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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
MARCH 9, 2022
FT. MEYERS, FLA. AT HERTZ ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON TBS
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Chris Jericho’s ring entrance began as Jim Ross introduced the show. He said Revolution was one of the best PPVs he’s ever seen. Tony Schiavone and Excalibur joined Ross in commenting on highlights of Jericho vs. Eddie Kingston. Ross said he was surprised Jericho backed down on his word.
Jericho played to the crowd and waited for them to finish singing his entrance theme. When the music stopped, he faced scattered boos. He asked, “Are you ready for Dynamite!” Jericho said Revolution was one of the greatest nights of his career despite losing and still having a sore neck. He said it was one of the best matches he’s had in his career and one of the best matches he’s had in AEW. He thanked Kingston. He said Eddie awakened something in him that he wasn’t sure was still there. He said he was frustrated and angry when he refused to shake his hand. He said he deserves his respect, so tonight he wants to pay his debt to Kingston. He asked Kingston to come to the ring so he could shake his hand face-to-face.
Kingston walked out and said he is going to get really deep. He said he didn’t want to show up on Sunday because he wanted to go out and drink and let the poison that’s been eating at him for years to do it again. He said Jericho got in his head when he asked if he could win the big one. He listed the big name wrestlers in AEW he has lost to such as Jon Moxley, Miro, Bryan Danielson, and C.M. Punk. He said he was afraid. Some fan chanted “What?” He pointed at the fan and asked him to show some respect. “My man, Steve Austin, ain’t here, so relax.” He said what gave him the courage was four separate people telling him they didn’t “end themselves” because they read his Players’ Tribune article. He said he went back to his hotel room and cried because he wanted to make those people proud. Jericho stood and nodded.
Kingston choked up and said for those people who were at the Fan Fest, “I hope I did you proud.” He said now they go to the other issue. He told Jericho the handshake wasn’t for him. He said he needed to win the match, but the handshake was for Jericho. He asked what’s wrong with him. He said him refusing to shake his hand sounds like a Jericho problem, not a Kingston problem. He said he looked up to him because went to battle with the great Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko. Kingston said Jericho is still The Man and still number one, but is that enough to fill the hole in his chest that makes him not want to shake his hand and show respect to guys like him who looked up to him.
Jericho said he is right in everything he said. He said he couldn’t sleep the last three nights. He said he respects Kingston and thanked him for giving him one of the best matches of his career. He asked him to shake his hand. Kingston shook his hand. Danny Garcia and 2-point-0 walked to the ring and attacked Kingston and Jericho. Schiavone said they ruin so many good moments. Santana & Ortiz ran out for the save. Jericho held his neck and stood up. He took the bat from Ortiz and wound up, but he bashed Santana instead. He then hit Ortiz. 2point0 and Garcia joined Jericho in beating down Santana, Ortiz, and Kingston. Jake Hager ran out and confronted Jericho. He looked conflicted, but then he charged at Santana and clotheslined him. Hager powerbombed Kingston off the ring apron through a table at ringside. It looked more dangerous than it should have both in terms of an unsteady set-up and the landing with the back of Kingston’s neck hitting the table but not his body.
Jericho said, “This is the Jericho Appreciation Society, and that’s entertainment.” He posed with 2point0, Garcia, and Hager.
(Keller’s Analysis: Jericho was convincing in reconciling Garcia. It seemed like a cool team was set up. This is a big elevation for 2point0 if they stick with Jericho, Hager, and Garcia as a faction. This also sets up Jericho & Hager & Garcia vs. Santana & Ortiz & Kingston with 2point0 as agitators at ringside.)
-A video package aired on C.M. Punk vs. MJF from Revolution with new comments from a bloodied Punk from Sunday night after his match. He said he went to a place he hadn’t been in a while, but he’s back there now. “That C.M. Punk is dead; long live C.M. Punk.”
