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AEW Dynamite: December 8, 2021

by Samoa Rowe

Bryan Danielson

Live from the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York (Long Island). Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Excalibur, and Taz.

MJF's music hits (to a mixed reaction) but instead we get CM Punk, and the fans BOO HIM! Punk leans into it and mocks the crowd with "That's all you got, Chicago is louder” and "I can see why the Islanders have yet to win a game in this arena.” Punk asks the fans if MJF is their guy and removes his jacket to reveal a Four Pillars shirt. He is annoyed about MJF's "incel” assertion that he cannot put over a woman without making it about the T&A. This is shaping up to be the kind of classic, biting Punk promo that everyone has been begging for, and is making MJF seem like a pretty big deal in the process. Punk isn't mad at Long Island, but feels a little sad for them. He's looking ahead at the Danielson/Hangman match, and wants the winner. Punk tries to use a title shot as bait to lure MJF into a match, who stooped so low to bring his dog, Larry, into this. Also, the Islanders suck. If MJF is Long Island's guy, then all the Long Island fans are chicken sh!t. Punk leaves without getting an answer, but this was highly entertaining.

Very professional video package for MJF. He dramatically struts into a football field while his accomplishments are listed off, which includes pulling so many chicks, bruh. He's the salt of the Earth, better than us, and we know it. MJF finally enters the arena to a hero's welcome and he lets some emotion out, but doesn't forget to imitate some CM Punk mannerisms.

Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal:

Featuring: MJF (with Shawn Spears), Wardlow, Big Money Matt Hardy (with The Bunny), Jay Lethal, Lio Rush, Dante Martin, Matt Sydal, Powerhouse Hobbs, Ricky Starks, Lee Moriarty, Frankie Kazarian, and Lee Johnson.
Hot start for MJF and Wardlow, with Spears lurking around to catch them if tossed. Moriarty is unceremoniously dumped. The Bunny slips brass knuckles to Hardy, and he knocks Lethal out for an easy elimination. Martin sneaks up to toss Hardy. Rush and Martin stare down, but Hobbs interrupts and meets Wardlow for a hoss fight. Wardlow gets Hobbs on the apron, and Rush knocks him down with a back handspring tackle. TIme for some commercials. They return with the fans cheering MJF for a cheap shot against Martin. MJF sneaks up to dump Johnson and Wardlow, sacrificing his own guy. MJF uses a low bridge to toss Kazarian. We're down to MJF, Martin, and Starks. It looks like MJF is in a 2 on 1 situation, but Martin turns on Starks, leaving him and MJF as our co-winners at 8:28. MJF winning in his hometown should offset any bad feelings when Danielson destroys Silver later. This mostly felt like a run of the mill battle royal, but gets some points for advancing numerous story threads, **¼.

Martin throws down his FTW armband, enraging Taz on commentary. MJF shakes Martin's hand and surprisingly leaves without a cheap shot. Starks puts the boots to Martin, MJF looks torn about what to do, then sprints to the ring and swerves by helping kick Martin. CM Punk rushes to the ring, MJF retreats immediately. Martin pops up to give Starks an enziguri and Punk hits GTS for the exclamation mark. /P>

Jurassic Express (with Christian Cage) and Varsity Blonds (with Julia Hart) vs. 2point0 (with Daniel Garcia) and The Acclaimed

Jungle Boy grapples with Anthony Bowens and eats a shoulder tackle. Jungle Boy avoids The Acclaimed double team attempt and hits double springboard arm drags. Brian Pillman Jr. hits double baseball slide dropkicks to set up Griff Garrison's dive onto The Acclaimed. 2point0 ambush Pillman, allowing The Acclaimed to cut him off in their corner. Instead of going right to commercials, they stick around so we can witness Pillman's destruction. Pillman plows through double clotheslines and makes the hot tag to Luchasaurus. The hungry dinosaur stacks The Acclaimed and 2point0 in opposite buckles for a series of splashes. Luchasaurus tries a double chokeslam, Max Caster breaks it up, so he chokeslams him onto Bowens. The match breaks down with everybody taking turns hitting drive-by attacks, until Jungle Boy hits a DDT. Eddie Kingston runs in to neutralize Garcia's interference. Caster misses the Mic Drop, and Jungle Boy puts him into the Snare Trap for the win at 8:54. Fun match that made good use of the classic tag team formula. They benefited from getting the no-commercial segment that is usually reserved for the opener, ***.
Winners: Jurassic Express and Varsity Blonds

Ortiz tries to calm Kingston down, and they get ambushed by 2point0 and Garcia. I smell a Rampage match.

Tully Blanchard and AAA Tag Team Champions FTR talk to the camera. Tully makes the case that FTR should be the AEW Tag Team Champions again sooner than later. Looks like this will happen on Rampage.

The Young Bucks (with Brandon Cutler and Adam Cole) vs. Rocky Romero and Chuck Taylor (with Orange Cassidy)

Nick Jackson locks up with Romero, and cartwheels to reverse a wristlock. Romero breaks with a dropkick. Rana and deep armdrag by Romero keeps Nick on defense. Matt Jackson tags himself in but Chuck rolls him into a cover and armbar. The Young Bucks work together to remove Taylor from the ring. Romero helps with a tope suicida on Nick, but Matt ambushes with a low dropkick. Matt teases a back handspring attack, but instead marches into a back rake. Romero fights out of the Bucks' corner, Taylor storms in on a hot tag for a DDT/Flatliner combo. Taylor dives onto the Bucks and then backs Cutler up the ramp. Taylor turns around for a Superkick Party. The Bucks get the fans to clap along while they signal dives, but they plant some kisses on Cole instead. The Bucks drape Chuck on the apron for a flipping senton. They drape Taylor on the ropes for a Swanton Bomb. They cut to commercials. They return with Taylor finding his second wind after putting on Cassidy's shades. Romero gets the hot tag and clotheslines the Bucks in opposite buckles. Romero hits a double rana, then leaps off the steps for a rana on the outside. Running sliced bread by Romero gets 2 on Matt. Nick catches Rocky with a facebuster, but Taylor ambushes him with Sole Food. Matt hits rolling Northern Lights, but Romero counters with a spinning DDT! Cutler sprays cold spray on Matt's back. Cassidy sneaks up on Cole with sloth kicks, the Bucks clean house with another Superkick Party. Cutler accidentally sprays Matt in the face. Chuck piledrives Matt, Romero's cover is broken by Nick. Romero knocks Matt into Nick and gets a painfully close backslide cover. The Meltzer Driver finally finishes Rocky at 15:38! This was a classic Bucks match. I wasn't all that interested to start, but they got enough time to create an absorbing story and I was popping for the false finishes, ***½.
Winners: The Young Bucks

Adam Cole viciously puts the boots to Cassidy. Wheeler Yuta runs in to help, but the Bucks greet him with another Superkick Party. The Bucks hold Cassidy up for Cole's Panama Sunrise. They prepare a BTE Trigger, but WAIT, SUSAN pulls in her SUV and drops off TRENT! Forgive me, I'm marking out. Trent puts Cutler down with a spear, and clocks down Matt. Trent clears out Nick with a half n' half suplex. Best Friends gather together with Susan and Kris Statlander for the biggest group hug in wrestling history.

Alex Marvez tries to interview Ruby Soho, but The Bunny and Penelope Ford interrupt. They are jockeying for title shots and want Ruby "Solo” to find a partner to face them. Nyla Rose helps them beat Ruby down, but Tay Conti and Anna Jay chase them away with chairs. Looks like we have another Rampage match.

Tony Shiavone talks to TNT Champion Sammy Guevara on the stage. Per usual, they're interrupted immediately, but in a surprising twist, the interrupter is Cody Rhodes (bearing many gross looking burn wounds on his arms). Cody didn't want to blindside Sammy, because they're both good guys and all, and reveals he'll be facing Sammy at the Christmas show. They shake hands and Cody has to stop himself from leaving through the heel tunnel. Anyone still confused about whether or not this Cody stuff is intentional? Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky interrupt from the stands so Ethan can complain about being treated unfairly. Ethan needed Dan Lambert's help to get a title shot, so Lambert is coming back! Sky demands that Sammy prove he's a champion, so Guevara throws the title down and seemingly accepts his challenge.

Video promo hyping up the final four contenders in the TBS Championship tournament.

Jamie Hayter (with AEW Women's Champion Britt Baker and Rebel) vs. Riho

Hayter aggressively corners Riho at the bell. Riho's flurry of punches has little effect, Hayter puts her down with a slam. Dropkick by Riho, but Hayter swats her away and hits a backbreaker. Drop toe hold by Riho sets up a 619. High crossbody by Riho gets 2. Riho dives to outside, Hayter botches a catch and then throws her into the ring post. Hayter slows the pace down, and it's time for commercials. They return just in time for Riho's comeback attempt, which is thwarted by Hater's backbreaker. Riho tries again with a double stomp to the stomach. Hayter blocks the dragon suplex, but Riho tries again and hits one from the corner. Hayter shakes it off and nails a brainbuster for only 2. Chokeslam backbreaker by Hayter also gets 2. Riho escapes the half crab and slips into Code Red for 2! Diving double boot by Riho still isn't enough. I'm depressed that the fans don't seem to be all that into this, I am even picking up some anti-Riho sentiments. Rebel's interference gives Hayter a chance for a top rope attack, but Riho reverses into an avalanche crucifix bomb! Riho's running boot finishes at 13:10! I greatly enjoyed Riho's come-from-behind victory, it's a shame they didn't have the crowd, **¾.
Winner: Riho

Britt Baker assaults Riho and puts her into Lock Jaw.

Stop the presses, HOOK will be in action on Rampage!

Video promo hyping a grudge match between Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb. They both blame each for their losses in the TBS Championship tournament.

Tony Shiavone interviews Varsity Blonds (with Julia Hart) on the stage, and as expected, they're interrupted. The lights go out and Malakai Black appears before them. He sprays black mist into Julia's face and vanishes without a trace.

Bryan Danielson vs. John Silver (with The Dark Order)

Silver seems to get a muted reaction but then gets a "Johnny Hungie” chant at the bell. Bryan gets cheered during his entrance, but then booed when he hits a running shoulder tackle. Silver answers with a tackle of his own and flexes between hitting a slam. Silver unloads kicks, but Bryan pulls him to the apron for a series of uppercuts. Bryan nails a diving knee drop and taunts the fans to send us to commercials. They return with Bryan dissecting Silver in the ring. Bryan flies into Silver's sitout powerbomb! Hope Bryan's neck is okay. They exchange high kicks to the chest, Silver rolls into a heel hook. Bryan kicks the face, Silver refuses to let go, Bryan gets the ropes. Silver hits a cannonball senton to outside. Bryan blocks a German suplex and nails KO kick. Silver blocks the running knee and hits a running boot to the head and German suplex for only 2! Bryan answers with a Gotch piledriver, and finishes with a modified Rings of Saturn at 10:47. Good match, as expected, though despite Silver's generous late offense, I never felt like Bryan was in any real trouble, ***.
Winner: Bryan Danielson

Bryan gloats on the mic about all the Dark Order heads he's kicked in. He realizes he forgot to kick Silver's head and fixes his mistake. AEW World Champion Hangman Adam Page runs in to save his friend and clears Bryan from the ring. Page threatens to stomp the cowboy sh!t out of Bryan at Winter is Coming.

Final Thoughts: The MJF/Punk stuff at the beginning felt like a happening, everything that followed felt like setups for not just Winter is Coming, but for Friday's Rampage. You have to wonder that Tony Khan and company are not thrilled with recent Rampage ratings, as they did a lot on this episode to build numerous matches, and are kind of throwing the rematch between Lucha Bros. and FTR out there. I must note that the shtick with every interview segment being immediately interrupted definitely felt tired tonight. They may want to consider moving away from that trope for a while before it becomes a big punchline (more so than it has). Otherwise, there were many decent/good matches up and down the show, and was carried along nicely by the Punk/MJF and Page/Danielson feuds.

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