By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 78)
Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired live on March 24, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur checked in on commentary following the Dynamite opening video… Ring announcer Justin Roberts delivered the over the top introduction for AEW Champion Kenny Omega. The female sweepers came out and then Omega made his entrance along with Don Callis. Pyro shot off on the stage.
1. AEW Champion Kenny Omega vs. Matt Sydal (w/Mike Sydal) in a non-title eliminator match. If Sydal wins, he will earn a future title shot. Callis joined the broadcast team rather than stand at ringside. He complained about Tony Khan sticking his nose in Omega’s business (via the setup for this match that took place on Elevation). Mike Sydal didn’t come out with his brother, but he was at ringside for the match. A graphic listed the John Cena hosted “Wipeout” premiering April 1 on TBS. Cena was shown in the graphic.
Sydal picked up a near fall following a brainbuster just past the seven-minute mark. Sydal placed Omega on the ropes and went for a huracanrana, but Omega slipped away, causing Sydal to crash and burn on the ropes. Omega gave Sydal a dragon suplex, then followed up with a ushigoroshi. Omega went or a V-Trigger, but Sydal countered into a pin for a good near fall. Omega got up and shoved the referee. Sydal threw a kick and followed up with another near fall.
Sydal went for a top rope meteora, but Omega caught him and gave him a buckle bomb. Cool spot. Sydal rallied and went up top for his shooting star press finisher, but Omega crotched him on the top rope. Omega performed a leaping V-Trigger on Sydal on the ropes. Omega set up for his finisher, but Sydal countered into a pin for a great near fall. Omega connected with a V-Trigger and a One Winged Angel and scored the pin…
AEW Champion Kenny Omega defeated Matt Sydal in 11:35 in a non-title eliminator match.
Powell’s POV: The opening match was a blast. Sydal’s last near fall was as close as it gets and had me fooled even thought I fully expected Omega to win going into the match. By the way, Jake Barnett has the night off. He will be filling in for me on WWE Smackdown coverage on Friday night so that I can cover the ROH 19th Anniversary pay-per-view.
The broadcast team ran through some of the previously advertised matches…
Backstage, Alex Marvez spoke to the Dark Order while Hangman Page was in the picture to the side. Marvez asked John Silver if he was ready for his TNT Title match. Silver and the Dark Order yelled and celebrated. Once the rest of the faction cleared out, Page asked Silver if he was nervous. Silver said he wasn’t. Page told him not to worry because the other guys would be proud of him either way. Silver fired himself up once Page left…
Schiavone hyped Hangman Page vs. Cezar Bononi for after the break… [C]
2. “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Cezar Bononi. Bononi’s entrance was not televised. Page pulled down the top rope to send Bononi to ringside, but Bononi caught him going for a tope and slammed him on the apron. Page no-sold a clothesline and then jawed at Bononi before hitting him with several strikes.
Page was unable to pick up Bononi, who slammed him to the mat. Page came back with some clotheslines. Bononi blocked a third clothesline, but Page suplexed him. Page hit the Buckshot Lariat and scored the clean pin. Page celebrated with beers as he headed to the back…
Hangman Page beat Cezar Bononi in 2:20.
Powell’s POV: A simple showcase win for Page over a bigger opponent.
A pre-taped Lance Archer promo aired from what appeared to be the warehouse used for the street fight at Revolution. Archer said he respected Sting at one point. He said there would be no him if it wasn’t for Sting. He said he interrupted Sting because now it’s his time. He held up Sting’s bat and said that it used to mean justice and people paid attention to Sting. Archer said now people will pay attention to him and if they don’t his boot will come crashing down on them. Archer said Sting will go down as one of the greatest ever. Archer said one way or another it’s going to be showtime. Archer stuck the end of the bat at the camera…
A brief video package showcased Thunder Rosa’s promo after her lights out match with Britt Baker from last week’s Dynamite main event…
Tony Schiavone interviewed Britt Baker on the stage and said she deserves a round of applause for one of the best matches they’ve had on Dynamite. Most people booed. Baker took exception to the reaction “after the hell I went through last week.” She said the fans are as dumb, delusional, and disrespectful as Rosa.
Baker took the mic from Schiavone, who ducked out of the shot. Baker said Rosa should thank her because now people will remember her. Baker complained that Rosa claimed to put the AEW women on the map. “Then why is everybody talking about me?” Baker asked. She said it took Mick Foley twenty years to become a hardcore legend, whereas she did it in one night.
