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by Samoa Rowe
November 11, 2020
From Daily's Place, with Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur calling the action.
Show kicks off with Team Taz coming out. Taz announces that FTW Champion Brian Cage will be in action, but also calls attention to TNT Champion Darby Allin sitting in the balcony. Taz accuses Allin of not respecting the business and those who came before him.
Brian Cage © (with Taz and Ricky Starks) vs. Matt Sydal
Sydal avoids a press slam and hits an enziguri and sliding dropkick. Cage pummels him into the corner and delivers a hard Irish whip. Straight jacket German by Cage, followed by a hip toss backbreaker. Cage dissects the chest and back of Sydal. Sydal comes back with some well timed counters and delivers a powerbomb. Sydal hits Meteora onto the stage! Cage shakes it off (no-sells) but Sydal slips away for a wild neckbreaker for 2. Sydal continues to outmaneuver Cage's power move attempts until he gets blasted with a short clothesline. Sydal reverses again into a spike rana for a good nearfall. Sydal dives into Cage's arms for a crazy Falcon Arrow counter and pinfall at 7:45! This got really good once Sydal went into survival mode, **¾.
Winner: Brian Cage
Ricky Starks grabs the mic and threatens AEW with a revolution.
Cody Rhodes has regained his last name, but lost his TNT Championship, and he's here in a suit to talk about it. I wonder if he can be talked into having his neck tattoo removed. He congratulates Darby Allin for winning the TNT title and announces that he won't be seeking a rematch at this time. Instead, Cody is focusing on a rematch with MJF. He's interrupted by a mysterious woman, named Jade Cargill. She tells Cody off and tells him to get his sh!t together. Jade scoffs at Cody thinking himself to be a giant killer and reveals herself to be representing "Shaq."" This brings out Brandi Rhodes, who cuts a fiery promo basically telling Jade to pack her bags and get lost. They are about to come to blows when Jerry Lynn runs out to restore order. In the chaos, Cody is assaulted by Brian Cage and Ricky Starks, which leads to Darby Allin storming to the ring in a thumbtack jacket to hit a springboard coffin drop on Starks, and a corner splash on Cage. With Team Taz taken care of, Will Hobbs arrives late just to show some support. Well, this segment was certainly all over the place, but I suppose AEW has earned the right for us to let it play out and see where it goes.
Backstage interview with AEW World Champion Jon Moxley, fresh off making Eddie Kingston say "I quit" at Full Gear. Moxley didn't want to make Eddie quit, but did what he had to do. He now has to contend with Kenny Omega, who he's already beaten once, but he knows beating him twice will be difficult. Moxley issues a sincere "good luck" to Omega before taking off. In a surprise twist, the title match will take place on the December 2nd edition of Dynamite.
The Butcher and The Blade (with The Bunny) vs. The Natural Nightmares (QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes)
QT is looking for revenge after Bunny maxed out his credit cards and enters the match with a springboard clothesline. Butcher and Dustin brawl at ringside, where there are farmyard props scattered all over. Dustin hits the Final Reckoning onto a standing chair. The Nightmares set up a table, but Blade cracks a guitar over QT's head. Dustin grabs a bullrope to choke Blade and set up the Golden Globes, but Butcher cuts him off. Bunny helps handcuff Dustin to the ropes while a bloody QT crawls back into the ring, just in time to get beaten up throughout a commercial break. Dustin returns to jab and clothesline Butcher and Blade off their feet. Dustin batters them with a ladder until Butcher knocks him down with a chair. Dustin fires back at Butcher with a kendo stick, and they brawl up some steps into a production area. QT helps with a fire extinguisher, allowing Dustin to bulldog Butcher through a gimmicked plywood floor. QT rushes back to brawl with Blade in the ring. QT hits a flying elbow off a ladder but Blade kicks out! Butcher returns for a slam on QT, but Dustin follows for a spinning slam on Blade. Dustin's Code Red barely lands, and Bunny slides in weapons to help her team retake control. Butcher and Blade put Dustin through chairs with Final Death, but QT breaks the cover. QT hits a chain assisted Diamond Cutter on Butcher, but Blade ambushes him with a low blow. QT causes Blade to knock Allie off the apron through a table, and the Nightmares finish with a cowbell shot/Diamond Cutter at 13:00. This was a far better blowoff match than this “feud” deserved, but the way wrong team went over, ***.
Winners: The Natural Nightmares
HIghlights from the Elite Deletion Match at Full Gear, which featured the usual Broken Matt antics, like holograms, fireworks, and other special effects.
It's time for the official Inner Circle induction of MJF and Wardlow. Everyone except Sammy Guevara gathers around a podium in the ring. MJF fights back tears while giving an acceptance speech and has a poem prepared for his homies, Santana and Ortiz, and the punchline is that he's ripping off Drake lyrics. Santana hates this, but Chris Jericho talks him down, saying that MJF beat him fair and square, and now the Inner Circle will be stronger than ever, so Santana had better make this work. MJF says he's never even heard of Drake, and then throws a surprise birthday party for Jericho, complete with confetti and music. Next week, they're going to Vegas to party! I sense a second musical number in the works. Everyone but Santana locks arms in celebration. If you were hoping for a big time swerve here, you're probably disappointed and irritated that this played largely for yucks. I kind of dug it.
Highlights from FTR vs. The Young Bucks at Full Gear, which resulted in the Bucks finally becoming AEW Tag Team Champions. Despite the questionable build, it looks as though they delivered a classic match.
Alex Marvez nervously knocks in the Young Bucks' dressing room door, but this time they resist the urge to superkick him. They say they went through hell to win the titles, Nick is open to a rematch with FTR, but Matt wants fresh opponents, like indie standouts, Top Flight.
Shawn Spears (with Tully Blanchard) vs. Scorpio Sky
This whole feud revolves around Sky not letting Spears beat up Sydal that one time. That has led to a series of mindgames, and now they're finally locking up after COVID-19 forced them to postpone. Both men are also riding ridiculously good win/loss records thanks to nonstop jobber matches on Dark. They brawl at the opening bell and Sky gains the upper hand in time for a quick commercial break. They return with Spears swatting away Sky's missile dropkick. Spears can't hit C4, and Sky clotheslines them to ringside. Leaping cutter by Sky gets 2. Spears reverses a whip, but Sky leaps over the ring steps, but then flies into a (botched) superkick. Spears saves face with a sidewalk slam onto the steps. Back to the ring, Sky counters into a sharpshooter. Spears gets the ropes, and Tully slides in a steel slug. Sky removes one slug, but Spears clocks him with a second slug for the win at 9:08. Match was mostly fine, but was a bit sloppy at times and lacked an interesting backstory, **¼.
Winner: Shawn Spears
Kenny Omega is supposed to be interviewed backstage by Dasha, but gets found trying to leave in the parking lot. Omega says he's heard the whispers and chatter that he was supposed to be the same star in AEW that he was in New Japan. He pretends his loss at Full Gear 2019 never happened (well, it was unsanctioned) so he considers himself to be 0-0 against Moxley.
Tay Conti (with Anna Jay) vs. Red Velvet (with Brandi Rhodes)
Both women are aggressive at the opening bell. They exchange armdrags to reach a stalemate. Conti hits a shoulder block, but Velvet answers with a leg lariat. They duke it out and Conti takes control with Judo throws. They cut to commercial. Back from break, Velvet makes a timely comeback. Velvet hits a bulldog stunner for a good nearfall. They both go down after double roundhouse kicks. Jay passes a chair to Conti, who looks torn and kicks it out. She turns around to eat a leg lariat from Velvet for 2. Conti comes back with a pump kick to the face and Gory Special Knee to the Face for the win at 8:00. This was pretty good, but a disproportionate amount took place during the commercial, **¼.
Winner: Tay Conti
Jay and Conti embrace, as it seems the story thread of Jay trying to recruit her into the Dark Order hasn't been dropped.
Alex Marvez interviews the new and improved Inner Circle backstage, and they're all pumped to be heading to Las Vegas. Sammy Guevara arrives late and complains that MJF emailed him the wrong details. Jericho plays peacekeeper, and MJF patronizes Sammy while giving him a ticket.
Footage from Full Gear shows Kip Sabian slapping Orange Cassidy, to absolutely no reaction from him or Best Friends.
Eddie Kingston limps onto the stage to talk about what happened at Full Gear. He refuses to let the fans cheer for him, but admits that Moxley made him say “I quit.” Despite this setback, he vows to become World Champion someday.
Rey Fenix vs. Penta El Zero M
Kingston joins commentary to support his guys. They trade hard kicks until Penta knocks Fenix off his feet. They show off with a rapid series of pinfall reversals. Fenix scores a rana but Penta then back drops him over the ropes. Fenix rushes in for a dropkick, but then Penta counters into a standing Tombstone submission. Penta tries to tear Rey's mask off, and applies a chinlock. They take a commercial. Back from break, Fenix' mask is barely hanging on, but he's making a comeback. Penta throws him onto the stage, but he bounces back with an enziguri. Fenix hits a springboard rana and a cutter for 2. Fenix rips Penta's mask (exposing his face!) and pummels his forehead. They grab each others masks for a slugfest. Penta hits a nasty flipping DDT for a great nearfall. Fenix survives with a rana to set up a corkscrew plancha to the floor. Swanton Bomb by Fenix gets 2. Penta answers with a package piledriver onto the ring frame. Penta immediately follows with a Destroyer off the apron! Penta hits a second package piledriver in the ring to win at 12:33. Nasty bit of business on display, elevated by the story surrounding their masks, ***¾.
Winner: Penta El Zero M
Eddie Kingston puts over the effort put forth by the Lucha Bros, but then calls Penta his best friend, while kicking Fenix out of the ring. They're cut off by the returning Pac, who wants a piece of Kingston. Pac charges but referees swarm the ring to prevent any physical contact.
Final Thoughts: I appreciate the way AEW resets after every pay-per-view. Not everything was a home run, but like I said before, they have (so far) earned the right for us to be patient and give them the benefit of a doubt. Mild thumbs up.
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