Arena: Agganis Arena
City: Boston, MA
Last Week’s Rating: 911,000 overall; 0.29 in 18-49 demo
Big day today. Yep, it’s the 25th anniversary of the Truth Commission’s resounding victory over the Disciples of Apocalypse.
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
Excalibur and Tony Schiavone ran down tonight’s show.
Swerve in our Glory & the Gunn Club vs FTR & the Acclaimed
Backstory: FTR saved the champs from a 4-on-2 attack last week, though clearly want the titles they possess
Morrisey joined the Gunns at ringside. Lee left Swerve hanging atop the ramp. FTR got their usual raucous response, along with loud, very male, ‘FTR!’ chants. And of course, Daddy Ass accompanied the champs. Caster very smartly insulted pretty much every athlete Boston despises – Brady, Irving…
Billy also had to be sent right to the back after trying to assault Strickland before the match even started.
Leaving his sons to get things started vs Dax: Austin run over via shoulder block, couple duck-unders, before being sent into the babyface corner for three extra shots to the face ahead of the tag to Cash.
Strickland in on the other side, elbow to the face before being caught in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, prefacing the tag to Caster. Who Swerve struck with his rolling headscissors before tagging the big fella. A reticent Lee entering as Caster landed a flurry of shots and a thrust kick before fighting off the rest of the heels, bringing the faces in to even the odds with four sets of 10 punches in the corner. FTR then whipped the Acclaimed into Lee, sending him outside.
After the ads, Dax was fighting his way to the corner but got cut-off by Austin. After hitting a huge belly-to-back, he finally bought the tag after Colten missed a splash in the corner, bringing in Bowens to smack the heels with punches and thrust kicks as the crowd lit up. All the faces were dragged off the apron, leaving Bowens to be hit with a Gunns’ Big Rig which Caster broke up at two.
All eight men then entered, a melee ensued, FTR and the Gunns took each other out, leaving SioG to drop Caster with a combo spinning punch/enziguri. Strickland then launched a tornado dive onto a crowd on the outside, Dax followed-up by dropping Colten onto the same crowd from the top to the outside via suplex. Leaving he and Austin inside: Dax swept the legs, sharpshooter, right in the middle, Colten with the save, crotchchop but snatched into the Arrival, Mic Drop, Big Rig, Bowens got the cover for the 1, 2, 3.
Very, very fun, action-packed opener. The winners then held up their various tag belts as they celebrated together.
WINNER: the Acclaimed & FTR
Clip from Pardon My Take: MJF revealed that doctors had told him not to travel/be on the road if he was going to be healthy for his world title match. Before listing himself alongside the Rock, Stone Cold, Hogan, Cena… Then revealing that while he hates Moxley, he respects that Mox was never meant to be world champion and worked his ass off to do it. But on the 19th, Mox will lose because MJF was meant to be a champion. Throughout his AEW career, the spotlight has been stolen from him – ‘I am not waiting for the spotlight anymore, I am grabbing it… Come Full Gear, the devil gets his due’.
Hell of a promo. A little cheeky promising the audience MJF would speak tonight. He technically did but if I was a local who’d bought a ticket today, I wouldn’t be amused.
Stokely Hathaway video package. Accused Max of ‘d***-riding’ Moxley (he used the term several times) and said he didn’t need him anymore. So-badly hope this isn’t all a swerve.
Eddie Kingston vs Ethan Page, Eliminator Tournament 1st Rnd
Backstory: Winner advances to semis to face Bandido/Rush, Page has vowed to win so he can do what MJF won’t – take the title off Moxley
A lot of fun is made of AEW re: tournaments. But this one is defensible in that it’s an annual tradition. That said, there shouldn’t be another til the Owen in May.
Big response for Kingston, not that Page didn’t have his supporters.
The former brought Ortiz along for the fight. Loud ‘Eddie’ chant got us going as the two locked up, Page using the ropes to get the break, before being grabbed in a headlock, down to the knees, a cheapshot angering Kingston who reeled off chops in the corner until Page struck with a nice leaping back-elbow from the top, pursuing Kingston outside with another.
Excalibur announced that AEW are coming to the UK – more next week.
Back inside, a double-underhook suplex bought Kingston a two. Page bit back by firing Eddie into the buckle, the action again spilling outside where Kingston was dropped via suplex as the break beckoned.
Kingston got two as we returned, the pair fighting up to their knees, exchanging ‘yay/boo’ shots to the face. Very good crowd thus far.
Up to their feet, the fight continued until Eddie brought out the chops, then dropped Page with a ddt for another two.
Selling his back after the earlier buckling, Eddie couldn’t pull off the exploder but finally fought his way into it. Following with the Stretch Plum, Page tapping furiously as Hathaway took the ref. After Eddie missed an Uriken, Page struck with a roundhouse but was caught up top, where Page just kinda moved Eddie around into position for the avalanche Ego’s Edge and the victory. Nasty-looking bump.
Finish was very good, both protecting Eddie and giving Page a convincing win. The latter is finally beginning to shed the way he’s been booked in the past year or so.
WINNER: Ethan Page
Rush and the Dark Order were backstage with Renee. Jose told Ten that Rush will win the Eliminator tournament then give him the first title shot after he wins the title. Rush then got in Ten’s face, promising that he doesn’t give second chances.
Ari Daivari was in the ring, offering the services of his butler in exchange for a TNT title shot. The butler’s probably worth more at this juncture. Apparently this is actually going to be a match.
Wardlow vs Ari Daivari, TNT Title
Backstory: As above
Joe accompanied Wardlow to the ring, where Wardlow booted the butler outside, hit a headbutt to Daivari, then that really lame looking lean-back lariat. Before the Symphony struck up.
No sooner had he finished than Wardog demanded Will Hobbs come out. Wardlow said that he finally had a proper opponent. Before snapping, promising to take every title in the company, just as Samoa Joe blasted him from behind with the belt and locked in the choke. Leaving Wardlow out cold in the middle. Hobbs shouted that he’d get Joe too as the crowd cheered and chanted Joe’s name
Are there any teams or groups that do like each other? AEW are playing with fire here because Wardlow’s cold and Joe’s widely liked and respected by fans.
Jade and the Baddies backstage with Renee, who asked about Nyla Rose. Cargill said she’s ‘sick of it’. (She’s not the only one.) Promised to ‘handle’ Nyla if she appears on Rampage.
Britt Baker & Saraya face-to-face
Saraya really needs to perform here after stuttering a little last time she had a live mic.
And she started things off, revealing that a couple of weeks ago she had a bunch of tests done and is ‘a hundred percent cleared’, beginning to cry as she said it.
Baker looked stunned: ‘Is there anything more fickle than an AEW fan?’ Britt wondered if Saraya still knew how to wrestle, before reinforcing that she’d built the women’s division in AEW, as the crowd chanted ‘DMD’. Despite calling it ‘her house’, she didn’t recall Saraya ‘laying a single brick’. Britt is everything Saraya wishes she could be: ‘you left your house… and walked into mine.’ ‘We don’t take walk-ins, so, b****, make an appointment’. More ‘DMD’ chants.
Why always ‘b****’?
Saraya said Britt doesn’t have what it takes to be a superstar, she’s been ‘fed a bunch of QT’s trainees’ and lifted into her position by Tony Khan. ‘Now I’m in front of an ungrateful bitch’. Talked about being publicly humiliated…battling a drug addiction. She’s given her neck and her career for this business. Before announcing the two would face at Full Gear.
The announcers were somehow surprised by this.
Britt tried a cheap shot; Saraya dropped her with a ddt. Then shrieked, as she had for much of the promo, that ‘this is my house’. There were a decent number of boos as she dropped Baker. Honestly, before an AEW audience, these two came across as the opposite of the roles they were intended to fill. Baker was very good here though really undercut Saraya with her pro-AEW content.
Sonjay Dutt backstage as he thanked and paid Cole Carter and QT Marshall. Orange Cassidy et al. interrupted: match made for Rampage vs Lee Johnson for the All-Atlantic Title. Trent then challenged Jay Lethal for a match tonight which just happened to be next.
They were going for quirky, but had to settle for bad.
Jay Lethal vs Trent Beretta
Backstory: See above
Lethal attacked Trent’s leg as he made his entrance. The attack continuing for a while on the outside before the referee decided it was fine to ring the bell for a contest involving an already-injured man.
Lethal was up top as we came back, Beretta getting the knees up to avoid an elbow as the crowd clapped their support. Before continuing with a German suplex, then a half-and-half. A tornado ddt out of the corner got two slaps of the mat before striking with an avalanche half-and-half, then a running knee strike before setting up Strong Zero.
About three quarters of the roster got up on the apron, the ref was fine with it (remember two months ago when Paul Turner was tasked with upping their game?), after which Lethal used the distraction to hit the Lethal Injection for the far-too-familiar distraction victory.
Trent looked great here in his brief flurry.
Dutt then hissed and shrieked atop the ramp, introducing Jeff Jarrett as he called him everything except what he is. Meaning he didn’t say ‘lower mid-card’, or ‘shyster’, or ‘boring’, or ‘broke a million guitars, never drew a dime’, or ‘ran two companies into the ground’.
Jarrett blathered for a bit as he talked up his crew, challenging Sting and Darby Allin before threatening to break guitar one-million-and-one over a stage hand.
It’d been such a good show so far.
WINNER: Jay Lethal
Renee with Jungle Boy. Christian and Luchasaurus didn’t get to say when they were done with him. On Friday, he’s going to lay out a challenge for them. Good promo.
Jon Moxley Promo
Thankfully, Jon Moxley has now twice been positioned as the world’s greatest mouthwash – he can even get the taste of Jarrett out of your mouth. Excellent crowd response as he made his way through, Regal in tow.
After asking Regal how old he was when they met, Mox recalled how he was back then. That he’d challenged Regal and had his ass kicked. But come back and beaten him. (I can’t do this justice because the pair’s facial expressions really told the story.)
‘Who does that remind ya of?’
Mox continued to recall how he’d beaten Max two summers ago. ‘What’s gonna be different this time?’ Then listed how Max was a fraud – fake diamond ring, fake millions – whereas Mox actually is a millionaire and multi-time champ. MJF calls himself a pillar, but Mox is the one with the weight on his back. ‘Dude, I have seen the devil, I have met the devil…’ (someone shouted ‘Vince McMahon!’) ‘I have seen some very bad people, you are not that’.
He wants to find out what Max has inside, ‘coz im gonna bring it outta ya. Just remember one thing – so far, you’ve had it easy’ (I’m paraphrasing the last line).
Superb mic work. He sounds so natural. Like he’s just a dude out there talking.
Jamie Hayter vs Skye Blue
Backstory: Hayter & Britt beat Blue & Madison Rayne Friday
A dejected-looking Britt trailed Hayter and Rebel. Skye brought Toni Storm along. It’s nice when babyfaces aren’t stupid.
Hayter was immediately distracted by Toni’s mere presence, though she quickly fought off Blue until being run into the ringpost on the outside. An armdrag back inside was followed by a rising knee until Baker grabbed the boot, leading to a chokeslam-backbreaker and overhead throw as the ads arrived.
Blue smacked Rebel and Britt on the outside, step-up enziguri to Hayter, cross body off the top for two. Why is Storm there? She’s done nothing despite several instances of interference. Blue hit her really-bad-looking roundhouse kick on the mat, she has to get rid of that move. Code Red for another two.
Finally fighting back, Jamie landed a bunch of heavy shots, a boot to the face, before turning a cazadora into a Ripcord Lariat to barely escape with the victory, bailing as Storm hit the ring.
Though it was set-up by her being dazed after her early posting, Hayter spent far too much of this match selling for someone who barely, if ever, wins and isn’t anywhere close to being considered for a title shot herself.
WINNER: Jamie Hayter
Video promo for Cage/Dante Martin on Rampage. It was then revealed that Lance Archer had beaten up Ricky Starks backstage.
Another Elite video clip, this time with a ticking clock linked to a bunch of gears, symbolizing the ppv. Though if they’re going to challenge Death Triangle, they need to get on with advertising it. Ended with an AEW logo minus the ‘E’. Fans online are calling these Delete the Elite, sparking the theory that the story’s going to involve Matt Hardy.
A fired-up Bryan Danielson raged against the ‘disrespect’ shown to him, Yuta, the ROH title. Tonight, he’ll take that out on Sammy by kicking his head in.
Sammy Guevara vs Bryan Danielson, Two out of three falls
Backstory: Sammy challenged Danielson Friday, ahead of the 4-way for the ROH title @ Full Gear
These two had comfortably the best match on the show a couple weeks back. No reason they can’t steal the show here.
Much like the last match, Sammy launched himself straight away; Danielson was wise to it, a stiff exchange left BD on top. Chops and kicks across a couple of corners from the vet culminated with Guevara’s patented flips and dropkick. But Danielson caught him with the knees as he attempted a tope, then hit a shotgun dropkick off the top, kipping up a la Sammy. Positioning himself for a tope of his own, Tay stepped in front.
These referees are modern-day eunuchs.
Allowing Sammy to strike with a chair. For which Guevara lost the first fall. Thereafter jamming the microphone into Danielson’s eye, in which Excalibur told us he’d once had a detached retina. Guess this was like a two-for-one sale on DQ’s because somehow this didn’t result in Sammy losing another fall.
Danielson was bleeding from the eye as we returned; Sammy hit the GTH to level the score at one a piece. Both atop the ropes, Sammy was shoved off, leapt back up but legit slipped. Danielson knocked him down with headbutts but was caught in the crossface as he came off the top.
In the hold for a long time, he lifted Sammy up but dropped back down, before finally clawing his way to the ropes. Chops in the corner woke the Dragon, who met Sammy with a busaiku knee coming off the middle rope.
Tay was finally ejected from ringside as her husband and Danielson fought to their feet, Sammy raking the eye to break Danielson’s momentum. BD fired back with a suplex,leaving Guevara upside down in the corner for yes! kicks and a running dropkick to the face. Both atop the buckle, Sammy shook him off, hit a running knee which sent Danielson outside, then launched a shooting star which missed badly. Yet they still showed a replay.
Double-jump cutter back inside; Danielson snatched Sammy out of the air, into the LeBell Lock. After getting the ropes, Sammy was left on his knees, open for stiff kicks to the chest, but ducked the final kick, hoisting BD up for another GTH. Danielson turned it into a poisonrana, snapping back up into a busaiku knee which Guevara turned into a Lion Tamer.
Getting the ropes, Danielson was hauled back up into the GTH but slipped out, this time blasting Sammy with the busaiku knee. Again Sammy responded, by hitting a backflip ddt off the top rope, before being snatched back into the LeBell Lock, the crowd begging him to tap, he nearly made the ropes but Danielson captured both arms to bag the winning fall as Guevara went night-night.
In a nice representation of the show as a whole, fantastic action was somewhat undone by crappy booking. The reversals and sequences toward the end were spectacular.
WINNER: Bryan Danielson
- Bandido vs Rush, Eliminator 1st Round (Bandido is now officially signed)
- Lance Archer vs Ricky Starks, ‘’
- Brian Cage vs Dante Martin, ‘’
- Orange Cassidy vs Lee Johnson, All-Atlantic Title
- Nyla open challenge
- Jungle Boy reveals his challenge for Christian Cage & Luchasaurus
- Presumably the Eliminator Semis? Don’t think they mentioned anything
Added to Full Gear:
- Sting and Darby Allin vs Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett, King of the Mountain Match (I kid, about the stip. anyway)
Has Tony Khan begun to believe Jericho’s spiel? That sports entertainment always beats pro-wrestling? Because lately this show has smacked of it. Interference riddled, filled with baffling turns and nonsensical stories.
Interspersed among it, there was some fantastic pro-wrestling tonight, both in-ring and, in the case of Moxley and Danielson, on the microphone.
- Swerve in our Glory & the Gunns vs FTR & the Acclaimed
- Bryan Danielson vs Sammy Guevara
- Also enjoyed Ethan Page vs Eddie Kingston, which had the crowd into it, but wasn’t on the level of the two above
Thanks for reading.