Date: April 15, 2021
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: D’Lo Brown, Matt Striker
We’re almost to Rebellion and the big story out of last week saw Rich Swann get some confidence back when he faced Kenny Omega in a six man tag. This week is going to be about more of the big push towards the show, which should make for an interesting week. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Jazz losing a career vs. title match at Hardcore Justice and the six man.
TJP vs. Josh Alexander
Yeah this works. Josh gets taken down to start but TJP can’t break his bridge. TJP grabs a hammerlock on the mat and flips over a few times to crank on the arm so Alexander screams a lot. Back up and Alexander blocks an O’Connor roll but the second gives TJP two. TJP can’t get the Octopus so Alexander plants him with an electric chair drop. As Brown talks about a random kid wearing a One Winged Angel shirt as proof that Kenny Omega is on the American psyche, Alexander hits a knee in the corner and the Gory Special goes on.
With that broken up, the slingshot dropkick misses so Alexander grabs the ankle lock in the ropes. That is countered into a triangle choke on the floor in a pretty awesome sequence. They get back in with TJP hitting a top rope superplex but the Octopus is countered into another ankle lock with TJP bailing over to the rope.
Some boot scrapes in the corner set up a running boot to the face so TJP tries a cross armbreaker. That’s reversed into an ankle lock which is reversed into the cross armbreaker but Alexander is out of that as well. The kneebar sends Alexander back to the rope so TJP goes up for the Mamba Splash, which is again countered into the ankle lock. With that not working either, Alexander grabs Divine Intervention for the pin at 11:52.
Rating: B. These two did their thing just like they did before and it is no surprise that the match wound up working here. The counters into the holds and then those holds being countered as well are amazing to see and that is what they do so well. Throw in Ace Austin on Sunday and they could be in for an instant classic.
Here’s what’s coming during Wrestle Week.
Coming soon: LET’S GET WILDE! Striker: “Tailor made.”
Crazzy Steve vs. Karl Anderson
The rest of Decay and Doc Gallows are here too. Anderson takes him into the corner to start but Steve grabs a backslide, which is enough to send Anderson bailing outside for a breather. We take a break and come back with Anderson slapping on a chinlock. That’s broken up and Steve grabs a rollup out of the corner to set up a low Downward Spiral for two. Steve puts on the Upside Down in the corner but Anderson is right back with the spinebuster for the pin at 7:44.
Rating: C-. Just another match to give the Good Brothers some more momentum on their way to the title match, but what helps here is they are beating someone other than the champs. Granted that might be because the champs aren’t here, but I’ll take what I can get to get away from that tired trope. Not much to the match, though that wasn’t the point here.
Ace Austin and Madman Fulton come in to Swinger’s Palace. Austin hits on Alisha Edwards when TJP and Josh Alexander come in to talk about the odds. Cue Petey Williams for a Scott Steiner math promo. The women are stunned and Petey leaves without saying that the whole thing spells disaster. Swinger thinks he’s going to be the Million Dollar Swing Man.
Here are Eddie Edwards and Willie Mack for a chat. Eddie knows that they can’t win every match and they lost to Violent By Design at Hardcore Justice. For now though, they don’t like Violent By Design attacking Tommy Dreamer before their match. Violent By Design is messing with family and you don’t do that. Cue Violent By Design, with Eric Young talking about how proud he is of what he did. Young brags about doing everything he promises but Eddie says bring it. The fight is teased so here are James Storm and Chris Sabin run in for the save. Storm makes the challenge for an eight man tag at Rebellion (dance metaphors included).
Deonna Purrazzo asks Susan if she is ok but they run into Scott D’Amore, who warns them to stay away from Jazz’s retirement ceremony.
Tenille Dashwood has her own talk show with It’s All About Me. Her guest is interviewer Gia Miller, who points out that this is the same set from Locker Room Talk. Gia gets to ask her questions, who asks about the lack of a Knockouts Title reign. Dashwood brags about her success in everything else and now it is time to do the same in wrestling. After some confusion over who is actually the host of this show, Dashwood wraps it up and Miller is rather confused.
Here is Jazz with Jordynne Grace for her official retirement. Jazz talks about how she came back here in the hope of one more title run but it just didn’t happen. She and Grace worked together but couldn’t quite win the Knockouts Tag Team Titles. They rode hard though….and here is Fire N Flava to interrupt. Tasha Steelz says it is about time for Jazz to retire since she can’t win anything. Grace says they talk too much and issues the challenge. Since Jazz hasn’t officially retired yet (the semantics are strong with this one), let’s go.
Jazz/Jordynne Grace vs. Fire N Flava
Non-title (I think?) and all four are in street clothes. It’s a brawl to start with Grace hitting some running knees to Steelz in the corner. Jazz comes in to drop Hogan with a right hand. A sitout powerslam finishes Hogan at 1:22. So yeah the champs just lost clean in less than a minute and a half for a story that can’t go anywhere because Jazz is retiring. It’s kind of a nice moment but that might be a bit much.
Post match, Jazz retires and thanks the fans. The locker room comes out to slap the ring.
Post break, Scott D’Amore makes Fire N Flava vs. Grace/Jazz for the titles at Rebellion. Fire n Flava is annoyed (as they should be) but Jazz comes in to say she is a woman of her word. She won’t be in the match, but Grace can go for the titles. Jazz just happens to have a woman in mind for her. That’s quite the relief.
Brian Myers vs. ???
Matt Cardona gets to pick Myers’ opponent and it’s…..Jake Something. Jake starts fast by sending him hard into the corner as Striker tries to explain Myers vs. Cardona with some annoying analogy about a pool. Myers gets in a shot but gets knocked to the floor to start the chase. Back in and the Roster Cut finishes Jake at 2:22.
Now Myers gets to pick Cardona’s opponent.
Sami Callihan vs. Matt Cardona
Sami jumps him from behind before the bell and we take a break before the match. Cardona knocks him down for an early two as commentary talks about Kenny Omega vs. Rich Swann. They fight outside with Cardona sending him into the barricade before heading outside. A running charge misses though and Cardona crashes over the top in a heap.
Callihan follows him out for a t-bone suplex and we take another rather fast break. Back again with Sami hitting a hard clothesline for a near fall. Cardona manages Radio Silence for the same but a second attempt is blocked. The Cactus Special is countered but Callihan grabs a suplex for two more. Callihan is frustrated so it’s a thumb in the eye and the package piledriver for the pin at 12:44.
Rating: C. This got some time and they were both working to make this a better match than I was expecting. Losing to a former World Champion isn’t going to hurt Cardona that much, especially with a cheating finish. Not too bad here, with Sami knowing how to do a brawl like this and Cardona being more than good enough to hang with him
Post match Callihan says it is time for some more important things. He calls out Trey Miguel, who comes to the ring but isn’t happy with Callihan validating his passion. Miguel talks about coming out here last week because he had to deal with XXXL. Callihan doesn’t buy it and says they should join forces so he can mentor Miguel to the next level. That’s a no, so Callihan calls him out for a lack of gratitude.
Callihan reveals that he attacked Tommy Dreamer at Hardcore Justice so Miguel could get the shot, meaning the brawl is on…with Miguel being dropped off a clothesline. Miguel tries to get up but gets chaired right back down. A suplex through the open chair and Callihan leaves, though he is pleased with Miguel trying to get up. Just let them team together already so we can complete this story, which has been done to death, already.
FinJuice is ready to come back to Rebellion and beat the Good Brothers. Fascinating indeed.
Here’s what’s coming Wrestle Week, next week and at Rebellion.
It’s time for a press conference for Kenny Omega vs. Rich Swann. Omega isn’t here yet so we’ll question Swann instead. He is ready to face more adversity because he has done it his whole life and will do it again. Mike Johnson of Pro Wrestling Insider brings up Bruno Sammartino vs. Lou Thesz in a title vs. title match never happening and asks if the champ will wrestle on both shows. Tony Khan says of course Omega will and he expects Swann to do the same. Scott D’Amore says it can happen and both bosses guarantee a winner.
Cue Omega and Don Callis, complete with entrance music. Callis is asked when he is going to stop playing both sides, which he says is enough already. He takes over the podium and introduces Omega, who wears a suit better than I would have expected. Omega talks about how he is used to standing at a podium like this but Swann has never been here.
Omega was put on this planet to make a difference while Swann is here because he likes wrestling. Swann is just a means to an end because this match opened the Forbidden Door. Now Swann is taking part in history and Omega offers a handshake. Instead he slaps Swann in the face, triggering the brawl to end the show. This was a good effort on treating the match like a big deal, but the result about as much of a foregone conclusion as you can get. It’s also at least talking about the match and that’s more than AEW has done.
Overall Rating: C. This show went by fast and that’s a good thing as they had a lot to cover. Rebellion is in about a week and a half and the card is coming together. Swann vs. Omega does feel big, but AEW not caring and the result being almost a lock is a lot for them to overcome. The rest of the show was the usual mixed bag, though the opener was very good.
Josh Alexander b. TJP – Divine Intervention
Karl Anderson b. Crazzy Steve – Spinebuster
Jazz/Jordynne Grace b. Fire N Flava – Sitout powerslam to Hogan
Brian Myers b. Jake Something – Roster Cut
Sami Callihan b. Matt Cardona – Package piledriver
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