Date: June 11, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone
The Friday night escapades continue as we move towards the return of fans in a little over a month. That means we could be in for a big card tonight but there is always something interesting going on around here. I’m not sure what to expect and that can often be a good thing with AEW. Let’s get to it.
The Hardy Family Office is in the ring to get things going. Matt Hardy rants about how Christian Cage is jealous over Matt making more money in his career so tonight, Angelico is going to give Christian such a beating that he will never financially recover.
Angelico vs. Christian Cage
They fight over arm control to start so Angelico offers him his leg to keep things interesting. Christian doesn’t fall for that and hits Angelico in the face instead. Some right hands in the corner stagger Angelico even more but he is right back up to pull Christian off the top. Angelico stomps on the arm and sends Christian hard into the corner.
The arm is wrapped around the rope and Angelico adds a PK to the shoulder. Something like a short armscissors goes on with Christian having to get to the ropes. Christian starts the comeback but gets pulled down by the arms again. Angelico goes up but dives into raised boots and it’s a small package to give Christian two. A collision puts both of them down and they get up in opposite corners. Christian is over this and grabs the Killswitch for the pin at 9:24.
Rating: C. Not a bad opener but Christian still hasn’t quite caught fire around here. He’s perfectly solid and in no way looking horrible, but at the same time, he isn’t exactly great so far. The idea of Matt Hardy vs. Christian in 2021 doesn’t do much for me, though Christian doesn’t need to go any higher than that whatsoever.
Post match Jack Evans runs in to lay out Christian, allowing Matt to hit another Twist of Fate.
Here’s the July schedule:
July 7 – Road Rager
July 14 – Fyter Fest Night One
July 21 – Fyter Fest Night Two
July 28 – Fight For The Fallen
They’re really pushing this return.
Tony Schiavone is here for a chat, but first he has an announcement: next week it’s QT Mar-Shall (as it was pronounced in Ring Of Honor)/Aaron Solow vs. Cody Rhodes and…..Brock Anderson, the son of Arn Anderson. Here are Cody, Brock and Arn, with Cody talking about how Brock is going to prove that he wasn’t born on third base. Cue QT Marshall to say he’s tired of all of Cody’s vanity projects (preach it).
Cody has been ducking the up and coming stars but the people who are really behind Cody are the fans. Marshall: “Not the IWC. The real paying fans.” Marshall wants to end this with Cody in a South Beach Strap match when all of the fans are back. Cody is ready to do it right now but Marshall decks Arn and Brock jumps him until referees pull him off.
Pac/Penta El Zero Miedo/Eddie Kingston vs. Young Bucks/Brandon Cutler
Don Callis joins commentary as Pac sends Cutler (in a mask to protect his injured face) into the corner to start and kicks him down. Penta comes in to kick him down and chop the skin off of Cutler’s chest. Kingston comes in for a double stomp and Pac kicks him even more, meaning he wants the Bucks for a change. Matt comes in and gets dropped, allowing Pac to mock the Bucks’ pose. Nick trips over the rope getting inside so Pac knocks him to the floor again. Matt is back up to kick Pac in the face and we take a break.
Back with Pac fighting his way out of the corner so Kingston can come in to clean house. Penta comes in with a high crossbody and kicks Cutler in the mask. Matt gets dropped and Nick kicks Cutler in the face by mistake. The Backstabber drops Nick and the Pentagon Driver gets two with Cutler making the save.
A series of kicks in the corner look to set up the Black Arrow but Cutler’s distraction breaks it up. Kingston cleans house and takes Nick to the floor as Penta dives onto Cutler. Pac hits the 450 into the Brutalizer on Matt but Nick…can’t break it up despite kicking Pac in the head. Kingston and Pac hit dives onto Nick and Cutler, leaving Matt to roll Pac up with trunks for two. Pac gets buckle bombed into a pair of kicks, but Cutler misses a springboard elbow. Kingston hits the spinning backfist to give Pac the pin on Cutler at 13:06.
Rating: C+. It was certainly fast paced, though the ending wasn’t the biggest surprise. You know the Bucks aren’t losing, like ever, including when Pac had the Brutalizer. Cutler was there to take the fall so that worked out fine, though building up Pac/Penta for a title shot is not quite as thrilling when the Bucks already beat them.
Post match the Bucks are on Penta and Pac a mere five seconds after the bell (that’s our Bucks), with the Good Brothers coming in to help with the beatdown. Kazarian comes in for the save and Cutler is left alone, with Kazarian planting him with a clothesline.
We get a Don Callis/Kenny Omega produced video on the Double Or Nothing World Title match, complete with some questionable subtitles.
Here is the Pinnacle for their first comments since Double Or Nothing. Dax Harwood talks about how Stadium Stampede did not go as well as they hoped, but FTR doesn’t want to hear about Santana and Ortiz. Harwood has a family to take care of and is going to take money out of Santana and Ortiz’s pockets. How have they not won the Tag Team Titles in two years?
Shawn Spears says he is the hero instead of Sammy Guevara and they aren’t done. Wardlow thinks that Jake Hager is obsessed with him and needs him around. Is that because Hager brings out the best in him? Next week, they can meet in an octagon, where Wardlow will show that everywhere is his world.
MJF says he’s getting a little tired because he was the best so soon. No one here can relate to that, because they won’t be the best at anything. That brings him to Chris Jericho, with MJF watching every match and listening to every promo. MJF was at the Double Or Nothing Rally in 2019 and spoke on the stage. Then he saw Chris Jericho, his idol. MJF couldn’t believe it because he was going to get the chance to work with Jericho, but that isn’t how it went.
One night it hit him: he had spent all of this time idolizing a false god. Jericho is not even remotely on his level so he has nothing to prove to the fans. The match request is denied, so MJF is moving on to Sammy Guevara. Sammy can’t compete in the talking department because he has the verbal skills of Helen Keller. MJF is better than Sammy and he knows it, but here is Chris Jericho on the screen.
The Pinnacle can walk home, because the Inner Circle is destroying the Pinnacle’s limo. Tires are slashed, windows are broken, spray paint is applied, and I lose count of how many cars or vehicles have been used in this company’s history. Cue Jake Hager with a forklift to crush the limo all over again, including lifting it into the air and dropping it down. Jericho thinks the Pinnacle is going to need an Uber and Sammy is ready to fight anytime. MJF’s promo was good, but a feud should probably be done after WarGames and Stadium Stampede.
Darby Allin wants Sting to stay home for his handicap match with Ethan Page and Shawn Spears. Sting says Allin has nothing to prove because he was the TNT Champion when Sting got here. Allin: “It’s not about that. Just stay home this one time please.” Sting agrees and they bump fists because everything is cool.
Evil Uno talks about what Brodie Lee meant to the Dark Order. He wants to bring the TNT Title back to the Dark Order to honor Lee again.
TNT Title: Miro vs. Evil Uno
Uno is challenging and has some of the Dark Order with him. Miro slams him down in a hurry but Uno chops him out to the floor. That’s fine with Miro, but he punches a post and gets taken down with a flip dive from the apron. Back in and Miro off the ropes and into a Saito suplex as we take a break.
Back with Uno being knocked outside in a heap but the Dark Order’s pep talk gets him back inside. That earns the Order a beating and Miro rips the turnbuckle pad off. Uno gets in some shots to the face, including a running big boot. A Swanton connects and the rest of the Dark Order comes out to cheer Uno on. Miro can’t hit a spinout Rock Bottom and gets kicked into the exposed buckle for two. A hard clothesline drops Uno though and it’s Game Over to retain the title at 9:36.
Rating: C+. This was a match that had no business being good and they made it work anyway. I was getting into the idea of wanting Uno to win the title in Lee’s memory, though Miro should not be losing for a good while to come. Good stuff here, as they turned what should have been just a quick match into enough of a story to pull me in. Nice job.
Video on Andrade El Idolo, who seems rather rich and is billed as the Face of Latinos.
Here are Kenny Omega and Don Callis for a chat. Callis talks about the AEW conspiracy to get the title off of Kenny Omega, so Jungle Boy did a good job at becoming the #1 contender. But to Callis, Jungle Boy is just like the band that sings his theme song: a one hit wonder. Omega talks about how he is supposed to sell the match but he can’t bring himself to say anything bad about Jungle Boy.
When he looks at Boy’s long hair and underwear model body, Omega sees a bit of himself. There is something missing though, and Callis thinks it is the guts. Cue Jungle Boy, with Omega saying he has never heard Boy talk. Omega doesn’t think this will be the battle of wits or the greatest promo of all time.
If he has anything to say, he has five five second to say it because Omega is getting tired of this. Boy says Omega talks to much so Omega swings, only to get punched up against the ropes. Omega gets pulled into the Snare Trap but the Young Bucks run in to clear Boy out. This was good once Boy came in, but Omega talking is not the best thing.
Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling are rather happy that their monetization plan has been a success. Next up: marketing the catchphrase, because Cargill is that b****.
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky aren’t impressed with Darby Allin but they are going to take him out again. They are going to chop him down, step on his body and move up, because it is all up from here for the Men Of The Year. What an odd name for a team.
Lance Archer vs. Chandler Hopkins
Archer jumps him to start but Hopkins actually gets out of the chokeslam. Archer knocks Hopkins out of the air and this the big chokeslam. The Blackout finishes for Archer at 52 seconds.
Archer storms out of the arena immediately after the win.
The Wingmen offer Orange Cassidy a chance to get his wardrobe upgrade, or Cesar Bononi will mess up his face.
Nyla Rose vs. Leyla Hirsch
Vickie Guerrero is here with Rose. Leyla chases Vickie out to start and gets slammed for her efforts. That doesn’t seem to cause much trouble though as a cross armbreaker has Rose in trouble. A dropkick puts Rose on the floor but the suicide dive is cut off, with Leyla being driven into the apron. Back in and Rose drops a knee for two, setting up a neck crank to send us to a break.
We come back with Leyla hitting a slingshot dropkick in the corner for two, setting up a release German suplex. A running knee rocks Rose again and a rope walk moonsault (with barely a cover) gets two. Leyla can’t suplex her, with Rose draping her over the top instead. The top rope knee drop is broken up though and Leyla goes up, only to get super Beast Bombed back down to give Rose the pin at 8:45.
Rating: C. They made a bit of a go with it here, though I’m not sure how much I could buy Rose being in danger here. What worked was having Leyla show off with some power and technique, which really do make her look legit. Rose is on her way to another title shot (because of course) and a win over someone with some credibility will help her get there.
Britt Baker doesn’t like Nyla Rose making fun of Leyla Hirsch’s height but let’s get back to her. Baker has endorsement deals flying in left and right, which was never the case when Rose was champion. That’s cool with Baker though, because she’ll add Rose to the list of jealous b****** in the back. Rose needs the title because it makes her, but Baker is making the title.
Here is what’s coming next week.
Hangman Page/10 vs. Brian Cage/Powerhouse Hobbs
Page, who has lost all sense of time, gets driven into the corner to start so Cage can drive shoulders into the corner. Some forearms get Page out of trouble for a bit but his sliding lariat is countered. Cage misses a basement dropkick though and Page hits a standing shooting star press for two. 10 comes in but walks into an assisted powerbomb from Hobbs, who starts getting a bit cocky. A running knee to the ribs drops 10 and we take a break.
Back with 10 hitting a pump kick each to Hobbs and Cage, allowing Page to come in for a running boot to Cage. They head outside with Page posting Cage, setting up a moonsault press for two on Hobbs. A crossbody gives Hobbs two on Page but Cage is back in with a 619 to knock 10 silly.
Page is back in with a springboard shot to Cage’s face and 10 busts Hobbs spine. Cage comes back with a running clothesline in the corner and a sloppy high/low gets two on 10. Ricky Starks throws Cage the FTW Title but Cage throws it away, earning a slap from Starks. Cage chases Starks off so Hobbs buts a spinebuster for two on 10. A ripcord cutter drops Hobbs though and the Buckshot Lariat is enough to give Page the pin at 10:18.
Rating: C+. There was a lot going on here, with the continuing split of Team Taz being the biggest story. Cage vs. Starks will be good, though they are going to have to stretch things out a lot due to Starks’ injury. Hobbs vs. Cage will do for the time being though, assuming that is the way they go. At the same time, it is a good sign to see Page being treated as a big deal again, as he should have been for a long time now.
The Dark Order comes out to celebrate with some beers to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This was another week where they kind of took the night off, but it wasn’t as bad as last time. Right now they are building towards the June 26 show with the World Title match, though I’m not sure what else is going to be seen as a big deal on that show. This was a completely watchable show with some good action, as they got me to care about matches that weren’t all that interesting in the first place. Nice job here, though it’s another skippable show.
Christian Cage b. Angelico – Killswitch
Pac/Penta El Zero Miedo/Eddie Kingston b. Brandon Cutler/Young Bucks – Spinning backfist to Cutler
Miro b. Evil Uno – Game Archer
Lance Archer b. Chandler Hopkins – Blackout
Nyla Rose b. Leyla Hirsch – Super Beast Bomb
10/Hangman Page b. Brian Cage/Powerhouse Hobbs – Buckshot Lariat to Hobbs
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