Two titles will be on the line on tonight's AEW Dynamite.
Coming off a successful TNT title defense against Matt Hardy on last week's episode, Darby Allin will defend the TNT Championship against Jungle Boy tonight.
AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida will defend her title against Tay Conti.
A week after turning down an offer to join Team Taz, Christian Cage will take on that faction's Powerhouse Hobbs.
Hangman Page will take on another Team Taz charge, Ricky Starks. Starks is on a 10-match AEW win streak in singles competition.
The recently returned Trent will face Penta El Zero Miedo in singles competition.
The Factory's QT Marshall will face The Nightmare Family's Billy Gunn.
Tony Schiavone will conduct an interview with The Inner Circle, while Jim Ross will do the same with The Pinnacle ahead of their Blood & Guts match on the May 5 episode of Dynamite.
Plus, Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston will return tonight. Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Ricky Starks cut a promo ahead of the opener, saying he'd show why people call him "Absolute" Ricky Starks.
Taz joined commentary for the match.
Hangman Page defeated Ricky Starks (w/ HOOK)
This was a well-worked opener that could've gone even longer if they wanted.
Top-ranked Page plucked Starks out of midair on a leapfrog for the first offensive maneuver of the match. Starks avoided a springboard clothesline, but Page immediately hit it on the second attempt before following it up with a pescado. A pumphandle fallaway slam from Page got two.
Page tried to follow up the offense, but Starks took control by sending Page windpipe-first into the middle rope. Starks flipped out of a German suplex but springboarded into a lariat. Page landed repeated forearms and another fallaway slam before a brainbuster got a two count.
Starks avoided a sliding lariat and used the ropes to escape the Deadeye, forcing Page up into a powerbomb for a near fall. They fought up top where Page landed a third fallaway slam, this time from an avalanche position. He followed it up with a lariat for a close near fall. Page then went for the Buckshot Lariat, but Starks avoided it and hit a spear for another near fall.
It looked like Starks went for Roshambo, but Page escaped into a reversal sequence. Page then turned it into almost a seated sleeper while wrenching on the ankle, forcing Starks to tap.
– After the match, Taz grabbed a mic and said Page got lucky. He then told Page to watch his back as HOOK came in and took Page out with a chop block. Brian Cage came out and set up for a powerbomb, but Dark Order ran out to make the save.
The Elite was shown arriving at the taping into their own personal trailer.
Abrahantes translated Penta's pre-match promo, which said that if Orange Cassidy got in Death Triangle's way, they'd turn him into orange juice.
Penta El Zero Miedo (w/ Alex Abrahantes) defeated Trent? (w/ Orange Cassidy)
This was a fun back-and-forth match until the convoluted finish.
Penta did his glove gimmick early on. They exchanged strikes until a set of high knees from Trent took down Penta. Penta pulled Trent out of the ring and tossed him into the barricade, but Trent popped up and landed a hard lariat and then a wild tope con giro.
Back in the ring, a springboard crossbody and Sling Blade from Penta got two. Trent fought out of the package piledriver and hit a tornado DDT, but Penta popped off the ropes into a destroyer ahead of the commercial break. Once back, Trent countered a backstabber into a half-and-half suplex.
Trent landed a running knee for two. He tried to follow it up in the corner, but Penta kicked his leg out and hit a backstabber for two of his own. Penta then hit a pumphandle driver for a good near fall.
They exchanged chops on the apron until Trent landed a piledriver on the apron. Abrahantes grabbed a mic and distracted Trent, telling him he sicks, his friend sucks, and his momma sucks. Trent grabbed a chair and went after Abrahantes. It looked like Orange Cassidy and Trent had him trapped, but Penta surprised Cassidy with a superkick and then Abrahantes whacked Trent with the microphone, allowing Penta to pick up the win.
The Pinnacle sit-down interview with Jim Ross
This was sensational.
JR asked MJF about Jericho's famous promo from a couple weeks ago. He talked about how his scarf was old and ragged, but then Wardlow opened a new scarf, a gift from Tully Blanchard.
Wardlow said that Jericho cut one of the best promos of his career, but he stumbled over his words when he got to Wardlow. MJF said Jericho wouldn't elevate the talent around him, mocking the "Jericho rub." He said Jericho's outsmarted everyone in his career except himself.
