It was April 15th, 2019. The Young Bucks stood next to each other in an unfinished room, scouring the internet for tag teams worthy of joining their upstart promotion. Suddenly their expressions changed; Nick’s enthusiastic grin contrasted by Matt’s concerned frown.
“Come on.” Matt paused. “One of our greatest rivals ever…”
Nick glanced up from his smartphone. “What’s wrong?”
Matt stuttered as he spoke “This is– this is asking too much. We’ve had enou–”
Matt grimaced. His mind flashed back to PWG. Threemendous III. Ladder War. Three way dance. The chaos. The blood. The… the referee. Bringing in anyone else from that match would inevitably lead to another brutal confrontation.
Nick set the cell phone on a nearby chair. “If you still think we’re the best in the world, we would hire guys like that. That’s all I’m sayin’.” Nick turned and walked away.
“Usually I’m with you, but this time… I don’t know.” Matt followed after Nick, the look of concern still on his face.
The camera pulled in on the abandoned phone, showing The Young Bucks on one side of the screen. On the other were Evil Uno and Stupefied, also known as The Super Smash Brothers.
Which begged the question… if they got hired, wouldn’t Nintendo sue AEW for copyright infringement?
Chapter 1: Creeping Towards Failure
The Best Friends were facing off against The Hybrid2 at the inaugural AEW PPV, Double or Nothing. The Best Friends picked up the win after 25 minutes of intense action. The two teams met in the center of the ring in a moment of respect. Jack Evans and Angelico were happy to shake hands and move on, but the Kings of Hug Style weren’t leaving until hugs were had by all. Just as the teams embraced, the lights went out.
The announcers were confused. They guessed the blackout was due to the lack of experience by a fresh tech crew.
The lights came back, revealing a bald warrior and a hulking masked man standing in between The Hybrid2 and The Best Friends. The lights went to full black again.
When the lights came on this time, the ring was surrounded by men in black and green masks. The grunts yanked Chuck and Angelico to the floor, allowing the bald man and his masked associate to beat down Trent? and Jack Evans. A beat down ensued, the Hybrid2 and The Best Friends eating finisher after finisher.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the crowd started to turn, chanting “WHO ARE YOU? WHO ARE YOU?” while Trent? ate a tag team finishing move. Only a smattering of boos were heard as the hulking man sat on a throne formed by his henchmen’s own bodies.
Despite Stu and Uno’s best efforts, the Dark Order was born into confusion and apathy.
The Dark Order floundered from the start. Despite Evil Uno and Stu Greyson’s 13 year history of putting on engaging performances, the fans just weren’t having it. There were no breakout performances, no standout promos, no exciting feuds. The Dark Order felt like a nebulous “evil cult” without any direction or reason. Why were they a cult? What were their goals? Were the Creepers supposed to be wrestlers or, like… monster people? Nobody knew.
The December 18, 2019 episode of Dynamite was supposed to be the breakout moment for The Dark Order. They were getting a shot at The Elite. This was The Order needed; a big time feud with opponents who they knew they meshed with. The former Super Smash Brothers versus The Young Bucks with some heat behind it would lead to another PWG Ladder Match style barnburner. A five star match with the Bucks would solidify Uno and Stu as a top tier tag team in AEW, giving direction to the rudderless Dark Order.
Dynamite ended with the Tag Team Champions SCU getting a win over The Young Bucks. A dozen or so Creepers jumped the rail and surrounded the ring while Uno and Stu appeared on the stage. Uno said that tonight wasn’t a recruitment, it was an initiation. The Creepers jumped in the ring and swarmed SCU and the Bucks. Two Creepers pulled off their masks to reveal the hapless tag team of John Silver and Alex Reynolds. It had been established The Dark Order preyed on the weak and the lost, and nobody had lost more than Silver and Reynolds.
This was it, finally, this was it. With the reveal of some actual named, unmasked recruits and a big beatdown of The Elite on the last Dynamite of 2019, this moment was supposed to be The Dark Order’s hotshot into the main event.
Then everything went wrong.
Quotes from the Talk Is Jericho podcast, “Stu Grayson & Evil Uno Bring the Dark Order To Light”, June 16, 2021
Uno: “We didn’t know we were going to end the last Dynamite of the year with a big beatdown on all the faces… We never consider ourselves a main event angle. We had no direction for the top. Our original plan was to have the losers from the show. That’s why we got Alex and John because they had lost in a minute on the first two shows. If we get them, we have people who know what they’re doing and they can have longer matches. We had no great reveal other than that. We weren’t happy the segment happened to begin with. On top of that, we knew the reaction was flat and as soon as we came to the back, the phone is blowing up and [the bad punches were] picked up on instantly. Most of the local guys didn’t understand that the camera is on at all times. They mistimed a lot of our timing.”
Stu: “The main idea was every time a face would come in, they would hit a Creeper like it was nothing, then I would come in and get the star down, and the Creepers would pile on him. Next one comes in, he pops people around, I put him down, and every single time, they’d just swarm [the face] and were beating the piss out of Kenny and Cody. What are you doing? Why are you hurting the stars?”
Uno: “We were supposed to have a follow-up on the first show in January and they cut us entirely from the show and cut us the next couple of weeks as well. At that point, it was a moment where it was like, ‘well, we’re done. I don’t think we can come back.’”
With NHL hockey taking priority on TNT for the next two Wednesdays, that means AEW Dynamite will be on Saturday nights for these two weeks, starting with this week’s edition. Hailing from Miami, FL, let’s see what’s in store for us this week…
Previously on All Elite Wrestling…
We’ve got three televised cards to roll through, so we’ll cut right to the chase and just recap all of them below.
Here’s the results of the 10/6 edition of Dynamite (Episode 105):
The Super Elite def. Jurassic Express, Christian Cage, & Bryan Danielson via pinfall (17:58) after Omega, Cole, and the Young Bucks hit Jungle Boy with a four-man BTE Trigger.
CM Punk called out Daniel Garcia for a match on Friday’s Rampage.
Sammy Guevara def. Bobby Fish via pinfall (9:16) to retain the TNT Championship with the Go To Hell. After the match, Dan Lambert’s MMA boys beat Guevara up until Jake Hager & Chris Jericho made the save.
Tony Schiavone & Aubrey Edwards unveiled the new TBS Championship, a new secondary title for AEW’s women’s division. In a later video package, Thunder Rosa, Ruby Soho, Skye Blue, and Jade Cargill announced themselves to be in the tournament to name the first TBS Champ.
Darby Allin def. Nick Comoroto via pinfall (4:00) with the Coffin Drop. Post-match, Sting dropped QT Marshall with the Scorpion Death Drop.
Dante Martin’s challenge was answered by Malakai Black, who kicked Dante’s head off. Later on, Lio Rush offered his services to Dante.
Ricky Starks’ promo was interrupted by Brian Cage, who chased him out of the ring.
Serena Deeb def. Hikaru Shida via submission (10:15) to deny Shida her 50th win in AEW. After the match, Deeb struck Shida with the trophy that was supposed to celebrate her milestone.
The Pinnacle — all wearing black masks — ambushed Darby Allin in the parking lot in a brutal assault.
“Hangman” Adam Page won the Casino Ladder Match (17:10) to earn a shot at the AEW World Championship. The match included Jon Moxley, Lance Archer, Andrade, Matt Hardy, PAC, and Orange Cassidy. Page was revealed as the mystery Joker of the match.
Here’s the results of the 10/8 edition of Rampage (Episode 9):
CM Punk def. Daniel Garcia via submission (14:05) using the Anaconda Vise to submit Garcia in a fantastic match.
Backstage, Lio Rush vowed to get Matt Sydal a match with CM Punk on next week’s Rampage.
The Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero M) def. The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) via pinfall (6:00) with the Fear Factor finisher on Bowens to retain their AEW Tag Titles.
Jade Cargill def. Skye Blue via pinfall (1:02) in a really quick squash that has become a specialty of Cargill’s. After the match, Jade continued to beat up on Skye until Thunder Rosa chased her away with a chair.
Ricky Starks def. Brian Cage via pinfall (10:40) in a Philly Street Fight to retain his FTW Championship. The finish saw Hook get involved by low-blowing Cage as he had Starks at his mercy. This allowed Starks to hit a top-rope variation of the Roshambo for the win.
Here’s the results for the 10/15 edition of Rampage (Episode 10) and the special Buy-In before the show:
Tay Conti def. Santana Garrett via pinfall (4:42) with the DD-Tay.
Bobby Fish def. Lee Moriarty via pinfall (7:57) after hitting his roundhouse kick on Moriarty.
Bryan Danielson def. Minoru Suzuki via pinfall (19:18) when he hit Suzuki with the Running Knee. Go out of your way to see this match. It’s one hell of a match.
CM Punk def. Matt Sydal via pinfall (14:47) with the GTS in Rampage’s opening match.
The Dark Order heralded the return of “Hangman” Page and challenged The Super Elite for a fight.
Ruby Soho def. The Bunny via pinfall (8:00) using a roll-up pin for the win. After the match, Penelope Ford laid Soho out with a brass knuckles punch.
Men of the Year (Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky) & Junior dos Santos def. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara) via pinfall (11:29) when Scorpio took advantage of a Jorge Masvidal knee strike on Jericho for the pin. After the match, the American Top Team assault on Inner Circle was foiled by Santana and Ortiz.
It’s Saturday Night. You Know What That Means.
Following the ever-present opening sequence and Jim Ross welcoming us to the show, CM Punk’s theme plays, heralding his arrival to the commentary booth. He’ll be joining Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur to call the action tonight.
Match 1: Dante Martin vs. Malakai Black
The Story So Far
Dante Martin, eager for a challenge after hanging tough with the likes of Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes, got more than he bargained for on the 10/6 Dynamite when the enigmatic Malakai Black answered the challenge with a kick to the head of the young upstart. Lio Rush also made it clear that he wanted to help Dante succeed, offering his services.
Dante Martin is accompanied to the ring by Lio Rush as the match is underway. Martin and Black trading armdrags to start us off, ending with Black controlling the arm. Dante dropkicks Black to the outside. Dante’s looking to dive, but Malakai is back in the ring to stop that. Stalemate in the middle of the ring as Black misses with a corner run. Springboard splash by Dante is turned into a powerbomb by Black. Now a single leg crab submission by Black before Dante reaches the ropes to break it up.
Malakai batters Dante’s legs with repeated kicks until Dante fights back. Brief exchange of blows is stopped by Malakai, who hits a kneebreaker. Knee bar locked in on Dante, who’s screaming out in pain. Dante kicks at Malakai to escape the hold. On the apron again, Dante’s thinking springboard again, but Malakai stops him at the pass. Roll-up by Dante gets a two-count.
Reverse hurricanrana by Dante Martin buys him some time to recover his injured leg. Malakai rolls out to the ramp. Dante’s limping, but he goes for a springboard splash to the outside that grounds Black. Dante looking for the springboard moonsault, but Black side steps out of the way, causing Dante to land on that injured leg of his instead. An exchange of blows between the two takes place now. Fists and kicks are traded until Dante sends Black to the corner with an enzuguiri. Black pushes Dante away with his feet, following that with the Meteora! Hard kick to the head, then the German suplex by Malakai gets a near-fall.
“This is awesome!” chants from the fans in appreciation of this hot opener. Malakai drags Dante to the corner and lifts him to the top turnbuckle. Both men are in a precarious situation, but Dante wins out and hits a dangerous avalanche hurricanrana on Black. It seems that Dante’s suffering the worst of it as he landed on that injured knee on impact. He’s too hurt to go for the cover as a result.
Dante rises up and lands a springboard moonsault on Black, but not with the desired impact he wanted. Dante crawls to the slow cover for the near fall. Malakai recovers and wrenches in the single leg crab. Black abruptly releases the hold as he clutches his ribs in some kind of pain. Dante recovers and gets himself onto the apron. Springboard attack backfires badly for Dante as Black rolls out of the way. In position, Black hits the spinning kick to knock Dante out cold. 1… 2… 3. This one’s over.
Malakai Black def. Dante Martin via pinfall (9:38)
As Black makes his way up the stage, he turns to Dante and gives him a subtle nod. Perhaps a sign of respect for taking him to the limit?
Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus promo
Tony Schiavone is backstage with Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy as they address last week’s match. They’re suddenly confronted by the Super Elite, who beat the crap out of them. The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega deliver a triple powerbomb to Luchasaurus as Adam Cole forces Jungle Boy to watch.
The Inner Circle United
A newly reunited Inner Circle makes their way to the ring with the fans serenading the motley crew with a singalong of “Judas”. Just as Santana starts to address his friends having to deal with Dan Lambert and friends, he’s indeed interrupted by the arrival of Lambert and his American Top Team, alongside the Men of the Year.
Lambert tries to get a word in, but the Miami fans just boo him very loudly. In the meantime, Chris Jericho addresses Paige Van Zant, saying that she’s “obsessed” with him and that he wouldn’t touch Van Zant with her husband’s genitals (ugh). Jericho continues to run his mouth a bit more before stating that the Inner Circle is ready for a five-on-five fight with Lambert’s ATT boys and the Men of the Year.
Lambert says that they’d love to oblige Jericho’s challenge, but he has other plans — namely ones that involve championship gold. He singles out TNT Champion Sammy Guevara, stating that he’ll name some terms for him next week regarding that title of his. Sammy interrupts, stating that he’s more than ready to whoop American Top Team’s asses when it comes time for it.
Match 2: AAA Tag Title Match – The Lucha Bros. vs. “Las Super Ranas” (w/ Andrade el Idolo)
The Story So Far
Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix (along with Death Triangle ally PAC) have had their issues with Andrade over the past few months, with El Idolo at first trying to get them to join him. When the Lucha Brothers refused to play Andrade’s games, he decided to try his hand at antagonizing the current AEW Tag Team Champions instead.
Andrade’s friends are revealed to be two men in matching frog-themed jumpsuits and ill-fitting masks as we begin this match. It’s all Lucha Brothers in the early stages of this match before Rey Fenix tags in. The one Super Rana tries to take over, but Fenix easily fights off. Now Penta is in and the Lucha Brothers are now attempting to unmask the Ranas. They fight out of it and attempt a double suplex, but that’s reversed by Fenix & Penta. They each have a Super Rana and they unmask to reveal… FTR! The match goes to a commercial on this reveal.
We resume with live action as FTR have both Lucha Brothers on the ramp. Penta fights back and tells Fenix to run as he gets in position and lifts Fenix up for a springboard double dropkick on the unmasked Harwood & Wheeler. Double diving stomp by the Lucha Bros… dual cover nets a dual kickout from “Las Super Ranas”.
Cash left alone in the ring. Irish whip attempt as Penta is grabbed by Dax on the outside. Penta sends Cash flying onto Dax outside with a back body toss. Lucha Brothers seize the opportunity… Double Cero Miedo dives to the outside by the Lucha Brothers on FTR! Now it’s Dax alone in the ring. Penta & Fenix look to have the match in hand with the Fear Factor set up, but Cash Wheeler makes the save. He sends Penta crashing into the timekeeper’s area.
Rey avoids a belt shot and kicks Cash off the apron. He falls victim to a roll-up by Dax Harwood, complete with rope grab, but Rey just manages to kick out. Slingshot across the middle rope by Fenix and he knocks Dax out with the kick to the head. Tully Blanchard runs to the ring, which allows Cash Wheeler to slide the AAA Tag Title into Dax’s hands.
Fenix goes for a moonsault off the top rope, but he gets flattened with the AAA Tag Title just as he makes impact with Dax. Sheer Drop Brainbuster by Dax. 1… 2… 3! We have new AAA Tag Team Champions!
FTR/”Las Super Ranas” def. The Lucha Bros. via pinfall (8:12) to become the new AAA Tag Team Champions
Lio Rush’s New Business Proposition
Backstage, we find Lio Rush talking to Dante Martin, stating that Dante’s loss to Malakai Black was by design. He declares that Dante will have a new tag partner: himself. Dante reluctantly accepts Lio’s proposition.
A Deal’s A Deal
The new AAA Tag Team Champions FTR are about to leave with Andrade el Idolo, but MJF shows up and asks Andrade for his money, wanting both cash and cheque from him. Andrade gives Max an envelope filled with money, as he’s told that he only gets FTR for one night only.
Match 3: Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler YUTA
The Story So Far
Not really any story significance, unless you count Mox briefly interacting with Orange Cassidy during the Casino Ladder Match last week.
If you thought the above recap of the story between Mox vs. Wheeler was short, then this match synopsis is arguably shorter. Mox just batters YUTA with fists until he hits a Paradigm Shift for the quick victory.
