11/24 AEW DYNAMITE TV RESULTS: Keller’s detailed report and analysis of Punk vs. Kingston, Danielson vs. Cabana, Cody & Pac & Lucha Bros. vs. FTR & Andrade & Black

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
NOVEMBER 24, 2021
CHICAGO, ILL.
AIRED LIVE ON TNT

Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur

Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts


[HOUR ONE]

-The Dynamite opening theme aired.

-Jim Ross introduced the show as C.M. Punk’s entrance kicked off the show. As Excalibur was hyping upcoming matches and Punk stepped into the ring, MJF interrupted. Excalibur said he was “as usual, dripping with smarm – and other bodily fluids.” Fans loudly and forcefully chanted “C.M. Punk!” MJF said, “It doesn’t feel so good getting interrupted, does it Punky Brewster?” Fans chanted “shut the f— up!” at MJF. MJF said he hurt his feelings last week by turning down his handshake. “It was almost as bad as the time you quit and took your ball home like a little bitch.” He said everybody loved the pipe bomb. “My god, so good, legendary!” he said. He said the pipe bomb is his best moment, but there’s a problem. He said every MJF moment is the best MJF moment. “Unlike you, I’m not a one-trick pony,” he said. He said he does respect him and that he’s straight edge. “Granted, never in my wildest dreams could I have possibly imagined a straight edge man could look so much like a meth addict.” Punk nodded and sighed “okay.” He said if he had Punk’s face, he’d have to down seven shots of whiskey to look himself in the mirror.

He said people asked Punk who he wanted to wrestle in AEW, and Punk mentioned everyone but him. He said he can pretend it’s because he wasn’t interested, “but in reality, it’s because you didn’t want none.” He said on the stick his entire career, Punk was big fish facing a small minnow. He said he’s about to verbally finish him faster than his UFC career. Punk hard-blinked at him with his arms crossed as he leaned in the corner. Fans chanted, “C.M. Punk!” MJF said he heard them the first time.

MJF said he can drop cute little pipe bombs, but he’s MJF and he drops nukes. Punk walked over and grabbed a mic. Fans cheered and chanted his name again. Punk said, “I’m so disappointed in you.” He said he wanted to thank him for last week. He said he introduced himself to him, which is what a proper young man was supposed to do to his elders. He said he didn’t know his first name was Maxwell; he said he thought MJF stood for “My Jealous Fan.” He said when he did media interviews, he never brought up his name because that was by design. He said he didn’t want to feed his rotten little ego. He said he’s in his head, likely because there’s a poster of him on his wall.

Punk said he heard about “the great MJF” and last week he shut him up without saying a word. He said he had a whole week to think of zingers and he came out with the lowest hanging fruit. Punk told fans that MJF thinks he’s revolutionary to the wrestling business “when in reality, he’s just a less famous Miz.” Fans roared. MJF walked toward Punk, then told everyone to settle down. He said that was really solid and creative stuff. “It was almost what I wanted,” MJF said. “That phrase ‘almost what I wanted’ kind of perfectly encapsulates your entire run here so far, don’t you think?” He said it’s true that nostalgia is a drug that causes us to misconstrue our memories. “You, my friend, are no more than nostalgia,” he said. He said in the ring and on the mic, no one could touch him. “You were the best, or so I thought, Chicago,” he said. “Because ever since your almighty return, you’ve struggled to beat the easiest of competition and say quite literally anything of intrigue.” He then gagged and said his breath smells like shit. He accused him of kissing ass robotically all over the place.

MJF mocked Punk giving generic interviews naming the city and opponent in a scripted sounding fashion. He said his hair is going gray and if anyone needs to go to sleep, it’s him. MJF said it’s no longer C.M. Punk, he’s now P.G. Punk. He asked what happened to the man he grew up watching. “What happened to the renegade, the ass-kicker, the outsider. You might as well be out here preaching hustle, loyalty, and respect.” Punk stared at MJF, arms crossed. MJF said, “Here’s the problem, P.G. I can see you; hell, I can see through you, buddy.” He said Punk said he came back for young talent, but also said he wouldn’t come back for less than a boat load of money. He said he complained from his couch for seven years instead of changing the wrestling industry. He said he had one excuse after another. He asked if it was because he was too busy making comic books nobody read and movies nobody saw, or was it because he was terrified that he couldn’t hang anymore or maybe scared he never could hang in the first place.