(1) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. DANTE MARTIN – AEW World Title match
Ross touted the Dog Collar match as Dante made his entrance. Excalibur talked about Hangman’s short turnaround time to defending his title again three nights after his prior defense. Ross touted the Hangman vs. Adam Cole match as one of the best he’s seen in years and years. They shook hands at the bell 17 minutes into the show. Excalibur said Dante is the youngest wrestler to challenge for the AEW Title. On-screen corner graphics hyped what was scheduled for the rest of the loaded show. Ross noted that Dante has “earned this opportunity” by amassing a 7-1 record in 2022 and earning a no. 2 ranking. Dante dove at Hangman with a crossbody, and Hangman was supposed to turn it into a fallaway slam but he stumbled backwards. They rolled on the mat and Hangman went to the fallaway slam seconds later. They cut to a split-screen break as Hangman slingshot himself onto Dante at ringside. [c/ss]
During the break, fans stood and applauded as Hangman caught his breath and Dante sold his landing on the mat at ringside. Hangman threw him back into the ring. After the break, Dante made a comeback and landed a top rope dropkick and scored a two count. Dante landed an Asai moonsault onto Hangman at ringside, then threw Hangman back into the ring. He leaped off the top rope with a dropkick attempt, but Hangman caught him and powerbombed him for a two count. A minute later, after a brief sequence at ringside, Hangman landed a Buckshot Lariat at a charging Dante for the win.
WINNER: Hangman in 7:00 to retain the AEW Title.
-Schiavone began to interview Hangman after the match. Hangman called Dante back to the ring. Dante stumbled back to the ring. Hangman said in the last year he was put in a tough position with his brother getting injured, but he managed to make it all the way to an AEW Title match. He said he knows Darius is back and they’re aiming for the tag titles, but he is one of the hardest-hitting, fastest wrestlers he’s ever faced, so if he ever makes it back to contender status, he’d welcome that challenge. He shook his hand. Adam Cole walked out and said, “For the love of God, would you shut your damn mouth.” He said he proved on Sunday that Hangman is not untouchable. He said Hangman got a fluke victory over him. He said anybody can get lucky once, and the next time they wrestle, he won’t get lucky again. He said they can put it to the test. Hangman said he’s up for it. Cole said he can pick any two partners and he’ll be joined by two wrestlers who know him better than he knows himself (implying The Young Bucks). “I am going to make your life an absolute living hell,” he said. “Your days as AEW World Champion are numbered and I will not stop until I get what I want.”
(Keller’s Analysis: It looks like they can get Cole another title match to try to pop a rating for Dynamite or Rampage sometime in the next month by having Cole score a win over Hangman in a tag match. Cole seemed like he was also a little hesitant to face Hangman one-on-one yet since he asked for a tag match with his friends. I assume Hangman chooses Dante & Darius as his partners. It’s good to see Hangman this prominent on TV. His gimmick is that he’s just such a nice, decent guy who can go in the ring, but that needs a lot of moving parts around him to keep him interesting. Cole’s intense promo and challenge provided that.) [c]
(2) JON MOXLEY & BRYAN DANIELSON (w/William Regal) vs. THE WORKHORSEMEN (J.D. Drake & Anthony Henry)
Danielson came out first with Regal. Moxley then came out through the crowd. A few minutes in, Moxley dove through the ropes at Henry, but came up short when his feet hit the ropes. Back in the ring, Danielson hit Drake with a Psycho Knee. Danielson then grabbed Drake’s hands and stomped away at his body and head. Then he shifted into a Lebell Lock for the win.
WINNERS: Danielson & Moxley in 3:00.
-Schiavone interviewed Regal in the ring afterward. Regal said he thought they’d never do this again. He said it’s been 29 years since he first came to America and he and Schiavone were on TBS together. “Time has flown by,” he said. He said he’s 53 now and he’s lived more than a hard life through battles in the ring and with himself. He said he’s probably got about 12 years until the wife is pushing him to the sunny window to look outside. He said he’s not long for this world. He got touchy-feely with Schiavone and made his uncomfortable, taking a friendly dig at him. He then put his hand on his shoulder and thanked him for helping him in more ways than he can ever imagine. He welled up and said he was one of the first people who helped him when he first came to America. “Enough of being nice,” he said.
