By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Fight For The Fallen
Aired live July 13, 2019 on B/R Live and internationally via FITE.TV
Jacksonville, Florida at at Daily’s Place Amphitheater
[Pre-Show] Excalibur and Alex Marvez spoke from their desk and previewed the event (the feed started a couple minutes late on B/R Live, but was up and running on Youtube)…
1. Sonny Kiss vs. “The Librarian” Peter Avalon (w/”The Librarian” Leva Bates. The live crowd was all over The Librarians prior to the match. Avalon stood in the ring and said he had something important to tell the fans. Sonny Kiss’s entrance music interrupted him. Kiss came out wearing a half Jacksonville Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey jersey and danced with some of the Jags’ cheerleaders on the stage.
Kiss dominated early and had the crowd with him until Avalon stuffed a kick around 90 seconds in. Avalon tossed Kiss to ringside. Bates threw him back inside the ring without getting physical. Back inside the ring, Kiss regained offensive control and performed a standing moonsault for a two count at 4:20. Bates provided a distraction that let Avalon go back on the offensive. It didn’t last long. Kiss went to the middle rope and did the splits while landing with a leg on Avalon and then pinned him…
Sonny Kiss defeated Peter Avalon in 5:10.
Powell’s POV: Did the Librarians get the crowd reaction that AEW wanted? The crowd booed them loudly and while you can make a case for it being go away heat, it was a passionate response for a heel in the opening match. The outdoor amphitheater is a really cool setting and they’ve done a nice job with setting up the ring on the floor and adding some seats on the venue’s stage.
Jenn Decker interviewed Cody and Dustin Rhodes in front of the AEW backdrop. Cody spoke about the charitable aspect of the show, then Decker asked him about facing The Young Bucks. Cody talked about how he and Dustin are old school compared to the Young Bucks’ new school. Dustin said he will powerslam both Bucks so hard that their souls will leave their bodies. Decker asked Cody if he was feeling 100 percent (following the chairshot). Cody said he wouldn’t be there if he wasn’t feeling 100 percent…
2. Britt Baker and Riho vs. Shoko Nakajima and Bea Priestly. Marvez said 22 year-old Riho is the youngest wrestler in the match and yet the most experienced since she started wrestling at age 13. Marvez said the women’s division is stacked. Excalibur said it’s the best in the world. At 2:35, Baker went to the wrong corner to make a tag. Nakajima let her know she was in the wrong corner. Baker ran over to her corner and tagged in Riho. Oops.
Riho was isolated for a stretch. Nakajima put Riho’s heads between her legs and used her knees to slam Riho’s head into the mat repeatedly. Riho came back with a dropkick and then Baker tagged. Nakajima performed a missile dropkick on Baker, which sent Baker into her corner to make a tag. Riho worked over both opponents and performed a 619 on Nakajima. All four women ended up in the ring with Riho and Nakajima trading punches. Priestly broke it up by going after Riho, then dragged Nakajima to her corner and tagged herself in.
There were cheers when Baker and Priestly ended up in the ring together and again when they traded forearms. Priestly hit a clunky double knee press from the ropes and got a two count on Baker. Later, Riho performed a top rope double stomp on Nakamjima for a near fall. A short time later, Nakajima caught a charging Riho with a huracanrana and held onto her legs to get the pin.
Shoko Nakajima and Bea Priestly defeated Britt Baker and Riho in 15:40.
After the match, Priestly and Baker went at one another and were pulled apart while the fans chanted “let them fight”…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match with some impressive athleticism. It was clunky at times, but there was far more good than bad. I’m looking forward to the women getting more character development once the television show debuts. For some odd reason, a rough version of subtitles appeared on my screen late in the match even though I don’t have subtitles turned on via Roku. Anyway, Marvez seems more comfortable this time around, though perhaps too comfortable. He’s fine when he’s adding some background or factoids, but at other times he’s that annoying friend in the room who makes oddball observations that you just try to ignore him in hopes that he’ll stop so you can enjoy whatever you’re watching. Here’s hoping it gets better once Jim Ross joins the broadcast and Marvez has less time to fill.
