Date: September 22, 2021
Location: Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium, New York City, New York
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
We might be in for the biggest Dynamite in history as the show is in New York City in front of about 20,000 people. The card is stacked too and this is giving me vibes of the Raw in MSG debut, which just happened to be twenty four years ago to the day. If it’s close to that good, we’re in for a huge night. Let’s get to it.
Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega
Non-title and Don Callis is here with Omega. They take over a minute to lock up, earning the third loudest pop of the night so far. Omega takes him up against the ropes and hits the big chop, allowing himself some praise. A kick to the chest puts Omega down and we get back to even. Another kick sends Omega outside and it’s time to take a breather. Back in and Omega hits another chop as we are at four moves in about as many minutes (for a good start).
They pick up the pace and go into the corner for the exchange of kicks and chops until Danielson backdrops Omega outside. The suicide shove sends Omega into the barricade and it’s back inside to go after the arm. The armbar and a stomp has Omega in more trouble as JR runs down the card (JR: “And Cody Rhodes against Malakai…..not Malakai….Malakai Black!”). Omega is back with some kicks of his own, setting up a running knee to the ribs and a kick to the back.
Danielson uppercuts his way to freedom from the mat and hits the running clothesline. A corner dropkick sets up a super hurricanrana for two but Omega snaps off his own standing hurricanrana. Danielson is sent outside and Omega hits the big running flip dive to take him down again. Back in and they trade rollup for two each until Danielson whips out Cattle Mutilation. That blows the roof off the place, only to have Omega make the ropes in a hurry.
Danielson takes him down with a top rope dropkick on the apron, setting up the AFFIRMATIVE Kicks. The big one is countered into the snapdragon to send Danielson sliding across the ramp for a scary visual. Omega goes all the way up to the stage for the VERY long running V Trigger to send us to a break. Back with Omega hitting a buckle bomb to put Danielson on the apron again. Danielson gets in a rollup for two but Omega blasts him with another knee to the back.
Omega can’t hit the dragon superplex (because it would result in a bad case of death) so Danielson slips out and hits a belly to back superplex, with Omega landing on Danielson’s arm. Said arm is fine enough for a bridging belly to back suplex (kind of a reverse fisherman’s suplex) for two. Omega is back up top with the dragon superplex (geez) for two more. The One Winged Angel is countered into a poisonrana and now the big kick to the head connects.
Omega takes him down again but misses the Phoenix splash. They strike it out until another big kick to the head has Omega in need of a check from the referee. Danielson grabs the arms for the heavy stomps and but can’t quite get the LeBell Lock. Omega makes the rope so Danielson hits a running dropkick in the corner. The V Trigger connects and they trade more heavy shots to the head. An exchange of headbutts and more strikes take us to the time limit draw at 30:00.
Rating: A. You could see the time limit draw coming at about halfway through and that is not a bad thing. This was the right booking for a match like this and these two beat the fire out of each other for half an hour. The idea was that Danielson could go toe to toe with Omega and even had him beaten at the end but couldn’t quite complete the deal. Great match and one of the best TV matches in a long time.
Post match the Elite runs in for the beatdown but Christian Cage and Jungle Boy run in for the save.
Here is CM Punk to say he’s glad he isn’t wrestling tonight because how do you follow that? It has been a long time since he has been in New York City, just like professional wrestling. Some people have been wanting the old CM Punk back because they want the ticked off Punk. That brings him to Team Taz, half of whom are from New York but the fans still don’t like them. Those people don’t want him to be out here with Cult of Personality or to have wrestling fans. That’s why they have come after Punk, but they are sleeping on his legacy. It is his job to tuck them in, and that’s why Powerhouse Hobbs is going to sleep on Rampage.
Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Julia Hart and Wardlow are the seconds here. Pillman takes him down to start and hammers away, setting up a hiptoss. There’s a backdrop as the fired up first gear offense continues. MJF starts his comeback but gets punched straight into the corner. A whip sends Pillman upside down in the corner though and MJF gets to pose a bit. Pillman is back with some rollups for two each and we take a break.
Back with MJF choking in the corner and yelling at the fans as Excalibur tries to figure out a metaphor for how evil MJF really is. A high crossbody connects for Pillman but his arm is too banged up to do much about it. Pillman scores with a superkick and the snap powerslam for two. MJF gets sent outside so he hides behind Hart, whose rescue allows him to clothesline Pillman down. Hart slaps MJF, who grabs her wrist but leaves himself open to a dropkick from Pillman. Back in and Air Pillman is countered into the Salt of the Earth for the tap at 9:27.
Rating: C. Pillman still isn’t ready to win a match like this but it was a good idea to put him in a quick mini feud with a bigger name. That is the kind of thing that can give him some valuable experience points and it isn’t like losing to MJF is some career killer. They just might want to let Pillman get a win over someone a little bigger than Max Caster.
Jake Hager thinks the Men of the Year are really the Boys of the Week because their beating is coming. Chris Jericho doesn’t get why you would want a fight with the Inner Circle in New York but it’s time for the Men of the Year to take their beating.
Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes
Cody has Arn Anderson and Brandi Rhodes with him. They start rather slowly for a match built on revenge until Cody tries to pick the ankle. That goes nowhere so Cody punches away, only to have his leg swept out. Black misses a big kick so Cody heads to the floor, leaving Black to moonsault into a seat on the mat. Brandi gets in Black’s face but she has to let him go so Black can grab something like an Octopus.
