Date: August 11, 2021
Location: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
It’s the Britt Baker Show this week and that is pretty long overdue. Baker has been the best thing about the women’s division, if not the entire company, for a long time now and deserves a big hometown night like this. Other than that, we are getting ready for both All Out and this week Rampage debut. Let’s get to it.
MJF, with Wardlow, talk about how Chris Jericho is trying to make his way through the Labors of Jericho, but tonight he is running into a monster. Jericho needs to defeat MJF because he never has before and he can’t handle that. Somehow though, let’s say that he makes it through Wardlow, what do you think is waiting on him? MJF brings up Wardlow losing to Cody Rhodes in the cage last year though and tells him not to mess up again. Wardlow destroys the apple MJF hands him.
Elite vs. Mike Sydal/Matt Sydal/Dante Martin
Don Callis is on commentary and during the entrances, we’re told that Kenny Omega will defend against Christian Cage at All Out. That’s going to get some people talking. Mike gets sent into the corner by Matt Jackson to start but comes back with a rollup for two. Nick comes in and rakes Martin’s eyes but a rather spinning headscissors takes Nick down. Omega comes in to take Martin down and is booed out of the building.
The Sydals come in for double enziguris to Omega, followed by the double baseball slides. Dante is launches out onto them, with Mike joining in but Matt Sydal hanging back. They head back inside with Martin hitting a high crossbody on Matt Jackson (who thankfully is fine after having his leg go underneath him on the landing). Omega comes in to shove Mike down and the Elite starts taking their turns.
The Kitaro Crusher gets two but Mike slips away and gets the hot tag to Matt Sydal. Everything breaks down and the Sydals grab a Muta Lock/Crossface combination on Matt Jackson. That’s broken up by Omega who snaps off some snapdragons. Martin comes in to clean house and then gets the hot tag to clean house again. A running springboard hurricanrana to the floor drops Omega and a moonsault gets two on Matt Jackson.
We hit the parade of shots to the face, capped off by Omega hitting a heck of a V Trigger to Martin. The One Winged Angel is countered though and Martin hits a Pele. Another V Trigger cuts that off but Martin counters a Tiger Driver 98 into a rollup. A third V Trigger and the One Winged Angel plant Martin as the Bucks superkick the Sydals. The BTE V Trigger finishes Martin at 12:18.
Rating: B. Now this was more like it, as the Elite shouldn’t have been sweating these guys and then had to turn it up to pull off the win. Martin’s comebacks against Omega at the win made for a good sequence and more than one of the counters surprised me. Good stuff here and the kind of Elite swagger I can go for on occasion. That being said, this was a breakout performance from Martin, whose high flying stuff looked great and had the fans going nuts.
Post match Callis gets in the ring for a chat but here is Christian Cage to cut them off. The Jurassic Express comes in to even things up a bit and we take a break. Back with Callis taking the mic from Christian, who does get a bit of praise. It’s true that Christian has a great finisher and Omega can’t wait to kick out of it. Christian calls Callis a piece of s*** and then uses….whatever Pittsburgh term he uses for a bad person. Callis says of course Christian isn’t getting his title shot in Pittsburgh, but Christian has heard something else.
See, Omega has a lot of titles, and according to Tony Khan, he’ll be defending the Impact Wrestling World Title on Friday, in the first match of Rampage. The music plays but Jungle Boy says hang on a second. It turns out that he has been talking to Khan as well, so next week on Dynamite, the Jurassic Express gets a shot at the Young Bucks. Omega is so annoyed that he has nothing to say after cutting the music.
We look back at Malakai Black laying out Cody Rhodes last week while talking about how he has one foot on Cody and one foot in the grave.
Cody and Brandi Rhodes have a new reality show starting September 29.
Miro is ready to destroy Fuego del Sol.
Daniel Garcia vs. Darby Allin
Garcia has 2.0 (formerly Ever-Rise) and Allin has Sting. Allin grabs a headlock to start but Garcia shoves him off and shoulders him into an armbar. Garcia takes him into the ropes as one of 2.0 offers a distraction, allowing Garcia to send Allin arm first into the buckle. We take a break and come back with Garcia pulling him off the ropes.
