Hangman Page defends the AEW World Championship against Bryan Danielson at tonight's Winter is Coming episode of Dynamite in Garland, Texas.
Page won the World title by defeating Kenny Omega at the Full Gear pay-per-view on November 13. The same night, Danielson defeated Miro in the finals of the AEW World title eliminator tournament to set up the match. It will be Page's first title defense.
MJF will take on Dante Martin for the Dynamite Diamond ring tonight. MJF and Martin were the final two participants in a battle royale on last week's Dynamite to determine the finalists. MJF has won the Diamond two years running.
In the women's division, former Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida will face Serena Deeb. Deeb has been targeting Shida for weeks and attacking her injured left leg.
Also announced for the show, The Pinnacle's Wardlow will take on Matt Sydal.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show Report --
Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Taz were on commentary. Before the match, Justin Roberts did the big-match ring introductions for both participants.
AEW World Championship: Hangman Page (c) vs. Bryan Danielson went to a 60-minute time-limit draw
Personal qualms with the time-limit draw finish aside (Page *really* couldn't just beat Danielson at 59:55? It wouldn't have hurt Danielson in the slightest but it would've been huge for Page...), this was one of the best matches in AEW history.
They had a strong lockup to start, with Danielson baiting Page in with a not-so-clean break. The next exchange was won by Danielson, who used his leverage to back-arch Page over his head. Page came back with a shoulder tackle, but Danielson picked the champion's leg and they regrouped once more. There were more technical exchanges until Page scouted a Danielson pick and booted him in the chest, stunning the challenger for the first time.
Page gained full control for the first time by catching a Danielson leapfrog and turning it into a slam. Danielson countered by deathlocking Page's legs together and kneeing the champion's midsection. He locked on a Romero special and turned it into a dragon sleeper version before letting it go. Page ran through a Danielson chop and came back with one of his own.
In the corner, Page laid in ten punches. Danielson used a single-leg takedown to wrench on the champion's leg. He then locked on a side Figure Four and laid in ground and pound. Danielson sent Page to the apron, where the champion wanted the Buckshot Lariat, but Danielson cut him off with a forearm, sending him to the floor. Page then countered a dive and hit a springboard forearm followed by a pescado. The crowd was probably 2/3 or so in favor of Page.
Back in the ring, Page went for a diving lariat but was cut off with a mid kick. Danielson catapulted Page's ribs into the bottom rope. He tied the champion in the ropes and laid in chops across the chest, then landed a diving knee drop for two ahead of a commercial break.
Once back, Page turned the tables into a back suplex to buy him some time. Danielson used his corner escalera with some evasive maneuvers, but Page caught him and hit a fallaway slam. Page crotched Danielson over the top rope and hit a springboard lariat to send the challenger to the floor. A tope suicida was next followed by a top-rope Orihara moonsault all the way to the floor in a cool spot.
Page went for the sliding lariat, but Danielson reversed it into a cradle for two. The champion kicked out and immediately hit a Death Valley driver for two of his own. They battled on the top rope, where Danielson snuck out of a superplex and punched out Page's legs. Page punched Danielson away and went for a moonsault, but Danielson rolled out of the way and used La Magistral cradle for a good near fall. Page countered a knee lift into a near fall cradle of his own.
Danielson went for the LeBell Lock, but Page turned it into a roll-up. The challenger kicked out and applied an ankle lock before kicking the champion's midsection. Danielson attacked Page in the corner, hitting two running dropkicks, but Page turned a third into a pop-up powerbomb for two. The champion set up for the Buckshot Lariat, but Danielson rolled out of the ring.
Page went for another Orihara moonsault, but Danielson popped up and shoved him off the top rope onto the apron. He sent Page into the ring post and repeatedly drove his shoulder into it. Page was busted open leading into a second break. Throughout commercial, Page was checked on by officials.
Upon return, Danielson hit a sliding dropkick and a diving knee to Page on the floor. He beat down Page in the corner as the champion continued to bleed. Danielson then targeted Page's arm, but Page countered a Busaiku Knee. Danielson fought out of a slam attempt and hit a German suplex bridge for two followed by Cattle Mutilation, forcing Page to roll over to reach the ropes.
On the apron, Danielson laid in mid kicks until Page avoided one and Danielson kicked the ring post. Page capitalized by driving Danielson's knee into the post. Back in the ring, Page locked on the Figure Four, forcing Danielson to reach the ropes ahead of a third commercial break.
Back from commercial, Danielson hit an enziguiri before they traded strikes in the center of the ring. He countered a pop-up powerbomb into a hurricanrana cradle for two before transitioning into a cross-armbreaker attempt. Page rolled into a triangle hold but was able to power up into a powerbomb -- but Danielson kept the hold on before Page rolled to the ropes.
Danielson laid in more strikes, but Page surprised Danielson with a tombstone piledriver for a near fall. They fought on the top rope, where Danielson fought out and hit a Regal-plex bridge for two. Danielson then hit an avalanche back suplex for two more. He went for the Gotch-style piledriver on the apron, but Hangman reversed it and hit the Deadeye.
Page climbed to the top rope and went for a dive, but Danielson moved out of the way and Page went crashing through the timekeeper's table. We got a fourth commercial break. During the break, Danielson rolled back the padding on the floor and exposed the concrete, hitting Page with a DDT.
Upon return, Page hit a German suplex. Danielson went for his kicks, but they didn't have the intended effect. Page went for lariats, but the same thing happened to him as the two participants had targeted those body parts early on. They fought on the top rope yet again, where Page flipped out of an avalanche back suplex and hit a huge rolling lariat.
They traded forearms in the center of the ring. They traded cradles, Page flipped out of a German, and then they both hit discus forearms. Danielson countered a forearm into a sick high kick, which crumpled the champion. He then hit a buzzsaw kick for a near fall. Danielson "kicked Page's teeth in," but Page countered the Busaiku Knee into Deadeye for a good near fall.
Page returned the favor by kicking Danielson's head in with two minutes left. He went for the Buckshot Lariat, but Danielson turned it into the LeBell Lock. The challenger peppered Page with crossfaces as the one-minute call sounded. Page catapulted Danielson into the ropes and came back with a huge lariat. The Buckshot Lariat followed, but then the time-limit call rang. The champion retained.
The SuperKliq and Bobby Fish were backstage. Cole talked about leaving the Best Friends laying multiple times. Nick suggested an eight-man tag on Rampage, then Matt suggested they superkick Sue in the face. Cole teased a Christmas present for the Young Bucks next week on Dynamite.
Wardlow (w/ Shawn Spears) defeated Matt Sydal
Sydal quickly attacked with kicks, and use his elusiveness to avoid power moves. He laid in high kicks, but Wardlow caught a spinning heel kick and turned it into a powerbomb. Wardlow then laid in more powerbombs, but Spears grabbed a mic and just told Wardlow to pin him. Wardlow hit one more powerbomb for the win in about two minutes.
– After the match, Spears attacked Sydal with the chair. He got a call from MJF and relayed the message that Wardlow will have to go pick up some champagne later tonight for MJF's victory.
A video package aired for Tay Conti and Penelope Ford's budding rivalry.
Malakai Black talked about how human nature is violent -- and we should accept that. He appears to have disciples in the House of Black. "The House always wins."
Hikaru Shida defeated Serena Deeb
This was quite good, but it may have been the weakest of their three matches.
Deeb attacked before the bell, so Shida tossed her kendo stick at her. The official briefly separated them and the match got started, where they immediately started brawling. Shida isolated Deeb in the corner and hit a dropkick. She hit a springboard crossbody, but Deeb rolled through into a knee bar, forcing Shida to fight to the ropes. Shida went for a corner knee, but Deeb avoided it and locked on a Figure Four across the ring post, continuing to target Shida's knee into the break.
Shida fired up upon return from commercial, laying in repeated right hands. She hit a step-up enziguiri for two followed by a delayed vertical suplex for two more. They fought on the top rope, where Deeb regained control by wrenching on Shida's knee. She followed it up with a neckbreaker across the steel cable in the corner for two.
Deeb floated over into a modified Muta lock, but Shida made it to the ropes to force a break. She attacked with multiple twisting neckbreakers, but Shida powered out into a Falcon Arrow to start her comeback. They jockeyed for position and traded cradles until Deeb locked on a single-leg Boston crab.
Shida still wouldn't tap, so Deeb exposed the top turnbuckle in frustration. Shida blocked an attempt to send her into it and they traded more cradles until Shida kicked Deeb into the turnbuckle. She then jackknifed Deeb into yet another cradle for the win.
The Varsity Blonds were backstage with Schiavone, who asked them about Malakai Black's attack on Julia Hart. Garrison said that Hart's not here and that Black's a coward. Pillman told Garrison to not play into Black's plan, but Garrison was heated and shoved Pillman away. He said that next week, he'd break Black's jaw.
HOOK's debut was recapped.
Eddie Kingston addressed Daniel Garcia and 2poin0. He said he was tired of them, and challenged them to a five-on-five tag match: Kingston, Santana & Ortiz, & the Lucha Brothers vs. 2point0, Garcia, and whomever they would like to tag with.
Before the match, MJF called this place a dump and insulted the fans. He was met with "CM Punk" chants. He said he deserves a title shot when he beats Dante, who he could beat with a headlock takeover.
MJF defeated Dante Martin for the Dynamite Diamond Ring
This was a great main event between two of the best young guns in the sport.
MJF hit a side headlock takeover right away for a near fall. Dante out-maneuvered MJF with his athleticism and hit a wild rolling 450 knee drop for two. He wanted a springboard, but MJF rolled to the floor and avoided a dive. MJF tried to catch Dante upon re-entry to the ring, but Dante had it scouted. He went for his double springboard moonsault, but MJF countered it and sent Dante all the way into the barricade on the floor. MJF dominated throughout a commercial.
Once back, Dante turned a powerbomb attempt into a victory roll for two. MJF then hit the powerbomb and stacked Dante up using the ropes as leverage, but the official stopped the count when he saw the illegal pin. Dante was perched on the top rope, and he came back with a missile dropkick to start his comeback.
Dante backflipped to avoid a tackle and then hit an absurd dive on MJF to the floor, followed by an even more absurd tope con giro over the top turnbuckle, followed by yet an even more absurd Fosbury flop. He then hit a ridiculous springboard shooting star press on MJF out on the floor. What an incredible sequence from the youngster.
Back in the ring, Dante rained down strikes in the corner before rolling up MJF multiple times for two. MJF surprised Dante out of nowhere with a side headlock takeover for a near fall. They traded more cradles until Dante hit a side headlock takeover of his own for a near fall. MJF powered out and hit a Liger bomb for yet another near fall.
Dante hit his double springboard moonsault, but Ricky Starks ran down to break up the pin. MJF then locked on the Salt of the Earth for the submission victory to win the Dynamite Diamond Ring for the third time.
– After the match, FTR came out to celebrate with MJF. The lights went out, then Sting and Darby Allin appeared and they brawled. MJF gave his side the numbers advantage and they beat down Darby and Sting until CM Punk's music played. Punk ran out with a baseball bat to run off the Pinnacle.