home | wrestling | flashback_reviews | aew
AEW Double or Nothing
by Scrooge McSuck
May 25, 2019
- From the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Excalibur and Alex Marvez are calling all the action, with Jim Ross coming along immediately after the two pre-show matches.
Casino Battle Royale:
Convoluted rules out of the way: There's 21 men. You enter based on the "suit" you draw (heart, club, diamond, and spade). There's 1 joker card, and that one allows you to enter last, with groups of 5 entering every "3 minutes." Starting off is Dustin Thomas
(a double amputee), Maxwell Jacob Friedman
, Sunny Daze
, Brandon Cutler
, and Michael Nakazawa
. MJF immediately attacks Thomas to show us he's a dick ("sorry about that Lt. Dan!"). Nakazawa squirts baby oil all over himself to easily escape harm. The "Diamond" group enters, consisting of Brian Pillman Jr
., Isiah Kassidy
, Jimmy Havoc
, Joey Janela
, and... we're missing someone. They all fight before entering the ring. Finally, the 10th man comes out, and of course it's Shawn Spears
, the former Tye Dillinger. How I missed that the first time watching is beyond me. Spears gives MJF an Ushigoroshi and flashes 10 and a middle finger in response for a moment prior. The Hearts come out, and it's Billy Gunn
, Jungle Boy
, Mark Quinn
, and Ace Romero
. Jungle Boy spikes Janela with a head-scissors. MJF taunts Glacier and pays for it. Daze eliminates Nakazawa at 7:59. Glacier with two shots of mist in Daze's face and knocks him out at 8:27. MJF from behind to toss Glacier at 8:35. Havoc staples a lit cigarette to Janela's head. Pillman Jr. with a springboard clothesline to Janela. The Spades group arrives, consisting of Luchasaurus
, Marko Stunt
, Sonny Kiss
, Tommy Dreamer
, and... we're missing one. Again. Pillman Jr. gets dumped in this mess. Stunt looks like a pre-teen girl and irks me by flossing. Romero (who must be 350+ pounds) hits a group with a tope suicida. Orange Cassidy
is wandering ringside, so he's probably the 5th Spade. Luchasaurus and Romero trade blows while Dreamer tosses plunder in the ring. He whacks everyone and hits Havoc with a Diamond Cutter. Luchasaurus with a double choke-slam to Private Party before tossing them at 12:43.
Hangman Adam Page enters as the Joker, selling an injury from earlier in the week. He and Janela trade blows until Page hits the Dead Eye. Romero does a freak-show exchange with Jungle Boy and Stunt. Stunt gets launched over and out via Pounce at 16:16. Jungle Boy tosses Romero at 16:38. Thomas wakes up and gives Janela a 6-1-9 and sunset senton. Thomas eliminates Spears at 18:08, then MJF tosses Thomas at 18:19. Gunn with the Famouser on Cutler, but Cutler practically no-sells and tosses Gunn at 18:33. MJF from behind to toss Cutler at 18:39. Luchasaurus choke-slams Janela over the top and through a table at 19:00. OUCH. Kiss rams Dreamer into his butt, but then gets tossed at 19:40. Orange Cassidy finally comes in and "hits" Dreamer with kicks. Dreamer throws him down, but Cassidy nips up with his hands still tucked in his pockets. Dreamer tosses him at 20:35 to end the routine. Havoc staples Dreamer low and tosses him at 20:50. MJF tosses Jungle Boy over and Havoc bites the hands to eliminate him at 21:34. Page, Havoc, and Luchasaurus beat MJF out of the ring. Havoc with the Acid Rainmaker on Luchasaurus. Page blocks the same and sends Havoc out at 22:55. Luchasaurus misses a charge and gets eliminated at 23:38. MJF from behind, but Page hangs on, turns MJF inside out with a lariat, and eliminates him at 24:03 to earn a spot in the match to determine the 1st AEW Champion. This was a train-wreck early. It was a garbage match by design and got a lot of freak show and underneath guys a spot to shine. Honestly, of all featured, I only want to see more of maybe 5 of them based on how they were used. *1/2
Sammy Guevara vs. Kip Sabian:
Buy-In Match #2: Guevara comes out with a Panda Bear hoodie. Interesting choice for attire. This is my first time seeing either, but based on body language, I sense Guevara is the heel. I badly want to type "Sabin" instead of "Sabian." Lockup into the ropes and Guevara grabs a headlock. Sabian counters with a rolling head-scissors but Guevara escapes with a nip up. He takes his time to showboat and gets taken over with a side headlock. Crisscross sequence ends with Sabian hitting a springboard hurricanrana, followed by a running leg lariat. Whip is reversed and Guevara with a dropkick. He charges into the corner but gets sent to the apron. Sabian fakes a springboard, boots Guevara to the floor, and hits a springboard senton. Guevara gets tossed in and he pops back out with a tope suicida. Back inside, Guevara with a double stomp across the back followed by some ground ‘n' pound. Sabian blocks a boot with a dragon screw leg whip and hooks a reverse Figure-Four, but Guevara makes it to the ropes. Guevara meets a boot in the corner but recovers in time to take Sabian over with a power-slam. They do a sloppy sequence of flips ending with a standing SSP for a near fall. Sabian with a boot to the face and springboard dropkick. Sabian with a running boot in the corner, roll through and a punt to the chest for two. Guevara with a superman forearm and a suplex takes both men over the top rope until Guevara lands first and hits a suplex on the floor. Guevara lays Sabian across the barricade and comes off the apron with a SSP! Back inside, Guevara comes off the top and meets the back on the 630-splash. Sabian with the Deathly Hollows (torture rack position into a front face-buster) for three at 9:42. Good match, a little sloppy at times, but they won the crowd over by the end. ***
SCU (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky) vs. Stronghearts (CIMA, El Lindaman, and T-Hawk):
Who doesn't love 6-Man Tag Team Matches? Daniels and Kazarian I'm very familiar with, and know of Scorpio Sky, but I'm not at all familiar with the Stronghearts' T-Hawk and Lindaman, representing Oriental Wrestling Entertainment. There's a new rule in tag team wrestling, where people have a 10-count to exit the ring after making a tag. As if that's going to be honored. Daniels and CIMA start. They trade deep arm drags and stalemate on the third. Kazarian and T-Hawk in. Kazarian uses the ropes to flip through and counter a wristlock. Fireman's carry into a bridge for two. T-Hawk survives a short-clothesline and lights Kazarian up with a chop. Kazarian escapes a waist-lock and Sky connects with a dropkick. Whip is reversed and T-Hawk counters a leapfrog with a Sky High for two. El Lindaman in with a jumping frog splash for two. Sky with a slam, Daniels with a slingshot elbow, and Kazarian with a leg drop. Whip and Kazarian with a shotgun dropkick for two. Somersault neck breaker for two. Daniels gets hung in the ropes and Lindaman comes off the top with double knees across the back. CIMA with the running double knees on Daniels. Snap mare and CIMA with a slingshot senton. Whip and a double elbow followed by a double basement dropkick. Lindaman with a jaw breaker to cut Daniels' comeback off. T-Hawk with a hip toss into a rolling STF, but Scorpio Sky makes the save. Daniels with a flip and back leg-sweep on T-Hawk. Sky gets the tag, running through Lindaman with clotheslines. Diving elbow to T-Hawk. Double stomp across the back of CIMA. Sky gets triple teamed and bridged on a German Suplex for a near fall. El Lindaman goes high risk with a flying sunset flip but Sky rolls through and hits a basement dropkick. Kazarian in with forearms and a leg lariat. Hip toss into a neck breaker on T-Hawk. Northern Lights Suplex for two. Daniels with a flying chest stomp on T-Hawk and a tope suicida to Lindaman. CIMA with a modified Michinoku Driver. Sky avoids a charge and hits a slingshot Diamond Cutter. Kazarian with a DDT on Lindaman. Daniels and T-Hawk with a double clothesline as everyone is laid out around ringside. Daniels with the Angels Wings on T-Hawk. Lindaman got the blind tag and dead-lift Germans Daniels for two. Flying knees from CIMA for two. Kazarian with a slingshot head-scissors on T-Hawk and Scorpio fires with a tope con hilo. Back inside, and the Best Meltzer Ever (combo moonsault and tombstone) finishes Lindaman at 13:45. Lots of high-flying action and never a dull moment. Great way to open the proper PPV. ***1/2
- Before the upcoming match between Nyla Rose, Kylie Rae, and Brit Baker, Brandi Rhodes comes out in wrestling gear, teasing joining the match. The match as a 3-way will be a great match, but she wants an AWESOME match, and you know what that means...
Kylie Rae vs. Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. vs. Nyla Rose vs. Awesome Kong (w/ Brandi Rhodes):
Has Kong done any in-ring work since joining the cast of G.L.O.W. on Netflix? Allie (formerly of Impact Wrestling, and formerly known as Cherry Bomb) joins commentary and doesn't add much beyond a mention that she faces Brandi Rhodes in Jacksonville on July 13th. Kylie Rae takes the announcement in stride, smiling and cheering like a geek. Rose and Kong immediately go face-to-face but Baker and Rae join in to attack Kong. They get shrugged off like flies. Kong no-sells a soft back-hand chop from Rose and punches her out of the ring. Rae hops on Kong and gets thrown. Baker slammed across Rae, but both move away from a splash. Kong misses a charge and takes a bump to the floor, leaving Rae and Baker in the ring. Rae with a surprise roll-up for two. Baker with a Japanese arm drag and mocks Rae's smiling pose. Whip to the corner and Rae misses a charge. Kong catches Baker diving off the apron but is taken down by Rae's tope suicida. Rose with a slam and leg drop on Rae for two. Rae fights out of a choke-slam but runs into a spine-buster. Baker in with a sling blade on Rose for two. Rose with a forearm and Samoan drop on Baker. Rae counters a Powerbomb with a sunset flip for two. Baker sends Rae to the corner and charges in with a knee. Rose follows, knocking Baker down with an avalanche, then plants Rae with a slam. Rose to the top, but Baker greets her. Rae climbs up too, and here's Kong for the obligatory TOWER OF DOOM. Kong peppers Baker with strikes on the floor, including a spinning back fist. Baker and Rae with a pair of Super-Kicks to Kong, and Rose takes her out with a spear into the steps. It didn't sound good and looked painful, the worst kind of big spot. Baker with a surprise roll-up on Rae for two. Rae with a fireman's carry into a roll-through Super-Kick. Baker escapes a German Suplex and swinging neck breaker for two. Rae with a dead-lift German Suplex for two. Baker surprises her with a Super Kick and finishes with a sloppy Ushigoroshi at 11:06. Kong's appearance really brought the crowd to life, but otherwise, a few decent spots, but some sloppy ones, too. **1/2
The Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor) vs. Los Gueros del Cielo (Jack Evans & Angelico):
More tag team action? Sign me up, please. Evans is a 19-year pro, and he's still working a stunt-man style that has crippled guys like Matt and Jeff Hardy. Speaking of Evans, he and Angelico are suitably attired for a Rave, they just need some glow sticks. Beretta and Evans start. Evans grabs a side headlock as Ross buries the old 5-count for tags. They trade shoulder tackles, with varied levels of arrogance. Whip and Taylor with a dropkick. Angelico comes in and the Best Friends take turns hitting them with forearms. They tease a best friend hug, but a pair of dropkicks spoils the party. Evans with the handspring elbow, followed by a combo double stomp and back suplex. Beretta gets double-teamed for far longer than 10-seconds. Tandem 450-splash for two. Whip and Angelico with an elbow for two. Angelico traps the arm and hooks a single-leg crab, but Taylor saves. Beretta gets the boots up in the corner, but Evans prevents a tag. Beretta gets flipped into the corner. but he bounces back and turns Evans inside-out with a clothesline. Taylor in with a clothesline, elbow, and dropkick. Evans gets tossed onto Angelico and the Falcon Arrow gets two ("nobody kicks out of the Falcon Arrow!"). Taylor with