AEW Dynamite New Year's Smash Results: Week 2 Winners, Grades, Reaction and More
All Elite Wrestling wrapped up its two-week New Year's Smash special Wednesday night on Dynamite with a big TNT Championship defense, an NWA Women's Championship clash and the debut of Britt Baker's Waiting Room talk show.
The broadcast continued to lay the groundwork for the Revolution pay-per-view on February 27, propelled ongoing storylines forward and wrote the final chapter to others.
What went down, who emerged victoriously and what does it mean for those involved?
Find out now with this recap of the January 13 broadcast.
Announced for Wednesday show are:
- TNT Championship Match: Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage
- NWA Women's Championship Match: Serena Deeb vs. Tay Conti
- Pac vs. Eddie Kingston
- Jurassic Express vs. FTR
- Chuck Taylor vs. Miro
- Cody Rhodes joins The Waiting Room
- The Inner Circle's New Year's Resolutions
- The Elite in Six-Man Tag Team action
Pac vs. Eddie Kingston
Fueled by months of frustration and fury, “The Bastard” Pac wasted no time unleashing on Eddie Kingston in the night’s opening match, rocking him with a shotgun dropkick before the bell and wearing the loudmouth heel out early and often.
Well-timed interference from Allie slowed Pac’s momentum and allowed Kingston to seize control. He worked over the head and neck of his opponent. Pac, though, shook off breathtaking chops that left his chest beet red and flattened Kingston with a German suplex.
Pac drove the air from Kingston with a barrage of kicks to the chest but a back fist from Kingston stunned Pac and a big backdrop driver brought both men to the mat.
The competitors fought to their feet and up the ropes, where Pac delivered a big superplex that left Kingston clutching at his lower back, the pain nearly crippling.
Kingston rocked his opponent with a clothesline but Pac recovered and ultimately put him away with the Black Arrow.
After the match, Pac attempted to apply The Brutalizer but The Butcher and The Blade made the save. Lance Archer hit the ring and join The Bastard and Rey Fenix in standing tall while the heels retreated.
Pac defeated Kingston
This was a badass, physical match to kick off the show. It was exactly what it should have been based on the intensity of the rivalry, hurt only by what appeared to be a lower back/tailbone injury suffered by Kingston that slowed things down late.
Up to that point, the participants cut a great pace and packed a bunch of action into a short period.
Archer continues to be a factor in the feud but has yet to pledge allegiance to either side. A man on an island in a feud between two dangerous factions, it should be fun to see if he ever does or if The Murderhawk Monster sticks to his lonesome.
Chuck Taylor vs. Miro
A week ago, Chuck Taylor agreed to be Miro’s butler if he could not beat The Best Man. Not looking forward to a month of servitude, The Kentucky Gentleman attacked Miro early and often, taking him into the guardrail as Orange Cassidy, Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford watched at ringside.
Sabian rocked Cassidy on the floor, allowing Miro to capitalize on a distraction and turn the tide in his favor. He delivered a big Samoan Drop, then added some punishing rights in the corner, followed by a spinning heel kick.
The big kick and Accolade finished Taylor off as Miro scored an impressive, mostly one-sided victory. He stared Cassidy down following the match.
Miro defeated Taylor
This was exactly what it needed to be: a dominant ass-kicking by Miro, who is starting to find himself as the ferocious Best Man who can blend humor and fury.
Taylor sold perfectly for him, Sabian took out Cassidy to take some of the
New Year's Resolutions for The Inner Circle
Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle made their way to the ring to share their 2021 resolutions.
Each member of the faction ran down their wishes for the new year, which included MJF strengthening his bonds with his teammates. Jericho revealed his to be him and MJF winning the AEW Tag Team Championships.
Santana and Ortiz took exception to that and Sammy Guevara accused The Demo God of being a “tag team slut.” He rightly said Jericho likes to jump from partner to partner and even accused him of getting chummy with Snoop Dog last week.
Friction intensified until Jericho intervened and pitched a Triple Threat Tag Team Match to determine the official tag team of The Inner Circle: Jericho and MJF vs. Santana and Ortiz vs. Guevara and Hager.
The faction came to a truce and the match was official.
It is about damn time Santana and Ortiz took exception to Jericho trying to steal the tag team thunder for The Inner Circle.
