Date: June 8, 2022
Location: Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, Missouri
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
It’s time for things to get all the more interesting again as this week will include the first half of the process to find a new Interim AEW World Champion. That alone should fill in a good bit of the show, as we get a battle royal and then a Jon Moxley match in the show’s main event. Let’s get to it.
Casino Battle Royal
This is the battle royal with four groups of wrestlers coming in at unspecified intervals before the Joker is the 21st entrant, with the winner facing Jon Moxley later tonight. We’ll start with the first group:
Clubs: Eddie Kingston, Darby Allin, Tony Nese, Daniel Garcia, Lance Archer
It’s a brawl to start with Archer and Allin being left alone early, though no one is eliminated. Archer shrugs off Allin’s skateboard shot and takes him into the corner so the Diamonds can come in:
Diamonds: Ricky Starks, Jake Hager, Rey Fenix, Swerve Strickland, Keith Lee
We settle into more of a battle royal style brawl as commentary bothers to explain why we’re doing this. Lee knocks Nese out and Strickland gives Lee a hug, leaving Lee to have a staredown with Archer. The clock runs out and we see a JOIN THE DARK ORDER graphic but no one comes out. Lee manages to send out Archer and NOW we get the third group:
Hearts: John Silver, Konosuke Takeshita, Max Caster, Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn
Caster does his rap about various Kansas City things, plus Daniel Garcia and breaking CM Punk’s foot. The ring is getting full and we take a break. Back with the Spades coming in:
Spades: Powerhouse Hobbs, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Dante Martin, Wheeler Yuta
Allin hits a Coffin Drop onto ReDRagon, which isn’t an elimination either. The Gunn Club and Caster stop for a three way scissoring session but Caster gets tossed, as does the Club at the hands of Lee. As Lee poses, Strickland dumps him out and Lee is stunned for a nice payoff. That means it’s time for the Joker to complete the field.
Joker: Andrade El Idolo
Silver and Kingston are both knocked out, followed by Takeshita. Fenix kicks Starks an it’s Strickland and Allin picking up the pace. Fish is tossed and Strickland kicks Allin out, only to get tossed by Andrade. We’re down to Andrade, Fenix, Hobbs, O’Reilly and Yuta with Andrade and Fenix striking each other a lot. Hobbs goes to toss Fenix but Yuta tosses Hobbs out instead and we’re down to four.
A mini tag match breaks out until Fenix kicks Andrade in the face again. Fenix tries a rolling something but gets low blowed by Andrade, setting up the elimination. O’Reilly tosses out Andrade and it’s time to strike it out with Yuta on the apron. Yuta knocks O’Reilly back inside and a dragon screw legwhip slows Yuta down. A running big boot sends Yuta out and O’Reilly wins at 24:53.
Rating: C. I really do not care for this group entrance thing and AEW would be better served by dropping the whole thing. It changes the match far too hard at the drop of a hat and fills the ring up too fast, which is rarely a good idea in a battle royal with staggered entrances. O’Reilly winning is a very smart move, but it came at the end of a somewhat boring match.
Jon Moxley has been going big game hunting in New Japan and Kyle O’Reilly is in there with the wrong man tonight. After tonight, Moxley is heading to Forbidden Door, where he will take over the wrestling world. Moxley: “Love you mom.”
CM Punk has undergone successful surgery.
AEW is introducing the All Atlantic Championship to represent the international stars. And yes, there will be a tournament, with a four way final at Forbidden Door. Here are the brackets:
New Japan Wrestler
New Japan Wrestler
For those of you keeping track, after Forbidden Door, and not counting other companies, there will be nine recognized titles. AEW does not need another title right now, and certainly not another singles title.
All Atlantic Title Tournament First Round: Buddy Matthews vs. Pac
Feeling out process to start with neither being able to get very far on the arm. With that not working, we head to an early standoff before they both go out to the floor as we take a break. Back with Matthews kicking away and uppercutting Pac to cut off a comeback attempt. Matthews misses a running kick so Pac superkicks the heck out of him. They kick each other down until Matthews drops him face first off the middle rope. A sunset flip is rolled through into a sitout powerbomb for two, leaving them both down again. Pac is back up with a poisonrana, setting up the Black Arrow for the pin at 10:42.
Rating: B. These guys beat each other up and I don’t think that is any surprise. If there is one thing Pac knows how to do well it is the hard hitting style, while Matthews is able to hang with just about anyone. Pac winning is the right move as he is a bigger star, but Matthews held up his own end. Just don’t have the teams fight any more and we should be fine.
Post match Death Triangle and the House of Black come out for a staredown, as Malakai Black and Penta are meeting in the tournament.
Eddie Kingston rants about the Jericho Appreciation Society and doesn’t want to be counted down. He wants Jake Hager on Rampage for a fight and NOW the producer can tell the truck to go to a break because he is done.
Here is Trent Beretta, who is sad that he is alone on National Best Friends Day. His friends aren’t here, but he wants to face FTR again because Roppongi Vice wasn’t beaten. Cue FTR, who likes the idea of the match, but they don’t like Will Ospreay’s b**** boys. Cue Will Ospreay himself and the distraction lets Aaron Henare and Aussie Open run in for the beatdown.
William Regal warns Kyle O’Reilly about what is coming for him tonight. Regal suggests O’Reilly think about his friends and family, which O’Reilly says is all he ever thinks about.
Hangman Page vs. David Finlay
Adam Cole is on commentary. Page shoves him into the corner to start and hits a running shoulder, followed by a big boot to take Finlay down. Finlay is sent to the apron and knocked outside, setting up a heck of a suicide dive. Back in and Finlay takes out the knee to send us to a break.
We come back with Page hitting a fall away slam and a delayed nip up (thanks to the bad knee). Page knocks him down again and takes off the knee pad, only to have Finlay counter the Deadeye. A backbreaker gives Finlay two but Page is right back with a lariat. The Buckshot lariat finishes for Page at 10:22.
Rating: B-. That’s the kind of win you need to give Page to let him bounce back a bit. He didn’t have a good night at Double Or Nothing but he had to work to get a win here. That is enough to show that he still has it and that is what you need to do in this spot. Finlay continues to grow on me and with some more seasoning, he could be quite the something.
Post match Page says he isn’t likely to be in the World Title scene for the time being, because he wasn’t in the battle royal and isn’t getting a title shot. However, there is another World Title, so he wants Kazuchika Okada. That’s enough to get Adam Cole off commentary to say that not only could Okada lose the title to Jay White, but Cole won the Owen Hart Tournament while Page lost. That’s why Cole should be getting the shot, and that isn’t cowboy s***. That’s a promise, boom.
Thunder Rosa issued an open challenge earlier today and Marina Shafir showed up to accept.
Here is Wardlow for a chat and he welcomes us to Wardlow’s World. He specifically asked to be left out of the battle royal tonight, because he only wants to beat CM Punk. When Punk comes back, Wardlow will be waiting for him. For now though, there is another title he wants, and that is the TNT Title. Cue Scorpio Sky, but Dan Lambert and Ethan Page run out to say don’t do that, citing Sky’s bad leg. Wardlow says he’s good with waiting for Sky to be 110% ready. Mark Sterling pops up on screen to say Wardlow can either pay up or face twenty security guards at once next week.
The Young Bucks want their Tag Team Title shot but the Hardys interrupt to remind them what happened at Double Or Nothing. Then Jurassic Express came in, with Christian Cage saying earn a title shot. That’s why next week: we need to have a triple threat……LADDER MATCH.
Women’s Title: Thunder Rosa vs. Marina Shafir
Rosa is defending and starts by working on the arm. With that not getting her very far, Shafir fights up and chops away, only to get clotheslined down. Some knees to the chest rock Shafir but she manages to suplex Rosa down as we take a break. Back with Wardlow hitting some running boots to the back, only to have Shafir grab a pumphandle suplex. A Death Valley Driver gives Rosa two more so Shafir lifts her up, only to get victory rolled to retain the title at 8:10.
Rating: B-. Another good match here and it’s nice to see Rosa getting in another match after missing last week. She needs some more attention and that could very well come in the next few weeks, though I don’t know what she is supposed to do for Forbidden Door. Shafir still isn’t great, but this was a heck of a lot better than the Jade Cargill match.
Post match Shafir jumps Rosa and ties up her leg but Toni Storm runs out for the save. Storm hands Rosa the title and stares a lot.
The Baddies are ready for Red Velvet vs. Kris Statlander on Rampage.
Here’s what’s coming on upcoming shows.
Jon Moxley vs. Kyle O’Reilly
The winner moves on to the Interim Title match at Forbidden Door and William Regal is on commentary. Feeling out process to start until Moxley takes him to the mat for some arm cranking. You don’t go limb grappling with O’Reilly though who pulls himself out, but Moxley stomps him down again. Some more kicks in the corner don’t do much for O’Reilly so he takes the leg out for a breather. O’Reilly ties the leg up in the ropes and hits a top rope knee as we take a break.
Back with Moxley winning a strike off and grabbing a crossface chickenwing. O’Reilly isn’t about to be out done and bites the rope for the break, only to have the rope kicked for a scary shot. Moxley stomps him down but O’Reilly manages a running kick to the chest for a double knockdown.
Back up and Moxley tries a Gotch style piledriver but gets countered into a triangle choke. That’s switched into a kneebar but Moxley elbows his way to freedom. Now the piledriver can plant O’Reilly for two and they’re both needing a breather. They strike it out and trade no sold suplexes until Moxley grabs a bulldog choke. Moxley lets it go and hits a running knee, setting up the Paradigm Shift for the pin at 14:10.
Rating: B+. Oh like this wasn’t going to be good. They beat the fire out of each other until Moxley was the last man standing. This was a fun fight and even though Moxley was all but guaranteed the win, it was a great effort from O’Reilly, who seems to have found his niche here. Maybe now elevate him a bit though? Just to see how it works out.
Overall Rating: B. The wrestling was good (as usual), but there were things going on here that have me shaking my head a bit. While the All Atlantic tournament isn’t worth getting annoyed over, they really don’t need another title around here. Throw in the battle royal to earn a spot in the glorified semifinals for an Interim World Title (which might as well be the #1 contendership in its own right) and there were a lot of things here that had me sighing more than cheering. Also, no major mention of MJF all show, which is definitely interesting
Kyle O’Reilly won a Casino Battle Royal last eliminating Wheeler Yuta
Pac b. Buddy Matthews – Black Arrow
Hangman Page b. David Finlay – Buckshot lariat
Thunder Rosa b. Marina Shafir – Victory roll
Jon Moxley b. Kyle O’Reilly – Paradigm Shift
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: