Jon Moxley was out for blood against Eddie Kingston tonight but he would not get his mark. Tony Khan had scheduled the main even to feature Jon Moxley defending his AEW World Championship against an opponent of Kingston’s choice. Who would that be? Let’s find out.

Ricky Starks vs Darby Allin

A massive slap from Starks was met by a huge shotgun dropkick from Allin as the pair began an incredibly impressive mat submission sequence. Allin hit a huge suplex to the ring apron to Starks that left him reeling before following up with one of his signature suicide dives.

Brian Cage attempted to interfere but was intercepted by Will Hobbs. Unfortunately, this allowed Starks enough time to rally and laid possum for Allin. As soon as Allin tried to grab his opponent, Starks whipped him off the apron to the floor by the arm.

Starks kept the pressure on Allin with a one-legged Boston crab but it was clear his back was affecting his performance. A Roshambo attempt from Starks was countered by Allin into an awesome looking Yoshi tonic for a close two-count. The pair began laying into each other with some stiff slaps and strikes showing the animosity between the pair.

A chop block was dodged deftly by Allin as he followed with a gorgeous flipping stunner but a follow-up rebound cutter was countered into a deadly looking spear from Starks.

On the top rope, Starks went for an avalanche Roshambo but Allin managed to kick him off the top rope and follow up with a Coffin Drop to the injured back of Starks for the win.

An absolutely stunning match to open. You could feel the animosity in the match and they held off on the high-flying spots for key moments of action to not feel too scripted or lose that animosity.

Cody Speaks

Cody came to the ring to talk about the shame he felt after losing the TNT championship in 3 minutes.

He said references to him being the Ace couldn’t be true as only one of the AEW Champions could hold that title.

In response to Brodie Lee’s challenge to a dog collar match for the TNT championship, Cody emphatically accepted before Lee came down to the ring to brawl with him.

Brandi Rhodes came to the ring and hit a diving senton to the Dark Order before being attacked by Anna Jay. KiLynn King tried to help hold Brandi back but Nyla Rose attacked her.

It’s been too long since we heard one of Cody’s great promos. The ensuing brawl was fun too but had a little too many moving parts with the involvement of Rose and King that took away from it overall.

Matt Jackson acts like a prick

The AEW Tag Team Champions spoke to Tony Schiavone about their upcoming match with SCU. Schiavone asked the pair about the Young Bucks to which FTR said they simply didn’t deserve a title shot.

Matt Jackson superkicked Schiavone and made a snarky comment about interrupting things. The kick to Marvez worked because it was shocking, now it just feels old and tacky. Stop the innocent kicking and acting like cocky assholes and start doing some real heelwork if you want to sell this turn.

20-Minute Brush With Greatness: FTR vs SCU w/ Christopher Daniels

Dax Harwood started off on the backfoot as Frankie Kazarian had an answer for every part of his offence. He made a deft tag to Cash Wheeler as Scorpio Sky entered the fray. A referee distraction from Harwood allowed Christopher Daniels to grab Wheeler’s legs.

Despite the referee not seeing it, he ejected Christopher Daniels. This is important to note as a lot of events have been noticed by fans of referee Paul Turner making dodgy calls or winking at FTR during matches. At first, I thought this was just some fans catching non-kayfabe referee communication with the wrestlers but this seems to suggest there’s something more at play.

Sky didn’t miss a beat as he kept the fight coming strong to both members of FTR and looked sensational doing it. Unfortunately, he was stopped in his tracks by some tricky play from FTR leading into the break.

A hot tag to Sky was paired with a German suplex from Kazarian saw a close two-count and a pair of cutters from SCU again only managed a two-count.

Kazarian accidentally knocked Sky off the apron after being whipped at the ropes and FTR hit a great sequence of a powerbomb and dragon suplex for a 2.9-count.

Sky went for a rally of rolls-up on Wheeler but couldn’t put him away. With minutes left on the clock, a suplex over the top rope from Sky was countered by Tully Blanchard grabbing his legs resulting in Wheeler countering the manoeuvre. Blanchard held Sky’s leg down out of view of the referee to ensure the win.

FTR made SCU look like a top tier team in this bout and in particular, Sky looked sensational. If the 20-minute matches from FTR do have a good a job of showcasing the tag division, then we’re in for a treat.

Isiah Kassidy w/ Marq Quen and Matt Hardy vs Chris Jericho w/ the Inner Circle

Jericho punked out Kassidy early but he responded in kind with some speedy strikes and attacks. A cradle pin from Kassidy gave a very close two count leaving an incensed Jericho to hit Kassidy with a hefty forearm. Kassidy kept up the attack and managed to dump Jericho over the barricade where Jericho had a small tussle with Luther. The distraction was enough time for Kassidy to hit a diving attack and brought Jericho back in the ring for another close two-count.

