CM Punk returns to AEW Dynamite tonight for the first time since defeating MJF in a dog collar match at the Revolution pay-per-view.
AEW president Tony Khan announced today that Punk will take on Dax Harwood in the show's opener.
Also announced for Dynamite, The Hardys will team with Sting and Darby Allin against Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy, The Butcher, and The Blade in an eight-man tag team match.
In other announced bouts, fourth-ranked Adam Cole will face third-ranked Jay Lethal, Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson will tag against Varsity Blonds, Chris Jericho and Daniel Garcia will face Dark Order's John Silver and Alex Reynolds, plus Red Velvet will take on "Legit" Leyla Hirsch in a match where Kris Statlander will be banned from ringside.
MJF speaking has also been announced, as has an appearance by new AEW Women's World Champion Thunder Rosa.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show Report --
"Cult of Personality" played to open the show.
CM Punk defeated Dax Harwood
Neither man could establish any sort of advantage until Dax backed Punk into a corner and laid in chops. Punk came back with a slam and wrenched his opponent's arm, but Dax returned fire with a knee lift. He targeted Punk's neck and midsection with throws and strikes.
The Gunn Club were at ringside and they distracted Dax for some reason, but the FTR member maintained control until Punk avoided a diving headbutt. They traded forearms before Punk took Dax down with a dropkick for two.
They fought on the top rope where Punk sent Dax to the mat and set up for the elbow drop. Dax popped up and crotched Punk over the top turnbuckle before hitting a superplex. He followed it up with the diving headbutt for two.
Punk blocked a suplex attempt and both men were sent over the top rope crashing to the floor. Cash Wheeler came out to support his partner. Back in the ring, Punk landed a diving crossbody for two, then locked on the Anaconda Vise immediately out of the cover. Dax rolled out and went for a Sharpshooter, but Punk countered and they cradled each other for near falls.
Dax countered the rising knee into a rope-rebound powerbomb for two. Punk hit his rising knee strike and called for the GTS, but Dax blocked it and locked on the Sharpshooter. Punk transitioned into the Anaconda Vise and Dax tapped.
Jericho Appreciation Society were backstage. They showed a photo of John Silver meeting Jericho when he was a kid. Jericho put it over as a big moment, but said Silver's not on his level. Garcia said pro wrestlers could never hang with a sports entertainer like him. Jericho then addressed Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz, saying they were nowhere to be found.
Tornado Tag: The Hardys (Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy), Darby Allin, & Sting defeated Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen), The Butcher, & The Blade
There has never been a major American wrestling promotion as purely fun as All Elite Wrestling.
Darby kicked things off with a missile tope and Sting followed it up with a top-rope dive onto the pile. Jeff sent Blade crashing over the barricade, and Sting landed a Stinger Splash on the outside. Darby and Butcher, who fought on Rampage last week, brawled up into the stands until Andrade El Idolo showed up and whipped Darby with his belt.
In an insane spot, Butcher repeatedly sent Darby careening off the concrete walls down to the concourse before powerbombing him down a flight of stairs. This led to a commercial. Once back, Matt set Kassidy up for the Side Effect on the stage but was cut off by a low blow from Quen. Private Party hit a double-team Side Effect off the stage through a table.
Out on the concourse, Jeff and Sting were fighting with Butcher and Blade. Darby showed up for the assist, then Jeff set up a crazy tall ladder and climbed up onto some sort of railing before crashing onto Butcher and Blade with a Swanton Bomb through tables. That was so great.
Back around the ring, Sting fought off Private Party and checked on Matt, but Isiah whacked him with a chair. Sting no-sold it and fired up, fighting off both of Private Party, but the numbers advantage was too much. Private Party went for the Gin 'n' Juice, but Sting countered into Scorpion Death Drop position. He hit it as Matt hit a Twist of Fate and they both covered for the win.
FTR were backstage and asked about their problems with the Gunn Club. Cash said the Gunn Club need to earn respect. Dax can't stand spoiled brats like the Gunn Club, and they'd see them next week on Dynamite.
William Regal joined commentary.
Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley defeated Varsity Blonds (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.) (w/ Julia Hart)
Regal's boys attacked right at the bell and immediately beat down both opponents. Pillman escaped to tag in Garrison, who Moxley destroyed with a German suplex. Danielson and Moxley continued to dominate through a commercial.
Once back, a release German suplex and a piledriver on Pillman got a near fall. Garrison fired up on Moxley, and the Blonds were able to hit something of a dropkick Hart Attack for two. Danielson cut off the run with a Busaiku knee and Moxley hit a Paradigm Shift before locking on a rear naked choke for the submission.
– After the match, Moxley grabbed a mic and said through it all, the only man whose opinion he cared about was Regal's. He earned that opportunity through blood, sweat, pain, and torture, just like Danielson. This message is for anyone who thinks they have what it takes to stand beside them: "We ain't giving out no free passes. You need to reach deep down into your soul and find that place where you find pain." They're the Blackpool Combat Club, and the only way in is the hard way.
Shawn Spears joined MJF as there was a security detail standing around the ring. MJF addressed Wardlow, saying it was a shame that he couldn't win the TNT Championship last week. He really was going to let Wardlow keep the title, but he just wasn't good enough to beat Scorpio Sky.
He turned his attention to CM Punk. He accused Punk of cheating to win and said they would wrestle again at some point. But even then, it won't be over until he attends Punk's funeral and pisses on his grave.
Back to Wardlow. MJF's going to start calling him "Pig," because that's all he is. He was drowned out by a "Wardlow" chant. MJF said that if it wasn't for him, these people wouldn't know who Wardlow is. Wardlow repaid him by costing him the most important match of his life, then had the audacity to ask MJF to release him from his contract. Unfortunately, Wardlow signed a deal with the devil, and MJF's about to make Wardlow's life a living hell. If he deems fit to kick that "skank mother" of Wardlow's out of her house, he must obey. "I own you."
Wardlow came out and attacked the security people, and it took all ten to restrain him. MJF said Wardlow doesn't work for AEW, he works for MJF – that means he's trespassing. MJF's going to keep paying Wardlow to stay home, week after week, until these people forget he exists.
MJF said the Pinnacle isn't over. Starting next week with FTR, the Pinnacle will move up in the world. Spears closed by saying "When you're in the Pinnacle, you're always on top."
The Best Friends were backstage and asked about YUTA's interactions with Regal last week. Trent said he never liked YUTA, but YUTA came back by just saying he's trying to be the best wrestler he can be. It looks like YUTA's out of the Best Friends.
Adam Cole defeated Jay Lethal
They had a back-and-forth exchange early on. Lethal hit the Lethal Combination, but Cole avoided a step-up dropkick. Cole taunted but was met by an enziguiri followed by repeated suicide dives. reDRagon appeared on the ramp ahead of the break, during which Cole took control.
Upon return, Lethal went for the Figure Four but it was countered into a pinning predicament for two. It happened again for two more. On the third attempt, Lethal was finally able to lock it on, but Cole eventually reached the ropes. A distraction from reDRagon allowed Cole to roll Lethal up for two, but then Lethal countered the Boom into a cutter.
Cole reversed the Lethal Injection with a superkick out of midair, then followed it up with the Panama Sunrise for a good near fall. Lethal avoided the Boom and rolled Cole up, but reDRagon distracted the official. Cole countered the Lethal Injection with a low blow and then lowered the Boom for the win.
– After the match, Cole grabbed a mic and said nobody deserves the AEW World Championship more than him. He said Page is scared of him, because he knows Cole will be the one to take his title. He was about to call Page a coward to bait him out, but then Page's music played and he walked into a three-on-one staredown.
Page whipped all three men with his belt, but then Cole hit a low blow and they beat Page down. Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage ran out to make the save. Cole walked out with the title.