MJF then exploded, saying he's not just "great for his age," he's great -- period. He's undefeated, and he's already beaten Jericho. He's better than Jericho, and Jericho knows it. MJF wants Jericho's spot, because the Pinnacle is always on top.
A really nice pre-match video played hyping this match. Conti came across extremely likable.
Dark Order joined Conti for her entrance.
AEW Women's World Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) defeated Tay Conti
This was the best match of Conti's career.
They went into a forearm exchange right away. Conti went for judo throws, but Shida continuously blocked until Conti used the ropes as leverage for a takedown. Conti then hit two soccer kicks for two. She went for a Fujiwara armbar before transitioning into a waistlock chickenwing. Shida reached the ropes to force the break.
Shida avoided a soccer kick on the apron and sent Conti crashing down. She followed it up with the draped running knee. Still on the floor, Shida hit an enziguiri and then a brainbuster before rolling her opponent back into the ring. She applied a bow-and-arrow submission before transitioning into a forearm facelock into a commercial break.
Once back, Shida still maintained control of the match. She broght Conti into the ring the hardway with a suplex over the ropes, but Conti popped up with a pump kick for a double down. Conti landed repeated judo throws and a German suplex. She then placed Shida over the ropes and landed a senton for two.
Conti went for the DD-Tay, but Shida countered with a knee and the Falcon Arrow for two. Conti stopped Shida from hitting the Tamashii before they fought up top. Shida hit a headbutt before dropping Conti over the top turnbuckle with the Witch's Shot.
Shida went for the Katana but ran into a pump kick. Conti followed it up with the Tay-KO for a close near fall. Shida fought out of the DD-Tay and hit a back-to-belly piledriver for two. Conti landed repeated elbow strikes but was just slapped for her trouble. Shida then hit a backbreaker and the Katana to win and retain the title.
– After the match, Britt Baker's music played as she pointed out that she's the top contender, setting up a future title match.
Miro cut a video promo saying it didn't matter who he fights. The only question is who he beats first.
The Inner Circle are interviewed by Tony Schiavone
Jericho didn't want to talk about the Pinnacle's comments from earlier in the evening. Instead, he thanked the crowd and promoted the upcoming Blood and Guts match. Jake Hager pulled out straws and said everyone in the Pinnacle would be sucking food through a straw after Blood and Guts.
Santana pointed out The Pinnacle waits to have backup before they fight, saying that's a "bitch move." On May 5, we'll see if the Pinnacle has heart.
Jericho said MJF has a lot of words but no conviction. Even though MJF can sing showtunes, Jericho can sing showtunes too. He sang a song, which prompted a "swirlie" chant. He said he washed his ass with MJF's new scarf.
Even though it's fun to make jokes, Jericho said Blood and Guts would be a show of violence we'd never forget. Next week the Inner Circle and the Pinnacle will meet face to face, and at Blood and Guts, the Inner Circle owns MJF's ass.
Before the match, Anthony Ogogo called America a dump before Marshall said he'd take care of business.
QT Marshall (w/ The Factory) defeated Billy Gunn
Billy attacked Marshall and co. before the bell before sending Marshall to the floor. Back in the ring, Billy maintained control with power moves and body slams. Out on the floor, Billy continued the attack, but a distraction from the official allowed Comoroto to take Billy down. The Gunn Club attacked from the crowd, leaving Marshall and Billy one-on-one at the ring.
Marshall tried to continue the beatdown, but Billy started to fire up. Marshall just hit a straight piledriver for a close near fall. He mocked DX, so Billy popped up and downed Marshall with clotheslines and a Blue Thunder bomb. Marshall fought out of the Fameasser but Billy fought off the Diamond Cutter.
With the official distracted, Anthony Ogogo ran out and crushed Billy with a gut punch, allowing Marshall to hit a Diamond Cutter and win.
– After the match, Marshall was about to continue the attack on Billy with a chair, but Dustin Rhodes ran out and attacked with a bull rope. Dustin and Ogogo faced off, with Dustin picking up the wooden chair that Marshall was about to use. Comoroto ran out, so Dustin smashed the wooden chair over Comoroto's head as the segment ended.
