Arena: 1st Bank Center
City: Broomfield, CO
Last Week’s Rating: 957,000 overall; 0.30 in 18-49 demo
Hope everybody did and is – the holidays don’t end on Boxing Day – enjoying themselves.
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
Ethan Page vs Bryan Danielson
Backstory: Page interrupted Danielson last week, accusing him of queue jumping as regards MJF
Dasha’s handling ring announcing tonight. Stokely’s rocking a cap after Danielson made fun of his bald head last week. Appreciate stuff like that, nice little character quirks.
MJF’s music hit before the match started, distracting Danielson and allowing Page to strike from behind. Max was up in the crowd with ‘the only hot girl in Colorado’.
Side headlock from Page, he ran through Danielson with a shoulder then dropped him via bodyslam. ‘Let’s go Bryan’ started as Danielson mounted his comeback – the flip off the buckle etc, then hurled chops with Page in the corner. A single reply from Page dropped BD to his knees.
Fighting back, Danielson threw more chops, kicks in the corner, kitchen sink to the gut, Page crumpled backwards before being dragged center as the vet targeted the legs, looking for the Romero Special but settling for dropping his weight on the knees then stomping the achilles.
Page responded with a back elbow then shots to the face out of the mount. Another bodyslam, Danielson down in the middle, hauled upstairs, where he countered a superplex with headbutts then soared to hit a shotgun dropkick. The crowd roared their approval.
They, like the match, have started well.
Hathaway hopped onto the apron and had his cap snatched. Danielson launched a suicide dive but was distracted again by Stokely, allowing Page to hit a pumpkick, bringing the break.
Still down after a very short break, Danielson slipped behind to launch a German, leaving both guys down as the ref began his count. Both up on four, the two exchanged heavy shots in the middle; Danielson caught Page with a drop toehold running in. Then back to chops and kicks in the corner.
Taking Page up top, Danielson hit a hurracanrana then sized him up for Yes! kicks. Page tried to respond but was low-bridged and hit with a dropkick. BD then missed with diving knees off the apron. Page deadlifted Danielson up off the floor into a powerslam, scarily easily.
Back inside, a cutter off the bottom rope bought Page two with the first pin of the match, a good fifteen minutes in.
Danielson grabbed the wrists, Page desperately kicked his way free, hoisting Danielson up until the vet reversed into a swinging ddt, got a count of two, straight into the LeBell Lock, Page scraping the ropes with his foot to bag the break.
After a counter, Page was readying an avalanche Ego’s Edge, Danielson fought him off with h&a elbows, Page managed to hit an avalanche powerslam anyway for another two count.
Ego’s Edge at the ready, up in the crucifix, Danielson slipped out, busaiku knee, wrist control, KYHI stomps, into a crossface from which Page seemingly passed out rather than tapped out.
Immediately we cut to MJF who exhibited a mix of fear and ‘I’m not worried’ cockiness.
(This was an excellent opener. Though I find MJF less and less interesting with each week that passes. A lot of the same stuff. And a feud which did not exactly begin with a bang.)
WINNER: Bryan Danielson
Samoa Joe video promo – he’s a hunter who studies his prey, so he knows exactly who he’s up against.
Cut to Renee with Wardlow. Who said there’ve been too many words, tonight we need actions. At which point Joe burst in to attack the knee with a lead pipe, screaming that if Wardlow wanted action, he’d got it.
Backstage, the doc was checking on Hangman Page, he snapped at Renee that she of all people would want an update, then apologized. Before announcing that he still didn’t know when he’d be ready. At the mention of Moxley’s match coming up next, Page had to be restrained. The doc said he’d potentially be ready in two weeks, i.e. Jan 11th. But if Hangman kept going after Mox, he might never be able to return.
(Do appreciate the line they walk with Renee: acknowledging that she’s married to Mox without having his opponents try to target her for cheap heat.)
