Sunday, March 20, 2022

AEW: Dynamite Review - March 16th, 2022 (ST PATRICKS DAY SLAM 2022)

AEW Dynamite
St Patrick’s Day Slam
March 16th, 2022
San Antonio, TX

AEW World Champion: Hangman Adam Page (since 11/13/21)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (since 1/5/22)
AEW Women’s World Champion: Britt Baker (since 5/30/21)
AEW TBS Champion: Jade Cargill (since 1/5/22)
AEW TNT Champion: Scorpio Sky (since 3/9/22)

Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone

We are on the anniversary of one of the most historic women’s matches in the history of pro wrestling and the same two women meet on this night for round three in a Steel Cage!!

1) “Hangman” Adam Page, Jungle Boy, & Luchasaurus vs. Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, & Bobby Fish 

“And here comes THE champion.. THE man.” -Jim Ross on Hangman Page

That quote warmed my heart. JB & Luchasaurus are in first and they build to an early Page hot tag which the crowd explodes for. Early on I’m enjoying this more than any Cole/ReDragon tag yet. Things break down and the faces hit a sick triple moonsault to the floor. That sends us to break. Back from commercial, JB is isolated and Luchasaurus gets the hot tag and cleans fuckin house. Second and final time things break down. Awesome doomsday device from the babyfaces before Cole lowers the boom on Jungle Boy for the victory. Cole pinning Jungle Boy again is a minor gripe, but this match was too fun to harp on it right now. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

Backstage, Keith Lee is confronted by Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs. Starks & Hobbs warn him to not interfere in their business on Rampage on Friday, or they will lay him out again. I love all these guys but lord.. Keith has talked more than he’s wrestled since debuting which is just.. interesting. And the Team Taz camp seems to only get TV time on Dynamite when they’re booked in the same identical segment 3-4 weeks in a row.

Weird video airs of Kris Statlander wiping off her make up. Don’t turn heel, Kris :/// 

2) Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley vs. Chuck Taylor & Wheeler Yuta 

William Regal is on commentary for this one. This one is all about Wheeler Yuta. He gets beat up early then Chuck gets in and gets beat up worse, leaving Yuta with the responsibility of trying to turn this thing around. Mox hits a Paradigm Shift on Chuck on the floor leaving Yuta alone with Danielson who nails him with kicks across the chest repeatedly. All the while, Danielson is egging him on. “Come on! Show me what you’ve got! Come on!” Yuta’s facial expressions as he grits through the pain and summons the courage to fire up on the American Dragon made the hair stand up on my arms. He even fired up on Moxley, too, just an AWESOME flurry from Yuta in the final moments of this match before he’s put away. This entire thing was fantastic as it put over Danielson & Mox as vicious violent artists even further and was a coming out party for Yuta as he had the most remarkable showing since his AEW tenure began. 

Match rating - ***3/4

After the match, Trent, Orange Cassidy, & Danhausen begin helping Chuck & Yuta to the back when all of a sudden, Yuta turns and walks back into the ring toward Regal, Danielson, & Moxley. The zoom in on Chuck’s concerned and confused face during this ruled. Yuta enters the ring and tries to shake Regal’s hand and has some words with him. REGAL SLAPS THE SHIT OUT OF HIM. Yuta bucks up to him immediately and Danielson, Moxley & even Regal himself seem pleased. When he fired up on Regal, the crowd immediately began chanting his name like crazy. Louder than ever before. Yuta bows then leaves. Man.. there it was. Yuta is a future singles star and this segment showed it. I cannot wait to see where this goes and I BEG AEW to follow up on it. 

FTR is backstage talking about how they fired Tully last week. They say things got out of hand. The Young Bucks show up and mock FTR for always being the second best tag team in AEW. If we are gonna go back down this route and get a re-match between the two, I am totally ok with it! Especially, since I’m more into FTR now than I ever was when this feud first happened back in 2020.

Back from commercial, The Acclaimed is rapping about Max’s match with Keith Lee on Rampage. Ricky Starks and Hobbs walk up and hype them up. Swerve Strickland shows up looking like a STAR and puts them all on notice. 

Chris Jericho is out next with Daniel Garcia, 2.0, & Jake Hager.. the group he formed last week that is known as the Jericho Appreciation Society. Jericho essentially talks a bunch and tries to get the crowd to boo him, which took a second, but they finally did near the end. Jericho explains the identity of the group and how they are sports entertainers who in the words of Jake Hager “like to beat up pro wrestlers.” So, I guess that’s the approach they’re taking to this. Kudos to Jericho for getting the crowd to boo him despite still coming out to a massive pop. Even if it did take going the WWE mockery/reference route. 

3) Scorpio Sky (c) (w/ Paige Van Zant & Dan Lambert) vs. Wardlow - TNT Title Match

Scorpio Sky as TNT Champ feels a lot better than I anticipated it would. The heat that he gets alongside Lambert never seems to cease. Wardlow is getting arguably the biggest match in his career here, finally getting a shot to win gold. This went about how you’d expect with Shawn Spears coming down to distract Wardlow. This allows MJF to crack Wardlow into the ring post while the ref is distracted. Sky retains via a roll up when Wardlow rolls back into the ring. 

Match rating - **

After the match, The Pinnacle executes a beatdown on Wardlow. There were several moments where it felt like we were going to get a save. The crowd even chanted for CM Punk, but no one ever came. Wardlow had a great hope spot in the midst of this where he got everyone off of him only for the numbers to overcome him again.

Jade Cargill is 30-0. She’s backstage and asks who wants the ‘opportunity’ to be #31. 

4) The Hardy Boyz (Jeff & Matt Hardy) vs. Private Party (Isaiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)

This is the first ever Hardy’s match in AEW since Jeff debuted last week. I can’t think of a more fitting one for them than this pairing against Private Party, a team that Matt Hardy has mentored over the last year. It’s an ok match. It could’ve been shortened a little bit, I feel, as the middle portions weren’t all that thrilling. Jeff got some nice hot tags and offense in and arguably the loudest pops of the night aside from Rosa. Hardy’s win off a twist of fate / swanton bomb combo. Private Party looked good here and their growth as a team continues to show. 

Match rating - ***

5) Britt Baker (c) vs. Thunder Rosa - Steel Cage Match for the AEW Women's Championship

This rivalry has been an interesting trajectory to follow. Particularly the trajectory of how it's been received by the wrestling community. Just about everyone LOVED the lights out match that took place a year to the date of this match. However, on re-watches, many people toned down their love for it and began noticing the sloppiness throughout the contest. I've been back and forth on the matter and I've made the decision to accept these matches for what they are -- a spectacle. Sure, some things in this looked sloppy as well, but the larger picture is that these two women broke the pattern yet again. They set a new standard.. yet again. Focusing on the minor flaws of this completely sells short the legacy this match and the lights out match will leave behind. Maybe I just wanted this to be as good as I'm saying it is and I'm out of my mind, but so be it. I loved this match. Do the spots and brutality make it? That case could be made also. But I'm not gonna break all that shit down. I'm gonna keep it short and sweet. These ladies busted their ass and Rosa winning felt huge and emotional. The entrances felt special, the crowd went ballistic, Rosa cried with blood and paint in her eyes, the top heel and face of the division fell to the most popular babyface in her hometown... what more could I want? Nothin more. 4.25.. fuck ya. And to boot, my dad, a casual, but longtime fan called me after to rave about the match and I think that counts for something as well. 

Match rating - ****1/4

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