By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 87)
Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired May 28, 2021 on TNT
Jim Ross introduced the show alongside Tony Schiavone and Excalibur. Fans filled the building at Daily’s place, with no spectator wrestlers at ringside. Darby Allin and Sting made their entrance. Cezar Bononi and Ryan Nemeth were already at ringside. Allin and Bononi are competing in the opening match.
1. Darby Allin (w/Sting) vs. Cezar Bononi (w/Ryan Nemeth, JD Drake, Peter Avalon): Bononi got an early edge with some strikes, and Allin had his ribs heavily taped. Allin pulled Bononi in for a Fujiwara Arm Bar, but was repelled. Bononi landed a kick to the ribs, and took control back. He then landed punches to the ribs in the corner, and then tossed Allin across the ring.
Cezar then picked up Allin for a suplex and dropped him on the top turnbuckle. He then spilled to the ramp on the outside. Bononi remained in control and kept Allin grounded. Darby eventually fought to his feet and landed a Stunner, followed by a Coffin Drop for the win.
Darby Allin defeated Cezar Bononi at 4:15
After the match, Sting climbed back in the ring. Darby grabbed a microphone and told Ethan and Scorpio to come to the ring so they could do this tonight. Sky and Page appeared, and said they would like that, wouldn’t they? Sky told them they weren’t going to walk down there in their “fancies” and fight them for free? He said when they beat them on Sunday, it would be the end of one legend, and the beginning of two more.
Bononi and Ryan Nemeth jumped Allin and Sting from behind, and then Page and Sky joined in. Page choked Allin while Sky prepared to wrap Sting’s foot in a chair. The Dark Order made a run in to make the save, and Allin and Page bailed up to the entryway…
The broadcast team hyped that Dark Order will face Sky and Page later tonight. Miro and Dante Martin is up later, and there will be a celebration of The Inner Circle later on as well. Orange Cassidy will also respond to Kenny Omega, and Cody Rhodes is up next with a weigh in with Anthony Ogogo…
Paul Wight made his way to the ring for the weigh in. He will be the host….[c]
My Take: Bononi and Allin was decent, but a bit dull at times because Bononi dominated the offense and it wasn’t particularly interesting or varied. The post match was very busy, which is fairly common in AEW, but this at least put over a match later on in the show and furthered the story for the PPV.
Paul Wight fired up the weigh-in and said this would be a serious weigh-in with no shenanigans, guaranteeing that this is about to be some bullshit. Wight brought out Ogogo first, and QT Marshall had a microphone. He said this was Tim Tebow country, and demanded to know why the audience was booing an Olympic Athlete. Wight talked trash to Ogogo for having an entire crew with him, despite that being standard procedure for weigh-ins.
Wight then introduced Cody Rhodes as The American Dream, who entered with an even bigger entourage, exploding Wight’s previous line. Cody had his brother Dustin and sister Teil out there with him. Cody stripped down to his boxers and got on the scale first. After what seemed like an eternity, Cody weighed in at 218lbs. Fireworks went off at a nearby event and were heard on camera. I should point out that American and UK Flags hung in the background behind the ring. Ogogo weighed in at 219lbs, and then Wight summarized the results once again.
QT Marshall interrupted and tried to make it seem like the one pound weight difference was the key to Ogogo’s victory. Ogogo got on the ropes and celebrated, and then Cody did the same and got a huge reaction. QT directed Ogogo to stand on a different corner and face a different set of fans, and he still got booed.
Eventually, Cody got the microphone and put over Paul Wight. He thanked the crowd and said they’d see them at Double or Nothing. Everybody then just kind of left. Cody threw his track suit into the audience…
A video package for Stadium Stampede aired with highlights from last year’s match. It had commentary from The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle Members on how they planned on getting the victory. For some reason, Shawn Spears deadpanned at the camera and said, “Some Men are born to be buried,” which got a laugh out of me…
Backstage, Powerhouse Hobbs and Christian had a brawl backstage. Christian got the better of it before being separated by referees. Hangman Page made his entrance in the arena, followed by Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss…
2. Hangman Page vs. Joey Janela (w/Sonny Kiss): They traded strikes early on. Janela landed a strong chop in the corner, and Hangman returned fire with some chops of his own. Hangman chopped down Janela, and followed up with a lariat for a two count. Page sent Janela to the floor, but Joey was able to avoid a slingshot splash to the floor. Page was able to successfully throw Janela with a fallaway slam a moment later.
