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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
SEPTEMBER 15, 2021
NEWARK, N.J. AT PRUDENTIAL CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-The AEW Dynamite opening theme aired.
-Jim Ross introduced the show and immediately C.M. Punk’s music played. He came out and interacted with the fans and even stage dove off the ramp into a cluster of (unmasked) fans who caught him. Punk was hilarious as he made eye contact and let the big guy know he had to catch him. Excalibur, back from missing last week, and Schiavone hyped the advertised line-up. Punk joined the announcers on commentary.
(1) ADAM COLE vs. “THE ELITE HUNTER” FRANKIE KAZARIAN
Cole came out to his opening theme. (His has one of the best opening five seconds of a wrestling theme song ever. It just jolts you into paying attention and is so on brand with Cole.) Ross said to Punk he knows Cole well. Punk said not as well as you’d think, but he said he has been around long enough and has left his fingerprints on the business, and he knows Cole got into the business because of him. Ross said he talked to Frankie earlier and he wants to win this match as much as he’s ever seen. Punk said Frankie has been around going back as far as him. Punk said he doesn’t think Cole is hanging out with the right people. Fans VERY LOUDLY chanted “Adam Cole! Adam Cole!” at the start of the match. (Think of how rarely he’s heard a crowd over 10,000 chant his name having worked in NXT for so many years; it’d be mainly the Takeover specials every once in a while with a crowd like this.)
A minute in, Cole powered out of a Frankie headlock. Frankie landed awkwardly and hit the ring apron on his way down. Cole went after him and whipped him into the ring apron. He then threw him back into the ring before gloating. He drew some boos. Frankie took over with a legdrop to the back of Cole’s head and then said, “This is my house.” Cole came back with a superkick, then settled into a side headlock. Frankie scored a near fall with a German suplex a minute later. Schiavone started explaining how he’s friends with Brit Baker. Punk said he’d talk with him about this during a commercial. Frankie rallied with a springboard legdrop for a near fall. Both were down and slow to get up. They stood and exchanged strikes. Fans began a “This is awesome!” chant. Cole landed a Panama Sunrise. Cole lowered his kneepad and landed his Last Shot for the win.
WINNER: Cole in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nice match and exactly what a Cole-Kazarian match should be on Dynamite.)
-Afterward, Cole asked who was ready for storytime. “Hope is a dangerous, dangerous thing,” he said. He said the locker room hopes it can keep up with The Elite. He said in his short time in AEW, three guys have really gotten under his skin – Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy. Cole challenged them to a match against him and The Young Bucks “in a six-man tag.” (Someone will have to translate to a “trios match.”) Punk said, “If you’ve got a problem with Jungle Boy, chances are you’re the problem.”
-A video package aired on the Lucha Bros and Alex Alhambra. They hyped their match against The Butcher & The Blade on Friday’s Rampage. [c]
-Schiavone interviewed Fuego del Sol and Sammy Guevara backstage. Sammy was sitting on the hood of a new car Fuego bought when he signed a contract with AEW. Fuego said he’d trade it all in for a title. He challenged Rusev to a one-on-one match for his new Hyundai sedan.
-Punk said he needs to teach “these young kids” some things not to do.
-MJF walked out with Wardlow. Ross said, “Some call him a blister on the ass of life.” MJF asked for his music to be cut as he entered the ring. He called New Jersey “the armpit of America.” Punk said he thought MJF was from New Jersey. Excalibur said he’s from Long Island. He said it’s like New Jersey, but worse. He said he wanted a brief conversation with the viewers at home. Fans chanted, “Shut the f— up!” He replied, “No.” He said he’s salt of the earth and a very religious man, so he wanted to have a conversation with the late, great “Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman. He pretended to talk to Brian up in heaven, but then said, “Who are we kidding?” He looked down. He said his widow, “Methany,” created “the worst excuse for a second-generation wrestler in Brian Pillman Jr.” He told her to tell her son that he will massacre her son if he shows up. He said at the end of the day, it’ll be oh so obvious that he’s better than him and you know it. Pillman’s music played. Wardlow sent him to the stage to beat him up. Pillman showed up in the ring with a chair. MJF backed away. Wardlow yanked the chair out of his hands. Pillman ducked a charging Wardlow, who landed at ringside. He held court in the ring with a chair.
-Ross interviewed Brian Pillman Jr. He said 29 years ago his father called him and said he’s having a son who will also be named Brian. He said for the family’s sake, they need to see MJF get his ass whipped. He asked if that’s what he’s got planned at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Pillman said it’s important for him to fulfill his father’s legacy and make him proud. He said he felt like he let him down last week. He said while MJF was being fed with a silver spoon, he was fighting for his life. He said might look cleaned up now, and he did finish college, but his upbringing was feral. He said MJF can’t comprehend the adversity he’s been through. He said he’s stepping into the ring with a Pillman next week.
-They went to the announcers on camera. Punk said he likes what MJF is doing. He said when you get the water boiling, they make a mistake. [c]
-Alex Marvez tried to interview Christian and Jurassic Express. Jungle Boy interrupted and said he has better friends and better hair than Cole. Christian interrupted him and said Cole has pretty good friends. “The super elite that used their Elite status to throw him a lifeline and drag his ass out of developmental,” he said. “Since you’re already used to losing Wednesday night wars, you better add Friday nights to that as well.”
(Keller’s Analysis: The dig about being in developmental might or might not play well with AEW fans, but the shot about winning the Wednesday work probably was more well received.)
(2) DANTE MARTIN & MATT SYDAL vs. FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood w/Tully Blanchard)
Excalibur said Rampage will be two hours next week. A few minutes in, Dante and Sydal leaped off the ropes onto FTR at ringside. [c/ss]
FTR took over during the break. Dante rallied after the break. Cash went for a pin with a yank of the trunks for a two count. FTR eventually hit their Big Rig finisher on Dante to win.
WINNERS: FTR in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Dante again looked like a rising star here. I’m a little surprised he was pinned instead of Sydal, but it’s no big deal at this stage.)
-They went to the announcers on camera. They threw to Punk who ran down Minoru Suzuki’s backstory briefly. He said Suzuki is upset his entrance got cut off last week.
-A video package aired on Suzuki vs. Jon Moxley. Lance Archer stood next to Suzuki and said they’ve teamed a lot in Japan, and in New York City at Arthur Ashe Stadium, they’re going to show Moxley and Eddie Kingston what Strong Style is all about.
-The lights went black. The stage lit up and Malakai Black was sitting on the stage. Black made his ring entrance. Black pointed out Rosario Dawson, who is the judge of “The Go Big Show” on TBS. She stepped over the ringside barricade and approached Black. Cody Rhodes then walked through the stands. Rosario leaped onto Black’s back. Cody charged at him and punched away at him. Cody was wearing a neon red suit. He took it to Black. He didn’t get much of a pop. They brawled into the crowd, up the stairs. Excalibur said it appears Cody’s passion for pro wrestling has been reignited. Punk quipped, “The last time I saw a fight between two well-dressed men, it was at a family reunion.” They cut away mid-brawl.
(Keller’s Analysis: This isn’t necessarily good or bad, but just something to note: Dynamite so far has featured these ex-WWE wrestlers in the first 50 minutes of the show: Adam Cole, Malakai Black, Cody, Christian Cage, FTR, C.M. Punk, and Matt Sydal. The non-ex-WWE wrestlers who have been featured are: MJF, Kazarian, Dante Martin, Jurassic Express, Sammy Guevara, Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, and Fuego.) [c]
-The announcers commented on highlights of the Cody-Black brawl before the break. Then they talked about next week’s Dynamite and Rampage at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
-A video package aired on the history between Bunny and Anna Jay. Bunny said sarcastically that they’re all very excited Anna Jay is back.
-Marvez interviewed Jay backstage along with several Dark Order members. Evil Uno interrupted Jay. Alex interrupted and accused Uno of interrupting Jay. As the argument escalated, Jay said she doesn’t want any of them at ringside for her match on Rampage. John Silver asked, “What about me?” She said not him, either.
-Dan Lambert stood in the ring with Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky, Andre Arlovski, Junior Dos Santos, Kayla Harrison, and Paige Van Zant. He said when he was younger, if you wanted to see which wrestlers were popular, you’d go to the merchandise stand to find out whose t-shirts were selling. He said these days, you find out more about the fans because the t-shirts that are sold out are men’s XS and women’s XL. He said AEW fans like watching a 149 pound 5-8 dork threw a bunch of superkicks and then dive off of a high place and then his opponent will kick out at two “and you morons will go crazy.” He was interrupted by Chris Jericho’s music. The crowd sang his theme as Jericho walked out, joined by Jake Hager. Punk said Lambert is like Bobby Heenan with a closet full of Affliction. (Punk’s humor isn’t great. It’s not awful, but he’s not a zinger machine.)
Jericho told Lambert they could all sing along to his song, but none of them know the words to “Fat-Faced Dipshit, Ya ya ya.” Jericho led fans in the chorus. Lambert said he was a little surprised to see him out there defending those idiot fans. He said he gets the suckers in the crowd to use their allowance to buy his stupid book of the month club selections and music.
Jericho asked America’s Top Team, “Which of you is on top?” Top Team freaked out. (Oh fun, gay jokes in 2021. I guess the joke is on Top Team for being so sensitive to the suggestion.) Fans briefly chanted, “Who’s on top? Who’s on top?” Jericho said everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face. He offered to punch is teeth down his throat. Lambert said if this is going to go down and he really wants to see the Men of the Year take out the Inner Circle Jerk, it’ll have to happen in a real city, not “this shithole of New Jersey.” He said it’ll happen in the Big Apple next week. Jericho said if they’re too much of a pussy to face them in Jersey, there will be no escape from New York for you.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m all for forwarding feuds and building up future matches, but this episode of Dynamite is beginning to feel too much like an informercial for next week’s shows in NYC with filler matches in between. Good verbal sparring between two big mouths.)
-A vignette aired with Gunn Club. Billy said no one has been more disrespected than them in AEW. He said they attacked Big Show to make a point. He said they are undefeated as a team, both in pairs and six-man tags. He said if anyone has a problem with them, just say so.
(3) JADE CARGILL (w/Mark Sterling) vs. “LEGIT” LEYLA HIRSCH
Big height difference here. Hirsch dove through the ropes and tackled Sterling at ringside. Hirsch went for a cross armbreaker a minute in, but Jade lifted and powerbombed her to break it. They cut to an early split-screen break. [c/ss]
Jade threw Hirsch out of the ring during the break. Hirsch went for a moonsault off the top rope, but Jade moved and then kicked her in the face. She followed with her finisher for the win. The look on Hirsch’s face was classic, as if she knew she was about to get slammed onto her face and lose and had no answer or method of escape.
WINNER: Cargill in 6:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Putting this on live TV was brave, but it worked out pretty well.)
-A promo aired with Andrade El Idolo. He said he felt disrespected by Chavo Guerrero because he never gave the order for Alex to interrupt his match last week. Alex said Chavo gave the order. Andrade grabbed Alex by his shirt and said Chavo is not the boss, he is the Kingpin.
-They went to the announcers to discuss the Andrade-Chavo situation. Taz walked up to Punk. Punk said he didn’t know they let trolls across the bridge. Hook was with Taz. Punk stood. Fans chanted, “C.M. Punk!” Powerhouse Hobbs jumped Punk from behind. Hook then put Punk in a Dragon Sleeper as Hobbs kicked him. Hook yelled for the announcers to leave their table. Hobbs then dragged Punk over to the table and one-arm slammed him onto the table. It tipped over, but didn’t break. Punk sold it on the ground as Hobbs, Taz, and Hook smiled. [c]
-They replayed Punk getting slammed through the table. Excalibur called it a disgusting display.
-A video package aired on Shawn Spears vs. Darby Allin. Spears asked if he’s really generic and a piece of shit. “Correct on all fronts,” Spears said. They showed Spears pinning Darby, giving Darby his first loss. He said, “The Chairman cometh.”
(4) SHAWN SPEARS (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. DARBY ALLIN (w/Sting)
Spears made his entrance first. Then Darby did. Spears charged at Darby as he sat in the corner. Spears rubbed facepaint off of Darby’s face a few minutes in. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Spears set up a Death Valley Driver off the ring apron onto the ringside steps. Darby escaped and knocked Spears onto the steps. Darby then dove through the ropes and shoulder-tackled him off the steps. Fans cheered as he quickly climbed to the top rope and landed a Coffin Drop for the three count.
WINNER: Darby in 8:00.
-After the match, FTR entered the ring and faced off with Sting and Darby. The got into a brawl in the ring. Tully bashed Sting in the back with a chair. Sting no-sold it and turned to Tully. He kicked the chair out of his hands. FTR saved Tully as Sting pushed him into the corner. They beat down Sting. Darby made the save, but they quickly overpowered him. Then they gave Sting a spike piledriver. Yikes. Tully then rubbed Sting’s facepaint off with a white towel. Ross said it was horrific disrespect for one of the biggest stars in the history of pro wrestling. Fans chanted “Asshole!”
-They replayed Bryan Danielson’s statement last Friday on Rampage.
-Schiavone stood mid-ring and introduced Danielson, who made his entrance. He brought up Kenny Omega. He said he knows the fans would love to see him get in the ring with Omega. Bryan asked the fans what they think, but then Don Callis interrupted. He said they’ve all heard just about enough from him. He said he’s been listening to it all week and it’s sickening. Omega followed behind. Callis called him “the Hippie Millionaire.” He called him a sanctimonious and said AEW was built on the back of Omega. He said Bryan made the decision to come to AEW trying to think what was best for the wrestling business and everyone in it, “and people call me a carny piece of shit.” Fans chanted “Piece of Shit!” at Callis. He said Omega told him that’s really how Bryan thinks. He said that means Danielson is actually a mark like all the fans. He said they run this place and thus Bryan can’t decide who gets title matches. Bryan told him to shut up.
Danielson said he was there to talk to Omega. He said some day this will be about the title, but now it’s about who’s better. He told Danielson to give the people what they want. He challenged him to a one-on-one match. Callis barged in and said, “No way. No! No! No!” Fans chanted, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Danielson told him, “Shut up, you piece of shit!” He said he came to AEW to fight the Best Bout Machine and the God of Professional Wrestling. He said since he’s been there, all he’s seen is a guy who hangs out with a bunch of goofy stooges who lets a piece of shit (Callis) talk for him. Omega took a deep breath. Danielson said he heard rumors that he has lost his confidence and has lost a step, but he doesn’t think that’s true. “I just think you’ve lost your balls.” He asked him yes or no.
Omega said if he wants the Best Bout Machine and the God of Pro Wrestling, then his answer is yes. Callis wasn’t happy. Omega and Danielson had a satredown. Ross said, “What a dream match!” They didn’t even hint at when.
-A soundbite aired with Miro. He asked why Fuego is daring to challenge God’s Favorite Champion for a car. He said he will bash his brain and then bash his car. [c]
-Matt Hardy cut a promo about Orange Cassidy breaking his nose. He said he owes him a debt and he will collect. He vowed to turn Orange Cassidy into the Orange Egghead.
-The announcers hyped next week’s line-ups. Rampage: Lucha Bros vs. Butcher & Blade, Bunny vs. Anna Jay, Miro vs. Fuego del Sol. Dynamite Grand Slam: Omega vs. Danielson, a Punk interview before he wrestles on TV 48 hours later. Plus Cody vs. Black, MJF vs. Pillman Jr., Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho, and Sting & Darby vs. FTR. Rampage Grand Slam next week: Cole & Bucks vs. Christian & Jurassic Express, Punk vs. Hobbs, Jericho & Hager vs. Sky & Ethan.
(1) JON MOXLEY & EDDIE KINGSTON vs. TWO-POINT-O
Did Two-Point-O hear rumors of NXT calling itself NXT 2.0? They cut to a break a couple minutes into this brawl. [css]
Back from the break, Mox and Kingston made a comeback and got the clean win.
WINNERS: Moxley & Kingston in 8:00.
-Afterward, as Moxley’s “Wild Thing” theme was playing, Minoru Suzuki got his full entrance this time. Ross called him “a cult hero in many circles.” He said he was humiliated that all his music didn’t play and it was disrespectful. Excalibur said he was trained by Karl Gotch. Archer then pulled Kingston out of the ring and beat him up as Mox and Susuzki fought in the ring. They all spilled to the floor and into the crowd.