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AEW ALL OUT PPV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 4, 2022
HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. AT NOW ARENA
AIRED ON BLEACHER REPORT & PPV
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, Taz
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
[PRE SHOW – “ZERO HOUR”]
-In a backstage interview, Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti were claiming AEW fans want to see them make out. Ortiz and Ruby Soho showed up in a gulf cart and charged at Sammy and Tay. Sammy pushed Tay out of the path but got hit by the cart. They made their way to the ring and the match began.
(A) SAMMY GUEVARA & TAY MELO vs. ORTIZ & RUBY SOHO – AAA Mixed Tag Team Title match
Excalibur said Ortiz was wearing Aja Kong-inspired face paint and Soho was wearing Bull Nakano-inspired war paint. Sammy was bleeding from his forehead before the match began. When Sammy got control a couple minutes in, he and Conti made out as Sammy continued to chomp on his gum. Sammy backdropped Tay at Ortiz and she landed a Canadian Destroyer. Sammy followed up with a top rope senton for a near fall. Ann Jay ran out and tried to attack Soho, but Soho reversed her into the ringside steps. Sammy and Tay set up a move mid-ring on their respective opponents, then took time to kiss with their opponents on their backs, and it backfired. Schiavone called it the height of arrogance, “or love, I don’t know.”
Soho climbed to the top rope a minute later, but Tay superplexed her onto a crowd underneath at ringside. Back in the ring, Soho and Tay battled. Anna held Soho’s leg, giving Tay a chance to recover and and take over against Soho. She landed a Tay KO for a three count. Tay held her face like it really connected and sold afterward like it really connected. The ref checked on her afterward. She walked to the back in apparent serious pain covering her nose. Tay and Sammy kissed in celebration afterward. Ortiz never got up after the crash landing at ringside.
WINNERS: Sammy & Tay in 6:00 to retain the AAA Mixed Tag Team Titles. (*1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Not the smoothest match. Seemed like they were intent on getting in more complicated, dangerous spots than necessary in the time they had. Hopefully Ruby doesn’t have a broken bone in her face from that apparently stiff kick by Tay. Sammy and Tay are incredibly successful at being insufferable people.)
-They went to the announcers at ringside who threw to a video package on Chris Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson.
(B) HOOK vs. ANGELO PARKER (w/Matt Menard) – FTW Championship defense
Action Bronson was front row. Hook greeted the artist of his entrance theme. Schiavone said he’s not sure he’s seen anyone capture the imagine of a fanbase like Hook has in such a short period of time. Hook out wrestled Parker early. Menard distracted the ref so Parker took a cheap shot at a distracted Hook. He focused on Hooks’s eye. He scored a one-count on Hook after a snap suplex. Parker gloated. Hook punched him in the gut. Parker retained control, though. He swung him into the ropes and landed a dropkick on the rebound.
Menard bragged that they were “exposing Hook.” Hook head butted Parker. Menard grabbed Hook’s boot. Hook stomped his hand. Hook tossed Parker around and strutted a bit. Parker kicked Hook in the face, but Hook fired back with a barrage of punches. Excalibur said Hook is wrestling well beyond his years. Schiavone said this is his 13th match and his toughest match yet. Hook caught Parker in a sleeper for a tapout win.
WINNER: Hook in 4:00 to retain the belt. (*1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Still not a ton to the match, but that’s still the most we’ve seen from Hook in terms of showing a wider range of ring skills. He still seems different in mostly good ways, but there’s signs of him being a bit green with some spots too, including spacing and timing being just slightly off in a couple places. I don’t think Parker was the right person to be the first to get in that much offense against Hook.)
-As Hook began to celebrate, Menard attacked him. Action Brandon came to his aid and tossed Parker and Menard aside. Parker and Menard retreated as Hook and Branson trash-talked them from the ring.
-A video package hyped the Jon Moxley vs. C.M. Punk main event.
(C) PAC vs. KIP SABIAN – AEW All-Atlantic Title match
Excalibur said it’s Sabian’s first match in 522 days. Taz joined Schiavone and Excalibur on commentary. Sabian was acting like he was getting advice from the box at ringside. He did some comedy stuff that was more weird than compelling. After some back and forth action, Pac stomped away at Sabian on the mat. He dragged him into position for the Black Arrow. He landed it for the win. Pac stood over Sabian afterward and had a few words for him. Sabian barely moved after the match for quite a while.
WINNER: Pac in 13:00 to retain the AEW All-Atlantic Title. (**)
(Keller’s Analysis: Some good athleticism, but also some distraction silliness. Is Kip doing an Al Snow gimmick with a box instead of a mannequin head?)
-Schiavone interviewed Pac on the stage about his win. Orange Cassidy’s music played and he walked out. Pac blew him off as a worthy challenger. They went back to Sabian who was yelling at the box for apparently giving him bad advice in the match.
(D) EDDIE KINGSTON vs. TOMOSHIRI ISHII
They chopped each other and then chopped each other some more. When Ishii finally bumped for Kingston’s chops, the crowd popped and chanted “Eddie! Eddie!” Ishii came back with a barrage of chops to Kingston’s chest. Kingston collapsed to the mat. Taz said the trainers need to get ice bags ready to treat their chests. Kingston double-underhook suplexed Ishii and followed with a DDT. Then he hit a running forearm to Ishii’s head for a near fall. They chopped each other some more followed by some suplexes and a nasty clothesline battle. Both fell over after simultaneous clotheslines. The crowd applauded. Taz said, “This is exactly what we believed this would be.” Ishii blocked a spinning backfirst and then hit a clothesline for a near fall. A minute later Kingston landed a spinning backfist and scored a believable near fall on Ishii. Ishii and Kingston stood and exchanges ore strikes and headbutts. Kingston landed a sudden Northern Lights Bomb for the win. Schiavone said he was relieved it was over.
WINNER: Kingston in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: As the announcers kept saying, this was exactly what you’d expect from these two. It felt longer than ideal, but was a crowd pleaser.)
(1) CASINO BATTLE ROYAL
Wheeler Yuta and Rey Fenix started. Rush came out third. Andrade came out fourth. Rush and Andrade set up a ladder bridge in the ring for a sport. The announcers thought they had a chance to win instead of trying to set up creative ways with the ladders to beat their opponents. Rush offered for Andrade to climb the ladder. Andrade did. Rush started to climb the other side. Yuta intervened. Excalibur noted the match can end at any time even if everyone isn’t entered yet. Andrade gave Yuta a leaping flip powerbomb off the ladder onto the bridged ladder. Claudio Castagnoli made his way out fifth. He checked on Yuta, then entered the ring and decided to rearrange the ladders rather than simply climb it and win the match. He actually moved the ladder out from under the hanging big poker chip. Andrade climbed the ladder. Cesaro tipped the ladder and tried to tip it over. He didn’t have the leverage and it was just a stupid mess of a spot where time stopped. (This match has been ridiculous in a bad way so far, almost like the wrestlers are making fun of overly complex ladder matches where wrestlers are trying to score points for creativity rather than actually winning.)
Dante Martin came out fifth. Yuta decided to try to win as Dante was setting up a spot near the ropes. Dante then springboarded from the ropes onto the ladder. Claudio intervened. Claudio and Dante tumbled over the top rope. Penta El Zero Miedo came out sixth. Dante charged toward him, but Penta gave him a Canadian Destroyer on the ramp. They landed some big spots at ringside through ladders and tables. Then five men in black outfits and hoods came out. One grabbed the chip and unmasked it was Stokely Hathaway. Others unmasked included Ethan Page and W. Morrisey. Then “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones played and out walked another man in a black outfit and hood. Stokely handed the chip to the Joker and the bell rang. Taz wondered who it was. (This was also really stupid and time stood still for a while.) The wrestelrs teased demasking, but then stopped and put his finger up to his mouth and hushed everyone. Fans booed.
WINNER: The Joker in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I didn’t like that at all. It was just a showcase for wrestlers doing overly dangerous needlessly complex spots to get ephemeral crowd pops and missing chances to easily win by climbing the ladder, made worse when the spots didn’t even work, and then time stood still in a bad way for the Stokely black-masked men portion at the end. The whole thing just made a completely mockery of any rules that might actually reward a deserving party with a future title shot. And then not delivering on the surprise might be for a reason, but it didn’t help keep the crowd engaged.)
(2) KENNY OMEGA & THE YOUNG BUCKS vs. ALEX REYNOLDS & JOHN SILVER & “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE – Trio Title final
Justin Roberts introduced Kenny Omega which included saying he is now Kevin Nash’s favorite wrestler. When Omega came out, the announcers noted, with backing from Don Callis who joined them for this match, that Omega wasn’t taped up and looked to be 100 percent. Early in the match, Silver and Reynolds targeted Matt’s back. Hangman intervened and didn’t like that they were, uh, trying to win by going after an opponent’s weakness. Silver and Reynolds left the ring, but weren’t happy. The announcers questioned Hangman’s approach. Hangman and Omega squared off and the fans reacted like it was a big moment. Silver landed a Spin Doctor on Matt. When he made the cover, Excalibur declared, “We’ve got new champs!” (Is Vince McMahon producing him? And technically they wouldn’t have been the new champs because the winner will be the first champs.)
Omega got in a stretch of offense, but it ended with Reynolds getting a near fall on a jackknife cover on him. All six ended up in the ring. The Bucks landed superkicks on Hangman and Reynolds, then Omega landed a V-Trigger on Silver. Omega then kneeled for a while before flip diving onto a waiting gathering of his opponents at ringside. Fans chanted “Kenny! Kenny!” Hangman landed a top rope moonsault onto Nick at ringside. He then entered the ring and joined Silver and Reynolds in triple-teaming Matt with a pendulum bomb for a near fall, broken up by Nick. Next the Bucks and Silver and Hangman did a four-way superkick spot and all went down.
Hangman and Omega met mid-ring for a staredown. The ref told them neither of them were legal. (Oh, so now that matters?) Fans booed. Hangman and Omega dragged their respective legal men into their respective corners, tagged in, and then at it mid-ring. Omega landed a V-Trigger and leaping Tiger Drive for a near fall. Hangman came back a minute later with a Buckshot Lariat to Omega from behind. Hangman set up the Buckshot from the front. Matt was standing right below Hangman and held his leg. Hangman went for a Buckshot on Omega, but Omega ducked. Nick then hit Hangman with the Buckshot. The Bucks hit the BTE Trigger and Omega scored a near fall. Reynolds broke up the cover. Hangman collapsed before Omega could hit him with V-Trigger.
Silver rolled up Omega for a near fall as Reynolds held teh legs of the Bucks. Omega came back with a V-Trigger on Silver. He went for the One-Winged Angel, but Silver turned it into a roll-up for a near fall that popped the crowd. Hangman went for a Buckshot on Omega, but Omega ducked and the Buckshot hit Silver instead. Omega then scored the pin. Schiavone said that’s as good of a Trios Match as you’ll see ever.
As Omega & The Bucks celebrated with Callis and Brandon Cutler in the ring, Hangman was pounding the mat in frustration. Schiavone said he’ll have to carry the weight of that mistake. Kenny looked at the camera and said, “Try to beat that,” a message to the locker room.
WINNERS: Omega & Young Bucks in 20:00. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: High-impact, high workrate match with a ton of athletic candy for the eyes. It was a bit more breathlessly paced than I personally prefer, just moving from one elaborate big spot sequence to another most of the way and no real sense of sustained momentum for either team and inconsistent structure much of the way. The crowd popped for they key spots and the near falls were as close to convincing as you can get when most people were assuming who the winners ultimately would be. It delivered the kind of match fans were looking for, that’s for sure.)
-Mark Henry moderated a yelling match between Athena and Jade Cargill and the Baddies backstage.
(3) JADE CARGILL (w/Keira Hogan, Leila Grey) vs. ATHENA – TBS Championship
Athena came out aggressive and scored an early near fall. The Baddies at ringside were supposed to break up the cover, but came up short, so Cargill just kicked out which was for the better. Cargill came back with a spear and a flying back elbow. Athena fought back, but Cargill no-sold it and tossed her across the ring. She then finished her with her Jaded.
(Keller’s Analysis: This perpetually felt like it was about fall apart as watching it was like listening to an audio book at 2.0 speed when you want 1.25, but they did keep it together. It was like they had a ten minute match planned, but had their time cut in half, but they wedged everything into five minutes. It made for an exciting match, but there was no time for anything at all to soak in, including that early dramatic near fall where Athena appeared to be about to beat Jade in under a minute. I’m not sure that was a wise spot for Jade at this point because it needlessly made her seem more mortal than anything else she has encountered so far, and the spot seemed merely a result of having so little time on a card with so many matches, not the ideal way to build to a spot where Jade was vulnerable to losing.)
WINNER: Cargill in 4:00 to retain the TBS Title. (*1/4)
-Alex Marvez approached C.M. Punk and Ace Steele outside the arena. He asked Punk if he was 100 percent. Punk asked if he has ever wrestled at 100 percent. He said he has an easy target going after his left foot, but tonight Jon Moxley won’t be facing him, he’ll be facing Ace and Larry his dog and a Chicago school teacher and more.
(4) JAY LETHAL & THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin w/Satnum Singh, Sonjay Dutt) vs. FTR & WARDLOW
Excalibur took a few seconds to make fun of Marvez for referring to C.M. Punk as “C.M.” Wardlow wore his TNT Title belt to the ring. After several minutes of action, the heels settled into isolating Cash for a while. Satnum interfered at ringside. Wardlow eventually got the hot-tag and got a nice pop. He gave Lethal his F10 for a two count. Sabin and Shelley yanked FTR off the ring apron from their corner. When Wardlow walked over to help, Singh punched him. Sabin dove through the ropes and tackled Cash and Dax at ringside. Back in the ring, Shelley and Lethal hung Wardlow upside down in the corner. The heels took turns attacking him. Shelly and Sabin dragged him to mid-ring where Lethal milked the moment and then landed a flying elbow to the chest for a two count. All six fought in the ring leading to FTR hitting a Big Rig on Shelley. Lethal countered into a double Lethal Injection. Wardlow took Lethal down with a lariat. He lowered his straps and powerbombed him four times for the win.
WINNERS: FTR & Wardlow in 16:00. (***)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match that started as a showcase for FTR and the Machine Guns and eventually give Wardlow a decisive win.)
-After the match, when Singh and Dutt made a move toward FTR and Wardlow, Samoa Joe came out. Joe bashed Singh with the ROH TV Title belt. Singh went down and stayed down. Joe, FTR, and Wardlow then surrounded Dutt. Dax’s daughter, who came onto the stage with him before the match, entered the ring and broke Dutt’s pencil. Dax puinched him and she put her leg on his chest. The ref counted to three. “That’s how you fight like an eight year old girl!” said Schiavone, which were the words on her t-shirt. Dax put her on his shoulders. Joe was bleeding from the forehead. Excalibur called it a great moment.
-A video package aired on the next match.
(5) “ABSOLUTE” RICKY STARKS vs. POWERHOUSE HOBBS
Ricky, who wore long tights, went on the attack early aggressively. Hobbs cut him off with a hard clothesline against the ropes. A “Let’s Go Ricky / Powerhouse Hobbs!” dueling chant broke out. Hobbs thwarted Ricky’s comeback at 2:00 and then struck Ricky’s signature pose to mock him. Hobbs got in sustained offense against Ricky at ringside and then back in the ring. He twisted his head as another dueling chant broke out. Hobbs lifted Starks and dropped him on the back of his neck. Excalibur said Hobbs was targeting Starks’s neck the whole match. Taz noted Starks’s long tights. Schiavone said he looks like a star. Hobbs meanwhile landed a spinebuster and pinned Starks clean.
WINNER: Hobbs in 5:00. (*1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: That match seemed like a mix of a strong commitment to building Powerhouse Hobbs and perhaps treating Starks like someone not signed to a long-term contract who is being used to elevate others in the mean time. It also could be just the first, and the suddenness
-Schiavone interviewed Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee and The Acclaimed with Billy Gunn. Max Caster bragged that their “Scissors Me Daddy Ass” t-shirt is no. 1 in AEW Shop. Sweve said Caster makes stupid jokes and said Bowens lets his partner down time after time with setbacks from injuries. He said, “Rock beats scissors.”
(6) “SWERVE” STRICKLAND & KEITH LEE vs. THE ACCLAIMED (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster w/Billy Gunn) – AEW Tag Team Title match
Jim Ross joined in on commentary here. Max Caster rapped his way to the ring. He said they’ll leave Lee & Scott on the floor “like the documents at Trump’s place.” Bowens told people to scissor his daddy ass. They cut to fans who were scissoring each other. Fans sang, “Oh, scissor me, daddy!” Something happened off-camera that popped the crowd. Ross touted the passion of AEW fans. Taz said worked elsewhere that had a small fanbase that otherwise reminds him of the AEW fanbase. Swerve and Bowens battled first. Then Lee and Caster tagged in. Caster checked Lee and Lee staggered a little. When Lee tried to throw him, Caster landed on his feet. Lee showed off some fancy moves as Caster ran the ropes. Caster held onto the top rope and decided to regroup. Lee tossed Caster in the corner, but Caster kicked him as charged. He then sent Lee over with a head scissors. The announcers touted that the arena was packed. Caster and Bowens scissored mid-ring and the crowd popped. (Chicago is more into that than any city so far, so points for perseverance.) The crowd chanted, “We want scissors!” Ross said it’s like the “We want tables!” chant.
Caster surprised Lee with a diving cutter. He tagged in Bowens who took it to Strickland as soon as he also tagged in. Strickland. Bowens slipped leaping off the second rope, and then began favoring his left leg and grabbing his knee. He hit one more move, but then crawled over to the corner. Strickland knocked him over the top rope to the floor. Bowens landed and clutched his leg. Ross said for someone who has been injury prone, this doesn’t look good. Strickland slide under the bottom rope and kicked Bowens as soon as Bowens stood. Billy and Strickland exchanged words. Swerve gave Billy a crotch chop. Swerve went after Bowens’ leg and rolled him into the ring for a one count. Swerve then worked over Bowens’ leg before tagging in Lee. Swerve lifted and dropped Bowens’ knee over the extended knee of Lee. Ross compared Lee to Vader. Taz brought up Bam Bam Bigelow as another similar big, athletic wrestler.
Lee tossed Bowens across the ring. Bowens again grabbed at his left knee. Bowens stood and hulked up and kicked Lee. Then he leaped off the second rope with a flip neckbreaker. Bowens crawled over and tagged in Caster. Lee also tagged in Swerve. Caster clotheslined Swerve over the top rope and then clotheslined Lee. He then dove over the top rope onto Swerve. He leaped off the top rope with a diving crossbody for a two count on Lee. Bowens collapsed on his leg as he tried to help out. Caster went to lit Lee, but he couldn’t quite do it. Caster ducked Lee as he charged, so Lee knocked down Sweve. Bowens hit a running knee to Lee when he sat up and then Caster scored a near fall. Fans chanted “AEW!” Lee headbutted Bowens and shoved Caster over the top rope. Bowens chopped Lee in the chest, but his knee gave out.
Caster ran in and joined Bowens in setting up a superplex on Lee. It was a struggle, but they pulled it off. Sweve, though, tagged himself in during the move and landed a double-stomp on Bowens for a very near fall. Swerve went for a leglock on Bowens. Fans booed. Bowens resisted. Swerve persisted. Caster leaped off the top rope and kicked Swerve. Fans chanted, “This is awesome!” When Swerve went for a slingshot move, Bowens grabbed his leg at ringside. Bowens held Swerve as Bowens landed a flying Mic Drop elbow on him at ringside. Bowens threw Swerve into the ring. Lee hit Bowens and Caster from behind. Billy stood on the ring apron. Lee turned to yell at him. That went on about 30 seconds. Fans chanted, “F— him up, Billy, f— him up!” Caster superkicked Lee and then lifted him onto his shoulders and slammed him, which popped the crowd. Bowens limped into the ring and slammed Swerve. Caster then landed a top rope mic drop. Lee broke up the cover right at three, and the ref declared it short of a three count even though Swerve’s shoulders were still clearly down. Fans chanted, “Bullshit!” (Tony Khan should call a mid-match audible and have Acclaimed win the belts here. Seriously.)
Swerve attacked Bowens’ knee and gave him a backbreaker. Bowens tried to fend off both Lee and Swerve. Bowens ducked and Sweve kicked Lee. Bowens kicked Swerve out of the ring. Owens rolled up Lee for a believable near fall. The crowd wanted that to be the finish. Bowens gave Swerve a neckbreaker off the second rope for a near fall. Bowens leaped oonto Lee’s shoulders, but Lee twisted him around and tagged in Strickland. Strickland landed a top rope double stomp to Bowens’ chest for the win.
Afterward, Lee offered a scissors with Billy. Billy hesitated, but did it. Fans booed.
WINNERS: Lee & Strickland in 23:00 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles. (****1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: That was an unexpected surprise to become the current leading contender for Match of the Night. Just wow. TK should have called a mid-match audible and had The Acclaimed win. It could have “made them” and it’s now a missed opportunity as I don’t know if you can capture that magic in a bottle to use later. Bowens has really come along and still stands out as someone who should be mentioned as a potential singles star in AEW going into next year. A tag title reign for him and the always-solid Bowens should come first, and it should have started tonight. I was openly skeptical that the “scissors” thing was getting over, based on tepid crowd reactions, and I’m still not sure Chicago in a PPV environment is predictive of how most cities will react, but I went from thinking it was goofy mid-card nonsense being leaned on too hard to it being something to keep rolling with. All four played their roles in the match really well, with Lee being a nice contrast in size and style to the other three, and giving a lot to Bowens and Caster along the way. If there’s such a thing as bellwether fans helping elevate an act, this crowd did that for The Acclaimed. Perhaps the crowd just got really into being a big part of the match and overreacted to everything as they leaned hard toward cheering The Acclaimed and thus it won’t translate to other situations, but I’m thinking that’s overthinking tonight’s crowd reaction. Wrestling is so fun when fans really want one team to win and aren’t just cheering moves. I just didn’t think this would be the match it happened.)
(7) BRIT BAKER (w/Rebel) vs. HIKARU SHIDA vs. JAMIE HAYTER vs. TONI STORM – Vacant AEW Women’s Title match
The crowd was pretty spent in the early portion of this match. A few minutes in, Hayter and Baker worked together to take out Shida on the ramp with a kendo stick. Refs and trainers checked on her. Back in the ring, Baker and Hayter worked over Storm. They choked her with a rope. Shida ran out a minute later armed with two kendo sticks. She attacked the two heels. All four battled and ended up in a weird roll-up spot. Then they stood and paired off and hit each other. Shida landed a Falcon Arrow. Storm hit a Tombestone seconds later. Baker kicked Shida and landed a twisting neckbreaker for a near fall. Baker stomped Shida for a near fall. Baker pulled out her glove to signal for the Lock Jaw. Storm threw Baker out of the ring. Hayter threw Storm out of the ring. Hayter landed a rip cord clothesline on Shida for a near fall. Baker pulled the ref out of the ring by his leg. Storm gave Hayter a Storm Zero. Baker intervened and stole the cover and got a near fall. Baker sat up. Storm re-entered and gave her a leaping DDT. She gave Hayter a leaping DDT and got the three count.
WINNER: Storm in 14:00 to win the Interim AEW Title.
-A commercial aired for AEW Full Gear.
-The went to the announcers who reflected on the night so far including the masked Joker winning the Casino Battle Royal.
-A video package aired on the next match.
(8) CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. “JUNGLE BOY” JACK PERRY
Christian made his entrance and then mouthed off at Perry’s sister and mother at ringside. One of them slapped Christian. Luchasaurus walked out and grabbed Perry by his throat and chokeslammed him onto the stage. They cut to Christian watching. Ross asked, “How do you have a match now?” Trainers checked on Perry on the floor. Luchasaurus picked up Perry and carried him to ringside. Then Christian ordered him to slam him through a table at ringside. He did so. Perry’s family gasped. Christian told him to throw Perry into the ring. Ross said they shouldn’t start the match. The ref checked on Perry and told Christian to back away. He took about 30 seconds to pull himself up in the corner and agreed to wrestle. Christian immediately speared JB for a near fall. He followed with a Kill Switch for the win.
WINNER: Christian in under 1:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s one way to manage the time on a 15 match card. Fans paid to see an actual match, and that wasn’t an actual match. This was one of the best built matches on the entire card, so that’s a letdown. If Christian is just not ready to wrestle a full-fledged match, so be it, but if that was foreseeable, not sure this was a match that needed to happen on this night. That’s a compliment to the hype and build, because it was something fans wanted to see actually play out with Perry getting his hands on Christian finally.)
-They went backstage to Alex Marvez interviewing The Best Friends and Danhassen on one side and Death Triangle on the other. Marvez announced Tony Khan booked the match for Dynamite.
(9) “LIONHEART” CHRIS JERICHO vs. BRYAN DANIELSON
William Regal joined the commentary team for this match. Jericho made his entrance. “Judas” played briefly. Then the song switched to reflect him taking on the Lionheart character. A shirtless Elliot Taylor sang “Born for Greatness” life on the stage. Danielson then joined him. They worked a slow, deliberate pace with largely matwork for the first five-plus minutes. Danielson did a hip swivel after asking if they want to see “entertainment,” mocking Jericho’s “sports entertainment” faction.
Eventually Jericho blocked a huracanrana out of the corner and sat into a Walls of Jericho mid-ring. Danielson rolled out of it, then avoided a charging Jericho, who dropped to the floor. Danielson then dove through the ropes and tackled Jericho at ringside. He then chopped Jericho in hte corner. Jericho avoided a top rope diving headbutt by Danielson. He went for a quick Lionsault, but Danielson moved. Danielson went for a LeBell, but Jericho countered into a catapult, sending Danielson over the top rope. Danielson held onto the top rope and pulled himself back over. Jericho, though, gave him a Tombstone followed by Lionsault for a near fall. Taz said he didn’t think Jericho got all of it.
Jericho waited for Danielson to lift his head, then punt kicked him. Danielson returned fire with roundkicks to the body and head. Danielson went for a LeBell lock again. Jericho powered out and applied the Walls of Jericho. Danielson upkicked and applied a triangle sleeper. After more mat work and attempted submissions, Danielson hit the Psycho Knee. Danielson then applied Cattle Mutilation mid-ring. Jericho twisted out, but Danielson stayed in control and dropped elbows on him. He went back to Cattle Mutilation. Jericho draped his boot over the bottom rope. Taz said that’s decades of experience to have the mat sense to know where he is in the ring like that. Danielson roundkicked Jericho’s back as Jericho was leaning against the middle rope. The ref scolded him, but Danielson said he had four seconds before the DQ. Jericho rolled up Danielson for a two count. Danielson went back on the attack with down-strike elbows. Jericho gave Danielson a low-blow and then a Judas Effect. Not the best looking Judas Effect, but good for a three count.
They cut to Daniel Garcia reacting with dismay to the way Jericho won. Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Angelo Parker, Matt Mendard, Anna Jay, and Tay Melo all came out to congratulate Jericho for his win. Ross said that is the kind of match he could watch every day.
WINNER: Jericho in 24:00. (***1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Enjoyable match, and nothing wrong with it, but it wasn’t dynamic and the crowd seemed like they were quietly solidly into it, but not emoting much. A low-blow finish with a post-match celebration without Garcia feels like the match was a set up for a future angle with Garcia confronting and scolding Jericho over how he chose to win.)
(10) MIRO & DARBY ALLIN & STING vs. HOUSE OF BLACK (Malakai Black & Brody King & Buddy Matthews w/Julia Hart)
Miro started, but the heel trio soon isolated Darby. Darby eventually hot-tagged Miro, but the ref disallowed it after not seeing it. Sting then got the hot tag a minute later. He rallied against the heel trio. Sting cleared the ring of Brody, then face off with Black. Black and Sting had a staredown mid-ring. Sting got the better of Black and applied a mid-ring scorpion. Black began bleediing from above his eye. Brody tried to break up the hold, but Sting held on. Matthews and King kicked him. Sting held on, but his grip was loosened. Malakai twisted Sting into a leglock. Miro tried to break it up, but Matthews kicked him. Sting outmaneuvered all three heels and then tagged in Darby. Sting hit a Scorpion Death Drop on Brody for a near fall, broken up by Matthews.
Miro charged at ringside, but Matthews side-stepped him and Miro flew into the ringside steps hard. Everyone was down and slow to get up. Darby hit a Stunner on Matthews and then dove through the ropes and knocked him over. Darby grabbed his shoulder after landing. Black entered the ring behind Sting. Sting turned and sprayed mist at Black. Darby then applied Last Supper on Black on the leverage pin.
WINNERS: Sting & Darby & Miro in 12:00. (**3/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Boy they gave the 63 year old Sting a lot of offense against that heel trio. Sting pulling out the mist against Black was a clever finish.)
-Schiavone interviewed Garcia. Jericho interrupted and asked where he was to congratulate him for being the greatest ever. Garcia said he’s never doubted he is the greatest ever, but he told him not to cheat and yet he did cheat, so he let him down. Jericho said he respects his convictions, but he let him down too. Jericho said his biggest match is next week against Yuta, but he’ll have to do it without J.A.S. by his side. Garcia said he need his support. Jericho said he will still win, but he’ll win without him. Jericho wished him luck.
(11) JON MOXLEY vs. C.M. PUNK – AEW World Title match
Punk came out first and the announcers talked about his hometown advantage. When Mox walked out, with William Regal behind him, the announcers said he was in enemy territory. When Justin Roberts introduced Mox, Punk was leaning in the corner and applauded lightly for him. Fans chanted “C.M. Punk!” at the bell. When a “Moxley” chant started, other fans drowned it out with aggressive boos. Mox gave Punk two middle fingers and sat mid-ring. Then he stood as another “C.M. Punk!” chant broke out. Mox shoved Punk in the corner. Punk pushed his way out and kneed Mox. Mox threw elbows and then played to the crowd. Punk landed a hig roundhouse kick when Mox turned around, and then landed two running high knees in the corner followed by a short-arm lariat. He dropped elbows down Mox and signaled for an early Go To Sleep. He nailed it and scored a very near fall. (That was cool in the sense that the shocking finish on Dynamite 11 days ago made that finish more believable as a legit possible finish than it would have otherwise.) A louder “C.M. Punk!” chant broke out.
Punk landed a running dive through the ropes, sending Mox over the barricade into the front row. Punk brawled with Mox into the crowd. Mox bloodied Punk and then licked the blood off his forearm. “What the hell is he doing!” exclaimed Taz. Fans chanted, “You sick f—!” Punk’s face was covered in blood. Mox kicked him in the head at ringside, then re-entered the ring and waited for Punk to roll himself in. Punk showed some fight, but Mox remained in control. Taz talked about the effects of blood loss. Punk landed a running knee. Mox came right back by working over Punk’s fragile leg. Punk raked Mox’s eyes, but Mox fought through it and battered Punk some more before applying a figure-four leglock mid-ring. Mox landed a piledriver for a near fall. Another “C.M. Punk!” broke out.
Mox set up a piledriver on punk on the ring apron, but Punk leaped down and yanked on Mox’s arm. A louder “Let’s Go Moxley / C.M. Punk” dueling chant broke out. It wasn’t as one-sided as earlier. Punk reverse-tossed Mox shoulder-first into the ringpost. Punk then applied an Anaconda Vice. Mox escaped by yanked on Punk’shair and biting his forehead. He then held his hands and stood and stomped on his head. He did a throat-slice gesture, then went for a King Kong Lariat, but Punk ducked and kicked Mox. Punk slammed Mox and then climbed to the top rope. He went for a flying elbow, but Mox wasn’t nearly hurt enough. Mox caught Punk mid-air and applied a rear naked choke. He shifted into a standard sleeper. Punk escaped and tried for a cross armbreaker. Mox broke the grip and rolled over into the Bulldog Choke. Punk slipped out, as he was so sweaty and blood. Mox switched to a standing anklelock. Punk lunged up and grabbed the top rope. Mox gave middle fingers to the crowd. punk landed a roundkick. Mox fired right back with a lariat. Both men were down and slow to get up.
They went back and forth for two minutes. Mox eventually hit the Death Rider for a believable near fall that popped the crowd. Mox dropped elbows on Punk and then cinched on a Bulldog Choke again. A loud “C.M. Punk!” chant broke out. Punk stood and tried to shift into a GTS. MOx blocked it, but Punkl lifted Mox and delivered a GTS afterall. Mox bounced into the ropes and then stumbled and fell onto Punk’s shoulders. Punk thought it through, then lifted him for another GTS for the win.
WINNER: Punk in 20:00 to retain the AEW World Hvt. Title. (****1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Excellent main event.)
-As Punk was celebrating, the lights in the arena went out. Then an audio clip aired of a voice mail of Tony Khan telling MJF that he would swallow a bitter pill for the sake of the fans and put him in the Casino match and not force him to sign an extension and he will pay him [bleep] dollars. He said it’s his final offer. Then the screen went to static and showed Punk in ROH way back saying the greatest thing the devil did was make everyone think he didn’t exist. The masked Joker then removed his mask with his back to the camera. He said, “I am the devil himself.” He threw a scarf over the back of his neck. The MJF’s theme song played and there was a big roar in the crowd.
The lights came back on and MJF walked out, chomping gum and staring down Punk. He called for his music to be cut. His nostrils flared as he stared at Punk. Punk held up his title belt. Fans chanted “MJF!” MJF signaled for the belt. Taz said, “Well, the devil is back.” Excalibur said they’d find out more on Dynamite on Wednesday.
(Keller’s Analysis: Big angle at the end. I don’t know if anyone will ever full believe any story about how this all played out behind the scenes. Tony kept silent and MJF had his ways of getting his story out, whether it was always a self-serving work or a shoot that turned into a work or whatever. What matters most is whether this draws money and was the best route to take since MJF was a hot heel before all of the contract nonsense and losing so decisively to Wardlow after being protected for so long. A big part of the crowd loved MJF here, but is that what AEW wants at this point?)