Date: December 4, 2019
Location: State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois
Commentators: Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone
Last week’s show ended on a big moment with Jon Moxley seemingly setting himself up as the next challenger to Chris Jericho’s World Title. They had a big feud in WWE so doing the same thing over here would be fine enough. Hopefully they can bounce back from a slightly down week last time. Let’s get to it.
Young Bucks/Dustin Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara/Santana and Ortiz
The audio is all over the place, with the volume going from fine to so loud that I jumped to so low that I can barely understand commentary, all during the entrances. It’s a brawl to start with a triple superkick putting the Inner Circle on the floor. Stereo dives take them down again and Matt rolls Sammy with his northern lights suplexes. Matt can’t suplex all of them at once though and it’s a triple beatdown, setting up Sammy’s Swanton for two.
Santana and Ortiz do their handing off delayed vertical suplex but Matt slips out and hits the superkick as the audio is back up. Dustin comes in off the hot tag and throws some uppercuts, meaning it’s time for a breather. The snap powerslam hits Guevara and a triple crossbody puts down all of the Inner Circle. Dustin even busts out a Canadian Destroyer for two with Ortiz making a save.
Shattered Dreams is loaded up but Ortiz takes advantage of the distracted referee to get in a slap jack shot. Sammy’s 630 gets two and it’s back to Matt to pick up the pace until Nick hits a spear. The Meltzer Driver gets two with Ortiz making another save and seeming telling someone what they can suck (not sure it was him). The series of dives ends with Sammy taking Matt out on the floor and it’s a powerbomb/top rope knee combination for two as Dustin makes his own save.
Sammy grabs his phone and tries a shooting star press to….no one in particular but it lets the Bucks superkick him out of the air. A double superkick in the corner/Shattered Dreams combination hits Sammy and Nick goes up for a double spike Tombstone/backsplash to Sammy for the pin at 11:02.
Rating: C+. It was fun and entertaining with some big spots, but it felt like we had to get through the big spot sequence before we could get to the ending. That’s becoming a signature around this place and that isn’t a good thing. Aside from Sammy seemingly going nuts by trying a shooting star with no one there, the audio was the big problem here as it was all over the place to start, but it did get better by the end.
The announcers run down the card.
Trent vs. Fenix
Fenix wastes no time in going for the Black Fire Driver but Trent slips out, only to miss the Dudebuster. Trent tries to go to the middle rope but Fenix 619s the knee out and we take a break. Back with Trent hitting a tornado DDT for two, setting up a powerbomb to Trent for two more.
Fenix walks the rope to kick Trent in the head but gets clotheslined inside out. They head to the apron with Fenix staggering him and hitting a middle rope double stomp to the back. A piledriver gives Trent two more but Fenix rolls into his cutter. The Black Fire Driver finishes Trent at 11:01.
Rating: B-. I’m not sure what it says that it’s a relief that they didn’t put Trent over Fenix, who could be a top tag or singles name for a long time to come. Trent is a talented guy and a good bit better than Chuck, but when you see Chuck beat Pentagon, it’s a bit of a scare to see something like this booked. They got it right, but not without making me shiver a bit.
Here’s Cody for a chat. He talks about how he isn’t allowed to challenge for the World Title again but everything his gone nuts around here. His brother and the Young Bucks are in a blood feud with Santana and Ortiz, his wife has joined forces with a monster who steals women’s hair and then there’s the Butcher and the Blade. If they wanted a match with him, all they had to do was ask and they can even choose his partner.
That brings him to Maxwell Jacob Friedman, who had no business to throw in the towel at Full Gear. There are a lot of things people can criticize about MJF. He’s short, he might wear a fake scarf, and he does the worst Cross Rhodes in wrestling. Cody: “At least they’re botching it on two channels now.” Or maybe it’s the fact that he’s an NWO low rent Chris Jericho. But MJF won’t fight him, so Cody is willing to sweeten the pot.
Cody offers the keys to his Ford Black Ops (Google says it costs about $88,500), his watch from Tony Khan, and his Louis Vuitton shoes. If that’s not MJF’s speed, Cody brings out a briefcase with about $50,000 cash. To prove it’s real, he gives a kid in the front row $100 and the kid looks….confused? Anyway, come play ball with him and name your price. Cody is a great promo, NXT/WWE shot aside.
Joey Janela is ready to face Jon Moxley again and this time the match actually counts. Moxley is going to have to kill him to win. Moxley comes in, says “kids”, and leaves.
We see a man being initiated into the Dark Order.
Nyla Rose vs. Leva Bates
Rose boots her in the face to start and hangs Bates over the top rope. A top rope knee to the back of the head knocks Bates silly so Peter Avalon tries to come in. That means a double chokeslam and the Beast Bomb finishes Bates at 1:36.
Post match Nyla Beast Bombs her again but it’s Shanna, who Rose attacked last week, coming in for the save. A powerslam crushes Shanna though and Rose stands tall.
Here’s Chris Jericho, flanked by Jake Hager, for a chat. After shilling A Little Bit Of The Bubbly, Jericho pulls out a list….and the fans cheer. Actually they need to get out of 2016 because this is THE LEXICON OF LE CHAMPION! Anyway he has to wrestle one more time in two weeks to wrap up the year but he has some people he won’t wrestle:
Jon Moxley, Cody (“Because he can’t.”), the Young Bucks, Papa Buck, Uncle Buck, Buck Owens, Moxley, Hangman Page, Diamond Dallas Page, Paige, Moxley, Scorpio Sky, 2 Cold Scorpio, Any member of the Scorpions, Moxley, Michael Nakazawa, Kenny Omega, Kenny Ortega, Kenny Shields, Kenny Chesney, Kenny from South Park, Moxley, the chubby guy with the popcorn in the fifth row, the ugly guy with the dumb glasses in the third row, Moxley, Darby Allin, Rick Allen, Alan Jones (AJ Styles), Moxley, Evil Uno, Angry Dos, Hateful Tres, Moxley, Marty…..and here’s the Jurassic Express to interrupt.
Jericho says he wasn’t finished because dinosaurs and little children were up next. Luchasaurus roars at him and then speaks normally, bringing up that he can talk and has a degree in Medieval History. It’s no surprise that dinosaurs are on the list because they’ve been marginalized for 65 million years. Yes Marko is small, but he’s more of a man than Jericho will ever be. That leaves Jungle Boy, who Jericho dubs “a piece of s***”. Jericho doesn’t think Boy could last ten minutes with him, so Boy takes the mic and says he’ll take Jericho out. The fight is on with Hager and Jericho bailing.
Here’s where Dynamite is coming.
Nyla Rose powerbombed a referee during a break and has been suspended from in-ring action. Britt Baker is shown in the crowd in shock. Excalibur: “That’s Adam Cole’s girlfriend.”
Kris Stadtlander vs. Hikaru Shida
Kris starts with some cartwheels and forearms away as we take an early break. Back with Shida hitting a running knee off the apron and getting two off a dropkick. Shida goes for a Fujiwara armbar but the long legs make the rope without much effort. Kris hits an enziguri and a hard lariat, followed by an electric chair faceplant. The ax kick gives Kris two but Shida is back with another running knee. Then it’s a running knee but Kris grabs a Falcon Arrow for two more. A cradle Tombstone….actually finishes Shida at 8:24. Dang I’m rather surprised on that one.
Rating: C. I’m pleased on this one, though I’m also not sure about having Shida get pinned. That being said, they need to make some new stars and Stadtlander is good, unique looking and talented so I’ll certainly take this one. Not a great match, but they pulled the trigger on someone and that’s a good sign.
Post match here are Awesome Kong and Brandi Rhodes to dub themselves the Nightmare Collective, saying that they do the jobs no one wants to do. Kris is all up in her business and that may give Kris an opportunity. Brandi tells Kris to pledge herself to the Nightmare Collective right now but before there’s a yes, Kong gets in Kris’ face. A female fan at ringside offers to pledge and security lets her come to ringside. She lets Kong cut off her hair and that’s that. No answer from Kris, as she doesn’t seem interested in joining the newest cult/faction.
Pentagon Jr. vs. Christopher Daniels
Fallout from last week. They fight on the ramp before the bell with Pentagon getting the better of it. The bell rings inside and Daniels spears Pentagon down and hammers away, only to get caught on the middle rope. A top rope double stomp crushes Daniels and we take a break. Back with Pentagon springboarding into a Downward Spiral. He’s fine enough to get two off a Sling Blade and the Backstabber out of the corner is good for the same. Daniels hits a clothesline to the back of the head but has to block a Canadian Destroyer on the ramp.
Instead it’s an enziguri as Daniels heads back inside, where he can superkick Pentagon down to block a dive. Daniels loads up the Arabian moonsault onto the ramp but slips off and crashes badly (commentary mentions that it’s likely the result of the pinched nerve not being all the way back yet). They head back inside with Daniels hitting the Angel’s Wings, only to have Fenix throw in Daniels’ mic stand. Pentagon misses the running shot and gets caught with the STO, allowing Daniels to pick up the stand instead. That’s taken away so Pentagon kicks him low and this the Fear Factor for the pin at 8:49.
Rating: C+. Pentagon continues to be great and Daniels continues to wrestle about fifteen years younger than he is (in a good way). They got a little too busy at the end but it was a solid back and forth match almost all the way. Having Daniels’ body give out is a good story as well and ties back in while giving him an out for the loss in case the low blow wasn’t enough.
Butcher/Blade/Bunny are here because they’re sick of seeing Cody everywhere and want to cut the head off the snake.
Joey Janela vs. Jon Moxley
Jon wrestles him down to the mat in a hurry and grabs a headlock. Back up and they chop it out before heading out to the ramp. Moxley ax handles him down and we take an early break. Back with Moxley still in control and trying the Paradigm Shift on the apron, only to get countered into a tornado DDT. Janela has to bail out of something off the top and nails a suicide dive to take Moxley down again.
Back inside and Joey’s sunset bomb gets two, meaning it’s time to forearm it out. Janela hits a superkick, only to get clotheslined down. The Paradigm Shift is countered into a German suplex into the corner, setting up a big dive into a pile of chairs (with the camera missing most of it). A top rope elbow gives Janela two back inside but he can’t superplex Moxley. Instead he gets Paradigm Shifted onto the top rope, followed by the regular version to finish Janela at 9:33.
Rating: B-. Janela was working here and it made for a better match than I can remember seeing from him before. The ending wasn’t all the way in doubt (though I would have said the same thing about Stadtlander vs. Shida) but Joey was giving it his best and that made for a rather nice main event.
Post match the Inner Circle comes through the crowd to look at Moxley as he did last week.
Overall Rating: B-. I don’t know what it has been the last few weeks but something has been missing from AEW. Maybe the fresh feeling has worn off or something but it isn’t quite what it used to be. It’s still a good show, just not as energized or entertaining as it has been before.
If nothing else, they’re running into the problem of putting the same people out there. We’ve seen Moxley, Jericho, the Bucks, the Inner Circle, Rose, the Lucha Bros and the Best Friends several times now and those are some of the bigger names in the promotion. You can only present them so many times and they have been around almost every week so far. They need a little breather from them (not replacements, but short term substitutes) so their star power can show off a little bit more. Slightly better show than last week, but still not what they had been before.
Dustin Rhodes/Young Bucks b. Santana and Ortiz/Sammy Guevara – Top rope backsplash to Guevara
Fenix b. Trent – Black Fire Driver
Nyla Rose b. Leva Bates – Beast Bomb
Kris Stadtlander b. Hikaru Shida – Cradle Tombstone
Pentagon Jr. b. Christopher Daniels – Fear Factor
Jon Moxley b. Joey Janela – Paradigm Shift
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