The PG Era Rant for ALL OUT! September 5, 2020.
LIVE LIVE LIVE From the AEW Arena!
(For the record, I was going to review the TNT Countdown show, but it’s a bunch of interview soundbyte things. Oh well.)
Instead, off to the Buy-In, where your hosts are Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez backstage. And hey, the fans all have masks on! Props to the dude with the Danhausen mask.
Tony and Dasha run down the card.
MJF gives his final word before the title match. Everyone thought Moxley had the upper hand, but no one gets one up on MJF. He can be as violent as Moxley, but that’s not the gameplan. He’s going to keep Moxley in the ring – what can a goon like Moxley do when not on the outside. Moxley’s got the Paradigm Shift as a killshot, but he’s out of ammo. And he has no other way to win against a man who knows all the reversals. It’s kill or be killed, but bad things happen to those who get between MJF and his goals – like being AEW Champion. This is the true paradigm shift.
We hear from the Casino Battle Royale participants: Christopher Daniels! Santana and Ortiz! Lance Archer! Frankie Kazarian! Darby Allin! (So with Daniels and Kazarian added, we’re up to 19.)
A look at Jericho/Cassidy, using footage from the TNT preview.
A look at FTR/Elite from the TNT show. (Interesting bit: we hear from FTR, but we hear from the Young Bucks – not Omega nor Page.)
More Casino Battle Royale talk: Eddie Kingston, Butcher, Blade, Penta, and Fenix! Shawn Spears! Jake Hager! Ricky Starks and Brian Cage! Chuck Taylor and Trent! (So who haven’t we heard from? Oh, right, Gunn Club and two mystery participants.)
Jon Moxley has his final words. He’s ready, he has the taste in his mouth of adrenaline and being alive! It’s what he lives for. His health and well-being are on the line because MJF wants to take him out. Oh, and the title’s on the line too. Mox admits he’s been on a rampage like a GTA player on crack. He’s been through hell, but the sacrifices he’s made a spoiled brat like MJF couldn’t understand. Moxley will claw through by any means necessary. Just remember, MJF, who the Bad Guy is.
Tony goes to the desk to be joined by Excalibur.
Buy-In Match: Serpentico (2-6) vs. Joey Janela. Luther and Sonny Kiss are accompanying their tag team partners to the ring. Luther/Serpentico should now be called Chaos Project.
Janela charges the ring and starts hot with punches and elbows. Janela dumps Serpentico and removes his mega-shades, showing the bandage on his forehead. Outside, Serpentico gets sent into the guardrail and backdropped. Janela notices Luther, but the distraction doesn’t work as Janela maintains control. Serpentico in and Janela up, but Luther knocks out Kiss and Serpentico bumps Janela outside. Janela eats the guardrail, and back in, a charge eats boot. Serpentico adjusts his head and does a flapjack on Janela for one. Janela to his feet with strikes, but a whip is reversed and Janela flies into the middle pad. Serpentico with a boot choke in the corner, then a running knee. It gets one.
Janela gets dumped, and Luther throws him into the guardrail, then back in. Serpentico with a running axhandle drop for two. Suplex by Serpentico and he signals for the finish. He goes up, but he pulls up short just to be safe and simply stomps Janela. That pisses him off and Janela fires back, only for Serpentico to get the rising knee strike and a slingshot foot stomp, again for one. Serpentico goes up a second time, but the Swanton Bomb hits knees. Death Valley Driver and low thrust kick by Janela, then a Blue Thunder Bomb for two.
Now Janela goes up, but a moonsault airballs. Serpentico with a thrust kick of his own and a low DDT into a floatover for two. Serpentico goes up one more time, but Janela meets him with an uppercut. Janela follows Serpentico up, and it’s a fiserhman’s superplex by Janela! It gets two. Janela winds up for a running lariat, but Luther grabs the ankle.
Kiss cuts Luther off, and Janela dropkicks Luther through the ropes. But Serpentico is back up and gets a flying knee only to walk into a lariat. Janela up now, and the Heartbreak Elbow gets the pin at 8:04. This was a nice Dark match, and given 8-10 minutes they made the most of it. **1/2 Janela wants the Inner Circle to watch him, as he implies he and Kiss are the last two participants in the Casino match, though Tony and Excalibur do not confirm that.
Buy-In Match: Alex Reynolds and John Silver of the Dark Order (3-6) vs. Private Party (7-6). It’s only Angels and Vance accompanying them in the entrance. Everyone else is prepping for their 8-man tag as the announcers note Mr. Brodie Lee rule by fear more than example. Kassidy whispers something to Quen before the match.
Kassidy and Silver start. Lockup, but Kassidy reverses a waistlock to arm control. Silver regains it, but Kassidy flips out to a headlock. Silver fights out with leg pressure, but Kassidy with an up-and-over and a series of armdrags into a leg lariat. Reynolds fakes coming in, which causes Kassidy to fall. Dark Order try a double suplex, but Quen rescues Kassidy and Private Party get a double dropkick. Everyone resets, and Silver goes for a quick kick.
Headlock, but Quen tags in and Private Party go into double-team mode on Silver, then Reynolds. Kassidy exits as Quen gets chopped hard by Silver. Reynolds walks into an armdrag, and Kassidy back in with an axhandle on the arm. Flapjack bulldog by Private Party gets one. Kassidy pounds on Reynolds, then goes up, but Silver distracts him and Reynolds charges. A blind tag means an O’Connor Roll goes nowhere, and Silver powerbombs Kassidy onto Reynolds’ legs for two.
Silver kicks away on Kassidy and chokes him in the corner. Silver works Kassidy’s back, and Reynolds comes in to keep the pressure as the corner cam gives a great look of dismay on Kassidy’s face. Backbreaker by Reynolds gets two. He knocks Quen off the apron to keep Kassidy in, but Kassidy with a small package for two. Reynolds stops a crawl for the tag with a kneebar, and Silver drops an elbow for two. Silver with Yes Kicks on Kassidy, who wants more and gets a running Yes Kick for two.
Reynolds tags in, and he drops an elbow from a Vader Bomb position for two. Side camel clutch on Kassidy, who stands it up to just a chinlock until Reynolds throws him down for two. Silver in, and the Dark Order double-team in the corner. Kassidy kics out of the corner, but Silver stops a tag. A back suplex is flipped out of, and there’s the hot tag to Quen. Clotheslines, a back body drop to Reynolds, and a high-elevation dropkick to Silver. Reynolds is disposed of and Silver eats boot, and a moonsault press gets two, Reynolds saves.
