1st Bank Center
Commentary Team: Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Schiavone
AEW International Championship Title Match
Rey Fenix vs. Jeff Jarrett
As Jeff Jarrett made his entrance, it was highlighted on the screen that his last singles match win was six weeks ago on Dynamite. This situation raises questions about AEW’s win-loss records. How can someone get a title shot after a long hiatus from wrestling? It seems counterintuitive.
Jeff Jarrett was accompanied to the ring by Karen Jarrett, Jay Lethal, Sanjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh. On the other hand, Rey Fenix has a manager, but AEW has yet to reveal his identity.
Before Jarrett could enter the ring, Fenix surprised him by leaping over the top rope onto him and his entourage. Fenix unleashed a flurry of strikes, but the tables turned when the seasoned veteran Jarrett fought back.
Fenix took on all members of Jarrett’s entourage, even confronting Karen Jarrett after she raked his back. This match showcased an interesting blend of styles, with Jarrett representing the old-school veteran and Fenix being the high-flying luchador. The pace was quick, and Jarrett didn’t seem out of place in this dynamic encounter.
However, the referee, Aubrey Edwards, appeared ineffective in handling the numerous interferences and appearances on the apron. It’s puzzling why the referee didn’t remove these distractions from ringside.
The interference in this match seemed somewhat cartoonish. For instance, Sanjay Dutt distracted the referee, allowing Jeff Jarrett to low blow Fenix and attempt a small package, which Fenix kicked out of at two.
The match saw some back-and-forth action until Jarrett hit his signature move, “The Stroke,” and went for the pin, which was broken up by Fenix’s leg on the rope. Singh tried to distract again, leading Jarrett to apply the Figure Four on Fenix, who countered with a cradle pin to secure the victory.
In summary, the referee’s handling of the match left much to be desired due to the frequent interference and appearances on the apron. It’s a question why these distractions weren’t addressed.
*Highlights of the MJF vs. Samoa Joe match from last week’s show were shown.*
Following this, there was a segment featuring MJF and Adam Cole on a boat. MJF confronted Cole regarding his match last week on why he was on the phone with Roderick Strong last week and missed the beginning of his match. MJF goes to get Cole another beer and puts his ring on the finger. Cole asked him if he brought him out here to hit him with the ring and throw him overboard. MJF assured him that’s the last thing he would do.
Cole says that it’s normal to have more than one friend and MJF said he supports him, they both rush to reel in what they have caught on the fishing rod and it turns out that is Paul White in the ocean and he is angry, the next scene all 3 are in the boat having a beer and laughing.
This kind of came across as bad comedy in the end, it was odd.
Renee Paquette conducted an in-ring interview with Don Callis and Sami Guevara. On the titantron they showed footage of Callis and Takeshita visiting Kota Ibushi’s dojo. After Ibushi got the better of them, Takeshita hits Ibushi with a kettle bell, knocking him out. The footage ends with Callis and Takeshita choking a vulnerable Ibushi with the former’s jacket.
Sami Guevara then takes the mic to tell the audience that Jericho is the villain and he’s the hero, saying Chris Jericho held him back. Now he’s going to be the star he was born to be.
Highlights of the main event match from Collision between Starks and Bryan Danielson were shown. Exclusive backstage footage showed Wheeler Yuta confronting Ricky Starks, challenging him to a match at Wrestledream, which was then made official.
Triple Threat Match for the International Title No.1 Contender
Nick Jackson vs. Bryan Cage vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Bryan Cage tossed Nick Jackson to the floor and engaged in a test of strength with Claudio, with both suplexing each other and no-selling each other’s moves. Nick Jackson re-entered the match, showcasing his high-flying abilities and briefly taking out both larger opponents, even hitting a 450 splash on Cage, who narrowly kicked out.
Claudio threw Jackson out of the ring and performed his trademark Giant Swing on Cage. All three men re-entered the ring, and it became a flurry of moves, with several close two-counts. Claudio delivered a massive powerbomb to Cage, with Jackson capitalizing by throwing Cage out of the ring and pinning him to become the number one contender for the International Championship.
Next, a promo package for The Righteous discussing their match with MJF and Adam Cole at Wrestledream is shown. MJF and Adam Cole then have an in-ring segment. Adam Cole comes out on crutches, revealing that he had broken his ankle in three places and torn tendons. He reluctantly announced that they had to relinquish their ROH titles.
MJF insisted that they wouldn’t give up the titles and proposed defending them against The Righteous in a handicap match. Roderick Strong came out in a wheelchair, expressing his need for Adam Cole. MJF hugged Cole and expressed his support while waiting for his return from injury.
Jay White appeared with the Bang Bang gang but went to the ring alone. This segment was lengthy, featuring intense trash talk between the two. It hinted at a potential future feud between Jay White and MJF for the World Title.
