Date: May 6, 2020
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
We’re back live and that means we could be in for something a little more interesting. I’m curious to see if there are going to be any fans in the building this time. It seems that they can put about 25% of the fans inside and that could go a long way. I’m not sure what else to expect but we could be in for a fun one. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s TNT Title tournament semifinals.
The crowd is made of wrestlers plus staff, though there do seem to be some more than usual.
Cody vs. Joey Janela
Pyro is back if nothing else. They shake hands to start and we start in a hurry. Some shoulders put Janela down but he’s back up for a quick pinfall reversal sequence. Back up and Cody kicks the chop away, setting up a slap between Joey’s shoulders. Cody’s suplex keeps Janela in trouble but he’s back with a spinwheel kick. Janela sends him throat first into the middle rope and we hit the bodyscissors.
They head outside with Cody being whipped into the barricade but Janela gets sent into the ramp. Janela fights back but takes WAY too long to take a running start and Cody sends him crashing into the ropes. A moonsault off the stage takes Janela down and they head inside again. Joey hits a superkick into a top rope elbow for two as we look at a guy named Leroy who dances in the crowd.
Cody catches him on top with a reverse superplex but Janela hits a Judas Effect of all things. The powerslam plants Janela for two but he’s back up with a German suplex to drop Cody. Janela’s moonsault misses and it’s the Cody Cutter for two. They slowly slug it out with Cody getting the better of it. Cross Rhodes finishes Janela at 13:29.
Rating: C. This went on longer than it needed to and wasn’t all that entertaining. Janela still feels like someone who just does moves with no particular rhyme or reason and isn’t someone I want to see. I know he has a big following, but it isn’t something that is translating well to a big company. Cody shouldn’t have had this much trouble with him either, but that’s been a problem for AEW since its inception.
Video on the changes to the women’s division in Nyla Rose’s absence.
Nyla Rose shouts about how dominant she is.
Nyla Rose vs. Kenzie Paige
Non-title. Rose throws her around with ease to start and blocks a sunset flip with ease. A forearm just annoys Rose and it’s a top rope Swanton for two, with Rose pulling her up. Rose hits a powerbomb, followed by the Beast Bomb to complete the squash at 2:19.
MJF has been noticing a lot of people saying they’re the next big thing, even though they’re nearly thirty. That’s cool though, because he’s the real next big thing and he’s been on national TV for six months. People say he’s great but he’s no Flair, Rock or Piper. That’s called insecurity and now the 24 year old kid is a prodigy with more it in his pinkie than others have in their whole bodies. He’s not the Rock, Piper or Flair because he’s something no one has ever seen before. He is better than you and next week, he’s back on his throne.
Shawn Spears talks about Dustin Rhodes being destroyed last week and the only person who deserves the blame is Cody. Dustin’s career is over and as a brother, Spears can’t live with what Cody let happen. Cody seems fine with it though. Don’t tell me we’re doing Cody vs. Spears again.
The gambling is back on at ringside, with MJF looking at Spears and calling him brave. It takes bravery to call Cody out for everything. Spears says MJF’s comeback story is the greatest of all time. Tony is glad MJF is back, because he’s facing Jungle Boy at Double or Nothing. The spit takes wraps up the segment.
Frankie Kazarian vs. Jon Moxley
Non-title with a feeling out process to start. Moxley drops down so Moxley grabs a headlock, only to have it broken up for a chop in the corner. Kazarian goes right back to the headlock, which is broken up again. The third headlock goes on but this time Moxley reverses into a reverse chinlock with a knee in the back.
A backbreaker gives Moxley two and he’s out of the fourth headlock much faster this time. With that not working, Kazarian hits a spinwheel kick but gets sent over the top for a big crash onto the ramp. Back from a break with Moxley hitting a running knee to send him outside but the dive off the middle rope is kicked out of the air. Kazarian’s slingshot DDT gets two but Moxley is back with a release German suplex. A Backstabber cuts Moxley off and the Unprettier gets two.
They slug it out until Kazarian hits a dropkick and ties him up with….I’m not sure what to call it but Kazarian has the leg tied and is pulling on the arm. Moxley uses the free leg to kick his way out so Kazarian snaps off a German suplex. A heck of a clothesline gives Moxley two and they go to an exchange of near falls for two each. Kazarian suplexes him into the corner for a big crash but Moxley pulls him off the top. The quick Paradigm Shift finishes Kazarian at 16:29.
Rating: B-. This took some time to get going but they did a good job of setting up the idea that Moxley respected Kazarian. They set things up well here and Kazarian can hang with anyone so it was a good enough match too. It was a good use of some time and got Moxley on TV where he had to break a sweat to win, but did win in the end. Nice enough stuff.
Post match the Dark Order runs in to beat down Kazarian and Moxley, plus Scorpio Sky and Christopher Daniels for trying to make a save. Brodie Lee comes in and hits the discus lariat on Moxley. Lee talks about how there is no crowd here to give Moxley energy. The Dark Order is Lee’s energy and he is a different man than the one who fought Moxley in the past.
Now he wants the World Title, so Moxley can answer the challenge or they’ll make him do it. Lee lays the microphone next to him and Moxley says all Lee had to do was ask. A big boot to the face drops Moxley again and the beatdown is on for a second time. Lee leaves with the title.
Brandi Rhodes doesn’t like Jake Roberts and Lance Archer and knows what they’re going to do to her. It’s going to lead to a showdown in the ring with the two of them trying to intimidate her until Cody makes the save. That would make sense in 1991 but if Jake slaps her in the face like he did back then, she’ll slap him back. As her mom said, “Don’t f*** with people you don’t know.” She is Brandi Rhodes, so keep her name out of your mouth. This was your weekly “Brandi is a thing too” segment.
QT Marshall vs. Lance Archer
Brandi and Jake Roberts (in a mask) are here too. Archer runs over a wrestler at ringside as usual and then decks Marshall before the bell too. Some running shoulders in the corner have Marshall in more trouble and Archer drops him onto the apron. Back from a break with Marshall getting splashed and choked out to the floor.
After avoiding the threat of Britt Baker’s show, Marshall gets back in with a handspring enziguri. Marshall lifts him up for a suplex as Jake isn’t looking pleased. Archer pulls him off the top and hits the Blackout for two, with Archer not wanting the pin yet. Instead he claw slams Marshall a few times for the pin at 7:38.
Rating: C-. Marshall is a good hand but there is only so much you can get out of a somewhat extended squash. Marshall continues to look intimidating and has some good power stuff, but we’ve seen it a few times now and some of the shine is starting to wear off a little bit.
Post match Britt Baker jumps the barricade and DDTs Brandi onto the floor. Jake busts out the snake and lays it on the unconscious Brandi. Commentary points out how far the locker rooms are from the arena, because we’re supposed to believe that Cody wasn’t watching intently when his wife was out there with Jake and Archer.
Taz offers Darby Allin some assistance but Allin walks away.
Double Or Nothing rundown, with a #1 contenders ladder match and Lee challenging Moxley for the World Title.
Preview of next week’s show.
Le Sex Gods vs. Kenny Omega/Matt Hardy
Street fight with Jake Hager here as well. Hardy bites Guevara’s hand to start and it’s a big brawl early on. Tony: “We have found out that Jericho’s match next week will be against Pineapple Pete.” JR: “GET THE H*** OUT OF HERE!” Jericho is left laying on the floor and we get some Poetry in Motion on Sammy. Jericho gets back up and fights to the back with Matt but runs straight back in to double team Omega in the corner.
A double suplex drops Omega and we hit the pose for a bonus. Hardy, now in his regular gear instead of the Broken gear, comes in to clean house. Jericho and Hardy head outside again, leaving Sammy to kick Omega in the head. That lets Jericho come back in with the (Inner Circle branded) baseball bat for some shots from behind. Omega makes the save and knocks Jericho outside, meaning it’s time to break out the ladder and table.
A splash off the ladder sends Sammy through the table but Hager pulls the referee out at two. Omega’s slingshot dive is pulled out of the air so Hager can drop him onto the apron as we take a break. Back with Hardy and Jericho fighting backstage, with Hardy being put inside a Jacksonville Jaguars ice locker. Omega makes the save with some trashcan shots but Sammy sends him into an ATM (with Sammy even getting some money out).
Omega sends Sammy into a metal wall and Hager is sent through some barricades. Jericho runs Omega over and puts a cone on his own head like a hat. Omega comes back with a slippery when wet sign and shatters it over his back. Matt comes out of the ice bucket and he’s back in the Broken gear. He steals a golf cart, orders the cameraman to document these events (JR: “That’s what we’re doing mat. You’re on television.”), and almost runs Jericho over.
Omega is pulled into the cart with him and they chase Sammy down, eventually running him over hard. Jericho is still down so Hardy lays him onto a table, with Omega climbing a scissor lift. That’s raised into the air (JR: “What are we watching here?”) but Hager comes in for the save. Omega moonsaults onto everyone but Santana and Ortiz run in to save Jericho from the One Winged Angel. A triple bomb puts Hardy through a table and Omega is powerbombed onto the golf cart. The Judas Effect finishes Omega at 18:29.
Rating: B. This went longer than it needed to and there was a little too much laying around, but it was a memorable and entertaining match. The Hardy transformation would have worked better if they had done it once instead of twice, but it’s a clever enough idea for later on. The Inner Circle being back to full strength is a good thing too and it was a hard hitting brawl throughout. What matters the most though is it was better than sitting around in an empty arena hitting each other with chairs. You have a lot of resources available in the venue. Use them and see what kind of fun you can have, like they did here.
The Inner Circle poses in front of the Jaguars’ stadium with INNER CIRCLE on the scoreboard to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. I liked the main event and Moxley vs. Kazarian, but I’m having a difficult time getting involved in all the Rhodes stuff. Last week’s beating to Dustin was brutal, but it’s still Dustin Rhodes. I’m very impressed with what he’s done lately, though that doesn’t change the fact that he hasn’t been some top level player for decades. It’s cool to see him in an angle, but it’s not an angle that needs to be such a focal point of the show. I get why people like it and care about Dustin. It’s just not something I’m going to get overly invested in most of the time. Good show though, with the main event shining.
Cody b. Joey Janela – Cross Rhodes
Nyla Rose b. Kenzie Paige – Beast Bomb
Jon Moxley b. Frankie Kazarian – Paradigm Shift
Lance Archer b. QT Marshall – Claw slam
Le Sex Gods b. Kenny Omega/Matt Hardy – Judas Effect to Omega
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