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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Mar. 30, 2022): Undisputed posers

AEW Dynamite (Mar. 30, 2022) emanated from Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC. The show featured Hangman Page serving a beating to Adam Cole and his group of undisputed posers, MJF’s decisions creating cracks in the Pinnacle, and Andrade battling Darby Allin in the main event.

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

Undisputed posers

If there is one lesson wrestlers in AEW should know by now, it is to not make Hangman Page angry. Or else, you’ll be eating a heaping helping of cowboy shit.

Adam Cole and reDRagon held center stage for a championship celebration with their ill-gotten gains. Cole introduced themselves as the Undisputed Elite. He didn’t view stealing the world title and tag belts as theft, because you can’t steal what belongs to you. AEW needs a new crew to run the show, and that will be the Undisputed Elite.

Cole claimed that Hangman and Jurassic Express were not in the venue. He was wrong. Hangman drove into the arena in style to kick ass.

Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage assisted the cowboy in wrecking shop. Unfortunately, Cole escaped without being victim to a buckshot lariat. However, he was tossed out of the ring onto Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish.

As a sports entertainment segment, that was a ton of fun. Cole ran his mouth only for Hangman to shut him up. As a tool to advance toward a world title rematch, I’m still not buying in. The Undisputed Elite looked like undisputed posers. I also wonder how the Young Bucks reacted to Cole clearly siding with reDRagon as a power trio. The Jacksons took themselves out of this story by choice, but Cole had pretty strong words about running AEW. How could they not wonder what’s up with that? That will be a story for a different time once Kenny Omega returns and the Super Elite Club explodes.

Cracks in the Pinnacle

Off of one faction drama and onto another. The Pinnacle has clear cracks in their unity. MJF was talking up a hot streak coming, but FTR wasn’t pleased with his treatment of Wardlow. Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler considered both men friends, and they were uncomfortable being in the middle of this bitterness. MJF claimed that Wardlow talked bad about them behind their backs. It was clear by FTR’s facial expression that they weren’t buying that line. When MJF held his hand out for a group hoorah, FTR reluctantly joined.

FTR was in tag team action against the Gunn Club. MJF entered to his own music for commentary. FTR did not appreciate the interruption. The Ass Boys did well throwing FTR off their game, but the Top Guys are top guys for a reason. They rallied in the end to earn the win. When Dax went for a sunset flip, Billy Gunn grabbed hands with Austin to prevent impact. Cash leaped over the top to smash Billy off the apron. That opened the window for the teamwork Big Rig and the 1, 2, 3.

During that match, there was a side story taking place. Wardlow was supposedly banned from the arena. Well, he found a way inside to cause a ruckus during FTR’s bout. Wardlow’s desire was to wring MJF’s neck. He beat up security and powerbombed one poor sucker into a table. Unfortunately for that big lug, there were too many bodies for him to pass. Wardlow was escorted out.

That scene irritated FTR even more at MJF as they argued instead of celebrating the W.

It pains me to say this, but I have to side with MJF in this scenario. It really wasn’t his fault that Wardlow decided to make a scene during FTR’s contest. Wardlow could have waited ten minutes out of respect to FTR. Of course, that wouldn’t have given us the enjoyably chaotic moment of Wardlow on a path of destruction. Oh well, take one for the team, MJF.

This story is progressing at a nice pace as of late. The dominoes are falling into place for the apparent disintegration of the Pinnacle. I wouldn’t call FTR good guys necessarily, but they should come out the rosier end when compared to the devil known as MJF.

The FTR match was their meat and potatoes style. They added enough gravy to make their ring work savory. The Gunn Club impressed by making it competitive. FTR is clearly the better team, and yet the Ass Boys worked to their strengths for as long as they could.

Speaking of the better team, FTR also threw out a direct challenge to the Young Bucks to settle the bragging rights once and for all.

El Idolo shines

Andrade and Darby Allin stole the show. They went toe-to-toe in an exciting main event. It kicked off in high gear when Andrade leaped out of the ring to collide with Allin riding his skateboard down the ramp.

Andrade brought the fought smashing Allin around the ring before the opening bell. Once the bout officially began, Andrade continued his aggression. Allin answered with a Code Red. Both men rose to engage in a furious slap fight.

Andrade was a force of power with a 61-pound weight advantage. When Allin scored offense, it came on quick and slick moves, such as an over-the-top stunner and an awesome flipping crucifix off the turnbuckles.

At that point, Jose ran in, so Sting cleaned his clock. Butcher and Blade attacked Sting. Allin went for the save on a flying crossbody. He chose to help his friend, and that decision cost him the match. Andrade had time to recover and caught a springboard Coffin Drop to smash Allin into the corner. Andrade seized the moment for a hammerlock DDT to win.

Afterward, the full AFO put the boots to Allin and Sting. The Hardys ran in for the save. They sent the fans home happy with a Twist of Fate and Swanton to Marq Quen as the show closed.

The main event had an electric atmosphere. Andrade rose up to Allin’s level of excitement. I was actually surprised Andrade won in the manner he did. It was clean enough to claim bragging rights. Allin made the choice to save Sting, so it wasn’t like cheap interference that often plagues certain matches. I like the idea of Andrade being a power player against these smaller opponents. Commentary emphasized his increased muscle mass, and the action played out that way. The thing that makes Andrade special is that he also has the ability for flying feats to add that change of pace pop. That will come in handy against monster competition. I already know Allin is must-see. Andrade is creeping that way if he can continue with great matches.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

CM Punk defeated Max Caster. Before the bout, Caster rapped about the Will Smith slap, Hunter Biden smoking rocks, moistless women, and Z-Packs.

Caster had momentum, with help from Anthony Bowens, but he missed the flying elbow drop. Punk pounced for a piledriver then the Anaconda Vice submission to ensure victory.

Afterward, Punk clarified that he is coming for the AEW World Championship.

Punk continues to look sharp in his role as aged veteran. All these whippersnappers keep yapping, but they can’t hang with him when it matters most to finish matches. Punk has built a quality resume to leave no doubt that lingering ring rust has faded. The time is right for him to chase gold. AEW did an excellent job building up Punk over these past months.

Jon Moxley defeated Jay Lethal. The former ROH world champ offered a handshake to start, but the former AEW world champ slapped it away. The tide shifted in Lethal’s favor when he focused on attacking Moxley’s knee. That prevented Mox from executing particular maneuvers, such as the Paradigm Shift.

Lethal aimed to finish with a Lethal Injection, but Mox caught him to counter for a rear naked choke. Lethal stacked over the top for a pin to get the release. Lethal continued his assault with a brainbuster and flying elbow drop. Moxley kicked out, and Lethal lost his cool to yell at the referee. When Lethal regrouped, he went for a figure-four. Moxley swiftly countered for a cradle then a Paradigm Shift to win. Afterward, Moxley offered a handshake. Lethal stood by his code of honor to accept despite his frustration at losing.

This bout was a war with equal parts fisticuffs and strategy. Lethal showed no mercy when attacking the knee, and that tactic paid off to neutralize Moxley’s physical advantages. Lethal hung strong with AEW’s toughest, but he came up short in the end. He only has himself to blame after wasting precious time shouting at the ref. I’m curious if that will play into his interesting promo from Rampage. At that time, he was annoyed that his losses were due to cheating. That wasn’t the case against Moxley. The finish was clean. As for Moxley, he did what he does best. Kick ass and win.

JAS fight back from attack. The Jericho Appreciation Society were confident that Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz were never coming back. When Jake Hager opened the curtain, Ortiz hit him with a madball.

The two groups brawled to the ring. Kingston connected on a spinning backfist to Jericho. Eventually, Hager recovered to crush his prey. The numbers game picked apart Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz. Jericho smashed Kingston with a baseball bat as Daniel Garcia slapped on the Sharpshooter. Jericho also whipped Kingston with a belt and nailed the Judas Effect to stand tall.

The feud is back on track with that brawl. Commentary was upset at the actions of JAS, but I have trouble feeling bad for Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz on this occasion. They were the ones who picked this fight. They even had the advantage of surprise, and yet they failed to game plan for the 5-on-3 numbers. Kingston’s crew needs to come smarter than that next time.

Bryan Danielson defeated Wheeler Yuta. The youngster did not back down from the challenge or the violence. He often pushed the pace inviting stiff shots upon himself. Down the stretch, Yuta escaped a Cattle Mutilation submission to counter for a fancy pin. Danielson got free then attacked with a running knee. As Danielson sized up Yuta to kick his head in, Yuta spit up into the American Dragon’s face. An angry Danielson unleashed fury with stomps, a Gotch piledriver, and the LeBell Lock to win. Yuta was pretty much unconscious before Danielson locked in the submission.

That was a rousing display of tenacity. Even though Yuta continues to lose, his improvement is noticeable. Yuta was floundering in the Best Friends, and now AEW has him on the rise in an intriguing story. Yuta even impressed William Regal on commentary with little details in his technical know-how. It seems like a lock that Yuta will eventually be accepted into the Blackpool Combat Club. It is just a matter of when. With Yuta’s current trajectory of development, I want to see him go one-on-one with Trent. It is one thing to be aggressive with relative strangers in the ring. The question will be if Yuta can have the same passion against his so-called Best Friends.

Toni Storm defeated Bunny. Storm was the big surprise for the Owen Hart tournament qualifier.

Storm went on a run with an elbow, lariat, headbutt, ramming butt in the corner, big boot, and fisherman suplex. Bunny came back with a DVD and a pair of thrust kicks. Storm rallied with a German suplex then a piledriver to win her AEW debut.

Storm received a warm welcome from the fans. She performed well to kick-start her AEW career in a positive direction.

Notes: Marina Shafir received a highlight package from her wins on Dark.

It turns out that Shafir will be Jade Cargill’s next opponent in her quest to be 30-0. Mark Sterling had picked Leva Bates, but Cargill didn’t want that joke. Shafir was the choice instead, and Cargill did not back down. That’s a great matchup. It is easy to believe Shafir can win based on her skills. If Cargill wins, then it should be a quality showcase to further legitimize her reign as TBS champ.

Will Hobbs and Keith Lee will go one-on-one in the main event of Rampage. Hobbs will make Lee bask in kissing his ass. Lee commended Hobbs for his bravery, but he will make Powerhouse bask in his glory. Heck, yeah! Can’t wait for that hoss fight.

Thunder Rosa wants to be the foundation of women’s wrestling. Nyla Rose refuses to be a footnote and will cement her legacy with Thunder’s blood.


Stud of the Show: Wheeler Yuta

It’s not easy to make fans care when losing matches. Yuta is finding success though. He is making me more and more intrigued by each match. It is building a strong base to become invested in seeing him rise up the ranks.

Match of the Night: Andrade vs. Darby Allin

This bout had rocking excitement throughout. There were flashy moves, physical moves, and nasty moves. Even though Andrade controlled the pace, Allin’s heart meant he could never be counted out. That made for an unpredictable vibe toward the result.

Grade: B

Dynamite provided a solid evening of entertainment. There were no boring moments, however, there weren’t a lot of compelling moments either. Cool things happened, but they didn’t hook me on a deeper level. The main event was aces. The rest of the matches and segments played out as expected delivering the quality expected.

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