By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 71)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired February 3, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired… Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur were on commentary…
Teams were around the ringside area for the tag team battle royal. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus’s entrance was televised, as were the Inner Circle teams. Sammy Hagar checked in with another pre-taped message in support of the “Sammy Hager” duo. The Acclaimed’s rap entrance was also shown, and the Young Bucks entrance was also televised. They dove off the stage onto opponents, which triggered the start of the match…
Powell’s POV: Tony Khan bought the rights to Jungle Boy’s song, so you better believe he’s going to use it! I’m filling in for Jake Barnett again this week. He will be by tomorrow with the AEW Dynamite Hit List.
1. Tag Team Battle Royal for a shot at the AEW Tag Titles at AEW Revolution. The entrants were the Young Bucks, Top Flight, Private Party, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, Alex Reynolds and John Silver, Chris Jericho and MJF, Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager, Santana and Ortiz, and The Acclaimed.
Daunte Martin of Top Flight and Alex Silver were eliminated during the first two minutes of the match. Silver eliminated Jake Hager in a surprise. Hager went after Silver, but referees intervened. Santana and Ortiz eliminated Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks. A short time later, Jericho and MJF eliminated Anthony Bowens of The Acclaimed. Luchasaurus dumped Grayson, and then was eliminated himself moments later.
Marq Quen was eliminated and then saved partner Isiah Kaddisy from meeting the same fate. Santana and Ortiz eliminated Silver, which led to some boos. Nick Jackson eliminated Ortiz and Santana back to back. “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson showed up at ringside, and Wardlow was also there with MJF. Gallows and Anderson held the ropes down to eliminate Kassidy. Nick Jackson was unhappy, and he was eliminated by MJF and Jericho.
The final six (barring someone hiding under the ring) were Jericho, MJF, Guevara, Darius Martin, Jungle Boy, and Max Caster. The Inner Circle trio worked together. MJF eliminated Jungle Boy. Caster went after MJF and Guevara. Caster held MJF. Guevara went for a superkick, but MJF ducked it and hit Caster instead. Caster eliminated MJF, then Martin eliminated Caster.
The final three were Jericho, Guevara, and Darius Martin. Jericho and Guevara doubled up on Martin, who rallied with a double DDT. Martin tried to eliminate Guevara, but he skinned the cat and hooked his legs around the head of Martin. Jericho shoved Martin, which eliminated Guevara, who was upset. A short time later, Jericho knocked Martin off the apron with the Judas Effect elbow.
Chris Jericho and MJF won the battle royal in 12:00 to earn an AEW Tag Title shot at AEW Revolution.
Jericho, MJF, and Wardlow celebrated inside the ring while Guevara stormed to the back…
Powell’s POV: I like that some of the younger teams hung around, and they told a couple of stories with the Inner Circle members, as well as with Gallows and Anderson upsetting Nick Jackson. Heck, there may have been more, but I was struggling to keep up with the eliminations.
The broadcast team ran through the match lineup…
A Jade Cargill video package aired and showed her working out. A Jade shield logo was shown at the end heading into a commercial break… [C]
Tony Schiavone stood in the ring and introduced TNT Champion Darby Allin and Sting, who will face Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in a street fight at AEW Revolution on March 7. Sting made his snow entrance. Ross noted it was 44 degrees in Jacksonville and joked that it was now snowing.
Schiavone noted that Allin would defend the TNT Title against Joey Janela next week. Taz interrupted from outside the building. Taz was with Cage, Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Hook. He said they were locked outside the building. Taz said his team will be watching the TNT Title match next week and said they might even get up close and personal.
Starks said that if they were allowed in the building, he would tell Sting that he’s not the man he was in the past. Starks wished Allin luck next week while saying he would definitely need it. In the ring, Sting took the mic from Schiavone.
Sting said that Team Taz will be there for the TNT Title match and so will he. Sting said he wanted to make sure that Allin’s match would be man on man and not Allin against his opponent and Team Taz. Sting told Starks to take a closer look into his eyes if he doesn’t think he sees The Icon anymore…
Powell’s POV: A quick segment that set the table for next week’s TNT Title match. AEW didn’t advertise Sting for this show all week long, so the fact that his involvement was short and sweet felt like more of a treat, whereas it the same segment could ahve felt underwhelming had he been advertised all week.
