Date: March 31, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
I’m not sure what to expect here, as we are on the rather long road towards Double Or Nothing and it is still too early to set things up for the show. Christian might be the next title match for Kenny Omega, but I’m not sure if that is the most interesting match to headline a pay per view. Maybe they have something else in mind though. Let’s get to it.
Christian Cage vs. Frankie Kazarian
Feeling out process to start with Christian taking over on the arm as the fans tell him that he still has it. Christian gets sent hard over the top and crashes down onto the ramp for some shaking of the head. Back in and Kazarian knocks him off the top to the floor for another breather. Christian’s slide through the legs is broken up and we hit the neck crank.
After Christian fights up, Kazarian takes him back down with a flipping neckbreaker for two. Back up again and Kazarian hammers away but Christian grabs a tornado DDT out of the corner. Some shots to the face have Kazarian in trouble and Christian stands on his back for the choking on the ropes. Christian rains down right hands in the corner and scores with the reverse DDT for two.
The top rope splash only hits mat though and Kazarian hammers away again. He talks a bit too much trash though and gets small packaged for two, which is a bit too much from Christian. The springboard spinning legdrop gets two on Christian but he grabs the top rope to block a superplex attempt.
A headbutt cuts Christian off on top though and the Flux Capacitor connects for two. Christian gets caught in the ropes but manages to snap Kazarian’s neck across the top. Now the frog splash connects for two but Christian has to flip out of the crossface chickening. Kazarian goes shoulder first into the post and now the Killswitch can connect for the pin at 16:33.
Rating: C. That’s being as generous as I can as these guys looked rather old for the most part. They still moved around well enough, but there was about ninety years of age in the ring. Christian as a main eventer is not the most appealing idea in the world for more than a few reasons and this didn’t do him any favors. Not bad, but it was far from inspiring.
Sting and Darby Allin didn’t like what Matt Hardy did to Allin last week. Allin says that Matt’s money doesn’t mean anything to him.
Here’s what’s coming tonight.
Jade Cargill knows she is special and there is nothing Red Velvet can do to stop her.
Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall
Unsanctioned exhibition with Arn Anderson refereeing and all kinds of Nightmare Family members at ringside. Feeling out process to start with Cody armdragging him into an armbar. Marshall gets a bit more aggressive to take him down by the wristlock but Cody nips up to his feet.
Another takedown puts Marshall on the mat but Cody won’t stomp him. Instead Cody stays on the arm and we take a break. Back with Cody hitting a slam but not being willing to put on the Figure Four. Marshall misses a crossbody and crashes out to the floor, so Cody holds the ropes open for him. Back in and Marshall decks Arn for the no contest at 7:35.
Rating: C-. Kind of slow and dull, but that was the point of the match. Marshall decking Arn was a surprise, but then two seconds pass and you realize that it’s QT Marshall and the interest goes away. At least they had a bit of a clever way out of the match, even if the angle doesn’t quite have my interest.
Post match Marshall looks distraught at what he did but Aaron Solow, Anthony Ogogo and Nick Conorado (of Marshall’s Nightmare Factory wrestling school) come in and beat down the Nightmare Family. Lee Johnson is powerbombed over the ropes and onto the ramp and Dustin Rhodes is piledriven onto the steps. Ogogo, the Olympic boxer, punches Cody down and Marshall loads up a Conchairto on the steps. Red Velvet runs in for the save and screams a lot. Did we really need another heel group?
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky are ready to take over.
Post break Red Velvet says she had to protect her partner….and gets taken out by Jade Cagrill.
Jon Moxley can’t get the sound of Eddie Kingston’s ankle being snapped by the Good Brothers. Then you have the Young Bucks, who can’t decided if they want to fight or not. He has the barbed wire scars which make him all itchy and all of this stuff ticks him off. Tonight he has Cesar Bononi, who has a lot of talent and could make some money, but not if Moxley kills him first.
Cesar Bononi vs. Jon Moxley
Bononi runs him over to start but Moxley is right back to work on the leg. Moxley cranks the leg back but Bononi pops up with a suplex for two. We take a break (In THIS match?) and come back with Bononi hitting a running knee in the corner, only to have a knee hit the turnbuckle. Moxley snaps off a German suplex and there’s a superplex to take him down again. Bononi’s partner JD Drake offers a distraction and breaks up the Paradigm Shift, but Moxley grabs the rear naked choke for the tap at 8:00.
Rating: C-. This is where AEW could do with learning how to shorten matches. I know they can do it, but it would be nice to see it happen a bit more often. Bononi is a big guy who hasn’t done anything in AEW, so why is he going eight minutes with a former World Champion? The match wasn’t terrible, but it was longer than it needed to be.
Team Taz has another meeting where Ricky Starks talks about having a great time on Dark. They are a team, but Brian Cage doesn’t seem convinced.
MJF has brought in an interior designer to decorate the Pinnacle’s room….but the Inner Circle is in the bathroom. The big brawl is on, with Sammy Guevara slamming a door on Shawn Spears’ head. Wardlow gets Rock Bottomed through the massage table and Dax Harwood is busted open. Jericho puts MJF’s head into a toilet and then through a Pepsi refrigerator. Jericho declares this their dressing room and puts the Inner Circle’s sign back up. The Inner Circle popping up behind the door was great.
Don Callis comes up to the Young Bucks. Nick doesn’t want to hear it and leaves, so Callis talks to Matt about everything Kenny Omega sacrificed for AEW. Callis wants Matt to get fired up and finally mentions the Bucks’ dad. A slap to the face wakes Matt up but he lets Callis go, with Callis calling him pathetic.
Kenny Omega/Good Brothers vs. Lucha Bros/Laredo Kid
The Lucha Bros say they want the Tag Team Titles and Don Callis is on commentary. They starts fast with a triple superkick getting two on Omega and the big triple dive over the top to the floor. We settle down to Kid striking away on Omega but he gets in a shot of his own and hands it off to Gallows.
The rights and lefts in the corner rock Kid and the triple teaming is on. We take a break and come back with Kid getting over for the tag to Penta so house can be cleaned. A middle rope moonsault into a top rope double stomp into a Swanton crushes Anderson and some running shots in the corner make it worse.
Everything breaks down again and Anderson hits a spinebuster for two on Fenix with Kid having to make the save. The V Trigger gives Omega two on Kid but he escapes the One Winged Angel. An enziguri into a Michinoku Driver gets two on Omega but he’s back with another V Trigger. The One Winged Angel finishes Kid at 14:20.
Rating: B-. Not bad while it lasted, with more of the same dives and flips that you might have expected. Omega might not be the most interesting promo, but he can certain wrestle the fast paced style once the match actually starts. I’m still not wild on the Good Brothers, but dang the Lucha Bros know how to do this style as well as anyone going right now.
Post match here is Jon Moxley, followed by the Young Bucks, for the big staredown.
Britt Baker and Rebel laugh about Thunder Rosa not getting credit for the big win because the match was unsanctioned.
Nyla Rose/Bunny vs. Tay Conti/Hikaru Shida
Matt Hardy and Vickie Guerrero are here with Nyla and Bunny. Before the match, Matt promises Bunny won’t be left out of the title scene any longer. Oh and starting tomorrow, he gets ALL of his money again. Shida runs Bunny over to start, only to get sent outside. That means Rose can squash Shida on the floor and we take a break.
Back with Shida avoiding a charge in the corner and handing it off to Conti for a series of judo throws to Bunny. A running knee in the corner sets up a running knee in the corner, sending Bunny outside. Everything breaks down with the Dark Order getting into it with Matt and company on the floor. That leaves Bunny to take the TayKO for two with Rose making the save. Vickie offers a distraction and Bunny hits Tay with a kendo stick, setting up Down The Rabbit Hole for the pin at 7:01.
Rating: C. Kind of a mess here, but also kind of a fun mess and I’ll certainly take that. I’m really trying to wrap my head around Conti and the Bunny being the next challengers for the Women’s Title, though anything is better than Shida vs. Rose again. Bunny picking up a win should do her some good, but I’m not sure if she is going to be seen as a viable threat to many people.
Here’s what’s coming next week, including Jurassic Express vs. Bear Country in a match sponsored by Kong vs. Godzilla.
Jurassic Express are ready to show Bear Country who is on top of the food chain, but Marko Stunt has a Kong tattoo.
Chuck Taylor/Orange Cassidy vs. Kip Sabian/Miro
This is Arcade Anarchy, meaning there are video games all around the ring. They start fast with Cassidy sending Kip into Whack A Mole. Miro slams Cassidy on the floor and sends him into the same thing, including a shot with the mallet. A barricade is moved around but Miro fights out of a double suplex through said barricade. Instead, Taylor is suplexed onto the steel instead and Miro grabs a chair from the prize table (cost of 20,000 tickets) to unload on Cassidy.
Taylor makes the save and it’s time for more prizes, in the form of a trashcan lid and kendo stick. The beatdown puts Miro in trouble and a barricade shot makes it worse. More prizes are turned on top of Miro and now let’s throw Whack A Mole in there for two, with Sabian making a save. Back in and Taylor busts out a teddy bear full of Legos, but Sabian reverses a superplex into a sitout powerbomb for two.
Cassidy makes the save and hits a DDT into Beach Break for two. The Orange Punch connects but Penelope Ford pulls the referee out. There’s a low blow for Cassidy and Ford loads up a belt….but Kris Stadtlander (oh dang I had forgotten about her) pops out of the alien claw machine. Kris beats the fire out of her and hits a Falcon Arrow off of the apron and through an air hockey table.
Miro is back up with a chair to Taylor but here is Trent’s mom Sue in the van….and Trent is back as well. Miro beats up all three Best Friends and goes after Sue but Trent makes the save. Trent spears Miro through a table and Chuck hits the powerslam off the stage through the set for the pin at 14:30.
Rating: C+. I know this is going to sound bizarre coming from me, but I wanted MORE carnage and insanity with the games here. It’s like they kept wanting to do something with them and kept pulling back from going too far. That’s kind of a shame as they had a lot of ways to go with them, but the Stadtlander return was a very nice surprise. Now can we please, please get Miro away from this story and onto ANYTHING else?
Post match the big hug, complete with Stadtlander, ends the show.
Overall Rating: B-. I’m not sure what it was but I couldn’t get into the show this week. There was nothing overly bad here but there was nothing on here which got me overly excited. There are still too many stables and too many heels, but at least they had a fun main event and a few moments that have me interested in where things are going in the future.
Christian Cage b. Frankie Kazarian – Killswitch
Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall went to a no contest when Marshall punched Arn Anderson
Jon Moxley b. Cesar Bononi – Rear naked choke
Kenny Omega/Good Brothers b. Laredo Kid/Lucha Bros – One Winged Angel to Kid
Nyla Rose/Bunny b. Hikaru Shida/Tay Conti – Down The Rabbit Hole to Conti
Chuck Taylor/Orange Cassidy b. Miro/Kip Sabian – Powerslam through the set to Sabian
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: