Date: July 8, 2022
Location: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, New York
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Jim Ross
We’re in for a pretty stacked show this week with Konosuke Takeshita vs. Eddie Kingston and some Ring Of Honor stars, including World Champion Jonathan Gresham, getting their TV time. Throw in Orange Cassidy vs. Tony Nese for Swerve Strickland’s AEW contract, because reasons, and let’s get to it.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Eddie Kingston
They shove each other around to start and then head to the mat, with neither being able to go anywhere. Excalibur lets us know that we just saw a replay of Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, because AEW really likes tributes. Kingston takes him down and cranks on both arms, with Takeshita reversing into a double crank of his own.
That reversal is reversed into another reversal before the rope gets Takeshita out of trouble. The head into the corner with Kingston firing off the machine gun chops (minus some of the machine gun speed). Takeshita hits some better forearms but gets headbutted down hard. More slugging out keeps Takeshita in trouble until a heck of a Blue Thunder Bomb gives him two.
We take a break and come back with the slugout on the apron, as Takeshita hits a German suplex to drop Kingston hard. Kingston is fine enough to hit a t-bone suplex on the floor and they both have to beat the count back in. One heck of a clothesline gives Kingston one and a Liger Bomb gives him two.
Back up and Takeshita hits him in the face and grabs a brainbuster for two of his own. They slug it out from their knees and then their feet, where Kingston has to avoid the jumping knee. Kingston nails the spinning backfist, gets hit with the jumping knee, and then hits another spinning backfist for the pin on Takeshita at 12:03.
Rating: B. This was the kind of hard hitting and fun match that you would have expected. What mattered here was about seeing them slug it out and see who was going to be the last man standing. The opening was a copy of a Japanese sequence and the ending certainly felt like another one, so this was quite the fight from beginning to end.
Athena and Kris Statlander want the TNT Title.
Video on Hook.
Gates of Agony vs. Lee Moriarty/Jonathan Gresham
Caprice Coleman is on commentary and Tully Blanchard is here with the Gates (Toa/Kaun). Moriarty gets kneed in the ribs to start and the beating is on, setting up a heck of a chop from Kaun. The choking is on in the corner with Toa taking Moriarty down, setting up Kaun’s slingshot hilo. Toa hits a Samoan drop for two and we take a break. Back with Moriarty fighting out of trouble but Gresham won’t accept the tag and walks away, because we have a heel turn. Gresham hugs Blanchard in the aisle as Moriarty gets caught in a fireman’s carry gutbuster for the pin at 7:28.
Rating: C. This was about the turn and nothing more, though it should also set up Moriarty as the next challenge for the Ring Of Honor World Title, possibly at Death Before Dishonor. That should be a great technical off, though I could have gone for more of Gresham as a hero. If nothing else though, this should give us a heck of a star making performance once someone takes Gresham’s title.
Eddie Kingston is happy with his match with Konosuke Takeshita and loves young competitors like that. That sends him to Chris Jericho, who made Kingston a liar by not bleeding. Now he wants a barbed wire match with Jericho for what Jericho did to Ruby Soho.
Kayla Sparks/Christina Marie vs. Serena Deeb/Mercedes Martinez
Deeb runs them over to start and takes Marie into the corner for the running clothesline. The throat first catapult into the bottom rope has Marie down again but Deeb stops to yell at Martinez. That’s enough for a tag from Martinez, who hits Marie with a sliding knee. Marie is dropped ribs first across the top rope and it’s back to Deeb for the Serenity Lock and the win at 2:24. To the point here with pure dominance.
Post match Deeb takes Martinez down and puts her in the Serenity Lock.
Jonathan Gresham is tired of being on the sidelines but Tully Blanchard got him back in. Blanchard is looking forward to next week’s title match.
Danhausen, still Orange Cassidy’s lawyer, objects to Mark Sterling trying to get Cassidy to sign the petition to get rid of Swerve Strickland. Cassidy: “Yeah I don’t care.”
Lee Moriarty, with Matt Sydal, is ready to win the Ring Of Honor World Title next week.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Orange Cassidy vs. Tony Nese
For Swerve Strickland’s future, despite Strickland having nothing to do with this match. Cassidy loads up the hands in the pockets but rolls away from a charging Nese. A shoulder takes Nese down and Cassidy puts his hands in his pockets, allowing him to avoid back to back Nese legdrops. There’s a dropkick to send Nese outside, with Cassidy nipping up without taking his hands out of his pockets.
Back in and Cassidy snapmares him down, setting up a thumbs up before the crucifix gets two. Nese is right back with a fireman’s carry gutbuster for two (showing that his knees are not as good as Kaun’s from the tag match) to send Cassidy outside, where Sterling gets in some cheap shots.
We take a break and come back with Cassidy fighting out of a bodyscissors but getting elbowed in the face. Cassidy can’t hit his tornado DDT so Nese northern lights suplexes him for two instead. Nese puts him up top but gets knocked down, meaning Sterling needs to offer a distraction. That draw Danhausen up for a save but Nese baseball slides him into the barricade. Cassidy grabs the Stundog Millionaire and a Michinoku Driver for a close two. Now the tornado DDT can plant Nese and Cassidy does it again for a bonus.
The top rope DDT gets two so Sterling gets on the apron. The lazy kicks have Sterling screaming, followed by Nese getting up for a pumphandle driver and his own near fall. Nese’s running Nese hits buckle so Sterling gets in with the clipboard but Danhausen is back in to steal it and hit Sterling low. Nese gets cursed and the Orange Punch gives Cassidy the pin at 15:00.
Rating: B-. The match was certainly fun and this is the kind of story where Cassidy and Danhausen work very well. It wasn’t a serious story, with Swerve Strickland not even being involved in a funny bit, which is where these two schnooks belong. I chuckled enough times in here to make it work and while it might have been a bit longer than it needed to be, this was a rather entertaining main event.
Posing ensues to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. The main event and opener are more than good enough to make the show work, even if the stuff in the middle was just ok. What mattered here was having a mixture of a hard hitting opener, storyline advancing matches in the middle and a fun main event. I liked the show rather well and the variety made it work well. Good show this week.
Eddie Kingston b. Konosuke Takeshita – Spinning backfist
Gates Of Agony b. Lee Moriarty/Jonathan Gresham – Fireman’s carry gutbuster to Moriarty
Serena Deeb/Mercedes Martinez b. Kayla Sparks/Christina Marie – Serenity Lock to Marie
Orange Cassidy b. Tony Nese – Orange Punch
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