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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Apr. 27, 2022): Reach for the Sky

AEW Dynamite (Apr. 27, 2022) emanated from the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA. The show featured Scorpio Sky beating Sammy Guevara at his own game in a TNT Championship ladder match, Serena Deeb teaching Hikaru Shida a lesson in pain for a Philly street fight, and Chris Jericho throwing a fireball in Eddie Kingston’s face.

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

New TNT Championship

The TNT Championship switched hands again. The title was up for grabs in a ladder match between Sammy Guevara and Scorpio Sky. Sammy talked a big game, and he backed it up in terms of making moments. However, he failed to keep gold.

What’s a ladder match without crazy moves. Sammy went loco like a daredevil for a twisting dive off the ladder, except he pretty much missed Sky and landed hard on the mat. That looked painful.

Next on the agenda was Sammy leaping off a ladder into a counter cutter from Sky. Brutal!

The next piece of insanity unfolded when Sky brought out a ladder wrapped with barbed wire. Sky took the brunt of that when Sammy escaped a TKO to execute a standing Spanish Fly.

The match wasn’t just wild moves. It also told a story of cementing Sammy on the heel side. Sammy and Tay Conti were already showered with boos during a pre-match kissing session. Conti raked Sky’s back out of the blue adding fuel to the fire. When Dan Lambert was innocently checking on Sky, he was pulled into the ring and kicked square in the groin by Conti. That brought out Paige VanZant to thunderous support for fisticuffs with Conti.

As exciting as the match was to that point, the arrival of VanZant ignited even higher for creativity. Conti hopped on Sky’s back to attack, and VanZant did the same to Sammy. Both men still climbed the ladder with the extra added weight. At the top, the ladies threw more punches at each other. They eventually fell down to the mat and out of the ring so Sky and Sammy could take the focus again to finish.

The wildest spot of the night came next. That’s saying something on a show with white powder and a fireball. Sammy thought he had victory sewed up, but Sky pushed the ladder over dumping Sammy down onto barbed wire.

Sammy didn’t stay down. As Sky was at the top, Sammy springboarded up to meet him. Punches were exchanged, Sammy ate fists to knock him down, and Sky reached for the sky to win the TNT Championship for a second time.

Afterward, Frankie Kazarian shook his friend’s hand to celebrate and also call his shot at next.

Damn, that ladder match was crazy. Applause to Sky and Sammy for putting their bodies through that pain. It is an interesting call to crown Sky again and cut Sammy’s reign short. I don’t have any issue with it. Quick title changes were bound to happen eventually. Not everyone will have epic runs. The TNT belt is the best option with the variety of open challenges and wild stipulations.

As this feud was progressing over the weeks, I never would have guessed that the end result would be Sky blossoming as a fan favorite. Sammy quickly became so unlikable to the crowds that Sky benefit. Cheers for him started more out of scorn toward Sammy, but then Sky worked it around into cheers on his own accord. It helped that Sammy goaded the response on this evening with excessive cockiness and showboating. If Sky can keep this momentum for his next feud, he will be cemented as a star.

Philly street fight

Class is in session. Serena Deeb brought pain to Hikaru Shida in a Philly street fight. Deeb did so through intellect and tactical awareness. Shida was geared for revenge and smashed Deeb early. Deeb took control when she held up a chair to block a running knee. Deeb focused her attack on the knee from there on out. Shida had fiery babyface comebacks, but Deeb went low to put out the flame. In the end, Deeb locked in a Texas Cloverleaf in the center of the ring. Shida couldn’t hold out any longer and tapped in defeat.

Deeb and Shida put on a riveting affair. AEW has had its fair share of violent fights, and yet this one felt original in how it was told. I like the way Deeb used weapons to intensify her attacks rather than go hog-wild out of her element. The chairs were often used as accessories to land power moves for extra oomph. It felt like there was a method to the madness.

My favorite part was Deeb using white powder.

Deeb opened a bag and threw the whole thing in Shida’s face. The visual was hilarious in a good way. With no rules, there’s no reason to hide it. Might as well dump out the whole bag. Shida’s reaction was excellent. She couldn’t see and swung the kendo stick wildly with rage, almost hitting a referee. They cleared it up well by washing her face with water to continue the fight.

Of note, Thunder Rosa was shown watching the match backstage. Deeb is ranked #1, so the implication should be Deeb as the next world title challenger.

Fireball

Things got heated in the feud between Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston. So much so that a fireball erupted.

The evening started peacefully when the Jericho Appreciation Society requested a sitdown. Both crew promised zero physicality or else fines and suspension would be instituted. Peace did not last very long, but the possibility of sanctions were effective in preventing fisticuffs.

