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AEW Dynamite Recap | 12/1/21 | From Duluth, GA

We take a look back at this week’s AEW Dynamite, featuring excellent in-ring action, and a questionable sequel to MJF & CM Punk’s promo battle.

Previously on All Elite Wrestling…

Dynamite Results from 11/24/21 (Episode 112):

  • CM Punk & MJF had a very intense war of words prior to Punk’s match with QT Marshall.
  • CM Punk def. QT Marshall via pinfall (11:08) with the GTS.
  • 2point0 and their “son” Daniel Garcia confronted Eddie Kingston backstage, leading to Garcia tossing coffee in Kingston’s face.
  • The Gunn Club (Colten & Billy Gunn) def. Bear Country (Bear Bronson & Bear Boulder) via pinfall (1:36) after Colt pinned Bronson with the Colt 45. Post-match, Darby Allin & Sting appeared on the ramp, with Darby absolutely crushing Austin Gunn with a flying charge before he and Sting chased off Colten & Billy.
  • Adam Cole & Bobby Fish and the Best Friends had a standoff backstage, setting up a match between the two teams on Rampage this Friday.
  • Dante Martin shocked mentor Lio Rush (and everyone else) by joining Team Taz, much to Taz’s amusement.
  • Thunder Rosa def. Jamie Hayter via pinfall (10:38) to advance to the TBS Championship Tournament Semifinals. Just before the finish, Dr. Britt Baker accidentally hit a superkick intended for Rosa on Hayter, leading to the latter’s defeat.
  • Chris Jericho insulted 2point0, particularly Matt Lee for having a square head during a backstage promo.
  • Dr. Britt Baker’s “Friendsgiving” was ruined by the announcement that Riho would get a match against her on Rampage, where if she beats Britt, she gets an AEW Women’s Title shot.
  • Bryan Danielson def. Colt Cabana via submission (5:09) after a particularly arrogant LeBell Lock. Post-match, AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page challenged Danielson to fight him, but the American Dragon backed off just before Page could hit a Buckshot Lariat.
  • Andrade El Idolo, Malakai Black, and FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) def. PAC, Cody Rhodes, and the Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero M) via pinfall (16:13) after Andrade hit the Shadow DDT on PAC to get the win for his team.

Rampage Results for 11/26/21 (Episode 16)

  • 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.

It’s Wednesday Night. You Know What That Means.

From the Gas South Arena in Atlanta, GA, it’s AEW Dynamite. With Jim Ross recovering from skin cancer treatments, he’s taking a well-deserved rest. As such, we’re joined by AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page (who’s “unschooled in the art of barbeque”, per The Lower Third) on commentary. We also learn that the awaited AEW Title match between Page & Bryan Danielson will take place at Winter is Coming in two weeks time.

Match 1: Bryan Danielson vs. Alan “Five” Angels

Hometown hero Alan “Five” Angels was determined to stop Bryan Danielson’s war on the Dark Order (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Ahead of the aforementioned Danielson/Page title match at Winter is Coming, the American Dragon has set his sight on Page’s friends, the Dark Order. In the past two weeks, Danielson has defeated Evil Uno and Colt Cabana in brutal fashion, while backing away from Hangman when given a chance to fight. Tonight, Danielson fights Atlanta native Alan Angels as part of his continued quest to humiliate the Dark Order to get at Hangman.

The Match

Danielson and Angels size each other up as the bell rings and it’s on to a chain wrestling contest that ends with Danielson applying a single leg crab. Angels grabs at the rope to cause the hold to be broken. Back to a feeling out process, but Five hits chops on a cornered Danielson before hitting (of course) five punches at the top. As Danielson catches his breath, he flattens Five with an uppercut to regain advantage.

Knees to the head of Angels as Danielson taunts the crowd. Repeated chops to Five by Bryan, followed by a running dropkick to bring him down. Bryan’s in control at another corner while continuing to mock this Atlanta crowd. Backslide by Five gets a two. Butterfly suplex turned into an armbar, but Angels again manages to get to the ropes.

Attempted apron suplex by Danielson is blocked, which allows Five to hit a dropkick from the apron to send the American Dragon scurrying to the other side of ringside. Tope suicida, followed by a moonsault has Dragon on his toes. Back in the ring, Spanish Fly by 5 gets a two count. Up the top rope, moonsault press by Angels misses wildly, and Bryan hits the Running Knee. With eyes towards Adam Page at the commentary booth, Bryan stomps away at Five. Dragon is still not done. Knee Bar by Danielson ends this match.

