Date: May 12, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
We’re officially done with Blood & Guts, meaning that it is time to start up the fallout. At the same time, we have three shows left before Double Or Nothing and the card has barely been started so AEW might want to get around to that. Thankfully we are going to find out the #1 contender tonight, as Pac and Orange Cassidy face off for the right to challenge Kenny Omega. I’m sure it makes sense somehow. Let’s get to it.
New Japan United States Title: Yuji Nagata vs. Jon Moxley
Moxley is defending and Excalibur dives right in to listing off various Japanese legends that Nagata has been associated with over the years. Moxley comes out to Wild Thing, which I’m assuming is his music in New Japan or something. Nagata knees him in the ribs to start and they head outside to keep up the brawling. Back in and Moxley clotheslines away in the corner, followed by a running knee to the seated chest.
There’s a kick to the chest for two more, only to have Nagata kick even more. An exploder gets two on Moxley, who is right back with a German suplex into the running lariat for two. More kicks put Moxley down for another two and the seated armbar goes on. Moxley makes the rope and comes back with a basement clothesline for two more. The Paradigm Shift retains the title at 8:28.
Rating: C+. This was certainly fine enough and I’m sure Moxley got to have a lot of fun out there. They didn’t overstay their welcome whatsoever and it was a fine way to appeal to the New Japan fans who are already watching the show. Thankfully they didn’t waste too much time on the guest star match, so it isn’t exactly something worth complaining about.
Post match Moxley bows in respect to Nagata, who does the same thing right back.
We run down the card.
Most of the Inner Circle knows that they had the Pinnacle beaten but let it slip away. Then MJF showed his true colors by having Santana detained for using a fork on him last week. They’re still alive, so the Pinnacle failed last week and now the Inner Circle wants a rematch. If they don’t get one, tonight’s coronation of the Pinnacle is going to be their funeral. If only there was a pay per view coming up to host that big gimmick match, or say the full return of fans in less than two months.
Here is Cody Rhodes for a big announcement. Cody talks about how it is fun to be an American and even though there are various problems with the country, he has never not been proud to be an American. Then you have Anthony Ogogo, who spends all of his time trash talking America. That’s fine because it is his freedom to do so, because he has a visa from the United States.
America is a place where the dream lives, from an Italian immigrant being World Heavyweight Champion for over 4000 days to a 16 year old boy from Pakistan coming to America, inventing a new kind of bumper, and changing the lives of everyone in this city (speaking about Tony Khan’s father Shad). There was segregation in Atlanta until the early 1960s and now in that same city, his wife is going to give birth to a beautiful daughter who is both black and white. Therefore, it is time to fight at Double Or Nothing, where the full capacity audience will see the return of the American Dream, when he faces Ogogo.
This was a heck of a promo from Cody, even if turning him into the All American after having a flag draped over him might be a bit of a jump. That being said, the American Dream deal should be a rather nice moment and it is Dusty’s son, so it isn’t like trying to make someone into a Dusty knockoff with no reason. It might be a stretch in some ways, but it’s close enough that it counts.
Video on SCU being friends with the Young Bucks, but then everything fell apart.
Tag Team Titles: SCU vs. Young Bucks
SCU is challenging, with JR pointing out that they have been #1 contenders for ten weeks, making me wonder why they needed to win a #1 contenders match last week. Also, if SCU lose, they’re done as a team. Kazarian takes Matt down to start and it’s a clothesline/belly to back suplex combination to drop Matt again. Nick gets kicked in the chest and clotheslined in the back of the head but manages to take Daniels outside. A powerbomb onto the apron has Daniels down as we take a break.
Back with SCU hitting Celebrity Rehab on Nick but Matt breaks up the Best Meltzer Ever. Daniels gets posted to open him up badly, leaving Kazarian to pull Nick in for the slingshot cutter. A northern lights suplex gets two on Matt, with Kazarian being sure they had the pin. Kazarian gets a rollup but Doc Gallows offers a distraction (JR: “Why would you want to converse that long with Doc Gallows?”) to break up the count.
Kazarian hits a Styles Clash for two, drawing an AJ Styles chant, which might not be the desired result. A superkick into a Tombstone into a knee gets two with Daniels finally getting back in for the save. Angel’s Wings hits Nick to send him outside and Daniels pulls Kazarian to the corner for the tag. Matt spears Daniels down and hammers away at the eye, drawing even more blood.
The Angel’s Wings doesn’t work due tot he blood loss and Daniels can barely pull himself up. Matt: “I’m sorry, I love you”. The superkick gets two but Daniels is back with the release Rock Bottom. The BME connects (after Daniels slips on the first attempt) for two with Nick making the save. Matt busts out some cold spray to the eyes and hits him in the head with the can for the next near fall. The BTE Trigger retains the titles at 13:50.
Rating: B. This was the kind of match they needed to have and SCU gets to go out with a rather good showcase. I’m kind of glad they didn’t end with the weapon shot, as it would have been as cliched as you could get, and Daniels being busted open but still fighting told a good story. This was a solid match and in a way, it is good to get rid of SCU as the tag division has way too many teams at the moment.
Post match SCU is stunned but we need to cut to the back where Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston wreck the Elite’s dressing room.
During the break, SCU has a big emotional hug goodbye. Heaven forbid we show THAT live instead of Moxley and Kingston throwing a bunch of stuff.
Christian doesn’t think much of Taz critiquing him, because it has as much weight as someone critiquing Taz at a buffet table. Next week, Christian has an open contract to face any member of Team Taz before he moves on to the Casino Battle Royal at Double Or Nothing (it wouldn’t be a pay per view without a battle royal or ladder match). Matt Sydal interrupts to say not so fast, because he has signed up to face Christian next week and then is going on to win the battle royal.
Pac vs. Orange Cassidy
For the World Title shot at Double Or Nothing. Pac takes the sunglasses to start and breaks them up, meaning it’s a Beach Break for a very early two. Cassidy sends him outside for a suicide dive and busts out a backup pair of sunglasses. We take a break and come back with Cassidy being sent hard into the barricade, followed by a dropkick to turn him inside out.
There’s a missile dropkick to put Cassidy down again so Pac loads up the Black Arrow. Hold on though as Cassidy rolls under the corner and poses up at Pac, who hits a heck of a Liger Bomb for two. We take another break and come back with Cassidy down so Don Callis comes out (because of course he does) to say Pac needs to pick up the pace. Cue Kenny Omega with the belt shot to Pac, giving us a double countout at 14:03.
Rating: C. And now we get the triple threat match because that’s what happens in a situation like this. It’s not the worst idea to go that way but at least they didn’t have Cassidy get some fluke win. The match was fine enough and the ending sets up a logical title match, though it wasn’t exactly an original way to go.
Post match Callis says Omega is getting a night off at Double Or Nothing so it’s time for a road trip. Tony Schiavone announces the triple threat title match. Omega: “YOU DON’T KNOW ME! YOU GOT NO POWER OVER ME! YOU DON’T KNOW ME!” This is as cliched of an announcement as you can get, though seeing heels stunned by never learning can be a little funny.
The Good Brothers and the Young Bucks are livid over their dressing room being destroyed, but the Bucks would rather brag about getting rid of SCU. They’ll defend the titles against the Varsity Blonds next week and then, as humble Christian men, invite Moxley and Kingston to a superkick party at Double or Nothing.
The Dark Order promises to get Hangman Page back on top of the rankings but Page thinks it was Taz helping Brian Cage beat him. So how about Taz stays in the back and it’s one on one, which makes it double or nothing for Cage. John Silver: “That’s the name of the pay per view! Did you do that on purpose???”
Here is the Pinnacle for the coronation, with MJF (in a pink suit) wearing a crown. MJF: “Don’t boo people! BOW!” We hear about the ratings success, including Shawn Spears helping them get some rather good numbers in Canada. But sure, the Inner Circle wants a rematch…..and he says no. Tully Blanchard talks about being on top before and they were there again last week.
The Pinnacle took everything the Inner Circle had and then saw the Inner Circle give up to save Chris Jericho. When you quit, you just quit and leave the Pinnacle at the top of the world. Tully even has a gift for them: some very expensive watches, to remind them of when they were at the top of the world. Cue the Inner Circle in a jeep with a trailer (because this company LOVES having someone drive in), with Chris Jericho popping out. His arm is in a big cast but he still wants a rematch, which MJF declines again.
Sammy Guevara sprays them down with A Little Bit Of The Bubbly from a water cannon and everyone is soaked. Then they honk the horn a lot until MJF agrees to Stadium Stampede II at Double Or Nothing. We’ll throw in a bonus though: if the Inner Circle loses, they have to break up forever. Jericho pauses a bit on that one and the match isn’t official yet. This might have had a bit more impact if we hadn’t had SCU being forced to break up after losing about 45 minutes ago. Or if Kurt Angle/Steve Austin hadn’t done the truck thing better with milk/beer.
Britt Baker is ready to win the Women’s Title because she isn’t letting the pain from a broken face last year break her. It’s poetic that Hikaru Shida broke her face and now Baker is going to take the title from her. We see clips of Baker breaking up the AEW photo shoot for Forbes Magazine and Baker promises to win the title.
Thunder Rosa vs. Jazmin Allure
Rosa throws her into the corner to start and hammers away, setting up the running dropkick into the corner. A shoulder breaker into the Fire Thunder Driver finishes Allure at 1:53.
Here’s what’s coming next week and at Double Or Nothing.
We look at Mark Sterling, formerly MJF’s agent, pitching his services to Jade Cargill.
Jade says she handles her own business and is that b****.
Darby Allin is back in Seattle to remember how far he has come. He has seen Miro go from a gamer to a best man and now he is coming for the title. Win or lose, Miro is going to admit that Allin is one of the toughest men he has ever faced.
TNT Title: Miro vs. Darby Allin
Allin is defending and Miro jumps him before the bell, with the beating being on in a hurry. They head outside with Allin being posted and then sent over the barricade. A suplex sends Allin back to ringside and they head outside, where Allin says ring the bell. Miro superkicks him for two and they head outside with Allin nailing some shotgun dropkicks. The suicide dive drops Miro (and it was a great one) but he throws Allin with a suplex and we take a break.
Back with Allin in trouble and Sting down thanks to Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page taking out his knee during the break. Another suplex sends Allin into the corner but Allin manages to grab a choke. He jumps on Miro’s back and they head outside with Allin grabbing the nose (sounds dumb but it’s smart when you think about it), only to be driven hard into the barricade.
Back in and Sting (fine after the jumping) fires Allin up enough to start the comeback, including the flipping Stunner for two. A pop up powerslam is countered into another flipping Stunner but the Coffin Drop is countered into a German suplex, with Allin backflipping onto his feet. The Code Red gets two but Miro pulls him into the Game Over and wrenches all the way back for the stoppage and the title at 14:48.
Rating: B+. The wrestling itself wasn’t the best (though it worked) but this was all about the storytelling, with Allin fighting until the bitter end but not being able to overcome the monster. That is a story that will always work and Allin is one of the easiest guys in the world to get behind given his size and willingness to give it everything he has. I had a really good time with this and it was the only possible ending.
Post match Page and Sky jump Sting again (as the first one didn’t quite take) so the Dark Order runs out to chase them off. Miro celebrates but Lance Archer comes out for the staredown to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. Another good show here, with the wrestling being good to very good throughout and the rapid fire build towards Double Or Nothing beginning. That has been needed and while the card still has some work to do, the core is right there. They still need to slow down on a few things and cut out some of the 80s/90s tributes, but overall, it is a fast paced show and the kind of entertaining night that you know you’re going to get from AEW.
Jon Moxley b. Yuji Nagata – Paradigm Shift
Young Bucks b. SCU – BTE Trigger to Daniels
Pac vs. Orange Cassidy went to a double countout
Thunder Rosa b. Jazmin Allure – Fire Thunder Driver
Miro b. Darby Allin – Game Over
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