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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
DECEMBER 8, 2021
ELMONT, N.Y. AT UBS ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, Taz
-The Dynamite opening theme aired. Excalibur introduced the show as pyro blasted and the camera panned the audience. Excalibur said their hearts go out to Jim Ross and Justin Roberts.
-MJF’s music played, but instead C.M. Punk walked out. Fans actually booed. He put his hands on his hips and looked around with bewilderment. He walked to the ring without any music. A “C.M. Punk” chant almost caught on. Schiavone said Punk has heard boos before. He said he’s been on both sides of the aisle before. Punk said, “That’s all you got? Chicago was so much louder.” Boos got louder. Punk laughed. “Seriously, that’s all you got?” He said he figured out why the Islanders have yet to win a game in that building. “Y’all certainly don’t disappoint, unlike your guy MJF.” He asked if he’s their guy. Some fans chanted “No!” (Not everyone is from Long Island who is in the arena.) Punk took off his jacket and revealed an AEW Four Pillars t-shirt with Britt Baker in place of MJF next to Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, and Sammy Guevara. He asked if MJF is really their guy. He said MJF said he’s bigger on Long Island than Roddy Piper in Oregon when he’s not even better than Piper in “Welcome to Frogtown.” The crowd chanted something. Punk couldn’t make it out, but it sounded like it might have been a John Cena chant. He said he couldn’t understand them just like the Islanders can’t understand how to put a puck in the net. Boos broke out. He said the Islanders beat Ottawa last night, which is like him beating Q.T. Marshall two weeks ago.
Punk said he isn’t mad at them for MJF being their guy, but “I just feel a little bit sorry for ya’.” He said he has his eye set next week on the AEW Championship match. “I want next,” he said. (Interesting.) He said he suspects MJF “wants next” too. He said they ought to settle that before one of them goes on to fight for the AEW Title. He said he tried twice to get him in the ring and he ran. He rubbed it in that MJF is their guy. He proposed they settle it in the ring. He said he doesn’t want to deal with Wardlow, FTR, or Shawn Spears. He said MJF stooped as low as bringing his dog Larry into this, and he said Larry has more balls than MJF and Larry is neutered. He said he is having fun.
He said if MJF is their hero and that’s who they want to back, he understands why they’re Islander fans, since the Islanders haven’t won anything since 1984. He said he wants MJF, and he wants him one-on-one. He said he doesn’t want him to run. “I want him to stand and fight like we do in Chicago,” he said. Taz said Punk is getting out of hand and that’s why he never liked him. Punk said he’ll do it right there tonight. He said he doesn’t think MJF would agree to it. He said, “If that’s your guy, and that’s who you back, you’re all chicken shit.” He tossed the mic down. Taz asked, “Why does Punk have to act like that?” Excalibur asked how else Taz expects Punk to react. Punk marched to the stage and then egged on more crowd reaction.
(Keller’s Analysis: Punk had that twinkle in his eye that he hasn’t had in every AEW appearance. He was having fun, although it did get a little repetitive late in the segment. I didn’t get the sense the crowd was vociferously against Punk throughout, since obviously a lot of AEW fans drove in from outside of Long Island and some from Long Island aren’t into MJF. But the riffing was fun. It’s also notable how rarely AEW opens Dynamite with a long in-ring promo.)
-Excalibur plugged upcoming matches. [c]
-A vignette aired with a sports car driving up as a narrator talked about MJF. The narrator said if you think he’s a villain, you aren’t from Long Island. He cited a bunch of stuff Long Islanders are proud of or know about. He then walked onto the Plainview High football field wearing his letter jacket as the narrator listed all the accomplishments MJF had in high school sports and otherwise. “This man might not be your cup of tea, but to us Long Islanders, he’s salt of the earth and that makes him better than you and you know it.”
-MJF made his ring entrance. MJF was teared up and definitely was feeling the emotions. He kissed his fist and then posed with fans by leaning against the guard rails. He smiled and chomped his gun. He handed Spears his Dynamite Diamond Ring. Schaivone said he understands hometown allegiance.
(1) DYNAMITE DIAMOND BATTLE ROYAL
Participants were MJF, Wardlow, Lee Johnson, Matt Hardy, Dante Martin, Ricky Starks, Kaz, Lee Moriarty, Lio Rush, Jay Lethal, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Matt Sydal. Wardlow eliminated Lee Moriarty. Lethal was eliminated next. Then Matt. Dante and Rush had a mid-ring staredown. Wardlow jumped Dante, Hobbs jumped Rush. Wardlow and Hobbs then stared each other down and exchanged heated words. Hobbs charged into Wardlow who no-sold it and flexed. Wardlow did the same and Hobbs smiled. Wardlow clotheslined Hobbs over the top rope, but he landed on the ring apron. Lio then knocked Hobbs off the ring apron to the floor with a handspring kick. Starks dumped Rush over the top rope, but he held onto the ropes on the ring apron. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Wardlow stood behind MJF and watched others fight. Rush tried to knock Starks to the floor as Starks held on precariously to the bottom rope. Back from the break, the crowd was going bonkers for MJF after he took a shot at Dante. Spears ran out and acted as cheerleader with a fan sign. Fans booed Rush punching MJF. Wardlow held Rush and Johnson with each hand when Dante dropkicked Wardlow. Rush and Johnson tried to eliminate Wardlow, but MJF dumped all three. Wardlow wasn’t pleased and shot MJF a dirty look from ringside. MJF tried to explain himself. Kaz charged at MJF, but MJF ducked. It came down to Starks, Dante, and MJF. Dante tossed Starks out of the ring. Taz was shocked and flummoxed. He said Dante and Lio swerved them. Dante tore off his FTR armband.
WINNERS: Dante and MJF in 9:00.
-After the match, MJF offered a handshake to Dante. Dante accepted it. MJF raised his arm and patted him, then left the ring victorious. Starks then jumped Dante. “Beat his ass, Ricky!” exclaimed Taz. MJF looked morally conflicted and paused, but then kept walking to the stage. He turned and considered making the save again. He ended up charging to the ring and got nose-to-nose with Starks. Starks shoved him. MJF then turned and attacked Dante. Starks joined in. “Just when you think he’s going to do something honorable, he turns into the ass that he is,” said Excalibur. Punk then ran out for the save as the bell rang frantically. Fans booed. Starks stood up to Punk. Dante then turned Starks around and delivered an enzugiri. Punk then gave Starks a Go To Sleep. Punk checked on Dante and helped him up.
(Keller’s Analysis: A good battle royal. They moved it at a swift pace, which is smart since the prize is a ring and there were some mid-carders in the mix and limited top acts. Not to ready too much into the order of elimination, but Jay Lethal seems to have quickly been moved down to the Kaz level. Wait, Kaz lasted way long. What’s beneath Kaz? Do you think six months ago Dante thought he’d be on national TV in Long Island in the ring with Punk who was being booed by New York fans? This business is so unpredictable.)
-Excalibur plugged the eight-man tag match up next. [c]
(2) JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) & THE VARSITY BLONDES (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison w/Julia Hart) vs. THE ACCLAIMED (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) & 2POINT0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker w/Daniel Garcia)
Max did his rap on his way to the ring, which turned into a dig at the Islanders, Jungle Boy’s promo skills, and former New York governor Andrew Cuomo. This was a come-down match to deliver some traditional wrestling action while announcers regrouped and got in some plugs for stuff including the AEW G.M. mobile game. Taz complimented the height of a Pillman dropkick which went higher than Garrison’s height. He said Garrison is around 6-4, “an inch or two taller than me.” (I can confirm that. I’ve stood next to Taz.) Rapid fire action with lots of tags. The crowd popped for a hot tag to Luchasaurus who beat up all four heels who took turns charging at him. Taz said TV doesn’t do justice to what a big athlete he is. Luchasaurus chokeslammed Bowens onto Caster. JB tagged in and battled 2point0. More chaos. JB caught Caster with a springboard DDT. Garcia was about to interfere when Eddie Kingston ran out and yanked him off the ring apron and into the ringside steps. Caster then went for a top rope elbowdrop on JB, but JB moved and applied a Snare Trap. Caster frantically tapped out. They showed Kingston returning to the back, asking a cameraman to follow him.
WINNERS: Jurassic Express & Varsity Blondes in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good concentrated dose of action.)
-Backstage Kingston yelled at the camera, which wasn’t mic’d. Then 2point0 and Garcia jumped him. Referees and producers ran up to pull them apart. [c]
-A backstage promo aired with FTR and Tully Blanchard. He lamented how hard it is to get the Lucha Bros. in the ring to put their feud to an end. Cash said their only win was an illegal fluke. He said it’s time for FTR to take their rightful spot at the top. Dax said Friday night on Rampage is what will pays his mortgage and fill his family’s stockings when they become the first ever two-time AEW Tag Team Champions. “Top guys, out.”
(3) THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson w/Brandon Cutler, Adam Cole) vs. ROCKY ROMERO & CHUCK TAYLOR (w/Orange Cassidy)
Excalibur talked about Taylor and Romero being part of the Chaos group in New Japan. Taz said he’s going to have big news later after what Dante did, but he’s waiting to get some things clarified. The Bucks took control a couple minutes in and showboated. Romero returned to the ring and got the better of Nick. Matt kicked Romero to the floor. Nick rolled Romero back into the ring. Romero hot-tagged Taylor a couple minutes later. He landed a running flip dive over the top rope onto the Bucks. After yelling at Cutler and then smiling at the camera, the Bucks superkicked him. Romero went after the Bucks at ringside, but they took him down too. The Bucks ran the ropes, then slid to the floor and kissed Cole on his cheeks. Cutler covered Nick in Cold Spray. The Bucks double-teamed Taylor, with Nick landing a flip senton on the floor. Nick put his hands down the front of his trunks to taunt Cassidy. They threw Taylor back into the ring. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Cassidy blocked Matt at ringside from going after Romero. Cole ran over and took Cassidy down with a pump kick. Nick and Matt then went back after Taylor. Taylor overhead-tossed Nick into Matt. Taylor was wearing Cassidy’s sunglasses. He tagged in Romero, who went to work against the Bucks. He took them both over at once with a huracanrana. He scored a near fall with a running Sliced Bread on Matt. Later, Cutler DISTRACTED the ref with cold spray. Cole entered. Cassidy also entered. Nick superkicked Cassidy and knocked him out of the ring. Romero ducked and Cutler sprayed Matt in the face. The ref was distracted during all of this (it got ridiculous). Romero then scored a near fall with a jackknife pin, broken up by Nick. Nick tossed Taylor out of the ring. Romero scored another near fall on Matt a minute later with a backslide. He continued to take it to Matt, but Matt used a pump handle into a tombstone position leading to a Meltzer Driver for the win.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 16:00.
-Afterward, Nick, Matt, Cole, and Cutler attacked Cassidy, Romero, and Taylor. Schaivone said, “So unnecessary after such a great match.” Wheeler Yuta ran out for the save, but he ate a superkick. Cutler was filming it all. Cole gave Cassidy a Panama Sunrise. The Bucks and Cole set up Cassidy for the three-way BTE Trigger. However, the Best Friends’ music played. They cut backstage where Sue drove Trent Barretta into the arena. He got out of the car and walked to the ring with a new close-cropped haircut. Excalibur said after spinal surgery, he is back. He speared Cutler at ringside and threw off his jacket. He then fended off Matt. He charged into the ring and clotheslined Cole. He then gave Nick an overhead suplex before clotheslining him over the top rope to the floor. He played to the crowd. They showed Kris Statlander and his mom Sue clapping. Taylor, Yuta, and Cassidy hugged him mid-ring. Statlander led Sue to the ring to celebrate with her son.
(Keller’s Analysis: Trent got his last name back and debuted some shredded abs. I didn’t sense most fans were super excited to see his return. A lot has happened and AEW has a lot of new fans since Trent last wrestled, and it’s not like Best Friends were a top tier group even then. Still, a fun return and it’s great to see him healthy enough to return.)
-As Schiavone was about to interview Ruby Soho, The Bunny and Penelope Ford interrupted. They said they’d team with Nyla ose against Soho and two friends, if she has any friends. They laughed that Rubo Soho should be “Ruby Solo.” When Ruby started a fight, Nyla jumped her. Tay Conti and Anna Jay ran in with chairs to clear the scene. Vickie Guerrero cackled with laughter as the heels retreated.
-Back on the ramp, Schaivone interviewed Sammy Guevera. Guevera was about to talk when out walked Cody Rhodes to boos. He was wearing a black sleeveless hoodie and sweat pants. Burns were obvious on his arm. Cody said he didn’t want to blindside him, “from one good guy to another.” He said his open challenge is going great, and his Christmas Day challenge will be against him. He said Tony Khan just made it. Guevara whispered something in his ear. Cody said, “Good luck, kid.” He left. Then Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky interrupted from the second deck. Ethan said of course Cody got to leapfrog to a title shot. Ethan said maybe if he was an EVP and kissed Tony’s ass, he’d get a title match, too. He said Dan Lambert did get him a title match. He said Dan is coming back. Sky asked Sammy what he has to say since he’s avoiding guys in the top five. “Tony, don’t give this guy an interview, give him balls,” Sky said. He said he has to stop calling himself a champion and prove he is one. Sammy laid down the belt and called on them to come to him.
-Excalibur plugged Bryan Danielson vs. John Silver and Jamie Hayter vs. Riho. [c]
-A vignette aired on the Jade Cargill vs. Thunder Rosa match in the TBS Tournament.
(4) JAMIE HAYTER (w/Britt Baker, Rebel) vs. RIHO
A few minutes in, after a Riho comeback, Hayter retreated to ringside to chat with Rebel and Britt. Riho leaped off the top rope. Hayter was supposed to catch her, but didn’t. She picked her up and rammed her into the ringpost. Taz noted AEW ringposts are squared off and it hurts more to hit the corner. Hayter took over against Riho as they cut to a partial split-screen break. [c/pss]
Hayter’s offense got scary looking including a nasty backbreaker for a near fall. Taz was gasping. She applied a single-leg crab as they replayed that backbreaker from a couple angles. Riho crawled to the bottom rope. Riho came back with a high knee and then landed a Code Red for a near fall. She climbed to the top rope and leaped off with the double foot stomp “like a lightning bolt from the sky!” said Excalibur. It was good for a two count. She climbed back to the top rope, but Hayter met her up there and then went for a superplex. Riho pounded on her with forearms. Rebel grabbed her leg. Hayter recovered and hit Riho in the chest with a forearm. She then lifted Riho onto her shoulders. Riho fought out of it and yanked her to the mat with crucifix bomb for a near fall. Next she hit her running knees finisher for the win. Baker attacked Riho afterward and said she’ll never beat her.
WINNER: Riho in 14:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. Yikes, some of those bumps Riho took.)
-Excalibur announced Rampage matches: Lucha Brothers vs. FTR for the AEW Tag Team Titles, Ruby Soho & Tay Conti & Anna Jay vs. Nyla Rose & Penelope Ford & The Bunny, plus Adam Cole vs. Wheeler Yuta. They went to Taz on camera who announced that this Friday on Rampage, Hook is going to make his in-ring debut against Fuego del Sol. Excalibur announced Revolution would take place March 6, a Sunday PPV at Addition Arena. Tickets go on sale Dec. 17. Schiavone hyped Dante vs. MJF, Serena Deeb vs. Shida, and Hangman vs. Danielson at Winter is Coming.
-A vignette aired on the Deeb-Shida rivalry.
-Schiavone interviewed the Varsity Blondes on the stage. As Garrison began talking, the lights went out. When they came back on, Malakai Black was standing in front of them. He sprayed Julia Hart in the face with the black mist. She cried out in pain. The lights went out again, then when they came back on, Black was gone. Pillman yelled for help from the back. [c]
(5) BRYAN DANIELSON vs. JOHN SILVER (w/Dark Order)
Danielson came out first. Schiavone said Silver is another local guy. Fans chanted for John at the start, but otherwise not a ton of energy in the building at the start. Back and forth action early. Danielson landed a flying knee to the back of Silver’s head on the ring apron. He yelled, “Who’s the best!” They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Danielson controlled the action during the break. Bryan went for a flying knee, but Silver moved and took over. He landed a snap German suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Danielson gouged Silver’s eyes and landed a rolling elbow strike followed by a barrage of elbows. Danielson then landed a Gotch-style piledriver into a submission. The ref called for the bell. Danielson held on for a few extra seconds, then gloated around the ring.
WINNER: Danielson in 9:00.
-Danielson listed the Dark Order members whose heads he kicked in. When he got to Silver, he paused and said he is a man of his word. He said he promised to kick his head in just like he’s going to do to Hangman Page next week, and he didn’t do that yet. He went after Silver when Page ran out to cheers. He beat up Danielson. Schiavone yelled, “Next week they’re going to get it on!” Page yelled, “Next week, I’m going to stomp the Cowboy Shit out of you!” Excalibur plugged tickets for Winter is Coming. Schiavone snuck in, “We miss you, J.R.!” (That was nice.)