Date: March 9, 2022
Location: Hertz Arena, Fort Myers, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, Excalibur
We’re fresh off of Revolution and that means it is time to start setting up some new things going forward. We have about two and a half months before Double Or Nothing though and that means we are probably going to need some smaller stories to bridge the gap. Those could start this week so let’s get to it.
Here is Chris Jericho, now with his hair down for a different look, to get things going. Jericho talks about how his neck is still sore from his match with Eddie Kingston but it was one of the best matches he has ever had. After the match he refused to shake his hand but now he would like Kingston to come out here right now. Cue Kingston, who says we are going to get real deep.
On the Friday night before the biggest match of his career, he didn’t want to show up. After telling the fans that Steve Austin isn’t here tonight (in response to the WHAT chants), Kingston talks about how four people came up and said they didn’t kill themselves for his Players Tribune piece. He went to his hotel room (“And you can make fun of me if you want. I’ll still beat you up.”) and cried after the match and it was the biggest night of his career.
The match was what mattered instead of the handshake because that was a Chris Jericho thing. Kingston wanted the Jericho who was in the Super J Cup (as Lionheart, as a fan shouts) and he wants to know how Jericho can fill in the hole in his chest that wouldn’t let him shake his hand. Jericho thanks him for the match and shake his hand but here are 2.0 and Daniel Garcia to take Kingston down.
Santana and Ortiz run in for the save, with Jericho being handed a bat as Ortiz holds Garcia. As expected, Jericho then beats down Santana and Ortiz with the bat. 2.0 comes back in and helps Jericho with the beatdown. Jake Hager comes in to beat on Santana and Ortiz as well as Jericho beats on Kingston with the bat. Hager powerbombs Kingston off the apron and through the table (in a scary landing) and Jericho dubs the team the Jericho Appreciation Society. Jericho: “That’s entertainment.”
CM Punk is happy with the dog collar match and says this is a new version of him.
AEW World Title: Hangman Page vs. Dante Martin
Martin is challenging and gets shouldered down to start but comes right back with a springboard crossbody. That’s pulled out of the air though and Page rolls into a fall away slam to send Martin to the apron. A springboard clothesline knocks Martin to the floor and we take a break.
Back with Martin hitting a missile dropkick for two and a moonsault connects to rock the champ again. They head back inside though and Page counters a moonsault into a powerbomb. The Buckshot Lariat is broken up though and they head back outside. Martin has to duck a forearm though and his springboard is broken up, allowing Page to hit the Buckshot Lariat to retain at 7:27.
Rating: C. It was fun while it lasted but you can only get so much out of a match that lasts about seven and a half minutes including a break. Martin was in a bit over his head here but did get a nice rub in the main event scene. I’m not sure if it needed to be a title match, though with Page winning without much effort, it didn’t hurt anything.
Post match Page calls Martin back to the ring and says that he knows Top Flight is back, but if Martin makes it back to the title scene, he would love to do it again. They shake hands and here is Adam Cole to interrupt. Cole isn’t happy with Page, who is ready to go right now. That’s not good for Cole, but he is challenging Page to a six man tag next week. Page can pick any two partners he wants but Cole has one of the best tag teams in the world as his partners (though he doesn’t say who). He promises to make Page’s life a nightmare until he is the new champion.
Brian Danielson/Jon Moxley vs. Work Horsemen
William Regal is here with Moxley and Danielson while the Work Horsemen are JD Drake and Anthony Henry. Danielson is kicking away at Drake to start so Henry comes in to kick at Danielson instead. That’s fine with Danielson, who takes Henry down into a surfboard, allowing the tag to Moxley. A Crash Landing (vertical suplex released into a powerbomb) drops Henry again as everything breaks down. Danielson’s running knee hits Drake as Moxley Paradigm Shifts Henry on the floor. That leaves Danielson to stomp Drake, setting up the LeBell Lock for the tap at 4:00.
Rating: C. Just a squash to start the new team and that is the right way to go. Regal is already adding something with those great facial expressions of his and it is great to see. I could go for a lot more of these three together, though I’m curious to see where they are going. They are going to need some major opponents for a feud and I’m not sure who that is going to be.
Post match Tony Schiavone talks to the winners plus Regal, the latter of whom says it has been 29 years since he came to America. He is 53 years old now and knows he doesn’t have much time left in the ring due to a lot of empty bottles and a few broken hearts. Regal: “I see you haven’t found a decent tailor in all that time Tony.” Regal thanks Tony for helping him get into the wrestling business in America before moving on to something more important. He has been checked out of wrestling for two months but then someone told him that Danielson mentioned him on Dynamite.
Then he heard that Danielson was going to fight Moxley. For the last several years, Danielson has been mentioned with Regal, who loves sitting down with wrestlers willing to sit down and learn. That can add ten years to your career, and Danielson is the perfect wrestler. They would train for hours a day and Danielson became everything that Regal couldn’t be.
Then, eleven years ago, Regal met Moxley and they went to mental and physical war for a year. He heard that they were going to fight on Sunday so it was time for him to finally get involved. What better way for the younger generation to learn than from the perfect wrestler and the perfect sadistic man who will take things to another level. That is why this team is together and just a warning: anyone who steps in the ring with them will regret it. Either step up or get stepped on. Regal got a little wordy here but he got the point across.
Hangman Page comes in to see the Dark Order, who asks him who he’ll be picking to team with them next week. Actually Page ran into the Jurassic Express, who wanted to fight the Young Bucks anyway. The Dark Order doesn’t seem pleased but they’ll catch up with him later.
Wheeler Yuta vs. Pac
Yuta knocks Pac down and we take a very early break. Back with Pac kicking away but Yuta gets up top for a high crossbody. Pac German suplexes him for two and hits the top rope superplex. The Brutalizer finishes Yuta at 5:40. Not enough shown to rate but Pac didn’t seem to break that much of a sweat.
The Young Bucks and ReDRagon continue arguing until Adam Cole cuts them off. Cole talks about the six man next week and picks ReDRagon for the tag match, which doesn’t sit well with the Bucks. Cole leaves and Brandon Cutler says he would pick the Bucks as his partners. Matt: “Shut up.” Cole: “I HEARD THAT BRANDON!”
FTR talks about how much they want to get their hands on the Bucks and ReDRagon but Tully Blanchard tells them to focus on the Tag Team Titles. That doesn’t work for Cash Wheeler, who fires Tully from the team.
It’s time for an emergency board meeting of the AHFO. Matt Hardy doesn’t like Andrade trying to kick him out of the team he founded and he just wants to make this right. Andrade says the team can take a vote, which works for Matt because Private Party will never vote him out.
Andrade votes no, Matt votes yes, Jose votes no, Private Party votes yes to start and then changes to no’s behind Matt’s back. Andrade tells him to watch his back and the beatdown is on. Sting and Darby Allin come in for the failed save but cue the debuting Jeff Hardy (to the classic Hardys theme) to make the real save for another Hardys reunion. Until Jeff gets bored and walks out again.
Tony Nese interrupts Swerve Strickland’s interview and challenges him to a match on Rampage, since they have a history on Friday nights.
Here is Wardlow for a chat. He has spent a lot of his life trying to make MJF’s life better and he hopes you can forgive him for associating with such trash. Wardlow grew up very poor and he had to watch his mother work hard to raise himself and his sisters. Therefore, he took MJF’s money to build a better life for his family and he used it as a foot in the door. He is thankful to MJF for the start but one day money isn’t enough to let MJF treat so badly.
Yes he is still under contract with MJF, but he doesn’t care. Wardlow is no longer MJF’s bodyguard and he is no longer part of the Pinnacle. He hopes that MJF will let him out of his contract and they can go their separate ways. All that matters now is that he wins the TNT Title and then the World Title. From now on, AEW is Wardlow’s World. Good speech here, as he got his point across and showed why he was on the bad side for so long in a way that people can accept.
QT Marshall talks to Keith Lee, saying that they have a shared enemy in Team Taz. Marshall and the Factory have his back. Lee says he has his own large back and leaves, with Marshall not being happy.
Tag Team Titles: Acclaimed vs. Jurassic Express
The Express is defending and Caster’s rap is about how much of a loser Jungle Boy is. Jungle Boy gets double teamed to but hands it off to Luchasaurus to clean house. Jungle Boy gets knocked outside for a cheap shot though and we take a break. Back with Luchasaurus sending the Acclaimed to the floor so Jungle Boy can hit a big dive.
A springboard is broken up and the Mic Drop gets two on Jungle Boy. There’s a combination powerbomb for two on Jungle Boy so Luchasaurus takes Caster outside. Jungle Boy small packages Bowens for two and Luchasaurus adds a headbutt. A Doomsday Device drops Bowens and the Tail Whip retains the titles at 9:26.
Rating: B-. Solid match here as the Express continues to get better every single week. Having them go over one team after another is going to make them feel that much bigger and that is a great thing to see. Good stuff here, as the Acclaimed is getting better in the ring to back up the cool entrance.
Jade Cargill wants to know who is going to step up to be her 30th victim.
Leyla Hirsch vs. Thunder Rosa
The winner gets a Women’s Title shot next week. They go to the mat to start with neither getting very far so they try it again. Rosa hits a dropkick and a running forearm in the corner but Hirsch knocks her back down and we take a break. Back with Rosa hitting a northern lights suplex for two but Hirsch grabs a German suplex.
Rosa catches her on top though and grabs a fireman’s carry spun into a faceplant. A sliding forearm gets two and Hirsch goes outside to grab the spare turnbuckle. That’s broken up by Red Velvet so Rosa loads up the fire thunder driver, which is reversed into a cross armbreaker. Rosa gets to the ropes to escape and now the fire thunder driver can finish Hirsch at 8:51.
Rating: C+. The entire point of this was getting Rosa the pin to set up her title match next week and they accomplished that perfectly well. Hirsch is someone who makes for a good roadblock on the way to Rosa’s next big showdown with Baker and she was hardly beaten up badly here. They did what they needed to do here so call it a success.
Post match Tony Schiavone (get that man a raise) announces that Rosa’s title shot will be inside a steel cage next week.
Britt Baker laughs at the idea of Rosa getting her shot because she is going to show just why she was the real winner of the Lights Out match.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
TNT Title: Sammy Guevara vs. Scorpio Sky
Sammy is defending and some forearms to the face rock Sky to start. A dropkick sends Sky outside and it’s time to set up a table at ringside. Sammy knocks him onto said table but the 630 only hits table (which EXPLODES on impact) to put himself in a lot of trouble. Cue Tay Conti to check on Sammy and we take a break. Back with Sammy slugging away but getting knocked outside again. Conti checks on him again but has to get into Paige Van Zant’s face at ringside.
A backbreaker puts Guevara down again back inside and we hit a reverse chinlock. Guevara fights up and starts chopping away, setting up a top rope cutter for two. Sky’s TKO is broken up and it’s the GTH to knock him out to the apron. Instead of covering, Sammy loads up the shooting star press but only hits raised knees. Cue Ethan Page for a distraction so Conti goes after her, only to have Van Zant send her into the steps. The distraction lets Sky hit a heck of a TKO to win the title at 11:50.
Rating: B. Another good match here and it should set up Sky as the sacrificial lamb to Wardlow next week. It makes sense with Sammy having been banged up in so many title defenses as of late and eventually was going to get caught. The title change closing the show makes it feel a bit bigger and it is likely a step in what feels like a bigger story.
Post match Sky hits Sammy with the title and Conti gets thrown inside. Van Zant kicks Conti in the head and signs her AEW contract on the back of Conti’s jeans to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. AEW puts on another pretty strong show this week, though you could feel that a little bit of the energy was gone after Revolution. That’s completely fine as you are only going to be able to do so much after that kind of a pay per view and they have stuff set up for the future. Another good effort though, with some big talking segments and action to back it up.
Hangman Page b. Dante Martin – Buckshot Lariat
Bryan Danielson/Jon Moxley b. Work Horsemen – LeBell Lock to Drake
Pac b. Wheeler Yuta – Brutalizer
Jurassic Express b. Acclaimed – Tail Whip to Bowens
Thunder Rosa b. Leyla Hirsch – Fire thunder driver
Scorpio Sky b. Sammy Guevara – TKO
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