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AEW Dynamite (Episode 80) Recap & Review

AEW Dynamite
Episode 80
#AEWDynamite

Original Air Date: March 31, 2021
Event Date: March 25, 2021
(aired on TNT & the FITE app)

City: Jacksonville, FL
Venue: Daily’s Place

Commentary: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Don Callis (4)
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts

 

Show/Hide Match Previews

 

Intro Video
“Dynamite” by No One Hero

 

Match 1
Christian Cage vs Frankie Kazarian
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Christian Cage wins via pinfall after Killswitch
Time: 16:33

Match Thoughts
Great match. This was a highly entertaining, straightforward wrestling match with great pacing and a great build to it. Cage and Kaz began by exchanging some holds and counters, and they built up to strikes and slams before starting to look for flashier moves with bigger risks and higher rewards. With this being Cage’s first AEW match, it was safe to assume that he would win, but Kaz looked great as well. Kaz tended to dominate large portions of the match forcing Cage to look for timely counters and big opportunities for some offense of his own. It all built up to a great finish and a great first match for Christian Cage.

 

Video
In a black and white video, Darby Allin and Sting throw money into a river as Allin talks about Matt Hardy. Allin says Hardy has been trying to buy everything lately, but he can’t buy Allin’s respect. Allin’s respect must be earned.

Video
Jade Cargill understands that Red Velvet wants to be her, but Red Velvet can’t be her. No on can be “that bitch.” (Her words, not mine.)

 

Match 2
Unsanctioned Exhibition Match
QT Marshall vs Cody Rhodes w/ Dustin Rhodes, Billy
(referee: Arn Anderson)

Show/Hide Results

Result: the match ends in a No Contest when QT Marshall punches Arn Anderson
Time: 6:10

Match Thoughts
This was about what I expected the match to be, which is to say it was fine. Cody easily dominated Marshall, but Cody didn’t go for any painful holds or strikes. Marshall got increasingly frustrated, and he took advantage of Cody’s injured shoulder at times. The whole match felt like it was building up to something, and that’s because it was. The exhibition ended abruptly when Marshall sucker-punched Arn Anderson in the face.

 

Ring Area
After the match, most of the members of the Nightmare Family/Factory enter the ring as Marshall walks over to the stage. As everyone looks towards Marshall, Anthony Ogogo, Aaron Solow, and Nick Comoroto attack the other members of the Nightmare Family/Factory. The trio clears most of the guys from the ring, and Marshall begins to direct traffic as Lee Johnson is singled out.

Comoroto powerbombs Johnson over the ropes and onto the stage. Marshall attacks Anderson again as Comoroto sets up the ring steps on the stage. Dustin Rhodes, bleeding from the head, is piledriven onto the ring steps by Marshall. In the ring, Anthony Ogogo punches Cody in the gut before setting Cody up in the ring steps for Marshall to hit him in the head with a chair. Before Marshall can strike, Red Velvet runs out and gets in the way. Marshall and his trio walk away.

Video
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky are tired of being overlooked. Together, they will take anything and everything they want.

Backstage
Jade Cargill attacks Red Velvet as she is speaking to Dasha Gonzalez.

Backstage
Earlier today, Jon Moxley talks about being pissed off. Tonight, somebody’s getting dropped on their head and somebody’s getting choked unconscious.

 

Match 3
Jon Moxley vs Cezar Bononi w/ JD Drake, Ryan Nemeth
(referee: Paul Turner)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jon Moxley wins via Referee Stoppage with a sleeper hold
Time: 8:00

Match Thoughts
Good match. Bononi got an advantage early in the match thanks to some help from Nemeth and Drake at ringside. Bononi kept the advantage through a commercial break, but Moxley built up a quick comeback that meant an unsurprising end for Bononi.

 

Backstage
Taz once again says Team Taz is fine. Ricky Starks interrupts and asks Brian Cage to let everyone know how he thinks Team Taz is doing. Cage is aggravated with Starks and how he acted on Dark last night. Taz still insists that Team Taz is fine.

Backstage
MJF has a gift for The Pinnacle: a personal stylist. He has also gotten the group an interior decorator so the can get rid of the stench in their locker room (that they stole from the Inner Circle). As MJF opens the bathroom door, we see that Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, and Sammy Guevara have been waiting inside. MJF quickly shuts the door and tries to leave, but Jake Hager is waiting at the front door and punches MJF in the face.

The brawl between the Inner Circle and The Pinnacle spills out into the hallway where Guevara slams Spears’ head with a door. Elsewhere, Hager slams Wardlow through a massage table. Now outside, Ortiz knocks Wheeler into an ice bath while Santana tries to stab an already bloodied Harwood in the head with a broken piece of a chair. Still inside the locker room, Jericho shoves MJF’s head into a toilet before breaking the glass out of a Pepsi refrigerator (also with MJF’s head). Back together, the Inner Circle drags MJF out of their locker room and leaves him in the hallway.

Backstage
Alex Marvez asks the Young Bucks how their relationship is with Kenny Omega. The Bucks are reluctant to say anything, and Don Callis interrupts them anyway. Nick Jackson doesn’t want to hear anything Callis has to say, so he walks away (as does Marvez). Don Callis tells Matt Jackson that he and Nick broke Omega’s heart last week. How can Callis reach Matt now that he’s so dead inside? Callis slaps Matt. Matt grabs Callis, but he lets Callis go. Callis is disappointed. Is there nothing left inside Matt?

 

Match 4
Laredo Kid & The Lucha Brothers vs Good Brothers & Kenny Omega (AAA Mega Champ & AEW World Champ) w/ Don Callis
(referee: Rick Knox)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kenny Omega pins Laredo Kid after the One-Winged Angel
Time: 14:20

Match Thoughts
Great match. It’s hard to really explain what happened here because the action was so fast and almost completely constant throughout its entire length. There were a few minutes in the middle of the match (during a commercial break) where the pace slowed down somewhat and resembled a regular trios match, but everything else was all action and all offense. There weren’t a whole lot of tags, because everyone just did whatever they wanted. The luchadores started strong with an attack before the bell, but they were slowed down by the power of their opponents. Later in the match the fight was more even, and it ended up being Omega and Laredo Kid in the ring to finish things off. This was a ton of fun.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Jon Moxley walks out to the stage. Moxley looks at Omega, Callis, and the Good Brothers in the ring. After a few moments, the Young Bucks come out and join Moxley. Moxley and the Young Bucks enter the ring, so Omega, Callis, and the Good Brothers quickly make their exit.

Backstage
Britt Baker (with Rebel) talks about how Dark: Elevation is a great place for Thunder Rosa to get her wins up since the unsanctioned match didn’t count.

 

Match 5
The Bunny w/ Matt Hardy, The Butcher, The Blade, Private Party & “The Native Beast” Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero vs Tay Conti w/ Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, Alan Angels, Preston Vance, Colt Cabana & Hikaru Shida (AEW Women’s Champ)
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)

Show/Hide Results

Result: The Bunny pins Tay Conti after Down the Rabbit Hole (and a shot from a kendo stick)
Time: 6:53

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This was another chaotic match, though as opposed to the chaos being in the ring in the previous match tonight, the chaos in this match was mostly outside the ring. Rose and The Bunny got off to a good start by isolating and dominating Hikaru Shida for a while (though Rose actually did most of the work). Shida starting mounting a comeback, but that was kind of overshadowed by the shenanigans outside the ring. Somewhere towards the latter stages of the match, the Dark Order started a brawl with Matt Hardy and his clients. With everyone distracted and Conti and The Bunny legal in the ring, The Bunny took advantage of the situation and made a statement as the expense of Tay Conti and her rising star.

 

Backstage
Jurassic Express is tired of Bear Country tossing Marko Stunt around, so in honor of Godzilla vs Kong, Jurassic Express will show Bear County who is at the top of the food chain.

 

Match 6
Arcade Anarchy
“Superbad” Kip Sabian & Miro w/ Penelope Ford vs Chuck Taylor & “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy
(referees: Bryce Remsburg, Aubrey Edwards)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Chuck Taylor pins Kip Sabian after a running powerslam off the stage through some tables
Time: 14:30

Match Thoughts
Great match. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from a match with arcade cabinets surrounding the ring, but I knew it would be fun because of the wrestlers involved. Basically, Arcade Anarchy is just a Falls Count Anywhere match with a whole bunch of extra weapons and furniture already set up for use. That means there was none of the housekeeping that usually slows down a match of that type, and the action could continue pretty much non-stop. That’s exactly what happened, and the fight ended up exceeding my expectations. It was chaotic and fairly violent, but the bright colors and over-the-top personalities kept it light and fun. Plus, by the end of the match we got to see the surprise returns of Kris Statlander, Trent, and Trent’s mom Sue! This was one of those main events that made me extremely happy and put a huge smile on my face. It was also another example of Best Friends (and the people around them) being one of the best things about AEW.

 

Show Impressions
This was a great show. Three stellar matches, lots of chaos, and some great buildup for things to come. More than any show in recent memory, this episode of Dynamite really started showing signs of full-fledged faction warfare within AEW. It seems like almost everyone is forming teams and gangs, and I’m totally fine with that.

Match of the Night
Arcade Anarchy
This was a really tough choice. I loved the Cage/Kaz match and the trios match maybe just as much as the main event, but the main event made me happier than anything else tonight.

 

 

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