By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 130)
Columbia, South Carolina at Colonial Life Arena
Aired live March 30, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] Pyro shot off on the stage as the broadcast team of Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone checked in. Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced CM Punk, who made his entrance. Max Caster and Anthony Bowens were out next. Caster rapped and included lines about Will Smith and Hunter Biden…
1. CM Punk vs. Max Caster (w/Anthony Bowens). As the match started, graphics listed the previously advertised matches and also included Bryan Danielson vs. Wheeler Yuta. Punk sold early. He suplexed Caster and then went for a running knee in the corner, but Caster avoided it. Caster blasted Punk with a backhand slap and a suplex for a near fall.
Punk rallied with a huracanrana that pulled Caster off the ropes. Punk hit the running knee in the corner followed by a bulldog, which led to a two count. Punk set up for a springboard move, but Bowens tripped him up while the referee was distracted. Caster leapt from the top rope and hit Punk with a boot to the head and got another near fall.
Caster went for a top rope elbow drop, but Punk avoided it. Punk struggled to power up Caster, but got him on the second try with a piledriver. Punk applied the Anaconda Vice and got the submission win…
CM Punk defeated Max Caster in 7:05.
Tony Schiavone entered the ring and asked Punk what he meant when he motioned for the title belt last week. Punk played to the crowd. He said he didn’t know whether Adam Page or Adam Cole would be AEW World Champion. But he said there’s a lot of gray in his beard and there will be a lot more by the time he’s done in AEW. Punk declared that he will be AEW World Champion before his time in AEW is complete…
Powell’s POV: A solid opener. The broadcast team told the story during the match that Punk has been slowly improving and is now in championship mode. By the way, Jake Barnett and I swapped shows this week, so he will be handling WWE Smackdown live review on Friday, which frees me up to handle the ROH Supercard of Honor live review.
MJF and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler were interviewed by Alex Marvez. Mark Sterling was hanging up photos in the background of Wardlow that noted that he was banned from the building (the same photos are on the front of the barricade). MJF referred to Sterling as his lawyer.
MJF spoke briefly about The Pinnacle. Harwood said he didn’t know what was going on between MJF and Wardlow, but they are both his friends. MJF said FTR are his family. He claimed that Wardlow talked shit about FTR all the time. MJF tried to fire up FTR and put his hand out. They slowly put their hands in with his…
2. Jon Moxley vs. Jay Lethal. Both entrances were televised. There were dueling chants for both wrestlers. Moxley got the better of a mid-ring exchange of elbows. Lethal came back a short time later with a suicide dive heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Moxley blasted Lethal with a rolling elbow. Moxley set up for his Paradigm Shift finisher, but he sold knee pain. Lethal went for a Lethal Injection only to have Moxley catch him in a rear naked choke. Lethal fell on top of Moxley and got a two count. Lethal superkicked Moxley and followed up with an enzuigiri.
Lethal performed a brainbuster. Lethal performed a top rope elbow drop for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out while Lethal spoke with the referee about his count. Lethal went for a figure four, but Moxley countered into an inside cradle for a near fall. When they stood up, Moxley dropped Lethal with the Paradigm Shift and scored the pin.
Jon Moxley defeated Jay Lethal in roughly 11:00.
Afterward, Moxley offered his hand to Lethal, who eventually accepted the handshake…
A brief video package aired on Marina Shafir… The broadcast team hyped upcoming matches… [C]
Powell’s POV: A very good match. The AEW crowds continue to show strong support for Lethal to the point that he even got dueling chants while in the ring with Moxley, which is really impressive, especially considering that he has yet to win a match on Dynamite or Rampage.
3. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn (w/Billy Gunn). The entrances for both teams were televised. MJF sat in on commentary for the match. There were multiple “Ass Boys” chants. Colten rolled to ringside following a double team move. Wheeler followed him to the floor.
When Wheeler tried to return to the ring, Austin held his legs and then Billy took a cheap shot at him while the referee was distracted. MJF said Aubrey Edwards has to be the worst referee in the history of pro wrestling. They cut to a PIP break. [C]
Wheeler was isolated during and coming out of the break. Harwood eventually took a hot tag and worked over both opponents with right hands. He also threw a rough dropkick and then followed up with a nice clothesline on Austin that led to a two count. Harwood tried to suplex Austin, but Colten tripped him from the floor, causing Austin to fall onto Harwood for a near fall.
Wardlow arrived and roughed up security guards before entering through the crowd. MJF threw a fit on commentary. A group of security guards swarmed Wardlow and pushed him toward the back. In the ring, Harwood had a rollup for a near fall and then jawed with Billy, who stood on the apron. Harwood went for the pin, but Billy held his son’s arms. Wheeler ran in and leapt over his partner to hit Gunn. FTR hit the Big Rig and scored the pin.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn in 11:25.
