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by Samoa Rowe
March 4, 2020
From the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur (and probably Taz at some point).
New AEW World Champion Jon Moxley comes to the ring to a fitting ovation. Moxley can't talk right away due to the obligatory "You deserve it" chant. Moxley says the AEW title is beautiful because it represents professional wrestling. The title never belonged to Chris Jericho, it doesn't even belong to Moxley, it belongs to (you guessed it) the fans who willed AEW into existence. Moxley declares that no man will be able to pry the belt from his cold, dead hands, but anyone is welcome to try. Moxley dares the Inner Circle to come after him. Right on cue, "Judas" hits and the crowd sings Chris Jericho and the full Inner Circle into the arena. Jericho says he doesn't need the belt to be "Le Champion" and the crowd chants "Yes, you do." Jericho mocks the crowd for not chanting in unison and tells them to shut their ass. The Moxley Era has begun, and Jericho thinks it sucks ass. Crowd chants "You suck ass" in full unison. Jericho complains that he trained for months to face a man with one eye, but Moxley was a cheater and liar by faking the injury. So now the Inner Circle has transformed from a good natured group of good looking guys into a hit squad. Jericho and the Spanish God will not let Moxley leave this dumpy state on his own two feet, but if he does, Jericho will take a leave of absence for 30 to 60 days (how convenient since Fozzy is going on tour). Crowd chants "Fozzy sucks." Moxley promises to beat Jericho again and send him packing for 60 days like a stupid SOB. The mic work here was pretty good as usual, and while I think having a new champion kick off the show by talking is a good way to reset the status quo, this felt a bit too much like a Raw opening for my tastes.
SCU (Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian, and Christopher Daniels) and Colt Cabana vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, John Silver, and Alex Reynolds)
Colt starts against Grayson and quickly starts showcasing his humiliating offense and stiff chops. The Dark Order has seen enough and rush in to swarm Colt and knock SCU off the apron. Daniels grabs Colt to stop an Irish whip, and SCU rush in to return the favor and quadruple team Silver. Uno pulls Daniels to ringside and drives him into the ring post. Dark Order isolate Daniels in time for a commercial. Back from break, fans are chanting "Fallen Angel" as Daniels eats an enziguri into German suplex but kicks out. Daniels desperately plants Grayson and Kazarian charges in on a hot tag. Kazarian piles Silver and Reynolds for a springboard leg drop, but Evil Uno ambushes. The match breaks down and Evil Uno suddenly finds himself alone with SCU and gets triple teamed. Daniels hits a dive through the turnbuckles and Kazarian's cutter gets 2. Cabana goes wild with his elbow strikes, but Uno pokes him in the eye. Cabana answers with a springboard moonsault, but Reynolds pulls the tights for a nearfall. SCU help clear the ring (Sky hits a sweet dive) and allows Cabana hit the Chicago Skyline and Superman roll-up for the win at 10:24. Good match, the real highlight was seeing Cabana shine on national TV, ***.
Winners: Colt Cabana and SCU
Evil Uno has a tantrum because the Exalted One is going to be furious! Heads are going to roll!
The commentators gush over Young Bucks vs. Omega and Page from Revolution. Britt Baker arrives to give Shiavone another mocking cup of Starbucks. Coffee isn't good for your teeth, I'm starting to think she's not a very good dentist.
Big Swole vs. Leva Bates (with Peter Avalon)
Swole shoves Bates down. Bates offers a book as a peace offering, but then slaps the face. Avalon's distraction allows Bates to use the book as a weapon and hit a backstabber. Swole shakes it off and hits a power slam and knee to the face. Slingshot cutter by Swole and Dirty Dancing finishes at 1:21. Good squash that hit all the notes it needed to.
Winner: Big Swole
Cody and his ill-advised neck tattoo makes his way to the ring and the crowd simply adores him. He says he cannot express what losing to MJF feels like on a personal level, and he dares MJF to come look him in the eye and declare himself a fair winner. Instead, we get a surprise appearance by Jake Roberts and he seems a bit frazzled by the huge reaction he gets. Roberts says he's sick of hearing Cody cry and bitch. He's here because he has a client, and the "dark side" is coming to AEW. His snake-like client is coming to take a piece of Cody's pie. He tosses the mic and heads off. This was fine, I like surprises.
Chuck Taylor (with Trent and Orange Cassidy) vs. Pac
The feeling out process leads to Pac determinedly going for side headlocks. They run the ropes and trade leap frogs until Pac sends Taylor to ringside. Pac tries to punk out Cassidy, and Taylor catches him with a low dropkick. Jawbreaker by Taylor and his sitout powerbomb gets 2. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Taylor, but Pac then drives him into the barricade to send us to commercial. They return in time for Taylor to escape an armbar. Pac dodges Taylor's dropkick counter, but then runs into a dropkick. Taylor hugs Trent to a pop and fans chant "Best Friends" as Taylor hits a Falcon Arrow for 2. Pac hits a leaping cutter but then Taylor catches him on his shoulders for a sick piledriver variation out of the buckles. Taylor collapses into a cover for 2 and then misses a moonsault, as Pac applies the Brutalizer for the win at 10:10. This had a few cool moments, stayed in second gear throughout, **½.
Orange Cassidy stands nose to nose with Pac, but then the Lucha Bros arrive to help Pac beat down the Best Friends. Pac grabs a mic and brands the trio "Death Triangle." Lucha Bros hit Cassidy with the double stomp piledriver for good measure. This provides some much needed direction for the Lucha Bros and extends the issues between Pac and Cassidy, so this was a win.
Shawn Spears and Tully Blanchard are still trying to recruit a tag partner and want help from Twitter with #SearchforSpears.
QT Marshall (with Dustin Rhodes and Brandi Rhodes) vs. Jake Hager (with Santana and Ortiz)
Hager scores an immediate waistlock takedown and dishes out body shots. Marshall hits a dropkick but springboards into Hager's shoulder block. Crowd chants "Jericho's bitch" as Hager hits a suplex. Hager hits a power slam but Marshall blocks the Vader Bomb. Back handspring enziguri by Marshall and drop toe hold into the buckles. Marshall hits a senton for 1. Hager hits a decapitation lariat and applies a standing arm triangle for the win at 3:22. I know they want to somewhat protect Marshall because he's in a real team with Dustin, but this really should have been a slaughter by Hager, *.
Winner: Jake Hager
Hager refuses to let go of the triangle on Marshall, and Dustin runs in for the save. Santana and Ortiz help out, which leads to Cody running in. Cody overtakes Hager, but Ortiz hits him with a wild chair shot. Matt Jackson runs in for a SUPERKICK PARTY and finds himself alone with Hager. Jackson hits a rapid strikes but Hager puts him down with a slam. The Inner Circle resume their beatdown, and now Hangman Page waltzes in with a beer. He takes a leisurely sip before saving the day with a Buckshot Lariat on Hager (to a MONSTER pop). Page celebrates with the rest of his beer and flips Matt off before exiting.
MJF, with The Wardlow, gloats about beating Cody at Revolution to prove himself as the final chapter in his odyssey. MJF plans on becoming the greatest world champion in the history of pro wrestling. It's too hot in the room, so he removes his jacket to reveal a "I pinned Cody" t-shirt, which is almost as distracting as a "neck tattoo." Good stuff.
The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara) vs. AEW World Champion Jon Moxley and Darby Allin
Moxley gets ambushed by a pack of masked fans during his entrance through the crowd. As you might have guessed, it's Santana, Ortiz, and Hager, and they beat Moxley up on the concourse, but sadly there's no Dippin' Dots stand. They dump trash on the champion and think they've won, but Moxley leaps up to try again, but Hager puts him down again. Meanwhile, Allin asks for the bell, and looks to go it alone. Allin hits a springboard back elbow and shotgun dropkick on Guevara. Allin blocks Jericho with a drop toe hold into the ring steps, but then Guevara surprises with a running knee strike. Doctors check on Moxley while the Inner Circle work over Allin in the ring. Allin comes back with a springboard moonsault on Jericho, but Jericho applies the Walls. Darby gets the ropes but is in tough shape as they head to commercial. Back from break, and Jericho hits a delayed vertical suplex on poor Darby. Jericho and Guevara celebrate with a ridiculous resting pose together. Crowd chants "F*ck you, Sammy" which triggers the TNT censors. The crowd roars as Darby rallies and drives Jericho into the rail with a dive. Guevara cuts off Allin's comeback and flexes his muscles while standing on Allin. Jericho's lionsault is blocked! Darby symbolically tags himself and finds his second wind, almost pinning Sammy with a rapid slam. Allin tosses Sammy to ringside and hits a top rope Coffin Drop onto the entire Inner Circle! Stunner by Allin and another Coffin Drop on Sammy, but Jericho saves the match! Jericho blocks Allin's dive with a Judas Effect, and Sammy gets the pin at 14:05! HELL of an underdog comeback performance by Allin, and the fans are totally bummed by that finish (in a good way). ****
Winners: Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara
Jon Moxley storms in with a chair and clears the ring of the Inner Circle! Hager cheap shots and the Inner Circle drag Moxley onto the stage. Ortiz and Santana help Hager powerbomb Moxley through a stage-side table! They salute the deceased Moxley with middle fingers and stand tall to end the show.
Final Thoughts: While I'm sad that the Road to Revolution is behind us, this show did a good job of setting the table with the Blood and Guts special on the horizon, as well as setting up a fresh new mystery with Jake Roberts and his shadow client. This was far from a blow-away episode, but every segment, interview, and match served a purpose and the Darby Allin performance tore the house down. Dynamite continues to make me very happy.
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