Arena: Cow Palace
City: San Francisco, CA
Last Week’s Rating: 1,028,000 overall; 0.35 in 18-49 demo
With no NBA last week, those are about the best numbers since early Fall.
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
Orange Cassidy vs Big Bill, All-Atlantic Title
Backstory: Bill & co. attacked the Best Friends Friday, Cassidy was serious for once in wanting to know who did it.
Strangely, the champ was out first. Large William was with Stokely as Excalibur told us he was ‘a force of nature’.
Cassidy played mind games from the jump, getting the big guy to follow him in and out of the ring, even rolling in on one side, all the way across and out at the other.
And continued to avoid the big man until attempting a swinging ddt and being dropped then crushed in the corner. A Big Bill boot knocked him off the apron to the outside as the crowd entertained themselves with a ‘s-a-w-f-t’ chant.
Bill and Hathaway then moved the ringside table to the bottom of the ramp, chokeslam at the ready, Cassidy fought it off at first but was then planted through the wood. Which for some reason isn’t a dq.
Rolled back in as we returned, Substantial Bill dropped Cassidy via delayed suplex then snatched him into a full nelson as Cassidy went for the Punch.
Boy, this is boring. Fortunately, Cassidy’s so over the crowd were still into it.
He twice ‘collapsed’ to avoid a Big Bill boot as Danhausen attempted to Curse Hathaway, who knocked Danhausen out with his cast. Cassidy was then caught in a chokeslam, slipped out and hit an Orange Punch to the knee, Bill down on the outside.
Orange then caught him with a tornado ddt, Orange Punch, another, then one off the top to bag a win too long in coming.
They need to make their minds up with Big Bill. He’s been presented in tags as beatable and nothing special but here it took an army unit to defeat him.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy
Footage of Mox after last week’s match with Uno. Covered in blood, he yelled that it tasted like victory, like life. He does this because he likes it. It’s not something anyone should aspire to.
‘I’m not the kinda guy you wana go down a dark alley with when there’s only one of us comin’ out.’
He then warned Hangman that ‘you wanted this… I tried to leave it alone…’, ranting that when he took out Page it was seen as an accident; when Page did the same to him it drew praise. Pouring blood, he promised that this time he would leave no doubt.
Page is a great wrestler, even a great man ‘but you are not the same animal as me!’ And there is only room for one of those animals in AEW and ‘I will die to protect what’s mine’.
Delivery and intensity off the charts.
The Elite made their entrance, or were about to when the lights went out just as the song was kicking in. The House appeared behind them, audibly beating them up, which was revealed as the lights came back up: the Elite were lying on the floor and the HOB clutched the trios belts.
Actually thought a promo was very much needed here. Especially since the Elite only get to talk in goofy backstage segments.
Face of the Revolution Ladder Match, winner gets title shot
Participants: Konosuke Takeshita, Ortiz, Action Andretti, Sammy Guevara, Will Hobbs, Eddie Kingston, AR Fox, Komander
Nice mix of guys in this: flyers, brawlers, wrestlers, behemoths.
Though you should probably change the name when your roster’s become so bloated you can no longer fit it on the eponymous ppv.
A dapper Joe came out to the usual chants from the crowd. By the time the break ended, we caught the end of Sammy’s entrance with the others already in the ring.
Entrances are important, a chance for the announcers to tell you about who’s competing. AEW needs to plan accordingly. If you’re a casual fan who likes the chaos of ladder matches, you might not have a clue who half these guys are. And even if you aren’t, who the hell is Komander?
Immediately, they all split all over the place. Ortiz and Kingston brawled outside, no-one seemed to care, understandably given the story.
Komander walked the ropes to hit a dropkick through the ladder on Andretti but was taken out by Will Hobbs who was massively over with his home-town faithful. He set to tossing guys into the pair of ladders stacked in the corner.
Making Guevara think better of getting in there with him.
Takeshita had no such reservations as the two blasted into one another with lariats, both wobbling, neither dropping, until Takeshita avoided a splash and dropped Powerhouse with a deadlift German. Don Callis was shown watching backstage (this is an angle they’ve been doing on Dark and etc. for months).
Guevara took advantage with a cheap-shot knee strike but was immediately taken out by Andretti, then Fox took to the air to wipe out both guys. Leaving Komander to run the ropes from buckle to buckle before launching into a senton, wiping out everyone as the ads arrived.
Very much a ‘spot-fest’ and guys being wiped out one after the other thus far. Fun though.
Takeshita took out Komander, Hobbs took him out, Fox hit Hobbs with a chair. Powerhouse wasn’t amused, dropping Fox via DVD onto a ladder bridge. Then clashed once more with Takeshita, the clotheslines continuing as they simultaneously left each other laying.
With Guevara about to grab the brass ring, Andretti flew up to cut him off, they set up a falcon arrow from the top rung. Sammy was meant to land on another ladder bridge but only grazed it with his head and neck, plummeting all the way to the mat.
Komander again wobbled about on the top rope, launching a shooting star onto Hobbs, still on the ladder bridge outside.
Now all alone, Komander made it atop the ladder but was caught by Takeshita into a wild blue thunder bomb from the top! A little too crazy for me, all I can think about with spots like that is whether someone got injured.
Not this crowd though, they went wild. As Takeshita made the climb, he was met up top by Andretti when Daniel Garcia came out to shove the ladder over and Rock Bottom the youngster. The crowd died. Not surprised. These everyone can interfere in everything rules AEW have for every stipulation match SUCK.
Thankfully, Guevara was back on his feet after that nasty landing. He and Garcia placed Andretti on a ladder propped across two chairs as Excalibur informed us that Ortiz and Kingston had brawled to the back. Sammy then launched a senton from the top of a ladder at ringside.
Garcia then almost literally carried him up the ladder toward the brass ring. Until Takeshita shoved them off, nailed Guevara with a knee strike but took another nasty landing as Hobbs charged the ladder like a bull, nearly breaking the damn thing.
He bagged the brass ring and the TNT title picture is back exactly where it was four months ago. He’ll face the champ next Wednesday.
Wardlow came out and a bunch of security separated he and Joe. Hobbs sat and watched with a big smile on his face. Hope those security extras are well paid.
Fun but very dangerous match, stupid booking.
WINNER: Will Hobbs
Renee with the Best Friends et al. Chuck and Trent haven’t been cleared for tonight’s battle royale. Danhausen and Cassidy will take their place, despite Cassidy getting his arm worked on.
Does that mean no FTR?
Chris Jericho vs Peter Avalon
Backstory: Avalon was laid-out by Jericho while trying to accept Ricky Starks’ open challenge
Hopefully Jericho doesn’t give Avalon as much as Cody did a couple years ago. Avalon did not get a televised entrance. That, I’m okay with.
He flew at Jericho, hurling chops and punches then launching a tope as the Ocho bailed to ringside. Continuing in the ascendancy, he bagged two with a pump kick, continuing to beat on the vet in the corner before bagging another two with a springboard cross body.
Then another via tornado ddt.
Popping up right into a Code Breaker. Oh well.
Floyd came out, Avalon taking a beating until Ricky Starks chased Jericho off.
Garcia and Hager helped Jericho beat down Starks. Apparently, Starks has a pre-existing rib injury.
WINNER: Chris Jericho
Hangman’s turn to talk. Alone. In some sort of warehouse.
‘This Sunday… is the finish line.’ Alex Reynolds had asked him earlier if he was afraid of losing. But this is all Page has left to lose. He lost his title, lost his shot to get it back when Mox concussed him, Mox already beat Uno to within an inch of his life, nor can he take Page’s memory – ‘It’s gone’, or the feeling in his fingertips, that’s gone too. And Mox can’t take away his heart ‘because you couldn’t carry it’.
But on Sunday he takes everything from Mox. ‘Your spot at the top of the food chain… your pride’. And he doesn’t claim to be the same as Mox, he doesn’t enjoy violence, he hates it (spitting to show his disdain).
But at Revolution he’ll be the most bloodthirsty SOB Mox has ever seen because he knows that’s who he needs to be to defeat Moxley. And beating Mox is his last glimmer of hope. There are only two ways out of ‘Texas Death, either you live… or you die… and I ain’t done yet’. (He should’ve left it there, it was such a perfect line with perfect intensity.)
Before promising that Moxley would never be the same after Sunday.
This was fantastic.
Renee in the ring to talk to Christian. Who said he’d heard Jungle Boy promise to win a singles championship and it’d happen ‘over my dead body’. Vowing to win one himself this year. ‘That’s a fact’.
He then goaded Perry for only winning his matches on flukes: roll-ups, quick pins.
Before heeling on ‘this generation’ who turn everything into a video game. And challenging him ‘for a fight’ at Revolution. ‘No rules, no regulations’. Before turning into Cheap Heat Cage as usual, talking crap about Perry’s dead dad.
Cut to footage of Perry on the big-screen, digging a grave interspersed with footage of their feud. Finally revealing a tombstone with Christian’s name on it (That was clever given Cage’s ‘dead body’ promise). A shook Cage left.
Perry couldn’t even hit him with a chair last week after everything he’s done but now he’s going to bury him.
Schiavone with Britt and Jamie. Britt vowed that Saraya would never win the belt, Hayter warned that the two would be watching Riho and Storm tonight in case she tried to interfere. Smart girls.
Hook vs Matt Hardy, FTW Title, If Hardy loses Hook gets a match vs Stokely
Backstory: Hardy is contracted to Hathaway against his will, they keep putting him in bad spots including having to face Hook, so he pretended to be so confident of victory here as to promise Hook a match vs Stokely if he can’t beat him
After starting stupidly, this is a fun mini-story with the good guys fighting back against the evil empire who own their contracts.
Hardy came out with Ethan Page, Isiah Kassidy and Stokely.
Hook quickly took him down; Hardy quickly got the ropes. Then fired shots to the face but was knee-bar’d while pausing to ‘delete’. The youngster pursued him outside, flinging him around ringside until Page nailed him with a cheap shot with the ref distracted.
Back in the ring, Hardy hit a neckbreaker but Hook drop-stepped behind into a T-Bone, then threw shots in the corner but was caught running in and hit with snake eyes. Though landed on his feet as Hardy tried to slingshot him up out of the corner, a lariat followed but a northern lights was shaken off by Hardy, into a side effect for two.
Crowd very quiet, almost silent.
Page then struck Hook with Hathaway’s cast. The youngster kicked out. Then locked in the Redrum as Hardy set-up the Twist of Fate. Hardy tapped immediately, forcing Stokely to face the youngster.
Hathaway rocked in the fetal position at the prospect.
House of Black video promo, clutching the Elite’s titles. Man’s greatest enemy is fear, on Sunday ‘you have already lost’. They left the belts on the floor.
Toni Storm vs Riho
Storm continued her recent trend of attacking before the bell, well on top as she bagged an early count with an arrogant cover.
Riho fought back, flinging shots but trapped in a headlock then dropped via shoulder tackle. She quickly bridged up to hit a running dropkick. A running knee in the corner and snap suplex bagged two as Saraya began the de jour distraction.
Riho cartwheeled to avoid a lariat then hit a stomp after rolling through via wheelbarrow. Two slaps of the mat. Transitioning right into a cross face. Storm got the ropes.
Then took advantage of more Saraya interference to knock Riho off the apron via hip attack as Saraya scored with a knee strike during the 99th ref distraction of the hour.
This, as promised, brought the champ and Britt to ringside as the ads arrived.
A headscissors left Storm in the ropes for a 619 but Storm caught the attempted kick. Riho returned the favor, avoiding a charging Storm then taking flight from the top to the outside via cross body.
Back to the top, a diving stomp and northern lights bagged two. Before Storm cut her off atop the buckle, seeking a Storm Zero from the top, blocking a sunset bomb, hitting a hair-mare then a shotgun dropkick, leaving Riho slumped in the corner.
The hip attack landed, Riho kicked out at nearly three.
Storm began mocking Baker, synching in a clover leaf until Britt hopped on the apron, distracting Storm long enough to be rolled up for three.
The crowd very pleased at Riho’s win. Good match for the time they had.
Storm went right after Baker but was easily beaten down while the English girls threw fists in the ring until Soho came down to slug both women equally.
The announcers then promised a video package of this feud before stalling and hesitatingly going to a package on Keith Lee’s return instead.
Or even a Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes promo. Lee talked in riddles, Rhodes said they were ‘Naturally Limitless, and you’re (ie Swerve and his goons) gonna remember our name’.
Nothing special, particularly by Dustin’s high standards.
Tag Team Casino Battle Royale
There were rumors Tony Khan was having Jarrett and Lethal cloned so they could win tonight too and occupy two spots in Sunday’s tag. Until a desperate WWE’s complaints to the FCC about ‘unfair competition’ put a stop to it.
Also, seems Max and Danielson are our main event for the evening.
The Dark Order boys were attacked mid-entrance by the increasingly heel-ish BCC as the break came before the match started.
Rush and Vance were next. The crowd remained pretty quiet, which is a problem with these matches: they know nothing’s happening till all teams are out.