A double arm lock allows Garcia to kick Allin in the head until he can reach the rope with a boot. Garcia slaps him in the back, which just seems to bring Allin back to live. A rear naked choke out of nowhere has Allin in trouble but he flips backwards for two and the break. The flipping Stunner plants Garcia and the Coffin Drop is enough for the pin on Garcia at 10:39.
Rating: C+. I remember seeing a lot of Garcia over Wrestlemania weekend and being impressed. I’m glad to see him getting a chance here and that is a good thing. The same is true of 2.0, who are great at being the goofy lackeys. Allin continues to be built up for something big, and they are certainly teasing the huge showdown in Chicago.
Post match 2.0 goes after Allin but Sting takes them out. Allin gets back up and 2.0 is cleared out in a hurry.
Death Triangle doesn’t like what Andrade El Idolo has been doing to mess with them. Pac says the Lucha Bros are the best and deserve gold. As for Andrade, if he wants some of Pac, come find him.
Orange Cassidy/Chuck Taylor/Wheeler Yuta vs. Matt Hardy/Private Party
Kris Statlander and the rest of the Hardy Family Office are here too. Hardy and Cassidy have the DELETE vs. Pockets staredown to start, with Cassidy putting Hardy’s hand in his own pocket to start. That’s enough for two off a rollup but Hardy is back up with the Side Effect for two. Cassidy rolls away before Matt can launch the middle rope elbow and avoids a charge in the corner.
The falling middle rope splash gets two and it’s Marq Quen coming in to set up a missed Poetry In Motion. Cassidy slow motion kicks Quen in the knee and drops low to set up Yuta’s running charge. Taylor adds Soul Food and Yuta hits something like an Angle Slam for two. The Silly String plants Yuta though and the near fall sends us to a break. Back with everything breaking down and the women getting in an argument on the floor.
Cue Nyla Rose to run Statlander over and Jack Evans to take out Yuta. Everything breaks down and it’s a parade of secondary finishers until Yuta hits a top rope splash for two on Kassidy. Matt sends Taylor into the barricade (and nearly runs a referee over on the way). Gin and Juice hits Yuta but Cassidy makes the save and hits an Orange Punch on Kassidy. Hardy sends Quen into Kassidy and the Twist of Fate finishes Yuta at 9:53.
Rating: C. The action was certainly energized but there were WAY too many people involved in this match. You had all seven members of the Hardy Family Office, Cassidy, Taylor, Statlander, Rose and Yuta. That’s double the amount of people actually in the match and it was way too much going on to keep track of what was happening. Just keep some of them in the back or break it up a bit because a lot of the fun was lost due to the calamity.
Chavo Guerrero is offended by the Death Triangle’s comments but thinks Andrade El Idolo vs. Pac sounds good for All Out.
Santana and Ortiz want to hurt FTR even more because it isn’t over.
Nyla Rose vs. Kris Statlander
Great. Nyla Rose is here twice. Vickie Guerrero and Orange Cassidy are here too. Rose runs her over to start but Statlander gets in a shot of her own. Vickie screams at Cassidy to mess him up, allowing Rose to hit a chokeslam onto the apron for two. Statlander handstands her way to freedom but gets speared down, allowing Rose to load up a superplex. That’s countered into a powerbomb out of the corner and Area 451 finishes Rose at 2:59.
The Young Bucks are back at the basketball and say that beating the Jurassic Express will be like a layup. Cue Luchasaurus to block it and say not in his house. Nick calls it a foul but Brandon Cutler says it was all ball. When AEW gets a theme going, they run with it until the bitter end. That being said, it was a funny segment.
Video on Britt Baker vs. Red Velvet in the main event of the first Rampage. Velvet is on a roll and gets a title shot against Baker in Baker’s hometown.
Tony Schiavone brings out Britt Baker for a chat, meaning the fans get to wave the yellow towels (Pittsburgh Steelers tradition). Baker can’t really comment on Red Velvet’s rise because she is on the top of AEW. She wasn’t afraid to step up when this city needed a champion and holds up the title, because it means hope. Speaking of hope, Red Velvet might have a glimmer of it if the match wasn’t taking place in Pittsburgh. With that out of the way, Baker needs Tony to practice his DMD, which seems to go well. Cue Red Velvet for the brawl before the title match.
Ricky Starks says he is a man instead of a machine and is ready for Brian Cage.
Impact Tag Team Titles: Dark Order vs. Good Brothers
The Brothers are defending and Impact’s Scott D’Amore is on commentary. The Order jumps them to start and it’s Anderson in trouble in a hurry. Brandon Cutler offers a distraction so here is Frankie Kazarian to take care of him. We take a break and come back with Grayson getting the hot tag and cleaning house. A 450 gives Grayson two and the Fatality is loaded up. Cutler breaks that up and it’s a Gun Stun to Grayson, setting up the Magic Killer to retain at 7:39.
Rating: C-. This didn’t have time to get very far, but at the same time, that is a lot better than having the Good Brothers out there for a long match. I don’t know if there was any drama about the Dark Order actually winning here, but if they ever actually do, the pop is going to be other worldly.
NWA Women’s Champion Kamille is ready for Leylah Hirsch.
Here is QT Marshall and the Nightmare Factory to get the apology from Tony Schiavone. Therefore, they grab Tony’s son from the crowd and beat him up, despite Tony apologizing (and calling Marshall a son of a b****). Cue Paul Wight to wreck everyone.
Here’s what’s coming next week, including Sting/Darby Allin vs. 2.0 in a Texas Tornado match.
Chris Jericho vs. Wardlow
This is the fourth Labor of Jericho and MJF is at ringside. Jericho starts fast and hits a Codebreaker for one, which just seems to annoy Wardlow. They head outside with Jericho being sent into the barricade and post as the dominance is on. Back in and Wardlow hits a pair of powerbombs to send us to a break.
We come back with Wardlow hitting another powerbomb but Jericho chops away. That just earns him the F10 but MJF says keep going instead of covering. Jericho grabs the legs and puts on the Walls but MJF rakes the eyes for the break. MJF tries to slip Wardlow the Dynamite Diamond but gets caught, meaning it’s an elimination. Jericho uses the distraction to get in a shot with Floyd, setting up the Judas Effect for the pin at 10:07.
Rating: C. First off: am I crazy or was MJF announced as guest referee coming into this? Anyway, the match was mostly a squash until the wacky finish and that’s how you get Wardlow to look like a monster. Jericho had to hit him in the face with a baseball bat to win so it isn’t like he beat him clean. This was little more than a means to an end though and there was little drama as a result. In this case, that’s how the match should go.
Post match Shawn Spears runs in to jump Jericho, which draws in Sammy Guevara for the save. Wardlow and MJF run back in to beat on Jericho, including the Salt of the Earth on the bad arm, but Jake Hager makes the real save. MJF grabs the mic and says the match is on for next week, but there will be no Judas Effect or Judas music. That’s a pretty lame way to go, especially since Jericho used his other two (and more famous) finishers in the match, with commentary bragging about how awesome the Codebreaker has been over the years.
Overall Rating: B. I’m not sure where to start here as this was a PACKED show with all kinds of things going on throughout the night. The first thing I would say is that I was entertained though, as they threw in so much stuff that it was never once boring. This was the kind of energized show that WWE has not had in years and only NXT has had in a long time. That part was very fun and is the kind of thing that AEW has focused on over its existence.
That being said, there are still quite a few issues here, with the biggest being the amount of people running around. There were multiple matches here with WAY too many people involved and it dragged things down almost every time. AEW’s roster is far, far too big for one show and having everyone running around all the time keeps things from leaving as much of an impact as they should. In the same vein, it felt like nothing had a chance to breathe because they were building up Rampage, Dynamite and All Out at the same time, while also focusing on titles from three different promotions (with AAA there as well).
Overall, I liked the show a lot but there were times where I was getting frustrated by how many things were going on. That has been an issue with AEW for a long time, as they try to pack in way too much stuff. I’m half hopeful that Rampage will help, but at the same time I’m worried that they will keep Dynamite the same and add even more in on Rampage. Maybe not, but they need to find a way to pace things a bit better. Still though, heck of a fun show.
Elite b. Mike Sydal/Matt Sydal/Dante Martin – One Winged Angel to Martin
Darby Allin b. Daniel Garcia – Coffin Drop
Matt Hardy/Private Party b. Wheeler Yuta/Orange Cassidy/Chuck Taylor – Twist of Fate to Yuta
Kris Statlander b. Nyla Rose – Area 451
Good Brothers b. Dark Order – Magic Killer to Grayson
Chris Jericho b. Wardlow – Judas Effect
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