12/14 AEW Dynamite results: Powell’s live review of MJF vs. Ricky Starks for the AEW World Championship, “Death Triangle” Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix vs. “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson in the fourth match of a Best of Seven series for the AEW Trios Titles, Ruby Soho vs. Tay Melo, House of Black and Chris Jericho in action


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Dynamite (Episode 168)
Garland, Texas at Curtis Culwell Center
Aired live December 14, 2022 on TBS

[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired and then Winter is Coming graphic was shown. Pyro shot off on the stage. Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Taz checked in on commentary from their desk on the stage. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer. Excalibur hyped the AEW Championship match and Chris Jericho being in action, and then said the AEW Trios match would open the show…

The Elite made their entrance to “Carry On Wayward Son” and came out with Don Callis, Brandon Cutler, and Michael Nakazawa. The Death Triangle entrance followed…

1. “Death Triangle” Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson (wDon Callis, Brandon Cutler, Michael Nakazawa) in the fourth match of a Best of Seven series for the AEW Trios Titles. Pac was still wearing his face shield. Excalibur noted that the titles were not on the line during the match, as the series will determine whether the titles will change hands.

Pac was isolated early on, but he kicked out the moment that Omega went for a cover. Nick performed an early dive onto Pac at ringside. Nick winced and reached for his ankle, which Taz pointed out on commentary. Nick continued to sell his ankle while standing on the apron. Cutler used the cold spray on Nick’s ankle.

Nick sat on the ring steps and the trainer checked on his ankle while the match continued in the ring. Death Triangle took offensive control and isolated Matt heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C] A graphic listed The Acclaimed appearing, Jack Perry vs. Brian Cage, and other previously advertised matches during the PIP break.

Omega and Matt were forced to work without Nick, who was no longer at ringside. Omega was isolated. Nick limped his way back to ringside and took his spot in the corner. Omega tagged in Nick, who threw punches, a clothesline, and performed a cutter. Fenix caught Nick going for a superkick and held his leg. Penta entered the ring and hit Nick’s ankle with the ring bell hammer while idiot referee Rick Knox was distracted, as usual. Fenix put Nick in an inverted knee bar and got the submission win.

“Death Triangle” Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix defeated “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson in 14:35 to go up 3-1 in the Best of Seven series for the AEW Trios Titles.

After the match, Fenix was upset about the hammer being used again. Omega took the mic and told Death Triangle that he had a message he wanted them to hear. Omega said that since Death Triangle keeps using the hammer, he proposed making the hammer legal. Omega followed up by saying that since he’s not a hammer guy, they should make all weapons legal.

Omega said he’s tried of playing by their rules and proposed not having any rules whatsoever. Death Triangle was game. Excalibur said they’d have to see how Tony Khan felt about it. Omega polled the crowd, then said he wasn’t formatted to cut the promo. He delivered his usual closing line…

Powell’s POV: I like the call to move the series into potential deciding matches the rest of the way. Potential deciding games do the best television numbers in sports. I’m not sure if it will be as effective in pro wrestling if only because fans have been conditioned to expect these types of series to go the distance, but it’s worth a shot. But screw these awful ring bell hammer finishes and continuing to make the referee looking like an idiot. Let me guess, Nick will sell his ankle being struck by the hammer next week even though none of the wrestlers who have been hit over the head with hammers seem to have any issues?

Backstage, MJF was interviewed by Alex Marvez. MJF said people were calling Ricky Starks’ promo a star making performance. MJF said he was a star before he appeared on Dynamite, and questioned how long it took Starks to hit a homer. MJF labeled himself a star maker and told Starks “you’re welcome for the rub.” MJF mocked Starks’ tough upbringing and said he didn’t care. He said the only thing that matter is whether you are or are not the AEW World Champion.

MJF said the fans love Starks because their lives suck. MJF said he had it easy growing up and is better than him and everyone on the planet. MJF mocked Starks for saying “give me a break” during his promo. MJF said everyone wants Starks to win the big one. MJF said everyone would find out what happens when pressure is applied to the Pebble. He asked if Starks will become a diamond or turn into dust… [C]

AEW Tag Team Champions “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens made their entrance with Billy Gunn. Caster’s rap included lines about Brittany Griner and Elon Musk. Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh, and Sonjay Dutt attacked the trio from behind.

Jarrett eventually slammed his guitar over the head of Caster. Jarrett took the mic and asked if they had The Acclaimed’s attention now. “Hey, you little bitch, why don’t you scissor this, Slapnuts,” Jarrett said before tossing one of the tag title belts onto Caster. Lethal picked up the belts and handed one to Jarrett, and then all of the heels posed with the belts…

Excalibur recapped highlights of Claudio Castagnoli beating Chris Jericho to win the ROH World Championship at the Final Battle pay-per-view…

Schiavone interviewed “The Jericho Appreciation Society” backstage. Jericho said he would take out his frustrations on someone later in the show as a tuneup for his rematch with Castagnoli. Schiavone noted that Daniel Garcia lost the ROH Pure Rules Championship. Jericho said Garcia never should have lost to Wheeler Yuta. Jericho said it’s okay. He said Garcia needs a little more mentorship. Jericho told Garcia to shadow his elder Sammy Guevara. Garcia looked annoyed. Guevara cut a promo about facing Jon Moxley on AEW Rampage…

2. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Brian Cage (w/Prince Nana). Highlights aired of Perry being chokeslammed onto the ring apron during the battle royal last week. Perry sold his neck during the entrances and when the match got underway. Cage was dominant to start the match and as they went to a PIP break. [C]

Cage set up for a powerbomb, but Perry countered into a rollup for a near fall. Cage came back with a clothesline that turned Perry inside out. Cage set up for his finisher, but Perry countered into a Destroyer for a near fall. Perry applied the Snare Trap, but another referee was distracted by Nana standing on the apron. Perry released the hold and went after Nana, but the referee stopped him. Cage tried to clothesline Perry, but he ducked, causing Cage to knock Nana off the apron. Perry rolled up Cage and pinned him.

“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry beat Brian Cage in 8:20.

After the match, Perry got a mic and said he beat Luchasaurus at Full Gear and just beat Cage. Perry said he wanted the biggest of them all. Perry called out Big Bill (a/k/a W Morrissey). Stokely Hathaway came out and used his pisstivity line.

Hathaway threatened to give Perry the back of his hand and called him a child. Perry left the ring to go after Hathaway, but Lee Moriarty and Big Bill ran out and attacked him. The heels brought Perry to the ring. Big Bill chokeslammed Perry.

Hook’s entrance music played and he walked to the ring dressed in street clothes. The heels fled the ring despite having the numbers advantage with Perry still lying on the mat. Hook offered his hand to Perry and then helped him to his feet…

Powell’s POV: Hey, another match, another referee being made to look foolish. Why? This isn’t just an AEW thing, but they definitely go overboard with it. The match was fine. The post match angle got over big with the live crowd and sets up what should be a fun tag team match. They popped big when Hook helped Perry to his feet.

Backstage, Jon Moxley delivered a promo while Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta stood behind him holding the ROH Championship and ROH Pure Championship belts. Moxley spoke about Castagnoli and Yuta winning at Final Battle, while he choked out Konosuke Takeshita on Rampage. Moxley said it was a small sample of what they can do.

Moxley mentioned 2023. Castagnoli said they were putting everybody on notice regardless of where they wanted to pick a fight. Yuta said that if you want to achieve greatness, you have to fight like you’re already dead. Yuta said he’s already in the mode. Moxley said Sammy Guevara is a gutsy kid. Moxley said he would stomp his face into a bloody mess and leave him for dead on Rampage. Moxley also told Hangman Page that he knows where to find him and said he could bring his “little Dark Order buddies”…

Excalibur hyped that the House of Black were up next… [C]

A video package aired on Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee. Strickland said they are no friends. Strickland said he has no friends or family in the industry. He said he has affiliates and he would see him soon…

3. “House of Black” Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews (w/Julia Hart) vs. “The Factory” QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, and Cole Karter (w/Nick Comoroto, Lee Johnson). Before the match, Comoroto got in Hart’s face and tossed his toothpick. Hart responded by spraying mist into the face of Comoroto. House of Black attacked The Factory members. Once the bell rang, Black dropped Marshall with his spinning kick and pinned him…

“House of Black” Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews beat “The Factory” QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, and Cole Karter in roughly 0:25.

Powell’s POV: A dominant win for House of Black, who are likely being set up to be the next challengers for the team that wins the best of seven series for the AEW Trios Titles.

A video package aired to set up Jamie Hayter vs. Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship on next week’s AEW Dynamite…

[Hour Two] Backstage, Renee Paquette interviewed Britt Baker, who was accompanied by Rebel. Skye Blue showed up and interrupted Baker. Blue said Baker is good at talking and questioned if she could wrestle as well as she runs her mouth. Blue challenged Baker to face her in a match on Rampage. Baker agreed to the match…

Powell’s POV: Moxley and Guevara set up their Rampage match with mic work, and now Baker and Blue did the same. I see it as baby steps in that while neither match received the strongest of builds, it’s better than just throwing those matches on Rampage with no build whatsoever.

