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AEW Dynamite: September 8, 2021

by Samoa Rowe

Jon Moxley

From the Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Taz.

Malakai Black vs. Dustin Rhodes

Dustin is fighting for his family and faction's honor, and takes it to Black early. Dustin shakes off a roundhouse kick and hits a belly to back suplex. Black blocks the Destroyer and back suplexes Dustin through a production table. The fans chant 'Malakai' and this is a rare example of an AEW crowd favoring a heel instead of playing along. Black hits a knee lift to the gut for a 2 count, and applies a deep chinlock. Dustin survives the hold, but Black kicks him back down. Dustin mounts a comeback, mistimes a powerslam, but then hits a proper power slam (awkward miscue, but the fans are forgiving). Dustin goes for mounted punches, but Black kicks him off the buckles. Sick knee strike by Black gets 2. Black fetches Cody's boot and offers it to Dustin as a weapon. Dustin rejects the bait, instead hitting a Canadian Destroyer for only 2. Black trips Dustin into an exposed buckle and hits a spinning heel kick for the win at 9:51. Despite some disjointed sequences, they had the fans with them at the end, **¾.
Winner: Malakai Black

Lucha Bros. video promo. They're the AEW Tag Team Champions and dare their competition to do something about it.

Eddie Kingston video promo. He puts over his effort against Miro at All Out, but points out that Miro cheated to beat him. Miro doesn't like having his "Redeemer" status questioned, and it looks like we'll get a rematch sooner than later.

CM Punk comes to the ring to talk, and based on the fans' reaction, you can probably refer to Cincinnati as "South Chicago." Punk talks about his match at All Out. He wasn't sure if he still had what it takes to perform, but wrestling is like riding a violent bicycle. Punk geeks out that Minoru Suzuki will be fighting Cincinnati's Jon Moxley later. He puts over 'Aunt Linda' in the crowd, and gets more cheap pops by name dropping Bryan Danielson and Ruby Soho. Punk's 'beautiful wife, April' asked him what's next, but Punk passes the question to the fans. Taz interrupts because he's sick of the 'bullsh!t lovefest' and demands he keep Team Taz out of his mouth. Punk quips that 'no one' mentioned Team Taz, which brings out Powerhouse Hobbs and Hook. Since Punk respects Taz, he'll face Starks, Hook, or Hobbs, and they can beat him if they can, survive if he lets them.

Santana and Ortiz video promo. They're the best. That's about it.

Tony Shiavone interviews Ruby Soho backstage, but they're immediately interrupted by Britt Baker and friends. Ruby says she helped Britt break into wrestling, so she knows that Britt is hiding behind nicknames to run away from her true self. Britt deflects the criticism because she's the champion (good point) and thinks Ruby should run away back to 'catering' where she spent the last 7 years (ooooooooh!). Ruby doesn't like that, so she'll take it out on Jamie Hayter later.

Powerhouse Hobbs (with Hook) vs. Dante Martin

Martin is eager to start but runs into Hobbs' standing tackle. Hobbs catches Martin in a springboard crossbody, but Martin escapes to dropkick him to ringside. Hobbs blocks a tope suicida and swings Martin into the ring post! Hobbs dominates to send us to commercials. They return with Martin surviving a bear hug. Martin comes back with an extra high missile dropkick. Martin pump kicks Hobbs through the ropes, but Hook steps in to prevent a dive. Martin leaps over Hook anyway and crashes onto Hobbs. Martin can't hit a springboard moonsault, and Hobbs hits a mean powerbomb to win at 8:21. Perfectly acceptable TV match that allowed both guys to do the things they do well, **½.
Winner: Powerhouse Hobbs

Dan Lambert (with Men of the Year) interrupts the show from his suit to cut another promo where he basically parodies Jim Cornette and Twitter trolls' AEW criticisms. Tony dismisses Lambert as an angry old man yelling at clouds.

Super quick video promo: Matt Hardy wants to cut Orange Cassidy's hair. Cassidy seems unbothered by this.

MJF (with The Wardlow) comes to the ring to talk. He's irate over losing to Chris Jericho at All Out and complains that his clean victory was stolen from him by the referees. He vents by insulting Cincinnati the biggest dumpster fire in the world. This city is MID, so he dares someone to jump the guard rail and do something about it. He threatens Aunt Linda (who can barely contain her laughter) and mocks Brian Pillman's grown daughter was '16 and Pregnant.' She stands up for herself, so MJF mocks her 'vile looks.' Brian Pillman Jr. has heard enough and interrupts to a nice hometown pop. Brian says this city breeds bad-asses, which means trouble for MJF. MJF can't believe Brian is trying to hang with him on the mic, and mocks his mother 'Meth-any' for forgetting to swallow. Wonder what the TNT execs think of this. MJF dismisses Wardlow and vows to abort Pillman like his mother should have, sparking a brawl. Pillman gets the better of MJF, but Wardlow helps with a German suplex. Griff Garrison tries to help, but Wardlow holds him in place for MJF's Dynamite Diamond knockout blow. Pillman shields Garrison from any more punishment, and MJF leaves somewhat satisfied.

Jon Moxley talks to the camera about his match against Japan's most sadistic wrestler, Suzuki. Moxley isn't scared and Suzuki is gonna die.

Jamie Hayter (with Dr. Britt Baker and Rebel) vs. Ruby Soho

Ruby's Rancid theme gives her about 15 points of overness that she didn't have before, and the live fans love her. Hayter corners Ruby, and plays mind games on the break. Ruby hooks the arm and smashes the throat. Hayter hangs Ruby on the ropes and takes control just in time for some commercials. Funny how that always happens. They return just in time for Ruby's comeback (of course). Ruby hits a wild tornado DDT but Hayter kicks out! Hayter looks for an electric chair, but Ruby slips off for a facebuster of some sorts (total botch, if we're being honest). Hayter buys time with a neckbreaker, and follows with a fireman's carry backbreaker. Hayter's low lariat gets 2. Ruby's enziguri out of nowhere ends it at 7:07. This was cooking before the commercials, but kind of fell apart near the end, *¾.
Winner: Ruby Soho

Britt and Rebel attack Ruby after the bell. Riho tries to save but gets knocked down. Kris Statlander runs in with a chair and saves the day.

FTW Champion Ricky Starks cuts a video promo against Brian Cage. This feud has dragged on long enough, so they'll finish it soon.

The Pinnacle (Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, and Shawn Spears, with Tully Blanchard and Wardlow) vs. The Dark Order (Jon Silver, Stu Grayson, and Evil Uno)

The Pinnacle seemed to quietly dissolve into nothingness as of late, so I'm happy to see them back as a unit. The Dark Order have been having problems lately on the Youtube shows, but Anna Jay wants them to get their acts together. Silver starts against Spears, but eats a shoulder tackle. Silver answers with a scoop slam and poses to the fans' approval. Stu tags in, but quickly gets cornered by the Pinnacle. Stu catches Spears with a Pele kick, and Uno tags in for an elbow shot for 2. The Dark Order have their way with Spears, and all looks well for a moment. Sadly, Silver soon has to fight out of the Pinnacle's corner, and he hits Wheeler with a suplex. Spears knocks down his Dark Order friends and mockingly asks SIlver for a tag. Silver responds by hitting Dax with a German suplex for 2. Silver bonks heads with Uno, and eats Dax's slingshot suplex. The Pinnacle hit Silver with a tandem powerbomb to win at 4:48! Hey, a ONE SEGMENT MATCH! This is like TV match nirvana, they got the Dark Order dissension angle over, and the Pinnacle looked great in victory, **½.
Winners: The Pinnacle

The Dark Order seem to fall apart as the infighting leads to a brawl. Anna Jay and Tay Conti want to talk some sense into them, but don't know what to say.

