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Sambus’ AEW Worlds End Review 12.30.23

December 31, 2023 | Posted by Theo Sambus
AEW Worlds End Samoa Joe Image Credit: AEW
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Sambus’ AEW Worlds End Review 12.30.23  


Good evening wrestling fans! It’s your resident Collision reviewer here, but with no Collision tonight, I have the honor of hosting proceedings for World’s End. Welcome! AEW has been on an incredibly strong roll of PPVs this year; can that continue tonight? Whatever happens, it looks like tonight’s broadcast will be noteworthy to say the least, as all signs are pointing towards an unveiling of the Devil’s identity, and MJF’s “world” coming to an end. There’s a distinct buzz in the air, so this should be fun.

While we wait for the Zero Hour to get started, I want to hear from you guys about your ‘low-key’ MOTYCs. What are your unsung heroes from this year? Anything that flew under the radar? My viewing was pretty mainstream this year, but I did love Kento Miyahara vs Katsuhiko Nakajima from NOAH’s One Night Dream. One to go back and check out if you missed it!

As for tonight, we’ve got a mixed bag of some matches that have tremendous backstory and feel like the real culmination of a feud…plus a few rather throwaway additions to round out the card. Although TWO 8-man tags seems a little misguided, I do like the G1 Climax move of having the losing Continental Classic competitors all face off in that way. It’s a stacked line up, for sure! With that in mind, let’s turn our attention to the Zero Hour pre-show!

Location: Long Island, NY

Venue: Nassau Coliseum


Renee Paquette and RJ City introduce the show, and they say that Stokely Hathaway declined their invitation to be a co-host as he was ‘too busy’. Foreshadowing?!

We get the announcement that Keith Lee is out due to injury! Damn. Dustin Rhodes is taking his place so it will be Swerve Strickland vs Dustin Rhodes instead tonight.

Jeff Jarrett joins Renee and RJ, and he says Samoa Joe is a big money guy, and he always delivers when it counts. Jarrett feels Joe has it in the bag tonight.

RJ announces that after tonight, the Continental Classic tournament winner will be able to defend the championships individually. That’s new. So no actual Triple Crown championship?

Previewing the TNT championship No DQ match, Jarrett says Adam Copeland has always manipulated Christian Cage and made him play second fiddle. Cage has something to prove and he will walk out with the title. Now here comes Stokely Hathaway, heading down to the commentary desk. Looks like our in-ring action is about to get underway.

Nigel McGuinness, Excalibur, Taz and Stokely Hathaway are on commentary duty for Zero Hour.


Kris Statlander vs Willow Nightingale

Willow takes control early but Statlander with an arm drag. Headlock takeover from Kris gets a 1 count, Willow counters. Body slam by Willow and a running splash, but Kris catches her and rolls through. Kick to the midsection of Willow, Willow to the middle buckle for a crossbody, gets a 2. Clothesline against the ropes, and another to take Statlander to the floor. Willow on the apron, cannonball off the apron to take out Stat. They roll back in for a 2 count. Shoulders to the midsection by Statlander, Willow grabs hold and is looking for the Doctor Bomb! Can’t get it, Statlander hits a back elbow and a flipping senton for 2.

Big scoop slam by Statlander and she locks in a body scissors. She transitions into grounded cobra clutch, Willow fights out but gets driven into the buckles. Cartwheel escape from Willow and an enziguri, followed by the hip attack. Statlander with a backdrop for 2. Both women charge for shoulder blocks and they both go down. Back up, Willow gets a kick, rebounds off the ropes and gets a spinebuster on Stat. Vertical suplex, rolls through for the Three Amigos, but Kris nails the third! They keep trading, Willow reverses the third from Stat! Inside cradle gets a 2 for Willow.

Running boot in the corner from Statlander, and she gets a facebuster for 2. Willow into the buckles, lifted onto Stat’s shoulders, Willow is planted facefirst! But Willow back up and hits a pounce! Straps come down, cannonball in the corner. Death Valley Driver! 1, 2, no, Stat kicks out. Blue Thunder Bomb connects for Statlander, followed by a kick and a bicycle kick, 1, 2, no. Statlander is heading to the top, no Willow knocks her down…powerbomb onto the apron by Willow! Willow to the middle buckle, shotgun dropkick, 1, 2, no! Doctor Bomb attempt, reversed into a piledriver, no Willow counters into a pin attempt for 2. Enziguri didn’t connect, Statlander with a discus lariat and heads up top. 450, but misses! Running lariat by Willow and the Doctor Bomb, can’t hit it though. Awkward Doctor Bomb attempt from Willow, this is breaking down. Doesn’t quite hit it, makes a pin, they call an audible and Kris kicks out. Willow finally gets a proper Doctor Bomb for the 3 count at 13:10.

Your winner by pinfall: Willow Nightingale

Rating: *** – This was pretty good stuff up until the awkwardly botched ending. Shame as this was otherwise a very good opener.

We get a video package for Serena Deeb! She’s been locked in the dojo, but she can’t be caged anymore. She knows how to break free, and she refuses all shackles. It takes 10 thousand hours to become a master…the woman of a thousand holds, Houdini, when she is at her best she is magic. Serena Deeb is ready to return. Nice!


