A six-man tag team match highlights tonight's AEW Dynamite Holiday Bash.
Sting will be in action for the first time in action at the Greensboro Coliseum in 27 years, teaming with CM Punk and Darby Allin against MJF and FTR. Allin and Sting hold a tag team victory over FTR in a match that took place at Dynamite Grand Slam in September. MJF and FTR attacked Sting and Allin last week, with Punk making the save to set up the match.
Adam Cole will face Orange Cassidy on tonight's show. The two were on opposite sides of a ten-man tag on last week's Rampage, a match won by Cassidy and Best Friends.
The TBS Championship tournament will continue with a semifinal bout, as Ruby Soho faces former AEW Women's World Champion Nyla Rose. The winner of the match will advance to the finals, awaiting the winner of Thunder Rosa vs. Jade Cargill.
Malakai Black will take on Griff Garrison in a match stemming from an angle on the December 8 Dynamite where Black sprayed black mist in the eyes of Julia Hart.
A Christmas party featuring Women's World Champion Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. and Tony Schiavone has been announced for tonight's show.
More information on the upcoming Owen Hart Tournament will be revealed. Footage of Owen from both NJPW and home videos provided by Dr. Martha Hart will also air.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show Report --
Taz joined Excalibur and Tony Schiavone on commentary.
Adam Cole defeated Orange Cassidy
This went over fifteen minutes and was pretty much nothing until the final few near falls -- and then, of course, the exciting debut of O'Reilly.
After some silly shenanigans, they wrestled around for a while to start. There were a lot of back-and-forth exchanged where each man tried to one-up the other. The heat came when Cole countered a corner escape into a backstabber. Orange started a comeback by pushing Cole off the top rope and hitting a swinging DDT for two.
The Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler came out to the ramp, so Orange dove onto Cutler and the Best Friends came out to fight off the Bucks. The distraction was enough to allow Cole to repeatedly throw Orange into the steel ring steps. However, Orange avoided a running knee attempt and Cole went knee-first into the steps ahead of a commercial.
Once back, they had a forearm "exchange" where Orange did his fake strikes. Orange avoided a thrust kick and hit one of his own, but Cole turned the follow-up into a ushigoroshi for two. Cole landed a pump kick, but Orange countered a suplex into a stunner, then hit a diving DDT for two.
Cole hit another ushigoroshi and a pump kick. Orange cradled him and hit the Michinoku driver for two. He put on the shades and climbed the ropes but dove right into a superkick. Cole then hit the Panama Sunrise, but the cocky pin attempt only got two in a great near fall.
With the knee pad pulled down, Orange avoided the Boom knee and hit the Beach Break for another good near fall. He set up for the Orange Punch, but Cole rolled to the floor.
Bobby Fish ran out and distracted the official, allowing Kyle O'Reilly to debut and take out Orange. Cole then landed the Boom for the win.
– After the match, O'Reilly beat down Orange, but Cole pulled him off. The Best Friends ran down and brawled with the former Undisputed Era, but Cole, O'Reilly, and Fish got the advantage and took out Trent with the High Low.
They all stood together in the ring as the Young Bucks walked out. The Bucks looked like they had been left out of the loop regarding O'Reilly.
The 60-minute title match draw between Hangman Page and Bryan Danielson was recapped in a video package.
Hangman Page & Bryan Danielson promo
This was an excellent promo segment building to their rematch.
AEW World Champion Hangman Page was brought out for an interview with Tony Schiavone. Page was asked about how close he came to winning the match before the time ran out. He said that after 60 minutes he was handed back his championship, and he somehow had never felt less like a champion.
Bryan Danielson interrupted on the ramp and called Page "entitled." He said that Page shouldn't be disappointed -- the fans should be disappointed, because if anyone should be AEW champion, it's Danielson. But Danielson isn't here to cry and complain: he's got a rematch for the championship on January 5th. Danielson then blamed his loss on wrestling so much before the bit match.
Danielson didn't want Page to "stall" for an hour again, so in two weeks, there will be judges to vote on the outcome if they go to a draw. Page said that if there had just been three seconds more in the match, he would have won, so he agreed to the judge stipulation. He recommended Danielson pay the judges well in advance, because they won't earn it -- Page will win the match and defend the title in the middle of the ring.
MJF and the Pinnacle were backstage. He thanked Spears for being a good "accountabili-buddy" last week. He then asked Wardlow, "I pay a ton of money for you to protect me, correct?" before re-focusing his attention on CM Punk. MJF said he and FTR are a family, which Punk knows nothing about. He said Punk's rusty and has chosen an early retirement.
Dax said they don't have a problem with Punk, but he will always back up his family. "When you're Pinnacle, you're always on top."
Wardlow defeated Shawn Dean
Wardlow immediately powerbombed poor Dean four times and pinned him with a boot on the chest.
– After the match, Spears attacked Dean with the chair.
A video package hyped this Friday's TNT Championship match between Sammy Guevara and Cody Rhodes.
Dan Lambert, flanked by the Men of the Year, began to speak from the top of the stands. He insulted the fans and talked himself up before turning his attention to Tony Khan, saying you have to be in TK's good graces to move up in this company. He then brought up Sky and Page's accolades -- meanwhile, Cody Rhodes gets another title shot.
He said that TK's trying to get him to get the fans to cheer for Cody, even though "Cody's a bigger d*ck" than he is. The next time Page or Sky get a title shot, they'll bring the gold to American Top Team.
Britt Baker, Rebel, and Jamie Hayter were with Tony Schiavone at a Christmas party. Baker insulted Greensboro and said she has Hayter to back her up. She said Riho had no chance to dethrone her, especially after all Baker's hard work.
