Reviews

The John Report: AEW Dynamite (New Year’s Smash) 12/29/21 Review

aew dynamite dec 29

It’s the last AEW Dynamite episode of the year featuring three multi-man tag team matches from the company that really likes tag team matches.

This week’s episode is also the last Dynamite on TNT in the United States. They are moving to TBS next Wednesday for Dynamite. It won’t affect me in Canada, but if you’re in the US, make sure you know about the change.

This is AEW Dynamite episode #117 at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. It’s good to have Jim Ross back on commentary after beating cancer. He was off for about a month. JR was joined on commentary by Excalibur and Tony Schiavone as usual.

The 10-man tag team match was up first with the babyface team of Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Christian Cage and Lucha Brothers up first. The heel side of FTR, Matt Hardy and Private Party were next as the opponents.

Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Christian Cage, Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix vs. Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, Matt Hardy, Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen

Christian started with Wheeler with some moves and counters from each guy until Christian took control with a flapjack into the mat. Boy tagged in with a double armdrag on Wheeler, who tagged in Harwood. Boy with chops, Harwood with forearms, a shoulder tackle and Boy hit an impressive dropkick. Harwood got punches by the four faces on the apron, then Christian back in with Harwood hitting an uppercut. Christian with an uppercut along with a necksnap across the ropes and Boy tagged in, but Wheeler saved his partner. Kassidy tagged in, both Lucha Bros tagged in and Penta slammed Fenix on Kassidy while Boy hit a dropkick on Quen. Kassidy did a hair pull takedown on Boy. Quen tagged in, Matt tagged in and Quen did a headscissors into a Side Effect by Matt for a two count. JR thought that the Side Effect normally ends a match even though it actually never does. The heels got in some cheap shots on Jungle Boy leading to Matt slowing things down with a chinlock. Boy bounced off the ropes with clotheslines. Penta jumped off the top with a cross body block, then Slingblades twice and Lucha Bros hit double superkicks to Harwood and kicks to Wheeler followed by Penta hitting a double DDT on both FTR guys. Fenix up top with a Senton Bomb on Quen for two. Kassidy illegally went into the ring to help Quen hit a DDT on Fenix. Bad refereeing as usual in AEW. Fenix became the face in peril with Harwood hitting a suplex. Fenix was set up on the top turnbuckle, he chopped Harwood down and hit a moonsault onto both FTR guys since Wheeler was in there illegally. Luchasaurus got the tag leading to a toss on Kassidy, he whipped FTR against the turnbuckle and Luchasaurus hit running back elbows and kicks for the opponents. Luchasaurus with clotheslines on both Private Party guys to knock them out of the ring. Luchasaurus with clotheslines, then a spin kick on Wheeler and Luchasaurus with a Chokeslam on Harwood. Penta tagged in with a backstabber on Harwood for two. That led to chaos with everybody brawling around the ring. Fenix hit some dive onto some guys on the floor (the director missed it) and Boy hit a dive on the floor. Penta wanted a move on Harwood, then Christian tagged in, Penta didn’t like that, FTR shoved Christian into Penta and then FTR hit the Big Rig double team move on Christian and Harwood covered for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, Matt Hardy, Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a tag team match full of action with a clever win to put over the heels. The story was that Christian didn’t like when Penta tagged in while Luchasaurus was in the ring, so then Christian tagged in while Penta was in the ring and that led to the argument, which caused FTR to take advantage with the Big Rig for the win. It makes sense to cause some tension between the Tag Team Champions FTR and Christian/Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus, so it’s something they can build off in the future.

(Commercial)

They are following up a tag team match with another tag team match. The guys were already in the ring.

Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia, Jeff Parker & Matt Lee

The match started with Kingston going after Garcia repeatedly, so Lee got in some punches on Kingston. Parker tagged in with punches and Kingston slammed him easily. Ortiz tagged in with an arm drag, Parker with a kick to the ribs and Ortiz with a trip followed by a dropkick. Santana tagged in with a kick along with a spinning clothesline. Santana with kicks on Parker followed by three suplexes in tribute to Eddie Guerrero. Ortiz tagged in leading to sitout double team slam into the mat for two. Lee tagged in, he tripped Ortiz and Garcia hit a running knee. Lee with a hard whip on Ortiz into the turnbuckle. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Ortiz hit a dropkick on Garcia leading tags out. Kingston tagged in with splashes on the opponents, then chops to Garcia and an overhead suplex on Parker. Santana with a running kick on Lee. Ortiz hit a DDT and Santana hit a standing moonsault on Lee. That led to Lee getting a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with a handful of trunks for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Daniel Garcia, Jeff Parker & Matt Lee

Analysis: **1/4 A cheap win for the heels. The crowd was into Kingston when he was in there, but Garcia did a nice job of avoiding him throughout the match. I was a bit surprised that the heels won here. Santana and Ortiz are among the most poorly booked wrestlers in AEW since they are rarely featured in two on two tag matches. I’d love to see Santana/Ortiz get a push at some point in 2022.

After the match, the 2.0 guys held Santana while Garcia had the ring bell in the ring. Kingston was taken out by somebody that clipped him in the back of the knee. Garcia hit Santana with the ring bell or at least that was the idea. Chris Jericho made his return with the baseball bat, he hit one of the 2.0 guys and the heels retreated after that. The fans popped for Jericho, who was there to save his Inner Circle buddies Santana and Ortiz while also getting revenge against 2.0 and Garcia. After Jericho’s music stopped playing, Kingston got in Jericho’s face saying he didn’t need Jericho’s help. Jericho didn’t like that disrespect, so he wanted to fight and Ortiz separated his two friends.

Analysis: It was a good way to bring Jericho back after he was in England for most of December for Fozzy music commitments. The storyline was that Garcia & 2.0 took Jericho out, so Jericho getting revenge made sense. Kingston is like a lone wolf character that doesn’t want help.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman was backstage for a promo with Shawn Spears and Wardlow. MJF called himself a ratings draw. MJF talked about the bidding war of 2024, which is his contract. MJF said that Punk stayed away from him in the tag team match. MJF told Wardlow if he’s in the Ladder Match for the TNT Title, he has to relinquish it to MJF. The lawyer Mark Sterling read some contract about it. Wardlow didn’t seem thrilled. MJF said he’s going after the TNT Title and the AEW World Title.

The announcers plugged that CM Punk would be there and the six-man tag main event still to come.

(Commercial)

Lucha Brothers were about to be interviewed by Tony Schiavone when Christian Cage, Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy showed up. Christian called them dipshits. Christian wanted Lucha Brothers to defend the Tag Team Titles against Jurassic Express. Lucha Brothers with Alex Abrahantes ripped on Christian being a bad partner and Fenix said they accepted the challenge.

Analysis: That means we are getting Lucha Bros defending the AEW Tag Team Titles against Jurassic Express on the same night as Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson for the AEW World Title. That’s great.

Wardlow vs. Colin Delaney

Wardlow with a huge clothesline. Wardlow with a Powerbomb with the fans wanting to see more, so Wardlow it a second Powerbomb, then a third Powerbomb and a roll through for a fourth Powerbomb. Wardlow won the match in just over one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Wardlow

Analysis: 1/4* Easy win for Wardlow like we have seen for several weeks now.

After the match, Delaney was being helped to the back, so Shawn Spears hit Delaney in the back with a steel chair.

They showed Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish and Young Bucks in the backstage area. Cole thinks that they will be the greatest group in AEW history. Young Bucks said that Kyle has barely talked to them. Kyle said he needed to talk to Adam, then the Bucks left and Fish left. Kyle said he knows they have heat, but the key to thriving/surviving is factions. Kyle said he knows Bobby Fish has his back and I guess he’ll find out if Cole has his back too.

Let’s Hear from Dan Lambert and Friends

Dan Lambert was in the ring with Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. The fans booed as Lambert ripped on Cody Rhodes and his entourage. Lambert said that Arn Anderson was one of his favorites, but now he’s making a few dollars sucking up to a guy that sucks up to the other guy and now he’s just a whore. Lambert said that if Brandi is her real name then she’s the first Brandi that he’s known that isn’t a stripper. Page said that she’s not a stripper now. Lambert made more insults. Lambert ripped on Cody crashing through tables of fire while Cody tattooed a Transformers logo to his neck that Mike Tyson thinks is stupid. Lambert said that Cody has cut the line over deserving talent while saying he was serving a shit sandwich.

Brandi Rhodes walked out there saying it’s not open microphone night and Brandi called him a less talented version of Paul Heyman. Lambert said he prefers Jim Cornette. Lambert ripped her voice. Brandi asked when was the last time Dan got beaten up by a woman and didn’t have to pay for it. Brandi said she’ll whoop that ass for free. Lambert called her “Bambi” while saying he gets stripper names confused. Lambert said he’s black belt in jiu-jitsu, and there’s not a single soul that is watching that doesn’t want to hit her. Brandi: “Oh so you’re a black belt? Well, I’m a black bitch!” Great line that drew cheers. Dustin Rhodes went out there to check on his sister-in-law and then Page hit Dustin in the back with the forearm. The heels left while Brandi checked on Dustin.

Analysis: I enjoyed the Lambert promo while Brandi had some awesome lines in response to him. It should lead to a match between Ethan Page and Dustin Rhodes. Maybe they get Cody to team with Dustin against Ethan/Sky as a possible match as well. Where was Cody to defend his wife? It was strange to not see him there.

They keep hyping up CM Punk for the first time ever in Daily’s Place as if this building is MSG or something. Relax, guys. It’s not that big of a deal.

(Commercial)

A video package aired about the “Hangman” Adam Page/Bryan Danielson first match that went 60 minutes. The video featured AEW talking heads speaking about their next AEW World Title match on Dynamite next week. They spoke about how there were three judges this time and that this match could go 60 minutes again.

It’s time for the TBS Championship Tournament semifinals with Jade Cargill entering with a 21-0 record. How many matches do you have to win in a row before you get an AEW Women’s Title shot? Apparently, 21 isn’t enough. Thunder Rosa entered with a 39-4 record in 2021. Good pop for Thunder as the face in the match.

TBS Championship Tournament Semifinals: Jade Cargill (w/Smart Mark Sterling) vs. Thunder Rosa

Rosa with a running dropkick to the knees leading to Cargill going to the floor. Rosa jumped off the apron onto Sterling on the floor. Cargill sent Rosa into the barricade. Rosa broke the referee’s slow count, then Cargill caught Rosa and hit a backbreaker on the floor. Rosa with a kick to the knee and Rosa broke the count again. Rosa with kicks to the left leg, but Cargill came back with a whip into the barricade. Cargill sent Rosa into the ring post. Cargill sent Rosa in the ring, Rosa got a hold of Cargill’s knee and wrenched the left knee against the ropes. Rosa with a back elbow off the ropes, but then Cargill hit a pump kick. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Rosa countered a Cargill suplex with Rosa landing on top. Rosa worked over Cargill’s left leg with punches and kicks. Rosa with repeated corner clotheslines. Rosa with a running dropkick to the left leg two times. Rosa ran the ropes very slowly so that Cargill could recover with a Samoan Drop and then Cargill was selling the left knee injury. Cargill with a backbreaker across the shoulder. Rosa with a kneebreaker on the left knee and Rosa applied the Figure Four Leglock submission on the left knee, but Cargill got her hand on the bottom rope. Mark Sterling gave Cargill some bottled water, the referee argued with him and Cargill kicked Rosa into the turnbuckle. Somebody with a hood/mask on hit Rosa with an object. Cargill hit the Jaded slam on Rosa for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jade Cargill

Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match. The match structure was a bit weird with all the time they spent on the floor early, then Rosa working on the knee for several minutes and only doing one submission. Cargill won in a cheap manner, so that’s fitting for a heel.

The win by Cargill means she will face Ruby Soho next week on Dynamite in the finals of the AEW TBS Title tournament.

Post match, Rosa attacked Cargill with punches. The woman in the hood saved Cargill and joined in attacking Rosa. The woman in a hood and mask revealed herself to be Mercedes Martinez. There was no reaction from the crowd. As Cargill and Martinez continued to attack, Ruby Soho ran out to make the save, so the heels retreated.

Analysis: Mercedes Martinez is another former WWE superstar (also from the indies for many years before that) in AEW land now. Good for her getting a new TV job. She’s talented and has 20 years of experience as a wrestler. AEW has a lot of women wrestlers, yet they only put one women’s match on TV every week.

A video aired about Kris Statlander and Leyla Hirsch having problems. That was random to show.

CM Punk is up next.

(Commercial)

A clip was shown of Riho beating AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker a few weeks ago. The AEW talking heads spoke about the upcoming title match on Saturday, January 8th at the Battle of the Belts special.

Let’s Hear from CM Punk

CM Punk made his entrance to a big pop from the crowd and he was greeted with “CM Punk” chants before he could say a word. Punk said he’s never been to Daily’s Place and he didn’t even know what the setup was like. Punk spoke to Jim Ross on commentary telling him he’s the best to ever do it, glad he’s back to work and it’s awesome to see him. Punk thanked JR and JR thanked him back. Well done.

Punk said he’s never been to Daily’s Place, but this has been a home for AEW and it gets him thinking about Brodie Lee. That led to “Brodie” chants. Punk said that if anybody tries to minimize the impact that he made means that they never met that man. Punk talked about watching the tribute show to his friend from this place and it made him want to come here. Punk said then he thought about somebody that doesn’t want to be here – MJF. Punk said that MJF talks a big game, but when it comes down to it, he hides behind a keyboard or Dax and Cash. Punk spoke about how MJF claims that MJF is done with Punk. Punk said he’s fine with that because he teamed with Sting and Darby Allin and they beat FTR and MJF. Punk said he understands that MJF is afraid and scared while Punk is looking towards bigger and better things.

Punk spoke about how MJF was talking about becoming the AEW Champion. Punk said that he wants to be champion too. Punk said that being in a place that has been so good to AEW, there’s bigger and brighter things on the horizon for CM Punk. MJF is a waste of Punk’s time and a bigger waste of Khan money than Tim Tebow…ouch. Good line. Punk laughed about that. The fans liked that too. Punk said he never wanted to mess with MJF, but he found out the hard way that on this mic, in this ring, even on commentary – nobody can touch Punk. Punk said that if MJF wants to climb that ladder to get some gold then sooner or later he’ll see MJF in this ring again, but it would be a real shame if somebody interfered with his quest for gold.

Analysis: A solid promo from Punk. Nice job shouting out JR as well as mentioning Brodie Lee. He talked about MJF a lot even though MJF said that the feud is over and obviously it’s not since Punk kept going on about him. The Tebow line was funny because the Khan family owns the awful NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars, they tried Tebow out before the season, he didn’t make the team and was cut. It made the fans in Jacksonville react, so it was made me laugh too. Anyway, I was kind of expecting an interruption here, but that didn’t happen.

There was a pre-tape promo from Ricky Starks, the FTW Champion, and Powerhouse Hobbs. Starks said Dante Martin screwed over Team Taz and he screwed up his chances of having a successful career in AEW. Starks said that the last time Hobbs faced Martin, it was a win for Hobbs, so Hobbs wondered if Dante wanted to go round two with him.

A clip was shown from AEW Rampage with Cody Rhodes beating Sammy Guevara for the TNT Title.

Sammy Guevara entered with cue cards that he used to show the camera during a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

A video package aired about the rivalry between Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb. Shida said she would be fine with beating down Serena again.

Brian Pillman Jr. was interviewed in the ring by Tony Schiavone. Pillman said that his brother (Griff Garrison) walked into the House of Black and Malakai Black tried to end Griff’s career. Pillman said as he got up, his memory goes completely black. Pillman said the next thing he knows, he was laying on the ground beside the person he was trying to protect. Pillman said he’s been busting his ass day in, day out and it started right there in Jacksonville. Pillman said it’s his turn to visit the House of Black, but he won’t kick down his door. Pillman said that next week, you’re going to see a brand new Brian Pillman Jr. and then the lights went out.

Malakai Black appeared on the stage with a spotlight on him. Black pointed at something, then the lights went out and then the lights came on with Black going to the back.

Analysis: It was a fine promo from Pillman seeking revenge on Malakai Black while setting up a match for next week. Black barely did anything. Tough day at the office.

This Friday on AEW Rampage on Friday (New Year’s Eve) it’s taped after Dynamite. The matches are:

* TNT Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Ethan Page

* Darby Allin (with Sting) vs. Anthony Bowens (with Max Caster). They showed promos from both guys (with their allies) about the match. Allin barely knew what to say and just said he is ready.

* Street Fight: Penelope Ford & The Bunny vs. Tay Conti & Anna Jay. They did promos about the match.

Next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite on TBS for those of you in the US:

* AEW World Championship: “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson

* TBS Title Tournament Finals: Jade Cargill vs. Ruby Soho

* Malakai Black vs. Brian Pillman Jr.

* AEW Tag Team Championships: Lucha Brothers (Fenix & Penta) vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus)

Analysis: Great lineup next week.

The main event is next.

(Commercial)

The heel team of Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish made their undisputed entrance. This is Kyle’s first AEW match. The babyface trio of Orange Cassidy, Trent and Chuck Taylor made their entrance.

Best Friends – Orange Cassidy, Trent & Chuck Taylor vs. Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish

Kyle started with Taylor with Kyle hitting a knee to the ribs while the fans chanted “Undisputed” a bit. Trent and Kyle exchanged strikes, Trent avoided a kick and they each hit kicks to the head two times in a row. Fish faced off with Cassidy, who did the comedy kicks and got a rollup. Fish went for a senton attack, Cassidy to the floor and back in the ring with Cole hitting Cassidy while the referee wasn’t looking. Cole tagged in, the faces made some quick tags leading to all three guys getting in shots including a double shoulder tackle and double elbow drop. There was a hug attempt teased by Best Friends, but that was broken up. Kyle wrenched the left leg of Taylor against the ropes, then Fish kicked Taylor off the apron and Cole celebrated in the ring. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Taylor isolated from his team as Cole hit a slam off the shoulders into the knee. Cole superkicked Cassidy off the apron to the floor. Taylor broke free to tag in Trent, who was on fire with a half n half suplex on Fish and Trent with an overhead suplex on Kyle. Trent with a Tornado DDT out of the corner for two. Fish got in a cheap kick, then tagged in and Kyle hit a knee drop into a backbreaker for Fish for a two count. The fans were chanting “this is awesome” for them. Trent with a double foot stomp to stop a charging Fish. Cassidy tagged in with a cross body block off the top, then a suicide dive and a Stundog Millionaire. Kyle/Fish hit a double DDT on Orange followed by a double suplex for a two count. Quick tags by the heels with Cole hitting a superkick, then a sweep/high kick by Kyle/Fish as well. The referee lost control as everybody got involved and Fish knocked Trent down on the ramp. Taylor kicked Fish down and Cole with a superkick on Taylor. JR said the referee was “very lenient” which is his way of saying there’s no count in AEW. Taylor blocked a move from Cole and then hit a somersault dive onto Fish/Kyle on the floor. Trent with a Spear on Cole on the ramp. Back in the ring, Cassidy jumped off the top with a diving DDT on Cole. Taylor in illegally with a piledriver, then Trent with a piledriver and Cassidy hit the Beach Break for two because Kyle/Fish made the save. Kyle faced off against Cassidy, Kyle went for a running kick, Orange moved and Kyle kicked Cole off the apron. It was an accidental kick. Cassidy rolled up Kyle for two. Taylor tagged in, Trent in illegally with a clothesline and Trent/Taylor hit a combo kick into a suplex leading to a hug. The stooge Brandon Cutler ran around with his spray, he got attacked, the Young Bucks showed up and hit a double superkick on Trent/Taylor at the same time while the referee was dealing with Cutler. Kyle and Fish hit the Chasing the Dragon (suplex with a roundhouse kick) double team move and Kyle pinned Taylor after 15 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish

Analysis: ***1/2 It’s a typical AEW tag team match where there’s a lot of drama towards the end of the match, but it was mainly because guys are randomly allowed to go into the ring even though it should be illegal. It’s about spots in AEW instead of trying to follow rules. We’re used to it by now. At least JR calls out the referee for being bad although he’s never that critical. Good for Kyle getting a win in his first match. No surprise that Taylor took the pin since he is usually the guy that loses for his team while Cassidy is protected.

After the match, the Young Bucks checked on Cole at ringside while the Bucks tried to blame Kyle/Fish for what happened when Kyle kicked Cole by accident. Meanwhile, Kyle/Fish tried to explain that it was an accident and they got the win. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: That means the storyline is that Adam Cole is caught in the middle between the Young Bucks and Fish/O’Reilly, so there’s a long term story they can build there.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Some guys from tag team matches. Pick some.

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 7 out of 10

Last Week: 8

2021 Average: 7.44

 

Final Thoughts

A solid night of wrestling where they probably overdid it with the multi-man matches. Two six-man tags and a ten-man tag on the same show felt like too much. It was a good night for the heels since they won every match.

Next week’s show to start 2022 is a big one. I’m looking forward to that.

Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport