All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite: January 3, 2024
January 4, 2024 5:14 PM - Season 5, Episode 14 - Subscribe

With some top names at the company set to take vacations or retire (or their contracts expire) in 2024, Dynamite begins introducing new faces and bringing together current talent in interesting new ways. This episode had several debuts, one title defense and intriguing matchups.

Quoted parts come from The Wrestling Observer.

AEW Dynamite comes on the air with post-World's End comments from new AEW World Champion Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe helpfully reminds the audience that MJF was owed a little comeuppance for how he beat Joe with underhanded means at Grand Slam back in September. This won't be the only time tonight that we're reminded how heelish Max has truly been, and confront the question of how much payback is deserved.
The Undisputed Kingdom Is Born
"[Adam] Cole said he just beat MJF to the punch, as MJF needed Adam Cole, not the other way around. Cole broke his ankle for MJF, Better Than You Bay-Bay made the fans fall in love with MJF, he saved MJF’s title reign and also took it away. [...] Taven & Bennett are ROH Tag Team Champions, Strong, who will go after the International Title and Wardlow, who will be going for the AEW World Title. When Cole is all healed up, he’s going to have Wardlow do the right thing and forfeit the World Title to him. Wardlow nodded in agreement with a smirk on his face.

Switchblade Jay White interrupts on the stage and said he’s impressed that Cole hasn’t lost his edge, he’s a fan of what they did to little old MJF. What White doesn’t like is being made a catalyst in all of this and attack him when he’s all alone, which he’s not tonight. The Gunns made their way out and we have a brawl with Bullet Club Gold & The Undisputed Kingdom, until The Acclaimed & Daddy Ass hit the ring and chase off Cole, who hides behind AEW doctors, saying he’s not cleared. The Acclaimed & Daddy Ass have a stare down with White & The Gunns, who end up bailing."

Wardlow's smirk is extremely GIF-able. Cole will have no traction if he tries to treat Wardlow the same way MJF did. Trying to turn Jay White and the Gunns back to tweeners after being heels for Max can also backfire, if AEW booking underestimates just how sleazy the crowds find Austin and Colton Gunn.
Orange Cassidy defeated Dante Martin to retain the AEW International Title
"A fast paced back and forth opener to kick off AEW in ring action for 2024. Martin had his counters and high flying, but once Cassidy saw his chance, the Orange Punch was all she wrote. We got a nice ovation for the returning Private Party post match, who want to give the Tag Team division a shot in the arm in 2024, which, with the amount of talented teams on the roster, should hopefully be having a strong year with great matches, again, that’s hopefully."

"Post match, HOOK & Danhausen checked on Cassidy, who Darius Martin & Action Andretti attended to Dante, who shook hands with Cassidy. This was interrupted by Private Party, as Marq Quen is back with Isiah Kassidy, who said the Tag Team division has been lacking, missing flavor and excitement. Kassidy & Quen got in the ring and put every team on notice, including FTR, The Young Bucks & The Hardys."

Dante came off as nearly equaling Cassidy in slipperiness and speed. In the end it was the champ's experience that let him land the deciding blow, taking the knowledge that Dante can dodge most of his moves and turning it to an impressive fakeout.
Mariah May defeated Queen Aminata
"The match itself was fine, but they put a commercial in the middle of it, which had multiple rest holds, so when things returned, the crowd didn’t seem into May. They did get behind Aminata during her comeback, but May winning was the only way to go here. The debuting Purrazzo immediately puts a new challenger in play for Toni Storm and May could be the first obstacle in her getting the title."

Mariah May is the answer to the question "What if Charlotte Flair was raised as a child in a joshi dojo?" Deonna Purrazzo is also a great signing for AEW, and the fact that so much attention is now being paid to the women's division is a promising start for the year.
Christian Cage’s State of the Union
Fricking OF COURSE Christian gives Luchasaurus/Killswitch no credit for his getting the TNT Championship back from Adam Copeland at World's End. Anyone who's been in an abusive family with a "Golden Child" and a "Bad Child" will recognize this dynamic. The crowd wants him to turn on Christian so bad but I think that's going to simmer for a while. Adam Cole falls into one kind of heel category -- the one who believes his own bullshit -- but Cage falls into another, and it generates powerful crowd hate.
Konosuke Takeshita defeated Darby Allin
"I sure hope we get this match again down the line as these two tore it up. This was a statement win for Takeshita, who needs to be doing something other than tag squashes with other Callis Family members, so I’m hopeful this is the start, it certainly needs to be."

I honestly don't know how Darby didn't die when Takeshita blocked his dive with a vicious knee strike. Darby tried to get creative with velocity offense but KT just kept overpowering him with combos of suplexes, big kicks, and drops.
Trent Beretta defeated Brian Cage, El Hijo del Vikingo (w/Alex Abrahantes) & Bryan Keith to earn a Continental Title match on Collision
"Beretta’s great at winning scramble matches to earn title shots, he won a TNT Title match not that long ago and now gets the first Continental Title match this Saturday on Collision. This was a party match filled with action, as everyone got in their big moves, it was Beretta who was in the right place at the right time and stood victorious."

Those who watched with TrillerTV (f/k/a FiteTV) missed extra helpings of Eddie Kingston on commentary getting Excalibur and Taz to crack up. Bryan Keith also was made to look credible in this match, suggesting good things are in store for him over on Ring Of Honor.
Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana) defeated Daniel Garcia
"This was an excellent main event featuring two of the top young stars who will hopefully be heavily featured in 2024 for AEW. Even in defeat, Garcia put up one hell of a fight, kicking out of the Swerve Stomp, but Strickland had too many options in his arsenal. Right as Strickland was about to make his intentions known for the AEW Title, Hangman Page is there to make sure his rival doesn’t get such moment.

It was a game of one-up from the start, as Strickland got an early takedown, but Garcia dared him to go to the mat, resulting in Garcia getting the upper hand. A kitchen sink knee sent Strickland to the floor, where Garcia sent him crashing into the barricade. Nana got in the face of Garcia and we were graced with a dance battle between the two, as Strickland tried to put a stop to it, taking Garcia to the apron. Strickland took the ref and Nana distracted Garcia long enough for Strickland to hit a pump kick and Death Valley Driver on the edge of the ring into commercial.

It was all Strickland during break, turning Garcia inside out with another pump kick. Strickland mocked the Garcia dance, but it only woke up Garcia, who hulked up with punches in bunches. A running corner knee and shotgun dropkick led to a Saito Suplex for two. Strickland responded with a leg trapped backbreaker and spinning sitout reverse DDT for two of his own. Strickland got in the face of Matt Menard at the commentary table, as Garcia swarmed Strickland clearing off the table, trying for a Dragon Tamer, but both men fell off the table. Back in the ring, Garcia hit a superplex, but Strickland held on and hit a suplex for the double down.

Garcia escaped a waist lock with a violent knee to the face, but Strickland answered with a rolling Flatliner and House Call for a very close two. Strickland connected on the Swerve Stomp, but Garcia managed to kick out. Strickland was stunned, as Garcia got a desperation roll up for two, but Strickland got up; hit another House Call and the JML Driver for the win.

Post match, Strickland went to shake Garcia’s hand, but Nana hit a low blow from behind. Menard hit the ring to fight for his friend, but suffered the same fate, as Prince Nana was about to say Strickland is going to be the next AEW World Champion when Hangman Adam Page’s music hit and he came to the ring for a faceoff with Strickland before a slugfest ensued. Security and officials ran to the ring to separate the two with each man breaking free to end the show."

That fall off the announcer's table will probably make it into Botchamania. Great match, but I think it's too early to restart Hangman vs. Swerve, as Hangman already has too many losses headed into the new year and Swerve ought to not have any, at least not until the next PPV.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta (2 comments total)
Oh, and today January 4 is the 25th anniversary of Mankind beating The Rock for his first WWF Heavyweight Championship, while at the same time on another channel, "Hollywood" Hogan gave Kevin Nash the "Fingerpoke of Doom".

Famously, since WCW Nitro aired live and WWF Raw was pre-recorded at the time, WCW commentator (and current AEW commentator, there's your topical connection!) Tony Schiavone mocked the competition, famously saying "That's gonna put some butts in seats. Heh!"
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 6:53 PM on January 4

We see Bryan Keith (Queen Aminata as well!) a ton in our local indies, and lord knows there's nothing I like more than seeing someone from the indies make good.

Still holding out for the debut of Danhausen/War Horse (Danhorse)...
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:35 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

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