April 21st, 2021
Daily’s Place - Jacksonville, FL
Commentary - Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, & Taz
1) Hangman Adam Page vs. Ricky Starks (w/ Hook)
Wasn't really feeling this one despite being a fan of both guys. They just did stuff and there was a miscue or two, particularly the clip that made it's rounds on Twitter of Starks botching a spot where he was supposed to land on his feet off a suplex. (I also watched this after the stellar Shingo/Ospreay match so my standards may be way too high). Page wins, Taz shit talks him from the booth and Hook attacks Page from behind.
Match rating - **
2) Penta El Zero M vs. Trent?
Another one that fell short for me. It just felt like the most PWG match of all time, but not in a good way. It just had no real extra incentive to keep me invested. Just moves. Plus, Alex Abrahantes is annoying and got involved near the end of things and that is running it's course fairly quickly. Penta wins off the distraction.
Match rating - **
Jim Ross does a sit down interview with the Pinnacle and although JR sucks at almost everything nowadays, this rocked. WARDLOW got some time to speak and it was awesome. He said Jericho stuttered when he mentioned him last week and that’s because he knew he was making a bad decision by speaking his name. What a god. Then MJF goes the fuck off about Jericho and how he’s a mark for his spot. Basically selling us on Blood & Guts in May 5th as if we weren’t sold on it already.
3) Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Tay Conti - AEW Women’s World Championship Match
This had a much bigger feel than you’d expect, or to me it did, atleast. Probably because the video package before the match was so detailed. They deliver a super solid title match here with Shida targeting the back of Conti and going back to it and damaging it in various ways including a brutal drop into the top turnbuckles that sent her bouncing to the floor in a nasty spill. The closing few minutes gave us some nice nearfalls, but in the end Shida retains. Real good match and a big step up from the first two matches on the show.
Match rating - ***1/2
Post match, our queen Britt Baker comes out and points to the screen where a graphic announces that she’s now #1 in the women’s rankings. Shida throws her kendo stick at her. SHIDA vs BRITT LETS GOOOO. Double or Nothing maybe?
Chris Jericho & The Inner Circle come out and Jericho cuts a terrible promo where used the term “trail of tears”... yeah. Big dumbass, as usual. Santana’s promo was good, though. But Jericho? I was like hell yeah on him again for the past few weeks for the first time in months, but now we are back to cringe promos, not to mention, some problematic shit to match his out of touch political views. Let’s just pretend the Pinnacle was the only group who cut a promo for Blood & Guts tonight..
Miro pre-tape. He says he wants to face a champion or something. “What champion will I beat?”
4) Billy Gunn vs. QT Marshall
Yawn yawn yawn. QT wins after some screwy shit. All of Billy’s kids jumped some of QT’s boys at ringside. Post match, Dustin Rhodes comes down and has a stare down with Anthony Ogogo who came to the apron to confront him. Meanwhile, Nick Comorato shows up and Dustin smashes him with this wooden thing and Comorato eats it and looks uh pretty cool? Cooler than QT, but not quite as cool as Ogogo. Somewhere in the middle. Dustin stares in disbelief as refs come down to calm the situation. Everyone in “The Factory” is better than its “leader” QT.
THE ELITE is in their bus. I like this. Finally putting a name to the stable. Michael Nakazawa is there also. All of a sudden they hear a horn blaring. ITS JON MOXLEY AND EDDIE KINGSTON IN A BIG ASS TRUCK. THEY DRIVE IT INTO THE ELITE BUS. Moxley breaks out the windows with a pipe while Eddie asks where the Bucks’ shoes are LMAO. This was so much damn fun. I cannot wait for Bucks vs. Mox & Kingston.
5) Christian Cage vs. Powerhouse Will Hobbs
This was such an interesting dynamic. Christian is the classic, veteran pro wrestler. Hobbs is the next big powerhouse, no pun intended, with so much potential. Christian made him look phenomenal here bumping around for him, but Hobbs also sold very well to Christian’s offense. Simple little match that seemed to be slightly pressed for time, but man it was quite a joy. I’d like to see a rematch, but Christian won clean so I doubt we will anytime soon.
Match rating - **1/2
Post match, Ricky Starks hobbles out to check on Hobbs <3. Christian and Starks stare at each other. GIMME THAT MATCH.
Next week: Penta/Cassidy, Adam Page/Brian Cage, Bucks/Sydal Bros, and a Nightmare Family/Factory trios match.
Jade Cargill says she doesn’t need a manager, but if someone wants to sign her they better pay up.
6) Darby Allin (c) vs. Jungle Boy
On paper and in the opening moments, this felt pretty special. It’s two homegrown, future top stars (Darby already is one), main eventing Dynamite for the TNT Title. The match gets going and is fine, the closing moments feature some great spots and near falls, but I can’t help but feel this wasn’t anywhere near the best match they could have. Darby fighting from underneath and not being the dominant one just made no sense to me. I didn’t realize it in the moment, I just felt like I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I expected, then after listening to the guys on the Everything Elite podcast break it down, I realize this is exactly what took me out of this. Darby had way too much of a struggle with Jungle Boy, someone who hasn’t had nearly as many big matches and has not been booked the strongest heading into this. Sure, it’s two baby faces and sure there’s no real story, but I don’t think hoping for Darby working on top and Jungle Boy struggling against him is too far fetched of a story to hope for. Also, I could go without ever seeing a replay of the horrid looking Sting/Luchasaurus brawl ever again. None the less, this is fine for what it is, and a decent enough TV main event, I just didn’t like the layout or the finish, Darby should’ve win this clean as a sheet. It wouldn’t have hurt Jungle Boy in the least and the finish here arguably hurts Darby depending on how you look at it. Darby retains and we get some shenanigans post match.
Match rating - ***
After the match, Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky attack Darby Allin. This makes sense coming off Sky’s loss to Darby a few weeks ago and if you pay attention to social media, Ethan and Darby have history from EVOLVE so this was pretty enjoyable. Lance Archer comes in for the save, which seemed random, but he seems to be that guy who just shows up sometimes so I guess it works. And shit, despite all my critiques, this show still hit 1.1 mil viewers which is all that matters and I am so STOKED. I hope they can maintain one million every week now that NXT is on a different night.
All in all, this was another good episode of Dynamite, not an all timer, and there was some stuff I felt indifferent about, but that’s how it is sometimes! Every week can’t be a blow away and everyone isn’t going to love EVERYTHING a promotion does. AEW is still my favorite company and they delivered a more than suffice show here with several memorable moments & matches despite the main falling a little short in my eyes. AEW forever. If they hit 1.1mil this week with no top names (Kenny, Jericho, Moxley, Cody) competing in matches, I can only imagine what kind of number the Blood & Guts match in May 5 might do and I can’t wait to find out!