By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 81)
Taped April 8, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired April 14, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] A video package opened the show where “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson rhetorically posed the question of why they did what they did. Clips were shown of their assault on Jon Moxley, and they thanked him for pushing him over the edge. The Bucks claimed they chose friendship, and they chose The Elite, and they decided it was time to bring back those old Young Bucks. Matt said they had allowed other people to take control of the narrative, and it was time to show the world a newer and better version of themselves…
The regular Dynamite introduction then aired… Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone joined in on commentary in the building. Chris Jericho and Dax Harwood was promoted for later…
Mike Tyson was shown backstage for a brief promo. He said he was hyped up for being a special enforcer later. MJF walked up and said his Dad had told him a lot about Mike, and that The Pinnacle was still upset at him for last week. He said he wasn’t asking Mike to cheat, but he wanted him to be on the right side of history.
Mike got fired up and sold him it sounded like he wanted him to cheat. MJF offered him a blank check and told him to think about it, but Tyson ripped up the check and chewed on it before spitting it at MJF…
Darby Allin vs. Matt Hardy was hyped for later. The Young Bucks vs. Pac and Fenix will happen next…
In the arena, Pac and Fenix made their entrance. The Young Bucks made their entrances in all white gear with fur on the shoulders and calves in place of their usual tassels. Don Callis accompanied them to the ring. Video was shown from Friday’s AEW house show where The Elite lost a 10 man tag match to Death Triangle and The Sydals…
1. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. Pac and Fenix for the AEW Tag Team Championships: Matt Jackson and Pac traded mat wrestling holds early on, and worked through some reversal chains. Matt eventually tagged out to Nick, and Fenix followed him into the match. Fenix landed a kick. They worked through and around the ring apron with some rapid fire reversals. Nick got the last laugh with a lariat, and then dragged Fenix over to the corner to tag Matt into the match.
Fenix quickly used some acrobatics to send The Bucks to the floor. He and Pac then dove through the ropes and splashed both Bucks on the floor. Fenix remained in the match with Matt, and landed a big chop. He then followed up with a body slam, and made a tag to Pac. We got some tandem offense with both Fenix and Pac landing synchronized kicks to the back and chest of Matt.
Fenix attempted a top rope dive, but Matt swept his legs out from under him. He then tagged Nick, who send Pac to the floor, and landed a leg sweep on Fenix. The Bucks then landed a double dropkick, and Matt covered Fenix for a two count. Fenix recovered and reversed a double hip toss attempt. Pac tagged in, and he landed a brainbuster on Matt Jackson for a near fall. Pac continued the assault and sent Matt into a couple of turnbuckles. He then landed several kicks to the chest.
The action spilled to the floor, and the Young Bucks landed tandem powerbombs into the ring apron. They then kept the pressure on Pac by cutting off the ring. Matt teased some acrobatics, but stopped halfway through and just gave Pac a back rake…[c]
The Young Bucks continued the assault during the break, and continued to isolate Pac in their corner. Pac was able to get a breather when he sent Matt over the top rope with a back body drop. Nick then pulled Fenix off the apron to prevent the tag. Pac stumbled into the corner, and did a faux hot tag to mock his former comeback. He then landed a kick and delivered a body slam to Pac. He then got on his knees and further mocked Pac by doing a faux championship celebration.
Pac replied with a lariat, and tagged out to Fenix. He entered and landed a springboard huracanrana. He then landed a double cutter on both of the Young Bucks. He tagged out to Pac, and they worked some tandem offense. Fenix landed a series of kicks, and the final one transitioned directly into a Blue Thunder Bomb from Pac for a close near fall.
Matt tagged in and landed a slingshot German Suplex for a two count. He then went for a second German, and got an assist from Fenix. He landed a kick and dove on Nick on the floor. Pac finished the German Suplex and got another two count. He then went to the top, but was interrupted by Nick. We got back and forth kicks from Matt and Fenix. Jackson then landed a rebound destroyer off the ropes onto Fenix, and everyone was down.
Matt Jackson and Pac were still legal, and traded punches. Both men landed on the apron, and Matt sent Pac to the floor. The Bucks hit stereo Poisoned Rana’s onto Fenix and Pac. Fenix no sold his, and landed a cutter on Nick on the floor. Fenix got to his feet and threw Matt back into the ring.
