By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 107)
Orlando, Florida at Addition Financial Arena
Aired live October 23, 2021 on TNT
JR, Excalibur and Tony Shiavone welcomed the TV audience to the show. Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes was advertised for later, as well as an update on Darby Allin, and Anthony Greene vs. Bobby Fish. Lance Archer and Eddie Kingston will face each other in the first round of the AEW Title Eliminator Tournament. Bryan Danielson and Dustin Rhodes are up next. Bryan made his entrance first, followed by Dustin.
1. Dustin Rhodes vs. Bryan Danielson: Both men shook hands to begin. They traded wrist locks and then Bryan grabbed a headlock. Dustin escaped and landed a shoulder tackle. They then traded hip tosses in rapid fashion. Both men got to their feet and took measure of each other. Bryan gained advantage and applied a grapevine to Dustin’s legs, and transitioned into a figure four position. He then used the momentum of falling to his back to apply pressure.
Dustin escaped and landed a right hand. Bryan low bridged him out to the floor, and then dove at him through the ropes. Bryan hit the guard rail, and Dustin scrambled to his feet first in order to land a somersault senton off the apron onto Bryan. Dustin pressed the advantage by working on Bryan’s shoulder, but he was able to reverse the leverage and then land a dropkick to Dustin’s knee.
Bryan went for a back suplex, but Dustin reversed out of it and landed one of his own. He then sent Bryan into the corner for some chops. Bryan attempted a cross arm breaker, but Dustin was able to clasp his hands and avoid the pressure. Bryan bent Dustin’s wrist backwards onto the mat, and then stomped on his elbow. Tony Nese was shown in the crowd as Bryan climbed the turnbuckle. Dustin met Bryan in the corner, and pulled him into the ring with a Superplex for a near fall.
Both men got to their feet and traded punches. Bryan hit the ropes, but ran into a powerslam. He then landed an inverted suplex and got a close near fall. Dustin landed mounted punches in the corner. He then went for a bulldog, but Bryan shoved him off into the corner. He followed up with kicks and chops. He then placed Dustin on the top rope, but ended up crotched on the top rope when he attempted to take advantage. Dustin jumped out of the corner and landed a lariat that sent Bryan back into the ring.
Dustin attempted a pin, but Bryan turned it into the LeBell Lock. Dustin used his height to reach the ropes quickly with his foot. Bryan landed kicks repeatedly, and Dustin fired up in response to trade punches. Bryan countered a punch with a backslide for a close near fall. He then landed an enziguri. Bryan stomped on Dustin’s face, and fired up for a busaiku knee. Dustin countered with a lariat and a piledriver for a very close near fall.
Bryan reversed a suplex with a knee to the head. Bryan then landed some kicks and applied a guillotine choke. Dustin started to fade, and Bryan applied a body scissors along with the choke. Dustin eventually passed out, and Bryan got the win.
Bryan Danielson defeated Dustin Rhodes at 14:45
After the match, Bryan checked on Dustin. Excalibur cut backstage to Omega, Young Bucks, and Cole. Omega said next week it was his Dark Order boys vs. The Elite. Kenny said he’s always been the best bout machine, while he was cosplaying like a cowboy. Omega said Hangman is insecure and is burning through his homemade moonshine, unable to sleep at night. He said if fans knew him the way he did, they wouldn’t be chanting Cowboy Shit, they’d be chanting Coward Shit. The Bucks and Cole applauded Omega for burning Hangman, and he gave them some credit for his lines.
My Take: An excellent match between Dustin and Bryan. They work very well together, and Bryan continues to show that he doesn’t need to push a frenetic pace 100% of the time to have the audience in the palm of his hand.
FTR cut a pre-taped promo. They indicated how unhappy they weren’t the highest paid tag team in AEW. They needed the AEW Tag Team Championships to complete their transformation into the greatest tag team of all time. Penta replied that if FTR wanted to play dirty, they would show them how it was done. Alex promised revenge was coming. FTR replied that they would give him a lot worse than a black eye next time.
In the arena, Tony Schiavone brought out Sting to provide an update on Darby Allin. Before Sting could answer Tony’s question. MJF made his way out onto the rampway. MJF said he knew it was hard, but asked Florida to show some class for once. He called Sting Darby’s Emo Daddy, and said the last thing he wanted to do was embarrass the Icon in front of all these schmucks.
MJF said he didn’t want to answer Tony’s questions, because the truth is their little hero Darby Allin isn’t coming back. He said he can try to distract them by painting his face and swinging a bat, but he’s not fooling MJF, even if it’s easy to fool people who solve their problems with gun violence and incest. He said Sting’s negligence is what caused Darby Allin to end up in the same place as his old pal Lex Luger.
He started to say “in a wheelchair”, but Sting decked him. Wardlow and Shawn Spears ran down and evened the odds, with Spears landing several chair shots to Sting’s legs and back. MJF smirked and put his jacked back on as Sting was prone in the ring. MJF addressed Darby at home, and asked him to look at Sting. He said no matter how many times people chant his name and want him to come back, this is what is waiting for him. MJF said he will always fall short, because he is the past, present and future of professional wrestling. Sting tried to get to his feet again, but MJF landed a punch with the Dynamite Diamond to put him down…[c]
My Take: A good night for MJF, even if he did manage to sneak in one more shock jock line about Lex Luger. I hope Darby is able to show some good fire upon his return, because they have set him up for a major moment.
Britt Baker was shown backstage, and it was announced that she would defend her title at Full Gear against Tay Conti. She said all Tay has done since she got here was show everybody her ass, but all she does is show everyone why she is the greatest Women’s Champion in AEW history. She said at Full Gear, she would beat that ass that she loves showing off so much.
In the arena, Penelope Ford made her entrance for a TBS Title Tournament Match. She was followed by Ruby Soho.
2. Ruby Soho vs. Penelope Ford: Ford threw her jacked in Soho’s face and landed some quick strikes. Soho returned fire, but Ford pulled her hair to maintain control. Ford did a front handspring into a spear in the corner. Soho fired back with a series of kicks and covered for a two count. The Bunny made her way to ringside and attempted to pull Ruby off the apron, which was in view of the referee but didn’t cause a DQ for some reason. This allowed Ford to kick her and send her into the ring post…[c]
During the break, Ford sent Soho to the floor where The Bunny was able to land some cheap shots. Ruby got back into the match with a backdrop suplex. She then landed a series of chops. She then followed up with a series of kicks and an enziguri for a two count. There was some awkwardness that eventually led to Ford pulling Soho in for a Cutter. She covered for a two count of her own. Soho climbed to the top, and Ford quickly got to her feet, and Soho had to bail early from the top.
The Bunny tried to interfere with the brass knuckles, but they botched the handoff. The referee sent them out of the ring, and Soho rolled up Ford for the win.
Ruby Soho defeated Penelope Ford a 8:46 to advance in the TBS Tournament
After the match, The Bunny and Ford attempted to beat down Soho, but Red Velvet made the save. Backstage, MJF and Shawn Spears were talking about Darby Allin when Wardlow walked up and asked him why he shoved him in front of Sting’s bat last week. MJF said he got scared and didn’t do it on purpose, and then told Wardlow that it was unfair that he had to back up MJF all by himself. He then introduced Shawn Spears at his new “accountabilibuddy”. Wardlow didn’t look impressed…[c]
My Take: Soho vs. Ford was a bit clumsy at times. It wasn’t bad per se, but they didn’t look comfortable working with each other. Wardlow seems to be on the road of finally firing enough synapses to turn on MJF.
Bobby Fish made his entrance for the next match. Anthony Greene was already in the ring.
3. Bobby Fish vs. Anthony Greene: Fish landed some forearms and elbows right out of the gate. Greene landed one of this own and quickly went up top and landed a cross body for a two count. Fish quickly took control with strikes and a double leg takedown He then landed a dragon screw and a sliding lariat. Fish suplexed Greene into the ropes and then landed a head kick for the win.
Bobby Fish defeated Anthony Greene at 1:59
After the match, Fish celebrated a bit before returning to attack the knee of Anthony Greene. He then taunted the crowd some more, and pummeled Greene with forearms. Eventually, CM Punk charged out of the back and cleared Fish from the ring. He jawed at Fish, and then checked on Greene.
Backstage, Lio Rush and Dante Martin were interviewed backstage. Lio said he wanted to take Dante to the highest flight possible, and in order to do that he needed to mentor him. He said Matt Sydal hasn’t been able to take Dante to the next level. Dante said that Matt Sydal is one of the best, and Lio disagreed. He said he knows Dante can beat Sydal, and so can he, so he already went to TK and got them a match against the Sydal Brothers next week.
In the arena, Lance Archer made his entrance. Eddie Kingston jumped him from behind immediately and they brawled down the ramp. Archer grabbed a “fan” and body slammed him into Kingston. He then chokeslammed the fan onto Kingston from the apron. The bell has not rung yet. Eddie tried to take some shots at Archer, but they had no effect. The bell finally rang with both men in the ring.
4. Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston: Archer maintained control and went for Blackout immediately. Eddie escaped and applied a Dragon sleeper of sorts, but Archer quickly broke free and landed a hard lariat. He then landed a baseball slide that sent Kingston under the ropes and out to the floor…[c]
My Take: Fish vs. Punk is on the way. Lio and Dante Martin will be interesting. I’m curious if this will lead to Dante getting pulled into Lio’s confidence game, or if they have something more interesting in mind.
Archer continued the one sided ass whipping during the break. Kingston started a brief comeback, but Archer landed a big boot as he charged into the corner. Archer went for a moonsault, but he appeared to land on his head in a dangerous looking mistake. Doc Sampson checked on him, and he rolled back into the ring. Eddie immediately rolled him up for the win.
Eddie Kingston defeated Lance Archer at 7:31 to advance in the Eliminator Tournament
Eddie Kingston quickly went to the back after the match, and Archer was checked on by physicians.
My Take: That was a very scary situation. I hope Lance Archer is ok. They had to quickly improvise a finish, and I’m not even sure they needed to do that. That could have been a doctor stoppage and no one would have complained.
Dan Lambert, Scorpio Sky, and Ethan Page were in the ring. Page got on the mic and said the Inner Circle sucks. He said he would explain why in detail. He said he’s heard Hager is undefeated in MMA, but Sky pinned him at Grand Slam. He said Santana and Ortiz say they are hard in the streets, but the Men of the Year treat the streets like a runway. They own anything they walk on. Page then called out Chris Jericho, and said he flirted with Paige Van Zant on live TV, and the only celebrity he’s kissing on is Jorge Masvidal’s knee. He called them the future of the company, and not that walking PR nightmare Sammy Guevara.
Sammy walked out on stage and told them to shut up. He said instead of bitching and moaning about his problems, he worked his ass off and became TNT Champion. He told Page that the reason he’s struggled in the company is that the only person that gives a shit about anything he’s done here is him. He then called Lambert a fat faced dipshit, and demanded to know what his stipulation was.
Lambert insulted Guevara and said the rumor he heard backstage was that Sammy sucked on the stick. He then said The Inner Circle can get their 10 man tag with ATT and The Men of the Year at Full Gear, but he has to accept a TNT Title Match with Ethan Page next week. If he loses the match, he also has to leave The Inner Circle forever. Sammy accepted under the condition that he get to choose the 3 members of American Top Team Inner Circle will face at Full Gear.
Sky then said since he’s in such an accepting mood, he can accept this beat down. They attacked Sammy on the ramp, but Santana and Ortiz and Jake Hager made the save. Lambert, Page, and Sky bailed through the crowd.
Backstage, Jon Moxley cut a promo about life. He said the only thing that matters to him is getting home safe to his daughter. He said he didn’t care about the tournament, the AEW Title, the ratings, the demo, or what people are saying on Twitter. He only cares about returning home with his head on his shoulders, and that means other people have to get hurt. Moxley said he would get them before they get him, and that means he’s winning the whole thing…[c]
My Take: The Inner Circle/ATT feud has failed to impress me thus far, and this segment wasn’t any different. I like Sammy Guevara, but it feels like getting roped into this feud as kind of taken his TNT Title run hostage. Jon Moxley’s promo was really excellent and refreshingly coherent in comparison.
Backstage, The Dark Order were reflecting on their loss last week when Hangman walked up. He apologized for everything that happened while he was gone, and told them they were all right for doing what was best for themselves. He then said if they were going back to the Elite next week, it was pretty close to Halloween and they would have costumes. Page advised them to raise their costume game.
In the arena, Jungle Boy made his entrance. Brandon Cutler was already in the ring.
