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Pantoja’s AEW Dynamite Review 1.12.22

January 13, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
AEW Dynamite Chris Jericho Eddie Kingston
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Pantoja’s AEW Dynamite Review 1.12.22  

AEW Dynamite

January 12th, 2022 | PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina

The show kicked off with a word from Adam Cole, flanked by reDRagon. God, I’ve missed reDRagon. Cole is the #1 ranked wrestler (not sure how with a 7-0 record while CM Punk is 9-0 and unranked). He put himself over and then said reDRagon are the best tag team on the planet. Of course, that brought out The Young Bucks and Landon. The Bucks said their New Year’s resolution is to get the tag titles back, while reDRagon also wants the gold. I won’t lie, reDRagon have always been unequivocally better than the Young Bucks. Watching all of his friends argue, Adam Cole played peacekeeper and called it friendly competition. He dissed the Best Friends, which brought them out and led to a brawl. The heels won out and Cole had Orange Cassidy set for a superkick. Kris Statlander stood in the way and Britt Baker came out to lay her out. When it came time for the Cole kiss, Britt planted it on him. I liked this segment though I do wish another girl was down with The Elite. Obviously Britt makes a ton of sense but she’s not someone who needs it.

A video package aired to hype Wardlow.

CM Punk (9-0) vs. Wardlow (40-6, #4 Ranked)

Wardlow entered on an 18 match winning streak. Punk went after MJF early but that obviously went nowhere. The match itself was relatively simple but that’s why it mostly worked. Punk was the smaller wily veteran who was smart while Wardlow relied purely on strength and athleticism. It’s a simple story to tell. Wardlow held serve through the break but Punk rallied and hit his corner knee strike. He let himself focus too much on MJF though and Wardlow powerbombed him. He continued the symphony, adding FOUR more powerbombs. Punk was done. In a move you could see coming as soon as this started, MJF demanded more from Wardlow instead of beating him there. Wardlow added several more powerbombs and one through the table outside. Punk managed to beat the countout and when MJF wanted one more powerbomb, Punk used an inside cradle to steal this in 14:06. I understand the story itself and it made total sense. However, they went a bit far with the powerbombs as I just couldn’t buy that Punk had enough strength to do a good inside cradle after all of that. [***]

Post-match, MJF blamed Wardlow for not getting it done. Wardlow threatened him but out came Shawn Spears to keep things calm.

Dante Martin (24-8, #3 Ranked) vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (37-16, #2 Ranked)

I had no clue Dante Martin was ranked third. These two had a solid match a few months back. This Dante angle with Team Taz has been so strange though. The idea here was another battle of speed against power. Martin would fly around for openings but once Hobbs caught him, it was over. Taz explained on commentary that Hobbs’s job was to hurt him. Ricky Starks got involved for some cheating though Taz probably should’ve had Hook out there. Martin remained in trouble throughout the commercial but started his comeback until Hobbs just ran him over. As Starks got on the apron, Jay Lethal (eww) came out to stop him. The distraction was enough for Martin to win with the Nosedive in 10:07. That was another 6/10 match though I feel like these guys have better in them with fewer shenanigans. [***]

The Inner Circle (they’re still a thing?) were interviewed about being PWI’s 2021 Faction of the Year. The hell? They did NOTHING in 2021. When Jericho said they’d get involved if 2.0 mess with Sammy Guevara tonight, Eddie Kingston interrupted. He told Jericho to mind his business and said nobody cares about Sammy (he’s not wrong). He also said Santana and Ortiz aren’t Tag Champs because of Jericho (again, he’s not wrong). Jericho said he’ll be out there for Sammy tonight and they threatened each other a bit.

MJF came out huffing and puffing before saying Punk finally gets his match next week…against Shawn Spears. Please, no.

We got an Elite promo in the back where Britt Baker and Adam Cole challenged Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander for next week. Britt called the cameraman Brandon Butler, which made Kyle laugh. When Brandon corrected her, they all shouted “SHUT UP BRANDON,” except Kyle for shouted “SHUT UP LANDON.”

World Champion Hangman Page hit the ring for some promo time. He said he needs a new challenger which brought out Dan Lambert, who put him over for having some tremendous matches. However, he dissed him for the goofy cowboy stuff. As they bickered, out came the returning Lance Archer, who has had issues with Lambert in the past. He nearly attacked him but Lambert shouted that he shouldn’t waste an opportunity with the champ in the ring. Archer agreed, attacking Hangman and hitting the Blackout onto a chair. That sounds like a quality title match down the line.

Arn Anderson put over his son and Lee Johnson when FTR and Tully interrupted, I guess setting up a match. Tully and Arn shook hands which was cool.

Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb

We never really got much of a match here. Deeb jumped Shida during her entrance and beat her up with the kendo stick. She also had her knee dropped on the stairs and it looked rough. Shida wanted to fight anyway but kept getting beat up. Shida put on a kneebar and the ref called for the bell in 1:59. [NR]

After the bell, Deeb used the kendo stick to continue the assault until babyface women hit the ring so we get our important TayJay appearance.

Backstage, Jurassic Express sent love to Fénix and said they’d accept any challenge from top five contenders. Dark Order arrived and issued a challenge, which was accepted. Simple.

Matt Hardy vs. Penta El Zero Miedo (55-28)

I’m sorry, Penta has HOW MANY wins and losses? That doesn’t seem right given he missed a lot of time during COVID. AEW really gave the women one and a half segments for angles but we’ve gotta watch Matt Hardy. They started this with some DELETE/CERO MIEDO taunts. These guys never really clicked but worked through the break (as most AEW matches do). Penta hit the tree of woe stomp while Matt hit Side Effect on the apron but neither really had that impact you want. Inside, Matt missed a moonsault and fell to the Fear Factor driver in 8:51. It was a match that happened. [*¾]

After the match, Penta called out Malakai Black, so we got our obligatory lights going out gimmick. I won’t lie, Penta/Malakai sounds sick and like it’s out of Lucha Underground. Anyway, when the lights came on Malakai knocked out Alex and then fought with Penta. The Varsity Blonds hit the ring to get revenge, complete with Pirate Julia Hart. Oddly, Julia told them to stop beating on him. With Malakai down 3-1, he laughed and counted them. The lights went out again (AEW gotta pay that electric bill) and Brody King was in the ring when they came up. Brody ran through them all and we’ve got a new team.

Backstage, Kris Statlander, Leyla Hirsch, and Red Velvet were interviewed but the focus was on Kris and her mixed tag match. That annoyed Leyla, who called Kris selfish for taking that match with their tag coming up. They argued and Velvet tried to keep the peace.

The Acclaimed (32-7, #1 Ranked) vs. Bear Country (12-5)

The Acclaimed have the most tag wins in company history. They dissed Sting and Darby during the rap. Also, what is this Dark match doing on Dynamite? Oof. Anyway, this was a lot of Bear Country overpowering The Acclaimed but never really feeling like a true threat. This was aimless and The Acclaimed won after Bear Country missed the Bear Bomb and Caster hit the Mic Drop elbow in 6:18. This didn’t belong on Dynamite as it felt unimportant. [*½]

Ah, so the real reason this match was on the card was so Sting and Darby Allin could come out afterward and confront them. They took out the heels and Sting broke the boombox with his bat.

We got a vignette from PAC who is basically Matt Murdock in season 1 of Daredevil. He had a bunch of photos of himself with no eyes, saying Malakai blinded him but he sees everything now. He’s not angry, he sees it as a blessing.


· Adam Cole vs. Trent Beretta

· Leyla Hirsch, Kris Statlander and Red Velvet vs. The Bunny, Penelope Ford and Nyla Rose

· Shawn Spears vs. THE BIG DOG Andrew Everett

· A look at Martinez/Rosa

· Jurassic Express defend the Tag Titles against John Silver and Alex Reynolds


· Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander vs. Britt Baker and Adam Cole

· CM Punk vs. Shawn Spears

· Serena Deeb vs. Skye Blue

· Cody Rhodes returns (tons of boos)

· The Acclaimed vs. Sting and Darby Allin

Backstage, Matt Hardy was pissed about the loss and said he might have to focus on himself more than the HFO, which upset Private Party. Andrade showed up to make a business deal with him but we don’t hear about it.

AEW Interim TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara [c] (25-14) vs. Daniel Garcia (12-9, #5 Ranked)

There’s a really interesting wrestler with loads of potential involved in this. Sammy Guevara is also wrestling. David Crockett was there to present the winner with the title again. Considering Cody is returning next week, this interim business makes even less sense. Anyway, Jericho and Kingston were ringside and they jawed at each other a few times. Anyway, the match itself was solid. It was another case of a high flyer against someone who has a totally different style. Garcia twisted away at Guevara at every turn, while the champ responded with aerial stuff. Wait. I just looked at AEW’s site and almost none of the rankings they showed on screen today match the site. What gives? Sammy hit a nice double jump somersault down the stretch. I loved Garcia countering the GTH into a modified Sharpshooter. It all led to the expected 2.0 interference as they jumped Jericho and Kingston. Sammy took out 2.0, kicked out of a rollup, and won with GTH in 12:34. A good main event but it never felt like it mattered. [***¼]

After the match, Kingston went after 2.0 but Jericho sent them packing with his bat so they argued to close the show. That feud is only interesting if Eddie wins.

The final score: review Average
The 411
An okay show but a miss by AEW’s standards. They did a few good things like making sure Wardlow looked good, Brody’s debut, and the Shida/Deeb angle but there were lackluster matches and some goofy angles that made it feel bland.

article topics :

AEW, AEW Dynamite, Kevin Pantoja