Call it being “cursed” with injuries. Call it politics, with neither company wanting to look “weak” against the other. Call it poor booking.
Whatever you want to call it, there is a lot of negativity surrounding the card that has been put together for this show. There’s a lot to like about the show, but it is nowhere near as good as it could, or maybe should, have been. As always, though, I’m here to cover everything with a Running Diary.
I don’t want to waste any more time.
Are you ready?
Because I’m ready.
Well… if you’re ready, and if I’m ready, then there’s just one thing left to do. I need you to say it with me, folks.
LESS DEW EET!!!
(0:02) It’s time for a Trios Tag Team Match to kick things off. Eddie Kingston and Wheeler Yuta team up with Jon Moxley’s adult Japanese son, Shota Umino, to take on Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and Minoru Suzuki. The winning team here gets a man advantage in this Wednesday’s Blood & Guts match. Always good to see some stakes on the line in matches like these.
(0:06) To the surprise of nobody, this crowd is already on fire, and we’re still in the middle of the entrances for the first match of the main show.
(0:09) Yuta gets the crowd amped up even further by hitting Jericho with 351 consecutive German Suplexes. Don’t quote me on that number. I might be off by one or two.
(0:10) Responding to some trash talk by fans, Tay Conti responds with the “talk to the hand” gesture. Can we get someone to tell these fucking women that it’s 2022 and that shit is no longer “hip” in any way? Good God.
(0:13) Everyone in the building gets to their feet as Kingston and Suzuki enter the match. Time for a strike battle!
(0:14) Machine Gun Chops in the corner by Kingston are unsuccessful, and Suzuki responds by dropping Kingston with a sick forearm to the mush.
(0:16) This has nothing to do with anything, but Jericho and Suzuki are a combined 105 years old, and the other four men in the match are a combined 117 years old.
(0:20) ELBOW SUICIDA TO THE OUTSIDE BY EDDIE KINGSTON! Then we get a funny tease of a similar move by Suzuki, but he just stops running and doesn’t do anything.
(0:22) Our first “this is awesome” chant of the night, coming after we get one of those “I hit you with a finisher, then he hits me with a finisher, then he hits you with a signature move, then he hits him with a signature move” spots. Quite the pace to this one so far.
(0:26) Suzuki spikes Kingston with a Gotch-style Piledriver.
(0:27) After trying to fight off all three opponents, Umino falls victim to a Judas Effect, and the heels win. Wow. What a match. Really good choice for a show opener. Everyone got their chance to shine, but Umino definitely looked like a big-time star, even in a loss. I’ll give it 4 stars.
(0:29) Time for a Three-Way Winner Takes All tag match. The Ring Of Honor Tag Team Champions, FTR. The IWGP Tag Team Champions, Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan. Roppongi Vice. As the name implies, the winning team here will hold both sets of tag belts. This should be another banger.
(0:33) My cousin, Jeff Cobb, enters the match. Make the family proud, cuzzo.
(0:35) Dax Harwood might be hurt. He’s hanging his arm and is being looked at by Doc.
(0:36) After maybe 15 seconds, Doc and Dax leave the ringside area and make their way to the back. You could just about feel the wind come out of the sails of this crowd as soon as they started walking out. If Dax Harwood really is injured, there are going to be discussions about the curse over this show for years.
(0:39) Very physical show so far. Everyone is really sinking their submissions in, laying their strikes in, and so on. I really dig it.
(0:42) Dax Harwood returns to the ring to a huge ovation. His shoulder is wrapped up something fierce. Odd time and place for an injury angle if that’s what we just saw, but hey, it is what it is.
(0:46) A standing Moonsault by Jeff Cobb proves that life simply isn’t fair.
(0:47) Two matches in, and we have two matches that got a “this is awesome” chant.
(0:49) Big Rig by FTR and they pick up the win to continue their ridiculous hot streak. They retain the RoH Tag Team Titles and win the IWGP Tag Team Titles. Another good match. I’ll gladly give that 3.5 stars. A couple slow spots brought it down a bit, as well as the initial confusion after Dax’s “injury” and a botched pin attempt, but that’s still a very respectable rating.
