Date: November 20, 2019
Location: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
This should make for an interesting week as Chris Jericho is set to make a huge announcement. That very well may be something about his cruise, but it could be something coming a little sooner. Other than that we should be in for our usual big show, though you never can tell what that is going to bring. Let’s get to it.
The announcers run down the card and preview the show. Thankfully they kept it short, as should be the case with something like this.
Nick Jackson vs. Fenix
This is Jackson’s first singles match in about four years. Nick shoulders him down so Fenix is right back up with a dropkick to the face. A backflip off the apron lets Nick avoid a 619 and they head to the floor to start the luchaing. Neither can hit a DDT on the floor, nor can they hit dropkicks inside so the fans give them a big ovation. Fenix goes up top for a very twisty wristdrag to put Nick back on the floor.
They quickly change places and Nick has to bail out of a springboard flip dive off the top. That lets Fenix hit a cutter on the floor and they’re both down. A big Swanton gives Fenix two back inside but he misses the rope walk kick to the head. Nick strikes away to set up a bulldog and a running knee to the head gets two. A super hurricanrana is good for the same, plus a very big reaction from the crowd. Back up and Fenix nails a superkick, only to have Nick kick him in the face a few times as well.
Fenix nips right back up for a superkick of his own and then falls down. Nick is sent to the apron for a rope walk hurricanrana, followed by another rolling cutter for two back inside. They head to the apron again with Nick hitting a kick to the head into a German suplex to drop Fenix to the floor. Back in and a slingshot Canadian Destroyer gets two and the Sharpshooter has Fenix screaming. That’s broken up and so is the Tombstone so Fenix kicks him into the corner. A running kick to the face sets up the Black Fire Driver to finish Nick at 11:55.
Rating: B+. I’m not big on the Bucks matches but this was the kind of back and forth all action match that these two are made to have. I had a good time with this and it was more proof of the value that the Lucha Bros have. They can’t have a bad match at this point and it works either as singles or tag wrestling. Heck of a match here and all kinds of entertaining, which I always expect from Fenix. Jackson does do a great high speed offense and that was on full display here.
Post match Fenix walks away from the offer of a handshake.
Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida
Shida gets the frustration going to start but misses a big kick to the face to give us a standoff. Baker can’t get Lockjaw so she punches Shida in the face and we take a break. Back with Shida using a chair to hit a running knee to the face on the floor. They head back inside with Baker’s nose busted open but still being able to pull Shida off the top to send her arm first into the rope.
A pumphandle facebuster gives Baker two and a hanging DDT is good for the same. Shida is right back with the running knee to the face and mixes things up a bit with a running knee to the face, only to get caught in the first half of Lockjaw. A foot on the rope gets her out of trouble so Baker settles for two off of a fisherman’s neckbreaker. Shida is right back with a Falcon Arrow for two and ANOTHER running knee to the head finishes Baker at 9:55.
Rating: C+. Shida is growing on me in a hurry but she needs to figure out something other than that running knee. It’s her V Trigger and while it isn’t quite as repetitive, it is turning into a big portion of her offense. Throw a kick to the face or even a forearm but find something else. Either way, she is pretty clearly on her way to a title shot as Baker loses again, which seems to be the case for her in bigger matches.
Video on the Dark Order, who seems to want you to join them. This feels like a commercial for the group, which is a lot better than just having them be weird because they look weird. It’s the first thing that makes me even somewhat interested in the team so well done on the change of pace.
Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal
Adam Page, Chuck Taylor, Kip Sabian, Jimmy Havoc, Jungle Boy, Pentagon, Sonny Kiss, Marko Stunt, Joey Janela, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Orange Cassidy, Billy Gunn
The final two entrants face off next week for….a ring? I wonder if this is how they’re getting to a midcard title. Christopher Daniels pops up for a distraction and it’s Pentagon being thrown out early on. Daniels and Sabian go through the ropes to the floor and it’s time for Kiss to dance in front of Gunn (because he’s a certain kind of man). MJF throws Kiss out and Gunn isn’t happy, so everyone jumps on Gunn. He throws them all off and gets rid of Havoc, who comes back in with the staple gun because that’s what we need in a battle royal.
Referees get rid of Havoc and we look at him leaving for a good while. Back from a break with things having slowed down a lot, including having Janela gone due to some Shawn Spears interference. Gunn no sells Sabian’s chops and unloads with right hands. Cassidy is left for the showdown and that means the hands in the pockets. The weak kicks ensue and Gunn has no idea what is going on….so MJF throws Cassidy out for the big heel heat.
