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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Dec. 8, 2021): Long Island hero

AEW Dynamite (Dec. 8, 2021) emanated from the UBS Arena in Long Island, NY. The show featured CM Punk trolling the hometown crowd, MJF trolling the world, and Bryan Danielson escalating his beef with Hangman Page.

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

Long Island hero

MJF is a hero in Long Island. Don’t take my word for it. Enjoy this glorious introduction vignette.

CM Punk kicked off the show by trolling the Long Island faithful. MJF’s theme song played, but it was Punk who entered. He mocked their level of rowdiness by saying Chicago is so much louder. Punk opened his sweatshirt to reveal a Four Pillars shirt with Dr. Britt Baker DMD instead of MJF. Despite Punk’s harsh criticism for cheering MJF, he understands that MJF is their guy. For that, he feels sorry for them. He also called the fans a bunch of chickenshits for backing such a scoundrel.

Punk’s primary point was to declare his interest in chasing the AEW World Championship. Since MJF will also have his eye on gold, they need to settle their business first in a match.

Next up was the Dynamite Diamond battle royale. 12 men competed for the honor of winning the Dynamite Diamond Ring. The final two survivors will duke it out next week on Dynamite.

The lineup included MJF, Wardlow, Matt Hardy, Frankie Kazarian, Jay Lethal, Ricky Starks, Will Hobbs, Dante Martin, Lio Rush, Matt Sydal, Lee Johnson, and Lee Moriarty.

A few stories played out within the mix. MJF had Wardlow to protect him and also Shawn Spears on the outside to catch any near eliminations. He hid for most of the match and ran in for a quick strike to pop the crowd every once in awhile. Lio Rush had his eye on preventing Team Taz from winning. Bunny passed brass knuckles to Matt Hardy to pop Jay Lethal for an elimination. Wardlow and Hobbs had a dandy hoss showdown.

The tide turned when Rush and Johnson teamed up to try and toss Wardlow. MJF swooped in to dump all three. Wardlow was not pleased. MJF didn’t mind.

After low-bridging Kazarian, there were only three men left. MJF may have did himself dirty, because he was left outnumbered by Team Taz members Starks and Martin. In a shocking twist, Martin turned on Starks for an elimination. Martin ripped off the Team Taz armband to show joining was a ruse the whole time.

MJF and Martin were the survivors. Starks put the boots to Martin in the immediate aftermath. MJF thought about saving Martin as a noble act in his hometown. Stalling in thought, he finally decided to charge to Martin’s aid. Or so we thought. After an intense staredown with Starks, both men put the boots to Martin.

Punk ran out for the save. MJF retreated, and Starks ate a GTS.

There is so much awesomeness to unpack. First, Punk’s rabble-rousing was comical. It shows how AEW leans into organic crowd reactions. There’s no pretending or strong manipulation. Second, MJF’s vignette was a piece of art. So many good lines, but it is hard to beat captain of an all-male a cappella group. Never taken down on the freshman wrestling team is a close second as a call to being the Sprawl God. The takeaway is how amusingly he painted himself as a Long Island hero. If loving MJF is right, then I want to be wrong.

The battle royal had swerve upon swerve. The swerveception kept viewers on the toes in so many ways. Martin dumping Team Taz was a dangerous call. He’s obviously going to get a receipt of beatdowns. More importantly, I wonder about the implications of signing a contract for Team Taz. Surely Taz won’t let him walk out a free man. This feels like a good time for Brian Cage to make a return. He can tutor Martin on the fine points of escaping the fine print.

MJF’s trickery was icing on the cake. It was odd seeing him act brave, but it was kind of believable that he could get caught up in the moment. Thankfully, he kept his wits to produce one of the bigger laughs on the show. That benefit in creating a rooting interest for Martin next week.

The order of elimination was:

1. Lee Moriarty by Wardlow
2. Matt Sydal by Will Hobbs
3. Jay Lethal by Matt Hardy
4. Matt Hardy by Dante Martin
5. Will Hobbs by Lio Rush
6, 7, 8. Wardlow, Lee Johnson, & Lio Rush all by MJF
9. Frankie Kazarian by MJF
10. Ricky Starks by Dante Martin
Winners: MJF & Dante Martin


Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Jurassic Express & Varsity Blonds defeated the Acclaimed & 2point0. Max Caster’s rap dissed the Islanders hockey team and former NY governor Andrew Cuomo. Down the stretch, Jungle Boy hit a DDT on Caster then sized up for a Snare Trap submission. Daniel Garcia caused a distraction on the apron. Eddie Kingston ran down to throw Garcia into the ring steps. Caster took advantage to knock JB down, but he missed the target on a flying elbow drop. Jungle Boy pounced for the Snare Trap and victory.

Entertaining affair. All the good guys got a chance to shine with energetic offense. The bad guys worked to slow down the pace. As often occurs in 8-man tags, the bout broke down into chaos. Also, hot tags to Luchasaurus never get old. He is a master at that spot. I may have said that before, but it is worth repeating.

Afterward, Kingston grabbed the cameraman heading backstage. He was ranting, but I couldn’t hear what was said. Ortiz tried to calm his old LAX pal. 2point0 and Garcia brought the ruckus to pummel Kingston and Ortiz.

For as much as 2point0 and Garcia are used for fodder, they sure do good work creating heat to see them be beat up. The likely direction is a trios bout with Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz. Those are not dudes I would want to mess with. In the words of Bill Raftery, 2point0 and Garcia have, “Onions!”

Young Bucks defeated Chuck Taylor & Rocky Romero. The match broke down with superkicks all around. Brandon Cutler accidentally sprayed Matt Jackson in the eyes. Taylor hit a piledriver, and Romero covered for a jackknife pin. Nick Jackson was able to make the break. In the end, the Bucks earned the upper hand. Matt transitioned a pumphandle pickup into a Meltzer driver to win.

The Bucks were back on their game after a brief injury rest. This felt like a lengthy bout, and they never tired. The Jacksons dished out all the flips, tricks, and superkicks fans enjoy. Rocky Romero was also impressive with a hot run close to pulling the upset. Taylor was the glue guy for his team.

Trent! No question mark needed. Trent is back. After the Bucks bout, the SuperKliq attacked the Best Friends. Wheeler Yuta tried for the save, but he was quickly put down. Adam Cole connected on a Panama Sunrise to Orange Cassidy. As the SuperKliq lined up a BTE Trigger, Sue drove her son into the arena. Trent returned from surgery looking to be in great shape. He cleaned house and shared a hug with his buds.

For my money, Trent is the most appealing member of the Best Friends. His style in the ring is pleasing with intensity and slams. Needless to say, this was a nifty surprise.

Riho defeated Jamie Hayter. Speed versus power. Hayter laid in the pain with a brainbuster, hammering blows, and a backbreaker, but Riho refused to quit. She rallied with fighting spirit to hit a Code Red and a flying double stomp. Hayter surprisingly kicked out of both. As Riho was on the turnbuckles again, Reba grabbed her boot. Hayter had plans for a fireman’s carry super slam, however, Riho countered for a crushing crucifix bomb. The former champ clocked Hayter with running knees to win. Dr. Britt Baker attacked Riho in the aftermath.

This was one of those matches that sucked me in. I initially viewed it as a placeholder waiting for Riho’s title shot, but both women did a good job putting in work. The longer the bout went, the more it caught my attention. Hayter has had a quality string of contests lately as the powerhouse. Riho took the punishment to set up explosive comebacks.

BLACK MIST! Varsity Blonds were on stage for an interview. Lights out. Lights on. Malakai Black spit mist in Julia Hart’s face.

That was hilarious. It caught me so off guard that I erupted in laughter. What made it even better was Black misting the most innocent member of the Varsity Blonds. Julia looks like she wouldn’t hurt a fly. Poor girl now has to wear an eye patch.

Bryan Danielson defeated John Silver. Danielson outclassed Silver early in the main event. Johnny Hungee roared back in front of his hometown crowd. As he went for his spinning finisher, Danielson was just too savvy. Danielson raked the eyes, elbowed Silver’s head in, then used a Gotch piledriver. He wanted to do more damage with a LeBell Lock, but Silver was already knocked out.

Afterward, Danielson said he’s a man of his word. He promised to kick Silver’s head in, so that’s what he’s going to do. Hangman Page ran out to protect his buddy. He threatened to stomp the cowboy shit out of Danielson next week in their championship battle on Dynamite.

The match served its purpose to build Danielson as a dominant force. He could arguably be the favorite heading into his clash with Hangman. I’m so pumped for that bout. It’s going to be a long week of waiting. I want to sleep in hibernation and wake up next Wednesday for the final showdown.

Notes: FTR will get their chance to become double champs on Rampage. No more fun and games with the Lucha Bros.

Ruby Soho was interrupted by Bunny and Penelope Ford. If they can soften up Soho, then they will get the first title shot when Nyla Rose wins the TBS Championship. Soho gets a pick of two partners for a trios bout on Rampage. Soho didn’t want to wait, so she started throwing punches. The Native Beast knocked her on her keister. Tay Conti and Anna Jay ran in for the save.

Sammy Guevara was interrupted by Cody Rhodes. Cody informed the TNT champ that he will be challenging on Christmas day. Once Cody exited, Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky squawked from the upper level. They chastised Guevara for facing anyone not in the top 5. Sky wanted a shot. Sammy was ready and willing.

Jade Cargill gets paid by the match, not by the minute. She plans to make quick work of Thunder Rosa.

Taz revealed the secret weapon will be unleashed on Rampage. Hook is making his debut against Fuego del Sol.

The Revolution PPV will take place Sunday, March 6.

Hikaru Shida versus Serena Deeb was announced for Dynamite next week. Shida will hunt down Deeb to make her pay. Deeb has 1,000 ways to hurt Shida.


Stud of the Show: Riho

Riho took a licking and kept on ticking. Her display of heart won me over during the bout.

Dud of the Show: Brandon Cutler

What a doofus. Since that is his intention, then I guess that makes him a winner. Joke’s on me.

Grade: B+

The opening story was titillating. The closing story brought fiery intensity. The rest was par for the course for what is to be expected out of Dynamite.

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