Top Flight vs Claudio Castagnoli & Jon Moxley
Backstory: Mox destroyed Darius last Wednesday; TF responded by ditching Claudio to win the Battle Royal on Rampage
Hell of a reaction for the BCC boys. Very enthusiastic crowd thus far. I’ll allow them to come back here.
Schiavone basically said the Wardlow/Joe match was still going ahead, and it’d main event.
The BCC weren’t waiting, attacking the youngsters before they’d finished their entrance, Moxley launching himself through the ropes. Before bringing Darius back inside to begin things then immediately tagging in Claudio. More quick tags cornered the youngster on the wrong side of the ring. He hadn’t even removed his jacket as Mox bagged a one count after a sliding clothesline. After a fallaway slam, Claudio rectified the dress situation.
More quick tags from the excessively aggressive vets, Mox being roared on by the crowd as he choked Darius in the corner with his boot, then raked the back before setting up a superplex.
Darius fought it off then launched a dropkick, allowing the tag to Dante who came in via springboard, dropped Claudio with an enziguri then bagged barely-two on Mox after a standing moonsault.
After a brief slugfest, the youngster was dropped via belly-to-back, hit with h&a elbows until Darius snuck in to hit a chopblock as the ads arrived.
Very sensibly, Darius was still working on the knee upon our return. The announcers again brought up Wardlow’s injury ahead of tonight’s match.
Moxley blocked a suplex then dropped Darius out of one before bagging a tag. Dante came in too and was beaten corner-to-corner, Claudio legit flinging him across the ring at least eight times, striking with a running elbow after each. A two count his reward.
Attempting to interrupt, Darius was on the receiving end of a Giant Swing, Dante jumping rope to interrupt then hitting a senton to bag two on Castagnoli. Who countered a double suplex to drop both.
A lightning double team flurry saw Moxley just break the count before three, still struggling to move on his injured knee.
A double thust kick took Mox out: Claudio about to hit a pop-up uppercut on Dante who was rescued by Darius, another double thrust kick to CC, Darius Spanish fly for a very close two. This is impossible to keep up with. Absolutely rapid. Didn’t catch everything in that sequence.
Pop-up uppercut setup again, Darius countered into a backslide for two, Neutralizer hit, Darius kicked out at 2.8. Castagnoli complained to the ref afterward. Now annoyed, he went right to h&a elbows, not even stopping when Dante hit a shot to the face, who was thereafter wiped out by a KKL.
The h&a continued until Darius slumped to the floor, Mox hit a double-arm ddt on Dante outside. Darius showed some fight with a shot to the face, only pissing off the ROH champ who blasted him with an uppercut to bag the win, afterward leering threateningly over the youngster.
The BCC continue to be ultra-aggressive, bordering on heelish.
The announcers put over what a fight TF had put up but they’ve basically had their asses whupped two weeks in a row. If this is the end of the story, it didn’t do them a ton of favors.
WINNER: the BCC
Backstage with the Best Friends, Orange, Danhausen, Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford. Kip said a bunch of words. Then asked for a title shot since he’d again eliminated Cassidy from a battle royal. Trent interrupted to say he’d eliminated Kip so he should get the shot. Orange agreed to the latter.
We have that to look forward to on Rampage.
Hook vs Baylum Lynx (Could be the next NXT champ with a name like that)
Taz informed us that Hook was not in a good mood. It still sounds completely ridiculous when the announcers mention the ongoing problems with ‘Big Bill’.
Stiff shots and throws from Hook, who then nearly broke the guy’s neck with an overhead belly-to-belly: crossface shots, Redrum, win.
Hathaway interrupted immediately with Moriarty and ‘Big Bill’. Just as a two-on-one was on the cards, corny eighties pop blared and Jungle Boy leapt at Moriarty. Hook and BB went face to face to emphasize the Big in Big Bill. The two slipped in and out of each other’s finishes until JB sent BB packing with a two-by-four.
Despite being chokeslammed against the apron and into a bin, the youngster seemed fine, begging the question Why?
Like this babyface tag team. Not so keen on the heels.
Jericho video package showing the vet losing to Action Andretti, approaching Starks about joining the JAS, Andretti preventing a beatdown on Starks then being burnt by Jericho.
Cut to Jericho backstage, who said Starks had mocked the JAS before calling him a ‘flash in the pan.’ Next week, he’s going to ‘school’ Starks. ‘I’m a wizard, I’m the Ocho, and I always win.’ He then warned Andretti not to come back to AEW before vowing to embarrass Starks, who’d pay the price when Jericho ended the ‘experiment’ next week.
Death Triangle vs the Elite, Falls Count Anywhere, Match 6 of 7
Backstory: Death Triangle lead 3-2 after leaving the Elite bloody last Wednesday
Can see this just being utter chaos with all six allowed to go anywhere around the arena.
Don Callis had joined on comms. They then cut backstage to Swerve and the Mogul Affiliates. He promised we’d find out about the other guy in the group ‘real soon’. Wheeler Yuta interrupted to say he wasn’t surprised Strickland was talking about someone (Lee) who wasn’t there to defend themself. Yuta challenged Swerve to a match Friday.
No update on Lee. Cinderblocks aren’t what they used to be.
Immediately we cut to a hallway where the six-man had already commenced, the two sides brawling backstage, trash cans and all. Omega was suplexed onto a bunch of wooden crates by Pac, who then climbed atop metal trays to hit a moonsault on the Bucks, held in place by the Bros.
Fenix was backdropped through a table by Matt, Nick wheeled Pac into a superkick for a two count broken up by Penta. Nick then headed atop the metal trays to launch a senton, landing badly on his right arm and clocking Penta in the head with his leg.
Omega and Fenix had disappeared as the other four neared the arena, the Bucks dragging Pac and Penta onto the stage, followed by Cutler and Abrahantes. Fenix then appeared atop the entrance as his teammates were hit with a superkick party, launching a tornillo onto all four but then run over by a V-Trigger out-of-nowhere courtesy of Omega.
No pin attempt. Omega instead went after Pac, both slipping in and out of suplexes atop the ramp until Pac hit a German. A limping Matt Jackson broke it up, slugging it out with Pac, the only two left standing. Matt then took Pac down the ramp locomotion-style, grabbing Fenix too as Nick launched a crazy dive over all three onto Penta, right into the camera, almost as if coming into your living room.
The six had made it to the ring as we returned, Death Triangle firmly on top, a trash can placed over Omega before a triple dropkick. Two count.
Still a three-on-one with the Bucks nowhere to be seen, Fenix and Penta were bundled outside, Omega avoided a charging Pac, Nick hit a step-up knee, Penta a slingblade, Matt a destroyer, Fenix off the top, Omega a snapdragon to Pac. The crowd going nuts as Omega began working over Pac with the trash can, prepping a V-Trigger, crushing the can against Pac’s head, a gut-wrench up into a Dr Bomb onto the can, Pac kicked out at nearly three.
With the OWA ready, Penta dragged Kenny outside, the Bros hit a Fear Factor on the floor, Fenix coming off the apron. The Bucks broke it up. Fenix matrix’d to avoid a Superkick Party, hit a rolling cutter to Matt, then a sound-barrier-breaking tope to blast Omega before slumping to the floor in exhaustion.
Penta readied a package piledriver on the apron, Nick backdropped free, Matt with Penta in a piledriver position, Nick off the apron into the Meltzer Driver, Pac just broke it up.
Then hit a pumpkick to Matt in the ring, set up a Black Arrow, Nick flung a chair at him, then Penta, Matt limping inside to hit a BTE Trigger to Penta, Pac again broke it up at the last. ‘Fight forever’ broke out.
Another Meltzer Driver readied, Matt waved bye to Pac, series of standing switches, Pac knocked Nick off the apron and grabbed Matt in the Brutalizer, the screen splitting to show Kenny hitting a OWA off the stage, through a table to pin Fenix.
Pac was furious, believing he’d won.
This match was mental.
Omega was really selling his backside/lower back after that OWA. I think legitimately. His shoulder was taped too ahead of his match with Will Ospreay next week. Nakazawa helped him up.
