By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 131)
Boston, Massachusetts at Agganis Arena
Aired live April 6, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur joined in on commentary as Adam Cole made his entrance for the opening match. He was followed by Christian Cage.
1. Adam Cole vs. Christian Cage: Both men soaked in the crowd reaction for 30 seconds or so, and then locked up. Christian backed Cole into the corner, and they were separated by the referee. The match stayed fairly slow to start, with Christian holding onto a side headlock, and then landing a shoulder block after Cole shoved him off.They jockeyed for position a bit, and then Cole spit at Christian and rolled to the floor. Christian followed and landed some knife edged chops against the barricade around the ring, and then one more in the ring against the turnbuckles.
Christian placed Cole on the top rope and climbed up to meet him. Cole slipped out and landed a kick to the back of Christian’s foot, which caused him to drop to his crotch on the turnbuckle. The action spilled outside again, where Cole tossed Christian into the barricade and then again into the ring steps…[c]
The action spilled outside, and Christian attempted a Frog Splash to the floor. Cole moved out of the way and Christian landed hard on his knees onto the floor. Both men were able to answer the 10 count to get into the ring, where Cole landed a hard kick. Christian recovered and landed 10 mounted punches in the corner, and a sunset flip a moment later for a near fall. He followed up with a pendulum kick and a swinging DDT for another near fall. Cole avoided a Killswitch and landed a backstabber for a near fall of his own.
Christian surprised Cole with a rollup for a near fall. He then landed an inverted DDT, but missed a follow up flying headbutt from the top. Cole dropped the Boom on Christian, but he didn’t lower the kneepad, so Christian was able to kick out. Both men traded heavy strikes in the middle of the ring. Christian got the better of it and went to the second rope. He went for what looked like a flying cutter, but Cole kicked him out of the air for a near fall.
Cole set up for Panama Sunrise, but Christian pulled him into the ring with head-scissors for another two count. Christian ran at Cole, but got kicked in the knee. Cole attempted a Panama Sunrise, but Christian avoided it. He then attempted to drop The Boom again with his knee exposed, but Christian avoided it and landed a spear for a near fall. Both men got tied up in the ropes, and Cole used an eye poke while the ref was tied up with them. He then landed The Boom running knee and got the win.
Adam Cole defeated Christian at 14:59
After the match, “Red Dragon” Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly ran down and attacked Christian at ringside. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy ran out and evened the odds. Cole was left in the ring by himself, and Adam Page ran down to the ring. Cole told him he wasn’t going to fight him until it was for the AEW Championship. Page told him if he wanted a match so bad, it wouldn’t be on his terms. He told Cole that there is a live Rampage next week in Texas, and he told him their match would be a Texas Deathmatch. Page warned him to get his affairs in order…
Footage was then shown of Jay Lethal confronting Jonathan Gresham at the end of the ROH Supercard of Honor pay-per-view over the weekend, along with the entrance of Samoa Joe. Back in the AEW Arena, Samoa Joe made his entrance for an Owen Hart Tournament Qualifier.
My Take: The crowd is fired up tonight, and reacted strongly for everything in the opening match. Cole and Christian did a great job of using their time effectively. The only thing that didn’t work for me was the announcement of another Texas Deathmatch next week. It doesn’t feel like it was very long ago that Hangman and Lance Archer had one, and this feud has the same issue of not really setting up a reason for it to be necessary for the story.
Max Caster made his entrance along with Anthony Bowens. Caster called Samoa Joe X-Division, said he’s not tough he’s just injury prone, and wondered why Tony Khan gave him a chance because he was Champion when the beat “them” in the ratings.
2. Samoa Joe vs. Max Caster (w/Anthony Bowens) in a men’s Owen Hart Cup tournament qualifiers: Joe pummeled the shit out of Caster in the corner and danced in his face. He landed an enzuigri and some chops to Caster’s back. Joe then sent him to the floor, and dove through the ropes and landed an elbow strike. Back in the ring, Joe ate a chop and landed a Musclebuster for the win.
Samoa Joe defeated Max Caster in 3:40 to qualify for the Owen Hart Cup tournament.
Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt showed up on the video screen. Lethal said he wasn’t going to ruin Joe’s night by coming out to confront him. He said Joe only picks up his phone for billionaires, and if he had known he would be there, he’d have rolled out the red carpet for him. He told Joe he respected him, and they would roll out the red carpet for him and his #1 student would give his teacher a gift he would never forget. Shawn Spears and Shawn Dean are up next…[c]
My Take: Good to see Joe back in the ring. I’m not sure how many 30 minute classics he has left, but he’s great in small doses.
