April 28th, 2021
Daily's Place - Jacksonville, FL
1) Brian Cage vs. Hangman Adam Page
Never in my life did I think I’d be happy to see Brian Cage beat Adam Page in five minutes, but I LOVED it here. The build to whatever the main event of Double or Nothing will be seemed pretty predictable with Hangman Page being undefeated and #1 the rankings, plus, everyone has been expecting the ultimatum of Kenny’s reign being a title match with Page. Admittedly, I knew they had to do something because it is way too soon to go into that story, I just had no idea how or if they would. Well, they did. And this is exactly what needed to happen and I would’ve never thought of it. This makes Cage look better and honestly gives Page more to work with because he just lost in virtually a squash and we all know Page is best fighting from underneath. Plus, Cage needed an extra boost and something to get him away from just being a part of Team Taz drama. This was a win for all involved. Cage gets the 1..2..3.. though. Now, does he challenge Omega? Will it be a triple threat? Who knows, but that’s the best part about all this.
Match rating - ***
The Elite are in their limo outside. They say despite what happened last week with their bus getting slammed into with Jon Moxley's truck, they aren't afraid of Moxley & Eddie Kingston. Only for them to hear a horn and freak out, pretty much canceling out that claim which was pretty hilarious. Omega says that where they go, the money and the gold follows. He addresses Eddie Kingston and says if he wants a fight, he can have one, but he has to go against MT Nakazawa first.
2) The Young Bucks vs. Matt & Mike Sydal
I’ll say it right out of the gate, this is the best the Sydal brothers have looked in AEW thus far. Matt, in particular, looked more in prime fashion than he has since his return to the indies in 2014-15. The Bucks are fully zoned on in working as heels, also, so that made this match a blast. Bucks win with the BTE trigger I believe.
Match rating - ***1/2
Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian, SCU, come out after the match. They circle back to their promo earlier this year where they said if they lose again, they will disband as a tag team. They want to teach the Bucks a lesson and take their titles in the process. OK! Let's go, I'm with this! Felt like we were gonna get this as the built toward tag title match at Double or Nothing coming out of this promo only for them to announce a 4 way #1 Contender's Tag for next week with the winners getting a title shot the following week.. SCU is in that match. Well.. I guess we will see what happens. Maybe we are gonna get a screwy finish which leads to one last chance for SCU to beat the Bucks at Double or Nothing with some kind of stipulation? I doubt they'd put SCU to rest on a Dynamite episode.
JADE CARGILL PROMO. She's still THAT BITCH.
3) Orange Cassidy (w/ Trent?) vs. Penta El Zero M
“I’d like to see a beach break about.. right now.” -Tony Schiavone
I heard some mixed reviews here, mainly thanks to Alex Abrahantes interference and while that did spoil part of the match for me, the majority of this ruled. It was everything you’d want from a Penta/Orange match, lots of posturing and tom foolery, but some great action throughout and near falls down the stretch. Orange gets a huge, in my opinion, victory thanks to Trent? helping even the odds when things got tricky. This was much more enjoyable than Penta/Trent from last week.
Match rating - ***1/4
Backstage, Tony Schiavone with Britt Baker. She talks about how she got to #1 in the women’s rankings and how she is ready to defeat Shida to become Women’s World Champion.
Next up is The Parley between the Inner Circle and the Pinnacle for their upcoming Blood & Guts Match. This is basically for them to determine who gets the one man advantage to start the match. Last week’s promos were mainly a disaster and took a feud that started strong, back a notch, in recent usual Chris Jericho fashion. However, they waged two steps forward this week with everyone hitting the mark and Jericho staying on point and not saying anything dumb/problematic in selling this match. Shawn Spears, Santana, both FTR boys, and Sammy Guevara all got mic time and killed it. Then it came down to Jericho and MJF to close this thing off and regain the excitement for next week’s war. Jericho says the Pinnacle will have to kill them to make them surrender next week.
Eddie Kingston is out next to face Nakazawa. He says he isn't facing him and calls out Kenny. Kenny comes out and Nakazawa hits Kingston with a laptop only to eat an exploder and a backfist for his troubles. King then threatens to break Nak's ankle if Omega doesn't get in the ring. Omega says THATS WHAT NAK SIGNED UP FOR SO GO AHEAD LMAO. Brandon Cutler makes the save, though, until MOXLEY shows up and floors him. Mox gets his hands on Omega and they threaten to break his ankle if Don Callis doesn't give them a match so they settle for talking him into a tag next week - Omega/Nak vs. Moxley/Kingston.
Backstage, Christian Cage says Taz wishes he could be like him and comeback and still go like he did, but he can't and that's why he formed Team Taz. Cage says he will face every member if he has to and teases a match with Starks next week which makes sense coming out of last week.
4) Kris Statlander vs. Penelope Ford
Aye.. this was far from Penelope’s best showing which kinda let me down because the video package on Road to Dynamite really got me fired up for this match with both girls doing a fantastic job selling the story between them. Statlander looked great here, but Penelope seemed one step behind her at most times. It was still a fun contest, just the pacing in some crucial moments held it back. Statlander wins with Orange Cassidy by her said. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. Statlander bops Ford on the nose post match.
Match rating - **1/2
5) Dustin Rhodes, Billy Gunn, & Lee Johnson vs. QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, & Aaron Solow (w/ Anthony Ogogo)
This match looks odd as fuck on paper, but they do well with it. All six competitors brawl to start and this is pretty all over the place the entire time. QT and co steal the victory after some shenanigans. Post match, Austin & Colton Gunn show up and attack QT. Solow & Comoroto make the save for him as QT retreats back out to the Nightmare Factory bus that they arrived in on WHERE CODY AWAITS HIM. They really blew the significance of the turn/attack from a few weeks ago, to me, but the return of Cody was still fun, just not quite as exciting to me as it could have been if they had replayed and hit home that vicious beat down from a few weeks ago ughhhh. But anyway. Cody locks QT in the figure four on top of the bus and makes him tap. Cody poses and yells and shit and they have a one on one match next week.
5) Darby Allin (c) (w/ Sting) vs. 10 - TNT Title Match
As the ratings breakdown will show, Darby is a bonafide star and main event draw at this stage in the game. I think the placement and booking of his reign recently also speaks for that fact. It takes a true draw to go into a main event spot on TV with a virtual unknown. Sure, 10 is good and has a significance, but not to the vast majority and he's far from a regular singles competitor on Dynamite. This match, though? I mean... it's good. If you look at the circumstances surrounding it, though? It's kinda dull and that's how it came off for me. Darby still felt big and his entrance was awesome. 10 looked solid in his own right as well. However, why did Darby struggle so much here? And why did he barely scrape by with the finish they went with? It's just head scratching stuff. Darby is a star, book him like one against guys who are not on his level by any stretch. Not asking for a squash, but there is no reason he shouldn't have defeated 10 cleanly here.
Match rating - **1/2
After the match, another Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky attack on Darby ensues. It seems this is the route they are going and that's fine. They can have a good spotfest that will probably be better than the last two Darby title defenses (if they have a decisive finish), but what I'm ready for is what I feel is the inevitable - Miro destroying Darby and becoming the new TNT Champion. But, anyway, show closes with a beatdown of Sting & Darby.
This was a pretty solid episode, definitely better than last week, even if the ratings don't reflect it as Dynamite drops back down under 1 million after two weeks of record breaking numbers.