AEW Dynamite: Holiday Bash 2022 Preview For December 21st
Last week in Garland, TX was another memorable night in one of AEW's favorite cities! The Elite went down 3-1 in their Best of 7 Series with Death Triangle, leading to this 5th bout coming under No DQ rules, while AEW World Champion MJF had to go low in order to defeat “Absolute” Ricky Starks and retain both the Dynamite Diamond Ring and the most prestigious championship in professional wrestling today. We also witnessed “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry best Brian Cage, only to be assaulted by Lee Moriarty and Big Bill, and then find himself standing shoulder-to-shoulder with FTW Champion HOOK!
House of Black returned to action by decimating The Factory, The Best Friends and Dustin Rhodes won their RAMPAGE main event in decisive fashion, just as Jon Moxley smashed Sammy Guevara down to open Friday night's program!Wardlow and “The King of Television” Samoa Joe set a date for their meeting on December 28th at NEW YEAR'S SMASH 2022, and Action Andretti scored the biggest upset in AEW history when he pinned Chris Jericho cleanly in the center of the ring!
It all set the stage for AEW coming back to San Antonio, TX this Wednesday night for DYNAMITE: HOLIDAY BASH 2022, featuring the fifth match in the Best of 7 Series between Death Triangle and The Elite, and this one will be No Disqualification! Plus, Jamie Hayter defends her AEW Women's World Championship against the greatest champion to hold the title, Hikaru Shida, while FTR finally gets their hands on The Gunns!
We will also hear from Ricky Starks and Bryan Danielson, Swerve and Keith Lee will have a face-to-face meeting, and we will once again open The Book of Hobbs! It all begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for international audiences.
The official AEW YouTube channel is essential viewing to get prepared for the week of action; it's the home for the latest editions of AEW DARK, AEW DARK: ELEVATION, ROAD TO, and THE CONTROL CENTER with Tony Schiavone, as well as highlights from previous episodes of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE!
MATCH 5/BEST OF 7 SERIES: NO DISQUALIFICATIONS...
(3)Death Triangle (PAC, Penta El Zero Miedo, & Rey Fenix)
(1)The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson)
By its very nature, wrestling is inherently violent, a physical contest involving striking another human, attempts to permanently damage the body parts of another, and possibly render them unconscious, all in attempt to garner a three count pinfall, a submission, or a referee stoppage. Violence comes with the territory, occasionally even blood, this is something every wrestler knows and is prepared to deal with, but every so often that violence spills into a realm beyond the standard pro wrestling definition, and we end up in the realm where this Best of 7 Series has arrived.
All for the want of a hammer...
“The Bastard” PAC introduced this implement into the squared circle quite some time ago, and has used it to bless the skulls of several foes including Orange Cassidy, Danhausen, and now The Elite. It's been a pivotal part of every match thus far in the series, but perhaps not more so than in the last contest where Penta El Zero Miedo smashed it into Nick Jackson's injured ankle to secure the victory for his team. It's the kind of injury that was potentially bad enough on its own, the trainers did take a look at the ankle mid-match but Nick ultimately returned to the ring to try assisting his trio. So rather than an injury that could've healed, The Elite are stuck with one likely exacerbated by the hammer attack, and now they've got to fight through a No Disqualification match in order to avoid elimination from what many expected to be a series of athletic contests.
Coming back from a 3-1 deficit is going to be tough, no matter what stipulation is laid on a match, it means Kenny, Matt, and Nick have to be perfect for three consecutive matches. They have to fight as flawlessly as possible because any slip-up could be the one that costs them everything. Three fights to victory, back-to-back-to-back wins, it's something The Elite have done before, winning eight straight Trios bouts before FULL GEAR 2022, albeit not against the same trios in consecutive fights. Meanwhile, all Death Triangle needs is one opening, one mistake, one slip that opens up The Elite to being put away for good. One match, one three count, one submission; that's all Death Triangle needs to end this and they've already proven three times over they can do it, they just need one more match...
AEW WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP...
Jamie Hayter(c) vs. Hikaru Shida
It's well-established that Hikaru Shida is statistically the best AEW Women's World Champion in the three year history of the title. She defended it more times than any other woman, and at 372 days is the longest-reigning champion as well. Obviously fans can debate who their personal favorite champion is, and every woman who's held the title would likely claim they are the greatest, but in terms of pure numbers, no one did it as long as or as good as Hikaru Shida.
Unfortunately Shida has not been able to recapture the championship since being dethroned by Dr. Britt Baker at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021, in fact she's only had two opportunities to become the first 2-Time Women's World Champion, and both of those took place in the fall of 2022. The first came at ALL OUT 2022 when she, Toni Storm, Baker, and Jamie Hayter fought to fill the vacancy caused by Thunder Rosa's injury, and the second took place six weeks later between Toni, the woman who won that Four Way, and Shida. Neither resulted in a Shida victory, only serving to fuel her hunger to reclaim the championship.
Enter: Jamie Hayter. “The Killer”, as Dr. Baker has referred to her, is new to this role as AEW Women's World Champion, having just captured the title at FULL GEAR 2022 from Toni Storm, and making her first defense this Wednesday night at HOLIDAY BASH 2022 against Shida. But while she's a neophyte champion in AEW, she's far from new to the game, and Jamie Hayter is going to bring the fight to Shida like few foes Hikaru has faced in her time with All Elite Wrestling. Hayter is powerful, heavy-handed, and hungry to establish herself as the best champion AEW has ever seen, and with the Good Doctor and Rebel in her corner, there's a strong possibility Jamie can do just that.
She just has to make it past Shida, a woman who knows Dr. Britt Baker and Rebel better than anyone in AEW, to begin establishing herself as champion. Will AEW see its first 2-Time Women's World Champion this Wednesday night in San Antonio or will Jamie Hayter rise up as the dominant woman in All Elite Wrestling?
TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH...
AAA & IWGP Tag Team Champions FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood)
The Gunns (Austin & Colten)
How long did Austin and Colten Gunn think they could continue to poke the bear before the bear ripped open their guts? Were they hoping that putting collars on those bears at FINAL BATTLE 2022 would soften them up for the kill? Did they pray that assaulting those bears after they'd been beaten to a pulp would make them weak enough to crawl in their cave to die?
If so, The Gunns clearly haven't been paying attention to those bears, nor did they learn a single lesson from the March 30th DYNAMITE, from BLOOD & GUTS 2022, or from DYNAMITE at The Forum back in June. Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood, as long as there is breath in their body and doctors willing to give them clearance, they will fight until they collapse. Broken bones, blood, bruises; none of it will keep them out of the fight, and sometime, like at FB '22, it even seems to fuel them to fight harder. Those animals are what Colten and Austin Gunn have actually unleashed upon themselves in their quest to desecrate the legacy of FTR.
All that taken into consideration, it is still a reality that both Cash and Dax are walking into San Antonio quite beat up from the Double Dog Collar brutality with The Briscoes just ten days ago. They have not had enough time to get close to 100%, not that any regularly active wrestler is ever at 100%, but they are not at their peak by any means. The Gunns are hoping to pick the bones left by Jay and Mark, but may find they've bitten off more than they can safely chew. The mockery of fake mustaches and faux title belts, the antics that cost FTR their #1 Contenders match with Swerve In Our Glory, and even their intrusion into FTR meet and greets, it has all led to this point in San Antonio where The Gunns are going to get what they've been searching for all these weeks: a fight with FTR.
After failing to reach FTR standards on their previous collisions, have Austin and Colten finally leveled up enough to go toe-to-toe with Dax and Cash? Or is it more a matter of dragging FTR down a few levels as a result of the Double Dog Collar?
“Absolute” Ricky Starks got absolutely screwed last week in his AEW World Championship match with MJF, but it likely comes as no surprise to Starks, as it doesn't to the AEW faithful, just how Max went about achieving his victory. MJF had no answer for Ricky last week in Garland thus why he resorted to that swift kick to the nether regions to retain the championship and the Dynamite Diamond Ring. Ricky was the better man that night, he just got shafted because he was facing a worse human being.
This week in San Antonio, the AEW faithful will hear from “Absolute” live in the aftermath of that bout with Maxwell Jacob Friedman, and Ricky Starks will no doubt have some venom to spit at MJF. We've all heard how raw Starks can be when that microphone is in his hand, do not miss out on what he will have to say this Wednesday on TBS!
“THE AMERICAN DRAGON”...
It did not come as a surprise to anyone, save MJF himself, that “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson had his sights squarely set on Maxwell Jacob Friedman last week in Garland. After MJF found a way to skate out of the match with Ricky Starks still the AEW World Champion, Danielson was waiting in the wings to take a shot at Max, and the rat that is MJF scurrying away to safety. If he wasn't such an arrogant monster, perhaps Max would've expected retaliation from Danielson for the attack he perpetrated on William Regal several weeks ago. Given the close relationship between the two men, if anyone in The BCC was going to seek retaliation, it would be “The American Dragon” and now this week we will hear from him live during DYNAMITE: HOLIDAY BASH 2022!
THE BOOK OF HOBBS...
Over the last several weeks, fans have been privy to a new chapter in The Book of Hobbs being opened up for their enlightenment, and each has let us a little deeper into just what made Powerhouse into the man he is today. This week during HOLIDAY BASH 2022, The Book will be opened up once more, and fans will experience the next chapter in the tale of Will Hobbs. What will be learned this Wednesday night in San Antonio?
Ring of Honor's FINAL BATTLE 2022 could have been a night where Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee finally got past all of their drama, their inner squabbling, and came together to defeat the Shane Taylor Promotions combination of Shane Taylor and JD Griffey. Instead, what it ended up being was Keith Lee finding a way to defeat STP, specifically Griffey, on his own after Swerve walked out on the match just as Lee did to him at AEW's FULL GEAR 2022 event a few weeks prior. The one saw Swerve lose an AEW World Tag Team Championship match while the other saw Lee find a way to persevere to victory.
But none of it led to their internal struggles being settled, they clearly have only gotten worse with each passing match in which they try to get on the same page, and that is why this week on DYNAMITE, Keith and Swerve will have themselves a little face-to-face to try and hash out their issues. Can these former World Tag Team Champions get back on the same page and back to the title hunt? Or have fans seen the death of one of AEW's best teams?
And we just learned that “The Boss” Rick Ross will be back in AEW this Wednesday night to serve as a mediator for the meeting. Last time fans saw Ross on DYNAMITE, he was clearly in the camp of Swerve Strickland so can be be relied upon to remain impartial on this night in San Antonio?
The Elite try to stave off elimination in the next chapter of their Best of 7 Series with Death Triangle, Hikaru Shida tries to reclaim the AEW Women's World Championship, and FTR has their sights set on The Gunn boys when AEW comes back to San Antonio, TX and the Freeman Coliseum this Wednesday night! In addition, Bryan Danielson and Ricky Starks both have something to get off their chest, the men of Swerve In Our Glory will have a face-to-face chat, and The Books of Hobbs will be opened once more!
DYNAMITE comes your way live on TBS starting at 8pm ET/7pm CT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for international audiences, and be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for the best place to get up to speed with the latest action from DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as recent editions of AEW DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, and ROAD TO!