Backstage, Jenn Decker interviewed Kip Sabian, who said he came to prove that he’s not just one of the best in his country but in the world. He said he feels like he has a point to prove in his match with Hangman Page. Decker wondered if a win over Page could put him in line for a title shot. Sabian said he would like to think so. Sabian took the mic and said he felt no animosity toward Page outside the ring, but he took issue with Page looking ahead to his AEW Title match with Chris Jericho. Sabian said he hopes Page wins the title because he’ll be first in line for a title shot after he beats him tonight…
Jim Ross made his entrance to signify that the main show was about to begin. Ross looked into the camera and said they had a hell of as show that people would be talking about before they go to bed. The broadcast team discussed some of the bigger main show matches and wrapped up the pre-show (the unrequested subtitles are gone)…
Powell’s POV: A much better pre-show this time around. Sure, The Librarians were involved, but they were harmless and the crowd booed them loudly, which is better than having the crowd be indifferent toward them. We didn’t get a bunch of quirky comedy or any of the other elements that made AEW’s previous pre-shows so rough. Instead, we got two matches and some straight forward hype. Let’s hope this becomes the norm.
[Main Show] The cold open video aired… The main show broadcast team was Ross, Excalibur, and Marvez, and Justin Roberts is the ring announcer…
1. Shawn Spears, MJF, and Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin, Jimmy Havoc, and Joey Janela. Marvez said Guevara told him that he’s pissed because he’s the afterthought going into the match. Marvez also quoted Guevara as saying he hates his tag team partners in this match. Spears wore a “The Chairman” t-shirt and made Roberts introduce him as such. MJF told the crowd off-mic that they were about to watch greatness. Janela hip-tossed him to start the match. Havoc tagged in and bit the fingers of MJF, then bent them and stomped on them. A “f— him up, Jimmy” chant broke out. MJF countered into a wristlock and was booed. Havoc flipped him off and escaped the hold and took Havoc down.
A short time later, Janela tagged in and suplexed Guevara into the corner. Janela tagged Havoc back into the match. Allin wasn’t pleased that he hadn’t been tagged and had yet to enter the match. Guevara caught a charging Havoc with a knee to the head. Spears tagged in and got good heat. Allin pleaded with Havoc, who tagged him in to loud cheers and a “Darby” chant at 4:00. Spears tagged Guevara and was booed as he went to ringside. Allin, who had his ribs taped, stared a hole through him to the point that Guevara had to wave his hand in front of Allin’s face, then flipped him off. Allin got the better of their brief exchange and then Janela tagged in.
At 6:10, MJF sent Janela to ringside and then posed. Havoc flipped him off. Spears tagged himself in and worked over Janela. Excalibur said Cody referring to Spears as a good hand upset Spears even though Cody meant it as a compliment. MJF tagged himself in as the bickering between the heel team members continued. MJF did a cartwheel and then mocked Spears (formerly Tye Dillinger) by flashing the 10 sign. Spears got hot and charged him, only to run into a clothesline from one of their opponents. Havoc knocked Spears down and then performed a Death Valley Driver that sent MJF onto Spears.
Havoc superplexed Guevara for a near fall at 10:00. Havoc posed for the crowd and then Allin tagged himself in to continue the friction between the babyface teammates. Havoc performed an Acid Rainmaker on MJF, but Guevara caught Havoc with a Backstabber. At 12:25, Janela performed a DVD on Guevara on the apron, which drew “holy shit” chants. In the ring, Allin hit a spinning dive on MJF, but he came up selling his ribs. Spears was all over him and hit the Death Valley Driver and scored the pin…
Shawn Spears, MJF, and Sammy Guevara defeated Darby Allin, Jimmy Havoc, and Joey Janela in 13:15.
Powell’s POV: This was a blast. I was wondering if some of the wrestlers would get lost in this from a character standpoint, but that was not the case. Rather, all six men had a chance to show off their personalities and the broadcast team did a nice job of helping in that regard. This was well really well done. It’s fun to see Spears go from being a one note joke in WWE/NXT to overhauling his persona completely in AEW. Good for him. Allin is super over and can absorb the loss, especially since he had the rib injury excuse. Plus, Spears was the right choice to go over since all signs point to him facing Cody either at All Out or once the TNT series starts in October.
Jacksonville Jaguars and AEW owner Shad Khan was shown seated in the crowd. Jaguars’ defensive lineman Calais Campbell was shown in the crowd. The law firm sponsors were shown in the crowd. One of the lawyers had what appeared to be a beer in hand (gotta choose the wording carefully when there’s lawyers involved!) and was talking loudly. The Private Party tag team was shown in the crowd. Alex Jebailey was seated next to them played to the camera, but a security guard came up and told him it was a private party before removing him…
A video package set up the women’s match…
2. Brandi Rhodes vs. Allie. Brandi offered a handshake. Allie accepted, but then Awesome Kong’s music played and Allie was upset, assuming that Kong was with Rhodes. Kong walked to ringside as the match got underway. Once Allie had Brandi down, she left the ring and looked at Kong. Allie started to return to the ring and then Brandi dropkicked her through the ropes.
At 5:05, Allie ran the ropes and Kong grabbed one of her legs. A short time later, Allie and Brandi exchanged strikes with Allie getting the better of it. With Brandi down in the corner, Allie performed a sliding forearm to the head. Allie tried to hoist up Brandi for a move, but Brandi slipped away. Both women ran the ropes and Allie used a running bulldog to get a two count.
Allie caught Brandi with a kick at 9:20 and then performed a DVD. Allie covered Brandi, but Kong pulled Brandi to the ropes to get the break. Allie jawed at Kong to stay back (I’m sure that will work). Brandi took advantage of the distraction with an inside cradle for a two count. Allie applied a dragon sleeper. Brandi tapped, but Kong stood on the apron and distracted referee Paul Turner. Brandi raked the eyes of Allie and then performed a shoulder block and pinned her. Kong entered the ring and hugged Brandi afterward.
Brandi Rhodes defeated Allie in 11:00.
After the match, Kong set up for a move on Allie, but she was stopped in her tracks when Aja Kong’s music played and she made her entrance. Aja entered the ring and stared down Awesome Kong. Brandi talked down Awesome Kong while three referees stood between the women. After Brandi and Awesome Kong left, Aja helped Allie to her feet and walked to the back with her…
Powell’s POV: Meh for the match. It was nice to see Awesome Kong, but once she showed up the outcome never seemed in doubt. And I don’t know enough about the Allie character in AEW to feel sympathy for her. The Aja Kong surprise was also fun, but it’s hard not to wonder if Aja and Awesome Kong are up the challenge of delivering a strong match at this point in their careers.
The broadcast team spoke at ringside…
3. “Dark Order” Evil Uno and Stu Grayson vs. Jack Evans and Angelico vs. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy (w/Marko Stunt) in a three-way tag match. Marvez informed viewers that the Dark Order’s masked lackeys are known as Creepers. The fans were very quiet during the Dark Order’s entrance. The Creepers headed backstage before the other teams made their entrance. The crowd was quiet during the opening sequence involving Dark Order and Evans, but they came to life when Jungle Boy tagged in and then chanted for Luchasaurus once he tagged in.
Marvez noted that the winning team will face Best Friends at All Out and the winning team will get a first round bye in the AEW Tag Title tournament. He also spoke about Dark Order being angry about everything, including that they don’t feel they get their due with Americans due to being Canadian. Ross referred to Jungle Boy as “‘Jungle Boy’ Jack Perry” at one point. Luchasaurus got a great reaction when he took out Evans and Angelico with kicks and performed a standing moonsault around 9:30.
Luchasaurus caught Grayson going for a move and slammed him down face first. Luchasaurus had the pin, but Uno broke it up. At 11:50, Angelico helped Evans perform a 450 splash onto Jungle Boy for a near fall. Angelico performed a crucifix buckle bomb on Jungle Boy. Stunt took out Angelico, then went up top and performed a move on Evans. Referee Mike Posey ejected Stunt from ringside. Luchasaurus placed Stunt on his shoulders and then threw him high into the air and he fell onto Angelico at ringside. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy performed a cool powerbomb double team move on Evans and had the pin, but Uno broke it up.
Uno took out the knee of Luchasaurus, then the Dark Order duo double teamed Jungle Boy. Grayson performed a top rope move on Jungle Boy while Uno went under him and performed a cannonball on Luchasaurus. The Dark Order performed Doomday Device Blockbuster on Jungle Boy and got the pin…
The Dark Order defeated Jack Evans & Angelico and Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy in 15:15.
Powell’s POV: Ross seemed apologetic to a point for the Dark Order, as he said they seemed rusty despite winning the match. The fans haven’t taken to the Dark Order yet, but they absolutely love Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. I’m familiar with Stunt and I know he was at All In, but it felt like they could have done more to introduce him. I hope AEW isn’t going to make the mistake that ROH has over the years by pushing independent and Japanese talent as if all of their viewers are super fans who see everything. Of course, AEW hasn’t started TV yet, so it’s hard to be overly critical in that regard.
