It’s Christmas Eve and you know what you need plenty of on that day (it was when this episode aired anyways.) No, it’s not milk, cookies, copious amounts of booze or presents, it’s wrestling. Luckily, AEW Dark had that covered as they put together a holiday special episode featuring some high impact matches to compliment the Holiday season. Look basically this episode was a joy to watch so I’m calling it AEW’s Christmas gift to its audience. Not to mention it was way more substantial than their actual Christmas announcement… Let’s get into it, shall we?

Sammy Guevara vs Brandon Cutler

Colt Cabana joined commentary regular Excalibur to call tonight’s action, starting with the bout between The Spanish God, Sammy Guevara against the D n D themed Brandon Cutler. Cutler was still trying to prove that he belonged in the ring as well as behind the scenes. Guevara was looking to get his first win and prove Jericho was right to put faith in him. Either way at the end of this match one of these men would be walking away with their first win. That man would be Guevara as he was able to put Cutler away with what looked like a Reverse GTS. However, it did not come easy as Cutler forced Guevara to not only kick out of numerous surprise pinfalls but also had some very hard-hitting moves hidden in his arsenal. Both men had spent the match trading strikes, kicks and flying moves with Guevara’s arrogance nearly costing him on multiple occasions. When you spend more time taunting your opponent and the crowd, you definitely run the risk of getting distracted and blindsided. Luckily for Guevara he was able to power through, power out or just avoid the offence Cutler wanted to throw. The guy had a lot of heart but unfortunately couldn’t pull out a win. It was a nice showing for him though with Guevara just being the stronger and smarter competitor.

TH2 vs Proud N Powerful vs Private Party vs Best Friends (w/Orange Cassidy)

What a selection of teams to throw into a match together. Three fan favourite teams (as no one can hate Santana and Ortiz) and a pair of jaded pros in Angelico and Jack Evans. This was going to be a chaos of the best type. That’s just what you got. It started with Santana and Marq Quen of Private Party showing some speed and agility then Trent and Jack Evans mixing it up. This controlled approach broke down quick with all four teams brawling it out with the heels wanting to work together and the faces trying to hug before it was broken up. Eventually, Isiah Cassidy was singled out and worked over first by Santana and Ortiz then by TH2. He had to fight through strings of double team offence before mounting a comeback and causing another wave of chaotic everyone fights everyone action. Proud N Powerful tried to go for a ladder at one point but when they went for it, they found Orange Cassidy lying on it. Seeing this, they just pushed it back under the ring. Cassidy would make another appearance by jumping in on everyone with a Hands in Pockets Splash. Inevitably this match came down to Proud N Powerful vs Private Party with Santana overpowering the pair and Ortiz using a ref distraction to mad ball everyone who wasn’t in the ring, including Orange Cassidy. A low blow and Street Sweeper later and the match was won. Chalk another one up in the win column for Proud N Powerful. It wasn’t a clean win but in a 4-Way bout you do what you have to do. The best team won and the Inner Circle continued its winning streak for the night.

After that, PAC was scheduled for an interview but claimed he had a special guest to introduce. He wandered back to the tunnel and picked up the unconscious body of Michael Nakazawa. PAC had threatened to beatdown Nakazawa as a means to get to Kenny Omega. PAC threw him into the ring, stomped him down and nearly broke his neck with a chair. He had wrapped it around Nakazawa’s head and was going to stomp on it from the second rope but relented, instead he offered Kenny one final warning and demanded his rubber match.

Joey Janela vs Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard)

Shawn Spears started the match with a promo. He talked about the Christmas spirit and decided he would tell a young fan the truth about Christmas. He was about to claim Santa Claus isn’t real when Janela came out dressed like Santa. I guess Santa needs to put himself on the naughty list this year? The Christmas cheer didn’t last as Spears attacked Janela from behind. The pair brawled but Janela was able to recoup and we saw Santa perform a Suicide Dive this night. He removed his coat and the pair fought some more. Spears regained the upper hand but when he went for the Diving Elbow Janela kept rolling out of the way. A frustrated Spears ended up giving up on the move and flipping off the crowd instead. He was distracted enough for Joey who took him outside and flew into him off a chair. Joey then conversed with Jesus in the crowd, gaining forgiveness and getting told what to do about Spears. It led to Janela nearly attacking Tully but Spears saved him and once again looks set to dominate but Janela hit a series of Lariats and wins with an Elbow Drop. Janela got a big win and some spiritual guidance at the same time. He looked to be the bigger man and offered to share White Claws with Spears but instead, hit a Reverse Stone Cold as Santa hit a Stunner and downed both White Claws himself. It was a goofy, fun but enjoyable end to the AEW year. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing Janela get a win? Actually, don’t answer that…

So, there you have it, another AEW Dark reviewed for your reading pleasure. It was a fun show that had no recap and 3 excellent matches. The tag bout stole the show but I do love seeing Janela in action and him getting a win over a big baddie. It was a light-hearted episode full of great wrestling action and fun moments with none of the fluff usually attributed to Dark episode. Plus, we got to see PAC nearly kill a guy, that has to be worth something? Guevara got his first win with the company and Proud N Powerful kept the Inner Circle in wins. The big feel-good moment came from Janela who proved that Santa Claus can always best a Grinch.


All images courtesy of AEW Twitter, Javier DraVen Twitter, AEW YouTube

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