The PG Era Rant for DOUBLE OR NOTHING!
LIVE from the AEW Arena!
Your hosts are Excalibur and Tony Schiavone.
We open by looking at Bucks vs. Moxley/Kingston, Miro vs. Archer, Inner Circle vs. Pinnacle in Stadium Stampede, Shida vs Baker, Cody vs Ogogo, and Omega vs PAC vs Cassidy.
The fans are ELECTRIC tonight!
The Hardy Family Office speaks about how Matt Hardy will win the Casino match… and along those lines, if Hardy does win, he’ll cut his cut in half from Private Party’s salary.
Another replay of Shida/Baker’s buildup.
Buy-In Match, NWA Women’s World Title: Riho (challenger) (10-4) vs. Serena Deeb (champion) (8-3) (6th defense). And MAN, right off the bat the crowd noise and the fans piled up around the ring just feels so much crazier, especially since I’m used to the AEW Dark non-crowds. Crowd is cheering both of them during entrances. These two met in the opening round of the Women’s Contenders tournament. Riho won that.
Lockup, and Deeb pushes Riho away. A second lockup gets Deeb a headlock, and we go International~!, with Deeb getting a one-count and dodging a dropkick. Code of Honor is offered by Riho and, after thinking about it, rejected via a slap by Deeb. Riho slaps her back, so Deeb with a kick and some uppercuts. Riho cartwheels away from a clothesline and gets a dropkick, then a knee in the corner. She goes up, and a diving crossbody gets two. Riho tries a sunset flip, but Deeb gets out and tries the Tequila Sunrise, only for Riho to race to the ropes.
Deeb pulls her away with a dragon screw. Running clothesline follows, then Deeb guillotines Riho on the bottom rope with a catapult. Deeb mouths off the corwd before adding another set of uppercuts. She works the knee on the ground with an elbowdrop, then uses the hair and nostrils before stomping on the hamstrings. Deeb with more uppercuts and an abdominal stretch try, but Riho’s too small so Deeb switches to a cravate. Riho fights out, getting a flying mare, but Deeb cons Riho through the ropes and gets a front chancery through the ropes from the apron. Hangman’s neckbreaker against the middle rope follows, getting two.
Deeb sets up an inverted Gory Special on Riho, then backs her onto the turnbuckle. Superplex is set up, but Riho fights out of it and knocks Deeb off the ropes. She follows with the diving foot stomp, but her knee got tweaked and she can’t cover so it’s a double-down. Riho slugs away when they get up, but Deeb with a Hammer Throw only to eat boot. Riho with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and drop toe hold to the middle rope, then an Area Code Kick for two. Riho tries a dragon suplex, but Deeb escapes and hooks a standing Octopus Stretch.
She switches to a Roman Guillotine, but Riho with a Northern Lights suplex to counter for two. Riho goes to the apron and hangs Deeb up there, diving off for a foot stomp but Deeb dodges. Riho’s knee is DONE, especially after another dragon screw, and Deeb Rolls the Dice for two. Riho blocks Deeb with her bad leg and kicks away with her good one, but Deeb gets both legs and delivers a combo dragon screw. Powerbomb gets two. She tries another, this time cross-armed, but Riho backdrops out and follows with a running knee in the corner.
Dragon suplex is blocked by Deeb once, but not the second time. Riho goes to the top, and stomps on Deeb’s bent-over back… only again her leg won’t let her cover right away. Shining Wizard is reversed to a Maple Leaf Crab by Deeb, and Riho teases a tap before making the ropes. Deeb pulls Riho away by the leg, getting another dragon screw (this time the other way around), but Riho escapes the cross-armed powerbomb and cradles her for two. Crucifix is blocked, and Deeb just smashes the knee like a bastard before the Tequila Sunrise ends it to retain at 14:13. Deeb constantly wanting to win without hurting Riho, then realizing she had to and just murdering the leg, combined with a wild crowd, made this a wonderful pre-show match. Perhaps too good. ***1/4
A look at the Fanfest before one last rundown of the card, with one last look at the Young Bucks vs Moxley and Kingston.
Taz goes to commentary for the opener. JR joins Excalibur and Tony for the night.
MAIN SHOW BEGINS NOW!
Opening match: Brian Cage (8-1, #5 men) vs. Adam Page (13-1, “Horse with a Hangover”). Cage comes out with Kano-style body armor and a headpiece, wearing the FTW Title (which, again, is not on the line). Cage wants to go it alone, which Taz isn’t thrilled about but he’s going along with. Page gets a HUGE pop when he comes out, so if you’re wondering if his World Title stock got hurt by Omega, I’d say not quite.
Page charges Cage to start but gets thrown aside. He gets more success with a rising knee and big boot, but Cage runs him over with a clothesline and sends him into the middle buckle. Pumphandle driver, but Page lands on his feet and clotheslines Cage, who rolls to the apron. Jericho-style triangle clothesline sends him to the floor, but Cage yanks Page out and tosses him into the guardrai. Back in, but Cage stupidly yells at the crowd and Page dives onto him. He dives again, but Cage catches this one and turns it into a powerbomb into the post. Cage tosses Page into the apron, then whips him into the guardrail.
Back in, Cage kicks Page down and works him over in the corner with shoulder shots. Big chop, but Page tries to fight back only to get hit with a jumping knee and choked over the top rope. Hammer Throw nearly inverts Page, and Cage slowly walks over and picks Page up. Four bicep curls, but Page hooks Cage on the way over on the fallaway slam and gets a crucifix for two. Page with a clothesline that doesn’t floor Cage. They both hit each other, Page getting the worst of it. Page ducks Cage on the third round and gets a Cactus clothesline as JR and Taz are spouting football metaphors like they’re on cocaine.
Page goes up, and it’s a moonsault off the top rope to the floor on Cage! Back in, Page goes up, but Cage clobbers him and follows. He wants a Lambeau Plunge, but Page escapes. Page tries a Frankensteiner, eventually getting it off a powerbomb attempt by Cage for two. Page to the apron, kicking Cage away, only for Cage to give him a SUPERKICK and Cesaroplex… but Page slides out and tries a bucklebomb. Cage escapes, but the discus lariat misses and Page with a rolling elbow for two. Deadeye is tried, but Cage beats him out and gets a ripcord right followed by an F-5 try. Page escapes but gets hit with a rising knee and one-armed swinging neckbreaker for two.
Running uppercut and gamengiri by Cage, but Page refuses to go over on a German suplex. He runs into a Hotshot from Cage, who sees the ramp and gets Page in position… Cesaroplex on the ramp! Cage is obviously up first hangs Page on the top rope, following him up and getting an avalanche F-5 for two. Maybe should’ve hooked the leg, as Tony even notes. Cage, though he’s mad, goes to the apron and waits… Buckshot lariat flip, but Page catches HIM in the F-5 for two!