4. “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Kip Sabian. The broadcast team noted that the match had a 20-minute time limit. They also played up the knee injury that Page has been selling. Page sold knee issues early on, yet remained in offensive control until Sabian caught him with a springboard kick. Sabian set up for a dive, but Page caught him with a forearm from the floor. Back inside the ring, Page performed a fallaway slam and bridged into a pin for a two count.
Sabian teased kissing a fan, then went back to the match and performed a springboard dropkick on Page for a two count. A short time later, Sabian performed a top rope double stomp for another two count. Ross noted that Page rolled out of the pin because he didn’t have enough energy to kick out. Page came back with a suplex into the corner. Page performed a standing shooting star press for a near fall around 10:00.
Sabian targeted Page’s bad knee with kicks. Page rallied with a discus lariat that turned Sabian inside out. The broadcast team noted that Sabian had a bloody elbow. Page brought Sabian to the ropes where they fought for position. Sabian got the better of it by knocking Page down with a headbutt. Page avoided a double stomp, then picked up Sabian and dropped him onto the apron. The broadcast team played up the apron as the hardest part of the ring, then Excalibur noted that the ring post is actually the hardest part based on his experience. Funny. Page performed a moonsault from the top rope onto Sabian on the floor. Page sold his knee injury around 15:00.
Back inside the ring, Page picked up Sabian and performed a powerbomb that sent him over the top rope and onto the stage that is level with the ring. There was a rare immediate replay for the big move. Sabian returned to the ring at the referee’s nine count. Page went to the ropes and brought Sabian with him. Page performed a neckbreaker from the top rope and got a near fall. Excalibur noted that there were less than three minutes remaining in match time. Sabian grabbed Page’s leg through the ropes and gave him a dragon screw leg whip. Sabian performed a springboard into a huracanrana. The wrestlers went for rapid fire pin attempts. Page ended up performing the Rite of Passage out of the rapid fire pin attempts and scored the clean pin…
Hangman Page defeated Kip Sabian in 19:05.
After the match, Chris Jericho entered the ring dressed as one of the Creepers and attacked Page. The broadcast team played along even though it was obvious who it was. Jericho performed a Codebreaker and then unmasked. There were some cheers, so not everyone in the crowd was aware. Jericho performed his Judas Effect elbow on Page, who came up cut above the eye. Jericho went to the ropes and flipped off the fans…
Powell’s POV: A solid match that suffered from the predictability of Page going over and the lack of a strong babyface and heel dynamic. There just wasn’t a reason for the fans to feel strongly about Sabian if they weren’t familiar with him. The post match angle was actually made by Page being cut. While some in the live crowd may not have known it was Jericho, it’s hard to imagine that fans at home who have been paying attention to the storylines didn’t know it was him. Even so, I like the intensity heading into the Jericho vs. Page match that will determine the first AEW Champion at All Out.
All three SCU members headed to the ring and did some mic work. Scorpio Sky teased doing the worst town bit, then said they decided to show Jacksonville some respect. Christopher Daniels noted that they were wearing Jaguars colors and played up being in Duval (a Florida county and the name Jags’ fans go by). Frankie Kazarian got the crowd to say SCU. The Lucha Brothers made their entrance…
5. “The Lucha Brothers” Pentagon Jr. and Fenix vs. Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky (w/Christopher Daniels). Excalibur noted that the AAA Tag Titles held by Pentagon and Fenix were not on the line. There were dueling chants for the teams and Ross noted that the Lucha Brothers seemed to have the advantage. Marvez said this is the 91st match of 2019 for the Lucha Brothers and added that they are 0-2 in AEW thus far.
The Lucha Brothers had the early advantage and Pentagon even tore off the shirt of Daniels and chopped him on the floor. Fenix went for a dive onto Daniels, but he avoided it and Pentagon was struck by his brother. Daniels performed a springboard moonsault onto Fenix and threw him back inside the ring. Referee Aubrey Edwards ejected Daniels from ringside. Marvez put over the venue and once again added that it was designed by Shad Khan. Ross rightfully called him on sounding like he was reading a paid advertisement.
At 9:15, Fenix leapt off the middle rope and performed a spin kick on Kazarian, then performed a Pele Kick and made a hot tag. Pentagon worked over both opponents. Both Lucha Brothers tagged Sky with superkicks. They placed Sky in a tree of woe in front of Daniels, then Fenix monkey flipped Pentagon into both SCU members. Pentagon followed up with a double foot stomp for a near fall at 11:00.
SCU battled back and performed a nice sequence of moves on Pentagon. They played to the crowd and then Fenix performed a double cutter on Kazarian and Sky. At 13:30, Sky launched Kazarian up to Fenix, who was seated on the top rope, and Kazarian performed a tornado DDT that led to a near fall. Pentagon returned and fought both opponents until Kazarian dropped him with a DDT. Moments later, Fenix performed a rope walk double stomp on Kazarian, then Pentagon hit Sky with a Canadian Destroyer. The Lucha Brothers performed their double stomp into a piledriver finisher and got the win.
Pentagon Jr. and Fenix defeated Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky in 15:10.
After the match, Daniels returned to the ring. The Lucha Brothers grabbed a ladder from ringside and threw it at him, then hit the others with it. Kazarian held his arm. Penta beat on the mic and the fans chanted his catchphrase. The Lucha Brothers climbed the ladder in the middle of the ring and delivered a promo. Fenix challenged the Young Bucks to a ladder match for All Out…
Powell’s POV: A spot fest between two babyface tag teams. There were some strong moments, but I’m becoming a bit numb to spot fests. In fairness, I’ve watched a lot of wrestling today, so it’s possible that I’m in the minority on that one, but I hope that AEW will eventually be able to mix in some good mat based matches to break up some of the big spot matches as they move forward. Don’t get me wrong, this was good for what it was and the right team went over given that the Lucha Brothers were winless in AEW coming into the show. I assume the ladder match will be for the AAA Tag Titles at All Out given that the first AEW Tag Champions won’t be crowned until the weekly television starts in the fall. Either way, that should be one hell of a ladder match.
6. Kenny Omega vs. Cima. The broadcast team played up the idea that Omega needed to win this match to get his first singles win in AEW. There was an early “this is awesome” chant. Marvez said Cima had the pressure of fighting for China and the OWE promotion. The crowd settled in as the wrestlers worked a slower pace to start. Excalibur said the pace benefitted Cima. Omega caught Cima with a leg lariat and followed up with a V-Trigger knee to the back of his head in the corner. Omega set Cima on the top rope. Cima ended up on Omega’s shoulders in electric chair position, then slipped out and powerbombed Omega into the ring at 9:35. Cima followed with a double knee press, but Omega rolled out of the way at 10:00.
The broadcast team spoke about Omega vs. Jon Moxley at the All Out show while Omega targeted Cima’s knee. Omega went for a second rope moonsault, but Cima put his knees up. Omega came right back with a snap dragon suplex. Cima avoided Omega’s finisher and performed a Backstabber. Ross played up the Jacksonville heat being an issue in the outdoor venue. The wrestles went to ringside. Omega picked up Cima and dropped him knee first onto the apron. Cima came back and set Omega on a table, then climbed onto the first level of seating and leapt onto Omega with a knee press. Fans chanted AEW at 15:00.
Cima threw Omega back inside the ring, then leapt off the middle of the top rope and kneed him in the back of the head. Cima performed another double knee press from the ropes for a near fall. Cima sold left knee pain following the meteoras. Cima went for another, but Omega caught him and launched him into the corner, then performed a Dragon suplex and a V-Trigger knee for a near fall. Omega hit a neckbreaker on his knee, then followed up with a V-Trigger. Omega went for a powerbomb, but Cima countered into a DDT. Cima fired at Omega with a couple of slaps, then Omega responded with two knees to the head. Moments later, Cima leapt into the air and dropped his knees onto Omega. Cima went up top and performed another meteora. The wrestlers fought on the apron where Cima got the better of it by dropping Omega on his back. A “you killed Kenny” chant broke out briefly. Cima performed another top rope meteora and went for the cover, but Omega put his foot on the ropes at 20:05.
Omega caught Cima with a knee to the back of the head and then hit a tiger driver for a good near fall. Cima avoided a V-Trigger and rolled Omega into a pin for another good near fall. Omega performed a V-Trigger and then the One Winged Angel for the win…
Kenny Omega defeated Cima in 22:30.
Powell’s POV: That’s what the show needed. It wasn’t necessarily mat based as I mentioned earlier that I’d like to see more of, but they worked a slow pace early and built nicely to the finish. It was a breath of fresh air after the rapid fire style of some of the previous matches. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the rapid fire pace too, but it’s important to have a good variety so that things stand out rather than simply running together. This was really good and it was logical to put over Omega, yet it happened in a way where fans who were unfamiliar with Cima had to come away impressed by him.