A video promo hyped Lance Archer vs. Dustin Rhodes on Rampage.
Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti were in the ring. Guevara said he doesn't have the TNT Championship anymore, but he does have this ring, and he will always put on a great show. All Guevara truly wants in this business is the fans' appreciation -- until now. Conti said now they want payback and that Paige VanZant would get her ass kicked, just like her MMA career.
Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year came out. He put over American Top Team, including Page, Sky, and VanZant. He insulted Guevara and Conti, saying they'd never get the match they want. Guevara came back with some rather gross innuendo regarding the TNT title, infuriating Lambert.
A video promo hyped Ricky Starks (c) vs. Swerve Strickland for the FTW Championship on Rampage.
"Legit" Leyla Hirsch defeated Red Velvet
Kris Statlander is banned from ringside.
Hirsch attacked right at the bell, but Velvet quickly took control, sending Hirsch into the barricade twice. On the third attempt, Hirsch countered and sent Velvet into the barricade. Velvet came back with a step-up hurricanrana off the steel steps. Back in the ring, Hirsch took control ahead of the break.
Once back, Velvet came back with a kick exchange, but Hirsch countered a springboard attempt into a German for two. Velvet came back with an Iconoclasm for two of her own. Velvet hit the Mix kick, but Hirsch rolled out of the ring before she could cover. She grabbed the extra turnbuckle, but the official wrestled it out of her hands -- however, Hirsch had a second turnbuckle and hit Velvet with it for the win.
– After the match, Hirsch locked Velvet in the cross armbreaker, leading to Statlander running down and sending her packing.
Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling were backstage. She's about to be 30-0, and after she accomplishes that, Jade wants money falling from the sky, confetti, exotic dancers, etc. -- a celebration fit for a queen.
AEW Rampage (3/25) lineup:
- Lance Archer vs. Dustin Rhodes
- FTW Championship: Ricky Starks (c) vs. Swerve Srickland
- reDRagon vs. Dark Order (Alan "5" Angels & 10)
- Nyla Rose in action
- HOOK receives a Certificate of Accomplishment from QT Marshall
AEW Dynamite (3/30) lineup:
- Darby Allin vs. Andrade El Idolo
- FTR vs. Gunn Club
Thunder Rosa was brought out for a celebration but was immediately interrupted by Vickie Guerrero and her shrill "Excuse me!". She called Rosa a fake Texan and they argued about Rosa's green card and American citizenship before Nyla Rose attacked from behind. Guerrero called Rose a true champion.
That was short, but it was atrocious. "Distasteful" is putting it lightly -- maybe the first time in AEW history I've been offended by a segment. They should drop whatever they had planned with the "citizenship" angle. It's 2022.
Before the match, Matt Menard said the fans didn't deserve to sing "Judas."
Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho & Daniel Garcia) (w/ Jake Hager, Matt Menard, and Angelo Parker) defeated Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds) (w/ Alan Angels & 10)
Silver out-wrestled Jericho at the start. He took Jericho out with a high kick on the floor, then he and Reynolds hit a rather absurd tope suicida brainbuster combination on the outside. Dark Order posed, but then Jericho kicked the ring steps loudly and sold as if 10 and Angels had tossed him into it. The official ejected the Dark Order's backups leading into the break.
Reynolds started a comeback upon return from break but was cut off. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Reynolds rolled out of the way and reached Silver for one of the big little man's signature hot tags. Silver took out the other Jericho Appreciation Society members at ringside but eventually ran into a Jericho Codebreaker for a near fall.
Garcia got control, but Reynolds got a blind tag and the Dark Order team hit a great combination of offense concluded with a jackknife pin for a close near fall. Silver took out the other JYS members again but was caught by Hager, who slammed him on the floor. Back in the ring, Garcia grabbed the official as Jericho struck Reynolds with Floyd the Bat. Garcia then slapped on the Scorpion Deathlock for the submission.