Juice Robinson (accompanied by the Gunn Club) vs. Andrade
A video package played recapping last week’s attack on Jay White by the hooded masked men and the man with the devil mask.
Andrade sought revenge in this match since Juice cost him the win against Jay White last week. Both men started the match aggressively, displaying their disdain for each other by clashing head-on. Andrade executed the “three amigos” for a two-count.
Juice resorted to a cowardly tactic, retreating and hiding behind the Gunn Club. He played the chickenshit heel role effectively. Andrade responded with an impressive backflip off the top rope to the outside, taking out all three men.
Just like last week’s match against Jay White, Andrade faced distractions and illegal attacks by the Gunn Club outside the referee’s view, allowing Juice Robinson to dominate and punish Andrade.
Juice Robinson showed ultimate disrespect by blowing his nose on Andrade, enraging him and leading to a comeback. However, Juice halted the comeback with a sidekick, regaining control. CJ Perry was shown backstage, possibly scouting talent to manage.
Juice attempted a diving crossbody but was countered by Andrade, who got him into the corner and nailed double knees.
The Gunn Club attempted to interfere to disrupt the count, but the referee finally ejected them to the back.
With no distractions, Andrade hit his DDT and pinned Juice for the victory.
Backstage, Tony Schiavone interview with Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega.
Jericho claimed that the foundations of AEW were built on his rivalry with Omega. They acknowledged their dislike for each other but committed to coexisting and having each other’s backs to take down the Don Callis family.
A Toni Storm vignette followed, suggesting her character was evolving into a 1950s Hollywood actress. It was unclear what the segment aimed to achieve, but it ended with “to be continued,” hinting at a recurring feature.
The Kingdom vs The Best Friends
This match continued the story from last week when the Best Friends were attacked after the bell. I find the “Best Friends” to be somewhat bland, especially Chuck Taylor, whose in-ring gear could use improvement. In contrast, The Kingdom excels in playing the classic heel tag team role.
The Best Friends gained control late in the match, with Trent Beretta taking down both opponents. However, he made a crucial mistake by crashing hard against the guardrail while trying to attack Mike Bennett. Chuck Taylor managed to stun The Kingdom with a couple of superkicks, but he repeated the same mistake by missing Bennett on the outside and crashing into the guardrail.
The Kingdom regained control of the match, and their dastardly tactics allowed them to maintain their advantage. Mike Bennett attempted to slam Trent Beretta onto the steps, but it backfired, with Beretta executing a DVD driver to Bennett on the steps.
Back in the ring, the Best Friends hit a double piledriver on both members of The Kingdom. However, The Kingdom resorted to underhanded tactics behind the referee’s back, delivering a double-teamed piledriver to secure the victory.
The Kingdom had their suitcases at ringside, they were flying 6 hours to visit Roderick Strong and asked Adam Cole to meet them there.
Backstage, Don Callis was seen talking to Prince Nana, discussing potential business matters.
A brief package hyped Julia Heart vs. Kris Statlander for Wrestledream
Julia Heart faced Vertvixen, who didn’t receive an entrance, foreshadowing the expected outcome. Heart dominated the short match, finishing with a moonsault for the win. Julia Heart called out Kris Statlander after the match, with the Best Friends accompanying her. They had a tense face-off, with Statlander declaring that Heart’s time was up.
A package featuring Josh Barnett and Claudio Castagnoli hyped their match at Wrestledream – Zero Hour. Surprisingly, this match had received zero build-up.
Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega vs Gates of Agony (with Prince Nana)
Before the match, Chris Jericho hyped up the crowd. Gates of Agony took early control, double-teaming Jericho. Toa Liona’s appearance and moves reminded me of the late great Umaga.
Jericho fought back and tagged in Kenny Omega, who delivered strikes to Liona. A double suplex by Omega and Jericho took down the big Samoan. They executed several double-team moves and seemed to enjoy working together as a tag team. Prince Nana interfered, grabbing Omega’s leg as he went off the ropes. This allowed the big Samoan to nail Omega into Jericho, knocking Jericho off the apron and onto the floor.
Gates of Agony regained control, beating down Omega. After taking punishment, Omega mounted a comeback and tagged Jericho, who executed the Lion’s Salt. Omega took out Liona, enabling Jericho to lock in the Walls of Jericho on Kaun for the submission win.
Jericho and Omega had an in-ring promo, hyping their match against the Don Callis family at Wrestledream. Jericho called Sami the biggest Judas and labelled him a little bastard. They declared their intention to take down the Don Callis family.
A Righteous vignette followed. These segments have a unique production style, standing out from the rest of the show.
The Righteous faced Travis Williams and Judas Icarus. Travis and Judas had no entrance, signalling an expected outcome. The Righteous dominated, winning in about two minutes.
Dutch grabbed a mic and talked trash about MJF, calling Adam Cole a liar. This provoked a “Shut the F**k” chant from the crowd. They then used a piece of wood to inflict pain on Judas Icarus by smashing his foot with a chair.
TMDK had a backstage interview with Tony Schiavone, discussing their trios tag team title match against The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn at Wrestledream, which had received no build-up. They were interrupted by The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn, with TMDK doing their own rap that was so cringe-worthy.
Aussie Open with Ricky Starks and Big Bill (formerly Big Cass in WWE) vs. FTR with Bryan Danielson and Wheeler Yuta.
The match began with fast tags in and out and an assault on Dax Harwood outside the ring by all four opponents. The match remained chaotic after returning from an ad break. Dax Harwood continued to receive punishment from Aussie Open. On commentary, Nigel McGuinness and Zack Sabre Jr. had an exchange putting down Bryan Danielson.
Dax finally made the hot tag to Cash Wheeler, who unleashed with strikes. Wheeler Yuta was tagged in and took the fight to Aussie Open.
Big Bill’s potential as a dominant big man seemed wasted in AEW, as he didn’t receive the presentation he deserved, especially in this match.
The match built towards Bryan Danielson getting the hot tag, but every time he was close, the heels stalled his entrance.
Upon returning from an ad break, Yuta was still on the receiving end until he and Ricky Starks hit each other with a double clothesline, allowing Yuta to tag Danielson. Danielson unleashed a flurry of offense, getting the crowd behind him. Big Bill was tagged in and was nearly submitted but was saved by Fletcher from Aussie Open. Chaos erupted all over the arena, leading to the finish. Big Bill was left with Dax Harwood, who set him up for a chokeslam. While Harwood tagged Starks, Big Bill executed the chokeslam and Starks pinned him for the win.
After the bell, chaos broke out again, with only Danielson remaining in the ring. He pointed to Zack Sabre Jr., who entered the ring, and the two exchanged slaps before Danielson attempted the crossface. Sabre Jr. escaped and retreated as the show went off the air.
Wrestledream featured well-built matches alongside some with no build at all. It’s anticipated that this PPV will run for over four hours, but it could benefit from fewer matches and more focus on the ones that matter.