By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 129)
Cedar Park, Texas at HEB Center
Aired live March 23, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired and then the broadcast team of Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone checked in. Ring announcer Justin Roberts handled the introductions for the opening match…
1. CM Punk vs. Dax Harwood. Cash Wheeler walked onto the stage with Harwood, but he did not accompany him to ringside. Graphics listed the previously advertised matches as the match got underway. Colten Gunn and Austin Gunn stood up in the front row and barked at Harwood, who jawed back at them.
Later, Punk set up for a top rope elbow, but Harwood stood up and tripped him up on the ropes. Harwood followed up with a superplex. The picture cut out briefly. Harwood followed up with a top rope headbutt for a near fall. Punk went for a suplex near the ropes, but Harwood held on and they both tumbled to the floor.
Cash Wheeler showed up at ringside and pounded the mat in support of Harwood, who returned to the ring first. Punk went to the top rope and performed a cross body block. Punk applied the Anaconda Vice. Harwood grabbed Punk’s hair and then rolled out of the hold.
Harwood set up for a submission hold, but Punk kicked him off and Harwood’s head hit the bottom turnbuckle pad. Punk and Harwood traded pin attempts with neither man getting the three count. Punk went for a high knee in the corner. Harwood caught him and gave him a slingshot powerbomb for a close near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.
Punk hit Harwood with a high knee in the corner. He signaled for his finisher and went for the GTS, but Harwood stuffed it and countered into the Sharpshooter. Punk rolled onto his back and hit Harwood to escape the hold, then rolled him over and reapplied the Anaconda Vice and got the submission win.
CM Punk defeated Dax Harwood in 12:50.
Afterward, Punk made the title belt motion while standing in the ring, then went to the ropes and did it again. Wheeler helped Harwood. The stopped and glared at the Gunn Club duo before heading to the back…
Powell’s POV: Punk’s popularity is alive and well with this Texas crowd. There were loud chants for him at multiple points. The match was really well worked. There was no reason to think that Punk would lose, but Harwood had a couple of strong near falls and the live crowd was hot for the match from bell to bell. By the way, I’m swapping shows with Jake Barnett this week and next week, meaning I’ll be covering Dynamite and he’ll take WWE Smackdown on Fridays.
The broadcast team hyped Chris Jericho and Daniel Garcia vs. John Silver and Alex Reynolds as the show’s main event. A photo was shown of a young Silver meeting Jericho…
Backstage, Jericho and Garcia delivered a promo while the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society stood by. Jericho said they would future endeavor Silver and Reynolds, just as they did to Santana, Ortiz, and Eddie Kingston. Jericho said that trio wouldn’t dare return…
2. Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Sting, and Darby Allin vs. The Butcher, The Blade, and “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy in a Texas Tornado match. The babyface team came out first. Ross said Allin looked worried about something. Schiavone said that was Allin’s normal look. The heel team came out with Andrade El Idolo, Jose, and The Bunny, who did not accompany them to the ring.
When the heels arrived at ringside, Allin hit them with a suicide dive and then Sting performed a top rope dive onto some of them to start the match. Sting hit a Stinger Splash on Kassidy against the barricade while the teams brawled on the floor. Some of the wrestlers fought into the crowd.
Allin worked over Butcher near a stairwell in the crowd. Andrade showed up and hit Allin from behind. Butcher picked up Allin and swung him into the wall twice and then sent him tumbling down the stairs before the show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Private Party worked over Matt on the stage and then he rallied as the show came out of the break. Meanwhile, some of the other wrestlers fought in a concourse near a concession stand. There were multiple referees following the brawls. Private Party doubled up on Matt again and ended up performing a double team move off the stage that sent all three men through tables on the floor.
In the concourse, Sting and Allin put Butcher and Blade on top of tables next to a merch stand. Jeff set up a tall ladder and then stood on top of a window ledge before performing a Swanton that drove both men through the tables.
In the arena, Private Party dragged Matt to the ring. The picture went to black again for a couple seconds and then Private Party picked up a near fall. Sting returned to the ring to help Matt. Kassidy slammed a chair over the back of Sting, who no-sold it and then pounded his chest. Sting hit Stinger Splashes on Quen and Kassidy.
