This week’s AEW Dynamite is the lead-in to next week’s massive “Winter is Coming” Dynamite episode.
That “Winter is Coming” Dynamite episode will see AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page defending the AEW World Title vs. Bryan Danielson in what should be an incredible match. This week, Danielson is in action against John Silver, there’s a battle royal and plenty more action.
This is AEW Dynamite episode #114 at the UBS Arena in Belmont Park (Long Island), New York. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. Excalibur was on commentary with Tony Schiavone and Taz, who is filling in for Jim Ross this week.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s music played with the fans booing the entrance of their hometown guy MJF, but then CM Punk arrived instead.
Let’s Hear from CM Punk
It sounded like some boos for CM Punk from the Long Island crowd since they like MJF, but there were some cheers too. Punk said “that’s all you got” and said Chicago is a lot louder, so the fans booed more. Punk mentioned the New York Islanders haven’t won a game in the building, which drew boos. Punk mentioned their guy MJF and the fans cheered at the MJF mention. Punk had a four pillars shirt with Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin and Darby Allin, but MJF wasn’t on it and instead, it was Britt Baker. Punk mentioned putting over a woman for her work, but instead, MJF thinks that Punk wants to get in her pants. Punk said in his hometown, he wanted to face off with MJF right there, but then MJF ran out of the ring two weeks ago. The fans were chanting something at Punk, who fired back saying he didn’t hear them. Punk ripped on the Islanders beating Ottawa and said that is like Punk beating QT Marshall. Ouch. Poor QT. That was funny, though.
Punk said he wanted to see how you guys would react to all of this. Punk said that he hated Dennis Rodman because he was on the Detroit Pistons, but then when he was on the Chicago Bulls in 1995, Rodman was his guy because it was his team. Punk said he understands because MJF is their local guy. Punk said he’s got his eye on the AEW World Title match next week and Punk wants to face the winner. Punk said he knows MJF likely feels the same way. Punk ripped on MJF for running away from him. Punk said he proposed that he settles this with MJF without Shawn Spears and Wardlow around. Punk also ripped on MJF bringing up Punk’s dog Larry, who has more balls than MJF and he’s neutered! Punk ripped on the Islanders again pointing out they haven’t won anything since about 1984. Punk said he wants MJF in a singles match and he doesn’t want him to run anymore like they do in Long Island. Punk wants to fight like they do in Chicago. Punk said that he wants to face MJF and he said he’ll even do it right here tonight, but he didn’t think MJF would agree with it. Punk said if that’s your guy and that’s who you back then you’re all chickenshit. Punk left to boos.
Analysis: That was a fun promo. I laughed at some of the lines. I enjoyed it a lot. Punk was in full heel mode ripping on MJF heavily while also taking plenty of shots at Long Island, especially the NHL’s Islanders. It was cheap heat in some ways, but I thought Punk had some great lines there. This rivalry is definitely heating up with the fans getting into it a lot.
Britt Baker tweeted about the shirt if you are interested in buying it.
— Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. (@RealBrittBaker) December 9, 2021
The announcers promoted the matches coming up this week with Bryan Danielson facing John Silver in the main event.
The Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale is up next.
They showed a sports car driving around a building in a Ferrari. It was MJF while a narrator talked about how if you think this guy is a villain, you’re probably from some other place and he’s a hero. They showed MJF walking on his high school football field, they also went over accomplishments in singing, wrestling and got with a lot of chicks too. The narrator said that he’s the “Salt of the Earth” and that makes him better than you and you know it.
Analysis: That was a cool video. I liked that touch.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance to a big pop from the Long Island crowd. MJF was wearing his high school football jacket on his way to the ring. MJF even posed with some fans against the barricade and gave Shawn Spears the diamond ring to hold onto. The other wrestlers were in the ring, so the battle royale began.
Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale
The final two men in this match will have a singles match next week on Dynamite. The winner of that gets to have the Dynamite Diamond Ring for the next year. MJF won it in 2019 and 2020.
Jay Lethal nearly eliminated MJF, I think Spears even caught MJF and MJF was back in the ring. Matt Sydal hit a jumping knee attack on Dante Martin. Spears saved MJF again. Wardlow did a press slam on Lee Moriarty to eliminate him. Matt Sydal was eliminated with the announcers not even mentioning it. Matt Hardy punched Jay Lethal with the brass knuckles and eliminated him. Matt Hardy posed on the ropes and Dante Martin eliminated him as if Matt Hardy had never been in a battle royal before. Hobbs and Wardlow faced off in a showdown of power guys. They each hit shoulder tackles, Wardlow sent Hobbs over the top to the apron. Hobbs tried to fight back, but Lio Rush kicked Hobbs off the apron to the floor. They went to a picture in picture break.
(Commercial – There were no eliminations during the break.)
Wardlow continued to protect MJF in the battle royal. MJF was standing on the apron after going through the middle rope, so he was hiding there. The crowd popped big for MJF getting in a kick on Dante Martin and then hiding behind Wardlow again. Rush avoided Wardlow and punched MJF, which drew boos. Wardlow got a hold of Rush and Lee Johnson, but then Dante Martin dropkicked Wardlow to the ropes. Johnson and Rush tried to eliminate Wardlow, so MJF eliminated Johnson, Rush and Wardlow at the same time. Wardlow was pissed off about that. Frankie Kazarian charged at MJF, who ducked and Frankie was eliminated.
The final three were Ricky Starks, Dante Martin and MJF with Martin eliminating Starks. Taz was freaking out about that wondering what happened. Taz said that they got swerved. Martin tore off the “FTW” armband. This went about ten minutes.
Winners: Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Dante Martin
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average battle royal. The big story at the end was that Martin wasn’t really with Team Taz and turned on Team Taz member Ricky Starks in order to be one of the final two guys in the match. Taz’s reaction to it was great. They are doing the slow burn for the MJF/Wardlow split since MJF intentionally eliminated his buddy and it’s just a matter of time until that alliance explodes.
MJF extended a hand, Martin shook the hand and the fans cheered. MJF left alone.
Ricky Starks went after Martin with stomps. MJF looked at the ring to see what was going on and MFJF wondered if he should go to the ring, so then MJF went to the ring. MJF got in Ricky’s face. MJF and Starks shoved eachother and then they both attacked Martin. That led to CM Punk running out to the ring, so MJF bailed on the other side of the ring. Martin got up with an enziguri kick to the head. Punk hit a GTS on Starks to boos from the crowd. MJF went back up the ramp alone while Punk helped Martin back up. Taz called Martin a turncoat and was sketchy like his buddy Lio Rush. Punk’s music played as the fans booed him some more.
Analysis: MJF continues to avoid CM Punk and Punk got booed by the Long Island crowd again. It was cool.
There’s an eight-man tag team match up next.
Jurassic Express entered with the Varsity Blonds for this eight-man tag team match. The Acclaimed duo of Max Caster & Anthony Bowens were next with 2.0 as their partners. Max did a creative rap mentioning AEW selling more tickets in New York than “New York” (that’s WWE) did, he mocked the Islanders and former Governor Cuomo as well.
Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) and Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) vs. The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) and 2.0 (Matthew Lee & Jeff Parker)
Bowens started with Boy with Bowens working him over with some chops. Caster tagged in, Boy with a headscissors, the 2.0 guys went in there illegally so Boy could do double armdrag across the ring. Pillman tagged in with a running dropkick and then Garrison tagged in with a jumping attack over the top onto the heels on the floor. Garrison held aster leading to Pillman hitting a dropkick and Garrison got a two count. Pillman worked over Caster with some punches, the heels did some distractions leading to a cheap shot and Pillman bumped to the floor. The heels stomped on Pillman repeatedly. Lee with a hard whip on Pillman into the turnbuckle. Parker with a running kick for two. Pillman with a back body drop, Caster tagged in to prevent a tag and Caster hit a suplex for two. Parker back in with shoulder tackles and an elbow to the back of the head. Lee tagged in, Pillman got rid of him, Bowens back in and he slid right into a kick to the face. Pillman avoided a double suplex, broke free and Luchasaurus tagged in for the first time as the dinosaur kicked some ass. Luchasaurus beat up all four guys by sending them into the turnbuckles, which led to repeated corner splashes and a double clothesline. Caster with a double axhandle to Luchasaurus and Luchasaurus slammed Bowens onto Caster. Boy tagged in, which led to a sequence where each guy got to go in the ring and hit a big move. It ended with Boy hitting a jumping DDT on Caster. Eddie Kingston ran down to the ring to stop Daniel Garcia from interfering and Kingston sent Garcia into the steel steps. Caster knocked down Boy, Caster went for a top rope elbow, Boy moved and Boy slapped on the Snare Trap submission. Caster tapped out after about nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) and Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison)
Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid eight-man tag team match. They built up Luchasaurus getting the hot tag, the crowd came alive and then Jungle Boy picking up the win was the obvious result since he is pushed more than anybody else in the match. Tony Khan doesn’t book surprising finishes that often. The 2.0 guys lose most of their matches on Dynamite/Rampage while Jungle Boy is clearly a bigger star, so of course he’s going to get the win.
Eddie Kingston walked to the backstage area with a camera guy following him since Eddie wanted the camera to go with him. Ortiz from Inner Circle was there. Eddie was saying something, but we couldn’t hear what he was saying. Garcia and 2.0 went after Kingston and Ortiz with a cheap attack. The heels retreated when it was broken up.
Analysis: That should set up a tag team match.
They showed FTR backstage with Tully Blanchard, who said that they will be AEW Tag Team Champions again. Blanchard said it seems so hard to get Lucha Brothers in the ring again. Cash Wheeler said that Lucha Brothers can’t beat them and only did when they beat the illegal man. Dax Harwood said that Friday night on Rampage, they become the first-ever two-time AEW Tag Team Champions and they’ll be regarded as the greatest tag team of all time.
Analysis: FTR facing Lucha Brothers on Rampage was supposed to be last week, so it’s nice to get it this week. That’s going to be awesome.
The Young Bucks entered with a 2021 tag team record of 10-2 with Adam Cole and Brandon Cutler. That’s not a lot of regular tag team matches. Chuck Taylor and Rocky Romero entered to lose a match with Orange Cassidy by their side.
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. Rocky Romero & Chuck Taylor
Romero got out of an armdrag attempt leading to a dropkick. Romero with a shoulder tackle on Nick, then Nick off the ropes leading to an armdrag. Romero with a deep armdrag into an armbar. Taylor tagged in, Matt made the blind tag and Taylor got a rollup into a pin attempt. Taylor with an armdrag. Matt sent Taylor to the apron, Nick took Romero out of the ring. The Bucks knocked Taylor to the floor. Romero hit a suicide dive on Nick on the floor and then Matt kicked Romero down. I thought Taylor was the legal man, but Romero faced off with Matt as they exchanged chops. Matt did some comedy spot with a backflip followed by a back rake. Nick back in with a senton fist drop on Romero. Nick went for a kick, Romero sent the kick into Matt and Romero broke free. Taylor shoved the Bucks into eachother leading to Taylor hitting a flatliner/DDT combination. Taylor hit a somersault dive over the top onto the Young Bucks on the floor. Taylor faced Cutler, so the Bucks hit a double superkick. Romero jumped on the Bucks, but they were ready and Nick hit a superkick on the floor. The referee lost total control with both Bucks in the ring for way too long leading to the spot where the Young Bucks kissed Cole on the cheek. Nick tagged in as if a legal man matters in a Young Bucks match. Nick kicked Chuck on the floor, then Matt held Chuck against the apron and Nick hit senton on Chuck on the floor. Nick kicked Taylor in the back. Matt held Taylor in the ring, Nick up top and Nick hit a senton off the top onto Chuck’s ribs. They went to a picture in picture break.
The match returned with Orange Cassidy blocking a move that Nick wanted to do, so Cole kicked Cassidy. Matt tagged in and Taylor hit a belly to belly suplex into the turnbuckle. Romero tagged in with repeated clotheslines and a double hurricanrana on both Bucks at the same time. Romero with a step-up hurricanrana on Nick on the floor. Romero with a running neckbreaker on Matt for two. Nick went into the ring illegally with a facebuster and then Taylor hit a boot to the face on Nick. Matt hit two Northern Lights Suplexes on Romero and then Romero hit a DDT out of the corner. Cutler the stooge went into the ring to spray some cold spray on Matt. Cole in the ring, then Cassidy in the ring and Nick superkicked Cassidy. Taylor kicked Cole, then a bunch of other kicks and Cutler sprayed Matt by accident. Taylor with a piledriver on Matt and Romero with a jackknife pin for two with Nick saving his brother. Matt got a hold of Romero, but Romero countered Matt into the apron to knock Nick down. Romero with a back heel kick on Matt. Matt held Romero in a Tombstone position and Nick went illegally into the ring for a Meltzer Driver spike piledriver for the win after 16 minutes. If they named move after me I wouldn’t overrate their matches as much as Uncle Dave does.
Winners by pinfall: The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
Analysis: ***1/2 It was pretty good. A typical Young Bucks match where they ignored the rules many times and had a fun match with cool moves. At no time did I think the Young Bucks had a chance of losing this match. I don’t remember the last time Chuck Taylor won a match on TV. Guys like him are a part of AEW and they are good performers, but they are so far down the totem pole. Why not do a finish where it’s not with an illegal man in a ring? Do a tag or something to at least try to look like it’s a regular tag team match.
Post match, The Elite guys attacked the faces with Cole stomping Cassidy. Wheeler Yuta tried to save, but he walked into a double superkick by the Young Bucks. Cole hit the Panama Sunrise on Cassidy. The Best Friends music played as a van was shown driving up to the building. It was Sue aka Trent Barretta’s name and she kissed Trent on the cheek. Trent was out for a long time with spinal surgery. Trent with a Spear on Cutler the stooge. Trent took out Matt with a clothesline, then a clothesline on Cole and Trent hit a suplex across the ring. Trent with a clothesline on Nick out of the ring. The Best Friends hugged in the ring because you’ve got to give the people what they want. Kris Statlander helped Sue get into the ring. When Trent’s mom Sue got into the ring, the Best Friends hugged again. The fans loved it.
Analysis: That was a cool moment. Good to see Trent back from a long-term injury that kept him out of the ring for most of the year. The fans pop for Sue the mom too, so that was entertaining too. Trent’s a good worker and now that he’s back, it will probably help Taylor assuming they remain a tag team going forward.
Ruby Soho was interviewed by Alex Marvez after footage was shown of Nyla Rose attacking Ruby last week. The Bunny and Penelope Ford showed up to interrupt before Ruby could say a word. Bunny and Ford said that Nyla Rose promised them title shots when Nyla wins the TBS Title. They mentioned a six-woman tag while wondering if Ruby had any friends. Ruby punched The Bunny, then Nyla Rose punched Ruby and Tay Conti along with Anna Jay made the save, so there’s the six-woman tag on Rampage.
Analysis: Another interview where the person being interviewed didn’t get to say a word because they were attacked. AEW does that often.
Sammy Guevara, the TNT Champion, was interviewed on the stage by Tony Schiavone. Before Sammy could really get going, Cody Rhodes’s music hit and the fans booed at the sight of Cody on the stage. Cody shook Tony’s hand. Tony had burns on his body from the street fight last week. Cody said from “one good guy to the next” he informed Sammy that his Open Challenge is filled on Christmas Day – it’s official by Tony Khan – with Cody saying Sammy will defend the TNT Championship against Cody. Cody wished him good luck. Cody teased going through the heel tunnel to the back, but then he went back through the face tunnel.
Analysis: Nice job by Cody calling himself a good guy and then teasing going through the heel tunnel. Christmas Day is a Saturday, AEW is doing Rampage on Christmas Day, which Tony Khan announced earlier in the week. I don’t know if I’ll review that. Even a freak like me needs a day off once in the year.
The Men of the Year duo of Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky were in some upper deck part of the building. Ethan said that he had to jump through hoops to get his title shot. Ethan said maybe if he was an EVP and kissed Tony Khan’s ass he’d get a title shot too. Ethan said that Dan Lambert got him his title shot while adding Dan is coming back. Scorpio Sky wondered when Sammy was going to face guys in the top five like Sky. Scorpio wanted Sammy to prove he’s a champion. Sammy dared them to come after him.
Analysis: It would be nice if Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky were used better. One of them could face Sammy any time and have a good match. I looked up Sky’s stats this year. AEW has him ranked in the top five even though Sky hasn’t even won a singles match on Dynamite this year. That’s strange considering how talented Sky is. It’s just an example of how big the AEW roster is and a lot of people barely get used.
A video aired about undefeated Jade Cargill facing Thunder Rosa in the semifinals of the TBS Title Tournament.
Jamie Hayter entered with AEW Women’s Champion Dr. Britt Baker and Rebel. Hayter has a record of 4-3 since she loses matches to people that Baker defends the title against. That is why Hayter is against Riho, who gets a title shot against Baker soon because Riho beat Baker in a non-title match. Riho is 21-5 in her AEW career.
Riho vs. Jamie Hayter (w/Dr. Britt Baker and Rebel)
Riho delivered forearms, then a running shoulder tackle that had no effect, so Hayter hit a body slam for two. Hayter with a backbreaker. Baker got in some cheap shots on Riho while Hayter distracted the referee, but then Riho came back as if it was nothing. Riho hit a 619 kick against the ropes followed by a cross body block off the top rope for two. Riho jumped off the top, Hayter was supposed to catch her, didn’t do it, then picked up Riho and drove Riho into the ring post. Back in the ring, Hayter sent Riho into the turnbuckle. Hayter with a suplex leading to a picture in picture break.
Hayter was still in control as she kept Riho down with a suplex. Riho with forearms to the chest, then two boots to the chest and Hayter hit a spinning backbreaker. Riho countered a Hayter move into a rollup followed by Riho doing a double foot stomp on the ribs. Riho countered a move into a rollup for two. Hayter with a back elbow, then a splash attempt, but Riho moved and hit a Dragon Suplex for a two count. Hayter hit a big move with a brainbuster for two. Hayter hit a backbreaker for two. Riho countered a single leg crab submission into a two count. Hayter with a boot to the face, Riho with a knee and Riho hit the Code Red sunset flip Powerbomb for a two count. Riho went up top and hit a double foot stomp for a two count. Riho went up top, Hayter met her there, Riho knocked Hayter down and Hayter hit Riho after a Rebel distraction. Riho hit a Crucifix Bomb off the ropes although it didn’t look smooth. Riho hit a running knee attack for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Riho
Analysis: ***1/4 A good back and forth match with Riho picking up the win to continue her positive momentum leading to a title shot. I liked how Riho got multiple nearfalls before she figured out how to put Hayter away. It made Hayter look stronger to have a few big kickouts in the match. I would have liked to see Britt Baker try to help Hayter win more often, but they didn’t really cheat that much.
Post match, Baker attacked Riho from behind. Baker had the glove on her hand and applied the Lockjaw submission to Riho. The fans booed.
Analysis: I don’t see Riho beating Baker, but it should be a good title match.
This Friday on Rampage (taped after Dynamite):
* Lucha Brothers defend the AEW Tag Team Titles vs. FTR
* Ruby Soho, Tay Conti & Anna Jay vs. Nyla Rose, The Bunny & Penelope Ford
* Adam Cole vs. Wheeler Yuta. I guess Cole needs a win.
* Taz announced that his son Hook will be making his in-ring debut. Hook will face Fuego Del Sol.
It was announced that AEW Revolution PPV will be in Orlando, Florida at the Addition Arena on Sunday, March 6.
Next week on AEW Dynamite “Winter is Coming” in Dallas:
* Dynamite Diamond Final: MJF vs. Dante Martin
* Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida
* “Hangman” Adam Page defends the AEW Championship against Bryan Danielson
The Varsity Blonds and Julia Hart were about to be interviewed on the stage, but then the lights went to black. Malaki Black appeared in front of them. Black took off his headgear and then sprayed the DREADED BLACK MIST~! into Julia Hart, who was screaming a lot to sell it.
Analysis: It was the third interview within an hour where somebody was interrupted before they could say much. It gets repetitive when you do it too much. Anyway, poor cheerleader girl. Black needs a win, so he can beat one of the Varsity Blonds soon.
Bryan Danielson made his entrance with a record of 12-0-1. There were “yes” chants with a mix of booing and some cheers too. John Silver made his entrance with a record of 24-6 in singles matches in AEW. Silver is from the Long Island area.
Bryan Danielson vs. John Silver
It’s rare for Bryan to be taller than an opponent, but it looks like he’s got an inch or two here. Bryan ran the ropes leading to a shoulder tackle leading to some celebrating. Silver with a shoulder tackle of his own followed by a spinning slam. Silver worked over Bryan with a kick to the ribs that rocked Bryan a bit followed by two kicks to the head. Bryan wrenched the knee against the ring apron followed by four uppercuts on the apron. Bryan hit a running knee to the head while on the apron. That led to a picture in picture break.
There were about seven minutes left with Bryan still in control by connecting with some hard chops to the chest. Bryan with a boot to the face followed a by shotgun missile dropkick, but Silver caught him and hit a Powerbomb. Cool spot. They exchanged kicks to the body, Silver tripped up Bryan and went for a kneebar submission, but Bryan was able to get to the ropes. Silver with a cannonball senton off the apron onto Bryan on the floor. Silver lit up Bryan with kicks to the body, but then Bryan countered a suplex by landing on his feet and then Bryan hit a roundhouse kick on Silver. Bryan went for the running knee, Silver countered into the rollup for two. Silver with a knee to the back followed by a bridging German Suplex for the pin for two. Silver went for a spin on the shoulders, but Bryan gouged the eyes and hit him with a forearm. Bryan with repeated forearms and elbows to the head. Bryan hit Gotch-style cradle piledriver. Bryan applied a head/neck submission and Silver was out to give Danielson the win. It went about ten minutes.
Winner by submission: Bryan Danielson
Analysis: ***1/4 The usual Danielson match working over the body, going for submissions and finding a way to finish the guy off. I liked Silver’s flurry off offense although obviously we knew Bryan was going to win here. Silver didn’t put up that much of a test even though the announcers try to put him over like all of the Dark Order guys against Bryan. I like how Bryan has been winning these matches in a dominant manner by the time they are done.
Bryan Danielson did a promo running down his wins over Evil Uno, Colt Cabana, Alan Angels and Bryan noted he was a man of his word. Bryan said he promised to kick his head in, just like he’ll do to Hangman Page next week. Bryan went over to Silver for some head stomping. Adan Page ran out to save Silver and he was punching Bryan, who retreated. Page told Bryan that next week he’ll “stomp the cowboy shit out of you.” Well played. Page and Bryan stared at eachother from a distance. That was the end of the show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Bryan Danielson
- CM Punk
- The Young Bucks
This Week: 7 out of 10
Last Week: 7.25
2021 Average: 7.39
A good show as usual for Dynamite. A bunch of matches around the three-star level, but nothing that really stood out to me as the best match. I think some of the interview segments were repetitive with people interrupting before the interviews can go anywhere. They also love heel attacks after the win.
I enjoyed the CM Punk promo as much as anything on the show, so it was a great job by him as always.
I will probably pick Hangman Page over Bryan Danielson next week, but if it happens the other way around then that’s fine too. It should be an awesome match.
Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.