AEW The Buy In pre-show results: Powell’s live review of the Casino Battle Royale, Kip Sabian vs. Sammy Guevara


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW The Buy In Pre-Show
Aired live May 25, 2019 on AEW social media
Las Vegas, Nevada at MGM Grand Garden Arena

The event was joined in progress on DirecTV five minutes into the show…

1. Casino Battle Royale for a spot in the AEW Title match. The broadcast started with Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Michael Nakazawa, and three other wrestlers already competing. The next wave of wrestlers included Joey Janela and Shawn Spears, who received a big ovation. Penelope Ford came out and stood at ringside.

MJF poked the eyes of Spears and then gave the crowd a double middle finger salute. The next wave included Billy Gunn, Glacier, Ace Romero, and Sonny Kiss. Nakazawa was eliminated. MJF eliminated Glacier. Brian Pillman Jr. now has bleached blonde hair. He was eliminated just before the next batch of entrants.

The next wave included Tommy Dreamer, Marko Stunt, and Luchasaurus. Dreamer threw a trashcan of weapons into the ring while fans chanted ECW. Dreamer worked over various opponents with the weapons and performed a cutter on Jimmy Havoc.

The final entrant was Hangman Page, who limped to the ring while selling a knee injury. Stunt and Jungle Boy teamed up to work over big man Romero. Jungle Boy put Romero in a sleeper, but Romero fell backward onto him. There was a cool spot with Stunt setting up for what appeared to be a cutter only to have Romero drive him out of the ring to eliminate him. Jungle Boy eliminated Romero moments later.

Dustin Thomas, who wrestles despite not having legs, was given a showcase moment and even eliminated Spears. MJF eliminated Stunt to good heat moments later. Gunn hit his finisher on Brandon Cutler. When Gunn went to eliminate him, Cutler reversed it and eliminated Gunn. MJF eliminated Cutler seconds later. Luchasaurus chokeslammed Janela from the ring and through a table at ringside. Kiss used his legs to slam the face of Dreamer into his ass, but Dreamer came right back and eliminated him.

Orange Cassidy entered as the 22nd entrant and did his super light kicks to Dreamer’s legs while the crowd played along. Dreamer didn’t sell the kicks and hit Cassidy, who popped right up with his hands in his pocket. Dreamer eliminated Cassidy. Havoc used a staple gun on Dreamer and eliminated him. MJF tried to eliminate Jungle Goy, who tried to skin the cat only to have Havoc bite his fingers until he let go of the rope and fell to the floor.

The final four were MJF, Page, Havoc, and Luchasaurus (unless someone is hiding at ringside). MJF ended up at ringside, but was not eliminated. Luchasaurus kicked Havoc off the apron to eliminate him. Luchasaurus threw a kick to the head of Page and then then slammed him down. Luchasaurus charged at Page, who moved and held down the top rope, causing Luchasaurus to eliminate himself. MJF returned and tried to eliminate Page, who skinned the cat. Page performed his buckshot lariat and eliminated MJF to win the match…

Adam Page won the Casino Royale to earn a spot in the first AEW Championship match.

Powell’s POV: Let’s start with a “poor me” moment. Battle royals are tough to cover and even more difficult when you’re dropped into the middle of one. In other words, my apologies for not being clear on who each wrestler was. It’s worth noting that Jim Ross is not calling the pre-show. I assume they want to give him a big introduction. The actual battle royal was fine and didn’t overstay its welcome. Luchasaurus is impressive. I’d love to see the guy change his gimmick, but he has a great look and is impressive in the ring. The outcome felt predictable once Page was in and Jon Moxley didn’t show up. That said, predictable isn’t always a bad thing. Page will now face the winner of the Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho match from the main card at a future event to determine the first AEW Champion. The state has the casino theme and looks good, and the crowd seems well mic’d.

The broadcast team of Excalibur and Alex Marvez ran through the main card lineup. Justin Roberts is the ring announcer for the event…

Alicia Atout interviewed Kylie Rae on a backstage interview set. Rae acted giddy about the night. “The Librarian” Peter Avalon showed up and shushed her. “The Librarian” Leva Bates showed up and shushed Avalon. They shushed each other and Atout, and eventually the smiling Rae…

Excalibur and Marvez spoke from their perch, which appears to be just above the first level of fans. They set up a video package on the Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes match…

2. Sammy Guevara vs. Kip Sabian. Aubrey Edwards was the referee for the match. Guevara wore a panda head to the ring. Sabian applied a nice leg lock, but Guevara reached the ropes to break it around 5:15. Guevara came back with a powerslam and then went for a moonsault. Sabian moved and Guevara landed on his feet. Guevara went for a standing moonsault. Sabian moved again, and Guevara landed on his feet and then connected with a standing shooting star press, which led to a near fall.

Around 8:00, Guevara suplexed Sabian near the ropes and they both fell to the floor on their feet, and then Guevara suplexed Sabian at ringside. Cool spot. An AEW chant broke out. Guevara placed Sabian onto the barricade, then performed a shooting star press from the apron and onto Sabian. Guevara threw Sabian back inside the ring and then motioned to the live crowd. Guevara went for a 630 splash, but Sabian put his knees up, then followed up with a split-legged slam and scored the clean pin…

Kip Sabian defeated Sammy Guevara in 10:00.

Powell’s POV: A good match and easily the highlight of the pre-show thus far.

A video package aired on Sadie Gibbs…

Jim Ross was shown walking backstage. The Oklahoma fight song played…

A truck was shown arriving backstage. Cody’s dog was shown. Michael Cuellari was the driver and opened the door for Brandi Rhodes, then Cody got out of the backseat with his dog…

Kenny Omega was shown looking at a laptop backstage. They cut to Matt Jackson, who was over the top happy as he introduced himself to Michael Nakazawa, who then introduced himself while emphasizing his last name. Matt met up with Nick Jackson. A man showed up and tried to give them credentials. Nick superkicked the man…

Kenny Omega, Cody, Brandi Rhodes, and the Young Bucks came out together. They each tried to be the person to welcome the fans. Omega won out. Matt told the crowd that it was good to see 20,000 fans. Cody said the building didn’t hold that many. Matt said it’s pro wrestling and you round up. Brandi announced that it’s the first sensory inclusive event. Cody hyped up the crowd about this being a revolution. The screen went black to end the pre-show…

Powell’s POV: The overall pre-show was decent. I’m not sure how successful it was in winning over anyone who was on the fence about ordering the pay-per-view. The battle royal was gimmicky and the backstage segment with the dueling Librarians got laughs from the live crowd, but it was also hokey. The singles match was good and it was nice to see The Elite members and JR for a dose of star power at the end. We’re only an hour into the show, but Marvez struggled on color commentary. Excalibur did a nice job, but Marvez sounded nervous and unsure of himself. Hopefully that will improve once Ross takes over the play-by-play and Marvez isn’t asked to do as much.

Check out my coverage of the AEW Double Or Nothing event in a separate post on the main page.

Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Gursinder Singh (a/k/a Tony Gill), who explains why he asked for his release from Impact Wrestling. He also discusses his background, being trained by Lance Storm, being in the Desi Hit Squad, his future, and more.


Readers Comments (3)

  1. I know wrestling fans will like it, but I think this was the wrong choice to kick off your company. It’s a little too gimmicky and the first moment you see being an amputee being beat up is’nt smart.

    • I thought the little guy getting whailed on was great!! I thought the older generation like Glacier, Dreamer and Gunn hurt things.

  2. Sonny Kiss was in the battle royale twice?

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