3/24 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT: Keller’s report on Christian Cage’s in-ring debut against Kaz, Cody vs. Q.T. Marshall exhibition

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
MARCH 31, 2021
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR

Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur

Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts


[HOUR ONE]

-The Dynamite opening aired.

(1) CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. KAZ

Christian walked out wearing an “Out. Work. Everyone.” t-shirt. The announcers talked about what a highly anticipated debut this is for AEW. Kaz came out second. The screen noted he is 11-0 in 2021 so far, which Ross noted. Christian looked physically in great shape. They locked up mid-ring at the start. A “You still got it” chant was started, perhaps by the wrestlers at ringside, who also bowed at Christian as he walked out. Christian settled into an early side headlock on the mat, which is on brand for him.

Kaz knocked Christian through the ropes to the ramp. Christian looked shaken up. Kaz took him to the stage where Christian surprised him with a punch. Kaz, though, backdropped him back into the ring and stayed in control. Kaz shoved Christian off the top rope to the floor. Ross said it wasn’t illegal, but it wasn’t very popular among those watching at Daily’s Place. Kaz settled into a head vice. Christian appeared to be fading. Kaz turned it into a twisting faceplant for a near fall. Christian came back with a swinging DDT out of the corner for a soft two count at 8:00. Christian hit a diving uppercut off the ropes for another two count. The wrestlers at ringside chanted “This is awesome.”

(Keller’s Analysis: Ugh. It’s bad enough when fans do that overly generously as opposed to just being into the story being told, but when wrestlers at ringside are doing it during a rudimentary match like this, it’s ugh-worthy.)

They made a 10 minute announcement. The announcers noted it’s a 20 minute time limit match. Kaz came back with a jackknife cover for a two count. Kaz went for a chicken wing, but Christian elbowed out of it and set up a Kill Switch. Kaz blocked it. Christian maneuvered into an inverted DDT. Wrestlers at ringside chanted, “Let’s go, Christian!” Christian went for a top rope diving headbutt, but Kaz moved so Christian crash-landed. Both were slow to get up. Kaz caught Christian with a crossface chicken wing. Christian crawled toward the bottom rope to force a break. He got his boot on the bottom rope. Kaz released the hold.

Kaz bent over and trash-talked Christian. Christian surprised him with an inside cradle. Kaz landed a quick reverse sidekick and a clothesline followed by a springboard legdrop for a near fall. Kaz landed a Flex Capacitor for a near fall. Ross wondered “how in the hell” Christian kicked out. Christian went for a Kill Switch, but Kaz escaped and kneelifted Christian. He missed his follow-up move. Christian then landed a top rope splash for a very near fall. Kaz again went for a Crossface Chickenwing, but Christian avoided it and sent Kaz shoulder-first into the corner. He then hit the Killswitch for the win. Excalibur said Kaz’s over-zealousness cost him.

WINNER: Christian in 16:00. (**3/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: Not the most dynamic match, but it was certainly fundamentally sound. Given how little TV time Kaz has gotten and how he’s largely been an upper-mid-card tag wrestler since AEW began, I wouldn’t call this a statement win for Christian storyline-wise.)

-They aired a video feature on Darby and Sting. Darby talked about how Matt Hardy’s body is breaking down, and now his insecurities are on display. He wore a Hardy face mask and imitated him. He said all the money in the world cannot buy him real trust, real friends, or real respect. He said he’ll have to earn his respect “because your money doesn’t mean shit to me.” He burned the Matt Hardy mask.

(Keller’s Analysis: The cinematic production of Darby’s segments are such a big part of his character. He does such a good job creating a “feeling” and a “vibe” of what he is all about.)

-The announcers hyped the upcoming matches. [c]

-A vignette aired on Jade Cargill.

(2) CODY RHODES vs. Q.T. MARSHALL – An Exhibition

Cody came out to his music. Marshall was already in the ring. Justin Roberts introduced it as “an unsanctioned exhibition match.” He introduced Arn Anderson as the special guest referee. They never really explained what it meant to be an exhibition instead of a regular match. It sure looked like a regular match. Cody armdragged Q.T. twice and locked on an armbar. Ross said Cody was channeling Ricky Steamboat. Schiavone said Marshall is an underrated technician. Marshall yanked Cody to the mat by his hair. Schiavone wondered if he just saw Marshall pull on Cody’s hair. Cody showed he could stomp Marshall’s head a few seconds later, but didn’t. Marshall shoved Cody. Cody gave Marshall an uppercut. Marshall landed a dropkick. Ross said it seemed inevitable the physicality would pick up despite it being an exhibition. They cut to a partial split-screen break. [c/ss]

Back from the break, Cody had taken control. He set up a Crossroads, but instead released him and shoved him down. Ross said Marshall cannot outwrestle Cody. Marshall slapped Cody. Cody ducked a diving Marshall. Marshall rolled to the floor and showed frustration at ringside. The audience chanted “Cody’s friend!” Cody held the ropes open for Marshall. Marshall entered the ring and then punched Arn Anderson out of nowhere. Cody turned to check on Arn as Ross asked, “What the hell was he thinking!?” Schiavone said he had no explanation. Marshall retreated to the stage and looked sorta shocked at his own actions. Some Nightmare Factory students then attacked Billy Gunn and Dustin Rhodes. Marshall looked on and seemed increasing pleased. Excalibur named the wrestlers on the attack: Anthony Ogogo, Nick Comorado, and Aaron Solow.

They beat up Lee Johnson next. Marshall walked over to Lee and stepped on his head. Excalibur asked if this was payback for Johnson not thanking him for helping training him weeks ago. Marshall rammed Arn’s arm over the ring barricade. Nick Comoroto lifted the steel steps onto the ramp. He then lifted Dustin onto the ramp where Marshall gave him a piledriver onto the steps. Dustin was bleeding. The students then triple-teamed Cody in the ring and rolled him out of the ring. Marshall then was going to bash Cody’s head with a chair on the steps as Red Velvet ran out and implored him to stop. Marshall backed away and threw the chair down. Excalibur said it appears she was able to reason with Marshall. Ross said he can’t believe what they have witnessed.

(Keller’s Analysis: This was a decent angle overall to set up Marshall as a heel leading a faction. The downside is, AEW has plenty of factions, the wrestlers are all unknowns, and Marshall has a lot to prove if he’s worthy of this amount of TV time.)

-Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky talked about how they aren’t being appreciated and don’t like sharing the spotlight with wrestlers who aren’t at their level. They said they are taking everything they want going forward, starting on Monday.

-Schiavone hyped that Matt & Mike Sydal will face Sky & Page on AEW Elevation on Monday.

-Backstage, Dasha interviewed Velvet about standing up for Cody. She said she’s got his back. Jade then attacked her and yelled down at her: “I already told you; I’m dat bitch!”

-They went to the announcers at ringside who reacted.

-A soundbite aired with Jon Moxley who talked about The Good Brothers attacking Eddie Kingston’s ankle. He said it pisses him off to get attacked by goons. He said he’s not sure if The Young Buck want to be in the fight and asked which side they’re on. He said he probably does owe them, “and that pisses me off.” He yanked off his shirt and said Cesar Bononi looks like a “Baywatch” model and he could make a lot of money for AEW unless he kills him first.

(3) JON MOXLEY vs. CESARO BONONI (w/Ryan Nemeth, J.D. Drake)

Mox came out kicking things in his way, looking like he was in a mood. Bononi was already in the ring. Bononi got in Mox’s space mid-ring and had some words for him. They shoved each other. Mox hit him with a barrage of strikes. Excalibur hyped the Apr. 9 AEW non-televised event. He said it’s their first-ever non-televised event, titled “The House Always Wins,” at Daily’s Place. Nemeth grabbed at Moxley’s legs to help Bononi get control. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

Mox gave an interfering Nemeth a Paradigm Shift, but Bononi tried to use that to get at Mox. Mox came right back and took Bononi down with a sleeper for the win.

WINNER: Moxley in 8:00.

-They went to a video of Team Taz backstage. Taz was ranting when Ricky Starks jumped in and said he thinks the old Team Taz is back. He asked Brian Cage what he thinks. Cage said maybe if he had tagged him in sooner last week, they would have won sooner. Taz was the calming voice of reason. (Yes, I just typed that.) Taz said no one can stop the path of rage.

