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AEW Top 25 of 2023 – #7 & #6

  1. 7 of 7 in a 7-match series

Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs Lucha Bros & Pac, Dynamite, 01/11/23 

Meltzer: 5*

This was just mental.  Certainly not for the purist.  Fifteen relentless minutes of bang, bang, bang with big moves, a hot crowd yelling ‘ooooh’ every ten seconds, 450s through tables, Fear Factors on ladder bridges, One Winged Angels off them.

Though unlike the ladder tag at Full Gear, Matt was trying to win early.  Belts on the line.  After seven gruelling matches all beginning when Death Triangle cheated to win on the Elite’s first night back from suspension.  Omega jet-lagged after he and Ospreay squared off in Tokyo earlier in the week – as a supportive Don Callis noted on comms.  How times change.

The hammer coming into play as it did throughout the series, taking out Omega, until he got his knees up on a Black Arrow before making the very popular climb.

  1. The Saga Continues

Eddie Kingston vs Claudio Castagnoli, Collision, 12/09/23 

Meltzer: Couldn’t find yet

Now down 0-2 in the Continental Classic, Eddie Kingston was desperate.  Lose and go home.  Titles gone; tournament over.  And, of course, his arch-rival had the chance to send him there.  The man he defeated for one of those very belts.  As shown when the Swiss stopped dramatically to give a long look to the ROH Title on his way to the ring.

Kingston holding the ropes to beckon him in, eager to get things started.  And quickly looking to end them – immediate Uriken, Claudio saved only by dropping outside.  Coming back via Neutralizer for a close count, both guys keen to win.

As Claudio dominated Kingston with stiff shots, dismissive kicks and holds, crowd solidly behind Eddie as he tried to fight back on wobbly legs.  The beating continued instead.

Fifteen minutes of twenty gone when Kingston missed another Uriken, took an uppercut, and barely made it back up.  Fighting from their knees now as the drama piqued, Kingston landed the Uriken, Claudio returned with an uppercut which only span Kingston round into a second back-fist.

And Claudio kicked out.  Utterly, completely bought that finish at the time.

Seventeen minutes now.  A rushing Kingston trying to haul up dead weight.  A third Uriken, powerbomb coming, Claudio countered into a rana, legs hooked, count at two when Eddie finally shifted his weight to hook the pin, save his belts and his tournament.

Just gripping.  Kingston needed to win and wrestled like it.  And it was possible he might lose.  So there was a story behind the match, the wrestling fit the story and the result was in doubt.  That’s compelling television.

An early-year singles and a promo tomorrow as we build to a conclusion.

Paul Hemming
Paul Hemminghttps://h00kedon.weebly.com/
Paul Hemming got into AEW during the pandemic, lives in Liverpool, England, and is a huge Liverpool fan, Playstation player and history lover.

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