MJF backs into Gunn, who says that’s twice now. A SUCK IT into the Fameasser lets Gunn throw him to the apron but MJF holds on. Cue Wardlow for a distraction so Page can get rid of Gunn. It looks like we’re down to Taylor, MJF, Page, Sabian and Boy, though I would bet on someone being down on the floor. Page cleans house until he runs into a raised knee from Chuck. Penelope Ford grabs Taylor’s foot though and it’s a Disaster Kick to get rid of Taylor. Boy hits a big running hurricanrana to get rid of Sabian but it’s MJF sneaking back in to pull Boy out, leaving MJF and Page as the winners at 10:14.
Rating: C. The big conclusion here: MJF is the best heel in wrestling and it isn’t even close. I remember listening to John Hennigan on Steve Austin’s Show and he gave his basic definition of psychology: faces give fans what they want and heels don’t let them have what they want. That was on full display here with MJF not letting the fans have Kiss, Cassidy or Gunn (thanks to his bodyguard at least), and the fans hated him as a result. That’s how you get a heel over and it works to perfection for him.
Post match MJF and Page have to be held apart. They’ll meet for the ring next week.
Chris Jericho and Jake Hager run into the Librarians…and we take a break.
Here are Jericho and Hager for a big announcement. Jericho talks about snapping last week and how unbecoming that is for a champion. He tries to apologize but it’s the Fonzie issue (I would say look it up but if you don’t know the Fonz, I have no use for you) of not being able to get the word “sorry” out of his mouth. Hager says sorry for him, in a rare moment of speaking.
Anyway, next week Jericho is going to get his THANK YOU from everyone next week. He wishes the celebration would be here in Indianapolis but they have enough sports teams anyway. Next week it’s going to be a big Thanksgiving celebration, including gifts, an aquarium and maybe even some clowns. Jericho declares Indianapolis a dump and goes to leave but here’s SCU to cut him off. Scorpio Sky talks about how great Jericho is….but Sky pinned him last week. Fans: “YOU GOT PINNED!”
Sky celebrated all weekend and is even getting to go on a date with his high school crush, Melanie Parsons. Jericho: “I’ve seen Melanie Parsons, and she’s gained a lot of weight since high school!” Sky doesn’t seem to mind but Jericho gets back to the point: he thinks it’s cuter than baby Yoda that Sky thinks he got one over on Le Champion last week. Jericho even offers a singles match next week but Daniels says they need time to train. Like a month or two for a training camp!
That doesn’t work for Jericho, who demands it take place next week. Kazarian says we need to make sure it is NOT for the title because Jericho would get too nuts if it was on the line. Sky agrees he does not deserve a title match….but Jericho wonders what would happen if it was a title match. Jericho: “GUESS WHAT! YOU GOT IT!” And he even forces a handshake, but Sky pulls him in for the big smile. Sky says he’s been waiting fifteen years for a chance like this and promises to turn Le Champion into Le B****.
The fight is on with the Inner Circle running in to take care of SCU. Daniels and Kazarian are handcuffed to the ropes and the beatdown is on, including Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa who try to make a save. Cue the Jurassic Express for the save, thankfully with Marko Stunt being taken down with a single clothesline. Jungle Boy has some better luck but it’s Luchasaurus for the big staredown with Hager. The watch comes off but Hager bails, because Luchasaurus is the monster that AEW has been needing.
Peter Avalon vs. Luchasaurus
Before the match, Avalon says Luchasaurus looks healthy because life has found a way. Don’t worry though because he’s about to turn the fossil into motor oil. Kick to the head and the reverse powerbomb (I’ve always thought that would be a great finisher) finishes Avalon at 30 seconds. They know what they have here and that’s a great sign.
Pride And Powerful vs. Private Party
Can they just be Santana and Ortiz? That’s what their name graphic says so drop the pretty bad team name. Private Party hangs a Matt Travis shirt (wrestler who was recently killed in an accident) over the ropes for a great touch. Even Santana and Ortiz, who have a history with Travis, approve in a touching moment. Santana takes Kassidy into the corner to start and it’s time for some grappling. Some facewashing has Kassidy annoyed and we take an early break.
Back with Santana coming in again and sending Quen into the corner. Quen’s springboard is broken up and it’s a super Russian legsweep into a DDT from Ortiz. The dead lift bridging German suplex gets two and it’s time to work on Quen’s back. Some rolling suplexes into a very delayed suplex….hang on as Santana hands the upside down Quen off to Ortiz for more delaying…and another hand off back to Santana just to show off a bit more.
They trade off a third time until it’s finally a Falcon Arrow to give Ortiz two. A Boston crab stays on the back and we take another break. Back again with Quen reversing Ortiz’s bearhug into a rollup, with Quen flipping forward into the corner for the hot tag to Kassidy. Everything breaks down and Kassidy hits a big moonsault to the floor to take out Santana. A slingshot Code Red (not as impressive after Jackson did a slingshot Canadian Destroyer earlier) gets two with Santana making the save.
Quen takes Santana out but his back gives out to break up Silly String. A kick to the face gets two on Kassidy and it’s a cutter out of the corner for the same. Santana busts out the slap jack but here’s Nick Jackson to take it away. Kassidy is back up with an enziguri to Santana and Gin and Juice is good for the pin at 15:05.
Rating: B-. It’s a good match and Private Party gets a big win that they have been needing, even though Santana and Ortiz losing should have come later. The commercials didn’t help things either as they kept taking me out of the match. I did like the story with Quen’s back and the speed with which they set up that finisher was very impressive. Good match, but they needed to adjust some things.
Post match it’s Sammy Guevara jumping Nick Jackson until Dustin Rhodes comes in for the save. Dustin grabs Sammy’s phone for some filming of his own in a funny addition.
We run down next week’s stacked card.
Kenny Omega is training to face Pac and traces back all of his issues to the loss at All Out. Jon Moxley took care of the scraps but Pac started all of this. Next week he gets a chance to fix things and the road to redemption begins. Double the weight on the bench press. On one side. That whole thing must weigh 100lbs now.
Darby Allin vs. Jon Moxley
Allin has a big, special entrance this time with a video of a Moxley body bag being crowd surfed. Allin is then carried to the stage in said body bag for a creepy visual. Moxley comes in through the crowd so Allin takes him down with a dive. They fight into the crowd, including a Thesz press onto the concrete to Moxley. Allin gets thrown back to ringside and an overhead belly to belly makes things even worse for him.
They head inside for the opening bell and Allin hits a shotgun dropkick in the corner. Allin’s high crossbody bounces off of Moxley though and it’s another shotgun dropkick to put Allin in the corner this time. Moxley even chills on the top rope as we take a break. Back with Moxley letting go of an STF, allowing Moxley to hit a running crossbody to the floor. Moxley’s hand is slammed into the steps but he gets knocked off the top, landing on the ropes in the process.
Moxley knocks him to the floor but stops to pick up the body bag, allowing Allin to hit a running flip dive. Back in and a heck of a clothesline turns Allin inside out and it’s time to put him in the body bag. Allin isn’t having that and hits a Stunner, only to get caught in a swinging Boss Man Slam. The Paradigm Shift is blocked and a missed charge into the corner lets Allin get two. Code Red gives Allin two but the Coffin Drop is countered into a rear naked choke. Allin flips backwards for the near fall and Moxley heads up, bites Allin on the head, and hits a SUPER PARADIGM SHIFT (Allin sold it like death too) for the pin at 11:15.
Rating: B. That ending alone makes this work as Allin got dropped HARD on his head for one of the best looking endings in a long time. Allin has become a star during his time with AEW and that is something they had to do. He is the kind of guy who you can point to and say that AEW is creating stars and the more of those they can do, the better they are going to be. Moxley winning here is good too, as he needs to build up his record quite a bit.
Overall Rating: A-. This was one of the most enjoyable shows they have done so far with nothing coming close to being bad. They had some very strong matches throughout the night and the Jericho vs. Sky promo was quite good. I’m liking some of the names that they are building up too and that should make for a bright future. Maybe it was watching this the next day, but dang I had a good time here and it was one of the best things I’ve seen from AEW yet.
Fenix b. Nick Jackson – Black Fire Driver
Hikaru Shida b. Britt Baker – Running knee to the face
Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Hangman Page won a battle royal last eliminating Jungle Boy
Luchasaurus b. Peter Avalon – Reverse powerbomb
Private Party b. Pride And Powerful – Gin and Juice to Santana
Jon Moxley b. Darby Allin – Super Paradigm Shift
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