Dynamite recap and reactions: Dream match


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AEW Dynamite (Mar. 22, 2023) emanated from Cable Dahmer Arena in Kansas City, MO. The show featured an epic dream match between Kenny Omega and Hijo del Vikingo, Blackpool Combat Club running amok, Sting in action, and more.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.

There were two headline stories stemming for this episode of Dynamite. Kenny Omega and Hijo del Vikingo exceeded expectations in a dream match, and the Blackpool Combat Club smashed skulls all night long. Both stories were intertwined. For the sake of a more coherent recap, I’m going to tackle each story separately.

Dream match

AEW brought in Hijo del Vikingo for a dream match against Kenny Omega, and they tore the house down. If you have a fondness for flips, then this match tickled your fancy.

A hype package explained the backstory over the AAA Megacampeonato.

Vikingo entered first. The reaction was a low simmer to this fresh face, but rest assured that he quickly won them over.

Omega entered to a cheeky introduction from Justin Roberts with the North Carolina shout-out. Vikingo made an impression early by attacking Omega with a suicide dive. Vikingo followed with another leaping attack.

This was a very smart way to structure the match. Vikingo was an unknown to many, and he instantly grabbed their attention. Vikingo had so many highlights during the contest. I’m only going to list my top three.

First was a dragon rana off the apron.

Second was an outside-in phoenix splash. The clip starts with a dangerous looking bump spiking Omega on his head from a super hurricanrana.

Third was the money shot with a step-up 630 senton through a table.

Hot damn! Say it again. Hot damn!

Omega is the God of Pro Wrestling for a reason. He persevered to earn victory in the end. He baited Vikingo into missing a 630 senton crashing down to the mat. Omega pounced for a V-Trigger and finished with the One-Winged Angel.

That dream match was an experience. Whether or not you buy into the dream hype, there is no denying that Vikingo executed moves worthy of dreams. This was a perfect example of sitting back and enjoying the moment, especially if you had no idea who Vikingo was. Omega did his fair share of work setting up Vikingo to shine. Applause to both wrestlers for putting on a spectacular show with so much pressure to perform.

Mystery attacks lead to Elite drama

Dynamite began with a shock. The Young Bucks were loaded into an ambulance after a sneak attack before the 8 o’clock hour. We only saw the aftermath. Omega was shook, and Hangman debated whether to stay with Omega or join the ambulance ride. Hangman choose the leave with the Bucks, not that Omega asked him anyway to stay.

This set up a ‘who done it’ angle radiating throughout the show. I loved that chaos to kick off the show. It created a vibe that anything could happen on this evening.

News trickled out during the broadcast. Excalibur shared a text message from Brandon Cutler pointing the finger at the Blackpool Combat Club, but that wasn’t definitive proof. Later, Alex Marvez questioned Omega about his mindset heading into the main event. Don Callis was clearly manipulating Omega to view this as an opportunity to focus on his singles career.

Callis’ behavior raised doubts in my mind if BCC were actually the perpetrators. I wouldn’t put it past the Invisible Hand to orchestrate a payout for violence. My mind went to a different club. My suspect list now included the Bullet Club, considering Juice Robinson’s tease when attacking Ricky Starks.

BCC was back on top of the list when Moxley attacked Stu Grayson backstage. Mox had defeated Grayson in action earlier, but the Dark Order robbed him of imposing extra violence after the match. Moxley cashed those receipts. Bonus points to Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta in the role of jerky goons.

After the main event, the Blackpool Combat Club made it in the 90% range that they were the evildoers. Omega was exhausted from his match with Vikingo, and that’s when BCC entered the ring to kick his ass. But hold on! Ambulance sounds blared outside. Hangman returned as the driver with a weapon in hand.

Hangman moseyed down to the ring, and BCC bailed. The drama didn’t end there. Callis grabbed Hangman’s arm to flop on the mat. The intention was to trick Omega in thinking Hangman knocked him down. Omega assessed the situation and fully blamed Hangman for ‘hitting’ his manager. Callis hammed it up by cowering and screaming not to hurt him anymore. Omega wanted nothing to do with Hangman.

This was the type of wackiness that makes wrestling programs great. Intrigue, action, villains, heroes, con artists, and more were at play to fire up the emotional interest. Yes, it was stupid that Hangman stole an ambulance with cameras conveniently located and entrance music ready to play. It was also awesome at the same time. That’s what makes sports entertainment one of a kind. The Callis flop was a step too far for me in terms of so much happening. I can accept Omega’s reaction though considering the circumstances of the moment. AEW better come up with a damn good reason for next week why Omega hasn’t seen tape of the incident.

AEW was in need of a hot story, and now they have two fires roaring. The other in my mind is the Four Pillars world title scene.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Orange Cassidy, Darby Allin, & Sting defeated Kip Sabian, Butcher, & Blade. It’s Sting! The Icon kept his streak of badass performances intact. This time, he relied on comedy in borrowing tactics from Cassidy. It was a hoot seeing Sting roll across the ring to avoid a flying attack and do his version of the shin kick routine by pounding his chest softly before exploding with a punch.

In the end, Cassidy and Allin took turns hitting their signature style of stunners on Sabian. They dived to the outside onto Butcher and Blade. That cleared the path for Sting to pick his spot and finish Sabian with a Scorpion Death Drop.

This match was a blast of fun. Sting was the attraction, but everyone else did their part bringing excitement. Well played all around to set the tone of enthusiasm for the evening.

Afterward, Cassidy placed sunglasses on Sting’s face. Allin pulled a ‘WrestleMania sign point’ moment by staring at er for the Double or Nothing PPV. That signified his desire to challenge MJF for the AEW World Championship.

AEW World Tag Team Championship: Gunns retained against Top Flight. Dante Martin hit the double springboard Nose Dive on Austin Gunn, then Colten Gunn made the save on the pin. Matt Taven and Mike Bennett continued their ROH feud with Top Flight by attacking Darius Martin. The Gunns seized the moment for the 3:10 to Yuma finisher on Dante.

Functional match doing what was expected. Top Flight electrified with athleticism, and the Gunns weaseled another win. The interference had purpose but felt ham-fisted, especially for viewers not watching ROH weekly programming.

Business picked up after the match with FTR putting their careers on the line in exchange for a tag title shot. The Gunns were adamant that FTR had nothing to offer, but that proposal was sweet enough. The Gunns accepted then spit in the faces of FTR.

Usually, these ‘loser leaves’ matches have fairly obvious results. FTR has been playing their free agent status well enough to give doubt either way. They could just as easily leave AEW putting over the Gunns or have already signed new contracts. Good job playing the rumor mill to make this result feel uncertain.

Hook defeated Stokely Hathaway. No DQ with the Firm banned from ringside. Stokely tried to slither his way out of the contest with a fake doctor’s note. Upon closer inspection, the paperwork was a receipt from Wingstop. Hook dominated Hathaway. Big Stoke muscled up for a running smash, but he just bounced off Hook. Stokely’s only success was spraying a fire extinguisher in Hook’s face. Hook regrouped to unload chair shots on Stokely’s delicate body. Hook executed a high collar throw onto a steel barricade in the corner. 1, 2, Hook pulled Stokely up to finish with the Redrum choke.

The Firm were watching backstage on a monitor. After the match, Matt Hardy tried to convince Ethan Page to avenge Stokely and wrestle Hook.

Another match with maximum entertainment. There were so much silliness from Stokely that it deserves a rewatch. Hook was his usual menacing self.

Adam Cole’s opponent. Mr. BayBay was feeling great seven days before his return to the ring. Who will be his opponent? Daniel Garcia interrupted before Cole could answer. Garcia strut down in his leather outfit talking a big game about his impressive wins while Cole has been absent. Garcia viewed himself as a locker room leader, so he needed to put Cole in his place. Cole didn’t back down and challenged Garcia. Cole is going to make a statement that one of the best pro wrestlers is back in AEW.

I have mixed feelings on this segment. For the positive, Garcia was an unexpected surprise. I like the idea of that match against Cole. Their styles should mess well, and it should do the job of presenting a worthy opponent for Cole to beat. Garcia continued to blossom as a sports entertainer. He leaned full in on his swagger. Garcia pulled some comedy too by accidentally referring to himself as a professional wrestler then stopping short to correct as sports entertainer. For the negative, I didn’t like Garcia’s reaction to Cole taking the match. Nobody should be afraid of Cole, and yet Garcia went pale. Cole’s babyface retorts fell flat for me, since he was a man who relied on constant cheating to find success in his first run with AEW.

Jon Moxley defeated Stu Grayson. Blackpool Combat Club and Dark Order members were ringside. Grayson started as a ball of rage to thump Moxley. As the match played on, Mox gained control. Grayson rallied for a 450 splash. Moxley kicked out. When Grayson aimed to finish with a torture rack slam, Moxley countered to grab Grayson’s neck for a bulldog choke. Grayson wilted, but he managed to carry Moxley on his back for a cannonball into the corner. Grayson and Moxley tussled for position on the turnbuckles. Mox won that battle to win the war with an avalanche Death Rider.

This was a rugged fight fitting of the storyline. Grayson rose to the occasion against top competition. A win from Moxley was never really in doubt, but they entertained enough to where that didn’t matter for personal enjoyment. The counter offense sequences were very slick. I like the attention to detail in the aftermath of the Dark Order rushing the ring to prevent Moxley from taking liberties. Credit to Excalibur for pointing that out, because it probably would have slipped by me otherwise.

Toni Storm defeated Skye Blue. Ruby Soho distracted the referee on a pivotal pinning moment for Blue. Storm took control with a hip attack, German suplex, and piledriver for victory. Afterward, the Outcasts had spray paint. Riho and Willow Nightingale ran in for the save.

Nothing new here in the Outcasts story. Blue looked good taking the fight to a former champion. Seeing tiny Riho carry a giant oversized pipe is worth a chuckle.

Notes: Rapper Tech N9ne was in the crowd.

Recap package of the Four Pillars showdown last week. MJF wants them to earn their shot.

Jade Cargill was angry about Taya Valkyrie using the Road to Valhalla finisher, which is the same move as Jaded. Mark Sterling sent a cease and desist letter to Taya to no longer use the move in AEW. Leila Grey decided to deliver the notice personally on Rampage. Sterling’s sassy head shake cracked me up.

Ricky Starks is tired of the talking from Juice Robinson. Be a man and show up to face Starks at Rampage.

QTV returned with crappy scoops. The takeaway was that Pentagon will answer the TNT Championship open challenge to wrestle Will Hobbs on Rampage.

Stud of the Show: Hijo del Vikingo

The luchador stepped up on the big stage and delivered a thrilling performance. It was a true star-making effort.

Match of the Night: Kenny Omega vs. Hijo del Vikingo

Banger? Banger!

Grade: A

AEW hit most of the right notes on this evening. (Side eye to QTV.) It was rowdy from the get-go, and the electricity never ceased. They closed with a super match and a hot angle. I couldn’t ask for much more from this show.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?

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