AEW is on the way to coming full circle. The Sears Centre Arena, site of All In and All Out, awaits a week from now, but there’s business to attend to in Indianapolis first, including a showdown between Jon Moxley and one of the few men with as much disregard for his own health, Darby Allin. Let’s get to TNT to see what’s what.
Match 1 – Nick Jackson vs. Rey Fenix
Interestingly, both these gentlemen have 0-0 singles records so far in AEW. Via la tag teams. There’s a big “Suck It Vince” sign on the TV side of the crowd, and you know security was A-OK with that. The announcers play up the idea that both men might be looking for tags that aren’t there when they get in trouble. Funny, that. A battle of superkicks wins the approval of the fans, and there’s plenty of emotion from both high spots and submission holds. Fenix prevails, but when Jackon extends a hand in respect, Rey decides not to shake.
Match 2 – Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. vs. Hikaru Shida
I’m fascinated by the full disco ball suit in Shida’s entrance, but maybe that’s just me. Baker starts bleeding from the nose early on, and like the professional he is, Excalibur discusses the idea that she might have trouble breathing through it. That blood is appropriate for a match that is plenty physical, with Shida eventually winning after a falcon arrow followed by running knees to the face.
The Dark Order wants more members, and a vignette shows us a man getting bullied before boarding a subway and seeing the Dark Order’s
Match 3 – Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal
The final two men in this one will go head to head for the Dynamite Diamond Ring next week, which The surprises start early, both with Billy Gunn revealed as the final participant, and because Rey Fenix comes to ringside to give support to Pentagon Jr. Only it’s Christopher Daniels under the mask, and that proves enough of a surprise to Pentagon that he is easily eliminated. Jimmy Havoc also finds himself being eliminated for breaking the rules, a.k.a. running wild with a stapler. During a commercial break, Shawn Spears runs down with a chair and knocks Joey Janela off the top turnbuckle, meaning he’s also out. Penelope Ford proves her worth as Kip Sabian’s manager, holding Chuck Taylor in place for Sabian to get rid of him. It appears that the final two are Hangman Adam Page and Jungle Boy, who is out on the apron after using a headscissors to toss out Sabian. Alas, MJF was never eliminated, just chilling on the floor with Wardlow, and he drags Jungle Boy off the apron to become one of the last two survivors.
Le Champion, Chris Jericho gets some mic time in the ring, addressing his “temper tantrum” from the end of the main event last week, when he took out his displeasure about losing the tag team title match on a bunch of inanimate objects. Jericho can’t bring himself to say he’s sorry, but Jake Hager does it for him. He also reveals his big announcement: Next week in Chicago, he’ll get the thank you he’s been seeking since AEW first got started. Though he bids adieu, SCU comes out to have a conversation with Jericho. Scorpio Sky tells Jericho he is a paragon of virtue for apologizing after doing something wrong, and that it was never his intention to embarrass Le Champion by handing him his first AEW loss. An angry Jericho thinks it’s cute that Sky got one over on him, but he wants to erase that blemish by taking on Sky in a singles match on the next episode of Dynamite. In a masterclass in reverse psychology SCU is able to get Jericho to even make it a title match, pulling off the Brer Rabbit gambit perfectly. Sky says he’s been waiting 15 years for an opportunity like this, and that he’s going to turn Le Champion into Le Bitch. That naturally leads to hands being thrown, followed by the rest of the Inner Circle joining the fray, leaving SCU outmanned. “Help” comes from Michael Nakazawa and Brandon Cutler, meaning the good guys still need more reinforcements. They come in the form of the Jurassic Express, particularly Luchasaurus, who teases a showdown with Hager before the “big Hurt” decides this isn’t the time for a throwdown.
Match 4 – Luchasaurus vs. Peter Avalon
If Avalon is in a match, it must be a squash, and this one is over in seconds.
Match 5 – Santana & Ortiz vs. Private Party
This match is dedicated to Matt Travis, an indie wrestler both teams knew who was recently killed when a dump truck made an illegal turn and hit him while riding a bicycle in a bike lane in New York City. For those of you who have been waiting to see Private Party in a match that isn’t just a spotfest, this is certainly it, with the duo prevailing after Marc Quen endures a heck of a beating and Nick Jackson distracts Proud and Powerful by taking away their blackjack. Sammy Guevara tries to get involved after the bell but is canceled out by Dustin Rhodes. Tony Schiavone notes that Private Party managed to win despite their opponents getting in about 80 percent of the offense, which isn’t wrong.
Kenny Omega says he’s lost sight of who he is and what he stands for, and he’s determined exactly when it happened: All Out, when PAC defeated him. He’ll get a chance to rectify that next week, and he invites everyone to tune in before … returning to lifting not a ton of weight and an uneven amount. Maybe he isn’t quite all right yet after that harrowing Lights Out match against Jon Moxley. Speaking of Mox …
Main Event – Darby Allin vs. Jon Moxley
Allin is carried to the ramp in a body bag with MOX on it, which is a heck of a way to make an entrance even before he skateboards the rest of the way to the ring. Not one to be upstaged, Moxley makes his way through the crowd only to be greeted by a flying Allin before he even climbs between the ropes. Just hurling yourself at Mox as fast and as often as possible is certainly a choice, though maybe not the smartest one for career longevity. Jim Ross notes that the two men are the No. 4 and 5 contenders to Jericho’s belt, partly because Moxley’s victory over Omega was unsanctioned. Heh. Allin gives it all he got, but after biting Allin’s face on the top turnbuckle, Moxley delivers the Paradigm Shift off the middle rope to secure the victory. Both men get a “Boomer Sooner” from J.R. for never giving up, but we’ve got to say goodbye because that’s it for this week. 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.