Reviews by Dave
By David E Houston II
Show air date: December 1, 2021
It’s fitting that a show designed to be the new WCW Nitro would be in WCW Country as AEW Dynamite was in Duluth, Georgia last night (an Atlanta suburban/neighbor). With Jim Ross unavailable, they insisted on different wrestlers coming to work guest commentary with varying degrees of success but none as good and smooth as just Tony Schiavone and Excalibur.
Bryan Danielson defeated Alan V Angels
AEW too often does too much when a little goes a long way. “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson continued targeting members of the Dark Order in their hometowns as this week it was Alan Angels, who put up a game fight but was kicked to sleep and then submitted to a tight kneebar. Great, great job of committing to this Danielson turn.
Danielson cuts a nice promo on World champion Hangman Page, who was at commentary, prompting an enraged Page to come to the ring. He’s stopped by his buddy and Dark Order member John Silver, who added not a damn thing to the whole segment. Most of this was good but there were one too many guys out there.
CM Punk defeated Lee Moriarty
I definitely liked them showing Lee Moriarty’s AEW DARK victory over Nick Commorato before his match with CM Punk. MJF came out to commentary, and I immediately wished he hadn’t. That boy can be hella lame. Had to love that Hanukkah gift wrap suit.
Good match. Moriarty looked competitive in easily the biggest match of his life and at one point looked to be on the road to an upset before Punk won with a very creative GTS kneestrike. MJF then grabs the mic and rolls off some one-liners. I wasn’t feeling the Britt Baker line at all. Punk had the good sense to put over QT Marshall (his opponent last week) and Moriarty after MJF buried them on the mic. Punk held this together.
Women’s champion Dr. Britt Baker DMD books her friend, Jamie Hayter, to face her next title challenger, Riho.
Sure the Matches Will Be Good
Solid angle to set up some Adam Cole/Superkliq-Orange Cassidy/Best Friends matches. It was fine. I’m sure the matches will be good.
Wardlow defeated AC Adams
Wardlow had a match with AC Adams, making his AEW debut. Wardlow ate him as expected. I’m thinking he gets a match with Punk before the MJF match. Why else do this on TV? Shawn Spears role as Wardlow’s handler could be a good thing going forward.
Good backstage interview with Penta (with translator Alex Abrahantes) and PAC to talk about their Rampage match with FTR. PAC’s wearing an eyepatch. Whew. Thought we might get through this year without a one-eyed wrestler.
Darby Allin and Sting defeated The Gunn Club
A meeting of undefeated tag teams saw the number 3 ranked (how, ninja? Damn) Gunn Club of Billy and Colton Gunn (9-0) face Darby Allin and Sting (4-0). Sting had his face painted like Allin. He’s really doing the most to elevate this young man without overshadowing him.
2point0 and Daniel Garcia beat the hell out of “LeTRUMPion” Chris Jericho. Are they trying to babyface me? That’s a good first step.
Taz Math. Not as Hot as Steiner Math
Taz Math. Not as hot as Steiner Math but good try. Lio Rush confronted Team Taz and it was interesting. Taz signing Dante Martin out from under him has turned Rush face which has an odd feeling to it but we’ll see.
Ruby Soho defeated Kris Statlander
Ruby Soho beat Kris Statlander to advance to the semifinals of the TBS Title Tournament in a very good match. Soho must have thought she was back in New York the way she WILDLY oversold Statlander kicking from a couple of ranas but otherwise, this was good from start to finish. Last week was a good week for women’s wrestling on national TV, at least in the ring. Nyla Rose reminds Soho who she has up next.
Main Event: Cody Rhodes defeated Andrade El Idolo
Cody Rhodes and Andrade El Idolo got their Atlanta Street Fight started hot when Andrade took the fight to Rhodes during Cody’s ramp walk. The hell was going through Andrade’s mind to throw Rhodes’ weight belt to the crowd after last week? Thank you to the fan that got it and didn’t throw it back despite the urging of the crowd. Someone has to have a damn brain.
With Ross gone, Schiavone stepped right into the role of not just color commentator but analyst and he was excellent in saying when he thought wrestlers were making strategic mistakes. I love commentators that remember this is supposed to be a fight.
Exciting, violent match that saw a bleedy Cody beat Andrade with a suplex through a table set on fire by a returning Brandi Rhodes. I did mention they sometimes do too much, this was that. Andrade didn’t even hit the table and the fire doesn’t make the move anymore a finish than just putting him through the table alone.
A lot of good, sound wrestling throughout, a great brawl for a main event with a finish that screamed TRYING TOO HARD.
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David E Houston II he’s attended small independent shows with less than 100 people and large stadium shows with over 20,000 fans and live worldwide pay-per-views.