“I’m here to tell, you should be scared, man,” MJF said. “In the other company, people looked at you like a cult hero because they felt you were held down, you should have been utilized and showcased as the number one guy. And here you are, you have the all the opportunity to prove the people right, but can you?” He asked the fans, “Do you people think C.M. Punk can do it?” Fans cheered. He said they feel it now, but will they feel it in a month or a year.

He said he knows why Punk doesn’t like him. He said it’s because he represents everything about this business he hates. He said he was born for this. He said he is every promoter’s, analyst’s, and pundit’s wet dream “while you, on the other hand were a scrawny misfit from the dumpiest part of the Midwest known as Chicago.” He said Punk had to work hard, but what eats him up insider is that after all of his hard work and sacrifice, he knows it and the people know it, he’s been nothing more than second best. He said it was the You Can’t See Me Man and the King the Kings, he was never up to their level. He said the same applies to him. He said he is better than Punk “and you know it.”

Punk paused and smiled. “There’s some truth to what you just said,” he said. “Little bit, scared after coming back after seven years.” He said he wouldn’t lie to the fans. He said he didn’t know if the people would remember him or care. He said didn’t know if he still had it. He said he isn’t scared anymore, and he’s not scared of him for sure. He said he was selling out MSG when MJF was on Rosie O’Donnell. He said the last time he did a song and dance, he made the New York Times. He asked if Maxwell wanted to sing him a song. He said he’s standing in the ring with a professional, so the next time he makes the New York Times, it’ll be the obituaries. He said he just enrolled in a college his parents can’t afford.

He said he talks too much, just like him back in the day “except I always backed it, and you can’t back up shit without your back-up.” He said Shawn Spears, FTR, and Wardlow is how he gets things done. He said he never mentioned him on interviews because he never had to. He said he wanted to test himself in AEW, so he went after the heart and soul of AEW. He said it eats him up that he started with Darby. He said he is too busy talking about being the most powerful of the four pillars, “you don’t even realize you’ve been replaced by Britt Baker.”

Punk said MJF thinks he’s made good points, but he talks too much and he’s wasted the people’s time. He said they call Chicago the second city not because it’s second best or because there’s a city that was first, they call them the second city because when it burned to the ground, they built on top of the smoldering embers. He said the only way MJF will be no. 1, it’ll be if they wait around for Tony to have a daughter that he marries. He said the last time they were in Chicago, he gave everybody free ice cream bars. He said the only thing that would be a better welcome back gift “would be punching you in your little needle dick right now.” MJF took off his jacket and looked ready to fight, then he dropped to the ground and rolled out of the ring. Fans booed.

Ross said, “Wow. That’s some serious pro wrestling TV, I’ll tell you.” Excalibur said MJF showed his true colors, but Punk would wrestle next.

(Keller’s Analysis: Stellar. Fantastic. Epic. MJF was so good, I felt Punk was going to wilt out of rustiness and a lack of material to fire back with. He disarmed that by admitting MJF made some accurate points, then flipped it over on MJF with the legendary Miz comparison, and the dig at the end comparing MJF to Triple H. That was one of the best talking segments on pro wrestling TV in many years.) [c]

(1) C.M. PUNK vs. Q.T. MARSHALL (w/Nick Comoroto, Aaron Solow)

The bell rang 25 minutes into the hour. Has AEW ever rung a bell to start a first match later, and boy did they pick the right talking segment to kick off a show and give that much time to. The announcers reflected on the MJF-Punk segment. Marshall took over a minute in with a knee to the ribs. Schiavone noted Marshall won 22 out of 25 matches earlier this year. Excalibur said he did it most often with help from Solow and Comoroto. Punk came back and mounted Marshall in the corner and punched him ten times. Marshall did the flip bump into the corner turnbuckle in the corner. Ross said people are overanalyzing Punk’s matches since he returned. He brought up the Roman Reigns critique that he’s not as “explosive” as he once was and he’s not plowing through opponents as quickly as he did when he was younger. Ross said he also happens to be undefeated, so it doesn’t matter. Schiavone said he has to evolve. Punk leaped off the ring apron with a clothesline on Marshall at ringside. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

Marshall took over and grounded Punk during the break. Punk came back and landed a top rope elbow. He signaled for the GTS and then delivered.

WINNER: Punk in 11:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Marshall was a good opponent for Punk in this situation. Punk looked good there and just seems to have a little more confidence as he wrestles now than he did initially. He’s starting to walk around the ring with a presence that says he owns the ring again rather than just visiting a place from the past. I’m curious how intentional it was that Ross drew attention to the “explosiveness” critique of Reigns and the length of Punk’s matches. AEW has a tendency to have matches go longer than we’re used to when top tier wrestlers face second and third tier wrestlers, and this fits that pattern, but having Punk win decisively and more quickly seemed called for here.)

-Schiavone interviewed Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus. JB bragged that he’s beat Bobby Fish twice. Christian said they have a ton of momentum, and now they have confidence and feel damn near unbeatable. He said Luchasaurus & JB are now the no. 1 ranked tag team in AEW. He said he is going to make sure they win the tag team titles. [c]

-Backstage, a roving camera approached Eddie Kingston as he was eating cake at a table. He wished Jon Moxley a Happy Thanksgiving. 2-point-0 and Danny Garcia walked up to him and talked about reading his article in the Players’ Tribune. Matt Lee congratulated him on his achievements, but said he’s not hungry anymore. Jeff Parker told him they’re there for him even though he couldn’t be there for his friend Moxley. Kingston asked what he just said to him. Garcia threw his hot coffee in Kingston’s face. Security ran in to separate them. “Where is Tony Garea when you need him?” asked Ross.

(2) COLTON & BILLY GUNN (w/Austin Gunn) vs. BEAR COUNTRY (Bear Boulder & Bear Bronson)

The Gunn Club came out first as a split screen video aired of the fallout after the Billy Gunn vs. Darby match on Rampage last Friday involving Sting. Gunn Club attacked Bear Country before the bell from behind. Bear Country brushed off the attack. Excalibur noted that Bear Country at 10-2 and Gunn Club ate 8-0. Colton sent Boulder hard into the ringside steps. He sold an arm injury afterward. Schiavone said he had surgery on that arm. Back in the ring, Colt and Bronson battled. Austin tripped Bronson from ringside. Colton then gave Bronson a Colt 54 for the win. Ross said it was a clean victory and “not mired in controversy.” I don’t think he was being sarcastic, I think he just missed the Austin leg trip right before the pin.

WINNERS: Gunn Club in 3:00.

-Sting came out afterward. Austin charged at him. Sting held his ground and smiled as Darby flew out of nowhere with a flying tackle. Darby’s music played as he stared down at the Gunn Club from the ring.

(Keller’s Analysis: Colton and Austin have been showing glimpses good in-ring work and improvement lately on Dark, especially taking nice bumps, and Austin’s bump for Darby was great there. They’re the type of heels that fans want to see popular babyfaces plow through, and this is a good way to give Darby a satisfying decisive win after coming up short against MJF, who has moved up the card against Punk. It also sends the message that winners move up and losers regroup against lesser opponents. I like the booking logic to this.)

-A commercial aired for Battle of the Belts coming to TNT on Jan. 8. in Charlotte, N.C. Tickets go on sale on Saturday.

-Backstage Brandon Cutler filmed Adam Cole and Bobby Fish talking about how much these past few weeks have sucked. He talked about losing matches lately and “this stupid Friendsgiving thing.” He told Fish they’re more than partners, they’re best friends, practically family. Then Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Wheeler Yuta walked up to them. Chuck said they’re literally called Best Friends. Cole said he knows Cassidy is a horrible friend and Yuta has no friends. Cole said there’s no way that Cassidy & Yuta are better friends that he and Fish are. Fish asked Cassidy what Yuta’s middle name is. They walked up to Cole and Fish. Cole said he’d make them pay.

(Keller’s Analysis: This looks to be setting up a tag match for Rampage. The tone of who are better friends feels, at least in tone, a bit like something Cole would do on “Being the Elite.” Cole can step up and be a serious main event act when it’s time just fine, even if this feels a bit beneath him at the moment.)

-Excalibur plugged Jamie Hayter vs. Thunder Rosa was up next. [c]

-They went to a contract signing segment with Team Taz on one side and Dante Martin and Lio Rush on the other. Taz didn’t like that Rush had a copy of the agreement and was even in the room. Rush said anything that has to do with Dante has to do with him. Taz said this is just business. He told Dante to sign it. Rush said that’s business he doesn’t want any part of. He tried to hand the pen back Taz, but Dante stopped him and signed the contract as Rush asked, “What you are doing?” Dante then ate a chip out of Hook’s bag when Hook offered. He leaped over the table and left with Team Taz.

(Keller’s Analysis: Dante seems so nice, it’ll be interesting how he does with Team Taz trying to be a heel. There’s a chance his babyface persona is bland or muted, but he has cocky jerk just waiting to come out. If not, he can still succeed by having Taz do his talking, but he’s so spectacular in the ring, he’ll have to adjust his style to get booed. It’s also possible he’s a double agent and Rush is in on it.)

-A soundbite aired with Britt Baker, Rebel, and Jamie Hayter.

(3) JAMIE HAYTER vs. THUNDER ROSA – TBS Tournament Quarter Finals

Ross said he loves Rosa’s fire and grit. Schiavone said Hayter has that too. Hayter threw Rosa to ringside, but Rosa reverse-whipped her into the barricade.

[HOUR TWO]

Rosa controlled the action for a while until Hayter caught her leaping off the ring apron. She slammed Rosa into the ringpost back-first. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

Back from the break, Hayter was still in control as a dueling chant was loudly ringing throughout the arena for both wrestlers. Rosa applied a Peruvian Necktie submission. As Rebel distracted the ref, Baker pulled Rosa off of Hayter. Hayter held Rosa as Baker threw a sidekick, but Rosa moved. She then shoved Baker into Rebel. Rosa then finished Hayter with a roll-up.

WINNER: Rosa in 10:00 to advance to the semi-finals.

-Alex Marvez interviewed Chris Jericho backstage. Marvez asked what’s next for him. He told Marvez that they’ve had a lot of issues, but it’s Thanksgiving Eve. In walked 2-point-0 and Garcia interrupting. Jericho called them jackasses and told them to buy some chains and nails to protect them from when Kingston breaks into their houses and beats their turkey asses. He then told Jeff Parker that he can’t help but notice he has a square head. “You look like an ugly Spongebob Squarepants.” Jericho told him that he’s not going to throw coffee in his face if they interrupt him again, they’re going to knock his frickin’ teeth down his throat. “You dig?” he said. Jeff backed away. Matt, though, said, “With all due respect, watch your mouth.” Jericho then wished Marvez a Happy Thanksgiving. He said Jeff’s head is like a Rubik’s Cube. [c]

-Tony Schiavone sat backstage at a table full of food with Britt Baker and Rebel. Britt said things didn’t go as she expected in the previous match. She told Tony he doesn’t need that pie and she told Rebel she doesn’t need that dinner roll. She said one thing is very bright with all that has gone wrong, and that is that she is still the AEW World Champion. Schiavone said he loves them both, but he has bad news for them. He went to video footage of how Riho wasn’t eliminated at All Out during the Casino Battle Royale, so therefore Tony Khan has signed Baker to face Riho on Rampage this Friday, and if Riho wins, she’ll get a future title match. Baker told Schiavone he ruined Halloween and Thanksgiving, so he’s not invited to the Christmas party. She complained about ice in her red wine.

(4) COLT CABANA (w/Dark Order) vs. BRYAN DANIELSON

Colt made his entrance first. Then Danielson came out, arms extended. After an early exchange, Colt grabbed the bottom rope for a break. Danielson broke, but kicked Colt before walking away in more an insult than a way to cause any pain. Excalibur talked about their history against each other, noting that they wrestled five times including a 60 minute draw and four wins for Danielson otherwise. Colt blocked a top rope back suplex and elbowed Danielson to the mat. He then landed a top rope moonsault for a two count. Colt elbowed Danielson in the head twice. Danielson swept Colt and then held on and stomped his head ten times before twisting Colt into a hammer lock. He flexed his arms and applied a LeBell lock. Danielson pointed at what appeared to be a tooth on the mat that he was indicating he stomped out of Colt’s mouth. Schiavone said he would be interviewing Danielson.

WINNER: Danielson in 5:00. [c/ss]

-During the split-screen break, Colt checked his mouth for a missing tooth as Danielson gloated.

-Schiavone told Danielson that he’s not making many friends. Danielson said it’s funny that when he debuted in Chicago, he got a much better reaction than this. “I wonder, is it me or is it you?” he said. He said he has one word to describe that – and that’s fickle.” He said he’s not fickle. He said he kicked in Colt’s head and kicked his teeth out. He showed off the tooth. He then said there are a couple Dark Order members from Atlanta and he would happily kick their heads in next week. He said that is leading to the ultimate head kicking for Hangman. Hangman Page’s music played and he walked out as pyro blasted.

