Date: November 2, 2022
Location: Chesapeake Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz
We are less than three weeks away from Full Gear and just over a month away from Ring Of Honor Final Battle so we are going to be in for some pretty important moments over the next few weeks. The big story coming into this week continues to be MJF, who seems to be teasing one heck of a face turn. Let’s get to it.
Darby Allin vs. Jay Lethal
They start fast on the floor with Allin mounting him and hammering away despite his taped up ribs. The bell rings and they get inside, with Allin hitting a running crossbody out to the floor. Cue Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh with the latter deterring Allin from a dive, allowing Lethal to monkey flip Allin ribs first into the steps. Lethal puts him under the barricade and puts on the Figure Four before kicking at the leg on the apron. A German suplex on the apron rocks Allin and we take a break.
Back with Lethal grabbing a reverse fisherman’s suplex and flipping him face first onto the mat (that’s a new one). Hail To The King is countered into a crucifix to give Allin two before he pulls the Lethal Injection into a choke. That’s broken up and Lethal rolls outside, where Allin hits a dive onto Singh, which bounces off. The goons are ejected but here is a guy in a Sting coat to baseball bat Allin. The Lethal Injection gives Lethal the pin at 9:05.
Rating: B-. I wasn’t wild on the fake Sting ending but you are almost guaranteed to get at least one Nitro reference a month on here. Other than that, this was a fast paced back and forth match between two people who know how to work that style. Allin is going to need some backup so Sting should be around soon, but maybe someone younger will be available.
Post match Sting reveals himself as…..Cole Carter. Sting’s music plays so the villains go to the floor to wait for him. Cue….hokey smoke Jeff Jarrett to guitar Allin down. Jarrett talks about how Allin worships Sting and now Sting has become Allin’s greatest weakness. The Jarretts have been in wrestling for over 75 years and wherever he goes, greatness follows. His family’s fingerprints are all over AEW but when he is done, there will be full body bags.
Quick look at the Firm turning on MJF and beating him down.
Jon Moxley is ready to have a normal night but for Lee Moriarty, it is the biggest night of his career. The Blackpool Combat Club likes Moriarty but tonight he is backing Moriarty into a corner to see what kind of a man he is. If you have any unrequited anger, it would be a good time to bring it out because he’s going to need the help.
We see a clip of the Elite winning the inaugural Trios Titles but being erased and replaced with Death Triangle.
Lee Moriarty vs. Jon Moxley
Non-title with Stokely Hathaway and William Regal at ringside and Ethan Page on commentary. Feeling out process to start with Moriarty managing to send him into the corner for some running uppercuts. Moriarty takes him down by the arm and we take a break. Back with Moriarty grabbing a bridging single underhook DDT for two before stomping away.
Moxley fights up and strikes away, setting up the King Kong Lariat, setting up a suplex for two on Moriarty. They slug it out until Moxley grabs an armbar, only to get reversed into a Border City Stretch. That’s broken up as well so Moxley elbows away, setting up a cross armbreaker to make Moriarty tap at 10:09.
Rating: B-. Moriarty is a technical star so it is a little weird to see Moxley out technical him and make him tap. The good thing is that Moxley’s submission/grappling stuff looked passable enough that it wasn’t ridiculous. I could still go for a more serious Moriarty, but the weird colored hair isn’t going to get him very far.
Post match Ethan Page runs down and drops Moxley because he wants the World Title.
We are supposed to have a sitdown interview with Saraya and Britt Baker but there is no Baker. Saraya says Baker doesn’t have the guts to do what she does but there is something special about AEW. She wants to give more to it but won’t say where she is medically, as she’ll save that for next week and one more doctor consultation.
William Regal says MJF has all the potential in the world but it isn’t going to be enough to have him beat a real demon like Jon Moxley.
Here are the Acclaimed and Billy Gunn, with the rap mainly being about it being Billy’s birthday. They’re annoyed that Swerve Strickland hurt Billy’s hands because HE CAN’T SCISSOR and scissoring is taking over the world. Billy has it covered though with the big foam scissoring fingers. Excalibur: “ShopAEW.com.”
Caster asks who has some gifts for Billy before going outside to get some big paper scissors from a kid (who gets scissored) as the official gift in a nice moment. We’re not done yet though as we hear about some of Billy’s accomplishments and Bowens gives him…..a World’s Greatest Dad trophy! Bowens suggests that there were going to be some guests from DX here but they were made that he didn’t go to their reunion so it fell through.
We get a nice moment of the Acclaimed talking about Billy being such a great mentor to them. Therefore, we have one more gift: an official adoption certificate! Billy is ready to sign and complete the deal but the Gunn Club interrupts. They think their invitation must have gotten lost in the mail but they have a gift anyway. Cue W. Morrissey to beat Billy and the Acclaimed down with the Gunns helping. FTR makes the save and has a bit of a staredown with the Acclaimed.
Britt Baker isn’t going to jump because Saraya and Renee Paquette told her to. She and Jamie Hayter just want to wrestle so get them some opponents for Rampage.
Here is Chris Jericho to recap the open challenge for the Ring Of Honor World Title.
Ring Of Honor World Title: Chris Jericho vs. ???
Jericho, with the Jericho Appreciation Society, is defending and the opponent is…..Colt Cabana. In a related story, Chicago was last seen being launched somewhere over Lake Michigan. They go face to face to start until Cabana shoulders him down and hammers away. Cabana rolls him up out of the corner for two but can’t clothesline Jericho outside. Instead he takes Jericho up top for the Chicago Skyline but they both fall out to the floor in a big crash.
We take a break and come back with Cabana striking away, setting up the middle rope falling splash for two. The Flip Flop and Fly is broken up but Cabana reverses the Judas Effect into the Billy Goat’s Curse. The Superman Pin gets two as Jake Hager makes the save, earning the Society an Asai moonsault. Back in and Jericho Codebreakers him to retain at 8:14.
Rating: C+. I’m not even going to try to figure out what kind of a message this was supposed to be to CM Punk but what matters here is that Jericho beats another Ring Of Honor name. The rampage through the company, or at least its former stars, continues and I don’t know how long this is going to last. I also don’t know who cuts him off, but it could be interesting.
Post match Jericho and company go up the ramp to go after Ian Riccaboni. The belt shot is loaded up and it’s the Blackpool Combat Club making the save for the pull apart brawl.
Rey Fenix is ready to win the All-Atlantic Title so Pac tells him to be smart and use the ring bell hammer.
All-Atlantic Title: Rey Fenix vs. Luchasaurus vs. Orange Cassidy
Cassidy is defending and Christian Cage and Alex Abrahantes are here too. Fenix and Cassidy go after Luchasaurus to start and a double dropkick puts them on the floor. That leaves Fenix to miss a kick to the face, earning himself a VERY spinning DDT for two. Luchasaurus is back in to wreck the other two, including a release suplex to Cassidy. A double clothesline leaves Luchasaurus as the only person standing so we take a break.
Back with Cassidy hitting the Stundog Millionaire on Luchasaurus and knocking him outside. Luchasaurus shrugs off a double dive though and chokeslams Fenix through the ringside table. Cassidy gets knocked up the ramp but here is Jungle Boy to chair Luchasaurus down. A big running crossbody drives Luchasaurus off the stage and through a table, leaving the other two to head back to ringside. Pac shows up with an offer of the hammer but Fenix doesn’t was it. Instead they trade rollups until Cassidy Orange Punches Fenix to retain at 9:57.
Rating: B-. This was a big brawl for the most part with Luchasaurus being the monster to slay until we got to the ending. Cassidy getting another pin is a good way to make him feel like a better deal and they are doing it well enough. Fenix can still hang in there with anyone and now we are heading towards more Luchasaurus vs. Jungle Boy.
Post match Pac comes inf or the beatdown, but here is Katsuyori Shibata (well ok) with Rocky Romero and the Best Friends for the save. Shibata points at the title and Cassidy whips out the contract for Rampage (where he gets to pick his challenger, as announced in advance). The match is made and yeah that was a pretty awesome moment.
Swerve Strickland is here with Rick Ross with the latter putting Strickland over. Keith Lee comes in and wants to know what was up with the whole breaking Billy Gunn’s fingers. And who was holding the camera??? Swerve makes a peace offering of an eight man tag next week, which Lee reluctantly accepts. I do like Lee asking the camera question as that’s a detail that is rarely brought up.
TBS Title: Jade Cargill vs. Marina Shafir
Shafir is challenging. They stare each other down but here are Vickie Guerrero and Nyla Rose to do live commentary on the match from the stage. Jade knocks Shafir outside as Nyla starts eating chips. The distraction almost gets Jade kicked out but she comes back in, kicks Shafir in the face, and hits Jaded to retain at 2:17. Total squash.
Post match Kiera Hogan tries to steal the TBS Title back from Nyla Rose but gets dropped.
Video on Samoa Joe vs. Brian Cage, setting up tonight’s ROH TV Title match.
The House of Black, complete with Malakai Black, vignette, with the theme of a funeral and suggesting that something new is coming. Well that takes care of Black’s status.
Video on Jamie Hayter vs. Toni Storm for the Women’s Title at Full Gear. They are old friends and even lived together in England during the pandemic. Now though? Things have changed a bit.
Ring Of Honor TV Title: Samoa Joe vs. Brian Cage
Joe is defending and Prince Nana is here with Cage. Joe’s shoulder doesn’t work to start but the second attempt works a bit better. Some more shots put Cage down until a Nana distraction lets Cage take over in the corner. Cage hits a heck of a suplex and we take a quick break.
Back with Cage posing enough that Joe can strike away, setting up a running boot to the face. The backsplash gets two and Joe needs a bit of a breather. Joe’s scoop powerslam gets two but cage is right back with a 619 and top rope elbow for two. Cage faceplants him, only to get pulled into the Koquina Clutch to retain the title at 11:15.
Rating: C+. They didn’t do anything out of the box here and Joe wasn’t going to lose the title to Cage here no matter what. Joe is going to need a big challenger to take the title from him and Cage hasn’t meant anything in a long time. With Final Battle coming up, we should know some more about his next challenger soon enough, but I’m not sure who it should be.
Post match the Gates of Agony run in for the beatdown on Joe abut Wardlow makes the save. Cue Powerhouse Hobbs to spinebuster Wardlow before he picks up the TNT Title (after having to make sure he got the right one, which tells you a lot about how many titles AEW has) to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. Not a classic show and there was no great match, but it flew by and there were enough moments that made me wonder where stories were going. We had some good action here and nothing was bad, which is enough to make a good use of two hours. The lack of MJF is a smart way to go too, as that is the kind of angle worth waiting on. Good show here, as AEW continues to get back in its groove.
Jay Lethal b. Darby Allin – Lethal Injection
Jon Moxley b. Lee Moriarty – Cross armbreaker
Chris Jericho b. Colt Cabana – Codebreaker
Orange Cassidy b. Rey Fenix and Luchasaurus – Orange Punch to Fenix
Jade Cargill b. Marina Shafir – Jaded
Samoa Joe b. Brian Cage – Koquina Clutch
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: