home | wrestling | flashback_reviews | aew

AEW Dynamite: New Year's Smash!- December 27, 2023

by Doc Allen

AEW Holiday Bash

Live from Addition Financial Arena in Orlando, Florida. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 5,288. Tony Shiavone, Taz, and Excalibur are on commentary.

Continental Classic - Gold League Finals:
Jon Moxley vs. Jay White vs. Swerve Strickland

Fans are standing for this one. Swerve and Mox start with a brawl. They pause to throw White over the rails. The fight spills out into the stands, Mox atomic drops White on a guard rail. Swerve sits Mox for a running boot to the face. Back to ringside, White chop blocks Moxley's bad knee. White dodges Swerve's dive, but takes a rebound knee to the face. Swerve bites Moxley's middle finger and nails a flying uppercut behind the skull. Swerve stomps Jay's fingers and hits an elbow drop. Swerve backdrops Mox onto White and gets them both with a diving frog splash outside. Back from commercials, Mox fights through his knee injury to hit a tope suicida. Mox piledrives Strickland for 2. Swerve flies into Moxley's DDT but kicks out. Mox hauls Swerve to a ringside table, but White returns with a barrage of chair shots. Swerve rolls up White for a nearfall and then cuts him down with quick kicks. Power slam by Swerve, followed by a 450 splash, but Mox wakes up to break the cover. Back from MORE commercials, everyone stumbles to their feet for a slugfest. White gives Swerve a sleeper suplex, but Mox puts him into the Bulldog Choke. Swerve breaks the hold with a dropkick, but White pushes him into Moxley's lariat. White plants Moxley right next to Swerve for an easy rescue. Fans chant "fight forever!" White hits desperation chair shots, but Swerve smashes him through a propped chair. Swerve pulls Moxley's tights for a red hot nearfall. Strickland and Moxley exchange slaps until Mox hits the canvas. Mox bites Swerve's hand, White interrupts the Swerve Stomp. Mox reverses Blade Runner into a lariat and hits Death Rider to win at 23:17! Moxley winning was the safe and easy choice, but this felt like a great opportunity to pull another trigger on Strickland. This was still a super fun opener with lots of nice twists and turns, ***¾.
Continental Classic - Gold League Winner: Jon Moxley

Hype video for the Blue League Finals. Bryan Danielson got the tournament he's always wanted, despite going to a draw against Claudio Castagnoli. Eddie Kingston loves being the King of the Underdogs. Bryan thinks Eddie is a bum, but Eddie is taking it as a badge of honor.

Tony Shiavone chats with a heated Swerve Strickland (with Prince Nana). Swerve argues that despite losing the finals, he proved himself as one of the best in the industry throughout the tournament. Since Swerve is free at World's End, he might as well settle the score with Keith Lee. Tony has a contract ready, Nana protests that he was left out of the loop. Swerve tells Nana to chill and they head off.

Renee Paquette hosts Mariah May on the stage. Mariah excuses last week's attack on Riho as just supporting her pal, Toni Storm. She doesn't think 2023 has the right energy for her, so she'll make her in-ring debut on the first Dynamite of 2024. Riho shows up to chase Mariah into the ring. AEW Women's Champion Toni Storm makes a failed run in attack and needs Luther to rescue her. Riho dives onto Toni in Luther's arms anyway.

Top Flight and Action Andretti talk to the camera backstage. They're looking for opponents, which means Orange Cassidy naturally thinks they're talking about him and makes the match. Rocky Romero tells Top Flight not to take it personally since Cassidy did the same thing to him last week.

Christian Cage sits down with Lexi Nair ahead of an interview and wonders outloud where the hell Renee is.

Miro video promo. He's feuding with his wife, CJ Perry, again, so he is going to kill her client, Andrade El Idolo, because he wants to. This sets up a Battle of the Malcontents at World's End.

Tony Shiavone hosts The Don Callis Family (Don Callis, Konosuke Takeshita, Will Hobbs, and Kyle Fletcher) for a Boxing Week Celebration. Don rips the mic from Tony because he has something important to say. Well, actually, he has gifts for his clients, in the form of dramatic paintings of them together, each with Callis being depicted as comically muscular. Sammy Guevara takes a break from his paternity leave to interrupt the party. Don has a painting for Sammy too, it depicts the entire family gathered around Sammy and his baby. Guevara is upset that his baby was included without his permission. Don questions if Sammy is mentally capable of being a parent. He gives Sammy an ultimatum between his own family and Don's. Fortunately, Sammy doesn't need much time to consider this before rejecting, but the group swarms him. Chris Jericho runs in for the rescue and smashes the paintings with Floyd the bat. Le Sex Gods reunite to a pop, but immediately get ambushed by Ricky Starks and Big Bill. The lights go out for an unexpected assist from Sting and Darby Allin. This segment was all over the place, but the live crowd was receptive to it. I'm not really feeling another Le Sex Gods reunion if this results in a swerve, but, hell, I'll let it play out and see where it goes.

Renee Paquette interviews chronically injured Roderick Strong backstage. He's excited to show off his big board of evidence that MJF is The Devil.

MJF is the DEVIL

Continental Classic - Blue League Finals:
Bryan Danielson vs. Eddie Kingston

They tentatively feel each other out, Bryan plays subtle heel by hiding in the ropes. Eddie surprises with a sudden Saito suplex and tope suicida. Eddie bonked his noggin against the barricade with that dive. Bryan reverses a whip into the rails, Eddie bounces right back. Bryan hits a DDT onto the ring frame and then a flying knee outside. Back from commercials, Eddie tries to chop his way to a comeback, but has to escape the LeBell Lock. Bryan talks too much trash and Kingston nails an Exploder suplex. DDT by Eddie, then machine gun chops. Bryan reverses another Exploder into the LeBell Lock. Eddie targets the eye patch, so Bryan hits a suplex. Bryan puts Eddie into a Tree of Woe for easy YES kicks. Running dropkick by Bryan, but Eddie reverses a back superplex! Back from MORE commercials, they're exchanging strong style chops. Bryan gets chopped down but counters into a vicious suplex for 2. Bryan unloads YES kicks, Eddie makes some timely blocks and nails a lariat. Brainbuster by Kingston gets 2! Fans chant "this is awesome!" They trade nearfalls and Bryan blasts the Busaiku Knee for a great false finish. Fans chant for Eddie. Bryan gleefully serves Hammer and Anvil elbows and stomps Eddie's face in. Kingston lifts a defiant middle finger. Bryan signals another Busaiku Knee, but Eddie counters with a back hand swing. Half n Half suplex by Eddie, and another swinging back hand. Powerbomb by Eddie FINISHES Bryan at 22:39! Incredible match, it paid off Eddie's long rivalry with Bryan, and they kept the false finishes to a minimum, saving them for when they mattered the most. This delivered great action and big emotions, ****½.
Continental Classic - Blue League Winner: Eddie Kingston

Jon Moxley interrupts Kingston's celebration to check on Danielson. Eddie is less than thrilled by this development. Mox grabs a mic and points out that even though Eddie seems mad at the world, everyone seems to love him. Fans don't care if Eddie wins or loses, but they deserve his 100% effort. Still, Mox is convinced that Eddie can't beat him, so he's already lost. Eddie steals the mic, boasts that he broke into wrestling before Mox and allows him to breathe. Eddie is King of the Bums and is prepared to bust Mox open at World's End. Oh, just shut up and take my money.

TNT Champion Christian Cage (with the Wayne Family) is sick and tired of waiting for Adam Copeland to show up for their sitdown interview. He's got things to do, like playing catch with Nick. After a commercial break, Adam Copeland bursts in for an attack. He has to battle his way through security to get his hands on Christian, but the locker room rushes in for a pull apart brawl.

Kris Statlander vs. Skye Blue

Stokely Hathaway joins commentary on his mission to recruit Statlander. They lock up, Kris scores first with her brute strength. Pair of scoop slams by Kris, she then blocks Skye's rana with a cartwheel. Skye bonks Statlander's head into the buckles, but Kris reverses into a delayed vertical suplex. Skye responds with a snap bulldog onto the ring frame. Back from commercials, Kris makes the regularly scheduled comeback. Catapult German suplex by Kris gets 2. Superkick by Blue, followed by Code Blue for 2. They trade reversals until Kris nails a deadlift powerbomb for only 2! Julia Hart interferes for a cheap shot on Kris, and Skye nails an avalanche Code Blue to win at 9:15! That totally awesome finishing move was wasted on a routine TV match with interference, **¼.
Winner: Skye Blue

Skye holds Kris still for Julia's sliding lariat. Willow Nightingale runs in for the late save. Skye and Julia try to enjoy a victory, but Abadon appears on the stage and makes scary faces while they retreat to the side.

Renee Paquette chats with Saraya and Ruby Soho. Saraya talks over Ruby, but offers her Harley Cameron's services as a birthday gift. Renee is confused by this arrangement, and Harley waves a knife like a lunatic. Even Saraya is freaked out. I am so confused right now.

ROH Tag Team Championship:
MJF and Samoa Joe © vs. The Devil's Two Masked Men

There's like 2 minutes of airtime left, so don't expect an epic showdown here. MJF arrives but the jumbotron reveals that someone has attacked Samoa Joe backstage. MJF insists on going it alone and stomps a masked man into the corner. The crowd responds favorably to MJF's hot start. MJF tries to unmask his opponent, but the other masked guy snaps his neck onto the ropes. MJF regains his composure, but a third guy sneaks in for a metal pipe shot to the bandaged shoulder. MJF eats a Heatseeker, and the third guy holds MJF's feet down for the pinfall at 1:50. Total screwjob angle.
Winners and new ROH Tag Team Champions: The Devil's Masked Men

The Devil's men continue to assault MJF, but Samoa Joe hobbles in with a chair to clear them out. The Devil briefly appears on the jumbotron and announces it's been a "pleasure working with you." Joe smashes the chair over MJF and gives him a Musclebuster. It's not clear if Joe is The Devil or simply in kahoots with The Devil.

Final Thoughts: There were some goofy angles surrounding the no-nonsense Continental Classic finals, but they were mostly amusing and the Finals delivered the goods. This episode did a great job setting up Kingston/Moxley and MJF/Joe with enough interest to inspire a pay-per-view purchase. I can already tell that tonight's show is a divisive one amongst the audience, but that's not always a bad thing.

Sound Off!
Comment about this article on Da' Wrestling Boards!

back to AEW Index