What a week! I feel like I’ve had to say this several times recently, but seriously, this week has been freaking awesome. Not only did we get not two, but three nights of absolutely bloody fantastic wrestling, we’ve had some awesome match announcements, some great post show social media exclusives and so much interaction from the roster on social media – it’s been fabulous.
After an amazing start to the Women’s Eliminator Tournament last week, on Monday we had the fantastic start to the Japanese side of the bracket in our first of three AEW shows this week. It was also announced that Thunder Rosa vs Riho for the USA Semi-Finals of the tournament will be streamed live on Bleacher Report on Sunday, 28th February rather than taking place on Dynamite. Though this has caused some contention within the AEW fan-base, this is a fantastic way to bring new eyes to the product and showcase the talent of the women’s roster to a wider audience. Thunder Rosa and Riho are both huge draws for AEW and with the company using this match to hook new fans, I can only imagine the Eliminator Tournament is going to be the start of a much overdue and very well earned push for the AEW Women’s Division.
This week, the BTE title, now known as the BVE (Best Vlog Ever) title (thank you Fuego) was defended on Sammy’s vlog, only for BTE to try and cheat it back to their vlog by dressing Kris Statlander up as 10 so the ex gymnast could win the handstand competition. It was a fantastic week for both shows, each giving me a great laugh. On BTE we saw SCU and the Young Bucks fantasizing over far too expensive shoes and learned that Brandon Cutler can sleep literally anywhere. We got a great Dark Order segment where they try and figure out why Hangman won’t join them as well as Dark Order Kai, and we got more auditions for the Vicious Vixens which were all absolutely brilliant.
On Sammy’s Vlog, Charlie hasn’t been dealing with being kicked out of the band very well, Aubrey tries to convince 5 to go back to BTE because the boyband thing just isn’t getting over, even with the new suit, and we got the set up for Fuego Del Sol vs QT Marshall on the March 9th episode of the vlog. While we’re on YouTube, this week on Unrestricted we got a great interview with the iconic Vickie Guerrero where she talks about how it’s been working with Nyla Rose, her upcoming book release, and some great stories about the late Eddie Guerrero.
Highlights of the Week
This week’s Dark was fairly short compared to what we’ve had the last few months coming in at 1 hour and 6 minutes. The 12 Match Card was stacked as hell though and we had an absolutely fantastic evening with great matches from start to finish
5) Team Taz
So it’s been said many times, both here and across social media that AEW don’t do squash matches. Over the last year and a half we’ve had some matches that have come pretty close, but never any that fit the traditional ‘squash match’ stereotype. Well, that was until Tuesday night. There’s no point talking about these two matches individually because with a combined match length of 41 seconds and the grand total of two moves made, there really isn’t a huge amount to say about the matches themselves. That said, if this is Team Taz two and a half weeks out from Revolution, then that street fight is going to be brutal and I cannot wait.
4) Aaron Solow vs Eddie Kingston
At no point have I ever questioned the skill and talent of Aaron Solow. Despite his less than impressive win/loss record, he has outperformed himself time and time again and continues to grow and improve week on week, and this week against Eddie Kingston was no different. Solow is a very technical wrestler and he does it extremely well, but I was unsure how he would deal with the down and dirty tactics Kingston loves to employ. I was pleasantly surprised though, as Solow put up one heck of a fight and had a couple of very close calls in his favour. I’m so glad he’s joined the Nightmare Family and I can’t wait to see where the next step in his AEW career takes him, he’s one of a few rising stars in the Dark scene and they are all going to have fantastic futures.
3) Tay Conti vs Vertvixen
Tay is always impressive, but somehow she continues to improve week on week, and this week was all about wrist control and knees and she looked fantastic. I say this, but I don’t want to take away from the great showing we also got from Vertvixen, the two of them had great chemistry in the ring and worked really well together. It was a great clash of styles, and I hope to see a rematch a couple of months down the road to see these two go at it again.
2) Mysterioso vs Brandon Cutler
This was the first time we’ve seen Mysterioso, and for his AEW debut, this match was brilliant. I didn’t expect it, it certainly didn’t seem like Brandon Cutler expected it, and from what I saw on social media, none of you expected this to be as good as it was either. Cutler has been on absolute fire over the last few months and it was great to see him push himself with this one because despite being an unfamiliar face, Mysterioso didn’t half give Cutler a run for his money. An extremely promising start to Mysterioso’s time at AEW and another great match in the bag for Cutler.
