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by Samoa Rowe
August 12, 2020
From Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida, now with SOME fans in attendance. For those of you reading this years from now, there's still no end in sight regarding COVID-19 in the United States. There's a naive optimism that this will all be over in 2021, but it's complete wishful thinking so long as there's no vaccine and a staggering number of Americans are crying about liberty when asked to wear a mask. Nothing will change until something changes. Anyways, our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Taz (Excalibur is still in exile).
The Young Bucks are ready for action but get jumped by the Dark Order's lower ranked goons on the stage.
The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson)
The Bucks are at a disadvantage from getting ambushed. The minions swarm Nick again at ringside so Matt dives off the stage for the save. Dark Order still has control of Nick and work him over with quick tags. Matt gets a relatively quick hot tag and hits double clotheslines. The Bucks hit Grayson with double elbows and deliver a neckbreaker/backbreaker combo on Uno. Grayson shows off some athleticism to escape a 2 on 1 situation and tags in Uno to restore order. Matt has to hide under the ring to escape the minions and sneaks back with a spear to make the hot tag. Nick cleans house like an indie darling should. "Best comeback in the business!" he declares. The Bucks hit Uno with Risky Business for 2. They drape Uno for a springboard swanton bomb, but Uno gets a rope break. Grayson steps over his partner's and Jackson's shoulders to make a save, which would be a total babyface trick in front of most crowds. Dark Order are unable to pick up the win, so Grayson throws Matt into the tunnel and orders the minions to block him from coming back. Nick dodges Fatality and desperately hits a sunset cutter to steal the win at 12:32. This was a solid piece of business, ***.
Winners: The Young Bucks
MJF is shown being really condescending to his campaign crew.
Page and Omega talk about tag team wrestling ahead of FTR's upcoming Tag Team Appreciation Night segment.
MJF, Wardlow, and the campaign team come to the ring to talk. He wants to talk about his polling numbers, but first has to remind his assistant to smile more. MJF has numbers favoring him to win the AEW title at All Out. He calls Moxley a "dictator" who isn't here tonight because he's afraid. He lays on his back to set Moxley's mind at ease. He pops up when Moxley's music hits and panics while sending his crew to guard the doors. Moxley storms through the entrance tunnel for a sneak attack! MJF eats a Paradigm Shift and Moxley casually storms out and grabs a mic. Moxley says he and MJF are not even, and he'll force him to swallow a bitter pill at All Out. I'll be honest, I wasn't feeling the fake political rally act, but MJFs mic work is strong enough to make it work. I really enjoyed the Moxley attack though, it's great having a smart babyface champion that can outsmart a heel.
Backstage interview with a banged up Matt Hardy. He is seeing red and is on a mission to make Sammy Guevara pay for busting him open with a chair. He thinks he sees Sammy and drives the poor guy into the steel door, but it turns out to be referee Mike Posey. That should be a steep fine.
Cody © (with The Nightmare Family) vs. Scorpio Sky
Sky gets a special entrance, as he breaks down a door in the tunnel. That's an optimistic metaphor. Cody's TNT title is finally finished being put together and doesn't look so much like a cute art project anymore. Cody also has his entire entourage in tow, but everyone except Arn leaves when the bell rings). They start with fast paced chain wrestling. Cody sends Sky over the ropes with a reverse hip toss. Cody holds the ropes for Sky, who rejects the offer. Cody's clothesline sends them both tumbling to ringside and they almost brawl to a countout. Back to the ring, Cody hits a powerslam just in time for the picture-in-picture break. Back from commercial, Sky escapes a surfboard stretch, takes a powerbomb, but then drops Cody's ribs onto the top rope. Sky smells blood and pulls Cody's ribcage into the ring post. Cody counters out of an abdominal stretch but Sky surprises with a cutter onto the stage! Sky's apparent back injury allows a Cody superplex, but Sky rolls through for a close nearfall, and Cody hits a Cross Rhodes for only 2! They exchange piledriver attempts and Sky nails a leaping DDT for 2. Cody blocks a leaping cutter and hits a second Cross Rhodes for the win at 11:44. Really solid match, elevated by both guys telegraphing a real sense of urgency, ***¼.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Cody
Sky looks properly bothered by the loss but Cody tries to put him over. They're interrupted by The Dark Order on the big screen. Mr. Brodie Lee has the unfinished TNT title and issues a direct challenge for the first Saturday Dynamite.
Private Party talk about their love of the Hardy Boyz.
AEW Tag Team Championship:
The Elite © (Hangman Page and Kenny Omega) vs. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy, with Marko Stunt)
Omega roughs up JB, so Stunt distracts and almost gets his bucket hat slapped off. JB and Omega lock up again, JB trips with his body and hits a springboard arm drag. JB's dropkick gets 1. Luchasaurus throws JB into a DDT on Omega for 2. JB bounces off his partner's shoulders to hit a crossbody for 2. Page makes a blind tag and overwhelms JB with rapid offense. JB chops his way out of a 2 on 1 situation, but Page cuts him off with a crossbody to ringside as they head to commercial. Back from break, Luchasaurus makes a comeback and chokeslams Page into place for a standing moonsault for 2. Luchasaurus misses a running boot and Omega hits a V-Trigger to the back and a Snap Dragon. JB blocks, so Omega hits a Snap Dragon on Stunt for laughing about it. JB almost kills himself hitting Omega with a dive. The Elite pile Jurassic Express in the buckles for running shots. Omega throws JB into Page's German Suplex, but Luchasaurus hits a tail whip and a reverse double suplex. JB sneaks in for a frog splash, suicide dive, and leaping DDT despite getting caught in the ropes. Luchasaurus plants Page for 2, and Page absorbs some KO blows that needs Omega to save the match. The Elite rebound with powerbombs to ringside and Omega's running heel kick dive. Page's powerbomb on JB gets 2, but the Buckshot V-Trigger seals it at 14:11. Great energy and pacing throughout, easily overcoming some rough spots along the way, ***½.
Winners and still AEW Tag Team Champions: The Elite
Santana and Ortiz are supposed to talk about tag team wrestling, but instead they destroy Best Friends' luggage in the shower. I guess Trent's mom shouldn't be holding her breath for an apology.
Butcher and Blade love tag team wrestling because it's gritty. Their favorite team was the Road Warriors.
It's time for Tag Team Appreciation Night, with the Young Bucks, FTR, the Rock N Roll Express, and Brain Busters! Matt says the RnR Express were the original Young Bucks and inspired them to get into the business and offer sincere thanks. FTR admits they're big marks for the RnR Express and Brain Busters and puts them over for making it possible for them to make a living in pro wrestling. Ricky Morton puts the young guys over, though it's clear that he's really proud of the Young Bucks. Arn puts everyone over, but feels FTR are the best team in the world today. Tully pulls the mic away from Gibson and chews everyone out for claiming to be the best when they don't have any championships to prove it. Tully also takes issue with Arn's affiliation with Cody. Shawn Spears shows up so Arn storms out. A brief scuffle breaks out, and with the Bucks distracted, FTR put the RnR Express down with their spike piledriver! Page and Omega arrive late and don't seem to pleased with FTR.
Chris Jericho interrupts an interview with Mike Chioda. Jericho claims to have saved Chioda's job some 18 years ago, so he wants him to referee his match against Orange Cassidy to "do the right thing." Mike says he'd call it down the middle, Jericho says to wait for his signal and maybe he can get him a full-time job with AEW.
Sammy Guevara mocks Matt Hardy with cue cards during a picture-in-picture commercial.
AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Heather Monroe
Monroe jumps Shida before the bell and connects with a series of strikes. Shida comes right back with a backbreaker. Monroe catches Shida in the buckles for a double stomp to the shoulders for 2. Shida answers with a suplex into the buckles. Monroe counters the Falcon Arrow into a roll-up, but Shida counters into a nasty leg around the head submission for the win at 2:25. This was an okay squash.
Winner: Hikaru Shida
Shida still doesn't know who her next challenger is (I suspect neither does Tony Khan) but she's ready.
Lance Archer is still beating up geeks in the locker room as Jake Roberts talks him up. Archer pulls off Jake's jacket to reveal "Everybody Dies" written on his back.
$7,000 Obligation Match:
Orange Cassidy vs. Chris Jericho
Best Friends and Inner Circle have been banned from ringside. Jericho got his wish to have Mike Chioda as referee, and get this, people on Twitter are freaking out over it. Bell rings and OC is aggressive right out of the gate. Cassidy nails a crossbody to ringside and reverses an Irish whip into the stage wall. OC hits the hands-in-pockets flying shoulder block! Diving DDT by Cassidy gets 2. Jericho blocks a Superman punch with a low kick and takes control with a back suplex. Jericho's springboard dropkick off the apron sends us to picture-in-picture. Back from break, Jericho keeps cooking with a lionsault for 2. OC hits soft strikes, this time seemingly from exhaustion and not laziness, but it was a ruse to set up a slick superkick. DDT by Cassidy and a high crossbody get 2. Cassidy nails some dragon screws but Jericho counters into the Walls! OC counters into a roll-up and wrenches the leg again to set up an ankle lock. Stunner by OC but Jericho's Codebreaker gets 2! Jericho grabs Floyd but Chioda takes it away. OC gets a quick rollup for 2 and Michinoku Driver. Cassidy hits a penalty kick to the face and Superman punch! Santana and Ortiz meet Best Friends on the stage for a brawl while Jake Hager sneaks in to put OC down with a power slam. Jericho's late cover only gets 2! OC ducks the Judas Effect and sweeps Jericho for a pinfall at 13:53! OC WINS! Not quite the class encounter they had last time, but they totally had me buying the fake bad finish and Cassidy's victory is a great moment, ***½.
Winner: Orange Cassidy
Final Thoughts: Just a really solid show full of three star matches. It's starting to feel like they don't have enough TV time to go around for everyone that needs it. That's a good problem to have.
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