Date: September 30, 2020
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Taz
Things were shaken up in a pretty big way last week so things should be back to normal this time around. The roster had to deal with a Coronavirus outbreak last time around but all roads are leading towards the anniversary show in two weeks anyway. That includes World Champion Jon Moxley defending against Lance Archer and the champ is in action tonight. Let’s get to it.
Darby Allin vs. Ricky Starks
The long awaited showdown. Before his entrance, we get the latest Allin stunt video. Allin pulls him into a choke to start and they’re quickly on the apron, with Starks being suplexed down and out to the floor. There’s a dive to the floor but here’s Brian Cage to offer a distraction. Will Hobbs comes out to break it up and fight Cage to the back so Starks gets in a shot to the back to take over.
Starks pounds him down and even hits a reverse curb stomp for two. The Roshambo is countered into a Code Red for two and they’re both down again. They slap it out with Allin getting the better of things, sending Taz into hysterics. The flipping Stunner connects but Starks spears him out of the air for two more. Starks takes it up top and tries a super Roshambo but Allin knocks him off the top. The Coffin Drop gives Allin the pin at 9:53.
Rating: C+. These two have been built up for a showdown for a few weeks now and what we finally got was mostly worth the wait. They are both stars in the making and it’s great to see the two of them out there doing their thing. It was also nice to have a definitive winner, and hopefully that doesn’t lead straight into a rematch for no reason other than they need to have a rematch.
Here’s what’s coming for the rest of the show.
Here’s Cody for his first (wrestling) comments since losing to Brodie Lee. Cody talks about his trainer, Al Snow, saying you’ll always wrestle hurt but you should never wrestle injured. All these years later, Cody would offer this retort: what if the injury went beyond your body and was inside your soul? Cody talks about the tradition of shaking hands in the back (at least pre-pandemic) because the wrestlers need each other. The marquee has two names on it: you vs. someone else.
Now imagine if you lose your title and then you get that 323 phone call from Hollywood. Then he found himself sitting on the set of a show near Rosario Dawson and Snoop Dogg but he’s the guy who got beat in three minutes. Cody is back now but while he was gone he has heard people talking about being the future or the ace. He would love to say that he has the honor of being the ace, but that can only be the people who are holding the singles titles around here: Hikaru Shida, Jon Moxley or the man carrying the ace belt himself, Brodie Lee.
As for the dog collar match against Lee, the answer….is no, and Cody walks away. Actually hang on as he comes back to say that means NO regrets because he’s in for the dog collar match for the TNT Title next week. Cue the Dark Order for the brawl but a bunch of wrestlers come out to break it up. Brandi hits a dive onto the Dark Order because Brandi is a star and you will accept it. Anna Jay comes out to brawl with her and Nyla Rose jumps the barricade to stomp KiLynn King. Lee breaks through security and comes after Cody again to little avail. They’re finally broken up for good.
FTR and Tully Blanchard don’t think much of the Best Friends wanting a title shot but SCU is a different story. As for the Young Bucks, why should they get a title shot when they keep losing their big matches? Is it because Dave Meltzer loves them? Cue Matt Jackson to superkick Tony Schiavone and leave when FTR asks why they didn’t kick them.
SCU is ready to win the Tag Team Titles back. Shawn Spears comes in to sarcastically wish Scorpio Sky good luck, because they’re still trying with Spears for reasons I don’t want to try and fathom.
Tag Team Titles: SCU vs. FTR
FTR, with Tully Blanchard, is defending and SCU has Christopher Daniels in their corner. Hangman Page is on commentary for a bonus. Sky dropkicks Harwood for an early two but gets taken into the champs’ corner. That goes nowhere as Sky escapes and it’s a headlock takeover to put Wheeler down for a change. Back up and they trade leapfrogs until Wheeler throws himself down and blames Daniels.
That’s worthy of an ejection and FTR is knocked outside as JR talks about Schiavone being superkicked not being “part of the show.” FTR takes Sky down on the floor and we take a break. Back with Sky hitting a Russian legsweep and bringing Kazarian in to clean house. Kazarian cradles Harwood and suplexes Wheeler for two at the same time, followed by a fisherman’s suplex for two on Wheeler alone. Harwood takes Kazarian down but an elbow to the face allows the tag back to Sky.
Everything breaks down and a high crossbody/sunset flip gets a double near fall on the champs. Stereo slingshot cutters get the same but SCU collides, allowing Wheeler to dragon suplex Kazarian for two. Kazarian gets crotched on top but the powerbomb/top rope clothesline is powerslammed out of the air for a rather near fall. Sky grabs some quick rollups for two each on Wheeler, even with Tully grabbing Wheeler’s hand to try and block one. Sky tries a suplex but Tully sweeps the leg and holds it down so Wheeler can get the pin at 15:44.
Rating: B. They surprised me by not going to the time limit here and it makes FTR look like a bigger deal by beating former champs rather than having to settle for a draw. FTR feels like a dominant team and that’s a great thing to have around. SCU is very valuable as well as they can take a loss like this and not really blink an eye. Good match too, but were you expecting something else with these teams?
Excalibur announces a #1 contenders tournament with the finals at Full Gear. We know three of the eight participants so far: Jungle Boy, Rey Fenix and Kenny Omega, with the final announcement making Page rather emotional.
Isaiah Kassidy vs. Chris Jericho
Matt Hardy, Marq Quen and the rest of the Inner Circle is here too. Jericho gets in Kassidy’s face to start and Kassidy looks a little shaken. That’s playing possum though as Kassidy takes him down and hammers away but Jericho comes right back with shots of his own. They head outside with Jericho being sent over the barricade, where Luther punches Jericho back and clotheslines him back to ringside.
Kassidy hits the big dive and a Swanton gets two back inside. Jericho gets in another good shot though and we take a break. Back with Jericho’s running bulldog being countered into a crotching in the corner. Kassidy hits a springboard flipping Stunner for a near fall and a springboard non-flipping Stunner gets two more. The Lionsault misses so Kassidy hits his own Codebreaker for another two. Jericho has finally had enough of this and hits the Judas Effect for the pin at 11:03.
Rating: C. Jericho continues to try and get people over, which only works so well when he keeps doing it over and over. It was far from a bad match, though I’m not exactly interested in seeing the Inner Circle vs. the Chaos Project (Luther and Serpentico, because they needed a team name too). The match was fine with Kassidy doing his high flying but not being good enough, but it wasn’t exactly a thrilling setup to get here.
Post match the Inner Circle jumps Quen, along with getting in a brawl with Luther and Serpentico.
Kip Sabian and Miro discuss the bachelor party, which needs to be epic. Miro makes phone calls while Sabian throws axes. Now it’s off to an arcade where they play Pac-Man…with Billy Mitchell, a famous video gamer. He has an idea if Miro is interested.
The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy are asked about what happened to them last week but FTR comes in to say the three of them are comedic backyard wrestlers. They can get in the van, half milk and cookies and be midcard relief. Top guys out. Cassidy grabs a mic and calls them weenies. I’m sure there will be a shirt by Friday.
10 vs. Orange Cassidy
A good chunk of the Dark Order is here, along with the Best Friends. 10 takes Cassidy’s sunglasses and gives them to Silver, who dances in celebration….I think. Cassidy gets caught in a swinging Downward Spiral for one, followed by a delayed vertical suplex for two. Back up and Cassidy grabs a rollup for his own two, only to walk into a spinebuster.
10 kicks him out to the floor, where Dark Order mocks the Big Hug. The distraction lets Cassidy hit a dive off the top to take the team out, only to have his high crossbody pulled out of the air. Cassidy hits a tornado DDT and the Orange Punch is good for….well not even enough to put 10 down. The Beach Break ends 10 at 3:30.
Rating: C-. Not much in the way of a match but Cassidy getting a win after last week’s loss was a good idea. This was more of the serious version of Cassidy, which often helps a good bit. The goofy shtick is going to get old in a hurry if he does it all the time, so going with something else from time to time is a good idea. It wasn’t a great match or anything, but it went as it should have.
MJF and Wardlow come in to see the Inner Circle, complete with customized jackets for the team. Well not for Sammy Guevara actually, as there is nothing left in the box. MJF says this wasn’t on purpose but Sammy and Jericho (using the same words back to back) want to know why MJF is here. Jericho thanks him for the jackets but wants to know what MJF wants.
MJF says he asked Jericho a long time ago if he wanted MJF on the team. This turns into a “do you want me in/do you want in” argument until Hager and Wardlow get into a staredown. Jericho says they appreciate the jackets, which were a very MJF move. MJF says it’s a very Jericho move to notice. He and Wardlow leave in peace, prompting Sammy to dub MJF a loser. Jericho says maybe not as this is starting to get interesting.
Britt Baker vs. Red Velvet
Baker takes her down into a rollup to start as Taz brags about the dental plan that Team Taz has. It’s off to a hammerlock on the mat with Baker driving a forearm into the side of the head. Velvet is back up with a leg lariat and a Rey Mysterio sitout bulldog gets two. Baker is right back with a hammerlock lariat and there’s a kick into the ropes. Another into the bottom rope has Velvet in even more trouble but she gets in a rollup. The superkick sets up a fisherman’s neckbreaker to give Baker…the chance to trash talk instead of cover. A Stomp is enough to finish Velvet at 4:39.
Rating: C-. They kept this short as Baker was in her first real match in about four months. Velvet is someone who has been around for a good while on Dark and has gotten to showcase herself multiple times. The match wasn’t anything great but all that mattered was getting Baker back out there and showcasing some more. Well done on that count, which is what mattered.
Post match Baker puts on the Lockjaw for a bonus.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Eddie Kingston is in the ring with the Lucha Bros and referee Bryce Remsburg. Eddie talks about getting choked out last week but he never tapped or said he gave up. So why did Remsburg call the match like that? Remsburg says Eddie was unresponsive last week. They’ve known each other for years and last week they were in their professional lives so Remsburg did his job. The beatdown is teased but here’s Jon Moxley to break it up. Eddie says cut the music and here’s the Butcher from behind Moxley to start their match.
AEW World Title: Jon Moxley vs. The Butcher
Moxley is defending and chops out of the corner to start. A running knee misses though and Butcher counters a chop into a slam to take over. Butcher runs him over with a clothesline and we take a break. Back with Butcher working on the leg but Moxley pulls him into a cross armbreaker. Butcher reverses that into a half crab to stay on the leg but lets it go to hit a running powerslam.
The half crab goes on again, followed by a failed attempt at a Brock Lock. They head outside with Moxley avoiding a charge to send Butcher into the barricade. Eddie and the Bros try to fire Butcher up again and it’s time to head back inside for the slugout. Butcher hits a crossbody and a Rock Bottom for two, followed by a big leg for the same.
For some reason Butcher goes up but gets caught by Moxley, who brings him back down into a superplex. Butcher is right back with another leglock but Moxley gets away again. This time it’s a jumping piledriver for one on Butcher, who is able to block another superplex attempt. A middle rope crossbody gets two on Moxley but he pops back up with the Paradigm Shift into the bulldog choke to retain at 14:34.
Rating: C+. This got some time and they worked a classic formula, but Butcher might not be the kind of guy you want working a nearly fifteen minute main event singles match. He’s a good brawler and worked well enough here, but it felt like he was trying to figure out what to do next at times. Moxley knows how to work this style rather well though and they wound up being pretty good.
Moxley and Kingston stare each other down to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Another show that might not have been great but it was certainly good enough to do its job. They didn’t focus as much on the anniversary show this week, but given Archer’s status that is pretty excusable. What we got was good enough, as usual, as AEW continues to not really have bad shows. I can certainly live with a company whose low end is one of the better shows of the week and that’s what this show usually is.
Darby Allin b. Ricky Starks – Coffin Drop
FTR b. SCU – Wheeler reversed a suplex from Sky
Chris Jericho b. Isaiah Kassidy – Judas Effect
Orange Cassidy b. 10 – Beach Breaker
Britt Baker b. Red Velvet – Fisherman’s neckbreaker
Jon Moxley b. Butcher – Bulldog choke
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