1) Fuego Del Sol vs Nick Comoroto
Every time we see Fuego, the closer he gets to pulling off that legendary Tornado DDT, or as Taz quite eloquently put it, the Tornado ‘It’s Not Happenin’’ DDT. One day he will hit it, and it will be absolutely glorious. When I saw this match set up on Sammy’s Vlog I was thrilled, I absolutely love both of these guys and I honestly couldn’t wait to see them go head to head. Although the match itself was a little shorter than I’d have liked, both men looked absolutely fantastic, and Nick Comoroto’s new Nightmare Factory straight jacket is bloody brilliant. Since training at the Nightmare Factory, and for Comoroto joining the family, both of these men have gone from strength to strength and it’s awesome to see.
So this week’s Roundup is called Tag Team Heaven, and I think I hear a couple of you asking why (honestly, naming these things is a lot easier when the actual Dynamite episode has a name). If you follow me on social media, you’ll know how much I love tag team wrestling, especially the AEW Tag division, and of the six matches we got on Wednesday night, two thirds of them were tag matches. I was a very happy bunny.
5) Hangman and Dark Order
Although the match itself (Hangman Adam Page & Big Money Matt vs TH2) wasn’t fantastic; TH2 were a little off kilter with a few botches to start the show, this was less about the match itself and all about the post match segment between Adam, Matt and oh look, it’s Dark Order! Because no one messes with their cowboy (10’s words not mine). Isaiah came out dressed as the Jacksonville Jaguars Mascot and jumped Page after the details of the contract switch were made clear, only for Page to be rescued by Dark Order and my heart almost burst, I was so happy! It wasn’t until Adam was given the ultimatum by Dark Order that I finally realised I wanted him to join. So, the fact that they’re still continuing this story line is amazing, and I’m back to my ‘Dark Order and Page rescue the belt from Kenny and IMPACT’ fantasy booking.
4) Mike & Matt Sydal vs FTR
I’m always surprised that siblings work so well together in the ring, but that might have something to do with the fact that things never ended well when my younger brother and I teamed up for sparring during our martial arts training as kids. Matt and Mike Sydal had none of those issues and worked flawlessly together. It was a joy to watch as even FTR actually looked like they were having a good time! With no Tully at ringside, I honestly wasn’t sure how this was going to play out, but I’m happy to say that FTR got the win without Tully getting involved! It’s something I feel like I’ve been asking for since they first joined with Blanchard, and I’m glad it’s finally happened!
3) Santana & Ortiz vs The Young Bucks
This match was almost everything I wanted it to be, other than the Young Bucks somehow walking away with the win. It’s not very often I get a chance to say this because the Young Bucks are arguably one of, if not the best tag team in the world right now. That said, they got out-wrestled by Santana and Ortiz, and Proud ‘n’ Powerful (or LAX as I will forever call them) should have got that win – The Young Bucks winning by surprise rollup doesn’t quite sit well with me even with the phenomenal match we got. As you can probably tell, I’m a little gutted that Santana and Ortiz didn’t get the win, but it can’t be long now before they’re in for a proper running for the Tag Titles. They are at the top of their game right now and they’re looking the best they have since I first saw LAX on TNA way back when. We can now confirm though, that it will be the Young Bucks vs MJF and Jericho at Revolution for the Tag Titles.
2) Serena Deeb vs Riho
If main event hadn’t been main event, Deeb and Riho would easily have been match of the night for me, but alas that was not the case. Despite that though, the match was absolutely fantastic and an absolutely amazing way to welcome Riho back to the show. I didn’t realise just how much I had missed her. ‘Welcome Back’ chants echoed throughout Daily’s Place, as the two locked up and then they tore it up. Both women looked absolutely amazing and I’m so glad Riho got the win.
1) Jon Moxley, Lance Archer & Rey Fenix vs Butcher, Blade and Eddie Kingston and everything that happened afterwards because that was a thing
Earlier in the show, we got an awesome promo from Kingston and before the match we got an even better promo from Mox. The match itself was fantastic, and I am absolutely loving the Mox, Archer and Fenix trio and Fenix’s mask was so cool!! The match kicked off before the bell even rang, and they spent the next 10 minutes kicking the living hell out of each other and it was wonderful. Mox & co had control for the majority of the match, but that takes nothing away from the skill, talent, and tenacity on show by Kingston and his family. The tandem offence between Fenix and Archer was brilliant and somewhat reminiscent of Chaos Project, as Archer Choke Slammed Fenix, who then corkscrewed into Butcher and Blade before Mox finally got the pin on Kingston with his Paradigm Shift.
Amazing match, but the post match just got better. The Good Brothers came out and attacked Mox, followed by Kenny who unceremoniously announced that we’re getting the Mox vs Kenny rematch at Revolution.
But there’s a twist. It’s a:
Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match.
Yeah, I didn’t know what one was either, but you know what? I’m so stupidly hyped, Revolution is going to be absolutely amazing.