By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 76)
Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired live March 10, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] The Dynamite Intro video aired, and Jim Ross welcomed everyone to the show alongside Excalibur and Tony Schiavone. Rey Fenix made his ring entrance, flanked by Pac. Video was shown of Rey Fenix prevailing in the Battle Royal on Sunday for a TNT Tag Team Title opportunity. Matt Jackson then made his ring entrance, joined by his brother Nick.
1. Rey Fenix (w/Pac) vs. Matt Jackson (w/Nick Jackson): Excalibur said we will hear from Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley after this match. Jackson and Fenix tied up and traded some arm twists and hammer locks. Matt pulled Fenix into a Snap Mare, and Fenix replied with a drop kick. Fenix avoided a hip toss with a flip, and Matt sold some frustration. He then used more acrobatics to toss Matt to the floor. He teased a suicide dive, but pulled back when Matt scattered out of the way.
Fenix landed a flying headbutt, and then a leaping arm drag onto Matt on the floor. He then quickly climbed back in the ring and landed a leaping splash over the top rope. In the ring, Fenix applied a sleeper with body hooks. Matt escaped, but Fenix landed a kick to the back of the head to retain control. Matt turned a top rope head scissors attempt into a Powerbomb for a near fall. Fenix had to roll to the outside to avoid a pinning attempt.
On the floor, Matt grabbed Fenix and charged into the ring apron. He then shoved Fenix in the ring and landed a springboard senton for a near fall. Matt then focused on the lower back of Fenix, and then applied a rear chinlock with a knee in the back. Matt maintained control as Fenix sold his back. Matt went for a powerbomb, but Fenix managed to roll out of it. He then applied a Sharpshooter, but Fenix was able to scurry to the ropes.
Fenix fired back with a spin kick in the corner, and then a missile dropkick from the top. He then landed a cutter when Matt tried to gain some steam off the ropes. Both men traded blows mid ring, until Fenix picked up Matt and stretched him across his back in kind of a standing bow and arrow. Fenix tried to rope walk into a soccer kick, but Matt avoided it and landed a Destroyer. Fenix rolled to the floor, where Matt landed another destroyer and left Fenix out on the floor. Matt told the ref to count, and Fenix bolted back into the ring late in the count.
Matt landed a flying elbow from the top for a close near fall. Matt reapplied the Sharpshooter, but Fenix one again crawled to the ropes. Matt went for another submission, but Fenix avoided it. He then dove at Matt for a seated dropkick, but he kicked Nick on the outside instead. Matt then rolled to the floor and gave Pac a Superkick. Fenix and Matt resumed their brawl in the ring. We got a series of superkicks, no sells, and more superkicks. Both men were on the ground at the end of it.
Both men went for simultaneous superkicks and kicked each other’s feet. Matt went for a Tombstone, but Fenix reversed and landed one of his own and got the win.
Rey Fenix defeated Matt Jackson at 14:34
After the match, both teams had a standoff, and then rolled out to the floor. Darby Allin vs. Scorpio Sky was mentioned for later, as well as a Women’s Six Person Match, Tony Schiavone will interview Sting, Lee Johnson vs. Ethan Page, Christian Cage commentary, Cody in action, etc..
Backstage, Eddie Kingston explained his reaction to covering Moxley by stating he had a flashback to when he was in jail, and had serious anxiety about going to prison for the rest of his life. Kingston told Kenny Omega this wasn’t a joke, and it’s not a video game, and asked him if he thought he was the Joker? Moxley piped up and said he thought Kenny really tried to blow him up, and asked if the bomb had the word ACME on it when he took it out of the box.
Moxley and Kingston speculated that Impact paid for the bomb. Moxley said he didn’t regain the AEW Championship, but he did get back and drinking buddy. He then warned Omega and the Good Brothers that when you flash a weapon, you better use it…[c]
My Take: Matt and Fenix had a very good match. I don’t know if it needed to go 15 minutes with everything else advertised for this show, but it was an enjoyable match. I guess the storyline explanation for the children’s fireworks display at the end of the PPV is that Kenny is incompetent. Why Kenny himself was allowed to rig explosives for an event, and not…you know…..legally authorized explosives technicians is not answered. Kingston blaming his sell on anxiety and PTSD is probably the best you could make out of an awful situation.
Cody Rhodes made his elaborate entrance. He then went out into the crowd and gave his weight belt to a fan in a wheelchair in a nice moment. Seth Gargis was already in the ring.
2. Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Gargis: Cody quickly applied a Figure Four after a short bit of back and forth action. Gargis quickly submitted.
Cody Rhodes defeated Seth Gargis at 0:49
After the match, Tony Schiavone entered the ring to interview Cody. Tony had microphone trouble, but they sorted it out quickly. He asked Cody about his shoulder. Pentagon interrupted and had an interpreter with him. Penta spoke in Spanish, and the interpreter translated that Penta is 1000x better than Cody. He then said that if Cody is the Prince of Pro Wrestling, then he is the Lord of Lucha Libre. Penta then spoke a few words in English. He told Cody he lost at Revolution, and if it had just been him and Cody in the ring, he would have lost more than just the match. Through the interpreter, Penta told Cody that he would have hurt his arm so bad, he wouldn’t be able to pick up his new baby.
Cody fired up and charged Penta in the crowd, and they were separated by wrestlers and officials almost immediately. Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor were shown in an Arcade. They asked Miro and Kip for one more match, and if they lose, Chuck would be his butler forever. They wanted a stipulation where arcade machines will be around at ringside, and after they put their heads through all of them, they would break them too…[c]
My Take: Cody went from 0 to 100 on the baby insult. I understand the desire to protect your family is primal in nature, but you’d think Cody would be smart enough to realize when someone was trying to provoke a particular reaction that plays to their advantage. I get why they went this direction, but it seemed extreme given the circumstances.
Tony introduced Sting from the stage. Sting came out and immediately put over Darby Allin as a dangerous man. He said when you combine the Stinger with the unpredictability of Darby on the streets, you get a win for Stinger. Lance Archer walked out and interrupted Sting, and said if he wasn’t going to be given the time, he would take the time. He said he didn’t have to win a ladder match to prove he was the face of the revolution. Tony told them this was Sting’s time, and Archer scoffed and walked to the back. Sting then said he would catch Tony at the next one, and Jake told Sting goodbye.
Backstage, QT Marshall and Lee Johnson were cut off by Ethan Page’s music and I didn’t really hear what they had to say. Ethan music also played over is own picture in picture promo, and all I caught was that he was motivated and aggravated. Whoever is running the audio needs to get sent to the phantom zone.
3. Ethan Page vs. Lee Johnson (w/QT Marshall): Booming audio is now playing over the commentary and the match, making it almost impossible to pay attention to. Page took advantage of a referee being out of position to land a cheap shot. Page continued to dominate the offense, and sent Johnson out to the apron…[c]
The audio issues appeared to be an NBA game playing over the top of the Dynamite Feed. It was very strange. The action spilled outside during the break, with Page retaining control throughout. There was still random NBA audio playing over Dynamite when the show returned. Johnson landed a slick Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Johnson for springboard flying nothing, and got caught with a cutter for a near fall.
Johnson’s knee gave out when he jumped over Page with a leapfrog. Page took that opportunity to land a running kick to the face. Page then landed a Razor’s Edge for the win.
Ethan Page defeated Lee Johnson at 8:34
After the match, Page stared down QT Marshall, and then stomped out Lee Johnson a bit more. QT didn’t intervene at all, prompting Dustin Rhodes to come out. QT walked away. Finally, the extra NBA audio feed ended.
Earlier today, Alex Marvez interviewed Adam Page on his brand new zero turn mower. He said he donated most of Matt earnings to charity, but bought the mower and some whiskey for himself. The Dark Order then showed up and climbed on the mower so Page could take them to get some Ice Cream. Alan Angels couldn’t fit, so he was left behind….[c]
My Take: Can’t say I’m all that intrigued by the Nightmare Family falling apart, as I’m not sure what the point of it was in the first place. Adam Page buying a zero turn mower is funny, but I hope they have bigger plans for him soon.
Tony Schiavone was back on the stage to interview Christian Cage, but he was interrupted by Kenny Omega’s cleaners and entrance. Kenny then walked out with Don Callis and the Good Brothers. Don Callis took the microphone and said they take what they want, and then a little more, so they were taking Christian’s time.
Callis called Kenny the new King of the Death Match. He said everything had gone according to plan, and Kenny said not quite everything. Callis said they had taken a lot of heat from the company and the fans about the end of the show, but he could not confirm nor deny whether they had anything to do with hit.
Callis then immediately took credit for how much they enjoyed taking things away from Tony Khan, Eddie Kingston, Jon Moxley, and the fans. Callis said they won either way. If the rings blows up, they solve some of their problems. If the ring doesn’t blow up, Kingston and Moxley look like idiots.
[Hour Two] Omega took the microphone and said it was a cherry on the sundae to not only beat Moxley, but to embarrass him as well. He then said that it made his happy to see Eddie Kingston come out and dry hump Moxley and relive some of his childhood memories.
Eddie Kingston walked out and confronted them. Kingston said he had Eddie in Impact Wrestling, but he had to fire him, and it was for the same reason as Sunday. Whenever he gets close enough to success, he finds a way to screw it up. Omega and the Good Brothers approached Kingston and offered him 10 seconds to get out with his dignity. They then re-enacted the countdown from Sunday, and Kenny asked Callis to 69 him and save him. Omega then laughed at Kingston and said he relived the trauma of getting detention in grade school.
Omega got in Moxley’s face and dared him to do something when there were four people in the ring that could kick his ass. Kingston punched him anyways, and got beat down for his trouble. Moxley ran down and joined the fight. The Good Brothers and Callis scattered, and Moxley and Kingston gave chase. Christian Cage walked out finally and got in Omega’s face. Omega offered a handshake, and Christian refused. Omega took a shot, but Christian tried to turn it into the Killswitch. Omega got some help from Callis to exit the ring. Christian grabbed and held the AEW Championship before leaving the ring…[c]
My Take: “69 me Don” was another regrettable moment in this odd attempt to find a way to spin the dud explosion in storyline terms. They can’t run away from this fast enough.
Britt Baker made her entrance with Rebel. She was followed by Nyla Rose. Maki Itoh did her full performative entrances while the babyfaces assaulted her teammates at ringside. Shida finally attacked Itoh on stage, but was bopped repeatedly by the microphone as a result. The bell finally rang.
4. Maki Itoh, Britt Baker, and Nyla Rose vs. Thunder Rosa, Hikaru Shida, and Ryo Mizunami: Shida and Itoh began the match. After some back and forth tags, Nyla Rose and the heels isolated Thunder Rosa in their corner…[c]
Thunder Rosa made a tag to Shida. Mizunami, Baker, and Itoh got in the ring and things got a bit chaotic. There were a few botches and some chaos, but Rosa and Baker ended up being left alone in the ring after everyone cleared out. Rosa landed a tornado splash onto the gathered wrestlers on the floor.
Itoh landed a swinging DDT in the ring on Rosa and landed a near fall. The DDT was not executed particularly well. Rebel jumped on the apron with her crutch, and distracted Rosa. Itoh went for another DDT, but Rosa countered into what looked like an Emerald Flowsion for the win.
Thunder Rosa, Hikaru Shida, and Ryo Mizunami defeated Nyla Rose, Maki Itoh, and Britt Baker at 7:40
After the match, Britt Baker applied Lockjaw to Rosa. Rebel used the crutch and pressed it into Rosa’s face. The heels then celebrated and walked to the back.
Backstage, Matt Hardy was interviewed with Private Party. Matt told them they needed to bring more money in, specifically him. Matt said he had more than enough money to sustain them until April 1st, but he signed more people in the Money Matt Empire. He then introduced Butcher, Blade, and Bunny. He said they would destroy four people on Elevation on Monday, and then they would destroy Dark Order for what they did to him…[c]
My Take: That Women’s match was a bit of a train wreck. I bet everyone wishes they could run that one back. Matt Hardy and his crew going after Dark Order is fine, as long as Adam Page is far far away from it.
Scorpio Sky made his entrance for his TNT Title opportunity. Darby Allin followed close behind.
5. Darby Allin vs. Scorpio Sky for the TNT Championship: Both men fist bumped to start the match. They traded some mat wrestling holds and pinning attempts early. Darby managed to get a two count off of a roll up. They rolled on the mat amateur style for a bit, until Scorpio reached the ropes. Darby sent Sky to the floor, and attempted a baseball slide, but Scorpio avoided it. Allin recovered and jumped back into the ring, but Allin sold his ankle when he landed.
Sky capitalized and landed some blows to the injured leg, and a backbreaker…[c]
During the break, Sky controlled the offense and applied a double chicken wing submission using a body triangle. He then transitioned into a rear naked choke when Allin tried to force a pinfall, and then into an abdominal stretch when Allin fought to his feet. Darby countered a sunset flip into a rollup pin for another close near fall. Scorpio got back to his feet and landed a hard right hand. Darby landed a Stunner and covered for another two count.
Darby then leapt into a Code Red for a near fall. Sky charged into the corner and ate a boot to the face. Sky then landed a running kick of his own, followed by a series of German Suplexes. He tried for a third, but Darby struggled. Eventually, Sky sent Allin hard into the turnbuckles with a third suplex. Allin shoved Sky off the apron to the floor. He then tried for a suicide dive, but Sky timed it perfectly and caught him with a cutter on the floor.
Sky tried for a cover in the ring, but only got a two count. Sky landed some knees, followed by a brainbuster for another near fall. Darby climbed the ropes, and Sky attempted to stop him. Darby went for a Coffin Drop, but Sky caught him with a powerbomb for a near fall. Darby then caught Sky in a surprise rollup for the win.
Darby Allin defeated Scorpio Sky at 13:40 to retain the TNT Championship
After the match, Darby went to congratulate Sky on a good match, and Sky pulled him in for a heel hook. He refused to break the hold, and several referees had to intervene. Darby tapped repeatedly. Next week, Moxley and Kingston will take on The Good Brothers. Cody will face Penta, Matt Hardy’s squad will take on Jurassic Express and Bear Country, and Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker will be a lights out match in the Main Event. The Inner Circle War Council is next…[c]
My Take: A solid match, but I wish they would have had Sky cement his heel turn before getting the title opportunity. He has plenty to go forward with from here, but it seemed odd to rush into this match when I think they could have gotten more out of it a few weeks from now.
The Inner Circle made their way out. Jericho had his baseball bat slung over his shoulder. Jericho said the War Council was how the greatest decided how to move forward. He called them the smartest men in the business, and said it was time for them to chart a path forward, and teased a new member. MJF spoke up and said with all due respect, maybe it was time for them to let someone go.
Sammy Guevara made his way out and stood on the stage. Jericho said he told him he never wanted to hear his name again. Sammy said he wanted to show him something, and Jericho started to shut him down. Sammy persisted, and showed video of him sneaking a camera into the Inner Circle Locker Room. MJF walks in and proposes new leadership for the Inner Circle. The rest of them agree, and the video cuts out.
MJF said he didn’t want him to find out this way…and sent the other members after him. They slowly approach Jericho, and then turned around to face MJF. Jericho asked MJF if he thought they didn’t talk to each other every day? He then shoved him down and told him that he was fired. He said they were going to beat down Jericho, but MJF swore he didn’t want to take over Jericho’s group….because he was building one of his own.
The lights went out, and when they came back on “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, Tully Blanchard, Wardlow, and Shawn Spears were in the ring. They attacked with chairs and champagne bottles. Sammy got shoved face first with a chair in the corner. Wardlow gave Jericho an elevated GTS of sorts using the ropes.
Tully and FTR gave Santana and Ortiz spike piledrivers. MJF then swung on Jericho with the Dynamite Diamond. Jericho came up bleeding. MJF then grabbed Jericho’s baseball bat, and hit him in the ribs. He then backed up and hit Jericho in the face. FTR carried Jericho onto the stage, where Wardlow powerbombed him off onto some tables and a crash pad.
My Take: A big angle to close the show. MJF and Warlow joining FTR and Spears is something. There are a lot of angles going on simultaneously on this show, it’s going to be difficult to contain it all into two hour episodes. They may have to shorten some of these matches and segments if they hope to do so. Overall, an entertaining issue of Dynamite, but not perfect by any means.