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AEW Dynamite #111 recap: Bryan Danielson vs. Rocky Romero

The 111th episode of AEW Dynamite aired from Indianapolis with a stacked slate of bouts on paper. The Farmer’s Coliseum was very lively for All Elite action and this show absolutely delivered.


HITS

  • This company sure can open a show. The crowd was as hot for the opening pyro as they were when All Elite’s biggest stars’ music hit, whether it was CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, or Kenny Omega. 
  • This episode’s opener saw Danielson submit Rocky Romero with a Tequila Sunrise in what was a very, very good match. While I like the Best Friends unit being invited to join NJPW’s CHAOS in an effort to really build the everything-but-WWE universe, Orange Cassidy didn’t need to be at ringside for this match. 
  • American Top Team crashed Inner Circle’s interview with Tony Schiavone before they even got into the ring. The six heels attacked the five Circle members, the key spot being Dan Lambert putting Chris Jericho through a table assisted by Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. After Page promised that Lambert would pin Jericho at Full Gear, Lambert then put him in the Walls and cut a promo referencing Championship Wrestling and more. It was a nice piece of business.
  • We had a six-woman tag where Tay Conti, Anna Jay, and Thunder Rosa beat Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter, and Rebel with Conti pinning Rebel. This served its purpose perfectly to build Conti as the challenger for Baker’s title. It got fun as it broke down into a six-way and probably could’ve used more time. This was followed by a nice VTR for Kris Statlander vs Ruby Soho’s upcoming bout in the TBS title tournament. 
  • Jungle Boy coming to the ring without the Dinosaur or Marko Stunt for his match against Anthony Bowens is a hit in itself, and that’s without mentioning Max Caster’s rap. I’ve got the sense of humor of a 12-year-old so it got a few laughs out of me. 

  • Jungle Boy has improved with his promos and the beard suits him. Bowens is a solid worker and was coming off looking great against Bryan Danielson on Rampage. Bowens got into it with a fan in the front row which was great, it even drew the security guard and referee, Aubrey Edwards. The trusty Snare Trap got the job done for Jungle Boy.
  • The post-match saw Bobby Fish run down to the ring to beat Jungle Boy up before Christian Cage and Luchasaurus made the save, and afterward, we learned that its indisputable that Fish is in cahoots with the Elite. 
  • We also had great VTRs for the Hangman Page vs. Kenny Omega and Eddie Kingston vs. CM Punk matches coming up this weekend. 
  • Wardlow squashed Wheeler Yuta in just a couple of minutes. Wardlow’s name was on the infamous notepad to face CM Punk at Full Gear, and those plans have obviously changed but I think it’s safe to assume we still might see that match in the near future. 
  • We got more simplicity executed perfectly in the build of the Punk and Eddie Kingston feud. The two were being held apart by fellow wrestlers and All Elite personnel in the parking lot. This is a super hot feud and the fans can’t wait to see these two fight. They popped huge when Eddie broke away but they never even touched each other. This was perfect. 
  • Lio Rush made his Dynamite debut teaming with Dante Martin against Lee Moriarty and Matt Sydal. Rick Knox officiated so it was basically a tornado, but there was some great action here. For reasons beyond my understanding, Lio Rush wore a full bodysuit. Martin pinned Moriarty after the double-jump moonsault. All guys looked great here. Following this was an incredible promo video with Miro ahead of his match against Danielson this weekend.
  • In the people’s main event, Dax Harwood submitted to PAC via Brutalizer. These are two very professional wrestlers and they went out there and had the match of the night. Being in a group or tag team can sometimes hide the fact that one of its members is one of the best workers in the business, this match was a reminder that Dax Harwood is truly an elite wrestler. 
  • The post-match angle was good, but I felt JR’s “what the hell” when the lights went out for Andrade El Idolo and Malakai Black, we didn’t need that. It ended up with FTR, Andrade, and Black brawling with Cody Rhodes, the Lucha Brothers, and PAC. It was a standard Cody Rhodes angle with a lot going on but there was quality talent involved. It was well-done. 
  • After a fantastic VTR for MJF vs. Darby Allin, we had the contract signing for Kenny Omega vs Hangman Page. There were about six or seven minutes left by the time everyone was in the ring and I got the feeling that this show was running late, but they got everything in and this was great. Page brought up Kenny Omega’s other ex-tag partner which got a reaction from those who know. Omega was really good and not at all goofy. Omega offered to shake hands with Page, but when you saw the second cameraman cross the one standing in the ring you knew it was Don Callis, and he immediately attacked Page. The shot with the camera cut Page open and Omega signed the contract in Page’s blood. This was great. Page is totally winning the world title this weekend.

MISSES

  • The Hardy Family Office hit the ring after Wheeler Yuta got murked and this group is just like Colin the energy vampire in What We Do In The Shadows. Colin’s Wikipedia entry says “he drains people of their energy by being very boring or frustrating.” This is just a team that needs to be blown up and everyone needs to go their separate ways and start over.

This was a really good episode. Full Gear was built very nicely, and there was only one thing I really didn’t like about it. 

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