Date: December 22, 2021
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz
We’re back with yet another special show, this time in the form of Holiday Bash. That should make for another big card, though this time around the major draw is Sting being back in Greensboro. I’m still not sure why that should matter to anyone but the live audience, though seeing Sting team with CM Punk and Darby Allin against MJF and FTR should be fun. Let’s get to it.
Orange Cassidy vs. Adam Cole
They stare each other down to start and trade headlock takeovers. Cassidy grabs a rollup for two and it’s right back to the mat, with Cassidy bouncing out of a headscissors. Cole kicks him down again and grabs a chinlock as they keep fighting for minor victories to start. Cassidy fights up again and grabs some rollups for two each. Back up and Cole hits a Backstabber out of the corner, setting up a hard whip into another corner to put Cassidy in trouble.
Cassidy blocks a superplex attempt and hits a high crossbody into the tornado DDT. Cue the Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler, with Cassidy diving onto the latter. The Best Friends run out to take care of them but the distraction lets Cole send Cassidy into the steps. The Boom only hits steps though and we take a break.
Back with Cole winning a slugout, setting up the brainbuster onto the knee for two. Another one is countered into the Stundog Millionaire though and Cassidy grabs a top rope DDT for the same. Cole kicks him down again but gets small packaged for two more anyway. Another superkick rocks Cassidy and the Panama Sunrise sets up a cover, with Cole’s hands in the trunks, for two. The Boom misses though and Cassidy hits Beach Break for another near fall. Cue Bobby Fish for a distraction though and it’s the debuting Kyle O’Reilly to strike away at Cassidy. Now the Boom can connect to finish Cassidy at 17:04.
Rating: B. These guys were working hard here and the O’Reilly debut is going to get some interest. I almost bought the idea of Cassidy getting the win off the Beach Break too so well done on the tease. This was a pretty awesome match and I wouldn’t have bet on that so call this a very nice surprise.
Post match the Best Friends come back in but get taken down in a hurry, including the High/Low from Fish and O’Reilly. The Young Bucks come down and don’t seem to have known this was coming. Cole, O’Reilly and Fish leave together.
Video on Hangman Page vs. Bryan Danielson’s classic last week. The rematch is on January 5.
Here is Hangman Page for a chat. Page talks about how hard he fought last week but at the end, he had never felt less like a champion. Cue Bryan Danielson to cut him off and call Page an entitled millennial cowboy. Danielson beat him up for sixty minutes and should be the champ. He would have won, but he was a bit injured after that match with Evil Uno. Therefore, Danielson is not going to wrestle again until January 5 so he can take the title as he should.
But what if Page stalls again and retains off another draw? Danielson wants judges, who will guaranteed that he wins because he is clearly better. Page thought of a variety of options from a ladder match to a cage match to an inferno match, but it is clear that something needs to be different. He was three seconds away from winning, so sure the judges are fine. Just make sure the judges are paid off in advance because Danielson isn’t going to win. Page has given way too much for this title to be told that he isn’t good enough, or a B+ player. Can Page beat him in less than an hour? YES. More Danielson greatness.
The Pinnacle has a meeting and MJF wants to know why Wardlow didn’t have the champagne ready in time last week so he could have protected MJF from CM Punk. MJF sees right through Punk saving Sting because that good guy mask is slipping off faster than Sting’s Krusty the Clown makeup. FTR has no problem with Sting but now he is coming after the kings of wrestling. Now it’s time for the kings to destroy him.
Shawn Dean vs. Wardlow
Four powerbombs finish Dean in 1:12.
Post match, Shawn Spears comes in to chair Dean down.
Video on Cody vs. Sammy Guevara for the TNT Title on Christmas night.
Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year are in the balcony to talk about leadership. Lambert doesn’t think much about the people who run this company. On the other hand, he runs the best MMA gym in the world and has to make the right decisions to keep things fair. Tony Khan is the flip side of that: if you’re his friend you’re an executive vice president, but if you’re not his friend, you’re stuck in the midcard.
Look at what Khan has tasked him with doing: get people to cheer Cody Rhodes. Instead, Lambert wants the Men of the Year to face the winner of Guevara vs. Rhodes for the TNT Title. Lambert continues to be great, even with the inside wrestling stuff. That’s kind of the point, but he goes a bit too far with it at times.
We go to Britt Baker’s Christmas party, complete with her lackeys and Tony Schiavone. She isn’t worried about never beating Riho because she is bigger, stronger and better. Then she’ll prove that she is the best around, meaning we can hit the catchphrase.
Video on the Owen Hart tournaments, meaning a lot of clips of Owen, with the wrestlers talking about how much of an inspiration/influence he really was. The home movie stuff was rather cool.
TBS Title Tournament Semifinals: Nyla Rose vs. Ruby Soho
Vickie Guerrero is here with Rose, who jumps Soho on the way in. Soho’s jacket gets pulled over her head so Rose can hammer away, setting up a face rake. Back up and Soho cranks away on an armbar but can’t hit an STO. A powerbomb doesn’t work for Rose so she blasts Soho with a clothesline instead. They head outside with Soho winning a slugout but missing a charge into the steps (thanks to Vickie pulling Rose out of the way).
