Date: February 24, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
AEW had a pretty surprising headline earlier today as they announced the signing of Big Show Paul Wight, which is not something many people had on their Bingo cards. I’m not sure how much of a difference he is going to make around here but he seems a lot more like a signing for the sake of getting some attention than anything else. Let’s get to it.
Jon Moxley vs. Ryan Nemeth
Nemeth says he likes trying for the starring role and gets slapped off his feet in a hurry. Some knees to the ribs have Moxley staggered but he comes right back with a belly to back suplex. Another shot to the face sets up the Paradigm Shift to finish Nemeth at 2:45.
Post match Moxley sits in a chair and says he’ll do anything to be World Champion again. What kind of images come to mind when someone says exploding barbed wire death match (Laughter?)? Maybe it’s blood, carnage, Japanese wrestling magazines? Moxley talks about how he can’t get enough of wrestling and while it’s a trap from Kenny Omega and his boys, he just can’t resist. He talks about how far he is wiling to go to win the title back and promises to give us everything he has (which sounded like he is leaving, perhaps for paternity leave).
Video on Omega vs. Moxley.
Lance Archer and Rey Fenix respect each other but they both want to win the spot in the Revolution ladder match. Then Fenix calls him the worst partner he has ever had though and has to dodge a lot of violence.
We look back at the Inner Circle shoving Papa Buck last week.
The Young Bucks are here with their parents, who seem rather proud.
Varsity Blonds vs. Team Taz
Brian Cage/Ricky Starks for Team Taz here with Taz on commentary. Pillman and Starks run the ropes to start and it’s Pillman tripping him down to the floor. Back in and Pillman grabs a rollup for two but Air Pillman is knocked to the floor. Cage powerbombs him against the post and we take a break.
Back with Cage curling Pillman and tossing him down, allowing Starks to come back in for a running elbow in the corner. A right hand misses though and the hot tag brings in Garrison to pick up the pace. Garrison’s belly to back faceplant gets two on Starks with Cage making the save. Air Pillman breaks up a sitout powerbomb but it’s a spear to Garrison and a discus clothesline to Pillman. The drill Claw gives Cage the pin at 9:09.
Rating: C+. I liked this one a good bit as the Blonds were looking better than they have to date. The action was good and I can always go for a power vs. speed match. These guys had a pretty fun match here and they had Team Taz sweat a bit, which you might not have guessed in this spot.
Post match we get a video of a truck dragging a body bag. Sting is driving and Darby Allin is in the bag (in half Sting face paint). Back in the arena, here’s Sting, with a body bag. Tony thinks Allin might be in the bag and…..it’s actually Taz’s son Hook. Allin ziplines into the ring with the skateboard to clean house. Sting gets in as well for some pretty bad stomping and the Stinger Splash to Cage.
We get a sitdown interview with Miro, Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford. They don’t like what happened with Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy at the wedding. Miro likes Charles though and wants him to come back as the butler rather than following Cassidy. We get a note from Taylor and Cassidy, with the Y/N/Maybe (circle one), hugs and kisses. Miro tells Taylor to be a man and the match seems likely.
Brandon Cutler vs. Jake Hager
Hager suplexes him down a few times to start and hits the Hager Bomb. Back up and Cutler manages to send him outside for the big flip dive, only to get caught in something like a powerslam back inside. One heck of a running clothesline finishes Cutler at 3:12.
Rating: C-. Nearly a total squash here with Hager barely getting touched outside of that one flip dive. Cutler isn’t someone who feels like anything important so having him beaten up to make the Bucks mad isn’t the worst idea. This worked out well enough, even if the match wasn’t exactly competitive.
Post match the Inner Circle is out for the beatdown but the Young Bucks make the real save. The Bucks call out MJF and Chris Jericho, who pop up on the screen. They aren’t wasting time coming to the ring….because they have beaten and bloodied Papa Buck. MJF and Jericho mock the Bucks’ pose and run when the Bucks come in for the save.
We recap Cody Rhodes/Red Velvet vs. Shaquille O’Neal/Jade Cargill. I’m still not 100% sure why Cargill and O’Neal are a team or why they’re going after Cody but I don’t think you’re exactly supposed to. Jim Ross and Excalibur talk about the match, which could be one heck of a mess.
Isaiah Kassidy vs. Hangman Page
Matt Hardy and the Hybrid 2 are here with Kassidy. Page, who has made some new friends lately, slugs away at Kassidy to start and stomps him down in the corner, setting up the fall away slam. A hard clothesline drops Kassidy and Page kicks him out of the air to the floor. There’s the slingshot dive to drop Kassidy again and a clothesline puts him over the barricade.
