AEW DARK: September 21, 2021

The PG Era Rant for AEW Dark Episode 109 (“Even the B Shows Are Awesome!”), September 21, 2021.

From Orlando and the self-named All Elite Zone.

Your hosts are Excalibur and Taz.

TONIGHT! We’re headed to AEW Grand Slam and it’s LOADED! Bear Bronson takes a shot at Eddie Kingston! FTR face a pair of 205 escapees in Curt “Stallion” Rogers and Anthony Greene! Daniel Garcia steps in with the firebrand of the Dark Order, Alan Angels! Santana and Ortiz take on Chaos Project! And it’s a Wingmen vs Dark Order doubleheader! JD Drake draws Colt Cabana, while Reynolds and Silver face Nemeth and Avalon!

PLUS — Big Swole, The Factory, The Bunny, Shotty and Brock, Lance Archer, Tay Conti, Joey Janela, Wardlow, and NEGATIVE ONE IN THE HOUSE!

COLD OPEN: Wardlow says he will remind everyone that this is his world.

Wardlow (15-4) vs. JDX (0-2). Wardlow now has the nickname “Mr. Mayhem.” Excalibur says Wardlow may have the shortest average match time in AEW.

JDX gets a chant at the bell. That’s probably about the high mark for him, as Wardlow throws him down off a waistlock. JDX fires back with chops, even escaping a front facelock, and he lands an enzuigiri and SUPERKICK to send Wardlow to one knee. Then he runs into a big boot. Powerbomb and someone in the crowd chants One More Time, so Wardlow does that. JDX pulls himself up – this counts as a high spot for him – only for Wardlow to give him another powerbomb. And a fourth. And a fifth. Thankfully, there isn’t a sixth powerbomb, but Casualty of War gets the KO at 2:48. Well, it was different, but I’d have ended it after the powerbombs. On the other hand, I’m sure that ups the average match length. MURDER

Rampage. Long Island. You know by now.

Big Swole (15-4) vs. Allie Katch (debut). Oh HECK yes! Allie is one of the people I got to work with and know well before she broke out on the indie scene! Of course, she was Allie Kat when I knew her.

Lockup is a stalemate, and fans actually boo that because who knows. Katch backs Swole into the corner (with Swole claiming hair), then delivers a right hook and a snapmare/soccer kick for one. She HITS THE CHINLOCK, but Swole elbows up only for Katch to take her down with the hair. Katch switches to a surfboard, then goes back to the chinlock when Swole’s about to break. Swole fights out again, but Katch kicks her and whips her into the ropes only for Swole to make the comeback. Cross chops and the double-dodge headbutt and both women are woozy, but Katch runs into Dirty Dancing for the Swole win at 2:08. That’s IT? Boo! 3/4*

Chaos Project (Luther and Serpentico) (10-21) vs. Santana and Ortiz (#4 team, 8-3). Excalibur provides the amusing visual of Luther in the Harry Potter theme park. Taz doesn’t exactly deny it, mind you. It appears Santana and Ortiz are going full-time to the Dead Presidents facepaint.

Santana and Serpentico start. Serpentico controls the arm to start, but Santana escapes and gets a waistlock takedown. Luther tells Serpentico to stay in and “KILL HIM”, but Santana maintains control with a headlock takedown and they exchange neck-scissors. We go International~!, with Serpentico going over the top only for Santana to get a lucha armdrag and enzuigiri. Big chop to Serpentico and Ortiz comes in with a fireman’s carry takedown into an armbar. Ortiz goes CLUBBERIN, THEY BE CLUBBERIN TONY and Santana returns, flipping over Ortiz to catch Serpentico with an oshigoroshi. Ortiz with a fakeout dropkick, and Santana adds a moonsault off Ortiz’s back. Serpentico is so tired he tries to tag Ortiz in, and Luther has seen enough and tries to interfere only to hit Serpentico.

