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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Apr. 5, 2023): FTR two-time tag champs

AEW Dynamite (Apr. 5, 2023) emanated from UBS Arena on Long Island, NY. The show featured FTR saving their AEW careers to win the tag titles, three more championship contests, the surprise arrival of “Switchblade” Jay White, and more.

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

FTR two-time AEW tag team champions

FTR are champions once again. They conquered the Gunn sons in AEW tag titles versus AEW careers.

The match heated up on a Big Rig do-si-do. Top Gunns blocked to counter for 3:10 to Yuma, but Top Guys blocked to counter for the Big Rig on Austin. 1, 2, Colten pulled the referee out of the ring. His strategy was to demand a disqualification to save the titles. The story became a little jumbled here. A DQ win for FTR would also mean that FTR would be forced to quit AEW. The stipulation was win the titles or bust. In my opinion, that wasn’t clearly explained beforehand. It was also inconsistently enforced.

Paul Turner disregarded Colten’s request, because he didn’t want to do FTR dirty like that. Later Austin hit a blatant low blow on Dax Harwood. The ref was about to wave off the match until Cash Wheeler pleaded to keep it rolling.

The Gunns still had a trick up their sleeve. They used one title belt to bait the referee, while using the second title belt to strike Harwood on his flying headbutt. Harwood dramatically kicked out on the cover to keep FTR’s hopes alive. The two teams tussled back and forth, then FTR scored a double sunset flip pin for the win.

Even though there was a feel-good triumph, I have to go with thumbs down on this match. The shenanigans were too cute for their own good. Positive credit for the creativity of the Gunns resorting to such devious tactics. Negative credit for the referee first acting against a disqualification then giving in with intentions to call it, which would punish FTR and end their AEW careers through no fault of their own. That flip-flopping didn’t make sense and gave the story a stupid vibe overall. It turned into a muddled mess.

“Switchblade” Jay White is All Elite

The hottest free agent on the market is no longer a free agent. Rumors were strong that WWE targeted Jay White, and the interest was mutual. Tony Khan swooped in to deliver Switchblade to AEW.

The show opened with Ricky Starks versus Juice Robinson, except that match didn’t get a chance to start. That is because White made a shocking surprise arrival before the opening bell. White joined his Bullet Club brother to pummel Starks with a Blade Runner. The match was thrown out as a no-contest.

Hot damn, that was unexpected. I mean White coming to AEW was kind of expected eventually, but I was totally caught by surprise on this evening. AEW wasted no time in pulling the trigger within the first few minutes. I wasn’t even ready to appreciate the moment. It rocked me like a hurricane, and my mind is a whirlwind thinking of potential possibilities for the Bullet Club in AEW. Bottom line is that White’s arrival brings excitement. AEW is quickly piling up the number of hot stories at the moment.

Speaking of hot stories, the Blackpool Combat Club heel turn and the world title scene both received interesting airtime.

Bryan Danielson speaks

Last week, Bryan Danielson returned to join the Blackpool Combat Club in attacking Kenny Omega. This week, he explained his heinous actions.

Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta made mincemeat of three unnamed jabrones. Yuta garnered the submission win. Danielson took the mic in the aftermath to speak his mind. Danielson loves his family, but he also loves the Blackpool Combat Club and the violence they bring to professional wrestling. Danielson challenged the AEW locker room to stop them. Hangman Page entered alone, like a dumbass. The BCC made him pay for his stupid decision with a vicious mauling. Danielson ranted about how nobody loves Hangman, then he gouged the cowboy’s eye with a screwdriver.

That was some sinister behavior. The screwdriver bit was on the cheesy side, but it was also effective in building heat. AEW is doing a great job of presenting the Blackpool Combat Club as villains. This is surely leading to a Blood & Guts showdown with the Elite.


MJF was in for a hero’s welcome in hometown Long Island. The world champ celebrated with MJF Day. He sang a snazzy tune with a live band, danced to the ring, and received the town key from the Oyster Bay mayor. MJF was riding high and in the mood for a musical encore. Boom! Jungle Boy was hiding in disguise as a band member and thumped MJF from behind. Security had to pull them apart.

This was a ‘mileage will vary’ segment. I was mildly entertained, but it’s not something I have a desire to rewatch. MJF as a scat man was pretty amusing. Ski-bi dibby dib yo da dub dub. Equally amusing was Jungle Boy creeping as a cymbal player. The criticism is that there was a whole lot of talking and not a lot that related to the wrestling program.

Sammy Guevara was in action as part of this Four Pillars storyline. His match was next, so he walked through the skirmish to pick up the world title belt to taunt MJF and Jungle Boy. Sammy wrestled Komander. Fire up the lucha libre highlight reel.

Komander landed a rope-walking shooting star press.

The luchador also had a rope-walking high-flying dive.

Sammy used his wits to prevail in the end. He countered the rope-walker for a flying cutter. Sammy finished with the GTH.

This match wasn’t just a spotfest, although, much of it was. There was a little bit of ring story in that Sammy didn’t fall for the same tricks throughout. He adjusted to Komander’s unique style and outsmarted him in the end. That demonstrated championship mettle.

Jungle Boy and MJF were watching this match backstage, while Darby Allin was in the rafters. Sammy closed the segment with a promo about earning his success. He never sold his soul, like MJF. I like how Sammy leaned into the boos from the partisan crowd by saying, “Shitty Long Island,” to encourage anger for louder boos.

Next up is Darby Allin’s turn to win a match and deliver a promo. That should happen next week.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Chris Jericho called out. Jericho explained his attitude toward Adam Cole last week. Le Champion is happy that Cole is back from serious injury, however, he did not appreciate the disrespect shown toward Daniel Garcia. The victory celebration went on and on and on. It made Garcia look like a punk. Keith Lee stepped in pointing at Jericho as the poster child of disrespect. The big man doesn’t get along with Cole, but he does respect him. Lee decided to challenge Jericho to a match next week to beat some respect into him.

Wow in that matchmaking. Unexpected and exciting. Lee came across like a busybody by butting into Jericho’s business. Not a wise move to pick a fight with JAS while Swerve Strickland is lurking.

AEW World Trios Championship: House of Black retained against Best Friends. Trent’s mom, Sue, drove the crew into the arena in her minivan. She couldn’t save them from the violence though. House of Black mugged the Best Friends early. Orange Cassidy, Trent, and Chuck Taylor rallied, but House of Black was too much to handle. Buddy Matthews earned the win by blocking Eat Defeat to counter for a curb stomp.

There were a lot of things to like from this match. It started with the juxtaposition of creepy gothics compared to wholesome mama’s boys. Cassidy’s shin kick routine to Malakai Black was halted by a vicious high kick. Cassidy getting knocked on his ass is always amusing. I appreciate the consistency of protecting Brody King as a monster. For example, Trent was in a blitz of piledrivers to House of Black, but King was too powerful to succumb. It took a superman punch from Cassidy to set up the move for Trent to execute successfully. Good call of Matthews picking up the pin. He has kind of been cast as the weakest member of House of Black, if you want to call any of them weak. This win puts him back in value and not just as the guy to take the losses for the group.

The match had several observers. Anna Jay was eyeing Julia Hart from backstage. Los Ingobernables were in the front row scouting the action. The women’s match was announced for Rampage, and OC defending the AEW International Championship against Dralistico was booked for Battle of the Belts.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Jamie Hayter retained against Riho. Hayter was the powerhouse, and Riho wrestled with heart. The challenger had her moments for near falls, however, the champion was too strong in the end. Hayter halted a backslide to deliver a crushing lariat. Riho kicked out, so Hayter added a ripcord lariat to finish the job.

That match delivered as expected. Hayter hit hard, and Riho showed fighting spirit. Riho executes rallies well to have the crowd invested on false finishes. This match highlighted the main issue I have with the AEW home-grown versus Outcasts story. Hayter is supposed to be a babyface and yet she tried to pull a cheap shot on the opening handshake. With Hayter and Dr. Britt Baker DMD as the primary players on the home-grown side, AEW isn’t giving me anyone to root for. And for what it’s worth, Baker was ringside as an innocent observer. She did not try to cheat. I guess that’s baby steps.

Backstage, the Outcasts warned Hayter not to get attached to the championship. They plan to take it to get control of the women’s division.

FTW Championship: Hook retained against Ethan Page. The fix was in. When Page had momentum for a Twist of Fate, Hook countered for a Twist of Fate of his own. Hook’s perfect execution was awfully suspicious. Isiah Kassidy hopped onto the apron to distract the referee. It appeared to be done in Page’s favor, but that was a ruse. When Page reached for the FTW belt, Matt Hardy hit him with the foreign object. Hook slapped on the Redrum submission. Hardy and Kassidy were gleeful at their boss’s demise. Hook gave a fist pound to Hardy on the way out. Collusion!

This long-term con job appears to be revealed. Hardy has been playing Page’s games for so long that enough was enough. We still don’t know what was in the match contract that Page signed without reading, so this story still has legs.

Tony Khan’s huge announcement. Nigel McGuinness and Adam Cole joined TK to reveal that the All In PPV will take place at Wembley Stadium in London on August 27.

There is mixed reaction to the hugeness of this announcement. On one hand, it only benefits a small portion of the fanbase. On other other hand, this is a pretty big deal on the business end. AEW is confident that they can fill the 90,000-seat stadium. That’s very cool considering the company is only four years old. The venue choice is also neat. Wembley has a certain mystique about it.

Notes: Christian Cage returned from his burial, and he met up with Luchasaurus in the red light district.

Daddy Magic’s nipples were hard at the thought of The Acclaimed joining JAS. Max Caster’s answer was a rude rap at JAS’ expense. Cool Hand took that as a sign the Acclaimed wants to fight alongside JAS, so he booked an 8-man tag for Rampage.

Stud of the Show: “Switchblade” Jay White

The man made an impact as an official member of the AEW roster.

Match of the Night: Jaime Hayter vs. Riho

This was classic David versus Goliath, in a sense. Hayter isn’t exactly a Goliath, but she is compared to Riho. Hayter was the roughhouse, and Riho was the plucky underdog.

Grade: B

Overall, Dynamite was an enjoyable show. Positives were a shocking start, strong action in the ring, and interest building for storylines. MJF Day is a wide swinging range from great to poor, depending on personal points of view. The execution of the main event was sour.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?

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