Quen avoided another Stinger Splash, causing Sting to crash into the corner. Private Party went for Gin and Juice. The plan was for Sting to counter into an inverted DDT, but he fell down. Once he got up, Sting performed the inverted DDT while Matt performed a Twist of Fate, and then they scored simultaneous pins. Their teammates rejoined them in the ring for the post match celebration…
Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Sting, and Darby Allin beat The Butcher, The Blade, and “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy in a Texas Tornado match in 9:30.
The “FTR” duo of Harwood and Wheeler were interviewed in the backstage area by Schiavone. Wheeler praised Harwood for wrestling from the heart. He called Austin and Colten Gunn pups. Harwood admitted that he and Wheeler have done some bad things, but he can’t stand a spoiled brat. Harwood said he and Wheeler are the best team on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday night. He said they would see the Gunn Club next week…
The broadcast team hyped the remaining matches heading into a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: The tornado match was a crowd pleasing brawl with plenty of star power on the babyface side. The FTR duo have morphed into babyfaces without a real turn unless you count them firing Tully Blanchard. I’m surprised there hasn’t been any hype for their match with The Briscoes at ROH Supercard of Honor on Dynamite thus far.
3. Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson vs. “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison (w/Julia Hart). William Regal sat in on commentary. When asked about Wheeler Yuta, Regal said he wants people who have the right ideals and the right spirit. He said that’s what the company and the industry needs. They cut to a split-screen break roughly 90 seconds into the match. [C]
Hart, who was still wearing an eye patch, was shown standing with her back to the ring while acting disinterested. Moxley and Danielson performed a lariat and suplex combo move that led to a two count. The Blonds came back briefly, but Moxley and Danielson pounded away on their opponents, and Moxley put Garrison away with a bulldog choke.
Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson beat “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison in 6:05.
After the match, Regal walked to ringside and joined his team in the ring while Hart was seated on the steps with her back to the ring. Moxley got the mic and said he’s a lucky and blessed man in that he’s been able to compete against the best in the world.
Moxley said Regal is the only man whose opinion he has ever cared about. A “Regal” chant broke out. He said the seal of approval from Regal is a badge of honor. Moxley also put over Danielson as the perfect wrestler, and said they were forged in combat.
Moxley said that anyone who thinks they have what it takes to ride with the three of them needs to reach deep down and find that place where you love pain. He said the only way to get a badge of honor for from the Blackpool Combat Club is to earn it the hard way. Moxley’s music played to close the segment…
The broadcast team hyped upcoming segments, including MJF speaking about his future… [C]
Powell’s POV: Moxley and Danielson are really good together, and I’m thrilled to see Regal land on his feet after he was released from his longtime job in NXT. It will be interesting to see whether the plan is for Moxley and Danielson to work primarily as a tag team or if they will start working more singles matches when/if they add people to their club.
MJF made his entrance along with Shawn Spears. MJF delivered a promo while Spears took a seat on a chair that he brought to the ring. Security stood at ringside facing the stage. MJF said he meant it when he said Wardlow could have kept the TNT Title had he won. He said it was sad that Wardlow wasn’t good enough to beat Scorpio Sky.
MJF looked into the camera and addressed CM Punk. He accused him of cheating and said that he doesn’t know where or when they will meet again, but he will hand him the most embarrassing loss of his career. MJF said things won’t be over between them until he attends Punk’s funeral and pisses on his grave.
MJF called Wardlow a greedy little pig. A “Wardlow” chant broke out. MF said he made Wardlow and the people wouldn’t have any idea who he was if it wasn’t for him. MJF also took credit for the roof over Wardlow’s head. He said that after all that, Wardlow had the audacity to ask to be released from his contract.
MJF said Wardlow signed a deal with the devil, and all of the devil’s deals are ironclad. MJF said he would make Wardlow’s life a living hell. He told the crowd that he would strap Wardlow to a cross “just like Jesus.” He said he could kick Wardlow’s mother out of their house, then said he owns Wardlow.
Wardlow walked to the ring and roughed up some security guards. He was eventually outnumbered and held in place. MJF said Wardlow doesn’t work for AEW. MJF said Wardlow works for him and he wants Wardlow to stay home.
