All Elite Wrestling
Dynamite: Grand Slam
September 22, 2021
Arthur Ashe Stadium
Queens, NY

Meet Our Reviewers:

Jeri Evagood: The Magic Writing Girl wasn’t going to miss this evening. I’m stressed from work, but this is a wonderful cure. I got delicious food by my side, a refreshing drink, and I’m ready for what I’m hoping is a magic and significant night of professional wrestling. I’ll be honest I may get a bit emotional at Danielson/Omega. If you want to follow my thirsty lukewarm takes and completely nonsensical (but cute) you can follow me at @TheJerriest_Jer.

Griffin Peltier: It’s time for the biggest non-WWE show since before Griffin was born! AEW has been red hot and Griffin is ready to jump in for tonight’s grand slam! Follow him on Twitter @Hollywd12.

Kenny Omega vs. Bryan Danielson went to a Time Limit Draw

Jeri Evagood: I screamed when Bryan Danielson made his entrance for his first NON-WWE match in years. Holy shit, I’m emotional already. Danielson looks fantastic. The atmosphere is amazing, incredible, and it heightens everything. I’m so overwhelmed in the best way possible. No need for move for move. Know this was perhaps some of the most emotional I’ve ever been watching pro-wrestling. Electric crowd and two of the ABSOLUTE BEST beating the living shit out of each other. This is the return of Bryan Danielson. The American Dragon. Daniel Bryan is dead, and pro-wrestling is better for it. Bryan Danielson has found the home he belongs in. He threw every ounce of his love of pro-wrestling he had in everything he did tonight and it made my love of pro-wrestling pour out over and over again. I was breathless, teary eyed. At one point I actually dropped to my knees off the couch when he hit a sick ass Regal-plex for a nearfall. Make no mistake I WAS FUCKING INTO ALL OF THIS SHIT. Forget my body, my soul experienced chills.

GOD DAMN! This is top tier, top notch, this is the superior shit. That best in the world shit you don’t always get but you always want. Two of the best fighting their hearts out, fighting their souls out, their kicks and emotions both coming out rapid fire and and in the end continue to fight because that’s what they know how to do. The bell rings, and maybe we didn’t get a conclusion, but we got one hell of an ending that leaves us wanting, leaves us knowing we want more. We need more, we crave more. We got our fix now, and we got to have it sooner than later. I’m almost speechless trying to figure out what words to type. If you didn’t enjoy this, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know how to explain the pure spellbinding magic this was. This isn’t the next level, this is building your own damn level and daring others to step up and top that. This is the type of match that echoes throughout the years and you are able to point to as a significant moment in a company’s and the wrestler’s themselves history. This was incredible, this wasn’t just a wrestling match, this was an experience. ***** 

Griffin Peltier: Kicking off with this match is bonkers! Danielson looks amazing, as does Omega. The atmosphere for this match was chilling, two of the very best wrestlers in the world in a true dream match. Huge shout out to this crowd in Arthur Ashe. They are absolutely electric! THEY DID THE “YOU’RE GOING TO GET YOUR FUCKING HEAD KICKED IN” CHANT! Danielson spent a lot of time brutalizing Omega in and out of the ring, establishing the roots of the old “American Dragon” in the AEW environment. He has till five, ref! The chops in this were rad, both men’s chests were tomato red and the sound echoed around the arena. The back-and-forth was amazing to see with some sweet reversals. Danielson locked in the Cattle Mutilation!!! and then this went to the outside on the (pretty slick) video rampway. Omega launched Bryan with a snapdragon suplex leading to a rough bump. Omega hit a HUGE V-Trigger, running all the way down the ramp and that was gnarly. The match did go to picture-in-picture but it was smartly placed as Omega’s long heat period to bring the match to the next gear when the show returned with Omega throwing Danielson over the top rope with a brutal buckle bomb. I’m missing a lot of the moves in here because the emotion of the match was the overall story here. Both guys would not give up and gave it their all but neither could come away with the victory. If Kenny Omega is the 1A professional wrestler in the world via holding the AEW World Championship, at this point the most prestigious title in the world, then Bryan is a surefire 1B. No matter what I say in this review, it will not convey just how fucking awesome this match was. This is professional wrestling. Two guys kicking the absolute shit out of each other for thirty minutes with a crowd going banana for every single move and giving the match a standing ovation. This match will for sure top some match of the year lists for good reason. This is your new match to show non-fans to get them hooked. I don’t care that this had a non-finish, the time limit draw was the right call. *****

MJF def. Brian Pillman Jr.

Jeri Evagood: Not bad, not bad at all. MJF is an asshole, Pillman is a fight from underneath babyface who showed a lot of heart. I think a little bit could’ve been shaved off, but overall this told a nice and simple story (and those are not insults). It probably isn’t three stars, but I’m feeling a little generous. Let us call it some residual feel good from the opening contest. The crowd was good, they worked well, so you know what, yeah, we’ll give it three. ***

Griffin Peltier: I’m still on a high from that Omega/Danielson match. This was a good match that continued to establish MJF as being an asshole but it elevated Pillman to being a fiery babyface who could go out on his own in the future when the Varsity Blonds ever part away. They played their roles perfectly but I think this went on too long for what it was. It did its job but something flashier would have been better in this spot. **3/4

Malakai Black def. Cody Rhodes

Jeri Evagood: New York HATES Cody. HATES HIM. This was pretty darn good, maybe needed to be a little shorter, but I dug this. Malakai Black getting another win over Cody was the right call, even if he had to go for some black mist action to get the deed done. They worked really well together and the crowd enhanced every little thing they did. Malakai Black just fits so well in AEW and everything he does is damn good. Cody Rhodes seemed energized by the crowd (even if they were booing their heads off against him) and worked hard to give us a good match, that could’ve used a little less time. In the end though, this was a satisfying bout, and a good addition to the story they are telling. You know Cody will eventually get that win, but at least Malakai gets to be on top one more time. ***1/2

Griffin Peltier: Malakai Black’s entrance goes hard! Cody was boo’ed while wearing a supersized cape like an asshole. Brandi Rhodes was at ringside on Cody’s side and she got involved by sitting face to face with Black. New York City seems to hate Cody Rhodes and that added an interesting twist. Malakai had Cody’s number on most occasions, outwrestling and outsmarting him until he hit the spinning kick but Cody fell out of the ring. Cody did hit the Cross Rhodes but Black kicked out and then threw Cody into Arn – after Arn slipped and fell of the ring apron. Cody pushed the referee and Black used some black mist to blind Cody and roll him up. The crowd liked the finish and so did I. I wish this ended with a kick after the mist but this ending worked too. ***1/2

Sting & Darby Allin def. FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood)

Jeri Evagood: It is satisfying and refreshing how well AEW uses Sting compared to how he was presented and used in WWE. It is impressive on the part of Sting how motivated he is to work hard and present us with memorable moments while he continues to take part in the action, and this was no different. This was a lot of fun. Darby and Sting, a pairing that has worked out so well and has been a lot of fun. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands, and everyone played their roles amazingly well. I had a blast with all of this, and the ending was great. Sting continues to be helluva entertaining in AEW, and I look forward to even more Sting while we can enjoy him. This is good stuff. Hell, I’m going to go a step further and say this was great. ****

Griffin Peltier: FTR wearing nWo inspired gear is tremendous in a match against Sting. This was a lot of fun to watch, Sting is so good in his role as the wily old veteran alongside Darby. FTR are a great tag team and are tremendous in playing the old Crockett era heel. Darby Allin’s coffin drop onto the apron to secure the finish was an amazing visual. I wouldn’t mind having more Darby and Sting tag team matches. Props to all involved, this was a very good match. ***3/4

AEW Women’s World Championship
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. © def. Ruby Soho

Jeri Evagood: This needed a few minutes more time. With that said I like this was the main event, even knowing Danielson/Omega is on the card. Puts the Women’s Championship in a very high and very important spot that gives off the impression they view it and that it indeed is a significant title. I felt the ending was a bit meh. I don’t mind a little interference but it just came off very blah to me. I appreciate Ruby kicking out of everything and showing us her resilience and her fortitude throughout the match. She is already doing so well, and letting her go in AEW is refreshing after all the whole lot of nothing she did in WWE. Baker is a star, a bonafide star, and I’m so glad to see her get this spot in AEW’s biggest show of all time. If this had a better ending I would’ve gladly rated it higher. As it is though it still gets a good rating as it was a satisfying main event to a show that was a success in almost every way  imaginable.  This show kicked ass. ***1/2

Griffin Peltier: Ruby’s theme song is so good. Ruby is such a success already in AEW: in less than a month she is main eventing one of the biggest Dynamites of all time and does not look out of place. Britt and Soho both look like stars. The match was well worked albeit a bit clunky at times. Rebel and Jamie Hayter are great additions at ringside when they take the brunt end of spots like a big crossbody off the top rope to the outside from Ruby. After the commercial break, this really picked up and led to some fun moments and reversals. Britt hit an avalanche Air Raid Crash but it was not enough! As the match came near the end, Ruby refused to give up after everything Britt put her through but started to make a comeback but Rebel and Hayter interfered (not a good use of them at ringside) that led to Britt locking in the Lockjaw for the win. The match was good until the finish. A non-finish on this show was not needed, especially in the main event spot. Let Baker have her win in the spotlight without the dirty tactics. ***1/2