Written by: SamoaRowe from Da Wrestling Site
From Daily’s Place Amphitheater in Jacksonville, Florida. The venue does not look sold out, but has a respectable crowd for the considerable size of the venue. Any other North American promotion not called WWE would sell their souls for this attendance. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Alex Marvez.
Joey Janela, Jimmy Havoc, and Darby Allin vs. MJF, Sammy Guevara, and Shawn Spears
The babyface team gets a hot start by making quick tags to embarrass MJF, but he thumbs Havoc in the eyes to force a tag to the hungry Guevara. Janela’s assistance lets Havoc rebound. The crowd pops big for Darby Allin tagging in to face Spears, who quickly tags out to rob the fans of the moment. Allin continues to stare Spears down, which offends the legal Guevara, who flips him off. Neither team seems to maintain the upper hand, but the fans are happy to play along, cheering the good guys and booing the heels. Spears is only willing to enter the match when Janela finally settles in as the isolated babyface, and the commentators do a good job explaining Spears turning heel as a response to Cody referring to him as a “good hand.” MJP and Spears, despite being in control, start displaying dissension, with MJF mocking Spears “Tye Dillinger” mannerisms. This allows a hot tag to Havoc, who slams Spears onto MJF. Havoc superplexes Guevara over his partners for a good nearfall. Allin tags and flips over Guevara for a stunner of sorts. Match breaks down with guys hitting rapid finishers. Guevara lands on his feet on a missed SSP to the floor and unleashes rapid attacks all over the place until almost pinning Allin with a Spanish Fly. Cue the “AEW” chants. Janela drops Guevara on the ring frame, and Spears targets the injured Allin with a Death Valley Driver for the win at 13:11. Good energy as an opener, but I felt like I didn’t see enough of any participant to feel satisfied, and this seems like a missed opportunity to build on Allin’s momentum coming out of Fyter Fest, **½.
Winners: Shawn Spears, MJF, and Sammy Guevara
Alex Jebaily is sitting in the front row with the guys from Private Party and security removes him. I guess they weren’t a fan of Fyter Fest’s Buy-in show.
Brandi Rhodes vs. Allie
The backstory from the Youtube shows is that Brandi has been battling personal insecurities stemming from her youth as a competitive figure skater, while Allie is all confident and a tad too proud of her stint as Impact Knockouts Champion. They shake hands before the bell but Allie is shaken when Awesome Kong’s music hits and she appears to be in Brandi’s corner. Allie shakes off the distraction and looks for a quick win while Kong lurks at ringside. Allie takes a moment to stare down Kong, leaving herself open to Brandi’s missile drop-kick. Brandi dishes out a heel beatdown with a fairly basic moveset. Allie seems poised to come back but Kong grabs her legs and Brandi hits the ugliest German suplex ever (or “waistlock takedown” as J.R. tries to salvage it). Allie slugs her way back into the match and connects with a running elbow for 2. Brandi kicks out of a bulldog and I get the sense that the fans are ready for this to end. Brandi shakily counters Allie off the turnbuckle with a snap suplex. Allie’s super kick and running DVD would have ended it, but Kong pulls Brandi’s leg into the ropes. Allie jaws at Kong and Brandi’s inside cradle nearly ends it. Allie applies a Dragon Sleeper and Brandi taps, but the ref was busy with Kong. Brandi rakes the eyes and hits a spear for the win at 10:11. This was sloppy and had featured tired outside interference. Probably the worst main card AEW match to date, *. Winner: Brandi Rhodes
Brandi and Kong prepare to continue beating up Allie when Aja Kong debuts and storms to the ring to confront the other Kong. Awesome Kong doesn’t back down whatsoever and the crowd is buzzing as referees prevent a brawl. Brandi and Awesome Kong depart and Aja helps Allie up. Cool moment here, almost making the crap match before it feel necessary.
