AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 1

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2021

AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 1

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    All Elite Wrestling invaded Atlanta Wednesday night for its latest episode of Dynamite.

    Cody Rhodes headlined the show, battling Andrade El Idolo in an Atlanta Street Fight. Would the hometown boy be treated as a hero or villain, booed in the same city father Dusty regularly clashed with Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Ole and Arn Anderson as he has been everywhere else he has competed of late?

    One star destined to face jeers was Bryan Danielson, who battled another hometown hero in Dark Order's Alan "5" Angels. Would The American Dragon and No. 1 contender to the AEW world title be able to continue his winning ways while newfound foe "Hangman" Adam Page watched on from the commentary position?

    Find out the answer to those questions and more with this recap of the December 1 episode.

Match Card

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    • Atlanta Street Fight: Cody Rhodes vs. Andrade El Idolo
    • Alan "5" Angels vs. Bryan Danielson
    • CM Punk vs. Lee Moriarty
    • TBS Championship Tournament Quarterfinal: Ruby Soho vs. Kris Statlander
    • Sting and Darby Allin vs. Billy and Colten Gunn
    • AEW world champion "Hangman" Adam Page joins the commentary team

Alan "5" Angels vs. Bryan Danielson

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Chants of "Alan Angels" spilled from the stands as Dark Order's 5 competed in his hometown to kick off the show, battling Bryan Danielson in the very same arena in which he graduated high school.

    The American Dragon dominated the hometown hero early, just completely outclassing his opponent from the opening bell. Angels, ever the gutsy babyface, fought back with a tope suicida and a moonsault plancha from the top rope to the floor. A standing Spanish Fly earned him a near-fall.

    Back inside, another moonsault missed and Danielson delivered a running knee strike to the face. He proceeded to relentlessly stomp the face of his opponent before applying a kneebar for the submission victory.

    Tony Schiavone joined Danielson in the ring after the bell for a promo. "If that's the best Atlanta's best, I just kicked his ass!" He vowed to continue kicking Dark Order members' heads in before showing the entire world that Hangman Page is a one-hit-wonder.

    John Silver prevented Page from touching Danielson, per order from Tony Khan, but rushed the ring in an attempt to unload on the heel. Danielson bailed out and taunted Page before refusing to fight because "these jerks don't deserve to see it." 



    Danielson defeated Angels






    Angels is always good in these spots. The energetic, dynamic babyface that excels in fighting from underneath creates the impression that he can upset the more established star at any time and the fans invest in the idea of the impossible as a result. One day, he is going to win one of these matches and the AEW faithful will erupt accordingly.

    Danielson was great here, just taunting everyone in his general area. He is a fantastic antagonist, perhaps even better in that role than he was as a babyface. His interactions with Page, in which he has ultimately come up with an excuse every time to avoid an actual fight, have been stellar and are planting the seeds for a heated match on December 15 at Winter Is Coming. 

CM Punk vs. Lee Moriarty

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Fresh off the biggest win of his AEW career over Nick Comoroto, Lee Moriarty fought the defining match of his career against former world champion and future Hall of Famer, CM Punk. Before the contest could begin, MJF made his way to the commentary position for a closer look at his newfound rival.

    Moriarty outwrestled Punk early, drawing sharp criticism from MJF toward the latter. Every time Punk appeared to build momentum, Moriarty cut him off, all while MJF questioned where the killer instinct in the Chicago native is.

    Moriarty countered a crossbody into a rollup, then into a submission. Punk fought out, survived a series of pinfall reversals and rocked his opponent with a single kick to the back of the head. “Why has this match lasted this long?” MJF asked, continuing his verbal attack on “PG Punk.”

    The underdog kicked Punk in the face and drove him into the mat but could only keep him down for two. Moments later, Punk escaped his opponent’s grasp and countered into the Go To Sleep for the pinfall victory.

    After the match, MJF accused Punk of trying to get in Britt Baker’s pants and called him One Punk Chump. The Straight Edge Superstar challenged MJF to shut up and come to the ring. The Salt of the Earth said Punk needs him more than he needs the former world champion. “I’m a spark to a flame you haven’t had since 2011.”

    MJF vowed to be better than Bret in Canada, Piper in Portland and Punk in Chicago. 



    Punk defeated Moriarty 






    Outside of putting Moriarty over Punk here, you cannot possibly book him any stronger than he was here.

    The six-year veteran dominated the action, nearly beat Punk on several occasions and best of all, had fans believing they may see an upset late in the match. He was more than up to the challenge of sharing the ring with one of the biggest stars of the last decade and earned himself any and all rave reviews he will get as a result.

    The MJF promo was fine but it felt like he was reaching for some of the insults, grasping at low-hanging fruit. The Britt Baker lines, especially, made no sense given the fact that everyone is very aware that Punk has his own, former women’s champion wife at home. 

    The verbal back and forth lacked the punch of last week’s showdown but the appearance of Wardlow at the end of the segment as he came out to protect MJF from a much-deserved ass-kicking sets up Punk for a match with the jacked-up heavyweight sooner rather than later.

Wardlow in Action

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Orange Cassidy interrupted Adam Cole’s attempt to join the commentary team, only to end up on the receiving end of a three-on-one beatdown, courtesy of Cole and his Superkliq teammates The Young Bucks. Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta made the save for their best friend, chasing the heels off with steel chairs.

    Moments later, Wardlow and Shawn Spears made their way to the ring for the former’s match with AC Adams.

    Wardlow steamrolled his opponent, putting him down with four consecutive powerbombs en route to a one-sided win.



    Wardlow defeated Adams






    If the goal is to continue presenting Wardlow as a dominant badass, this worked. It also puts him back in front of cameras, reminding fans of the force he is ahead of the inevitable match with Punk. That is smart booking that will ultimately help that match.

    It would be nice to see Wardlow actually involved in something of substance, but there have been plenty teases of him growing tired of MJF’s antics. When he finally has had enough and splits from the scar-wearing loudmouth, he will be in a much better position than he is at this time.

    And, most likely, more ready.

    The Superkliq segueing into another six-man feud with Best Friends may not satisfy fans who think Cole needs to be involved in something more significant but the matches should be fun. His chemistry with Orange Cassidy was on full display last Friday on Rampage and that eventual singles match will be red-hot.

Darby Allin and Sting vs. The Gunn Club

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Two undefeated teams did battle, their recent feud culminating, as Sting and Darby Allin battled Billy and Colten Gunn. Austin Gunn accompanied his father and brother to the squared circle.

    Sting dominated early but a tag to Allin and an ill-fated springboard Coffin Drop allowed the heels to take control of the bout entering the commercial break. The former TNT champion made the hot tag to The Icon, who again exploded into the match and unloaded on the competition. He trapped Colten in the Scorpion Deathlock but Austin entered the ring behind the official’s back and wiped Sting out with a shot to the face.

    Billy followed up with a Fameasser but Colten could not score the pin. 

    Allin wiped out Austin, then Billy before delivering a stunner to Colten that set him up for the Scorpion Death Drop as Sting secured the win.

    Backstage, 2.0 and Daniel Garcia attacked Chris Jericho, leaving him lying following a steel chair shot from Matt Martel.



    Sting and Allin defeated The Gunn Club






    This was a hellishly fun wrestling match that allowed young Colten Gunn to get some quality ring time against one of the top stars in AEW and a living legend. It kept Sting and Allin busy, too, without an obvious next feud for them readily apparent in the wake of Full Gear.

    Hopefully, this was the end of the feud, though.

    The Gunn Club is a solid faction that has its place in AEW but also felt like a step down for what is a genuine main event attraction for the company. They were elevated by Sting and Allin and could serve as a quality addition to the tag team division, if nothing else.