He said he is no longer required in his old job, and for two months he sat at home and completely checked out of the industry for the first time since he started. He said he then heard that Danielson had mentioned him on Dynamite. He said he had to go and watch it. He said Danielson is his great friend of 21 years, and he found out he was scheduled to face Mox. He said the only reason most people know him is because of Danielson because he kept mentioning his name in ROH or anywhere else he goes. (That’s two ROH mentions thus far.) He told Mox he’d get to him in a moment. He said if someone wants to work hard, he’ll make them a better pro wrestler. He said he will sit Danielson down and tell him what not to so, which will save him ten years in his career. He said Danielson is the perfect wrestler. Danielson smiled with pride. He talked about how hard a worker Danielson was when training. He said he became everything he could have been “because you don’t have the problems I had.”
He turned to Mox and said he met him 11 years ago. He said for a whole year they put psychological and physical problems on each other that “would make the devil die.” He said it was time for him to come along when he heard they were going to knock the stuffing out of each other. He said he thought what better could this younger generation of wrestlers have than this perfect pairing. He said that’s why this team is together. He looked at the camera and said their opponents better step up or they’ll get stepped on.
(Keller’s Analysis: Regal can talk. It’s refreshing to hear him talk outside of the confines of being a G.M., although he was great at that too. This seems to steer them away from being mentors to younger wrestlers. It seemed they pivoted away from that last week with Moxley’s promo, so apparently the Regal signing changed plans, plus Garcia is now with Jericho and he appeared bound to be an understudy of Mox & Bryan. They can still go there months from now, though.)
-Alex Marvez interviewed Dark Order backstage. He asked what their relationship is with Hangman. Hangman barged in and said he screwed up on Sunday. John Silver asked who he’s going to pick for his match next week. He offered various combinations of Dark Order. Hangman said he already promised that spot to Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus. Silver said that’s fine, he’s got a beard trimming appointment.
(3) PAC (w/Penta, Alex Abrahantes) vs. WHEELER YUTA (w/Danhaussen, Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor)
Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Danhaussen, and Trent Beretta joined Yuta on the stage. They replayed Cassidy landing on the ramp on Sunday. Excalibur said he suffered an arm injury that won’t require surgery, but will keep him out of action for a while. Ross said he’s surprised there aren’t more injuries in AEW. They cut to a split-screen break seconds into the match. [c/ss]
Pac landed a top rope brainbuster on Yuta followed by the Brutalizer for the win.
WINNER: Pac in 6:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Solid enough showcase match for Pac.)
-Backstage, Adam Cole stood with Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish on his right and The Young Bucks on his left. Cole said they all came up short on Sunday. The Bucks bickered with O’Reilly & Fish, blaming each other. Cole addressed Hangman by looking into the camera and said his partners “live in your head rent-free.” (Didn’t we *all* agree that phrase was retired in 2021 due to overuse?). He said they are his very best friends. Matt Jackson said if it’s a match against Hangman, count them out. Cole said he wasn’t going to pick them anyway. He called them dummies. O’Reilly & Fish told them to grow up. Brandon Cutler, behind the camera, said he’d pick the Bucks.
(Keller’s Analysis: The tone of these five when they interact is too third grade to really end up taking them seriously. It doesn’t seem like they’re serious men, but just immature kids.) [c]
-Marvez interviewed FTR and Tully Blanchard backstage. Dax said pro wrestling has always been his first love until he married his wife and until his baby girl was born. He said he teaches her to stand up for herself. He began to address the Bucks and Red Dragon. Tully said since they got involved with them, they were supposed to be going after the tag titles. Tully said he understands family, but they need to be focused on winning the tag team titles the second time. Cash said this is about family. He looked at Tully and said, “You’re fired.”
