AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 24
For an entire generation, pro wrestling and Thanksgiving have gone hand-in-hand, and All Elite Wrestling celebrated that relationship with a special episode of Dynamite on Wednesday night.
Headlined by a blockbuster eight-man tag team match intersecting three intensely personal rivalries, the show continued the Full Gear fallout while setting the table for several top feuds and stars for the remainder of the year.
Was Bryan Danielson able to make good on his promise to kick in the head of Colt Cabana in front of his hometown fans in Chicago? Speaking of the Second City, how did its favorite son, CM Punk, fare when he battled QT Marshall?
Find out the answer to those questions and more with this recap of the Thanksgiving Eve broadcast.
- 8-Man Tag Team match: Cody Rhodes and Death Triangle (PAC and The Lucha Bros) vs. Malakai Black, Andrade El Idolo and FTR
- CM Punk vs. QT Marshall
- Colt Cabana vs. Bryan Danielson
- TBS Championship Tournament match: Thunder Rosa vs. Jamie Hayter
- Britt Baker and Tony Schiavone host "Friendsgiving"
CM Punk and MJF's Verbal War
CM Punk hit the ring to a monstrous ovation from his hometown fans in Chicago. MJF interrupted, though, and made his way to the ring to address the man who blatantly disrespected him a week ago.
The young heel took a shot at the pipe-bomb promo and said Punk looked like a "crack addict" despite being straight edge. He took exception to The Best in the World ignoring him and refusing to mention him when he spoke of dream matches, and he vowed to "drop nukes" instead of pipe bombs.
"I'm in your head. Probably has something to do with the fact that you've got a poster of me on your wall," Punk replied. "I shut up the great MJF without saying a word."
The Best in the World added: "You think you're someone when, in reality, he's just a less-famous Miz."
MJF called Punk "nostalgia," accused him of kissing ass and asked: "What happened to the guy I grew up on because you might as well come out here preaching 'hustle, loyalty and respect.'"
The heel cut a scathing promo, dropping references to John Cena and Triple H while insisting that Punk was always second place.
Punk responded, saying his choice to face Darby Allin ate MJF up and the heel is no longer the most powerful of the four pillars. He added that MJF has been replaced by Britt Baker and doesn't even know it. "The only way you're going to be No. 1 is if we all wait around long enough for Tony to have a daughter for you to marry," he said.
Before things could turn physical, MJF bailed out of the ring, choosing to fight another day.
Take two of the most engaging talkers in recent wrestling history, give them microphones and let them captivate for 20 minutes. It was a recipe that worked extremely well here in the opening segment, thanks to two polar opposite performers.
Every time MJF thought he had a zinger to irritate Punk, the babyface answered with something equally or more cutting. It was a great back-and-forth promo battle. The minute it threatened to turn violent, MJF bailed.
Their eventual match is going to be absolute money and segments like these are the reason.
An absolutely fire way to kick off the show and the best promo we have heard out of Punk in his AEW run.
CM Punk vs. QT Marshall
Punk looked to make it 2-0 as he battled QT Marshall moments after his verbal evisceration of MJF.
He dominated early and often, even outsmarting his opponent enough to get The Factory's Aaron Solow and Nick Comoroto ejected from ringside.
During the break, Marshall turned the tide in his favor, delivering a Liger Bomb for a close near-fall. Back from the timeout, he taunted the Chicago fans, drawing a chorus of boos but also taking his eye off his opponent.
Punk answered with a kick that flattened Marshall. The corner knee, top-rope elbow and Go To Sleep followed as the hometown hero rolled to victory.
Punk defeated Marshall
The match was solid, if unspectacular, but continued Punk's winning streak in AEW.
Marshall is great at inciting a reaction, which we saw with his antics here. The crowd got even more behind The Best in the World and fueled him to victory.
