Welcome again to another Wednesday night of exciting All Elite Wrestling action and the most exciting Dynamite recap you’ll ever read. It’s full speed ahead to Arthur Ashe Stadium and two nights of Grand Slam action next week, and AEW looks to provide an explosive prelude to the action on this week’s Dynamite. Did they succeed in getting fans hyped for the action? Read on and find out.
Previously on All Elite Wrestling…
On Dynamite, Jon Moxley had a successful homecoming in Cincinnati when he defeated Minoru Suzuki in a hard-hitting main event; Bryan Danielson made his intentions known that he wants a piece of Kenny Omega; MJF pissed off all of Cincinnati by opening his mouth, getting the ire of one Brian Pillman Jr; also, Taz really didn’t want CM Punk challenging his Team Taz boys.
Here’s the quick results of the 9/8 Dynamite (Episode 101):
- Malakai Black def. Dustin Rhodes via pinfall (9:53) after a Black Mass kick to the shoulder.
- CM Punk outlined his next steps in AEW, leading to Taz shouting him down for daring to challenge Team Taz.
- Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) def. Dante Martin via pinfall (8:24) with a spinebuster erroneously called a “powerbomb” by the commentators.
- Dan Lambert said some stuff.
- MJF lambasted Cincinnati with a cheap heat-laden promo. He turned his ire to the family of Brian Pillman, leading to an interruption from Brian Pillman Jr.
- Ruby Soho def. Jamie Hayter (w/ Rebel – not Reba and Dr. Britt Baker) via pinfall (7:27); post-match, Dr. Britt and associates beat up Soho until Kris Statlander and Riho made the save.
- The Pinnacle (Shawn Spears, Cash Wheeler, and Dax Harwood) (w/ Tully Blanchard & Wardlow) def. The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and John Silver) via pinfall (4:49) after Spears pinned Silver following the Death Valley Driver; post-match, Uno blamed Silver for losing, which culminated in a Dark Order conflict.
- An in-ring promo from The Elite and new/old ally Adam Cole was interrupted by Bryan Danielson, who challenged Kenny Omega to a fight. This led to a brawl where The Elite were sent to retreat by Danielson and friends Christian Cage, Frankie Kazarian, and Jurassic Express.
- Jon Moxley def. Minoru Suzuki via pinfall (8:08) with a butterfly suplex; Suzuki was cut open prior to the finish.
Here’s the rundown for the 9/10/21 edition of AEW Rampage (Episode 5):
- Andrade El Idolo (w/ Chavo Guerrero Jr.) def. PAC via pinfall (15:42) after Chavo hit PAC with a tablet for the cheap finish; post-match, Andrade was upset with Chavo’s interference and kicked him in the face, apparently firing him.
- Tully Blanchard & Shawn Spears pulled a fast one on Sting and Darby Allin, as Spears snuck up on Darby during a promo and attacked him ahead of their match on this Wednesday’s Dynamite.
- Ruby Soho, Riho, and Kris Statlander (w/ Orange Cassidy) def. Dr. Britt Baker DMD, Rebel (not Reba), and Jamie Hayter via pinfall (9:27) after Soho pinned Rebel for the win.
- Brian Pillman Jr. def. Max Caster (w/ Anthony Bowens) via pinfall (6:42) with the Air Pillman flying clothesline his dad made famous; post-match, Bowens attacked Brian as Caster helped with the ambush. Fellow Cincinnatian Jon Moxley ran out for the save and aided Pillman to fend off The Acclaimed to end the show.
It’s Wednesday Night. You Know What That Means.
After the oft-changed opening video telling us to light the fuse and bring the boom, we’re off to the races with Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and the returning Excalibur welcoming us. They’re soon joined by CM Punk, who’ll be on commentary tonight. Punk took his victory lap and embraced the adulation of the fans, including hanging out with a man dressed up like Dusty Rhodes in the ringside area. The card is run down for tonight, including the main event of Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston versus 2point0. But first, we’ve got Adam Cole & Frankie Kazarian in action.
Match 1: Adam Cole vs. Frankie Kazarian
The Story So Far
Adam Cole debuted at All Out and realigned himself with The Elite. Of course, this brings him into the crosshairs of the self-appointed “Elite Hunter” Frankie Kazarian. During last week’s brawl, Kaz took out Cole with a kick to set up this match.
Hot start as Kaz took control with some arm drags, controlling the early flow with rest holds. Cole dumps Kazarian to the outside with a reverse flip over the ropes, then tossing Kaz into the apron. Cole played to the crowd as Kaz responded with a jumping kick between the aprons. Back and forth between the two, leading to Kazarian going for a pin that Cole kicks out of at two. Transition into an armbar by Kaz, but Cole kicked out of it. Kazarian runs into an Ushigoroshi that gets a two count. Cole tunes up the band and goes for a kick, but Kazarian blocks it and turns it into a roll-through German suplex. Two-count. Double knees by Kaz, but an attempted cross-face chicken wing is reversed into a pin. Kickout. Cole hits a running Kaz with a superkick, but that too gets a two count. Cole up on the Bret Hart ropes as he goes for the Panama Sunrise… but Kaz blocks it into an Alabama slam. Springboard splash by Kazarian on Cole… 1… 2… NO! An exchange of blows that Kaz comes out on the winning end off, but Cole responds with a Complete Shot for the near fall. “This is awesome!” the fans chant. Cole finally hits the Panama Sunrise as he then sets up and connects with the Last Shot to the back of Kaz’s head! 1… 2… 3! Adam Cole with the win, bay-bay!
Adam Cole def. Frankie Kazarian via Pinfall (10:00)
With a mic in hand, Adam Cole goes off with storytime. He says that hope is a dangerous thing, saying that there’s no hope that anyone can beat The Elite. Cole goes on to single out Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus, immediately challenging them to a six-man tag next week with the Young Bucks backing him up. Let’s hope nobody gets turned to a ghost this time.
The History Between Lucha Bros & Butcher and The Blade
We get a video package hyping Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix vs. The Butcher and The Blade for this Friday’s Rampage, with the AEW Tag Titles on the line.
Fuego Del Sol Has A Challenge For Miro
Backstage with Tony Schiavone, Fuego del Sol is with Sammy Guevara. He issues a challenge to Miro for the TNT Championship on Friday’s Rampage, putting his new car on the line in the process.
MJF Talks Even More Trash
Flanked by Wardlow, MJF makes his way down to the ring to the usual boos. “You should be sympathetic towards me because I’m standing in the Armpit of America known as New Jersey,” says Max. He mocks Springsteen and the New Jersey Devils for sucking as hard as the “Jersey Shore skanks”. The Newark fans won’t have any of this, chanting “shut the fuck up”. MJF says he wants to talk to the late, great Brian Pillman, first looking upwards, but then turning his direction downwards. He says that going to massacre Brian Pillman Jr. in Queens next week at Dynamite Grand Slam. Brian Pillman Jr.’s music hits as MJF orders Wardlow to confront him at the stage, but it turns out, Pillman is sneaking up on MJF in the ring! Wardlow gets back and stares down Pillman, but he gets driven away with the chair as BPJ stands tall in the ring.
JR’s Interview With Brian Pillman Jr.
In an interview earlier today with JR, BPJ outlines how he’s going to kick MJF’s ass at Arthur Ashe Stadium next week.
Christian & Friends Answer The Elite’s Challenge
Backstage with interviewer Alex Marvez are Jurassic Express and Christian Cage. As Jungle Boy starts dissing on Adam Cole’s choice of friends and hair, he’s cut off by Christian, who says that Cole has some pretty good friends in the Super Elite who used their status to “drag Cole’s ass out of developmental”. Christian closes off with, “Since you’re already used to losing Wednesday night wars, you better add Friday nights to that as well.”
Match 2: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs. Dante Martin & Matt Sydal
The Story So Far
FTR are fresh off a trios victory last week with Shawn Spears against the fractured Dark Order, while Dante Martin did an admirable job in a losing effort against Powerhouse Hobbs.
Early pinfall exchanges are met with kickouts. Sydal and Dante controlling the action here early,but Dax has Dante in the corner. An attempted springboard by Dante is foiled by Cash Wheeler, who sends him careening to the ringside area. Wheeler is taking it to Dante at ringside, tossing him into the ringpost before bringing him back into the ring. Cash locks Dante in a head hold to ground him. Martin fights out of the submission as Cash tags back to Dax. Martin avoids a double team as he gets the tag to Matt Sydal. Double team apron springboard splash by the high-flyers to FTR as the action goes to picture-in-picture.
Back to full-screen action as FTR has control of the match. As Dax & Cash block an attempted splash on them by Sydal, but Dante Martin soars with a dropkick to FTR as he’s got a full head of steam. Dante leaps above Dax and Cash and gets into a pinning position, but a kickout at two! With the numbers in FTR’s advantage, Dante Martin valiantly tries to fight them off, but the Big Rig by FTR gets the win.
