With a massive AEW World Title Match, the rubber match between Serena Deeb and Hikaru Shida, plus the finals for the Dynamite Diamond Ring, the second annual Winter is Coming edition of Dynamite brought so much exciting action. We’ll go over every detail in just a moment. But, first things first…
Previously on All Elite Wrestling…
12/8/21 Dynamite Results (Episode 114)
- CM Punk opened the show with a promo mocking Long Island, NY for their choice of embracing MJF as a hometown hero, as well as the New York Islanders for being really bad.
- Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal: Dante Martin & MJF were the final two in the match (8:26) and will face off for the Dynamite Diamond Ring at Winter is Coming. Notable moments included MJF eliminating Wardlow as part of a group of others he eliminated and Dante Martin turning against Team Taz by eliminating Ricky Starks. After the match, MJF & Dante shook hands, as Starks attacked the latter. MJF seemed like he’d help Dante, but ended up aiding Starks in beating him up instead. CM Punk evened the odds.
- Jurassic Express & the Varsity Blonds def. 2point0 & The Acclaimed via submission (8:51) after Jungle Boy tapped Max Caster out with the Snare Trap. Just before the finish, Eddie Kingston intercepted Daniel Garcia before he could get involved in the match. Kingston would then take a cameraman and say some inaudible things as he was joined by Santana & Ortiz. 2point0 and Garcia ended up fighting the trio.
- The Young Bucks def. CHAOS via pinfall (15:41) after they hit the Meltzer Driver on Rocky Romero for the win. The Bucks and Adam Cole would attempt a beatdown on CHAOS after the match, but a returning Trent Barretta fought the SuperKliq off by himself.
- Ruby Soho was approached by Penelope Ford and the Bunny, who challenged her to a trios match on Rampage. Ruby fought the two until Nyla Rose ambushed her. Tay Conti & Anna Jay entered the fray to help Ruby out against the heel trio.
- Cody Rhodes revealed to Sammy Guevara that he was next for a TNT Championship match on a special Christmas Day edition of Rampage. Cody briefly teased leaving through the heel tunnel as he made his exit. Afterwards, The Men of the Year taunted Sammy for not being a fighting champion.
- Riho def. Jamie Hayter via pinfall (12:12) after an avalanche crucifix bomb and a sliding knee. Post-match, Britt Baker attacked Riho and put her in the Lockjaw.
- During the rundown of matches for Rampage, Taz announced that they were sending Hook for his big debut match on Friday. Following that, Tony Schiavone’s interview with the Varsity Blonds was interrupted by Malakai Black, who spat his dark mist in Julia Hart’s face before fading into the darkness.
- Bryan Danielson def. John Silver via referee stoppage (10:46) in the main event. Danielson tried to kick Silver’s head in after the match, but “Hangman” Adam Page ran in to stop him.
Results for 12/10/21 Rampage (Episode 19)
- The Lucha Brothers def. FTR via pinfall (13:59) to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships in an excellent bout.
- Nyla Rose, Penelope Ford, and The Bunny def. Ruby Soho, Tay Conti, and Anna Jay via pinfall (10:00) after Nyla hit the Beast Bomb on Anna Jay.
- FTR and Tully Blanchard beat up Sting & Darby Allin during a backstage interview.
- Hook def. Fuego Del Sol via submission (3:20) with his version of the Katahajime, referred to by Taz as “Redrum”. True to form, Hook made an impressive debut to live up to the hype bestowed upon him.
- Adam Cole def. Wheeler YUTA via pinfall (7:13) after lowering The Boom on his opponent. Post-match, Cole, the Young Bucks, and Bobby Fish beat down the Best Friends to stand tall at the end of the night.
It’s Wednesday Night. You Know What That Means
Winter is indeed here in Garland, TX as the second annual Winter is Coming edition of Dynamite is upon us. With Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Taz on the call, we’re not wasting any time and we’re getting right into the action with the AEW World Title match!
Match 1: AEW World Championship – “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson
The Story So Far
Adam Page acheived his destiny by defeating Kenny Omega to capture the AEW World Title at Full Gear in November, while Bryan Danielson defeated Miro to win the World Title Eliminator Tournament to earn this shot. What followed was Danielson embracing a more vicious side as he targeted members of the Dark Order in their hometowns, paving the way for what he calls the “Ultimate Head-Kicking” by beating Hangman for the AEW World Title tonight.
The lower-third for the AEW Champion says “Still has a festering resentment of Game of Thrones”. Page & Danielson stare each other down in the middle of the ring as we sound the bell.Fans are hot for this even before the two lock horns with a collar and elbow tie-up. Bryan is eventually backed into the corner after a long struggle. Referee Paul Turner breaks it up and Danielson avoids a clubbing strike from Hangman, mocking his foe with jumping jacks afterwards.
More locking horns between the champion and challenger. Lots of impressive chain wrestling to start us off from Hangman and the American Dragon. Shoulder block by Hangman is almost turned into an ankle pick by Danielson. The American Dragon is showing off his technical acumen, but Page is able to keep pace. Shoving contest breaks out between the two, but Danielson peeks his head out of the middle rope to stop it.
Hangman avoids an attempted ankle pick as he boots Bryan in response. Danielson takes time to recollect himself and offers a mocking handshake to his opponent. He shoves Hangman and again peeks out of the middle rope. Page catches a leaping Danielson and slams him down, following that with a hard chop. Danielson goes low with the ankle pick and has Page in a tight grip, targeting his legs and back with knee strikes. He hooks onto Hangman’s nose and has ‘til five. Danielson stretches Page into the Romero Special and turns that into a Dragon Sleeper variation.
Danielson chops at Hangman, but the Cowboy tanks through it and answers with a chop of his own. Corner chop by Hangman is followed by the ten-punch on Danielson to leave him reeling. Danielson again picks at Hangman’s ankle and goes to work on the AEW Champion’s leg. Danielson tees off on Page with repeated punches as he gets up and taunts the crowd. Hangman with a kick and he finds himself on the apron as he’s got Buckshot Lariat on his. Danielson meets that with a forearm that sends Hangman to the ringside area.
Page slides in and hits a hard boot on the American Dragon. Middle rope clothesline and a plancha to Danielson and it’s the AEW World Champion in control. Hangman brings Danielson into the ring and ascends to the top rope. Danielson kicks at Page’s midsection right as he lands. He continues to target Page’s bruised ribs. Rope catapult guillotine on the bottom rope by Danielson, followed by repeated European uppercuts and chops on a trapped Hangman. Danielson with knees to the ribs as he heads to the top. He leaps and hits the diving knee to the back of Hangman’s head. 1… 2… NO! We go to our first commercial break with Bryan in clear control.
Back live with Hangman hitting a back suplex on Danielson to create some separation for a brief moment. Danielson attempts his comeback salvo, but he’s caught by Hangman for a wicked fallaway slam. Page lights up Danielson’s chest with chops, then crotching him across the top rope. Hangman leaps onto the middle rope and hits a flying clothesline to send Danielson to the outside. Page with the tope suicida onto Danielson to send him down on the floor. Page on the apron now and soars with the Orihara Moonsault!
Both men are in the ring now and Danielson catches Page with a crucifix pin, but the champion powers out of it and slams his foe down with a Death Valley Driver. 1… 2… KICKOUT! Page once again chopping away on Danielson’s chest as he hoists him to the top turnbuckle. In position for a superplex, but Danielson wriggles out of it and he hits at Page’s back. Hangman pushes Danielson to the apron and goes for a moonsault…. but Danielson moves out of the way! Magistral cradle… 1… 2… NOPE! Danielson continues to target Hangman’s ribs. Danielson reverses a schoolboy into an omoplata, but he can’t quite get the LeBell Lock cinched in as Page turns that into a pin. Only a near-fall. Hangman almost has the Deadeye on Danielson, but he reverses it into an ankle lock. Again, Danielson kicks at Page’s bruised ribs.
Running dropkicks by Danielson, but Page intercepts him on the third try with a pop-up powerbomb! 1… 2… Bryan kicks out! Seeing that he’s in position for a Buckshot, Danielson rolls out of the ring. Baseball slide by Page and he’s going for another Orihara Moonsault. Danielson recovers and pushes Page to send him crashing into the ring apron! He smells blood and whips Page into the steel ring post, arm-first. With wrists clutched, Danielson repeatedly pulls Hangman into the post to leave him bleeding! The American Dragon taunts the fans for a bit as we go to the second commercial break of the match.
Back live on Dynamite with a bloodied Hangman struggling to get up, but he’s met with a dropkick to the face by Bryan Danielson. The challenger hits the flying knee to the face of Adam Page and he starts punching away at him afterwards. With Page prone on the apron, Danielson once again hits a knee across the head of his opponent. Danielson targets the hurt arm of Hangman and he goes after the open wound with mounted punches.
The referee checks up on Page as Danielson now focuses his attack on Hangman’s right arm. Bryan runs the ropes but he’s caught by Page who goes for a fallaway slam. Danielson slips out of it and hits a bridging German suplex! 1… 2… NOPE! Danielson quickly applies the Cattle Mutilation, but Hangman is able to get himself to the ropes.
Now both men on the apron as Danielson continually rocks Hangman with kicks to the rib. Page is able to dodge the last kick, causing Danielson’s leg to hit the ringpost instead! Danielson is picked up and he goes crashing shin-first, causing even more pain. Hangman removes the cloth covering on one of the barricades and he traps Danielson’s leg against it. Hard kick into the barricade by Hangman targeting the ankle of the American Dragon.
Danielson avoids a backdrop, but he’s clearly favoring that leg of his. Page locks the figure-four leglock in, but Danielson rolls himself to the ropes. We’re now going to our third picture-in-picture break for this AEW World Title match.
We’re back to live action with this match nearing the 45-minute mark. Danielson lands the enzuiguri to the side of Page’s head to stagger him. Both men are trading blows now. Danielson counters a pop-up powerbomb with a hurricanrana that gets a near-fall. Cross armbreaker by Danielson, but Hangman powers with an attempted deadlift powerbomb! Danielson refuses to let go of Page’s arm and he batters the champion with the elbows to the head! Page rolls himself to the ropes to gain a brief moment of reprieve. Danielson once again going after the arms with kicks, but Hangman fights back and hoists him up for a Tombstone Piledriver! 1… 2… KICKOUT!
The fans chant “This is Awesome!” in appreciation of what they’re seeing. Page again lifts Danielson onto the top turnbuckle and tees off with chops. He goes to the top himself and looks for a superplex, but Danielson pushes him aside. Danielson leaps with a knee onto Page’s hurt arm. Shoulder-capture suplex by Danielson, but again, another near-fall.
Danielson hoists Page up the top rope and gets the massive back suplex! 1… 2… Hangman is able to kick out! The American Dragon is relentless and rains down the overhead elbow strikes on his opponent. With Hangman on the apron, Danielson might be going for a Gotch-style Piledriver on the apron, but Page turns that around and lands the Deadeye right on the hardest part of the ring! Danielson falls to the floor as Hangman positions him against the timekeeper’s table. Page goes up the top rope and tries for the flying drop, but Danielson dodges it! Page gets nothing but the table! And we’ve got a fourth commercial break for this match!
Back on Dynamite as the instant replay shows Danielson landing a DDT on Page on the exposed concrete during the commercial. Snap German suplex by Page buys himself some time. Danielson with the chest kicks, but his left leg is too hurt to cause any major damage on Page. The AEW Champion with a lariat that doesn’t have all of it due to the injury to the arm. Danielson kicks at the injured leg of Adam Page repeatedly to once again maintain his control.
Danielson thinking for yet another super back suplex off the top, but Page lands on his feet and crushes Danielson with the Brodie Lee discus lariat! Paul Turner counting both men down as they struggle back up to their feet. Unsteady and weary, Danielson and Page are trading brutal blows against one another. Danielson reverses a rolling elbow, but he gets rolled up by Page for a near-fall. Danielson answers with a rolling pin of his own. Also a near-fall. Hangman lands on his feet and hits a rolling elbow strike that Danielson absorbs.
The American Dragon intercepts a second rolling elbow strike with the roundhouse kick to the back of Hangman’s head! Buzzsaw kick by Danielson… 1… 2… Hangman refuses to stay down! We’re under five minutes left on this epic World Title encounter!
“It’s time to kick his fucking head in!” screams Danielson as he clutches Hangman’s wrists and proceeds to do just that to the AEW World Champion! Danielson backs into the corner and has his eyes set on the Busaiku Knee. Here he comes… but Hangman turns that into the Deadeye! 1… 2… 2.9999999999!!!!!!!!
Page lifts himself up and he’s got something in mind. He echoes Danielson’s words and steals a page from his foe’s playbook with some Dragon Stomps of his own! Hangman’s fired up and he takes off his elbow pad. He goes to the apron with his target acquired… Buckshot Lariat is countered into a LeBell Lock by the American Dragon! Danielson has it locked tight as we’ve got one minute left!
Page eventually fights out and catapults Danielson into the ropes! Danielson skims the cat, but turns around into a Buckshot Lariat! To the apron Hangman goes, and he gets a second Buckshot Lariat! Going for the cover… but… the time has expired!
Time Limit Draw (60:00)
(“Hangman” Adam Page retains AEW World Championship)
Both Page and Danielson are being checked on by officials as the fans chant “Five More Minutes!”, clearly hungry for more.
Adam Cole’s Christmas Surprise?
We’re backstage with The SuperKliq and Bobby Fish. They boast about their handiwork in leaving the Best Friends laying on last week’s Rampage. The group suggests that they want to fight the Best Friends in an atomicos match this week. Matt Jackson goes on to say that the SuperKliq just might steal Sue’s van and give her a superkick straight in the mouth. Adam Cole then holds up a gift box, promising the Bucks that he’s got them a present for next week. Perhaps one that might be undisputed?
Match 2: Wardlow vs. Matt Sydal
The Story So Far
Not much story between the two opponents, but the main story is with Wardlow and his “accountabilibuddy” Shawn Spears. In recent matches, Wardlow has begun listening to the fans and finishing off his wins with multiple powerbombs, much to the protestation of Spears. Will we see the same here?
Not really much to say, other than Wardlow dominating in usual fashion, wrapping this up with his “Powerbomb Symphony”. Shawn Spears gets on the mic and attempts to get Wardlow to stand down, to no avail. Wardlow finishes this match with a third powerbomb.
Wardlow def. Matt Sydal via pinfall – Multiple Powerbombs (1:00)
Shawn Spears gets into the ring and chastises Wardlow for giving one too many powerbombs to Matt Sydal, stating that they’re not paid by the hour. He then proceeds to bludgeon Sydal with steel chair shots, much to Wardlow’s irritation. Spears’ phone rings, and it’s apparently MJF on the other end. Spears says that MJF wants Wardlow to pick up champagne for his victory in the Dynamite Diamond Ring FInals later tonight.
Submissions Match Preview
A video hyping Tay Conti vs. Penelope Ford in a Submission Match for Friday’s Rampage is shown.
“More Than Just A King”
A pretape promo for Malakai Black airs. In the promo, Black talks about how he puts his House above all else, as well as the call to violence. He approaches an unseen man covered by a cloak and spits his black mist at him. “Through agony, the House will make them stronger”, he says. At the end of the promo, Black tells the unseen man, “Now, you’re so much more than a King.”
Match 4: Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb
The Story So Far
This rivalry has been simmering ever since Deeb brutally made sure to prevent Shida from getting her 50th AEW victory on the Anniversary episode of Dynamite. The two would square off again in the TBS Championship Tournament, where Shida got the win to eliminate Deeb from the tourney. However, Serena got the last laugh when she further put the hurt on Shida’s knee, which affected her chances in the next round of the TBS Championship Tournament. In that next match against Nyla Rose, Deeb would once again stick her nose in Shida’s business to screw over her rival. Now, it’s led to this rubber match.
Serena knocks Shida off the apron, but Shida responds by tossing her kendo stick right at Serena. As the bell finally sounds, we have Shida and Serena aggressively going after each other with exchanging mounted punches. Serena has the momentary advantage and batters Shida with some kicks. However, Shida fights back and hits Serena with multiple punches. Shida finishes off with a dropkick to drop Serena in the corner.
Hammer throw across the ring by Shida, followed up by a middle rope crossbody that Serena reverses into a leglock to target Shida’s injured knee. Shida grabs the bottom rope to force a break. Serena with the advantage for a moment. Shida shoves Serena and follows that with a single leg dropkick. Missed knee strike allows Serena to regain the advantage. And with Shida prone, this allows Serena to apply a modified ringpost figure-four, shades of Bret “Hitman” Hart. Dynamite goes to picture-in-picture at this point.
Resuming with live action, Shida manages to regain advantage by battering Serena with clubbing blows that staggers her opponent. Step-up enzuiguri by Shida flattens Serena for a two-count. Delayed vertical suplex again gets a near fall for Shida. Heading to the top rope, Shida is intercepted by Serena, who puts her in a precarious position. Serena wrenches Shida’s leg for a top-rope leg crab that again puts pressure on Shida’s injured leg. Serena exposes the connector holding the middle turnbuckle and ringpost together and hits a neckbreaker on Shida onto that exposed connector!
Serena drags Shida to the middle of the ring and hits a powerbomb for a near-fall. Serena immediately with the knees to the face, followed by the Muta Lock. Shida just gets herself to the ropes to force a break. Swinging neckbreaker barrage by Serena, but Shida is able to counter the third one into a Falcon Arrow. As both women get back up, they trade blows. Shida with the axe kick, as she and Serena struggle to gain a foothold on one another. Serena takes over with a single-leg crab. Shida struggles to get to the ropes, but Serena pulls her to the middle of the ropes. Serena is eventually forced to let go after Shida batters her with palm strikes.
Serena exposes the top turnbuckle and tries to smash Shida’s head against it. Shida avoids a leg submission and kicks Serena to send her flying right into the exposed turnbuckle! Jackknife pin by Shida and this one’s over!
Hikaru Shida def. Serena Deeb via pinfall – Jackknife Pin (12:24)
Griff’s Challenge to The House of Black
Tony Schiavone is with the Varsity Blonds, who don’t have Julia Hart with them after Malakai Black spat the dark mist in her eyes last week. Griff Garrison is fired up and wants a piece of Black, but Brian Pillman Jr. tries to talk him down. BPJ says that this is exactly what Malakai wants, but Griff is having none of it. He vows to break Malakai’s jaw when they meet in the ring.
A Look Back at Hook
We see a short vignette going over Hook’s Rampage debut from last week.
Eddie Kingston’s Revenge
Backstage, Eddie Kingston talks about a big ten-man tag match for Friday’s Rampage, where he, the Lucha Brothers, and Santana & Ortiz will be taking on 2point0, Daniel Garcia and two partners of their choosing. Kingston specifically singles out Garcia as someone he’s going to be targeting.
Match 4: Dynamite Diamond Ring Finals – MJF vs. Dante Martin
The Story So Far
MJF is the two-time Dynamite Diamond Ring winner, and he’s made good use of his spoils, often utilizing it as a weapon to win matches in an underhanded manner. In last week’s Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal, MJF and Dante Martin were the final two competitors left, with Dante exiting Team Taz by way of eliminating Ricky Starks.
Prior to the match, MJF cuts a promo about how CM Punk is the “new Ryback” due to his win streak against “underwhelming opponents”. He says that he’s the only young talent that matters, and that he can beat Dante Martin with a headlock takeover. MJF declares that he doesn’t just claim that he’s the Best in the World. He just is.
MJF immediately goes for the side headlock takeover, but Dante kicks out right away. Dante kips up and causes Max to back away to the corner. MJF with the kick and stomp as he does a Ric Flair strut. Dante gets up and hits some offense on Max. Dante leaps over MJF and flips him with his feet. He follows that with a dropkick. Rolling Thunder by Dante gets a two-count. These fans are on their feet for Dante Martin.
To the apron goes Dante Martin. He’s got the Nosedive set up, but MJF scurries away to the outside. Dante gives chase on the outside, avoiding an elbow drop as he tries to go back into the ring. Again trying for the Nosedive, but MJF shoves him off the ropes to send Dante crashing right into the barricade! Max tosses Dante into the barricade and gets in the face of a fan who flips him off as we go to the ifnal commercial break of the evening.
We return with MJF looking for a powerbomb, but Dante fights out of it and turns it into a victory roll for a near fall. MJF catches Dante after a springboard attempt and finally gets the powerbomb. With the feet on the ropes, MJF goes for the pin, but referee Bryce Remsburg kicks his legs to break up the dirty pin.
MJF sets Dante up on the top turnbuckle, looking for a big move. Dante pushes Max aside and hits a shotgun dropkick from the top rope! Both men are down as Bryce begins the ten-count. Dante is back up on the apron. He kicks Max aside and cartwheels from one rope to the other and does a Spider-Man dodge to avoid MJF’s charge. With Max on the outside, Dante hits a flying splash on him!
Dante has MJF reeling on the outside and he continues the offensive flurry with a tope con giro over the turnbuckles! And Dante’s not done yet. He flips onto MJF outside the ring yet again! Max backs up the ramp area as Dante builds up a head of steam. Leaping onto the top rope, Dante hits a Shooting Star Press on MJF, hitting him with the knee!
With Dante in position for a third try at the Nosedive, MJF wisely just walks off. Dante won’t let up, though. Mounted punches on a prone MJF until he’s pushed off, but Dante bounces back with a kick. Dante with the sunset flip with a near fall. And he tries additional pin attempts, but MJF keeps kicking out. We get a brief exchange of pinfalls between MJF and Dante and poor Bryce’s hands must be hurting after slapping the match so much for these pinfalls.
MJF answers back with a Liger Bomb for a two-count and these fans are just in awe of what they’re seeing in this main event at Winter is Coming. Dante powders to the outside and gets tossed inside by MJF. Dante reverses an attempted Heatseeker and finally hits the Nosedive on MJF. 1… 2… Ricky Starks sneaks in and puts MJF’s leg on the ropes! With Dante distracted, MJF takes advantage and locks in the Salt of the Earth armbar. Dante taps out and we’ve got a three-peat for MJF as the holder of the Dynamite Diamond Ring.
MJF def. Dante Martin via submission — Salt of the Earth armbar (12:33)
FTR are out to celebrate with MJF, but the lights go out! As they come back on, we see Darby Allin & Sting in the ring and they start fighting with the Pinnacle trio! MJF with the Golota Special on Sting and the heels have the advantage. “CM Punk” chants by the fans is eventually answered by the man himself. Punk appears (wearing this amazing shirt), baseball bat in hand and sends the Pinnacle scattering from the ring!
“You don’t want to do it one on one in Texas? Next week? You want to bring your friends? That’s fine. Because I’m gonna bring mine. And that’s the match. Deal with it.” Punk says as we learn that Tony Khan has made it official: It will be CM Punk, Sting, and Darby Allin vs. MJF, Dax Harwood, and Cash Wheeler next week on Dynamite. The show ends with Punk staring down the Pinnacle.
This Friday on Rampage (12/17/21)
- The SuperKliq (Adam Cole, Nick Jackson, Matt Jackson) & Bobby Fish vs. The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor, Trent Barreta, Rocky Romero, Orange Cassidy)
- Tay Conti vs. Penelope Ford (Submission Match)
- Dan Lambert returns
- Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz, and The Lucha Bros. (Penta El Zero M & Rey
- Fenix) vs. 2point0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker), Daniel Garcia, and The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens)
Next Week on Dynamite: Holiday Bash (12/22/21)
- The Pinnacle (MJF, Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler) vs. CM Punk, Darby Allin & Sting
- Malakai Black vs. Griff Garrison
- Adam Cole’s “Best Christmas Gift Ever”
After The Bell
So, how about that opener? From the opening bell to the 59th minute of this match, this was one of the best, if not the best TV match that AEW has had in this past year (and there are a lot of good candidates for that honor, let me tell you now).
I liked that it started off slow with chain wrestling and technical prowess, before we had Bryan Danielson going after the injured arms, shoulder, and ribs of Hangman Page, as well as the Champ himself fighting back by targeting Danielson’s leg. Then came the fast and furious finish where both competitors gave everything they had, but had nothing left by the time we reached 60 minutes on this one.
Since arriving in AEW, the American Dragon has just been on a tear in terms of having quality matches. The fact that Danielson’s consistently had great bouts against foes like Kenny Omega, Minoru Suzuki, Dustin Rhodes, and now Adam Page, just shows how much of a stud he is as an in-ring performer. His character work in this match as he repeatedly attempted to rile up the crowd with his heelish antics was on another level, too.
Going toe-to-toe with one of the best wrestlers in the world, Hangman Page rose to the occasion and delivered one of his best matches in AEW ever. His babyface fire towards the end of the match really had me expecting that he’d pull off the win, and the fact that he came up just a bit short due to the time expiring will just make that eventual win over Danielson that much sweeter.
It’s understandable why some are left cold (pun intended?) by the time-limit draw finish, especially with those that wanted something a bit more decisive for Hangman’s first title defense. but it does definitely open up some interesting stories heading into a rematch. You could have Hangman have a bit of confidence issues with not being able to get a big win over Danielson, while you’d have a story about Bryan not being able to get major victories due to time-limit draws against Kenny and Hangman.
If you’ll allow, here’s some fantasy booking I had in mind for what comes next for Hangman and Bryan:
- For the time being, Hangman moves on to brief feuds that lead to title defenses. Challenges from the likes of Scorpio Sky, Miro, and maybe even a match against either MJF or CM Punk (as was hinted at last week). If Jon Moxley returns at some point before Revolution, he’s another possible challenger.
- Of course, the story is that despite racking up impressive wins, Hangman knows that won’t be enough until he gets a decisive win over Bryan Danielson.
- And speaking of Danielson, he ends up having his own stable by taking in 2point0 and Daniel Garcia. This way, when we revisit the Hangman feud, Danielson will have a new faction to fight against Dark Order.
- The long-awaited rematch happens at Revolution, with an announcement from Tony Khan stating that “there must be a winner”. In this rematch, we have Page defeating Danielson to retain and get that white whale.
Of course, as this was a four match show, let’s dig into the rest of Winter is Coming. The match that came after the World Title Match (Wardlow vs. Matt Sydal) was perfectly short and worked real well as a way to cool down the crowd a bit. That being said, there’s certainly some movement now in terms of the story of Wardlow potentially turning against MJF. We’re starting to see him visibly get annoyed by Shawn Spears’ antics, which could gradually lead to the Chairman eating a powerbomb in the future.
Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb was an intense encounter that once again showed just how well these two work together in matches. I loved that the match just started right away with Shida and Deeb punching at each other. No collar-and-elbow tie-ups, just two bitter rivals who hate each other going after one another right away. If we see another installment in their rivalry, I would not complain at all. However, I’d love to see Shida and Deeb move on to other feuds for the time being before revisiting it sometime down the line.
While it was MJF who got the win and the Dynamite Diamond Ring, it was Dante Martin who once again took the spotlight in this match. Dante impressed with his high-flying offense and skills, as he always does. With performances like this, it’s no wonder that Dante’s become one of my favorite in-ring wrestlers of this past year. The sky’s the limit for him.
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.