AEW World Tag Team Championship
MJF & Chris Jericho w/ Wardlow vs Young Bucks (C)
Pre Match Notes: The Young Bucks are so mad at MJF & Jericho that they have to pose while toilet paper explodes around them. Justin Roberts is a horrible ring announcer.
Straight away the wrestling match is interrupted as everyone goes to the floor for a shitty brawl and Aubrey does basically no counting. Everyone gets back in the ring for a double sharpshooter and Young Bucks do a lot of stuff where it appears that the whole ten seconds in as a team is thrown out. Finally the heels are actually allowed to get some heat but The Young Bucks once again take over the match. Over time, this became every Young Bucks match ever, which involved doing spots, the Bucks recovering from moves in record time and then more spots. Jericho's Lion Tamers for everyone spot was pretty cool. Just as I am about to write "this match started going too long with too many near falls" Road Warrior Buck kicked out of the Heatseeker following a baseball bat to the back, for fuck sake, he's indestructible and the match has lost my interest right here. A lot more near falls and super kicks happened, but I had stopped caring.
Winners: Young Bucks
Rating: 2 Stars
The match was guys doing moves to each other with very little story told through those moves, the fact that the heels in the match got very little in the way of heat during the match really bothered me and let this match down as it was just babyfaces on top for what felt like 75% of the match instead of the other way around. The match was won with the shittiest looking Meltzer Driver.
Post-Match: The winners of a wrestling match actually got to leave without getting beaten up by someone! They must have read my latest advice. The announcers build the rest of the card as they should, AEW's graphics have come a long way and looks pretty professional. They also showed us the silly rules for the main event.
Casino Tag Team Battle Royale
Pre-Match Notes: Justin Roberts explains the rules. The put a 90 second timer on the screens behind, it was distracting.
We start with the Natural Nightmares vs 5 & 10 from the Dork Order. An okay start with some wrestling happening before Proud & Powerful join the match. One of the numbers got eliminated before The Sydals join the match and finally some energy is injected into the match. Just as the announcers talk about Dork Order having more teams in the match Stu Grayson and Evil Uno join the match and team up with 10. Gunn Club are next, I enjoy how they are dressed like "Chuck and Billy" and again more energy is injected into the match with the Sydal brother eliminated. Avalon and Bononi come out to porn music. Whoever said "Bononi is the largest man in this match" clearly cant have been including Evil Uno... anyway, standard battle royal spots happen until the Varsity Blondes come in. Gunn Club eliminate Avalon 10 seconds before QT eliminates the Gunns and Bononi. Dustin Rhodes gets pissy at him for this, which is stupid so QT just eliminated himself, which is even more stupid. So why is Dustin bothering to continue? A couple of big guys join the match that I don't think I've seen before come in and do some stuff. How many more teams are in this? There's still a timer! Oh wait, it's Jurassic Express and they come in and basically eliminate everybody. It's hard to keep track of the eliminations at this point, but we've got Dustin, the Bears, Jurassic Express and Butcher/Blade left in the match. Allie assisted in eliminating Dustin and the announcers called her despicable, but said nothing when Dorko Stunt did the same thing 3 minutes earlier. Anyway, Private Party and still we have more teams to come somehow. I am officially getting bored now. This is no Royal Rumble. SCU arrive... Schiavone rightly ask that if they lose, they split up now right? Excalibur stretched for an excuse as to why this wouldn't happen. Some more teams got eliminated and her come Fenix & PAC. JR stupidly says "in he whole of wrestling who's better than Fenix and PAC?" every person with a championship maybe? This match has not been paced well, eliminations haven't felt significant. More Dork Order come out. Alex Reynolds does a piledriver onto another man with announcers saying "I don't think I've ever seen someone do a piledriver on to another man" rewind back 10 minutes and watch one of the bears do they exact same spot. At last! No more teams coming in!
The final four of Fenix, Pac, Silver & Jungle Boy are left and they do the stupid "last four men look at each other" Royal Rumble spot before deciding they should fight. Silver was eliminated to leave Death Triangle to face Jungle Boy, babyface in peril stuff before he eliminates PAC and the two gesture and posture and stare at each other before fighting. This was the best part of the match, Jungle Boy was finally eliminated by Fenix.
Winners: PAC & Rey Fenix
Rating: 2.5 Stars
It wasn't paced well, eliminations didn't feel significant and we had no idea how many teams there would actually be, it was a basic battle royal with nothing significant until the last minutes when Jungle Boy was the babyface in peril. PAC & Fenix win which means we're getting a Young Bucks vs Death Triangle spotfest in future.
Post-match: Death Triangle celebrate and don't get assaulted! Woah!
Paul Wight is then on screen teasing the new star. Good stuff. Big Show immediately injects good character in to the show because he's so professional on camera, he's night and day with most AEW talent.
Segment: We got a package for Ryo Mizunami vs Hikaru Shida where they played up Ryo's near retirement. Still hasn't made me care about this match. It takes longer than a couple of weeks and a video package to build a title match.
AEW Women's Championship
Ryo Mizunami vs Hikaru Shida (C)
Pre-match notes: Is that a Pitbull rip-off song as Ryo's entrance music? Every match these have had has ended in a draw apparently?. This means we're getting like 20-25 minutes of this aren't we?
I was only paying like 10% attention, but I tuned in twice to see Mizunami throw some seriously shitty looking slaps and just goofing around doing "the rope" and rolling her arms about. So I'm going to tune down to 5% attention. Next time I look at the match I saw Shida do a superplex which was executed well but then she immediately allowed Mizunami do stand up and hit her, so I decided this was fucking stupid and I'm tuning out again. I tuned in again to see them smiling at each other while they held on to each other and threw awful forearms. I looked back up after the 3 count had taken place.
Winner: Hikaru Shida
Rating: No rating as I failed to watch 95% of the match.
From what I saw, nobody tried to win, both women either allowed their opponent to hit them, or just danced or postured instead of staying on top of their opponent, just a really slow match with very little personality that went on for about 10 minutes longer than it ever should have been allowed to.
Post-match: Nyla Rose comes out and attacks both Mizunami and Shida. Two clean walkaways was clearly too many for AEW to allow. Britt Baker and the "Princess of Love and Piss" come in and help Rose. The bell is ringing and no-one comes out. Thunder Rosa eventually comes in for the save. So I guess we're getting a 3v3 of this on Dynamite.
Segment: Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor are about to give an interview by Miro and Sabian do an assault. Is the AEW locker room the most dangerous place on earth? Everyone gets assaulted or kidnapped. They should hire some security at Daily's Place. Miro says to play his music and everybody goes on with the show, the ring announcer even begins announcing him. This match shouldn't happen now right?
Anyway, Miro grabbed a microphone and taunted Chuck Taylor until Chuck Taylor tells the ref to ring the bell and he just does it. Allowing a 2v1. So we get...
Tag Team Match
Miro & Kip Sabian w/ Penelope Ford? Sabian? vs Chuck Taylor (and no doubt Orange Cassidy when he resurfaces).
Chuck Taylor gets early offence, Miro and Sabian take over and get tonnes of heat on the babyface (see how it's done Young Bucks?) Chuck Taylor ruins it by crawling to his corner to tag no-one, but Orange Cassidy slowly makes his way out and selling his injury until he kips up and runs at Miro like nothing's happened to him, he gets the tag and immediately hits the shows fourth Tope Suicina. I can't believe I'm saying this, OC actually injected some energy into this the way that he should. Execution wasn't perfect but was okay. The heels again got heat on the babyfaces, this is better. The match was relatively okay and made sense UNTIL Cassidy did his shitty kicks on Miro with Miro smiling and laughing. TEAR HIS DAMN FACE OFF don't just laugh at him! OC builds up a head of steam until Miro got some more heat.
Winners: Miro & Kip Sabian
Rating: 3 Stars
A little fuzzy around the edges, but a better built match than we've had so far, everything (except one or two spots) but Miro and Kip built heat really well, and following the Penelope Ford spot if they're building to split Miro from Sabian I'm all for it. Decent enough.
Segment: MJF & Jericho interview about "what's next". Jericho is angry and proclaims Inner Circle is an army that needs to make changes in the faction, we'll see it all on the "Inner Circle War Council" on Dynamite. MJF agrees that change is necessary.
Segment: Video package for Matt Hardy vs Adam Page with voiceovers and interviews from announcers. If this was a year in the making, this video package would have been perfect, but this feud is about to have it's first match, so it felt like an over-build. I enjoyed Adam Page calling Hardy a "piece of shit asshole". Over-build aside, this match has the potential to be really good!
"Big Money" match
Matt Hardy vs Adam Page
Pre-match notes: Announcers did a good job of building Adam Page as having a big future and that while Adam Page is 29 years old, Matt Hardy's career its 28.5 years old and thus has the veteran advantage.
Match starts well in the ring, they go on the floor for a bit with an obligatory dive off a railing by Page. I don't think I've heard any referees try and count anyone out yet tonight. Matt Hardy trapped Page's hand in the stairs and worked the hand over which was followed by announcers putting over how this would effect Page's finish, this is so far half decent and the story is being told well. The announcer's also did a really good job of putting over Adam Page's AEW career so far and building him up.
