Reviews by Dave
By David E Houston II
Show air date: January 12, 2022
Still broadcasting live from Crockett Country, this time Raleigh, NC, AEW had a solid Dynamite. Solid but a step below their own standard.
Not Much Chat, Ruckus Broke Out
AEW opened with a face-off between Adam Cole and one set of his friends, the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), and his other set of friends, reDragon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish). They’re interrupted by their long-time rivals, Best Friends–Orange Cassidy, Trent, Chuck Taylor, Kris Statlander, and Wheeler Yuta.
Not too much chit-chat and a ruckus broke out, one that brought out Women’s champion–and longtime Adam Cole girlfriend–Dr. Britt Baker, DMD, drops Statlander. I’m not really interested in anything else with Cole and Co vs Best Friends but it was a nice segment. Tony Schiavone hating on Cole but still being a fan of Baker entertained me.
CM Punk defeated Wardlow
CM Punk beat Wardlow in a pretty solid match that saw Wardlow nearly pull the upset after hitting his Powerbomb Symphony (5 consecutive powerbombs) and, at the urgings of his boss, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, picked him up and hit 3 more, including one through a table at ringside. When he went to hit another, Punk rolled him up for the win.
The match was good and the story of continuing Punk vs MJF and Wardlow losing patience with MJF were all good but dammit, they went too long with the powerbombs and the table spot was way too much. There ain’t enough leverage in the world for him to hold down Wardlow after all that.
Ease up, AEW.
Dante Martin defeated Powerhouse Hobbs
I thought Dante Martin’s win over Powerhouse Hobbs (with Ricky Starks at ringside) was a good match but it went a little long. Jay Lethal coming to Martin’s rescue was an interesting development. Taz working commentary was one of those little things that make no sense. You’re the coach and leader of Team Taz, you should be at ringside.
Almost FF through “Le COVID is a Hoax” Jericho’s promo but Eddie Kingston popped up and we have another set of friends not getting along. Not a fan of them running basically the same story as with Cole/Bucks/reDragon but all things Kingston are great, even with…Jericho.
The Concept of Rankings is Doing the Job in a Squash
World champion Hangman Page came out to talk about seeking new challengers (I could swear they have rankings for this, maybe). Dan Lambert surprised me coming out, name-checking all the great Texas cowboy wrestlers of the past and stunted on Page a little bit. I was confused but then Lance Archer, Texas-born, rushes out and lays Page out with a Blackout slam on a standing folding chair. Good segment to set up some fresh matches but damn, the concept of rankings is doing the job in a squash.
Serena Deeb defeated Hikaru Shida
Serena Deeb beat Hikaru Shida. Having attacked Shida before the bell, Deeb gave herself a big advantage and never let up. This has been the best and most heated feud on the whole show. Deeb is on fire as a heel, laying in some shots on Shida’s leg with a kendo stick after the match.
Penta El Zero Miedo defeated Matt Hardy
Penta El Zero Miedo (with the world’s greatest translator, Alex Abrahantes) beat local boy done good, Matt Hardy (accompanied by Private Party of Hardy Family Office). It was fine. Two veterans doing nice work. The story was after the match when Penta (through Alex) challenged Malakai Black.
Not only does Black answer immediately, but he also brings Brody King (who the crowd was already chanting for), who saves Black from Penta and the Varsity Blonds (who should have known better). Strong debut for King but they set it up with Black effectively being the face in jeopardy and not a dastardly heel. Very soft booking week for TK and fam.
The Acclaimed defeated Bear Country
Nice seeing The Acclaimed getting a win on TV (as the number one ranked team should do more often), beating Bear Country. Lights go out for the second time in 15 minutes, this time it was Sting and Darby Allin, responding to the Acclaimed’s insults from earlier. Bowen must go through the most radios. Where does he even find that many? Does he find a Radio Shack or Circuit City somewhere?
PAC should get some training from Crazzy Steve since he can’t see a damn thing.
Main Event: Sammy Guevara (c) defeated Daniel Garcia
For the TNT Championship
The main event saw interim TNT champion Sammy Guevara beat back the challenge of Daniel Garcia. This was good, the best thing on the show. Garcia is already a guy who brings a different energy to his matches. These are acrobatic exhibitions, these are fights and I love it. I knew Garcia wasn’t winning when he hit a piledriver. Not in this company, partner.
“The Spanish God” won, overcoming interference by 2point0, hitting the GTH knee strike. 2point0 got in some after-match action (David Crockett has moved that fast since the 5 minutes he was a wrestler in the 70s) but were cut off and smacked around by Jericho and Kingston, who do not like each other.
They went to dark with those two squaring up. As I said, solid show. Moved a lot of stories forward so hopefully, they get all the way back on track next week.
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Reviews by Dave is the best wrestling review on the internet! It’s written by David Houston II, who writes about WWE NXT 2.0, AEW Dynamite, and IMPACT Wrestling.
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.