By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 80)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired April 7, 2021 on TNT
The Inner Circle was shown pulling up in various high end cars. Chris Jericho was in a Lamborghini… Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone joined on commentary…
Hangman Page made his entrance to start the show in the arena. The Acclaimed then made their entrance, with Max Caster wrestling. Max did his usual rap introduction, and mocked Hangman and made reference to Joe Biden, Lil Nas X, and was cut off by Anthony Bowens before telling Hanman to blow him…
1. Hangman Page vs. Max Caster (w/Anthony Bowens): Hangman landed a big boot to Owens and immediately took the offense to Caster. He landed some strikes and a suplex for a one count. He then chopped away at Caster, and then landed a big boot. Hangman rolled outside and jawed with Bowens, which allowed Caster to turn the tables and jump him when he returned to the ring.
Page reversed an Irish whip and tossed Caster to the outside. He then landed a clothesline on the apron, and then splashed Caster on the floor. Hangman set Caster on the barricade, and then clotheslined him off of it. Hangman attempted to pull Caster’s groin into the ring post, but Caster pulled him into the post instead. Caster distracted the referee so Bowens could rough up Hangman on the floor.
Bowens tossed Hangman into the ring, where Caster continued the assault. Caster landed some strikes, and applied a chin lock to ground him. Hangman battled to his feet and landed a clothesline, and then a pancake as Caster rebounded off the ropes. After an Exploder Suplex, Page covered for a two count. He sold his shoulder after eating the post earlier. Page set up for Deadeye on the ring apron, but Caster escaped and traded punches with him. Hangman then picked up Caster and dropped him on the apron.
Hangman climbed the corner post, and Bowens ran over for the distraction. Caster attempted to intercept, but flubbed it on the first try. After a few seconds, he tried again and pulled Hangman from the top. He then tweaked the shoulder for a submission, but Hangman escaped. Caster went to the top and dove at Hangman, and ate a big clothesline. Hangman set up for Dead Eye, but Bowens slid a boom box in the ring.
The ref grabbed it, but it successfully interrupted Page. Bowens slid a something to load Caster’s fist into the ring, and he decked Page with it. Caster covered, but got a near fall. Hangman landed a lariat, and rolled out to the apron for a Buckshot. Bowens tried to grab him, but he kicked him off and landed a moonsault on him. Page then hit a Buckshot Lariat for the win.
Hangman Page defeated Max Caster at 10:30
Page celebrated with a beer and walked through the crowd after the match…
“Death Triangle” Pac, Rey Fenix, and Penta El Zero Miedo made their entrance. Schiavone was in the ring for an interview. He said Fenix and Pac would get their title shot next week, but they were interrupted by Orange Cassidy with Kris Statlander and “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent. Cassidy said it was really nice to see all three of them in the ring together again. Video played of Death Triangle kicking the crap out of Orange Cassidy over the past several months. Chuck grabbed a mic and said they still remember.
Fenix said they were crazy. Penta started to speak, but Pac told him to relax. He said he knows why they are there, they want a shot at the next AEW World Tag Team Champions. Pac said they had a lot of work to do, and they are far from worthy, so get working. Trent said they can calm down, they are only out there to give them a heads up that the boys were back in town, and they had an alien with them too. Statlander joined them in joining hands…
JR ran down the rest of the card for tonight’s show, which includes The Bunny vs. Tay Conti, Jurassic Express vs. Bear Country, Darby Allin vs. JD Drake, and The Inner Circle is up next…
Mike Tyson was shown speaking with Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach Urban Meyer earlier today. The Inner Circle made their entrance. Jericho said The Inner Circle had a lot to say…..after the break…[c]
My Take: That was 22 minutes without a break. Page vs Caster was enjoyable, with only a few clunky moments to break your immersion. Page is one of the company’s best babyfaces at this point, and I hope they step on the gas with him. Caster continues to get better in the ring, but the entrance freestyle raps pulled from trending twitter topics always land a little corny for me. Death Triangle vs. Best Friends was not where I imagined those two acts would be going.
Jericho said The Inner Circle had gotten a beat down and a wake up call by The Pineapple…er Pinnacle, and they owed the fans and a lot of people an apology. Jericho blamed his jerkoff friend MJF, and said he’s not smart about everything. He gave a story about high school chemistry, but said he does know the psychology of pro wrestling. He said they brought MJF into the Inner Circle knowing how dangerous he was, and they knew he would turn on him, but they didn’t count on him being one step ahead.
Jericho said MJF is smart, but apparently not smart enough to put on a spray tan, because he had more streaks than the toilet bowl he shoved him in a few weeks ago. He then said MJF wants to be better than Jericho now, but he’s not ready. He told him to be better than Michael Nakazawa or Peter Avalon first. He said he stole his Burberry scarf gimmick from Le Champion, and he had an old clipboard in the back if he wanted to complete his collection. He said MJF is completely full of himself, and in the business they call that being a mark.
Jericho then said he was changing that to being a Max, and called him a Max for himself. He then tore down MJF’s friends. He called Tully Blanchard a 3rd rate member of the Horseman, somewhere in between Ole Anderson and Paul Roma. He then said FTR is one of the best tag teams in the world, but he has no idea what their names are. He then said the only reason he knows Shawn Spears because he called him when he got fired from The Fed 10 years ago, and joining his jerkoff friend MJF is about as smart as wearing a blonde mohawk in 2021. He then said Wardlow had 13 cent brain and a million dollar body, and said he needs to strip completely naked to count to 21.
Jericho then said they would get their final revenge on The Pinnacle in a blood and guts match. He said they would kick the shit out of them, but there were some censor related audio issues that made part of what he said difficult to parse. Jericho was fired up and said the Inner Circle would dominate AEW for years to come…[c]
My Take: Jericho’s delivery was intense, and it sets the stage for MJF to go even harder in response. Jericho’s insults echoed how a lot of people clown on some of the Pinnacle members already, so I’m interested to see what the overall reaction among AEW fans will be. The Inner Circle and Jericho have physically and verbally tore down the Pinnacle over the past few weeks, and it needs a big response.
Christian was interviewed backstage, and said he loved how Frankie Kazarian pushed him into the deep water last week. He praised Frankie’s performance, and took credit for it by saying he made other wrestlers level up. He said his lungs were on fire, and he loved every minute of it, and said it felt like the culmination of a year of hard work to get back in the ring. Taz walked up and offered him a spot in Team Taz, and said they would help him reach the level he wanted. Christian started to respond, but Taz told him to sleep on it…
We then got a Godzilla vs. Kong advertisement, followed by Jurassic Express making their entrance. They were followed by Bear Country, in their odd Bear Masks.
2. “Jurassic Express” Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus vs. “Bear Country” Bear Boulder and Bear Bronson: Jungle Boy sent Bear Bronson to the outside, and then dove on him. He then attempted a dive on both members of Bear Country, but they caught him. Luchasaurus then dove and knocked both of them down.
Back in the ring, Bear Country cut off Luchasaurus in their corner. He escaped with a big boot, and tagged in Jungle Boy. Bear Boulder tossed around Jungle Boy, and picked him up for a powerbomb. Luchasaurus tried a crossbody to break it up, but he just bounced off Boulder in a botch, who then completed the powerbomb. The announcers played it off like Boulder’s strength kept him from toppling over…[c]
Bear Boulder landed a high back body drop on Jungle Boy. Bronson tagged, and Jungle Boy quickly escaped from the corner. He scrambled and tagged Luchasaurus, who landed a pump kick on Boulder. He then landed a German Suplex on Bronson, and then took down Boulder again with another kick.
Luchasaurus landed kicks to both Bronson and Boulder. He then climbed the turnbuckle, and he and Boulder fought on the top rope. After a struggle, Boulder landed a superplex for a near fall. Jungle Boy broke up the fall by diving from the top. He then landed a springboard DDT on Bronson.
Luchasaurus landed a big spinebuster on Boulder, and covered. Bronson broke up the pin by driving Jungle Boy into the pile. Bear Country then landed a double cannonball in the corner on Luchasaurus, and got a 2.9 near fall count. They attempted another Double Team Splash, but Jungle Boy landed a low dropkick to break it up. Luchasuarus sent Boulder to the outside with a clothesline, and then landed a chokeslam and standing moonsault on Bronson for the win.
Jurassic Express defeated Bear Country and 9:32
After the match, we got a pre-taped promo from QT Marshall. He accused Cody of taking credit for his accomplishments at their training center. He said Cody played second fiddle to Ted DiBiase Jr, and wore face paint to hide from the fact that he’d never amount to shit. He called him a bargain basement Sting, and said he went to the indies to surround himself with vanilla midgets to make himself feel like the superstar he knew he’d never be. He said he’s surrounded himself with men who trust him, and said Aaron Solo, Nick Comoroto, and Anthony Ogogo would never play second fiddle to anyone. He then called it his bleeping factory, and Comoroto threw some paint paint on the wall over the Nightmare logo…[c]
My Take: A high energy spotfest of a tag team match. It was entertaining, but light on any storytelling or psychology. The QT Marshall promo was a good format for him. I’m curious to see if they can keep the intensity going for a live interview.
Tony Schiavone introduced Sting, which is apparently his favorite thing to do. Sting made his entrance. Tony started to ask him a question, but Jake Roberts interrupted immediately. He said that’s not how they do this. Roberts called Darby Allin a gerbil, and said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Lance Archer interrupted and said if that was insanity then he was a sick son of a bitch.
Archer said he was tired of getting moved to the top and going away. He told Sting that it was his time, and he would make him listen to him. Sting grabbed the mic and said he actually agreed with him. He should be in the main event, and told Jake Roberts to show him how to do it. Sting said he believed in his potential, and he could main event for a World Title again, and told Jake to show him how to channel his anger and do it. He then slammed the mic down and walked away.
Backstage, Team Taz talked over their offer to Christian Cage, and Taz said they needed to be smart to acquire another Blue Chipper. Darby Allin made his entrance accompanied by Sting. JD Drake was already in the ring.
3. Darby Allin (w/Sting) vs. JD Drake (w/Nick Nemeth, Cezar Bononi) for the TNT Championship: Darby used speed to gain an early advantage, but Drake landed a hard chop that sent him to the floor. Allin baited Drake to come out to the floor, and then landed a hard suicide dive. Ryan Nemeth jumped on the apron to distract Darby, who jumped and bounced off Drake and crashed to the floor.
Sting used his Baseball Bat to chase Nemeth out of the arena. In the ring, Drake landed more hard chops and covered for a two count. Allin tried to claw back into the match, but Drake landed a body slam and headbutt to ground him again…[c]
Drake sent Darby into the ring ropes from the floor, and landed a hard lariat on the rebound. Drake rolled into the ring to interrupt the count. Drake tried to cannonball Darby against the barricade, but he moved and Drake ate the steel. Allin then dove on Drake, and managed to take out Cesar Bononi on the floor as well. He climbed the ropes again, but Drake tripped him into the tree of woe.
As Darby was prone in the corner, Drake landed more chops. Drake then landed a cannonball, followed by a Vader Bomb for a near fall. He climbed up top for a moonsault, but Darby scrambled away. Allin climbed to the top again, but Drake met him there and slapped the piss out of him. Darby bit his fingers and landed a huge Code Red from the top. He then landed a Coffin Drop and retained his title.
Darby Allin defeated JD Drake at 9:11 to retain the TNT Title.
After the match, Darby celebrated and walked to the top of the stage. The Butcher and The Blade blindside attacked him while the Bunny screamed at the commentators. Sting and the Dark Order then emerged and scared them to the back. Tay Conti and The Bunny had words. We then got a video package about Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks…[c]
My Take: A big match for JD Drake, who looked really impressive in defeat. His offense looked stiff and Darby sold really well for him. He also never looked gassed despite working hard the entire match. Darby looks his best when he gets killed and refuses to die, so this match was right up his alley as a babyface.
Backstage, Alex Marvez interviewed Jericho, and brought up Blood and Guts on May 5th. MJF and The Pinnacle jumped Jericho from behind, and dragged him out onto the stage and into the ring. They pummeled him and MJF choked him with his scarf. Tully slapped him across the face, and FTR gave him a spike piledriver. The Inner Circle locker room was locked shut, and they started busting through the door.
Mike Tyson made his entrance and landed body shots on Shawn Spears. The rest of the Pinnacle scrambled and eventually pulled Spears from the ring. The rest of the Inner Circle ran down and joined Tyson, who barked trash at The Pinnacle. Jericho got to his feet, and shook Tyson’s hand and gave him a hug. They played to the crowd to end the segment…
In a pre-tape, Britt Baker was interviewed by Tony Schiavone. She demanded Tony Khan for a Title Match for the Doctor. She said the rankings should be about ratings, merchandise sales, and popularity, not wins and losses. She said tune into Dark and Elevation to see her get her wins up.
In the arena, The Bunny (Allie) made her entrance. She was followed by Tay Conti, who was accompanied by -1 and The Dark Order.
4. Tay Conti vs. The Bunny: They traded stikes to begin the match. Bunny tossed Conti into the turnbuckle, but she quickly fired back with a shoulder capture suplex. Conti then landed a pump kick in the corner followed by additional kicks. She attempted a soccer kick from the apron, but Bunny caught her leg and pulled her to the floor. Bunny landed a shotgun dropkick that sent Conti hard into the barricade….[c]
As the show returned, Conti landed a backbreaker on Bunny. She then missed a knee and went hard into the turnbuckle. Bunny landed a superkick for a near fall. Bunny went for Down the Rabbit Hole, but Conti escaped. Matt Hardy provided a distraction, but it didn’t work. Conti landed a TayKO, but Bunny managed to kick out.
Bunny guillotined Conti on the top rope. On the outside, all hell broke loose between Dark Order and the Hardy Family. Bunny hit Shida with her Kendo stick, and then climbed to the top rope. Shida took her kendo stick back, and Conti used the opportunity to land a superplex. She then landed her DDTay for the win.
Tay Conti defeated The Bunny at 8:37
After the match, Conti celebrated with the Dark Order. JR hyped up Matt Hardy vs. Darby Allin for next week. The Young Bucks will defend against Death Triangle, and the debut of Anthony Agogo. Red Velvet vs Jade Cargill was announced, along with a video package of their feud. Velvet said Cargill is afraid of her because she could barely get the job done. Also, Dax Harwood will face Chris Jericho with Mike Tyson as the special enforcer. The Main Event is next…[c]
My Take: That was a solid women’s match, but I couldn’t care less about the faction war between the Hardy Family and Dark Order. There are a lot of acts inside those factions I enjoy watching, but in this configuration it just isn’t doing anything for me. It might have something to do with the show already having a better booked faction war angle happening elsewhere.
Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers made their entrance. They added some more pyro. They were followed by The Young Bucks, and then Jon Moxley, who’s hairline is hanging on for dear life.
5. Jon Moxley and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. Kenny Omega and “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson: Anderson and Matt Jackson started the match. Don Callis taunted Matt Jackson about the slap he gave him last week. Anderson tagged out to Omega, who jawed with Jackson before tying up. They pushed each other around and Omega slapped Matt, who then tagged out to Nick. He jawed with Kenny to start, and then they tied up.
Omega grabbed an arm twist, but Nick reversed. Kenny grabbed a side headlock, and then shoved off to land a shoulder tackle. Nick landed a step up head scissors in response. Omega tagged to Anderson, who immediately ate a drop kick. A bit of chaos in the ring as the babyface squad cleared the heels to the floor. Moxley then hit the ropes, and they all dove on them on the floor…[c]
Matt Jackson made a hot tag to Jon Moxley as the show returned. He landed a lariat on Omega to knock him off the apron, and then traded shots with Karl Anderson. He landed a German Suplex to all three heels, and then applied a sleeper to Anderson. He was stopped by a guillotine over the top rope. Gallows then tagged in and cut off Moxley in the heel corner. Gallows and Omega stomped on him in their corner.
Gallows then landed a series of body shots, and an uppercut. Moxley avoided a lariat in the corner and landed a neckbreaker. He then made a tag to Nick Jackson, who used his speed to land some big kicks to Gallows. He then landed a double stomp on Gallows and a backstabber on Anderson. Nick went for a facebuster on Anderson, but got caught and spun into a spinebuster.
Matt and Omega tagged in, and Omega begged off. Jackson landed a series of hip tosses and a backdrop. He then landed a DDT, but couldn’t pull the trigger on a superkick. Omega slapped him repeatedly, and Matt tackled and pummeled him. Things started to break down, with everyone running into the ring. Moxley took Gallows out over the top rope. Anderson took Nick Jackson out. Omega landed several snapdragon suplexes to Matt. He went for a V-Trigger, but Moxley cut him off with a big lariat. Matt then landed a piledriver for a near fall.
He then checked on Omega to make sure he was ok. The Bucks landed More Bang for your Buck on Omega, and Anderson broke up the pinfall. Nick then dove and took out The Good Brothers on the floor. Matt checked on Kenny again, and Nick was frustrated with him. Moxley climbed to the second rope, and the Bucks set up for the BTE Trigger. Matt couldn’t bring himself to do it, and Moxley showed frustration.
Nick was also frustrated. They set up again, and yet again Matt couldn’t do it. Moxley tagged himself in. He landed two paradigm shifts, and applied his sleeper. He pulled Omega to his feet for a third paradigm shift, and The Bucks superkicked him.
Eddie Kingston ran down, and he ate a Magic Killer on the stage. The Good Brothers then landed another Magic Killer on Moxley, and then dragged Omega over to cover him for the win.
The Good Brothers and Kenny Omega defeated Jon Moxley and The Young Bucks at 14:11
After the match, The Bucks stood in the ring with Omega and The Good Brothers. Anderson and Gallows picked up Moxley again, and The Bucks superkicked him again, seemingly joining with Omega. The crowd chanted that they sold out, and they all joined in a hug.
My Take: Maybe I’m in the minority, but this angle didn’t do much for me. Firstly, The Young Bucks feel like they are channeling high school theater. It also feels like a freeway pile up of factions in AEW, and another Bullet Club reformation just isn’t reigniting the magic for me. Poor Moxley and Kingston look like chumps for not seeing it coming, even after Moxley said he didn’t know where the Bucks stood last week. I guess the Tag Team Championship match is heel vs. heel next week with Death Triangle? Does this mean even more interference finishes? I hope I’m proven wrong and they have some really solid plans for this. Dot Net Members can check back in tomorrow morning for Jason Powell’s Dynamite Audio Review, and I’ll have more reflections on the show later on in the afternoon in Dot Net Weekly.