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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
OCTOBER 23, 2021
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-The Dynamite opening theme aired. Jim Ross introduced the show as pyro blasted and the camera panned the crowd. They hyped the scheduled matches and segments.
(1) BRYAN DANIELSON vs. DUSTIN RHODES – Championship Eliminator tournament
Excalibur said Dustin “is no slouch.” (Shouldn’t the standard be higher than that?) They shook hands at the bell and circled each other. Bryan played to the crowd and got them energized. They mat wrestled in “scientific” style for quite a while with chain wrestling and submissions. Dustin hit a lariat and went for a cover, but Danielson transitioned into a LeBell lock. Dustin fought back with a lariat and a piledriver for a near fall. Bryan came back with kicks and a guillotine. Dustin passed out, the ref called for the bell. Excalibur said Danielson will face the winner of tonight’s match between Lance Archer and Eddie Kingston.
WINNER: Danielson in 15:00 via submission.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really nice match. Just a good display of competitive back-and-forth wrestling that heated up and picked up steam late. It was the right finish, of course, to have Bryan win decisively. Dustin still looks much better than almost anyone else his age and I’ve long said AEW could easily be doing more with him.)
-Backstage, the camera focused on the sneakers of Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, and The Young Bucks. Omega talked about facing the Dark Order next week. He said he has always been The Cleaner and The Best Bout Machine, whereas “Hangman” Page was cosplaying as a cowboy pretending to be someone he’s not. He said he knows his insecurities and he’s afraid of failing and he can’t sleep at night because of it. He said he knows he’s burning through negative 1’s diaper supply faster than his homemade moonshine. He said if fans really knew him, they wouldn’t be chanting “Cowboy Shit,” they’d be chanting “Coward Shit.” The Bucks and Cole reacted to everything he said and praised him for the zingers. [c]
-Backstage FTR and Tully Blanchard talked about the Lucha Bros. They interspersed Alex and Penta responding.
-Tony Schiavone stood mid-ring and said they haven’t seen Darby Allin in weeks. He said we all know what happened to him. He introduced Sting, whom he said would provide an update on Darby. Sting made his full introduction. MJF interrupted and called Sting “Darby’s little emo daddy.” He said he’s not trying to start a fight because he wouldn’t want to embarrass The Icon in front of all the schmucks in the crowd. He said he doesn’t think Sting wants to answer “that talentless waste of space’s question” (speaking of Schiavone). He said the sad news is that Darby isn’t coming back. Fans chanted “Shut the f— up!” at him. He said Sting can try to distract by painting his face, swinging a bat, or even “have your leftover stash from the ’90s snow down upon them.”
He said it’s easy to fool people who solve their problems with gun violence and incest, but he’s not fooling him. He said it’s due to his negligence that his friend Darby has wound up in the same exact spot as his old friend Lex Luger. Ross called him “classless.” Excalibur said he always finds a new low to sink to. He entered the ring and said, “In a wheelchair!” Sting punched him when he entered the ring and then tossed him around the ring. Shawn Spears and Wardlow ran out to save MJF. Sting held on for a few seconds before being overwhelmed by a series of Spears chairshots. Fans chanted loudly, “Darby! Darby!”
MJF stood and smiled and chomped on his gum proudly. Spears set up a chair mid-ring and sat down and looked at Sting lying on the mat. He said he knows Darby is watching and he wondered if he has broken him mentally now. He held up Sting’s head and yelled for Darby to look at him. He said he needs to understand that no matter how many times people chant his name or want to see him come back and beat his face in, if he comes back, this is his future. He said he will always fall short and be second best to him. “Because I am the past, the present, and the future of professional wrestling.” Ross said, “I think I need to shower.” Excalibur called it a vile display. As MJF, Wardlow, and Spears were leaving the ring, Sting began to stand. MJF put his Dynamite Diamond on and punched Sting with it to drop him again.
(Keller’s Analysis: Very good mic work from MJF. The line implying Sting did loads of cocaine in the ’90s and the dig at Lex Luger were on-brand for MJF. I still could do without him over-modulating by yelling at the end of his promos. He doesn’t need to do that, and I’d argue it takes away from his heel persona when he hits level 11 in volume. It’s beneath his character to get so worked up at like that when his words are enough of a weapon that extra volume isn’t helpful.) [c]
-Schiavone interviewed Britt Baker about defending her AEW Title against Tay Conti at Full Gear. She said all Conti has done since arriving in AEW is show everyone her ass, and all she’s done is show everyone why she’s the most talked about name in all of women’s wrestling. Baker said she is going to beat that ass she loves showing off all the time.
-They showed the brackets: Anna Jay vs. Jamie Hayter, with the winner facing Thunder Rosa who got a first round bye; The Bunny vs. Red Velvet with the winner facing Jade Cargill who got a bye; Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida, with the winner facing Nyla Rose, who got a bye; and Penelope Ford vs. Ruby Soho, with the winner facing Kris Statlander.
(2) PENELOPE FORD vs. RUBY SOHO – TBS Tournament match
A couple minutes in with Ruby in control, The Bunny skipped to the ring. She DISTRACTED Ruby. Ford then kicked Ruby on the ring apron and took control of the match. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c/ss]
Ford applied “a commercial break headlock” mid-ring, then choked Ruby against the middle rope. Back from the break, Ruby began a comeback and threw a barrage of chops at Ford’s chest. Ruby threw a series of strikes leading to a two count. Ford hit a cutter for a near fall a minute later. Ruby stumbled into the corner after an Irish whip then leg swept Ford. Ford avoided a Ruby top rope move and then landed a spinning hook kick. Ford went for a gut-buster for a believable near fall. Bunny yelled at the ref from ringside. The ref saw brass knux that Bunny tried to slide to Ford and kicked them out of the ring. As Ford dove for them, Ruby rolled her up from behind for the win.
WINNER: Ruby in 8:00 to advance to the second-round of the TBS Tournament.
-After the match, Bunny entered the ring. Red Velvet ran out to even the odds. Ford and Bunny bailed out.
-Backstage, MJF praised Spears for his use of the chair earlier. Wardlow walked in and asked MJF what that bullshit was about last week. MJF claimed he didn’t intend to do it, it was a case of fight or flight. He said it was embarrassing because he was nervous and he just freaked out. He said he knows he loves him. He said he’s glad he showed up because he wanted to tell him what a great job he’s doing, “which is why I’m paying you the big bucks.” He said he realized he’s put too much on his shoulders and it’s a lot of pressure, so he’s assigned him an accounta-billa-buddy, Spears. Wardlow wasn’t sure what was going on and Spears just shrugged as MJF left.
(Keller’s Analysis: We’ve moved from the long phase of Wardlow giving MJF dirty looks to verbally confronting him. That’s progress. Wardlow is still a potential future top tier star, but sooner or later he has to be given more to do to test that upside.)
(3) BOBBY FISH vs. ANTHONY GREENE
Did Dynamite accidentally switch to an episode of AEW Dark? Ross talked up Greene for “getting around” and being highly regarded on the indy circuit. Fish landed a dragon screw and a sliding lariat, then scored the pin after a round kick to the head.
WINNER: Fish in 2:00.
-Fish swept Greene after the match. Fans booed. Ross said Fish already earned his money, so why try to hurt him. Fish mounted Greene and punched away at him. Ross said the ref could reverse his decision. Excalibur said he should threaten him with fines. Ross said Fish has a different attitude than one he had seen in the past. He applied a sleeper. C.M. Punk charged out to the ring. Fish bailed out. Punk was in a black t-shirt (that said “RoufusSport Mixed Martial Arts”), black jeans, and a black baseball cap. He might just as well have been in disguise. Ross said some fans didn’t know it was him. They started playing his music. Fans eventually chanted “C.M. Punk!”
-Schiavone interviewed Lio Rush and Dante Martin backstage. He asked for an update on them becoming a tag team. Rush said whatever he does, he does big. He said he needs to mentor Martin and show him the way so he can fly as high as possible. Rush said he can do what Matt Sydal wasn’t able to. Dante took issue with that and said Sydal is one of the best in the world. Rush asked, “At what, exactly? Losing when it counts the most?” Rush said he wants to give Dante a chance to show he can be one of the best in the world. Rush said he knows he can beat Sydal, so they’re going to team up against the Sydal Brothers next week on TV.
(Keller’s Analysis: Martin’s acting definitely wasn’t the best in the world there. Yikes.)
