AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 5
The first episode of AEW Dynamite on TBS kicked off championship week and featured the much-anticipated sequel of one of the best matches in recent memory.
"Hangman" Adam Page defended his AEW world title against Bryan Danielson, the Lucha Bros put their tag titles on the line against Jurassic Express, and the inaugural TBS champion was crowned when Ruby Soho battled Jade Cargill in a tournament final.
Who emerged from the highest-stakes matches with gold around their waists and what does it mean for AEW entering 2022?
Find out now with this recap of the January 5 broadcast.
- AEW World Championship Match: "Hangman" Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson
- AEW Tag Team Championship Match: Lucha Bros vs. Jurassic Express
- TBS Championship Tournament Final: Ruby Soho vs. Jade Cargill
- Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Malakai Black
AEW World Championship Match: "Hangman" Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson
"Hangman" Adam Page entered the AEW world champion. Bryan Danielson arrived with an unblemished win-loss record. Their second encounter in a month's time, with the top prize in the company at stake, kicked off the broadcast.
Danielson stalled just enough to sucker Page into an attempted tope suicida. The challenger countered and sent Page into the guardrail, injuring his arm and creating a target for him to focus his attack on. Page weathered the storm and rocked Danielson with a springboard clothesline, then added one off the top rope for two.
A blind charge by the champion allowed Danielson to send him face-first into the ring steps, opening his forehead up and putting him on the defensive.
Page fought back with a German suplex but Danielson again outwrestled him and sent him face-first into the ring post. Hangman returned the favor, his face sporting the crimson mask, bringing The American Dragon into the ring post three times. A laceration formed on the forehead of the challenger entering the break.
Page marked his own chest with the blood of his opponent, a badge of honor as he sought to retain his title. A top-rope, moonsault powerslam earned him a two-count. Back on the floor, he added the Deadeye. He set up for the Buckshot lariat but a fatigued Danielson fell before he could connect with the move.
Danielson applied the Lebell Lock, looking for the submission, but Hangman refused to tap.
A barrage of headbutts and strikes gave way to the challenger delivering a Gotch-style piledriver, ala Minoru Suzuki, for two. Page answered by countering a running knee with a powerbomb, only for Danielson to catch him with a triangle choke.
Moments later, Page finally shook off the pain, agony, frustration and a face caked with blood to put Danielson away with the Buckshot for the win.
Page defeated Danielson to retain
It took exactly five days for AEW to lead the pack with a Match of the Year candidate, courtesy of the best wrestler in the world and a ballsy world champion coming into his own with every performance. This was a great, physical, bloody, dramatic wrestling match that teased fans with another 60-minute draw but delivered a definitive end with Hangman retaining.
Appropriately violent, and the blood added to the drama, making this a suitable sequel to the original Winter Is Coming match back in December.
The credibility Page and his title reign gained by way of the two matches with Danielson and tonight's win is immeasurable. He is absolutely a better champion for both and that can rarely be said about any competitor in any of the major promotions, a testament to the work put in by all involved in this feud.
CM Punk Interrupts MJF vs. Shawn Dean
MJF made his way to the ring for a match with Captain Shawn Dean when CM Punk appeared, chasing the scarf-wearing heel to the floor. Front here, he blasted Dean with a boot to the midsection and a Go To Sleep, laying a disqualification loss on his foe.
MJF cut a scathing promo in which he said Punk wasn’t talented enough to headline WrestleMania, unlike Roddy Piper, and if he isn’t treated better soon, he’ll be main eventing Mania, too.
"If you think the grass is so greener on the other side, be my guest. Go ahead, leave. Main event Night 4 of a buy-one-get-one-free extravaganza and then get released faster than you last in the sack," Punk said.
A fired-up heel accepted Punk’s challenge for a match next week. It would be the Straight Edge Savior versus…Wardlow next week.
Dean defeated MJF via disqualification
Punk costing MJF the win was a great bit of booking and something AEW probably could have let play out over a couple weeks. As it is, we got another great back-and-forth on the mic from the rivals, intensifying with every one-liner insult.
They could probably lay off the WWE references at this point, but the inevitable match between the competitors is going to be extraordinary, even if it's only from a heat perspective.
Punk's match with Wardlow will be a huge moment for the big man. Arguably, his biggest. It will be interesting to see how AEW books the match and if the big man deals Punk his first loss in the company.
Chris Jericho Spoke and Wardlow Destroyed Another Opponent
Chris Jericho returned to Dynamite and recalled his last appearance on TBS back in April of 1999. 2.0 interrupted and a series of insults were hurled. Daniel Garcia joined the fray, attacking Jericho in a 3-on-1 until Eddie Kingston and Ortiz made the save.
Moments later, Wardlow hit the ring alongside Shawn Spears. Antonio Zambrano was his overmatched opponent.
Spears attacked before the bell, laying him out with a Death Valley Driver on the floor. Wardlow proceeded to obliterate Zambrano with five powerbombs for the uncontested victory.
Wardlow defeated Zambrano
The Wardlow stuff is fun but we could have gone a week without the demolition derby, especially after the Punk announcement moments earlier. Let it breathe. Let people want to see him destroy the competition rather than expecting it and risk wearing out its welcome.
The Jericho segment was fine, had a solid reaction from fans and set up a match for Rampage. You can’t ask much more from a bit that got maybe five minutes of TV time.
TBS Championship Tournament Final: Ruby Soho vs. Jade Cargill
Ruby Soho nursed a shoulder injury entering the finals of the TBS Championship Tournament against Jade Cargill and the rookie phenom wasted little time targeting it.
When Mercedes Martinez attempted to interfere, Thunder Rosa fought her to the back. When Smart Mark Sterling attempted to interfere on behalf of his client, he was ejected from the ringside area.
In the end, Cargill needed neither to realize her championship dreams.
The first-year competitor endured the No Future and put Soho away with an avalanche Jaded to etch her name in the history books.
Cargill defeated Soho to win the title
It was apparent from very early on that this was Cargill's tournament to win. There's nothing wrong with that at all, especially as AEW builds toward the future and looks to enhance a women's division brimming with talent.
With that said, Cargill is going to learn on the job. It will not always be pretty, as was the case here. She is a hard worker, genuinely seems to care about her craft and has the look and athleticism necessary to be an enormous star in the industry. Tony Khan will print money because of Cargill. She has that sort of star power.
The in-ring game will have to improve and it should, especially the more she gets to work with the Ruby Sohos of the world. The question is how long will it take and will fans have the patience to wait for her?
They absolutely should.
Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Malakai Black
A vengeful Brian Pillman Jr. battled Malakai Black in the night's next match.
The second-generation competitor sought to avenge the black mist sprayed in the eyes of Julia Hart and the beating dealt Griff Garrison two weeks earlier. Black, on the other hand, looked to make it 2-0 against the Varsity Blondes.
Black dominated the action before taking advantage of an ugly springboard miss by Pillman, flattening him with Black Mass for the win. After the match, he teased harm to Hart before AEW tag champions Penta El Cero Miedo and Rey Fenix hit the ring.
The arena darkened and Black appeared on the ramp, backing off and leaving the champs to check on Pillman and Hart.
Black defeated Pillman
And so begins the countdown to Brody King's arrival.
The former Ring of Honor and independent standout reportedly signed with AEW and should debut sooner than later. The introduction of Lucha Bros to the program suggests Black is going to be looking to debut the newest member of The House of Black and a feud with the tag champs should result in some stellar in-ring content.
If Black's feud with the Varsity Blondes was an intro to the tag team division, it certainly makes sense. Whether that is the best use for a talent of Black's magnitude and skill is another question, though working with a longtime friend against one of the best teams in the world is hardly a bad consolation.
AEW Tag Team Championship Match: Lucha Bros vs. Jurassic Express
The AEW Tag Team Championship was at stake in this week’s main event as the Lucha Bros defended against Jurassic Express’ Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus.
The action started fast and furiously, as one would expect given the talent involved, before the champions slowed things down during the commercial and worked over Jungle Boy. A hot tag to Luchasaurus sparked a comeback and electrified the fans.
At one point, the arena darkened, the latest tease for Black, before the champs delivered the Fear Factor combo for a dramatic two-count. Alex Abrahantes set up a table at ringside but Christian Cage chased him to the back.
Luchasaurus put Fenix through a table with a chokeslam, leaving Penta with Jungle Boy, who rolled him up to capture the titles.
After the match, the entire tag team division spilled onto the stage while cameras caught Santana and Ortiz, Aleister Black, Chris Jericho and others watching from skyboxes.
Jurassic Express defeated Lucha Bros to win the titles
Fenix took an ugly bump and very clearly injured his arm. One can only hope he can heal up and bounce back from it sooner rather than later because at his best, he’s one of the best performers in the industry.
The match itself was the same, excellent effort from all involved that we have seen out of these two teams before. Lucha Bros working as de facto heels and dropping the titles after the Black tease was an interesting choice, but it was beyond time for Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus to hoist the titles. They had come too close, too often and another loss threatened to adversely affect their ability to have the moment their story deserved.
The tag division is so incredibly stacked right now that just about any team could believably challenge for, and win, the titles on any given week. Look for Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish to be the first team to pose a legitimate threat to the gold.