AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 25
On the heels of two explosive debuts in the form of Matt Hardy and Brodie Lee and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forcing the show into a closed set, the March 25 episode of Dynamite hit the TNT airwaves determined to provide fans the best and most entertaining broadcast possible.
With a card featuring Kenny Omega vs. Sammy Guevara for the AAA Mega Championship, Cody vs. Jimmy Havoc and a face-to-face showdown between Matt Hardy and Chris Jericho, Dynamite put its best foot forward.
What went down in Jacksonville, Florida, and how did the results affect ongoing storylines?
Find out with this recap of the show.
Cody vs. Jimmy Havoc
Guest commentator Kenny Omega put over Jimmy Havoc's hunger to pick up a win as the enigmatic star with an unmatched pain threshold squared off with Cody in the night's opening bout.
The American Nightmare weathered the early onslaught of his opponent to gain momentary control. Backstage, cameras caught Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle watching, openly cheering on the Brit. In the arena, the fight spilled to the commentary position, where Havoc grabbed a headset and talked trash on his opponent.
Back inside the squared circle, the aggressor delivered a suplex into the corner that dropped Cody on his head.
Later, Cody recovered, sprinted down the ramp and blasted Havoc with a lariat a la The Great Muta. Havoc responded, countering a cutter attempt into an armbar. The fight spilled to the top rope, where Cody delivered a reverse superplex.
Consecutive Cross Rhodes earned The American Nightmare the hard-fought victory.
After the match, Jake Roberts appeared in a pretaped video and challenged Cody to bring all of his friends for a showdown with Lance Archer.
Cody defeated Havoc
This was a clash of styles, to say the least.
Too often, it felt like a bunch of individual spots put together in one package rather than a fluid match. With that said, the psychology of Havoc working on the arm and it nearly affecting his opponent's ability to follow up the superplex spot was good stuff.
Cody winning was the logical finish given his role on the show, but his victory was never really in doubt.
That is an indictment on the way the company has utilized the unique Havoc to this point.
The promo from Roberts was more of his typical excellence. His role as Archer's spokesman is one of those outside-the-box booking decisions AEW has made that has really benefited the show to this point.
Darby Allin vs. Kip Sabian
Darby Allin and Kip Sabian, two of the brightest young stars in AEW, squared off in the night's second match.
Allin kept Sabian off guard early, forcing him to the floor to regroup. As the face-painted star soared through the ropes, he crashed into the guardrail, allowing Sabian to create separation and wrest away control of the bout.
During the break, Superbad continued to dominate the action until Allin fought out and delivered a stunner for a near-fall. Sabian responded, dropping Allin for a two-count of his own.
Allin fired back with a flurry of rights and lefts, applied a Gibson leglock that Tony Schiavone dubbed "The Last Supper" and transitioned into a roll-up for the pinfall victory.
Allin defeated Sabian
A commercial break that seemingly came from out of nowhere hurt this match, as even the commentary team was cut off midsentence.
With that said, Allin and Sabian rallied down the stretch and provided a hotly contested final third. Sabian looked like the type of young talent who will benefit from more television time and the hinted rivalry with Colt Cabana from last week's show.
Allin, on the other hand, continued his ascent in AEW. Compared to a young Sting by Cody on commentary, he picked up another quality win that will only further elevate him into championship contention.
Jake Hager in Action
Poor Chico Adams.
The unknown competitor had the unfortunate task of battling The Inner Circle's Jake Hager.
The undefeated Bellator fighter overwhelmed Adams and put him to sleep in short order. After refusing to break the hold, AEW world champion Jon Moxley hit the ring and delivered the Paradigm Shift.
Hager shook it off, though, and went for an ankle lock. Mox was able to escape but not before the heavy of The Inner Circle sent a message loudly and clearly.
Hager was utterly and unapologetically dominant here, and fans got a taste of what might be Moxley's first championship program.
The idea of Mox having to combat the unstoppable force that is Hager is an appealing one, but it does raise the question: Is it too early to beat Hager? Surely enough, Moxley will not drop the title to the former Jack Swagger, so why not let Hager build more momentum via quality wins against the top stars in AEW before putting him in the title hunt?
The post-commercial promo from Moxley suggests it is a match that is coming soon, like it or not.
QT Marshall vs. Brodie Lee
The Exalted One, Brodie Lee, made his in-ring debut with AEW in the night's next match. The physically imposing leader of The Dark Order battled QT Marshall in singles competition.
A running boot to the face downed Marshall while Cody and Schiavone made mention of the fact that Lee had not competed in months. It did not matter, as Lee dominated Marshall, showing off his speed, agility, strength and tenacity in the process.
He ultimately finished off Marshall with a discus lariat before leaving a Dark Order mask on his prone body, extending an offer to join the group to the veteran competitor.
Lee defeated Marshall
This was exactly what it needed to be, and Lee thrived in the squash.
He impressed as he steamrolled Marshall and followed up his pre-match vignette, during which he mentioned the importance of strength in numbers to John Silver and Alex Reynolds, by offering Marshall a place in his organization.
Lee is instantly one of the more interesting characters in the entire company, and the opportunities given to him as a performer are already far and above what was written for him elsewhere.
AAA Mega Championship Match: Kenny Omega vs. Sammy Guevara
Kenny Omega defended his AAA Mega Championship against Sammy Guevara in the night's in-ring main event, the latest chapter in the rivalry between The Elite and The Inner Circle.
The Spanish God earned the early advantage, targeting the surgically repaired hand of Omega. He made out with a drawing of Brandi Rhodes as the subject of his affection watched on, disgusted by his actions, heading into the break.
Back from the commercial, Guevara continued to target the injured hand of his opponent, but a missed moonsault allowed the champion to mount a momentary comeback. Guevara refocused his attack on the hand and again seized control of the bout.
Omega fought his way back into the match, but Guevara again cut him off, continuing the theme of the match as Cody put over The Spanish God's strategy to this point. A springboard cutter put Omega down, stunning him and forcing the champion to the sanctuary of the floor.
A tope suicida by Guevara continued the challenger's roll.
Back in the ring, Omega answered with a running V-Trigger, leveling his opponent. Guevara countered a Liger Bomb and delivered a Spanish Fly for a near-fall. The arrogant young competitor missed a Shooting Star Press, and Omega delivered a V-Trigger that turned the challenger inside out.
Guevara escaped a Snapdragon suplex but did not evade another V-Trigger. Omega delivered the Jay Driller for a near-fall. He followed up with the One-Winged Angel for the hard-fought victory.
Omega defeated Guevara
This was a damn fine wrestling match and the best Guevara has looked since week one of Dynamite, when he took Cody to the limit in the opening match.
The Spanish God dominated this match, showed off some solid psychology-based offense and still managed to mix in his high-flying arsenal when possible. Omega sold all match long and really put his opponent over as a threat to dethrone him.
It never really felt like the title would change hands on AEW TV rather than in Mexico, where AAA is based, but the competitors did a good enough job of telling their story and putting over the idea that Inner Circle's dominance over the Elite would continue.
Matt Hardy Confronts Chris Jericho
After filming the cameraman singing Fozzy's "Judas," Chris Jericho addressed the AEW fans and the arrival of Matt Hardy a week ago.
Jericho took exception to Hardy joining The Elite for Blood and Guts and then called out the Broken One.
Vanguard 1 joined us, buzzing overhead as Jericho launched into a promo against the drone. The former AEW world champion extended an olive branch to the drone, offering him a spot in The Inner Circle and running down the benefits of accepting.
Hardy finally appeared and through the magic of editing teleported around the arena, leaving Jericho in awe of his powers.
Jericho put over his effect on AEW and its success before telling Hardy it is him he wants to align with, not The Elite. Hardy said he owed "The Bucks of Youth" a debt that he had to repay. "AEW is my Arcadia," he said, equating it to his freedom.
Jericho answered Hardy's claims of career rebirth by saying he had done just that for Jon Moxley and Jake Hager.
Hardy called himself Damascus, over 3,000 years old. Jericho said Hardy is still the same man he's known for 25 years. Hardy said the same of Jericho, who said the newcomer should use his "broken brilliance" to choose between The Inner Circle and The Elite.
Hardy answered with a barrage of "deletes" and claimed the arena was full of essences. Unamused, Jericho said he couldn't see anyone in the crowd. Hardy trumpeted the power of belief before leveling Le Champion with a right hand.
Sammy Guevara attacked and beat down Hardy until Cody and Omega made the save. The trio of babyfaces stood tall to close out the show as the heels retreated.
Your enjoyment of this segment is based on your enjoyment of the Broken gimmick.
As an introduction to Hardy's persona, this was effective. If nothing else, you know the absurdity that's in store going forward. It probably went on too long, but that is not necessarily a bad thing given the level of performers these two are.
How long Hardy can sustain the character in a live television setting, given how his creativity flourished in the heavily taped and edited world of Impact Wrestling, remains to be seen.
One thing that did not hit, though, was the commentary team's efforts to put over the history between Jericho and Hardy when they have never worked a lengthy program of any kind, even during their many years together in WWE.
It felt forced rather than just allowing the promo to do the heavy lifting.