MJF compared himself to a Fillet Mignon and described Jay White as tofu, suggesting that Jay was bland. Jay White impressed as a promo guy in this segment, holding his own against MJF. He insinuated that MJF’s bromance with Adam Cole had weakened him.
Jay declared that he was coming for MJF’s title, leaving the possibility of future confrontations open. The segment ended without physical altercation, as Jay White retreated.
Backstage sit-down segment featured JR interviewing Christian and Darby Allin
JR established that there would be no physicality during this interview. Christian boasted about his abilities, but JR brought up the fact that Darby has pinned him twice. Christian dismissed these victories as flukes and confidently predicted that he would become the TNT champion.
Christian requested a 2-out-of-3 falls match, claiming that Darby would be exposed. He even brought up Darby’s deceased uncle and questioned whether he’d attend Wrestledream in Seattle. This statement seemed to touch a nerve, as Darby lost his composure and began removing his face paint, declaring that he didn’t need it.
Christian continued to taunt Darby, inviting his family and even Nick Wayne’s mom to watch the match. Darby insisted that he couldn’t be beaten in Seattle and declared that he didn’t need the paint. Christian remained confident that he would become the champion.
In this segment, Christian shone with his promo skills, while Darby displayed intense emotion, making for a compelling encounter.
Fatal Four-Way Match
Orange Cassidy vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. Matt Jackson vs. Austin Gunn
This match was characterized by an extremely fast pace, with one spot following another. An intriguing moment occurred when Gunn and Pentagon engaged in a strange interaction in the ring, strutting around and talking smack.
They exchanged chops until Pentagon gained the upper hand, but Matt Jackson and Orange Cassidy re-entered the fray. After an ad break, the match resumed with a rapid succession of moves. Austin Gunn repeatedly attempted piledrivers, but they were reversed each time.
All four competitors found themselves on the mat, with the referee nearly counting them out. The match continued with a series of devastating moves delivered in rapid succession. Moves were executed, but participants quickly rebounded, creating a somewhat unrealistic sequence of events.
Ultimately, Orange Cassidy secured the victory by delivering an Orange Punch to Matt Jackson and pinning him. This match may appeal to hardcore fans of AEW due to its high-energy style, but it featured a plethora of unrealistic elements that doesn’t resonate with all viewers.
Julia Hart (with Brodie King) vs. Willow Nightingale
This match served as a follow-up to last week’s encounter in which Julia Hart defeated Sky Blue. Willow had a bandaged eye due to mist being sprayed into her eyes, though it’s unclear when this incident occurred.
Willow dominated the early stages of the match with her powerhouse offense, making it difficult for Julia to mount any offense. Brodie King played a role by providing a distraction on the outside, allowing Julia to regain control.
Following a commercial break, Willow regained the upper hand, with Julia attempting a submission hold that Willow escaped by reaching the ropes. Willow later attempted a Cannonball in the corner, but Julia evaded it, allowing her to climb the top rope and execute a moonsault for the three-count. After the bell, Julia applied a submission hold, but Kris Statlander came out for the save, causing Julia Hart to retreat with Brodie up the ramp.
Swerve Strickland and Hangman Adam Page Wrestledream Contract Signing
The episode begins to conclude with a contract signing between Swerve Strickland and Hangman Adam Page moderated by Renee Paquette. Elite and Mogul Embassay were announced to be banned from ringside.
Sitting opposite each other, with boots up on the desk, Strickland showers Page with praise for the fire he’s shown over the last few weeks, big noting Grand Slam but quickly segues into a boast that Adam Page was walking into a lion’s den and that they couldn’t be more opposite than one another as wrestling talents.
After a lengthy pause to take in Strickland’s boast, Hangman thanks Swerve for his stinging words over the last few weeks, admitting he had a little black cloud hanging over his head for the last year and half. Page made a point to say the sun did still shine when he beat Jon Moxley in a Texas Death match and when he reunited with his friends in the Elite but every time the little cloud would come back, and it started to rain. In a determined voice, Hangman declares the people deserve the best of him and that he deserves it of himself. He tells him that’s what Swerve will get at Wrestledream as he signs the contract in front of him.
Amongst a powerful crowd reaction, Swerve mockingly laughed at his speech and said it was the most pathetic thing he has ever seen.
Swerve says he might have mental health problems because he feels forced to makes enemies everyday, and is motivated to get in the position that Hangman is in. He wants to take his spot.
Hangman says he doesn’t have what it takes to fills his boots. Swerve slaps Hangman with Page grabbing the pen and stabbing it in Stricklands hand. Staff dive into the ring to break the confrontation up, separating the two competitors before their confrontation at Wrestledream.
In a shocking turn of events, the show cuts to backstage, where four hooded men assaulted Jay White. The camera focusses on a fifth individual wearing a devil mask. The mysterious assailant slowly tilts his head before grasping the screen and abruptly ending the transmission.