Buckshot is ducked by Cage into a German suplex, then a powerbomb into a bucklebomb… but Page jack-knifes on the third try for two! Cage with a discus lariat and helicopter bomb for two. Hook and Ricky Starks race to the ring, with Hook taking the ref while Starks slides the FTW Belt to Cage. Cage refuses, much to Team Taz’s disgust, and Cage throws Page… to the apron. Then turns to Hook. Oops. Buckshot wins it at 12:03. What a crazy opener! **** Taz is furious at how Cage refused their help, claiming Cage needed the help. Cage yells at Starks and Hook about getting involved, with Starks saying don’t hurt my neck… so Cage shoves everyone away and walks off.
AEW Tag Team Titles: Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston vs. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson, w/Don Callis). Kingston comes out with a Bad News Bears jersey; Moxley’s shirt is of Matt Jackson calling him a mark; and both are carring the Air Diors as the crowd yells WILD THING. They walk through the crowd as usual, then stop by the Spanish table as if to make sure Willie isn’t there. As the crowd sings along. Nature is healing. Excalibur is furious that they’ve become the very joke they were – people who didn’t care about their opponents or anything else, just themselves.
Then Mox and Kingston attack as the streamers fly! Moxley chokes Matt on streamers while Kingston chokes Nick. Moxley chokes Matt with the T-shirt, as Nick gets away from Kingston and saves Matt from Moxley. Don Callis goes to commentary as Kingston dives onto both Bucks and Moxley. Kingston rips Nick’s jacket off and whips him with it, while Moxley takes Matt intoi the mezzanine and Sandmans a beer. Kingston rips Nick’s face before throwing him into the barricade. Brandon Cutler checks on Nick with the cooling spray, so Moxley and Kingston chase him into the ring and give him Violent Crown to take him out. Nick attacks Kingston from behind and NOW THE BELL RINGS!
Kingston chops away on Nick and Moxley sends Matt into the crowd, with Kingston getting the Kitchen Sink. Kingston with kicks to the back for two. Moxley in with a right hand, and the challengers get a double shoulderblock. Matt comes in to stop it, and the ref stops him so Moxley and Kingston stomp away on Nick. Moxley runs Kingston into Nick with a knee strike, then follows with a jumping knee strike, then Kingston gets a front suplex and STO for two. Kingston with Kobashi chops on Nick before being stopped with a thumb to the eye.
Matt knocks Moxley off the apron and dropkicks him, and the Bucks with a pair of double-teams including a cannonball/enzuigiri combo in the corner. Matt tries to calm the crowd down, then works the back of Kingston as Nick comes in. Double back elbow and splash/fistdrop combo by the Bucks, then a face scrape and Macho Man tribute from Nick. He blows a kiss at Moxley, who’s halfway in the ring as Nick charges Kingston… and runs into a Hotshot. Matt cuts off the hot tag and knocks Moxley off the apron, throwing him (Moxley) into the guardrail.
Matt fires up the crowd and “tags” Kingston, doing clotheslines for the comeback. Ten-punch countalong by Matt, and he calls for a slam on Kingston. Matt delivers, then wants the legdrop only for Moxley to trip him and lariat him down on the outside. Nick throws Matt back in and tags, then springboards… straight into an Exploder by Kingston! Hot tag Moxley, and he dropkicks Matt into Nick before throwing both across the ring. Piledriver to Nick, but Matt’s legal and it’s a slugfest. Cross-armed piledriver to Matt gets two, but Moxley immediately puts on the bulldog choke, Nick saves. Moxley with a double DDT to the Bucks, and he clotheslines Nick, but runs into Matt’s boot.
Matt gets back body dropped by Moxley and Karl Anderson comes out to taunt him. Kingston anticipates it and runs over Doc Gallows, then Frankie Kazarian chases Anderson to the back. Meanwhile, Matt uses the cooling spray to the eyes of Moxley and brains him with the bottle. Unfortunately for the Bucks, it gets two and Moxley is hardway busted. Moxley rolls to the apron as Matt follows him on the ramp, and the Bucks nail a Meltzer Driver on the ramp! Bucks will allow the countout, as Moxley staggers around ringside, but he’s in at nine.
Moxley wants more, slapping Matt, so Matt stomps on the cut. He then punches the cut of Moxley, and Nick enters to do a senton bomb on a hung-up Moxley for two. Nick stomps away on Moxley as the crowd tries to rally him, but Matt enters and they kick him repeatedly in the spine. Yes Kicks both ways, then a BTE Trigger-like double kick (no wrist clutch) gets two. We HIT THE CHINLOCK as Moxley is at .5 Muta. Moxley walks to the corner with Matt around his neck, but Matt throws him down and Nick chokes Moxley while the ref sends Kingston out of the ring. Nick in, and the Bucks take turns punching Moxley.
Moxley fights back on both, but the Bucks pummel him down. They tease a Shield bomb, but Moxley kicks down Matt and gives both men a release German suplex at the same time! HOT tag Kingston, and everyone goes flying. Overhead suplex to Nick, enzuigiri to Matt, then a DDT to Matt. Stretch Plum, but Nick saves only for Kingston to no-sell the shots to the head. Big boot to Nick, and it’s the Kobashi chops in the corner to Matt only for Nick to kick the leg out of Kingston’s leg. Assisted shiranui by Matt, Shining Wizard by Nick, and Matt gets two. Nick in and he goes up, but the senton bomb hits the knees.
Moxley wants back in, and when he gets in… he runs into a double SUPERKICK. More Bang for Your Buck try, but Moxley slips out and gets the sleeper on Matt! Nick with a 450 onto Moxley to break, but Matt only gets two. Meltzer Driver tries again, but Kingston pulls Nick down and the choke is on again by Moxley. Violent Crown try, but Nick trips Moxley and throws him into the guardrail. Moxley yanks Nick off the apron for another Meltzer Driver, and then Moxley throws the Air Dior in. The ref removes it, but as he does, it’s a Doomsday Device with the other one to Matt! Nick saves! Nick with a running knee to Kingston in the corner, and he takes the tag from Matt as the crowd wants them to Fight Forever!
SUPERKICK is blocked, Paradigm Shift is escaped, and Nick with the Sharpshooter on Moxley. Matt tries to pull Kingston away, and Moxley almost passes out before Kingston saves. Saito suplex to Matt, but Nick with a SUPERKICK to Kingston. Moxley recovers with a Steinerline and Paradigm Shift to Nick, Matt saves again. Moxley begins headbutting Matt because he can’t be cut worse, then Matt takes the Flair Flop and kicks down Kingston off the apron. Sleeper try by Moxley, but it’s a double SUPERKICK by the Bucks. Moxley with a double lariat, but Matt gets another SUPERKICK off a Paradigm Shift try, then Nick with one, then a double SUPERKICK… for one!!
Moxley is Hulking up now, but the Bucks with two more SUPERKICKs. They kick out Kingston’s leg and another SUPERKICK for him, and now Matt becomes legal after a tag. They surround Moxley for the BTE Trigger, hitting it once, but Moxley doesn’t drop. Three more follow, and it’s finally over at 21:01. Crowd is NOT happy with that. Way too many false finishes for me to enjoy this match as much as the opener – great athleticism, but ending fatigue is real. ***1/4
CASINO BATTLE ROYAL! So here’s the concept if you’ve never seen it before. It’s a 21-man battle royal with staggered entries, but instead of two starting and one every so often, it’s five starting (“Clubs”), then five more (“Diamonds”), then another five (“Hearts”), then five more (“Spades”), then the last one (“Joker”). We find out The Blade is out and Serpentico is in, and that QT Marshall is out and Aaron Solow is in. We know 20 of the 21 entries, and the last one is absolutely the Joker, and you know it. Anyway, Paul Wight is on commentary for this one.
CLUBS: Christian Cage, Matt Sydal, Will Hobbs, Dustin Rhodes, Max Caster – which means it’s time for the battle rap! “He [Christian] used to be cool but only when he had an Edge!” “Sydal, climb to the top I’m-a catch your ass slippin!” “Dustin, you so ugly you should paint your WHOLE face!” Caster is over.
And we’re off with a mindless brawl as Hobbs goes for Christian while Dustin tries to toss out Caster. Hobbs fends off both Christian and Sydal, trying to toss Christian in the corner, while Caster recovers and punches away on Dustin. Sydal kicks Hobbs’s legs out, but Caster goes after Sydal and slugs him down. Sydal with a Matrix dodge of a right and he knots up Caster’s quads before landing an enzuigiri. Hobbs fights off an elimination chance as Sydal and Caster fight on the ropes before a pop-up low blow by Caster and Sydal is out!
Dustin tries to toss Hobbs, while Christian works over Caster. Caster is backed onto the top corner as commentary notes the ramp counts as an elimination. Hobbs kicks away Dustin as Caster slides back into the ring and cross-chops Christian. Another pop-up low blow is stopped, and Cage tosses Caster onto the ramp as Caster is out! (And maybe hurt.) Countdown is on, and here we come…
DIAMONDS: Matt Hardy, Isaiah Kassidy, Preston Vance, Nick Comoroto, Serpentico.
Hardy and Kassidy try to ambush Vance coming out, but he floors both men. Luther drags Serpentico out and throws him into the match over the top. He runs into a back body drop from Vance, then gets hit with a wheelbarrow suplex and Serpentico is out! Comoroto attacks Vance and they fight in the middle, but Vance escapes and nails the SPINEBUSTER OF DOOM on Comoroto.
Comoroto comes back with a nasty spear on Vance, but Vance survives elimination… until Dustin comes in and Comoroto and Vance are both out! Comoroto clocks Dustin with the cowbell, and Hobbs grabs the lifeless body as Dustin is out! Here comes Hardy and Kassidy as…
HEARTS: Brian Pillman Jr., Griff Garrison, Colt Cabana, Anthony Bowens, Penta El Cero Miedo
The Blonds go after Hardy and Kassidy and get a babyface shine, running them together to knock them down. Colt goes Flip Flop and Fly on Hardy, with Kassidy eating the exclamation point. Bowens takes Garrison down with a rolling elbow then brainbusters Pillman as Pentagon is dressed like the Joker. But isn’t – he’s a Heart. SUPERKICK to Bowens and chops to half the world. Cero! Miedo! Wait, Bowens clocks him and sends him down. Hardy is over the top, but Colt can’t eliminate him. Bowens. Here comes Kassidy and Colt is out!
The Blonds go to town on Bowens and Bowens is out! Hardy low bridges Garrison, then punches him down and Garrison is out! Hobbs and Christian are down on the floor but still in it as we get Hardy/Kassidy working over Penta in the ring and Pillman in the corner. Penta reverses on Matt and punches away, while Kassidy puts Pillman on the top rope as the crowd chants for Pillman. He comes off with a double axhandle on Kassidy and looks for elimination, but the count is on…
SPADES: Jungle Boy Perry, Marq Quen, Aaron Solow, Evil Uno, Lee Johnson.
Perry and Penta stare down in the ring as Penta shoves Perry in the face and gives him a Sling Blade or two. Quen runs in and tries to help Kassidy take out Pillman, giving him Gin and Juice. That’s enough, and Pillman is out! Uno charges Matt and they work each other over as we see no sign of Christian or Hobbs and commentary doesn’t know if they’re in or out. Solow and Johnson go for the fight, with Johnson saving himself and backdropping Solow to the apron. Solow is out thanks to Johnson, but Johnson is out thanks to Matt!
Uno takes out Kassidy with a Flatliner, then goes after Penta. Penta reecovers and Uno is out! Perry with a rana and Penta is out! Perry recovers as Hobbs and Cage return to the ring. Spinebuster to Kassidy, then a chokeslam to Perry into the corner. Cage goes after Hobbs, but Hobbs’ avalanche in the corner misses and Christian powers Hobbs… Hobbs is out! And now we have 5 left and 1 to go as we reset, with Matt Hardy, Isaiah Kassidy, Marq Quen, Christian Cage, Jungle Boy Perry, and 20 seconds until the Joker. The Family Office go 3-on-2 in the corners as the countdown brings us to…
JOKER: LIO RUSH!
Rush goes up top and leaps over Quen to floor Kassidy, then jumps over Quen and gets a poison rana on him. He ducks a pump kick by Kassidy, cartwheels like crazy to avoid him, then upkicks Kassidy and nails a C-4 in the middle of the ring! Matt has Rush, who avoids elimination and gets a rebound Stunner. Everyone else is down, so he goes for Kassidy to eliminate him. Quen stops it, but Rush with a karate flurry to Quen, then catches Kassidy and sends him to the apron. Quen in to try Silly String, but Rush catches him only for Matt to come up and Rush is out!
Back to 3v2 against Cage and Perry now, with Matt slamming Perry. He calls Private Party over and says it’s deletion time on Perry, landing the Side Effect. Perry blocks a toss-out and lariats Matt, but Quen tosses him to the apron. Cage comes in and sends Quen to the apron, so Kassidy tosses Cage, only for Cage to reverse it and Private Party is out! It’s down to Cage, Matt, and Perry. Matt tries to talk to Cage, but the crowd wants Jungle Boy. The veterans surround Jungle Boy, but Cage is ready and Matt is out!
FINALE: Christian Cage vs. Jungle Boy Perry
We reset as the crowd takes Perry’s side. Cage goes for a quick toss, but Perry blocks and punches away. Perry catches Cage and tries to toss him over the corner, putting him on the top buckle, but Cage fights him away and dives with an uppercut. Perry kicks away on Cage, getting an enzuigiri to floor him. Cage ducks a lariat and gets the falling reverse DDT, then sets up for the Spear. He charges, but Perry catches him and has him halfway over only for Cage to recover back in with elbows. Perry is tossed to the apron, then catches Cage coming in with a guillotine… and they’re both on the apron! Perry grabs the bottom rope and kicks away, but he’s caught coming back in. Pendulum kick by Perry as Cage pulls, but Cage avoids a lariat and wants the Killswitch on the apron. Perry escapes, so Cage throws him into the post…
…and Perry HANGS ONTO THE POST AND SWINGS AROUND TO THE NEXT APRON TO STAY IN! Cage is furious and charges, to get backdropped out at 23:29 as Jungle Boy is your new #1 Contender! Outstanding. ***3/4 Jurassic Express celebrates in the ring, but Cage returns… and tells Perry to make the most of your title shot. Hugs all around. Crowd gives Christian a “You Still Got It” sendoff for being Iron Man.
Shawn Dean brings out some Canines for Warriors service animal trainers. A plug for a military assistance bill goes up as the crowd suddenly has a lot of miniature American flags. So, Konos, who’d get the abortions in this case? We then get a huge video celebrating the troops, and HOO boy does this feel forced. Yeah, it’s Memorial Day and all, but tying this to a match – a match that doesn’t even need patriotism – just feels wrong. If this video was presented on its own, I’d be fine with it, but to make it part of a match the way they’re doing is just pandering I expect from Vince. You’re above this, guys.
Anthony Ogogo (w/QT Marshall) (2-0) vs. Cody Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) (9-2-1). Well, in case you’re wondering, yes, all this jingoistic claptrap works as the crowd is behind Cody. He even puts the Stars and Stripes into his entrance video and comes out in a red, white, and blue robe. Well, no one said that wrestling fans were over-intelligent. Cody even gives a fan his weight belt just to make sure he’s the face in the match.
Cody keeps Ogogo against the ropes to start. He dodges a right and goes for an armbar, then ducks a left and they tangle in the ropes. Cody with a kick and sliding uppercut, but the Liver Punch connects. Angle Slam follows, getting two. Ogogo charges for another one, but Cody ducks and catches him with a powerslam. Now both men’s ribs are in pain, and Cody holds the hands and gets a knee to the gut. Ogogo avoids a slam and they criss-cross, with Ogogo landing a big stomp. Cody ducks a left haymaker and takes down Ogogo, hooking Cattle Mutilation, but Ogogo breaks it and bails. Cody goes to dive, but Ogogo clocks him to intercept it.
Back in, Ogogo with a German suplex, but his forearm is hurt from nailing Cody with it on that intercept. He kicks away on a prone Cody and lands the Guvnah’s Elbow, getting one twice. Cody with a single-leg as Ogogo picks him up, but Ogogo gets the eyes and gets a torpedo uppercut and Steinerline for two. Marshall with a cheap shot with his “injured” wrist on Cody, and Ogogo gets two as Anderson chases Marshall away with a chair. Another Guvnah’s Elbow try misses, and Cody wisely steps on the hands and punches the fingers. Ogogo regains control with a fireman’s carry throw for two.
Back body drop try, but Cody kicks away only to get thrown throat-first into the middle rope. He gets looked over by Anderson as Marshall checks on Ogogo. Ogogo is cut over the good eye, and his swing misses as Cody pump kicks the leg and gets a bulldog. Cody works the cut on Ogogo, then gets a Cody Cutter. The ref checks the cut on Ogogo as Cody picks him up and sets him on the buckle. He wants a superplex, but Ogogo punches the ribs and gets a jab to the jaw to knock Cody down. Ogogo pulls himself down as Cody isn’t getting up, so Ogogo goes back up. Frog splash connects, but Ogogo’s ribs are just as hurt and he only gets two.
Ogogo charges in with an uppercut, but his next charge runs into a dropkick and figure-four from Cody. Ogogo punches out Cody, and CODY’s shoulders are down for two, allowing Ogogo to reverse. Cody breaks and everyone’s down. Ogogo limps to Cody, but Cody headbutts him and hooks Cross Rhodes… but Ogogo with a snapmare, Liver Punch, and uppercut! He covers, but Cody fell under the ropes when knocked out. Ogogo picks him up for a gutwrench turn slam for two. Ogogo is ready to finish, but Cody drops out of the pop-up with Bionic Elbows. Vertebreaker by Cody wins it at 10:55. Happy, Cody? You got to be your dad for a night, and it only cost you a hot prospect’s momentum. **1/2
During the fanfest yesterday, Miro sucker punched Jake Roberts.
TNT Title: Lance Archer (challenger) vs. Miro (champion) (8-0, 2nd defense). Archer scares Justin Roberts on the way in. He gets no chyron or into as a result. No Jake Roberts for this match, as we go one on one.
Archer dives onto Miro on the ramp and brings the fight to him before the bell. In the ring, Archer with the elbow express in the corner, only for a clothesline stalemate on the third try. Archer boots Miro down, then hits Old School into a moonsault for one. Archer follows Miro outside as they keep fighting, with Miro sending Archer into the guardrail. Miro then grabs Archer’s hair, only for Archer to send Miro into the timekeeper’s table, then the post. Uranage by Archer breaks the timekeeper’s table out of nowhere (two minutes in?), and back in, Miro rolls back out.
Archer meets him around the corner, but Miro catches him and overhead suplexes him onto the enhancement talent in the front row! Then another one back to ringside! Back in, Miro kicks away on Archer in the corner, then lands a right hand. Miro adds a knee strike and Hammer Throw, then an avalanche. Miro charges in again, but Archer meets him with a bodypress out of the corner! Archer with a facecrusher, but Miro ducks a clothesline and gets a leg lariat. Miro lines Archer up with Yes Kicks, holding his hair to keep him up, but Archer catches a kick and gets the Helicoaster for two.
Archer pauses before going up, but the moonsault misses and Miro with a SUPERKICK and Samoan Drop for two. Miro stomps himself up, but Jake Roberts is back and tries to bring Damian out! Miro catches him and pulls him into the ring, then SUPERKICKs Archer to cut him off. Miro steals the bag and shakes it around (revealing there’s no snake in there for real), then throws Damian halfway down the ramp! Crowd gasped for that. Miro measures the Snake, but Archer cuts him off with a chokeslam for two. Crowd kind of assumed that was the finish.
Archer puts Miro up top and they slug it out, with Archer rocking Miro and hooking the Blackout. Miro slides out the back and kicks the legs away, but he runs into the Pounce from Archer and rolls out of the ring. Archer tosses Miro in and chokes away until Miro kicks the ropes to crotch Archer. Suplex from apron to ring by Miro, then the Machka Kick. Game Over is hooked, but Archer gets to his knees. So Archer does the bending version, and Archer’s TKO’d at 9:51. Did not like the false finish in there, but this was a heck of a hoss fight. **3/4 Ross, to the shock of no one, would like a rematch.
All Out will be in Chicago on Labor Day Weekend.
AEW Women’s Title: Britt Baker (challenger, w/Rebel, not Reba) (#1 contender, 10-1) vs. Hikaru Shida (champion) (30-3, 53-week reign). The crowd can read the tea leaves and gets 100% behind Baker. It helps that they’ve practically telegraphed this one. Though to the crowd’s credit, they’re not booing Shida. Excalibur notes this is the first time Shida’s defended in front of a sellout crowd. Boxing intros here.
Staredown to start. Baker slugs Shida and we go back and forth, with Shida taking over with knee strikes. Baker reverses in the copres, Shida reverses back, Baker rolls through and wants a crossface, Shida escapes and wants the Tomashii, Baker ducks and goes to the ropes. Lockup now, and Baker with a hammerlock and half-nelson into a snapmare and crucifix cover for two. Then another cover gets two, but Shida floats over into a waistlock takedown. Shida with a bow-and-arrow, but she has to break as Baker leans back. Shida with a leg waistlock, getting a one-count by rolling her over, and Shida switches to a surfboard on Baker. Baker can’t lean back, so Shida kicks her to the mat. Baker hangs on to avoid the dropkick and bails to get advice from Rebel (That advice: “Never get in the ring with Shelly Martinez.”)
Shida heads out as Baker heads in, and Baker catches Shida with a kneelift. She chokes Shida in the corner and lands a right. Armdrag and hammerlock by Baker, but Shida backs her into the corner. She ducks a lariat and gets a step-up rana and dropkick as Baker rolls out again. Shida follows, throwing Baker into the guardrail. Shida finds a chair and sits it up, leaping off the chair… onto the apron to fake Baker out. Rebel checks on Baker, and Shida dives onto both of them. Shida breaks the count and hangs Baker on the apron, but Baker intercepts the drive-by knee with a swinging kick from a prone position.
She chokes Shida on the outside, and back in, stomps the throat. Cravate and knee strikes by Baker, then a forearm and front facelock. She wants a butterfly suplex, but Shida escapes into an armdrag. Baker holds the wrists, though, and curbstomps Shida. THE GLOVE IS ON – a sparkly red and black edition – but Shida rolls to the ropes to avoid Lockjaw. Baker stomps a mudhole in Shida, then pulls her back in for a butterfly suplex for two. Then two. Baker smashes Shida with a forearm and makes her SMELL THE GLOVE, but a charge eats boot. Shida reverses Baker into the corner, but Baker catches her and tosses gives her a Flatliner into the middle buckle. Baker steps on the head, getting two.
She toys with Shida, but Shida catches the boot and stands up. Shida tanks some shots and fires off with forearms, getting a leg-trip and ground-and-pound. Baker eats turnbuckle in the corner, then a Hammer Throw leads to a running knee strike. A second one follows, then a Broski Boot version of the knee. Shida yanks on the nostrils of Baker, which surprises the commentary, then tries a suplex. They roll around before Shida gets a sloppy one for two. Shida with a knee to the back of the head for two (Rebel was unable to grab the leg, but that was intentional).
Baker catches Shida and tries a fisherman’s suplex, but Shida fights out with knees and we get a slugfest. Shida rattles Baker, who kicks Shida, who gives Baker an enzuigiri. But Baker recovers with a SUPERKICK and Saturn Driver for two. Rollins Stomp is missed and Shida gets Stretch Muffler, but Baker easily makes the ropes. Baker catches Shida coming in with a SUPERKICK, then the Sling Blade connects. Air Raid Crash gets two, and she goes for Lockjaw, but Shida won’t let the hand get in and is almost at the ropes. So Baker reverses sides and gets the Rings of Saturn part, then pushes off the bottom rope, only for Shida to roll to her feet and get the eyes raked.
Baker clubs away on Shida, but Shida ducks a clothesline and hooks a waistlock. Baker can’t elbow out and Shida gets a German suplex. Running elbow gets two. Shida puts Baker up top, looking for a fireman’s carry on the top, but Baker elbows out and falls to the apron. Shida pulls her up, and it’s a superplex for two. She tries to put Baker up top again, but Baker cradles her for two. Shida instantly recovers to Stretch Muffler but Rebel holds the title up to distract Shida. Shida knocks Rebel away and Rebel has the crutch, but Shida ducks and Baker eats it… for two! Falcon Arrow gets two.
Now Rebel just gets in the ring as the referee ejects her, and Baker brings the belt in and SUPERKICKs and Rollins Stomps her on the belt… for two! The crowd doesn’t know why that wasn’t the finish. Baker now sets up Lockjaw, but Shida stacks her for two to break. Jumping knee by Shida, and the Tomashii gets two! Baker reverses to a crucifix for two, then fights for Lockjaw, hooking it in for the submission and the title at 17:19. Well, you can’t say Shida didn’t go out swinging. If you’re going to end a year-long reign, it’s going to take everything you have including every cheat you can think of. That’s how you make a new champ and cap off a long title reign. ****1/4 Tony Schiavone leaves commentary to hug Baker in celebration as Rebel has the champagne and an “AND NEW” shirt. Crowd chants Thank You Shida.
Everyone’s warming up. PAC is doing pushups, Omega is doing medicine ball exercises, and Orange is doing… nothing.
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky (#2 team, 8-0) vs. IT’S STING! (1-0) and Darby Allin (#4 singles, 11-1). Good luck following that, boys. With Ethan and Sky as #2 team, I’m not sure where you go from here if they win – they’d move to #1, but a heel/heel title match? We get footage of Darby Allin skateboarding through the desert and getting picked up by Sting as they head to Jacksonville. This is Sting’s first non-cinematic match since he faced Seth Rollins in September 2015.
Allin dives onto Ethan and Sky during his entrance and we fight on the outside! Sting sends Sky into the barricade as Allin stands on Ethan’s head! Allin slams the barricade into Ethan and gets a choke on Ethan, while Sky and Sting fight on the ramp. Sky goes to the eyes as Ethan breaks the choke, and Sky suplexes Sting on the ramp! Sting no-sells as Sky celebrates on the stage, and he stands behind Sky to throw him off the chips onto the Ethan… before doing a CRAZY OLD MAN DIVE onto both men!
Allin and Sky start us off proper as Allin works Sky over in the corner. Sting in, and he whips Allin into Sky twice, then into Ethan, then into Sky again. Sting with a facebuster, and he howls as Sky begs off. Allin in, and he drops the axhandle on the arm. Sting in to keep the armwork going on Sky, wrapping the arm around the top rope. Allin back in, and he punches Sky in the gut and keeps the arm control into a Fujiwara armbar. Sky tries to suplex out, but Allin lands on his feet and tries a lucha armdrag… only for Ethan to sweep the leg and floor Allin. Sky to the apron, and he gets a slingshot cutter. Ethan in, and he taunts Allin before picking him up and tossing him upside-down into the corner.
Another bradley beal in the opposite corner as Ethan poses. He drags Allin by the trunks into the Sky corner and tags Sky in. Sky with a snapmare and facerake. Allin tries to fight up, but Sky with a backbreaker and stretch. Allin tries SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION, but Sky quickly brings Ethan in for an elbowdrop to cut off the hot tag. Ethan with a suplex and he mocks Allin. Sky in with a forearm shot, then a Hammer Throw as Ethan holds him in place . Allin escapes a back suplex, and Sting gets the hot tag and tries to fight both in the same corner…. oh, wait, the ref missed the tag trying to take Ethan out of the ring.
So Sky drags Allin around the ring and throws him in in their corner, tagging Ethan for real. Ethan holds the arm out from halfway across the ring, then military presses Allin and throws him out of the ring, over the guardrail, and into the front row where his brothers are seated with the enhancement talent! Sting helps a very dead Allin to ringside – to be fair, when is Allin not dead – as Ethan dares Sting to bring Allin in. Well, Allin is the legal man, and Sting isn’t sure what to do next – take the countout loss or make Allin fight more. Allin answers it for him by coming to life and springing in at 9, so Ethan drags him to the heel corner and looks for Ego’s Edge.
Allin kicks away (knocking Sky down) and hooks on the top buckle, then fights away from Ethan’s grip and gets a sleeper. Now Ethan needs a tag, but Allin won’t let it and hooks the hands in the sleeper. Ethan backs into a corner to block it, but Allin gets a flip Stunner, and NOW the hot tag counts! Sky enters to stop Sting, so he eats clotheslines and a Stinger Splash. Then one for Ethan, and Sky is sent out of the ring. Sting catches Ethan and gets something resembling a Code Red (let’s just say it was a sunset flip) for two.
Allin wants to end the match, and Sting obliges by tagging him in… but Sky crotches Allin. Sting elbows Sky down, so Ethan stomps away on Sting, unaware Allin’s legal. Once told, Ethan flips Allin off the top rope onto Sting, then goes for Ego’s Edge… but Sting interrupts and hooks the Scorpion! Only problem: Allin’s legal, so he hooks a Fujiwara armbar, so Sky hooks a heel hook on Allin. Ethan and Allin fight while in submission holds, and none of this is going to count because nobody’s legal.
The ref breaks everything and sends Sky/Sting to their corners as we have a double-down. Sky directs Ethan to get a tag, but Allin gets Sting in and Sky stops dead in his tracks. It’s a slugfest, with Sky going to the legs, but Sting has had enough and does the Hulking up! Hammer Throw, but the Stinger Splash misses and Sky tries the Slingshot cutter, only for Sting to catch it and get the Deathdrop to win at 12:28. Admittedly, I didn’t see that coming. I should be upset the old man goes over, but if this is Sting getting a last match on his terms, whatever. Allin carried this match. **3/4 Yes, I might be overrating this because Sting was my favorite and I love Sky.
AEW World Title: PAC (challenger, #2 contender, 5-0-1) vs. Orange Cassidy (w/Best Friends, challenger, #1 contender, 8-0-1) vs. Kenny Omega (w/Don Callis, champion, 18-2). This will be under triple threat rules, meaning one fall to a finish and it doesn’t matter who you pin as long as you get the win. Omega’s been very angry about this, because he wants to prove he can win. As this is triple threat, there is no countout or disqualification, either. Omega has all four belts around him, with the AEW belt around his waist. Best Friends don’t stick around after entrances. The crowds are into everyone’s entrance, which just makes this match feel awesome.
PAC charges Omega, who tries to bail out. Omega asks the ref to check PAC, allowing him to cheapshot Cassidy out of the ring. PAC and Omega in a slugfest, with Omega going to the eyes. Headlock by Omega, but PAC kips up off of a shoulderblock. PAC returns with a drop step and big boot, then both men crossbody each other as Callis goes to commentary. Cassidy rolls back in, surveys the situation, and covers PAC for one. Then covers Omega for one. PAC and Omega get up and both turn their attention to Cassidy, who fakes the pockets and gets a two-man rana. PAC leaves, so Orange dives onto him before getting a tilt-a-whirl DDT on Omega for two.
Orange Punch is teased, but Omega charges and rushes Orange into the corner. PAC catches Omega and flips in over his back, getting a rana of his own to send Omega out by the ramp. PAC follows him with a quebrada, then stalks over Orange as the crowd declares it awesome 3 minutes in. Okay then. PAC choke Orange in the corner with his boots, then he goes up as Orange crawls away. Shotgun missile dropkick to Orange, but PAC doesn’t follow. He goes up top again, then lands a shotgun missile dropkick on a returning Omega. Now he’s up one more time and dropkicks both men at once before kipping up.
Boot choke by PAC on Omega, but Omega throws PAC into Orange. Omega with a back elbow to Orange and he kicks away PAC, hanging Orange in the corner. He does a Finlay Roll to PAC into a Backstabber to Orange. Omega sends PAC into the corner and rakes his eyes on the top rope. Back suplex by Omega gets one. Big chop to PAC, then a Bionic Elbow, then another chop, but PAC fires back and it’s a slugfest. PAC wins that, but Omega gets a push kick to send PAC halfway across the ring to the buckle! Omega turns around into a casadora cradle by Orange for two. Omega stops him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Big chop by Omega, then a rib breaker for two. Omega pulls Orange up and directs the crowd before getting a kidney punch.
Orange hangs on to the ropes and elbows away Omega, but PAC pulls Orange out and pounds him. Omega gives both men a baseball slide, then it’s a no-hands pescado onto both guys. He tosses Orange in, but a suplex is reversed by Orange into Stundog Millionaire. Beach Break try, but it turns into a pinfall reversal exchange by Orange and Omega, and when Omega tries to bridge up, PAC nails the pile with a 450! Incredible timing on that one.
PAC springboards in, but Omega dodges and catches him with a Snap Dragon. He catches Orange’s casadora try and gives him two Snap Dragons. Omega fires himself up, and it’s a V Trigger to Orange, then he charges PAC. PAC dodges and gets a release German suplex, but a SUPERKICK is blocked only for PAC to get a high boot. Omega tosses Orange onto PAC and gets a V-Trigger, but PAC’s SUPERKICK misses Omega and hits Orange. Omega floors PAC with a lariat and he’s the only one standing.
Another V Trigger to Orange, then he hangs Orange up on the ropes and wants a top-rope Snap Dragon! Orange breaks the full nelson with HANDS IN POCKETS, and Omega can’t get them out as PAC gets a rotation release German onto Omega! PAC has to roll out, as he hurt himself on the move, so Orange with the Pocket Diving Senton to PAC. Back in, Omega catches Orange and nails the Tiger Driver for two. Omega says it’s over, but sees PAC getting up and catches him on the top rope. One Winged Angel is tried, but PAC slides down the front only to get hit with a German suplex and bridge for two.
Omega’s not sure who to go after, so he pulls down the kneepad and sees Orange up to his knees first. Two rising knees to Orange, but Orange holds Omega off and goes HANDS IN POCKETS… and collapses. Omega tries to pick Orange up, but PAC is up again, slugging away and getting a sole kick. He runs into an Omega chop, then a V Trigger, but Orange catches Omega with a Falcon Arrow. PAC with an instant Brainbuster on Orange for two. PAC is up first, and he puts Orange on the top rope. He wants a superplex, holding Orange up, but Omega hits them and Orange falls to the outside. Omega then lifts PAC from behind and… and he goes up top! He wants an avalanche One Winged Angel, but PAC with a sunset flip bomb instead!
Now PAC puts Omega up and follows, getting a super Falcon Arrow on him… and Orange tosses PAC and covers Omega for two! The crowd REALLY wanted that to be the finish! PAC returns as Orange pulls himself up and Omega rolls out, and it’s the World’s Laziest Kick Flurry… cut off by a low blwo kick from PAC. PAC then with a twisting pescado to Omega, and back up top for the Black Arrow to Orange, which connects… but Omega saves! PAC with a big kick to Omega in the corner and he sets him down, wanting the Black Arrow on him as This Is Awesome. Black Arrow airballs, though, and Omega pulls himself up for the One Winged Angel… but PAC reverses to a standing Brutalizer!
Orange with the Orange Punch to knock PAC out of the ring, and Beach Break to Omega gets a very close two. Omega rolls away as PAC kicks Orange, but a low blow kick is caught this time. PAC switches to a forearm shiver and tries a powerbomb, but the Orange Punch connects to PAC. V Trigger misses and Omega gets the Orange Punch, which sends Callis off commentary for a moment. He wants one more Orange Punch as Callis appears at ringside, and it connects with PAC… until Callis pulls the ref out at two. What. A. Jerk.
He argues with the ref, then turns around and sees a very angry Orange before running away. Orange doesn’t give chase, instead going up, but Omega holds onto the leg and they fight up top. Orange goes for headbutts – tha’ts new, according to commentary – and he knocks Omega down, then tries a diving DDT on PAC… who catches him in a Northern Lights suplex and Brutalizer! Omega saves… or TRIES to, but PAC won’t let go! So Omega goes with Plan B: kill the ref.
Callis gets one of the gazillion belts and Omega clocks PAC with it. Callis tosses in another rbelt as PAC gets up, and another beltshot floors PAC. Belt #3 is tossed to Omega as the crowd is furious, and it’s another home run upside the head. And the final belt goes to Omega from Callis – the AEWTitle – as Omega makes sure PAC sees it hit him hard. But as Omega celebrates, the Orange Punch connects out of nowhere and Orange is the only one alive. He falls onto Omega as another ref arrives to count one, two… Omega stacks Orange out of nowhere! One, two, three – Omega retains at 27:01! The Elite head to the back to celebrate. Unbelievable main event as anyone could’ve won at any time. ****3/4
Full Gear will be on November 6 in Saint Louis, MO.
Tony Schiavone is in the ring to talk about Rampage. It will debut August 13 at 10PM (if you want me to review it, Scott, I will). The color guy for Rampage will be… MARK HENRY! Henry will talk to the crowd on Dynamite.
- Nick Comoroto vs. Dustin Rhodes (Bullrope Match)
- Young Bucks vs. Penta/PAC (Non-title)
- Johnson/Cody vs. QT/Ogogo
And in two weeks, it’s Omega defending against Perry!
MAIN EVENT: STADIUM STAMPEDE! Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, Ortiz) vs. Pinnacle (MJF, Shawn Spears, Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, Wardlow). This is a 5-on-5 match where falls count anywhere in the stadium. MJF cuts a promo to the camera saying that the worst was yet to come, echoing Jericho. But this is when the worst comes for the Inner Circle, because MJF is better than you and you know it. Pinnacle arrive in a limo, so Inner Circle one-up them by rappeling down the scoreboard Sting-style! And the crowd is singing along to Judas, as all is right with the world again. If Inner Circle lose, they disband. MJF is the only one who’s left the limo so far, so… where are the other four? MJF races back in the limo as the Inner Circle look to upend it. But the rest of the Pinnacle arrive in FTR’s pickup truck and HERE WE GO!
It’s a huge brawl at the sidelines with neither side gaining an advantage. FTR and PNP are fighting, Spears and Guevara are fighting, and Hager and Wardlow are fihting as Jericho is still trying to pull out MJF. We start the match with Guevara and Spears in the ring brawling while Ortiz tosses Wheeler into the wall and Wardlow and Hager fight over a burning oil drum. Guevara springboards into a cutter on Spears, then gets a running boot to Wardlow. Guevara looks for the Shooting Star Press, but Spears avoids it and gets a Blue Thunder Bomb.
MJF cautiously exits the limo now, but Jericho is waiting right behind him. It’s a standoff (MJF: “Bring it you piece of…”.) Everyone is paired off as MJF and Jericho fight. FTR climb up the stands and throw salt at PMP, while Jericho gets sprayed by a fire extinguisher by MJF (it was in the trunk of the limo). MJF runs off with Jericho in pursuit. Meanwhile Santana tosses Wheeler into a handrail as Spears tells Guevara to bring it.
We follow Jericho and MJF in a concession stand as Jericho puts a wastebasket on MJF and slugs him. MJF throws hot coffee into Jericho’s eyes, then smashes Jericho with a phone. (“Sorry, Chris can’t asnwer the phone right now; he’s too busy swallowing his own teeth!”) MJF knocks over Jericho, who comes up and screams into a megaphone into MJF’s ears. He then smashes MJF with double cookie sheets before landing a straight right and tossing him under a table, which Jericho uses to pin MJF against a wall before beaning him with a Wet Floor sign. More trash can shots from Jericho, and they fight into the film room, interrupting an Urban Meyer study session.
Charlie Strong tosses Jericho a football, and MJF gets blasted with it. Meyer hands Jericho a laptop, and that goes over MJF’s back. MJF goes to the eyes, though, then swings and misses with a helmet. Jericho with a right hand to MJF, and he puts MJF in a seat and throws him out of the room. We see MJF was sent over a staircase through a table as the two are now in a team meeting room. MJF goes to the bad arm of Jericho, but Jericho spins the whiteboard to clock MJF. MJF is running away as Jericho is in hot pursuit, and Jericho sends MJF out the back door with a tackle.
MEANWHILE, Wardlow and Hager are in the supply room, with Wardlow slamming Hager on a metal door. He tosses him into a freezer and closes the door behind him, but Hager stops it from being locked. Wardlow clocks Hager with empty 5-gallon jugs, then looks for the F-10. Hager shoves out of it and they’re in the meat locker now, which is freezing cold. Wardlow has an icicle and tries to stab Hager, who nails a uranage on some boxes before tossing Wardlow back out. Hager follows and smashes Wardlow with an egg crate.
MMA strikes by Hager, but a strong right misses Wardlow and hits a metal rack. Wardlow throws Hager over and over into the rack and slugs him out. (“You had enough yet?”) Wardlow with one more right as Hager gets up, but Hager flips off Wardlow only to eat a knee strike. Hager pulls himself up again (“Where you goin?”), so Wardlow spears him through the wall into the kitchen! Hager looks to be done now.
MEANWHILE, Guevara is looking for Spears, only to find him under a spotlight in a room full of chairs. Guevara jumps over a thrown chair and grabs one of his own, and it’s a duel. Eventually, Guevara leaps off a chair with a superman punch to Spears. Spears gets Guevara sat down and boots him down as they leave the room. Spears tries to throw Guevara into a wall, but Guevara backflips off it and goes to town on Spears. He dives off a forklift with a diving kick, then kicks Spears through the forklift as we get replays. Guevara tries a crossbody, but Spears catches him and lawn darts him into a metal door!
Spears sees Guevara is half-dead and looks for a weapon, discarding pliers and getting an ordinary chair. He sidles over to Guevara, but he took too long and Guevara nails a flying knee. Now Guevara works over Spears, sending him into chain link fencing, but Spears sends Guevara head-first into a cherry picker. He finds electrical cord, but so does Guevara, and Guevara gets the jump on Spears to choke him down. Guevara lets go early for some reason, then sets Spears onto some stuff. He climbs up the shelving, but Spears rolls away and gets to a forklift. Guevara parkours his way down, only for Spears to slam a ladder into his head. Spears produces handcuffs from his pocket and locks Guevara to the scaffolding, as this is looking more and more like the Inner Circle’s last stand. Guevara is stuck, but remember those pliers Spears discarded? Guevara sees them.
MEANWHILE, Santana and Ortiz head to the part locale where FTR and Tuly are. Ortiz and Santana take out some patrons, as do FTR, and you’d think the remaining civilians would run before everybody dies. Blanchard gives everyone drinks, and they salute before the fight. The DJ, Konnan (surprise!), changes the beat, and the fight is on! Ortiz with a sock to Harwood, Ortiz and Wheeler on a table, and nobody has an advantage. Ortiz clocks Harwood with a trash can lid, getting two. He chokes Harwood with the lid, but Tully wants to crack Ortiz with a bat, but KONNAN STOPS THAT and Ortiz clocks Tully.
Santana smashes a steak knife into Tully (handle-first, thank god), but FTR return and the fight is on again. Santana whips Wheeler with Wheeler’s belt while Hrwood calls on Ortiz. It’s a boxing fight between Harwood and Ortiz as Santana dives off a table and gets two on Wheeler. Ortiz tosses Harwood into a trash can, then clocks him over and over with it. JR says they’re going to leave behind some memories… assuming they can remember. Wheeler just throws beer bottles at Ortiz after Harwood is down, but Santana spears Wheeler into the elevator panels. The elevator opens, Santana and Wheeler brawl their way in with Santana on top, and the door closes.
MEANWHILE, Wardlow is having his way with Hager in the equipment warehouse, but a wooden pallet misses Hager. Hager uses tackling dummies to get to his feet, but Wardlow recovers and smashes Hager against a truck. They get on the roof, and Wardlow wants a powerbomb, but Hager goes low and chokeslams Wardlow through a wooden shelf! Hager powers himself up.
MEANWHILE, Jericho and MJF are fighting through the office area, with MJF using the arm brace to save himself but punching a wall (and a Shad Kahn cutout) by mistake. Jericho uses the Khan cutout to clobber MJF, but runs into a slammed door and is dragged into an office. MJF slams him arm onto the desk and stomps it, then they go into the main meeting room. Jericho smashes MJF with his brace before getting the STAPLER OF DOOM and stapling a thank you card to MJF’s forehead and ripping it out. MJF’s oversell seals it.
Jericho tosses MJF over the conference table, then adjusts his brace only to run into a Flying Chuck punch from MJF. MJF piledrives Jericho on the table for two. MJF is furious and finds a hammer – in the conference room? Who cares why – and looks to smash Jericho’s bad arm. “This is what you deserve”… but Jericho saves himself with a trash can to the head, then opens a cabinet and finds Floyd. A home run to MJF’s head follows. Jericho then chokes MJF with Floyd before working over his gut and tossing him into a cubicle desk. “You really are an a..hole” says Jericho before tossing MJF through a glass window in a door! MJF is out on his feet, and Jericho is dragging him by the hair.
MEANWHILE, Spears looks for Blanchard, figuring he’s home free, but a biker gang is waiting for him and chases Spears into the trades office.
MEANWHILE, Jericho drags MJF out of the stadium and onto the concourse as THEY’RE HEADED TO DAILY’S PLACE! MJF asks for some mercy, but gets sent into a warning sign and they’re in the cheap seats! Jericho bashes MJF down the stairs as MJF is at .4 Muta. It’s an atomic drop on MJF on the handrail, and Jericho has MJF by the edge of the balcony… but MJF slams the arm onto the safety rail and yanks the brace away! MJF teases trying to toss Jericho over the guardrail – and there’s nothing down there but more fans – but Jericho escapes and knocks MJF with a spotlight. Jericho then finds a convenient sound table and powerbombs MJF through it as the crowd goes wild!
MEANWHILE, Spears escapes the stadium and is making his way to Daily’s Place… only here’s Guevara with the GOLF CART OF DOOM to chase him to the ring! He runs Spears over and climbs to the top to celebrate! He then tosses Spears to ringside and follows, as hey, we have another ring. In the ring, Guevara tries to clock Spears with a chair, but Spears avoids and tries a Death Valley Driver. Guevara escapes and tries a diving clothesline, but Spears catches him with a chair for two. Spears with the chair now as Guevara is barely able to stand, and Spears holds him up… only to get flipped off. Spears says that earns a chair to the head, which only gets two. To be fair, Guevara did get his arm up to make it protected.
Spears is now furious and gets the chair again, seeing Guevara motionless. He takes the chair to the corner and wedges it between the bottom and middle buckle, then limps over to Guevara and tries to drag him to it. But Guevara pops up with Feast Your Eyes to floor Spears! Now Spears crawls to the same corner with the same chair, and Guevara curbstomps Spears through that chair! Guevara goes up, and a 630 senton connects to win it at 31:17! The rest of the Circle manages to walk through the crowd to the ring to congratulate Guevara. After all the heel wins in title matches, the crowd had this one saved up. I’m not sure I should rate this, considering it was about 80% pre-taped, but the heck with it. ****1/2 Inner Circle give us all the finger to send us off.
Well, not every match was what I’d have done, obviously, and on top of that some the matches had a few too many false finishes and run-ins that weren’t needed, but the ones that delivered were incredible. Yes, it’s a heel sweep of the title matches, but each one fit their story. The Young Bucks kept firing away on Moxley and Kingston with everything but the kitchen sink until Moxley couldn’t stand; Miro and Archer traded blows in a war that would never end long, with Miro knocking Archer unconscious; Baker used underhanded tactics and Rebel’s help, but in the end WON the title and earned it on her own; and Omega may have needed Callis to keep his reign alive in a three-way, but you can’t say he didn’t win within the lack-of-rules.
Throw in Page/Cage and Stadium Stampede as incredible bookends, and really the only disappointment was Cody winning. I’ll take 9 worthwhile matches out of 10 any day.
BELL TO BELL: 2:59:37 over ten total matches (average time 17:58)
MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Omega/PAC/Orange
- Kenny Omega
- Britt Baker
- Sammy Guevara
- Jungle Boy Perry
- Adam Page
See you tomorrow for Elevation. If I’m awake.