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by Samoa Rowe
February 12, 2020
From the H.E.B. Center in Cedar Park, Texas. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur. The building looks full and there's a loud "AEW" chant while the pyro goes off.
AEW Tag Team Championship:
The Elite © (Hangman Page and Kenny Omega) vs. SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky, with Christopher Daniels)
Loud "Cowboy sh!t" chant before the bell. They're interrupted by a Dark Order PSA. Evil Uno reminds the competitors that they're watching and waiting for the arrival of the Exalted One. Daniels volunteers to investigate, only adding speculation that he's the Exalted One. Kazarian and Omega exchange holds, and Sky earns BOOS for cheap shotting Omega with a back kick. Omega knocks Sky off the apron to applause, and Kazarian ambushes. Sky interferes again, and SCU take over with rapid tandem offense. Page breaks up SCU-Later and Omega comes back with a German. Loud "Kenny" chant as he teases a dive, but Sky trips him and hits a dive instead onto Page. Omega surprises with his flying plancha and the crowd LOVES him. Fisherman buster by Omega gets 2 on Sky. Omega hits the Kotaro Crusher and slams Sky into place for Page's running SSP, but Sky blocks a moonsault. SCU regain their footing and trap Omega in their corner. Page gets the hot tag to a great ovatio and opens a can of whoop-@ss on SCU. Page hits Sky with a standing moonsault for 2. Sky drops Omega over the ropes for a bad landing and Page misses the Buckshot Lariat and takes one from Kazarian. SCU hit a swinging DDT on Page for 2. Backstabber by Kazarian and Cutter by Sky! SCU catch The Elite in stereo Dragon Sleepers, but Omega breaks it up. Omega tags himself in and Page serves Sky up for a V-Trigger. Snap Dragon by Omega, but Page misses the Buckshot while Sky restrains Omega. Page hits Kazarian with a powerbomb and wipes out Sky with a dive, leaving Omega hit V-Trigger the back of the head of Kazarian. The Elite hit a Buckshot/V-Trigger combo on Kazarian and retain at 13:09! Tremendous opener, they delivered the goods in the ring and the hot crowd ate it all up, ****.
Winners and still AEW Tag Team Champions: The Elite
Page enjoys an adult beverage with the fans. The Dark Order shows up and surrounds SCU. Best Friends run in to assist SCU. The Butcher and Blade and Hybrid 2 show up to help The Dark Order. The Young Bucks rush in and join the fray with SUPERKICKS and help the good guys clear out the ring of the Putty Patrol. The crowd stays hot, despite the presence of the Dark Order, and collectively mark out for the Bucks' dives onto the field. I daresay that AEW has turned the Dark Order into a net positive for the brand.
Jim Ross sits down to talk with Santana about the Eye for an Eye Match with Jon Moxley. Santana reveals that 10 years ago he was completely broke and felt like he was living in complete darkness. He also reveals that his father started losing his vision at age 14 and passed away young. Santana says Moxley had the chance to be royalty with the Inner Circle but now he's going to have to live in the dark. This was an awesome, personal interview, as it cast Santana in a sympathetic light before turning it into a showcase of Santana's hate.
Darby Allin video package. He tosses hand written signs onto his skateboard, basically threatening to go after Sammy Guevara. The last board has an unflattering drawing of Guevara and portrays him as Jericho's ass kisser. Allin wants to know if Sammy is busy at Revolution. This was good, nice to have a roster full of guys who want to fight each other and can send out a challenge without blabbering in the ring for 20 minutes.
Sammy Guevara (with Jake Hager) vs. Dustin Rhodes
Dustin receives a wonderful hometown pop from the fans. Dustin pretends to fall for Hager's distraction and catches Sammy with an uppercut. Sammy hilariously collapses after taking Dustin's knee lift. Sammy considers quitting the match, but Dustin ambushes with a clothesline off the apron and then gets into Jake's face, not forgetting about the car door attack from all the way last fall. Sammy gains the upper hand during the commercial break. Dustin blocks Sammy's springboard attempt and hits an STO. Sammy desperately kicks the face, but Dustin answers with a power slam for 2. Hager's distraction allows Sammy to hit a Go 2 Sleep! DUSTIN KICKS OUT! Hager is PISSED! Dustin trips Guevara on the top rope and hits a high backdrop! Sammy leaps up but Dustin slams him off the op again and follows with a Canadian Destroyer! Dustin hits the Final Reckoning for the win at 6:47! Wow, how refreshing is it to see the hometown guy actually pick up a win? This was good, ***.
Winner: Dustin Rhodes
Dustin orders "Jericho's b!tch" Hager to turn around and look at him. He demands to know if Hager will ever step in the ring or is he just going to keep collecting a paycheck. Also, Hager is a failed MMA fighter. Dustin is still mad about his broken arm and wants a piece of his @ss at Revolution. Hager considers a fight but opts to storm out.
Tony Shiavone interviews Dr. Britt Baker on the stage. Britt gives Tony a patronizing hug and takes exception to being asked about knocking out Yuka's tooth last week. She argues that the tooth was infected and drops all sorts of dentist terminology in the process. Britt claims the tooth would have fallen out anyway and did Yuka a favor by extracting it for free. You see, Yuka doesn't have health insurance, unlike Tony "Mr. Starbucks" Shiavone. This is funny. Crowd chants "Tony!" Shiavone asks the good doctor for her analysis of Riho vs. Rose later tonight. Britt thinks it'll be a fantastic match, but they're both number 2 compared to her. Britt sees a lot of confusion the "chubby What-a-Burger" faces in the crowd (crowd LOVES that burn and chants for What-a-Burger). Britt has a hard time keeping a straight face while making her final point, something about being the women's division, yada yada. I really enjoyed this, even if it was for the wrong reasons at times.
AEW Women's Championship:
Riho © vs. Nyla Rose
I suppose the good thing about Riho being a part-time champions whose reigns seems to be going nowhere is that every time she defends the title, I expect her to lose, and am surprised when she retains. Riho scores a running knee strike before the bell but Rose quickly backs her into the buckles. Rose misses a head of steam which allows a Riho roll-up for 2. Rose plants Riho, who kips out of the cover. Head scissors by Riho and a dropkick to ringside. Rose catches Riho in a top rope crossbody attempt and hits a backbreaker. Rose sets up a table, but Riho runs across the table to kick the face! CUE THE COMMERCIAL! Rose takes over during the break, but Riho is scrappy enough to reverse into a crucifix bomb, but cannot hold on for a cover. Rose blocks 619 but misses a splash. Riho dropkicks the face for 2. Rose answers with a Samoan Drop for 2. Rose drapes Riho on the ropes and connects with the flying knee strike. The crowd is unbelievably hot for this, and pops for Riho's kick-out. Rose bites Riho's face and hits an avalanche DVD but RIHO KICKS THE F OUT! Crowd chants "Riho" as Rose hoists her into an electric chair, but Riho slips out for a pair of Snap Dragon Suplexes! Riho misses the running knee, but slips into a Northern Lights Suplex for another good nearfall! Flying double stomp by Riho only gets 1! Riho hits a second and third double stomp, but Rose saves herself with a rope break. Riho runs into a spear, and Rose hits a Beast Bomb for the win and title at 12:02! This kicked so much @ss down the stretch with believable false finishes and high drama, ****.
Winner and new AEW Women's Champion: Nyla Rose
Backstage interview with "Mister" Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle. Jericho says Moxley has proven himself to be a piece of human garbage and it makes him sick that he has to put the title on the line against him at Revolution. Jericho reveals that he is bringing in JEFF COBB to take Moxley out if Santana cannot.
Jeff Cobb video package! We see footage of him hurting people juxtaposed with volcanoes erupting in Hawaii.
Video recap of Cody taking 9 lashes from MJF and 1 lash from Wardlow.
Brandi Rhodes joins commentary and seems to have recovered from her Nightmare Collective phase, thanks to well-documented therapy sessions on Youtube.
