Venue: Bell Centre; Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The ol’ pre-show promos:
- Ethan Page talked about ‘Hamilton vs Winnipeg in Montreal’ in ‘one of the biggest Canadian showdowns in history’. Because AEW must exaggerate everything. He’s under the weather but vowed to give Kenny his best anyway
- Omega told Page he looked phenomenal but made fun of him for ‘trying your best’, ‘you’re gonna ‘try your best’ and expect to beat me?’ he sneered. Very heelish, especially given Page wasn’t
- ‘Eyepatch’ Bryan Danielson said something’s gotta give cause he and Andrade are undefeated
- Andrade said Danielson was good but he was better
- Claudio said ‘amateurs’ and Eddie Kingston were his two least favorite things in wrestling then said it in French
- Kingston acted all rah rah then told them to hit the music before he swore
They went to the usual announcers to run down the show and explain the tournament rules and standings. It would behoove AEW to take this ‘assume the audience knows nothing’ approach for everything they do.
Claudio Castagnoli vs Eddie Kingston (Blue League)
Backstory: Claudio’s 1-1; Kingston 0-2, the latter needs to beat his long-time foe to stay alive
Kingston out to a rapturous response, crowd chanting his name, fired up as he marched the ramp. Claudio got a pretty good response too, Kingston held the ropes to beckon him as Castagnoli touched the ROH Title he used to hold and lost to Eddie.
Bell rang, Claudio rushed him with a boot, Kingston hit a Uriken and half-&-half, Claudio spilled outside, Kingston rushed to throw him back in, bodyslam/suplex, for two. Nice to see someone’s wrestling fit the story – Eddie needs to win.
Claudio ducked a lariat, floating around into the neutralizer for a close count. Likewise, nice to see guys trying to win immediately. Makes this seem real.
Kingston to the apron, fighting across the ropes until knocked to the floor via lariat. Ref’s count at four when Castagnoli pursued him and rolled him back in. Running stomp, dismissive kicks to the face with Eddie down. To his feet, chops coming, Claudio ducked, giant swing, only a few rotations into the sharpshooter, got a mixed reaction being applied by a heel(?) in Montreal. Crowd chanting for Kingston as he struggled in the middle.
Until powering up, crawling to the ropes and breaking the hold. Claudio continued the dismissive boots, Kingston spat at him, causing the Swiss to rush him with uppercuts in the corner, leaving Kingston slumped. Running dropkick a la Shibata. For two.
Back to his feet they fought in the middle, Claudio backing Kingston up then smashing him down via lariat. Scoop slam for barely two. Claudio raked the forehead with his boot, crowd chanting for Eddie again, a solid favorite here. He began to fight back, snapping rights on wobbly legs until another rush of uppercuts left him down in the corner once more. Choke in the ropes, Kingston almost out of it.
As Claudio threw shoulders to the gut, sat Kingston atop the buckle, Eddie fought off a superplex, Claudio came back with a running uppercut, back rake, superplex from the top floor, ‘nother two.
Ads. Wow, does not feel only part way through. Really good start, was totally absorbed in that.
Kingston ignored a running boot, blocked another, until being smashed down again via lariat. For two once more. Ricola Bomb coming, Kingston blocked it but took a gut wrench suplex. For another two slaps of the mat.
More dismissive kicks, Kingston threw a couple chops but was still struggling to stand. Claudio came back with right forearms but took a flurry and enziguri, exploder, another though this was like a uranage combo. As Kingston bagged two of his own.
Machine guns in the corner, Claudio walked through them till a straight right to the jaw knocked him back, Kingston running lariat for another two. Into a stretch plum – thanks Kevin – Claudio got his boot on the ropes, Kingston collapsed back, both down.
Nigel stressed that this was his ‘last chance’. And he was first up, thinking piledriver, Claudio kept dropping his weight to block before hauling Kingston up legs-first into a powerbomb for another close count, beautiful running basement spinning back-elbow with the same result, right into a crossface, fifteen minutes gone as Kingston finally got the ropes.
Hammer and anvil, Ricola Bomb coming, Kingston slipped out, missed a Uriken, Claudio nailed an uppercut, Kingston barely kicked out. To their knees, forearms and chops, to their feet for the same, slap fight now – crowd roaring, big Claudio uppercut, Kingston ducked into a half-and half, Uriken, Claudio hit back with an uppercut which span Kingston round into a second, match-winning, Uriken.
Wait, wait, wait, kickout! Wow.
Three-minute warning, Kingston trying to lift dead weight, third Uriken, Claudio countered a powerbomb into a hurracanrana, legs hooked, count at two when Eddie rolled through to grab the win. Even Nigel yelled ‘yes, yes, yes!’ after saying it was impossible not to feel for Kingston.
Just fantastic. Match of the tournament so far? Had the crowd biting on those near falls both ways. As I’ve said before, I’m an asshole who gets taken out of things too easily. This didn’t allow a second of that – immediately the bell rang they were trying to win, the wrestling fit the story of the tournament and match and was crisp and believable. No waiting for spots, nothing to see through here folks. Even the finish felt like Eddie being desperate not to lose. Utterly gripping.
Updated standings, Dancin’ Daniel the only guy with nil point.
Winner: Eddie Kingston
Moxley post-match Wednesday, face right in the camera.
People told him Rush’d be hard but he’s been dealing with guys who are ‘a lot of bark’ his whole life. It was tough, Swerve’ll be tough too. But this tournament is supposed to be hard. Strickland has a lot of ‘buzz’; buzz is cheap. Being at the top and staying there is different. ‘It’s very, very costly’.
Right about now is when most realize it’s a price they’re not willing to pay. ‘Next week, Swerve Strickland, Jon Moxley and the ghosts and demons that always chase me to the ring, this is gonna be something you’ve never attempted to do before, and it’s gonna be a long night, so I suggest you pack a lunch.’
Other than that last cliched line, just great as usual. Perfectly laying out the scenario as if this were real.
Renee with Hook. She asked about Yuta when Yuta rolled-up to answer. Hook’s a ‘paper champion’, she should be interviewing real champions like him. Hook angrily said he’d won by kicking Shibata in the balls.
Yuta shook it off to insist he pinned Shibata in the middle to become a record-setting Pure champ. But he can wrestle Hook’s way too and since Hook stuck his nose in Yuta’s business, they should settle things via FTW rules. Hook said ‘Aight, bet’.
Yuta was really good here. Being a heel suits him much better. Would be nice if they explained/showed what’s happened though because I’ve forgotten/not seen most of it.
Willow Nightingale vs Mercedez Martinez
It says everything about Willow’s booking that I don’t dare write her name in the ‘Winner’ section ahead of the match. Mercedez brought Diamante along.
Collar and elbow, the vet backed to the corner before a second lockup reversed things. Willow ducked a right, Martinez ducked her head through the ropes for the break then came out firing, stomping Willow down. To boos.
Willow reversed a whip, big lariat, clubbing blows in the ropes, shoulder block down, running boot, senton splash, Mercedez rolled to the floor. Willow was dumb and jawed with Diamante so was driven back-first into the apron then the barricade.
Making a babyface look dumb to allow the heel to take over is not protecting them.
Draping ddt off the barricade brought the break. Fine but struggling to follow an admittedly tough act.
Martinez three amigos (can AEW please tell heels to stop doing that?), Willow countered the third into one of her own, Martinez fired palm strikes to the chest, Willow ducked a lariat, bulldog for barely two. Good crowd again in Montreal as she hit a body splash in the corner, missile dropkick, cannonball in the corner, Martinez got the ropes to break the cover at two.
