ALL ELITE WRESTLING DYNAMITE PREVIEW 12/1: Ruby vs. Statlander, Sting & Darby vs. Gunn Club, Danielson vs. Angels, Punk vs. Moriarty, Cody vs. Andrade in Atlanta Street Fight
SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
ALL ELITE WRESTLING DYNAMITE PRIMER
DECEMBER 1, 2021
DULUTH, GA. AT THE GAS SOUTH ARENA
AIRS ON TNT NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 p.m. CST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross (on medical leave)
Match Results and Key Segments from Last Week
- CM Punk and MJF had a long exchange to open the show. MJF referenced Punk’s “pipe bomb” promo from 2011, told him he may as well be preaching “hustle, loyalty, and respect” (reference to John Cena of course), said he was only back for the money, called him “P.G. Punk”, and he was behind the “you can’t see me man” and the “You can’t see me man” and “King of Kings” (Cena and Triple H) amongst other things. Punk called MJF “Most Jealous Fan,” made references to him always needing FTR, Shawn Spears, and Wardlow, said MJF had a poster of him in his room, and the only way he’d be number one is if Tony Khan ever has a daughter and he marries her (referencing Triple H marrying Stephanie McMahon), also among other things. They were going to fight, but after MJF took off his jacket and scarf he left the ring. Punk went on to defeat his scheduled opponent, QT Marshall.
- Tony Schiavone interviewed Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) and told them they were the number one ranked tag team. Christian Cage said he would ensure they win the tag team championship.
- The Gunn Club (Billy & Colton w/Austin Gunn) defeated Bear Country (Bear Boulder & Bear Bronson).
- Dante Martin signed with Team Taz, much to the dismay of Lio Rush.
- Thunder Rosa defeated Jamie Hayter to advance in the TBS Championship tournament.
- 2point0 (Jeff Parker & Matt Lee) interrupted Chris Jericho as he was being interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Jericho told Parker he had a square head like Spongebob Squarepants and told them to not interrupt them again.
- Bryan Danielson defeated Colt Cabana of the Dark Order. After the match he called the fans “fickle” (referencing doing the same to the WWE fans back in late 2018). He said he knows of a few Dark Order members from Atlanta and would happily kick their head in next week (tonight). AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page came out and said he’d fight Danielson right now, but Danielson declined since he just fought a match. They went at it but Danielson escaped as he was going to hit the Buckshot Lariat.
- Andrade “El Idolo” & Malakai Black & AAA Tag Team Champions FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) defeated Cody Rhodes & Pac & AEW World Tag Team Champions The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero & Rey Fenix). Black sprayed mist in Pac’s eyes before Andrade hit his DDT finisher.
Tonight’s episode of Dynamite will emanate from the Gas South Arena in Duluth, Ga, a suburb of Atlanta. The facility opened for business in 2003 and seats between about 11,000-13,000 depending on the event. This will be AEW’s first appearance, but not the first pro wrestling event to be held here. Previous events included the 2004 edition of WWE Armageddon and the 2007 edition of TNA’s Bound for Glory.
It’s a homecoming in some ways as several AEW talents (Sting, Tony Schiavone, Arn Arnderson, Tully Blanchard, Dustin Rhodes (and Cody by way of their father Dusty), and Chris Jericho spent time in Atlanta-based World Championship Wrestling in the 1980s-90s.
We’re headed towards the second edition of the “Winter is Coming” edition of Dynamite and the January 8, 2022 “Battle of the Belts” special, all announced last week. Tonight’s show features five matches. Here’s the “Road to Dynamite”:
TBS Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Ruby Soho vs. Kris Statlander
The TBS Championship tournament rolls on as Ruby Soho goes one-on-one with Kris Statlander.
We’re moving along towards the finals which will take place at the Battle of the Belts show on January 8. Two weeks ago, Nyla Rose advanced by defeating Hikaru Shida in a battle of former AEW Women’s World Champions. The winner of this match faces Rose. Meanwhile, Thunder Rosa is set to face Jade Cargill in the semi-finals. The winner of that match faces the winner of Rose vs. Soho or Statlander in the final.
Soho debuted with AEW at All Out and won the Casino Battle Royal to earn the right to face Britt Baker for the championship but came up short at the Grand Slam edition of Dynamite. She defeated Penelope Ford back on October 23. Statlander missed substantial time with an ACL injury suffered in the summer of 2020 but returned in March of this year. She herself challenged Baker at All Out for the championship but came up short. This is her first match in this tournament as she drew a bye in round one. Statlander was on the winning end of a six-woman tag match on last week’s Dark Elevation. Ruby was on the AEW Unrestricted podcast last week:
.@tonyschiavone24 is especially pumped for this one. Just look at him!
All new video version of #AEWUnrestricted with the amazing @realrubysoho! Check it out right now!
▶️ https://t.co/HcuhC0KVhG pic.twitter.com/NNqR0qOPA9
— Aubrey Edwards (@RefAubrey) November 22, 2021
Frank’s Analysis: With two babyfaces going at it, I could see this going either way to set up the match with Rose. My gut tells me Ruby is going to the finals to face Jade Cargill. If Statlander wins this, I could see her coming up short to Rose, but does that mean Cargill doesn’t go to the finals and we have Thunder Rosa vs Rose in the finals? There’s interesting scenarios and I like that it’s not clear cut.
Sting & Darby Allin vs. Billy & Colten Gunn (Gunn Club w/Austin)
It looks like matters are not over between Darby Allin and the Gunn Club. Sting teams up with Darby to take on Billy Gunn and his son Colten.
This all started two weeks ago when Billy confronted Darby backstage as Tony Schiavone was talking to him about losing to MJF. They faced off on the ensuing episode of Rampage which saw Darby come out on top. After the Gunn Club defeated Bear Country last week, Sting came out. As Billy’s other son Austin was approaching him, Darby darted out of the babyface entrance ramp and tackled him. They stared down the Gunn Club.
Here’s a little Twitter trash talk from Darby and Colten:
You didn’t move outta the way like yer father and got yer ass blasted! https://t.co/A3rK8l1fFp
— DARBY ALLIN (@DarbyAllin) November 25, 2021
we are better at your own game…see you tomorrow…still undefeated…. pic.twitter.com/4VfbzMshu6
— colten gunn (@coltengunn) November 30, 2021
Frank’s Analysis: I’m not sure how much Sting and Billy Gunn I want to see wrestle in 2021, but I get the sense AEW is keeping them “at bay,” and this is more about putting over Darby and Billy’s son. If Colton and Austin develop more in the ring, there’s another tag team to add to the mix or you see what they do in singles matches. I would assume Sting and Darby win this feud out which is fine if Darby moves on to something more substantial no offense to the Gunn Club.
Bryan Danielson vs. Alan Angels (Dark Order “5”)
Bryan Danielson is the #1 contender to the AEW World Championship and continues his mission of going against the Dark Order members in their hometown as he takes on Georgia native, Alan Angels (Dark Order #5). Last week Danielson defeated Chicago native Colt Cabana in his hometown.
Angels lost a non-title match to then-AEW World Champion Kenny Omega on the November 3 edition of Dynamite. He talked about watching Danielson on TV in this tweet:
In 2014 I watched this guy win a world championship on my TV…
He was the guy that made me say “if he can, I can…”
2021 I’m wrestling him in my hometown… pic.twitter.com/sJx1WMB0Ga
— Alan Angels (@Alan_V_Angels) November 27, 2021
Angels is referring to Danielson winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30. He picked up a victory over Mike Reed on this week’s edition of Dark but was on the losing end of a six-man tag on Dark Elevation with fellow Dark Order members.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m still curious to see the upside of Angels if it exists. It’s hard to tell in AEW who they see what in, because a lot of matches with people lower on the card are competitive. Punk went long with QT Marshall (not that he’s an up-and-comer) and Eddie Kingston went long with Danny Garcia. I could see the upside with Garcia, but why is Marshall looking competitive against Punk? Danielson did go about five minutes with Cabana so that was fine. Angels is young (23) and I’m sure he’ll get some offense in, but making Danielson look unstoppable is the key in this situation.
CM Punk vs. Lee Moriarty
After an epic promo exchange with MJF last week, and getting the better of QT Marshall, CM Punk will continue to put himself to “the test’ if you will against Lee Moriarty. Moriarty teamed with Matt Sydal before Full Gear but came up short in a match against Lio Rush and Dante Martin. Martin has since split from Rush to join Team Taz as we saw last week.
Punk has talked about wanting to see if he can still hang with the young talent, however according to his promo last week he is no longer worried. He is undefeated at 7-0 going into tonight’s match with the young Moriarty. AEW made a point to tweet about this match, and Moriarty quote tweeted it:
Frank’s Analysis: Tony Khan has plans for Punk, and I’m sure they’ll come to fruition in due time. I don’t mind him getting wins against talent that can afford a loss but get elevated at the same time. I liked Moriarty when I saw him wrestle Bobby Fish several weeks ago and felt the same way in the tag match I mentioned. I’m curious if Punk vs. MJF takes place at Winter is Coming, although with MJF I could see them dragging it out and making him wrestle people in the Pinnacle the way they did with Chris Jericho.
Atlanta Street Fight: Cody Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Andrade “El Idolo”
Go to a city, you get a street fight named after you. Next week though when I’m in attendance at the UBS Arena in Elmont, NY, I expect a “Lawng Gi-land Whatta You Lookin’ At” Fight. The loser must ride the Long Island Railroad with the drunks all night.
New York humor, what do you want from me? Anyway…
Cody Rhodes takes on Andrade “El Idolo” in an Atlanta Street Fight. After the eight-man tag match I recapped earlier, Andrade gave Cody his DDT on the floor as you can see in this AEW exclusive:
During the match, Cody threw his weight belt into the crowd, but it was thrown back. Later, Andrade took the belt and threw it under the ring.
A lot has gone on between Andrade and Cody. Aside from the eight-man tag last week, Andrade defeated Cody back on the November 3 edition of Dynamite with the help of FTR. Cody the paired up with Pac to defeat Andrade & Malakai Black at Full Gear. Here’s the November 3 match in case you missed it:
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Andrade’s sidekick Jose the Assistant had this to say on Twitter. The tweet features a link to the “Road to Dynamite”:
Great job paying the @AEW production team to try to make YOU look like the victim, Cody.
Don’t forget YOU put yourself in @AndradeElIdolo business.
You win the audience by the work done IN RING, not in fancy video packages.
See you at #AEWDynamite https://t.co/tqYjggF0xw pic.twitter.com/XAWtu77kyF
— JoseTheAssistant (@JoseAssistant) November 30, 2021
Frank’s Analysis: I never thought we’d be in the John Cena/Roman Reigns type of situation in AEW, but here we are with Cody Rhodes. For now, I’m fine not turning him, but sooner or later it’ll be better if they align him with how the crowd feels. I don’t buy the “I’ll never turn” bit. That actually makes me think he will turn heel at some point.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!