Pac got to his feet and got into the ring. He made a tag to Fenix, and then delivered an avalanche brainbuster to Matt. Fenix followed up with a splash for a near fall. Pac landed a Black Arrow, but Nick shoved Fenix into Pac to break up the fall. Nick dragged his brother to the corner for a tag. Pac was legal for his team, and Nick hit him quickly with a low blow. He then stole Rey Fenix’s mask. He covered his face, and The Bucks landed Double Superkick and got the win.
The Young Bucks defeated Pac and Fenix at 23:22 to retain the AEW Tag Titles.
After the match, Callis walked down to the ring and had a brief celebration with The Young Bucks…
Adam Page was shown backstage with The Dark Order. He was asked about The Young Bucks, and instead changed the subject to going to get egg rolls. He said Jon Silver had 4-6 weeks left in his recovery…[c]
My Take: A tag match built around showing the new personas of the Young Bucks. It worked, and it was an enjoyable match. The one are it struggled a bit was that I didn’t think there was much of a chance of a title change given recent events, and so I was a bit numb to the near falls.
Backstage, Alex Marvez interviewed “The Inner Circle” Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, Sammy Guevara, and Jake Hagger along with Mike Tyson. Marvez said Inner Circle and Mike Tyson used to be enemies, but not anymore. Jericho explained when they decided to change their ways for the better, the first thing he did was call people he owed an apology to. He spoke about having respect for Tyson, because they both found ways to stay relevant for 30 years. He said he wanted him to call it right down the middle, and he wanted no special favors. Jericho then mentioned Tyson knocking him out 10 years ago, and said he didn’t want that again.
Tyson said he was firm but fair, and if Jericho got out of line, he could get knocked out again. But, he was happy to call him a friend. Jericho said he hoped that didn’t happen, and they shook hands. In the arena, Red Velvet made her entrance, followed by Jade Cargill.
2. Jade Cargill vs. Red Velvet: They traded some blows early, and Velvet got in a hard slap. She then low bridged Cargill to the outside, and landed a suicide dive. On the floor, Jade tossed Velvet into the barricade, and then gave her a fallaway slam into the crowd. Velvet landed on the women’s talent at ringside, and had to crawl back into the ring.
Velvet acted like she was about cooked, and had to crawl back to the apron. Jade pulled Velvet into the ring with a delayed suplex, and then posed for the crowd…[c]
During the break, Jade landed a spinning powerbomb for a two count. Velvet pushed the pace and landed some kicks. Jade missed a spear in the corner and ate the post. Velvet landed a running clothesline, followed by a casadora into a facebuster. She followed up with a standing moonsault for a near fall.
Velvet went up top, but Cargill got to her feet and knocked her back into the ring. Cargill then landed her Jaded finisher for the win…
Jade Cargill defeated Red Velvet at 7:39
Tony interviewed Britt Baker, and she spoke about climbing up the rankings. She said with Red Velvet’s loss, she will move up, and she will also wrestle on Dark Elevation on Monday to increase her win count. Tony wished her good luck on becoming the AEW Women’s Championship. Baker said AEW will finally have a role model for it’s champion…
In the arena, Anthony Ogogo made his entrance with QT Marshall. Cole Karter was already in the ring.
3. Anthony Agogo vs. Cole Karter: About 20 seconds into the match, Ogogo landed a liver punch and Karter was unable to continue.
Anthony Agogo defeated Cole Karter at 0:23.
After the match, Jericho vs. Harwood was advertised for next..[c]
My Take: Cargill vs. Velvet was really good. I’m not sure if they’ll go back to it, since Cargill has beaten her twice now, but they work well together. I’ll be interested to see if Ogogo beats anyone of note with one punch, as it sorts of makes everyone else who needs 30 minutes and 23 near falls look silly by comparison.
We got a Miro video package. He said he was waiting for Kip to show up so they could smooth things out. He then said if you hold gold in AEW, he recommends you pull a Kip and disappear, because he was coming for you.