Kassidy boxes away on Reynolds as it’s BONZO GONZO, and Quen holds Reynolds. Silver interrupts Silly String with a double-stomp, and the UFO to Quen gets two. Tony: “Everyone here thought that was it!” Silver is frustrated and brings in Reynolds. Reynolds throws Kassidy in as well, and the Dark Order go for double superplexes. They get shoved off, and Kassidy’s senton bomb eats knees. A 450 by Quen is avoided, and a Reynolds stunner into a Silver German suplex into a Reynolds jack-knife somehow only gets two!
Silver is tagged in, and Dark Order wants the Double Flip DDT, but Kassidy gives Reynolds an enzuigiri, then Quen gives Silver a spinning Pele kick. Kassidy in, but a charge eats boot. Quen keeps Kassidy from falling, and Gin and Juice ends it at 10:25. And these are the matches they give away for free tonight! ***1/4
Time to switch to PPV and go for the main show as Tony and Ex give the final look at the card!
Jim Ross joins the desk for the main show.
Opening match, Tooth and Nail: Dr. Britt Baker vs. Big Swole. This match is cinematic, live from Britt Baker’s dental office. Clock starts on first contact. Swole arrives at the office in a limo with a referee. Reba pretends to be the receptionist, but Swole clocks Reba with the clipboard (we start the clock now).
She sees a dental chair with blood in it, then Swole talks about how they’ve been waiting for this. She goes to look for Baker, but Baker successfully avoids Swole. Swole lifts up a tool cabinet and finds mini-teeth, which allows Baker to clock Swole with her framed degree and the bell rings so start the clock then.
Baker punches Swole with her facemask and tries to stick pliers in her moth, but Swole uses a dental tray to escape. Reba sprays the water at Swole and pays for it. Baker runs for the golf cart, but Swole stops her and bases her with a caution sign. Into the wheelchair, and Swole sends Baker into some cardbord boxes. Baker bounces off the golf cart, but Reba throws Swole onto the back of the cart and pounds away. Baker calls off Reba and goes after Swole, and they brawl to the top of the golf cart. Baker kicks Swole and pulls her up (with Reba’s help), and a DDT on the golf cart follows.
Reba and Baker try to throw Swole into the dumpster, but Swole fights both off in desperation. Reba goes back in the dumpster (poor girl) as Swole is furious, but Reba finds a crutch in the dumpster and hands it to Baker. Crutch shot and back inside we go. Baker goes into the sink (“My nose! I just got that fixed!”) and Swole rolls a chair into Baker. A suplex try, but Baker fights out and gets a swinging neckbreaker for two. Baker drags Swole by the hair until Swole kicks her away, and they fight around the corner. Baker; “You’re in my house!”
Swole with a running uppercut, but a roundhouse kick misses only for Swole to recover with a headbutt and pump kick for two. Swole chases Baker, who SUPERKICKS her into the dental chair. Baker pulls out a drill – no, a construction drill – and looks to give Swole a root canal, but the drill gets stuck in the chair and Baker calls for Reba to help. Reba gives Baker a syringe, but she makes the mistake of taunting Swole and Swole redirects the needle to Baker’s thigh. Reba: “YOU STABBED HER!” Baker realizes what’s happening, and now Swole with a framed diploma, which she uses to enhance Dirty Dancing to Reba. One to the back of Baker’s head follows, and Swole gives Baker anesthesia for the KO at 6:16. Well, THAT was different. **1/4 Baker wakes up and screams in despair.
Jurassic Express (Jack Perry and Luchasaurs w/Marko Stunt) (#5 rank, 6-3) vs. Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (#3 rank, 6-3). Don’t worry about too much Marko – he’s on crutches thanks to an Achilles’ injury from Jake Hager. This could have an effect on future rankings.
Perry and Nick start. Nick works the arm, and some reversals lead to both men getting armdrags out of the corner. Perry with a one-count on a legsweep, and Nick gets one of his own as they eventually reset. Perry offers Code of Honor, but Nick refuses and gets dropkicked. Matt in now, and Saurus follows with a roundhouse kick, into a running star press from Perry. Nick’s knocked off the apron and the Bucks bail. Matt drapes Saurus on the top rope and runs the ropes, but Saurus with a farewell fall and hook kick.
Nick in with a back elbow, but Perry catches him and a Tailwhip / Flatliner gets two. Saurus tags in, and he chops Nick hard. Nick tries to escape the corner, and eventually a boot does it. Nick rolls away from Saurus to tag in Matt, and the Jacksons trick Saurus into a Nick enzuigiri. Double dropick and do-si-do knee strike leads to a bulldog/dropkick combo for one. Matt tags in, and the Bucks try an alley-oop rana, but Saurus powerbombs Matt into Nick. Perry throws the Bucks into each other, and when Matt tries to throw Perry out, he ranas Nick on the way! Perry returns, but walks into Matt’s triple Northern Lights and tries to suplex him to the outside. Perry hangs on, and they hang each other up.
Matt recovers first with another Northern Lights on the floor, and then he throws Perry over the barricade to the concrete. Matt goes for a countout, but with Stunt’s help, Perry gets in at 9. Nick tags in, and he goes to a front facelock. He uses headstand drops to add pressure to the facelock and keeps Perry from Saurus. Perry fights out and elbows off Matt, but Nick cuts off the hot tag and it’s a running knee strike. Matt gets two off of it. Matt pounds away on Perry and slams him into the buckle, then catapults him into a Perry forearm smash and double stomp. Matt back in, and they double-whip Perry, but both men get boot on a blind charge.
Perry dives ffor the hot tag, but Matt SUPERKICKS Saurus off the apron a teenth of a second early. He taunts Perry, so Stunt pulls Matt off the apron. Nick angrily throws Perry into the ropes and is met with a lariat. Matt’s back suplex gets flipped out of and THERE’S the hot tag to Saurus. Double clothesline for the Bucks and he sets up double chokeslams, but Matt with a legsweep and Nick a dropkick. Saurus sits up, though, and avoids double-teams with gymnastics. Hook kicks for both men, and Matt, then Nick, get chokeslammed. Moonsault press gets two, Nick saves.
Matt with a cross chop and he pummels away, but Saurus comes back with the Glasgow Kiss. Nick trips Saurus on a run attempt, so Perry leaps off Saurus’ back onto Nick! Matt gets disposed of, and Saurus moonsaults off the apron onto both men! Everyone’s down on the outside (except Marko, who is cheering his team on). Matt and Saurus go back in, and Perry is tagged. Express go for the ELE, but Nick pulls Matt out of it and gets punched. Perry tries an assisted rana, but Nick powerbombs him and does a springboard Destroyer to Saurus!
Matt, for some reason, SUPERKICKS Marko out of the match, then the Bucks give Perry a Doomsday Soccer Kick from the apron to the floor. Matt back in with Perry, and it’s the hanging Swanton Bomb. Matt gets two and is furious at the kickout. Nick in now, and the BTE Trigger is set up. Perry ducks it, then swings Nick’s leg into Matt, but Matt catches Perry. Saurus blocks the Meltzer Driver and chokeslams Nick, so Perry gives Matt a poison rana and the ELE gets two, Nick saves. HELL of a near fall. Perry and Nick get dumped, and Nick gets sent into the crowd. Perry pulls the guardrail, and Saurus dives, missing Nick and taking out all the wrestlers in the front row! Well, that’s one way to fire Chekov’s Gun.. Perry dives back in… straight to a SUPERKICK for two. Double SUPERKICK gets two. HOW? Matt says it HAS to be over now, and the BTE Trigger connects this time for the pin at 15:24. Crazy performance by all four guys. ****
Casino Battle Royale! Winner becomes de facto #1 contender. And landing on the stage counts as hitting the floor, by the way. Taz joins commentary.
CLUBS: Trent, Christopher Daniels, Jake Hager, The Blade, Rey Fenix.
It’s a… well, a battle royal to start. We get the time on the big screen so there’s no shenanigans. Hager and Blade work over Daniels, while Trent and Fenix brawl. Blade rushes over to help Fenix as Hager whips down Daniels. Fenix dropkicks Trent, while Hager suplexes Daniels. Blade with a fisherman’s neckbreaker on Daniels, and Hager holds Daniels up for Blade. Blade and Hager switch off, while Fenix holds on to Trent with a sleeper.
Daniels throws Blade into Hager and gets ten punch count along on Blade, which is INSANE in a battle royal but Blade throws him back into the ring. Trent with a tornado DDT on Fenix, but Blade knocks Trent down, then Hager knocks Blade down, then Daniels knocks Hager down. Hager catches Daniels with a double-leg throwdown, and Fenix and Blade try to toss Trent. Fenix is halfway over the ropes for leverage, as Trent hangs on for dear life.
DIAMONDS: Kazarian, Will Hobbs (!), Chuck Taylor, Santana, Ortiz.
Ortiz hits Taylor with a baton, and PnP double-suplex Taylor on the floor before anyone enters. Trent dives through the ropes to even the odds. Blade and Fenix double-team Hobbs in the corner as SCU doubles up on Hager. Hobbs runs Blade and Fenix together, and Blade is out! Hager gets Daniels, and Daniels is out! Everyone returns to the ring who’s still in it, and Santana chokes Trent while Hager works over Kazarian. Hobbs almost tosses Fenix, and I think someone else is out and I missed it.
HEARTS: Billy Gunn, Penta 0M, Ricky Starks, Brian Cage, Darby Allin.
Cage catches Billy and Billy is out! Allin has a skateboard and nails Cage, then a Yoshi Tonic to Starks. Allin sweeps Fenix during an armdrag and Fenix is out! Best Friends with a Sole Food / Half And Half to Starks and they HUG IT OUT. But PnP attack and Taylor is out! Hager holds Kazarian for Santana, while Allin works over Starks. Cage punches down Penta and has him in the ropes. Hager and Ortiz work over Trent and nearly get him out.
SPADES: Shawn Spears, Eddie Kingston, The Butcher, Sonny Kiss, Lance Archer.
Spears avoids the ring and joins commentary. Archer dives in and takes out five or six guys. Hager looks to toss out Kiss, who escapes and Hager is out! Kiss tries a leg lariat, but Cage catches it and Kiss is out! Spears loads the glove while Trent and PnP go at it and Hager gives Kiss a receipt. Allin tries to toss out Cage as Spears isn’t in the ring. Trent low-bridges and Santana is out! Ortiz gets sent to the apron, but Archer stops Trent and throws him over Ortiz so Trent is out! Then Archer punches Ortiz and Ortiz is out!
JOKER: MATT SYDAL!
Sydal enters and taunts Spears, giving him a knee strike, then giving Hobbs a… no, he slipped on the Shooting Star Press and ate shit! Meanwhile, Jake has something in a bag. Sydal works over Kazarian while Butcher and Kingston go for Allin. Archer and Cage fight by the ropes as Penta lands on the apron. Kazarian with a flying kick and Penta is out! Kazarian goes for Butcher now, but a hammer throw and Kazarian is out! Sydal with a roundhouse kick to Butcher as fireworks are going off from the nearby baseball stadium. F-5 by Cage to Archer. Cage with a Flatliner to Butcher, then a German to Kingston. He tries for another to Archer, but it’s a discus clothesline. Allin ducks, and Cage hits Starks! Shiranui to Cage and Starks is out!
Cage has Allin in with a torture rack drop, and Starks pulls Allin out of the ring (he’s still in it, as is Spears). Starks finds a body bag under the ring and throws it to Cage. Meanwhile, Sydal works on Archer and CAGE HAS A BAG OF THUMBTACKS IN THE BODY BAG! Cage throws Allin into the body bag and zips him up, and he throws it onto the stage as Allin is out! (Very out.) Starks mocks Allin while letting him out.
Sydal kicks away on Cage and gets a Meteora, but Spears hits the loaded glove to Sydal and works him over in the corner. Spears charges, but Sydal ducks and Spears is on the apron. Spears hooks his foot in the ropes and lifts Sydal to the apron, and Spears is tangled. Double stomp by Sydal and Spears is out! Sydal goes up top and leaps over Hobbs, but runs into a spinebuster. He’s excited, but turns around into Archer.
Archer pounces Hobbs, but now Cage is after Archer and we have 6 to go! Archer and Cage duke it out, neither man backing down. Cage with a SUPERKICK, but Archer with a big boot. Cage flips out of a chokeslam and kicks Hobbs to the apron, but Cage with a satellite headscissors to Archer! He runs into Hobbs, who holds him in a suplex and both are on the apron. Archer with a dropkick and Hobbs and Cage are out!
FINAL FOUR: Sydal, Archer, Kingston, Butcher.
Archer works over Sydal as Kingston encourages Butcher. Kingston trash-talks Archer and gets slugged for it. Butcher with a crossbody to Archer, and he tries to eliminate Sydal, but Sydal with a bodyscissors and Butcher is out! Archer tries a powerbomb, but Sydal goes over and DDTs Kingston! Archer with the Blackout to Sydal and a chokeslam follows, but Sydal stays on the apron. Kingston then shoves Sydal and Sydal is out!
Kingston avoids a big boot and both men are on the apron! Kingston to the top rope, as Jake Roberts holds up a bag of whatever. Butcher and Blade distract Archer, and Kingston bites Archer’s ear. Archer no-sells some shots and Roberts throws the bag at Kingston, and Archer throws Kingston onto Butcher and Blade as Kingston is out! Archer wins at 21:49. I called it! Both the winner and runner-up! Taz leaves commentary in disgust. ***1/4
We recap the Hardy/Guevara rivalry.
Broken Rules (aka Last Man Standing): Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara. Wait, they’re in the football stadium? Okay then. Matt looks for Guevara in the tunnel and tells him to face his Deletion! Guevara arrives, and this time HE’S in the golf cart.
Guevara chacses after Matt but misses with the golf cart. Matt pulls him out and CLUBBERIN, THEY BE CLUBBERIN TONY! He sends Guevara into a bench table and follows him up top, getting a DDT on the table for a 3-count. Too bad he needs ten. Hardy continues firing away on Guevara and grinds his head into a cherry-picker lift. They get on the lift, as we see Dialy’s Place is literally next door to the football stadium, and Matt tries a side effect off the elevated lift. Guevara spears Matt and both go through a random merch table!
Guevara asks the referee to count Matt out, but the ref is checking if Matt is alive. Finally, the ref gets the memo and counts, but Matt’s up at 8… enough for Guevara to drag Matt through the food court. Matt is too dazed, but yanks down Guevara’s tights and punches away. He tries to drag Guevara, but Matt can’t stay up and they call off the fight to check on Matt as the match is called off at 3:50 or so. NR-injury scare.
Crowd boos the non-finish, but not much you can do when someone is so dazed they can barely stand. Matt obviously has a concussion, which is why we threw out the match.
Guevara, meanwhile, is furious and heads to the arena as the announcers make it clear this is an unscheduled, legitimate injury.
…or not, as Justin Roberts says there must be a winner and Guevara goes after the dazed Matt! Matt catches Guevara and DDTs him on the concrete as they drag themselves down the stairs! Hot pokers up the ass for faking a head injury, by the way.
Matt and Guevara chase each other until they’re on the stage as Guevara throws Matt into a staging post. Excalibur assumes Matt must have been cleared by the doctor as Guevara climbs the scaffolding and Matt pursues. Matt can’t be right as he slips while climbing up and Guevara has to help him up. They fight, and Matt knocks Guevara OFF THE SCAFFOLDING THROUGH THE STAGE! That’s all she wrote at 2:14 of the restart. Still NR.
I will admit that at the time I thought this was a tasteless attempt to fake a head injury or that Matt would come back as a different personality. Later comments from Excalibur and Tony made it clear Matt was legitimately dazed, but the doctor checked him out and said he could continue the match.
We review the participants in the Women’s Title match.
AEW Women’s Championship: Thunder Rosa (challenger, NWA Champion, 1-0 in AEW) vs. Hikaru Shida (champion, 16-1, 15 week reign). Excalibur talks about the international flavor of the match as Shida is covered in streamers. Rosa calmly waits in the corner as the ref clears the ring.
Staredown to start. Rosa piefaces Shida, who returns it. A shotei-fest breaks out, but Rosa goes to the double-leg and they fight on the floor. Shida with an arm scissors, but Rosa powerbombs out and tries a heel hook, but Shida to the ropes. Rosa with a waistlock into a full-nelson, but Shida reverses to one of her own. Rosa with wrist control into a standing armbar, but Shida flips out and gets a rolling armdrag. Knee strike misses, and after some reversals, Rosa goes up and over and kicks Shida. Forearm smashes follow to Shida, but Shida fires back. Rosa chops Shida, but Shida escapes only to get hit with a lucha armdrag. Shida with a rana, and both try dropkicks at the same time before we reset.
Rosa screams at Shida (“I’m the real champion!”), but Shida shoves her away. Rosa with a flying forearm and she sends Shida into the corner. She stomps a mudhole in Shida and walks it dry before smashing Shida’s back with chops. Snapmare and soccer kick, but Shida rushes Rosa to the corner and fights back. Rosa stops it and chops away in the corner, then throws Shida in and gets knees to the back and a hangman’s neckbreaker for two. Excalibur puts over Rosa’s TJP title as Shida nails a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and Rosa bails. Shida follows and sets Rosa up for the Drive By Kneelift, connecting. Shida then finds a chair, but this isn’t no-DQ. Shida puts the chair down, only Rosa with Air Sabu to Shida!
She stomps away on the outside as the referee asks them to return to the ring. Rosa throws Shida into the apron before bending Shida around the ringpost. Rosa with elbows on the outside, then a running boot to smash Shida’s head into the post! Finally back in, and Rosa gets two. Rosa stomps away and picks Shida up, getting an Oklahoma Stampede backbreaker. It gets two. Shida ducks a clothesline and gets a sleeper with bdyscissors out of nowhere, but Rosa leans back for two and gets the Romero Special as they break!
She switches to a rocking horse submission and walks Shida to the corner, slamming her head over and over into the bottom pad! Running legdrop, but Shida tries a Stretch Muffler when Rosa stalls. Rosa escapes and kicks away, CLUBBERIN Shida down (TONY). Rosa tries for a Razor’s Edge, but Shida escapes and catches a roundhouse kick into the Stretch Muffler! Rosa reverses to a headscissors, and both women try forearms. Shida with a jumping knee as both women try for running something, Shida goes for the Falcon Arrow, but has to settle for a suplex for two.
Running knee strike gets two. Another Falcon Arrow try, but Rosa with a small package (well, a cover) for two. Rosa with the sleeper, but Shida breaks in the corner. Shida charges bus misses, and Rosa with a Mizline. She goes up and delivers double knees in the corner as Shida rolls to the center of the ropes, only to get dropkicked onto the stage. Rosa lifts Shid aup, but Shida escapes the fireman’s carry and throws Rosa into the buckle. Now Shida sets Rosa on the top rope and follows, and it’s a superplex try by Shida!
Rosa slips out and gets Shida on her shoulders, and it’s a Death Valley Driver on the apron by Rosa! Back in, Rosa gets two, having spent too long rolling Shida to the center. Rosa goes for the armbar into an elbowlock, but Shida makes the ropes. Rosa kicks away after the break, and she says it’s over. She goes to the top, but Shida meets her there for a superplex! Rosa is fresher, but gets low-bridged to the stage, and Shida gives her a Meteora to the stage! Both women are down as the count is on, but both women crawl in at 7.
They slug it out on their knees, with Rosa getting the better of it and a single-leg dropkick, but Shida rebounds to a running knee strike, but Rosa rebounds to a German suplex, but Shida rebounds to an enzuirigi! Falcon Arrow gets ONE for Shida, who is stunned. She tries another, but Rosa cradles for two. Shida with the Stretch Muffler off the kickout, but Rosa finds the ropes before Full Metal is hooked. Rosa with a karate rush into a Backstabber for two. Rosa with a Reiniera, but Shida cradles out and slugs her down for two. Shida with a fireman’s carry backbreaker for two. Running knee strike by Shida FINALLY ends it at 16:57. Okay, all those who said I needed to see Thunder Rosa after her stint as Kobra Moon, you’re right; she’s improved SO much. ***1/2
Alex Marvez interviews Kip Sabian, who says she will marry Penelope Ford live on Dynamite. But first, the bachelor party, but who’s the Best Man? We’ll find out Wednesday.
