With a massive week of AEW coming out of a Revolution event that had fans talking, we’re going to do things differently here on the weekly All Elite recap. Not only will we cover the post-Revolution Dynamite featuring Jeff Hardy’s arrival in AEW and a new TNT Champion, we’ll also be taking a look at Rampage, which gave us Shane “Swerve” Strickland’s in-ring debut.
Before we dive into things, we would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Scott Hall. News broke over the weekend that Hall was on life support after suffering three heart attacks while having a hip replacement surgery. Then came a heartbreaking update from Hall’s long-time friend and fellow Outsider Kevin Nash, where he stated that Hall’s family will discontinue life support once they are in place.
With a career spanning decades, the 63-year old Hall made his mark in the AWA, the WWF (wrestling as the smooth-talking “Bad Guy” Razor Ramon), WCW (where he, Nash, and Hulk Hogan would form the New World Order and change wrestling forever) and TNA Wrestling. There’s no doubt that wherever he went, Scott Hall made a lasting impact.
RingCrashers sends our best wishes and good thoughts to Hall and his friends and family.
AEW Dynamite | 3/9/22 | From Hertz Arena in Estero, FL
“This is Entertainment”
We open the show with Chris Jericho, who enters the Dynamite arena to the usual serenading of “Judas”. Once he enters the ring, Jericho starts off by saying that even though he’s sore from the pain he experienced at Revolution, it was one of the greatest nights of his career. He proceeds to thank Eddie Kingston for reawakening something in him that he never thought he could have again.
Jericho says that he did not live up to his word of shaking Kingston’s hand and he wants to make things right in that regard. He calls Eddie to the ring so he can shake his hand like a man.
Eddie Kingston enters the ring and has some words. He says that he wants to get “real deep” with us right now. Eddie talks about how he didn’t want to show up on the Friday before Revolution, how he wanted to just drink away his problems… to let the poison that was eating him up consume him again. He brings up his losses to guys like CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and Jon Moxley, admitting he was afraid. Before he can continue, though, a rude fan chants “What?” very loudly, which prompts Eddie to shut him down. “My man, Steve Austin ain’t here, so relax,” says Eddie.
Continuing with his story, Eddie talks about how four seperate people came up to him at AEW’s Fan Fest and told him about how his Player’s Tribune article inspired them to continue living their lives. After the match at Revolution, he went back to his hotel room and cried, because he wanted to make those four people proud.
Feeling emotional, Eddie says that he hopes he made those people at Fan Fest proud… which brings him to the other issue: The Handshake. Eddie notes that the handshake wasn’t for him, but it was for Jericho. He asks Jericho what’s wrong with him that he couldn’t even bother shaking hands. Eddie shows respect to Jericho and says that he proved that he was still number one, though is that enough to “fill the hole” of not shaking his hand?
Jericho responds, saying that for the past few nights, he couldn’t sleep with his decision to rebuke Kingston’s handshake and that he wants Kingston to know that he has true respect for him after that instant classic on Sunday. With that, Jericho again offers a handshake, which Kingston is more than happy to accept.
2point0 and Daniel Garcia run in and start beating down Kingston and Jericho… curiously not stomping away on the latter. Santana and Ortiz make the save with baseball bats in hand, chasing away Matt Lee and Jeff Parker from the ring. Santana has Dan Garcia right where he wants him, as Jericho takes the bat from him. He winds up for the swing…. and hits Santana with the bat! Ortiz gets flattened with the bat as 2point0 and Garcia join in on the beatdown of the former LAX allies.
Jake Hager runs in and asks Jericho what the hell is going on before clotheslining Santana and aligning himself with this new stable we’re seeing! Parker and Lee get a table and set it next to the ring. Hager hoists Eddie and powerbombs him through the table!
Jericho takes the mic and declares that we’re looking at what he calls “The Jericho Appreciation Society”. He says that this is entertainment as the new J.A.S. flip the bird in a manner not unlike the Inner Circle.
