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by Samoa Rowe
September 23, 2020
From Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida in front of 250 - 500 paying fans. I guess these TV tapings aren't selling out because the locals can't afford to pay Ticketmaster fees every week. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur.
Kip Sabian and Miro (with Penelope Ford) vs. Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela
Sabian celebrates Miro Day by gushing over how handsome and dangerous his Best Man is. Sabian starts against Kiss, who quickly delivers the back handspring slap. Miro tags to a mixed reaction but steps out at Sabian's request. Sabian gets overwhelmed, but Miro helps out with well-timed power moves to shift the momentum. Miro clearly plays a heel as he picks Kiss apart. Janela gets the hot tag and plows through Sabian, but can't clotheslines Miro off the apron. Janela kicks Miro off the apron (Miro seems to tweak his ankle in the landing) and he back drops Janela over the rail. Miro tries to launch Sabian over the rail but Janela counters with an uppercut in mid-air. Miro hoists Janela but Kiss breaks it with a missile dropkick. Janela no-sells and superkicks Sabian in the ring. Miro throws Janela to knock Kiss off the ropes, but Kiss blocks Sabian's springboard attempt. Miro throws Kiss into Sabian's botched lungblower, but Janela saves the match. Miro slams Janela onto the ring frame and superkicks Kiss. The Cobra Clutch finishes Kiss at 10:44. Disappointing opener that was falling apart at the seams, **.
Winners: Miro and Kip Sabian
Eddie Kingston marches to the ring and speaks directly to the hard camera. He's getting a shot at the AEW title tonight because he was never eliminated from the Casino Battle Royal (and because Lance Archer tested positive for COVID-19). He labels Moxley a sellout and calls out the “sports entertainer.” Moxley storms in and gets right into Kingston's face, but referees rush in to maintain the peace.
Kenny Omega joins commentary to continue acting like he doesn't care about Hangman Page.
Evil Uno (with the Dark Order) vs. Hangman Page
Dark Order, minus Brodie Lee, hang out on the stage to watch as Uno and Page trade holds. Page kips up to surprise Uno with a big boot. Press slam by Page and an overhead power slam gets 2. Uno answers with a back suplex . Page hits a springboard clothesline and slingshot plancha to ringside. Uno hands Page's boot the ref and hits a hanging neckbreaker. They cut to a picture-in-picture commercial. Back from break, Uno tosses Page onto the stage and the Dark Order hover like hawks. Colt Cabana hesitates, and Uno sends the group away. Page rebounds with a slam onto the ring frame. Fallaway slam by Page and standing SSP get 2. Uno hits a bicycle kick and sprints for a Swanton Bomb for 2. They trade hammers and Page hits a hard lariat, Uno blocks another standing SSP for a nearfall. Page tries to pass Uno's boot to the ref and hits a powerbomb. The Buckshot Lariat finishes it at 11:43. Good match, felt like a sequel to last week's Page/Kazarian match. Some may argue that Page should have made quick work of Uno, but that's not really AEW's style, ***.
Winner: Hangman Page
Earlier today, Tony Shiavone tried to get a word with the Young Bucks. He knocks on their door and Matt Jackson pops out. Matt admits that their recent behavior has been out of line, attacking that interview guy and little rat ref. He says that losing so many matches and friends has been hard on them. Matt dismisses a question about FTR and gets offended by Tony's question about how it felt to watch them win the titles, so he smashes his phone. Matt tosses cash at Tony and leaves him with his hurt feelings.
Mr. Brodie Lee © (with The Dark Order) vs. Orange Cassidy
Silver trashes OC's entrance attire and freaks out when OC drops Lee's hood onto him. Anna Jay hops on the apron to distract, but OC casually puts his shades on her. Lee takes the shades back and drops them on the mat. OC nonchalantly puts his hands into his pockets and hits lazy kicks, only for Lee to kick him down. Cassidy dropkicks Lee to ringside and dives onto the Dark Order, but they catch him to set up a Lee dive. Lee picks Cassidy apart and feeds him to the Dark Order at ringside. Lee blocks a swinging DDT and hits a Bossman slam to send us to commercial. Back from break, Lee catapults OC neckfirst into the bottom rope. OC eats some suplexes and falls off his feet, seemingly inadvertently blocking lariats in the process. OC deliberately ducks a penalty kick and finds his second wind, hitting a pair of elbow suicidas. OC fights off the Dark Order minions and counters Lee with a stunner. Diving DDT by Cassidy and a running penalty kick. Another DDT leaves Lee in a daze, and Cassidy hits a brutal slam for a great nearfall. The Dark Order provide enough distractions for Lee to hit the Discus Lariat to retain at 11:34. Good match aside from that finish and a few clunky moments that the PBP probably didn't convey. Cassidy teasing the win was exciting and his loss hurts me in ways I don't usually feel when watching wrestling in my 30's, ***¼.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Mr. Brodie Lee
Lee has no time to celebrate when the lights go out. The video wall goes red and some familiar music signals the return of Cody, who enters through the center of the set with new black hair. Cody single handedly goes full Stone Cold on the Dark Order while Lee slips away. He puts 5 in a Figure Four and stands victorious.
Lee grabs a microphone backstage and tries to convince us that he isn't totally spooked by Cody's return. He's going to wrap a dog collar around Cody's godforsaken neck tattoo if Cody isn't too much of a coward to face him.
Private Party and a limping Matt Hardy come to the ring to talk. Matt doesn't know who attacked him from behind last week, but knows it was something wearing a mask and wielding a pipe. His prime suspect is Chris Jericho. Matt is proud of Private Party's effort against Inner Circle, but is upset that Jericho tried to injure Kassidy with the Walls and calls Le Champion an "@sshole." Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle, minus Sammy Guevara, arrive for a rebuttal. Jericho enjoys the fans serenading him with “Judas” and reintroduces Guevara's gloating mug. Jericho denies being Matt's attacker, because he would do it face to face so he'd see the happiness in his eyes. Jericho would like to beat Matt with the bat now, and Private Party have to step in to remind Hardy that he's not cleared. Quen wants to fight instead, but Kassidy insists this is his fight. Kassidy challenges Jericho to a singles match next week, vowing to make him a "Le Champion B!tch.
Tony Shiavone hosts AEW Tag Team Champions FTR and Tully Blanchard in the ring. Tully has arranged for FTR's TV matches to have 20 minute time limits, branding it a "20 Minute Brush with Greatness." Basically, if it goes to a time limit, it counts as a win for FTR. SCU will be the first challengers. They're interrupted by Best Friends, hot off their Parking Lot Fight victory (that Meltzer gave five stars) and want to do a 20 minute challenge right now. FTR accept, because Trent's mommy isn't here to protect them, but then get cold feet because "Best Friends aren't 100%" so it isn't fair. Taylor calls them "weenies" and hugs Trent for the moral victory.
Ivelisse and Diamante vs. AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida and NWA Women's Champion Thunder Rosa
Ivelisse and Diamante jump the champions from behind for the early advantage. They plant Shida with a tandem back suplex. Shida answers with a backbreaker, but her knee lift is blocked. Rosa makes a save and helps Shida hit stereo knee lifts to Diamante. Shida slams Rosa onto Diamante for 2. Rosa's running back senton gets 2, but Diamante then forces a tag. Ivelisse throws stiff shots and slams Rosa for 2, just in time for a picture-in-picture commercial. They return with Shida running wild on a hot tag. Diamante cuts her off with a stunner and Ivelisse follows with a guillotine slam. Rosa plants Diamante, and the match breaks down with Ivelisse nearly pinning Shida with a roundhouse kick. Diamante's assisted sliced bread on Shida is broken by Rosa. Rosa breaks Code Red and hits a DVD. Shida hits the Falcon Arrow on Diamante but Ivelisse breaks the pin. Shida's running knee finally ends it at 8:35. Solid match with some equally exciting and confusing spots down the stretch, **¾.
Winners: Hikaru Shida and Thunder Rosa
Dasha interviews Chris Jericho backstage about Kassidy's challenge. He kind of respects Kassidy but he's the 1,000,000 viewer man and will put him away with shots. MJF offers his support to Jericho, calling Kassidy deplorable for thinking he has a chance. They call each other great, but then in stereo demand to know why they called each other losers. MJF pathetically claims he was calling the limo driver a loser, while Jericho lies that he was calling Shiavone a loser, and they have a good laugh at poor Tony's expense. This was pretty great, though I'm starting to worry that Shiavone has a toxic work environment.
AEW World Championship:
Jon Moxley © vs. Eddie Kingston
They trade holds and Eddie breaks a head scissors. Moxley breaks a Test of Strength and his hammerlock is broken in the ropes. They trade disrespectful slaps and chops. Enziguri by Kingston and running clothesline. They brawl at ringside and Eddie reverses a throw into the timekeeper's table. They cut to picture-in-picture. Back from break, Moxley fights out of a chinlock. Eddie throws brutal chops but Moxley decapitates him with a lariat. Tope suicida by Moxley and a vertical suplex on the floor. Moxley ducks a clothesline and serves a piledriver for a rope break. Eddie reverses with a powerbomb for 2. They trade more stiff shots and then exchange Germans and backdrop drivers and Eddie gets a painfully close nearfall. Moxley puts Eddie into a nasty side headlock for the win at 10:52. Moxley looks relieved to escape. Good match, Eddie made for a fine sub for Archer, ***.
Winner and still AEW World Champion: Jon Moxley
Lucha Bros. run in to put the boots to Moxley, but Will Hobbs makes the save, only to eat stereo superkicks. Darby Allin runs in to clear the ring with his skateboard, but then gets ambushed by Ricky Starks' spear. Taz saunters in and likes what he sees. The bad guys appear to join forces and stand tall.
Final Thoughts: I had fun with the title matches and Jericho antics. Some parts of this show didn't land, like the rough opener and FTR's unnecessary gimmick match reveal. Full Gear feels awfully far away to be the destination for many of the ongoing feuds/ angles, so I expect we'll be treated to some big happenings on Dynamite in the next month.
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