Page tossed Janela back into the ring and covered for a two count. Joey recovered and sent Page hard into the second turnbuckle face first…[c]
My Take: That weigh-in segment was not good. I don’t understand what the point was if the only attempt at heat was going to be QT delivering a terrible promo on behalf of Ogogo. You need better trash talkers if a segment like that is going to work, and it just didn’t. Cody looked embarrassed.
Hangman landed a heavy shot that sent Janela to the outside. They then battled on the apron, and Hangman landed a slingshot lariat, and then a cross body from the ring to the floor. Page was bleeding from the mouth, and might have bit his tongue or cheek. Hangman landed a slam like a two count. He then went for Deadeye, but Janela escaped. Page fired back with a big boot, but Janela recovered and landed a suplex.
Janela climbed up top and landed a flying elbow for a near fall. Janela went for a Death Valley Driver, but Page escaped and landed a lariat. He then landed a pop up Powerbomb, and the Buckshot Lariat for the win…
Hangman Page defeated Joey Janela at 9:41
After the match, Page was bleeding from the mouth and the forehead. Taz then jumped up with a microphone from commentary and brought out Brian Cage. Page had a mic and said he’s seen this before. He pointed out Hook and Starks approaching from the crowd. He called out Cage, and if he needed their help to whoop his ass. Cage called off Hook and Starks, and said he didn’t need their help the first time, and wont’ need it on Sunday. He said he’s have him one on one, and he’d kick his ass again.
They went backstage, where Moxley and Kingston buried The Bucks shoes in the mud….but then the show went to commercial just when the promo started???….[c]
My Take: That’s too bad on the Moxley and Kingston promo. Must have been a production error? Janela and Page was another solid match, but it didn’t pack a lot of suspense. Page looked like he had a fight with a bear at the end, though. He was bleeding heavily from the head and mouth.
The Mox and Kingston promo replayed again. Mox called the Bucks Rod and Todd Flanders, and said they were the best tag team in the world right now. They recalled having each others backs in wars in the past, and said it would be another war on Sunday. Moxley called them the most important tag team championships in the world, and he wanted those belts. He called The Bucks a better oiled machine than them, but they were two pit bulls and those belts are T-Bone steaks.
Kingston said they are going to get them, because they speak for the people, and they will never quit. Kingston said they might be EVP’s after the match, and Moxley made it clear he didn’t want that at all. Incidentally, Kingston was wearing an old LAX Shirt…
In the arena, Tony Schiavone wanted to bring out Orange Cassidy, but Pac came out instead. Pac dismissed Tony and said that Orange Cassidy is irrelevant. He said the only man that mattered was the man who would beat Kenny Omega on Sunday, and that was him. Pac addressed Omega, and accused him of ducking and dodging him, and manipulating the title match. He demanded Omega come out and see him face to face, so he can show him what will happen at Double or Nothing.
Don Callis appeared on the screen, and called Pac a sociopath, and said they wanted nothing to do with him. Omega snuck in the ring while he was speaking, and Pac intercepted him. Gallows and Anderson appeared and put the boots to Pac, but Fenix and Penta evened the odds and chased them off. Omega then got to his feet and attacked Pac. He set up for the One Winged Angel, but Orange Cassidy’s music hit.
