Date: November 17, 2021
Location: Chartway Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
We’re done with Full Gear and Hangman Page is FINALLY the AEW World Champion. To say this is a long time coming is an understatement but now we get to see where things go from here. That could be in a variety of directions but this week is all about the big celebration. We have a long way to go before Revolution next year so let’s get to it.
We open with a Full Gear recap.
The Elite is in the back and Kenny Omega is rather sad. He hasn’t watched the match with Hangman Page back but he knows he has some things to fix. Omega wants them to hold the fort down while he’s gone and Adam Cole says they’ve got it. Omega just meant the Bucks though and they walk off. This would be the write off for Omega so he can go have shoulder surgery.
The Dark Order is in the ring and here is Hangman Page, in a Virginia Is For Lovers shirt. Fans: “YOU DESERVE IT!” Page: “I’m gonna stop you right there. I didn’t deserve it. I f’ing earned it.” Page says he doesn’t usually come out here and talk but since he’s the World Champion, he’s going to do whatever he wants. He’s still just a man with a boss to answer to and that boss is the fans.
The title means a lot and now his responsibility is Bryan Danielson….and here is Danielson to interrupt. Danielson is here to say one thing: congratulations. He’s excited for the match, but he’s a bit disappointed that it isn’t Kenny Omega standing across the ring from him. Page says it’s not Omega because he beat Omega at Full Gear…and he did it in less than 30 minutes. Danielson isn’t here to start anything but he’s here for some wrestling instead of flapping his gums.
When he won the World Title at Wrestlemania, he wrestled the very next day (Without actually doing a move!). The fans aren’t thrilled and Danielson isn’t surprised that Virginia doesn’t appreciate hard work. Danielson is here in his gear while Page is in cowboy boots and….whatever that vest is. Page says we might not have the match here in Virginia, but we can have a fight. The Dark Order breaks that up and Danielson mocks Page for hiding behind his friends. I can absolutely go for heel Danielson so this is a nice change of pace. It’s more interesting than the idea of good vs. good so well done.
Bryan Danielson vs. Evil Uno
Danielson takes him down in a hurry and grabs a half crab. Some shots to the mask and an Affirmative Kick to the chest have Uno in trouble. More kicks to the back allow Danielson to say HE HAS UNTIL FIVE. Uno tells Danielson to kick him so Danielson obliges, only to get caught with a neckbreaker. Danielson just blasts him with a shot to break up the comeback and then slaps away in the corner. There’s the running knee but Danielson would rather stomp away than cover. The triangle choke knocks Uno out at 6:24.
Rating: C+. This was exactly as it should have been, with Danielson toying with someone who was out of his league. Uno was destroyed throughout here and Danielson knows just how to come off as evil. Good stuff here, as Page is going to be angry at Danielson for hurting his friend to make the title match all the more personal.
Post match Danielson says he is going to take out the Dark Order one by one. Next week they’re in Chicago and that is the hometown of Colt Cabana. If Cabana is interested, come get your head kicked in.
MJF talks about being covered in Darby Allin’s shame. He has destroyed every wrestler who thinks he can do nothing but talk. Yeah his knee is banged up but he got every one of your little mark chants and then won anyway. He has the best right hand in wrestling and now everyone has to admit it.
We look at Eddie Kingston vs. CM Punk, with Kingston walking away from a post match handshake.
Daniel Garcia and 2.0 come up to Kingston to say they’re tired of the losses. Kingston isn’t cool with 2.0 calling Garcia their son and a fight is proposed. With them gone, Kingston goes to catering while complaining about never being able to get in one promo without being interrupted.
Butcher and the Blade vs. Tomohiro Ishii/Orange Cassidy
Matt Hardy, the Bunny and Rocky Romero are here. Ishii and Butcher start things off but it’s quickly off to Cassidy to put his hands in his pockets. That earns him a knock to the floor and we take an early break with Cassidy in trouble. Back with Ishii suplexing Blade for two so Butcher comes in for the big power brawl. Some chops in the corner just wake Ishii up and he walks through some forearms, backing Butcher (who is still firing off strikes) into the corner.
A superplex gives Ishii two with Blade making the save. It’s off to Cassidy for a Stundog Millionaire and a tornado DDT to Blade for the near fall. Butcher and Blade hit a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination for two with Ishii making a save this time. Ishii comes back in and unloads on Butcher in the corner but Matt Hardy and the Bunny offer a distraction. Bunny slips in the brass knuckles but Rocky Romero breaks it up, with Cassidy diving onto Matt and Blade. Cassidy throws Blade back in so a heck of a clothesline and the brainbuster can finish for Ishii at 11:24.
Rating: C. The Cassidy vs. Hardy N Pals feud continues, though I did miss the elbow being involved this time around. They have to be setting up the hair vs. hair match at this point and that could very easily headline the first hour of an upcoming Dynamite. Other than that, it was cool to see Ishii here, as his presence alone is worth a look.
Andrade El Idolo, with FTR, brags about beating Cody Rhodes and Pac clean. Now he’s going to show them his good size. FTR says they’re so annoyed that they’ll wave their fee, get Malakai Black in there, and make it an eight man tag against Rhodes/Pac/the Lucha Bros. Tully Blanchard even threatens Arn Anderson because he has one more fight in him.
We recap Tay Conti vs. Britt Baker at Full Gear, with Conti saying she’s coming out of her next title shot as champion.
Britt Baker can’t wait to see Jamie Hayter destroy Thunder Rosa and make her not a thing.
TBS Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Nyla Rose vs. Hikaru Shida
Vickie Guerrero is here with Rose. Shida takes her into the corner to start but gets powered over with a suplex. That earns Rose a kick to the head and it’s time for a breather on the floor. Back in and Rose drives some shoulders into the ribs before slowly starting in on the knee. They head outside with Shida sending her into the barricade and then setting up the chair. It turns out that setting up a chair and then yelling at the camera is enough for Rose to make a comeback (good, because Shida looked stupid there), only to cannonball off the apron and through the chair.
Vickie tries to take the kendo stick away and gets blasted with it instead. The delay (the second one) lets Shida get slammed off the top and we take a break. Back with Serena Deeb, who popped up during the break, jumping Shida and sending her back inside. Rose adds the top rope knee to the back for two but Shida pulls her into a triangle choke. That’s broken up with a powerbomb but Shida raises the knees to block a backsplash. Shida misses something off the top though and it’s a stretch muffler to give Rose the win at 10:59.
Rating: C. The ending surprised me a bit here and Rose moving forward makes sense. This also opens up a third match between Deeb and Shida, which should work out fine. I could see Rose making it to the finals of the tournament as the next monster for the winner to slay. That’s a classic formula and it should work fine if they do it here.
Malakai Black is ready for next week’s eight man tag.
Here is MJF, flanked by Wardlow and Shawn Spears, the latter of whom talks about how MJF can beat any hero with a headlock takeover. MJF says he’s the man who will start a bidding war in 2024. He could take your hometown horse and send him straight to the glue factory. The rankings won’t tell you this, but he deserves to be the next World Champion. There is no one in that locker room on his level….and here is CM Punk. The fans (and JR) like this while telling MJF to shut up. MJF extends his hand but Punk walks away without saying a word. Yeah I think this is going to be fine.
Darby Allin says he’ll face MJF again but for now, he wants the biggest and the baddest AEW has to offer. Cue the Gunn Club, with Billy accepting the challenge.
The Superkliq doesn’t like Jurassic Express so on Rampage it’s the two of them against Bobby Fish/Adam Cole.
Acclaimed vs. Dante Martin/Lio Rush
Stereo dives take out the Acclaimed to cut off the rap (about Martin and Rush’s issues with relationships) and Caster in trouble to start. Martin gets sent outside for a ram into the barricade, setting up a middle rope stomp back inside. It’s Martin getting stomped in the corner, setting up Caster’s neckbreaker for two.
We take a break and come back with Rush coming in to clean house, including the spinning kick to Bowens’ head. Caster gets kicked to the floor and an ax kick gives Rush two on Bowens. Rush has to bail out of the frog splash and Bowens strikes away to put him down. Martin springboards in with a missile dropkick though and everyone is down. Back up and Caster clotheslines Rush’s head off and Bowens plants him with a spinning slam. Caster drops a top rope legdrop for two but Martin makes a save. Martin plants Bowens down and a heck of a frog splash gives Rush the pin at 10:24.
Rating: B-. These guys know how to do this kind of thing and they didn’t waste time here. This was about flying around and letting Martin/Rush look good over a team with a reputation. The Acclaimed might not be the flashiest team but they know how to get the fans annoyed at them in a hurry, which is a lot more important most of the time.
Post match here is Team Taz for another sales pitch to Martin. They think Martin could be a heck of an addition to the team, but saying no might be a bad idea.
Christian Cage and Jurassic Express are ready for Adam Cole/Bobby Fish at Rampage because you don’t bring a fish to a fist fight.
Video on Red Velvet vs. Jade Cargill.
Here’s what’s coming on Rampage and Dynamite.
The Lucha Bros are ready for next week’s eight man tag.
TNT Title: Sammy Guevara vs. Jay Lethal
Lethal is challenging in his company debut. Guevara (with bad ribs) tries a quick GTH but settles for an exchange of rollups for two each into a standoff. Lethal hits his hiptoss into the basement dropkick for two and starts in on the bad ribs. A jumping knee sends Lethal outside though and there’s the big flip dive. Back in and the shooting star press hits raised knees and Guevara is in trouble.
We take a break and come back with Sammy blocking the Lethal Injection to hit a Spanish Fly. Lethal rolls outside for a breather before they change places so Lethal can try the suicide dive. That’s blocked in a hurry though and Sammy hits a brainbuster on the floor. Sammy loads up the Swanton but only hits a table at ringside for the huge crash.
Back in and Lethal’s Hail To The King elbow is countered into a cradle for two. He’s right back up with a reverse fisherman’s suplex into a faceplant, setting up the Figure Four. Sammy grabs the rope and is back with another knee but the ribs won’t let him hit the GTH. That means another jumping knee to rock Lethal and now the GTH retains the title at 12:55.
Rating: B. Lethal looked awesome in his debut but they’re not taking that title off of Guevara until they want to take away a piece of the audience’s soul. The fans know who Lethal is and what he has accomplished so he already has a leg in the door. Guevara fighting through an injury and winning with his hard hitting finisher was the right way to go here and Lethal is going to be fine going forward.
Tony Nese (in the crowd) is not impressed. The Inner Circle comes out to celebrate and Lethal shakes Sammy’s hand. Lethal gets some respect from the team to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This show started off well, hit some lulls in the middle and then bounced back strong for the last thirty minutes or so. The important thing here was setting up a bunch of stuff for the future and that is looking bright. Odds are we’ll see another special Dynamite in December for some of these matches and that should be enough to get us to the Clash of Champions style show in January. Another solid week here, as they come off the pay per view looking good.
Daniel Bryan b. Evil Uno – Triangle choke
Tomohiro Ishii/Orange Cassidy b. Butcher and the Blade – Brainbuster to Blade
Nyla Rose b. Hikaru Shida – Stretch muffler
Dante Martin/Lio Rush b. Acclaimed – Frog splash to Bowens
Sammy Guevara b. Jay Lethal – GTH
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: