By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 74)
Taped February 18, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired February 24, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] The Dynamite intro aired, and the announce team of JR, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur welcomed everyone to the show. Jon Moxley made his ring entrance from his usual side stage location. Tony Schiavone announced Paul Wight’s signing, and that he would be joining him on commentary for the upcoming AEW Dark extension appearing on YouTube on Monday Nights. Ryan Nemeth was already in the ring, and we got a brief picture in picture promo where he said he was looking for a starring role.
1. Jon Moxley vs. Ryan Nemeth: Moxley landed a hard right hand slap to Nemeth that put him down. He then landed crossface strikes while he held Nemeth in a kneeling position. Nemeth fired back with a neck thrust, and then landed some knee strikes. Moxley fired back with a back suplex. Moxley applied some finger manipulation, and then landed a chop. Nemeth got a foot up in the corner when Moxley charged in, and then landed a dropkick a moment later.
Moxley applied a full nelson, and then transitioned into a guillotine choke. He then landed a Paradigm Shift for the win.
Jon Moxley defeated Nick Nemeth via pinfall at 2:42
After the match, Moxley sat down on a steel chair and held a microphone. He said that ever since the day he woke up without the AEW Championship, he’s thought of nothing else but charging back up and taking the hill. He asked the audience what words came to mind when they heard the words exploding barbed wire death match. He said fire, blood, burns, torture, agony, and vintage Japanese Wrestling Magazines. He then asked how those words make them feel, and asked if they make people’s palms sweat, or if they gave a cheap thrill. Moxley called himself an addict, and said he was addicted to living close to the flame.
Moxley said he was addicted to the blood, sweat, and tears, and laying his soul bare in the ring every single night in the ring. That’s the feeling he can’t get enough of. He then said that the idea of the exploding barbed wire death match pulls him in, even if it is some kind of trap laid by Kenny and his boys. He said Kenny is far from the first in the long said line of guys that have tried to take him out. Moxley then made an appeal to his fans all over the world, and said when it’s all done they would know that he gave everything he had.
Moxley stated that if it does all come to an end at Revolution in an exploding barbed wire death match, going out in a pile of blood and glory seemed like one hell of a way to go out. The announce team then put over the PPV match, and said the ropes would be wrapped in barbed wire, and land mines would be on the floor. They then cut to a video package that recapped the history between Moxley and Omega…
Rey Fenis vs. Lance Archer was plugged for later tonight. We then got a promo from Fenix and Archer, who were asked about the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match. Cody Rhodes and Penta El Zero M are already involved. Archer said the reason they made a killer tag team together was because of him, and there was no need for him to quality, because he would kick Archer’s ass. Fenix spoke in Spanish, and the interviewer explained to Archer that Fenix said he was the worst partner he ever had. A brawl broke out, with no clear advantage. Jake Hager vs. Brandon Cutler, Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose, and a message from Sting were hyped for later. Ricky Starks and Brian Cage vs. The Varsity Blonds is next…[c]
My Take: Man, they really packed the first 15 minutes of the show. Moxley vs. Nemeth was ok, but the promo afterwards was better. Moxley has a great grasp of his character and what endears him to fans. Fenix and Archer should be a fun match, as Archer is a big enough base for Fenix to get as crazy as he wants.
Backstage, The Young Bucks were shown walking their parents around the backstage area and giving them a tour. The Varsity Blondes were shown walking to the ring, followed by Team Taz members Ricky Starks and Brian Cage. Taz walked over to the commentary table.
2. Brian Cage and Ricky Starks vs. “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison: Starks and Pillman started the match. Pillman got the better of it with strikes, and he and Garrison made quick tags to press the advantage. Pillman tripped Starks and he tumbled out of the ring under the bottom rope. He then dove on Starks on the outside with a dropkick.
