AEW Worlds End 2023 Recap and Review New World Champion

AEW Worlds End 2023 Recap and Review: New World Champion and Devil Revealed – Cageside Seats

AEW Worlds End (December 30, 2023) took place at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, NY. At the PPV, Samoa Joe finished off MJF to win the world title, the Masked Devil was finally revealed, Eddie Kingston proved doubters wrong, Christian Cage outsmarted Adam Copeland and much more.

Find out all the details of Worlds End with the excellent play-by-play by Claire Elizabeth.

Samoa Joe wins the AEW World Championship and the devil is revealed

Wow! Samoa Joe is the new AEW World Champion. I am absolutely shocked. There were many reasons to believe Joe could win, but it's a completely different feeling when you actually see it happen.

And there was also the reveal of the masked devil.

The important things first. Joe came to the ring for the main event. MJF came in second with a sassy intro video that featured Long Island locals celebrating their sleaze.

As MJF enjoyed the cheers, he pointed to the stage. Adam Cole, Bay Bay! His best friend would be at ringside on crutches.

MJF's shoulder was in bad shape and became a direct target for Joe. Joe dismantled MJF piece by piece. MJF recovered a bit with an idea for the kangaroo kick. Joe, don't play that. He caught Maxwell's signature dropkick and sent him flying over the ropes. Joe followed him on a suicide dive.

Back in the ring, Joe delivered a devastating trio of suplexes: German, Dragon and Straitjacket, all raining down with force on the neck and shoulders. Joe obliterated MJF with a musclebuster on the apron for a real “holy shit” moment.

MJF recovered once again, but his kangaroo kick was blocked with a big kick by Joe. When Joe grabbed MJF's neck for a sleeper, Maxwell charged him back into the corner, accidentally crushing the referee in the process. Ref down! A wide smile crossed MJF's face. It was dirty time. MJF delivered a low blow, then lifted Joe into a fireman's carry to execute an F5. MJF made the effort to carry the weight so it seemed like an amazing feat of strength. MJF tiredly put his arm over Joe's chest to retrieve the needle. Precious seconds passed before Bryce Remsburg could start the count. 1, 2, kick out by Joe.

MJF called Cole about the Dynamite Diamond Ring. Cole felt his pockets, looking for the foreign object. Valuable time was wasted before the ring was given to MJF. Meanwhile, Joe stood up and grabbed MJF by the neck, putting him in a chokehold. MJF faded, but he managed to get the top position for a pin. Joe readjusted the choke with body scissors to ensure secure control. MJF was trapped and quickly fading. The referee checked MJF’s arm. 1? Nothing. 2? Nothing. 3? Nothing. Remsburg rang the bell to declare Joe the winner.

The show didn't end there.

After Joe came out with the gold, Cole comforted MJF in the ring. Cole looked guilty for messing up his role in the ring. Uh, oh. The devil's henchmen surrounded the area. They restrained both Cole and MJF with the threat of a chair shot to the head. Lights off, lights on. Cole sat in the chair, flanked by the henchmen. It was now clear that Cole was the devil. When the masks were removed, Roderick Strong, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett and Wardlow emerged. The big man also powerbombed MJF and that was it.

The conclusion at Worlds End was a double whammy. I'm still shocked that Joe is actually the AEW World Champion. This is one of those games that is easier to replay to enjoy the moment. Joe kicked MJF's ass so hard that I just assumed it was the setup for the heroic comeback. This comeback never happened. I have to commend AEW for having the cajones to shake things up. It's a new era for the new year and it opens up a lot of possibilities. This acts as an injection of fresh energy to see what direction AEW is heading for the main event scene.

As for the devil's revelation, you should only pass it on as a moment in time. Cole is injured. Strong and the kingdom were portrayed as fools. And yet they acted like they were tough guys. Without Wardlow, no one would be afraid of them. I buy for a long time though. Cole's explanation promo should be good. I don't believe the nonsense he exhibits when it comes to orchestration, but I'm intrigued by his motivations. MJF has enough material to keep this feud hot for about a year. There are many layers to climb. MJF can win back the ROH tag titles if he wants, and that provides drama in the matchmaking process. MJF has the mid-card boss in Strong, then he has to overcome the heat with Wardlow. MJF could simply bring in a few friends, like the super-strong Alexander Hammerstone, to keep up with Wardlow in the power game. And then there's the showdown with Cole once he's healthy to wrestle. Afterwards, MJF can get revenge on Joe. At some point the stage will be set for the world title once again, and in the meantime, hopefully new stars will be created to carry the main event scene.

Let's go through the rest of the map from top to bottom.

Continental Classic final: Eddie Kingston defeats Jon Moxley. It was a non-stop exchange of blows. Kingston threw numerous spinning fists throughout. On some pins he was too damaged or too slow to capitalize on. On other pins, Moxley was just too hard to stay down. The final sequence was a firefight of heavy blows. Boom! Kingston scored again with a spinning backfist. This time he won. Kingston was awarded the triple crown title belt with the brand new Continental Crown Championship. Moxley then hugged his friend for a happy ending.

This was an exciting war of attrition. Kingston and Moxley beat the crap out of each other. They also mixed in technical strategies, highlighted by Bryan Danielson's analysis of the comments. Danielson did a great job explaining the details of the submission offense and defense. The climax of this fight was insane as the physicality of the punches and slaps put a smile on my face. Aside from winning the AEW World Title, Kingston is now a made man in AEW. He defeated his demons one by one and achieved a level of fame that his heroes would be proud of. I find this version of Kingston much more interesting than his street tough personality. I'm excited to see how Kingston develops further.

The TNT Championship was a two-part story.

TNT Championship: Adam Copeland defeated Christian Cage to win the title. No DQ rules apply. Nick Wayne and Mama Wayne were at ringside to provide assistance and interference. Tables, ladders, chairs and kendo sticks were in use. Copeland attacked like a bat from hell early in the match, carrying the brawl through the crowd to secure a flying crossbody from the top deck.

As the match progressed, Copeland skipped a spear attempt and then slid over to blast Christian through a table in the corner. 1, 2, Mama Wayne withdrew from the referee. Copeland was angry. Nick rescued his mother with a flying cutter on Copeland. Get the flame tables! The bad guys shoot at it, but it backfires when Copeland powerbombs Nick onto the burning wood.

Back in the ring, Christian tried to strike with the title belt. Copeland dodged a low blow. Killswitch by Copeland for the win, but he didn't stay champion for long.

TNT Championship: Christian Cage defeated Adam Copeland to regain the title. During the pre-show, Killswitch (aka Luchasaurus) won a 20-man battle royal with the prize of an all-time TNT title match. Killswitch attacked Copeland immediately after the first TNT fight. A barrage of chokeslams left Copeland in dire straits. Killswitch wanted to make money, but Christian wanted the contract for himself instead. Killswitch hesitated, then Christian whispered in his ear. Whatever was said, it served its purpose. The dinosaur handed over the contract. Christian signed on the dotted line. Match number two was on. All Christian needed was a spear to win.

Christian and Copeland had a tough match. It was the first on the card that felt like a real PPV affair. Copeland's intensity was a great fit for the story to come. The TLC spots paid tribute to the feud and also enjoyed throwbacks to the past. The chemistry between Christian and Copeland was great both in storytelling and in the ring. The Wayne family was well used. They definitely left an impression but weren't intrusive. They took normal heel measures to save their patriarch and then got out of the way. Since the rules didn't allow for DQs, that meant it was a fair game.

I have a mixed opinion about the spontaneous second round. On the one hand, it's a fun way for Christian to sneakily outsmart Copeland. All the heel heat is earned. Then again, where does this feud go from here? Copeland, don't let it end like this. While the two one-on-one matches between them were great, is there really demand for another one? I am completely satisfied both nostalgically and currently. I would rather see both men start new feuds at this point.

TBS Championship: Julia Hart defeated Abadon to retain the title. House rules apply. Abadon chose to rule that biting was legal. The zombie used this tactic to gain control in crucial situations. As Abadon gained momentum, Skye Blue ran in between them. Abadon fought back, then Hart attacked from behind. The champion repeatedly slammed the challenger's head into the ring steps. A moonstorm sealed the deal.

This fight was an interesting observation of aggression between strange characters. The Biting Determination was a creative way to demonstrate Abadon's zombie mentality. It was used well to enrich the game's story. The interference finish was a poor choice. In this particular case, there was no need to protect Abadon, and establishing Hart as champion does no favors. There are opponents when a double victory is valuable for the story. This was not such a case.

Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin and Sting defeated Ricky Starks, Big Bill Morrissey, Will Hobbs and Konosuke Takeshita. There were two interesting elements to this game. It's Sting! The Icon rocked a hot day and blocked Takeshita's jumping knee to counter the Scorpion Deathlock. The second item was “Le Sex Gods” with a tag title shot. The final was between Sammy and Starks. Sammy escaped the Roshambo to fire back with the GTH. A shooting star press secured the victory.

This 8-man had an exciting pace of action. The daredevils took off. The big men were respected as giants. Sting didn't have any shitty moments, but he performed to his satisfaction. The only takeaway for me is that I really want to see a singles match between Allin and Takeshita. Their exchange was so cool and the chemistry was right. As for the finish, it's interesting that Starks got the win. Someone had to do it, and he's the best at talking his way out of the situation to regain his star power. The result also raises curiosity as to whether Le Sex Gods can repeat the result when it comes to gold.

Swerve Strickland defeated Dustin Rhodes. Keith Lee wasn't medically cleared in real life (not part of an angle), so Rhodes volunteered to replace his friend. Swerve unleashed his fury before the bell rang to beat up Rhodes. For the flying kick, Prince Nana held Rhodes' foot on a cinder block.

Even though Rhodes was damaged, he wanted to wrestle. The game started with Swerve in tight control. Rhodes rallied for a Canadian destroyer and Cross Rhodes. Swerve regrouped and turned up the heat. Rhodes was doomed and defiantly gave the middle finger. Swerve grabbed Rhodes' arm and ended the fight with the flying kick.

The injury before the game was a strange direction. I guess the purpose was for Swerve to remind the world of his villainous tendencies after he was forced to fight clean at the Continental Classic. It actually made him look weak when Rhodes pulled off all those impressive moves with a badly damaged leg. If they had played the same game without the gimmicks it would have made more sense. I can imagine Rhodes taking on this challenge as a wise veteran who wants to help his friend. I can't believe Rhodes is dodging the surgery on one leg to the extreme. That being said, I will always freak out when Rhodes does these wild moves in anger. The crowd devoured Rhodes' rally despite heavily favoring Swerve. Basically, despite some questionable booking tactics, it was an entertaining game.

AEW Women's World Championship: Toni Storm defeated Riho to retain the title. The champion relied on her strength advantage while the diminutive challenger used her speed to deliver high-flying attacks. Luther was sent off when he was caught cheating by referee Rick Knox. Butler pulled away the bottom rope as Riho reached out to break up a Cloverleaf submission. Riho rallied and scored clever roll-ups, but it wasn't enough to keep Storm down three times. Storm pulled Riho off the turnbuckles and fell to the mat. The champion pounced and unleashed a DDT variation across the back for the victory.

This match was fine as a replacement for the title defense. Storm leaned into her sassy personality. As a natural outsider, Riho provided dramatic moments. Luther's presence was amusing. This was the kind of cheating I can support without it ruining the game. Luther worked creatively with Storm to help him. It was much better than the often used number interference, which doesn't raise anyone. Storm's new finisher was a unique variation of the DDT. Thumbs up for this effort.

Miro defeated Andrade. CJ Perry was at ringside to support her client. Miro was on a mission to destroy Andrade, and he attacked before the opening bell. Andrade isn't a jerk, so he didn't come out looking like an idiot. Andrade rallied to match Miro's intensity and execute his signature moves. Miro regained control with the game over submission, but Andrade reached the ropes for the break. Andrade had worked above the knee to secure the four. Miro turned it over to reverse the template. Andrade turned it back and added some stink with an eight. Dodge warning! CJ knocked out Andrade's hands to release the submission. Andrade was shocked by his manager's betrayal. He turned for a fierce kick, then Miro ended the game over. Andrade typed.

What a strange story it still is between Miro and CJ. They argued throughout the game, so there was no indication that there would be a fallout. Back when CJ was recruiting talent and Miro was taking out the trash, it seemed to me like this story might be a weird relationship kink. Add this latest chapter and I can't think of any other explanation. CJ was happy about her husband's victory. Is she doing all this to spice up her marriage? The match itself was pretty good. They'll have to step it up even further if a rematch is on the cards.

Claudio Castagnoli, Mark Briscoe, Daniel Garcia and Bryan Danielson defeated Brody King, Jay Lethal, Rush and Jay White. This 8-man tag was made from leftovers from the Continental Classic. There were smaller continuations of the tournament's story, such as Garcia's tensions with Danielson and King trying to intimidate Daddy Magic in the comments. The exit exploded with movement everywhere. Garcia dodged a Lethal Injection from Lethal to counter a jackknife pin and win.

This match didn't feel important when it was announced, and it never felt important when it was in the ring. It was just a showcase of personalities. The action was fine, excitement building with the final salvo. The best spot was Claudio with a huge swing against King. It's great to see a man this size twirl through the air. It's good to see Garcia get the win to keep his momentum going. On the other hand, Lethal ate the pin. He was the only one to lose every tournament game, and now he's lost this game too. After that, there were talks between Lethal and Sonjay Dutt. AEW could turn Lethal's failure into a story.

Remarks: Dante Martin talked about wanting to be a champion. Orange Cassidy came in to offer a shot at the AEW International Championship on Dynamite.

The “Zero Hour” pre-show featured four matches and a preview of Serena Deeb’s return.

FTW Championship: Hook defeated Wheeler Yuta to retain the title. The FTW rules apply (anything is possible). Weapons included trash cans, lids, street signs, 2×4 lumber and a hockey stick. Hook was close to getting the redrum submission, but Yuta escaped with a backdrop to the trash can. As Yuta grabbed the 2×4, Hook used the hockey stick to hook the foot as a trip. Hook broke the stick across Yuta's back, then grabbed a piece of wood to choke Yuta. Beat.

It was an entertaining midcard bout for two up-and-coming talents. It was the simple story of babyface kicking the idiot's ass. They did a good job of combining technical wrestling with the weapon spots. It was as if they had demonstrated ring awareness and intelligence to take advantage of their environment rather than turning it into a garbage game.

Killswitch (aka Luchasaurus) won the 20-man battle royal. The winner will receive a TNT shot anytime, anywhere. The final four went to Killswitch, Lance Archer, Danhausen and Trent Beretta. Danhausen and Trent worked together with kicks and a low blow to send the Murderhawk Monster over the ropes. The best friends hugged, then Trent dodged and threw Danhausen out. Trent gave Killswitch three running knees in a row. The fourth time, the dinosaur gave his opponent a chokehold. Both competitors fought on the apron. It looked like Trent had the upper hand, then Killswitch fired a punch to knock Trent to the ground. Match over.

I really like the battle royal concept, so this fight caught my attention the entire time. There wasn't much in terms of big spots or developing the story into the future. It was a pretty easy elimination game. The big moment was Trent betraying Danhausen. It made me laugh surprisingly hard because I didn't see it coming at all. Good shock value, and it works on a logical level, with Trent realizing what's at stake. The idea of ​​Killswitch winning doesn't really excite me, but AEW has story material to play with when it comes to making money. Will the Dino turn against Christian Cage for mistreatment? If Adam Copeland wins the TNT title, the story with Killswitch must be completed. And now we know how that turned out.

The full list of participants included Dalton Castle, Johnny TV, Killswitch (aka Luchasaurus), Christopher Daniels, Serpentico, Danhausen, Trent Beretta, Rocky Romero, Kip Sabin, Butcher, Blade, Darius Martin, Action Andretti, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Lee Johnson , Daddy Magic, Cool Hand Ang, Bryan Keith and Lance Archer.

Serena Deeb! A vignette that aired shows Deeb training in her dojo. Deeb traveled in isolation, examining the division of women and confronting the captivity of their minds, bodies and souls. Excellence is achieved by challenging yourself. Deeb is Houdini in the ring and ready for her return. That was very cool. It was both visually and mentally stimulating. Watch the video.

Willow Nightingale defeated Kris Statlander. Stokely Hathaway, as a commentator, cheered on Statlander, but played no role in the game. Both women showed athleticism and strength. Willow moved and grooved with a jumper, a cannonball in the corner and a brutal powerbomb on the apron. Statlander recovered with a discus lariat but missed a 450 splash. Willow took control so a doctor bomb won. Willow had difficulty completing the lift to the finish. They sort of fell to the side to do a slam, then Willow tried the attack again.

This was an unexpected result at the start of the evening. As for the ring story, Willow seemed a step quicker and more prepared in her scouting. It's as if she took the game more seriously while Statlander was participating in a competition between friends. We'll see if this loss creates a chance for Stokely to recruit Statlander.

Stallion of the show: Samoa Joe

Everyone welcomes the one true king of the world.

Match of the evening: Adam Copeland vs. Christian Cage

Copeland and Christian delivered a classic chapter in their rivalry.

Grade B-

This PPV ended as a three-match show. The undercard was satisfactory in terms of action, but never reached a particular level. The TNT fight and the Continental Classic final stood out from the crowd. The main event was heavy on story and had a shocking outcome.

Share your thoughts on Worlds End. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?

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