Live from the Heritage Bank Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 2,521. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Taz, and Excalibur.
Bill and Starks put the boots to Moxley and Danielson. Claudio Castagnoli makes the rescue but is unable to score any high impact moves before the bad(der) guys slip away. Subtle babyface turn for the Blackpool Combat Club?
Renee Paquette is interviewing Roderick Strong and The Kingdom when Adam Cole stops by to check on Strong's neck. Roddy is offended that NOW Cole cares about him and brushes him off.
Replay of Konosuke Takeshita defeating Kenny Omega and both ALL IN and All Out.
Tony Shiavone is less than thrilled to be hosting Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita in the ring. Don puts Takeshita over as the best "Ace" in wrestling history, but beating Omega twice in one week makes him "The Alpha." They unveil a portrait of their next victim, and it's Kenny Omega's living, breathing, heart: Kota Ibushi. The painting portrays Takeshita about to drive a sword through Ibushi while he begs for mercy. Don stabs the painting with a screwdriver to really drive the point home.
Alex Marvez interviews the Blackpool Combat Club backstage. They challenge Starks and Big Bill to a tag team match on Collision. Rey Fenix tries to fight past a half dozen men to confront Moxley, but gets pulled away. Eddie Kingston quietly slips in to laugh in Claudio's face. There was certainly a lot going on here.
Renee Paquette chats with FTW Champion Hook. Orange Cassidy stops by and wonders outloud why Hook seems so angry all the time.
Renee Paquette chats with AEW Women's Champion Saraya and Ruby Soho. Saraya brags about how she's taken everything from Toni, including her mind.
Le Sex Gods come to the ring for some mic time. They're going to wrestle each other for the first time at Grand Slam. They've been together through ups and downs and more ups, and Chris Jericho has a video package to prove it. Jericho tells a story about how he encouraged Tony Khan to sign Sammy Guevara after seeing him on the NWA 70th Anniversary Show. Sammy doesn't want to talk trash ahead of their match, because he looks up to Jericho, he even used to do Codebreakers at home as a kid. Sammy thanks Jericho for changing his life, there'd be no AEW without him. Still, Sammy didn't come here to be Jericho's sidekick, he came to AEW to be the man, so he needs to beat him. Jericho argues that Sammy was brought to AEW to become a main eventer, he'll get a great opportunity at Grand Slam, but he still isn't ready. Sammy scoffs at the casual disrespect, promises to earn some respect, and then they'll win some tag titles. Jericho pulls him into a handshake,.threatens to beat the hell out of him, and expects the same from Sammy. This was awesome and hopefully sells some tickets for Grand Slam.
Renee Paquette talks to AEW World Champion MJF and Adam Cole in their locker room. MJF is injured but happy about it, because he gets a week off! MJF accuses Roderick Strong of faking his neck injury and hopes he gets to beat his manipulative @ss at Grand Slam. Also, he isn't scared of Samoa Joe and he would definitely choke him out given the chance. MJF's fancy math equation proves that he'll win at Grand Slam.
Page grabs the mic and turns his attention to Strickland on the stage. Page thought that Strickland had balls, but it turns out he keeps them in Prince Nana's Burger King crown. Swerve isn't amused and ponders that Hangman is stupider than the Cincinnati education system. He's willing to fight Hangman in his hometown of Seattle, and is happy to let The Embassy tune him up in the meantime. Cage ambushes Page while Prince Nana does an absolute buffoonish dance. The Young Bucks make the save and end Nana's dancing with a SUPERKICK PARTAY! I like how this feud is coming together.
Renee Paquette chats with Daniel Garcia backstage. Garcia is annoyed that he isn't getting more attention for all the viral things he's allegedly done lately. Don Callis interrupts for some recruitment. Garcia silences him with some dancing, but that only makes Callis like him more.
Video recap of The Renegade Sisters beating up Kris Statlander on Collision, which set up the surprise return of Jade Cargill. Jade made the save before hitting Kris with Jaded, signaling her intentions to regain the TBS Championship. The rematch will happen on Rampage, set your DVR.
Christian Cage takes the mic to express how bothered he is by the lack of bikini pics of Nick Wayne's mother's Instagram. Also, he's embarrassed by his loss at ALL IN, and challenges Darby and Sting to face him and Luchasaurus at Grand Slam.
Joe grabs a mic to taunt MJF and leaves. Strong starts faking a serious neck injury, Adam Cole and medics come out to help. The Kingdom compete with Cole over who looks more concerned while Roddy is stretchered out. Joe returns and puts Colee to sleep with the Coquina Clutch. Maxwell will not be happy about this.
Final Thoughts: This was a good setup show for next week's Grand Slam show, which unfortunately will likely be taking place in an awkwardly empty stadium. I'm concerned that AEW doesn't seem to be drawing all that well (outside of London) and I'm not really sure what the problem is, other than fan perceptions due to the CM Punk situation and the fact that WWE seems to have gotten their sh!t together. I enjoyed most of the promos tonight and am looking forward to Grand Slam as a result, hopefully I'm not the only one.
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