sliced Bread to Angelico on the floor, followed by a diving double stomp. Beretta with a Tornado DDT that sends Evans flying. Taylor with another double stomp for two. Evans with a Pele Kick on Beretta. Taylor knocks him with a boot and Beretta comes off the ropes with a diving knee. Eat-Defeat into a Half-and-Half Suplex on Angelico and we get the BEST FRIENDS HUG, complete with zoom-out. Crucifix into the Ace Crusher for two ("Evans tougher than a 50-cent steak!"). Angelico assists Evans in hitting the Cod Red on Beretta. Corkscrew Enziguri and assisted splash for two. Evans springboards off the back of Beretta to hit Taylor on the floor with a moonsault. Angelico with a knee to the chest of Beretta, followed by a Crucifix Buckle Bomb. Evans with a 630-splash, but Taylor saves. Beretta with a small package for two. Angelico crashes and burns on a tope attempt. Meanwhile, the Best Friends hit a modified Doomsday Device on Evans. Taylor with tope con hilo on Angelico, and they finish Evans with a double stomp/reverse piledriver at 12:42. Post-match, everyone teases a hug, but the lights go out, and.... Two guys show up. Then the lights go out, and now there's nearly a dozen masked lackeys, and they attack all four men that just competed. Unfortunately, no one is identified, but some research says their name is "The Super Smash Brothers." OK, I can see why they didn't use the name, but it was awkward production and was a waste of a great match. ***3/4
- AEW All Out comes to Chicago on August 31st. Tickets go on sale June 14th.
Riho, Ryo Mizunami, and Hikaru Shida vs. Yuka Sakazaki, Emi Sakura, and Aja Kong:
It's been years since I've enjoyed Joshi action, and another trios match?! HECK YES. Emi Sakura comes out in Freddie Mercury inspired gear, complete with mustache. Kong is moving around a bit slowly, but considering she's a 33-year pro, it's understandable. Shida and Sakazaki start. Shida gets the early control, so Yuka quickly tags in Aja Kong. Mizunami tags in to combat the size, but she's still a bit smaller than Kong. Kong forces Mizunami into the ropes on the lockup, then no-sells some shoulder tackles and poses. Mizunami ducks a clothesline and finally drops Kong after a 4th shoulder. Kong pops up, peppering Mizunami with rights and lefts, then drops her with a double sledge. Sakura and Riho in next, immediately going for the Greco-Roman knuckle lock. Riho holds Sakura up in a bridge and does a crucifix spin into a roll-up for two. Sakura with a tilt-o-whirl back breaker and Sakazaki flies in with a diving Thesz Press. Crisscross and counters until Sakazaki hits a running dropkick for two. Sakura with double knife-edge chops and a swinging hair throw. She traps the legs of Riho and rocks her into position for a surfboard. Kong taunts Riho, an arms-reach from tagging both partners. Snap mare to the center of the ring and a stiff kick to the back. Kong with a slam and jumping elbow for two. Piledriver for two, saved by Mizunami. Riho counters Sakazaki's German Suplex with a double stomp across the midsection. Mizunami comes in, running wild, and hits Kong with a spear. She lights Sakazaki up in the corner with a flurry of chops and hits a charging clothesline after an extensive amount of hot-dogging. Mizunami with a wheelbarrow suplex and a lariat, knocking Sakazaki into her corner. Riho takes Kong over with a head-scissors and hits the 7-0-2. Kong nails Riho flying off the top and kills her with an angled back suplex for a near fall. Kong climbs the ropes and misses the falling elbow.
Shida gets the hot tag and connects with a step-up enzuigiri. Sakura with a cheap shot from the apron. Suddenly, both women have weapons (a kendo stick and trash bin), and Aja Kong gets the better of that exchange. Sakura in, leading the crowd in a chant of "We Will Rock You", and it's literally shaking the hard camera. She charges into the corner with a body press and hits a double under-hook into a back breaker. Shida recovers and the two trade forearms until nailing Sakura with a jumping knee strike. Shida brings Sakura back in from the apron with a super-plex and Mizunami hits a flying leg drop. Sakazaki makes the save, although a little mistimed. Kong with a double suplex on Riho and Mizunami, and Sakazaki follows them out with a springboard body press. Back inside, Kong with a brain buster to Shida. Sakura climbs the ropes and hits a moonsault for two... but the timekeeper calls for the bell like a schmuck. Shida blocks a butterfly suplex. Kong comes in and accidentally hits Sakura with the spinning back-hand punch. Shining Wizard from Shida to finish at 13:01. Great match, minus the timekeeper's flub at the end. Non-stop action, some I probably missed, it was coming so fast. ****
Dustin Rhodes vs. Cody (w/ Brandi Rhodes):
It's Brother vs. Brother, Generation vs. Generation. Dustin hasn't worked a match in nearly a year, recovering from double knee surgery, asking for and being granted his release from WWE in January. Cody comes out in a spiffy jacket and cape, grabs a sledgehammer, and smashes a throne decorated with skulls and an Iron cross at the top of the set. Hmm... No wasted time from the crowd chanting "Dusty." Lockup and stalemate. Cody picks the leg, sweeps Dustin, and does a cartwheel before flashing the old Stardust post. Cody drops down to hit Dustin from underneath, a signature spot of his older brother. Cody dumps his brother to the floor and follows with a tope suicida. Cody yells at the fans to clear out, only to fake it out and whip Dustin into the side of the ring. He tries it a second time, but Dustin counters with a boot and comes off the apron with a flipping senton. Back inside, Dustin comes off the ropes with a bulldog and hits the corner for 10 mounted rights. Dustin continues to pepper Cody with rights, sending him to the floor for a breather. Back inside, Dustin blocks a roll-up against the ropes, but gets nailed with a bottle of water at the hands of Brandi. Cody with a gut-buster for two. Cody slows things down, wrenching on the arm and applying a modified abdominal stretch. Dragon screw leg whip for two. Cody stomps the hand and Dustin fires back with an uppercut. Whip is reversed, Cody avoids the charge and snaps Dustin over with a power-slam for two. Dustin comes off the ropes with a pair of clotheslines and hits Cody with his drop-down strike. Whip to the corner reversed, Cody misses a dive, and Dustin sets him up for Shattered Dreams. Dustin removes the middle turnbuckle pad and Dustin tosses it into the crowd for a bunch of beard necks to fight for. Cody escapes his position and sends Dustin face-first into the exposed steel. Brandi with another cheap shot, knocking Dustin to the floor. She hits him with a spear, and finally referee Earl Hebner has enough and ejects her, complete with Diamond Dallas Page cameo to escort her from ringside.
