Venue: Bojangles Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
Sting & Darby Allin vs the Workhorsemen
The Workhorsemen were in the ring as the show started. Ric Flair’s music hit to a huge pop. Sting got a healthy pop himself. Anthony Henry attacked Darby before the bell, Drake smacked Sting’s back with a chair. The vet no-sold it, Flair gave Drake a chop and the four workers brawled around ringside.
Sting took a cheap shot to the leg and was limping. The heels doubled up on Darby and threw him inside. Kevin Kelly wondered whether the ref would allow the match to start.
Can tell he hasn’t been here long.
The heels beat up Darby for a few minutes, Sting finally made it back to the apron but Drake knocked him off. But missed a moonsault: Sting tagged himself in, Splash to Drake, lariat to Henry which was supposed to knock him outside, the vet settled for flinging him through the ropes. Darby gave him a coffin splash, Sting hit a Deathdrop to Drake.
Guessing they needed to sell tix since it seems very cheap just throwing Sting’s last ever matches onto tv like this. Those who attended enjoyed it anyway.
The faces took some time with fans at ringside.
Winner: Sting & Darby Allin
Package pushing the Family/Sting & Darby tag at Dynamite ‘Homecoming’.
Eddie Kingston vs Trent (Continental Crown)
Backstory: Trent won a four-way
If I’m a wrestler I’m thinking screw the tournament, next year I’m just gonna volunteer for the random four-way three-days later to get a shot at the belt. They at least tried to hype this by showing clips of the mass brawl at All In.
Kingston got his usual nice reaction. Crowd solidly with him as the two locked up. Break in the corner, Kingston stepped away, back to it, Trent hit the ropes, took a chop, to a fight now as they hurled chops and strikes, Kingston snapmare and kick to the spine.
Trent avoided a corner attack, tornado ddt for one. And worked Kingston over for a while, crowd quiet. A suplex got another one count. Trent chops in the corner, Kingston reversed a whip and wailed away on Trent in the opposite one. Eddie caught Trent in the face with a chop and Trent bailed outside, nose clearly broken as he returned – blood everywhere.
Trent missed a vault outside and took a saito suplex at ringside. A rare cut to break with the good guy on top. Though that was a guarantee here huh?
A fired-up Trent sent Kingston through the ropes via dropkick, tope to follow, both down at ringside. Trent’s mom is in the front row.
Both back in, Trent tried a sunset bomb from the top, Kingston blocked it briefly but still took a powerbomb for a near fall. Kingston hit back via exploder, enziguri; Trent back elbow, German, maintaining grip, a second and a third, the last with a release, thinking running knee and hitting, Gotch-style piledriver, Kingston shockingly kicked out.
They threw rights from their knees, to their feet now, things slowing right down as they exchanged forearms. Trent hit a half-and-half, lariat coming, Kingston ducked, Uriken, northern lights bomb, Trent kicked out. Jeez, enough with ‘protecting’ wrestlers we know are losing by having them kick out of finishers.
A stalling northern lights bomb won it. Probably good, I can’t get into matches with no stakes.
This show doesn’t have much on it and this belt needed establishing as something worth having. So why not have Eddie defend against someone with a push and make it a proper main event to really establish him as a top guy on Saturdays? God knows the show needs some.
Winner: Eddie Kingston
They rushed away to Tony talking with Willow and Statlander earlier today. He asked them about Stokely Hathaway. Without telling us what happened. Willow said ‘that was weird’. Again without saying what happened.
They then cut a generic babyface promo about doing well in 2024. Statlander having a lizard or something on her shoulder the only noteworthy aspect.
Hook cut a promo outside somewhere. Half of it couldn’t be heard over police sirens and stuff. He’s ‘coming for’ Samoa Joe. The hell?
Komander & Bryan Keith vs the Kingdom (Proving Ground Match)
Backstory: If the challengers win they get a title shot
The Kingdom came out to the UK’s music with Roderick Strong. Boy the total lack of starpower in this group really stands out when Cole’s not there. Kelly hammered the heel champs for winning the titles the way they did – 2 on 1 over MJF etc. Nice to see an announcer decry heels.
We quickly went to break. They showed the rest of the card during p-in-p – suffice to say it does not get better.
The champs were working over Keith to silence as we returned. Taven hit a combo springboard-elbow drop/backbreaker for a near fall. Then hit a heel kick. There’s some sort of time-factor here which I’ve missed/they haven’t explained. Since they keep referring to how long the match has gone.
Komander in, things speeding up, tornado ddt to Taven, boot for Bennett sending him outside, Taven got a boot up in the corner but Keith hit him with a running headbutt – ‘not legal but who cares!’ covered Kelly – Komander hit a superplex using Keith’s shoulders, Taven rolled outside.
Keith tagged in to elevate Komander over onto both heels at ringside. The latter’s woken the crowd here. Keith was setting up a move on Taven, Bennett ran in and blocked it, piledriver to take Komander out, they then hit ‘the double-team’ to quote Schiavone, to win.
It was something like a leaping reverse ddt out of a Hart Attack position.
Winner: the Kingdom
Renee with BCG. Amazingly, the Acclaimed & Gunn were nearby and interrupted. White said this was none of their business since the UK had attacked him first. They all bickered. Bowens said they’d put him through glass too and calmed things by saying AEW taught him that the only way to the top is through factions and put White and Billy over as guys who know the value of factions.
‘All I’m saying is, I know it’s crazy… think about it’.
Austin remained to say to Renee it ‘makes sense’.
I didn’t miss anything there, it was that oblique. Clearly they’re considering linking up. More likely it’ll lead to a trios feud.
Adam Copeland out. I just checked the time and we are only 50 minutes in. Feels like at least an hour and a half.
He objected to Cage saying he has to go to the back of the line. Because since Copeland was briefly the champ he has a rematch clause. He said Cage always criticizes him for getting pushes and etc but ‘when it comes down to it I just work harder’ – nice line flipping Cage’s tagline.
He said Cage should be kissing ‘Luchasaurus – sorry Killswitch’s ass’. And that he’s happy to earn his way back to a shot anyway. So he’s starting some sort of open challenge.
Very generic music played – Griff Garrison, Maria Kanellis and Cole Karter came out. I’d just assumed Maria was gone since she’s not with her husband. Griff took the mic and said people are probably asking ‘who the F is Griff Garrison?’, then said he’s a guy who steps up and etc.
Copeland said he sees some of himself in Garrison but that the youngster’s trying to step ‘from below sea level to Mt. Everest’. Griff slapped him, Copeland said that made him like him more but now he’s going to have to kick his ass
Adam Copeland vs Griff Garrison
Backstory: To quote Copeland – ‘we’ll call it the Cope Open or sumthin’
Copeland walloped the youngster for a few minutes, Maria and Carter between them tripped him, Garrison hit a weak boot and forearms from the mount. Then choked the vet in the ropes.
The attack went on several minutes. The most interesting thing was Nigel seemingly making a joke about Maria having ‘a great pair’ out here. Risky move.
Copeland got two with a diving cross body. Garrison countered a spear with a discus shot, went upstairs, Copeland cut him off, shots in the corner – crowd counting along the only noise in several minutes – Copeland won with a crossface.
Cole Karter then attacked from behind but missed a 450 and took a Spear.
Hell of a way to show Copeland on a journey back to the title. Overcoming such drastic odds against massive names. Just throwing him and Sting out there against nobodies is not a way to make them seem like big deals.
Winner: Adam Copeland
Backstage to Sting, Darby and Flair. Flair cut a promo hyping the match Wednesday as the place where Sting returned, where Sting and Darby linked up, they’re ‘unbeatable’, 26-0. Sting literally called what he was about to say ‘a retro promo’ and did indeed sound just like it was the mid-90s.
He insisted he’s not going to be coasting during his last few weeks and the only thing for sure is that at Daily’s Place it’s gonna be showtime. He again said ‘How bout that for retro?’ as they left.
I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about Flair but dude’s a good hype man. Only Moxley is this good at making others feel special.
Skye Blue vs Kiera Hogan
Kelly said he’d love to know what’s led to Skye Blue changing over the last few months. Not wrong. To paraphrase Penta, ‘ZERO… explanation’.
Not much happened, Blue choked Kiera in the corner with her boot, Hogan sped up, ducked a couple shots and smacked Blue twice then tripped her into the ropes. Hip attack to follow, thrust kick to the face, Blue kicked out.
The way these two are ‘avoiding’ kicks just makes it so hard to buy this, it’s so obvious they’re not even trying to hit one another. Looks so rehearsed.
Hogan caught Blue coming off the top via thrust kick, shotgun dropkick, lariat in the corner, hip attack in the corner, basement dropkick, neckbreaker for two. Impressive flurry.
Chops in the corner, Blue slipped under ten punches, hit a thrust kick, missed a lariat, hit another thrust kick, Hogan hit back but was snatched into a TKO and a dragon sleeper. Kelly had to correct Schiavone who called the TKO a ‘fallaway slam’.
Hogan was SO MUCH better than Blue here.
Winner: Skye Blue
Serena Deeb package. Starting in a straightjacket. She said she’s been away studying the division, she cannot be caged, she knows every escape, there are no shackles to keep her.
All of this was mixed with her countering holds in the ring and walloping her training partners.
Very nice package. And a welcome alternative to women who are pushed entirely for their looks. Deeb had a better match a couple years back against Riho with her knee about to be operated on than almost any AEW female match in the last year.
Claudio Castagnoli vs Andrew Everett
Claudio challenged Hangman Page during an inset promo.
Everett ran at the Swiss who bodyslammed him with ridiculous ease. Then hit a running uppercut outside, racing back in to apply the Swing, ten rotations and then just dumping the dude down.
Nigel said he’d let go since he knew the Carolina fans couldn’t count past ten. Brilliant.
Everett hit a springboard heel kick, kick from the apron, to the top, they were trying to setup Claudio hitting an uppercut mid-shooting star but it went totally wrong. Looked really bad. Claudio just let Everett miss instead then nailed him to win. Nigel made a shoot reference to Claudio being a ‘pro’ since he didn’t get flustered.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli
Lexy with the tag champs. Apparently we heard from Jericho and Sammy on Rampage. (We did? Maybe show us what they said then?)
Sammy had challenged Starks for Wednesday. Ricky used a lot of words to say he’d win. I think. Bill challenged Guevara & Jericho for Battle of the Belts in a street fight.
Boos could be heard when Jericho’s name was mentioned. Be interesting to see if he appears Wednesday. Guessing they put him on Rampage so they could edit it.
FTR vs House of Black
Backstory: The House of Black have – kindof? – been trying to recruit FTR, and I missed this ‘cause I’ve tuned out the HOB’s gobbledygook but apparently if FTR lose here they have to leave their real families to join this one!?? WCW-esque
This is easily the worst story in AEW. Which is an accomplishment. Yet they’ve spent quite a lot of time on it and didn’t recap any of it during the show tonight: didn’t explain it, didn’t show the picture being burned, didn’t show the HOB trying to recruit FTR, didn’t hype the main event at all other than a couple inset graphics.
You have to tell fans matches are a big deal. You can’t just assume they think so because you do.
Matthews pointed at Dax’s daughter, Dax rushed him, physical grappling in the corner, Dax shoved Matthews who hit back with a chop. Dax shook it off, back to the lockup, he tried for a tag with arm control, Matthews slipped free and headed back to his corner.
He and Cash locked up, Matthews working the arm, Cash kipped up and was immediately smashed back down by the hair. Headlock and whip, the two crashed together, back to the mat, headlock takeovers, legscissors and drop toe holds, Dax in, double Russian legsweep, Buddy fled to his corner once more.
Malakai in, Dax too. They kept blocking and countering in a really nice sequence, ending with Malakai dropping to his pose after ducking a couple wild swings. Dax joined him, flipping him off, Malakai ran outside trying to get at Harwood’s family, FTR chased them away.
Back to Dax getting one on Buddy after an elbow drop. Chop battle, uppercut in the corner, tag to Black, low dropkick for one. Dax hit a right, Cash in, clubbing blows to the back, chops in the corner, he fought off both HOB on the apron but took a low dropkick to trip him off then was dumped onto it by Buddy before Malakai took flight outside via moonsault.
Kicks to the chest against the apron, Cash flung back in, stomped down, knee drop, cover, barely two. Matthews back in, quick tags in and out from the heels, Cash avoided Malakai, sending both heels spilling outside, dodged a returning Matthews trying to cut off the tag, nearly there, Malakai grabbed his foot, he fought free, nearly there again, Matthews dropkicked Dax off the apron.
That was great work building and cutting off the tag.
Dax fighting off both heels, Cash nowhere to be seen, Manhattan drop to Malakai, elevating Buddy via body drop, brainbuster to Black for a near fall. O’Connor roll to Black who kicked out sending Dax into a Buddy strike for another near fall. Still two on one, Dax ducked a clothesline, Cash dragged Buddy outside, Black upstairs, cut off, powerplex coming, Dax milking the crowd, Buddy leapt from the top via knee strike to Cash, sending both crashing into the cover to break it.
Crowd into this now like nothing all night. Understandably. It’s the only worthwhile thing on the show.
Cash was caught out of a tope into a double knee strike from the heels and flung over the announce desk. Malakai grabbed a chair, the ref just allowed him to bring it but tried to nicely talk him out of it. Black talked trash to Dax’s daughter, Buddy hit kicks to Dax, Cash snuck in behind into a Shatter Machine, Malakai saved it at the last.
Cash and Black on the apron, chops and kicks, Dax snuck behind, spike piledriver on the apron, all three down. ‘Holy S’ chant. Brody King hit the ramp, Dancin’ Daniel attacked from behind with a chair, taking out the big man, trying to cheerlead FTR.
Dax returned inside to a Curb Stomp but was near enough to the ropes to break the pin. Matthews hit a powerbomb with a jackknife, Dax countered to win. Came a little out of nowhere.
The babyfaces were celebrating when King struck from behind and the HOB beat them down. Cash took a Curb Stomp on the chair, Malakai hit The End to Dax with a chair in front of his face. Julia Hart was suddenly ringing the bell all slow. Nigel explained it was a ten-bell salute signifying the death of FTR. The fans were so outraged they chanted ‘House of Black’.
- Sting & Darby vs Takeshita & Hobbs (Tornado Match)
- Claudio Castagnoli vs Hangman Page
- Malakai’s theme and the main event
- A total waste of time – nothing interesting whatsoever on this show ahead of time and it played out that way
- Every match was totally predictable
- No ‘hooks’ going forward on Saturdays – at least on Wednesdays the title situation’s interesting
Appreciate you reading. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.