By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 86)
Taped May 13, 201 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired May 19, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired and then the broadcast team of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur checked in. Ring announcer Justin Roberts stood in the ring and introduced the wrestlers in the opening match…
1. Christian Cage vs. Matt Sydal. Taz sat in on commentary for the match. The broadcast team hyped that both men will be in the Casino Battle Royale at the Double or Nothing pay-per-view. Roughly eight minutes in, Sydal got a close near fall following a sunset flip. He applied a crossface, but Cage reached the bottom rope to break it.
Cage went for a top rope cross body block, but Sydal avoided it. Sydal flipped off the ropes over Cage, who moved out of his path. Cage turned and speared Sydal and covered him for a two count. Cage set up for his finisher, but Sydal turned and blasted him with a leaping knee strike. Sydal went for a corkscrew backflip dive onto Cage, who put his knees up. Cage hit his Killswitch finisher and scored the clean pin.
Christian Cage defeated Matt Sydal in 9:15.
After the match, Cage and Sydal hugged. Sydal shook Cage’s hand and bowed. Meanwhile, Taz vented on the mic. Cage opened the ropes and encouraged him to join him inside the ring.
Ricky Starks made his entrance and said he was front and center. Starks said he wouldn’t be on the sidelines like “these flunkies (spectator wrestlers). Starks said they had business to handle and called for his crew. Hook attacked Sydal from behind, and then Brian Cage and Powerhouse Hobbs attacked Cage.
“Hangman” Adam Page came out in regular attire and handed his drink to Starks. Page headed to the ring and fought Hobbs and Brian Cage. Page was getting the better of Brian Cage until Hook chop blocked him from behind. Brian Cage powerbombed Page. Taz applauded his team and said they did their job. Starks joined his crew inside the ring and drank from the cup that Page gave him…
The broadcast team hyped the previously advertised matches…
Backstage, Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison delivered a promo while Julia Hart stood by. Pillman said his father was actually the way he stayed away from the business for so long because he only knew the dark side of the ring. Pillman said that changed when he met the Young Bucks and they gave him hopes that it could be done the right way. Garrison said he was asked to work the Bucks’ merch table at a local show in 2018. He said the Bucks today are not the same guys they were back then. Pillman said they wouldn’t stop until they become the AEW Tag Team Champions… [C]
Powell’s POV: A nice opening match between a pair of pros. The post match angle was effective in terms of putting heat on the heels. Meanwhile, it was great to hear from the Varsity Blonds on Dynamite. Their promo was solid, but the important thing is that viewers got to hear from them and get a feel for their personalities.
Footage aired from “earlier today” of a Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston promo from a backstage area. Moxley asked Kingston if The Acclaimed are any good. Kingston said one is a rapper and the other is the rapper’s friend. Moxley asked if they were inviting them to a superkick party.
Kingston and Moxley agreed that they don’t throw superkicks and wondered if they need to in order to go to the party. Moxley spoke about TK being a numbers guy and how they had to beef up their record. There was a rough cut and then Moxley said they should go beat the bricks off of their opponents…
An Acclaimed promo aired from “earlier today.” Anthony Bowens pointed out that he and Max Caster are ranked higher than Moxley and Kingston in the tag division…
2. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Moxley and Kingston came out to the X version of “Wild Thing” as their entrance theme. Caster rapped about being hit up by Renee (Moxley’s wife) for Oral Sessions (the name of her podcast). Once they were in the ring, Moxley blasted Caster to start the match. They cut to a picture-in-picture break early in the match. [C]
Late in the match, Bowens wrapped a chain around his fist, but the referee caught him. Meanwhile, Caster tried to use his boombox as a weapon on Kingston, but Moxley cut him off. Kingston and Moxley performed a wheelbarrow/DDT combo move on Bowens and then Moxley scored the pin…
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston defeated “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens in 10:20.
Powell’s POV: While originals are typically better than musical remakes, I love that Moxley came out to the Major League movie version of “Wild Thing” unlike last week when he came out to the original version from The Proggs. The original is great, but the movie version of the song has the right energy for Moxley and a pro wrestling show. I also enjoyed Caster making it personal with his rap regarding Renee Paquette rather than working in pop culture references. So the pre-match was entertaining and the fun carried over to actual match.
Backstage, Chris Jericho had his elbow in a brace while talking with Dean Malenko. Alex Marvez showed up and asked Jericho if the Inner Circle would accept The Pinnacle’s challenge to a Stadium Stampede match. Jericho declined to give him the scoop…
Tony Schiavone stood inside the ring and interviewed Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. Sky said Sting was everything he loved about pro wrestling when he was a child. Sky said time changed things. He said Sting is not the same man that he once was.
Sky said he’s no longer a child, he’s now a grown man warning him to step aside or he would put him down. Page dismissed Schiavone and then boasted about what he and Sky have done to Sting and Darby Allin. Page said he would take everything away from Allin. “I will be the nail in your coffin,” Page closed.
Sting made his entrance. Darby Allin entered the ring from the other side and attacked Page with a skate board. Sting ended up with the skateboard and then hit Sky with it. Sting put Sky in the Scorpion Leg Lock and eventually released him. Page and Sky headed to the stage.
The Dark Order members entered from both entrance tunnels to block Page and Sky from heading backstage. The duo ran to the side to avoid the mob of adversaries… [C]
Powell’s POV: Good mic work from Sky and Page followed by the babyfaces getting a measure of revenge. I continue to assume that this is leading to a cinematic tag match at the Double or Nothing pay-per-view.
The Pinnacle members MJF, Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, Shawn Spears, Wardlow, and Tully Blanchard were eating at a restaurant. MJF and Harwood cut promos on the Inner Circle. Spears took issue with the waiter pouring wine and ended up slamming his head onto their table. The others calmed him down. Blanchard flipped the waiter some cash and said that should take care of it. MJF said that if Jericho decides to do the Stadium Stampede, it will be the last of the Inner Circle…
3. AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Rebel (w/Britt Baker) in an eliminator match. Shida targeted the right knee of Rebel. She pulled out a black glove while staring at Baker. Shida wanted to use the glove for a submission hold, but Baker distracted her by holding up her title belt. Rebel hit Shida from behind with a crutch. Rebel got a two count, but Shida came right back and a kneebreaker and a stretch muffler for the win…
AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida defeated Rebel in 2:00 in an eliminator match.
Immediately after the match, Baker attacked Shida and gave her a Stomp onto the AEW Women’s Championship belt.
Powell’s POV: Simple and effective with Reba being used as the fall girl, which allowed Baker to get the better of Shida heading into their title match at the pay-per-view.
Footage aired from last week of Kenny Omega and Don Callis entering the dressing room of Orange Cassidy. Kris Statlander and Best Friends left the room. Omega and Callis sat down next to Cassidy. Omega told Cassidy that they need him to be the mascot of AEW, not a main event player who challenges for the belt.
Callis presented Cassidy with a legal document that would result in Cassidy forfeiting his title shot at Double or Nothing and then he could meet Omega “down the road” once he was healthier. Cassidy took the contract and tore it in half. Omega spoke about what he could do to Cassidy and then pointed out that Callis actually printed out a second version of the contract. Callis gave it to him and told him to take his time and then sign it and return it to him the next day…
Schiavone hyped The Inner Circle’s response to The Pinnacle for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: This will be blasphemy to fans who want wrestling, wrestling, and nothing but wrestling, but I’m enjoying the mix that AEW is presenting on this episode. We’re getting more mic time than usual and that’s not a negative by any means.
Inner Circle members Chris Jericho, Ortiz, Sammy Guevara, and Jake Hager made their entrance (minus Santana) to “Judas” by Fozzy.
[Hour Two] Ortiz said he wants to fight. Guevara called The Pinnacle a bunch of clowns. He confirmed that he wanted to fight as well. Hager said they don’t have a choice but to accept or they would come off as cowards like The Pinnacle. Hager said the last thing they want is to be a bunch of schoolgirl bitches like MJF’s team.
Jericho said the presented stipulation is that if they take the Stadium Stampede match and lose, the Inner Circle must break up for good. He wondered if the Blood and Guts match was worth it and said he’ll never be the same again because of MJF.
Jericho said his elbow will eventually recover, but he won’t recover from the mental image of being thrown off the top of the cage. Jericho said it was the most terrifying moment of his life. Jericho said MJF scared his family and friends. Jericho questioned if it was worth it. Jericho said that when he thinks of the revenge that he’ll get on MJF, it was absolutely worth it. They all said “yes” together to accept the challenge.
Jericho said that if they couldn’t beat The Pinnacle then they don’t deserve to be together anyway. He also mentioned that Santana will return next week. Jericho said hell is coming for The Pinnacle at Double or Nothing. He said they would dance all over The Pinnacle’s faces and piss all over their graves…
Powell’s POV: So of course they were going to say yes, but they did a nice job with the promo. There’s still time, but AEW needs to explain the Stadium Stampede concept to viewers who missed the original.
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Schiavone asking Jade Cargill if she’s made her decision about representation. Cargill started talking about how she’s continues to say that she’s her own boss. Mark Sterling showed up and said that he doesn’t want her to work for him, he wants to work for Team Jade. She told him that she would think about it while also scolding him for interrupting her time…
4. Serena Deeb vs. Red Velvet for the NWA Women’s Championship. Deeb went right at Velvet to start the match and performed a neckbreaker for a near fall. Velvet battled back, but Deeb regained offensive control going into the PIP break. [C]
Deeb stood on the apron and put Velvet in a guillotine. When she released the hold and set up for another, Velvet shoved her to the floor. Velvet performed a moonsault from the apron and then rolled Deeb back inside the ring. Velvet threw a kick and then covered Deeb for a two count.
Velvet performed a top rope moonsault, but Deeb put her knees up. Deeb powerbombed Velvet and covered her for a near fall. The spectator wrestlers chanted “this is awesome.” Deeb applied the Serenity Lock. Velvet reached for the ropes, but Deeb pulled her back in the middle of the ring.
Deeb tried to counter into a different hold, but Velvet caught her in an inside cradle for a near fall. Deeb chop blocked the back of Velvet’s knee. She slammed the bad knee into the mat several times and then reapplied the Serenity Lock and got the submission win…
Serena Deeb defeated Red Velvet in 9:30 to retain the NWA Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: A good match. I love the way that Deeb violently targeted Velvet’s knee and eventually put her away as a result of the damage that she did. I believe this was Deeb’s first match back from a knee scope and she didn’t show any rust.
Pac delivered a backstage promo while standing in front of The Elite’s locker room. He said he’s sick and tired of being robbed of opportunities in AEW. Pac asked Alex Marvez what fool would bet against The Bastard now…
Schiavone hyped upcoming segments, including Anthony Ogogo’s match against Austin Gunn for after the break… [C]
5. Anthony Ogogo (w/QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, Aaron Solow) vs. Austin Gunn (w/Cody Rhodes, Arn Anderson). Gunn attacked Ogogo the moment the bell rang. Ogogo eventually blocked a hip-toss attempt and then punched him in the gut. Gunn sold the punch and used the ropes to pull himself up. Ogogo, who bleed from the nose from something earlier in the match, hit him with a second punch. The referee wanted to stop the match, but Gunn stopped him. Gunn bled from his mouth. Ogogo picked him up and then gave him a popup punch. The referee called for the bell…
Anthony Ogogo defeated Austin Gunn in 2:10.
After the match, Cody entered the ring and draped an American flag over the top rope before going to check on Gunn. Ogogo picked up the flag and tossed it. Cody scrambled and was able to catch the flag. Ogogo was handed the Union Jack flag, which he held up while heading to the back with the rest of The Factory…
Powell’s POV: This worked. It was nice to see Ogogo do a little something more than the knockout punch, and Gunn did a nice job of selling for him.
Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian were interviewed by Alex Marvez, who asked what the future holds for Daniels following his “That might be all” tweet. Daniels pushed Marvez aside, shook Kazarian’s hand, and spoke into his ear before walking away. Kazarian told Marvez that he doesn’t have the time or words to explain what Daniels means to him professionally and personally.
Kazarian said that Daniels has earned the right to choose whatever path he wants to take. Kazarian said he knows what path he is on. Kazarian said he would hunt down every member of The Elite. He said he would have his recompense or he would die trying. Kazarian said he’s a bomb that can’t be defused and a gun that can’t be unloaded. He said it wasn’t a promise or a threat, it’s the gospel according to Frankie Kazarian… [C]
During a PIP break, Sammy Guevara came out with cards that had messages about The Pinnacle and the Stadium Stampede match…
TNT Champion Miro made his entrance and delivered an in-ring promo. There was a chant for Darby Allin from the spectator wrestlers. Miro held up the TNT Title and told them there’s their Darby. He also spoke about defending his title next week and punishing whoever faced him.
Lance Archer and Jake Roberts made their entrance. Archer said he’s happy that Miro won the title because of the fight they will now have at Double or Nothing. He said he would make Miro his Bulgarian bitch. Miro said Archer talks about how everybody dies, but he will insist that Archer dies first…
Schiavone hyped Miro vs. Dante Martin for the TNT Title, Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page, the Anthony Ogogo and Cody Rhodes weigh-in, Jade Cargill issues an open challenge, a celebration of Inner Circle’s greatest moments, Evil Uno and Stu Grayson vs. Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page, and Darby Allin vs. Cezar Bononi, a celebration of Hikaru Shida’s one year as AEW Women’s Champion, and a special announcement regarding the Buy In pre-show. Next week’s show will air on Friday at 9CT/10ET…
Excalibur announced Sting and Allin vs. Sky and Page in Sting’s in-arena match in nearly six years for Double or Nothing… [C]
Powell’s POV: Hey, it won’t be a cinematic match. I like it. It would have been pushing it if they had gone with a cinematic tag match and Stadium Stampede on the first show with a capacity crowd.
6. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson (w/Brandon Cutler) vs. “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison (w/Julia Hart) for the AEW Tag Titles. Don Callis sat in on commentary. Matt gave his headgear to an over the top happy Michael Nakazawa. The Blonds got off to a fast start, but the Bucks took control and then struck their pose on the stage. [C]
Late in the match, Matt had Pillman in a leg lock when Nick sprayed cold spray into Pillman’s eyes while Cutler distracted the referee. The referee caught Matt with the can and cleared it from the ring. Meanwhile, Cutler tossed another can of cold spray to Matt, who then sprayed it into the eyes of Hart, who had climbed onto the apron to alert the referee to the first can.
Pillman caught Matt in an inside cradle for a near fall. Matt put Pillman in a Sharpshooter. Nick performed a leaping facebuster and then dove onto Garrison on the floor. Pillman tapped out to end the match.
“The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson defeated “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison in 11:35 to retain the AEW Tag Titles.
After the match, Callis and Cutler joined the Bucks inside the ring for the post match celebration. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston walked out and entered the ring, causing Callis and Cutler to flee the ring. Moxley and Kingston attacked the Bucks and worked them over.
Moxley put Matt in a sleeper hold and then Kingston put Nick in a rear naked choke. Moxley and Kingston released the holds once the Bucks were out and then stole their expensive Dior shoes. Kingston took it a step further by stealing Matt’s socks while Moxley was still struggling to get Matt’s shoes off.
The broadcast team officially announced The Young Bucks vs. Moxley and Kingston for the AEW Tag Title, and then read through the previously announced pay-per-view matches. Schiavone came right out and said that Sting’s match will not be a cinematic match. He also announced that Paul Wight will be the guest commentator for the Casino Battle Royale. Excalibur reminded viewers that next week’s show will air on Friday, May 28. The cameras cut back to Moxley and Kingston taunting the Bucks by holding up their stolen shoes…
Powell’s POV: Kingston seemed like an experienced shoe thief compared to Moxley. I’m just saying. The main event was exactly what it should have been with the young babyface tag team having some impressive moments before being put away by the cheating and more experienced heel champions. The post match scene was fun. We’ve been hearing about the Bucks’ shoes for weeks, but I never made the connection that Moxley and Kingston would actually steal them, so that was unexpected fun.
Overall, this a strong episode of Dynamite. It was good to see the wrestlers get more mic time than usual. The segments felt like they all served a purpose in terms of building to the pay-per-view. Obviously, it will be very interesting to see how next Friday’s show does in the ratings for TNT while airing immediately after Smackdown on Fox. That will become a familiar slot for AEW fans with today’s announcement that the one-hour Rampage show will air in that same slot beginning in August. I will return shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Dynamite for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.