Date: March 24, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
We are coming off of last week’s incredible Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa war and that means this show is going to have a lot to follow. I’m not sure how they are going to be able to do that but AEW does have a nice track record with this sort of thing. If nothing else, the build towards Double Or Nothing is likely starting soon so let’s get to it.
Kenny Omega vs. Matt Sydal
Non-title with Don Callis on commentary. Omega works on the arm to start and takes him down into a top wristlock. Sydal’s flip is taken down but he’s right back up with a headscissors out to the floor. Back in and Sydal starts working on the shoulder but Sydal takes him down in the corner for a running knee. Another headscissors out of the corner puts Omega down, only to have him pop back up with a heck of a clothesline.
Omega slaps him in the back but Sydal is back up with some spinning kicks to the head. Sydal snaps off a middle rope hurricanrana into a fisherman’s buster for two. Back up and Sydal sits him on the top but Omega slides through the legs to avoid a super hurricanrana (that’s a new one and a sweet counter), sending Sydal crashing to the mat. There’s the snapdragon on Sydal but he kicks Omega in the face again, setting up kind of a snap Angle Slam for two more.
Omega is right back with the V Trigger for two and the kickout offers some frustration. Sydal grabs a poisonrana and goes up, only to get crotched before the shooting star press can launch. Another V Trigger looks to set up the One Winged Angel but Sydal reverses into a victory roll for a VERY close two. Omega V Triggers him again into the One Winged Angel for the pin at 11:29.
Rating: B. I’m really not big on Sydal but these two had a rather hard hitting back and forth match. As usual, Omega is far better when he is in the ring than on the microphone so this was a good bit better than I was expecting. Omega gave him a lot here and that near fall on the victory roll was outstanding. Awesome opener here and I had a good bit of fun with it.
John Silver is ready to win the TNT Title and the Dark Order helps fire him up. Hangman Page says the team will love Silver no matter what.
Hangman Page vs. Cezar Bononi
Bononi blocks a whip into the corner but misses a big boot, allowing Page to kick him in the face instead. A slingshot dive over the top is caught though and Bononi drops him onto the apron. Back in and Page slugs away but gets sent hard into the corner. That earns Bononi a t-bone suplex into the Buckshot Lariat for the pin at 2:19.
Lance Archer thinks everyone who has ever stepped in the ring has looked up to Sting. I’m sure Brisco is at the top of the list. Archer holds up Sting’s bat and says it makes people respect him now. People are going to remember his name and it is going to be showtime.
We look back at last week’s Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker war, with Rosa thanking everyone for believing in her.
Britt Baker (complete with a shirt showing her bleeding face last week) is here with Tony Schiavone and can’t believe that she isn’t getting more applause. She calls the people more disrespectful than Thunder Rosa because Baker is the reason she will be remembered. Then Rosa had the audacity to say that she put the women on the map? If that’s true, then why are so many people talking about Baker?
Mick Foley gave Baker a thumbs up, but she became a hardcore legend in one night instead of twenty years. Tony Khan is looking for every legend when the real legend is right here under his nose. She put AEW on the map last week and those three letters come second to DMD. Baker brought the intensity here. Now do something with it!
Christian Cage is in the back with the Varsity Blondes and Dante Martin when Frankie Kazarian comes up to say Christian hasn’t even said hello to an old friend. They’re cool, but Kazarian wants to know when Christian is going to start working. How about next week? Seems like we have a deal, though Kazarian tells him to check out his match on Monday, since Christian doesn’t do anything that night.
Pinnacle vs. Varsity Blondes/Dante Martin
That would be FTR/Shawn Spears for Pinnacle with MJF, Tully Blanchard and Wardlow at ringside. Spears and Garrison shove each other around to start before Garrison starts working on the arm. Martin gets in some cranking of his own and it’s quickly off to Pillman, who beats up both Spears and Harwood at the same time. Everything breaks down in a hurry with the Pinnacle being sent outside. Wardlow gets in the way of the big flip dives and we take a break. Back with Martin taking a brainbuster and Spears hitting the C4 for the pin at 6:43.
Rating: C. They sped through this one and about half of it was spent in the break. The good thing here was the fact that Pinnacle won, even if they gave up a good bit at the start. You don’t need to do anything more than what makes sense and Pinnacle winning until (maybe) they run into the Inner Circle is the right call. The team looks good and then they won, so that’s all that matters.
