Tony Khan has made AEW the edgy alternative to the mainstream, family-friendly WWE, but now those other guys are making some waves and the audience is paying attention. How would AEW respond to this shift in the industry? Let’s find out, and let’s start with…
The Big POPs!
Lethal Visits the OC!
Orange Cassidy and “Jane” start the show to continue the Best Friends’ conflict with Jay Lethal’s crew. This proved to be more than an OC comedy match as the two exchanged quite a bit of impressive offense. There was a threat of shenanigans when Satnam Singh appeared on stage to assist Lethal, but he was met by a very tall Trent. Oh, but it was merely the old “Two Best Friends in a Trenchcoat” trick! The interlopers were all dispatched and the action returned to the ring.
A leg injury to Cassidy became Lethal’s focus for a while, but Orange was still able to hit some big moves. The bad wheel was too much to overcome though, and Lethal was able to nail the Lethal Injection for a win. That brought out Sonjay and Satnam for some post match celebration and trash talk toward Wardlow, because apparently that’s a thing too. They threaten to break OC’s leg and the Best Friends arrive along with the TNT Champ.
Sonjay says it’s not the time, but he challenges for a title match on Saturday at Battle of the Belts. Wardlow throws out a new catchphrase, welcoming the crowd to “Wardlow’s World” then he accepts the match, sort of?
The Undisputed Elite Have a Dispute
Adam Cole (BOOM!) leads reDragon and the Young Bucks to the ring for a big ol’ happy reunion as most of these guys have been on the shelf with injuries. In fact, Adam tells us he still isn’t cleared to compete. Then he says there are issues they need to work on within their group. Apparently, the biggest problem is the loyalty of the Young Bucks, as the Jacksons have been contemplating joining the Trios Tournament without Cole. This causes some consternation from the Bucks, which was probably increased when reDragon attacked them from behind. Adam Cole officially turned on his former friends with a superkick to the face of Matt.
ADAM COLE MADE A CHILD CRY FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!
Before they could do more damage, Hangman Adam Page arrived to chase off the Undisputed. With a handshake, Page and Matt seemed to patch up some old wounds and signaled the return of, in Excalibur’s words, the Hung Bucks. Yeah, that’s what he said.
Welcome to the Jungle, Christian
Earlier in the day, Christian was in the parking garage with Tony S., but before they could start their interview, an SUV tore into the garage and nearly took them out. Jungle Boy jumped out of the car and was ready to do bad, bad things to his former teammate.
Following a throwback match with Matt Hardy, Christian was about to do some chair business, but Luchasaurus appeared and distracted Christian long enough for Jungle Boy to attack. Christian took off into the crowd and Jungle Boy stood tall with a t-shirt that compared his rival to a kittycat. JB looked angrily toward Christian while his very happy theme played and the crowd waved their hands in the air. That was a weird visual.
Team Taz is DONE
Taz tells us he didn’t know about any of the business happening behind the scenes with Hobbs, Starks and Hook so he is ending Team Taz. Then Powerhouse Hobbs shows us that he found Cody’s elevator for his entrance. Wow, that’s a bold move to give him that.
After quickly dispatching of his opponent, Hobbs does some posing, but doesn’t have long to boast as Ricky Starks hits the ring to deliver some payback. The Powerhouse got the best of him though and laid him out with a huge spinebuster. No appearance by Hook this week, but I assume he had no comment.
Jericho Keeps His Spot
Wheeler Yuta had a chance to take Chris Jericho’s title match against Jon Moxley, but the result here was pretty clear. There was already an angle happening with Moxley demanding that Jericho bring out the Lionheart for their match. Unless Jericho was hurt or had another conflict, there was no reason to replace him, and as expected, Le Champion came out on top.
After a plethora of back and forth offense, Yuta was dispatched with a classic Liontamer. After the match, Jericho wouldn’t release the submission and Moxley came out to save his Blackpool Combat Club partner. Upon retreating, Jericho confirmed that he would be bringing the Lionheart to Quake at the Lake.
- We see highlights of PAC in some of his All-Atlantic Title matches in various locations, and it appears Kip Sabian has been following the champ around. This could turn into a really good rivalry and a chance for Sabian to finally get some quality air time.
- Britt Baker and Jayme Hayter defeated Thunder(Rosa and Toni)Storm in a great, hard-hitting match, but the most noteworthy moment was Rosa entering the ring in a t-shirt that referenced her sandbagging allegations. Good for Rosa for embracing a situation that could have caused serious damage to her reputation. However, the Baker/Rosa rivalry illustrates a major problem in AEW, as there just aren’t enough ways to elevate women to potential main eventers. While the men have several titles that can be used to create new stars, the women have two (maybe three if you include ROH). They need tag titles ASAP and maybe even an additional singles belt.
- Ethan Page has finally broken away from Dan Lambert and he is ready to make some changes. He delivers a really good promo and ends up walking away with Stokely Hathaway in an apparent business agreement. I like where this is going for Page.
- Matt Menard said something about his nipples, then Anna JayAS choked out some poor random AEW employee.
- The Gunn Club ended up not only in a dumpster but thrown off the stage thanks to The Acclaimed. Max Caster got the biggest pop of the match for mentioning Vince McMahon in his rap.
- Mance Warner’s win from the Ric Flair retirement event is shown (along with a Bully Ray cameo) and we learn the indie star is getting a shot at Moxley on Rampage.
The night was most notable for the Adam Cole double-cross, but that was about it. Everything else just seemed to move some stories along, building toward this weekend and next week’s Dynamite. The wrestling was all solid, as per usual in AEW, but the show overall was a bit blah, especially when the competition has so much buzz. We shall see how Tony Khan responds to the excitement happening with the other guys.