I hope my American readers had a happy Thanksgiving long weekend as we welcome you back to another week of Dynamite action. With excellent matches and a long-awaited promo battle, let’s take look back at the pre-Thanksgiving edition of the show.
Previously on All Elite Wrestling…
Results for 11/17/21 Dynamite (Episode 111)
- In a pre-taped video, Kenny Omega said that he’d be taking time away from AEW to “fix” things that need to be fixed — in reality, he’s taking time off to recover from a series of injuries he’s sustained.
- “Hangman” Adam Page’s AEW World Championship celebration was cut short by an antagonistic Bryan Danielson, who dressed him down for not being ready for a fight. Page took exception and got into a brawl with Danielson.
- Bryan Danielson def. Evil Uno via referee stoppage (6:11) with the triangle choke. After the match, Danielson promised to kick the heads in of the rest of the Dark Order, starting with Colt Cabana next week.
- A confrontation between Eddie Kingston and 2point0 ended with Kingston challenging Daniel Garcia to step up to him.
- Orange Cassidy & Tomohiro Ishii, representing CHAOS def. The Butcher and the Blade via pinfall (11:19) when Ishii got the pin on the Blade.
- Nyla Rose def. Hikaru Shida via submission (11:06) to advance in the TBS Championship Tournament. During the match, Serena Deeb got involved and attacked Shida outside the ring.
- MJF bragged about his win over Darby Allin at Full Gear and angered the Norfolk crowd until CM Punk interrupted. MJF introduced himself to Punk, who simply ignored him and walked away without saying a word.
- The Gunn Club challenged Darby Allin to a fight in the near future.
- Bobby Fish and Adam Cole threw down the gauntlet to Jurassic Express for a tag team match on Rampage.
- Dante Martin & Lio Rush def. The Acclaimed via pinfall (9:30) after Dante pinned Bowens to get the victory. Post-match, Team Taz once again extended their offer for Dante to join them.
- Sammy Guevara def. Jay Lethal via pinfall (12:52) to retain the TNT Championship with the Go To Hell. The Inner Circle appeared after the match to celebrate with Sammy to end the show.
Results for 11/19/21 Rampage (Episode 15)
- Darby Allin def. Billy Gunn via pinfall (8:37) after two Coffin Drops. Post-match, the Gunn Club beat down Darby and Sting.
- QT Marshall challenged CM Punk to a match in front of his hometown fans on Dynamite next week.
- Jade Cargill def. Red Velvet via pinfall (9:00) to advance in the TBS Championship Tournament.
- Jurassic Express def. Bobby Fish and Adam Cole via submission (15:29) after Jungle Boy made Fish tap out to the Snare Trap. The finish came when the Young Bucks’ attempted interference was foiled by Christian Cage, which led to Cole leaving Fish at the mercy of Jurassic Express.
It’s Thanksgiving Eve. You Know What That Means.
Direct from Chicago’s Wintrust Arena, it’s a special pre-Thanksgiving edition of AEW Dynamite. With our usual hosts Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone, we go right to the action with the hometown hero.
CM Punk & MJF’s War of Words
Rather than give a blow-by-blow recap of this incredible opening salvo between CM Punk and MJF, I’ll let the segment speak for itself as AEW has posted the segment in full, so you can see it below:
Match 1: CM Punk vs. QT Marshall
The Story So Far
This match was set up on Rampage last Friday, with QT promising to defeat the unbeaten CM Punk in front of his hometown crowd. This is, of course, the first-ever match between the two.
It’s CM with the early advantage as he rocks QT with repeated scoop slams. CM with a lateral press and gets a two count. While in a chinlock, QT manages to back Punk right where Nick Comoroto is standing at ringside. Comoroto grabs at Punk’s leg, but he’s caught by referee Paul Turner, who ejects him and Aaron Solo from the ringside area! Marshall is at the ramp as he tells his boys to leave the ring. Back in the ring, Punk again with a scoop slam on QT. With a jab, Marshall is able to take advantage for a bit, but his fortunes take a reversal as Punk eventually comes back. Hard irish whip to the corner causes Marshall to take a hard fall.