Hangman walked out with the belt over his left shoulder and the mic in his right hand. (There was a “Head of the Table” t-shirt in the background. I can’t remember seeing a WWE t-shirt on camera during an AEW show until now.) Hangman said he’d be happy to defend his title against Danielson right here, right now. Danielson said he’d of course say that after he already wrestled a match. “To me, that’s now Cowboy Shit, that’s coward shit,” he said. Hangman said he’s not leaving Chicago without a fight. He set the belt down and said he’d give Danielson the first shot since he just had a match. Ross wondered how smart that was. Danielson said that was an insult, then he slapped him. Hangman fought back. Danielson tossed Hangman to the ring apron, but Hangman came right back with a Buckshot Lariat attempt. Danielson bailed out of the ring.

-Excalibur plugged Cole & Fish vs. Cassidy & Yuta, Baker vs. Soho, and Garcia vs. Kingston for Friday. Ross hyped Soho vs. Kris Statlander for next week’s Dynamite. A vignette aired hyping the Statlander vs. Soho match. Excalibur said Tony Khan would announce additional Dynamite matches on Rampage on Friday. They also plugged the ticket sales launch for Battle of the Belts this Saturday again.

-Malakai Black’s ring entrance took place. Then FTR came out. Dax Harwood reached to slap a kid’s hand who was reaching out to him, but he kept his hand just out of reach and then laughed at him. Andrade came out third with Jose the Assistant. [c]

(5) CODY RHODES (w/Arn Anderson) & DEATH TRIANGLE (Pac & Lucha Bros. w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. MALAKAI BLACK & ANDRADE EL IDOLO (w/Jose) & FTR (w/Tully Blanchard)

Death Triangle’s ring entrance aired first. Then Cody came out to an eruption of boos. Cody began against Dax. Cody made the mistake of playing to the crowd and he got more boos before locking up with Dax. Cody took control and had Dax down, so he took off his weight lifter’s belt and tossed it to the fans. Pac tagged in next. Then a fan threw the weight lifting belt back into the ring for perhaps the biggest pop of the night. Poor Cody had to stand on the ring apron and absorb that moment. Andrade grabbed it and threw it under the ring. A security worker tossed Cody’s weight lifter’s belt back at him. Cody put it back on. (What were they thinking there, drawing more attention to that moment?) Pac tagged in Penta who leaped off the top rope with a dropkick to Cash’s butt and thighs.

Cody tagged himself in against Andrade and got booed. Excalibur said it backfired against Rhodes. Chaos broke out and Cody lunged and tagged in Rey Fenix. Fenix hit some quick offense against Black and Andrade to cheers. Tully stopped Fenix from running the ropes, giving Black a chance to take over. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

Back from the break, Penta rallied. He scored a two count on Andrade after a backstabber. Pac flip-dove onto Andrade and Dax at ringside. Back in the ring, Cash interfered and gave Pac a backbreaker. Chaos broke out, including Dax hitting a piledriver on Penta. Black caught Fenix with a knee to the jaw. Cody entered and gave Black a Crossroads before throwing off his weight lifter’s belt again, this time off camera to the right of the TV screen view. Fans booed. Cody then mistakenly kicked Pac when Andrade sidestepped it. Pac caught a charging Andrade with an overhead suplex into the corner. Tully entered the ring. Arn stepped into the ring. Fans cheered as they circled each other. Schiavone said it brings back some Thanksgiving memories. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” Jose then entered the ring and grabbed his crotch. Arn tossed him down. Fans cheered. Jose ran away and Alex helped him. FTR joined Tully to corner Arn. Fenix leaped onto FTR as Arn and Tully left the ring. Fenix and Penta clotheslined FTR over the top rope to the floor. Then Penta landed a flip dive onto Cash. Fenix landed a leap off the top rope onto Dax. Black then sprayed Black Mist at Pac. Andrade then finished Pac with a DDT for the win.

WINNERS: Andrade & FTR & Black in 16:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Fun match with a ton of action. The fans in Chicago reacting to the former Horsemen and Brainbusters squaring off was cool. But the talking point is going to be Cody and the weight lifting belt. I can only imagine what’s going on in his head. That was embarrassing.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Really good show, anchored by that stellar opening segment. Danielson is a blast as a heel, and the history of the Colt match made a pedestrian match in the AEW universe seem like a tip of the hat to their history that added meaning to the match. It was good to get Hangman out there again this week to stand opposite of Danielson. That segment was smartly booked. Rosa vs. Hayter was good, too.

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