The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) vs. Jack Evans and Angelico vs. A Boy and His Dinosaur (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, with Marco Stunt)
The Dark Order are the tag team formerly known as the Super Smash Bros. who confused us all with the lights out debut at Double or Nothing. They are flanked by an entourage of masked minions. Grayson has gotten himself into great shape and has a hot start against Evans. Grayson draws a line in in the ring and dares Angelico to enter and he soon hits a big uranage. Evil Uno tags and immediately bites Angelico. Jungle Boy tags in to a big pop and overwhelms Evil Uno with a hurricanrana and drop-kick. Evil Uno targets Jungle Boy’s nose and hits a hanging neckbreaker to retake control. Luchasaurus gets a blind tag and the crowd LOVES him as he absorbs Uno’s shots. Uno tags in Evans and hightails it. Luchasaurus hits a wheelbarrow suplex to set up Jungle Boy’s flying forearm. The Dark Order interrupt, slamming Jungle Boy on the ring frame, followed by a back senton. The Dark Order look good beating up Jungle Boy and preventing him from making tags. Luchasaurus eventually gets the hot tag and runs wild through the field, popping the crowd with his agility. Luchasaurus dumps Evans and Angelico for a Jungle Boy dive. Luchasaurus hits a Tombstone on Grayson, but Evil Uno saves. Grayson absorbs a slam and hits a double Pele kick. Evans and Angelico return for a double stomp combo on Jungle Boy and an assisted 450. Angelico Buckle Bombs Jungle Boy in place for Evans, but Marco Stunt interferes with a hurricanrana off the top on Evans! The ref saw the whole thing and tries to eject him, but instead watches Luchasaurus launch him on Angelico. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy almost win with an excellent tandem powerbomb, but Dark Order ruins the moment, hitting a senton/splash combo on Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus for a great nearfall. They try again with Fatality (Blockbuster/slam combo) and win at 15:05. This was tons of fun and got everyone over, but not more so than giving the Dark Order a credible win, ***½.
Winners: The Dark Order
Kip Sabian vs. Hangman Page
The crowd seems firmly behind Page, who is being positioned as a top level babyface and is heading into the first AEW World title match against Chris Jericho. They feel each other out, and Kip, um, kips up after taking a shoulder block. A chop fest leads to a slugfest, with Page knocking Sabian off his feet. Page hits a fallaway slam and clotheslines Sabian to ringside, giving himself a breather and chance to sell a lingering knee injury. Sabian rebounds with a springboard kick to the head, but his dive is cut off by Page’s haymaker. Sabian fakes Page out with another kick and connects with the dive. A fan trash talks Sabian, and he responds by kissing the man on the lips, which means he’s late for a cover attempt. Page barely survives a flying double stomp and hits a desperation overhead suplex. Page puts together some offense, including his standing SSP, but can’t gain a pinfall. Sabian answers with a springboard DDT for a cold 2 count. Sabian’s penalty kick only gets a 1 count and Page spits at him. Sabian stomps the knee and hits a second penalty kick for 2. Sabian wins a slugfest, returns the spit, but Page turns him inside out with a desperation lariat. Sabian misses a double stomp and Page hits a back suplex onto the ring apron! Page’s top rope moonsault to the floor is good except Page seemingly badly hurts his knee in the process. Page follows up by powerbombing Sabian over the ropes and onto the elevated entrance stage! Page can sense the pending time limit and hits a top rope swinging neckbreaker for a good nearfall. Sabian catches Page in a dragon screw leg sweep in the ropes. Sabian hits the springboard rana but Page rolls through and nails Dead Eye for the win at 19:02. This was deliberately paced and took a while to get going, but I felt invested before it was over, ***¼.
Winner: Hangman Page
One of the Dark Order’s creepers attacks Hangman Page, and you’ve probably already guessed that it’s Chris Jericho before he confirms it by unmasking. Jericho delivers his new Judas Effect back elbow (that he beat Kenny Omega with), busts Page open, and stands tall. Some fans chant “Thank you, Jericho” but he just flips them off.
SCU (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian, with Christopher Daniels) vs. Lucha Bros (Ray Fenix and Pentagon Jr.)
SCU do a fun promo before the match where they insult the town in a tongue in cheek fashion and put themselves over. The Lucha Bros. are dressed as Samurais tonight, because why not? Scorpio and Pentagon exchange shoves before the bell. The cooler Kazarian and Fenix start the match with an aggressive lockup. Their sequence results in a stalemate, and the match breaks down quickly, but the lady referee impressively restores order. Pentagon and Sky enter the match and engage in some aggressive taunting. Pentagon makes a show of removing his glove, but Sky cuts him off with fast paced offense, at least until Pentagon superkicks him in the face. Lucha Bros hit stereo superkicks to Kazarian’s head and ambush Daniels for good measure. Pentagon chops Daniels in the chest for further insult. The fans quiet down to hear Fenix chop Sky. Daniels repays them with an Asai moonsault (which the ref allows, before ejecting him for entering the ring). Kazarian surprises the Lucha Bros with a flying body press on the stage, and SCU hit a neat modified rolling powerbomb. Fenix takes a beating from SCU before connecting with STIFF kicks and forcing the hot tag to Pentagon, who goes nuts with sling blades and super kicks. Lucha Bros place SCU in a tree of woe for a monkey flip senton! Lucha Bros seem to lose their focus, and Fenix settles for a sidewalk slam on Sky for 2. Kazarian storms back with a German on Fenix, and backstabber on Pentagon. SCU’s double stomp on Pentagon is good, but Fenix rolls into a double DDT. SCU hit a cool assisted DDT on Fenix off the top rope for only 2! Fenix walks the ropes for a leg drop on Kazarian while Pentagon piledrives Sky for 2. Lucha Bros finish Sky with a double team package piledriver at 15:02. Great win for the Lucha Bros, as this was a fun, if not somewhat routine spotfest, ***½.
Winners: Lucha Bros.
Daniels returns to help his partners and the Lucha Bros beat up all three members of SCU with a ladder. They want a ladder match with the Young Bucks at All Out, and if the event wasn’t sold out already, it would be now.
CIMA vs. Kenny Omega
The story here is that Omega needs to win a singles match (he’s currently 0 and 1, oh my). Omega gets a superstar reaction from the fans, who are merely polite toward CIMA. They feel each other out and CIMA scores first with a hard shoulder tackle. CIMA follows with arm drags and rolls through a sunset flip to hit a double stomp. CIMA counters a rana and applies an arm and head submission. Omega finally scores a back suplex and targets the head. CIMA slaps the chest but Omega sends him to ringside after a hard rana. CIMA ambushes with a drop-kick but Omega manages a big DDT (while selling a nose injury). CIMA shakes it off (no sells it, if we’re being honest) and hits a Perfect Driver for 2. Omega attempts a Dragon Superplex but CIMA reverses with a powerbomb! CIMA misses Meteora and takes a bad landing on his knees. Omega smells blood and goes to work on the freshly injured knees. CIMA further sacrifices his knees to counter a moonsault but Omega takes advantage of his bad knees to hit a snap Dragon suplex. CIMA counters with a backstabber, can’t hit a dive, and Omega hits an atomic drop onto the ring apron! The ringside brawl results in CIMA hitting Meteora off a balcony through Omega on a table! Back to the ring, CIMA hits two more Meteoras but Omega kicks out! Omega counters another Meteora with a buckle bomb, followed by a snap Dragon and V Trigger, but CIMA kicks out! CIMA avoids One Winged Angel and hits a reverse DDT. They’re both dazed and desperate as they trade counters, and CIMA hits two more Meteora variations. CIMA manages a back drop on the apron and another flying Meteora, but Omega gets a rope break in the cover. They trade stiff slaps until Omega knees the head and delivers Tiger Driver �98 for another 2 count. CIMA counters into a scary close 2 count and Omega catches him in One Winged Angel for the win at 22:25. There was enough substance in the meat of the match that the kick-out festival in the second half felt earned, but I can’t help but notice that Omega’s high profile singles matches don’t stray too far from this formula. This is about **** in a vacuum.
