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 just a few days out from Full Gear which means it’s been a VERY busy week here what with three shows in a seven day period of time. The time after a PPV is usually a good time to cleanse the pallet and begin things anew as the major storylines up to this point had gotten definitive payoffs on Saturday. With a clean slate to work from, what new stories will AEW start to tell and will they be as good as the ones we have just closed the book on? Let’s find out!!
Team Taz comes out to announce that Brian Cage will be wrestling RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW, but before we can get on with the carnage, Taz calls out to Darby Allin (the new TNT champion) up in the cheap seats and advises him to not interfere or else he’ll be turned into a bloody smear on the ground. He then starts talking smack to the visibly nonplussed Darby Allin about how he’s a TRUE wrestler and has no respect for the legends that came before. Cage’s opponent on the other hand, is a WONDERFUL athlete and a genuine challenger for Brian Cage, and that challenger is…
Brian Cage Vs. Matt Sydal
Kind of a random note here, but I have never seen Sydal wrestle anywhere else but here, and do you know who he reminds me of? Dolph Ziggler. They KIND of have similar faces and they both seem to have a retro cornball thing going on, but while I GENUINELY love Ziggler and think he’s a fine wrestler, Sydal is pretty amazing and I’m a little bit surprised at just how good this match is! I figured it would just be another squash match to give Brian Cage an edge in wherever his story goes next, but was a fun competitive match between two guys with vastly different skill sets while still managing to work together seamlessly. Sydal’s Achilles heel seems to be his ego as he takes every opportunity to mug to the crowd, and against another opponent that would probably be fine… but he’s up against THE MACHINE Brian Cage who is not easy to take down and is VERY quick to get back up. After an initial flurry from Sydal, Cage takes firm control of this match and tosses Cage around the ring which under normal circumstances would be the end of Sydal, but he manages to tough out of it and gives Cage a run for his money. Cage goes for some sort of move off the ropes but Sydal manages to reverse it into a Powerbomb and follows up with a Meteora. Instead of pressing the advantage with a few moves on the ground though, Sydal goes back to the top rope which gives Cage enough time to roll out of the way. Fortunately Sydal manages to avoid a Powerbomb from Cage and keeps up the offensive but just can’t put Cage away no matter how many kicks and flips he does. Perhaps the most impressive moment is when Cage goes for a Powerbomb and Sydal somehow flips it into a Hurricanrana into a pin, and yet it’s STILL not enough to put Cage away! Despite putting up a valiant fight, it’s not Sydal’s night to win as he once again goes for a move from the top rope but Cage grabs him out of mid-air and drops him into a Drillclaw; pinning Sydal and winning the match. As soon as the match is over, Ricky Starks grabs the mic to proclaim his intentions of challenging Darby Allin for the TNT title because he is now finally ranked and he and his team will DESTROY anyone who dares to get in the way of his path to glory! Considering the promo that came before it and how much Taz is pumping up his two boys for greatness it would have been the perfect time to have a squash match to make Cage look as strong as possible, but instead he had a great match with Sydal and still looked great by the end of it. Team Taz’s story got derailed a bit by Lance Archer getting COVID, but it looks like things are back on track and I can only hope they have big plans for not just these three but for Will Hobbs as well! He’s still owed that six man tag match, right?
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!