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by Samoa Rowe
January 20, 2021
From Daily's Place, with Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur on the call.
Show opens with The Dark Order throwing Negative One a birthday party on the stage. John Silver is particularly festive and gushes about how not only is it Brodie Jr's birthday, but they are about to recruit a very handsome cowboy. The fans and wrestlers sing "Happy Birthday" and this is all very sweet. They're interrupted by Chaos Project, who are upset that Daily's Place is starting to feel like a daycare center. Luther doesn't like that Negative One said he looks stupid and defends his perfectly symmetrical face. The Chaos Project doesn't like kids and vow to ruin little Brodie's birthday. A brawl breaks out, TH2 get involved, and Adam Page makes a late arrival to dive onto a pile of bodies.
Adam Page and The Dark Order (John Silver, Alex Reynolds, and Colt Cabana) vs. Chaos Project (Serpentico and Luther) and TH2 (Angelico and Jack Evans)
Silver scores a quick uppercut but soon finds himself on the receiving end of Luther and Angelico's tandem bulldog. Silver flapjacks Serpentico onto the buckles and makes a lukewarm tag to Page, who runs wild anyway. Cabana helps clear the ring, and Page hits a fallaway slam, slips on the kip up, but still manages to kick off a series of dives, capped off by a top rope moonsault. Chaos Project recover, and Serpentico slithers into some nearfalls. Page powerbombs Evans into the crowd of wrestlers. Luther tires to powerbomb Cabana through the birthday cake, but Negative One stops him with a kendo stick, and Luther takes a flapjack through the cake instead. That leaves Serpentico to get triple teamed by Silver, Reynolds, and Page, and he succumbs to the Buckshot Lariat at 6:20. Nice glorified squash to advance the relationship between Page and the Dark Order.
Winners: Adam Page and Dark Order
Dark Order help Brodie Jr. celebrate wacking day with a kendo stick on Serpentico. "My birthday was 3 days ago, you idiots!" Little Brodie throws the papers and chases off Snakeman. Meanwhile, Silver gets down on one knee and proposes Page to join Dark Order. Page can't finish his response before he's cut off by a celebration. Page clarifies that he had fun hanging out with Dark Order, but he's already been in a stable and it didn't end well for him. Page hangs his head and leaves while the Dark Order stand dumbfounded. This wasn't as well executed as I would have hoped, these guys are still sorting out who they are as lovable, oddball babyfaces.
Alex Marvez interviews Chris Jericho and MJF backstage. MJF is worried that tonight's Inner Circle exhibition match could split up the group. Jericho feels assured that no matter what happens, they'll know who will move on to contend for the Tag Team titles, and everything will be fine.
Tony Shiavone hosts TNT Champion Darby Allin and Sting in the ring. Sting congratulates Allin for retaining the TNT title and puts him over for reminding him of himself. He's interrupted by Team Taz on the big screen, and Taz cries about the unfair treatment they've suffered. Since everyone in Team Taz is a street fighter, they challenge Sting and Allin to meet them in the streets. Allin warns them to be careful what they wish for, and leaves with Sting.
The Young Bucks pay a visit to Kenny Omega's home. They're greeted by Michael Nakazawa, who leads them into the living room, where there's a ridiculous framed painting of Omega and Don Callis in jeans, looking ripped. Callis arrives and gushes over the painting that he had commissioned. The Bucks demand to know where Kenny is, and Don plays stupid. Callis orders Nakazawa to remove Alex Marvez and the camera guy, so the 3 guys who love Kenny the most can have some privacy. The camera is left running, and we see Callis try to buy the Bucks with a check. They reject the check, they made more last week alone, so Callis bumps it up to factor in merch. The Bucks don't like this one bit and demand to know where Callis was when they were running together in Japan. They back Don into the camera and they cut. This was another segment that had some good ideas behind it but just didn't play out well enough for my liking.
Peter Avalon vs. Cody Rhodes (with Arn Anderson)
Cody immediately hits Cross Rhodes. He could have ended it there, but then allows himself to get distracted by Jade Cargill on the stage. Avalon hits a low blow from behind, and begins picking apart the knee. Cody responds with an uppercut, but Avalon manages to hit a superplex. Avalon enjoys a brief run on offense, hitting a suplex, but Cody answers with a lariat. Avalon rakes the eyes as they head to commercial. Back from break, Avalon misses a moonsault, which allows Cody to make another comeback. They botch a leap frog spot, and Cody takes a bad landing onto his knee. Avalon sends Cody over the rails with a dive. Desperation (and wild) Cody Cutter shifts the momentum. Cody applies a Figure Four, Avalon briefly reverses, but Cody rolls back and slaps the face, forcing Avalon to submit at 9:17. This was about 8 ½ minutes too long, sloppy, and kind of a downer that Avalon's first Dynamite shot in forever would go down like this, *½.”
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Tully Blanchard and FTR try to put themselves in a lounge, but are confronted by Jurassic Express. Jungle Boy knows he can beat either of them. Dax Harwood seems up for the challenge, but has second thoughts when Luchasaurus vows to be at ringside.
Jon Moxley vs. Nick Comoroto
The jobber has a wildman look to him, but Moxley pummels him into the buckles anyway. Comoroto reverses a crossbody into a power slam. Pair of backbreakers by Comoroto leads to a stretch. Moxley is selling his back and desperately bites the forehead. Comoroto answers with a neckbreaker onto his knee. Comoroto misses a head of steam and Moxley lights his chest up with kicks. Moxley's back is too hurt for a vertical suplex, so he improvises with a rebound German suplex. Moxley finishes with a sleeper at 3:59. One of the better squash matches I've ever seen, in terms of jobber hurting the star enough to make him adjust his gameplan.
Winner: Jon Moxley
Moxley takes the mic and gushes over the tough challenge Kenny Omega has created for him, as he's going to chase him all the way back to the AEW title. Tremendous, efficient promo.
Dasha talks to Eddie Kingston and friends backstage. Eddie is almost too angry for words, due to being forced to wrestle Lance Archer next week, and gets interrupted by Archer and Jake Roberts. They exchange threats, and Jake dares him to face Archer without Butcher and Blade in tow.
AEW World Champion Kenny Omega arrives at Daily's Place and can't hide his disgust that Alex Marvez was waiting for him. He brushes past him and meets Don Callis, sporting a black eye, in the locker room. Don sheepishly admits that the Young Bucks did this to him and kicks a nosy Marvez out.
Matt Sydal and Top Flight (Dante and Darius Martin) vs. Matt Hardy and Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen)
In case you missed it, Private Party appeared on last night's Impact Wrestling and become #1 contenders to their Tag Team titles. Dante starts against Quen in a friendly exchange. Darius helps cut off Kassidy's interference. Quen runs through a triple leap frog and takes a dropkick. Sydal's standing moonsault gets 2. Quen throws his jacket at Sydal and turns up the intensity. Top Flight and Sydal answer with a nifty triple team Boston Crab spot, and J.R. sounds so disgusted I'm wondering if he might storm off the set. The ref restores order and QUen catches Sydal with a springboard crossbody. Sydal settles in as the face in peril just in time for a commercial. Back from break, Sydal is still getting worked over. Sydal hits a double rana and Darius storms in on the hot tag. Standing Spanish Fly by Darius, but he has to pause to remove Hardy with a tope suicida. Top Flight block Silly String and hit the WGTT tandem senton. Hardy tags and muscles a Side Effect onto Darius. Side Effect on Dante, and another on Sydal, but a triple cover gets 2. Quen kicks Sydal in the head for 2. Top Flight clear the apron, and set Quen up for Sydal's hurricanrana, but Hardy saves the match. Hardy breaks up a Tower of Doom spot, and Kassidy hits Dante with a chair. Quen approves and finishes with a SSP at 11:58. Yes, this was sloppy, but provided lots of excitement, and seems to position Private Party as on-board with heel Matt Hardy, ***.
