August 4th, 2021
Daily’s Place - Jacksonville, FL
Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, & MJF
1) Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera
This started off pretty rough on Juvi’s end and things were pretty shaky throughout. They threw some cool stuff in there and the fact that this is even happening to begin with is just nuts so it was still a fun way to kick off the show. Crowd is hottttt for Jericho which is no shocker. This was really a blast if you overlook the small missteps. A top rope Judas effect? Cmon, that shit was so sick.
Match rating - **1/4
Post match, Wardlow attacks Jericho and he is revealed as the fourth labor and Jericho’s opponent next week. ITS WARDLOW SZN BBY. This was a little anticlimactic in comparison to the previous labour reveals, but I love Wardlow so fuck it.
More Death Triangle and Andrade & Chavo stuff backstage. They cancelled PAC’s flight this week instead of the Lucha Bros. Andrade still wants them to join him, but they won’t.
Hangman wants to part ways with the Dark Order. Yep. My heart is broken. Some of the boys try to convince him otherwise but Uno says they need to let him go and figure his shit out. < / 3
2) Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, & Darby Allin vs. Daniel Garcia and 2.0
Wow. What a perfect fucking TV match. This felt like the old glory days of my youth when I would get so excited when the top baby faces would team up. Garcia and 2.0 (formerly 3.0 in CHIKARA and Everrise in NXT) are making their Dynamite debut and they absolutely knock it out of the park. 2.0 got to show the charisma and personality that they never got to in NXT and Garcia.. man, he’s just a natural. These three were meant for TV. The perfect opposing side for three of the top babyfaces in the company. Garcia also took one HELL of a paradigm shift DDT here. It finishes him off as Mox gets the pinfall victory.
Match rating - ***
Ricky Starks/Brian Cage/Taz video package. It’s ok, this feud has just lost a lot of steam.
Backstage, The Elite is standing by a basketball goal. There’s so much to unpack here. Omega has a “Cookie Monster” shirt on that many speculated to be a reference to CM Punk. Gallows is wearing a Ric Flair style robe. This was just bonkers in all the best ways. They basically run down Hangman and his failure alongside the Dark Order and they cut the net off the basketball goal. They say it’s time to retire their jerseys and their belts because there is no one left to challenge Kenny and the Bucks. OH, and Uno & Grayson get an Impact tag title shot against Gallows & Anderson next week on Dynamite.
3) Christian Cage vs. The Blade
Truthfully had little to no interest in this. Christian gets another win which we find out later in the night propels him into the #1 contendership spot for the AEW World Title. I really hope they don’t try to make this the All Out main event instead of Page/Omega because it will likely fail miserably. Sure, Christian in AEW is cool, but this “run” he’s on towards the title has uhhhh no momentum and has no business main eventing a PPV.
Match rating - *3/4
Video package for FTR/Santana & Ortiz. Dax babbles about how almost watched his partner BLEED OUT AND DIE LAST WEEK BAH GAWD. BUT DEATH COULDNT STOP HIM. That cut does look nasty in retrospect, I couldn’t see it live at the show but these replays were gruesome. Santana & Ortiz say this is far from over and yeah.
Britt Baker and Rebel, our QUEENS, are out next. This basically sets up Britt’s challenger for the Women’s Title at her hometown show/the debut of Rampage in Pittsburgh next week. With that opponent being.. Red Velvet! This may seem a little lackluster, but Velvet has delivered in all of her big matches thus far and I think she definitely deserves this chance to do it again. So yeah, it’s Britt/Red Velvet for the title at Rampage next Friday night.
Backstage, Andrade has “requested” more mic time. This time though it’s decent because they just beat the shit out of Fuego Del Sol aka the easiest way to get heat on someone in this promotion nowadays.
Hangman Page is out next with something to say to the Elite, but they interrupt him before he can. Omega expects he’s going to ask to rejoin the group. Page says that’s the last thing he wants to do. Omega goes on to say even if he did want to, he couldn’t because he doesn’t fit the bill because they don’t allow losers in the group etc. Page right hands Omega and this turns into a savage assault. The Dark Order runs down, but Uno & Grayson stop the rest of the group from interfering because of the previous convo where they agreed to give Hangman the space and time away from them that he wanted. HOW HEARTWRENCHING FML. Frankie Kazarian comes out, though, but the numbers catch up to him as well. Omega then vows to give Page a close look at something he will never have and nails him with the title belt after some BTE triggers from the Bucks. Damn. Some think the Omega/Page feud is over and it won’t be the title match at All Out, but I don’t see how it can’t be. This feud is still playing out before our eyes as this segment was the perfect example of.
4) Miro (c) vs. Lee Johnson (w/ Dustin Rhodes) - TNT Title Match
Never expected this to go almost 10 minutes nor do I think it should’ve. However, it did provide us with a pretty good little match that showed a side of Lee Johnson we haven’t seen yet as he’s never really in any matches that go this long or are this competitive. Much less with high stakes. He did great in the role he was in, I just felt like this went long for the sake of it. Considering how Lee has been booked, you could’ve easily squashed him in 4 minutes and called it a day. But good on them for giving him a few more minutes to see what he could do. Miro retains via submission. I love Miro and maybe just maybe this invigorated some interest in Lee Johnson?
Match rating - **3/4
Backstage, Tony Schiavone is with Christian Cage and for the first time since his debut my eyes rolled. He’s named the #1 contender to the AEW World Title and there’s absolutely no fire behind the idea of that whatsoever. Really hope this is just a TV main event and they don’t try to propel this into the All Out main event slot. I do want to see this match, it’s just, there’s so many other interesting things you could do with Kenny at the PPV besides this.
5) The Bunny (w/ The Blade, Jack Evans, Angelico, Private Party & Jora Johl) vs. Leyla Hirsch (w/ Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, Wheeler Yuta, & Kris Statlander) - #1 Contender for the NWA Women’s Title Match
Lord that’s a lot of people out here. I totally forgot this was to determine the #1 contender to the NWA Women’s Title until the post match. This match is whatever. I’m a fan of both women so I enjoyed it, although we’ve definitely seen better matches from both. Leyla gets the win after some back & forth. After the match, Kamille gets in the ring and poses over Leyla with the NWA Women’s Title. DAMN SHE TALL.
Match rating - *3/4
6) Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes
This was pretty excellent for what it was. The entrances and atmosphere were spectacular, especially Black’s. It and he felt huge. The match itself only lasts four minutes and it rocks. Straight up assault from Black, fire from Cody, a table bump, and the finish with a hellacious kick from Black as he stands over Cody for the three count. Good shit.
Match rating - **3/4
After the match, Cody cuts a promo that sounds similar to a retirement. Some hated it, some loved it, I’m somewhere in the middle. Cody kills stuff like this and for his character, it’s perfect and he makes it super compelling. Cody mentions in-fighting that he’s had with Kenny & The Bucks, but that he loves them. He loves AEW and the fans more than anything for making his life so special, but it’s time for him to remove himself from the forefront or whatever. He goes to lay his boots in the middle of the ring, but Malakai Black nails him with a crutch in the back. It’s a good shot too as Cody’s back starts to bleed a little immediately. Black stands over Cody to close the show.
This was definitely a step down from the past few weeks, but you absolutely cannot complain. You can’t load a show every week with surprise and PPV quality matches. Plus, you still one big drawing main event here. I loved this show because it felt more like a standard wrestling show, but a good one. It shows that you don’t have to do workrate matches top to bottom every week for a show to be a blast. AEW really has a formula thats clicking and it’s a lot more diverse than anything else on wrestling TV and a lot more diverse than anyone’s giving them credit for.