AEW Zero Hour and Wrestledream Review (2023)

Seattle WA – Climate Pledge Arena

Zero Hour Preshow

Stokley Hathaway, Renee Paquette and RJ City presented. 

Lots of packages hyping the PPV started the event and throughout until We finally got some new content with a Ricky Starks backstage interview hyping his match with Wheeler Yuta.

I thought it was funny Starks called the bald Security guard CW Anderson as he made his way for the interview. 

Starks is entertaining and charismatic with his promo, completely dismissing Wheeler Yuta’s chances in their match.

Interview with Eddie Kingston

I said it on another review, I don’t like Eddie Kingston being all nice and respectful to his opponent, talking about how it’s and honour to step in the ring with Shibata etc. 

There is no heat going into this match and Kingston is much better when he hate his opponent. 

Thankfully Stokley Hathaway interrupts the interview and wants to congratulate Kingston on becoming ROH champ and in a backhanded way says “Good luck champ” and slaps him on the back and leaves the scene.

This whole PPV was in Honour of Antonio Anoki.

There was a package with the wrestlers talking about how much of an influence he was on their career.

Tony Kahn is now in the ring with Rocky Romero, Shibata and some of Antonio’s family. 

Tony Kahn honours the late wrestler and gives flowers to the family, the scene cuts to Christian who is watching via monitor looking unimpressed.

8 Man Tag Team Match

Shane Taylor, Lee Moriarty, Mercedes Martinez and Diamanté vs Athena, Billie Starkz, Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima

This match has had no build and essentially a thrown together cold match. 

The ladies start the match with all 4 coming battling it out until there was a tag to put the two big men, Keith Lee and Shane Taylor face to face, Keith Lee gets the best of this face off and knocks Taylor out the ring, Lee Moriarty provides the distraction to get Taylor and his team in control of the match. 

Kojima makes his way into the match and chops Moriarty chest to hell.

A flurry of run in’s from everybody in the match hitting power moves on one another wiped everyone out until Kojima hit a hard Lariat for the win. 

Singles Match

Josh Barnett Vs Claudio Castagnoli (accompanied by Jon Moxley) 

Another match with zero build up. An open challenge match Josh Barnett has a connection to Antonio Anoki which tied in with this PPV being a tribute. 

It was good to see Moxley come out seemingly unscathed from his scary spot in his match with Rey Fenix a few weeks back. 

Moxley joins the commentary team for this match. 

This match started with a lot of grappling and submissions, almost a MMA feel which suited Josh Barnett.

This match was very slow and spent a lot of time on the mat. Both men traded some hard kicks and forearms.

Barnett took control of the match and tried to get Claudio to the mat for some ground and pound but ended up doing one of Claudio’s moves and dig the giant swing. 

Claudio got up and nailed Barnett with a few jabs and hit him with his Neutraliser finisher and tried to tap Barnett out but transitioned into a crucifix pin for the win.

This match wasn’t pretty to watch but it was different I guess. Barnett grabbed the mic and put over Claudio saying he held him in the highest regard and you guessed it another handshake, I think there might a few of these tonight. Sigh

Barnett said this wasn’t over and some day he will be back.

Singles Natch

Luchasaurus vs Nick Wayne 

I feel this match should have been on the main card because it had a good backstory and a connection to the Main Event of Christian vs Darby Allin.

I was a little concerned how they were going to make this look and the last thing I wanted was Luchasaurus to look weak and sell for a scrawny kid like Nick Wayne. 

Nick Wayne went for one of the weakest looking drop kicks I’ve ever seen, Luchasaurus threw Nick Wayne on his neck with a devastating back suplex and dominated this match. 

Luchasaurus chokeslamed Wayne over the ropes and on the ring apron that look like it hurt like hell. Luchasaurus went up to the ropes and taunted the crowd as the ref counted. 

Nick Wayne’s mum was in the frontrow looking concerned for her son and right in front of her He was tossed into the guardrail and tossed back in the ring. 

Nick Wayne almost won the match with a top rope moon salt very similar to how 1-2-3 kid beat Razor Ramon back in the day, this irate Luchasaurus and he smashed Wayne in the back of the head and finished him off for the win.

AEW World Trios Championship Title Match

The Acclaimed with Daddy Ass (c) vs TMDK 

Another match with no build up. The Acclaimed and Daddy ass are red hot at the moment so the crowd were into the match regardless. 

Max Caster destroys TMDK on the mic with his rap on the way down to the ring then It was that time once again to “Scissor me Dadddddy” 

Max Caster starts the match with Bad Dude Tito. Tito has an interesting old school look about him, he kinda looks like if Marc Mero had a baby with Dr Death Steve Williams.  

Tito played the strength game with Caster and flung him around the ring.

The crowd always get excited when Billy Gunn comes in the ring as he squares off against Shane Haist, Gunn pops the crowd and gives the “Suck it” crotch chop.

Shane Haist seems like he is the comedy member of the group as he fooled around with Billy Gunn. This was like a comedy match at times.

TMDK got control of this match and grinded down Bowens of The Acclaimed, quick tags in and out beating him down. 

Bowens finally made a comeback and tagged Billy Gunn who cleaned house, Caster was tagged back and TMDK mobbed him and got back in control.

Billy Gunn came back in from the outside to take some bodies out allowing Max Caster to hit the top rope leg drop on Tito for the win.

Wrestledream Main Show

ROH World Tag Team Title Handicap Match

MJF (c) vs The Righteous

MJF comes out and announces that the Devil is alive in Seattle. He denied being the one who beat up Jay White with The Devil mask, called The Righteous dollar store devils rejects dickheads which is funny because that was the movie that I thought of when I first seen them. 

MJF acted like he was wasn’t worried about facing two men and made a mockery of them in the early goings doing multiple taunts and crowd gestures.

The Righteous finally got in control with the one man advantage trying everything to get MJF to stay down, they ended up bringing a chair in the ring behind he refs back, with MJF comically nailing a low blow to stop the chair shot. 

MJF promised a body slam in his pre match promo and he delivered it on Dutch. 

MJF went over with the pin with his legs on the ropes. 

MJF was pretty dominate in this 2 on 1 match and this match kinda killed the Righteous being looked at as a serious threat in the future.

ROH World Championship and NJPW Strong Openweight Title Match

Katsuyori Shibata vs Eddie Kingston (c)

Going into this match there has been no heat and it’s been all respectful.

I’m not a fan of this and I like some sort of conflict in my wrestling. 

A NJPW style match with a lot of the you hit me and then I’ll hit you back and forth stuff, they even sat down and asked for their opponent to hit them which comes accross as silly to me.

Lots of grapples and submissions and then it was back to the you hit me and I hit you and you take it to show your tough. 

Nearing the end both men traded near falls back and forth but it was Kingstons power bomb that got him over the line for the win.

You guessed it, a handshake to finish.

TBS Women’s Championship Title Match

Kris Statlander (c) vs Julia Heart

The undefeated Julia Heart took on the dominate champion in Statlander. 

Statlander nailed forearms in the corner that rocked Heart early. Every time Heart go some momentum Statlanders strength cut her off. 

The match switched momentum when Heart pulled Statlanders leg tripping her to bounce her head off the side apron which allowed her to take control. It was Short lived as Statlander got back in control with her strength once again proving too much.

Heart went for her submission finish but it was reversed in not one but two tombstone piledrivers by Statlander to pick up the victory.

4 way tag team match to determine the number 1 contender for the AEW tag team titles. 

AEW Tag Team Title #1 Contendership Four Way Match

The Gunns vs Lucha Bros vs Young Bucks vs Hook and Orange Cassidy

Fast paced affair, with some all the crazy double team spots you have come to expect from The Young Bucks and The Lucha Bros.

Hook had a nice flurry of suplexes on both the bucks but I don’t know what it he just always looks unorthodox to me. The Gunns started to gain control late until Penta took them down with his unique offence.

All men went at it in the ring, one move after another which ended with the Bucks alone with Penta, who they double teamed to pick up the win.

Singles Match

Hangman Adam Page vs Swerve Strickland 

Swerve came to the ring with the Mogul Embassy  and asked the crowd whose house it was, the crowd responded “Swerves House” 

Hangman took it Swerve early chopping him down, he became the heel in this match due to Swerve being from Washington. Home court advantage was with Swerve. 

I think AEW have a really good chance here to pull the trigger with Swerve and really make him a top guy. 

The crowd really got at Hangman, booing him with every move. Hangman upped his assault with some risky Ariel moves that took Swerve down and he taunted the crowd. 

There was a flurry of moves and strikes in the middle of this match although athletically impressive, it was a bunch of no selling from either and comes across unbelievable. 

Swerve hit Hangman with a stomp off the top ropes that nearly took him out, they brawled on the outside with a few reversals on the steel steps until finale page hit his dead eye finisher on the steps. 

Hangman went for the buckshot but was countered in a submission from Swerve who snapped his arm back, potentially breaking it. Swerve took advantage of the trainer checking on the arm and jumped off the top rope onto the injured arm. 

Page managed to get back in the match and hit the buckshot for but was stopped by Prince Nana on the outside who put swerves foot on the rope. 

Swerve finally managed to get the win with the JMK driver. 

Even though Swerve won I felt it could have been done in a more convincing fashion, it didn’t make him look strong and that’s what he needs to go to the next level. I’m guessing this feud isn’t over. 

Singles Match

Ricky Starks vs Wheeler Yuta 

A match that didn’t have a lot of build. Jon Moxley once again joined the commentary team to cheer his BCC member on in Yuta

Starks was aggressive from the get go. Lot of the same stuff from previous matches tonight happened again in this match. The you hit me then I hit you spot reared its head again.

Ricky Starks ended up getting the win with an assist from Big Bill, Jon Moxley on commentary did seem to bother at all his BCC teammate was beat and with Big Bill interfering you would think Moxley would intervene but he didn’t. 

Singles Match

Zack Sabre Jr Vs Bryan Danielson 

This match was billed as the two best technical wrestlers in the world against each other and also a dream match.

The dream match tag gets thrown around a little too easy sometimes and for a hardcore fan this is possibly as good as it gets but if your not someone who watches every show of every promotion then maybe not. 

Both men felt each other at the start of the match with a shoot wrestling approach. 

Both traded submissions and countered each others attempts for a good portion of the match.

Then once again it was back to the I’ll forearm you in the head then I’ll stick my head out so you can forearm me back and so on.

This has happened several times in this PPV.

I know this is something that derives from Japan but it looks silly, who would actually do this in a real fight? 

Zack got control of the match and finally the match started to resemble more of what made Bryan Danielson main event wrestlemania. Danielson taking the punishment and mounting a comeback. 

Danielson had Sabre Jr in the tree of woe and delivered his hard kicks in the corner, taking him upto the top ropes for Butterfly suplex to the mat.

Both men went back to countering every submission and pin under the sun. Danielson built up some steam and hit Sabre with a back suplex into his Double knee finisher only for him to kick out at a two count. 

Sabre tried to get to his feet but Danielson blasted him again with the Double knee finisher to finally get the three count. 

Danielson gestures a handshake and I’m glad Sabre Jr declined as the handshake stuff was getting too much. 

Six Man Tag Team Match

Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi vs Sammy Guevara, Will Ospreay and Konosuke Takeshita with Don Callis 

Omega and Ospreay start the match with some quick counters to each others moves, Sami tags in the match and showboats over getting one over Omega. 

Jericho comes in to get revenge on Sami who takes a few chops and tags out.

All 6 men get in the ring to face off and go at it with Jericho and Co getting the upper hand. 

Omega and Ospreay did the majority of the work in this match. 

It came down to Jericho finally getting in the ring to get revenge on Guevara for his betrayal. 

All men went at it all over the ring and the outside. Guevara, Omega and Ospreay hit some amazing high flying moves in this match especially Guevara, possibly the most athletic. 

Jericho was getting beat down until he fired up and took it to the Don Callis family chopping them all until the numbers game was too much and they beat him down.

Ibushi was behind all of this just standing there waiting for them to turn around when all logic says he should have helped his team mate.

Another silly spot was next, the you hit me with a forearm and I’ll hit you with a forearm spot between Ibushi and Takeshita, both hit a huge clothesline on each other with little effect, not much selling was going on here let’s put it that way.

The no selling continues with multiple kicks to the head from everyone and then a flurry of moves took everyone out with Ospreay diving outside to take out a few bodies.

In the ring Jericho took 3 super kicks to head from Sami Guevara with little effect putting him in the wall of Jericho, referee Aubrey Edwards back was turned, Don Callis ran in the ring and nailed Jericho with a foreign object for Guevara to pin Jericho and pick up a win for The Don Callis family. 

I felt this match went too long and there was a lot of no selling, no logic stuff that I’m not a fan of. The athleticism was off the chain from these guys though. 

AEW Tag Team Championship Match

FTR vs Aussie Open 

Being completely different to the last match, this was more of a traditional tag team match. 

Dax Hardwood and Mark Davis carved up each others chests with chops.

Lots of double team action in the ring and outside with Fletcher taking a devastating back suplex off the top ropes from Cash Wheeler.

Physical match, Aussie Open almost stole it with a double team doomsday device style drop kick off the top ropes to Wheeler. 

Mark Davis was taken out by FTR with a double team spike piledriver on the apron allowing FTR to hit their finish off the top rope to retain their titles.

TNT Championship Best 2 out of 3 Falls Match

Christian (c) vs Darby Allin 

The match with the  most build up and backstory was last and rightfully so. Christian is the best thing going for AEW right now and is by far the best true heel in professional wrestling. 

Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne came out with each man but left to the back to let them do it on their own. 

Being in the ring with veterans like Christian, Sting etc has really helped Darby Allin hone his style to be able to have matches with the flash but also tell the story of the match and make sense, something some of other matches didn’t have. 

Darby Allin won the first pin fall by pulling Christians turtleneck shirt over his head and caught him off guard for a sneaky pin. 

Nick Wayne’s mom was at ringside, Christian gave her a look on the outside. 

Being pinned Christian was irate and began to become vicious and beat Allin down. 

Allin almost stole another pin with a code red.

Christian went outside the ring and was blowing kisses to Nick Wayne’s mom who threw her drink in his eyes. 

Allin took advantage of the interference but was caught by Christian’s knees while attempting a Coffin drop. 

Christian slammed Allin off the ring apron onto the steps that looked like it hurt like hell. On replay it looked even worse.

Christian won the second fall by count out with Allin showing no signs of getting up. 

Allin was being stretchered while Christian was pulling apart the ring exposing the wood. 

Christian jumped off the top ropes to the outside and frog splashed Darby Allin on the stretcher and threw Allin back in the ring, which now had no mat and was just wood, he hit Allin with the Killswitch but somehow Allin kicked out. 

Christian rubbed it in Allies face by doing the Scorpion death lock, the move of Darbys mentor. He escaped and hit Christian with a Scorpion death drop and a coffin drop for the pin but Christian narrowly kicked out.

Christian went for the spear but missed and hit the referee and knocked him out, he low blowed Allin and grabbed his title to hit Allin but Nick Wayne came out of nowhere to steal it. 

Out of nowhere Wayne smashed Allin in the face with the belt betraying his friend. Christian gave Wayne the look of approval. Christian pinned Darby to retain his TNT championship. 

Christian hugged and kissed Nick Wayne’s head like an approving father, funny stuff. 

Christian picked up Allin to dish out more damage and let Nick Wayne slap, punch and kick him. 

Sting came down to the ring to make the save, Luchasaurus came into the ring and Sting was now outnumbered 3 on 1. 

Christian brought a chair into the ring to inflict more damage and was going to deliver a chair shot to Stings head when the lights went out. 

The crowd erupted as Adam Copeland (Edge) came out to his iconic music by Alter Bridge.

Christian handed the chair to Copeland to hit Sting, he paused a bit before hitting Wayne with the chair then threw it at Luchasaurus and delivered a spear taking him out. Christian retreated. 

Darby Allin and Sting shook the hand of Edge to thank him for saving them as the show went off the air. 

A strong end to Wrestledream which is a good hook to watch Dynamite and see what’s to come from Adam Copeland. I felt the PPV was too long and the wall to wall wrestling becomes quite tiring. 

I feel guys like Jericho, Omega and MJF need better than what they are currently getting, none of their matches or storyline’s were compelling to me on this PPV.

I’m hoping AEW can do more of what the last match delivered and quit doing the non sensical stuff that reared its head in a few matches on the card. 

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Kev Curran

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