February 17th, 2021
Daily’s Place - Jacksonville, FL
Commentary - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone
Yikes, this was a rough start to the show honestly. Page is the only highlight as his hot runs ruled as always. I’m just tired of this angle with Hardy and then Evans came up short on a Phoenix splash and made this whole thing feel so messy. Hardy wins for his team with a twist of fate.
Match rating - *3/4
Post match, Page reveals he switched the contracts last week and Hardy actually signed a contract for a match against him for a quarter of his earnings if he loses. Jeeez. Hardy asks him to put his earnings on the line also to make it fair. Page ends up getting jumped by Hardy & Isaiah Kassidy of Private Party only for Brodie Lee Jr. to send DARK ORDER OUT FOR THE SAVE. That was cool, but this angle suuuuucks and I’m not looking forward to their match at Revolution.
Backstage, more Inner Circle bullshit. Jericho says MJF did pester Sammy, but their falling out is mainly Sammy's fault and he's gonna pay for it.
2) Serena Deeb vs. Riho - Women’s World Title Eliminator Tournament
NOW WE ARE TALKIN’. Riho is back and in grand fashion. Serena is Serena and she’s awesome. They place this on a way different part of the show than normal. So yeah this fucking ruled. Great leg work on Serena that ended up playing into the finish of this very hard fought match that had my attention from bell to bell. Just superb wrestling from these ladies here with some great near falls in the closing stretch. Good selling and an awesome progression/layout to the match. Riho wins when all is said and done. It really felt like things could go either way.
Match rating - ****
Highlight package of Shaq & Jade Cargill "training" for their match with Cody & Red Velvet.
3) Orange Cassidy (w/ Chuck Taylor) vs. Luther (w/ Serpentico)
Luther tosses Orange around early. Serpentico gets involved and eats an awful waffle from Chuck. This leads to Orange getting the win over Luther. Good for a Orange/Chuck appearance which is always a delight, but not much else happening here.
Match rating - **
Clips are shown of Kenny Omega reading the Young Bucks' book to a pre-school class with Don Callis and Michael Nakazawa LMAO.
Sting does his thing. Team Taz is short two people because of the snow so they come out first. It's Cage, Taz, & Hook. Sting drops his bat after Taz mocks him for needing it. This ends with Cage powerbombing Sting. FINALLY.. a liiiitle progression in this story.
4) The Young Bucks (c) vs. Santana & Ortiz
So apparently these teams have faced twice in AEW and I totally forgot or missed it. Shout out Excalibur for reminding me because I thought this was their first meeting in the promotion, but apparently they wrestled at Full Gear 2019 and a Dynamite after that. Anyways, this was awesome. It truly felt like Santana & Ortiz might pull off the upset at several points. MJF got thrown out early on, so there was no interference here really, just great, crazy tag team wrestling. In the end, Santana & Ortiz's inexperience gets the best of them as they're in control of things and get a little cocky and the Bucks capitalize and win with a pinning combination.
Match rating - ***3/4
After the match, the Inner Circle runs down to the ring and attacks The Bucks. They show Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers backstage with Don Callis watching. Kenny acts is if he wants to go help, but Callis won't let him. The Good Brothers hesitate, but eventually make their way out and the Inner Circle retreats. In the midst of this Jericho & MJF had the Bucks in dueling submissions and they tapped.
Cody & Brandi Rhodes come out next to announce they're having a baby girl. Cody then joins the commentary team for the next match, which is fitting because I was just listening to Matt Sydal's AEW Unrestricted podcast where he talks about his relationship with Cody.
5) FTR vs. Matt & Mike Sydal
I admit I had no idea who Mike Sydal was until this match and I was pleasantly surprised. By him and by this match. A very fun prolonged squash with plenty of cool moments and spots. FTR throwing the Sydal’s around was way more enjoyable than I anticipated. It looked like we may see an upset for a minute, but FTR gets the victory.
Match rating - ***
Post-match, FTR attacks the Sydal's and tries to cut Mike's hair. Jurassic Express makes the save and we will see a trios match next week - Jurassic Express vs. FTR & Tully Blanchard.
Pre-taped Moxley promo where he says he will beat Eddie Kingston's ass however many times he has to until he realizes he's the only one in this company who truly cares about him. He also says he is coming for Omega's title and his rematch at Revolution. LOTS OF HYPE was built here towards the main event tonight. Mox kills it every time.
6) Jon Moxley, Rey Fenix, & Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston, The Butcher, & The Blade (w/ Bunny)
AEW does it again with an insanely good main event and closing angle. Shit, I may have enjoyed this even more than last week’s highly anticipated main involving KENTA. The way they circled back to the Mox/Kingston story and made this all about Eddie’s former rivals was fantastic. Like, from the jump this felt big. Every week I'm reminded more and more that Moxley is the face of this company and the top babyface in the world. I don't know how else to say it because I'm terrible with words, but man it's just amazing to watch this run he's having. He's clearly the captain of this team here, with even a former rival in Lance Archer respecting and following him. They start with a huge brawl outside the ring then bring things back inside to settle down. It's mostly Mox & Archer in early. This builds to the REY FENIX HOT TAG aka the best one in the world. He does crazy shit and it rules. Things really explode from here and we get a lot of stuff like Fenix & Archer working together to produce some insane spots. Archer does a running flip off the apron for crying out loud. Anyways, back in the ring it comes down to MOX AND KINGSTON. Amazing, brutal exchange between the two that felt like we were back in the middle of their feud all over again. HOT finish to another great Dynamite main event.
Match rating - ****
Post-match, Kenny Omega, Anderson, & Gallows attack Moxley. Anderson & Gallows hold Moxley whilst Kenny cuts the best promo of his entire AEW run. Truly god-tier heel shit. I'm not gonna try to transcribe, just go watch. Omega is normally light hearted and goofy, which people give him a lot of shit for, but this.. this felt serious and real so if you feel that way and it's turned you off from taking him as a heel or top name seriously - I'd recommend seeking this out. Omega says he's gonna give Mox his title rematch in an EXPLODING BARBED WIRE DEATH MATCH AT REVOLUTION WHAT THE FUCK SOMEONE IS GONNA DIE. MOX HEADBUTTS KENNY OMG. KENNY TELLS THE GOOD BROTHERS TO PULL HIM UP AND V-TRIGGERS HIS DAMN HEAD OFF. Kenny's head is busted from the headbutt and damn that was awesome. ANOTHER fantastic show closer for AEW that has me insanely stoked for next week and an otherwise sort of dull Revolution card.