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AEW Friday Night Dynamite (Episode 88) Recap & Review

AEW Friday Night Dynamite
Episode 88
#AEWDynamite

Original Air Date: May 28, 2021
Event Date: May 28, 2021
(aired live on TNT & the FITE app)

City: Jacksonville, FL
Venue: Daily’s Place

Commentary: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Taz (2)
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts

 

Show/Hide Match Previews

 

Intro Video
“Dynamite” by No One Hero

 

Match 1
Darby Allin w/ Sting vs Cezar Bononi w/ Peter Avalon, JD Drake, Ryan Nemeth
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Darby Allin wins via pinfall after the Coffin Drop
Time: 4:23

Match Thoughts
Good match. This was a warm-up for Allin heading into his tag match on Sunday partnering with Sting against Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky, and as such, Allin looked good without taking too much damage. Allin started his attack on Bononi quickly, but Bononi was able to shrug off some of Allin’s strikes. Bononi tossed Allin around the ring a bit, but a sleeper hold from Allin changed the course of the match. Allin cut off Bononi’s breathing for a few seconds, and once Bononi started to go down, Allin was relentless with his strikes. A Coffin Drop sealed the match, and Allin heads into the weekend with some energy.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Darby Allin says he doesn’t want to wait to get jumped from behind. With Sting by his side, Allin calls Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky to the ring so they can have their fight right now. Page and Sky walk out to the stage, and Sky says he and Page aren’t going to fight for free. Once they beat Allin and Sting on the big stage this Sunday, one legend will end (Sting), and two new legends will be born.

In the ring, Bononi and his wingmen attack Allin and Sting from behind. Page and Sky run into the ring and join the beating. Bononi and the wingmen leaves, and Page and Sky put a chair around Sting’s Ankle. As Sky prepares to jump from the second rope and break Sting’s ankle, Dark Order rushes out and chases Sky and Page away. Allin and Page thank Dark Order for their help after Page and Sky head backstage.

Ring Area
Paul Wight heads to the ring to host tonight’s weigh-in for the Cody Rhodes vs Anthony Ogogo match at Double or Nothing. After a commercial break, Wight says there will be no shenanigans in tonight’s weigh-in. With that, Wight introduces Anthony Ogogo who heads to the ring with the rest of The Factory (QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, and Aaron Solow). Next, “The American Dream” Cody Rhodes heads to the ring with Dustin Rhodes, his sister (Teil Margaret), Arn Anderson, Red Velvet, and students from The Nightmare Factory.

Cody Rhodes is the first to step on the scale, and he weighs 218 lbs. Anthony Ogogo is next, and he weighs 219 lbs. As Paul Wight announces the official weights, QT Marshall interrupts him. For some reason, Marshall equates Ogogo’s one extra pound as a victory. Jim Ross calls Marshall “stupid” as Ogogo and Rhodes take turns posing for the crowd. Dustin Rhodes has had enough, and he moves aggressively towards QT Marshall. That move sends The Factory out of the ring and headed backstage.

Video
A look at The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle as they head towards Stadium Stampede this Sunday.

Backstage
Christian Cage is attacked by Powerhouse Hobbs. The brawl continues until referees and backstage personnel break them up.

 

Match 2
“Hangman” Adam Page vs “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela w/ Sonny Kiss
(referee: Rick Knox)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Adam Page wins via pinfall after the Buckshot Lariat
Time: 9:50

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This was more than just a warm-up for Adam Page heading into his match against Brian Cage on Sunday. Joey Janela has a wild style that can be pretty rough on himself and his opponents, and that really showed in this match. It took a little while for the strikes and hard slams to really get going, but by the end Page was bloody and hitting Janela with multiple strikes. It wasn’t Page’s toughest match, but it did show his toughness, something he’ll need against the powerful Brian Cage.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Taz brings out Brian Cage. Adam Page gets on the mic and cuts Taz off. He knows what’s about to happen. Taz and Cage are going to distract Page while the other members of Team Taz rush in from behind. Page looks over and sees Hook and Ricky Starks approaching from the crowd, and he invites them into the ring. Hook and Starks decline Page’s invitation. Page turns to Cage and says he expected more from Cage. Does Brian Cage really need all this help to fight Page? Page wonders what happened o Cage’s balls. Page dares Cage to face him on his own, like a man. Angrily, Cage says he’s going to leave Team Taz in the back on Sunday, and he’s still going to beat Page. Team Taz then leaves with no physicality.

Video
Earlier today, Jon Moxley says people don’t consider him and Eddie Kingston as a real tag team, but Moxley trusts Kingston with his life. Despite the Young Bucks being a more established team, Moxley and Kingston’s desire for the AEW Tag Titles will propel them to victory. Kingston says that when he and Moxley have the Young Bucks in the ring, the Young Bucks are going to quit, just like they quit on their fans and their fellow wrestlers.

Ring Area
In the ring, Tony Schiavone introduces Orange Cassidy, but Pac comes out to the ring instead. Pac takes Schiavone’s mic and sends him out of the ring. Pac is here to tell us that Orange Cassidy will be irrelevant on Sunday. The only man of any relevance on Sunday will be Pac when he becomes the new AEW World Champion. Pac thinks Kenny Omega’s title reign is pathetic, and he dares Omega to come out to the ring right now.

Don Callis appears on the video screen, and he says he and Omega want nothing to do with Pac. With Pac distracted, Kenny Omega tries to surprise Pac from behind. Pac sees Omega as he’s sliding into the ring though, and Omega takes a beating. The Good Brothers come out to stop Pac, but the Lucha Brothers come out and chase the Good Brothers away. With both Omega and Pac staggered, Omega sets up Pac for the One-Winged Angel. Before Omega can hit his move, Orange Cassidy comes out with Best Friends and Kris Statlander.

Cassidy saunters into the ring and hands an envelope to Omega. Inside the envelope are the shredded remains of the document Don Callis gave him last week (the document Callis wanted Cassidy to sign which would remove Cassidy from the title match on Sunday). As Omega watches the paper flutter in the air, he gets hit with the Orange Punch. Cassidy walks over to pick up Omega’s AEW World Title belt, but Pac has now gotten back to his feet. Pac sets up Cassidy for a powerbomb, but Cassidy escapes and hits Pac with the Orange Punch as well. Cassidy then hold the AEW World Title belt.

Backstage
Earlier today, Tony Schiavone tried to talk to Jade Cargill about her match tonight on Dynamite. Matt Hardy interrupted the interview.Hardy says he’s going to win the Casino Battle Royale, and he wants to know if Cargill would like to join the Hardy Family Office. Before Jade can respond, Mark Sterling walks up and says Jade has already accepted Sterling’s offer for representation. Hardy is not happy with this development.

 

Match 3
Jade Cargill w/ Mark Sterling vs KiLynn King
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jad Cargill wins via pinfall after Jaded
Time: 5:29

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. KiLynn King couldn’t compete with Cargill’s strength, so it seemed like only a matter of time before a few big power moves put King away.

 

Backstage
Jake Roberts addresses the possibility of Lance Archer facing Dante Martin for the TNT Title is Martin can somehow beat Miro, but Archer isn’t interested. Archer wants to fight Miro.

 

Match 4
TNT Title Match
Dante Martin vs Miro (TNT Champ)
(referee: Paul Turner)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Miro wins via submission with Game Over and retains the title in his first defense
Time: 3:08

Match Thoughts
As expected, this was a squash. Dante Martin didn’t get as pummeled as I expected, but Miro was really just playing with Martin in this short title match.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Jake Roberts and Lance Archer come out to the stage. Roberts says Miro’s fairy tale comes to an end this Sunday. Roberts and Archer have had enough of Miro and his bullying. Miro dares Archer to get into the ring, so Archer obliges. Miro and Archer have a brief brawl as referees do their best to separate them.

Ring Area
In the ring, Tony Schiavone welcomes the AEW Women’s World Champion, Hikaru Shida. In honor of Shida’s one-plus year reign, Shida is presented with a brand new AEW Women’s World Championship belt. Shida is proud to share this moment with the fans, especially since Shida won the title during the pandemic when fans weren’t allowed in the building.

Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. interrupts Shida to congratulate the champ on her title reign. Baker also says that when she takes the title from Shida, Baker won’t just be the face of the AEW women’s division, she’ll be the face of a brand new era. The D.M.D. era.

In the Crowd
Standing out with the fans, Sammy Guevara has cards for picture-in-picture saying he’s going to “hit up” Shawn Spears in Stadium Stampede.

 

Match 5
“The Face of the Revolution” Scorpio Sky & “All Ego” Ethan Page vs Stu Grayson & Evil Uno w/ Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Alan Angels, Preston Vance, Colt Cabana
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Ethan Page pins Evil Uno after Ego’s Edge
Time: 8:35

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Dark Order looked very good in this match. Uno and Grayson got an early advantage with some smart moves, and even though Page and Sky fought back, Dark Order’s teamwork and tandem moves helped them maintain an advantage throughout most of the match. Page and Sky had to resort to some dirty tactics, and in the end it was just a few very strong moves from Page and Sky that turned the match into their favor for the finish.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Ethan Page talks about Darby Allin. Allin comes out to the ring, and he’s followed by a bunch of guys in Sting masks. Allin takes Page down while Sky begins to toss the Stingers out of the ring. Sky meets some resistance, and he finds that one of the Stingers is actually Sting. Sting attacks, so Page and Sky make another quick retreat.

Ring Area
In the ring, Eric Bischoff hosts the Inner Circle Celebration. After Jericho and Bischoff thank each other for everything they’ve done throughout each other’s careers, an Inner Circle greatest hits video plays on the video screen.

After the video, Santana talks about how the Inner Circle is still together after everything they’ve been through. Jake Hager says it’s about the journey, not the destination, and they should be celebrating the hard times tonight. Sammy Guevara talks about how far he’s come in the time he’s been in the Inner Circle, and how he didn’t like it when he wasn’t a part of the group. Chris Jericho says he was hesitant about forming his own faction in the beginning, but he quickly changed his mind when the Inner Circle came together. Everyone comes together for a group hug and five middle fingers towards the camera.

On the video screen, MJF mocks the Inner Circle from the field of Stadium Stampede. MJF reveals that he and Wardlow have abducted and beaten up Dean Malenko. The Inner Circle runs towards the feild, and they are, of course, attacked by The Pinnacle while on their way. In a very unlikely scenario, the members of The Pinnacle hit five simultaneous piledrivers on the members of the Inner Circle.

 

Show Impressions
This was a pretty good. Show. It was interesting seeing fans back at full capacity. It definitely gave the show a different feeling, not the least of which because the camera work was different from what we’ve been used to over the past year. The hard camera was off to the side rather than directed towards the stage, and there were fans seated on what used to be the wide Daily’s Place stage. But really, it was the fans in attendance that made the biggest difference.

This show was 100% geared towards building up the PPV his Sunday, and for that reason a lot of the actual wrestling took a backseat. The energy from the crowd helped keep the less exciting moments interesting though, and overall the show did a good job of maintaining interest in Double or Nothing (even if not every segment was all that good).

Match of the Night
Adam Page vs Joey Janela
This match felt most like a real match and less like a brief exhibition showcasing someone just prior to a PPV (even though that’s exactly what the match was). I liked the fight Page and Janela ended up getting into by the end of the match.

 

 

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