5. Jungle Boy vs. Brandon Cutler: Jungle Boy quickly dumped Cutler to the floor and dove on him for a spear. Cutler got back in the ring and went for Panama Sunrise, but Jungle Boy tossed him aside. Cutler slapped Jungle Boy, which just pissed him off. He landed a powerbomb and applied the Snare Trap for the win.
Jungle Boy defeated Brandon Cutler in 0:49
After the match, Jungle Boy grabbed the microphone and said that was a nice little warm up, and he was feeling good enough to go again. He called out any of the Elite pieces of shit to come down and take a match. He applied the Snare Trap to Cutler again, and Adam Cole quickly walked out. He called Jungle Boy an embarrassment, and said they could have a fight right here and now. Cole walked to the ring and got punched on the apron, but the Young Bucks surprised Jungle Boy with a double superkick.
They then dragged him to the top of the ramp and hit a BTE Trigger. Cole then lowered the Boom on him. Cole then picked up Jungle Boy so The Bucks could kiss him on the cheek. The then threw him off the stage and through a set of tables. Doctors checked on Jungle Boy as Cole talked trash to him. Dark Order vs. The Elite, and Sammy Guevara vs. Ethan Page are on Dynamite next week. Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida will also be on the show, as well as Bobby Fish vs. CM Punk. Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes is next…[c]
My Take: A good setup for Cole and Jungle Boy at Full Gear. Cole has done a great job of making himself completely unlikable since his debut, and he’s easily the best part of The Elite at this point in my opinion.
A Miro video package aired where he showed anger at his God for forsaking him. He claimed he would snap 1000 necks if he needed to, and he wouldn’t do it for God, he would do it for her. Miro said he would return to her with blood on his hands and horror in his eyes, and that was on you (referring to God).
In the arena, Malakai Black made his ring entrance, followed by Cody Rhodes. Arn walked out with him and shook his hand.
6. Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black: They tied up to start the match (why?) and Cody quickly went for a figure four. Black avoided it and they traded a few reversals. Black landed some strikes and a kick to the knee. He followed up with a kick to the chest, and then rolled into a knee bar. Cody stepped on Black’s face to break the hold. Black continued to get the bulk of the cheers.
Cody landed a powerslam as Black charged at him for a two count. Cody threw his weight belt to a kid in the crowd, who caught it and got a big pop. Black rolled to the floor and grabbed a steel chair. Brock Anderson and Lee Johnson walked to ringside. Brock Anderson managed to grab the chair away from Black…[c]
The action continued to go back and forth during the break. The crowd wasn’t audible, but visually they reacted a lot more for Black’s pinfall attempts than Cody’s. Black setup a table at ringside, and then brawled with Cody on the apron. There was an awkward Crossrhodes from the apron through the table, and it looked like part of the plastic edging on the table raked across Cody’s face. Despite that, it was Black who came up bleeding. Arn got in the ring, and the crowd chanted for him to get the Glock. Cody very obviously bladed after taking a bump off the ring post.
Andrade walked out from the back. His assistant tried to take out Arn Anderson, but Arn pulled him into a spinebuster. Black spit the black mist in Arn’s face. Pac took out Andrade on the stage. Cody landed a Crossrhodes for a close near fall, which the crowd cheered loudly for. Cody got to his feet and fired up, which drew boos. Cody tried for a suplex, but Black blocked it and landed a kick. He then landed a double stomp from the top, and a very pretty German Suplex bridge into a pin for a near fall.
Black landed his back heel kick, but Cody fell through the ropes. Black then sent Cody out of the ring with a back body drop. Black tried to moonsault onto him, but Cody quickly avoided it and landed a suicide dive. Cody then landed a Crossrhodes in the ring, followed by a Tiger Driver for the pin. The crowd boo’d the finish.
Cody Rhodes defeated Malakai Black at 12:04
After the match, Cody rolled to ringside and checked on Arn before the show went off the air somewhat abruptly.
My Take: I’m not sure that is what Cody expected there after trying to tell his redemption story. The match was the best of the three that these two put on, but it was overbooked to hell in order to get there. I can’t say I’m terribly excited about the prospect of Black, Pac, and Andrade being sucked into the Codyverse, because it’s my least favorite part of the card, but maybe they’ll finally pivot now that crowds have firmly rejected Cody’s attempt to keep himself babyface.