AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
After things were so tragically derailed at the end of the year, it’s time for AEW to get things back on track and to hopefully start the New Year off with a bang! With a solid card, celebrity cameos, and a main event with Kenny Omega and Rey Fénix, do they bring enough bang for your buck, or is this a fireworks show that consisting of three sparklers and half a cherry bomb? Let’s find out!!
Young Bucks & SCU Vs. The Acclaimed & TH2 – Eight Man Tag Match
This definitely feels like a filler match which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but despite there being a baked in storyline here with all four teams in some sort of feud it’s mostly just to show off some cool moves and for Kazarian to cut a promo at the end. There are some fun spots here (mostly from The Bucks who clear the ring at least TWICE in this match) and I like that they’re foreshadowing SCU’s promo by having Daniels be the one on the receiving end of the heat segments, but it also means that none of it particularly stuck with me. Jack Evans has a really cool looking spin kick from the apron, There’s a BTE trigger with Nick Jackson and Kazarian, and Angélico is definitely someone who should get more of the spotlight (much like Kazarian), and eventually Matt Jackson and Christopher Daniels finish off Jack Evans with a Meltzer Driver. Short, sweet, and to the point; certainly a solid enough way to start off a show. It’s then time for Kazarian to grab the mic and confirms what was announced on Being The Elite. The next time he and Daniels lose a tag team match, SCU will dissolve and they will be a team any longer. I’m pretty sure Kurt Angle had a similar deal going on in 2010 that eventually went sideways, but it was at TNA and I’m pretty sure AEW can do a better job than them with this kind of story. If nothing else, it’s a chance for Daniels to get the spotlight again before he puts his career to an end.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
They’ve been saying for weeks now that Winter is Coming, but today’s the day that Winter has come, and it’s here to kick some serious butt! We’ve got Jon Moxley Vs. Kenny Omega in the main event for the AEW World Championship which has been bubbling in the background for MONTHS now, and on top of that they’ve got the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale to try and make this the biggest show of the year! Does this live up to all the potential (and the expectations) that AEW has worked to build up, or has AEW squandered all the hype for their biggest match of the year on a show that just doesn’t come together? Let’s find out!!
Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale
MJF, Wardlow, Sammy Guevara, Miro, Kip Sabian, Orange Cassidy, John Silver, Alex Reynolds, Isiah Kassidy, Marq Quen, Matt Hardy, Shawn Spears, Scorpio Sky, Matt Sydal, Serpentico, Luther, Joey Janela, Jungle Boy, Lee Johnson, and Hangman Adam Page
So just like last year’s match there are actually TWO winners here as the last two in the ring will have a match next week, and ALSO just like last year I had no idea this was the case while watching it. I mean they go to the trouble of having Justin Roberts SAY as much before the match begins, but I usually don’t expect pertenant information I don’t already know from the guy and it’s very rare that you see a Battle Royael where there’s more than one winner. Heck, the one time it happened to John Cena and Batista at the Royal Rumble was such a botch that it broke both of Vince McMahon’s legs! In any case, the point of this match is less about who makes it to the end than it is about keeping the pot boiling on all of their various subplots throughout the company.
First Elimination – Isaiah Kassidy is trying to throw Silver over the ropes, but Matt Hardy comes from behind and tries to toss them both. Silver manages to hold on, but Kassidy is eliminated.
See, right off the bat we’ve got Private Party’s supposed mentor tossing one of them out of the ring! Perhaps this new Matt Hardy persona we’ve been seeing recently (Huckster Matt as I like to call him) is no longer interested in helping these boys succeed!
Second Elimination – Silver and Reynolds do that AWESOME Stunner/German Suplex combination on Serpentico, and while the man/serpent is trying to recover, the Hangman comes in and Buckshot lariats his out of ring.
Third Elimination – Luther is on the ropes and Silver and Reynolds encourage Hangman to knock him off. He hits him once but Luther is still holding on, so he takes another shot and Luther falls to the ground.
Silver and Page’s match last week was a DEFINITE highlight of the show and I’m glad that we’re seeing that story advance here as The Dark Order continues to try and woo him to their side; something we’ll see even more of as the match continues.
Fourth Elimination – After hemming and hawing about getting in the ring, Shawn Spears finally jumps in and tosses Matt Sydal over the ropes onto the ramp. I didn’t realize the ramp counted, but I guess it does and Sydal is eliminated.
Fifth Elimination – Scorpio Sky comes up from behind to grab Spears and tosses him over the ropes to the ACTUAL ground and not the ramp.
Sixth Elimination – Not to take such offense lightly, Spears gets the metal slug from Tully Blanchard and jumps on the apron to bash Sky on the back with it. In immense pain after taking that hit, Sky is prompted eliminated when Wardlow tosses him over the ropes.
Seventh Elimination – Once again, we’ve got a member of Private Party (This time Marq Quen) trying to take out a member of the Dark Order (This time Alex Reynolds) when Matt Hardy comes from behind and tries to dump them both. BOTH of them manage to hold on this time though, but Matt Hardy tosses Silver into Reynolds which knocks him out of the ring.
Eighth Elimination – Silver tries to get revenge for Reynolds and Gorilla Presses Marq Quen to try and throw him over the ropes, but, but Quen wriggles out and manages to push Silver forward who then falls over the ropes that Matt Hardy is pulling down.
Again, we see Matt Hardy being a huge jerk to his boys, but somehow Quen hasn’t caught on yet and hasn’t tried to eliminate Hardy himself. I hope there are some serious consequences for all this soon, but we’ll have to wait and see. Sadly The Dark Order will not be taking home the Dynamite Diamond Ring this year, but perhaps they’ll walk away with an even bigger prize!
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with more explosive wrestling action, but this week isn’t just ANY episode of Dynamite! For a month now they’ve been advertising this show as the CHRIS JERICHO THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION to commemorate his three decades of butt kicking and smack talking in this business! Does this mean the bubbly will flow thru sprinklers? Will there be a song and dance number or an impromptu Fozzy concert!? We’ll we’re not going to find out by speculating about it, so let’s get started!!
The episode begins with a sincere out of kayfabe segment where the wrestlers of AEW explain just how important Chris Jericho was to them and to making this company what it is today. Of course they can’t show ninety percent of his career because despite wrestling outside of WWE quite a bit that footage STILL ended up in WWE’s hands, but it was still a nice little moment for the promotion! Jericho doesn’t come out to start the show however. Instead we get an unrelated but still pretty darn awesome match!
Brian Cage Vs. Will Hobbs – FTR Title Match
Taz and Ricky Starks are on commentary
Will Hobbs has been the talk of AEW for weeks now and our appetite for some WILL POWER has only grown more desperate as his big match was canceled due to Lance Archer getting sick. Fortunately Brian Cage is on hand to have a hell of a Big Man fight with this rising talent, and unsurprisingly the end result is a fantastic opening fight! Will definitely comes out of this looking strong as Cage doesn’t squash him right away (pour one out for Pineapple Pete), and both are VERY athletic while projecting so much power in everything they do. It’s almost like watching a Kaiju film on fast forward as all of their moves feel big and heavy, but they can still pull off an impressive amount of speed and dexterity when the need arises. It’s not too complicated of a match as far as the moves. Chops, body checks, suplexes, it’s all very standard and very well executed, but moments like when Cage does a Standing Moonsault or when Hobbs does a Jumping Shoulder Tackle punctuate the action and keeps it exciting all the way through. The only part where things felt a bit off was a moment where Hobbs and Cage seem to forget what they were supposed to do as they just stare at each other before Brian Cage jumps up and takes a Powerbomb from Hobbs. Other than that I found this match to be close to perfect in terms of what it’s trying to accomplish with the wrestlers they have to work with. Cage does something that I THINK was an F5 and only gets a two count, they start trading German Suplexes before giving each other simultaneous clotheslines that knock them flat on their backs, and as soon as they get up from all that they just start trading blows to try and annihilate the other; piece by piece. Hobbs’s fatal mistake in this match however comes after he lands his finisher, The Last Will and Testament, but only gets a two count. Instead of pressing the advantage that he has, he goes for something risky to try to put the match away quickly, namely a Frog Splash from the top rope, but Cage rolls out of the way with easy and with Hobbs on the ground he picks him up to land a Drill Claw for the win. Hobbs may be an exciting talent for the company, but his inexperience showed in that moment and Cage made him pay dearly for it! It was a very simple story with very straightforward action, but the two men did a PHENOMENAL job here and I loved every minute of it! It’s not just a revelation for Will Hobbs who looked amazing; Cage as well managed to look like more than just a big scary guy which is where he’s kind of been stuck at ever since his debut; a little bit above Wardlow, but not quite as compelling as Lance Archer. A great match that did a lot for both men; and really what more could you ask for?
All Out and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan
The last few weeks of television have been disappointing as AEW is stumbling their way towards not just to this PPV but having a live audience again and doing it in a way that’s safe while also enhancing the show. It hasn’t been an easy journey and they’ve made some mistakes, but the buildup to this show has been solid if nothing else, and with so many marquee matches to watch… well, let’s just hope that they can pull it off better than they’ve been pulling off Dynamite; and CERTAINLY better than from what I heard went down in that women’s Tag Tournament. Is this show a culmination of all the stumbling effort they’ve been putting in the last few weeks, or has all that bad luck spilled over to the PPV itself? Let’s find out!!
Joey Janela Vs. Serpentico – Buy In Match
Serpentico is accompanied to the ring by Luther while Janela is accompanied by Sonny Kiss
Serpentico is one of those dudes who I’ve seen A LOT standing on the outside of the ring these last few months, but this will be the first I’m seen him in a match. According to the announcers, he and Luther have formed a tag team on Dark which is why he’s out here sticking his tongue out like he does, and Luther if you recall was the dude who was hanging out with Brandie Rhodes when she was doing her Nightmare Collective Shtick. Well whoever these guys are, Joey comes out the gate with gusto as he’s still upset about having lost his match against Jericho as badly as he did (complete with giant bandage on his forehead in case you forgot what happened), and in his rage he manages to shake off whatever offense Serpentico can muster… at least until he gets pushed off the top rope and takes a real nasty looking tumble. It doesn’t look like he got injured, but it was definitely not a fun ride down! Serpentico takes over for most of the match after that and the guy seems like a decent wrestler with some solid gymnastics to his repertoire, but the story of this match is that Joey has more stamina and strength; so whatever ten moves Serpentico dishes out can’t seem to match the impact of one of Janela’s. Now usually the one who has to fight from underneath is the babyface in a match like this, but Serpentico is also a dirty cheater as he’s constantly distracting the ref so that Luther can take cheap shots at Janela, and with this strategy Serpentico is able to stay in the game and even get a few near falls, but it’s just not enough to secure victory. Janela’s building up speed for a big attack on Serpentico, but Luther grabs his legs from the outside while the ref is distracted. Sonny Kiss, who’s been holding back this entire match, decks Luther in the face and Janela finishes him off with a Diving Drop Kick. With Luther no longer a factor, Janela knocks Serpentico down with a running clothesline before landing a top rope elbow drop to get the pin. It was a fine match though I think Janela is one of those guys who works WAY better when he’s got a story to build off of. Even something simple as his feud with Shawn Spears led to that AMAZING Santa Claus match, so if this is the start of something with Serpentico then I’m all for it!
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
Now that Double or Nothing is in our rearview mirror, this week’s dynamite has the unenviable task of trying to pick things up where the big payoff of the show left off and start things fresh, all while making an entertaining wrestling program in the worst time to be running wrestling shows! Is this a successful follow-up enticing us with things to come, or are they gonna need another week or so to get their wind back? Let’s find out!!
The show begins with The Inner Circle at their lowest point; commiserating their lose in the Stadium Stampede match at Double or Nothing. It’s not just because this latest failure is yet another hit to their ego (and even more broken bones for Sammy), they had purchased boxes upon boxes of INNER CIRCLE STADIUM STAMPEDE CHAMPIONS shirts in anticipation of their victory, and now they won’t be able to sell them. I’m not sure why as I’d certainly buy one of those shirts, but in any case, this is yet another hilarious segment from The Inner Circle and really got the show off on the right note!
Young Bucks & Matt Hardy Vs. Private Party & Joey Janela – Six Man Tag Match
Speaking of great comedy segments, Matt Hardy and The Bucks have a promo before the match where they cycle through Hardy Personas to find the right fit for the match which is one upbeat pop song away from a Trying On Clothes Montage in an eighties film. I’m actually not sure which personality the settle on as it’s implied to be an even earlier version of Matt Hardy than the Hardy Boyz persona and I didn’t realize there was such a thing, but regardless of that it’s always fun to see what he comes up with and how he changes his style and presence depending on what side of him he settles on. It’s actually kind of a brilliant gimmick that I’m surprised more wrestlers don’t do! We were certainly begging for Christopher Daniels to be the Fallen Angel again during his feud with The Dark Order, right? As far as the match itself… well, it’s fine but perhaps a bit too straightforward. We haven’t seen The Bucks team together in some time and Matt Hardy is really hot right now, so Private Party and Joey Janela are once again on hand to make the other talent look good. Sure the whole thing is in no way a squash match as AEW is not about burying its talent, but it feels a bit too much like they’re just going through the motions to shake off the ring rust after The Bucks’ long sabbatical. Still, Isiah, Marq, and Joey put a lot of heart into this match and certainly hold their own against The Bucks and Hardy even if we know where it’s all headed. The match comes to an end when The Bucks land a Bang For Your Buck on Isiah Kassidy (which basically means they jump on him three times), and Matt Hardy pins whatever’s left for the win. As soon as the bell rings, Matt Hardy jumps down and helps Marq Quen to the back with the ref and a very bruised Isiah Kassidy in tow; leaving The Bucks alone in the ring and Joey… somewhere else I guess. They are then immediately jumped by The Butcher & The Blade, presumably still upset about the Superkick, when out of nowhere a car rolls up on Daily’s Stadium and none other than the former Revival who are now referred to as FTR get out and head to the ring. Initially, they feign assisting The Butcher & The Blade… but instead they turn around and whoop their butts; saving The Young Bucks from the savage beating they were in the middle of. After the ring is clear and it’s just FTR and The Bucks, FTR walks out of the ring and out of Daily’s place without a word but definitely making their mark. These guys have been MISERABLE for the past year or so under their WWE contract and I’m glad to see them on TV again and clearly enjoying what they’re doing!