20-Man Battle Royale For Shot At AEW TNT Championship

OK, let’s see – spotted so far we have Danhausen, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Trent Baretta, Rocky Romero, Angelo Parker, Matt Menard, Action Andretti, Butcher & The Blade, Christopher Daniels, Johnny TV, Serpentico, Kip Sabian, Lee Johnson, Darius Martin, Lance Archer, Bryan Keith, Killswitch, and Dalton Castle.

The bell rings and a bunch of guys on the outside have pulled out a load of tables! They’re burying Archer and Killswitch under tables and chairs. They spill into the ring now, Serpentico is looking for a powerbomb but Rocky flips him over head and Serpentico is eliminated! Castle has a near miss, battles back but Castle is eliminated by Kip Sabian. Romero to the apron, receives a kick by Johnny TV but he holds on. Danhausen makes the save. Trent tries to throw Jonny out, Johnny climbs the ropes but gets eliminated by Danhausen. Dropkicks by Darius Martin & Action Andretti. Lee Johnson gets kicked out and is eliminated. Enziguri by John Silver, Reynolds eliminates Angelo Parker. Dark Order try to take out Menard together but fail. Canonball by Sabian on Reynolds, but Reynolds tries to throw out Blade. On the apron, Sabian eliminates Reynolds!

Double team attempt but John Silver gets a double suplex on Sabian & Blade. Butcher eliminates Silver from behind! Sabian headbutts Danhausen but RPG Vice double team Sabian in response. Bryan Keith eliminates Kip Sabian with an enziguri! Danhausen is looking to curse Keith but he is cut off. Keith headbutts Blade off the ropes, Butcher makes the save. Backdrop driver by Keith on Butcher. Butcher responds with a gutbuster onto the buckles and he boots Keith off the apron to eliminate him. Now Killswitch and Archer emerge from the tables!

Daddy Magic gets in the face of Archer, chops to the chest, Archer with a body block and he eliminates Menard. Daniels also eliminated! Archer clotheslines both Action & Martin, but now RPG Vice try to take him out. Archer responds to a big slap in the face by Rocky Romero with a huge Blackout to eliminate Romero. Killswitch with a double chokeslam on Andretti & Darius Martin.

Killswitch and Archer eliminate Darius & Andretti simultaneouslt. Archer sends Blade over the ropes too. Butcher is gone thanks to Killswitch. Danhausen is in trouble! He tries to German suplex Archer, Archer with a Blackout attempt but Trent Baretta saves him. Trent & Danhausen eliminate Archer! They hug to give the people what they want, and Trent eliminates Danhausen!! Running knee to Killswitch. And another! A third! Trent is feeling it. He pulls the kneepad down, runs, but gets caught and planted in a chokeslam. Killswitch charges, Trent with a low bridge but Killswitch holds on. Both men on the apron now. Jumping knee by Beretta! Trent is looking for the half and half, Killswitch avoids it…massive back elbow by Killswitch finally knocks Trent Beretta off the apron at 14:02 to give Killswitch the win and a shot at the TNT Championship.

Your winner: Killswitch

Rating: **3/4 – Standard battle royale fare for the most part, but that closing section was pretty hot with Trent Beretta looking THIS close to victory. And I’m sure the Best Friends won’t be happy about Trent eliminating Danhausen there.


[FTW Championship – FTW Rules] Hook vs Wheeler Yuta

Wheeler Yuta has the microphone before Hook arrives. He calls Hook’s hometown a shithole and runs down Long Island. Wheeler is cut off by the sound of a horn. Here comes Hook!

Hook fires away with a flurry of offense. Punches to the gut in the corner but Yuta fights back. Headbutt by Hook, and Yuta escapes to the outside. He pulls out a 2×4 and a trashcan. Tries to get back in the ring, knocked off the apron though. They battle up the entrance ramp, and Yuta attempts a suplex but Hook reverses into a Northern Lights suplex. Back by the ring, Hook approaches and is met with a big shot from a trashcan lid. Yuta pulls out a STOP traffic sign and sends Hook into the barricade.

Back in the ring, Wheeler hits a nice seatbelt slam. He lays Hook on the Stop sign and hits a senton splash for 2. Yuta tries to suplex Hook into a trashcan but Hook counters with a suplex of his own. Clotheslines by Hook, Northern Lights suplex with a bridge for 2. Redrum, no! German suplex by Yuta, but one in return from Hook. Another German from Yuta. One more from Hook! They climb back to their feet and trade forearms, both going down with stereo clotheslines.

Yuta bites the forehead, fisherman’s suplex with a bridge gets 2. Trashcan shot by Yuta, right in the midsection. Knees to the midsection now, but Hook catches him, cradle suplex right into the trashcan! 1, 2, no! Redrum attempt but Yuta is fighting out of it…he drops backwards, slamming Hook into the trashcan. DDT on the Stop sign by Yuta! 1, 2, no! Hook rolls to the outside to recover. Yuta grabs the 2×4 but Hook has a hockey stick. He sweeps the leg and breaks the stick over the back of Yuta. And then a hockey stick assisted Redrum! Yuta taps out at 10:20.

Your winner and STILL FTW Champion: Hook

Rating: *** – Fun brawl to wake up the crowd for the main show. Good stuff here – they didn’t go overboard, but both guys looked decent, perfect for the pre-show.

And now it’s time for the main show. AEW Worlds End begins…now!


[8-man Tag Team Contest] Brody King, Jay Lethal, Jay White & Rush vs Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Daniel Garcia & Mark Briscoe

Daddy Magic has joined the fellas for commentary for this one. Rush and Claudio begin this, trading forearms and chops. Uppercut to Rush and a big boot, but a German suplex in return from Rush. Claudio to the outside, back in and goes chest to chest with Rush. OK, we need these two in a PPV singles match already. Lethal tagged in, Briscoe as well. Dropkick by Lethal, redneck kung fu chop from Mark. Standoff between the two, and Jay White is tagged in to face…Bryan Danielson! YES!

Handful of hair by White, but Dragon gets the LeBell Lock! White finds the ropes with his feet, and he reminds the ref that he has until 5. White with huge chops and he mocks the Yes chant. Running kick in the corner by Danielson, chops of his own. Flurry of chops and kicks keep him in control, then a hurracanrana off the top to White! Yes kicks connect, he backs up for the roundhouse…and Daniel Garcia tags himself in! Garcia in against Brody King, who is looking for payback. Garcia dodges some attacks but is met with a black hole slam. King sends Garcia to the floor, where White capitalises. King shoves Daddy Magic in the face!

Back in the ring, Rush is tagged in, back elbow to Garcia. Rush mocks Garcia’s dancing. Tag to Lethal, who stomps Garcia in the corner. Garcia’s nose is busted open, looks hardway. Quick tags here, White and Rush double team Garcia but only get a 1 count. Leg screw by White, scoop slam, and another, but Garcia won’t stay down. Garcia is trying to shake it off. He slips out of another scoop slam attempt but White shuts him down with a shot to the back. Garcia fights everyone in the opposing corner, and avoids a charge from White! Tag to Mark Briscoe! Briscoe takes on both Lethal and White, enziguri to Lethal.

Flying forearm by Mark on White, and slaps White to the floor from the turnbuckle. Danielson takes out Rush on the outside. Briscoe with a blockbuster off the apron on Lethal. And an elbow drop off the apron on Rush! Briscoe back to the top rope, rolls through off the top but gets a Fisherman’s driver on White for 2. Briscoe is looking for the Jay Driller but White escapes. White with an exploder to the ouside on Briscoe! Lethal rolls him back in for the pinfall, 1, 2, no. Lethal takes Briscoe to the top rope looking for a superplex, Briscoe fights out of it. No, Lethal back up for the superplex, connects!

Claudio and Brody King in now as the MEAT chants begin. Rapid fire uppercuts from Claudio, he goes for a suplex, Brody blocks it, running big boot by Claudio, and he finally gets Brody up for a STALLING vertical suplex, geez!! Rush and Danielson are battling in the opposite corner, although Brody & Castagnoli are still the legal men. Rush and Brody hits canonballs in stereo in opposite corners! Claudio with the Big Swing though!! And Danielson in with a dropkick to the head on King while he’s being swung! White breaks up the pin.

Garcia and Lethal in now, Lethal Combination connects, and Lethal goes for the figure four, locks it in! But Briscoe out of nowhere to break it up with the Froggy Bow. Busaiku Knee on Rush, Bladerunner on Danielson, popup uppercut on White, discus lariat by King to Claudio! Garcia with the backdrop driver!! Lethal Injection misses, Garcia with the jackknife! 1, 2, 3!!! Garcia picks up the win for his team at 17:16

Your winners by pinfall: Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Daniel Garcia & Mark Briscoe

Rating: ***1/2 – Thrown together it may have been, but this was so much fun. That ending was hot as hell, and honestly, everyone looks good here. Once again, everything about the Continental Classic has just HIT.


Andrade El Idolo vs Miro

Andrade has had a heck of a 24 hours after his CMLL match last night. For those wondering, yes CJ Perry is accompanying Andrade to ringside tonight. Commentary plays up the conflict of interest.

Miro attacks before the bell! He stomps the heck out of Andrade before he’s even had a chance to get his ring jacket off. Andrade tossed into the corner, but he avoids a charge and sends Miro to the outside, finally taking his jacket off. Andrade goes for a dive but a clubbing blow from Miro cuts him off. Figure Four attempt by Andrade, Miro shrugs it off. Backdrop THROW by Miro, damn Andrade got height! Miro shouts ‘This is what you wanted?!’ to CJ at ringside. Miro with a kidney shot and a choke in the ropes. Suplex attempt, Andrade escapes, jumps at Miro but Miro catches him and plants Andrade with a side uranage.

On the outside, Miro tries to send Andrade through the announce table, but Andrade fights out and shoves him over the desk. Andrade sends Miro headfirst into the protective desk covering, and then whips him shoulder first into the steel steps. Miro rolled back in, Andrade to the top, Miro cuts him off. Miro is looking for a superplex and gets it. They go toe to toe in the middle of the ring now, trading shots. Lariat from Miro takes Andrade down. Andrade tossed to the apron, but he grabs Miro’s legs and hits a dragon screw in the ropes. Crossbody off the top and a flying forearm by Idolo. He signals for the double knees in the corner…but Miro rolls to the outside. Andrade straight to the outside and springboards off the buckles with a moonsault to Miro! Miro driven into the steps for added damage. Oh and now Andrade hugs CJ Perry right in front of Miro. The cuck vibes are strong.

Andrade to the top rope, Ibushi-feint moonsault connects and gets a 2. Andrade takes a big run up but runs straight into a huge thrust kick from Miro for 2. Miro is fired up! Game Over! Andrade holds on, he won’t tap. He frees an arm and makes the ropes. Miro shouts at CJ that she should be cheering for her husband. Andrade tosses Miro to the apron, gets another dragon screw through the ropes, and nails the spinning back elbow! 1, 2, NO.

Andrade locks in the Figure Four…and rears back into the Figure Eight! But no, Miro counters and reverses the pressure. No, Andrade turns it over again. Bridges into the Figure Eight again! BUT CJ PERRY SWEEPS THE ARMS OUT. All part of the plan! Pump kick by Miro, 1, 2, no! Miro locks in the Game Over again, and it is indeed Game Over as Miro taps out at 15:13.

Your winner by submission: Miro

Rating: ***1/4 – Good match and not a total squash, unlike some predicted. Having said that, the end game of CJ Perry actually being all for Miro after all is a little…dare I say lame? The follow up here will be key.


[AEW Women’s World Championship] Toni Storm (c) (w/ Luther) vs Riho

Storm taps Riho on the head patronisingly, so Riho comes back with a flurry of forearm strikes. Body slam by Storm but Riho bridges out of it. Riho cartwheels through a lariat and hits a dropkick, followed by a rising knee in the corner, which gets a 1 count. Riho locks in a facelock, Storm breaks free but receives a roundhouse kick to send the champion to the floor. Riho dives on Luther! He catches her and hands Riho to Storm, who slams her on the floor.

Storm with hard stomps to the back of Riho, but the challenger with a rollup for 2. Repeated body slams to Riho now, before Storm drives her knee into the spine. Riho goes for a body slam of her own, but her back is hurt so she can’t do it. Sky High by Storm gets a 2. Storm tramples all over the back of Riho. More body slams and Storm locks in a single leg crab, putting pressure on the lower back. To the apron now, Luther gets Storm on his shoulders, runs the length of the apron while Storm has Riho’s hair, which tosses Riho off the apron to the floor! Genius.

Back inside, Storm locks in a Texas Cloverleaf, and Luther pulls the ropes to prevent Riho from getting there…but Rick Knox sees it and ejects Luther from the ringside area! Body slam attempt reversed, Riho with a headscissors into the ropes. Tiger Feint Kick! Crossbody off the top from the challenger…and she finally gets a body slam of her own on Storm. Riho with a diving crossbody to the floor now! She heads back up top, Storm rolls to the apron so Riho hits a double stomp instead.

Dragon suplex on Storm! 1, 2, no. Storm misses a hip attack, but gets a stump piledriver for 2! Pinning combination from Riho gets 2, and a dropkick to follow through, and Storm grabs the ropes. Riho to the top again but Storm drags her off by one leg. Modified neckbreaker that looked SICK gets the win for Toni at 11:46.

Your winner and STILL AEW Women’s Champion: Toni Storm

Rating: ***1/4 – New finisher from Storm looks awesome! Storm targeting the back all match made for a good in-ring story, highlighting the resilience of Riho, but it wasn’t enough to derail the momentum of Toni Storm. Luther’s moments are fun too, and I like that his involvement isn’t overplayed.

Mariah May comes out post-match, scattering petals around Toni Storm in celebration.

Excalibur pays homage to Killer Khan and Kurtis Chapman, that’s a nice touch. RIP to both guys, tough week for everyone.

Lexy Nair is with Dante Martin backstage. He’s doing good, but he needs to be doing great. His injury set him back…and here comes Orange Cassidy. Dante needs his title. Orange says he can try to take it this Wednesday on Dynamite.


Swerve Strickland vs ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes

Swerve gets the jump on Dustin and tosses him around the ringside area pre-match. Swerve hits a big dropkick to Dustin against the steel ring steps, sandwiching his head. Prince Nana gets out the cinder block and places Dustin’s ankle over it! This might be a no-contest if this carries on. Swerve with the double stomp off the apron, shattering the ankle of Dustin Rhodes! Medical officials attend to Dustin as Swerve sits on the turnbuckles, proud of his work. Dustin is carried out by refs and the medical staff. Wait, Dustin is trying to fight through it! He’s heading back to ringside, despite the referees telling him not to. Swerve is game! Dustin in the ring now, he still wants to go.

Rhodes makes it to his feet and the bell rings! Swerve comes in hot with a running kick, and drives the knee into the throat of Dustin on the mat. “This could have been you!” says Swerve, undoubtedly talking to Keith Lee. Swerve kicks the bad ankle and poses while Rhodes recovers in the corner. Shots to the midsection, before Swerve wraps the leg around the ropes, takes a run up and hits a dropkick to the knee.

Swerve sits Dustin on the top rope and Rhodes tries to fight back! But to no avail. Superplex attempt cut off by Rhodes, knocking Swerve back down. Dustin manages to launch off with a crossbody for 2. Classic Rhodes uppercut from the knees, Swerve with a kick to the knee though. Dustin with a Canadian Destroyer out of the corner! Powerslam for the 1, 2, no. Dustin sets Swerve up for the Shattered Dreams, gets it despite Nana’s distraction. Piledriver on Swerve! And he goes for the Cross Rhodes and HITS IT. 1, 2, no! Dustin looks for the Figure Four, Swerve kicks him off and hits a flatliner. He locks in a single leg crab. Transitions into a stretch muffler, stomping on the head of Rhodes for added insult. But Dustin makes the ropes.

Dustin fires up after some chops, and flips off Swerve, spitting in his face. House Call out of nowhere in response! And another, Swerve means business! Swerve is all smiles as he grabs the arm of Dustin and appears to snap it backwards. Swerve up to the top rope, double stomp! The 1, 2, 3 is elementary at 9:27.

Your winner by pinfall: Swerve Strickland

Rating: *** – Considering he had a cinder block explode his ankle before the match started, Rhodes had surprisingly sporadic selling here. This is one where Swerve could have been more dominant, especially with that cinder block setup. This shouldn’t have been quite so competitive, especially when Swerve is being positioned as the next big thing (and rightly so!) but Swerve looked good by the end so I’ll give them that. But you know what, this was spur of the moment with Keith Lee being unable to compete, so we’ll give them a free pass!


Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Sting & Darby Allin vs Ricky Starks, Big Bill, Powerhouse Hobbs & Konosuke Takeshita

Guevara begins with Takeshita. Takeshita drives him into the corner but Sammy with chops right out the gate. Kick to the head and a diving crossbody gets a 1 count, tag to Jericho. Yes, there are boos. Jericho and Sammy pose a la Le Sex Gods to a chorus of boos. Takeshita with a flying forearm takes Jericho down, and now here comes Ricky Starks, who flips off Jericho. In comes Hobbs. Shoulder block by Hobbs, tag to Big Bill. Flapjack on Jericho, but an eyepoke to Bill keeps Jericho in control. Tag to Darby as Takeshita is tagged in too. Low crossbody by Darby gets a 2. Coffin Splash is caught, but Darby avoids a German. Dropkick by Darby and a Code Red, 1, 2, no.

Darby heads up top but Don Callis distracts, allowing Takeshita to hoist Darby on his shoulders and hit a massive avalanche Blue Thunder Bomb off the top. Hobbs in with clubbing blows to Darby, and a stalling suplex. Hobbs and Big Bill swing Darby by the legs and arms, tossing him entirely across the ring to the opposite corner! Takeshita prevents Darby from making a tag, but Darby gets a sunset flip and tags in Sting!

Sting takes out Starks and Takeshita, Stinger Splash in the corner! Another to Bill and Hobbs! Jericho assists, and now Bill and Hobbs are in opposite corners. Sting and Jericho with stereo Stinger splashes! Big Bill comes right back to knock down Sting. Ricky with his rope walk arm drag to Sting, but Sting comes back and dumps him shoulder first on the canvas. Sammy in, enziguri and a springboard cutter, no, blocked. But he gets one out of the corner instead! 1, 2, Bill interrupts. Black Hole Slam from Bill to Guevara. Codebreaker on Bill but he shrugs it off. Bill tosses Jericho awkwardly, ground and pounds him. Jericho into the corner, dropkick off the top, Hobbs with a spinebuster though! Front powerslam by Hobbs on Jericho but Darby comes in with a splash. Scorpion Deathdrop by Darby on Hobbs. Takeshita drops Darby on his head in return! Takeshita with a double German to Sammy and Darby! Sting sweeps the legs of Takeshita and locks in the Scorpion Death Lock! Don Callis in with a bat…but he quickly runs away.

Jericho stops Hobbs from interfering by locking in the Walls of Jericho, and now Sting locks in the Scorpion Death lock again on Takeshita. Starks breaks it up though. Bill sent to the apron, Darby dropkicks him off and his a huge suicide dive to take him out. Sammy takes a run up but is cut off by a big spear from Starks! 1, 2, no! Angel’s Wings from Starks, 1, 2, no! Sammy with a superkick and the GTH connects. Guevara up top, Starks is prone, Shooting Star! 1, 2, 3. Sammy Guevara gets the pinfall at 15:41.

Your winners by pinfall: Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Sting & Darby Allin

Rating: ** – I’ll be honest, this was pretty rough. The crowd didn’t seem that into this one, partly because of all the Jericho stuff. Plus it was quite sluggish at times with some miscommunication between nearly all parties. Moments of brightness made up for it, but this was not a high point by all accounts.


[AEW TBS Championship – House Rules] Julia Hart (c) vs Abadon

Abadon’s choice for the stipulation is that biting is legal! Julia takes a moment to study Abadon before they lock up. Abadon goes for a big kick but Hart dodges it. “This is Spooky” chant from the crowd. Cutter from Abadon, damn! Multiple clotheslines in the corner, splash in another corner, and more clotheslines. Black Hole Slam from Abadon gets a 2. Abadon grounds Julia and gets some mounted punches, but Julia reverses and gets some of her own.

Abadon catches Julia on a dive but Julia reverses into a crucifix for 2. They stalk each other, prowling around the canvas, coming face to face. They get to their feet and pie face each other. Goozles! But Hart gets the upperhand, planting them with an STO. On the outside, Hart whips Abadon into the ring apron and follows with a suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Hart takes them over to the ropes and chokes them out, but there are no rope breaks in a House Rules match. Abadon with a whiplash effect with the ropes, but Hart manages to get them into a submission attempt, knee in the square of the back. Abadon bites the arm, it’s legal! Hart goes for another shot and Abadon bites that arm! Clotheslines by Abadon, and a spinning forearm, before nailing double knees in the corner! Running kneeling lungblower by Abadon connects. They battle to the top rope, Hart with a big time superplex off the top for 2. Sliding blindsiding lariat by Hart though! Hart locks in the Hartness, Abadon reaches the ropes but it doesn’t break the hold, no rope breaks. Abadon rolls through it instead, gets to their feet and hits Hart with a spinning slam and a drive-by knee strike. 1, 2, no!

Hart tries to take Abadon off the top but Abadon bites her again. Skye Blue appears! She tosses Abadon off the top rope! Abadon sits up and heads under the ring to find Skye, pulling her out from under the apron. They battle on the ramp, Abadon taking her down and nailing the drive-by knee strike. But Julia comes from behind. She rolls Abadon back in the ring and climbs to the top…moonsault connects, more knees than anything else! 1, 2, 3. Julia Hart retains at 11:58.

Your winner and STILL AEW TBS Champion: Julia Hart

Rating: ***1/4 – Smart, methodical pace here, and it cannot be overstated how much presence Julia Hart has developed this year. Abadon has some varied offense which seems refreshing, so this was an enjoyable encounter. Crowd didn’t seem terribly familiar with Abadon – watch more Collision, folks! *cheap plug*

Skye Blue politely applauds next to Hart, and kicks Abadon out of the ring. Hart and Blue exit the ring, arm in arm.


[AEW TNT Championship – No Disqualification] Christian Cage vs Adam Copeland

Copeland is wearing the gear he wore against Foley at Wrestlemania 22, that’s neat. Copeland meets Cage on the ramp during Cage’s entrance! He tosses Cage into the set before knocking Cage back down the ramp. Copeland grabs a beer from a fan, has a sip and bashes it on his head, Sandman-style. They make it into the ring as Copeland wraps a tshirt around Cage’s neck and chokes him out. Cage bails out of the ring for a breather, but kicks Adam in the gut. Cage tries to whip Copeland into the steps, but Copeland reverses, Cage goes head over heels over them!

Copeland goes to stomp his head into the steps, but Cage avoids it and heads into the crowd. Copeland quickly follows, sending him into a wall. Nick Wayne tries to attack from behind, but Copeland makes short work of him. Copeland climbs up to the next stand and dives off with a huge crossbody! Yeah, this crowd is awake now, they’re going wild for this. Back to the ringside area, Copeland climbs onto the barricade, runs across it and hits a diving clothesline to the sound of ‘You Still Got It’ chants.

Adam gets the 10 count mounted punches in the corner, but is then sent shoulder first into the ringpost when looking for a spear. Cage rests Copelands head on the steps, and he delivers the stomp! It only gets a 2 count however. Copeland’s eyebrow is busted open as Cage pulls out some kendo sticks. Big kendo stick shot to the back of Copeland! He chokes Copeland with the kendo stick in the ropes. Cage then drives the point of the stick into the throat of Copeland and gets a 2 count from it. Cage blows a kiss to the camera, and then tells Nick Wayne to grab a chair. Cage drives the chair into the midsection of a grounded Copeland, opens the chair out on top of Copeland and poses on top of him. Cage sits on the chair and locks in a boston crab! Amazing. Copeland uses his lower back strength to fight out of it.

Wayne hands Cage a metal rod, swings it, but Copeland with the reverse DDT to counter. Kendo shots from Copeland now! Copeland locks in a crossface…but Cage grabs hold of the metal rod…no, Copeland sees it and shoves the rod in Cage’s mouth for the assisted submission! Cage drags himself to the ropes and Copeland releases the hold. Adam goes delving under the ring…and out comes a ladder! Copeland gives it a little lick as he picks it up.

The ladder is wedged between the middle and top rope, and Cage is sent face first into it. But Cage comes right back with a kendo shot. Reverse DDT from Cage now. The ladder is set up, Cage climbs it…but Copeland is back up to climb it too! Copeland is looking for a suplex off the ladder…no, Cage battles out…SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB OFF THE LADDER BY CAGE! THESE MEN WERE RETIRED!! 1, 2, no!

Cage gets rid of the ladder now, but heads back under the ring to fetch the tables! One table set up, Copeland with a neckbreaker over the ropes, Cage is teetering…Copeland goes for a spear but no, Wayne pulls Cage out of harms way. Adam with a chairshot to Cage, and another in the ring. Impaler DDT on the chair! Cage is placed prone over the chair, as Copeland is thinking Conchairto. But Wayne back in to grab the chair. Cage is up, lowblows Copeland with the chair!! 1, 2, NO.

Nick Wayne brings the second table into the ring, and Cage props it up, leaning against the corner. Adam slowly gets to his feet….dodges a spear from Cage, JESUS Cage takes a chair to the face, thrown right at him, TWICE! And Copeland hits the SPEAR THROUGH THE TABLE. 1, 2…Shayna Wayne pulls the ref out! And Nick Wayne again comes out of nowhere with a title belt shot, hitting an Oscutter off the middle buckle to the floor! He rolls Copeland in….Killswitch connects! 1, 2, KICKOUT!

