Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-08-2021)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

We’re back once again… for the fourth time in a week… with more AEW action.  Needless to say that after Dynamite, Dark, and All Out last week that I’m a little burned out on wrestling and had to drag myself to the computer to get this thing done.  Still!  The show must go on, and AEW is not about to slow down when they have this much momentum behind them!  Can they capitalize on the success of All Out with a fantastic episode of Dynamite?  Let’s find out!!

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Dustin Rhodes Vs. Malakai Black

I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t hold this off for one more week to do a face to face interaction prior to the match as I’d love to hear what Dustin has to say about Blacks’ gimmick to his face, but this was still a pretty fun match.  Dustin gets a strong lead early on and lands a GREAT German Suplex in the corner, but eventually the fight goes outside the ring and Dustin is cut off with a Back Suplex through the time keeper’s table.  Black drags Dustin back in the ring and removes the turnbuckle pad before getting the heat for a while and a knee to the guy flips Dustin over for a two count.  At some point (it looks to have been the Back Suplex spot), Dustin’s knee got injured and during the heat segment he falls over from the pain which Black found HIGHLY amusing, but Dustin grits his teeth and gets back up for some back and forth action before Dustin gets his momentum and again and hits some impressive moves.  There was one weird spot during this segment though where Dustin throws Black into the ropes and expects him to bounce off.  He doesn’t though as Black gripped the ropes but Dustin can’t seem to figure that out and straight-up does an invisible Power Slam in front of everyone.  I can’t tell if that’s a botch and that Black was SUPPOSED to take it or if that’s what you should expect to happen if someone unexpectedly cuts on the breaks, but seeing him MIME the move kind of felt like one of those EXPOSING THE BUSINESS moments and it took me out of the match for a moment.  Black tries to follow up this spot with a kick to the head, but Dustin dodges and THEN gets a proper Power Slam for a two count.  Things go back in Black’s favor however when Dustin gets on the middle rope to bash him over the head in the corner only for Black to slip away and land a kick to the back of Dustin’s legs that sends him crashing to the mat.  Instead of finishing Dustin off though, Black goes to the effort of pulling Cody’s boot out from under the ring in an attempt to anger Dustin… and I GUESS he got what he wanted because Dustin is SUPER heated now and starts to kick his butt; even landing a Canadian Destroyer for a two count!  Not sure what the point of that was other than I guess to show us that Black underestimates his opponents, but regardless it’s time for him to finish this match once and for all.  He’s in the corner with the exposed turnbuckle and Dustin goes for a Bulldog but Black fights him off and then trips him into the corner when he tries to come back for him.  Dustin is dazed after taking that direct hit to the turnbuckle and he eats a Spinning Heel Kick as soon as he turns around which gets Black the pin and wins him the match.  There were a few spots in here that felt a LITTLE bit sloppy and didn’t exactly make sense to me, but both of these guys are good workers and provide an interesting contrast to each other.  I’d have liked to see this particular match on a bigger stage with a bigger build, but what we got here was still pretty fun!

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CM Punk comes out for another promo and once again I’m surprised at how endearing he’s been as he once again uses his time to put over the PPV, the wrestlers, the crowd, just about EVERYBODY he can think of!!  As a legend with HIS kind of credibility he’s in a unique position to give the rub to anyone and everyone, and he hasn’t wasted a minute of his time on old grudges which I was worried would be his primary motivation for coming back to the wrestling world!  There is one person who isn’t happy with this however as Taz gets tired of the love fest and interrupts him from the booth.  Punk coming back and the crowd cheering for him is all well and good, but frankly, he’s not interested and Punk better keep his distance from Team Taz if he knows what’s good for him!  Something tells me this is ACTUALLY reverse psychology from the guy as Hook and Hobbs come out to stand next to him and Punk says that he will GLADLY have a match with any of them!  Heck, he’ll face ALL of them which… oh no… Team Taz is about to get more TV time going against the biggest rating draw at the company.  Okay, it’s probably NOT Taz playing a game of 4D chess, but I honestly kind of hope it is as this segment otherwise just comes out of left field.  It’s not bad and I definitely want to see Punk face-off with ACTUAL heels, but if Taz ISN’T being clever then I’m not sure what his problem is.

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Rubies is being interviewed by Tony about her win on Sunday and her upcoming match against Jamie Hayter, but then Britt and the gang barge in and try to get under her skin which… frankly works because Ruby gets all sassy and NOT MAD in Britt’s general direction, and is about to punch her in the face before being talked down.  Soho got a HUGE ovation at the All Out PPV and she was one of my favorite wrestlers when I was watching WWE and the Riott Squad was in full swing, so I’m REALLY hoping that this feud with Baker turns out well!

