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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Nov. 30, 2022): Hangman Page & MJF serve moments

AEW Dynamite (Nov. 30, 2022) emanated from Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, IN. The show featured Hangman Page making a surprise return, MJF coldcocking William Regal with brass knuckles, Ruby Soho back in the house, and much more.

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

Wrestling is about making moments. On this evening of Dynamite, we were treated to two genuine ‘holy shit’ moments that ignited the fire of desire as a fan. Those moments came courtesy of Hangman Page and MJF.

Hangman returns

Hangman Page has returned to AEW. Last we saw the cowboy (Oct. 18), his clock was cleaned by Jon Moxley to end their world championship match abruptly for safety precautions. Hangman came back in an emphatic manner to kick ass.

Moxley opened the broadcast with a promo in the ring. Despite losing the world title to MJF, Moxley spoke highly of himself. Nothing has changed in AEW. He is still the top of the food chain. Nobody outworks, out-hustles, out-wrestles, out-fights, out-bleeds, or out-sweats Mox. The ring belongs to him. Moxley proceeded to call the entire locker room a bunch of chumps, since nobody has the cojones to look him in the eyes and say otherwise. Enter Hangman. Cue to the crowd erupting into a frenzy.

Hangman stepped chest-to-chest, nose-to-nose on Moxley without hesitation. Mox mocked Hangman’s concussion, and a brawl erupted. Security arrived for an extended pull-apart donnybrook. It was so hectic than Moxley tripped off the stage but still kept charging. They were eventually separated and escorted to the back.

The fighting didn’t end there. Later in the show, Moxley and Hangman threw punches backstage. Commentary informed us that both men were ejected from the arena. I was hoping they might brawl all over the streets of Indianapolis, but that didn’t happen.

Giddy up, that was a bonanza. Hangman’s appearance was a true gem that caught me completely off guard for a terrific surprise. Got to love when wrestling can achieve that. The brawl was an instant injection of adrenaline to start the show.

I thought it was weird that Hangman was so heated. Moxley didn’t intentionally hurt the cowboy in the previous bout, not that Mox cares one way or the other. It felt a little like overcompensating for when CM Punk called him out to a no-show. At the time, the perceived story on screen (not the real life brouhaha) seemed odd to make Hangman look weak in the eyes of some fans. Hangman didn’t make the same mistake twice. He stepped up to challenge for being the face of AEW. And I love it! That segment pumped me to the max for another round of Mox versus Hangman.

Deal with the Devil

MJF makes claims of being the devil. He’s never tried to hide it. That makes it a question of whether you believe him or not. After his contemptible actions on Dynamite, there should be zero doubt anymore.

MJF delivered his first promo as AEW world champion. William Regal was by his side for the festivities. MJF worked the crowd with a steady stream of insults. He explained that Regal offered assistance due to seeing potential in MJF to be the greatest villain ever. Regal wanted to teach Moxley a lesson by having MJF leave an emotional scar on Mox’s soul. About the Firm, MJF isn’t going to spend any effort chasing them down. He’s above that. MJF then dumped the current AEW world title belt as a piece of garbage to replace it with a Burberry style masterpiece.

MJF continued by calling out fan favorites Ricky Starks, Eddie Kingston, and Bryan Danielson as not worthy. MJF plans on defending the title rarely as a special attraction to force fans to buy the PPV. His title reign will make Bruno Sammartino roll over in his grave.

MJF flapped his gums closing doors on the past and planting seeds for future feuds. All of a sudden, BOOM! MJF delivered a death blow of scumbaggery. He thanked Regal for the brass knuckles. As MJF spoke, he walked behind Regal and punched him from behind with the foreign object. Regal was taken out on a stretcher.

Danielson came to Regal’s aid after MJF already exited. He also hopped into the ambulance alongside Regal.

MJF punching Regal in that fashion was another complete surprise. Dumping that relationship so quickly was a jaw-dropper. It was an amazing moment of sports entertainment. Frankly, it saved the segment.

