Date: September 6, 2023
Location: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz
We’re done with All Out and quite a bit happened at the show. Jon Moxley defeated Orange Cassidy to win the International Title, while Kenny Omega lost in his showdown with Konosuke Takeshita. There is a good chance that both of those will play into Grand Slam and WrestleDream over the next month. Let’s get to it.
Here is Orange Cassidy to get the big ovation. He was told to stay home but came here anyway, because he’ll be here every week. As he goes to leave, he runs into the people coming out for the International Title match.
International Title: Jon Moxley vs. AR Fox
Moxley is defending and has Claudio Castagnoli with him. The right hands in the corner have Fox in early trouble but he’s right back up with a springboard missile dropkick to put Moxley on the floor. There’s the big dive to take him down as we see Darby Allin (who came out with Fox but left) and Nick Wayne watching in the back. Fox hits a running hanging DDT and we take a break. Back with Fox hitting a kick to the head into a 450 for two. Moxley isn’t having that though and takes him down for the elbows to the head. The King Kong Lariat sets up the Death Rider to retain at 8:24.
Rating: C+. As usual, Fox got in all of his flashy moves and flips and looked good enough, though there was no way Moxley was going to lose here. The more important story here though would seem to be that of Wayne and Allin’s different ways of looking at Fox. That’s going to go in some interesting directions but it might take some time to get there.
Post match Allin comes to the ring to check on ox but we see Christian Cage and Luchasaurus coming up to Nick Wayne in the back. Cage didn’t know Wayne’s dad was a wrestler so he looked his up….and Wayne’s dad was even worse than he thought. If Wayne wants a mentor, maybe he should look to a champion. Just something to think about. Christian goes to leave but asks Wayne to “say hi to your mom for me.”
TBS Title: Kris Statlander vs. Emi Sakura
Statlander is defending and gets rolled up for a fast two. Sakura sends her to the apron for the running crossbody to knock Statlander to the floor. Back in and they exchange clotheslines for a double knockdown. Sakura is up first with a reverse DDT and a backbreaker for two as this is pretty one sided so far. Statlander pops up and hits Wednesday Night Fever for the pin to retain at 4:20.
Rating: C. Well it made Sakura look great until the end while Statlander got in about two moves. What matters is that Statlander won, but it was a weird way for the champion to be presented. Sakura is someone who has all kinds of talent, but she’s just kind of dropped into random matches most of the time. This made her look good, though I’m not sure why Statlander couldn’t have gotten in some more offense before the win.
Roderick Strong has a sitdown interview where he talks about being alone for most of his childhood but wrestling helped save him. Adam Cole knew that, but now he’ll win the Grand Slam eliminator tournament alone.
Le Sex Gods vs. Aussie Open
Don Callis is on commentary and the Aussies jump them fast to start. We settle down to Sammy and Fletcher chopping it out until Sammy hits a dropkick to the ribs. A double suplex drops Fletcher and the fans rather like Jericho as we take a break. Back with Jericho avoiding the stereo clotheslines and hitting a Codebreaker for two on Fletcher.
The triangle dropkick sends Fletcher to the floor but Jericho’s dive only takes out Sammy. The Aussies ram them together and then take it back inside where the Aussie Arrow hits Jericho for two. Sammy is back in with a Spanish Fly to Davis, but Fletcher brainbusters Jericho for two more. Back up and the Judas Effect finishes for Jericho at 11:24.
Rating: B-. This was a good match between two talented teams, though the Aussies’ bad run continues. Jericho and Sammy teaming together regularly is something that makes sense, though that tension in the middle doesn’t bode well for their future. For now though, nice match as they kept the energy up.
Post match Jericho tries to apologize to Sammy but they wind up shoving each other and Sammy walks off.
We look at the Bryan Danielson vs. Ricky Starks strap match, with Guevara’s body being rather wrecked. Starks is livid about another setback and wants a chance.
We look at MJF and Samoa Joe’s brawl at All Out.
Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita are in the back, with Callis bragging about Takeshita’s win over Kenny Omega. Callis has a new painting, but we’ll have to see it later. Next week, we’ll find out their next target.
Here is MJF for a chat. MJF talks about how he used to live right here in Indiana during his time on the independent circuit and yes the fans do appreciate that. Now though, he’s on his way to New York to face the winner of the Grand Slam tournament. One person needs to be taught a lesson but here is Samoa Joe to interrupt. Joe wanted to be out here to hear what MJF said, but MJF thinks Joe must have confused the entrance music for an ice cream truck.
The last time Joe was busy with an ice cream truck, he was being the biggest star on the other company’s network. MJF thinks that means it’s time to get creative, so we get some Pillsbury Doughboy jokes. Those are followed up with jokes about the size of various genitalia before Joe shifts to mocking the midwest. MJF doesn’t like hearing Joe call him “kid” and tells him to go enter the tournament.
Joe isn’t impressed but MJF has a story. We hear the story about his tryout with WWE and how William Regal blew him off. Then MJF sent him back to NXT where he belonged, and if Joe doesn’t watch it, he’ll be next. That night, MJF got to be a security guard on WWE TV and met Joe himself. Joe then shoved him into a brick wall and laughed. Well now MJF isn’t a kid anymore because he is now the World Champion and the best wrestler in the world today. So now, MJF is going to kill Joe.
That gets a smirk from Joe, who didn’t think MJF was a kid that night. Just a little b****. That earns Joe a slap, but he says he’ll be in the tournament to get him to Grand Slam. Joe kicks him low and holds up the World Title but MJF gets in a low blow of his own. The fight is on but Adam Cole runs in to break up the MuscleBuster. MJF has to be helped out but Joe talks a bit more trash about him anyway. Good showdown here, and Joe is certainly a fresh main eventer.
Grand Slam #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Roderick Strong vs. Trent Beretta
Strong and Adam Cole bump into each other on the way to the ring, with Strong talking a lot of trash. The Kingdom and Chuck Taylor are here too. Strong takes him into the corner to start before grabbing a front facelock. Back up and they trade chops until Trent hits a belly to back suplex. A tornado DDT sends Strong outside where he grabs his neck again. Strong is fine enough to belly to back suplex him onto the apron and we take a break.
Back with Trent fighting out of a fireman’s carry and hitting some rolling German suplexes. Trent grabs a Death Valley Driver for two and they fight into the corner. A super hurricanrana takes them back down and Trent counters the Stronghold into a small package for two. Trent’s piledriver gets two as Strong gets a foot on the ropes. Strong is back up with End Of Heartache to finish Trent at 11:04.
Rating: B-. These two worked well together and it was nice to see Strong getting back in the ring. I’m not wild on a lot of the things he’s been doing with Adam Cole but he can still go in the ring with almost anyone. They had a good match and it’s nice to see something a bit cleaner like this rather than all of the shenanigans that usually take place.
Toni Storm doesn’t remember anything about costing Ruby Soho last week. Next week, she’ll be ready to win. She warns Renee Paquette to watch the show, then throws it at her.
Here is Hangman Page for a chat. Page talks about how he was able to donate $50,000 to an education charity in Chicago. He used to be a teacher and knows they are underpaid and deserve the help. Cue Swerve Strickland and Prince Nana to interrupt though, with Swerve saying Page is now just a mascot.
Page was stuck on the pre-show competing for charity rather than on the main show for titles. Swerve thinks Page hasn’t had any new merchandise in a year, but he got a new contract and the good food he’s been eating has been showing. When is the last time Page even had a title shot? If Swerve had the opportunities Page had a year ago, he would have been the first Black AEW World Champion.
Swerve tells him to ride away so this can be Swerve’s house. Or they fight, with Page showing what Cowboy S*** really is. But remember, Swerve will whip him like a dive. Either way, Swerve is coming for the spot that Page doesn’t seem like he wants. Page goes after him but here is Brian cage to lay him out. Cage wasn’t needed here, but Nana getting to dance to Swerve’s music again was worth it.
Here’s what’s coming on Rampage.
Jay Lethal, Penta El Zero Miedo and Jeff Hardy are ready to win their tournament matches.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Grand Slam #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Darby Allin vs. Nick Wayne
They shake hands to start and Allin sends him to the floor, only to miss a suicide dive. We take an early break and come back with Wayne’s frog splash hitting raised knees. The shotgun dropkick puts Wayne in the corner for two before Allin grabs a Figure Four. That’s turned over with Allin bailing into the ropes for the break.
Allin knocks him down again and we get a quick breather. A fist bump sets up the forearm exchange but Allin stops to grab a mic and says Wayne needs to hit him harder. Wayne hits a superkick but cue Christian cage and Luchasaurus to interrupt. We take another break and come back with Allin charging into a knee on the apron. The hurricanrana sends Allin back down to the floor with Wayne hitting a frog splash for a bonus.
Back in and Wayne’s super cutter is broken up but Allin can’t bring himself to hit the Coffin Drop, instead just covering Wayne for two. Wayne grabs his own Last Supper for two but Wayne’s World is blocked. Instead Allin hits a crossbody into a crucifix into Code Red for two more. Allin ties up the arms and stomps at the head for the submission at 11:55.
Rating: B-. I’m still not seeing it with Wayne, who feels like someone else who can do the flips and little more. Having Allin not want to hurt his friend was fine, but I still don’t have much of a reason to care about Wayne himself. Good enough main event and Allin winning is the right way to go, but they’re leaning in heavily on Wayne and I’m not sure it’s working.
Overall Rating: B. This was a show where the wrestling didn’t matter, but rather setting things up for later. In that sense, this show was quite effective as they built towards Grand Slam and perhaps even beyond that. Multiple stories were either set up in the first place or advanced and I’m curious to see where some of those things go. This was a solid show, and if they can keep it up, we could be in for a nice stretch going forward.
Jon Moxley b. AR Fox – Death Rider
Kris Statlander b. Emi Sakura – Wednesday Night Fever
Le Sex Gods b. Aussie Open – Judas Effect to Fletcher
Roderick Strong b. Trent Beretta – End Of Heartache
Darby Allin b. Nick Wayne – Stomps to the head
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