Jon Moxley returns to AEW on tonight's Dynamite.
Moxley last appeared on AEW programming in October, where he was a semifinalist in the AEW World title eliminator tournament. It was announced on November 2 that Moxley was entering inpatient treatment for alcohol.
Cody Rhodes will also return to Dynamite this evening. Rhodes has been out of action due to contact tracing related to COVID-19 exposure. He won the TNT Championship from Sammy Guevara on Rampage in December, but was pulled from a subsequent title defense at Battle of the Belts earlier this month.
CM Punk will take on Shawn Spears tonight, as Punk continues to work his way through MJF's The Pinnacle group.
Sting and Darby Allin will face The Acclaimed on the show. The Acclaimed released a diss track on Sting and Allin on last week's Rampage.
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. and Adam Cole will team for the first time in AEW, as they take on Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander in a mixed tag.
Serena Deeb will be in action tonight against Skye Blue.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show Report --
Jon Moxley return promo
This was the best promo of the short year. I'm so happy to have Moxley back.
"Wild Thing" opened the show and Jon Moxley emerged. He received a massive "Welcome back!" chant from the Washington, D.C. crowd. A fan heckled him and Moxley told the fan to "go fuck himself," which I'm sure felt cathartic.
Moxley discussed a dream where his success and prosperity was questioned. He has a lot of scars, but the important ones are the scars inside, that people can't see. Those are the scars that "make us the people we are." Nobody should be ashamed.
There are plenty of people willing to write Moxley off, but he doesn't run from demons -- he just beats the shit out of them. To everyone who supported him, "thank you." In 2022, Moxley will grab the world of professional wrestling by the balls and do what he wants. "Now more than ever, I am truly free."
Moxley has been to Hell, and there's nobody in AEW who can put him through worse. He's thirsty; if you thought he was dangerous before, these days, "All I drink is blood!"
MJF and Wardlow were in the locker room. MJF called out CM Punk for being a coward, but he said the real reason for this was to apologize to Wardlow. It's Wardlow's birthday, and MJF is sorry... however, Wardlow put his hands on MJF, and for that, he's going to have to dock his pay. With that being said, he believes in Wardlow, just like he believes in Shawn Spears against Punk tonight.
Adam Cole & Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. defeated Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander
This match was standard mixed tag rules, with women and men only allowed to wrestle the same gender. The Best Friends team controlled things early on with Statlander hitting a long delayed vertical suplex. They took out Cole and Baker at ringside until they celebrated for too long, allowing Cole and Baker to take them out with superkicks ahead of a commercial.
Once back, Orange reached Statlander for a hot tag. She ran wild on Baker before a Blue Thunder bomb got two. Baker came back with a cradle and a neckbreaker, leading to both women tagging in their partners. Cole hit an enziguiri but Orange came back with a stunner.
Baker got a blind tag and landed the curb stomp on Orange, but then Statlander came in and cut her off. She climbed the ropes, but Cole crawled over onto Baker to prevent Statlander from attacking. Statlander hit the Area 451 anyway, then Orange hit the Beach Break on Cole for a good near fall.
Orange wanted the Orange Punch, but Cole rolled onto the ramp and downed him with a superkick. Cole wanted the Panama Sunrise, but Statlander pushed Orange back into the ring. Baker then blindsided her with a superkick and hit a destroyer on the ramp.
Back in the ring, Cole hit the Panama Sunrise on Orange for another good near fall. Cole and Baker set up the timekeeper's table at ringside. Orange hit the Orange Punch, but Cole moved out of the way, so Orange punched Baker and sent her through the table. Cole then low-blowed Orange and hit the Boom for the win.
Chris Jericho, Santana, & Ortiz were backstage. Jericho said he doesn't care about Eddie Kingston, but Ortiz and Santana do care. Santana asked if Jericho was the reason they're not tag champs. He said next week they'd focus more on themselves than on the unit.
Adam Cole was backstage. He said Orange Cassidy had been a thorn in his side, and then he puts his hands on his girlfriend. What more does Cole need to do? He proposed that next Wednesday, it's Cole vs. Orange in a No DQ Lights Out match. He's going to try to end Orange's career.
MJF joined commentary. A video package for Punk vs. Spears aired before the match.
CM Punk defeated Shawn Spears
Punk hit the GTS and won in about five seconds.
– After the match, MJF entered the ring. He tried to escape, but Punk grabbed the Burberry scarf. MJF left the scarf behind in order to escape
Billy Gunn talked to Christian Cage outside the arena. The Gunn Club is ranked in the top five, and Billy wants them to get a title shot against the Jurassic Express. Christian blew him off, but then the Gunn Club attacked and sent him repeatedly into a garage door.
Cody Rhodes returns
During a commercial break, Cody set up a ladder in the ring. He talked about CM Punk's famous "pipe bomb" promo and how revolutionary it was. Punk's comeback was the "comeback of the decade."
Cody, in turn, led that revolution. "You want to know why I won't turn heel?" Because the fans cheered him when he needed it most. "Before there was a 'Forbidden Door,' I was the one that built it." Cody's gone for two weeks, and all this stuff happens and changes in AEW. He said Brody King had balls coming to AEW and calling himself "Brody/Brodie."
He then turned his attention to the TNT Championship. The only reason it's considered a secondary championship right now is because there's two. He climbed the ladder and challenged Sammy Guevara for the unification match at Beach Break.
Tony Schiavone was backstage. Jade Cargill has issued an open challenge for the TBS Championship, and Anna Jay has accepted. Mark Sterling dismissed Jay, but John Silver hyped her up. Jay said she will do whatever it takes to win. Cargill said this is "That bitch show."
Kings of the Black Throne (Malakai Black & Brody King) defeated Varsity Blonds (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman, Jr.)
This was King's first match in AEW. He was surprised early on with a forearm from Pillman, but Pillman hesitated on a springboard due to failing at one last week. King took out the Blonds at ringside and he and Black isolated Pillman in the ring. King then hit Dante's Inferno for the quick win.
– After the match, a PAC video played. PAC addressed Black, calling him "self-obsessed and power-hungry."
A Lance Archer video aired. Jake Roberts spoke on his behalf, saying Archer won't wait in line anymore. Hangman Page offered him a world title match. Roberts said it was time for Page to "bite the dust."
Brandon Cutler tried to set up the Cutler Cam, but Rocky Romero and Trent Beretta walked up and just did their own thing. Romero said the Best Friends were tired of losing to the Elite, but then he remembered all those times Roppongi Vice beat the Young Bucks. He challenged the Bucks to a match.
Lance Archer (w/ Jake "The Snake" Roberts & Dan Lambert) defeated Frankie Kazarian
This match went for a really long time, like ten minutes, considering Kazarian got no extended sequences of offense. It honestly felt like a waste of time.
Archer attacked before the bell and effortlessly beat Kazarian down through a commercial break. Really not much to say about the first 7-8 minutes of the match until Kazarian countered Blackout and landed a missile dropkick. Archer came back with a chokeslam and a black hole slam. Archer then hit Blackout for the win.
– After the match, Tony Schiavone asked about the relationship between Archer and Dan Lambert. Lambert blew him off and addressed Hangman Page, rambling for a while until Archer cut him off. He was about to chokeslam Kazarian onto a chair on the ramp until Page walked out.
He slapped Archer across the face and they traded strikes until Archer got the better of the exchange. Archer went for a chair, but Page attacked with a boot. Page went for the Buckshot, but Archer countered it and neither man left the segment laying.
Dante Martin, Matt Sydal, and Lee Moriarty were backstage. They said they have each other's backs.
Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs said Dante should watch his back.
Kris Statlander and Red Velvet were backstage. Leyla Hirsch walked up and accused Statlander of not being focused enough for their match on Rampage. Velvet tried to calm her down, but Hirsch told her to shut up. Hirsch attacked them both and locked on an armbar on Statlander until officials broke them up.
Serena Deeb defeated Skye Blue
Deeb cockily out-wrestled Blue early on, guillotining her over the ropes. She quickly hit the Deeb-tox, then attacked Blue's knee before applying the Serenity Lock for the quick win.
Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year were backstage. Ethan Page challenged Jon Moxley for a match on Rampage.
They showed highlights of the Young Bucks' and Roppongi Vice's history.
AEW Rampage (1/21) lineup:
- Jon Moxley vs. Ethan Page
- Young Bucks vs. Roppongi Vice
- HOOK vs. Serpentico
- TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Anna Jay
A HOOK vignette aired.
AEW Dynamite (1/26) lineup:
- TNT Championship ladder match: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Sammy Guevara (c)
- Chris Jericho, Santana, & Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia & 2point0
- Lights Out: Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy
- Leyla Hirsch vs. Red Velvet
Andrade El Idolo and Hardy Family Office were backstage. Hardy has sold Andrade 51% of H.F.O., but H.F.O. will still hold the majority of the board seats and Hardy will be CEO. Andrade is the new president. From now on, they will be known as the "A.H.F.O." Andrade is still looking for that "little boy" Darby Allin.
Before the match, a video aired of the Acclaimed mocking Sting and Darby's black-and-white vignettes.
Darby Allin & Sting defeated The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens)
The Acclaimed attacked during Sting's entrance. They wrapped a chair around Darby's neck and sent him into the ring post. The official called for the doctors, who checked on Darby -- the match hadn't started yet. Sting opted to start the match two-on-one.
Sting held his own, fighting off both of the Acclaimed. Bowens avoided a Stinger Splash and Sting met a dropkick for two. The Acclaimed isolated Sting and beat him down through a commercial.
Once back, Sting landed simultaneous clotheslines and locked on a Scorpion Deathlock, but Bowens broke it up and attacked Sting with the boombox on the outside. The Acclaimed looked to attack with the steel steps, but Darby re-appeared out of nowhere with an awesome diving tackle on Caster.
Darby got the hot tag and landed a Coffin Drop on both Acclaimed out on the floor. He then hit a Code Red for a near fall. Darby locked Caster in a hanging guillotine, but Caster reached Bowens for the tag. The Mic Drop followed, but Sting broke up the pin attempt.
As Caster recovered leaning over a table at ringside, Sting landed a diving splash, sending him through it. Back in the ring, Darby hit a stunner and a Coffin Drop for the win.