Afterward, MJF entered the ring and tried to celebrate with FTR, but Harwood wanted nothing to do with him. Wheeler said it was FTR business, not Pinnacle business. MJF picked up Harwood’s AAA Tag Title belt and gave it to him, then raised the arms of Harwood and Wheeler…
A video package featured Powerhouse Hobbs and Keith Lee separately setting up their match for Friday’s AEW Rampage… [C]
Powell’s POV: A nice tag team match. FTR always makes their opponents look good, but the Gunn Club duo have clearly improved. And while I was uncertain about how FTR would do as babyfaces, they are off to a good start. It’s pretty obvious that their days are numbered in The Pinnacle.
The Jericho Appreciation Society” Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Angelo Parker, Matt Menard, and Jake Hager delivered a backstage promo. Jericho spoke about people who wanted to join his faction and said they could all GFY. They did the bit where they pulled the curtains next to the interview set back while pretending to look for Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz. The trio was behind the second curtain and attacked them.
Kingston and Jericho fought into the arena and the others ended up following. Kingston brought Jericho to the ring and dropped him with a spinning back fist. The JAS faction eventually won the numbers game. Garcia placed Kingston in a Sharpshooter and then Jericho slammed his bat “Floyd” over the back of Kingston. Jericho also hit Santana and Ortiz with the bat. Jericho eventually hit the Judas Effect elbow on Kingston, and then the JAS members stood tall…
Powell’s POV: Apparently, Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz are characters with more heart than brains for starting a three-on-five fight.
TBS Champion Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling were interviewed by Schiavone, who asked if they picked Cargill’s 30th opponent. Sterling introduced “The Librarian” Leva Bates.
[Hour Two] Cargill wasn’t pleased and ordered Bates to leave. Sterling said they would have to go with Marina Shafir. Cargill noted that Sterling didn’t sound confident. Sterling said Bates was the perfect opponent. Cargill said she would take care of Shafir and then told Schiavone to cut the shit…
4. Bryan Danielson vs. Wheeler Yuta. Danielson’s entrance was televised. William Regal sat in on commentary. It was noted by Excalibur that Yuta will challenge Josh Woods for the ROH Pure Rules Championship on Friday night. Regal said he’s “interested in young Wheeler.” Danielson was in offensive control heading into a PIP break. [C]
Danielson blasted Yuta with a series of elbows. Danielson went for Cattle Mutilation, but Yuta slipped out of it and returned the favor with a series of elbows. Yuta hooked Danielson into a pin for a good near fall. Danielson ducked a clothesline and then put Yuta down with a knee strike. Danielson grabbed the arms of Yuta, who spat at him. Danielson put the boots to him, then put him down with a piledriver and hooked him into the LeBell Lock for the win. Ross raved about the physicality and said he loved it…
Bryan Danielson defeated Wheeler Yuta in roughly 10:00.
Powell’s POV: Another good showing for Yuta, who shows good heart before taking losses. He still needs to show that he can hang on the mic or I fear he’ll only get so over. The Woods vs. Yuta match will be held on the ROH Supercard of Honor show. Excalibur mentioned the match taking place on Friday without plugging the pay-per-view, presumably because the final hour will air opposite AEW Rampage.
A brief video package aired on the Andrade El Idolo vs. Darby Allin match…
Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly made their entrance with the stolen AEW World Championship and AEW Tag Titles. There was a box labeled “party supplies” in the ring. O’Reilly opened it and then some gold balloons flew out of it.
Cole labeled the segment as a championship celebration. He claimed that Hangman Page and Jurassic Express were not there because they were embarrassed by how easily they took the titles. Cole said they didn’t steal the titles because you can’t steal something that belongs to you.
Eventually, Hangman Page’s music played and he drove a Tesla with bullhorns on it into the arena. Page went to the ring and roughed up Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly. Page set up for his finisher on Cole, who was pulled to safety by Fish and O’Reilly.
Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage showed up and tossed the heel trio back inside the ring and worked them over. Page went for the Buckshot Lariat on Cole, who ducked it. Cole ran the ropes and was backdropped over the top rope and onto his allies at ringside. The babyfaces stood tall with their title belts to end the segment…
AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa was listed as appearing after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: It was nice to see O’Reilly play air guitar on a belt again, but the stolen belt gimmick didn’t pack much of a punch, especially considering how easy it was for the babyfaces to take their belts back. Am I the only one who feels like Christian Cage is being wasted while filling the old Marko Stunt role in Jurassic Express? I thought it would be a temporary move and then he would turn on Jungle Boy, but it’s actually become his regular role.
Tony Schiavone stood on the stage and introduced AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa. She spoke about being the first Mexican born women’s champion. She said she wants to be the face of all women’s wrestling. Rosa said there always seem to be bullies who try to bring her down whenever she gets near the top.
Rosa recalled Nyla Rose attacking her last week. Rosa said she would dumb things down so that Rose could understand. Rosa said she was there to fight. She wants to wrestle the best in the world. She said she would defend her championship…
Powell’s POV: Rosa’s promo started stronger than it ended. She mentioned Rose, but the didn’t really focus heavily on pushing their match.
