By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 118)
Newark, New Jersey at Prudential Center
Aired live January 5, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] Jim Ross welcomed the TV audience to TBS. Excalibur and Tony Schiavone joined in to run down tonight’s card. Bryan Danielson made his entrance for the AEW World Championship Match that will start the show. Hangman Page made his entrance, followed by some video footage of their initial 60 minute draw. Justin Roberts made ring introductions, and announced Paul Wight, Jerry Lynn, and Mark Henry as the judges in the event the match goes to a draw.
1. Hangman Page vs. Bryan Danielson for the AEW Championship: Hangman tried to charge at Bryan to get an early advantage, but he escaped to ringside to do some jumping jacks. Page pursued, so Bryan ran back into the ring. They circled each other, and then tied up. Hangman pushed Bryan back into a corner, but whiffed on a chop. Bryan landed a chop, and then escaped to ringside to avoid retaliation.
Back in the ring, they tied up again and grabbed for wrist control. Bryan ducked a clothesline attempt and taunted Hangman and pointed at the judges. Bryan tried to retreat to the floor, and Hangman dove on him at ringside. He attempted a moonsault, but Bryan avoided it. Hangman caught a charging Bryan and gave him a powerbomb into the ring apron. He then tossed Bryan back into the ring to setup for a Buckshot Lariat. Bryan escaped to the floor.
Hangman dove at Bryan again, but this time Bryan avoided it and he crashed into the barricade with his right arm. He then focused on the arm by sending Page into the ring post. Bryan then wrenched the arm over his shoulder. Both men traded chops in the corner, but Bryan quickly regained control and stomped on Hangman’s elbow. After some back and forth, Hangman dumped Bryan onto the apron and landed a springboard clothesline. He then splashed Bryan with a dive out onto the floor.
They quickly got back in the ring, and Hangman landed a diving clothesline from the second rope for a near fall. Bryan then sent Hangman to the floor. He attempted a dive, but Hangman caught him and landed a belly to belly suplex. He then charged at Bryan, who tripped him into the steps with a drop toe hold. The ref forced Bryan back into the ring, and Page started bleeding from the forehead…[c]
Danielson controlled the action on the floor during the break. He landed some headbutts as the show returned in an attempt to open the cut on Hangman’s forehead. Bryan then landed a suplex, and transitioned into punches and then a cross armbreaker. Page clasped his hands to avoid the worst of the hold. Both men got back to their feet, and Hangman landed a Death Valley Driver out of desperation to get a breather. Both men got to their feet, and started trading strikes.
Hangman executed a bridging German Suplex for a near fall. Hangman’s blood was all over Danielson’s shoulder and the ring mat following the suplex. Page landed a big boot. He lined up for a suplex, but both men tumbled to the floor over the top and landed on their feet. Bryan avoided another suplex attempt and shoved Page into the ring post. They then got into a tug of war with the ring post between them, with Hangman pulling Bryan into the ring post three times.
They returned to the ring, and began trading headbutts. Bryan also started bleeding, and Hangman began doing some jumping jacks in the ring…[c]
Bryan was bleeding profusely as both men traded headbutts on the top turnbuckle. Hangman grabbed him and performed a fallaway slam moonsault for a near fall. Danielson rolled to the apron. Hangman tried a springboard, but got shoved to the floor. Bryan attempted to dive on him, but Hangman caught him and hit Deadeye. He then attempted a Buckshot Lariat, but Bryan fell down in a bloody heap.
Hangman approached Bryan, but was pulled into a rollup for a near fall. He then quickly applied the LeBell Lock, but Page was able to escape and sent Bryan out to the apron. He tried to skin the cat, but didn’t have the energy. Hangman knocked him to the floor, and landed a moonsault. He attempted another Buckshot Lariat, but Bryan ducked and landed a Busaiku Knee for a close near fall. Both men traded numerous headbutts again, and then transitioned to forearms and kicks.
After a series of reversals, Bryan avoided a Deadeye and landed a Cradle Piledriver for a near fall. He then stomped on Hangman’s face, but had to stumble into the corner after it was over. He demanded for Hangman to get up, and then ran into a Pop Up Powerbomb. Hangman went to cover, but Bryan applied a Triangle. Hangman tried to power out, but Bryan transitioned into a Heel Hook. Hangman replied with punches and kicks to escape.
