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Pantoja’s AEW Dynamite Review 9.8.21

September 9, 2021 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Pantoja’s AEW Dynamite Review 9.8.21  

AEW Dynamite

September 8th, 2021 | Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio

Coming off one of the best PPVs of all-time, AEW has a TON of momentum. This show also sounds good on paper, so let’s see.

Dustin Rhodes (8-1 in 2021) vs. Malakai Black (3-0)

No Excalibur in the booth due to him getting married. It’s JR, Taz, and Tony Schiavone. Anyway, Black has been booked as a killer so far. It’s funny that Lee Johnson and now Dustin all did better against Black than Cody did. In the opening minutes, this went outside and Black put Dustin through a table with a back suplex. That put him in control and made it so Dustin had to fight back against his methodical pace. Black also attacked the leg, which prevented Dustin from hitting the Canadian Destroyer he has liked busting out recently. Black brought Cody’s retired boot into play, which fired up Dustin. He blocked Black Mass and nailed the Destroyer for a near fall. Black kicked out the leg and sent Dustin into an exposed turnbuckle before hitting a poor looking Black Mass to the shoulder to win in 9:56. It didn’t go too long but felt it at times. I didn’t like that the turnbuckle had to be part of the finish and the weak Black Mass. Still, it told a good story at least. [**¾]

We got an AWESOME promo in the back from The Lucha Brothers about being champions. Penta El Zero Miedo hasn’t cleaned off his title, leaving the blood on it since it cost them so much blood to win it. That’s dope as well. Anyone who wants to suffer as much is welcome to try and win the belts from them.

Dueling promos from Eddie Kingston and Miro discussing their PPV match. Eddie said God doesn’t play favorites and discussed Miro cheating to beat him, while Miro promised to offer Kingston’s broken bones to his wife.

CM Punk was out now to a huge ovation and the fans singing his theme. It’s his first time speaking since his first match on Sunday. He said that he’s happy to be back and wants to get back into action again. He put over AEW and doing wild shit like having Minoru Suzuki on the card. Punk mentioned that his wife asked him what’s next and he didn’t know, so he asked the crowd. Taz got up from commentary to interrupt, which led to the two trading barbs. Taz was sick of this love fest and didn’t want to hear Punk mention anyone from Team Taz. Punk said he didn’t but said he’d be more than happy for Taz to send him Starks, Hobbs, or even Hook. Punk ended the segment with a “beat me if you can, survive if I let you,” which was phenomenal. Also, Punk pointed out aunt Linda in the front row, the woman who raised Brian Pillman Jr., and he showed her love.

A Santana and Ortiz vignette aired as their focus is now on the rest of the division. If I can get them against Lucha Brothers in Arthur Ashe, I will lose it.

Ruby Soho was interviewed and said she issued her open contract to prove she didn’t get lucky at All Out. Britt Baker and her buddies interrupted to call her the flavor of the week. Ruby put over how she helped Britt break into the industry and that her mind games won’t work on her. She said her nicknames are all done so people ignore the things she’s not. Britt made a joke about her spending time in catering that almost led to a fight but it was saved for Hayter/Soho later.

Dante Martin (17-5 in 2021) vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (15-2 in 2021; #2)

#BlackWrestlingDraws was trending last night. Between this match and Lee Moriarty getting signed, AEW seems to be trying to rectify the lack of diversity they were called out for on Twitter. This was a traditional speed vs. power match that worked because of how young and hungry these dudes are. Hobbs ran over Martin to start and then Martin flipped over him later, only to get caught on a tope suicida and brutally thrown into the ring post. Sick spots. They worked through a break and Martin got dominated but found ways to get in his aerial stuff. That included him leaping over Hook to hit Hobbs with a tope con hilo. Alas, he ran right into a huge spinebuster that ended things in 8:24. That’s just what I wanted. A good match between two rising talents that played to their strengths. [***]

Dan Lambert, flanked by the Men of the Year, talked about how AEW keeps signing skinny jokes like Punk, Danielson, and Cole. “Shut the fuck up” chants drowned him out a bit. I don’t like this angle. It’s just Lambert dissing AEW and wasting time. A rare miss for AEW so far.

Matt Hardy challenged Orange Cassidy to a Hair vs. Hair match. OC’s response? Whatever.

MJF, out with Wardlow, cut a promo to complain about the restart against Jericho at the PPV. He went the cheap heat route, dissing Cincinnati and mediocre Skyline Chili. He also dissed Brian Pillman’s daughter in the front row, which brought out Brian Pillman Jr. in his dad’s Bengals jersey. His promo was passionate as he put over the city and MJF responded by bringing up MJF’s mom getting addicted to drugs. They nearly came to blows but Wardlow got in the way. MJF dissed Wardlow for not helping him at All Out, so he stepped aside. When MJF said he’d abort Pillman like his mom should’ve, Pillman kicked his ass. Wardlow let it happen for a bit but then helped out and also held Griff Garrison to get knocked out by MJF’s ring gimmick. The crowd ate this up because it was simple. That’s my thing with MJF. People act like he’s doing some revolutionary heel work but he’s not. It’s all really basic but he does it well and that’s why it works.

We get a hype video for Moxley/Suzuki.

Jamie Hayter (2-2) vs. Ruby Soho (0-0, #1)

Jamie, if you read this, please body slam me. Respectfully, of course. Great response for Soho. Hayter keeps playing the enforcer role well, using offense that looks vicious. I will say, she might still not be totally comfortable since coming back and/or working with new people. There were a few miscalculations here that held it back but some stuff they did came off well. For example, Soho taking back to back bumps on the ropes looked brutal. Hayter held serve during the break before Soho rallied and won with her kick finisher. I don’t know if there’s a new name for it yet but regardless, I think she could use a better finisher as this doesn’t look impactful enough. Anyway, the match went 7:38. [**¾]

Post-match, Britt Baker and Rebel (Not Reba) hit the ring to jump Ruby. Riho ran down to make the save but took a great backbreaker from Hayter. Then, Kris Statlander ran down with a steel chair to send the heels packing. I love the Soho Squad. Or the Soho Squad since Riho and Soho.

A video package aired to hype the eventual Ricky Starks/Brian Cage showdown.

Evil Uno (21-7 in 2021), John Silver (12-3 in 2021) and Stu Grayson (20-4 in 2021) vs. FTR (6-1 in 2021) and Shawn Spears (9-3 in 2021)

Earlier today, Dark Order argued in the back until Anna Jay and Tay Conti came up to them. Anna Jay played the mom role, yelling at them to get their shit together. You know this was meant to add to the dissension in Dark Order. John Silver is wildly over and he didn’t know which guy he wanted to tag in. The heels dominated this at points, with Dark Order only really working when they gelled as a unit. Silver fell to a weird triple team move into a DVD in 4:51. It was fine and continued an angle. [**]

Dark Order blew up after the match, getting physical with each other. TayJay came to the stage to watch in horror and then stormed off.

We get clips and words from the ladies in the Casino Battle Royal. TayJay has issues with Bunny and Ford, while Jade Cargill and Nyla Rose spoke about being dominant. Thunder Rosa is heartbroken that she came up just short but she never gives up.

Tully Blanchard was interviewed and was happy that his team succeeded. He called himself a better leader than guys from his past like Sting. He asked Tony Khan to book Spears vs. Allin next week and the crowd gasped as he said he’d come face to face with Sting.

Sammy Guevara came out with his cue card gimmick to put over his summer and his social media. This is pretty lame.

Backstage, Griff Garrison was getting looked at and Pillman got Khan to book him against MJF in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Acclaimed interrupted to talk smack and Max Caster said he has a match with him on Rampage.

Tony Schiavone was in the ring to speak with The Elite and there are SO MANY of them. Nick Jackson has taken the douche look to a new level by having a nose ring that connects with a chain to his earring. Don Callis put over Kenny Omega topping the PWI Top 500. They brought out their best friend and the newest Elite member, Adam Cole. He started by telling Schiavone that he’s close to Britt Baker and if he even looks at her wrong, he’ll slap his glasses off. Cole said he’s new to AEW but has been elite for a long time and is a once-in-a-generation wrestler. Next week, he debuts in the ring against Frankie Kazarian. Kenny Omega took over and said he hated getting interrupted at the PPV. Cue Bryan Danielson to interrupt him. Omega cleared the ring to talk to him but Danielson stole the microphone. He said he wanted to fight Kenny, who said it didn’t work that way. Danielson mocked how Omega says nobody is on his level and that he’s the best but Danielson thinks Omega declines the fight because he knows he’s not on Danielson’s level. BRYAN DANIELSON TELLS NO LIES. Kenneth isn’t even close to Danielson’s level. Omega struck but got pulled into the LeBelle Lock. The Elite attacked until Jurassic Express, Christian Cage, and Kazarian made the save. Luchasaurus threw Marko Stunt at the Bucks and Jungle Boy hit a dive. Brandon Cutler was left alone to eat the Busaiku Knee and the faces stood tall to end a dope segment.

Rampage!

· Andrade vs. PAC

· Darby Allin and Sting answer Tully Blanchard

· Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Max Caster

· Britt Baker, Rebel & Jamie Hayter vs. The Hoho Squad

Dynamite next week!

· Adam Cole vs. Frankie Kazarian

· Darby Allin vs. Shawn Spears

· Jade Cargill vs. Leyla Hirsch

Dynamite Grand Slam!

· Cody Rhodes returns to face Malakai Black

Jon Moxley (38-3-1) vs. Minoru Suzuki (0-0)

They cut off “Kaze Ni Nare” before the chorus, so Lambert or MJF should’ve had their promos cut down. Their match in NJPW ruled (****¼). They just traded forearms to start this as a slugfest as it went to commercial break. During that break, Suzuki worked the arm a bit and the intensity never wavered. They traded headbutts and Suzuki went for the sleeper into the Gotch Piledriver but Moxley countered and hit Paradigm Shift. Suzuki got up and had a badly busted open eye. Moxley added a lariat for one as Suzuki fired up. They went into another battle of strikes and close calls before Moxley landed some big punches and an elevated Paradigm Shift to win in 8:08. Some will complain that this was short but that’s why I loved it. They packed some violent action into that and it felt like a fight. [****]

Moxley celebrated with the rabid Cincinnati fans to close the show.

8.0
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
What an enjoyable show from top to bottom. It did everything that it had to in terms of setting up some new angles (Pillman/MJF, Punk/Team Taz), showcasing new arrivals (Punk, Cole, Soho), giving us a great main event (Moxley/Suzuki), and even letting talented guys shine (Hobbs/Martin) who aren’t yet big stars.
legend

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AEW Dynamite, Kevin Pantoja