COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross, Excalibur, & Tony Schiavone
Night 2 of New Year’s Smash features two championship matches as Serena Deeb defends the NWA Women’s Championship against Tay Conti and in the main event Darby Allin puts his TNT Championship on the line against “The Machine” Brian Cage. Also on the show Pac gets his hands on Eddie Kingston, Kenny Omega is in six-man tag team action but not the way it was scheduled, and The Waiting Room makes its Dynamite debut.
- AEW WORLD CHAMPION: Kenny Omega
- AEW WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPION: Hikaru Shida
- AEW TNT CHAMPION: Darby Allin
- AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
- Pac vs. Eddie Kingston (***)
- Chuck Taylor vs. Miro (*1/2)
- Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers vs. Danny Limelight & The Varsity Blondes (**1/2)
- Jurassic Express vs. FTR (**)
- Serena Deeb [c] vs. Tay Conti for the NWA WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/4)
- Darby Allin [c] vs. Brian Cage for the AEW TNT CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/2)
“The Bastard” Pac [w/ Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix) defeated Eddie Kingston [w/ The Butcher, The Blade, & The Bunny] via pinfall (9:35)
AEW wasted no time this week getting into the action and neither did Pac, attacking Kingston right away and laying into him with a missile dropkick and series of knee strikes. Kingston fought back, doubling Pac over and connecting with a kneedrop from the middle buckle and taking it to the floor so The Bunny could dig her nails into Pac’s eyes. Kingston lit Pac up with chops, turning his chest a deep red, Pac connected with a whole lot of STIFF kicks as Kingston egged him on. Kingston connected with a backfist out of nowhere, followed by an enzuigiri (Bad News Brown-style) and backdrop driver but couldn’t get the pin. Pac stunned Kingston on the buckles with a kick and followed up with a top rope superplex that Kingston took almost completely on his tailbone. Kingston tried to rally and scrap but Pac had his number, blocking a DDT and getting the win with a Black Arrow.
- One of those matches you could feel just by watching it. These two did NOT hold back and I winced more than once between Pac’s kicks and Kingston’s chops. Pac’s intensity was great here, his disdain for Kingston informing every strike he threw, and I loved Kingston desperately trying to rally and keep fighting on instinct alone by the end. (***)
Pac immediately put Kingston in the Brutalizer but Butcher & Blade broke it up. The Lucha Bros ran in to help Pac, then Lance Archer [w/ Jake “The Snake” Roberts] marched to the ring to scare off Kingston & his friends. Archer got in Pac’s face and told him to get on the same page, then left in a huff. Not sure what’s going on there.
“The Best Man” Miro [w/ Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford] defeated “The Kentucky Gentleman” Chuck Taylor [w/ Orange Cassidy] via submission; Taylor now has to be Miro’s “young boy” until Sabian and Ford’s wedding (3:25)
Taylor attacked right away, sending Miro out to the floor with a clothesline and throwing him into the AEW logo wall at ringside. Sabian attacked Cassidy on the floor, Taylor made him pay with the douchiest of mule kicks, but after a Samoan drop it was all Miro from there, picking up the submission win with Game Over (camel clutch).
- Miro pretty much mauled Chuck Taylor in this one, despite the Kentucky Gentleman having the early advantage, reminding folks that he is actually a big scary dude when he’s not playing video games and hanging out with his dork friends. (*1/2)
Miro grabbed Taylor by the hair and dragged him to the stage, posing with him, Sabian, and Ford as Cassidy looked on in…well I assume anguish but it’s Orange Cassidy and he only has one face.
–Dasha Gonzalez interviewed Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) and their new manager as of last week, Matt Hardy. They tried to be positive but Quen took exception to Hardy taking 30% of their paycheck plus not allowing them any third-party affiliations (SUBTLE, AEW). Hardy told them to shut up and listen to him and that he’s in control now. What a healthy business relationship!
–The Inner Circle made their way to the ring for some New Year’s Resolutions. Jake Hager screamed “CHAMPIONSHIPS!”, Ortiz talked about perfecting his grandmother’s recipes, MJF talked about strengthening bonds with his friends and also getting rid of fat people. Chris Jericho’s resolution: to win the World Tag Team Championship with MJF. Naturally Ortiz and Santana took offense to this, Santana reminding Jericho they were recruited to be THE team of The Inner Circle. Sammy Guevara got involved, calling Jericho a TAG SLUT and almost coming to blows once again with MJF. Jericho, using last week’s Hager/Wardlow match as an example, said they had to blow off some steam and made a match next week: Jericho/MJF vs. Ortiz/Santana vs. Guevara/Hager to see who THE team of The Inner Circle will be going forward. Jericho found Sammy/Hager funny, but Sammy didn’t understand the joke. YOUTHS. Cool guy middle fingers to end the segment, MJF playing the peacemaker once more.
- Chris Jericho has proven to be a real piece of sh*t outside of the ring over the past year so it’s hard to really get behind him nowadays but I did enjoy the segment. Has Jake Hager always been the dumb hothead of the group, or is that new? Either way that’s the perfect role for him. Next week’s match should be…a thing that happens! Can’t imagine anyone other than Jericho/MJF getting the win but I’m down to be surprised.
–Alex Marvez interviewed The Dark Order. Evil Uno said everything going forward will be in tribute to their late-Exhalted One Brodie Lee (still doesn’t feel real most days), and brought in Hangman Page who they’re teaming with next week. John Silver was OVERLY excited and nervous around him. Page said he would let them know if he was joining The Dark Order after next week’s match (a special Birthday match for Lee’s kid -1).
–Dasha Gonzalez interviewed Kenny Omega, Don Callis, & The Young Bucks. Callis and Omega “insisted” on separate entrances and to come out fist, with The Bucks coming out after. Hmmmmm.
-After Omega’s very goofy entrance, Callis took over on announcing duties and introduced Omega’s partners and best friends…IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE GOOD BROTHERS (“BIG LG” DOC GALLOWS & “MACHINE GUN” KARL ANDERSON). Young Bucks were shown backstage walking off in a huff, Tony Khan none too pleased either.
- Next-level dick move by Kenny Omega & Don Callis. I laughed my ass off.
Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers (“Big LG” Doc Gallows & “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson) defeated Danny Limelight & The Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) via pinfall (9:26)
Limelight & The Blondes surprisingly started off strong, getting their shots in and working Omega over, but after a kick from the apron by Gallows the former Bullet Club gained control of the match and Limelight was the recipient of most of the abuse, including a TRIPLE SPLASH where Omega gave Gallows a piggyback ride en route. That was…goofy. Limelight snapped off a springboard hurricanrana and got the tag to Pillman who had a little something for everyone. Varsity Blondes hit a Hart Attack Blockbuster but Anderson managed to kick out of the pinfall attempt. Limelight tagged in one more but got caught mid-springboard with a spinebuster by Anderson, and was finished off with a Magic Killer.
- A lot more competitive than I thought it was going to be, if we’re being honest. Limelight especially had some good bouts of offense, and I love The Varsity Blondes as a tag team. Griff Garrison has the best dopey jock face on the planet. Omega & The Good Brothers got themselves a good workout heading into Impact’s Hard to KIll this weekend. Not a lot of Hard to Kill publicity overall though; made sense because why would AEW give Impact a free plug after Callis helped sully the World Championship, but also that kinda sucks for Impact since this weekend is a BIG DEAL and they barely got anything out of it in front of a much bigger audience. Again the fans can do the work themselves I guess but it would’ve been nice to have been specific. (**1/4)
Jon Moxley made his way out after the match and went after Omega but fell victim to the DAMNED NUMBERS GAME until The Lucha Brothers decided to come even the odds. The locker room emptied out to try and break things up, which was mostly successful until it wasn’t. The Young Bucks then came out to stop Moxley, still wanting to help their friend even though Omega dicked them over, and were rewarded with superkicks from The Lucha Brothers. The brawl continued, save for Omega and Callis who escaped the fracas and bailed.
–Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D and Rebel’s talk show The Waiting Room made its Dynamite debut, inviting Cody Rhodes on as their first guest. Before he got to say anything Baker introduced a surprise second guest in the form of Jade Cargill. Cargill got in Rhodes’ face and said she and Shaq (WAIT WHAT) were getting tired of waiting for an opponent. She threw some threats towards Rhodes’ wife Brandi then slapped The American Nightmare. Red Velvet, one of Cargill’s victims from a previous week’s show, interrupted and brawled with Cargill. The AEW women’s roster came out to help Rhodes break the two up, Baker taking video of the fight instead of getting involved. Abruptly a video played of Baker’s attack on Thunder Rosa; Rosa then cut a home promo saying she will face Baker at AEW’s next TV special Beach Break in February. Baker refused to accept this even as the match graphic showed on the JumboTron and ended the segment.
- Nice to see the women of AEW get some spotlight outside of title matches. Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker should be pretty damn good when it goes down. Segment went a little long and the Rosa stuff felt oddly tacked on, almost like a production snafu they rolled with, but overall it’s a welcome addition to the show. Adds some variety and I’m a sucker for talk show segments in wrestling.
FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) [w/ Tully Blanchard] defeated Jurassic Express (Marko Stunt & Jungle Boy) via pinfall (12:22)
FTR tried to bully Stunt around to start, but Jurassic Express used their speed to get the upper hand in the opening minutes. Wheeler & Harwood weathered the storm though and took over on offense after nailing Stunt with a brutal-looking double Stun Gun heading into the picture-in-picture. FTR continued pummeling Stunt but Stunt refused to quit or be pinned and finally made the tag to Jungle Boy, who almost got the win after a top rope hurricanrana to Harwood. Wheeler countered Sliced Bread #2 attempt with a lariat, but Stunt connected with a low blow and was finally able to hit the move, albeit not to a victorious conclusion. Blanchard got physically involved, throwing Stunt into the ringpost and goading Jungle Boy into a clothesline from Wheeler, then FTR finished Stunt off with the Big Rig to pick up the victory.
- Jurassic Express has heart, but FTR are Top Guys for a reason. Good match that went just a little too long for my attention span and to be honest I never really bought into Jurassic Express actually picking up the win. Nice to see Marko Stunt in action more though, feels like he’s been in the background while Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy handled most of the in-ring action but I also don’t watch Dark so maybe I’ve just been missing it. (**)
Serena Deeb [c] defeated Tay Conti [w/ Anna Jay] via pinfall to retain the NWA WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (7:42 shown)
Deeb and Conti matched each other move for move in the opening, with neither lady getting the advantage until Conti damn near took Deeb’s head off with a pump kick. Conti continued the onslaught during the picture-in-picture but got increasingly frustrated as Deeb wouldn’t stay down, not even after a full nelson into a stunner which was COOL AS SH*T and should be a finisher. Deeb fought back, punishing Conti on the buckles with a Gory Special and hitting the Detox to get the pin.
- This match whipped ass. WWE really dropped the ball on Tay Conti; what she lacks in experience she makes up for in gusto and she put EVERYTHING she had into every move she connected with. I especially liked her pump kicks being delivered with such force that she kept falling down afterwards, which I guess some would see as a detriment but I thought added to it. Deeb rocked here too, showing off effortless wrestling skill and had it not been for the main event would have easily been match of the night. As much as I dug the weird horror movie stuff of Shida/Abadon last week, this was leagues better and made the NWA Women’s Title seem like the far more prestigious women’s title in the company which is probably not how you wanna do it. (***1/4)
Darby Allin [c] defeated “The Machine” Brian Cage [w/ Ricky Starks] via pinfall to retain the AEW TNT CHAMPIONSHIP (12:41)
Taz sat in on commentary for this one, letting Starks handle ringside duties. No Powerhouse Hobbs or Hook to be found thanks to Tony Khan, who wanted to keep it as fair as possible according to commentary.
Allin wasted no time (a theme tonight), hurling himself repeatedly at Cage; unfortunately for him Cage is FREAKISHLY STRONG and caught one of his splashes, turning it into a suplex on the floor. Cage then set down a path of destruction, throwing Allin through a table that was like 12 feet away from the ring (busting him open) and powerbombing him hard on the ramp. Cage moved the steps to the ramp to apron-side but Allin sent him crashing into them by biting his hand and followed up immediately with a Coffin Drop and a sickening thud. Allin continued biting Cage, and used his COOL PUNK ROCK BELT to tie Cage’s legs together so he could bury forearms to the back of the head. Allin covered Cage, Cage pressed him off into the corner but Allin landed on the buckles and immediately connected with a double stomp. Allin climbed the buckles once more but Starks crotched him, then the lights went out and STIIIIIIING appeared. Sting took Starks out of the equation, Cage climbed the buckles to meet Allin and Allin sent them crashing to the mat with an avalanche crucifix bomb and the 1…2…3.
- Awesome match, just great sh*t from both guys. Allin is a psychopath with no regard for his body and he made Cage look like a MONSTER by being tossed around, put through a table, and powerbombed repeatedly. Cage seemed to relish being able to throw Allin around and every move he hit had me going “DAAAAAAMN” at the impact. These two worked amazingly well together and delivered on the multi-month hype leading into this one. I loved it. Poor Brian Cage and his inability to win in championship matches that aren’t belts handed to him by his manager, but I still loved it. (***1/2)
Sting did his mean man stare as Allin looked at him, Team Taz licking their wounds on the stage as the show ended.
- Sting has the cushiest job in professional wrestling right now.
FINAL THOUGHTS: New Year’s Smash Night 2 was a fun episode of TV with three really good matches and NO JERICHO YELLING ON COMMENTARY which my sanity very much appreciated. Allin/Cage was a tremendous main event, Pac/Kingston was stiff as hell, and Deeb/Conti surprised the hell out of me. Dynamite returns to “normal” with next week’s show and it’ll be impossible to keep this energy up, but AEW kicked off 2021 in a really great way and they’ve got me excited to keep watching.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Jon Moxley’s “well I guess I gotta beat up three guys at once, oh well let’s f*cking do this” entrance.