In the arena, Justin Roberts introduced Mike Tyson. He was followed by Dax Harwood, who was accompanied by Cash Wheeler. JR mistakenly called them Cash and Dash, proving Jericho’s point from last week. Chris Jericho then made his entrance with Sammy Guevara. Jericho carried his bat to the ring with him.
[Hour Two] Referee Aubrey Edwards sent Tully Blanchard to the back.
4. Chris Jericho (w/Sammy Guevara) vs. Dax Harwood (w/Cash Wheeler): They started out with a hockey fight, and then Jericho landed a couple of shots to force Harwood to retreat to the outside. Jericho grabbed a chair, but Tyson removed it from his hands. Harwood landed some hard punches while Jericho was busy with Tyson. He then grabbed a bat, but Tyson took it from him.
Harwood threw Jericho into the barricade, and then back into the ring. Harwood raked at Jericho’s eyes, but he quickly recovered with some punches and a lariat. Harwood retreated to the timekeepers table, and lured Jericho over so he could hit him with a microphone. Jericho then stabbed him with a pen from the table. Jericho the grabbed a camera, and took a shot of Harwood while they both gave each other the finger.
They continued to brawl in and out of the ring, which Hardwood tossing Jericho into the ring post, and once again into the barricade near Tyson…[c]
Jericho landed a cross body during the break. They traded chops, and both had red chests. Harwood attempted to throw Jericho to the floor, but he held onto the ropes. Jericho then landed a top rope double axe handle, followed by a Lionsault for a near fall. Jericho and Harwood traded hard chops, and Jericho finished the sequence with a running lariat for another two count.
Jericho climbed the corner to land mounted punches on Harwood, but he walked out and landed a powerbomb for a close near fall. Harwood slapped Jericho and climbed to the top, but missed a flying headbutt. Jericho then applied a Boston Crab, but wheeler punched Jericho as they got close to the ropes to break it. Sammy Guevara jumped Wheeler on the outside. Jericho whiffed on a Judas effect, and Harwood countered with a brainbuster for another near fall.
Both men got to their feet, and Jericho landed a codebreaker. Things broke down as both factions emptied from the back. Wheeler looked to hit Jericho with a bad, but Tyson drilled him with a right forearm. In the ring, Jericho landed a Judas effect thanks to a distraction from Sammy Guevara, and covered for the win.
Chris Jericho defeated Dax Harwood at 13:20.
After the match, Tyson and The Inner Circle celebrated while the Pinnacle fumed on the outside. Jericho grabbed a microphone and made Tyson an ancillary member of The Inner Circle…
Outside, The Elite’s Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Don Callis were interviewed by Marvez. Callis shoved him out of frame, and said that they have taught the wrestling world to expect the unexpected. He said the Young Bucks returning to the fold wasn’t the end, it was the beginning. Kenny addressed Podcasters and Fans, and said that they will never be like them, and they were never like them.
Matt Jackson addressed the tag division, and said if any of them want a shot, there’s a BTE trigger with their name on it. Callis said prepare to be surprised again. Callis faked out kicking the cameraman, and then did it anyway…
My Take: Nice job by the cameraman to take the kick and keep everybody in frame and in focus. Jericho and Harwood was a fun brawl. There were a few clumsy spots, and Jericho had to walk over to the ropes himself to break his own Boston Crab, but for the most part everything worked. Hopefully they ratchet up the promo game heading into Blood and Guts. The Elite/Bullet Club crew reliving 2016 isn’t doing much for me yet. Hopefully the surprise is that it gets more interesting.
We got a Thunder Rosa video package where she spoke about taking over the wrestling world…
Kris Statlander made her entrance with her crew of Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Trent. Amber Nova was already in the ring…
5. Kris Statlander vs. Amber Nova: Statlander started the match by booping the referee. She tossed Nova around with hop tosses, and then booped her as well. She then landed a hard forearm, followed by a powerslam. Nova recovered and slapped Statlander, who picked her up over her head and gave her a press slam. She then landed a handstand leg drop and a somersault senton. After a knee strike, Statlander landed a roundhouse kick. She followed that up with a SuperNova for the win.