Oh no! Cage just handed Nick Wayne a lighter and lighter fluid! They douse the table set up on the floor. Cage again tells Copeland to ‘go fuck yourself’ as Wayne sets the table on fire. Spear to Cage! Wayne is on the apron as Copeland adds more fluid to the table. POWERBOMB OFF THE APRON THROUGH THE FLAMING TABLE on Nick Wayne! Almost overshot it and the flaming table was flipped over.

Copeland back in the ring, nutshot to Cage! Killswitch by Copeland! 1, 2, 3!! We have a new TNT champion at 24:48.

Your winner and NEW TNT Champion: Adam Copeland

Rating: ****1/4 – This was wilder than we thought it would be, and these guys took ZERO shortcuts. Crazy that both these guys were retired just a few years ago, and now here they are having an insane match like this. It was heated and intense from the get-go, and yes, they built up to the flaming table spot. If anything, it was all a little too reliant on Nick Wayne, but that kinda fits the Patriarchy shtick. Feel good moment at the end was the icing on the cake.


WAIT, Killswitch has appeared behind Copeland! Clothesline from behind! Chokeslam. Killswitch grabs the chair and opens it out…chokeslam onto the open chair! Killswitch has the contract for his TNT championship match…he’s about to hand it in, but here comes Christian Cage, demanding he hand over the contract! Killswitch hands him the contract!! Cage quickly signs it, hands it over to Paul Turner, this is happening!! The bell rings!

[AEW TNT Championship] Christian Cage vs Adam Copeland

SPEAR by Cage! 1, 2, 3 at 9 SECONDS.

Your winner and NEW TNT Champion: Christian Cage

Rating: N/R – Hahaha OK I absolutely love this! They’re in danger of killing off the live crowd again, but for Cage’s character, this is just perfection.


[Continental Classic Finals – Triple Crown Championship] Jon Moxley vs Eddie Kingston

Danielson is on commentary for this one. The graphic for this one shows an actual Continental Championship, so maybe what RJ City said on the Zero Hour isn’t actually the case? Because otherwise how could you defend the titles separately? Kingston has some Kawada kickpads on, that’s cool.

Mat grappling from both men to begin, and Eddie blows Jon a kiss as he has him tied up. Headlock takeover by Eddie, headscissors from Moxley. Greco-Roman knuckle lock, snapmare by Moxley and a kick to the spine, and now Moxley is looking cocky. Eddie with a kick to the spine of his own, fair game. They goad each other into a chop battle, but Eddie grabs a side headlock, and they trade shoulder blocks off the ropes. Mox is sent to the outside, Eddie follows up with a suicide dive, oh SHIT Eddie’s head smacked into the barricade! That did not look good.

Eddie up on his feet though, and he receives a German suplex from Moxley, who then kicks him to the outside. Paradigm Shift on the floor! Eddie tries to shake feeling back into his arms and makes it back into the ring. Kicks by Moxley, and Eddie fires up to give a chop, but can’t do it, his arm is in too much pain. In the corner, Eddie manages some chops but eventually the arm gives out again.

Eddie covers up in the corner as Moxley builds the assault. Piledriver in the center of the ring! 1, 2, no. Moxley goes for a single leg crab, but transitions into an STF. Eddie has to bite the hand to escape it. Back to their feet, they trade overhand chops, and Eddie even brings Moxley to his knees with one of his chops. Eddie brings the straps down as the chops continue. Moxley flips off Eddie, and Eddie retorts with more huge chops and a middle finger of his own.

Double clotheslines now, neither man will go down. Eddie with an Exploder though! Moxley back to his feet, but his leg gives out, BACKFIST by Eddie! Eddie can’t capitalise to make the cover though. Clothesline in the corner, and Eddie unleashes the machine gun chops. Eddie stalks him to each corner of the ring with these machine gun chops, as Moxley desperately tries to escape them. Oh but a cutter out of nowhere from Moxley. Backfist from Eddie again, but Moxley rebounds off the ropes with a clothesline. Northern Lights Bomb from Eddie gets 2!

Eddie looks at Danielson as he begins some hammer and anvil elbows, but Moxley turns the hips. Eddie locks in a bulldog choke, Moxley locks his own in though! Mox transitions and grapples around the waist too. Eddie is fading but he gets the arm up at the last second, and makes it to the ropes. Backfist to the Future connects again, 1, 2, no! Northern Lights Bomb again, 1, 2, NO.

Eddie tries for a piledriver, can’t get it, Mox explodes out with a clothesline to create some space. They come head to head on their knees, trading forearm shots. They fire each other up with shots and slaps, another massive backfist from Eddie connects! 1, 2, 3. This one is over at 17:17.

Your winner and NEW Triple Crown Champion: Eddie Kingston

Rating: ****1/4 – That abrupt finish was a really nice touch, putting over the idea that this could have gone either way and on any other day these men might have seen a different result. I loved how different this felt – this would have been right at home in Bloodsport with the worked-MMA feel. Great delayed selling from both men, top notch work all round. With this, we can safely say the Continental Classic is honestly one of the best things AEW has done in its history.

New Continental Crown championship looks very pretty, I will say that! Eddie and Moxley hug as Eddie celebrates the big win.

Oh snap, FTR vs House of Black is happening next week on Collision! What a start to the new year for Collision, that is a sexy addition to next week’s show.


