Here we are at the final show of the year for AEW. Let's dive in and see what they gave us.
Looks like a legit packed house, that's great for AEW. The stage looked cool too. Now to the action.
Willow Nightingale vs Kris Statlander
This was the only match was interested in from the pre-show. In hindsight this match could have been flipped with the 8 man and would've been received better. That said, I'm not sure they had full mojo tonight. Maybe the emotions ran high of being in front of the hometown crowd? Sometimes it's also just not your night. Both wrestlers are great performers and I have no doubts about them continuing to excel.
All Star 8-Man Tag Match
Rush, Brodie King, Jay Lethal and Jay White vs
Brian Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Daniel Garcia and Mark Briscoe
I'm going to get killed for this, but this isn't a PPV match. Throwing these guys into a random tag match is kind of senseless to me. It's the kind of match WWE used to get killed for because again, it doesn't feel sensical. This is no offense to the wrestlers but this doesn't feel like a hot way to start the show. "Here's all the guys who lost the tournament".
Andrade El Idolo w/CJ Perry vs Miro
Glad to see CJ back after that awful ordeal with the hand infection. Good, hard-hitting match. Love how these guys styles mesh with one another. Not surprising that CJ helped Miro win, although it has a twist that she wants to prove her worth as a manager, and I'm curious where this goes now that it's all but sure that Andrade will be leaving.
AEW Women's Championship
Riho vs Timeless Toni Storm
Toni Storm is a fantastic character and it's evident by the way the crowd is so behind her. Riho has a ton of heart, and has the chops as their first women's champion. That said, this match lacked the umph for me. No doubt of the result, and again this match still felt like a Rampage main event than a PPV match. I'd be partial to seeing a more defined role of heel/face in her next feud.
Swerve Strickland vs Dustin Rhodes
Bummer that Keith Lee is hurt. Hope he gets well soon. Swerve is so hot right now; I'll be shocked if he doesn't have some gold in 2024. I appreciate the grit they had Dustin Rhodes showing here. He's got a long illustrious career but, I didn't feel anything about this match. I know I sound like Negative Ned here but AEW really thought there's nobody else on the roster who could've replaced Lee here? They tried hard, Dustin gave a great effort, but you can tell the crowd was surprised Lee wasn't there and this didn't really feel like a suitable match replacement. Still, Swerve is one the hottest acts they have right now.
Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Sting and Darby Allin vs Takeshita, Powerhouse Hobbs, Ricky Starks and Big Bill
Welp, guess the Long Island crowd knows about the allegations against Jericho. Crowd doesn't even realize their own hypocrisy in singing along to his entrance then booing him when he's tagged. But back to the in-ring action. Great moment for Sting, enjoy it while it lasts people, we only have a few months left of the Icon. I don't know what to say about this match, just felt like nothing was really working here. This is the second 8-man tag in a five-match period, two too many for a PPV in my opinion. Good for Sammy getting the pin and the momentum going into 2024. Other than some highlights this match really suffered from Kenny Omegas’ injury and Jericho's backstage allegations.
Julia Hart vs Abandon
House Rules-Biting is Allowed
Two women with killer entrances. Loved it. Julia Hart is the most successful member of House of Black. Fact not opinion. No one in that group has looked better and been more strongly presented than her. The "this is spooky" chant was funny. Good match, Julia continues to get better in the ring, and Abandon has some presence with her character. I wonder if Skye isn’t the last person to join in this HOB offshoot when all is said and done in 2024.
TNT Championship-No DQ
Christian Cage vs Adam Copeland
Edge with the throwback to his WrestleMania 22 attire. Christian is doing some wonderful heel work recently. Glad they don't do the fake "static" when someone hits the stage screen. Edge did his best Sandman impression too I guess, but maybe he'd rather knock himself out than finish a Heineken-I can relate. I like them going all around the arena. This is the one match so far that feels like a PPV match. Overall good match, lots of callbacks to their career highlights and the crowd was with them for it. Cool to see Edge win his first gold outside of WWE after 20+ years, only for Christian to pull the ole swerve (in Vince Russo voice) and win it back within 2 minutes. Womp womp.
Continental Classic Final
Jon Moxley vs Eddie Kingston
Hard hitting match and this one also had big fight feel-great video package and the crowd atmosphere added to great work from Moxley and Kingston. The chop fest between these two was next level. Great selling by both guys, although a lot of this was quite snug so I bet it wasn't difficult to register pain in this match. Congrats to Kingston, career highlights for him. Now let's see what they do to make each of the three titles distinct when he's on the respective shows.
Sidebar-Orange Cassidy vs Dante Martin and FTR vs HOB, which were announced for next week's shows- both would've been better options for this PPV than either of those 8-man tags. Fact not opinion.
MJF vs Samoa Joe
That video package was pretty funny. Only in pro wrestling can you get a crowd to chant "he's out scumbag" and it's an endearing chant. I can't believe someone else using an F5 was actually enjoyable to see. Well done. Samoa Joe winning was seriously shocking to me. Great for Joe. MJF can get healthy and now focus on The Devil aka Adam Cole. Although we all saw it coming, they did a good job with the actual reveal. Given his injury they could elongate the story with Max having to fight through each member to get to him. Great ending to overall okay show.
That's all jabronis. Sound off if you feel different. Happy New Year!