Pro Wrestling News Quick Hits:
- AEW fires Spanish commentator Willie Urbina after a racist impression of Hikaru Shida caught on a live mic Friday night during Dynamite per Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer.
- WWE and NJPW are exploring a working agreement per F4WOnline.com. AEW’s Tony Khan has responded on social media with a funny promo.
- WWE laid off numerous employees this past week, particularly in the digital departments, per Fighftul.com’s Sean Ross Sapp. Let go yet again for the second time in a year is the multi-talented Josiah Williams, who does fantastic raps — including the theme song of AEW’s Shawn Spears. We sincerely hope everyone affected lands on their feet.
- All weekly AEW TV properties including new Friday night show Rampage (debuting Aug. 13 at 10pm/ET on TNT) will move to TBS in Jan. 2020. AEW will also be airing four quarterly specials similar to WCW Clash of Champions / WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event on TNT in 2022. The massive merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery is still pending.
AEW Double or Nothing 2021 Highlights and Results:
AEW DoN Buy In (Preshow): Serena Deeb (c) defeated Riho to retain the NWA Women’s Championship. This was a PPV quality match that had the crowd hot. Deeb is such a fantastic pro wrestler. Tons of great nearfalls. Deeb worked on Riho’s knee throughout the match and got the win with her version of the half Boston crab. Go out of your way to see this match HERE.
“Hangman” Adam Page defeated Brian Cage (with Team Taz’s Will Hobbs, Taz, and HOOK). Our commentators are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur. Hard hitting match as expected. Some big spots for two guys their size, especially Cage. Lot of nearfalls. Superplex on the ramp by Cage on Page. Try saying that 10 times. Hangman kicks out of a top rope F-5. Cage botches his own version of the Buckshot Lariat and is caught with Page’s F-5 for the two count. After a bunch of close two and a half counts, Team Taz’s Ricky Starks and Hook attempt to interfere, only for Cage tell them off. Page capitalizes with the Buckshot Lariat to get the win. Crowd pops big by Hangman. Pro wrestling is so much better with crowds, but man, you forget how rabid these AEW fans can be after a 14 months without full capacity. Just hope they’re all vaccinated…
After the match, Brian Cage shoves Starks and Hook as he leaves the ring. The Team Taz dissension continues.
AEW World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson with Impact Wrestling’s Don Callis) (c) defeated Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston. This definitely a contrast in styles, but not necessarily a bad thing. Crowd sings along to Moxley’s new “Wild Thing” theme as the babyface team makes their way through the crowd. The atmosphere is amazing.
Crowd with loud “Eddie!” chants. The Young Bucks get the streamers treatment, but are quickly attacked by Moxley and Kingston. The Young Bucks dyed their beards 1997 Hulk Hogan style. Hopefully, they don’t share the same taste in world views. Match begins with Moxley and Kingston beating on the Bucks outside the ring and in the crowd. Moxley looks to be wearing a Trent Acid (R.I.P.) shirt. Moxley takes a beer and smashes it against his head ECW Sandman style. The completely useless Brandon Cutler gets taken out by Moxley and Kingston. We finally get the match in the ring to officially begin the contest. Nick and Matt Jackson start to get the upper hand with great teamwork. Matt Jackson dropkicks Moxley on the outside as they isolate Kingston.
The Young Bucks troll a groggy Kingston who thinks he’s hot tagging Moxley, only to take a “hot tag” and comeback from Matt Jackson. Matt Jackson showboats to much and is clotheslined outside by Moxley for his troubles. Nick Jackson gets tagged in and is caught with a Kingston exploder suplex. Kingston hot tags Moxley who runs wild! Release vertical suplex and two piledrivers to the Young Bucks for the near fall. Nick Jackson saves his brother from Moxley’s bulldog choke. Moxley takes out both Bucks as Karl Anderson comes out for the distraction. Kingston takes out Luke Gallows. Frankie Kazarian jumps Anderson. The ref is distracted as Moxley gets hit with a microphone, but he kicks out. Moxley is busted open because every AEW show needs blood.
Moxley takes an Indytaker on the ramp and gets worked on by the Young Bucks as he bleeds profusely. Jim Ross correctly points out the Young Bucks are double teaming Moxley in the ring with no threat of disqualification by the referee. AEW does a lot of things right, but giving officials credibility isn’t one of them. Moxley eventually gets the hot tag as Kingston goes wild. Moxley gets tagged back in and nearly submits Nick Jackson with a rear naked choke, but he takes a Matt Jackson 450 splash. Referee Rick Knox has absolutely no control of this match, so let’s just pretend this is a tornado tag. JR buries the ref. Near fall for Bucks. Doomsday Device by Moxley and Kingston. Nick Jackson breaks up the pin. Not enforcing tag team rules aside, a hell of a match. Crowd chants “fight forever.” Moxley goes for the Paradigm Shift, but Nick Jackson reverses it into a sharpshooter/Scorpion Deathlock.
Kingston breaks up the submission. Jackson hits Kingston. Moxley hits the Paradigm Shift DDT on Nick Jackson. Broken up by Matt Jackson. Crowd chants AEW. Nick Jackson kicks Kingston’s leg they’ve been working on all match. Superkicks by the Bucks on Moxley. Mox answers back with a double lariat. Double super kick by Bucks. Moxley kicks out at one! Crowd is into everything here. This is wild. The Young Bucks kick Kingston as the ref doesn’t DQ them for being in the ring for an eternity. Again. Young Bucks hit the BTE trigger four times on Moxley for the pin. Excellent match even with the mind numbing moments of not enforcing tag team rules.
Casino Battle Royale for an AEW World Title Shot: Jungle Boy wins an AEW World Title shot. Christian Cage vs. Matt Sydal vs. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Jungle Boy vs. Matt Hardy vs. Marq Quen vs. Isiah Kassidy vs. The Blade vs. Evil Uno vs. Colt Cabana vs. Preston “10” Vance vs. Griff Garrison vs. Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Max Caster vs. Anthony Bowens vs. QT Marshall vs. Nick Comoroto vs. Dustin Rhodes vs. Lee Johnson – Additional participants to be revealed.
The former Big Show Paul Wight is our special guest commentator. This remains the most confusing match in AEW, but then again, I’m not much of a gambler. Our first entrants are Christian Cage, Matt Sydal, Powerhouse Will Hobbs, Dustin Rhodes, and The Acclaimed’s Max Caster who does a semi decent SoundCloud rap.
Max Caster eliminates Matt Sydal.
Christian Cages eliminates Max Caster. That seemed abrupt. Crowd booed the elimination.
The next entrants are “Big Money” Matt Hardy, The Dark Order’s “10” Preston Vance, The Factory’s Nick Comoroto, and Serpentico (with the useless Dr. Luther). Vance takes out Private Party before getting in the ring.
Vance eliminates Serpentico. That was a waste of a spot.
Comoroto has a great look and is a product of Danny Cage’s Monster Factory in Paulsboro, NJ… and gets eliminated quickly.
Dustin Rhodes eliminates Nick Comoroto and Preston “10” Vance.
Powerhouse Hobbs eliminates Dustin Rhodes after Comoroto hits him with the cowbell.
Next up: Brian Pillman, his Varsity Blondes tag team partner Griff Garrison, The Dark Order’s Colt Cabana (big pop), The Acclaimed’s Anthony Bowens, and Penta El Cero Miedo (HUGE POP for the luchador). Unfortunately, Penta’s incredibly talented brother Rey Fenix is out due to injury.
Matt Hardy and Isiah Kassidy eliminate Colt Cabana.
Matt Hardy eliminated Griff Garrison.
Much like last year, this match has A LOT going on, to the point where the announcers have no idea if Will Hobbs is eliminated or not. Speaking of hat’s going on, Christian Cage is not in sight right now. Kassidy is in street clothes for some reason, as is Marq Quen.
Private Party eliminates Brian Pillman Jr.
Next up: Quen, Jungle Boy (good reaction), Lee Johnson, Aaron Solow, and Evil Uno. Paul Wight is still asking where Hobbs is. your guess as good as mine, bro.
Matt Hardy eliminates Aaron Solow and Lee Johnson. That was ridiculously quick.
Penta eliminates Evil Uno. Jungle Boy eliminates Penta.
Cage and Hobbs magically reappear. Cage eliminates Hobbs. Our joker (final entrant) is LIO RUSH of MLW and NJPW! Former WWE NXT Cruiserweight Champion and manager of current WWE Champion Bobby Lashley! Rush runs wild, but gets greedy and tries to eliminate both Private Party members, but is caught by Hardy.
Matt Hardy eliminates Lio Rush.
Cage and Jungle Boy eliminate Private Party!
Final three are Jungle Boy Jack Perry, Christian Cage, and Matt Hardy. Crowd is chanting for Jungle Boy. Cage eliminates Matt Hardy.
It’s all down to Cage and Jungle Boy. Jungle Boy puts Cage on the top turnbuckle, but Cage knocks him down. Enziguiri by Jungle Boy. Reverse DDT by Cage who sets up the Edge spear. Jungle Boy catches Cage and nearly eliminates him. Jungle Boy is thrown over the top, but hangs on. Both men end up on the apron. Cage takes kicks and goes for the Killswitch. Jungle Boy gets thrown into the steel post, but reroutes and ends up back in the ring. Jungle Boy back body drops Cage out of the ring to win an AEW World title shot! Crowd goes wild and sings his “Tarzan Boy” theme song as he celebrates with his Jurassic Express teammates. Cage hugs Jungle Boy and gives him respect. Tremendous ending. Crowd chants you deserve it.
“The American Dream” Cody Rhodes (with Arn Anderson) defeated Anthony Ogogo. We get a very nice Memorial Day tribute to the military members we’ve lost. Still have no idea why we’re doing a USA vs. England storyline in the year 2021, but maybe fatherhood and the neck tattoo have clouded Cody Rhodes’ judgment. Note: Cody is now the American Dream like his father Dusty Rhodes. Ogogo hits Rhodes with the trademark body shot early on and a suplex for the near fall. Rhodes hits a body slam and works on Ogogo’s mid-section as the announcers reveal the former boxer has a rib injury.
Boot to the chest of Rhodes. Rhodes takes Ogogo down and attempts a submission. Ogogo rolls out of the ring to trainer QT Marshall. Rhodes goes for a dive, but Ogogo hits him with a punch. German suplex by Ogogo on Rhodes in the ring. Elbow drop on Rhodes. One count. Ogogo is an incredible success story with his left eye rendered practically blind, which ended his boxing career. Naturally, he’s the heel in this feud…
As expected, a much slower paced match than what we’ve seen so far tonight. A lot of selling by both wrestlers. Arn Anderson and QT Marshall spend a minute coaching their respective wrestlers. Ogogo is selling his eye and strangely bleeding from near his right eye. Rhodes uses the injury to his advantage and his the Cody Cutter on Ogogo. Rhodes places Ogogo on the top rope. Ogogo hits a right hand to Rhodes’ gut. Ogogo gets off the top rope, just to climb it again and hit a frog splash. Ogogo sells the ribs and gets a delayed two count. Rhodes hits a drop kick and locks in the figure four leg lock. Ogogo hits the jab and reverses the figure four. This is the quietest the crowd has been all night, but they begin to wake up with USA chants. Ogogo escapes a Cross Rhodes and hits a body shot and uppercut combo, but covers Rhodes even though he’s clearly underneath the ropes.
The announcers are selling Ogogo’s inexperience as part of his downfall. He covers Rhodes again who kicks out. Rhodes hits a VERTEBREAKER of all moves to get the pin. This was a challenge and somewhat underwhelming, especially with Ogogo losing, but the former boxer did relatively well given his inexperience. Not sure where either guy goes from here now though. No offense to Rhodes, but the best vertebreaker will always belong to Shane Hurricane Helms.
AEW TNA Championship: Miro (c) defeated Lance Archer (without birthday boy Jake The Snake Roberts). This show is starting to feel very long. This match was not. This was a sprint. Physical 10 minute match that sees Miro get the win with the Game Over (Accolade) due to referee stoppage. Notable spots included a big cross body and moonsult by Archer, Jake Roberts getting attacked, and Miro hitting multiple suplexes into the crowd.
AEW All Out takes place Sunday, Sept. 5 in Chicago.
AEW Women’s World Championship: Britt Baker (with Rebel not Reba) defeated Hikaru Shida (c) to win the AEW Women’s Title. Big ovation for both women. Shida has been champion for over a year. Back and forth match that spills outside. Shida takes out Baker and Rebel on the outside with a crossbody. Back in the ring, Baker works on Shida and hits a curb stomp. Rebel hands Baker the glove to lock on the Lockjaw submission. Shida rolls out of the way. Baker puts the boots to Shida. Double underhook butterfly suplex by Baker. Kickout by Shida. Shida fires back and runs wild. Three consecutive knee strikes to Baker. Shida hooks Baker’s nose in a heelish manner. Suplex by Shida. Two count. Knee strike to the back of Baker’s head. Another kick out.
Both women trade strikes. Fisherman’s neckbreaker by Baker for the nearfall. Shida counters Baker’s stomp and locks in the stretch muffler. Baker gets to the ropes. Superkick by Baker followed by a slingblade. Crowd chanting DMD. Air Raid Crash by Baker for the two count. Baker goes for the lockjaw. Baker rolls Shida to the middle of the ring, but Shida escapes. Baker strikes Shida. Shida grabs Baker’s hair and hits a German suplex. Diving elbow strike by Shida for the two count. Shida places Baker on the top rope. Baker slips out out. Not sure if it was purposely or a botch. Superplex by Shida on Baker, but the challenger kicks out. Baker rolls up Shida, but Shida locks in the stretch muffler. Rebel distracts Shida who inexplicably lets go of the submission. Rebel accidentally hits Baker with the crutch. Baker kicks out! Shida hits the Falcon Arrow on Baker. Still kicks out! Who’s the babyface again?
Rebel distracts the ref. Baker hits the curb stomp on Shida on the title belt. Kick out by Shida. Shida escapes the lockjaw and hits a knee strike. Another knee strike. Baker kicks out. Crucifix pin by Baker. Shida kicks out. Lockjaw by Baker and the tap out! After being with AEW since the inception, Britt Baker can call herself AEW Women’s Champion! Very good match, but also very overbooked at the end. What a reign for Shida. Tony Schiavone embraces his good friend Baker at the ramp. Very nice moment and the first (and possibly only) title change of the night!
Sting and Darby Allin defeated Scorpio Sky and “All Ego” Ethan Page. This is Sting’s first match in front of a live crowd since Sept. 2015. Sting’s body is covered from head to toe. Sting and Allin attack Sky and Page outside. Sting takes a suplex by Sky on the ramp. Sting gets right up, takes his shirt up, and hits a flying crossbody on Sky and Page! OK THAT was cool. Crowd chants “you still got it!” Crowd giving the legend Sting the respect he deserves. Great teamwork by Sting and Allin. In our weekly crazy “Darby Allin tries to cripple himself” spot, Page throws Allin out of the ring into the crowd. Yikes.
Allin eventually makes the hot tag to Sting who goes off to a huge crowd reaction! Stinger Splashes on Sky and Page. CODE RED on Page for the two count. Loud “YOU STILL GOT IT” chant. Sting tags in Allin, who gets crotched on the top rope by Page. Page throws Allin onto Sting. Page grabs Sting, but Sting reverses into a Scorpion Deathlock. Each wrestler is locked in a submission. Referee Aubrey Edwards actually threatens to DQ the teams unlike Rick Knox in the Bucks match. Gotta love consistency amongst officials. Allin tags in Sting who brawls with Sky. Sting fights off the leg kicks, but misses a Stinger Splash. Skyruns at Sting, but Sting catches him with a Scorpion Deathrop for the pin! A much better match than this had any business being given Sting’s age and long layoff.
AEW World Championship Triple Threat Match: Kenny Omega (c) (with Impact Wrestling’s Don Callis and The Elite) defeated Orange Cassidy and PAC. There have been way too many multi-person singles matches in the last couple of years from WWE and AEW.but To no surprise though, this is a very good match with the crowd firmly behind Orange Cassidy. Don Callis is back on commentary. Poor Excalibur has to correct Jim Ross on the air and inform him PAC is not from Wales. Rough night on commentary for JR. All three wrestlers shine in this match with OC using the POCKETS to his advantage.
It’s been a very long show to this point, but we get an “AEW” chant at 11:06pm/ET. Give props to this crowd. PAC goes for a delayed suplex, but Omega breaks it up. Cassidy falls outside. Omega goes for the One Wingel Angel, but PAC reverses. PAC then hits a top rope Falcon Arrow on Omega. Cassidy throws PAC out and nearly pins Omega for the win! Great nearfall. PAC is back in the ring and stares down Cassidy who gives him the fake kicks. PAC hits the low blow and dives on Omega on the outside. PAC hits the Black Arrow on Cassidy, but the pin broken up by Omega! Roundhouse kick by PAC on Omega. Crowd chants “this is awesome.” Indeed, it is. PAC goes for the Black Arrow again, but Omega moves out of the way.
Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, but PAC locks in the Brutalizer submission. Cassidy breaks it up up with the Orange Punch and hits the Beach Break for the 2.5 count! PAC goes for another low blow, but Cassidy catches the kick. PAC gets hit with the Orange Punch. Cassidy knocks Omega down. Cassidy takes out PAC, but Callis leaves commentary to breakup the pin! Crowd chants FU DON. Cassidy goes up top, but Omega stops him. Major heat for Callis and Omega. Cassidy headbutts Omega off the apron. Goes for diving DDT on PAC, but PAC catches him in the Brutalizer submission. Omega tries to break it up, but PAC won’t let go, so he takes out the ref! Omega hits PAC with two of his belts. Crowd isn’t happy. And a third belt shot by Omega. Omega goes for one more belt shot on PAC. Cassidy comes out of no where with the Orange Punch. Cassidy goes for the pin, but it takes the ref Aubrey too long to get to the ring. Two count. Omega reverses Cassidy to pin him and retain the AEW World Title. VERY overbooked at the end, but an overall fantastic match you should go out of your way to see. PAC and Cassidy looked great even in defeat.
Tony Schiavone introduces new AEW coach and analyst for AEW Rampage — WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry!
Stadium Stampede 2021 at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ TIAA Field: If Inner Circle loses, they must breakup. INNER CIRCLE DEFEATED THE PINNACLE. The Pinnacle (MJF, Wardlow, Shawn Spears, Cash Wheeler, and Dax Harwood with Tully Blanchard) vs. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz). The Inner Circle (or stunt doubles) rappel down the stadium and brawl with The Pinnacle next to MJF’s limo. Jericho beats the hell out of MJF through the concession area. They make their way to the Jaguars offices and coaches rooms. No Tim Tebow in sight, but we do see Urban Meyer and Charlie Strong as Jericho beats MJF down with a laptop! Meyer says “holy s***.” Same thing most people said when he signed Tim Tebow to be a tight end and had Travis Etienne take snaps solely at wide receiver, but that’s another story. Wardlow destroys Jake Hager in the kitchen.
This whole match is taking place on the big screen for fans in attendance up to this point at 11:33pm/ET on a Sunday night. Entertaining so far, but wouldn’t be surprised if some of the live crowd headed home. Sammy Guevara and Shawn Spears brawl in a darkened area with a steel chair. They brawl into the light with Guevara using his athleticism to beat up Spears including hopping off of a forklift. Spears lawn darts Guevara into a garage door. Say what you want about Spears, but he’s in a PPV main event in 2021 and he’d be no where near that spot in WWE today. Same with FTR. Guevara thrown face first into a scissor lift. Spears grabs cables, but Guevara gets a set of his own to choke Spears. Guevara set Spears onto on a box and attempted a dive, but Spears moved out of the way. Guevara makes his way down, but Spears throws a ladder in his face and handcuffs him.
We cut to Santana and Ortiz destroying random dudes at the club area as they confront Tully Blanchard and FTR. Legendary wrestler Konnan (and original manager of Santana and Ortiz) is the DJ! This is the coolest GTA side mission I’ve seen in awhile. Santana and Ortiz take out Blanchard and stab him in the head. Ouch. Crossbody by Santana on Wheeler. Ortiz beats down Harwood with a trash can. Wheeler throws beer bottles at Ortiz. Ortiz attacks FTR as the elevator doors close…
Wardlow and Hager are brawling in the equipment area and on top of a golf cart. Chokeslam by Hager off the cart through wood palettes. The commentators sound tired and barely react. This match and show have officially gone too long. We cut back to the never-ending Jericho and MJF brawl, this time in the boardroom. We get a brief AEW and Jaguars owner Shad Khan cutout appearance (aka Tony Khan’s dad). Yes, a cardboard cutout. Jericho throws MJF through a window and busts him open. This match can’t end at a reasonable time, so we cut to the Inner Circle Motorcycle Club (huh?) running off Spears. We finally get Jericho and MJF brawling into Daily’s Place where the fans are. It only took 20 minutes. MJF tries to throw Jericho out the balcony, but Jericho slams him through a table. We can back to Guevara chasing Spears with a golf cart and running him over. A reversal of roles for Guevara! And now Guevara and Spears are back in front on the fans.
Guevara and Spears fight in the ring. Spears takes Guevara out with a chair, but gets a two count. Guevera gets the upper hand and hits the 630 splash on Spears for the pin. Unnecessarily long gimmick match, but fun in most spots with a nice ending to send the live crowd (or what’s left of it) home happy, while avoiding the pin on MJF. The Inner Circle celebrates to pyro and big cheers by the AEW fans. The fans sing “Judas” to close out the show.
Overall, a significantly better show than the exploding ring debacle even if it was an hour too long. It’s great to (safely) have fans back!
Check out our interview with AEW wrestler TRENT? of the Best Friends:
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