SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Santana & Ortiz vs. Best Friends – MISS
This match didn’t have the same energy and feel that I thought it would have based on the promo video from Santana & Ortiz. The match didn’t start for a while as Best Friends attacked Santana & Ortiz from behind leading to a ringside brawl before the bell rang. A number of dangerous looking bumps with Chuck Taylor being thrown off the stage onto a bunch of chairs and Trent taking a flat back bump off the ring apron onto the steel steps. Referee Bryce Remsburg also hit the three count which should have led to Best Friends winning, but that wasn’t the planned finish so they continued as though nothing happened. This is not the first time a sloppy finish has happened before with some wrestlers being out of position, but it’s a really bad look for the product. Not the end of the world, but this match felt like it should have been built up longer for a no DQ match.
•The Young Bucks & Jurassic Express vs. SCU & Private Party – HIT
A far more serious version of the Young Bucks with no posing on the ramp or post-match celebration. They’re selling their frustration over what happened with Hangman last week including at one point, Matt Jackson pouring a beer onto a planted fan holding a sign for Hangman Page. Some very good athletic action throughout. The finish means that The Young Bucks will take on Jurassic Express at All Out which will surely be a great showcase for both teams.
•Kenny Omega in-ring interview – MISS
Finally, we were going to get Kenny Omega cutting an in-ring promo talking about something serious. Of course after his first answer, he is cut-off by none other than FTR who are trying to sucker him in as well by offering him some chocolate milk. Omega refused, then Hangman Page came out as the sad person he portrayed last week. Dax was excellent on the microphone trying to manipulate Omega and Page and explain why Page did what he did. Meanwhile, Page turned to look for Omega, but he had abandoned him by reverting to ringside. Who is supposed to be the babyface in this feud? FTR and Tully are manipulative jerks. Hangman is a sad alcoholic who has alienated all of his friends. Kenny was awkward in his delivery and hasn’t been the kindest of late with hints of a heel turn. Omega and Page have been greatly damaged by this story being drug out for far too long. It desperately needs to get to the next destination at All Out.
•Chris Jericho vs. Joey Janela – HIT
Fine match for what it was. Joey Janela is at a certain level where he has some credibility from his days as a regular independent wrestler, but he’s largely used to job to the stars. After the mthc, Jericho continued to beat down Janela and bloodied his face. He smeared it across the Orange Cassidy t-shirt he was wearing while taunting Cassidy who sat in the crowd. Cassidy tried to save him, but was stopped by Jake Hager. Janelas’ tag partner, Sonny Kiss ran out which allowed for Cassidy to attack Jericho before again being saved by Hager. Cassidy poured out a bottle of “A Little Bit of the Bubbly” when Jericho was fuming up the staging area. This was a satisfying go hom angle for a feud that has lasted months and feels like they have done just about everything they can to build up the rubber match.
•Battle Royal Brawl – HIT
A continuation of the wrestlers involved in the Casino Battle Royal fighting with one another. AEW has a good track record of entertaining battle royals. The confrontations from the weeks leading up to it has definitely added intrigue, but it would also be nice to hear from some of the wrestlers about why earning a shot at the AEW Championship could be a career altering win.
•Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb – HIT
Great showcase for Thunder Rosa as well as Serena Deeb. An excellent match that demonstrated what Rosa was capable of before heading into her match with Hikaru Shida. Rosa and Deeb would be great additions to the roster they are able to sign on longer term. Rosa brings a different charisma and in-ring style that has already made her stand out above other talent.
•Big Swole Interview – MISS
Smear her face with pizza, they said. I can’t justify this nonsense except that it’s in the same vein as when Big Swole dumped Britt Baker into a dumpster. This feud was promising, but has devolved into just silliness with Reba (Rebel) dressing up as the most phony pizza delivery person then plastering the pizza into Swole’s face before Baker beats her from behind. If you want your audience to take this feud seriously, don’t do this.
•Jon Moxley vs. Mark Sterling – MISS
Why must Jon Moxley be subject to such silliness? This is not at all how to make money with him and is a reminder of all the bad angles that Moxley has spoken about from his time in WWE. A bad match that put Sterling in a sympathetic position since it was added to the contract and MJF forced him against his will to participate. In the post-match, MJF bloodied Moxley in a vicious beat down after revealing that he had no injuries at all (shocking!). I’m a big fan of a more savage MJF, but this match hurt the build going into All Out.