The first AEW Dynamite episode of the year is coming up and it’s a loaded one. Christened New Year’s Smash Night 1, it features the return of Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega defending the AEW Championship against Rey Fenix and quite a lot more. I’ll be with you all night writing the play-by-play for the show as it airs, so watch this space for the AEW Dynamite Recap!
Young Bucks & SCU vs. The Acclaimed & TH2
Eight way brawl kicks up immediately. Faces with a triple tope, Kazarian and Caster seem to be legal but there’s tandem moves apleny. Nick with a Lucha Arm Drag off the top rope into a flying headscissor to take out both of TH2, huge dive onto the pile. Daniels wants an Asai Moonsault but he gets grabbed, taken to the floor where Evans nails him with a Trouble In Paradise style kick. Evans takes control of Daniels in the ring as things finally settle down a bit.
Heels with a series of diving moves, Angelico caps it off with a fakeout, landing on his feet to roll him into a Negro Navarra. Daniels with a foot on the ropes for the break. Daniels and Bowens with a series of standing switches, Daniels with a Blue Thunder Bomb to finally get some separation. Simultags to Kazarian and Evans, Frankie with a series of clotheslines, flips Evans over and chops him to the mat. Whip reversed, Caster ducks a shot and holds him, Kaz ducks an Evans kick and he sends him to the floor. Kazarian hoists him but Evans slips behind him, Angelico eats a shot but Evans gets Kazarian down, Standing Moonsault for 2!
This is one of those matches that’s a bit too quick for the AEW Dynamite Recap, my apologies!
Matt tags in, Double Northern Lights Suplex, takes some heels off the apron, flip tope onto Evans on the ramp, then another to Caster, big spear to Angelico on the floor! Back in the ring, bodyslam to Bowens. Goes up top, High Fly Flow crossbody onto Angelico and Caster, Risky Business to Bowens for a close nearfall! Buckle Bomb/Double Enziguri combo! Setting up for the BTE Trigger but Caster comes in with a kick to Matt Jackson, Kazarian dispatches him and he subs in for the BTE Trigger!
Angelico breaks up the pin though. Neckbreaker/Backbreaker tag move to Nick Jackson, Evans up top – 630 attempted but Nick with the boots up! Superkick Party ensues! Setting up for the Meltzer Driver, but Nick is pulled away, Evans with a roll-up for a nearfall! Matt gets him in Meltzer Driver position again, Nick teases it but instead hits a Springboard Moonsault onto the rest of the heels – Daniels off the second rope for the Best Meltzer Ever and that is that!
Winners: The Young Bucks & SCU
These are always an easy lay up in ratings and in quality, I don’t expect it to change.
Afterwards SCU get on the mic. They talk about their decree that if they ever lose another straight-up tag match they’ll never lose again. But they vow not to let it happen. They also tell the Bucks that they will always have their backs, except for the night where they challenge for those tag team titles.
AEW Dynamite Recap continues and Jon Moxley’s theme hits for the first time in a number of weeks.
His trek through the backstage hall can’t help but remind me of Goldberg after his return earlier in the week. He comes to the ring and says people might’ve expected him to come out cussing up a storm about the events that transpired on December 2nd. Says complaining and bitchin’ and moaning is largely futile. Sometimes you come out on the bad end of a bad deal. But when that happens you grit your teeth and stand your ground. And you don’t back down an inch.
Says he won’t go anywhere. But what to do about Kenny Omega and the guy that looks like a used car salesman. Says he has a low tolerance for shitty people and he’d like to beat them with a crowbar. Tonight the AEW Championship is on the line. Mox says he gave his heart and soul to protect the integrity of that title. Says Fenix has a shot that he scratched and clawed for after 13 years. It’s not his right to mess with another man’s destiny. But he will get his on Kenny. Tells him the boogeyman will forever lurk over his shoulder. One day he’ll look into the eyes of the devil. And he’ll beg for mercy as he realizes he crossed the wrong guy. Mic drop.
Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor give an update on Trent, say he might be out for 4-5 months. Miro, Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford appear and Miro laments how that’s such a long time! He says that’s bad news for them because everyone knows Trent is their leader. Chuck says Trent will never be his young boy and challenges him to a match. Miro tells him if he loses, he’ll have to be his young boy and Chuck immediately accepts.
Next up on the AEW Dynamite Recap…
Jake Hager vs. Wardlow
Lock-up before Wardlow’s music even cuts off. Neither can get the better. Hager with a waistlock, Wardlow with the switch. Hager takes him down, Wardlow with a headscissor. They stand up and Wardlow surprises him with a double leg. Hager is taken aback as he slowly stands. Fight goes to the corner, body shots. Wardlow with a whip, clothesline collision! Hager with a headlock, Wardlow shoots him off, shoulder blocks absorbed. Wardlow with a leap frog! Cactus Clothesline! Both men up quick though, exchange of shots, another clothesline collision and they’re both out on the floor!
Commercial break as the AEW Dynamite Recap continues.
(I know, I hate how much I type it too, but the SEO…!) We come back to see Wardlow with a big driving shoulder thrust in the corner and now he’s pounding on him. Hoists him up for a Spinebuster! Tossing him around the ring! Bodyslam, cover for 2. Hager fights back, corner clothesline into a Short-Arm Clothesline. Inner Circle boys spilled onto the stage at some point to watch this. Hager with a big Belly To Belly for a 2 count!
Hager Bomb attempted but Wardlow with a boot up – Hager catches it! Ankle Lock attempted but Wardlow kicks him away! Takes him to the apron, big shoulder tackle sends him flying into the barricade! Back into the ring, Release German Suplex for a nearfall! Wardlow goes up top, Senton Atomico for a nearfall, Hager rolls right into the Head And Arm Triangle! Wardlow grabs the rope for the break! They fight up to the second rope, Hager gets him in the choke again but Wardlow manages to drive him headfirst into the buckle! Into the ring, hoists him up – F10! And he gets the win!
Definitely a good win for Wardlow, good meanguy match too.
Private Party backstage celebrating New Year’s. They got gin but Snoop Dogg is there with the juice! Matt Hardy brings them some contracts, asks them to trust him. Says not to get fixated on the chair from before, they need to focus and win. 30% is a hefty fee but it’ll pay off in spades! They have a little yellow pad of demands and Matt says he has them covered. They’re still allowed third party stuff so he ain’t gouging ’em THAT much.
Next up on the AEW Dynamite Recap: we got ourselves a weigh-in ahead of Darby Allin’s TNT title defense against Brian Cage.
Darby Allin emerges, they already made the new TNT Championship belt, that was fast. Tony Schiavone is the curator. Cage is set to weigh in first. Taz takes exception purely to be difficult. Makes the wild assertion that Cage weighs more than Darby. Cage is weighing in at 272lbs. Team Taz is crowding on him as Darby slowly makes his way onto the scale. He’s at 170lbs. Taz is unhappy with this too and all the clothes he’s wearing.
Darby says this feud isn’t nine months in the making, it’s 27 years because of a lifetime of dealing with shit from people like him. And we all know how it ends tonight so let’s get to the fun part. He grabs the skateboard and is prepared to swing it. Taz starts his tirade but the lights go out. I feel like one of these days it’s gonna be a swerve, the lights will come up and someone else will be here… but for now it’s Sting yet again! And he’s into the ring in record time for once, Team Taz retreats once again. Taz is angry at the snow, says he’s sick of this, sick of Sting and he promises to Darby Allin that next week they crown the new TNT Champion!
Backstage, Jake Hager is furious about his loss.
MJF tells him not to feel like a loser. He’s a world class athlete far beyond anyone watching at home. And he’s still undefeated in the octagon, he’ll always be Jake Hager.
We see a clip from AEW Dark of -1 facing off with Marko Stunt and cutting a promo on him Marko backstage says the Jurassic Express are always having fun but right now they’re on a quest for the tag team titles. FTR and Tully Blanchard come up and ask what’s about the ‘we’ stuff, says Marko is just a hanger on. -1 might be right, he is a loser. Marko challenges Dax to a one-on-one match and he’s happy to accept. As the AEW Dynamite recap continues, we have a very unique match up next…
Cody vs. Matt Sydal
Cody comes out with Snoop Dogg, and they briefly play a Snoop Dogg cover of Cody’s theme. Amazing. Bell rings now. Lock-up. Matt with a waistlock, Cody with a switch. Sydal sends him away, sweep for a 1 count, Cody slips to his feet. Sydal with leg kicks, roundhouse kick to the head. Cody reverses a whip. Sydal with a wild Corkscrew Arm Drag, basement dropkick in the corner, pulls him out for 2. Cody rolls to the ramp, Sydal off the top – Meteora sends him crashing onto the ramp!
Now Cody into the ring as Sydal is really favoring his knee. Cody waits for him to re-enter, Cody with an uppercut. Sydal deposits Cody, he tries to skin the cat but Matt with a kick to the head drops him to the floor! Fight spills to the floor, Sydal ducks a punch and Cody nails Serpentico in the front row! Sydal throws Cody into the ring, Crossbody but Cody rolls through, Scorpion Deathlock cinched in! Matt makes it to the ropes for the break.
Commercial break as the AEW Dynamite Recap rolls on!
As we come back, Cody nails a Reverse Superplex off the top and they’re both down. Cody with a cover for a 2 count. Cody up top, Moonsault Press but Sydal side-steps! Rising knee to the face drops him, Sydal up top! Shooting Star Press – but Cody with the knees up! Reverse DDT for a nearfall! Cody goes up top again, Sydal forces him to the mat, Around-The-World Crossface attempted, Cody wrestles free and up to his feet. Sydal with a combination of kicks, Cody follows him to the ropes for a Cactus Clothesline! Now Cody takes Sydal into the ring, roundhouse kick ducked, Disaster Kick lands and Sydal alost flips onto his head!
“This Is Awesome” chant as Cody goes for the Vertebreaker but Sydal slips free. Electric Chair attempted but Sydal slips around for a rana for a nearfall! Roundhouse Kick lands, Lightning Spiral for a clooose nearfall! Sydal pulls him up, Cody counters into the Cross-Rhodes! And then hits a second one in a row for the win!
Serpentico and Luther rush the ring to attack Cody! Sydal has to help him out with the save, and he goes up top for an SSP to Serpentico but Snoop Dogg enters the ring! He scales the top rope slowly as Cody and Sydal hold Serpentico down. Snoop Dogg with a Frogg Splash, pins him for 3 and the bell actually rings!
AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Abadon
They fight on the ramp before the bell. Shida takes her into the ring, Basement Dropkick! She pulls off covering and there’s a mark still on her neck. She takes her to the apron and stomps onto the back of her head. Steps to the floor and hits her a few more times in the head, tries for the Running Knee Lift but Abadon catches it and bites her thigh! Abadon escapes to the floor and tosses her into the barrier! Abadon crawls under the ring and drags her under the ringskirt!
Bryce Remsburg tries to pull them free. Abadon crawls out and her mouth is covered in blood now. Shida crawls out limply and her neck is covered in red again. Abadon pulls her into the ring, Corner Punches, pulls her into an X-Factor for a nearfall! Challenger driving her face into the mat repeatedly as we go to commercial break. The AEW Dynamite Recap will continue when we come back. Shida with a low bridge to take Abadon to the floor as we return, Shida stands on the second rope for a big crossbody!
Drives her repeatedly into the barricade, then throws her to the ring. Takes her up top, Superplex! Abadon spiders up, clothesline but Shida with a sunset flip for 2! Lands the Shining Wizard and there’s the win.
Winner: Hikaru Shida
Shida has certainly put together a lengthy title reign at this point.
Tay Conti has a promo, says she has a lot of respect for Serena Deeb but she’s coming for that title. She’s a blue belt in jiu-jitsu, black belt in judo and she has the Dark Order backing her up.
And next up on the AEW Dynamite Recap is the main event! Entrances start with over a half hour left in the show so we gotta big one here.
AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega vs. Rey Fenix
As Fenix makes his entrance, PAC has an inset promo introducing Fenix as a very dangerous individual, an assassin and the next champion. Big match feel at the start. Fenix with a wristlock. Kenny looks for a Dragon Suplex but Fenix with a drop toe hold. Kenny drives Fenix’s knee into the mat. Kicks him around, Kenny with a wristlock. Into a Hammerlock, Fenix with some back elbows, snapmare! Leapfrogs, Kenny with a SPIKE Rana!! And Omega with a big smile on his face after that.
Omega hits the ropes for the Terminator Dive but Fenix into the ring for a rana to take him outside! Tiger Feint, leaps off the apron for a big flying rana! Takes him into the ring, to the corner for the Springing Spin Kick but Kenny ducks, wants a Tornado DDT but Fenix flips to his feet! Dropkick to the corner, taken to the apron, tries a Springboard but Kenny chops him right out of the air and to the floor!
Kenny drives Fenix into the barricade repeatedly. Goes out and takes him to his feet, whip to the barrier but Fenix leaps over, forearm, roundhouse kicks! Runs and leaps over the barricade for a wild cutter but Kenny counters into a Snap Dragon onto the floor! Dayam! Kenny back suplexes Fenix ont othe apron! And then onto the railing! Into the ring, Kitaro Crusher for a nearfall. Starts to slow the pace, Fenix with a comeback, chop from the apron, triple spring off the ropes for a missile dropkick!!! WICKED tope con hilo sends both of them into the barrier!
As loud a “This Is Awesome” chant as could be in this setting kicks up as Fenix takes Kenny into the ring, big chop! Kenny slings him up for the You Can’t Escape, Fenix escapes of course. Back elbow from Kenny but Fenix with the boots up, backflip off the second rope over Kenny for a spectacular German Suplex! CLOSE nearfall! “AEW” chant follows. Kenny slowly stands on the apron – Fenix with a double spring for a double footstomp right onto the back of his neck!
Champ is in trouble as we go to our final commercial break, AEW Dynamite Recap will conclude when we come back!
We come back to see a series of bigstrikes! Pump kick, pele kick! Fenix’s chest is a mess but he’s intense! Springboard Corkscrew but Kenny with a rising knee out of the air! Powerbomb, stacks him for a nearfall! V-Trigger for a nearfall! Kenny takes Fenix against the middle rope, hits the ropes – V-Trigger!! Takes him up for a One Winged Angel but Fenix with a Poison Rana reversal! Fenix slips to the ramp and stares down Don Callis for a moment. Starts to charge but Kenny with a V-Trigger stops him!
Kenny tries pulling him into the ring. Fenix with an enziguri, springs off the second rope for an Outside In Cutter for a nearfall! Fenix hoists him up, knee to the face leads in to the Blue Thunder Driver! CLOOOOOSE nearfall! Fenix going up top, feelin’ froggy with the Eddy poses – Frog Splash but Omega with the knees up! Takes him up top, looking for a Fisherman’s Superplex! Fenix knocks him down, tries for a Moonsault but Kenny catches him out of the air BEAUTIFULLY, Tiger Driver ’98!! Nearfall! Brutal V-Trigger! And there’s the One Winged Angel for the win!
Winner: Kenny Omega
Absolutely awesome, as one would expect. And we finish with a surprising amount of time left on the show.
Don Callis in the ring now, says they let them witness Kenny beat Rey Fenix. Why not let them see the end of the career of- oh wait, something’s happening backstage. We see a video on the screen, Eddie Kingstom, Butcher and the Blade are decimating PAC and Pentagon Jr. Callis says they told Fenix that PAC and Penta wouldn’t be coming for him. They’re about to One Winged Angel him into the scrap heap!
Kenny starts to pull Fenix up, Jon Moxley hits the ring with a barbed wire baseball bat! He nails Kenny right in the gut! Sends Callis running… but in come Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, the Good Brothers with their Impact tag titles around their waists to jump Mox! Kenny and the Good Brothers with a triple team! Kenny is handed the barbed wire bat and Kenny nails Mox across the back with it over and over!
Finally someone comes in, Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison from the front row! But they nail them too. Several other lower card faces hit the ring from the stands but Kenny and the Good Brothers prevent them all from entering the ring! Gallows powerbombs I think Alan Angels through the table! Kenny gets one last big swing to the prone Moxley. Mox starts to fight back. The Young Bucks rush into the ring and they’re arguing, but not attacking… trying to reason with the heels.
Griff and Pillman hold Omega back – Anderson takes out Pillman and Matt superkicks Griff! They don’t want to seem to fight them but thy aren’t sure of joining… Kenny and the Good Brothers put up the Too Sweet and the Bucks contemplate it. And they join in!! The Elite have turned as a whole here as the show fades!