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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Oct. 16, 2021): Cowboy s***

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AEW Dynamite (Oct. 16, 2021) emanated from the James L. Knight Center in Miami, FL. The Saturday night show featured FTR winning the AAA tag titles from the Lucha Bros, Sting being an Icon, and Hangman Page with the most important promo of his career to date.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.


Cowboy shit

After winning the Casino Ladder Match last week, Hangman Page will be challenging Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship at the Full Gear PPV on November 13. Hangman addressed the crowd for the best moment in the show. His speech was so strong that it could become his career defining promo. I say could only because Hangman is still young and poised for greatness. Who knows what other epic moments will unfold throughout his career.

Watch the promo for yourself.

Hangman was all about cowboy shit. Through trial and tribulations, he lost confidence in himself. For whatever reason, he never lost support of the fans. Hangman explored his evolution as a person by digging dip into cowboy shit.

Cowboy shit is about getting back on the horse to ride again. Cowboy shit is about sticking his neck out for his Dark Order friends who did the same for him. Cowboy shit is about having the cojones to take time off during his hot run for the birth of his baby boy.

Hangman finally believes in himself. He promises to give the fans his heart, soul, blood, sweat, and maybe tears against Omega. No matter the outcome, Hangman promised cowboy shit.

That was money. Hangman’s promo is on the Hard Times level for his personal story. Using the cowboy shit theme in so many different ways illustrated his struggle throughout this journey. The key for me was addressing his confidence. That was always the big question mark. With that out of the way, there is nothing stopping Hangman from reaching his full potential. That closing promise made me want to stand up and cheer.


Lucha libre scandal

A scandal is upon the lucha libre world. Fenix and Pentagon were set to defend the AAA tag titles against two masked friends of Andrade. The surprise turned out to be FTR in cheap luchador outfits. On top of that, Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood won the belts to end the Lucha Bros’ 853-day reign.

It didn’t take long for the Lucha Bros to ruin the Super Ranas charade.

The match itself felt like a showcase for cool moves from the Lucha Bros, such as a teamwork pop-up springboard dropkick.

Tully Blanchard turned the tide for FTR by creating a distraction so Harwood could cheat with the championship belt. As Fenix launched for a moonsault, Harwood clobbered him. A brainbuster put Fenix down for the 1, 2, 3.

Thankfully, AEW explained the association between Andrade and FTR later in the show. Andrade handed MJF a sum of cash for allowing use of the Pinnacle.

This is a mixed bag reaction. On one hand, the story is kind of funny. FTR finagled their way into a title shot and now have more gold. How can you not boo those men? On the other hand, it is not satisfying at all. The Lucha Bros lost in a flunky way. It cheapens AAA’s booking, which set up a dream match one week prior. That is probably more the fault of AAA since they agreed to this. Heck, it may have been their own idea. It makes Andrade look like a blowhard by not actually bringing in friends. AEW fixed it through the story, however, they knowingly built hype for fans to speculate and failed to deliver. Odds are that Andrade’s story with Death Triangle has to stall out until AEW can lure in Los Ingobernables.


Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Malakai Black defeated Dante Martin. Black worked the leg to slow down Martin’s athletic arsenal. Martin still went ahead with various springboard maneuvers to mixed results. In the end, Martin was hobbled and attempted a one-foot springboard attack. Black dodged then struck with a vicious head kick. Black was slow to cover, but it didn’t matter. Martin was out. Pin and win for Black. Malakai gave a nod of respect upon exiting the area.

That was a nifty match. Black displayed his ability to craft strategy and execute it with passion. Martin’s heart was strong, however, it may have clouded his judgement not to alter his routine. This is one of those long-term series I would like to see explored, like Darby Allin eventually overcoming Cody Rhodes.

Lio Rush was ringside in support of Martin. He was low-key. Rush’s black sweatshirt blended into the black aprons on the guardrail, so it was a little hard to see him at times. Commentary put over how he advised Martin to change strategy from the high-flying once the knee pain was evident. After the loss, Rush crossed his arms with dissatisfaction.

Later backstage, Rush explained that Martin needs these growing pains of failure in order to achieve success in the future. Listen to Lio and everything will be money. To make that happen, Rush volunteered himself to be Dante’s new tag partner. Martin reluctantly accepted.

I’m not sure where Rush is heading with this storyline, but he has my attention. Imagine Rush versus Martin in singles action. They move so fast that AEW will need slow motion replays just to make it normal speed for viewers.

Inner Circle reunion. The bestest of friends were interrupted by Dan Lambert, Men of the Year, and American Top Team. Jericho wanted a ten-man tag, but Lambert has championship plans for Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. He was eyeing Sammy Guevara’s TNT title as leverage to agree to the tag match. Sammy was game, however, Lambert will reveal his terms next week.

Good to see Guevara assert himself as TNT champ. He has momentum toward a true breakthrough into stardom. Guevara needs to squeeze all the juice he can out of his title run to set himself up as a made man. With the involvement of Paige VanZant, it has me wondering if the Inner Circle will pick up an honorary member to handle her. AEW doesn’t do much intergender violence, so I’m not expecting one of the core Inner Circle to dish out payback to VanZant.

