Jon Moxley will defend the AEW World Championship against Kenny Omega on tonight's AEW Winter is Coming, a special edition of Dynamite.
Two weeks ago, Moxley was attacked by an unknown assailant and unable to sign the contract for the match. On last week's Dynamite, Moxley signed the contract and left Omega laying after hitting him with a Paradigm Shift. This will be the second all-time singles meeting between the two, but just the first official bout. Their prior meeting was at Full Gear 2019 where Moxley defeated Omega in an unsanctioned Lights Out match.
A battle royal will take place tonight. The final two participants will meet at a later date for the AEW Dynamite Diamond Ring. Hangman Page, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Sammy Guevara, Matt Hardy, Isiah Kassidy, Marq Quen, Matt Sydal, Scorpio Sky, Shawn Spears, Orange Cassidy, Kip Sabian, Miro, and last year's winner MJF are set to compete in the battle royal.
Darby Allin and Cody Rhodes will tag against Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs of Team Taz. Chris Jericho vs. Frankie Kazarian, plus Britt Baker vs. Leyla Hirsch are also scheduled for the show.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show Report --
There was a special Winter is Coming intro with unique branding that focused on Moxley vs. Omega.
MJF and Orange Cassidy won the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale
The last two remaining wrestlers will face off next week for the Dynamite Diamond Ring.
An MJF promo aired at the start, where he said that it wasn't just his ring, but the entire Inner Circle's ring.
There were 20 or so competitors. Everyone immediately made their way into the ring to get it started save for Scorpio Sky and Shawn Spears, who stared at each other.
Matt Hardy eliminated Isiah Kassidy right away. John Silver and Alex Reynolds hit combination offense on Serpentico, and Hangman Page took advantage to eliminate him. The three celebrated together and eliminated Luther, continuing the Page-Dark Order storyline from last week.
Spears eliminated Matt Sydal with a nasty throw onto the ramp, but Sky took advantage and eliminated Spears. Spears talked things over with Tully Blanchard, who handed him the steel slug. Spears punched Sky with it and Wardlow eliminated him.
Reynolds tried to skin the cat, but Hardy threw Silver into him and eliminated him. Hardy and Marq Quen worked together to eliminate Silver, which got a loud negative reaction. They then almost eliminated Page, but the Dark Order caught Page before he could fall. Page fired back in with a Buckshot Lariat, but Hardy eliminated him.
Orange Cassidy eliminated Kip Sabian. Sabian pulled Cassidy out of the ring, and Miro left the ring to continue the beatdown. Back in the ring, Miro ran wild on everyone and eliminated Lee Johnson. He then eliminated Hardy and Quen after an exchange, immediately following it up by eliminating Janela.
Miro, Jungle Boy, and three Inner Circle members (MJF, Sammy Guevara, and Wardlow) remained. The Inner Circle beat down Jungle Boy, but Miro broke it up and faced off with Wardlow. Miro got the better of it, but MJF and Guevara got involved, allowing Wardlow to flatten him with a lariat. The three then eliminated Miro.
Jungle Boy and Guevara had a cool exchange on the apron. They both hopped up top, but MJF eliminated both of them, making sure to only shove down Jungle Boy. MJF and Wardlow thought they won, but Cassidy was still laid out on the floor. Wardlow brought him in to eliminate him, but Cassidy escaped and hit an Orange Punch on both, allowing him to eliminate Wardlow.
The Best Friends came out to celebrate with Cassidy. Miro and Sabian re-emerged and had to be held back by officials.
MJF and Cassidy will meet in a singles match for the Dynamite Diamond Ring next week.
Chris Jericho (w/ Jake Hager, Santana & Ortiz) defeated Frankie Kazarian
Kazarian gained the advantage early on with a slingshot strike, following it up with a cradle for two. Jericho poked Kazarian's eye and laid in chops. Kazarian landed a slingshot leg drop. On the floor, he avoided an attack from Hager, but Jericho hit a lungblower upon re-entry.
During the break, Kazarian was sent back to the floor, and Santana and Ortiz attacked while the official was distracted. Jericho kept up the beatdown until Kazarian stopped a diving axe handle with a gut punch. They traded strikes until Jericho nailed a delayed vertical suplex.
A backslide from Kazarian got two before missing a dropkick. Jericho went for a lionsault, but Kazarian rolled out of the way, hitting a springboard leg drop for a near fall. Kazarian perched Jericho on the top rope and landed an avalanche Flux Capacitor for a good near fall.
Jericho fought out of an Unprettier and went for a Codebreaker, but Kazarian turned it into the Walls of Jericho. Jericho resisted tapping for a long time. MJF ran out with a towel, echoing his relationship with Cody, but Sammy Guevara pulled the towel out of his hands.
Kazarian and Jericho exchanged cradles until Jericho landed the Judas Effect out of nowhere for the win.
After the match, the Inner Circle was about to celebrate, but Guevara shoved MJF. Things got heated until Jericho grabbed a microphone and told everyone to shut up and knock it off. He said that the group has one week to decide if they can work together as a unit or should break up forever.
The Young Bucks were interviewed by Alex Marvez about their upcoming match with The Hybrid2. They said that if TH2 can beat them next week, they'll get a shot at the tag championships. The Acclaimed, making their first Dynamite appearance, arrived and Max Caster rapped about the Bucks' new book. TH2 showed up and attacked the Bucks before SCU chased them off.
Britt Baker, D.M.D. (w/ Rebel) defeated Leyla Hirsch
A brief video promo aired where Baker said she'd send Hirsch back to Russia. This match was a fantastic showcase for Hirsch, who is a phenomenal in-ring talent.
Baker wanted a knuckle lock but Hirsch took her down into a Fujiwara armbar, so Baker fought to reach the ropes. Hirsch out-wrestled Baker early on. She went for a cross armbreaker, but Baker fought out and landed a thrust kick and a DDT.
After a break, Hirsch made a comeback with forearms and a German suplex. Baker rolled to the outside and talked things over with Rebel, who Baker used to take the brunt of a Hirsch dive. Baker hit a sling blade on the floor.
Back in the ring, Hirsch hit a bicycle knee and went for the cross armbreaker again. Baker fought out, but Hirsch caught a thrust kick and landed another bicycle knee. Hirsch climbed the ropes, but a Rebel distraction bought Baker enough time to send Hirsch into the turnbuckle. The mandible claw followed for the submission.
Immediately after the match, Thunder Rosa ran in and attacked Baker. They brawled until officials ran out to separate it. Rebel landed a cheap shot on Rosa, so Hirsch took her out with a suplex. Rosa broke free and attacked again, so agents, including Jerry Lynn and BJ Whitmer, came out to break up the fight.
A video package recapped the feud between Team Taz, Cody Rhodes, and Darby Allin.
Cody Rhodes (w/ Arn Anderson) & Darby Allin defeated Team Taz (Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs) (w/ Taz)
The highlight of this match was Allin bumping around like crazy for Hobbs, making him look like a monster.
Team Taz attacked before the bell, but Rhodes and Allin took control before the commercial.
Back from break, Hobbs still hadn't tagged into the match. Cody and Starks exchanged strikes. Allin tagged in, but Starks slapped him, so Allin gave chase. Starks escaped to the outside and Allin was laid out by Hobbs and tossed into the barricade.
Hobbs tagged in and hit a delayed vertical suplex. Team Taz isolated Allin, making frequent tags and beating him down with double team moves. Allin and Starks bumped heads, but Hobbs cut off Allin's attempt at a tag. Hobbs locked on a bear hug and shook Allin around as Team Taz resumed their attack.
Allin finally reached Cody for the tag. He ran wild with signature offense, but Taz jumped on the apron, allowing Starks to gouge at Cody's eyes. Cody landed his drop-down right hand and a cutter before taking out Hobbs with a dive. Allin made a blind tag and landed a Coffin Drop on Starks for the pinfall.
Hobbs attacked Allin after the match, but Arn ran in to break it up. Team Taz beat him down with the numbers advantage until Dustin Rhodes ran out to dispatch Team Taz. Brian Cage ran out and laid out Dustin with an F5.
Starks and Cage tried to hold Cody up and allow Hobbs to hit him with the FTW championship, but the lights went out.
Sting, "Crow" face paint applied and bat in hand, made his return to TNT television. He stared down Arn, Cody, and Allin, lingering for a long time on the latter. He made a couple crow calls and walked off.
It was announced that Sting has signed a multi-year contract with AEW.
In addition to the previously announced Orange Cassidy vs. MJF and the Inner Circle Ultimatum, these matches and segments were announced for next week's Dynamite:
- Dustin Rhodes vs. Preston '10' Vance
- FTR vs. Varsity Blonds (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.)
- Young Bucks vs. Hybrid2
- Lance Archer & The Lucha Bros vs. Eddie Kingston & The Butcher & The Blade
- Abadon in action
- Sting speaking for the first time
Hikaru Shida was interviewed by Alex Marvez about the Abadon confrontation from last week. Shida said she wasn't afraid, but she heard a loud clanging, and fled.
Earlier today, Moxley talked about tonight's match. He's excited about how far he and AEW have come. Moxley and Omega have been on a collision course their whole lives as the two best wrestlers in the world. The stakes couldn't be higher.
Kenny Omega defeated Jon Moxley (c) to win the AEW World Championship
The in-ring action was flawless, but the Callis involvement felt like overbooking to me, especially in "the biggest match in Dynamite history."
Impact Wrestling's Don Callis was on commentary for the match. It was noted that if this match were to go past the top of the hour, Dynamite would stay on the air. Moxley started his entrance from the scene of where he was attacked two weeks ago.
Moxley immediately went for a rear naked choke, forcing Omega to escape to the ropes. They performed chain wrestling until Moxley forced the break with a takedown. Moxley downed Omega with a shoulder tackle and applied a side headlock. Omega forced Moxley into the corner and laid in chops, but Moxley fired back with forearms and a corner clothesline.
Omega took Moxley down with a jumping hurricanrana, sending Moxley to the outside. He went for the Terminator dive, but Moxley slid back in and caught him with a black hole slam. An apron clothesline sent Omega to the floor, where the two brawled until Moxley landed a suplex. They ended up behind the barricades and continued to brawl through the commercial break.
Upon re-entering the ring, Omega surprised Moxley with a dragon screw through the ropes. He followed it up by dropping Moxley's left knee onto the barricade. Back in the ring, Omega hit the Kotaro Crusher for two before resuming his targeted attack on Moxley's knee.
Omega went for a corner V-Trigger, but Moxley popped up and flattened him with a lariat. Omega applied a knee bar but couldn't quite lock it in, allowing Moxley to get a rope break. Moxley fought out of You Can't Escape and hit two German suplexes. He went for an exploder, but transitioned into a pumphandle suplex for two, followed by a release suplex for another two.
Back from break, Omega landed the Terminator tope con hilo, but Moxley cut off a springboard and hit the Paradigm Shift. Moxley eschewed a cover attempt in favor of throwing chairs into the ring, while the announcers discussed the unknown perpetrator of Moxley's beatdown from a couple weeks ago. He set up the chairs in the ring, each wrestler took a seat, and Moxley invited Omega to hit him.
They traded strikes until Moxley looked to get the upper hand with a right hand. Omega fired back with a V-Trigger and two snap dragon suplexes. He went for another V-Trigger, which Moxley avoided. Moxley hit a German suplex, Omega hit a standing knee strike, and Moxley downed his opponent with a lariat. The Paradigm Shift followed for two.
Moxley went for a suicide dive, but Omega cut him off midair with a V-Trigger. Omega landed a missile dropkick and a V-Trigger to the back of Moxley's head before nailing the Tiger Driver '98 for two. Omega laid in more knee strikes until Moxley caught one, but was met with another V-Trigger. Moxley fought out of the One-Winged Angel, but Omega fought out of a Paradigm Shift and hit an Okada dropkick, Rainmaker pose and all.
Omega went for the One-Winged Angel before switching it up and nailing Croyt's Wrath for a good near fall. Omega went back up top, but Moxley popped up before Omega could attack.
Out on the floor, Moxley sent Omega into a ringside heater with a Paradigm Shift as the officials called for medical help. Callis moved down to ringside to check on Omega, but Moxley dispatched the officials and laid in ground and pound in the ring. Callis grabbed a microphone, concerned that Omega was hurt, but Moxley laid him out.
While the official checked on Callis, Omega domed Moxley with the microphone. Moxley was busted open. Omega nailed multiple V-Triggers, and landed the One Winged Angel to win the championship.
Omega and Callis celebrated with the championship and immediately went to the back. All the backstage crew and wrestlers, including Tony Khan, berated Omega and Callis on the way out. Alex Marvez caught up to them and asked what was going on, and Callis said that they could find out this Tuesday on AXS TV.
Eddie Kingston briefly ran out to the commentary desk to taunt Moxley and say that he wants Lance Archer -- now.