[AEW World Championship] MJF (c) vs Samoa Joe

MJF’s entrance plays up his Long Island heritage, and the video package is pretty great. MJF is introduced…and then Adam Cole’s music hits! ADAM COLE IS HERE. He makes his way down to ringside, still on crutches. Let the Devil speculation reach fever pitch! Super special ring announcing and then our main event is underway.

Max has his shoulder taped up heavily, and Joe has his arm taped up a little. We’ll see if that’s a factor. MJF charges into the corner and gets dropped with the STJoe. Joe Jabs send MJF into a heap in the corner, and Joe is laughing as he continues the assault. Snapmare, kicks, and a leg drop onto the bad arm! Vulcan nerve grip to the shoulder, but MJF  chops his way out, until Joe comes back with an atomic drop and a big boot. Back senton onto the bad arm! Damn. Pele kick to MJF  in the corner, and Joe is looking for the Muscle Buster! MJF escapes, sends Joe to the floor with a low bridge. Joe back in, MJF with a cradle, 1, 2, no.

Quick schoolboy gets a 2 as well. Max up to his feet, looking for the Kangaroo Kick but Joe catches the legs! He tosses Max to the outside, Max hangs on and tries to skin the cat but the shoulder is troubling him. Joe runs in and kicks him to the floor. Joe with an elbow suicida to the floor to capitalise. Back in the ring, Joe hits a Death Valley Driver for 2 as Cole tries to rally the crowd. With one arm, Max fires off some chops, but a German suplex puts a stop to that. Dragon suplex followed by a strait-jacket German and Max is folded up! 1, 2 no.

MJF crawls to the apron to take a breather, but Joe is right there, looking for a piledriver! Max fights out of it but Joe sits him on the top rope…and nails him with a MUSCLEBUSTER ON THE APRON!! Good Lord. Joe rolls him back in for the pin, 1, 2, NO.

Joe sets him up for another Muscle Buster, but Max headbutts his way out. Spinning elbow to the back of the head, and Max starts to pound Joe’s head into the buckle. Maxwell climbs with one arm for the 10 count punches, and bites the forehead. He calls for the Kangaroo Kick again, but again Joe kicks him away. Joe ascends to the middle buckle…and MJF  gets him on his shoulders! But no, he collapses under the weight of Joe. MJF up on the opposite buckles and hits a diving stomp to the arm of Joe. Heatseeker connects! 1, 2, no!

MJF is looking for another Heatseeker but Joe puts the brakes on, holds on the weight and steps through the ropes! But a rollup from Max into the Salt of the Earth! He can’t quite lock it in, but uses the tape of Joe’s hands for leverage. Oh but Joe escapes and gets one of his own, wrenching on the bad arm. MJF somehow makes the ropes. Joe takes a while getting Maxwell back to his feet, allowing Max to try the Salt of the Earth again, but no Joe gets a choke. MJF shoves Joe into the corner, inadvertently taking out referee Bryce Remsburg. Low blow to Joe! MJF has him on his shoulders…he hits him with the F5!

Both men are down as the referee stirs. Max makes the cover, 1, 2, kickout by Joe. MJF calls for the Diamond ring, he asks for it from Cole, but Cole can’t find it! He eventually pulls it out but Joe has recovered and locks in the choke! MJF does the Owen Hart pinning combo, but Joe transitions into the Kokina Clutch again on the mat. The referee lifts the arm 3 times…the third time, MJF’s arm kinda lands on Joe’s leg…but the referee calls for the bell! WOAH THEY DID IT. It’s over at 17:59.

Your winner by pinfall and NEW AEW World Champion: Samoa Joe

Rating: **** – Well that was unexpected in my book. A semi-clean finish! Great match, focused on the arm work which provided a terrific base for the whole match. This was Prime Samoa Joe; it could have been 2004 ROH all over again.


Joe leaves with the World Championship as Adam Cole tends to MJF in the ring. MJF is upset but Cole gives him a pep talk. Crowd are chanting bullshit. Wait, someone’s coming. The devil’s masked men surround the ring! But Cole has the crutches…the devil’s masked men hold Cole back, and they hold Max too! One of them has a steel chair, and Cole demands they hit him instead! The lights go out as the devil henchmen raise the chair…

And when they come back on, Adam Cole is sitting calmly on the chair with the masked men around him! ADAM COLE IS THE DEVIL! The masked men unmask, and it’s Roderick Strong, Wardlow, and the Kingdom! Knee to Max by Strong and they feed him to Wardlow. Powerbomb symphony to Max. Cole pulls out the devil’s mask and holds it up for all to see. Cole tosses the mask onto the fallen Max and poses with his henchmen behind him. The PPV ends as Cole and the rest of them gloat of the former World champion.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
It might not have hit the soaring highs of previous PPVs this year, with an undercard that struggled, but the last 3 matches massively made up for it. Cage vs Copeland was a wild spectacle that made full use of its No DQ stipulation, and pulled us into so many different emotional states with the rug-pull of the post-match events. Kingston and Moxley had a banger to see out the Continental Classic in style, and the main event was a terrific match that finally gave us the answers we've been looking for about the Devil. Big thumbs up. We have to acknowledge that there were some ‘bum’ notes of course - the second 8-man tag was a royal mess at times, plus the crowd were killed off at numerous points tonight. Lessons to be learned, for sure, but the product is still massively watchable, and I'm leaving tonight's show feeling wholeheartedly entertained.

article topics :

AEW Worlds End, Theo Sambus