-MJF was standing backstage with The Pinnacle. He said he wants to show everyone what it’s like to live Pinnacle style. He introduced a new personal stylist. A man opened up a folder with various color swatches. MJF said the room they’re in is a big fat dump. He said he secured them an interior decorator. He opened the door to the bathroom and Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, and Sammy Guevera were standing there. He closed the door and told his guys they had to leave. He opened the door to leave and Jake Hager was standing there. Inner Circle beat up The Pinnacle. They focused on Guevara beating up Shawn Spears and then Hager fighting Wardlow, slamming him through a massage table. Next, they went to a brawl out back with Ortiz shoving Cash into an ice bath out back. Santana swung a pipe at Dax, who came up bleeding from the forehead. Back inside, they showed Jericho beating up MJF. Jericho gave MJF a swirly in the toilet as he yelled that he’s a piece of crap. Then he threw him through the glass door of a soft drink cooler. Jericho then took a swig of bubbly and poured it on MJF. He said, “This is our dressing room, bitch.” They dragged MJF out of the ring. Ross said Inner Circle are taking out the trash. Then Jericho took down the Pinnacle sign outside the door and put up an Inner Circle sign.

[HOUR TWO]

-Alex Marvez interviewed The Young Bucks about what happened with them and Kenny Omega last week after the match. Matt Jackson said they don’t want to air dirty laundry on TV every week. Don Callis walked up and told Nick Jackson to go be a rock star and let the adults talk. Nick left. Callis sent Marvez away. Callis then told Matt to hear him out because he has something to tell him man-to-man. Callis said he loves Kenny Omega, and Matt broke his heart. He said Kenny made a choice based on family and friendship when he could have chosen “more money and fame.” (AEW is making themselves out to be the minor league when they have Callis talk about WWE/New York or New Japan being more lucrative options; the irony is, they wouldn’t have likely paid Omega more than AEW did.) Callis said he’s been trying to reach Matt, but he seems dead inside. Callis said he is probably going to go count his money, then he slapped him. Matt grabbed Callis, but then dropped his head and let go. Callis asked if there is anything inside of him at all. “Matt, you are truly pathetic; you make me sick,” Callis said.

-Excalibur said Callis is “living up to his reputation as human garbage.” [c]

(4) LUCHA BROS. & LORADO KID vs. KENNY OMEGA & THE GOOD BROTHERS (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows)

A soundbite aired with Penta et al including Alex the Interpreter saying they’re coming for all the belts. Kid leaped over the top rope at Kenny, Anderson, and Gallows. Fenix then leaped off the top rope with a moonsault onto the waiting trio. Callis joined the announcers on commentary. Kid, Fenix, and Penta then landed a running triple dive onto the floor on Omega, Anderson, and Gallows. Gallows took over and they cut to a break. [c/ss]

Eventually the Lucha Bros. and Kid made a comeback. Justin announced ten minutes had elapsed. Penta saved Fenix as Anderson had him pinned. Anderson landed a big boot on Fenix to score a near fall seconds later. Kid countered a One-Winged Angel a few minutes later and then landed a flip dive on Omega at ringside. Lucha Bros. and Good Bros. battled in the ring. Penta flip dove onto Anderson at ringside. Back in the ring, Kid blocked an Omega V-Trigger. Fenix then leaped off the top rope and hit Omega with a flying kick. Kid then landed a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Kid then went for a top rope Fenix Splash. Omega moved and landed a V-Trigger followed by a One-Winged Angel for the win.

WINNERS: Omega & Anderson & Gallows in 14:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Lots of dives book-ending the match, with Omega & The Good Brothers dominating for the middle portion. A good showcase for everyone here.)

-Moxley walked onto the stage as Omega, Anderson, Gallows, and Callis celebrated. He sort of sneered at them as he walked to the ring. The Young Bucks then joined him. They squared off against them. Ross said he likes this dynamic. When Mox and the Bucks entered the ring, Omega and the Brothers bailed out. Ross said they were “running like scalded dogs.” [c]

-Britt Baker and Rebel talked in front of a pink wall about AEW Elevation. Baker said you can see stars like them on Monday night’s on YouTube elevating stars. She said it’s an excellent platform for Thunder Rosa to get her win tally increased. She said it’s too bad her biggest win ever wasn’t even sanctioned. She said she will continue to put AEW on the map.

(5) NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero) & THE BUNNY (w/Matt Hardy & Co.) vs. TAY CONTI & SHIDA (w/Dark Order)

They brawled at the bell. Shida yelled at Hardy at ringside. Nyla attacked her from behind. Bunny scored a near fall seconds later. They cut to an early break. [c]

Chaos broke out at ringside several minutes in with Hardy’s crew and Dark Order. Conti landed the TayKO on Bunny for a near fall, broken up by Rose. Conti leaped off the top rope onto a crowd at ringside. In the ring, Bunny hit Conti with a kendo stick after a distraction by Vickie. Ross said “a win is a win.” Hardy smiled on the stage as Bunny and Rose joined him. Shida checked on Conti.

WINNERS: Rose & Bunny in 8:00.

-The announcers hyped Mox & Bucks vs. Omega & Good Brothers, Conti vs. Bunny, Darby vs.  J.D. Drake in a TNT Title defense, Jurassic Express vs. Bear Country, plus Inner Circle will speak.

-A promo aired with Jurassic Express backstage. Marko Stunt tried to hide his Kong tattoo. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus were upset he wasn’t on Team Dinosaur.

-Miro, Kip Sabian, and Penelope Ford made their ring entrance. There were video games at ringside. [c]

(6) MIRO & KIP SABIAN (w/Penelope Ford) vs. CHUCK TAYLOR & ORANGE CASSIDY – Arcade Anarchy

Cassidy threw Sabian through the Whack-a-Mole game at ringside. He then whacked him with the padded hammer. Miro threw Cassidy into the ringpost and then bodyslammed him at ringside. Miro used a chair that was hanging on a prize wall. Schiavone noted that it said the chair costs 20,000 tickets. They continued to battle with trash can lids, crutches, tables, and parts of the arcade games. Sabian dropkicked Cassidy through the prize wall. Taylor approached Sabian with a stuffed bear and tore a hole in the back. He poured Legos out of it. Schiavone said stepping on Legos hurts like hell. Taylor then set up a suplex off the second rope. Sabian battled out of it. Sabian upkicked Taylor, then powerbombed him onto the Legos. Cassidy made the save.

Cassidy hit Sabian with an Orange Crush. Penelope Ford yanked the ref out of the ring at two. Ford then kicked Cassidy between his legs. “She knows how to hurt a man,” Schiavone said. Kris Statlander popped out of a game booth and went after Ford. Excalibur said she emerged from the UFO Catcher. She gave Ford a powerbomb through an air hockey table at ringside. Miro then recovered and threw Cassidy at ringside ten feet. He bashed Cassidy across his back with a chair. Then he hit Taylor with the chair. As Miro set up a chair, Taylor and Cassidy crawled out to the parking lot. A white minivan showed up with Sue. Trent got out of his mom’s car. She kissed his cheek. He then stood next to Taylor and Cassidy before they charged at Miro.

The three babyfaces “ping ponged” Miro back and forth, as Excalibur aptly called it. Miro managed to fight back. Ross said there’s not a man on the roster he can’t manhandle. Miro waved at Sue and walked toward her van. He banged on the hood. Trent jumped Miro and threw him into the hood. Miro picked up a video game and threw it at Trent, but Trent ducked. Trent then threw a stool at Miro, cracking him in the skull. Trent speared Miro through a leaning table. A “This is awesome!” chant broke out. Taylor then gave Sabian a running powerslam off the stage through a table below for the win. Excalibur said it was absolutely an insane match that lived up to its name. He then exclaimed, “It feels good to say it! You’ve got to give the people what they want!” Statlander joined them in the ring. They waved to Sue who was still in her minivan.

WINNERS: Taylor & Cassidy in 14:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: That was both violent and fun. I think they pulled it off and got the tone right for what they were going for.)

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