Pillman got a near fall back in the ring, and then landed some chops. Starks shoved Pillman to ringside, where Cage gave him a powerbomb that landed really awkwardly in the side of the ring steps. Big yikes….[c]
Cage pressed the advantage during the break, and taunted Garrison by doing bicep curls while holding onto Pillman. Starks tagged in and landed a splash in the corner, followed by a missile dropkick for a near fall. They made frequent tags and both Cage and Starks took turns abusing Pillman, who eventually made a hot tag by ducking under a chop. Garrison tagged in and splashed Starks in the corner, and then dove over the ropes on to Cage.
Garrison landed a sit out facebuster on Starks, and Cage broke up the pinning attempt. Pillman and Garrison landed a Dropkick and Powerbomb Combo onto Starks for a near fall. Cage tagged back in and tossed Garrison to the outside. He then landed a discus clothesline and a Drill Claw for the win.
Brian Cage and Ricky Starks defeated “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison by pinfall at 9:41
After the match, everything went dark, and a video showing Sting driving a car was shown. Darby Allin was then shown emerging from a body bag with a smile on his face. Sting then walked out onto the stage dragging a body bag, which contained Hook. Sting pointed to the rafters, where Darby Allin rode a zipline to the ring. He took out Starks and Cage with a skateboard, and took Starks outside the ring. Sting then landed a Stinger Splash onto Cage, followed by a Scorpion Death Drop. Sting and Allin then stood over Cage and Sting collected his jacket…[c]
My Take: An entertaining spectacle of a segment for Sting and Darby Allin. While I can’t say that I’m terribly excited to see Sting try and get his antediluvian self through an entire match, this was well done.
Tony Schiavone interviewed Miro, Kip, and Penelope Ford. They spoke about how disgusted they were with how their wedding turned out. Miro said he would take out Orange Cassidy in due time, but made a plea for Charles to come back and polish his car and kettlebells. He said he should stop being a child with Orange, and come back and be a man. Tony was passed a note that asked if Miro and Kip would wrestle them at Revolution, and to circle Y, N, or Maybe. Miro said this was the childish crap he was talking about, and told Chuck to be his own man.
In the arena, Brandon Cutler made his entrance, followed by Jake Hager.
3. Jake Hager vs. Brandon Cutler: Cutler landed a right hand early, but then it was pretty much all Hager. He landed some heavy strikes, then a lariat, and then a big boot. Hager then landed a Hager Bomb out of the corner, but declined to cover. Cutler low bridged Hager to the floor, and landed a series of dives to the floor. Cutler then took to the top rope and dove at Hager, but was caught and slammed with a belly to belly slam. Hager hit the ropes and landed a huge clothesline, and covered for the win.
Jake Hager defeated Brandon Cutler via pinfall at 3:18
After the match, Santana, Ortiz and Wardlow ran down and beat up Cutler. The Young Bucks then ran down and made the save. Matt grabbed a microphone and demanded that Chris Jericho and MJF come down to the ring, and said they didn’t have to wait for Revolution. Jericho’s music hit, but they never emerged. Jericho and MJF appeared on screen, and said they wouldn’t waste their time coming down to the ring, since they already had their match at Revolution. They then revealed The Young Bucks Dad, who had a bloodied face. They then threw him into an AEW Truck, where he left a bloody imprint.
Matt and Nick found their Dad in the back, and then pursued MJF and Jericho, who pulled away in an SUV…[c]
My Take: While the blood may or may not have been cherry pie filling, it was an effective heat grabbing segment for Jericho and MJF. It’s also the first time The Young Bucks have looked sympathetic in a while, even if they did have to hastily introduce their parents to get it done.
We got a replay of the assault on Papa Buck, and then he was shown being loaded into an ambulance. Nick Jackson got into the Ambulance with Luke Gallows, and Nick stayed behind. We got a video package that recapped the feud between Jade, Shaq, Red Velvet and the Rhodes family. Jim Ross made a prediction that Shaq and Jade win.
In the arena, Isaiah Kassidy made his entrance with Matt Hardy and The Hybrid2. A video package aired from last week where they all attacked Hangman Page and made him look like a doofus. Hangman then made his entrance.
