The TNT-era of AEW Dynamite will come to an end when the promotion presents its New Year’s Smash show live from Jacksonville, Florida on December 29th. Starting January 5th, 2022, AEW Dynamite will be airing on TBS.
And the channel isn’t the only thing that has changed in AEW.
There is a new (but not really) TNT Champion, as Cody Rhodes knocked of Sammy Guevara on the Holiday Bash episode of Rampage, to become the first-ever three-time champion in AEW.
Kyle O’Reilly made his All Elite Wrestling debut on the Holiday Bash episode of Dynamite, attacking Orange Cassidy and gift wrapping a win for Adam Cole.
This was followed by a tense staredown between Cole and O’Reilly, not to mention the uneasiness of all involved when the Young Bucks showed up as well.
Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly ended up leaving the ring area together, but there is still a lot to sort out with this story.
And then there is Sting.
The man continues to defy age, and at age 62, Sting continues to raise the bar of what he is capable of each and every outing.
And watching CM Punk, a man who has accomplished so much in professional wrestling, not be able to quit smiling at the realization that he was sharing the ring with “The Icon” spoke volumes to the fact that Sting is still a main-event player, albeit only in a tag team or cinematic match scenario.
We also got some great news that JR will be back at the announce desk for the New Year’s Smash show as he has completed his current round of treatment for skin cancer.
No matter your thoughts on JR, it is always a great story when someone is able to continue doing what they love in the face of such a horrific disease.
With Jim Ross back in tow, AEW Dynamite will look to finish 2021 and the TNT era on a high note with a show that will set the promotion up to carry the momentum forward in 2022.
What can we expect from the announced matches at AEW Dynamite: New Year’s Smash?
Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz vs Daniel Garcia & 2.0
The hostilities between Daniel Garcia and Eddie Kingston will continue this week on Dynamite when Santana and Ortiz team up with Kingston to take on Garcia and 2.0.
Daniel Garcia and 2.0 teamed with the Acclaimed a couple of weeks ago and picked up an upset win over Kingston, Santana, Ortiz, and the Lucha Bros.
Garcia and 2.0 have been pleasant surprises since joining AEW and have been trusted in some very high-profile spots. And the trio has consistently delivered high-quality matches.
Plus there is something about 2.0 that just makes you want to punch them. And that is said in the most complimentary way possible as that is exactly the emotions that Matt Lee and Jeff Parker are trying to elicit from the AEW fanbase.
Santana and Ortiz are a great team that just can’t seem to get out of other people’s storylines in AEW. After years of backing Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle, the duo now finds themselves as the backup for Eddie Kingston.
At some point, the duo needs to get into a program that allows them to climb the AEW tag-team ladder. Hopefully, that will take place after they help Kingston dispatch their foes on New Year’s Smash. Winners: Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz
Thunder Rosa vs Jade Cargill in a TBS Title Tournament Semifinal
One side of the tournament final is set as Ruby Soho was able to get by Nyla Rose on the Holiday Bash episode of Dynamite last week.
And that sets the stage for quite likely the most anticipated match of this tournament to date when Jade Cargill takes on Thunder Rosa.
The thing that makes this match so intriguing is that it is an absolute toss-up as to who is going to win it.
It would make sense for AEW to put the TBS Title on any one of the three women left in the tournament as they all would be credible champions.
It just depends on what story the promotion wants to tell.
Jade Cargill has looked unstoppable in her handful of matches in AEW. And picking up wins over Thunder Rosa and Ruby Soho would build a ton of credibility if Tony Khan decided to make Cargill the inaugural TBS Champion.
However, AEW has another budding superstar in Thunder Rosa. Rosa’s popularity seems to grow on a weekly basis and she arguably had the match of the year in the lights-out match with Britt Baker.
And in Soho, we have the undersized scrapper that was not given a first-round bye, but still managed to fight her way into the tournament finals.
The way this should go is Mark Sterling causes a distraction that allows Cargill to score the win over Thunder Rosa, setting up a finals tournament match between Ruby Soho and Jade Cargill.
This also frees up Thunder Rosa to set her eyes on Britt Baker, and most likely become the next AEW Women’s Champion. Winner: Jade Cargill
Orange Cassidy & Best Friends vs Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly
Last week’s Holiday Bash episode of Dynamite gave us the debut AEW debut of the one and only, Kyle O’Reilly.
O’Reilly showed up and helped his old pal, Adam Cole score a victory in his match with Orange Cassidy. And while Cole and O’Reilly seem to have some unsettled differences they will team up this week with Bobby Fish to take on Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends in a 6 man tag team match.
There shouldn’t be much doubt about who is going over in this match as all signs point towards setting up for an Elite vs Undisputed Era showdown once Kenny Omega returns.
The question that needs to be answered in this match is more about the relationship between O’Reilly and Cole, and whether or not they are on the same page.
There are only two ways that Best Friends and Orange Cassidy sneak out of this match with a win. And that is if either Cole and O’Reilly can’t work as a team or if the Young Bucks come out and cause a distraction.
And while it seems all but certain that O’Reilly and Cole will have some tense moments during this match, the smart money says that they are able to get along well enough to pick up the victory. Winners: Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly