clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Mar. 23, 2022): That’s entertainment

AEW Dynamite (Mar. 23, 2022) emanated from H-E-B Center in Austin, TX. The show featured the Jericho Appreciation Society sports entertaining with style, the Pinnacle taking center stage on the drama scene, as well as stunts from Sting, Darby Allin, Matt Hardy, and Jeff Hardy.

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

Jericho Appreciation Society

The main event of the evening saw the debut of the Jericho Appreciation Society as a unit. Chris Jericho and Daniel Garcia competed in the ring, while Magic Daddy, Cool Hand, and Jake Hager were on the outside. They gave us a taste of how their sports entertainment expertise will help win matches.

JAS hyped the bout early by teasing that Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz were nowhere to be found. They hinted at it so hard that I assumed surely Kingston would arrive on the scene to close the show. That did not happen.

JAS wrestled the Dark Order duo of Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Without a Kingston appearance, I scratched my head why this was the main event. Then, I remembered that Reynolds and Silver are the #1 ranked tag team in AEW. It would be easy to forget, since they haven’t won a tag team match on TV this year. That’s an issue to delve into another time. On paper, it was clear that JAS were going to win, and that’s exactly what happened. How they got there was the interesting part.

The Dark Order showed up with an impressive outing. Silver ran wild like a maniac on several occasions, and they came close to victory on their patented teamwork flurry with a German suplex by Silver transitioning to a jackknife pin from Reynolds. Someone who watched Reynolds and Silver for the first time would have thought they were stars.

Jericho used his noggin to alter the atmosphere to their advantage. 5 and 10 were ringside preventing JAS from interfering. Jericho kicked the ring steps and faked being attacked. Referee Aubrey Edwards bought it hook, line, and sinker to eject 5 and 10. JAS immediately took charge with Daddy Magic and Cool Hand causing distractions and physically interfering.

In the end, Silver aimed to punish the JAS, but he went to the same well once too often. Hager caught a suicide dive to slam Silver on the floor. Garcia distracted the ref for Jericho to whack Reynolds with a bat. Garcia sat deep on a Scorpion Deathlock for victory.

The JAS era is off to a hot start. For that, there is one man to thank. I appreciate Chris Jericho as an influencer and a sports entertainer. Jericho and Garcia might shoot up the charts next week after taking out the top-ranked duo. JAS showed they are a group of trifling hooligans, but at least they have cool nicknames. Daddy Magic is the best.

Pinnacle soap opera

The Super Elite Era isn’t the only group with a soap opera slow roast. Beef has been stewing within Pinnacle chambers for a while. It mainly revolves around MJF and Wardlow, but there could be seeds for FTR to do an about face.

MJF cut a promo in the center of the ring addressing the elephant in the room. That elephant being Wardlow. MJF will not be letting him out of his contract. In fact, MJF decided to make Wardlow’s life hell for being an ungrateful pig. MJF brought Wardlow into the limelight, and he will pay the man to stay home until all the fans forget about him. Wardlow beelined for the ring, but a pile of security personnel hung on his legs to prevent entrance. After more of MJF’s threats, Wardlow exited without violence.

That was a spicy step to continue this turmoil. MJF came off evil, as intended, to build up even more sympathy for Wardlow and his mother. The visual of security hanging on Wardlow was a great way to remind us he is a beast of a man. The way the segment unfolded adds more room for the blowup to simmer before erupting.

MJF also spoke about CM Punk and the Pinnacle. The Punk feud won’t be over until MJF urinates on Punk’s grave. MJF claimed all is right within the rest of the Pinnacle. Big things are ahead. I’m not so sure FTR are on the same page with MJF.

Dax Harwood opened the broadcast in singles action against CM Punk. Down the stretch, Harwood countered a knee strike into a Sharpshooter. Punk rolled it over into the Anaconda Vice submission for victory. Punk celebrated by motioning for a championship around his waist. Commentary teased confusion about which title belt had Punk’s eye.

