(Author’s note: Upon some serious reflection, I have decided to suspend all WWE program recaps indefinitely. Aside from the lackluster content on Raw and Smackdown, the company’s partnership with the Saudi Arabia government is extremely troublesome to me and to many others, so I will not devote any more of PCB’s digital acreage to World Wrestling Entertainment until they either end this contract or Saudi Arabia makes some much needed reforms to how they treat their citizens. Thanks for reading, and let’s talk some Dynamite.)
We’re LIVE in Charleston, WV, with Tony Schiavone on an airstrip as he waits for the Rhodes brothers to emerge from a private jet. Cody and Dustin are having a moment as Tony rushes them along. That seems a bit rude. Tony walks Cody to a limo as they make small talk about the contract signing later tonight. We’ll get an exclusive limo interview later.
A recap of the Moxley/PAC draw from last week includes footage from after the broadcast including a Moxley meeting with Tony Khan. The boss informs Jon that the Full Gear match with Kenny Omega will be a Lights Out match. This is an interesting way to use the win/loss records as an important element. Now that it’s unsanctioned, the match won’t go on either man’s record, which makes Moxley angry.
JR and Excalibur give us the rundown for tonight’s show, which is highlighted by the finals of the Tag Team Championship tourney. They also mention a Ted Turner-esque crossover with the upcoming premiere of Rick and Morty. Look, I love Rick and Morty, and this is a bullseye with the wrestling audience, but these promotions always make me super nervous. We’ll see how it manifests during the show.
Sammy Guevara vs. Hangman Adam Page
I’m not entirely sold on either of these guys, but it’s a good match storywise. Hangman is trying to prove himself to Cody versus a member of the Inner Circle. Sammy plays a great heel throughout this match. In a fun spot, Sammy takes to the top rope teasing a huge move, but instead just hops off the turnbuckle and slaps Page. Page is able to catch Sammy with the
Buckshot slingshot lariat for the victory. Page gets on the mic, curses to the crowd’s delight, and promises to remove PAC’s head.
Crowd was really into it, but it seems like Page’s slower style just doesn’t mesh with a lot of the quicker wrestlers, and in my opinion, the Hangman character needs an overhaul.
Shanna vs. Hikaru Shida
Shanna is debuting tonight against Shida. This is a straight up wrestling match for the most part as no one is really a face or heel, but Shida is definitely the aggressor. Shanna sneaks in some offense, but can’t get much momentum against the larger Shida until she is able to hit a top rope double foot stomp which almost gets her the win. Shida eventually comes back with a wicked reverse tombstone and a superplex for two and ¾. After a series of more near falls, Shida is able to deliver a falcon arrow and shining wizard for the three count. A good match that spotlighted both women but I think Shida has some great potential.
We finally get some explanation of the Brandi incident last week when she attacked Jamie Hayter out of nowhere. So it looks like Brandi is summoning Kong to do some nasty things to blonde people? Ok, maybe we don’t know what’s going on yet.
Chris Van Vliet introduces the Rock and Roll Express who will present the tag titles to the winners tonight. They talk about their history in Charleston for about twenty seconds before Santana and Ortiz attack the legends. Ricky Morton gets put through the stage. Wow. The Bucks come out, a little late I must say, to make the save.
Tony is in the limo with Cody and they discuss the match with Chris Jericho. Cody says his mother will be at the show and he just wants to impress her. Tony gives Cody advice about using his passion and emotion, then says he’s not a coach. That was weird.
John Silver/Alex Reynolds/QT Marshall vs. Best Friends and Orange Cassidy
Here we go with the crossover. The voices of Rick and Morty make the ring introductions for Best Friends and Cassidy, and the team is dressed like the cartoon characters. Several folks in the crowd also have Rick and Morty masks. Trent has fun with the theme as he makes every attempt to keep his wig on. The friends try to do the big hug, but Marshall cuts it off. Cassidy ditches the costume and faces off with Marshall. He delivers some Cassidy Kicks before ducking a clothesline and dropkicking Marshall out of the ring. Orange’s shades fall off and the referee feverishly puts them back as Cassidy looks into the camera. As I gaze at this character with awe, Cassidy then launches himself through the ropes with his hands still in his pockets. The Friends hit Strong Zero for the victory.
Jericho/Cody Contract Signing
It’s time to sign a contract. Jericho comes out clean shaven with a Halloween jacket. The limo arrives and Tony leads Cody to the arena. The match will have judges to rule the bout in case it goes the time limit. That tells me the match will go the time limit, but I love the fact that AEW seems smart enough to throw that in as a red herring. Jericho tries to bait Cody into a brawl at the table, but he doesn’t bite. It appears we’re going to have a straight up contract signing, but Sammy shows up in the parking lot with Jake Hager beating up on The Natural. He slams Dustin’s arm in the limo door as Cody and MJF storm outside to fight off the Inner Circle. Jericho lights up a stogie and wishes the Rhodes a Happy Halloween.
Kip Sabian/Hybrid2 vs. Kenny Omega/Young Bucks
Kenny has an interesting old-school video game intro video, and he enters in an Undertale costume for this match. Meanwhile the Bucks are dressed as Ken and Ryu.
The heels attack from behind, and Hybrid2 work over Kenny Omega to start the match. Along with Sabian, they dominate early, but the Elite comes back and Omega gets the win over Jack Evans with the V Trigger/One Winged Angel combo. The Bucks are ringside to celebrate and they find a couple fans with Rick and Morty masks, but they are actually Santana and Ortiz and the Inner Circle members attack the Bucks on the floor.
After the night’s 54th Rick and Morty commercial, Peter Avalon is shushing the crowd with Leva Bates. Avalon insults the crowd to Leva’s dismay (so is she good?), and before a match can happen, Jon Moxley rushes the ring and gives Avalon the Paradigm Shift. He rails on AEW for trying to push him into a corner with unsanctioned matches. Then he says AEW can shove the records up their…ahem. So now he’s coming to grips with the unsanctioned match? He says he’s going to beat Kenny Omega within an inch of his life thanks to the suits. He does play the angry lunatic well.
It’s time for the main event and the finals of the AEW Tag Team Championship tournament!
Lucha Bros. vs. SCU – AEW Tag Team Championship
These teams don’t like each other, and the match starts with a fistfight. The Bros. gain the early advantage as they work on Scorpio. Kazarian is able to fight back, but the surge doesn’t last long as the Luchas dominate the match. In a scary spot, Kazarian attempts a rana from the top rope and comes down the back of his head on the ring apron. The teams go back and forth with the Luchas seemingly having an easy path to victory after Kazarian is powerbombed through a ringside table. However, Scorpio is able to roll up Pentagon to win the titles for SCU. The inaugural champs celebrate in the ring as the show ends.
This was another good one. Angles played out sensibly. Wrestling was spotlighted in the right way, and a worrisome corporate crossover didn’t ruin the episode for maybe the first time in history. Next up for AEW is the go-home episode before Full Gear.
Until Next Week!