Date: June 1, 2022
Location: Kia Forum, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
We’re done with Double Or Nothing and for once that means that we are going to be building towards another show. This time it’s Forbidden Door, which is going to includes a bunch of special matches between AEW and New Japan. Odds are that includes new World Champion CM Punk so let’s get to it.
CM Punk/FTR vs. Gunn Club/Max Caster
Caster’s rap promises to make FTR pay like Amber Heard and that FTR is only here because of Punk’s coattails. Then the Club gets the city wrong twice before Bowens gets to do it right. Harwood takes Austin into the corner to start and hands it off to Wheeler. Austin powers him into another corner so Colton can come in, only to get backdropped. Punk comes in and drops a top rope ax handle onto the arm, much to the fans’ delight.
Caster manages to send him into the corner but Harwood is right back with a powerslam. A double elbow gives Austin two on Harwood though and Billy Gunn adds a right hand for the same. Harwood fights over for the tag but Punk and Wheeler get pulled off the apron in a good heel move.
The double flapjack gets two on Harwood and we take a break. Back with Austin trying a Sharpshooter (giving us a hilarious closeup of Punk’s eyes bugging out) but Harwood fights out and brings in Punk to clean house (after slipping on the springboard clothesline). Wheeler gets dropped over the top onto Caster and Colten, leaving Punk to top a top rope elbow on Austin. Billy’s distraction doesn’t work as Punk powerbombs Austin into him. The GTS into the Big Rig finishes Austin at 11:45.
Rating: B-. I don’t remember Punk and FTR teaming together before but I’m not at all surprised that they work well together. They seem to have a similar philosophy about wrestling and that is going to make for some good matches. At the same time, very nice work from the Gunn Club and Caster, who were put in a pretty high level spot and held their own throughout.
Post match Punk says he doesn’t do drugs but this must be what it feels like. After all of those miles, he still has a lot to learn. He has made mistakes but those are learning moments. Now all you can do is call him the champ. Dax Harwood talks about what all of this means to him, because being Ring Of Honor Tag Team Champion is very important. You don’t come out here and attack his best friend, even if you’re from another company. Punk talks about New Japan Pro Wrestling and wants to know who he has at Forbidden Door. Cue Hiroshi Tanahashi and I think we have a main event.
Here is MJF for a chat. Actually make that Max Friedman, who says there are some executives here and the boss wouldn’t want anything bad to happen. The boss has been wanting to sit down with MJF for a long time now but it’s too little too late. When this company started, it was all friends wrestling but he is out there expected to hit grand slam after grand slam. He has to be perfect though, because he is the 26 year old prodigy.
MJF hears clapping and booing, which he finds interesting because they were the same people calling him unprofessional over the weekend. There are people in the back who want his spot and they can have it because he doesn’t want to be here anymore. The fans are the problem because they are a bunch of internet marks.
MJF isn’t going to pretend to watch New Japan or chase star ratings and drop people on their head. He is that great because he makes you feel but people take him for granted. It isn’t just them, but the big man in the back too. Do you know who the second biggest minute for minute draw is?
It’s him, and you can ask Stat Boy Tony about it. Just don’t ask Tony to reach into his pockets to pay him, because he needs to give all his money to every ex-WWE guy he can find. MJF: “Hey boss? Would you treat me better if I was an ex-WWE guy?” The only position Khan should have is behind the guardrail so MJF wants Khan to fire him. After yelling at a director to not count him down, MJF swears a lot and throws the mic down. So there’s your worked shoot, and only MJF could have pulled it off this well.
Johnny Elite vs. ???
It’s an open challenge as answered by….Miro, who says he is healed and ready to destroy everyone on earth and in Heaven. Miro stomps him down into the corner and the beating is on, including a Saito suplex. We take a break and come back with Miro hitting a release Rock Bottom but Elite manages a kick to the head. The standing shooting star press gives Johnny two but Miro is back up with a jumping kick to the face. Game Over finishes Elite at 6:04. Not enough shown due to the break, but this was just a step above a squash.
Video on Anarchy In The Arena.
Here is the Jericho Appreciation Society for a chat. The team brags about everything they did and Chris Jericho lists off the things that happened to him. This includes Eddie Kingston trying to LIGHT HIM ON FIRE and Bryan Danielson wanted to kick his expletive head in. Cue Eddie Kingston to say he wants to fight all of them, but he has William Regal here to say how the match should go. Regal: “BLOOD AND GUTS!” Not quite the same ring to it.
Kingston comes to the ring but gets beaten down, allowing Ortiz to come in from behind and hit Jericho with the Madball. Ortiz cranks it up even more by CUTTING JERICHO’S HAIR, sending Jericho into a rant. Jericho agrees to Blood and Guts, but first Jericho wants a match with Ortiz, hair vs. hair. Ortiz is in, meaning we now have a hair vs. hair match to set up Blood and Guts, which is a rematch from Anarchy in the Arena, which is the spiritual successor to Stadium Stampede.
In the back, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh jump Samoa Joe and injure his arm. This is different than when Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh jumped Samoa Joe and injured his arm in the ring.
Matt Hardy/Darby Allin/Jurassic Express/Christian Cage vs. Young Bucks/ReDRagon/Hikuleo
Adam Cole is on commentary and Jeff Hardy is here too. Fish gets beaten down to start as everyone gets to take a few shots at him. This includes Matt’s middle rope elbow to the head but Fish kicks Matt away. Everything breaks down and the dives are aplenty, but the Bucks superkick Christian and we take a break.
Back with Luchasaurus getting the hot tag and cleaning house, including the standing moonsault for two. Hikuleo comes in for the exchange of throat grabs with Luchasaurus. A double clothesline puts both of them down and it’s a double tag to O’Reilly and Allin. Everything breaks down again and Allin’s dive is pulled out of the air by Hikuleo, setting up Chasing the Dragon on the floor. Matt cleans house and sends people into the buckle ten times each, leaving Christian to spear Hikuleo off the apron. The Bucks clean house with superkicks and the Meltzer Driver finishes Jungle Boy at 11:50.
Rating: C. Another wild ten man tag here, which is similar enough to something we get on almost any AEW show. The ending would suggest that the Bucks are getting back into the title picture, which might not be a thrilling prospect, but it would be nice to get the titles on one of the biggest teams in AEW. The Express is good, but they’re overshadowed by a lot of other teams around here.
Swerve Strickland introduces some people, who have something to do with music and Black Panther. A fashion icon gives him a jacket and Keith Lee wants titles.
Here is Athena for a chat. She wants to break Jade Cargill’s winning streak so here are Cargill and Stokely Hathaway. The staredown and shouting is on, with the Baddies, Anna Jay and Chris Statlander coming out to join in.
JD Drake vs. Wardlow
Wardlow, now with music, hits some shoulders and a two movement Powerbomb Symphony for the pin at 1:04.
Post match Tony Schiavone comes to the ring to talk to Wardlow….but here is Mark Sterling, who sends a lone security guard to the ring (Wardlow: “This guy doesn’t watch the product.”). It’s a lawsuit over Wardlow attacking various security guards and Sterling will see him in court. Wardlow powerbombs the guard and stuffs the papers in his mouth. At least that’s a bit more original.
The Men of the Year are ready to take out Dante Martin on Rampage. Martin comes in to say he’s better than Scorpio Sky and he’ll prove it on Rampage.
Britt Baker/Jamie Hayter vs. Ruby Soho/Toni Storm
Storm has to be held back from Baker to start so Baker heads outside to kiss her Owen Hart belt. Back in and Baker gets beaten down, allowing the tag off to Soho. That doesn’t go well for Soho, who is taken outside as we take a break. Back with Soho managing a Saito suplex on Baker, allowing the hot tag to Storm.
Everything breaks down but it’s Hayter hitting a hanging DDT to drop Storm on the floor. Soho hits a high crossbody to take Hayter down on the floor but Hayter hits an Irish Curse to drop Soho back inside. No Future connects for Soho but Baker tries to pull her into Lockjaw. That’s broken up but Hayter reverses the reversal, meaning Soho has to fight out of it again. A fisherman’s neckbreaker drops Soho but she is back with a knee to the face. Destination Unknown gives Soho the pin on Baker at 9:37.
Rating: C+. Soho gets a bit of her momentum back by beating Baker but it isn’t going to matter until she does it in a big one on one match. I still like Soho, but she has fallen pretty far since her debut. We could be heading for a showdown between the two of them, even though we just did that three days ago. Storm continues to just kind of be there, and I don’t know where she is supposed to go.
Post match Hayter hits Soho with the belt so Baker can stand tall.
Jon Moxley vs. Daniel Garcia
William Regal and Chris Jericho are on commentary. Moxley knocks him into the corner to start but Garcia is back with some chops. Those just annoy Moxley, who takes him down for some kicks to the back. Moxley was busted open somewhere in there and Garcia sends him outside to block the Paradigm Shift. A whip into the steps lets Garcia crush the ankle against the post and we take a break.
Back with Moxley hitting a toss suplex onto the steps for a SCARY landing, as Garcia landed back first on the edge of the steps. Thankfully he can get back in so Moxley can hit a butterfly superplex. The hammer and anvil elbows are countered into the same thing from Garcia, who hits a heck of a piledriver for two. Garcia’s Sharpshooter is countered into a bulldog choke but they head outside, with Moxley dropping him onto the table. Cue Chris Jericho to run to the ring but Eddie Kingston (who stumbles down there) pulls him down. The bulldog choke finishes Garcia at 11:28.
Rating: B+. Scary landing on the steps aside, this turned into a heck of a match after the break as they turned up the energy by about a thousand. Moxley looked like he was in trouble more than once but was able to hang on and win. Awesome stuff here as there were a few minutes that had me completely hooked.
Post match Moxley says Blood and Guts is on.
Overall Rating: B+. This was a heck of a show as they had things happening throughout. The biggest part is the energy that it had throughout, which isn’t something that has been around as much lately. AEW needed a Dynamite like this one and this certainly delivered with one of their best in awhile. Check out the second half of the main event, plus the MJF promo that is going to have people talking for a bit.
CM Punk/FTR b. Max Caster/Gunn Club – Big Rig to Austin
Miro b. Johnny Elite – Game Over
Young Bucks/ReDRagon/Hikuleo b. Matt Hardy/Jurassic Express/Darby Allin/Christian Cage – Meltzer Driver to Jungle Boy
Wardlow b. JD Drake – Powerbomb Symphony
Ruby Soho/Toni Storm b. Britt Baker/Jamie Hayter – Destination Unknown to Baker
Jon Moxley b. Daniel Garcia – Bulldog choke
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