Date: March 22, 2023
Location: Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, Missouri
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, Taz
We have a dream match this week as Kenny Omega is facing El Hijo Del Vikingo in what should be a heck of a showcase. Other than that, the big question coming out of last week is what is going on with the Elite and Hangman Page, as that is going down again. That should be enough to carry things for a week so let’s get to it.
We open with Hangman Page outside an ambulance as the Young Bucks have been attacked before the show. Page gets in the second ambulance as it leaves. Oh dear.
The ropes are red, white and blue, ala the WWF in the 80s.
Sting/Darby Allin/Orange Cassidy vs. Butcher And The Blade/Kip Sabian
Penelope Ford is here with the villains and this is fallout from a fight at the House Rules show. Cassidy frustrated Blade to start and it’s off to butcher to forearm Sting. With that not working, Sting sends him into the corner for the Stinger Splash. Everything breaks down as Sting tries for the Scorpion and he winds up getting caught in a double suplex.
Sabian goes up top so Sting does the slow motion Orange Cassidy roll to escape. Allin comes in and gets taken down by Sabian and we take a break. Back with Allin escaping and handing it off to Cassidy for the tornado DDT. Sabian takes Cassidy down but gets tapped on the shoulder by Sting, who does his own lazy kicks. Blade and Butcher eventually break up the Scorpion but Allin makes the save. Sting is back up and hits the Scorpion Death Drop to finish Sabian at 11:15.
Rating: C+. Sting matches aren’t going to be anything serious but they are going to let the fans have a good time watching a legend. Putting him in a bunch of tag matches so he doesn’t have to carry the load is a good idea. Let them go out there and have some fun against villains with nothing to lose and get the crowd going for the show.
Post match Allin stares up at the Double Or Nothing banner.
Video on last week’s Four Pillars showdown, with MJF talking about how he has already beaten all three of them.
Video on Kenny Omega vs. Hijo Del Vikingo.
Excalibur has gotten a text from Brandon Cutler accusing the Blackpool Combat Club of attacking the Young Bucks.
Tag Team Titles: The Gunns vs. Top Flight
Top Flight is challenging and the Guns are cleared out to start. We settle down to Dante vs. Austin, with the former backflipping over him, only for a hair pull to put Dante in trouble as we take a break. Back with Dante hitting a swinging half nelson suplex into the Nose Dive. Cue the Kingdom to make the save though, allowing 3:10 to Yuma to retain the titles at 7:05.
Rating: C+. Another match that felt like it could have been a lot better if we could have actually seen most of it take place. The Gunns are on the road to facing FTR and it wouldn’t shock me to see FTR go down again. Top Flight still feels like a team who could be champs later on, and if that is the case, it would be nice to have them not lose like this so often.
Post break the Kingdom gets chased off but here is FTR to interrupt. The Gunns don’t want to see them and yell about how no one wants to see them. FTR offers their AEW career as a team for a title shot but that’s not good enough either. Instead, Dax offers the two of them leaving AEW if they lose. Deal, with the Gunns spitting on them and bailing before violence ensues.
Mark Sterling has issued a cease and desist order against Taya Valkyrie using Jaded. Oh and the open challenge is over so there’s no title shot for Taya.
Stokely Hathaway vs. Hook
Non-title, No DQ and Hathaway is described as having the wisdom of an owl. Hold on though, as Hathaway isn’t medically cleared to compete so he is retiring. Hathaway: “Special thanks to my fans, all 12 of y’all!” He even has a doctor’s note…which is apparently a receipt for Wingstop.
The referee says ring the bell so Hathaway runs into the crowd, only to be tossed right back. A running elbow to the jaw doesn’t phase Hook, who sends Hathaway flying with a suplex on the floor. Hook grabs some weapons from under the ring but Hathaway manages a blast with a fire extinguisher. Hook is fine enough to block a chair shot and blast Hathaway with it over and over. Another suplex onto a piece of barricade in the corner gets two, with Hook pulling him up. Redrum finishes for Hook at 3:07. Exactly what it should have been.
Rating: C+. The match itself was just a joke but watching Hook smash through a loud mouthed manager is a good idea. Hook is someone who could go a long way around here and letting him get another win like this works well. Just get him into another feud so he can have some more training matches and he could get even better than he already is.
In the back, Matt Hardy says Ethan Page is the man to beat Hook.
Here is Adam Cole for a chat. He’s back in the ring in seven days and right now, he feels great. Now he wants to know who he is facing, so cue Daniel Garcia (in a lot of leather) to say it’s time for his own story time. Garcia lists off everyone he has beaten while Cole has been playing video games on Twitch. Garcia almost calls himself a wrestler before asking what makes Cole special. Cole: “When they ring the freaking bell.” He actually praises Garcia but asks about the company Garcia has been keeping. The match is on for next week, with Cole getting in a BOOM to wrap it up.
Kenny Omega is upset about the Bucks being injured and not going to the hospital with them.
Stu Grayson vs. Jon Moxley
The Blackpool Combat Club and Dark Order are here too. Grayson charges to start but gets taken down as we hear about Grayson’s kickboxing career. They head outside with Grayson getting in a few shots, followed by a hurricanrana back inside. A belly to back suplex puts Grayson to the apron, setting up a running charge to send him into the barricade. We take a break and come back with Moxley stomping at the head for two and getting frustrated.
Grayson fights up and starts elbowing away, followed by a springboard spinning Swanton for two. The teams get in an argument on the floor so Grayson moonsaults out onto them for the big knockdown. Moxley dives onto Grayson but gets kicked in the face back inside. A 450 looks to set up the Knightfall but Moxley flips over into the bulldog choke. Grayson manages to fight up and sends him into the corner to escape, setting up a Pele. Moxley catches him on top though and hits a super Death Rider for the pin at 10:02.
Rating: B. This was a lot easier to accept than last week (the lack of a spike piledriver on the floor helped) as Grayson got a heck of a rub out of Moxley. It wasn’t so much that Moxley was in danger but more that he had to do a lot of work to put Grayson away. They were working hard here and it was a much better showcase for Grayson than anything he did last week.
Ricky Starks is ready for Juice Robinson on Rampage.
QTV shows us Powerhouse Hobbs beating Rey Fenix on Rampage. Apparently Aaron Solo has stolen Wardlow’s identity (and house and car)…..and hacked some Observer’s Twitter account. As for Hobbs, he’ll be defending again in another open challenge on Rampage. Hobbs wasn’t even in the segment and that might be a good thing.
Skye Blue vs. Toni Storm
The rest of the Outcasts are here too. Blue starts fast and sends Storm outside for a diving hurricanrana. Some Outcasts cheap shots take Blue down though and we go to a break. Back with Blue hitting a high crossbody and snapping off a headscissors to send Storm into the ropes. Storm is back with a DDT for two but misses the running hip attack. Ruby Soho’s distraction means code Blue doesn’t get a count, meaning Storm can dropkick her into the corner. Now the hip attack into the Storm Zero finishes Blue at 8:13.
Rating: C+. Blue has come a long way but is still needing to get an important win. Other than that, this was more about the Outcasts beating up their rivals as the story continues to meander. If this story is going to mean something, they need to have the Outcasts win some gold, because otherwise they’re just kind of annoying NWO knockoffs.
Post match the beatdown is on but Willow Nightingale and Riho (with a pipe and looking ridiculous while trying to be intimidating) make the save.
Stu Grayson is getting checked out by the medics when Jon Moxley, with the Blackpool Combat Club, attack him again.
Kenny Omega vs. El Hijo Del Vikingo
Vikingo’s AAA Mega Title (which he won after Omega vacated it) isn’t on the line. Vikingo dives onto him before the bell but Omega is back with his own right hands. The bell rings and Omega stays on him, only to get hurricanranaed to the floor. Vikingo hits a big dive, setting up a springboard 450 for two back inside. Omega is back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and sends Vikingo into the barricade. A table is set up at ringside and we take a break.
Back with a strike off on the apron until Omega plants him hard onto said apron. Vikingo fights back up and climbs onto the post for a super dragonrana. Back in and another super hurricanrana drops Omega on his head, setting up a springboard Phoenix splash for two. Another springboard hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb and the V Trigger gives Omega two.
Omega adds another V Trigger but Vikingo is back up with a springboard poisonrana to drop Omega on his head again. With Omega on the table, a step up 630 drives him through it and gives the fans their next loud chant. Back in and a Code Red gives Vikingo two more but Omega avoids a 630. Omega hits another V Trigger and the One Winged Angel finishes Vikingo at 16:53.
Rating: A. Yeah this was a blast and that’s all it was designed to be. This was about telling two people to go out there and go nuts with one highlight reel move after another. There’s no story (not a significant one at least) to it and there didn’t need to be. It was about the crazy spots and letting Vikingo do his insane flips. From that perspective it was a blast and that’s all it needed to be.
Post match the Blackpool Combat Club interrupts Omega to beat him down. Cue Hangman Page in the ambulance (with a board with nails in it, because that comes with every ambulance) for the save. Don Callis goes to check on Page, who pulls away before stopping upon seeing who it is. Callis does quite the fall (without being attacked in any way) and Omega checks on him while looking confused at Page to end the show. Because the Elite must have drama you see.
Overall Rating: B+. This was a heck of a fun show as they seemed to drop a lot of the more serious stuff and just let the matches be entertaining. Nothing on here (save for QTV) was bad and the main event is going to get a lot of attention. Very good show here and probably the most engaging show they’ve done in a lot of Wednesdays. I have no idea if they can keep it up but for now, this was back to the AEW of old.
Sting/Orange Cassidy/Darby Allin b. Kip Sabian/Butcher and the Blade – Scorpion Death Drop to Sabian
Gunns b. Top Flight – 3:10 To Yuma to Darius
Hook b. Stokely Hathaway – Redrum
Jon Moxley b. Stu Grayson – Super Death Rider
Toni Storm b. Skye Blue – Storm Zero
Kenny Omega b. El Hijo Del Vikingo – One Winged Angel
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