Chris Jericho made his entrance to Fozzy’s “Judas” as his theme. Once in the ring, Jericho pointed out that he had the blood of Hangman Page on his hands. Jericho referred to Jacksonville as Jerksonville. When fans objected, he asked if they like Jackoffville better. Jericho asked the fans if they wanted to boo him, then told them to go right ahead. Jericho said that if he wasn’t there then none of them would be either. He took credit for starting AEW, making it legit, and getting AEW a television deal, which he noted is starting in October.
Jericho recalled watching the Casino Battle Royale and mocked some of the participants while he recalled waiting to see who he would face if he beat Kenny Omega later in the night. Jericho said Hangman Page is one of the best performers he’s seen in years. Jericho said he’s been worrying about the match with Page ever since Double Or Nothing. He said if he beats Page then it’s just another notch in his glorious career, but if he loses to him then not only is it the beginning of the end of AEW but it’s the beginning of the end for his own illustrious career. Jericho said he realized that he has to beat The Hangman.
Jericho said he left Page in a pool of his own blood to show that he should never trust him. Jericho said he will become the AEW Champion and prove that AEW wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for him. Jericho said he’ll prove that The Hangman is nothing more than a little bitch. Jericho played to the crowd and said, “Let’s hear it for The Hangman.” Page attacked Chris Jericho. AEW coach Jerry Lynn and some referees tried to get between them. Multiple wrestlers came out to keep them apart. Jericho ended up at ringside. A huge fan put up his fists. Jericho kicked the barricade. Peter Avalon, Chris Daniels, and two referees led Jericho to the back while Lynn, Joey Janela, Angelico, and Jack Evans kept Page calm in the ring. The camera got a shot of Page’s bruised and bloodied eye from the Judas elbow earlier in the night…
Powell’s POV: A good promo from Jericho. I was a little worried they were going to have him go over the top with an expletive filled rant given the way they were playing up that he would have a live mic, but they didn’t go in that direction. Instead, Jericho did his best to turn the crowd against him with an egomaniacal rant.
A video package set up the tag team main event and included Jake Roberts and Tony Schiavone…
7. “The Brotherhood” Cody and Dustin Rhodes vs. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson. Fake money fell during the Bucks’ entrance. Dustin entered first for his team, then Cody made a separate entrance and they wore red and black gear. An AEW chant broke out before the bell. Rick Knox was the referee. Cody offered Nick a handshake, which he accepted. A couple minutes later, Cody flexed in front of Nick, who responded with a slap to Cody’s face. Cody and Nick ended up going face to face, then Dustin and Matt ran in and also went face to face.
The Bucks performed double team moves on Dustin and then Cody. Once they cleared the ring, Matt and Nick mocked Cody’s Double Or Nothing promo in which he said he needed his older brother. There were some boos. A short time later, Dustin ran the ropes and Nick grabbed his foot from the floor. The Bucks isolated Dustin for a stretch. The Bucks knocked Cody off the apron. Dustin came back and made it to his corner, but the Bucks pulled him back before Cody could return. Dustin performed a spinebuster on one of the Bucks and was about to make a tag, but Cody was pulled to the floor heading into the 10:00 mark.
Dustin went up top and performed a twisting cross body block onto both Jacksons. Cody tagged in and got showed good fire and performed a dive onto Matt on the stage. Back inside the ring, Cody removed his belt and whipped Matt’s back with it. Cody placed Matt on the top rope in a seated position, then performed a reverse superplex for a two count. At 14:10, Cody worked over Matt and spat at Nick. Dustin tagged in and punched Nick off the apron as he and Cody continued to isolate Matt. Cody placed Matt in a Fujiwara armbar, but Matt reached the ropes to break the hold. Matt backdropped Cody over the top rope onto the entrance ramp and made a hot tag to Nick heading into the 20:00 mark.
Nick picked up the pace with rapid fire moves on both Rhodes brothers. The Bucks performed double sunset flips and applied simultaneous Sharpshooters, which the Rhodes brothers kicked out of. Dustin and Cody applied simultaneous figure four leg locks. The referee broke them up. The Rhodes performed their uppercut punches, then the wrestlers performed a four-way lariat that resulted in everyone staying down. At 22:45, Dustin tagged himself in and performed powerslams on both Jacksons. Dustin performed a senton off the apron on Matt, then Cody leapt from the top rope onto Nick. Dustin set up Nick in the corner and set up for Shattered Dreams, but Matt tagged himself in and superkicked Dustin. The Bucks set up for a Meltzer Driver, but Cody returned and cut it off with a knee to the head of Nick. Dustin and Cody teamed up for an assisted CrossRhodes. They went for the pin on Matt, but Nick dove onto the pile to break up the pin at 24:40.
All four men ended up in the ring and traded punches. Cody accidentally knocked down the referee. REF BUMP!!! Dustin and Cody set up the Jacksons in opposite corners and performed Shattered Dreams. The ref turned around right after and counted a two count for a double pin attempt. The broadcast team pointed out that Matt had been holding his left arm in front of him. Cody leapt over the top rope and into a double superkick from the Bucks. Back inside the ring, Nick hit some strikes on Dustin and then Matt performed an elbow drop that led to a near fall. Dustin came back with a Canadian Destroyer on Matt for a near fall. The Bucks caught Cody with a double superkick to the back of the head and had him beat, but Dustin broke it up just before 30:00.
The Jacksons performed Rhodes’ style uppercuts, then the Rhodes brothers returned fire with superkicks. Moments later, Dustin was taken out at ringside. The Bucks teamed up for a Meltzer Driver on Cody and scored the pin.
The Young Bucks defeated Dustin and Cody Rhodes in 31:25.
After the match, the referee was about to raise the arms of the Bucks, but they stopped him and waited for Dustin to get Cody to his feet. Dustin and Cody hugged. Matt took the mic and said things got a little competitive and he conceded that he and Nick had made fun of them. Matt said it was all done in the spirit of competition. Matt said they’d been around the world and always heard the myth of the Rhodes Brothers. He said he doesn’t watch some products so he didn’t really see it, but they are one of the best teams they’ve ever been in the ring with. Music started to play. Matt tried to cut it off, then said they must be short on time.
Several wrestlers and Shad Khan headed to the ring. Cody introduced Shad, who had a giant $150,000 check for the VAAC. Cody listed some of the contributors and noted that $110,000 was from AEW. A loud AEW chant broke out. Cody said they wanted to help those affected by people who were affected by gun violence and it was an authentic contribution to the city of Jacksonville.
Cody said he didn’t know if they were still on the air. “You can’t counter program what All Elite Wrestling is doing,” Cody said. He said you might be able to counter program some of the individuals, but not AEW as a whole. Another AEW chant broke out. Cody asked the crowd if they are going with them when they go to TNT in the fall. Fans cheered. Cody said he doesn’t have a signature line.
Cody gave the mic to Kenny Omega, who thanked the fans for supporting such a great cause. He said there was a statement made with their unique brand of wrestling, but the most important statement was that they were making a difference for the community. Omega said as much as he’d like to send the fans off in his usual style, it felt inappropriate to do it the usual way. He said said they would replace the word bang with boing since they were off the air (they were not). Omega delivered his closing line with “boing” in place of “bang” to end the show…
Powell’s POV: A good match that suffered a bit from so many matches going long. While there was a pocket of fans doing the “fight forever” chant, it felt like fatigue set in with a crowd that had been in the heat for over four hours. That said, it looked like most of the fans stuck around for the post match scene and were vocal in chanting for AEW at the end. Overall, it was a good show, but I was really hoping AEW would take a page out of the NXT playbook by going with the less is more approach for their special events, especially the free shows like this one. Instead, this show clocked in at over four hours and twenty minutes from the start of the pre-show until the end and it just didn’t feel necessary. I’d rather come away wanting more than waiting for a show to end. Granted, it wasn’t as long as tomorrow night’s WWE event is slated to go, but AEW can make its own rules and I feel they would be wise to do things differently. All of that said, it was a solid show that simply overstayed its welcome. I will have more to say in the members’ exclusive audio review that Jake Barnett and I will be co-hosting later tonight.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell featuring guest Jim Ross discussing his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, whether Ross knew Shawn Spears was going to hit Cody with a chair shot to the head, working with Excalibur and Alex Marvez, his new book and speaking engagement deal, and much more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Vice TV's "Dark Side of the Ring" executive producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisner discussing the March 24 second season premiere focusing on the Benoit family tragedy, plus their pro wrestling fandom, the show's name and origins, highlights of season two, Chris Jericho becoming the narrator, and much more...