Kenny Omega defends the AEW World Championship against Rey Fenix on tonight's New Year's Smash night one episode of Dynamite.
This match was set up on the December 16 Dynamite when PAC confronted Omega. PAC said that his Death Triangle stablemate Fenix had never been eliminated from the AEW World title eliminator tournament that was held on the road to Full Gear and that Tony Khan had sanctioned Omega vs. Fenix for New Year's Smash.
Hikaru Shida will defend the AEW Women's World Championship tonight against Abadon.
TNT Champion Darby Allin and challenger Brian Cage will participate in a weigh-in ahead of their TNT title match on next week's New Year's Smash night two.
Former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley will make his first in-person appearance on an AEW show since losing the title to Omega at AEW Winter is Coming in December.
Cody Rhodes will face Matt Sydal, Jake Hager will take on Wardlow, plus The Young Bucks and SCU will team against The Acclaimed and TH2 in an eight-man tag. An appearance by Sting has also been announced.
A special appearance by Snoop Dogg has also been advertised. Snoop and Cody Rhodes are two of the hosts of TBS's Go-Big Show, which premieres tomorrow.
Chris Jericho will be on commentary for tonight's show.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show Report --
Ahead of the opener, Max Caster did his usual rapping schtick, with lots of censorship from the network.
Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) & SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) defeated The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) & TH2 (Angélico & Jack Evans)
This was a very fun, all-action tag opener.
Daniels took a quick shot at Caster, leading to a free-for-all brawl. ¾ of the babyface team landed dives as Kazarian and Bowens were the only men left in the ring. The Bucks went through a long sequence with TH2, concluded with a flipping senton dive from Nick. Daniels went for an Arabian moonsault, but was caught, allowing The Acclaimed to gain control.
The heels maintained control for a long time, with the highlight being Angélico applying unique submission holds to break Daniels down. Daniels fought back with a Blue Thunder Bomb, allowing him to reach Kazarian for the hot tag. Kazarian ran wild on TH2, finishing the run with a German suplex bridge for two. Evans surprised him with a kick and a corkscrew moonsault for two.
Matt tagged in and landed a double suplex on Evans and Bowens. He took out all four opponents with dives and spears before feinting on a moonsault, instead diving onto Caster and Angélico on the outside. Risky Business from the Bucks on Bowens followed for two, followed by a Kazarian slingshot DDT for another two.
Kazarian and Nick hit the BTE Trigger, but Evans broke up the pinfall. TH2 hit a backbreaker combination, but Nick got the knees up on an Evans 630 attempt. The Bucks had a Superkick party on all four opponents before setting up for the Meltzer Driver. Nick stumbled on the ropes but made up for it with a dive on the outside, before Matt and Daniels worked together for the Best Meltzer Ever to finish it.
Kazarian grabbed a mic after the match and discussed his ultimatum with Daniels. SCU then challenged the Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Championships, and the Bucks appeared to accept.
Jon Moxley Returns
Moxley said that complaining about his title loss is a waste of time, because life isn't fair. All you can do is endure, grit your teeth, and take it on the chin, staring down the adversity and not backing down.
"What to do with Kenny Omega?" Moxley sees things in black and white and doesn't have time for shitty people, and he'd like to beat them up. But tonight is Rey Fenix's opportunity, scratching and clawing for thirteen years to reach this point.
Omega isn't safe and never will be safe. Moxley will forever be in Omega's blind spot. One day, Omega will look into the eyes of the devil and beg for mercy when he realizes that he crossed the wrong guy.
Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy were interviewed about an update on Trent. He has a torn pec and will be out four to five months. Miro, Sabian, and Ford interrupted. Miro said that sucks for Trent, but it sucks even more for them, because Trent's the leader of their little group. He said that Taylor can be his new Best Friend, doing chores for him.
Taylor responded by challenging Miro to a match next week. Miro accepted on the condition that if Miro wins, Taylor must be his "young boy" until after Sabian and Ford's wedding. Taylor accepted the stipulation.
Ahead of the match, a video played where Wardlow talked about his issues with Hager. Wardlow had been absent because of taking care of his family, but the Inner Circle is his family too, and he's capable of taking care of both. Tonight, he's giving Hager a war.
Wardlow defeated Jake Hager
The rest of the Inner Circle looked on from the stage.
They had a strong lockup to start, but neither man could take advantage until Wardlow achieved a takedown. Hager got one of his own and beat Wardlow down in the corner with strikes. They collided in the center of the ring with simultaneous clotheslines before leading into a shoulder tackle battle. Wardlow clotheslined Hager to the outside and they traded right hands before simultanious clotheslines downed both men leading into the break.
