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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
APRIL 14, 2021
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED ON TNT (TAPED APR. 8)
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-They opened with Nick & Matt Jackson standing backstage. Nick asked, “Why did we do what we did last week?” They showed clips of their turn against Jon Moxley last week. Matt said, “Simple. We chose friendship.” Matt thanked Mox for pushing them over the edge. He said they’re now a family that loves and hugs. He said regarding Don Callis, “When someone’s right about something, they’re right. He said we changed.”
He said they are the best tag team in pro wrestling, but sometimes they felt fraudulent. He said they haven’t felt the same since signing with AEW. He said they took the big payday and were no longer hungry. He said they sat idly and let others take credit for the work they did. Matt said he’s no longer content, so it’s time to show the world a newer, better version of themselves. They showed tassels being snipped off their ring jackets.
(Keller’s Analysis: Matt was reminiscent Donald Trump Jr. in that promo with his tone of delivery. I would say we can remove any hedging on whether they’ve finally firmly gone heel, right? I feel like for the first time in Dynamite history, the Bucks are ready to be a real factor in the top mix beyond being good for an excellent in-ring match. I think getting rid of the tassels is one of the best moves they can make in terms of being taken seriously by new viewers. When they turn back babyface, which hopefully is no sooner than in 2023, the tassels can be brought back for a nostalgia pop, perhaps.)
-They cut to the arena and cheering audience members. The announcers hyped the Dax Harwood vs. Chris Jericho match with Mike Tyson the special enforcer referee.
-As Tyson talked about how excited he was, MJF walked in and said he was barely born when he had his run on top, but his dad said he was a big deal. He said his boys are a little peeved at him for his actions last week. Tyson said he’s mad too. MJF said Jericho is his enemy. Tyson said he sees his enemy right in front of him.
MJF said he’s not asking him to cheat. Tyson said it sounds like that to him. MJF said he wants him to be on the right side history. He said he doesn’t want him to have any regrets tonight, “because looking at your face, I can believe you already have one.” Tyson snapped at him and MJF backed away and told him to hold up and settle down. MJF offered him a blank check with his name on it. Tyson tore it up in front of MJF and then jammed the pieces in his mouth, chewed, and spit the wad at MJF. MJF said he’d remember this and walked away.
-The announcers pushed the rest of the line-up including a Christian Cage challenge and Darby vs. Matt Hardy for the TNT Title.
(1) THE YOUNG BUCKS (w/Don Callis) vs. REY FENIX & PAC – AEW World Tag Team Title match
The Bucks came out with new ring jackets and long wrestling pants sans any tassels. They also are wearing head bands that look high end and obnoxious by design. Callis joined the announcers on commentary. Excalibur said if you were to build a tag team from scratch to beat the Bucks, it’d be Fenix & Pac. Fenix and Pac dove onto the Bucks at ringside a few minutes in. Fenix and Pac threw a barrage of kicks at Matt in the ring.
They showed Kaz & Christopher Daniels watching in the stands. Nick tagged in and face planted Fenix on his head, then bragged to the camera. They showed Bunny, Butcher, and Blade stoically watching from the stands. Ross called Matt’s cover “half-assed.” Pac hot-tagged in and landed a missile dropkick and a sequence of crisp, sudden offense that Schiavone called “amazing.” Pac scored a two count on Matt.
They cut to the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy watching in the stands. Ross compared Pac to Dynamite Kid. Nick at ringside tripped Pac running the ropes. Matt dove onto him. The Bucks powerbombed Pac and Fenix on the ring apron. They showed Jurassic Express’s Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus watching in the stands. Callis said the Bucks have stopped worrying about what other people think other than him and Kenny Omega. Callis said the Bucks are going to sell a lot of their new headgear. Matt set up a springboard dive at Pac in the corner, but then stopped mid-way and just ranked his back. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c/ss]
The Bucks remained in control during the break. Matt got fired up. He pretended to want to lead the crowd to cheering. The audience booed. Excalibur said he was mocking his old self. He clotheslined Pac and shook the top rope, then collapsed mid-ring and began mock crying as Pac recovered. Pac stood and clotheslined Matt. Excalibur said Matt’s crocodile tears could turn into real tears. Fenix and Nick both tagged in. Fenix controlled the action with a flurry of cool spots against both Bucks. He scored a near fall. Pac tagged in and hit the Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Pac scored a believable near fall on a German suplex into a bridge. Ross said Pac “has a very suplex-friendly body.”
Pac climbed to the top rope to set up a Black Arrow. Matt superkicked him. Nick quickly landed a Rebounding Destroyer on Fenix. Fenix collapsed. The Bucks hit stereo poison ranas at rinsgide. Fenix came back with a cutter off the ringside barricade. Everyone was down and slow to get up. Fenix threw Matt into the ring. Pac rolled in and shoved Matt into his corner. He set up a top rope superplex. Fenix tagged in and landed a frog splash off the top rope for a believable near fall. Fenix pulled Matt into position for a Black Arrow. Pac landed it. Nick tried to make the save. Fenix blocked him. Nick pushed through and broke up the cover.
Nick dragged Matt to their corner and tagged in. Pac caught a charging Nick with a boot to the face. He went for a back suplex, but Nick mule kicked Pac. Fenix tagged himself in and leaped at Nick. Nick caught him mid-air with a superkick. Nick then ripped the mask off of Fenix. Fenix covered his face with both hands. The Bucks double-superkicked him for the win as he continued to cover his face and didn’t see it coming. Callis came to ringside and celebrated with the Bucks.
WINNERS: The Bucks in 23:00 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles.
(Keller’s Analysis: Tremendous match. That’s a big part of what the AEW brand is, and with the Bucks being so obnoxious, they showed more personality in that match than the prior 18 months. The look Nick gave the camera as he walked away was far and away the most personality he’s shown to date.)
-Alex Marvez interviewed Adam Page and Dark Order backstage. Page swigged a glass of beer as Marvez asked about Omega rekindling his friendship with the Bucks. Page avoided the question and offered to go buy egg rolls for the Dark Order. The Dark Order cheered John Silver as he raised his injured shoulder to his shoulder-level. [c]
-They went to the announcers on camera briefly.
-Marvez interviewed Chris Jericho and Tyson with Santana, Ortiz, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara standing behind him. Marvez asked about his apparent friendship with a former rival, Tyson. Jericho said when they decided to change their ways and have a new attitude and right some wrong, the first call he made was to Tyson to make up for past deeds. Jericho said they’ve been at each other’s throats going back to 2010 when Tyson knocked him out on Monday night. He said he has a lot of respect for him because he has remained relevant and remained on top for 30 years. He said when Tyson heard what he had to say, Tyson offered to be there for him if he ever needed him. He said Tyson had their backs last week. Tyson said he’s firm, but he’s fair. He said he’s happy to call him a friend, but he’s not taking sides. He said if he messes up, he’ll knock him out again. Jericho said he remembers that punch. He said he’s fair and firm and he’ll be special enforcer tonight.
(2) RED VELVET vs. JADE CARGILL
The graphic noted Velvet is ranked #2 and has nine straight wins. Velvet came out first. When Cargill entered, Velvet immediately attacked her. The ref called for the bell to start the match despite the pre-match attack giving Cargill an unfair advantage. Velvet dove through the ropes and tackled Cargill against the ringside barricade. Cargill reversed Velvet into the barricade seconds later, then overhead tossed her onto a crowd of wrestlers in the ringside seats. She suplexed her back into the ring. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen for the first half of the break. [c/ss]
Velvet moved as Cargill charged at her in the corner. Cargill went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Velvet landed a facebuster next. She landed a standing moonsault for a near fall. She went for a top rope moonsault. Cargill moved, although Velvet hit her chin on her body when she landed. Cargill then delivered her Jaded sitout face-first powerbomb for the win.
WINNER: Cargill in 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: A more-than-passable match for these two. Cargill still looks like a future star in the making.)
-Schiavone interviewed Brit Baker and Rebel backstage. Baker pointed at a Women’s Division Rankings poster. She explained that Velvet is now 5-1 whereas she is 7-1, so she will be making her way up the rankings. Baker said she will win again on AEW Dark Elevation and she’ll prove to be everyone’s role model. Schiavone wished her luck in her future endeavors.
(3) ANTHONY OGOGO (w/Q.T. Marshall, The Factory) vs. COLE CARTER
Excalibur talked up Ogogo’s boxing resume. He punched Carter in the gut. Carter went down. The ref called for the bell.
WINNER: Ogogo in 1:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I get what they’re trying to do, but it’s a stupendously dumb finish. Since when does getting punched hard in the stomach lead to a referee stopping a match? If an opponent gets the wind knocked out of them and shows they’re in pain, the ref can just call off a match? No match is going to last two minutes if that’s some new rule.) [c]
-A video package with music in the background aired with Miro. He said he’s going to move forward to fulfill his destiny with or without Kip Sabian. He said Sabian left after the Arcade Anarchy match and he hasn’t seen him since. He said he hates wasting his time. He recommended anyone with gold around their waist should “pull a Kip and disappear” before he finds them.
(4) CHRIS JERICHO (w/Sammy Guevara) vs. DAX HARWOOD (w/Cash Wheeler, Tully Blanchard)
Justin Roberts introduced Tyson first. The audience sang Jericho’s entrance theme as he smiled. The ref ordered either Cash or Tully to leave ringside. Dax rolled to the floor after a right punch. He grabbed a chair at ringside. Tyson pulled it from him. Dax then hit Jericho. Dax picked up the bat. Tyson yanked it from him. Dax bailed out a minute later to have the ringside doc check on the stitches behind his head. Jericho went after him, so Dax hit him with a mic. Schiavone called it a smart sneaky move by Dax. Jericho fired back with a pen. Jericho filmed Dax with a ringside camera. Dax made a comeback after throwing Jericho into the ringpost. At ringside, he nearly bumped into Tyson while throwing Jericho into the barricade. Dax and Tyson exchanged heated words as they cut to a split-screen break. [c]
Back from the break, Jericho made a comeback and hit a double axe handle and a Lionsault for a two count. Cash slid into the ring to make the save, but stopped short. Tyson scolded him. With both Jericho and Dax down, Excalibur hyped the Darby vs. Matt Hardy main event. Schiavone plugged Christian Cage’s challenge. Dax landed a rebound sitout powerbomb for a near fall. Dax slapped Jericho and had some intense words for him. Ross said that gave Jericho a chance to recover. Then Dax climbed to the top rope and went for a diving headbutt. Jericho moved.
Jericho applied a Lion Tamer mid-ring. Jericho dragged Dax over to the ropes where Cash punched him. (Why did Jericho do that?) Dax scored a near fall. Guevara dove past Tyson and tackled Cash. Dax ducked a Judas Effect and landed a brainbuster for a two count. Jericho came back with a Code Breaker. Both were down and slow to get up. When the rest of Pinnacle walked toward the ring, Hager, Santana, and Ortiz stopped them. When Cash picked up a bat at ringside, Tyson punched him. Cash went down fast and hard. Dax set up a move on Jericho, but Guevara distracted Dax. Jericho then landed a Judas Effect for the win.
WINNER: Jericho in 14:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: A fun match start to finish, with a lot going on especially at the end. They utilized Tyson just right as a special enforcer. The action wasn’t always graceful, but it felt grueling and intense and hard-hitting.)
-After the match, Jericho said he wanted to make it official that Tyson is an ancillary member of The Inner Circle. Tyson posed shirtless with them.
-Marvez tried to interview Callis, Kenny Omega, the Bucks, and the Good Brothers in the parking lot. Callis shoved him away and took the mic. Callis said just when you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t seen anything. Callis said this is just the beginning of the story. Omega said the people everywhere are asking him why they changed. He said they never changed, they just got sick of doing what they wanted them to do. “We were never just like you,” he said. He said where they go, the gold will follow. Matt said it’s not just fun and games. He said he has Matches of the Year coming out of his damn ears “and we are back.” He said every team that challenges them has a BTE Trigger with their names on it. Callis said, “Be prepared to be surprised again.” They teased superkicking the camera guy. They stopped. Then Callis superkicked him anyway and the camera went down.
(Keller’s Analysis: So far this seems like a good landing place for the Bucks. Matt and Callis are the strengths of this group on the mic, with Kenny chiming in with smarmy bragging. I hope they build on this and stay away from leaning on irony, insider references, and swerves.) [c]
-A video package aired on Thunder Rosa.
(5) KRIS STATLANDER vs. AMBER NOVA
Ross said Statlander has a better diet and slimmed up and is in great shape. He acknowledged he was worried about being “un-politically correct.” Statlander landed a weak looking superkick to the head and a tombstone piledriver where Nova’s hair hit the mat but her head didn’t appear to come within three inches. Best Friends and Cassidy joined her in the ring to celebrate afterward.
WINNER: Statlander in 3:00.
-Dasha asked Taz – accompanied by Powerhouse Hobbs, Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, and Taz’s son – if they got an answer from Christian Cage yet. Starks was upset he didn’t answer quickly. Taz said he doesn’t like having to wait either, but he advised Starks to go backstage because he’s combustible, at least until they lock down Christian. Brian Cage agreed. Taz said it might be best for Cage to go to the back too. He whined, “What did I do?”
-Excalibur plugged Christian Cage’s challenge and the main event TNT Title match. [c]
-Christian Cage came out looked around the crowd. He smiled a bit and put his arm around Schiavone. He seemed looser. He said this is the first time they’ve had a chance to do an interview together. He said this is a huge deal for him. He said he’s dressed to wrestle and he’s ready to outwork everyone. Taz interrupted and asked why he didn’t get a reply or a return phone call. He complained he isn’t acknowledging him. “Are you in or out?” he asked. Christian said he was going to do it later on in the back in private like a professional. He said Team Taz right now is a bit of a dumpster fire. He said he didn’t come to AEW to help him fix his problems, he came to AEW to win championships. He took a shot at Taz’s height and said his answer is no. Taz called Christian a shitbag and said if he was standing on his wallet, he’d be standing ten feet over him. Christian called it “Bingo Money.” Taz said other money too. He then told Christian “that other guy” (Edge) carried him. Taz angrily said he had the audacity to wear his colors. Hobbs made his way to the ring.
Hobbs took a swing at Christian, Christian ducked and went for a Kill Switch. Taz’s son distracted Christian. Hobbs nailed Christian with a hard clothesline. Then he threw him into the ringside barricade and beat him up methodically at ringside. He stepped on his head on the ringside steps, then stood over him. Christian fell to the floor lifeless.
-Excalibur announced Hikaru Shida vs. Tay Conti for next week. They aired a short video package previewing the match. Excalibur then announced that Tony Khan just booked Christian vs. Hobbs. Also, Starks vs. Hangman Page, and Trent vs. Penta El Zero Miedo. [c]
(6) DARBY vs. MATT HARDY – Falls Count Anywhere TNT Title match
After formal ring introductions, Hardy swung a chair at Darby. Darby ducked and went for a springboard Coffin Drop. Hardy hit him across the back with the chair. Ross said Hardy is in his 28th year of wrestling and Darby is 28 years of age. Hardy continued to batter Darby with a chair. He put Darby’s head in a chair and set up a Twist of Fate. Darby escaped and bashed Hardy across the back with the chair three times. Butcher threw a trash can at Darby. Private Party attacked Darby. Butcher and Blade set up the ringside steps at ringside. Dark Order ran out for the save. Sting followed, baseball bat in hand. He hit Private Party with a trash can and then clotheslined them both over the top rope to the floor. Excalibur said the title match will continue. They stuck with the action on split-screen. [c/ss]
During the break, Hardy took over against Darby at ringside. Darby made a comeback right when they returned. Hardy threw Darby over the steps and into the ringside barricade. Wild. When Private Party in the ring tried to stand, Sting entered the ring. Hardy covered Darby at ringside and scored a two count. Lance Archer walked onto the stage just as Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page also walked out of the other tunnel. Archer shot them a look. Sky and Page left and waved Archer to the ring. Sting dropped Private Party and looked at Archer. Archer picked up Isiah Kassidy and gave him a Blackout, staring at Sting the whole time. Hardy picked up a chair and walked over to Darby on the stage. Schiavone said there was so much going on, it was hard to keep track. Archer went after Private Party at ringside as Ross said, “Let’s not forget the main attraction.”
Darby yanked the chair away from Hardy and tackled him on the stage and punched away at him. Sting threw Darby his baseball bat. Hardy gave Darby a low-blow just as Darby was winding up. Hardy put Darby’s head in a chair and this time did deliver a Twist of Fate. He scored a two count. They fought into the tunnel where a camera was conveniently positioned. They showed B.J. Whitmer and Tony Khan at the “Go Position” backstage. Hardy put Darby on a table and punched away at him backstage. He climbed a ladder and landed a double legdrop through the table. He shoved Darby off the table and scored a near fall in the dark.
He dragged Darby back to the stage and set up a powerbomb. Darby escaped with a low blow and grabbed Sting’s baseball bat again. Darby put Hardy on the announce desk and jabbed Hardy in the jaw with the bat. He then leaped off of the truss and landed a high Coffin Drop for the three count. Ross said he must’ve flown from 20 feet in the air. Ross threw a cascade of superlatives at the match as Darby celebrated with his title.
WINNER: Darby in 17:00 to retain the TNT Title.