They have been lackeys for way too long when they should be picking up wins and jumping back into tag team title contention. Taking exception to Jericho and MJF targeting the tag titles makes sense, as does Guevara expressing anger (and jealousy) over being tossed aside in favor of another young star.
The match will be hella good, if only because the talent demands it. The outcome and how it comes about will determine the immediate and long-term future of The Inner Circle.
"The Elite" vs. Griff Garrison, Brian Pillman Jr. and Danny Limelight
Prior to the night’s Six-Man Tag Team Match featuring The Elite, Don Callis encouraged the trip to stage separate entrances, a bit of manipulation by the EVP of Impact Wrestling that will likely have implications later in this particular storyline.
As it turned out, it was all so Callis could produce Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. Callis introduced The Good Brothers as The Young Bucks and Tony Khan watched disgustedly from backstage.
The opposition for the match? Griff Garrison, Brian Pillman Jr, and Danny Limelight.
The heels beat the overmatched babyfaces down from the opening bell until Limelight left Omega reeling. Gallows rocked him with a big boot but Garrison and Pillman sent him to the floor. After a brief flurry by the babyfaces, Omega and Co. took over, beating down and isolating Limelight through the picture-in-picture commercial break.
Limelight walked the ropes to avoid Omega, came off with a headscissors, and sent the AEW world champion flying. Limelight tagged Pillman, who made like his father and soared through the air like Flying Bryan, wiping Anderson out and clearing Omega off the apron.
Pillman and Garrison scored a very close near-fall on Anderson but a missed splash in the corner left the latter prone to three-on-one assault by the heels. Anderson tried for the Gun Stun on Garrison but the young star escaped it and tagged Limelight back in the ring.
Limelight fell prey to the Magic Killer, though, as the AEW world champion and Impact tag team champions picked up the win.
Following the bell, Jon Moxley entered Daily’s Place through the stands and hit the ring, going straight for Omega. Despite his tenacity, Moxley found himself beaten down. The Lucha Bros came to the aid of Moxley and AEW, fighting off Gallows and Anderson.
Moxley pounded away at Omega as the locker room emptied out. Moxley wiped out Omega, only for The Young Bucks to make the save. Penta El Zero M and Rey Fenix wiped Matt and Nick Jackson out with superkicks and all hell broke loose.
In the chaos, Omega and Callis retreated, living to fight another day as the ring filled up with AEW competitors. Anderson and Gallow exited through the stands, just as they arrived.
Omega, Gallows and Anderson defeated Pillman, Garrison and Limelight
This would have been the right time to have Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns show up and target Omega, Gallows and Anderson, just days before Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill on pay-per-view.
Not knowing what the relationship and agreement is between AEW and Impact, though, this was the next best thing as Anderson and Gallows got exposure and their company’s name out there.
The match itself was a solidly wrestled match that allowed the young babyfaces to get in more offense than you may have expected, all while adequately putting over the heels.
A vengeful Moxley is a great Moxley and the “no F’s given” approach to hitting the ring despite the numbers disadvantage was on-brand. Here is hoping he and Omega can deliver on the intensity they have built throughout their rivalry because if they can, their next match is going to be all sorts of awesome.
Jurassic Express vs. FTR
A week after manipulating Mark Stunt into replacing Luchasaurus for this week’s tag team match FTR’s Dax Hardwood and Cash Wheeler battled Stunt and his Jurassic Express teammate, Jungle Boy.
The former AEW world tag team champions bullied the much smaller Stunt to start, taking joy in beating him down and talking trash in the process. Overconfidence proved costly as Stunt stunned Wheeler with a headscissors and dropkick. Jungle Boy joined in on the fun and the babyfaces had FTR reeling heading into a commercial timeout.
During the break, Harwood and Wheeler dropped Stunt over the top rope. They worked him over, isolating him from Jungle Boy and mercilessly beating him down. Wheeler applied the Gory Special, which Stunt escaped with a rollup.
The smaller competitor dodged a clothesline from Harwood and made the hot tag to Jungle Boy, who exploded into the match. Jungle Boy wiped both men out, completely taking the fight to the former tag team champions by himself.
With Stunt back in the match, Harwood took off his elbow pad and rocked him in the face. Dax bullied Stunt in the corner, allowing Marko to catch him with an undetected low blow. Harwood still sent Stunt to the floor, where Tully Blanchard sent him crashing into the steel post.
Wheeler sent Jungle Boy into the guardrail, then joined his partner for The Big Rig on Stunt for the win.