QT with another jab as he stomps on Punk. Only a two-count. Punk fights out of a chinlock, leading to a clothesline to the outside. On the apron, Punk hits the clothesline on Marshall to send us to picture-in-picture.
Returning to live action on Dynamite, QT again has the advantage, applying a neck crank on Punk. The hometown hero stands to fight out of it, but he’s floored by a forearm and a Liger Bomb from QT Marshall. 1, 2… NO! QT starts heeling it up to the Chicago crowd, then trash talking Punk. That gets him a kick to the head for his troubles. Punk starts to mount his offense. Neckbreaker, then the knee strike to QT in the corner. Short-armed clothesline soon follows, and then the Macho Man Elbow from the top rope. Punk motions that it’s time to put someone to sleep… and that somebody is QT Marshall. The GTS connects! 1, 2, 3! This one’s over.
CM Punk def. QT Marshall via pinfall – GTS (11:08)
Roving reporter Tony Schiavone is standing by with Jurassic Express and Christian Cage. They talk about how their recent successes has led to momentum being on their side, and now that Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus are the number-one ranked tag team in AEW, Christian is going to make sure that they become the next AEW World Tag Team Champions. Luchasaurus offers an approving roar to end the interview.
Here’s Coffee In Your Eye
Eddie Kingston is indeed at catering, enjoying himself a cake, when he’s approached by 2point0 and Daniel Garcia. Jeff Parker and Matt Lee talk about how they read Eddie’s Players Tribune article, interpreting it as an article about a guy who’s satisfied with where he is, not a guy who’s hungry any longer. The duo say that they’re here to help Eddie since he couldn’t help his friend Jon Moxley. The mere mention of Mox causes Eddie to flip as Daniel Garcia tosses hot coffee in his face! Eddie is in a rage as he flips a table and comes at 2point0 and Garcia with a fork.
Match 2: Colten & Billy Gunn of the Gunn Club vs. Bear Country (Bear Boulder & Bear Bronson)
The Story So Far
There really isn’t any pre-establishing story here, other than the fact that the Gunn Club are currently undefeated and look to continue that here. They’re also fresh off of an encounter with Darby Allin and Sting on Rampage the previous Friday which ended with the Gunn Club standing tall over the two.
Ever the opportunists, the Gunn Club hit a cheap shot on the Bears before the bell can even ring. Bear Boulder hoists Billy Gunn over him and throws him down. On the outside, Bear Bronson is sent crashing into the steel steps. Colten Gunn takes Bear Boulder into the ring and is thrown with an over-the-shoulder suplex. Boulder has Colten right where he wants him. He runs against the ropes and is tripped up by Austin Gunn while the referee is not looking. Colten takes advantage and hits Colt 45 to score the win and continue the Gunn Club’s unbeaten run.
The Gunn Club def. Bear Country via pinfall – Colt 45 by Colten Gunn (1:36)
The Gunn Club’s celebration is interrupted by the music of Darby Allin, which signals the arrival of Darby’s mentor, Sting. Austin Gunn tries to attack Sting at the stage, but he’s taken down by Darby, who flies in like a missile and crushes Austin with a high-impact charge! The facepaint-clad duo rush to the ring and send Colten and Billy Gunn on a retreat, to get a bit of revenge for last week.
Battle of the Belts
A short promo hyping the January 8th, 2022 “Saturday Fight Night” special on TNT, titled Battle of the Belts, airs. It goes down live from the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Who Are AEW’s True Best Friends?
With the Young Bucks off this week, it’s Adam Cole & Bobby Fish who get the chance to tell Brandon Cutler how to operate the camera. Cole talks about the bad fortunes he and his Elite buddies have had over the past few weeks, with the Bucks still recovering from their injuries. He hypes up the fact that he and Fish are more than just tag partners, and that they’re true-blue friends. The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, and Wheeler YUTA) walk past the formerly-undisputed partners and have a dispute with them. Cole makes fun of the fact that Trent is not there, noting that their team name should just be “Best Friend”. He then challenges Orange and YUTA to fight him and Bobby Fish.
In a boardroom area backstage, Team Taz are with Dante Martin & Lio Rush, going over the contract for Dante to sign so he can be a part of the Team. Taz complains about Lio’s presence in the room, to which the LBO replies that he’s there to look over whatever the contract that’s been handed to Dante is. Taz says that it’s nothing more than business. Dante takes the pen from Lio and signs the contract, apparently joining Team Taz. He takes some chips from Hook before leaving with Team Taz.
Match 3: Jamie Hayter vs. Thunder Rosa (TBS Championship Tournament Quarterfinals)
The Story So Far
Jamie Hayter defeated the Dark Order’s Anna Jay to advance to the Quarterfinals, whereas Thunder Rosa was given a first-round bye due to being one of the top wrestlers in the AEW Women’s rankings. AEW Women’s Champion Dr. Britt Baker DMD has thrown her support behind Hayter to become the first TBS Champion.
Instant lockup between Rosa and Hayter to start off as the bell sounds. They exchange slams before Hayter takes advantage with a cheap shot. Some slaps before Hayter sends Rosa to the outside. Attempted Irish whip is reversed as Rosa sends Hayter into the barricade. Hayter rams Rosa into the apron and then the barricade. Rosa fights back with a chop as she sends Hayter into the ring. Hayter takes a momentary advantage, but Rosa gets her good with punches to the ribs.
Kidney kicks by Hayter to the ribs of Thunder Rosa allows for a brief burst of momentum. Rosa fights out and hits repeated running attacks to the rope. Back outside and Rosa is punishing Hayter, hitting a running dropkick to the outside. Suplex to the unforgiving ringside floor stings Hayter. Rosa attempts a running apron attack, but that’s reversed as Hayter catches her and rams her right into the ring post. The match goes to picture-in-picture at this point.
Back on Dynamite with Hayter setting up Rosa on the top rope for some sort of an avalanche move. After a struggle, Rosa fights out of it and follows that up with a shotgun dropkick!. Both women are at opposite corners, but it’s Thunder Rosa who takes over with two dropkicks to the cornered Hayter. 1, 2…. KICKOUT! Suplex attempt is blocked as Hayter turns it into a backbreaker. Only two on that move. Rosa escapes out of a Jamie Hayter chinlock with repeated shots to the ribs. Things break down into a hockey fight between Rosa and Hayter.
Peruvian Necktie locked in, but Rebel and Britt Baker interfere in the match. While Rebel distracts the referee, Britt breaks the hold and ultimately ends up hitting a superkick on Jamie Hayter instead of her intended target! Casadora turns into a victory roll… 1, 2, 3!
Thunder Rosa def. Jamie Hayter via pinfall — Casadora Victory Roll (10:38)
Jamie Hayter is a bit upset at Dr. Britt’s failed interference, shoving her away then walking off alone.
Chris Jericho is being interviewed when 2point0 and Daniel Garcia interrupt him, still bragging about their hot coffee attack on Eddie Kingston. Jericho mocks them for incurring Kingston’s wrath, then making fun of Matt Lee’s “square” head. He tells the trio that if they ever interrupt him again, he says he’ll knock their teeth down their throat. 2point0 and Garcia walk off as Jeff Parker tells Jericho to “watch his mouth”.
A Ruined Friendsgiving
Backstage, Dr. Britt Baker is with Rebel and Tony Schiavone with a Thanksgiving dinner set up. Britt talks about how even with Thunder Rosa defeating Jamie Hayter, she’s thankful she’s still the AEW Women’s Champion. Schiavone is the bearer of bad news, though, rolling footage of Riho not being officially eliminated during All Out’s Casino Battle Royale.
With that in mind, Tony Khan has booked a “Black Friday Deal Match” on Rampage between Riho and Dr. Britt. The catch is that if Riho wins, she gets a shot at the AEW Women’s Championship. Britt’s pissed at the match being made, stating that Schiavone has ruined Halloween and Thanksgiving. She tells him he won’t be invited to the Christmas party.
Match 4: Bryan Danielson vs. Colt Cabana
The Story So Far
While this is the latest stop in the American Dragon’s warpath against the Dark Order, the connection between him and opponent Colt Cabana goes way back. Way back in the early 2000s, Colt and Danielson were travel buddies as they toured across the country. Their journeys together was the subject of the 2009 documentary The Wrestling Road Diaries. Now, they meet in the ring as Colt finds himself the next target of Danielson’s quest to vie for “Hangman” Adam Page’s AEW World Title by leaving the ruins of the Dark Order in his wake.
Back and forth action between Bryan and Cabana to get started in this match. Cabana escapes an armbar attempt by grabbing onto the ropes and it’s back to square one. More jockeying for position with arm stretches until Colt attempts a Romero Special. Danielson uses his submission prowess by escaping and hitting Cabana hard with kicks. Danielson mantains control as the fans chant for Colt Cabana. Attempted running dropkick is sidestepped by Cabana as this gives him a chance to mount an offense. Chops and punches by Cabana on Danielson, finishing with the bionic elbow to floor the American Dragon.
Flying Apple misses wildly and Danielson hits the German suplex to the booing of the Chicago fans. Danielson works over Cabana in the corner before attempting a super back suplex. Colt fights out of it and sends Danielson to the floor. Moonsault by Colt gets a very close near-fall. Short-arm elbow strikes by Colt, but he’s tripped up by Danielson. The American Dragon has him in position for the trapped arm stomps to the head. Danielson kicks Colt’s head in repeatedly rather aggressively. He transitions into another move, flexing arrogantly to the dismay of the crowd. LeBell Lock cinched in tight and Colt taps out to end this match.
Bryan Danielson def. Colt Cabana via submission – LeBell Lock (5:09)
Danielson keeps his submission on tight for a few more seconds as the announcers talk about a post-match interview happening after the commercial. Just before the break, Danielson points at a broken tooth on the mat, apparently belonging to Colt Cabana.
Who’s The Real Coward?
We return with Danielson still in the ring. He talks about how he had a different reaction just a few months ago from this Chicago crowd, calling them “fickle” for booing him tonight. He boasts about not only kicking Colt Cabana’s head in, but also kicking his tooth out. Bryan says that next week in Atlanta, he challenges whoever from the Dark Order is from there, as he’ll kick their heads in. This, as Bryan says, is going to lead to the “ultimate head-kicking” when he inevitably kicks “Hangman” Page’s head in.
That, of course, brings out the AEW World Champion to respond to Danielson’s remarks (surprisingly, without the usual dry wit of his lower-third graphic). Page says that Danielson did indeed do as he promised to Colt Cabana (i.e. kicking his head in), but that’s where it ends. That’s because Page is challenging Danielson to fight him in Chicago for the AEW World Title.
Danielson makes an excuse to not have the match, citing that it’s “coward shit” that Page would want to compete just after he had already wrestled. Page says that it’s fine that they won’t have the title match, but he’s not leaving Chicago without a fight. He even offers Danielson to take the first shot, putting his hands behind his back.
“Don’t you insult me like that…” Danielson says before slapping Page right in his face. The two proceed to fight each other. Hangman gets the advantage after a boot from the apron, and he goes for the Buckshot Lariat. Danielson manages to escape, perhaps with the fear of defeat at the hands of the Hangman being put into him.
Match 5: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler), Andrade El Idolo, and Malakai Black vs. The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix), Cody Rhodes, and PAC
The Story So Far
What started as a war between Malakai Black and Cody Rhodes has managed to rope in the rivalry between FTR and the AEW Tag Champions, as well as PAC and Andrade El Idolo. The latest chapter of this conflict took place at Full Gear when the kinda-sorta team of PAC and Cody defeated Andrade and Black in tag team action, while the Lucha Brothers successfully defended their Tag Team Titles against FTR.
Cody Rhodes & Dax Harwood to start us off in this massive tag match. Dax corners Cody briefly before he’s told to back up. Now it’s the two men at a stalemate. Dropdown right hand by Cody is followed by the powerslam. Cody takes off his belt and tosses it to the crowd. PAC tags in and there’s a commotion in the crowd as a fan throws Cody’s belt back into the ring! Meanwhile, PAC and Dax are caught in a chopping duel that ends as the two exchange running strikes at one another. Back suplex by Dax allows for him to tag in Cash Wheeler into the match.Wheeler with the arm ring followed by a celebratory backflip. PAC kicks him in the face before tagging in Penta El Zero M. Diving dropkick hits Wheeler right in the groin.
Exchange of strikes ends with a kick in the face. Cero Miedo taunt as Penta runs off the ropes. He’s met with a vicious lariat by Cash Wheeler, who tags Andrade in. The cover… 1, 2, NO! Andrade’s suplex is reversed into an inside cradle for a near fall. Penta escapes as he tags in brother Rey Fenix. Bottom rope hurricanrana followed by a dropkick party and he drags Andrade back into his corner. Death Triangle takes over with a triumverate of kicks to Andrade. Cody Rhodes tags himself in with the fans naturally jeering at him.
The American Nightmare finds himself in no man’s land as the heel team starts beating his ass in their corner while the referee’s distaracted. The Chicago crowd naturally are loving every single moment of this. Malakai Black is the legal man, but Cody quickly tags Rey Fenix back in. Double cutter on FTR by Fenix, followed by the escalara-into-tijeras to Andrade. Fenix strikes Black down with a kick barrage, but FTR and Tully Blanchard stop him at the pass to allow Malakai to take advantage as we go to our final commercial break of the evening.
Dynamite returns with Cash Wheeler trying to rip away at Rey Fenix’s mask (also, Andrade’s lost his pants, now sporting tights). Fenix takes out Wheeler with a crescent kick to the head, which gives him time to tag in Penta. Andrade is in for the heel team. Penta performs the casadora on Andrade before launching himself at FTR and hitting a double DDT on them. Penta counters Andrade at the corner and lands a backstabber for a near fall. PAC tags in and he’s on fire, unleashing a wild flurry of offense on the heels. He manages to take down all four men with relative ease. Now focusing on Andrade, PAC is on a roll until he’s literally rolled by Cash Wheeler into a nice backbreaker.
Things break down as both teams take turns hitting their best moves at one another, which ends with Malakai destroying Fenix with a brutal knee strike. Cody hits a modified brainbuster on Malakai. He has his sights set on Andrade, but ends up superkicking PAC instead! Andrade with the.headlock elbow drop on Cody as he runs full speed at PAC. The Bastard springs back up and hits a beautfiul belly-to-belly exploder onto the corner! With everybody down, we get Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard confronting each other in the ring as the fans go berserk over this showdown unfolding!
Jose the Assistant tries to get involved, but he gets punched by both Arn and Tully, who resume standing off. FTR join their mentor in cornering Arn, but Rey Fenix takes out Wheeler and Harwood with a flying splash. Penta with slingblades for both FTR members. The Lucha Brothers clothesline FTR to the outside, then taking them out with dives to the outside.
In the ring, PAC has Andrade set up for the Black Arrow, but Malakai Black spits the black mist in his face! Hammerlock DDT by Andrade on PAC right as Malakai kicks Cody on the apron. 1, 2, 3, and this wild main event has reached its conclusion.
Malakai Black, Andrade El Idolo & FTR def. PAC, Cody Rhodes, and the Lucha Brothers via pinfall – Hammerlock DDT by Andrade El Idolo on PAC (16:13)
After The Fact
As this Dynamite recap is coming after Rampage due to Thanksgiving, let’s look over what happened on this week’s show quickly:
- Adam Cole & Bobby Fish def. Orange Cassidy & Wheeler YUTA via pinfall (12:52) after Fish hit the avalanche Falcon Arrow on YUTA for the win.
- Tony Nese challenged Sammy Guevara for the TNT Championship, then attacking him with a blindside cheapshot.
- Black Friday Deal: Riho def. Dr. Britt Baker via pinfall (11:11) to earn an AEW Women’s Championship shot.
- Eddie Kingston def. Daniel Garcia via pinfall (14:58) with the uraken backfist. Post-match, 2point0 immediately beat up Kingston, but Chris Jericho stood up from the commentary table to chase Parker and Lee off. Kingston, however, didn’t seem too happy with Jericho’s intervention.
Next Wednesday on Dynamite (12/1/21)
- Kris Statlander vs. Ruby Soho (TBS Championship Tournament Quarterfinals)
- Atlanta Street Fight: Cody Rhodes vs. Andrade El Idolo
- Bryan Danielson vs. Alan Angels
- The Gunn Club (Billy & Colten Gunn) vs. Darby Allin & Sting
The Last Word
Fans didn’t have to wait long for the hotly-anticipated CM Punk/MJF promo battle, and the encounter here certainly lived up to expectations. While MJF had some good digs at Punk by mocking his failed UFC career and comparing him to John Cena and Triple H, it was ultimately Punk who seemed to score the upper hand with his salvo of words. The hometown favorite responded to MJF by calling him a “less famous Miz” and ultimately stating that Britt Baker has replaced him as one of the four pillars. It was a solid twenty-minute opener.
AEW typically isn’t wont to open their shows with lengthy mic promos, so on the off chance that they do, it has to prove itself to be worthy of kicking off the show on a high note. Punk and MJF’s verbal sparring match delivered on that regard.
On the in-ring side of things, Thunder Rosa and Jamie Hayter had arguably the match of the evening with their TBS Championship Tournament match. The match was, appropriately, a hard-hitting affair with Rosa and Hayter seriously laying into each other for a chance at the TBS Championship. Though the match-ending sequence with Britt Baker’s interference was a bit clunky, it at least served some story purpose by further creating a divide between Hayter and Britt.
Whether it’s in Ring of Honor or WWE, Bryan Danielson has proven himself incredible at playing the bad guy, and this two-week old heel turn in anticipation of a match with Hangman Page is no exception. His stretch of brutally beating members of the Dark Order in their hometowns is an easy way to establish Danielson as a bastard heel. And the beauty of it is that it’s not that far of a stretch for this incarnation of the American Dragon to shift into a more aggressive heel persona. The brief interaction Danielson had with Page left just enough to leave fans wanting to see the title match between the two.
The shocking moment of Dante Martin apparently ditching Lio Rush and opting to join Team Taz creates a lot of story opportunities from that singular moment. Does Lio attempt to bring Dante’s brother Darius or even the Sydal brothers to counter Team Taz? Or is this an elaborate swerve with Lio & Dante pulling one over on the FTW Squad? Wouldn’t be the first time AEW had a babyface duping the heel with a little contract switcharoo shenanigans.
The eight-man tag main event was a great way to close out the show with all eight competitors getting their chance to show off their stuff. While the will he/won’t he turn saga of Cody Rhodes seems to be as unclear as ever with its final destination, the fans appeared to have made up their minds when it comes with how they feel about the American Nightmare. The Chicago faithful were not shy in sharing their vitriol towards Cody, right down to a small incident with his weight belt being thrown back into the ring (luckily not hurting any of the wrestlers or referee Aubrey Edwards).
It’ll be interesting to see what happens on the next Dynamite, which will be in Cody’s home state and feature him in an Atlanta Street Fight against Andrade El Idolo. Will we see Cody get booed in front of a hometown crowd? Or will there be some home cooking involved? We’ll soon see.
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.