It's Wednesday, you know what that means! It's time for AEW Dynamite! We're settling into the routine for this year as there's no special episode planned for this week so we just have a great Dynamite and Rampage. With JR, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone on commentary, let's get straight to the wrestling.
We're starting off with Adam Cole making his entrance with Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly with him and apparently, it's time for story time. He says that he, Fish and O'Reilly had a good 2021 but will have a better 2022. He says that he's never lost in AEW and the boys are back together and calls Bobby and Kyle the baddest team in the world and says it's a new era for AEW.
They're interrupted by the Young Bucks and they come down to join them in the ring and they explain that AEW is their company and their new year's resolution is to get their titles back and Kyle and Bobby say that's their resolution too and no team will stop them including the Bucks.
Adam Cole tries to calm things by calling this friendly competition and then says this is why this faction is the best, he begins to compare them to the Best Friends and out they come with Orange Cassidy at the front. Adam asks Orange what he has to say of any importance and Orange just takes Cole down and triggers a brawl between all the men.
Cole and Cassidy are alone in the ring, Cole low blows him to take over and is about to kick his head off but Kris Statlander shows up to stop him.There's a pause but she's followed into the ring by Britt Baker who attacks her from behind and she and Adam take out Kris and Orange before kissing to close the segment.
This is very cinematic, talking about Wardlow's symphony of powerbombs with a classical music background. A fun little way to lead into our next match.
MJF comes out first and Wardlow follows him. The possibilities for what might happen here are truly endless. CM Punk follows him to the ring and the match gets underway with the crowd firmly in the Chicago native's corner. Punk immediately slides out of the ring and walks towards MJF but Wardlow blocks him off and they both return to the ring and lick up. Wardlow is much stronger but Punk uses his experience to give himself a chance till a big Shoulder Tackle flattens Punk. They lock up again and Wardlow backs Punk in to the corner but misses a strike to allow Punk to get back into it until Wardlow just uses his power to send him to the mat once more. Wardlow begins to dominate Punk methodically and Punk responds with some kicks to the thigh before trying for a GTS. Wardlow escapes and sets Punk up for the Powerbomb but Punk escapes and rolls out of the ring as we head to commercial. Throughout the break, Wardlow continues to dominate and stops any attempts Punk makes to come back with his strength and when we finally return, Punk is still down on the mat with Wardlow dominant and barely breaking a sweat.
Punk manages to fire in a kick from the corner but his Tornado DDT attempt is just shrugged off by the big man and Wardlow decides that it's Powerbomb time. Punk escapes and hits a Roundhouse kick and follows with strike after strike, clothesline after clothesline and Wardlow stays up until Punk hits a Springboard Clothesline to flatten Mr Mayhem. Punk hits a rising knee in the corner but Punk gets distracted by MJF and Wardlow hits the first Powerbomb. He follows it with a second and takes his time setting up for the third but he hits the fourth quickly and then follows it with a fifth. Wardlow goes to pin Punk but MJF stops him and tells Wardlow he wants more so Wardlow argues with him and then goes for a sixth. He hits it and MJF demands another. Seven. Punk rolls to the edge of the apron and Wardlow goes to get him but MJF stops him and demands that Wardlow puts him through the Timekeepers table and Wardlow has to do it. Aubrey begins to count him out but Punk fights to make it to the ring and he makes it just in time. Wardlow looks at MJF and MJF demands another Powerbomb and Wardlow can barely lift Punk but all of a sudden, Punk rolls Wardlow up and gets Wardlow down for three seconds. Punk wins!
Wardlow is furious and MJF is too. They argue in the middle of the ring and Wardlow is about to finally get his revenge on Max but Spears comes from nowhere and stops him before they all head to the back.
Taz joins commentary for this match and Ricky joins Hobbs at ringside but Dante runs at Hobbs on his entrance. The brawl begins and then the bell rings and despite heading inside, the match heads outside again straight away and Hobbs hits Martin with a huge powerbomb. Hobbs takes the match back into the ring and a Taz lets us know that the job is not to just win, it's to end the career of Dante. Hobbs looks like that's his aim as he repeatedly slams Martin into the mat but even when Dante fights back, Hobbs just flattens him once more with a Clothesline. Hobbs goes for a ground and pound technique and Dante tries to fight back with kicks but Hobbs soon neutralises him and goes for the torture rack. Dante fights out with knees but Hobbs takes him out with a Crossbody and continues the barrage. He beats him in the corner and tosses him to the other one so hard that Dante flies out of the ring and then we head to break whilst Hobbs distracts the ref and Starks lays in stomps. Starks continues the attack whenever the ref is distracted and Hobbs continues to keep Dante grounded throughout the commercials.
When we return, Hobbs is just beating Dante after hitting a Sidewalk slam and Dante uses everything, he has to hit an Elbow Strike and then he fires up. He briefly gets caught in the Torture Rack but he escapes and begins to hit Dropkicks from Springboards and off the top rope. Hobbs retreats outside and Dante follows him with a Tornado. Hobbs eats another kick coming back in the ring but Hobbs trucks him when Dante looks to follow and we get a double down. Dante gets to his feet first and Ricky jumps on the apron but all of a sudden Jay Lethal appears to stop Ricky and after all the commotion, Dante hits the Nosedive and pins Hobbs!
Jericho accepts the PWI faction of the year award from Alex Marvez with everyone but Sammy behind him and he warns 2point0 if they get involved in Garcia's match then the Inner Circle will stop them. Eddie Kingston comes in and he and Jericho go back and forth and then Santana and Ortiz seem to walk away from the situation and Jericho and Eddie continue.
Max comes out to stop the show and directly addresses CM Punk and tells him he got lucky tonight and tells him next week it's going to be Punk vs Spears.
Adam Cole, The Bucks & ReDRagon are joined backstage by Britt Baker and they challenge Orange and Kris Statlander to a mixed tag against Britt and Adam next week.
Hangman says he's spent 90 minutes in the ring with one of the best wrestlers in the world over the last two months and he's still the champion despite spilling blood and sweat but that's not enough for him. He says that he needs a new challenger but he gets distracted by Dan Lambert who comes out talking and Hangman interrupts him by saying Scorpio or Ethan can ask themselves if they want a match. Lambert says he's here to compliment him and he does. He says that he's right that he earned the title but he didn't earn the right to call himself a Cowboy. Hangman explains that he grew up with cattle and he turned down 6 figures to come here to a new company and earn the world title is cowboy shit.
He challenges Lambert to get in the ring with him and Lambert goes to make his exit but instead, out comes Lance Archer as the Murderhawk Monster makes his return from injury. He looks like he's going to kill Lambert but instead he completely destroys Hangman and stakes his claim for a title match.
Tony Schiavone is with Arn, Brock Anderson & Lee Johnson and Arn tells them this is Horsemen country and Tully interrupts them to agree and say that he should be with them for the Horsemen legacy. FTR explain they'll do more for the Horsemen name than Brock or Lee ever could and then FTR challenges them to a match next week and they accept.
Basic little video putting over Jade becoming TBS champion. Nothing too amazing.
Shida makes her entrance and Serena attacks her from behind, taking out her knee. Serena continues to attack that joint before the bell has even rung and then, after dropping the knee on the steps, waits in the ring and demands Shida start the match. Hikaru struggles into the ring and tells the ref to start the match and Deeb goes straight after the knee once more. She hits a Dragon Screw and then puts all of her weight on the knee. Shida tries to fight back and Deeb dodges before stomping the knee some more and then tearing off the knee pad. She flips Shida over and then locks in the Serenity Lock and Shida passes out in pain so the referee stops the match.
After the match, Serena grabs Shida's Kendo stick and chases off the referee and the doctor and then attacks, you guessed it, the knee of Shida and it takes all of the refs to come down and stop her. Serena looked like an animal here and I love it.
Christian Cage talks first and sends the well wishes to Fenix and Jungle Boy says he wants to defend the titles against any top 5 team. Jon Silver and Alex Reynolds appear and they lay down the challenge for Rampage.
Matt Hardy appears with Private Party and tells Penta that he's going to send him to the hospital with his brother. Hardy is in his home town but the crowd are pretty evenly split. After Zero Miedo vs Delete we finally get some wrestling and Hardy gets an early advantage until he runs into a Superkick and we head to break as Matt Hardy flips the momentum with chops in the corner. Penta manages to get back in charge with some good kicks but then Hardy manages to catch Penta with a forearm when Penta goes for a Tope Suicida. Matt continues the attack outside the ring, using the barricade before rolling his opponent back in and hitting a second rope elbow strike. Hardy attacks the back of his masked opponent but Penta fights to his feet with some good strikes only for Matt to knock him back down again with a Shoulder Tackle.
Matt slams Penta's head into the turnbuckles as we return to find Penta hitting the Slingblade and then he gets a two off a weird looking "rib breaker". He sets up for Fear Factor but Hardy fights out and gets a DDT which earns him a two count. He takes Penta to the top rope and then Matt follows him up but Penta fights back and then stomps Matt into the mat for two! Both men exchange chops on the apron and it all comes to a head when Matt hits a huge Side Effect on the apron for two. Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate but Penta fights out and then they end up back on the top and this time Matt wins that battle but he misses a Moonsault Press and Penta finishes the match with the Fear Factor. This match was far better than it had any right to be.
