By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 84)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired May 5, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] The Dynamite intro played, and then Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone opened the show from the announce desk. They promoted The Inner Circle vs. The Pinnacle in a Blood and Guts match, a grudge match between QT Marshall and Cody Rhodes, and Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa against Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston.
Kenny Omega’s music hit, but Don Callis and Michael Nakazawa walked out. Callis called out famous names from Japanese wrestling, including Baba, Inoki, Okada, Ibushi, and Nakazawa. He said Kenny Omega couldn’t make it tonight, but in the spirit of giving the fans what they came to see, Nakazawa would wrestle the match by himself. Kingston and Moxley made their entrance, but they were blindsided by Omega with the AEW Championship belt as they worked through the crowd.
1. Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa vs. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston: Omega tossed Kingston into the ring, while Moxley sold on the floor. He and Nakazawa beat down Kingston for a moment, until Moxley came in to even the odds. Tags were very loosely enforced here. Moxley dumped Nakazawa to the floor. He then hit a sidewalk slam to Omega, who rolled to the outside. Moxley splashed both Nakazawa and Omega.
Both Kingston and Moxley took it to the heels on the floor. Moxley sent Omega into the barricade, and Kingston bounced Nakazawa off the ring apron. In the ring, Moxley and Kingston isolated Nakazawa, and landed a splash and some knees in the corner. Omega broke up a pinfall. Nakazawa recovered by landing a low blow on Kingston behind the ref’s back. Omega then choked Kingston on the ropes.
They isolated Kingston and prevented a tag. Omega landed a Kotaro Crusher for a two count. He then setup for a snap suplex, but Kingston blocked it. They then traded chops in the corner, and then Omega landed an enziguri to shut it down. Omega landed a forward roll slam, but could not connect on the follow up moonsault attempt. Kingston landed a lariat and then made a tag to Moxley. Omega tagged out to Nakazawa, who was immediately overwhelmed by the former AEW Champion.
Moxley dropped Nakazawa with a knee, and then tossed Kenny Omega by his hair. He then landed a german suplex and a piledriver on Nakazawa, which forced Omega to break up the pin. Moxley applied a rear chinlock, while Kingston prevented Omega from getting in the ring. Omega eventually just left and abandoned the match. Moxley and Kingston finished Nakazawa off with a half and half suplex and lariat combo.
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston defeated Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa at 8:02
After the match, The Young Bucks, Gallows, and Anderson gave us the weekly beatdown of Moxley and Kingston. Matt Jackson wore some Hawaiin themed former hotel curtains. They landed superkicks and a magic killer to Moxley. Omega returned with Cutler, and he then landed the One Winged Angel on Kingston. Omega celebrated to end the segment.
Excalibur confirmed Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker for the AEW Women’s Championship at Double or Nothing. An announcement was teased regarding Kenny Omega’s opponent, and Rhodes vs. Marshall are next…[c]
My Take: Is the trade off for getting clean finishes in AEW that we have to have 5 post match beat downs every week? I think we have to find a median where a company makes clever use of all kinds of finishes, because right now we have one company that does constant non-finishes, and one that does clean finishes no matter the circumstance, and the story beats have become predictable for both.
QT Marshall made his entrance first, flanked by his crew. Cody was out second with Arn Anderson.
2. QT Marshall vs. Cody Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson): The action began as soon as Cody got in the ring. They brawled quickly, and Cody landed a stalled vertical suplex. He then took off his belt, but it was taken by Bryce Remsburg. Marshall had his own belt while they argued, and cracked Cody over the back with it. Marshall then choked Cody in the corner.
Cody landed a sunset flip out of the corner for a two count. He and QT then traded right hands, until Cody raked his eyes and back. Cody went up top, but QT met him there and tossed him into the ring. He followed up with a deadlift german suplex. Cody was forced to roll to the floor. QT got into it with Arn Anderson, who punched QT and shoved him into the ring post. The ref broke it up and tossed Arn from ringside…[c]
QT recovered and got back on offense during the break. Cody struggled to get back in the match, and QT used a slingshot to send his throat into the bottom rope. They collided with a double cross body attempt, and went back to trading punches back and forth. QT ran into a spear from Cody. He then followed up with a DDT, but Cody couldn’t make a cover. Cody then landed a moonsault onto a standing Marshall for a near fall.
Cody went for a Disaster Kick, but QT avoided it. He then tried for a Cody Cutter, but QT reversed into a Cross Rhodes for close near fall. QT went for a Diamond Cutter, but Cody stuffed it. QT was able to land a buckle bomb after a second effort. He then went for a Tombstone, and after several reversals, Cody landed one instead for a near fall. Cody bled from his right eye. He landed a CrossRhodes, and then applied the Figure Four for the win.
Cody Rhodes defeated QT Marshall at 12:19
After the match, Anthony Ogogo walked down and landed a liver punch on Cody. He then covered him with a Union Jack.
The announce team then cut to a video package that featured Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky attacking Sting and Darby Allin last week. Scorpio Sky addressed Sting, and called him a mosquito sucking on the blood of young talent. He told him he’d do just what he did to mosquitos, and kill him. He said he was the franchise now….bitch.
Ethan Page then said that Darby Allin had a permanent dent in his forehead from him, and that’s why he has to wear his ugly make up. He then took credit for putting metal in Darby’s elbow. Darby Allin showed up and attacked both men, and got the upper hand briefly until the number caught up. He landed a splash onto Sky from a light pole, but Page quickly attacked from behind. Sky wore some kind of spiked boots, and ground Darby’s face against them. They then threw him down a flight of nearby concrete stairs on the concourse. Allin sold an arm injury to end the segment…[c]
My Take: Rhodes and Marshall was good….but not great. I never bought into the idea that QT had a real shot at all. The Page and Sky promos were a bit too edgelord for me, and Allin flying down those concrete steps just looked plain dangerous. The segment had a lot of intensity though, so credit for that.
Britt Baker made her entrance with Rebel. The announcers said they would provide an update on Darby’s condition. Julia Hart was already in the ring.
3. Julia Hart vs. Britt Baker (w/Rebel): Baker landed a slingblade early that looked like a nasty fall. Baker then picked her up and landed and Air Raid Crash, but Baker picked her up on the pinfall attempt. She applied Lockjaw and got the win.
Britt Baker defeated Julia Hart at 1:29
Baker celebrated with Rebel after the match. Schiavone introduced some analysis of Christian Cage’s Killswitch and Frog Splash. He picked apart his footwork and explosiveness, and said he had a long way to go to catch up to Team Taz.
The Varsity Blonds were in the ring after the video. This is a fatal four way match for a Tag Team Title Shot. They were followed by Jurassic Express, with Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus wrestling. SCU followed, and finally The Acclaimed. Max Caster did some free styling where he clowned on everyone and called the Tag Champs the Young Cucks.
4. “SCU” Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian vs. “Jurassic Express” Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens vs. “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison in a four-way for an AEW Tag Title shot: Kazarian and Jungle Boy started the match. They traded pinfall attempts on the mat, but nobody earned a clear advantage. Max Caster tagged in, but this ended up causing a break down in the match and half the participants cleared to ringside…[c]
The Acclaimed controlled the action and cut off Daniels in their corner. He landed a chop on Caster and tripped Bowens to escape. Luchasaurus tagged himself in, and took out both of the Acclaimed. He then landed chokeslams on both Pillman Jr. and Garrison. Kazarian entered the ring, and was chokeslammed onto Pillman and Garrison on the floor. Jungle Boy tagged in, and landed stereo Death Valley Drivers on The Acclaimed with Luchasaurus.
Jungle Boy covered Bowens, but Daniels broke up the pin. More chaos ensued, and Pillman Jr and Jungle Boy ended up legal. Jungle Boy climbed to the top rope, but Daniels crotched him on the ropes. Luchasaurus dragged Daniels to the floor. Kazarian entered and knocked down Jungle Boy. This led to Daniels and Kazarian landing a BME on Pillman Jr for the win.
SCU defeated Varsity Blonds, Jurassic Express, and The Acclaimed at 9:12 to earn an AEW Tag Title shot next week
We then got a video recapping Jon Moxley’s NJPW US Title run, and his challenge to Yuji Nagata. Moxley responded to Nagata calling him little by telling him that he was in over his head, and said once the bell rings he has no respect for anyone. He claimed he invited Nagata with respect, but it wasn’t returned, and he would teach him some in the ring on Dynamite.