[Hour Two] MJF said he would pay Wardlow to stay home until the people forget he existed. MJF told security to take Wardlow away. Wardlow convinced the security guards that he had calmed down and then backed his way toward the back. MJF said people think The Pinnacle is over, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He mentioned FTR being in action next week, then had Spears deliver the line that “when you’re in the Pinnacle, you’re always on top”…
Powell’s POV: While it didn’t bother me, I assume that Jesus line won’t sit well with some viewers. It felt unnecessary and like it could end up being more trouble than it was worth. Anyway, I wonder if they’ll have Wardlow wrestle in a mask to get around MJF sending him home.
Schiavone interviewed Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, and Wheeler Yuta. Beretta said he never liked Yuta, but he said the others helped him and now he’s trying to abandon them for Regal’s tough guy club. Yuta said he never liked Trent either, but he loved the other guys to death. He said he wasn’t trying to be the best friend that he could be, he was trying to be the best wrestler that he can be. “You either get that or you don’t,” Wheeler said…
4. Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal. Both entrances were televised. Lethal hit Cole with an early suicide dive. He wanted to go for another, but Cole moved. Lethal hit him from another angle instead. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly were shown standing on the stage. [C]
Lethal went for a Lethal Injection, but Cole superkicked him. Cole went to the ropes and hit his Panama Sunrise for a near fall. Cole acted shocked that he didn’t get the pin. There were dueling chants for both men. Lethal avoided The Boom. Fish and O’Reilly climbed onto the apron and argued with the referee. Meanwhile, Lethal went for the Lethal Injection again, but this time Cole low-blowed him. Cole followed up with The Boom and scored the pin…
Adam Cole defeated Jay Lethal in roughly 10:00.
Afterward, Cole got a mic and said there’s no one on the planet who deserves the AEW Championship more than he does. He accused Hangman Page of stealing the win at Revolution. He said he’s won two of the three matches they’ve had, including when he got the win in last week’s six-man tag match.
Cole said Page caught lightning in a bottle at Revolution, but he will shove that bottle up his ass the next time they meet. Cole said Page is a coward who didn’t have the guts to come out “and face the three of us man to man.”
AEW World Champion Hangman Page made his entrance and entered the ring. Page whipped all three men with a belt until Cole caught him with a low blow. Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly put Page down. Cole picked up the title belt and looked at it. Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage came out and ran off the heels, but Cole took the AEW Title belt with him…
Powell’s POV: A quality match between the ROH rivals, which gave Lethal an out for losing. The post match angle made Page look like he had more heart than brains for going after three men on his own. I’m guessing we get the Page vs. Cole rematch at AEW Battle of the Belts, but nothing is official.
A video package promoted Dustin Rhodes vs. Lance Archer for Friday’s AEW Rampage. Dan Lambert said they had a chance “to end the curse of the Rhodes family.” They cut to Dustin, who said Lambert shouldn’t dare mention the Rhodes family. They cut to Archer, who said everybody dies. Back to Rhodes, who said he was going to kick Archer’s ass “because monsters die too”… [C]
Tony Schiavone conducted an in-ring interview with Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti. Schiavone recalled the Paige VanZant attack, and Guevara losing the TNT Title. Guevara said he doesn’t have the title, but he still has the ring and he will give the fans a show with or without it.
Guevara said he’s heard throughout his career that he can’t work this style forever and he’ll pay for it when he’s older. He said screw it, it’s worth it. Conti said they want payback. She looked into the camera and called VanZant a bitch, then said she would get her ass kicked like she did throughout her fighting career. Guevara said he and Conti would face “any of you two idiots right now.”
Dan Lambert, TNT Champion Scorpio Sky, and Ethan Page walked out. Lambert spoke about Paige VanZant and said that fans could pay $9.99 to find out why Orange Cassidy keeps his hands in his pants all the time. Lambert said that they wouldn’t stay on top looking at the bodies they already buried. He asked Sky and Page if they had any interest. The duo headed backstage.
