Date: April 8, 2020
Location: Undisclosed Location
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho
We’re still in wherever the heck we are for the second week of what seems to be a marathon taping session. That’s probably the only way to get through the current situation so this is how things are going to be for a good while. The big story tonight is the start of the TNT Title tournament so let’s get to it.
Jake Roberts asks if you would prefer to be staring down a train coming at you or face Lance Archer. Last week, Archer destroyed Marko Stunt, which made Roberts wonder how insane Stunt is. Then there’s Cody, who might be better off losing to Shawn Spears to avoid facing Archer in the second round.
Lance Archer vs. Alan Eagles
Archer shoves Eagles down, choke suplexes him across the ring and finishes with the Blackout at 2:09.
Preview of the rest of the show.
Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida
They shove each other to start until Shida forearms her in the face a few times. Baker avoids a dropkick and bails out to the floor for a breather. Back in and they grab each other by the hair with Baker being taken down in the corner. A Fameasser gives Baker two and she punches away at the face, with Jericho talking about how she’s making her own patients. Britt sends her into the ropes and talks a lot of trash, even going to the floor to talk straight into the camera.
That’s enough for Shida to get up and stalk Baker, only to get sent into the barricade. Shida comes back and puts her over the barricade, where some of the jobbers posing as fans hold Baker in place. A running knee hits Baker and we take a break. Back with Shida hitting a suplex and pulling Baker into a triangle choke until a rope is grabbed. Baker comes back with a Sling Blade into a butterfly suplex for two on Shida.
Shida gets to the rope before Lockjaw can go on and a shot tot he face busts Baker’s nose. A Michinoku Driver gets two on Shida but baker pulls her down into Lockjaw, only to stop to put on a glove. That’s enough for Shida to escape and knee her in the face but Baker hits a low superkick as the blood is all over Baker’s face. Shida gets choked on the rope but they fight to the top with Baker getting dropped hard onto the buckle. Shida’s running knee finally finishes Baker at 17:04.
Rating: B+. Well that came out of nowhere. This might not have been a great match but it was a great fight with the two of them beating the heck out of each other and making me wonder which of them was going to survive. I got sucked up into this one and it was an awesome match which far exceeded expectations.
Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa try to figure out a team name for tonight. Nakazawa suggests Best Friends and Omega has to explain things. The real Best Friends and Orange Cassidy come in and complain about the name so they’ll be having a match for the rights to call themselves the real best friends. That made me sigh rather heavily.
Here are the Top Five tag teams:
5. Best Friends
4. Lucha Bros
2. Young Bucks
1. Dark Order
Women’s Top Five
4. Britt Baker
3. Yuka Sakazaki
2. Kris Stadtlander
1. Hikaru Shida
Men’s Top Five
5. Darby Allin
4. Kenny Omega
2. Chris Jericho
1. Jake Hager
Video on Jake Hager vs. Jon Moxley for the World Title next week in a No Holds Barred match. Moxley fights for the love of the sport while Hager fights for prizes and money. Hager’s wife says he has to win or don’t come home. Moxley has come a long way but Hager is a different kind of opponent. Hager’s training partners think he’s ready to destroy Moxley. They’re both ready though and it could go three minutes or thirty minutes. Good video, even if they don’t have a long history together.
Video on Cody vs. Shawn Spears, who have a long history before they face off in the tournament.
Best Friends vs. Kenny Omega/Michael Nakazawa
Nakazawa has his baby oil ready, sending Jericho into a rant about the things you would find on him before a match. That would include a fork and a pencil, with Tony sounding bewildered. Taylor armdrags Omega to start, much to Jericho’s approval. It’s off to Nakazawa to chop Trent against the ropes, earning himself an even harder chop. Therefore, it’s baby oil time so Trent’s chops have no effect. Meaning Nakazawa and Omega can stomp away.
Trent gets crotched against the post with Nakazawa pulling on his legs and marching forward as we take a break. Back with Nakazawa crotching Trent on top and sliding him down the rope as Shawn Spears, in the crowd, can’t understand the oil. Omega comes in for the chinlock but Trent fights up and gets the hot tag to Taylor for the house cleaning. Everything breaks down and the Best Friends hit suicide dives but hang on because Orange Cassidy has to come in for the triple hug.
That’s broken up though, meaning Omega and Nakazawa try their own hug. That one doesn’t work either so Nakazawa can miss a double clothesline on the Best Friends, leaving Jericho almost cracking up on commentary. Cassidy gets back in and Nakazawa takes the sunglasses. Don’t worry though as Cassidy as another pair so he can dive on Omega. Trent’s tornado DDT gets two on Nakazawa but he misses a charge in the corner. Omega misses a charge into the corner though and Trent hits a running knee.
