Date: November 11, 2022
Location: Agganis Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Well there’s no Mike Tyson this week so we’re already on a downgrade. The Full Gear Tournament continues this week and that means we’ll be getting to see what they have planned for the next round. Other than that, Jungle Boy is here for a challenge to Luchasaurus, which he announced on Dynamite instead of just making the challenge there for whatever reason. Let’s get to it.
Here are Christian Cage and Luchasaurus to answer Jungle Boy’s challenge, which he wants to give in person. Cue Jungle Boy, who Christian thinks must be from Boston because he’s such a loser. Christian talks about how the two of them have beaten Jungle Boy multiple times and Jungle Boy says they have cost him everything. He is tired of the interference so at Full Gear, he’ll fight Luchasaurus inside a steel cage.
Christian says but Jungle Boy better be glad that he has his father’s good looks. That’s enough for Jungle Boy to go for the throat, so Luchasaurus beats him down and hits a chokeslam onto an open chair. The match seems to be on. Kind of a weird way to start the show but I’ll take it over rushing right to a bell for a match.
Pac pitches the idea of cheating to the Lucha Bros because they need to keep the Trios Titles by any means necessary. The Bros leave but don’t seem sold on the philosophy.
Full Gear Contenders Tournament First Round: Brian Cage vs. Dante Martin
Cage has Prince Nana with him. Martin slugs away in the corner to start which goes as well as you might have guessed. Some jumping enziguris stagger Cage but he is fine enough to pull a diving Martin out of the air. The curls don’t quite work for Cage so Martin kicks at the leg. A dropkick sends Cage outside, where he catches Martin’s dive and hits a suplex as we take a break.
Back with Cage hitting a tilt-a-whirl slam for two but the F10 is countered into a DDT to put them both down. Martin’s springboard high crossbody drops Cage again and a missed charge sends Cage to the floor. The really big springboard dive hits Cage again, setting up a frog splash for two. A 450 misses though and Cage plants him with a swinging full nelson slam for two of his own. Weapon X is enough to finish Martin at 7:18.
Rating: C+. The match had enough big spots, but you can almost feel Cage trying to get in the moves off his checklist most of the time he’s in the ring. Martin losing is becoming a repetitive theme and while it would be nice to see him get a win over someone like Cage, there was no way he was going anywhere of note in the tournament. It was a fun match though and that’s all you can ask for in a lot of situations.
Stokely Hathaway and Lee Moriarty are interrupted by Hook, seemingly setting up an FTW Title match.
Video on the House Of Black, who seem ready for a rebirth/return.
Full Gear Contenders Tournament First Round: Bandido vs. Rush
Jose the Assistant is here with Rush, who takes Bandido down with a running flip dive before the bell. Rush sends him into the barricade again and grabs a cable cord before throwing Bandido inside for the opening bell. A running corner clothesline sets up the kick to the face, allowing Rush to backflip into the Tranquilo pose. We take a break and come back with Bandido hitting a Low Down for two (and yes, the Eddie Dance). Three Amigos are broken up so Rush goes up for…kind of a flying pump kick, which seemed to have been improvised off something gone wrong (still worked so well done on the save).
Bandido fights up and starts the comeback, only to charge into a leg lariat for the double knockdown. Rush is up first with a piledriver for two so let’s go with a chair. The distraction lets Jose go for the mask but cue John Silver (having issues with Rush as of late) for the save. That’s enough for Bandido to grab a rollup for the pin at 9:45.
Rating: B-. Another good match here, though the ending was a little lame by AEW standards. Bandido going forward is the right call as he has the potential to be quite the star and Rush is already dealing with the Dark Order. They work well together and it was a match that could have gone either way, which had me interested to the end. Solid stuff.
Earlier today, Jake Hager interrupted Claudio Castagnoli and tried to bury the hatchet but Castagnoli didn’t seem interested in jumping to the other side.
Nyla Rose vs. Kayla Sparks
Rose has Vickie Guerrero and Marina Shafir with her and is defending the TBS Title, which isn’t hers. A pump kick and elbow in the corner sets up Jaded to finish Sparks (complete with Jade Cargill’s signature pin) at 38 seconds.
Post match cue Jade Cargill and the Baddies to clear out Rose with the real pump kick. Rose and company still escape with the title.
The Factory is ready for Lee Johnson to win the All-Atlantic Title. Orange Cassidy and his friends don’t seem to think so. Cassidy whips out his own microphone to steal Mark Henry’s catchphrase in a funny bit but Henry cuts him off.
Here’s what’s coming on upcoming show.
All-Atlantic Title: Orange Cassidy vs. Lee Johnson
Cassidy is defending. They run the ropes to start until Cassidy shoulders him down for an early one. An armdrag drops Johnson, who misses an armdrag of his own, allowing Cassidy to hit the lazy kicks. A regular dropkick takes Kole Carter off the apron and Cassidy sends him into a variety of buckles. The Best Friends cut off QT Marshall but Nick Comoroto throws Cassidy into the crowd.
We take a break and come back with Cassidy backdropping Johnson onto Comoroto on the floor. Cassidy busts out a springboard corkscrew dive but gets caught with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two back inside. Johnson throws Cassidy outside where Comoroto tries to interfere, only to get speared down by Trent. Chuck adds a big running flip dive, leaving Cassidy to miss the Orange Punch back inside. Some superkicks rock Cassidy but he’s right back with the Beach Break to retain at 7:53.
Rating: C+. It’s still nice to see AEW having figured out the exact right way to use Cassidy. This was a fun main event with low stakes for pretty much everyone involved, but Johnson and Cassidy were fighting over something and that made it feel valuable. They were working and got some other people involved to make it feel important. It’s a hard trick to pull off but it worked here.
Post match Carter goes after Cassidy and gets Orange Punched. The Big Hug….doesn’t end the show as Carter gets hugged as well. Then he gets triple bombed to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. The tournament matches helped a good bit here as they felt more important than most of the things that you see on Rampage. The show still feels firmly secondary, but it’s still a very easy hour to watch with the AEW stars. Dynamite is the serious show and this is the fun one, and if you don’t expect it to be the third hour of Dynamite, it’s fun to check out almost every week.
Brian Cage b. Dante Martin – Weapon X
Bandido b. Rush – Rollup
Nyla Rose b. Kayla Sparks – Jaded
Orange Cassidy b. Lee Johnson – Beach Break
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