[Hour Two] Tony Schiavone was standing by near the ring while the Blood and Guts cage was lowered. He then brought out Kenny Omega for an announcement. Omega walked out wearing the AEW Championship, while Michael Nakazawa carried the AAA Mega, TNA, and Impact Championships. Omega didn’t immediately discuss any of that, and screamed about Blood and Guts. He said he had been around the world collecting gold, and said he wasn’t there for fun, and didn’t want to be there at all, so he begged Tony to make the announcement.
Schiavone announced and eliminator match between Pac and Orange Cassidy for next week to determine his challenger at Double or Nothing. Omega said Pac is world class and has beaten him before, so they should just announce the match for Double or Nothing. Cassidy walked out and got into Kenny’s face. Omega laughed and acted like Cassidy was beneath him. Omega said he sees people with their hands in their pockets trying to emulate him, because they can be like him, but they can never be like Omega.
Omega then said the only thing championship material about him was his shades. Omega took his glasses off his face and called them legit Ray-Bans, and said since Cassidy stole his valuable time, he was taking something from him. He then put his glasses on Nakazawa. He estimated those were limited editions worth $1000. Omega said the glasses looked better on Nak, and that he looked more like a champion than he ever did. He said maybe he’s see Orange in 10 years wherever or whenever he grew into being an adult.
My Take: The Tag Match wasn’t my favorite. It just never really clicked for me. Neither did the Omega promo if I’m being honest. He came across like he was trying a bit too hard, and it felt awkward and forced. The belt collector thing might do it for some, but there wasn’t anything electric or star making about that promo performance.
Miro walked out for an interview next to the cage. He grabbed the microphone and said he told everyone if they had gold, they had a problem. Schiavone pointed out that the contract allows for Darby to forfeit for health reasons. Miro said he needs Darby Allin to show up, because he doesn’t need handouts. He finished by saying that next week the man who doesn’t mind dying will meet the man who doesn’t mind killing him. Excalibur ran through next week’s card at Warp 9. Blood and Guts is next.
Justin Roberts stood near the cage and listed the rules for the match. One member from each team will start for 5 minutes. The Pinnacle will have the advantage of getting the second person in the ring, and subsequent members will be added at two minute intervals from both teams. The Pinnacle made their entrance first…[c]
My Take: Now the Darby attack makes more sense. It’s preemptive cover for losing his title next week to Miro.
The Inner Circle made their entrance. The Pinnacle wore all white, and The Inner Circle wore dark colored prison uniforms.
5. “The Pinnacle” MJF, Wardlow, Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, and Shawn Spears vs. “The Inner Circle” Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Santana, Ortiz, and Jake Hager in a Blood and Guts Match: Sammy Guevara and Dax Harwood started the match. Guevara immediately jumped Harwood. They hit the ropes and Guevara landed a back body drop. He followed up with a drop kick. Harwood fired back with a spinebuster. He tried for a pin, but his teammates quickly reminded him that it was submit or surrender. I’m not quite sure how those two things are different.
Harwood and Guevara traded heavy shots. Guevara then sent him down the ladder of turnbuckles in the corner, and then into the steel post in the corner. A moment later, both men were hanging on the ropes, and Guevara knocked Harwood onto his knees between the cage and the ropes. He then sent him hard into the cage on two different corners. He then landed a springboard cutter, as Harwood was busted open.
Shawn Spears entered with a chair to grant the Pinnacle their advantage. Spears then managed to hit Guevara with a chair, but he didn’t really get his hands up, and it hit him in the head. Spears and Harwood pushed the advantage, but Ortiz entered the match to even things up. He grabbed the chair and hit both Spears and Harwood with it. Spears and Guevara balanced on the ropes across two rings. Ortiz threw the chair at Spears, and Guevara pulled him into a Spanish Fly.
Guevara was busted open from the chair shot earlier. Cash Wheeler entered the match and landed an ugly lariat on Ortiz. Spears landed kicks to Guevara’s face while he was on the ground, and then threw him into the cage. FTR landed a double team brainbuster on Ortiz. Santana yelled to Ortiz through the cage. Spears tossed Guevara into the cage, and then applied the sharpshooter.
Cash Wheeler gave Ortiz a Gory special into the cage, and he landed the ground between the ring and the cage. Santana entered and was fired up. He freed Guevara from the Sharpshooter, and landed a huge uranage on Wheeler. FTR regrouped and tossed Santana hard into the cage, and he landed in between the ring and cage as well…[c]
Spears and Guevara continued the brawl. Santana and Ortiz tried to rally from under the ring. Wardlow entered the match during the commercial break. Santana, Ortiz, and Guevara tried to triple team him after gaining the upper hand on the others. Wardlow shook them all off and tossed all three of them into the cage. Hager entered the match and wiped out Wheeler and Harwood. He applied an Ankle Lock to Spears, who tapped out, but it doesn’t end the match because all ten men aren’t in yet.
Wardlow and Hager met and traded heavy shots. They fought against the cage, and Hager threw some knees, and Wardlow replied with some elbows. MJF was in the match next, and ran around taking pot shots at weakened opponents. He got to Hager, but Wardlow chop blocked him from behind. MJF told Jericho when he got in the ring he was a dead man. There was blood everywhere. Wheeler appeared to be bleeding the heaviest.
Jericho finally entered. Both teams ended up regrouping in one ring a piece. From this point on, a submission or surrender ends the match. All ten men charged to meet in the middle of the ring. Jericho produced a baseball bat from his jumpsuit, and teed off on Harwood and Spears. Jericho and Spears both climbed a truss, but Jericho climbed down a moment later and Spears managed to escape…[c]
As the show returned, FTR had exposed the wood on one of the rings. They set out to piledrive Santana and Ortiz on it, but it got reversed. Sammy Guevara managed to assist Santana and Ortiz with spike piledrivers on pine. Jericho landed a codebreaker on Wardlow. Guevara hit a thrust kick on Spears. They then set up Sami to go Coast to Coast on Guevara, and he pulled it off.
Jericho hit MJF with the turnbuckle clamp from one of the ropes. Santana produced a fork from somewhere, and gouged MJF with it, who was already bleeding from the forehead. Jericho choked Wardlow with the baseball bat. Ortiz ground Cash Wheeler’s face into the cage, and raked his eyes. Jericho landed a punch between the eyes of MJF, and the Pinnacle were getting wore out at this point.
Wardlow showed some life and took out Hager and Guevara, but Santana and Ortiz took him down with a baton and a chair. There was an ugly spot with Wardlow and Hager that ended with then starting over and Hager landing a spear…[c]
The action spilled outside during the picture in picture break. MJF ended up on top of the cage. Jericho followed in pursuit. The remainder of the brawl continued in the ring. Jericho finally reached the top of the cage, and MJF begged off. Tully Blanchard had stolen the key from Bryce Remsburg. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho on top of the cage. MJF teased a tap out, but MJF punched Jericho in the balls.
MJF applied The Salt of the Earth armbar. Jericho yelled no on the submission. MJF eventually gave up and repeatedly smashed Jericho’s hand into the cage. He then bit his arm, and reapplied the submission. In the ring, chair shots could be heard. MJF grabbed the Dynamite Diamond out of his trunks and blessed Jericho with a right hand. He screamed at Jericho to surrender, but he refused.
MJF eyed the ramp area, and teased throwing Jericho off the cage. He yelled to the inner circle that if they didn’t surrender, he’d throw him off the top. Guevara yelled that he surrendered, and the match was waived off.
The Pinnacle defeated The Inner Circle at 33:58 in a Blood and Guts match
After the match, MJF and Jericho remained on top of the cage and raised his arm. Jericho tried to get up, but MJF shoved him off and through the ramp at ringside. It was clearly a crash pad, and Jericho seemed to land in the meat of it safely. MJF screamed Thank You at Jericho, and the announcers speculated whether Jericho’s career was over. The crowd booed heavily as MJF celebrated, and the last image was of him on top of the cage.
My Take: An absolutely brutal brawl, and it lived up to the namesake. The commercials killed the flow of the match at various points, and the final stretch with Jericho and MJF at the top of the cage could have used a bit more drama, but overall this was a very strong match that kept it’s promises. Next time, I think they should probably save this for PPV, so that we can see a tighter presentation without all the interruptions. The right team won the match, and MJF gets to gloat next week. It’ll be interesting to see which direction they go next with the Pinnacle, because they needed this win, and they need some direction beyond The Inner Circle. Overall, this was a solid episode of Dynamite. It wasn’t all perfect, but it had far more energy than the Monday and Tuesday shows because of the atmosphere and the live crowd.