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Date: January 4, 2023
Location: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, Taz

We’re in a new year and the big story is a new look for the show. That is somewhat long overdue and the question is will AEW have a good show to back it up. The likely main event is Samoa Joe defending the TNT Title against hometown boy Darby Allin in a rematch from a few weeks back. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence, with remixed themed song.

There is a new set with new graphics.

Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Starks

Feeling out process to start with Starks slapping him in the face and pounding away in the corner. Starks does a rather length Old School but gets knocked to the apron. The triangle dropkick is broken up though and Jericho suplexes him off the apron as we take a break. Back with Starks hitting a running clothesline to leave both of them down.

Starks grabs a sitout powerbomb for two, blocks the Codebreaker and hits a superkick for two. Jericho is right back with the Walls so he goes to the rope, only to have one of the Society member knock him silly with a foreign object. The referee gets two arm drops before Starks is up again. Jericho tries a running something but gets caught in a tornado DDT. Starks drops the Society and hits the spear for the pin at 12:41.

Result: Ricky Starks b. Chris Jericho – Spear (12:41)

Post match the beatdown is on with the rest of the Society coming in, only to have Action Andretti make the save. Anna Jay and Tay Melo come in for the low blow though and the beatdown is on again. Starks gets powerbombed off the apron through a table.

Here is Hangman Page for an update on his medical condition. He can’t give us the good news that he is cleared, but he can pass one more brain scan before next week and fight Jon Moxley then. Cue Moxley, who says he is tired of the candlelight vigil for Page. He also seems sick of thinking that the mic isn’t on (though we can hear it at home, including him dropping an F bomb about it). Moxley: “Let’s go Seahawks. Ok let’s get this back on track.”

Page talks about being knocked out by everyone from enemies to his best friends. Moxley has been making jokes about everything though and thinks it’s because Moxley is scared. That’s why Page is here right now and he has two in the chamber for Moxley. That doesn’t work with Moxley, who says Page doesn’t belong in the ring with him, and next week, he’ll make sure Page doesn’t get back up.

Video on Samoa Joe, who is ready for Darby Allin.

Tag Team Titles: Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal vs. Acclaimed

The Acclaimed is defending, with Max Caster talking about how Jarrett is going to blame the loss on Dixie Carter because TNA means Total Nonstop Acclaimed. Billy Gunn, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh are all here too as Caster jumps over Lethal to start and kicks him a few times. The running Fameasser from behind drops Lethal and Scissor Me Timbers hits Lethal again. Jarrett breaks up the big scissoring though and it’s Scissor Me Timbers for him too.

Back up and Lethal slides outside to slap Gunn in the face, which is enough to draw him inside. That’s enough for the ejection and we take a break. Back with Lethal grabbing a chinlock on Bowens, only to miss Hail To the King. Bowens hits some suplexes and it’s back to Caster for the house cleaning, including a dive to Lethal on the floor. A high crossbody gets two on Lethal with Jarrett making the save. Caster gets shoved off the top so it’s a Figure Four to Bowens.

Singh and Dutt get caught going after Caster so they’re out as well, which is enough for Lethal to let go of Bowens’ leg. The Stroke hits Bowens instead and Lethal covers but Bowens gets his foot on the rope….which Dutt shoves off for the pin. Hold on though as here is Aubrey Edwards to say not so fast, meaning the match continues. In the chaos, Bowens rolls Lethal up to retain at 12:01.

Result: Acclaimed b. Jay Lethal/Jeff Jarrett – Rollup to Lethal (12:01)

We get a sitdown interview with Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter. They aren’t worried about whoever Saraya has as her partner because they are AEW originals. How does Saraya not know who her partner is yet? It doesn’t matter because Britt is the pillar and Jamie is the killer.

Jungle Boy is ready for the Firm and has Hook with him.

Bryan Danielson vs. Tony Nese

Mark Sterling and Josh Woods are here with Nese and the fans go NUTS for Danielson. A distraction lets Nese take him into the corner for the Running Nese and a near fall. Danielson fires off the kicks in the corner to set up the YES Kicks but the big one is blocked. Nese hits a not so great buckle bomb but misses the Running Nese this time. The running knee knocks Nese silly and Danielson stomps him unconscious. The Regal Stretch makes the referee stop it to give Danielson the win at 3:23.

Result: Bryan Danielson b. Tony Nese – Regal Stretch (3:23)

Post match Danielson says he’s glad to be home and calls out MJF. Cue MJF to say he isn’t coming out there and wrestle Danielson right now. MJF doesn’t care about wrestling like this but doesn’t think much of Danielson anyway. If Lance Storm and Dean Malenko could procreate, it would still be more interesting than him.

MJF mocks Danielson’s mother having relations with a goat, but Danielson has heard MJF’s mother had enough male suitors to fill this arena. MJF: “THAT’S NOT FUNNY!” MJF says marks like these fans have anointed Danielson, but people like Disco Inferno, Eric Bischoff, “and the smartest man of them all, and my #1 fan, Jim Cornette” have put MJF over. Danielson is ready to fight but MJF backs away, saying Danielson has to become #1 contender. Fans: “SHUT THE F*** UP!” MJF: “No.”

MJF has talked to Tony Khan, who said that Danielson has to win a match every week until February 8 to get the title shot at Revolution. Danielson: “No.” He’ll just wrestle when he wants, become #1 contender the title and win when he feels like it. That sends MJF over the edge, promising to have Mark Sterling filibuster. Danielson: “Mark Sterling is a horrible lawyer.” He wants a stipulation of his own, so let’s have a one hour Iron Man match. Schiavone: “DO IT DUMBA**, DO IT!” The match is on….but MJF says Danielson still has to win until February 8. Danielson says MJF doesn’t have what it takes and promises to run the gauntlet and win the title.

Video on Kip Sabian vs. Orange Cassidy.

AR Fox vs. Swerve Strickland

Mogul Affiliates are here with Swerve. Fox is sent to the apron and drops to the floor, with Swerve flipping through the ropes so an Affiliates distraction can ensue. Swerve takes him down on the floor and we take an early break. Back with Swerve grabbing a suplex for two but Fox fights out of the corner. A basement cutter sets up another cutter to plant Swerve, setting up a 450 for two. Fox gets caught on top and pulled back down though, setting up the Swerve Stomp for the pin at 9:12.

Result: Swerve Strickland b. AR Fox – Swerve Stomp (9:12)

Saraya, with Toni Storm and Hikaru Shida, won’t announce her partner for next week. She talks about how great AEW’s women’s division has been…and then picks Storm as her partner. Shida looks stunned.

Here are the Gunns for the FTRIP funeral. We hear about how FTR won a bunch of titles, save for the AEW Tag Team Titles. Then they lost them, because the Gunns are just better. After the Gunns fake out the FTR entrance, they promise FTR will never wrestle here again.

Video on the Elite vs. Death Triangle Best Of Seven series, with the finals next week.

Jade Cargill/Red Velvet vs. Skye Blue/Kiera Hogan

Velvet and Blue wrestle to the mat to start but neither can get anywhere. Hogan is brought in to take Velvet down, much to Cargill’s annoyance. Blue comes back in and kicks away, setting up a DDT to drop Hogan again. We take a break and come back with Velvet suplexing her way out of trouble. Cargill comes in to kick away though and Hogan is right back in trouble. Velvet comes in and has to suplex her way to freedom, meaning it’s back to Cargill coming in for some kicks. Cargill plants Hogan again so Velvet walks, leaving Cargill to get rolled up for two. The pump kick finishes Hogan at 6:43.

Result: Jade Cargill/Red Velvet b. Skye Blue/Kiera Hogan – Pump kick to Hogan (6:43)

Here’s what is coming on various shows, including Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal vs. the Acclaimed for the Tag Team Titles, No DQ.

Jarrett and Lethal are ready.

TNT Title: Samoa Joe vs. Darby Allin

Allin, the hometown boy, is challenging and dives on Joe before the belly. A skateboard shot to the back rocks Joe and Allin gets in another shot to the back for a bonus. Allin climbs a ladder and hits the huge flip dive, only to come up holding his knee. We get the opening bell to start the match and Joe drops Allin hard onto the steps.

Back from a break with Allin going for a choke, only to have Joe drop back down onto him. Joe kicks him in the chest for two and crushes Allin in the corner. Allin tries to drive him into the corner but Joe rips the turnbuckle pad off. The Koquina Clutch goes on but Allin flips over into a cradle for two. The flipping Stunner is countered into another Koquina Clutch but Allin sends him into the exposed buckle. Back to back Coffin Drops give Allin the pin and the title at 8:50.

Result: Darby Allin b. Samoa Joe – Coffin Drop (8:50)

Post match Sting comes out for the big celebration and Allin gets to pose to end the show.

Ricky Starks b. Chris Jericho – Spear
Acclaimed b. Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal – Rollup to Lethal
Bryan Danielson b. Tony Nese – Regal Stretch
Swerve Strickland b. AR Fox – Swerve Stomp
Jade Cargill/Red Velvet b. Skye Blue/Kiera Hogan – Pump kick to Hogan
Darby Allin b. Samoa Joe – Coffin Drop

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