During the bout, Gunn Club were in the front row heckling FTR. Backstage, FTR challenged the Ass Boys to a match next week. FTR has no respect for those spoiled brats.

Breadcrumbs for FTR make me wonder if they will step over to the good side soon. Cash Wheeler not interfering and FTR’s passion about wrestling from the heart could be signs of a change. A shift is needed if they can recruit Bret Hart to join as manager. The fans aren’t going to boo Bret, so FTR needs to get its act together giving us a reason to support the union. An act of good faith could be parting ways with MJF.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Sting, Darby Allin, Matt Hardy, & Jeff Hardy defeated Private Party, Butcher, & Blade. Tornado rules were in effect for the 8-man. This bout was a wild ruckus. Allin kicked it off with a suicide dive, and Sting followed with a flying crossbody to the outside.

The action flowed onto the stage and out onto the concourse. Private Party executed a double Side Effect to Matt off the stage through a table. Jeff Hardy climbed a ladder to leap from high above for a Swanton onto Butcher and Blade crashing through tables.

Sting led the rally back in the ring for a Scorpion Death Drop to Isiah Kassidy, while Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Marq Quen for the double hero pin.

Chaos reigned supreme, and it was glorious. Expectations were a spot-fest, and they delivered. Sting dusted off the hands of time early, but his carriage almost turned back into a pumpkin for the finish. The Scorpion Death Drop was set off of a tricky counter, and Sting had balance issues. I don’t care though, because IT’S STING!!! The Hardys both executed stunts, albeit one dished out pain and the other was on the receiving end. Don’t forget Allin. He was thrown down the stairs for our amusement.

Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley defeated Varsity Blonds. The youngsters had an early edge in athleticism, but it didn’t take long for technical violence to take its toll courtesy of Danielson and Mox. They wrecked the Blonds in the end. Danielson hit a running knee to Griff Garrison, then Moxley planted Brian Pillman Jr. with a Paradigm Shift. Mox unloaded vicious elbows to the head of Garrison, while Danielson kicked Pillman’s head in. Moxley earned the win with a rear naked choke to Garrison. Danielson added on with a LeBell Lock to Pillman at the same time.

Afterward, Moxley spoke about earning William Regal’s stamp of approval. It took pain, blood, torture, and dislocated joints. He now wears that badge with pride. There are no free passes to join their group. Anyone that thinks they have what it takes need to reach deep down in their soul to find the love of pain. Moxley finished with the group’s new name, Black Pool Combat Club.

Solid bout, even better promo. The Varsity Blonds brought fire, but they were no match for two of the toughest wrestlers in the game today. Picking a group name can be tricky. I think they nailed it with Black Pool Combat Club. Moxley’s strong speech tied the name together by honoring Regal’s heritage from Liverpool and including emphasis on the idea of students being forged in combat.

Also of note, Julia Hart accompanied the Varsity Blonds to the ring. She sat on the steps the whole time not paying attention. Her potential metamorphosis is becoming comical in an amusing way, but I need one detail addressed. Why do Pillman and Garrison still tolerate her? I’m not saying they should dump Hart. I just want to hear why from their own mouths.

Adam Cole defeated Jay Lethal. Lethal had momentum with three suicide dives, so reDRagon appeared on stage as a distraction. Cole capitalized with a pump kick. When Lethal was rolling again with a figure-four, reDRagon made their way ringside. Cole reached the ropes on his own accord, but reDRagon was quick to assist with another distraction. Lethal was feeling hot for his finisher, so reDRagon distracted the referee. Cole kicked a low blow and lowered the boom for victory.

Afterward, Cole called out Hangman Page. The world champ obliged. Hangman took off his belt to whip reDRagon. Cole hit a low blow on the cowboy. Jurassic Express and Christian Cage ran out for the save. Cole retreated, but he took the championship with him.

