- Danielson vs Dax ***1/2
- TNT Title: Joe(c) vs Fox **
- AEW Trios Titles Best of Seven Series #3: Death▲(c) vs The Elite ****
- Darby vs Karter **3/4
- Athena vs Mo NR
- Dynamite Diamond Ring Battle Royal ***1/4
- TNT Title: Joe(c) vs Darby ***1/2
- JAS vs BCC ***1/4
- AEW Tag Titles: Acclaimed(c) vs FTR ***3/4
- Moxley vs Takeshita ****
- Regina di WAVE Title: Shida(c) vs Bunny ***
- AEW All-Atlantic Title: Orange(c) vs Seven ***1/2
We're on the road to Texas, folks. Note that I have a digest due soon covering the Vince drama, for those that are interested in such things.
We started with Hangman's return and his brawl with Mox. Simple, but very entertaining. It'd continue later.
The first match was one that played out exactly like I expected it would when I saw it on the card (in a good way) as The American Dragon defeated FTR's Dax in a great, technical focused singles match. Good shit.
Respect shown after.
Claudio and Yuta sat down with Renee and JAS members in an okay backstage segment. Yuta/Garcia for the Pure belt and a tag match to prelude it were set up here.
I guess dropping all of your matches but then beating Serpentico on Dark: Elevation is enough to get a title shot? Fox and Joe sadly didn't get much time and it was a bit disjointed, too. After, Wardlow would appear on screen to remind fans that he's still in a program with the King of Television.
MJF's reign of terror began with the debut of the Triple B (Big Burberry Belt) and a knockout of Regal. The promo that the new champ cut was admittedly a bit mixed and I really fear that they made a mistake not running with the face turn. Yeah, I know he can be a top shelf heel but read the room.
Danielson would run out to check on his fallen mentor.
Ruby returned after a match that I didn't watch to continue a program that I'm pretty sure everyone was hoping was over.
I skipped the Jade/Bow Wow shit because no one needs to see that.
Match three in the best of seven series was another fantastic outing. This one really felt like they were hitting fast forward the entire time, thanks to a few things running long earlier, but the abilities of the performers ensured that this wasn't technically a negative. The finish was pretty logical with the ongoing program though I can see some as feeling it was a bit flat. Mileage will vary in general.
I enjoyed it a lot, for whatever that's worth to you...
The Acclaimed have arrived and Renee is in the ring. They get her cracked when Bowens calls Double J Colonel Sanders. Luckily, Lethal and Jeff are told they'll have to wait because the scissor boys want to face the best of the best. The ass boys come out to waste TV time. Jarrett's music hits to waste more TV time. FTR come out wearing their plunder and walk straight to the ring and shake hands with the champs.
The AEW YouTube channel has a video that I could have watched next that saw Private Party falling to Frontline aka Team TNA. The video suggests that their short match and victory over a team that is barely relevant is enough to show that they are real contenders.
Saraya and Renee have a sitdown backstage that landed decently. Knight wants a title shot eventually and puts over Hayter.
Athena murdered Dani Mo. RIP.
I couldn't bring myself to watch a lumberjack match right now but Orange retained.
House of Black murdered people after.
This one had a fun battle royal to kick us off. I don't say that often as I tend to consider this match gimmick a terrible one that rarely turns out good content. Lots of story blocks, some decent action, and perhaps the right outcome. If Ricky already had a shot at MJF coming though, why give him the nod and then have the match for the ring and the belt mixed into one?
One of the few good things coming out of MJF being kept heel is the boost it clearly gave Ricky in this program they were running. The post-match promo segment between the two was pretty fun as a result. The champ was admittedly far superior but the shaky but passionate fire of Starks was hard to deny.
Joe murdered Darby next to retain the TNT strap. At least Allin had won several matches before getting this shot and was a former champ. The big/little dynamic worked perfectly here and Samoa Joe looked like his old self as a result. He even tried to murder the corpse he just made in post.
To be clear, he looked like his old self until he ran off looking terrified when Wardlow came out after.
BCC bested JAS in a match that was meant to be a major tease for Final Battle (expect the next Digest to focus on that show). Claudio and Yuta looked good and everyone played their roles well enough. The unit warfare ran to the point that it was honestly just poking a dead man with a stick at times, but it's hard to deny that the matches themselves were usually pretty enjoyable either way.
Sadly we had another Regal sighting after, this time with a recorded interview. Bryan was missing, promoted as being bedside at the hospital for the fallen vet.
Hayter got a sitdown. It went well.
There was a wonky Baker/Saraya segment after.
This episode's main event featured FTR attempting and failing to take the AEW World Tag Team Championships away from The Acclaimed. A great contest with a flash pin. Good work and strong storytelling in general, and both teams played to their strengths rather well.
The Acclaimed continue to overdeliver on expectations and are raising the bar and elevating themselves more and more as they do.
Because The Briscoes have been cancelled or whatever, we instead saw the ass boys announcing a double dog collar match between FTR and the shunned brothers to officially close the episode.
Takeshita gets wins on YouTube, the way AEW tries to rebound folks, and then falls in spectacular fashion on TV, usually in a randomly announced match. Rinse and repeat.
Luckily, the contests themselves typically are indeed spectacular.
A broken record moment, for sure, but I've been proudly screaming in this dude's favor for years now and I am beyond thankful that people are finally taking note.
He and Mox put in for a four star clash to start Rampage. It kept the running joke going but also gave Mox a big bounce back win after falling to MJF so it had a purpose.
Page gets murdered after he tries to run out and start shit.
Shida and Bunny had a good one that served as both a title defense and a number one contender match. Forgettable for the most part if I'm being honest, but I give credit to Bunny for her growth since joining AEW and did think it was far from bad either way.
The last pull of this set saw Trent Seven debut alongside Kip and Ford to challenge Orange for the All-Atlantic strap. A pretty good match and a nice debut is the best summary here as the artist formerly known as Fire Ant continues to be a top shelf fighting champion and one of the best parts of AEW in general.
Texas boy Dustin Rhodes made an appearance after because AEW loves hometown pops.
The build for Winter is Coming and Final Battle was pretty solid, to be honest. As is usual for this company, even the weak links weren't too bad and largely served purposes and featured real effort. I appreciated most of what I saw for that reason and actually consider a decent chunk worth recommendation.
Watch what you missed that sounds interesting and thanks, as always, for reading.