Enzuigiri/Dragon Screw combo sends Luther packing, but he uses Serpentico to intercpet Ortiz’s dive before tossing Santana into the guardrail. Meanwhile, in the ring, Serpentico works over Ortiz in the corner and brings Luther in to keep up the mudhole stomping. Hammer Throw by Luther, then Luther tosses Serpentico into Ortiz before squashing both of them and giving Ortiz a knee strike (Serpentico ducked in a funny bit). It gets Serpentico two.

Ortiz tries to fight back, but Serpentico sends him into the corner and Luther adds an enzuigiri of his own for two. Taz, after stepping on Excalibur’s lines once too often: “Agh! What is this, Rampage?” Ortiz catches Luther and sends him into the corner with a rana before cutting on Serpentico, hot tag Santana to clean house. SUPERKICK to Luther, then Three Amigos to Serpentico (with point to the heavens). Santana goes up, but Serpentico rolls away and gets a Flatliner before giving Ortiz a SUPERKICK.

Luther in and they set up the Rocket Launcher, and Serpentico connects to get Luther two. Hammer Throw to Santana, but Luther misses an elbow and Serpentico’s SUPERKICK follow-up hits Luther. Ortiz tags himself in and rolls Santana into a cutter on Serpentico, and the Spin Cycle slam wins at 7:13. I should not enjoy Chaos Project as much as I do, but Serpentico is low-key a super addition to the Dark roster. **1/2

Joey Janela (w/Kayla Rossi) (9-3) vs. Dillon McQueen (0-3). Well, with any luck, THIS IS NOT OVER between Janela and Sonny Kiss. McQueen gets an entrance and the Nightmare video wall. He’s still doing the princess gimmick, before you ask. I mean, it’s 2021, do you and all, but if he’s doing a full-blown gimmick it would be nice to give him an intro. Rossi is apparently someone who’s competed in the International Bodybuilding Org. And this time the vest comes off more easily, because you care about these things.

Janela with a lockup takedown and he dances. McQueen (who stole Zack Ryder’s pants) is unimpressed, getting a sideheadlock takedown, but Janela escapes only to get hiptossed as McQueen imitates Janela. Janela pulls the hair back to get McQueen in the corner, where he boxes him down and stomps a mudhole. He tosses McQueen back into the middle buckle before flooring McQueen with a right cross. Big chop follows, but Janela’s half-senton eats knees. McQueen sticks and moves, getting a back hook kick and dropkick to the back. Janela low bridges a charging McQueen, though, and Rossi drops him in a Hotshot on the guardrail. Back in, Death Valley Driver ends it at 2:44. Even in a three minute match, Janela’s willing to make others look good. 3/4*

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Tay Conti (w/Anna Jay and BRODIE LEE JR) (25-4) vs. Marina Tucker (debut). Conti comes out to her music, but the Dark Order video wall. Excalibur thinks there’s more to these three than just friendship, especially with Junior. They’re doing all but saying “he’s crushing on them”.

Lockup goes nowhere. Round two sees Tucker back Conti into the corner and get a kneelift in place of a clean break. Conti slips out of a slam and gets a cradle for one, but Tucker catches a SUPERKICK. Conti recovers with the seoi nagi trio, then wrist control with Yes Kicks. Tucker ducks the last one and bails, so Conti goes to the apron and smokes her with a PK. Tucker catches Conti coming back in with a roundhouse kick before going ground-and-pound. Snapmare and a sliding clothesline gets two. We HIT THE CHINLOCK, and Tucker pulls Conti down by the hair for one.

Jr claims the chinlock is a choke as Taz thinks Brodie Jr wears his mask to school. Conti comes back with vicious forearms and clotheslines, tangoing around Tucker to get the swinging gutbuster. Corner pump kicks follow, getting a third for good measure, and Gory 2 Sleep into the DDTay ends it at 3:47. Taz: “She has more finishers than Brian Cage!” One of my friends on Skype said it best regarding Brodie Jr: “His male friends need his leadership, but he’s going to hang out with the two hot blondes instead; Negative One is all of us!” *1/4

Lee Johnson (17-12) and Brock Anderson (5-2) (w/Dustin Rhodes) vs. Luke Curtis and Cameron Stewart (debut). Looks like everyone’s recovered from being murdered by Malakai Black. Curtis and Stewart look like someone put a goth and a beach bum together.

Stewart and Brock start. Stewart with the hammerlock, but Brock SWEEPS THE LEG and yanks it before adding a kneedrop for one. Stewart hastily tags Curtis in, but Curtis wants Big Shotty and Brock obliges. Big Shotty Lee gets a chant as they lock up, and they exchange waistlocks before Curtis steps on Johnson intentionally off of a dropdown. Johnson regroups and gets his own headlock, and we go International~!, with Johnson getting a moonsault headbutt before returning the walkover to Curtis. Curtis with a cheap gut kick and they criss-cross, with Johnson getting a dropkick.

Forearm, but Curtis with a back elbow and he brings Stewart in. Double hiptoss gets Stewart one. Stewart cuts off a comeback with a kneelift but they slug it out, with Johnson winning the exchange only for Stewart to try a sleeper. Johnson reverses that to a backdrop suplex, hot tag Brock. Clotheslines to Curtis, then a Hammer Throw and shoulders in the corner. Johnson tags himself in as the SPINEBUSTER hits, and a frog splash form Johnson wins at 4:20. Johnson especially has a bright future, but these four were not experienced enough to be calling it in the ring as they were. 3/4*

FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) (#5 team, 20-2) vs. Anthony Greene and Curt “Stallion” Rogers (debut). Yes, it’s the two guys from 205 Live that were brought in because WWE bought EVOLVE. They never really got a fair chance in WWE or NXT, but now let’s see what they can do on AEW Dark… assuming they get more than 3 minutes. Although if you’re going to be tested by fire, these two are the ones to do it against.

Wheeler and Rogers start. Test of strength (as Harwood jumps off the apron for some reason), and Wheeler gets the hammerlock and works him down by the arm. Ground hammerlock with knees to the joint, but Rogers powers up and reverses only for Wheeler to get a drop toe hold. Rogers beats Wheeler to a front facelock, but Wheeler rushes Rogers to the corner and brings in Harwood. Rogers knows better than to get into a 1-on-2, and everyone calms down as Harwood and Greene will start over after Wheeler tells Harwood something (“What’s a Platinum Honey anyway?”).

Greene works the arm with a top wristlock, but Harwood rolls out and gets a headlock takedown. We go International~!, with Harwood knocking Greene over left and right before sliding underneath and getting a slam. Greene with an upkick to a series of armdrags, but Harwood grabs the hair and brings Wheeler in. Again, Greene knows better than to engage until Harwood leaves. Wheeler takes a knuckle-lock and puts his knee on the elbow to floor Greene, but Greene takes over and brings in Rogers, who doesn’t let Wheeler escape and instead gets into the front chancery. Wheeler slams out of it, then adds a back elbow off the ropes.

Wheeler cuts off the tag and uppercuts Rogers into the FTR corner, bringing in Harwood. Rogers with backelbows to Harwood and he lariats Wheeler, but Greene wants a double-team and gets sent back, allowing Harwood time to get Rogers into the ropes for a clean break… well, it WAS clean until the slap. Rogers chases Harwood on the outside, but back in, Wheeler tags in and gets a double clothesline on Rogers, followed by a slingshot stomp. Hammer throw to Rogers, adding a leaping back elbow. Snapmare and eye rake follows, then a kneedrop for one. Harwood in, after raising his boot for Rogers to hit, and he gets a snap suplex for two.

We HIT THE CHINLOCK, with Rogers fighting out and getting a sleeper. Wheeler tags in during the fight, getting a sunset flip (with help from a Harwood hard right) for two. Hammer Throw, but a leaping back elbow is an airball this time. Rogers goes to the wrong corner, allowing Harwood to cut him off and try a suplex. Rogers blocks and earns a hard right for his trouble, but he still escapes a suplex and the two crack heads off the ropes.

HOT tag Greene, and everyone eats rights. Jawjacker into a neckbreaker to Wheeler, then a running chop to both guys back and forth in the corner. He runs FTR together and chops Wheeler, then gets a bulldog on Harwood. Twisting crossbody off the top to both guys, and Wheeler bails only for Rogers to dive onto him. Greene with a Victory Roll on Harwood for a two that the building was willing to believe was the finish.

Team EVOLVE holds Harwood for a double-team, but Wheeler low-bridges Greene and Harwood with a cradle with tights for two. Rogers with La Majistral for two. Powerbomb into a jack-knife cover by Harwood for two, reversed for two. Greene trips Harwood and Rogers cradles the newly-tagged Wheeler for two. Harwood suplexes Greene on the outside, so Rogers dives onto Harwood with an elbow. He returns, but walks into the Bane backbreaker from Wheeler into a brainbuster for the pin at 10:27. SIGN THEM NOW! **** If this isn’t the best match in the history of AEW Dark, it’s in the discussion.

The Bunny (w/The Butcher And The Blade) (21-12) vs. Xtina Kay (debut). Yeah, this isn’t matching that. I mean, I’d feel sorry for anyone who follows that match, but Roberts’ Rule needs to be remembered: Don’t try to follow the match, just do your match. And yes, it’s pronounced “Ex-Tina”.

Lockup, and Kay takes the arm. Bunny reverses, but Kay reverses back as commentary jokes about names starting with X. Bunny reverses a hammerlock with a back elbow, and we’re back to the armlock. Kay again rolls through and reverses, so Bunny says enough of this and gets a kneelift and hairpull slam. WRESTLING! Blind charge misses, and Kay with shoulders into the corner. Bunny reverses a whip and gets a lariat, and now she’s ANGRY and stomps away, ending with a boot choke. Chop by Bunny and a Hammer Throw, then a backrake. Kay recovers with a forearm, but Bunny gets another knee to the gut and a running kneelift. Sliding forearm follows, then Down the Rabbit Hole to win at 3:17. Bunny’s just… not that good. 1/4*

Lance Archer (34-5) vs. Marcus Kross and Marcus Kross’s hair (0-4). Archer actually comes out alone for once, allowing his opponent to go to the ring on his own. Kross, smartly, stays on the apron as Archer stalks in the ring. Archer and Suzuki face Moxley and Kingston on Friday.

Kross tries to do the splits into the ring, so Archer just boots him off and tosses him in by the hair. Chokeslam, but Kross flips out of it and gets a springboard forearm and dropkick. He races to the top, but flies into a big right from Archer, who pounces him into next week. Freight train elbow in the corner and suplex throw follow. Archer wants Kross to fight back, and Kross tries to do damage to no avail. Now the chokeslam hits, and the Blackout follows to win at 1:50. Would’ve been faster, but Archer was doing laps while holding Kross up. I want Archer and Wardlow to exchange bombs in the future on AEW Dark.

Ryan Nemeth and Peter Avalon (w/Cezar Bononi and JD Drake) (0-1) vs. John Silver and Alex Reynolds (w/Alan Angels, Preston Vance, and BRODIE LEE JR) (4-0). Pinkies in, yo! Apparently, the Wingmen were thrilled to be at Universal Studios, because they’re all Central Florida homies. Which you can totally tell by the lack of tan on Avalon. I wonder if Brodie Jr is going to come out with Colt later to show he’s not taking sides.

Reynolds and Avalon start. They do some trash talking before Bononi trips Reynolds and the Wingmen double-team him while knocking Silver off the apron. Double backdrop try goes horribly, and Reynolds brings Silver in to give Avalon a double hiptoss for one. Silver with a bradley beal on Avalon (whose facial expressions are something else), then a military press into a Hotshot into a running uppercut for two. Avalon with a jawjacker and Nemeth is brought in, but Silver runs them both over. One-on-two suplex try by Silver, but the Wingmen get a double dropkick for two as Nemeth pounds away.

Avalon in now, and he works the ribs. Snapmare and kneedrop gets two as Excalibur makes Taz think that Hook might join the Dark Order (it makes sense in context). Nemeth in with a knee strike and fireman’s carry, then a double-leg takedown before picking the ankle and… dancing. Yes, Silver kicks him in the gut, but Nemeth recovers and brings in Avalon. Big chop by Avalon, but they fight over a suplex until Nemeth tries to join in… and Silver with the one-on-two suplex anyway.