FTR def. Dante Martin & Matt Sydal via Pinfall (10:00)
The Suzuki Incident
We go to the announcers as they explain the “Suzuki Incident” involving Minoru Suzuki’s music not being played completely last week (cutting off before “Kaze Ni Nare”).. A hype package sets up next week’s big match between Suzuki and Lance Archer versus Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston, as Suzuki and Archer speak about their unity as part of the Suzuki-gun faction.
Malakai Black Has Words For Cody
In the darkness comes Malakai Black, along with his amazing entrance music. Black says that there’s an “enemy in our midst” as the camera focuses on Rosario Dawson, one of Cody Rhodes’ judge friends on The Go-Big Show. Cody himself walks down the crowd with a purpose as Dawson leaps onto Black’s shoulders and attacks him! Cody walks down from the crowd as he and Black begin to lay into each other! The fight spills into the crowd with Black and Cody beating the stuffing out of each other up the stairs. This brawl continues into the crowd as the show cuts to a break with the fight still very much in progress.
Dark Order Backstage
Roving reporter Alex Marvez is standing by with the Dark Order. Before Anna Jay can talk, Evil Uno cuts her off as Alex Reynolds appears to insult Uno for his poor leadership skills. Alan Angels (“V”) agreed with Reynolds’ accusations about Uno as the arguments broke down once again. Ultimately, Anna says that she doesn’t want any of the Dark Order men in her corner this Friday on Rampage. She walks off with Tay Conti, apparently choosing her best friend to be in her corner instead of someone from Dark Order.
Dan Lambert & American Top Team’s Challenge
In the ring is loudmouth Dan Lambert, The Men of The Year, Junior Dos Santos, Paige Van Zant, Andre Arlovski, and Kayla Harrison. He’s just saying his usual anti-AEW stuff when they’re interrupted by the soulful sounds of Judas, which brings out Chris Jericho & Jake Hager of the Inner Circle. Lambert orders the music to be shut up, but that doesn’t stop the fans from singing along without music.
“Hey Lambert, it sounds like there’s 15,000 people who love to sing along!” says Jericho. He then leads people into a singing of “I’m a Fat-Faced Dip Shit” to mock Lambert. Jericho and Hager offer to challenge the ATT guys, but Lambert says it’s not gonna happen in Newark. It’s gonna happen next week: Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page.
The Gunn Club Speak On Their Betrayal
Billy Gunn and the Gunn Club talk about how their betrayal of Paul Wight is based on “respect” for their unbeaten records, which they believe they haven’t gotten. Billy says that if anyone has a problem with his family’s new attitude, they can “just say so”.
Match 3: Jade Cargill (w/ “Smart” Mark Sterling) vs. “Legit” Leyla Hirsch
The Story So Far
This rivalry stems from Cargill eliminating Hirsch from the Women’s Casino Battle Royale at All Out, with the feud intensifying after Hirsch took down Cargill during last night’s Dark.
Jade starts off with the size advantage early, but is sent retreating outside by Hirsch. Suicide dive through the ropes by Leyla ends up hitting “Smart” Mark Sterling at ringside instead of Cargill. An attempted cross armbreaker by Hirsch is countered into a powerbomb by Cargill as the action goes into picture-in-picture.
Back with the match, Hirsch has Jade in a body scissors submission, but she gets thrown off. Jade misses a pump kick, as Hirsch tries for the German suplex, but to no avail. On the second go, Hirsch finally nails it for a two count. Jade rolls to the outside and gets stunned by a Leyla Hirsch suicide dive. The two competitors roll back into the ring as Leyla hits a jumping knee strike to a kneeling Cargill. 1.. 2… NO! Up to the top rope goes Leyla and she misses with the moonsault! Pump kick by Cargill leads to her lifting Leyla up for Jaded and the 1, 2, 3.
Jade Cargill def. “Legit” Leyla Hirsch via Pinfall (7:00)
Andrade El Idolo on Last Week’s Controversy
Confident that he can beat anyone when he wants, Andrade is upset that Chavo got involved in last week’s match with PAC on Rampage. He boasts that he is The Kingpin.
Taz Sets The Trap on CM Punk
While the commentators address the Andrade situation, Taz & Hook square up to Punk as Powerhouse Hobbs attacks Punk from behind! Dragon sleeper by Hook on Punk allows Hobbs to get a cheapshot kick in on the Chicago native! Hook clears the table as Hobbs chokeslams Punk through the commentary table! Team Taz exit the scene, satisfied with their handiwork.