A pop up sitout powerbomb gives Chuck two on Omega and everyone is down. Hold on though as Nakazawa pulls off his underwear for a Claw on Trent, which Jericho says is enough to make him submit. Nakazawa does it to Omega by mistake though and it’s Eat Defeat into a half and half suplex to drop Nakazawa for two more. Omega gets sent into the barricade and it’s Strong Zero for the pin on Nakazawa at 16:32.
Rating: C-. I think you know my thoughts on this kind of comedy by now and watching a sixteen minute version of the whole thing wasn’t exactly my thing. That being said, I can live with it a lot more when it’s all comedy and lighthearted instead of stopping a serious match for the jokes, so this was nowhere near as bad/annoying as some of the others.
Post match, all five of them hug.
Brodie Lee yells at some Creepers for not being in their best looking gear. He’s here to make things better so get it together. They go inside the building because Lee has an idea for them.
Britt Baker isn’t cool with what Hikaru Shida did to her but don’t worry because she can fix it. She’s a dentist.
Video on Hager being dominant in two sports. Moxley talks about how violent it’s going to be next week. Hager keeps talking about how he’s a winner and winners win championships. Moxley doesn’t know if Hager can dig down deep enough for this, but Hager doesn’t care what Moxley has done on the way to the match. All that matters is Hager knows he can win, but Moxley promises to f*** him up.
Matt Hardy talks about the Inner Circle, including Chris Jericho brainwashing Jake Hager. Then Jericho tried to recruit Vanguard1, which isn’t cool with Hardy. He requests Vanguard1 bring him the shirt from last week, but Vanguard1 has lit it on fire. Hardy wants Jericho to come to the Hardy compound for the Elite Deletion.
Brodie Lee vs. Lee Johnson
Lee kicks him in the face twice in a row and hits a slingshot hilo for a bonus. A suplex makes it worse and a discus lariat to the back of the head finishes Johnson at 1:29. As it should be.
Post match, Lee stares down Marko Stunt for reasons I don’t want to understand.
Video on Cody vs. Shawn Spears.
TNT Title First Round: Cody vs. Shawn Spears
Brandi is here with Cody. Spears gets sent to the apron early on as Jericho rants about Aubrey Edwards hassling him all the time. Tony: “Isn’t she just doing her job?” You can guess Jericho’s reaction to that one. Spears’ knees to the ribs don’t do much good so he bails to the floor off the threat of a Figure Four. Cody rolls him up a few times as Jericho tries to figure out what is left for Cody if he loses here.
A pump kick drops Spears again but the moonsault misses, allowing Spears to grab a piledriver for two. We take a break and come back with Jericho talking about how great Canadians are. Jericho: “There’s a guy in Guatemala who is pretty good though.” Spears suplexes him onto a piece of the barricade at ringside and Cody seems to have banged up his heel.
A springboard frog splash hits Cody’s knees though and the comeback is on. The snap powerslam gets two but the Disaster kick misses, allowing Spears to spinebuster him for two. Back from another break with Spears pulling out a table but getting knocked down, allowing Cody to finish putting the table up. They get back in and Cody gets caught on top with a release belly to belly superplex for the double knockdown.
Brandi gets on the apron and her distraction almost gets her knocked through the table. Instead Spears AA’s Cody from the ring through the table for the huge crash. That’s good for a very slow nine count so Cody gets back in for a pair of Cross Rhodes for a near fall. Cody puts on the Figure Four….for the pin at 21:32. That’s a weird one as Spears wasn’t out or anything and was still fighting.
Rating: B. Good enough here and that ending was rather surprising. The AA through the table looked great and I liked the match more than their All Out version. Spears is still little more than a good hand, but this was better than his usual outings. Cody winning was the only logical call and I’m glad to see where they’re going with the whole tournament.
Overall Rating: B+. This was a heck of a show with two rather good matches and a tag match which only kind of got on my nerves. They’re going to be in a different mode for a long time to come and it was nice to see that they know how to make things work in this situation. Solid show here and if this is a preview of things to come, I’ll be rather pleased.
Lance Archer b. Alan Eagles – Blackout
Hikaru Shida b. Britt Baker – Running knee
Best Friends b. Michael Nakazawa/Kenny Omega – Strong Zero to Nakazawa
Cody b. Shawn Spears – Pin in a Figure Four
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