The first Dynamite of the Hangman era aired from Page’s home state of Virginia. This was yet another show that was good at its worst and absolutely brilliant at its best. AEW has mostly maintained their momentum coming off what was possibly their best ever pay-per-view from an in-ring quality standpoint.
The first thing we saw was a backstage pre-tape with Adam Cole, the Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega. Omega is going away for a while, presumably to heal nagging injuries, and he wants the guys to hold down the fort. This led Adam Cole to say “don’t worry, Cleaner. I got this.” I howled with laughter. If you know, you know.
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_gif) November 18, 2021
Immediately after this was Hangman’s world title-win celebration, where he cut an awesome babyface promo before summoning the now-heel Bryan Danielson to the ring. Some barbs were exchanged, Danielson mentioned winning the WWE title at WrestleMania and wrestling the next day which got booed, it was fantastic. It ended with a pull-apart, Page breaking through and getting to Danielson who bailed out of the ring. I loved this. I’m fine with Danielson switching heel, now is the right time to do it. This already feels like a huge match.
After the break, Danielson submitted Evil Uno after just a few minutes of action. Danielson is now a full-tilt heel, and he’s as good at working heel as he is working babyface. Tony Schiavone interviewed him after his win and he challenged Colt Cabana for next week in Chicago. Danielson wants to kick every Dark Order member’s (presumably not including Anna Jay) head in and I’m absolutely here for it.
We had an incredible pre-tape promo for MJF after his win over Darby Allin. He subtly signaled for the World title, so we can expect a Page vs. MJF title match in the coming months. This was followed by Eddie Kingston being interviewed backstage, only to be interrupted by 2.0 and Daniel Garcia. They set up a Kingston vs Garcia match really well, getting in each other’s faces. Eddie Kingston is the best at confrontations specifically.
Tomohiro Ishii teamed with Orange Cassidy—imagine reading this in 2018—and they beat the Butcher and the Blade in a fun match. This crowd loved Ishii and he was great as he always is. I hope Miro is Ishii’s next match in AEW. The Butcher has leaned up and he took a night off of his Every Time I Die tour to wrestle Ishii which is badass.
After a backstage promo from FTR and Andrade El Idolo, and a Tay Conti VTR, we had a great backstage promo from Britt Baker. She put Jamie Hayter over ahead of her match against Thunder Rosa in the TBS title tournament. Baker is always awesome, I could see her screwing Rosa out of the TBS title to set up a world title match between the two.
Nyla Rose beat Hikaru Shida in a solid match in the TBS tournament. The story of it was Shida’s knee that was injured by Serena Deeb. They worked hard, Vickie got tons of heat and the finish was great. Nyla kicked out of a pin attempt a second too late but it wasn’t a disastrous mistake. Nyla Rose needs this momentum after a pretty nothing-happening few months.
After a great Malakai Black VTR, we had the birth of a feud of the year contender. MJF was out with Shawn Spears and Wardlow, making more reference to Adam Page and his world title without saying his name. But with Danielson being the #1 contender, MJF needs to be occupied with someone. Enter CM Punk. Punk walked down, stood there with his arms folded, saying nothing, as the fans chanted “holy shit!” Max went to shake Punk’s hand, who just laughed and walked away. Have I ever mentioned that I love everything Punk does? This is going to be awesome.
The Super-Kliq were back again, cutting a promo on Christian Cage and the Jurassic Express, and this set up Adam Cole and Bobby Fish vs Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus for Rampage. Fish had to be stopped from saying “and that, is Undisputed”, so they’re still milking that joke. The babyfaces later responded with Christian and Jungle Boy (finally) cutting good promos and Luchasaurus growling…
Dante Martin and Lio Rush beat the Acclaimed in a fun tag match. Rush lives up to his namesake as being the fastest guy in the ring. After the win, Team Taz came out to cut promos trying to recruit Martin. I wish Lio could’ve had a rebuttal to Taz and Starks because those guys back and forth would be lights out.
After a great video package for the Jade Cargill vs. Red Velvet tournament match-up, we got a promo from the Lucha Brothers and Alex Abrahantes for the Death Triangle and Cody Rhodes vs. FTR, Malakai Black, and Andrade El Idolo match next week. Alex is awesome in his role and that match should be bonkers.
Sammy Guevara successfully defended his TNT title against newcomer Jay Lethal in the main event. The match was really good, with the story of it being around Sammy’s ribs that were damaged in the Minneapolis Street Fight at Full Gear. Sammy sold, and sold, and sold, but eventually beat Lethal and celebrated with the Inner Circle to close the show.
Darby Allin was being interviewed backstage by Schiavone when the Gunn Club interrupted. This is not how you rehab someone coming off a loss in a phenomenal match. Allin will wrestle Billy Gunn on Rampage and hopefully, that’s the end of it.
This was a very good show that started building to the Battle of the Belts card in January and potentially Revolution a couple of months after that. AEW needs to keep this up and maintain the momentum and audience as the switch to TBS looms.