1/13 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT: Keller’s report on Darby vs. Cage for TNT Title, Serena Deeb vs. Tay Conti for NWA Title, Jurassic Express vs. FTR, Inner Circle New Year’s Resolutions

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT – “New Year’s Smash – Week II”
JANUARY 13, 2021

Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, Chris Jericho

Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts


-The show began with the opening theme, then pyro blasting on the stage as Ross and Schiavone introduced the show.

-A video package aired on the backstory between Eddie Kingston & Butcher & Blade and Pac & The Lucha Bros. Then Excalibur said after last week’s main event between Kenny Omega and Rey Fenix, Butcher, Blade, Pac, and Bunny attacked Pac and Penta, preventing them from helping Fenix.

-A soundbite aired with Kingston from earlier in the day saying he’s sending Pac home and he’ll never come back.

(1) EDDIE KINGSTON (w/Butcher, Blade, Bunny) vs. PAC (Lucha Bros.)

Schiavone said Kingston “is obnoxious and something else.” Ross said he’s an old-school brawler. Pac came out and dropkicked Kingston as the bell rang. He flip dove over the top rope onto him at ringside seconds later. Pac was sudden and intense. Kingston made a comeback, Bunny raked her nails into Pac at ringside. With the ref yelling at Fenix, Kingston gave Pac a shoulder-capture suplex on the floor. Back inside the ring, Kingston took it to Pac.

Pac eventually came back with a superplex and controlled for a couple minutes until Kingston caught him with a sudden hard clothesline for a two count. Kingston favored his left arm and neck area. Pac made a comeback with a dropkick and then dragged him into the corner and hit a Black Arrow for the three count.

WINNER: Pac in 9:00.

-After the match, Pac applied his Brutalizer, but Butcher and Blade immediately ran in. Then Fenix and Penta also entered. As they were squared off, Lance Archer and Jake Roberts marched quickly to the ring. Kingston & Co. bailed out to ringside. Pac and Archer then faced off, with Archer telling Pac to get on the same page. Excalibur called it an uneasy alliance that appeared to be at its end. Pac celebrated the win. Ross said those two only seem to agree on who they don’t like, and that might not make a lasting alliance.

(Keller’s Analysis: Solid opening match that continued to build on the Pac-Kingston rivalry.)

-They went to the announcers on camera who hyped the scheduled matches.

-Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy made their way to the ring. [c]

(2) CHUCK TAYLOR (w/Orange Cassidy) vs. MIRO (w/Kip Sabian)

Taylor clotheslined Miro to the floor at the bell, then whipped him into the ringside barricade. He smiled at the camera and then landed a running flip dive onto Miro. (This closely resembled the opening sequence of the previous match.) Schiavone noted that Trent is out four-to-six months with a torn pec. Taylor leaped off the ring apron with a double-stomp onto Miro’s chest. Kip superkicked Cassidy at ringside. Miro made a comeback in the ring and took control with a barrage of blows in the corner. Miro took Taylor down with a thrust kick and then applied his camel clutch for the tapout win. Excalibur said now Taylor has to be Miro’s butler (a better term than “young boy”). He said the next month of his life is going to be miserable.

WINNER: Miro in 4:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Taylor got in early offense, then Miro just destroyed him with a slight excuse being he was distracted at ringside by Kip superkicking Cassidy which was the turning point. This outcome was predictable, and now buckle up for a month of skits with this group.)

-Dasha interviewed Matt Hardy and Private Party backstage. She asked Private Party about signing Matt as their manager. Matt insisted on speaking first and said everything is great. Private Party then backed up what Matt said. Marq Quen interrupted Isaiah and said he can’t do it. He was upset with him taking 30 percent of their money, and he said the third-party platforms was in the fine print. “You didn’t read it, and that’s your fault, that’s a tough lesson to learn,” Hardy said. He told them they’re so focused on money, and he’s going to make them multi-millionaires. Kassidy called Hardy a “money-grubbing carny.” Hardy took exception and said he’s the only person who cares about them. He said he learned the hard way on Sept. 5, 2020 at All Out. “Nobody cares!” he told them. He yelled that they need to do exactly what he tells them to do.

-Chris Jericho led Inner Circle onto the stage. MJF, Wardlow, Jake Hager, Ortiz, Santana, and Sammy Guevara entered the ring as a mixed of masked and unmasked wrestlers at ringside sang the lyrics to Jericho’s song. [c]

-Back live, they showed the big screen saying “New Year’s Smash.” Jericho said 2020 was big for them, but 2021 will be even bigger. He asked who wanted to start. Hager said, “Championships, yeah!” MJF spoke next and said he is going to continue to strengthen his bonds with everyone in the ring. He added, “Fat people have to go.” Ortiz talked about refining some cooking recipes. Jericho said this is the year that Jericho and MJF are going to win the AEW Tag Team Titles. Santana interrupted and told Jericho that he hand-picked them to be thee tag team in Inner Circle. Sammy said he knows what’s going on. “You’re a little tag team slut!” Sammy told Jericho. Everyone reacted with outrage. Sammy said, “The writing is on the wall.” Sammy asked about how they were teaming once as “Le Sex Gods,” and then he hung out with Snoop Dogg. MJF said Jericho is just trying to do his job.

Jericho tried to calm tempers. He said they’re all sexy hooligans and any one of them could team with any other and win the tag team titles. Jericho said Wardlow and Hager let off some steam and animosity last week, and they should do the same thing. He said next week they’ll have a three-way match to determine who will be the official tag team of Inner Circle – MJF & Jericho vs. Santana & Ortiz vs. Guevara & Hager. Hager yelled, “Championships! Yeah!” Guevara said they’ll be known as “Sammy & Hager.” Jericho said that was clever. Sammy asked why. Jericho said, “Never mind.” They posed with middle fingers raised together mid-ring, although Santana & Ortiz were reluctant to participate.

(Keller’s Analysis: Fun segment that set up an interesting match-up next week. Sammy not getting the “Sammy Hagar” reference was tremendous. Santana & Ortiz logically objected to having their presumed territory infringed upon. MJF was his usual conniving self.)

-Backstage Alex Marvez interviewed Dark Order about their future. Evil Uno said they want to honor Brodie Lee’s memory by being better people. They pulled Hangman Page into the room and said he’ll be with them next week. John Silver said he loves him. Alex Reynolds asked when he’s going to let them know if he’ll be with their group. Silver suggested next week. Page said that sounds good to him. Page leaned against the wall as they all acted wacky and excited in celebration of their optimism. He gave off the vibe of someone who wouldn’t really fit in with their energy. [c]

-The announcers hyped Darby vs. Cage. Then a video package aired on the rivalry.

-Backstage Dasha interviewed Kenny Omega, Don Callis, and The Young Bucks. She said it appears the band is back together. Matt Jackson said, “Let’s do it. Hell yeah!” They discussed whether they’d come out together or separately. Callis said they should go out separately because the Bucks have their own cool music.

(3) KENNY OMEGA (w/Don Callis) & THE GOOD BROTHERS (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) vs. VARSITY BLONDES (Brian Pilllman Jr. & Griff Garrison) & DANNY LIMELICH

Justin Roberts did the usual list of accolades for Omega during his entrance. The women in ’80s leotards brought brooms onto the stage and danced. When Omega and Callis arrived, Callis took the mic and said this night is too important to leave in the hands of an amateur. He said the band is back together. He began: “Your world tag team champions and Kenny Omega’s two best friends in the world, ladies and gentleman, The Good Brothers!” They cut to Tony Khan, Dasha, and The Young Bucks backstage shaking their heads at being swerved like that. Callis said best friends are forever. (This explains why they hyped The Elite without specifying who all week.) Excalibur said The Young Bucks weren’t in on this. The Elite jumped their opponents at the bell. Eventually the babyfaces took over on Omega. Omega eventually made a comeback against Limelich and then tagged in Anderson. They cut to a split-screen break. [c]

They showed a replay from during the break Anderson and Gallows leaping onto the back of Kenny and then triple-splashing Limelich for a near fall. Ross called it b0wling shoe ugly. The Blondes actually scored a near fall on Anderson after a double-team move. A few minutes later Gallows & Anderson finished Limelich with a Magic Killer.

WINNERS: The Elite in 9:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Limelich was really good in this match. The swerve on the Bucks moves this storyline along to the next stage rather quickly, and takes the AEW-Impact situation to another level with Tony Khan making another TV appearance.)

-Afterward, Jon Moxley came out to his music and went after The Elite. The Elite got the better of him quickly. Fenix and Penta ran out for the save, not the Bucks. Schiavone said they were coming out for both Moxley and AEW. More wrestlers ran out to separate them. Mox shoved a ref down hard and then gave one of the wrestlers a Paradigm Shift before going back. The Bucks then ran out and checked on Moxley. Ross said they wanted to tell Moxley there’s a better way, but Mox only knows one way. Fenix & Penta then superkicked the Bucks. Omega and Callis left. Jerry Lynn joined referees in the ring trying to restore order. “Something’s in the coffee here tonight!” Ross said. Schiavone said the Lucha Bros. are sending a signal they want the tag team titles. Ross said Mox is ticking time bomb and one day he’ll have his way with Omega.

-Ross plugged The Waiting Room with Cody Rhodes was next. [c]

-The Waiting Room: Reba introduced Dr. Britt Baker. The set was configured like a daytime talk show. An audience was sitting in front of the set. Baker told the audience to check under their seats. Then she laughed when they found out there was nothing there. She hyped the new TBS game show, “Go Big Show,” that Cody is a judge on. She asked if his guy is Sting, Snoop, or Shaq. “Make one good choice, unlike the one on your neck!” she quipped. Reba did her guttural Ed McMahon style laugh. Cody entered the Waiting Room to his music. He ducked underneath their “pyro” sticks. Britt said that fulfills their contractual obligations.

Britt interrupted Cody as he was about to answer her first question about what a big year it is for him. She said they had a surprise guest. Jade Cargill walked in next. She said she’s a badass and wears whatever she wants. She yanked the mic away from Cody and said nobody gives a damn that Brandi is pregnant. Britt celebrated, “Nine months without Brandi!” She said that she and Shaq are tired of waiting and she wants an opponent. “I am a bad-ass mamma.” She said if Brandi ever returns, she’s going to “beat that ass.” She shoved Cody. In walked Red Velvet. Jade shoved her. Velvet slapped her. The audience overreacted to everything. They fought. A bunch of women ran in for a pull-apart as Britt cheered them on.

When the dust settled, Britt threw to a video of her and Reba attacking Thunder Rosa. A soundbite aired with Thunder Rosa who talked about how a match with her against Baker is a huge deal for AEW. She said Tony Khan wants to give them a big stage. She said she’ll beat her on the Feb. 3 Dynamite. Baker freaked out and said, “Tony, you said I didn’t have to wrestle her.” The official graphic appeared on the screen and Baker freaked out some more and said she just wanted to relax on the beach. She called for her show-closing music.

(4) JURASSIC EXPRESS (Marko Stunt & Jungle Boy w/Luchasaurus) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler w/Tully Blanchard)

Jurassic Express came out to “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora (a 1985 “Top 40” hit). Ross said FTR are one of his favorite tag teams. Excalibur plugged the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Awards issue and noted FTR vs. Young Bucks was the Match of the Year, Moxley was Wrestler of the Year, and Orange Cassidy was most popular wrestler of the year. FTR outpowered Marko at the start, but he outquicked and outmaneuvered them. Dax slapped him and then took control. FTR lifted him by his hair and slammed him hard to the mat. Marko tried to moonsault press Cash, but Cash caught him. Marko dropkicked him and then tagged in JB. Four-way chaos broke out. JB flip dove onto FTR at ringside. As JB and Marko celebrated and posed together, they cut to a split-screen break. [c]

Back from the break, FTR were in control against Marko. JB got the hot tag eventually and knocked Dax down, and fended off Cash interference. He scored a two count on Dax. Cash made the save on another cover by JB a minute later. Dax rolled up JB with a handful of tights for a near fall. Marko tagged back in. JB dropped him onto Dax for a near fall. Marko went for Sliced Bread, but Dax caught him mid-air and clotheslined him hard. Marko mule kicked Dax and hit a Cutter for a near fall. Ross said the match exceeded his expectations in terms of how competitive it was. Tully shoved Marko into the ringpost. JB went after Tully, who backed off. Cash then clotheslined JB and threw him into the security barricade. FTR then gave Marko their Big Rig double-team finisher for the win.

WINNER: FTR in 13:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: The finish forwarded the Tully-Marko rivalry, and Marko’s offense was largely clever without making FTR look too comically inept since they often overpowered him mid-move. A good match and I largely bought how competitive the underdogs were here.)

(5) SERENA DEEB (w/Anna Jay) vs. JAY CONTI

Jay Conti made her ring entrance with Anna Jay first. Then Serena Deeb made her entrance. They cut to a split-screen break a few minutes in. [c]

Eventually, Conti and Deeb battled on the top rope. Deeb caught Conti in a Gory Special in the corner. The ref forced a break. Conti kicked her to the mat, then connected with a pump kick followed by a Tai-K-O, but Deeb countered and delivered a Detox face plant for the win.

WINNER: Deeb in 10:00.

-The announcers hyped next week’s line-up: Santana & Ortiz vs. Jericho & MJF vs. Guevara & Hager, Matt Sydal & Top Flight vs. Matt Hardy & Private Party, Hangman Page & Dark Order vs. Choas Project & The Hybrid 2, Nyla Rose vs. Leyla Hirsch, plus Moxley in action and an update on Chuck being Miro’s butler.

-As Brian Cage and Taz came out, Excalibur noted that Cage’s FTR Title belt is not recognized by any organization. [c]

(6) DARBY ALLIN (w/Taz’s son, Ricky Starks) vs. BRIAN CAGE (w/Taz) – TNT Title match

Darby’s entrance took place. Taz joined the announcers and complained that only two members of Team Taz were allowed at ringside because too many members of Team Taz were interfering, so Powerhouse Hobbs couldn’t be there. Justin Roberts handled formal ring introductions. Cage spent the opening minutes overpowering Darby. They cut to a break. [c]

Darby gave Cage a middle finger gesture to show he wasn’t done. Cage tossed Darby over the top rope onto the platform. “Stop the damn match!” Ross exclaimed. “Come on!” Ross noted that Darby celebrated turning 28 a week ago tonight. Cage set up steps at ringside. Darby knocked Cage back-first off the apron onto the stairs, then landed a Coffin Drop onto him. Both were down on the floor and slow to get up.

Back in the ring, Darby slapped Cage. Cage caught him mid-air. Darby bit him and then yanked off his belt gave him a Stunner with a belt wrapped around his neck. He then tied the belt quickly around his ankles and punched away at him from behind. Darby landed a sunset flip for a near fall. Darby hit a shotgut dropkick next for a near fall. Cage powered out, but sent Darby flying onto the top rope. Darby leaped off with a stomp. Starks knocked Darby off the top rope. The lights went out. They came back on and Sting was standing there with his bat. He rammed Starks in the neck with the bat. Cage set up a move on the second rope, but Darby turned it into a Crucifix Bomb for a leverage three count to win.

WINNER: Allin in 14:00 to retain the TNT Title.

(Keller’s Analysis: Well constructed and executed match, with Darby taking a beating and continuing to fight through it all. Sting showed up only to offset unfair interference by Starks. Darby won a believable and memorable fashion.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, a solid show start to finish. A nice mix of video packages, interview segments, and matches with some storyline advancements throughout. If there’s any criticism, it’s that there was too much going on in several segments (Lance Archer, Lucha Bros., two distinct segments of Waiting Room). The Cody-Jade thing is still a mess that I can’t imagine anyone is invested in or can make sense of.

1 Comment on 1/13 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT: Keller’s report on Darby vs. Cage for TNT Title, Serena Deeb vs. Tay Conti for NWA Title, Jurassic Express vs. FTR, Inner Circle New Year’s Resolutions

  1. This show was beyond bad. The only thing that saved the show from being a complete trainwreck was Serena and Tay Conti and then Darby and Cage. Gee, imagine if every match could have a Serena Deeb like talent in it. Enough of the Britt Baker comedy routines along with her fat sidekick and most of all no more of that fitness freak who is not a wrestler. I see her I fast forward the DVR.

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