Date: August 5, 2022
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
We’re a day away from Battle Of The Belts and that is probably not going to mean very much. Other than that, we have a street fight this week between Keith Lee/Swerve Strickland and Josh Woods/Tony Nese, after Woods attacked Lee last week. In addition, Madison Rayne will be making her AEW debut which could be interesting. Let’s get to it.
Jon Moxley vs. Mance Warner
Non-title and William Regal is on commentary. Before the match, we get a video from Warner, who is quite the Tennessee style talker. He promises to fight Moxley (rather than dance with him) because he has heard Moxley talk about how much he loves to bleed. Now Ole Mancer is here to become the man. It’s a brawl in the aisle to start with Warner sending him into the steps before biting Moxley’s head.
They get inside for the bell and are back on the floor literally two seconds later. Moxley gets sent into the barricade and there’s a crotching on the barricade to make it worse. A clothesline knocks Moxley down again and they head inside but he tied Warner’s leg in the ropes. There’s a running dropkick to the ropes to set up a Figure Four but Warner is out without much trouble.
Back up and they trade right hands in the corner before going outside again. Moxley gets whipped hard into the steps but he’s back up with a suplex. They head inside but are right back outside (again) to fight on the steps. Warner hits a DDT onto said steps and we take a break. Back with Warner stomping on the ankle and hitting a not great spinebuster for two. A boot to Moxley’s bloody face gets two and Warner grabs a chair, which is forearmed into Warner’s head.
Now Warner is busted open as well, which offers a good target for Moxley’s suicide dive into the barricade. Back in and a superplex sets up the hammer and elbow elbows, though Moxley’s arm is hurt from forearming the chair. Warner hits him with a clothesline and they’re both down. The cover from Warner is countered into a Kimura before Moxley stomps away at the head. A piledriver sets up more stomping and Moxley chokes him out at 11:37.
Rating: C+. Yes it’s another Moxley brawl with blood and again it doesn’t get to stand out after how many times we have seen it. Warner is a good talker but his stuff between the bells doesn’t exactly stand out. It’s a bunch of whipping people into things and hitting them with weapons, which gets repetitive fast. Having both of them in the same match didn’t exactly hit a high level, though it was a decent brawl.
At Dynamite, Ricky Starks was interrupted by the Factory. QT Marshall offers Starks protection from the team (which now includes Kole Carter) but he isn’t interested in help, either from Marshall or Aaron Solo.
Ryan Nemeth vs. Konosuke Takeshita
Takeshita avoids a charge to start and hits a running boot in the corner as the fans seem rather invested here. Peter Avalon, in Nemeth’s corner, grabs Takeshita’s leg though and Nemeth starts kneeing away. Takeshita is right back up with a Blue Thunder Bomb and the running knee finishes Nemeth at 1:40. Well that’s how you build someone up for tomorrow’s title match.
Post match Avalon goes after Takeshita and gets kneed down for his efforts.
At Dynamite, Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends aren’t thrilled with how they’re doing as of late but think they do their best as a trio. They’re in for the Trios Title tournament, but Dr. Danhausen comes in to make it four. Because he’s a doctor too.
Madison Rayne vs. Leila Grey
Stokely Hathaway is here with Grey. They lock up to start with Grey driving her into the corner for a forearm to the chest. The frustration sets in for Rayne and they go to a series of standing switches. Some rollups gives Rayne some near falls and we hit the armbar to keep Grey in trouble.
Back up and Grey misses a charge into the corner but Hathaway jumps up and down on the steps for a rather obvious distraction. Grey knocks her off the apron and we take a break. Back with Rayne striking away and getting two off a northern lights suplex. Rayne hits a sliding lariat into Cross Raynes (yes Cross Raynes) to finish Grey at 8:29.
Rating: C. Rayne is an interesting veteran to bring in as the fans are going to know who she is and she can wrestle a good enough match. There are multiple women above her though and she is only going to draw so much interest. This was about what I expected and now Rayne can move on to do whatever else, though she might be better suited as a coach than a regular competitor.
Post match Jade Cargill comes out and issues the challenge to Rayne for next week’s Dynamite. Rayne is in and even takes out the invading Kiera Hogan.
Video on the Lucha Bros vs. La Faccion Ingobernable in a tornado tag.
Mark Sterling doesn’t think much of Keith Lee/Swerve Strickland, who are ready to face Tony Nese/Josh Woods in a street fight.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Keith Lee/Swerve Strickland vs. Tony Nese/Josh Woods
Non-title falls count anywhere and Mark Sterling is here with Nese and Woods. It’s a brawl on the floor to start with Woods driving Strickland into the barricade. They trade off with a drop toehold sending Nese into the barricade, leaving Woods to get forearmed in the face. Nese is back up with some protein powder in Lee’s face but that’s about it for offense, as Strickland grabs a toolbox and launches it, only to hit the steps.
As Lee gets some water for his eyes, Woods forearms Swerve in the face and grabs a twisting suplex to send him into the steps. We take a break and come back with Lee saving Strickland from being powerbombed off the apron and through a table. Lee can’t stop Nese from kicking Strickland in the face but he can break up a cover at two. Everyone gets back in with Lee cleaning house but Nese dropkicks a chair into his face. A double DDT onto a chair gets two as Strickland 450s in for the save.
Now we get a table set up, but Sterling comes in with a wrench (from the toolbox) to knock Strickland silly. Lee is back up with a headbutt to Nese and throws Sterling off the top and through the table. Woods still can’t suplex Lee off the apron and through more tables but Nese adds a suplex and the superplex does indeed drive Lee down hard. Nese brings in a bunch of chairs but gets backdropped onto them instead. The Swerve Stomp onto the chairs is enough to give Strickland the pin at 13:56.
Rating: B-. I’m not sure what to think about something like this, as it’s another weapons based brawl which we seem to have almost every week or so. Lee and Strickland are a rather good team and they did well here, but I could go a little while without seeing Nese, who never seems to win anything. There are so many good teams around here but Lee and Strickland are facing a makeshift team with Mark Sterling. I’m not sure I get that one.
Overall Rating: C+. Pretty good show here, but the amount of time spent on hardcore or weapons stuff around here gets annoying at times. Rayne vs. Grey was the only match here to get some time and not have a bunch of weapons stuff involved. There are talented wrestlers around here and they don’t need the stuff going on to make their matches interesting. The show was good enough, but it felt like they were tacking on a bunch of extra stuff that didn’t need to be there, which tends to be a recurring theme for AEW.
Jon Moxley b. Mance Warner – Bulldog choke
Konosuke Takeshita b. Ryan Nemeth – Running knee
Madison Rayne b. Leila Grey – Cross Raynes
Keith Lee/Swerve Strickland b. Tony Nese/Josh Woods – Swerve Stomp onto chairs to Nese
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