Excalibur then again talked about Lebron beating the Warriors, down 3-1. (Does that mean a low blow is going to decide things? 😉)
WINNER: the Elite
We cut to a music video by the Acclaimed and Daddy Ass, spoofing Jarrett and Lethal (mainly Jarrett). Caster repeatedly called JJ a ‘carny’. ‘Jay Lethal’s only known for mimicking dudes and ain’t nobody mimickin’ you’. Ouch. With plenty to work with, the Acclaimed eviscerated the J’s here. Worth watching if you dislike them as much as I do.
Willow Nightingale & Ruby Soho vs Anna Jay & Tay Melo
Backstory: Melo broke Soho’s nose; Anna then intervened in their match so Ruby got a partner
Ruby had to be held back before the match started. Melo danced and twerked, not taking Willow seriously. Nightingale dropped her then twerked herself, to the crowd’s delight. A couple chops had Willow on top until a blind tag from Soho. Melo darted to tag Anna.
Soho took Jay down, firing shots to the face, dropped her with a shoulder, back to firing away at the face. Willow back in, snapmare and kick to the spine from Ruby. Quick tags ended in an assisted cazadora.
Nightingale hit a splash in the corner, high boot, falling cross body/splash for two.
Willow went for a tag, Melo pulled Ruby off the apron, allowing Anna to take advantage. Bundling Nightingale into the heels’ corner, she tagged Tay, the announcers again talked about the main event before bringing us to break.
(Presumably this is another suggestion of their new tv man; don’t ever remember them pushing a main event so consistently through the show. Nor actually doing an angle on the same show for that night’s main event.)
In trouble as we returned, Nightingale was being doubled in the wrong corner until blocking a lariat, hitting one of her own then making the crawl as Soho and Melo finally faced off.
More shots to the face from Ruby, both standing and on the mat. A very slow sequence led to Ruby planting Tay in the corner, then hitting an STO to Anna, No Future to Tay; Melo kicked out (from the way the anouncers talked, Anna was supposed to break that up).
Willow hit a lariat, pumpkick from Melo, all four down.
Anna made the save at two, sent Willow to the apron, thrust kick to Ruby, DDTay – Nightingale shoved Anna down into the pin to break it, the two brawling outside where Willow hit a snap suplex. Tay and Soho going back and forth inside with chops and strikes until mutual headbutts dropped both, Ruby falling on top for a two count.
Anna grabbed a chair, Willow ducked, Aubrey grabbed the chair. As she did, Soho very kindly held a chair in front of her face for quite a long time so Tay could kick it. The heels getting the win.
(There wasn’t a lot wrong with this but it was still a long way from last week’s women’s contest. These girls are a hell of a lot tougher than I’ll ever be, but there were sequences which just completely took me out of the action.)
WINNER: Anna Jay & Tay Melo
Lexi Nair – soon to be Lexi Bill – backstage as the Gunns were leaving because they had a reservation. They’ll address their win over FTR next week.
Renee and Ricky backstage. In answer to how he’s feeling, Starks said he’s doing a lot better than Action Andretti. So he’s going to fight on his behalf next week. Observing that the reason Jericho doesn’t like Ricky is because he can’t control him. Next week will be a masterclass of whoopass, he’s going to take Jericho down several notches. ‘Why? Because I can’.
(As befit the situation, Starks was all business here, calm and serious. Might have preferred him saying he’s going to take Jericho down ‘for myself, for Andretti and for the fans’ to end the thing but who am I to give Ricky Starks promo pointers?)
Wardlow vs Samoa Joe, TNT Title
Backstory: Wardlow’s been calling out the ‘King of Television’
Be interesting to see the reaction to both guys here. A loud ‘Joe, Joe, Joe’ chant quickly answered the first half of that. Very few boos, if any.
Schiavone had been backstage and informed that Wardlow would wrestle if he could.
The latter’s music played for a long time with no sign of the former champ. Interrupting, Joe announced that ‘It is I, your one true king of television’ – huge cheer. Before noting that Wardlow was suffering from stage fright. He then fired shots at the Broncos as Wardlow stormed down the ramp, officials trying to stop him.
Straight to a slugfest, Wardlow bodied Joe to the corner and hit shoulders to the gut as the fans chanted that Joe was going to kill him. After favoring the leg, Joe targeted it but was dropped via spinebuster then shots from the mount.
A slap to the face dropped Joe across the middle rope, the ref breaking a choke, allowing Joe to move to the corner, from where he hit an STO as Wardlow ran at him. Chops to the chest were quickly shaken off, Wardog coming back with a huge lariat then shots to the gut. Joe then reversed an irish whip, dropping Wardlow off the shoulder into a kneebreaker as the ads arrived.
With Wardlow limping back into the ring just as we returned, Joe went right back after the knee then threw more chops in the corner. Snapmare out, he then launched more shots to the knee after trapping the lower leg.
Before hauling Wardlow up top, the ninety-ninth superplex attempt of the night shaken off, Joe crashing to the mat, Wardlow flying via a beautiful senton atomico. From which he bounced off and rolled halfway across the ring: both down, the ref’s count reaching six before both got up to begin slugging it out mid-ring, a brace of German suplexes to Joe, clothesline in the corner, Wardlow shook off the injury to run up the buckle and vault off via moonsault for two.
A loud cheer as Joe went for the Kokina Clutch, Wardlow slipped out and hit that really lame lean-back lariat/punch. Joe swept the legs, eyeing Wardlow in the corner, more chops, back to the top, Wardlow slipped under to powerbomb Joe off the buckle. A mixture of cheers and boos as he readied the second act of the symphony.
Which he couldn’t execute. The leg giving way as Joe immediately took advantage via chopblock, right into a choke as Wardlow passed out and a large, very male, portion of the crowd cheered loudly as the ‘Joe, Joe, Joe’ chants began anew.
(If this was going to be the main event finish, they might’ve gone with a different one for the opener)
After coming to, Wardlow tried to get his bearings as Joe nodded approvingly, lulling the crowd before blasting the challenger in the head with both titles. He then reached under the ring for a toolbox – to more cheers – finally finding what he was looking for. A pair of scissors. Bringing the Acclaimed out – I kid. He then dropped the ref with a ‘headbutt’ before lopping-off Wardlow’s man-bun.
While posing with his belts, Darby Allin’s music hit and he hit Joe – with a skateboard. Sending Joe bailing up the ramp as the crowd chanted Darby’s name loudly. Joe bailing so quickly he left his belts in the ring. Darby posed with the TNT title (because honestly, who cares about the ROH one) to end the show.
Man, this made Wardlow look bad. Yes, they gave him an out via injury. It’s more the fact that the crowd were far from solidly behind him and they seemed to immediately move on to Darby/Joe after the match ended (the latter of whom the crowd were happy to embrace). Probably needs a heel turn to reboot him.
On the plus side, Joe/Darby should be a great feud. Hopefully a long one too.
WINNER: Samoa Joe
- Wheeler Yuta vs Swerve Strickland
- Orange Cassidy vs Trent, All-Atlantic Title
- Hear from Hayter
- Ditto Mox
- Jade Cargill vs Kiera Hogan, TBS Title
- Jericho vs Ricky Starks
- More announced on Rampage
There was a lot of good action tonight. The opener and the six-man were excellent, everything else was at least solid. And they set up some stuff going forward. But only some.
With next week expected to debut a new look, there’s only one match ready to go. And though it’s a good one with some steam behind it, they really should’ve had damn near a full card announced here if they really want to start the new year with a DDP.
And despite a clear emphasis on the 11th and their debut in LA, they didn’t push Match Seven hard and this makes three weeks in which Saraya has barely appeared, with no mention of her upcoming mystery partner.
When Tony Khan pens his resolutions at the weekend, clear planning and continuity should be top of the pile.
- Elite vs Death Triangle
- Danielson vs Ethan Page
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of the holidays.