JAS took advantage of the situation to poke the bear in Kingston, since they didn’t have to face retaliation at that particular moment. Kingston was tired of the sports entertainer crap. He just wanted to fight, even if it was 3-on-5. Jericho claimed they would put a hit on Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz to take them out one at a time. That set Kingston off about street vernacular. In his world, a hit means putting someone in the grave. He claimed to smell the fear on Jericho, so Le Champion used his sports entertainer abilities to make a fearful face in comedic fashion. I mean Jericho was supposed to be serious, but the visual of Kingston towering above Jericho was so over-the-top that it was like slapstick.

Later backstage, Daddy Magic brought the cameras to a scene of chaos. Santana and Ortiz were down on the floor. Kingston was help up. Fireball. Jericho threw fire in Kingston’s face to burn his beautiful eyebrows.

Explosive. Of course, the fireball was classic carny fun, but it was the intensity from the promo that set this in motion. Jericho oozed scumbaggery by ordering Kingston to do as he was told in the sports entertainment segment. Kingston responded in kind as a tough guy to send chills down Jericho’s spine. All this emotion radiated through the screen. Kingston’s payback is going to be so worth it.

One critique I have is that Kingston needs to chill on the talk of killing. First off, did Kingston just confess to a previous murder? Authorities will have to investigate that one. Not a wise move, Edward. The point is that Kingston is boxing himself in. If he follows through, then he’ll be in jail. He wants us to believe his threats are genuine, but he doesn’t need to go to that level. Kingston’s passion gets the job done well on its own. Breaking Jericho’s legs and ending his career is good enough. No need for death. Let’s say Kingston is serious, then what is AEW doing here from a management perspective within the frame of the story? This is professional wrestling, not murder fighting.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Owen hart tournament qualifier: Dax Harwood defeated Cash Wheeler. The bout started with an even flow of moves showing FTR’s familiarity with one another. Tensions increased when Harwood thumbed Wheeler in the eye. It didn’t look intentional, but Wheeler wasn’t pleased. The match progressed from suplexes and slams into a slugfest then closed with style. Wheeler countered a slingshot powerbomb for a roll-up. Harwood kicked out then successfully executed the slingshot powerbomb. Both of those moments would have been satisfying finishes. The tide turned when FTR tackled each other to fall through the ropes down to the floor. Wheeler tweaked his knee. Back inside the ring, the damage was evident. Harwood stepped in for a Sharpshooter, but he was reluctant to lock it in and injure his partner. Wheeler took advantage of the hesitation for a roll-up, but Harwood reversed for top position to win.

The first singles contest between Harwood and Wheeler was a nifty duel of strategy. The story played out perfectly as friends who know each other’s tendencies. The action was physical and intelligent. When the dust settled, they hugged without any hint of animosity to remain friends. The world of professional wrestling is full of betrayal, so it is always pleasant to see pals being pals through thick and thin. Also cool was that the both wore pink and black trunks as a salute to the Hart family.

Double or Nothing main event. It was officially announced that Hangman Page will defend the AEW World Championship against CM Punk at the PPV on May 29. When Punk arrived in AEW, he wanted to know if he can still do this. Hell yeah, he can. Everything has been a warm-up to this point. Punk can’t promise he will win, but he can promise that he will give 100% to the fans. Punk will fight until the wheels fall off.

With Hangman absent due to COVID, Punk took charge to hype the fight by setting the scene for his motivation. No mind games so far. Just the best against the best. That works for me. This fight sells itself. No need to muddy it up.

Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, & Wheeler Yuta defeated QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, & Nick Comoroto. Yuta was the weak man in isolation, but he redeemed himself getting the best of Comoroto for victory. When Comoroto lifted Yuta with power, Yuta countered with chokeholds. Yuta then unloaded several violent elbows putting Comoroto on the mat. QT and Solo tried to save, but Danielson and Moxley intercepted the intruders for rear naked chokes. Yuta earned the win via seatbelt pin on Comoroto.

Danielson and Moxley made fans happy by bringing violence. Yuta’s ascent into badassery continued. He took his lumps, but he came back with fury when it mattered most.

Wardlow defeated Lance Archer. MJF and Shawn Spears observed from the skybox. Wardlow entered wearing handcuffs and escorted by security. The hosses threw down thundering blows. They also flew through the air. Wardlow had a magnificent swanton. Archer connected on a chokeslam and Blackout, but he wasted time posing toward the crowd. Wardlow countered the lazy cover with a crucifix pin. Archer kicked out. Wardlow went on the attack to finish the Murderhawk Monster with four consecutive powerbombs.

Big dudes beating the crap out of each other never fails to delight. It’s too bad Archer had to lose again, but he did his role well helping Wardlow look like a superstar. Archer is an impressive notch on Wardlow’s résumé. Another major win and Wardlow should be in title contention. Of course, he has to finish his business with MJF first to gain career freedom.

Later, MJF was not concerned. He made a phone call offering a six-figure payday to fight Wardlow next week. MJF revealed that this mystery man is smarter, stronger, and taller. And you can’t teach that.

W. Morrissey? Oh, hell yeah. The former Big Cass has been a certified G as a super hoss in Impact. I’m pumped for that one. Spears keeps earning his money with amusing reactions. It was funny to see him shifting his glance in thought on who MJF’s friend could be. The spark in his eyes upon realization of Morrissey was spot on.

Fenix surprise return. House of Black had Fuego del Sol beat down in the darkness when Alex Abrahantes appeared in the ring. It was actually a ruse by Death Triangle. Not the Fuego del Sol part. Nobody cares about him. Abrahantes kept talking about his costume being a trap for the right moment, and that moment was now. Pentagon and PAC came out on stage. So did Alex. The man in costume revealed himself as Fenix back from injury. Death Triangle cleaned house and stood tall after a triple flying assault to the outside.

The Death Triangle part of this story was very good. Not only did we have the pop of a surprise Fenix, but it also redeemed Abrahantes. His cryptkeeper character was awkward since inception. Abrahantes was allowed to ditch that failing gimmick and save face in a way that made him look smart.

As for Fuego del Sol, I wondered where Sammy Guevara was when the scene played out. Fuego always had Sammy’s back as best buds. The masked man even helped Sammy during important matches. Sammy could have returned the favor of friendship, but that idea doesn’t matter any more since Sammy is clearly a bad guy now.

Adam Cole, Young Bucks, reDRagon defeated Dante Martin, Brian Pillman Jr., Griff Garrison, Lee Johnson, & Brock Anderson. The Undisputed Elite had difficulty early. They bickered on the outside then regrouped to dominate with teamwork. After clearing the ring with style, Johnson was destroyed with a 4-way BTE Trigger and Cole lowering the boom to win. Afterward, the Bucks accepted the snazzy Undisputed Elite shirts from their cohorts.

Shout out to commentary for adding insight of Undisputed Elite working over Brock as the man to isolate, since he was the least experienced in the match. That was not a detail I would have picked up on. Expressing the idea verbally adds layers of intelligence and awareness to the Undisputed Elite package of success.

Notes: Toni Storm brought in Ruby Soho as a pal to even the odds standing across from Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Jamie Hayter. Trash talk ensued but the promise of no contact was upheld. This round of smack went to Baker and Hayter easy. Hayter checking under Baker’s shirt for male genitalia and Baker’s shot about visiting Soho’s home in catering were quality retorts.

Christian Cage told Jungle Boy to stop talking like a loser. Christian affirmed that JB is a champion. His loss to Kyle O’Reilly was a teachable moment that will never happen again. To right the wrong of defeat, Christian issued an open challenge to any tag team in the top 5 for a title shot. Enter Team Taz. Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs are ready any time, any place.

Swerve Strickland versus Darby Allin was booked for Rampage as an Owen Hart tournament qualifier. Swerve sassed Allin about turning the venue into Swerve’s house when he wins. Allin replied that AEW is his house. That is exciting matchmaking.

Rampage also includes Samoa Joe defending the ROH TV title against Trent. Next week’s Dynamite has Deonna Purrazzo versus Mercedes Martinez in a unification bout for the ROH Women’s World Championship.


Stud of the Show: Sammy Guevara

This is solely for taking that barbed wire spot. Running it over in my head again makes me wince in pain. He didn’t just fall on the barbed wire ladder. Sammy landed with extra force from the initial motion. I was surprised it didn’t slice his back up to bleed immediately upon impact.

Honorable mention to Serena Deeb for using white powder and Chris Jericho for his sparkly boots. Those are a pair of sports entertainers.

Match of the Night: TNT Championship ladder match

Scorpio Sky and Sammy Guevara lit it up for wild moves and drama. The spots working in Paige VanZant were tons of fun. A new champ made it all the more sweeter.

Grade: A-

Meaningful matches were on the menu. The action had a variety of styles with technical, violent, hoss, street, flippy, and ladder. Big news was announced, a surprise return was revealed, and teases tantalized to build anticipation for what’s to come.

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