Date: January 1, 2020
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tazz, Excalibur
It’s the Homecoming edition as we start the new year in the home stomping grounds of Jacksonville. That means we should be in for a big show to start the new year, which is taking place a year to the day of the announcement of the company. I’m curious to see what they have in store as it should be interesting. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at how bad things have been for the Elite. Tonight is their reckoning as they try to turn it around.
JR tries to throw it to the first match but we run down the card instead.
During the entrances, JR mentions that the win/loss records are being reset. The all time records will still be kept, but 2020 will have their own records.
Cody vs. Darby Allin
Rematch from back in the day when they went to a surprising draw. Allin has a member of a band with him while Cody debuts Arn Anderson as his new manager. They don’t bother with the feeling out process to start and it’s a quick pinfall reversal sequence for several near falls each. Arn offers some advice, allowing Cody to block the Coffin Drop. Cross Rhodes is blocked as well and a slugout goes to Cody with Allin being sent outside.
Back in and Darby hits a springboard back elbow to the face to put Cody on the floor. A big suicide dive hits Cody square in the shoulder and a posting makes the arm even worse. Back in and the arm gets sent into the corner for two but Cody is right back with a Figure Four. A finger tip on the rope gets Darby out of trouble and he grabs a Fujiwara armbar. That’s adjusted into something like a reverse Rings of Saturn but Cody makes the rope as well.
With nothing else working, Darby pulls off a turnbuckle pad, only to get shoved off the top and onto the ramp, though he sticks the landing. Cody rolls through a high crossbody for two and snaps off a powerslam for a breather. The Cody Cutter connects and it’s time to take off the weight belt.
Cody takes him up top for a reverse superplex and it’s time for a break. We come back with Darby hitting the Coffin Drop on the apron, with Darby landing on Cody’s half raised knee. The knee is fine enough to try the Cody Cutter but Darby counters, only to get caught with the Cross Rhodes….for two. Cody misses a charge into the exposed buckle but the Coffin Drop hits raised knees (as instructed by Arn), letting Cody roll him up for the pin at 17:16.
Rating: B. They were teasing the draw again as Allin continues to look great with Cody. These two have some awesome chemistry together and it was on full display here. You have to put Cody over given the circumstances (like having Arn around) here though, and Allin has already gotten a ton out of Cody. Very good match, though not quite as awesome as their first one.
SCU is ready to face all comers, but Sammy Guevara interrupts to call out Christopher Daniels as a has been. A match is set for next week.
Women’s Title: Nyla Rose vs. Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker vs. Riho
Riho is defending and it’s one fall to a finish after #1 contender Kris Stadtlander had to drop the title match due to a prior commitment. Rose jumps Riho before the bell but Shida knees Rose outside as we officially get going. With everyone down, Rose grabs a table, which is what got her suspended in the first place. Riho takes Shida down with a high crossbody on the floor and we take a break.
Back with Rose cleaning house and backsplashing Shida through a table at ringside. Baker can’t get Lockjaw on Rose so she goes with a triangle instead. That’s broken up with a powerbomb so Baker superkicks Rose and hits a fisherman’s neckbreaker for two on Riho. Shida is back up with a backbreaker to Baker but Rose starts taking everyone out again. A Swanton misses Shida and Riho though, leaving Riho to hit some double knees. Shida kicks her in the face though and a Michinoku Driver gets two on Rose. Lockjaw goes onto Shida but Riho grabs a rollup to pin Baker at 9:48.
Rating: C+. This was almost all action and it was entertaining while it lasted, though you knew Riho wasn’t dropping the title with Stadtlander waiting in the wings. That being said, you could hear the reactions from the crowd on Shida here so maybe it’s time to change things up a bit. Riho has cooled off a bit due to her absence, but I’m not sure if it’s enough to have her drop the title yet.
Post match Rose runs Riho over and puts her through a table.
Joey Janela….can’t say anything as Penelope Ford hits him low.
We look at the Dark Order’s attack last week. An exalted one is mentioned.
Jon Moxley vs. Trent
Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy are here too. Moxley works on a headlock and then a wristlock to take Trent down. Trent reverses into a headlock of his own but a right hand puts Trent on the floor. A slam onto the ramp has Trent in more trouble and we take a break. Back with Trent slugging away but getting sent upside down in the corner.
A half and half suplex sends Moxley to the floor though and that means the big flip dive. The tornado DDT gives Trent two but Moxley is back with a faceplant for two of his own. The pinfall reversal sequence gets some near falls each, followed by Moxley blasting him with a clothesline. That’s enough to draw Cassidy in and the hands go into the pockets. Moxley puts his hands into his own pockets and the distraction lets Trent hit a running knee. Trent tries a dive to the ramp but gets caught in the Paradigm Shift. Another one back inside gives Moxley the pin at 10:50.
Rating: C+. I was worried about the Cassidy bit for a second but thankfully it didn’t go anywhere. Moxley won in dominant enough fashion and the match was all it needed to be. It’s pretty clear that Moxley is heading for the World Title match at some point in the near future so giving him a nice win is the best thing they could do.
Post match here’s Sammy Guevara through the crowd. He gets why Moxley comes to the ring this way but Moxley grabs a chair just in case. It’s 2020 and that means we’re in for a new year, plus a new world for Moxley. The Inner Circle has offered him a spot and Chris Jericho has something else.
Jericho appears on screen to say that he is offering Moxley co-leadership of the team, with 49% of the Inner Circle LLC. He can be Executive Vice President and the team has a special gift for him: a Ford GT, which costs millions of dollars and includes a MOX license plate. Jericho wants the two of them to rule the wrestling world and take out the Elite one by one. He drives away so Moxley can make his decision. Moxley says he’ll make his decision next week.
Sammy Guevara vs. Dustin Rhodes
Dustin (who is now in his fifth decade as a regular performer on a major roster) sneaks in from behind and starts hammering away before Sammy can get his jacket off. Sammy gets knocked to the floor for a flip dive from the apron but here’s Jake Hager for the staredown (JR: “I would say Boomer Sooner but he doesn’t deserve it.”). A cheap shot doesn’t work though as Dustin powerslams Sammy on the floor, meaning it’s the staredown sequel. Now the cheap shot works and Sammy dances into a pose as we take a break.
Back with Dustin fighting out of the chinlock so Sammy flips forward for a change of pace. Dustin fights up anyway and hits the usual, only to have the Final Reckoning countered into an enziguri. The running shooting star press gives Sammy two but Dustin is right back with a Canadian Destroyer onto the apron for one, as Dustin has to knock Hager down. Sammy gets backdropped onto Hager but the referee breaks up Shattered Dreams. The distraction lets Hager hit Dustin low and Sammy steals the pin at 11:23.
Rating: C. I wasn’t feeling this one as much but Dustin can still go. This is pretty clearly setting up Dustin vs. Hager, but I’m not sure if they should have Dustin losing on their way there. Sammy is the guy who should be there to take losses for the Inner Circle, though at least the loss wasn’t clean.
Private Party is at a bar where Hangman Page is the bartender for some reason. Page isn’t impressed by them and says their parties suck before leaving.
Here are Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Wardlow to respond to Cody. After some insults to the fans, MJF announces that the match with Cody can take place at Revolution, provided Cody doesn’t touch him in the meantime. Before we get there though, Cody is going to have to beat Wardlow one on one in a steel cage. Finally, Cody has to get down on all fours, live on TNT, and have MJF whip him ten times like the dog that he is. Those scars are going to remind Cody of one thing: MJF is better than him.
Jurassic Express talks about their big year, with Jungle Boy focusing on surviving ten minutes with Chris Jericho. Luchasaurus has to keep swatting away Marko Stunt’s hand.
Next week: a tribute to Memphis Wrestling and Stadtlander vs. Riho for the Women’s Title.
Britt Baker breaks up Riho’s interview to say that Riho hasn’t been around here and stole the win earlier. Baker can wrestle and be a dentist at the same time, unlike Riho who sneaks in and steals wins. Riho has nothing to say.
Lucha Bros/Pac vs. Young Bucks/Kenny Omega
Hangman Page is on commentary. Pentagon and Kenny start things off so the glove comes off. Omega catches it and slaps Pentagon in the mask with it, followed by the chop off. Fenix comes in and it’s the Bros being taken down at the same time. It’s too early for the One Winged Angel so it’s off to Nick for an exchange of shoulders. A dropkick puts Fenix on the floor and Nick follows, only to get kicked in the head. An exchange of kicks to the head back inside gives us a double nipup and we take a break.
Back with Pac breaking up the Rise of the Terminators and hitting a big flipping dive to the floor. It’s Omega getting in trouble in the corner but rolling over for the diving tag off to Nick. Everything breaks down and the Bucks hit stereo Canadian Destroyers on the Lucha Bros. That leaves Omega and Pac for a showdown with Omega getting the better of it. The running knee to the back of the head sets up a sitout powerbomb for two with Pentagon having to make the save.
Pentagon hits some Sling Blades followed by a Backstabber to Omega but the spike Fear Factor is broken up. Fenix is back in with a double rolling cutter to the Bucks. A regular rolling cutter plants Omega and the Black Arrow gets two as the Bucks make a save of their own. The Brutalizer goes on but that’s broken up as well, leaving Fenix to get kneed out of the air. The One Winged Angel finishes Fenix at 12:33.
Rating: B-. Some of the ending kickouts and near falls were a bit much but the match was still entertaining and the Elite gets a much needed win. Omega vs. Pac III is likely coming at Revolution and that could go either way. Throw in the Bucks vs. the Bros and we should be in for a heck of a strong undercard for the pay per view.
Post match Page leaves commentary and the team invites him into the ring, but it’s just a thumbs up from a distance. Posing ends the show.
Overall Rating: B. They started the year back strong with nothing bad and some rather nice matches up and down the show. One of the best things they could have done is stay away from the Dark Order stuff until they’re ready with an upgrade and that’s what they did. Having a quick recap/vignette is fine and teasing a big leader should help. They’re not exactly hiding who that leader likely is, but bigger swerves have happened. Rather good show this week.
Cody b. Darby Allin – Rollup
Riho b. Hikaru Shida, Britt Baker and Nyla Rose – Rollup to Baker
Jon Moxley b. Trent – Paradigm Shift
Sammy Guevara b. Dustin Rhodes – Low blow
Kenny Omega/Young Bucks b. Lucha Bros/Pac – One Winged Angel to Fenix
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