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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
“FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN”
JULY 21, 2021
CHARLOTTE, N.C. AT BOJANGLES ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Ross introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd. The announce team hyped the scheduled matches.
-A video package aired on “Hangman” Adam Page and Dark Order with a theme being: What does it take to be a cowboy. They weren’t wearing cowboy hats as they showed each of them, but there was a shadow of a cowboy hat on their heads. (Sorcery!) They showed clips of the Dark Order helping out Page. The voiceover guy said a cowboy is someone who helps out a partner and keeps riding.
(1) ELITE SQUAD (Kenny Omega & Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows & The Young Bucks w/Brandon Cutler) vs. “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE & DARK ORDER (John Silver & Evil Uno & Alex Reynolds & Stu Grayson) – Elimination Match
They introduced the Elite Squad like it was the announcements of the starting line-ups for an NBA team including “Are you ready for this?” The Bucks and Omega bounced basketballs on stage and then ran to the ringside. Then they dunked basketballs in a hoop set up at ringside.
Page and Omega faced off before the bell, but Gallows led Omega away to his corner. A loud “Cowboy Shit!” chant broke out. Don Callis joined the announcers on commentary. He said they are going to make the people wait to see Omega wrestle. Anderson and Page started. A ten-way brawl broke out a couple minutes in. Reynolds suplexed Nick off the top rope onto the crowd below. The fans chanted “Holy shit!”
Back in the ring, the Elite Squad beat up Reynolds with a barrage of offense as the ref stood by seemingly helpless to enforce any rules. Dark Order and Page took over and delivered a series of clotheslines in the corner against Gallows. Silver and Reynolds nearly eliminated Gallows after a back suplex and jackknife cover. Anderson rolled up Reynolds with a handful of tights for the first elimination. (#1: Reynolds via Anderson.)
A minute later, Dark Order hit Anderson with a series of moves and eliminated him. (#2: Anderson via Uno.) They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Silver scored a near fall on Gallows, with Omega breaking up the cover. Excalibur said AEW is donating $100,000 to “Safe Alliance” which battles domestic abuse. Stu Grayson did a springboard corkscrew dive onto a crowd of wrestlers below. Nobody caught him and he bashed the back of his head badly on the metal floor. He staggered away and into the crowd. Gallows chased him away as fans chanted “This is awesome.” Gallows kicked him over a barricade. Grayson climbed into the crowd, perhaps with a concussion, but leaped at Gallows off the barricade and knocked him down. Both men were counted out. (#3 and #4: Grayson and Gallows via double countout.)
The announcers plugged that Tony Khan will have a major announcement later “about a new event.” Being that specific helps fend off rabid speculation it’s to announce the signing of C.M. Punk or Bryan Danielson. Omega took it to Uno in the ring with a V-Trigger and One-Winged Angel for the three count. (#5: Uno via Omega.)
Silver charged in and speared Omega. Matt thumbed Silver in the eye and then taunted Page on the ring apron. Culter cold-sprayed Nick’s back. Nick bulldogged Silver, then taunted Page. Page charged in, but the ref ordered him back to his corner. Another loud “Cowboy Shit!” chant broke out. Nick took Silver down with a leg lariat. They cut to another break. [c]
Silver kicked away at Nick after the break, but Omega landed a V-Trigger and a German suplex. Cutler positioned the basketball hoop for Nick to leap off the top rope and try to slam the basketball while helping Matt spike piledrive Silver. The Bucks then landed a Super BTE-Trigger on Silver to pin him. (#6: Silver via Matt.)
It came down to Omega & The Bucks vs. Hangman, three-on-one. Another loud “Cowboy Shit!” chant broke out. Omega tagged in and made a big production of it, including taking off his basketball jersey for the first time. They went forehead-to-forehead and trash-talked. Omega spit at Hangman. Hangman punched him. They went back and forth. Omega hit Page with a V-Trigger, but Hangman came back. The Bucks interfered with stereo superkicks. They then landed a triple superkick for a believable near fall. The crowd popped for the kickout. Matt and Omega held Page bridged over the middle rope and Nick landed a 450 splash for another believable near fall.
Hangman made a comeback against Omega, but the Bucks interfered again, but he took them down with a double-armed clothesline. Page climbed to the top rope and moonsaulted onto all three heels gathered at ringside. Page and Omega battled in the ring again. Hangman landed a high-angle powerbomb for a near fall, with Nick breaking up the cover. Matt tagged in and set up a tombstone piledriver. Hangman escaped and then landed a double Buckshot Lariat on Matt to eliminate him. (#7: Matt via Page.)
Omega tried to use one belt against Hangman. The ref took it. Omega tried with another as the ref’s back was turned, but Hangman ducked and landed a Dead Eye on Omega for a believable near fall. Page set up a Buckshot Lariat, but Nick held his leg. The ref scolded him. Omega hit Page with a title belt and got a believable near fall. The crowd popped. Omega tackled the ref and complained. Omega then hit two V-Triggers and a One-Winged Angel for the win. Ross said he has more respect than he did before the match for Hangman the way he persevered against the three heels.
WINNERS: Omega & Nick survived for their team in 25:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really exciting lengthy TV match start to finish. Well booked and another example of the Bucks and Omega shining as heels. They’re all so much better now than just a few months ago as overall acts of great value to AEW.)
-Alex Marvez interviewed Pac backstage. He said the Lucha Bros. were in the city, but some anonymous individual cancelled their car to pick them up. Chavo Guerrero walked in with Andrade El Idolo and in a smarmy tone said the Lucha Bros. are on their way and will be arriving in style. Andrade said they should learn to drive themselves.
-Taz introduced the Ricky Starks celebration of having won the FTW Title. A brass band played at ringside as Taz cheered them on. Starks strutted to the ring and brought a bouquet of roses into the ring with him. Starks said Powerhouse Hobbs is “out recruiting” or he’d be there. He said last week they “got rid of some garbage known as Brian Cage.” He said he’s been the glue and anchor of this group since the start because he knew his part. He said Cage wasted time trying to befriend everyone online and costing him matches left and right, and he could forgive all of that. He said what he couldn’t forgive is that when he broke his neck, he didn’t check in with him. He said he realized he was a selfish guy he didn’t want to be around anymore. He said he showed he didn’t know the meaning of teamwork. He said he also knows what it’s like to be a star, something Cage hasn’t figured out in 17 years. He was interrupted by Cage, who marched to the ring and clotheslined a trombone player and a bass drum player. He bashed the base drum over the guy’s head. He brought the trombone into the ring and broke it. Ross said, “There’s no place for trombones in professional wrestling.” Starks fled the ring. Cage threw down his roses.
(Keller’s Analysis: Starks, as always, was good on the mic being an obnoxious, cocky heel. He fills a similar slot as Seth Rollins in WWE, but in a less cartoonish way.)
-A soundbite aired with Hiroshi Tanahashi. He said he’s won many titles in his career, but he’s never won the IWGP U.S. Title and he’ll beat the winner of tonight’s match in a snap.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a big step up for the AEW-New Japan talent exchanges. If there are U.S.-based New Japan fans not watching AEW yet, this will bring some of them over it’s a match that takes place on Dynamite.)
(2) FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler w/Tully Blanchard) vs. SANTANA & ORTIZ (w/Konnan)
Ross touted how Santana is in great shape and taking his career more seriously. The cut to a split-screen break a few minutes in with FTR in control against Ortiz. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Santana hot-tagged in. They fought back and forth, although the crowd still seemed a little spent from the opening ten-man elimination tag match. Cash was out at ringside for a while. Dax landed a brainbuster suplex for the clean win. They might have ended it prematurely or at least differently than planned as three medics were tending to a bad cut on Cash’s forearm. Cash was putting pressure on it. Dax rolled out after the win to check on him.
WINNERS: FTR in 10:00.
-Schiavone interviewed Brit Baker and Rebel. Baker said Rebel can’t handle protecting her alone when everyone is gunning for her, so she needs someone else to help watch her back. Baker said she knows Nyla Rose is watching from afar, holding her breath, waiting for her to fail. She said she should be prepared to suffocate. [c]
-Schiavone announced tickets going on sale for AEW Rampage on Aug. 20 in Chicago, Ill. at the United Center. It’s subtitled “The First Dance.” Tickets go on sale Monday.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a major arena to run and ambitious. I’m really curious what they draw.)
-Marvez interviewed Darby and Sting backstage. Darby said he’d be in Chicago. He said dryly that he’s been around greats, and there’s only one place to prove you’re the best, and that’s in AEW. “Even if you think you’re the Best in the World.” The crowd ooohed. Ross said, “That’s compelling information, let’s say. The future looks bright. Jump on and ride along with us.” He added, “The world will be traveling to Chicago.”
(Keller’s Analysis: So that’s why they’re running at United Center. If you’re wondering when C.M. Punk is going to make his AEW debut, put your money down on that date in that building. The remaining question is whether they announce him ahead of time and just rely on rumors to sell tickets in anticipation of the “possibility.” Having Darby say those words in that way, storyline-wise, indicates he’s aware of Punk arriving soon. Does that mean he’ll be aligned with him or want the first match against him or otherwise?)
(3) LANCE ARCHER vs. HIKULEO (w/King Haku) – IWGP U.S. Title match
Excalibur noted that Hikuleo is the son of Haku. Ross said Haku is always on the list of the toughest wrestlers he’s ever been around. Archer came out second and jump-started the match with a ton of intensity and vigor. No sign of Jake Roberts. Ross said Archer is the reincarnation of Stan Hansen. (Stan just checked his pulse.) They had a staredown. Archer grabbed Hikuleo’s throat and then kicked his chest and charged him in the corner two times. The crowd cheered. Ross said Archer is rarely shorter than his opponent, but he is tonight. Ross said sooner or later, Hikuleo is going to rule New Japan. Excalibur said that due to the working agreement between AEW and New Japan, the winner of this match would travel to Japan to face Tanahashi. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Hikuleo controlled at ringside and then inside the ring after the break. Archer walked the top rope and flipped onto Hikuleo. Ross said it’s reminiscent of “The Spoiler” Don Jardine. Archer delivered a superplex next for a near fall. Archer then landed the Blackout for the clean win.
WINNER: Archer in 8:00 to retain the IWGP U.S. Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Solid match, and a relatively dominating win for Archer, but Hikuleo showed enough to not feel like a jobber.)
-Marvez interviewed Cody Rhodes backstage under an EVP sign. Jerry Lynn was sitting next to him with a “Coach” sign above him. Malikai Black attacked Cody just as he stood and began to talk. They brawled onto the stage. Cody landed an uppercut. Black landed a high knee. The crowd popped for the moves as the announcers hyped that they’ll battle one-on-one next week. Black kneeled near Cody and welcomed him to the House of Black. Lynn and several other wrestlers ran out to check on Cody. Black kicked El Fuego del Sol. [c]
-A promo aired with Miro who said that next week, “God’s Favorite Champion” will fight. He talked about facing Lee Johnson. He said Johnson is talented, but he cannot take his divine right away from him. He said he is a simple man. He said two things motivate him – a vengeful god and a double-jointed wife. He said a glorious reckoning is upon him. “This is the word of the redeemer,” he said.
(4) PRIVATE PARTY (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) & ANGELICO (w/Matt Hardy) vs. LUCHASAURUS & JUNGLE BOY & CHRISTIAN CAGE (w/Marko Stunt)
The heels came out first. Then Luchasaurus carried JB out on his shoulders as “Tarzan Boy” played. The crowd sang along and waved their arms. Christian came out to his song. A fan about five rows up in the lower deck held up a sign that said, “Vince Suck It.” Schiavone said he was handed a note from Q.T. Marshall that he’s going to wait until next week to let him apologize to him so his family can be present for it. Christian opened against Angelico. Excalibur said that as a result of Page losing the ten-man tag earlier, he has to vacate his no. 1 ranking. He said Christian is ranked no. 3 at the moment. Hardy took a cheap shot at JB at ringside. Christian and Marko chased Matt to the back. Kassidy took over in the ring until JB tagged in Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus back suplexed all three opponents at once. Private Party made a comeback with a double kick. JB flip-dove onto Kassidy and Angelico. Christian then landed a top rope frog splash for the pin on Quen.
WINNERS: Christian & Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus in 5:00.
-As Christian slapped hands with fans at ringside, Blade punched him and knocked him out with brass knox. Blade celebrated with Matt on the stage as JB and Marko checked on a lifeless Christian at ringside. [c]
-A vignette aired on Nick Gage. It included clips of him using a pizza cutter, light tubes, and glass panes. He said he’s the Death Match King and Jericho will be feeling pain the rest of his life.
(5) JULIA HART (w/Varsity Blondes) vs. THUNDER ROSA
During their ring entrance, a soundbite aired with Hart and the Blondes. The Blondes did a cheerleader style chant for Hart to close the brief generic soundbite. During her entrance, a soundbite aired with Rosa. She said she’ll have her first official match tonight as an All Elite Member. Ross said she indeed signed an AEW contract officially recently. The crowd chanted “Thunder Rosa.” Excalibur said it’s a multi-year contract. Schiavone plugged that the 100th episode of AEW Dark takes place this coming Tuesday. Rosa won with a Thunder Driver.
WINNER: Rosa in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Clunky at times.)
-The announcers hyped next week’s line-up: Miro vs. Johnson, The Bunny vs. Leyla Hirsch, Christian vs. Hardy, and Cody vs. Black. [c]
-A soundbite aired with Jon Moxley. He complained about not being able to wrestle in Japan despite seeing water polo Olympic teams battling on TV at the airport. He said Tanahashi has been dodging him for months. “Screw you,” he said. “You don’t get to wrestle me. You’re dead to me.” He said he’s mailed a contract to New Japan and wants to go through the forbidden door.
(6) “PAIN MAKER” CHRIS JERICHO vs. NICK GAGE
MJF joined the announcers on commentary. As Gage was about to begin his entrance, Ross noted they have never met. Hard to tell, but on TV there wasn’t a big reaction for Gage. People stood and looked on at him curiously, it seemed. MJF said he doesn’t make matches, he makes movies, and this will be a gruesome horror flick. Gage opened with a swipe of the pizza cutter to Jericho’s arm. Jericho’s bicep bled. The announcers talked more about the First Dance event at United Center in Chicago. After brief ringside brawling, Gage landed a Falcon Arrow. Jericho came back with a Walls of Jericho attempt, but Gage grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. MJF said Gage won’t tap out or his check won’t clear.
Jericho hit Gage with a baseball bat before Gage could use the light tube against him. Jericho was bleeding heavily from his forehead at this point. Gage came back with a chokeslam backbreaker. He pulled the pizza cutter back out and then played to the crowd. MJF yelled, “Carve him up!” He rolled the pizza cutter on Jericho’s forehead. Some fans in the crowd could be seen cringing. [c/ss]
Cage set up a pane of glass on two chairs. Jericho made a comeback and pounded away at him and then landed a huracanrana, sending Gage off the top rope through the pane of glass. The glass shattered. Gage made a comeback and broke a light tube over Jericho’s head and then gouged his forehead with the broken end of the tube. MJF said this is just deserts for Jericho. Gage pulled two sets of four wrapped light tubes. Jericho sprayed green mist at Gage’s face, then broke a light tube over his head and landed the Judas Effect for the win. Gage kicked out at 3.5.
WINNER: Jericho in 13:00.
-MJF told Jericho that as he lay there in the most pain he was ever in, he’d reveal him to Labor No. 3. He said the winner has to land a move off the top rope to win. He threw to a clip from Nov. 13, 2019 on Dynamite where Jericho made a comment about how MJF’s parent conceived him when he was watching him beat Juventud Guerrera. MJF then revealed he’ll have to face Juventud in his return to TNT.