By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 100)
Chicago, Illinois at NOW Arena
Aired live September 1, 2021 on TNT
The announce team of Excalibur, Jim Ross, and Tony Schiavone ran down the card for the night and welcomed the audience to the arena. FTR made their entrance for the opening match, followed by Santana and Ortiz. FTR was accompanied by Tully Blanchard, and Santana and Ortiz were wearing War Paint.
1. Santana and Ortiz vs. “FTR” Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood (w/Tully Blanchard): Harwood and Santana started the match. Harwood wore trunks with a tribute to Bobby Eaton on them. They circled each other for a bit, and Hardwood paused to give Wheeler a hug. Dax grabbed a side headlock as the crowd broke out in dueling chants. Santana no sold a shoulder block and returned fire with some chops. The announce team said CM Punk would speak after this match.
Harwood and Santana traded hip toss attempts, but went nowhere. All four men then entered the ring and started to brawl. Harwood and Wheeler were then sent to ringside by clothesline, and Santana and Ortiz dove at them on the floor. Santana tossed Harwood and Wheeler into the barricade, and then both he and Ortiz dove on them.
Back in the ring, Ortiz and Harwood were legal. Wheeler tagged in and tossed Ortiz shoulder first into the ring post. He then followed up with a seated dropkick and tagged Harwood back in. He focused on Ortiz’s left arm and stomped on his elbow while the other foot pinned his hand to the mat. He then applied a hold while Wheeler pulled off the turnbuckle pad. Harwood wrapped Ortiz’s arm around the turnbuckle, but Santana made the save.
Wheeler tagged back in and took some wild swings at both Ortiz and Santana, but they avoided them and Ortiz knocked him down with a lariat. Santana made the tag and cleaned house for a moment. He then landed a unique suplex on Wheeler while using Harwood for an unwitting assist. He then suplexed Harwood and leapt onto Harwood with a frog splash for a near fall.
Ortiz tagged in and landed another slam and covered, but Wheeler broke up the pin. Wheeler provided an assist with a huge uppercut, followed by a Brainbuster for a near fall. The announce team pointed out that a Brainbuster finished Ortiz the last time these two teams met. Wheeler and Harwood set up another double team, but Santana broke it up and rolled up Wheeler for a two count.
Santana and Ortiz dumped Harwood to ringside and landed a double team suplex for a near fall. There was some chaos in the corner, and Wheeler applied a Gory Special into a slam for a near fall. Harwood tagged back in and set Ortiz on the top rope. They set up for the Powerplex, but Santana interrupted Wheeler. They disposed of Santana, and landed their Big Rig finish. Santana dove into the ring and broke it up at the last moment.
Santana landed a blind tag and then surprised Wheeler with a cutter. Ortiz landed a lungblower, and Santana followed up with a superkick. They both landed a double team suplex and Santana covered Wheeler for the win.
Santana and Ortiz defeated FTR at 13:34
After the match, Daniel Garcia cut a promo backstage. 2.0 was with him and they talked about his match with Darby Allin on Friday. They said they looked forward to taking CM Punk vs. Darby away from everyone. Garcia said he looks forward to putting Darby in the most uncomfortable positions humanly possible…[c]
My Take: FTR vs. Santana and Ortiz was a great opener, and would have felt at home on PPV. The feud never really reached the level of success that I hoped for, and Wheeler’s unfortunate injury had a lot to do with it, but this match delivered and it’s worth watching if you missed it live.
CM Punk made his entrance to a big roar from his hometown crowd. He took his sweet time getting into the ring, and absorbed the chants when he got in there. He asked if they were sick of him yet, and said it was too good to be true. Punk said he could just come out to Cult of Personality and feel the love for months. He said there are some who grow tired of it real fast, but he was going to enjoy it for as long as he could.
Punk used the words nervous and scared to describe himself getting back into the ring after 7 years. The crowd chanted “You still got it” and he crossed his fingers. He then made a promise that every time he comes down the aisle he….was then interrupted by Daniel Garcia and 2.0. They gave him a 3 on 1 beatdown and brought on a Darby chant.
Darby and Sting made their way to the ring and gave Punk an assist. They took care of business and they all hit their respective finishers on one of the trio. Punk landed a GTS on Matt Parker I believe. Punk and Darby then had a staredown before Sting had a microphone. Punk tossed Parker from the ring. Sting said he always wanted to share a ring with Punk.
