By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 101)
Cincinnati, Ohio at Fifth Third Arena
Aired live September 8, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] A video that recapped All Out aired to start the show. Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Taz welcomed the TV audience to the show. Dustin Rhodes vs. Malakai Black is up next. Excalibur has the night off for his pending nuptials. Congratulations to Excalibur. Malakai Black made his entrance for the first match. It appears the infection growing out of his eye has stopped at half of his face. Dustin Rhodes made his entrance next…
1. Malakai Black vs. Dustin Rhodes: They brawled immediately after Dustin got in the ring. Dustin landed an inverted atomic drop, but Black replied with a standing side kick. Dustin recovered and landed some kidney punches, followed by a German suplex out of the corner. Black was sent to the floor, and Dustin pursued. Black fended off some punches from Dustin, and gave him a back suplex through a ringside table.
Black returned to the ring to break the ref’s count, and then took the turnbuckle pad off of the opposite corner from where Dustin laid on the outside. Black sent Dustin back into the ring. They both tried to send each other into the exposed turnbuckle, to no avail. Black landed a knee to the gut and applied a side headlock on the ground. Black applied an ankle lock. The announcers called it a heel hook, but it didn’t appear to be one to me.
Black continued to attack the knee and leg of Dustin, who fell when attempting to run the ropes. Black landed some kicks as Dustin got to his feet. Rhodes landed a punch and then a lariat. He then pulled Black in for a powerslam and a two count. He then landed mounted punches in the corner, but Black shoved him off and landed a running knee strike for a near fall of his own. Black sold frustration with the kick out.
Dustin was down in the ring, and Black rolled to the outside to retrieve Cody’s boot from under the ring. He then tossed it at Rhodes and laughed, which caused Dustin to fire up. He landed a Destroyer out of the corner for a near fall. Dustin attempted a suplex, but Black slipped out the back. He then attempted a Bulldog out of the corner, but Black tripped him into the exposed turnbuckle. He then landed a Spinning Heel Kick for the win.
Malakai Black defeated Dustin Rhodes at 9:57
After the match, Dustin was bleeding heavily from the mouth, though Black didn’t connect with his head with the heel kick (not sure if that was a misfire or not)…
They cut quickly to a video package for Penta and Fenix… CM Punk is up next…[c]
My Take: A solid outing for both men. I’m not sure if Dustin’s bleeding from the mouth was intended to come from the exposed turnbuckle or the heel kick. I have to assume Cody Rhodes is back for the Arthur Ashe Stadium show in New York in a couple of weeks.
A video package that focused on Eddie Kingston and Miro was shown. Miro promised to offer Eddie’s broken bones to his wife and his soul to his god. Eddie said God plays no favorites, and that he could get revenge for the low blow…
In the arena, CM Punk made his entrance. Punk shouted out Cincinnati, and then thanked Darby Allin and Sting for the opportunity to have their match at All Out. He said it was like riding a violent bicycle, and “You still got it” chants broke out. Punk then put over the main event of Minoru Suzuki and Jon Moxley.
Punk called Moxley a local maniac, and Suzuki a Karl Gotch trained Pancrase legend. Punk called out Aunt Linda from the Brian Pillman “Dark Side of the Ring” documentary, and called her an angel. He then brought up the PPV and all the major debuts. Punk said he texted his wife April after his match, and she asked him what was next. He said he didn’t know, and polled the crowd.
Taz stood up on commentary and interrupted him, and Punk called him out. He said out of respect he would let him speak, but never to interrupt him again. Taz said he was tired of this bullshit lovefest he’s doing. He told him never mentioned any members of Team Taz he wants to face.
Punk said nobody had mentioned Team Taz at all, and Taz replied that he did on social media and in interviews. Hook and Powerhouse Hobbs walked out near the commentary table, and Punk replied to send all three of them. He then told Team Taz to “Beat me if you can, and survive if I let you.” Punk then dropped the mic and jumped on the turnbuckle to pump up the crowd. Hobbs vs. Dante Martin is next. Punk then went to ringside and hugged Aunt Linda. Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson are still to come. Punk walked by Hobbs and Hook on the ramp and went backstage…[c]
My Take: I’m looking forward to Punk having matches with Hobbs and Starks. Hopefully it’s a feud that just lasts a few weeks, as I hope Punk has a higher profile opponent for Full Gear in November. I also have no interest in seeing him express any interest in the FTW Title, which has become a boat anchor rather than a prestige title. The segment actually seemed to run a little shorter than what was intended, as the announce team had to stall a bit before they went to commercial.
