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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
APRIL 7, 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
-They opened with a clip marked “Earlier in the Day.” SUVs and a sports car drove up. The Inner Circle got out of the vehicles. They were wearing black leather jackets. Schiavone said Mike Tyson is in the house, too.
-The Dynamite opening aired.
-They went to Daily’s Place live as Ross introduced the show.
(1) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. MAX CASTER (w/Anthony Bowens)
As Page walked out, the screen showed he has a 9-0 record in 2021 so far. Ross said he’s the no. 1 contender, and what remains to be seen is whether he can close the deal. Excalibur said Caster is the no. 3 ranked contender. (That came out of nowhere.) Caster did a rap and Bowens yanked the mic away from him before he rhymed “pony” with “blow me.” Bowens said, “You can’t say that on TNT!” Caster also took a dig at President Biden “slippin’ on the stairs.” Page jump-started the match and rammed Caster’s head into the corner top turnbuckle. Excalibur said Caster has three straight wins against Dark Order members include against Colt Cabana on AEW Dark Elevation. Excalibur plugged “The House Always Wins,” AEW’s first house show. Schiavone noted that Caster is 31 and Page is 29.
They fought at ringside. Page got in Bowens’ face. Back in the ring Caster took over against Page with stomps. Schiavone said the raps that Caster does gets under the skin of his opponents, and that can work against him. Ross said it’s part of his TV persona. When Page took Caster down at ringside again, Bowens got in his face. Bowens picked up the boom box behind Page. Caster yanked Page crotch-first into the ringpost. Bowens then shoved Page into the barricade and then into the ring.
Caster held Page down on the mat with a chinlock. Page powered out. Caster got up and charged at Page, and Page knocked him down twice. Caster feeding Page seemed a half-step slow or a bit off timing-wise. Page then gave Caster an overhead suplex for a two count. Page dropped Caster on the edge of the ring apron, then climbed to the top rope. Schiavone plugged that Tyson was in the house. Caster superplexed Page and then applied a keylock. Page reached the bottom rope to force a break. Page clotheslined Caster as he leaped off the top rope at him. Page lifted Bowens upside down mid-ring and stood there. Bowens slid Caster the boom box. Page ended up with it. The ref took it from him. Bowens then slid a chain to Caster. Caster KO’d Page with the chain for believable near fall. Caster climbed to the top rope and went for a top rope elbowdrop. Page moved, so Caster crashed to the mat. Page set up a Buckshot Lariat, but Bowens held onto his leg. Page kicked him off of him and then flipped onto Bowens at ringside. Page then followed up with a Buckshot Lariat for the win.
Page celebrated up the stairs and stood a few feet from cheering fans.
WINNER: Page in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Okay match. I like Caster being cast in a top contender spot, although it’d have been good to show more clips before the match of him looking impressive against strong opponents to justify his high ranking. Page’s win would have meant more had they built up Caster better leading into this win. Some of the sequences were a little clunky.)
-Schiavone stood in the ring and introduced Death Triangle (Rey Fenix, Penta El Zero Mieda, and Pac). Schiavone said they won the Casino Battle Royale, so they get a shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles next week. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Trent walked out. Cassidy dryly said it’s great to see the three of them together again. They aired a clip on the big screen from March and May of last year with Death Triangle attacking Cassidy. Chuck said it might have been a while, but they still remember what they did to them. Rey and Penta laughed. Pac said it appears they want a shot at “the next AEW Tag Team Champions. Well, believe me boys, you’ve got a lot of work to do, but you’re far from worthy, so get off our stage.” Trent said he knows he was out of action for a while and hurt. He said they’re only there to give them a heads up. “The boys are back in town.” Out walked Kris Statlander briefly with them on the stage.
-Excalibur hyped upcoming matches on the show. Ross hyped Jurassic Express vs. Bear Country as “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
-They showed Urban Meyers, “a coach,” speaking with Mike Tyson earlier in the day.
