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AEW Dynamite: Anniversary Recap | 10/7/21 | From Philadelphia PA

Our recap of the explosive 2-Year Anniversary show!

It’s been two years since AEW’s flagship series, Dynamite exploded onto our television screens, delivering a different kind of wrestling experience for fans to enjoy. What new memories will unfold this week on the two-year Anniversary Edition of Dynamite? We’re about to find out.

Before we get started, though, I’d like to point everyone to RingCrashers’s special Dynamite retrospective featuring the RingCrashers crew’s picks for their favorite moments in the show’s two-year history.

Previously on All Elite Wrestling…

The Dark Order seemingly mended their broken bonds with thanks to -1 and Amanda Huber, the son and widow of the late Brodie Lee, respectively; Sammy Guevara survived the onslaught of Miro to wrest the TNT Championship away from “God’s Favorite Champion”; Bryan Danielson introduced the world to his fascination with people’s balls; Arn Anderson talked about how he apparently shot someone’s brains out while telling Cody Rhodes he sucked.

Here’s the results to the 9/29/21 Dynamite (Episode 104)

  • Adam Cole def. Jungle Boy via pinfall (13:39) after a cheapshot lowblow, followed by the Boom running knee.
  • The Elite’s self-congratulatory promo was interrupted by Bryan Danielson, who mocked them for their lack of metaphorical genitals. Danielson and Friends (Christian Cage and Jurassic Express) scared off The Elite.
  • Cody Rhodes & Lee Johnson def. Dante Martin & Matt Sydal via pinfall (7:47) when Lee pinned Martin after tagging himself in. Post-match, Arn Anderson cut an amazingly bizarre promo where he admitted to shooting a man and abandoned Cody for being a loser.
  • Darby Allin, Jon Moxley, & Eddie Kingston def. Anthony Greene & Bear Country via pinfall (3:24) when Mox & Kingston hit Greene with the VIolent Crown.
  • Orange Cassidy & The Dark Order def. The Hardy Family Office via pinfall (7:53) when the reunified Dark Order isolated The HFO’s Jora Johl and hit him with their finishers. Prior to the finish, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, & Colt Cabana tried to leave after a disagreement, but were encouraged to stay by -1 and Amanda Huber.
  • Lio Rush announced himself as the newest addition to the AEW roster by way of video package.
  • Dan Lambert and Men of the Year bragged about how great they are.
  • TayJay (Tay Conti & Anna Jay) def. Penelope Ford & The Bunny via submission (6:36) after Anna Jay made Ford tap out to the Queenslayer bodyscissors submission.
  • MJF’s attempts to goad Darby Allin into hitting him by bringing up Darby’s drunken uncle who died ended up failing.
  • Sammy Guevara def. Miro via pinfall (13:39) to win the TNT Championship with a series of moves, including a tornado DDT, the Go To Hell, and a 630 Splash.

Here’s the results to the 10/01/21 Rampage (Episode 8):

  • Bryan Danielson def. Nick Jackson via submission (15:35) using the Cattle Mutilation to make Nick tap. A post-match brawl between Danielson’s allies and The Elite ended with Danielson & Jungle Boy making Kenny Omega & Adam Cole tap to their respective submission finishers.
  • Ricky Starks trashed Brian Cage by way of a slick video package introduced by Hook & Powerhouse Hobbs.
  • CM Punk laid out a challenge to whoever wanted to step up to him next, warning that they’d face nap time if they fought him.
  • Jade Cargill def. Thunder Rosa & Nyla Rose in a Three-Way Match via pinfall (9:06) when Jade battered Rosa with chairshots after the face painted wrestler slammed Nyla through a table.  
  • Pre-recorded remarks from Malakai Black, hinting that he’s got others in AEW that he wants to target beyond the Nightmare Family.
  • Orange Cassidy def. Jack Evans via pinfall (9:04) to win the Hair vs. Hair match. The finish came when Matt Hardy & the HFO tried to interfere on Evans’s behalf, but were intercepted by Orange’s Best Friends and the Dark Order. This allowed Orange to hit Evans with an Orange Punch for the win. The show ended on a high note with the faces shaving Evans and celebrating with Brodie Lee Jr. (aka -1). 

It’s Wednesday Night. You Know What That Means… The Two-Year Anniversary

Match 1: Bryan Danielson, Christian Cage and Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) vs. The Super Elite (Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, and the Young Bucks)

Kenny Omega takes flight like a Winnipeg jet during a wild opener (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Adam Cole appeared at All Out and quickly aligned himself with the Elite, but the newly-reinforced group’s good times would not last for long as Bryan Danielson arrived to help Jurassic Express and Christian Cage fend off the Elite. The two factions have been at war with one another over the past few weeks, leading to tonight’s massive tag match.

The Match

No time wasted as we go right from the opening intro and with the two teams standing in the ring as Justin Roberts introduces them. 

Jungle Boy & Nick Jackson starting off as they trade offense. Nick tags in Adam Cole. Quick exchange of tags between JB and Christian Cage allows for them to have the advantage on Cole. Christian remains and looks to have the Killswitch set up, but Cole fights out of it. Corner punches by Christian leads to Cole tagging out to Matt Jackson. Kenny Omega tags in and hits a springboard slam onto Jungle Boy. 

Nick Jackson and brother Matt seem to have the advantage, but Jungle Boy fights out of it. Impressive springboard armdrag by J.B. on Matt also takes a prone Nick for a ride. Now it’s Bryan Danielson tagging in to a wild crowd reaction. He works over Matt’s arm for a bit before Luchasaurus tags in. Things break down as Nick finds himself alone in the ring and at the mercy of repeated corner attacks from the babyfaces. Near fall leads to chaos unfolding at ringside. Michael Nakazawa gets socked by Christian, which opens him to a spraying by Brandon Cutler.

The Young Bucks have Christian set up for the Indytaker assisted piledriver and hit it! Marko Stunt and a trainer check up on Christian, but the Super Elite lay waste to Stunt while the trainer continues to see if Christian is okay. The heels have the advantage on Jungle Boy as the Bucks and Cole do their Superkliq kissing spot. Omega back in the ring and just continues to taunt the faces. Double DDT on the Young Bucks by Jungle Boy allows him to tag in Bryan Danielson once again!

Omega and Danielson are staring each other down again and they proceed to pick up where they left off at Dynamite Grand Slam two weeks ago! Running clothesline by Danielson takes down Omega, leading to a dropkick and the repeated kicks in the corner. Frankensteiner by Danielson and he’s up top… diving headbutt! 1… 2… the Young Bucks break it up! Luchasaurus takes down the Young Bucks with a double clothesline, but finds himself hit with a dropkick by Cole. 

Cattle Mutilation by Bryan locked in… but Nick Jackson hits him with a diving drop! Omega and Danielson tag out of the match. Luchasaurus cleaning up on all four members of the Super Elite until a super kick by Cole stops him. Panama Sunrise attempt blocked and double chokeslam! He avoids a double superkick by the Young Bucks, returning fire with the Tail Whip on Nick and a roundhouse on Matt. Luchasaurus prowling on the outside as he gets Omega and Cole with a moonsault on the outside.

Jungle Boy leaps from the ring to hit a Frankensteiner on Nick Jackson to send him to the outside! Danielson hits a suicide dive on Matt Jackson. Omega knocks Bryan to the ground, firing himself up with the Terminator claps. Tope Con Giro by Omega on a mass of humanity outside the ring! Adam Cole teases doing a leap of his own, but he stops short to give everyone an “Adam Cole Bay-Bay!” instead. Luchasaurus hits a chokeslam on Cole and then the standing moonsault for a two-count. 

Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy look to have a double-team on Cole at the ready, but Kenny Omega flattens J.B. with the knee to the face. Cole low-blows Luchasaurus as the Super Elite are now assembled in the ring. Attempted four-man powerbomb by the Super Elite goes south. Jungle Boy attempts to fight back, but he falls victim to a Super Elite barrage of offense that ends with a Panama Sunrise.

Danielson runs in to break the count as he fights everyone with everything he’s got, but he’s taken out with a Super Elite superkick party. With Jungle Boy isolated by the heel Elite, they all hit him with a four-man BTE Trigger for the 1, 2, 3.

The Super Elite def. Jurassic Express, Christian Cage, & Bryan Danielson via pinfall (17:58)

CM Punk Wants To Wrestle

CM Punk lays down the challenge for Friday’s Rampage (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

As per recent tradition, CM Punk makes his entrance to a raucous reaction as he’s got some words to say on who he wants to face next.

Punk asks the fans if they’re tired of the weekly love-ins, because he sure as hell isn’t and that he’s gonna keep it going for as long as possible. He gets into the personal history he’s had with Philadelphia’s wrestling scene, mentioning how Philly made him rich in money and rich in spirit. Punk goes on to ask the fans if they want cheese steak from him or to see him wrestle. He jokingly tells the fans to go buy their own Philly cheese steaks and that he wants to wrestle. Punk singles out Daniel Garcia for a challenge to a match this Friday on Rampage.

Before leaving, Punk removes his fancy Jordans and gives it to a kid dressed as Orange Cassidy to keep.

Arn and Arson

In a pretape promo, we see Arn Anderson setting a bonfire in Cody Rhodes’ backyard, dumping a suit in the fire. “What are you gonna do, shoot me?” asks Cody. Arn demands that Cody take his tie off, to which Cody refuses. Arn slaps Cody in the face once as the tie is thrown into the bonfire.

Match 2: TNT Championship – Sammy Guevara © vs. Bobby Fish

Wily veteran Bobby Fish gave Sammy Guevara a hell of a fight (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

“The Spanish God” defeated Miro last week to become TNT Champion. In a post-show promo, he accepted the challenge of Bobby Fish, former star of Ring of Honor, NJPW, and WWE NXT.

The Match

In a promo during Sammy’s entrance, we see that he’s bought Fuego Del Sol a new truck, as promised.

Stalemate to start off between Fish and Sammy. Fish attempts to strike with his roundhouse kick, but Sammy just barely avoids it by latching on to the ropes. Bobby withstands Sammy’s offense for a bit before being sent outside. Fish cuts off an attempted springboard by Sammy by clipping his knees. We go to commercial on the two battering the hell out of each other.

Returning from the commercial, Fish goes for a slingshot senton, but Sammy just gets his knees up to reverse it. It’s followed up by a back elbow and clothesline combination. Fish fights back as he hits a suplex on Sammy that gets a two count. Sammy takes control with a standing Spanish Fly, then going up to the top rope. Fish intercepts and has Guevara right where he wants him… Avalanche Falcon Arrow from the top rope! 1… 2… Sammy just kicks out at two! Corner exploder from Fish again only gets a near fall. Fish decides to go in for the kill as he tries for the roundhouse kick, but Guevara ducks and hoists Fish up on his shoulders for the Go To Hell! 1, 2, 3… this one’s over. 

Sammy Guevara def. Bobby Fish via pinfall to retain the TNT Championship (9:17)

Post-Match

Dan Lambert’s American Top Team and the Men of the Year all make their way through the crowd to surround the ring. Scorpio Sky strikes from behind as Junior Dos Santos rains down the elbows on Sammy. Fuego del Sol tries to run in for the save, as he gets taken down by a couple of American Top Team goons. The heels look to have the advantage, but Chris Jericho and Jericho make the save to fight off ATT. 

Lambert demands that Jericho’s theme be cut, but the fans sing the rest of the chorus. He lays down the challenge for next week’s Rampage: Men of the Year and Junior Dos Santos vs. The Inner Circle, with Jorge Masvidal at ringside. Jericho says that they’ll beat the living shit out of Ethan, Scorpio, and Dos Santos.

The Acclaimed Lay Down Some Rhymes and Challenges

In a backstage promo, Max Caster and Anthony Bowens drop some rhymes to challenge AEW Tag Champs Lucha Bros. to a match for their titles this Friday on Rampage.

Tony Khan’s Big Announcement

AEW referee Aubrey Edwards with the new TBS Championship (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

In the ring with Tony Schiavone is referee Aubrey Edwards, who’s holding a conspicuous black bag. Schiavone talks about Dynamite’s history so far and the introduction of the TNT Championship. He mentions the show’s move to TBS starting on January 5th, 2021, leading to the big announcement of a new women’s championship title debuting with the TBS move. This new title is the TBS Championship. Aubrey unveils the TBS Championship belt, which resembles the TNT Championship, but with the TBS logo in place of the TNT one.

Jim Ross Interviews Darby Allin

In an interview from earlier today, J.R. discusses with Darby about the verbal standoff he had with MJF. Darby talks about why he paints half his face, citing that 50% of him feels dead inside since that day his uncle died in a drunk driving accident. Darby faced death on that day, but he’s still here. MJF can say whatever he wants, but Darby says that he won’t be beaten mentally or physically.

Match 3: Darby Allin vs. Nick Comoroto

Darby Allin about to give Nick Comoroto a reality check (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Not really much of a story here as this match was booked hours before Dynamite aired, but Darby’s competing a week after MJF attempted to get on his bad side by bringing up his drunken father.

The Match

Darby does not waste any time, hitting a splash on Comoroto & Aaron Solo on the outside. Once the two head into the ring, the match starts proper. Darby remains on the offensive with a backwards splash to Comoroto, followed by a running elbow. Darby tries for the Stundog Millionaire, but Comoroto is able to reverse that into a powerslam as we head to a picture-in-picture commercial break.

The action resumes with Darby reversing a Comoroto suplex into a successful Stundog Millionaire. That’s followed with the Coffin Drop for the victory in short order.

Darby Allin def. Nick Comoroto via pinfall (4:43)

Post-Match

As Darby’s celebrating his win, QT Marshall sneaks up on Sting and hits a QT Cutter on the Icon! However, Sting shrugs that off and literally pops back up and takes down an unaware QT with the Scorpion Death Drop.

A United, Beardier, Balder Dark Order

The Dark Order is backstage and now more unified than ever after last week’s show in Rochester. Evil Uno decides that he no longer wants to make the choices for everyone as the group agrees to settle differences by way of votes. John Silver wants Alan “V” Angels to remask due to his resemblance to him and Stu Grayson. Angels’s toque is removed to reveal his bald head. Anna Jay manages to get everyone on the same page.

Dante Martin’s Challenge is Answered with a Kick

Has Dante Martin sealed his fate with the House of Black? (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

Schiavone is once again in the ring, interviewing Dante Martin. The flashy rookie says that he’s been proving to be a problem to everyone in the locker room, boasting about how he took Kenny Omega to the limit when he faced him earlier this year. Dante says that he’s laying down the challenge to anyone who wants a piece of him. Just then, the lights go out, which can only mean one thing.

Malakai Black appears behind Dante, spitting the black mist in his face before flattening Dante with the spinning kick to the head! The lights shut off once again.

Once the arena lights return, we see Black standing alone in the ring, stating that the House of Black has accepted Dante Martin’s challenge. Malakai walks off, leaving Dante in a heap at ringside.

Ricky Starks Talks Trash

FTW Champ Ricky Starks shows off his hardware (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

We return to the show with “Absolute” Ricky Starks in the ring. He talks about how he has the original FTW Championship that was born in South Philly, saying that he represents the same mindset his mentor Taz fought for way back in the day. Starks says that Brian Cage does not live up to the FTW mindset and that he was looking forward to challenging Cage to a fight… specifically, a Philly Street Fight.

Just then, Brian Cage runs from the back and starts laying an beating on Starks. Hook and Powerhouse Hobbs manage to pull Starks out of harm’s way before Cage could do any more damage.

TBS Championship Challengers Step Up

A video package airs, showing remarks from Thunder Rosa, Ruby Soho, Jade Cargill, and Skye Blue. All of the women interviewed stake their claim for the right to be called the TBS Champion.

Match 4: Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb

Was Hikaru Shida’s determination enough to earn her 50th win? (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Shida, not seen on Dynamite since May, has been putting together an impressive run with wins on AEW’s YouTube shows. She’s now one win away from her 50th victory in All Elite Wrestling, but Serena Deeb stands in the way of that.

The Match

At ringside, we see a small glass trophy that’ll be given to Shida if she wins this next match. As the match begins, it’s a stalemate between the two women. Hikaru tries to offer Serena a handshake, but that’s soundly rejected with a slap to the face. Hikaru traps Serena in the corner and hits repeated punches and headbuts. Dropkick drops Serena underneath the apron. Shida heads outside and hits a running kneelift onto a prone Serena. She pulls out a chair, hoping to use it to hit her flying offense. Serena recovers and puts the chair away to stop that. Deeb cracks Shida across the middle rope with a neckbreaker to send us to commercial and picture-in-picture.

Back to live action with Hikaru on the offensive. Spinning front chancery takes down Deeb as Hikaru takes flight with a missile dropkick. 1… 2… NO! Serena has Hikaru in an octopus hold, looking for the Deeb-tox, but Shida fights out of it. Gedo Clutch by Serena gets a very close near-fall.

Knee strike by Shida sends Serena rolling out to ringside. Off the middle rope goes Hikaru Shida as she splashes onto Serena at ringside! Serena rolls in and manages to hit a rope-assisted dragon screw on Hikaru, then a swinging neckbreaker for two. Deeb works over Hikaru’s knee to weaken it, but that advantage is all but fleeting. Hikaru pushes Serena into a corner, followed by a knee strike. Attempted Canadian backbreaker by Hikaru fails due to the bum knee. Serena goes for a chopblock, but Shida just moves out of the way. Inverted powerslam by Shida gets a near-fall. Shida with the running elbow strike and the Falcon Arrow… 1… 2… Deeb kicks out! 

Shida’s favoring her knee as she goes for the Katana kick, but Serena blocks that as she repeatedly goes after the injured knee. Serena with the eye rake and she gets the Deeb-tox on Hikaru. 1.. 2.. 2.9999999!!!!

Serena just won’t stop as she bashes Shida’s knees against the canvas and then locks in the Serenity Lock! The pain’s too much to bear as Shida taps out for the shocking loss.

Serena Deeb def. Hikaru Shida via submission (10:15)

Post-Match

Not content with the victory, Serena grabs the 50 Victories trophy and smashes it across Hikaru’s head before leaving.

The Pinnacle’s Retribution

Alex Marvez interviews Darby Allin in the parking lot about MJF challenging him to a match next week, to which Darby accepts. Just then, a limo pulls up and blocks Darby’s path. Darby is suddenly attacked by masked men, who are totally not the Group Formerly Known As Retribution. These masked men all vaguely resemble MJF and The Pinnacle, but manage to keep their robber masks on for the duration of their beatdown.

L.B.O. Lio’s Next Investment?

Pre-recorded remarks from Lio Rush are shown, as he talks about how Dante Martin can achieve greater success if he found himself under Lio’s tutelage. He urges Dante to hit him up for his impending match with Malakai Black.

Casino Ladder Match: Orange Cassidy vs. PAC vs. Jon Moxley vs. Matt Hardy vs. Andrade el Idolo vs. Lance Archer vs. Mystery Joker

The Hangman is back and ready to go full gear (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Booked as a massive main event to cap off the Anniversary Edition of Dynamite, this match is not without its rivalries embedded within. PAC & Andrade have been in a rivalry that saw Andrade score a cheap win over PAC on Rampage recently; Mox recently teamed up with Eddie Kingston to beat Archer and Minoru Suzuki on the Grand Slam edition of Rampage; Orange Cassidy has fought with Matt Hardy and the HFO, recently scoring huge wins over the faction over the last week of AEW televised programming.

The Match

Orange Cassidy and PAC are your first two competitors. The Bastard just outwrestles Cassidy, refusing to go along with the aloof grappler’s antics. PAC runs across the ropes, but Orange just lies down to avoid his opponent. Cat and mouse chase between PAC and Orange ends with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. PAC tries to set the ladder up, but Orange pushes it away. Attempted tornado DDT by Orange is turned into a brainbuster. 

Andrade El Idolo is the next man out. PAC dropkicks a ladder into Andrade’s face. The ladder is set up in the middle as PAC climbs up. Andrade leaps up from the top rope and intercepts PAC. Andrade takes advantage and hits a Sunset Flip powerbomb on PAC from the ladder! Andrade puts the ladder onto PAC and looks to do something dangerous, but Orange Cassidy stops him in his tracks. Orange does his low-effort kicks, but gets slapped by Andrade. Orange takes out both Andrade and PAC with his fast and furious offense.

“Big Money” Matt Hardy is the fourth man and he gets Orange with a Side Effect. Hardy cleans the house with the ladder, taking both PAC and Andrade out. He climbs up the ladder, but Orange Cassidy grabs at Matt’s legs to stop him. Hardy slams Orange’s face into the ladder as we go to our final commercial break.

During the break, Lance Archer enters next and annihilates everyone. Once action resumes, the timer starts up again and Jon Moxley is the last pre-Joker entrant in this match. Archer steps out of the ring and proceeds to fight Moxley in the crowd! Tony Schiavone notes that Darby Allin has not been cleared for action due to the Pinnacle’s attack earlier.

Archer is now in the middle of the ring, but he falls victim to a series of Orange Punches from Orange Cassidy, causing him to end up in position for Orange to literally climb Archer’s back to try and get to the top! Mox stops Cassidy before he can get far, then drop kicking the ladder onto Archer in the corner. The countdown expires and the Joker stands revealed… it’s none other than the returning “Hangman” Adam Page! He returns to a massive ovation from the Philly crowd (and his lower-third graphic stating, “Finally Showed Up To Work”).

Hangman slides in and starts exchanging fists with Moxley before sending him to the floor. Archer also gets taken out by Page, while a leaping Orange Cassidy falls victim to a fallaway slam onto a ladder by the fired-up Cowboy. Flying splash onto Matt Hardy on the outside by Hangman. PAC cuts off Page’s momentum with a chair to the back.

PAC prepares a ladder on one of the corners as he sets Hangman onto a table, looking to perhaps hit the Black Arrow. However, he’s cut off by Andrade El Idolo and the two bitter rivals start fighting on top of the ladder! Eventually, PAC wins out and sends Andrade crashing to the outside! Hangman has recovered and now starts trading blows with PAC on the top of the ladder. With PAC stunned, Hangman sets him up and gets the massive avalanche Deadeye through the goddamned table! Jon Moxley slides back in and nails the Paradigm Shift on Hangman to audible booing from the crowd.

Standing alone, Mox pulls the ladder to the middle, hoping to retrieve the poker chip. Orange Cassidy intercepts and the two start fighting on top of the ladder. Mox gains the upper hand by biting Orange Cassidy in the forehead as if he were an actual orange. Matt Hardy re-enters the match by knocking both men off the ladder. Matt has Orange on the outside and places him on the table set up outside. He climbs up the ladder outside and hits a vintage Hardy Boyz leg drop on O.C. through a table! 

In the ring, Moxley is climbing the ladder and close to retrieving the poker chip, but Lance Archer lays him out. Hangman Page rejoins the fray and takes out Archer with a surprise Buckshot Lariat! With nobody around, Page looks to have the match won as he ascends the ladder. Mox strikes Hangman in the back with a steel chair, much to the disgust of these fans. Now we have both men on opposite ends of the ladder, hitting each other with everything they’ve got. At the end of the standoff, Hangman is able to knock Moxley off the ladder! All alone at the top, Hangman reaches up to the poker chip and unhooks it to win himself an AEW World Title shot in his return!

“Hangman” Adam Page wins the Casino Ladder Match to earn an AEW World Championship Shot (17:10)

Post-Match

Page celebrates his victory by, of course, cracking open a cold one and taking a drink on top of the ladder as we end the Anniversary Edition of Dynamite.

This Friday on Rampage (10/8/21)

  • CM Punk vs. Daniel Garcia
  • AEW World Tag Title Match: The Lucha Bros. © vs. The Acclaimed
  • Jade Cargill vs. Skye Blue
  • FTW Championship: Ricky Starks © vs. Brian Cage in a Philly Street Fight

Next Friday on Rampage (10/15/21)

  • The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager) vs. Men of the Year (Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky) and Junior Dos Santos

Next Saturday on Dynamite Saturday Night (10/16/21)

  • Matches to be announced at a later date

The Last Word

Obviously, the big story was the return of the Cowboy himself, “Hangman” Adam Page. Last seen being beaten down by The Elite after losing that massive tag match at Fight for the Fallen, Page’s return appears to indicate that his path to the AEW World Title and Kenny Omega is now back on track. And with the final PPV of the calendar year looming — one fittingly named after a Being the Elite running gag associated with Page — there’s certainly no better place to pull the trigger on the two-year arc than Minneapolis, MN.

Of course, there’s the drama that will certainly arise with Hangman and the now-reunified Dark Order. Recall that the group’s fracture was inadvertently caused by Hangman himself when he asked them to give him some space after their disheartening defeat at the hands of The Elite. Will we see a unified front once again with Hangman and Dark Order? 

The ladder match itself was well-booked and the six non-Joker participants all having some form of history with one another really added to it. You had Moxley having recent vendettas with Archer, while Orange Cassidy remains a thorn to Matt Hardy’s side. And then there’s PAC, who recently feuded with Andrade, but also fought Mox and Orange in the past. It made for an interesting dynamic throughout.

Another interesting dynamic was the smattering of boos that Mox received whenever he went after Hangman. Back in July, Moxley cut this promo where he mocked Hangman for his melodrama. This will likely be a feud that’ll surely be revisited in the near future. Perhaps as Page’s first program as the AEW World Champion? 

The other significant development tonight aside from the returning Hangman is the launch of the TBS Championship for AEW’s Women’s Division. The introduction of this title certainly gives the portion of the division not around the orbit of the Women’s World Title something to fight for and should hopefully increase an added emphasis on them as a whole.

Of the names revealed to be in the tournament on Dynamite, I feel that Jade Cargill, Ruby Soho, and Skye Blue have varying chances of being the first TNT Champion. Thunder Rosa seems destined to dethrone Dr. Britt Baker as AEW Women’s Champion, so we could see a shock upset win over her in the tourney. 

Meanwhile, Jade’s been given a massive push, carrying an unbeaten streak that continues to this day. She and Soho could represent a “marquee name” that could help elevate the TBS Title’s status immediately.

Skye Blue, on the other hand, is a regular of Dark and Dark: Elevation, though she’s only posted a single win in several appearances. That being said, AEW seems high enough on Skye that she’s recurred on the YouTube shows and now has a spot in this prestigious TBS Title tournament. So, it’s really not out of the possibility that we see Skye have a bit of an underdog run here (perhaps coinciding with her becoming #AllElite?).

The opening tag match was frenetic and fun, and gave The Elite some much needed heat back after consecutive weeks of being on the back end, just in time for Hangman’s return. It feels like The Elite’s feud with Bryan Danielson and friends will be put on the backburner for the time being so that we could potentially slot in Dark Order & Hangman once again on the road to Full Gear.

Lastly, the melodrama between Cody Rhodes and Arn Anderson seemed to have taken a turn for the strange, especially with the vignette this week. It’s certainly not the intention of AEW to make the falling out between a down-on-his-luck Cody and his long-time confidante unintentionally funny, but when you have Cody dramatically confronting Arn while suited and asking if Arn was gonna shoot him, then you just have to wonder what the tone is here. I’m certainly not complaining if things remain awkwardly funny, though.

AEW marked the two-year anniversary of their premier broadcast series with a show bookended by a hot tag opener and a surprise feel-good moment, while peppering the rest of the evening with angles sure to kick things into full gear heading into Full Gear.

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.

By Marc Quill

Writer of things.

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