AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction, and Highlights from May 19May 19, 2021
AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction, and Highlights from May 19
As AEW continues its march to Double or Nothing on May 30, it presented an episode of Dynamite devoted to its tag team and women's divisions.
The Young Bucks put their world tag titles on the line, while women's champion Hikaru Shida tuned up for her upcoming title defense against Britt Baker by squaring off against her right-hand woman, Rebel (not Reba).
With appearances by Christian Cage, Jon Moxley and new TNT champion Miro, the show delivered its typical star-studded affair while creating buzz for the upcoming pay-per-view extravaganza.
What went down, and who emerged with momentum on their side? Find out now with this recap of the May 19 episode.
Christian Cage vs. Matt Sydal
After accepting Christian Cage's open challenge a week ago, Matt Sydal took the fight to the future Hall of Famer early and often in their show-opening contest. Cage, the consummate competitor, countered as back-and-forth action dominated the opening moments.
A baseball slide dropkick by Cage and a big backbreaker allowed him to build momentum. The former world champion targeted the lower back of his opponent, looking to damage his core and take away his ability to mount a sustained offensive.
Sydal caught his opponent with Meteora for a quick two and then continued his comeback with a barrage of lightning-quick kicks.
Chants of "both these guys" broke out as Sydal rocked the veteran performer with a double-knee attack in the corner. Christian countered with a backbreaker. Sydal answered with a crossface that forced Cage to the sanctuary of the bottom rope.
Sydal tried a middle-rope moonsault but missed. Cage turned him inside out with a spear. Moments later, he caught Sydal with knees to the back and then downed him with Killswitch for the win.
After the match, the victor helped his opponent to his feet before Taz interrupted and Ricky Starks appeared. Starks provided a distraction that allowed Team Taz's Brian Cage, Powerhouse Hobbs and Hook to attack from behind. Hangman Page made the save, but the heels got the upper hand and stood tall to close out the segment.
Cage defeated Sydal
Cage and Sydal have solid in-ring chemistry. Their styles mesh incredibly well, and their creativity, particularly when it came to sequencing and reversals, was on display. The right guy went over, but Sydal continued to prove he can excel as a singles or tag team competitor.
The post-match beatdown by Team Taz was fine and sets up several storyline threads for the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing. In a match of that sort, to prevent monotonous punching and kicks between guys with no shot of winning, stories are key.
Taking the match and the intensification of the feud, this was a great segment to kick off the show.
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston vs. The Acclaimed
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston set the tone early in their match with The Acclaimed's Max Caster and Anthony Bowens, pummeling the young team after a reference to the former world champion's wife, Renee, and her Oral Sessions podcast.
The babyfaces dominated the opening moments of the match until a dragon-screw leg whip to Kingston, off the ropes, left him prone to The Acclaimed's attack. Caster and Bowens worked over him, isolating Eddie from his partner and dominating the action during the break.
The tenacious Kingston fought back and made the tag to Moxley, who exploded into the match. He dropped Caster with a piledriver and then choked Bowens out. He climbed the ropes, but a suspiciously recovered Bowens cut him off. Caster set Moxley up for a suplex, and Bowens came off the top with a crossbody.
Caster pulled Moxley to the floor, and Bowens rocked Kingston. Moxley prevented the heels from using their boom box and then worked with Kingston to deliver a tandem wheelbarrow DDT for the win.
After the match, Tony Schiavone interviewed Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky about their recent actions toward Darby Allin and Sting. After a solid promo from the heels, Sting made his way to the ring while Allin attacked from behind. The babyfaces beat their rivals down, sending them to the floor for protection and ending the segment.
Moxley and Kingston defeated The Acclaimed
The match was fun and action-packed but felt like it fell apart a bit near the end.
Before that, Caster and Bowens had the opportunity to show off against two legitimate world title contenders, thus raising their stock. They will be huge stars in the tag team division one day but for now made competent opponents for a tandem that is about to challenge The Young Bucks at Double or Nothing, though that match has yet to be officially announced.
Sting and Allin getting revenge on Sky and Page made sense considering the heels were instrumental in the Allin's TNT Championship loss a week ago. Their feud has been escalating with every passing week and will likely conclude at Double or Nothing. That the winner of said match is not readily apparent makes the showdown that much more intriguing.
Hikaru Shida vs. Rebel (with Dr. Britt Baker)
Before Dr. Britt Baker challenges Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women's Championship at Double or Nothing, her assistant Rebel battled the titleholder Wednesday night.
Rebel feigned injury to no avail early before Shida pummeled her. The champion pulled out her own glove, teasing a Lockjaw of her own, causing Baker to jump up on the apron. The distraction allowed Rebel to bash Shida with a crutch.
The weaponry was not enough, though, as Shida used a stretch muffler to score the submission win.
After the match, Baker attacked Shida, delivering a big stomp into the women's title.
Next, the commentary team threw to a video of Kenny Omega and Don Callis approaching Orange Cassidy with an agreement to give up his title opportunity at Double Or Nothing. Freshly Squeezed slowly ripped it up while the champion and the former Impact EVP attempted to get him to think about changing his mind.
Shida defeated Rebel
Shida beating Rebel was never in question, but the match, and everything that came after, felt rather pedestrian given how hot of a character Baker has been in recent months. Hopefully, the match between the good doctor and Shida, who will celebrate one year as champion this Sunday, delivers even as the booking has not.
The backstage confrontation between Cassidy and Omega was great. Everything from Kris Statlander standing up for her friend to Cassidy replicating the sloth from Zootopia as he tore up the agreement to Omega's condescending heel character worked extremely well.
So well, in fact, that the idea of Cassidy silencing the overconfident bad guy and winning the world title at Double or Nothing would absolutely be the appropriate conclusion to this story, even if it has no real shot in hell of happening.
Inner Circle Promo
The Inner Circle made its way to the ring to discuss The Pinnacle's challenge for a Stadium Stampede Match at Double Or Nothing.
Each member of the group voiced their reasons for accepting the match until Chris Jericho revealed he has doubts, questioning whether it is worth it. He recalled the physical and mental anguish he has endured since Blood and Guts.
Le Champion said it was worth it for the revenge they will get on the heels. Jericho accepted the match, ending with, "we're gonna dance all over your face...and piss all over your grave."
This was a great promo segment that added to the heat for the upcoming match, allowed each member of Inner Circle to have a voice and concluded with Jericho delivering a fire exclamation point to it all.
A great promo from all involved that elevated the Stadium Stampede match in importance, even as some suggest Blood and Guts really should have wrapped things up between these two teams.
NWA Women's Championship Match: Serena Deeb vs. Red Velvet
NWA women's champion Serena Deeb returned to Dynamite Wednesday night and wasted little time establishing dominance as she took the fight to Red Velvet.
She overwhelmed her challenger early and overcame a pre-commercial leg whip to seize control with one of her own, opening Velvet up for a leg-based attack that continued throughout the picture-in-picture.
Velvet fought back following the break and looked to deliver the Just Desserts. Deeb avoided it, but Velvet sat down for a close two-count. Velvet scaled the ropes and came off with a moonsault, but Deeb got her knees up, leaving the challenger gasping for air.
Deeb delivered a powerbomb but couldn't keep the challenger down. The champion applied the Serenity Lock, but Velvet forced her to release. After a quick inside cradle, Deeb caught Velvet with a chop block and reapplied the Serenity Lock after bashing the knee into the mat, forcing the tapout.
Deeb defeated Velvet
Deeb and Velvet put in the work in for this one, providing an action-packed match that helped enhance Deeb's role as NWA champion while giving her opponent another high-profile match in her young career. There was little opportunity for the audience to disengage as they paced things well throughout.
Deeb is a great wrestler, a performer whose talents have gone underrated and underappreciated for too long. She is a throwback, a technically-sound wrestler who resembles the likes of Bret Hart or Dean Malenko in an age where that style isn't necessarily cool.
She does her, though, and meshes extremely well with her opponents. She has been a low-key asset to AEW and its women's division and is always a treat to see in these NWA title bouts.
Anthony Ogogo vs. Austin Gunn; Miro Speaks
Anthony Ogogo returned to action this week, battling Austin Gunn of The Nightmare Family. The second-generation star was accompanied to the ring by Cody Rhodes, who draped himself in the United States flag as if to remind people that he's SUPER American.
Gunn fared about as well as one would expect, eating a few shots to the midsection and bleeding internally as the referee called for the bell.
Rhodes checked on his fallen teammate after the match.
Following the commercial, new TNT champion Miro made his way to the ring. He cut a promo about beating Darby Allin and winning the title. Lance Archer interrupted and promised to make the new champion his "Bulgarian bitch" at Double or Nothing. The promo ended with Miro taking a few verbal shots at his impending opponent and standing tall.
Ogogo defeated Gunn by referee stoppage
The Ogogo-Rhodes rivalry is completely thoughtless and not at all entertaining, but the British boxer has "star" written all over him. He looks the part, has those devastating punches and has the legitimacy of competing in the Olympics.
Gunn, to his credit, is a hell of a bumper and sold the offense of Ogogo better than half the roster could have. He is superb beyond his years in that regard and clearly the son of Billy.
The Miro promo was great. He has finally found himself as a talent in AEW and is not at all bashful on the microphone. He landed a killer line about Archer bringing "old man" Jake Roberts out to hold him back and tacked on a one-liner about yoga, in reference to Jake's DDP Yoga experience. It was sarcastic, humorous, but deadly serious and set the stage for a hoss battle for the TNT at Double or Nothing.
AEW Tag Team Championship Match: The Young Bucks vs. The Varsity Blonds
The top-ranked Varsity Blonds team of Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison, now accompanied by Julia Hart, challenged The Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Championships in the night's main event.
The challengers started fast and furiously, but the heels downed and isolated Pillman throughout the commercial break.
A hot tag to Garrison sparked a comeback that Nick Jackson shut down with a superkick to the face.
Pillman showed great resiliency down the stretch, fending off Matt Jackson, but repeated cheating from the champions, including aerosol cans and Brandon Cutler, allowed the champions to overcome the competent challenge of their opponents and score the win via Matt's sharpshooter to Pillman.
After the match, Moxley and Kingston reappeared, attacking the Bucks and choking them out to close the show, stealing the heels' shoes along the way.
The Young Bucks defeated The Varsity Blonds to retain
Between The Acclaimed earlier in the show and The Varsity Blonds here, the future of the tag team division is safe.
Pillman Jr. and Garrison hung with the Bucks every step of the way, never appearing overwhelmed by the moment. Their credibility was helped exponentially by the idea that the champions had to cheat to beat them, too. Adding Julia Hart to the mix was a nice touch and, with the matching jackets, gives the team a "total package" feel that they did not have before.
The Bucks are great—especially during this heel run—and are in the midst of the hottest tag team AEW program has had to date with Moxley and Kingston. Considering some of the feuds we have seen, including the all-timer with Omega and Hangman Page, that is saying something.
In fact, considering the card AEW has put together for Double or Nothing, the argument could be made that Matt and Nick Jackson's title defense against the renegade babyfaces should main-event the pay-per-view. If nothing else, because it will be difficult for any other match to eclipse the quality and emotion behind it.