Please, no more of this feud between Cole and Hangman. AEW never built Cole as a credible threat the first time, and they’re failing again for the rematch. Cole picked up a win over a quality opponent, but it played out in a way that Cole was outclassed until reDRagon lent a helping hand. The booking of Cole is getting to the point of go-away heat from me personally. Don’t get me wrong. Cole definitely has a spot as a productive player, but this title hunt is doing him no favors. That said, I did get a chuckle out of Cole’s line challenging Hangman to face the three of them one-on-one. Stealing the world title is also a good way to earn an ass whooping. The thing is that I have little desire for a 25-minute clash for the rematch.

As for the televised bout, Lethal looked good hitting his signature spots. Cole performed well helping Lethal be presented as a star in the ring. Without the overarching context looming, this was an enjoyable contest.

Sex fluid. Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti called out Dan Lambert’s crew. Lambert put over his squad. Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page had zero interest in accepting a tag bout against Sammy and Tay. Lambert kissed his TNT title belt with love. Sammy spilled the beans that they had sex wearing the belt, so now their fluids live on in Lambert’s mouth. Tay posted an erotic photo on Twitter to back up their claim.

This segment was out there. Sammy had good talking points to gain the crowd’s support. Lambert provided a chuckle insulting Austin, TX as a shit-stain town not worthy of Paige VanZant’s presence. I’ll always enjoy wrestling promos making fun of the local rubes. I also laughed at Lambert’s pride in deeming himself co-champion wearing the backup TNT belt. Even after being grossed out by Sammy’s germs, Lambert comically retrieved the belt, because it means so much to him. That little touch made the scene.

Leyla Hirsch defeated Red Velvet. Kris Statlander was banned from ringside. Velvet connected on a corkscrew kick, but Hirsch rolled out of the ring. She retrieved her familiar turnbuckle foreign object from underneath. Hirsch brought it into the ring, so referee Bryce Remsburg snatched it away. That was a ploy. Hirsch pulled out a wrench from her trunks to bop Velvet on the head for the easy pinfall.

In the aftermath, Hirsch locked in an armbar on Velvet. Statlander sprinted to the ring for revenge on Hirsch.

I enjoy how Hirsch and Velvet wrestle with intensity. The story had a humorous twist with Hirsch outsmarting the referee. All signs point to Statlander crushing Hirsch, and it should be worth watching if the alien brings that same aggression to their future matchup.

Notes: Trent was angry at Wheeler Yuta for approaching William Regal last week. Yuta isn’t trying to be the best friend. He is trying to be the best wrestler he can be. Tension was thick.

Lance Archer versus Dustin Rhodes was booked for Rampage. Everybody dies, and monsters do too, especially in Dustin’s hometown.

Ricky Starks will defend the FTW title against Swerve Strickland on Rampage. Swerve plans to take Starks’ pride.

Jade Cargill considered her next win a lock to make her record 30-0. In anticipation, she desired a celebration fit for a queen with money falling from the ceiling, green confetti, green Lamborghini automobiles, and fine exotic dancers.

Thunder Rosa came out to address the crowd as new champ, but Vickie Guerrero interrupted as a setup for Nyla Rose to ambush from behind. I’ll take that feud. A feisty hero conquering the Native Beast should be satisfying.

Stud of the Show: Jon Moxley

The lunatic put in rugged work wrestling and also cut the promo of the night.

Match of the Night: CM Punk vs. Dax Harwood

This was a hard-fought clash. Mat work to begin elevated into cool moves and nasty spills.

Harwood’s slingshot powerbomb is always a joy to view.

The finish was a nice do-si-do of submission exchanges. Punk still selling tenderness from the dog collar match added a touch of realism, rather then wrestlers having superhero recuperative powers.

Grade: B+

The first letter that crossed my mind was F for Fun, but I couldn’t risk causing so many spit-takes across the land. Another suitable letter would be E for Entertainment. The first hour of Dynamite was bonkers with so much action. A high-quality contest kicked off the evening followed by the insane tornado bout then aggression from the duo of Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley. Sprinkle in promos for an excellent hour of TV. The second hour tapered off a little, but it was still enjoyable.

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

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats