AEW Dynamite Review — 12.7.2022 — FTR vs The Acclaimed
AEW’s Go-Home Show For ROH Final Battle 2022, The Baddies in Trios Action, Plus we Hear From AEW World Champion MJF
Coming off an incredibly hot two weeks of television, AEW has thrilled audiences with the last two episodes of AEW Dynamite. Thanks in part to the ongoing Best of Seven Series between The Elite & Death Triangle, as well as MJF becoming AEW Champion, All Elite Wrestling has seen a rise in quality since the acclaimed Full Gear PPV in mid-November. This week, the show would serve as a sort-of go-home show for Ring of Honor’s Final Battle PPV, this Saturday, December 10, 2022. Tonight’s show would feature Samoa Joe defending the TNT Championship against Darby Allin, The Baddies vs Madison Rayne, Skye Blue, & Kiera Hogan, FTR challenging The Acclaimed for the AEW World Tag Team Championship, the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale, and Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs Daniel Garcia & Jake Hager, as well as promos from Jamie Hayter, Jon Moxley, and MJF. Would this week’s show be able to live up to the quality of the past few weeks of television? Let’s talk about it!
So sit back, and enjoy this review of AEW Dynamite from December 7th, 2022! SPOILERS FOR THIS EPISODE OF AEW DYNAMITE AHEAD, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale
So I missed the first seven or eight minutes of this thanks to my stream being messed up, but as I came into this, Dustin Rhodes was wrestling (his return match) and was eliminated by The Butcher. Dalton Castle was sent out by Brian Cage repeatedly, but he would be caught and saved by The Boys for a great reaction, before eventually finally being taken out by Cage. The Machine would look to suplex Jungle Boy out of the ring, but Jack Perry would end up eliminating Cage instead! During picture-in-picture, Ethan Page would target Ricky Starks, who would be saved by Jungle Boy as The Butcher would target Matt Hardy.
Back from break, Ricky Starks would eliminate The Butcher, before he and Jack Perry would team up to take out Lee Moriarty… only for W. Morrissey to boot Jungle Boy out of the ring, BEFORE ATTEMPTING MURDER WITH A CHOKESLAM ON THE RING APRON. Shawn Dean would nail Page with a DDT, attempting elimination, though Matt Hardy would make the save by delivering a Twist of Fate to The Captain as Ethan and Matt would get into it. Ethan would then toss out Shawn Dean as the crowd would light up with “DELETE” chants! Matt would meet the chants, before attacking Ricky alongside Ethan… Starks would escape the Twist of Fate, throwing Hardy out of the ring before flying off the ropes with a springboard DDT to Ethan Page, then looking for the Spear, only to get rocked with a Roundhouse Kick! Page would go for the elimination, but Ricky would use his legs to pull the bigger man over, eliminating Ethan Page to win the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal!
Before Starks could celebrate, MJF would make his entrance, preventing Ricky to get a celebratory moment in his hometown. MJF would call out Bryan Danielson, saying that he didn’t show up tonight because he’s terrified of him, and that he doesn’t blame him after what Max did last week to William Regal. Next week, MJF will be a four-time Dynamite Diamond Ring winner, while also still holding the Triple B. The truth is, in comparison to MJF, Ricky Starks is “the absolute drizzling shits”, or to quote The Rock, a candy ass. He would also call Ricky, a “Dollar Store Dwayne”, suggesting that his new nickname is “The Pebble”. MJF is actually rich, and next week, he’s going to drive Ricky to the nearest body of water to skip him across water so he can go wrestle in Billy Corgan’s NWA on YouTube where he belongs. MJF’s reign of terror has just begun.
Not one to let others speak without rebuttal, Starks would brush past MJF, grabbing a mic to speak to the Texas crowd. He referred to MJF as maxi pad and a Roddy Piper wannabe. Ricky would call out MJF’s spray tan, his tight shirt and the shitty little scarf, saying that there isn’t any way Max is better than him. MJF’s suits are cheap, his heat is cheap, and now that he is the new AEW Champion, MJF has a newfound responsibility that Max can’t deliver. When the fans got behind him, he gave him a reason to stay behind him, while Max dissapointed everyone. MJF avoids all types of pressure, he blows off meet & greets and goes on vacations to Greece because he wanted more money from Tony, but Ricky lives with dignity and respect. He was grinding while living from his car, he knew the responsibility. Next week, it’s a big deal because for once in MJF’s life, Ricky is gonna shut up Max and take what he rightfully deserves. He’s gonna smack the mole off MJF’s neck and take the AEW Championship off his waist, while taking the responsibility off his plate.
MJF would respond by kicking Ricky with a low blow, setting up for a shot with the Dynamite Diamond Ring… RICKY WOULD AVOID AND NAIL A KILLER SPEAR TO LAY OUT THE CHAMP!
Yea so I don’t have much to say on the Battle Royale as I missed most of it. The closing moments were solid though, with the crowd seemingly once again getting quite behind Matt Hardy through his stuff with Ethan Page. They also did some great babyface work with Ricky Starks here, so you love to see it. Still not over that chokeslam from W. Morrissey. I really hope that he gets signed officially and starts wrestling because his run in Impact was GREAT. The promo battle between MJF & Ricky Starks was phenomenal to say the least, and they did a great job at building some more intrigue behind the match. There is no way Starks is winning, but he got to cut the best promo of his AEW career, with it helping to make him feel like a proper main-eventer. They are in Texas next week again, so it is surely going to be another hot crowd for Starks, which is very exciting. MJF tends to always deliver, and I expect this will be a great first title defense for him.
Jon Moxley would cut a backstage promo after the break, saying that Hangman Page fell off his horse, dusted himself off, and then talked with his fists, and he likes that. This is AEW and there is no Blackpool Microphone Club… Tonight, this weekend, the BCC brings back Ass-Kicking Wrestling. He’s gonna be out with Wheeler & Claudio, and if Hangman wants another piece, he knows where to find him.
Samoa Joe vs Darby Allin — TNT Championship
This would be the first of two major title defenses this week for Samoa Joe, The King of Television, as he would put the TNT Championship on the line here against Darby Allin, and will move onto Final Battle to defend the ROH Television Championship against Bullet Club’s Juice Robinson. To kick things off, Darby would look to try and use his speed to take out Joe, nailing strikes and a dropkick before looking for his crazy suicide dive… only for Joe to sidestep, as Darby would wipe out in brutal fashion, only for Joe to violently swing Darby into the steel barricades at ringside. Pulling up the ring mats, Joe would look to powerbomb Darby onto the concrete, though Allin would manage to escape… only to eat a powerslam on the concrete!
As the crowd would light up with dueling chants for both men, Joe would cut them off with a violent back elbow to Darby off the ropes before locking in a headlock. Darby would manage to fire off a number of kicks before scoring with body shots, only to get caught with a hard headbutt, sending Darby reeling before Joe would put him on the apron, THEN RUNNING DARBY ACROSS THE APRON HEAD FIRST INTO THE RING POST! This was just insane. Darby somehow got back in before the 10 count, as Darby would look to come alive again, only to eat the Manhattan Drop and a huge senton for a nearfall. Joe would look for a dive, but Darby would slide back into the ring! Joe got sent into the steel steps, only for Darby to fly off the top with a Coffin Drop to the outside before dousing himself with water to get himself back into things.
A Stunner and Code Red combo from Darby Allin would lead to a big nearfall for the challenger, as both men would be rocked in the late stages here. Darby would look for a corner splash, only to eat a spike uranage out of the corner. Joe would place Darby up top, chopping Allin across the chest, as Darby would bite the champion in the face. Darby with the Coffin Drop, BUT JOE CAUGHT HIM IN THE COQUINA CLUTCH! Darby passes out and Samoa Joe wins, retaining the TNT Championship in a thrilling bout.
After the match, Darby would stand up and push Joe, causing The Champ to drop Darby with a Muscle Buster onto Darby’s skateboard! Joe would lock in a sleeper to put Darby to sleep again, prompting Wardlow to rush out to run off Joe.
RIGHT, so 2022 may have been a mixed bag year for AEW, but Samoa Joe’s signing has been nothing but great. Darby Allin is probably the AEW Original that I desperately want more of in 2023, so here’s hoping we get something special for him next year! This was a ridiculously great match, one I hope Joe & Darby are proud of as they worked excellently against one another. I would not be against a second match between these two, like at all. Seriously, this was just insane and such a great TNT Championship Match. Go out of your way to see this.
Kip Sabian and Orange Cassidy would appear backstage for a promo, with Cassidy saying that anytime he wants an All-Atlantic Championship Match, he can have one. Sabian refers to him as a “Sweet Clementine”, suggesting that he was hurt by Dustin Rhodes (presumably this happened during the Battle Royale, which again, I missed most of). Orange says that if Kip won’t face him now, he can choose his opponent for Friday. So it’s set! Orange Cassidy vs an opponent of Kip Sabian’s choice for AEW Rampage.
Chris Jericho would send in a promo taped on his phone to hype his ROH World Championship Match this weekend at Final Battle, likely resting after that brutal match against NJPW’s Tomohiro Ishii.
Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta (w/Jon Moxley) vs Jake Hager & Daniel Garcia (w/ Sammy Guevara)
Commentary would reference William Regal’s exit here, saying that they were a bit surprised by the BCC being around still, but Moxley, Claudio, Wheeler, & Danielson are still repping the Blackpool Combat Club. Tony would suggest that he has something to share with the group later on…
Out of the gate, Hager would offer his hat to Claudio, who would tease putting it on before kicking it into the crowd, allowing Hager to get the advantage on Yuta. As Claudio & Hager would wrestle one another, a portion of the crowd would chant “We the People”, though it would die off quickly as Yuta would tag back in for tag team offense with Castagnoli. Wheeler would manage to score big with a tope suicida, taking out Hager & Garcia at ringside before going up top for a dive… Guevara would distract the referee and Yuta, allowing Garcia to blindside him with Hager dropping him back into the ring and nailing the Hager Bomb.
Garcia & Yuta would face off, serving as a teaser for their ROH Pure Championship Match this weekend at Final Battle, with both men trying to suplex one another, failing, as Yuta would then opt to put Garcia on the top turnbuckle before sending him down with a Superplex! During the break, Hager & Garcia would take full control, working over Yuta as Claudio would be set for the big tag.
Back from break, Yuta would score a huge release German Suplex to take out Garcia, as both men would go down, with Claudio getting brought in for the Hot Tag as he and Hager would once again go at it. Claudio would come in, spamming uppercuts to Hager, just destroying his former tag team partner with a nearly endless amount of uppercuts, eventually getting him onto the top turnbuckle, sending Hager back into the ring with a Hurricanrana for a two count, opening him up for the Giant Swing… Garcia would break it up though, jumping onto Claudio’s back, as Yuta would fly off the top with a splash onto the Pure Champion. Hager would look for a powerslam, but Claudio escaped and would deliver a huge Giant Swing to Jake Hager before delivering a lariat for another nearfall. Guevara would prevent Castagnoli from landing the springboard uppercut, as Hager would catch him with the powerslam before locking in the Ankle Lock in the center of the ring. Garcia would slide in and lock in the Dragon Tamer on Yuta… but Claudio would roll out of Hager’s hold, nailing a final European Uppercut to score the win!
After the match, Tony would arrive in the ring as he would show a pre-taped interview that he had done with William Regal, talking about what happened at Full Gear. Regal said that if the fans were seeing this video, it meant that something bad had happened to him. MJF was complaining, so he gave him what he wanted. He helped him become World Champion, and now he has to be careful what he wishes for, because now the whole company is going to target him. A few months back, he realized that the BCC didn’t need him, but that he needs Yuta, Claudio, and Bryan to help turn Wheeler Yuta become the best wrestler in the world. He’s Blackpool Combat Club until he dies, and the reason he did what he did was to give them their final lesson. Moxley would get on the mic, saying that all he knows is that the three men in the ring live and breathe for professional wrestling. You can call them whatever you want, but at Final Battle, their war with the JAS is over. This Friday, Jon Moxley makes a statement as he challenges any wrestler in the world, and at Final Battle, Wheeler & Claudio make a statement.