The Elite were filmed from their personal trailer. Don Callis introduced everyone before saying Kenny Omega was soon to be the new IMPACT champion. Matt Jackson said the Elite was the reason that business went up in Japan and pointed out that it's called "All ELITE Wrestling."
Omega was about to speak, but was interrupted by some honking from outside the trailer. It was Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston in a pickup truck. Moxley floored it and rammed the truck into the Elite's trailer before walking out with a pipe. The two walked into the trailer, but the Elite were nowhere to be found.
Taz joined commentary for the match, where he revealed that the rest of Team Taz had been banned from ringside.
Christian Cage defeated Powerhouse Hobbs
This was a strong match, better than Christian's first match against Kazarian.
Hobbs overpowered Christian early on, sending him to the ramp. Christian baited Hobbs to the floor with some slaps, allowing him to hit a diving dropkick, but Hobbs popped up and just leveled him with a lariat. He sent Christian over the barricade and exposed the steel guardrail, grinding Christian's face into it ahead of the break.
Back from commercial, Christian fought back and immediately went for the Killswitch, but Hobbs muscled his way out of it. He whipped Christian across the ring and went for a Vader bomb, but Christian got his legs up. Christian landed right hands and a pendulum kick before a diving uppercut for two.
Christian followed up the attack with some improvised offense, but Hobbs turned a running attack into a hard spinebuster for a near fall. Christian went for the swinging DDT but transitioned into a powerbomb and a frog splash for two. Hobbs shrugged off a spear attempt with a body block before a corner hip attack got two.
A sleeper attempt caught Hobbs by surprise, but he was able to turn it into perfect position for Town Business. However, Hobbs took time to taunt, and Christian hit the Killswitch to win.
– After the match, Ricky Starks limped out to check on Hobbs as he and Christian stared each other down.
Next week on Dynamite:
- Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Orange Cassidy
- Kris Statlander vs. Penelope Ford
- The Young Bucks vs. Matt Sydal & Mike Sydal in an AEW World Tag Team Championship Eliminator match
- Nightmare Family (Dustin Rhodes, Billy Gunn, & Lee Johnson) vs. The Factory (QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, & Aaron Solow)
- The Inner Circle and Pinnacle Parley
- Hangman Page vs. Brian Cage
A Jade Cargill video played. She said every manager in AEW wanted to sign her, but she doesn't need a boss.
TNT Championship: Darby Allin (w/ Sting) (c) defeated Jungle Boy (w/ Jurassic Express)
They performed technical wrestling early on, with a couple cradle attempts getting near falls. After a Snare Trap attempt, Allin took Jungle Boy down with a Thesz press and repeated right hands. They fought on the floor, where Jungle Boy tackled Allin over the barricade into the ringside seating area.
After the commercial break, Jungle Boy landed a strike combination before tossing Allin into the corner. He then hit a couple suplex bridges for near falls. Allin avoided the rebound lariat and hit a stunner for two. Jungle Boy fought out of a corner attack and hit a crazy move, like a body scissors where Allin bumped like it was a reverse hurricanrana.
Jungle Boy hit repeated topes, landing a tope con giro on the third. He tried to suplex Allin back into the ring, but Allin turned it into a guillotine. Allin then landed a Coffin Drop on the apron. As the referee made his count, Luchasaurus assisted Jungle Boy getting back into the ring, which prompted Sting to pick a fight. They fought all the way up through the tunnel.
Back in the ring, Jungle Boy hit his rebound lariat, a brainbuster, and a running elbow for two. He then applied the Snare Trap. Allin reached the ropes, but Jungle Boy pulled him back out with a rolling Romero special before re-applying the Snare Trap. Allin gouged at Jungle Boy's eyes to escape the hold.
Jungle Boy battered Allin with ground and pound and hit a sunset flip, but Allin locked on the Last Supper cradle for the sudden win.
– After the match, Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page ran out and beat down both competitors. Page killed Allin with the Ego's Edge, but Lance Archer ran out to make the save. Page and Sky beat down Archer after a low blow, but Sting ran out with a baseball bat and chased them off.