-Matt Hardy stood in the ring with Private Party standing behind him and facing Andrade and Jose. Butcher and Blade were standing between them. Hardy told Andrade that he heard he came out there to fire him from the company he started. He said he wants to make amends. Andrade told him to calm down and asked what happened to his suit. Hardy, who was dressed more casually this week, apologized for treating everyone poorly. He said when he wears a suit, he tends to turn into an asshole. Fans chanted “Asshole!” Hardy said the crowd seems to agree. He said he wants to make things right. Andrade said he wants to take a vote. Hardy said Private Party will never vote him out, but they can vote. Andrade voted thumbs down. Jose joined in. Private Party held their thumbs up, but then turned them down behind Hardy as Hardy pitched that they can work together. Andrade said in this business, you always need to watch your back. Hardy turned and saw Private Party with their thumbs down. Andrade, Butcher, Blade, and Private Party stomped away at Matt. Andrade then charged and kicked Hardy in the face. Schiavone said it was six-on-one.
Darby and Sting ran out to help Hardy, but they were still outnumbered. Suddenly, Jeff Hardy’s came out to his music and got a big pop. He helped clear the ring. Ross said the crowd just had an out of body experience. Fans chanted, “Hardy! Hardy!” Hardy yanked off his shirt and climbed to the top rope and landed a Swanton on Butcher. Matt and Jeff hugged. Darby and Sting looked on in shock. Ross said he sees two great tag teams in the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: Jeff got a great pop. A lot of that felt rushed and contrived in order to accommodate Jeff’s first available date not under WWE contract, but all’s well that ends well. The Hardy-Andrade alliance felt forced all along anyway.)
-Schiavone interviewed Swerve Strickland. Swerve said he’s hyped for this. Tony Nese walked in and mock-applauded his arrival. He said he wants to wrestle him this Friday. He said they have a history of wrestling each other on Friday nights. Swerve said he was curious who was going to interrupt his first interview in AEW. He said it’s not Tony’s house, it’s Swerve’s house. [c]
-Schiavone interviewed Wardlow mid-ring as fans chanted his name. Schiavone said they were all glad to see what he did to MJF with the Dynamite Diamond Ring, but he said he’s still under contract to MJF. Wardlow said he came to a point where he had to ask whether he was going to spend his life helping someone else accomplish their dreams or chase their own. He said he spent too many years helping someone else build their dreams while receiving nothing but disrespect in return. He said he felt aligning with MJF was his chance to “free the wild animal from the circus.” He said he then aligned with MJF and ended up in another bad situation. He asked the fans for forgiveness for associating with such trash. He said he grew up very poor and had to watch his single mom struggle to raise him and his two older sisters. He said he decided early on to be a pro wrestler so he could help his family live a better life.
He said Max was his way of getting his foot in the door. He said Max paid him a lot of money and changed his life, but that doesn’t give Max the right to disrespect him and threaten his family. He said when Max slapped him last week, he decided his own fate. He said while he is still under contract to Max, he no longer gives a damn. He said he is no longer watching his back and acting as his bodyguard. “I am finally freed!” he declared. He asked MJF to release him from the b.s. contract they have. He said in return, he will wash his hands of him and they can go their separate ways, despite wanting to powerbomb Max until he can no longer move. He said he has wasted enough energy on Max in three years, so he refuses to waste anymore. He said karma will be his revenge, so they can watch MJF get all that he has coming to him. He said his focus is on winning the TNT Title and obtaining a new contract. He said when that happens, he isn’t stopping at the TNT Title. “I want it all,” he said. “I am letting everyone know that All of Elite Wrestling is officially Wardlow’s World.”
(Keller’s Analysis: That was good. A promising start to his run of babyface promos. I expect MJF will cost him the TNT Title match next week.)
