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by Samoa Rowe
February 10, 2021
From Daily's Place, with Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur hosting.
Darby Allin © vs. Joey Janela
These guys have an extensive history from their independent days, and Allin requested this match. Allin starts with a hammerlock, but Janela throws a cheap elbow during a break. Allin answers with an armdrag and shotgun dropkick, but Janela answers with a slam onto the apron, and elbow suicida. Janela leans into the heel role as he fishhooks Allin's face while applying a body scissors. Allin yanks Janela off the top rope, but Janela snaps the rope into his face. Shotgun dropkick by Allin and a wild battering ram suicida. Joey survives an armbar, but Allin kicks the rope into his teeth. Joey counters the Coffin Drop into a German suplex and hits a thrust kick for 2. Joey gazes at the TNT title and Allin drives his arm into the canvas. Joey hits a hard lariat but Allin answers with a Stunner for 2. They trade rapid counters until Janela hits a piledriver for a close nearfall. Avalanche Code Red should have ended it but Joey kicks out. The Coffin Drop ends it at 9:50. Generous performance by Allin, as Janela looked more dangerous than he has in months. This was an abbreviated version of the kind of match they'd have together 3 years ago, ***.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Darby Allin
Jon Moxley talks about KENTA in the parking lot, calling him a dork for talking trash across the ocean and carrying around a dumb briefcase. Mox has the IWGP United States Championship belt and has no intention of letting KENTA have it. Tonight's match is unsanctioned, so it's going to be fun.
Sammy Guevara barges into the Inner Circle's room and demands a moment alone with MJF. Everyone, Wardlow included, leaves, but Sammy orders the camera man to stay. Sammy accuses MJF of trying to take over the Inner Circle. MJF deflects, calling Sammy jealous, and accuses him of secretly hating Chris Jericho. Sammy mockingly plays along, but MJF smirks as he was recording it to use against him. Sammy snaps and trashes the phone and knocks MJF to the floor.
Cezar Bononi and Peter Avalon vs. The Nightmare Family (Cody Rhodes and Lee Johnson, with Arn Anderson)
Cody shakes hands with Arn's son, Brock, in the front row, and he's a hilarious spitting image of his old man. Cody took Avalon lightly last time and tears into him at the opening bell. Johnson tags and tries to maintain control, but Bononi's blind tag takes away their advantage. Johnson outmaneuvers Avalon with his athleticism, and hits Bononi with a jawbreaker. Cody tags and runs wild, but Bononi answers with a pump handle overhead slam. I would have had Cody finish squashing the jobbers already, but they head to commercial instead. They return with Cody and Peter trading counters, and Cody's shoulder looks hurt. Johnson gets a hot tag and shines while cleaning house, hitting Bononi with a corkscrew plancha and destroying Avalon with a Fisherman neckbreaker. Bononi tosses Cody and hits a reverse slam on Johnson, but Johnson luckily rolls Avalon up to win at 7:15. Cool moment for Lee, but this could have been chopped in half and achieved the same results, *½.
Winners: The Nightmare Family
The Nightmare Family gathers with Tony Schiavone, and Lee cuts an emotional promo about overcoming a 0-29 record to reach this moment, and praises the Rhodes Family alone for helping him get here (QT Marshall looks slighted).
Backstage interview with AEW Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks about what happened in the battle royal. They are quickly interrupted by Impact Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers, who try to laugh it off, and remind them that it was the Inner Circle who actually eliminated them. The Bucks don't want to wait until Revolution for a title defense, and announce they'll face Santana and Ortiz next week. Good Brothers think that's just neat, they've got Private Party waiting for them at Impact No Surrender.
Backstage interview with Hangman Adam Page about recent drama with Matt Hardy. Matt interrupts and talks on Page's behalf. Matt invites Page to a drinking night on him, and the Cowboy likes the sound of that. Page turns a corner and finds the entire Dark Order waiting for him, as they haven't given up on courting his friendship. Page dismisses them for now.
Pac (with Rey Fenix) vs. Ryan Nemeth
Pac kicks Nemeth to the mat and throws a snap vertical suplex. Running forearm by Pac and then a missile dropkick. Nemeth throws a hapless punch, and Pac continues unloading on him. If you squint, Ryan looks like his brother as he throws a dropkick and swinging DDT. Pac rolls to ringside and shoves Nemeth into the rails. Black Arrow and Brutalizer end it at 4:14. Long winded squash match.
Recap of Kip and Penelope's wedding, which was a total disaster until Orange Cassidy showed up. Miro is fit to be tied and wants revenge on Cassidy. Meanwhile, OC and Chuck Taylor regroup with some stolen bubbly.
Backstage interview with Chris Jericho, and in a running theme for the night, he's instantly interrupted, this time by MJF raging about what Sammy Guevara did to him.
Chris Jericho and MJF (with The Inner Circle, minus Sammy Guevara) vs. The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens)
MJF is sporting injured ribs, and forces Jericho to do the heavy lifting. Caster catches Jericho with a shoulder block and corners him for a flurry of tandem offense. MJF tags but eats a Bowens facebuster for 2. MJF grabs Caster by the hair to avoid a camel clutch, and the Inner Circle take control. They beat Caster up through a commercial, and MJF uses Jericho for leverage while working an abdominal stretch. Caster reverses the hold and hits a hip toss. Hot tag to Bowens, who tears through Jericho and MJF. Bowens hits a pretty spinning reverse torture rack slam. Inner Circle interference backfires and Bowens gets a painfully close nearfall on Jericho. The Acclaimed look for the Claim to Fame on Jericho, but Hager shoves Caster off the top rope, and Jericho easily finishes with the Judas Effect at 9:02. Fun match, the Acclaimed have a bright future, and the Inner Circle turmoil has developed into a truly compelling storyline, **½.
Winners: Chris Jericho and MJF
Sammy Guevara joins the Inner Circle and gets chewed out by Jericho. Sammy announces he's done with the Inner Circle and is allowed to walk away. MJF can barely hide his glee, while Jericho looks disappointed. This angle rules.
After a commercial, Sammy Guevara is seen trying to leave Daily's Place, but Alex Marvez wants to know why he's leaving the Inner Circle. Sammy says he needs time away from this place and bolts.
Matt Hardy and Adam Page have been drinking heavily and are laughing it up at the bar. Hardy might be pretending to be intoxicated and makes another play at signing Page to a contract. Page happily signs the paper (nooooooo!), while Matt tells the camera man to stick around so that when Page is sober, he'll know what happened.
Tony Shiavone hosts STIIIIIIIIING on the stage. Just like every interview tonight, Sting can't get a word in, before he's interrupted, this time by Team Taz on the big screen. They've got Darby Allin in a body bag, strapped to a moving vehicle! They haul Darby out of the lot while Sting rushes for the rescue. People always pine for the Attitude Era without realizing that AEW quietly brought it back.
Alex Marvez interrupts AEW World Champion Kenny Omega's golf game to ask why he's not preparing to team up with KENTA against Moxley and Archer. Omega argues that golf lets him spiritually cleanse himself, and he's forgotten how to lose. He sticks a ball into Marvez' pocket and leaves him behind.
AEW Women's Championship Eliminator Tournament - First Round:
Leyla Hirsch vs. Thunder Rosa
Rosa is on a mission to win the tournament, become Women's Champion, and get some revenge on Britt Baker. Leyla and Rosa start with some quality chain wrestling. Rosa scores a running back senton for 2. Hirsch controls the wrist and hits a springboard hurricanrana. Rosa flees to ringside and eats Leyla's tope suicida. Leyla looks for a cross armbreaker, but Rosa hits a neckbreaker in the ropes. Cue the commercial! Back from break, Rosa is having her way, hitting a barrage of running attacks into the corner. Hirsch fires off a pair of German suplexes. Second rope crossbody by Hirsch is mildly botched and gets 2. Rosa blocks a moonsault for 2. Rosa boots the head, but Leyla goes for another armbreaker. Rosa counters into a makeshift powerbomb and finishes with a Blue Thunder Bomb at 9:11! Great intensity on display, would have been better served as a shorter sprint without a commercial, **½.
Winner: Thunder Rosa
Tony Shiavone sits down with Jungle Boy, who is proud of winning the fight of his life against Dax Harwood, and he emerged as a new man. Jungle Boy denies "telling on" FTR to get them tossed from the battle royal and plans on making Harwood his "b!tch."
Lights Out Match:
KENTA and AEW World Champion Kenny Omega (with Don Callis) vs. Lance Archer (with Jake Roberts) and IWGP United States Champion Jon Moxley
KENTA is representing Bullet Club and sporting his IWGP U.S. title #1 contender briefcase. Bell rings and KENTA smashes the briefcase over Moxley's head, while Archer chokes Omega. KENTA ambushes Archer with the case, allowing Omega to hit the Kotaro Crusher. Omega unloads on Moxley, but KENTA throws him aside so he can hurt him. Moxley fights back, but Omega and KENTA manage to work together. Archer saves with a shoulder block, and Moxley pops up for a hard lariat. Omega reverses Archer's powerbomb with a rana, but Moxley sends him to ringside with a knee strike. Moxley and KENTA are alone for a slugfest. Omega prevents the Paradigm Shift with a trash can shot. Omega follows with a can assisted moonsault on Moxley, and then holds the can in place for KENTA's running dropkick. Moxley rebounds with a suicida on KENTA, while Archer slams Omega onto a propped ladder. All of this took place in a mere 5 minutes and now it's time for a commercial. Back from break, the action has spilled beyond the guard rails. KENTA hits Peter Avalon with Go 2 Sleep just because. Archer chokeslams Omega onto Avalon's bedding, which amusingly needs a save from KENTA. Moxley sets KENTA for a hard kick to the face and a nearfall. The brawl exits the arena and into the kitchen. KENTA counties Moxley with a DDT onto a stainless steel table. KENTA goes for a crossface, but Archer breaks it with a sack of potatoes. Moxley smashes a potato into Omega's face, and they cut away to highlights. Moxley and Omega brawl back into Daily's Place, and Moxley dishes out kendo stick shots. Moxley dives into Omega's V-Trigger in mid-air! Meanwhile, Archer and KENTA brawl onto the stage. Archer can't hit a powerbomb through the announce table and KENTA flees into a flying double stomp off the stage through Moxley on the timekeeper's table! Omega swings a kendo stick at Archer to no avail, and Archer dishes out a chokeslam! Archer walks the ropes and puts Omega down with a moonsault for 2! The Good Brothers run in, allowing KENTA to clothesline Archer's knee. The Good Brothers take down Archer and Jake! Omega looks for a V-Trigger on Jake, but Moxley saves with barbed wire bat shots. KENTA catches Moxley with GTS! Archer looks for a double chokeslam, but gets stopped with low blows. Magic Killer on Archer, followed by Omega's V-Trigger, and assisted One Winged Angel for the win at 20:00! This was total insanity from bell to bell, total throwback to the Attitude Era, minus the sleaze, ****½.
Winners: Kenny Omega and KENTA
Final Thoughts: The main event, Sammy Guevara's saga, and Hangman Page drama made this a great episode that you shouldn't miss. Spare me the "Dynamite is a bad show" narrative that's been popping up on social media.
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