1st Bank Center – Denver, Colorado
Taz and Excalibur on Commentary
Trios Title match – Hardy’s with Brother Zay vs The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass (Billy Gunn)
The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn come out to the ring, Max Caster with mic in hand, rapping and dissing like only he can, I particularly liked his shot at Matt Hardy’s wife Reby, which the cameraman capturing Matt’s facial reaction, nice touch. Bowens and Billy Gunn to the trademark “Scissor me, Daddy” which is over with the crowd. It’s not hard to see why The Acclaimed are getting over with the crowd; there is more to them than just wrestling. The Scissoring gimmick, the rap entrance, and imitable quality help to connect them with the fans.
Isaiah and Bowens start the match with some old school headlocks, arm drags and hip tosses. Both traded a few “scissor me” taunts. It was good to see Billy Gunn come in the ring to square off against Matt Hardy; a lot of history between the two men. Matt started his “Delete” chant for which Gunn responded with a “Suck it” cross chop, with both men going back and forth.
Hardy threw Gunn into the corner and did something I haven’t seen in a long time, grabbing Gunn’s head and smashing it face first into the top rope turnbuckle a couple of times, followed by the middle and then bottom turnbuckle, all while chanting “Delete” And finishing off with “V Oneahhhhhh” chant to finish it off.
The Acclaimed got back in control and did the “Scissor me Timbers” leg drop into Isaiah’s open legs, spread apart by Gunn and Caster.
Matt Hardy got into it with Gunn on the apron, with Gunn nailing Hardy with a sweet right hand, knocking him to the floor. Isaiah made the hot tag to Jeff Hardy, who cleaned house taking everyone out with a Whisper in the Wind, taking both The Acclaimed out.
The Hardy’s started the double-team assault on Gunn, with Jeff hitting the Swanton on Gunn, Bowens made the last-minute save to keep the match alive. All men got in the ring and went at it; Bowens and Isaiah were the legal men; all men were taken out except both of The Acclaimed alone in the ring with Isaiah and double-teamed, finishing the match with a devastating double-team flip slam to pick up the win.
Backstage promo with Eddie Kingston
Kingston had his NJPW Strong Openweight title on one shoulder and the ROH heavyweight title on the other. He said he respected Rocky Romero whom he is facing next. He was interrupted by Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Jeff Jarrett, Karen Jarrett, and Satnam Singh.
Jay Lethal said the ROH title meant a lot to him and it was a title he put his life into, and that Kingston was unfit to hold it.
Kingston laughed at Lethal and said he had to go beat up Rocky Romero and left the scene.
Andrade backstage interview from last Saturday at Collision; Andrade’s head was bandaged, seeking the foreign object shot from Juice Robinson causing him to lose his match. Andrade said he had the match and asked if Juice had a problem with him and that he would see him Saturday.
NJPW Strong Openweight title match Eddie Kingston Vs Rocky Romero
This was kind of similar to the previous match; this started off with a lot of headlocks, grappling, and arm drags. The match spilled to the outside with Romero nailing a couple of through the rope Topes before going to the well one too many times with Kingston catching him and suplexing him on the concrete floor. After the commercial break, the men were back in the ring with Romero in control.
Kingston reversed the throw into the turnbuckle and got Romero in the corner, chopping him relentlessly. He saw him on the top ropes trying to suplex him, but Romero reversed and hit the Sliced Bread off the top ropes with Kingston kicking out at 2.
Kingston got back in control and struck Romero with a few spinning backhands to take him to the ground and lock in the submission for the tap-out victory to retain his title.
Both men after the match shook each other’s hand and hugged. The man Kingston is facing at WrestleDream on Sunday, “Shibata,” came out to the ring, and they shook hands too and showed respect to one another.
This nice guy, shaking hands stuff does not work for Kingston’s character in my opinion or for a feud in general. Where is the heat? Why do I even care about the match when there is nothing to it except two wrestlers that respect each other and are having a match for a title? That might be enough for some AEW hardcore fans, but I need more meat on the bone to gain my interest.
Backstage promo with Aussie Open
They said they were tired, said the loss from a year ago to FTR hurt them and they want to make them feel the pain they felt. They claimed they are the best tag team in the world and are going to take their titles.
The Righteous Vs Caleb Crush and Gunnar
When guys are already in the ring, with no entrance, you know a) they are losing and b) they are jobbers. Gunnar is not Gunner from TNA and probably should go with a different name. Nothing much to note here; this was a squash and a way for The Righteous to build momentum for 2 on 1 handicap match against MJF at Wrestledream
Next was a Santana and Ortiz package hyping their eventual match. I liked the little voice-over from Konnan on his Keepin it 100 podcast talking about the two splitting up.
Then we had another short package recapping the feud between Christian and Darby Allin
Nick Wayne Backstage Promo
Nick criticized Luchasaurus for letting another man carry his title and then he hasn’t forgotten the choke slam on the skateboard he received in Wembley stadium, and that he will see him at zero hour on Sunday (I’m assuming this is the name for the pre-show?). I’m not sure how they are going to make Nick Wayne Vs the man mountain of Luchasaurus believable.
Zack Sabre JR backstage interview with Renee Paquette hyping his match with Bryan Danielson.
He disrespects Danielson, calling him “Darling” throughout the promo. Zack said he is going to prove he is the best technical wrestler in the world and retire him Seattle.
Ruby Soho vs Hikaru Shida
Cold match with no real storyline or feud for this one. Competitive with both women trading blows. A little clunky and awkward at times.
Shida lifted Soho up on her shoulders on the outside and walked up the ramp for nothing to happen, and with both women realizing the count was up to 8, they ran back in the ring. What was this?
Soho grabbed a Kendo stick from the outside, only for the ref to take it off her to put it outside, which allowed her to get some spray paint from her pants only to be caught by the ref again. The ref was knocked down from this somehow after the women were scuffling over the can.
Soho hit her finisher and had no ref to count the 3 with the ref being now unconscious from the fall; this came across ridiculous to me.
Soho tried to hit Shida with the Kendo stick; she caught it, took it off her, and landed an unprotected shot to Soho’s head. With everything we know nowadays with head trauma, I’m shocked this was allowed to occur. Shida went to pin, and yep, the ref was still knocked out. Laughable
Referee Aubury Edwards came running down the ramp to count; Soho kicked out at 2.
Soho went for the Senton off the top ropes with Shida getting the knees up; Shida nailed the Falcon’s Arrow for the pin, with Soho kicking out again. Soho tried to get to her feet but was met with a kick to the head from Shida who got the 3 counts. Saraya came out for the stare down with Shida as the show ended.
This was the main event. I would not be surprised if the ratings tanked for the tail end of the show. This match, although competitive, was very odd with some strange and also dangerous spots.
The ref looked like an idiot, and this isn’t the first time AEW has done so. Making them come across like morons. I would have liked something to really build some of the keys matches at Wrestledream to end the show.