Episode 113 of All Elite Wrestling’s Dynamite emanated from Chicago’s Wintrust Arena. This is the third Thanksgiving Edition of the program, and it’s amazing to look at how far the promotion has come from a roster and show-quality standpoint since November of 2019.
You could call me a prisoner of the moment, and maybe CM Punk being my favorite wrestler of all-time for over a decade makes me biased, but this opening segment was easily the best non-match segment in AEW history, and one of the best in wrestling history. As CM Punk made his entrance, preparing to wrestle Q.T. Marshall, MJF interrupted and we got a long promo duel between him and Punk. Some highlights were Punk calling MJF a less famous Miz, and MJF saying he’ll finish Punk quicker than his UFC career. Just watch the whole thing. This was lights out.
Punk then wrestled Marshall, which was a good match. It was just a tad too competitive for my liking, given where each guy stands, but that’s not uncommon for this promotion. We already 1/4th into the show and we had just one promo segment and one match. This is an incredibly refreshing change of pace compared to having five or six different things in a half-hour.
Following the greatness of the Chicago-made Punk, Tony Schiavone interviewed Christian Cage and the Jurassic Express. Jungle Boy has improved much from running and hiding from doing promos, showing much more charisma in these segments, and Luchasaurus is Luchasaurus. We found out that the Express are the number one contenders for the tag titles.
Eddie Kingston was in catering with cake and coffee before once again being interrupted by 2.0 and Daniel Garcia. Chase Parker told Eddie they’re here to help because he couldn’t help Jon Moxley, and as Eddie pulled Chase Parker up on what he said, Garcia flung hot coffee in Eddie’s face and it turned into a pull-apart. Eddie makes these segments super believable and Garcia was great here too. Though, I’m still not sure about his fit with 2.0.
#2point0 & Daniel Garcia fire the first shots on Eddie Kingston before @MadKing1981 faces @GarciaWrestling this Friday on #AEWRampage – Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE everywhere on @tntdrama NOW! pic.twitter.com/5RM2BLUo7m
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 25, 2021
Adam Cole and Bobby Fish’s backstage promo was interrupted by the Best Friends. Chuck Taylor made fun of the Undisputed Era gang sign before a match between the UE alumni and Orange Cassidy and Wheeler Yuta was set up. This was executed well enough but it’s not exactly a destination match.
Schiavone mediated a contract signing between Team Taz and Dante Martin, who had Lio Rush with him. The crowd popped big as Martin grabbed the pen, with Rush in disbelief. Dante signed on the dotted line and left with Taz’s crew. I loved this. I don’t think anyone expected him to sign and I’m way more intrigued in this storyline now.
Thunder Rosa gave Jamie Hayter her best match in All Elite to date. These two worked hard and the crowd was super hot for this. Rosa was massively over. There was interference from Britt Baker and Rebel but it was the good kind. It backfired on Jamie Hayter who took the loss as a result. Unless I’m missing something this is one of the first seeds planted for Hayter’s inevitable babyface turn. This also set up the big Rosa-Baker money match for the title further down the line.
Chris Jericho was interviewed by Alex Marvez, but interrupted by 2.0 and Garcia. When Jericho was serious it was good, but calling Matt Lee an ugly Spongebob Squarepants due to his square-like head was a bit lame. Jericho showed signs of his 2017 self here which was a bright spot.
The Friendsgiving with Baker, Rebel, and Schiavone was a cute segment. Britt was being Britt, a total b-word to everyone around her. They showed on a screen that only now, months later, they’ve discovered that Riho was never eliminated from the Battle Royal at All Out. This set up Riho vs Baker with a title shot on the line.
Bryan Danielson, who is batting 1.000 in AEW had a very good, quick match submitting Colt Cabana. Cabana had gimmick teeth that he spat out afterward and Danielson was holding them up to the camera. Schiavone interviewed Danielson after the match and he called the fans fickle. Adam Page came to the ring and challenge him to a match, but when that was rejected, they had a quick fight before Danielson quickly escaped a buckshot lariat. This was a great segment. I don’t know how you drag this out until Revolution but it really is a PPV-worthy main event.
After a great VTR for the Ruby Soho vs Kris Statlander in the TBS title tournament, we had the big “party” eight-man tag main event. While there was a lot of great stuff here, it was better when I imagined it was a tornado tag. The heel team of FTR, Malakai Black, and Andrade El Idolo beat the babyface team of Death Triangle and Cody Rhodes (the biggest heel in the match) when Andrade pinned PAC. You name it, they did it. Not the least of which was Cody throwing his weight belt into the crowd only to be thrown back, Andrade wearing the smallest trunks on the planet, and Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard facing off in the ring. It was a match with eight fantastic pro-wrestlers, consisting of multiple styles, and everyone looked great.
The Gunn Club comprised of Billy and Colten, seconded by Austin, got a quick win over Bear Country. These Gunn guys just don’t do it for me. I don’t know anyone itching for more of Gunn & Sons. There are plenty of men and women in that locker room who have a lot more to offer. The only thing I liked here was Darby Allin being the smallest outside linebacker on Earth, absolutely piecing Austin Gunn on the ramp before he and Sting cleared all firearms from the ring.
— NOT ass boy (@theaustingunn) November 25, 2021
Dynamite continues to be, for the most part, an incredibly enjoyable wrestling show. Nothing reached the heights of the Punk-MJF segment, but I can’t recall anything as good as that since Punk’s original pipebomb in 2011. It had to go on first to take as much time as it needed, but it was truly the main event of the show.