By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 68)
Taped January 7, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired January 13, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] It’s Wednesday Night, and you know what that means. The announce team of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur called up a video package that summarized the feud between Eddie Kingston and Pac. Eddie Kingston was then shown in a backstage promo while he made his entrance. He said he would send Pac home, and he was never coming back. Pac then made his entrance with urgency and quickly attacked Kingston.
1. Eddie Kingston (w/The Butcher, The Blade, The Bunny) vs. Pac (w/Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix): The match started on the floor. Eddie got dumped outside and Pac immediately dove on him. He then followed and tossed him into the barricade. Back in the ring, Pac landed a set of pump kicks, and then choked Kingston with his foot on his neck using the bottom rope. Pac continued to put pressure on Kingston, until Eddie used some help from Allie and The Blade on the outside to create a distraction to gain control.
The action spilled outside, where Allie clawed at Pac, and Kingston landed a suplex on the floor. Kingston took things back in the ring, where he hit a neckbreaker and covered for a near fall. He then wrenched on the neck of Pac until the ref warned him. Kingston continued the assault with chops, and boxed Pac’s ears.
Pac returned fire with some kicks, and sent Kingston into the ropes for a slingshot release German Suplex. Pac’s chest was beet red at this point from the chops. He laid in a series of kicks to Kingston’s chest, and then stood over him while he talked trash. Kingston got to his feet and landed a backfist, followed by a backdrop driver for a near fall.
Pac and Kingston ended up on the top rope. Kingston tried to fight his way out, but ended up getting pulled into a superplex for a near fall. Kingston sold his lower back and tailbone as Pac continued to press with kicks. Eddie landed a lariat, and covered for a two count. Kingston’s left arm was also hanging awkwardly. He went for a DDT near the ropes, but Pac avoided it. A moment later, Pac landed a Black Arrow and got the win.
Pac defeated Eddie Kingston at 9:31
After the match, Pac applied the Brutalizer for a moment, until Butcher and Blade got in the ring. Fenix and Pentagon jumped in to counter their presence. Lancer Archer ran down and cleared Kingston and company from the ring. He then had a brief argument with Pac before leaving. Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage is up later, as well as Serena Deeb vs. Tay Conti, and The Elite in action later. FTR vs Jurrasic Express will be up later, as well as Cody Rhodes on The Waiting Room with Britt Baker. Chuck Tayor vs. Miro is up next. Chuck Taylor made his entrance with Orange Cassidy…[c]
My Take: An entertaining opener. Pac looked particularly good here, and it will be interesting to see what he can do with presumably Lance Archer next. This show has a really packed schedule for a two hour show, so it will be interesting to see how they allocate the time. Kingston sold several potential injuries during the match very convincingly, and hopefully none of them are real injuries.
Miro made his entrance with Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford in tow.
2. Miro (w/Kip Sabian, Penelope Ford) vs. Chuck Taylor (w/Orange Cassidy): Miro posed and turned his back on Chuck, which opened him up to an attack. Chuck sent Miro to the floor, and then sent him into a piece of the stage twice. Miro tried to escape to another area on the floor, and Chuck dove on him through the ropes. They traded punches, and Miro ran at him and charged into the post. Chuck then jumped on the apron and landed a double stomp onto Miro as he lay on the floor.
Kip Sabian tossed Orange Cassidy into the ring post on the floor. Chuck attacked Kip with a kick, but that gave Miro an opening. He handled a Samoan Drop and an overhead suplex, followed by strikes and a leg lariat. Miro pumped up and landed a jumping thrust kick. He then applied the Camel Clutch. Chuck was forced to tap out and be his butler.
Miro defeated Chuck Taylor at 3:32 by Submission
After the match, Miro locked eyes with Orange Cassidy and grinned. Miro and Kip then retreated to the stage, where they continued to stare down Orange Cassidy.
Backstage, Private Party and Matt Hardy were interviewed. They were asked about Matt being their manager, and Matt butted in. He asked them to tell them why things were great. Mark Quen started to say things were great, but then complained that he was taking 30% of their money. He told them 30% of their money, and from 3rd party platforms. He told them they would be multi-millionaires, and he was doing them a huge favor by being their manager. He told them when he says jump, they better just ask how high. He then told them to leave, and they walked away.
Back in the arena, Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle made their ring entrance…[c]
My Take: Miro and Chuck went about like you would have expected. Chuck got a chance to show some offense early on, but as soon as Miro turned things around they quickly went to the finish. The story of these two groups continues to land below expectations. Miro shown good intensity in the ring, but there’s just nothing exciting about being the heavy for an uninteresting act like Kip Sabian.
Jericho said it was the first time the entire Inner Circle had been in the ring together for 2021. He said it would be an even better year than 2020, and asked everyone what their resolutions were. Hager screamed “CHAMPIONSHIPS!”. MJF said he wanted to strengthen the bonds between the men in the group, and that fat people had to go. Ortiz said he wanted to perfect his mother’s sofrito, and make some arroz con gandules. Jericho said he wanted to become Tag Team Champions with MJF.
Santana said that he and Ortiz were recruited to be the premiere tag team in the Inner Circle. Sammy Guevara jumped in and accused Jericho of being a “Tag Team Slut”. Everybody acted shocked at his words, and Guevara didn’t back down. Jericho said they should all face each other next week to determine who would be the featured Tag Team for the inner circle. Jericho and MJF would face Santana and Ortiz, and Guevara and Hager (Sammy Hager). Jericho laughed at Sammy Hager, but Guevara didn’t get it. They all then agreed it would be settled after their exhibition. They all then threw middle fingers at the camera.
Backstage, The Dark Order interviewed Adam Page about when he would give them an answer about joining the Dark Order. Silver told him he loved him. They all celebrated after he said he would give them an answer next week…[c]
My Take: “Tag Team Slut” was not a line I would have gone with. The implosion of The Inner Circle is moving along, and I’m sure next week will be another step in the process. Guevara not getting the Sammy Hagar joke might have been the funniest part of that segment. The Dark Order also appears to be going babyface, which is smart, and I like the idea of Hangman as their new leader.
A video package aired that went through the history of Team Taz and Darby Allin, and the eventual involvement of Sting. Elsewhere, Kenny Omega and The Bucks were shown together backstage. Kenny wanted to do The Elite three man entrance, but Don Callis insisted The Bucks (and thus Kenny) get their own entrances. Kenny made his elaborate entrance first. Don Callis made ring introductions. Everyone thought it was going to be The Young Bucks, but he introduced Gallows and Anderson instead as Omega’s partners. The Young Bucks were shown being upset backstage.
Brian Pillman Jr, Grif Garrison, and Danny Limelight jumped onto the apron to join the match. Omega and the Good Brothers attacked immediately. They brawled in and out of the ring. Eventually things settled down and the match started.
3. Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson (w/Don Callis) vs. Griff Garrison, Danny Limelight, and Brian Pillman Jr: Omega started for his team. Garrison and Limelight managed to get control of Omega early on, but Gallows gave an assist, which allowed Omega to land a Kotaro Crusher on Limelight. Anderson then tagged in and landed rapid punches. He then applied a neck crank in the corner. Omega talked trash from the apron…[c]
The heel team dominated Limelight during the break. Highlights were shown of a triple splash they landed during picture in picture. Limelight walked the top rope and landed a head scissors on Omega. He then landed an enziguri and managed to scramble for a tag to Pillman. He entered the match and landed lariats on Omega and Anderson. Garrison and Pillman landed a modified version of the Hart Attack using a top rope blockbuster.
Gallows entered the match illegally and started a comeback for Anderson. Omega and Gallows dumped Pillman and Limelight, and Anderson landed a flying kick on Garrison for a near fall. He set up for a Gun Stun, but Garrison avoided it and tagged in Limelight. Anderson took down limelight with a spinebuster, and then landed a Magic Killer with Gallows for the win.
Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated Griff Garrison, Danny Limelight, and Brian Pillman Jr. at 9:21
After the match, Jon Moxley’s music hit and he headed to the ring from his usual off stage location. He then barreled into the ring and targeted Omega. He got in a few shots, but the numbers got to him immediately. Penta and Fenix then ran down and evened the odds, allowing Omega and Moxley to brawl with each other.
[Hour Two] The locker room emptied to try and pull everyone apart, but Moxley jumped on everyone at ringside. The Young Bucks ran down and talked off mic with Moxley, but Penta and Fenix attacked them with superkicks from behind.
Agents and refs then entered the ring and further intervened. Moxley and Callis escaped in the chaos. Gallows and Anderson walked away out the way they came beside the stage. Cody Rhodes on Britt Baker’s talk show is next…[c]
My Take: Not much to that match honestly. The outcome was never really in doubt. Omega, Gallows and Anderson called themselves The Elite, in an effort to alienate The Young Bucks. The brawl after the match would have been more interesting if additional Impact talent had showed up, but without them it didn’t make much sense. Why would the locker room empty to stop that fight? Penta and Fenix seem like they are up next for a Tag Team Title Match, which should make for yet another excellent spotfest style match.
Rebel introduced Britt Baker in her “Waiting Room” talk show set. Britt told everyone to check under their chairs, but there was nothing there. It’s very much a mockery of the Daytime Talk Show format. She introduced Cody Rhodes and his appearance on the Go Big Show. She asked Cody who his guy was? Was it Sting, Shaq, or Snoop Dogg? Britt asked him to make one good choice, unlike the one on his neck. Rebel laughed at everything obnoxiously.
Britt introduced Cody, and her and Rebel lit sparklers, and said it was a contractual obligation to have Pyro. They congratulated him on his baby, and said it probably already had an action figure in development. She then introduced a surprise guest, who was Jade Cargill. She said she didn’t care if Brandi ever came back, because she was already a badass Mom, If she did, she would beat that ass. Red Velvet walked in from off set, and Jade asked why she was there. We then got a brawl between Jade and Red Velvet, and a whole group of people had to separate them.
Baker then quickie transitioned into showing video of a previous attack on Thunder Rosa. There was then a rough cut to Rosa, who challenged Baker to a match at Beach Break. She told Baker that she liked doing her talk show because her and her big nose get in everyone’s business. Baker freaked out and yelled that Tony said she didn’t have to wrestle her. A graphic showing Baker vs. Rosa at Beach Break was shown. Baker said no, they were going to the beach, and signed off.
Another rough cut to Jurassic Express’s music, and they made their way to the ring. FTR followed with Tully Blanchard.
4. “Jurassic Express” Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy vs. “FTR” Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood (w/Tully Blanchard): Wheeler and Marko Stunt started the match. Luchasaurus was not present at ringside. Dax Harwood tagged in. Marko got in his face and slapped him, which turned into a beatdown on Stunt. Dax landed a suplex and tagged in Wheeler. They then picked up Marko by the hair and slammed him down. Wheeler teased Jungle Boy at ringside, and landed a hard European Uppercut on Wheeler. Marko landed a head scissors and made a quick tag. Jungle Boy entered and landed a series of atomic drops on Wheeler and Harwood. They then sent FTR to ringside and displayed some acrobatics jumping on them at ringside…[c]
My Take: A crazy segment for Britt Baker. Very quick cuts moving from one chaotic crash TV moment to the next. I don’t know if that was intended, or if they were short on time. It might have been more enjoyable if I wasn’t trying to cover it, but it was difficult to process in the moment. Jade Cargill looked like a giant next to Cody Rhodes and everybody else on that small interview set. Her physique is absolutely insane.
FTR worked over Marko Stunt during the break. They landed a double team Eddie Gilbert style Hot Shot to take control during the break. FTR made rapid tags and isolated Marko. Cash Wheeler applied a very convincing Gory Special. Marko broke free and rolled up Wheeler for a near fall. Marko made a hot tag to Jungle Boy, and he entered the match and cleaned house on FTR. He landed a backstabber on Harwood for a near fall.
Jungle Boy then set Harwood on the top rope and landed a huracanrana for a near fall. He then landed a brainbuster, and tagged in Marko. He went for Slice Bread out of the corner, but Harwood shoved him off. Marko managed to land a low blow and hit a cutter, but only got a near fall. The match spilled to the outside, where Tully Blanchard gave an assist by distracting Jungle Boy. FTR then hit the Big Rig on Marko Stunt and got the win.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated “Jurassic Express” Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy at 12:16
After the match, FTR celebrated, and they quickly had to move on to the next match. Tay Conti made her entrance, and was joined by Anna Jay. Serena Deeb then made her entrance. The match is for the NWA Women’s Championship.
