AEW. Lance Archer came out for Blackout. I don’t know if this qualifies as Forbidden Door action, but Lambert has been working with MLW. That’s why I was quite surprised to see him getting so much mic time. The pay-off makes me wonder if Lambert will become AEW’s version of Pete Rose.
Stud of the Show: Kenny Omega
I’m still laughing about Omega’s Bangkok joke. The punchline was hysterical. In hindsight, the cheap shot is so obvious. In the moment, I had no clue where it was going. Omega’s groin blow is on par with Hans Moleman’s classic film Man Getting Hit by Football.
Dud of the Show: Mixed tag rules
Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander competed against Blade & Bunny in a mixed tag rules match. Simple enough, right? AEW tried to get too cute, and it turned into a mess.
The first strike was Bunny executing a super German suplex to Statlander. Instead of trying for the pin, she tagged in Blade. The strategy was to go for the count-out on Cassidy after Blade bashed him earlier. That didn’t make much sense. In addition, precious time was wasted when referee Aubrey Edwards did not comply to start her count quick enough.
The second strike was Statlander landing her 450 splash as the illegal partner onto Blade in plain view of the referee. How is that not a disqualification? It is mixed tag and not intergender for a reason.
The third strike was Statlander’s cheap tag at the end. She had to reach out far to touch Cassidy. I’m pretty sure it should have been ruled an illegal tag. FTR needs to be consulted on this ASAP.
The intentions were well-meaning to produce an interesting bout, however, the execution was poor.
AEW is back in the groove with their Road Rager event. The fans were rowdy to be there, but AEW earned their enthusiasm with solid matches and the huge surprise of Malakai Black. It feels like the recent holding pattern is finally over. AEW is finishing old feuds and progressing toward new ones. The future is bright with anticipation for future matches.
Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?