AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from December 4
The December 4 episode of All Elite Wrestling Dynamite took existing programs and escalated them, provided explanations for other newer acts and set up Chris Jericho's final match of 2019.
Who stepped up to square off with the AEW world champion on the December 18 episode?
What did Cody have to say after a month of heartache, betrayal and physical punishment at the hands of MJF, The Blade and The Butcher?
Who emerged victoriously in the war between Jon Moxley and Joey Janela, and how did it affect the former's championship aspirations?
Find out the answers to those questions with this recap of Wednesday's TNT broadcast.
Dustin Rhodes and The Young Bucks vs. Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz
This week's broadcast kicked off with The Inner Circle's Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz continuing their ongoing rivalry with Dustin Rhodes and The Young Bucks in a huge Six-Man Tag Team opener.
The babyfaces withstood an early attack by the heels, each wiping out one of their antagonists with a dive to the arena floor and popping the crowd in the process. The Inner Circle's united front halted the onslaught and saw the team cut off the ring and isolate Matt Jackson from his partners.
Matt escaped a suplex attempt and dropped The Spanish God with a superkick. A hot tag to Rhodes brought the second-generation competitor into the match, where he unloaded on the opposition. He delivered a big destroyer suplex to Santana and fought off Ortiz.
An undetected shot with the baseball-filled sock downed Dustin, and the 630 senton by Guevara followed. Rhodes kicked out, though, keeping the heroes in the match. He tagged in Nick Jackson, who exploded into the ring. A blindside spear by Matt gave way to a double-team combo, but Ortiz broke up the pin.
Late in the match, Guevara grabbed his phone for an in-match vlog but delivered a Shooting Star Press right into the waiting boots of the superkicking Young Bucks. The babyfaces teamed up for a double Meltzer Driver/senton combo for the win.
Dustin and The Young Bucks defeated Guevara, Ortiz and Santana
An action-packed way to kick off the night, this allowed the Bucks and Rhodes to earn some momentum after weeks of finding themselves on the receiving end of a beating at the hands of The Inner Circle. The outcome presents the heel faction with the first real adversity it has faced to date.
What that means for the gang warfare between that group and The Elite going forward remains to be seen, but it is highly unlikely this was the conclusion of that battle.
It is still interesting that Guevara loses as much as he does given his status as one of the brightest young stars on the roster and Chris Jericho's handpicked teammate. Yes, the finish hints at his immaturity, but unless there's some follow-up angle or backstage vignette somewhere down the line, it makes him look far weaker than someone of his position on the card should be.
Trent vs. Rey Fenix
A week after Trent pinned Rey Fenix in a tag team match between Best Friends and The Lucha Bros, those two competitors squared off in singles competition.
Fenix earned his first advantage of the match, sweeping Trent's leg and sending him crashing from the top rope to the mat below. During the break, he worked to ground his opponent and repeatedly cut off any attempt at a comeback.
A big dropkick from Trent sparked his comeback and led to a half-and-half suplex that dropped Fenix. When the masked competitor sent Trent into the security railing, the babyface answered with a spear. Back inside, Trent delivered a tornado DDT. Fenix recovered and answered with a powerbomb, but he failed to stack his opponent up tight enough for the win.
Fenix delivered the tightrope kick, but Trent responded by turning the heel inside out with a lariat clothesline. A double stomp sent Trent into the ring apron, but a senton missed the mark. A running knee by Trent earned him a near-fall.
Fenix delivered a muscle buster driver to finally put away Trent for the win.
Fenix defeated Trent
Two tag team specialists on major rolls of late squared off here, and as impressive as Trent has been over the last few weeks, Fenix has been even more extraordinary. Earning rave reviews for a match with Kenny Omega in Mexico, he is a star hitting his stride and delivering the best work of his career.
It makes sense that management would want to make the most of it by pushing him now and giving him the opportunity to prove himself as a singles star. If it does not work, he returns to his team with real-life brother Pentagon Jr. If it does, AEW has a legitimate breakout star on its hands.
There is very little in the way of risk associated with said push and an enormous amount of upside if it pays off.
What's Next for Cody?
After a few tumultuous weeks, Cody addressed the AEW fans.
He said the scar above his right eye is a reminder of the betrayal he suffered at Full Gear at the hands of MJF. He said a week ago, he held out his hand for the people who have typically lifted him up, only to find they were otherwise preoccupied.
