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AEW Dynamite (Episode 85) Recap & Review

AEW Dynamite
Episode 87

Original Air Date: May 19, 2021
Event Date: May 13, 2021
(aired on TNT & the FITE app)

City: Jacksonville, FL
Venue: Daily’s Place

Commentary: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Taz (1), DonCallis (6)
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts


Show/Hide Match Previews


Intro Video
“Dynamite” by No One Hero


Match 1
Christian Cage vs Matt Sydal
(referee: Paul Turner)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Christian Cage wins via pinfall after the Kill Switch
Time: 9:15

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This was a fun, fast-paced battle between two great wrestlers. With Christian’s current status it felt like he couldn’t lose this match, by Sydal gave him a great fight. I’d love it if this match could help put Matt Sydal in some more competitive story lines and feuds since, at least on Dynamite, he seems to be there to help others look great.


Ring Area
After the match, Taz has a few words for Christian Cage and Matt Sydal. Christian and Sydal invite Taz to join them in the ring, but Ricky Starks comes out to the stage instead. Starks says he has some business with Christian, ad he calls the rest of Team Taz to join him. As Christin and Sydal look towards the stage to await Team Taz, Brian Cage, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Hook run in from the crowd. Christian and Sydal take a beating from Team Taz, but Adam Page comes out to take care of some business of his own with Brian Cage. Page fights off Hobbs and Brian Cage, but Hook chop blocks Page which sets him up for a big powerbomb from Brian Cage. Ricky Starks then joins the rest of Team Taz in the ring as they celebrate their destruction.

Brian Pillman Jr. says it’s funny that The Young Bucks brought up Pillman’s father, since Brian Pillman Sr. is the reason Pillman Jr. stayed away from pro wrestling for so long. It was The Young Bucks who inspired Pillman to get into the ring by showing him that you could make it in the business by doing things the right way. Griff Garrison was also inspired by The Young Bucks early in his career but the Bucks need a reality check.

Earlier today, Jon Moxley wondered if The Acclaimed are any good. Eddie Kingston says one a rapper, and the other is the rapper’s friend. They also wonder if throwing superkicks is a requirement for attending a superkick party.

Outside the Venue
Earlier today, The Acclaimed were pissed. If Moxley and Kingston want a shot at the tag titles, they’ll have to go through The Acclaimed (who are ranked higher in the tag division).


Match 2
Eddie Kingston & Jon Moxley vs The Acclaimed
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jon Moxley pins Anthony Bowens after a tandem wheelbarrow (Kingston) into a DDT (Moxley)
Time: 10:27

Match Thoughts
Great match. Caster came to the ring with some especially personal verses for Moxley, and that had Moxley start the action with a punch to Bowens’ face as The Acclaimed were entering the ring. Moxley and Kingston dominated the first part of the match with some anger-fueled violence, and it looked like it was going to be a short night for Caster and Bowens. The Acclaimed managed to isolate Kingston and work over his knee though, and The Acclaimed dominated the middle part of the match. Bowens in particular looked good tonight as he picked Kingston apart. Late in the match, Moxley couldn’t wait for Kingston’s tag, so he helped out his parter in the ring, and that led to a bit of shenanigans and a very fun finish. Both of these teams were great tonight.


Alex Marvez asks Chris Jericho (with Dean Malenko) if The Inner Circle is going to accept The Pinnacle’s stipulations for Stadium Stampede. Jericho tells Marvez he’s going to have to wait for the answer like everyone else.

Ring Area
In the ring, Tony Schiavone welcomes Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. Sky talks about looking up to Sting when he was a child, but Sting isn’t the man he used to be, and Sky is no longer a child. Sky warns Sting to step aside, or Sky will put Sting down. Ethan Page then brags about throwing Darby Allin down concrete steps the week before Allin lost the TNT Title. Ethan Page is here to take everything away from Darby Allin, and he will be the nail in Allin’s coffin.

The lights go out, and here comes Sting. As Sting approaches the ring, Darby Allin attacks Sky and Page from behind with his skateboard. Allin and Sting quickly take Page and Sky down. Sting puts Scorpio Sky in the Scorpion Death Lock as Darby Allin keeps Ethan Page out of the ring. Page and Sky limp away from the ring, but the Dark Order comes out and blocks both entrance tunnels. Page and Sky run away through the crowd.

At a Restaurant
The Pinnacle has a nice meal as MJF adresses Chris Jericho. MJF mocks Jericho for his jokes, and he warns Jericho that MJF always gets the last laugh. Dax Harwood says The Pinnacle should be chasing titles, not messing around with Jericho and The Inner Circle. As Harwood goes off on Jericho, Shawn Spears gets pissed and slams the waiter’s head (who had been pouring wine for people other than Spears) onto the table. Tully Blanchard tosses the waiter some money for the altercation. MJF finishes by saying Stadium Stampede will be The Inner Circle’s last match.


Match 3
Rebel w/ Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. vs Hikaru Shida (AEW Women’s Champ)
(referee: Paul Turner)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Hikaru Shida wins via submission with a stretch muffler
Time: 2:03

Match Thoughts
This was short and fun for what it was (and what I expected it to be). Rebel and Baker worked together to distract Shida and get in a few good shots on her, but Shida made short work of Rebel. This was really a way to get all three women in the ring for the post-match shenanigans.


Ring Area
Even before the bell rings to end the match, Britt Baker is in the ring and on her way to attack Hikaru Shida. Baker takes the AEW Women’s Title belt, puts it in the center of the ring, and curb stomps Shida’s head onto it.

Last week as Orange Cassidy was being attended to in the trainer’s room after his match with Pac, Kenny Omega (speaking as the the AEW EVP) and Don Callis tell Orange Cassidy that they need him to be the mascot of AEW, not so much a main-eventer carrying the World Title. Callis has a legal document for Cassidy to sign saying that Cassidy will drop out of the title match at Double or Nothing, but that he will still face Omega at a time to be determined once he’s completely healthy. Orange Cassidy slowly rips the document into pieces. Frustrated, Omega explains that Orange Cassidy will be hurt way worse than tonight if he goes through with the triple threat title match. Callis hands Cassidy another copy of the legal document and leaves him with it to sign in his own time.

Ring Area
The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Ortiz, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara) head to the ring. Ortiz says talk is cheap, and he wants to fight. Sammy Guevara agrees with Ortiz. Jake Hager says there is no choice about whether or not to fight in Stadium Stampede. Chris Jericho says he has been thinking about if Stadium Stampede will be worth it (especially if Inner Circle has to break up by losing). Was Blood & Guts worth it? Was the physical and mental pain worth it? When Jericho thinks of the revenge he’s going to get on MJF, then yes, it was absolutely worth it. In unison, The Inner Circle accept The Pinnacle’s challenge in Stadium Stampede.

As Tony Schiavone again asks Jade Cargill if she’s decided on a manager, Mark Sterling walks up. Sterling says he doesn’t want Jade to work for him, he wants to work for Jade. Sterling has a bunch of ideas, but Jade cuts him off and tells him not to interrupt her TV time. Jade says she’ll think about Sterling’s offer though.


Match 4
NWA Women’s World Title Match
Red Velvet vs Serena Deeb (NWA Women’s Champ)
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Serena Deeb wins via submission with the Serenity Lock and retains the title in her fifth defense
Time: 9:33

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Serena Deeb started aggressively by attacking Red Velvet immediately upon the sounding of the opening bell. Deeb focused on Velvet’s legs from her first attacks to her last, and that proved to be the biggest factor in the match. Velvet fought back when she could and got a few surprise near falls, but Deeb’s attacks had Velvet hobbling around the ring in the later stages of the match. It was a good fight from Red Velvet, but Deeb dominated this title match with smart, focused attacks and a very aggressive new attitude.


Pac is outside of The Elite’s dressing room, and he is sick and tired of being robbed of opportunities in AEW. Pac has an opportunity for the AEW World Title at Double or Nothing, and he asks Alex Marvez, “what fool bets against the bastard now?”


Match 5
Austin Gunn w/ Arn Anderson, Cody Rhodes vs Anthony Ogogo w/ Aaron Solow, Nick Comoroto, QT Marshall
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Anthony Ogogo wins via Referee Stoppage after a pop-up punch to Austin Gunn’s midsection
Time: 2:12

Match Thoughts
This was barely a match. Austin Gunn got the drop on Anthony Ogogo with a quick flurry of attacks, but Ogogo slowed the match completely down with one punch to Gunn’s gut. Gunn writhed in pain on the mat, he got up, and he took another punch which had him bleeding from the mouth. Ogogo gloated and took his time before pushing Gunn into the air for a third punch, and the referee called for the bell. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like the buildup for this Cody Rhodes/Anthony Ogogo match. I understand building up Ogogo’s punches as extremely dangerous, but it feels way too over-the-top. I don’t buy it, and the matches he’s had aren’t very entertaining for me. Plus, pitting the U.K. versus the U.S. just feels odd.


With SCU, Alex Marvez asks Christopher Daniels what the future holds for him now that SCU has vowed to never tag again. Daniels doesn’t answer Marvez. Instead, Daniels shakes Frankie Kazarian’s hand and whispers something in his ear before walking away. Kazarian says Daniels has earned whatever path he chooses to take, but Kaz knows his own path. He blames everyone in The Elite for what happened to SCU, and he plans to hunt every one of them down.

Ring Area
Sammy Guevara has some cue cards addressing The Pinnacle and their overconfidence.

Ring Area
The new TNT Champion, Miro, heads to the ring. Miro’s talent is beating people up, but that’s not Darby Allin’s talent. Allin disrespected Miro, but Miro forgives him. Moving on, Miro says that he will defend the TNT Title next week on Dynamite (two days before defending against Lance Archer on Sunday at Double or Nothing).

Lance Archer comes out to the stage with Jake Roberts. Archer is happy that Miro won the title, because their fight is going to be great. Archer can’t wait to beat up Miro and make him Archer’s “Bulgarian bitch.” Miro says Archer has Jake Roberts to hold Archer back, but Miro will never hold back. And if Roberts gets close to Miro, no amount of yoga is going to save his life. Miro also agrees with Archer when he says “everybody dies,” but Miro will make sure that Archer dies first.


Match 6
AEW World Tag Team Title Match
Varsity Blonds w/ Julia Hart vs Young Bucks (AEW Tag Champs) w/ Don Callis, MT Nakazawa, Brandon Cutler
(referee: Rick Knox)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Matt Jackson submits Brian Pillman Jr. with a Sharpshooter, and the Young Bucks retain the titles in their sixth defense
Time: 11:34

Match Thoughts
Very good match. The Varsity Blonds got off to a good start, surprising the champs with their cohesive tag team attacks. It took a little while, but the Young Bucks did start to fight back. The match was more or less even for a while, but it was clear the Young Bucks were slowly starting to take over. The Bucks isolated Pillman for a long time, and they did their usual arrogant shtick as they kept Pillman at a severe disadvantage. Garrison was able to help his partner from time to time, but the Bucks also had some help cheating from Brandon Cutler, so as the match went on, the result became clear. This was a fun match and a pretty good showing for the Varsity Blonds at this stage in their career as a tag team. Sure, they were kind of sacrifices for the Young Bucks heading into a PPV, but Pillman and Garrison still had moments where they shined.


Ring Area
As the Young Bucks celebrate after the match, Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston enter the ring. Moxley and Kingston attack and end up putting both Nick and Matt Jackson to sleep with sleeper holds. Kingston and Moxley then steal the Young Bucks’ shoes.


Show Impressions
This was a good show. It definitely felt like AEW was building towards the PPV with this show with lots of interviews and matches that didn’t necessarily mean a whole lot, but there were still some very fun matches tonight.

Match of the Night
The Acclaimed vs Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston
The NWA Women’s Title match and Christian Cage vs Matt Sydal were also really good, but The Acclaimed vs Kingston and Moxley was pure fun from bell to bell.



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