Date: November 24, 2021
Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
We’re back in Chicago, as AEW really likes coming here. It’s also just before the start of Thanksgiving weekend, so this is going to have a bit of a special feeling. Bryan Danielson and CM Punk are both in action this week so it certainly feels like a big show. Now just make that work. Let’s get to it.
CM Punk comes out for his match (they know how to make a Chicago crowd feel welcome) but hold on though as here is MJF to interrupt. MJF says it doesn’t feel so good to be interrupted and calls him Punky Brewster. Fans: “SHUT THE F*** UP!” MJF: “No.” Last week was almost as bad as that time when Punk took his ball and went home. MJF brings up the Pipebomb, which was a great moment. The thing is though, every MJF moment is the best moment because he isn’t a one trick pony.
MJF respects Punk for everything he does, including being straightedge, though he can’t believe that a straightedge man could look so much like a meth addict. He says Punk has always been a big fish in a small pond on the mic, but now he’s just a minnow. Now MJF is about to finish him faster than Punk’s UFC career. Punk can drop all of the pipebombs he wants, because MJF is dropping nukes.
Punk gets the mic and says he’s disappointed in MJF. He thanks MJF for introducing him last week, like a proper young man is supposed to do to his elders. Oh and he found out that his name is Maxwell, because Punk had thought it was My Jealous Fan. It seemed to get to MJF that Punk never brought him up when he was doing media. That was by design, because he didn’t want to feed MJF’s ego.
Then last week, he did the impossible by shutting up the great MJF by not saying a word. Now MJF comes out here with the lowest hanging fruit because he thinks he’s somebody. Punk: “In reality, he’s just a less famous Miz.” MJF says that’ almost what he wanted, which is how you describe Punk’s entire AEW run so far. The fans chant for the Miz as MJF talks about how Punk is nothing but nostalgia, who hasn’t done anything of note. He also mocks Punk’s breath, which is probably because Punk has been kissing so much a**.
MJF would like to do a quick impression of Punk, which sees him being a robot who is very happy to be doing just about everything. Punk has gone soft, his hair is going gray and he looks like the one who needs to go to sleep. This isn’t CM Punk, because it’s PG Punk. What happened to the renegade that MJF crew up watching? This guy in front of him might as well be teaching hustle, loyalty and respect.
The only difference is that MJF can still see him, but why did Punk come back? Was it because Punk was too busy making comic books no one read or movies no one saw? In that other company, fans wanted to believe in Punk because he was being held down. Now he has the chance to be the #1 guy, but can he still do it? MJF is born for this and every wrestling promoter’s dream. Punk always claimed that someone held him down, whether it was the You Can’t See Me Man or the King of Kings, but MJF is better than him and Punk knows it.
Punk says there is some truth in what MJF said, because he was a bit scared when he got here. He isn’t scared anymore though, because he was selling out MSG when MJF was marking out for Rosie O’Donnell. MJF has talked his way into a college his parents can’t afford. MJF is another guy who talks too much, just like Punk did, but Punk can back it up without his backup.
Punk came here and beat Darby Allin without the need of a ring while MJF brags about being one of the Four Pillars. The thing is, MJF has been talking so much that he doesn’t realize he’s been replaced by Britt Baker. MJF talks about being #2, but he isn’t going to be #1 until Tony Khan has a daughter that he can marry. Punk is ready to fight but MJF takes his jacket off and bails.
Overall Rating: A. I…oh yeah. We have a show to go after that all timer.
CM Punk vs. QT Marshall
Punk starts with the slams and Marshall is in early trouble. Cue the Factory, who are ejected almost as fast. Marshall can’t get very far in the corner so Punk whips him into said corner for an upside down crash. Back up and Marshall manages a shot to the face for two to take over for the first time. Punk comes back with a clothesline to the floor and another running clothesline, this time from the apron to send us to a break.
We come back with Marshall hitting a Spirit Bomb for two before shoving Punk in the face a few times. That’s enough to get the fans right back behind Punk and he hits Marshall in the face. The swinging neckbreaker into the short arm clothesline sets up the top rope elbow. The GTS finishes Marshall at 10:49.
Rating: C. Marshall has this amazing ability to suck the fun out of almost anything he’s doing and that was kind of the case here. He’s such a generic heel and it’s hard to find a reason to care about him. That being said, Marshall wasn’t the point here as Punk gets another win, albeit this time over someone with a bit less star power.
Christian Cage is excited that Jurassic Express are the #1 contenders to the Tag Team Titles. They’ve been here before, but never with Christian behind them. He’s going to make sure that they win the titles.
Eddie Kingston is having some cake and talks about how he misses Jon Moxley. He wishes Moxley a Happy Thanksgiving but here are 2.0 and Daniel Garcia to break it up (Eddie: “Here we go.”). They read the piece in the Players Tribune and it was awesome, but Eddie isn’t hungry anymore. They bring up Eddie not being able to help Moxley and that’s a step too far. Eddie is ready to fight but they throw coffee in his face, drawing in security to break it up.
Gunn Club vs. Bear Country
Gunn Club jumps them from behind before the bell and clears the ring before we’re ready to get started. The bell rings anyway and the Bears are in early trouble. Boulder fights back and Billy is sent to the floor but Colton is right back with Colt 45 for the pin at 1:45.
Post match here is Sting so Billy sends Austin after him….but Darby Allin CHARGES out of the tunnel and hits him with a tackle that would make Monty Brown jealous. Sting and Darby clear the ring.
Bobby Fish and Adam Cole are ticked off about the Best Friends when said team shows up. A match seems to be set for later.
Team Taz is with Dante Martin and Taz wants his decision right now. He also wants to know why Lio Rush is here, with Rush saying any of Martin’s business is his business too. Rush goes to take the pen away from him, but Martin signs anyway, officially joining Team Taz. He even takes some candy!
TBS Title Tournament Quarterfinals: Jamie Hayter vs. Thunder Rosa
During the entrance, Britt Baker says she can’t wait to have Hayter as the other Women’s Champion around here. Hayter chokes up against the ropes to start and Rosa looks fairly annoyed. Some of that annoyance is let out with a loud slap but Hayter sends her outside. Rosa gets sent into the barricade and it’s some kicks to the back back inside. This time Rosa sends Hayter outside and into the barricade, setting up a snap suplex on the floor. Hayter posts her hard though and a slam makes things worse as we take a break.
Back with Rosa breaking up a superplex attempt and hitting a missile dropkick. Slingshot and running dropkicks in the corner rock Hayter but Rosa’s back is too banged up for a suplex. Hayter grabs a backbreaker for two and we hit the chinlock with a knee in Rosa’s back. That’s broken up and Rosa grabs Hayter, drawing Rebel to the apron. Britt comes in for the save but superkicks Hayter by mistake, allowing Rosa to grab the rollup for the pin at 10:43.
Rating: C+. Pretty good match, as Rosa continues what should be her path to either the title or a huge rematch against Baker. You could go either way and get a good result and it’s always nice to have some options. Hayter continues to be sharp in the ring and I could go for seeing more of her once she gets away from Baker.
Daniel Garcia and 2.0 interrupt Chris Jericho in the back so he threatens them with Eddie Kingston violence. If that (and some Spongebob Squarepants jokes) isn’t enough, some Jericho knuckle sandwiches are promised as well. The villains bail as Jericho seems to have a new target.
Tony Schiavone is having Thanksgiving dinner with Britt Baker and Rebel. Britt is sorry Thunder Rosa advanced, but we can still be thankful that she is the Women’s Champion. Tony loves them both but has some bad news. We see a video of Riho not being eliminated from the Casino Battle Royal. Therefore, Tony Khan has signed Riho to a Black Friday Deal match with Baker. If Riho wins, she gets a future title shot. Baker says Rosa can go tot he mall if she wants a Black Friday deal and Tony is NOT invited to Christmas. Baker: “No we’re not doing the DMD! YOU RUINED IT!”
Bryan Danielson vs. Colt Cabana
Danielson isn’t waiting here and takes Cabana down into the cross armbreaker. That’s broken up so Danielson gets in a kick to the back of the tights and stares at him a bit. Cabana cranks on both arms but Daniels slips out and kicks away at the leg. Chops and kicks take Cabana down but the fans are right behind him.
Cabana is back up with the Flip Flop and Fly but the Flying Apple misses. Instead Danielson hits the running corner dropkick but Cabana breaks up the belly to back superplex. Cabana hits a moonsault for two but Danielson takes him down again. A bunch of stomps set up a LeBell Lock (with a double bicep pose) to finish Cabana at 5:04.
Rating: C+. They hit each other really hard and Cabana worked well as the hometown boy who went down swinging. Cabana has a reputation as nothing but a comedy guy but he can wrestle an above average match when he gets the chance. I could go for more of Cabana in the ring as he’s better than a good portion of the roster, but this was going to be the Danielson show, as it should have been.
Post match/break, Danielson calls the fans FICKLE for booing him. Danielson has heard that some of the Dark Order is from Atlanta and he’d love to kick their heads in next week. This is all leading up to the ultimate head kicking in…and here is Hangman Page to interrupt. Page is ready to defend the title right now, which Danielson says is coward s*** because he just had a match. Page isn’t leaving Chicago without a fight and offers Danielson the first shot. Danielson considers that an insult and the fight is on but he bails before the Buckshot Lariat can connect.
Video on Ruby Soho vs. Kris Statlander, who meet in the TBS Title Tournament next week.
Malakai Black/FTR/Andrade El Idolo vs. Cody Rhodes/Death Triangle
Dax Harwood drives Cody into the corner to start and then goes to a headlock. Cody shoulders him down and throws the weightlifting belt into the crowd. The fans want it thrown back…..and there it is, flying right back into the ring. Pac comes in as Andrade throws the belt underneath the ring, much to the fans’ delight. Pac works on Cash Wheeler’s arm as someone throws the belt back to Cody, who has to put it back on to a chorus of boos.
Pac kicks Wheeler in the face and Penta adds the top rope double stomp (ala What’s Up) for two more. It’s off to Andrade, who gets small packaged for two but all of Death Triangle comes in to kick him down. Cody comes in and gets stomped down in the wrong corner, earning quite the positive reaction. That doesn’t last long either as Cody gets over for the hot tag to Fenix in a hurry.
A double springboard cutter drops FTR and Andrade is sent outside. Fenix kicks Black in the head but gets sent into the corner as we take a break. Back with Fenix kicking Wheeler in the face, setting up the hot tag to Penta. Everything breaks down and Pac gets to kick a bunch of people in the face. Wheeler breaks that up with a backbreaker though and it’s time for the parade of secondary finishers.
Cody Final Cuts Black and throws the belt down again, only to kick Pac in the face by mistake. Andrade lays out Cody but charges into a heck of an overhead belly to belly suplex in the corner. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard get in the ring for the legends showdown but Jose breaks that up and gets double punched. FTR gets in to chase Anderson but Fenix makes the save. Penta hits some Sling Blades on FTR and the Lucha Bros hit big dives to take them down on the floor. Back in and Black mists Pac and kicks Cody down, leaving Andrade to hit El Idolo for the pin on Pac at 16:12.
Rating: B+. This was a blast and felt like one of those insane Ring of Honor eight man tags that you would see from time to time. They started off well and had the big deal with the battle of the weightlifting belt before getting down to everything serious. It was a heck of a match and a blast throughout, though the focus continues to be on Cody’s obsession with not turning heel. It’s a borderline parody at this point and I have no idea how they’re going to manage it if he insists on not turning.
Overall Rating: A-. The opener and closer make up for anything that took place in the middle of the show, as that was a heck of a main event to go with an absolute masterpiece of a promo battle. It takes a lot to make me gasp at a promo exchange and they did it more than once here. Great show, with Punk vs. MJF being more than worth your time to see, as opposed to the main event, which was merely great.
CM Punk b. QT Marshall – GTS
Gunn Club b. Bear Country – Colt 45 to Boulder
Thunder Rosa b. Jamie Hayter – Rollup
Bryan Danielson b. Colt Cabana – LeBell Lock
Andrade El Idolo/FTR/Malakai Black b. Cody Rhodes/Death Triangle – El Idolo to Pac
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