Date: March 17, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
It’s time for the next special show as we have a St. Patrick’s Day special. This time around we have the fallout from last week’s big angle with the Inner Circle being laid out by MJF and his new group. Other than that, we have a major showdown with Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker. Let’s get to it.
MJF and company arrived at the airport earlier today.
Penta El Zero M vs. Cody Rhodes
During the intros, Penta (through a translator) promises to send Cody onto an early paternity leave. Penta jumps Cody during the entrances and we starts on the floor. Some kicks to the face and leg have Cody in more trouble and they head inside. Cody screams at Penta for chopping him and hits a release gordbuster. The Sling Blade gives Penta two and a Backstabber is good for the same.
Penta starts going after Cody’s bad arm but he’s fine enough to send Penta out to the apron. That means the Disaster Kick out to the floor, setting up the suicide dive. Back in and Cero Miedo is broken up with a superkick into a Canadian Destroyer into the Cody Cutter for two. Cross Rhodes gets two, as does a Vertebreaker, because modern professional wrestling is ridiculous. Cody wraps the leg around the post to set up the Figure Four but Penta makes the rope. Another Figure Four attempt is countered into the arm snap but Cody grabs a sunset flip for the pin at 10:09.
Rating: C+. Yeah I know they did a lot of cool stuff but they completely lost me with the ridiculous amount of kickouts. Sure a lot of people do it these days and it’s still ridiculous. Cody hit two finishers, a Vertebreaker and his submission with Penta surviving everything until a rollup got the pin. There is no need to do that much in a ten minute opening match and it was turning into a near joke.
Post match the Nightmare Family comes out to chase Penta off. QT Marshall gets out late and the Nightmare Family (all six members in the ring to chase off one Penta) is annoyed at him for being late.
The Young Bucks are ready to face Rey Fenix and Pac when Don Callis comes in. He’s heard that their dad wasn’t feeling good so Callis got him a shirt (“Do Not Slap Leg When Kicking”. SEE??? BECAUSE IT WAS A WWE THING AND THAT MEANS IT’S FUNNY TO REFERENCE IT BECAUSE IT MUST BE STUPID!!!). Anyway, Callis wanted to see the Bucks that he saw in Japan but there is nothing elite about them here. As for Kenny Omega, he is now the wrestling god and Omega doesn’t recognize the Bucks because they are just another team with fancy tights. Do they see the same Bucks they saw in Japan? Yay Japan. Again.
Jade Cargill vs. Dani Jordyn
Cargil doesn’t waste time in hitting a jumping knee and we hit the posing. A release German suplex sends Jordyn flying and Jade nips up, setting up Jaded (Glam Slam) for the pin at 1:17. That’s exactly how Cargill should be presented: total dominance with her doing the things she can make look good. Don’t have her trying to run before she can crawl.
Post match Cargill gets in Red Velvet’s face but is held back.
We look back at the big beatdown to end last week’s show.
Here are MJF and company for a chat. Tully Blanchard talks about how great it is to be in the middle of the ring with this bunch of guys. Last week they were in the ring with the Inner Circle and you saw them destroyed. So doesn’t that make this new group the most dominant group? That makes them the pinnacle (that sounds like a name) of professional wrestling. Thirty four years ago, Tully started his career with the best team in wrestling and now he’s ending it with them too.
MJF says now he is Judas and talks about how hard it was to take a backseat to Jericho for six months. Every time Jericho talked, he had to fall back as Jericho’s hairline. MJF sang and danced for Jericho and pretended to like his comedy BS, but it worked as planned. He was plucking Jericho feather by feather and then it was the coup de grace: he convinced everyone that he wanted to take over the Inner Circle. From day one, the plan was to kill the Inner Circle from the inside because he wanted to build something even better.
Tully was right when he called this group the Pinnacle and MJF talks about every member of the team. Then there is MJF himself, because he is the most talked about star in wrestling at 24 year old. He has 25 years plus left in the tank and that must make a lot of people want to put their fist through the screen. The GOAT spot is reserved for him and the Pinnacle is ready to be the backbone of AEW for years to come. And yes, he is better than us and we know it. Good promo here, with MJF selling it to perfection as you would expect.
Jurassic Express/Bear Country vs. Matt Hardy/Butcher and the Blade/Private Party
During the entrances, Hardy talks about how his team loves to make money and how he is building an empire. Matt wants to face Stunt to start but Marko makes him charge into the corner. That lets Jungle Boy comes in with a missile dropkick and everything breaks down in a hurry. The good guys clear the ring and Bear Country LAUNCHES Marko over the top (and he barely got his head down in time) for the huge crash.