Video promo with various losers from All Out's Casino Battle Royal. Bunny and Penelope Ford are mad at Anna Jay and Tay Conti. Jade Cargill feels disrespected. Thunder Rosa won't give up.

Tony Shiavone interviews Tully Blanchard backstage. Tully puts over the leadership in the Pinnacle. He demands that Tony Khan book Shawn Spears against Darby Allin, and he wants Sting one more time for himself.

Sammy Guevara comes out with CUE CARDS! Is it too early to feel this nostalgic about 2019?

Meanwhile, Brian Pillman Jr. is furious about what happened to Griff Garrison in HIS HOMETOWN! Pillman challenges MJF to a match in Queens. He's interrupted by the Acclaimed, who sarcastically offer him flowers. Max Caster says he politicked Tony Khan into giving him a match against Pillman next week.

Tony Shiavone hosts The Elite in the ring. The Young Bucks are down in the dumps after losing the AEW Tag Team titles to Lucha Bros. in a five star cage match at All Out. Don Callis steals the mic to gush about Kenny Omega being listed #1 in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500! Don goes on to complain about the Bucks having their titles stolen, and teases a plan to get them back. On a happier note, they are pleased to welcome back their best friend, ADAM COLE BAY-BAY! The fans love Cole, despite his heel affiliation. Cole threatens Shiavone to smack his stupid glasses off his face if he looks at Britt the wrong way. He orders 'nerd' Tony out of the ring, effectively turning the live crowd against him. Cole says AEW is the greatest wrestling company in the world, thanks to The Elite. He pumps himself up as a once in a generation great professional wrestler, and has been elite for a long time. Now, the Elite is Complete, and the fans should be thanking them. Cole will make his in-ring debut next week. Kenny Omega is still mad about getting interrupted at All Out, so he's cut off by none other than BRYAN DANIELSON! Kenny dismisses his Elite friends and welcome Bryan into the ring. Bryan cuts to the chase and asks the fans if they want to see him against Omega. Bryan puts Omega into a LaBell lock, but the Elite stomp him off. Jurassic Express and Christian Cage run in to even the odds, and Luchasaurus throws Stunt onto the field. Frankie Kazarian helps clear Cole out with a leg drop. Brandon Cutler finds himself stranded and eats Bryan's running knee. This segment was permission to print money.

We receive word that Cody Rhodes will return to face Malakai Black at the stadium show in Queens.

Minoru Suzuki vs. Jon Moxley

The fans give Suzuki a "holy sh!t" chant and then completely adore hometown hero, Moxley. They chant "This is awesome" at the opening bell while the guys trade forearms. They trade pump kicks, Suzuki unleashes palm strikes, and Moxley smashes the face. Sadly, it's time for commercials. They return with the guys trading back and forth offense. Snapmare by Suzuki, but Moxley blocks a running kick and bites the face. Suzuki bites back, so Moxley nails a headbutt. Suzuki headbutts back, and they both look dazed. They collide with the weakest double headbutt ever and go down. The fans don't seem to mind. They slug it out to their feet while the crowd chants 'This is awesome.' Moxley reverses a piledriver into a back drop and hits a Paradigm Shift! Moxley hits a strange slam, but Suzuki kicks out at 1! Suzuki is bleeding from the eye, but refuses to go down on a dropkick, and hits a lariat. Moxley escapes suplex and hits a vertical suplex to win at 8:11! Well, they certainly held nothing back, the fans loved it, but I'm left feeling oddly unsatisfied, **¾.
Winner: Jon Moxley

Moxley marches off through the stands and celebrates with about 6,000 of his closest friends.

Final Thoughts: Really good reset show after the terrific All Out show. The only thing I might have done different is advise MJF not to go so lowbrow, and maybe flip the Elite/Danielson segment and Moxley/Suzuki. It certainly feels as though AEW has all the wind in their sails right now and are reaching Attitude Era levels of 'the stars are so over that the flaws don't really matter.'

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