“The Blackpool Combat Club” William Regal, Jon Moxley, and Bryan Danielson were interviewed backstage. They promoted upcoming Rampage matches between Bryan and Trent Beretta, along with Jon Moxley and Wheeler Yuta. Regal made some very British references, and Moxley said the sounds of his match would be the Thunder of bones cracking and blood raining down. Bryan smiled through the whole thing, apparently amused…
Shawn Spears made his entrance in the arena. MJF joined in on commentary. Capt. Shawn Dean was already in the ring.
3. Shawn Spears vs. Capt. Shawn Dean: Spears tossed Dean to the floor almost instantly, and pointed to the large signs at ringside that said Wardlow was banned from the arena. He then traded chops with Dean in the ring. Spears landed a pump handle into a neckbreaker, but pulled Dean up when he made the cover. He then picked up Dean for his C4 Death Valley Driver, but the camera focused on a bunch of injured security people backstage. The crowd chanted for Wardlow, and he was then shown destroying more members of the security team backstage.
Wardlow made his way to the ring, but was eventually stopped by 3 police officers. Dean used the distraction to roll up Spears for the win.
Capt. Shawn Dean defeated Shawn Spears at 3:31
After the match, MJF ran to the ring and tried to calm Spears as Wardlow laughed while he was being escorted to the back. Elsewhere backstage, we got the response from Wheeler Yuta and the Best Friends. Chuck Taylor tried to appeal to him by saying that he loved him and wanted the best for him, but Trent told him he should watch his match with Bryan on Friday and learn something from the guys he’s turning his back on…[c]
My Take: They are doing a nice job of setting up Wardlow getting his hands on MJF, but I hope they get more clever with it if they are going to drag it out for a while.
Backstage, the Jericho Appreciation Society got beat down by Santana, Ortiz, and Eddie Kingston. Jericho and his crew ran out the building and made their escape in a black SUV. Eddie Kingston walked out to the ring with Santana and Ortiz. Kingston called Jericho a two faced coward, and asked the crowd if they saw him running. He told him and his association that it was on sight. It didn’t matter if they were with their wife and kids. He told Garcia he knows where he lives, and that he wouldn’t hesitate to show up at his house, so they better keep running.
Santana called them scrubs and the Jericho Bitch Society. He told them they would bring the hardest fight to those dogs, because this is what they do. Ortiz challenged them to a six man next week in New Orleans, or not, because either way it was on sight. Kingston said they would beat them next week Junkyard Dog and Butch Reed style in New Orleans…
A Hook video package aired… The Hardy’s are up next in a tables match with The Butcher and The Blade…[c]
My Take: Kingston, Santana and Ortiz showed good fire. They didn’t address the whole Sports Entertainer thing at all, which surprised me a bit.
Tony Schiavone stood on top of the ramp and introduced TBS Champion Jade Cargill with Mark Sterling. She wore “That Bitch” glasses. Schiavone asked them about win number 30, and remarked that she had her “Baddie Section” with her tonight. The camera crew showed Cargill’s selection of beautiful women in the crowd. Cargill defined them as women who were beautiful, had confidence, and knew themselves. Sterling said it was very hard to find beautiful women in Boston.
He then said the one woman who would not be in the baddie section was Marina Shafir. Cargill called her trash, and said she might call herself The Problem, but it’s a good thing that she is the Problem Solver…
Elsewhere backstage, MJF and Spears were asked about Wardlow, but said they didn’t say his name. Spears threatened him and said he’d get what’s coming if he continued to get involved. MJF challenged Shawn Dean for a match next week, and said it wouldn’t be a fluke win, it’d be the end of his career because he’d hurt him worse than anything he experienced in combat…
The Butcher and The Blade made their entrance and started putting tables in the ring and at ringside. The Hardy’s then entered and started brawling immediately. The Butcher and Blade broke the legs off of a table and attacked them with it.
4. Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy vs. Butcher and Blade in a Tables Match: The Butcher took out Matt on the outside with a table leg. The Blade went through a table under his own power trying to charge at Jeff Hardy, but it didn’t count because it wasn’t an offensive maneuver. Butcher tried to suplex Jeff through a table, but Matt broke it up and they gave Butcher a double DDT. Matt set Butcher up on a table, but Blade returned to take out Jeff as he ascended the top rope.
[Hour Two] The Butcher and Blade suplexed Jeff onto a table in the center of the ring, but it didn’t break as the legs weren’t extended, so the match continues…[c]
My Take: Tables matches are kind of clunky, no two ways about it. Jade Cargill continues to come across like a star, and she’s getting better all the time.
Apparently this was an elimination match and I misunderstood the rules. Jeff Hardy was eliminated before the commercial break, even though the table didn’t break? Matt Hardy eliminated the Butcher with a leg drop through a table as the show returned from commercial. Since this is No DQ, The Butcher continued to assist the Blade. The action spilled near the guardrail, where the Butcher and Blade tried to double suplex Matt Hardy through a table set up at ringside.
Jeff Hardy was still at ringside, and pulled the table away, and everybody had an awful landing on the floor. Jeff then ran and attacked the Blade, but slipped and landed awkwardly himself. He did hit a Manhattan drop on The Butcher, and then a twist of fate on The Blade. Matt hit another twist of fate on both Butcher and Blade. They set up some tables and a ladder at ringside, and stacked Blade onto two tables on the floor. Jeff then climbed the ladder and put Blade through the table, which he was apparently able to do even though he was eliminated from the match? Alright man.
Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy defeated Butcher and Blade at 12:01 in a tables match.
After the match, Andrade El Idolo walked to the ring with the rest of the AFO. Before they got all the way down to the ring, Sting’s music hit and he took out Private Party with a bat. Andrade put The Bunny between himself and Sting, and they made a retreat…
Backstage, Christian was shown with Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. Christian looked frustrated and threw his water bottle before running off. Jungle Boy said Red Dragon’s isn’t good enough to challenge them, but since they keep getting in their business, they’d challenge them for the titles next week. Hikaru Shida vs. Julia Hart is up next…[c]
My Take: I don’t even have the words to express how much of a clusterf— that Tag Team Tables match was. The post match interaction with Sting and Andrade also felt a bit pointless. Then Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus decided to put their titles on the line even though Red Dragon aren’t the number one contenders. What a bewildering segment that was.
Thunder Rosa vs. Nyla Rose was announced for Battle of the Belts on Saturday, April 16th…
Jamie Hayter and Toni Storm were shown backstage speaking to Tony Schiavone. Hayter said she hoped they met each other in the tournament, because all that star power she brings doesn’t impress her. Toni responded that this has just begun, and they walked away…
Julia Hart made her entrance in the arena, followed by Hikaru Shida…
5. Hikaru Shida vs. Julia Hart in a Women’s Owen Hart Cup tournament: Hart kicked Shida in the back prior to the bell ringing. She then choked her with her letter jacket against the ropes. Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. asked her what she was doing, and she told them to get out. Hart landed a clothesline in the corner. She attempted a front handspring, but Shida caught her and set her up in the corner for a running knee strike. Shida went under the ring and grabbed a chair from under the ring and set it up. She used it as a launchpad for a dropkick, and then tossed Hart back in the ring.
Hart kicked Shida’s leg out from under her, and then landed a DDT. She then landed a series of mounted punches…[c]
Hart controlled the action for much of the break, but Shida fired back with some punches as the show returned. Shida sent Hart into the corner, and landed a running knee strike. She followed up with a suplex, but didn’t make a cover. Hart avoided a knee strike and rolled out to the apron. Shida pursued and pulled her back into the ring with a suplex for a near fall.
Shida picked up Hart over her shoulder, but Hart gouged her eyes and landed a bulldog. She covered for a two count. Hart then climbed to the top and went for a twisted moonsault, but Shida avoided it and landed a spinning knee strike. She then followed up with a Falcon Arrow for the win.
Hikaru Shida defeated Julia Hart at 8:30 to qualify for the women’s Owen Hart Cup tournament
After the match, Serena Deeb’s music hit. Shida anticipated the attack from behind, so they had a standoff with a chair and a Kendo Stick. Deeb smiled and backed out of the ring, thinking better of the attack…
Backstage, Swerve Strickland was interviewed by Alex Marvez. He explained how some of his friends won Grammys for their work on Kanye West’s Donda Album. Swerve then said he hadn’t forgotten about getting put through a table last week, and excused himself to take care of some business. Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks snuck into the locker room behind him and attacked. Keith Lee followed a few seconds later and they brawled in the locker room. Lee ended up putting Powerhouse Hobbs through a temporary wall. FTR and The Young Bucks are up next…[c]
My Take: Julia Hart has improved, but she still has a ways to go before she’ll be in a position to challenge for a singles title. The Shida and Deeb story continues, likely coming to a conclusion in the Owen Hart tournament, I assume. The Swerve segment was shot awkwardly, as there was no way that Swerve would not have seen them coming based on the angle they entered the room behind him.
The Young Bucks made their entrance with Brandon Cutler. The announce team called this rematch 18 months in the making. They were followed by FTR, who carried their ROH Tag Team Championships and wore the AAA Tag Team Championships. Bobby Cruise from Ring of Honor made the ring introductions. Rick Knox is the referee, so prepare for some f—ery.
6. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson (w/Brandon Cutler) for the AAA and ROH Tag Team Championships: Cash Wheeler and Matt Jackson started the match. They worked some mat wrestling and reversals, and took advantage of the hot crowd reacting to everything. Matt bailed to ringside, so Wheeler put on his bandana and did the Young Bucks pose to taunt him. Wheeler landed a drop toe hold and tagged in Dax Harwood. Matt quickly backed him into the corner and tagged in Nick Jackson.