Sting said he had a lot of respect for Punk, but their paths had never crossed. He said it was good to see a GTS in front of his eyes, and it felt good to see a Coffin Drop. Sting said it felt good to clear traffic, and they all wanted nothing to get in the way at All Out, so clearing traffic included the Stinger. He knew Darby was ready, and Punk was ready, so it would be one on one on Sunday. Darby and Punk then stared daggers at one another.
Darby left Punk in the ring. We then saw a video package that focused on Kenny Omega, Christian, and the AEW World Title. All of the AEW veterans weighed in and gave their predictions, and they seemed split between Christian and Omega…[c]
My Take: This segment was ok, but I was really hoping we’d hear more from Darby rather than have Punk repeat himself from previous weeks, and then get a Sting monologue after the physicality was over with. By the way, why give away the first GTS before the PPV?
We got a sit down between Tony Schiavone and MJF after the break.
MJF addressed Jericho and rattled off all of his monikers over the years. He called his career unparalleled, and even if it pains him to admit it, he will be etched into the Mount Rushmore of Wrestling. He then turned it around and said he would far surpass him, and would fill his shoes. MJF then called Mohammed Ali to mind, and said he kept boxing long past his prime and ended up taking unnecessary abuse. He said Jericho was in the same boat, and desperate to grasp onto his former glory. MJF then said he had the distinct honor and privilege to end one of the greatest runs in history, and said Jericho’s need for the spotlight would be his undoing…
In the arena, Matt Hardy and Jack Evans were already in the ring. Orange Cassidy made his entrance next. Hardy assaulted Cassidy before the bell, and was ejected from ringside. Jack Evans then jumped Cassidy as he recovered. The bell rang anyways…
2. Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans: Cassidy quickly fended off Evans and they traded offense. Evans ran to the outside to avoid an Orange Punch, and Cassidy dove on him immediately. Back in the ring, Cassidy landed a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. They did some standing switches and the crowd reacted for each one. Cassidy drove Evans into the turnbuckle and climbed up top. Evans met him up top and set up for a Superplex, but Cassidy punched his way out…[c]
During the commercial break, Orange Cassidy rolled up Evans in a small package and got the win.
Orange Cassidy defeated Jack Evans at 5:31
After the match, Matt Hardy ran down to the ring and stomped on Cassidy. Chuckie T and Wheeler Yuta ran down to intervene, but so did the rest of the HFO. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus then made their entrance and cleared the HFO from the ring…
The announce team then threw to a video package for Eddie Kingston and Miro’s TNT Title match. Eddie said they would walk through hell together and if Miro survives, he might get to go to his God’s heaven. Miro said Eddie’s redemption would only come after agony…
Chris Jericho’s interview with Jim Ross is next…[c]
My Take: Meh. I like Orange Cassidy, but a rollup during a commercial break isn’t all that inspiring, and the HFO is cold as ice. MJF’s interview hit a lot of the right notes, but he was less vindictive and personal than I expected.
We got a brief Moxley vs. Kojima promo, which was voiced over by Moxley’s promo from last week…
JR was in the ring, and said it was bittersweet to give his first interview under these circumstances. He said he thinks Chris Jericho made a mistake, and he would tell him that in a moment. JR called Jericho one of his longest term wrestling friends, and welcomed him to the ring.
Chris Jericho made his entrance while the crowd sang Judas. Jericho welcomed the crowd to “Chicago is Jericho”. He recalled starting his main event journey in wrestling just a few miles down the road at Allstate Arena, and the man who recruited him to do it was Jim Ross. JR asked Jericho why he imposed this stipulation on himself, because if he loses he will never wrestle in AEW again.
Jericho said that’s a good question, and he will answer it, but he just wanted to say that MJF is a piece of shit. He listed off several ways that he and MJF are similar like confidence and being a shit stirrer, and said they only thing he had over him was three victories. Jericho said those losses are burned in his mind. He took a chance when he came to AEW, and when they first started there was no guarantee of success, but here they stand at 100 episodes and the hottest product in wrestling. Jericho said he could go on to win more championships and great matches, but he couldn’t live with himself if he had to look into the mirror and know he couldn’t beat MJF.
[Hour Two] Jericho said he had to prove to himself that he could do it by taking the risk, and if something goes wrong, he will walk to the announce table and give it his best full time.
Jericho said that he didn’t want it to end, and told MJF that he would have to be the best he’s ever been to beat him. He said he’d have to break every bone in his body, and said he didn’t have the balls to beat him. Jericho then told MJF he would see him on Sunday, and called him a prick…
We got a Darby Allin video package, where he said that CM Punk was his favorite wrestler when he was 15. When he left 7 years ago, that was when he got into professional wrestling. He said when Punk said he was first on his list, it already felt like he was overlooking him. Darby then said that he would do the impossible and beat CM Punk in Chicago, or he would die trying…
Powerhouse Hobbs made his way to the ring, but was assaulted from behind by Brian Cage on his way to the ring. They brawled around ringside, and Cage tossed Hobbes into the barricade, and then into the ring. Rick Knox called for the bell.
3. Brian Cage vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (w/Hook): Hook stood in Cage’s way as Hobbes escaped to the floor for a breather. He recovered and landed a huge lariat…[c]
My Take: It was nice to hear a little bit from Darby, even if it was pretty short. Jericho’s promo was solid, and was right in line with what you’d expect given the stipulation.
Cage landed a flatliner as the show returned. Both men traded heavy shots, with Cage getting the better of it and pulling in Hobbs for an exploder suplex. He then followed up with a combo of strikes and a German Suplex for a near fall. They traded reversals for a moment until Hobbes landed a spinebuster. He gloated to the audience, until Cage got to his feet and landed a Death Valley driver.
Hobbs rolled to the apron, but Cage pulled him back to the ring with a suplex. He then picked up Hobbes and signaled for the Drillclaw. Hook provided a distraction, and then Brian Cage landed a heavy shot with the FTW belt. Hobbs then landed an Emerald Flowsion for the win.
Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Brian Cage at 6:58
After the match, we got a video from Malakai Black where he told Lee Johnson that he would put coins over his eyes so he could pay the boatman’s toll when he arrives in Hades. In the arena, QT Marshall was in the ring, and called out Paul Wight.
QT’s men attacked Wight, but he shoved them all away. He then landed a huge punch and a chokeslam, and then swatted Aaron Solow out of the air with a right hand. The Gunn Club ran down after all the fighting was over to lend a hand. QT Marshall jumped on the apron, but Billy Gunn swatted him away and stole the chair. A loud “QT Sucks” chant broke out. Billy then smashed Wight on the back with a chair.
Wight looked betrayed, and Billy Gunn hit him in the head with a chair as he got up. The Gunn Club left, and QT Marshall entered the ring to hit a Diamond Cutter with the help of Solow and Comorato…[c]
My Take: Everybody executed their roles well there, but does anyone want to see this over the dozens of talents that don’t get any TV time? I surely don’t.
Backstage, Tony Schiavone interviewed Britt Baker. She announced Jamie Hayter and Rebel for the Casino Battle Royal. Britt said if either of them win, the title isn’t going anywhere. She then announced a hot new Free Agent Signing….herself for an extended deal with AEW. She said Tony agreed to let her book a match for Friday with Jamie Hayter and Rebel taking on Kris Statlander and Red Velvet…
In the arena, Penelope Ford made her entrance with The Bunny. Tay Conti followed. She dove on Ford and The Bunny at ringside as she got into the ring.
4. Tay Conti vs. Penelope Ford (w/The Bunny): Conti dominated the early going, and landed a series of chops, followed by a back breaker. She then hit a pump kick and covered for a two count. Conti went up top, but Ford knocked her back into the ring by hitting the ropes…[c]
Ford landed some strikes across the back. She then went for a very gymnastic back elbow in the corner, but Conti got out of the way. Conti landed a lariat and spinning slam of sorts for a near fall. Ford tossed Conti into the rope, and then went for a Muta Lock. Conti escaped almost immediately, and applied a calf slicer. Ford crawled and reached the ropes.
Conti landed a series of Pump Kicks in the corner. She then pulled Ford in for a DDT, but she shook free and landed a gutbuster for a near fall. Conti replied with an elbow strike. The Bunny got involved, but it backfired as Conti shoved them into one another and rolled up Ford for the win.
Tay Conti defeated Penelope Ford at 8:59
After the match, Conti and Ford delivered a beat down, which was interrupted by Anna Jay’s return to TV. Ford and The Bunny retreated. Excalibur then announced Anna Jay would be part of the Casino Battle Royal.
Backstage, Thunder Rosa was interviewed backstage, but was quickly approached by Nyla Rose and Jade Cargill. Rosa put up a fight, but was beat down quickly. Mark Sterling got in between Cargill and Rose to keep it from going further. The announce team ran through a bunch of upcoming matches for the future that happened too fast for me to record. We then got a video package for MJF and Jericho…[c]
My Take: This show feels like it’s trying to do too much at times. Lots of promo work and video packages and match announcements and crash TV rapid fire segments this week. I think it would be more effective if they spread some of this stuff out for a couple of weeks before they get to a PPV. Baker heavily teasing Adam Cole and then announcing a contract extension was a fun tease for fans monitoring the situation.
Jurassic Express made their entrance for the main event. They were followed by the Lucha Bros, and finally The Elite.
5. “Lucha Bros” Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix (w/Alex Abrahantes) and “Jurassic Express” Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus (w/Marko Stunt) vs. “The Young Bucks” Matt and Nick Jackson” and “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson (w/Brandon Cutler): Don Callis sat in on commentary. Gallows and Luchasaurus started the match, and Gallows landed some early strikes. Luchasaurus fired back with some big punches, and then landed a vertical suplex. Gallows quickly escaped and tagged out to Nick Jackson. Fenix also tagged in and they circled each other.
Penta and Matt Jackson tagged in, and the Bucks and Lucha Bros all tried to superkick each other simultaneously, and then had a staredown. Gallows and Anderson jumped the Lucha Bros from behind…[c]
Jungle Boy tagged in for the babyface team, and was immediately isolated and cut off in the heel corner. Nick Jackson landed a powerbomb on the ring apron. Jungle Boy managed to recover and land a big lariat on Nick Jackson. He then made a tag to Rey Fenix, who entered the match and landed kicks to both Young Bucks. He then landed an incredibly acrobatic arm drag.
Fenix landed a superkick in the corner, and Penta tagged in for a double stomp from the top rope. Penta covered Nick Jackson, but Matt broke it up. The Bucks and Lucha Bros traded superkicks, and all four men ended up down on the mat. Penta and Nick scrambled to tag Luchasaurus and Karl Anderson. Luchasaurus landed some strikes and a German Suplex on Anderson. He then sent Gallows to the floor with a lariat, and Nick Jackson to the floor with a chokeslam.
Jungle Boy landed a Tornillo on the Elite members at ringside. Luchasaurus landed a standing moonsault on Anderson for a near fall. Penta tagged in and set up for a spike piledriver. Cutler sprayed Fenix in the face with cold spray to break it up. Gallows and Anderson hit a Magic Killer on Fenix, but Luchasaurus broke it up.
The Young Bucks went for a BTE Trigger, but he avoided it and they clanged knees. He then hit a double cutter, but was distracted by Gallows and Anderson. The Young Bucks landed a Meltzer Driver and got the win.
The Young Bucks, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson defeated The Lucha Bros and Jurassic Express at 10:33
After the match, Kenny Omega ran down and directed a beating on Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. They put Luchasaurus through a table with a Magic Killer. Omega talked trash to Jungle Boy, which prompted Christian to come out. He got some punches in on Omega, but quickly succumbed to the numbers.
Omega then called out Tony Khan, and said he enjoyed their conversation about video games and ratings earlier, but then said Don Callis had swiped the keys to the cage control room. He told Callis to drop it, and it descended down over the ring. Jungle Boy, Marko Stunt, and Dante Martin tried to climb up, but they were fended off with Kendo Sticks and Cold Spray. The Young Bucks attacked The Lucha Bros with Superkicks, and then Christian with Kendo Sticks. Finally, they landed a BTE Trigger on Christian. Kenny continued to talk trash to close the show.
My Take: The main event match was fine, but the ending to the show felt a little underwhelming because of how often we’ve seen similar numbers beatdowns in recent months. I understand going for heat going into the PPV, but I think it was harmed by Omega’s somewhat dull narration, and the fact that the heels went over clean in the main event.