Page landed a nasty backdrop driver, and then rolled to the apron. He setup for a Buckshot Lariat, and Bryan struggled to his feet. Page turned him inside out with the Lariat and got the win.
Hangman Page defeated Bryan Danielson at 29:10 to retain the AEW World Championship
After the match, Danielson remained on the mat, and Hangman celebrated to the back. MJF is up next…[c]
My Take: Another excellent match in a tremendous series. Bryan is a master storyteller, and he did all he could to take away the Buckshot Lariat from Hangman, but in the end couldn’t get the job done. It’ll be interesting to see where they go with him from here.
We got a brief backstage promo from “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens, who said they would have a viral music video for next week for Darby and Sting. One of them said “Ok, boomer” in regards to Sting…
Back in the arena, MJF made his entrance for the next match. Captain Shawn Dean was already in the ring…
2. MJF vs. “Captain” Shawn Dean: CM Punk ran down to ringside immediately, and MJF ran away. Punk hit a GTS on Dean, and the DQ victory was awarded to him.
“Captain” Shawn Dean defeated MJF by DQ at 1:23
After the match, Punk said this is MJF’s future until he steps in the ring with him. MJF got a mic and said it was bad enough he had to wrestle in herpes infested New Jersey. Punk responded the crowd were winners, and he was a loser. MJF said that everything that comes out of Punk’s mouth is fake, and he needs MJF to give him a chip on his shoulder and make him relevant. He said Punk called him a waste of money, but Punk was the one who sold Tony Khan and all the people a bill of goods. MJF said Punk was not a savior, but said that he was.
MJF said that Punk got really offended when he called himself Roddy Piper. He asked if Punk thought he was Piper, because last time he checked Piper was talented enough to Main Event a WrestleMania. He then said that he might get around to Main Event Mania too. Punk responded that all he wanted to do was kick his ass, and all he could do was run and hide. Punk told him to go where the grass is greener, Main Event a buy 1 get 4 free extravaganza, and get released faster than he lasts in the sack. MJF then said if Punk wants his match, he can have one next week against…Wardlow.
The crowd chanted bullshit. Punk said the difference between people like Piper, himself, and MJF is that he and Piper would fight anybody anytime. He then told MJF that eventually he would run out of people to hide behind, and then he would put him to sleep…
Chris Jericho is up next. We got a video package for the Battle of The Belts and Go Big Show…
My Take: Another solid talking segment between MJF and Punk. It’s starting to get a little repetitive on the subject matter, but the charisma makes up for a lot of it.
Chris Jericho made his entrance to make some remarks. Jericho said this was his first appearance on TBS since losing to Booker T on WCW Thunder in 1999. He said 2point0 put him out six weeks ago with a chairshot to the head, and last week he came out not to save Eddie Kingston, but to get a bit of revenge. 2point0 made their way out to the ring in response. Jericho called them Terrance and Phillip.
Matt Lee told Jericho they gave him a little taste of steel chair, and asked him how he liked it. Jericho responded that he can’t get past his giant square head. Parker told Jericho to shut up and not call him a squarehead. Jericho called Parker a pinhead, and then led the crowd in chanting for square head and pinhead. They asked Jericho if he wanted another taste, and he grabbed a bat in response. Daniel Garcia joined in on a three man beat down. Eddie Kingston ran down with Santana and Ortiz to make the save…
We got a brief video of Jake Atlas winning a match on Dark…
Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly were talking backstage. Cole said along with the Young Bucks, they were a supergroup.
[Hour Two] Cole called out Jake Atlas, and said he wanted a match with him to show Atlas that he was still the guy everybody was talking about. When it was over, he’d but him a one way ticket back to Orlando…
Wardlow made his entrance in the arena with Shawn Spears. Antonio Zambrano was already in the ring. Spears gave Zambrano a C4 Death Valley Driver on the floor, and tossed him into the ring…
3. Wardlow (w/Shawn Spears) vs. Antonio Zambrano: Spears tossed Zambrano into the ring. Wardlow gave him a powerbomb, followed by four more. He then covered for the win.
Wardlow defeated Antonio Zambrano at 1:23
Wardlow celebrated up the ramp.. Jade Cargill vs. Ruby Soho is up next…[c]
My Take: Jericho couldn’t really save 2point0 on the microphone. It was an aggressively mediocre segment. Wardlow continues to shine, and Spears is helping with his annoying side show act.
A video package was shown for the breakdown of the friendship between Kris Statlander and Leyla Hirsch… In the arena, Jade Cargill made her entrance, followed by Ruby Soho…
4. Ruby Soho vs. Jade Cargill (w/Mark Sterling) in the finals of the tournament to crown the first TBS Championship: Both women faced off center ring to talk some trash. They tied up, and Jade landed an arm drag. Jade kipped up and taunted Ruby. Jade backed Ruby into a corner, but Soho fired back with some forearm shivers. She then sent Jade to the outside. She landed a shotgun dropkick from the apron to the floor, and looked to have taken the wind out of herself in the process.
Jade took to the top rope, and came down on Ruby with a double sledge. She then climbed back to the top, and Ruby pulled her down with an arm drag. Ruby rolled to the floor holding her arm. Mercedes Martinez ran down, which prompted Thunder Rosa to run down and intercept. The ref checked on Ruby’s shoulder and she climbed back into the ring…[c]
Both women battled on the apron during the break. Ruby was sent shoulder first into the ring post. They went back and forth during the break. Ruby rolled up Jade, but was sent into the turnbuckle shoulder first on the kick out. Ruby landed some kick and went for a suplex, but Jade easily blocked it. Ruby then landed a judo throw and covered, but Jade’s shoulders were never completely down. Jade recovered and landed a shoulder breaker, followed by a pump kick for a close near fall.
Jade lifted Ruby into a fireman’s carry, but Ruby made an escape. She then landed a Saito Suplex a moment later for a near fall of her own. Mark Sterling provided some interference, and was thrown out by Aubrey Edwards. Jade then picked up Ruby for the Jaded, but Ruby rolled through for a two count. Ruby then hit another kick and covered for a two count. Jade recovered and went for Jaded again, but couldn’t execute it.
Ruby placed Jade on the top rope in the corner. She went for another Arm Drag, but Jade pulled her into an Avalanche Jaded and got the win.
Jade Cargill defeated Ruby Soho at 11:22 to become the first TBS Champion
Jade celebrated after the match. Jade’s daughter was shown to be very pleased in the crowd…
Backstage, a pre-taped interview with Serena Deeb and Jim Ross was shown. Deeb said that Shida got fluke victories, and she won’t accept them, and now this was about hurting her. JR asked why she took this so personally, and she asked if he thought any other woman in the locker room was on her level. He replied that’s a tough question, but he’d have to say no. She said he’s damn right, and she’s paid enough dues for every woman in the locker room. Deeb said she demanded a match against Shida next week, and she wouldn’t walk away from it…
In the arena, Malakai Black made his ring entrance. He was followed by Brian Pillman, Jr. He was accompanied by Julia Hart, who wore an eyepatch over her eye.
5. Malakai Black vs. Brian Pillman Jr. (w/Julia Hart): They tied up to start, with Pillman pushing Black around initially. Black attempted a spinning back kick, but Pillman avoided it. Black was sent to the outside, and then Pillman landed a dropkick through the first and second rope out to the floor…[c]
My Take: Jade and Ruby was what it needed to be. It was sloppy in spots due to Jade’s inexperience mostly, but it wasn’t bad and Jade’s continues to look the part of a star. The Deeb promo was very good. I’m looking forward to the next encounter with Shida, which I believe Deeb has to win.
You may be surprised to find out that Brian Pillman was not decapitated during the commercial break. He rolled up Black for a two count, but he quickly popped up and landed a side kick. Black picked up Pillman with his foot, but he held on and landed a right hand. He then landed a clothesline and a chop. Pillman went for Air Pillman, and fell right on his face. Black then landed a roundhouse kick and got the win.
Malakai Black defeated Brian Pillman Jr at 6:08
Black looked set to attack Pillman, but the Lucha Brothers walked down to the ring. The lights went out, and when they came back on The Lucha Bros were in the ring and Black has escaped up the ramp…
In the back, Tony Schiavone interviewed Ruby Soho, who was immediately interrupted and mocked by Britt Baker. She told Ruby that she couldn’t get the job done again, just like at Grand Slam. Ruby told she couldn’t beat her without her help, and she hasn’t pinned Riho with or without help. Britt attacked her, and then Riho made the save…
We got a rundown of about 1000 upcoming matches, but I was a bit behind and didn’t catch them all. Adam Cole will take on Jake Atlas on Rampage, and Battle of the Belts is on Saturday…[c]
My Take: Malakai Black teased another member of his crew on social media, which didn’t happen here. So that was a let down. Otherwise, this was pretty much what you’d expect. The lights turning off and back on just felt like a bit of a shortcut here.
Jurassic Express made their entrance with Christian Cage. The Lucha Bros then made their entrance with Alex Abrahantes…
6. “The Lucha Brothers” Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. “Jurassic Express” Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus (w/Christian Cage) for the AEW Tag Team Championship: Fenix and Jungle Boy started the match with some chain wrestling. Fenix landed a hard dropkick, and then made a tag to Penta. Jungle Boy avoided a double back suplex attempt, and made a tag to Luchasaurus. Penta took off his glove and tossed it to Alex Abrahantes. He then slapped Luchasaurus several times on the chest.
All four men were in the ring now. We then got an elaborate double arm drag from both Jungle Boy and Fenix. Penta recovered and kicked Jungle Boy in the back of the head. Luchasaurus landed a deadlift German Suplex on Penta for a near fall. Penta stunned Luchasaurus with a kick, and he staggered to tag in Jungle Boy. There was a flurry of fast paced offense, leading to Penta landing a soccer kick on Jungle Boy while walking the ropes…[c]
Jungle Boy turned Penta inside out with a clothesline after being isolated during the break. He rolled under a clothesline from Penta and made the hot tag to Luchasaurus. He landed a double clothesline on Penta and Fenix, and then fired up for the crowd. Penta and Fenix replied with some double team strikes, and an assisted splash for a near fall. There was some clumsy action that led to a top rope destroyer from Jungle Boy to Fenix.
Luchasaurus planted Penta with a slam, and then tagged out to Jungle Boy. Penta landed thrust kicks to both men. Fenix recovered and hit a springboard destroyer on Luchasaurus. Penta then landed Made in Japan on Jungle Boy for a near fall. Penta and Fenix attempted a spike piledriver, but the lights went out temporarily. Luchasaurus tried to offer some help to Jungle Boy, but was taken out by a Tornillo from Fenix. Fenix then came off the top for a spike Fear Factor, but Jungle Boy kicked out.
Alex Abrahantes set up a table at ringside, and then Christian chased him off. Penta landed some kicks on Luchasaurus, but he stuffed the third. He then chokeslammed Fenix through the table that was setup at ringside. Fenix suffered a bad arm injury. Penta set up for another Fear Factor, but Jungle Boy reversed into an attempt at the Killswitch. Penta avoided it, and went for another Fear Factor. Jungle Boy reversed into a roll up and a victory.
Jurassic Express defeated The Lucha Bros to win the AEW Tag Team Championship at 14:50
After the match, just about every heel team in AEW walked out on the ramp. Chris Jericho was shown watching from the luxury box, as was Malakai Black. FTR, 2point0, ReDragon, Private Party and others stared down the new champions down from the ramp as they celebrated…
My Take: A very entertaining match to close the show, even if I’m not the biggest fan of the confusing rule enforcement in AEW Tag Matches. There were some sloppy moments at various points, but it didn’t ruin the big moment at all. It was very unsettling to see the arm injury to Fenix. It looked like an elbow dislocation or a broken arm. I hope it’s not as bad as I fear, and he’s able to recovery quickly. Jungle Boy is on his way to super stardom, and this is another step on the way. There are a lot of interesting potential feuds for Jurassic Express, and it’ll be interesting to see how they determine who is up first. With the Win/Loss records reset for 2022, they don’t really have rankings at the moment. This was a noteworthy show, with one of the best matches in AEW history and two new champions. Jason Powell will have more to say with his audio review later tonight.