SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Dark Order vs. FTR & The Young Bucks & Hangman Page & Kenny Omega – HIT
Great opening multi-man tag match. When you adhere to some structure and rules in a tag match, you can open up a world of storytelling possibilities. It allowed for Dax Harwood to leave the match creating a disadvantage which led to Hangman Page making a triumphant return which then led to him being pinned by Brodie Lee who spent most of the match coasting at ringside. On top of all that, there was excellent action. The turmoil continues between Hangman Page & Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, and FTR. There’s still no clear direction of where it’s headed, but Brodie Lee emerging with a win will certainly have implications going forward.
•Jon Moxley Promo – HIT
Jon Moxley is a consistently great promo. He draws you in with his focus and intensity. Without screaming or going over the top, he explains exactly what he’s going to do. He foreshadowed the story of his match against Darby Allin later in the night telling him to stay down when it’s time. He compared himself to Allin saying many people told him not to do things, but he didn’t listen and he expects Darby to do the same tonight.
•Santana & Ortiz vs. Best Friends – HIT
Much to my chagrin, Santana & Ortiz take another loss. The feeling for myself and many fans was that it’s too bad that Santana & Ortiz feel like they are at a lower level than their predicted ceiling. Best Friends are a solid mid-card team who have consistently have good matches. There’s nothing wrong with them getting the win as they have been built up over the past few months, but when Santana & Ortiz lost Ortiz gave the best facial expression of frustration. They took out that frustration on Sue’s mini van. Without the segment later in the show, this match would be viewed as a negative, but it led to a solid angle for a much more anticipated rematch.
•MJF Promo – HIT
We’re in the full swing of election season. MJF continued his campaign towards becoming the AEW Champion by giving fans a behind the scenes look of his campaign offices. He berated staff over a poster being tilted on the wall then he demanded his female campaign manager always have a smile on her face. On top of that, he promoted a fake poll that promoted him as being far more popular than Jon Moxley. MJF is running on ego and putting his image before the issues. It’s a good reminder for people to vote this November.
•Matt Hardy Promo – HIT
Matt Hardy cut a very similar promo on Being The Elite. He talked about wanting to be this multiverse version of himself playing a variety of different characters. Instead his AEW career hasn’t played out the way he had envisioned and now he will be himself in a mentor role. He said he tried to be a mentor to Sammy Guevara and he pushed him off the turnbuckle last week because Guevara gave him the proverbial middle finger. A camera shot caught Guevara from coming under the ring. Guevara beat down Hardy and tossed a chair directly at Hardy’s causing a pool of blood. Guevara put Hardy through a table reigniting their feud going into All Out. Hardy’s explanation of his character shift was odd, but necessary to move forward. Guevara’s unintentional chair shot did serious damage to Hardy, but instantly made it a hot feud.
•Cody & Matt Cardona vs. Alex Reynolds & John Silver – MISS
The debut match of wrestling’s hottest free agent, Matt Cardona. Commentary did the best they could to sell his debut as a big deal, but the match fell short of reshaping Cardona. He showed a ton of energy, but he still works a WWE style. One week isn’t enough to write him off because whatever AEW has planned for him is still to come. The larger issue in the match was Cody selling for Alex Reynold and John Silver for an extended length of time. Both Reynolds and Silver are quality workers worthy of being more than Dark Order minions, but to this point that’s how they’ve been presented. In the post-match Cody crossed paths with Scorpio Sky setting up a TNT Championship shot next week.
•Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy Debate with Eric Bischoff – HIT
How do you book a segment with a character that doesn’t talk? When I first heard that Eric Bsichoff would be brought in as a guest moderator, I had serious doubts as to how this segment would play out. In the end, Orange Cassidy elevated himself yet again and sold his rematch against Chris Jericho next week. Bischoff was sufficient in the background allowing Jerico and Cassidy to take center stage. Jeircho was more serious, but still flinging his insults at Cassidy in response to Bischoff’s rudimentary questions. Cassidy’s first response to a question was an eloquent explanation of the rising sea levels. He followed up with an excellent promo on Jericho saying how next week is not only the biggest match of his career, but also Jericho because how could he possibly lose to the guy with his hands in his pockets.
•Reba vs. Big Swole – MISS
Wasn’t Reba a wrestler once upon a time? She was the only person who was shocked when Britt Baker named her as Big Swole’s opponent. Reba looked uncertain in the ring and even attempted a moonsault before Swole took her out in quick order. The segment continued the build towards their yet to be announced encounter at All Out.
•Jon Moxley vs. Darby Allin – HIT
Jon Moxley accomplished what he said he was going to do. Moxley and Darby Allin had a great match that elevated both of them. At one point, MJF interfered, hitting Moxley with the belt because he would rather face Allin at All Out. Despite the attack, Moxley gained back his momentum and hit Allin with several moves for the pin. Moxley is the AEW Champion so of course he should be getting in a lot of offense. Allin can take a tremendous amount of punishment and get over in the process. AEW continues to build towards him eventually getting a major win.