-Jericho led Inner Circle to the ring as his theme song played. Jericho said Jacksonville sounds crazy tonight. He said they “have a lot to say, after the break.” [c]
-Back live, Jericho said, “We are the Inner Circle, and we have come back in black.” Jericho said the beatdown that MJF and the rest of the Pinnacle gave them was a wake up call. He said it helped them realize they had made a lot of decisions in the last six months that hurt a lot of people and insulted a lot of people. “For that, we apologize to everybody, including all of you.” He said those decisions were caused by MJF. “My jerk-off friend,” he said. He said MJF is right that he’s not smart at certain things, such as high school chemistry. He said the teacher asked him if he was on dope. “I wasn’t,” he said. “I just wasn’t very smart at chemistry.” He said what he is smart at is pro wrestling and the psychology of it. He said he didn’t bring MJF into Inner Circle to put him under his wing, but rather to keep him under his thumb. He said he knows how dangerous his jerk-off friend is. He said he wanted to use him as much as he could and suck his potential out of him and into the Inner Circle.
Jericho said they had it perfectly planned, but they didn’t count on MJF being one step ahead of them. He said they were outsmarted by a man who can do everything “except apparently put on a spray tan.” He said a few weeks ago, he was oranger than Cassidy with more streaks than the bottom of that toilet bowl he shoved his face into last week. They cut to reaction shots of Santana, Ortiz, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara laughing. Jericho said MJF is still only 25. He said he was still having wet dreams at that age whereas MJF is at the pinnacle of the wrestling business.
Jericho said MJF says he’s going to age like fine wine, but he wants to better than him, the GOAT, now. He said those are big shoes and he should take baby steps. He said he should be better than Peter Avalon instead or Michael Nakazawa. He said his scarf is tired and old and it sucks. Jericho said he was wearing scarves fives years ago. He said it’s lame that he’s stealing his shit. He said he has an old clipboard in the back with a list of gimmicks he stole from him. He said Max isn’t as good as he thinks. He said he listens to the critics and the fans. He said he rushes to the back to see what people think of what he did. “We call that in the wrestling business being a mark. We’re going to change that to being a max, because you’re a max for yourself.” He said he’ll never, ever be better than him “and you know it.” He said that’s causing the wine to sour.
He said MJF called Tully Blanchard the greatest mind in pro wrestling history. He said he’s nothing more than the third-string member of the Four Horsemen, “ranking somewhere between Ole Anderson and Paul Roma.” He said FTR are one of the greatest tag teams in the world today, “but they’re complete interchangeable.” He said they’re like the Jonas Brothers. He said they make money, but he doesn’t know their names. He said regarding Shawn Spears, people say he has a big upside, but he’s never seen it. He said all he knows is his phone number from when he’d call him after he was fired by the Fed looking for advice. He said aligning with Spears is about as good a decision as rocking a blond mohawk in 2021. He said as for Wardlow, he’s so stupid he has to strip naked to count to 21. He said the Pinnacle is good, but that’s great because they like to fight. He said they’re going to shove the faces of the Pinnacle up each other’s asses to form a human centipede with MJF in the back. “You want blood, you want violence, you got it!” he said. He said on May 5, it will be Pinnacle vs. Inner Circle in a Blood & Guts match. He said they are the Inner Circle and they’re back in black and they’re going to beat the living shit out of them. “The worst is yet to come, and god help you for it!”
Ross said everyone just heard an immortal promo, and it came from the heart. Schiavone said Jericho laid it all on the line.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was really good, but could’ve used some editing, to be honest. At eight minutes, it started to feel maybe it was getting too long around five minutes in, but it ended strong enough and intense enough, that feeling was wiped away by the end. There were just too many jokes and sidebars, and they didn’t all land, so again, some editing was called for here. Like Rock and John Cena ten years ago, this is going to fun anticipating and then watching MJF fire back and then Jericho fire back at MJF, and on and on until the match takes place.)
-The announcers hyped Darby’s TNT Title defense and the six-man tag team main event. [c]
-Dasha Gonzales interviewed Christian Cage backstage. She asked how he is feeling after his debut match for AEW last week and what’s next. Christian said last week felt like the culmination of an entire year of him scratching, clawing, and grinding in solitude for that moment. He said he took back what was taken from him seven years ago. He said Kaz pushed him into the deep end and his lungs were on fire, and he loved every second of it. He said Frankie knows he’s not like everyone because when you wrestle him, he makes his opponents level up. Taz barged in and interrupted Christian mid-sentence. He said he and Christian know each other well. He said he wants him to be part of Team Taz. He said his guys can help him get where he wants to be, and his guys can learn from him. He told him to sleep on it because he doesn’t want to put him on the spot.