Proud and Powerful got a video package where they declared themselves the best tag team in AEW, and demanded to be proven wrong…
Ruby Soho was shown backstage, but was immediately interrupted by Britt Baker, who said Jamie Hayter would beat her and send her back to irrelevance. Ruby called her Brittney, and said she’s known her for a long time and helped her break into wrestling. She said Britt has so many nicknames because she doesn’t want people to see her for what she isn’t. Baker told her Hayter was going to send her back to catering, where she spent the last four years. Ruby told Schiavone that she might be his girl, but she was going to whip her ass…
2. Powerhouse Hobbs (w/Hook) vs. Dante Martin: Martin charged Hobbs and got sent down with a shoulder block. Martin used his speed to avoid Hobbs and land some kicks. Hobbs got sent to the floor. Martin dove at him through the ropes, but Hobbs caught him, and tossed him into the ring post in a violent looking spot. He then pressed his head into the post, and then threw him into the ring barricade. He picked him up and mocked CM Punk, and threw him into the barricade a second time…[c]
Hobbs continued to dominate during the break, and landed a spinebuster as the show returned from commercial break. Martin remained grounded until Hobbs missed a knee drop. He then took advantage with a kick to the ribs and a shotgun dropkick from the top rope. He then landed a running somersault senton for a two count. Martin kicked Hobbs through the ropes to the floor. Hook jumped on the apron to prevent a dive to the floor. Martin improvised and leaped over Hook and landed on Hobbs on the floor (Hook ducked). Martin landed a gamengiri, but got caught with a big spinebuster a moment later for the win.
Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Dante Martin at 8:17
Dan Lambert spoke from a luxury box where he was standing with Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. He mocked CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and Adam Cole as skinny little dorks that keep the company from the truth. He addressed the crowd as lazy millennials, and said that they might be fooled for now, but you can’t hide the truth forever. He said they would speak the truth until they the company sends some tough guys to shut them up, and he looks forward to the day that he doesn’t have to hear the dreadful chant of AEW…
We then got a video package where Matt Hardy threatened to shave Orange Cassidy’s hair. Cassidy replied with “whatever”. MJF is up next…[c]
My Take: Hobbs and Martin had a very good match that allowed them both to show off what they do best. Hobbs getting the win makes sense if he’s going to be in a match with CM Punk soon, and Martin loses nothing in defeat. Dan Lambert continues to rile up the live crowds, but it would be helpful if he got to the point eventually. The Ruby and Britt backstage segment was strong. Ruby needs a couple of televised wins before challenging Baker.
MJF made his entrance in the arena with Wardlow. The “you tapped out” chants rained out. He called the crowd Potbelly Pigs. He said prior to Sunday, he had beaten that Schmuck Chris Jericho 3 times, and he beat him again on Sunday clean in the middle of the ring. He called out bias against him that caused the match to be restarted, because they all want to be him. He called Cincinnati “Shitsinatti”, and said it’s called the Midwest because everything in it is Mid. Skyline Chili is mid, the Cincinnati Reds are Mid, and every single person who lives here is Mid.
MJF asked the crowd if they had a problem with him, and asked them to jump the guard rail so he could beat all their asses. They won’t because they are all cowards. He said he would knock Linda’s teeth down her throat in the front row. He then called out Brian Pillman’s daughter, and called her 16 and pregnant. He then called her Roseanne and asked if she had something to say. She announced that she was Brian Pillman’s daughter.
Brian Pillman Jr. made his entrance wearing a Cincinnati Bengals jersey. He addressed MJF as Maxwell Jerkoff Friedman. He called Cincinnati a city that breeds badasses like Brian Pillman and Jon Moxley. He said MJF has a silver spoon upbringing, and he probably thinks where he grew up was the greatest place on earth, and then welcomed him to the Jungle.
MJF called out his drug addicted mother “Methanie” and said she should have swallowed Pillman Jr. just like all the other second generation prospects. Pillman charged the ring and Wardlow got in his way. MJF told him to go look pretty in the corner. He then told Pillman that he would do what his mother should have done 28 years ago, and abort him. Pillman took down MJF, and Wardlow intervened. Pillman broke free and attacked MJF, but Wardlow stopped him again.
[Hour Two] Griff Garrison tried to make the save, but MJF knocked him out with the Dynamite Diamond…
A video package aired for Moxley and Suzuki. Back in the arena… Jamie Hayter made her entrance, followed by Ruby Soho…
3. Ruby Soho vs. Jamie Hayter (w/Britt Baker, Rebel): They tied up to start, and Jamie backed Ruby into the corner and gave her a slap. Ruby punched her way out of a headlock, but Hayter sent her down with a shoulder block. Ruby grabbed a shoulder overhook and wrenched on it, and then followed up with a knee strike. Hayter broke free and sent Ruby hard into the bottom rope, and then to the floor…[c]
My Take: I’m not easily offended, but I can imagine that MJF’s promo might have turned off a portion of the audience. It certainly went into territory we don’t see very often from TV Wrestling in the last couple of decades. Hayter and Soho has been well worked thus far.
Ruby sent Hayter into the second turnbuckle with her knees, and then landed a series of kicks to the head. Ruby countered a hot shot attempt into a tornado DDT for a near fall. Ruby attempted a Saito Suplex, but Hayter blocked it. Hayter picked up Ruby in an electric chair position, but there was a bit of a botch that caused them both to crash awkwardly. Hayter landed a neckbreaker to regain control. Hayter landed a ushigoroshi, followed by a diving elbow for a near fall. Soho recovered and landed a kick to the face and covered for the win.
Ruby Soho defeated Jamie Hayter at 7:52
After the bell, Baker assaulted Ruby, and Riho ran down to attempt the save. She was stuffed by Hayter. Baker set up a curbstomp on the Women’s Championship, but Kris Statlander ran down with a chair to break it up. The heels cleared out and Statlander checked on Soho and Riho…
We then got a video package for Ricky Starks and Brian Cage that recapped their feud…[c]
My Take: A couple of awkward moments down the stretch marred an otherwise solid match. The announce team didn’t know what to call Soho’s finish, but it was the same upkick she used as the Riott kick in WWE. Hopefully it gets a new same soon. Soho Kick would work just as well.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler made their entrance with Tully Blanchard. Shawn Spears accompanied them as their partner. Dark Order members Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, and Jon Silver will be their opponents. We then got a picture in picture promo where they continued to argue with one another. Tay Conti and Anna Jay scolded them and tried to pull it together…
4. “FTR” Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood (w/Tully Blanchard) and Shawn Spears vs. The Dark Order” Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and John Silver (w/Colt Cabana, 10): Spears and Silver started the match. Silver body slammed Spears and landed a shoulder block. Grayson tagged in, and Spears recovered with a forearm shot. The heels began working over Grayson and making quick tags. Grayson recovered and tagged Uno, and they hit a double team flying elbow for a two count.
Dark Order seemed to pull it together and get on the same page. Silver tagged in, and FTR started to work him over. He nearly broke free after a minute, but Spears and Wheeler knocked Uno and Grayson from the apron. Silver fired up and knocked them off the apron, and then gave a German Suplex to Harwood for a near fall. The Dark Order was back in disarray at ringside. Hardwood recovered and landed a slingshot suplex for a near fall. Spears then tagged in and landed a Death Valley Driver and got the pin.
FTR and Shawn Spears defeated The Dark Order at 4:23
After the match, Uno blamed Silver for the loss, and the Dark Order members started to trade blows with one another. 10 and Colt Cabana tried to sort it out, which brought out Tay Conti and Anna Jay. They looked disgusted…
A video package recapped the various competitors in the Women’s Battle Royal on Sunday…
Tully Blanchard was interviewed backstage, and he called out Sting for riding on Darby Allin’s coat tails. He asked Tony Khan to book Shawn Spears and Darby Allin for next week so he could put an end to it, and there would come a time for he and Sting to sort out their business one more time…[c]
My Take: I’m not invested in the Dark Order drama, but I appreciate that they are moving forward with the story and trying to do something interesting with them. The match itself was short and sweet, and the right team won, but there wasn’t much to it really. Tully calling out Sting feels sudden, but I’m interested to see if they have something long term in mind for it.
Backstage, Brian Pillman Jr. was in the trainer’s room with Griff Garrison. He said Tony Khan gave him a match with MJF at Arthur Ashe Stadium in two weeks. Max Caster and Anthony Bowens walked up, and Max said he also talked to Tony Khan, and he got himself a match with Pillman for Friday on Rampage. Pillman thanked him, and said he needed the reps before his big match. Caster had given Pillman some flowers, which he slammed on the ground…
In the arena, Tony Schiavone welcomed The Elite members Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Don Callis, Brandon Cutler, and Michael Nakazawa to the ring. Don Callis grabbed the microphone and congratulated Kenny Omega on being #1 in the PWI 500. He said Sunday showed Kenny Omega is the greatest Champion in Professional Wrestling.
Callis then said the Young Bucks gave the fans a memory they would never forget, and had their titles stolen from them. He said they have a plan, and then gave the microphone to Nick Jackson. Nick said they got their best friend back, and introduced Adam Cole as the newest member of The Elite.
Adam Cole made his entrance and got a big reaction. He grabbed the microphone while the crowd chanted for him. Cole said it was story time with Adam Cole. First, he got in Schiavone’s face, and said if he looked at Britt the wrong way, he would slap the glasses off his face and kick his ass. He called Schiavone a nerd and told him to get out of the ring. The crowd chanted for Tony as Cole berated him for being a nerd.
Cole called AEW the best wrestling company in the entire world, because of the men that are in the ring right now. He said everything in the company is thanks to The Elite, and even though he just got here, he’s been elite for a very long time. Cole said he’s been main eventing for four years, and called himself a once in a generation talent. He put over The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega as the greatest of all time, and now The Elite has Adam Cole Bay Bay.
Cole said The Elite is now complete, and if you don’t believe him, watch next week when he makes his debut in the ring next week. Omega grabbed the microphone and said it feels like time to celebrate, but the thing he hates the most is interruptions, and at the pay-per-view they were unceremoniously interrupted.
Bryan Danielson’s music hit and he walked down to the bottom of the ramp. Omega demanded his music get cut. Omega asked everyone to clear the ring, and he then invited Bryan inside. He addressed Bryan and said he was just the guy he wanted to speak with. Bryan grabbed the microphone and asked the crowd if they wanted to see him fight Kenny Omega. He then said Omega is telling him that it doesn’t work like that here.
Bryan said that he thinks Omega is afraid of taking the match because he’s better than him, he’d kick his head in, and he’s not on his level. Omega attacked, but Bryan applied the LeBell Lock. The Elite jumped him, and Christian, Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, Marko Stunt, and Frankie Kazarian made the save. It looked like Adam Cole took an awkward spill when Kazarian attacked him. Bryan landed a running knee strike on Brandon Cutler to end the segment…[c]
My Take: Bryan is jumping right into the lead babyface role in the company, and I guess that had to be expected. He just main evented WrestleMania, and I’d imagine crowds would have been impatient if he had to win a series of preliminary feuds before going after The Elite. We’ll have to see how long it takes for him to actually earn a title shot. Hopefully Adam Cole’s spill looked worse than it actually was.
The announce team ran through the next Dynamite and Rampage cards at light speed. Cody Rhodes will return to face Malaki Black in New York on September 22…
Minoru Suzuki made his entrance, followed by Jon Moxley…
5. Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki: Both men traded forearm strikes to start the match, and then traded pump kicks. Suzuki landed a flurry of palm strikes, and Moxley replied with some hard right hands. He then raked the face against the ropes…[c]
Suzuki applied a cross armbreaker over the, and then both men spilled to the floor. Suzuki continued to work over Moxley’s arm using the ring post and some kicks. Back in the ring, Suzuki targeted the arm until Moxley put him down with a big lariat. He then landed a vertical suplex and got a near fall. Suzuki got to his feet, and Moxley landed a chop in the corner. Suzuki attempted a kick, but Moxley caught it and got to his feet. He then bit Suzuki’s face. After a brief moment, Suzuki returned the favor.
Both men traded headbutts, and then fell down together. They slugged it out with forearms on their knees. Suzuki managed to apply a sleeper. He then went for a Gotch Piledriver, but Moxley powered out. He then landed a Paradigm Shift. Suzuki got to his feet, and Moxley landed a lariat. He covered and only got a one count.
Suzuki bled from his right eye badly. Suzuki refused to go down after a series of lariats, and landed a dropkick. Suzuki reapplied the sleeper, but Moxley escaped and landed a right hand. Moxley landed a second Paradigm Shift and got the win.
Jon Moxley defeated Minoru Suzuki at 10:33
After the match, Moxley celebrated with the hometown crowd. The match ended with a few minutes of airtime left, and so Moxley had to walk around in the crowd while the announce team kind of killed some time.
My Take: The commercial break was really a downer there. There was some heavy physicality in this match, but it was too short to have that real dangerous feel to it. Moxley continues to defeat NJPW stars on Dynamite and PPV, so I’m assuming this leads to a major match upcoming at Full Gear. Perhaps we’ll get the Hiroshi Tanahashi match? Or Jay White?