Original Air Date: April 21, 2021
Event Date: April 21, 2021
(aired live on TNT & the FITE app)
Commentary: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Taz (1, 5)
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
“Dynamite” by No One Hero
“Absolute” Ricky Starks w/ Hook vs “Hangman” Adam Page
(referee: Paul Turner)
Result: Adam Page wins via submission with a leg-trap bulldog choke
Very good match. Both guys came into this match with a series of wins behind them, so this was an important match for both of them. They were both very aggressive, and the action was a fun combination of power and agility. There were some very nice sequences of counters, especially late in the match, that made it look like both men were very prepared for their opponent tonight. Starks in particular had some great counters for Page’s signature moves, and that forced Page to get a bit creative in his attacks. Starks did look like he hurt his ankle partway through the match, and that played a role more and more as the match neared its end. This was a great way to start the night, and it was a good match for both wrestlers.
After the match, Taz gets on the mic and tells Page he got lucky tonight. Also, Page needs to watch his back. With that, Hook chop blocks Page in the center of the ring and start stomping him. Starks joins in on the attack, then Brian Cage comes out to join as well. Before Cage can attack Page, Dark Order (consisting of Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, Alan Angels, Preston Vance, and Colt Cabana) run out to chase Team Taz away.
Outside the Venue
The Elite arrive and enter their personal trailer.
Penta El Zero Miedo w/ Alex Abrahantes vs Trent? w/ Orange Cassidy
(referee: Rick Knox)
Result: Penta El Zero Miedo wins via pinfall after a package piledriver (and Alex Abrahantes hitting Trent on the head with a microphone)
Good match. The match started strong with a lot of aggressive action from both men. There were lots of high-risk moves, and very little in the way of defense. As the match went to a commercial break, the fight did slow down somewhat. The action gradually picked back up, but it slowed back down near the end when Alex Abrahantes got involved in some match-ending shenanigans. This was a good match for the feud between Best Friends and Death Triangle, though I know we’ll see better matches down the road.
Earlier today, Jim Ross sat down with The Pinnacle (MJF, Wardlow, FTR, and Shawn Spears). MJF begins by responding to Chris Jericho’s “immortal promo,” and he changes out his Burberry scarf with a silk scarf. Wardlow then points out that Jericho screwed up his promo when he started to talk about Wardlow. MJF then talks about how Jericho only wrestles people that the fans already want to see, so he’s not the star-maker he claims to be. MJF also talks about being undefeated in AEW (which he isn’t), and he talks about beating Jericho (which he did). MJF goes on to say Jericho got one thing right: MJF is a mark. He’s not a mark for Jericho though, he’s a mark for Jericho’s spot.
A look at the build-up for the upcoming Women’s World Title match.
AEW Women’s World Title Match
Tay Conti w/ Dark Order vs Hikaru Shida (AEW Women’s Champ)
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)
Result: Hikaru Shida wins via pinfall after Katana (spinning knee strike), and Shida defends the title in her eighth defense
Great match. The fight started with a bow of respect from both wrestlers, but the action got quite heated as it went on. Both women relied on their judo skills early in the match, countering and throwing each other in turn. Conti showed strong offense early in the fight, but Shida began to take over with some very powerful slams and strikes in and out of the ring. Shida got rough with Conti, seemingly trying to fire Conti up and her her challenger to make an emotional mistake. The strategy worked more often than not, and Shida looked like she was headed towards a dominant victory. Conti was able to control her emotions later in the match though, and she pushed back against the champ with some great offense of her own that led to some tense near falls. The heavy strikes and hard slams continued right up to the very end of this extremely fun and highly entertaining title match.
After the match, Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. comes out to the stage. Baker looks up to the video screen as the women’s title rankings appear. As we watch, the rankings are shattered, and Britt Baker is named as the new number one contender for the AEW Women’s World Title (though it’s unclear if the video shows the official rankings or not).
Miro doesn’t care which AEW champion he defeats first, but he will defeat at least one of them. Soon.
In the ring, Tony Schiavone welcomes the Inner Circle (who come out through the babyface tunnel). Chris Jericho talks about Blood & Guts and responds to The Pinnacle’s interview from earlier. Hager says The Pinnacle with be eating through straws after Blood & Guts, and Santana calls FTR out for their “bitch moves.” Jericho critiques MJF’s promo skills, saying it feels like MJF is reading lines in a high school drama class or he’s singing show tunes. Jericho has a show tune of his own (all about MJF), and he (sort of) sings it.
Jericho says it’s fun to make jokes about MJF, but Blood & Guts will be a lesson The Pinnacle will never forget. But what are the rules of Blood & Guts? Well, next week there will be a parlay between The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle to discuss their plans for battle.
Billy Gunn vs QT Marshall w/ Nick Comoroto, Aaron Solow
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)
Result: QT Marshall wins via pindall after a Diamond Cutter (and a bolo punch from Anthony Ogogo)
Pretty good match. This was more about the feud going on between The Factory and The Nightmare Family than it was about the action in and around the ring. Billy Gunn dominated QT Marshall right from the start, and all of Marshall’s offense was achieved by outside interference. Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solow got involved early in the match, but Austin and Colten Gunn (who were at their usual spots at ringside) jumped the barricade and brawled with Comoroto and Solow all the way backstage. Gunn went back to dominating Marshall, but Anthony Ogogo came out and helped Marshall get his one good move in the match.
After the match, Anthony Ogogo hands QT Marshall a wooden chair. Before Marshall can strikes, Dustin Rhodes runs out with a bull rope in his hands. Rhodes attacks Marshall and sends him out of the ring, but Ogogo distracts Rhodes. As Dustin if looking at Ogogo, Nick Comoroto returns and enters the facing, facing off with Dustin. Rhodes smashes Comoroto in the head with the wooden chair. The chair shatters, but Comoroto is unfazed. Dustin is staring at Comoroto, trying to figure out what he just witnessed, when referees run out to get between Rhodes and Comoroto. The Factory leaves without any further altercations.
The Elite’s Trailer
Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, The Good Brothers, Don Callis, and Michael Nakazawa are hanging out in The Elite’s personal trailer while Brandon Cutler acts as their cameraman. Callis brags about the assemblage of talent surrounding him. The Young Bucks do the same, saying this is All ELITE Wrestling, not All Moxley Kingston Wrestling.
Omega tries to get serious for a minute, but a honking horn pisses him off. Outside the trailer, Jon Moxley is in the driver’s seat of a truck with Eddie Kingston riding shotgun. Moxley revs the engine before ramming the truck into The Elite’s trailer. Moxley and Kingston then break into the trailer, but everyone is gone. Moxley and Kingston laugh and call The Elite cowards, and Moxley says The Elite’s moves are “bitch AF.” Moxley and Kingston then go get a steak or something.
Powerhouse Hobbs vs Christian Cage
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)
Result: Christian Cage wins via pinfall after the Kill Switch
Very good match. Powerhouse Hobbs liked quite goo as he basically manhandled Christian for most of this match. Christian had a little offense here and there, but Hobbs repeatedly shut Christian down with his power. Hobbs became methodical at times, and Christian used those moments to get in some good bursts of offense. Hobbs got a little too confident late in the match, and Christian’s experience was ultimately able to teach the young Hobbs a hard lesson. Still, both men came out of this looking good. Hobbs showed he can hang with a multiple time world champion, and Christian continued to adjust to returning to in-ring action with great experience, resilience, and well-timed offense.
After the match, Ricky Starks comes out to check on Hobbs. Starks and Christian stare at each other as Christian leaves the ring.
Jade Cargill says every manager in AEW wants to sign her. Matt Hardy and Vickie Guerrero support Cargill’s statement, but Cargill says she’s going to need a lot of money to sign with anyone.
TNT Title Match
Jungle Boy w/ Luchasaurus vs Darby Allin (TNT Champ) w/ Sting
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)
Result: Darby Allin wins via pinfall with The Last Supper and retains the title in his eighth defense
Great match. Allin has been getting dominated in most of his matches lately, but this title defense was a great back and forth battle. Allin and Jungle Boy started by exchanging holds in the ring, but the action quickly escalated. The strikes were hard, and the slams were even harder. Both men pulled off some very unique offense in addition to their usual arsenals of already highly entertaining moves. Allin tended to sacrifice his own body (as he often does) to hurt Jungle Boy, and Allin wasn’t afraid to get dirty with his tactics. Jungle Boy wrestled a mostly clean match, but he did get very aggressive from time to time. This was a great fight that combined high-risk, mat wrestling, innovative offense, and more. This type of match is going to continue to elevate the TNT Title, and it’s absolutely going to raise the star power of both Darby Allin and Jungle Boy.
After the match, Darby Allin and Jungle Boy look at each other as they both begin to get to their feet. Before they can stand, Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page run into the ring and attack Allin and Jungle Boy. As Sky and Page continue their assault, Lance Archer runs to the ring. Archer sets up Sky and Page for a pair of chokeslams, but Archer ends up receiving two low blows instead. Jake Roberts can only watch from the stage, but Sting walks out to the ring (he and Luchasaurus had brawled with each other to the backstage area during the match). Sky and Page scramble out of the ring as Sting enters.
This was a great show. Every match was very entertaining in its own way, and the title matches were great.
Match of the Night
Jungle Boy vs Darby Allin
Shida versus Conti comes in at a very close second.