Date: March 11, 2020
Location: West Valley City, Utah, Maverik Center
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Things are picking up around here with Blood & Guts just two weeks away. That means a lot of the Inner Circle vs. the Elite, with things starting to move in that direction tonight. Kenny Omega is out injured though and we’ll need to see who his replacement will be in a tag match. Things could get rather interesting in a hurry around here so let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the Inner Circle destroying Jon Moxley last week.
Hangman Page is with the Young Bucks but won’t say who his partner is. The Bucks don’t seem interested in teaming with him.
Ortiz vs. Cody
Santana, Brandi Rhodes and Arn Anderson are all here. Cody starts fast with a powerslam and here are Jake Roberts and Lance Archer, with commentary confirming him as Jake’s client. They head outside with Cody sending Ortiz into the steps and stopping to glare at Roberts. Back in and Cody hammers away in the corner until a Santana distraction lets Ortiz get in a cheap shot.
Ortiz starts in on the leg and snaps off a suplex for two. A running splash gets the same and it’s time to choke in the corner. Some his swiveling delays Ortiz’s two and the comeback is on with Cody hammering away. Cody throws the weightlifting belt into the crowd but another Santana distraction lets Ortiz crotch him on top. Brandi pulls her belt off and whips Santana, which doesn’t do much to stop Ortiz from hitting a top rope superplex for another near fall.
Santana goes after Anderson so Cody hits a dive for the save. Cody has to catch Santana’s dive and gordbuster him on the ramp, which almost draws Archer over the barricade. Jake cuts that off though and the two of them leave as Cody misses the Disaster Kick. Cross Rhodes is broken up as well so Cody twists the knee around the ropes. A stomp to the leg sets up the Figure Four to make Ortiz tag at 11:32 (because Cody doesn’t have enough finishers).
Rating: C+. The action was good but there was a little too much going on here with the three people interfering, plus Jake and Archer debuting in a rather low key way. Cody gets back on the winning track though and that’s something he needed to do after Revolution and as we head towards Blood & Guts. Good enough match here too and they didn’t overstay their welcome.
Post match Santana hits Cody with the loaded sock but Matt Jackson and Kenny Omega run in for the save. The Inner Circle pops up on screen to promise a beating at Blood & Guts. They might be wondering where Nick Jackson is so we pan down to see Nick out cold, bleeding, and with a metal door on his shoulder. The Elite runs to the back to chase the Inner Circle off and held Nick.
Post break, Nick is taken away in an ambulance.
Kris Stadtlander/Hikaru Shida vs. Bea Priestly/Nyla Rose
Nyla and Bea jump them to start and we settle down to Rose hammering Shida in the corner. Priestly comes in and chops away before handing it back to Rose for two off a suplex. Shida finally manages to get over for the hot tag to Stadtlander though and we take a fast break. Back with Priestly laid out on the ropes and Shida suplexing Stadtlander onto her, drawing a HOLY SHIDA chant.
Priestly gets in a shot to the face though and Rose comes back in to keep Shida down. Shida is draped over the top but Rose misses the top rope legdrop. An enziguri rocks Rose and Shida manages a Falcon Arrow for two with Priestly having to make a save. Shida hurricanranas Rose and superplex Priestly, only to get speared down by Rose. The Beast Bomb finishes Shida at 9:58.
Rating: C-. Just another women’s match with people doing moves to each other. It wasn’t bad by any stretch but the division continues to float from title match to title match with little in between. The talent is there for the most part, but they really need to figure out how to present what they have better than they have been doing so far. The HOLY SHIDA chant was funny though.
Post match Priestly jumps Rose and throws the title at her.
We recap SCU/Colt Cabana vs. Dark Order.
Christopher Daniels mocks the Dark Order recruitment ads, suggesting that the Exalted One doesn’t exist and it’s always been all about Evil Uno and Stu Grayson. Daniels challenges both Uno and Grayson to singles matches anywhere anytime. If he beats both of them and there is no Exalted One to save them, there will be proof that there is no Exalted One. I’m not sure on his logic, but AEW is rather good at these parodies. Whether or not their material is that easy to parody may or may not be a good sign.
Butcher & Blade/Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Jurassic Express
The fans are way into Luchasaurus here. It’s Stunt and MJF to start, but hang on as MJF has to show off the I PINNED CODY shirt. Stunt gets shoved down and Luchasaurus comes in, with MJF backing into him and freaking out in a page straight out of Kurt Angle/Big Show back in the day. MJF gets caught between Luchasaurus and the wrong corner but it’s Butcher and Blade coming in to take out Luchasaurus’ knee to take over.
Blade hits a running corner dropkick and MJF hits a dragon screw legwhip as we take a break. Back with Luchasaurus fighting out of an Indian Deathlock and kicking Blade in the head. MJF dives on the leg for the save Blade grabs the other, only to have Luchasaurus walk over anyway for a great moment. That’s broken up so Luchasaurus dives over for the tag to Jungle Boy anyway, meaning house can be cleaned.
Stunt dives onto Blade’s back and Boy spins him around for a sloppy tornado DDT. Stunt’s dive onto Butcher and Blade is pulled out of the air so Boy dives onto all three of them. Luchasaurus moonsaults Blade so Butcher has to catch Stunt to throw him in for the save. Butcher and Luchasaurus have the big showdown and it’s a double knockdown, meaning it’s off to Stunt to stomp away on MJF in the corner.
