We opened with a moments silence for Joseph Laurinaitis, who tragically passed away earlier today. Laurinaitis is better known to many wrestling fans as Road Warrior Animal and was one half of the Road Warriors and the Legion of Doom. As a child, I loved the Legion of Doom. I loved everything about Hawk and Animal. In the Smackdown vs Raw video games, I would always make a stable with myself and the Legion of Doom. I was just drawn to those guys. The funny thing is, I hadn’t actually seen them wrestle. My first taste of them was in the video games. I was just drawn in by the way they looked, their outfits and their names. Obviously, I’ve since seen a lot of their matches. R.I.P. Road Warrior. Go and be reunited with Hawk, in a better place. It’s comforting to know that you are both together again. Thank you for everything you meant to me growing up.
Tonight’s first in ring action is a tag match (is it just me or do we always open with a tag match nowadays?) between the team of Kip & Miro and Joey & Sonny. As per normal, it was a solid opening match, but we didn’t get to see nearly as much Miro as I thought we would. It felt like Kip was always in the ring. Miro picks up the victory for his team, which wasn’t a surprise. What was surprising was that it was via submission. Aubrey declared him the winner, rang the bell and then proceeded to start a 5 count after Miro wouldn’t break the hold. What are you planning on disqualifying him from? Life? You rang the bell ref, you have no power here anymore.
Eddie Kingston comes out and talks some smack about his title match, TONIGHT, against Jon Moxley. I love Eddie and his skills on the mic are excellent. This is another example of poor booking on AEW’s part though. If you don’t recall, it was supposed to be the 6 man tag tonight between Mox/Allin/Hobbs and Cage/Starks/Archer. Archer was not in attendance tonight due to being in close contact with someone who has COVID. Fair enough! But why rush a title match in which Kingston will obviously lose? Why not just make it a normal tag match between Mox/Hobbs and Cage/Starks? Moxley can win and then talk trash about Archer and keep the feud strong. Doesn’t that make more sense? Seriously, call me Tony.
Hangman sees action next against Dark Order’s, Evil Uno. Once again, we are reminded this could of been a tag match but Kenny Omega said no! He’s a singles wrestler now, in case you haven’t heard. Colt Cabana joins Dark Order at ringside and once again I find myself frustrated with AEW’s writing. Maybe I’m just tired and grumpy tonight. But seriously, is he in or out? Does he want to join or not? Is he conflicted? Is he a face or a heel? It’s been dragged on long enough, make a decision! Anyway, this was a good enough match. Once again, Hangman got to show off some big power moves. The two men traded lots of big chops, hard punches and dominant lariats. Uno took to the skies for a nice Senton. Hangman picks up the win via pinfall. That always autocorrects to pinball and it always creates an amusing visual.
I’ve been picking up on vibes that maybe Evil Uno is on his way out of the Dark Order. Tonight, he sent them away from ringside and the commentary team hinted at Uno getting chewed out by Brodie in the past. Are they building towards it? Anyway, sending them away from ringside didn’t help him any. Maybe members of the Dark Order cannot win unless Stu Grayson is yelling at them and overreacting from the sidelines.
Small interview (if you could call it that) between Tony and Matt Jackson. Matt “apologises” for the recent behaviour of the Young Bucks, refuses to answer any questions and then smashes Tony’s iPhone. Cool.
The TNT Championship is on the line, as the champion, Brodie Lee takes on the challenger, Orange Cassidy. Remember what I said the other day how I feel like you can’t go more than 1 or 2 matches without a Dark Order thing? This match wasn’t particularly enjoyable, despite the best efforts from Orange Cassidy. It was obvious Brodie was going to retain and there wasn’t much good in ring action. OC did the classic kick routine and hit a really nice looking running PK (or is it TK?), but then followed it up with a really poor looking running PK. Dark Order continued to be annoying at ringside and Silver continued to play the role of psycho fan boy.
Brodie’s post match celebration is interrupted by mysterious music. It looks to be like a new wrestler might be in town. But wait! It’s Cody! He’s back and in black, his hair too! Cody destroys the Dark Order clowns, but Brodie has already left. He is backstage and cutting a promo about Cody. It was actually a pretty decent promo and he got some good zingers in. He actually made me laugh and it was probably the first time since the early weeks that I was entertained by Brodie Lee. He made a good joke about Cody’s neck tattoo and got some lines off about Brandi calling him “Daddy” on Instagram. I’m not on Insta, but I want to check this out.
Happy Birthday to one of my childhood (and lifelong) heroes, Matt Hardy! He comes out to the ring with Private Party to shed some light on his mystery attacker last week. After some stammering and stuttering, he reveals his top suspect is the “Asshole”, Chris Jericho. Matt’s words, not mine. I would never dream of calling Jericho anything nasty. Anyway, Jericho comes out to defend himself. Sammy Guevara returns. Private Party talk some trash. It was all actually quite entertaining, especially Jericho saying that if he was to bust Matt’s knee, he would do it to his face so Matt could see the joy in his eyes. This was a fun few minutes and ended up with a match next week being booked, between Cassidy and Jericho. Jericho is doing an excellent job of helping to build up the young talent.
FTR comes out to the ring, with Tully, to announce some new rules. Basically, their title defenses will be 20 minutes, not 60 and they get to choose their own opponents. They are calling it a “20 minute brush with greatness”. Next week, SCU will get the first shot. I was under the impression it would be Frankie and Daniels, because AEW said that they were pushing Sky as a singles wrestler and getting the tag team of Daniels and Kaz back together. So, of course next week is Sky and Kazarian. DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING ANYMORE?
Anyway, before we move on, Best Friends come out and interrupt FTR. Chuck Taylor calls them weenies, not once, but twice. Trent said that last week wasn’t a wrestling match, it was a war. He wasn’t wrong. They challenge FTR to a title match, right now. Everyone got set to wrestle and I was pretty excited, only to have FTR cancel the match last minute. Boo! What a bunch of weenies.
It feels like a million years since we’ve seen a wrestling match. Finally, it’s time for some in ring action. Ivelisse and Diamante square off against Shida and Thunder Rosa. Not complaining, but how come Rosa is spending so much time away from NWA? It seems weird that their champion is just wrestling for other companies. This was another fantastic match and I was very nearly tricked into a fake finish! Shida took a knee to the face from Rosa (inadvertently) and then took a couple of big hits. They almost got me with that false count! Great match up, the champions come out on top.
Time for another Jericho promo. He makes a funny remark about giving Cassidy “shots, shots, shots” from his left and right hands next week. He is on fire tonight! Then MJF comes out and they both kiss up to one another before addressing the loser incident from last week or the week before. I can’t recall which. Anyway, turns out it was just a misunderstanding. MJF was calling their limousine drivers losers and Jericho was calling Tony Schiavone a loser. They both make fun of Tony and go their seperate ways.
Time for the main event match! Moxley defending against Kingston. This was a decent match and they seemed to have really good in ring chemistry. Both men got to show off some of their power and both of them took a pretty decent beating. This kind of match is when Moxley is at his best. He needs to wrestle a more hardcore style to keep his matches entertaining. I don’t want to pick on Mox (I’m going to though), but I find he isn’t great at selling his opponents moves. He either brushes it off completely, like it didn’t affect him at all. Which is fine sometimes, especially when you have the whole tough guy persona. However, if he doesn’t brush it off, he acts like he gets hit by a freight train. His eyes glaze over and he stumbles all over the place or just lays completely still. There is an art to selling, and you need to learn it my friend! Pretty good match though!
After the match, the Lucha Bros come out and super kick Mox. He is on the wrong end of a beatdown, until big Will Hobbs comes to the rescue. He hits one of the Lucha Bros (I didn’t write down which one, but I think it was Rey) with an awesome looking spine buster! It was huge. I can’t remember the exact order of things, but Darby makes his way to the ring, skateboard in hand. Starks comes out to play as well. Shenanigans ensue, but the bad guys are the ones left standing. I’m actually really keen for the Allin and Starks fight next week.
That’s a wrap for this weeks episode! I feel like I’ve canned on AEW a lot this week. I do love this company and the guys and girls in it. I just want it to succeed and I know they have lots of room for improvement. It’s all coming from a place of love! It probably doesn’t help that it’s late and I’m tired. On that note, please forgive my grouchiness and any spelling or grammatical errors. I’m out of here, see you all later.
Also, happy birthday to Doc Sampson as well. Apparently it’s everyone’s birthday.