Date: February 15, 2023
Location: Sames Auto Arena, Laredo, Texas
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz
We are less than a month away from Revolution and as of last week, we officially have a main event. Bryan Danielson earned his title shot against MJF, which will come in the form of a sixty minute iron man match. With that out of the way, the rest of the card needs to be built up so let’s get to it.
In Memory of Jerry Jarrett.
Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal/Sonjay Dutt/Satnam Singh vs. Orange Cassidy/Billy Gunn/Acclaimed
Bowens runs Lethal over to start and it’s off to Caster for two off a powerslam. Jarrett comes in and drops Caster before handing it off to Singh. Gunn, who almost a foot shorter than Singh, wants to come in but it’s Cassidy coming in instead. Actually it’s Dutt getting Cassidy instead……or actually make that Billy vs. Jeff.
Cue the Gunns to mock the scissoring before telling various people to suck it. Lethal gets in a knee to the back to take Billy down and Lethal grabs a front facelock. Jarrett comes back in as commentary questions Gunn’s parenting skills. Everything breaks down and Singh cleans house until he gets dropped with a Fameasser. Caster loads up Scissor Me Timbers to Dutt and, after various switches and saves (including Cassidy giving Dutt the lazy kicks), Bowens drops the leg for the pin at 9:00.
Rating: C. This was a bit slow for an opener but the Acclaimed get some momentum back. In addition to that, you have Cassidy there to pop the crowd so they had the right pieces in place. Jarrett wrestling the match is no surprise as he is an old pro at heart, but dang it must have been a hard one out there for him.
We look back at MJF attacking a bloodied Bryan Danielson last week.
Danielson is ready for MJF at Revolution.
Rush/Preston Vance vs. Claudio Castagnoli/Jon Moxley
Tornado tag and the fight starts in the crowd before the bell. We take a break and come back with Moxley and Vance getting inside for the opening bell as Rush and Castagnoli are brawling on the floor. Rush gets inside for a basement dropkick on Moxley but Castagnoli comes in to even things up.
Rush is sent outside and Vance is whipped into the buckle to put him down. A double big boot (came close to landing too) send Rush back to the floor and Moxley hits a dive. Everyone heads outside with Rush cracking a chair against a chair against Castagnoli as we take a break.
Back with Moxley getting beaten up with a chain. Castagnoli takes it away and unloads on Rush in the corner before Swinging the bloody Vance. Jose the Assistant comes in for a cheap shot on Moxley so Wheeler Yuta comes out to take care of him. Castagnoli and Rush brawl, leaving Moxley to elbow Vance in the face over and over. The cross armbreaker makes Vance tap at 14:49.
Rating: C. This match felt like violence for the sake of violence and that is not a good thing to see. Moxley bleeding is a running joke now and it lost its impact a long time ago. At the same time, why is it taking two World Champions to beat Rush and Preston Vance? It went too long and wasn’t interesting in the first place, making this a bad combination.
Kip Sabian/Butcher and the Blade jump Hangman Page, who had been watching the match in the back.
Jim Ross had a sitdown interview with Wardlow, who talks about his dad helping raise him, then leaving, but then coming back. Then he left again and the next time Wardlow saw him was when he was in hospice care. The last thing he told his dad was he was going to be a better man and that’s when he grew his hair out. Samoa Joe knew this and cut it off anyway, so now Wardlow must end him. That certainly got intense in a hurry but it gives Wardlow a more personal reason to come after Joe so well done.
Mark Briscoe vs. Josh Woods
Mark Sterling, Tony Nese and Ari Daivari are here too. It’s a brawl to start before Nese and Daivari get involved, only to have the returning Lucha Bros come in for the save. Mark looks confused and gets suplexed from the apron to the floor by Woods as we take a break. Back with Mark sending him outside and using a chair to dive onto Woods. Back in and Woods goes with more grappling to take over, leaving Briscoe having to escape a waistlock. An exchange of kicks to the head, setting up a Death Valley Driver to Woods. The Froggy Bow gives Mark the pin at 8:42.
Rating: C+. Getting Briscoe on the show is a good thing as he is going to need to get used to being a singles wrestler. Giving him wins is the right way to go as well and even if Woods isn’t the biggest star, he is a former champion in Ring Of Honor so there is some value there. Best match of the night too, possibly because it was (mostly) clean throughout.
We get a sitdown interview with Adam Cole, who talks about how his body is healing after the horrible concussions, including being able to look around without being in pain anymore. He’s been looking around at the roster and knows he has to be better than ever and he’ll be ready. Cole as a full on face is a direction that should have been explored before so this should work well.
Here is MJF for a chat. After insulting the Spanish speaking fans, MJF talks about how he is the Devil and until recently, these people were Devil worshippers. We’ll move on to Bryan Danielson, who is called the best in the world, but what matters is the title. MJF will win at Revolution because he is the best in the world and he’s better than Danielson. In case you want proof, MJF brings out one of Danielson’s mentors: Christopher Daniels.
Now Daniels makes one thing clear: MJF paid Daniels a bunch of money to come out here and badmouth Danielson. This time though, he’s going to talk about how great Danielson is, including when Danielson chopped him so hard he thought he would die. Danielson won the King of the Indies tournament, which led to the creation of Ring Of Honor.
Danielson is going to beat MJF, who doesn’t seem happy with any of this. Daniels goes to leave but MJF spins him around, earning a slap to the face. MJF kicks him low and grabs the Salt of the Earth until Danielson makes the save. This Danielson vs. MJF build has been meh at best and this really didn’t help things.
