By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 111)
Norfolk, Virginia at Chartway Arena
Aired live November 17, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] A recap of some highlights from Full Gear was shown at the top of the show. JR, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone joined in on commentary and ran through tonight’s card. Sammy Guevara will face Jay Lethal for the TNT Title later on, among several other matches. National Cowboy Shit Day will commence first…
The Elite were shown backstage. Kenny Omega said people are already asking him when the rematch would be. He said The Elite lost the night, and there were some things that he needed to fix that he couldn’t fix here. He congratulated Hangman, and asked The Bucks to hold it down while he was gone. Cole said, “Don’t Worry Cleaner, I got this.” Kenny said he was talking to The Bucks, and Cole laughed it off. The Bucks told Kenny they would hold down the fort while he was gone…
In the arena, The Dark Order was in the ring, and John Silver introduced Hangman Page. He made his ring entrance and grabbed a microphone. A “You deserve it chant” broke it out. He stopped the crowd and said he didn’t deserve it, he f’n earned it. Page said he’s not usually one to flap his gums, but he’s AEW Champion so he thinks he’ll do whatever the hell he wants.
Page said he’s still a man who answers to a boss, and that boss is the fans. So if the boss allows it, he’d like to celebrate National Cowboy Shit Day with them in the ring. Page said the championship carries a lot of weight and responsibility, and the next responsibility is the American Dragon Bryan Danielson.
Bryan Danielson made his entrance on cue. Bryan had a microphone and smirked at Page. He said he came out to say one thing, and that was congratulations. He shook his hand and said he was super excited for their match for the AEW World Championship. Bryan said he’s also a little surprised and disappointed that it’s not Kenny Omega standing across the ring from him. Page said that he’s right, he beat his ass at the PPV, and if he’s not mistaken he did it in less than 30 minutes.
“Cowboy Shit” chants broke out. Bryan said he didn’t come out to start any beef, although to be fair, you’re not going to be wrestling someone who dresses up like a Ghostbuster on Halloween. Bryan said he was there to kick ass, but in fact he was there to wrestle tonight and not flap his gums. He then said he wrestled his first night after winning the Championship at WrestleMania, which elicited boos. Bryan said of course Virginia boos hard work. Page said they could have that match right now if he wanted.
Bryan backed off, because Page was in his cowboy boots, jeans and a terrible leather jacket. He said people told him that Adam Page was full of excuses as to why his career was a failure, so he didn’t want him to have any excuses when he beats him for the World Championship. Page said they didn’t have to wrestle, but he would fight. He headbutted Bryan and they went face to face. The Dark Order separated them. Bryan said they wouldn’t let him go because they knew he’d kick his ass.
Page charged Bryan, who rolled to ringside. Bryan will be in action next…[c]
My Take: A very good talking segment to open the show. Page and Bryan are both hot, and Bryan tilted heelish against the more popular champion. I’m curious to see how this plays out long term, and if they schedule the match sooner than later.
1. Bryan Danielson vs. Evil Uno: Bryan grabbed a half crab early on, and broke on 4.5. Uno landed a shoulder block, and then an inverted atomic drop. He landed some strikes and rolled up Bryan for a two count. Uno landed a chop, and Bryan slapped him across the face and knocked him down. Bryan followed up with kicks and chops. Uno returned fire, but was quickly overwhelmed with kicks.
Uno backed Bryan into the corner and landed hard chops and punches. He then telegraphed a back body drop, and Bryan kicked him in the face. Uno then landed a neckbreaker for a two count. He then landed more chops and a slap, and Bryan replied with a hard elbow that dropped Uno. Bryan followed with more strikes, and flying dropkicks in the corner. Uno avoided a third and then went for a top rope Senton, but Danielson saw it coming and got the knees up,
Bryan landed a Busaiku Knee, and then stomped Uno in the face. He then applied a Triangle Choke and Uno was out immediately.
Bryan Danielson defeated Evil Uno at 6:20
Bryan soaked in the boos. Tony Schiavone interviewed him in the ring after the match. He asked him about the boos from the crowd. Bryan said he came out to congratulate Adam Page, and because of his behavior, he ended up kicking Uno’s head in. He doesn’t know when his title match will be, but until he does, he’ll kick the heads in of every member of the Dark Order. Next week they’re in Chicago, so he told Chicago native Colt Cabana that if he’s got any nuts he’ll kick his head in next week…
MJF cut a promo that was taped on Saturday after his Full Gear win over Darby Allin. He talked about how he answered all of his critics who say he doesn’t have what it takes bell to bell. He got every one of the cute mark chants, and while every one viscerally hates his guts, people had no choice but to admit just how good he is. He then said he was excited to go to Virginia for Dynamite, because he beat Darby with a headlock takeover, and he was better than you and now you have no choice but to admit it…[c]
My Take: Pretty much a squash match for Bryan, but it should be and it was effective. The post match promo sets up the story for the short term, which will see Bryan killing all of Hangman’s friends. MJF’s promo was also very strong. He’s headed for a title next, and I’m assuming it will be fellow pillar Sammy Guevara.
Backstage, we saw a pre-tape with Eddie Kingston and Schiavone. “2point0” Matt Lee and Jeff Parker walked up with Daniel Garcia, and they mocked Eddie for not lasting as long with Punk as Garcia did. Eddie dismissed 2point0 and told Garcia to stop letting other grown men call him a son. He told him he knew he was from Buffalo, and told him he knew what they had to do. Garcia and Kingston had a standoff, and Garcia was pulled away. Eddie said he was going to catering…
In the arena, The Butcher and Blade made their entrance with The Bunny and Matt Hardy. Orange Cassidy made his entrance with Tomohiro Ishii. They were accompanied by the rest of the Best Friends crew and Rocky Romero…
2. Tomohiro Ishii and Orange Cassidy vs. The Butcher and The Blade (w/The Bunny): Ishii started the match with the Blade. After a couple of punches from The Blade, Ishii dropped him with one shot. Cassidy tagged in and landed a Kokeshi like drop for a two count. Blade took out Cassidy and jawed with Ishii. Cassidy landed some soft kick, and Blade hit the ropes. Butcher made a blind tag, and blasted Orange when he had his back turned. He then cleared him from the ring and tagged Blade back in. Matt Hardy took a free shot on Cassidy on the floor…[c]
As the show returned, Cassidy escaped both men and lazily strolled over to make the hot tag to Ishii. He entered and chopped down Blade, and landed a backdrop suplex for a two count. Ishii set up for a brainbuster, but Blade escaped and tagged Butcher. He and Ishii traded strikes, and Butcher backed him into the corner with chops. Ishii started to get fired up from the strikes, and walked through a series of elbows and backed Butcher into the opposite corner. Ishii landed a hard elbow, and then placed Butcher on the top rope. He followed him to the top and pulled him in with a superplex for a two count.
Blade broke up the pinfall to save the match. Ishii landed a hard lariat on Ishii and tagged in Cassidy. Butcher and Blade caught Cassidy coming off the ropes, but he broke free. Cassidy landed a Stundog Millionaire on Butcher and sent him to the floor. He then landed a lariat on Blade for a near fall. Butcher entered and they landed a double team slam onto Cassidy, but Ishii broke up the pin. He dragged Cassidy to the corner and made a tag.
Ishii entered and beat down Butcher, and sent Blade to the outside. Interference went wild here as the heels tried to use Brass Knuckles. Romero and Cassidy prevented the interference,and Ishii put away The Blade with a sheer drop brainbuster and covered for the win.
Tomohiro Ishii and Orange Cassidy defeated The Butcher and The Blade at 9:49
After the match, Ishii and the rest of the Chaos/Best Friends crew celebrated. Lethal and Guevara will be in the main event. Nyla Rose vs. Hikaru Shida is next. Schiavone interviewed Andrade and FTR backstage. Andrade addressed Cody and Pac and said he was better wrestlers than them, and now he would show them….something I didn’t understand. Cash Wheeler told them they would take care of them, and Tully told Arn Anderson he had something for him too. Wheeler said he had huge huevos…[c]
My Take: A fun tag match, even if it was a little predictable. I’m completely over the Hardy Family office. Everyone involved needs a reboot, including Matt Hardy. Andrade and FTR is an odd pairing when they try to cut promos together.
We got a video package that recapped Britt Baker and Tay Conti from Saturday. Conti said the next time she gets a title shot, she will come out of it as the new Champion. Baker was interviewed by Schiavone. Baker said she was exhausted carrying the women’s division, and redirected the spotlight to the next TBS Women’s Champion Jamie Hayter. Baker said next week, Hayter would defeat Thunder Rosa on her rise to Championship Gold…
In the arena, Nyla Rose made her entrance with Vickie Guerrero, followed by Hikaru Shida…
3. Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero) in a TBS Title tournament quarterfinal match: They went back and forth with strikes early. Shida landed a drop kick from the second rope and covered for a two count. Rose went for a suplex, but Shida avoided it and landed a sliding elbow strike. Rose rolled to the floor to regroup. She took control with a lariat and then slowed the pace. She focused on the knee that was previously injured by Serena Deeb. Vickie Guerrero used Shida’s Kendo Stick to choke her on the ropes. Rose picked up Shida for a scoop slam and then tossed her into the corner knee first.
[Hour Two] The action spilled outside, and Shida set up a chair. Rose clobbered her from behind and sat her in the chair. Rose went for a senton off the apron, but Shida moved and Nyla flattened the chair. Vickie tried to use the Kendo stick, but Shida stole it from her and struck her across the back. Shida went up top, but Rose met her there and tossed her back into the ring…[c]
During the break, Shida splashed Rose on the floor. Serena Deeb appeared and blocked Shida from the crowd behind the back of the referee. Nyla set Shida over the top rope, and landed a flying knee. She covered for a close near fall. Nyla then went for a Beast Bomb, but Shida rolled out into an armbar submission. Rose then picked her up and landed a powerbomb to escape, and followed up with a running senton on the bad knee.
Nyla went up for another Senton from the top, but she missed. Shida attempted to stack her up for a pin, but she kicked out at a close near fall. Rose recovered and picked up Shida into a standing stretch muffler and got the submission win.
Nyla Rose defeated Hikaru Shida at 11:27 to advance in the TBS Title tournament.
After the match, Nyla celebrated and highlights from the match were shown. Rose got an earful from a young female fan at ringside…
In a pre-tape, Malakai Black said that in Chicago, the four of them would destroy the four of them. He would make them breathe toxic air and to sleep while time was still on their side. He was referring to an 8-man tag that will happen next week. Andrade and Malakai Black with FTR will take on Death Triangle and Cody Rhodes…
In the arena, MJF made his entrance with Shawn Spears and Wardlow. Spears had the mic and said Maxwell could defeat any of your heroes with a headlock takeover. MJF grabbed the mic and said he tried, and he was a good friend. He said he checks all the boxes, both in the ring and on the microphone.He called himself the most complete wrestler on the planet, and the man who would start a bidding war in 2024. MJF called himself the past, present and future of wrestling, and said he could send everyone’s favorite horse right to the glue factory.
MJF said the rankings don’t tell the whole truth, and everyone knows he deserves to be the next AEW World Champion. He said nobody in the locker room is on his level, which prompted an entrance from CM Punk. He entered the ring and stood cross armed in front of MJF, who looked around with a confused look. A holy shit chant broke out, and MJF scoffed. An “STFU” chant then broke out when MJF tried to speak. He introduced himself as Maxwell and held out his hand. Punk laughed and walked away, refusing to shake his hand. MJF looked miffed.
Darby Allin was interviewed backstage. He said Max did not break him mentally. Darby said he was not taking any time, and he wanted the biggest and baddest AEW had to offer. Billy Gunn walked up and said that was him, so just say when. Austin and Colten said some nonsense, and Darby said screw it, let’s do it…[c]
My Take: I enjoyed Shida and Rose. It felt fresh after not seeing it for a while, even if many of the spots remained the same. Deeb continues to play her role perfectly, as well. MJF and Punk will be a fun program. I’m curious if Punk goes scorched earth on the mic to counter MJF’s similar approach, or if he colors outside the lines a bit. Darby Allin feuding with Gunn Club feels like a punishment for something.
In a Pre-Tape, Adam Cole said he was tired of Christian, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy. He said it was the worst night of his life. The Young Bucks aren’t cleared, and Matt said he was upset that Jungle Boy tried to kill him while kids were watching. Cole said he and one of his best friends Bobby Fish would take on Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy on Rampage…
In the arena, Dante Martin and Lio Rush made their entrance. They were followed by The Acclaimed. Max Caster made no sense. First he said Dante Martin had more partners than Pete Davidson, and then called him a virgin. Rush and Martin splashed them both at ringside before they could finish their shtick…
4. Lio Rush and Dante Martin vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens: There were some rapid fire double team moves from Rush and Martin to start. Rush covered Bowens for a two count. Martin tagged in, and Bowens quickly took control and landed some hard chops in the corner. Caster pulled Martin to the floor and tossed him into the barricade. The Acclaimed then landed a double suplex onto the floor. Caster tagged in and landed a stomp from the second rope.
The Acclaimed made quick tags and deliberately kept Dante Martin cut off. Caster landed a neckbreaker and made several covers to wear out Martin…[c]
Lio Rush got a hot tag and took out both Bowens and Caster with ease. He sent Caster to the floor and landed an Axe Kick on Bowens for a near fall. All four men ended up in the ring, and traded combinations. Dante Martin landed a huge springboard dropkick on Bowens. Rush sent Caster to the floor. Rush and Bowens were legal. Bowens recovered and landed a suplex. Caster tagged in and landed a huge lariat. Caster tagged Bowens and landed his Mic Drop signature move. Bowens covered and got a near fall.
Martin broke up the pin and took out Caster. He then took out Bowens with a springboard moonsault. Rush then landed a huge splash on Bowens and got the pinfall.
Lio Rush and Dante Martin defeated The Acclaimed at 10:47
After the match, Team Taz walked out and offered condolences to him and his family. He said some people were bothered with Team Taz offering Dante a contract while he was out, but he should understand what it means to be all business. He said they would be patient, and Ricky Starks said next week is the one year anniversary of Powerhouse Hobbs joining Team Taz. He told Martin that he had a choice between having a Hall of Fame career with Team Taz, or a mediocre one with Lio Rush…
Backstage, Christian said watching Jungle Boy take out Matt Jackson was one of the most rewarding moments of his career. Jungle Boy said Cole and Fish had a chance to end him, but couldn’t get the job done. He said he’d eat thumbtacks for breakfast, he didn’t care, because they were better than ever. Jungle Boy said he’d see them on Friday night…
Jade Cargill will also face Red Velvet on Rampage. A video was shown of their rivalry. The main event is next…[c]
My Take: Another solid bit of ring work. I can’t say I’m terribly excited about the Team Taz feud with these two, but my mind is open to being sold on it if Dante can show some fire.
The Lucha Brothers said they would have something special for FTR and Andrade next week, because Death Triangle and Cody Rhodes were the best four man team in the universe…
In the arena, Jay Lethal made his entrance, followed by Sammy Guevara. A pre-tape was shown from Jay Lethal where he talked about making history…
5. Sammy Guevara vs. Jay Lethal for the TNT Title: Early on, Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, but Sammy attempted a reversal into the GTH. After a series of reversals, both men ended up staring at each other face to face. Lethal ended up on the outside. He tried to get back up on the apron, but Guevara took him out with a running knee, and then followed up with a splash on the floor. Sammy went for shooting star back in the ring, but Lethal got his knees up…[c]
The action spilled back outside where doctors checked on Guevara. The doctor let him continue, and Sammy got fired up. Both men locked up and traded punches hockey fight style. Lethal got the best of it and set up for Lethal Injection, but Guevara blocked it and landed a standing Spanish Fly. Lethal rolled to the floor to avoid Sammy. Guevara set up for a dive, but Lethal interrupted it and sent Guevara to the floor. Lethal attempted a suicide dive, but Guevara caught him and landed a brainbuster. Sammy continued to sell the ribs off and on, but it seems to have little effect on delivering his offense.
Guevara set up Lethal onto the timekeeper’s table, but Lethal avoided the oncoming splash and Sammy crashed and burned through the table. Lethal put Sammy in the ring and attempted an Elbow Drop from the top, which Sammy reversed into a Crucifix for a near fall. After some rapid fire reversals, Lethal pancaked Guevara and applied a Figure Four. Guevara eventually reached the ropes and escaped. Guevara landed a knee strike, but couldn’t pick up Lethal for a GTH. He continued to land knee strikes, and called for the end of the match. He was finally able to land a GTH, and got the win.
Sammy Guevara defeated Jay Lethal at 12:10 to retain the TNT Championship
After the match, Tony Nese was shown in the crowd briefly. The Inner Circle ran down to the ring to support Guevara, and the ended the show in the ring together. Guevara shook hands with Lethal, who posed with The Inner Circle…
My Take: I enjoyed the ring work here, but I think Sammy needs to work on his facial expressions and selling if this kind of story is going to convince the TV audience that he’s in serious peril. Overall, a solid edition of Dynamite. I think it may have peaked early with the Danielson and Hangman stuff, but MJF and Punk is an intriguing program and I look forward to seeing where it goes.