(Keller’s Analysis: A decent Christian promo, but it does seem his character is built around Jey in real life believing he deserves more respect as a top level ring general. I suggest therapy or writing a book to work through those issues. As an on-air character, fire up and be more likable. On the bright side, his brand and motto is built around “Outwork Everybody.” Crediting Kaz for taking him to the deep end and making his lungs burn, but saying he loved it, is a good way to acknowledge he’s still getting into prime wrestling shape. Saying he worked hard for years to get back into action plays into his passion for the business. I think he avoided sounded overly self-serious and self-boasting like last time where I thought he crossed a line and it became a little too much. I’d still like to see him loosen up just 10-20 percent more. It seems they’re setting up Christian to battle Team Taz, and I think that’s the right place for him at this point. He can give some rub to the Team Taz wrestlers, but also gain some credibility having good matches and likely scoring important wins over them.)
-A commercial aired for “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
(2) JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) vs. BEAR COUNTRY (Bronson & Boulder)
Excalibur noted it’s the no. 2 ranked tag team against the no. 4 ranked tag team. The announcers said Bear Country are really rising through the ranks quickly. Jungle Boy went on a flurry of offense, but Bear Country caught him on a mid-air flip over the top rope onto the floor. Luchasaurus, though, flip dove onto them and knocked them down. Boulder caught JB mid-air and then lifted him into position for Luchasaurus, but Luchasaurus didn’t get the grip he was looking for and he fell hard and seemed hurt. He rolled out of the ring. Boulder powerbombed JB instead. They cut to a split-screen break as the wrestlers regrouped. [c/ss]
A graphic on split-screen indicated Schiavone interviewing Sting was coming up. That was strange to put up during the break with the screen of wrestling already quite small. Luchasaurus returned to the ring apron awaiting a tag during the break and looked just fine. Back to full screen after the break, Bear Country continued to beat on JB. Luchasaurus hot-tagged in and took down both Bronson and Boulder. He set up a chokeslam of both at once, but they broke free. Luchasaurus set up a chokeslam of Boulder off the second rope, but Boulder headbutted out of it and then superplexed Luchasarus for a near fall, broken up by Jungle Boy.
Bronson went after JB, but JB landed a springboard DDT. Luchasaurus then gave Boulder a modified Attitude Adjustment. He went for the cover, but Bronson interfered by slamming JB on the back of Luchasaurus. Boulder cannonballed Bronson into Luchasaurus in the corner for a very near fall. Bear County set up a splash off the shoulders, but JB kicked Bronson’s legs and then clotheslined Boulder. Luchasaurus clotheslined Boulder over the top rope to the floor. Luchasaurus then finished Bronson in the ring with a chokeslam and a standing moonsault for the win. Ross said the match “was bowling show ugly at times, but I loved it.”
WINNERS: Jurassic Express in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Yeah, this was bowling shoe ugly at times, as Ross said. There were times the moves were being set up in what felt like slo-mo, but other times the spots were pulled off with good timing and dramatically. Overall, thumbs up.)
-Q.T. Marshall sat in the ring at the Nightmare Factory with his three students behind him. He talked about his credentials. He talked about Cody playing second fiddle to “Ted Jr.” (Ted DiBiase in Legacy.) He said he wore facepaint next because he wouldn’t amount to anything despite being Dusty’s kid. He said then he went to the indys and surrounded himself with “vanilla midgets so you could finally feel like the superstar you always knew you’d never be.” Q.T. then returned to talking about himself. He said he’s surrounded himself with hungry men. He touted Aaron Solo, Comoroto, and Ogogo. Ogogo said in the U.K. he’s already a star. He said the fans in America are going to learn the hard way what he’s all about. Comoroto threw a bucket of blue paint over the wall that says “Nightmare Factory.” Marshall closed by saying, “Cody, this is my factory.”
(Keller’s Analysis: That was the best presentation of Q.T. Marshall yet. Better late than never. I’m curious, with his lack of jump-off-the-page charisma so far, whether he can parlay the current increased push and resentment of Cody into significant growth. Certainly AEW is giving him that opportunity. I feel going into this Marshall was seen as a hanger-on and lackey, so he really has to over-delver in every way quickly to overcome that since he seems to be pushed way above his level in a feud against Cody on the main Dynamite show. If the wrestlers he’s surrounding himself with become the stars and he’s more of the “brains of the operation,” maybe it can ultimately work.)