FTR defeated Jurassic Express
This was great stuff that portrayed Stunt and Jungle Boy as a formidable team even without the massive Luchasaurus by their side. Stunt’s work in particular was strong and a reminder that, while he may be small in stature, he is a great underdog babyface.
Jungle Boy is a fantastic young wrestler who is infinitely better at this stage of his career than he should be. He is a star of the future and a guy around whom AEW will one day be built.
As for FTR, what can be said about them that has not already been? One of the best teams in pro wrestling, they work well with teams of any style and proved it here. They were focused, cerebral in their approach and punished the opposition. They also sold their asses off for them and put them over as a threat, the sign of a truly great tandem.
Every team is better for having worked with Harwood and Wheeler and that is a hell of a testament to them.
NWA Women's Championship Match: Serena Deeb vs. Tay Conti
Accompanied by Anna Jay and The Dark Order, Tay Conti made her way to the ring for her first championship opportunity: a showdown with NWA women’s champion Serena Deeb.
Deeb survived an early onslaught by Conti to deliver her Detox finisher. Conti kicked out and stunned the champion with a big pump kick that sent her to the arena floor heading into the commercial.
Coming back from the break, Deeb looked for her Serenity Lock but Conti countered into a rollup. Deeb delivered a rib breaker but Conti kicked out. The action intensified in pace until Deeb caught Conti with the Detox for the hard-fought win.
Deeb defeated Conti
Conti looked every bit the future star she is and has been since her days in NXT. Yes, WWE somehow let her walk away, underutilizing her and allowing AEW to reap the rewards of her growth and evolution as a performer.
Deeb was still the superior worker, by far, but Conti kept up and provided a credible challenge to her title.
The question is when AEW will learn that broadcasting the majority of a match during the commercial lessens the value of it. The company has consistently slotted its women’s matches in a position on the card that often sees it take place primarily during the break, coming back just in time for the finish.
It makes the company look like one that does not prioritize women’s wrestling or, worse, simply does not care about it as much as it does its men’s divisions.
TNT Championship Match: Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage
Last spring, Darby Allin turned down the advice of Taz. Since then, The Human Suplex Machine and the rest of Team Taz has made the TNT champion’s life a living hell. Wednesday night in the main event of New Year’s Smash, Allin defended his title against the self-proclaimed FTW champion, Brain Cage.
The Machine weathered the early storm presented by Allin, overpowering him and delivering a suplex on the arena floor. From there, he gorilla pressed him in the ring and tossed him over the top and through a table at ringside.
His face bloodied, Allin found himself on the receiving end of a beating that left referee Paul Thomas checking on his well-being. Cage dominated throughout the commercial break, punishing his opponent and downing him for a one-count that Allin defiantly kicked out of.
Allin flipped Cage the bird, only to be powerbombed onto the entrance ramp. Another middle finger earned him a deadlift suplex from the ramp into the ring. It earned another one-count as the champion powered out.
Cage positioned the ring steps against the squared circle. Allin fought back, bit Cage’s fingers and sent him crashing back-first into the stairs. From there, he scaled the ropes and delivered a Coffin Drop, driving his weight into his opponent.
Allin delivered consecutive open-hand slaps. He bit Cage’s face, delivered a springboard stunner and tied the challenger’s feet together. He fired off some rights and lefts to the back of the head. As Cage tried to free his feet, the champion delivered a Code Red for two.
Late in the match, Allin set up for the Coffin Drop but Ricky Starks hopped on the apron and provided a distraction. Sting appeared and blasted Starks. Allin delivered a crucifix bomb from the middle rope to successfully retain his title.
Sting joined the TNT champion in the ring, staring down Team Taz as snow fell and the show faded to black.
Allin defeated Cage
Allin played rope-a-dope with Cage, absorbing tremendous pain and punishment before catching his opponent with a flurry that ultimately ended in his defeat. The story worked because AEW had already established over time that Allin can endure considerable suffering and still pick up the win. Meanwhile, Cage had been presented as such an unstoppable force that the offense he executed was absolutely believable.
The chemistry was strong, the high spots all hit and the appearance by Sting late was predictable but logical.
The result was a solid main event and another significant night in Allin’s development into a marquee star for AEW. The eventual tag match that pits him and Sting against Team Taz is going to be money, thanks in large part to the slow build to said bout.