By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Aired live October 1, 2023 live on pay-per-view
Seattle, Washington at Climate Pledge Arena
AEW WrestleDream Zero Hour Pre-Show results: Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima, Athena, and Billie Starkz defeated Shane Taylor, Lee Moriarty, Diamante, and Mercedes Martinez in 5:45 in a mixed tag match, Claudio Castagnoli defeated Josh Barnett in 8:15, Luchasaurus defeated Nick Wayne in 4:55, and Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn defeated “TMDK” Shane Haste, Mikey Nicholls, and Bad Dude Tito in 9:20 to retain the AEW Trios Titles…
Ring announcer Justin Roberts stood in the ring and handled the introductions for the ROH Tag Team Title match. MJF came out second and stood on the stage while saying there were bullshit rumors that he attacked Jay White. He said someone stole his devil mask. MJF called The Righteous “dollar store devil’s rejects dickheads” and said he would bodyslam Dutch. MJF mocked Vincent for being a white guy with dreadlocks and said he would tie his hair into a bow and shove it up Dutch’s fat ass…
Excalibur, Nigel McGuinness, Taz, and Tony Schiavone were on commentary…
1. MJF vs. “The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch in a handicap match for the ROH Tag Team Titles. MJF called for “sportsmanship” and offered Dutch a handshake. Dutch accepted the handshake and then MJF poked him in the eye. MJF had Dutch leaning against the ropes when he grabbed Vincent and said he was going to shove his head up his ass, but he ended up running into a clothesline from Dutch.
MJF fought back and got Dutch up for a bodyslam, but he collapsed under his weight for a two count. Vincent performed his Swanton Bomb on MJF for another two count. Dutch executed a Bossman Slam on MJF for a near fall. Vincent hit the Acid Drop for a two count and looked shocked that he didn’t get the pin.
Dutch went to ringside and distracted the referee. Vincent wound up to hit MJF with a chair, but MJF reached up and grabbed his junk. MJF rolled up Vincent for a two count. Vincent put him right back down with a kick, but then MJF avoided a Swanton. MJF battled back and threw ten punches in the corner at Dutch, then threw nine at Vincent before biting him.
MJF performed a bodyslam on Dutch, which led to loud cheers and a holy shit chant from the crowd. Dutch ended up hunched over in a corner of the ring. MJF ran Vincent’s head below his ass. MJF hit the Kangaroo Kick on both opponents and then shook the ropes. MJF followed up with a Heat Seeker piledriver on Dutch and then pinned him while using the ropes for leverage…
MJF defeated “The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch in 9:40 in a handicap match to retain the ROH Tag Team Titles.
Powell’s POV: A fun opening match. The challengers probably would have been more protected if Adam Cole had been able to work the match, but it was the right call to make this more of a lighthearted match that spotlighted MJF.
A brief video package set up the next match…
2. Eddie Kingston vs. Katsuyori Shibata for the ROH Championship and NJPW Strong Openweight Championship. Excalibur spoke about how Shibata grew up around Antonio Inoki. A NJPW referee worked the match. Shibata put Kingston in an early figure four. Kingston eventually reached the ropes to break it. Shibata put Kingston in a bow and arrow briefly.
Kingston came back with a backdrop driver. Kingston fired away with chops in the corner. Shibata caught Kingston with a boot in the corner and then dropkicked a seated Kingston. A short time later, Kingston suplexed Shibata, who popped right up and then swept the legs of Kingston, which led to both men staying down for a moment.
A short time later, both men traded strikes. Kingston dropped Shibata with a spinning back first, but Shibata kicked out at one. Kingston followed up with a Northern Lights Bomb. Shibata fired up, but Kingston blasted him with another spinning back fist. Kingston powerbombed Shibata and then pinned him.
Eddie Kingston beat Katsuyori Shibata in 11:00 to retain ROH Championship and NJPW Strong Openweight Championship.
After the match, both men sat crosslegged on the mat and shook hands. Once they got up, Kingston had Shibata remain in the ring to take a bow…
Powell’s POV: The idea of Shibata potentially winning the “Triple Crown” of titles didn’t pack much of a punch, but the actual match was entertaining.
A video package spotlighted the TBS Title match and then the entrances took place…
3. Kris Statlander vs. Julia Hart (w/Brody King) for the TBS Championship. Dasha was the ring announcer for this match. Excalibur noted that Hart lost her AEW debut match to Statlander. Hart took advantage of a King distraction and ran Statlander into the barricade multiple times. Back in the ring, Hart applied an abdominal stretch. McGuinness said everyone was paying homage to Antonio Inoki with that move.
A short time later, both wrestlers traded strikes. Statlander put Hart down with a powerslam. Statlander hit Hart with a running uppercut and a running knee strike in the corner. Statlander followed up with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Hart avoided Statlander’s Sunday Night Fever attempt. King jawed at Statlander from the floor. Hart tried to take advantage of it, but Statlander caught her and picked up a near fall.
Statlander performed a deadlift German suplex and went up top, but Hart cut her off. Hart joined her on the ropes and they traded strikes. Hart hooked her legs around the ropes and then suplexed Statlander into the ring. Hart stood up on the ropes. Statlander tried to cut her off, but Hart kicked her off and then executed a moonsault, but Statlander put her foot on the bottom rope.
Hart applied her Hartless hold, but Statlander rolled onto her briefly and then powered her up and executed a tombstone piledriver. Statlander held onto Hart and then stood up and hit the Sunday Night Fever before scoring the pin.
Kris Statlander defeated Julia Hart in 9:00 to retain the TBS Championship.
After the match, King put Hart over his shoulder and carried her to the back…
Powell’s POV: This match exceeded my expectations. Hart has really improved. It felt like she may have actually gained more in defeat than she did from her 28-match winning streak, which didn’t get much fanfare until they started the build for this match.
A brief video package set up the four-way tag team match…
4. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn vs. Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. Orange Cassidy and Hook in a four-way for shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles at any time. Dasha was the ring announcer. Nick and Fenix opened things up and gave a brief preview of the AEW International Championship match they will have on Dynamite. Fenix sold shoulder pain.
Cassidy reached in and tagged Nick to enter the match. Fenix tried to hoist up Cassidy, but he dropped him and clutched his shoulder before tagging out. The Gunns attacked Penta and Fenix at ringside and then Colten tagged himself in and threw a nice dropkick at Cassidy. They cleared the wrestlers from the apron and then Austin covered Colten, but referee Paul Turner wouldn’t make the count.
The Bucks cleared the Gunns. Matt and Cassidy squared off, but Hook got Cassidy’s attention and tagged into the match. Hook threw a series of body strikes at Matt, who covered up in the corner. Matt executed one of his Northern Lights Suplexes. Hook returned the favor. Rinse and repeat. Cassidy and Nick ran in and took Northern Lights Suplexes from their opponents. Hook suplexed Matt, who was tagged by Austin.
The Gunns went for a double suplex on Hook, but Cassidy came in and blocked it. Hook and Cassidy performed suplexes. The broadcast team noted that Fenix disappeared. Penta tagged in and set up Austin for a move, but Colten hit him from behind. The Gunns isolated Hook in the corner.
Hook eventually fought off the Gunns and made a diving tag to Penta, who then worked over both Gunns while everyone else was down at ringside. Penta had Colten pinned, but Austin broke it up. The others returned for rapid fire moves that were capped off with a Penta dive onto opponents on the floor. Hook caught Austin in Redrum, but Nick tagged in and performed a 450 splash onto both men. Nick had the pin, but Cassidy broke it up.
The Bucks threw a series of superkicks at various opponents. Nick slipped while going for a double team move on Penta, but he popped right up and clotheslined Penta while Matt superkicked him from behind. The Bucks hit the BTE Trigger on Penta and then Nick covered him for the three count…
“The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson beat Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn, Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo, and Orange Cassidy and Hook in a four-way in 12:40 to earn a shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles.
Powell’s POV: The finish was anticlimactic and didn’t pack much of a punch. I’m not sure what Nick was going for, so perhaps it would have been better had he not slipped. The live crowd didn’t seem all that excited about it either based on what seemed like some polite applause after the Bucks won. I didn’t catch what happened to Fenix, but he did leave the ringside area after clutching his shoulder and never returned.