-As Lance Archer made his ring entrance, Eddie Kingston jumped-started the fight on the ramp. Fans popped and chanted “Eddie! Eddie!” Archer grabbed a “fan” from the front row who appeared to have stolen Rip Rogers’ hair and chokeslammed him off the ring apron onto Kingston. “No regard for human life,” said Excalibur. Archer threw Kingston into the ring, and the ref called for the bell.
(4) LANCE ARCHER vs. EDDIE KINGSTON
Excalibur called Rush’s announcement “blockbuster.” That is an abuse of the word “blockbuster.” Kingston escaped an Archer attempt at a Black Out and then slid into position for a Dragon sleeper. Archer fought out of it and clotheslined Kingston from behind. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Archer dominated Kingston for a few minutes after the break. Archer went for a top rope moonsault. Kingston moved, and Archer landed on his head. That looked bad. They cut to Tony Nese at ringside, whom Excalibur called one of the hottest free agents out there. They replayed Archer’s landing on his head. Archer rolled to the floor and the ref ringside doctor checked on him. They let the match continue, with Kingston quickly rolling up Archer with a Magistral Cradle.
WINNER: Kingston in 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I don’t like the call to even let Archer back into the ring to get rolled up. Anything regarding that kind of impact on the head and neck should lead to the match stoppage and him being checked out more thoroughly. The crowd was wildly into Kingston.) [c]
-Dan Lambert, Ethan Page, and Scorpio Sky were in the ring after the break. The announcers said it wasn’t scheduled. Ethan said Sky beat Jake Hager at Grand Slam, so enough with the bragging about being undefeated in MMA. He took some shots at Chris Jericho, saying the only reason he has any time on the mic is Jericho isn’t there hogging it. He said he is proving he can own the room with the microphone. He called Sammy Guevara “a p.r. nightmare.” Guevara walked out onto the stage and said, “Enough. My god, enough.” He told Ethan to “shut the hell up.” He said sometimes life sucks, but instead of bitching and moaning, he worked his ass off and became TNT Champion. He said if he wants to know why he isn’t further in the company, it’s because he calls himself All Ego. He said the only person who gives a shit about him is him. He called Lambert a fat-faced dipshit and asked what he has to say. Lambert told the fans not to even think about chanting “Fat-faced dipshit” at him. It didn’t work. They chanted it at him anyway.
Lambert said, “I’m actually kinda proud of you, little fella.” He said he’s actually out there “up front and center, killing it on the mic.” He said maybe this will put an end to “all the backstage rumors I keep hearing about you sucking on the stick.” He made fun of the amount of gel he uses to prop up his ridiculous hairdo. He told him to put his TNT Title on the line against Ethan Page. He said when he loses, he has to agree to leave Inner Circle Jerk forever. Guevara thought about it. “You’ve got yourself a deal, asshole, but under one condition.” He said if he wins then he gets to decide which three members of American Top Team they face at Full Gear. He turned to leave. Sky then told him to wait because they have an ass-kicking for him. Sky and Ethan attacked him, but Santana, Ortiz, and Jake Hager jumped quickly to Sammy’s defense. The heels fled through the crowd as Inner Circle celebrated in the ring.
-Jon Moxley spoke about facing Dark Order 10 next Wednesday on Dynamite in a tournament match. He seemed vulnerable and emotional and said he wants to keep it real. He said he wanted to talk about his daughter’s eyes. He said he looked her in the eyes and she squeezed his pinkie, and it made him realize he doesn’t care about the tournament, AEW Title, the ratings, the demo, or who said what on Twitter. He said what he cares about is getting home with his teeth in his head and his head on his shoulders, and to do that, other people have to get hurt. He said it’d be easier if he were a mail carrier or a gym teacher. He said this isn’t a ladder climbing contest, it’s “everybody goes into a dark alley, only one guy comes out kind of stuff.” He told everyone else in the tournament that he’ll get them before they get him. He vowed to win the damn thing.
-Guevara walked out with signs in hand. “Orlando, Florida… Another wee… Another huge waste of time!… Big surprise!… American “Plop” Team (poop emoji)… Come out to run their mouths again… I say it’s time to run mine… Ethan Page… Next week!… On Dynamite!… Sammy Guevara vs. ‘Loose Pecs’ Ethan Page.. I’ll be at the Boston TNT Party!”…
-Backstage Hangman Page addressed Dark Order. He said they were all right. He said they each did what they thought was right. He said if they’re going to go back after The Elite, it’s close to Halloween, so they ought to wear costumes since The Elite will. Dark Order began to speculate about what costumes they’ll all wear. John Silver suggested Bambi.
(5) JUNGLE BOY vs. BRANDON CUTLER
Ross called Jungle Boy one of the fastest rising stars in pro wrestling. Cutler slapped JB and then celebrated obnoxiously. Ross asked, “Does Cutler mean to be an idiot?” JB powerbombed Cutler and then applied a snare trap for the quick win. Excalibur called it a “statement victory.”
WINNER: JB in under 2:00.
-Jungle Boy grabbed a mic afterward and his music stopped. Fans cheered and chanted “Jungle Boy!” He said, “Well, that was a nice little warm-up.” He said he’s still feeling good and he’s ready to go again. He asked “one of you Elite pieces of shit” to come to the ring right now. Fans chanted “Adam Cole.” JB put the snare trap back on. Cutler begged for someone to come out and help him. Cole walked out and said JB is an embarrassment. He said if he wants to fight The Elite so bad, he’s up for that. He took off his jacket and walked to the ring. JB knocked him off the ring apron. The Young Bucks entered the ring from the other side and caught JB with a surprise stereo superkick. Ross decried The Elite not fighting one-on-one. They delivered a double BTE Trigger on the stage. Then they held up JB so Cole could deliver the Boom knee to the back of his head. Cole and the Bucks were about to leave, but then they turned back. The Bucks kissed his cheeks, then threw him off the stage onto a tarp covered table below. Matt Jackson asked for a replay. Cutler sprayed cold spray on Cole as he yelled, “This is our world!” They did replay it from a couple angles. Schiavone said, “I hate Adam Cole. I hate him!”
(Keller’s Analysis: Good, basic Wrestling 101 angle with everyone playing their part well.)
-The announcers plugged Dynamite next week: Dark Order vs. The Elite, Guevara vs. Ethan for the TNT Title, Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida in a TBS Title tournament match, Moxley vs. 10, and Punk vs. Fish. It’s Punk’s Dynamite in-ring wrestling debut. Rampage will feature: The Sydals vs. Rush & Dante and Danielson vs. Kingston in a tournament match. [c]
-A promo aired with Miro. He was enraged and vowed to become God’s favorite champion again. “My road home starts now,” he said. He said there will be blood on his hands “and that’s on you.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Great stuff from Miro as usual with great production values to elevate it to the next level.)
(6) CODY RHODES vs. MALIKAI BLACK
Malikai Black made his ring entrance first. Then Cody made his. Fans erupted in boos as soon as Cody’s entrance began. He shook hands with Arn Anderson before running to the ring. They took turns on offense. Black bailed out and grabbed a chair as they cut to a break. [c/ss]
During the break, Cody gave Black a Crossroads off the ring apron through a table on the floor. Schiavone said Cody’s back took the brunt of the impact. Excalibur said Malikai’s head hit the table. Malikai came up bleeding, but reversed Cody into the ringpost. Arn stood on the ring apron and got into the ring. Cody came up bleeding. Andrade walked out onto the ramp and got a nice pop. Andrade’s assistant Jose entered, but Arn gave him a spinebuster. Black then sprayed his black mist at Arn. It ended up mostly on his forehead. Pac ran out and beat up Andrade. Arn was still writhing in pain and rolled to the floor to get medical attention. Black and Cody battled back and forth, rapid-fire. Cody hit Crossroads for a two count. Fans booed the move, then popped huge for the kickout. Cody fired himself up and the crowd booed more. Black dominated Cody. He landed a spinning hook kick, but it sent Cody into the ropes. Black went for a moonsault at ringside, but Cody moved. Cody then dove through the ropes into Black at ringside. More loud boos. Cody threw Black into the ring and landed a springboard Cody Cutter and Crossroads. He held on and went for another Crossroads. He switched to a Tiger Driver ’98 for the win. Schiavone called it redemption for Cody, as Cody checked on Arn at ringside.
WINNER: Cody in 12:00.