AEW Dynamite Report: Darby Allin wins TNT title, Bryan Danielson’s road to the title

Photo Courtesy: AEW

AEW Dynamite

January 4th, 2023

By: John Siino

Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, WA

Commentary: Excalibur, Taz & Tony Schiavone

New Dynamite

Same music for the intro, but a different opening video package, a new stage layout (no tunnels, more screens), and a new blue, red & white color scheme. Other than that, the show so far looks and feels just like it did last week.

Chris Jericho (w/ Matt Menard & Angelo Parker) vs. Ricky Starks

Right away, Chris Jericho takes down Ricky Starks and starts playing with the crowd. They get into a slap exchange before Jericho tries to escape to the outside. Jericho takes control once they get back inside until Starks is able to walk the ropes before dropping Jericho down for a two-count. Angelo Parker trips up Starks on the apron, before Jericho and Starks battle on the apron with Jericho hitting Starks with a suplex to the outside floor as we go to the commercial.

When we come back, this Seattle crowd is really into the match as Starks hits a Liger Bomb for a two-count. Jericho tries to come back with a Lionsault, but Starks puts his knees up, and goes to the middle rope but misses a moonsault. Starks blocks a Codebreaker and hits a super kick, but Jericho kicks out. Jericho dodges a splash in the corner and hits a Codebreaker. Starks blocks the Judas Effect and tries a Rochambeau, but Jericho turns it into the Walls of Jericho. Parker gets on the apron and distracts Aubrey Edwards, as Matt Menard knocks Starks out with the baseball bat. Edwards goes to raise Starks’ arm, but he powers up and punches his way out, before rolling up Jericho for a two count. Starks comes back with a DDT while knocking Parker and Menard off the apron and hits the spear for the pin.

Winner: Ricky Starks by pinfall at 12:36

Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, and Daniel Garcia run out and start attacking Starks before Action Andretti runs out with a chair and takes out the Jericho Appreciation Society. Before he can take out Hager with a chair shot, he gets stopped by Anna Jay and Tay Melo before the rest of the JAS attack Andretti and Starks. They set up a table on the outside that Hager powerbombs Starks through.

Doc Sampson Says Yes!

Tony Schiavone is in the ring and introduces ‘Hangman’ Adam Page. Schiavone brings up how Jon Moxley had challenged Page to next week and asks for an update on his condition. Page says as of today he is not medically cleared to compete and he’s been told that if he comes out and gets into a fight it’s going to set him back one more week and that’s not what he wants. What he wants is next week and if his brain scan comes back good he will be cleared which Doc Sampson agrees to. Page says something about kicking Moxley’s dick in the dirt that prompts Moxley to come out.

Moxley and Page go face to face, as Page is trying to hold back from getting physical. Moxley says he’s surprised that Page even showed up tonight after everything he’s been through and he’s getting sick of this treatment for Page. There seem to be a few microphone issues with the crowd not being able to hear Moxley, but he is able to get things back on track and says he is sick of Page playing the victim. Page says he’s angry how Moxley didn’t let Page get a word in before he made a joke about nearly taking his career away from him and he thinks he knows why. Page says at that moment Moxley felt threatened and he probably thinks Page was there for revenge, which he wasn’t but is now. Page says he’s had two in the chamber with Moxley’s name on them and he’ll get them at The Forum. Moxley says the only joke he thinks is funny is that Page thinks next time will be any different and says his little punk ass doesn’t belong in the ring with him and next week he will make sure Page doesn’t get back up.

Little Dead Boy

We get a video package from Samoa Joe telling a story about ‘little Darby Allin’ who wanted his belt back, but Joe had bigger dragons to slay until the ‘dead boy’ decided to come back, but Allin will pay the price.

AEW World Tag Team Championship: The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) (c) (w/ Billy Gunn) vs. Jay Lethal & Jeff Jarrett (w/ Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh)

Max Caster’s freestyle mentioned Karen Jarrett, Skip Bayless, Dixie Carter, Andrew Tate, and how TNA stands for Total Nonstop Acclaimed. Anthony Bowens and Jeff Jarrett start the match, but right away Jarrett goes after Caster on the apron with a cheap shot. Lethal tags in as he and Bowens trade chops, before Bowens hits a bunch of leapfrogs and a guillotine leg drop before tagging in Caster. The Acclaimed stay in control, double teaming on Jarrett as Billy Gunn gets in the ring for a triple scissoring as this crowd erupts. Billy goes after Jay Lethal, which gets him ejected by the referee.