Winner: Kenny Omega
Chris Jericho is here to enlighten us with an in-ring promo. He boasts about having the blood of Hangman Page on his hands. He is still demanding a thank you, but won’t accept it from the fans of “Jackoffville.” Jericho takes credit for all the success AEW has had thus far. He feels that if he loses to Hangman Page, it’s the beginning of the end of his career, so he HAS to beat him. Hangman Page has heard enough and runs in for the ambush. Officials and wrestlers run in to break it up but Page breaks loose to continue his attack. Fans chant “Thank you, Hangman” as order is restored.
The Brotherhood (Cody and Dustin Rhodes) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson)
The crowd optimistically chants “AEW” before the bell. Cody shakes hands with his buddy, Nick, and they cleanly feel one another out. They get a break and Nick kicks away Cody’s handshake, which results in taunting and slapping. Tempers flare as Dustin and Matt back up their respective brothers. Dustin finds himself on the receiving end of some Bucks tandem offense. The Bucks clear the ring and mock Cody and Dustin’s emotional embrace from Double or Nothing. Dustin gets worked over for a good long while by the Bucks, who simply overwhelm him. Dustin manages a double back drop counter, but there’s no Cody on the apron, so he spinebusters Matt while Nick continues sweeping Cody away from the apron. Dustin climbs to the top and nails both Jacksons with a crossbody. Cody gets the hot tag and runs wild through his “buddies” and pops the crowd with a spear through the ropes onto the ramp. Cody whips Matt with his weight belt and nails a superplex for 2. Matt takes a bad spill into the ring post and is easy prey for a recovered Dustin. Matt Jackson takes a turn getting beaten down by the Brotherhood. Matt eventually counters a bulldog and backdrops Cody onto the ramp. Nick gets a hot tag and unleashes a fast paced assault, leaping off the back of Dustin to drop Cody off of the turnbuckles. The Bucks deliver stereo sunset flips to apply sharpshooters. The Brotherhood answer with stereo Figure Fours. A four way lariat leaves everyone down. The Brotherhood recover first and manage to hit their own dives on the Bucks. Dustin sets Nick up for the Golden Globes, but Matt saves with a superkick. Cody prevents the Meltzer Driver with the Disaster Kick and Nick eats a double CrossRhodes, but Matt prevents a cover via swanton bomb! They brawl and the referee takes an errant shot from Cody in the chaos. The ref misses stereo Golden Globes. Cody flies into a superkick party at ringside. Dustin finds himself battling the Bucks by himself and almost gets pinned via flying elbow drop. The match breaks down again with superkicks flying left and right. Cody and Dustin help each other back up, but the Bucks are waiting with uppercuts. The Brotherhood hit their own superkicks, but the Bucks recover and finish Cody with the Meltzer Driver at 31:20. This was good, especially with the character moments between Cody and Dustin, as well as the friendly competition becoming personal, but this just went on way too long. Sometimes less is more. ***¼ seems about fair.
Winners: The Young Bucks
The Young Bucks make nice with Cody and Dustin afterwards. Everything is back to normal, it would seem. They’re interrupted by the AEW roster and officials coming to the ring to present the oversized check revealing that they’re donating 150,000 to support victims of gun violence. This is nice, but I’m going to bed.
Final Thoughts: This was good (except for Brandi Rhodes swinging wildly to the heel side and having a bad match with Allie) but it was too long. I appreciate free PPV-like shows, but B shows do not need to be four hours long. Mild thumbs up for being good enough and setting up lots of stuff for All Out.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.