SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Hangman Page Celebration – HIT
Cowboy shit day has arrived! Since the inception of the company, Hangman Page has been perceived as a future star and world champion. While it was a long and wild story to get there, Hangman Page has finally become champion with the full support of the fans. The most poignant part of the celebration was when fans chanted “you deserve it” and Hangman got them to change to “you earned it”. Bryan Danielson came out and leaned into being a heel, so that the audience wouldn’t split cheers while getting over their new champion. Danielson looked comfortable and seemed to enjoy flipping the fans against him.
Bryan Danielson vs. Evil Uno – HIT
Following the opening segment, Danielson went right into his match against Evil Uno. He continued to be the aggressor and pummeled Uno before submitting him in a triangle choke. Tony Schiavone interviewed Danielson afterwards where he declared he would go through the Dark Order before getting to Hangman. It sets up a simple, but satisfying story that buys them a bit of time before getting to the destination. Danielson said that he would take on Colt Cabana next week when AEW returns to Cabana’s hometown of Chicago. It will be the first singles meeting between the two since they last faced each other 15 years ago in Chicago for Ring of Honor in a 60-minute time limit draw.
Tomohiro Ishii & Orange Cassidy vs. The Butcher & The Blade – HIT
One of the best parts of Tomohiro Ishii’s presentation is his entrance to the ring. The sirens and pitbull barks while he assertively walks to the ring hunched over showing off his years of wear and tear is signature to his storytelling. While we didn’t get that here, he made sure not to disappoint in the ring. Orange Cassidy is an odd tag partner given their night and day styles, but the CHAOS teammates made it work in a memorable first appearance for the New Japan talent.
Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose – HIT
Hikaru Shida and Nyla Rose have always had very good chemistry with one another dating back to their matches in the early days of Dynamite. They didn’t disappoint in this TBD tournament match where Rose surprisingly took the victory. Shida has held the AEW Women’s championship in the past and could be a new contender to Britt Baker depending on how the rest of the tournament shakes out. Nyla Rose will take on either Ruby Soho or Kris Statlander in the semi-final round.
MJF Promo – HIT
MJF has been on fire as of late. He gave a passionate promo towards the beginning of the show about overcoming Darby Allin at Full Gear. He came out later in the show to mock the southern accents of the people of Norfolk while making his claim to be in line for an AEW World Championship match. CM Punk’s music hit and he stood across from MJF. MJF stuck his hand out to which Punk declined and left the ring. Punk was smarter than to let MJF draw him into a verbal sparring match or beat down from The Pinnacle. Serious Punk continues and it’s instantly making him feel more important when he has something to fight for. MJF was always a logical opponent for Punk given their skills on the microphone. It also feels like a good time to meet in the ring as MJF comes into his own and Punk becomes more comfortable and confident.
Lio Rush & Dante Martin vs. The Acclaimed – HIT
Lio Rush and Dante Martin continue to do their thing in the ring. They’re two very talented guys who can be enhanced as a group if Dante’s brother Darius joins them when he’e recovered from his injury. Anthony Bowens shined as well, proving he’s more than capable of having great matches. He’s the worker paired next to the talking in Max Caster.
Sammy Guevara vs. Jay Lethal: TNT Championship – HIT
AEW’s newest signee, Jay Lethal, made his in-ring debut against the daredevil, Sammy Guevara. They had a very good match highlighting Lethal’s athletic abilities. This was the first major stage for Lethal after building up a strong reputation in Ring of Honor and Impact. Guevara retained his championship, giving more credibility to him as champion as he looks to conquer unique challengers.