Kris Statlander defeated Amber Nova at 2:38
After the match, Statlander celebrated with the Best Friends and Cassidy…
Backstage, Team Taz members Taz, Hook, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Brian Cage were interviewed and asked about Christian Cage. Ricky immediately got fired up and said he didn’t want to wait one more minute for Christian. Taz told Cage and Starks to stay backstage when they lock down Christian Cage for Team Taz tonight…
Christian will be interviewed next, and Matt Hardy vs. Darby Allin is the main event…[c]
My Take: Kris Statlander is great in the ring, but that Alien character needs some work. It’s great for a lighthearted act like Best Friends, but how do you make it relatable when you need to sell Championship Feuds? Being one of the AEW’s premiere workers in the women’s division, presumably they’d want her back in that picture at some point. I fear she’d end up cooling off for the same reason Orange Cassidy has faded into the background a bit. The act isn’t as adaptable as it needs to be.
Tony Schiavone was in the ring, and brought out Christian Cage for an interview. Christian said it was a thrill to have his first interview with Tony in the ring. He was in his gear and has an open contract, but was immediately interrupted by Taz. He demanded an answer, and wanted to know why he hadn’t returned his texts or his phone calls. Christian said Team Taz is a bit of a dumpster fire right now. He said he didn’t come to AEW to help him fix his problems, and he was glad he was on the three steps so he could tell him to his face that the answer was no.
Taz said he could stand on his wallet and tower over his big head. Christian asked if it was all that bingo hall money. He then said he didn’t care for him, or his buddy that carried him for his entire career. Taz called him a shit-bag, and Hobbes put his hand over the microphone. Hobbes then walked into the ring and traded punches with Christian. Thanks to a distraction from Hook, Hobbs took control and dumped Christian to the floor. He then tossed him into the barricade, and slammed him on the ring steps. Hobbs then stepped on Christian’s head as he climbed the stairs, and walked to the back…
A Hikaru Shida vs. Tay Conti video package aired to push their AEW Women’s Championship match for next week. Ricky Starks vs. Hangman Page, and Powerhouse Hobbes vs. Christian were both added to next week’s show, along with Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Trent…
Darby Allin vs. Matt Hardy is next…[c]
My Take: I expected Christian to have a bit of a comeback in there, but Hobbs just kicked his ass. I think it worked out for the better.
Matt Hardy made his entrance alone, followed by Darby Allin.
6. Darby Allin vs. Matt Hardy in a Falls Count Anywhere Match for the TNT Title: Hardy started out with a chair. He whiffed on the first shot, but the second one hit him in the back as he bounced off the ropes. Hardy then landed another chair shot to the back, and Allin rolled to ringside.
Hardy landed a few more chair shots on the floor. Darby’s back was bleeding a bit. Hardy slammed him face first on the apron, and then tossed him back into the ring. Hardy sat on the chair and taunted Darby, and then landed some punches. He then slammed the chair into Darby’s stomach. Allin fired back with a hard right hand, but Hardy replied with a neckbreaker.
Hardy set up the chair in a seating position, and slammed Allin head first into the chair. He then slammed the chair over his back one more time.
Hardy placed Darby’s head inside the chair, and went for a twist of fate, but Darby reversed out of it and landed some chair shots to the back. This brought out the Hardy Family Office, and Butcher tossed a trash can at Darby’s head. They then set up the stairs near the barricade on the outside, which prompted the Dark Order and Sting to make their way out. The Dark Order fought Butcher and Blade on the outside, and Sting took out Private Party in the ring.
Hardy and Allin continued to brawl on the floor near the timekeeper’s area…[c]
The brawl continued as Dark Order got the best of Butcher and Blade. Hardy suplexed Allin onto a trash can for a two count on the floor. Allin recovered and smashed the trash can into Hardy multiple times. Sting continued to kick the shit out of Private Party. Allin landed heavy punches. Hardy tossed Allin towards the steel steps, and he vaulted off of them into the barricade in a sick looking spot.
SCU and Ethan Page ran out, but Lance Archer cut them off. Archer then landed his Blackout finisher on Isaiah Kassidy in front of Sting. He then went to ringside and grabbed both members of Private Party. Allin landed a chair to the chest of Hardy, followed by punches. Sting tossed Allin his bat, and headed to the back.