MJF’s promo had been so over-the-top outlandish that it was becoming cartoonish. Everyone reacts differently on a personal level to watching heels. Some are glued by the idea of comeuppance. That’s perfectly fine, and I think MJF appeals strongly in that regard. What I heard was a man who is telling me that it’s not worth my time to watch him. It doesn’t help with AEW’s track record of booking cheat finishes for top heels. That said, the punch to Regal was a damn strong way to build heat. Enough so to possibly overcome my hesitation. Danielson will be coming for blood, and he might convince me that’s something I don’t want to miss.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Bryan Danielson defeated Dax Harwood. Intensity increased when Danielson landed an upkick on a rope-break. There was no fooling around after that. Danielson nailed a suicide dive to knock Harwood over the railing. Harwood suplexed Danielson over the railing onto the floor. Harwood was able to control the pace more often than not. Danielson still scored a fair amount of offense though. For the finish, multiple roll-ups were exchanged then Danielson trapped Harwood in the LeBell Lock. Harwood was forced to tap out.

Very enjoyable bout with equal parts ruggedness and technical savvy. There were slick counters as well as striking exchanges to exhaustion. I don’t think there is anything to take away from this bout from a story angle. It was just a damn good wrestling match for the sake of having a damn good wrestling match. I was fully satisfied.

TNT Championship: Samoa Joe retained against AR Fox. Joe overpowered Fox with bully offense. Fox rallied for a flying DDT, cutter, and 450 splash, but Joe kicked out on the cover. Joe flattened Fox with a huge back elbow strike. A musclebuster finished the match.

Afterward, Joe welcomed the world to a glorious new era. He is the one true king of television as a double TV champ. Wardlow interrupted to say he’s coming to get the TNT title back.

Joe looked great in the ring on this evening. He seemed energized breaking out different moves. His attitude was sassed up as a heel. Wardlow came off like a doofus by criticizing Joe’s king of TV line. I liked that line from Joe accompanied by the menacing huffing and puffing delivery. Wardlow’s not one to speak about catchphrases. In my opinion, Wardlow’s World is one of the cheesiest in AEW.

Fox is officially All Elite, and this was his chance to shine. I’m not so sure that happened. Fans of Fox know what he’s capable of already. I don’t think those unfamiliar with Fox received a strong enough taste for him to stand out from the pack. Fox did well taking a licking to make Joe look strong. He also showed guts gritting through Joe’s power attacks. I suppose that’s the silver lining.

Ricky Starks defeated Ari Daivari. There’s two aspects to discuss about Starks. For the match, he quickly recovered from an ambush to hit a spear and win via Roshambo. Nothing much to see there. A means to an end to keep Starks fresh on our minds.

The story building revolved around the return of the Dynamite Diamond Ring Battle Royal next week. The winner gets a shot at MJF for the namesake piece of jewelry. Starks announced his desire to enter in order to take everything from MJF. First the world title, then the diamond ring. Starks is going to take MJF’s spot to prove he is absolute.

Ethan Page had a rebuttal prior to Starks’ match. He’s going to get payback for losing to Starks by winning the battle royal and challenging MJF on the same night as Starks’ title shot. Page will wait when MJF is tired and pick up an easy win. Matt Hardy hammed it up to the crowd’s delight stealing the spotlight from Page. Something tells me that Hardy will accidentally eliminate Page from the bout next week.

Lots to like here. It has multiple story fires burning to tie together in time. I enjoy the idea of the Dynamite Diamond Ring gimmick match as silly yet functional. With MJF victor three years running, there is a level of prestige for the man who knocks him off.

Willow Nightingale defeated Anna Jay. Tay Melo was ringside to assist JayAS. Willow rallied for a crushing spinebuster. Anna regained control to apply the Queen Slayer choke. Willow defended by jumping backward to drop on top of Anna. Tay stepped onto the apron as a distraction. Anna failed to capitalize, and Willow clobbered her with a lariat. The gutwrench Doctor Bomb earned victory.

Strong win for Willow. It’s nice to see AEW building up a young star with quality wins. They often skip that step. Even better was Willow not being a dope to fall for JAS tactics. She was one step ahead with anticipation to counteract.

Ruby Soho returns! After Willow exited, Soho’s music played. She entered the ring from behind to clobber Tay. Soho planted Tay with Destination Unknown to drive her head into the ramp.

Another big surprise for this show. Soho had completely fallen off my radar, and then whammo. It’s good to see her brought back to create a hot moment and refresh their feud.

Baddies celebration. Jade Cargill put her Baddies crew on blast for hanging out with Kiera Hogan after dumping her from the group. Jade is the boss. Either get in line or get to stepping. She is the brightest star in AEW. Bow Wow interrupted on screen to say he’ll be seeing her soon.

I get the appeal of a celebrity crossover, but AEW needs to make sure Bow Wow comes off as a babyface. Jade just delivered a full heel promo, even though, she told no lies about her appeal. And yet it was Bow Wow who looked like a creep. Let’s ignore any ideas of hanky-panky in Bow Wow’s mind. AEW has to smooth over the idea of why he’s picking a fight with a woman. This story hasn’t been explained well enough yet not to feel weird.

Match 3 in Best-of-7 series for the AEW World Trios Championship: The Elite defeated Death Triangle. The hammer played a role once again. This time, Fenix prevented Pentagon from using it. That was mid-way through. The main event match progressed with PAC dominating toward the end. He had Matt Jackson dead on the mat, but Matt got his knees up on the Black Arrow dive. PAC was knocked out cold for the easy pin. The series score is now 2-1 in favor of Death Triangle.

This match was bonkers in a great way. AEW has the task of making each match feel unique throughout the series, and they accomplished that here by creating a wild start. The Elite attacked on stage during Death Triangle’s entrance. That was unexpected and created a demand in attention. That crazy vibe carried through the whole contest to maintain interest. The match as a whole was on the same level of quality as the others in the series, which is a constant highlight reel of maneuvers.

Notes: Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia, Daddy Magic, and Cool Hand had a sitdown with Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta. The end result was Yuta accepting a tag match with Claudio against Garcia and Hager in exchange for a shot at the ROH Pure Championship for the ROH Final Battle PPV on December 10. Garcia accepted. This clip was quite humorous with Hager’s muscle flex, JAS wisecracking about Claudio becoming a yodeler or a Swiss banker when he loses to Chris Jericho and has to become a sports entertainer, Garcia goofing on the BCC, and Hager breaking out another hat to coerce Claudio. Hager likes this hat.

Will Hobbs continued cruising the streets of Oakland with a similar message as last week. He’ll take what belongs to him.

Taz narrated an unofficial Technique by Taz segment to break down Hook’s finish of Lee Moriarty. Give me more of Taz dissecting moves, please.

Renee Paquette interviews Saraya on Rampage. Dr. Britt Baker DMD wanted Tony Schiavone to give the champ equal time, so Schiavone will sit down with Jamie Hayter next week.

QT Marshall requested an AEW All-Atlantic Championship lumberjack match for Rampage. Orange Cassidy accepted before QT could finish speaking.

Nobody wants to fight the Acclaimed, so Anthony Bowens has an idea for Rampage. Billy Gunn acted as sergeant for a comedic scene of scissoring.

Stud of the Show: Samoa Joe

Joe was on a path of destruction and left me wanting more.

Match of the Night: The Elite vs. Death Triangle

Non-stop wild action.

Grade: B+

The Hangman Page surprise, Bryan Danielson versus Dax Harwood, and the Elite versus Death Triangle were all A-level content in my book. The rest of the show was varying levels of entertainment. There were plenty of minor comedic moments that brought the chuckles to enhance the viewing experience. I particularly appreciated the attention to little details on this episode. The show progressed in an order to shut doors on logic loopholes for later segments, such as Jon Moxley getting ejected from the arena by the time William Regal appeared.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?

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