Show started with a 'thank you' video to first responders and In Memoriam for Shad Gaspard RIP.
Opening Video - Good, overall recap of all things going on tonight.
Dan Lambert is ringside as a fan, PLEASE let him cut promos!!
Casino Ladder Match Promos - Joey Janela was good. Kip Sabian was great, I like how his character is molding, Havoc however wasn't all that good. Chris Daniels was great talking in behalf of Kaz and Sky. Best Friends had to explain OC how a ladder match works.
Casino Ladder Match
Frankie Kazarian vs Scorpio Sky vs Darby Allin vs Joey Janela vs Kip Sabian w/Penelope Ford & Jimmy Havoc vs Colt Cabana vs Orange Cassidy vs Luchasaurus vs Brian Cage w/Taz - 7.5/10
This has Aztec Warfare style entry, and it just turns out that two starting are SCU members, meaning whoever is 3rd has to go 2-on-1 naturally. Fortunately for Sabian, Havoc was there to even out the odds. He was there to take bumps, but it helps.
Early on, Darby took a hell of a bump, from the top of the tallest ladder, trying to Skateboard Stomp Kaz on a ladder bridge, but Kaz moved away and Darby went straight down, crushing his knees. Darby sold that knee for the rest of the match.
OC came out and went to commentary table to confirm what the match was about. The commentary told him off and OC was annoyed he had to put effort tonight.
Both Janela and Luchasaurus got to take out everyone during their entrances, the latter looking way stronger tho.
Brian Cage came out and broke a ladder with his bare hands. Seems like Taz will be managing him, and in a weird way, Taz now looks like a thicker version of Paul Ellering.
Cage took out everyone one-by-one until everyone ganged up on him, taken out, and buried undernead ladders and barricades and one of those big prop poker chips.
Later in the match, OC took out both Sabian and Penelope, but was attacked by Havoc, so Best Friends came to take out Havoc. He then tried to chokeslam Luchasaurus, but instead got chokeslamed by Marko Stunt (with the Luchasaurus assist). OC then took a DVD by Janela, from the apron onto the pile of garbage that was burying Cage. Poor Cage.
Cage eventually powered up, broke up from the gutter and had a great big lads fight with Luchasaurus. Well, if the Big Lads and the X-Division had an Amalgam comic book series. Cage hit a crazy powerbomb on Luchasaurus, he's a Machine!
Finish saw Cage deliver a Body Press Slam on Darby, on a ladder, and won with no opposition. This was fun, it started slow, but it eventually became the usual spotfest that multi-man ladder matches are.
MJF w/Wardlow vs Jungle Boy - 8/10
Aside from the athleticism, this was a total old school heel vs babyface match, with a cocky heel that has to rely on cheating and lies when the babyface starts to gain momentum. MJF worked over Jungle Boy's arm throughout the match, going for all type of shots, and it was the arm that he would also strike whenever he needed to cut off his momentum.
There was a really scary spot with Jungle Boy hit a Poisonrana on MJF on the apron and MJF just landed crown-first. The rest was mostly MJF fighting from underneath and getting near falls until MJF got what looked like an European Clutch for the win.
Inaugural TNT Championship Match
"The American Nightmare" Cody w/Arn Anderson vs "The Murderhawk" Lance Archer w/Jake "The Snake" Roberts - 7.5/10
Archer actually hit the Blackout as the first move, but Cody managed to roll out and escape Archer. The match was mostly Archer beating the shit out of Cody, tossing him around the ring and outside the ring, all until eventually, Archer hurt his ribs and Cody went after them.
There was a point in the match that Jake and Arn started messing around and it kinda got boring, but then they got ejected. Jake tried to come back, but Mike Tyson told him off, and as a side note, Tyson looks amazing, he's jacked for his age. Cody hit two CrossRhodes for the win. It was a good match, much less drama than the usual Cody match.
Big Swole getting in Archer's face was my favorite thing.
Britt Baker Update - Dr. Samson tells us that Baker has a fracture from last Dynamite and that she will update everyone on Dynamite. Good quick update, didn't take time off from the show, and Samson told us that the injury isn't as bad as the patient. Not professional doc, not professional.
Kris Statlander vs Penelope Ford w/Kip Sabian - 6.5/10
Another ok match, Ford was selling her spot from the ladder match, so even in defeat, she looked really strong. Statlander won with the Big Bang Theory.
Only notable spot was Statlander doing a Tope dive and almost impaling darting the barricade with her head.
Dustin Rhodes vs Shawn Spears - 2/10
This was a comedy skit. Spears came out in a suit, said that Rhodes wasn't coming out because he was retired, and then Rhodes actually came out, beat him up, reveal he had underwear with Tully Blanchard's face in the crotch like if it was funny, but it's not, I'd love a pair of trunks with each of the Horsemen's faces on them.
ALL OUT takes place September 5th.
Hana Kimura Tribute - We got a nice little tribute for Hana, Excalibur told us all to be nice to each other.
Shida vs Rose Build-up Video - Love it. I loved that Shida was secure about herself saying that she's fought Aja Kong so matter wasn't scary for her, she also said that the Joshi style is a never give up style. Rose said that she had enough time to rest and build up anger, and Shida would be the sacrificial lamb. The announcer team then broke down the odds for each women.
AEW Women's Championship No DQ, No Countout Match
"The Native Beast" Nyla Rose (C) vs Hikaru Shida - 8.5/10
Hikaru Shida, sans the white t-shirt, was dressed as the Shida version of Tifa. I've been playing FF7 Remake, and this was perfect timing Shida. Nyla came out with Shida's kendo stick. I also have to give some credit to Shida, who played her part here as if this was a long running feud. Her face and mannerisms were perfect, taking Rose extremely serious. She was a fighter, a woman with one goal.
The match was the fired up babyface vs the powerhouse heel. It was somewhat back and forward, both Rose and Shida had a long run with momentum before they started going for near falls. Some highlights was Shida going through two tables while Rose getting slammed on the token chips, one of which was from a running knee from Shida while she screamed her lungs out. Finish saw Shida break the kendo stick on Rose's head and deliver the running knee for the win. Great heartfelt ending. Seeing Emi Sakura cry on twitter over it made me so happy for Shida and her teacher.
Announcing table speech - Not really a speech, but not sure how to call it. All three talked about trying to bring a little entertainment to a fanbase that is having a hard time this week and this year.
Moxley vs Lee Build-up Video - Perfect recap of the events leading up. I'm one to say that I think it makes 150% sense that Brodie Lee took a title shot so early, if he's the leader of a cult and has so much power behind him, why would he wait to go chase the title? A cult leader is not one to wait around for rankings whether he has earned them or not.
AEW World Championship Match
Jon Moxley (C) vs Mr. Brodie Lee - 8/10
We had a barricade of security in the ring, separating Lee and Mox. It takes a lot of space in the ring for some of the entrance antics, but I loved the idea of separating wrestlers like this before big title matches. Also need to mention that Brodie Lee is the 'Self-Proclaimed World Champion', weeks after Moose has been doing it. AEW is copying Impact.
This match was kinda weird for me at first, it felt like a combination of many styles, like it started at 60mph with dives and all, almost like the usual WWE match that just does dives for no reason, but then it became a Puro striking battle in the middle of the ring, and then these two went back to their indie crash wrestling, brawling all over the place and putting each other through wood.
Talking about wood, they did the Bam Bam vs Tazz spot, with Mox hitting the Paradigm Shift THROUGH the entrance ramp. Brodie Lee came out all bloody from it. As soon as they got in the ring, Mox hit a second PS and Lee kicked out at 1! a 3rd one and only got a two count! Mox locked in a hell of a Rear Naked and choked out Lee, who didn't tap out. Just like Callihan did a month ago....hmmm.....
Anyway, good match, but there was a lot of foreign objects used and a lot of time around the ring, I'm guessing they didn't want to do two matches back-to-back with the same stips, but then they still did the same gimmick anyway. Aside from the ramp spot, I thought the weapon stuff was better in the Shida vs Rose match. This went only one minute less than Shida vs Rose, but it somehow feels way more underwhelming.
Action Figure Commercial - They have 25 points of articulation!
Elite vs Inner Circle Build-up Video - Aewsome! The showed how the feud goes all the way back to the inception of AEW, the signing of Jericho, and the tension between the Elite's members. There was a line that Omega said about mat not being part of the Elite, but he had the same mindset of trying to change the industry, and I liked this line, it's something that Hardy had ever since the first Final Deletion.
Stadium Stampede Match
The Elite (Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Hangman Page, & Matt Hardy) vs The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Proud n Powerful, Sammy Guevara, & Jake Hager) - 10/10!
I loved this whole thing. I've heard a lot of comparisons with all the cinematic stuff that has been coming out, but in reality, this was just a Falls Count Anywhere match between two 5-man teams. The spots taken were not faked with bad editing, this wasn't a 'magic fight' in a fake graveyard, and most than all, it wasn't a backstage brawl that kept repeating the same spots over and over and over. This match had a perfectly constructed movie climax formula, with the initial brawl, the heat section, the missing babyface evening out the odds, and then, one-by-one, the babyfaces eliminating the heels out of the match, leading up to the big ending.
I'm not going to describe what happened because the truth is, you need to go out and personally watch this thing. it's a 30+ minute match. I had TONS of fun watching this match, I loved the theatrics of the cheerleaders, the horse, and so on.
Having said all that, it wasn't better than Minoru Suzuki vs Sanshiro Takagi at the Tokyo Dome.
A great show by AEW, it was fun and exciting. The in-ring action was good, I'd say the only stuff that I struggled to get through was both Rhodes' matches, but they were still not exactly bad. As the announcers said, they're trying to entertain, and I have to admit that I was entertained.