SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
FTR vs. Santana & Ortiz – HIT
A very good match to kick off the show. These teams got the match they were hoping to have the first time around. This was well planned out with several callbacks including Santana giving a tribute to Eddie Guerrero and Cash Wheeler selling his arm throughout. Santana & Ortiz took the win giving The Inner Circle another feather in their cap in the feud against The Pinnacle.
C.M. Punk Promo – HIT
C.M. Punk hit his first GTS in 7 years and it was to Jeff Parker. Not the wrestler I would have predicted. When people talk about getting a rub working with a bigger name, this is a prime example of that. In his promo, Punk said many similar comments to his previous promos while soaking in the crowd. Darby Allin and Sting allowed for the beat down to go on for a bit before interfering allowing him to get some advantage while still showing respect. Sting grabbed the microphone and talked about finally crossing paths with Punk. He said he would not be at ringside on Sunday, so that they could have their match one-on-one.
MJF Interview – HIT
A great MJF promo to hype up the match with Chris Jericho. MJF ran down Jericho’s resume and said that he would take Jericho ‘s place after he retires him. He compared Jericho to Ali and spoke of his addiction to the spotlight and desire to keep coming back even when he’s past his prime. Tony Schiavone sold it all, being disgusted with MJF tact.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans – HIT
A 100 episodes in they did a finish during the picture-in-picture. They’re training the audience to pay attention during the commercial breaks, but they should hold off doing this again. The post match involved a number of run-ins with the Hardy Family and Jurassic Express to set up the Buy-In match at All Out.
Chris Jericho Interview – HIT
An emotional promo from Chris Jericho. Jim Ross introduced him in what was his first in-ring segment in his AEW tenure. Jericho went hard at selling the idea that this would be his last match if he loses. He said the losses to MJF are burning in his mind, so he must do something to earn his win back. Jericho was believable and is doing an excellent job of getting the fans invested in the outcome over just wanting to see a good match.
Brian Cage vs. Powerhouse Hobbs – HIT
It took a bit of time, but the crowd was into this one by the end of it. It’s not often we’re treated to two power guys going at one another making this a treat to see what they could do. The feud continues on with Team Taz besting Brian Cage with more underhand tactics.
Q.T. Marshall Promo – MISS
This was this feud’s last chance to prove why it was worthy of being on the PPV this Sunday. Q.T. Marshall called out Paul Wight again. The Gunn Club turned heel on Wight to a modest reaction. This segment did nothing more to justify its TV time or spot on All Out.
Tay Conti vs. Penelope Ford – MISS
Not a good match with it moving in slow motion at times. Tay Conti has continued to add to her repertoire, but it seems like she is trying to do much beyond her abilities. Anna Jay made her return afterwards to a major crowd reaction. It was announced that she would be a part of the Casino Battle Royals.
The Young Bucks & The Good Brothers vs. Penta El Zero Miedo, Fenix, Jungle Boy, & Luchasaurus – HIT
I rewatched this segment as I missed a sizable portion when it aired live. A very good match as you would expect from those involved. It was surprising to see Fenix take the pin, but perhaps this is AEWs attempt to get you to believe the Lucha Bros will win instead of the usual champion pinning the champion. The post-match angle was fine, but did little to generate excitement in seeing the world championship match. Kenny Omega has leaned heavily on being a cartoonish heel which takes away any drama with an already second tier title match against Christian Cage. Even though wrestlers were still trying to climb the cage, the way they sold it on commentary, I would be surprised if anyone were to get inside and interfere in the match.