1.IWGP US Title: Mox(c) vs Anderson ***1/2
2.FTW Title: Cage(c) vs Starks ***
3.Christian vs Hardy ***1/2
4.Guevara vs Yuta ***1/4
5.Ford vs Yuka **1/2
6.Coffin Match: Page vs Darby ***3/4
I rarely do these, but considering I did one this morning for STARDOM why not do one for the new installment of AEW's flagship. I haven't watched a full episode of the show in a while, by the way.
REFRESH AS NEEDED.
I am waiting for a pizza to arrive and an edible to kick in while Ready Player One closes on TNT. I've never seen the film nor read the book. I might eventually do one of the two. Might not just as easily.
We're 90 days past the first set of WWE releases today, by the way. Kalisto, please!
Did JR just say it's Tuesday?
We are starting with the IWGP United States Championship on the line. I love his entrance and the reference. Note I was at this same arena last year for my birthday for an AEW gig. One of the last before the pandemic fucked up live gigs. Anderson needs some pyro during his entrance.
Kingston went to attack Gallows and Mox went after Machinegun. They announce New Japan rules for this one. The forearm exchanges were awesome. Note the ticket sales for the promotion are rocking right now and it really feels like we might be moths away from a major shift in the game. AEW really just needs one big name to help further boost them and that's with the added note that they already have the best roster in all of wrestling. I've long considered New Japan to hold that honor but I think they've been edged out finally.
It feels like forever ago that I last saw Karl in a match position like this. The dude has long been forgotten as the serviceable challenger that he is. He really is doing well to come off as a real challenge for Mox. One thing AEW does well is try to largely elevate everyone, though.
Note I don't see a chance of a change here but wouldn't be completely shocked, either.
Why does the Pizza Hut near me require me to use Doordash because I am otherwise outside of their delivery area, despite them being just down the street by the way?
The counters, the exchanges, the back and forth. Yeah, this is fun and a spark of an opener. The finish could have been a bit better, but the match overall was borderline great stuff. A worthy defense and I am very excited to see what the next match in line for this belt is planned.
They run down the card for tonight and yeah, it's stacked as fuck.
Archer and Snake are backstage. It looks like Mox has his next challenger. Texas Death Match next week in Dallas. Badass.
The FTW Championship match is next. I'm glad we're getting that belt defended!
I'm glad Ricky is back and so fast. The dude is such a star in the making and I admit I was wrong. I didn't see his full potential at first but can see how the dude could main event sooner than later on big shows.
Speaking of commercials, a second ago at least, they aired one for the new Space Jam. I tried to show the kids the older Space Jam earlier today on HBO Max by the way. Kept getting those error messages which happen all the fucking time on that damn app. No other apps give me trouble like HBO.
Andrade calls out Death Triangle backstage. Says he is looking for them. Hell yeah.
They are selling the FTW match as brotherly issues. A miscommunication early on and Ricky sold his neck as hurting. Ragdoll stuff but it feels a bit off in general at first for me. Starks then goes after a hot target on Cage and his arm before dropping a nice DK from the ropes. We have PIP as they cut again to commercial. Ricky chews on Cage's fingernails as a Modelo commercial runs.
Titans is coming to TNT!!!
That crucifix bomb rocked. I like the belt being called an outlaw championship. This has gotten much better as it moves along. I saw the powerbomb spot, which was nice, and then the food came. I'll watch this one later to rate it properly as I came back to Ricky walking off with the belt and Team Taz celebrating.
Cody comes out to call out Black. Well done. Backstage, Black replies. Surrounded by smoke. I've been torn on Cody's booking choices but this is awesome. The promo work rocked. Their brawl was hot. Great shit.
The LAX boys showed a lot of respect for their elders and then another old dude, Tony, was in the ring to have a chat with Page. This episode is rolling nicely. I always like how quick these episodes tend to feel. We're almost an hour in already. Feels like things will have to go short a bit.
Page's promo was fantastic. He'll fail the first attempt versus Kenny and succeed the second, in my opinion. The Elite came out to talk some shit. I'd really enjoy a Dark Order/Elite feud. Page showed off his balls, Kenny tried for a cheap shot, and then Dark Order made the save. A Five on Five elimination rules match is suggested from Kenny. I fucking love that. Page adds that if they win they all get title shots. Kenny agrees if Page will skip his title match if not. I really hope it's Super Smash Bros versus the Bucks but I'd also like the Beaver Boys. Gold shit right here. I will note that face title runs are hard to do right but Page is such a fucking star at the door of being one of the biggest in wrestling.
The Gorilla Tape lawnmower commercial was admittedly more entertaining than most commercials on US television. In other news, this pizza is pretty decent.
Jericho is backstage to talk about MJF. Great stuff. Spears attacked and MJF told Jericho his first challenge. Spears can utilize chairs, Jericho can't. They weakened up his arm, too. Really good stuff. This is why that huge arena show is selling so well. AEW is a variety show and a damn good one.
Matt and Christian next. A match that was so obvious that it had to happen at some point. The outcome will say A LOT. Also, these edibles are hitting hard. You know, Matt and Christian both had some badass TNA/IMPACT careers. Not enough credit is given to those runs. The storylines here are so fun. Even JR is a bit more background noise tonight by the way. That big dive was cool to see. I didn't expect something so big here. I expect a big surprise tonight, potentially. Hopefully. Possibly. This feels a lot like a big match from that era of TNA, actually. In a good way. I have a lot more love for that company than most.
I don't always pay the most attention and, admittedly, AEW does use stuff like BTE and their side shows to push stories, but when and why did Matt move to this gimmick and away from his broken style character he was using when he came in? I love Matt regardless of what gimmick he uses but still I just was wondering why.
My phone decide to force an update right now for some reason. I've put it off for weeks now so it likely got tired of my shit. I'm typing this on my laptop so who cares? I guess I do.
Christian is going to win! It feels as such at least. This downstretch is great. The nearfalls are great, too. I'd be cool with a time limit draw and a rematch, by the way. Instead, a near count out tease and then a killswitch saw CC get his first singles V against MH. Private Party ran out after but Jungle and Luchasaurus came to help. Where is Stunt??? I feel like I haven't seen the dude in a while. Lucha put Cage on his shoulders and teased...something as Jungle looked strange at the sight. Very good match.
Sammy and Yuta can kill it in five minutes. Yuka can have fun in about the same. The coffin match should get the most time in what we have left.
AEW is attitude era modernized.
Miro cut a promo over a set of clips pumped up his rise on Dynamite, which has been awesome.
Baker came out next and is OVER. I love this crowd. They're even better than last year. Baker is such a complete worker. She is perfect on the mic and pretty good in the ring. I have no idea how they had time for that but it was awesome. This episode rocks. A fight between her and Cole must be a fucking spectacle.
Guerrero screamed backstage for a minute. Nyla promised an asswhoping and then dropped a t-shirt catchphrase.
Mox, backstage, propped up Archer. That's how you sell a match. God this episode rocks. I say it again. I can be very hit or miss on anything that isn't actual wrestling on wrestling tv, but these segments have been all top notch.
I really like the rise of Yuta and always love seeing CHIKARA dudes move forward. Blade and Bunny watched at ringside. Sammy is from Katy by the way, not Houston. Same as me.
This is gonna be a fun sprint. Nothing on this show has been like anything else on the card. I see no chance Wheeler wins and that's okay. He's gaining a lot here regardless. Yuta has gotten so much better since CHIKARA, by the way. That match was exactly what it should be.
QT and Tony spoke some shit. I'd argue that was the weakest thing on the episode and it wasn't bad.
Ford out next. Cool look right now for her. Yuka is such a fun worker and it is nice seeing her back. She's not someone I expect loads of MOTYC level matches from, neither is Ford to be fair, but she's solid nonetheless. It's a bit sad that the one match without PIP tonight was the one women's match. I know AEW is more progressive than most wrestling companies, but the small things get me sometimes. The match was far from great, but still decent which is all this needed to be.
Aubrey reminds me a lot of that Haters Back Off girl. I once sent her an image of the Spaghetti O's scene and I think she just said, "lol wtf" and that's a funny fucking memory.
Coffin Match time. After another commercial.
I wonder if that GM game is going to be good. I remember loving those old GM modes on SvR games.
The AEW Rampage ad was decently done.
The main looks to be about ten minutes long. They can make that work to be honest. I say Darby wins but the show ends with some sick looking moment with Allin taking it. As promising as this is, I was just asked by Eric Mutter, a great writer that makes me look like shit, if they can top Mil/Fenix. No, they cannot. And that's okay.
Darby's back plate was fun and I love him going straight in. He's the Jeff Hardy of this show for sure, a few demons and all. The big difference is how they are far more willing to take a shot on Allin than WWE was for Jeff for many years.
Sky appeared and attacked Darby. Sting came out for a fun battle with Scorp.
They all went for a walk and brawl during the commercials. I love seeing Ethan throw Darby around like he does. I remember that infamous EVOLVE spot fondly.
Does Jeff Hardy ever appear in AEW by the way or is he too afraid that he can't compete at a high enough level to do so these days?
The necklace spot was badass. Six minutes left. They began to battle inside of the coffin. Is that fake, plastic, black roses? I have a tradition of giving those to my wife.
Ethan Page began to bleed, which was a nice bonus here. The razor's edge onto the steps was fucking sick. The skateboard spot was arguably even better.
I'll refrain from officially giving the episode a score until I see the FTW match in a bit, and will update it at that time, but this episode was fucking awesome as I've suggested a few times already and is a thrill ride of two hours.
I'd be cool with something to happen right here just as much as I'm cool with a fade to black on Darby celebrating.
Ah, they instead have him coffin drop the casket. Fuck yeah. Do they move on from here or is it not over? What the fuck would they even do next?
Watch This Episode Now, and thanks for reading! I'll update the FTW match and add a score below ASAP.
So, the Brian/Ricky match was fairly good and I like that they finally pulled the trigger on the turn. Ricky winning was the right choice here, too. Hard to really complain about much.
So yeah, a great episode of wrestling for sure and one of my favorite Dynamites ever.
Overall Rating: 85/100%