Nick took off his bandana and threw it at Dax. He caught him and stuffed it down the front of his pants. Harwood avoided a trip and landed a couple of arm drags. Nick backed Dax into the corner and Matt made a blind tag. Dax rolled to the floor and ran away and regrouped to avoid the double team. Dax and Matt squared off, and predicted each other’s tactics. Matt and Nick landed a couple of double dropkicks. A moment later, FTR applied stereo Sharpshooters, but The Bucks escaped after gouging the eyes of Cash Wheeler.
The Bucks successfully isolated Wheeler and landed a combination cannonball senton and enzuigiri. Matt Jackson sold his lower back, which the announce team mentioned has been going on for years. Matt did a Bret’s rope elbow drop and did a Hitman taunt to get under the skin of FTR. Nick Jackson tagged in and continued the isolation of Wheeler. He smashed his face into the ropes and then bumped him to the outside…[c]
They continued to isolate Cash Wheeler during the break. Cash kicked the legs out from Nick Jackson, and he did a header off the apron. He then sent Matt through the ropes. He went for a tag to Harwood, but Nick landed a kick to send Dax off the apron just in time to prevent the tag. Matt charged at Cash and hit hard in the corner. Nick tried to dive at him, but Cash landed a European uppercut. Harwood got the hot tag and cleaned house on both Nick and Matt. he landed heavy strikes and rolled up Matt for a two count. They then traded pinning attempts and reversals.
Harwood landed a piledriver on Matt for a near fall. He then placed Matt on the top rope and landed a series of chops. Nick jumped back into the action and sent Harwood back into the ring. Wheeler countered and dropped Nick on the apron with a suplex. FTR set up for a Powerplex, but Wheeler could not follow up with a splash because Nick Jackson took him down with a head-scissors.
Nick landed a series of kicks and elbows in the corner, and then ran Wheeler into a bulldog and dropkick combination. Harwood avoided a splash on the floor and landed a brainbuster on Nick on the outside. Wheeler then picked up Matt into a Gory Special position and dropped him on his face for a near fall. Matt Jackson avoided the Big Rig, and Nick Jackson distracted the referee so Matt could land a low blow on Cash Wheeler.
Matt and Nick used the Big Rig on Wheeler for a close near fall. They then landed More Back for your Buck for another close near fall. Matt made a second and third cover for the same result. Nick retrieved one of the ROH belts from the timekeeper’s table. Dax fought with him over it, but Nick kept it and blasted Wheeler with it. Matt rolled Wheeler up with the tights, but Harwood broke up the pin. The Bucks set up for the BTE Trigger, and landed it on Wheeler. The ref counted 3, but Wheeler’s foot was on the rope.
Knox told him they did not get the count, and they setup for a Meltzer Driver. FTR reversed into a Powerbomb and Tombstone combination. FTR then landed a BTE Trigger of their own, and kissed Nick Jackson on the cheeks. They then landed the Big Rig and got the win.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson to retain the ROH and AAA Tag Team Championships at 20:11
After the match, FTR Celebrated as the show went off the air.
My Take: An excellent example of Tag Team Wrestling. Both teams played their roles perfectly, and introduced some clever callbacks from their history of working together to produce their best match to date. The match did introduce some Rick Knox obliviousness, but it didn’t derail the match, and the finish was satisfying. FTR has been on a roll recently, and they were firmly babyfaces in front of this crowd. How AEW deals with them being more popular than their own babyface tag team champions will be interesting to watch play out.
Less Midcarder and the Midget and more Max Caster please.
Why was Christian pouring water in his eye an hour after his match was over?
This show hit the skids after 30 minutes.
I reckon Texas deathmatch in this economy I’ll grin ear to ear a JR call “in this economy!?!?!”
It’d be funny. Also reckon it won’t be easy. I have trained in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. They’re lovely bastards.
Violent and go for the show
I keep criticism my arm’s length. I do not watch wwe or aew. I dig the reviews thank ye kindly
Good on y’all keep site going its a mess but I reckon it get better after I leave.
Greatestone, you aibt wrong the poor writing.
I’m just as ready see compelling pro wrestling as you are, and I’ve ruined many cookie trays thru high-school. The damned problem far I am concerned is that the art of wrestling is a deader horse that of the Word. Very f’n difficult to express joy over awesome wrestling bliss – to keep it in wrestling.
Take care, brother
They have so much talent right now CM Punk wasn’t even mentioned on this show.
Samoa Joe is my favourite current wrestler, so I’m overjoyed to see him back in the ring. I just hope he stays injury free.
The opening match was fine, the Samoa Joe squash was good, and the main event was really good due to it being an FTR style match with some Bucks spots thrown in.
Everything between Samoa Joe and the main event was bad.