Meanwhile, Dustin is BLEEDING AND BLEEDING HEAVY. Watching live, I was getting physically ill watching the blood come out of his forehead like water from a faucet. I hope he didn't blade as he got hit by the Spear. Cody lands a series of measured rights to the cut before tossing Dustin back in the ring. Cody smears the blood of his brother across his pectoral tattoo "Dream" and covers for a near fall. Dustin sells the injury, swinging and missing wildly before being hit with a dropkick for another two-count. Cody with stomping to the chest with Dustin bleeding out in the corner. There's crimson mask and then there's this. Dustin reverses a whip but misses an uppercut and gets hit with the Curb Stomp for two. Cody with a double sledge from the middle turnbuckle. He climbs to the third floor this time, misses a dive, and Dustin snaps him over with a power-slam for two. Cody picks the leg from behind and quickly applies a Figure-Four, but Dustin rolls over to reverse the pressure. Cody takes off the weightlifting belt, but Hebner disarms him. Dustin from behind with an atomic drop. He pulls the tights down and smacks Cody bare bottom with the belt. Code Red out of the corner for two. Dustin sets Cody across the top rope and brings him down with a sloppy super-plex. Dustin with Cross Rhodes for two. Cody with a low blow and Disaster Kick. Cody with his own Cross Rhodes for two. Dustin pulls Cody in for a head-butt and hits another Cross Rhodes for a near fall. Back to their feet, both men trade rights. Cody hits the drop-down uppercut, Dustin returns fire. Bicycle Kick from Cody. He hits the ropes and they meet in the middle for a double take-down, with Dustin rolling on top for two. Cody drops Dustin on the back of his neck with a modified Gory Special. He pulls Dustin up, hits Cross Rhodes, and finally finishes at 22:29. Post-match, Dustin hangs back and starts undoing his boots. Cody comes back and tells him he doesn't get to retire here. He signed up for a match against the Young Bucks with a partner of his choice in Jacksonville. "I don't need a partner. I don't need a friend. I need my older brother." That's one way to make an arena filled with grown men cry. I think everyone expected a lot of smoke and mirrors, but they went out there and worked an old school JCP style Main Event and kept shenanigans to a minimum, and the excessive gore helped in pushing it to another level. An emotional investing match with a hot crowd and great pacing. I hate to sound like a parrot, but this was as perfect as it could be. *****
- BRET HART comes out to unveil the AEW Heavyweight Championship BELT. He's interrupted by Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF for short), who cranks the douche meter to 11 by referencing Hart being assaulted by a fan at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. He thinks Adam Page should relinquish the title shot he's earned by winning the Casino Battle Royale. Eventually, Adam Page, Jungle Boy (the son of Luke Perry), and Jimmy Havoc come out to finally shut MJF up as Bret shows off the belt, and the camera keeps missing getting a clean shot of it.
AAA Tag Team Championship Match:
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) vs. The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix):
The Bucks won the AAA Tag Titles from The Lucha Brothers at AAA's Rey de Reyes on March 16th, so here we go with the first title defense in AEW history, and it's not even an AEW title. They're really pushing the idea the Bucks are super-rusty, having worked only a handful of matches in the last few months, while the challengers competed no less than 18 hours earlier. Pentagon and Matt Jackson start. Pentagon quickly teases a Penta-Driver, but Matt counters. Series of counters and some trash talking from Pentagon. Fenix tags in with some hotdogging. Matt grabs a side headlock. Nick with the blind tag. They have a near-miscommunication and get taken out of the ring with a double arm drag. Back inside, they do an extensive crisscross and counter sequence, ending on the floor in an outstanding exchange of near misses. Back inside, they trade shoulder tackles, with neither man budging much. Fenix changes things up with a hard palm strike to the chest. They continue to trade blows until Fenix connects with a dropkick. Matt comes in and gets nailed by a flurry of strikes from both Penta and Fenix. Nick tries to save but suffers a similar fate. Penta with an assisted splash from Fenix for the first near-fall of the match. Nick fights off both with a combination arm drag and flying head-scissors. Matt back in with clotheslines. He meets a boot in the corner but recovers to press slam Fenix and hit Penta with a spear. Penta mouths off Matt and gets a slap across the face. Young Bucks with quick tags. Nick takes too long on the top rope and accidentally hits Matt with a double stomp across the back. The Bucks recover, hitting Penta with a spinning head-scissors and knocking Fenix off the apron with a Super-Kick. Matt sends Penta to the corner but misses a charge. Nick tries to help but accidentally hits Matt with a dropkick, then gets launched into his brother via monkey flip.