Match 4: Darby Allin (w/ Sting) vs. Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard)
The Story So Far
Shawn Spears handed Darby his first loss in AEW. Tully Blanchard cut a promo on Sting last week, accusing him of just coasting off of the success of others. This match was made at the behest of Tully, who wanted Spears to embarrass Sting and Darby.
Shawn Spears doesn’t want to wait for the match to fully begin as he’s on the offensive right away to start the match. Knee to the face, followed by stomps and the toss to the outside by Spears.The Canadian jawjacks with Sting as he tosses Darby into the steel steps. Spears has evil intentions with the stairs, setting it up in the middle of ringside. He plants Darby against the steps as he goes for a running knee strike. Darby gets out of dodge at the last possible second, causing Spears to make contact with the steps!
Darby tries to go for a dive, but Tully Blanchard gets in the way. On the apron, Spears trips up Darby to send him crashing to the outside. Spears goes to the timekeeper’s area with a cloth, pouring water on it. He enters the ring to wipe away Darby’s face paint with the cloth as we go to a split-screen ad break.
We return with Spears locking Darby in the Scorpion Deathlock as an insult to Sting. Darby breaks the hold by reaching the ropes. Now it’s Allin with the offensive onslaught to flatline Spears, culminating with a Code Red for the near fall! Darby and Spears are on the top turnbuckle jockeying for an advantage until Spears tosses Darby off the top rope.
Spears has Darby on his shoulders looking for a Death Valley Driver onto the steel steps, but Darby turns that into a guillotine counter! Suicide dive through the middle rope by Allin, followed by a Coffin Drop onto a prone Spears for the victory!
Darby Allin def. Shawn Spears via Pinfall (8:00)
FTR confronts Sting and Darby in the ring, leading to a big brawl. Tully Blanchard hits Sting with a chair to no effect, but Dax and Cash swarm Sting with multiple clubbing blows. Darby gets back into the fight, but he too is waylaid. Dax and Cash have Sting set up with the Spike Piledriver! And now, Tully wipes the face paint off of Sting for the ultimate disrespect to the Icon.
Bryan Danielson Throws Down The Gauntlet
Tony Schiavone introduces Bryan Danielson to the ring for an interview. The American Dragon enters to an incredible reaction from the Newark crowd. Before Danielson can address his challenge to Kenny Omega, out comes Omega himself, accompanied by the irritating sounds of Don Callis. As Kenny’s manager goes on a diatribe, Bryan tells him to shut up. Danielson says that this is not about the title just yet, instead just being about who’s better. “Shut up, you piece of shit!” Bryan again yells at Callis. He says that he came to AEW to fight the Best Bout Machine, instead finding a goof who lets Callis speak for him.
Kenny takes the mic and says that if Bryan wants The Best Bout Machine and the God of Pro Wrestling? He then promptly accepts Danielson’s challenge.
Miro Wants To Bash Fuego Del Sol’s Brains In
The TNT Champion spoke in a video promo about Fuego Del Sol’s challenge, accepting it for Rampage this Friday. Miro vowed to not only bash Fuego’s new car, but also his face when he was through with him.
An Orange Egghead?
We get remarks from “Big Money” Matt Hardy, who once again teased that he wanted to cut Orange Cassidy’s hair completely as revenge for Orange breaking his nose during their first encounter. Hardy says that he’s going to turn him into an “Orange Egghead” when he’s through.
Match 5: Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. 2point0 (Jeff Parker & Matt Lee; w/ Daniel Garcia)
The Story So Far
2point0 have been a thorn in the sides of Mox & Kingston, having attacked them in an entrance ambush on the 8/18 Dynamite, clearly wanting to prove themselves as the toughest trio in AEW.
2point0 gets the jump on Mox and Eddie as they enter the ringside area, and it turns into a wild brawl even before the bell rings! Once the referee does get the match started, it’s Moxley and Parker to start us off. Mox has the early advantage, but Parker is able to respond with an eye rake, then tagging in partner Matt Lee. Mox fights back by biting Lee in the face. Lee retreats to the outside as Parker catches Mox from behind with a dropkick. The action goes to commercial as 2point0 tosses Moxley into the ring apron.
We return as Parker and Lee have the two-on-one advantage on Mox, but that quickly evaporates. Drop toehold by Lee leads to an elbow drop on Mox by Parker that only gets two. Mox with a lethal lariat on Lee as he tags in Eddie Kingston for the hot tag. Kingston is on a rampage on 2point0 as he effortlessly takes both Parker and Lee down. Tag to Moxley and they set Parker up for the Violent Crown double team move. Pin by Mox and this one’s over.
Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston def. 2point0 via Pinfall (7:00)
Mox and Kingston’s victory celebration is cut off by the awesome “Kaze Ni Nare” theme song of Minoru Suzuki, heralding the arrival of the Japanese wrestling legend. Suzuki appears on the ramp clearly intending to start a fight with Mox & Kingston, but not before his song plays in full. Lance Archer pulls Kingston out of the ring as Suzuki fights it out with Mox! Kingston and Archer fight in the crowd while Mox brawls it out with Suzuki at ringside. Suzuki attempts the Gotch-style Piledriver through the table, but Mox fights out of it! The fight rages on at ringside as we go off the air.
This Friday on Rampage (9/17/21)
- TNT Championship: Miro © vs. Fuego Del Sol (if Miro wins, he gets Fuego’s new car)
- AEW World Tag Title Match: The Lucha Bros. © (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero M) vs. The Butcher and The Blade
- Anna Jay vs. The Bunny
Next Week on Dynamite Grand Slam from Arthur Ashe Stadium (9/22/21)
- The Dream Match: Kenny Omega vs. Bryan Danielson
- Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black II
- MJF vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
- Dr. Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho
- FTR vs. Sting & Darby Allin
Next Week on Rampage Grand Slam from Arthur Ashe Stadium (9/24/21)
- Adam Cole & The Young Bucks vs. Christian Cage & Jurassic Express
- CM Punk vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
- Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. The Men of The Year
The Last Word
As expected, this show was intended to help set up next week’s massive Dynamite & Rampage Grand Slam cards, and I feel they did that well tonight.
Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega being explicitly a non-title match just to see who’s the best was definitely the best way to get this massive match as Danielson’s first AEW action without the World Title on the line. It’s still clear that the plan is that Kenny will drop the belt to “Hangman” Adam Page even with Bryan’s arrival into the main event scene. Even so, just the idea of Danielson vs. Omega is a dream match that doesn’t necessarily need the World Title at stake.
The actual Omega/Danielson challenge segment was well done, and it was a smart move to not have it bogged down by Elite shenanigans. Just having Bryan and Omega confront each other face-to-face really helps sell the idea that this is something that Kenny takes seriously because of the danger that Bryan poses to him.
The match’s outcome may have been a foregone conclusion, but that didn’t stop Cole vs. Kaz from being a hot opener to the evening. The two meshed well together and Kaz still managed to get his spots in even as the match was largely about Adam Cole (bay-bay).
It was only a matter of time before it came time for CM Punk to take some beatings, and the Team Taz ambush segment was well done, non-breaking table and all. While it was clear they were setting up Punk’s next match to be against Powerhouse Hobbs, that brief moment of Hook choking Punk out does give me big hope that we’ll see Hook’s first match against CM Punk at some point.
Leave it to AEW to turn something going awry into a storyline with what fans have called “The Suzuki Incident”. The original tweet that gave it its name was a semi-serious(?) demand to Tony Khan and AEW to put out a statement apologizing for not playing Minoru Suzuki’s theme song in full. It naturally turned into a memetic response that saw fans and even wrestlers get in on the fun. Using this to pretty much set up a tag match with Suzuki and Lance Archer vs. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston is a really neat way to go about it.
While the whole Dan Lambert/Men of the Year thing isn’t exactly something that’s universally loved, I did appreciate that there was finally some progression in this storyline with Chris Jericho stepping up to defend the honor of AEW against Lambert’s diatribes. That being said, the segment itself didn’t stick the landing at all, made all the more worse with the casual homophobic insult tossed out by Jericho (the “who’s on top” remark to American Top Team).
On another note, it’s a bit odd that despite being very prominent in the intro of this very show and all over the marketing for AEW’s Friday show, Rampage, Hikaru Shida hasn’t been seen on AEW programming — aside from being in the Women’s Casino Battle Royale at All Out. It’d be nice if they found a storyline or feud for her. In general, having more than one women’s match and angle on Wednesdays would be nice.
With a show that seemed very weak on paper heading into Wednesday turning out to be a strong go-home for next week’s Grand Slam festivities, AEW once again shows its strength of booking hot angles and matches to keep fans engaged throughout the night. On the strength of hyping a big-time dream match leading a stacked card over four hours and two nights of TV, Grand Slam is looking to be a huge supershow that’s sure to rock Arthur Ashe Stadium. And I for one can’t wait to see it all unfold next week.
Marc Quill is an avid wrestling fan who enjoys telling you all the exciting All Elite action on Wednesday nights. 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 general @MarcQuill on Twitter.