By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 79)
Taped March 25, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired March 31, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] The show opened with Christian heading to the ring for the opening match. Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, and Excalibur joined on commentary. He was followed by Frankie Kazarian. They brought up the history between the two going back 20 years. The announce team pointed out that this is Christian’s first singles match in seven years.
1. Christian Cage vs. Kazarian: They tied up to start the match, and Kazarian backed Christian into the corner before being separated by Bryce Remsburg. They continued at a methodical pace. Cage landed a shoulder block and immediately fell into a cover for a one count. There was an elbow shot against the ropes early on, which Christian sold by being shaken up. They brawled on the stage, and Christian landed a hard slap. Kazarian then landed a back body drop that sent Christian back in the ring.
Kazarian tossed Christian hard into the ropes. Christian landed a kick and perched on then sat on the top rope, but Kazarian shoved him and sent him tumbling out to the floor. Christian shook it off and climbed back in the apron. He tried a shoulder tackle through the ropes, but got caught with a leg drop. Kazarian went for a cover, but Christian’s arms were under the ropes. He then applied a headlock, and Christian fought to his feet before fading back to the mat.
Christian fought up a second time, but Kazarian turned the kravate into a neckbreaker for a two count. Kazarian landed a stiff shot, and then tossed Christian hard into the corner. Kazarian charged into a boot, and Christian landed a swinging DDT for a two count. Both men struggled back to their feet, and Cage landed a series of punches. He then draped Kazarian on the second rope and stood on his back. Cage then jumped over the ropes and landed a slap to the face.
Christian climbed back into the ring and landed a top rope back elbow. He then landed mounted punches in the corner. After some back and forth pinfall attempts, Christian fell out of a suplex attempt and landed a reverse DDT. Christian went to the top rope, and missed a splash after struggling to gather his balance. Kazarian sunk in a crossface chicken wing with leg hooks, but Christian was able to struggle over to the ropes and grab with his legs.
Christian held onto the bottom rope, and Kazarian stomped him to break him free. Christian grabbed a quick rollup for a near fall. Kazarian landed a springboard leg drop for a close near fall. He then placed Christian on the top rope for a Superplex, but Christian blocked it. Kazarian landed a headbutt and Christian sat on the top turnbuckle. Kazarian landed his Spanish Fly (Flux Capacitor) for a close near fall. Kazarian sold frustration.
Christian went for the KillSwitch, but Kazarian fought free. He then missed a leg drop, and Christian hung him up on the top rope. He then followed up with a Frog Splash and got a close near fall. Christian set up for Killswitch again, but Kazarian reversed into a chicken wing. Christian rolled through, and threw Kazarian’s shoulder into the post. He followed up with a Killswitch and got the win.
Christian Cage defeated Kazarian at 16:33
After the match, Christian gave Kazarian a pat on the back as he got to his feet.
A Darby Allin video aired where he criticized Matt Hardy. He said he used to earn people’s respect, but now he tries to buy it. He told Matt he would have to earn his respect, because his money didn’t mean shit to him. Darby set a pile of fake money on fire to conclude the ad, and wore a black wig and paper Matt Hardy mask.
The announce team ran through the rest of the matches on tonight’s show in light speed fashion. Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall is up next…[c]
My Take: That was a good return for Christian, and impressive after such a long lay off. The pace may have turned off some AEW viewers that are used to frenetic action, but Christian did more selling here than just about every other AEW performer combined over the past 18 months.
We got a Jade Cargill video package. She spoke about how she had Red Velvet shook before her first match in AEW, and how she had her number. She told her to lift her weights and hit the treadmill, but she could never beat her because she is that woman, she is that bitch.
Cody and QT’s trainees were surrounding the ring for the exhibition match. QT was already in the ring, and got no televised entrance. Cody made his elaborate entrance with Billy and Dustin Rhodes. Arn Anderson wore the stripes for the match, and Justin Roberts made ring introductions. Cody shook QT’s hand before the match.
2. Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall in an exhibition match: The bell didn’t really ring, as this is just an exhibition. They fought to a stalemate early with some tests of strength. Cody took him down with a single leg trip, and let him back to his feet. He then grabbed a headlock. Cody shoved him off into the ropes, and landed a shoulder block. They went criss cross off the ropes, and Cody landed a couple of arm drags. QT fought to his feet, and they continued to trade leverage positions…[c]
QT grabbed an arm ringer and then punched Cody in his injured shoulder. Cody turned the tables during the break and went for a Figure Four, but Cody refused to actually apply the hold. He then set up for CrossRhodes, but released it. QT slapped Cody and hit the ropes, but missed a splash and rolled out of the ring. Cody opened the ropes and invited him back in the ring.
QT slugged Arn in the face and then ran up the ramp. Cody looked shocked and a number of students entered the ring. Aaron Solow, Nick Comoroto, and Anthony Ogogo turned on the rest of the family and started attacking them from behind and hitting them with chairs. Comoroto tossed Lee Johson over the ropes and onto the ramp with a powerbomb. Dustin Bladed and was opened up. Comoroto placed the steps on the ramp, and then QT gave Dustin a piledriver onto the steps.
Anthony Ogogo then landed a hard body shot to Cody’s ribs. QT called for him to be brought over to the stairs. He placed Cody onto the steps and held a chair over his head, but Red Velvet ran down and stood in his way. QT backed up and dropped the chair, and the rest of his group walked up the ramp and left…[c]
My Take: Cody Rhodes is the Sting of AEW, and the company actually employs Sting.
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky were shown in a video package, saying they were done waiting for opportunities, and they were going to take whatever they wanted starting next Monday.
Backstage, Dasha Gonzalez interviewed Red Velvet. She said she had Cody’s back, but Jade Cargill walked up and tossed her around. She said once again that she is “That Bitch”. Elsewhere, Jon Moxley had a backstage promo. He said he can’t get the sound of Eddie Kingston’s ankle out of his head. He said he’s tired of getting beat up by goons, he doesn’t know whether the Young Bucks are in the fight or not, and he’s got burns and wounds from barbed wire that itch and are pissing him off. He said he’s got Cesar Bononi tonight, and he was either getting dropped on his head or choked unconscious.
In the arena, Jon Moxley made his ring entrance. Cesar was already in the ring.
3. Jon Moxley vs. Cesar Bononi (w/Ryan Nemeth): They traded punches to begin the match. Bononi got the early advantage, but Moxley quickly shut him down with a dragon screw. He then applied a leg grapevine, and applied a single leg crab. Bononi was able to power out, but his leg was affected. Moxley landed a kick to his leg, and then to his chest. Ryan Nemeth was at ringside, and provided a distraction, and Bononi landed a suplex…[c]
Bononi tossed Moxley into the turnbuckles and landed a clothesline. Bononi ran at Moxley again, but he got out of the way. Moxley returned fire with some strikes and a lariat. He then slapped Bononi across the face. Moxley landed a German Suplex, and set Bononi on the top rope. He landed a superplex and covered for a two count. Nemeth and JD Drake offered a distraction, and Moxley gave Nemeth a Paradigm Shift.
Bononi tried to lift Moxley, but he reversed into a rear naked choke for the win.
Jon Moxley defeated Cesar Bononi at 7:54
After the match, Moxley celebrated and they quickly went backstage to Team Taz. Ricky Starks said he had a good time at Dark last night, and said he thought the old Team Taz was back. He said he wondered what Cage thought, and he said if he had been tagged in sooner, they would have got the W sooner. Taz quited them down and said no one can stop the path of rage.
Elsewhere, The Pinnacle locker room was shown. MJF said he wanted to show them what it was like to live Pinnacle. He then revealed a personal stylist and an interior decorator to renovate the place. He opened the bathroom door, and the Inner Circle was standing there. He opened the door to leave the room, and Jake Hager was standing there.
A giant brawl broke out, and Sammy Guevara laid out Shawn Spears. Hager and Wardlow brawled into the trainers room, and Hager put Wardlow through a massage table. Ortiz knocked Cash Wheeler into an ice bath, and Santana beat a bloody Harwood with a wooden chair. Jericho shoved MJF face first into the toilet in the bathroom and called him a piece of crap. He then told him the worst is yet to come, and threw him through a Pepsi fridge. He then poured a bottle of champagne over his back, and reclaimed their locker room. Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers vs. Lucha Brothers and Laredo Kid.
[Hour Two] The Young Bucks were interviewed backstage, and they said they didn’t want to talk about dirty laundry. Don Callis walked up, and Nick Jackson walked away. Callis talked directly to Matt, and said he broke Kenny Omega’s heart last week. He chose to be in AEW because of family, and they chose to leave him in AEW bloody last week.
