Date: July 7, 2021
Location: James L. Knight Center, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
We’re officially back on the road and that means there are fresh fans in attendance. That is certainly a good thing and something that did not feel possible over the last year plus. First up we have Road Rager, featuring the Tag Team Titles on the line, a strap match and the debut of Andrade El Idolo. Let’s get to it.
Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall
South Beach Strap Match with the four corner version. Cody dives on him before the bell and the fight is on with Cody pulling Marshall into the ropes. We look at various UFC fighters at ringside as Marshall gets in a shot to the ribs. A moonsault only designed to get knocked out of the air gets knocked out of the air and Cody hits a few buckles. Aaron Solow breaks it up but Dustin Rhodes fights him into the crowd to get rid of one goon.
Nick Comoroto follows and Cody gets three buckles, only to get German suplexed back down. They go outside with Cody posting him to draw some blood. Back in and the lights go out to reveal…..that the lights just happened to go out (though Cody’s surprised/confused face was amusing). Cody slaps a few more buckles but gets caught in a superbomb to put him in trouble for a change.
Marshall ties the strap around Cody and hits a hanging cutter out of the corner for three buckles. The fourth is cut off though and things are reset. Cody makes the comeback and strikes away, setting up the flying headscissors. There’s the Cody Cutter to drop Marshall again and a low blow makes it even worse. Cody goes for the fourth buckle but Marshall spits at him. That earns Marshall three straight Cross Rhodes and Cody hits all four buckles to win at 10:38.
Rating: C. Hey Cody wins a big match over an opponent who was never close to his level. It’s the right call but it doesn’t exactly come off as a great moment as you got what you would have expected. Cody beating Marshall is good and it should end the match, but Cody having some long term adversity could be a bit better. AEW is back to touring again and where they’re going, they might not need Rhodes (I watched Back To The Future earlier today).
Here’s what’s coming tonight.
We look back at Shawn Spears jumping Sammy Guevara with a chair last week.
Spears says he got Guevara….and gets chaired down by Sammy, who sits in a chair to say he got Spears, b****.
Tony Schiavone brings out Don Callis and Kenny Omega for a chat. Callis gets rid of Tony but the fans remind Callis that he got fired (from Impact). That doesn’t matter though as Callis goes over Omega’s recent successes and brings up that there are no challengers left. That’s a problem as Omega is supposed to defend the title at Fight For The Fallen….so the fans say they want Hangman.
Callis says he’ll tell them what they want but here is the Dark Order to interrupt. Evil Uno gets into the ring alone and wants to know why Omega is scared of Uno’s friend. Fans: “COWBOY S***!” Omega talks about how Uno is stupid and then kicks him low. Cue the rest of the Elite to take out the Dark Order but Hangman Page runs in to break up the belt shot. House is cleaned and the Buckshot Lariat is loaded up on Omega but Page stares at him instead. Another run-in is cut off but the distraction allows Omega to escape. I’d be surprised if they did this at Fight For The Fallen, but it’s coming sooner or later.
Earlier today, Jim Ross sat down with Ethan Page and Darby Allin. JR is disturbed by the idea that these two are going to fight to injure the other’s career and wants to know how we got here. Page takes his sunglasses off by Allin says hang on. Allin talks about how his success made Page jealous. Page never left his hometown and was content being the big fish in the small pond.
Page says that’s all true, but he plucked Allin from obscurity and taught him the lessons that brought him to AEW. Ever since he was a kid, people have told him that he would be a star and now he has to see Allin paint his face and get to be on Dynamite. That’s why Page is going to take him out in the Coffin Match. JR has a bad feeling about it, and Allin says he should.
Pinnacle vs. Inner Circle
FTR/Wardlow vs. Jake Hager/Santana/Ortiz here with Tully Blanchard and Konnan in the corners. Santana starts fast with a pair of Amigos into a German suplex to send Harwood into the corner. Ortiz comes in for a leg lariat but Wardlow comes in to plant him with a gutwrench powerbomb. It’s back to Harwood who gets planted with a powerbomb, allowing the hot tag to Hager for the house cleaning.
We take a break and come back with Ortiz coming in to clean house (again) but gets taken into the corner. The step up cannonball plants Wheeler but Wardlow makes a save of his own. We settle back down to Ortiz countering Harwood’s suplex into a brainbuster, allowing the hot tag back to Hager. The ankle lock makes Wheeler tap but Harwood was legal, meaning Hager has to kick him in the face. As usual, Hager wants Wardlow and the slugout is on. The rest of the Pinnacle comes in and a quick Big Rig plants Hager to give Wardlow the pin at 9:00.
Rating: C+. This felt like a big time Saturday Night main event with three members of one group against three members of the other, which is all it needed to be. It wasn’t supposed to be anything huge or beyond that and it did its job. I can go for a match that is only supposed to keep a feud going and they made it work just fine.
Post match Konnan goes after the Pinnacle but gets taken down for a beating of his own.
Video on Karl Anderson vs. Jon Moxley for the IWGP United States Title next week.
It’s time for a showdown/contract signing with MJF and Chris Jericho, with the latter soaking in a lengthy sing-a-long. A fan tries to run in and gets knocked down so we cut to a crowd shot for a bit. Jericho and MJF (after he challenges any other fan to come in and get beaten up) sit down at the long table with MJF talking about how everyone wants a rub from him. MJF makes the mistake of calling him Y2J, so Jericho says he should have let the fat guy come in here and beat MJF up, but now he’ll do whatever it takes to get a match with him. Jericho: “I’ll even have sex with your mother.”
That has MJF a little annoyed so he talks about following Jericho’s career. We hear about Jericho’s issues with Jon Moxley and what it took for Moxley to get a match. Jericho had Moxley face every member of the Inner Circle and karma is a b****. MJF wants to up the ante a bit and talks about how he loves mythology. The name Demo God comes from demagogue, even though Jericho isn’t in the key demo anymore. MJF loved the labors of Hercules and thinks that Jericho needs to win a few matches.
We’ll make that four matches, with MJF picking the opponents and stipulations. If Jericho wins those four matches, he’ll get his match with MJF. Jericho is ready for the challenge so he can ruin MJF’s life. Jericho signs but MJF isn’t done yet because he comes from the greatest place in the world: Long Island, New York. They have to shake hands or the deal is off. The shake ensues, but Jericho pulls him into the Judas Effect to leave MJF laying. I’m a mythology fan so the theme was cool here and it probably gets them to All Out.
Britt Baker rants about being around the dangerous Nyla Rose. Look what happened when the innocent Reba got in the unsafe ring. Baker blames Tony Khan and now Vickie Guerrero brought in Andrade El Idolo. They got all of their money so maybe next week Dynamite can run in Saudi Arabia! Baker is ready to take out Nyla in Dallas at Fyter Fest and the town is going to be renamed the Big DMD.
Matt Sydal vs. Andrade El Idolo
Vickie Guerrero is here with Andrade, who comes out in a mask and suit, both of which go away. Andrade takes him down to start and hits the double moonsault for an early two. Sydal is back up with a shot to the face but gets knocked off the top for a crash. We take a break and come back with Sydal scoring with some shots to the face and rolling him up for two.
The jumping knee misses though and Andrade blasts him with a clothesline. Sydal gets tied in the Tree of Woe but the Alberto double stomp misses. Instead Sydal comes off the top with a Meteora for two but Andrade sends him into the corner for the running knees. El Idolo (the hammerlock DDT) finishes Sydal at 7:37.
Rating: C. This was a fine enough debut for Andrade who just needed to come in with a win. He could be a pretty big player as time goes on around here and the match was competitive enough without going too far. I’m curious to see where things go for Andrade, though I’m really not sure how much good Vickie is going to do for him.
Video on Matt Hardy vs. Christian Cage, who face off next week. They have always been in the same place, with Hardy accusing Christian of following him. It’s 20 years in the making and this ends next week.
Here is Arn Anderson in the ring and he is rather happy to be in Miami. The lights go out….and this time it’s the former Aleister Black in the ring to hit Black Mass on Anderson. Cody Rhodes runs in for the staredown, with Excalibur identifying Black as Tommy End. This is followed by the announcement of “THAT IS NOT TOMMY END!” Apparently his name is Malakai Black, and he hits Black Mass on Rhodes.
Earlier today, Ricky Starks came to the ring with security but Taz comes out to say this is nonsense. Starks says Brian Cage is the embarrassing one and if he has to do this to get ready for the FTW Title match next week. Where he comes from, the W stands for wife, and Starks means Cage’s wife. Cue Cage to chase Starks off and beat up security. That was a great line from Starks.
Orange Cassidy/Kris Statlander vs. Bunny/Blade
Blade is checked for weapons before the match and the referee actually finds some brass knuckles. Bunny yells at Cassidy, who puts his hands in his pockets and hits the lazy kicks before the bell. Blade comes in for the bell and gets taken down at the bell but it’s too early for the Beach Break. It’s also too early for the tornado DDT, meaning Cassidy can get planted with a powerslam.
Stundog Millionaire takes Blade down and it’s off to the women, with Bunny hitting a running knee. Statlander is back up for some chops in the corner, setting up a delayed vertical suplex. The flipping legdrop misses though and Bunny sends her throat first into the ropes. We take a break and come back with Statlander hitting a spinning fisherman’s driver for two. Bunny catches her with a German suplex off the ropes though and it’s off to Blade to face Statlander.
Cassidy comes in (as he has to) with a high crossbody and now the spinning DDT can connect for two. Bunny gets knocked off the apron and Statlander busts out a 450 (Area 451, and a good one at that) to give Cassidy two with Bunny making the save. Blade uses the distraction to pull out more knuckles and knock Cassidy silly….but Statlander tagged herself in, allowing her to hit the Big Bang Theory for the pin at 8:27.
Rating: C. That 450 alone made this work as Statlander nailed that thing. They played with the mixed tag stuff here and what we got worked well enough. I’m not exactly feeling the Hardy Family Office vs. Best Friends thing but it’s fine for a midcard feud, as that’s about where everyone involved should be.
Earlier today, Jungle Boy got a nice trophy for being the first AEW wrestler to fifty wins.
American Top Team’s (MMA) Dan Lambert (a huge wrestling fan with an awesome belt collection) was glad to come to the show but he didn’t agree to an interview, even with Jorge Masvidal and Amanda Nunes here with him. He wasn’t happy because AEW sucks and if he wanted to enjoy some wrestling, it would mean watching tapes from Championship Wrestling From Florida from the 70s and 80s.
The sad truth is that wrestling has gone downhill since the late 1990s and this product is unwatchable. Tony Khan said Lambert is wrong because AEW has something from every style and the fans make it even better. Well he was right, as this is awful. Cue Lance Archer to knock Lambert silly with the Black Out. This was good, as Lambert is a great heel who can make you want to punch him in the face.
Tag Team Titles: Penta El Zero Miedo/Eddie Kingston vs. Young Bucks
The Bucks, in jean shorts, are defending and this is a street fight. The streamers fly and Don Callis is on commentary as the fight is on fast. They head outside early on the stereo superkicks hit Michael Nakazawa by mistake, allowing Kingston and Penta to take over. Back in and Brandon Cutler threatens them with cold spray, allowing the Bucks to come in with some chair shots.
The Bucks are sent into the open chair though and some kicks take them down again. The modified What’s Up has Nick down and it’s time for a pair of tables. Matt goes after Penta and gets Canadian Destroyed through the table. We take a break and come back with Nick hitting a Swanton onto a trashcan onto Kingston for two. A running Cannonball into an enziguri rocks Kingston in the corner but he’s back up with a half and half suplex to Nick.
There’s a rear naked choke on Matt but Nick makes the save with a 450 to the ref. Matt taps with no one to see it so Nick breaks it up. Cue the Good Brothers (who could have come out at any time given that it was a street fight) and Cutler is back up on the apron with the cold spray. Penta keeps shaking his head so Cutler misses as Frankie Kazarian comes in to powerbomb Cutler through a table. The Fear Factor into the spinning backfist drops Matt and another referee runs in to count the two with Nick making the save.
Kazarian drops Nick but gets taken down by the Good Brothers. Kingston busts out some thumbtacks but Matt picks them up to throw in Kingston’s face. Penta breaks up a powerbomb onto the tacks with a trashcan to the head before going up top with Nick. A super hurricanrana sends Penta into the tacks but Eddie shoves Matt into the cover for the save. There’s a double superkick to Kingston and some tacks are thrown into Penta’s face. Matt shoves tacks into Kingston’s mouth and another superkick retains the titles at 14:18.
Rating: B. It was a good brawl with the weapons feeling (mostly) in place, though I’m not sure how much drama there was. That being said, this wasn’t exactly supposed to feel like some big, epic match where the titles could change hands. Kingston and Penta were given a bit of a build last week and they paid it off here. That’s all it needed to be and the match was certainly energetic, so I’ll take it for a solid main event.
Overall Rating: B. This was a big show and it felt like one, which is all you can ask for out of AEW. It felt special to have the fans back and they got a pretty stacked card, with things being set up for the future as well. For a free two hour weekly show, this was rather good and felt like one of the AEW shows of old. Nice job and welcome back to touring, which really does make a difference.
Cody Rhodes b. QT Marshall – Rhodes touched all four turnbuckles
Pinnacle b. Inner Circle – Big Rig to Hager
Andrade El Idolo b. Matt Sydal – El Idolo
Kris Statlander/Eddie Kingston b. Blade/Bunny – Big Bang Theory to Bunny
Young Bucks b. Eddie Kingston/Penta El Zero Miedo – Superkick to Kingston
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