Back from the break Jericho had gained control of the match and was toying with his young opponent and using the referee as a distraction to allow a cheap shot from Jake Hager. Kassidy countered a bulldog to the corner leaving Jericho to crotch himself and give Kassidy the momentum. A big springboard stunner got another wafer-thin two-count.

A lionsault attempt from Jericho was countered with the knees from Kassidy and a lionsault of his own nearly got the win. Kassidy went even deeper into Jericho’s toolkit with a Codebreaker but still couldn’t eke out the win. It would not be Kassidy’s night sadly as Jericho countered a springboard attempt into a Judas Effect for the win.

After the match, Jericho took a cheap shot back at Luther as the pair, Hager and Serpentico all had a big brawl. With Kassidy made to look a million bucks in this match, it seems Chaos Project may be getting the same treatment. It will be nice to see some underutilised talent on the roster featured in this way on a more regular basis.

Orange Cassidy w/ Best Friends vs Dark Order’s 10

10 stole Cassidy’s glasses and gave them to Jon Silver who mocked Cassidy. This was enough to distract Cassidy, allowing 10 to use his superior strength to throw Cassidy around the ring.

10 forced Cassidy’s hands into his pockets which Cassidy tried to retaliate against but ate a vicious spinebuster for his trouble.

Silver and Alan ‘5’ Angels did a mocking recreation of the Best Friends hug with 10 which gave Cassidy the time to hit a leaping dive to the Dark Order crew.

A swinging DDT knocked 10 loopy and he followed with the Orange Punch and a Beach Break for the win.

Despite this being a short match between the pair, 10 looked vicious and actually showed some personality. Giving more texture to the Dark Order members is a good avenue that should be explored more.

MJF and Wardlow bring a present for the Inner Circle

After berating the cameraman for being too close, MJF came to congratulate Jericho on his win by giving the Inner Circle custom jackets.

MJF and Jericho teased MJF joining the group but didn’t come to a conclusion as Jericho pondered if MJF was really a loser after all.

The counterplay between Jericho and MJF as extensions of each other is really fun and it’s intriguing to see whether this will lead to an alliance or a war between them.

Britt Baker w/ Reba vs Red Velvet

Baker didn’t let Velvet get much offence in before Baker started locking her into holds.

A leg lariat gave control back to Velvet and a wheelbarrow bulldog got a two-count. However, a nasty sweeping clothesline knocked the wind out of Velvet’s sails as Baker followed the punishment with a butterfly suplex.

A superkick to Velvet after she attempted a roll-up knocked her off base enough for Baker to hit a spinning fisherman neckbreaker and a curb stomp for the win.

After the match, she put Velvet in the Lockjaw to add insult to injury. It’s so great to see Baker back and I hope she gets put into a story-driven feud that can feed off her excellent heelwork.

Eddie Kingston choose Jon Moxley’s opponent

Kingston brought Bryce Remsburg to the ring with the Lucha Brothers backing him up and referenced how he didn’t tap last week in his AEW World Championship match last week. He chastised Remsburg for having the gall to call off the match.

Remsburg said despite them going way back, he was protecting Kingston from himself.

As Kingston and the Lucha Brothers looked to beat down Remsburg, Jon Moxley came down for the save. Kingston revealed Moxley would be facing the Butcher, who blindsided Moxley from the moment the bell rang.

AEW World Championship match: Jon Moxley vs The Butcher

A huge uranage winded Moxley and let the Butcher take control of the match. After the break, Butcher was in control but Moxley managed to fight his way back despite nursing his knee that Butcher had been working on over the break.

An armbar from Moxley was quickly countered into a single leg Boston crab putting more pressure onto the knee. A big Oklahoma stampede from Butcher only managed a two-count so Butcher went back to focusing the injured knee.

The champ played possum with his bad knee which gave him the chance to counter a charge from Butcher sending his opponent into the barricade on the outside.

Moxley tried his striking rally but his knee gave out again and Butcher continued his assault with a big crossbody. Another big uranage from Butcher still only managed a two-count but a misguided top rope attempt allowed Moxley to hit a big superplex onto the Butcher.

Once again, Butcher tried to attack the knee but Moxley managed to hit a piledriver. However, Butcher still managed to kick out. A second rope crossbody came close to putting Moxley away once again. However, the wily Moxley would manage to put a swift Paradigm Shift onto Butcher and lock in the Bulldog choke forcing the Butcher to quit.

This match mirrored the thesis of the night which was to put over new talent as much as possible and this episode was hugely successful in doing so. Starks and Allin tore the house down with their opener, Scorpio Sky shone in the AEW World Tag Team Championship match, Kassidy looked sensational, the Butcher looked deadly and even a man who is named after an integer somehow looked great too.

In a time when WWE seems scared to put over literally anyone and resorts constantly to screwy finishes, AEW didn’t hold back this week and successfully put over new talent with firm finishes.

All pictures and videos provided by AEW

Leave a Reply