-Marvez interviewed Keith Lee and Q.T. Marshall. Lee asked Q.T. what he could possibly want with him. Q.T. said they have a common enemy in Team Taz. Q.T. said he has issues with Hook, and he noticed Lee has an issue with Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs. He said he and The Factory have his back. Lee said he has a large back and he’s good. He turned and left. Q.T. got angry at the rebuff and said he’ll pay.
(Keller’s Analysis: Q.T.’s tantrum at the end felt cartoonish, but until then it was a good segment to establish that Lee doesn’t want to associate with connivers like Q.T.)
(4) JUNGLE BOY & LUCHASAURUS vs. THE ACCLAIMED (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) – AEW Tag Team Title match
The champs came out first so they could be present for Caster’s rap. Caster said everyone wants to see JB & Luchasaurus go down like the price of gas. He said Christian’s the only one who ever brings heat. He said JB has never seen a pair of boots and with all that hair on his head he can’t ever grow pubes. He said Acclaimed is number one like Batman at the box office. The Gunn Club were shown cheering on Acclaimed at ringside. Bowens tripped JB as he ran the ropes at 2:00. He then gave him an elbow to the side of his head at ringside. Christian approached them as they cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Acclaimed controlled the match during the break. Right after the break ended, Luchasaurus got a hot-tag and the crowd popped. Bowens tried to hit Luchasaurus with a boom box, but Luchasaurus ducked. JB then flip dove onto Caster and Bowens. Back in the ring, Luchasaurus landed a standing moonsault for a near fall on Caster. Bowens broke up the cover. JB tagged back in, but Bowens knocked him off balance on the top rope. Bowens tagged in and side kicked JB in the head. They landed a Mic Drop on JB, but Luchasaurus broke up the cover. Bowens kicked Luchasaurus to the floor, but when he dove at him, Luchasaurus caught him by the throat. Max swing kicked the boom box into Luchasaurus’s face. Acclaimed then landed a double-team lift-and-drop bomb on JB for a very near fall (the ref had to stop her count slightly early as JB kicked out a bit late). Fans chanted, “This is awesome!” Christian pulled Caster to the floor. JB then rolled up Bowens for a near fall. Luchasaurus headbutted Bowens in their corner, then JB finished Bowens with a springboard Doomsday Device for the three count.
WINNERS: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus in 10:00 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles.
-A backstage promo aired with Jade Cargill and “Smart” Mark Sterling. They wondered not who’s next, but who’s left. Jade asked who wants to step up and receive her Kiss of Death. They showed her kissing Tay Conti in their PPV match.
(5) “LEGIT” LEYLA HIRSH vs. THUNDER ROSA
Rosa took control early, but Hirsch took over with a roll-up and then showboated as they cut to an early split-screen break. [c/ss]
Hirsch dominated during the break. The announcers hyped upcoming dates. Hirsch climbed to the top rope, but Rosa met her up there and superplexed her to the mat after some uneasiness setting it up. She followed with a fireman’s carry into a drop onto her knee. She followed with a sliding clothesline for a near fall. Hirsch pulled a turnbuckle out from under the ring, but Red Velvet ran out and yanked it away from her. Hirsch countered Rosa in the ring into an armbar submission attempt. Rosa put her foot on the bottom rope, then came back with her Fire Thunder Driver for the win.
WINNER: Rosa in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Just not smooth.)
-Schiavone told Rosa that she’ll get an AEW Title match against Britt Baker next week in San Antonio. Rosa dropped to her knees with emotions. Velvet was standing next to her.
-Baker, with Rebel and Jamie Hayter, cut a promo critical of Rosa getting another title match so soon. She asked where Mercedes Martinez is, but she said Hayter will finish her on Friday on Rampage. Baker said she’s not afraid of a cage, but she afraid of what happens to AEW if Rosa becomes champion.
-Excalibur hyped the Dynamite line-up for next week: Wardlow gets a TNT Title shot plus Baker vs. Rosa in a cage. And on Rampage, Keith Lee vs. Q.T., Hayter vs. Martinez, Darby Allin vs. Marq Quen, and Swerve Strickland vs. Nese. [c]
(6) SAMMY GUEVARA vs. SCORPIO SKY (w/Ethan Page, Dan Lambert) – TNT Title match
The bell rang 48 minutes into the hour. Sammy got in early offense, but then rammed Sky into the ringside barricade. Sammy looked like he was tossing him into one side, but Sky on his own redirected himself oddly into a closer barricade. That didn’t look good. The announcers talked about Sammy having to be shaken up by Jericho earlier and the end of Inner Circle. Schiavone said Sammy has been known to let his intensity get the best of him. Sammy set up a table at ringside.
Sammy looked at the hard camera and smiled before climbing to the top rope and setting up a leap onto Sky who was on the table. He looked at the camera again and made a crazy gesture with his hand. When he finally got around to diving, Sky moved and so Sammy crashed through the table. (Babyfaces shouldn’t look so undisciplined, especially in a title defense, by posturing for the hard cam twice while setting up a big move. It’s just ridiculous looking.) They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
During the break, Sammy pointed at his ribs as Tay Conti and a trainer checked on him. Conti looked distressed in an over-the-top way. Two referees also kneeled to check on Sammy’s status. Sammy cried in pain and winced every time he tried to move. Sky paraded around the ring with his arms raised. Wouldn’t Sammy have been counted out by now? Sammy sat up and was helped up the ramp. Sammy, despite Conti’s pleas, returned to the ring to valiantly defend his title after all despite his injury. (Didn’t he already lose by countout?) As Sky approached him, Sammy spit at him. He then threw a barrage of (lousy-looking) punches. Sky got the better of him, though (because every punch missed?) and kneed him in the ribs and then threw him to the floor. Conti kneeled to check on him. Schiavone said that’s his girlfriend. Excalibur said it’s Sammy’s tenth match in nine weeks and his eighth TNT Title defense of 2022. He said fatigue might have finally caught up with him. Paige VanZant had some words for Conti at ringside.
Back in the ring, Sky dominated. He landed a backbreaker, then taunted Sammy verbally. Sammy eventually fought back, but winced as he threw chops at Sky. He landed a springboard cutter for a near fall, but was slow to make the cover because his rib injury. Sky then lifted Sammy, but Sammy slipped out and landed a GTH. Sky rolled under the bottom rope. Sammy moved him into position for a top rope shooting star press, but Sky lifted his knees. Lambert distracted the ref on the ring apron. Ethan was going to enter from the other side, but Conti grabbed him. Paige then attacked Conti and threw her face-first into the ringside steps as Ethan laughed. Ross called her a Jezebel. Sky then gave a DISTRACTED Sammy his finisher for the win.
WINNER: Sky in 12:00 to capture the TNT Title.
-After the match, Lambert and Ethan celebrated with him. Excalibur said he is the first wrestler to hold both the TNT Title and AEW Tag Team Titles. Sky hit Sammy in the face with the belt. Paige shoved Conti into the ring and then kicked her in the head. Conti ended up KO’d on Sammy’s chest. Paige then signed her AEW contract on the back of Conti’s butt.
(Keller’s Analysis: The match was a bit of a mess and the whole commercial break pause was dumb. Doesn’t anyone backstage have their eye on what match rules actually are when constructing these mid-match diversions. If a wrestler can’t enter the ring after ten seconds because he’s hurt, that’s called a countout loss. Not that it worked in Sky’s favor to win by countout, but he should have been breaking up the ref’s count. I don’t get the mentality that if they’re trying to sell an injury as “real” – even when it’s not – that the rules get thrown out, but if the injury is just part of the “storyline” of the match and not presented as “possibly a shoot injury,” then the rules totally change and he can’t get counted out. Conti and Sammy don’t come across as a particularly sympathetic couple, and Conti’s overacting was a little much throughout all this. It looks like Sky will be fed to Wardlow next week, or MJF will cost Wardlow the win. Meanwhile, Sammy & Conti are moving on to feud with Paige and a partner.)