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by Samoa Rowe
December 16, 2020
From Daily's Place, hopefully for not too much longer, as the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur.
Hangman Adam Page and The Dark Order (John Silver and Alex Reynolds) vs. Matt Hardy and Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy)
Reynolds and Silver are dressed as bandits, which fails to amuse Page, but gets a chuckle out of me. Page squares off with Quen. Match quickly breaks down with Page and the Dark Order hitting triple big boots. Page tolerates Silver leaping on his back to celebrate. Match restarts with Dark Order making a blind tag to put Kassidy down with a tandem flapjack. Running SSP by Page. Kassidy escapes Silver to get in Quen for a burst of offense. Quen leaps off Silver's back to moonsault him into Kassidy's knees. Silver breaks Hardy's chinlock with a back suplex. Silver blocks Hardy's ax handle and nails a Brainbuster. Hot tag to Page, who plows through Pirvate Party with all kinds of cowboy sh!t. Hardy interrupts with a Side Effect, but Page blocks the Twist of Fate and hits a clothesline. Hot tag to Reynolds, who is a touch quicker than Quen, and nearly wins with a suplex. Dark Order swarm Quen, but Hardy breaks up a cover. Twist of Fate on Silver at ringside, and Silver clutches his knee. Private Party catch Reynolds with Gin and Juice, and Hardy tags himself in to make the easy pinfall at 10:50. Good opener, but feels too early to be planting the seeds of dissension between Hardy and Private Party. I did enjoy the dynamics between Page and the Dark Order quite a bit, ***.
Winners: Matt Hardy and Private Party
Alex Marvez interviews Chris Jericho, MJF, and the Inner Circle backstage. They've received an award for Le Dinner Debonair, which Jericho wants to make sure he gets his rightful credit for. MJF talks over him, and while he resents the internet narrative that the Inner Circle made him a better performer, he loves them all oh so much.
Brandi and Cody are decorating their tree when the doorbell rings. Someone has left a small gift on their front mat. They open it, and it's an ornament revealing they're expecting a little Rhodes! Pharaoh is a baby guard dog in training. How cute, I thought there'd be something sinister in the box, but nice things are allowed to happen in AEW now and then.
Cody Rhodes (with Arn Anderson and Brandi Rhodes) vs. Angelico (with Jack Evans)
Cody is hyper focused tonight and goes for the wrist, but Angelico kicks free. Angelico spins around for a nifty arm drag and mocks in a resting position, daring Cody to do something about it. Tempers flare and they trade palm thrusts. They run the ropes until Cody scores a big dropkick for 2. They cut to a commercial. Back from break, Cody drives a knee into Angelico's face. Power slam by Cody and off goes the weight belt. Angelico blocks Cody's uppercut and rolls hi into a head scissors with a hammerlock. Cody bites the ropes for a break. Angelico runs into a thrust kick, but then blocks the Disaster Kick, injuring Cody's leg in the process. Angelico applies the Navarro lock. Cody survives and hits the Cody Cutter for the win at 9:45. Good match, Angelico has done well to boost his profile these past few weeks, and I appreciate Cody winning with a secondary finisher, ***.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Team Taz arrives on the stage to mock Cody for his fatherhood announcement. Darby Allin watches from the bleachers. They are ready to whoop some @ss, but are interrupted by a blizzard, which means IT'S STIIIIIIING! Sting and his mighty baseball bat are too much for Team Taz to handle, and they back off (even though Powerhouse Hobbs really wanted a piece of the Stinger). Sting acknowledges Darby before departing.
Alex Marvez interviews Miro backstage. Miro doesn't like the way Orange Cassidy doesn't care about anything. He announces that next week they're going to have a huge wedding announcement for Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford. Miro feels no remorse for putting staff members in the hospital before Christmas because it's his birthday, so bah humbug!
Eddie Kingston comes to the ring to antagonize the fans. Eddie has a lot of enemies, including he big guy upstairs who hasn't gotten him yet, Lucha Bros, and the big goofy bastard, Lance Archer, who arrives right on cue for a brawl. Butcher and Blade run in to help Eddie. Lucha Bros and Pac rush in to help Archer clear the ring. We get our first group huddle to catch a flier spot of the night, and Jim Ross is a good sport on commentary. With Eddie's group neutralized, Archer and Pac exchange stern words, but ultimately stand tall together.
Dasha interviews Dustin Rhodes about the Dark Order's offer. Dustin is fired up and vows to tear through the entire Dark Order one by one.
Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent, with Orange Cassidy), Varsity Blondes (Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr.), and Top Flight (Dante and Darius Martin) vs. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, MJF, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana, and Ortiz)
Orange Cassidy promptly falls asleep at commentary, and I couldn't possibly relate more. Jericho slaps the taste out of Pillman's face and lights him up with chops. Pillman returns the favor and lands a springboard crossbody. Pillman dropkicks Jericho off the apron, and nails a slingshot senton. Pillan's power slam sets Jericho up for Garrison's guillotine leg drop. Jericho quickly tags Sammy, but Garrison stays alive with a hip toss. Dante Martin tags and he kicks Sammy's middle finger salute. Guevara answers with a dropkick and takes time to showboat. Dante comes back with a rough leg lariat. Darius' blind tag lets him ambush Sammy with a crucifix pin attempt. Guevara sucker punches Dante in the face. Match breaks down when Best Friends and Santana and Ortiz rekindle their rivalry. The good guys clear the ring and have a six-way hug. Match restarts with Inner Circle taking control of Trent, just in time for the commercial break. Trent eventually dodges Sammy's SSP and hits a running knee. Darius gets the hot tag and runs wild with a Spanish Fly on Ortiz. Ortiz blocks Darius' dive with an enziguri, but doesn't see Dante's dive! Best Friends help with the Sole Food Suplex, and the Varsity Blondes clear out Hager. Jericho hits Garrison with Floyd, allowing Hager to hit an F10. Hager lets MJF have the pinfall at 14:21. Tons of fun with some fresh personalities getting some shine, and the Inner Circle get a statement win when Hager seemingly takes over Wardlow's role, ***½.
Top Flight aren't finished and clear the ring with stereo dropkicks. Jericho is enraged and I expect he'll be telling Alex Marvez that he wants a match with Top Flight before the night is over.
Thunder Rosa rants and raves about Britt Baker's claims that she doesn't belong in AEW, and laughs like a lunatic, which earns her a beatdown from the good doctor. Britt stretches her while Rebel pours water on her face to smear her facepaint.
SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) vs. The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens)
Kazarian isn't impressed by the Acclaimed's rap skills and offers his own intentionally cheesy rebuttal. Bowens is furious but it makes him an easy target for Kazarian's package suplex. SCU swarm Bowens, hitting a double stomp to the small of the back. Caster makes a tag and trades shots with Daniels. The Acclaimed manage to overwhelm Kazarian and stomp him onto the floor, just in time for a commercial. Back from break, Kazarian catches Caster with a leaping DDT. Hot tag to Daniels, who cleans house in spry fashion and plants Bowens with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Bowens blocks Angel's Wings, so Daniels hits a uranage. Daniels catches Bowens with a diving crossbody. Daniels is distracted by Kazarian and Caster's ringside brawl, and gets shoved into a boom box, allowing Bowens to pick up the pinfall at 8:21. Average match, but it's cool seeing the Acclaimed get a spotlight on Dynamite, **½.
Winners: The Acclaimed
Caster drops some rhymes for the Young Bucks. Some pretty rude words rhyme with Buck, didn't you know? The Acclaimed want to ride their 1-0 Dynamite record into a tag title match.
Dasha interviews Top Flight backstage. They feel pretty satisfied that if Jericho and MJF didn't know who they are, they do now. They lay out a challenge for next week.
Diamante and Ivelisse vs. Big Swole and NWA Women's Champion Serena Deeb
Deeb locks up with Ivelisse, who scores a takedown. Deeb answers with a running clothesline. Big Swole tags, but Ivelisse retreats. Swole catches Diamante with a backbreaker. Overhead throw by Swole, but Diamante wrenches her head to the canvas. Diamante sits Swole in the ropes for a sick German suplex. Cue the obligatory commercial. Back from break, Deeb has already made her hot tag and is in the midst of cleaning house. Deeb's gutbuster sets up a Figure Four on Ivelisse. Diamante tags and helps hit a tandem power slam. Deeb suplexes Diamante for enough space to make a hot tag to Swole. Diamante ducks Dirty Dancing, but runs into a hard head butt. Double underhook powerbomb by Swole and a Cloverleaf! Deeb blocks Ivelisse's interference while Diamante taps at 9:22. Another average match, but these women are starving for this kind of TV time, **½.
Winners: Big Swole and Serena Deeb
VIckie Guerrero leads Nyla Rose to the ring to help Diamante and Ivelisse beat down Swole and Deeb. Red Velvet runs in with a chair for a timely save. AEW has taken some criticism lately for having too many segments that result in run-ins like this, but frankly I'm glad that the wrestlers in AEW are allowed to have friends.
Best Friends and Orange Cassidy respond to Miro's announcement. They cannot wait to sabotage whatever Miro is planning.
FTR complain to commentary that nothing in the tag team division matters anymore. They've got families to feed and won't be overlooked.
No Disqualifications AEW World Title Eliminator Match:
Joey Janela (with Sonny Kiss) vs. AEW World Champion Kenny Omega (with Don Callis)
Janela cuts Omega's entrance off with a garbage can to the face. Callis antagonizes commentary while Janela hits a tope suicida. Janela sets up a chair but Omega puts him through it with a wild Kotaro Crusher! Omega dropkicks Janela into a chair for a Terminator Dive (but Omega clutches his lower back afterwards). Callis starts providing his own commentary on the mic while Omega beats Janela down with a cookie sheet. Omega takes a mic to respond to Callis while casually continuing his assault. Omega nails a can assisted moonsault but Janela kicks out! Omega double stomps the can into Janela's back, but Janela reverses One Winged Angel into a poison rana. Kiss sets up a ringside table. Janela puts Omega through the table with a leg drop off the top rope! YEESH! Janela misses a moonsault, allowing Omega to hit a pair of V-Triggers. One Winged Angel finishes it at 6:04. I appreciate the all killer, no filler pacing and urgency in this one, ***.
Winner: Kenny Omega
Callis declares that Kenny has answered all his critics. They're interrupted by Pac and Lucha Bros. Pac feels that since Fenix never got eliminated from the #1 contenders tournament, he deserves a title shot. Callis dismisses them, because wrestlers don't tell the world champion what to do. Pac reveals that Tony Khan already sanctioned it, so Omega will defend against Fenix soon.
Final Thoughts: I liked the entire show, sue me.
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