Hello AW Universe,
Ten days away from Revolution, Dynamite made two more matches official for the PPV, with a Tag Team Battle Royal, a title defence, and the inaugural Steel Cage match in AEW.
Here is a recap and review of the show from the All State Arena in Atlanta, GA.
The Young Bucks win the Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal with Matt Jackson last eliminating Santana.
Kris Statlander d. “Portugal’s Perfect Athlete” Shanna
Jon Moxley d. Jeff Cobb
“Hangman” Adam Page & Kenny Omega d. The Lucha Bros. to retain the AEW Tag Team Championship
Cody d. Wardlow in a Steel Cage Match
Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal
The early part of this was like any other Battle Royal, with just a mass of bodies and the slowly weeding out jobbers. There were some storylines interweaving, with the The Dark Order taunting Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian with Christopher Daniels’ absence from ringside, leading to their elimination, and The Bunny kicking Orange Cassidy in the balls after he had saved Trent from elimination.
The final four teams were represented by (both) Santana & Ortiz, The Butcher, Trent, and Matt Jackson. Trent and Jackson shared the Best Friends Hug, only for The Butcher to attack them, eventually eliminating Trent, who then in turn was eliminated after a spear through the ropes from Matt Jackson.
Jackson got the win after fighting from behind on both Ortiz and Santana, first hitting Ortiz with a Superkick on the apron, then hitting one on the lamest member of the AEW roster, Sammy Guevara– on what looked like a bit of a botch, honestly– before finally clotheslining Santana over the rope.
This booking made the most sense, putting the implosion of The Elite on the PPV card and perhaps finally having Page turn on the Bucks at Revolution.
Kris Statlander vs. “Portugal’s Perfect Athlete” Shanna
Should you care about this match? I dunno, if the commentary team would rather bury Statlander by shitting on her “Alien from the Andromeda Galaxy” gimmick, JR shouting that he prefers cake over pie, and Schiavone lay it on thick on Dr. Britt Baker– who was on guest commentary (DID YOU KNOW SHE’S A DENTIST??)– as it appears their taking her shit-talking of him in a weird flirtation angle, then why should you?
Statlander did show off her power in the win, while Shanna getting some offence in with a nice Tornado DDT and a Basement dropkick on the bottom rope, but ultimately eating some power spots for the loss.
But hey, who cares, Britt Baker got Schiavone a Starbucks cup with his face on it.
After the commercial break, Schiavone apparently had had enough time to tame his Britt Baker-induced boner because he was out on the ramp to do his job and interview the new Women’s Champion, Nyla Rose, who heeled off on the crowd calling them, “little bees.” She then proclaimed that she’ll be a one-time champion because no one will ever beat her.
Kris Statlander then remerged from guerrilla, “booping” Rose’s championship, and getting in Rose’s face before Big Swole also emerged and tried to get in Rose’s face too before security held them all apart.
So I suppose we’re getting a Triple Threat between these three. Or maybe just a #1 Contender’s match between Statlander and Swole?
Jon Moxley vs. Jeff Cobb
All the commotion must’ve got Schiavone worked up, because he’s off the desk for this match and JR and Excalibur are joined by Taz. I’ll be honest, from his time with Michael Cole on Smackdown! to TNA Impact with Josh Matthews I always liked Taz as a colour commentator, so I’m more than fine with having him around.
After Cobb’s entrance, Chris Jericho’s riff to “Judas” hit, blowing the roof off of the State Farm Arena, and the crowd singing along; Jericho is a heel champion, remember. He ended to sit at ringside to watch the match with the lamest member of the of the AEW roster, Sammy Guevara, and Jake Hager.
Anyway, the match started on the outside early after a quick overhead belly-to-belly suplex and dropkick from Cobb, who stayed on the offensive immediately before taking them back into the ring to continue the beatdown, keeping the pace slow and methodical.
At one point, JR clearly called into a commercial break, but there was an awkward pause before Excalibur and Taz started commentating again, who are then almost immediately cut off as it cut to a picture-in-picture commercial break. Seriously, AEW needs to clean this shit up; it’s embarrassingly amateur for it to still be so disorganized after six months.
After the abrupt commercial break, Mox mounted a bit of offence with lariats and dropkicks, only for Cobb to hit some suplexes and slow the pace back down. Moxley never really get on top in this match, selling some injured ribs and fighting from behind the whole time, reversing out of Tour Around the Islands a few times, and eventually picking up the win with an inside cradle pin after eating a Superplex.
This ended up being a pretty underwhelming match considering all the hype surrounding having Cobb appear in AEW, but it’s all about the longer-term booking. Jericho, Guevara, and Jake Hager immediately jumped Mox only for the coolest theme in AEW to hit as Dustin Rhodes made his way to the ring to take out Hager, but the numbers quickly overwhelmed him too.
The lights then go out and the orchestral strings to STING’S THEME HITS!!!
… just kidding, it’s Darby Allin, back with his skateboard and presumably a busted throat, to which Taz exclaims “WHAT A POP!” Taz, I love the enthusiasm, but it wasn’t even as big as when “Judas” hit. Regardless, the crowd was hot for Allin, and he evened things up as he attacked Guevara and Mox, who eventually hit a Paradigm Shift on Cobb and got some punches in on Jericho before all the heels left the ring.
This obviously was a way to further the three intersecting storylines: Mox and Jericho, Rhodes and Hager, and Allin and Guevara. Which is fine, it would’ve been nice to see Mox and Jericho keep hands off one another until the PPV, but neither were left laying so it keeps them both relatively strong.
Kenny Omega & “Hangman Adam Page” vs. The Lucha Bros.
AEW Tag Team Championship
The crowd is hot off the start for Page, chanting “COW-BOY SHIT.”
This match was a cluster of high-spots, as per tradition with a Lucha Bros. match. There were so many tandem moves that it would be essay length, but it is worth noting that Omega ate a nasty-looking Canadian Destroyer, which played into the match as he sold the wooziness (at least I hope it was a work). This is the problem with Lucha Bros and Young Bucks indie-style spotfests, is that they’re just all sugar: it’s a huge rush at the time, but once you come down, it’s immediately forgettable. This isn’t to sell any of the stuff that they do short, it’s just it’s all messy and incoherent as far as in-ring psychology goes.
The most impressive thing about this match is that it was just further proof that Page and Omega are the best workers on the AEW roster. They can match spot fiends like Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr with moonsaults and dives to the outside, or have a relatively slower-paced match like they did with SCU last week.
The match itself wasn’t really what mattered anyway, as this was just a placeholder for the title match at Revolution. They pushed that storyline as The Young Bucks hit the ring to help a selling Omega, with Page trying to dismiss them before smashing a fan’s beer.
Honestly, I am looking forward to the match at Revolution, just to see what they decide to do with Page.
Cody vs. Wardlow- Steel Cage Match
Well, it wasn’t the big blue cage. How disappointing.
The match in the boring silver cage started out with a slower pace as Cody tried to wear down the larger Wardlow, before Cody got colour off the first cage bump, and by the time we got back to the match after the picture-in-picture commercial, Cody’s face was absolutely covered in blood. Here he actually got on the offence, hitting a springboard cutter and a mounted ten-punch, before Wardlow crushed Cody’s nuts with a reverse kick to the groin.
There was a nice spot where Cody went to crawl out of the cage, Arn Anderson holding the cage door, and MJF attempting to convince Arn to slam the door on Cody, “just like he had done to his daddy.” The Coach instead hit MJF with it, and later after Brandi– who officially is just back to being Cody’s loving wife and has dropped The Nightmare Collective gimmick– hit MJF with a chair as he tried to get into the ring, and then threatened to hit her, Anderson just threw him over the railing into the crowd. Old man strength, man.
Cody wins after taking MJF’s Dynamite Diamond Ring– which had been slipped to Wardlow– punched Wardlow with it, hit a Cross-Rhodes, only for Wardlow to kick out, and then climbing to the top of the ring and hitting a moonsault, then scoring the pin. He could learn some form from Kurt Angle, but he did hit a 20′ moonsault regardless, so nothing but props to the man. This also now completes the stipulations for Cody and MJF to officially square off at Revolution.
All in a all, a weaker than normally expected show from AEW, particularly since they were going up against NXT’s fallout show, but it is the go-home show next week, so this could’ve just been a placeholder for clearing out for that and the Steel Cage match this week.