The match itself honestly overdelivered for me. It was far from must-see, but it was a very well-worked match between the four guys. Garcia vs Yuta should be an excellent technical match at the PPV, and I expect Jericho & Claudio to be a very solid main event based on both men’s recent work. The William Regal promo was a very nice surprise and while the reasoning behind his original turn was a bit wonky, they made it make the most sense they could. The Blackpool Combat Club now has a reason for existing still and Regal got a chance to not only say goodbye to them, but to the fans, while still putting over the group.
A House of Black vignette would air, with them declaring war on anyone in AEW that has an issue with what they have done. Next week, they are inviting anyone to step to them.
Jamie Hayter Sit-Down
Our new AEW Women’s World Champion would be here, calling out the logic behind both Saraya & Toni Storm getting sit-down interviews but not her. Tony puts over the women’s division right now, promoting Allie vs Hikaru Shida for AEW Rampage. Jamie says that the division is interesting… and that she is going to be a defending champion, saying that she is going to keep an eye on the WAVE Championship Match, saying that one of those girls will be able to challenge her afterwards, seemingly indicating that Hikaru Shida vs Jamie Hayter for the AEW Women’s World Championship is happening! COLOR ME EXCITED!!!
The Baddies vs Madison Rayne, Kiera Hogan, and Skye Blue
Kiera Hogan would make her babyface debut here, donning a new hair color as well, with Skye Blue and Red Velvet starting the match as they would trade pinfall attempts to a solid reception from the crowd. Leila Grey would get in, laying into Skye with a big kick before Madison Rayne would get the tag, delivering some tag offense with Skye, who she has been teaming with. Blue & Velvet would go at it again, with Skye nailing a superkick, before attempting a diving dropkick only to get caught in the apron and beaten down by Red Velvet.
Leila and Velvet would double-team Skye Blue as Jade would watch on, without breaking a sweat, as she would just stand on the apron. The crowd seemed very behind Skye Blue, with her seemingly getting more and more over in the past few months. Leila would keep her grounded during the break, with Kiera and Jade getting in as the match came back. Kiera would send Velvet and Leila flying to the outside as the crowd would get behind Hogan. Jade would drop Kiera with a huge one-legged chokeslam or powerbomb before looking for Jaded. Kiera would make the quick tag to Madison, with Rayne nailing an enzuigiri before she would get caught with Jaded… The Baddies Win!
Jade barely wrestled here, and I was expecting something more from a storyline perspective, but it was a solid little trios match. I still have no idea where this Bow Wow/Jade Cargill storyline is going.
Saraya would be interviewed backstage, though Britt Baker would arrive to cut her off. Baker pointed out that in Saraya’s first match, she got to face the biggest name in the women’s division. Baker offers a Saraya a ticket to AEW’s return to the KIA Forum in Los Angeles and lays down the challenge for a tag team match between Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter vs Saraya & a mystery partner.
AEW RAMPAGE — December 9, 2022:
- Orange Cassidy defends the AEW All-Atlantic Championship against an opponent Kip Sabian’s choosing
- Hikaru Shida vs The Bunny — Regina Di Wave Championship
- Tay Melo & Ruby Soho Speak
- Athena Appears
- Lee Moriarty & W. Morrissey WRESTLE!
- JON MOXLEY VS KONOSUKE TAKESHITA
FINAL BATTLE — December 10, 2022:
- Chris Jericho vs Claudio Castagnoli — ROH World Championship
- Dalton Castle & The Boys vs The Gates Of Agony & Brian Cage — ROH World 6-Man Championship
- Daniel Garcia vs Wheeler Yuta — ROH Pure Championship
- Samoa Joe vs Juice Robinson — ROH World Television Championship
- Mercedes Martinez vs Athena — ROH Women’s Championship
- Shane Taylor Promotions vs Swerve In Our Glory
- FTR vs The Briscoes — Double Dog Collar Match
- + More For the ZERO HOUR
AEW Dynamite — December 14, 2022:
- MJF vs Ricky Starks — AEW World Championship + Dynamite Diamond Ring, Winner Takes All
- The Elite vs Death Triangle, Match 4
- The House of Black Return to Action
The Acclaimed vs FTR — AEW World Tag Team Championship Match
After spending much of the year not challenging for the AEW Tag Team Titles, FTR would finally get the chance to challenge for the belts, facing off against The Acclaimed in the main event of Dynamite. The crowd would be very behind both teams, with The Acclaimed specifically getting a great reaction. Bowens & Cash would wrestle to a stalemate, as Dax & Max would come in for a big exchange, with Caster getting the advantage thanks to a big arm drag and dropkick combination. Bowens would come off the top rope with a move apparently named SCISSOR ME TIMBERS, nailing Dax in yam-bag-city to take control.