Callis asked him what had happened to him, and why he didn’t care about the people that loved him. He said he wasn’t sure how to reach him because he was so cold and dead inside, and then punched him. Matt grabbed him by the collar, but released him. Callis then called him pathetic and asked if there was anything left inside him at all…[c]
My Take: I’m surprised to see The Pinnacle get so much comeuppance so quickly. They had nothing to offer in the brawl, and got completely dominated. Callis getting under Matt’s skin was a strong promo segment. It’ll be interesting to see if the Bucks ever verbally defend themselves from Callis rather than just stand there and take it.
Laredo Kid and the Lucha Brothers made their entrance. We got a Picture in Picture promo where Penta and Fenix said they were coming after Kenny Omega. He said they destroyed the Young Bucks last week, and now they would come after all the Championships. The Good Brothers and Kenny Omega were out next.
Before the match began. Laredo Kid and Fenix splashed Omega and The Good Brothers on the stage near the ring.
4. Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers vs. Penta El Zero M, Rey Fenix, and Laredo Kid: The Good Brothers were tossed out of the ring, A triple superkick landed on Omega, but Karl Anderson broke up the pinfall attempt. We got a triple dive onto Omega and The Good Brothers on the floor. Laredo Kid landed a series of splashes on Omega in the ring and covered for a two count.
Omega landed a bulldog of sorts and tagged in Doc Gallows. After a brief distraction from Karl Anderson, Gallowed landed a head kick on Laredo Kid and drove him back into the corner. He then landed some body shots and an uppercut. The heels continued to isolate Laredo Kid and cut off the ring…[c]
The heels triple splashed Laredo Kid and Gallows covered for a two count. Gallows continued the assault until Laredo Kid surprised him with a reversal into a Tornado DDT. Penta tagged in and landed Sling Blades to Anderson and Omega. Fenix then tagged in and landed a casadora into a splash. After some fast tags, all three teammates splashed Karl Anderson. Fenix covered, but the pin was broken up by Kenny Omega.
Gallows and Omega pulled Penta and Laredo Kid from the floor. They then landed a triple team neckbreaker on Fenix, but Penta broke up the tag. Anderson then landed a single leg dropkick on Fenix for a near fall. Chaos broke out as Penta broke up the magic killer, and then landed a destroyer on Omega. Anderson landed a spinebuster on Fenix, and Laredo Kid broke up the pin with a splash from the top.
Omega tagged in, along with Laredo Kid. Omega reversed a springboard attempt into a powerbomb, followed by a V-Trigger for a close near fall. He then set up for a One Winged Angel, but Laredo Kid countered and sent Omega to the floor. He then landed a suicide dive on the floor. Penta and Fenix splashed The Good Brothers on the floor. Fenix landed a rope walk soccer kick on Omega. Laredo Kid landed a Michinoku Driver for the close near fall. Omega avoided a Phoenix Splash, and landed the One Winged Angel on Laredo Kid for the win.
Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers defeated Laredo Kid, Penta, and Fenix at 14:17
After the match, Jon Moxley stood on the stage. He was joined by the Young Bucks. They had a staredown before entering the ring, but Omega and The Good Brothers scrambled when they got in the ring…[c]
My Take: An absolutely frantic match with very little selling, but it was very well executed and entertaining if you enjoy that style. I feel like AEW needs to find a happy medium between what we saw here and what Christian and Kazarian paced out in the opening match.
Britt Baker and Rebel had a pre-taped promo segment. She said the biggest win of Thunder Rosa’s career never happened because it was sanctioned, and called herself the face of the division. Britt then declared the three most important initials in wrestling are still DMD.
After the promo, Nyla Rose and Allie were in the ring. Tay Conti and Hikaru Shida made their ring entrance after that. The Dark Order and Hardy’s Family were at ringside.
5. Nyla Rose and Allie vs. Hikaru Shida and Tay Conti: There was a brawl at the bell that put Conti and Shida at an early disadvantage. Shida recovered with a Judo throw on Allie. She then went for an arm bar, but Allie rolled out of it. Shida pulled her out to the apron and landed a rising knee from the floor. Shida then dressed down Matt Hardy verbally, which opened her up to a blind side attack from Nyla Rose. Allie covered in the ring for a near fall…[c]
Allie and Nyla cut off Shida from a tag during the break, and worked her over in their corner. Conti made a hot tag after Shida made her escape, and cleared Nyla from the apron. She then grabbed Allie and gave her a slam on the floor right in front of Matt Hardy. This caused a giant brawl on the floor, and Conti landed the TayKO in the ring on Allie. Nyla broke up the pin, and Shida dove at the crowd including Rose on the floor. Conti followed up with another splash that actually toppled the pile.