We take a break and come back with Soho hitting a bunch of clotheslines into a tornado DDT for two. Rose grabs a chair but gets it knocked into her face for the big knockout shot. Vickie shoves Soho off the top though, allowing Rose to hit the top rope knee to the back for two. Rose sends her shoulder first into the buckle to bang it up even worse. Some kind of a slam is countered into a dragon sleeper though, drawing Vickie up to the apron. The referee doesn’t see Rose tap but Soho lets go anyway. The powerbomb gives Rose two so she goes up, only to get pulled into the Soho Kick (cool) for the pin at 10:27.
Rating: C+. Pretty good stuff here, though the tournament has dragged on for so long that I’ve lost almost all interest in the thing. I’m glad to see Soho win though, as she could be a heck of a first champion, especially if it means handing Jade Cargill her first loss. Rose is a good obstacle to overcome and she looked like a monster here, as usual.
Video on Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida, with the former saying it will never be over.
Malakai Black vs. Griff Garrison
Brian Pillman Jr. is here with Garrison, who charges into a kick to the face to start. Black goes after Pillman instead but the delay lets Garrison come back with a suicide dive. The head back in and Black grabs a kneebar to send Garrison over to the ropes. Back in and Black strikes away but Garrison kicks him in the face. A rolling elbow knocks Black down again but he rocks Garrison with an awesome looking jumping knee to the face. Black Mass is loaded up but Black would rather take out the knee, setting up a half crab for the tap at 3:15.
Rating: C. Those strikes from Black were vicious and this is the only way the match should have gone. Black is head and shoulders above the Blonds and there was no reason for this to be competitive. Sometimes that’s the best way to go, even if Garrison was fighting on emotion for revenge here.
Post match, Pillman tries to come in and gets his head kicked off.
We look at Jurassic Express and the Lucha Bros’ staredown from Rampage.
Matt Hardy wants Private Party to be the new #1 contenders. As for Jurassic Express, Isaiah Kassidy wants to spend Christmas pounding Jungle Boy.
Jungle Boy is fine with the challenge. Christian Cage tells people to get their new Christmas shirt.
Here’s what’s coming over the next few shows.
CM Punk/Sting/Darby Allin vs. FTR/Maxwell Jacob Friedman
We get the MJF vs. Punk (in Sting face paint/gear) showdown to start so they circle each other…and MJF tags out without doing anything. Commentary knew that was coming as Dax Harwood comes in to feel Punk out a bit. The amateur off goes nowhere so Punk slaps him into the corner. Wheeler comes in and gets slammed so Allin can come in and knock Wheeler into the corner. It’s off to MJF, who runs away from Punk again and tags Wheeler right back in.
Sting (with CM Punk face paint/gear) gets to come in and cranks away on the arm but it’s too early for the Scorpion. A meeting on the floor means MJF can come in, only to bail from the Punk threat. Punk chases him into the crowd and they circle around the arena until they’re back at ringside. Back in and MJF’s diving tag hands it off to Harwood but Allin dives onto all three of them.
We take a break and come back with Allin in trouble and Wheeler spitting water in Punk’s face to mess with him even more. A bunch of stomping sets up a hard slam on Allin but he avoids a charge in the corner. Allin slams Wheeler down and dives over to Sting for the hot tag. Stinger Splashes abound but Wheeler breaks up the Deathlock and we take another break.
Back again with Sting fighting out of an abdominal stretch and hitting the falling headbutt low blow on MJF. Tony wants to see a hundred replays as Punk comes in to clean house. Punk’s high crossbody gets two on Wheeler and a swinging neckbreaker gets the same on Harwood. The top rope elbow takes too long though and Punk gets crotched, setting up a slugout with Harwood on top. Now the superplex can connect, with Wheeler turning it into the PowerPlex for a rather near fall.
Allin is back up (sans tag) to clean house but Punk kicks Harwood in the head for a double knockdown. They get back up for a slugout until the GTS is loaded up. That’s countered into the Big Rig but Sting makes the save. MJF’s DDT has no effect on Sting, who crotches MJF on the ropes. MJF gets tossed over the top onto FTR and lands ON HIS HEAD (with Wheeler and the referee immediately checking on him). Thankfully he’s ok enough for Sting to dive off the top onto all three of them for the huge crash. Back in and the GTS into the Death Drop into the Coffin Drop finishes Harwood at 25:53.
Rating: A-. This was an absolute blast and a great time in a match that felt like a house show main event. It got time, it had star power and the big spots all worked. Just all kinds of fun here and the ending with Harwood taking a huge beating for the loss was great. One thing though: AEW has to find some way to cut down on the near horrible botches, as MJF almost landed on his head on the floor. That happens way, way, WAY too often around here and people have already gotten hurt in something similar. Find a way to cut that out, immediately.
Overall Rating: A-. The opener and main event were very good to great, the Danielson/Page promo worked and there wasn’t a bad thing on the show. I had a great time with this show and it was one of the better Dynamites to date. If there is one thing AEW knows how to do, it is let the fans have a great time for two hours and that is what they did here. Great show and worth checking out, especially that main event.
Adam Cole b. Orange Cassidy – Boom
Wardlow b. Shawn Dean – Powerbomb
Ruby Soho b. Nyla Rose – Soho Kick
Malakai Black b. Griff Garrison – Half crab
Sting/CM Punk/Darby Allin b. Maxwell Jacob Friedman/FTR – Coffin Drop to Harwood
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