Date: January 29, 2020
Location: Wolstein Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, Excalibur
We’re back on dry land after last week’s show on a boat. We are also a month away from the Revolution pay per view and that means it’s time to hammer home some of the card. A few matches have already been set, with the World Title match between champion Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley being set up last week. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Moxley to get things going and the fans are very happy to see him. He’s known it was coming for a long time but as soon as Jericho stabbed him in the eye, it was clear that the fun and games were over. Now he has his title match and the top of the mountain is in sight. It’s not just the title match though because it’s everything that comes with Jericho. It’s the Inner Circle and everything Jericho will do to keep the title.
Jericho has attacked Cody, stolen Rey’s mask and punched a woman in the face. Moxley isn’t perfect but the title doesn’t matter if you don’t live by a code. Part of that code is that he doesn’t like bullies and he’s ready to deal with one. Moxley is looking down the barrel of a gun at Revolution but he’s taking the title anyway. It’s not the kind of man that you are because it’s about Jericho being the kind of man he isn’t. Moxley knows he’s going to have to look everywhere before he gets to Revolution so let’s just do it tonight.
Cue Jericho, who doesn’t think much of the fans singing him to the ring. The only thing Moxley earned was a spike to the eye because all he had to do was accept the offer to join the Inner Circle. Now he looks like a jacked up Captain Jack Sparrow. Jericho: “Yo ho ho and a bottle of dumb.” Jericho saw Moxley’s mother backstage today and she was looking rather fetching. She must be worried because Moxley is in over his head and it all started with that champagne bottle.
Moxley can’t take the title from him because he can’t even blink with both eyes. The fans want to see the fight tonight but Jericho tells them where they can go. Jericho calls out the Inner Circle so Moxley counts the five of them. He’s not that crazy and stupid because he was born in Ohio. After some cheap pops, Moxley says it’s him and the rest of the arena against the Inner Circle. Moxley is ready to fight but Jericho has even more backup from the south Bronx.
That would be….just a bunch of guys to make it ten on one. It’s time to fight so Ortiz comes at Moxley with an ax handle. That earns him a headbutt and Paradigm Shift on the floor so Moxley can go after everyone else (ignoring the ax handle for some reason). Agents and security come out to break it up so Moxley takes one of them out before walking away through the crowd. I kept waiting for someone to join Moxley but it makes more sense that he did this alone.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Wardlow go into a butcher shop where the Bunny is waiting on them with a knife. MJF hands her an envelope with YOUNG BUCKS written on it.
Butcher and Blade vs. Young Bucks
The Bunny is at ringside and MJF is on commentary, ranting about how unsafe last week was because he can’t swim. Blade runs Matt over to start but a rolling tag brings Nick in as MJF confirms that there was money in the envelope. Matt slingshots in with a legdrop to Blade’s back but Blade runs Matt over, allowing MJF to rant about how the Bucks are backyard wrestlers.
Matt runs around and makes the tag off to Nick, who misses a spinning kick to the head. A Bunny distraction lets Butcher run Nick over on the floor, followed by Blade hitting his own flip dive to the floor. Back from a break with Nick in trouble, including a gutwrench powerbomb from Butcher. Nick is fine enough to roll over for the hot tag to Matt and it’s time to clean house. The flip dives and a standing Sliced Bread #2 set up the Meltzer Driver to finish Butcher at 8:38.
Rating: C. Pretty standard formula match here and that’s about all you can ask for. The Butcher and Blade continue to fall, even though they never were all that high up in the first place. I can get the idea of them being the hired guns but at some point they need to, you know, do something.
Post match the beatdown is on again but Kenny Omega runs in for the save. Hangman Page follows (drink in hand) and literally has Matt hold his beer so he can hit a Buckshot lariat.
Nyla Rose vs. Big Swole
Swole slugs away to start and takes her down for a low Downward Spiral for two. A dropkick puts Rose on the floor but she blocks a kick from the apron and sends Swole into the barricade. Swole gets posted and we take a break. Back with Swole grabbing a guillotine and kicking away at Rose even more. A springboard cutter gives Swole two and another Downward Spiral drops Rose again. Swole loads up Dirty Dancing but Rose cuts her down with a spear. The Beast Bomb gives Rose the pin at 8:53.
Rating: D+. I wasn’t feeling this one as it was mainly Swole dominating her until the one big move at the end. Rose still isn’t clicking and I’m not exactly thrilled at seeing her face Riho again. That seems to be where we’re heading for Revolution though and maybe we can see something fresh for a change.
Cody vs. Kip Sabian
Arn Anderson and Penelope Ford are at ringside. Sabian hits a running dropkick in the corner to start and goes to yell at Anderson so we slow down a bit. Cody gets in a dropkick of his own and they go to the floor, where Ford gets knocked down by a stray Cody elbow. Cody picks her up so Sabian can get in a cheap shot as Ford is, of course, fine. We pause for kissing and take a break.
Back with Cody taking off the weightlifting belt but Ford takes it away and throws in her shoe. Anderson freaks out and gets in the ring, where he bumps the referee for an ejection. Cody tells him it’s ok but Ford uses the distraction to take him down. Sabian adds a big flip dive so he goes to kiss Ford, only to have Joey Janela pop up between them.