A video package showcased the Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker feud…
2. Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker (w/Reba). Ring announcer Justin Roberts was unable to introduce Rosa, because she charged the ring. Rosa ended up shoving Reba to ringside. Rosa was dominating Baker at ringside heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Rosa took it to Baker for a stretch, then Baker came back with a suplex for a near fall. Reba handed Baker the surgical glove she uses for her finisher. Baker went for the Lockjaw, but Rosa reached the bottom rope with her foot, then rolled onto Baker for a two count.
Baker connected with a Stomp, then rolled Rosa into a pin for a two count. Baker went for her finisher again, but Rosa rolled her into a pin for a two count. Baker continued to go for her finisher. Rosa broke it with a back suplex, then performed another move that led to a two count.
Rosa set up for her submission finisher. Reba jumped onto the apron and tore off a turnbuckle pad. Rosa knocked Reba off the apron. Baker rolled up Rosa for a two count. Baker ended up sending Rosa’s head into the exposed turnbuckle and applied the Lockjaw while the referee was calling off the match.
Britt Baker defeated Thunder Rosa in 13:15.
Afterward, the AEW trainer entered the ring and checked on Rosa while Baker and Reba celebrated and then headed to the back. Rosa was helped from the ring by the trainer and the referee…
Powell’s POV: A spirited match with Rosa really bringing the intensity. The finish was clever. They didn’t go with the awful distraction finish that was teased. Rather, Rosa’s head hit the exposed turnbuckle, which gave Baker a win while also giving an out to Rosa. I’m in for a rematch.
Footage aired from last week of Tony Schiavone talking with Hangman Page and Matt Hardy in a locker room. Page said he wasn’t looking for a partner. Hardy recalled Chaos Project trying to ruin -1’s birthday party, and asked Page to team with him for one night only. Page reiterated that it was one night only, then accepted…
Hangman Page and Matt Hardy made separate entrances… [C]
3. “Hangman” Adam Page and Matt Hardy vs. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico. The Chaos Project entrance was not televised. Excalibur recalled Page working for Hardy’s OMEGA independent promotion back in the day. Page performed a spinebuster on Serpentico for a two count.
Page knocked Serpentico down with a shot, then set up for a Buckshot Lariat, but Luther pulled him down to the floor. Luther went for a senton from the apron, but Page simply moved out of the way. Page performed a Buckshot Lariat on Serpentico. Hardy tagged himself into the match and stole the pin.
“Hangman” Adam Page and Matt Hardy beat “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico in 3:55.
After the match, Hardy acted enthusiastic about the win. Page didn’t look pleased, but he eventually raised Hardy’s arm. Hardy tried to hug Page, who pushed him away. Hardy continued to celebrate…
Powell’s POV: Hardy continues to steal the glory from his partners, which was acknowledged by the broadcast team. We saw this happen with three different teams on Raw in two weeks, but you can’t blame other promotions for WWE running something into the ground. By the way, the Beach Break set consists largely of surfboards on the stage along with some palm tress and giant beachballs in other areas of the venue.
Schiavone discussed the AEW Women’s Championship eliminator tournament. He announced that there would be competitors from the U.S. and Japan. For the Japanese side of the bracket, he listed Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, Veny, Emi Sakura, Ryo Mizunami, Mei Suruga, Rin Kadokura, and Maki Itoh. Meanwhile, Serena Deeb, Riho, Britt Baker, Tay Conti, Thunder Rosa, Nyla Rose, Anna Jay, and Leyla Hirsch were announced for the American side…
Ross hyped the wedding angle for after the break… [C]
Backstage, Alex Marvez tried to talk with Chris Jericho and MJF, who were celebrating their battle royal win. Jericho carried a cooler into the Inner Circle locker room. Jericho boasted that the Inner Circle did it. “Did we do it?” Sammy Guevara asked. He pointed out that Jericho and MJF won. Jericho said they were all in it together. Jericho said there was collateral damage. Guevara asked if they were always collateral damage. Guevara said that when Jericho says they are all in it together, he’s not so sure.
