5/23 AEW BUY IN PPV PRE-SHOW: Private Party vs. Best Friends, segment with Archer smashing a toilet with a sledgehammer, Arn talks about Cody

By Mike Meyers, PWTorch contributor


MAY 23, 2020

Announcers: Excalibur, Taz, Tony Schiavonne, Jim Ross

-Excalibur and Taz gave a main card match rundown from their announce desk.

-Tony approached Jake Roberts and Lance Archer in a run-down barn, where Archer was smashing a tire with a sledge hammer. Archer moved into a dilapidated side room and destroyed a toilet and the room’s walls while Roberts laughed. After seeing this, Tony said that Archer is indeed ready for Cody.

(1) PRIVATE PARTY (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) vs. BEST FRIENDS (Chuck Taylor & Trent) – Tag Team #1 Contender Match

The teams shook hands prior to the match’s start. Taylor locked up with Kassidy. Kassidy did repeated kip ups while Taylor had him in a wristlock. Both teams tagged and Quen hit a standing moonsault after hopping over the dropped Trent. Trent hit a Northern lights suplex and covered for a one-count, then leveled Quen with a big chop. Taylor tagged in and Best Friends hit a double reverse elbow and double elbow drops.

Kassidy and Trent tagged back in. Trent knocked Kassidy to the mat with a chop, then hit a belly to back suplex. Trent replaced his headband that had fallen off to the delight of the ringside onlookers. Kassidy hit the Silly String over the top rope, albeit it a bit sloppily. Quen tagged in and began punishing Trent in Private Party’s corner. Quen put on Trent’s headband. At ringside, Trent speared Quen hard to the floor. Quen hit a flying senton over the top rope onto Trent at ringside.

Quen tagged in to formalize his legality. He kicked Taylor off the apron, and Trent climbed the corner to meet Quen at the top. Trent hit an avalanche suplex to Quen from atop Taylor’s shoulders. Trent covered Quen for two, then tagged in Taylor.

Taylor body slammed Quen and dropped an elbow before covering for a one-count. The men exchanged blows in Best Friends’s corner, then Taylor hit a standard suplex and covered for two. Trent tagged in and shoulder blocked Quen into a neutral corner. Trent missed a DDT attempt, allowing Quen to hit Trent with a drop kick. Kassidy tagged in and hit a guillotine cutter to Taylor against the top rope, then moon saulted onto Taylor on the floor. In the ring, Kassidy hit a flatliner to Trent and covered for two.

Quen tagged in and hit an inverted atomic drop on Trent, then the duo engaged in double team activity before Quen pinned Trent for two. Trent hit back suplexes on both Quen and Kassidy. Taylor tagged in and was punished by Private Party, but soon tossed Kassidy into Quen in the corner. Best Friends hit the Soul Food combination to Kassidy. Best Friends met in the middle for a big hug. Quen hit a shooting star press to Trent. Taylor tagged in and exchanged forearms with Quen. Taylor managed to hit both members of Private Party with the G9 – an homage to Shad Gaspard and Cryme Tyme.

Quen climbed to the top rope and hit a classic shooting star press but Taylor dragged Quen out of the ring by his boot and gave him a pile driver on the floor. Taylor super kicked Kassidy who approached to help. In the ring, Trent turned Quen inside out with a big clothesline. He covered, but Quen kicked out at two.

Trent was double teamed in the enemy’s corner. Kassidy hit a step-off kick to Trent’s face, using Quen’s back for leverage. Taylor yanked Kassidy out of the ring and fired him into the ring post. In the ring, Trent set up Quen and Taylor jumped from the top rope to hit the Strong Zero. Trent covered for the three-count.

Winners: Best Friends by pinfall.

(Meyers’s Analysis: A fine tag match with non-stop action – the sort of thing you expect on a PPV pre-show. Quen’s athleticism was exemplified with his high flying. This was tagged as a contender’s match, but the commentary didn’t go out of their way to frame it as such.)

-Tony met with Arn Anderson backstage, where Tony asked about Archer. Anderson indicated that toilets don’t hit back – Cody does. He added that Mike Tyson could decide to knock out Roberts or himself, and nobody can stop him if he does. “Tonight Cody will start his own legacy. It all begins tonight.”

-Back at the announce table, Taz had left and Excalibur introduced Tony and Jim Ross, who entered to JR’s music.

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