SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Bryan Danielson vs. Alan Angels – HIT
Bryan Danielson continues his quest through the Dark Order to get to Hangman Page. He had a good, but short match with Alan Angels which ended via knee bar submission. Hangman Page was on commentary throughout and started to walk towards Danielson after the match. John Silver stopped him and explained that Tony Khan ordered that they not touch each other. Danielson ditched the ring and said Silver is beneath him and he would destroy him in New York next week.
C.M. Punk vs. Lee Moriarty – HIT
Punk gave quite a bit to Lee Moriarty in this match-up. It had a positive effect with the fans buying into some of the believable near falls. Following the match, MJF came out again to antagonize Punk. They went back and forth with verbal jabs. MJF told Punk he’s only good at trying to get into Britt Baker’s pants since he’s struggling to beat Marshall and Moriarty. Punk told MJF his suit looks like Larry David’s pajamas and told him to get his needle dick in the ring. MJF came back with his appearance next week in New York comparing himself to Bret Hart in Canada. MJF also talked about Punk’s dog and said he would put him to sleep. This upset Punk and he went after MJF. A good follow-up to last week as they continue their feud.
Adam Cole-Orange Cassidy Segment – HIT
A somewhat odd setup, but it worked in the end. Adam Cole made a babyface entrance and posed in the ring before he was supposed to hit the commentary table. Orange Cassidy came out to confront him after their match last week on Rampage. The Young Bucks attacked Cassidy from behind and hit him with mocking slow motion kicks. I like bringing Cassidy back into something important with Cole.
Wardlow vs. A.C. Adams – HIT
A short and sweet victory to get Wardlow back on the map. I assume this is a way to get him back into the mix for a match against CM Punk like Tony Khan had originally planned on his notepad.
Gunn Club vs. Sting & Darby Allin – HIT
The Gunn Club have finally been defeated! Now that we have that out of the way, I’m okay with them being put back on AEW Dark. It gave Darby something to do for a few weeks and it got Sting back in the ring. Each time he tags with Darby, it feels like a special occasion. Hopefully Darby moves onto something with a bit more importance on the card, but this worked in the intermediary.
Kris Statlander vs. Ruby Soho – HIT
Ruby Soho defeated Kris Statlander to advance to the semi final of the TBS tournament. A good match overall with solid crowd engagement. Being that Soho is one of AEW’s key signings of the past few months, it makes sense she would be in this position. I can easily see a scenario where she defeats Nyla Rose to advance to the final against Jade Cargill or Thunder Rosa. If they want to keep the heel-face match-up I could see Soho against Cargill.
Cody Rhodes vs. Andrade El Idolo – MISS
They pulled out all the stops in this one. Cody Rhodes and Andrade went all out while Cody received a mixed reaction in his hometown. He did everything he could to win the crowd back, but he couldn’t help himself, but do what Cody does and go over the top. He did many of the things that are the reasons why fans boo him. From celebrity interactions with rapper T-Pain at ringside to the failed flaming table spot. The match itself was entertaining and Cody did his damndest, but the finish was tone deaf. Brandi returned to aid Cody in an AEW sweatshirt to disguise herself and she was met with a barrage of jeers before lighting a table. Andrade missed the table almost completely while Cody went right through the fire then pinned Andrade. Fans seemed to have enjoyed the spectacle of the table, but fire is a dangerous gimmick. Cody had a fire retardant gel on his back throughout the match that the announcers drew attention to. It was clear that the cheers he did receive meant a lot to him, but it still seems like he has a tough road ahead of him fighting the crowd reactions.