4. “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Isaiah Kassidy (w/Matt Hardy, Jack Evans, Angelico): Page knocked Hardy off the apron just as he got to the ring. He then quickly landed a punch and stomped on Kassidy. Hangman landed a fallaway slam and then followed him out of the ring. Kassidy quickly got back in the ring and stomped on Page as he followed. Kassidy sent Hangman into the corner, and he came right back out with a big lariat.
Page talked some trash to Hardy on the floor. Kassidy and Page spilled to the outside, where Hangman sent Kassidy in the crowd. He then landed a heavy chop, and set up for a powerbomb. Kassidy escaped and dove back into the ring. As Page tried to get back in the ring, The Hybrid2 caused a ref distraction, and Page got sent into the ring post by Matt Hardy. Silver and Reynolds ran down and pleaded with Aubrey Edwards, who ejected Hardy in response. Kassidy went to work on Page’s shoulder…[c]
[Hour Two] Kassidy continued to work on the shoulder during the break. Hangman pulled Kassidy into the top rope to break free, and landed a big boot to get back into the match. Hangman went for the Buckshot Lariat, but Kassidy prevented it with an elbow strike. Hangman landed a big forearm strike in response for a near fall. Kassidy hung in there with strikes, but Hangman shut him down with a brainbuster for a near fall.
Page flipped Kassidy out to the apron, and then landed an upkick from a seated position. Page went for a springboard lariat, but Kassidy hung him up on the top rope. Kassidy went for a Destroyer, but Page countered into Deadeye for the win.
Adam Page defeated Isaiah Kassidy via pinfall at 13:28
After the match, Hardy was heard on a microphone talking about how Page had chosen The Dark Order over him, and he would make him and everyone in the Dark Order pay for it. Hardy then appeared and tossed Alan Angels off the stage and onto the table set up at ringside.
Backstage, Alex Marvez walked into a workshop, where Don Callis said they were constructing a “Moxley Extermination Chamber”. Omega wore a welder’s mask, and hit a piece of sheet metal with a hammer. Omega said he was building it himself, so no one could accuse him of taking a shortcut. He then resumed pounding on a flat piece of sheet metal. Nyla Rose vs. Britt Baker is next…[c]
My Take: Page and Kassidy had a quality match. Though, it was odd that the shoulder injury didn’t cause Hangman any issues landing Deadeye to get the win. Otherwise, it was very enjoyable. Kassidy had a very good showing. I can’t say the Big Money Matt character does a whole lot for me, but it’s much better than what he was doing previously.
We got a video recap of the women’s matches that took place in the first round. They then quickly ran down the lineup of this Sunday’s Women’s Special on Bleacher Report that was too fast for me to type it all out. Nyla Rose made her entrance in the arena, followed by Britt Baker.
5. Britt Baker (w/Rebel) vs. Nyla Rose: They tied up to start, and Nyla tossed Britt to the mat. Baker grabbed a headlock, but was quickly tossed aside. Baker got frustrated and left the ringside area and threw a fit by kicking around trash bins. She eventually got back in the ring, but was quickly scooped up for a Samoan Drop. Nyla set up for a cannonball in the corner, but Rebel pulled her away. Nyla then quickly picked her up again and landed a press slam. Baker rolled to the floor. When Rose approached her, she pulled her shoulder into the ring post…[c]
Nyla landed a superplex as the show returned. Baker then responded with a suplex of her own into the corner. Baker was shown removing a turnbuckle pad during the break. Baker landed some elbow strikes, but Rose replied with a series of lariats. Nyla climbed to the second rope, but Rebel jumped up on the apron for a distraction. Nyla gave her a uranage onto the apron for her trouble. Nyla then landed a neckbreaker, but couldn’t make a complete cover due to her shoulder.
Baker grabbed her latex glove from Rebel, but was chokeslammed by Rose. She then landed a senton on the corner on Rebel. Baker recovered and sent Rose into the exposed turnbuckle, and attempted to apply Lockjaw, but Rose powered out of it. Baker landed a couple of superkicks and a crucifix bomb for a near fall. Baker tried for another lockjaw, but Nyla punched her way out again.
