Date: October 27, 2021
Location: Agganis Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
We’re closing out October and that means Full Gear is coming up next month. Most of the card is either already booked or pretty obvious (Tony Khan’s notebook is available if you need some pointers) but we still need to fill in some gaps. As for tonight, it’s CM Punk’s in-ring Dynamite debut against Bobby Fish. Let’s get to it.
CM Punk vs. Bobby Fish
It’s Fish’s birthday and Punk’s birthday was yesterday for a bit of trivia. JR says Fish is an 18 year veteran so he won’t be blown out of the water. Always good for a Fish. Feeling out process to start with Fish going after the leg and pulling him down into a chinlock. Punk fights up and fires off knees in the corner, setting up the slow motion slams, which he has somehow turned into a thing.
Fish kicks the leg out again though and scores with a slingshot hilo for two. Punk fights up and sends him outside for the suicide dive. Back up and Fish takes the knee out again though and it’s a running elbow to the jaw back inside. The knee gets spun around a few times and Fish knocks him outside, where Punk fires off some forearms. Fish gets the better of the slugout though and they head back in but Fish’s superplex is broken up.
Punk is back with the (one legged) top rope elbow drop and they’re both down. A swinging neckbreaker rocks Fish and the running knee in the corner makes it even worse. The GTS is countered into a twist of the knee though and Fish hits a running basement clothesline. Fish goes for the leg again but Punk pulls him into a jackknife for two. They slowly bridge up and Punk grabs the GTS with the bad knee. That means a delayed cover for the pin at 13:14 (with Fish kicking out at about 3.01 seconds).
Rating: B. Is it a surprise that this was a good match? You have two people who can work the same style well enough and both guys seem like they want to prove themselves. Fish worked on the knee throughout and the just too late kickout showed how Punk barely won. Solid match with a good story, and that shouldn’t be a surprise.
Malakai Black says that his match with Cody Rhodes wasn’t about a pinfall, because he has divided the Nightmare Family.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Bryce Donovan
Wardlow and Shawn Spears are here with MJF. The beating is on in a hurry and the Heatseeker finishes Donovan at 34 seconds.
Post match MJF, who isn’t even sweating, says Boston is exactly as he remembers it, which isn’t a good thing. You just got to see him do what he does best: pin shoulders to the mats and bang rats, but he’ll skip the second half, because he’d rather deal with a blender than a Boston woman. The accents are disgusting, and speaking of disgusting, we have Darby Allin. After the Allin chants, MJF explains breaking Allin’s spirit, along with knocking out the creepy papi Sting.
It’s the same ring he used to knock out Hangman Page, so with Allin out of the picture, it’s time to fulfill his destiny. Cue the Sting entrance…..but MJF is just messing with us. Then the lights go out, but this one isn’t him. We see a black and white video of a man in an MJF mask and then Darby Allin beats up a man at what seems to be a concert. Cue Sting with a baseball bat to take out Wardlow and Spears, but MJF gets out. Allin is in the crowd as the Invisible Man, so it’s time for the big beatdown on Wardlow and Spears instead. Allin says cut the music and the challenge is on for Full Gear.
Tony Schiavone tells Britt Baker that since she walked out on a match with Abadon on the Chris Jericho Cruise, she has to face Abadon in a Trick Or Treat match on Rampage. The treat is that if Abadon wins, she gets a future title shot and the trick is that it’s No DQ. Baker isn’t happy, but she has some tricks of her own.
TNT Title: Sammy Guevara vs. Ethan Page
Guevara is defending and if he wins, he gets to pick the rest of American Top Team in the big tag match at Full Gear. If he loses though, he loses the title and is out of the Inner Circle. It’s a brawl before the bell and Sammy knees him to the floor, setting up the big flip dive. They head inside for the opening bell with Sammy busting out some more flips into a dropkick to Page. Sammy strikes away and throws Page in the corner for a kick to the back. Page crotches him on top though and Sammy is knocked outside for a crash.
We take a break and come back with Sammy striking away. A springboard cutter into the Spanish Fly gets two on Page, who falls out to the floor. Sammy isn’t about to let him stand out there and hits a shooting star clothesline from the top for the big crash. Back in and Page gets in a shot of his own and heads up top, where he slams Sammy back down (that’s a new one). The super Ego’s Edge is countered into a hurricanrana though and Guevara grabs a jackknife pin to retain at 10:58.
Rating: B-. Guevara is just fun to watch and that is often more than enough to get by. There is something about watching a good high flier flying around rather high and that’s what you get with Guevara. Page is a good opponent as well and they had a nice match with some time, making it a nice title defense.
Post match Page beats Guevara down and Scorpio Sky runs in to help. Cue the Inner Circle (with music and pyro) for the save. After the music plays again, Jericho mocks the Men of the Year and now the ten man tag is going to be a street fight. We’ll pick the American Top Team members next week, but for now, we get some Aerosmith lyrics so Jericho can promise a beating at Full Gear.
Eddie Kingston gets in Bryan Danielson’s face to threaten him for their #1 contenders tournament match. Kingston walks off before Danielson can reply, but Danielson says that’s the Kingston he wants to face. There are so many people who have made it through all of the garbage and keep working hard. Kingston and Jon Moxley are the toughest wrestlers in the world, but on Friday, Danielson is proving that he is the best.
The Lucha Bros accept FTR’s challenge for the Tag Team Title match at Full Gear. Yelling ensues.
TBS Title Tournament First Round: Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb
Rematch from a few weeks ago when Deeb upset Shida, which set up a brawl the next week. Deeb takes her down to start and wraps Shida’s knee around the post. Shida sends her head first into the post though and manages a superplex to bring Deeb back inside for two. We take a break and come back with Shida hammering away to take over. The missile dropkick sets up a delayed vertical suplex for two but Deeb counters a powerbomb. That’s fine with Shida, who snaps off a dragon suplex.
Something like a sitout Dominator gives Shida two and a running knee is good for the same. The Katana is blocked and Deeb is back with a twist of the knee. What looked to be a Figure Four is kicked away to send Deeb outside but she breaks up the springboard off the chair. Since Shida couldn’t possibly do something with a running start but no chair, she uses the steps as a springboard into the missile dropkick instead.
Shida tweaks her own knee though and Deeb puts on something like the Figure Four around the post. Back in and Shida’s knee is fine enough to hit a question mark kick but the running knee is countered into a half crab. An inverted Figure Four sends Shida over to the rope so Deeb grabs the trophy that Shida would have received for her 50th win. Shida kicks it away and picks the trophy up but can’t bring herself to swing. A rake to the eyes lets Deeb roll her up for two but Shida is back with a cradle and the pin at 11:00.
Rating: B. They had me with the drama here as I really wasn’t sure who was going to win. That’s a great sign as Deeb continues to be one of the best wrestlers going today and can work well with just about anyone. I’m not sure if I wouldn’t have gone with Deeb winning here to make her Shida’s Kryptonite, but it’s not like this was a bad call whatsoever.
Post match Deeb snaps and destroys Shida’s knee with the chair, setting up the Serenity Lock.
Since Mike Sydal is injured, Dante Martin will face Matt Sydal instead of the planned tag match. Lio Rush says it just wasn’t the right time so his in-ring debut will be postponed. Rush promises that Matt will learn again at Rampage. Martin continues to look bored.
World Title Eliminator Tournament First Round: Jon Moxley vs. 10
Moxley throws him down to start and hits a running forearm to knock him outside. That’s not enough so Moxley bites at his head and sends 10 into the post for a hard crash. Back in and the bloody 10 manages a pump kick, only to get run over again. The Paradigm Shift finishes 10 at 2:02. That’s what it should have been.
Tully Blanchard and FTR have hit the reset button and they are ready to take out the Lucha Bros again.
Here is Cody Rhodes, with Arn Anderson for a chat. Cody talks about how he has heard the booing and ready about it online (even from retired wrestling managers). Last week, he hit Malakai Black with the Cross Rhodes and then a Tiger Driver 98, but he almost did something else (meaning the piledriver). That would have been the easy way to go but he wasn’t going to take that road. Of course you can boo him because it’s easy to boo the guy who signs the checks.
Just remember that he helped build the bank. Cody takes his shoes off and throws them into the crowd so they can know what it’s like to be in them. He has a wife who is way too hot for him, a brother who is better in this ring than he is, and a father whose legacy he could never match, even if he lived to be 300 years old. Cody: “I will not turn.” Cody talks about how much he loves all of these people, everyone in the Nightmare Family, and Arn Anderson, who gets a handshake.
Cue Andrade El Idolo, who says he doesn’t care about the people. Andrade talks about Cody’s stupid choices, including that tattoo. Then Cody got in Andrade’s business and now he can make Cody his little b****. The showdown is on but the lights go out. Cue Malakai Black for the beatdown, including on Arn, but Pac runs in for the save. The villains bail from the threat of the big dive.
Dark Order vs. Super Elite
It’s Stu Grayson/John Silver/Evil Uno/Colt Cabana vs. Kenny Omega/Young Bucks/Adam Cole and yes, the Order is in Halloween costumes. Not to be outdone, the Super Elite are the Ghostbusters (with a personalized theme), complete with a goon as a walking baby and another as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Silver (Bambi) shoves Cole around to start and hits a headbutt. Cowboy Evil Uno comes in but it’s off to Omega, who is wearing a Proton Pack, to hammer on Uno in the corner.
Uno splashes the pack by mistake though and the baby hits a splash. Matt comes in and gets ridden like a horse, setting up a splash from Grayson (Kratos from God of War) and cold spray from Cabana (Brandon Cutler). A quadruple slam plants the Elite and the Order gets in a group pose as we take a break.
Back with Grayson cleaning house and managing to beat up all of the Elite at once. Cabana comes in and gets to clean house with elbows and Flying Apples but Nick finally superkicks him into the corner. That means the tag off to Silver to clean house again, until more superkicks take him down. A group superkick gets two with Uno making the save and getting to beat up the Elite this time.
We hit the parade of strikes to the face until Matt takes out the referee by mistake. Nightfall is broken up and Grayson gets hit low, setting up a triple low blow to take down the rest of the Order. The Proton Packs go on (JR is not having this) and crash into the Order, setting up the TripleBomb (Is that some weird shot at Roman Reigns?) onto the packs.
Cue a horse (who was in the Order’s entrance but left) and the big beatdown is on. The mask comes off and it’s Brandon Cutler, with his mouth taped up. That means Hangman Page is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (JR: “Let’s have some cowboy shiznit here in Boston!”) and the Dead Eye plants Omega. The Spin Doctor gives Silver the pin on Matt at 13:00.
Rating: B-. I’m really not sure what to think of this. They did a nice job with the surprise from Page and the team did win, but I rolled my eyes fairly hard at another costume/parody deal (though it is the week of Halloween). Omega has not shown the slightest bit or worry coming up on his match with Page and that is taking me out of the whole thing a good bit. It’s nice to see the Dark Order FINALLY win something over these guys, but dang it would be nice to have something played straight for once.
Overall Rating: A-. This is the kind of show that makes Dynamite shine, as they had one awesome match after another. Two things stood out to me here and both of them had me thinking about the glory days of NXT. First of all, commentary does a good job of focusing on things. While they will talk about things coming up or on sale dates for tickets, the majority of their focus is on what is in front of them and that makes things feel so much more important.
Second, they have started having some shorter matches. There was no reason for Moxley vs. 10 to go on long and they didn’t even pretend it would be anything else. They went with logic instead of stretching things out, which was a problem they have had in the past. Both of those helped make the show that much better, and this was a pretty great week.
CM Punk b. Bobby Fish – GTS
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Bryce Donovan – Heatseeker
Sammy Guevara b. Ethan Page – Jackknife cover
Hikaru Shida b. Serena Deeb – Rollup
Jon Moxley b. 10 – Paradigm Shift
Dark Order b. Super Elite – Spin Doctor to Matt Jackson
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