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by Samoa Rowe
December 18, 2019
From the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Considering how poor ticket sales for this event looked to be, the arena looks reasonably full on the TV side (the balcony is totally curtained off and the lights are much lower than usual). Maybe there's hope for the upcoming Southaven, MS show afterall. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Shiavone.
Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix) vs. Hangman Page and Kenny Omega
Page and Omega won a tag match last week when Page stole the pinfall via a blind tag. Loud dueling chant from the fans as Fenix flips out of Omega's wristlock. A series of reversals leads to Omega hitting a wild leg lariat, and Fenix flees the ring with a tag. Page and Pentagon square off to a loud "cowboy sh!t" chant. Pentagon plays mind games by dramatically removing his glove, but Page shows no fear and removes an imaginary glove himself. Enough cuteness, as they exchange open hand chops. Omega and Page double team Pentagon with chops. Omega sends Pentagon to ringside with a rana and scores a running plancha. Match resumes with Fenix grabbing Page's ankles to allow Pentagon's superkick. Fenix holds Page down for Pentagon's flying double stomp, but Omega saves the match. Quick hot tag to Omega, who cleans house with a Polish hammer. Pentagon blocks Omega's moonsault, and sets him up for Fenix's big time suicide dive. A Dark Order guy flashes on the screen for a fraction of a second. Wild swinging hook kick bye Fenix but Omega reverses with a powerbomb and running knee to the face! Page gets a hot tag and powerslams Fenix and delivers a series of dives. Page dropsaults off Fenix for a nearfall on Pentagon. Fenix rolls into a facebuster but Page kicks out. Lucha Bros hit a nifty tandem wheelbarrow slam on Page, who kicks out again. The crowd is really helping them out, they want this to be great. Page recovers with a super fallaway slam. Omega tags and buckle bombs Fenix into Pentagon. Page and Omega hit pop up powerbombs and spinebusters. Pentagon answers with sling blade but Page amushes with a discus punch. Omega hits a snap dragon splex on Fenix. Page inadvertently hits Omega with a buckshot lariat, and Lucha Bros. finish Omega with the flying double stomp/piledriver combo at 17:49. This was a somewhat frustratingly average match, albeit helped out by a crowd that was dying to love it, ***.
Winners: Lucha Bros.
Page checks on Omega and tries to explain what happened. Omega shoves Page away, when they're suddenly interrupted by Pac on the screen. Pac wants to remind Omega what he's capable of and leads the camera down a hallway and finds Michael Nakazawa sitting helplessly in a dressing room with headphones on. A concerned Omega rushes to the back as they transition to a split screen for a commercial. Once backstage, Omega gets ambushed by the Lucha Bros. Page makes a save and they team up to search the area for Pac.
The Butcher and Blade (with The Bunny) vs. Darby Allin and Cody
Crowd gives both teams great reactions, which is simply heartwarming. Cody lets Allin start against the formidable Butcher. Quick tag to Blade, and Allin dropkicks Butcher off the apron and hits a high elevation arm dragon on Blade. Cody tags and is unable to grapple Butcher, so he uppercuts instead. Butcher knocks Cody down. Blade tags but gets cut off by Cody's powerslam, so Butcher has to bail him out. Bunny distracts and Cody seems to tweak his knee on a bad spill to ringside. Butcher and Blade isolate Cody heading into a commercial. Back from break, and Cody is struggling to stay alive. Crowd chants "We want Darby" as Cody and Blade collide with double crossbody attempts. Allin gets the hot tag and catches Blade with Code Red, but Butcher's blind tag allows a backbreaker. Butcher applies a cloverleaf and holds on despite Cody kicking him in the face. Darby avoids a powerbomb and hits an over the back stunner. Cody tags in and hits Cross Rhodes, but the Bunny distracts the ref. Cody and Darby hit stereo dives (replay reveals that Allin got caught in the ropes and nearly missed). Cody's Disaster Kick on Butcher sets up Allin's Coffin Drop on the apron! Cody hits the springboard cutter on Blade for the win at 10:49! Really enjoyable tag with a story I could sink my teeth into, but it got a tad sloppy down the closing stretch, **¾.
