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by Samoa Rowe
January 27, 2021
From Daily's Place, with Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur calling the action.
Eddie Kingston vs. Lance Archer (with Jake Roberts)
My picture goes down during Eddie's entrance, and judging from reactions on Twitter, this is the case for many others too. I bet NXT will do it's highest opening quarter hour rating in a long while.
I get my feed back at 8:20. Sting and Darby Allin are hanging out in a dilapidated building. Sting takes exception to Team Taz calling them hoodlums, because only Darby is a hoodlum. Allin says you can play dirty in the streets, because it's all about survival, and then they break a glass window like a couple of juvenile delinquents. Sting changes his mind and declares himself a hoodlum.
Chris Jericho and MJF (with The Inner Circle) vs. Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison)
Bell rings, but MJF wants to insult people on the mic first, including stablemate, Sammy Guevara. MJF demands that Griff quit, sparking an aggressive start for the up and comer. MJF retreats into a tag, and Jericho gets double teamed by the Blondes. Pillman relishes the opportunity to pick Jericho apart with chops and punches. Jericho whips Pillman into MJF's boot, and the Inner Circle take control just in time for a commercial. They return from break just in time for Garrison's hot tag, and AEW's mid-match commercials are becoming as comically timed as WWE. The sweetened crowd really gets behind Garrison and thinks he could have won with a clothesline on MJF. Missile dropkick by Pillman sends MJF bouncing into a tag, but Jericho gets caught with a dropkick for a close 2. Pillman's dominance ends when he springboards into a Judas Effect, and then Jericho hits an unnecessary Lionsault (sticking it to the people who mocked his botched Lionsault from last week) and wins at 8:06. Nothing fancy here, just a statement win by the Inner Circle, **½.
Winners: The Inner Circle
The Inner Circle gather for a group middle finger salute, but Sammy and MJF start arguing.
Crazy Pac video package. He drove himself crazy watching AEW from a distance for many months, and now he's pissed about what Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers did to Penta last week. He vows to make Kenny pay the consequences.
Shaquille O'Neal recently talked some smack about Cody on Inside the NBA. Tony Shiavone hosts Cody Rhodes and Arn Anderson in the ring for a rebuttal. Cody shouts out to his pregnant wife and admits that he got chewed out by Coach Arn and Jim Ross for taking Peter Avalon too lightly last week. Arn says it's right that Cody is focused on fatherhood and tells a story about Dusty working a match and then hopping on a plane to see Cody's birth. Arn suggests that Cody consider what's important before agreeing to be a part of the Revolution PPV. Arn is also worried about Jade Cargill, and invites Red Velvet to the ring, so Cody can be inspired by how fired up she is. Good character work from Cody, but I'm not sure this did enough to unmuddy the waters of this confusing feud.
Video package inviting us to the wedding of Penelope Ford and Kip Sabian, hosted by Best Man Miro and Butler Charles Taylor. I've been defending this angle for a while, as I feel it was smart to give Miro kayfabe friends he could betray later, but by now I see that enough people continue to sour on it more as the months go by, and I need to take those viewpoints into consideration. I expect that eventually, Miro and Orange Cassidy have a super fun match, Miro splits from Sabian and kicks his ass too, and then Miro becomes the top contender that many expected him to be on night 1. In the meantime, I begrudgingly have to admit that these months have damaged his brand, and whatever intentions this angle had at the start, it's not being executed well enough to justify it.
Hangman Adam Page vs. Ryan Nemeth
Nemeth is the brother of WWE's Dolph Ziggler, and a former World Champion in my most recent fantasy diary (yeah, I'm a nerd, so what?). He got a pretty nice introduction video package on AEW's Youtube show, and is cast as a "Hollywood Hunk." They trade basic holds, and Page builds steam with a running big boot. Springboard clothesline by Page and a slingshot plancha to ringside. Nemeth side steps a head of steam and hits a dropkick. Matt Hardy shows up to watch as Nemeth applies a head stand hammerlock. Page comes back with a hard spinebuster. Sliding clothesline by Page gets 2, but Nemeth answers with a swinging DDT. Page blocks a German suplex and nails a discus fist. Buckshot Lariat ends it at 5:37. I love this, the match had a TV-friendly length, they avoided going through a commercial, and even though Nemeth got some offense, Page beat him like he should.
Winner: Hangman Adam Page
Matt Hardy explains that he feels for Page, and he did not deserve the treatment he got from Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. Matt says Page is a good person and deserves to be happy. He invites Page to dress in his locker room, no strings attached. Page doesn't outright dismiss the offer, I guess he hasn't been paying attention to Hardy's treatment of Private Party.