Hybrid 2 gets on the apron for a distraction and Hardy’s cheating lets Kassidy get in a cheap shot. Cue the Dark Order to stooge on Matt, who is ejected. Kassidy grabs the armbar and we take a break. Back with Kassidy still working on the arm until Page gets in a shot to the face. The Buckshot Lariat is broken up so Page settles for a discus forearm and a near fall. Kassidy is back with an enziguri, only to get caught in a Death Valley Driver.
There’s a brainbuster for two more on Kassidy, who is back with a posionrana for one. A cross armbreaker has Page in trouble and Kassidy snaps the arm over the rope. Back up and Kassidy tries a springboard but Page pulls it out of the air and hits a (one armed) Deadeye for the pin at 13:26.
Rating: C+. This was quite the lengthy match, though the action was good enough to work out. I’m not sure why Kassidy is getting to hang with Page this long but maybe the ring time will do him some good. The idea of Hardy vs. Page still doesn’t interest me, but if it’s a one off match then it should be ok.
Post match Hardy’s voice comes over the speaker to talk about how Page made the wrong choice. Hardy appears with #5 and throws him off the stage.
Kenny Omega is building the Moxley Extermination Chamber, complete with pounding on metal himself. If you want something done, do it yourself.
Long video on the Women’s #1 Contender tournament.
Women’s #1 Contenders Eliminator Tournament Quarterfinals: Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose
Baker gets tossed around to start so it’s time to go to the back for some complaining. Back in and Rose hits the Samoan drop before trying to break the leg in the corner again. That doesn’t work so Rose drops her hard with a gorilla press. They head outside with Baker kicking the arm against the barricade and we take a break. Back with Rose hitting a superplex but Baker manages a suplex of her own. Rose knocks her down again and goes to the corner but has to take Rebel out with a release Rock Bottom onto the apron.
Rose chokeslams Baker but has to knock Rebel into the corner. That sets up the Cannonball but Baker sends Rose into the exposed buckle (exposed during the break and shown when we came back) to set up Lockjaw. That’s countered though and Rose plants her for two, only to have Baker pull her into Lockjaw again. That’s broken up again so it’s Beast Bomb…for two (possibly due to the banged up arm), with Rose being stunned. Another Beast Bomb finishes Baker at 12:41.
Rating: C. This was an awkward one as they tried to do a bit too much with Rebel and it didn’t quite click. At the same time, and it’s too early to actually get annoyed at this yet, but I’m really not all that interested in Rose. We’ve been there far too many times now and hopefully we don’t have to see it again anytime soon.
Video on Jurassic Express vs. FTR/Tully Blanchard. FTR wants to fight them because they are so different, but they don’t know what they are in for with Blanchard returning to the ring.
Here’s what’s coming in the next few weeks, including at Revolution.
Lance Archer vs. Rey Fenix
For a spot in the Revolution latter match and Jake Roberts is here with Lance. Archer stalks him into the corner but Fenix snaps off a hurricanrana. Fenix manages to knock the monster to the floor for the big running flip suicide dive. Jake catches Fenix on top, so he jumps over Roberts and dives onto Archer instead. Archer throws him over the barricade and we take a break.
Back with Archer knocking him hard off the apron to the floor and looking rather pleased about the landing. Fenix gets sent hard into the barricade and then a toss suplex sends him flying inside. A kick to the ribs lets Fenix get up top for a top rope double stomp to the back of the head but Archer snaps off a release German suplex.
There’s the rope walk moonsault for two on Fenix, who is whipped hard into the corner for a running clothesline. Archer charges into a raised boot in the corner though and Fenix’s rope walk kick to the head puts the monster down. The rolling cutter connects and a Spanish Fly somehow connects for two more on Archer. A Pounce drops Fenix and there’s the chokeslam for a rather close two. Archer is frustrated so he takes Fenix up top and plants him with the Black Out for the pin at 17:32.
Rating: B. I was betting on the time limit draw at the end but it was nice to see Archer get the monster win in the end. This was about the beast chasing its next meal and finally catching him in the end, which is a fine story to tell. They both did their thing rather well and it was a heck of a main event, especially with the longer time that they were given. Fenix is a heck of a star and it’s great to see him getting a chance to shine on his own.
A bit of respect is shown to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This felt like they took their foot off of the gas before the big show next week and there is nothing wrong with that. Next week is the show that matters with the big tag match and then Revolution is later in the same week. There was no need to hammer away with this week’s show and thankfully they didn’t try too hard. What we got was rather good (a few questionable choices aside) and I had a pretty easy time with the show.
Jon Moxley b. Ryan Nemeth – Paradigm Shift
Team Taz b. Varsity Blonds – Drill Claw to Pillman
Jake Hager b. Brandon Cutler – Running clothesline
Hangman Page b. Isaiah Kassidy – Deadeye
Nyla Rose b. Britt Baker – Beast Bomb
Lance Archer b. Rey Fenix – Black Out
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