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by Samoa Rowe
October 23, 2019
LIVE from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a not-sold out arena that looks sold out on TV. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur. There's no opening video this week, they head straight to the opening bell.
AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament - Second Round:
Private Party (Marq Quen and Isaiah Kassidy) vs. Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix)
Crowd is RED HOT at the opening bell, with Quen and Fenix matching up. Pentagon interferes with an enziguri and Fenix nails a vicious German suplex. Quen escapes a double team with a double big boot counter (that nearly misses). Private Party hit Pentagon with a tandem seated senton. Private Party sweep each other out of harm's way and double team Pentagon with a double stomp variation. Quen wipes Fenix out with a dive. Kassidy bounces off his partner to surprise Pentagon with a tornado DDT! Quen's 450 splash only gets 2! Lucha Bros. swarm Quen in their corner with quick kicks and a nasty top rope double stomp to the spine. Pentagon leaps off his partner's shoulders to hit a double stomp to the rear end of Quen. They set Private Party up for a doomsday dropkick! Fenix scores a high dive onto Kassidy, leaving Pentagon to deliver a sit out piledriver for a great nearfall. Loud "AEW" chants from the fans. Quen counters with a rana and backflips his way to Kassidy's hot tag! Kassidy nearly botches (but doesn't botch) a middle rope springboard rana and follows with a reverse springboard rana! Kassidy's Asai moonsault is good and springboards into a crucifix bomb for another good nearfall! Private Party hit quick tandem moves on Fenix and take Pentagon out with a dive. Quen's shooting star press on Fenix gets a GREAT nearfall. Fenix hits a Gory Bomb/Leg Drop combo on Private Party! Pentagon returns with a sling blade and powerbomb onto his knee! Quen escape a double team and rana's Fenix into Kassidy's cutter! Private Party can't remember who the legal man is, and Pentagon sneaks in with a DESTROYER! Fenix runs across the ropes to kick Quen in the face (which the camera gets the entirely wrong angle) and the Package Piledriver/Double Stomp combo ends it at 12:27! It used to be cool to hate spot-fests, but this was totally awesome, with great drama from Private Party teasing another upset, even though Lucha Bros. "had" to win so they could meet SCU later in the tournament, ****¼.
Winners: Lucha Bros.
Wardlow video package: he comes across as a muscle bound meat-head who is good at lifting heavy things. I'm totally unfamiliar with this guy, so I hope he's good.
AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament - Second Round:
SCU (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian) vs. The Dark Order (Stu Grayson and Evil Uno, with the creepers)
The Dark Order get a video package too, but they still come across as more goofy than creepy. Christopher Daniels will be out 6-8 weeks, so Sky is permanently taking his place in the tourney. Kazarian and Grayson athletically trade holds. Uno cheap shots and the Dark Order swarms Kazarian in their corner. Kaz fights off Uno and tags Sky in for a high dropkick. SCU overwhelm Grayson with running corner attacks. Grayson counters with a Pele kick and Uno sends Sky into the guard rail. CUE THE COMMERCIAL. We're back and it looks like the Dark Order has been working over Sky the entire time. The crowd pops as Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle walk through the crowds, flashing tickets, and settle into a luxury suite. Meanwhile, Kazarian gets a hot tag, but the fans are still busy popping for Jericho. Kazarian hits a Northern Lights suplex variation on both Dark Order guys and ALMOST gets the crowd's attention back. The Inner Circle enjoy some popcorn while Grayson throws Kazarian into Sky for a nearfall. Grayson throws Kazarian into Uno's powerbomb for another 2 count. I was about to say the fans don't care, but they prove me wrong with an "SCU" chant. SCU drop the Dark Order with cutters and double dragon sleepers and the crowd comes alive! The Dark Order escape and Grayson walks off Uno's shoulder for (an almost botched) head scissors takedown). Uno counters Sky with a slam for a scary close nearfall that the fans bought! Kazarian DDT's Uno on the apron, allowing SCU to finish Grayson with the SCU-Later for the win at 11:21 (shown). Wow, this was dying a slow, painful death up until Inner Circle showed up, but they turned it up a gear and won over the live crowd down the stretch, ***.
Joey Janela vs. Kenny Omega
This is Janela's TNT debut, and they replay footage of him doing all sorts of crazy stuff in matches against Moxley and Omega. Omega comes to a hero's welcome and is introduced as the AAA Mega Champion. This is, of course, a rematch from a wild Lights Out match on Dark, but this time there's RULES, man. Bell rings and this time they start off with clean, scientific chain wrestling. Omega turns it up with a dive. Janela comes back with chops and low dropkicks. Janela takes too long climbing for a dive but hits it anyway (Omega was kind enough to not move out of the way). CUE THE COMMERCIAL. Back from break, Omega had been in control but Janela counters a moonsault with his knees. This only angers Omega, who delivers rapid fire snap German suplexes. Janela rolls Omega into the buckles and hits an elbow drop for 2. Omega drops Janela on the buckles and hits a snap German and V Trigger for only 2. Janela counters a running V Trigger with a snap German. They trade strikes and Janela no sells a V Trigger to hit a desperation suplex. "This is awesome" chants fill the arena. Running lariat by Janela gets a good 2 count. Janela misses a flying senton on the apron! Omega's running V Trigger and One Winged Angel ends it at 9:57 (shown). They were really cooking after the commercial break. This tore the house down and made them both look like warriors, ***¾.
Winner: Kenny Omega
Cody makes his entrance to a massive ovation from the fans. Who would have guessed that in 2019 Cody Rhodes would legitimately be one of the biggest babyface stars in the industry? Tony Shiavone interviews Cody in the ring. Cody is about to share a major announcement, but the Inner Circle interrupt with blowhorns from their suite. Crowd chants "Let him talk." Jericho has a live mic and boos. Cody says AEW isn't "that other company", there's no invisible camera or wall, so he could go up there for a fight. Crowd loves this. Jericho says Cody is an entitled millennial bitch. Cody considers jumping the guard rail, but realizes his has a numbers disadvantage. Right on cue, they're joined by Dustin Rhodes, MJF, and DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE. Cody and friends hop the rail and storm their way toward the suite, prompting the Inner Circle to retreat like a BUNCH OF COWARDLY COWARDS! They lock themselves into the luxury box, so MJF wraps his scarf around his fist and breaks through the glass! They brawl into the lobby, with Jericho breaking a crutch over Jericho! Security desperately tries to restore order. Jericho pleads that he has a ticket and continues complaining as Cody's crew gets escorted out. This was great stuff.
Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Barreta, with Orange Cassidy) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson)
The Young Bucks were conspicuously absent in the previous Inner Circle brawl, but here they are. Orange Cassidy won't get out of the ring and gives the Bucks lazy, half-hearted superkicks, so the Bucks put him down with a pair! Shockingly, that did NOT turn the Bucks heel, as people love Cassidy. Best Friends can't seem to buy a win, so they have a lot riding on this and are aggressive. The Bucks are too clever to stay down for long and they hit Trent with tandem backbreakers. The Bucks mock Best Friend's patented hug and the crowd BOOS them. Best Friends get back into the match with ringside dominance, complete with a doomsday knee to the face! Matt counters with a DDT on the apron, and stalks Cassidy at ringside, allowing Trent to ambush him with a dropkick. COMMERCIAL. They're back, and Trent catches Nick with a suplex. Nick lands on his feet after another and superkicks the face, but Trent fires back with another suplex. Taylor follows with belly to belly suplexes. Sliced Bread on Nick and powerbomb on Matt only gets Taylor a 2 count. Taylor suplexes Nick onto Matt and nails a Falcon Arrow for 2. Trent saves with a superplex, and Best Friends clear the ring for a hug! Orange interferes with a hands-in-his-pocket dive on the Young Bucks. Best Friends hit a tandem double stomp, but Nick makes the top rope save. Matt escapes a Doomsday Knee and the Bucks throw a SUPERKICK PARTY! Nick wipes out Cassidy and Trent, and Taylor eats More Bang for Your Buck and is done at 9:07 (shown). Hot match, especially considering how much similar action we've seen tonight already, ***¼.
Winners: The Young Bucks
The Young Bucks accept the challenge by Santana and Ortiz and will meet at Full Gear.
Music video for Britt Baker, putting her over as a Pittsburgh native who has a day job as a dentist.
Jamie Hayter vs. Dr. Britt Baker
Hayter is a haytful young woman, who tries to destroy a fan's Britt sign. Britt gets the hometown ovation they were looking for and is accompanied by the Steeler's mascot. Hayter cheap shots at the opening bell and suplexes Britt into the buckles. Britt comes back with a sling blade at ringside and it's COMMERCIAL TIME! We're back and Britt is escaping a chinlock, and I'm wondering if I'm watching "that other company" now. Britt wins a slugfest but Hayter applies a sleeper hold, which Britt counters with a slam. Britt hits another (loose) sling blade for 2. Hayter's reverse falcon arrow gets 2. Britt hits a backbreaker, but Hayter fires back with a uranage. Superkick by Britt sets up an ace cutter. Britt's neckbreaker gets 2 (and a bit of a groan from some fans). Britt superkicks the face and applies the Lock Jaw for the submission at 5:45 (shown). This provided the feel good moment they were looking for, but could have stood to lose a few minutes, as they were kind of aimlessly trading moves by the end, **¼.
Winner: Dr. Britt Baker
Jenn Decker interviews Jamie Hayter backstage, but Brandi Rhodes randomly assaults Hayter. Did I miss something? Brandi angrily shakes her first at Decker and storms off. Color me confused.
Jon Moxley vs. Pac
The time limit is TV TIME REMAINING! Pac ambushes Moxley with a chair during his entrance. The crowd chants "a-hole" as Pac chokes with Moxley's own jacket. Pac sends Moxley into the rail and they finally hit the ring for the bell. Moxley is selling big time and quickly eats a high dive. Moxley finds his second wind and stomps a mud hole, but Pac rebounds with a head butt to the face for 2. They cut to commercial. They're back and Moxley is absorbing kicks to the chest and head. Pac's standing SSP gets 2. Moxley counters with a DDT on the apron. They duke it out and Moxley explodes with a lariat. Moxley's powerbomb gets 2. Pac retreats to ringside and eats Moxley's suicide dive. Moxley's black hole slam also gets 2. Justin Roberts is counting down minutes remaining, which totally telegraphs that they're heading to a draw (I don't recall this happening in previous TV main events, but maybe I wasn't paying attention). Pac responds with a top rope falcon arrow for a cold 2 count (the fans have figured out the finish already). To their credit, Moxley and Pac are wrestling like they want to win quickly now. Pac hits a 450 splash off the apron! Pac misses the Black Arrow! Moxley hits Paradigm Shift but is slow to make the cover and Pac kicks out right before the time limit draw at 10:11 (shown). Crowd boos that finish. This was a good match that was hurt a bit by an overly telegraphed non-finish, as well as being the sacrificial first time limit draw on TV, ***.
Moxley is frustrated and DDT's the referee. Moxley paces around as the show ends.
Final Thoughts: This was a pay-per-view level broadcast that actually had me feeling a tad bit burned out by the end. I feel like I just ate an entire pizza when I should have probably had 2 slices and some salad.
This flew by and was awesome all the way through. Excuse me while I mark out. Thumbs Up.
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