Chris Jericho made his entrance to “Judas” while his opponent waited in the ring…

4. Chris Jericho vs. Action Andretti. Jericho flipped off the live crowd prior to the match and then slapped Andretti twice. Andretti returned the favor by slapping Jericho, who then beat him down in the corner to start the match. Andretti rallied by taking Jericho down with a head-scissors and then performed a springboard move that resulted in a one count. Jericho clotheslined Andretti. A “let’s go jobber” chant broke out. Jericho hit the Codebreaker and covered Andretti, but he only got a two count. Jericho looked stunned heading into a PIP break. [C]

Jericho remained on the offensive while the crowd continued to chant in support of “the jobber.” The fans came to life when Andretti showed signs of life, but Jericho put him down and then trolled the crowd by cupping his ear. Andretti came back with a couple of clotheslines and then performed a backbreaker into a neckbreaker.

Andretti performed a split-legged moonsault, but Jericho put his knees up. Jericho went for the Judas Effect, but Andretti rolled him up for a two count. Andretti hit Jericho with a springboard kick and then clotheslined him to ringside. Andretti performed a springboard moonsault and then rolled Jericho back inside the ring while the crowd chanted “holy shit.”

Andretti went for a springboard move. Jericho caught him and set up for a Codebreaker, but Andretti countered into a pin for a near fall. Jericho caught Andretti going for another move and tried to slam him, but Andretti countered into a takedown. Andretti performed a standing shooting star press and then pinned Jericho clean…

Action Andretti defeated Chris Jericho in 9:35.

Powell’s POV: That was great. The live crowd went from having fun with Andretti getting some early offense to really rallying behind him. Jericho acting so dismissive of his opponent during his promo had me assuming that he was going to give up a lot of offense, but I didn’t expect to see him actually take the pin.

Ricky Starks delivered a promo on the backstage interview set. He said he woke up this morning smelling the Lone Star air and knowing that he is the man. Starks said he finally gets his shot at the AEW Championship and feels it’s fitting that it’s happening in his backyard. He spoke about having his neck broken and grinding. He said MJF calling last week a star making performance was nothing new for him. Starks said no one cares about MJF calling himself a ratings draw, they care about him stomping MJF’s ass. Starks said he has a lot riding on it and MJF doesn’t know what it’s like to have people supporting him. Starks said he would prove to him and everyone else that he’s the coldest and stylish MF’er they’ve ever seen… [C]

A video package recapped the Double Dog Collar match from Final Battle. FTR spoke about being attacked by Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn afterward and said that if they wanted their attention, they have it now…

Chris Jericho was shown throwing a tantrum in the backstage area before he entered a locker room…

Separate shots aired of Ricky Starks warming up while MJF texted on his phone while getting a massage…

5. Ruby Soho vs. Tay Melo. Sammy Guevara came out with Melo and kissed her on the stage, but he did not accompany her to ringside. Melo kicked Soho as she tried to enter the ring. Soho and Melo fought at ringside. Melo ran Soho into the ring steps. Once they were in the ring, the referee checked on Soho before calling for the bell. Melo tried to leave the ring, but Soho caught up to her and set up for her finisher on the stage. Melo avoided it and put Soho down with a DDT on the ramp heading into a PIP break. [C]

The broadcast team continued to play up Melo being responsible for the nose injury that sidelined Soho. In the end, Soho slammed Melo’s face into the mat with a Destination Unknown and scored the pin…

Ruby Soho defeated Tay Melo in 7:25.

After the match, Anna Jay came out and attacked Soho from behind. Jay threw punches at Soho and then checked on Melo, who told her to go after Soho. Jay picked up Soho in backpack position and then slammed her face first to the mat…

Backstage, Alex Marvez said he was hoping to get a medical update on Hangman Page, who had his head run into the ring post on Rampage. Page said he would provide the status update that he never gave in October. He recalled lying face down on the mat while snoring for sixty seconds. He recalled being asked questions by the EMTs. He said he started to get some right.

Page said the EMTs told him he had a lot of messages and had to unlock his phone. They saw a picture of his son, said he was cute, and asked his name. Page got emotional as he said he didn’t know his son’s name for a full hour. He said he’s been to hell. He said if Moxley wants to fight him on Friday, he knows where the ring is and will fight him. Page said that if Moxley is going to tempt him to go back to hell, then he’ll take his ass with him…

Excalibur hyped the following matches for Rampage: Jon Moxley vs. Sammy Guevara, Skye Blue vs. Britt Baker, and Wardlow in action…

Dustin Rhodes stood with Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, and Danhausen. Rhodes spoke about facing The Butcher, The Blade, Kip Sabian, and Trent Seven in his hometown on Rampage…

Excalibur hyped the following matches for next week’s Dynamite: Jamie Hayter vs. Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship, FTR vs. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn, and “Death Triangle” Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix vs. “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson in a No DQ match in the fifth match of a Best of Seven series for the AEW Trios Titles… [C]

Excalibur hyped the remaining Death Triangle vs. The Elite matches, which all have different match stipulations… Entrances for the main event took place…

6. MJF vs. Ricky Starks for the AEW World Championship. Justin Roberts delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. MJF walked over and shoved his title belt in the face of Starks, who had to be held back by the referee. The bell rang to start the match and the wrestlers had a staredown while Excalibur started hyping upcoming dates (now?!?).

MJF knocked Starks down with an elbow and then mocked his pose. MJF followed up by strutting after walking over Starks. Moments later, Starks knocked MJF out of the ring with a shoulder tackle and then struck his pose. MJF went to the crowd and tossed a fan’s popcorn.

Excalibur said Tony Khan just told him that match six of Death Triangle vs. The Elite would be a falls count anywhere match, and the last match would be an Escalara De La Muerte (a/k/a ladder match).

Powell’s POV: Both of those matches were listed in the graphic they showed coming out of the break. I really wish they would focus on the world title match instead of cramming in all of these show and match announcements.

Starks dove at MJF, who picked him up and dropped him on the top rope. Starks took a tumble to ringside heading into the final PIP break. [C] MJF had Starks in an abdominal stretch coming out of the break. Excalibur recalled the injuries that Starks battled throughout the eliminator tournament.

Starks escaped the hold and then hit a flurry of offense on MJF that included a lariat. Starks hit a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. The referee put his gloves on. MJF battled back and targeted the left arm of Starks. MJF avoided Starks’ finisher. Starks held the tights while going for a pin, but Starks still kicked out. MJF powerbombed Starks onto his knee and covered him for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.

MJF taunted Starks with some lights slaps to the face. Starks fired back with a hard slap. The wrestlers traded punches. MJF poked the eyes of Starks. Moments later, Starks speared MJF, but he came up hold his left arm after performing the move. Starks crawled over and draped his arm over MJF, who then countered into his Salt of the Earth armbar. Starks reached for the ropes. MJF stood up and grapevined Starks.

Starks nearly reached the ropes with his hand. MJF hooked the arm. Starks nearly reached the ropes with his foot. MJF hooked the leg. Starks finally used his free foot to touch the bottom rope to break the hold in a fun spot. A short time later, Starks caught MJF with a superkick. Starks went for his finisher, but MJF escaped and then put the referee in front of him. When Starks moved the referee out of the way, MJF kicked Starks in the balls. MJF put Starks in an inside cradle and scored the pin.

MJF defeated Ricky Starks in 15:50 to retain the AEW World Championship.

After the match, MJF headed up the stage, but he stopped when Bryan Danielson’s entrance music played. Danielson came out and chased MJF to ringside. MJF hopped the barricade and ran up the steps. Danielson entered the ring and pointed at MJF, who held up his title belt in the crowd. Danielson helped Starks to his feet and then raised his arm while Excalibur hyped segments for Rampage and Dynamite to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A good main event. The crowd was generous with the “awesome” chants because there were some clunky moments, but there was more good than bad. The finish was strong in that it works for MJF’s cheating heel character while also letting Starks save face. Obviously, Danielson appears to be next in line, but the match finish was done in a way that will let them revisit MJF vs. Starks whenever they choose.

Overall, there were some frustrating moments, but I liked the overall show. AEW did a much better job of playing up the main event consistently throughout the night. Jericho taking the upset loss was really fun. It was also encouraging to see the company try to set up the Rampage matches rather than just announcing them without any story. They even provided a tease for Hangman Page showing up to confront Moxley on Friday night. I will have more to say about the show in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Dynamite by grading the show below.

AEW Dynamite Poll: Grade the December 14 Winter is Coming edition

pollcode.com free polls


Readers Comments (6)

  1. Was this show held at the Sportatorium?

    Saying “the crowd responded” isn’t necessary at an AEW show. While their fan base may be small they are extremely enthusiastic. That often makes this show watchable

    When he wrestles a standard match you can tell MJF was well trained. He reminds me a lot of Larry Z (and I mean that as a compliment)

  2. AEW just doesn’t have IT anymore, there’s zero star power

  3. THEGREATESTTHREE December 15, 2022 @ 1:45 am

    Jericho needs to start wearing a shirt.

    Barnett works 3 Wednesdays a year

  4. I don’t understand why they had to make this match for the Diamond Ring as well. Having two matches and letting Starks win the ring would have been a far better way of building up a star in Ricky Starks, while also allowing MJF to move on to Danielson.

  5. Adam Page’s character deserves no sympathy. He isn’t medically cleared, but yet continues to pick fights with Jon Moxley. It makes him appear more stupid and idiotic than brave/heroic. People keep vilifying Moxley for slamming Page’s thick skull into the ring post, but this was after Page once again launched an unprovoked attack and Moxley was acting in self defense.

  6. Page at least to me comes across as an angry and bitter heel here. He just won’t let it go and keeps coming after and blaming Moxley for something he (Page) was in large part equally responsible for. He got in the ring with Moxley and he got hurt, he wanted to fight Moxley over getting hurt months ago and he got hurt again notice a pattern here?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.