Bryan Danielson def. Alan “Five” Angels via submission – Kneebar (6:09)

Post-Match

Bryan holds on to the submission for a bit after the match, and soon gets a post-match interview. He brags about not only kicking Five’s ass, but also apparently tearing his MCL. Next week, Bryan says he’s going to stomp the head in on the Dark Order member from Long Island. Then in two weeks time, he’s going to prove that Hangman Page is a “one hit wonder”.

Hangman’s heard enough of Bryan’s ranting, but he’s stopped by John Silver. “We all know you cannot touch Bryan tonight. But guess what? I can touch Bryan tonight… and that’s what I’m going to do!” says Johnny Hungee. Silver runs to the ring as Danielson cowers away from a fight. Danielson says that he won’t lower himself by fighting “that joke” in the ring. He says that he’d love to kick Page’s ass tonight, but that the “jerks” in Atlanta don’t deserve to see it before running away once again.

The Redeemer’s War with God

https://mobile.twitter.com/AEW/status/1466215522211704842

In a blank white area, we see Miro just standing around and screaming in anger. He says that he’s thankful for God revealing how much He was an asshole to him. He says that this has revealed what he must do next. Miro declares that he will storm the gates of Heaven until the floor runs red with blood.

Match 2: CM Punk vs. Lee Moriarty

Lee Moriarty was as poised as ever to get a major upset win over CM Punk on Dynamite (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Right as CM Punk has been embroiled in a war of words and egos with one Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Lee Moriarty has stepped up to challenge the Best in the World to a match tonight.

The Match

Just before the match starts, MJF makes his way to the ring to join us on commentary. In the ring, Punk and Moriarty shake hands before the match starts with trading wrist holds. Chain wrestling sequence between the two to start us off as MJF repeatedly talks trash about Punk on commentary.

Punk backs Moriarty in the corner and tees off with consecutive shoulder thrusts. Irish whip into the opposite corner, followed by a single-leg dropkick. Diving lariat by Punk takes us into the commercial break.

Back live with Punk missing a knee strike as Moriarty targets his arm. The master of TAIGASTYLE is mounting his own offensive assault on Punk, culminating with a belly-to-belly suplex. 1, 2, NO! Moriarty goes for a suplex, but Punk counters and lands a crossbody! Moriarty rolls that over into a pinfall that gets a close two. Another rollover into a crossface by Moriarty, but Punk uses the ropes to break it up. 

On the top rope, Punk goes for the avalanche Frankensteiner, but Moriarty flips him over for the pin! 1, 2…. KICKOUT! Now we get the two men exchanging pinfall attempts before Punk escapes and hits a nasty roundhouse kick to the back of Moriarty’s head!

Punk hooks Moriarty and blows a kiss before attempting the Pepsi Twist… but Moriarty avoids it and flattens Punk with his own Pepsi Twist! Lee is feeling it… Running Knee and the lifting DDT neckbreaker! 1, 2… 2.9999999!!!! Punk floats over a Moriarty suplex and turns a suplex into the GTS! 1, 2, 3! What a match.

CM Punk def. Lee Moriarty via pinfall – GTS (10:24)

Post-Match

MJF takes the mic after the match and says that it takes a lot of balls to claim to be the “best in the world” when Punk is struggling to beat the likes of QT Marshall and Lee Moriarty. He goes on to say that the only thing that Punk is supposedly the best in the world at is “getting into Britt Baker’s pants” (ugh…. more on my feelings on that later). Max christens Punk as “One Punk Jump”.

Punk responds by mocking MJF’s attire, saying that Max got into Larry David’s pyjamas. He puts over QT Marshall and Lee Moriarty as being better than MJF. Punk says that Max should bring his “needle-dick” to the ring so that he can kick his ass.

MJF says that we won’t see that fight, instead saying that he’ll do things like a professional during the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal in his hometown on Long Island, NY. He brags about how he’ll be better than Piper in Portland, Bret in Canada, and CM Punk in Chicago. Max says that Punk shouldn’t bring his beloved dog Larry to shows anymore, threatening to put him to sleep.

Punk marches towards MJF, looking to kick his ass. Wardlow appears and gets in the way of Punk, allowing Max to taunt behind his heavy.

A Crisis in Team DMD

https://mobile.twitter.com/AEW/status/1466221391779438593

Dr. Britt Baker and company are backstage with their friend Tony Schiavone. Britt is mad about Riho beating her and Jamie Hayter losing to Thunder Rosa last week, as well as no-showing at Friendsgiving. Hayter and Britt give each other a hard time about wins and losses before Britt says that Hayter will face Riho next week on Dynamite.

All About the Boom or Whatever

Orange Cassidy tells Adam Cole what he thinks of him in the only way he can (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

We’re supposedly set to be joined by Adam Cole on commentary as he makes his Boom-filled entrance in full before taking his spot on the commentary table. Orange Cassidy soon enters the scene and confronts Cole at the table. He does the lazy slow kicks to Cole. As this is happening, the Young Bucks sneak behind Orange and look like they’re going to superkick him. Orange turns around and does the slow kicks to them before Cole hits the Golota special on OC’s groin. The SuperKliq proceed to mock Orange’s slow kicks with thier own lackadaisical kicks. The Bucks hit their usual superkick on OC to lay him out. It appears that the SuperKliq just might hit a BTE Trigger on Cassidy, but they’re chased off by Chuck Taylor & Wheeler YUTA, armed with steel chairs.

Tony Nese’s Gameplan

Hyping up his match on Rampage this Friday for the TNT Title against champion Sammy Guevara, Tony Nese says that they’ll be putting the TNT Title around a Premier Athlete’s waist on Friday.

Match 3: Wardlow vs. AC Adams

Wardlow brought the pain with a Powerbomb Symphony, to the approval of the Atlanta fans (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Not really much of a story between these two opponents, as it’s just another showcase for “Mr. Mayhem” to do his thing.

The Match

AC Adams tries for a kick, but a clothesline from Wardlow takes him down. From there, it’s a “Powerbomb Symphony”, as Excalibur puts it. Wardlow continues to hit repeated powerbombs to the crowd’s approval as Shawn Spears tries in vain to wave him off. 

Wardlow def. AC Adams via pinfall – Powerbomb (1:30)

Post-Match

Shawn Spears rushes the ring and proceeds to hit the fallen AC Adams with chair shots before raising the hand of Wardlow in a rather overzealous fashion.

Punished “Venom” PAC

https://mobile.twitter.com/AEW/status/1466228600122884097

Backstage with Penta El Zero M & PAC, we learn that the 2-out-of-3 Falls match for the AEW Tag Titles is off due to undisclosed travel issues with Rey Fenix. However, we’ll instead see Penta & PAC take on FTR on Rampage this Friday. Penta & Alex Abrahantes hype up PAC as their best ally for Friday. Sporting an eyepatch due to Malakai Black’s mist, PAC says that even with one good eye, he’s still good to go on Friday.

Match 4: The Gunn Club (Colten & Billy Gunn) vs. Darby Allin & Sting

Sting and Billy Gunn renewed their Monday Night War hostilities inside the AEW ring this week on Dynamite (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Two weeks ago on Rampage, Darby Allin defeated Billy Gunn, which led to the Gunn Club laying him and Sting out. The retaliation came last week on Dynamite, when Darby and Sting chased the Gunn Club from the ring.

The Match

Taz has joined the commentary table as this match gets underway. Darby & Colten start things off for their respective teams. Back elbow from Colten is followed by a takedown. Arm drag attempt by Darby is blocked initially, but he gets it on the second go. Shotgun dropkick sends Colten to his corner. Billy Gunn tags in. Darby tags Sting into the match and we get the Monday Night Wars exploding here in 2021. Sting has the momentum, as Billy retreats to the outside to recuperate. Colten tags back in as Darby re-enters the match. Blind tag by Billy Gunn here. Coffin splash from Darby is turned into a hard slam by Billy Gunn. The heels have the advantage as we go to commercial break.

We return with Colten attempting a Scorpion Death Lock on Darby, who escapes. Darby is able to escape Colten as Sting gets the hot tag. The Stinger is a house of fire as he goes buck wild on Colten and Billy Gunn with Stinger Splashes and spinebusters. In the middle of the ring, Sting has Colten right where he wants him and applies the original Scorpion Death Lock on the Son of a Gunn. Billy provides a distraction to allow Austin Gunn to get a cheap shot on Sting. Darby Allin launches himself at Austin on the outside and damn near breaks his neck in the process! Meanwhile, Billy Gunn with the Fameasser on Sting as Colten crawls over for the pin… 1… 2… NO! Everyone recovering in the ring as Darby yet again flies like a madman to take down Billy Gunn outside. Floatover stunner by Darby on Colten leads to the Scorpion Death Drop by Sting. 1, 2, 3! The Streak… is over.

Sting & Darby Allin def. The Gunn Club via pinfall – Scorpion Death Drop on Colten Gunn (10:06)

You Want A Taste?

https://mobile.twitter.com/AEW/status/1466228597702725638

As Chris Jericho explains to Alex Marvez why he intervened against 2point0 last week on Rampage, he’s ambushed by Matt Lee and Jeff Parker, as well as their “son” Daniel Garcia. The trio toss Jericho all around before Lee smashes a chair over Jericho’s head.

FTW Math

New Team Taz member Dante Martin & Ricky Starks look like they could be a formidable duo (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The commentary team talks about the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal set for next week, which leads to Taz offering up his own brand of math. He claims that since 25% of the Battle Royal competitors represent Team Taz, that gives them each a 125% chance of winning next week. “The numbers don’t lie,” says Taz. Soon, Lio Rush appears from the entryway with a mic in hand.

Lio says that he’s had the odds stacked against him throughout his entire career and that it’s crazy for Taz to claim that he’s got 0% chance of winning. He says that he’s a fighter, and that the fans know he’s a fighter. Lio says that he won’t be going down without a fight next week. As Taz tells Lio to retire, we see Dante Martin & Ricky Starks stand opposite of Dante’s former mentor.

A Match for Rampage Made

https://mobile.twitter.com/AEW/status/1466230660138422272

Jade Cargill & “Smart” Mark Sterling talk about how Thunder Rosa’s student Janai Kai (of Mission Pro Wrestling) will be facing Jade on Rampage this Friday. This leads to Thunder Rosa herself appearing and saying that she’ll be guest commentator for Jade’s match against Janai Kai on Friday. As Jade and Sterling walk off, Rosa just opts to tell her TBS Championship Tournament opponent off.

Match 4: Ruby Soho vs. Kris Statlander (TBS Championship Tournament Quarterfinals)

Ruby Soho & Kris Statlander put it all on the line in an excellent TBS Championship Tournament bout (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Kris Statlander earned a first-round bye due to her high placement in the women’s rankings, while Ruby Soho defeated Penelope Ford to advance to the Quarterfinals of this TBS Championship Tournament. While the two are respectful towards one another, expect to see an incredible match between these two.

The Match

Back and forth between Kris and Ruby to start off. Kris blocks a backslide attempt and we’re at an impasse early on. Off the ropes, Ruby attempts a crucifix into a roll up, and Statlander toes for a kick that Ruby blocks. There’s a boop on Ruby’s nose.

Exchanging pinfalls that only get near falls. Ruby tries a monkey flip, but Statlander uses a handstand to escape. Soho with the casador and turns that into an arm drag. Flatliner by Ruby gets a two. We go to commercials at this point.

Back on Dynamite as Statlander and Ruby are on opposite corners. STO by Ruby takes Statlander down, and that’s followed by the senton off the top rope. 1, 2…. NOPE! Sttlander blocks a back suplex and counters an attempted casadora from Ruby into the Blue Thunder Bomb! 1, 2…. Ruby kicks out! Statlander applies the Spider Crab on Ruby and lifts her up for the buckle bomb to block a triangle choke attempt! Statlander turns that into a modified Michinoku Driver, but that only gets an incredibly close near-fall.

Kris goes for a running elbow strike, but Ruby starts to fight back. Turnbuckle headscissors attempt by Ruby is blocked, but she eventually gets an amazing poison rana on Statlander, followed by the running rana! 1… 2… 2.9999999!!! Soho has a very shocked reaction to that kickout as the fans chant “A-E-W” in appreciation of this match.

Ruby sizes Statlander up for the No Future kick, but that’s blocked. Kris preps her foe for the Big Bang Theory, but Ruby rolls up for the surprise three-count to advance to the TBS Championship Tournament Semifinals!

Ruby Soho def. Kris Statlander via pinfall – Victory Roll (10:28)

Post-Match

The two competitors show respect for one another as Statlander makes her exit from the ring. She’s stopped at the ramp by Vickie Guerrero, which allows for Nyla Rose to ambush Ruby in the ring! Statlander chases Nyla off.

Match 5: Cody Rhodes vs. Andrade El Idolo (Atlanta Street Fight)

Cody Rhodes takes “getting heat” to its most literal level imaginable (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

The Story So Far

Andrade El Idolo interjected himself in Cody’s affairs after the American Nightmare fought off Andrade and Malakai Black following a match on Rampage a few weeks ago. This led to a match on the 11/3 edition of Dynamite where Andrade defeated Cody with some timely help from FTR. Last week, the alliance of Andrade, Black, and FTR got the win in a massive eight-man tag match after Andrade pinned PAC. Following the conclusion of Dynamite, Andrade would attack Cody, which would lead to a Shadow DDT onto the exposed concrete at ringside.

The Match

Andrade isn’t waiting for Cody to get to the ring as he rushes at him while he’s still on the ramp. Meanwhile, Jose the Assistant fights Arn Anderson (who takes an unfortunate tumble at the side of the stage). The bell sounds and the fight between Cody and Andrade just spills all around the stage — both figuratively and literally as Cody and Andrade throw drinks at one another at one point. Rhodes with the splash from one of the in-crowd barricades takes down Andrade. This fight eventually makes its way back to ringside as Andrade flips over the steps. Andrade plants Cody onto the overturned steps. As Cody recovers, he notices T-Pain in the crowd, who hands him a chair to use against Andrade. After more brawling at ringside, the fight finally is in the ring. 

Cody takes in the mixed reaction for a bit before hitting Andrade with a scoop slam. He removes his weight belt but gets socked in the groin by Andrade. With Cody’s weight belt in his hand, he gives the American Nightmare a taste of his own medicine before tossing the belt into the crowd (no worries, it’s not tossed back again this week). Andrade sees Jose’s bag of stuff on the apron and pulls out a laptop, which he bashes Cody over the head with.

Andrade pulls out some plunder from underneath the ring, including a chain and a trashcan lid, but not the table. El Idolo misses wth the chain, but he knocks Cody down with a boot to the gut. He mocks the crowd chanting “we want tables” before setting up a chair over Cody’s prone body. Off the top rope, Andrade hits the split-legged moonsault with the chair adding some extra damage! 1… 2… NO!

Cody reverses a backdrop and kicks Andrade right in the groin!.As Rhodes runs to the rope to perhaps go for the Cody Cutter, Andrade dumps him on the outside as Dynamite goes to the last commercial of the evening.

We return with Cody countering an attempted Andrade El Idolo moonsault by just throwing a chair at him. Both competitors are battered and bruised, but they’re still going at it. Cody wraps his fist around with the chain and punches Andrade in the face with the chained fist. Cody’s suicide dive is blocked with a chair to the face by Andrade.

Andrade rips up the ring mat and looks to hit the Shadow DDT yet again onto the exposed pavement, but Cody is able to reverse it. Now it’s Cody’s turn to get some toys from ringside. He gets a kendo stick and a very familiar-looking sledgehammer and tosses them aside. Rhodes now has a golden shovel in hand and he seems to like it. Jose the Assistant tries to hit Cody with the taser, but he just ends up with a golden shovel to the face instead!

Andrade floors Cody with a step up splash to the outside! With the action spilling back in the ring, El Idolo wedges a chair against the face of a cornered Cody. He sizes him up and hits a vicious running knee right into the face of the American Nightmare. 1, 2… Cody just barely kicks out. 

Now deciding he does want a table introduced, Andrade pulls one out and sets it up against the corner. A running charge by Cody is reversed into a hiptoss that puts him through that table! Andrade gets yet another table from below the ring. He has Cody draped across the table as he heads to the top rope. However, Rhodes is able to cause Andrade to be crotched across the top turnbuckle! He now heads up to the top rope, but Andrade pushes him off. 

Meanwhile, a masked person wearing an AEW sweater slides into the ring, unmasking to reveal Brandi Rhodes. She’s got lighter fluid and she just sprays it all over the table. You know what comes next… the table is lit up!

With the table on fire, Cody hits an avalanche reverse DDT through the fiery table (that he takes the brunt of the fiery impact of, by the way) to score the victory in this Atlanta Street Fight.

Cody Rhodes def. Andrade El Idolo via pinfall – Reverse DDT through Flaming Table (18:15)

This Friday on Rampage (12/3/21)

  • TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara vs. Tony Nese
  • Jade Cargill vs. Janai Kai
  • PAC & Penta El Zero M vs. FTR

Next Week on Dynamite (12/8/21)

  • Bryan Danielson vs. John Silver
  • Jamie Hayter vs. Riho
  • Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal (Final Two compete for the Dynamite Diamond Ring at Winter is Coming)

Winter is Coming 2021 (12/15/21)

  • AEW World Championship: “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson
  • Dynamite Diamond Ring Finals

The Last Word

Of course, let’s lead off with the big elephant in the room, namely the MJF portion of the post-match festivities following CM Punk vs. Lee Moriarty. While I felt last week’s promo battle lived up to expectations, I wasn’t really feeling the same way this week. Mainly because of a particular thing Maxwell said: “you’re the best in the world at getting into Britt Baker’s pants”. It’s understood that MJF’s whole shtick is going for the lowest hanging fruit possible in order to get reactions from fans, but I’ve never been comfortable with “you sleep with so-and-so” and reducing women as nothing more than objects being used as a go-to line for cheap heat. We saw an uncomfortable amount of it during the Inner Circle/American Top Team feud, and now it’s front and centre once again.

Keep in mind that the aforementioned Britt Baker is not only the current AEW Women’s World Champion, but she’s one of the most popular wrestlers of the entire company, so it’s not really a good look when you have her being the basis of a wrestler making cheap sex jokes about her as a way to score heat.

I enjoyed last week’s MJF/Punk promo battle, but even that had the bit about Punk implying that MJF would need to marry a future daughter of Tony Khan to get ahead. AEW already faces quite a bit of scrutiny for how they handle the quantity of women’s matches on both Dynamite and Rampage, so I think there’s quite a bit of ways to go for them when it comes to how the women are treated on their shows. The TBS Championship Tournament and feuds like Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb are a good start, but stuff like MJF’s comments about Britt and the Inner Circle mocking Paige VanZant, as well as having only one women’s match per Dynamite and Rampage show that there’s definitely room for improvement.

Circling back to the promo, I thought MJF’s line about being like Bret in Canada and CM Punk in Chicago when Dynamite rolls into Long Island next week was something that actually worked. It fits so well with his character being an overly egotistical dick that he’d make such bold comparisons about himself. It’s just a shame that it’ll be largely overshadowed by Max playing the “cheap misogyny” and “I’ll kill your dog” cards.

On a more positive note, the in-ring action was once again excellent. CM Punk vs. Lee Moriarty made for a great showcase just how Moriarty can go with the best of them. Even with the outcome never in doubt, Moriarty was able to push Punk to the limit and prove himself worthy of the hype he’s gotten recently. While he’s not officially one of the Four Pillars that AEW has advertised in recent months, Lee Moriarty is making a strong case for becoming a fixture of the company for years to come.

The Kris Statlander/Ruby Soho delivered in more ways than one, giving both women a chance to shine on the big stage that is the TBS Championship Tournament. Statlander kept pace with the veteran Soho and looked like she was about to score a major upset at various points of the match. While she was on the losing end of this match, Statlander certainly proved that she was more than capable of hitting another gear for big matches like this. A title belt — whether the TBS Championship or the AEW Women’s Title — is most certainly in this alien’s future.

Sting/Darby vs. Gunn Club was a fun tag match that highlighted just how well AEW has been using Sting for matches like these. With Sting having now been in the company for a year, he’s been brought in and utilized by AEW in ways to ensure that his aura and stature is never in doubt.

The main event Atlanta Street Fight was your standard popcorn-fun brawl around the crowd and ringside area. Cody and Andrade definitely beat the hell out of one another to the entertainment of the Atlanta crowd. I’m a sucker for street fight-style matches, so this one was right up my alley. That being said, the finish was a bit odd, mainly due to the fact that it was Cody who got the worst of the flaming table spot, yet he’s the one who got the pin. It did make for a memorable finish to this week’s show, though.

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.

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