A video package set up the Swerve Strickland vs. Hangman Page match. Entrances for the match took place. Prince Nana did his dance. Swerve took the mic and did the “Whose house” bit with his receptive live crowd…
5. Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana) vs. Hangman Page. The Seattle crowd was hot for Swerve to start and booed when Page went on the offensive. Page kipped up and looked to the crowd while holding his arms open. Page knocked Swerve off the apron with a clothesline, which led to more boos.
Page powerbombed Swerve on the apron and then onto the barricade. Page went up top and moonsaulted onto Swerve on the floor. Page put Swerve down with a Popup Powerbomb for a near fall. Page targeted Swerve’s wrapped hand, which he stabbed with a pen during the contract signing segment on Dynamite.
Swerve came back with some kicks. Page executed a deadlift German suplex. Swerve shot right up and hit a Flatliner followed by a brainbuster for a near fall. Page got Swerve on the ropes, but Swerve fired away with punches until Page was hanging from the ropes and then he double stomped him. Swerve hit Page with a House Call kick to the back of the head and covered him for a near fall.
Both men fought on the apron. Swerve got the better of it by sending Page into the ring post. Swerve went for a piledriver on the ring steps, but Page blocked it and then slammed Swerve’s hand on the ring post. Page put Swerve down with a Deadeye on the ring steps. The fans booed.
Page rolled Swerve inside the ring and then played to the crowd while setting up for a Buckshot Lariat. Page kicked Swerve through the ropes twice, but Swerve caught his leg on the third try. They traded shots until Page bit the hand of Swerve. Page went for a Buckshot Lariat, but Swerve tripped him with a drop toehold and then wrenched his arm back before stomping it.
Trainers ran over and checked on Page, who was on the apron. Swerve went up top and executed a double stomp on Page, who then rolled inside the ring, Swerve hit a 450 splash for a near fall. Swerve applied a crossarmbreaker, but Page got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Page continued to sell his right shoulder.
Hangman caught Swerve with a lariat and then set him up for the Deadeye, but Swerve slipped out of it and applied an armbar. Page escaped it and then pounded Swerve’s bad hand with punches. Swerve executed a German suplex and then went for a top rope double stomp that Page avoided.
Page hit Swerve with a Buckshot Lariat, but he sold his shoulder before going for the pin. Nana reached in and put Swerve’s foot on the bottom rope. Referee Paul Turner saw Nana do it and ejected him. Page went to ringside and jawed at Nana, who ran back to ringside once Page was back on the apron. Page went for a Buckshot Lariat, but Swerve hit him with Nana’s crown and ended up getting a near fall. Swerve hit a pair of House Call kicks and then a JML Driver and scored the pin.
Swerve Strickland defeated Hangman Page in 20:15.
Afterward, Nana, Toa Liona, Bishop Kaun, and Brian Cage came out and congratulated Swerve. NBA legend Shawn Kemp was shown in the crowd and was identified with a graphic…
Powell’s POV: A very good match. The crowd cheering for the hometown heel made for an interesting dynamic. Swerve cheating to win is logical if the plan is to keep Page slotted as the babyface in the feud, as it’s more than about just one live crowd.
6. Ricky Starks vs. Wheeler Yuta. Jim Ross and Jon Moxley sat in on commentary for the match. Starks dumped Yuta on the top rope. Starks hit Yuta several times and then stomped him with a boot before strutting around the ring. Yuta eventually came back and hit Starks after diving from the top rope. Yuta covered Starks for a two count. Yuta performed a variation of a Samoan Drop for another two count. Yuta went for an armbar.
Big Bill walked to ringside. Moxley said it was moral support and that’s fine. Yuta was distracted by Bill and then Starks rolled him up for a two count. Starks followed with a tornado DDT for another two count. Starks powerbombed Yuta for a near fall.
Starks removed his elbow pad and then fired away with elbow strikes. Yuta caught Starks’ arm and then stood up and threw some shots of his own. Yuta ran the ropes and was put down with a clothesline. Starks went to the apron and attempted a springboard move, but Yuta shoved Starks into Bill.
Yuta dove onto Bill, who caught him by the throat. Yuta shoved Bill into the ring post. Back in the ring, Yuta fired away with elbow strikes and rolled Starks into a pin for a near fall. Starks came back with a spear and then hit the Roshambo and scored the clean pin…
Ricky Starks defeated Wheeler Yuta in 9:55.
Powell’s POV: The crowd was quiet. Was it because both wrestlers are heels? Were they burnt out from cheering their hometown guy Swerve? Or was it because this is the tenth match of the night and we’re only halfway through the main card? How about we just go with all of the above?
Excalibur said Moxley and Ross would stick around for the next match. A video package set up the Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Sabre Jr. match…
7. Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Sabre Jr. Sabre wore his NJPW TV Title belt to the ring. Danielson came out to his standard entrance theme. Moxley said Sabre is more of an offensive wrestler, whereas Danielson is more reactive. Sabre went for an octopus hold (abdominal stretch), which Moxley noted was very popular on this show. Danielson reversed it and then Sabre did the same, but neither man was able to lock in the hold.
Danielson applied a leg hold and bridged, but Sabre sat right up and mounted him. Both men went for various holds, but neither man was successful and they both got back to their feet. A light “this is wrestling” chant broke out. Excalibur said the match was comparable to the Antonio Inoki vs. Billy Robinson sixty-minute draw in 1975.
Danielson countered out of a move and hooked Sabre in a surfboard. Moxley stopped talking just long enough for Ross to get a few words in (I’m enjoying Mox on commentary, but he’s not exactly mic shy!). Moxley called it high level chess. Sabre pushed Danielson into the ropes and teased a clean break only to hit him with an uppercut. Danielson fired back with a pair of uppercuts of his own. Both men traded uppercuts. Excalibur noted that Danielson was using his left arm.
Sabre encouraged Danielson to use his right arm, which he did, but then Sabre caught him with a punch to the ribs. Sabre put Danielson’s arm in a bent position and then stomped it. Sabre wrenched the middle finger of Danielson and then snapped his fingers. Sabre threw taunting kicks. Sabre sent Danielson into the corner, but he ran up the ropes and flipped over Sabre.
Danielson went for the surfboard, but when he couldn’t hook Sabre, he opted to stomp the back of his legs. Danielson put Sabre down with a dragon screw leg whip. Danielson performed a second dragon screw that looked wicked. Moxley said it was the most violent version of the move he’s ever seen. Sabre came right back by putting Danielson’s head between his feet and then wrenched his neck.
Danielson tied up Sabre in a tree of woe and fired a series of kicks at him. Danielson pushed Sabre into a seated position on the top turnbuckle and then stood on the middle rope and blasted him with elbow strikes. Sabre caught Danielson’s left arm and wrenched it over his shoulder. Sabre stood on the ropes and bent Danielson’s arm. Danielson headbutted the ribs of Sabre twice and then headbutted his head a few times.
Danielson executed an avalanche butterfly suplex. Danielson went for the LeBell Lock, but Sabre stuffed it. Danielson rolled him over and hooked Sabre’s left arm with his leg and then pulled back on his left foot, but Sabre reached the ropes with his right foot to break the hold.
Danielson sold his injured right arm for a moment and then fired away kicks at Sabre, who ducked the finale. Danielson spun around a blasted him with a finale kick on the second try. Danielson grabbed the arms of Sabre and then stomped his head several times. Danielson went to a corner of the ring and then charged Sabre, who sidestepped him and rolled him up and bridged, but Danielson rolled through and bridged for a two count.
Both men reversed a couple more times and then Sabre ended up getting a two count while bridging. Moxley got excited and stood up while watching from the broadcast table at ringside. Danielson caught Sabre with a dropkick in the corner. Sabre tripped up Danielson and went for a bridging move, but Danielson slipped away and threw elbow strikes. Sabre rolled Danielson into an armbar and then wrenched his fingers.
Danielson slipped away and used his legs to execute a dragon screw. Sabre countered into a leg lock. Both men sat face to face. Danielson spat at Sabre while in the hold. Sabre slapped him a couple times. Danielson grabbed Sabre by the throat and then threw a hard slap. Sabre maintained the hold and then both men traded kicks, which Danielson got the better of to free himself.
Once both men were on their feet, Sabre threw some punches at the right arm of Danielson. They ended up back to back and eventually Sabre performed a backslide for a two count. Sabre stood up and threw a kick at Danielson. Sabre hooked Danielson in an omoplata and then transitioned into another hold, but Danielson put his foot on the bottom rope.
Sabre threw kicks at a kneeling Danielson and then stomped his right arm. Sabre ran the ropes and was caught by a roundhouse kick. Danielson followed up with a second kick and then grabbed Sabre’s arms and threw more kicks. Sabre blocked a kick and caught Danielson in an armbar. Sabre rolled him over and wrenched his arm, then transitioned into another style of armbar, but Danielson got up and suplexed him. Danielson hit his Busaiko Knee for a near fall. Danielson got up and hit another Busaiko Knee and scored the clean pin.
Bryan Danielson defeated Zack Sabre Jr. in 22:45.
“Holy shit,” Moxley said while sitting back in his chair. He called it one of the finest displays of wrestling he’d ever seen in his life. Danielson offered his left hand to Sabre, who rolled out of the ring instead. McGuinness said Danielson won with a strike, so Sabre can still claim to be the best technical wrestler in the world. Moxley said he can’t blame Sabre for not shaking hands after taking a loss.
Powell’s POV: An awesome match that lived up to the hype and expectations. The technical style may not be for everyone, but I love it and this was great. That said, I really miss Sabre throwing shit fits after losses.
MMA fighter Demetrious Johnson was shown in the crowd. Omega plugged that Johnson will face Kenny Omega in a Street Fighter battle. Moxley said he thought they were going to meet on Dynamite…
A video package set up the six-man tag match and then entrances for the match took place. The babyfaces made separate entrances. A Last Supper scene with Callis in the middle with other members of his Family appeared on the big screen while the heel trio came out together…
8. Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Chris Jericho vs. Konosuke Takeshita, Sammy Guevara, and Will Ospreay (w/Don Callis). Taz joined the broadcast team after Moxley and Ross made their exit. Ospreay, who had suction cup marks all over his back, started the match with Omega.
Guevara tagged Ospreay’s back, which annoyed Ospreay and drew boos and “F— you, Sammy” chants from the crowd. Jericho tagged in and threw chops at Guevara. Jericho whipped Guevara into the ropes, but Guevara hooked the ropes with his arms. Guevara flipped off Jericho and tagged out.
Guevara went to ringside and spoke into Taz’s mic, but it was tough to hear what he was saying. Omega threw chops at Ospreay and then ran the ropes, but Takeshita caught him with a kick to the back. Jericho hit Ospreay from behind.
All six wrestlers entered the ring and threw punches. The babyfaces won that battle quickly and then did the Inoki chant before diving onto the heels at ringside. A short time later, Omega performed a rolling senton on Ospreay and then went for a moonsault from the ropes, but Ospreay put his knees up.
Ospreay caught Omega in an abdominal stretch. His teammates and Callis all provided a chain of leverage. Referee Aubrey Edwards caught them, yet didn’t break the hold. They did it again and this time she kicked Ospreay’s arm free from the others. Guevara tagged in and performed a spinning powerbomb on Omega and then hit him with a really nice Swanton Bomb. Guevara had him beat, but Ibushi ran in and broke up the pin.
Jericho checked in and performed a one-armed bulldog on Guevara. Jericho put Guevara in the abdominal stretch. Omega and Ibushi made a leverage chain. Edwards caught them. Jericho released the hold and then poked the eyes of Guevara. Ibushi tagged in and joined Jericho in a double shoulder block. Jericho spun into a pose and then Ibushi posed with him while McGuinness referred to them as Le Golden Sex Gods.
Ibushi and Omega performed moonsaults onto Ospreay and Takeshita at ringside. Jericho followed that with a Lionsault on Guevara for a near fall. Omega picked up Guevara in powerbomb position and tossed him into a German suplex from Ibushi. Takeshita came back with a pair of wicked suplexes on Omega.
Takeshita dumped Ibushi on his head with a release German suplex. Good lord. Jericho threw punches at Takeshita, who dropped him with a big forearm. Takeshita accidentally hit Ospreay with a knee strike. Jericho dropkicked Takeshita off the apron. Omega sent Ospreay out of the ring with a huracanrana. Omega did the terminator spot and then hit a flip dive onto two opponents.
Guevara returned to the ring and executed a Spanish Fly on Jericho. Guevara went up top and performed a shooting star press on Omega. Guevara landed awkwardly and his knee buckled, but he popped right up. Guevara went for a springboard move, but Jericho hit him with a Codebreaker on the way down. Jericho had Guevara beat, but Ospreay broke up the pin.
Omega executed a snap dragon suplex on Ospreay. Guevara flew from the ropes and performed a cutter on Omega. Ospreay powerbomed Ibushi. Takeshita blasted Omega with a running knee. Ospreay and Takeshita hit running bit boots in the corner on Jericho and then held him up before Guevara hit him with a Codebreaker. Guevara covered Jericho, who kicked out at one. Jericho fired up and threw chops at all three heels until they recovered and beat him down.
Ibushi slowly got to his feet and slowly raised his head while the heels watched. Ibushi ducked an Ospreay punch and dropped him with one of his own. Takeshita absorbed Guevara’s punches and dropped him with a palm strike. Takeshita and Ibushi traded forearms. Takeshita turned Ibushi inside out with a clothesline. Ibushi shot up and put Takeshita down with a lariat of his own.
Omega caught Ospreay with a V-Trigger. Omega and Ibushi set up for a double knee strike, but Guevara hit them with a crossbody block from the top rope. Omega set up Ospreay for his finisher, but Ospreay ended up sending Omega to the floor and then hit him with a sky twister dive from the ropes.
A short time later, Jericho tried to hit Guevara with a Judas Effect, but Ospreay took it instead. Guevara superkicked Jericho. Jericho caught Guevara on the ropes and pulled him off with a huracanrana. Jericho had the pin, but Ospreay held the referee in the corner too long and Guevara was able to kick out by the time she made the count.
Guevara went for the GTH. Jericho stuffed it and applied the Walls of Jericho. With the referee tied up, Callis ran in and hit Jericho with his own baseball bat. Guevara covered Jericho and got the three count…
Konosuke Takeshita, Sammy Guevara, and Will Ospreay defeated Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, and Kota Ibushi in 22:35.
Powell’s POV: A heck of a spot-fest spectacle match. I’d prefer to see each of these wrestlers in singles matches, but it was still a highly entertaining match. More than anything, I’m happy that Ibushi seemed to be okay after taking that wicked suplex.
A brief video package spotlighted the AEW Tag Team Title match and then the entrances for the match took place…
9. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis for the AEW Tag Team Titles. Excalibur recalled that the team that wins will have the Young Bucks waiting for them after they won the four-way earlier in the show. Early in the match, Aussie Open did the spot where they pick up both opponents and then run at ringside until they drive them into one another.
Back in the ring, Davis bodyslammed Wheeler and then performed a senton and got up and kicked him in the back. The challengers isolated Wheeler. He eventually catapulted Fletcher over the top rope. Davis got his partner back in the ring and tagged himself in before Wheeler could tag out. Davis ended up holding up Wheeler and then Fletcher powerbombed him.
Wheeler caught Fletcher on the ropes and put him down with a side suplex from the top rope. Both men stayed down. Wheeler tried to tag Harwood, but Davis pulled Harwood off the apron. Fletcher put Wheeler down with a brainbuster for a near fall. Dueling chants broke out while Davis tagged in and worked over Wheeler.
Wheeler caught Davis with a shot. Fletcher quickly tagged in and stopped Wheeler from tagging out momentarily, but Wheeler executed a back body drop and tagged out. Harwood got the better of Fletcher. Davis stood up to him, but Harwood was able to put him down and then performed two suplexes on Fletcher. Davis charged at Harwood, who backdropped him again and then performed another suplex on Fletcher.