Cody gets out and sends Black outside for the Disaster Kick to rock him again. Cody’s dive off the top lands close to a knee to the face (or hands a foot in front of it) as we take a break. Back with Cody beating the count off of a big kick to the face. Cody hits a rather wise chop block and is soundly booed. A dragon screw legwhip over the ropes makes the booing even worse and Cody dropkicks the knee in the corner.
Black gets in a kick of his own but the leg gives out to prevent Black Mass. The Cody Cutter overcomes a slip to connect and Cross Rhodes gets two, even with Arn up on the apron. Anderson gets back up so Black sends Cody into him, only to get kicked in the face. Cody goes outside to check on Anderson, who isn’t happy with the decision. Back in and Black busts out some mist to the face, setting up a small package to finish Cody at 10:59.
Rating: C. The match wasn’t the best, but what matters here is Black beat Cody. There was no need to have Cody end the undefeated streak here and Black busting out something evil like the mist is a good idea. Both guys need to move on now, though the ending would suggest the possibility of a third match, which scares me a bit.
Video on Miro vs. Sammy Guevara. Sammy isn’t happy about Miro attacking Fuego del Sol after he already beat him. Yes Miro broke his neck in 2012 but his God healed him. Now his God demands pain and his wife demands pleasure. Sammy promises to buy Fuego a new car after he wins the TNT Title next week.
Sting/Darby Allin vs. FTR
FTR is in NWO inspired gear, making them New Day ripoffs. Darby is teased with some double teaming to start so it’s off to Sting, who powers Wheeler against the ropes to start. A Harwood distraction lets Wheeler get in a cheap shot but Sting shrugs it off in a hurry. The Stinger Splash misses though and FTR be clubberin in the corner. A double shoulder puts Harwood down and Sting gets to do the old falling headbutt low blow.
It’s back to Allin who sends FTR to the floor, but the Coffin Drop to the floor is pulled out of the air. FTR sends him into a hard object and we take a break. Back with Allin slipping away from both of them and getting over for the tag off to Sting. A spinebuster plants Harwood for two and a high crossbody gives Sting the same. Wheeler snaps Sting’s throat across the top though and Harwood rolls him up for two of his own. Harwood loads up the Tombstone but Sting slips out and tries the Deathdrop.
With that broken up, it’s a pair of Stinger Splashes, but Harwood puts a chair in the corner. The Deathdrop plants Wheeler but another Stinger Splash…..doesn’t quite hit the chair as Sting puts on the brakes (Egads AEW actually made Sting smart!). Instead, Harwood goes head first into the chair and, after punching Tully Blanchard down, Sting gets two off a rollup. The Scorpion Deathlock goes on and, after Allin Coffin Drops onto an interfering Wheeler, Harwood taps at 9:28.
Rating: C+. Almost anything Sting does is going to feel special as he can still do his thing rather well. It’s pure nostalgia for the most part but the fact that Sting can still have a completely respectable match helps. Allin gets to look good by association, which should be the case until the possible split between the two (which could make Allin an awesome heel, if they ever choose to go that way….which might be rather stupid).
We take a quick look at Britt Baker and Ruby Soho’s war of words on Rampage.
Here’s a preview of Rhodes To The Top.
Women’s Title: Ruby Soho vs. Britt Baker
Baker, with Rebel and Jamie Hayter, is defending. Tony is a little worried that Baker doesn’t seem overly confident as the fans are split. Soho wins the battle over a lockup and takes Baker down to the mat to ram her head into the mat over and over. A headlock sets off a grapple off until Soho knees her in the face. Soho twists the arm around, sending Baker outside, meaning Soho is right there with the dive onto the goons (with Hayter taking a hard shot). Baker nails a superkick into a neckbreaker on the floor and we take a break.
Back with Soho hitting a running boot to the face but running into a superkick, much to Tony’s delight. Soho fires off some headbutts but gets caught with a Sling Blade. Rebel loads up Baker’s glove, only to have Soho pick the leg to block the Stomp. An enziguri in the corner drops Baker again and Soho hits a top rope backsplash for two more. Baker is right back up with a neckbreaker into the low superkick for her own near fall.
Soho heads to the apron but a superplex onto the goons is countered into a super Air Raid Crash for a very close two. Baker gets violent by stomping Soho face first into the steps, setting up the Stomp for two more. A rollup gives Soho two more and she nails the No Future (Riott Kick). Rebel gets the same but Hayter snaps Soho’s throat across the top. Lockjaw finishes Soho at 13:23.
Rating: B-. They got rolling near the end here and the goon squad finished Soho off. That’s a good way to use the two of them as Baker continues to build towards the inevitable major showdown with Thunder Rosa. Soho losing here is a bit of a surprise, but at least it wasn’t a clean fall to help things out a bit.
Overall Rating: B. The opener was more than enough to carry this show and the rest of it needed to just not be terrible. What we got was a perfectly watchable show with the main event being the second best match on the card. The show felt big and that’s what you needed from this show. Good, though not quite amazing, effort this week.
Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega went to a time limit draw
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Brian Pillman Jr. – Salt of the Earth
Malakai Black b. Cody Rhodes – Small package
Sting/Darby Allin b. FTR – Scorpion Deathlock to Harwood
Britt Baker b. Ruby Soho – Lockjaw
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