Allie landed a Kendo Stick shot on Conti thanks to a Vickie Guerrero distraction, and got the win.
Allie and Nyla Rose defeated Hikaru Shida and Tay Conti at 7:52
After the match, Jon Moxley and The Young Bucks vs Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers next week, along with Allie vs. Tay Conti and Darby Allin vs JD Drake. Jurassic Express will take on Bear Counry, and The Inner Circle returns.
Backstage, Jungle Boy told Bear Country to pick on someone their own size, and they would show them who was on top of the food chain.
Back in the arena, it was time for Arcade Anarchy. Arcade machines were set up at ringside. Miro and Kip Sabian entered first, accompanied by Penelope Ford….[c]
My Take: The Women’s match was fine, but way overbooked. Arcade Anarchy is an ok set piece, but the feud is a little overripe at this point.
Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor made their entrance.
6. Miro and Kip Sabian vs. Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor in an Arcade Anarchy match: This is a Tornado Match. Kip and Cassidy brawled on the outside, and Miro fought Chuck in the ring. Miro tossed Chuck with a fallaway slam. Orange Cassidy threw Kip into a Whack a Mole machine, and then beat him with the foam hammer. Miro intervened and tossed Cassidy into the ring post, and beat him over the back with the hammer from whack a mole. Miro set up a barricade as a ramp on the outside.
Chuck and Cassidy tried to suplex Miro on the barricade, but he stuffed them and suplexed Chuck onto it himself. Cassidy was tossed into a nearby barricade and then back into the ring. Miro grabbed a chair from the “prize rack” on the outside, and brought it into the ring. He wedged the chair between the ropes. Cassidy landed repeated punches, but Miro tossed him into the chair anyways.
Miro talked trash to the spectators on the outside, but Chuck surprised him with a flying fist from the top of an arcade box. Kip freed himself from the machine, but Cassidy quickly put him down with a running kick. Chuck and Orange beat down Miro with repeated shots from a kendo sick and a trash can lid. They then used the bent up barricade from the previous spot to clothesline him, and then dumped a table full of prizes and whack a mole machine on top of him. Cassidy made a cover, but Sabian broke it up.
Sabian gave Chuck a suplex on the floor, and then kicked Cassidy through a wooden set piece for the prizes. Chuck poured out some legos in the ring, and then set up for a superplex. Kip slid out and landed a powerbomb onto the legos, but Orange Cassidy broke up the pinfall. Cassidy landed a DDT and the Beach Break on Sabian, and covered for a near fall. He then landed the Orange Punch, but Ford pulled Aubrey Edwards out of the ring.
Penelope Ford kicked Orange in the balls, and Kris Stalander appeared from a claw machine to take her out. She then landed a sit out Falcon Arrow through an air hockey table at ringside. Miro returned and threw Orange Cassidy about 5 yards on the outside. He then grabbed a chair and wore out Cassidy and Chuck with it across the back. They brawled behind the arcade machines, and Trent emerged from his Mom’s van after she pulled up to the arena.
Trent attacked Miro as the Best Friends were reunited. They took turns taking shots at him, but he put up a fight against all three men. He waved at Sue after tossing all three of them aside. Trent prevented him from harassing his Mom by tossing Miro onto the hood and windshield. Miro picked up a hollow Mortal Kombat 2 cabinet and tossed it at Trent, but he avoided it. Trent then hit Miro with an arcade stool and speared him through a table. Chuck slammed Kip Sabian through a table off the stage and covered for the win.
Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy defeated Kip Sabian and Miro at 14:19
After the match, the Best Friends hugged. Kris Statlander then joined them for a hug. Sue then honked her horn for the celebration.
My Take: A wild brawl to close the show, and I really hope it’s the end of this program. Kip Sabian has been a non-entity for the majority of this feud, and he takes the loss here. I hope that means Ford feuds with Statlander and Miro moves on from this pairing. Sabian needs some work on Dark or away from Dynamite to repackage himself, because he hasn’t held up his end of the bargain in the character department since this feud began. Overall, a solid edition of Dynamite. Almost everything clicked, and they were able to continue several feud and rekindle some others.