Dax Harwood (with Cash Wheeler and Tully Blanchard) vs. Jungle Boy (with Luchasaurus)
Tully and Cash are handcuffed to Luchasaurus to prevent shenanigans. Marko Stunt is too banged up to join the festivities. JB and Dax exchange smack talk and feel each other out. JB escapes the headlock and goes for the Snare Trap, but Dax rolls to ringside. Tully and Cash are furious that Luchasaurus won't let them cheat. Dax picks JB apart with well aimed chops and strikes, but JB responds with more emotionally driven shots. They jockey for position and Dax misses a lunge and hits the buckles shoulder-first, giving JB a fresh target. JB hits a suplex, but Dax thrashes him into the barricade. Cue the commercial! Back from break, JB breaks a chinlock while the wrestlers in the crowd are singing "Tarzan Boy." JB hits a hard elbow shot, but Dax trips him on the top rope and hits a back superplex! They exchange slaps, and JB unloads a flurry. JB blocks Dax's power moves and nails a superkick, but then eats a lariat. Reverse rana by JB gets 2! Dax answers with a slingshot powerbomb but JB KICKS OUT! JB escapes a Full Nelson and hits a backstabber, followed by rolling Germans! Clothesline by JB, but nasty DDT by Harwood gets a great nearfall. If I didn't know better, I'd say these guys had wrestled each other a hundred times. JB blocks another superplex and nails a flying crossbody, and they trade pinning combinations. JB applies the Snare Trap for the submission, while Luchasaurus holds Tully and Cash back. This was TREMENDOUS! The handcuff stipulation paid huge dividends, and Dax and JB showcased unreal chemistry. More of this, please, ****¼.
Winner: Jungle Boy
Cash and Tully throw powder into Luchasaurus' face and triple team JB in the ring. Tully helps FTR hit a spike piledriver on Luchasaurus for good measure. Makes me wonder why they didn't use the powder during the match, but I'm not going to let that ruin it for me. They turn it up another notch and handcuff Luchasaurus to the ropes so they can CUT OFF HIS HORNS! Marko Stunt leads the cavalry in for a late save, but the damage has been done.
Team Taz responds to Darby and Sting in the parking lot. They are quickly distracted by a random merch table with nothing but Sting and Darby gear and wreck the place. They lawndart one poor slob into the truck like Rey Mysterio on Nitro and are pleased with themselves.
Dr. Britt Baker (with Rebel, not Reba) vs. Shanna
Shanna is back after a long hiatus, courtesy of COVID-19 travel bans, but has moved to the U.S. fulltime. They trade wristlocks, and Britt hits a snapmare, but Shanna breaks free of a headlock. Britt clocks Shanna in the face and looks for a hammerlock, but Shanna answers with arm drags and an enziguri. Shanna misses a low dropkick when Rebel pulls Britt out of the way. Britt bats Shanna around ringside, hitting Sling Blade right before a commercial. They return just as Shanna makes a predictable comeback. Britt hits some rough rolling neckbreakers and then a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Rebel hands Britt a rubber glove, but Shanna blocks the Lockjaw. Stunner by Shanna and a running dropkick. Rebel distracts the ref while Britt blocks a Tiger Suplex And applies the Lockjaw for the win at 8:45. Decent match, but could have easily just ended before the commercial for a similar effect, **.
Winner: Dr. Britt Baker
Britt beats Shanna down some more and reapplies Lockjaw, at least until Thunder Rosa runs in to clear the ring.
MJF finds Sammy Guevara at the bar and tries to defend his recent actions. Sammy isn't buying it and applauds MJF for being a great manipulator. They stand nose to nose. This angle is cooking.
Backstage interview with the Good Brothers and Young Bucks, who are struggling to get along. AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and Don Callis interrupt, as they are none too pleased that the Bucks assaulted Don at Kenny's house. They'll have to settle this later, as it's match time.
AEW Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) and Impact Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows) vs. The Dark Order (John Silver, Alex Reynolds, Evil Uno, and Stu Grayson)
Uno starts against Anderson with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Atomic drop by Uno gets 2. Silver tags but Anderson retreats to a Gallows tag. Gallows mocks Silver's height, and Silver makes him pay by punching the face, but a cheap shot from the Bucks shifts the momentum. Reynolds tags in with a sunset flip. Bucks hit Reynolds with stereo dropkicks and the bulldog/dropkick combo. Reynolds gets quadruple-teamed. Quick hot tag to Grayson, who cleans house in a manner that suggests he's been underutilized. The Dark Order take control as they cut to commercial. Back from break, Silver is having his way with Nick Jackson. Silver hits a cannonball senton off the apron and sprints into a brainbuster for 2. Uno passes Nick's leg to the ref for a DDT but then misses a Swanton Bomb. Matt hits Uno and Stu with a Northern Lights suplex. Silver and Reynolds swarm Matt, and set him up for Fatality! Anderson saves the match! Superkick Partay!!!!! By Nick and a dive to ringside. Nick and Karl hit competing powerbombs onto the apron. Grayson eats a 4-way superkick, but Uno saves the match. Magic Killer and Meltzer Driver finishes Grayson at 11:53. Seemingly effortless fun spotfest to end the show, ***.
Winners: The Young Bucks and Good Brothers
Young Bucks announce that if they win next week, they get to handpick their challengers for Revolution. They make nice wit the Good Brothers, but get ambushed by Rey Fenix' springboard dropkick. Good Brothers beat up Fenix, but he blocks a Magic Killer. Jon Moxley runs in for a save, and Fenix hits a slick dive. Kenny Omega stumbles in and eats a Paradigm Shift.
Final Thoughts: Good rebound from last week, both in terms of in-ring action, and the angles landing. I'm sad I couldn't see Kingston vs. Archer, but the rest of the show delivered.
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