By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 114)
Elmont, New York at UBS Arena
Aired live December 8, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] Pyro shot off on the stage. The broadcast team of Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Taz checked in. Excalibur said their hearts go out to Jim Ross (radiation treatments) and ring announcer Justin Roberts (family matter) and then touted the show.
MJF’s music played, but CM Punk came out instead. Punk received more boos than cheers in MJF’s home area. “That’s all you got?” Punk started. “The crowd in Chicago is so much louder.” Punk mocked the fans by saying the New York Islanders hockey team had yet to win a game in the building.
Punk asked the Long Island crowd if MJF was their guy. Punk said he was getting hot, then removed his jacket. Punk was sporting a four pillars of AEW t-shirt with MJF replaced by Britt Baker. Punk said you can put over a woman due to her accomplishments, not because he wants to get into her pants.
Punk mocked MJF saying was better than Roddy Piper in Portland. He said MJF isn’t even as good as Piper was in the movie Hell Comes to Frogtown. Nice. The fans chanted something, which Punk responded to by saying that he couldn’t understand them, just like the Islanders don’t understand how to put the puck in the net. He continued to mock the Islanders by saying their win over the Ottawa Senators the night before was like him beating QT Marshall two weeks earlier.
Punk compared the Long Island fans pulling for MJF to him and other Chicago fans cheering for Dennis Rodman. “I’m not mad at you, I just feel a little bit sorry for you,” he said. Punk spoke about wanting to be next in line for an AEW Championship match and assumed that MJF wanted the same thing.
Punk said MJF stooped to a new low by threatening his dog Larry. Punk said Larry has bigger balls than MJF. Punk said he was having fun and took another jab at the Islanders by saying they haven’t won anything since 1984. Punk said he wants a match with MJF and he doesn’t want him to run like they do in Long Island, he wants him to stand and fight like they do in Chicago. Taz said on commentary this is why he never liked Punk and still doesn’t like him.
Punk said he’d even face MJF on this show, but he didn’t think he’d agree to it. Punk told the fans that if they like MJF and he’s their guy, then they’re all chickenshit. Punk left the ring and stopped on the ramp and encouraged the fans to bring it…
The broadcast team hyped Bryan Danielson vs. John Silver as the main event and ran through the other previously advertised matches. Excalibur said the battle royale was up next and questioned whether MJF could keep the diamond ring prize for a third consecutive year… [C]
Powell’s POV: Punk’s insult comedy routine on the Long Island fans was good fun. I’m already looking forward to Punk’s return to Long Island, as it’s hard to imagine these fans forgetting these insults.
A sports car was shown pulling into a parking lot. A narrator spoke as MJF was shown putting on his letterman’s jacket while the narrator listed some comical accomplishments. The narrator said that MJF might not be a viewer’s cup of tea, but he’s Salt of the Earth in Long Island…
MJF made his entrance wearing his letterman’s jacket and was introduced by Dasha. The other battle royale entrants were already at ringside…
1. The Dynamite Diamond Ring Battle Royale. Wardlow eliminated Lee Moriarty. Dante Martin eliminated Matt Hardy. Lio Rush spun Martin around, but they were both knocked down. Powerhouse Hobbs and Wardlow had a big men moment. Wardlow clotheslined Hobbs over the top, but he remained on the apron. Rush knocked Hobbs off the apron to eliminate him heading into a picture in picture break. [C]
Powell’s POV: I’m not catching all of the eliminations. The match started quickly and MJF received the only televised entrance, so I’m not even sure who all of the entrants were at the beginning of the match. By the way, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett, who will fill in for me with this week’s WWE Smackdown coverage.
MJF took a cheap shot and then stood behind Wardlow while playing to the adoring crowd. Wardlow grabbed Lee Johnson and Lio Rush by the throats. They ended up near the ropes and MJF eliminated all three men. A short time later, the match came down to MJF, Dante Martin, and Ricky Starks. Martin eliminated Starks, making him and MJF the match survivors.
MJF and Dante Martin were the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal survivors at 8:15.
After the match, Starks attacked Martin. MJF stood on the stage and played to the crowd while pondering whether he should return to the ring. MJF teased leaving, then ran to the ring and confronted Starks. Suddenly, MJF and Starks both attacked Martin. CM Punk ran out and put Starks down with a GTS while MJF fled the ring… [C]
Powell’s POV: I always forget that the battle royale isn’t a fight to the finish. Rather, the two remaining entrants, MJF and Dante Martin, will meet next week to determine the winner of the diamond ring. I enjoyed the swerve with MJF teasing a save only to attack Martin. He might be a hero in his hometown, but he’s still a heel.
2. Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison (w/Julia Hart) vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens and “2point0” Matt Lee and Jeff Parker (w/Daniel Garcia). Eddie Kingston came out and prevented Daniel Garcia from interfering before the babyface team won. Jungle Boy put Caster in the Snare Trap and got the submission win.
Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison beat “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens and “2point0” Matt Lee and Jeff Parker.
Kingston met up with Ortiz and they were attacked by Lee, Parker, and Garcia… [C]
Powell’s POV: I had some DirecTV issues during this match. I switched to the TNT app now, but it doesn’t allow me to rewind, so the bulk of the match is a lost cause for this viewer. I basically caught the finish and little else. My apologies. Here’s hoping for smooth sailing going forward.
Backstage, FTR and Tully Blanchard cut a promo and challenged The Lucha Brothers to face them on AEW Rampage…
3. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson (w/Adam Cole, Brandon Cutler) vs. Rocky Romero and Chuck Taylor (w/Orange Cassidy). Taz said he would have big news to announce later in the show. Taylor performed a flip dive onto both Bucks at ringside, then ran off Cutler. The Bucks fought back and had both men down on the floor.
[Hour Two] The Bucks ran the ropes and teased dives, but they slid out the other side of the ring and kissed Cole’s cheeks instead. The Bucks isolated Taylor while Romero sold on the floor. Romero returned to the apron heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Cole took out Cassidy with a kick at ringside. Romero took a hot tag and ended up hitting Sliced Bread on Matt for a two count. Matt distracted the referee while Nick performed a springboard facebuster on Romero. Taylor pulled Nick to ringside and put him down with Sole Food. In the ring, Romero performed a tornado DDT on Matt.
Cutler entered the ring and Rick Knox bickered with him while all sorts of things happened behind his back. Matt pulled Knox down, then Cutler accidentally shot cold spray into his eyes. A short time later, the Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver on Romero for the win.
“The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson beat Rocky Romero and Chuck Taylor in 15:45.
After the match, Cole joined the Bucks in attacking the babyfaces. Wheeler Yuta ran out to help, but the heels quickly put him down. Cole performed a Panama Sunrise on Cassidy. The Bucks and Cole set for a BTE Trigger, but they were interrupted.
Trent’s mom drover her car into the arena. Trent exited the back, got a kiss from mom, and headed to the ring to help his friends. Trent cleared the heels from the ring and stared into the camera while his mother was shown celebrating with Kris Statlander. The Best Friends did a group hug. Statlander and Trent’s mom headed to the ring. The Roppongi Vice theme song played and there was another group hug…
Powell’s POV: I’ve been numbed into tolerating the way that pro wrestling referees are made to look foolish. But I don’t think I’ll ever be numb enough to tolerate how ridiculously inept Rick Knox is made to look on a weekly basis. Knox arguing with Cutler while everything happened behind him with the crowd reacting loudly to the spots completely took me out of the match. That said, if you’re in the camp that accepts it, then I’m sure you enjoyed the match more than I did.
Penelope Ford and The Bunny spoke to Ruby Soho about having a six-woman tag match on Rampage and said they would be teaming with Nyla Rose. They questioned whether Soho had any friends. Soho called for the fight to start on the spot and went after them. Rose joined the heel duo…
Tony Schiavone stood on the stage for an interview with Sammy Guevara. Cody Rhodes walked out to boos and informed Guevara that his open challenge had been filled. Rhodes teased leaving through the heel exit, but he stopped and went back through the babyface tunnel.
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky spoke from the second level of the building. Page complained about Rhodes kissing ass and getting a title shot. He also warned that Dan Lambert is coming back. Sky said Guevara claims to be a fighting champion, but he doesn’t face wrestlers like him who are ranked in the top five. Guevara placed the TNT Title on the ramp and motioned for the heels to come and get it…
Excalibur hyped the upcoming matches… [C] A video package set up the Thunder Rosa vs. Jade Cargill match in the TBS Title tournament…
4. Riho vs. Jamie Hayter (w/Britt Baker, Rebel). Hayter distracted the referee, allowing Baker to choke Riho briefly. They cut to a break while Hayter was on the offensive. [C] Riho came back with a dragon suplex for a near fall. Hayter returned fire with a brainbuster for a near fall of her own.
Hayter chokeslammed Riho onto her knee and got another two count. Hayter applied a half crab. Hayter hit Riho with a big boot. Riho came right back with a knee strike. Riho performed a Code Red for a near fall. Riho went up top and performed a double stomp for yet another near fall.
Riho went back to the ropes and was cut off by Hayter. Riho blocked a superplex and knocked Hayter off the ropes. Rebel grabbed Riho’s leg while the referee checked on Hayter, who then joined Riho on the ropes. Riho performed an avalanche crucifix bomb and scored the pin…
Riho beat Jamie Hayter in 13:45.
After the match, Baker attacked Riho and put her in the Lockjaw…
Powell’s POV: The heels distracting the referee in this match was fine in that it didn’t require viewers to turn the brain off to believe it could happen. Both women worked really hard. I enjoy Excalibur’s work in general, but he telegraphed the outcome by stating multiple times that Britt Baker has never beaten Riho in a singles match.
Excalibur announced The Lucha Brothers vs. FTR for the AEW Tag Titles, Ruby Soho, Tay Conti, and Anna Jay vs. Nyla Rose, Penelope Ford, and The Bunny, and Adam Cole vs. Wheeler Yuta for AEW Rampage…
Taz made his announcement. Hook will face Fuego Del Sol on AEW Rampage and said the world will find out that Hook is all that and a bag of chips…
Excalibur announced AEW Revolution for Orlando, Florida at Addition Arena… AEW Rampage will be held on March 4, there will be a fan fest on March 5, and the pay-per-view will be held on March 6.
Schiavone hyped MJF vs. Dante Martin for the Dynamite Diamond Ring, and Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida, and Hangman Page vs. Bryan Danielson for the AEW Championship for next week’s Winter is Coming themed edition of Dynamite… A video package aired on the Deeb vs. Shida match…
Schiavone stood on the stage and interviewed Brian Pillman Jr., Griff Garrison, and Julia Hart. The lights went out. When they came on, Malakai Black was on the stage wearing a horned mask. Black sprayed mist that hit Pillman and Hart. The lights went out and when they turned out, Black was gone. Pillman was tending to Hart, who was crying… [C]
Powell’s POV: And the Emmy goes to Julia Hart. She did a really nice job of selling the mist. I guess we won’t be getting the best of three falls match involving the Lucha Bros and FTR that was supposed to happen this past Friday. While I doubt this is the case, I’m fine if they ditched the best of three falls to make room for Hook’s debut. He plays his silent and cocky part really well and I’m anxious to see how he does in the ring.
Bryan Danielson made his entrance while Excalibur plugged Jon Moxley’s book. John Silver was accompanied onto the stage by the other Dark Order members and then he headed to the ring on his own…
5. Bryan Danielson vs. John Silver. Silver took down Danielson a couple of times and then flexed for the crowd. Danielson took offensive control and taunted the crowd by asking who is the best. [C] Silver had a flurry of offense and set up for his Spin Doctor finisher, but Bryan raked his eyes to break it. Bryan it Silver with a series of elbows to the side of the head. Bryan followed up with a Gotch style piledriver, then applied a submission hold and got the win…
Bryan Danielson defeated John Silver in 10:45.
Bryan took the mic and listed each member of the Dark Order whose head he “kicked in.” He got to Silver and said he’s a man of his word. Bryan grabbed Silver’s arms and started to stomp his head. AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page ran out and attacked Bryan, who quickly fled the ring. Page got the mic. “Next week’ I’m going to stomp the Cowboy Shit out of you,” Page said. The broadcast team hyped the AEW World Championship match for next week and Friday’s AEW Rampage to close the show…
Powell’s POV: Danielson going over strong was the only way this match could go given that he’s challenging for the AEW World Championship next week. The post match angle was quick and effective. I wish they would have dedicated more time to Danielson and Page on this show, but I am definitely looking forward to their showdown match next week.
I am very curious to see how this performs in the ratings tomorrow. The lineup was underwhelming on paper. They had some stars working matches, but they were against wrestlers who are lower on the card. So it will be interesting to see if this approach was enough or if it will work against them. I will be back with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.