Wardlow used some athleticism to attack Hager in the corner before hitting a series of release suplexes for two. Hager escaped out of the F10 and hit a series of lariats. An overhead suplex followed for two. Wardlow countered the Vader Bomb but Hager was able to lock on the ankle lock. Wardlow kicked his way out and tackled Hager out of the ring, sending him into the barricade.
Back in the ring, Wardlow landed another series of suplexes, concluding with a German for two. A senton atomico followed for another two, but Hager locked on a head and arm choke. Wardlow got his foot on the rope, forcing the break. They fought on the second rope as Hager applied the head and arm choke once again, but Wardlow shoved him down. The F10 followed for the win.
Hager was extremely frustrated after the match, but the rest of the Inner Circle got them to fist bump for a show of respect.
Private Party was about to make some gin and juice backstage, but only had gin. Snoop Dogg arrived with the juice. Matt Hardy showed up with contracts for Private Party. The implication was that Hardy would take a large cut out of their earnings in exchange for some mentorship.
Darby Allin/Brian Cage Weigh-In
Allin came out with the new TNT Championship belt, now with a black strap, while Cage was out with the rest of Team Taz. These two will wrestle for Allin's TNT Championship next week on Dynamite.
Taz got offended that Cage had to weigh first, but Cage went ahead and did it anyway. Cage's official weight was 272 pounds. Allin weighed in next at 170 pounds, which seems generous.
Allin said that this feud was 27 years in the making, because he's dealt with shit from people like Taz his whole life. He got ready for a fight, but the lights went out and Sting appeared, bat in hand. Team Taz retreated to the stage but Taz promised that next week we would see a new TNT champion.
Backstage, Jake Hager was punching a garage door out of frustration. MJF tried to hype him up, telling him he's a better athlete than the audience and undefeated in MMA. Hager said that he was about to lay MJF out, but instead said that MJF was cool, and appreciated the comment.
They aired a clip of Brodie "-1" Lee Jr. cutting a promo on Marko Stunt from this week's AEW Dark.
Alex Marvez interviewed Jurassic Express about that bit of fun, but FTR interrupted and called Stunt "useless" and a "loser." Stunt proposed taking Luchasaurus' spot in their upcoming tag match, but FTR was unconcerned.
During Cody's entrance, they played a remixed version of his song with Snoop Dogg rapping over it. Snoop is Cody's coach from the upcoming TNT "Go Big Show."
Cody Rhodes (w/ Snoop Dogg) defeated Matt Sydal
This was a strong match with a lighthearted post-match interaction.
Sydal landed a high kick early on but kind of whiffed on a springboard arm drag attempt. He followed it up with a diving meteora on the ramp but hurt his knee in the process. Cody took advantage with his drop-down right hand, but Sydal landed a diving dropkick on the outside. Cody tried to strike Sydal but missed and hit Serpentico at ringside instead. Cody rolled through on a diving crossbody and stepped over into a scorpion deathlock until Sydal reached the ropes.
After a commercial break, Cody landed an inverted vertical suplex from the second rope, but only got two. Sydal avoided a moonsault attempt and hit a rising knee strike. He went for the Shooting Star Press, but Cody got his knees up and hit a reverse DDT for a near fall. Cody tried to keep up the offense but Sydal reversed it into a cobra clutch attempt. They traded strikes until Cody clotheslined Sydal to the floor.
Back in the ring, Cody hit the Disaster Kick for a near fall. Sydal fought out of Din's Fire and hit a hurricanrana cradle for a good near fall. A roundhouse kick followed by the Lightning Spiral got another close near fall for Sydal. Cody avoided another knee strike and hit two Cross Rhodes for the pin.
Luther and Serpentico, known as Chaos Project, attacked Cody after the match. Sydal made the save, dispatching Luther, and tried to go to the top rope, but Snoop waved him off. Snoop climed the ropes and landed a hilarious looking splash as Cody counted three just for fun. Very enjoyable segment, and a good use of Snoop.
AEW Women's Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) defeated Abadon
Cody Rhodes, from May 2019: "I want to be the sports-centric alternative in the pro wrestling world."
Abadon attacked Shida during her entrance, but Shida downed her with a kendo stick shot.
Once inside the ring, the match began. Shida took control with a running dropkick before removing a scarf, revealing that she still has a gash on her neck from the Abadon attack two weeks ago. Shida went for a knee lift, but Abadon caught it and bit Shida's leg before driving her into the barricade. Abadon dragged Shida under the ring before emergin with blood dropping down her face.
A bloodied Shida emerged, having been bitten in the neck again. No idea how that's not a disqualification. Back in the ring, an X-factor from Abadon got two. She continued the beatdown into the break.
