How about that Full Gear, eh? The main event seemed to divide fans between those who were amazed and those who were disgusted, but you have to admire the way Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega pulled out all the stops for our entertainment. Tonight we’ll see how AEW builds on the first PPV of its TV era, so it’s live to Nashville we go on TNT.
Time for some feels. Those come courtesy of a video package with highlights from Full Gear, including the predictable but still awesome betrayal of Cody by MJF.
Worried about the well being of Kenny Omega after his insane encounter with Jon Moxley? We see him get checked out by the docs after Full Gear, and his attempt to do the “you should see the other guy” bit even falls flat as he learns Mox is cleared for competition but Omega is not.
Match 1 – Michael Nakazawa vs. Jon Moxley
If Nakazawa was trying to get any measure of revenge for his friend and training partner Omega, he fails miserably, losing in a matter of just a few minutes. “So that one counts, right?” Moxley says after the match, referring to the unsanctioned status of his PPV bout. He boasts that he delivered what he promised at Full Gear, and that Omega will never be the same again. Mox doubts if anyone will have the balls to step in the ring with him, and if they do, they should kiss their loved ones goodbye and have the ambulance on speed dial.
Match 2 – Dark Order vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt)
Luchasaurus is apparently still on the shelf, but Stunt wears a mask to the ring to keep him present in spirit. The announcers discuss the debate about Stunt’s size, or rather lack thereof, which was definitely a thing after the last time he was in action. Perhaps to stick it to the trolls, Stunt gets an extended period of isolation in this match, and the fans explode when Jungle Boy gets the hot tag. Alas, Stunt still takes the pin, so that’s one for the haters, I suppose. Evil Uno grabs the mic and gives props to Stunt, revealing his true intentions when he invites him to join the Dark Order. Marko looks like he’s considering the offer, but when Jungle Boy declines on his behalf, Uno orders Grayson and the Creepers to “put them down.” This appears to be a massive mismatch, but the Jurassic Express becomes whole again as Luchasaurus makes his return, clearing the ring in short order.
Match 3 – Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Peter Avalon (w/ Leva Bates) vs. Darby Allin
This is interesting: One guy with the wrong kind of heel heat (Spears), one who is way over (Allin) and one who rarely gets to wrestle on TV (Avalon). Spears ends up getting sucked into a brawl with Joey Janela, continuing their feud, turning it into a de facto singles match that Allin wins in short order. In line with his death wish gimmick, Allin grabs the mic to announce that he accepts Moxley’s open challenge. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for him.
Match 4 – Nyla Rose vs. Dani Jordan
Maybe don’t slap Nyla in the face, Dani. Just a thought. Yeah this doesn’t last very long, as Rose wins easily.
Next week’s show in Indy is going to face a Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale and the winners will face off the following week for a … diamond ring? Does AEW have a promotional deal with Zale’s as well as Cracker Barrel?
Tony Schiavone talks with Allie, who is up to fourth in the women’s rankings and wants a chance to show her stuff on Dynamite. Their chat is cut short when the lights go out, revealing Awesome Kong and Brandi Rhodes on stage. Allie shows some gumption by rushing to attack Kong, and needless to say, that doesn’t go well for her. They collect a lock of Allie’s hair, because hair is better than gold. Uh, maybe.
Le Champion has something to say, and it’s that he still wants a “thank you” from everyone in AEW. Chris Jericho gloats about beating Cody and proving he really wasn’t as good as he thinks. The lights go out for a second and return to reveal the only man who could get more boos than the champ, MJF. Not only does he insist that he had to throw in the towel to prevent the end of Cody’s career, he claims that “the real Cody” only cares about himself. MJF is just a captivating promo guy. It’s not that he’s saying anything unique, he just delivers every line perfectly. MJF turns his attention to Jericho next, and the two men discuss him joining the Inner Circle. Since Jericho is no slouch with a microphone either, this segment gets ratcheted up another notch as they go back and forth, with a mention of Juventud Guerrera (to the confusion of MJF), and laughs aplenty. We never do get a definitive answer on whether MJF is in the Inner Circle because Cody comes down and attacks them both, but the heels get a hand from the debuting Wardlow. His intervention leaves Cody bloodied again as the refs rush out to scrape up what’s left of him.
Match 5 – PAC vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
These gentlemen are going to continue feuding, it seems, and that’s not awful at all. This one ends with PAC just kicking and stomping Page in the head as many times as possible, but the ref doesn’t stop things even though he isn’t defending himself. PAC comes off the top and locks in the Brutalizer, and now the ref decides Hangman has had enough. You can see what they were going for here, but it didn’t come off quite as great as it probably was intended.
Backstage, the Young Bucks brawl with Santana and Ortiz, with a table and a forklift coming into play. That scrap spills all the way out to the ringside area, where security temporarily gets order restored until they get unwanted invites to a Superkick Party. Santana and Ortiz go after the right leg of Nick Jackson with their loaded sock, continuing the damage they did to it at Full Gear. Matt Jackson? Well, he arguably gets it even worse as he’s powerbombed through part of the stage. Eventually, Private Party decides they want to get some of this smoke too, but security and the refs finally have things settled down.
Main Event – SCU (champions) vs. Sammy Guevara and Chris Jericho (challengers) – AEW Tag Team Championship Match
There’s a lot of fooling about to get to the start of this one, leaving only about 12 minutes in the show. That’s not horrible for a televised main event but not fantastic either, particularly with a commercial break still to squeeze in. Exclaibur says if the match runs long, you can catch the finish on YouTube. Let’s not do that, please. Jake Hager gets involved, of course, but Christopher Daniels is on hand this time to cancel him out somewhat. We don’t get an overrun as Scorpio Sky rolls up Jericho to score the pinfall, and Le Champion is beside himself, taking his frustration out on every inanimate object he can grab. But we’re out of time, so we’ll see you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk has been with SLAM! Wrestling since the dawn of time, or at least since before the turn of the century. He spends his days doing PR things, but he’ll always make time to sneak away for some wrestling.