Date: April 28, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
It is the go home show for Blood & Guts but we also have Double Or Nothing coming up in just over a month. That show certainly could use some build, or at least some matches announced, and there is a good chance we get at least one match announced here. You can probably guess a few of them, but the actual announcements would be a good idea. Let’s get to it.
Hangman Page vs. Brian Cage
Page, who apparently got jumped by a high schooler, gets jumped by Cage here. The rest of Team Taz comes in for the beatdown and the Dark Order is here for the save. Page is ready for the match anyway so Cage drives him into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs. A toss over the top sends Page crashing onto the concrete, followed by a belly to back drop onto the apron.
Back in and Cage does the curls into the standing fall away slam, followed by the standing moonsault onto knees. Cage is fine enough to hit the apron superplex for two and they head back inside. Page manages to post him but Cage is right back with a powerbomb into a buckle bomb into the Drill Claw for the pin at 5:48.
Rating: C. Well that was surprising. It isn’t a clean loss so it isn’t like this crushes Page’s future or anything, but I’m not sure what this means for Page’s chances to go after the World Title at Double Or Nothing. Cage needed a win like this to get him back on track, though it is kind of a strange way to go. That being said, it’s also the kind of a story that can be adjusted in a hurry so we’ll have to see where it goes.
The Elite is all together in the back of a limo to celebrate Kenny Omega’s Impact World Title. They talk about Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston attacking their trailer last week, but Omega says they will be here every week because they are not afraid. The horn goes off and everyone freaks out, but the driver says it was his fault for hitting a wrong button. Omega says Kingston can fight….Michael Nakazawa tonight.
Matt Sydal/Mike Sydal vs. Young Bucks
Non-title and if the Sydals win, they get a future title shot. If they lose though, they don’t get another shot while the Bucks have the titles. Don Callis is here with the Bucks and then on commentary as the Elite is getting more official. Mike spins out of a wristlock to start but Matt does the same of his own. A legsweep takes Matt Jackson down though but a standing moonsault hits raised knees.
Matt Sydal comes in with an armbar and wraps his leg around Matt Jackson’s head to keep him down. Thankfully Mike comes back in but gets dropkicked down by Matt Jackson as we take a break. Back with Mike and Nick hitting a double clothesline but Matt Jackson switches places with Nick and the referee doesn’t seem to notice. Thankfully he does after Matt Jackson nips up, though he doesn’t actually do anything about it, as Mike hits an enziguri.
Matt Sydal comes in with a brainbuster for two on Matt Jackson before having to escape a Meltzer Driver attempt. A standing corkscrew moonsault gets two on Matt Jackson and a double standing hurricanrana takes the Bucks down. Another hurricanrana pulls Nick off the top but Matt Jackson slips out of a super hurricanrana to send Matt Sydal crashing down. With the referee distracted, Mike gets punched low (ala Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat, which thankfully commentary points out as I wasn’t a fan) and a double superkick puts Matt Sydal on the floor. The BTE Trigger finishes Mike at 10:04.
Rating: C+. Name issues aside, they did the right thing here by not having a bunch of unnecessary drama drawn out over too much time. The Sydals are not the most successful team and it is fine to have them put up a bit of a fight and then lose. It is going to take something special to take the titles from the Bucks and there is no reason to set up the title match that isn’t going to go anywhere.
Post match here is SCU to interrupt. Kazarian talks about how they promised to split up when they lost again but that has not happened yet. They are the #1 contenders and now they are the big threats to the titles. So whenever the Bucks have the guts, SCU will be waiting. Simple and to the point here.
Jade Cargill knows that everyone wants to manage her but she is her own boss. And “that b****”.
Orange Cassidy vs. Penta El Cero Miedo
Orange breaks up the Cero Miedo shout but Penta won’t let him put his hands in the pockets. They do the gestures again as I’m wondering why no one is, you know, hitting the other. Penta throws the glove to the translator and does Cero Miedo for the third time. Cassidy takes the sunglasses off and tosses them to Trent, who doesn’t catch them. The hands go into the pockets and Cassidy does the lazy kicks, followed by an armdrag with his hands in said pockets.
A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker takes Cassidy down and Penta bites his fingers. Cassidy reverses that into a crucifix for two and knocks Penta outside….where he catches a suicide dive into a gorilla press. If that isn’t impressive enough, Penta switches to a one hand version and drops Cassidy onto the apron. Back from a break with Penta chopping in the corner and managing to block the tornado DDT. A brainbuster plants Cassidy for two and the Pentagon Driver gets the same.
Penta can’t snap the arm though as Cassidy tries to get his hands in his pockets. Back up and a Canadian Destroyer drops Cassidy again but he counters the Fear Factor into the Beach Break. Penta’s shoulders aren’t down though so no count, meaning Penta can come back with a superkick. Cassidy shoves him away from the top though and hits a top rope DDT, followed by the very tornado DDT for two. Hold on though as Alex the Translator gets on the mic to say something about Trent’s mom. Cassidy pulls him inside and, after a mic shot, hits a quick Orange Punch to finish Penta at 13:05.
Rating: B-. The opening was a bit annoying but then it went into a heck of a match with the two of them beating on each other rather well. I’m not sure I can get my mind around someone like Penta, who should be a huge star, losing to Cassidy, but at least it had some interference. It helps that they cut off the mom joke too, so we’ll call it a success.
Britt Baker brags about being #1 contender.
Tony Schiavone brings out the Pinnacle and the Inner Circle, who come out flanked by motorcycle riding security guards, for the final push towards Blood & Guts. Shawn Spears yells at Sammy Guevara to start, asking if he is ready for this match. Sammy takes the mic away from him, saying he doesn’t believe Spears. Guevara says he remembers Spears failing over and over again and he’ll fail at Blood & Guts.
FTR calls out Santana and Ortiz, saying that Santana has a new daughter at him. Uncle Dax wants her to know that her daddy isn’t coming back home. The fight is almost on but MJF calls them off so he can talk to Chris Jericho. It was Jericho that caused this company to be founded but next week, it is time for MJF’s family to take the Inner Circle’s place. When MJF is looking down at Jericho’s bloody body, he will thank him for the spot.
Jericho talks about everything he was doing when he was MJF’s age, including jerking the curtain in WCW and working in Mexico. These people have his back, including Jake Hager, who kept him from being assassinated in Abu Dhabi. MJF is going to have to kill him to make him quit, so next week the war is on and MJF is going to be looking up from the only spot he deserves. Intense stuff here, but they probably had one promo too many.
Eddie Kingston vs. Michael Nakazawa
Or not as Kenny Omega comes out for a distraction and Nakazawa hits Kingston in the back with a laptop. That doesn’t work and Kingston takes him out, meaning here is Omega to send out Brandon Cutler. Jon Moxley jumps Cutler and it’s time to Pillmanize Omega’s ankle. Cue Don Callis to say don’t do it and they can have whatever they want. That’s a tag match with Kingston/Moxley vs. Omega/Nakazawa next week. The deal is made and there is no match this week.
Taz is proud of Brian Cage for winning earlier tonight. Christian Cage comes in and says Taz talks a lot but can’t back it up. Taz is going to be right there basking in the glory of everything that his boys do. Christian represents everything Taz wishes he could do and now Christian isn’t going to let Taz leach off of him too. So send the tam one man after another and Christian will teach them the same thing: they would be better off without Taz.
Penelope Ford vs. Kris Statlander
Kip Sabian and Orange Cassidy are here too. It’s a slugout to start with Statlander grabbing a gorilla press to drop her hard. Ford rolls outside and pulls Statlander with her, only to miss some slingshot knees. Back in and Ford gets in a shot to the face, setting up the connecting slingshot knees.
We take a break and come back with Statlander hitting a running elbow in the corner, followed by a knee to the head. Statlander hits the Solar Eclipse (kind of putting herself in a Rocker Dropper and backflipping Ford onto her face) for two but Ford is back with a few shots of his own. The guys get in a fight on the floor and it’s the Big Bang Theory to finish Ford at 7:53.
Rating: C-. Not exactly a classic here but it got Statlander back on her own and that’s a good thing. She has one of the most unique looks in the company and it makes sense to want to give her a spot. I’m not sure if she is going to rise up the card anytime soon, but at least she is doing something here, even with the shenanigans at ringside.
10 talks about how important the TNT Title was to Brodie Lee. Tonight, he is winning it back in Lee’s honor.
Factory vs. Nightmare Family
That would be Nick Commarado/QT Marshall/Aaron Solow vs. Dustin Rhodes/Billy Gunn/Lee Johnson. The Factory comes in on a bus, because of course they do. It’s a brawl to start (because of course it is) and the very taped up Billy Gunn gets run over by Commarado. Dustin comes in and we take an early break.
Back with Dustin taking Marshall down and handing it off to Johnson to take over. Everything breaks down with Johnson cleaning house, setting up a bit corkscrew flip dive to take the Factory down on the floor. Hold on though as Nick Ogogo hits Billy and Johnson in the ribs. Back in and Marshall steals the pin on Johnson at 6:36.
Rating: C-. This match did a nice job of making Commarado seem like a beast and that’s about it. The rest of the people involved just aren’t very interesting and Marshall having a stable still feels weird. It makes sense from a creative standpoint, but it’s hard to find interest in a guy who is best known as being Cody’s friend. The action was fine, but seeing another group battle is a little tiring.
Post match Commarado cleans house with the cowbell but the Gunn Club runs in for the save. The brawl is on and Marshall bails from the bus, where you can see Cody Rhodes’ blond hair waiting. Cody breaks out of the door and they head up top, with Cody slapping on the Figure Four as Aubrey Edwards, who is there for some reason, tells him to stop. All well and good, but please stop trying to make me care about Marshall as a thing. It’s not working, no matter how much of a bus he has.
Kip Sabian runs into Miro, who annihilates him, including some choking with a chain and slamming his wrist in a door.
Here’s what’s coming in the next few weeks, including New Japan’s Yugi Nagata challenging Jon Moxley for the New Japan US Title on May 12.
TNT Title: Darby Allin vs. 10
Allin is defending and has Sting with him to counter the Dark Order. 10 powers him around to start, including spinning a headlock into a backbreaker. Darby’s chop block doesn’t do much as 10 throws him down again and we take a break. Back with 10 hitting a gutbuster but getting pulled into a Fujiwara armbar.
Allin cranks back on the fingers but 10 manages to send him outside. A drive sends Allin into the barricade and it’s time for Sting and the Dark Order to yell at each other. Cue Ethan Page to post Allin, allowing 10 to hit a slingshot wheelbarrow suplex for two. The full nelson goes on but Allin climbs the ropes and flips backward to retain at 12:08.
Rating: C+. Allin continues his roll and 10 did well in the Brodie Lee tribute match, which worked out fine for a main event that wasn’t quite as big as some of the others. Sting still feels a little weird as a manager but at least he served the purpose of evening things out here a bit. You can probably pencil in Page as the next challenger, which would at least give him something to do other than sit and watch.
Post match Allin holds up the Brodie armband in a nice moment but here is Page again. The distraction lets Scorpio Sky chop block Sting and put him in a heel hook while Allin has to watch. Lance Archer makes the save to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. There was a lot, like a whole lot, on here and that was both a good and a bad thing. The good part is they set up a lot more for next week’s big show, which was looking like a one match card coming in here. It is great to see that there is going to be more next time for the sake of the main event not being an hour long, though that brings us to the down side.
This show was exhausting, with one thing after another happening, often in the same segment. AEW needs to work on its pacing, because it feels like a month’s worth of stuff is being crammed into every week. Nothing has a chance to sink in because it’s a match and then and angle or two in the aftermath probably twice a week. Just let things slow down and breathe a bit because this is getting tiring to watch. The show is still entertaining, but at some point people just get a little worn out for no necessary reason.
Overall, the show was fun and kept my attention, with a lot of people getting some focus that they usually wouldn’t. Granted that might be due to the President’s speech to Congress tonight, and is so that is the right move. People are more likely to be watching that so why bother wasting material? They still need to cool it a bit with having so much on the show, but it was still pretty good stuff.
Brian Cage b. Hangman Page – Drill Claw
Young Bucks b. Matt Sydal/Mike Sydal – BTE Trigger to Mike
Orange Cassidy b. Penta El Cero Miedo – Orange Punch
Kris Stalander b. Penelope Ford – Big Bang Theory
Factory b. Nightmare Family – Punch to Johnson’s ribs
Darby Allin b. 10 – Rollup out of the corner