SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
C.M. Punk and MJF Segment – HOMERUN
A memorable opening to Dynamite going the WWE route of a 20-minute long promo segment. The idea of a segment this long isn’t inherently bad if the participants are working in a script-free environment and they’re two of the best talkers in the business. Before C.M. Punk’s match with QT Marshall, MJF made his way to the ring to exchange verbal jabs with Punk or as he put it, verbally end Punk faster than his UFC career. MJF made remarks about Punk’s appearance and compared his blandness of his return to that of John Cena. The line with the biggest reaction was when Punk called MJF a less famous Miz. Punk also teased MJF for being a fan of his and that Britt Baker is one of the 4 future pillars and not MJF. Being in the building, the crowd ate this up and did not get tired of it for a moment. They were hanging on each wrestler’s words in anticipation of the other’s response. The WWE innuendos had the most effect on the crowd with the feeling that they were knocking on a new forbidden door.
C.M. Punk vs. QT Marshall – MISS
A long C.M. Punk match in Chicago is most ideal, but not with QT Marshall. The crowd would have much preferred to have Punk beat Marshall in just a few minutes hitting his signature spots. Especially after the opening promo being 20-minutes. They lost the crowd for a bit because of dare I say, too much C.M. Punk. Punk brought them back in for his comeback and hit a GTS for the win. A fine showing for Punk, but too long for the crowd’s appetite.
Gunn Club vs. Bear Country – HIT
Outside of giving Darby Allin something to do and embarrassing some low level heels, I don’t get the push for the Gunn Club. Billy Gunn’s freakishly muscular body stands out far more than anyone on the main roster and he’s 58. Gunn Club beat Bear Country in a quick match leading to Sting and Darby Allin making an appearance. Sting and Darby came out on top then posed in the ring. It didn’t take up much time and got Sting and Darby on the show.
Thunder Rosa vs. Jamie Hayter – HIT
A good match between these two, that saw Thunder Rosa advance in the TBS Championship Tournament. The crowd was into this match cheering for both competitors. Towards the end of the match Rosa put Hayter into a submission. Rebel and Britt Baker hit the ring for the distraction, but before Baker broke up the submission, Hayter had tapped out. The referee didn’t see this, allowing for Baker to attempt a superkick on Rosa. Rosa ducked the kick and hit Hayter instead. Rosa flipped over Hayter for the win. Baker and Rebel tried to reconcile with Hayter, but she would have none of it. Hayter tapped out before the distraction, so she should have less of a gripe with Baker, but in the moment she seemed to have forgotten that happened.
Bryan Danielson vs. Colt Cabana – HIT
Not quite the epic 60-minute battle they had in Ring of Honor, but they did a fair amount in 5 minutes. They made the best of their limited time doing grappling and a few highspots before Danielson won with the LaBelle Lock. He claimed he would kick in the heads of all the Dark Order members, then showed off a tooth while being interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Danielson said that next week in Atlanta he would take on Dark Order members from that area. Hangman Page came down to the ring and challenged Danielson to a title match right there. Danielson astutely pointed out that of course Hangman would demand the match right after he had already wrestled, making Hangman a coward. Declining the match gets heel heat, but Danielson wasn’t wrong. They brawled in the ring before Danielson fled the area. The crowd was hot for this program, but I’m curious if they are peaking too early. To avoid that, I’d suspect this title match will be at Winter Is Coming on Dec. 15 or Battle of the Belts on Jan. 8.
Cody Rhodes, Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, & Fenix vs. Andrade El Idolo, Malakai Black, & FTR – HIT
A crazy high spot main event match that will be remembered for one thing. Cody Rhodes came out to his typical crowd heat since he’s been feuding with Malakai Black. The Chicago crowd being a bit more raucous and passionate than past environments. Rhodes threw his signature belt to the crowd like he’s done before. After chants to throw the belt back, the fan threw it back to ring to the visible surprise of Rhodes. While embarrassing for Cody, this was likely the biggest pop of the night bringing many fans to their feet. He put the belt back on then threw it back later when he made his fiery comeback. The new fan kept it despite more cheers to throw it back. The fans were vicious to Cody, cheering “one more time” after getting beat down by the heels in the corner followed by a “you deserve it” chant after Andrade planted Cody on the concrete with a DDT. Great action from everyone throughout with plenty of dives and flips to send the crowd home happy for Thanksgiving, but this outing sunk to a new low for Cody.