AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from April 21
A week ago, Darby Allin successfully defended his TNT Championship against Matt Hardy in a wild, chaotic main event.
Wednesday, he again put his title on the line, this time against Jurassic Express' Jungle Boy.
The showdown between the two young, dynamic, red-hot up-and-comers headlined a broadcast that also featured an AEW Women's Championship defense, the latest in Christian Cage's war with Team Taz and a battle of win streaks between Hangman Page and Ricky Starks.
Who picked up key wins on the road to Double or Nothing, and what did they mean for the competitors involved?
Find out now with this recap of the April 21 broadcast.
Hangman Page vs. Ricky Starks
"Absolute" Ricky Starks made his way to the ring, accompanied by Taz's son Hook, for his very first showdown with "Hangman" Adam Page. Page entered the match on a 12-match win streak, while Starks rode an eight-match streak into the event, meaning something would have to give in the opening contest of this week's broadcast.
Page gained the early upper hand, delivering a springboard clothesline that knocked Starks from the apron and to the floor, where Page followed with a tope. Page shook off a staredown with Hook and delivered a pump handle/half nelson fallaway slam for two.
Starks fought his way back into the match, wearing Page down. An awkward landing, though, allowed Hangman to recover and deliver a brainbuster for a close two-count.
Starks nursed a left ankle injury, struggling to hoist Page up for a powerbomb, but still managing to muscle him down for another near-fall.
Hangman met Absolute up top, rocking him with a right hand and delivering an avalanche fallaway slam from the top rope. He added a lariat, but Starks still kicked out at two. Page tried for the Buckshot Lariat but Starks ducked and delivered a spear.
An alert Page recovered, took over and tapped Starks out by grabbing the ankle and a crossface.
After the match, Taz cut a promo warning Page to watch his back. Hook attacked with a chop block, and Team Taz entered for a beatdown. Dark Order made the save, standing tall with its friend to close the segment.
Page defeated Starks via submission
Imagine how much better this would have been had the ankle injury not hampered Starks. It was still damn good, a quality showcase of two of AEW's brightest young stars.
Page is clearly heading to bigger and better things, presumably an eventual shot at Kenny Omega's AEW World Championship, but Starks has all the talent in the world to be right there alongside Hangman soon.
He handled the ankle injury to the best of his ability, didn't let it prevent him from finishing the match and likely earned more respect for gutting things out in the process.
Page needed the win to get to where he is heading, but the tease of a battle with Team Taz creates questions as to whether he will battle his former tag team championship-winning partner at Double or Nothing or if AEW holds that particular clash off until All Out in August.
Trent vs. Penta El Zero Miedo
Best Friends' Trent battled Death Triangle's Penta El Zero Miedo in the night's next bout.
Trent, riding a wave of momentum after his return three weeks ago, wiped his masked foe out at ringside with a tope con hilo. Penta, rocking a sweet Batman-inspired mask, seized control entering the picture-in-picture commercial break. He talked trash to Orange Cassidy, who was there supporting his buddy, and bragged alongside buddy Alex Abrahantes.
Back from the timeout, Trent rocked Penta with a running knee strike, scoring a count of two off the burst of offense. Penta shook it off and delivered a pump-handle driver for two despite dumping Trent on his head. The Best Friend answered with an apron piledriver and then added a spear on the floor.
Abrahantes grabbed a microphone and said Trent's friends suck and so does his mother. Trent chased after him and, after failed interference from Cassidy, ran right into a shot to the face from a microphone by Abrahantes.
A package piledriver put Trent away and earned Penta the victory.
Penta El Zero Miedo defeated Trent
Trent and Penta are capable of much better than we got here, but even a good match is still pretty enjoyable.
The commercial break slowed things down, and the focus on Abrahantes in this new role as the mouthpiece for Penta took away from what likely would have been a dynamic closing sequence.
As it is, the finish keeps the feud between Death Triangle and Best Friends alive, just in time for a huge six-man tag team match on pay-per-view at Double or Nothing, if AEW so desires. Such a match, with the talent involved, would almost certainly be capable of stealing the show while giving us the latest chapter in Cassidy and Pac's feud.
JR Interviews The Pinnacle
Jim Ross sat down with The Pinnacle ahead of Blood and Guts on May 5.
Wardlow credited Jericho for cutting one of the best promos of his career last week...until he mentioned his name. He stuttered and stammered his lines because he knew uttering Wardlow's name was a mistake.
MJF followed, saying Jericho surrounds himself with "B's" so he looks like an "A" and then wrestles "A's" so he doesn't look like a "B." He denounced the idea that he's great for 25, exclaiming he's great, period!
He said he is coming for Jericho's spot at Blood and Guts, and with his family, he's going to take it.
This was great stuff from Wardlow, who so rarely gets the opportunity to talk that when he does, it means something. He carried his portion perfectly, calling Jericho out while propping himself up.
It was a nice touch and the sort of thing that, if done in moderation and presented as it was here, could lead to the young big man taking on a Batista-like persona in which he is clearly smarter and more aware of what's going on around him than he gets credit for.
MJF, when needed most, cut another extraordinary promo and put over the root of his issues with Jericho while hitting him with a few jabs in retaliation for last week's insults.
It would have been nice for Shawn Spears and FTR to have the opportunity to talk, but this was short and impactful, never overstaying its welcome.
AEW Women's Championship Match: Hikaru Shida vs. Tay Conti
Tay Conti has spent the last two months developing into the hottest athlete in the AEW women's roster, earning herself a championship opportunity against Hikaru Shida on Wednesday night. The match, between mutually respected competitors, saw Shida overwhelm and outwrestle her opponent early and often heading into the commercial break.
Conti exploded with a burst of offense, dropping the champion high on her shoulders with a suplex. A pair of corner boots stunned the champion, and a kick across the midsection had the challenger rolling. With Shida draped across the top rope, Conti delivered a senton, driving her to the mat.
Shida fought out of the hammerlock DDT and delivered a jumping knee strike. The champ added a Falcon Arrow for a two-count as the challenger showed considerable resilience.
On the ropes, Shida delivered the Witch's Shot, dropping Conti out of a fireman's carry across the top. Conti recovered, stunned Shida with a knee strike and applied the Tay-KO. She tried for the DD-Tay, but Shida countered into a pinfall attempt for two.
Shida followed with a fireman's carry into a backbreaker and then delivered a knee to the face for the win.
After the bell, Dr. Britt Baker appeared and revealed that she is now the undisputed No. 1-ranked woman in the division.
Shida defeated Conti
Conti looked like a star in this match, hanging in there with Shida and turning in her best performance in an AEW ring to date. She is the future of the division, a star that will burn bright for years to come, and the fact that she has accomplished what she has already is a good omen for any plans to highlight her moving forward.
Shida just keeps rolling, turning in understated performance after understated performance and establishing herself as one of the best champions in wrestling today. This was another great showing, and her win puts her on a collision course with Baker.
The good doctor is the breakout star of the women's division and absolutely should be the next to hold the title. Beating someone with the credibility that Shida has amassed will only further solidify her as the top star in the division. That time is coming soon, presumably at the very same pay-per-view Shida won her title: Double or Nothing.
The Inner Circle Responds
The Inner Circle joined Tony Schiavone in the ring for a rebuttal following The Pinnacle's promo earlier in the night.
Jake Hager vowed to make sure their rivals are left sucking their dinners through straws. Santana called The Pinnacle's actions "b---h moves," and Chris Jericho cut a lengthy promo that included an impromptu show tune before issuing a challenge for a parlay between the factions on next week's show.
Jericho tried to be a bit too funny with the show tune, and that didn't land nearly to the extent that most of his epic promo a week ago did. Still, he is so good at the intense and energetic babyface promos that the tone and charisma make up for it.
Santana was great in his rare opportunity to hold the mic, and overall the tone struck by the babyface group was perfect.
Next week's face-to-face will be the final opportunity to create buzz for Blood and Guts. Considering that match is over a year in the making, it will be imperative for the performers to hit the segment out of the proverbial ballpark.
Given the quality of the work to this point, that should not be a problem.
Billy Gunn vs. QT Marshall
The rivalry between The Nightmare Family and The Factory continued this week as QT Marshall, accompanied by Anthony Ogogo, Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solow, battled Billy Gunn, who was joined by sons Colten and Austin.
Gunn dominated early, battering Marshall around the ringside area as the commentary team denounced the actions and attitudes of Marshall in recent weeks. Cody Rhodes' former friend took control of the match, though, and even delivered a big piledriver, but he could not put his opponent away.
A disrespectful crotch chop sparked a babyface comeback by Gunn, who downed Marshall and appeared to have things in his favor until Ogogo reappeared and delivered a cheap shot to the ribs.
A Diamond Cutter to the hobbled Gunn earned Marshall the victory.
After the match, Ogogo gave his mentor a wooden chair, but Dustin Rhodes rushed the ring to break the beatdown up. Rhodes cleared his former tag team partner out before breaking the weapon over the head of Comoroto, who no-sold it like a monster heel.
The villains retreated as the segment came to an end.
Marshall defeated Gunn
The match was exactly what you would expect from Gunn and Marshall in 2021. With that said, the effort was absolutely there, and the spotlight was appropriately on Comoroto and Ogogo, both of whom looked absolutely devastating in spots here.
This all seems to be heading toward a multi-man tag match, presumably at Double or Nothing, with Cody Rhodes returning to really put it over the top. Considering everyone else is otherwise tied up in other storylines, there are far worse things for them to be occupied with.
Especially if the company can continue to highlight Comoroto, Ogogo and Solow.
Christian Cage vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Prior to the next match of the night, cameras caught up with AEW world champion Kenny Omega, The Good Brothers, AEW tag team champions The Young Bucks and Don Callis in a remote location. Before they could say much of substance, Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston interrupted.
They damaged The Elite's trailer, but the heels escaped before they could get their comeuppance, prompting Moxley to label them "b---h AF."
Christian Cage wrote the latest chapter in his rivalry with Team Taz on Wednesday, battling Powerhouse Hobbs in singles competition. The veteran competitor found himself on the defensive entering the commercial, though, overcome by his massive opponent's strength and size advantage.
Cage fought his way back into the match, escaping Hobbs' grasp and delivering a powerbomb out of the corner. He scaled the ropes and delivered a frog splash for a two-count as Hobbs demonstrated his toughness.
Hobbs recovered and delivered a running hip attack in the corner for a very close two. The aggressor let his ego get the best of him, stopping short of a running power slam to showboat. Cage slithered out of his grasp again, this time dropping right behind him and delivering a Killswitch for the win.
Ricky Starks came to his teammate's aid after the match, staring Cage down as the segment came to an end.
Cage defeated Hobbs
The rather slow, methodical pace of the match prevented it from ever really achieving a grade any higher. It is totally understandable why, too, as Christian was working with a young star still learning with every match.
Here, he sold for big Hobbs, putting over his power and size before taking advantage of his hubris and scoring the come-from-behind victory. The tease of a match with Starks is intriguing, if only because their styles would seemingly mesh well and may make for a damn good match.
Better than tonight's show, which saw Cage a step slower as he accounted for a Hobbs who will one day rule over AEW as world champion.
TNT Championship Match: Darby Allin vs. Jungle Boy
As TNT champion Darby Allin and Jungle Boy came to the center of the ring for their main event match, Excalibur put over the idea that for the first time, the former is battling a competitor every bit as fast and agile as him. Stylistically, it is the most similar opponent Allin has defended his title against to this point.
Allin escaped Jungle Boy's Snare Trap submission and, out of frustration, took his opponent down and fired away with a flurry of rights. He sent Jungle Boy spine-first into the ring post, but the challenger responded by taking the champion over the guardrail and to the floor.
The intensely physical battle continued through the break, with Jungle Boy uncorking two tope suicidas, followed by a tope con hilo to flatten Allin. The champion fought back and responded with a Coffin Drop onto the ring apron, driving the air out of the challenger.
Luchasaurus assisted Jungle Boy back into the ring, preventing a count-out and earning the ire of Sting. The Icon came face-to-face with the prehistoric luchador, and a brawl between them ensued. Back in the ring, the competitors exchanged hard open hands until Jungle Boy downed the champion and added a running knee to the back of the head for a near-fall.
The challenger locked in the Snare Trap, but Allin made it to the ropes. Jungle Boy trapped him in the surfboard and then reapplied the Snare Trap. Darby yanked the hair and gauged the eyes to break the hold. Jungle Boy peppered Allin with palm strikes, but the champion trapped him in the Last Supper for the pinfall victory.
Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page attacked, the latter delivering an Ego's Edge to Allin. Lance Archer made the save but suffered a beatdown until Sting reemerged and chased the heels off.
Allin defeated Jungle Boy to retain
Allin and Jungle Boy absolutely tore the house down this week, delivering a hell of a wrestling match that reflected why management is so high on them. Jungle Boy brought the submission-based offense, while Allin again snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, finding a way to win a match he appeared destined to lose down the stretch.
Jungle Boy lost nothing in defeat as he delivered a performance that was so strong it eclipses the loss. Allin continues to etch his name in the history books, delivering performances that support both management and fans' insistence that the face-painted antihero is the future of the company.
Sky and Page interjecting themselves in the closing moments of the show, beating the babyfaces down until Sting made the save, establishes them as the greatest threat to Allin's title and potential opposition for the TNT champion and Sting as Double or Nothing draws near.
The match and post-match developments helped cap off what was another stellar episode of Dynamite as the company hits its creative stride ahead of one of its signature pay-per-view extravaganzas.