Post match Wardlow beats up Pillman a bit more. Wheeler says he doesn’t have any family at home so these men here are his family. Harwood calls out Santana and Ortiz because if you want to measure yourselves in wrestling, come face these men. MJF says the only thing Jericho is going to break is the next chair he sits in. Tony Schiavone tries to get involved but is glared down. MJF has a gift for them next week.
Taz insists his team has no problem and Brian Cage has apologized for praising Sting last week. The team is ready for anything.
QT Marshall talks about the perks of being part of the Nightmare Family. Cody Rhodes taught him the value of putting in the work but Tony Khan is the only person to put in more work than him. Sure there have been some perks, but what about having to make sure Cody’s coffee is hot? Cody is going to go back to the hotel with his wife but Marshall is going to be at work while his wife sleeps alone. The only way to fix this is to have an exhibition with Cody next week.
Now Marshall knows he can’t make Cody do this….but here’s Cody, with the headset on and his arm in a sling, to say the match can be on with Arn Anderson as the referee. Cody promises not to hurt Marshall next week. If he gets the Figure Four on, he’ll let it go or if he hits Cross Rhodes, he won’t follow through with it. Marshall might be his best friend, and they will have this match friend to friend. That’s enough for a handshake and Marshall seems ok. I think you know where this is going and there is nothing wrong with that.
Laredo Kid/Lucha Bros vs. Young Bucks/Brandon Cutler
Nick and Fenix trade wristlocks to start things off with Fenix spinning around into a cradle for two. Nick does the same thing and it’s a staredown, followed by a double tag off to Matt and Penta. A crucifix gets two on Matt but he grabs the Sharpshooter, sending Penta bailing over to the rope. Penta cranks on both arms for two and it’s another staredown. Laredo and Cutler come in with Kid hitting him in the jaw to start. A headscissors sends Cutler out to the floor but the Bucks break up the dive attempt.
Back in and Fenix takes the Bucks down with a very spinning springboard double wristdrag, followed by the springboard flip dive from Penta. Cutler adds his own springboard flip dive and there’s the moonsault from Kid. We settle down to a powerbomb/Sliced Bread combination for two on Kid and we take a break. Back with a double tag bringing in Matt and Penta as everything breaks down. A pop up splash gives Fenix two on Matt, followed by Kid’s springboard hurricanrana on Matt.
Penta adds a double stomp and Fenix’s springboard Swanton gets two with Nick and Cutler making a double save. Fenix superkicks Nick and then nails a spinning kick to the head. A heck of a clothesline drops Fenix though and everyone is down. It’s back to Kid, whose tornado DDT is countered into Matt’s rolling northern lights suplexes.
The Bucks start the double teaming on Kid and Risky Business (Do they have nothing better to do than think up names for moves all day?) gets two. Everything breaks down again and Fenix starts cleaning house, only to get caught in a non-springboard Indytaker. Nick hits a springboard corkscrew dive to the floor and Matt hits a SCARY DDT to plant Fenix hard on the apron. Kid’s Spanish Fly finishes Cutler at 11:28.
Rating: B. Yeah what else were you expecting here? They did all of their flips and dives and that’s why you put them in there. Kid pinning Cutler is the right call as you keep the big teams ready for whenever Pac is back for the Tag Team Title match. These matches don’t exactly stand out a lot of the time, but what they did here was rather entertaining and that is exactly the idea.
Post match here’s Kenny Omega to jump Kid with the microphone and then hit him with the microphone. Omega remembers the first ever Fyter Fest with Kid involved before shifting to the Bucks. He remembers being there three years ago with the Bucks, who were just like his family.
Omega didn’t take the greener pastures of New York because he went with the Bucks to AEW. Then they chose Brandon Cutler instead of Omega, and yeah Don Callis can be abrasive, but Omega is giving them one more chance to throw up the Too Sweet. The Bucks walk away and leave with Cutler, who Omega shouts at on the way out. Hold on though as the Lucha Bros get up and jump Omega for the spike Fear Factor. Cue the Good Brothers for the very late save, even as Omega is bleeding from the mouth.
Jade Cargill thinks Red Velvet has made a big mistake by getting in her face. If Velvet wants to get in the ring with her, she’s getting in the ring with the bad b****.
Cody and Brandi Rhodes are getting a reality show.
Eddie Kingston knows the Good Brothers broke something in his leg but he has had things broken before. Kingston gets fired up but Jon Moxley tells him to sit down because there is going to be war on the streets of Jacksonville. Moxley doesn’t play games but he owes the Young Bucks one from last week. They’re playing with live rounds so if they are willing to be in the game, they better be willing to get their hands dirty.
Tay Conti vs. Nyla Rose
Rematch from the #1 contenders tournament. Rose knocks her down with straight power to start but Conti grabs something like an Octopus which falls down to the mat. Some judo throws take Rose down again as Conti is far more aggressive than usual here. The running knee in the corner is countered into a spinebuster for two and Rose drapes her over the top rope. The top rope knee to the head gives Rose two and we take a break.
Back with Rose grabbing a backbreaker for two but Conti is back up with some strikes in the corner. Some running knees knock Rose silly and Conti hits her own flying knee to the side of the head for a rather close two. Rose gets in a shot of her own but can’t hit the Beast Bomb. The Samoan drop is countered again and Conti hits another running knee. Then another running knee sets up the DDTi (hammerlock DDT) finishes Rose at 9:27.
Rating: C. That’s the kind of thing that they need to do at some point as the division needs some fresh names at the top. Conti is someone with all kinds of potential and maybe she could be one of the next bit things in the division. Just maybe cut down a bit on the running knees. Rose is going to be fine based on her size and power, but you can only beat her so many times before it stops meaning very much.
Post match Vickie Guerrero breaks up the celebration so Rose can go after Conti. Hikaru Shida comes in for the save but Bunny comes out to help beat Shida and Conti down. Matt Hardy and company come up to say the #1 contenders tournament was a sham because Bunny wasn’t in it.
Video on Kip Sabian/Miro vs. Chuck Taylor/Orange Cassidy, who are going to have a match with video games around the ring….and it’s called Arcade Anarchy.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Scorpio Sky is ready to show us his new side. People need to stop pretending he isn’t a dangerous man. He’s ready to take out Mike Sydal on next week’s Dark: Elevation.
TNT Title: Darby Allin vs. John Silver
Allin is defending. They shove each other around to start and Silver gets the better of a test of strength. Allin reverses into a headlock but Silver is back up with a running elbow to send Allin crashing out to the floor. Back in and Silver tosses him around, including a heck of a toss into the corner. There’s a gorilla press toss into the corner and Silver hits a running knee for two.
We take a break and come back with Silver missing a charge to go over the barricade (possibly dislocating his shoulder in the process). Silver barely makes it back over the barricade so Allin hits a suicide dive….onto Alex Reynolds. The Dark Order surrounds Allin but here is Sting to stare them off. Back in and Silver kicks away at Allin but the German suplex is countered into la majistral for two.
The flipping Stunner is countered into a rear naked choke until Allin flips back into a cradle for two. Allin grabs something like a DDT for two but gets sent outside again. Back in again and Silver fires off kicks to the chest until Allin blocks a bit one. Allin strikes away in the corner but Silver reverses into some beatings of his own. A victory roll gives Silver two and he pump kicks Allin into the corner.
Allin knocks Silver off the top but Coffin Drops onto the Dark Order instead of going after Silver. Back in and Silver hits a kick to the head to catch Allin on top. A super torture rack toss powerbomb gets two, only because Silver hooks the leg into the ropes. Silver loads up the sitout powerbomb but Allin reverses into a Code Red to retain at 14:43.
Rating: B. Silver really is someone who might never be the World Champion but you can feel the energy that he puts into everything that he does. Having him out there working so hard is great to see and while there was not the most drama here, it was nice to see him getting such a showcase. Allin continues to be one of the best things going in AEW and is one of their best home grown stars in the company. Good stuff here, and that shouldn’t be surprising.
Post match Sting and Allin show respect to Silver but Matt Hardy comes in to take out Allin. The Dark Order comes in but here is the Matt Hardy Family Office. Allin hits a big dive onto Hardy to end the show.
Overall Rating: A-. This show had a little bit of everything, with storyline advancement, some very good matches up and down the card, and a high energy throughout the night. I liked this one quite a bit and it is great to see the company following up on last week’s incredible main event. Awesome show here and the kind of show that makes AEW so much fun to watch.
Kenny Omega b. Matt Sydal – One Winged Angel
Hangman Page b. Cezar Bononi – Buckshot Lariat
Pinnacle b. Varsity Blondes/Dante Martin – C4 to Martin
Laredo Kid/Lucha Bros b. Young Bucks/Brandon Cutler – Spanish Fly to Cutler
Tay Conti b. Nyla Rose – DDTi
Darby Allin b. John Silver – Code Red
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