SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, & The Young Bucks vs. Bryan Danielson, Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, & Luchasaurus – HIT
A fantastic match to kick off the 2 year anniversary of Dynamite. The crowd was into this throughout not just loving the action, but were into the character and had an investment in the winner. This was a memorable match and one of the best in Dynamite’s history. It seems like there are more and more of those with all the new additions to the roster. There are still plenty of other combinations of matches that can happen in this feud. At some point, Danielson will face Omega again and the same with Jurassic Express and the Young Bucks. The dream match still waiting in the wings is the battle of the two biggest signees, Adam Cole vs. Bryan Danielson.
C.M. Punk Promo – HIT
Good stuff from C.M. Punk talking about his roots in Philadelphia. He hit all the same notes diving into the crowd and asking the crowd if they’re sick of seeing him yet. I don’t think this is the plan, but one could make the case that Punk is slowly turning heel. It would be a risk, but doing largely the same stuff each night might wear on fans at some point. The fans were fully behind him tonight and were thrilled to hear he would be wrestling later that night. Although it wouldn’t be shown until Rampage, Punk gave fans the option of him buying them all cheese steaks or seeing him wrestle. Fans chose to see him wrestle.
Sammy Guevara vs. Bobby Fish: TNT Championship Match – HIT
A solid match between these two with Sammy Guevara retaining the title. Bobby Fish showed himself to be a good hand in the ring like fans knew, but I’m still struggling to see where he fits in beyond that. After the match, there was an angle setting up a tag match between The Inner Circle and Dan Lambert’s American Top Team and Men of the Year. Guevara was attacked before Fuego Del Sol followed by Chris Jericho and Jake Hager made the save.Lambert made the challenge for next week in Miami with Jorge Masvidal at ringside as the special enforcer.
TBS Title Introduction – MISS
So much for this being a “Tony Khan Announcement.” Hearing from Khan on AEW television was the draw, but the actual announcement came from Tony Schiavone. As many suspected, it was to introduce a new championship for when they move to TBS next year. While it’s an attractive belt that is sure to make Warner Media pleased, AEW doesn’t need any more championships. One could argue that it will give more opportunities to the women on the card, but they haven’t done a great job making their current women’s title feel all that important.
Darby Allin vs. Nick Comoroto – HIT
A nice quick win for Darby Allin after hitting the coffin drop. In the post match, Sting no sold a diamond cutter from QT Marshall (as he should’ve) then hit him with a Scorpion Death Drop. Later in the show, Allin was attacked from behind backstage by The Pinnacle who were all wearing masks. Logically this seems to be the angle to hold off on MJF’s challenge.
Dante Martin Promo – HIT
AEW is aware that for Dante Martin to get to the next level, he’s going to need to develop his personality on the microphone. This gave him an opportunity for that before he was destroyed by Malakai Black. Martin is sure to lose this one, but the association with Black is enough as he makes his way up the card.
Ricky Starks Promo – HIT
A fine promo to build up his match with Brian Cage on Rampage. Another tie-in with the city explaining the FTW Championship came from Philadelphia. Brian Cage came out for an attack, but Team Taz retreated outside the ring.
Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb – HIT
As soon as I saw that 50 wins trophy, I knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park for Hikaru Shida. Of course Serena Deeb had to steal this one and destroy the trophy afterwards, turning heel in the process. This was a good match between two of the more experienced women on the roster. It gives Shida a story to build towards trying to earn her 50th win in the company before anyone else.Unless Shida is declared injured, she will either go on a losing streak, not have any matches for awhile, or that 50th win will be coming very soon.
Casino Ladder Match: Winner receives an AEW World Championship Match – HIT
Hangman Page is back! His unexpected return was met with an enormous reaction as he was the last entrant in the ladder match. Phenomenal action throughout the match ultimately leading to Hangman getting back on track for a World Championship match. After losing his shot back in August then was beat down by The Elite, he now has the right to challenge Kenny Omega. It looked like Danielson was on track for a rematch at Full Gear, but this makes it more likely that Hangman will jump back into that spot. The fans are ready for Hangman to get his triumphant win. If Hangman does win, it’ll feel fresh to have a new champion and it’ll free up Omega for other dream matches that don’t include the championship.