The distraction lets Cody hit a dive but a springboard is broken up. The hanging suplex gives Sabian two but Cody headbutts his way out of a superplex attempt. That’s fine with Sabian, who hits a springboard…uh, head grab to pull Cody down. The Deathly Hallows is countered though and it’s the Cody Cutter into three straight Cross Rhodes for the pin at 12:00.
Rating: C+. There was too much going on in this one and while the action was good, the distractions got annoying here. Sabian is a good midcard heel and that’s a fine place to put him. What isn’t a fine place to put him is in this feud with Janela, which has been dead on arrival since the start. It’s getting really old in a hurry and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at all. Just end it already and let them move on to anything else.
We look back at Britt Baker humiliating Tony Schiavone last week.
Here’s Baker for a chat with Tony on the stage. She thinks they’re a dream team, but she isn’t happy with Jim Ross for treating her badly last week. Baker rips on him for constantly bringing up her being a dentist and taking a big paycheck while always getting the wrestlers’ names wrong. She’ll be here every week to show off her smile, unlike Riho. As for Tony, it’s pretty clear that he has gingivitis so pick up a toothbrush. Congratulations Cleveland, because you finally have a Baker you can trust in. I’m not sure how good of a heel tactic it is to point out that your commentary is bad at his job.
Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks are in the back to talk about getting back on the winning track. Page comes in and says he’s glad they got their name plates on the title today. They don’t say Buck though. Page leaves and Kenny says it’s ok because next week it’s the four of them against Butcher and Blade and another tag team of their choice. The Bucks seem happy with that one.
SCU vs. Hybrid 2
SCU (Kazarian and Sky here with Daniels at ringside) are all in Kobe Bryant jerseys. Kazarian starts with some headlock takeovers to Angelico, who can’t do much about them. A snap suplex and release German suplex give Kazarian two and it’s Sky coming in for a headbutt to the back.
Evans comes in and kicks Sky down to take over and we take a break. Back with Kazarian cleaning house, including cuttering Angelico for two with Evans having to springboard in for the save. Evans misses a Sasuke Special to the floor and gets kicked in the face. SCU Later finishes Angelico at 10:12.
Rating: C. There’s something about the Hybrid 2 that keeps me from getting into them. Maybe it’s being heel high fliers. SCU continues to be their usual awesome selves though, which is all they need to be to stick around. They rarely hit the higher gears of athleticism that other teams do but they do everything so crisp and smoothly that it’s hard to not like them. Nice enough match and the right team won.
Post match the Dark Order says the Exalted One is sending them after Christopher Daniels’ friends.
Pac is mad at losing and says he’s coming for Moxley after Revolution. He hasn’t forgotten about Kenny Omega either and next week, he’s coming for Kenny’s blood.
Next week: Cody takes ten lashes, Elite vs. Lucha Bros/Butcher and Blade.
Darby Allin/Private Party vs. Chris Jericho/Santana/Ortiz
The rest of the Inner Circle is here and the fans are way into Allin to start. Jericho, with the Puerto Rican bandanna around his neck, starts with Allin, who picks up the pace early on. A very high angle springboard armdrag sends Jericho crawling over to Santana and Ortiz in a bit that will always work. Kassidy and Ortiz come in with the former hitting a kick to the head.
Quen follows and it’s some fast paced double teaming, including the camel clutch/double stomp to the back of the head, connecting on Ortiz. A dropkick puts Quen down as the announcers make jokes about plugging the movie coming up next on TNT. Quen hits a hurricanrana on Ortiz to send him into Santana for a rather weak looking spear. Kassidy comes back in for a spinning rollup, followed by a victory roll for the same. Jericho dropkicks Kassidy down though and we take a break.
Back with Kassidy still in trouble, this time thanks to a Lionsault and Ortiz’s falling splash for two. A hurricanrana gets Kassidy out of trouble though and it’s the hot tag to Allin. House is cleaned, including the flipping Stunner and a Code Red for two on Santana. Everything breaks down and Kassidy hits a slingshot crucifix bomb on Ortiz.
Santana grabs a rolling cutter to drop Kassidy but the legal Allin is right there to forearm him. A springboard moonsault gets two on Jericho and there’s the Coffin Drop to the floor onto Hager. Quen hits a flip dive of his own and the Swanton gets a close two on Jericho. Not that it matters as the Judas Effect knocks Kassidy silly for the pin at 12:20.
Rating: C+. Nice six man tag here with the Inner Circle not getting involved all that much. Private Party getting pinned by Jericho is hardly a downgrade and the match worked out well enough for what they were going for. Allin continues to look like a star in the making and that’s the kind of good sign that he needs for the future.
Post match the Inner Circle leaves but comes back to beat the three of them down again, including some whips with the title. Sammy even uses the skateboard to crush Allin’s throat. Moxley finally jogs out with a baseball bat for the save to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. I really wasn’t feeling this one tonight, even though it was a completely watchable show. They did a good job of setting up Moxley vs. Jericho but there wasn’t anything else of note that I wanted to see going forward. Some of the wrestling was fine enough, but there is nothing you really needed to see this week.
Young Bucks b. Butcher and Blade – Meltzer Driver to Butcher
Nyla Rose b. Big Swole – Beast Bomb
Cody b. Kip Sabian – Cross Rhodes
SCU b. Hybrid 2 – SCU Later to Angelico
Inner Circle b. Darby Allin/Private Party – Judas Effect to Kassidy
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