wrestling / TV Reports

Pantoja’s AEW Dynamite Review 1.5.22

January 6, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
AEW Dynamite Bryan Danielson Hangman Page Image Credit: AEW
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Pantoja’s AEW Dynamite Review 1.5.22  

AEW Dynamite

January 5th, 2022 | Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey

It’s AEW’s debut on TBS! I wish the new home came with a new theme song because the Dynamite theme is ass.

AEW World Championship: Hangman Page [c] (13-1-1) vs. Bryan Danielson (13-0-2)

Their first meeting was incredible (****½) and resulted in a one-hour draw. If that happens again tonight, it goes to the judges. Who are the judges, you ask? Mark Henry, Jerry Lynn, and “No More BS” Paul Wight. Yes, they actually announced Wight that way. Also, shoutout to three former ECW Champions being the judges. I liked Hangman running at Bryan at the bell, looking to score some early points. Danielson backed away and did jumping jacks to taunt Hangman, showing that he felt he was in total control. After all, if you dominated 70% of the match last time, you can afford to give something up a bit. I really liked how you could tell that this wasn’t going 60 again. They worked it at too great of a pace to keep that up, which is just what I wanted. If you went the distance last time, your goal in this one should be to change it up and wrap this up quicker. Hangman hit the steel steps and got busted open. Between that and the shoulder he crashed on a dive, Hangman had targets that Bryan was relentless in going after. Page eventually busted Bryan open, giving us a bloody war to start the TBS era. Hangman’s avalanche moonsault fallaway slam was honestly wild to see. There were great Buckshot Lariat teases like Bryan avoiding it and hitting the Busaiku Knee or Bryan just falling out of exhaustion to luckily avoid it. They went into some big blows late with Hangman finally retaining after the Buckshot Lariat in 29:05. A hell of a match that was different but on par with the first. This felt like two guys who were truly desperate to walk out with the title rather than two guys just doing stuff to get a higher star rating. I can’t express enough how important that distinction is. [****½]

The Acclaimed cut a promo in the back suggesting they were going to use a viral video to get to Sting and Darby Allin. Not sure how that works but we’ll see.

MJF (19-3) vs. Shawn Dean (4-5)

The idea here is that MJF is trying to pad his win totals to get a title shot. A bit into the bell ringing, out came CM Punk. MJF bailed as Punk stayed in the ring with Dean. He delivered the Go to Sleep on Dean, resulting in a DQ loss for MJF in 0:47. [NR]

That sparked the MJF/CM Punk promo battle and this one was less than some of their others. It felt like they were just going for the constant WWE mentions and nothing more, when their promos could be better than just references like that. MJF said Punk can’t be Piper because Piper was good enough to headline a WrestleMania and Punk told MJF to test the waters over there and go main event one of the four nights of their buy one, get one free spectacular. It all led to MJF agreeing to a match but for Punk against Wardlow. Ah, well.

Time for more promos as Chris Jericho hit the ring for the first time on TBS since a loss to Booker T on Thunder. 2.0 interrupted, of course, and they all traded insults until Jericho got his bat. Daniel Garcia snuck in and they beat up Jericho until Santana, Ortiz, and Eddie Kingston made the save. There’s a six man scheduled for Rampage.

Adam Cole cut a promo in the back with Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish by his side. He forgives Kyle for kicking him last week and wants them all to get along with the Young Bucks but reDRagon doesn’t seem to be feeling that. Cole also randomly challenged new signee Jake Atlas for a match at Rampage, which should be good.

Antonio Zambrano (0-1) vs. Wardlow (39-6)

Mega Powerbomb Symphony here as Wardlow hit five to win in 1:23. [NR]

We got a recap of Leyla Hirsch going more heel on episodes of Dark. I appreciate storytelling there.

AEW TBS Championship Tournament Finals: Jade Cargill (22-0) vs. Ruby Soho (10-2)

The size difference stood out immediately but Ruby showed no fear. Who is she, Pentagon? Jade took control early on and as Ruby was worn down on the floor, Mercedes Martinez showed up. It was an odd appearance because it’s not like Jade was in trouble or anything. Ah, it was all so Thunder Rosa could run out and fight her to the back. Ruby’s shoulder was in trouble and she remained on the defensive throughout a commercial break. I thought Ruby’s selling was good as she even struggled to hook the leg. Ruby kept finding small hope spots before Mark Sterling got ejected for distracting the referee. Ruby avoided Jaded and hit the No Future but Jade became the first person to kick out of it. As they fought up top, Jade hooked Ruby and hit an ugly looking avalanche Jaded to become the first champion after 11:13. You can tell that Jade still has plenty of work to go but she feels like a star in a way that nobody else really does. The match itself was pretty basic though. Also, Ruby has to win something soon. She’s been close but no cigar for her entire career. [**]

Jim Ross had a sit down interview with Serena Deeb, who said there’s nobody in the locker room who is on her level and that she’s done having respectful matches. She’s going to hurt Hikaru Shida next week.

Brian Pillman Jr. (30-11) vs. Malakai Black (7-1)

Poor Julia Hart sported an eyepatch in her return. I was hoping she’d become all evil like Malakai. This match didn’t really work for me. It either needed to be Pillman really showing fire and having a small chance at winning or Black just murdering him. What we got instead was something in the middle with Pillman getting in offense but never feeling like a threat. That made it kind of dull overall. In the end, Black won with the Black Mass in 6:02. It was fine. [**]

Black stalked Julia Hart after the bell but the Lucha Brothers ran out to confront him. The lights went out and when they came on, Malakai was in the aisle and the champs were in the ring. AEW is REALLY overdoing the lights out gimmick.

Ruby Soho was interviewed but Britt Baker quickly interrupted to diss her. Ruby brought up how Britt can’t win alone and that led to her getting beaten up until Riho made the save.


· Adam Cole vs. Jake Atlas

· Daniel Garcia and 2.0 vs. Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz in a No DQ match

· Hook gets to murder Aaron Solo. Huge pop for the Hook graphic

· Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter vs. Riho and Ruby Soho


· Britt Baker vs. Riho

· Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara II


· CM Punk vs. Wardlow

· Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb IV(?)

· Dante Martin vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

AEW World Tag Team Championship: The Lucha Brothers [c] (15-1) vs. Jurassic Express (13-3)

There was some good back and forth to start the match and the crowd didn’t seem to know how to root for. Both teams got good pops so everything they did had a solid reaction. I liked Jungle Boy and Fenix hitting offense together as it looked cool, though it didn’t make a ton of sense in the grand scheme of things. They worked through the commercial break and picked up the pace a bit more afterward with Luchasaurus coming in to beat down on his former Lucha Underground co-workers. Fenix hit a huge Destroyer on Luchasaurus but when the champs went for their finisher, the lights went out. When they came back on, Jungle Boy was free. Things broke down and we unfortunately saw Luchasaurus chokeslam Fenix through a table outside where Fenix’s entire elbow bent in the opposite direction. Apparently, it’s just a dislocation but it looked legitimately horrible. That left JB in the ring with Penta and he used a counter into a rollup to win the titles in 14:03. That was a good but not great match. I like the title change since it felt like a genuine shock but I feel like most people are just going to remember Fenix’s injury. [***]

The tag division came to the stage to stare down the new champions. Chris Jericho and Malakai Black were both shown in odd spots of the crowd reacting too

The final score: review Good
The 411
Any show with that opener is going to be a great one to watch. The episode falls in terms of quality as it goes on, though it was newsworthy, with two new champions. They’re doing odd stuff with Malakai Black though, which is off-putting.

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AEW Dynamite, Kevin Pantoja