5. Serena Deeb vs. Tay Conti for the NWA Women’s Championship: They did some mat wrestling early on, with Deeb using some quick transitions into pinning predicaments. Conti managed to trap Deeb’s leg for a heel hook, but couldn’t hold it for long. Both women got to their feet and reset, and Deeb pulled her down into an arm lock. Conti escaped and went for a triangle, but Deeb avoided the worst of it and landed a lariat.
They traded some rollups, and Conti got to her feet and landed a pump kick that sent Deeb to ringside…[c]
My Take: FTR and Jurassic Express was a lot of fun at various points. Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt work well together, and the offense was very high energy when they were in tandem. Stunt was a little harder to take seriously working individually against Wheeler and Harwood, but they did the best they could. The outcome never seemed in doubt, but I think Jungle Boy and Stunt did pretty well for themselves in defeat. Thus far, Deeb and Conti have performed well together.
Conti grabbed a full nelson, and pulled Deeb into what appeared to be a Stunner for a near fall. Deeb reversed a body scissors into a stretch muffler, but Conti reached the ropes. Deeb then landed a rib breaker, and then covered for a near fall. In the corner, Deeb used the ropes to apply extra pressure on a Gory special. Conti recovered and hit another pump kick. Conti went for a backslide, but after a series of reversals, Deeb landed her Detox finisher for the win.
Serena Deeb defeated Tay Conti at 9:28 to retain the NWA Women’s Championship
After the match, Conti commiserated with her friend Anna Jay at ringside. There was blur of multi-man tag matches for next week. I did catch that Nyla Rose will face Leyla Hirsch, and Jon Moxley will be in action. Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage is next.
Cage made his ring entrance with Team Taz…[c]
My Take: A quality match from Deeb and Conti. They exceeded my expectations and filled the time they were given very effectively. I wouldn’t mind seeing them run that one back.
Taz joined on commentary. Darby Allin made his entrance for the Main Event. Tony Khan removed Hobbes from ringside, leaving Hook and Ricky Starks. Justin Roberts made ring introductions. This match is for the TNT Championship.
6. Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage (w/Hook, Ricky Starks) for the TNT Championship: Darby landed a shotgun dropkick that sent Cage to ringside. He then dove at him with a full force dive. He went or a second one, but Cage caught him and landed a vertical suplex on the floor. Allin slapped Cage back in the ring, so Cage returned fire with a big lariat. Cage then picked up Allin and tossed him over the rope and through the timekeeper’s table at ringside. It appeared that the back of Darby’s head may have hit a chair that was still stood up. Darby came up bleeding from the forehead.
Cage picked up Darby and walked up the stairs with Darby in a hanging suplex position. He then tossed him into the ring. Cage demanded that Darby get up. Cage landed a running uppercut and a gamengiri. He then tossed Darby hard into the corner twice. The ref checked on Darby to see if he could continue…[c]
Cage continued the one sided beatdown during the break. As the show returned, he landed an F5, but Darby kicked out at one. Cage pulled Darby up into a Triple Powerbomb. Darby flipped him a middle finger. Cage then picked him up and tossed him with a Powerbomb out of the ring and onto the stage.
Cage pulled Allin into the ring with a suplex, and Darby again kicked out at one. Cage rolled outside and grabbed the ring steps that lead from the floor and onto the stage. Cage then pulled Darby to the apron and picked him up, but Darby spun out of it. Darby dropped Cage onto the steps by biting him, and then landed a Coffin Drop onto the steps. Both men rolled off the steps and onto the floor. Cage re-entered the ring at 9. Allin used his belt to tie up the legs of Cage, but he was able to escape.
Allin landed a double stomp from the top, but Ricky Starks got involved while Hook distracted the ref. This prompted Sting, who showed up after a flash of the lights. Sting took out Starks with his bat, and Darby landed a Crucifix Bomb on Cage out of the corner for the win.
Darby Allin defeated Brian Cage at 13:47 to retain the TNT Championship
After the match, Team Taz stood on the stage while Sting was in the ring with Allin. Ricky Starks sold the bat shots from Sting as if he swung like Josh Gibson.
My Take: A fun close to the show. I expected this would likely end with Sting, but Darby showed some impressive toughness along the way, and Cage was able to show off all of his highly impressive offense. We’ll see what happens down the road though, because the expectations set here means whoever ends up taking the title from Allin is going to have to hit him with a car at 60mph.