April 12th, 2023
AEW World Champion: MJF (since 11/19/22)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: FTR (since 4/5/23)
AEW Women’s World Champion: Jamie Hayter (since 11/19/22)
AEW TNT Champion: Powerhouse Hobbs (since 3/8/23)
AEW International Champion: Orange Cassidy (since 10/12/22)
AEW TBS Champion: Jade Cargill (since 1/5/22)
Commentators - Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, & Taz
Any time these two lock up, it’s a blast. It’s their second meeting in AEW, with their first coming almost an exact year prior to this on the 27th of April last year. That match was in the Owen Hart Memorial Tournament. This was a lot more fun than their match last year. That one wasn’t bad by any means, this just had some extra juice to it with Swerve being fairly fresh off his heel turn. Plus, they threw in some way crazier spots like the reverserana off the apron to the floor. Great match to kick off the show. Darby catches Swerve with the last supper flash pin thing for the three count.
Match rating - ***1/2
After the match, MJF comes down and we get another long winded 10 minute talking segment. Darby shows some good fire and thankfully Sting shows up to save the whole thing with his pom poms. It’s also worth noting that they showed Jack Perry watching the match on a screen backstage earlier.
2) Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ QT Marshall & Aaron Solo) (c) vs. Silas Young - AEW TNT Title Match
This was exactly what it should have been. Less than 2 minutes, a full on squash. Hobbs destroys Silas and retains his championship. Let’s fuckjng go.
After the match, cameras cut to the parking lot where Wardlow destroys Hobbs’ precious car that he arrived to the building in earlier. Wardlow breaks the windows out then takes a forklift to it and it is god damn hilarious and great. Hobbs is pissed and tries powerbomb Silas Young off the stage through a table, but Wardlow's music hits to make the save and he delivers a powerbomb to Aaron Solow off the stage.
In a pre-tape, Jay White and Juice Robinson declare themselves as BULLET CLUB GOLD and that they are gonna take over AEW.
3) Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Buddy Matthews (w/ Julia Hart) - AEW International Championship Match
Buddy comes out to motherfucking Eyes Adjust by Twitching Tongues. I am not a fan of the King of 205 Live Kenny Omega cosplayer, but between that entrance and his performance here, he’s gaining some points. This was much better than I ever anticipated. They worked the injured hand of OC story very well while still hitting all their spots and having some cool exchanges. The finishing stretch was more than just false finishes as they once again played off the injured hand of OC with it affecting certain things he would try or execute. This was just a great TV match. OC retains with a flash pin of sorts. I doubt we see a Buddy singles match this good for another 6-12 months unless they put him in there with Danielson or something.
Match rating - ***3/4
Back from commercial and after the match, the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy are backstage with Renee Paquette. OC is fresh off his title defense and has his arm iced. Best Friends challenge Aussie Open to a match for the IWGP Tag Titles on Rampage this week.
Ethan Page is in the ring when we return to the arena. He wants to know why Matt Hardy did what he did last week. Hardy & Isaiah Kassidy walk down and Big Bill & Lee Moriarty show up. HOOK is here for the save, but the numbers are still too much especially with Big Bill in there and I'll be god damned if it ain't JEFF FUCKIN HARDY making his return to clean house. WOW! Jeff is back and nails the swanton and we are in business bayyybeee.
Before the next match, Kenny Omega speaks in a pre-tape from home. He addresses the Blackpool Combat Club and everything they’ve done to he & The Bucks. Kenny says it’s gonna be worse than blood for blood when the Elite get their hands on BCC.
4) Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Michael Nakazawa & Brandon Cutler
Buddy.. this was everything I needed it. Before the match, we got replays of Mox busting Don Callis wide open and here we see he & Claudio jump Nak & Cutler before the bell. They get more in than you’d expect, and they both bleed. It’s just good, good shit. Claudio & Mox win obviously and they continue the assault on a bloody Brandon Cutler after the bell with help from Wheeler Yuta.
Match rating - ***
As Yuta, Mox & Claudio are destroying the boys some more, KENNY OMEGA’s MUSIC HITS. Man oh man. I came unglued for this. Kenny is bouncing around at the top of the ramp like The Rock. Mox gets on the apron and jumps to the floor telling him to come on. These two haven’t touched in like 2 years. Meanwhile, THE YOUNG BUCKS SLIDE IN THE RJNG FROM BEHIND AND DOUBLE SUPERKICK CLAUDIO AND YUTA. I’m fuckjng screaming. Bucks & Kenny corner Moxley. They bring out a tool box and Kenny breaks out a screwdriver as a throwback to what Bryan Danielson did to Hangman Page last week. Mox literally tells Kenny to bring it on and says he doesn’t have the balls to do it. Kenny goes to and CLAUDIO & YUTA PULL HIM OUT TO SAVE HIM. Love when them boys bail out like chicken shits too. Mox & Claudio throw beers from the crowd at the Bucks in the ring as they retreat. Kenny runs down to the railing with a chair. The crowd is molten and so am I. I loved this.
5) Riho & Skye Blue vs. Toni Storm & Ruby Soho
From that insane segment and match to RIHOOO. I’m a happy motherfucker right now. This match is a blast. I can’t remember much of the specifics of it because I was busy buzzing, but it was a breeze to watch and Riho working under with the up&comer Skye Blue as her partner was the perfect little pairing to go up against the rudo unit of Storm & Soho.
Match rating - ***
We get another awesome run in segment after the match where Jamie Hayter makes the save as the Outcasts spray paint Riho. But the numbers are still too much and DMD BRITT BAKER HITS THE RING FOR THE BIG POP AND SAVE. She cleans everyone out on the ramp/at ringside and it rules. This last 45 minutes has been stellar television, bud.
6) Keith Lee vs. Chris Jericho
The way this match was set up was pretty cool. And on paper, it’s sort of cool, I guess? In reality, it’s a whole lot of whatever. Definitely the weakest match on the show even though I enjoy both of these guys in certain environments. This was far from their worst respectable efforts, though. It just wasn’t much more than fine. Swerve Strickland causes a distraction and Jericho is able to get the cheap victory when all is said and done. I guess we are headed back toward that story now and rightfully so since it never got a proper finale.
Match rating - **1/2
After the match, the JAS jump Keith Lee and Adam Cole comes down to make the save and help Lee to the back. Cole does the same little bit that Jericho did the other week and refuses to acknowledge him aside from looking back at out of the corner of his eye ever so slightly. This closes the show.
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