BLOOD AND GUTS
May 5th, 2021
Daily’s Place - Jacksonville, FL
1) Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. Kenny Omega & MT Nakazawa (w/ Don Callis)
So, Don is a liar as usual and Kenny attacks Mox & King during their entrance through the crowd. This was everything it set out to be. The only reason it’s happening is because Mox & King blackmailed Don Callis into making the match as they held Omega in the ring threatening to break his ankle last week. So, Kenny snuck around a lot here. We got some great action though and the momentum stuck around the whole match which saw Kenny walk out after a few minutes. Mox seemingly had Nak beat, but instead held him in a choke while trying to coax Omega to come in to make the save. Omega walks out and Mox & King debut what I’m guessing will be their finisher as a team - King half & half suplex powered by a Mox lariat. That ends the match.
Match rating - **1/2
“This is disgusting.” -Tony Schiavone
Post match we get the works. The Young Bucks and Gallows & Anderson show up and beat down King & Mox. Omega comes back down and his cohorts help him hoist Kingston up for a one winged angel. They do a fake three count and mock him.
Tonight, Tony Schiavone announces Kenny Omega’s opponent for Double or Nothing. Meanwhile, the first announcement for the PPV (Live on May 30th) is Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker for the Women’s Title. Yessssss. This was pretty expected, but I am so stoked for it.
2) Cody Rhodes (w/ Arn Anderson) vs. QT Marshall (w/ Anthony Ogogo & Nick Comorato)
This starts with fire as Cody charges QT. Lots of shenanigans early. Cody brings in a belt only for QT to whip him with it instead. Arn gets involved before we go to the first commercial, scraping QT’s ear and head against the ring post. Back from commercial, they do stuff. QT hits a cross rhodes and I’m supposed to care. Cody ends up hitting one of his own and QT kicks out and I don’t think he even deserved to do that... but whatever. The match is fine I just find it hard to care about anything involving QT Marshall and this wasn’t fleshed out enough to get me invested. Cody helps QT to his fight and gets a head butt or strike of some sort (I was looking away when it happened) that busts his eye open. Cody mad now, but not like big mad. Just mad enough to finally lock QT in the figure four like he said he wouldn’t and QT taps.
Match rating - **1/2
Post match, Anthony Ogogo shows up and hits Cody in the gut and places the United Kingdom flag over him. Now THIS is the feud we need and damn if this wasn’t a perfect way to start it that I never would’ve thought of.
Alex Marvez is in the stands with Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky following their attack on Darby Allin last week. Scorpio says showtime is over and Sting has overstayed his welcome. Page says he has history with Darby but he isn’t gonna talk about matches no one saw, he’s gonna talk instead about Darby’s medical history that is full of issues thanks to him. Great interview that made me care about this feud that I was pretty not into coming out of last week, but it gets better. Darby flies in out of nowhere and we get an awesome brawl on the top level of Daily’s Place that ends with a gruesome bump as Page throws Darby down the steps AHHHH. So brutal.
3) Britt Baker vs. Julia Hart
Great squash for our queen. She’s heading into the biggest match of her career and still riding high off the momentum of the classic against Thunder Rosa. Everything she does feels like gold. Britt forces Hart to tap in a matter of a minute or two and moves onward to Double or Nothing.
4) Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus vs. The Acclaimed vs. Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) - #1 Contenders Match for the AEW Tag Team Titles
The outcome of this was pretty obvious given recent weeks and even months of Daniels & Kazarian circling around them disbanding if they lose to the Bucks again. They brought back the sentiment to the forefront on Dynamite last week and that led us here. Fun little match for what it is. Daniels & Kaz win as expected and will challenge the Bucks next week.
Match rating - **3/4
Hour two now begins and we shift to ringside where Tony Schiavone has an announcement regarding the AEW Title and Double or Nothing. He brings Kenny Omega onto stage. Tony announces PAC vs. Orange Cassidy for next week with the winner going on to face Kenny for the title at Double or Nothing. Kenny makes light of Orange and basically refuses to acknowledge him and says they may as well go ahead and announce him vs. PAC. Orange walks up and we get an awesome exchange that makes it feel like Orange might actually win next week and main event a damn PPV against Kenny. Sounds crazy, but it felt like it would work and not feel out of place whatsoever. Whether he wins next week or not, though, this definitely makes it feel like the match could go either way.
MIRO is out next and he announces he has the contract and that he is challenging Darby Allin for the TNT title next week. He ends it with a line that speaks for itself:
“The man who doesn’t mind dying, meets the man who doesn’t mind killing him.”
5) The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana & Ortiz) vs. The Pinnacle (MJF, Cash Wheeler, Dax Harwood, Shawn Spears & Wardlow) - Blood & Guts Match
There’s truly SO much to unpack here. This thing started and for the first half, felt like it could be on its way to a ****1/2-3/4 rating. Guevara and Harwood start. Guevara dives from one ring to the next onto Dax to start this thing with a bang. I forgot they had 5 minutes alone together and I figured it could be a bore, but it fucking rocked and was much better than I expected. Dax gets bloody off the cage which set the tone for the amount of blood that would be shed. Shawn Spears is in next and we get a CHAIRSHOT TO THE HEAD ON SAMMY. Just fucking gruesome. It’s the first of two of those in this match. I’m not a play by play guy so I’m not gonna call much of the things that happened here, but the entire first half up to where all 10 men entered was absolutely phenomenal. It felt like a real, blood feud. Exactly what it should’ve been and then some. Guevara shined and the FTR boys did too as they spilled buckets of blood all over the ring. Santana gets a fork spot in SHOUT OUT HOMICIDE. Wardlow & Hager have a badass showdown. And yeah, amazing first, I guess, 20 mins or so? Then it starts to slow. Awkward commercial breaks which missed some key moments. Then MJF & Jericho are on top of the cage for what feels like forever while everyone else just hangs out down in the ring. Then.. the anticlimactic finish I know you’ve already seen or heard about. MJF threatens to throw Jericho to the “cement floor” off the top of the cage unless the rest of his team surrenders, which they do. Post match, MJF decides to show his true colors and throw Jericho off the cage anyway in a terribly shot fall into what was clearly cardboard painted like steel steps and a crash pad. Yikes. So, it’s tough to rate this because despite the floppy finish, the majority of this was amazing and the rest at the least kept my full attention. The pay off just sucked. I could go into what they could’ve done better etc etc etc but that’s not my job and there’s already been so many theories put onto the net that I’m sure I won’t have anything to suggest you haven’t already heard, but I’ll just say this. They could’ve just kept this simple like the first half and it would’ve been a knock out of the park match. The first half felt like.. what War Games used to be. Not the NXT shit. Then... that second half felt like some NXT shit.. the dramatic final sequence of MJF and Jericho on top of the cage.. it just felt like trying way too hard to take this above and beyond. I liked the idea of what they were going for, but the execution and production fell short. None the less, phenomenal effort from all these guys. It was a blast to watch and that first half is something to be damned proud of. And for that, I can’t go any lower than a four boy for this one.
Match rating - ****
Next week’s Dynamite card may as well be a PPV as we have Moxley defending the IWGP US Title against Yuji Nagata, PAC & Orange Cassidy in a #1 contender’s match for Kenny Omega’s AEW World Title, The Young Bucks facing Daniels & Kazarian with the tag titles on the line plus the careers of SCU, AND Darby Allin defending the TNT Title against Miro. God damn my fingers hurt from typing all that... see y’all next week!