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AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
DECEMBER 7, 2022
AUSTIN, TEX. AT H-E-B CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON TBS
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Tony Schiavone
-The Dynamite opening theme aired.
-Excalibur introduced the show as pyro blasted. He called MJF a “spineless coward” for what he did to William Regal last week as they showed a clip of Regal being taken away in an ambulance last week. Excalibur said he’s still in the hospital with Bryan Danielson by his side. Schiavone called MJF worthless, spineless, and a coward. He gave Danielson a “pat on the back” for being there for his mentor. “That is a wonderful man,” said Schiavone. “That’s both ends of the spectrum.”
(1) DYNAMITE DIAMOND RING BATTLE ROYAL
Ring entrances took place for Ricky Starks, Jungle Boy, and Dustin Rhodes. Excalibur noted that Dustin is from Austin. The rest were already at ringside. The bell rang three minutes into the show. Matt Hardy, Brian Cage, Lee Moriarty, Ethan Page, Dalton Castle, Butcher, Shawn Spears, Orange Cassidy, Shawn Dean, and Kip Sabian were others in the match. W. Morrisey, The Blade, Stokely Hathaway, Prince Nana, and The Boys were among those at ringside.
Fans chanted, “Let’s Go Ricky!” early. Excalibur noted that Starks resides in Austin. Blade eliminated Cassidy by yanking him off the ring apron. Fans booed. Dustin then eliminated Sabian which got a nice pop. Butcher eliminated Dustin, which drew boos. Brian Cage knocked Dalton off the ring apron, but The Boys caught him and pushed him back onto the ring apron. They did it two more times. Fans were into the spot. Cage tossed Castle over the top rope onto the Boys who couldn’t catch him this time. Perry and Cage battled on the ring apron. Perry eliminated Cage. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Starks eliminated Butcher. Perry eliminated Moriarty. Morrisey then interfered from ringside to eliminate Perry. He then chokeslammed Perry against the edge of the ring. It was down to Ethan, Hardy, Starks, and Dean. Starks eventually eliminated Ethan with a head scissors to win.
WINNER: Starks in 14:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: The inclusion of so many lower card wrestlers, many rarely seen on Dynamite, took away any sense the ring has prestige. The action was fine, though. Starks winning was predictable in the sense they didn’t invest in anyone else being the winner.)
-Immediately afterward, MJF’s music played. He walked out with the AEW World Title belt around his waist. MJF turned to the hard mic and addressed Danielson. He said he hears he isn’t there because he is scared of him, and he should be after what he did to William Regal. He turned to Starks and said he’s a bad, bad man and he’ll become a four-time Dynamite Diamond Ring Champion. He noted that fans seem to really like him in the Austin area. He said he’s very talented, but the truth is in comparison to him, he’s “the absolute drizzlin’ shits.” He said, “Or should I say you’re a rooty poo candy ass.” He said he stole everything from that guy. “You’re nothing more than a dollar store Dwayne.” He said he’s going to call him the Pebble. He said he’s going to put Starks in his pocket and then drive his new Porche and take him to the nearest body of water and skip his “scrawny little pigeon-toed ass” and send him right back to Billy Corgan’s NWA so he can “wrestle on YouTube where you belong.” When fans booed, MJF said, “Facts don’t care about your feelings, Austin.” He said his reign of terror has just begun.
Starks brushed past him and called him Maxi Pad and said he’s a fifth-rate Roddy Piper. Fans chanted “Maxi Pad.” MJF sold it like Bobby Heenan selling a “weasel chant.” Starks made fun of him trashing the people and the city. “How much more schtich have you got because the low-hanging fruit is running dry, partner.” He said he smells like paint thinner and ass. He said he spray tans his eczema and if he took his shirt off, and it’d look like he laid in an ant farm for seven hours. He said his shirt is too small and not ironed and he wears a shitty scarf. He said if he thinks he’s better than him, give him a break. Fans popped and chanted “Ricky!” He said everything about him screams cheap – his shoes, his shirts, his heat. He said with the AEW Title comes a big responsibility that he knows nothing about. He said the difference between them is when the people got behind him, he gave them a reason to keep cheering. He said MJF let the fans down and let down William Regal. Starks said he delivers every time, every week, every month.
Starks said MJF took his “little ass to Greece for three months” because he didn’t get paid enough and got outsmarted by someone smarter than him. He said he shows up to sign meet and greets while MJF blows them off. He said he lives with dignity and respect, which MJF knows nothing about. He said he lived in his car in Austin and knew the responsibility of taking care of himself. He got in MJF’s face and said if MJF thinks he’s better than other people, “give me a break.” He said next week is a big deal because he’s putting up and shutting him up for the first time in his narcissistic punk-ass life. He said he is Ricky Starks and he’s taking his title next week. Fans applauded. He said he’ll do him a favor he never had done before in his life. “I’m going to take the responsibility off your plate, you little boy.” MJF kicked him in the nuts.
(Keller’s Analysis: Does this absolve Ricky Starks boosters from accusations they overrated him all this time? What a star-making performance from Starks. Great setting in his hometown, which amplified everything, but it would have worked anywhere. That was also a cleansing promo from MJF in that it was all focused on his opponent and wasn’t trying to clean up booking detours and messes from weeks and months ago. That’s just the right amount of insider stuff, like the Corgan NWA comment. Fans seem to be embracing booing MJF again, and he’s doing his part to be sure that’s happening. I was worried if he didn’t go with the babyface turn at Full Gear and instead went full heel that many fans would still cheer him and then there’d be an embrace of the “as long as the fans are responding” rationalization nonsense that undercuts the babyfaces he’d be wrestling. That doesn’t appear to be an issue. He’s back being a great heel doing great heel promos.)
-A video package aired hyping Darby Allin challenging Samoa Joe for the TNT Title. Darby vowed not to leave Austin without it. Joe said Darby looks at him as a trial he can endure, but he’ll learn curiosity has a price that’s about to get real expensive.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good soundbites from both Darby and Joe.) [c]
-A backstage promo aired with Jon Moxley. He said he didn’t think last week got out of hand. He said he’s starting to like “Hangman” Adam Page because he fell of his horse, dusted himself off, got back in the saddle, and did his talking with his fists. He said there’s too much talking. He said there is no Blackpool Microphone Club. “This is combat, the sport of kings.” He said he’s so over the Jericho Appreciation Society. He said he’ll be out there tonight to be sure there’s no “sports entertainment shenanigans.” He told Hangman he knows where to find him if he wants another piece.
(2) SAMOA JOE vs. DARBY ALLIN – TNT Title match
Excalibur said Darby beat Cody Rhodes to win the TNT Title back in November 2020 at Full Gear. Darby went after Joe aggressively at the start. Joe pushed him off. Darby dropkicked him. Joe rolled to the floor. Darby flip-dove through the ropes, but Joe side-stepped him and Darby crashed hard. Joe then violently swung Darby his legs into the barricade a few times. Joe peeled up the ringside mat and smiled. Joe powerslammed Darby onto the floor. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Joe stayed on offense during the break. Joe threw Darby head-first into the ringpost. As they returned from the break, the ringside doctor was checking on Darby’s head. Joe flexed as the ref began his count. Darby managed to crawl his way back into the ring, but he couldn’t stand. Joe kicked him and landed a senton for a two count. Darby reversed Joe into the ringside steps and then landed a flying Coffin Drop onto a standing Joe. Back in the ring, Darby stayed on offense until Joe caught him with an STO. Joe chopped Darby’s chest on the top turnbuckle, then set up a Muscle Buster. Darby bit Joe’s face and then leaped at Joe with a Coffin Drop. Joe caught him and applied a sleeper. Darby’s eyes began to roll back. The ref called for the bell.
WINNER: Joe in 11:00 to retain the TNT Title.
-Afterward, Darby stood and called for more from Joe. Joe headbutted him. Darby went down hard. Joe then picked up Darby’s skateboard. The ref dove out of the ring when Joe wound up the board aimed at him. Joe then gave Darby a Muscle Buster onto the upside down skateboard. Joe put Darby in a sleeper. Referees pleaded with him to release the hold. Wardlow ran out for the save.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was a really compelling fight. This could have been built up longer and then given more time. Given the post-match angle, I suspect there might be a rematch, although it shouldn’t be for the title since Darby lost clean, but maybe the p0st-match stuff was just to give Wardlow a reason to run out heroically to save Darby from a further beating. Although it’s not an “ROH” match, I suspect Joe vs. Darby would be more of a selling point than Joe vs. Juice Robinson at the PPV.)
-Tony Schiavone interviewed Orange Cassidy and Kip Sabian backstage. Cassidy told Sabian if he wanted a title shot, just ask. Sabian complained that Cassidy took advantage of him after “an unprovoked attack by Dustin Rhodes.” He said he just wants to face him when he’s not at his best. Cassidy said if he’s not ready to wrestle him, he can pick someone else. [c]
-A vignette aired on Chris Jericho’s ROH Title reign, with Jericho claiming he is the best ROH Champion of all-time already.
(3) CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI & WHEELER YUTA (w/Jon Moxley) vs. JAKE HAGER & DANNY GARCIA (w/Sammy Guevara) – If Claudi loses, he must join the J.A.S.
They showed a fan in the crowd with a Jericho tattoo on his abdomen. Schiavone cryptically teased a segment later related to the William Regal situation. Hager threw his purple cap to Claudio. Claudio teased putting it on. Instead, he threw it into the crowd. Hager attacked Yuta. Fans chanted, “We the People!” a few minutes in. Schiavone talked about Yuta earning his way into the BCC. Taz said he thinks Yuta would’ve been better with Jericho. Yuta dove through the ropes onto Garcia and Hager. Sammy distracted the ref as Garcia shoved Yuta off the top rope into the arms of Hager. Hager landed his corner swing splash for a two count. The announcers plugged the ROH PPV main event featuring Jericho vs. Claudio for the ROH Title. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Claudio hot-tagged in and scored a near fall on Hager after an awkward huracanrana attempt. Claudio set up a giant swing, but Garcia leaped onto his back. Claudio tossed him off his back and Yuta splashed him off the top rope. Claudio then gave Hager the giant swing followed by a lariat for a near fall. Sammy interfered from the ring apron. Moxley yanked Sammy off the ring apron and punched him. Hager then powered Claudio to the mat and applied an anklelock mid-ring. Garcia put a Dragon Tamer on Yuta. Claudio powered out and sent Hager into Garcia. Claudio then finished Hager with a European uppercut for the three count.
WINNERS: Claudio & Yuta in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match and a solid showcase for Claudio headed into Saturday’s PPV.)
-Schiavone interviewed Claudio mid-ring. He threw to an interview he conducted with Regal a few weeks ago. He told Regal he was a good friend that he’s known for nearly 30 years. Regal said people will only see the interview if something bad happens to him. He said he took great exception to what MJF did to Schiavone and he seemed angry about emails. He said he gave him what he wanted and now he’s World Champion. He said MJF should be careful what he wishes for because everyone is going to be chasing him. He said the three main members of the Blackpool Combat Club don’t need him anymore, but they wouldn’t agree with him and let him go. He said he needed to show them why they don’t need him and how they can teach Wheeler to be a great wrestler on their own without him. He said Moxley is a calculated man and he’ll understand that he did what he did to teach him the final thing he could ever teach him. “Always stay one step ahead and always keep eyes in the back of your head,” he said. He said he’s Blackpool Combat Club until the day he dies. “Fellows, it’s been emotional,” he said before walking away.
Back live in the ring, Claudio and Mox were looking at each other perplexed. Schiavone said he recorded that two weeks ago and he can tell Mox and Claudio are speechless. Mox took the mic and took a deep breath. He said all he knows is that one thing for sure, and that is the three men in the ring live and breath for the sport of pro wrestling. He said they can call them whatever you want, but on Dec. 10, the war with the J.A.S. will end. He said Friday night on Rampage, he’ll make a statement and challenge any wrestler in the world to find out where he stands opposite of him.
(Keller’s Analysis: Mox not responding to Regal almost comes across like the angle is just too much of a mess and Regal’s logic too convoluted to even be worth his time. I’m not sure he’s wrong. That Regal promo was utter nonsense and not really worth doing, especially with the odd framing of it as being recorded earlier and would only air if he was hurt.)
-A soundbite aired with Malakai Black who said the company has allowed itself to be corrupted by people pointing fingers while still holding the shovel in their hands they used to bury others. He said it’s time for him and The House of Black to address the corruption. The other three members walked into view and had a few words. Black closed, “Next Wednesday, come one, come all.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Huh?) [c]
-Schiavone held a sit-down interview with Jamie Hayter. Hayter asked him what he wants to know. Schiavone said the Women’s Division has been blossoming. He asked for her thoughts. Hayter said it’s interesting, but unfortunately for everybody else, she’s at the top of the totem pole. She said she’ll do her duty as champion and defend her title. She said she’ll be watching the women’s match on Rampage on Friday between Hikaru Shida and Bunny. She said whoever wins that match gets to wrestle her for the AEW Title if they dare. She said she’s a fighting champion and a bloody good one at that.
(Keller’s Analysis: Shouldn’t some AEW official step in and declare Bunny shouldn’t be anywhere near a title match in AEW?)
(4) JADE CARGILL & THE BADDIES (Red Velvet & Leila Grey) vs. KEIRA HOGAN & SKYE BLUE & MADISON RAYNE
They cut to a split-screen break a couple minutes in. [c/ss]
When Jade finally tagged in, there was a bit of a crowd pop. She went after Hogan. Cargill pinned Rayne a minute later after hitting her finisher.
WINNERS: Cargill & Baddies in 8:00.
-Schiavone interviewed Saraya backstage in front of a Christmas tree. Baker interrupted. She congratulated Saraya on her win and said it’ll never happen again. She told Saraya that her first match in AEW was on a PPV against the Women’s Division’s top star. She gave her a ticket for an upcoming show at Kia Center and said she can watch or wrestle her. Saraya said she’d happily beat her again. Baker said it’ll be a tag match with Hayter, so she better find a partner. Saraya said she would.
-Excalibur hyped Rampage: Orange Cassidy vs. a wrestler of Sabian’s choosing, Shida vs. Bunny, a Ruby Soho and Tay Melo promo, Morrisey & Moriarty in tag team action, an Athena promo, and Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita. He then hyped the ROH PPV line-up including the Zero Hour pre-show at 3 ET. The PPV starts early, at 4 p.m. ET. Then Dynamite next week, the next Trios Title match, House of Black talk, and MJF vs. Starks. [c]
(5) THE ACCLAIMED (Max Master & Anthony Bowens) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) – AEW Tag Team Title match
FTR came out first. Fans chanted “FTR!” They showed the segment on Rampage that set this match up, such as it was. The Acclaimed also got a big pop coming out. Caster mentioned that FTR might be top guys but they’re about to be bottoms. He said they’re about to lose like Hershel Walker. He said he thinks their name stands for “Find the Remote.” Fans sang “Oooh scissors me, Daddy!” when the bell rang 42 minutes into the hour. Dax didn’t seem amused. They showed Jeff Jarrett, Satnum Singh, Sonjay Dutt, and Jay Lethal watching on a monitor backstage. Back and forth action for several minutes led to Acclaimed applying Boston crabs to both FTR members mid-ring. They scissored Billy Gunn on the ring apron after the ref forced them to release the holds. They brawled at ringside where FTR took control. They catapulted Caster into the underside of the ring. Then they cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
FTR eventually landed a spike piledriver on Bowens for a near fall. Taz said he broke his neck in 1995 with that move and he cringes every time he sees it. Acclaimed made a comeback and Caster scored a near fall. The announcers critiqued his cover. As FTR set up a Big Rig on Caster, Bowens shoved Cash into Dax to break it up. Cash blocked a double-team move from Acclaimed. Dax threw Caster shoulder-first into the ringpost. Cash and Dax hit the Big Rig, but Bowens broke up the cover. Big pop for the near fall, and a mixed response as expected. Fans chanted, “This is awesome!”
Dax placed Caster on the top rope and set up a superplex. Bowens caught Cash with The Arrival after knocking Dax down. Caster then leaped off the top rope with a flying elbow, but Cash moved. Bowens clotheslined Dax on the floor. Cash then drove Bowens’ face into the mat. Caster rolled up Cash for a near fall. Cash delivered a powerbomb and went for a jackknife cover, but Caster rolled through and scored a leverage three count. Excalibur said The Acclaimed would have to be perfect to beat FTR and they were. FTR congratulated Acclaimed afterward.
WINNERS: The Acclaimed in 15:00 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles.
(Keller’s Analysis: If AEW is committed to The Acclaimed, giving them a clean win over FTR helps cement them as a top level act.)
-Colten and Austin Gunn appeared on the big screen and gave a message to FTR that The Briscoes want to face FTR in a double dog collar match at the ROH PPV. Excalibur called it a huge challenge.