When we come back, Lethal is holding Bowens down as the crowd is booing Jarrett. Lethal goes for a top rope elbow drop, but Bowens gets out of the way. Jarrett tags in and goes after Bowens before he can tag out to Caster. Bowens is able to fight off Jarrett and make the hot tag to Caster who goes to town on Jarrett and Lethal including a diving crossbody for a two count that Jarrett breaks up. Jarrett knocks Caster off the top rope before Jarrett and Lethal hit some double-team offense on Bowens. Lethal puts Bowens in the figure four, as Satnam Singh tosses Caster into the steel steps. The referee catches and calls out the rest of the referees in the back to eject Singh and Dutt. Bowens blocks the Lethal Injection, but Jarrett is able to hit him with the Stroke. As Jarrett goes for the pin, Bowens’ foot is on the rope gets pushed off by Dutt, so the referee continues the count for three. Aubrey Edwards comes out and tells Stephon Smith what happened so they announce the match will continue. Lethal tries to pin Bowens with his feet on the ropes, but Caster pushes him as Bowens reverses into a pin for the win.

Winners: The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) by pinfall at 11:16, to retain

I’m The Boss

Tony Schiavone is backstage with Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Jamie Hayter and says the big question is who will Saraya’s tag partner be. Baker and Hayter say the bigger question is when will Saraya get it as they are both homegrown talent and Saraya will never get it. They mention how they worked their way up through a rocky beginning and don’t get how Saraya hasn’t picked Toni Storm or Hikaru Shida as her partner. Baker makes a remark on how she’s ‘the boss’ and how Hayter is the killer.

The Jungle Hook

We go to Jack Perry who says he spoke too soon on not having anybody to catch on, so suggests next week in his hometown of Los Angeles to team up with Hook to take on Big Bill & Lee Moriarty.

Bryan Danielson vs. Tony Nese (w/ Josh Woods & Mark Sterling)

This hometown crowd of Seattle is obviously going wild for Bryan Danielson. Josh Woods tries to get involved right away, which causes Tony Nese to quickly take control and hits the running knees in the corner for a two-count. Danielson turns it around and starts chopping and kicking Nese, followed by an elbow strike and his kicks as the crowd chants ‘Yes’ along. Nese is able to block the last kick and powerbomb Danielson in the corner. Danielson dodges another running knees and hits Busaiku Knee. Danielson starts stomping Nese’s face right into the Regal Stretch as Nese passes out.

Winner: Bryan Danielson by referee stoppage at 3:25

Human Suitors

Danielson gets on the mic after and says he feels good to be home and how he’s feeling a little froggy, ready for another fight. Danielson calls out MJF who comes out and calls Danielson ‘Brain Damage Bryan’ and says ‘no’ about his challenge. MJF says he doesn’t care about entertaining these schmucks and calls Danielson a mark, and no matter what MJF gets paid as he’s a special attraction. MJF says he was listening to Danielson talk and if Lance Storm & Dean Malenko were able to create a child it wouldn’t be as boring as him. MJF continues about how Danielson looks like a goat, they shouldn’t call him the GOAT, and makes a joke about Danielson’s mom possibly not finding a human suitor to create him. Danielson comes back saying that MJF’s mom has had many human suitors and asks how in the crowd has been one which upsets MJF. MJF asks who died and made Danielson the king of wrestling and says whoever it is, they aren’t athletes. Unlike Danielson, MJF has been called the best in the world by people who have actually been in this business like Disco Inferno, Eric Bischoff, and Jim Cornette.

Danielson continues saying he hates MJF and thinks it’s time to fight. MJF backs off and says he came out here as a favor for Danielson and says if Danielson wants a shot at him, he needs to become the #1 contender. MJF says he had a conversation with Tony Khan who said if Danielson wins every week from now until February 8th, he will become the #1 contender. MJF says if Danielson is able to do that, he will give him a title shot on March 5th at AEW Revolution. Danielson says he doesn’t want to do it MJF’s way, so MJF threatens to use his lawyer Mark Sterling. Danielson agrees to MJF’s stipulation as long as MJF agrees to the match stipulation at Revolution, in which he makes a 1 hour Iron Man match. MJF gets mad at the ‘MaxiPad’ chant and agrees and says Danielson is a choke artist. Danielson says he will run through every single opponent put in front of him and at Revolution, he will expose MJF that he doesn’t have the cardio, has put in the work, the footwork, and the reason he doesn’t wrestle is that he’s not good enough. Danielson is going to put the nail in the coffin and kick MJF’s head in.

Swerve Strickland (w/ Parker Boudreaux & Granden Goetzman) vs. AR Fox

These two have a 10+ year history of wrestling including their Lucha Underground ‘Hell of War’ match under their Dante Fox & Killshot names. Right away these two go to outperform each other before having a face-off on the stage before the Mogul Affiliates get in Fox’s face (Goetzman is still being identified). Fox hits a moonsault, before taking Swerve back inside, hitting a brainbuster for a two-count. Goetzman distracts Fox, giving Swerve enough time to hit him with a boot from the apron as we go to the commercial.

When we come back, Swerve counters Fox into a flatliner for a two-count. Swerve places Fox on the top rope, but he elbows his way off and flips off Swerve, hitting him with a cutter, a boot in the corner, and another cutter. Fox heads to the top rope and hits a 450 Splash, which Swerve kicks out at two from. Goetzman distracts the referee, as Parker hands Swerve an item he uses on Fox before hitting him with a Death Valley Drive from the ropes to the apron, followed by the Swerve Stomp for the pin and the win.

Winner: Swerve Strickland by pinfall at 9:09

Talking Shida

Renee Paquette is backstage with Saraya, Toni Storm, and Hikaru Shida asking for their reaction from Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Jamie Hayter before. Saraya says they are trying to advance the women’s division as Storm says she got her face fractured from them and it’s not cool. Renee asks Saraya about her mystery partner as Saraya says she’s sitting next to the best wrestler in the world before announcing Storm as her partner. Shida shows frustration as Renee says the match is official.

FTRIP

The Gunns come out dressed in black as the screen shows FTRIP May 27th, 2020 – December 28th, 2022 as they make their way to the ring which has pictures of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler in the ring. The Gunns talk about how FTR has lost all their belts and started a podcast that nobody listens to and asks the crowd to stand up and honor the legacy of FTR in a moment of silence. FTR’s music hits before Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn start laughing and say FTR can work for any promotion but they will not work for AEW again.

Skye Blue & Kiera Hogan vs. Jade Cargill & Red Velvet (w/ Leila Grey)

Tony Schiavone brings up Dustin Rhodes’ mother passing away and Justin Roberts’ mother being sick being the reason he’s been away recently. Red Velvet and Skye Blue start the match by trading pin attempts as commentary mentions the friction in The Baddies could be since Kiera Hogan and Red Velvet are close to each other. Kiera tags in and hits a leg drop on Velvet for a two-count before tagging Blue back in. Blue stays in control before Jade tags herself in as they go to picture-in-picture.

When we come back, Jade hits the Eye of the Storm on Kiera for a two-count. Jade picks up Kiera and gets in Velvet’s face telling her this is how you do it, before gently tagging Velvet in. Kiera right away takes control over Velvet, so Jade tags herself back in and takes out Kiera and Blue from the apron. Jade chokeslams Kiera and tells Velvet she is going to get in there and whoop Kiera’s ass, but as Jade goes to tag Velvet, she steps off the apron. Jade is able to dodge Kiera and hit her with a pump kick for the pin and the win as Velvet walks away from Jade and Leila.

Winners: Jade Cargill & Red Velvet by pinfall at 6:49

Rampage Line-Up

  • Top Flight vs. Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson
  • We’ll hear from House of Black
  • Perro Peligroso (Preston Vance) in action
  • Jamie Hayter & Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs. The Renegades

Battle of the Belts V Line-Up

  • AEW World Tag Team Championship No Holds Barred Match: The Acclaimed (c) vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal
  • AEW TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Skye Blue
  • AEW All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Kip Sabian

Dynamite Line-Up

  • Jon Moxley vs. Adam Page
  • Jamie Hayter & Dr. Britt Baker DMD vs. Saraya & Toni Storm
  • Bryan Danielson vs. Konosuke Takeshita
  • Big Bill & Lee Moriarty vs. JungleHook
  • AEW World Trios Championship Best of 7 Series Match 7 Escalera De La Muerte: Death Triangle (3) vs. The Elite (3)

AEW TNT Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Darby Allin

As Darby Allin comes to the ring, he embraces Nick Wayne and his mother ringside (Nick’s father Buddy Wayne trained Allin here in Seattle). As Samoa Joe comes out, he goes to choke Nick which prompts Allin to dive onto Joe and battle with him all the way to the top of the stage. Allin grabs a ladder and dives from the top of it to Joe. Allin drags Joe into the ring as the match officially starts. Right away Joe grabs Allin and slams him onto the ring steps as we go to a break.

When we come back, Joe is in control, kicking hard at Allin. The hometown crowd tries to inspire Allin to get up, but Joe crosses Allin’s legs and drives him down. Joe continues to work on Allin, putting him in a single leg crab, but Allin grabs the bottom rope. Joe sets up Allin for the Muscle Buster, but Allin slides out. Allin goes to German Suplex Joe, but he pulls the corner padding along with it. They go back and forth until Joe puts on the sleeper hold, but Allin is able to fight out, toss Joe into the exposed turnbuckle, hits a Code Red and the Coffin Drop, followed by another Coffin Drop for the pin.

Winner: Darby Allin by pinfall at 8:47, to become NEW AEW TNT Champion

Confetti comes down in celebration before Sting makes his way to the ring and embraces Allin.

About John Siino 259 Articles
New York native and reporter at POST Wrestling. He is also Associate Producer and Social Media Director at upNXT, and the host of the 'Shot in the Dark' podcast.