Fenix tags in, straddling Nick on the top rope and using Matt to balance on the rope and take Nick down with a hurricanrana. Ace Crusher to Matt for a near-fall. I'm telling you now, my calling the action doesn't do some of what is going on enough justice. Pentagon in with hard kicks to the left leg. Whip to the corner and Matt surprises Penta with a somersault Stunner. Matt with a trifecta of Northern Light Suplexes and steps over into a Sharpshooter. Penta saves, only to get taken down with a suplex as well. Nick with a clothesline and slingshot X-Factor to Fenix, and immediately follows with an Asai Moonsault to Penta outside the ring. Nick with a running knee strike and bulldog on Fenix. Bucks with a tandem sunset flip into Sharpshooters, but both men make it to the ropes. Matt positions Fenix across the middle rope and Nick connects with a 450 splash, but Penta saves. Combination Buckle Bomb and jumping front kick to the back of Fenix. Combo Sliced Bread and Powerbomb for two (a call-back to the Motor City Machine Guns). Penta comes in with zero f's to give and unloads on both with palms trikes. Matt with a Super-Kick to Penta, and it's a Super-Kick Party until all four men are laid out in the ring.
Pentagon and Matt Jackson trade blows on the apron until a double pump kick knocked both down. Back in the ring, Fenix unloads on Nick with right hands. Out of nowhere, Penta with a Canadian Destroyer to Matt on the apron and Fenix with a Destroyer to Nick in the ring for a near-fall. Fenix launches off the shoulders of Penta to dive onto the Bucks outside the ring. Back in, Penta with Matt in a Gory Special as he hits Nick with the Penta-Driver. Fenix from the top with a senton splash for two. Penta pounds at the midsection of Nick until Matt saves with a Super-Kick. Matt tags in with a half-and-half suplex. Double Super-Kicks to Penta. Matt with a running boot to Fenix in the corner. He sets Fenix across the top rope and drops him face-first across the top rope from a super-plex position (calling back to El Generico). Combo 450 Splash and Moonsault to Penta only gets two. Assisted Package Piledriver to Penta gets two. Penta snaps the arm of Matt and connects with a modified Michinoku Driver for two. Fenix with a series of Super-Kicks into the injured shoulder of Matt. He showboats for a little too long and gets nailed with the Meltzer Driver, allowing the Young Bucks to retain at 24:56. What a fantastic display of athleticism. All action from start to finish, nothing botched, and a hot sequence of near falls. A great combination of different styles. *****
Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho:
The Main Event of the night, and a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom 12 back in January 2018 at the Tokyo Dome (won by Omega). Jericho's entrance includes a few stand-ins doing a "best of" Jericho entrance tease, including Lionheart, the light-up jacket, and List of Jericho era. Jericho is pushing 50 and his upper body is starting to look his age, unfortunately. The shredded design of his tights almost gives me a Chris Benoit vibe. For absolutely no reason, there's a giant "Cracker Barrel" barrel in the ring that Jericho assists the referee in removing from the ring. Lockup into the ropes and they trade slaps. Jericho grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Omega pops up and fires off a series of knife-edge chops. Jericho misses wildly in the corner, allowing Omega to pound away with right hands. Omega meets an elbow in the corner and meets the turnbuckle going for the V-Trigger. Jericho counters a hurricanrana and goes for the Walls, but Omega pulls himself out of the ring. Jericho quickly follows with a baseball slide, knocking Omega into the guardrail. Jericho rings the bell and celebrates, allowing Omega to recover. They trade more strikes until Omega slams Jericho across the small timekeeper's table. Omega blocks a whip to the barricade but gets shoved into the crowd attempting a springboard moonsault. Jericho grabs a camera and has a beverage spit into his face. Omega takes advantage of the blinding by Sprite and hits a missile dropkick.
Back inside, Omega with chops and rights. Whip is reversed and Omega hits a rolling senton and moonsault for two. Jericho grabs the tights and sends Omega face-first into the turnbuckle. Jericho with his own missile dropkick for a two-count. Omega is bleeding from the nose, possibly broken. They trade strikes with Jericho going the cheap route and hitting the nose. Omega gets fired up, only to get turned inside-out with a lariat for two. Jericho flips the crowd off for their chant after every 2-count and there's a guy DRESSED AS JESUS in the front row off to the side of the hard camera. Omega surprises Jericho with a hurricanrana and sends him over the top rope with a clothesline. Jericho pulls a table from under the ring. Omega puts the breaks on a dive and baseball slides the table into Jericho's face. Omega hits the ropes again and hits the tope con hilo onto the table, crashing it into Jericho. Omega slams the table onto Jericho and comes off the top rope with a double stomp. Back in the ring, Jericho hits a modified bulldog for two. Jericho fights out of a snap dragon suplex attempt but is wiped out with a spinning heel kick. Omega with the V-Trigger in the corner. He straddles Jericho across the top turnbuckle and climbs up. Jericho fights him down twice, but Omega goes up a third time and hits a super-sized back suplex for two.
Jericho catches Omega coming off the ropes with an elbow. Omega gets the knees up on the Lion-Sault attempt and hits the V-Trigger. Jericho escapes a One-Winged Angel attempt and takes Omega over with a release German Suplex. Jericho with a sloppy Lion-Sault. He hits Omega with a second Lion-Sault for a near-fall. Omega blocks the Code Breaker and hits another V-Trigger. Jericho blocks the Tiger Driver '98 and back drops Omega over the top rope and through the table introduced earlier in the contest. They have another exchange of strikes. Jericho rakes the eyes and hits the springboard dropkick to cut Omega off. Omega blocks a super-plex but dives into a Code Breaker. Omega takes exception to being slapped around and hits Jericho with the snap Dragon Suplex. Omega avoids the Walls of Jericho and connects with a seated Tiger Driver for two. Jericho blocks the V-Trigger and hooks the Walls of Jericho, eventually modifying it into the old Lion Tamer. Omega with kicks to the face to force a break. Discus right hand from Omega, followed by a V-Trigger. Jericho counters the One-Winged Angel with "the ugliest DDT I've ever seen" for two. Jericho with a jumping enzuigiri and a knee to the face. They basically redo the previous spot, with a better-looking DDT. Huh. Code Breaker connects, and Jericho finishes with the Judas Effect (rolling elbow) at 26:35. Yeah, I was a bit surprised by that, but it's the right move. Great match, though a bit down from what they did at Wrestle Kingdom. A little sloppy at times, and a little too much reliance on repeating the strike exchange spot. ****1/2
- Post-match, Jericho taunts everyone ("lighten up, marks"), demanding a thank you from the audience for being the reason AEW exists. Suddenly, JON MOXLEY comes through the crowd (that's the former Dean Ambrose, for those unfamiliar). He surprises Jericho with the move formerly known as Dirty Deeds. The referee takes one as well. Omega has finally recovered from his loss and gets into a brawl with Moxley that brings them to the entrance set-up, where they find their way on top of a stack of giant poker chips. Moxley hits Omega with the DDT on the top of the stack, then fireman throws him through a piece of the stage to cap off the night. Well, there's your big surprise that really shouldn't have been a surprise at all.
Final Thoughts: AEW doesn't need to reinvent the wheel. Putting on a good professional wrestling product is all fans want, and AEW delivered. The show was paced out well, with each match feeling bigger and more important than the last, although one could argue Dustin and Cody stole the show in their position of the card. If I had any complaints, it's putting an inexperienced man in the booth, a weak warm-up show meant to tease unconvinced buyers, and using the quick-cut angles to show fans reactions, a problem WWE has that fans are outspoken about. All three Main Event matches delivered, and even for the hefty price-tag, I'd recommend checking out a replay if you didn't watch the show live. It's a show with something for everyone, but everyone works so hard you can't help but be a fan of everything.
Comment about this article on Da' Wrestling Boards!
back to NXT Index