That Man is Dead
We get remarks from CM Punk following his brutal victory over MJF in the Dog Collar Match at Revolution. Punk talks about how he needs to “detox” himself and digging dried blood for weeks after having to go to a place he never thought he had to. “That CM Punk is dead; long live CM Punk,” he concludes.
Match 1: “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Dante Martin (AEW World Championship)
The Story So Far
This match was made hours before Dynamite hit the airwaves, with the No. 2 ranked Martin getting a shot at the AEW Title fresh off of Hangman defeating Adam Cole to retain the title at Revolution.
Back and forth to start early, but Hangman takes over by catching a springboard crossbody and reversing it into a fallaway slam. Page follows that up with a springboard lariat to the outside, sending us to picture-in-picture.
Back on Dynamite just as Dante hits a missile dropkick on Hangman. Only a two-count. Dante follows this up with a moonsault to the outside. He sends Page back to the ring and looks to connect with another dropkick, but the AEW World Champion catches him for the powerbomb. Near-fall.
Dante sends Page to the outside, looking to get a over-the-top rope dive, but he’s pushed back by Hangman, who hits an amazing Buckshot Lariat to secure the 1, 2, 3 and retain the AEW World Title.
“Hangman” Adam Page def. Dante Martin via pinfall – Buckshot Lariat (7:32)
Post-Matcn – The Adam Project
Hangman calls back Dante to the ring, giving him props for making it all the way to a world title contendership with his brother Darius injured. He knows that the Martin brothers will be going back to contend for the AEW Tag Titles, but he’d be happy to face him once again when the time comes.
Adam Cole interrupts the proceedings, saying that the match at Revolution proved that Hangman isn’t untouchable and that he got lucky in beating him. That happened once, and it won’t happen again. Next week, however, Cole’s challenging Hangman to a six-man tag match. He says that Hangman can pick two of his Dark Order buddies to back him up, but he’ll have two certain ‘Young’ men on his team. Cole declares that these two young men are his best friends and not Hangman’s, then concluding that he’s going to keep making the Champ’s life hell until the AEW World Title is his.
Match 2: Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson (w/ William Regal) vs. The Workhorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake)
The Story So Far
Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson took each other to the limit in their match at Revolution, with a bloodied Mox picking up the win after reversing Danielson’s triangle choke into a pinning combination. When tempers flared after the match between the two combatants, William Regal made a surprise appearance in AEW by giving the two some tough love before overseeing them have a handshake agreement to form their alliance. Tonight, this alliance takes to the ring for the first time against the team of Anthony Henry and J.D. Drake.
A rather short encounter that sees this newly-formed team of the American Dragon and the Violent Gentleman pick up the victory after Bryan made J.D. Drake tap out to the LeBell Lock.
Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley def. The Workhorsemen via submission – LeBell Lock (4:01)
Post-Match – William Regal Speaks
Tony Schiavone is in the ring with the victorious team, as William Regal takes the mic. Regal starts off by saying that it’s been 29 years since he shared the ring with Tony Schiavone. He’s 53 years old and he’s lived a hard life, but it won’t be long until he’s pushed around in a wheelchair.
Regal isn’t long for this world, he says, and that he was no longer required at his old job. For two months, he checked himself out of wrestling altogether until he was told that Bryan Danielson had namechecked him a few times on Dynamite, which got his interest. He says that if anyone wants to work hard, he’ll try his best to make them better professional wrestlers through telling them what to do and save their career.
He christens Danielson as the “perfect wrestler”, someone who became everything that Regal could never be, because Danielson never had the problems that he had. Which brings us to Jon Moxley. Regal recants the rivalry that he had with Mox eleven years ago, and how it was a suitably sadistic encounter that took physical and mental tolls on both Regal and Mox.
