Date: May 28, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
We have a special Friday show this week due to the NBA Playoffs, which is some bad timing as this is also the go home show for Double Or Nothing. That means it is time for the final push towards the show, with the celebration of the Inner Circle, plus the weigh-in for Anthony Ogogo vs. Cody Rhodes. Let’s get to it.
The arena is structured differently, with the ramp at the upper right hand corner of the ring instead of opposite the hard camera.
Darby Allin vs. Cezar Bononi
Allin has Sting with him and has badly banged up ribs. Bononi starts fast by sending Allin into the corner and working on the ribs, because he’s smart enough to figure out what a lot of tape means. Some hiptosses into the corner have Allin in more trouble but he comes back with a sleeper to slow Bononi down. Allin takes him into the corner for the flipping Stunner and the Coffin Drop finishes Bononi at 4:20.
Rating: C. Bononi wrestled a smart match here and that’s the way this should have gone. Allin fighting through an injury and beating a big man fits him perfectly and that is what they should have done in this one. They know exactly how to book Allin and it worked again here, so well done on a quick opener.
Post match Allin and Sting want Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky but the two of them come out to say not without the big payday. Page and Sky leave but Bononi and his goons jump Sting and Allin from behind. Page and Sky come in and load up a chair on Sting’s leg, meaning it’s the Dark Order running in for the save. I’m not sure how, but they had about 15 people involved in the first ten minutes of the show.
Here is Paul Wight to host the weigh-in for Anthony Ogogo and Cody Rhodes. Wight brings out Ogogo, with the Factory coming out with him. After QT Marshall gets in some insults about the Jacksonville Jaguars, Wight threatens violence for being looked at the wrong way. Now it’s Cody Rhodes, with about 25 people (because they all need to be there), coming out as well and he weighs in at 218lbs (which took Wight forever to figure out).
As a bunch of fireworks (not from AEW) go off outside the building, Ogogo gets on the scale and weighs 219lbs. Marshall says that means Ogogo will win but the fans aren’t convinced. Everyone leaves and Cody thanks Wight for hosting. Shirts are thrown to the crowd. This was long and having that many people involved just made it look silly.
Video on Stadium Stampede from last year. It may not have been for everyone, but it was about as unique as you can get.
Powerhouse Hobbs and Christian have a fight in the back until referees break it up.
Hangman Page vs. Joey Janela
Janela has Sonny Kiss with him and Page couldn’t find the tunnel. Page chops away to start and snaps off a suplex for two. They head outside with Page hitting a fall away slam for two but Janela sends him into the corner as we take a break. Back with Page hitting a springboard clothesline to put Janela down on the floor.
They head back in where the Buckshot lariat is broken up, so Page goes with a spinebuster for two. Janela sends him hard into the corner though and the top rope elbow gets two more. A forearm rocks Janela though and a pop up powerbomb puts him down again. Page, with his head busted open, hits the Buckshot Lariat for the pin at 9:52.
Rating: C-. Janela continues to drag people down to his level as he just isn’t very good. I know he’s a big deal on the independent scene but that is a far cry from live on national television. The good thing is that Page showed a bit more fire here, which hasn’t been present in recent months. If he is supposed to be the big threat to Omega, he needs to do more of this than of everything else.
Post match Taz calls out Page, so here is Brian Cage to jump him. Before that can happen, Page says he’s expecting the team to go after him but no one moves. Page calls out Cage for not doing anything, so he wants Cage to face him one on one at Double Or Nothing, assuming something hasn’t shrunk too badly. That’s too far for Cage, who says they’re on for Sunday.
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston are burying the Young Bucks’ shoes….and we go to a commercial mid-sentence.
Post break, we get the full segment, with Moxley talking about how he would go to war with Kingston. He loves championships and the AEW Tag Team Titles are the most important in the business. They’re ready for war on Sunday, with Kingston suggesting that Moxley could become an Executive Vice President. Moxley: “Nah.”
Tony Schiavone calls out Orange Cassidy for a chat but gets Pac instead. Pac promises to win the title on Sunday because all of Kenny Omega’s dodging is pathetic. Don Callis pops up on screen to mock Pac so here’s Omega for the cheap shot. Pac is ready for him and takes him out but the Good Brothers run in for the save.
The Lucha Bros make the save, leaving Omega and Pac alone. Omega loads up the One Winged Angel but here are Cassidy and the Good Brothers. Cassidy hands Omega an envelope, which contains the shredded contract that Omega offered him to get out of the match. The Orange Punch lays Omega out so Pac goes after Cassidy, only to get taken out as well.
Jade Cargill is interrupted by Matt Hardy, who offers his managerial services again. Mark Sterling comes in and apparently has signed her up, sending Matt into a fit.
Jade Cargill vs. Kilynn King
Mark Sterling is here with King. They go to a test of strength to start and it’s off to a rather early break. Back with King being sent hard over the top to the floor, where Sterling offers his card. Back in and Jaded finishes King at 5:28. Not enough shown to rate, but they really needed a break in a five minute match?
Lance Archer cuts off Jake Roberts to say he’s ready for Miro.
TNT Title: Miro vs. Dante Martin
Miro is defending and doesn’t look too worried. Martin is sent into the corner and gets kicked in the back, with the fans wanting to see it one more time. Miro stops to listen and then blows the fans off, with Martin snapping off a jawbreaker. A springboard dropkick gives Martin two but Miro knocks him to the apron. The jumping superkick and Game Over retain the title at 3:05.
Rating: C-. Now this is more of the Miro that we should have been seeing for a long time. There is no worthless pairing with Kip Sabian and no “this is who I really am” jazz. It’s Miro beating people up like the monster he can be and it is miles better. This was a nearly complete squash and that is how you heat Miro up before a monster fight on pay per view.
Post match here is Jake Roberts to mock Bulgarian before sending Lance Archer out for the fight. Archer boots Miro to the floor as referees break things up.
Here is Hikaru Shida for a celebration of her Women’s Title reign. Tony Schiavone presents her with a new (and bigger) belt, which he takes a long time to put on. Cue Britt Baker to talk about how she’s taking the title on Sunday. She came after an era dominated by 3:16, but this era is going to be dominated by the DMD.
Scorpio Sky/Ethan Page vs. Dark Order
Evil Uno starts in on Sky’s arm so it’s off to Page, who gets taken down in a hurry. Grayson sends him to the apron for a slingshot Swanton but Sky gets in a shot of his own as we take a break. Back with Sky’s TKO being countered into a release Rock Bottom, setting up the hot tag off to Uno. Everything breaks down and the stereo Cannonball/450 gets rid of Sky and gets two on Page. Back up and Grayson gets caught in a heel hook, with Page adding the Ego’s Edge to Uno for the pin at 8:35.
Rating: C. Another short match thanks to the break but this is what Sky and Page have been needing. They haven’t done much on Dynamite in actual matches and need a boost before going into a big match against Sting and Allin. Beating the Dark Order might not have been the big game changer, but it’s a lot better than what they had been doing.
Post match Sky and Page call out Sting and Allin, so here is Allin with….about six Stings. The brawl is on with the real Sting cleaning house.
Here is Eric Bischoff to emcee the celebration of the Inner Circle. Bischoff mentions that Scott Hall debuted on Nitro twenty five years ago yesterday on this network. That was the start of one of the greatest factions of all time and this might be another one of them. The Inner Circle comes out and, after a long time of the fans singing Jericho’s song, Jericho thanks Bischoff for everything he has done over the years.
We see a long package on the history of the Inner Circle and Ortiz says they have done some cool s***. They’re glad to be back and if this Sunday is their last dance, he wouldn’t want it to be with anyone else. Jake Hager says that was beautiful and he has always believed that it is about the journey instead of the destination. Show him the hard times when his brothers were there with him. Sammy Guevara talks about being in the greatest faction of all time and how it has all been worth it.
Finally, Chris Jericho says if they go down, it is going to be in a blaze of glory and he loves all of them. The big hug is on but the Pinnacle pops up on screen. They are in the stadium and have Dean Malenko down next to the goal post. The Inner Circle runs in for the save but get beaten down, including a quintuple piledriver, with Santana and Ortiz being drive off a balcony and through a pair of tables. The Pinnacle poses to end the show. I’ll be stunned if the Inner Circle wins, but it has been a heck of a ride and that was a very nice video on the team.
Overall Rating: B-. This was a good example of s show that wasn’t about the wrestling. Tonight was ALL about setting up the pay per view and what we got worked very well. They made me want to see Double Or Nothing a lot more than I did coming into the show and that is why you have a night like this one. There were some issues (the weigh-in segment was pretty ridiculous) and there was no must see match, but that wasn’t the point tonight. It was a strong go home show and that’s what it needed to be.
Darby Allin b. Cesar Bononi – Coffin Drop
Hangman Page b. Joey Janela – Buckshot lariat
Jade Cargill b. Kilynn King – Jaded
Miro b. Dante Martin – Game Over
Scorpio Sky/Ethan Page b. Dark Order – Ego’s Edge to Uno
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