By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 122)
Chicago, Illinois at Wintrust Arena
Aired live February 2, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone were on commentary. Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced Jon Moxley, who made his entrance through the crowd for the opening match. Wheeler Yuta made his entrance for Orange Cassidy and Danhausen, who followed him to ringside…
1. Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta (w/Orange Cassidy, Danhausen). Yuta threw a dropkick when the bell sounded, but Moxley sidestepped it. Moxley went for a suicide dive, which Yuta blocked. Moxley applied a sleeper. Yuta escaped it and dropkicked Moxley on the floor.
Yuta tossed Moxley back inside the ring and then went for a triple jump springboard dropkick that Moxley avoided. Moxley eventually scratched the back of Yuta while both men were on the ropes. Yuta headbutted Moxley off the ropes and then leapt over him before finally connecting with a dropkick.
Yuta went up top for a move, but Moxley rolled to the apron, causing Yuta to drop down. Moxley hit Yuta with headbutts and then spiked his head onto the apron. Moxley rolled Yuta back inside the ring and then had a moment with Cassidy. When Moxley turned around, Danhausen struck a pose in his face. Yuta took advantage of the distraction by diving onto Moxley.
In the ring, Yuta performed a German suplex for a two count. Yuta picked up another near fall, but Moxley dropped him with a cutter. Yuta avoided Moxley’s finisher and suplexed him. Yuta went up top and splashed Moxley for a near fall. Moxley eventually came back with the Paradigm Shift and scored the pin.
Jon Moxley defeated Wheeler Yuta in 7:30.
After the match, Moxley celebrated his win until Bryan Danielson entered the ring and stared him down. Moxley looked to the crowd and then looked back at Danielson, who asked the fans if they wanted to see them fight. The fans cheered and chanted yes.
Danielson said he wanted to fight Moxley for a long time too because he was different. Danielson said we’ve seen a new Moxley since he returned and had the crowd applaud him. Danielson said he wanted to test Moxley and watched him when he was the AEW Champion and felt he was the company’s best champion.
Danielson said he thinks Moxley would still be AEW Champion if he still had some support. Danielson said he realized that they shouldn’t be fighting against one another, they should be fighting together. Another “yes” chant broke out briefly.
Danielson said he knows everyone in the building loves AEW, but there’s no reason that a millennial cowboy should be AEW Champion or why someone dressed as a dinosaur should be an AEW Tag Team Champion. Danielson added that there’s no reason that someone whose main contribution to society is running a vlog should be TNT Champion.
Danielson said he and Moxley could run the place and take any titles they want. Danielson said they could take a guy like Wheeler Yuta and put him under their wing. He said they could grab Daniel Garcia from 2point0. He said they could take Lee Moriarty and put him under their wing too.
Danielson told Moxley that even if the crowd doesn’t like him, they like what he’s talking about. Danielson told Moxley that it was a lot to put on his plate and he didn’t need to answer, but he wanted him to think about the possibilities of what they could create and the legacy that Moxley wants to leave.
Danielson offered Moxley a handshake. Danielson pulled his hand back and told Moxley it was a lot of pressure, then suggested that he think about it…
A video package aired on the CM Punk vs. MJF feud… [C]
Powell’s POV: The opening match was well worked match and obviously came together late in the day due to Brian Kendrick being pulled from the show (see the main page for details). I assume Danhausen is in Best Friends now, which is a fun spot for him. The post match angle was really intriguing. Whether Moxley joins the group or not, I could see Danielson leading a faction that includes some of the wrestlers that he mentioned. By the way, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett tonight, but he will be taking WWE Smackdown coverage on Friday night.
Brandi Rhodes stood in the ring dressed in non-wrestling attire. She spoke favorably about Chicago and how nice the fans are to her. The fans booed her.
Dan Lambert, Scorpio Sky, and Ethan Page walked out. Lambert accused her of believing her own bullshit. He said they may have given her a reality show, but he as going to give her a reality check. Lambert and his crew entered the ring. He ended up telling Rhodes that he actually felt like a decent person standing next to her.
Brandi told Page that the only reason “we hired you was to get to Josh Alexander.” Brandi was cut off by “shut the f— up” chants. She asked the crowd if they were done. The fans booed. She started to speak again and the chant fired up. She said she was going to run right thought them just like she does everything else in the company.
Brandi took a jab at Lambert by saying his best fighter lost to Jake Paul. She also brought up Amanda Nunes, but then said she wouldn’t go there because she knew that one hurt. Lambert said it was time for the whole family to go heel because the only turn anyone would buy from her is returning to her old job of going face down. Brandi slapped Lambert. Paige VanZant came out. Other AEW female wrestlers entered the ring and kept them apart…
Powell’s POV: Man, this Rhodes family babyface thing is going swimmingly! Well, they are 1-3 if you count Dustin. For whatever it’s worth, Brandi did indicate on the reality show that she thinks she thinks she’s been a heel all along, so it seems like Cody is the only one who hasn’t accepted the reality of the situation.
Matt Hardy, Isiah Kassidy, Marq Quen, The Blade, and The Bunny were interviewed by Alex Marvez in a stairwell. Hardy said Private Party failed to bring home the AEW Tag Titles. Hardy said he wants the TNT Title. Andrade El Idolo and Jose showed up. Andrade noted that Private Party failed. Hardy said Kassidy was going to face Sammy Guevara on Rampage. Hardy asked Andrade why Darby Allin hadn’t signed with them. Andrade brought up offering him more money and then left the picture while Hardy told Kassidy not to fail him…
2. Pac and Penta El Zero Meido vs. Malakai Black and Brody King. Pac had a bandage around both eyes, but he ducked Black’s first attempt to hit him. Pac removed the bandage early on to show that his eyes were fine. Black and King came back and isolated Pac heading into an early break. [C]
Pac put Black down with a brainbuster and had him pinned, but King broke it up. Penta entered the ring and traded forearms with King, who got the better of it, and then tossed him to ringside. Penta got right back on the apron and kicked King to the floor before diving on him. Penta returned to the ring and performed another dive onto King on the floor.
Pac dropped Black with a superkick and then tagged in Penta. They setup for the Fear Factor, but King shoved Pac off the ropes. Black sprayed mist into the eyes of Penta while the referee wasn’t looking. Black and King hit their Dante’s Inferno finisher on Penta, and then King covered him for the win…
Malakai Black and Brody King beat Pac and Penta El Zero Meido in 10:20.
A pre-taped promo aired with Adam Cole, who barked at Brandon Cutler to turn the camera on. Cole took issue with anyone claiming that Orange Cassidy beat him last week. Cole pointed out that his record shows he’s still unbeaten (Lights Out matches don’t count in the AEW record books). Cole vowed to show off a new side of himself and said it’s a side that takes what he wants. Cole said he would beat Evil Uno on Rampage and then the entire world would know what he wants… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good match with the right team going over. Black and King are a new duo. And while Pac and Penta are in Death Triangle together, Penta and Rey Fenix are the actual tag team of the faction. Meanwhile, Cole delivered a strong promo. It looks like the loss to Cassidy sparked an angrier and more serious version of the Cole character, which I’m all for. By the way, I continue to enjoy the way that AEW is setting up their future TV matches throughout the show rather than just announcing them all at once before the main event.
3. Ruby Soho vs. Nyla Rose (w/Vickie Guerrero). Both entrances were televised. Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen was shown in the front row. Soho stopped to have a moment with the man who sings her entrance theme. Rose was on the offensive heading into a break. [C]
Soho hoisted up Rose on her shoulders while standing on the apron. Soho dropped off the apron, leaving Rose to fall face first. Guerrero distracted Soho for a moment, allowing Rose to come right back with a spinebuster. Back in the ring, Soho had Rose pinned following a kick, but Guerrero pulled Rose’s foot under the bottom rope right in front of the referee.
Soho went to ringside and grabbed Guerrero. Rose grabbed Soho by the hair and pulled her back inside the ring where she dropped her with a neckbreaker. Rose went up top, but Soho stood up and chopped her. Soho went for a huracanrana, but Rose stuffed it. Rose slipped away to avoid the Beast Bomb.
[Hour Two] Soho missed with a kick. Rose performed a Swanton from the top rope and then hit the Beast Bomb for the win. Ross called it “a helluva match”…
Nyla Rose beat Ruby Soho in 10:50.
Powell’s POV: A good back and forth match. I wasn’t a fan of the Guerrero interference occurring right in front of the referee, who either acted like she didn’t see it or chose not to do anything about it. Aside from that, this was competitive match and Rose winning felt like a minor upset.
Ross said The Gunn Club had commandeered a camera crew. Billy, Colten, and Austin Gunn attacked Jungle Boy in the backstage area. They booted Jungle Boy to the outside of the arena and dumped him in the snow. Luchasaurus and Christian Cage showed up, causing The Gunn Club to flee the scene…
A split screen shot showed CM Punk sitting crosslegged on the floor while MJF warmed up with Shawn Spears shouting encouragement behind him… Ross hyped AEW World Champion Hangman Page speaking after the break… [C]
Tony Schiavone stood in the ring and introduced AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page, who made his entrance. Schiavone asked Page about facing Lance Archer in a Texas Death Match.
Page spoke about how his flight would probably be cancelled because there was a foot of snow on the ground. Page said he needed something and he needed it tonight. He called for Archer to come out so they could give the people of Chicago a fight.
Dan Lambert and Jake Roberts walked onto the stage. Lambert noted that they were in the home of the Chicago Blackhawks. He said he figured a “soft cowboy like you would be more comfortable in a city like Cleveland that cancelled their Indians.” Page tried to respond, but Roberts told him to shut up. He said he smelled fear.
Lance Archer came out, grabbed Lambert’s mic, and said he was going to shut Page up. Archer and Page ended up brawling at ringside. Lambert showed up with a chair. Page tossed Lambert inside the ring and set up for his finisher, but Archer hit him from behind. Archer turned the ring steps on their side and then chokeslammed Page on them.
Archer hoisted up Page and gave him the Blackout through a table at ringside while Roberts laughed. Archer took the mic and said he would take the AEW Championship and doesn’t give a damn what anybody thinks they want…
Chris Jericho delivered a backstage promo. He said it was embarrassing that Santana and Ortiz wouldn’t tag him into the match. He said he wanted to hear from their mouths why they did what they did last week. Jericho labeled himself “The Influencer” and demanded an Inner Circle team meeting for next week. Jericho said attendance was mandatory…
Excalibur listed Adam Cole vs. Evil Uno, and Ricky Starks vs. Jay Lethal for the FTW Championship for Friday’s AEW Rampage. Highlights aired of drama involving Starks and Lethal from the January 14 edition of Rampage. Thunder Rosa vs. Mercedes Martinez, and Sammy Guevara vs. Isiah Kassidy for TNT Championship were also announced for Rampage…
The broadcast team hyped the following for next week’s AEW Dynamite: The Inner Circle meeting, and Hangman Page vs. Lance Archer in a Texas Death Match for the AEW Championship…
MJF made his entrance… [C] CM Punk made his entrance coming out of the break. He wore a jacket with his dog Larry’s name on it. Once Punk stepped on to the ring apron, he faced MJF and gave him the double birds…
4. CM Punk vs. MJF. The match started without any other wrestlers at ringside. A loud CM Punk chant started after the opening bell. Punk walked toward MJF, who ducked between the ropes. MJF hit Punk with a cheap shot. Punk quickly came back with punches and chops.
Punk caught MJF in the ropes and punched him repeatedly while MJF teetered back and forth. MJF eventually tried to leave. Punk followed him into the stands and caught him. Punk got a drink from a fan and slammed it over MJF’s head for a big pop and another CM Punk chant. Punk picked up MJF and crotched him on the handrail.