Jon Moxley def. Wheeler YUTA via pinfall (0:47)
As Moxley quickly exits through the crowd, Wheeler is being checked on by a trainer and Orange Cassidy.
In a backstage interview, Serena Deeb explains her sudden change in attitude, stating that the women’s division needed to be dragged back up to greatness by her. She’s hit in the head by an errant kendo stick strike as Hikaru Shida attacks and gets in a brawl with Serena.
Match 3: The Elite’s SuperKliq (Adam Cole & The Young Bucks) vs. The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds, John Silver, & Evil Uno)
The Story So Far
While the Elite’s war with the Dark Order has been on the backburner since winning the massive ten-man tag match at Fight for the Fallen, as well as being superseded by new conflicts with Jurassic Express, the Dark Order have forced the issue again. On Friday’s Rampage, Dark Order threw down the gauntlet against the SuperKliq, renewed by the returning “Hangman” Adam Page.
The SuperKliq attack Dark Order before the match can even begin. They attempt to do a triple powerbomb on John Silver to take him out of commission, but he manages to fight out. Reynolds & Uno answer back and bring Adam Cole & Nick Jackson in the ring to officially start this match.
It’s Silver and Nick starting off for their respective teams as the diminutive dynamo of the Dark Order takes advantage. He taunts Adam Cole while working over Nick Jackson for a bit. Irish whip by Silver is reversed, allowing Cole to kick him in the back to no effect. He cleans house on the Elite. Gamengiri by Silver on Nick, followed by a diving senton on Cole. Superkick by Matt Jackson stops Silver’s momentum. Evil Uno joins the fight, but he’s stopped. Cole stops an Alex Reynolds dive attempt with a superkick. The SuperKliq take this time to taunt the crowd. They have control over Silver with the action continuing in picture-in-picture.
Back from commercial as the Young Bucks’ attempted suplex on Silver is turned into a one-man double suplex on them instead. Silver tags in for his team, while Cole enters the fray for the Elite. Uno takes out both Bucks and steals Nick Jackson’s shoes! Back body drop to Matt and a hard punch puts Nick out of commission. Uno takes Nick’s sock off and proceeds to do his version of Mr. Socko on Nick until Cole superkicks him. Camel Clutch by Cole as he and the Bucks look to do their SuperKliq Kiss spot. Reynolds and Silver intercept the Jacksons and they end up smooching Cole before sending him to the floor onto the recovering Bucks.
Cole left all alone as Dark Order go to town on him with a flurry of moves, ending with Uno getting Cole with Something Evil. 1… 2… the Young Bucks break up the pin.
Matt & Nick take Uno and Silver to the outside. Diving dropkick by Matt, followed by a leaping dive by Nick over his brother and onto the Dark Order members. Back in the ring, Reynolds & Cole exchange matching kicks and knee strikes. Reynolds manages to reverse the knee strike into a roll-up pin for the very close two-count. The Young Bucks interject and flatten Reynolds with stereo superkicks. Panama Sunrise by Cole, followed by the Bucks’ BTE Trigger and Cole’s running knee strike for the win.
The Elite’s SuperKliq def. The Dark Order via pinfall (10:50)
An angry Jungle Boy rushes the ring to attack Cole before the Bucks throw him out. Seeing the odds ahead of him, Jungle Boy pulls out a chair as the Elite run off to leave Brandon Cutler alone. Cutler tries to spray J.B. in the face but he blocks with the chair before beaning Brandon with it. Jungle Boy locks Cutler in the Snare Trap, making sure to spray the cold spray in Cutler’s face as he does it!
The Further Misadventures of Cody & Arn
Arn Anderson has brought Cody Rhodes to the Rhodes Wrestling Academy, where the trainees (including Brock Anderson & Red Velvet) basically tell Cody that he sucks right to his face.Then it’s off to training, where Cody’s getting schooled by Brock, Lee Johnson, and another trainee.
Cody’s mad that he’s not learning anything here as Arn talks about never doing anything to let the kids down. He cites how Dusty Rhodes gave him thirty stitches and how he had that coming. Now, Malakai Black has it coming real soon.
MJF’s Challenge Unanswered?
Maxwell Jacob Friedman is out in the ring, doing his usual heel heat promo. He then addresses Darby Allin, saying that he’s got a scheduled match happening now — despite Darby not cleared for action after the Pinnacle’s brutal assault last week. He has Wardlow bring out Bryce Remsburg so that he can have the “match” won against Darby by forfeit.
Bryce begins the count, but the lights go out and snow fills the arena. Here comes Sting to avenge Darby. With bat in hand, Stinger confronts MJF and Wardlow. Max chooses to put Wardlow in harm’s way by shoving him right into a Sting baseball bat strike. Sting beckons MJF to face him, but Max decides to back off instead.
The Queenslayer and the DMD Brawl It Out
Anna Jay’s interview is interrupted by Dr. Britt Baker DMD, who taunts Anna for her Dark Order friends losing against her boyfriend, as well as being “nothing” without Tay Conti. This is enough to cause a brawl between the two that needs to be separated by referees.
Match 4: Penelope Ford vs. Kiera Hogan
The Story So Far
This match was announced on last night’s Rampage, coming off the heels of Penelope Ford attacking Ruby Soho after her match with The Bunny.
Penelope forces Kiera into the corner, followed by an arm drag. Kiera fights back and manages to hit a neckbreaker for a two count. Corner bulldog by Penelope allows for her to regain control of the match. The action goes to picture-in-picture commercials.
We resume with Kiera having Penelope set up on the top rope. A slap allows for her to hit a massive superplex that takes both competitors out of commission! Both Kiera & Penelope recover simultaneously and proceed to exchange strikes. Hogan wins out and hits a clothesline. Shotgun dropkick soon follows, and then Kiera lands a sliding dropkick! 1… 2… NO! Kiera goes to pick up Penelope, but she ends up getting flattened by a modified Stunner/Codebreaker. Penelope has Kiera on her shoulders, but that’s reversed into a knee-focused neckbreaker. Only a near-fall for Hogan.
Elbow strike by Penelope, followed by a handspring cutter on Hogan. Is she looking for the pin? Nope. Muta Lock by Penelope is cinched in tight, as Kiera is forced to tap out to end this match.
Penelope Ford def. Kiera Hogan via submission (7:42)
Ruby Soho attacks Penelope after the match as she looks to get payback for the assault during Rampage. Soho tosses Penelope out to the ramp, while the Bunny emerges to collect Penelope out of the ring.
Miro No Longer Seeks Forgiveness
“The Redeemer” speaks to his God, saying that he cannot go home to his wife like this (i.e. without the TNT Championship). Has he been forsaken by God? Miro says that he’s done pleading with his God, declaring that he will make sure that everyone knows pain until he once again becomes a Champion.
True Cowboy Shit
Schiavone’s in the ring once again to introduce “Hangman” Adam Page to a raucous reaction from the Miami crowd. The lower-third labels Hangman as a “frequent question-dodger”. The commentators made it clear that Page’s title shot will be coming on November 13th at Full Gear against Kenny Omega.
Page talks about how he and the Elite took a big chance by leaving Ring of Honor and New Japan to start AEW up. He was eager to change the world with his former friends, but it seems that the world changed them instead.
He mentions how his Day One vow of becoming the first AEW Champion ended in losing his confidence, his friendships, and his faith in himself. Page says that the one thing he never lost in all of this was the support of the fans week after week and their chants of “cowboy shit”. Hangman goes on to elaborate what Cowboy Shit meant to him, which included welcoming new friends into his life (The Dark Order) and taking his chance to stick his neck out for those friends (the Fight for the Fallen tag match). He says that Cowboy Shit also meant having courage to be there for the birth of his baby boy during the hottest run of his career.
“When you fall off, you get back up. You get back on the horse. You keep on riding and blaze on ahead. Because to me, that’s Cowboy Shit.” Hangman proclaims.
Hangman vows at Full Gear — despite not knowing how it will turn out for him — that he’s gonna give us everything. He will give us his blood, sweat, and tears on that night. But most importantly, he’ll give us 100% Cowboy Shit.
Match 6: Bryan Danielson vs. Bobby Fish
The Story So Far
Both Danielson & Fish are new signees with AEW and found themselves in separate singles matches to prepare for tonight’s contest on a special Buy-In on YouTube. While Fish defeated Lee Moriarty, Danielson found himself in a goddamned war with Minoru Suzuki that saw him barely survive to get the crucial win heading into tonight.
Back and forth action to kick us off here. Fish goes on the offensive, finishing with a snapmare and a back kick for a two count. Danielson bounces back and stomps away at the knees of Fish. He back body tosses Fish to the floor and hits a suicide dive to the outside. Bryan gets up on the apron, but he’s tripped up by Fish, landing on the leg in the process. We go to our final commercial break of the evening with Danielson in pain.
The action resumes as Fish continues to do damage on Danielson’s leg, wrapping it around the middle rope as Bryan’s trapped in the corner. He kicks away at Bryan’s leg as the American Dragon tries to fight out. The referee tries to check up on Bryan, allowing for Fish to play to the crowd’s booing. Sliding lariat by Fish gets a two-count. Single-leg Boston Crab ala Lance Storm by Fish. Danielson turns that around and has an ankle lock applied on Fish, transitioning into a release German suplex.
Danielson now has Fish right where he wants him, hitting kicks and fists on him. Dragon Screw by Danielson is followed by slamming Fish’s leg against the ring post. Chop block by the American Dragon and he’s feeling it now. Fish captures Danielson’s kick and turns it into a backdrop driver… 1… 2… kick-out! Fish proceeds to work over Danielson in the corner, then putting him onto the top rope. Sets him up… avalanche Falcon Arrow by Fish! 1… 2… kick-out is turned into a knee bar by Bobby Fish. Danielson turns around and has Fish in his own version of a knee bar. Repeated kicks to the head by Danielson leads to the heel hook on Fish. After a brief struggle, Fish taps out.
Bryan Danielson def. Bobby Fish via submission (12:28)
AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Bracket
Orange Cassidy vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (10/22 Rampage)
Jon Moxley vs. Preston “10” Vance (TBD)
Dustin Rhodes vs. Bryan Danielson (10/23 Dynamite Saturday Night)
Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston (10/23 Dynamite Saturday Night)
Winner of Moxley/Vance vs. Winner of Cassidy/Hobbs (TBD)
Winner of Danielson/Rhodes vs. Winner of Archer/Kingston (TBD)
Finals at Full Gear 2021 (11/13/21)
Next Week on Rampage (10/22/21)
Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs. Anna Jay
PAC vs. Andrade El Idolo II
Orange Cassidy vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (AEW World Title Eliminator Match)
Next Week on Dynamite Saturday Night (10/23/21)
Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes III
Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston (AEW World Title Eliminator Match)
Dustin Rhodes vs. Bryan Danielson (AEW World Title Eliminator Match)
The Last Word
An interesting show, for sure, but one highlighted by one of the strongest promos in recent memory. I’m, of course, talking about Hangman Page’s “Cowboy Shit” promo.
In just five short minutes, Page was able to tie together two years’ worth of story — two years of fleeting successes, crushing failures, and everything in between — to further establish himself as AEW’s top hero. And this, remarkably, comes even with new additions like CM Punk and Bryan Danielson arriving to tremendous fanfare.
Page repurposing what he once said in passing during a typical pre-match promo and turning it into a personal mission statement for how he’s chosen to live out his AEW career is just the icing that makes this promo a true standout. The “Cowboy Shit” way of thinking, as the Hangman puts it, is about finding the courage to be with loved ones, even during the hottest run of his career. It’s about sticking up for the friends you’ve made and helping them achieve their own dreams. Most importantly, “Cowboy Shit” is about pulling yourself back up when you’ve fallen and getting back on that horse to blaze your own trail. It gives Page something that makes it even easier for fans to root for him, doing so in an organic manner.
Just as Stone Cold Steve Austin was the quintessential babyface for the 90s, “Hangman” Page is the hero we wrestling fans need for today’s troubled times. His struggles with himself and how he confronts them has allowed him to be easily relatable with fans today in a way that works so beautifully. They represent how we can sometimes find ourselves in moments where we doubt whether or not we can actually be the best of ourselves.
It’s why we relate with Page’s successes and his failures. It’s why we can see ourselves in Hangman, despite not being wrestlers like he is. And it’s why we hope he can finally achieve the greatest success of all when he finally catches what has eluded him for so long at Full Gear.
While we’re on the subject of promos, let’s talk about how incredible Miro is in the promo game. The video packages he’s had ever since he became the TNT Champion (and even now, when he’s no longer champion) have really showed how game he is in establishing himself as someone not to be messed with. I find myself hanging on every word Miro says in these promos, and the one from this week is no exception. It’ll be interesting to see what “The Redeemer” will be up to heading into Full Gear, seeing as he’s not in the World Title Eliminator Tournament.
On the opposite end of the promo spectrum is Chris Jericho’s short remarks to Paige Van Zant. The rather sexist comments he made in reference to Van Zant feel woefully outdated and out of place in the modern wrestling landscape. While the American Top Team/Men of the Year vs. Inner Circle feud just works when it’s just the two sides duking it out, it’s dragged down considerably when Jericho chooses to open his mouth. I get that Jericho’s still immensely popular with live crowds, but that’s certainly no excuse to be dabbling in the type of content that he chooses in these promos.
Other than that, it was yet another breezy two hours of Dynamite I found myself enjoying from start to finish. Good in-ring action — particularly in Danielson vs. Fish and Black vs. Martin — coupled with one of the best babyface promos in recent memory made for an entertaining Saturday night.
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.
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)
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.
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
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.
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.
“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.
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)
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
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
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.
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)
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
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
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
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.
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)
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 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.
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)
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.
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.
With over 103 episodes and two years of exciting wrestling action under its belt, All Elite Wrestling’s flagship show has been bringing fans a brand of wrestling befitting of the company’s Elite moniker. From that fateful first episode in Washington D.C. to the COVID-19 era to its current hot streak, Dynamite has been thrilling, non-stop action every week.
The Ringcrashers team has compiled a list of their personal favorite moments & matches from Dynamite’s two-year history. So, without further ado, it’s time to light the fuse and bring the boom, as we look back on two years of AEW Dynamite.
Top Moment(s): The Road to Revolution 2020
It was honestly hard for me to pin down one singular moment in Dynamite’s history (aside from the beautiful and moving tribute to Mr. Brodie Lee) as my one true favorite, so I went with the stretch of Dynamite episodes starting from January 1st, 2020’s episode to the go-home show on February 26th.
That string of episodes turned Dynamite into must-see television as fans saw witness to the rise of “Hangman” Adam Page & Kenny Omega as the AEW Tag Team Champions, Jon Moxley going to war with Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle, as well as Cody Rhodes enduring MJF’s torturous challenges just to earn a shot at him at Revolution — culminating in the first-ever cage match in AEW history in front of a hot Atlanta crowd.
Revolution 2020 is widely regarded by AEW fans as one of the best PPV events in company history, and that’s thanks in no small part to the two-month build that unfolded on Dynamite.
The bitter war between the Best Friends and Proud ‘n Powerful culminated in this brutal slugfest that appropriately main evented the 50th episode of Dynamite.
If there’s one thing that AEW has succeeded in is making their gimmick matches feel important and not just treating them as window dressing. Having the intense rivalry between these two teams end with a parking lot just made sense. The thirteen-minute brawl saw both teams practically brutalize each other, ending with a satisfying win for the Best Friends. Trent’s mother Sue arriving in her van to take the Best Friends home — but not before giving Santana & Ortiz one final one-finger salute — provided a perfect capstone to this incredible feud-ending showdown. The match’s cathartic finish provided something that’s been a hallmark of AEW booking: giving the people what they want.
The first-ever Iron Man match in AEW history did not disappoint as The Cleaner and The Bastard laid it all on the line to see who would be superior in this 30-minute marathon. Coming on the go-home show for Revolution 2020 — which would see Omega defend the AEW Tag Title alongside then-partner Hangman Page against the Young Bucks and PAC looking to silence Orange Cassidy — this match provided a hot start to one of the most anticipated PPV go-home shows in recent memory.
Fans rejoiced as AEW gave Dr. Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa the chance to main event their special “St. Patrick’s Day Slam” to settle their blood feud. The two women certainly rose to the occasion and delivered a memorable encounter unlike any women’s match seen in AEW up to that point.
While Britt Baker came out on the losing end of this Lights Out match, she arguably looked strong in defeat, as her bloody visage provided an unforgettable image that helped raise her standing with the fans. Baker’s willingness to take brutal spots such as a table break and being slammed through thumbtacks has basically had the effect of making her more popular with fans — to the point where she receives cheers everywhere despite being a heel.
This match helped elevate Baker and Rosa’s rivalry to a point that the next time we see these two face off, it’ll for sure be one to remember.
When Bryan Danielson arrived in AEW at All Out 2021, he didn’t waste any time and hit the ground running by challenging the AEW World Champion to a match to see who was the best in the ring. Thus, the stage was set for AEW’s biggest Dynamite ever at Arthur Ashe Stadium for the American Dragon and the Best Bout Machine to lock horns in an instant classic.
What fans ended up seeing was a half-hour wrestling clinic as Danielson and Omega took each other to the limit in a bout that nobody will be forgetting any time soon. The two absolute best wrestlers in the world today left it all on the line with the biggest audience in AEW history watching. And though it ended in a time-limit draw, it didn’t feel like a disappointment and only left fans wanting more.
Wrestling, maybe more than any other storytelling medium, provides catharsis. Even for a feud that wasn’t too interesting (every Best Friends feud seems to last just a little too long) for me, the Arcade Anarchy was one of my first big blow-off matches I watched and it sticks for me in a way that I just love. The prize wall of weapons, Miro’s transformation into the unstoppable monster that three men couldn’t take down, and the return of Statlander and Trent(?).
It’s a fun main event match, and there are spots in it that are just great. Kris Statlander popping out of the alien claw machine and smacking Penelope Ford remains one of the funniest moments Dynamite has ever had in-match. Trent(?) coming out of Sue’s van, pecs bouncing as he came in to save Cassidy and Chuck, is just a remarkable site to behold. Finally, the end shot of the group hug, thumbs up to Sue as “Where is My Mind?” blasts is an iconic moment of the show, as is Excalibur gleefully shouting that “You have got to give the people what they want!”
And it’s true. Sometimes you don’t need subversion, you can just make people feel good and have your slacker loser hug it out with his friends.
It’s the match that everything had been building for – or so we thought. Months of the Dark Order having Hangman’s back, with Evil Uno pushing for the title shot, and Hangman facing down his former friends. It all starts with that introduction, “you don’t need a hat to be a cowboy.” Then, for the first time ever, it’s not Hangman and the Dark Order. It’s just the Dark Order. Adam Page is wearing the purple and black of the Dark Order. Shit.
I cried watching it. I cry easily at things like this. You don’t need to read lips to know Page is shouting “Let’s fucking go!” as they descend the ramp. It’s character work that’s been going on from the start of AEW, coming to its peak. It is triumphant, wonderful, and elated. It feels like a crowning moment. It makes what happens next even harder. Watching the Dark Order lose one by one to the Elite, with their goofy and corporate synergized outfits of the evening, killing joy and grinding it under their Jordans.
Just as we get to have our highs in storytelling, those lows can be just as memorable. Hangman, standing outside the ring, against Omega and the Young Bucks, losing in such a manner that he leaves for months to soul search. This story isn’t done yet, but this chapter will stick in my head forever just for that chilling introduction.
I love this match for two reasons; it called back to Allin and Page’s brutal feud in Evolve and I was at the live show. The crowd was super hot and ready for anything. watched Evolve around the time these two were having a very ugly feud and it was like a Coda to see them restart and end their rivalry in front of a hot ATX crowd.
Sometimes a heel has to roll over a face in dominating fashion (see also Eddie Guerrero out-wrestling RVD in his return to the WWF.) A wild beatdown and a redemptive moment for the overlooked Luke Harper.
Kenny Omega vs. PAC (Iron Man Match, 2/26/20 Dynamite)
A rivalry along the lines of Angle/Benoit. Truly two people who we could watch fight forever.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs. Thunder Rosa (Unsanctioned “Lights Out” Match, 3/17/21 Dynamite)
The match that solidified the AEW Women’s Division as must watch TV. One of the greatest under 20 minutes matches of all time. Thunder Rosa is a wrestling savant, legitimately should be in the discussion for best current US based women’s wrestler and in the discussion for top 50 best current wrestlers PERIOD. Britt Baker levelled up in this match, bleeding buckets and taking the L but coming out a wrestler that fans could buy as a winner and future champion.
Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega (9/22/21 Dynamite “Grand Slam”)
Literally two of my top five favorite wrestlers of all time. Comparable to seeing Salvador Dali’s Masterwork paintings in person, two artists at the top of their game telling a story usually takes years of build to arrive at. A perfect match that somehow has a chance to top itself.
Britt Baker v. Thunder Rosa (3/17/21 Dynamite)
There are two things I love more than anything: deathmatch wrestling and women’s wrestling. Having two of the best women’s wrestlers in the world in a lights out match main eventing Dynamite to cap off an explosive feud was my most eagerly anticipated post-Revolution match, and it did not disappoint. There is a reason why Britt Baker’s bloodied face has been immortalized in the wake of that match. It’s one of the top matches I cite when I say wrestling is storytelling.
Arcade Anarchy – Best Friends v. Miro & Kip Sabian (3/31/21 Dynamite)
The culmination of a brilliant feud between Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor, and Kip Sabian and Miro. There’s so much to love about this match, including Kris Statlander bursting out of a claw machine to take out Penelope Ford, Chuck Taylor dumping a bag of Legos into the ring, Orange Cassidy playing Whack-A-Mole with Kip Sabian’s head— what sticks out to me most is Trent’s mom Sue driving into the ring, which made me pop so hard before I even realized that meant Trent himself was coming back. (Miro’s turn on Kip and subsequent TNT championship run are consequences of this match also, and I cannot overlook that.)
Even with no knowledge of Sting prior to watching AEW, the meaning of Sting passing Darby his bat and leaving him to get the job done was an INCREDIBLE moment. Also, Darby Allin once again with a dare defying stunt— coffin drop off the truss onto Matt Hardy on the announcer’s table— you can’t get better than that.
The culmination of a really heartrending arc where the Dark Order couldn’t reconcile their differences after not helping their good friend Hangman in a title match some weeks ago, in Brodie Lee’s hometown no less. I’m one of the few who loves to see lots and lots of wrestlers in the ring cause you get some great moments in the chaos— and when the Dark Order comes together and gets the win by chaining move after move, like Preston “10” Vance throwing Alex Reynolds into The Blade and then spearing Isaiah Kassidy off the apron into Marq Quen. Having -1, Brodie’s son, throw a handful of papers at Uno and Stu Grayson, just as his father used to do, is one of those moments that tells an entire story without anyone having to say anything. (Shoutout also to CM Punk for this line right before the Dark Order starts going to work: “At this point I think Aubrey should just come up here and maybe do commentary with us.”)
Not only is this a great call-back to wrestling history with Shawn Michaels’ infamous WrestleMania spot, this also marked Matt & Nick Jackson turning on longtime friends Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian to become who they are now (and according to the Bucks, who they always were): EVPs. Extremely. Violent. People.
Never mind the bloodstained Air Jordan 1. Out, out damned spot!
3. Kenny Omega v. PAC (30 Minute Iron Man Match, 2/26/20 Dynamite)
It’s easy to forget about amidst his current gimmick of The Belt Collector and The Super Elite, but before all of that, Kenny was once trying to find his place in AEW. After the absolutely unhinged Lights Out match he put on with Jon Moxley at Full Gear 2019 and lost, he also lost his sense of purpose.
He came out of that with a challenge from an old rival, who is still to this day one of the only men to win against Kenny Omega in AEW: the singularly athletic and brutal PAC, who beat Kenny by referee decision at All Out 2019. This 30 Minute Iron Man match serves as both an incredible example of wrestling at its finest, but also a reminder of exactly how and why Kenny is called the “Best Bout Machine.”
2. Dr. Britt Baker, DMD v. Thunder Rosa (Unsanctioned “Lights Out” Match, 3/17/21 Dynamite)
Others have mentioned it, but the first time the women of Dynamite got to main event is so core to the evolution of AEW as a promotion and a product. The image of a determined, bloody Dr. Britt Baker, DMD became not only an integral part of her entrance and gear, but of AEW as a whole.
Please, please watch this if you haven’t. It’s absolutely incredible.
I started watching AEW after Charlie Davis and Mikey Zee finally got me to tune in. Charlie and I recorded an episode about it if you want to hear my initial thoughts. Picking favorite matches isn’t something I could ever do because that isn’t how I am wired. What I want to talk about is the moments. Those moments I have seen, experienced, and felt through AEW. See, I never thought I would be intro wrestling. Ever. I had watched a few matches here and there of other leagues but nothing connected with me. I never bought into it because I didn’t understand the feeling.
I needed those gates proverbially crashed for me with an energy and love for the world of wrestling which Mikey and Charlie did. I watched their joy and excitement for this thing that got me interested. I heard about Kenny Omega, Orange Cassidy, and all these new names. After recording our episode, I started to watch when I could. I tried to follow it as closely as I could but as anyone who knows me knows, I am very busy all of the time.
But then Charlie and Mikey started talking about the PPV event ALL OUT. You see, I have never met Charlie in the flesh despite all three of us being friends for years so I said “I am in, I will fly out because I want to experience this with you.”
Now I knew a few small things going in. That there was going to be a bunch of huge matches and the first match from CM Punk in a number of years, a wrestler I knew very little of. But as we stood outside the stadium in a massive crowd waiting to get into the stadium, I couldn’t help but examine the people around me. Every type of person was there. There was huge queer represent which I didn’t fully expect but there were lots of shirts expressing it. It was so diverse and everyone was excited to be there for one thing! The love of wrestling.
Now I was a little sad that my favorite wrestler, The Butcher, had been out of commission so I didn’t have the thing that connected me to the league. First match, the Butcher shows up after months of being out. I am washed over with pure excitement to see my dude wreck some people. Match after match, I could feel the energy of the crowd. Watching the absolute heels called the Young Bucks beaten by the bloodied Lucha Brothers was exhilarating. Now most people were most impressed by the signing of Adam Cole (I watched Mikey and Charlie lose their marbles which I loved) and Bryan Danielson which were both mesmerizing. But something else has stuck with me from that day.
Watching CM Punk wrestle after being gone for so long was cool to see but what has imprinted on me was how happy he was. He was in a place where every single person in the building was there for one reason, the love of wrestling. He was getting to do something that he loved, cherished, and missed so much. You could see it in his face as he sat down that he was where he was supposed to be. I could feel his love of his life throughout the room as he soaked it all in. In that moment, I understood why wrestling meant so much to so many people. The stories, the rivalries, and all of that just made perfect sense. After being locked away for so long, I got to be in a room so full of energy with so many people just so happy to be there.
I won’t ramble anymore though because it’s Wednesday and you know what that means.
Elevation this week is from Grand Slam! It’s an odd episode, as it’s mostly promos and interviews, but we’ve got three matches. Mark Henry and Eddie Kingston join Tony Schiavone on commentary for this show.
T.J. Crawford, Eric James, Kevin Tibbs & Dean Alexander vs Jon Silver, Alex Reynolds, Alan “5 Angels & 10: Whew, that is a lot of names. The younger parts of the Dark Order take on some jobbers, and the pop for the Dark Order is legitimately great. We get some fun spots included a stereo quadruple shoulder tackle from the Dark Order and John Silver pinballing around the floor to knock down every single member of the opposition. As if to strike a knife into my heart, Eddie Kingston acquired after the win if the other members of the broadcast team thought that Hangman was watching. How dare you, sir.
Match of the Night – CPA, VSK, & RSP vs Paul Wight: Paul Wight is fighting on his own show against three opponents who do not have enough vowels in their names. CPA, however, is just an… accountant who looks rightly terrified of Paul Wight? However, as the bell rings, the Gunn Club comes out. This is a fun match, Wight’s great at putting on a show as an absolutely overpowering face, and our hapless victims sell it amazingly. Even the Gunn Club applauds Wight’s win!
We then get a post-Grand Slam interview with Dr. Britt Baker, where she declares that she’s going to keep adding onto her legacy as a champ.
MJF’s Grand Slam interview includes him slamming the idea that this is his hometown. He’s from Long Island, not the “rat-infested” Queens. He wants a new challenge, and then, conflicting with the previous interview, insists that the only three letters that matter in wrestling are MJF. Can we get a DMD/MJF mic feud?
After the Dream Match, Bryan Danielson says he feels alive after that match, and the entire experience felt like magic. He wants the Championship next, as Omega won’t give him a rematch.
Then, we get the Men of the Year, who are there to gloat over their win over Jericho and Jake Hager. They want more, and honestly? I want that for them. Apart from the Darby feud, Page and Sky have been underutilized, but I do not want them with this Dan Lambert angle. Let’s get them in the tag team championship conversation.
The rest of the episode is behind the scenes interviews from Grand Slam, not proper promos, but are some fun segments.
Dark, meanwhile, continues from the All Elite Zone in Orlando.
We start off with Alex Marvex, interviewing Santana Garrett, a new signing. As Alex Marvez is interviewing, I am timing how long it lasts until someone interr- oh, there we go. Diamante interrupts thirty seconds in and challenges Santana to a match next week. The two brawl, and have to be separated.
Charlie Bravo & JDX vs Private Party: I’m not a huge fan of the military trappings from Carlie Bravo, but Private Party are one of my favorite tag teams. They get some fun spots in and pick up the win with the Gin and Juice.
Leila Grey vs Kiera Hogan: Kiera Hogan just recently signed with AEW, and she’s getting her Dark time in. Leila Grey starts off with the momentum, but Kiera’s able to rally and get the pin.
Arjun Singh vs Lance Archer: It’s funny to me that, for a man who drags his opponents to the ring, Lance Archer came out of the face tunnel. It took nearly three minutes of Archer beating Arjun Singh like a drum before both men were actually in the ring and the bell rang. Easy win for the Murderhawk Monster.
Match of the Night – Darius Lockhart vs Ricky Starks w/Hook: The FTW champion takes on indie standout Darius Lockhart, and this one’s a pretty good match! Lockhart’s able to get a few good moves in, and even gets a nearfall or two. This one’s a hard fought match, but Absolute Ricksy Starks is able to get the win.
Adrian Alanis & Liam Gray vs Evil Uno & Stu Grayson: Evil Uno, after accidentally unmasking Alan Angels last week, returns to action with Stu Grayson. Evil Uno steals one of his aopponent’s headbands, and Uno and Grayson get the win, with Colt Cabana watching from the stage.
Reka Teheka vs Julia Hart: Our favorite wrestling cheerleader takes on Reka Tahaka, and we get some fun J-U-L-I-A chants led by the Varsity Blonds enroute to Julia getting the win.
Jameson Ryan & Brick Aldridge vs Bear Country: There’s a lot of big beef here in this match. Taz insists that he has seen Bear Country searching for fish in the East River when AEW was up in New York which is certainly an image. Bear Country pick up the win here, though Bear Boulder seems to sustain a leg injury during the match.
Matt Sydal & Dante Martin vs Aaron Solow & QT Marshall w/Nick Comoroto: I’m enjoying the pairing of Sydal and Martin, that pairing of experience and youth. As Nyla Rose tweeted this week, when God made Dante Martin, he forgot to install gravity, and him and Sydal have a great stereo moonsault spot in this match. They pick up the win off an amazing Dante finisher.
Tangent of the Night: Taz went off for a moment about how big of a metal fan he is during the Bononi/Jaoude match. Then, while doing an ad read for AEW Elite General Manager, Excalibur started, said “There is no way I am reading these two paragraphs of copy,” and went on with the match.
Overall, a pretty solid week of matches, but not a lot of story stuff. Still very enjoyable!
After a Grand Slam week for AEW, Dynamite is in the home of the late, great Brodie Lee: Rochester, NY for a show dedicated to him. While the matchups aren’t necessarily big time marquee matches, the significance of certain matches in relation to Brodie’s legacy in AEW with the Dark Order blossoming into what we know and love today is quite significant. With all that said, let’s light the fuse and bring the boom on this recap.
Previously on All Elite Wrestling…
Grand Slam action descended upon Arthur Ashe Stadium as the dream match between Omega & Danielson ended in a stalemate, while Dr. Britt Baker DMD escaped from New York with her AEW Women’s Title intact. Meanwhile, MJF got the last laugh on Brian Pillman Jr., and Malakai Black continued to get the better of Cody Rhodes.
Here’s the results of the 9/22/21 Grand Slam edition of Dynamite (Episode 103):
Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega ended in a Time Limit Draw (30:00) as the two competitors were evenly-matched. Post-match, The Young Bucks & Adam Cole hit Danielson with a triple superkick and looked to continue their attack, but were fended off by Christian Cage and Jurassic Express.
CM Punk cut a promo about his match versus Powerhouse Hobbs at Rampage: Grand Slam, promising to put the Team Taz juggernaut to sleep on Friday.
MJF def. Brian Pillman Jr. via submission (9:05) after countering Brian Jr.’s Air Pillman into the Salt of the Earth armbar.
Malakai Black def. Cody Rhodes via pinfall (11:25) with a roll-up following Black Mist to the face of Cody.
Darby Allin & Sting def. FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) via submission (9:30) when Sting made Dax submit to the Scorpion Deathlock.
AEW Women’s World Championship: Dr. Britt Baker DMD def. Ruby Soho via submission (13:20) to retain her title with the Lockjaw submission.
Here are the results of the 9/24/21 Grand Slam edition of Rampage (Episode 7):
CM Punk def. Powerhouse Hobbs via pinfall (13:35) with the GTS in his first match on TV in over seven years.
The Elite’s Superkliq (Adam Cole, Matt & Nick Jackson) def. Christian Cage & Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) via pinfall (14:38) after the heels hit Luchasaurus with their respective finishers, ending with an Adam Cole Last Shot (now renamed “The Boom”).
The Men of the Year (Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky) def. Chris Jericho & Jake Hager via pinfall (11:01) after Scorpio took advantage of a Dan Lambert distraction to roll up Hager for the pin and win. Post-match, a bunch of Lambert’s American Top Team associates beat down the two Inner Circle members.
Santana & Ortiz and the Lucha Brothers def. The Hardy Family Office via pinfall (9:43) after the two babyface teams got their finishers in on the HFO’s Marq Quen for the victory. At one point, Orange Cassidy stopped Matt Hardy from cutting Ortiz’s hair, then flattening Jack Evans with the Orange Punch.
Backstage, Matt volunteered Evans to face Orange in a Hair versus Hair match for next week’s Rampage.
Miro brutally attacked Sammy Guevara and Fuego Del Sol ahead of his match against Sammy for the TNT Title next week on Dynamite.
Penelope Ford def. Anna Jay via pinfall (6:48) after the Bunny handed Penelope some brass knucks to hit Anna with. Post match, the two heels beat down Anna and Tay Conti. Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander joined the Dark Order to fight the HFO off. As Alex Reynolds tried to mend the broken bonds between him and Evil Uno, the masked Uno walked out.
“Lights Out” Tag Team Match: Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston def. Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki via pinfall (15:10) when Kingston pinned Archer following repeated kendo stick strikes as Archer was trapped in a trashcan. New York wrestling legend Homicide made a surprise appearance to assist Mox & Kingston, leading to the finish.
It’s Wednesday Night. You Know What That Means.
The show begins proper with a tribute graphic for the late Jon Huber, better known to AEW fans as Mr. Brodie Lee. It’s followed up by the opening intro that tells us to light the fuse and bring the boom. After the opening, we have Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone welcoming us to tonight’s show. They’re soon joined by CM Punk, who’ll be on commentary tonight along with the Terrific Trio. Let’s hope that he doesn’t get attacked at the table.
Match 1: Adam Cole vs. Jungle Boy
The Story So Far
Adam Cole made an undisputed impact when he arrived in AEW at All Out when he superkicked Jungle Boy Jack Perry to signify his loyalty to The Elite. To that end, the two have had a rivalry of sorts, which continued on last week’s Rampage: Grand Slam, when Cole’s Superkliq defeated Jungle Boy and Jurassic Express and Christian Cage.
The commentators note that Adam Cole’s theme is the No. 1 metal song in the iTunes charts as Cole makes his way to the ring.
Cole starts off with the advantage as he’s got J.B. in the waistlock, transitioning it into a headscissors. Perry is able to fight out of it for a bit before Cole resumes with the advantage. Back and forth action between the two until Jungle Boy sends Cole to the outside with a dropkick. J.B. chases Cole around the ringside area, but gets stomped on once he reaches the ring. Cole runs to the corner, but Jungle Boy blocks him with a boot to the face. Jungle Boy to the top rope, but Cole knocks him to the outside area with a strike!
Jungle Boy’s favoring his knee after that rough landing and Adam Cole takes over on the outside before maintaining control as the two return to the ring. As Cole taunts the crowd, Jungle Boy shifts momentum with some offense before finishing that off with a huge lariat that damn near takes Cole’s head off.
Both men exchange strikes and kicks until J.B.hits a brainbuster on Cole. German suplex by J.B. only gets a two-count. Jungle Boy attempts to trap Cole in the Tree of Woe, but gets kicked in the face for his trouble. A second attempt is more successful and he gets the basement dropkick. Again, only a two-count.
Cole wriggles out of a fireman’s carry and hits the Ushigoroshi on Jungle Boy, getting a near fall on that move. Poisonrana by Jungle Boy followed by a Death Valley Driver: 1.. 2… NO! Surprise superkick by Adam Cole sends J.B. crashing to the outside! Cole looks to hit a Panama Sunrise on the outside, but Jungle Boy wisely moves out of the way. He enters the ring and looks to hit a suicide dive on Cole, who ends up blocking it with a kick. Jungle Boy responds with a springboard Frankensteiner to the outside! Back in the ring, Cole lands a superkick and finally nails the Panama Sunrise on Jungle Boy… 1… 2… 2.999999!!!!!!!
Adam Cole senses blood and pulls down his knee pad as he looks to finish Jungle Boy off with The Boom knee strike. J.B. is able to counter that into the Snare Trap! Cole is in No Man’s Land as he’s trapped in the middle of the ring! However, he manages to kick Jungle Boy to the outside to get a brief respite. J.B. runs back to the ring and pushes Cole into the ropes.
With ref Aubrey Edwards caught between the ropes, this gives Cole the chance to hit Jungle Boy in the groin to set him up for the running Boom knee for the 1, 2, 3.
Adam Cole def. Jungle Boy via Pinfall (13:39)
The entire Elite emerged from the heel tunnel of the stage, as CM Punk remarked that their theme song sucked. The show goes to break with the promise that we’d hear from The Elite after the commercials.
The Elite Speaks
Back from break, as Karl Anderson hypes up Adam Cole, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks, who are, according to Luke Gallows, “Extremely Violent People”. Adam Cole has the stick as he brags about beating Jungle Boy just moments ago. Michael Nakazawa is now given the floor while the Rochester crowd chants “CM Punk”.
Kenny Omega talks about his match with Bryan Danielson last week, giving him credit for taking him to his absolute limit. There’s one problem, however, as Omega says that Bryan didn’t get the job done and that he’ll never see Omega face-to-face in the ring ever again. Cue Bryan Danielson to interrupt the proceedings.
Danielson polls the Rochester crowd if they want to see a rematch between him and Kenny Omega, to which they say “YES!” in response to. He claims that Omega doesn’t have the balls to give him the rematch, rechristening him as “Kenny ‘No-Balls’ Omega”. Danielson says if anyone else on The Elite has any balls (continuing his weird fascination with them), he challenges them to a fight at Rampage. Omega tries to beckon Bryan to get in the ring right now, to which Danielson accepts. Bryan marches up the ramp, but he’s not coming alone. Out from the face tunnel comes Jurassic Express, Christian Cage, and Frankie Kazarian to join Danielson in evening the odds As the faces step into the ring, the Elite beat a hasty retreat.
Andrade Confronts The Lucha Brothers
Backstage, Tony Schiavone interviews Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero M along with Andrade El Idolo. Jose, Andrade’s assistant, says that it’s just about time the Lucha Bros. defended their AAA Tag Team Titles, noting that it’s been quite a long time since those belts were defended. Andrade says that he’s got some friends that might be looking to challenge Penta & Fenix for their AAA Tag Team gold, to which the Lucha Bros. say “bring it on”.
Match 2: Cody Rhodes & Lee Johnson vs. Matt Sydal & Dante Martin
The Story So Far
Things don’t seem to be going well for the American Nightmare, not since Malakai Black entered AEW. Black has targeted Cody and the Nightmare Family, making their lives a living hell. That’s included two singles wins over Cody — first at the Homecoming edition of Dynamite and this past Wednesday at Dynamite: Grand Slam. To add to Cody’s woes, the fans have seemingly grown tired of his babyface act, booing him at every turn.
Cody and Dante start this match off for their teams, with neither man getting a clear advantage on one another. Both guys tag in their partners and we see that Arn Anderson is upset at Lee Johnson not starting off the match.
Sydal hits a kick on Lee before tagging Dante back into the match. Dazzling the fans with his acrobatics, Dante has a bit of an advantage on Lee. The two men get in each other’s faces as Cody and Sydal enter and Dynamite goes to commercial with things about to break down.
Back from the commercial break and Sydal is in control of Lee Johnson, who eventually escapes Matt’s grasp. Tag to Cody and he goes on the offensive. Scoop Powerslam by Cody gets the near-fall on Dante. Rhodes hits Matt Sydal with the Disaster Kick that sends him to the ground.
Vertebreaker by Rhodes on Dante… 1.. 2… KICKOUT! Dante retaliates with a floating missile dropkick on Cody that gets a very close near-fall. Dante follows that up with a springboard moonsault that yet again only gets two. Lee Johnson drags Cody back to his corner by the tights and tags himself in.
Johnson takes Sydal out on the apron with a kick to the head as Dante nearly wins it with a surprise roll-up that only gets a two-count. Johnson has Dante up and hits a modified leg brainbuster for the 1, 2, 3.
Lee Johnson & Cody Rhodes def. Dante Martin & Matt Sydal via Pinfall (7:47)
Tony Schiavone enters the ring to interview the winning team. Cody starts off to a chorus of boos, asking if people wanted to see him fight Malakai Black one more time. Arn Anderson shuts him up and begins with how Black has systematically destroyed Cody and the Nightmare Family since July. Arn asks Cody about why he took off his boots after Black beat him in Jacksonville a month ago.
Arn then goes on to talk about last week, where Cody ended up losing because he spent too much time worrying about him and not about stopping the “predator” and “assassin” that is Malakai Black. Arn says that he’d take up the fight himself, but he’s just “too damn old”. He talks about how Cody would let a carjacker take his car, then stating that as Arn Anderson, he’d pull out a Glock and splatter the carjacker’s brains on the concrete. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to coach a loser,” Arn states, then leaving Cody alone in the ring as he and Lee Johnson make their exit.
Match 3: Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, & Darby Allin vs. Bear Country (Bear Boulder & Bear Bronson) & Anthony Greene
The Story So Far
This match doesn’t really have any established story. Just a showcase for the babyface alliance of Moxley, Kingston, Sting, and Darby, who have been a successful team.
Mox and Kingston are brawling it out with Bear Country, which leaves Darby and Greene as our legal competitors to start. Darby is a house a’fire to start off as he works over Greene, then tagging in Kingston. Chops and a knee from Eddie to Green before Mox gets the tag. Bear Boulder is in the match now and he’s got the advantage on Moxley, with repeated chops and shoulder blocks. Mox attempts a crossbody, but he’s caught by Boulder, who tags in Bronson. Powerslam by Bronson on Mox gets a two-count. Bear Country has Mox set up for a double team move until Eddie Kingston intervenes to help his friend fight off the massive Bears. They get sent to the outside as Darby comes crashing down on them with a Coffin Drop to Boulder and Bronson! With Greene as the legal man, he tries for a flying crossbody on Mox & Kingston, but that just fails. In the end, Mox & Eddie set Greene up for the Violent Crown and get the win here.
Eddie Kingston, Jon Moxley, & Darby Allin def. Bear Country & Anthony Greene via Pinfall (3:24)
Eddie goes to the ringside area and picks a Brodie Lee sign from the crowd as he calls Sting to the ring. As Green comes to, he’s immediately felled by a Scorpion Death Drop from the Stinger, which doesn’t seem like a rather babyface thing to do.
Match 4: The Dark Order (Alan “5” Angels, Alex Reynolds, Colt Cabana, Evil Uno, John Silver, Preston “10” Vance and Stu Grayson) & Orange Cassidy vs. The Hardy Family Office (The Butcher, The Blade, Marq Quen, Isaiah Kassidy, Angelico, Jack Evans, Matt Hardy, and Jora Johl)
The Story So Far
While the war between Dark Order and The HFO has gone on for months, the more important story is the current developments within the Dark Order since “Hangman” Adam Page took a leave of absence. The group has been in disarray since that moment, with Alex Reynolds in particular questioning Evil Uno’s leadership. On last week’s Grand Slam edition of Rampage, it seemed that things would be changing for the better, but Uno walked out on Reynolds after an attempted extension of the olive branch. For this big 16-man tag match, Tony Khan asked the Dark Order to put aside their differences to stand united on this special tribute show to Mr. Brodie Lee.
Right away, we get some trouble within the Dark Order’s ranks as Reynolds, Angels, Uno, and Grayson are in each other’s faces to start. The Butcher and the Blade take advantage and proceed to double team Alan Angels. Preston Vance helps 5 escape an attempted tandem maneuver from Butcher & Blade. Private Party’s Isaiah Kassidy & Marq Quen now get their turn to work over Angels for a bit. The tag to Orange Cassidy and the Freshly-Squeezed One dazzles with his trademark offense. Things eventually descend into a chaotic brawl right as we go to a picture-in-picture break.
Back from commercial with The Hybrid 2 in control as they’re doubling up on Stu Grayson for a bit until he takes down Angelico and Evans with a Pele kick. Tag to Alex Reynolds, who unleashes his offense on Angelico. Evil Uno joins the fray and takes Jack Evans out with a dropkick. Attempted double team by the Dark Order duo backfires as Reynolds is tossed right into Uno, sending the masked leader of Dark Order to the outside! Reynolds hits Evans with a knee to the face and Orange Cassidy tags in again. As Orange goes on the attack, Evil Uno tries to bail out on the match, clearly frustrated by Reynolds’ unintentional collision. Colt Cabana and Stu Grayson look to join him in abandoning their teammates.
They’re stopped at the ramp by Anna Jay, Tay Conti, -1, and Amanda Huber, Brodie Lee’s widow. While -1 emulates his dad and tosses paper at Uno, Amanda yells at the Dark Order trio to get back in the ring and help their teammates out! Uno, Grayson, and Colt then proceed to run back into the ring and help their friends clean house against the HFO!
As the chaos breaks down, Jora Johl is the last one left in the ring for the Hardy Family Office. Matt tries to get involved, but he eats an Orange Punch from Orange Cassidy. Meanwhile, Johl gets taken out by a gamengiri and Stunner by the members of Dark Order. Grayson and Uno hoist Johl in position and flatline him with the Fatality! John Silver gets the final pinfall victory to ensure the homecoming for the Dark Order will be a happy one.
The Dark Order def. The Hardy Family Office via Pinfall (7:53)
A seemingly united Dark Order stood tall in the ring and embraced as -1 is placed on Preston Vance’s shoulders to celebrate the victory.
Lio Rush is #AllElite
We get a video promo from Lio Rush, last seen in the AEW ring at Double or Nothing 2021. He talks about how he’s a businessman and how he drives profits for both himself and his people, citing it as the true way to be successful. Billing himself as “LBO” (for “Leveraged Buy Out”), Lio promised that the profits would be sure to continue for him inside AEW.
A Refocused FTR
Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler declared that they’re now revitalized and refocus, which spells disaster for the AEW Tag Team Division.
The Men of The Year Brag About Their Triumph
Fresh off their victory over Chris Jericho & Jake Hager, Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky took to the ring, flanked by their advisor Dan Lambert.
Sky talks about how nobody paid attention to him despite posting one of the best winning percentages in all of AEW, and not even when he picked up a “giant Sonic ring” to become the “Face of the Revolution”. He says that only Dan Lambert sees what everyone else fails to see and that is how Scorpio Sky is a true main eventer.
Page caps the promo off by saying that nobody will ever overlook the Men of the Year and American Top Team ever again because they walk and talk like champions and they roll with champions.
Hikaru Shida’s Quest for 50
A hype video for Hikaru Shida airs. Last seen on Dynamite since before the summer (despite being very prominent in the opening intro), Shida talks about how her next win will be her 50th in AEW. Serena Deeb, her opponent next week, says that Shida won’t reach that major milestone next week when she beats her in a match.
Match 5: Anna Jay & Tay Conti vs. The Bunny & Penelope Ford
The Story So Far
These two teams have been in a bitter conflict over the past four weeks, with the Dark Order drama also in the background of this.
Both teams begin to brawl before the bell can even ring. Once the match finally starts properly,
Penelope drags Jay in position for a moonsault attempt, but she misses with it. The Bunny tries to get involved, but Tay pulls her out and flattens Bunny with the Tay-KO! In the ring, Jay hits Ford with the Scorpion Kick, then setting her up for the Queenslayer submission hold! Penelope taps out as Anna and Tay make it a clean sweep for the Dark Order.
Anna Jay & Tay Conti def. The Bunny & Penelope Ford via Submission(6:36)
TayJay celebrates their victory with -1 after the match ends. The announcers immediately toss to a video hyping a big triple threat for Friday’s Rampage between Jade Cargill, Nyla Rose, and Thunder Rosa.
MJF’s Declaration of Greatness
Maxwell Jacob Friedman makes his way to the ring, flanked as per usual by Wardlow. He talks about how AEW is built around four pillars that will lead the company to greater successes in the future: Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, and himself. Max talks about how he’s already beaten J.B. and Sammy before and brushes off Darby, and how he’s the most important pillar of AEW.
The reason Max says all this? He declares that AEW isn’t worth shit without him, as he’s the past, present, and future of the company. That’s why, in his mind, he believes that he’s worthy of an AEW World Title shot. Max gives a shout out to Tony Khan, calling him “one of the two two Khans in pro wrestling”, but he’d call up his old MLW friend Bruce Prichard if Tony didn’t give him the opportunity that he deserves.
Darby Allin — one of the aforementioned AEW pillars — interrupts Max’s tirade. “As much as I like the whole ‘school shooter mime on a skateboard’ routine, not a huge fan of you interrupting me, bud.” MJF says about Darby’s arrival. He says that there’s nothing wrong about Darby being the #2 pillar of AEW, then comparing himself to stars like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky.
In response to this, Darby tells Max that he can go if he’s not getting what he wants, saying that he’s AEW until death. Max says that he respects Darby for being straight edge, now asking the fans if they know why Darby’s straight edge.
MJF tells everyone of how Darby got into a car with his drunken uncle one night and got into an accident that killed the uncle. Max goes as far as saying that the wrong person died that night, daring Darby to hit him. However, Allin refuses to play on MJF’s terms, stating that Max won’t break him mentally.
Frustrated that Darby won’t oblige to his demands, MJF leaves the ring in a huff.
Match 6: TNT Championship Match – Miro vs. Sammy Guevara
The Story So Far
After “God’s Favorite Champion” destroyed his friend Fuego Del Sol on the premiere edition of AEW Rampage to deny the plucky luchadore an AEW contract, Sammy Guevara stepped in and gave Fuego a contract. This angered Miro, as Fuego called his shot again for a TNT Title opportunity, offering his new car as a wager for this match. Miro would end up winning that match on the 9/17 edition of Rampage, which led Sammy to get involved after an aggressive post-match assault on Fuego. This confrontation would lead to AEW booking the massive TNT Title defense we’re about to see.
As the bell rings, Sammy tries to go for a knee, but Miro dodges it. Again with the knee, but Miro knocks Guevara down. The TNT Champion has the advantage here early as he taunts the crowd. Miro grounds Guevara with stomps and attacks to the back. Guevara fighting from underneath, but that short offensive burst is stopped in its tracks. Miro chokes Guevara with his own necklace, then throwing it out of the ring. Guevara fights back and takes Miro out to the ringside area with a running body attack. Sammy uses the steel steps at ringside to attack Miro’s neck. Off to the top rope for a moonsault, but Miro catches him and turns that into a belly to belly suplex. We go to the night’s final picture-in-picture commercial break on that note.
We return with Miro catching Guevara in a resthold, also battering him with elbows. Sammy escapes this, but he gets felled by a German Suplex from Miro. Repeated short-arm lariats by Miro, who takes time to once again taunt the crowd as he does them. Miro runs to try and hit Guevara with a third lariat, but that gets reversed into a Spanish Fly!
Sliding knee strike by Guevara is followed by a pump kick that Miro catches. German suplex is reversed and he tosses Miro to the outside. He runs and leaps over the corner to catch Miro with a tope con giro! Back in the ring, Miro reverses an attempted crossbody into a sidewalk slam! 1… 2… NO!
Miro is showing some frustration and he sizes up Guevara for a Jumping Pump Kick, but Sammy gets out of the way and hits him with a knee strike instead! Miro’s attempt at a superplex is blocked by Guevara who turns it into a diving cutter! Sammy tries to set Miro up for the GTH, but is unable to. Miro with the Pump Kick! 1… 2… 2.99999!!!!!!!! Guevara rolls out of the ring and an angered Miro starts yanking away all the top turnbuckles in response. Fuego Del Sol intervenes, but he’s punched out by Miro. Guevara jumps in with a knee strike, followed by a tornado DDT, and then the GTH! Not done yet, Guevara ascends to the top rope and hits a prone Miro with the 630 Splash! 1… 2… 3! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new TNT Champion.
Sammy Guevara def. Miro via Pinfall to win the TNT Championship (13:39)
Golden confetti rains down on the ring as Fuego and other faces enter the ring to celebrate Guevara’s victory. We’re told that we’d hear from the new TNT Champ during the first commercial break of Rhodes to the Top, which airs next.
After The Fact
In a short interview that aired during the aforementioned Rhodes to the Top, Sammy appeared to challenge Bobby Fish for his first TNT Title defense next week, as Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page got in his face for a confrontation.
A Quick Look At Rhodes to the Top
Airing immediately after Dynamite on TNT was the first of this new series looking at the behind the scenes of Cody and Brandi Rhodes in their everyday lives and running AEW. This first episode dealt with the fallout of Cody’s infamous “I Love America” promo aimed at Anthony Ogogo, as we also saw the behind-the-scenes of the day-to-day business in AEW ahead of this.
Notably, the show supposes that the promo in question was good. We see remarks from Cody and Brandi talking about how the promo stirred certain feelings for them.
It’s standard reality TV fare that isn’t exactly must-see, though the glimpses of AEW’s backstage should be of interest for fans.
This Friday on Rampage (10/1/21)
Bryan Danielson vs. Nick Jackson
Triple Threat: Nyla Rose vs. Thunder Rosa vs. Jade Cargill
The Elite (Adam Cole, Kenny Omega, and the Young Bucks) vs. Bryan Danielson, Christian Cage, and Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus)
Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb
Casino Ladder Match (Winner earns an AEW World Title shot)
The Last Word
If this is meant to be the end of the Dark Order’s infighting, then having -1 (aka Brodie Jr.) and Amanda Huber figure into helping talk some sense into the group makes perfect sense, especially with it taking place in Rochester. Of course, the uncertainty comes in whether or not this unity will stick, and it’ll be interesting to see if things truly are patched up or if there’s a bigger problem on the horizon.
There’s probably some disappointment that we didn’t get an appearance from “Hangman” Adam Page or from Windham Rotunda (the former Bray Wyatt) here, but having Brodie’s family play a role in reuniting Dark Order certainly works out better in the context of the story they’re trying to tell, making for a true feel-good moment.
On that note, it was logical that the TNT Championship changed hands here and that a big babyface victory was the reason for it. Sammy looks good as the underdog challenger who withstood the onslaught of the former TNT Champ and won in the end, while Miro isn’t hurt at all in defeat.
MJF’s promo elaborating that there are four pillars that AEW has built itself around did an excellent job in establishing that the four stars (Darby Allin, MJF, Sammy Guevara, and Jungle Boy) are set to play important roles for the company moving forward. While the company may land stars like CM Punk or Bryan Danielson, it seems clear that building up the aforementioned talents and others such as Adam Page and Britt Baker is something that will be beneficial for AEW as a whole.
Transcribing Arn Anderson’s bizarre post-match promo was quite the experience for me. In two minutes, he called Cody Rhodes a loser for failing to beat Malakai Black and apparently admitted to killing a man by shooting him in the head. Naturally, wrestling fans embraced the utter randomness of Arn’s anecdote and turned “Armed Anderson” and “Glock Anderson” into memes.
Bryan Danielson’s promo to Kenny Omega was a rare misfire from the American Dragon. His weird fascination with the balls of Omega and the Elite seemed completely out of place and the crowd obliging Danielson by chanting “Kenny No-Balls” certainly made matters worse. If we’re being honest, I don’t exactly feel comfortable with wrestling promos going into people insulting others’ manhood or lack thereof by mocking their lack of genitals. It just seems like low-hanging fruit, is all.
AEW put forth a feel-good show in tribute to Mr. Brodie Lee in his hometown and excelled in that regard. The setlist of matches brought a little bit of something for everyone — from multi-man chaos tag team action to a fast-paced opener, and a dramatic main event. While the promo work could’ve been better in some regards, the show as a whole was a worthy tribute to a great performer that was gone too soon.
Before we sign off for another week, I’d like to bring attention to the Jon Huber Legacy Foundation, the recently-launched non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people in creative fields who haven’t been able to take that next step due to family commitments. According to a press release announcing the Foundation’s formation, this new initiative will select individuals to support through direct funding. These individuals will learn from experts in fields such as public relations, IP law, and artist management.
This effort is a very classy move and worthy of the Foundation’s namesake. It’s something that will help those who have the hopes to achieve their dreams, but not necessarily the means to do so while supporting their families.
Marc Quill is an avid wrestling fan who enjoys telling you all the exciting All Elite action on Wednesday nights. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff in general @MarcQuill on Twitter.
Well, welcome to week 2 of Dark Dork Review. This week, I…oh no, what’s this on the schedule? Oh my god. Please. Anything but the Dark Order fighting. Alright, onto Elevation to start us off.
Thunder Rosa vs. Kaia Mckenna: Paul Wight growling THUNDERRR RRRROSA is always a delight. Rosa picked up the win in a fun opening match, with a great piledriver setting up the win.
Gunn Clubb vs Anthony Bennett, Ray Jaz, and Leon St. Giovanni: The Gunn Club has turned heel. They say that it’s because their records are not getting respect, but I think it’s because they’re scared of Malakai Black and want distance from Cody. They’re coming from the heel tunnel now, and they’ve got a nice new intro song! I’m really not sure how to process Billy Gunn wearing a choker. Google tells me this is a thing he has done since the 90s, but it’s still a lot.
Onto the match. Paul Wight refused to speak during this match. The Gunn Club wins.
Evil Uno and Colt Cabana vs Alan “5” Angels and Pres10 Vance: The Dark Order Civil War has hit Elevation. 5 and 10 came out with John Silver and Alex Reynolds, while no one came out with Uno and Colt. I’m not sure how to process any of this. After Silver accidentally hit Uno on Dynamite a few weeks ago, my favorite group of misfits is fighting on Elevation.
Paul Wight (RIGHTLY) said that this kind of infighting is destructive. Even as Alan Angels and Evil Uno fought, 10 and Colt tried to separate them and help keep the match from boiling over. The common theme on commentary was that the Dark Order needs leadership, and while I personally don’t agree with that, they do need direction. Without Hangman, they’re a mess and this is a true tragedy.
The Dark Order know each other, they know each other’s moves, and even as enemies, their match work is perfect. Then, tragedy strikes: Evil Uno unmasked Alan Angels. Enraged, Angels struck out and got the pin on Evil Uno. In the aftermath, Angels donned his mask again and offered Uno a hand: Uno instead rolled out of the ring.
Hikaru Shida vs Masha Slamovich: The former women’s champ took on Masha Slamovich, who just the previous weekend hosted Beyond Wrestling’s Borscht at the Beach. Shida’s been off TV for a while, but her work on YouTube the last few weeks has her being a little more mean recently. Tonight, she even headbutted Masha! She picks up the win, though she seemed to struggle at times against Masha, who got some big moves in.
Sonny Kiss vs Joey Janela w/Kayla Rossi: Hey, the lady who’s been accompanying Joey gets a name! The grudge match between these two after Joey back-stabbed Sonny finally comes. Sonny comes out with a new intro and comes out swinging, getting Joey on the ground and going on the offensive. Kayla Rossi delivered a big spear to Sonny while Joey was distracting the ref. Sonny took some heavy pile drivers but kept kicking out. She then reversed a top-rope elbow drop from Joey into a pin! However, after the pin, Kayla Rossi hit Sonny from behind and pinned her down. Joey then hit Sonny with a steel chair and laid it across Sonny’s back for Kayla to do an impressive standing moonsault onto Sonny.
Sonny wins, but I get the feeling we aren’t done with this rivalry yet.
Santana and Ortiz vs. Avery Good and JT Dunn: Ahead of their big 8-team match against the HFO Wednesday, they get a nice warmup against these boys. Santana and Ortiz were on fire, moving in sync like a violent ballet. Good stuff.
QT Marshall vs. Dustin Rhodes: Wait, you mean this isn’t a Dynamite segment? How did a QT segment get moved to Dark? Did QT lose his blackmail material? I am grateful that the Factory/Nightmare Family stuff has moved on to greener pastures, and these guys work a ring well together. Dustin Rhodes pick up the win, with a little assistance from Shotty Lee Johnson doing some ringside protection.
Tangents of the evening: Tony Schiavone, who has been told by Adam Cole (Mandatory BAY-BAY) to stay away from Britt Baker, remarked “…Adam Cole can kiss my ass.” Bless Tony for standing up to Adam. Eddie Kingston also formally apologized to Bryce Remsburg for being mean to him last week on commentary.
This is our second part of the Orlando studios taping at the All Elite Zone, and for the second part, we have Taz back at the announcers’ table.
Wardlow vs. JDX: Wardlow and his absolutely tiny singlet pick up the easy victory here, with five consecutive powerbombs followed by a Casualty of War finisher for the TKO.
Allie Katch vs. Big Swole: Allie Katch! An awesome wrestler on the indies and half of the iconic tag team BUSSY, Allie Katch’s first entry into AEW ended with Swole getting a running elbow on Katch to set up the pin.
Santana & Ortiz vs. Chaos Project: I feel for Serpentico. A human being is not meant to be a thrown weapon. On 3 different occasions in this match, Luther threw him at their opposition. Chaos Project gave Proud and Powerful a few near falls but Santana and Ortiz pick up the win.
Tay Conti w/ -1 & Anna Jay vs. Marina Tucker: The return of -1 to Dark does not feature any bullying of Excalibur but these three Dark Order members are at least on the same page. Anna Jay is victorious over Tucker, and at least one part of my favorite cult is happy.
FTR vs. Stallion Rogers & Anthony Greene: Taz celebrated FTR’s attack on Darby and Sting last week, and they get a good warmup for their match against them at Grand Slam with a win here in a fierce tag team match.
Marcus Kross vs. Lance Archer: I wonder who the most high-profile wrestler that Lance Archer has dragged to the ring. Marcus Kross is spared that indignity this week but still gets the Black Out from Archer ahead of him taking on Moxley and Archer on Rampage with Minoru Suzuki.
Daniel Garcia w/ 2point0 vs. Alan “5” Angels: Would you believe both Alan Angels and Daniel Garcia are under 25? AEW’s got such ridiculous young talent. Garcia’s able to score the victory here with some help from 2point0, the Evil Dads of AEW.
JD Drake w/ the Wingmen vs Colt Cabana w/ -1 and Evil Uno: The Blue-Collar Badass takes on Boom-Boom Cabana, and important to note for our Dark Order stans: Despite the fact that Evil Uno is presently on the outs with the Dark Order, it looks like that -1 is still hanging out with him. This is a nice match between two big dudes, and Colt Cabana wins with the moonsault. However, after the week, Colt Cabana rejected Uno’s hug with a look of disgust on his face.
Match of the Night – Bear Bronson vs Eddie Kingston: Well, if you thought that last match was a lot of beef, this one’s a real hoss fight! Bear Bronson gets some good offense in, but Eddie is able to rally and get the win! After the match, Eddie takes the mic and thanks the fans for coming out, but then calls out Suzuki-gun, saying that they may be best, but in New York, he’s number one. Lance Archer runs into the ring and the two brawl as the show ends.
Tangent of the Evening: Taz went off on a tangent this evening on the names of some women he has dated with unusual names during the Bunny match.
Before I go for this week, I want to share a video Eddie made this week, talking about his journey ahead of competing at Arthur Ashe on Wednesday. It’s wonderful, and if you ever needed more proof that Eddie Kingston is a legend with his words, just go watch it.
The moment has arrived and the biggest AEW Dynamite ever – both figuratively and literally, being in a stadium with a capacity crowd of over 20,000 – is finally upon us. Headlined by a once in a lifetime dream match and the AEW Women’s Championship on the line, the appropriately-named Dynamite Grand Slam kickstarts four hours of exciting AEW action from Arthur Ashe Stadium. We’ll get to the nitty-gritty, but first, let’s get to some big news that broke this week.
It was announced on Monday that AEW would enter an agreement with the Owen Hart Foundation to honor the legacy of the legendary Owen Hart. This agreement includes an annual “Owen Hart Cup Tournament” where the winner will receive a trophy named for Owen, as well as the rights to use Owen’s name and image for a variety of merchandise, including action figures and the upcoming AEW video game.
What’s notable about this is that for years, Dr. Martha Hart, Owen’s widow, stuck to her guns and refused to let WWE and Vince McMahon make money off of the legacy of the man that she believed was killed due to their negligence. Now, with a chance of being able to properly allow the wrestling world to honor Owen’s memory without WWE profiting off of it, it’s a great move for everyone involved. It’s also most certainly a bigger win for wrestling fans everywhere, who now have a chance to see Owen Hart honored for the legend that he was, and without the awkward baggage that surrounded his untimely death.
Previously on All Elite Wrestling…
Last week’s Dynamite saw the dream match we’re gonna see this week get made as Kenny Omega accepted Bryan Danielson’s challenge; Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston found themselves the target of Suzuki-gun in a wild brawl to end the evening; Adam Cole won his first match in AEW; and Team Taz ambushed CM Punk at the commentary table.
Here are the results for the 9/15/21 edition of Dynamite (Episode 102):
Adam Cole def. Frankie Kazarian via pinfall (8:05) with the Last Shot knee strike. Cole cut a promo after the match to challenge Christian and Jurassic Express to a trios match at Rampage: Grand Slam next week, with the Young Bucks backing him up.
MJF’s promo mocking New Jersey was interrupted by Brian Pillman Jr., who fought off Max with a steel chair.
FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) def. Dante Martin & Matt Sydal via pinfall (9:02) after hitting Dante with the Big Rig.
Malakai Black attempted to attack Rosario Dawson at ringside, but a returning Cody Rhodes brawled it out with him instead.
Dan Lambert’s challenge was answered by Chris Jericho & Jake Hager, with a match set between the two Inner Circle members and Men of the Year at Rampage: Grand Slam.
Jade Cargill def. Leyla Hirsch via pinfall (6:09) with Jaded.
Team Taz confronted guest commentator CM Punk, attacking him. Hook put Punk in a dragon sleeper, followed by Powerhouse Hobbs slamming Punk through the (non-breaking) commentary table.
Darby Allin (w/ Sting) def. Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard) via pinfall (8:18) after a Coffin Drop. Following the match, FTR ambushed Darby and Sting, which led to Dax and Cash hitting the Spike Piledriver on Sting.
Bryan Danielson issued a challenge to Kenny Omega for a match to see who’s the best, to which Kenny accepted.
Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston def. 2point0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker; w/ Daniel Garcia) via pinfall (6:36) after taking Parker down with the Violent Crown. Post-match, Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer attacked Mox & Kingston and the two teams got into a huge brawl to end the show.
Here are the results for the 9/17/21 edition of Rampage (Episode 4):
The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix; w/ Alex Abrahantes) def. The Butcher & The Blade (w/ The Hardy Family Office) to retain the AEW Tag Team Championships via pinfall (9:38) after a rollup caused by Penta taking his mask off to save Fenix from a Butcher/Blade double team. Santana & Ortiz helped the Lucha Brothers clear out The HFO post-match.
Anna Jay (w/ Tay Conti) def. The Bunny (w/ Jack Evans, Penelope Ford, & Matt Hardy) via pinfall (7:00). Post-match, Penelope Ford laid out Anna and Tay with brass knuckles punches.
Matt Hardy & Jack Evans attempted to shave the hair of a fan dressed like Orange Cassidy. The real Orange Cassidy eventually made the save.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Ruby Soho engaged in a war of words ahead of their big AEW Women’s Title Match at Dynamite: Grand Slam. Baker tried to cheapshot Soho, but the Runaway got the upper hand.
Miro def. Fuego Del Sol via pinfall (8:58) after hitting a thrust kick; per the match stipulations, Miro won Fuego’s new car. After the match, Miro tried to punish Fuego by stuffing his mouth with the keys to his new car as he locked in the Game Over submission. Sammy Guevara ran in and took out Miro with a knee strike. He picked up the TNT Championship as Miro retreated up the ramp to end the show.
It’s Wednesday Night. You Know What That Means.
After the opening intro, we go to our three squires of the squared circle, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur. They welcome us to Arthur Ashe Stadium and a full house of AEW fans with the dream match kicking us off.
Match 1: Kenny Omega vs. Bryan Danielson
Credit: All Elite Wrestling
The Story So Far
Bryan Danielson arrived in AEW with one thing in mind, wanting to challenge the best, namely one Kenny Omega. After a shocking debut at All Out, the American Dragon made it clear that he wanted to see if Omega was still the Best Bout Machine and the God of Pro Wrestling. Bryan challenged him to a one-on-one
Danielson enters the ring wearing maroon and silver trunks, and Omega is flanked by Don Callis. He’s wearing black and blue long boi tights.
Danielson and Omega take time to size each other up as the bell rings and the crowd goes absolutely wild for the match they’re about to see.
Bryan taking command as he chops and kicks Omega in the corner. Kenny retreats to another corner, but more kicks. Kenny momentarily gains the advantage, but Danielson eventually responds with chops. Bryan sends Omega crashing to the ringside area, then hitting a suicide dive onto him! Danielson continues to work over Kenny’s arm. As Bryan targets Omega’s arm, he’s warned by referee Paul Turner to knock it off, to which he responds with a classic “I have ‘til five, ref!”
Now Omega has the advantage thanks to an eye rake on Bryan. Omega chokes him with his boot on the corner. The two competitors light each other’s chest up with chops and periods of advantages, but neither man can get a true advantage.
Frankensteiner by Danielson off the top rope on Omega. Cover gets only a two-count. Bryan avoids a running strike from Omega and goes for an attack of his own. Kenny with a snazzy dodge as he hits a hurricanrana on Bryan that sends him rolling outside. With Bryan on the outside, it’s Omega’s turn to take flight. Flying dive by Omega onto Bryan! The two men are slow to get up, but it’s Omega who manages to get to his feet first, bringing Bryan back to the ring. “This is awesome!”, the fans chant. Omega’s attempt at the Blue Shadow is turned into a pinfall by Bryan. Only a two-count. Omega’s pinfall attempt is reversed into Cattle Mutilation by Bryan Danielson! Omega is able to break it up by barely getting his foot on the rope.
Omega retreats to the outside, but is met with a diving knee to the face by Danielson. The American Dragon fires away with his trademark chest kicks, but Omega reverses the final kick and turns it into a Snapdragon Suplex onto the ramp! Kenny smells blood as he backs up to the top of the stage. He makes a run for it and hits Bryan with a super V-Trigger! Good god almighty! The action goes to split-screen commercials with Danielson seemingly out of it.
Back to live action with Kenny Omega continuing to dominate the American Dragon after that amazing V-Trigger outside the ring. Bucklebomb into the ropes causes Bryan to crash over the top rope and into the ramp. Missile dropkick by Omega only nets a two-count. Jackknife cover by Bryan gets the near fall. After a knee to the back of Danielson, Omega props him up the top rope, looking to hit a Super Snapdragon Suplex. Danielson escapes and turns it into a Super Back Suplex instead! The fans are going wild for this!
As both Danielson and Omega stir back up, both get back up at six and resume the ass-kicking, as Tony Schiavone says. V-Trigger by Omega, but Bryan bounces back and hits the rolling elbow, followed by a got-danged Regalplex! 1… 2… OMEGA KICKS OUT! These fans are loving every minute of this match!
Bryan looking to make some magic off the top rope, but Omega cuts him off at the pass. The Cleaner has Bryan set up and hits a massive Super Snapdragon Suplex off the top rope! Omega senses the end is near as he hits Bryan with the V-Trigger! Kenny hoists him up on the shoulders, looking for the One-Winged Angel, but Bryan counters that into a Poisonrana instead! Kenny is back up as he goes for another V-Trigger, but Bryan sidesteps and instead nails the Buzzsaw Kick to the head of Omega!
The American Dragon looks like he’s about to hit the Running Knee, but Omega reverses that into a powerbomb and yet another V-Trigger! 1! 2! NO! Omega ascends to the top, looking to finish Danielson off with a Phoenix Splash, but Bryan moves at the last second! Danielson is fired up and he goes for his patented kicks once again, getting Omega with one more Buzzsaw Kick! Danielson grabs both of Kenny’s wrists and stomps away at his head repeatedly. Will we see the LeBell Lock applied? No, as Kenny manages to escape using the ropes as leverage with only a minute remaining in this classic encounter.
45 seconds left and it’s just these two men battering the hell out of each other. The intensity of which Bryan and Omega are just hammering away at each other just keeps mounting and mounting as time runs down. Now both men are on their knees as they exchange headbutts with ten seconds left. The bell rings to signal that we’ve got a draw!
Kenny Omega vs. Bryan Danielson Goes To A 30-Minute Time Limit Draw (30:00)
The two men are still battering each other, and Bryan traps Kenny into the LeBell Lock until the rest of the Elite show up to pry him away from their friend. Referees are here to keep the two separated until the Young Bucks and Adam Cole kick Danielson simultaneously. This prompts Christian Cage and Jurassic Express to help fend off the newly-minted “Super Kliq”.
CM Punk Has Words for Team Taz and Powerhouse Hobbs
Credit: All Elite Wrestling
To an uproarious reaction from this Arthur Ashe crowd, CM Punk enters the ring, ready to speak about his upcoming match on Friday against Powerhouse Hobbs. “How can I follow that?” he asks the New York crowd. He says that people want the old CM Punk back, and that we’ll see him eventually. “Be careful what you wish for”, says Punk. He goes on to say that the antics of Team Taz and Powerhouse Hobbs piss him off, but that anger subsides once he hears Cult of Personality play and the crowd’s cheers for him.
Punk says that what Team Taz is doing is attempting to take that joy away from him. He says that it’s been a while since he’s been happy to be a wrestler and that nobody will take that away from him. “This is mine once again!” Punk declares. He suggests that Team Taz should’ve finished the job last week and that they’ve slept on the legend of CM Punk. He boldly states, “it’s not my job to wake you up, it’s my job to tuck your ass in,” and that on Friday at Rampage: Grand Slam, Powerhouse Hobbs will be put to sleep. As Punk leaves the ring, he goes to hug Stephen Amell, his co-star in Starz’s Heels.
Match 2: MJF vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling
The Story So Far
After MJF failed to end Chris Jericho’s career, he went on a bit of a tirade in Cincinnati, Ohio on the post-All Out edition of Dynamite. This verbal rampage would lead to him insulting the family of the late, great Brian Pillman, which drew the ire of his son Brian Jr. This would lead to the match we’re seeing tonight.
Pillman tackles MJF and goes on the offensive. Rake to the eye by Max allows him to regain momentum, but Pillman regains the advantage with arm drags and hip tosses. A chop from MJF only hypes Pillman up and he answers with a chop of his own. Pillman avoids a running kick by dodging at the very last second. Pillman punches MJF, who begs him off. Now it’s Max who has the advantage. Stomp to the hand by MJF and an arm hold that Pilman fights out of. Sunset flip by Pillman gets a two-count. MJF reverses and responds with a toss that sends Pillman shoulder first as we go to a split-screen commercial break.
Max has the advantage returning from break, but Pillman is able to fight back, managing to hit a springboard crossbody to finish it off. Pillman smashes MJF’s head over and over again on the top turnbuckle. Powerslam by Pillman only gets a two count. Max cowers from the ring and attempts to use Julia Hart as a human shield to stop Pillman from hitting a suicide dive. Max flattens Pillman with a lariat, then tossing him back to the ring. Julia yells at MJF, but ends up being grabbed by the wrist instead. Pillman takes down Max with a dropkick between the ropes, then putting him back into the ring. On the apron, Pillman goes for Air Pillman, but MJF sidesteps and grabs his arm to turn it into the Salt of the Earth armbar! Pillman struggles all he can, but he eventually taps out.
MJF def. Brian Pillman Jr. via Submission (9:05)
Chris Jericho & Jake Hager Promo
Alex Marvez is backstage with Chris Jericho & Jake Hager ahead of their tag team bout against The Men of the Year this Friday on Rampage. Jake calls Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky “Boys of the Week”, who are about to get spanked for following in Dan Lambert’s example. Jericho remarks that Lambert’s American Top Team made a big mistake sticking their nose in their business, vowing that he and Hager are ready to snack on some “MMA meatheads” this Friday.
Match 3: Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes (w/ Arn Anderson & Brandi Rhodes)
Credit: All Elite Wrestling
The Story So Far
These two men previously faced each other on the 8/4 Homecoming episode of Dynamite, with Black winning in crushing fashion, causing Cody to go on a brief hiatus. Black would then continue his war on Cody’s Nightmare Family, as Brock Anderson, Lee Johnson, and Dustin Rhodes would all find themselves victims of Black’s vicious spinning heel kick. Last week on Dynamite, Cody returned when Black attempted to start trouble with Rosario Dawson, one of Cody’s co-judges on TBS’s The Go-Big Show, leading to a massive brawl breaking out.
It’s a battle of grand entrances as Black and Cody make their usual over-the-top entrances. Cody, notably, has a ridiculously long cape to go along with his grandiose entrance.
The match starts off with Malakai and Cody exchanging mat moves, with neither gaining a clear advantage. Elbows and a leg sweep from Malakai, but Cody escapes to the outside. In response, Malakai does his springboard-into-a-sitting-position taunt, which elicits Brandi to do a mocking version of Black’s signature taunt as she flips him off. The crowd isn’t too happy with Brandi taunting Malakai. Cody re-enters the ring and the fight begins anew. Attempted top rope attack from Cody to the outside is met with a knee strike from Malakai that doesn’t quite hit its mark. We go to picture-in-picture on that note.
We return to the match in progress just as Malakai hits his deadly spinning-heel kick on Cody! The impact of the kick manages to send the American Nightmare rolling to the floor! Malakai drags Cody’s limp body back for a pin that only gets a two-count.
As Rhodes goes on the offensive, his every move is booed by the fans, despite being the babyface in this feud. This seems to catch Cody’s attention as he’s taken aback ever so slightly at one point.
Malakai is caught in the Cody Cutter, followed up by Crossrhodes! 1… 2… 2.9999999999!!!!!!!!! The crowd erupts in cheers at Malakai kicking out of Cody’s finisher. Arn Anderson gets himself on the apron to motivate Cody, but he suddenly falls off the apron and takes a legit spill.
After a moment, Arn gets back on the apron, but it’s in time for Cody getting whipped into him. Rhodes heads outside to check up on Arn, who encourages him to just win the match and to not worry about him. Cody heads back into the ring and proceeds to pummel Malakai with fists, but the referee has to stop him before he gets disqualified. The ref gets accidentally hit by a Cody backfist, which allows Malakai to surprise Cody with black mist to the face! Malakai rolls up Cody, and gets the win to go 2-0 in singles action against the American Nightmare.
Malakai Black def. Cody Rhodes via Pinfall (11:25)
Sammy Guevara Steps Up To Miro
Next week on Dynamite, Miro defends his TNT Championship against Sammy Guevara live from Rochester, NY. A video package for this match is shown, with Sammy promising to buy his friend Fuego Del Sol a new car after he defeats Miro next week.
Match 4: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Sting & Darby Allin
Credit: All Elite Wrestling
The Story So Far
Tully Blanchard has always had a bone to pick with Sting, dating back to the Icon’s rivalry with Tully and the Four Horsemen. Recently, Tully called out the Stinger for simply coasting off of other’s success, promising that the time will come for them to face off once again. Last week, Darby Allin defeated Tully’s protege Shawn Spears, but found himself a victim of an FTR post-match assault. Sting would try to assist, but ended up on the receiving end of a spike piledriver from Dax and Cash.
It’s Dax and Darby starting us off here as the FTR stalwart tries to drag his opponent into his corner. Darby escapes and manages to tag Sting in to a hot reaction from the Arthur Ashe faithful. After a brief advantage, Sting finds himself in No Man’s Land as FTR work him over for a bit. The Stinger escapes as he dodges a lariat and laying out Dax in the process. Sting’s exhausted, however, as he falls and accidentally(?) falling head first into Harwood’s groin! Allin tags in and goes on the offensive, but that’s stopped after an attempted Coffin Splash on FTR is turned into a toss into the apron instead. The action goes into picture-in-picture.
Back from break and it’s FTR controlling the pace with Darby trapped in their corner. Allin eventually escapes and manages to tag Sting in for the hot tag. The Icon’s on the offensive, hitting a spinebuster on Dax Harwood that only gets two. With the action breaking down, FTR has Darby in position for their Spike Piledriver, but Sting intercepts and pushes Cash Wheeler off the top rope! Now Sting is heading up and he hits Dax with a flying crossbody! 1… 2… NO! Cash recovers and guillotines Sting with the top rope as Dax gets the Icon in for a roll-up: 1… 2… 2.9999!!!!!!! Dax has Sting in position for a Tombstone Piledriver, but Sting reverses it and sets him into position for a Scorpion Death Drop. Darby heads to the top and it looks like the facepainted duo are thinking of a tandem SDD/Coffin Drop finisher. Cash Wheeler gets in the way of this happening, however.
Double Stinger Splash on FTR, followed by a Scorpion Death Drop on Cash Wheeler! In the midst of this, Tully has set up a chair in the corner. Dax is on the corner where Tully’s chair trap has been placed. Sting goes for the Stinger Splash, but stops short of the chair to escape a painful fate. He instead tosses Dax into the chair wedged into the corner! Tully gets on the apron, but is promptly punched out by Sting.
Sting has Dax locked in the Scorpion Death Lock as Cash holds on to his partner in the hopes of causing a break. Darby catches this and hits a Coffin Drop on Wheeler to neutralize him! Now with nowhere to go, Dax has no choice but to tap out to the Stinger’s signature submission hold!
Ruby Soho made an immediate splash in her AEW debut, being revealed as the Joker in the Women’s Casino Battle Royale at All Out. She’d eventually win by eliminating the red-hot Thunder Rosa last, earning a shot at Dr. Britt Baker’s AEW Women’s Championship. In a short time, this feud has intensified, with Soho and Baker caught in a war of words ahead of their war tonight.
It’s Ruby who starts off with a headpound to Baker, but Britt fights out of it. Ruby attempts a suplex, but a side headlock is what she does instead. Shoulder block knocks over Baker. Knee to the face by Soho, who rolls out of the ring to catch her breath. Jamie Hayter and Rebel (not Reba) go to tend to Britt, but they get taken down by a flying Ruby Soho. Superkick by Baker is followed up by a swinging neckbreaker to the outside. This match goes to our final picture-in-picture commercial break with the AEW Women’s Champion having the advantage.
Back to the action and Ruby drives her knees to a prone Baker in the corner. Repeated running superkicks to a stunned Dr. Britt by Ruby. Running lariat by Baker is intercepted. Big backdrop by Soho. Britt responds with a thrust kick to the head. These two women are now exchanging blows, ending with Britt attempting a Lockjaw, but Soho is able to escape. Against the ropes and Britt lands the Sling Blade as Rebel (not Reba) hands her the black glove. Going for the Curb Stomp, and Ruby grabs the leg as a reversal. Single-leg crab by Ruby is turned to a catapult into the corner. Enzuguiri by Soho flattens Dr. Britt. Up to the top rope and Ruby hits the senton: 1… 2… NO! Ruby goes for a rolling attack, but Britt catches her in a swinging neckbreaker. Thrust kick gets a near fall. Britt gets up on Bret Hart’s rope, but Ruby stops her.
Attempted superplex to the outside by Ruby is escaped by Baker, who has her set up for the avalanche Air Raid Crash! 1… 2… KICK OUT! Baker kicks Ruby to the outside, where Rebel and Jamie Hayter are waiting like sharks. The Stomp by Dr. Britt… and Ruby kicks out at 2.99999999! As Britt argues with referee Aubrey Edwards, Ruby gets a roll up for a two count.
Ruby looks to have this match finished, hitting Britt with the No Future kick! Rebel leaps onto the apron but also faces No Future! Jamie Hayter manages to hit Ruby with a top-rope guillotine. This sets Soho up for a Lockjaw submission from Dr. Britt! After a brief struggle, Ruby has no choice but to tap out as the DMD retains her coveted AEW Women’s Title.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD def. Ruby Soho via Submission (13:20)
This Friday on Rampage: Grand Slam (9/24/21)
CM Punk vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Team Taz)
The Elite’s Super Kliq (Adam Cole & The Young Bucks) vs. Christian Cage & Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus)
Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. The Men of the Year (Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky) (w/ Dan Lambert & Friends)
The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix) & Santana and Ortiz vs. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) & The Butcher and The Blade
Lights Out Match: Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer
What else can be said? Being built as the biggest episode of Dynamite ever meant it had to live up to a lot of expectations, and it most certainly exceeded in that regard.
The night started off strong as the long-awaited Bryan Danielson/Kenny Omega showdown delivered a Six-Star Classic. 30 minutes of some of the best wrestling seen in recent memory as the performances of both men spoke for themselves. Kenny tapped into his “Best Bout Machine” side and certainly was able to bring that out at a time where that’s been mostly shelved for his cocky heel douchebag persona. Meanwhile, Danielson looked like he hadn’t missed a step, despite not wrestling since last April on an episode of WWE Smackdown. The draw to end the match worked well without feeling a copout finish, and it was a nice touch that the end just saw the two competitors still raring to go even with time expired.
While not on the level as the monumental opener, the Sting/Darby vs. FTR tag match was also a blast to watch. The match was a nine-minute sprint to the finish that saw Stinger look as good as ever, and FTR able to use their old school-styled underhanded tactics to hang tough with the Icon.
The AEW Women’s Title main eventing the company’s biggest TV event in its short history is an incredible thing. Much has been made about how AEW often shortchanges its women talent by often just giving them a single segment or match on Wednesdays, but there’s certainly some strides being taken to rectify that. Having a women’s match main event Dynamite: Grand Slam goes a long way, but it’d be wise for AEW to continue that by giving time for more than one women’s angle on the show. AEW has quietly built up a strong women’s division, especially on their YouTube shows like Dark & Dark: Elevation, so it’d be wise to give women’s wrestlers like Kilynn King, Queen Amanita, Abadon, Lulu Pencil and/or Skye Blue a chance to shine on the bigger stage of Wednesday Night Dynamite.
As for Britt vs. Soho, the match was a worthy main event for the Dynamite half of the Grand Slam shows, even if the interference-filled shenanigans finished did drag things down slightly. That being said, Ruby looked great being put on this spotlight, and Baker continues to come into her own as a main event staple of AEW’s women’s division.
Dynamite: Grand Slam indeed lived up to its grand title with one of the best TV wrestling matches in recent memory, as well as a hot crowd keeping up the excitement for the rest of the evening. While Rampage: Grand Slam has already been taped immediately following the conclusion of Dynamite, we’ll get to see what goes down on Friday, and based on early reactions, it has a chance of capping off the biggest week in All Elite Wrestling history with an emphatic “bang”.
Marc Quill is an avid wrestling fan who enjoys telling you all the exciting All Elite action on Wednesday nights. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff general @MarcQuill on Twitter.
Penelope Ford (w/ The Bunny) vs Layna Lennox: Penelope got a win with her absolutely wild back-bending submission muta lock. Eddie also took some time to take some snipes at referee Bryce Remsburg for missing some cheap shots.
Match of the Night – Daniel Garcia (w/ 2point0) vs Lee Moriarty: I had a sense of deja vu watching this, and then I realized that I had watched Lee Moriarty and Daniel Garcia fight before in indie matches. These two technical wrestlers are great against each other. Red Death picked up the win, but I don’t think this will be the last time we see them fight each other: After the Elevation taping, Tony Khan offered Lee Moriarty a contract, so we’ll be seeing more of Taigastyle in AEW! I’m excited.
Skye Blue vs. Nyla Rose: We get the return of Vickie Guerrero interrupting Justin Robert’s introductions, and while Skye got some good hits in, Nyla Rose came out on top.
Tangent of the Show: For Elevation this week, the theme of the night was bullying Bryce. Eddie called out Bryce for missing Miro’s Nuts Redemption during their match at All Out, and Eddie had a little salt throughout the show about it.
Our first Dark episode had some serious deviations from the previous formula. First, Dark has moved to tapings in an Orlando studio, and with Excalibur out for his wedding, Tony Schiavone is joined with Taz this week.
Our opening for Dark is an interview segment between Leyla Hirsch and Jade Cargill with Alex Marvez ahead of their Wednesday match. Leyla called out Jade, and said that she was going to bring home the win in front of her home crowd in New Jersey, but Jade brushed it off and Smart Mark Sterling called Leyla delusional.
Anna Jay vs Ashley D’Amboise: It’s nice that in the turmoil of the Dark Order, with the boys fighting over Hangman, Anna Jay’s a stable force. She gets the win easily. However, after she got the win, she was ambushed by the Bunny, with Tay Conti running out to chase the Bunny off.
Jade Cargill vs Angelica Risk: A quick win for Jade Cargill to get a little tune up. After the match, Smart Mark cut a promo comparing Leyla to a bug who was going to be squashed by Jade, and made fun of Leyla’s height. Taz, a short king, took objection to this. Sterling also referred to Leyla’s recent loss to NWA Women’s Champion Kamile at the NWA Empowerrr event, and called Jade Leyla’s Everest.
Diamante and Swole, coming off last week’s Three Strikes match where Swole got the knockout, talked about the outcome, reiterated that this rivalry isn’t going anywhere. Can this replace Dan Lambert’s wheezy screaming on Dynamite please?
Shawn Spears vs Khash: AEW’s local chair fetishist has a new intro(Or maybe it’s just been long enough with the Pinnacle business I don’t remember it), and he came out to the match with a personalized chair with a picture of Darby on it. Spears had Khash pinned, but pulled his shoulders up at the two-count, and told the camera “Darby, this is for you” before finishing Khash off.
Sonny Kiss recalled the start of her partnership with Joey Janela, saying it was fun, but it’s hard for her to tell where it went wrong. After Joey’s betrayal, Sonny promises to remind everyone that Janela is “a piece of shit and a loser.” Joey responded by saying that the romance is over, and next week is going to be the end of her. Sonny challenges both Joey and his new muscle, a lady with impressive arms, saying that she’ll end Joey’s career.
Jora Johl and TH2 vs Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta: Ah, I see the Best Friends are in action again this week! Are we seeing anything new, or…Oh. They are fighting the Hardy Family Office again. I see. I love everyone in this match, but I want them in more interesting stories. Fun match, still, and a Best Friends win means a Best Friends hug. Also, have a picture of Kris Statlander in Chuck Taylor’s denim jacket.
Match of the Night – Kilynn King vs Leyla Hirsch: Leyla Hirsch has been paired up with a lot of tall opponents recently, and keeping to recent patterns, Kilynn King is her opponent this week. Leyla does great as the David going against Goliath, and she never looks like she’s in over her head, and it makes for great spots when she suplexes them. We had a fantastic moment in the match where the two ladies did a flex-off, and this is a great longer match for the main event. After the match, Jade Cargill came out and the two of them brawled and had to be broken up by the refs.
Overall, a much busier episode for Dark this week. Dark’s next episode was also recorded in the same studio at a later session, and I think this new setup works pretty well. The ring is miced up so you can hear the wrestlers more clearly, and it makes for a fun experience.
That’s all we’ve got for this week. Next week, we’ll be in the build up for Grand Slam, so until next time, stay a little weird.
Welcome again to another Wednesday night of exciting All Elite Wrestling action and the most exciting Dynamite recap you’ll ever read. It’s full speed ahead to Arthur Ashe Stadium and two nights of Grand Slam action next week, and AEW looks to provide an explosive prelude to the action on this week’s Dynamite. Did they succeed in getting fans hyped for the action? Read on and find out.
Previously on All Elite Wrestling…
On Dynamite, Jon Moxley had a successful homecoming in Cincinnati when he defeated Minoru Suzuki in a hard-hitting main event; Bryan Danielson made his intentions known that he wants a piece of Kenny Omega; MJF pissed off all of Cincinnati by opening his mouth, getting the ire of one Brian Pillman Jr; also, Taz really didn’t want CM Punk challenging his Team Taz boys.
Here’s the quick results of the 9/8 Dynamite (Episode 101):
Malakai Black def. Dustin Rhodes via pinfall (9:53) after a Black Mass kick to the shoulder.
CM Punk outlined his next steps in AEW, leading to Taz shouting him down for daring to challenge Team Taz.
Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Hook) def. Dante Martin via pinfall (8:24) with a spinebuster erroneously called a “powerbomb” by the commentators.
Dan Lambert said some stuff.
MJF lambasted Cincinnati with a cheap heat-laden promo. He turned his ire to the family of Brian Pillman, leading to an interruption from Brian Pillman Jr.
Ruby Soho def. Jamie Hayter (w/ Rebel – not Reba and Dr. Britt Baker) via pinfall (7:27); post-match, Dr. Britt and associates beat up Soho until Kris Statlander and Riho made the save.
The Pinnacle (Shawn Spears, Cash Wheeler, and Dax Harwood) (w/ Tully Blanchard & Wardlow) def. The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and John Silver) via pinfall (4:49) after Spears pinned Silver following the Death Valley Driver; post-match, Uno blamed Silver for losing, which culminated in a Dark Order conflict.
An in-ring promo from The Elite and new/old ally Adam Cole was interrupted by Bryan Danielson, who challenged Kenny Omega to a fight. This led to a brawl where The Elite were sent to retreat by Danielson and friends Christian Cage, Frankie Kazarian, and Jurassic Express.
Jon Moxley def. Minoru Suzuki viapinfall (8:08) with a butterfly suplex; Suzuki was cut open prior to the finish.
Here’s the rundown for the 9/10/21 edition of AEW Rampage (Episode 5):
Andrade El Idolo (w/ Chavo Guerrero Jr.) def. PAC via pinfall (15:42) after Chavo hit PAC with a tablet for the cheap finish; post-match, Andrade was upset with Chavo’s interference and kicked him in the face, apparently firing him.
Tully Blanchard & Shawn Spears pulled a fast one on Sting and Darby Allin, as Spears snuck up on Darby during a promo and attacked him ahead of their match on this Wednesday’s Dynamite.
Ruby Soho, Riho, and Kris Statlander (w/ Orange Cassidy) def. Dr. Britt Baker DMD, Rebel (not Reba), and Jamie Hayter via pinfall (9:27) after Soho pinned Rebel for the win.
Brian Pillman Jr. def. Max Caster (w/ Anthony Bowens) via pinfall (6:42) with the Air Pillman flying clothesline his dad made famous; post-match, Bowens attacked Brian as Caster helped with the ambush. Fellow Cincinnatian Jon Moxley ran out for the save and aided Pillman to fend off The Acclaimed to end the show.
It’s Wednesday Night. You Know What That Means.
After the oft-changed opening video telling us to light the fuse and bring the boom, we’re off to the races with Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and the returning Excalibur welcoming us. They’re soon joined by CM Punk, who’ll be on commentary tonight. Punk took his victory lap and embraced the adulation of the fans, including hanging out with a man dressed up like Dusty Rhodes in the ringside area. The card is run down for tonight, including the main event of Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston versus 2point0. But first, we’ve got Adam Cole & Frankie Kazarian in action.
Match 1: Adam Cole vs. Frankie Kazarian
The Story So Far
Adam Cole debuted at All Out and realigned himself with The Elite. Of course, this brings him into the crosshairs of the self-appointed “Elite Hunter” Frankie Kazarian. During last week’s brawl, Kaz took out Cole with a kick to set up this match.
Hot start as Kaz took control with some arm drags, controlling the early flow with rest holds. Cole dumps Kazarian to the outside with a reverse flip over the ropes, then tossing Kaz into the apron. Cole played to the crowd as Kaz responded with a jumping kick between the aprons. Back and forth between the two, leading to Kazarian going for a pin that Cole kicks out of at two. Transition into an armbar by Kaz, but Cole kicked out of it. Kazarian runs into an Ushigoroshi that gets a two count. Cole tunes up the band and goes for a kick, but Kazarian blocks it and turns it into a roll-through German suplex. Two-count. Double knees by Kaz, but an attempted cross-face chicken wing is reversed into a pin. Kickout. Cole hits a running Kaz with a superkick, but that too gets a two count. Cole up on the Bret Hart ropes as he goes for the Panama Sunrise… but Kaz blocks it into an Alabama slam. Springboard splash by Kazarian on Cole… 1… 2… NO! An exchange of blows that Kaz comes out on the winning end off, but Cole responds with a Complete Shot for the near fall. “This is awesome!” the fans chant. Cole finally hits the Panama Sunrise as he then sets up and connects with the Last Shot to the back of Kaz’s head! 1… 2… 3! Adam Cole with the win, bay-bay!
Adam Cole def. Frankie Kazarian via Pinfall (10:00)
With a mic in hand, Adam Cole goes off with storytime. He says that hope is a dangerous thing, saying that there’s no hope that anyone can beat The Elite. Cole goes on to single out Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus, immediately challenging them to a six-man tag next week with the Young Bucks backing him up. Let’s hope nobody gets turned to a ghost this time.
The History Between Lucha Bros & Butcher and The Blade
We get a video package hyping Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix vs. The Butcher and The Blade for this Friday’s Rampage, with the AEW Tag Titles on the line.
Fuego Del Sol Has A Challenge For Miro
Backstage with Tony Schiavone, Fuego del Sol is with Sammy Guevara. He issues a challenge to Miro for the TNT Championship on Friday’s Rampage, putting his new car on the line in the process.
MJF Talks Even More Trash
Flanked by Wardlow, MJF makes his way down to the ring to the usual boos. “You should be sympathetic towards me because I’m standing in the Armpit of America known as New Jersey,” says Max. He mocks Springsteen and the New Jersey Devils for sucking as hard as the “Jersey Shore skanks”. The Newark fans won’t have any of this, chanting “shut the fuck up”. MJF says he wants to talk to the late, great Brian Pillman, first looking upwards, but then turning his direction downwards. He says that going to massacre Brian Pillman Jr. in Queens next week at Dynamite Grand Slam. Brian Pillman Jr.’s music hits as MJF orders Wardlow to confront him at the stage, but it turns out, Pillman is sneaking up on MJF in the ring! Wardlow gets back and stares down Pillman, but he gets driven away with the chair as BPJ stands tall in the ring.
JR’s Interview With Brian Pillman Jr.
In an interview earlier today with JR, BPJ outlines how he’s going to kick MJF’s ass at Arthur Ashe Stadium next week.
Christian & Friends Answer The Elite’s Challenge
Backstage with interviewer Alex Marvez are Jurassic Express and Christian Cage. As Jungle Boy starts dissing on Adam Cole’s choice of friends and hair, he’s cut off by Christian, who says that Cole has some pretty good friends in the Super Elite who used their status to “drag Cole’s ass out of developmental”. Christian closes off with, “Since you’re already used to losing Wednesday night wars, you better add Friday nights to that as well.”
Match 2: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs. Dante Martin & Matt Sydal
The Story So Far
FTR are fresh off a trios victory last week with Shawn Spears against the fractured Dark Order, while Dante Martin did an admirable job in a losing effort against Powerhouse Hobbs.
Early pinfall exchanges are met with kickouts. Sydal and Dante controlling the action here early,but Dax has Dante in the corner. An attempted springboard by Dante is foiled by Cash Wheeler, who sends him careening to the ringside area. Wheeler is taking it to Dante at ringside, tossing him into the ringpost before bringing him back into the ring. Cash locks Dante in a head hold to ground him. Martin fights out of the submission as Cash tags back to Dax. Martin avoids a double team as he gets the tag to Matt Sydal. Double team apron springboard splash by the high-flyers to FTR as the action goes to picture-in-picture.
Back to full-screen action as FTR has control of the match. As Dax & Cash block an attempted splash on them by Sydal, but Dante Martin soars with a dropkick to FTR as he’s got a full head of steam. Dante leaps above Dax and Cash and gets into a pinning position, but a kickout at two! With the numbers in FTR’s advantage, Dante Martin valiantly tries to fight them off, but the Big Rig by FTR gets the win.
FTR def. Dante Martin & Matt Sydal via Pinfall (10:00)
The Suzuki Incident
We go to the announcers as they explain the “Suzuki Incident” involving Minoru Suzuki’s music not being played completely last week (cutting off before “Kaze Ni Nare”).. A hype package sets up next week’s big match between Suzuki and Lance Archer versus Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston, as Suzuki and Archer speak about their unity as part of the Suzuki-gun faction.
Malakai Black Has Words For Cody
In the darkness comes Malakai Black, along with his amazing entrance music. Black says that there’s an “enemy in our midst” as the camera focuses on Rosario Dawson, one of Cody Rhodes’ judge friends on The Go-Big Show. Cody himself walks down the crowd with a purpose as Dawson leaps onto Black’s shoulders and attacks him! Cody walks down from the crowd as he and Black begin to lay into each other! The fight spills into the crowd with Black and Cody beating the stuffing out of each other up the stairs. This brawl continues into the crowd as the show cuts to a break with the fight still very much in progress.
Dark Order Backstage
Roving reporter Alex Marvez is standing by with the Dark Order. Before Anna Jay can talk, Evil Uno cuts her off as Alex Reynolds appears to insult Uno for his poor leadership skills. Alan Angels (“V”) agreed with Reynolds’ accusations about Uno as the arguments broke down once again. Ultimately, Anna says that she doesn’t want any of the Dark Order men in her corner this Friday on Rampage. She walks off with Tay Conti, apparently choosing her best friend to be in her corner instead of someone from Dark Order.
Dan Lambert & American Top Team’s Challenge
In the ring is loudmouth Dan Lambert, The Men of The Year, Junior Dos Santos, Paige Van Zant, Andre Arlovski, and Kayla Harrison. He’s just saying his usual anti-AEW stuff when they’re interrupted by the soulful sounds of Judas, which brings out Chris Jericho & Jake Hager of the Inner Circle. Lambert orders the music to be shut up, but that doesn’t stop the fans from singing along without music.
“Hey Lambert, it sounds like there’s 15,000 people who love to sing along!” says Jericho. He then leads people into a singing of “I’m a Fat-Faced Dip Shit” to mock Lambert. Jericho and Hager offer to challenge the ATT guys, but Lambert says it’s not gonna happen in Newark. It’s gonna happen next week: Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page.
The Gunn Club Speak On Their Betrayal
Billy Gunn and the Gunn Club talk about how their betrayal of Paul Wight is based on “respect” for their unbeaten records, which they believe they haven’t gotten. Billy says that if anyone has a problem with his family’s new attitude, they can “just say so”.
Match 3: Jade Cargill (w/ “Smart” Mark Sterling) vs. “Legit” Leyla Hirsch
The Story So Far
This rivalry stems from Cargill eliminating Hirsch from the Women’s Casino Battle Royale at All Out, with the feud intensifying after Hirsch took down Cargill during last night’s Dark.
Jade starts off with the size advantage early, but is sent retreating outside by Hirsch. Suicide dive through the ropes by Leyla ends up hitting “Smart” Mark Sterling at ringside instead of Cargill. An attempted cross armbreaker by Hirsch is countered into a powerbomb by Cargill as the action goes into picture-in-picture.
Back with the match, Hirsch has Jade in a body scissors submission, but she gets thrown off. Jade misses a pump kick, as Hirsch tries for the German suplex, but to no avail. On the second go, Hirsch finally nails it for a two count. Jade rolls to the outside and gets stunned by a Leyla Hirsch suicide dive. The two competitors roll back into the ring as Leyla hits a jumping knee strike to a kneeling Cargill. 1.. 2… NO! Up to the top rope goes Leyla and she misses with the moonsault! Pump kick by Cargill leads to her lifting Leyla up for Jaded and the 1, 2, 3.
Jade Cargill def. “Legit” Leyla Hirsch via Pinfall (7:00)
Andrade El Idolo on Last Week’s Controversy
Confident that he can beat anyone when he wants, Andrade is upset that Chavo got involved in last week’s match with PAC on Rampage. He boasts that he is The Kingpin.
Taz Sets The Trap on CM Punk
While the commentators address the Andrade situation, Taz & Hook square up to Punk as Powerhouse Hobbs attacks Punk from behind! Dragon sleeper by Hook on Punk allows Hobbs to get a cheapshot kick in on the Chicago native! Hook clears the table as Hobbs chokeslams Punk through the commentary table! Team Taz exit the scene, satisfied with their handiwork.
Match 4: Darby Allin (w/ Sting) vs. Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard)
The Story So Far
Shawn Spears handed Darby his first loss in AEW. Tully Blanchard cut a promo on Sting last week, accusing him of just coasting off of the success of others. This match was made at the behest of Tully, who wanted Spears to embarrass Sting and Darby.
Shawn Spears doesn’t want to wait for the match to fully begin as he’s on the offensive right away to start the match. Knee to the face, followed by stomps and the toss to the outside by Spears.The Canadian jawjacks with Sting as he tosses Darby into the steel steps. Spears has evil intentions with the stairs, setting it up in the middle of ringside. He plants Darby against the steps as he goes for a running knee strike. Darby gets out of dodge at the last possible second, causing Spears to make contact with the steps!
Darby tries to go for a dive, but Tully Blanchard gets in the way. On the apron, Spears trips up Darby to send him crashing to the outside. Spears goes to the timekeeper’s area with a cloth, pouring water on it. He enters the ring to wipe away Darby’s face paint with the cloth as we go to a split-screen ad break.
We return with Spears locking Darby in the Scorpion Deathlock as an insult to Sting. Darby breaks the hold by reaching the ropes. Now it’s Allin with the offensive onslaught to flatline Spears, culminating with a Code Red for the near fall! Darby and Spears are on the top turnbuckle jockeying for an advantage until Spears tosses Darby off the top rope.
Spears has Darby on his shoulders looking for a Death Valley Driver onto the steel steps, but Darby turns that into a guillotine counter! Suicide dive through the middle rope by Allin, followed by a Coffin Drop onto a prone Spears for the victory!
Darby Allin def. Shawn Spears via Pinfall (8:00)
FTR confronts Sting and Darby in the ring, leading to a big brawl. Tully Blanchard hits Sting with a chair to no effect, but Dax and Cash swarm Sting with multiple clubbing blows. Darby gets back into the fight, but he too is waylaid. Dax and Cash have Sting set up with the Spike Piledriver! And now, Tully wipes the face paint off of Sting for the ultimate disrespect to the Icon.
Bryan Danielson Throws Down The Gauntlet
Tony Schiavone introduces Bryan Danielson to the ring for an interview. The American Dragon enters to an incredible reaction from the Newark crowd. Before Danielson can address his challenge to Kenny Omega, out comes Omega himself, accompanied by the irritating sounds of Don Callis. As Kenny’s manager goes on a diatribe, Bryan tells him to shut up. Danielson says that this is not about the title just yet, instead just being about who’s better. “Shut up, you piece of shit!” Bryan again yells at Callis. He says that he came to AEW to fight the Best Bout Machine, instead finding a goof who lets Callis speak for him.
Kenny takes the mic and says that if Bryan wants The Best Bout Machine and the God of Pro Wrestling? He then promptly accepts Danielson’s challenge.
Miro Wants To Bash Fuego Del Sol’s Brains In
The TNT Champion spoke in a video promo about Fuego Del Sol’s challenge, accepting it for Rampage this Friday. Miro vowed to not only bash Fuego’s new car, but also his face when he was through with him.
An Orange Egghead?
We get remarks from “Big Money” Matt Hardy, who once again teased that he wanted to cut Orange Cassidy’s hair completely as revenge for Orange breaking his nose during their first encounter. Hardy says that he’s going to turn him into an “Orange Egghead” when he’s through.
Match 5: Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. 2point0 (Jeff Parker & Matt Lee; w/ Daniel Garcia)
The Story So Far
2point0 have been a thorn in the sides of Mox & Kingston, having attacked them in an entrance ambush on the 8/18 Dynamite, clearly wanting to prove themselves as the toughest trio in AEW.
2point0 gets the jump on Mox and Eddie as they enter the ringside area, and it turns into a wild brawl even before the bell rings! Once the referee does get the match started, it’s Moxley and Parker to start us off. Mox has the early advantage, but Parker is able to respond with an eye rake, then tagging in partner Matt Lee. Mox fights back by biting Lee in the face. Lee retreats to the outside as Parker catches Mox from behind with a dropkick. The action goes to commercial as 2point0 tosses Moxley into the ring apron.
We return as Parker and Lee have the two-on-one advantage on Mox, but that quickly evaporates. Drop toehold by Lee leads to an elbow drop on Mox by Parker that only gets two. Mox with a lethal lariat on Lee as he tags in Eddie Kingston for the hot tag. Kingston is on a rampage on 2point0 as he effortlessly takes both Parker and Lee down. Tag to Moxley and they set Parker up for the Violent Crown double team move. Pin by Mox and this one’s over.
Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston def. 2point0 via Pinfall (7:00)
Mox and Kingston’s victory celebration is cut off by the awesome “Kaze Ni Nare” theme song of Minoru Suzuki, heralding the arrival of the Japanese wrestling legend. Suzuki appears on the ramp clearly intending to start a fight with Mox & Kingston, but not before his song plays in full. Lance Archer pulls Kingston out of the ring as Suzuki fights it out with Mox! Kingston and Archer fight in the crowd while Mox brawls it out with Suzuki at ringside. Suzuki attempts the Gotch-style Piledriver through the table, but Mox fights out of it! The fight rages on at ringside as we go off the air.
Next Week on Dynamite Grand Slam from Arthur Ashe Stadium (9/22/21)
The Dream Match: Kenny Omega vs. Bryan Danielson
Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black II
MJF vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho
FTR vs. Sting & Darby Allin
Next Week on Rampage Grand Slam from Arthur Ashe Stadium (9/24/21)
Adam Cole & The Young Bucks vs. Christian Cage & Jurassic Express
CM Punk vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. The Men of The Year
The Last Word
As expected, this show was intended to help set up next week’s massive Dynamite & Rampage Grand Slam cards, and I feel they did that well tonight.
Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega being explicitly a non-title match just to see who’s the best was definitely the best way to get this massive match as Danielson’s first AEW action without the World Title on the line. It’s still clear that the plan is that Kenny will drop the belt to “Hangman” Adam Page even with Bryan’s arrival into the main event scene. Even so, just the idea of Danielson vs. Omega is a dream match that doesn’t necessarily need the World Title at stake.
The actual Omega/Danielson challenge segment was well done, and it was a smart move to not have it bogged down by Elite shenanigans. Just having Bryan and Omega confront each other face-to-face really helps sell the idea that this is something that Kenny takes seriously because of the danger that Bryan poses to him.
The match’s outcome may have been a foregone conclusion, but that didn’t stop Cole vs. Kaz from being a hot opener to the evening. The two meshed well together and Kaz still managed to get his spots in even as the match was largely about Adam Cole (bay-bay).
It was only a matter of time before it came time for CM Punk to take some beatings, and the Team Taz ambush segment was well done, non-breaking table and all. While it was clear they were setting up Punk’s next match to be against Powerhouse Hobbs, that brief moment of Hook choking Punk out does give me big hope that we’ll see Hook’s first match against CM Punk at some point.
Leave it to AEW to turn something going awry into a storyline with what fans have called “The Suzuki Incident”. The original tweet that gave it its name was a semi-serious(?) demand to Tony Khan and AEW to put out a statement apologizing for not playing Minoru Suzuki’s theme song in full. It naturally turned into a memetic response that saw fans and even wrestlers get in on the fun. Using this to pretty much set up a tag match with Suzuki and Lance Archer vs. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston is a really neat way to go about it.
While the whole Dan Lambert/Men of the Year thing isn’t exactly something that’s universally loved, I did appreciate that there was finally some progression in this storyline with Chris Jericho stepping up to defend the honor of AEW against Lambert’s diatribes. That being said, the segment itself didn’t stick the landing at all, made all the more worse with the casual homophobic insult tossed out by Jericho (the “who’s on top” remark to American Top Team).
On another note, it’s a bit odd that despite being very prominent in the intro of this very show and all over the marketing for AEW’s Friday show, Rampage, Hikaru Shida hasn’t been seen on AEW programming — aside from being in the Women’s Casino Battle Royale at All Out. It’d be nice if they found a storyline or feud for her. In general, having more than one women’s match and angle on Wednesdays would be nice.
With a show that seemed very weak on paper heading into Wednesday turning out to be a strong go-home for next week’s Grand Slam festivities, AEW once again shows its strength of booking hot angles and matches to keep fans engaged throughout the night. On the strength of hyping a big-time dream match leading a stacked card over four hours and two nights of TV, Grand Slam is looking to be a huge supershow that’s sure to rock Arthur Ashe Stadium. And I for one can’t wait to see it all unfold next week.
Marc Quill is an avid wrestling fan who enjoys telling you all the exciting All Elite action on Wednesday nights. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff general @MarcQuill on Twitter.