Live from the sold out Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. There are north of 13,000 fans in the building. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur.
CM Punk comes out to milk cheers (and leap into the first row, pandemic be damned) before joining commentary.
Story Time with Adam Cole! He's just arrived, but three guys have gotten under his skin, and they are Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy. He challenges them to face him and the Young Bucks in the stadium. The SuperKlique is back!
Hype video for an emerging Butcher and Blade vs. Lucha Bros. feud. They'll meet on Rampage.
Tony Shiavone talks to Sammy Guevara and Fuego Del Sol while they hang out in Fuego's new car. Fuego would trade this car in for another shot at the TNT title, and in fact, that's exactly what he'll do!
MJF (with Wardlow) heads to the ring to entertain a hostile crowd. He quickly gets the obligatory digs against Jersey out of the way so he can have a conversation with the ghost of Brian Pillman. Ewww, this is approaching “Eddie's in hell” territory of cringe. The fans chant "@sshole" while MJF tells Pillman's ghost to warn his son to stay away from the massacre he has in store for him in the stadium. Pillman's music hits, MJF orders Wardlow to meet him on the stage, but Pillman sneaks in through the stands. MJF slips away, leaving Pillman to fend Warlow off with a chair.
Earlier today, Jim Ross sat down with Brian Pillman Jr. and reminisces about the time when Pillman Sr. told him he'd had a son. J.R. feels that MJF embarrassed his family and wants to know if he's ready to whip some @ss. Brian had a feral upbringing that MJF could not imagine, and MJF doesn't know who he's dealing with. This struck the right tone.
Alex Marvez talks to Christian Cage and Jurassic Express. They accept Adam Cole's challenge for Rampage, since he's already used to losing Wednesday Night Wars, they can add in Fridays! (OOOOOOOH!)
Video promo with Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki, accusing Jon Moxley of having special privileges in AEW. They'll fight about it in the stadium.The lights go out, teasing a possible Cody Rhodes return, but instead it's Malakai Black. He's bent out of shape that Cody's Go Big Show cohost, Rosario Dawson, is sitting front row. He menances towards her, and Cody Rhodes marches in through the stands! Dawson helps by leaping onto Malakai's back, and then Black and Cody brawl into the crowd, and ah shucks, wouldn't you know it but it's time for some commercials.
Video promo with The Bunny, who can barely contain her disdain for Anna Jay, fresh off the injured list.Alex Marvez tries to interview Anna Jay (with the Dark Order) about her upcoming match with the Bunny, but Evil Uno talks over her, which infuriates Alex Reynolds. Anna is sick of their bickering and says she doesn't want them in her corner.
Dan Lambert, Men of the Year, and a growing collection of MMA fighters are gathered in the ring so Lambert can continue doing his impression of a Jim Cornette podcast fan. He's interrupted by Chris Jericho and Jake Hager, and Lambert gets big heat for bashing “Judas.” He accuses the fans of needing to use their phones to look up the lyrics, so they keep singing. Jericho thinks Dan is jealous because no one knows the words to his song (about being a fat-@ss dip-sh!t). Jericho wants an explanation for why Lambert keeps yelling at AEW clouds. By the way, Hager is undefeated in MMA, so why don't they fight? Lambert wants to save the fight for a real city, so it'll happen at Grand Slam.
Video promo with the Gunn Club, who have suddenly realized that they're undefeated and that means they deserve some respect.
Hype video for Andrade El Idolo. He grills his interpreter for ordering Chavo Guerrero to cheat on his behalf.Taz and Hook give CM Punk a hard time by the announce table, and lure Punk into the (obvious) ambush from Powerhouse Hobbs. Hook clears the table and Hobbs chokeslams Punk through it. Punk doesn't get up and looks to be badly hurt. Shawn Spears promo video. He talks about his desire to beat up Darby Allin with a chair.
FTR attack Darby and Sting. Tully swings a chair at Sting and FTR come to his rescue. Sting eats a SPIKE PILEDRIVER, and Tully cleans off his makeup too.
Bryan Danielson video promo. He thinks the Elite act insecure. He has his eyes set on Kenny Omega and just wants to wrestle.
Tony Shiavone hosts Bryan Danielson in the ring. The fans give him the YES YES YES treatment, even though he's legally obligated not to encourage it. Tony asks “American Dragon” about Kenny Omega, but wouldn't you know it, Don Callis and AEW World Champion Kenny Omega interrupt before he can speak. Don doesn't like Bryan signing a big contract to come wrestle at a company that was built on Omega's back. Don thinks Bryan is the real “carney piece of sh!t” and a mark like all the fans. Danielson wants to talk straight to Kenny. Right now this isn't about the title, he just wants to give the people what they want, so how about they prove who is better. Bryan came to AEW to fight the Best Bout Machine, not a guy who hangs out with goofy stooges and lets a POS like Don talk for him. Kenny accepts the match. If you told me a segment like this would be even remotely possible 2 years ago, I wouldn't have believed it.
Video promo with TNT Champion Miro. He's not happy that Fuego Del Sol is calling him out, so he's going to bash brains AND car.
Hype video for Matt Hardy vs. Orange Cassidy. Matt is sick of Cassidy's antics and maybe shaving him bald will teach him a lesson.
Final Thoughts: Just a fun show to set up Grand Slam. I wouldn't say this was a must-see episode, but there were enough cool moments (like Adam Cole's entrance to a full arena, Bryan Danielson's exchange with Omega) to reward you for tuning in. I hope we're all done with things like MJF making fun of the dead, and Chris Jericho making homophobic jabs, as AEW should be above such stunts.
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