Nyla landed a hard right hand and a Beast Bomb, but couldn’t cover quickly enough and Baker kicked out at 2.9. Baker went for another superkick, but Nyla ducked and landed another Beast Bomb for the win.
Nyla Rose defeated Britt Baker at 13:25 via pinfall to advance to the US Final of the Eliminator Tournament
FTR vs. Jurassic Express was advertised for next week, and then a video package aired that recapped their feud. Shaq and Jade Cargill vs Cody and Red Velvet, Dark Order 10 vs. Max Caster, and the AEW Revolution Card were discussed. Rey Fenix and Lance Archer is next…[c]
My Take: A surprising outcome for this match, as I thought Baker may end up being the one to challenge Shida when the tournament was over. It was a very good match between these two, and one of the best Britt Baker individual performances I can recall. I wouldn’t mind seeing them run this one back.
Lance Archer made his entrance, followed by Rey Fenix, who got a big pyro treatment.
6. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) vs. Rey Fenix: Fenix landed a big slap and some leg kicks. Archer replied with a right hand. Archer grabbed Fenix by the throat and tossed him into the corner, but he landed on the second rope. He dove off for a flying head scissors. Archer recovered and swatted Fenix down to the mat. Fenix low bridged Archer to the floor, and then landed a full speed suicide dive onto him at ringside. Fenix climbed to the top, and Jake Roberts slowly made his way over to knock him down on the stage. Fenix then got up and dove over Jake Roberts onto Archer on the floor.
They made Rick Knox look like a fool for not seeing all that take place. Archer landed some heavy chops to the chest that got him some space to recover…[c]
During the break, Archer controlled the pace with his power offense. He begged Fenix to chop him as the show returned, and laughed them off. Archer went for a chokeslam, but Fenix kicked him to escape. Fenix charged on the apron, but got turned inside out by a lariat. On the floor again, Archer sent Fenix hard into the ring barricade twice. He then talked trash to the camera.
Archer landed heavy right hands, and then landed a somersault senton into the barricade. He then landed a suplex toss in the ring that flipped Fenix into the bottom turnbuckle. Archer placed Fenix on the top rope, and set up for the Blackout, but Fenix escaped. Fenix then landed a kick, followed by a diving foot stomp to the back of the head. He tried to pick up Archer, but ate a German Suplex for his trouble.
After climbing the ropes, Archer did a rope walk, and then landed a moonsault for a near fall. Fenix tried to slap and chop his way back into the match, but got tossed hard into the turnbuckle. Archer followed up with a shoulder charge. He then landed a back elbow, but Fenix got his foot up on a second attempt. Archer missed with a kick, and got tied up in the ropes. Fenix did a tightrope walk and landed a soccer kick to Archer’s head.
Fenix then made a cover, and got a near fall. He then went for a moonsault, and ended up with a rolling cutter for a two count. Archer landed a forearm shot, and then a Fisherman Buster out of the corner for a near fall of his own. Archer went for a second rope chokeslam, but Fenix reversed and pulled him into a big spanish fly for a close near fall. Fenix couldn’t pick up Archer, and settled for some kicks. Archer landed a Buckle Bomb and a Chokeslam for a near fall.
Archer placed Fenix on the top rope and landed Blackout for the win.
Lance Archer defeated Fenix via pinfall at 17:17
Now Archer, Scorpio Sky, Penta El Zero M, and Cody Rhodes are in the Ladder Match for a shot at the TNT Championship. Archer gave Fenix a fist bump to close the show.
My Take: Archer and Fenix put together a very good performance, though the match could have done with some editing, as some of the near falls felt a bit shoehorned into the flow of the match. I liked the battle of power and agility, and Fenix is clearly on another level when it comes to aerial attacks. The Spanish Fly on Archer was an impressive display from both men. Overall, this was a very enjoyable episode of Dynamite, with some solid matches throughout. I’m surprised we didn’t get a promo from Cody Rhodes, which would have been a nice hook for his match with Shaq next week.