The Gunns brag about winning the Tag Team Titles without having to work on the indies for $10 and a handshake.
Brian Cage vs. Jungle Boy
They go to the floor to start with Cage dropping him on the apron. We take a break (less than a minute in, because that’s something AEW needs to copy from WWE) and come back with Jungle Boy fighting out of trouble. An F5 gives Cage two but Jungle Boy takes him down again. A splash gives Jungle Boy two and a Death Valley Driver gets the same. Cage gets fired up so Jungle Boy superkicks him into a crucifix bomb. The running elbow to the back of the head sets up a rollup to give Jungle Boy the pin at 7:22.
Rating: C. When did Brian Cage become the AEW MVP who had to be out there every week? Jungle Boy getting a win is a good thing as it keeps him strong, which he’ll need until he gets a real feud. The match was nothing great and a lot of it was during the break, but at least the right person won.
Post match Christian Cage returns, with his arm still in a sling, to mace Jungle Boy. The sling comes off to reveal that Christian is fine, setting up the Killswitch on the stage. So now we can finish that off…..several months after it was dropped due to the injury.
Renee Paquette announces that the Gunns will defend their Tag Team Titles at Revolution in a triple threat match. Those opponents will be determined by TWO tag team battle royals, one traditional and one casino, with the winners getting the title shots. The Acclaimed come in to say they’re invoking their rematch clause, so we’ll make it a four way. Sure, why not. It’s not like we haven’t seen battle royals done to death around here.
The Elite, with basketballs, are in the back when Top Flight/AR Fox, also with basketballs, come in for the challenge for Friday’s Rampage: Slam Dunk. It’s on, with Brandon Cutler taking a basketball low blow. During the exchange, the video blipped with a shot of the House Of Black appearing. Is there another viable trio to challenge for the titles at the moment?
Hangman Page vs. Kip Sabian
Penelope Ford is here with Sabian. They start fast with Sabian hitting a Stundog Millionaire and a reverse Cannonball in the corner. A big boot gets Page out of trouble so Sabian bails to the floor. They trade places so a Ford distraction sets up a Sabian baseball slide. An Arabian moonsault drops Page and we take a break. Back with Page whipping Sabian into the barricade and taking him back inside for the Deadeye and the pin at 6:39. Not enough shown to rate but it wasn’t as much of a squash as it should have been.
Post match here is the Blackpool Combat Club to talk to Page, with Moxley saying their issue is over. Page doesn’t think so, and says it should end at Revolution when one man can’t stand. Moxley says Page has no friends so here is the Dark Order, with Evil Uno getting in Moxley’s face. Moxley challenges Page to a Texas Deathmatch and leaves. Page isn’t happy with the Dark Order for getting involved. The crowd didn’t seem to care, and Dark Order feels like a holdover from the old days that Tony Khan forgot to release.
The Jericho Appreciation Society says Ricky Starks isn’t facing Chris Jericho again. Instead, he can face Daniel Garcia on Rampage.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Stokely Hathaway is furious about Hook injuring him and has talked to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Matt Hardy thinks it could lead to a big match but we get word that Hook has been suspended pending an investigation.
Penelope Ford vs. Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho
Saraya and Jamie Hayter are here too. Before the match, Saraya and Storm attack a fan at ringside and rip up her sign. The bell rings and Soho isn’t interested in a quick alliance offer, instead clearing the ring without much trouble. Soho doesn’t go after either of them though, allowing Storm to come back in and elbow her in the face.
We take a break and come back with an exchange of shots to the face until Storm loads up the running hip attack to Baker. Storm grabs a German suplex on Soho, with Baker rolling Storm up at the same time to make it worse. Baker hits the fisherman’s neckbreaker on Storm but gets sent into the corner off a Downward Spiral.
Soho gets knocked out of the air to set up the Texas Cloverleaf, with Baker trying to add the Lockjaw. Saraya makes the save and Storm goes after Hayter, leaving Baker to get caught with the hip attack (complete with said hips being spray painted by Saraya). Soho sends Storm into Saraya on the floor though and rolls Baker up for the pin at 9:19.
Rating: C-. So not only was the match a mess with people running in, but it also accomplished/changed absolutely nothing. This whole story has only been so interesting in the first place and having it be a three way feud between the homegrowns, the imports and whatever Soho is isn’t going to make it that much better.
Post match Saraya and Hayter yell at Soho before going to check on their friends. Soho motions that she wants a title to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This was a weird show in that it wasn’t bad but it was just kind of there. Not much seemed important and it felt like something that they threw together at the last minute after forgetting they had a show this week. There are two more Dynamites before Revolution and AEW has a lot of work to do to make the show feel important. This didn’t really come close to doing that, but AEW knows how to make up for lost time in a hurry. Not a terrible show, but it was bad for a Dynamite.
Orange Cassidy/Billy Gunn/Acclaimed b. Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal/Sonjay Dutt/Satnam Singh – Scissor Me Timbers to Dutt
Jon Moxley/Claudio Castagnoli b. Rush/Preston Vance – Cross armbreaker to Vance
Mark Briscoe b. Josh Woods – Froggy Bow
Jungle Boy b. Brian Cage – Rollup
Hangman Page b. Kip Sabian – Deadeye
Ruby Soho b. Britt Baker and Toni Storm – Rollup to Baker
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