Regal says that this pairing of the “perfect” wrestler and the “perfect” sadistic individual will be the team that takes things to the next level in AEW. He closes off by warning everyone that they won’t like the outcome. “Step up or get stepped on,” says Regal to conclude the promo.
Cracks in the Dark Order?
In the interview area, Hangman Page meets up with the Dark Order. He talks about how his temper got the best of him at Revolution, and he wants to apologize to Alex Reynolds for shoving him on Sunday. Evil Uno accepts Page’s apology as John Silver asks if the AEW World Champ will be teaming with anyone from the Dark Order to take on Adam Cole and his team. Hangman says that he actually had Jurassic Express in mind as his partners for next week’s match.
Match 3: Wheeler YUTA (w/ Orange Cassidy, Danhausen, Trent? Beretta, and Chuck Taylor) vs, PAC (w/ Penta Oscuro & Alex “Spoopy” Abrahantes)
The Story So Far
This is a last-minute “standby” match set up due to the opener match not going the distance. PAC last saw action during the Buy-In at Revolution when he, Penta Oscuro, and Erick Redbeard lost a trios match against The House of Black.
As we see clips of Orange Cassidy being tossed over the top rope at Revolution during the ladder match, the commentators note that Orange suffered a shoulder injury that will keep him out of action for a while.
We just go right into picture-in-picture just seconds into the match with PAC starting to take control of the match.
When the action picks back up after commercial, Wheeler has the advantage, managing to hit a fierce German Suplex on The Bastard. Both men trying to get back up, but Wheeler heads to the top rope and hits the flying crossbody on PAC. Now it’s the always-surly Brit regaining control with a German Suplex of his own… 1… 2… NO! PAC has Wheeler on the top rope and makes no mistake with the Avalanche Brainbuster! He follows that up with the Brutalizer and Wheeler has to tap out.
PAC def. Wheeler YUTA via submission – Brutalizer (6:00)
United We Stand?
Adam Cole is backstage with “The Cutler Cam”, reDRagon, and the Young Bucks. He talks about how the Elite failed big time at Revolution as the Jacksons and O’Reilly & Fish start arguing with each other. Cole tries to get everyone back on track by hyping up his partners against Hangman and Jurassic Express, citing that they’re two people who live in Hangman’s head “rent free”. Matt Jackson says to count him and Nick out of this as they’re not fighting Hangman any time soon. Cole responds by saying that he was talking about O’Reilly and Fish, not the Bucks. The formerly Undisputed trio walk off.
Family Time Resolved
We get remarks from FTR and Tully Blanchard. Dax Harwood talks about how wrestling was his first love… until he got married and his baby girl was born. He singles out reDRagon and the Young Bucks as Tully butts in and says that this partnership was supposed to be about championships. Dax says that this is about family, while Cash Wheeler tells Tully that he isn’t part of the family and fires him.
Jeff Hardy is #AllElite
The entire A.H.F.O. is in the ring as it’s time for the “Emergency Meeting” following the group’s massive loss to the team of Sting, Darby Allin, and Sammy Guevara.
Matt Hardy says that Andrade El Idolo was attempting to have him fired. He wants to make amends as Andrade asks Matt what happened to his suit. Matt responds by saying that putting on a suit essentially turned him into an asshole like Andrade, and that he wants to make things right.
Andrade says that they should put up the matter of Matt to a group vote. He and Jose the Assistant vote in favor of firing Matt, who gives himself a thumbs up. It seems that the Private Party is in support of Matt staying in the A.H.F.O., but they turn their thumbs downwards behind Matt’s back.
Andrade then warns Matt that in this business, you need to watch your back always. Matt looks behind him as he sees Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy with their thumbs down. Suddenly, Matt’s attacked by Andrade, the Butcher and the Blade, and the Private Party – who’ve clearly made their choice in the matter.
The A.F.O. lay a beating on Matt as Andrade gets a chair from outside, hoping to do some damage with it. Sting and Darby Allin make the save as they try to assist Matt against Andrade’s group. The heels, however, have the numbers and soon overwhelm Sting and Darby.
Just then, some very familiar music plays, heralding the arrival of Jeffrey Nero Hardy to All Elite Wrestling. Jeff does his dance before sliding into the ring to help Sting, Darby and brother Matt clear the ring of Andrade’s group!
The Blade’s left all alone as he’s waylaid with a Twist of Fate by Matt, followed by the Swanton Bomb from Jeff. The reunited Hardy Boyz share a hug as Sting and Darby look on.
Shane “Swerve” Strickland is backstage, talking about how hyped he is to make his debut until he’s interrupted by Tony Nese. “The Premier Athlete” complains about how Tony Schiavone didn’t get excited for his debut, before addressing Swerve and acknowledging their history of wrestling on Friday nights. Strickland accepts Nese’s challenge for a match on Rampage before declaring this to be “Swerve’s House”.
Welcome to Wardlow’s World
Schiavone is in the ring with the “Face of the Revolution”, Wardlow, who enters the ring to an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the crowd.
Tony explains that even though everyone liked what Wardlow did at Revolution by helping CM Punk beat MJF, he’s still under contract to Maxwell. The big man says that we all come to a point where we need to go after our dreams or fulfill another’s dreams. He explains that he thought working for MJF would be that chance to be a “wild animal freed from a circus”, but it turns out he was just walking into another cage.
Wardlow explains that he knew MJF was not a good person when he signed on to be his bodyguard, so we’ll just have to forgive him for aligning with such “trash”. He talks about how he had to grow up poor, watching his mother struggle to raise him and two older sisters. That was enough to motivate him to become a professional wrestler in order to provide for his family.
He says that MJF was the way to get that one foot in the door, but when you disrespect someone and their family, things obviously change. When MJF slapped him last week, he knew that was the moment that made him decide his own fate. He may still be under contract to MJF, but Wardlow simply just doesn’t care anymore. He’s no longer part of the Pinnacle and he’s not going to be MJF’s bodyguard anymore. He’s free.
Wardlow says that as much as he’d like to powerbomb MJF for all that he’s done to him, he’s done wasting his time with him and would rather let karma take its course. For now, he’s focused on winning the TNT Title and earning an AEW contract. When that happens, he’s not stopping there. Wardlow says that he wants it all and that All Elite Wrestling is now officially “Wardlow’s World”.
Match 4: Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) vs. The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) (AEW Tag Team Championships)
The Story So Far
The team of Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus held their own against the Young Bucks & reDRagon to retain their AEW Tag Titles at Revolution. Meanwhile, the Acclaimed are the top ranked tag team in AEW and have issued the challenge to the Tag Champs.
With Jungle Boy starting off, he’s quickly isolated by Caster and Bowens. They work over him for a bit as Bowens strikes him with a spinning forearm attack, sending us to picture-in-picture.
We return to Dynamite with Luchasaurus’ hot tag as he cleans house on the Acclaimed. Bowens attempts to flatten the dinosaur with his boombox, but Luchasaurus avoids it. Jungle Boy dives onto both Acclaimed members as Luchasaurus brings Bowens back in. Chokeslam gets a near-fall.
Jungle Boy tagged in, but he’s blindsided by a kick to the head by Bowens. Mic Drop elbow…. 1, 2, NO! The Acclaimed manage to hit Luchasaurus with the boombox this time around, then doing a double team maneuver that nearly gives them the victory. Jungle Boy rolls up Bowens for a very close two. Jurassic Express finishes things off with a Doomsday Device to retain their tag titles.
Jurassic Express def. The Acclaimed via pinfall – Doomsday Device (9:28)
Match 5: Thunder Rosa vs. Leyla Hirsch (AEW Women’s Title Eliminator)
The Story So Far
At Revolution, Dr. Britt Baker DMD once again used the numbers game to her advantage to retain her AEW Women’s Title over Thunder Rosa. Meanwhile, Leyla Hirsch played dirty and used a turnbuckle hook to knock out Kris Statlander for the victory.
Back and forth action to get us started here. Hirsch takes over with a slam to send us to picture-in-picture.
Thunder fighting back coming out of the break, as she gets the northern lights suplex for a close two-count. Leyla goes to the top rope, but Rosa intercepts and hits the superplex for maximum damage. Fireman’s carry position, Rosa drops Leyla’s head on her knee, followed by the sliding clothesline for two.
Leyla rolls out of the ring and looks to use the turnbuckle hook to her advantage, much like she did at Revolution. Red Velvet appears and stops Leyla from using the weapon, which opens her up for an attempted Fire-Thunder Driver. Leyla reverses and applies the armbar on Rosa. With hands clasped, Rosa is able to get to the ropes to break the hold. Running knee strike by Leyla goes nowhere, which gives Rosa the opportunity to finally hit the Fire-Thunder Driver for the win.
Thunder Rosa def. Leyla Hirsch via pinfall – Fire-Thunder Driver (8:53)
Tony Schiavone announces that he’s been told by Tony Khan that next week’s AEW Women’s Title match is now a steel cage match. We go immediately to backstage remarks from the current AEW Women’s Champion, Dr. Britt Baker DMD. The Champ is none too pleased about Rosa getting another shot at her title. She says that Jamie Hayter will finish Mercedes Martinez off at Rampage, as she warns us of what might become of AEW if “carny riff-raff” wrestlers like Thunder Rosa become champion.
Match 6: Sammy Guevara vs. Scorpio Sky (TNT Championship)
The Story So Far
Last week, we learned that Dan Lambert brokered a deal for Scorpio Sky to have a shot at Sammy Guevara’s TNT Championship on this week’s Dynamite. This past Sunday at Revolution, Sammy endured a brutal tornado tag trios match against the A.H.F.O. that he, Darby Allin and Sting would ultimately win. However, Sammy has to be feeling less than 100%, especially after hitting an avalanche Spanish Fly through a table on the stage. Will this benefit the crafty challenger?
Sammy starting off strong with some strikes, but Scorpio responds with forearms and aiming at Sammy’s hurt ribs. The TNT Champ fights back as this match spills to the outside. Sky is thrown into the barricade by Sammy, who then takes a table from under the ring and gets it set up. He places Scorpio on the table and ascends to the top. 630 Senton Splash by Guevara ends up backfiring as Sky moves out of the way at the very last second! Tay Conti and the ringside medic check up on Sammy as we head to the final commercial break of the evening.
We return to Dynamite’s main event with Sammy having chosen to continue this match despite being in a really bad way. It’s all Scorpio Sky here so far as he continues to prey on the weakened TNT Champion. Sammy fights out of a chinlock and he starts to try to mount a comeback. Sky kicks out at two after Sammy hits a jumping cutter.
Sammy counters an attempted TKO by Scorpio and instead hits the GTH! Sky manages to roll himself under the ropes to escape a pinning predicament. Sammy to the top rope… Shooting Star Press is blocked by Scorpio’s knees. Dan Lambert gets himself involved as Tay Conti pulls Ethan Page from the apron to prevent him from getting involved. Wait a second! Paige VanZant enters the fray and attacks Tay before throwing her into the steel steps!
Sky uses this chaos to catch Sammy with the TKO! 1, 2, 3! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new TNT World Champion!
Scorpio Sky def. Sammy Guevara via pinfall — TKO (11:33)
The Men of the Year aren’t quite done yet as Scorpio floors Sammy with the TNT Title, while Paige VanZant lays out Tay with a kick to the head. The MMA star takes her AEW contract and signs it over Tay’s body as our new TNT Champ and his allies stand tall to end the show.
AEW Rampage | 3/11/22 (taped 3/9/22) | From Hertz Arena in Estero, FL
- Darby Allin def. Marq Quen via submission (11:00) with an armbar.
- The reconstituted Andrade Family Office ran in and looked to beat up on Darby and Sting, but were stopped in their tracks by Matt and Jeff Hardy – both of whom looked like they did in their prime. The A.F.O. retreated to avoid a fight, while the Hardy Boyz had a staredown with Darby and Sting.
- The Men of the Year and Dan Lambert spoke in a backstage promo about Scorpio Sky’s first TNT Title defense on next week’s Dynamite against Wardlow. Scorpio said that he was the face of TNT and he’d keep his unbeaten streak alive on Wednesday.
- Malakai Black and the House of Black had some cryptic words for… somebody.
- Jamie Hayter def. Mercedes Martinez via pinfall (9:30) after Dr. Britt Baker DMD meddled in the finish.
- Britt and Company looked to continue the punishment for Martinez after the match, but were chased from the ring by Thunder Rosa, who wielded a chair as her equalizer.
- Hikaru Shida said that beating up Serena Deeb last week wasn’t enough. She was out for revenge and vowed to cut off Serena’s head when she was through with her.
- Keith Lee def. QT Marshall via pinfall (4:30) with the Big Bang Catastrophe.
- After the match, the Factory’s Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto tried to attack Keith Lee, but were easily dispatched. Team Taz members Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs had a bit more success in beating down the Limitless One, with Hobbs hitting a spinebuster on Lee for good measure.
- “Swerve” Strickland def. Tony Nese via pinfall (13:00) in the Main Event after hitting a nifty-looking flying double stomp off the top rope on Nese. In his AEW debut, Strickland looked as good as ever and used his agility and skill to get the job done.
The big theme spinning out of Revolution was “shifting sands”, especially as it related to AEW’s various alliances.
The “death” of the Inner Circle, the stable that formed on the very first Dynamite, with the Jericho Appreciation Society rising in its place is an interesting turn. Pairing the 2point0 boys and Daniel Garcia with Jericho and Jake Hager seems like a gamble that could work out for all involved, while we’re pretty much on the path to a LAX reunion with Proud ‘n Powerful and Eddie Kingston.
And speaking of Eddie Kingston, his promo where he talked about how he almost let the pressure of beating Jericho get to him until he met people who were inspired by his story was yet another moment from the heart from him. The fact that we have someone like Kingston openly talking about his mental health issues and incorporating it into storylines without feeling tacked-on shows why he’s a relatable hero for fans to root for.
Then we have the state of The Pinnacle. We saw FTR apparently turn face by dumping manager Tully Blanchard, as well as Wardlow officially stating that he was no longer with MJF’s group. It remains to be seen on what happens to The Pinnacle, but it appears that the faction as we know it could be experiencing a structural reorganization.
Jeff Hardy finally confirmed what we have known for weeks by making his first appearance in an AEW ring to help his brother Matt fight the A.H.F.O. off. Coming out to the iconic Hardy Boyz theme (which is a stock production song and not a WWE-owned theme) got Jeff one of the bigger reactions on Dynamite this week. Now that one of wrestling’s iconic tag teams are reunited, the possibilities are endless for the Hardys in a tag division as stacked as AEW’s.
William Regal’s promo explaining his arrival in AEW and why he chose to unite Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson as a team under his tutelage was very well-spoken. Though Regal himself apologized for running too long, his promo was both emotional and effective in putting over the Moxley/Danielson alliance as a force to be reckoned with in AEW.
There seems to be trouble in paradise with Adam Page and the Dark Order. Hangman shoving Alex Reynolds during a heated moment at Revolution started it all, while passing over the group for the six-man tag match against Adam Cole and friends will probably exacerbate the problem.
Marc Quill is the editor of RingCrashers, GateCrashers’ home for all your All Elite Wrestling and indie wrestling needs. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff in general on @MarcQuill on Twitter.