1.Dark Order vs SCU(Kaz,Sky,Scorpio),Colt ***1/4
2.Swole vs Leva NR
3.Pac vs Taylor ***
4.Hager vs QT NR
5.Inner Circle(Jericho,Guevara) vs Mox, Darby ***1/4
They did the smart thing and kicked the episode off with Mox. "You deserve it" chants as expected. I agree. He cut a pretty nice promo, playing up his people's champion everyman role, putting over AEW and the fans in general in the process while reminding that his shit with the Inner Circle isn't over yet.
His words, "I dare you," brought out Jericho and crew. I love the new GNR themed shirt that Sammy was wearing here (and on BTE). That damn song will be stuck in my head again, by the way. The Inner Circle is now a hit squad out to destroy everyone, apparently. Mox's response to Jericho's promo and the stip Chris added were both entertaining.
Years of WWE's antics had soured me on talking segments and the like, but props to AEW for making me enjoy them again more than usual. This thing was solid and a decent way to kick off the show.
Sadly, the first match of the night was a bit disjointed. The former Super Smash Bros are actually a badass team but they've yet to truly have that special, breakout match that I think they really need. Instead, the theories and general speculation surrounding the identity of the Exalted One have carried them more than anything else. This did pick up a bit as it went along and was actually fairly good in the end. Colt and SCU were a fun atomico pairing.
Post-match, Dark Order (specifically Evil Uno) suggests that when the Exalted One arrives, heads will roll!
Baker gave Tony some Starbucks and is working commentary for a match that lasted shorter than a cup of coffee. Squash, and not a very good one, either.
Cody on the mic next, calling out MJF. Instead, he got Jake the Snake telling to shut the fuck up. He's here to manage a client to take out Cody. It was a statement promo and a well done one at that. Brodie is going to be set up for success right off the bat as a result of this pairing.
Kenny and the Bucks are not backstage, they say. I doubt that, but in kayfabe, sure. Matt appeared later.
Pretty decent first hour, though no matches worth truly seeking out.
Pac and Chuck Taylor was fun and I like Pac going at Orange during it. The Bastard lived up to his name decently again after a fun match by officially forming "Death Triangle" with the Lucha Bros. I love that a lot of the promotion is involved in some form of group.
The Natural Nightmares duo should be a decent addition to the tag division. I like how QT has been used before, but his new role is better. He got a bit of time to shine before Hager put him down. The post-match brawl with PnP and Hager beating down Dustin and Cody trying and failing at making the save was decent. Page coming out slowly on his own time and then clearing house was awesome as was him throwing up a finger for Matt.
I love how the promotion has so many ongoing plots and interactions with the roster, providing for some workers to have a few different threads.
Decent MJF promo, setting a clear shot for him working towards the top prize of AEW. What a glorious dick.
Mox was taken out by the rest of Inner Circle prior to the main event. As a result, the match was turned into handicap rules, providing for another fun display of Darby playing that ultimate underdog role so well. He lost, but looked good in doing so and the Inner Circle came off strong, too. Smart booking, strong main event. Post-match, Jericho almost had to leave for 60 days when Mox walked back in but he was taken out once more to end the episode.
I have no idea why we didn't get Archer, who was advertised, nor Matt, who was strongly teased.
While the in-ring quality this week could've been better, with nothing really breaking into that must-see territory, the promos, segments, and story progressions in general shined this week and made the entire thing worthwhile. AEW is the hottest thing in the game for a reason, and they continue to prove it. Watch the episode if you missed it, and enjoy!
Overall Rating: 70/100%