Orange walked to the ring and rolled under the bottom rope. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a note for Kenny. It also had “Kevin” written first, but it was crossed out. Inside the envelope was the shredded contract Omega gave him last week. Orange then landed The Orange Punch and left Kenny laying. Cassidy went to pick up the AEW Championship, but Pac stepped on it. After a brief scuffle, Cassidy landed an Orange Punch on Pac and stood tall…[c]
My Take: Moxley and Kingston’s promo was good. The Rod and Todd Flanders joke landed with me. Pac’s promo got almost no reaction from the crowd, which was a bummer. I think the rush into this match has hurt Pac the most, as he just seems like he’s along for the ride. Cassidy had the benefit of being over with the audience coming in, but Pac had been in the background for a while.
Jade Cargill was interviewed backstage by Tony Schiavone. Matt Hardy interrupted and wanted to pull in Jade Cargill into the Hardy Family Office. Mark Sterling then interrupted and said that he had already signed Jade to a representation contract, and that if he didn’t stop accosting her, he would slap him with a restraining order. He then said he only gets paid when she wins, and that he had gotten her a match on Dynamite this week. Matt was furious and Sterling handed him a business card…
Cargill made her entrance in the arena with Sterling, followed by KiLynn King.
3. Jade Cargill (w/Mark Sterling) vs. KiLynn King: They started with a test of strength, which ended with Cargill kicking King in the stomach. King ducked under a clothesline, but then got caught in a slam. Cargill then talked trash to the fans…[c]
Jade controlled the offense during the break, mostly with a long rear chin lock. She landed a snap suplex as the show returned from break. King shook it off and landed some forearm shots. Cargill then tossed her hard to the floor. Mark Sterling tossed her a business card, and she took a swipe at him. Cargill followed to the floor and tossed her back in the ring. She then landed Jaded and covered for the win.
Jade Cargill defeated KiLynn King at 5:32
Cargill talked trash after the match…
We then saw Jake Roberts and Lance Archer. Jake addressed Dante Martin, but Archer interrupted and said he wanted Miro at the PPV and he would take his head off…
Back in the arena, Dante Martin made his entrance, followed by Miro, who was still addressed at The Best Man. They have to find another name for him…
4. Miro vs. Dante Martin for the TNT Championship: The crowd chanted “Miro’s going to kill you”. Miro attacked Dante in the corner and aggressively landed stomps and punches. He then threw Dante with an overhead suplex, and landed a kick to the spine. Miro played to the crowd and blew them off.
Dante fired back with a jawbreaker. Miro attempted a running splash, but Dante avoided it and landed an enzuigiri. He then followed up with a springboard moonsault for a one count. Dante then landed a shotgun dropkick for another one count. Miro landed a hard elbow strike, and then landed a brainbuster to pull Martin back in the ring. He then landed a thrust kick, followed by a Camel Clutch for the tap out victory.
Miro defeated Dante Martin at 3:16 to retain the TNT Title
After the match, Jake Roberts told Miro that his fairly tale comes to an end on Sunday. He told him they don’t play fairy tales. He told him to shut the F up, and that Miro thinks he’s special because he came down to the ring and bully men half his size. Miro finally got his microphone turned on and called Jake an Old Fart and told him to shut up. Miro wanted a piece of Lance, and Jake sent him to the ring. They had a brief brawl, but referees separated them immediately. Miro ended up on the outside of the ring, and he and Lance yelled and each other and were ready for a fight on Sunday…[c]
My Take: Cargill continues to look like a star. Miro has looked a lot better since adopting his new attitude, but needs a new nickname. Archer and Jake were better here than in recent weeks, and the hoss fight on Sunday should be a lot of fun.
Tony Schiavone was in the ring for a celebration of Hikaru Shida. She made her entrance in a very classy gown. Shida was presented with a new diamond encrusted AEW Women’s Championship belt. He congratulated her on being Champion for a year. She grabbed the microphone, and thanked the fans for being there. She said when she won the title, there were no fans, and she was proud to share this moment with them all.
Britt Baker interrupted, and said she came in peace. She said congrats, and said she was champion during the most difficult time in professional wrestling. Baker said it was her year, and she had something she needed to address. She said a few weeks ago that when she won the AEW Women’s Championship, she would be the face of the division. What she should have said is that she’d be the face of a whole new era. The previous era was based on 3:16, but this new era would be D.M.D.