A solid back and forth ensues with the right hand issue always in the background. Private Party come out to cause distractions and stack the deck against Page and a few minutes later the Dork Order come out to "even" the odds and they helped him back to the apron before he hits the Buckshot Lariat.
Winner: Adam Page
Rating: 4 Stars
A bit too much of the match happened outside of the ring, but this is AEW and this roster is allergic to the canvas. So adjust expectations accordingly, but this match built well, it wasn't offensive, announcers and wrestlers all did their job and Page went over as he should but he should have done it without the Dork Order and it would have been the perfect match for him. Sadly Dork Order's involvement dampened it.
Post-Match: Adam Page gets a group hug going with Dark Order and they give him beer. So I guess we're continuing that.
The announcer's tell us there's a genuine "brass ring" above the ring for the upcoming ladder match. I mean, for fuck's sake, do you know how cheap you look when doing things to just insult your competition. Just have a damn contract hanging above the ring.
Segment: Some of the participants build the ladder match and they do it well. There still appears to be a Vacant spot. The resulting TNT Championship match will come on Wednesday's Dynamite.
The Face of the Revolution Ladder match.
Cody Rhodes w/Arn Anderson vs Scorpio Sky vs Lance Archer w/Jake Roberts vs Penta El Zero Miedo vs Max Caster vs Ethan Page
Pre-match notes: The brass ring looks like a life preserver you'd throw to someone who's drowning. As Cody came out, they cut to Jade Cargill clapping for him, so I guess they're all cool now? Revealing Ethan Page was a bit of a let down of a reveal here.
Match starts out with everyone pairing off, fairly standard start, but nobody really jumped out as being particularly motivated until Archer started throwing ladders and boots everywhere. Jack Evans comes out for the second time tonight for no reason, 10 comes out and hits Evans and then 10 leaves while Evans rolls off the stage. This felt like a pointless distraction in a match where 6 guys and 2 managers are in and about the ring. The match begins devolving into a spot fest where each guy would hit a big move and move on to the next spot and this was the case for about 10-12 minutes of the match. Canadian Destroyers (which forced Cody to the back for a bit), Frogsplashes, pushing people off ladders and many of the the standard ladder match spots. Cody comes back out and puts some much needed energy into what was really a flat match, then Archer gives out some of the best chokeslams I've seen in years on just about everyone. Lance Archer poses for 30 seconds, then decides it's a good time to grab a ladder and climb it nice and slow. Ethan Page stops Archer, but Jake Roberts hits his clothesline on Page before Penta his Roberts with the superkick, this led to a Penta vs Cody mini-match with Penta coming out on top. Penta then poses before climbing the ladder. Idiot. Scorpio Sky comes in and takes a chair to Penta and climbs the ladder opposite Cody. Scorpio throws Cody off, Scorpio then unclips the silly looking ring.
Winner: Scorpio Sky
Rating: 3 Stars
This wasn't a very exciting ladder match. It was a slow standard multi-man ladder match in which nothing really happened that really got anyone over, the last 3-4 minutes were well done though. For me, if Lance Archer would have chokeslammed everyone and climbed the ladder for the win, he'd have come out looking a monster.
Post-match: Cut to announcers, it's at this point I realise there's still an hour and 15 minutes left of this show. They looked like they were just filling time, but doing it poorly when discussing Big Show on commentary. They did this in order to bring out a podium.
Segment: New signing reveal: The numbers and music immediately made me realise that I was 100% correct in my prediction for Christian Cage to be the new signing. Now THIS is a signing! He was in the Royal Rumble 5 weeks ago. This is actually a huge addition as long as they don't shit the bed with him.
Segment: Video package for Darby Allin / Sting vs Team Taz, It's amazing what a good editor can do as they did a good job of covering up how poorly this feud has been executed so far. Taz is now on commentary and does an amazing job of explaining that Tony Khan has told him he must be an announcer in order to control where he is as per one of the terms of his contract, thus why he is at the commentary table instead of being involved in the upcoming Street Fight.
Ricky Starks & Brian Cage vs Darby Allin & Sting
Pre-match notes: I'm guessing this is going to be a cinematic match in order to protect Sting.
Sure enough, we open with Ricky Starks getting into a car on top of a parking garage and arriving somewhere at night with Brian Cage which appears to be an abandoned warehouse which has a ring in it, we cut to Darby and Sting arriving, one by car, one by skateboard but there appears to be a bunch of hooded, Sting masked people arriving at the Warehouse. This took FOREVER. They've gone for half Sting, half Darby makeup. Taz rightly points out that it's now a potential 2 vs 20.
The match finally starts, the sting guys are just stood around the ring until Cage starts battering them. They split in the smart two parts of Cage vs Allin and Starks vs Sting. Some stuff happens which isn't particularly exciting, until Sting and Allin get a double team on Cage until Starks comes for the save. More brawling happens, Cage goes through a table, but Hobbs and Hook arrive to help so now it's four on two while Taz sells it brilliantly on commentary, then once Allin is put through a window, it is 4 vs 1 until Allin throw Sting's bat to him and then Sting kills everyone before Darby Allin drops an elbow to Cage. Starks and Sting make it to the ring. Sting takes a bump for a spear and does a sunset flip, but then hits a Scorpion Death Drop on Starks for the win.
Winners: Darby Allin & Sting
Rating: 2 stars
I understand the use of a cinematic match here, it was a good way of protecting Sting against taking bumps because he was filming brawling segments and took only 1 bump but it wasn't a very exciting match and moved very slowly.
Post-match: Taz sold his disappointment and left the announce team while Excalibur apologised and Taz scolded him.
Segment: Announcers showed us that Matt Jackson vs Fenix, the aforementioned 6 woman tag match, the War Council and Darby Allin vs Scorpio Sky is coming Dynamite. This would have been a perfect time to mention their new signing Christian being there. Because they've not mentioned his name once since his segment. PLAY THIS UP. They also give us the rules for the main event again, at this point I notice there's still 42 minutes of this show left and I am not excited about what's to come.
Segment: Video package for Omega vs Moxley. Omega's voice just isn't threatening, he basically sings his way through a promo. Onita has to be dying his hair at this point right? He must be in his mid to late 50's. When they finally showed us the history of matches and interactions between them, it felt a lot more like a big fight build, but all the stuff before wasn't great.
AEW World Championship Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch
Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega (C)
Pre-match notes: I'll say it again, Justin Roberts is a horrible announcer.
Does Jon Moxley have a running bet with someone about how far away from the ring he can start walking from? His entrance rivals The Undertaker in how long it takes him to actually get to the ring.
They've put the referee in a hazmat suit with a face shield. He looks ridiculous, no Excalibur, it is not a "fire-proof suit". I use those suits at work when I have to restrain a prisoner who's covered himself in shit. I can't wait for Dave Meltzer to give this match 12 stars.
It takes 9 and a half minutes for video-package, entrances and introductions. About 2 minutes of that was Justin Roberts screaming "JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON" and another 45 seconds screaming "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMEGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"
The crowd starts shouting "this is awesome" before anyone even does anything.
Finally the match actually starts and they do some headlock spots teasing the use of barbed wire. All the weapons are put in the ring and then Moxley takes the first barbed wire bump into the ropes. This doesn't kill him and he kicks out at two.
Moxley gets juice and is thrown into more barbed wire before being moonsaulted. This doesn't kill him and he kicks out at two. He's almost as indestructible as the Young Bucks. Omega finally takes various bumps into barbed wire. None of them kill him. They both bumped into the landmines and aren't immediately blown into pieces. So it isn't land mines then and replays show two "explosions" came from nowhere near either guy so that's a wet popcorn fart.
The announcers saying Moxley didn't kick out of the One Winged Angel by instead knowingly triggering an explosion is just stupid. It still totally counts as a kick-out.
Out come the Good Brothers with a gimmicked bat which didn't didn't kill Moxley, but now it's 3 on 1. Another One Winged Angel on to a chair for the three count. A bit of a drab ending.
Winner: Kenny Omega
Rating: 2 Stars
Shockingly, my issue wasn't with the match itself, for what it was, it was a barbed wire bullshit death match and was executed as such, the point is, they shouldn't have been doing a bullshit death match. It did not tell a good story and it had another bullshit finish.
Post-match: Don Callis joins the rest in the ring and they go back to Jon Moxley, they cuff him and nobody comes to help, no officials, no security, no management, no other babyfaces, no-one. A one minute countdown begins and eventually Eddie Kingston decides to try and help with 20 seconds left, where were you three minutes ago? Kingston covered Moxley for the "explosion" which was utterly shitty fireworks that were in the four corners and caused no harm to anyone. That explosion made me laugh with how pathetic it was.
Overall, it was a below average PPV, every match felt like it dragged and the whole pace of the show was really really slow. The ending was poor and badly executed, the "explosion" was anti-climatic, even the way they signed off the show was dull and uninspiring.
Adam Page vs Matt Hardy gets match of the night for me.