Jon Moxley defeated Wheeler Yuta. Mox mauled Yuta for a quick win via Paradigm Shift. Moxley immediately exited the ring. Orange Cassidy had concern for his pal and eyed Mox as he left. It seems like OC wants Moxley.

No nonsense performance from Moxley. He looks ready to steamroll anyone standing in his way. After the Casino Ladder Match, one of the matchups I was curious to see was Moxley versus Cassidy. And now it appears that AEW is making it happen. Thanks! I would give a thumbs up, but I don’t want to give the impression that I’m rooting for OC. I’ll drink some whiskey instead.

Young Bucks & Adam Cole defeated Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, & John Silver. Fliptastic feats all around, however, it was comedy that made this match memorable. Uno used Nick Jackson’s own sock to socko him with the Mandible Claw.

When the Elite went for their kiss gimmick, Reynolds and Silver pulled the Bucks out of the ring, ran the ropes, then kissed Cole on the cheek. That was especially funny if you have been following BTE where Reynolds and Silver are trying to become friends with Cole in silly skits.

In the end, the Elite were the better team. Double superkick, Panama Sunrise, BTE Trigger, and a running knee flattened Reynolds for Cole to pin.

This match might be the show-stealer depending on your preferences. I’m partial to Black versus Martin, but I can see the case to be made with so much excitement from this six-man tag. The pace was non-stop, and the comedic moments were genuinely funny.

Earlier in the show, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus were attacked by the Elite. The dino was triple powerbombed through a table. After the six-man, JB rushed the ring to pounce on Cole. The Elite vamoosed, so Jungle Boy had to be satisfied with locking Brandon Cutler into the Snare Trap submission while spraying his eyes with Elite aerosol.

In a bit of crossover to the women’s division, Anna Jay was interrupted by Dr. Britt Baker DMD trashing the Dark Order and hailing the Elite. Jay responded with a punch as a skirmish broke out.

This is a nice add-on to the Jungle Boy versus Cole feud, since both of these ladies are romantically involved with their male counterparts. It makes the AEW world feel more complete when stuff like this is indirectly or directly acknowledged.

It’s Sting! MJF went to the ring demanding his match with Darby Allin. Since Allin was not in the venue due to last week’s Pinnacle masked beatdown, MJF called him a gutless coward. MJF forced the referee to count to ten. At nine, it’s Sting! MJF shoved Wardlow to take batting practice from Stinger. MJF refused to engage and split from the scene.

AEW is really good at getting mileage out of these “It’s Sting!” moments. It started a little rocky with the repetitive promo interruptions, however, they have found the sweet spot of making Sting badass without becoming stale. For MJF, he continued increasing pressure to see Allin kick his butt.

Penelope Ford defeated Kiera Hogan. A handspring cutter paved the way for the Muta Lock submission win by Ford. Afterward, Ruby Soho made a beeline to pound Ford.

Enjoyable effort from the women. As a fan of Hogan, I’m glad to see her getting time in a competitive match on the big show.

Bryan Danielson defeated Bobby Fish. Danielson was roughhoused early until he turned up the intensity. The finish saw both men with knee bars and using the free leg to kick each other in the face. Danielson got the better of the exchange and applied a grapevine heel hook to tap out Fish.

The main event physicality was tenacious. Fish worked in a lot of offense. His super Falcon Arrow was a mighty moment. After each of Fish’s three bouts in AEW, he has left me wanting more. Danielson’s American Dragon persona is a beast. It is obvious how much he is enjoying digging deep into that style.

#1 contender tournament. The world title eliminator bracket was revealed. 10 vs. Moxley, Cassidy vs. Will Hobbs, Dustin Rhodes vs. Danielson, and Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston.

The first round is a little weak in terms of predictability. I’d say Moxley, Cassidy, and Danielson are shoo-ins. I’m leaning toward Archer over Kingston. The heavy favorites for the final are Moxley and Danielson. At least that one should have plenty of drama, especially if Hangman Page wins the AEW World Championship to make the title picture fresh all over again.

Notes: CM Punk came out for commentary to start the show. He provided witty remarks and astute knowledge.

Serena Deeb’s attitude change is a result of having to drag the women’s division up to her level. Boom! Hikaru Shida blindsided Deeb, and fisticuffs ensued.

Cody Rhodes was taken to the gym by Arn Anderson for tough ring drills. Red Velvet slapped Cody for being arrogant. During training, Cody got his bell rung. KiLynn King also slapped Cody across the face. Cody had enough. Arn clarified his message that Malakai Black has violence coming to him, and Cody needs to bring the inner fire of ferocity like Dusty Rhodes did to Arn in the past. Outstanding vignette. Definitely watch if you are engaged in this storyline or if you just want to laugh at Cody getting slapped.

Miro returned with yet another fantastic promo. He is losing faith in his god. Why give him a body of granite with a neck of sand? Miro will redeem himself then it will be his god asking for forgiveness.


Stud of the Show: Hangman Page

Cowboy shit.

Dud of the Show: Super Ranas

AEW has a great track record on surprises, but this was a miss. Using phony luchadores earned an eye-roll.

Grade: B+

Dynamite had solid action with a variety of styles. This week’s episode excelled in the promo game. The segments with Hangman Page, Cody Rhodes, and Miro made me want to watch replays as soon as the show ended. AEW is also doing a good job with the simple one-week build to produce interest in future matches.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?