[Hour Two] Guevara left the room and Jericho chased after him. MJF told the other Inner Circle members that it was time for a conversation. MJF had Wardlow close the door on the cameraman…
The broadcast team spoke about the wedding while the production team tended to the in-ring decorations. Ross said he’s been around long enough to attend “a few ‘rasslin weddings.” Ross said they are a blast and the best weddings ever…
Backstage, Schiavone spoke with Kip Sabian and Miro while Charles (Chuck Taylor) stood by as the butler. Miro said he and Schiavone are married, Sabian was about to be, and Charles never had a girlfriend in his life. Vickie Guerrero showed up and told them that it was time.
In the ring, Jim “Sinister Minister” Mitchell presided over the ceremony. Vickie escorted Sabian to the ring while Miro and Taylor followed. Jerry Lynn walked Penelope Ford down the aisle and into the ring where he hugged her and then shook Sabian’s hand.
Mitchell said the marital vows are sacred and not to be taken lightly. He said the bride and groom wanted to share their personal vows. Sabian spoke about seeing Ford in a one-piece with knee high boots and he knew it was meant to be. He said she is beautiful on the inside. “And, damn, you are hot on the outside,” Sabian said.
Ford told Sabian that she loves him. “And you have the biggest…” Sabian stopped her and said she didn’t have to share that. He said he knows she loves him and can’t wait to spend her life with him. Mitchell called for the rings, which Taylor presented. Mitchell asked if Sabian takes “this alluring creature” and said “to have and to grope” and worked in the word kayfabe. “I do,” Sabian said.
Mitchell delivered the same lines to Ford. “I do,” she replied. Mitchell started to ask if anyone objected, but Miro stepped in and stopped him, saying he’d been there and they weren’t going there. Mitchell said that by the power vested in him by AEW and Tony Khan, he pronounced them man and wife. “You may now kiss the ball and chain,” Mitchell said. Sabian and Ford kissed.
Mitchell called for Miro to deliver a toast for the newlyweds. Miro had “Charles” hand out champagne glasses. Miro said he was there a couple years ago when he had a couple weddings of his own. Miro said that his knowledge, power, and viciousness is Sabian’s present.
Miro pointed to a large gift box in the corner of the ring that was from Charles. Miro said he’s seen many surprises. Miro attacked the box, but no one was inside. Miro told Charles to clean up the mess. “What is love?” Miro asked. The fans started the lyrics to the song of the same name, then Miro encouraged them do it more.
Miro said it was time for cake. He tried to step forward, but his leg was cuffed. Mitchell split. Meanwhile, Sabian took a swing at Taylor, who ducked and then pushed Sabian into Ford, whose face hit the cake. Miro held Taylor. Sabian took a swing and ended up hitting Miro. Sabian was apologetic. Ford jumped onto the back of Taylor. Orange Cassidy climbed out of the giant cake. Cassidy hit his finisher on Sabian…
Powell’s POV: The best thing I can say about that segment is that it’s over. AEW never made viewers care about the bride and the groom, and Miro’s AEW run continues to be disappointing. Poor Jim Mitchell finally escapes Impact Wrestling’s awful Undead Realm for the very worst of AEW. Ouch.
Footage aired of Shaq on “Inside The NBA” delivering a promo on “Cupcake” Cody Rhodes. Shaq said he would team with Jade to face Cody and “Red Pumpkin Pie, whatever”…
Excalibur announced Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet vs. Shaq and Jade for the March 3 edition of AEW Dynamite…
Powell’s POV: Wow, this is happening on television rather than on the pay-per-view?
4. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) vs. Eddie Kingston in a Lumberjack Match. Archer sent Kingston to ringside. Billy Gunn threw him back inside. Kingston returned to ringside and fought with some of the lumberjacks. Archer dove over the top rope onto a pile of lumberjacks below. [C]
Archer set up The Bunny (Allie) for the Blackout, but Kingston broke it up. Roberts punched out Angelico at ringside. “What is this an insane asylum?” Ross asked. The Bear Country tag team prevented Butcher and Blade from interfering. Kingston performed a lariat and went to the ropes. Archer cut him off and hit the Blackout and scored the pin…
Lance Archer beat Eddie Kingston in a Lumberjack Match.
Powell’s POV: Not the chaos that I was hoping for after a tag team battle royal and a train wreck wedding. What I wouldn’t give for a straight forward singles match with no one at ringside right about now.
