Date: December 9, 2020
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
Things are getting a little wacky around here and that makes things all the more interesting. Above all else, Kenny Omega is now the World Champion and last night he appeared on Impact Wrestling to say….well I’m not completely clear but it is definitely going somewhere in the future. Other than that, we get to hear from Sting after last week’s debut. Let’s get to it.
Hybrid 2 vs. Young Bucks
Non-title. Before the match, the Bucks say they don’t know what is going on with Kenny Omega and they haven’t talked to him in over a week. They start fast with the Bucks sending them outside to start, meaning it’s time for a big flip dive. Back in and we settle down a bit with the Bucks hitting a double basement dropkick on Evans. Angelico comes in to send Matt outside but Nick is right back up to kick Evans off the apron.
Nick is knocked off the apron as well and it’s the assisted 450 for two on Matt. The superkicks take the Hybrid 2 down though and the hot tag brings Nick back in to clean house. Everything breaks down and Nick hits the slingshot X Factor to rock Angelico. Nick powerbombs Evans onto the Acclaimed at ringside and it’s a top rope splash/standing moonsault combination for two on Angelico. Evans is back in with a 450 for two on Nick but he gets powerbombed into the enziguri in the corner.
A springboard Doomsday Device onto the ramp drops Evans again and it’s a double superkick to Angelico for two. More Bang For Your Buck is broken up and Evans hits an inverted hurricanrana on Matt. Angelico wrenches Matt’s knee with a spinning leglock with a name that only Excalibur cares about. Even with his brother’s knee getting cranked, Nick goes up top for a Swanton for the save, even with the leglock still being on. The Bucks hit a slingshot spike Tombstone to put Evans down on the floor and it’s a double superkick into the BTE Trigger to finish Angelico at 11:42.
Rating: B. Well that was a lot. There were all kinds of flips and dives here and that’s exactly why you book a match like this one. The selling wasn’t there and the psychology was non-existent, but there is no reason to look for either of those in a match like this. If you’re not looking for those and treat these things like the junk food wrestling that they are, it’s a fine way to spend some time.
Post match the Acclaimed jump the barricade to go after the Bucks but SCU runs in for the save.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman gets to beat Orange Cassidy tonight and upset a lot of not so smart marks. He’s going to bash Cassidy’s head in because he’s better and Cassidy knows it.
Darby Allin does a word association test with members of Team Taz. He sees Powerhouse Hobbs as a snake in the grass, Brian Cage as a puppet, but he’s also someone waiting for an opportunity, which Allin will give him. Then we see Sting’s face and Allin chuckles.
Here’s Cody for a chat….and hang on because here’s Sting. Arn Anderson steps up to Sting to say he wanted to get a closer look and then walks away. Tony Schiavone says something similar and goes to leave but Sting says come give him a hug. Sting thanks Tony for helping him throughout his career and asks for one more IT’S STING for old times’ sake. Tony gives him what he wants (Never say no to a 61 year old man in face paint holding a baseball bat. Remember that.) and Sting says this is awesome.
With Tony gone, Cody says welcome back and thanks Sting for the assist last week. Cody has been waiting to share a ring with him for a very long time….but Sting isn’t here for him, at least not right now. Sting says there is something really familiar about this place and points to Darby Allin in the rafters.
This ring is the jungle and he’s glad to be back on TNT. Cody again says welcome back but Sting says that the only thing for sure about him is that nothing is for sure. He is here full time and plans to be around for a good while. The way Sting chooses to play is his business and he gives Cody a rather firm pat on the back. Sting: “See you around kid.” Sting sounded more energized and invested here than he ever did in WWE, though I’m scared to see how much of that good look goes away if/when he has a match of any kind. For now though, rather nice start.
Team Taz talks about how Cody needed Sting to come save them. Well now Cody’s former star student, Taz’s son Hook, is training with them and they’re ready to beat someone up.
FTR vs. Varsity Blonds
That would be Brian Pillman Jr./Griff Garrison. Pillman gets taken into the corner to start and the beating is on in a hurry. Back up and Pillman brings Wheeler over for the tag to Garrison. A few rooms of the house are cleaned and it’s a spinning legdrop from Garrison to give Pillman two. Pillman misses the middle rope spinning crossbody though and the chinlock goes on as we take a break.
Back with Pillman getting caught in a Demolition Decapitator and being sent outside for a shot from Tully Blanchard. Pillman manages to get in a quick shot though and Air Pillman allows the hot tag to Garrison. House is cleaned but Harwood slips out of a suplex. Pillman comes back in and is caught with a brainbuster and the Goodnight Express gives Wheeler the pin at 8:08.
Rating: C-. Perfectly watchable match with the Blonds mostly getting squashed to put FTR back on the winning side. FTR is a team who could work with anyone around here and hopefully that is the case going forward. The Blonds are fine for the young pretty boy team and you can never have enough of them.
Post match FTR gets in a staredown with the Jurassic Express on the floor.
Hangman Page is in a six man tag next week against Matt Hardy and Private Party but he doesn’t have any partners. John Silver and Alex Reynolds pop up from behind the bar (Page: “How long have you been there?” Silver: “About seven minutes.”) to offer their services. Page eventually relents, but it’s one match only. Works for the cult guys.
Dustin Rhodes vs. 10
Rhodes shoves him around to start and they’re on the floor in a hurry with Dustin sending him face first into the barricade. 10 drops him onto the apron though and they head inside again with 10 hitting a big spinebuster. Dustin is sent outside again but Aaron Solow grabs 10’s arm, earning himself a pump kick to the face. Back in and Dustin gets in a shot of his own, setting up the bulldog for the pin at 5:51.
Rating: D+. Just a match here with 10 getting in most of the offense until a bit of a surprising choice for interference gave Dustin the chance. 10 looked solid here, but other members of the Dark Order have moved pretty far ahead of him in recent weeks. Then again the team is kind of all over the place at the moment so I’m not sure how much this is going to help him.
Post match here’s the Dark Order, with Evil Uno saying Dustin has a long legacy in wrestling and has been around for a very long time. That comes with a lot of pressure, so he should join the Dark Order as Seven. Tony: “He doesn’t want to be that number.” Dustin extends his hand and then slaps Uno in the face. Uno calls the troops off before they get to Dustin and says he’ll be waiting when Dustin sees the light.
Tony Schiavone has a sitdown interview with Shaquille O’Neal and Brandi Rhodes. Brandi doesn’t like hearing all of Shaq’s accolades but Shaq talks about Jade Cargill injuring Brandi’s arm. Shaq didn’t like what Jade did to her arm and Brandi agrees, though she will get in Cargill’s face again if she does the same. Shaq understands that and says he and Cody were just messing around on Twitter.
He has all the respect in the world for the wrestlers and the Rhodes Family, so Brandi gets up and shakes his hand with a smile. She goes to leave without incident, but Shaq says that while Brandi’s arm is in a sling, she should get some pointers from Jade. That’s too far for Brandi, who says she’s sick of this s***, throws a drink in Shaq’s face, and calls him an overgrown a******. They got the point across, but dang Shaq can be hard to understand with that deep voice.
Here’s the Inner Circle for their summit. They have had a week to figure things out but if this doesn’t work, the team is done. That’s not why Jericho put the team together and it was embarrassing. Now MJF and Sammy don’t like each other, Ortiz hates all of them and Santana was so mad that he didn’t even come to work this week. MJF interrupts and says they are all friends and he wanted to join this team because they are great. Sammy snaps and says he’s tired of MJF, with Ortiz saying that MJF is growing on him like a fungus.
They try to calm Sammy down, with Sammy eventually agreeing to shake his hand. However, if ONE MORE THING happens, he’s quitting this team and taking it out on Jericho. They shake hands and Jericho says things are calm…..but Jake Hager doesn’t like Wardlow staring at him. Jericho tries to calm things down and they agree to stop staring. They’re on the same page and know that they need to dominate AEW as only they can. They have a big main event tonight with MJF promising to end Orange Cassidy. The team all puts their middle fingers in and it’s all cool. I’m sure.
FTR and Tully Blanchard say they’re great together, unlike Jurassic Express, who are a bunch of crazy people. They are the 82 Ford Bronco with Mario Andretti driving and they are ready to win the titles back.
Eddie Kingston/Butcher and the Blade vs. Lance Archer/Lucha Bros
The brawl is on outside before the bell with everyone going at it in a hurry. The bell rings with Pentagon getting dropped hard and having to be taken to the back. Fenix gets caught in the corner as the numbers game is already in trouble. Eddie hammers away on Fenix and then sends him chest first into the corner as Jake Roberts is sitting on the stage. Blade gets to choke away with his leg but Fenix manages a shot to Kingston’s face.
The hot tag brings in Archer to slug it out with Butcher before hitting some running shoulders to both Butcher and Blade in the corner. We take a break and come back with Archer hitting a German suplex on Blade, only to grab at his knee. The hot tag brings in Fenix with the springboard and there’s the big dive to take Kingston down. Back in and the powerbomb/neckbreaker combination finishes Fenix at 9:21.
Rating: C. This was a weird one with the Penta deal being a weird way to go *assuming it wasn’t legit that is). Archer continues to be a heck of a monster and it’s easy to see why he is so dominant all the time. What we got here was fine, but it was a weird way to go with the choices they had.
Post match Archer cleans house without much effort again.
Nyla Rose, Jade Cargill and Vickie Guerrero are beating up Red Velvet. Ivelisse and Diamante come in for the save.
Abadon vs. Tesha Price
Price looks scared to death and being thrown across the ring makes it even worse. Abadon hammers away in the corner and hits the Widow’s Peak for the pin at 1:12.
Post match the beating continues until Hikaru Shida makes the save with a heck of a kendo stick shot to the head. Abadon sits up and Shida and Price bail in a hurry.
The Inner Circle is ready to destroy Orange Cassidy.
Tony Schiavone is in the ring to interview Kenny Omega….who arrives in a helicopter with Don Callis. After the big entrance, Tony talks about how he has never been more disgusted than he was when Don Callis interfered last week (yeah still not that big of a deal). Callis talks about Tony Khan welcomed him into his home and then Callis screwed him over. Callis: “Welcome to the wrestling business kid.”
This might have been a bigger screwjob than Montreal because the AEW Title raises the stakes. Callis gives us a fast version of last night’s Impact promo: he has known Omega since Omega was ten and the plan has been in place for years. Now Callis, as the invisible hand, has pushed Omega to the World Title after helping put together Omega vs. Chris Jericho in the Tokyo Dome, which brought AEW to fruition. Omega talks about how they had this ultimate plan and waited a year to pull it off.
Then last week it was a fine art performance and it was downright inspirational. Everyone fell for it from commentary to Jerry Lynn. What mattered most though was Jon Moxley fell for it and no one kicks out of the One Winged Angel. You haven’t seen anything yet and Omega does goodbye and good night. The delivery was good…..but the big idea behind it is that they needed a plan to get Omega, who has the biggest reputation of anyone here in the company and helps run the whole place, to become World Champion? That’s kind of hard to buy, though Callis’ promo was good.
Dynamite Diamond Ring: Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Orange Cassidy
The Inner Circle and the Best Friends are here too. MJF jumps him to start and breaks the sunglasses to really make things serious. A Stundog Millionaire gets Cassidy out of trouble though and they head to the apron, with Cassidy missing a charge into the post. MJF ties Cassidy’s fingers in the turnbuckle to make it worse and it’s a chinlock back inside. Cassidy gets sent outside again and the Inner Circle gets in the group stomping. Sammy posts Cassidy and we take a break.
Back with MJF mocking the hands in the pockets, only to have Cassidy come back with the tornado DDT. MJF hits the top rope stomp to the arm but has to duck the Orange Punch. A double underhook shoulder breaker sets up a tiger driver for two and they’re both down. Cassidy is back up to dive onto the Inner Circle but MJF gets in the Heat Seeker back inside. Jericho sends MJF the bat for the Eddie Guerrero treatment, but Cassidy doesn’t even catch it, puts his hands in his pockets, and falls down.
MJF grabs the bat and gets caught in a nice twist on the usual deal, meaning the referee throws the bat outside. The Beach Break gets two so MJF is back with the Salt of the Earth, but Cassidy rolls out. The Orange Punch, with the bad hand, gets a delayed two and another one connects, but this time Wardlow puts the foot on the rope. Everyone brawls on the floor so here’s Miro to deck Cassidy and put his hands in his pockets as MJF steals the pin at 13:23.
Rating: B-. There was a lot going on here and it got a bit messy at times, but dang they had me with some of the drama in the near falls. What matters most here is MJF keeping the ring and keeping the Inner Circle going for the time being, as their breakup is something you should stretch out rather than hot shot. Good match, even with all the chaos going on.
Post match Miro, in his Versace sweater, wrecks the production staff, including throwing one off the stage to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This was an up and down show and I’m not sure what to think of the whole thing. The wrestling wasn’t as good this week but after last week’s huge show, it’s understandable that they need a little breather. The main event and the opener both worked and it’s not like the there was anything completely horrible throughout the show.
The important parts here were Sting, Shaq and Omega and…..yeah I’m not sure on them. The Sting stuff was good, as Sting looked and sounded like his old self, but how long does that charm last? I can’t bring myself to care about Shaq, especially when it seems to be more about Brandi than anyone else. That leaves Omega, and while the story of why they needed a plan doesn’t really work, it’s still WAY too early to know where this whole thing is going to pass judgment on it yet. Overall it’s a good show, but they have a lot of things to address going forward.
Young Bucks b. Hybrid 2 – BTE Trigger to Angelico
FTR b. Varsity Blonds – Goodnight Express to Pillman
Dustin Rhodes b. 10 – Bulldog
Eddie Kingston/Butcher and the Blade b. Lucha Bros/Lance Archer – Powerbomb/neckbreaker combination to Fenix
Abadon b. Tesha Price – Widow’s Peak
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Orange Cassidy – Pin after Miro interfered
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