Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur were the broadcast team for tonight’s event.
Holiday Bash kicked off with “Demo God” Chris Jericho & MJF (with Inner Circle member Jake Hager) vs. Top Flight—Dante and Darius Martin!
“Le Dinner Debonair” partners Jericho and MJF made their AEW tag team debut here.
Darius Martin and Chris Jericho began for their respective teams. Jericho slapped Darius but Darius followed up with a big right hand.
“I think it took Jericho by surprise a little bit. These guys are so aggressive, they’re not lying back,” observed Jim Ross.
Jericho struck back, but Darius clocked the “Demo God” with an enziguri! Dante tagged in and Top Flight showed off their tag team prowess working over Jericho in tandem. Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone mentioned how Top Flight reminded them of the Rock ‘N Roll Express with their fluent combinations. Jericho telegraphed a drop down from Dante and then tagged in MJF. Dante connected with a dropkick on MJF, sending MJF to the outside of the ring to collect his thoughts. Jericho and MJF got into the ring at the same time but Top Flight wouldn’t back down—both teams began trading shots!
“These two brothers have got MJF and Jericho off their game,” said Jim Ross.
On the outside of the ring, the Inner Circle got the upper hand on Top Flight. MJF tossed Dante back into the ring and dropped a short elbow on him. Jericho used a suplex on Dante. MJF tagged in and he and Jericho flap jacked Dante. Jericho distracted ref Aubrey Edwards while MJF and Jake Hager got in some cheap shots on Dante. Jericho set up Dante for a superplex off the top rope but Dante fought free of him! After shots to the ribs, Dante pushed Jericho off the ropes and sent him crashing to the mat! Dante Martin followed up with a high cross body block for a near fall on Jericho!
Darius Martin tagged in and shocked MJF with a standing Spanish fly! He followed up with a tope suicida on Jericho! Darius knocked MJF back with a shotgun dropkick off the top rope!
“This kid is quicker than a hiccup,” said Jim Ross.
After a crisscross, MJF caught Dante with a powerbomb. Jericho tagged in and splashed Dante with a lionsault! Dante kicked out of the near fall! Jericho was looking for the lion tamer submission when Dante rolled him up for a two-count!
Darius countered a double back body drop from Jericho and MJF with a double DDT! Darius clotheslined Jericho outside of the ring. Darius was about to jump from the apron to the rope when Jake Hager grabbed him from behind, slamming him face-first into the apron. MJF planted Darius with the heat seeker and scored the pin!
After the match, Hager congratulated Jericho and MJF. Hager complained that Wardlow was absent for family business. “It’s obvious we don’t see eye to eye so live next week on DYNAMITE, Hager versus Wardlow,” said Hager.
Tony Schiavone was in the ring to interview…Sting!
It began to snow in Jacksonville for Sting’s entrance.
“I have come full circle. I’m back in the jungle on TNT, and I’m glad to see the jungle is still intact! It’s thriving and alive and I get to be a part of it! I love it, Tony,” said Sting.
“A lot of people have been asking around the world on social media: so why are you here?” asked Tony Schiavone, as he and Sting noticed Darby Allin sitting in the bleachers.
Sting: “Tony that’s a pretty deep question. See when I think about an answer to that question I go back in time and I remember when I was looking for the break. And I was watching the matches with one of the greatest of all time, as we were peeking through the curtains. And I’m talking about one of the greatest ever—“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes! And because of Dusty, and the conversation we had when we were watching that match, he looked at me and he said, ‘Stinger baby, we gonna put some color on your face. We gonna put some color on your tights. Color on your boots. I want you to glow in the dark, baby. And then I’m gonna put you with the Nature Boy Ric Flair, and we gonna get funky like a monkey, if you will.’ And I’ll never forget those words because it wasn’t long after Dusty told me those words that I was wrestling one of the greatest of all time, the Nature Boy Ric Flair in main event matches.
“So you fast forward all these years later and when I see Cody in the ring, Dusty’s offspring, I don’t know, I can’t describe it. I guess I couldn’t stay away. I had to be a part of AEW and what Cody was doing right here leading the charge! I want to be a part of it!”
The fans chanted “Welcome home!”
Sting continued: “Regarding Darby—”
Taz made his way out with Team Taz and interrupted Sting: “Let’s stop all of this even though it’s very emotional. If I could steal a cliché Sting, what you are saying, I guess it would bring a tear to a glass eye. I’ve known you a long time, and anyone that knows you knows that Sting is about Sting. And part of that is because of that jabroni Schiavone building you up for years. I’m sick of that s—t!”
Ricky Starks said that they didn’t care about Sting’s business with Cody or Darby but they did take umbrage with him sticking his nose in their business: “Let me tell you something Stinger, man, you’re gonna get hurt playing around in this jungle.”
Taz said Ricky made a good point about the jungle: I am standing here with four hungry tigers about to bite your damn head off right now.”
Team Taz was ordered to attack Sting in the ring when the lights went dark. When the arena lights returned, Darby Allin was standing next to Sting in the ring!
Taz said, “No problem, we’ll take the high road and live to fight another day. And Darby, that’s January 6th, in two weeks, when you put that pretty TNT Championship on the line against ‘The Machine’ Brian Cage and he’s gonna tear your head off, my man.”
Backstage, MJF wished his condolences to Santana over the loss of a loved one. MJF said he could relate because he recently lost a dear family member to cancer. Santana told MJF to keep his head up.
Colt Cabana and Dark Order’s “5” & “10” vs. Jurassic Express—Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Marko Stunt!
Cabana and Marko locked up. Cabana patted Marko on the head, but a dropkick from Marko knocked back Cabana. Five tagged in, but Jungle Boy did too, and began to chop away at him. Jungle Boy hit a beautiful dropkick on Five for a two-count! Marko tagged in and Jungle Boy hoisted Marko up with a ripcord splash combination for a near fall on Five. Colt Cabana broke up the count for his teammate.
Luchasaurus tagged in and dropped Cabana with a massive chop! Luchasaurus chopped Ten down to the mat! Jungle Boy tagged in and floated over the top of Luchasaurus with a senton onto Ten for a two-count! Cabana ran interference, allowing Ten to wheelbarrow Jungle Boy back down onto the mat! Cabana tagged in and dropped an elbow on Jungle Boy. Cabana nailed Jungle Boy with a shoulder block.
“Colt is really showing off in this match, first with an arrogant cover, and now a strut,” noted Schiavone.
Jungle Boy used a rebounding lariat on Ten, nearly knocking him out of his wrestling boots! Luchasaurus tagged in and dished up big boots to Five and then a pump kick to Cabana. Five was isolated in the ring with the heavy handed dinosaur, who launched Five with a wheelbarrow German suplex. Luchasaurus dropped Ten with a wicked hook kick! He planted Five in the center of the ring with a chokeslam and followed up with a standing moonsault press! Jungle Boy pinned Five after a powerbomb combination with the assist from Luchasaurus!
Tony Schiavone joined Jurassic Express in the ring to interview them, when Tully Blanchard and FTR—Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler—interrupted them from the back!
“What you have here is 2020 Tag Team of the Year. Jurassic Express, I understand you want to take us down and make a name for yourself. Well dudes, January the 6th, you got two weeks to prepare. We’re on a quest to get those championships back and we’re not gonna have dinosaurs take us down one notch at all. January 6th, you come and get us. And Marko, if you stick your little nose in our business, I may have a flashback to the 80s,” said Tully Blanchard.
Alex Marvez caught up with AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and Impact’s Don Callis at the team hotel.
“I’ve got something I’d like to get off my chest. It’s one thing, 30 years in this business that I don’t understand, it’s how Tony Khan lets the wrestlers run amok in this company. Oh yeah, we’ve got PAC coming out acting like an executive vice president making wrestling matches, making a title match. We don’t get dictated to by the talent! This is a joke!” said Don Callis.
“You want to hear from the champion’s mouth? You want a scoop? I’ll give you a story, Marvez. This is a message to Rey Fenix and PAC: you can translate this at your leisure. Rey Fenix, let’s take a year in review in AEW. AEW Tag Team Title Championship match—you choked. In Triple A, you choked. Eliminator Tournament, against your own brother, you choked. What’s gonna happen when you face someone who’s a little pissed off? Rey Fenix I worry that I may not only hurt you, but that I’ll put you out for good. But it’s ok. I’ve got friends at Impact Wrestling who’ll be happy to take you back. Rey Fenix, you get hurt, I get titles. That’s how it is. See you at New Year’s Smash next week,” said Kenny Omega.
The Butcher (with The Blade, The Bunny, & Eddie Kingston) vs. “The Bastard” PAC (with Penta El Zero Miedo)!
Eddie Kingston joined the commentary team for this match.
PAC dodged Butcher and countered with thrust kicks! PAC followed up with roundhouse kicks to Butcher’s sternum. PAC ran and dropkicked Butcher on the side of the head! Butcher got up and countered with a diving crossbody block on PAC.
Eddie Kingston noted that Butcher has been studying Stan Hansen tapes.
Butcher hip tossed PAC and then stomped him for good measure. Butcher rocked PAC with a short Irish whip into the turnbuckles!
“There’s your whiplash right there, man,” said Jim Ross.
On the outside of the ring, PAC whipped Butcher into the metal barricade. Butcher stormed right back with a powerful boot to PAC’s head! They returned to the ring and PAC rallied back with more hard kicks to Butcher’s quads. PAC put an exclamation on the sequence with a kick to Butcher’s jaw! PAC followed up with a shotgun dropkick, nearly knocking The Butcher out of the ring! PAC was about to hit his Black Arrow from the top rope when The Blade ran and shoulder blocked Penta El Zero Miedo on the outside of the ring! PAC turned back around and was met with a lariat from The Butcher!
“Don’t turn your back on a big monster like The Butcher, I can tell you that,” said Jim Ross.
Butcher walloped PAC with a falling powerbomb for a two-count! Eddie Kingston yelled at The Butcher to finish off PAC. Kingston walked away from the broadcast booth so Butcher could hear him—but out walked “The MurderHawk Monster” Lance Archer! Kingston wanted no part of it and cowered behind the broadcast booth.
PAC dropped Butcher with a big, right roundhouse kick! PAC shot off the top rope with the Black Arrow and pinned Butcher!
Jade Cargill was backstage with a message for Brandi Rhodes: “How convenient when a talent like me shows up in AEW, you pop up pregnant. But don’t you worry: all your CBO duties, and the entire women’s division, will be 110% taken care of, thankfully, now that you’re gone. Now Shaq has called out Cody. I’m calling you out, Brandi. So what’s next? You guys better find me a worthy opponent for my time because I’m tired of this s—t. Time is ticking.”
Tony Schiavone was with Kip Sabian, Penelope Ford, and “The Best Man” Miro.
Kip was just ready to announce the date of his wedding to Penelope when Best Friends’ music hit! Miro, Kip, and Penelope acted concerned and surprised and then they burst out laughing.
“We got ‘em,” said Kip, cracking up.
He continued: “Show them what really happened.”
Footage played of Trent being loaded on a stretcher into an ambulance, and Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor jumped in to ride with him to the hospital.
“What the hell is this?” asked Jim Ross.
“It’s such a shame that the Best Friends aren’t going to be here. Let’s show them the wedding day,” said Kip Sabian.
Miro shouted, “February 3rd, it’s a beach wedding!” (At AEW’s “Beach Break,” live on DYNAMITE.)
Evil Uno of the Dark Order vs. “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (with Lee Johnson) was next!
As Dustin was entering the ring, Evil Uno slapped the taste right out of Dustin’s mouth!
“None of us were expecting that,” said Tony Schiavone.
Dustin retaliated with repeated shots to Uno’s head. Uno caught Dustin with a dropkick and then rammed him into the steel guardrail.
“Uno is very underrated in my estimation,” said Jim Ross.
Once they returned to the ring, Dustin started stomping away at Uno, taking exception to Uno’s “7” comment from last week. The momentum shifted again, though, as Evil Uno launched himself and landed with a senton atomico onto Dustin for a two-count. Evil Uno smashed Dustin on the crown of his head with a piledriver! Dustin kicked out at the ref’s two!
“These two guys have pushed each other to their limits,” noted Schiavone.
Uno snapped of a kick at Dustin, but Dustin followed up with the running bulldog for the pin!
After the match, Stu Grayson blindsided Dustin Rhodes! He hit Dustin with a Knightfall back breaker! QT Marshall ran in to aid Dustin and Lee Johnson (who had just eaten a knee from Grayson)! Uno rocked Marshall with a wicked right hand shot! Lee Johnson nailed Grayson and Uno with a springboard dropkick! Evil Uno and Stu Grayson retreated to the back!
Tony Schiavone was backstage with Shawn Spears.
“I’ve been digging out of a hole for the past 18 months that Tony Khan and his favorite EVP Cody Rhodes pushed me into.”
“I don’t want to interrupt you, but do you ever think that the problem is you?” asked Schiavone.
“I can work anywhere in the world with that talent I have and I waste my time with guys like you?! You tell Tony Khan and all the executive vice pricks that I’ll come back if I feel like it,” said Spears.
Dasha was interviewing AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida backstage before her match when Abadon ambushed the champ!
Michael Nakazawa separated them.
AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Alex Gracia was next!
Shida slammed Gracia’s head into the turnbuckle repeatedly. Gracia rolled up Shida with an inside cradle but Shida escaped. Gracia followed up with a running boot to Shida in the corner! Shida came back with a delayed vertical suplex on Gracia! Shida charged in with the big knee strike as Gracia’s head was draped over the ring apron.
Abadon appeared ringside like a zombie, but Shida ran and pulled her over the barricade! Shida ran back into the ring before ref Aubrey Edwards made it to the 10-count! Shida executed a powerful falcon arrow and pinned Alex Gracia!
Shida approached Abadon after the match and they continued to brawl ringside. Abadon bit into Shida’s neck, ripping at her flesh!
It was main event time!
For the AEW World Tag Team Championship!
The Acclaimed—Max Caster & Anthony Bowens vs. AEW Tag Champs The Young Bucks—Matt & Nick Jackson!
Caster hit Matt with a right hand, but Matt matched him with a dropkick and an arm drag. Nick and Matt suplexed Caster onto Bowens!
“Bucks dominating here in the early going putting this young team in their place,” said Jim Ross.
The Bucks hit stereo baseball slides onto The Acclaimed, who were standing outside the ring. Matt speared Caster, taking him off his feet! The Bucks connected Risky Business on the outside onto Caster! Matt catapulted Bowens into a kick from Nick, and then Nick squashed him with double foot stomps! Matt ran into the ropes but Caster swept out his leg by grabbing the ankle.
Nick tagged in and cleaned house!
“He is unstoppable when he is on a roll like that,” noted Excalibur.
Nick went for a swanton but Bowens got his knees up! Caster followed through by dropping Nick directly on the ring apron! Bowens covered but Nick kicked out at two! Bowens kept punishing Nick’s lower back with high impact blows, including a hammer toss into the corner.
Matt Jackson tagged in and dished up heapings of right hands to Caster and Bowens!
“Look at the fire of Matt Jackson. My goodness,” said Tony Schiavone.
Matt faked a superkick and then blasted The Acclaimed with a double DDT!
“They were looking for the fast ball and they got the curve, with a head and shoulder fake by Matt Jackson,” said Jim Ross.
Matt used his locomotion Northern Lights suplexes on Bowens. He locked in the sharpshooter! Caster ran in with a strike to Matt to break the submission attempt. But Matt held on and asked, “Is that all you’ve got!?”
Nick pulled Caster out of the ring and applied a sharpshooter too! Inside the ring, Bowens finally made it to the bottom rope to break the hold.
The Bucks blasted Bowens with the Doomsday Device! Bowens kicked out of Nick’s pin at two! The Acclaimed isolated Nick after sending Matt over the barricade outside. Caster superplexed Nick and then Bowens followed up with a splash, but Matt made the save with little time to spare!
Matt tagged in and traded shots with Caster! Nick entered the fray and inadvertently superkicked ref Rick Knox! With the ref down, Max Caster used a low blow on Nick Jackson. Bowens rammed the boom box into Nick’s face! Ref Paul Turner ran down to make the count, but Nick kicked out at two!
“My God, how close!” said Jim Ross.
Bowens and Caster tried to set up Nick with the Acclaimed to Fame finisher or the Indy Taker perhaps, but Nick escaped. Matt powerbombed Bowens through the timekeeper’s table! Nick superkicked Caster!
The Bucks isolated Max Caster and blasted him with the BTE Trigger, and then Matt pinned Caster!
Be sure to join us next week for all the explosive action on Night One of “New Year’s Smash” as AEW DYNAMITE is broadcast live on TNT!