AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 31
One week after the biggest win of her young career, Tay Conti partnered with AEW women's champion Hikaru Shida to battle Allie and "The Native Beast" Nyla Rose in a blockbuster tag team match that was only part of a jam-packed night of action that also featured both current and former world champions in action.
Kenny Omega teamed with The Good Brothers in a Six-Man Tag Team match, Jon Moxley sought to send a message to the AEW world champ, and Christian Cage wrestled his first match in seven years as he battled SCU's Frankie Kazarian.
On the road to Double or Nothing this May, which competitors built momentum for themselves, which rivalries wrote their latest chapters and was Conti able to continue her winning ways?
Find out now with this recap of the final Dynamite of March.
Christian Cage vs. Frankie Kazarian
For the first time in seven years, Christian Cage returned to the squared circle for singles competition, battling SCU's Frankie Kazarian. The combatants last clashed in Impact Wrestling in 2007, with Kazarian defeating Cage in a ladder match.
Kazarian sought to pick up where he left off, back-body-dropping Cage over the top rope and appearing more driven than ever to earn the win. The former tag team champion dominated the competition, catching Cage with a leg drop to the back of the head.
He worked the head, looking to exploit Cage's history of concussions, and delivered a big jumping neckbreaker for two.
Cage fought his way back into the match, expertly seizing an opening to mount his comeback. He pounded away at the head of his opponent, but Kazarian answered with an old-school crossface chicken wing. Captain Charisma fought out and delivered an inverted DDT.
Kaz went back to the chicken wing and wrapped Christian's body with his legs. Cage fought to the ropes, forcing the break. Kazarian hit a springboard leg drop across the chest of his opponent for a quality near-fall.
The competitors fought to the top rope, where Kazarian tried for a superplex. Cage fought him off with a headbutt. Kazarian reestablished control and delivered the Flux Capacitor from the top for a dramatic two-count.
Cage again found himself fighting from underneath but managed to deliver a frog splash. Kazarian kicked out. Moments later, the Hall of Fame-worthy wrestler hit the Kill Switch to pick up the win.
Cage defeated Kazarian
Cage passed the first test Wednesday, delivering a strong performance in a physical, ultra-competitive match against one of the gatekeepers of AEW. Kazarian threw everything he had at Cage, including the rarely used Flux Capacitor, and still could not put the former world champion away.
Christian bumped, never appearing to be slowed, and recovered to throw his own offense at his opponent.
Captain Charisma checked all the boxes in his first match back. The idea that he had not competed in a singles match in which he was asked to take all the usual bumps in seven or so years is astonishing because he very much looked like someone who had picked up right where he left off.
It may be a bit too soon to assume he can continue at this rate or that he can just be thrown into a world title match with Kenny Omega and not miss a beat, but his return match was certainly promising.
Exhibition Match: Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall
A video package highlighting Jade Cargill aired, featuring another confident, braggadocious promo from the young star. "I am that b---h!" she exclaimed to end the vignette.
The unsung hero of AEW, QT Marshall made his way to the ring amid no fanfare during the commercial break. His opponent for Wednesday's unsanctioned exhibition, Cody Rhodes, entered to the usual pomp and circumstance.
With members of The Nightmare Family surrounding the ring and Arn Anderson serving as the guest referee, the competitors locked up. Jim Ross recalled last week's show where Rhodes condescendingly vowed not to hurt his friend.
Rhodes outwrestled Marshall early and often, even paying homage to Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat with a barrage of arm drags. Marshall grounded Rhodes with a dropkick and focused on the injured shoulder.
Rhodes refused to apply the Figure-Four, ducked out of the way of a crossbody and held the ropes for Marshall as he reentered the ring. Marshall, frustrated, blasted Anderson with a punch, bringing the exhibition to a screeching halt.
Aaron Solow, Nick Comoroto and Anthony Ogogo betrayed The Nightmare Family, attacking Dustin Rhodes and The Gunn Club before focusing on Cody. Before they could do even more damage, Red Velvet made the save, berating Marshall and checking on Rhodes.
Does Rhodes ever get tired of those closest to him turning on him?
First, Dustin combatted him heading into Double or Nothing. Then, MJF betrayed him. Now, Marshall and his Nightmare Factory students jump him. At some point, you have to wonder if it is an indictment on the characters of the men around him or Cody himself that makes him so susceptible to backstabbings.
This was a fine enough angle, with Marshall recruiting his own students to carry out his dirty work. Solow, Comoroto and Ogogo have the potential to be stars of AEW's future, and giving them exposure in a segment like this will only help them build confidence and camera presence.
With that said, one has to wonder whether the time and effort AEW is about to put into this storyline will ultimately benefit Marshall or if this is more about keeping Rhodes busy, working with a trusted friend while he continues to recover from his shoulder injury.
The video dedicated to Jade was a fantastic bit of business and only further supports the idea that she is a potential big-money player for the company's women's division in the near future.
Jon Moxley vs. Cezar Bononi
After the break, Dasha Gonzalez attempted to interview Red Velvet, but Jade Cargill attacked her, sending her flying into an anvil case.
A driven, pissed-off Jon Moxley hit the ring for his match with Cezar Bononi, "The Hollywood Hunk" Ryan Nemeth and J.D. Drake watching his opponent's back from ringside.
A hot start by Moxley dissipated after a well-timed bit of interference from Nemeth and a focused attack by Bononi throughout the commercial break.
Back from the break, Moxley fought his way back into the match, taking Bononi off the top rope with a superplex. Nemeth attempted to interfere while Drake had the referee distracted and paid for it with a Paradigm Shift.
Moxley fought off one last burst from his opponent and submitted him with a sleeper for the win.
Moxley defeated Bononi
This was exactly what it should have been: a showcase for Mox as he continues to chase Kenny Omega and the AEW World Championship.
He sold enough during the break to put over Bononi's offense, but when the show returned, he transitioned into ass-kicker mode, uncorking the Paradigm Shift on Lil Ziggles and continuing to get the rear-naked choke over as a threatening finisher.
A totally harmless extended squash.
Cargill attacking Red Velvet from out of nowhere continues a feud that will, hopefully, end with a real look at what they're capable of without the bells and whistles of Cody vs. Shaq to hold them back.
MJF's Gift to The Pinnacle
Backstage, MJF told his Pinnacle teammates Shawn Spears, Tully Blanchard, Cash Wheeler, Wardlow and Dax Harwood that he had a gift for them: an interior decorator for what was previously The Inner Circle's dressing room.
Instead, when he opened the door, Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara were waiting. At the other door? Jake Hager. The Inner Circle proceeded to beat The Pinnacle down and take back the locker room.
Elsewhere, Don Callis interrupted a Young Bucks promo and berated Matt Jackson for hurting Kenny Omega's feelings, reminding him that the AEW champion chose his friends, not the company, when signing with the promotion.
The reveal of Jericho and Co. was extremely well done and their brief but impactful assault on The Pinnacle was a great way to build heat for their storyline while progressing it. Kudos to whoever booked the segment because the execution was spectacular.
The promo from Callis was solid, but it was more of the same, appealing to the Bucks to back Omega while reminding the audience of their relationship.
Six-Man Tag Team Match: Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid vs. Kenny Omega and Good Bros.
Last week, The Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid sent Kenny Omega a message, attacking him following an emotional confrontation with The Young Bucks. The AEW world champion teamed with Impact Wrestling's The Good Brothers for a big Six-Man Tag Team match Wednesday night.
Omega and his partners controlled the match, isolating Laredo Kid and working him over through the commercial break.
A hot tag to Penta El Zero Miedo sparked a babyface comeback, just in time for the action to break down and chaos to ensue.
Karl Anderson rocked the new legal man, Rey Fenix, with a version of Drew McIntyre's Claymore Kick but could not keep him down. He added a spinebuster moments later, but Laredo Kid broke up the pin. Kid ate a big knee strike from Omega for two before recovering, countering a One-Winged Angel attempt into a head scissors takedown, and executing a tope suicida on the floor.
Kid tried for a Phoenix Splash, but Omega evaded it, delivered a V-Trigger and finished him off with a One-Winged Angel for the win.
After the match, Omega and The Good Brothers saw their celebration cut off by an appearance from Jon Moxley. The Young Bucks joined the former world champion and chased the heels from the ring.
Omega and The Good Brothers defeated The Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid
The final third of the match was nonstop action and another strong performance from Laredo Kid. His contractual situation may handcuff management, but Tony Khan and Co. should look for any way possible to get him back on the show as soon as possible.
The Young Bucks finally pledging allegiance to Moxley in his war with Omega and The Good Brothers was a long time coming and should set up a huge Six-Man Tag Team match star-studded enough to headline pay-per-view, if the company sees fit.
Hopefully, this is not the end of The Lucha Bros in a high-profile position on Dynamite because Fenix and Penta have made the absolute most of their increased screen time of late, proving they belong among the top stars week in and week out.
Tay Conti and Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose and Allie
AEW women's champion Hikaru Shida teamed with Tay Conti to battle Allie and Nyla Rose in the night's next contest.
Allie and Rose isolated Shida, teeing off on the champion throughout the commercial break. A hot tag to Conti coming out of the timeout ignited the babyface comeback.
Conti exploded into the match, wiping out both Rose and Allie and delivering a big backbreaker to the latter on the floor. A brawl between The Dark Order and the Hardy Family Office ensued on the floor in time for Vickie Guerrero to hop on the apron and distract both Conti and referee Aubrey Edwards.
With the official's attention impaired, Allie blasted Conti with a kendo stick and put her away with Down the Rabbit Hole for the pinfall victory.
Allie and Rose defeated Conti and Shida
The entire heat portion of the match took place during the commercial break, so it was hard to invest in the story or even care about the comeback.
With that said, Conti was a ball of energy here and followed up on last week's win with another strong showing. She is very much the future of the women's division and, if she can continue improving and evolving her in-ring game, should receive very real consideration for being the woman to dethrone Shida.
Perhaps that is why it was so interesting to see Allie, who has been wholly underutilized from day one, beat her and halt her momentum.
The division has improved exponentially over what it was at this time last year, but it still has its problems, Shida and Rose being the only two consistent stars in it among them.
Arcade Anarchy: Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy vs. Kip Sabian and Miro
The Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?" accompanied Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor to the ring for the first-ever Arcade Anarchy showdown with "The Best Man" Miro and Kip Sabian.
Miro was dominant early, bowling over the competition as arcade games surrounded the ringside area. He steamrolled Taylor and Cassidy, talking trash as he went.
Taylor seized an opening, retrieved a kendo stick and blasted Miro with it. The babyfaces clotheslined Miro with a guardrail and then buried him under plunder. A pin attempt was broken up by Sabian, who quickly found himself on the receiving end of a punishing beatdown.
Taylor produced Legos but ate a powerbomb onto the toys by Sabian. Cassidy broke up the pin.
The King of Sloth Style delivered a big DDT onto the Legos, followed by Beach Break, but still could not put Sabian away.
Penelope Ford pulled referee Aubrey Edwards out of the ring, breaking up her count. She sought to whip Cassidy with her belt until Kris Statlander made her return, delivering a Michinoku Driver from the apron through an air hockey table.
Miro returned to the fray, brutalizing the babyfaces and tossing them around. He set up a table in time for a white minivan to pull up, Trent emerging from inside to join his friends in a three-on-one attack. Miro fended them off and headed toward the minivan.
Trent saved his mother, Sue, from any harm and brawled with Miro back into the arena. Trent dodged a flying arcade cabinet and speared Miro through a table. Taylor grabbed hold of Sabian, driving him off the stage and through several tables for the win.
The show went off the air with Best Friends, Cassidy and Statlander celebrating the win.
And a thumbs-up from Sue!
Taylor and Cassidy defeated Miro and Sabian
Best Friends are quickly establishing themselves as the masters of the chaotic street fight, which this was, with a little arcade mixed in for good measure.
The spots were fun and creative. Miro shined, a total badass who was undone only when the numbers proved too much. Statlander's return was a great surprise and will help bolster the evolving women's division. Then, there was the return of Trent, which added the exclamation point to a match heavy on storytelling, with a few crowd-pleasing spots mixed in.
Is this type of match for everyone? No, but neither is an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match or Stadium Stampede. Some can't stand the hourlong Iron Man matches, and others don't like technical wrestling.
AEW does a great job of providing a little something for everyone in the crowd, and this was no different. A wild brawl disguised as something else, this was exactly the type of chaotic war this feud deserved.