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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Dec. 1, 2021): Cody’s on fire

AEW Dynamite (Dec. 1, 2021) emanated from the Gas South Arena in Atlanta, GA. The show featured Cody Rhodes going through a table on fire, Sting rocking the ring again, and Taz stealing the show.

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

Cody’s on fire

Cody Rhodes and Andrade took their feud up a notch to an Atlanta street fight in the main event of Dynamite. Andrade entered with a bag of knives. His street fighting gear was business attire with a white button shirt, dark pants, and leather Isotoner gloves. Cody wrestled in his typical gear.

Action kicked off before the opening bell as Andrade sprinted up the ramp to fight Cody. Jose the assistant had his eye on Arn Anderson, but Arn appeared to accidentally fall off stage.

The brawl carried around the ringside area. Cody landed a moonsault off a guardrail. Cody also received a chair from game show buddy T-Pain. Andrade searched his bag of tricks to pull out a laptop and bash Cody.

That’s when the feed of Fite TV cut out. Andrade must have snatched Fite’s central computer to hit Cody. The feed picked up when Cody hit Jose with a golden shovel. Oh, I see Cody is bleeding and Andrade is shirtless. No surprises there.

The match climaxed with a fiery table. As Cody and Andrade battled on the turnbuckles, a hooded person ran in to light the table aflame. That mystery person turned out to be Brandi Rhodes.

Cody took control for a reverse suplex through fire and wood to earn the win.

Cody smooched his beloved as cameras went off the air.

Cody stated that he wanted to go bigger than the moment of moonsaulting off the top of a cage when he wrestled Wardlow in Atlanta. He definitely achieved that with the burning table spot. Win or lose, Cody is on fire. He has consistently delivered wild spectacles in his big matches. Cody ranks at the top of my list for guaranteed sports entertainment fun.

As for the logic of the closing moment, I do have to wonder who thought it would be a smart strategic idea to flame on. It worked, so I can’t criticize it too much. I just want to imagine the Nightmare Family brainstorming session that took place. How can Cody defeat such a dandy man? Burn him alive. That’s a bit diabolic. It ended up with Cody taking the brunt of the pain. No pain, no gain.

It’s Sting!

In a battle of undefeated duos, Sting & Darby Allin took on Billy Gunn & Colten Gunn. Chalk up another satisfying legend appearance from The Icon. Sting took over down the stretch on the hot tag for numerous clotheslines and a pair of Stinger splashes. He demolished Colten on a spinebuster and slapped on the Scorpion Deathlock. Austin Gunn interfered to break the hold. Billy was able to hit the Fameasser on Sting. Colten went for the cover. 1, 2, Sting made the dramatic kickout.

Allin took over to watch Sting’s back with suicide dives to Austin and Billy. In the ring, Allin hit an over-the-top stunner to Colten. Sting ended the bout with a Scorpion Death Drop.

Sting brought the lightning to shine bright. He didn’t do anything complicated. Sting just played the hits to a raucous ovation. The Gunn Club were quality rivals. Billy brought the pain as the powerhouse of the match. Colten and Austin were sleazy with tricks. That combination made it easy to root for their demise. The Fameasser kickout really brought drama. If it was someone higher up on the food chain than Colten, I would have bought in all the way. I was still a little shocked that Colten came so close to pinning a man the magnitude of Stinger.


Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Bryan Danielson defeated Alan “5” Angels. It was announced that Danielson would get his world title shot against Hangman Page at the Winter is Coming special on December 15. Danielson trolled 5’s home crowd by holding submissions until the count of 5, leaning out between the ropes for unnecessary breaks, and an overall sense of mockery for the fans. Danielson maintained control for much of the bout despite 5’s flurries. 5 rallied in the end for a string of moves. He connected on a suicide dive, moonsault to the outside, standing Spanish Fly, then missed a moonsault. Danielson seized the moment for a running knee. He could have won there. Instead, Danielson kicked 5’s head in. The winner flexed his muscles while applying a knee bar for victory.

Danielson riled up the crowd some more in the aftermath. He claimed to have torn 5’s MCL. Dynamite is visiting Long Island, NY next week, so he requested another hometown contest against the Dark Order. Danielson insulted Hangman as a coward. The cowboy had been sitting at the commentary table. He made his way on stage only to be stopped by John Silver. There was a no-contact clause for Hangman and Danielson. That didn’t mean Silver couldn’t get physical. Danielson ran away then trashed Silver as being a joke. Danielson stepped to Hangman. He’d love to slap the champ’s face, but the jerk fans didn’t deserve to see it.

The match result with 5 was never in doubt, however, they did a good job to entertain. Danielson worked hard to generate hate from the crowd. 5 fired up for a flashy offensive flurry. Both men came out looking good. The build toward Hangman versus Danielson continues to rock hard. Hangman plays the cowboy hero role well. Even when Danielson is bad, he’s still likable. There is something charming about seeing him stomp 5’s head while smiling. I don’t know what it is. Perhaps his passion is contagious. As fans, we can’t lose no matter who wins the championship.

CM Punk defeated Lee Moriarty. Punk’s veteran savvy gave him the edge in the technical duel. Moriarty’s youth and athleticism gave him the edge in other aspects of the game. After a furious exchange of roll-ups, Punk connected on a roundhouse kick. Punk was too fatigued for a prompt follow-up. Moriarty rebounded to use Punk’s Pepsi twist clothesline against him.

An upset was close at hand after Moriarty planted Punk with a neckbreaker driver. As Moriarty lifted Punk for the next move, the veteran countered for GTS to win.

MJF had been on commentary. After the bout, he ridiculed Punk’s effort. Insults flew about Punk’s chivalry toward Britt Baker, then the line was crossed when MJF insulted Punk’s dog. Punk exited the ring looking for a physical confrontation. Wardlow came out as a blockade. No further action was taken.

Much like Hangman and Danielson, Punk and MJF are putting on a great show as adversaries. The tension is palpable without words. Whenever they start flapping their gums, the feud reaches a higher level. Punk is giving youngsters a chance to dance with a legend. Moriarty stepped up to the challenge to show impressive skills.

Wardlow defeated AC Adams. Squash. Four consecutive powerbombs did the trick. Shawn Spears attacked after the bell violently swinging his chair.

Wardlow is an awesome beast. He delivers moves with a tremendous combination of power and cool. I don’t know how I’m supposed to react to Spears orgasmic expressions, but it makes me think of the song, “Jizz In My Pants.”

TBS Championship tournament quarterfinal: Ruby Soho defeated Kris Statlander. Shows of respect turned into sassiness. Close pinfalls were made on power moves from both women. Statlander locked in a spider crab submission. Soho countered into a triangle choke. Statlander lifted her opponent for a buckle bomb then a spinning sitdown piledriver. Soho kicked out to stay alive. Soho did damage to the alien on a poison rana and hurricanrana DDT, but Statlander kicked out. Statlander blocked Soho’s kick finisher to set up the Big Bang Theory piledriver. Soho countered out for a roll-up and the win.

Afterward, Vickie Guerrero distracted Statlander, so Nyla Rose could thrash Soho. The Native Beast will battle Soho in the tournament semifinals.

This match delivered. The action was hard-hitting and competitive. It was a guessing game who would win, and that uncertainty maintained throughout. The bout went down to the wire for a suitable finish.

Deep thoughts by Taz. Taz was a blast on commentary. He did it all from astute analysis to singing Ruby Soho’s theme song to theorizing that somebody was drinking a bottle of glue and placed it in the trash to rationalize Cody’s peeling back.

Taz even had a Steiner math moment. Team Taz will have a 125% chance at winning the Dynamite Diamond battle royal.

It wasn’t all fun and games for the head honcho of Team Taz. Lio Rush came out take exception. He is a fighter no matter the odds. Ricky Starks and Dante Martin entered to smile and profile.

Notes: Miro was trapped in blank space. I think he may have ingested peyote. Miro’s vision revealed how to solve his weakness. The Redeemer will bring fear to those in his way.

The Dynamite Diamond battle royal takes place next week as MJF aims to win for the third year in a row. This time, it would be in his hometown. I hope MJF retains the Dynamite Diamond Ring once again. Every time he wins that competition adds more prestige and shock value for the occasion when he finally comes up short.

Dr. Britt Baker DMD claimed Riho cheated last week in victory. Baker mended hard feelings with Jamie Hayter to get back on the same page. Hayter has a match with Riho next week.

Adam Cole popped the crowd with his entrance. Orange Cassidy did the same by putting his hands in his pockets. The Young Bucks tried an ambush, but OC spied them creeping. In doing so, he turned his back on his enemy. Cole delivered a low blow from behind. The Bucks superkicked Cassidy. Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta ran out with chairs for the save. That was a segment of goofy fun doing a solid job to build the feud.

Tony Nese plans to put the TNT title around his own waist by winning the bout on Rampage. He’s going to smash Sammy Guevara’s injured ribs to make it happen.

Fenix is injured, so he will be replaced by PAC for the tag title bout against FTR on Rampage. PAC is also less than 100%. He was wearing an eye patch after taking black mist to the eye from Malakai Black.

Chris Jericho’s intention wasn’t to help Eddie Kingston. It was to beat up 2point0 and Daniel Garcia. The bad guys rushed Le Champion and hit him with a chair. Nobody stepped in to help Jericho.

Jade Cargill issued an open challenge for Rampage. It was answered by Janai Kai, who is the student of Thunder Rosa. Thunder interrupted Cargill to get spicy in Spanish.


Stud of the Show: Cody Rhodes

The man crashed through a fiery table. That was completely unnecessary, but he did it anyway. Cody went above and beyond to give fans a lasting memory.

Dud of the Show: Orange Cassidy

Cassidy’s presence robbed the world of hearing Adam Cole on commentary.

Grade: B

The main event was bonkers, the promos were effective, and the rest of the matches were solid with skill and strategy.

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