Hot tag Reynolds, and he catches Avalon with corner elbow and Nemeth with the rolling elbow into a cravate neckbreaker. Avalon tries an O’Connor Roll, but Reynolds escapes and gets the pop-up knee strike for two, Nemeth saves. Nemeth with the Ziggler DDT, but Silver tags himself in only to get the eye gouged. Nemeth gets both Dark Order men for a Rude Awakening, but they escape and get the old Scot Drop. Avalon in to attack Reynolds, and he goes back and forth with forearms on both men. Silver avoids one and catches Avalon with an enzuigiri, starting the locomotion move set ending with a jack-knife cover by Reynolds for the pin at 5:24. That sequence needs a name. **1/4

Daniel Garcia (w/2point0) (4-5) vs. Alan Angels (w/Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Preston Vance, and BRODIE LEE JR) (11-18). Garcia and 2point0 are like that basketball team with a sub-.500 record thanks to a tough strength of schedule. Unlike before, the rest of Dark Order goes back to the back, likely at Angels’ request, although 2point0 sticks around.

Angels tries to kick Garcia before they get a knuckle-lock. Garcia with a headlock into a drop toe-hold, hten a grounded bow-and-arrow try is changed into a front facelock. Angels escapes and adjusts the mask as both men reset. Garcia backs Angels into the corner and gets leverage on him, but the referee forces a break. Garcia tries a chop on Angels, who escapes and gets a legsweep for one. Garcia returns it before getting a headlock takedown, but both men get neck-scissors with Garcia not allowing Angels to escape. Angels tries to headstand out of it as Garcia mocks the salute, but Angels instead gets a stepover toehold and smashes Garcia’s back.

They chop it out, with Garcia winning via gut kick. Angels recovers with a dropkick and Garcia bails, but he recovers enough to catch Angels with a forearm mid-dive. Garcia clubs the back before ramming Angels into the apron as 2point0 gives instructions. He stalls too much, though, and Angels with a suplex on the floor before he… climbs the stage? Yup, and he dives off onto all three men with a flip plancha!

He tosses Garcia in, but Lee and Parker grab Angels’ legs to give Garcia recovery time. Garcia kicks Angels on the way in, then stomps away. Uppercut gets two. We HIT THE CHINLOCK, with Garcia switching to a double knee strike to the back for two. Right hook by Garcia and Angels is half-dead, so Garcia adds a snapmare and dropkick for two. Angels begins kicking the leg out of Garcia’s leg, but Garcia recovers to give him a Hammer Throw. He again mocks the salute before landing a big chop, then gets a fireman’s carry takeover and plays with Angels.

Angels with a sunset flip try, adding a back kick to get him all the way over for two. Angels with big left forearms, then the two both go for crossbodies for the double-down. Angels is up first and pulls up Garcia as they slug it out. Angels gets the best of it with a clothesline, but only after both men get flurries, and that cues the comeback into the enzuigiri. Blind charge eats boot, but Garcia runs into the C-4 Burchill style for two. Crowd thinks it was three.

Angels goes up, but the frog splash is avoided and Garcia gets a shotgun dropkick for a very close two. Garcia tries to hook the Sharpshooter, but Angels kicks out and gets a flying knee. Flatliner into the Koji Clutch and the crowd really wants a tap, but Garcia escapes and beats the crap out of Angels like the apes from 2001 A Space Odyssey. Garcia rests, so Angels gets the Clutch again, but Lee distracts the ref and Parker rakes the eyes to break. Big boot and Sharpshooter ends it for Garcia at 10:18. That’s two matches that are Dynamite quality on Dark. I’m not even mad. ***1/4

The Factory (Nick Comoroto, QT Marshall, and Aaron Solo) (2-1) vs. Darian Bengston, Cole Karter, and Sean Maluta (0-1). No mention of last night’s match with Dustin Rhodes, not that I expected any.

