January 5th, 2022
Newark, New Jersey
AEW’s TBS DEBUT ~~~~
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone
1) “Hangman” Adam Page (c) vs. Bryan Danielson - AEW World Title Match
This was just absolutely incredible. After the 60 minute draw they had on 12/15, they really had a lot to live up to and somehow they did it. Not that I ever doubted them. I knew this would rock. I did not know it would be this brutal nor did I think Danielson AND Page would be gushing. But boy, they were and it was fucking nuts. They really worked this perfectly. Early on, Danielson did all the stuff he did in the first match. The running and jumping jacks. Page doesn’t hesitate, he goes hard after Danielson and has an awesome flurry. My favorite part about the opening tid bits is that Page does the jumping jacks and shit later on once he busts Danielson open. A lot of awesome callbacks like that hidden in here. Too many to name, honestly. This match really was the perfect counterpart to their first encounter and on top of that, they wrestled this match with a brutality & stiffness that I don’t think will be matched anytime soon. A truly extreme and stellar performance from both guys. Danielson goes after the arm early to try to eliminate the buckshot. Page fights through and they end up on the outside and he’s able to send Danielson in the post and bust him open the same way Danielson did to him in their first match. Things really turn up to a new level here and words can’t even describe the intensity of the final 10 minutes. When all is said and done, Hangman finally is able to hit the Buckshot lariat and retain his World Championship after another classic match with Danielson. Wow. That was the only word I could muster when this was over. Good luck to whoever tries to top this and have a better match in the next 11 and a half months.
Match rating - ***** (updated from 4.75 to 5 stars on re-watch 1/29/22) YEAH MAN
Pre-tape from The Acclaimed. They go off about Darby Allin.& Sting and say they have a music video for them next week. Oh mannnn.
2) MJF vs. “Captain” Shawn Dean
So, as you may or may not know, the win-loss records start over at the beginning of the year in AEW. Last week, Punk said he’d be done with MJF because he wanted a World Title shot, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get in the way of MJF’s race toward the top in the process. So, here, Punk runs down as soon as the bell sounds. MJF scurries away and Punk hits the GTS on Dean which calls for the DQ so now MJF is 0-1 to start the new year LMAO. Kinda dumb but kinda funny as fuck, too.
Punk and MJF do another promo battle that lasts too long before getting to the point. Punk has a good line in retort to MJF saying he’ll go “main event a Mania” if he doesn’t start getting treated better in AEW. Then, MJF finally seems to snap and says next week.. CM Punk will face… Wardlow.
Chris Jericho is out now. He talks about it being cool to be back on TBS for the first time since 1999 and WCW Thunder and shit. He then turns his attention to the dipshits, as he calls them.. 2.0. 2.0 getting promo time rules because they’re amazing at the heel role they play.. underrated honestly. This turns into a classic Jericho promo calling them pinheads and whatever. That sucks but 2.0 rocks in it. Dan Garcia runs down and attacks Jericho from behind when he tries to bring his bat in. Santana, Ortiz, & Eddie Kingston make the save. The two trios face off in a No DQ match on Rampage this Friday. Hell yeah that should be sick. Garcia looked awesome and hella dickish as they backed away from the ring. God I love that dude.
They show clips of Jake Atlas’ debut on Dark and announce his signing. Cameras cut to Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, & Bobby Fish backstage. Cole says he is Atlas’ first opponent coming up on Rampage and he’s gonna send his ass back to Orlando.
3) Wardlow (w/ Shawn Spears) vs. ???
Same Wardlow squash we’ve been getting for weeks. Hundreds of power bombs. Shawn Spears attacked his opponent before the match, also, and Wardlow seemed offput by it at first, but killed him anyways.
4) Jade Cargill vs. Ruby Soho - TBS Title Tournament Final
This starts a little rough. Honestly exactly how I worried it would. But kudos to these ladies for turning things around and building a great second half despite the rocky start. I can only imagine how good of a match they can have once Jade gets more reps. There was a lot of good little moments packed in here. The finish was scary seeing it set up, but ultimately was the perfect finale to that last stretch of near falls. Jade wins with the avalanche version of her finisher off the second rope to become the first ever TBS Champion.
Match rating - **1/2
5) Malakai Black vs. Brian Pillman Jr. (w/ Julia Hart)
This was better than I anticipated especially considering it went longer than I initially hoped or expected. Pillman Jr really plugs in nicely to the babyface spot against mega heels like Malakai. He gets just enough hope here that the crowd believes for a second and all of his offense is a blast. He goes for his finisher, but slips on the top rope and eats shit. This leaves the opening for Malakai to finish him off.
Match rating - **3/4
Post match, Malakai leaves the ring, but re-enters when he sees Julia Hart came in. What’s he gonna do to her this time?! We won’t find out cause the Lucha Bros are here! Lights go out and I thought we were gonna get Brody King, crowd even chants it, but Malakai just used it to give himself an opening to get up the ramp.
Backstage, Ruby Soho interview. Britt Baker walks up and says Ruby failed against her and she failed again tonight. Ruby says Britt should leave her alone and focus on Saturday since she’s never beaten Riho. A fight breaks out and RIHO SHOWS UP. Awesome little brawl that sets up a tag for Rampage that I’m really looking forward to in the form of Britt/Jamie v Riho/Ruby.
6) Lucha Bros (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) (c) (w/ Alex Aberhantes) vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) (w/ Christian Cage) - AEW World Tag Team Title Match
PHEW! I did not expect this to kill it to this extent in the main event slot. Their two previous matches together have been fun, but this took the cake. They threw in some new, innovative spots that we haven’t seen before for the special occasion and they were absolutely bonkers. From all the different Canadian destroyers to the Fenix sky twister over Penta pile driving JB on the apron, just crazy shit with these two teams throwing their best effort out there. This match honestly had a big feel to it and it was.. so cool. Luchasaurus chokeslams Rey Fenix through a table near the end and it looks like poor Fenix broke his arm. The spot was insane, but god it wasn’t worth that, I hope he’s okay. The man can’t catch a break. We love you Fenix, you’re one of the best in the world, get well soon. The finish comes soon after this and it fucking rocks. Jungle Boy gets the pin on Penta and the crowd pop and his facial expressions after the three count is so perfect. What a feel good moment, man. Jurassic Express are finally champions! Greaaattt match.
Match rating - ***3/4
The show closes with multiple other tag teams including ReDragon, 2.0, The Acclaimed, and others coming out on the stage to let Jurassic Express know this is just the beginning.. cool ass moment to hype future tag title defenses, but not too much as it didn’t overshadow the celebration of our new champs. Hell yeah. Awesome way to end the show.