I’ve gotten a lot of responses from people when I tell them I like to watch wrestling. Let me add a key word here— I’ve mostly gotten the same responses from people when I tell them I like to watch wrestling.
It’s Wednesday night. Wrestling fans, you know what that means. I started watching Dynamite regularly the day the Forbidden Door was kicked open, back in February 2021. I didn’t even know what a Forbidden Door was, but let me tell you watching a twist like that live is a hell of a gateway drug. In the nine months since then I’ve watched Dynamite every week, caught three AEW pay-per-views, watched some of the most incredible queer deathmatch wrestling, watched wrestlers of all genders split their faces open for their craft, and loved every second of it. And every time I tell people I like wrestling, I get the same variations of the same response.
“I didn’t expect you to be into wrestling!”
I try to not be like “I’m not like other girls” mostly because one, I’m not a girl, and two, I know that’s all bullshit. But I also know I’m not the kind of person one would expect to be into not only wrestling, but deathmatch wrestling. I’m tiny. I present as feminine (most of the time). There are not many people who look like me who you see in wrestling crowds, especially not deathmatch wrestling crowds. But the people who say these things to me are not strangers taking my appearance at face value. These are people who know me.
I usually say it’s about the violence. That’s… mostly true, actually, it’s why I love deathmatch wrestling so much. The thing is— it’s more than that. I just don’t ever know how to explain it in words.
“I didn’t expect you to be into wrestling!”
It’s Wednesday night. It’s the first night of AEW’s Grand Slam, in Arthur Ashe Stadium. We’re about to get a dream match in Kenny Omega versus Bryan Danielson; if you had told me back during Wrestlemania weekend, when Daniel Bryan was main eventing with Roman Reigns and Edge, that we would get this match I wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are. It’s a non-title bout between two of the best wrestlers in the world to determine who is the best in the world, and it is anyone’s match. I can usually tell you who’s gonna win a match based on what I think the trajectory of a storyline is (wrestling is fairly predictable in this regard) but this is a match that is anyone’s game. It can really go either way.
We thought, at the start of this match, that we might get one of the little heel cheats Omega has resorted to in the ten months since he took the AEW belt. We thought we might get Don Callis, in all his carny POS-ness, distract the ref for long enough that Kenny could get a chair shot of some sort in.
That isn’t what we got.
“I didn’t expect you to be into wrestling, cause like the writing on it is pretty bad.”
Wrestling is storytelling. I’m not talking about promos here, I’m talking about the matches themselves. To talk about the promos being the only component of a wrestling storyline is reductive and detrimental to the work being done in the ring. Wrestling is messy, violent, sometimes improvised storytelling— choreography can only get you so far— but it is storytelling all the same.
Words are not the only language of storytelling. Imagine this: you’ve gone to the ballet, to see a new work performed by some of the best ballerinas in the world. The two lead dancers are meeting on the stage for the first time, and the way they look into each others’ eyes is electrifying. They do not need words to express the connection they have to each other. They are two binary stars on stage, in constant orbit, growing ever closer to the moment they collide.
This is how it feels to watch Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson lock eyes across the ring. I’ve felt this before watching wrestling— Labor Day weekend, watching CM Punk meet Darby Allin at All Out. There’s a crackling intensity in how their eyes meet that makes me wonder if lightning is going to burst across the ring.
All at once, I know this match is going to time limit draw.
“I didn’t expect you to be into wrestling!”
All my friends are so predictable at this point.
I watch Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson grapple across the ring. I watch the control of the match flip easily from one hand to the other, every few minutes, like clockwork. I am entranced. Ballet tells its story in the grace of dance, and wrestling tells its story through the grace of violence. There is no real difference between the two— it’s just that in wrestling, the bodies collide faster. It’s storytelling at its finest.
It’s eighteen minutes in when I finally wonder what the time limit is, and how long the match has been going on. Eighteen minutes. It only feels like five. I haven’t been able to tear my eyes away. Omega has been targeting Danielson’s neck; Danielson has been meeting Omega blow for blow. The red across Danielson’s chest is so vivid it looks as though he’s been clawed. The crowd is losing their minds, and so am I.
“Why do you like wrestling so much?”
Imagine this: you’re at a concert for a new piece from an up-and-coming composer whose work you’ve heard before. His work contains melodies and motifs that carry from piece to piece. Tonight, though, you hear something you’ve not heard in a long, long time: the melody you’ve grown familiar with, you’ve grown to love so much, has a counterpoint to it. More than that, you recognize that counterpoint. It’s a motif from the very first piece you ever heard by this composer, and haven’t heard since. It stops your breath in your throat, to hear it again.
Twenty-five minutes into the thirty minute match. Omega and Danielson are clearly at their limits. Danielson has evaded the One-Winged Angel, Omega’s finisher, which commentary states no one in AEW has ever kicked out of. (They have not specified the in AEW before. There is history here.) Omega heads to the corner and slowly, slowly, levers himself up to the top rope. There is a moment where he pauses, his back to Danielson, and the world holds its breath as it realizes what’s about to happen. And then he twists himself into the Phoenix Splash, the finishing move of his former New Japan Pro Wrestling tag partner Kota Ibushi— the specter hanging over his head, the name he refuses to speak, and the only person to ever kick out of the One-Winged Angel.
Omega has never successfully landed the Phoenix Splash. He has never successfully used the finisher of arguably the most important person in his wrestling career. He does not successfully land it now.
There is history in every move. Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson do not do anything without reason.
The bell rings to signal the match has drawn to time and Omega and Danielson keep fighting, either unaware of the bell or not wanting to stop. The rest of Omega’s Elite and the other referees come down to the ring to separate the two, eventually devolving into a full-on brawl. I half-notice this happening. My heart is pounding. I am overcome.
I’ve stopped trying to figure out where people are coming from with this.
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.
Hello from the City of Brotherly Love, where they throw batteries at Santa! Our Elevation episode this week is from Philadelphia, and Eddie Kingston and Paul Wight are there to start off but Tony Schiavone is not. I only expect chaos from this.
Notorious Mimi vs Penelope Ford w/The Bunny: We’re less than 90 seconds into the show, and Paul Wight has broken kayfabe to ask if Penelope’s wrestling as a babyface tonight. Eddie Kingston has shouted “NO RULES!” The Wrestling Angel takes on Penelope Ford, and while she gets some blows landed, Mimi submits to the Muta Lock.
Adrien Soriano & Matthew Omen vs Santana & Ortiz: Schiavone has returned to the booth, and both of them call Tony “Dad” and honestly, I love all of AEW’s dad content. Our jobbers for the evening brought a manager, maybe in hope of getting a contract, but they’re not going to need it. Proud and Powerful picks up the quick win in less time than it took me to write this paragraph.
Lee Moriarty & LSG vs FTR w/Wardlow: Lee Moriarty makes his first appearance post-contract signing teaming with LSG against FTR. We get some good fun mat work on this, and LSG even gets a pin on FTR while referee Paul Turned is distracted. Cash is able to kick out once the referee’s attention is regained, however. FTR nearly get a tag combo off on Lee, but he’s able to reverse it! Unfortunately, FTR is able to overcome the rookie and Lee’s pinned after the brainbuster.
Joey Janela w/Kayla Rossi vs Crowbar: Joey Janela comes out before the match to say that Philly isn’t the tough place it used to be that birthed extreme wrestling, and scores the cheapest heat in the universe by praising Ben Simmons for wanting to leave Philadelphia. Joey says he’s never going to do another hardcore match in AEW, but then….Crowbar comes out. He rushes to the ring, and in doing so becomes the first performer to have appeared in WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, and AEW. That is a lot of letters. After a little brawling, Joey tries to leave the ring but the Blue Meanie emerges to corral Joey and force him back to the ring. The match spills on, and Kayla Rossi is able to get in a sweet hurricanrana while the referee is distracted. Crowbar’s able to sneak a chair-assisted Northern Lights Suplex, but Joey is able to squeak out the victory in the end. After the match, Sonny Kiss rushes the ring but Joey and Kayla are able to take Sonny out and leave the ring.
Emi Sakura w/Lulu Pencil vs Ruby Soho: Emi Sakura and Ruby Soho? Is it my birthday? Wait, yes, it was on Monday. This is a real fun match, with some nice back and forth action. At one point Ruby’s laid out on the canvas and Lulu tries to attack her and it’s the funniest ineffectual thing. Ruby’s able to escape with the win here, narrowly escaping several near falls from Emi.
Crowbar and the Blue Meanie have a statement thanking AEW for the opportunity, especially to perform in Philly. It’s very sweet and from the heart.
Ashley D’Amboise vs Kilynn King: Hey, Ashley D’Amboise, welcome to the ten-timers club on Dark! Pick up your gift basket and your loss via a Kingdom Falls at the door.
Darian Bengston vs Wardlow: Darien Bengston: Great look, I’m sorry for your soul which Wardlow has separated from your body. During the match, they discuss how Darby Allin was recently attacked by masked assailants. One of which hit a F10 on Darby remarkably similar to the one Wardlow just hit on Darian. Just coincidence, we’re sure.
Anthony Greene vs Evil Uno: Anthony Greene (from Dangertown) has a great mustache, but he’s going against the masked maestro of the Dark Order. Well, okay, the Dark Order is democratic now. Green’s able to get some good offense in, but a crossbody dive gets evaded by Evil Uno and hits Something Evil for the pin.
Tangent of the night: Taz claimed that Mickey Mouse went over from Disneyworld to Universal Studios just to stunt on Team Taz in orange and black gear. Sadly Taz cannot provide proof.
Well, uh, that wasn’t a lot this week! But hey, we’ve got more Youtube content this week. It’s technically not Dark, but you know, watch freaking Bryan Danielson and Minoru Suzuki. It’s my match of the week. Hell, it’s my match of the month. And this month’s already had Jon Moxley fight Nick Gage. If you haven’t watched that, it’s technically a Rampage match so it’s outside the purview of this column but you should definitely put that in your eyeballs.
It’s Monday, and you know what that means! We’re recapping your past week in the world of Elevation and Dark!
We start off with Wednesday’s Elevation taping in Rochester, with our new usual trio of Tony Schiavone, Eddie Kingston, and Paul Wight:
Skye Blue vs Emi Sakura w/ Lulu Pencil: Eddie Kingston marks out for Emi Sakura’s assistant, Lulu Pencil, and it’s honestly great. Lulu even gets a little outside stomping action during the match before tossing Skye Blue back into the ring. Emi Sakura picks up the win, though Skye Blue ends up getting a few near falls.
Louis Bruno vs Lance Archer w/ Jake “The Snake” Roberts: You know when we tell someone to pick on their own size? Well, Louis Bruno’s even bigger than Lance Archer. Bruno, however, goes after Jake Roberts! This does not go well for him, as both Jake the Snake and the Murderhawk Monster get hits in. Lance hits the Blackout and pockets the win.
Davienne vs Abadon: Happy Halloween! Eddie is about as creeped out as I am by Abadon. Her new look after the Casino Battle Royale with the red mohawk is real cool, and – oh hey before I even finished this sentence Abadon won.
Gunn Club Promo: The Gunn Club talk about how they’ve been overlooked, both for their records and their devotion to AEW. They want recognition, and they’re not going to lose. Okay. Ugh, wake me when the Trios Division starts.
Obariyon & Kodama vs Santana & Ortiz: Mark Henry joins the commentary both for this match as we have an all-face paint match! Kodama and Obariyon both have a neon yellow look that looks like something out of the 90s. It’s a quick match, and Santana and Ortiz pick up the win.
B3CCA vs Kris Statlander w/ Chuck Taylor & Wheeler Yuta: Usually Kris Statlander has the more colorful outfit on any given match but B3CCA has an outfit that looks like it’s from the Lisa Frank pallette. B3CCA spent the first few minutes of the match trying to avoid it, but she eventually gets booped, and gets pinned after a Big Bang Theory. There’s also the obligatory Best Friends Hug, which always warms my night.
The Acclaimed vs Colin Delaney & Cheech: In Max Caster’s intro rap, Colin Delaney gets compared to an extra for Slim Shady and Cheech’s head gets compared to a penis. The two local talents rush the Acclaimed as they enter the ring, but the Acclaimed rally. The Acclaimed get some good tag offense in, and with a Mic Drop, go to the pay window.
Zach Nystrom & Elijah Dean vs FTR w/ Tully Blanchard: FTR has a great new disco-y theme that a friend of mine pointed out is a tribute to the tag team Midnight Express. The match opens with FTR pulling out the Big Rig, and that might be the shortest match I’ve ever watched. They don’t even take their jackets off.
Sonny Kiss vs KM: KM starts off the match with some shows of force here, and lands some nasty blows on Sonny’s back, which was recently targeted by Joey Janela and Kayla Rossi. But Sonny is able to rally and is even to lift the giant and slam him (WHILE DOING THE SPLITS!) for the win. After the match, Kayla Rossi comes out and distracts while Joey Janela sneaks in behind with the chair, but Sonny catches on and she gives Janela some well-deserved revenge!
And now, onto Dark! Welcome back to the All Elite Zone in Orlando. Today we don’t even get the Dark intro on this pre-taped show, and we’re going straight into an 8-man tag match!
Valentina Rossi vs Abadon: Our favorite horror movie monster returns to the ring against our aggressively Italian jobber. During the match, Taz talked about the funny mental vision of Abadon visiting Universal Studios or hair salon enroute for the Living Dead Girl to get the pin.
Kal Herro vs. Sonny Kiss: Sonny Kiss goes up against the Fanny Pack Kid, and honestly, who doesn’t love a guy who wears tassles? May Kal Hero should tag with Nick Comoroto. Sonny’s all business, though, and she picks up the win off that new splits finisher.
Madi Wrenkowski vs Skye Blue: Skye Blue has been getting more play recently, and she’s the one getting the full intro now on Dark against Miss Reality. Wrenkowski starts off on the offensive, but Skye gets the win off an impressive Fisher’s suplex.
Anthony Henry vs Eddie Kingston: Anthony Henry makes his AEW debut on ark here against the Mad King, and he makes an impressive showing here. He’s able to dominate early in the match, but Henry plays with his food a little too much. Kingston is able to rally and get a win over Henry. This was a fun match, and I hope they bring back Henry for more.
Hunter Knott, Rosario Grillo & Cameron Stewart vs Gunn Club: The Gunn Club returns, and Taz compares their new intro music to music he’d hear at the background of a dispensary. I require approximately five times as much context as Taz provides. We also get Taz singing American Pie, and the Gunn Club get another win.
Santana Garrett vs Diamante: Building off last week’s interrupted interview, Santana Garrett goes off against Diamante. It’s telling that Garrett’s already in the ring when Diamante comes in. This rivalry that is carried over from the independent circuit leads to a fun match, and Diamante grabs the win in a hard fought context.
Varsity Blondes w/Julia Hart vs The Wingmen (Pretty Peter Avalon & Ryan Nemeth): According to Taz and Excalibur, the Wingmen’s music is played live by a hidden band. I want to believe. Avalon and Nemeth jump the Varsity Blondes at the bell, and Cezar Bononi and JD Drake assist with some outside interference through the match. Depsite the difficulty, the Blondes win in style with an Air Pillman drop.
Erik Lockhart vs Daniel Garcia w/ 2point0: Daniel Garcia comes in with his dads ahead of his match with CM Punk to take on Erik Lockhart. This week, Garcia fights on Rampage (pre-taped on Wednesday) but at practically the same time is fighting Minoru Suzuki on an indy promotion. He had four matches in four days. Indie wrestlers are just built different.
Serpentico w/ Luther vs Marko Stunt: Serpentico in rare singles action! Even outside of tag team action, Serpentico can’t be saved from Luther tossing him around. However, Luther does get a cheap shot in on Marko and Serpentico rolls him up! It…may be Serpentico’s first singles win on Dark, ever?! I’m shocked, stunned. I love it.
Nick Comoroto (w/ The Factory) vs Orange Cassidy (w/ Best Friends): The Factory’s Giant takes on recent Apuestas winner Orange Cassidy. Orange Cassidy does some good work to fight against Comoroto’s size, and a tope suicida leads to a fight between the Factory and the Best Friends ring side. In the confusion, QT Marshall gets into the ring to try to interfere and…Kris Statlander tosses her knee brace to QT and Orange grabs Aubrey Edwards’ attention. After the commotion, Cassidy chains an Orange Punch into a Beach Break and gets the pin.
Tangent of the night: During the Gunn Club match, Taz described the “stretch Escalade” and his driver Jeeves, that he drives around Long Island with.
Overall, it’s a relatively breezy week of Dark and Elevation with some good matches scattered around and some progress on the Sonny storyline. We’re all done here, until next time where we get more of your favorite after dark action.
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.