He continued, saying he can have a match with The Butcher and The Blade whenever they want and when that time comes, they can even pick his partner.
Cody turned his attention to MJF and said he needs to fight his former friend. He said he was there for MJF when no one wanted him. He proceeded to offer up the keys to his own car, a watch, his shoes and $50,000 in cold, hard cash to get MJF to fight him.
"Name your price! Let's do this!" he wrapped up the promo.
Cody is the best talker in AEW and one of the best promos in wrestling. He is engaging, believable and can talk the audience into eagerly anticipating anything. If this did not have you ready to throw down your paycheck to see him get his hands on MJF, nothing will.
It was a fantastic bit of business from someone so absolutely invested in the company and every single program in which he is involved. Cody is the heart of AEW, and promos like this, dripping with emotion, prove why.
With that said, it was interesting to see The Butcher and The Blade almost brushed over after their debut last week. Ideally, they would have been a bigger talking point given the angle that introduced them to the audience. As it is, they will have to win fans over with their first in-ring performance.
When and where that happens, though, is the question.
Nyla Rose vs. "The Librarian" Leva Bates
The rampage continued this week as "The Native Beast" Nyla Rose returned to action, squaring off with "The Librarian" Leva Bates.
Rose obliterated Bates with a jumping knee from the top rope. She destroyed her with a chokeslam and gave one to Peter Avalon for good measure. The Beast Bomb finished off Bates.
After the match, she delivered another to the blue-haired competitor and set up for a third when Shanna made the save.
The fiery babyface took the fight to Rose, only to fall prey to a vicious powerslam. Rose grabbed a table, set it up in the ring and prepared to drive her rival through it. Instead, she powerbombed referee Rick Knox through it and then dropped Shanna on top of him.
She left satisfied with her actions as officials hit the ring to check on the fallen.
Rose defeated Bates
This was intended to present Rose as a totally destructive badass while simultaneously continuing a rivalry with Shanna that began with an attack on the Portuguese competitor during a meet-and-greet last week. In that regard, it worked wonders and continues The Native Beast's journey to breakout stardom.
For the women's division as a whole, it presents a rivalry that does not need a championship to sustain it. Rose has beaten down and punked Shanna twice now; even the latter's onslaught proved ineffective. Now, Shanna has to go back to the proverbial drawing board and figure out what it will take to put her away.
That is a story fans can sink their teeth into.
What's Next for Chris Jericho?
AEW world champion Chris Jericho hit the ring with an announcement: He is contractually obligated by management to have one more match in 2019.
He compiled a lexicon (not a list, this isn't 2016) of wrestlers he refused to compete against, including everyone from Allen Jones to Papa Buck. And most definitely not Jon Moxley. Under any circumstances, as he made sure to reiterate on more than one occasion.
Jurassic Express interrupted Jericho, entering to a huge ovation. Luchasaurus reminded Jericho he has a master's degree and that dinosaurs have been marginalized for 16 million years. Jericho poked fun at Marko Stunt and then claimed they surely could not mean Jungle Boy, who has yet to win a match.
Jungle Boy promised to kick Jericho's ass on December 18.
A brawl gave way to a temper tantrum from the champion to close out the show.
Jericho is comedic gold, and his promo here was all sorts of fantastic as he name-dropped any and everyone he could think of, complete with a nice little ode to AJ Styles. The way he kept bringing up Moxley, dodging Mox's challenge from last week, was excellent heel work and will only drive fans to want to see that match even more.
Best of all, the segment set him up to work with another young star he can help elevate. Jungle Boy has been impressive in tag team action but has yet to make a name for himself. Against the face of the company, he will have that opportunity.
Kudos to Luchasaurus for delivering the laugh-out-loud line about the marginalizing of dinosaurs.
Kris Statlander vs. Hikaru Shida
A week after a disappointing loss to Emi Sakura and Bea Priestley in tag team action, former partners Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida clashed in a one-on-one match that threated the latter's status as top contender to the AEW Women's Championship.
"The Galaxy's Favorite Alien" Statlander dominated the contest throughout the commercial break, utilizing her size and strength advantage to ground Shida. The babyface delivered a running knee strike from the apron to stun Statlander, though, and spark her comeback.
As the action intensified, Statlander again had Shida reeling. The resilient babyface fought back, though, and dropped her opponent with a jumping knee. Statlander answered with a cradle tombstone known as the Big Bang Theory for the upset win.
Brandi Rhodes and Awesome Kong arrived after the bell and referred to their partnership as The Nightmare Collective. Rhodes ordered Statlander to pledge herself to the group. She came face-to-face with Kong, not intimidated by the imposing figure.
An unknown woman from ringside pledged her allegiance to The Nightmare Collective, offering her ponytail to Kong, who cut it off. During the break, they continued to cut the woman's hair.
Statlander defeated Shida
The match itself was a really strong one that put over Shida's ability to fight from underneath while establishing Statlander as a rising star in the women's division.
On the other hand, the promo by Rhodes and the introduction of The Nightmare Collective fell flat.
How many cult-like factions do we need? We already have The Dark Order, and now we have The Nightmare Collective, which serves some mysterious greater plan that Rhodes has not touched upon any further.
At the very least, it set up Statlander to oppose Rhodes, Kong and the mysterious newcomer, providing the division with yet another rivalry beyond the women's title. That is a major positive, even as the implementation of a new faction failed to make the desired impact.
Christopher Daniels vs. Pentagon Jr.
The rivalry between Christopher Daniels and Pentagon Jr., the wrestler who put him out of action in October, culminated this week with a singles battle.
Daniels attacked before the bell, not giving the masked villain any chance to jump him first. As the action spilled back into the squared circle, Pentagon seized control and retained it through the commercial break.
The Fallen Angel mounted a comeback and had his opponent reeling late, evading a double stomp but falling prey to a backstabber that earned Pentagon a near-fall. A falling lariat by Daniels stunned his opponent, but the pinched nerve he experienced at the hands of Pentagon prevented him from putting away his rival.
Rey Fenix came from out of nowhere to provide a distraction that allowed Pentagon to introduce the mic stand into the match. Daniels wrested it away and teased using it, only to throw it away. Pentagon seized the opening, delivered an undetected low blow and scored the win off a package piledriver.
Pentagon defeated Daniels
For the talent involved in this match, it was somewhat of a disappointment.
On more than one occasion, it looked like Daniels and Pentagon were on different pages, including the "bowling-shoe ugly" falling lariat spot, called as such by Jim Ross.
The interference by Fenix made sense since Lucha Bros are underhanded heels, but it would have been nice to see Pentagon pick up the same quality singles win his brother did earlier in the night. Daniels would not have been hurt eating the pin and the result would have been a team as strong individually as it is together.
As it stands, this was fine for what it was but could have been infinitely better.
And on top of it all, this appears to be setting up another showdown between Lucha Bros and SCU over the tag titles despite fans having already seen that match in more than one incarnation.
Joey Janela vs. Jon Moxley
In a rematch of their Lights Out match at Fyter Fest this past June, Joey Janela and Jon Moxley headlined this week's show. Unlike their first, unsanctioned match, the result of this one would count on their win-loss records and potentially cost Moxley championship contention.
Moxley fended off an early attempt to seize control by Janela and worked over the unintimidated Bad Boy during the break. Janela fought back and stunned Moxley just as they came back from commercial. Moxley answered, delivering a release suplex for a series of near-falls.
The fight spilled to the top rope, where Moxley tried for the Paradigm Shift. Janela countered with a sunset flip bomb. The Bad Boy remained a thorn in his opponent's side, delivering a German suplex that sent Moxley to the floor.
A dive from the top rope onto his opponent drove both competitors through the timekeeper's table. Back in the ring, a top-rope elbow drop from Janela earned him a frustrating two-count.
Back up top, Moxley delivered a modified Paradigm Shift on the top turnbuckle and followed with another in the center of the ring for the pinfall victory.
After the match, Jericho's music played and the AEW champion appeared in the stands, staring down Moxley in a scene eerily similar to the close of last week's broadcast.
Moxley defeated Janela
This was just an ugly, disjointed and rushed match that could have been better had the participants not had the confines of television time limiting them. You could tell by the number of times they nearly slipped off the ropes or rushed certain moves and sequences that they were not jelling as well as they did back at Fyter Fest when the time was significantly less of an issue.
The finish of the show was perfect, the egotistical champion not to be outdone, staring down his prospective top contender. This while flanked by his four Inner Circle teammates and having refused to face Moxley earlier in the show.
The tone of the star-studded program to this point has been perfect. What comes next should be fantastic television between two great minds and genuinely creative performers.