December 29th, 2021
Jacksonville, Florida - Dailys Place
Commentary - Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, & Jim Ross
The final show of 2021, the final episode on TNT, the return of Jim Ross, and the final show produced by Keith Mitchell. It’s a big one tonight, folks. Let’s dive in!
The show begins with Jim Ross making his triumphant return to the commentary booth after beating cancer. Welcome back, Jim! JR’s first words are ITS WEDNESDAY AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.
1) Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Christian Cage, Penta El Zero Miedo, & Rey Fenix vs. FTR, Matt Hardy, & Private Party
And that statement rolls right into Jungle Boy making his entrance. The most organic feeling show tonight already! This is a big 10 man tag that was added to the card earlier today (I think). Matches like this can either be great or terrible. This fell somewhere in between. It didn’t overstay its welcome and they were able to keep it paced in a way that it didn’t become a complete clusterfuck unlike the one from Rampage a few weeks ago. We got a lot of Christian & Jungle Boy quick tags. The Lucha Bros get in and show off on FTR for a bit. Everything ultimately builds to the Luchasaurus hot tag which rules as always. Things break down from here and FTR gets the victory for their team. Fun start to the show!
Match rating - **3/4
2) Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia & 2.0
King/Santana/Ortiz is the trio I’ve been dying to finally see team up and HERE WE GO. King & the boys charge the ring immediately and Garcia and company flee. Great great start to this match. Unfortunately we don’t reach a happy or even very satisfactory ending. Eddie Kingston finally gets the hot tag and we get a repeat finish from Rampage as Garcia uses the tights to get a roll up victory on Ortiz.
Match rating - **1/4
After the match, Daniel Garcia grabs the time keepers bell as 2.0 continues the assault. Kingston tries to save Santana, but can’t. Garcia blasts Santana with the bell. This brings out Chris Jericho to a huge pop. Kingston immediately looks disgruntled after Jericho cleans house and soaks in the crowd. King mouths for them to cut the music and you can hear him ask Jericho what he’s doing here and that he doesn’t need his help. My favorite line from the whole thing as they teased a brawl? “You ain’t shit, Jericho.” Inject King v Jericho right into my veins. Mainly because Eddie Kingston will make it great, not because it’s Jericho. Outside of wanting to see Jericho get roughed up, I have no interest in him finding another hot talent to leech off of. It’s sort of a dream match, I guess? I’m just over Jericho in high profile matches. So we’ll see what happens, anyways..
MJF is backstage cutting a promo. He tells Wardlow if he keeps ranking up and wins the TNT Title, it will belong to him per the contract he signed whenever they partnered up and formed the Pinnacle. Wardlow is frustrated, but MJF is too full of himself to notice as he finishes his promo where he also mentions CM Punk refusing to face him. Man.. this Wardlow turn might be coming sooner than we think.
Backstage after commercial, The Lucha Bros have an interview, but Christian Cage shows up with Jurassic Express. He calls the tag team champions dipshits and that they went in to business for themselves and cost them all the match. Christian wants to cut to the chase and have the Lucha Bros/Jurassic Express tag title match. PENTA SAYS if Jungle Boy is gonna be the future, he needs to let go of the past, first.
3) Wardlow vs. Colin Delaney
Hello Mr. Delaney! Cool little spot for him.. or not so cool technically because he gets destroyed by Wardlow and his powerbombs then eats a chair shot from Shawn Spears.
Cameras cut backstage, Adam Cole says himself, The Bucks, O’Reilly & Fish will go down as one of the best factions of all time. Not for long, immediate dissension between the Bucks and Kyle. Kyle asks to speak with Cole alone. The Bucks argue, but leave. Kyle says AEW is all about stables and that’s what they have to have to succeed. Tonight, he knows Fish has his back and he guesses he will find out if Cole does too.
Dan Lambert is here to go off about Cody and Brandi. and I am not recapping this. It fucking sucked. The Cody shit is funny sometimes, but dude. Combining it with this Lambert shit and having Brandi come out to promo is just tone deaf as fuck. This isn’t good, Tony. Pls stop.
Hangman/Danielson video package hyping their title match next week on TBS.
4) Thunder Rosa vs. Jade Cargill - TBS Tournament Semi Final Round Match
This one was an interesting to me heading in. I also truthfully set myself up for heartbreak. My brain told me Jade was winning, but my heart so badly wanted Thunder Rosa to win. I will say, it was nice to see a Jade match that wasn’t an extended squash, but boy.. the finish left a good bit to be desired. I liked Rosa targeting the legs and Jade did a good job selling it all match. The figure four spot ruled also. There was a rough moment or two down the stretch however I’d say the good outweighed the bad. Jade got some sick power spots in here as well. Then we have the finish. Mark Sterling distracts the ref while a hooded figure smashes something over Rosa’s head and that leads us to the pin. Jade meets Ruby Soho to crown the first TBS Champion next week.
Match rating - **1/4
After the match, the masked woman is revealed to be MERCEDES MARTINEZ. I honestly forgot that she was even released from WWE and she isn’t someone I’d clamor for to be in WWE, but I think she’s a good fit for Jade. Ruby Soho makes the big save which I popped for because I’ve had her theme song stuck in my head this week.
They replay the Kris Statlander/Leyla Hirsch issues which I’m glad they covered, but it was done very.. awkwardly.
CM Punk is here. It’s his first time in Dailys Place which is cool. He welcomes Jim Ross back and says he’s been thinking about Brodie Lee. He then segways into people who don’t matter like MJF. Punk says if MJF is done with him, that’s fine because he wants to chase gold too and that it would be a shame if someone interfered with MJF’s chase for gold. So.. I guess the story of this is that it’s not continuing, but it actually is continuing. God, I don’t know but I’m bored of it. Punk being here and the first part of his promo was cool, but this MJF stuff.. over it.
Hikaru Shida video package airs highlighting how Serena Deeb got the cheap victory the other week.
Tony Schiavone is in the ring with Brian Pillman Jr. It’s a shame he didn’t wear his “Cancel Cancel Culture” hoodie. What a fuckin goofball. And why are we seeing Pillman & Griff as singles guys against Malakai when they should be focusing on furthering them as a tag team and making the division feel more full. Idk. Pillman wants Malakai next week. Lights go out, Malakai shows up then disappears. They will face next week on the debut TBS show.
5) Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, & Bobby Fish vs. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, & Trent?
After a night full of multi-mans, we get another and it might be, to the surprise of many, my least favorite of the bunch. Maybe it’s because I was sleepy, I dunno. Best part of this was seeing Kyle in an AEW ring for a match for the first time. Other than that, this was routine Elite/SuperKliq stuff with the Best Friends subbed in as the babyface team. It’s odd that this did nothing for me considering the Best Friends are so fuckin good in this role. Maybe this is just delving too much toward the Undisputed Era style and stuff which I had zero real investment in. I just felt like this was the most auto pilot version of everyone involved. Chuck hit a crazy dive that was cool. For the most part, though, they just did stuff for however long. No real story or flow outside of the obvious stuff and the Bucks showing up for more melodrama Elite stuff. I just have no interest in it, but HEY. It pulled a god damn rating y’all so fuck it. Keep booking it until it don’t! I’m just one person talking here and it seems like the masses enjoyed this so hell yea. But as far as I’m concerned, unless a re-watch proves different, this wasn’t anything special.
Match rating - **1/2