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by Samoa Rowe
March 11, 2020
From the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur. This is likely AEW's smallest house, with about 2,700 tickets sold as of two days ago, so the lights appear a bit dimmer than usual.
Tony Shiavone asks Hangman Page about his mystery partner in tonight's main event. The Young Bucks seem to be standing in the wings. Page says he needs someone he can trust, so he wouldn't team with Matt Jackson if he were the last man on Earth, but might consider his young, more talented brother, Nick. Page would prefer to keep it a mystery. Matt cannot believe that Nick would team up with that pr!ck.
Ortiz (with Santana) vs. Cody (with Brandi Rhodes and Arn Anderson)
The fans still love Cody, bad neck tattoo and all. Cody gets a strong start, hitting a dropkick and power slam. Jake Roberts and Lance Archer appear in the crowd, so I guess we know who Roberts' client is. Crowd makes this feel special with a "holy sh!t" chant. Meanwhile Oritz clotheslines himself and Cody over the ropes and tosses Cody into the rails. Cody reverses an Irish whip into the steps. Fans chant ‘Let's go, Cody" as he hits a backbreaker on his shoulders. Cody overcomes Ortiz' tiger claws, but Santana's distraction allows an ambush kick to the knee. The match kind of drags for a bit while Ortiz dishes out Methodical Heel Offense. Cody makes a comeback, but Ortiz trips him on the top ropes, but Cody blocks the superplex. Santana grabs his ankle, so Brandi whips him with her belt. Ortiz hits a superplex anyway for 2. Santana menaces Arn and takes a Cody dive. Cody slams Ortiz onto the steel ramp and the crowd is eating this all up. Archer considers leaping the rail, but Roberts talks him out of it. Ortiz comes right back with a Fisherman suplex for 2. Cody comes back with a Dragon Screw in the ropes and finishes with the Figure Four at 11:33! This was Cody's most WWE-like match in AEW thus far, but it got over big time before it ended, **½.
Santana cheap shots Cody, prompting a save from Matt Jackson and injured Kenny Omega. Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara appear on the video screen. Jericho reminds us that he put the entire AEW roster on notice, and they're going to beat the hell out of the pumpkin-headed dipsh!ts at Blood and Guts. The camera then pans back to reveal a bloody Nick Jackson under a garage door. Jericho invites the Elite to come pick up their trash, and the Inner Circle parties away. Nick is eventually taken away in an ambulance. This also felt a bit too WWE-like for my AEW tastes.
Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida vs. Bea Priestley and AEW Women's Champion Nyla Rose
Aggressive start for Rose and Priestley as they attack before the bell. Shida is defiant after taking a shoulder tackle but Rose knocks her down with a clothesline. Priestley works Shida over with a variety of kicks. Rose hits a vertical suplex for 2. Statlander tags in just in time for a commercial. Back from break, Statlander is stuck in Priestley's hammerlock/leg scissors combo ("TAP YOU STUPID ALIEN!") but breaks free. Statlander pulls Priestley off the turnbuckles for a nice backbreaker. She drapes Bea on the turnbuckles for a tandem buckle bomb! Priestley and Shida trade stiff kicks and Priestley hits a German, but Shida leaps up for a running kick to the head. Rose interrupts Shida's tag and drapes her on the ropes for the guillotine knee drop, but Statlander pulls Shida away. Missile dropkick by Shida to the knee of Rose, and tandem head shots results in a nearfall. Shida powers Rose into a Falcon Arrow, but Priestley saves. Rose clotheslines Statlander, but Shida counters her with a rana and superplex on Priestley. Rose spears Shida and finishes with the Beast Bomb at 10:00. Wow, so this is what it feels like to have a champion who doesn't lose constantly on TV. Good showing from everyone involved, ***.
Winners: Nyla Rose and Bea Priestley
Priestley assaults her own partner afterwards and poses with the Women's title. It's refreshing to see a heel attack another heel, just because they're both heels doesn't mean they don't both want to be the champion.
Dark Order spoof PSA by Christopher Daniels. He has a very important message: "Screw the Dark Order!" Daniels suggests that the Dark Order only made it look like he was the Exalted One to cover up the fact that there is no Exalted One, and they are just sad, desperate men. This was great.
The Butcher and The Blade (with The Bunny) and MJF (with The Wardlow) vs. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt)
This crowd cannot wait to give MJF a hard time. MJF shoves stunt down and makes a show out of removing his "I pinned Cody" shirt, but then runs away from Luchasaurus. MJF pleads for a negotiation, which allows Butcher and Blade to ambush the dinosaur with shoulder blocks to the knees. MJF rips off the Nature Boy strut, which almost earns him a chokeslam, but his team continues to isolate Luchasaurus through a commercial. During the picture in picture break, Butcher kills Stunt with a uranage onto the apron. Luchasaurus fakes a heel kick and connects with a roundhouse kick, and has to stomp across the ring with MJF and Blade attached to his ankles. Hot tag to Jungle Boy (to a great pop) and he runs wild. The crowd roars as Jungle Boy hits a moonsault. Stunt dives onto Butcher's shoulders, and counters into a DDT. Stunt's tope is blocked but Jungle Boy's dive knocks down Blade and MJF. Luchasaurus nearly slips but hits a springboard back senton! Double chokeslam by Luchasaurus and a moonsault nearly finishes MJF, but Butcher throws Stunt at him (timing was a bit off). Butcher and Luchasaurus slug it out! Stunt tags himself in and stomps a mudhole into MJF. Crowd LOVES this. Jungle Boys pulls Stunt off before he gets himself disqualified. The Bunny distracts long enough for Blade to toss Jungle Boy off the top rope. Wardlow takes care of Luchasaurus, while MJF puts away Stunt with his Salt of the Earth armbar at 11:56! Tremendously entertaining match with a red hot crowd, tarnished a bit by tons of bullf*ckery down the stretch. Jurassic Express six man tags are quickly becoming must-see TV, ***½.
Winners: MJF and The Butcher and The Blade
Darby Allin video. He's wearing a bloody Jericho mask and puts a Sammy Guevara dummy into a coffin and drags it away with a truck. Spooky!
Tony Shiavone hosts Dr. Britt Baker on the stage. She continues to pretend to be nice with a kiss on the cheek and another Shiavone-ized Starbucks cup. She's so glad Tony is here, because there's nothing else going on in boring Utah. The fans groan as she calls them fat. She is their role model and will lead by example, maybe someday the fans could become dental assistants. Baker thanks the fans for their support as they chant ‘You suck." Big Swole interrupts because she's sick of hearing "Brittany" talk. Baker says the only Swole household member any fan cares about is her boyfriend, so Swole flaunts her wedding ring. Baker throws Tony's coffee all over Swole and runs away. Looks like we have a budding rivalry on our hands, and a welcome next step in Baker's heel evolution.
Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy) and Joey Janela vs. Death Triangle (Pac, Pentagon Jr., and Rey Fenix)
Aggressive start by Death Triangle, who are looking to make a statement. Kassidy matches up well against Pac, but can't make a tag. Private Party rebound with the Silly String on Fenix. Janela squares off with Pentagon and hits a flying elbow. The match suddenly breaks down as everyone runs in for drive-by offense. Janela hits a dive onto Death Triangle to send us to commercial. Back from break, Janela gets a hot tag and runs wild with punching and a flying headbutt dive. Janela then counters Fenix' flying attack into a DVR and Quen hits a Shooting Star Press for an excellent nearfall! Pentagon ambushes Quen with sling blade and Death Triangle swarm him with a springboard diving stomp backbreaker combo! The ring gets cleared out and Janela hoists Pac on his shoulders for Private Party to hit dives over, and then hits a DVR onto the apron! Crowd LOVES this. Janela's flying elbow gets a close 2. Fenix and Pentagon cut Janela off with the package piledriver/double stomp combo, and Pac ends it with the Black Arrow at 11:53! You know, there's a time and place for a great match, and then there's a time and place for a short, decisive victory, and this was a time for the latter. But a great match is still a great match, ****.
Winners: Death Triangle
Death Triangle ultimately get their statement when they pile Janela and Private Party in the middle of the ring for submissions. Best Friends run in for the save, with Orange Cassidy casually strutting in behind them.
Backstage with Dustin Rhodes, who is dressed for competition even though he isn't booked. He is pissed off at the Inner Circle and insists on being Page's tag partner whether he likes it or not.
Various indie wrestlers audition to be Shawn Spears' tag partner, as they are seeking some of that sweet AEW Dark main event money.
Blood and Guts Rules: First two competitors face off for 5 minutes, then entrants enter every 2 minutes, no finish until all 10 guys are in, and victory can only be gained through pinfall or submission. Sounds good to me.
Jim Ross sits down to chat with AEW World Champion Jon Moxley. Doctors have suspended Moxley from even entering AEW arenas due to the Inner Circle powerbombing him through a table. Moxley is pissed but feels he's still ahead in his feud with the Inner Circle. Moxley says he's in the Inner Circle's blind spot since they have to deal with the Elite at Blood and Guts, and that should scare them.
The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara, with Jake Hager, Santana, and Ortiz) vs. Hangman Page and Dustin Rhodes (with QT Marshall and Brandi Rhodes)
Page and Dustin argue before the bell, as apparently Page was willing to go it alone. Jericho wants no part of Page and tags out to (and hugs) Guevara. Page chops Guevara off his feet and tags in Dustin for more "cowboy sh!t." Guevara tosses Page into the Inner Circle mob, and Jericho ambushes with a springboard dropkick. Jericho mocks Page by stealing a fan's beer, but Page takes it for himself. Guevara surprises Page with a penalty kick. Page comes back by suplexing Jericho onto Guevara. Dustin unleashes his greatest hits on Guevara, but a momentary distraction by Jericho allows Sammy to hit a double stomp dropkick and the Inner Circle take over in time for a commercial. Back from break, and Page gets the hot tag and cleans house to a thunderous reaction from the fans. For such a small crowd, they sure have made a lot of noise. Dustin and Page climb the same turnbuckle and hit consecutive dives onto all Inner Circle members! Jericho blocks the Buckshot Lariat and puts on the Walls, but Dustin breaks it up. Guevara's shooting star misses, and but Jericho prevents a Buck Shot. Page settles for a modified Buck Shot on Jericho at ringside. Dustin hits Guevara with the Destroyer and Page finishes with the Buck Shot at 10:20! Good action and Page continues to break out, ***¼.
Winners: Hangman Page and Dustin Rhodes
The Inner Circle put the boots to Page and Dustin. Injured Kenny Omega runs in but falls to the greater numbers, and eats a Judas Effect. Cody runs in next and shows some fire before succumbing to Hager's suplex. Ortiz suplexes Cody onto the ramp. The Inner Circle prepare to powerbomb Page off the stage like they did to Moxley, but Matt Jackson makes a timely save. Stone Cold Matt Jackson single handedly takes down the Inner Circle and then locks eyes with Page, and flips him the bird. Jericho takes Matt and Page down with chair shots and sits himself on Matt's carcass. The Inner Circle stand tall and look monstrous heading into Blood and Guts.
Final Thoughts: Another maintenance episode that puts more heat on the Inner Circle ahead of AEW's version of War Games. I like where things are heading.
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