HAIR VS. HAIR MATCH: Ortiz vs. Chris Jericho (w/the Jericho Appreciation Society)- 6/10
William Regal was on commentary for this match.
This is a faction vs. faction feud with supposedly big stakes in this match… but none of Ortiz’s friends are at ringside. Ah. There’s Kingston. When did he get to ringside? He certainly didn’t come out with Ortiz. Also, where is Santana?
Ross and Schiavone were so weird whenever they were hyping up the stipulation here. Schiavone insisted “we’re seen the barber! We’re seen the barber’s chair!” as if they thought there were people out there who thought that AEW was going to f*ck us on this frankly inconsequential stipulation, and Ross made up a name for the barber, as if trying to prove to us that he was a real barber and the loser’s hair would actually be cut, as if we thought they would cut away for a few minutes then cut back and show us the wrestler in a bald cap.
Aubrey Edwards saw Scott Parker (I don’t remember what his dumb JAS name is) interfere, but there was no DQ. Kingston charged into all of the heels… ah. Here comes Santana. Why was he in the back the whole time? Wheeler YUTA came with him. Jon Moxley was conspicuously absent. Aren’t he and Kingston supposed to be best buddies? What kind of friends loves fighting as much as Moxley but won’t run out to help you in a fight? Yes, I know doing it this way lets you create this spot you can get a pop for the babyfaces coming in to make the save, but it that really worth it if you have to introduce a logical hiccup in order to do it? Doing it this way makes it feel like something designed to get a pop rather than people doing the expected, logical thing of being out there for their friends from the beginning, damaging suspension of disbelief.
Jericho’s Codebreaker in this match might well be the smallest I have ever felt a finisher feel. The match was a passable opener, but didn’t live up to the supposed enormity of the stipulations in any way. Jericho got the win when Fuego del Sol hit Ortiz with a baseball bat. I know that sounds insanely random, but I swear I’m not making that up. It got less random when Fuego unmasked himself as Sammy Guevara, but why did he wear the mask in the first place if he was just going to take it off?
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- bad
The heels celebrated. Kingston grabbed a mic while Ortiz cut off his own hair. Kingston had Ortiz talk, and he just shouted “BLOOD & GUTS!” over and over again. Ortiz losing his hair feels completely unimportant, because they never brought it up as such. He didn’t even seem sad or upset, and the shouting of “BLOOD & GUTS!” over and over again felt like… well… it made the whole feel like a segment designed to be artistic and to deflect the attention away from Ortiz’s loss and towards Blood & Guts as much as possible. The problems are as follows:
1. As I said before, they did nothing to show that Ortiz’s hair was important to him in any way, so I didn’t buy that losing it would reduce him to the emotional state where he was so consumed with sadness and a desire for revenge that all he could do was scream “BLOOD & GUTS!
2. If your follow-up to a stipulation is going to be to minimize it and shift attention from the result as much as possible, why even do it in the first place?
To celebrate Pride Month, TNT had a thing with Sonny Kiss during the commercial break. When was the last time Sonny Kiss was on TV? 2020? Methinks AEW needs to do a bit of work on their representation game.
HANDICAP ELIMINATION MATCH: Wardlow vs. Twenty Security Guards (w/Mark Sterling)- ALL-TIME IDIOTIC SEGMENT
They started this off with a video package using the music to The People’s Court, so it’s all a joke to AEW… which should actually be a real problem because they’re making light of the plight of these security guards. That’s probably going to make it a lot harder to get security guards to work for you in the future. Also, as I’ve said the whole way through, I think Wardlow is actually in the wrong here. At least some of those assaults were completely gratuitous. It’s AEW once again failing to realize that someone who they think is being a babyface is actually being a heel.
The security guards surrounded the ring, then all got up onto the apron. Wardlow ran into some of them and knocked them off the apron… and the ring announcer told us that they had been eliminated. HOW? Even if this was, for some idiotic reason, an unannounced battle royale, they still shouldn’t have been eliminated because they hadn’t been in the ring in the first place and therefore didn’t go over the top rope. Even if it was a battle royale where going over the bottom rope was enough for elimination, it still wouldn’t make sense because they were never in the ring in the first place and thus never officially entered the match!
It was never explained to us how these eliminations occurred, but we were repeatedly told that “Wardlow only needs to be pinned or submitted once.” Does he operate under different rules than they do? That makes overcoming twenty people a lot less impressive.
Anyway, Wardlow spent some time knocking down all of the guys on one side, while the guys on the other sides just stood there like dumb AI. Only when Wardlow was done with their compatriots did they begin moving towards him.
He knocked a bunch of them out of the ring, but these apparently were not eliminations. Even the guy he powerbombed over the top rope was not announced as being eliminated. FOUR TIMES, Warldow eliminated three or four people with a single pin by stacking them up on top of each other… even though only the guy on the bottom has his shoulders on the mat, and the guy on top of the pile was f*cking FACE-DOWN! Yes, like Cameron pinning Alicia Fox or whatever it was.
Then, after the match, Wardlow went after Mark Sterling- already in a neck-brace- for… well… really no reason. He should be thanking Sterling for setting up this stupid match so that he didn’t have to go to court, where he would have surely lost. But no. Wardlow attacked Sterling for no reason, because Wardlow is an idiot and a douchebag.
Sterling’s life was saved by Dan Lambert being in a skybox with a hot microphone and deciding to pick that moment to cut a promo on Wardlow instead of waiting until after Wardlow killed Sterling because… um…
It turns out that some of Lambert’s MMA guys are in the front row. Lambert orders them to attack Wardlow... and apparently they’re allowed to just jump the guardrail.
Wardlow grabs a microphone and appeals to their common status as “hard-working Midwesterners,” saying that they should be starter than to “take orders from some rich asshole up in a skybox.” Insert Tony Khan/Jacksonville Jaguars joke here. They agree with Wardlow, and decide to shove Mark Sterling into Wardlow instead, and Wardlow sends a message to Dan Lambert through an innocent third party, like a heel would.
DAX HARWOOD vs. WILL OSPREAY-8.75/10
Excalibur described this as a “dream match.” Really.
This was absolutely tremendous and built beautifully, and I think the world of Dax Harwood… but unless is there a concrete plan push him a babyfaces singles main eventer, Dax Hardwood should not be going this competitively in a singles match against Will Ospreay (or Adam Cole or CM Punk, either, for that matter).
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- whatever
United Empire came out and menaced Dax. This felt like it happened just so various babyfaces (Cash Wheeler, Roppongi Vice) could come out and brawl with them. The babyfaces got beaten down, but then Orange Cassidy’s music played… and he dawdled down to the ring while his friends were getting the sh*t beaten out of them. What an asshole.
When the camera finally got back on the ring, everyone other than Ospreay seemed to have disappeared. OC walked right past Ospreay, then turned around. Ospreay turned around as well, and these two had a stare-down like this is supposed to be some kind of dream match that we should get excited to possibly see at the PPV.
Then all of the other babyfaces got into the ring, so Ospreay left. Excalibur claimed that FTR and Best Friends working together “underscores the importance of this; the emotional rivalry between AEW vs. New Japan Pro Wrestling.”
HOW? Are those guys even enemies?
JON MOXLEY VS. HIROSHI TANAHASHI VIDEO PACKAGE AND FACE-TO-TACE MEETING- bad
Before I get into the angle, I want to talk about this whole Moxley vs. Tanahashi thing, and why it bugs me so much. They kept saying things like “Tanahashi has waited so long to share the ring with Jon Moxley” and “Moxley feels like Tanahashi has been ducking him,” and, in their defense, that has been the angle for quite a while. The problem is that no one has ever come up with a reason for why. Tanahashi is a babyface, so the answer can’t be that he actually is ducking Moxley, so why has the match not happened yet?
Hell, it’s only happening now because of an accident of fate. Are you telling me that when Tony Khan and Gedo had their meeting about this card, they thought that instead of delivering the Moxley vs. Tanahashi match that people have supposedly wanted for a long time, they thought it was a better idea to give Tanahashi a world title shot that he didn’t earn (and, out of kayfabe, that they had to know fans would sh*t on because the outcome was so obvious)?
Anyway, Moxley cut his big promo. Tanahashi didn’t get to respond because Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and Tay Conti came out, and Jericho cut a promo on both of them. Then he ordered some people to attack them, and Suzuki-Gun attacked Tanahashi and Moxley from behind. Jericho then cut a promo announcing that at Forbidden Door, we’ll be getting Jericho, Sammy, & Minoru Suzuki vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler YUTA, & Shota Umino. Yeah. That’s what they’re putting on PPV. That’s a match most people would only grudgingly accept on a Road to… show. And they’re putting it on a PPV. Dude… just book Kingston vs. Suzuki and leave the other crap out of it.
Anyway, Kingston and LAX run out to make the save. The heels bail, leaving El Desperado to get bumped around by the babyfaces. Then everyone else was polite enough to leave the ring so that Tanahashi and Moxley could have a stare-down to build up their match.
We still haven’t gotten any explanation of why Danielson is missing.
reDRagon VS. DARBY ALLIN VIDEO PACKAGE- This was really awesome, but it would have been even more awesome if the attack on Sting had happened two weeks ago, not four.
TONY SHIAVONE INTERVIEWS TONI STORM- fine
She faces Britt Baker later tonight. She wants to be the world champion.
AEW ALL-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT OPENING ROUND MATCH: Miro vs. Ethan Page (w/Dan Lambert)- 6.25/10
Excalibur talked about the Japanese part of the bracket for this tournament in a way that was very confusing.
The match was fine. It was structured as if Miro was a total babyface, which he isn’t.
DANTE MARTIN & MATT SYDAL PROMO- This was an excellent promo for a match against Jon Moxley next week. The issue, to me, is that it has been a year since Dante had his big breakout singles performance, and it feels like he is still in the same place with this promo here.
TONI STORM vs. BRITT BAKER (w/Jamie Hayter & Rebel)- 6.5/10
Britt’s friends interfered, so Thunder Rosa came out to chase Hayter away. Toni won cleanly, and they’re now hyping Tonin Storm as a challenger for Thunder Rosa (who managed to be done chasing Jamie Hayter away in time to show up on the ramp at the end so we could get a nice visual to build to this idea), so why did Britt win that tournament instead of Toni?
TONY SCHIAVONE’S INTERVIEW WITH STOKELY HATHAWAY IS INTERRUPTED BY… SOMEONE-
It was Willow Nightengale. She accused Stokely of not remembering her. I didn’t remember her, either. Stokely had said that Jade Cargill issuing an open challenge for the TBS Title on Rampage, so Willow wants the title shot… so this nobody will be getting a title shot instead of any one of the top five ranked wrestlers in the division, or the countless others in the division who also have a better record than she does. “AEW! AEW! AEW!”
Also, Stokely will be on commentary on Friday.
ADAM PAGE’S PROMO IS INTERRUPTED BY ADAM COLE AGAIN- snore
Page acknowledges that he was dumb for not considering that Okada might lose the IWGP Heavyweight Title (or whatever belt it is now). He was about to announce whether he wanted a match with Okada or wanted the title when he was interrupted by Adam Cole, who insisted that he, and not Page, would challenge for the title.
Cole said that Okada wouldn’t be at the PPV, but said that Jay White was here. White’s music played, but he snuck out of the crowd to attack Adam Page from behind, which is the second time they’ve done this same thing in the past half hour.
White gave a very logical argument for why Page doesn’t deserve a shot at his title. He also told Adam Cole that he won’t be defending the title against him, either. Excellent. Because more heels feuding with each other is definitely what AEW needs right now.
LADDER MATCH FOR THE AEW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: Jurassic Express(c) (w/Christian Cage) vs. the Young Bucks- 9/10
I don’t they mentioned this match more than once all night before the last twenty minutes of the show, and they certainly never mentioned anything about the Hardys not being in it as advertised.
This was a big crazy match full of big crazy bumps. It was very cool. The Bucks won the belts, which feels random, but not terrible. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus’ reign felt less like something for the team so much as it was something to do to delay having to start using Jungle Boy in more of a singles role (and it was an excellent way to do that), but like pretty much every tag title reign in this company so far, it has been rather forgettable in end a rather that felt rather random.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
Christian finally turned on Jungle Boy. I loved the fact that they had him check on Luchasaurus first, so he could confirm that Luchasaurus wouldn’t be able to get up before he made his move. What shocked me was not the turn (everyone saw that coming), but the fact that a good chunk of the crowd CHEERED for it.
The execution here was fine. Christian gave Jungle Boy a Con-Chair-To. I probably would have waited a week to do this, just so as to not overshadow the title change (I’d have it announced that Luchasaurus is injured so Jungle Boy and Christian would be alone in the ring for the turn), but that’s just me.
Another typical episode of Dynamite, with some tremendous wrestling and terrible booking.
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FIP in 2005
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate 2013
ROH/CMLL Global Wars Espectacular: Day 3
FIP in 2005
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate 2013
ROH/CMLL Global Wars Espectacular: Day 3
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