Max would leapfrog Dax, but Harwood would manage to start locking in the Sharpshooter. Caster would escape, and Bowens would get in the ring as The Acclaimed would lock in double Sharpshooters in on FTR! Dax would take control over Caster, nailing a backdrop suplex and beginning to work over the back of one half of the tag champs. Wheeler would tag in, locking in a chinlock to prevent Max from getting the tag to Bowens. Caster would eventually fight free, nailing a big diving crossbody to Cash as Dax would tag in, sliding to attempt to prevent the tag, but Bowens would get a crazy hot tag, taking out both members of FTR to a great reaction!
Bowens would lay out Harwood with a fast combination into a running knee strike for a big-time nearfall. Dax would deliver two German suplexes, before Bowens would escape, clonking heads with Cash Wheeler on the apron before Bowens would deliver a big neckbreaker for another big two count. Spike Piledriver from FTR gets another big nearfall, with some great commentary from Taz pointing out how devastating that move really is. FTR would look for a double suplex onto Anthony Bowens, but Max Caster would spear Cash, allowing Dax to get a crazy nearfall off a roll-up. Dax managed to boot Max into Bowens, but as they would attempt the Big Rig, Bowens would boot Cash to prevent it. The Acclaimed would attempt their own version of the Big Rig but would fail… FTR WOULD SCORE THE BIG RIG ON MAX CASTER, BUT ANTHONY BOWENS GOT IN TO BREAK IT UP! In the following moments, the crowd would come unglued with loud “This is Awesome” chants as Dax would bring Max to the top rope, with Cash tagging in. Harwood would get sent off the top by Bowens, nailing The Arrival on Cash Wheeler, but Caster would miss with the Mic Drop! Gory Bomb Facebuster from Wheeler takes out Bowens, as Cash levels Caster. This is just insanity at this point. Three short-armed lariats land from Wheeler, as he attempts a jackknife cover… but MAX ROLLS THROUGH AND SITS DOWN FOR THE PIN! The Acclaimed Retain!
After the match, FTR, Daddy Ass, & The Acclaimed would all embrace in the ring and scissor. The Gunns would appear on the big screen, calling FTR trash and said that they got them presents… FINAL BATTLE. THE BRISCOES VS FTR IN A DOUBLE DOG COLLAR MATCH!
Beginning with the end… what more could you ask for? FTR finally got to challenge for the AEW World Tag Team Titles again, and they absolutely tore the house down, putting on the best match in The Acclaimed’s career thus far. This was just a stupendous main event and I would very much like to watch a sequel down the line. The announcement of The Briscoes vs FTR III is very exciting, as Tony Khan could book these teams against one another for eternity and I would buy the PPVs. The Double Dog Collar Stipulation is a weird one, but knowing both teams, they will make it work.
As for the rest of the show… It was not at the level of the show two weeks ago in Chicago, but this felt as good as last week’s show. A decent amount of storyline development, paired with some great wrestling. Awesome promos from William Regal, Ricky Starks, MJF, and Jamie Hayter, who looked amazing for what its worth, and two incredible matches with Samoa Joe vs Darby Allin & The Acclaimed vs FTR! I don’t know the direction of Jade right now, but seeing The Baddies in trios & tag-team action more would be great for the group as a whole. Also, shoutout to Rampage for having loads of women featured this week, with Athena, Tay Melo, Ruby Soho, The Bunny, & Hikaru Shida all featured prominently… it’s almost like AEW finally cares about the women’s division!
If you can only watch a few things from this week, choose these:
- William Regal’s Final AEW Promo + Farewell to the BCC
- Samoa Joe vs Darby Allin
- Jamie Hayter’s Sit-Down Interview
- FTR vs The Acclaimed
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