Date: January 22, 2020
Location: Norwegian Pearl, International Waters
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
And now, we’re on a boat. If there is one thing that AEW has managed to do well it is offering in some changes of venue. That is the case again here as they are presenting this week’s show from Chris Jericho’s Rock N Rager cruise, with the matches taking place on the deck of the boat. That’s cool enough as it is, but there are some big matches as well. Let’s get to it.
Tag Team Titles: SCU vs. Hangman Page/Kenny Omega
SCU is defending and Page’s name graphic says “was hoping this was a booze cruise”. Kazarian headlocks Page to start as JR gets to talk about Danny Hodge a bit. Page tries to send him into the ropes and drops down, only to get headlocked again. Back up and Kazarian strikes away, setting up a discus lariat to put Page down again. Page fights up and shoves Kazarian away so it’s off to Omega and Sky.
The feeling out process goes on until Omega shoulders him down, only to have Sky nip right back up. The running Fameasser puts Sky down again and it’s back to Page for some chops. A blind tag brings Kazarian back in though and it’s a spinwheel kick to drop Page and put the champs in control again. The springboard legdrop gets two and Page gets dropped on his head, with Omega coming in before the referee can even get to the mat. Sky gets sent to the apron though and Page blasts Kazarian with a clothesline. JR: “Clothesline from Page, who has delivered the mail tonight!”
Kazarian is back up with a Backstabber and an Unprettier for two on Page but a double clothesline gives us a double knockdown. That’s enough for the hot tag to Omega so the pace can pick up a little bit. Omega hurricanranas Sky and Snapdragons Kazarian, setting up YOU CAN’T ESCAPE (with Page adding a shooting star in the middle) to Sky. Page dives onto Kazarian as Omega plants Sky for two, only to miss the V Trigger. A jumping knee works a bit better but Sky catches him on the middle rope with a super hurricanrana.
Back with Page superplexing Kazarian down and Omega feeding him into a discus forearm from Page. The Snapdragon drops Sky and a Jay Driller gives Omega two. Everything breaks down again and a quick SCULater gets two on Omega with Page shoving Sky into the cover for the save. Page cleans house again and hits a pop up powerbomb on Kazarian, followed by the Buckshot Lariat to Sky on the ramp. Another Buckshot Lariat finishes Kazarian for the pin and the titles at 19:09.
Rating: B+. It’s almost hard to believe that it’s the first time a title has changed hands around here. It was a heck of a match too with both teams looking great until the finish. I’m not sure where this is going to go with Page splitting away from the Elite and the whole alcohol thing but it’s a story that has a lot of possibilities. There was a lot of action here though and it opens up a lot of doors going forward.
Post match the Young Bucks come out to celebrate but Page goes into the crowd to drink and crowd surf.
Priscilla Kelly vs. Britt Baker
Baker takes her down for an early rollup and we take a slightly less early break. Back with Baker getting tied in the ropes for a pull of the arms, setting up a running dropkick from behind. Baker hits a clothesline and they run the ropes without hitting anything for a bit. A Sling Blade gives Baker two but Kelly kicks her in the head for the same. Baker hits her own kick though and pulls Kelly down into Lockjaw for the tap at 6:02.
Rating: C-. Just a match here as they try to get Baker over without giving her the title. Baker is someone where she seems to have all the tools but the whole is different than the sum of all the parts. It just isn’t clicking for some reason and I’m not sure if that’s going to get better. Kelly has a great look but she didn’t do much of anything here, albeit without having much time.
Post match Tony Schiavone goes to the ring to talk with Baker, who says we all love him even though he used to work at Starbucks. Sure he was a bad barista but no one looks down on him for that. The people look up to her and shouldn’t hate her because she’s beautiful, smart and a dentist. She keeps talking down to Tony as we take a break.
We look back at Jungle Boy surviving ten minutes against Chris Jericho.
Jurassic Express vs. Santana/Ortiz/Chris Jericho
Believe it or not, Chris Jericho (with Jake Hager) is the most popular guy on his own cruise with the fans singing him to the ring. Jericho and Boy start things off with Jericho shoving him in the face, earning himself a bunch of shots to the face. Ortiz comes in and avoids a dropkick but can’t do it twice, allowing Boy to get the first near fall. Luchasaurus comes in and sends Boy at Ortiz for the Downward Spiral.
Stunt comes in (wearing a child size life jacket) with a splash off of Luchasaurus’ shoulders and no count because the referee didn’t see the tag. Stunt gets in a fight with the life jacket but finally gets it off as the Express gets to pose. Luchasaurus kicks Santana in the head and Boy kicks him in the back for two of his own. Santana knocks him off the top though and we take a break.
Back with Jericho standing on Boy’s hair and handing it off to Santana to do the same. Santana works on a backbreaker with Boy being bent over the knee. It’s back to Jericho, who gets shoved off the top and hit with a high crossbody for two but Santana and Ortiz prevent the hot tag. Ortiz’s running splash gets two but Boy is right back with a reverse hurricanrana to plant Ortiz on the afro.
The hot tag brings in Luchasaurus to clean house and grab Jericho by the throat, with Ortiz making the save. JR: “Ortiz is insane.” More strikes, including the Tail Whip, knock the Inner Circle down again and it’s a standing moonsault for two on Jericho. Luchasaurus goes after Hager on the stage though, leaving Stunt to hit a 450 on Jericho for two. That’s enough for Jericho who hits the Judas Effect on Stunt for the pin at 14:08.
Rating: C+. I think I can live with Jericho getting a pin on a glorified mascot on his own cruise. It was a nice enough match too and Luchasaurus got to look great, which is what mattered more than anything else. They’ve done a great job of protecting him and if this means we get Luchasaurus vs. Hager in a hoss fight at Revolution, so be it.
Video on MJF vs. Cody.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Joey Janela
MJF shoves him away to start and it’s some headlock takeovers with headscissors breaking them up. A handshake offer doesn’t work as MJF spits in his face, only to bail from the threat of a right hand. He changes his mind though and charges down the ramp at Janela, who backdrops him back inside.
MJF hides behind the referee though and the distraction lets him forearm the heck out of Janela. Back from a break with Janela superplexing MJF but here are Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford on the ramp to distract Janela. The top rope elbow misses and MJF hits Cross Rhodes for the pin at 9:00.
Rating: C-. I don’t think it’s any secret that MJF is better on the mic than in the ring but this was fine enough. Janela on the other hand has just fallen through the floor and feels like the biggest afterthought in the company these days. His feud with Sabian isn’t interesting and I’m not sure why it keeps going, but that’s what we’re getting for weeks on end. It isn’t much every week, but both guys need to do something else.
Post match MJF talks about Cody getting all intense last week but MJF wasn’t impressed. Cue Cody to interrupt but MJF demands that his music be cut. MJF reminds Cody that he can’t touch him and MJF is very sorry about that. He offers Cody the mic and then drops it, demanding that Cody pick it up, only to kick it away. MJF gets on the ramp and Cody agrees that he can’t touch him. Instead, here are the Young Bucks to superkick MJF and then throw him in the pool.
Video on the cruise.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page are proud of their win with Page taking most of the credit (and most of the drinks). As for Pac, Omega is willing to get his rubber match. The Young Bucks pop in and Omega says the two of them always have their backs. Page laughs that the Bucks didn’t win the titles first and walks off. Omega plays peacekeeper again.
Jon Moxley vs. Pac
#1 contenders match with Chris Jericho on commentary and Moxley’s eye bandaged after last week’s spike attack. After the Big Match Intros, they go technical to start with the fans seemingly behind Moxley. Some chops have Pac in trouble and a release German suplex makes it even worse. Pac is right back with some crossface shots and choking as the fans shout at another ship pulling up beside this one.
They head outside with Moxley sending him into the post as we take a break. Back with Moxley hitting a heck of a clothesline and they’re both down. A release vertical suplex gets two on Pac, who comes right back with an eyebreaker (as in a jawbreaker but he puts his head under Moxley’s eye instead). Pac takes him up top for a superplex but Moxley shoves him off. The top rope elbow hits knees though and Pac tries the Brutalizer. That’s broken up so Pac kicks him in the eye over and over.
Pac hits a running dropkick to the eye but a 450 hits knees, allowing Moxley to grab his own two. A release German suplex sends Moxley flying but the Black Arrow misses. Pac hits a superplex but Moxley is right back with the Paradigm Shift for two. Jericho: “STAY DOWN MOXLEY STAY DOWN!” Moxley goes up top again, earning himself a top rope superplex into the Brutalizer. That’s broken up with a foot on the ropes so Pac hammers at the bandaged eye some more. Moxley grabs a small package for two, followed by the Paradigm Shift. Another Paradigm Shift finishes Pac at 17:13.
Rating: B. Good stuff here, even if the ending wasn’t the most shocking in the world. Moxley vs. Jericho should be very good, but well done with having Jericho talk about wanting to face Pac. The eye was a nice addition too and Moxley sold it rather well. This was the kind of hard hitting match that both of them can do very well and it should set up another awesome match at Revolution.
Moxley stares Jericho down to end the show.
Overall Rating: A-. Another very good show here with the book ending matches both working. They did a great job of setting things up for the future, both at Revolution and at some undetermined point. I liked what they did here with a lot of stuff and the atmosphere made it even better. Heck of a show here and they’re clicking well in the new year.
Hangman Page/Kenny Omega b. SCU – Buckshot lariat to Kazarian
Britt Baker b. Priscilla Kelly – Lockjaw
Chris Jericho/Santana/Ortiz b. Jurassic Express – Judas Effect to Stunt
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Joey Janela – Cross Rhodes
Jon Moxley b. Pac – Paradigm Shift
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