TBS Championship Tournament Quarterfinal: Ruby Soho vs. Kris Statlander

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The last quarterfinal match in the TBS Championship Tournament saw Ruby Soho battle Kris Statlander in a clash of two of the most popular women’s competitors in all of AEW.

    Back and forth action dominated the opening moments of the match before a quick commercial break. 

    Statlander dropped Soho with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two, then drove her back to the mat for another dramatic near-fall. The resilient Ruby fought back and looked for her No Future finisher but Statlander countered and looked to finish her opponent with the Big Bang Theory. 

    Soho countered into a rollup for the hard-fought victory.

    After the match, the victor extended her hand in a sign of respect and Statlander accepted. As the extraterrestrial competitor made her way up the ramp, Vickie Guerrero confronted her, preventing her from coming to Soho’s aid as Nyla Rose attacked her from behind. Statlander hit the ring to make the save once she realized what was going on. 



    Soho defeated Statlander






    There was good, solid work from both Soho and Statlander here but this felt like a match that was just getting started when it went into the finishing sequence. There was another 10 or so minutes to be had here, easily, that would have really allowed the competitors to shine.

    Soho winning was the right call, though.

    It had been a few weeks since she competed on television, thus halting some of the momentum she built up early in her AEW run. A win of this magnitude, against an opponent of Statlander’s caliber, helped turn the tide back in her favor.

Atlanta Street Fight: Cody Rhodes vs. Andrade El Idolo

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Cody Rhodes and Andrade El Idolo wrote the latest chapter in their rivalry in Wednesday’s main event, an Atlanta Street Fight that started wildly and chaotically with a brawl down the entrance ramp, through the crowd and to the ringside area.

    El Idolo seized the upper-hand, lashing Rhodes with his own weight belt, then blasting him with a laptop. Rhodes answered with a low blow. When El Idolo recovered and tried for a moonsault, The American Nightmare sent a steel chair crashing into his face.

    A chair shot from El Idolo busted Rhodes open, but could not stop him from retrieving a sledgehammer from underneath the ring...and tossing it aside. Instead, he opted for a golden shovel. El Idolo’s second, Jose, rushed the ring with a taser in hopes of stunning Rhodes but he ate the shovel to the face. Andrade flew over the ringpost and wiped out his opponent on the floor. 

    Back inside, Andrade delivered a running knee attack, driving a chair back into the face of Rhodes. A hiptoss through a table that Cody introduced continued the hometown hero’s suffering. 

    Later, Andrade set up another table and sprawled Cody out on it. Rhodes crotched him on the top rope and wife Brandi entered the ring, dousing the table in lighter fluid and setting it ablaze. Rhodes proceeded to deliver an inverted suplex off the top rope, through the table, for the win, all while a piece of his arm was still on fire.



    Rhodes defeated El Idolo






    At what point did the adults involved in this match decide that the Rhodes-El Idolo feud was so incredibly hot that it needed a flaming table spot? That was an asinine conclusion to a match that didn’t need to happen and was clearly only there so Cody could star in his hometown.

    There was nothing about the feud to this point, which is really just an offshoot of Rhodes’ program with Malakai Black, that suggested it needed to go to that extremes of that spot. There were an infinite number of finishes that it could have gone with that would have been safer, could still have been spectacular, and would have given Rhodes the win.

    Instead, we got the flashy, over-the-top conclusion.

    It’s a shame, too, because the brawl leading up to it was really good. It was probably Rhodes’ best match in months and Andrade’s finest since the first match with Pac. It was a good, hardcore brawl that actually managed to turn the hostile hometown crowd back in Cody’s favor. 

    Rhodes was great, showing the appropriate emotion. He was passionate, fed off the positive reaction and brought the figurative fire to the match. The physicality was on-point and El Idolo was the perfect opponent for him to have this match with.

    Why they went for the extravagant finish rather than just having a badass street fight with a simple-yet-effective finish is a question someone will surely try to answer at some point.

    Oh, and where were Black and Pac, both of whom have played key roles in the feud but were conspicuous in their absence?