AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Analysis from December 7
All Elite Wrestling World Tag Team champions The Acclaimed faced the greatest threat to their reign Wednesday night when they defended against Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling titleholders FTR in a much-anticipated showdown.
The match headlined an episode of Dynamite that also featured promos from world champ MJF, Jon Moxley and AEW World Women's champion Jamie Hayter.
What did the top stars in the company do and say as AEW looked to wrap up the first episode of the last month of its most tumultuous year?
Find out with this recap of the December 7 broadcast.
- AEW World Tag Team Championship Match: FTR vs. The Acclaimed (c)
- TNT Championship Match: Darby Allin vs. Samoa Joe (c)
- Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta vs. Jake Hager and Daniel Garcia
- Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal
- Kiera Hogan, Madison Rayne and Skye Blue vs. Jade Cargill, Red Velvet and Leila Grey
- Promos from Jon Moxley, MJF and Jamie Hayter
Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal
Ricky Starks, Jungle Boy, The Butcher, The Blade, Dustin Rhodes, Orange Cassidy, Brian Cage, Lee Moriarty, Ethan Page, Kip Sabian, Matt Hardy, Captain Shawn Dean and Dalton Castle
A week ago, Starks claimed he would win the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal and begin the process of taking everything from MJF, beginning with his $150,000 ring and ending at Winter Is Coming with the AEW World Championship.
He kicked off his quest Wednesday night by making good on the first part of his promise, winning the battle royal by eliminating both Hardy and Page.
The contest featured some solid storytelling and the introduction of new stories and feuds, such as Jungle Boy vs. The Firm, and the latest in the ongoing program involving the aforementioned All Ego and Hardy.
Whereas most battle royals are afterthoughts, a cheap way to steal a house or take up a segment or two of television, this was a narrative tool that served a purpose and will have long-reaching effects. Or, at the least, should.
Eclipsing that, though, was one of the best promo segments of the year between the victor and MJF, who interrupted his post-match celebration. Taking personal, explosive shots at each other on the mic, they hyped the hell out of next week's match and had the fans in Starks' adopted hometown of Austin red-hot for the charismatic babyface.
For a company that often overthinks things or tries to get too clever or "artsy" because of the guys in power positions in the company, this was perfectly executed and created a ton of intrigue surrounding next week's main event.
Starks won the battle royal, proceeded to smoke MJF on the mic
- The enormous pop for Rhodes was nice to see, particularly after The Natural announced the end of his in-ring career in 2023.
- The Blade interfered, pulling Cassidy to the floor and drawing a considerable chorus of boos.
- Rhodes delivered a running Canadian Destroyer and eliminated Sabian.
- The boys momentarily prevented Castle from being eliminated, carrying him around the ringside area and placing him back on the ring apron.
- Moriarty and W. Morrissey attacked Jungle Boy, the latter chokeslamming him neck-first on the ring apron.
- Page ordered Hardy around, but Matt finally appeared to break amid chants of "DELETE." Instead, he joined All Ego in beating down Starks.
- "You ain't nothing more than a Dollar Store Dwayne. So you know what I'm gonna start calling you? I'm gonna start calling you The Pebble," MJF said, insulting his top contender post-match.
- "I'm gonna take the responsibility off your plate, little boy," Starks said to end a fiery, impassioned retort.
TNT Championship Match: Darby Allin vs. Samoa Joe
Darby Allin bit off more than he could chew Wednesday night when he challenged Samoa Joe for the TNT Championship, more than a year after his last run with the gold.
At least it appeared that way early.
Joe obliterated the face-painted antihero, tossing him around the ringside area like a ragdoll, Allin's body splattering on the concrete floor. He dominated the action until a momentary comeback attempt saw Allin score a near-fall off a Code Red.
An ill-fated attempt at the Coffin Drop landed him in the waiting arms of Joe, who put him to sleep with the Coquina Clutch for the submission victory. A post-match beatdown came to a screeching halt as Wardlow rushed the ring and chased his foe off.
This was almost uncomfortable to watch at times, with each bump by Allin appearing closer and closer to dealing him a significant injury. On the other hand, it was an impressive display of brutality by Joe, who looks to have rediscovered his killer edge and is ready to go on one last great run.
The impending match with Wardlow should be a ton of fun and a battle of two of the better big men in the company.
Joe decimated, submitted Allin
- An overzealous Allin overshot his intended target during a sliding tope, crashing and burning on the unprotected floor. Joe gave him no reprieve, driving him back on to that floor ahead of the commercial break.
- Joe ricocheted Allin off the ring post and to the floor after break, the one-sided domination continuing as Doc Samson checked on the challenger at ringside.
- Allin mounted a comeback that included a Code Red for a count of two.
- Joe delivered a wicked Muscle Buster, driving Allin back-first on the exposed trucks of his skateboard.
Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta vs. Daniel Garcia and Jake Hager
Claudio Castagnoli will challenge Chris Jericho for the Ring of Honor World Championship Saturday night at Final Battle. With a win, he will regain a title he never should have lost. A defeat would see him forced to join the Jericho Appreciation Society.
First, though, The Swiss Superman teamed with Blackpool Combat Club teammate Wheeler Yuta against Jake Hager and ROH Pure champion Daniel Garcia.
A hard-fought, ultra-competitive tag team match saw the heels isolate Yuta until the hot tag to Castagnoli brought the babyfaces back into it. Late hubris from the heels, in the form of stereo submissions, allowed Castagnoli to counter out of an ankle lock and deliver an uppercut for the win.
After the match, a pre-taped video package served as a swan song for William Regal, who revealed his actions at Full Gear to be the final lesson he could teach his Blackpool Combat Club proteges: Always stay one step ahead and always keep your eyes in the back of your heads.
The match was fine for what it was, but this writer is so numb to everything involving the BCC and JAS that it was more of the same, with nothing new or overly interesting to add to it. Castagnoli looked great, as always, but Yuta and Garcia are ice-cold compared to where they were three months ago, and nothing about this made their match Saturday night that much more interesting.
The Regal goodbye was great stuff, and Moxley appeared emotional, adding gravity to the situation.
Castagnoli and Yuta defeated Garcia and Hager
- Castagnoli teased putting on Hager's purple bucket hat but instead threw it to the arena floor, earning an oddly mixed reaction.
- Chants of "we the people" filled the arena, a nod to Castagnoli and Hager's run as The Real Americans in WWE.
- "He's not even in the match and the fans are chanting 'Sammy sucks'," Taz said, pointing out the audience's disdain for The Spanish God.
- Hager failed to rotate all the way around on a hurricanrana attempt from the top rope, landing face-and-shoulder first.
- The House of Black cut a promo on those guilty of treason, subliminally hinting at their next step. Or something like that.
Jamie Hayter Interview; Women's Trios Match
Tony Schiavone sat down for a brief interview with AEW World Women's champion Jamie Hayter, who issued a challenge to the winner of The Bunny vs. Hikaru Shida on Friday's Rampage.
Back in the arena, Skye Blue, Madison Rayne and Kiera Hogan battled TBS champion Jade Cargill, Red Velvet and Leila Grey.
The heels worked over Blue throughout the commercial break, but a hot tag to Hogan sparked a comeback. The former member of the Baddies exploded into the match and had Cargill reeling until a monstrous spinebuster ended any chance of an upset.
Rayne tagged in and quickly fell to Jaded as Cargill remained unbeaten.
This was too rushed to matter, with the entire heat section taking place during the break and Hogan's hot tag being relegated to a minute or so before the TBS champ stole the spotlight and scored the win.
It is clear Hogan is headed for a title shot, but right now, everything with Cargill feels like it is on autopilot as she continues to compile wins but shows no signs of any evolution of this story or any endgame in sight.
- "Whoever wins that match gets to face me, if they dare," Hayter said of Friday's Rampage bout between Hikaru Shida and The Bunny.
- Blue tried for a baseball slide, but Velvet caught her in the ring apron and pounded away, turning the tide in the favor of the heels entering the break.
- Cargill absolutely obliterated Hogan with a spinebuster.
- Backstage, Dr. Britt Baker interrupted an interview between Tony Schiavone and Saraya to challenge her rival to a tag team match on the January 11 episode of Dynamite.
AEW World Tag Team Championship Match: the Acclaimed vs. FTR
The much-anticipated match between The Acclaimed and FTR for the former's AEW World Tag Team Championship headlined Wednesday's broadcast.
After some red-hot offense from Anthony Bowens and Max Caster, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler seized control, working over the latter throughout the commercial. A hot tag to Bowens allowed the champions to stay in the match as the action picked up a frenzied pace.
Late, near-falls ensued, and drama was at its height as the two teams traded signature and finishing maneuvers. Ultimately, after a series of back-to-back near-falls, Wheeler executed a powerbomb and tried for a jackknife pin, only for Caster to counter and hook his legs for the win.
This was a damn good match that probably should have been even better but was hurt by the rushed back stretch. Television time was running out, and they jam-packed a number of spots on the back end that probably could have stood to breathe a bit.
FTR is clearly one or two in the best tag team conversation, and working with them will only help Bowens and Caster grow as wrestlers. This was a nice taste of what the two teams are capable of, but we really need a PPV showdown to get the full effect.
After the match, The Gunn Club revealed that FTR will defend their ROH tag titles against The Briscoes Saturday at Final Battle. Considering the history between those teams, the reaction of fans across social media for the first two matches and the desire to see them do battle again, tacking it on as an afterthought was ass-backwards, to say the least, and further evidence that those in power may not actually realize what they have in Harwood and Wheeler.
The Acclaimed defeated FTR
- The Acclaimed applied stereo Sharpshooters to FTR, insulting their well-known love and admiration for Bret Hart.
- A spike piledriver by FTR earned a two-count in a solid near-fall spot.
- The champions delivered a casadora/cutter combination for a two-count of their own.
- Bowens just narrowly broke up the pin after a Big Rig from FTR.
- Wheeler sold the shock of the finish, the disappointment painting his face.