Diamante hit the apron, Willow knocked her off, ref couldn’t have been less bothered. Martinez hit a fisherman bomb, Willow just got her shoulder up before three. Backdrop driver, a second, leg-capture throw, Willow set atop the buckle, into a nasty dominator out of a crucifix position, as Mercedes was about to pin her, Willow hooked a cradle to win.
Weird finish in that Willow had just been smashed on her face from the top rope and in that she needed to steal a win over Mercedes Martinez. Earlier this year she was the most popular woman on the roster. These last two things are related.
The heels attacked post-match, Diamante grabbed a mini-ladder and a pipe. Kris Statlander ran them off from behind. Handy she knew she’d have to make a save through the crowd.
Winner: Willow Nightingale
Renee with 2.0 and Jake Hager. 2.0 are in their hometown. Hager interrupted to complain about Danhausen putting his hat down his pants, he said he even had the mounties looking. So he won’t be out there tonight.
I enjoyed the Hat shtick earlier this year but it’s long run its course. A lot like Danhausen himself. Apart from the ever enjoying him part.
2.0 played total hometown babyfaces, even speaking French, because any AEW talent magically become good guys when they return home. Ruby Soho turned up, Saraya followed with Anna Jay (the hell did that happen?), the Brit and Menard continued the world’s loudest argument and she demanded Menard take Parker away. He did.
Saraya asked why Soho was hanging with these losers. I think Soho was wearing a Parker t-shirt; Saraya accused her of trying to leave like Toni did. Told her she better beat Riho next week then told Jay to stay with Soho and left.
So yeah maybe explain the whole Anna Jay’s with the Outcasts thing?
Strickland post-match Weds.
Tearing the tape off his shoulder, he said he doesn’t feel pain when it comes to chasing goals and shutting people up. He’s the leader in the tournament but more than that he’s a leader in this company. He insisted this footage was saved to be replayed when all that was proven and he was the world champion.
That starts with Moxley next Wednesday. He’s hungry, he needs it. Moxley’s violent? So’s he. Whose house? Swerve’s house. All said in a serious style, just above a whisper.
This is why Strickland was always going to struggle to stay heel. He’s too cool, too charismatic, in a company with very few ‘cool’ main eventers. Even the champion’s a dork or a dick depending on the week/segment.
(On the subject, not a single mention of him being left for dead Wednesday.)
Nice promo. Though not on Moxley’s level. Few, if any, are.
Wardlow vs Willie Mack
Backstory: Mack challenged Wardlow cause Wardlow beat his friend AR Fox who’s not long turned back face after being a despicable heel for 2 weeks
Nice to see them switch things up and have Wardlow crush an undercard guy.
I know Willie Mack’s name. Can’t tell you a thing else about him, so not surprising the crowd saw Wardlow as the face and chanted his name.
The big fella won in a few by stoppage with his new Last Ride-style powerbomb.
And his music had barely begun when Schiavone rushed things to the FTR/HOB story. With yet another of those ‘spooky’ HOB videos shot in the dark. They’re continuing the weird story that only the House care about FTR and replayed their attack on FTR last week.
Then remembered the tag titles are a thing (Hi, WWE influence!), replaying the attack on Jericho by Starks and Bill for the first time in like three weeks. And wouldn’t you know it, Kenny Omega’s out next. Why, do you think something might happen to him?
Ethan Page vs Kenny Omega
Backstory: Decides the best Canadian wrestler, because there’s a whole lotta doubt…
Kenny’s crowd response was up there with Kingston’s for best on the show. Feels a waste throwing him out there for this when he so clearly has to limit his schedule these days. Danielson noted this week that he wanted Omega in the CC. Presumably the tag title thing played a part but how beat-up he is shouldn’t be overlooked.
To wit, this is Page’s first Collision appearance since July. Kelly put him over for the shape he’s got into – working with a personal trainer and etc.
Crowd were solidly behind Omega as this got going. With a handshake. So is Page a face now?
Omega slipped behind, Page countered out into an armbar, Omega rolled through, kipped up, into a headlock, shoulder block after a whip, Page popped up with a running back elbow. Big rights in the corner, some dude was shown watching backstage (Tony Nese apparently – well worth cutting away from the match for), back to full picture as Kenny rolled through to hit a rana out of the corner, terminator dive cut-off by Page diving in through the ropes via cutter.
Omega spilled outside, Page pursued him with rights, Omega fought back with big chops, whipped Page to the barricade, Ethan brushed it off to rush him via shoulder block, Omega hit a back elbow as Page rushed in then nailed a moonsault off the barricade. Crowd loved that.
Back inside, Kintaro crusher for two. Page blocked a slam, twice, nailing an elevated one of his own and a big right in the ropes, Omega got a boot up, suplex up and over the ropes to the outside, hanging onto it all the way in a nasty spill which also saw Page’s back smack against the apron.
Back to Page hurling himself off the apron via shoulder tackle. We’re watching ‘two of Canada’s greats go at it,’ per Schiavone. Announcer credibility is important.
Page tried another out-to-in cutter, Omega blasted him with a kick, powerbomb, roll back, v trigger, Page just kicked out. Avoided a second v trigger, Omega blocked a German, standing switch, v trigger to the back, Page blocked a snapdragon, cut Omega off upstairs, iconoclasm maintaining wrist control into a ddt. For two.
Crowd don’t care when Page is on offense. A shame.
Omega dead-weighted to block a piledriver, got Page on his shoulders, you can’t escape – as is usually the case these days the moonsault was blocked, ducked a lariat into a snapdragon, hit a second after Page initially blocked it, Page blocked a superplex to hit a bodyslam from the top.
Omega kicked out at two. Crowd didn’t buy it for a sec. Liked the move though.
Page tried Ego’s Edge, Omega slipped behind, Page slipped out of a OWA into a roll-up for two, Omega hit a v trigger, Page struck back via big boot, pair of rollups as each got near falls, pair of v triggers, One Winged Angel, turns out Kenny’s the best Canadian wrestler.
So this is everything wrong with AEW. Right here. They sent out a guy they never use and won’t use going forward to have a competitive, ‘good match’ with a guy positioned near the top of the card. Because they think a show filed with ‘good matches’ is a good show.
Instead of featuring, following-up on and giving momentum to acts such as Hobbs (beat Jericho then disappeared from tv), Takeshita (beat Omega then disappeared from tv), and Cassidy (gave Moxley like his third loss ever then disappeared from tv). And is why they don’t make stars who sell tickets. And why they needed here to book a match between two Canadians in a bid to do so. That’s called a vicious cycle.
Good matches should be a given, a part of the show, not the whole f’n show, to steal a line.
Omega raised Page’s arm then left, Page looked emotional in the ring. Big Bill nailed Omega with a big boot on the ramp (Schiavone called it a pump kick, he’s again mixing up a lot of moves), Page staggered up the ramp to chase him off.
Winner: Kenny Omega
Lexy with CJ Perry who is no longer either ‘hot’ or ‘flexible’ apparently. Poor Miro.
Perry said Andrade was ‘born to do this’, he’s a multi-time champion at every level, in every company, ‘he flies higher than any cruiserweight, hits harder than any heavyweight’ (nice line) and has everything needed to beat Bryan tonight.
Things were going well when Miro interrupted to ask when was the last time she’d said that many nice things about him. They finally defined who we were supposed to route for: ‘Why are you so mad cause I asked you to stay home? I’m the bread-earner, you’re my queen’.
She called him delusional, said he’d ‘denounced’ her (he did?), he said ‘a queen’s gotta get her hands dirty every now and again’, that when his dad goes fishing, his mom cleans the fish. ‘When I hunt… you clean’ (the way this big physical dude was looming over her when he said this was uncomfortable). He reiterated that he wouldn’t touch Andrade while the tournament’s happening but ‘once it’s finished, so is he’.
Do they give these guys any direction whatsoever before filming these? I was intrigued way back when this all started but it’s been so badly defined and structured.
Second ‘spooky’ HOB promo of the night. From Julia Hart. This time interspersed with Abadon being ‘spooky’ herself. Hart can usually see behind people’s ‘masks’ but can’t figure out Abadon. They played Abadon saying ‘the Hart stops beating’ and decided a pun was a good way to end things.
Julia shows impressive poise in these.
Penta & Komander vs 2.0
Related to the Page/Omega thing, AEW could even decide to make something out of Penta and target a different demo. He got a hell of a pop as Kelly noted his watch keeps giving him decibel warnings here in Montreal.
Yaaaay, here come the heels. They’re despicable but they’re from here! Yaaaay. ‘Deservedly so,’ said Schiavone in relation to 2.0’s pop. We were shown their family watching including a tiny child, in case anyone might still have wanted to boo.
Crowd chanted ‘ole, ole, ole, ole…’ as Penta and Menard got going. Menard yelled that it was his town and the crowd chanted his name. Loudly. Penta got some boos but still a good amount of cheers.
Then nailed Parker with a spin kick to the chest, one to the face, avoided a charge in the corner, Menard ducked a lariat, series of trips looking for pins, Penta kipped up, stand off, they shook hands then Menard shoved Penta from behind. But they’re from here so don’t boo!
Forcing the tag to Komander who missile dropkicked Menard into the opposite corner, tag to Parker who hit a leg lariat, missed a charge, Komander ran through an acrobatic routine into a pair of slick armdrags and a dropkick. Tag to Penta, both guys in, Komander dropkick to Parker off Penta’s back, Penta monkey-flipped Komander onto both of 2.0 in the corner, crowd loved that.
‘Zero Miedo!’, zero boos too. 2.0 blocked stereo dives, ads.
Komander ducked and dodged into the hot tag to Penta – slingblades for all, thrust kicks too, ‘Zero Miedo’ with Komander in, they missed baseball slides but nailed stereo thrust kicks outside. Parker and Penta went at it inside as the crowd gave a generous TiA chant, it’s definitely fun though.
Penta hit Made in Penta, Menard saved the pin at two, rolled through a sunset flip into a ‘Montreal’ crab. Komander tagged in and took a double team lungblower for two. Penta back in, Menard sent outside, Penta readied Fear Factor, Komander rope-walked into his part, 1, 2, 3.
Was a little worried they’d have the hometown boys go over here. Such is their usual booking of Penta.
Good tag. Penta and Komander are a nice team. Could we maybe have a tag scene again please?
Winner: Penta & Komander
Keith Lee/Shane Taylor package. Does anyone outside Tony Khan GAS about ROH? Anybody?
Clip package for the CC. Clearly all the guys are cutting post-match promos a la New Japan but they’re only showing one or two.
Bryan Danielson vs Andrade El Idolo (Blue League)
Backstory: Match 3 for Danielson (2-0), 2 for Andrade (1-0)
Captain Danielson continued the string of nice pops. Perry came with Andrade but left per the rules. Kelly referenced their previous ‘dream match years in the making’ from a couple months back. It’s almost as if ‘dream matches’ occurring this frequently means they aren’t really dream matches.
Should be good though.
A shake started things, cagey lockup, Andrade working the left arm, Danielson rolled through and ducked under to turn the tables, Andrade swept the legs and tried a figure four, Danielson kicked him off.
Another cagey lockup, Andrade flipped Danielson over, tripped him down, still with their hands clasped, Andrade tried a pin, Danielson got his knees up and monkey flipped free, smiling across the ring.
Start again. Andrade to a headlock, whipped off, shoulder block as he rebounded, right back to the headlock, whipped off again, shoulder block again, back to the headlock again, seemingly targeting Danielson’s eye. Kelly talked about Andrade’s experience in tournaments as he once again ran through BD with a pair of shoulder blocks (the second of which was a little too stiff and near Danielson’s eye for comfort), bagging a quick two.
Danielson came back via belly to back, both slow to their feet, Danielson targeting the left arm, kick to the spine, one to the chest, several more until Andrade countered into a pair of dragon screws then landed a diving forearm. Danielson ending up in the corner, crowd clapping ahead of the double knees, Danielson slipped free, Andrade ended up outside, Danielson dove through the ropes, just about nailing Andrade after brushing them.
Peripheral vision’s a mutha.
Ads. Nice start.
Back to stiff knife edges from Andrade who’d ripped off the eyepatch during the break and nailed a stiff punt to the face. Until being elevated outside. Danielson’s ‘bleeding from that surgical scar,’ per Schiavone. That’s taking realism a little too far. As Andrade nailed a forearm through the ropes to cut off a Danielson tope, smiling and wiping blood from his forearm.
Figure four slap-bang in the middle, Danielson indeed bleeding above his left eye (and from his nose?) as he reached for the rope break, crawling to the corner for respite but placed atop the buckle. As the guy who’ll presumably be the babyface against a seemingly heel Miro continued to target his injured eye (that cut/scar is gross btw). First with headbutts then by gouging it.
The Dragon blocked a superplex before firing a headbutt of his own, chop battle above the buckle, series of slaps sent Andrade plummeting, missile shotgun, yes! kicks with Andrade on his knees, he ducked the last into a roll-up, Danielson countered right into the LeBell, Andrade countered right back into the F4, each ducked lariats until they smashed together, went down together and were counted down together.
Aubrey at five as the crowd chanted ‘fight forever’ and they battled to their feet, snapping jabs back and forth, Danielson coming out on top until being hauled up and backed to the buckle, atop it once more. Fifteen minutes up as Andrade hit a superplex, hanging on, rolling his hips, smacking his chest, three amigos, Danielson out at two.
Moonsault coming, Danielson crotched him, avalanche belly to back, two only. Right into the LeBell, a little near the ropes, Danielson captured the near-arm, Andrade got the ropes with his leg, landed on his feet out of a belly to back, kind-of avoided a busaiku, nailed a spinning back elbow for another near fall.
Danielson popped up to block another double-knees attempt, back to the fist fight, Danielson hit a corner leg lariat, Andrade hit back with another spinning elbow, double knees in the corner to the back of the head before more forearms right to the face, two minutes left as Andrade hit the hammerlock ddt to win.
Little surprised at that outcome since it was discussed this week that Andrade’s contract is up sometime in the next half-year or so and he’s never been happy in AEW.
Nigel and Kevin were both saying this should have been stopped. Many fans might agree. Post-match, Andrade tried to check on Danielson along with the trainers, Yuta and Claudio came down and Claudio shoved him away so presumably they’re wrestling next. Though no matches were advertised.
Very good clash, all that stuff with the injured eye took me out of it a bit. Squeamish AF.
Next Dynamite (Winter is Coming):
- Jon Moxley vs Swerve Strickland
- Rush vs Jay Lethal
- Jay White vs Mark Briscoe (I’m sure they forgot this on tonight’s graphic)
- Samoa Joe promo
- Von Erichs’ (it was Kevin and two younger dudes in the pic) return to Dallas (aka We Can’t Sell Tickets)
- Hangman Page vs Roderick Strong
- Claudio vs Kingston
- Omega/Page was a good match, despite my reservations with using tv time for it
- Tag was fun
- Danielson vs Andrade
- And a good Mox promo
Countered by bad booking:
- If the world champion is taken out and it doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t matter, so don’t expect fans to care
- The weird HOB/FTR story
- The weird Miro/Perry story
- Add Ethan Page to the list of young guys who are good all-rounders they should be doing more with
Appreciate you reading. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.