Solo and Bengston start. Solo works the arm, but Bengston tries to escape only to be pulled down by the hair. Bengston with a headlock takedown, but Solo escapes and lands a 540 kick. Solo wants Karter, then smokes him with a kick as he comes in. Comoroto in and he slugs away, tanking a Karter forearm or two before trying a slam. Karter escapes and catches a charge with a boot, then gets a flying knee before being run over by a lariat. Marshall in, and he pounds away on Karter in the corner. Solo tags himself in (much to Marshall’s confusion), then brings Comoroto in.

Comoroto whips Solo into Karter, and Solo sends Karter into Comoroto’s arms for an oshigoroshi. They want Maluta in to finish, and Maluta tags in and measures Comoroto. Samoan chops are tanked, but Maluta ducks a clothesline and gets a SUPERKICK. He goes for a Drive By boot, but Comoroto catches him in midair and slams him down. Everyone’s knocked off the apron, and Solo tags in. Comoroto/Solo with Demolition double-stomp, and Marshall with the Diamond Cutter to end it at 3:43. The Factory has some decent heat here in Orlando. 1/2*

JD Drake (w/The Wingmen) (2-9) vs. Colt Cabana (w/Evil Uno and BRODIE LEE JR) (18-7). It’s the battle of misfits in the stable! Drake rocking the Big Bubba look just works for him. Taz claims Drake smells from working out so much in a thing I don’t understand. And thankfully, Jr isn’t taking sides in the Dark Order argument – he likes all of them.

Lockup, and Drake backs Colt into the corner before giving a break at Uno’s insistence. Now Colt backs Drake into the corner and the Wingmen jump onto the apron to make sure it’s a clean break. The two decide to do a test of strength, going all the way through with it (heel starts off dominant, face bounces back up), and Colt turns it into an armlock and hammerlock before getting a front chancery. Drake escapes only for Colt to take the legs out from underneath him, then he gets an armdrag and lock. Drake pulls them up and gets a right jab on Colt, then they stalemate on a shoulderblock and chop battle.

They fire back and forth before Drake sends Colt to the outside and, with the referee checking on Brodie Jr, Drake and the Wingmen floor and surround Colt (until Uno chases them all off, with Brodie Jr barking at Nemeth). Back in, Drake kicks Colt in the head. Colt fires back with a forearm, but Drake gets a Manhattan Drop into a slam and falling headbutt for two. Drake with a rear choke on Colt, and when Colt fights to his feet Drake gives him a Greco-Roman suplex for two. Colt again tries to fight back from his knees, pulling Drake off his hair and they deliver some MANLY chops to each other.

Forearms by Drake rock Colt in the corner, but a charge misses and Colt finally takes Drake down with a tackle. Both men are dazed, but Colt recovers first to get Flip Flop and Fly. Although it takes a few elbows to knock Drake down, he succeeds and gets two. Flying Apple in the corner by Colt sets up a slam try, but Drake blocks only to walk into a slam for two. Crowd is into this match.

Chicago Skyline try, but Drake shoves him off, gets a Claymore on the way down, and lands the cannonball in the corner for two. Drake to the top, but the moonsault misses and Colt gets one of his own to win at 7:15. This match was many things, but “ballet” wasn’t one of them. *** For one night, Dark Order is in good spirits as the crowd cheers.

Main event: Bear Bronson (w/Bear Boulder) (11-13) vs. Eddie Kingston (23-7). Sure, another brawl, why not? Excalibur notes the Bear in the Bear Country logo looks more like a raccoon, and Taz makes something up to justify it. Yes, Eddie Kingston is over. Taz basically promises a hoss fight.

We get a nice Eddie chant to start. Long lockup goes nowhere. Bronson wants Kingston to bring it, so Kingston comes off the ropes only to lead to a stalemate. More shoulderblocks go nowhere, so Kingston switches to a series of low dropkicks instead to take Bronson off his feet. Big chops in the corner, but Bronson refuses to be intimidated or show pain… until Kingston goes to the Kobashi machine gun chops. Another chop against the ropes, but Bronson blocks an Irish Whip and forearms Kingston to set up a Saito suplex (Kingston couldn’t fight out of it). Kingston bails, and Bronson dives onto him, and yes that deserves a replay.

Back in, Bronson with a crossface blow before absorbing some chops. Kingston tries for more, but Bronson just pummels him as Bronson’s chest is VERY red. Kingston fights back with chops until Bronson forearms Kingston down and hooks the nostrils. Bronson blocks a sunset flip try with the Earthquake for two. Both men take time to recover, and Bronson chokes Kingston against the top rope only for Kingston to bite the hand to break. Bronson tries to bite back in the corner, arguing with the ref, but a blind charge misses and Kingston gets an STO.

The two stare at each other as they get to their knees, slapping at each other, but Kingston wins that with a hard forearm. Bronson comes back with forearms of his own, so Kingston goes back to the chops into an enzuigiri. Running boot to Bronson, but Kingston charges into the Bossman Slam for two. Cannonball by Bronson as Kingston can’t recover, then Bronson with a Steinerline for two and a SHOCKED FACE. Bronson is uncertain how to follow up as the announcers ask him to try to follow up, but when he does, Kingston catches him in a Saito suplex. Bronson powers up and gets his own, then Kingston does the same back to him!

Kingston tries a DDT, but Bronson hangs onto the rope and tries an Island Driver. Kingston escapes, but needs two Backfists to the Future (the second one causing Kingston’s wrist tape to fly off) for the win at 7:51. This gets ***1/4, plus .9 Haku, plus Kingston’s chops get .8 WALTER.

But now Kingston has a mic to close the show. “Man oh man, was that big boy good.” Kingston says everything hurts, but he thanks Orlando for coming out and supporting the action. But now he needs some business, addressing Suzuki-Gun. He heard them talking shit, and says that they’re Ichiban, but it’s New York and Kingston and Mox are #1…

…and here comes Archer to do something about it as the two brawl it out. Crowd hopes Moxley’s in the building as they spill to the outside and the referees half-heartedly try to break them up. To be fair, I wouldn’t want to get between them either.

Okay, first thing first: lots of people liked that the shows online had been only one hour give or take, so the fact we went to two hours tonight isn’t for everyone. That said, this felt like a mini-Dynamite if you focus on the biggest matches. Look at this lineup I’d say you should watch:

  • Chaos Project vs Santana/Ortiz: **1/2
  • FTR vs Team EVOLVE: ****
  • Nemeth/Avalon vs Silver/Reynolds: **1/4
  • Daniel Garcia vs Alan Angels: ***1/4
  • JD Drake vs Colt Cabana: ***
  • Eddie Kingston vs Bear Bronson: ***1/4

I’ve seen Pay-Per-Views with less awesomeness in them. And if those six matches were a two-hour TV show, I don’t think anyone would complain. So for me, the longer show is worth it if you use it to get great stuff in it, and that’s what they did here. I am ready for Grand Slam. Speaking of…

HOW I’D BOOK GRAND SLAM:

Dynamite:

  1. Sting and Darby Allin over FTR.
  2. MJF over Brian Pillman Jr, but after the match Griff Garrison and Wardlow join the brawl and we get a future tag match.
  3. Malakai Black over Cody Rhodes.
  4. Britt Baker retains against Ruby Soho.
  5. Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson go to TV Time Remaining, ending in a draw.

Rampage:

  1. CM Punk over Powerhouse Hobbs.
  2. Men of the Year over Chris Jericho and Jake Hager when American Top Team brawls off Hager and Sky pins Jericho.
  3. Lucha Bros and Santana/Ortiz over the Hardy Family Office when Ortiz pins Quen.
  4. Superkliq over Cage, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus when Cole pins Luchasaurus.
  5. Anna Jay over Penelope Ford.
  6. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston over Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer, but not before three refs, a timekeeper, Excalibur, and several people in the front row get beaten up.

STATS:

BELL-TO-BELL – 73:05 over fourteen matches (average time 5:15)

MATCH OF THE NIGHT – FTR vs Team EVOLVE

FIVE STARS:

  1. Anthony Greene
  2. Eddie Kingston
  3. Daniel Garcia
  4. Colt Cabana
  5. Cash Wheeler

Next stop, New York City!