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AEW Dynamite #101: Moxley vs. Suzuki in main event; Danielson, Cole, Soho make Dynamite debuts

Episode 101 looked strong on paper, but that doesn’t necessarily always translate to strong television, and this was more than a strong show. I’d put this up there with the first episode, the New Year’s Day 2020 episode and the Brodie Lee Celebration episode as far as all-timers. This kind of episode is how you follow up your best pay-per-view in your promotion’s history.


All but one segment on this show was a hit for me. There was nothing out of this world, but it was a consistently great episode segment by segment.

Malakai Black beat Dustin Rhodes in a fine opener. Black didn’t get all of the roundhouse (are we still calling it Black Mass?) but no one really seemed to care. It was no Lars Sullivan-Takeover Chicago II situation.

We had a lot of good pre-tapes on this show. We got one for the Lucha Brothers after winning the tag titles; we got one to keep this Eddie Kingston-Miro feud going; we got one for Ortiz & Santana moving on from FTR which makes sense, I can see them challenging Penta & Fénix at Full Gear; there was a short one for the main event with Jon Moxley quoting Guns ‘N’ Roses; there was a great one that covered a bunch of the Casino Battle Royale entrants and their feelings on failing to win. Reading this back it feels like a lot, but there’s more people on this roster than there was at Thomas Kub’s party in Project X. You want to feature as many as you can without it being overkill and that’s a very delicate balance. 

CM Punk was once again involved in the best part of the show. He was so great putting over Aunt Linda in the front row until Taz interrupted. I usually hate interruptions, but this made sense. It was a natural argument without contrived dialogue that ended with Punk using Taz’s line on him. And we’ve got CM Punk vs. Will Hobbs and/or Ricky Starks coming soon. This was perfect to me. 

Hobbs then beat Dante Martin in a match where the finish seemed premature, but it looked like Hobbs got his bell rung and I hope he’s okay. Martin was a great bouncing ball for Hobbs. 

Ruby Soho beat Jamie Hayter in a match on her way to challenging Britt Baker but it looked like Soho got hurt, hopefully she’s alright. 

FTR & Shawn Spears wrestled Evil Uno & Stu Grayson & John Silver but it was all about Dark Order Civil War. After the Pinnacle got the win there was a brawl between D.O. members that Anna Jay & Tay Conti couldn’t break up. The only way I see this being solved is Bray Wyatt coming in to lead them. 

There were some more great live promos on this show. I’m still getting used to being equally as excited for promos as I am for matches going into television wrestling (I’m 22). Schiavone interviewed Ruby Soho but she was interrupted by Britt Baker, this was good and the dynamic between Britt & Ruby is a good one, two very different personalities. Dan Lambert cut a promo for his Men of the Year Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page but these are getting old and it’s time for these guys to be in there winning matches. MJF got every ounce of his heat back going after the Pillman family in Cincinnati, there were lines used that I don’t want to put in this piece. Brian Jr. was a great babyface here defending his family and I’m glad he’s getting a push.

Tully Blanchard cut a promo to set up Darby Allin vs Shawn Spears for next week and teased some stuff with Sting, this was good but I’m not sure I want to see much of Tully vs. Sting with a combined age of 129.

The Elite promo was good but very close to finding itself in the miss column. The timing overall felt a little off, and when you have Kenny Omega, Adam Cole and the Young Bucks in a group I’m not sure you really need Don Callis, the Good Brothers, Michael Nakazawa and Brandon Cutler. I got from this that it’s looking like Danielson vs Omega for the title at Full Gear with a big Elite vs Danielson, Cage, Kazarian, Jungle Boy match on the way there. 

The main event was great, too, though they were running a little late, but it was a perfect abbreviated greatest hits between Mox and Suzuki. We didn’t get the “Kazi Ni Nare” sing-along but that’s fine. It’s Moxley’s town and “Wild Thing” should therefore take precedence. After his win, Mox celebrated amongst his people. 


This Orange Cassidy-Matt Hardy thing. He’s going to take Orange Cassidy’s hair? It’d take like two months to grow back. I care just as much if not less than Orange does. If this was going to end in someone losing their hair it’d obviously only be a bigger deal for Matt Hardy. The only luchas de apuestas I want to see in AEW is the Young Bucks vs. the Lucha Bros. in a mask vs. hair match, and the result has to be the same as All Out.

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