AEW World Tag Team Title Match
The Young Bucks (c) vs. Death Triangle (PAC/Fenix)

AEW Dynamite
April 8, 2021 (Aired April 14, 2021) 

Throughout the year 2021, AEW Dynamite has been producing excellent television wrestling matches on a weekly basis. We’ve been treated to the returns of “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson and CM Punk to true professional wrestling in recent months. We’ve had Chris Jericho face off against Juventud Guerrera in a Nitro nostalgia match, and in an even more insane moment, The Demo God faced off against The God of This Shit, Nick fucking Gage, in a match featuring pizza cutters, a huricarana through a pane of glass, and freaking LIGHT TUBES shattering and releasing their sweet light tube dust all over prime time on TNT. We had KENTA break down the “Forbidden Door” in a shocking moment by attacking Jon Moxley. This then leads to a great brawl with KENTA and Kenny Omega teaming up against Moxley and Lance Archer. It has been an all-time great run of U.S. TV pro wrestling, one that I hope you appreciated in the moment, because nothing lasts forever. During this hot time period in the first half of the year, AEW Dynamite featured a truly insane run of amazing tag and trios matches week after week.

And the through line for most of those matches were The Young Bucks facing off against the Death Triangle of PAC, Rey Fenix, and Penta El Zero Miedo.

After the Death Triangle duo of PAC and Rey Fenix won the Casino Tag Team Battle Royale at the Revolution PPV in March, the series of matches with the Bucks/Death Triangle combinations started with Rey Fenix facing Matt Jackson in a rare singles match for the Young Buck. While not as incredible as the Fenix vs. Nick Jackson match in the very early days of Dynamite, it was still a good match and set up a great run of bouts over the next few months, culminating in the brutal steel cage match at All Out. Here they are in list form, to truly show how impressive it is. All matches are on Dynamite unless otherwise noted and the dates listed are the dates the matches occurred (courtesy of Cagematch), not the air date.

  • March 11 – Fenix vs. Matt Jackson
  • March 24 – Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid vs. The Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler
  • April 8 – AEW World Tag Team Title Match: The Young Bucks(C) vs. PAC/Fenix
  • April 9 –  The House Always Wins:  Death Triangle and The Sydal Brothers vs. The    Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Konosuke Takeshita, and Michael Nakazawa
  • June 4 – The Young Bucks vs. PAC and Penta El Zero Miedo
  • June 11 – PAC, Penta, and Eddie Kingston vs. The Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler
  • June 18 – The Good Brothers and Matt Jackson vs. Penta El Zero Miedo, Eddie Kingston, and “The Elite Hunter” Frankie Kazarian
  • June 30 – Penta El Zero Miedo and Eddie Kingston vs. The Young Bucks
  • July 7 – AEW World Tag Team Title Street Fight: The Young Bucks(C) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo and Eddie Kingston
  • September 1 – The Young Bucks and The Good Brothers vs. Lucha Bros and Jurassic Express
  • September 5 – All Out:  AEW World Tag Team Title Steel Cage Match –  The Young Bucks(C) vs. The Lucha Bros

Looking at the above list, there were 11 matches in total featuring any combination of The Bucks and Death Triangle, with nine of those occurring on Dynamite. The other two include the previously mentioned All Out PPV cage match, as well as a 10 man tag on the first AEW house show “The House Always Wins.” AEW did an excellent job weaving in different members of Death Triangle in the feud as injuries, travel issues, other feuds, and various roadblocks kept certain members of the trio occupied or unable to be on the show. The inclusion of Eddie Kingston, who continued his redemption arc that started with “saving” Jon Moxley at the Revolution PPV, was a brilliant piece of booking as it called back to his history with the Lucha Bros being part of his “family” stable and Eddie previously trying to turn them on each other. PAC rightfully remained quite suspicious of Kingston and their interactions were fantastic.  The highlight being a six-man tag with Penta against the Bucks and Cutler which featured Kingston and PAC doing simultaneous dives at one point.

Speaking of Brandon Cutler, it would be a shame to forget his great contributions to the feud both in the aforementioned trios match, as well as another with the Young Bucks against the all-star lucha team of Fenix, Penta, and Laredo Kid. In October, VOW contributer Suit Williams wrote a great article on this site about the 12 Best Matches of Dynamite’s second year called the “Dynamite Dozen.” Reading through his column really emphasized how insanely great Dynamite matches have been this year, and made me think of a number of awards I could give out to highlight all the great AEW television matches that we’ve been treated to this year. So without further adieu, I present to you the first category:

“Best Performance by a Stooge.” 


  • Michael Nakazawa (w/Kenny Omega vs. Kingston/Moxley, “Blood + Guts” Dynamite 4/22/21)
  • Michael Nakazawa (w/ Omega and Konosuke Takeshita vs. Danny Limelight, Mike Sydal, and Matt Sydal, Dark Elevation, 4/8/21)
  • Tully Blanchard (w/ FTR vs. Jurassic Express, “The Crossroads” Dynamite 3/3/21
  • Brandon Cutler (w/ The Young Bucks vs. Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid, Dynamite 3/24/21

WINNER: Brandon Cutler (w/ The Young Bucks vs. PAC, Penta, and Eddie Kingston. Dynamite 6/11/21

While Nakazawa was quite enjoyable with his headset, laptop, and Best Buy employee uniform, and it was pretty impressive to see Tully mix it up at his age, the winner had to be Brandon Cutler with his cold spray, facemask, and gaudy tracksuits in these trios matches with The Bucks. The trios match against the Death Triangle and Eddie takes the prize as it featured some great instances of the Bucks kicking Cutler in his face mask and PAC especially having a grudge against him for interfering in a previous PAC/Penta vs. Bucks tag match. The other trio match with Cutler featuring the Lucha Bros and Laredo kid was also great, but this was pre-heel turn for the Bucks so doesn’t feature Cutler in all his stoogey glory.

The Bucks have been so consistently great on Dynamite this year that they featured prominently in a number of these awards I made up. Pertinent to this article is the “Best Young Bucks Tag Team Match vs. Death Triangle + Eddie Kingston” which would include their matches against PAC/Fenix, PAC/Pentagon, and the two matches against Pentagon/Eddie Kingston listed above. A similar award for “Best  Trios Match with any members of the Young Bucks or Death Triangle”  would also have numerous nominees.

  • February 3 – PAC, Fenix, Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers
  • February 17 – Lance Archer, Fenix, Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston, The Butcher and The Blade
  • March 24 – Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid vs. The Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler
  • March 25 – Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid vs. Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers
  • June 11 – PAC, Penta, and Eddie Kingston vs. The Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler
  • June 18 – The Good Brothers and Matt Jackson vs. Penta El Zero Miedo, Eddie Kingston, and “The Elite Hunter” Frankie Kazarian

I even thought about making a “Best Young Bucks Match: Non-Death Triangle Division” just to be able to highlight other great Dynamite matches such as those against  SCU and Jurassic Express, that would otherwise be overshadowed by the Death Triangle + Eddie combos.

I have already mentioned both of these wrestlers already, but I have to come back to them just to emphasize how cool it is that this feud also featured “guest appearances” by the Japanese star from the DDT promotion, Kenosuke Takeshita and AAA luchador Laredo Kid. Speaking of Laredo Kid – if we expanded the feud to be Death Triangle vs. The Elite, then it would also include another excellent trios match with the Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid vs. Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers, the incredible AEW World Title match between Kenny and Fenix at the very beginning of the year, and yet another amazing trios match at the Beach Break Dynamite with PAC, Fenix, and Jon Moxley facing off against Kenny and the Good Brothers.

The guest stars who have wrestled on Dynamite are truly amazing when you stop to think about it – and I haven’t even mentioned Minoru Suzuki, Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, or Shaq.

Looking back at the “Dynamite Dozen” column which ranked matches based on a combination of ratings from Cagematch and GRAPPL, the PAC/Fenix vs. Young Bucks title match ranks #8 in all-time Dynamite matches, and the Bucks vs. Penta/Eddie street fight ranks #35. Kenny vs. Rey Fenix is #4 and the Moxley/PAC/Fenix vs. The Elite match is #15. With all this, it becomes clear how great the Young Bucks vs. Death Triangle feud was all year. The bloody cage match at All Out with the Lucha Bros finally prevailing was the culmination of months of battles against The Young Bucks in which Rey Fenix and Pentagon tried to defeat them with different combinations of PAC and Eddie Kingston as their partners. However, it wasn’t until we finally got the true Lucha Bros combo of Fenix and Pentagon at All Out that they were able to get the big victory and tag titles. Add in the rest of the Elite matches and the history that the Bucks and Lucha Bros have from the beginning of AEW in 2019 and you get an incredible feud that is truly one of the best of 2021, at the very least from an in-ring perspective.

My personal favorite match of the feud, and the one that I want to highlight is the tag team title match between The Young Bucks and PAC/Rey Fenix, which aired on the April 14th episode of Dynamite. The match is significant, as it is the first match The Bucks had after their heel turn. The week before on Dynamite they had teamed with Moxley against Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers. The episode ended with the Bucks betraying Moxley and throwing up the too sweet to officially reform The Elite. I remember at the time not being a big fan of the build-up to the turn, or the turn itself. However, in this match, the Bucks completely changed my mind.

The episode of Dynamite opened with a pre-taped interview of the Bucks talking about their actions from the week before. They mention how they chose friendship and that the Elite are family. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it helped set the table for the match and started to make the heel turn really work. The video emphasized them cutting off the tassels from their gear, something Don Callis mentions on commentary during the match as well. The Bucks come out in all white gear, and are wearing their first of many signature Nike shoes – this time the Dior ones. It’s a little weird to see this version of the Bucks as they are just starting to develop their obnoxious heel characters, and don’t have many of the traits I would come to love to hate over the summer. Most striking is the lack of insane facial hair that became one of their signatures, especially on Nick Jackson.

With their in-ring work they are clearly heels, but are just starting to work out how to best get their heel mannerisms over. They start to incorporate some cheating into the match and are able to get good heat, which is amplified by the crowd’s adoration of PAC and especially Fenix. They try some things that don’t really work – such as a handspring into a back rake that feels too similar to spots El Phantasmo likes to pull in NJPW. But some things do work- such as Matt Jackson doing some obnoxious pelvic thrusts after making a mocking “hot tag” to PAC, which was set up by Nick pulling Fenix off the apron. Nick Jackson also does some great facial expressions and trash-talking directly into the camera that is quite effective at making him hateable.

On first watch of the match, one of the things that really stood out was the incredible double-team offensive combos by PAC and Fenix. For a pair that had not teamed for very many matches, they pull off a number of impressively flawless sequences. The two of them have a spot where they pass Matt Jackson’s leg back and forth to each other and hit different variations of simultaneous kicks on him. Later on, they do a series of wheelbarrow lifts with the other partner hitting multiple kicks and stomps on the opponent. Then there is a great moment where PAC hits a very delayed German suplex. He holds his Jackson brother in the air, allowing Fenix to hit a rope walk kick to the man being held by PAC, and then perform one of his high-velocity dives to the outside before The Bastard finally delivers the suplex. Just perfect timing by PAC knowing to wait until after Fenix’s dive so the camera can cut back to him and his offense isn’t missed.

While we are on the subject – let’s talk about PAC. Our old pal, “Iron” Mike Spears of the Open the Voice Gate (right here on the VOW podcast network) and Everything Elite podcasts frequently champions PAC as one of the greatest wrestlers of his generation, and a dark horse contender for best wrestler of the last decade (2010-2019). In this match, and honestly, in all of his matches, he just does all the little things right. His quick kicks and strikes are delivered with incredible speed, force, and precision. They always feel like they have a purpose, not just perfunctory offensive maneuvers to fill-up time. He comes in like a house of fire with springboard moves and those trademark strikes, making him a great hot tag in this match. Later on, while a downed Young Buck is trying to crawl up off the mat, he starts to throw punches into PAC’s gut. PAC no-sells the punches from his weakened opponent, but he doesn’t JUST no sell the punches, he literally wipes the strikes off his abdomen, highlighting his absolutely ripped abs in the process. The Bastard fully inhabits and expresses his character in everything he does – here’s hoping he gets more featured matches going forward.

Of course, the match also features Fenix and The Young Bucks hitting amazing spots and high-risk moves one after the other. Nick Jackson hits a Canadian Destroyer after rebounding off the ropes, definitely a nominee for the “Most Ridiculous Canadian Destroyer Award” which multiple AEW teams have been trying to win all year. Fenix springboards up into a hurricarana on one Jackson while simultaneously having his hand locked with the other. A spot that is simply amazing, but one that he does variations of so often and so effortlessly I don’t know if we always fully appreciate it.

There are numerous other spots and sequences that I can’t even describe. Which is what one should expect from these four incredible wrestlers. What I wasn’t expecting though was the ending. The great cherry on the top of this ice cream sundae was Nick Jackson fully removing Rey Fenix’s mask and tossing it into the crowd before a double superkick secured the victory for the Young Bucks. This wasn’t the typical mask ripping where part of the face is revealed as the heel slowly tears at it to build up heat. This was sudden and shocking. Fenix’s head is completely uncovered and he is forced to cover his face with both hands to protect his pride and identity. With this drastic, desperate move – the Young Bucks cemented their heel status. There was no turning back now.

When I look back at 2021, I don’t know if PAC/Fenix vs. The Young Bucks is my favorite match of the year. I know it isn’t what I consider the best match of the year, or what I would vote number 1 in the VOW MOTY. But what it is to me is an important match. It’s one I fondly think and find myself coming back to frequently. 2021 had plenty of down moments in wrestling – the continued COVID-19 (get yourself, your family, your children, your friends, and everyone vaccinated – please), the decreasing interest in New Japan, and  some disappoint in AEW.

But what got me excited about pro wrestling in 2021 was the great matches on Dynamite on a weekly basis. This was really at its peak for the first four months of the year with all the great tag and trios matches featuring The Elite and Death Triangle. And this tag match between PAC/Fenix and The Bucks is my favorite example of the heights AEW reached during this very special run of television wrestling.