AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 12

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2022

AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 12

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    MJF again dodged a match with CM Punk and instead dispatched his muscle, Wardlow, to battle the future Hall of Famer in the blockbuster main event of Wednesday's AEW Dynamite.

    The clash of the monstrous phenom and grizzled vet headlined a broadcast that also featured young stars with bright futures like Daniel Garcia, Powerhouse Hobbs and Dante Martin, as well as the latest in the intensely personal rivalry between Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb.

    What went down Wednesday and how will it affect All Elite Wrestling as it continues its match toward Revolution on March 6?

    The answers lie within this recap of the January 12 episode of the company's flagship show.

Match Card

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    • CM Punk vs. Wardlow
    • Interim TNT Championship match: Sammy Guevara vs. Daniel Garcia
    • Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb
    • Dante Martin vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (with Taz)

Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish Open the Show

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Adam Cole kicked off the show alongside Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish. Before they could say much, though, The Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler interrupted.

    Matt and Nick Jackson reminded Cole and Co. that AEW is their company and they are focused on regaining the tag titles.

    O'Reilly revealed he and Fish have the same goal. 

    Suddenly, Best Friends' Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Trent and Wheeler Yuta hit the ring. A brawl between the babyfaces and heels erupted. Kris Statlander confronted Cole, only to be taken out by women's champion Britt Baker.

    The heels stood tall to close out the segment.






    This was an interesting start to the show, if only because Dynamite rarely begins with a promo segment.

    Beyond that, it accomplished what it set out to: It continued to plant seeds of dissension within the heel ranks while furthering the feud with Best Friends and introducing Baker and Statlander into the fray.

    Hopefully, this leads to a kickass multi-person tag team bout because it would have the potential to go down as a Match of the Year candidate if given the time. A pay-per-view setting, like Revolution, would be appropriate.

CM Punk vs. Wardlow

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    With his feud with MJF intensifying with every week, CM Punk found himself confronted with one of the biggest tests of his AEW run in Wardlow.

    The big man controlled the match, overpowering and punishing Punk with his unbridled strength and fury. The beating continued through the break, with a barrage of powerbombs leaving Punk incapacitated and unable to defend himself. 

    Just when Wardlow delivered five powerbombs and looked to secure the win, MJF hopped on the apron and demanded his muscle continue the punishment. Two more followed, leaving The Best in the World in a heap on the apron, nursing considerable damage to his back and rib area.

    Doing his job, as MJF put it, Wardlow then powerbombed Punk through the timekeeper's table. He narrowly recovered and made it back into the ring before Aubrey Edwards' count of 10. 

    Again distracted by MJF, Wardlow fell victim to the inside cradle as Punk scored the win from out of nowhere.

    After the match, Wardlow teased splitting with MJF, who berated him after the bell, but cooler heads prevailed...for now.



    Punk defeated Wardlow






    By no means does the grade suggest this was a great match. What it was, though, was an expert bit of storytelling with a nod to the past.

    Punk taking the beating, including the powerbomb through the table, before rolling his larger opponent up for the win was an ode to the Survivor Series 1995 main event in which Bret Hart used Diesel’s aggression against him en route to a come-from-behind victory.

    The longest-reaching takeaway was the continued dissension between Wardlow and MJF. We saw it on full display here, where MJF's ego cost his friend what would have been the biggest victory of his career. The heightened tension after the bell set up the inevitable moment when Wardlow explodes into the atmosphere of AEW stardom by laying out his loudmouthed charge.

    Fantastic storytelling helped elevate this and earn it the grade it received.

Dante Martin vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    A more focused and aggressive Dante Martin started fast and furiously against Powerhouse Hobbs, but the blue-chip athlete seized control of the match by using a power advantage. 

    The Team Taz big man controlled throughout the commercial, with a little assistance from Ricky Starks at ringside. 

    Martin fought his way back into the match in time for Starks to get involved again. This brought out Jay Lethal, who pulled the FTW champion from the ring apron. Martin took advantage of the distraction and delivered the Nosedive to score the win.



    Martin defeated Hobbs






    It was a bit odd to see a second straight match end with the babyface narrowly securing the win based on a distraction, but this was still a fun contest that highlighted two men who are very much foundations of AEW's future.

    The introduction of Lethal is interesting in that it gives Starks another challenger to the FTW title but also provides Martin with an ally in his war with Team Taz.

    Speaking of which, where has Lio Rush been?

'Hangman' Adam Page Speaks on His Next Challenger

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Backstage, a confrontation between Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston left with Santana, Ortiz and Jake Hager excusing themself and Le Champion teasing that he would kick Mad King’s ass if he made an appearance during Sammy Guevara’s interim TNT Championship defense against Daniel Garcia.

    In the arena, an enraged MJF revealed CM Punk will battle Shawn Spears next week.

    AEW world champion "Hangman" Adam Page hit the ring and said he is looking for a new challenger.

    Dan Lambert appeared and cut a scathing promo on Page calling himself a cowboy in relation to other cowboys in wrestling.

    Lance Archer returned, stalking the ring and teasing a beatdown on Lambert, only to turn on Page. He ultimately delivered the Blackout, driving Hangman into a chair to close things out.






    Archer has long been one of the most underutilized stars in AEW, so it was nice to see him in such a high-profile situation. The question is whether the company can rebuild him into a believable contender or has he lost too many title opportunities?

    Hopefully not, because he is a talented heavyweight who can serve a young champion like Page well. As an unstoppable force, completely unlike the mat wrestler Bryan Danielson is, he would test Hangman's ability to absorb a punishing attack and retain.

    Their match may not be as aesthetically pleasing as the last two title defenses against The American Dragon, but it could still be a fun series of brawls.

    As for Jericho vs. Kingston, that feud would pit two celebrated veteran competitors against each other, a scenario heels like Daniel Garcia and 2.0 can exploit to their advantage. Where Santana, Ortiz and Hager ultimately stand is another question.

Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Serena Deeb attacked Hikaru Shida from behind, wiping her left knee out from underneath her.

    A vicious assault on the limb continued into the ring, where she pummeled it. Eventually, referee Paul Thomas called for the bell.

    After the match, Deeb further attacked Shida with a kendo stick until referees and trainers hit the ring to chase her off.



    Deeb defeated Shida by referee stoppage






    Deeb looked like a killer here, obliterating her rival and showing a ruthlessness we have not seen from her to this point. 

    She has been extraordinary since turning heel and beginning this program with the former AEW women’s champion, and the journey culminated Wednesday night in a red-hot angle that elevates her heeldom and sets the stage for one last war between the two at some point in the near future.

Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Matt Hardy

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Matt Hardy, seconded by Private Party's Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy, battled former AEW tag team champion Penta El Zero Miedo.

    Hardy controlled the contest during the commercial before an exchange of near-falls turned into a back-and-forth affair. Penta eventually downed the future Hall of Famer with Fear Factor for the hard-fought victory.

    After the match, he sent a message to Malakai Black, vowing to show him some respect. When the arena darkened and Black arrived, The Varsity Blondes also hit the ring in search of revenge. A three-on-one beating ensued until Julia Hart urged her team to stop.

    The arena darkened again and when the lights came back on, Brody King made his AEW debut. The big man destroyed everyone before standing alongside Black.



    Penta defeated Hardy






    The arrival of King is one that has been expected for weeks, but that did not hurt its impact. He was impressive as he bumped around three different wrestlers at once. Suddenly, The House of Black has its largest, most dangerous member, making Black all the more dangerous. 

    The steady pace AEW has taken with Black's character is greatly appreciated and different from some of the other big signings.

    It was interesting to see Hardy relegated to a background player. Here, in his home state of North Carolina, he not only lost but was also dismissed from the ring while a hotter angle with more prominent stars unfolded seconds later.

    Expect Hardy's usage to change as March approaches and later in the year when his brother, Jeff, becomes free to sign with whichever company he chooses.

The Acclaimed vs. Bear Country

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The Acclaimed hit the ring next, with Max Caster rapping a promo on Sting and Darby Allin before he and Anthony Bowens battled Bear Country.

    The competitive match concluded with Bowens and Caster scoring the win. As they backed up the ramp, the arena darkened and Sting and Allin appeared and beat down the young stars, ending with a Scorpion Death Drop.



    The Acclaimed defeated Bear Country






    The match was fine for what it was, with no real stakes considering the fact that Bear Country have not been presented as the threat in the tag division as The Acclaimed have been.

    We knew Bowens and Caster were winning and there's nothing wrong with that, especially since they are being built for a match with Sting and Allin.

    That contest will take place next week and will go a long way in helping to legitimize the brash heels. They are unlikely to deal the unbeaten team their first loss, but working with Sting and Allin will do more for them than beating any of the other teams outside of the immediate contenders.

Interim TNT Championship Match: Sammy Guevara vs. Daniel Garcia

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    If he wanted to retain his interim TNT Championship, Sammy Guevara would have to prove he could hang with one of the brightest young stars in the industry, Daniel Garcia, a wrestler with the ability to stretch and tap out any opponent.

    He sure tried in a high-intensity match in which he nearly captured the title from The Spanish God.

    Late in the match, 2.0's Matt Martel and Jeff Parker arrived, attacking Eddie Kingston and Chris Jericho at ringside. Guevara overcame the distraction, wiped out the invaders and finished Garcia off with the Go To Hell for the successful title defense.

    After the match, Jericho and Kingston cleared the heels before engaging in another tense showdown to close out the show.



    Guevara defeated Garcia to retain






    This was a great match to close out the night and a fantastic display of two young stars.

    Guevara and Garcia showcased their strengths and proved they can work their kind of contest in the high-profile main event spot and send fans home satisfied. That really bodes well for their futures.

    The feud between Kingston, Jericho, 2.0 and Garcia has been solid and is building to what will be a fun, hellish brawl between all the competitors. What AEW must now focus on building the heels into genuine threats, especially since it has been established that Jericho and Kingston cannot get along.