Lambert said they could kiss the match goodbye, and then he kissed his TNT Title belt. Guevara said that if Lambert only knew what he Conti did with the belt that Lambert was holding. He said they live in Lambert’s head and now they live in his mouth too…
A video package aired for Shane Strickland vs. Ricky Starks on Rampage. Strickland noted that their match would be held in Starks’ hometown. Starks chimed in and noted that he has Powerhouse Hobbs behind him. Strickland said it will be Swerve’s house…
5. Leyla Hirsch vs. Red Velvet. Kris Statlander was banned from ringside. Both entrances were televised. Hirsch attacked Velvet as she tried to enter the ring and then they fought at ringside. The match officially started once they were both inside the ring. They cut to a PIP break. [C]
Velvet hit Hirsch with a corkscrew kick, but Hirsch rolled to ringside to avoid being pinned. Hirsch pulled a turnbuckle out from underneath the ring. She brought it into the ring with her and the referee took it away. While the referee clearing the turnbuckle from the ring, Hirsch pulled another one out of her gear and hit Velvet with it and then pinned her.
Leyla Hirsch beat Red Velvet in roughly 6:00.
Afterward, Hirsch put Velvet in a cross arm breaker. Kris Statlander ran out and cleared Hirsch from the ring…
Powell’s POV: More of the same with Hirsch and the turnbuckle. Okay, so this time she had two turnbuckles.
Schiavone interviewed TBS Champion Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling. Cargill was more concerned with her post match celebration than who her thirtieth opponent would be…
The broadcast team hyped the following matches and segments for Friday’s Rampage: Ricky Starks vs. Shane Strickland for the FTW Title, Dustin Rhodes vs. Lance Archer, Alan “5” Angels and 10 vs. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, Hook getting his certificate of accomplishment from QT Marshall, and Nyla Rose in action…
The following matches were announced for next week’s AEW Dynamite: Darby Allin vs. Andrade El Idolo, and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. “Gunn Club” Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn…
Tony Schiavone introduced new AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa for an interview on the stage. Vickie Guerrero interrupted her with the “excuse me” routine. They bickered. Nyla Rose eventually hit Rosa from behind and left her lying…
The broadcast team hyped the main event as coming up after the break… [C] Entrances for the main event took place with the Jericho Appreciation Society coming out to “Judas” by Fozzy….
6. Chris Jericho and Daniel Garcia (w/Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Jake Hager) vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver (w/Alan “5” Angels, 10). Jericho taunted Silver with some light slapping of his face. Silver went on the offensive to start the match. Jericho took an early powder. Silver followed him to the floor and blasted him with a kick. Silver held up Jericho in suplex position and then Reynolds performed a suicide dive for a combo move. Jericho kicked the ring steps and then laid down. The referee bought his antics and ejected the Dark Order members from ringside. [C]
Jericho went for a Lionsault coming out of the break, but Reynolds rolled out of the way. Silver took a hot tag and worked over Jericho. Garcia ran in and was supposed to be thrown over the top rope by Silver, but he crashed into the ropes and then rolled under the ropes to leave the ring. Silver had a big burst and worked over everyone at ringside, then hit Jericho with a cross body block for a near fall in the ring.
Jericho came right back with a Codebreaker for a near fall. Garcia returned to the apron as Jericho threw punches at Silver’s head. Garcia tagged in. He whipped Jericho toward Silver in the opposite corner, but Silver sent Jericho over the top rope. Reynolds made a blind tag and then picked up a near fall after some combo moves. Hager took out Silver at ringside. Reynolds ran the ropes for a move on Garcia, but he was hit from behind by Jericho’s baseball bat. Garcia applied the Scorpion Death Lock on Reynolds and got the submission win.
Chris Jericho and Daniel Garcia beat Alex Reynolds and John Silver in 10:00.
The Jericho Appreciation Society celebrated in the ring while Excalibur hyped the previously advertised Rampage matches. Ross closed out the show…
Powell’s POV: A good main match with the underdogs showing good fire before the heel duo cheated to win the match. It will be interesting to see how the match does in the ratings. Jericho was the only proven draw in the match, and it’s not like there was any real mystery regarding the outcome. Overall, an entertaining show, albeit with the usual breakneck pacing. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of Dynamite by grading it below.