Boulder throws Marq Quen but accidentally hits Boy by mistake, allowing Hardy to hit the Side Effect for two. We take a break and come back with Luchasaurus cleaning house with a bunch of kicks. The standing moonsault press gets two on Kassidy and it’s off to Bronson for a suplex.
Luchasaurus does not like Bronson coming in but Marko tags himself in as well as the good guys break down. A brawl breaks out on the floor and Kassidy kicks Marko in the face. Matt cuts off Marko’s comeback attempt and there’s Gin and Juice. That lets Matt tag himself in and hit the Twist of Fate for the pin on Stunt at 8:43.
Rating: C-. The tension between the Express and Bear Country could lead to a decent mini feud, but I’m not sure how much more they can milk out of Hardy. The Big Money Matt character is slightly better than Broken Matt but it’s still Matt Hardy as the focal point in 2021. That is only going to get them so far and it is getting more and more obvious every time he is in the ring.
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston say they don’t like the Good Brothers, and it isn’t just because Moxley wasted his money on Talk N Shop A Mania. Moxley thinks Karl Anderson has googly eyes like something you see kids making with construction paper. Kingston says this isn’t Tokyo or the Impact Zone because this is their home. The Good Brothers are cowards who die a thousand deaths. Moxley and Kingston are soldiers who will only die once. See you out there. I’m not wild on their matches, but these are two of the best talkers on wrestling right now and they’re a highlight every week.
Christian talks about people who are considered workhorses in this business. He is the kind of guy who makes other wrestlers look better but he isn’t a workhorse. That’s because he is THE workhorse but he only wants one spot. That spot is currently held by the AEW World Champion, who he got to meet last week. Omega is on borrowed time as World Champion and they’ll see each other down the road. He is here to cement his legacy and out work everyone. More good talking here, with Christian not sounding like he did in WWE, which is a welcome result.
Eddie Kingston/Jon Moxley vs. Good Brothers
The Brothers jump Kingston during his entrance but here is Moxley, with his shoulder taped from the barbed wire match, to start the fight. Moxley is sent shoulder first into the barricade and the Magic Killer drops him on the floor. The bell rings and it’s Kingston getting hammered down in the corner. More shots to the face give Gallows two as Moxley is still down on the floor.
Kingston gets in some chops but Gallows kicks Moxley off the apron as we take a break. Back with Kingston hitting a middle rope shoulder to drop Gallows and suplexing Anderson. That’s enough for the hot tag off to Moxley, who hits a running dropkick to send Anderson into the corner.
The running clothesline sets up a piledriver for two and there’s a suicide dive onto Gallows. Back in and Anderson scores with the spinebuster on Moxley, followed by the belly to back suplex/neckbreaker combination to plant Kingston. Gallows and Moxley brawl out to the floor, leaving Moxley to small package Anderson for the pin at 9:53.
Rating: C+. I liked this one as they told a good story with Moxley being down for the most part to leave this as a handicap match. The Good Brothers are fine as the enforcers for Omega and that’s all they need to be. This was mainly a one sided match until things picked up in the end, which is the story they were telling. Good enough match here.
Post match the beatdown takes out Moxley and here is Kenny Omega, dancing to the ring (that was great) and Kingston gets a Magic Killer. Kingston gets his ankle Pillmanized and the chair is wrapped around Moxley’s neck. Cue the Young Bucks to make the save but Omega gets in Matt’s face. Omega keeps wanting the Too Sweet, even with the Bucks looking ready to fight. Moxley gets the chair to clear the ring and Omega talks about his shoe. Omega was a bit loopy here and it worked….kind of? The dancing certainly did.
Tony Schiavone brings out Sting for his weekly chat but brings out Darby Allin as well for a change. Allin talks about winning the TNT Title and is here to defending it every week. He wants to pay tribute to the best TNT Champion of all time and will defend the title against any member of the Dark Order. Cue Lance Archer and Jake Roberts to interrupt. Archer wants to know why Sting is always getting the TV time and calls Allin the most indyrific wrestler around here. Roberts tells Allin to go put his hot dog bun back on because he is just a weenie.
Archer and Roberts leave so here is Team Taz, with Brian Cage speaking for himself this week. Cage talks about how great the street fight was and says he respects Sting. With or without the bat, Ricky Starks is wrong: Sting is still the Icon. Cage leaves as the rest of the team yells at him.
Video on Scorpio Sky, who was always the nice guy because no one wanted him to be the star. Now, everything has changed.
Rey Fenix vs. Angelico
Angelico takes him down to the mat to start but Fenix flips out of a wristlock. An armdrag takes Angelico down and we reset a bit. Angelico grabs the arm and starts hammering away on the tape on Fenix’s back. We take a break and come back with Fenix making the comeback and hitting the rolling cutter for two. A fireman’s carry is broken up and Fenix gets sent into the corner. An exchange of kicks to the head sets up Fenix’s crucifix bomb. The Black Fire Driver finishes Angelico at 7:31.
Rating: C+. These guys beat each other up for a few minutes and that was all it needed to be. I’m not sure why this wouldn’t be Fenix and Pac beating up the Hybrid 2 but the less Jack Evans around, the better things can be. Fenix continues to be as entertaining as it gets and I’m looking forward to the Tag Team Title match.
Miro is working out but stops to say he is sick of hearing about Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy. Kip Sabian comes in to say he isn’t done with them and wants the rematch. He also isn’t happy with Miro for bumping into Penelope Ford but Miro says the worst thing you can do is have your wife at ringside (right). Miro leaves and Fenix accepts the rematch on behalf of the team.
John Silver accepts the TNT Title challenge for next week.
The Pinnacle takes over the Inner Circle’s dressing room.
Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker
Lights out, meaning anything goes and Rebel is here with Baker. Speaking of Rebel, she hits Rosa from behind with a crutch before the bell and Baker takes it to the stage. The Air Raid Crash on the ramp gets two, as apparently this is falls count anywhere. Baker misses a chair shot against the barricade as we see Hikaru Shida watching from the back. Rosa is back up and throws a chair at Baker’s face and another shot to the back. Baker is sent over the barricade with Rosa following but missing a charge into a chair.
They’re back at ringside with Rebel helping Baker set up a table. A bunch of chairs are thrown inside and Rosa is busted open. We take a break and come back with Baker superplexing her onto the pile of chairs, which leaves her down as well. A delayed cover gets two and Rebel slides in a ladder. Rosa sends Baker face first into the ladder for two and there are the running knees in the corner.
The ladder is put on Baker’s face and a running dropkick crushes Baker in the corner. That busts her open too as commentary can’t believe how this is going. Baker is bleeding hard but manages to send her into the ladder. Rosa is down and Baker goes up….but gets Death Valley Drivered off the top and into the ladder for the huge crash. That’s good for two as well and somehow Baker is back up with a DDT onto the chair. The stomp onto a chair gets the same but Baker, who is covered in blood, smiles.
Rebel slips in the glove….and a bag of tacks as well. Rosa is back up and tries a powerbomb onto the tacks, only to have Rebel offer a distraction. That’s fine with Rosa, who knocks her off the apron and through the table, followed by the powerbomb onto the tacks for two. Baker pulls her down into the Lockjaw but Rosa rolls it into the tacks for the break in a painfully smart move. A hard low superkick rocks Rosa again and they head to the apron with Rosa pulling her off the top. That means a Fire Thunder Driver through the table to finally end Baker at 16:37.
Rating: A. This was everything you could have wanted from the match and more, but above all else it felt like a war. You could feel that these two were going to do everything they could to beat the other, but also to survive as long as they could. It was as hard hitting and brutal of a match as I have seen in a long time and I dug the heck out of the whole thing. I got a lot more out of the violence here than in the barbed wire match and I would not have bet on this coming in. Great match and check it out for sure.
They’re both mostly done to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. That main event bailed out an otherwise pretty meh show, as it was the only thing worth seeing. The good thing is that it is VERY worth seeing and made up for almost everything else. The first twenty minutes of this show had me ready to trash the whole thing but it did get better as it went along. I’m not big on some of the stories they are telling here, but at least they had a classic to wrap it up. Good show, and that is almost entirely attributed to the main event and some solid promos.
Cody Rhodes b. Penta El Zero M – Sunset flip
Jade Cargill b. Dani Jordyn – Jaded
Matt Hardy/Butcher and the Blade/Private Party b. Jurassic Express and Bear Country – Twist of Fate to Stunt
Eddie Kingston/Jon Moxley b. Good Brothers – Small package to Anderson
Rey Fenix b. Angelico – Black Fire Driver
Thunder Rosa b. Britt Baker – Fire Thunder Driver through a table
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