Referee Bryce Remsburg ordered Punk to get back to the ring. Punk obliged by bringing MJF back to ringside and then rolling him back inside the ring. Punk bodyslammed MJF three times and looked to the cheering crowd. The fans chanted “one more time.” Punk obliged with another bodyslam, then went and laid over the top rope and soaked up the cheers.
Punk stood on the top rope and set up for an elbow drop, but MJF rolled away. Punk dropped down and charged MJF, who moved, causing Punk to go through the ropes and slam his shoulder into the post. MJF followed him to the floor and stood on his left hand while on a table, then dropped a knee on it. MJF rolled Punk back inside the ring heading into a break. [C]
MJF worked over Punk’s left arm and dominated throughout the picture-in-picture break. Punk fired back coming out of the break and performed a neckbreaker. Punk sold his arm, then stood up and performed a running knee in the corner. Punk used his right arm to bulldog MJF, which was pointed out by Schiavone.
Punk signaled for his finisher, but MJF rolled under the ropes. Punk followed and bodyslammed MJF on the apron. A “one more time” chant broke out, but Punk opted to take MJF to the floor. Punk held MJF while a man in the front row slapped his chest. Punk rolled MJF back inside the ring. Punk went up top, but MJF crotched him.
MJF joined Punk on the ropes and then wrenched his arm so that he fell into the ring. Punk fired back with a clothesline. Punk looked to the crowd. MJF pulled the referee in front of him. MJF grabbed a piece of tape and choked Punk with it while the referee’s back was turned. MJF applied a sleeper to shield the referee from the tape. Punk went for his finisher, but he faded.
MJF had Punk down in the middle of the ring in a sleeper. The referee checked Punk’s arm and it fell three times, giving MJF the win. MJF appeared to defeat CM Punk in 14:40. The referee raised MJF’s arm, but he spotted the tape. MJF tried to kick it aside, but the referee picked it up and then spoke with Justin Roberts, who announced that the match would continue.
Punk rolled up MJF for a two count. Punk threw twenty punches to the head of MJF while standing on the middle rope. Punk performed an inverted atomic drop and then put MJF down with a clothesline. Punk grabbed the legs of MJF, who kicked him to ringside. Excalibur pointed out that Punk was having trouble using his injured left arm to perform the move he was going for when he had MJF’s legs. [C]
MJF set up for a Heatseeker piledriver, but Punk threw him off. Punk clotheslined MJF. Punk hoisted up MJF with one arm for his finisher, but MJF was able to slip onto the ring apron where he wrenched the bad arm of Punk over the top rope. Punk responded with a dropkick, which put MJF on the floor. Punk hit MJF with a suicide dive that sent MJF into the front row.
Punk limped as he returned to the ring after the broadcast team played up a bad landing from the suicide dive. MJF put Punk’s legs in a submission hold and barked at the crowd to shut up. Punk escaped the hold and countered into an STF. Punk shook his bad arm and released the hold.
Punk and MJF jockeyed for position. Punk got the better of it and set up for his GTS finisher, but his bad leg gave out. Both men traded pin attempts and a “this is awesome” chant broke out. MJF caught Punk in an ankle lock, which Punk broke by rolling into the corner, which sent MJF’s face crashing into a turnbuckle pad.
Punk limped as he stood up. Punk and MJF traded blows in the middle of the ring. MJF kicked Punk’s knee. Punk fired back with some forearms and then blocked a kick, but MJF rakes his eyes. MJF ran the ropes and ate a big punch from Punk. MJF bounced off the ropes and swung at Punk, who ducked it and then performed a Poison Rana. With both men down, Punk put his arm over MJF and got a near fall.
Punk stumbled as he tried to get back to his feet as he continued to sell a bad knee. MJF went for his finisher, but Punk avoided it. Punk sent MJF into the ropes. MJF sold a stringer, but he chop blocked Punk. MJF went back to clutching his neck, then performed another chop block. Punk blocked MJF’s finisher again, but MJF slammed him down for a close near fall.
MJF caught Punk with a low kick that the referee was shielded from. MJF covered Punk and put his feet on the ropes for leverage for a near fall. [C] Excalibur noted that MJF had targeted Punk’s injuries throughout the break.
MJF and Punk ended up on the ropes. Punk bit the forehead of MJF, then performed The Pepsi Plunge (Pedigree) from the ropes. Punk came up selling his knee while Ross said Punk hasn’t performed that move in over a decade. MJF rolled to the floor. Punk followed and threw him back inside the ring.
MJF kicked Punk’s bad knee and then went for a tombstone piledriver, but Punk reversed it. MJF rolled up Punk before he could perform the piledriver. Punk kicked out and then got up and dropped MJF with a roundhouse kick.
Punk went up top and performed an elbow drop for a great near fall. Punk signaled for the GTS, but MJF rolled through the ropes and tumbled to the floor. Schiavone told viewers that they would be sticking with the action if it went past the top of the hour.
Wardlow walked out dressed in regular attire. Wardlow looked down at MJF, then walked over him and went face to face with Punk, who was also at ringside. Wardlow walked away from Punk, who rolled MJF back inside the ring. Punk looked back at Wardlow. As the referee warned Wardlow, MJF blasted Punk with the Dynamite Diamond Ring and then covered him for the three count.
MJF defeated CM Punk in 39:15.
The broadcast team recapped highlights of the match and noticed that Wardlow actually passed the Dynamite Diamond Ring to MJF. They also spotted MJF passing the ring back to Wardlow, who entered the ring and stood while MJF sat on the mat and posed while taunting the crowd…
Powell’s POV: Wow, was that fun. I thought we might be seeing the Wardlow babyface turn, but instead he helped MJF win the match in a fun twist. It wasn’t a case of the production team missing the shot of him passing the ring to MJR. Rather, it looked like it went exactly as planned, as Wardlow actually passed the ring behind his back to MJF while he was going face to face with Punk on the floor.
I love the call to have MJF go over in Chicago. That’s the best way to extend this feud and it gives MJF a huge in-ring credibility boost (yes, even though he cheated to win). Overall, a great show thanks in large part to the memorable main event. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members.
Solid first 45 minutes of the show, even with the Best Friends garbage, but now we’ve got Soho and Rose putting on a solo episode of Botchamania. How can Ruby have a decade of experience yet not know how to throw a working punch?
We got the obligatory AEW table spot out of the way in the terrible talking segment. If WWE broke a table literally every week, it would be harped on ad nauseum.
Now we get about 40 minutes for the main event? This will be interesting. Both guys can fill the time well, but this is certainly ambitious.
The false finish with the foreign object being spotted leading to a restart, the smart work on the body parts, the sneaky heel getting help from his second, and the hometown hero getting pinned make this a great WWE style match and the best thing on AEW TV this year.
WWE had the woman go through a table for months just because her husband joined AEW.
When the hell does WWE ever have a Spanish announce table without someone going through it?
When AEW doesn’t anything to be that damn repetitive, let me know .
WWE had a woman go through a table for months just because her husband joined AEW.
When the hell does WWE ever have a Spanish announce table without someone going through it?
When AEW does anything to be that damn repetitive, let me know .
Really good ending to the main event, but the restart of the match was a real groaner. I hate this wrestling thing of “the referee’s decision is final, except when it isn’t”.
“Brandi Rhodes stood in the ring dressed in non-wrestling attire. She spoke favorably about Chicago and how nice the fans are to her. The fans booed her.”
Actually, she called Chicago Cleveland on purpose, so she was not talking favorably about Chicago.
It’s really something that Dan Lambert was actually cheered in this segment with Brandi though..
Here’s a novel thought….neither Bryan Danielson nor Jon Moxley need to be in a faction. Allow them to be the singles stars that they are.