Winners: Matt Hardy and Private Party
Hardy unleashes Private Party onto Top Flight and Sydal for a post-match beatdown. Hardy serves up some Twists of Fate, and there's no doubt that these men are eeeeeeevil.
MJF and Wardlow enter the Inner Circle lockeroom to play mind games with Santana, Ortiz, Hager, and Guevara. Sammy continues to be skeptical of MJF and is ready for a fight, but MJF talks everyone down.
Leyla Hirsch vs. Penelope Ford (with Miro, Kip Sabian, and Butler Charles Taylor)
Orange Cassidy is hanging out in the front row, seemingly without a care in the world. Ford locks up with Hirsch and seems offended that her short competitor can hang. Ford hits a dirty kick to the kneecap, and Taylor is forced to trip Hirsch. Despite the setbacks, Hirsch stays in control and backs Taylor off, though Ford takes advantage with a pump kick. They head to commercial. Back from break, Hirsch mounts a comeback, and they exchange hard strikes. Hirsch drops Ford into a split for a hard kick. Hirsh hits running knees into the buckles and a slingshot dropkick for 2. Ford misses an axe kick and eats a clothesline. Hirsch takes time to wipe out Taylor with a somersault senton, but Sabian's interference lets Ford gain a cheap pinfall at 7:44. The action was fine, the booking was all kinds of screwy, **.
Winner: Penelope Ford
Miro orders Taylor to declare that he's his best friend to OC. Taylor begrudgingly obeys, and Cassidy looks distraught (at least by his standards). OC solemnly leaves with hands in pockets.
Backstage, The Good Brothers and Kenny Omega are beating up Penta el Zero M. That's not nice.
Chris Jericho and MJF (with The Wardlow) vs. Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara vs. Santana and Ortiz
All teams represent the Inner Circle, and the winners receive permission to chase the Tag Team titles. The actual Sammy Hagar provides an endorsement of Sammy and Jake's new team. Sammy wants MJF, but gets Jericho instead. Jericho slaps his protege's face, and Sammy responds with a flurry of offense to send Jericho to ringside. Sammy catapults Jericho into Hager's right hand for a nearfall. Santana and Hager tag in, and Santana hits a phantom dropkick that Hager sells anyway. Jericho tags himself in but gets caught by Ortiz's springboard crossbody. Jericho is in trouble as they head to commercial. Back from break, Jericho has Sammy where he wants him and hits a suplex. Hager gets a hot tag and runs wild through MJF. Sammy hits a springboard cutter on MJF, and Sammy clears Jericho out, for a superkick at ringside. Santanan and Ortiz swarm Sammy and hit stereo dives onto Jericho and Hager. Sammy pops up for a corkscrew senton onto MJF. Sammy suplexes Ortiz and counters MJF with a reverse rana. Sammy hits a Spanish Fly for 2. Jericho grabs Floyd, but Hager drops him with a big boot. Wardlow passes MJF the Dynamite Diamond, but Hager clocks him in the face. Santana and Ortiz drop Hager, and Sammy lands a running SSP for 2. MJF powerbombs Sammy into place for Jericho's lionsault for 2. The match breaks down into chaos. Codebreaker on Ortiz gets 2. Ortiz DDT's Jericho and MJF. Hager Bomb on MJF! Sammy's Swanton Bomb on MJF gets broken up. Sammy continues a hot streak until MJF pulls the trunks on a roll-up for the win at 12:45! Really fun match that did many little things right, including having MJF stay out for a long stretch to watch the others fight, and Sammy Guevara emerging as a potential high level babyface star, ***½.
Winners: MJF and Chris Jericho
Final Thoughts: Total maintenance episode that advanced many angles, some better than others. I'm definitely interested to see where things are heading, I just hope Tony Khan and company can take a step back, study what worked and didn't work tonight, and put in the right kind of effort that lets future episodes shine more.
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