Harwood performed a fourth suplex on Fletcher, who then avoided a top rope headbutt. Davis tagged in and then Aussie Open hit a double team cutter move that led to a near fall. Harwood came back with a slingshot Liger Bomb for a near fall on Fletcher that left both men down temporarily.
Fletcher and Davis hit Wheeler with a kick version of a Doomsday Device and got a close near fall. Wheeler fought off Fletcher on the ropes while Harwood caught Davis on the ropes in another corner. FTR hit their superplex and top rope splash combo move. Wheeler had Davis pinned, but Fletcher crossbody blocked Harwood and they both fell onto the pin to break it up.
Fletcher and Davis hit simultaneous clotheslines on Wheeler. They set up for their finisher, but Harwood broke it up. Aussie Open hit a Codebreaker style move on Wheeler and then hit him with their Coriolis finisher. Davis covered Wheeler, but Harwood broke it up.
FTR came back and executed a spike piledriver on the apron on Davis. Fletcher took out the FTR duo with a suicide dive. Fletcher rolled Wheeler back inside the ring and went up top, but Wheeler recovered and cut him off. Wheeler joined Fletcher on the ropes and was knocked down. Harwood ran up and pulled Fletcher into the Shatter Machine with Wheeler, who scored the pin…
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis in 20:25 for the AEW Tag Team Titles.
Powell’s POV: Awesome tag team match. It’s a shame that Aussie Open took high profile losses to MJF and Adam Cole and even Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara in recent weeks. As good as they are, I just never bought into the possibility of them winning like I would have had they been protected until this match too place. The broadcast team immediately hyped another FTR vs. Young Bucks showdown due to the Bucks winning that four-way earlier.
A video package set up the main event… Christian Cage made his entrance with Luchasaurus, who did not accompany him to the ring. Darby Allin came out with Nick Wayne, who had his ribs wrapped. They hugged and then Wayne headed to the back before Allin skateboarded down the ramp. Allin slammed his skateboard onto the ring steps…
10. Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin in a best of three falls match for the TNT Championship. Justin Roberts delivered in-ring introductions for the title match and touted Allin as being born and raised in Seattle. Bryce Remsburg was the referee. Allin went to ringside and presented his skateboard to a young fan in the front row who was wearing his face paint.
Allin had a small trickle of blood running down the right side of his face, so he apparently nicked himself while slamming his skateboard on the ring steps. Cage spat at Allin, who took him down. Nick Wayne’s mother could be seen standing and watching in the front row. Allin eventually pulled Cage’s turtleneck over his head and caught him with the jackknife and scored the pin to win the first fall.
Darby Allin pinned Christian Cage in 4:55 to got up one fall to zero.
Cage rolled to ringside. Cage stopped and smiled at Nick Wayne’s mother, who was still standing and shook her head in disgust. Cage took offensive control. There were actually dueling chants. Allin avoided a top rope headbutt from Cage and then performed a Destroyer for a close near fall. Allin picked up a couple more near falls.
Cage tossed Allin to ringside and followed. Cage ran Allin into the ringside barricade twice before tossing him back inside the ring. Cage teased returning to the ring, but he stopped and decided to approach Nick Wayne’s mother. She smiled at him and put her hand on his shoulder, but then threw her drink in his face (what a tease!).
Allin performed a suicide dive. Allin got Cage inside the ring and went up top. Cage rolled to the floor. Allin adjusted and hit him with a Coffin Drop. Allin got Cage in the ring and then went for the Coffin Drop again, but Cage put his knees up. Allin rolled to the apron. Cage knocked him off the apron and into the side of the broadcast table.
Cage pulled the ring steps out. Cage hoisted up Allin on his shoulder, but Allin slipped away and returned to the ring. Cage followed and was roughed up by Allin while he was on the apron. Cage gouged Allin’s eye. Cage hoisted up Cage and dropped him in front of the ring steps. Cage picked up Allin and slammed him on the steps.
Cage brought Allin back to the apron and struggled to get him up, but then slammed him onto the ring steps (and not the flat part!). Good lord. The trainer checked on Allin, who was counted out to end the fall.
Christian Cage beat Darby Allin via count-out at 15:25 to win the second fall.
The trainer and the referee both checked on Allin. Cage dropped down to the floor. The referee ordered Cage to stand back. Cage untied the ring canvas. The referee called for a stretcher. Meanwhile, Cage pushed the canvas padding back to expose the boards.
Allin was placed on a stretcher. Cage went up top and performed a frog splash onto Allin, who was still on the stretcher. Excalibur said Cage was trying to end Allin’s career. Cage rolled Allin inside the ring and onto the exposed boards. Allin got to his feet and took a swing at Cage, who avoided it, and then hit the Kill Switch on the boards for a good near fall. The crowd came to life with “Darby” chants.
Cage went for a spear, but Allin sidestepped it. Cage put him down and then applied the Scorpion Death Lock. Allin reached the bottom rope to break the hold. The crowd chanted “Let’s go Darby.” Allin climbed on Cage’s back and gouged his eyes before putting him down with a Scorpion Death Drop. Allin went up to and hit the Coffin Drop for a great near fall.
Cage cut off Allin on the ropes and set up for another move on the steps on the floor. Allin fought back. Cage executed a sunset bomb. Cage went for a spear, but Allin moved and the referee took the move. REF BUMP!!! Cage went to ringside and brought his title belt back to the ring with him. Nick Wayne ran out and took the belt away from Cage and then ran over by his mom.
Cage left the ring and chased Wayne inside the ring where Wayne joined Allin. Cage begged off. Wayne spoke about this being for his mom and his dad and then blasted Allin with the title belt. Wayne’s mother was shocked. Cage woke up the referee and covered Allin for the win while Wayne left the ring.
Christian Cage defeated Darby Allin in 25:25 to win the best of three falls match to retain the TNT Championship.
After the match, Cage celebrated with his title belt. Nick Wayne returned to the ring and hugged Cage, who kissed his forehead. Cage pulled Allin to his knees and held him while Wayne slapped, punched, and kicked him. Cage and Allin put the boots to Allin.
Sting walked to the ring without entrance music while Cage put his arm around Wayne. Sting got the better of Cage and Wayne with punches. Sting picked up Wayne and ran him into Luchasaurus, who arrived on the apron. Wayne grabbed Sting’s legs and then Luchasaurus and Cage worked over Sting.
Cage went to ringside and brought two chairs back with him. Cage set up to give Sting a Conchairto when the lights went out.
An “our feature presentation” movie video played. A sports car was shown arriving. “You think you know him?” Adam “Edge” Copeland’s Alter Bridge music played and he ran onto the stage and played to the fans. Copeland slowly walked to the ring while Cage had had his guys stand back. A “holy shit” chant broke out.
Copeland held out his hand. Cage handed him the chair. Copeland smiled. Wayne got Sting in position for a Conchairto. Edge looked to the crowd, wound up with the chair, and then hit Wayne with it. Copeland threw the chair at Luchasaurus and then speared him while Cage fled the ring. “The Rated R Superstar is in AEW,” Excalibur said. “Adam Copeland has arrived.”
Copeland speared Wayne. Cage backed up the ramp and clutched his title belt while Copeland stared him down from a distance. Copeland’s theme song played while Cage held up his title belt. Copeland turned and looked at Allin and Sting, who were on their feet. Allin offered a handshake, which Copeland accepted. Sting slowly approached Copeland and extended his hand. Copeland shook Sting’s hand while the heel trio headed to the back. Excalibur closed the show by hyping the four-year anniversary of Dynamite…
Powell’s POV: First off, Darby Allin is insane. That had to be noted before we go any further. The main event was great. I could have done without the swerve for a sake of a swerve by Wayne when he pulled the chair away from Cage only to join him moments later, but I suppose it added to the drama. Copeland’s debut was expected and yet it was still a wild moment to see him standing in a non-WWE ring after all these years. Is that what the “end of an era” hype was for? I’m excited to see Copeland in AEW, but I hope there’s more to it.
Overall, this was a hell of a show. I will have a lot more to say about it when Will Pruett and I team up with a same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of WrestleDream by voting for the best match and grading it below.