Darby started to take a swing, but Hardy gave him a low blow. Hardy then landed the twist of fate with a chair that he couldn’t land earlier. He then covered, but only got a near fall. Hardy tossed Allin into the backstage area. He then set him on a table, and climbed a nearby ladder to land a leg drop. He covered and still got a near fall.
The wrestlers entered the arena area again, and Hardy sold his tailbone from the leg drop. Darby crawled along, and Matt picked him up for a powerbomb. Darby fought free and landed a low blow of his own, and grabbed the baseball bat from ringside. He hit Hardy several times across the stomach, and smashed the broadcast equipment for his trouble. He placed Matt on the table, and scaled some scaffolding nearby for a Coffin Drop through the table. Darby then pinned Hardy for the win.
Darby Allin defeated Matt Hardy at 16:27 in a Falls Count Anywhere match to retain the TNT Championship.
After the match, Allin grabbed his title belt and held it up to the camera.
My Take: That was a wild brawl. Hardy and Allin both took some serious abuse, and performed well. The only detriment to the match was the fact that there was also a wild gang brawl happening that took up most of the middle act. I don’t know that we need those every week on this show. That said, this was a good edition of Dynamite that moved forward several programs. Check back later with Jason Powell for his Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review. Let us know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
This opening tag match is everything wrong with modern wrestling in a single match.
Guys going in and out without the ref doing anything. Guys fighting outside the ring forever without a countout. Kickouts on a Canadian Destroyer and a superplex/frogsplash combo. A no-sell on a superkick that’s immediately turned into a cutter that is randomly sold by both guys. And then it just suddenly ends after possibly the least impactful move of the night as apparently superkicks hurt more if you’re not wearing a mask.
Just a completely awful clusterfuck spotfest of the worst possible kind and it lasted well over 20 minutes, aka every single Young Bucks match ever.
Oh, and now Adam Page is drinking again while hanging out with 7 comedy jobber losers.
This is what they lead off with on their first night unopposed?
Jade Cargill could legitimately be special. Obviously she has the athleticism. She also seems to do moves crisply in a way that looks like they’re intended to hurt her opponent. The question will be if she gets the psychology down. She shouldn’t be selling a single move by Great Value Brandi.
Britt Baker is so good in this arrogant heel persona. She’s a delight at this point and hopefully she’ll take a stand against doing any more matches with thumbtacks, etc. as she’s too good to be doing garbage matches.
Ogogo could be interesting, as well, but they need to get away from the body shot KO immediately. That punch could be part of his sequence to get to his finisher, but that’s not good enough as a finish. Too early to tell if he’s going to figure it out, but hopefully he does because he looks the part.
What’s the point of the Blood and Guts match if The Inner Circle are the faces and they’ve already gotten revenge multiple times?
Why does a spinning back elbow finish things while a slingshot powerbomb and a brainbuster don’t?
Why was the schmoz with both factions fighting followed by an in ring interview with one of them and then an outside promo by a completely different faction – which means there have been 5 interviews with factions and there’s still about 45 minutes left in the show?
Thotless out here writing novels no one is reading lol
More novella than full novel.
Statlander looked good, but agreed with Barnett that these indy comedy gimmicks need to either have a major overhaul or go away completely. Maybe getting more fit will keep Kris from injuring people now.
Cage continues to be great on the mic, but we’ve had 9 groups/factions on the show with half an hour left. AEW has got to split a lot of this crap up and put the focus on individual and tag teams that can actually draw money.
A good, experienced booker could easily clean up the mess and get AEW headed in a coherent, logical direction. Instead, we get the interrupted interview with corresponding beatdown and then pitch to the reminder that the main event is yet another gimmick match with the falls count anywhere stipulation.
Best analysis is a while
The main event had 1 good thing, and that’s Darby Allen’s inexplicable Jesse Pinkman like charisma overcoming all the absolute rubbish around him.
Everything else about that, including the 973 people interfering in various ways, was a bad acid trip.
I’m begging Shahid Khan to force his son to hire a real booker and then leave that person alone. There are more than enough pieces to have a really good product and instead everything is so overdone that almost none of it makes a lasting impact.
Damn Jason, you’re gonna have to start paying this THOTLESS guy…
Instead of “My Take,” we now need Thotless’ Take!