Date: May 13, 2020
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
We’re coming up on Double Or Nothing and that means things are going to be pushing forward this week. The big story coming out of last week was the return of Santana and Ortiz to put the Inner Circle back to full strength. I’m not sure where things can from here but it should be interesting either way. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Lance Archer to beat up a backstage worker. He and Jake Roberts get in the ring with Jake talking about how he isn’t interested in giving Brandi Rhodes an apology. Jake has been watching Archer’s work…..and here’s Cody, in his truck, to carefully run over some rather breakable barricades. Cody has his fists taped up and kicks Archer low to take the fight to ringside. Archer drops him on the apron (Jake: “Cody went boom.”) but Cody is right back up. A chair shot has no effect on Archer but he slips out of the Blackout. The Cody Cutter is blocked as well but Roberts says not now and the villains leave. This worked well.
We run down the card.
Video on the depth of the tag team division. They really do have a lot of options.
Best Friends vs. Jurassic Express
Is there some rule that says the Best Friends have to be on every show??? Orange Cassidy is here as well of course. Jungle Boy armdrags Chuck to start so it’s off to Trent to chop at Luchasaurus. The Tail Whip drops Trent so it’s back to Boy, who gets caught on top. Chuck puts Trent on his shoulders so Boy missile dropkicks him down. Luchasaurus comes back in for a kick to the head as everything breaks down.
A chokeslam is broken up and it’s a double suplex to drop Luchasaurus. There’s the big hug but Boy flip dives onto both of them as we take a break. Back with Chuck fighting out of the corner and handing it off to Trent for the tornado DDT on Luchasaurus. Orange Cassidy starts playing cheerleader but here’s Fenix to jump him from behind. MJF jumps the barricade to post Boy and it’s the Awful Waffle to give Chuck the pin at 10:48.
Rating: C. This wasn’t great but it did its job well enough. I’m curious about the random attacks but I’m sure it’s going to be leading somewhere. What we got here was good enough, even if I could go months without seeing another Best Friends match. At least Luchasaurus didn’t take the fall, but it’s not much better to have Boy get pinned as he’s on his way to a match at Double Or Nothing.
Post match Wardlow jumps Marko Stunt and has a staredown with Luchasaurus. For once Excalibur does something useful, explaining that the people involved in the random attacks are part of the Casino Battle Royal at Double Or Nothing and are trying to get an early advantage. That line took five seconds and cleared everything up.
Jon Moxley arrives and has nothing to say.
Hikaru Shida vs. Kris Stadtlander vs. Britt Baker vs. Penelope Ford
One fall to a finish with Stadtlander being knocked down to start (Tony: “The alien is down on the mat.”) as Baker goes after Shida to make up for the broken nose. Stadtlander makes the save so Ford crossbodies Stadtlander and Shida at the same time. That earns her a double nip up so Baker grabs the Lockjaw on Shida. Stadtlander makes the save by grabbing Baker’s face, earning herself a whip into the corner. Back up and everyone gets knocked down and we take an early break.
We come back with Stadtlander fighting up but getting caught in Baker’s Canadian Destroyer. Ford cutters Baker down for two and Stadtlander Michinoku Drivers Ford for the same. Stadtlander gets sent into the corner and Shida is suplexed into her for a crash. Ford’s reverse hurricanrana sends Stadtlander outside and Baker follows her with Lockjaw. The distraction lets Shida knee Ford in the face for the pin at 10:24.
Rating: C+. This was almost all action and the women’s division continues to make great strides. They’ve come a very long way in a short amount of time and that’s awesome to see. It was a rocky part of the show at first but things have picked up to the point where it can be downright enjoyable more often than not. Shida vs. Nyla Rose should be good stuff too, likely at the pay per view.
Pineapple Pete says he’s happy that Jericho has given him a new name because it’s made life sweet. He takes a drink from a pineapple in case you needed a visual.
Kenny Omega/Matt hardy vs. Santana and Ortiz
Omega gets jumped before Matt comes to the ring so here’s Matt to bite Santana for the save. Hardy gets to the ring and it’s officially Omega and Ortiz to start. The running Fameasser gets Omega out of trouble and it’s off to Matt for a neckbreaker. The WONDERFUL legdrop allows the tag back to Omega for the chops in the corner.
We take a break and come back with Omega caught in a Boston crab but fighting out without much trouble. Ortiz comes back in to poke him in the eye and gyrate the hips a bit. Omega doesn’t seem pleased and fights back, allowing the hot tag off to Hardy. Santana is sent head first into multiple buckles as house is cleaned in a hurry. The Side Effect gets two on Santana but Matt has to break up the Street Sweeper.
Omega dives onto Santana and the Twist of Fate gets two with Ortiz making the save. The shotgun dropkick puts Omega in the corner for the assisted backsplash and another near fall. Hardy is back in with a double underhook neck crank but here’s Sammy Guevara, limping on a chair and in a neck brace. Hardy kicks the chair away and gives him a Twist of Fate (our hero). The V Trigger catches Ortiz on top and it’s a Twist of Fate to finish at 17:15.
Rating: B-. This one felt lone but Omega and Hardy getting revenge and a win back after last week’s big loss is a good idea. They did what they needed to here and Sammy coming out was a great thing to see. What matters is keeping the momentum going towards whatever these guys are doing at Double Or Nothing and they did that here.
Darby Allin still doesn’t want Taz’s help. It’s Taz who doesn’t get it, and Allin mentions that he was third in the Idaho state wrestling tournament.
We talk about the Casino Battle Royal, which will have nine entrants and staggered entrances again.
Hikaru Shida, who is confirmed for the title shot at Double or Nothing, promises to win. Nyla Rose comes in and kendo sticks her down. Nyla: “I FOUND YOUR KENDO STICK B****!”
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Lee Johnson
MJF jumps him from behind to start and the trash talk is on in a hurry. Johnson gets sent outside with MJF telling the wrestlers in the crowd to help him. There’s an apron bomb to knock Johnson silly and it’s a shoulder breaker back inside. A Fujiwara armbar makes Johnson tap at 2:44.
Post match MJF talks about being ready for Jungle Boy. He still has some ring rust though and needs to shake that off against Marko Stunt next week.
Chris Jericho vs. Pineapple Pete
Jericho has the Inner Circle with him and his own Pineapple Pete shirt. Pete slugs away to start and hits a running elbow in the corner, followed by a second for good measure. That just earns Pete the Judas Effect for the pin at 1:04. This was worth it just for JR’s response to hearing that the match was taking place.
Post match Jericho says that with the threat of Pineapple Pete dispatched, it’s time to move forward. He’s heard that Hangman Page has moved to North Carolina to pick berries and the Young Bucks are hiding in California. That brings him to the Elite, because while the world is reacting to the Coronavirus, the Inner Circle is acting. That’s why they have created the Stadium Stampede match. Imagine what the Inner Circle can do to the Elite in an 80,000 person seat football stadium. They can bring it at Double Or Nothing.
Cue Vanguard 1 with the stolen shirt, which Jericho takes back. He had warrants out in seven states for Vanguard’s arrest. We see Vanguard’s perspective and he says WE ACCEPT. Tony: “He speaks drone.” Jericho asks about Vanguard joining the Inner Circle but doesn’t get an answer. That’s fine with Jericho, who introduces Vanguard to the newest member of the team: Floyd the baseball bat. Cue Matt Hardy, so the Inner Circle, including Jericho with a baseball bat, to run away.
We run down next week’s card.
Christopher Daniels vs. Brodie Lee
Lee, with 10, is wearing the AEW World Title and declares himself champion. Daniels is tossed to the floor and a shot to the face knocks him down again. The rest of SCU argues with Lee though and Daniels gets back up for a suicide dive. The Arabian moonsault takes Lee down again and a slingshot elbow gets one. Lee is right back up with a big boot and the boot choke is on. The swinging Boss Man Slam gets two and we take a break.
Back with Daniels countering a backdrop into a DDT and a hurricanrana staggers Lee again. 10 offers a distraction so SCU cuts him off. Daniels grabs the Koji Clutch so SCU and Colt Cabana come in to cut off the Dark Order’s interference. Lee and Daniels aren’t couched so the match keeps going, with Daniels hitting Angel’s Wings for one. The Best Moonsault Ever press gets two so Daniels goes up again, only to dive into a powerbomb. The discus lariat finishes Daniels at 12:33.
Rating: C+. This was a good win for Lee and sets up the title match well. You can only get so much out of squash after squash so beating someone with Daniels’ reputation, especially after kicking out of his finisher like that, is a good way to go. They did this the right way and hopefully we get something even better from Lee vs. Moxley.
Post match Lee grabs the title so here’s Jon Moxley for the fight. Lee sends a member of the Dark Order after Moxley and leaves with 10 and the title. Moxley says Lee is going to pay for this with interest. The World Title is about a lot more than a piece of metal. At Double Or Nothing, Lee may very well find that his AEW career is over before it started. Moxley beats up the masked man to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. The point of this show was to set up Double Or Nothing and they did that very well. The wrestling was mostly good (though not all of it) and they made me want to see the pay per view. What helped a lot here was how they didn’t spend too much time on any one thing. It was a good balance of material from a lot of the feuds and that helps a lot on a show like this. They didn’t blow anything away here, but they accomplished the important goal.
Best Friends b. Jurassic Express – Awful Waffle to Jungle Boy
Hikaru Shida b. Kris Stadtlander, Britt Baker and Penelope Ford – Running knee to Ford
Kenny Omega/Matt Hardy b. Santana and Ortiz – Twist of Fate to Ortiz
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Lee Johnson – Fujiwara armbar
Chris Jericho b. Pineapple Pete – Judas Effect
Brodie Lee b. Christopher Daniels – Discus lariat
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