Tully Blanchard and the FTR duo of Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood sat on a couch. Wheeler said he hopes that “Jack” (Jungle Boy) and his dinosaur didn’t run to the principal’s office to snitch on them (they were suspended for a week). Blanchard complained about things working against them. He said FTR is the best team in wrestling and they just want a tag title shot. Harwood said they are not bad men, but sometimes they have to ask what would bad men do. He pulled Marko Stunt into the picture and he was tied up to a chair and gagged…
Ross hyped the main event… [C] Excalibur hyped Darby Allin vs. Joey Janela for the TNT Title for next week. A Janela promo aired. He said that he and Allin mangle themselves for what they love and the stakes have never been higher. Janela said he’s back and the future TNT Champion will be a bad, bad boy…
The broadcast team also hyped Chris Jericho and MJF vs. The Acclaimed, and Cody Rhodes and Lee Johnson vs. Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi for next week’s Dynamite…
Kenny Omega, The Good Brothers, and Don Callis made their entrance for the main event. Ross said it felt strange, though not in a bad way that the Impact Tag Champions were in an AEW ring… [C] Moxley, Pac, and Fenix entered from the side area…
5. Jon Moxley, Pac, and Rey Fenix vs. Kenny Omega and “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson. Don Callis sat in on commentary. Schiavone gushed over the size of Gallows. Moxley performed a suicide dive onto Gallows and Anderson, then ran Moxley into the barricade heading into a PIP break. [C]
Omega tagged into the match right before Moxley tagged in Fenix, who had a really nice offensive flurry on Omega and Anderson. Pac blasted Omega with a missile dropkick. Pac and Fenix went to opposite corners and performed moonsaults onto the Good Brothers at ringside. Fenix returned to the ring and put Omega down with a cutter that led to a two count.
Omega tripped up Fenix on the top rope and then brought him back inside the ring with a wicked dragon suplex. Gallows checked in and covered Fenix for a near fall.
A short time later, Moxley and Omega ended up in the ring together and traded right hands. Omega drilled Moxley with a knee and then ran the ropes and was turned inside out by a clothesline. Fenix performed a missile dropkick on Gallows, then knocked Anderson out of the ring with a kick. Fenix followed up with a wild suicide dive onto Anderson.
Omega put Moxley down with a DDT and went for a cover, but Pac broke up the pin with a shooting star press. Moments later, Moxley tagged in Fenix after stunning Anderson. Fenix performed a moonsault onto Anderson for a near fall.
Fenix went for a top rope move, but Anderson caught him and delivered a spinebuster. The Good Brothers hit the Magic Killer on Fenix. Omega took out Pac with a V-Trigger knee, then Gallows covered Fenix and pinned him.
Kenny Omega and “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson defeated Jon Moxley, Pac, and Rey Fenix in 15:25.
After the match, the heels continued to rough up the babyface trio. Lance Archer ran out and attacked Omega and the Good Brothers. Archer cleared Gallows and Anderson to ringside, leaving Moxley alone in the ring with Omega. Before he could do anything, a masked man hit Moxley from behind.
The man unmasked, revealing himself to be Kenta. He performed a GTS on Moxley. Omega sat in the corner and smiled. Kenta stood over Moxley while dressed in a “Go 2 Sleep Club” t-shirt. Kenta left the ring. Omega put his foot on Moxley and posed to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A good main event. It looked like a lot of fun on paper and it delivered, though they really could have used more time. The post match angle was especially fun with the first New Japan Pro Wrestling crossover, aside from Hiroshi Tanahashi appearing in a video package for Chris Jericho. Moxley is defending the IWGP U.S. Championship against Kenta on an upcoming edition of New Japan Strong. It’s possible that the two sides are going to do some real business together, though it’s also possible that Kenta appearing was just a tradeoff for Moxley appearing on Strong. Only time will tell, but it’s pretty fun to see AEW, Impact, and NJPW talent in the same ring.
Overall, though, this show felt like bad Crash TV at times. There were definitely some enjoyable segments too, but there were just too many chaotic segments, and they just don’t slow down enough to let anything breathe. I will return shortly with my weekly same night audio review of AEW Dynamite for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade below.