Alex Abrahantes says that Penta has a message for Malakai and it's that Penta is going to show Malakai some respect? The lights go out and then Malakai appears. He attacks Alex then Penta and then he rips at the mask of Penta but Varsity Blonds run down to attack him. Julia Hart stops them for some reason and Malakai laughs. Lights off once more and when they come back on, it's finally time for Brody King to become All Elite! He takes out Penta, Griff & Brian.
Weird interview as Schiavone asks Statlander about her match with Orange against Britt and Adam Cole and Leyla says she has a match with her and Velvet as partners on Friday and she shouldn't be selfish. Kris says she can handle it and Red Velvet tells them to get it together.
Caster makes his normal rap on his entrance but when the match gets going Bear Country take an early advantage but The Acclaimed flip the momentum with some great combination offence as we head to break. The Acclaimed continue to dominate Bear Bronson throughout the break, getting multiple two counts from suplexes whilst they exchange constant tags whilst not letting the Bear do the same. As we return, Bronson comes back by just sitting on Caster and then Bear Boulder comes in and wipes out both Caster and Bowens and then hits them with a Double Flatliner. They tag and set up for the Bear Bomb but they miss and then Boulder and Bowens spill to the outside and Caster almost rolls up Bronson but then he gets on top and Caster hits the Mic Drop and pins Bear Bronson.
The Acclaimed are celebrating after the match when all of a sudden, Sting's music hits and he walks them back towards the ring with his bat in hand and Darby wipes them out with a dive as Darby and Sting get their revenge from the other week. Sting finishes it with a Scorpion Death Drop.
PAC talks in riddles about losing his vision but never seeing so clearly and this is haunting. You have to watch this.
Matt Hardy is talking about focussing on himself because something has to change but he's interrupted by Andrade El Idolo who suggests they work together on a business deal of some description and Matt is intrigued. No idea where this goes.
This one gets off to a hot start with both men just brawling. Garcia lands a cheap shot during a break from the ref to get on top but Sammy comes back and hits a dive to the outside to take control of the match. Eddie Kingston & Chris Jericho are both ringside although neither came with a competitor and Sammy and Eddie have a little verbal spat ringside. Sammy returns Garcia to the ring and keeps in control but Guevara gets caught with a beautiful Spinebuster as we go to break and Garcia takes over. Daniel decides to go after the spine of Sammy and digs his knee into it and the attacks Sammy with chops. Guevara tries a Sunset Flip but Garcia turns it into a Boston Crab. He then goes for a Bow and Arrow as Sammy seems in trouble. Sammy counters with a pin but Garcia kicks out and grounds him with and elbow and now Garcia argues with Eddie.
We return to the action with Sammy fighting back with Elbows but Garcia grounds him with one shot to the back but Sammy begins to fight back with clotheslines and then an Enzuigiri in the corner. Garcia rolls outside to try and avoid Sammy so Sammy follows him with a Double Jump 360 Senton. Sammy returns Garcia to the ring and goes for the 450 but Garcia stops him and then hits the Backdrop Driver for two! Garcia goes for the Sharpshooter but Sammy rolls him up for two and then Sammy tries for a GTH. Garcia fights out and locks in the Scorpion Death Lock and after a struggle, Sammy makes it to the ropes. Garcia misses a splash in the corner and Sammy tries for a Cross Rhodes but he gets it wrong and it only gives him a two count. Sammy goes back to the top rope but his Double Jump Cutter is caught in a Sleeper and when he can't get all of it in, he transitions to a Piledriver and Sammy kicks out at two! Wow! Sammy fires back with an Enzuigiri and then 2point0 appear and take out Kingston and then Jericho. Sammy goes for the GTH but Jeff Parker jumps on the apron. Sammy drops Garcia, takes out Parker with a Superkick and then Garcia rolls up Sammy. Sammy kicks out and then sends Garcia into Matt Lee on the apron on the other side of the ring before finally delivering the GTH and retaining his title. Great match.
Afterwards, Sammy is presented the title by David Crockett.... again.... and then 2point0 jump him. Kingston and Jericho both reappear to make the save but Jericho doesn't let Eddie take out Jeff, instead hitting him with the baseball bat so Eddie and Jericho argue as we head off air.
This was a fun episode of Dynamite. Not an all-time great but all of the matches were good and all of the storyline development was great. Let us know what you thought in the comments, follow me on twitter @0r4n93_C4551dy, and meet back here for AEW Rampage on Friday. So long and goodnight!