It’s here! The Revolution has finally come! Don’t panic, I’m talking ’bout AEW! I’m so excited, let’s dive into it!
The buy-in was over an hour (again) and only featured one match (again). I learned from last time though and I only watched the last 20 minutes. Just in time to catch the one match. Britt Baker and Rebel, taking on Thunder Rosa and Riho.
Except, it wasn’t Rebel! Rebel was a late injury scratch and deemed unfit for competition by none other than Dr. Britt Baker herself.Tony Khan wasn’t having it and insisted that Rebel compete, but after another medical professional verifying Baker’s report, Rebel was removed from the match.
Rebel was replaced by Maki Itoh. Being the trooper that she is, she remained at ringside for the match, held up by her crutch. I don’t want to spend too much time on the buy-in, so let’s just say that this was another fantastic match in the rivalry between Baker and Rosa.
With the referee distracted, Rebel smacked Rosa in the face with her crutch. I have to believe it was an accident, an upstanding character like Rebel would not to do something like that on purpose. Baker covered Rosa and got the 3 count. I’m sure this isn’t the end of their feud.
The PPV officially kicks off with a memoriam for Jim Crockett Jr. I’ve been offline all day and I hadn’t heard. My thoughts and feelings are with his family and friends.
The first match is the tag team title one between MJF and Jericho and the Young Bucks. Wardlow is at ringside for the Inner Circle duo. When Aubrey Edwards holds the title belts in the air before the start of the match, Jericho swipes one and holds it up like he has won the championship. I love it when he declares himself the victor. Is it a sign of things to come?
No. No it was not. The Young Bucks retained their titles in a solid opening match. There was a very cool synchronised sequence which lead to a pair of simultaneous sharpshooters being locked in by the Young Bucks. Jericho and MJF managed to escape.
There were also a few exciting false finishes, that would have been better if Excalibur shut his damn mouth and stopped spoiling them. He is so predictable and it is literally spoiling moments in the matches. It’s so frustrating! Speaking of the commentary team, JR sounded really, really sick and probably should not have been at the desk.
Wardlow got involved a little bit and so did Floyd. Floyd got a good hit in on the backs of one of the Bucks. Wardlow tried to get involved again and got an accidental elbow from Jericho for his troubles. We didn’t see Wardlow again. This lead to the longest superkick party I’ve ever seen. Poor MJF got kicked over and over and over again. He was literally drooling. Talk about a Slobber Knocker! Bucks win!
The Casino Tag Team Battle Royale was next. You know as well as I do that these things are impossible to follow. Here are the teams in order of entry : Natural Nightmares, Angels/10, Santana/Ortiz, Sydal Brothers, Uno/Stu, Gunn Club, PPA/Cezar, Varsity Blondes, Bear Country, Jurassic Express, Butcher/Blade, Private Party, SCU, Pac/Fenix and Silver/Reynolds. Whew.
Not a lot happened of note happened in the match. Grayson lifted Boulder on his shoulder, which was a great rhyme and an impressive showing of strength. Jack Evans interfered with the match to eliminate 10. I don’t know if Matt Hardy paid for that or not. I think Kaz injured his shoulder in the match, but I’m not 100% on that.
The most interesting story development was QT Marshall’s quit ‘n’ spit. I coined that rhyme, you heard it here first. Basically, Marshall eliminated the Gunn Club from the match. Dustin wasn’t happy about it because the Gunn Club are in the nightmare family. He reprimanded QT for his actions and QT had enough. He eliminated himself from the match and spat at Dustin Rhodes. Nice.
Jungle Boy and Rey Fenix were the final two competitors. The two of them had an incredible back and forth sequence, with Fenix ultimately coming out on top. This displeased me. I love Rey Fenix. I do. But his tag team partner is Penta, not Pac. So why the heck are Pac and Fenix winning a tag team title shot? It’s like the damn Omega/Page situation all over again. AEW has so many good, established tag teams. I don’t understand why they have this compulsive need to ignore those teams and just create new teams at random for half of the title shots! It’s so frustrating!
Backstage, Dascha is with Paul Wight. She asks for a hint about who his new signee is. Wight says that he will “out work everybody”, which effectively tells us nothing.
It’s time for the Women’s title match! Our champion, Hikaru Shida is defending against the challenger, Ryo Mizunami. The match started with Ryo doing her lame ass chops on Shida in the corner. It was a bad start and set the tone for an average match. I really hate it when someone does repeated chops in the corner. You can clearly see that they hit with almost zero force. It’s pathetic.
Fortunately, the match turned around and the last 5 minutes or so were incredible. Well, except for Excalibur ruining all the false finishes again. Once more, Shida is successful in her title defence and the longest title reign in AEW continues.
After the match, Nyla Rose came out and jumped the two competitors. Shida came to the aid of Ryo. They might have been able to turn the tables, but Baker and Rebel came out to assist Rose. Then Rosa came out to get Baker. I told you it wasn’t over!
Double or Nothing 2021 is given a date and a location. It will be Sunday, May 30th and it will take place in Jacksonville, Florida.
Alex Marves is backstage with Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy. He asks them something, but I can’t recall what and they don’t get a chance to answer anyway. Miro and Kip come along and jump them. Orange gets thrown around a bit and is incapacitated. Chuck has his head smashed through a glass door panel and is dragged out to the ring by Miro.
The referee asks Chuck if he wants to forfeit the match, but Chuck tells him to “ring the damn bell”. Chucky ain’t afraid! So the match begins and is effectively a handicap match, with Cassidy still unconscious backstage. I’d been telling my partner all day that something like this would happen and that Trent would make his surprise return, reuniting the duo.
I begin to chant “Trent! Trent! Trent!”. Arielle tells me that he is likely still injured because it wasn’t that long ago he tore his pec. I tell her to shut up and continue chanting. Then Orange Cassidy makes his way down the entrance ramp. He is limping a lot and passes out on the way to the ring. I guess I’m not getting my reunion.
Chuck and Orange mount what little energy they have left and put up the best fight they can, but ultimately they fall short. Miro defeats Chuck via submission for the win.
Miro seems to be consumed by his hatred and revenge. He pushed Orange into Penelope who was at ringside. When Kip went to check on his wife, Miro got mad at him for being distracted from the match. The two of them had words about it after the fight and any tension seems to be dissolved…for now.
Alex Marves has moved on and found someone else to annoy, this time it’s the Inner Circle. He asks Jericho how it feels to have failed to win the title match earlier in the evening. Jericho unleashes a tirade of abuse. Jericho and MJF announce that on Wednesday, the Inner Circle are having a war council and it’s “time for a change”. That’s ominous.
The next match on the cards is the Big Money Match, between Adam Page and Matt Hardy. This was a pretty solid match, with both guys swapping a few powerful exchanges, Hangman busted his own lip and maybe a few teeth at one point in the match.
Marq Quen and Isaiah Cassidy both did their role well as enforcers for Hardy. They distracted the referee which prevented Page getting a 3 count. They also distracted Page a few times, until eventually he had enough and took them both out.
It was only temporarily though. The young duo managed to get themselves back in the fight and it looked like Hangman was outnumbered. Enter the Dark Order. The group came to the aid of Page and managed to help him secure the victory and Matt Hardy’s Q1 earnings for 2021. After the match, Hangman hugged the Dark Order and shared a beer with them.
Who is ready for a 6 man ladder match? The surprise participant still hasn’t been announced and the match is about to start. The prize is a TNT title shot, which the winner will receive this week on Dynamite. That’s pretty soon! The prize is hung high above the ring. Normally, you’d have the contract in briefcase or maybe on a clipboard. Not AEW. There isn’t a contract hanging above the ring. It’s a giant brass ring, which looks exactly like a haemorrhoid pillow. A massive, gold, haemorrhoid ring. Only in AEW.
Platinum Max has a few good bars on his way to the ring, including a sweet dig at the flat chested Lola Bunny. Cody comes out to the Snoop Dogg version of his song and I really wish he would go back to the original. Finally, the surprise 6th man is announced. It’s Ethan Page from Impact! Honestly, that’s kind of a let down. I don’t mean that with any disrespect towards Ethan Page, but I thought AEW and Impact! were sharing wrestlers anyway, so it doesn’t really feel like a surprise.
Jack Evans interfered in this match as well and I’m really not sure why. It doesn’t seem like he was following orders and there was no one from the Dark Order anyway, so I don’t know. Maybe he is just bored and misses Angelico. Maybe he is recruiting? Regardless of his intent, he came to assist Platinum. He brought him a weapon (a boombox) which is interesting, because it was a no rules match. Platinum could have just got his own boombox.
There was one really funny bit in the match. Ethan Page was standing in the ring and celebrating. Scorpio Sky “snuck” into the ring and stealthily walked right in front of Page, to get in to position behind him. Sky is obviously a Skyrim character because his sneak is level 100. Even though he walked directly in front of Page, Page had no idea that he was there. Sky pulled off a successful sneak attack from behind.
The highlight of the match was when Penta hit a destroyer on Cody, right on top of a ladder. It didn’t look like Penta landed properly (no judgment, it’s a tough move to pull off) and he definitely got the worst of it. Nonetheless, Cody was taken backstage. Cody did return to the match, but just got his ass kicked some more.
Lance Archer also pulled Sky’s pants down and we got to see his butt. Shortly after that, Sky was thrown on top of a ladder and bent the heck out of it. He managed to recover though and got the win. The haemorrhoid pillow is yours now, Sky. Use it wisely. This was a pretty fun match. Even Jake Roberts got involved and it looked like he was moving pretty well.
Once we cleaned up the carnage, we went back to the entrance ramp to announce Wight’s new signee. Nobody came out to introduce him. His music just started. It was Christian Cage! Awesome. I’m curious to see what he will get up to in AEW. I guess we will have to wait though. He literally didn’t say a word. Just came out and waved. No one even tried to interview him. Where is Alex Marves when you need him?
We head offsite to an undisclosed location for the tag team street fight between Darby Allin/Sting and Brian Cage/Ricky Starks. This wasn’t what I expected it to be, but my god what an entertaining match this one was. For sure, the highlight of the evening. And that is a huge compliment from me, because you know I don’t usually enjoy cinematic matches. This was great though. It was so well done. The production, the location, the camera work, everything about it was phenomenal.
Right from the entrances of the two teams, the tone was set for a great showdown. Darby’s entrance song was played on a cassette and the music video was played on a CRT TV. What a hipster! Sting and Allin arrived with a bunch of masked weirdos who proceeded to surround the ring. The ring, by the way, was set up in an abandoned warehouse. Spooky. Starks and Cage also arrived in style.
The match got underway and almost instantly got crazy. Allin was thrown into a brick wall, which he swiftly climbed and performed a coffin drop from. Things quickly left the ring and the action spread throughout the warehouse. Hook and Hobbs rocked up to get involved in the match. Hobbs was wearing a bulletproof vest? I mean, shit did get crazy, so it is best to be prepared.
Sting went to town with his baseball bat and he broke it in half of Cage’s back. This seemed to upset him, so he picked up a snow shovel and hit Cage in the head with it. Cage stumbled and fell onto a table of sorts. The table was suspended above a fairly decent drop to the floor below. Allin, was on the second floor, well above Cage. You know what happened next, don’t you? Allin jumped. From the second floor, landed on Cage who was on the first floor and the two of them fell down to the floor below and disappeared into the fog. Holy shit.
Shortly after this, Sting picked up the victory. But at what cost? Is Darby dead? Is Cage? We never saw them again after that. This match was fantastic. We had broken glass, baseball bats, snow shovels, tables, brick walls and a bunch of other crazy stuff. Welcome back, Sting.
Another advertisement for Double or Nothing. It will be the 2 year anniversary of the event. A few matches were announced for Dynamite as well. Matt Jackson vs Rey Fenix in a singles match. A 6 man tag match featuring the team of Britt Baker, Rebel (who was later replaced by Nyla Rose) and Maki Itoh taking on the trio of Hikaru Shida, Ryo Mizunami and Thunder Rosa. A reminder of the war council and the TNT Title match between Scorpio Sky and Darby Allin, who is missing and presumed dead. Heavily presumed, to quote Dean Learner.
And time for the highly anticipated main event! The exploding barbed wire death match between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley. Words couldn’t describe how excited I was for this one. As the competitors made their way to the ring, I was filled with nervous excitement. Omega was wearing a cool new t-shirt: Kenny Omega vs Jon Moxley – Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match (shopaew.com) normally, I don’t care for the event t-shirts, but I want this one.
If you don’t know, here are the details of the stipulation. The ropes were wrapped in barbed wire. They were also rigged to explode if anyone made contact with them. At ringside, there were some tables also covered in barbed wire and rigged to explode. Once the match started, there would be a 30 minute countdown until all remain explosives were detonated. If anyone survived that, the match would continue until someone was declared a victor. There were also numerous other weapons around the place, most of them wrapped in barbed wire.
Maybe I’ve been spoiled too much from Omega and Mox, but this one didn’t quite live up the hype. It definitely had it’s fair share of violence and gore, but it felt like just as the match was getting going, it was over. The ending was definitely anti-climatic. Kenny picked up the victory via pinfall and retained his championship.
He wasn’t done with Moxley though. He handcuffed Mox and proceeded to beat him some more, with the assistance of the Good Brothers. The countdown timer hadn’t stopped and with less than a minute left, Omega and the Good Brothers split, leaving a wounded Moxley handcuffed and helpless in the ring.
The commentators cried for someone to come and rescue Moxley. Their prayers were answered. Eddie Kingston came rushing out to the aid of his old friend. Unfortunately, he didn’t have enough time to get them out to safety. All he could do was cover his friend with his own body and prepare for the epic explosions. 3,2,1, Boom!
Except, it wasn’t a boom. It was barely a fizzle. There were 4 tiny fireworks and a little bit of smoke. It looked pathetic. I’m going to assume that there was supposed to be a lot more of everything. More noise, more fireworks, more smoke! I’m going to assume that there was a technical error that caused it all. Kingston and Mox played along as if they were dead, but it just looked comical.
Again, I don’t mean to sound spoiled. Mox and Omega did put on a good match. Mox got tangled in barbed wire more than once. They both made good use of the weaponry around them. There were a fair few explosions throughout the match. The ending just sucked a little bit.
All in all, it was a pretty decent PPV. As I said, the street fight was definitely my favourite. Christian Cage was a surprise, especially considering it was only a month ago he was a surprise entrant in WWE’s Royal Rumble! He jumped ship pretty quickly. What was your favourite part? Were you surprised by Christian signing with the company? Let me know in the comments!