This was one of the better segments of the year. A video package aired with people sharing testimonials and stories around their memory of Owen Hart. Mark Henry, Adam Cole, Matt Hardy, 2point0, Eddie Kingston, Dustin Rhodes, and Shawn Spears all spoke.
The Owen Hart Cup tournaments will begin next year and culminate at Double or Nothing.
TBS Championship tournament: Ruby Soho defeated Nyla Rose (w/ Vickie Guerrero)
This was rather mediocre. It was filled with interference, some sequences were out of sync, and the finish came completely out of nowhere.
Before the bell, Rose attacked Soho during her entrance. She beat down Soho with strikes and holds until Soho countered a hip toss into an overhook hold. Rose reversed a trip into an STO before beating down her opponent on the outside. Soho tried to fight back and charged at Rose but Vickie pulled Rose out of the way and Soho was sent crashing into the steps.
After the commercial break, Soho started a comeback with kicks and a big DDT for two. Rose rolled to the floor and grabbed a chair, but Soho dropkicked it into her. While the official checked on Rose, Vickie pushed Soho off the top and Rose hit her flying knee drop for two.
They had something of a strike exchange before Soho locked on a dragon sleeper. Vickie interfered yet again and took a kick for her trouble, but Rose hit the Beast Bomb for a good near fall. Soho then hit No Future out nowhere to win and advance.
– Soho will face the winner of Thunder Rosa vs. Jade Cargill in the tournament finals.
A video package recapped the Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb feud.
Malakai Black defeated Griff Garrison (w/ Brian Pillman Jr.)
Garrison surprised Black with a tope suicida right away. Black cut off the follow-up with low kicks and a takeover into a heel hook. He continued to target Garrison's left leg. Garrison came back with a cracking forearm smash for two, but his leg was too injured to follow up. Black teased the kick but instead locked on a single-leg crab for the quick submission victory.
– After the match, Pillman pulled Black off his partner and ate a spin kick for his trouble.
Matt Hardy was backstage with Private Party. He congratulated Jurassic Express on being the top contenders, but Private Party should be the contenders instead. On Friday, Private Party will "pound that ass."
Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage were also backstage. Jungle Boy said he wouldn't let Private Party "pound [his] ass," and Christian plugged their new T-shirt.
AEW Rampage lineup (Saturday 12/25):
- Jungle Boy vs. Isiah Kassidy
- HOOK vs. Bear Bronson
- Kris Statlander vs. Leyla Hirsch
- TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara (c) vs. Cody Rhodes
AEW Dynamite lineup (Wednesday 12/29):
- Eddie Kingston, Santana, & Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia & 2point0
- TBS Championship tournament: Jade Cargill vs. Thunder Rosa
- Jim Ross returns
- Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, & Bobby Fish vs. Orange Cassidy & Best Friends
AEW Dynamite lineup (Wednesday 1/5):
- AEW World Championship: Hangman Page (c) vs. Bryan Danielson
Punk had classic Sting face paint and tights on.
CM Punk, Darby Allin, & Sting defeated The Pinnacle (MJF, Dax Harwood, & Cash Wheeler)
This was an incredibly fun spectacle and one of the best Dynamite main events in months.
MJF and Punk started off, but the former immediately tagged out to Dax. Punk and Dax traded slaps but Punk quickly gained the advantage and tagged in Darby as Dax escaped to Cash. MJF tagged in, but once Punk re-entered the match MJF ran away and forced Cash back into the match. Sting made it in for the first time and wrenched Cash's arm before going for the Scorpion Deathlock. Cash rolled to the floor to escape.
Sting shrugged off a chop from MJF. They battled to reach their corners until Sting just took MJF down with a clothesline. MJF continued to flee when Punk tagged in, this time going up into the crowd. Punk was in hot pursuit, leaving Darby, Sting, and FTR in the ring. Darby took out FTR with a great tope suicida ahead of the commercial. During commercial, the Pinnacle took control against Darby.
After the break, Darby tried to fight off all three opponents, but he was sent to the floor and then into the barricade. The Pinnacle continued to isolate Darby in their corner with frequent tags. Darby hit a body slam to finally buy himself enough time to reach Sting for the hot tag.
Sting ran wild on all three opponents, hitting Stinger Splashes on both of FTR. Darby came in and hit the Coffin splash followed by Punk landing his rising corner knee. Sting applied the Scorpion Deathlock, but MJF broke it up from behind and we led into another break. Upon return, the Pinnacle had Sting cornered on their side of the ring.
MJF came in but was hit with a facebuster and then an inadvertent headbutt to the groin. Punk got a hot tag and fought off both members of FTR with dropkicks before hitting the bulldog/clothesline combination. He followed it up with a tope suicida and a diving crossbody for two.
Punk called for the GTS, but Dax got the tag. Punk hit a neckbreaker for two. He climbed the ropes, but Cash grabbed his leg, allowing Dax to pop up and chop out Punk's footing. Dax hit a superplex and Cash landed a top-rope splash for a near fall. Darby took out Cash with a wild crossbody to the floor and Punk rolled up Dax for two. Something happened at the timekeeper's table that the camera completely missed.
Dax and Punk traded forearms in the center of the ring. Punk went for the GTS, but FTR countered into the Big Rig, forcing Sting to break up the pin. MJF hit a DDT on Sting, but the big man popped up and stopped Punk from escaping. Sting sent MJF over the top rope onto FTR. MJF landed literally right on his head on the floor. Sting then hit a top-rope crossbody on all three opponents on the floor.
Punk tagged in and called for the GTS, but Dax pushed MJF out of the ring to take the bullet. Dax took the GTS, the Scorpion Death Drop, and the Coffin Drop and Punk covered for the win.