Date: April 26, 2023
Location: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, Taz
We are about a month away from Double Or Nothing and this week we should find out who will be challenging MJF for the World Title. That alone should be enough to carry the show, but we are also likely getting a showdown between Chris Jericho and Adam Cole after last week’s beatdown of Britt Baker. Let’s get to it.
International Title: Orange Cassidy vs. Bandido
Cassidy is defending and gets tripped down while trying the hands in the pockets. Bandido gives him the finger guns so Cassidy gives him a weak cartwheel. The hands to the pockets are blocked again….so Cassidy puts the finger guns into his own pockets like holsters (ok that was cute). Bandido is sent outside, only to have Cassidy grab a no hands hurricanrana back inside. Cassidy’s dive is cut off with a drop onto the barricade and Bandido gets to brag a bit in the corner.
The Brock Lock goes on to keep Cassidy in trouble, at least until he makes the rope. Bandido sends him outside and we take a break. Back with Cassidy reversing a suplex into the Stundog Millionaire for a double breather. They chop it out (one is more energetic than the other) until Cassidy is sent him to the apron.
That means Cassidy can ram Bandido’s face into the corner a few times, followed by a Michinoku Driver for two. Back up and a cutter gives Bandido two but the super fall away slam is broken up. Instead Bandido hits the one armed gorilla press into a frog splash for two. A quick Mousetrap gives Cassidy two but it’s the Orange Punch into the Beach Break to retain the title at 15:17.
Rating: B-. It’s getting a little hard to get into these Cassidy matches as save for a recent handful, there is no reason to believe that he is going to lose the title. The match was entertaining and the two guys did their thing, but despite being rather talented, there was no reason to believe that he was going to win the title. Cassidy has to lose at some point or this is just taking away value from his appearances.
Post match Cassidy gives Bandido some sunglasses so they can pose together.
Adam Cole is ready to call out Chris Jericho tonight. With Cole gone, Bandido and Orange Cassidy come in to ask if Renee Paquette wants to interview them after their match. Renee explains the deal with Cole and Jericho from last week instead. Cassidy: “Oh.” Bandido: “Oh.” And they leave.
Darby Allin and Jungle Boy agree to bury the hatchet after last week. They don’t like each other, but they do respect each other, and agree to have the other’s back against Sammy Guevara and MJF.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Dax Harwood
Jarrett’s goons are cut off by security so Cash Wheeler stays in the back so this can be one on one. Harwood takes him into the corner to start and they fight over wrist control. Jarrett gets him to the mat but Harwood breaks up the strut (thank goodness this isn’t in Memphis). Another knockdown lets Jarrett get in the strut but Harwood snaps off a suplex into the legdrop for two. Jarrett throws him off the top though and we take a break.
Back with the slugout in the middle of the ring going to Jarrett but neither can get in their leglock. Harwood’s diving headbutt gets two and the Stroke is countered into a rollup for the same. A piledriver gives Harwood two more and Jarrett rolls out to the floor. Back in and a catapult into the corner gives Jarrett two of his own. The Figure Four is countered into a small package for two but cue Sonjay Dutt for a distraction. The chase lets Jarrett hit the Stroke for the pin at 11:12.
Rating: B-. You knew these two were going to have a good match, at least until we got to the screwy finish involving Jarrett’s goons. I’m not wild on having Jarrett and company get what feels like another title feud so soon, but odds are they aren’t going to take down FTR. For now though, I’ll settle for a much more technical style match for a breath of air around here.
Post match Dutt hands Jeff Jarrett a Tag Team Title.
The Owen Hart Cups are returning, but this year it will all be in Canada, with the finals in Calgary. Maybe it can be interesting this year.
Wardlow vs. Ariel Levy
Non-title and Arn Anderson is with Wardlow. The four movement Powerbomb Symphony finishes Levy fast.
Post match Arn tells Levy to get an ice bath and drink a six pack. Anderson talks about how the NFL Draft starts this week and Wardlow is a #1 pick with the talent no one else back there has. Sometimes you have to get violent, but here are Christian Cage and Luchasaurus for the staredown. I’m still not sure why Anderson needs to be involved in this.
Sammy Guevara is cut off by MJF, who doesn’t like people calling him a gutless coward. They don’t care what people think though and they’re friends now. Sammy gives him a matching vest and MJF gives him a matching scarf. Friends hug!
The Blackpool Combat Club jumps interviewer RJ City and promises violence.
Four Pillars Tournament Finals: Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara
For the World Title shot at Double Or Nothing so MJF (with his own brand of….pickles) is on commentary. They fight over wrist control to start as MJF talks about the pickles. Allin flips him into a chinlock as MJF talks about how the check to Guevara won’t clear without him laying down. Tony: “This is an important match and we’re talking about FREAKING PICKLES!”
Allin pulls him into a Texas Cloverleaf but Guevara makes the rope and spits at him. A dropkick to the back sends Allin outside and a posting makes it even worse. They get back up on the apron, where Allin teases a German suplex to the floor, earning himself a low blow. There’s the top rope Asai moonsault (that was good) and Allin is busted open.
We take a break and come back with both of them down for a breather. Allin loads up a suicide dive but Guevara cutters him out of the air for the big crash. It’s table time (of course) but Allin is back up….only to get distracted by Tay Melo. A super Spanish Fly brings Allin back down and there’s the 630 through Allin through the table. Less than a minute later, Allin is loading up the Coffin Drop but Melo distracts the referee, allowing MJF to throw Allin the skateboard. Guevara drops down and that is indeed a DQ to send Guevara to Double Or Nothing at 12:49.
Rating: B-. I would almost be stunned if there wasn’t some shenanigan to get us to the four way at this point, which is still what makes the most sense. Other than that, this was the back and forth match you would expect from these two, complete with a crazy spot that wasn’t sold whatsoever. Allin’s charisma continues to be more than enough to carry him, but sell the big spot for, I don’t know, awhile? That shouldn’t be an insane suggestion.
Post match the beating is on but Jungle Boy makes the save. Tony Schiavone has a Tony Khan announcement though: next week it’s a tag match, and if Allin and Jungle Boy win, the title match is a four way.
Post break, MJF goes to get in his car and says it’s full (it’s not) when Guevara tries to get in with him. MJF pulls off, leaving Guevara staring.
Here is Adam Cole to call out Chris Jericho. Cole says that Jericho crossed a line and it’s time for him to pay, so get out here. There is no Jericho so Cole goes to get him, only to be cut off by Jericho on the big screen. Jericho isn’t doing this, so here is the Jericho Appreciation Society to go after Cole. Bandido and Orange Cassidy make the failed save attempt but Roderick Strong of all people debuts and makes the real save. Hugging ensues. Ok that’s a surprise, especially since there was no word on his contract expiring. Granted it’s Roderick Strong so the impact will be limited, but nice job on the surprise.
Powerhouse Hobbs interrupts QTV and chokes QT Marshall, who promises to fix this. Plan B is loaded up.
TBS Title: Taya Valkyrie vs. Jade Cargill
Cargill, with Mark Sterling and Leila Grey, is defending and Taya gets disqualified if she uses Road To Valhalla. They trade slaps to the face to start until Taya knocks her down and hammers away. Back up and Jade charges into a boot to the face before being sent outside. Jade pulls her into the splits on the apron and drops her to the floor as we take a break.
We come back with Jade missing an elbow and Taya hitting a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Jade catches her on top with a superplex though and busts out a Canadian Destroyer for two more. Jaded is countered though and Taya double stomps her for another near fall. Road To Valhalla has to be canceled though and Jade rolls her up (with tights) to retain at 8:15.
Rating: C. And thus we come to the next several weeks (if not months) section of Jade’s title reign, as she beats another name who could have taken the title from her and continues to be the same boring star she has been for a long time now. I’m not sure what they are waiting for with her, but this was the most interesting thing she has done in a good while and it still wasn’t interesting. Taya was protected a bit and there might be a rematch, but I’m so bored with Jade going on and on like this.
Post match Taya snaps and goes after the villains but has to stop herself from giving the referee Road To Valhalla.
Britt Baker (black eye) and Jamie Hayter (arm in a sling) want to beat up the Outcasts.
Video on Ricky Starks/Shawn Spears vs. Bullet Club Gold.
Kenny Omega/Konosuke Takeshita vs. Butcher and the Blade
Bryan Danielson is on commentary and Don Callis/Kip Sabian are the respective thirds. Blade chops away at Takeshita to start but gets shrugged off, allowing Omega to come in. Danielson calls the Elite a cancer as Omega hits a moonsault into Takeshita’s middle rope backsplash. Everything breaks down and a Sabian distraction lets Omega get taken down as we take a break.
Back with Omega hitting the running Fameasser, allowing a double tag to Takeshita and the Butcher. As Danielson compares the success of the Club and the Elite’s trainees, Butcher hits a half nelson suplex to take over. The powerbomb/neckbreaker combination is broken up though and Takeshita hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for two on Butcher. Omega comes in to clean house and nails the big flip dive to the floor. Takeshita’s running knee finishes Butcher at 8:44.
Rating: B. Danielson kept praising the Butcher and the Blade as a good team and he’s not wrong. I could absolutely see them getting set up as a challenger of the month for the Tag Team Titles and it wouldn’t take long to get them there. That being said, there was no way Omega and Takeshita were losing in their big debut together, so this was good action leading to the logical finish.
Post match Danielson talks about how Takeshita has potential and Omega is living off his name in Japan. Cue the rest of the Blackpool Combat Club to go after Omega and Takeshita, complete with screwdriver, but the Young Bucks make the save. Omega loads up the screwdriver but Takeshita breaks it up, allowing Moxley to get in a Paradigm Shift. The Club beats Takeshita down and the screwdriver to the head busts him open to end the show. Yeah Moxley blood, violence and middle fingers. We know the drill.
Overall Rating: B. This was a bit of a strange show as it had a lot going on but nothing on it really felt big. Maybe it was taking the finals of a tournament and turning it into the setup for a tag match (which granted, the tournament always felt a bit off in the first place) but this show felt like a good event which didn’t really do much. What matters though is I’m interested in seeing where a lot of this stuff goes and with Double Or Nothing about a month away, that means they’re doing something right.
Orange Cassidy b. Bandido – Beach Break
Jeff Jarrett b. Dax Harwood – Stroke
Wardlow b. Ariel Levy – Powerbomb Symphony
Sammy Guevara b. Darby Allin via DQ when the referee saw Allin holding a skateboard
Jade Cargill b. Taya Valkyrie – Rollup with tights
Kenny Omega/Konosuke Takeshita b. Butcher and the Blade – Running knee to Butcher
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