Arena: Wintrust Arena
City: Chicago, IL
Last Week’s Rating: 818,000 overall; 0.28 in 18-49 demo
That’s the show’s lowest rating since March 2021. Bad few days of viewership.
A few thoughts on Full Gear:
- Very long show without enough quality matches to sustain it
- The crowd was dead for most of it
- Putting the trios match on early was a big mistake (though the 4-way was the best match on the show)
- Toni Storm was made to look really bad – yes Jamie cheated but she’d spent the match kicking the crap out of Toni anyway
- It’s important to clearly define babyfaces & heels – both the main event & Britt/Saraya suffered on this account
- Probably should’ve put Saraya in there with someone like Serena for her first match back – while Britt runs scared as you build to the eventual face off
- The sooner ROH gets a tv deal the better –wanting to win here so the champ can carry the title into Final Battle is like the Warriors wanting to beat the Celtics so they can compete in the G-League
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
Excalibur showed us the ‘shocking’ conclusion to Saturday’s ppv, before we cut to Regal mid-ring – ‘Would you like to hear from your new champion?’ HUUUGE cheer (uh-oh).
‘Well you will, but it’ll be next week’. Regal pretended not to know where they were and that MJF had better things to do – on the set of the Von Erich movie.
Next week, Max will explain ‘everything’. (Wonder if he can explain not using the diamond ring and delaying his victory just to use the brass knucks?)
Cue ‘Wild Thing’ as the announcers emphasized Moxley had the match won on Saturday. The ex-champ did not look pleased. His eyes never left Regal as a ‘you f***** up’ chant started. Before he could get to his mentor, Bryan Danielson slid in front.
‘We’ve all done bad things!’ He begged Moxley not to hurt the man from Blackpool. After slapping Mox, Danielson profusely apologized but insisted that Regal was the only man who’d really been there for him when his dad had the same struggles Moxley did, helping him understand his father.
Then tried to use the same analogy with Mox’s daughter – what if someone helped her love you? Because, ‘I love this man’.
Visibly shaking with rage as the crowd chanted his name, Moxley went face-to-face with Regal – ‘I only want one thing from you, I want you to run. Run far away, as far away as you can and you never, ever come back.’ This is some medieval ish.
The Englishman slowly traipsed up the ramp as Moxley looked pained in the ring.
Mox was fantastic here, doing everything his character should in the situation. The rest of the story… let’s just say it needs tying together. And most importantly, it does not seem like Max is going to be booed. And that’s a problem.
Backstage with Keith Lee, Renee wanted to know where he and Swerve stood. Funnily enough, Strickland was right there. Squaring up, Strickland put his hand over the camera and said ‘Let’s talk.’
Orange Cassidy vs Jake Hager, All-Atlantic Title
Backstory: Hager wondered what was in Cassidy’s bag, Cassidy showed him the belt and made this challenge
Hager came out in his MMA gear… and that purple bucket hat. He’s done a better job making that seem important than half the belts in the company. Rocky and the Best Friends came out with Cassidy to balance out 2.0 and Daniel Garcia.
(There were some CM Punk chants when the show very first opened, absolutely nothing since.)
Cassidy handed his glasses to the ref, Hager put them on under his bucket, smiling and preening. Orange kept trying to take the hat, Hager kept blocking him. Don’t kill his vibe man.
The kicks were next, duck under, dropkick until Hager smashed right through him, hat intact. But after pursuing him to the corner, Cassidy introduced him to the buckle and the hat went bye-bye, as did Hager’s smile. And then Hager himself after being bridged outside.
Leaving Cassidy alone inside. With the hat. The JAS scrubs kept preventing him putting it on by interfering, culminating in a dive through the ropes which saw Orange caught and dropped across the apron, Jake kneeling like royalty as his crown was placed back where it belonged.
Probably shouldn’t be involved in a title match. But this was a lot of fun.
Back in time to see Cassidy skin the cat, he was caught by his friends but Hager smashed through all of them. Orange responded by taking all of Hager’s goons out via springboard flip.
Caught coming back in, a stundog millionaire and swinging ddt got two slaps. Jake set up the Hager Bomb, Orange got his feet up but was snatched into the ankle lock. Cassidy freed himself by stealing the hat and throwing it away, then bagged the win via roll-up.
Total comedy but fun. Not much action. If you’re not into the hat, you hated this.
About to hug it out, QT Marshall interrupted, along with the Factory.
Almost as if a higher power knew how bad this’d be, Marshall’s mic stopped working, just as the lights turned off. Coming back to reveal Julia Hart, then the House of Black, already on the apron. They beat the crap out of everyone to wild cheers and a ‘welcome back’ chant. Then destroyed a bunch of security and enhancement talent, culminating in Dante’s Inferno on the ramp.
‘Members of the House of Black, please… rise’.
The company seems in such better shape with these guys back. Though again, there is zero chance of their being booed.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy
Ethan Page vs Ricky Starks, Eliminator Tournament Final
Backstory: Winner faces MJF at Winter is Coming
It’s seemed all along that Page was penciled in to win. But with them struggling to keep MJF booed, they surely can’t book him against another heel?
Bandaged from the shoulder across the torso, Starks’ injuries were immediately targeted.
The announcers continued the high prestige of this tournament by promo-ing, bickering and giggling over the first couple minutes, pausing just long enough to remind us this was for a shot at the world championship.
Crowd very quiet as this started slowly, Page hammering at the mid-section until Starks launched a Spear, buying time on the outside. But pursued by Page, the attack continued around the ring.
Thinking tornado ddt, Starks was dropped waist-first across the top rope but an elbow strike sent Page outside. Starks set-up a dive through the ropes, Hathaway hauled Page out of harm’s way, Ricky crashing to the mat as Stokely was sent to the back for his actions.
Heading to the top, Page was met there by Starks, the two exchanging shots until Starks landed a superplex, the embers of a ‘Ricky’ chant dying quickly. Ducking and striking, Starks backed Page to the corner – irish whip, reversal – Starks landed a swinging neckbreaker, then hit a tornado ddt off the ropes, both down in the middle.
Crowd still very quiet as Ricky set up the Roshambeaux but was dropped via a big shot to the mush, then hauled up like a feather onto Page’s shoulders to be dropped via powerslam. Count of two.
Signalling Ego’s Edge, Starks slipped out, ducked under, hit another Spear, then another for the victory.
A nothing contest which barely felt like a mid-level Dynamite match, let alone for a shot at MJF’s title.
WINNER: Ricky Starks
Wardlow promo – he complained about Joe using the perfectly legal rules of the match to hit him with a belt shot, then complained that Samoa Joe isn’t the TNT champion, he is. And this is Wardlow’s World. Again, who is the heel here?
Footage aired of Jade Cargill confronting Bow Wow at the weekend. Cut to her and the Baddies with Renee. They’re going to have a Baddies Night next week. Mark Sterling then said Jade had ‘No comment’ re: what occurred with Bow Wow before essentially firing Kiera Hogan.
Is Bow Wow even remotely noteworthy anymore? Can’t remember a song of his since he removed the ‘Lil’, and that was twenty years ago. My conspiracy brain made the Bow Wow to Snoop, Snoop to Sasha leap despite everything suggesting she’s headed back to WWE.
But can’t see a single other purpose to this.
Death Triangle vs the Elite, Match 2, Best of 7 for the Trios Titles
Backstory: DT lead 1-0 after Fenix reluctantly nailed Omega with the hammer while clutched in the One-Winged Angel: how reluctant he & his bro will remain is the story here
This series should be a blast. You might’ve already heard or noticed – there’s a convenient gap in the schedule on the 4th Jan – just so happens to be the same night as Wrestle Kingdom where it’s now been announced Omega will face Ospreay.
Pretty loud boos and a decent number of ‘CM Punk’ chants at first as the Elite posed on the entrance. Wayward Son sucks as entrance music. Though it is superior to the BTE theme: a low bar.
Continuing a show-long theme, if the Elite are babyfaces, Cutler & particularly Callis have to go. When the latter was railing against Fenix’ cheating Sunday, it just sounded like a bitter heel complaining.
Alex Abrahantes was back tonight as they showed footage of Penta meeting one of the 49ers and handing him a custom mask. On the same lines, Pac was wearing one now, having broken his nose on Saturday.
Very logically, Kenny and Rey started things off, shouting and arguing as mixed pro-and-anti CM Punk chants could be heard. After seeming to settle on a shake, Omega blasted Fenix with a pump kick as all six flew in to brawl, leaving Rey to be beaten in the ring by the Elite as the Bucks kept Pac and Penta outside.
An Omega sky-high brought an early two as the other four continued to fight around ringside. Deciding to join them, Omega set-up a terminator dive, pausing to do the ‘Go to Sleep’ sign before he launched, allowing Fenix to hit his rolling cutter before flying via tornillo onto the other five as the crowd went wild.
Dragging Kenny inside, DT launched their triple shotgun dropkick then the risky business combo for two. A rapid sequence between Pac and Omega saw the former blasted with an elbow to the nose, which the Bucks then targeted on the outside before Matt launched via moonsault off the top to the outside onto the Bros.
A Kintaro Crusher continued the attack on Pac’s broken nose as ‘f*** CM Punk’ started up again.
Very clearly, they booked this for the Elite to be heels, and the crowd is, surprisingly, at best 50/50.
(Don’t normally comment on the picture-in-picture – Matt Jackson set-up a Buckshot Lariat and deliberately fell on his ass. Wow.)
Returning to Matt preventing the tag, Omega bit Pac’s hand but was blasted with a rebound-German-suplex, finally allowing the tag to Penta – cross body off the top, swinging dtt, tilt a whirl, another, another, crowd going nuts for Penta. Rey in with the Bucks, armdrag/hurracanrana combo while perched atop the ropes, down into a Matt superkick but popped back up to hit one of his own. Everybody down.
Pac and Omega back in: Matt with a knee to Pac’s back from the apron, V-Trigger, Nick tagged in, the Bros knocked off the apron as the Elite removed Pac’s mask, the Brit fighting from his knees but overwhelmed and hit with a triple superkick – broken up at two by the Bros who were immediately flung back out to be hit by a Nick escaleira.
Another V-Trigger on Pac, One-Winged Angel set-up, Pac slipped out, hauled back up, GO TO SLEEP! Even worse, Pac kicked out. Yeesh.
Tag to Matt, Meltzer Driver interrupted by Fenix walking the ropes. He then walloped Kenny and Nick with a tope con hiro. In-ring, Matt hit a mule kick to Pac, then got a hammer off Brandon but Penta blasted him with one of his own as Death Triangle went up two-zip.
Post-match, Fenix wasn’t happy at how they’d won.
This was excellent, liked it much better than Saturday’s match, had more of a story. And of course, all the Punk stuff was fast-food-fun.
WINNER: Death Triangle
Renee on-stage to announce that Thunder Rosa’s been asked to relinquish the women’s title. No more interim!!!!!! Then introduced Jamie Hayter, who brought the girls with her. Britt snatched the mic before Hayter could speak, though did it to mostly put her over. Little – if no – sign of dissention.
Excalibur was calling the pair ‘The Killer and the Pillar’. Don’t know if that’s official.
Tay Melo & Anna Jay vs Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter vs Willow Nightingale & Skye Blue
Backstory: The JAS girls beat-up Blue on Dark until Willow made the save
Hayter and Melo – still want to write Conti – began with a headlock into a takeover, back up to their feet with Jamie maintaining her grip, then runnning-through Tay as Anna came in. Hayter suplexed both, then hit her suplex/powerslam combo for a count of two on Tay.
Tag to Britt, cradle for two, couple duck-unders, slingblade, another two.
Fighting back, Tay hit a shot to the face, then she and Anna hit a double suplex, leading to Britt desperately tagging Willow, who steamrolled both heels with hip attacks and high boots. Cazadora from she and Blue got two slaps of the mat on Anna.
Leading to Nightingale being flung outside where Melo shoved her face-first into the guard rail as the ads arrived.
Skye Blue was running wild when we came back – including her low kick to the head which looked really good here. Britt tagged herself in, starting a sequence as she sent Blue packing only to be hit with a DVD by Willow, who Anna hit with a heel kick, to be blasted by an awesome boot to the face by Hayter, taken out by a Tay pumpkick, Skye Blue back in with a pumpkick and a cazadora into a Code Blue (v. cool), Hayter in to setup the Curb Stomp by Baker for the win.
Excellent finishing sequence.
It really stood out here why Jamie Hayter’s so popular. Everything she did looked good, and while she was in there, so did everything her opponent did. Moreover, it looked like a fight, like a contest, rather than a sequence of athletic exchanges. Would like to see she and Tay work more.
Excalibur then noted that retroactively, Toni Storm’s reign counted as being officially women’s champ, per Tony Khan.
WINNER: Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter
Renee backstage with FTR and Top Flight. Yes Please! Dax noted that he doesn’t throw around compliments but he sees a lot in them and challenged them to take over tag team wrestling for decades to come.
The youngsters challenged them to put the ROH titles on the line Friday. Yes Please!
The Acclaimed then hit the ring, along with the Daddy of Derrieres of course. Bowens gets more confident on the mic every week. It’s Thanksgiving and all that so there’s lots to be thankful for, but most importantly… cue Billy Gunn removing his bandage – Scissor Time!
Or maybe not. Professional mood-killers Jarrett, Lethal et al. appeared on the screen, warning the Acclaimed as the crowd chanted ‘TNA Sucks!’.
Finally, for the first time in a long-time, they could scissor properly to finish the segment.
Jarrett’s still around then.
Chris Jericho vs Tomohiro Ishii, ROH Title
Backstory: This was announced during a Jericho promo Sunday, the latter said Ishii used to run errands for him & called himself Ishii’s ‘senpai’
The usual ROH guys joined the crew on comms/announcing.
Jericho gave the crowd his customary greeting, Ishii greeted him with a slap. Sparking a stiff exchange – though very safe – leaving Jericho to take a powder as Ishii invited him back inside.
Where forearms took the place of slaps, Ishii again coming out on top. He avoided the Code Breaker, Jericho did the same re: an enziguri. Both tried to bump each other off-place, the import again got the better of it. Cue chops to the chest.
Thus far, this is a slow build, not much movement – two guys going mano a mano in the middle.
Blood had joined us as we returned. Pouring from Jericho’s chest, presumably as a result of the import’s knife-edge chops. Which were still going – the two stood in the middle, flinging chops, neither leaving their feet.
A rare irish-whip led to Ishii charging through Jericho until Le Champion pounded away in the corner, then headed upstairs for ten of the best. Out of which Ishii dragged him into a running powerbomb for two slaps of the mat. Jericho ignored a lariat, Ishii did the same with a big boot but Jericho landed a shot to the neck, sending Ishii to the apron, where Jericho leapt for his dropkick but was met with a headbutt.
Dragging Jericho out there with him, the Ocho turned the tables, absolutely spiking Ishii with a ddt.
Back inside, back to the slugfest, Ishii ducked under, hit a German, Jericho responded in kind, then another after Ishii popped up, the Japanese popping up again but dropping back down out of sheer exhaustion. Jericho launched a Lionsault, Ishii kicked out with authority, straight up into a Codebreaker for a close two.
Judas Effect prepared; Ishii met it with a headbutt, then a sliding lariat for two. Jericho countered a brainbuster into the Walls but couldn’t synch it in. Ishii hit a Codebreaker then a lariat for very-nearly three. Back to their feet, Ishii launched an enziguri, Jericho caught the boot, into the Walls. Ishii kept fighting towards the ropes, Jericho kept dragging him back, finally torquing into the high-angle old-school Lion Tamer to finish the job.
Riccaboni noted that Jericho had won without cheating as Claudio absolutely paintbrushed the Ocho atop the ramp.
Most of the way through this, it felt kind-of boring. But it built, and built, until by the end it felt real and dramatic. Good main-event.
WINNER: Chris Jericho
Next Rampage (4pm EST):
- Toni Storm speaks
- As does Jericho
- FTR vs Top Flight, ROH Tag Titles
- Darby Allin vs Anthony Henry
- Dark Order vs Butcher, Blade & Rush
- Hikaru Shida in action
- The Elite vs Death Triangle, Match 3 of 7
- MJF speaks
- More announced on Rampage
An enjoyable show with a fun, comedic opener, a fast-paced women’s contest and two good-to-excellent matches which were totally different in style. So, as usual, the wrestling was on-point.
It’s the booking they need to sort out. Namely, the growing list of acts received differently-than-intended by the crowd.
- The Elite vs Death Triangle
Thanks for reading. And Happy Thanksgiving to all y’all in the States. Enjoy!