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Daunte Martin Vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

Hobbs is accompanied to the ring by Hook

AEW is FULL of great young talent and these are two of them right here; though I’m pretty sure Hobbs is slightly older than me so “young” may not be the most appropriate word.  Still, these two do not get enough time on the show and they put on a pretty solid match following the classic BIG MAN LITTLE MAN formula.  Daunte has the agility and acrobatics, but weights little more than a paper cup and so Hobbs can just catch him in midair.  Meanwhile, Hobbs has the big punches but Daunte is too quick to hit.  It’s a cat and mouse game at first but eventually Hobbs catches Daunte mid-Suicide Dive and tosses his head into the post which allows him to get the heat during the commercial.  When we come back, Daunte dodges out of a Knee Drop and lands a GIGANTIC Shotgun Drop Kick from the top rope.  It’s followed by a Running Pump Kick that knocks Hobbs out of the ring, and Daunte is planning for a Suicide Dive only for Hook to get on the apron and stares him down.  Undeterred, Daunte takes another run at the ropes and just jumps RIGHT over Hook onto Hobbs below, so a whole lot of good you did there, Hook!  It’s all looking good for Daunte as he gets Hobbs back in the ring and lands a bunch of kicks, but then he goes for a running move and Hobbs scoops him up and SMASHES him down with one of his AMAZING Spine Busters!  That’s all she wrote as Hobbs gets the pin and wins the match.  I think that it could have used a LITTLE something extra here as the match is so basic and to the formula, but it’s solid work from both of the guys and I definitely want to see more of them!

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Dan Lambert, AEW’s own Phantom of the Opera, interrupts the shows from the rafters and talks down to AEW and its fans while also burying Judas and marks out for Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page.  I’m starting to grow weary of these rants, but at least he called out the entire AEW locker room to challenge one of his two buddies, so we’ll see if SOMETHING comes about from this silliness sooner rather than later.

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We cut to Hardy Family Office who wants to cut Cassidy’s hair and Cassidy has the perfect response.  Whatever.

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MJF and Wardlow come out for a promo with the former looking QUITE peeved; especially with the crowd chanting YOU TAPPED OUT over and over again.  Rather than confront this reality, he starts attacking the crowd and blaming AEW for making him lose his match on Sunday.  The crowd isn’t buying any of this so he keeps on the attack and takes aim at Linda Pillman in the front row, the aunt of Brian Pillman Jr who raised him after his father’s tragic death, and he even attacks Pillman Jr’s sister who was actually pretty happy to talk back to the jerk.  MJF is NOT about to get away with any of this misdirected rage, so Pillman Jr comes out and tells him to shove off!  He’s still a LITTLE green on the mic, but he certainly got the crowd behind him which clearly gets under MJF’s skin.  MJF starts to fire back with some VERY crude comments about his family which I wasn’t exactly a fan of (MJF can sometimes go too far when it comes to bringing up real-world stuff) and Pillman tries to rush him in the ring.  Wardlow has MJF’s back though and gives him a German Suplex, so Griff Garrison runs down to try and make the save only to eat a lariat from Wardlow and a punch with the Dynamite Diamond Ring from MJF.  It’s probably best not to dwell on the Jericho thing for much longer as we’ve run the course with that feud at least twice over now, and I’d love to see The Varsity Blondes get even more time than they already do, so even if some of it was a LITTLE bit tasteless I liked what I saw in this segment.

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Ruby Soho Vs. Jamie Hayter

Hayter is accompanied to the ring by Britt Baker and Rebel (Not Reba)

Soho made a HUGE splash at the Casino Battle Royale and her bout against Thunder Rosa was very well done!  Now she’s here to prove herself in a full match as we eagerly anticipate her challenging Britt Baker for the title… and I think we need maybe one more match to see if it will work.  It starts off a bit slow with the two of them just kinda jabbing back and forth between lockups with a Pump Kick and Knee Strike from Soho for good measure, and the crowd is not all that into it.  They cheered for Soho during the entrance but are a bit quiet here as we head into the commercial.  Hayter starts her heat segment by lifting Soho and dropping her neck first onto the ropes and continues to attack until Ruby smashes her face in the turnbuckle to get some momentum.  There were a few moves from Ruby that showed some creativity and I think a more exciting match could have really taken advantage of her ingenuity.  Jamie tries to toss Ruby over the ropes, but instead she kinda bounces off them while Hayter is still holding on and this lets her reverse it into a Swinging DDT for a two count.  Hayter then lifts Soho up on her shoulder, but once again Soho doesn’t do what she wants and starts laying in a few punches until Hayter loses balance.  Soho uses this to essentially flip Hayter over into a Face Buster which I thought was REALLY cool, and Hayter kicks out at two.  Hayter tries to make up for these follies with a Neck Breaker AND a Back Breaker on Ruby, but she only gets a one count and Ruby recovers quickly to land a Step-Up Enziguri.  This turned out to be the finishing move of the match as Hayter stays down for the three count but not the end of the segment as Baker and Rebel (Not Reba) attack Ruby after the bell has rung.  Riho tries to make the save but is overpowered by Hayter so Britt goes to Curb Stomp Ruby on the belt, only for Statlander to race down to the ring with a chair to chase them away.  I wouldn’t say this was the BEST match to start your AEW career with, especially with such a basic ending, but I actually liked the moments where Soho did something unexpected and she still connects with the crowd.  Let’s see what she can do in her next match before making a call either way.  Heck, Andrade has gotten at least three so far!

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The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and John Silver) Vs. The Pinnacle (Shawn Spears & FTR) – Trios Tag Match

The Pinnacle is accompanied to the ring by Tully Blanchard

The slow-motion breakup of The Dark Order is probably not going in the direction I want it to, but it’s been interesting to see regardless; especially with Uno getting a tiny bit of his edge back.  It’s clear from the outset that The Dark Order is not unified even when a match is on the line, and Stu and Silver argue about going in first.  Silver wins that verbal fight and goes up against Shawn Spears in an ACTUAL fight where he manages to get the advantage to the delight of the crowd.  He then begrudgingly tags in Stu to follow up on his offense, but his hemming and hawing gave Spears time to recover and Stu ends up dragged to the Heels’ corner for some heat.  Stu eventually escapes with a Pele Kick and gets to his corner to tag in Uno, and THESE two are working together just fine; even landing an Assisted Elbow Drop on Spears.  Uno begs John Silver to get in who begrudging does, but after some tandem offense against Spears, he seems to be getting into it and is more willing to work with Uno and Grayson.  It looks like everything might turn out okay, right?  Well we’ll see about that as Dax Harwood repeatedly tries to pin Silver to which Uno responds by kicking him in the back which distracts him enough to give Silver a breather.  When Dax comes back and pushes him to their corner, Silver manages to punch Cash and Spears off the apron before giving Dax a suplex.  Silver is going for a tag, but Cash and Spears quickly went over and knocked Stu and Uno off the apron which leaves him all alone to fend for himself.  Silver manages to pump himself up and fights everyone off, ending with a German on Dax for a two count, but then Dax throws Silver into the ropes and Uno has just BARELY gotten back up on the apron only to collide with a fast moving Silver.  This bonk on the head sets him up for a Springboard Suplex from Dax followed by an Assisted Death Valley Driver.  Spears goes for the pin and Stu TRIES to break it up, but he’s not there in time and Silver stays down for the three count to give The Pinnacle the win.  Uno is upset and confronts Silver which turns into a brawl as Five and Silver start attacking Uno and Grayson with Ten and Cabana trying to play peacekeepers; leaving us little hope that this rift between them will end amicably anytime soon.  It was an okay match that did the job of advancing the Dark Order storyline, though I’m not sure where they actually go with it.  Most likely they are gonna keep fighting until Adam Page comes back to stitch them back together, but I still think that Uno and Grayson should use this opportunity to step up and distinguish themselves as the LEADERS of the group and edge things a LITTLE bit towards the heel side of things by bringing the rest of the Dark Order in line on their own.

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As soon as he’s in the back, Tully starts an interview with Tony Schiavone where he rubs salt in the wound over the match that just happened.  He then switches topics to his main boy Shawn Spears and about what a GREAT manager he is to him… unlike say STING who does nothing for Darby!  In fact, he wants to PROVE that he’s a better manager than Sting by having Shawn Spears up against Darby, which… I mean jeez!  I sure hope he ran this one by Shawn first!

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Alex Marvez is in the back interviewing The Varsity Blondes who are in the medical area s Garrison is still suffering from that Dynamite Diamond Ring shot.  It’s confirmed that Pillman Jr will be facing MJF at the New York show on 9/22, but as a warm-up match he’ll be facing off against Max Caster on the next episode of Rampage.  I Kind of wish it was a tag match between The Acclaimed and The Varsity Blondes, but I guess they don’t want to risk Garrison stealing Pillman’s spotlight ahead of the MJF match.

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It’s The Elite Bay-Bay!  Adam Cole Address To The World!

