Date: April 15, 2022
Location: Curtis Culwell Center, Garland, Texas
Commentators: Excalibur, Ricky Starks, Taz
It’s a big show this week as AEW has suddenly started turning this show into something that matters. That means a World Title match this week, as Hangman Page defends the World Title against Adam Cole in a Texas Death Match. That could mean a possible title change and that means a nice feeling. Let’s get to it.
Blackpool Combat Club vs. Gunn Club
William Regal joins commentary as Austin punches Yuta in the face to start. Yuta ties the legs up and hammers away before putting on a leglock. It’s off to Danielson to tie up the legs and rip at Colton’s face, setting up a surfboard. Billy comes in and elbows Danielson in the face to cut him off as we take a break.
Back with Danielson hitting his way to freedom so Moxley can come in to clean house. Everything breaks down and Yuta hits a high crossbody. Danielson adds the running knee to Colton but Billy’s double clothesline breaks up the double dives. A powerslam gives Billy two but Yuta is right back with his bridging rollup for the pin at 9:04.
Rating: B-. I’m trying to get into Yuta and it’s just not clicking yet. In a similar way to Daniel Garcia, it’s kind of hard to get behind the idea of these wrestling machines. The match with Moxley was a great story, but now he’s just the third guy out there with Danielson and Moxley. This was a good showcase for the Blackpool guys though and I want to see where they’re going next. Yuta can keep being a project, but he isn’t quite there yet and I don’t know if he’s going to get there without some changes.
Butcher vs. ???
The guy, whose name couldn’t be heard over the crowd, hits a missile dropkick at the bell but Butcher doesn’t go down. A running clothesline in the corner sets up a powerbomb for the pin at 53 seconds. Shawn Spears, on commentary, approves as he should, because this was a good way to build Butcher up for Wardlow next week.
Dustin Rhodes talks about how he has been on this final run for a long time now and it is time to get one of his bucket list matches. He wants CM Punk next week on Dynamite.
Owen Hart Foundation Qualifying Match: Ruby Soho vs. Robyn Renegade
Soho hammers away to start but gets sent into the corner for the handstand in the corner. That lets Renegade get in a superkick to take over and the camel clutch goes on. We take a break and come back with Soho hitting a suplex and starting to get fired up. Soho sends her into the corner but gets hit in the eyes, allowing Robyn’s twin sister Charlotte to switch places with her.
Excalibur says this is a Killer Bees switch, which isn’t exactly the same thing as the Bees used masks. Instead it’s more like the Bellas, but Excalibur likes to try and sound smarter than he actually is. Soho’s top rope backsplash hits knees and she hits No Future to send Charlotte to the floor, where the twins switch places again. A swinging Downward Spiral finishes Robyn at 8:23.
Rating: C-. The switch was a bit of an obstacle for Soho but I don’t think there was any doubt about the winners here. Soho is someone who still feels like a star and could make a run in the tournament. That isn’t going to be the case for either of the Renegade twins, making this little more than a warmup match for Soho.
Here’s what’s coming on various upcoming shows.
Hangman Page calls Adam Cole a thorn in his side and promises to end things tonight. Cole says tonight is going to be the worst night of Page’s career and it’s time for the main event.
AEW World Title: Hangman Page vs. Adam Cole
Page is defending in a Texas Death Match (Last Man Standing). Before he even gets in the ring, Page starts throwing in chairs before knocking Cole down and going after his leg. They head outside with Cole being knocked around the ring and sent into the required table. The beating goes into the crowd with Page knocking him around the arena, though he does stop for a beer. Cole gets knocked back into the ring, where Page takes a chair to the top.
After head faking Cole to avoid the superkick out of the air, Page moonsaults down onto him with the chair for a five count. Page knocks him to the floor where Cole is busted open as we take a break. Back with Cole using a chain, which is tied to the top rope, for a clothesline to take over. Some chairs are set up but Page hits a Death Valley Driver/AA onto the tops of said chairs for the big knockdown.
The Deadeye on the pile of chairs sends Page outside, with Cole going up top. The huge moonsault is superkicked out of the air for a seven count, setting up the Panama Sunrise onto the chairs for eight. Page fights back up and they sit down in the chairs for the slugout with Cole getting the better of it. Cole picks now to yell about how Page will never be Kenny Omega, earning himself the Buckshot Lariat.
Page uses a belt to tie Cole to the top rope before pulling out a barbed wire chair. Page can’t use it though and Cole gets out for a low blow. That isn’t enough for the win so Page wraps some barbed wire around his arm. Cole goes up, only to get knocked back down, with Page wrapping the barbed wire around Cole’s head. The Deadeye off the apron through a table at ringside retains the title at 20:05.
Rating: B. I don’t know what to think about these matches anymore. They have their moments and good spots, but AEW has done these things so often anymore that none of them feel even remotely important. How long will it be before they run another weapons match? Maybe two weeks? Other than that, this feud felt like a solid midcard title feud that became a World Title feud, which didn’t do it any favors. Solid fight, but nothing that is going to have any staying power.
Overall Rating: B-. Another good week on the show, though the best part of this was the time slot. I would absolutely love for Rampage to move to seven permanently, just for the sake of the night wrapping up earlier. Much like the third hour of Raw going until 11, there is something draining about a show going that late. This was a better way to start the Friday night wrestling lineup and they had another nice show, especially with an actually important main event for once.
Blackpool Combat Club b. Gunn Club – Bridging cradle to Billy
Butcher b. ??? – Powerbomb
Ruby Soho b. Robyn Renegade – Swinging Downward Spiral
Hangman Page b. Adam Cole – Deadeye through a table
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