Baker said Tony Khan is looking for every legend that there’s ever been when he has the biggest one standing right under his nose. Baker said she put AEW on the map. She said the letters AEW come in second to the most epic three letters in pro wrestling – DMD. Schiavone got the mic back and hyped The Pinnacle as coming up next. The camera showed the new faction exciting their locker room… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Archer promo was strong. Baker’s live promo was also good and I like that she went for heat rather than wanting cheers for having a strong match the week before.
Excalibur said Dasha was on her way to speak with Christian Cage. Backstage, Christian was talking with Griff Garrison, Brian Pillman Jr. and Dante Martin when Dasha arrived. Christian said they were talking shop and he was giving them some friendly advice. Frankie Kazarian showed up. He said he liked Cage’s shirt, but he lives by the same catchphrase. Kazarian asked Cage when the “work” part of his catchphrase begins.
Cage said Kazarian doesn’t have to convince him of anything because he’s been in the ring with him and knows how good he is. Cage said the work starts next week and offered Kazarian a chance to be his opponent. Kazarian suggested that Cage check out his Elevation match on Monday “because seven years is a long time to be out of the ring”…
Powell’s POV: The Cage and Kazarian confrontation was nicely done. Kazarian walked in with a chip on his shoulder and established friction quickly.
3. Shawn Spears, Dax Harwood, and Cash Wheeler (w/MJF, Wardlow, Tully Blanchard) vs. Griff Garrison, Brian Pillman Jr. and Dante Martin. Garrison performed an early double spear on two opponents. The Pinnacle members rolled to ringside. The babyface trio teased a dive, but they stopped when Wardlow stood in front of his faction mates heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C] Spears hit the C4 on Martin and pinned him shortly after the break.
Shawn Spears, Dax Harwood, and Cash Wheeler beat Griff Garrison, Brian Pillman Jr. and Dante Martin in roughly 6:10.
After the match, Wardlow placed Pillman on the top rope. Wardlow gave the thumbs up and a thumbs down and then pulled him into a knee strike. Schiavone entered the ring with a mic. Wheeler said the Pinnacle isn’t just a name or a group, it’s family. He said he doesn’t have a wife or kids at home, but he would die for the other members. Harwood said if you’re looking for professional wrestling, you come to AEW and ask for The Pinnacle.
MJF encouraged Chris Jericho to grab the rest of the Inner Circle and join them in the ring. MJF said that wouldn’t happen because the Inner Circle are terrified of them. Schiavone said the Inner Circle members are hurt. MJF and Wardlow stared him down. MJF asked if he had something to say. Schiavone said never mind. MJF said that when you are in The Pinnacle, you are always on top…
A pre-taped Team Taz promo. Taz stood in a backstage area with Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Hook. Taz assured viewers that everything was fine in Team Taz. He claimed Cage apologized to them. He polled the other members by asking if they are happy. Cage hesitated, then asked, “Who betta?”…
Schiavone interviewed QT Marshall on the stage. Marshall pointed out his wife sitting in the crowd and said he’s known her since she was eight years old and she’s watching her husband living his dream. Marshall said no one other than Tony Khan who has done more actual work than he has. He said the company threw him some bones with pay-per-view appearances and he won the first ever Bunkhouse match in AEW.
Marshall brought up the things that fans don’t see, such as making sure that Cody Rhodes’s coffee is hot and his t-shirt is cut the right way. He said Cody will go to bed with his wife after the show while his own wife will go to bed alone. The fans chanted “Cody’s friend” at Marshall. He said he is and he’s not denying it.
Marshall said the only way to get out of Cody’s shadow is to have an exhibition match next week to prove that he can hang with the best in AEW. Marshall said he couldn’t make Cody or anyone else come out because he doesn’t have that kind of clout, but he won’t take any more meaningless bumps while living in Cody’s shadow.
Cody Rhodes walked out with his arm in a sling and removed his headset. He said he would give Marshall his exhibition match and Arn Anderson would be the referee. Cody said he would try his best to win, but he wouldn’t hurt Marshall. He said that if he applies a figure four, he would release it. If he hooked Marshall for CrossRhodes, he wouldn’t follow through with it. Cody said Marshall was a good assistant and has become a friend. Cody said Marshall might be his best friend. He agreed to the exhibition and they shook hands… [C]
Powell’s POV: I enjoyed that segment. You can see the Marshall turn coming a mile away, but it’s understandable that babyface Cody would want to at least try to do right by his friend. Was this inspired by the Bruno Sammartino and Larry Zbyszko feud? Is Marshall’s wife going to become an on-air character?
4. Brandon Cutler and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, and Laredo Kid. In between entrances, a pre-tape aired with Alex Abrahantes translating for Penta. Matt stopped at ringside to visit his wife and two children.
[Hour Two] Penta caught Matt in a crucifix pin for a near fall. Schiavone announced that the Cody vs. Marshall exhibition was official for next week after receiving word from Tony Khan. A short time later, Penta performed a flip dive onto the Bucks. Fenix set up for a dive of his own, but Cutler kicked him in the back, then performed a springboard dive onto the Lucha Brothers.
Kid performed a dive off the top rope onto his opponents. Matt came up holding one of his arms, which the broadcast team acknowledged. Back inside the ring, the Bucks performed a move that Excalibur was an homage to the Motor City Machine Guns. Matt looked into the camera and winked heading into a PIP break. [C]
After the break, Schiavone announced that they would be holding a non-televised event for the first time ever at Daily’s Place on Friday, April 9. Late in the match, Cutler played a part in an assisted Indy Taker by the Bucks. Matt performed a wicked DDT on the apron on Fenix. In the ring, Laredo Kid performed a top rope Spanish Fly on Cutler and scored the pin.
Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, and Laredo Kid defeated Brandon Cutler and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson in 12:25.
After the match, Kenny Omega ran out and hit Laredo Kid with a microphone from behind. Don Callis walked behind Omega and gave him the AEW Title belt, which he hit Kid with. Omega handed the belt back to Callis, then addressed the Bucks. Omega said they all had a choice three years ago. He said he could have stayed at home with his family with fans that loved him that he loved back. He said he could have sought greener pastures “in New York.”
Omega said he never chose AEW, he chose the Young Bucks and the vision they had to make AEW the best wrestling on the planet. He said the Bucks could have sat with the cool kids, but they chose Cuter and never chose him. Omega said Callis might come off a bit abrasive. He said he was giving the Bucks one more chance. Omega held up the “too sweet” hand gesture and told the Bucks that it was now or never.
Omega said he might not agree with everything that Callis said, but he told the Bucks and this is their last chance to choose him. The Bucks left the ring. Omega told Cutler to carry their gear bag. Omega told the Bucks that they are done. Penta and Fenix dropped Omega with a double superkick that sent the microphone into his face, then followed up with a double stomp into a piledriver combo move. Excalibur noted that Callis was hiding behind referee Rick Knox.
“The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson came out and tended to Omega, who was bleeding from the mouth. They helped Omega to his feet and he gave a thumbs up before leaving the ring…
Powell’s POV: The match featured the usual great athleticism, but I did feel a bit numb to some of it after seeing Omega and Sydal work a similar style in the opening match. The post match angle with Omega was fun.
A Jade Cargill video package aired. She said Red Velvet made a big mistake by getting in her face. Cargill said she’s on the path to greatness while Velvet is just a pitstop on the road to her throne. She said that when Velvet steps in the ring with her, she’ll be stepping into the ring with “that bitch”…
The broadcast team hyped the remaining matches. Schiavone said Brandi Rhodes has been working on a special project with Cody to show that “the Rhodes Family Empire is just getting started.” A video package aired that spotlighted Cody and Brandi and included behind the scenes footage from AEW, as well as at home footage with Cody and Brandi. A graphic listed “Rhodes To The Top” as a new reality series coming soon to TNT… [C]
Powell’s POV: Is this the extra hour of programming that AEW has been talking about or something different? Will there be a Marjo crossover from Miz & Mrs.? Just let me dream.
Highlights aired from last week of Omega and the Good Brothers breaking the leg of Kingston…
A Moxley and Kingston pre-taped promo aired from what appeared to be inside a trailer. Kingston had his foot heavily wrapped (and scored major points with yours truly by wearing a GNR t-shirt). Kingston said this isn’t New Japan or six years ago or about selling some tacky t-shirts. He said they will pay for this. Kingston got fired up and stood up, but Moxley had him sit down.
Moxley said the Good Brothers have to ask themselves how far they are willing to take things and whether they are willing to get as much blood under their fingernails as he and Kingston are. Moxley said he doesn’t like the Young Bucks, but he owes them one after last week. He said he doesn’t like owing anyone anything. He said they are playing with live rounds and if you want to play in the game then you better be ready to get your hands dirty…
5. Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Tay Conti. The Dark Order walked out in support of Conti prior to the match and headed to the back once the bell rang. A few minutes into the match, Rose knocked Conti down with a big clothesline. Rose draped Conti over the ropes and then went up top and performed the flying knee drop. Rose covered Conti for a near fall heading into a PIP break. [C]
Late in the match, Conti slipped off the shoulders of Rose and threw a kick to her head. Conti followed up with a pair of running knee strikes in the corner and then performed a hammerlock DDT. Conti covered Rose and scored the pin.
Tay Conti beat Nyla Rose in 9:25.
After the match, Conti celebrated on the ropes. Vickie Guerrero grabbed Conti’s foot. Rose attacked Conti from behind and set up for a Beast Bomb, but Hikaru Shida ran out and hit Rose with a kendo stick from behind. Shida threw punches at Rose. The Bunny ran out, picked up the kendo stick, and hit Shida and then Conti with it.
Matt Hardy, The Butcher, and The Blade walked out and watched from the stage. Hardy said the women’s eliminator tournament was terrible because The Bunny wasn’t in it. He said she’s been overlooked for far too long and it ends now. Rose and Guerrero joined “The Hardy Family Office” on the stage…
Powell’s POV: I was surprised by just how routine the big upset was framed by the broadcast team. And why take the focus off that big upset by doing an immediate post match angle?
A Miro and Kip Sabian promo aired and promoted the Arcade Anarchy match that the duo will have with Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy on next week’s show. The broadcast team also announced Hikaru Shida and Tay Conti vs. The Bunny and Nyla Rose, Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers vs. Penta, Fenix, and Laredo Kid, the Cody vs. Marshall exhibition, and Christian Cage vs. Frankie Kazarian for next week…
A Scorpio Sky video package aired. He said everyone has to stop pretending that he’s not uniquely gifted following his attack on Darby Allin. He said his days of being underrated are over. Sky promoted an Elevation match with Matt Sydal. Sky said he’s more than just one man, he’s the face of the revolution… Schiavone hyped the main event… [C]
6. Darby Allin vs. John Silver (w/The Dark Order) for the TNT Championship. The Dark Order walked out with Silver and stood at ringside. The broadcast team recalled Sting saying he would have the back of Allin. Ross assumed Sting was watching somewhere. Silver knocked Allin to ringside with a running forearm or elbow. Back in the ring, Silver performed a brainbuster for a near fall heading into a PIP break. [C]
Both men fought to ringside. Silver charged at Allin, who moved, causing Silver to tumble over the barricade. Alex Reynolds helped his partner Silver over the barricade. Allin went for a suicide dive, but Alan “5” Angels took the suicide dive instead of Silver.
Sting made his entrance with his baseball bat in hand and stood on the apron, causing the Dark Order members to scurry. Silver tossed Allin back inside the ring. Excalibur pointed out that the time limit was the television time remaining, which was working against Silver. A short time later, Allin was covered for a near fall and then rolled to the floor. Sting stood on the floor and watched over Allin to prevent Dark Order interference.
Silver eventually threw Allin back inside the ring and threw kicks to his chest. Allin fired up, caught the last kick, and fired punches at Silver, who spun him around and slapped him repeatedly in the corner. Silver charged at Allin, who dropped him with a kick. Silver caught Allin in a pin for a near fall while Sting watched from the stage.
Silver set up for a superplex, but Allin shoved him off the ropes. Allin performed a Coffin Drop dive onto the Dark Order members at ringside. Allin returned to the ring and went to the ropes, but Silver cut him off with a kick. Silver joined Allin on the ropes and hoisted him onto his shoulders, then tossed him to the mat. Silver covered Allin, who put his foot on the bottom rope. Silver set up for a powerbomb and paid tribute to Brodie Lee, but Allin countered into Code Red and scored the pin.
Darby Allin defeated John Silver in 13:45 to retain the TNT Championship.
After the match, Allin offered a fist bump to Silver, who accepted. Matt Hardy pulled Allin to ringside and ran him into the barricade. A big brawl broke out with the Dark Order members and Hardy’s crew. Tay Conti ran out and brawled with The Bunny. Allin performed a suicide dive onto Hardy. The brawl continued to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A good main event. It’s odd that it came off like Silver lost because he took a moment to pay tribute to Lee, but it was still an enjoyable match that elevated Silver in defeat. Overall, this was a lively episode that provided good entertainment from start to finish. Check the main page shortly for more details on the Cody and Brandi reality show, which is listed as a 30-minute show, which means it’s not the additional hour of content that AEW is getting on TNT at some point. I will be back shortly with my same night audio review for Dot Net Members, who will be listening to my MLW Fusion audio review momentarily. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.