It was interesting to hear the commentary team sum up Punk's run on more than one occasion with "Yeah but...he's undefeated." It will be interesting to see if it becomes part of the narrative that he has lost a step. Might we be seeing the tale of Old Man Punk playing out before our very eyes?
And if so, how will MJF play into it? Might he deal him his first loss in AEW?
Gunn Club vs. Bear Country
The undefeated Gunn Club (Billy and Colten Gunn) looked to enhance their win-loss record as they battled Bear Country.
The Gunns attacked the opposition prior to the bell and sent Bear Boulder into the ring steps, aggravating an arm injury that previously kept him out of action. With Bear Bronson left to go it alone, he succumbed to Austin Gunn tripping him up and Colten putting him away with the Colt 45.
After the match, Sting and Darby Allin made their presence felt after enduring a beatdown at the hands of the victors Friday night on Rampage. The babyfaces cleared their new rivals from the squared circle and stood tall to close out the segment.
Gunn Club defeated Bear Country
Maybe it's because Gunn Club had been relegated primarily to Dark and Dark Elevation, but this feels like a step back for Allin and Sting.
Sure, the argument could be made that AEW is hoping to elevate Austin and Colten Gunn by way of this program and that would be a perfectly valid response. Still, one cannot help but think there are better options available than taking two second-generation stars from zero to 60 when they are still in the midst of learning their craft.
If there is a positive, it's that the inevitable blow-off match between the teams will not ask Sting and Billy Gunn to take too many risks or stress their bodies.
TBS Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Thunder Rosa vs. Jamie Hayter
Earlier on Wednesday, Dante Martin stunned the world by signing with Team Taz, leaving Lio Rush speechless and dismayed.
The TBS Championship Tournament continued with Jamie Hayter (accompanied by Rebel and AEW women's champion Britt Baker) battling Thunder Rosa.
Intense physicality dominated the opening moments of the match as the competitors unloaded on each other, holding nothing back even as the fight spilled to the floor. Back inside, Hayter battered her opponent, only to find herself on the receiving end of a barrage of strikes.
The face-painted phenomenon dominated the action on the floor until diving off the apron, directly into the arms of her opponent. Hayter drove her into the ring post heading into the commercial break.
The Brit dominated throughout the commercial but the fiery Rosa mounted a comeback and appeared to be on her way to victory. Hayter halted her momentum, though.
When Rosa recovered and applied the Peruvian Necktie, Baker interfered. But a superkick backfired as The Doctor rocked Hayter, allowing Rosa to outwrestle her moments later for the pinfall victory.
After the match, Baker and Rebel tried to console Hayter, only for her to brush them off and leave the ring on her own.
Rosa defeated Hayter
Rosa and Hayter wrestled a hell of a match that had the fans in Chicago splitting their allegiances between the two competitors. While the finish was necessary to create the dissension we saw after the bell, it was the only negative of the entire bout as the disjointedness of it threatened the overall quality.
The dissension is interesting in that it sets Hayter up as a potential challenger to Baker down the line. The British-born competitor has grown and evolved as a wrestler every time she has been in the ring, culminating with the performance we saw here Wednesday night.
If she can continue winning fans over based on the in-ring intensity she brings to her performances, Hayter may be the best option to dethrone Baker as champion.
As history tells us, sometimes it is the performer you least expect who comes from out of nowhere to leave a lasting impression.
Colt Cabana vs. Bryan Danielson; Hangman Page Confronts The American Dragon
During a special backstage "Friendsgiving" segment, Tony Schiavone revealed to Britt Baker that Riho was never really eliminated from the Casino Battle Royale at All Out and Tony Khan has awarded her a Black Friday Deal match. A win for the inaugural women’s champion will get her a shot at The Doctor's title.
Back in the arena, Chicago's own Colt Cabana battled No. 1 contender Bryan Danielson in singles competition.
Determined and angry, Danielson overwhelmed Cabana in a stiff, hard-hitting match that culminated with him stomping Cabana's face in and then applying the LeBell Lock for the submission win.