Sami Guevara was in the crowd with his cue cards…[c]
My Take: A nice segment to start the transition to the new champ. Shida deserved her flowers, but Baker is very obviously the next big thing and a potential face of the company.
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky made their entrance, followed by Dark Order members Evil Uno and Stu Grayson…
5. Dark Order’s Evil Uno and Stu Grayson vs. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky: Sky mocked Uno early on by stepping on him and then wiping his boots on the mat. Uno grabbed control with some mat wrestling, and then tagged in Grayson. Sky quickly escaped and tagged in Page.
Grayson quickly popped out to the apron and landed a DDT on Sky. He then shoved Page into the Dark Order corner to isolate him. They landed a double team Demolition style elbow smash, and then Grayson landed a senton on the apron. Sky recovered and pulled Grayson down the apron. He then landed a springboard cutter into the ring…[c]
Sky and Page isolated Grayson in their corner. Sky talked trash while the ref kept Uno out of the ring. Sky went for a TKO, but Grayson avoided it and landed a Uranage. Uno got the hot tag and cleaned house. He landed a running head scissors on Page and an STO on Sky. Grayson and Sky used a double team suplex to send Page into Sky in the corner.
After a bit of back and forth, Sky applied a heel hook to Grayson, and Page hit the Ego’s Edge on Uno to get the win.
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky defeated Evil Uno and Stu Grayson at 8:45
After the match, Page said that would be exactly what would happen on Sunday, whether it would be the heel hook or the Ego’s Edge. Sting’s music hit, and Allin walked down with a bunch of guys wearing Sting masks. Much like TNA years ago, one of the men took off the mask to reveal that it was actually Sting. They quickly cleared Sky and Page from the ring.
The announce team ran down the Double or Nothing card. The Celebration of the Inner Circle is up next. Eric Bischoff made his entrance to Emcee…[c]
My Take: That was a good win for Sky and Page. I think AEW can ease up on replaying gimmicks from other promotions, though.
Bischoff started out by making reference to introducing the NWO 25 years ago on TNT. He said they may have been the greatest faction of all time, but then introduced The Inner Circle, and commented that they could eventually take that crown someday. Jericho soaked in the crowd singing Judas. Jericho thanked Bischoff for everything he did for his career, and said Bischoff was somebody they called when they started to make amends.
Eric then introduced a video package that went over Inner Circle highlights. Santana got on the microphone and said they had done some pretty cool shit. He reminisced about the start of their group, and said they stand here 18 months later stronger than ever. He said they put the company on their backs during the pandemic, but they are happy to be back in front of the best fans in wrestling once again.
Ortiz told him that was beautiful, and bumped fists with him. Hager then said the times they should be celebrating are the hard times that make hard men. Guevara said when he came to AEW, he wore a panda mask. He said these guys having his back was the best part of his career, and when he left the Inner Circle, it was the thing he missed the most.
Jericho grabbed the mic and said he left like they were Guns and Roses in 1987. He said he doesn’t play well with others, and he wasn’t sure about starting a faction, but that was until he met these men. He said if this was their last time together, they would go down in a blaze of glory. He then told them he loved them.
MJF and Wardlow were shown on screen, and they had Dean Malenko held hostage on the football field by the goal post. He threatened to make him extra cold if they didn’t get to the stadium immediately. They took off for the stadium, but got jumped along the way by The Pinnacle. MJF and Spears landed chair shots to Guevara and Jericho. FTR then gave Santana and Ortiz piledrivers through tables from about 5 feet off the ground. MJF and the Pinnacle then brought their hands together and talked trash to the camera as the show ended…[c]
My Take: A strong close to the show, though you’d think The Inner Circle may have been more prepared to sniff out an ambush like that. The piledrivers through the tables looked nasty from the perspective they were shot from. The Inner Circle promo was a nice moment for them to get some babyface shine, and the Pinnacle attack made them look truly vicious. Stadium Stampede should be fun on Sunday, and I hope they carry over this serious tone and go light on the comedy moments.