AEW Dynamite Holiday Bash was broadcast live from Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina on December 22, 2021. This year’s edition of Holiday Bash promised a great card. The matches announced in advance were Malakai Black v. Griff Garrison, Nyla Rose v. Ruby Soho met in the semifinal of the TBS Championship tournament, Orange Cassidy v. Adam Cole, a trios match pitting MJF & FTR of The Pinnacle v. CM Punk, Darby Allin & Sting, as well as a Christmas Party with Tony Schiavone and Dr. Britt Baker, DMD. In addition to the stacked card, AEW President Tony Khan hinted the fans could expect a surprise.
Orange Cassidy v. Adam Cole – Adam Cole wins by pinfall (The Boom)
Dynamite opened up hot, as is tradition, with Orange Cassidy facing Adam Cole. The match opened with a mandatory “Adam Cole Bay Bay” and the two began a series of chain wrestling before Cole took the upper hand. Cassidy began fighting his way back into the match until the Young Bucks made their way ringside. Best Friends ran out and began brawling with the Bucks. Both teams fought their way back to the backstage area. Back in the ring, Cole and Cassidy traded superkicks and fake-outs before Cole regained the momentum with an Ushigoroshi. Cassidy fought his way back into the match with a diving DDT from the top rope. A counter-air superkick led to him taking a Panama Sunrise from Cole, but Cassidy managed the kickout at 2. Orange caught Cole with a Beach Break for a two count at which point Cole rolled out of the ring. Bobby Fish ran to the ring and distracted referee Bryce Remsburg. Kyle O’Reilly made his AEW debut at this point, attacking Orange Cassidy before rolling out of the ring. Cole entered the ring, hit The Boom, got the cover and proceeded to beat Cassidy down with the assistance of O’Reilly and Fish.
Following the match, the Young Bucks made their way to the ring. They looked disgruntled by the appearance of O’Reilly. The Bucks had a stare-down with O’Reilly, Fish and Cole before the newly reunited trio left the ring.
Segment: Video package promoting Hangman Page v. Bryan Danielson II on the first edition of Dynamite on TBS 1/5/22.
Hangman joined Tony Schiavone in the ring. They talked about Hangman’s draw with Danielson. Hangman talked about his disappointment in not being able to score a decision in his first title defense before being cut off by Danielson. Danielson said he would beat Page on January 5, going so far as to suggest judges be ringside in the event of a draw. Page agreed to the stipulation and the show cut to a segment.
Segment: The Pinnacle in a green room backstage
MJF addresses Wardlow about not protecting him before turning his attention to the camera and CM Punk. He talks about Punk’s nice guy act and seeing through him. Dax Harwood chimed in to hype up their trios match later in the show.
Wardlow v. “Captain” Shawn Dean – Wardlow wins by pinfall (multiple powerbombs)
I feel bad for even having to recap what happened in this match. Wardlow grabbed Shawn Dean, powerbombed him 4 or 5 times (I lost count), and stood on his chest for a merciful 3 count. Shawn Spears ran into the ring post-match to beat on the ghost of Shawn Dean with a chair.
Segment: Video promo of Sammy Guevara v. Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship on Rampage 12/25/21
Segment: Dan Lambert promo w/ Men of the Year
Lambert was back to complain about backstage politics in AEW and Tony Khan’s favoritism of certain talents. He made some remarks about Cody Rhodes as well, which suggests a program between Cody and Men of the Year could be in the pipeline.
Segment: Britt Baker and Tony Schiavone’s Christmas Party
Tony asks Britt about her upcoming match with Riho. Britt talks about 2021 being the year of Britt Baker before dismissing Riho as a challenger.
Segment: Video package in tribute of Owen Hart
Mark Henry and Dustin Rhodes gave some insight into some of the things they learned from Owen. Adam Cole, Shawn Spiers, 2point0, Eddie Kingston and other AEW roster members talked about Owen’s influence on them and their wrestling style.
TBS Championship Semifinal: Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero v. Ruby Soho – Ruby Soho wins by pinfall (No Future kick)
Nyla began the match by attacking Ruby while she posed in the ring. Nyla took control of the match early, utilizing her strength advantage to overpower Ruby’s technical striking. Ruby attempted a poison-rana out of the corner but was caught by Rose, who reversed the move into a modified Alabama slam into the turnbuckle. Rose went right back on the offensive with a guillotine knee and a Beast Bomb, both of which Ruby kicked out of. Nyla went to the top rope again but Soho grabbed her arm and pulled her down into the No Future kick. Rose made the cover and advances to the finals of the TBS Championship Tournament.
Segment: Serena Deeb talks about her dislike of Hikaru Shida
Malakai Black v. Griff Garrison w/ Brian Pillman Jr.
The match opens with Black kicking Griff in the face. Black goes to the outside to walk down Pillman and was hit by a flying Griff. The action spilled back into the ring where Black took control, utilizing his unique mix of kickboxing and submission offense. Black eventually locked in a single-leg crab for the submission win. He held onto the
Segment: Match announcement – Isaiah Cassidy v. Jungle Boy on Rampage 12/25/21
Matt Hardy promotes the match, stating that if Jungle Boy is injured Private Party would move up to #1 in the tag team rankings. The promo cuts to Christian and Jurassic Express who accept the match.
The cards for Rampage 12/25/21 and Dynamite New Year’s Smash 12/29/21 are shown.
MFJ & FTR v. Sting, Darby Allin & CM Punk – Sting, Darby Allin & CM Punk win by pinfall (Coffin Drop)
CM Punk looked very excited for the chance to team with Sting, sporting a Punk-themed take on Sting’s iconic surfer-era face paint. In between spurts of excellent tag team wrestling by FTR and their opponents a larger story was being told of MJF doing anything he could to avoid being in the ring with CM Punk. This included a lengthy run up the stairs of one section, a trip down the concourse, and a run back down to the ring where MJF immediately tagged back out. Darby hit a violent suicide dive as Punk stared down the Pinnacle members on the floor. MJFTR took control for a while before Sting got a hot tag and came in to play the hits, hitting multiple Stinger Splashes on FTR. The Pinnacle members regained control via double teams and interference which led to another hot tag, this time bringing in CM Punk. He ran through FTR while Friedman hid on the outside. FTR held it down for their trio until Sting took over again, sending MJF over the top rope where he had a scary landing on his head. Friedman seemed fine as he was able to get up in time for Sting to dive off the top rope onto him and FTR. Harwood ate a GTS, Scorpion Death Drop and a Coffin Drop before being pinned. Following the match, MJF got hold of a commentary headset to say some unsavory things about CM Punk as the show went off the air.
This was an action-packed Dynamite and AEW delivered on the promise of surprises by debuting Kyle O’Reilly. Rampage will air on a special night this week, falling on Christmas Day at 9pm EST. HOOK will be in action against Bear Bronson and Bodyslam will have live results for the show.