Lucha Bros time as the fans finally woke, the bro’s colors reversed as a blue-clad Fenix took out two off the top while his brother – in red – began slingblade-ing everyone in sight. Uno, dos, tres thrust kicks followed before Fenix nearly eliminated the ROH champ.
They pushed the company’s re-start tomorrow.
‘Cero Miedo’ chants as the next count began, Aussie Open out to almost ‘cero’ reaction. They dropped Fenix as Silver and Claudio continued to fight. He and Reynolds ran through their rapid combo-offense on Yuta. Castagnoli saved his teammate from elimination.
Moxley’s friends then eliminated Hangman’s as another break came.
Top Flight out next, levelling the BCC with rapid double-teaming, nearly removing Claudio then dispatching Daddy Magic (who’d presumably come out during the break). Mike Bennett and Matt Taven followed, immediately going after Dante but being fought off by his brother until an enziguri levelled him too.
Aussie Open then took out the Kingdom with dragon suplexes as Tony Nese, Josh Woods and Ari Daivari simply entered the ring through the crowd, dragged out the Lucha Bros and beat them around ringside (What was I saying about the rules in stip. matches?) as easily the most popular team in both battle royals were taken out by a team who shouldn’t make it onto Rampage. But please, give us more of Jarrett, Lethal and the Gunns.
Rush then easily eliminated Penta as a furious crowd booed heavily. Fenix wasn’t even given the grace of his elimination being caught on camera.
Dante got rid of Vance, Darius the same to Rush; Top Flight, Aussie Open, the BCC and the Kingdom left. The crowd very quiet once again.
Dante was eliminated by Aussie Open while attempting a dive, they then removed his brother as Danhausen and Orange Cassidy made their entrance. Teams just seem to be coming and going as they please.
Case in point, Angelo Parker emerged from under the apron to attack Danhausen. Cassidy quickly took care of him though. Butcher and Blade were next, the most dangerous team in AEW history during battle royales per Excalibur.
The Kingdom and Aussie Open were eliminated. The camera missed most of how. Apparently these (BCC, B&B, Cassidy & Danhausen) are the last three teams so no Joker. Though the comedy did continue as Silver and Reynolds returned to distract Yuta long enough for him to be eliminated. Claudio quickly followed.
They kept pretending Butcher and Blade had a chance of eliminating the faces, but we all know who won, Danhausen sneaking up to shove the heels over the top.
I doubted even FTR could save this tag match Sunday. These two have no chance.
Of course, despite the myriad talent who can’t get tv time, AEW can’t have a show without Jarrett and Lethal, who attacked the winners after the bell. Might as well give them the belts now.
The Acclaimed’s video played long before their music in yet another production snafu. They ran off the heels.
WINNER: Danhausen & Orange Cassidy
Video package hyping Danielson/MJF for Sunday. Don’t know how the same company that just vomited up the previous segment can also produce something this good.
Renee was in the ring to welcome Danielson, whose entrance was only just caught on camera after the ads, not even bothering to show the crowd reaction to your #1 contender just days before a ppv.
Renee referenced a tweet of Max’s from when he dropped out of college, about pursuing his dream. Did this change the vet’s perspective on Max? Before Danielson could get going about ‘fighting for your dreams’, MJF’s music interrupted. Danielson though, immediately cut him off.
Max might want everything Danielson has but has done nothing to earn them. ‘If there’s one thing you deserve, it’s your fiancé leaving you!’ Max removed his jacket.
Danielson yelled that he was ready to fight ‘anytime!’ As MJF thought better of it.
He’s been fighting his entire life, for everything. He left a very good job to come to AEW because ‘I wanted to fight’. His new dream: he wants to become AEW champion. Max better be ready to fight ‘with everything you have for sixty full minutes, and if you don’t… you are going to (presumably there was swearing here because it got muted)’.
This was an excellent promo by Danielson and a needed response to last week. It was also nice that for once MJF just got shouted down and overawed by the babyface.
- Naturally Limitless vs Swerve Strickland & Parker Boudreaux
Added to Revolution:
- Jack Perry vs Christian Cage
There were rumors this week of Vince McMahon’s possible return to the WWE creative team. Given all the interference, distractions and general stupidity tonight, can we be sure he isn’t in AEW?
Because for a company built on ‘wrestling’, it was strangely lacking on a night when promo’s saved the show.
- Mox, Hangman and Danielson all cut excellent promos
- The ladder match was crazy and full of big moves and dives if that’s your jam
Thanks for reading.