Winners: Cody and Darby Allin
Training montage for Jungle Boy! He lifts weights and jogs down a back road as we hear clips of Chris Jericho declaring that he wouldn't last 10 minutes with Le Champion.
Awesome Kong (with Brandi Rhodes and Melanie Cruise) vs. Jobberina
Melanie Cruise is the fanatic they shaved in a lame ritual. Kong grabs the jobber by her pink hair and connects with a swinging back hand. The Implant Buster ends it at 0:40. Fine squash.
Winner: Awesome Kong
The Nightmare Collective cut off some pink hair and look satisfied with themselves.
Jim Ross sits down with Jungle Boy to discuss the 10 minute challenge against Chris Jericho. Jungle Boy says he's ready for this and feels that his dad would be proud of him.
AEW World Champion Chris Jericho (with Jake Hager) vs. Jungle Boy (with Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt)
There is a 10 minute time limit. Jungle Boy's mom, grandma, and sister are at ringside. Jungle Boy quickly scores a springboard arm drag, but Jericho teases the Walls. Jungle Boy rolls Jericho up for a close 2 count. Jericho drops JB on the ropes and slows the pace down with methodical blows. Codebreaker connects and it looks like Jungle Boy won't even last 3 minutes. Crowd chants "Jungle Boy" but Jericho hits a second Codebreaker and lifts Jungle Boy out of his cover. Hager throws JB into the rail just because, and Luchasaurus cuts him off. Stunt flies into the forearm of Hager, and referee Aubrey Edwards kicks everyone out. Jungle Boy desperately rolls Jericho up for a 2 count, but Jericho misses his springboard dropkick, allowing JB to hit a series of dives! JB's diving DDT is good but Jericho kicks out! Jungle Boy hits a backstabber for another good nearfall. Jericho hits a normal back elbow (not the Judas Effect) and misses the lionsault, so Jungle Boy hits his own lionsault for a great 2 count. Jericho recovers with a hard lariat and gets a 2 count with only 3 minutes left. Jericho retakes control by targeting the neck. Jericho powerbombs Jungle Boy into the Walls! JB can't get the ropes but there's less than 30 seconds to go. The time limit expires at 10:00 with no submission! Jericho is IRATE and demands five more minutes! The bell rings again, and Jericho repeatedly slaps the back of the head. Jungle Boy skins the cat and hits a rana and crucifix pin for scary close nearfalls. Jericho grabs his belt and storms out. It looks like Jungle Boy wins via count-out at about 11:20 as they cut to commercial. I totally dug the story of this match, with Jungle Boy swimming way over his head but surviving until the very end, ***½.
Winner via countout: Jungle Boy
During the break, Jericho has another temper tantrum and destroys the ringside area. After the commercial, Tony Shiavone interviews Le Champion on the stage. Jericho moves the goal post, claiming he had vowed that Jungle Boy couldn't beat him, not last 10 minutes. Jericho turns his attention to Jon Moxley and wants to know if he'll join the Inner Circle. He's sure Moxley talked it over with his lovely wife and mother, and doesn't want to rush him, but suggests he choose wisely and we'll find out on New Year's Day.
Jen Decker interviews AEW Tag Team Champions SCU backstage. Daniels says that the Young Bucks might be the tag team of the decade, but SCU are the tag team of the moment. They're interrupted by the Lucha Bros, and Daniels just storms out.
#1 Contenders Match:
Kris Statlander vs. Dr. Britt Baker
Bell rings and they exchange wrist locks, but Stantlander plays mind games with cartwheels. Baker attempts Lock Jaw early. Statlander boops the nose, and Excalibur explains that's how her species communicates. Baker attempts Lock Jaw again, but nearly gets pinned. Statlander no sells a suplex and hits a running kick. Baker answers with a hanging neckbreaker. CUE THE CHINLOCK AND COMMERCIAL! They return just in time for Baker to tease Lock Jaw again. Statlander arm drags Baker through the ropes and hits a drive by knee to the head. Statlander's missile dropkick gets 2. Baker hits possibly the worst sling blade I've ever seen for 2. There's a plug for joindarkorder.com on the screen as Statlander hits a lariat, but Baker meets her on the top rope for a superplex. Statlander answers with a power slam for some separation. Baker hits a fisherman neckbreaker and they exchange hard kicks. Statlander blocks Lock Jaw and powers her up for a Tombstone Piledriver and wins at 9:37! Riho looks alarmed in the front row. Rough outing for Baker, but I popped for the Statlander upset, **½.
Winner: Kris Statlander
Tony Shiavone interviews Statlander about her big victory. Statlander just pokes him on the nose. Brandi Rhodes interrupts and is upset that her "goddamn microphone" wasn't turned on fast enough and dismisses Tony. Brandi wants to know if Statlander is joining the Nightmare Collective or not. Statlander just wags her finger in an apparent rejection. Awesome Kong and Melanie Cruise arrive on the scene, and Brandi gouges Statlander in the eye with the spike of her high heels. Sadie Gibbsa arrives to help Statlander out.
Tully Blanchard and Shawn Spears hang out backstage. Spears is thrilled that tag team wrestling actually matters in AEW and there's big money to go around. Spears insists that Tully find him a partner. Blanchard says he must wait for the right guy, like how he and Arn Anderson had a mental connection that did not need words. It's about time they let Blanchard talk on TV.
Nicely done video package highlighting the history of The Young Bucks advocating for tag team wrestling in AEW. They are ready to finally take their place as the best tag team in AEW, which may make Thanksgiving dinner awkward, when the put their newly won gold on the table in front of their SCU buddies.
AEW Tag Team Championship:
SCU © (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson)
SCU quickly tease SC You Later and the Bucks tease a Meltzer Driver. The Bucks hit a double team leg drop on both SCU guys. Kazarian eats a powerbomb/enziguri combo, followed by a running cannonball combo. Kazarian answers with a backstabber and Sky wipes Nick out with a dive. Matt avoids getting isolated and tags Nick for a flurry of attacks. Nick maneuvers into a really cool springboard rana off the top! Cue the "This is awesome" chants. Nick wipes SCU out with a top rope twisting plancha to send us to commercial. Back from break, Kazarian dominates, hitting a double clothesline and a flying rana to the floor. Sky wipes the Bucks out with a running dive. SCU's tandem DDT gets 2. Nick tries to rally but flies into Sky's cutter and Dragon sleeper. Kazarian puts Matt in a Dragon sleeper as well, but Matt suplexes him into Sky. Matt and Kazarian slug it out, but Sky tags himself in. Kazarian and Nick wipe out with a DDT spot on the apron, not sure who got the worse of that. Sky hits Matt with a TKO and SCU finishes with the SC You Later at 10:46! I was half expecting a title change. Good match that played to both teams' strengths, ***½.
Winners and still AEW Tag Team Champions: SCU
SCU's celebration is cut short when the ring is surrounded by creepers. Dark Order leaders Evil Uno and Stu Grayson appear on the stage. Uno says on any other night, they'd invite the Young Bucks to join them, but they aren't recruiting. The creepers, along with Alex Reynolds and Jon Silver, swarm the Bucks and SCU! Kenny Omega makes a brave save attempt but falls to the numbers. Cody and Dustin Rhodes are next in, but they fall as well. Grayson pulls out creeper masks and welcome Reynolds and Silver into their ranks officially. The Dark Order stands tall as the crowd goes mild.
Final Thoughts: AEW put on another good episode of Dynamite in what was probably their smallest television crowd yet. The fans were red hot and helped them out all night, at least until swallowing their collective tongues for the Dark Order segment. I'm glad that that the Dark Order vignettes from the last few weeks actually paid off, but based on their lack of a reaction tonight, they still have some work to do.
This flew by and was awesome all the way through. Excuse me while I mark out. Thumbs Up.
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