-They hyped Schiavone would interview Sting next. [c]
-As Schiavone was about to interview Sting on the stage about Darby’s TNT Title defense coming up, Jake Roberts interrupted. He said this is the point where they interrupt Sting and Sting doesn’t do anything about it. He asked where his “little gerbil friend is at.” He brought up the cliche about how insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Lance Archer said the world is going to pay attention to him now; no more winning matches and then disappearing for weeks. He said this interview time with Schiavone should be his, not Sting’s.
Sting yanked the mic away and said, “Now it’s my time.” Sting told Archer to be slow to speak and quick to hear, “so zip up your mouth for a minute.” Sting said he is in agreement with him. He said he is a main event guy who deserves better. He asked Jake why he had a dumbfounded look on his face. He told Jake to help Archer channel his energy in the right direction. He said if he does that, he’ll be in a main event match, perhaps for the World Title again, perhaps without any disappearance. He told him to go do it and make it showtime. They cut away throughout to Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page reacting up in the rafters, laughing at the exchange. Archer and Jake walked away as Schiavone asked if they had anything to say about that.
-They went backstage to Team Taz. Ricky Starks told Brian Cage he is the leader of the group and he wants to hear from him. Taz said not this time. He told him to stop instigating. He said they want to recruit “a real blue-chipper in Christian” so they have to be smart. Starks said he understood. Taz’s son and Powerhouse Hobbs stood by and nodded.
(3) DARBY ALLIN (w/Sting) vs. J.D. DRAKE (w/Ryan Nemeth) – TNT Title match
Drake was already in the ring as Darby made his ring entrance with his TNT Title belt and Sting by his side with his baseball bat. Ross said Darby continues to show he’s one of the biggest stars in all of pro wrestling.The announcers tried to set the stage for the match even though Drake is a virtual unknown getting a title shot. Ross said he reminds him of a bar fighter. Darby caught Drake charging at him, but Drake knocked Darby to the floor with a hard chop. Darby dove through the ropes and knocked Drake into the barricade. When Darby leaped off the top rope, Drake knocked him out of mid-air. As Nemeth taunted Darby, Sting came up behind him. Nemeth back away from ringside and to the back as Sting pursued him. Nemeth ran into the parking lot. They cut to a split-screen break with Drake in control. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Drake had control of Darby at ringside. He threw him into the ropes and then forearmed him as he bounced off. Darby landed a cannonball senton and then a top rope flip dive onto Drake at ringside. Ross said Darby is fearless. Drake rolled back into the ring to beat the ten count. Drake knocked Darby off the top rope and hung him upside down. Schiavone said this has been as hard-hitting a match as you’ll find between two wrestlers with such different styles. With Darby hanging upside down, Drake landed a running corner cannonball and scored a two count. Darby avoided a top rope moonsault, then climbed back to the top rope. They exchanged slaps. Darby bit Drake’s finger and then landed an Avalanche Code Red followed by a Coffin Drop for the win. Excalibur called Darby “the face of the network” as TNT Champion.
WINNER: Darby in 12:00 to retain the TNT Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was really good. Drake looked like he belonged out there in a match of this type. He powered through the match and played up his size and strength compared to Darby well. Like with Marshall, Drake is getting a big spotlight match ahead of the audience being shown why be belongs there. That’s where video packages with an announcer narrating the backstory of who he is, what he stands for, and how he got to a title match would help get the audience invested at a level that a match of this quality deserves. Darby continues to shine in just about everything he is asked to do despite not fitting a traditional mold at all.)
-As Darby celebrated on the stage, Butcher and Blade attacked him. Matt Hardy, Bunny, and Private Party cheered them on. Dark Order came out to save Darby from a further beating. Bunny screeched at the announcers. Schiavone said, “I never thought I’d say this, but thank god for the Dark Order.”
-Excalibur threw to a brief video feature setting up the main event six-man tag set to dramatic music. Then Excalibur plugged the main event.
