Wrestling Review: AEW Winter is Coming (2021)

It was one year ago that Kenny Omega shocked the world, and with the help of Don Callis stole the AEW Championship from Jon Moxley. How fitting it is then that year’s AEW (All Elite Wrestling) Winter Is Coming features an AEW Championship defence by the man who won it fair and square from Omega: Hangman Adam Page. Page will defend his title against the winner of AEW Championship Eliminator Tournament, “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson in what is certain to be a hard hitting affair. Following a month of Danielson running through members of The Dark Order, Page will be looking to get more than just a bit of revenge as he defends his championship for the very first time. Also on the show, MJF and Dante Martin face off in the main event for the AEW Dynamite Diamond Ring. MJF is the incumbent ring holder, and a former two-time winner, so this will certainly be the toughest match of young Dante Martin’s life in his first ever Dynamite main event. Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb will look to settle their rivalry in their third meeting, and with the scores currently tied at one win a piece, each woman will give it their all in less-than-friendly competition. Finally, Matt Sydal has the unenviable task of facing the dangerous monster, Wardlow.

+ MJF vs Dante Martin (Dynamite Diamond Ring Match): this was a clash of styles in a huge way, as MJF’s old-school tactics played the foil to Martin’s wild high flying. Dante Martin is still missing that “it factor” that the other young guys in AEW have (MJF included, obviously) but I am absolutely looking forward to when he starts to click. MJF was the star here, and as much as I can’t stand him, I do enjoy his wrestling
+ Serena Deeb vs Hikaru Shida: this is the third match between the two, and it was billed as the rubber match to settle their 1-1 scorecards; in that sense, it did not achieve the goal. The match was good, and it was certainly a highlight of the show, but I just get the feeling they aren’t done
+ Hangman Adam Page (c) vs Bryan Danielson (AEW World Championship): this match kicked off the show, and from the get go it was very obvious how it was going to go – in this case however, that predictability is not meant as a negative. Danielson’s recent bad guy schtick has been something beautiful to behold, especially when you consider that he didn’t really change anything about his promos or wrestling. It’s a bold move to put the new champion in a match against one of the best wrestlers in the world, because by comparison it made Hangman look a bit out of his depth; still good, but not the better man in the match as a champion should be. There was one awkward stretch in the middle of this match, possibly where a commercial break would have been on live TV, but still this was a lot of fun and a very good match to watch

aew_winteriscoming_2021_2
Bryan Danielson (left) versus Hangman Adam Page for the AEW World Championship

Wardlow (w/ Shawn Spears) vs Matt Sydal: if I’m being honest, this did not do it for me at all. Wardlow needs to be having longer matches, and what happened here to Sydal did not do anybody any favours

> there was also a taped segment from Malakai Black, some follow up from Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr., and a match set up between Penelope Ford and Tay Conti (oh baby). I really love how this show actually builds things for the future

Should you watch this event: I’m not going to pretend this was anything more than a one match show, but that one match is absolutely worth going out of your way to see – if you can find the time. Hangman/Danielson will be a marquee moment in the history of AEW, in my opinion, but if you’ve got a spare two hours then you can’t go wrong with the whole show.

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