Pac def. Eddie Kingston
I wasn't sure how well these two would work together, but this ended up being an enjoyable outing. It was hard-hitting when it needed to be and I was glad The Lucha Brothers and The Butcher and The Blade didn't interfere. Even though Pac won clean, it looks like the feud will continue based on what went afterward between the factions and with Pac and Lance Archer teasing tension. I don't know if anyone in this program is supposed to be babyface, but at least the matches have held my attention.
Miro def. Chuck Taylor
The stipulation stated that if Miro won, Taylor would have to be Miro's butler until the wedding of Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford next month. The outcome was obvious the moment this match was announced, but it gave Miro a decisive win and should make for some fun segments in the coming weeks. It's a smart use of Taylor with Trent out for the foreseeable future. I'm sure Miro vs. Orange Cassidy will be the endgame, likely at the February's pay-per-view.
Inner Circle Gave Their New Year's Resolutions
Most of Inner Circle's segments tend to be hit or miss, but this was pretty funny for the most part, mostly because of MJF. The stuff with the new year's resolutions was dumb, but the rest of the segment played out as it should have with the group bickering with each other and laying the groundwork for next week's three-way tag team match. It will be Chris Jericho and MJF vs. Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager vs. Santana and Ortiz. It's about time that Santana and Ortiz took exception to Jericho joining the tag team ranks, which they've been a part of since the start.
The Elite (AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and Impact World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers) def. Danny Limelight and Varisty Blondes
You had to know exactly where this was going when The Elite were advertised as being in action but The Young Bucks were never shown in the graphic. This was obviously designed to drive a wedge between Young Bucks and Omega, but I'm not sure why they wouldn't already have an issue with how he's been acting lately. It was an extended squash with the heels picking up the dominant victory. The most interesting thing to come out of the post-match brawl was Lucha Brothers laying out Young Bucks. I was disappointed Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns didn't appear as they'll be facing Omega and Good Brothers this Saturday at IMPACT's Hard to Kill pay-per-view.
Jade Cargill Confronted Cody Rhodes on The Waiting Room Hosted by Britt Baker
The Waiting Room has become way more bearable these past few months than it was when it first started as Baker has grown into the host role. Rhodes was fine here, but I couldn't care less about his ongoing issues with Cargill. I thought that was dropped when Brandi Rhodes got pregnant? I guess the brawl between Cargill and Red Velvet was intended to get me invested, but it failed. There are way more talented women in AEW right now with nothing to do. At least we're getting Baker vs. Thunder Rosa at Beach Break next month.
FTR def. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt)
We don't normally see Stunt in action on Dynamite, so while he does nothing for me personally, it was a nice change of pace to have him in there for once alongside Jungle Boy. The story of this match was that he wanted to get revenge on FTR for picking on him but was ultimately unsuccessful. It was entertaining while it lasted, but it felt like filler because I'm not sure where either team go from here.
NWA World Women's Champion Serena Deeb def. Tay Conti
I'm probably blanking here, but have we heard from Deeb at all since she signed with AEW? I know she's the champion for the NWA women's division and not AEW, but she's still on Dynamite a fair amount and should be given the time to cut a promo. Otherwise, this was a well-wrestled match and Conti continues to show signs of improvement. I don't think she's an official member of The Dark Order yet, but maybe she'll consider it coming off this loss.
AEW TNT Champion Darby Allin def. FTW Champion Brian Cage (FTW Championship Wasn't Defended)
I absolutely loved the video package produced for this match. It detailed the history these two have had dating back to last April, which is impressive. It had a big fight feel and I've been looking forward to this for a while. As expected, they worked wonderfully together. It was basically one long squash with Cage annihilating Allin all over the place. I almost felt guilty for enjoying it because some of the bumps Allin took were brutal. Sting thwarting Ricky Starks' interference at ringside made sense, though the moment would have meant more if he didn't appear on every episode of Dynamite in the last month. Less is more with Sting. That said, the inevitable Sting and Allin team-up should be special.
Night 1 of New Year's Smash was slightly superior to Night 2 in my opinion, but this was still a solid show on the whole. The opening and closing matches were the highlights of the night and it was cool seeing Omega and The Good Brothers back in action together. Even the NWA World Women's title match was a treat and everything else at least served a purpose. Several storylines are moving along nicely, but the card on tap for next week doesn't look too enticing on paper.