Shida sent Abadon to the outside and landed a frog splash crossbody on the floor. She repeatedly smashed Abadon's head into the barricade before bringing Abadon to the top rope and hitting a superplex. Abadon bridged up like Bray Wyatt and landed a clothesline for two.
A cradle allowed Shida to hit the Tamashii knee strike for the win.
Next week's lineup for New Year's Smash Night 2:
- TNT Championship: Darby Allin (c) Brian Cage
- NWA Women's Championship: Serena Deeb (c) vs. Tay Conti
- Miro vs. Chuck Taylor
- FTR vs. Jurassic Express
- PAC vs. Eddie Kingston
- Inner Circle's New Years Resolution
- Britt Baker's "The Waiting Room" with guest Cody Rhodes
Tay Conti discussed her NWA Women's Championship match, reminding Serena Deeb that she's experienced in judo and ju-jitsu. She will have the Dark Order in her corner for the match.
PAC and the Lucha Bros, billed as Death Triangle, spoke earlier today. PAC introduced Rey Fénix as the next AEW world champion, saying that tonight, Kenny Omega's belt collection is done.
AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) (w/ Don Callis) def. Rey Fénix
What a match! This easily contends with the Parking Lot Brawl and Brodie Lee vs. Cody in the Dog Collar Match for the best Dynamite match since the pandemic.
Omega tried to overpower Fénix with some chain wrestling at the start. The pace quickened with a spike hurricanrana from Omega. He called for the Terminator dive, but Fénix ran back in and landed a hurricanrana of his own before feinting on a dive. Fénix kicked Omega to the floor and landed a diving hurricanrana.
Back in the ring, Omega hit a swinging DDT, but Fénix popped up and hit a dropkick. He went for a springboard, but Omega chopped him down and continued the beatdown on the floor. Fénix was sent over the barricade and hit a gamenguiri before going for his rolling cutter, but Omega countered it into a snap dragon suplex. Omega followed it up with a back suplex onto the barricade before sending Fénix back into the ring.
Omega hit the Kotaro Crusher for two. Fénix fought back with overhand chops, leading to a chop exchange, which Omega won with his superior power. Omega continued to dismantle Fénix's midsection until Fénix flipped out of a suplex and landed a springboard headbutt.
There was an incredible spot where Fénix went to the top rope, was knocked down, and somehow recovered enough to hit the move he intended to. Fénix then followed it up with an absurd tope suicida where he almost landed in the front row. Omega went for You Can't Escape, but Fénix fought out and flipped over into a German suplex for a close near fall. Fénix landed a diving stomp to the back of Omega's head leading into a commercial break.
They had another chop battle, this time seated in the middle of the ring. Omega once again took control with his superior power and toyed with the idea of pulling off Fénix's mask. Fénix fired up and hit some strikes and a thrust kick. Omega avoided a hook kick and landed a V-Trigger, but Fénix bounced back with the hook kick, leading to a double down.
Fénix went for a tornillo dive, but Omega countered it with a rising knee and hit a powerbomb stack for two. Another V-Trigger followed for a good near fall. Yet another V-Trigger landed and Omega set up for the One Winged Angel, but Fénix countered into a reverse hurricanrana. Callis distracted Fénix, allowing Omega to land another V-Trigger, but Fénix hit a gamenguiri and a diving cutter for two. The Fire Thunder Driver followed for a fantastic near fall.
Omega got his knees up on a frog splash attempt and brought Fénix up top. Fénix fought out and went for a dive, but Omega caught him in perfect Jay Driller position. A V-Trigger got two, and the One-Winged Angel followed for three.
– After the match, Callis grabbed a mic and said that he heard that something terrible was happening backstage. Eddie Kingston and his Family were attacking PAC and Penta backstage. Callis said that they weren't coming to help Fénix, but Jon Moxley came out with a barbed wire bat, swinging it into Omega's stomach to make the save.
The Good Brothers, IMPACT Tag Team Champions Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, came out to make the save for Omega. They laid Moxley out with a Magic Killer before Omega repeatedly hit Moxley with the barbed wire bat.
The Varsity Blondes ran in from outside to try to save, but they were easily dispatched. The rest of the ringside wrestlers all came in, but all were sent packing by Omega, Gallows, and Anderson. Gallows powerbombed one of them through a ringside table, and Omega hit Moxley with the barbed wire bat one more time. Moxley made one last attempt at a comeback, but was overwhelmed by the numbers advantage.
Finally, the Young Bucks ran out to try to reason with Omega and the Good Brothers (all of them were in Bullet Club at one point), but when Varsity Blondes tried to attack Omega, the Bucks superkicked them away. Omega raised the Too Sweet sign and both the Good Brothers and the Young Bucks joined him, as they all posed to close the show.