Boy is told to get up top but Bunny offers a distraction as Stunt slowly drags MJF across the ring. The distraction lets Boy get shoved off the top and Wardlow sends Luchasaurus into the steps. MJF gets up and Fujiwara armbars Stunt for the tap at 11:57. MJF: “I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!”
Rating: C+. I liked a lot of the match, and by that I mean anything not involving Stunt. I get the whole “anyone can be here” jazz but my goodness it’s too much to believe anytime he’s in the ring. They have to slow everything down so he can get in his spots and it gets annoying in a hurry. MJF, Luchasaurus and Boy helped save it though and the match was pretty good as a result.
We recap last week’s main event.
Darby Allin, in a Chris Jericho mask, puts a Sammy Guevara dummy in a body bag (labeled Sammy) and drags it along behind his truck.
Tony Schiavone brings out Britt Baker, with Tony’s coffee, to complain about how boring Utah really is. She sees a lot of bad teeth too, but she can fix it because she’s a dentist. We also get some incest jokes before Baker tells everyone here to reach for their dreams: be that janitor, plumber or dental assistant. She’s here to be your role model but here’s Big Swole to interrupt. Baker says no one cares about her and people only care about her boyfriend. Swole: “I’m married BAY BAY! (to Cedric Alexander if you’re not familiar)”. Baker runs away. Britt started rough a few weeks back but these things are getting good.
Death Triangle vs. Joey Janela/Private Party
The Triangle jumps them to start but Quen armdrags him down as the pace picks up. The Silly String takes Fenix down and it’s off to Fenix vs. Janela. A kick to the face knocks Pentagon out of the corner and it’s Janela running him over for a bonus. The Triangle is sent outside for a big dive from the top and we take a break. Back with Janela hitting a suicide dive on Fenix and Gin and Juice connecting for two.
Quen gets caught in the corner for a powerbomb onto Pac’s knees, plus a top rope double stomp from Fenix for another two. Janela puts Pac on his shoulders so Quen can use Pac as a springboard to take out the Bros. The Death Valley Driver on the apron sets up a top rope elbow for two on Pac, with Janela looking stunned. The Bros are back in for the spike Fear Factor to Janela, followed by the Black Arrow for the pin at 11:50.
Rating: B-. Pretty good stuff here and a solid debut for the team. Private Party has fallen a long way since their debut and I kind of get why: they’re rather flashy without much more than just athleticism. Get them some experience and they’ll be fine, but for now they need to expand their skill set a bit. Janela….would anyone miss him if he was gone?
Post match the Triangle chokes all three of them but the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy make the save.
Dustin Rhodes is going to be Hangman Page’s partner whether Page wants it or not. They’re going to do some cowboy s***.
Here are some applications to be Shawn Spears’ partner.
Next week: Best Friends vs. Lucha Bros plus the Exalted One is revealed.
We hear the Blood & Guts rules, which are exactly the same as the WarGames rules.
We get a sitdown interview with Jim Ross talking to Jon Moxley. This had to take place elsewhere because Moxley is not cleared to be in the arena. Moxley is banged up but won’t go into details about what is wrong with him. This has been about the World Title the whole time and even if he is down 5-1, the Inner Circle can come get it. Moxley is blood and guts and he knows that scares the Inner Circle.
Chris Jericho/Sammy Guevara vs. Dustin Rhodes/Hangman Page
The Inner Circle is here with Jericho. Hold on though as Jericho and Sammy need to hug before Sammy and Page start things off. Sammy picks up the pace but it’s quickly off to Dustin for a hard clothesline. Page gets knocked outside though and the Inner Circle stands back as Jericho has a beer. Jericho: “I’M A COWBOY!” The beer gets knocked out of Jericho’s hands with a right hand and everything breaks down.
Sammy drops Dustin for two and we take a break. Back with Dustin getting elbowed down but he gets his knees up to block the Lionsault. Dustin brings Page back in and dives onto Jericho and Guevara, leaving Page to dive onto the Inner Circle. The Buckshot lariat is countered into the Walls so Dustin makes a save. Sammy comes in and walks right into the Canadian Destroyer from Dustin, setting up the Buckshot lariat for the pin at 10:15.
Rating: B-. Another nice match here with Dustin being a fitting replacement partner. He’s over with the fans and can more than hang in the ring, plus the double cowboy thing works out well. Blood & Guts is looking awesome and seeing these guys beat each other up with reckless abandon should be a blast.
Post match the beatdown is on with Omega running out for the failed save. Cody runs out as well and gets taken down too so Page is carried to the stage. Matt Jackson runs out for the save and flips off Page, only to get chaired down by Jericho to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. Another solid show with some good enough action as all roads lead to Blood & Guts. That really does feel like a pay per view caliber match and we should be in for a heck of a fight that night. They’re advancing stories and I’m curious to see where some of them go. Good show here, as the trend continues.
Cody b. Ortiz – Figure Four
Bea Priestly/Nyla Rose b. Kris Stadtlander/Hikaru Shida – Beast Bomb to Shida
Maxwell Jacob Friedman/Butcher & Blade b. Jurassic Express – Fujiwara armbar to Stunt
Death Triangle b. Private Party/Joey Janela – Black Arrow to Janela
Dustin Rhodes/Hangman Page b. Chris Jericho/Sammy Guevara – Buckshot lariat to Guevara
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