Original Air Date: December 23, 2020
Event Date: December 17, 2020
(aired on TNT & the FITE app)
Commentary: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Eddie Kingston (3)
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
“Dynamite” by No One Hero
MJF & “The Demo God” “Le Champion” Chris Jericho w/ Jake Hager vs Top Flight
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)
Result: MJF pins Darius Martin after the Heat Seeker (and a trip from Jake Hager)
Very good match. This tag match was a lot of fun, and it was a great example of Chris Jericho being selfless and helping to put over a bunch of young wrestlers. After an opening segment filled with some high-speed offense from Top Flight, Jericho and MJF started to work well as a team to gain some sort of control of the match. The momentum was in Inner Circle’s corner for much of the remainder of the bout, but Top Flight repeatedly struck back with quick and flashy counters. Darius Martin really stood out as the stronger member of his team, but his younger brother Dante looked good as well. The finish itself wasn’t much of a surprise, but the moments leading up to it had some minor surprises with a few of Jericho’s signature moves being countered or kicked out of. In the end, Jericho was taken out at ringside by Dante while MJF and Jake Hager used the (illegal) numbers advantage to overwhelm Darius.
After the match, Jake Hager says the Inner Circle has really come together over the past couple of weeks and every member has pulled their weight… except for Wardlow. Hager is pissed that Wardlow just decides to show up whenever he wants to. Hager says Wardlow is an asset and and asshole, and Tony Khan has granted Hager a match against Wardlow next week. MJF isn’t happy.
The Acclaimed rap about the Young Bucks in a music video.
In the ring, Tony Schiavone welcomes Sting. Schiavone tries to get some more information out of Sting about why he’s here in AEW. Sting tells a story about how Dusty Rhodes helped get him into main event matches when he was breaking into the business. When Sting saw Cody Rhodes leading the charge on TNT, he knew he had to be part of it. Sting then begins to talk about Darby Allin, but he’s interrupted by Team Taz.
With Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Hook by his side, Taz says he’s sick of Sting. Starks doesn’t care about Sting’s business with Cody and Darby, but he does care about Sting sticking his nose in Team Taz business. Taz begins to lead his group into the ring when the lights go out. When the lights come back on, Darby Allin has joined Sting in the ring. Taz decides to leave and fight another day, but not before warning Allin about January 6th when Brian Cage is going to beat Allin for the TNT Title. Cage is ready to fight right now, but he is restrained by the rest of Team Taz.
Alone in the ring, Darby Allin and Sting look at each other until the show cuts to a commercial break.
MJF approaches Santana (with Ortiz) and says he know how hard it is to lose someone close to you. Sanatana shakes MJF’s hand and tells MJF to keep his head up. Ortiz shakes MJF’s hand as well as Santana and Ortiz leave.
Colt Cabana & Dark Order’s 5 & 10 w/ Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Anna Jay vs Jurassic Express
(referee: Paul Turner)
Result: Jungle Boy pins 5 after an assisted sit-out powerbomb (with Luchasaurus)
Very good match. This was fast-paced and a lot of fun. I don’t think this match was particularly important, but it was nice to see Jurassic Express in a trios match on Dynamite. It feels like it’s been a while.
After the match, Tony Schiavone joins Jurassic Express in the ring. Schiavone begins to get some words from the #3 ranked tag team when FTR and Tully Blanchard appear on the video screen. Blanchard says FTR are the 2020 tag team of the year, and they are going to defeat Jurassic Express on January 6th. FTR and Blanchard are on a quest to regain the tag titles, and they won’t be taken down by a bunch of dinosaurs. Blanchard also has a personal warning for Marko Stunt, telling Stunt to not get involved in the match.
At a Hotel
Alex Marvez tracks down Kenny Omega and Don Callis at a hotel. Callis doesn’t like being stalked, and he also doesn’t like how Tony Khan runs AEW. So someone like Pac can make his own matches? It’s a joke. Kenny Omega has a message for Rey Fenix. That message is that Fenix has repeatedly choked in big matches, so what does he think is going to happen when he takes on the champ?
The Butcher w/ The Blade, The Bunny, Eddie Kingston vs “The Bastard” Pac w/ Penta El Zero M
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)
Result: Pac wins via pinfall after the Black Arrow
Very good match. This match had an extremely fun mesh of styles with Pac’s speed and strength versus The Butcher’s old-school-style brawling. It was a hard-hitting fight with some slight shenanigans here and there, but the distractions and interference helped amp up the tension and the feeling or real hostility between Death Triangle and Eddie Kingston’s family. There was an interesting moment late in the match where Kingston was calling for The Butcher to be particularly brutal, but The Butcher hesitated. That prompted Kingston to move towards the ring, but he was kept away by the appearance of Lance Archer. Kingston and Archer didn’t play a direct role in the finish of the match though, which I very much appreciated.
Jade Cargill congratulates Brandi Rhodes on her recent pregnancy announcement, but she thinks it’s awfully convenient that Brandi got pregnant just as a talent like Jade arrived in AEW. Jade calls out Brandi to find her an opponent worthy of her time.
On the stage, Tony Schiavone welcome Penelope Ford, Kip Sabian, and Miro. Sabian thinks Schiavone should feel more honored to be part of the first-ever wedding in AEW. The wedding will be the greatest moment in AEW and in everyone’s lives. As Sabian prepares to announce the date of the wedding, the Best Friends music plays on the video screen. Sabian and Miro prepare for a fight, but the Best Friends never come out. Sabain and Miro laugh. It was a joke! They reveal what really happened to Best Friends by showing us Trent being loaded into an ambulance while Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy watch. Sabian and Miro then announce Sabian and Ford’s wedding date as February 3rd at AEW Beach Break.
Evil Uno w/ Stu Grayson vs “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes w/ Lee Johnson
(referee: Paul Turner)
Result: Dustin Rhodes wins via pinfall after a running bulldog
Good match. Evil Uno started aggressively with a pre-match attack. I didn’t expect that given Uno’s recent calmness when trying to recruit people to the Dark Order. It was a nice way to start the fight though, and it set Dustin up for a comeback which he built upon throughout the match. The finish felt a little sudden, but overall I really enjoyed this. I really enjoyed the commentary here as well. We were told how Dark Order wants Dustin to be #7 in the Dark Order, a number that has a strong significance in the career of Dustin Rhodes (during his time in WCW as the character Seven).
In the ring, Evil Uno gets on his knees and again tries to get Dustin to join Dark Order. Uno gets kicked in the face which prompts Stu Grayson to attack Dustin. Lee Johnson tries to intervene, but he is quickly taken down by Grayson. Uno and Grayson attack Dustin, the QT Marshall runs to the ring for the save. Marshall gets in a few shots on Uno and Grayson before being taken down. Johnson hits Uno and Grayson with a springboard dropkick which finally ends the brawl.
Tony Schiavone welcomes Shawn Spears. Spears throws away his black glove and talks about being the most talented guy in AEW. Just like in his previous job though, there is a glass ceiling here that is holding him down. Schiavone wonders if the problem isn’t management. Maybe the problem is Shawn Spears. Spears says he’s thought about that, and he knows he’s not the problem. Spears leaves and says he’ll come back when and if he feels like it.
Dasha Gonzalez welcomes Hikaru Shida. Shida begins to speak when she is attacked by Abadon. Abadon is restrained so Shida heads to the ring.
Hikaru Shida (AEW Women’s Champ) vs Alex Gracia
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)
Result: Hikaru Shida wins via pinfall after a falcon arrow
Good match. This was one of those matches where Shida is pissed so she tries to finish off her opponent quickly. The champ did just that, even with Abadon lurking at ringside.
After the match, Hikaru Shida picks up her kendo stick and walks over to Abadon who is down at ringside. Abadon surprises Shida, and the two women brawl. Abadon leans Shida up against the barricade and bites the champ on the neck, apparently drawing blood. Abadon leaves as Shida holds her neck.
AEW World Tag Team Title Match
The Acclaimed vs The Young Bucks (AEW Tag Champs)
(referee: Rick Knox)
Result: Matt Jackson pins Max Caster after the BTE Trigger
Very good match. This turned to be a lot better than I though it might be. The Acclaimed looked good throughout the match, and their strength as a team forced the Young Bucks use their superior speed and teamwork to overwhelm the younger team. There were some referee shenanigans and cheating near the end of the match that I wasn’t super into, but it did heighten the tension a bit in the final few minutes. This was a good defense for the champs and a nice step forward for The Acclaimed.
I enjoyed this show overall. Nothing stood out as particularly important, but all the matches were fun and most of the story stuff was interesting. The one thing I really didn’t care for was Abadon biting Shida. It probably would have been better had we not seen Shayna Baszler do essentially the same thing to Becky Lynch in WWE back in February. And yeah, it makes more sense for Abadon to do it since she’s a scary horror monster, but I guess it just felt a bit too much like copying since it was so recent. And it didn’t feel real (which bugs me). My favorite parts of the show were the main event and the Pac vs The Butcher match.
Match of the Night
Pac vs The Butcher
I could have picked the main event as well (and I almost did), but I feel like out of all the matches on tonight’s show, I’m most likely going to watch Pac vs The Butcher again first.