The American Dragon pointed to a tooth lying on the mat before celebrating. Schiavone said he would be heading to the ring during the break to talk to the victor.
Back from the commercial, Danielson questioned if the reaction he got Wednesday from the Chicago fans is different because of him or because of the fans. He vowed to kick another Dark Order member's head in on next week's show in Atlanta before bringing up "Hangman" Adam Page.
The AEW world champion entered the arena to a big pop, confronting his top contender. Page offered to defend the title right there and then.
"Of course, you would offer after I've already wrestled," Danielson said.
Page offered his rival the first shot in a fight between them. "Don't you insult me like that," The American Dragon said before slapping the champion. A tense exchange gave way to an attempted Buckshot by the champ but Danielson escaped to the floor.
Danielson defeated Cabana
Heel Danielson is the best.
He was unabashedly joyful as he punished Cabana before defeating him in decisive fashion. He bullied his opponent, then talked a big game but backed down when Page offered to fight him for the second week in a row. Like any great heel, he begged off when faced with a fight he didn’t have the upper hand in.
Bringing back the term "fickle" after using it so extensively during his run as The Planet's Champion in WWE was great and perfectly fit the situation given how quickly the fans turned on him when he began showing the slightest bit of attitude.
Danielson's work as a heel has been nothing short of extraordinary. He will make the perfect first opponent for a guy in Page who is still very early into his reign and looking to define what that run is going to look like. The match will be awesome, and The American Dragon will do everything in his power to solidify Hangman as the star of the company.
Whether Khan can resist the urge to put the title on Danielson as his heel persona evolves is the real question.
Cody Rhodes and Death Triangle vs. Andrade El Idolo, Malakai Black and FTR
The unlikely team of Cody Rhodes and Death Triangle’s Lucha Bros and PAC battled Malakai Black, FTR and Andrade El Idolo in a blockbuster eight-man tag team match at the top of Wednesday’s card.
Early on, Rhodes threw his weight belt into the audience, only to have the Chicago faithful toss it back in clear defiance of his pandering. Death Triangle dominated the opposition early until Rhodes tagged himself in. It immediately backfired as the heels isolated him and beat the life out of him in their corner.
A desperation tag to Fenix allowed the fan favorites to regain the upper hand. The heels dominated throughout the commercial break, but overconfidence on the part of Cash Wheeler allowed Fenix to create separation and make the tag to Penta El Zero Miedo.
PAC followed, laying waste to all four members of the opposing team and then wiped them out with a plancha. The action broke down, with each competitor delivering signature offense in search of victory. An errant superkick from Rhodes to PAC allowed El Idolo to drop the hammer on The American Nightmare.
With all eight competitors down, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard came face-to-face in the center of the ring. El Idolo's second, Jose, attempted to get involved but was taken down by Anderson.
FTR joined Blanchard but Fenix wiped the AAA tag champs out. Lucha Bros rid the squared circle of their rivals, Black sprayed mist in the face of PAC and El Idolo scored the pinfall victory.
El Idolo, FTR and Black defeated Rhodes and Death Triangle
All AEW had to do with this one was let the eight men involved tear it up. That is exactly what happened. There was no feeling-out process or attempt at chain-wrestling. This was a high-energy multi-man tag team match that had the fans on the edge of their seats throughout.
The heels winning was the right call, especially as Black and El Idolo recover from a puzzling loss at Full Gear. Black spraying mist in the eyes of PAC essentially sets them up for a match at some point in the near future, and fans should be excited about the prospect of that showdown based on the talent involved.
One thing this match did really well was not put Rhodes in a position to have the overwhelmingly negative reaction that greeted him adversely affect the quality of the bout. He was used sparingly, entering and exiting in bursts. It was the right call as fans continue to reject the character, even as the performer himself refuses to turn heel.
That decision will, and should, be revisited as things continue to snowball.