SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston – MISS
I had to rewatch this match on replay as the original airing had connectivity issues on TNT streaming platforms. Lance Archer was in the oversized babyface role dominating Eddie Kingston throughout the match. Kingston took several hard bumps on the apron and outside of the ring. The Butcher and The Blade dragged Jake Roberts out from the backstage area to distract Archer. Allie gave Kingston the “loaded glove” and hit Archer in the face for the pin. I understand the history of the loaded glove gimmick, but this didn’t work for me. Archer was destroying Kingston the whole match and then we’re supposed to believe that one punch would take him out? Not buying it.
MJF & Chris Jericho vs. The Varsity Blondes – HIT
Now that’s the lionsault that we know and love. After being heavily criticized last week for his performance, Jericho was far more crisp in this contest. MJF was more active mostly going up against Griff Garrison and playing off his squash win over him from several months ago. Overall, a solid match that continues to establish the Jericho and MJF tag team.
Cody Rhodes Promo – HIT
Yeah, I’m not so sure this match is going to play out well. The beef between Cody and Shaq feels as fabricated as any other celebrity match-up in past years. Shaq was once an incredible basketball player and dominated the NBA with his massive size and athleticism. Nowadays, Shaq struggles physically and clearly lacks the in-ring ability to carry a match. To protect him, he is being paired with Jade Cargill who to my knowledge has never wrestled in front of a paid audience. A few training videos posted earlier in 2020 show she has great athleticism and the tools to be a future star. To balance the match-up, Cody leaned on Arn Anderson’s advice for a partner. Red Velvet came down to the ring and gave a fired up promo responding to Cargill and laying out the challenge for Revolution. Regardless of how the match plays out with a non-wrestler and someone who has never had a match before, AEW is trying to use Cody and Shaq’s star power to elevate Velvet and Cargill.
Hangman Page vs. Ryan Nemeth – MISS
Ryan Nemeth isn’t his brother Dolph. This was a showcase match for Hangman Page as he continues his journey as a loner. Last week, he rejected the Dark Order’s offer to join their cult. Page has pushed away all of his friends to the point where he has no place in the locker room. That was pointed out by Matt Hardy who scouted Page from ringside. Hardy acknowledged Page’s accomplishments and downfalls while offering him a place of comfort. Page was intrigued by the offer which doesn’t make much sense provided Page has been watching his own show. Hardy has been overt with his chauvinism and even duped Private Party into signing unfair contracts. Page seems directionless and of lesser importance while he continues to associate with lower mid card acts.
Dax Harwood vs. Jungle Boy – HIT
This will be the match that people will look back on as a turning point for Jungle Boy. He’s been put in a prime position to be elevated this year and he’s excelling. This blow away match with Dax Harwood proved that he is well on his way towards becoming a top babyface over the next few years. Luchasaurus being handcuffed to Cash Wheeler and Tully Blanchard seemed silly on paper, but during the match it added drama focusing on their reactions from ringside rather than worrying about how they would interfere in the match.
Shanna vs. Britt Baker – HIT
A fine win to continue get over Britt Baker. Shanna held up her own, but this was all about setting up next week’s match at Beach Break. Baker won with the lock jaw submission then Thunder Rosa stormed the ring after they’d been going back and forth for several weeks.
The Young Bucks & The Good Brother vs. The Dark Order – HIT
Before the match, I had predicted that The Young Bucks and The Good Brothers wouldn’t get along based on what has transpired with Don Callis. Before the match, both teams cut a promo while not on the friendliest of terms, they managed to get along. Kenny Omega accused The Bucks for assaulting Don Callis, but they denied it and argued until their music hit. A really good match throughout with Dark Order making up much of the offense. The Bucks and Good Brothers came back in the end with all their signature spots. After the match, Matt Jackson noted the battle royal next week to determine the number one contender’s for the tag team championship. He said that if they win they will get to choose their opponent and he insinuated that their choice would be The Good Brothers. It seems like that would be a match-up they’d want to hold off on with the ever growing list of challengers.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW HITS & MISSES: AEW HITS & MISSES 1/20: Darby Allin & Sting, Jon Moxley, and MJF with Chris Jericho