Backstage, “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler delivered a promo. Wheeler said they’ve been accused of taking themselves too seriously and maybe they do. He said the would win the ROH Tag Titles on Friday and would eventually win the AEW Tag Titles. Harwood challenged the Young Bucks to a second match…
The Bunny made her entrance. The cameras cut to what Excalibur said was Jade Cargill’s “baddie section.” And then Toni Storm made her entrance to a good reaction as the latest AEW signee…
5. Toni Storm vs. The Bunny in a qualifier for the Owen Hart Cup tournament. Bunny put Storm down with a clothesline at ringside heading into another PIP break. [C] Storm performed a fisherman’s suplex for a near fall.
The Bunny came back with a Death Valley Driver for a near fall of her own. The Bunny set up for her finisher, but Storm stuffed it and gave her a German suplex. Storm followed up with Storm Zero and scored the clean pin…
Toni Storm defeated The Bunny in roughly 8:00 to qualify for the Owen Hart tournament.
Powell’s POV: This match was more competitive than it needed to be. A quick and decisive win for Storm would have packed more of a punch. That said, Storm is a nice addition to the AEW women’s division. She felt like a can’t miss star when she worked tournaments for WWE, but she just didn’t click in NXT then quit WWE early in her main roster run.
Backstage, Schiavone held the mic while Vickie Guerrero and Nyla Rose spoke. Guerrero was hard to hear. Rose said she wouldn’t be a footnote in the industry. She said Rosa seemed to have a death wish. Rose said she’d be her genie. “Abracadabra, bitch”…
Excalibur announced The Butcher and The Blade vs. Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy in a tables match, and additional men’s and women’s Owen Hart tournament qualifiers for next week’s Dynamite.
Excalibur also announced The Young Bucks vs. Top Flight, House of Black vs. Fuego Del Sol, Evil Uno, and Stu Grayson, Jamie Hayter vs. Skye Blue in an Owen Hart tournament qualifier, and Keith Lee vs. Powerhouse Hobbs, plus promos from Kris Statlander as well as Scorpio Sky, Paige VanZant, and Dan Lambert.
Ross hyped the Dynamite main event and noted that Sting would be at ringside… [C]
Entrances for the main event took place with Andrade making his entrance first. Sting walked onto the stage with Allin and then headed backstage. Allin skated to ringside and then Andrade dove onto him. Andrade worked him over on the floor.
Allin recovered and slammed the skateboard over his back. They continued to fight on the floor while Excalibur noted that the match had not officially started. Andrade turned the ring steps on their side and then dumped Allin onto them. Andrade entered the ring and Allin eventually followed to start the match…
6. Andrade El Idolo vs. Darby Allin. Andrade was the early aggressor with Allin selling the pre-match attack. Andrade was in offensive control heading into a PIP break 90 seconds into the match. [C] Andrade dominated throughout the break, but Allin countered into a Code Red once it was over.
Andrade and Allin traded palm strikes, which got a rise out of the crowd. Both men swung for the fences simultaneously and knocked each other down. Andrade removed his belt. The referee took it away. Allin removed his own belt and used it to trip Andrade so that he fell face first into the turnbuckle. Allin performed a stunner for a near fall.
Andrade came right back with a uranage slam onto his knee. Andrade placed Allin on the top rope. Andrade stood on the middle rope and put Alin on his shoulders. Allin countered into a move from the ropes that put Andrade down. Allin applied a Fujiwara armbar.
Jose walked toward ringside, but Sting came out and hit him from behind. The Butcher and The Blade came out and attacked Sting. Allin released the hold on Andrade, then dove off the top rope onto Butcher and Blade. Allin returned to the ring and went for a springboard move, but Andrade stuffed it and performed a buckle bomb. Andrade followed up with a hammerlock DDT and scored the pin…
Andrade El Idolo defeated Darby Allin in 10:30.
After the match, Butcher, Blade, and Jose went after Sting. He fought them off, but then “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy ran out and joined in on the beatdown. Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy made their entrance and cleared the bulk of the heels from the ring. Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Quen, then Jeff followed up with a Swanton Bomb. The Hardys checked on Allin and Sting, and then celebrated to close the show while Excalibur hyped Friday’s Rampage…
Powell’s POV: Strong work in the main event from Andrade and Allin. Andrade needed a win, and Allin was protected by the ringside drama. The post match angle was another example of AEW going overboard on having too many post match attacks, but it set the stage for the feel good ending with the Hardys making the save.
Overall, this was a very good show for in-ring action. There wasn’t much in the way of big storyline developments, but I am looking forward to seeing where things go with FTR, and Punk officially declared that he’s going after the AEW World Championship (and he didn’t even need to win a bunch of throwaway Dark or Dark Elevation matches). I will be back with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including new Patreon subscribers). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
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