(Keller’s Analysis: Building anticipation for the main event and setting the stage for it makes the match feel bigger when it happens to a big part or the audience AEW continues to chase, but can’t seem to lock down. Too often AEW has mentioned the main event in passing, but not put the elbow grease into building it up with promos and video packages in the 100 minutes before the ring introductions. This is a step in the right direction.) [c]
-Alex Marvez interviewed Jericho about Blood & Guts. Jericho said Marvez looks more handsome than usual. MJF attacked Jericho from behind. Dax, Cash, Wardlow, and Shawn Spears dragged Jericho out to the ring. The announcers noted Jericho was alone. FTR delivered a spike piledriver. A camera showed that the Inner Circle door was bolted shut, but they broke through the door. Wardlow then set up a powerbomb of Jericho, but Mike Tyson’s music then played. He walked out and tore off his t-shirt. He punched away at Spears with bodyshots as the rest of Pinnacle bailed out. The rest of Inner Circle ran out and joined Tyson in the ring as the Pinnacle bailed out to the floor. Ross said, “What an atmosphere here at Daily’s Place!” Jericho got to his feet. He offered Tyson a handshake. Tyson accepted and it turned into a hug. Jericho said, “Thank you.” MJF, Tully Blanchard, and the rest of Pinnacle threw a fit at ringside and yelled up at them. He threw stuff around. Schiavone said Pinnacle were having a temper tantrum. Tyson posed with Inner Circle in the ring together as Jericho’s theme song played. Jericho continued to sell the effects of the piledriver.
-Schiavone interviewed Britt Baker and Reba backstage. Baker asked Tony Khan to give the people what they want – a championship match for the doctor. She said the rankings system is total bullshit. She was bleeped. “Championship matches should not be based around wins and losses, it should be based on star power, t-shirt merchandise sales, and TV demographic rankings.” She said she’s at the top of all those categories. She said like a true role model, she’s going to fix the broken system and climb her way up the rankings to pretend these wins actually matter. She said she’ll be getting her wins up on Elevation, Dark, and Dynamite.
(4) THE BUNNY (w/Matt Hardy, Butcher, Blade) vs. TAY CONTI (w/Dark Order, including -1)
Conti took it to Bunny early with capture suplex. Excalibur compared to her Akira Maeda. Bunny came back by yanking her off the ring apron; Conti landed face-first on the apron. She then suplexed Conti at ringside. Ross said this could set up a countout win. Bunny hit a running shotgun dropkick. They cut to a break on split-screen. [c/ss]
It was a partial split-screen break, even though Excalibur promised viewers before the break that they wouldn’t miss a second of the action. Conti made a comeback after the break, but missing a runned high knee in the corner. Ross said Bunny was doing a hell of a job. Excalibur noted that Hikaru Shida came out to cheer on Conti alongside Dark Order at ringside. Conti elbowed out of Bunny’s next move. Hardy jumped onto the ring apron to distract Conti. Bunny charged, but Conti avoided her and gave her the Tay-K-O for a believable near fall. Bunny snapped Conti’s neck over the top rope, then took a cheap shot at Shida at ringside. Dark Order and Hardy Family Office brawled at ringside. Bunny grabbed a kendo stick while the ref wasn’t looking, but Shida yanked it away. Conti then gave Bunny a top rope superplex followed by her D-D-Tay for the win. Dark Order, including -1, celebrated with Conti afterward.
WINNER: Conti in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was really good. It was a creative way to get Shida involved, and she worked to prevent Bunny from unfairly winning even though it helped her top contender Conti score another win.)
-The announcers hyped next week’s first unopposed episode of Dynamite: Darby vs. Matt Hardy in a Falls Count Anywhere match, The Young Bucks vs. Pac & Fenix for the AEW Tag Team Titles, Anthony Ogogo’s in-ring debut, and Jade Gargill vs. Red Velvet one-on-one.
-A brief video package aired on the Cargill-Velvet interactions leading to their match being booked for next week.
-Schiavone said Dax Harwood will face Jericho next week with Mike Tyson as special referee. Cash and Guevara can be at ringside, but all other faction members have been barred from ringside. [c]
(5) KENNY OMEGA & KARL ANDERSON & DOC GALLOWS (w/Don Callis) vs. JON MOXLEY & THE YOUNG BUCKS
Ross said Callis would be joining them on commentary. When the Bucks entered the ring, they immediately had some words for Omega. Excalibur said the Bucks feel they lost their best friends in Omega, all because of Callis’s machinations. Moxley’s entrance began in the parking lot. The announcers hyped this as one of the biggest matches ever on Dynamite. Ross said for someone like him of a different generation, it’s a six-man tag, not a trios match. (It’s a “six-man tag match” for this generation, too.)
Anderson and Matt circled each other. Matt yelled at Callis, who was taunting him. Omega asked to be tagged in, and Anderson tagged him in before the first contact. They exchanged words. Callis ran to join the announcers at this point. They locked up. Omega shoved Matt. Matt tagged in Nick. After a brief exchange, a frustrated Omega tagged out to Anderson. Nick had to fend off Omega and Gallows, too. Mox then clotheslined Gallows to the floor before a triple dive through the ropes to the floor. They cut to a break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Moxley hot-tagged in. He put Anderson in a sleeper, but Anderson snapped his neck over the top rope to break the grip. Nick eventually tagged in and hit a string of crisp offense and really shined. He tagged Matt back in just as Omega also tagged in. Omega charged in, but then backed off when he saw Matt tagged in. Callis said Omega didn’t want to hurt a friend. Ross reacted with skepticism. Matt gave Omega a DDT after faking a superkick. Next he set up a superkick, but he hesitated. He stopped and put his hands on his hips. He walked up to Omega, but Omega slapped him over and over. Matt then snapped and tackled Omega and punched away at him. Gallows kicked Matt. Nick gave Gallows a missile dropkick. Mox ran in and knocked Gallows to the floor.
Omega gave Matt a snap dragon suplex once the ring cleared. He delivered another snap dragon, but when he went for a V-Trigger, Moxley cut him off with a running lariat. Matt then gave Omega a leaping piledriver for a two count. Ross asked Callis if he’s okay. The Bucks then hit More Bang for Your Buck, but Anderson broke it up. Nick threw him out of the ring, then landed a corkscrew springboard dive onto Anderson and Gallows at ringside. The Bucks then lifted Omega and set up a double-team BTE Trigger, but then froze. Mox had enough and barged into the ring. He yelled at them. Matt indicated Mox was right. They set it up again, but then paused. Mox yelled at them from the ring apron apron. He tagged himself in. Excalibur called it a “crisis of conscience.”
Mox shoved Matt’s hand out of his space and then gave Omega a Paradigm Shift. He did it a second time, then applied a sleeper. The Bucks remained in the ring. Nick gave Mox a superkick! Matt also superkicked Moxley. Mox lost his grip and fell back. Eddie Kingston ran out to help Moxley, but Gallows and Anderson cut him off. “What are we watching, for God’s sake!” asked Schiavone. Callis said they’re watching history. Schiavone asked if he knew this was going to happen. Callis said he wasn’t saying anything. The Good Brothers gave Moxley the Magic Killer and dragged Omega onto Mox for the three count. The Bucks looked on conflicted. The Good Brothers hugged them and seemed happy they seemed to choose them.
WINNERS: Omega & Good Brothers.
-Afterward, Callis whispered something to the Bucks. The Bucks then superkicked Moxley as he was held up by the The Good Brothers. Ross said the Bucks pulled the trigger on a shot heard throughout the wrestling world. He called it disgusting. The audience chanted, “You sold out!” Matt and Omega chatted. The had a group hug to end the show.
(Keller’s Analysis: On the bright side, the Bucks haven’t been likable at all throughout all of their “shades of gray” heel/face teases for the last 18 months, so this is probably the right landing place. The bad side is this doesn’t feel like it’s part of a master plan, but a result of just not committing to a cohesive long-term plan and changing their minds every week or two about what they want to do. The Bucks have been awful, awful characters for most of the last 18 months, and this absolutely better be the end of any ambiguity or turns for them for the next three years at least. Also, AEW is really, really, really assuming way more investment in The Elite/Bullet Club on the part of the million viewers who watch them on TNT each week. The backstory precedes AEW’s existence, and there just wasn’t enough history of The Elite together during the Dynamite era to keep assuming the majority of viewers connect or care about this endless drama about the Bucks-Omega friendship. The crowd was turning on the Bucks along with Moxley, so that’s good because there was no turning back from that once even Moxley had enough of the Bucks melodrama with Omega. This also creates a bit of a mess with a busy crowded faction with Omega, Good Brothers, and the Bucks, and now the Bucks vs. Pac & Fenix is a heel vs. heel match – or is it? You never really know with AEW’s booking. Ultimately, let’s pick a role for the Bucks and stick with it. Please. If this is it, fine, build on this moment to utilize them as heels and get something more out of them than they have to date. If we get Moxley & Kingston vs. The Bucks, that’s a good starting point for the Bucks as full-fledged heels. The wishy-washy era is hopefully part of the past.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, not a great show, but one of AEW’s better shows lately, despite my exasperation with the Bucks-Omega stuff taking another “OMG twist” with a much of dragged out melodrama. Also, this was one of Jim Ross’s better nights on Dynamite on commentary, and cheers to him for calling out AEW for their “aren’t we special” branding of six-man tag matches as trios matches.