August 18th, 2021
The show begins with Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston making their way to the ring through the crowd after the commentators ran down the card for the night. This entrance felt as huge and badass as ever. It also let us know how amazing of a crowd we had on our hands tonight. They are LOUD. In the midst of this special moment, 2.0 attacks Mox & Kingston in the crowd from behind then heads to the ring. They have really meshed SO well into AEW. Great heel promo here saying they want Sting & Darby RIGHT NOW. God, this 2.0 shit just feels so… natural and honestly old school. Like this promo felt so 80’s-90’s and in a good way. WWE/NXT left so much on the table with them.
1) Sting & Darby Allin vs. 2.0 (w/ Daniel Garcia)
Some may say my rating of this is high but FUCK IT. This fucking ruled. It’s Sting’s first match on TNT in 20 god damn years. The crowd is HOT AS HELL. 2.0 are the perfect loud mouth obnoxious goofs to take a beating. Darby is a maniac. This is just… fantastic viewing and easy on the eyes pro wrestling. Raw couldn’t have a match this fun if they fucking tried. I also love how Sting’s limited wrestling ability at his current age has led to him basically just no selling everything and I am totally ok with it. At this point, his drawing point is his mystique. He’s more than a wrestler. He is Sting. Don’t make him wrestle, let him be Sting. Let him no sell a fucking powerbomb through a table. The booking of this is so smart and so FORWARD THINKING AND PROGRESSIVE. AEW GETS IT. STING GETS IT. Double scorpion death drop and death lock ends it. Sting & Darby celebrate another victory.
Match rating - ***1/2
They show clips of Sammy Guevara proposing to his girlfriend in front of the fans before the show. AWWW.
Meanwhile, Tully Blanchard and Shawn Spears are backstage applauding. Spears says he’s gonna let Sammy’s fiancé join the pinnacle tonight so she can be on top for once. Dear lord.
2) Sammy Guevara vs. Shawn Spears
Ok what in the fuck. This show has started off more insane than ever. First, that Sting match. Now.. this. I had not much expectation or interest for this, admittedly. I like Sammy fine and I could care less about Shawn Spears so there wasn’t much anticipation for this. However, these two proceeded to deliver the best match of both of their AEW careers. A 9 minute banger that made both men look phenomenal and set the crowd on fire. This righted all the wrongs the MJF/Sammy match displayed. MJF can go long in most cases, Sammy? He belongs in stuff like this and will forever shine more in these roles than trying to work some main event style match. Crazy spots and false finishes. The crowd was going bonkers. Just.. yes. Spears gets busted open the hard way along the way before being put away by Sammy to hopefully end this damn feud.
Match rating - ***3/4
The new Impact World Champion Christian is backstage for an interview. Don Callis interrupts. Christian calls him a carny piece of shit and yeah.
Dante Martin highlight package airs and it’s fantastic. Glad AEW is finally starting to do stuff like this and capitalize on awesome little moments like Dante’s showing last week. BUILDING STOCK IN THE FUTURE and giving us more depth to Dante Martin as a character!
Dan Lambert is here as promised two weeks ago. He has Junior Dos Santos & Andrei Arlovski with him. He cuts a promo about cancel culture and calls everyone who likes AEW triggered millennials. What a loser. He name drops Dana White and says no one in AEW can fight blah blah. Lance Archer comes out and is attacked by… Men of the Year. I love Page & Scorpio, but this doesn’t make much sense to me and it came off pretty flat when the promo made it feel like they were building towards something big to cut off Lambert.
Backstage, Jericho hypes up his match with MJF later. He says he doesn’t need the Judas Effect or his theme song to win because he has the people. Tonight, it will be Jericho up and MJF down.
3) The Young Bucks (c) vs. Jurassic Express - AEW World Tag Title Match
Oh wow! Young Bucks with another amazing match reminding you that yes, they are the best tag team of all time? Yup. This blew my mind in ways I didn’t think it could. The Houston crowd took it to new heights as every spot got an explosive response and rightfully so because dear lord there was some crazy shit in here. They isolate Jungle Boy after an early flurry and Luchasaurus gets the hot tag and goes ballistic. Everyone shined here, there were so many jaw dropping spots and man… Kenny coming down and slamming Marko Stunt with a chair leading to a callback from Omega’s match with Christian on Rampage gave us a crazy false finish. It truly felt like Jurassic Express may walk away with the titles for a few minutes here. After a valiant, insanely back & forth fight, the most brutal finisher in AEW, the BTE Trigger puts Jungle Boy away. WOW. What a barnburner.
Match rating - ****1/4
The Bucks begin to attack Jurassic Express post match, but Christian tries to make the save just to get attacked by Omega and the Good Brothers. This turns into another beatdown on the baby faces by the Elite. Omega is wearing a Cookie Monster shirt. Wink wink. Omega hits Christian with the one winged angel while Don counts to three.
In the back, our women’s champion Britt Baker (with Rebel) introduce Jamie Hayter. Jamie is here to help her sort out the rest of the women and she wants Red Velvet one on one next week.
Matt Hardy cuts a promo and no one cares. Orange Cassidy says it sounds like Matt thinks he could take him out. Orange says “how about we find out about that.” LETS GOOOOO. Orange punch his ass.
Next up, we get a segment to set up a match I was hoping would be on All Out - Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall. Wight came out with an announcement which QT interrupted by showing pictures of Big Show’s ass and making fun of all his surgeries. Only to find out Wight’s announcement was for their match at All Out. That shit is gonna be so fun and a nice breather on the PPV.
Jade Cargill is finally wrestling again this Friday on Rampage against Kiera Hogan. She says it was fun watching Miro toy with Fuego Del Sol last week, but now it’s her turn to have some fun.
The Elite are backstage when Tony Schiavone announces to them that there will be a tag team title eliminator tournament to determine their opponents for All Out featuring the Lucha Bros, Jurassic Express, Private Party, & the Varsity Blondes!
Team Taz segment here which sucks as it has for the last few weeks. They cut to backstage where Hobbs is standing over a beaten down Cage. Cage recovers and fires back and Taz, Hook & Starks run back for the save.
PAC says he’s glad Andrade grew a pair of bollocks and says he’ll face him at All Out. Andrade says he will only face him if he agrees to his contract and presents it. It’s a huge stack of papers so god knows what’s in there. Chavo reminds the Lucha Bros that even though they’re in the tag title tournament, they will never be champions while “working for” PAC.
4) Thunder Rosa vs. Penelope Ford
Glad these two ladies got this chance because they’re both fantastic, just hate the generic placement on the show, essentially in the cool down spot before the main event. Rosa gets a HUGE pop though and they still kill it regardless. Penelope hits a sick cutter on Rosa on the floor which sends us to break. They have some good exchanges after the break trading submissions and a nice near fall or two. Penelope repeatedly tries for the Indian death lock, but Rosa has a counter for it every time and forces Penelope to tap with a choke of some sort. I had to rewatch this after the show because I was so burnt out during the show and couldn’t pay attention to it.
Match rating - **1/2
Backstage, we discover that Brock Anderson has a match against Malakai Black next week. Arn Anderson tries to talk his son out of it, but Brock says it’s signed and he’s not backing down.
Next week: Lucha Bros vs. Varsity Blondes, Orange Cassidy vs. Matt Hardy, Malakai Black vs. Brock Anderson, and Jamie Hayter vs. Red Velvet.
Anddddd this Friday on Rampage, Jon Moxley vs Daniel Garcia, Private Party vs. Jurassic Express, and Jade Cargill vs. Kiera Hogan. Crowd chants CM Punk during this hype video.
Miro video package. He wants Eddie Kingston. HOLY SHIT.
5) Chris Jericho vs. MJF
The five labors of Jericho story has undoubtedly been a memorable one. We got highs like the Nick Gage match, cool throwback moments like Juventud Guerrera showing up, and a solid match with Shawn Spears. Let’s pretend that Wardlow match didn’t happen, though. And it’s not Wardlow’s fault there just wasn’t anything special to mask the flaws that have started to come with Jericho’s age. With that in mind, this was a mixed bag, but it largely came off as a success. The crowd singing Jericho to the ring since MJF banned his theme song for the match, along with the judas effect finisher, set the vibe as this crowd was in LOVE with Jericho. Every near fall and false finish got a massive reaction. Things were at such a fever pitch thanks to the crowd that it covered up a lot of the flaws Jericho has had recently. The focus on Jericho's injured arm and how it played into the finish also ruled. So, yeah, great stuff here. MJF wins, as he should, and continues to only have ONE loss in the history of this promotion. Ain't that crazy?
Match rating - ***3/4
The show closes with MJF backing up the ramp smirking. Onward we go to a night that is being billed as the most important in AEW history! Rampage 8/20 in Chicago.