SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Spears – HIT
A great crowd response to kick-off the show. On paper, Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Spears wouldn’t be thought of much, but the crowd ate this up creating an exciting atmosphere. Jericho won with the Judas Effect, inching his way forward towards a match with MJF. MJF introduced Jericho’s next opponent in the Five Labors of Jericho, GCW’s Nick Gage. Gage received a huge reaction despite being a relative unknown to the mainstream audience. Gage is an intriguing name known for his extreme death style matchups, which AEW has become quite fond of.
Frankie Kazarian vs. Doc Gallows – HIT
A solid match. I would’ve expected Frankie Kazarian to get the win since he’s taken on the role of the “Elite Hunter,” but I’m not opposed to seeing more singles action from Doc Gallows as well as Karl Anderson. After the match, there was more build to the Hangman- Omega match up with Hangman being beat down before a save from Dark Order.
Darby Allin vs. Wheeler Yuta – HIT
A good short match. There was some outside interaction between Orange Cassidy and Sting which the fans in the building enjoyed. I don’t mind Sting interacting with comedy characters, but I do feel that Sting has lost much of his aura from over exposure.
Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose: AEW Women’s Championship Match – MISS
The match did not help to salvage the terrible build-up. It was clear from the get-go that there wasn’t much chemistry between Britt Baker and Nyla Rose. From their heel characters to awkward sequences, this didn’t work. Baker is still going to be herself, but lean more face down the road which will help with her crowd reactions.
Andrade El Idolo Interview – HIT
Could it be that Andrade El Idolo has dropped Vickie Guerrero? If that is the case, he seems to have added a different Guerrero family member. Chavo received a great response from the crowd being in Texas. The Death Triangle confronted Andrade and Chavo. Andrade said that Fenix and Penta should come work for him, but they responded by saying he isn’t at their level then entered the ring while Andrade and Chavo exited.
Orange Cassidy vs. The Blade – HIT
A fine match between these two. In the end Orange Cassidy proved that he was a better wrestler at a higher level than The Blade. I can go without the ringside shenanigans from The Bunny and Kris Statlander, but that has been a major part of their feud.
Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer: Texas Death Match for the IWGP US Championship – HIT
An excellent follow-up of their match from 2020’s New Japan Tokyo Dome show. Both men tore the house down in a hardcore fight that ended with Lance Archer has recapturing the IWGP US Championship. New Japan’s relationship with AEW has continued to grow with one of their own titles changing hands on an episode of Dynamite. The extreme violent nature of AEW continued in this match with the use of barbed wire and forks to the forehead. It’s not my cup of tea, but it’s getting over with this crowd. I do feel that as a promotion they are leaning too far into the violence which can hurt them in the long run. The announcement of Nick Gage certainly doesn’t help in this regard.