MJF (without Wardlow) vs. Jungle Boy
Crowd is ALL OVER MJF after last week's lashing of Cody. MJF struts like the Nature Boy and exchanges holds with Jungle Boy until they kip up into a stalemate and great crowd ovation. Jungle Boy knocks MJF off his feet and he pouts at ringside. MJF offers a handshake, but Jungle Boy spits in his hand and slaps it away. Jungle Boy gets the biggest pop you'll ever hear for a simple dropkick. MJF has had enough and stomps JB into the corner and pulls him to ringside by the hair. Oh no, Arn Anderson is watching from backstage at the same unnatural TV angle that WWE uses. AEW, YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO RESTORE BALANCE TO THE FORCE, NOT DESTROY IT! Oh well, it's time for a commercial. Back from break, MJF is controlling the action, but Jungle Boy rallies with a back drop. Lariat by Jungle Boy sends MJF rolling to the floor for a suicide dive. Jungle Boy hits a second and third dive, and the crowd adores all of this. Reverse rana by Jungle Boy only gets 2! Jungle Boy's back is too hurt for a dead lift powerbomb, and MJF catches him in an Alabama Slama. MJF stretches Jungle Boy over his back, pulling the legs into his shoulders, but Jungle Boy breaks out for a roll-up. MJF trips JB on the top rope and takes time to jaw at Brandi. Crowd chants "@sshole" at MJF while Jungle Boy counters into a running Liger Bomb, but MJF KICKS OUT! Wardlow returns and places the Dynamite Diamond ring MJF's finger. MJF uses the ring for a loaded punch and finishes Jungle Boy with Cross Rhodes at 11:53. Crowd is appropriately bummed out by that finish. This was a really strong showcase of both guys and gives me lots of optimism about MJF's in-ring ability ahead of Revolution, ***½.
Wardlow beats up Jungle Boy for good measure, but Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt make the late save.
Pac video package. He's jogging in the dark Newcastle streets at night. He suggests that Kenny Omega has slipped into mediocrity and hasn't been the same since getting choked out in Chicago. Pac is happy to take credit for all of Omega's problems.
The Inner Circle of AEW World Champion Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara take their seats in the clubhouse while the crowd sings Jericho's theme song.
EYE FOR AN EYE: Santana (with Ortiz) vs. Jon Moxley
Santana meets Moxley at the guard rail and they brawl into the crowd, with Ortiz lurking with a loaded sock. Moxley backdrops Santana back into the ringside area and smashes him into the rail. Moxley directs traffic into the ring and the bell finally rings. Moxley tosses Santana into position for a flying axe handle. Santana tries to thrust Moxley's bad eye into the ring steps to no avail. Santana settles for a baseball slide dropkick to send us to commercial. Santana controls the action through the break and Moxley rallies right on cue. German suplex by Moxley but Santana answers with a TKO into the buckles. Santana rolls into a cutter for 2, as does a stalling piledriver. Santana misses a flying attack and Ortiz's interference backfires. Santana hits a thrust kick, but Moxley answers with a hard lariat. Moxley climbs the buckles, but Ortiz sprays water (or beer) in his face. Santana hits the cannonball senton and frog splash, but Moxley kicks out! Moxley is still blind from the beer spray, but has the wherewithal to thumb the good eye of Santana and nail a Paradigm Shift! Moxley wins at 9:57! Satisfying story-driven main event, ***¼.
Winner: Jon Moxley
The Inner Circle swarm the ring to assault the vulnerable Moxley. Jericho whips with the AEW title, Hager holds Moxley for Ortiz' sock blow, and Guevara hits a 630 splash! Jericho hits the Judas Effect for good measure and Ortiz counts a symbolic 3 count. Jericho summons someone from the back, and JEFF COBB is in the building! Cobb marches to the ring and puts Moxley down with Tour of the Islands! YES! YES! YES! If I didn't know better, I'd say Jeff Cobb has joined the Inner Circle.
Final Thoughts: Dynamite is now firing on all cylinders. This was a complete joy from start to finish.
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