Date: December 30, 2020
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, Chris Jericho
This is going to be a complete detour as the show is going to be all about Brodie Lee, who shockingly passed away on Saturday due to some kind of lung issue. The show is going to be a complete tribute to him with all stories postponed until next week. That’s the only way this could have gone and there is nothing wrong with that. Let’s get to it.
We open with a ten bell salute to Brodie Lee, with his family on the stage, including his son in a Dark Order mask.
Jon Moxley talks about Lee being a good person who he knew for years. This has been a soccer kick to the face but it has shown him that wrestling is a community. He is going to appreciate every day and he’ll never forget Brodie.
Matt Hardy/Private Party vs. Young Bucks/Colt Cabana
For the sake of sanity, I’ll only refer to Matt Jackson as Matt. Colt and the Bucks clean house one at a time to start, including a triple dropkick to put Hardy on the floor. Nick adds the running flip dive to take them all down again. Colt hits an Asai moonsault to do the same. We settle down to Hardy hammering on Matt but everything breaks down all over again with Marq Quen hitting a dive to Hardy on the floor.
Back in and Matt is taken down again, including being sent face first into Isaiah Kassidy’s boot in the corner. the triple teaming continues until Hardy makes the mistake of going after Cabana, allowing Matt to get over for the hot tag. Cabana comes in to clean house with the Flip Flop and Fly, followed by the Flying Apple to Kassidy. Hardy breaks up the tag to Nick and the discus lariat is countered into a crucifix for two on Cabana. A crossbody gets the same but Nick comes in sans tag with a hurricanrana.
Nick gets the actual tag a few seconds later and starts taking over, only to be tripped down by Hardy. Back in and Gin and Juice hits Matt, setting up Kassidy’s Swanton and Quen’s shooting star for two with Cabana and Nick making the save (JR: “Let’s hear it for Boom Boom!”). Hardy grabs a chair but gets taken down, leaving Cabana to have to fight out of Gin and Juice. The Chicago Skyline hits Kassidy and the Indytaker into the Superman pin finishes Quen at 13:29.
Rating: B-. The wrestling is going to be quite the minor point here and that’s how a show like this should be. This was a bunch of high flying and diving, with the Bucks doing everything they should be doing. Cabana can do any style and Hardy looked good enough. Private Party didn’t go too insane either, leaving this to be a rather nice and energetic opener.
Post match it’s the Acclaimed coming in to rap about this show but SCU jumps them from behind and Cabana hits the double Bionic Elbow. Cabana throws up the Dark Order sign for perhaps the first time.
Darby Allin, sans face paint, talks about how Lee was the #1 guy he wanted to wrestle because of everything he did behind the scenes. Lee was a great person to talk to and Allin is sad he never got in the ring with him.
Lance Archer/Stu Grayson/Evil Uno vs. Eddie Kingston/Butcher and the Blade
Archer is in Luke Harper gear for a nice touch. Jake Roberts and the Bunny are here as well. Before the match, Kingston says he’s going to show that the Dark Order is nothing without Lee and the brawl is on in a hurry. Archer gets suplexed onto Kingston, who is taken into the corner for some wild eyed shots from Grayson. Bunny grabs Grayson’s leg though, allowing Butcher to clothesline him down.
Blade powerslams Grayson down but Jake grabs his leg to even things up. Grayson is back with a Boss Man Slam (Jericho: “It’s a Brody Slam!”) as we take a break. Back with Kingston and Uno slapping it out until Kingston misses some spinning backfists. A half and half (Brody move) hits Kingston and the hot tag brings in Archer to take over.
Archer starts wrecking people and it’s a rope walk moonsault (cool) to drop Blade. Grayson and Uno come in for an assisted Downward Spiral but Kingston makes the save and hits a DDT (with a glare at Roberts) for two. Kingston saves Blade from the Blackout and Grayson hits a running DDT to the apron to plant Butcher. The Fatality finishes Blade at 10:00.
Rating: B-. Another match where they did what they needed to do and showed off at the same time. I’m still not sure where this version of the Dark Order came from as they were one of the lamest teams around to start and then have a rather nice match like this for a change. Archer’s special gear was perfect too.
Post match Kingston gets beaten down, including a short arm clothesline from Jake.
Dax Harwood, Arn Anderson, Colt Cabana and Bryce Remsburg talk about what a great father and family man Lee was.
Hangman Page/John Silver/Alex Reynolds vs. Santana/Ortiz/Maxwell Jacob Friedman
MJF is in Puerto Rico themed gear and Silver/Reynolds throw papers at Santana/Ortiz (apparently a Brodie thing from Being The Elite). MJF gets sent outside to yell at Brodie’s son, with Jericho saying the kid has been bothering him all day. We settle back down to Santana hitting a neckbreaker on Reynolds, followed by Two Amigos. Ortiz comes in for a double Third Amigo but Reynolds gets over for the tag to Page.
The pace picks way up, including a fall away slam to MJF into a nip up into a dive onto Santana on the floor. Back in and Page gets taken down for two as we go to a break. Back with Silver coming in to clean house and kicking Ortiz off the top. Silver hits a flip dive off the apron onto Santana (JR: “What a white meat babyface this kid is!”). A sitout powerbomb gets two on Ortiz back inside but MJF makes the save.
Silver is sent into the corner but MJF comes back with something like a Code Red, with only his ankles wrapping around MJF’s head to drive it into the mat. The Heat Seeker plants Silver and Ortiz grabs a powerbomb for two with Reynolds making a save of his own. Everything breaks down and Wardlow comes in but ERICK REDBEARD (Rowan) runs in to take him out. MJF goes outside and takes the mask off of Lee’s son, earning himself a kendo stick shot to the head. The fans go nuts and it’s a discus lariat to pin Ortiz 12:38.
Rating: C+. This was the emotional match on the card and you could see everyone being very invested in what they were doing (as everyone has been tonight of course). Silver got so much out of the Dark Order so this is the kind of match that he needs to have on the show. Throw in the incredible Redbeard cameo and the whole thing was near perfect.
Redbeard comes back in to hold up a sign saying “goodbye for now my brother, see you down the road.” Jericho sounds near tears over this one. Well that was about the most emotional thing I’ve seen in years.
Eddie Kingston talks about how much he is going to miss Lee. He talks about Lee’s kids missing their dad, who was a warrior outside of the ring. Lee took care of the two of them and he loved them so much.
Tay Conti/Anna Jay vs. Britt Baker/Penelope Ford
Rebel, Kip Sabian and Miro are all here too. Jay and Baker trade arm cranks to start before it’s off to Conti to kick Penelope down. We hear about Conti’s amateur experience as Sabian offers a distraction, allowing Baker to get in a jumping knee. Conti gets sent to the floor with Baker getting in a stomp and Rebel not quite being able to get in a cheap shot.
We take a break and come back with Conti and Ford kicking each other in the face, allowing the double tag to Baker and Jay. Everything breaks down and Jay stops to point at the 99 on her cheek, allowing Baker to hit a fisherman’s neckbreaker. A Downward Spiral sends Jay into the middle buckle and Ford comes in with a Blockbuster for two. Jay is right back with the Queen Slayer as for the tap from Ford at 9:49 with Conti taking out Baker.
Rating: C. Conti and Jay have come a long way in recent months and it was nice to see them getting a win like this. They didn’t need to do anything fancy here and it’s a good example of doing something more basic at a higher level. Ford taking the fall isn’t going to hurt her as she has the big wedding deal coming up in a few weeks anyway.
Post match Baker says everything was rigged. Conti was rigged, Jay was rigged, the match was rigged. In fact everything was…..a big rig. She winks at the camera but here’s Thunder Rosa to jump her from behind, with referees having to break it up.
Here’s what’s coming over the next two weeks.
Chris Jericho talks about working with Lee 27 times, including in Saudi Arabia. When he was in the hotel room in Saudi Arabia, Jericho saw what he thought was a sticker on the ceiling. Lee came in and said it was the arrow pointing to Mecca, which blew Jericho’s mind because he shouldn’t know that kind of thing.
Jericho helped bring Lee into AEW and it meant a lot that he was able to see Lee be the kind of star that he knew he could be. All the proof you need of how good a person Lee was is the time he came to Jericho’s house and Jericho’s mean dog licked his hand. Jericho promises to take care of Lee’s family. This was great.
Cody Rhodes/Orange Cassidy/10 vs. Team Taz
This was hand picked by Lee’s son and it is billed as his dream match. Cody bounces off of Powerhouse Hobbs to start. With that not working, Cody (reluctantly) brings in 10 to suplex Starks. That’s enough for Starks to head to the floor so it’s back to Hobbs, who wants Cassidy. The hands go into the pockets and a slow motion shoulder doesn’t go well as we take a break.
Back with Cage hitting a rather delayed vertical suplex on Cassidy. It’s off to Starks, who gets caught in a suplex from Cassidy for a change. Cody comes in to pick up the pace and throw his weight belt into the crowd. Starks and Cody hit stereo discus lariats, meaning it’s back to 10 for a Brodie Bomb. A spear cuts 10 down and it’s Cassidy coming back in as everything breaks down.
Hobbs hits a spinebuster on Cassidy but walks into a superkick from Cody. There’s a Downward Spiral from Cage but 10 hits a clothesline to the back of Cage’s head. With everyone down, Arn Anderson and Taz grab chairs, leaving Cassidy to hit the Orange Punch on Starks. Cody adds Cross Rhodes and 10 hits the spinebuster to finish Starks at 11:31.
Rating: C+. This was about elevating 10 and that’s what they did here. He isn’t exactly someone who gets a lot of attention around here and odds are he isn’t going to again, but at least he got a chance here. If nothing else, it was nice to see the Dark Order complete the sweep and it’s not like the results mean much on this show in the first place.
Post match the celebration is on but Team Taz breaks it up in a hurry. Even Hook gets in a suplex on Cassidy (Jericho: “Hook just wants to get his picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone.”). The lights go out and here’s Darby Allin for the save….with Sting following. JR: “I’ve known him since the days of the Blade Runners. Google it kids.”
Post break Cody is in the ring for the final tribute. Cody gives a quote about how you can tell the value of a man based on how he treats someone who has nothing to give him. Over the last few days, we have heard one tribute after another to Lee and it is because he was a beautiful man who left a legacy. That legacy is here tonight, so here is Lee’s family, including his son, Negative One, Brodie Lee Jr.
This brings out Lee’s wife and son, with the son leaving Lee’s boots in the ring. Tony Khan hands Lee Jr. the TNT Title, declaring him the champion for life. Khan thanks the fans and gives us a tribute video to Lee set to the Eagles’ Ol’ 55, complete with quite a bit of old school footage, including some home movies and shots of him with his family. There are even some WWE photos included, with some shots of Big E., John Morrison, Bray Wyatt and more. Find this as it’s one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time.
Overall Rating: A+. The wrestling wasn’t the point of the show and there is nothing wrong with that. Tonight was all about Brodie Lee and that’s all it should have been about, as he was taken away at a ridiculously too young 41 due to something he didn’t cause. The matches were good to rather good, but this was all about saying thank you and goodbye, with the stuff with his family being outstanding. Go find that tribute though as it’s the best thing on the show. This was excellent and they nailed everything about the whole night.
Young Bucks/Colt Cabana b. Matt Hardy/Private Party – Superman pin to Quen
Lance Archer/Stu Grayson/Evil Uno b. Eddie Kingston/Butcher and the Blade – Fatality to Blade
John Silver/Alex Reynolds/Hangman Page b. Maxwell Jacob Friedman/Santana/Ortiz – Discus lariat to Ortiz
Tay Conti/Anna Jay b. Penelope Ford/Britt Baker – Queen Slayer to Ford
10/Cody Rhodes/Orange Cassidy b. Team Taz – Brodie Bomb to Starks
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