AEW World Champion "Hangman" Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson Ended in a 60-Minute Time-Limit Draw
As soon as this started the show (in addition to how only four matches in total were advertised), you had to know this was going the full 60 minutes. Knowing it was going to end in a time-limit draw didn't hinder my enjoyment of it at all, but I said going in that I wouldn't be a fan of the finish because AEW just did it with Danielson three months ago when he faced Kenny Omega in his official in-ring debut. That said, this was an excellent match as expected. They paced it perfectly, told a terrific story and had the crowd on their feet by the end. My only nitpick (aside from the finish) was the flow being hurt the constant commercial breaks, but that's what happens when you do this sort of stuff on TV. This obviously sets up a rematch, most likely for the Battle of the Belts show.
Wardlow def. Matt Sydal
This served as a fine filler match coming off that hot opener. Wardlow is well on his way to a big babyface turn and I appreciate that they're taking their time with it. Wardlow made short work of Sydal here and the beatdown continued afterward at the behest of Shawn Spears, who you can tell Wardlow detests. It's going to be a big moment when he inevitably snaps, so hopefully AEW pulls that trigger when the time is right.
Hikaru Shida def. Serena Deeb
This was the rubber match in the feud between these two. Why not give this a stipulation as opposed to that random upcoming Submission match between Tay Conti and Penelope Ford on Friday's Rampage? It wasn't on the same level as their second match in late October, but it was still very good and it was nice that they got an ample amount of time. Shida not winning with a decisive pinfall makes me think there's more to come from them, which I'm not sure is necessary given how little creative attention this rivalry has gotten lately.
MJF def. Dante Martin to Maintain the Dynamite Diamond Ring
I wouldn't go so far as to call 2021 Dante's "breakout" year because I think he has yet to fully break out on his own and the best is yet to come from him, but he's had a slew of impressive performances this year and this was no exception. He and MJF had a quality contest, even if it didn't come close to anything we saw in the opener. MJF retaining the diamond ring was the right call as I'd have him hold it for several years in a row before finally dropping it so it means as much as possible. A "gigantic" match announcement by Tony Khan was promoted all night and it ended up being CM Punk, Darby Allin and Sting vs. MJF and FTR for next week. Don't get me wrong, that should be a lot of fun, but it shouldn't have been hyped up as one of the biggest matches in AEW history. The lights going out only for it to be Sting and Allin was underwhelming as well.
This can't be considered anything less than a great show given what we got from Page vs. Danielson. My thoughts on the finish aside, it lived up to the hype and left me looking forward to the rematch. The rest of the show was filled out well with some enjoyable matches and progression of certain storylines, so the second-annual Winter Is Coming special was a definite success. Here's hoping Dynamite can close out 2021 on a high note as they prepare for its move to TBS at the start of the new year.