The arrival of Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson was the cherry on top of a fantastic PPV, and AEW has always done a great job of capitalizing on big momentum-building events like this!  The Elite comes to the ring with Don Callis in the lead who puts over his boys!  Kenny Omega was recently voted the number one wrestler in Wrestling Illustrated, and while The Bucks had their belts “stolen” from them by The Lucah Bros, they still put on an EPIC match on the greatest show in wrestling history!  To top it all off, they call Adam Cole to the ring who comes out to thunderous applause and he milks it for all he’s worth because he’s ADAM COLE BAY-BAY; something he will say a lot in this promo.  He starts it off though on a bit of a serious note as he starts menacing Tony Schiavone and tells him that he’s gonna keep his eye on him whenever he’s around Britt Baker (his real-life girlfriend), and if he sees something he doesn’t like (which, being a jealous twerp could mean just about anything from a compliment to a fist bump), he’s gonna pound Tony’s bespectacled butt like the nerd he is!  With that out of the way he puts over The Elite, puts over himself, says Bay-Bay a lot, and confirms that he will make his in-ring debut next week!  A solid promo to start with and I’m glad they went ahead and gave him that overtly heel moment with Tony, though I can’t say I LOVE to see the jealous “Alpha” jerk character even in the over-the-top world of pro wrestling.  Kenny then grabs the mic and begins to explain JUST HOW MUCH he hates interruptions only for Bryan Danielson’s music to hit again like it did at the PPV.  The crowd cheers for him as he makes his way down to the ring and before Kenny can throw too many verbal barbs his way, Danielson grabs the mic and asks the audience if they want to see them fight!  Kenny’s not interested since he’s the champ and is not about to fight some new guy off the street, but when Danielson starts proclaiming himself to be better than him, he charges only to be IMMEDIATELY taken down and put in the Yes Lock.  Kenny taps immediately as The Elite run in to try and break it up, but then Jurassic Express, Frankie Kazarian, and Christian Cage run in even the odds and clear the ring.  The only one left is Brandon Cutler surrounded by Baby Faces and trying to fend them off with a can of Cold Spray.  Danielson is unafraid and hits him with a kick that sends him out of the ring.  Adam Cole got a decent amount of airtime here and I can’t wait to see his first match, but despite Danielson being the bigger star, he didn’t do nearly as much here.  Sure, he proved he was as tough as Kenny by tapping him out really quickly, but I was hoping for more than just DO YOU WANT TO FIGHT as his reason for showing up today.

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Jon Moxley Vs. Minoru Suzuki

Like most New Japan matches on this show, this is one that kind of flew over my head as the crowd was chanting THIS IS AWESOME before the fight even began.  It was a good fight and all, but without that history, it didn’t feel that much different from the fight Moxley had against Kojima at the PPV which itself was GOOD but not what I’d call a barn burner.  Speaking of the PPV, this match starts much like their brief fight on that show; Suzuki and Moxley trading blows back and forth to figure out which one is tougher, and Suzuki starts to get the advantage during the commercial break.  Moxley eventually manages to grab one of Suzuki’s kicks and starts biting his face, but then Suzuki bites Moxley’s face back in retaliation!  This is essentially how the rest of the match goes; mostly a bag and forth test of will between these two with Suzuki getting brief advantages before Moxley stops him in his tracks.  They trade head butts, they trade forearms, there’s a point where Moxley tries to hulk up, and Suzuki puts him in a choke and goes for the Gotch Pile Driver only for Moxley to power out of it.  We get a Paradigm Shift from Moxley which MIGHT have ended the match, but he refuses to go for the pin and tells Suzuki to get back up.  Hits him with a lariat and THEN goes for the pin, but Suzuki kicks out at one.  Suzuki is going full IMMOVABLE OBJECT at this point and takes a few lariats from Moxley without dropping before hitting a Drop Kick that sends Moxley to the floor.  With Moxley dazed he goes for the choke to set up the Gotch Pile Driver again, but Moxley escapes and hits another Paradigm Shift; THIS time going for the pin instead of tempting fate and sure enough he gets the pin to win the match.  Moxley has won against one of his greatest foes in his home town and the show comes to an end with Moxley celebrating in the crowd!

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Anything following the PPV match is going to feel like a step down, but they did a few smart things here by wasting no time in setting up the next slate of matches and giving us something to look forward to in the coming weeks.  Pillman Jr getting his big shot against MJF should be fun and will hopefully make him into an even bigger star, The Dark Order breaking up is going to be an ongoing story for weeks, and while the Ruby Soho match didn’t quite work as well as I had hoped, I was still happy to see her and I hope she makes an even bigger impression in her next match!  The only thing that felt a LITTLE bit underwhelming was Danielson as he didn’t do THAT much with the time he had.  I know he can kick butt, but I still want to hear what he has to say about being at AEW now; maybe not a full on CM Punk promo, but something on TV that gives us an idea of what he’s doing here.  Still, we’ve got plenty of time to go through all of that and there’s more than enough story seeded throughout the episode to keep us entertained for the foreseeable future!

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