SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
JANUARY 12, 2022
RALEIGH, NC AT PNC ARENA
AIRED ON TBS
REPORT BY TYLER SAGE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
-Adam Cole’s music hit and he came out to the arena with Red Dragon. He teased it was story time, he said 2021 was a great year for him and his friends and that 2022 would be better. He said that he has not been pinned since entering AEW, and the gang is back together and that it is a new era. Matt and Nick Jackson came out and complained that they didn’t get an invite. O’Reilly said that they didn’t need an invite them like they didn’t need their help in Jacksonville. Matt Jackson said they are the longest running tag team champions in AEW history and they want their belts back, Red Dragon said they wanted the same.
Cole grabbed the mic and cheered on the friendly competition, he said that is what makes them the best faction in AEW, much better than The Best Friends. The music for the Best Friends hit and the whole crew walked out. Cole begged that the music be cut, he asked what Orange Cassidy had to say and Cassidy tackled Cole and then all the men brawled. Cole hit a low blow on Orange, Kris Statlander then stepped up and then Britt Baker came down and took out Statlander. Baker then held Cassidy as Cole hit a pump kick and a boom knee on Cassidy. Cole asked for the Young Bucks kiss, but Baker stepped in and got a real kiss in. [c]
(Sage’s Analysis: A fun opener that makes Adam Cole feel like a big deal, and this segment puts him and his story in the top 3 stories in the company in my opinion. The crowd reaction to him and Baker in the ring together went really well I think that is a positive sign.)
(1) CM PUNK vs. WARDLOW
The crowd chanted CM Punk, as he rolled out of the ring and then reentered. The two locked up with a collar and elbow tie-up that was dropped by Punk. They then relocked up and Wardlow won the exchange and sent Punk to the mat. Wardlow then worked a downed Punk with stomps and offense in the corner. A “let’s go Wardlow; CM Punk!” Chant started, Punk then got Wardlow up for the GTS and then Wardlow almost hit a Power Bomb on Punk. CM Punk rolled out of the ring as the commercial break started. [c]
Wardlow dominated throughout the break, when the show returned the ref was checking on Punk. Punk got a boot up on a corner strike, he then tried a DDT. Wardlow threw Punk off and slammed him to the mat. Wardlow tried another bomb, Punk countered and hit a kick and then a number of chops and clotheslines. Punk then hit a springboard clothesline, then a knee in the corner.
Wardlow used Punk on the middle rope to counter with a power bomb. Wardlow then hit a second power bomb, he then paced around and asked the crowd if he should hit more. Wardlow then hit the third power bomb, and then a fourth, and a fifth. As Wardlow covered Punk for the guaranteed win, MJF got on the ring and told him to stop the cover. Wardlow then hit a sixth bomb, as MJF yelled to do it again.
Wardlow hit a seventh power bomb, Punk rolled to the apron area and Wardlow followed him. MJF commanded Wardlow to Powerbombs Punk through the table at ringside. Wardlow did as instructed and put Punk through the table. Punk was able to beat the count and crawl back in the ring. MJF demanded that Punk was bombed again, Wardlow set him up and Punk hit the small package for the win.
WINNER: CM Punk in 14:00
(Sage’s Analysis: First of all I hated the finish to this match, if it looks like a loss, if it tastes like a loss, it should be a loss. The underlying story between Wardlow and MJF gives Wardlow enough coverage to make this not detrimental. I just do not like going 95% of the way there on making an interesting decision in booking and then using a lame WWE finish to get out of there with Punk’s record in tact. To be positive, I do think down the line Wardlow vs. Punk 2 could be big money for a belt, because Wardlow 100% has Punk’s number and I would like this match to be used down the line to tell that story.)
-Wardlow was about to Power Bomb MJF after the match, but Shawn Spears intervened and stopped that. [c]
(2) DANTE MARTIN vs. POWERHOUSE HOBBS
Dante Martin ran to the ring and Hobbs met him outside the ring for a moment before the bell rang. Martin hit a dive to the outside as the match started. On another dive Hobbs caught Martin and slammed him onto the padded area of the floor. Hobbs then began to work over Dante Martin in the ring with power moves and a vertical suplex, then a second suplex. Martin hit some punches from his knees and tried to make a comeback, but Hobbs hit a huge clothesline and the hit some ground and pound shots.
Martin got to his feet and threw some punches, Hobbs locked in a head hold and then tried to get the torture rack submission. Hobbs then hit a crossbody slam, leading to a two count on Martin for Hobbs. In the corner, Hobbs worked Dante over with punches and then tossed him out of the ring. On the outside, Ricky Starks stomped on Martin. [c]
Hobbs dominated thought out, when the show returned Dante was able to make a babyface comeback with a flying elbow. Martin then hit a fast paced dropkick and a top rope drop kick for a pinning attempt on Hobbs. Dante hit a tornado spinning springboard dive out onto Powerhouse, then another dropkick as Hobbs entered the ring. Hobbs hit a lariat to even teh odds, as both men were on the mat.
Jay Lethal came out and fought off Ricky Starks, Hobbs was distracted and Dante was able to win via a rollup pin.
WINNER: Dante Martin in 12:00
(Sage’s Analysis: I liked this match bell to bell, I like that TeamTaz feels more important. I also like that Jay Lethal is on TV and not Dark Elevation. But, this is the exact same type of match and the exact same finish as the previous match. It is just weird to have almost the exact same story back to back like that.)
-Chris Jericho and Inner Circle (sans Sammy) was backstage and said that they won faction of the year. Jericho said that the Inner circle want to take over everything and will defend Sammy tonight. Eddie Kingston then appeared and told Jericho to mind his own business, he then told Santana and Ortiz that Jericho is why they aren’t champions. Jericho told him to get out of the big leagues. Jericho said that if he wants his ass kicked he should get involved tonight.
(Sage’s Analysis: This was a really strong talking segment.)
-MJF came out on the stage area and said that CM Punk was watching and that it was a fluke victory. MJF said that next week he would take his first L. MJF said next week it would be CM Punk and Shawn Spears next week.
-Cole, Red Dragon, The Bucks and Baker challenged Orange and Statlander to a mix tag match next week.
-Adam Page came out to the ring. Page said that he has spent 90 minutes with one of the best wrestlers in the world this month. All for the AEW Title, and it is still his. He said that 90 minutes is not enough, and that the Hangman needs a new challenger. Dan Lambert then came out talking about great champions of yore. He then bemoaned that someone like Page is the World Champion.
Lambert said that he respects Page, he said that Page earned his title. He said that his matches with Danielson were some of the best he has ever seen. He then turned on Page kind of out of no where and said that he is not like those old wrestlers and that he is full of cowboy shit. Page then said that growing up on a farm and starting a new company is cowboy shit. Lance Archer then came out it would seem to take out Lambert, but Archer turned and started to beat down Page with a chair. It finished with a Blackout on a chair.
-Tony Schiavone was backstage with Arn Anderson and Brock Anderson and Lee Johnson. Arn said it was horseman country, Tully and FTR came into view and said that Arn needs to join them. FTR then challenged Brock and Johnson. [c]
-Jade Cargill had a vignette with Mark Sterling, Jade said that she did what she said she would.
(3) SERENA DEEB vs. HIKARU SHIDA
Deeb attacked Shida on her entrance and the two battled on the outside, with Deeb slamming Shida’s knee on the ring stairs. Shida rolled in and said she could fight (I’m sure Wade was happy with that touch). The match proper started, with Deeb hitting a dragon screw leg twist, then several stomps, strikes and submission hold attempts on that injured knee. Deeb then slammed the knee of Shida and slammed it into the mat and then pulled in on submission hold. The referee then called the match because Shida couldn’t defend herself.
WINNER: Serena Deeb in 2:00
(Sage’s Analysis: I like the different finish here, this is setting up a bigger match. Overall I like that, I hope they can main event a Dynamite or a Rampage to conclude this feud.)
-Post match Deeb hit Shida’s injured knee with a kendo stick until more refs pulled her out of the ring.
-Tony was backstage with Jurassic Express and Christian Cage. They wished Rey Fenix the best, then John Silver and Alex Reynolds appeared and challenged for the Tag Titles.
(4) PENTA vs. MATT HARDY
Penta and Hardy traded zero fear and delete chants between themselves and the crowd joined in. Penta hit a spinning kick, and then a pump kick. Penta then hit some slaps in the corner as the match went to break. [c]
You guessed it, Hardy dominated throughout the break, when the show went back to full screen, Penta got his comeback with a kick and sling blade. This was followed up with a rib breaker for a two count pin on Hardy. Matt Hardy hit a DDT for a two count, then placed Penta on the top rope. Penta slipped out and kicked the ankle of Hardy and then stomped him form the top.
The two then traded chops on the apron area, the was followed up with a Side Effect by Hardy on the apron. Hardy was able to get a two count for that as well. Hardy tried a twist of fate, but Penta countered. Hardy hit a moonsault off of the top rope, but Penta rolled out of the way and hit Fear Factory for the pinfall.
WINNER: Penta in 10:00
(Sage’s Analysis: An ok match that felt like a scramble to get to the post match stuff. The crowd was not into the post match stuff at all, until Brody King appeared which is a good sign. I personally am a big fan of King, so that was good to see.)
-Penta called out Malakai Black, then the lights went out and Black was there. Black took out Penta and tried to rip his mask off, the Varsity Blondes came out and surrounded him. The lights went out and Brody King appeared and took out the three men with Black.
-Kris Statlander, Leyla Hirsch and Red Velvet had a backstage segment to set up their Friday match.
(5) THE ACCLAIMED vs. BEAR COUNTRY
All four men started the match, with Bear Country taking it to Bowens and Caster. It was then Bowens alone and he was able to fight off a double team attack. Caster hit a dropkick before the break. [c]
Bowen’s was in control but Bear Bronson countered and tagged in Bear Boulder. The Acclaimed teamed up but Boulder fought off both and then tried the bear bomb, they missed. The two teams battled evenly until it was Caster who hit the ic Drop on Bronson for the win.
WINNER: The Acclaimed
(Sage’s Analysis: Not a good match, just a lot of matches squeezed into the last hour. I do like that the Acclaimed are being slightly built. The post match stuff was fun for the live crowd.)
-Post match Sting appeared with a bat, as Darby launched out of the ring and hit Caster. Sting then hit Bowens with the bat, back in the ring Caster was alone with both Darby and Sting. The Scorpion Death Drop was hit on Caster as they celebrated in the ring.
-Pac had a video that showed Pac with no eyes. He was wearing blind fold and said that he now can see all and that he has a different perspective.
-The card for Rampage and next week’s Dynamite was shown. [c]
-Tony was backstage with Matt Hardy, he said that he needs to focus on making himself better. Andrade El Idolo came in and said he wanted to make a deal with him. Hardy said he was intrigued and took the talks to an office and left Private Party behind.
(6) SAMMY GUEVARA vs. DANIEL GARCIA
Daniel Garcia and Sammy Guevara started fast and furious, getting in 5 minutes of mat based moves and standard strikes in the first minute. Garcia was in control after this exchange, but Sammy quickly threw Garcia over the rope and hit a nasty looking twisting dive out onto Garcia. Back in the ring Sammy and Danny traded chops and stiff athletic moves. Garcia caught Sammy in midair and hit a backbreaker, sending Sammy to the outside going into the last break. [c]
Eddie Kingston and Chris Jericho were at ringside as the battle continued. Sammy hit a head kick in the corner as Garcia went to the outside. Sammy hit a front flip dive out onto Garcia. Back in the ring, Sammy got on the top rope but was pulled down by Garcia and then Garcia hit a move for a two count. Sammy hit a boot to the face and then tried for the GTH, Garcia countered with a Scorpion Death lock, Sammy broke the hold.
Sammy hit a back body drop, then a crossroads for a near fall. Sammy went for the double springboard cutter, but Garcia caught him and locked in a head lock. Garcia then hit a pile driver for a near fall on Guevara. Sammy hit a head kick, as 2point0 came out and attacked Jericho. At the same time Sammy hit a knee strike and then set up the GTH but was distracted. Sammy did hit the GTH and got the pinfall win.
WINNER: Sammy Guevara in 14:00
(Sage’s Analysis: A really good match that got more time than I thought it would based on the pacing of the show. Just like Deeb & Shida, I think these two will have more big time matches down the road and I look forward to that. The stuff with the interim and Cody’s TNT title is still pretty silly to me, but I will let the whole story play out before passing judgment.)
-There was lots of post match shenanigans with Kingston and Jericho bickering at the end.
Final Thoughts: I liked this show a lot even though I had some critical notes when it came to match structure etc. There were many key stories that were continued, started and even laid out down the road tonight. The wrestling was good to very good depending on the match. My only note that isn’t mentioned above, it felt like the plan was to get ever single person besides Bryan Danielson on the show this week and it felt like a lot visual and just as a viewer of the show. Dynamite is typically a fast paced show, but this was next level, and not for the best.