Date: February 5, 2020
Location: Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
We’re less than a month away from Revolution and you can see a lot of the card from here. The big story continues to be Jon Moxley challenging Chris Jericho for the World Title and that means he has to go through the Inner Circle. He’ll start with that tonight against Ortiz, but other than that we have Cody dealing with MJF. Let’s get to it.
Jon Moxley vs. Ortiz
Santana is here and Chris Jericho, flanked by Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara, goes to commentary. A shoulder puts Ortiz on the floor to start so Moxley chases both of them around with a chair. They go outside again with Ortiz getting in some biting and a whip into the steps. Jericho: “He might have knocked his patch right off of his stupid face!” Back in and we hit a camel clutch with Ortiz raking a forearm over Moxley’s eye patch.
Moxley is out in a hurry and takes out the knee to set up a Figure Four. Ortiz is smart enough to poke him in the eye for the break, only to have Moxley send him outside. A suicide dive hits Santana and Ortiz gets sent over the barricade. Back in and a Boss Man Slam gives oxley two but Ortiz sends him right back to the floor. That means a suicide flip dive to put Moxley down as well but he’s back up again. This time he sends Ortiz into Santana and hits a quick Paradigm Shift for the pin at 7:55.
Rating: C. That’s what I was hoping for here as there was no need for this to be an extended match. Moxley is the #1 contender and he’s facing someone who isn’t used to wrestling singles matches. There was no need for this to be a back and forth fifteen minute match. What they did here was the right setup and it’s not like losing to Moxley hurts Ortiz. Well done on the setup, not a bad match.
Post match Moxley gets jumped by Santana but takes him out with another Paradigm Shift. Moxley pulls out the Ford GT key and says “an eye for an eye” before stabbing the key into Santana’s eye. The Inner Circle chases Moxley off.
Best Friends vs. SCU
Orange Cassidy is here but there’s no Christopher Daniels. Kazarian headlocks Trent down to start and JR thinks 2 Cold Scorpio is on the apron. Trent is right back up with the double running knees and a double elbow keeps Kazarian down. Sky spins out of a wristlock but Chuck grabs a headlock. With Sky down, Chuck hits the double bicep but misses a middle rope moonsault. Sky hits a good looking dropkick and everything breaks down for a bit, with Kazarian hitting a slingshot Fameasser to send Trent onto the apron.
Chuck’s standing Sliced Bread connects as Sky is sent into the barricade. A release German suplex drops Trent on the floor but Chuck adds a Blockbuster off the steps to put everyone down. Cassidy gets in his designated comedy spot on the floor by laying down with them as we take a break. Back with things having settled down a bit and the Best Friends taking over. We pause for the Big Hug until Chuck kicks Kazarian into a Code Red from Trent for the fast pin at 9:08.
Rating: C+. The post break part was really short but I’m glad they didn’t make this one go too long either. I still don’t care for the Best Friends and having to pause for Cassidy’s shtick still feels forced every single time. SCU continues to be steady but very good and that’s a valuable asset to have on the show.
Post match the Dark Order runs in for the beatdown so Orange Cassidy gets in to confront them. He’s offered a mask but puts his hands in his pockets, earning himself a beatdown of his own. Christopher Daniels runs in for the save and the Dark Order bails.
Yuka Sakazaki vs. Britt Baker
Sakazaki (the Magical Girl) was at Fyter Fest back in June and has some Arabian Nights style gear. Baker forearms the much smaller Sakazaki and chokes in the corner, setting up a running kick to the face for two. Sakazaki is back up with a top rope flip dive and a springboard plancha to the floor. JR: “Not just a regular splash ladies and gentlemen. The by God Magical Girl splash.” Back in and they slug it out until Baker hits a swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker for two. Lockjaw is broken up though and Sakazaki grabs a crucifix rollup for the pin at 3:12.
Rating: C. Spend two weeks building Baker up, then have her lose to someone else making her debut on the show. The division continues its spiral into nothing as we sit around with the champion barely ever around (save for a mixed tag with Kenny Omega, the only person who seems to get what he’s going for in the whole thing) and a bunch of people trading wins and losses.
Post match Baker hits her in the back with the bell and drives her mouth into the ropes. Sakazaki loses some teeth so Baker puts on Lockjaw to the bloody mouth. Good post match segment, but it might go somewhere if Baker hadn’t just lost clean in about three minutes.
Butcher and Blade/Lucha Bros vs. Young Bucks/Kenny Omega/Hangman Page
JR: “Not even I could misidentify the Bunny.” Graphic for the week: “Hangman is not happy with this music.” Makes sense as to why he power walks to the ring in front of ht eother three. Page chps away at Blade to start and it’s quickly off to Omega for some kicks to the chest and the running jumping Fameasser (more of a bulldog here) gets two. The Bucks come in for a bunch of dropkicks, including a triple dropkick to Butcher with Omega joining in.
Kenny and the Bucks hit stereo dives to the floor as Page doesn’t look impressed. Everything breaks down and Page comes in to help with that, only to be thrown outside. Fenix hits the crazy springboard flip dive and we take a break. Back with Nick taking care of both Lucha Bros on the floor, including a moonsault from the apron to Fenix. The hot tag brings in Matt for the rolling northern lights suplexes to Fenix, plus a bonus one to both Bros at once.
We settle down to Butcher working over Omega in the corner and shoving him back first onto Blade’s knee. The slugout goes to Butcher but Omega comes back with a hurricanrana. The hot tag brings in Page to clean house, including a springboard clothesline and a slingshot dive. An overhead belly to belly suplex puts Pentagon down and there’s a big moonsault to the floor. Everything breaks down and it’s Matt getting caught in the corner for Fenix’s running kick to the head.
The rolling cutter sets up a powerbomb/top rope shoulder combination but Omega is back in for the save. The Bucks clean house but Page misses the Buckshot lariat. Superkicks abound from the Bucks and Bros. Another Buckshot hits Blade and a fall away slam sends Blade flying but Page’s knee is banged up. Page won’t tag either of the Bucks so it’s a Sling Blade from Pentagon. The spike Fear Factor finishes Page at 13:13.
Rating: B. Who in the world watches the Lucha Bros wrestle that way and then thinks that they should be heels? They’re the best high flying team in the world and that rarely makes you heels. Anyway, the good storytelling continues and they have a ton of options available for what should be a heck of a Tag Team Title match against the Young Bucks at Revolution.
The losers argue post match.
Post break, Omega is in the ring for an interview but we cut to Pac, who stalks threatens Riho. Why Riho doesn’t RUN AWAY when Pac has his back turned to her isn’t clear but Omega agrees to the match so Pac will leave her alone. Pac says he wasn’t going to attack Riho, but she will. Cue Nyla Rose to powerbomb Riho onto (not through) a table and issue a challenge for next week. Well at least the champ is here for once.
Darby Allin can’t breathe after last week’s attack….so he shoots a flamethrower at a cardboard cutout of Jericho and Guevara.
Kip Sabian vs. Joey Janela
We wouldn’t want to miss this blowoff. Janela takes him into the corner and hammers away to start but Sabian is right back with some right hands of his own. A suplex gives Janela two and he kicks Sabian in the back. That’s enough for Janela, who tells Sabian to kick him in the back to keep things even. Sabian goes with a chinlock instead, with Janela fighting up in a hurry. Janela sends him to the apron and then face first into the steps, with Ford ramming the back of his head into the steps again.
Back from a break with Sabian hitting a hanging suplex for two but Janela sends him outside. That means a suicide dive but Janela needs to threaten to punch Ford, allowing Sabian to kick him in the face. Janela blocks a flip dive though and hits a German suplex to drop Sabian on the floor. Back in and Janela hits a superkick, followed by his hard Death Valley Driver for two. Ford gets on the apron to kiss Sabian but Janela knocks her to the floor by mistake, allowing Sabian to roll him up with tights for the pin at 11:21.
Rating: D+. This is up there on the list of least interesting things AEW has done so far as Janela is not worth watching and Sabian, while better, isn’t that much better. The whole feud being about Ford isn’t worth this much time as the feud feels like it has been going on for several months. I’d love for this to be it but the ending suggests another rematch down the line.
The Inner Circle isn’t happy with what happened and Santana swears vengeance. He’ll take Moxley on a walk through the park next week and it’s eye for an eye.
The Bucks ask Page what was up with that but Nick thinks it was the booze talking.
Next week: Riho vs. Nyla Rose for the Women’s Title, SCU vs. Page/Omega for the Tag Team Titles and Moxley vs. Santana.
In two weeks: a tag team battle royal for the Revolution title shot, plus Cody vs. Wardlow in a cage.
In three weeks: Omega vs. Pac in a thirty minute Iron Man match.
Dustin Rhodes knows Cody has this because he’s tougher than MJF thinks.
Here are MJF and Wardlow so Cody can take his ten lashes. Hold on though as MJF wants to use Cody’s belt. MJF snaps it behind his head to play some mind games and Cody is rather jumpy. The first lash hits and MJF takes off his coat as a bunch of heels come to the stage to watch. There’s the second lash so Cody gets in his face and MJF demands Cody hit him. The third lash puts Cody onto the ropes and here’s Arn Anderson to the ring. Arn tells him to give up now but Cody takes another lash, putting him on the mat.
The fifth drops Cody to his face so Dustin Rhodes comes out to say he’ll take the other five lashes. That doesn’t work for MJF so Dustin can go watch with everyone else. MJF gives Cody two in a row and he looks near tears. Now it’s the Bucks coming down to beg Cody to stop and he rolls to the floor for a bit while MJF chills on the ropes. Cody gets back in and tells MJF to do it, meaning there’s the eighth. MJF: “STAY DOWN B****!” Cody fights up and says two more but it’s going to be Wardlow with the last pair.
Wardlow drops him with one shot and Cody can’t pull himself up. MJF says that means no match so here’s Brandi Rhodes (sane this week) to encourage him to get up. MJF hits him in the chest for the tenth but he’s furious that Cody didn’t give up. Cody’s back looks terrible as everyone comes in to check on him….and MJF gets in a low blow before running off with Wardlow (with a fan jumping them but being subdued in a hurry) to end the show.
This was GREAT and maybe the best thing that AEW has done to date. Something like this is all about building the drama and that’s what they did here, with Cody selling the heck out of each one and getting MJF angrier and angrier as he couldn’t keep Cody down. Having people come in to try and convince Cody to stay down was a great piece of storytelling and while you knew how it was going to end, they took you on a good journey to get there and I was into it rather soon. Really great way to end the show and an outstanding segment.
Overall Rating: B. The wrestling wasn’t the strongest here but they did a good job with the storytelling and laying the show out. That’s what matters more and I would much rather they focus on that rather than trying to get in the long matches every single week. You can do those on occasion, but it’s a lot better to give us some meat rather than just sizzle. Not a great show this week, but check out the ending segment for sure.
Jon Moxley b. Ortiz – Paradigm Shift
Best Friends b. SCU – Code Red to Trent
Yuka Sakazaki b. Britt Baker – Crucifix rollup
Butcher and Blade/Lucha Bros b. Young Bucks/Kenny Omega/Hangman Page – Spike Fear Factor to Page
Kip Sabian b. Joey Janela – Rollup with a handful of tights
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