We now set up the Dark Order eight-man.
Dark Order (Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, Colt Cabana, Mr. Brodie Lee) (first time as a team) vs. Scorpio Sky (#5 rank, 7-2), Matt Cardona (1-0 overall), Dustin Rhodes, and QT Marshall (with Brandi Rhodes and Allie) (#4 rank, 7-2). Reynolds, Silver, Angels, and Vance walk out with them, with Silver holding the title up for Mr. Lee. We find out that Cody is not ready to tell us about his condition. Silver, Allie, and Brandi stay
It’s a huge brawl to start, with everyone spilling to the floor. Lee and Dustin are fighting and officially starting the match as they return. Lee floors Dustin, but Dustin recovers by knocking down Uno. Marshall and Dustin get the body blow/kneelift combo, and Marshall stomps a mudhole in Uno but is stopped from walking it dry. Sky in and the faces work over Uno in the corner. Sky with a body blow into a Russian legssweep for one. Sky with an uppercut, and Cardona tags in. Neckbreaker by Cardona gets two, and Marshall back in to drop a chop on Uno. Uno bails out, and Marshall follows, but back in, Uno sends Marshall into the Dark Order corner and Uno and Grayson work him over. Grayson stomps a mudhole in Marshall, and Colt tags in to chop and slug Marshall.
Bionic elbow and he dances, and Lee tags in and threatens Allie. He smashes away on Marshall and throws him into the corner for the HBK Flip and a back body drop (speaking of HBK, Marshall got some height). Grayson in and he goes ground and pound on Marshall. Grayson tags in Uno, who scrapes the back of Marshall, but before he can use wrist tape to choke Marshall, Dustin clocks Uno! The entire Dark Order protests, which allows Uno to choke Marshall.
Grayson in, and he dares Marshall to strike him before unloading a forearm. Marshall with a handspring only to be caught in the Torture Rack… but Marshall escapes into the Lethal Combination! Uno in to cut off the tag and do SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION (by which I mean BITING), then he knocks Dustin off the apron. Colt tagged in, and a blind charge misses, allowing Cardona to get the hot tag. Cardona throws Cabana, who reverses, but eats knees as Cardona gets a missile dropkick. Forearm strikes in the corner to slump Cabana, and Grayson gets back body dropped as Colt eats the ReBoot… but Lee puts Colt’s foot on the ropes.
Lee taunts Brandi as Cardona loses control of Colt, but recovers with a facejam. Uno and Grayson low-bridge Cardona out, and Lee adds a receipt. Colt (oblivious to all this) allows Lee to throw Cardona in. Colt sees the chance to pin Cardona, but it gets two. Colt HITS THE CHINLOCK, but Cardona recovers only to run into a Bionic Elbow. Grayson in with a jumping kneedrop. Cardona falls to the apron, where Grayson gives him a tope atomico, getting two back in. Cradle gets two. Uno and Colt disagree as Lee comes in and chops Cardona.
He steps on Cardona’s head and screams into the hard camera, then draws Dustin in. He throws Cardona into the corner and brings in Uno while taunting Cardona (“Where’s Cody!?”). Uno and Grayson try a double-team, but Cardona fights back only to run into a roundhouse/brainbuster combo. Grayson gets two. Uno back in, and he knocks Marshall off the apron. Uno kicks around Cardona, but Cardona reverses a suplex into a neckbreaker.
Hot tag #2 goes to Dustin, who runs over Grayson and gives him the sliding uppercut. Manhattan drop into a running bulldog, and a powerslam cuts off Uno. Another atomic drop to Grayson, then a powerslam. Colt is caught and given a Destroyer!, but Lee knocks out Dustin. Sky tags Dustin, and it’s a showdown… only Anna Jay comes in behind the ref’s back. Brandi kicks Anna and sends her out, while Sky gets a tilt-a-whirl headscissors to take out Lee.
Sky’s alone in the ring as Grayson carries Jay out of a fight, but Grayson enters. Sky catches him with the TKO, Uno saves. Uno drags Grayson and tags himself in, and Cardona enters to give Radio Silence to Grayson. Off the ropes and Radio Silence to Uno, but he celebrates as Uno rolls out. Marshall tags in as Cardona does a tope somersult to Grayson/Colt. Back in, Lee powerbombs Cardona, but Marshall dropkicks Lee. Colt (the legal man) misses the flying apple, and now Marshall’s alone and dives onto the Dark Order. Who’s legal?
Marshall wants the Diamond Cutter, but Grayson shoves him off and Uno/Grayson get a throw powerbomb. Black Hole Slam by Lee and Superfly Splash by Colt… all gets two. Okay, Colt and Marshall are legal. Lee demands the tag and comes in, then stares at Dustin. Lee throws Marshall to the corner so Dustin can tag in and we get the real vendetta. Hockey fight breaks out, but Lee wins easily with a powerbomb try. Dustin escapes, but Lee with the discus clothesline on the rebound. He offers Colt the pin, and Colt goes up top, for a moonsault. Nobody home, though, and Dustin cradles Colt for the pin at 15:04. *** Marshall and Cardona lift Dustin on their shoulders. Replays show Grayson is aghast at Colt wanting the exclamation point.
Back in the ring, Lee is furious at the loss as the entire Dark Order surrounds Colt. Lee shoves everyone and corners Colt, chewing him out. Colt agrees to be at fault, and Lee asks the team to leave without him. But Uno picks Colt up and says it’s okay, he understands.
Backstage, Tony gets a hold of Dustin Rhodes and congratulates him. Dustin: “We did it guys, oh my god!” Dustin puts over his team and says they succeeded. He dedicates the win to Cody, who will return and get back the TNT Title. And on Wednesday, it’s Brodie Lee vs. Dustin Rhodes for the TNT Title! Dustin is overwhelmed with that news, saying it’s been too long since he’s had a title shot of any sort. Hard work pays off, get on the train or be left in the dust. Dustin’s coming for Brodie and Hell is coming with him!
We again look at the FTR/Elite match, and the side issues involved.
AEW Tag Team Titles: FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, w/Tully Blanchard) (#1 rank, challengers, 7-0) vs. Kenny Omega and Adam Page (champions, 15-3, 31.5-week reign). Tully Blanchard walks out in old shoes, with Schiavone explaining they were the shoes he wore as world tag champion. Adam Page looks clean and sober for this match. He stares daggers in FTR because he knows what they did. We get boxing intros.
Omega and Wheeler start. Page, though, wants in, so Omega obliges. They lock up, and Wheeler offers a clean break and Code of Honor. Page doesn’t buy it and slugs away, then clobbers Harwood for good measure. Page throws both men out and nearly nails Omega because his head isn’t in it. Omega calms Page down, but FTR attack. Double big boot by the champs after a criss-cross, and Omega tags in, and chops by both champs follow on poor Wheeler. A chop sandwich and Page offers a high-five before stepping outside (at the count of 9, noticeably).
Page tags in in the corner and frees Omega, getting a suplex on Wheeler for one. Omega in, and Page holds Wheeler for a springboard axhandle to the back. Omega cuts off a tag and chops away on Wheeler, and Page in for some double boots and a leg lace from Omega. SSP by Page gets two. Wheeler fights out and gets a back suplex, getting the anti-hot tag to Harwood. An elbow misses, and Page atomic drops Harwood, who tags Wheeler in flight. But Page clotheslies Harwood, only for Wheeler to send Page under the ropes in the corner and dropkick him into the post.
FTR bend him around the post until Omega chases both men off. Harwood with a kneelift as Tony says that the doctor cleared Matt Hardy to continue, so the injury scare was real. Anyway, Harwood works over Page in the ring with a headbutt to the solar plexus. Harwood absorbs a chop and tags in Wheeler, who gets the knees up for Page’s head. Wheeler pucnhes Page away in the corner, then tags in Harwood before dropping Page gut-first onto Harwood’s knee for two. Harwood with a ground waistlock to Page, then adds an elbow and goes back to working Page’s gut.
Page throws Harwood over him, but Harwood cuts him off and gets an abdominal stretch in the corner. Wheeler assists, Omega protests, FTR switches off, and Wheeler has the stretch on. But the ref didn’t see the tag and won’t allow it. Wheeler protests as Page small packages Harwood, meaning it’s only two. Wheeler sends Page out with a shoulder to the gut, then he and the referee debate as Harwood kicks away on Page. Now the ref SEES the tag to Harwood, who drops outside and throws Page in… only Page bounces off the bottom rope and clotehslienes Harwood!
Hot tag Omega, and Polish Hammers abound… until Wheeler kicks the arms… and runs into another one for two. Harwood is tossed, and Omega gets a Finlay Roll into the moonsault (More Bang For Your Buck, essentially) for two. Omega goes for a dragon suplex, but Wheeler backs him into the corner to escape. Omega with a rana to a charging Harwood and he dropkicks Wheeler out of midair. FTR have a conference on the outside, which allows Omega to dive onto both men with a flying senton tope.
Hey, where’s Adam Page?
Omega goes up top, and a missile dropkick follows for two. Omega tries a gutwrench, but Wheeler gets a wide base to block. Harwood tags in, and he gets a powerbomb on Omega into a Wheeler German into a jack-knife by Harwood, and that didn’t work either. Page wasn’t there in time – so he’s still here – but Omega did kick out.
Harwood drags Omega over and tags in Wheeler, who has his clothesline blocked. Enzuigiri to Harwood, knee strike to Wheeler, and he brings Page back in. He crushes both FTR men in the corner, and Omega follows. Omega throws Harwood into a Page German suplex, then throws Wheeler into a pop-up powerbomb, with Omega adding a V Trigger. Page gets two. Omega tags in as they set up the Last Call, but Hawrood hooks Omega and Wheeler knocks Page into the guardrail.
Wheeler uppercuts Omega and puts him up top, and it’s a superplex try… but Omega throws him face-first. Harwood hooks Omega on the top rope, then tags in and chops Omega before going up to meet him. Harwood gets the superplex try, but Page hangs on to Omega for a block. Omega throws down Harwood as Wheeler tosses Page and blocks Omega, and Harwood follows him up as FTR get the Powerplex for two. Blanchard is surprised by that two-count. Wheeler, the legal man, calls Harwood over for the Goodnight Express, but Page shoves Wheeler away.
Harwood does a brainbuster to Omega, Page lariats Harwood, Wheeler with a tornado DDT to Page, but Omega a poison rana to Wheeler! Omega with the Tiger Driver for two. Announcers note Omega didn’t have enough energy for a full cover. Omega give sthe V Trigger to Wheeler, but Wheeler escapes the One Winged Angel. Harwood tags in as Omega’s knee hits the turnbuckle on a blind charge, and a pair of Dragon screws follow. Harwood with the kneebar that tapped out Taylor, using the ropes for leverage as long as the ref and Page don’t see, but Omega barely makes his way to the ropes.
Harwood works the leg on Omega into a leglock, with Omega trying to reverse to a cross armbar. Harwood breaks it and drops his weight on Omega’s leg. Wheeler holds the leg down as Harwood does it again, then Wheeler adds a kick as Omega rolls out. Page checks on him and asks if he can continue, and the ref asks them to continue. Omega is surrounded and tries to sneak back in, but Harwood catches him and wraps the leg around the post. Harwood boxes Omega in the corner as the crowd picks up and wraps his leg around the ropes, then taunts Page to allow Wheeler to choke Omega with the tag rope.
Omega flips over a charging Harwood, but his leg can’t allow him a tag. Omega with a dragon suplex to Harwood, but Wheeler stops the tag and gets snapDrgaoned as well. Another for Harwood, but Harwood rolls through only to be kicked off into Page. Omega cradles for two as everyone’s down. Harwood up first and cuts off Omega again, but a blind charge goes over the buckle to the post. Wheeler in, and Page gets the hot tag and fires away.
Page runs into Harwood and boots Wheeler before clotheslining Harwood. Wheeler goes up and is caught with a fallaway slam. Page nips up and does a slingshot plancha to Harwood before low-bridging out Wheeler. Page goes up top for a quebradea as FTR pulls themselves up, but FTR moves… just the wrong way as Page gets a senton bomb onto FTR! Back in, Page covers Wheeler for two. Wheeler slugs Page as a cutoff, then gets a Tornado DDT try. Page shoves him off and he and Wheeler fight for positiuon, but Harwood tags in and clotheslines Page for two.
Wheeler back in, and FTR with double diving headbutts to Page, Omega saves. Harwood tosses Omega to the apron and follows, with both men fighting. Omega and Harwood fight over a suplex, but Harwood jumps back in, and Wheeler flies over everyone as FTR gets the Steiner Bulldog on Omega to the floor! Wheeler to the rop, but he misses whatever as Page gets up. Wheeler recovers and has Page on his shoulders, and another Steiner Bulldog by Harwood gets two again!
Now Wheeler tags in as they go for the spike piledriver, but Omega trips Wheeler and Page dumps Harwood. Page goes up to Wheeler and gets a moonsault slam off the top… for two!? Page says it’s Last Call time and calls Omega in, but everyone’s really tired. They got it set up on Wheeler, but Omega instead holds up Wheeler, the Buckshot misses everyone, but the V Trigger hits Page! Wheeler chop blocks Omega and Page is Wheeler dropkicks Omega away, and now the spike piledriver… gets two somehow! How many false finishes does this match NEED!? Wheeler tags in and they try another spike piledriver, and this time it connects and gets the pin (as Harwood chases off Omega) and the titles at 29:37. A dozen or so too many nearfalls for my liking, and the crowd seemed less than interested when FTR was on offense, but fundamentally flawless. ****1/4 FTR leaves a beer for Page to taunt him as Omega chases FTR off with a ringside table…
…and after debating internally, thinks better of it and throws it away rather than hit Page, who can’t even stand. Omega lets Page fall down and kicks the beer away in frustration, then walks off alone. The camera follows Omega who walks right past the Bucks and says they’re done, let’s leave. The Bucks do so, as the Elite tries to talk sense into Omega (or maybe say he doesn’t need Page, who knows) as Omega wants a clean break and a reset. Omega says come with me or don’t, moment of truth, then gets chauffered out of the arena. The Bucks are left to ponder what’s going on next.
We recap the Jericho/Cassidy feud.
Jericho stops Alex Marvez from talking and says this is a monumental occasion. After 14 weeks of a storyline, no feud, no program, no… experiment to see if Jericho could make Cassidy into a main eventer. And now, with everything they’ve been through, tonight it’s clear that Jericho MADE Cassidy as a main eventer. But also, tonight Cassidy will find out that Le Champion makes stars, then ends them. Tonight, the experiment ends. Judas Effect, Walls of Jericho tapout, and a toss into the mimosa. Yeah, Cassidy did well… just not good enough. Tonight, he’s done.
MIMOSA MAYHEM!: Orange Cassidy (8-5) vs. Chris Jericho (17-7-1). There’s a vat of mimosa on either side of the ring, and each one has a bar next to it with glasses, a pitcher, and a ladle. For the record, both men enter alone. Somehow I’m not expecting that to stick.
They soak in the atmosphere to start as the announcers make clear, the whole body has to go into the mimosa. Both men charge, and Jericho gets a Codebreaker for two. Jericho with a back suplex and he goes ground and pound. Jericho chops Cassidy in the corner before flipping off the crowd. Hammer throw and Jericho taunts the crowd again. He picks Cassidy up and absorbs some shots before hammer throwing Cassidy again. Jericho wants the Walls, but switches to a catapult as Cassidy is inches away from the vat. His hair’s in the mimosa as Jericho chokes him, but that’s not enough. Jericho tries to drag Cassidy into the vat, but Cassidy blocks so Jericho smashes his head.
Jericho clears the bar and picks it up, throwing it at Cassidy. He takes the serving tray and smashes it over Cassidy’s head. Jericho basks in applause before trying to toss Cassidy in, but Cassidy throws Jericho off to the floor before diving onto him. (There’s a platform where the vat is, like it’s a below-ground pool.) They brawl on the outside, and Cassidy sends Jericho through the guardrail. Jericho favors his arm, but jams a chair into Cassidy before putting it over his back. They climb onto the other platform by the vat and slug it out, then try to dunk each other, but no one gets anywhere.
Jericho tightropes the outside of the platform and knocks down Cassidy before punching him against the buckle on the apron. Cassidy fights back and goes up, but he’s caught with a powerbomb. Jericho tries to powerbomb Cassidy into the vat, but Cassidy fights it so Jericho sends him through the table instead. Jericho picks him up and tries to drag him into the vat, but Cassidy punches out for separation. Jericho has his baseball bat, but Cassidy with a SUPERKICK to cut off a strike.
Cassidy gets the champagne bucket and smashes Jericho with it. Back in the ring (what a concept) as Cassidy fires off on Jericho, but Jericho nearly backdrops Cassidy out into the vat. A triangle dropkick brings Cassidy closer, but on the next charge, Cassidy sunset flips him for two. Michinoku Driver gets two for Cassidy. Both men are slow to get up – eh, no countout – and they slug on their knees. They fight to their feet, but Jericho gets a knee strike only to fall into Stundog Millionaire. Cassidy tries a tilt-a-whirl DDT, but Jericho blocks into the Walls of Jericho.
The announcers remind us that the rope won’t break the hold as Cassidy crawls there. So Cassidy crawls under the rope, grabs a pitcher, fills it with mimosa, and as Jericho drags Cassidy back, Cassidy throws the mimosa into Jericho’s eyes! Small package gets two. Superman Punch, but Jericho falls away from Cassidy. Cassidy tosses Jericho over, but it’s only a leg in the vat so it doesn’t count. Cassidy on the middle rope to fight Jericho, and Jericho has a pres sslam hooked, but Cassidy drapes Jericho on the ropes and sends him into the buckle as it’s clear Jericho won’t fall in.
Cassidy drags Jericho up and tries a superplex, but Jericho knocks him off. Cassidy kips up, though, and gets a Frankensteiner off the ropes. A field goal kick follows, then the tilt-a-whirl DDT for two. Without the mimosas, that would have ended it. Cassidy crawls to the apron and goes up again, but Jericho catches him with a Codebreaker for two. Cassidy is barely awake as Jericho protests the count, then Jericho pounds away on Cassidy. He picks Cassidy up over his shoulder, but Cassidy blocks on the top rope and hooks the ropes with his legs.
Jericho leaves him hung up and climbs the ropes to Splash Mountain Cassidy into the vat, but Cassidy slips out and a Superman Punch rocks Jericho, who barely hangs on. The pad is off, and another Superman Punch sends Jericho into the vat fully for the win at 15:03. Guys, I’m sorry, but Jericho is DONE. He looks like he’s a shell of himself. Cassidy did well, but it’s clear Jericho has almost nothing left. At least he made Cassidy a star with what little time he has left. **1/4
The next PPV-style show is Full Gear on November 7 – so nine weeks away.
Meanwhile, on the next Dynamite:
- Dustin Rhodes challenges Brodie Lee for the TNT Title!
- Kip Sabian introduces his Best Man for his marriage to Penelope Ford!
- The AEW Champion – whomever it is – will speak to the crowd!
Speaking of, here’s a video look at Moxley/MJF.
MAIN EVENT, AEW World Title: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (w/Wardlow) (challenger, #1 rank, 8-0) vs. Jon Moxley (champion, 16-0, 27-week reign). As a reminder, Moxley is not allowed to use the Paradigm Shift, and according to Excalibur, if he does, he forfeits the title. JR notes that Wardlow has the ring on his hand. Excalibur notes that Moxley wins by making the match HIS style, not the challenger’s. A fan tries to hug Moxley, but security prevents it. Excalibur: “Gotta practice social distancing.”
MJF with a waistlock and leg trip for one and he smirks. MJF gets a facelock, then a headlock takedown. He leans for one. Moxley fights out, but misses a right hand and MJF gets another headlock takedown for one. Moxley shoots him off and gets a slam, but the Power Drive elbow misses and MJF goes back to the headlock takedown. We cut to Roberts and Archer watching as Moxley fights to his feet and gets a rope break. MJF lets it be clean, but fakes a punch so Moxley chops him to cut it off. Moxley chases MJF on the outside, so MJF races back in as the two argue over territory.
MJF refuses to follow Moxley outside, so Moxley returns and gets dumped only to return to the ring as Moxley goes after him. Moxley returns and hooks the Paradigm Shift, then stops himself. MJF with an O’Connor Roll for two before he’s kicked outside. Moxley fakes a dive and stomps MJF, then gets the dive for real before telling Wardlow to back off. Moxley carries MJF by the mouth and crotches him on the guardrail, then clotheslines him off. He eyes Wardlow and dares him to swing, which Wardlow declines.
So Moxley slugs MJF and chops him on the outside before throwing him through the guardrail. He trashes an MJF2020 sign and does SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION, as MJF begs for the ref to order a break. Back in the ring, Moxley cradles MJF for one. MJF grabs the arm, but after an up-and-over by MJF, inverted DDT is reversed by Moxley to a sleeper. MJF does the Bret counter for two. MJF tries a cross armbar, but Moxley stacks him for two. Moxley breaks the guard and pounds away on MJF, then suplexes MJF onto the ropes.
He follows MJF to the apron for a suplex, but Wardlow catches Moxley’s attention and MJF drops Moxley arm-first onto the apron. Moxley has no feeling in his arm, but Wardlow throws Moxley in to MJF. MJF stomps the arm before hooking the nose. MJF drops his knee on the arm for one. MJF with a top wristlock on Moxley, who punches out. MJF maintains arm control and gets a Japanese armdrag for two. MJF chokes Moxley in the corner and laughs at the boos in the crowd. A headlock punch by MJF and more taunting as he tells Gunn Club on the outside to suck it. Back to the keylock on Moxley, and again Moxley slugs out.
Moxley chops away in desperation, but MJF goes to the eyes. He does a full arm twist throw into the buckle for two, and Moxley rolls to the apron. MJF charges in and shoulderblocks him, sending him flying into the downed guardrail. MJF follows Moxley out, which is a mistake as Moxley throws him into the apron. Moxley then trips MJF and catapults him into the post. Moxley bangs his shoulder into the buckle to get feeling into it or pop it into place or something, while MJF blades HARD.
MJF sees Moxley sees the blood and panics, with Moxley getting a kick to the head and a suplex throw for two. Moxley picks MJF up for a Gotch piledriver, but the arm won’t allow it. MJF rolls outside and suckers Moxley out to him before kicking the arm, but MJF charges right into a Bossman Slam on the floor. Back in, Gotch piledriver gets two. MJF is bleeding well, up to .3 Muta. Moxley bites the cut of MJF and puts him on the top rope, following with a superplex try. MJF, though bites Moxley’s hand to escape and comes off by double-stomping Moxley’s arm (there was an audible snap sound)!
Moxley and MJF slug it out, with MJF aiming for the arm instead of the face. Moxley fires elbows, but with the bad arm, allowing MJF to get a cross chop and thrust kick. He tries a rolling elbow, but Moxley ducks and gets a German suplex and lariat for two. JR notes Moxley couldn’t hook the leg. Moxley pulls himself up with one arm as Excalibur notes he now can’t use the Paradigm Shift even if he accidentally wants to. Moxley demands MJF get up, and with MJF to his knees, Moxley taunts him… and MJF spits in Moxley’s face! Moxley nearly applies the Paradigm Shift before being reminded not to, and MJF reverses to the Salt of the Earth Armbar!
He bites the hand as he holds it on, then grapevines the elbow with wrist control! Moxley drags MJF enough to get his foot on the bottom rope. MJF: “Dammit!” Moxley goes to the apron as the cut on MJF has stopped bleeding. Moxley chokes MJF, who drops his arms on the ropes, then a pendulum piledriver gets two for MJF. MJF drags Moxley to the other ropes and tries another one, but Moxley steps in the ring and gets the Sheamus Celtic Cross for two. Again the announcers note Moxley can’t hook the legs with his bad arm.
They go nose to nose, then they slug it out on their knees. Moxley’s blows have more impact than MJF’s, and he picks MJF up with knee strikes. He charges MJF, who pulls the ref in the way. MJF pokes Moxley and backslides him for two. Moxley goes under MJF and gets the sleeper as the cut is opened up again. MJF gets a low blow out of the ref’s field of vision, and a cradle with the tights gets two. MJF gets Crossroads for two, and the announcers note MJF didn’t try to hook a leg to keep that story beat up.
MJF is visibly frustrated at this point. Wardlow’s on the apron and throws the ring in, but Moxley knows it and, while Wardlow distracts the ref to allow MJF to his Moxley, Moxley nails the Paradigm Shift (HA!) for the pin at 23:42. Moxley insists it was a regular DDT when the referee asks. Moxley’s “Oh well” expression to the camera is priceless. Moxley flips off Archer and celebrates. MJF looked better through this match by losing than he ever would have by winning, if that makes sense. This didn’t close the window on MJF – it made it clear the future is coming, but it isn’t here yet. ***3/4
So we all know AEW Pay-Per-Views deliver, and I’m glad I ordered this one. But what’s more interesting is that in matches where someone needed an elevation, they got it. The Jurassic Express was almost certain to lose, but they pushed the Bucks to the limit and beyond. Cassidy was close to being a star for AEW, and Jericho put him to the next level. MJF was seen as a lame duck challenger, and while he technically was, he came out of the match looking like he could have won if he had more luck, or if the referee hadn’t been over-distracted by Wardlow.
The only confusing bit was Hardy/Guevara, but the fact that they had an injury scare in the middle changed things. I’m willing to give them a break – at first, I thought they were doing a fake injury and was upset, but if the scare was real and Hardy was cleared, that’s different. Accidents happen, and certainly that match was set up for accidents.
BELL TO BELL MATCH TIME (including buy-in): 2:48:25 over eleven matches (average time 15:19)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Tag title match
- Kenny Omega
- Hikaru Shida
- Jack Perry
- Lance Archer
FINAL RATING: 9.25. I take off a bit for the Last Man Standing chaos, which was unfortunate and scary, but everyone else hit on all cylinders. As I said, the people who needed to move up were made to look better. Even the cinematic match was a good way to be both silly and violent at the same time, something you rarely see. I do feel a little sorry for Matt Sydal.
So that’s my opinion – you can go see what Scott and Tommy thought while you’re here!