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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
MARCH 16, 2022
SAN ANTONIO, TEX. AT FREEMAN COLISEUM
AIRED LIVE ON TBS
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-After the Dynamite opening aired, Jim Ross introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd.
(1) ADAM COLE & KYLE O’REILLY & BOBBY FISH vs. JUNGLE BOY & LUCHASAURUS & “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE
During ring entrances, Ross and Schiavone touted the sellout crowd. Excalibur touted the line-up of scheduled matches. A few minutes in, Hangman hot-tagged in and the crowd exploded with cheers and chanted “Cowboy Shit!” He rallied against all three heels and had the biggest pop he’s had in many months. Ross noted the crowd enthusiasm. Hangman scored a near fall on Fish. He set up a Buckshot Lariat, but Fish rolled out of the ring. JB tagged himself in, which seemed to irritate Hangman a little. JB then landed a running flip dive over the top rope onto the gathering at ringside. A crowd gathered in the corner, leading to all three babyfaces doing a triple moonsault out of the corner onto Fish in the ring and O’Reilly and Cole at ringside. JB scored a near fall on Fish. The announcers agreed they had never seen that. The fans chanted “Holy shit!” Cole distracted JB from ringside and kicked him. Fish and O’Reilly then double-teamed JB and scored a two count. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Luchasaurus chokeslammed O’Reilly and then slammed Fish onto him. He then landed a standing moonsault onto both, leading to a near fall. O’Reilly came back with a leglock on Luchasaurus as the other four fought around them. Cole applied a front chancery on Hangman in the corner, but Hangman drove Cole into O’Reilly to break up his leglock on Luchasaurus. Hangman and Cole officially tagged in. They butted foreheads and then exchanged moves. Hangman hit a Dead Eye. Fish and O’Reilly interfered. More chaos with everyone followed. Fans cheered as the babyfaces came out on top. JB springboard clotheslined Cole and O’Reilly off of the shoulders of Luchasaurus and Hangman for a near fall, broken up by Fish. (Cole’s shoulders were still down and Hangman was still on top of Cole, so the ref could have counted to three rather than reward the interference by needlessly stopping his count.) Fans chanted “This is awesome!”
Ross said momentum has changed many times “in this all-star six-man tag match, or trios match if you prefer.” After a blind tag, Cole landed The Boom on JB from the win.
WINNERS: Cole & O’Reilly & Fish in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: This felt like old-school Dynamite. (Can we say that yet?) Just a red-hot all-action opener with a good mix of wrestlers. For some, this was too chaotic a spotfest, but it’s just tough to argue with a match that has that kind of crowd heat pretty much start to finish. The reaction by the Texas crowd to Hangman is what stood out the most, even more than some of the creative and cool spots in the match.)
-Schiavone interviewed Keith Lee, Ricky Starks, and Powerhouse Hobbs. Ricky told Lee that he can’t show up on his show, Rampage, like he owns the place, so as a result he and Hobbs whooped his ass. Hobbs said, “Keith, you know all about that spinebuster, baby.” Starks said the same thing will happen on Friday. Lee said, “The same thing like when I punched you in the face and you laid on the mat like a little bitch? See y’all Friday.”
-The announcers hyped the upcoming matches. [c]
(2) BRYAN DANIELSON & JON MOXLEY vs. WHEELER YUTA & CHUCK TAYLOR (w/Orange Cassidy, Danhausen, Trent Baretta)
William Regal joined the announcers on commentary. He asked, “Who is the demon?” in reference to Danhausen. Mox and Bryan beat up Yuta for a while after Mox knocked Taylor off the ring apron before the bell. (That was uncalled for!) Taylor tagged in a few minutes in. They cut to a break with Moxley in control of Taylor on the mat. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Danielson and Yuta went at it with rapid-fire exchanges that fired up the crowd. Fans chanted “Yuta! Yuta!” (Has that happened before?) Danielson got the better of Yuta and held his arms as he stomped away at his chest. Mox tagged in and applied the Bulldog Choke for the tapout win.
WINNERS: Moxley & Danielson in 12:00.
-Afterward, Regal walked to the ring. Yuta was at ringside, but rather than follow his Best Friends to the back, he entered the ring and approached Regal with a handshake offer. Fans were chanting “Yuta!” again. Regal slapped him hard across the face. Regal smiled and nodded as Yuta regrouped and stared at Regal. Regal told him to be a “smart boy” and leave while he could. Excalibur congratulated Yuta for not backing down at all.
(Keller’s Analysis: Danielson and Moxley are just bad-ass unapologetic ass-kickers out there, yet I’m not really sure what they’re going for with Mox knocking Taylor off the ring apron before the bell and Regal slapping Yuta disrespectfully after the match. Are they testing Yuta so they can bring him under their wing? He’d be better off with them than languishing with the tired Best Friends act. But there’s also a part of their demeanor and actions that make them seem like smug bullies more than heroes. It’s early in their story as a faction, though, so I’ll reserve drawing any conclusions.)
-Schiavone interviewed Dax and Cash backstage. Cash said it was pretty clear Tully Blanchard has been checked out for a while. He said they had talked about this for a while. “When you lose your focus, you lose your job,” he said. In walked The Young Bucks. Matt said they talk about making changes, but maybe they should fire their stylist and barber, too. He said deep down inside, they’ll always be the second-best tag team in AEW. “Does that sting a little,” he asked.
(Keller’s Analysis: So FTR seem like babyfaces now since the Bucks are being jerks toward them and they got rid of their heel manager.) [c]
-The Acclaimed were cutting a promo when Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs walked up and interrupted them. Starks said on Friday it’s a big opportunity for them to takeout Keith Lee. “It’s your duty to do what Hobbs and I have been trying to do, and that’s all these new people trying to steal from us, put them down.” In walked “Swerve” Strickland who asked Starks if he’s talking about him. He then laughed and walked away. Max Caster asked, “Isn’t that guy a rapper?”
-Chris Jericho walked out with Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia, and 2point0. The fans sang “Judas.” Matt Lee said Jericho allows them to sing, but if it was up to him, he wouldn’t allow them to do it. “And that’s why Chris Jericho is a better man than me,” Matt said. Jeff Parker praised Jericho and then introduced him as “the influencer, the big one.” Fans cheered. Jericho said Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years, but they’re lucky enough to be alive during the Chris Jericho Era. More cheers. He said for over 30 years, they’ve been living vicariously through him as he “takes you through classic five-star matches, riveting promos, angles and storylines you’ll never forget.” He said he even builds companies. He said without him, there’d be no AEW. He said he carried it on his back for the first three months.
He said instead of praising him, they take him for granted and insult him on social media. “It’s hurtful, it’s very hurtful,” he said. He said they don’t appreciate him. He said the Inner Circle never appreciated him. He said Sammy Guevara walked out on him and Santana & Ortiz disrespected him and their “little buddy” Eddie Kingston embarrassed him on national PPV “by making me tap out.” Fans chanted for Eddie. Jericho said they might never see Eddie again. He said the men in the ring appreciate him, which is why he’s formed the Jericho Appreciation Society. He said the rest of the AEW roster “are nothing more than pro wrestlers.” He said a pro wrestler has never been legendary or a millionaire. He said he isn’t a pro wrestler, he’s a sports entertainer. That turned the crowd against him. Boos. “I’ll say it again, I am a sports entertainer!” (Hilarious. This is tremendous.)
Garcia said if he’s going to stand there and call himself a sports entertainer, well then I am too. His demeanor at first made it seem like he was against it, but then he smiled. “My name is Daniel Garcia and I am a sports entertainer,” he said. Jericho said he’s the epitome of a sports entertainer. He said he appreciates him because on Jan. 6, 2019, a group of indy wrestlers were in a terrible car crash in Buffalo. He said Garcia was told he’d never walk again. He said he donated thousands of dollars to their recovery. He said Garcia came back and wrestled. He said Garcia appreciates him. He said 2point0 is a stupid name from bad creative, so you’ll never hear it again. He said they are now using their new real names from now on – “Dandy Magic” Matt Manard and “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker. (Not sure on the spelling there.) He said a former best friend Kevin said he got a call to help Matt and Parker. He said he didn’t know them, but he was impressed by them, and he got them hired by AEW. “That’s why they appreciate me,” he said.
He turned to Hager said he’s had his back since 2010. He said he saved his life in Dubai. He said he’s his closest advisor and is the hand of the king. Hager said, “We are the JAS and we beat up pro wrestlers.” Jericho said, “There you have it, the newest reinvention of the master manipulator and the last true genius of this business, Chris Jericho.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Is there a better heat-generator gimmick in AEW than calling yourself a sports entertainer? That’s just tremendous and so perfect for 2022 and the type of fan AEW attracts. Making fun of WWE’s made-up names for wrestlers by absurdly and brazenly coming up with cornball names for Matt and Jeff is also really clever, especially within a week of “Butch” debuting on Smackdown.)
-A vignette aired hyping Serena Deeb and Hikaru Shida. Deeb said she will end her career and Shida will become even more obsessed with her them.
(3) SCORPIO SKY (w/Dan Lambert, Paige VanZant, Austin Vanderford) vs. WARDLOW – TNT Title match
Wardlow turned his back on Sky before the bell. Ross and he doesn’t advise that and it’s very disrespectful, “depending on your perspective.” Excalibur touted Sky’s impressive winning streak and said he is absolutely “no slouch,” which is literally the least complimentary compliment you can make about a pro wrestler. (Excalibur is absolutely not a buffoon, by the way.) Sky bit Wardlow’s forehead in the corner seconds into the match. Lambert loved it. Schiavone said the biting is just going to make the big man angrier. When Sky retreated to ringside, Paige stepped in his way. Her husband joined her and got in Wardlow’s face. Wardlow set up a powerbomb on him, but Sky slidekicked him. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Sky controlled the action during the break and then trash-talked him in the corner after the break. Wardlow made a comeback by tossing Sky around. Ross said he’s “ungodly strong.” Fans chanted, “Let’s Go Wardlow!” Sky tried to lift Wardlow for a TKO, but Wardlow blocked it and chokeslammed Sky. Wardlow signaled for a powerbomb and then delivered the first one. He flexed and soaked up cheers, then went into the “symphony conductor” mode before delivering a second powerbomb. Lambert could barely watch as he went for a third. Lambert stood on the ring apron to distract the ref and then Wardlow before he could deliver a fourth. Sky rolled to the floor. Excalibur called that great instincts by Sky. Wardlow set up a powerbomb on Sky at ringside when Shawn Spears walked out with two chairs. Wardlow was preoccupied with him when MJF charged out of nowhere and shoved Wardlow into the ringpost. Schiavone called him “a little rat.” Sky then rolled up Wardlow for a three count.
WINNER: Sky in 8:00 to retain the TNT Title.
-Afterward, Vanderford attacked Wardlow. Fans chanted “C.M. Punk!” Schiavone said Wardlow has made no friends in the last few years in the locker room because he was associated with MJF. Wardlow fended off Sky, Vanderford, and Spears, then turned to MJF. MJF got bug-eyed and tried to leave. Wardlow grabbed him and set up a powerbomb, but Spears hit Wardlow in the back with two chairshots. Vanderford put a sleeper on Wardlow as Sky punched away at Wardlow. Spears smashed Wardlow in the skull with the chair. Wardlow put his hands up, but it made a high impact sound on his skull. (Let’s not start doing that again, okay?) MJF called for Wardlow to stand. He then kissed his Dynamite Diamond Ring before charging at Wardlow and punching him. Ross said MJF is a despicable and miserable human being. MJF put his foot on Wardlow’s chest. Ross said there will be hell to pay.
(Keller’s Analysis: This seemed like a time that Tony Khan might make a rare exception to his rule against copout DQ finishes, but this made sense. It’s a little surprisingly, even with MJF attacking him, that they’d have Wardlow get pinned. It’s a minor boost for Sky in a meta sense. Sure, his win was tainted and he didn’t in any way seem like he earned a win, but in a meta sense he was “protected” and not just fodder for a dominant Wardlow win. Wardlow is still not polished and is figuring out how to smooth out the edges of his character including what he does between big moves. He’s a work in progress.) [c]
-Alex Marvez interviewed Jade Cargill and “Smart” Mark Sterling. Sterling asked who is ready to be “lucky number thirty.” She asked who is ready to step up on “this Bitch Show, if they’re worth it.”
(4) THE HARDY BROTHERS (Matt & Jeff) vs. PRIVATE PARTY (Marc Quen & Isiah Kassidy)
The Hardys came out to their usual entrance theme used in WWE. They are no longer Boyz, though; they are Brothers. The crowd was into the Hardys early. Matt started. When Jeff tagged in, the crowd popped. Matt set up a Razor’s Edge out of the corner on Kassidy, but Kassidy slipped free. Kassidy lured Jeff into the ring after a cheapshot. As the ref pushed Jeff back to his corner, Private Party yanked Matt crotch-first into the ringpost. Quen said, “No more kids for you!” They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Private Party beat up Matt during the break. The crowd chanted for Jeff. Matt finally hot-tagged him. Jeff rallied against Kassidy and scored a near fall. Jeff landed a top rope splash for a near fall. Fans chanted “Delete” and Jeff played into it. Jeff waited for Kassidy to stand, then went for a Twist of Fate, Kassidy blocked it. Four-way action broke out, as Matt blocked Silly String. Jeff then landed a Swanton on Kassidy for the win.
WINNERS: The Hardy Brothers in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: The crowd ate this up. I’m curious if this is a honeymoon period for a nostalgia act that runs out of steam fast, or if it sustains itself. If the Hardys are able to keep up with AEW’s top tag team acts, it should last. This also plays into Ricky Starks arguing that ex-WWE wrestlers are taking spots from deserving AEW wrestlers. )
-Afterward, Andrade walked out with Jose the Assistant, Bunny, Butcher, and Blade. Sting and Darby Allin came out to even the odds.
-Excalibur plugged Rampage: Butcher vs. Darby, Bear Country & Fuego Del Sol vs. House of Black, Max Caster vs. Keith Lee, and Leyla Hirsch vs. Red Velvet.
-Schiavone interviewed Red Velvet who said she stuck up for Leyla because she thought she was her friend, but now she sees the real Leyla.
-The cage began to lower as Ross said the last time Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker wrestled, it ended up being the Pro Wrestling Illustrated match of the year. [c]
(5) BRITT BAKER vs. THUNDER ROSA – Cage match for the AEW Women’s Title
A Mariachi band played on stage for Thunder Rosa’s entrance. Baker came out second. Before ring introductions, Schiavone said, “God bless Scott Hall.” The bell rang 42 minutes into the hour. Fans cheered. Baker tried to immediately climb out of the cage, but Rosa grabbed her. They battled back and forth during the opening minutes, including Rosa grinding Baker’s face against the cage. Baker bled. Fans chanted “Thunder Rosa! / DMD!” They cut to a split-screen break at 5:00 with Baker in control. [c/ss]
Rosa gave Baker a stunner and then a running clothesline in the corner. She let out a big yell before landing a running missile dropkick on Baker in the corner followed by a high-stack cover for a two count. Baker blocked a Thunder Fire Driver and went for a superkick, but she hit the ref by mistake. Rosa rolled up Baker, but there was no ref. She then hit the Fire Thunder Driver and made the cover. Fans counted aloud well past three. Rosa dragged Baker into the corner and put a chair on her chest. Baker magically recovered fully and stood and bashed Rosa with it. She then stacked about eight chairs followed by a top rope Air Raid Crash. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” Baker called for the ref. A second ref entered the ring and counted two before Rosa kicked out.
Baker set up chairs in a fort like a ten year old kid would create on a rainy day, then battled Rosa on the top rope. Rosa won the battle and knocked Baker onto the stack of chairs. Rosa then rolled Baker over and scored a near fall. Ross said if that doesn’t get it done, what’s it going to take? Baker surprised Rosa with a superkick, but then collapsed herself. She rolled to the floor and pulled out a black bag. Ross said, “Somebody tell me why we need thumb tacks under the damn ring!” Schiavone said he thinks Jamie Hayter or Rebel placed them there earlier. Baker poured them out. Rosa blocked her, but Baker backdropped her onto the tacks. Baker rolled her up for a near fall. She pivoted into a Lock Jaw position. She put on her white glove, but Rosa recovered during that time and bit her hand. Rosa smashed Baker’s hand on the tacks. Rosa powerbombed Baker onto the tacks. Baker rolled to the floor. She pulled out a chair and bashed Rosa on the skull. (Really???) Fans chanted “AEW! AEW!” Rosa re-entered the ring and suddenly gave Baker a Thunder Fire Driver on the tacks for the win. The crowd popped big.
WINNER: Rosa in 17:00 to capture the AEW Women’s Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: That could be a polarizing match. It was built around big stunt spots late and it hurt the flow, the finish just came out of nowhere like they were told to go to the finish a minute before they could properly set up the finish. It was exciting and dramatic and the crowd was into it the whole way.)