(0:51) Time for the AEW All-Atlantic Title to be won by either Pac, Malakai Black, Clark Connors or Miro. Connors is an injury replacement for Tomohiro Ishii, who defeated him to originally earn a spot here. It continues to be hilarious that Asian countries are represented on the ALL-ATLANTIC belt.
(0:56) I don’t know if it’s because they don’t really know him, or because they’re sad about not being able to see Ishii in this match, but the crowd isn’t really reacting to Connors at all.
(1:00) Miro has now caught Connors and Pac on separate occasions after they attempted dives on him. If Malakai Black is smart, he’ll just avoid any sort of similar attempt. Miro looks like a monster out there.
(1:02) A lot slower pace for this match with Miro being in control for so long. That’s not a complaint. It just really stands out after what we saw in the first two matches.
(1:06) Big pop as Malakai pulls a table out from under the ring. He leans it up against the barricade at ringside, directly in front of a small child. What a sick bastard. Malakai Black, not the child. I mean, I don’t know the kid. He might be a sick bastard, too.
(1:07) Clark Connors with a Spear sends Miro through the table, and the crowd finally reacts to him.
(1:08) A “let’s go, Clark” chant! These people are really happy about someone being put through a table.
(1:11) Pac takes Black out with a Black Arrow, and then locks Connors in a Brutalizer to get the submission win. He is your first AEW All-Atlantic Champion. Another good one. A “you deserve it” chant breaks out. If I gave the opening match 4 stars, I have to give this one just under that, so let’s say 3.75 stars.
(1:13) Well, fuck my life. We’re having a bit of a rain storm here, and it has knocked the signal out on my DirecTV dish. I’m going to post what I have here, and if I get signal back, I’ll pick right back up wherever we are in the show.
(1:27) We’re back, and Sting just absorbed a Superkick Party by Matt and Nick Jackson. Let’s hope the feed sticks around.
(1:28) El Phantasmo walks the ropes and hits a beautiful Moonsault to the outside. That was fantastic.
(1:31) Shingo hits the Last Of The Dragon for the win. Obviously, I missed almost all of that match, so I won’t be giving any sort of rating.
(1:32) Wednesday, September 21st and Friday, September 23rd will see Arthur Ashe Stadium host AEW Grand Slam once again.
(1:33) Chris Jericho continues to be one of the worst things about AEW, hitting Shota Umino with a fireball backstage while Matt Menard and Angelo Parker do whatever the fuck it is they’re supposed to do.
(1:34) Time for the Forbidden Door to close, apparently, with an AEW wrestler defending the AEW Women’s Title against an AEW wrestler. Thunder Rosa vs Toni Storm is up next.
(1:38) Awkward spot with both women kind of standing around and waiting for the other to do something.
(1:39) As over as Thunder Rosa became with AEW crowds, I think we need to see a title change here. Her reign hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, so it might be time for something new. Then again, I’d like to avoid more of the mouth breathers and their “AEW ONLEE PUSHEZ WWE PEEPUL” bullshit.
(1:42) The crowd is pretty quiet so far. From the two-something minutes of the last match that I actually got to see, the crowd was molten hot, and considering everyone involved in that, I’m assuming they were hot for all of it.
(1:43) A German Suplex on the ring apron by Toni, but it didn’t land properly. It was essentially Storm taking a bump on her own and Rosa slowly sliding over her shoulder.
(1:47) Final Reckoning gets the win for Thunder Rosa. That was a thing that happened. Not much crowd heat at all, and some awkward spots. Both women worked hard, though. It just didn’t “click” for me. Let’s go with 2.75 stars.
(1:48) Next up, Will Ospreay defends the IWGP United States Heavyweight Title against Orange Cassidy. This is one of the main complaints people had about the card, feeling that Ospreay should’ve had a much “bigger” match here. Whether you feel that way or not, at least we know that Orange Cassidy is going to be super over with the crowd.
(1:54) The expected start to the match, with Cassidy getting into Ospreay’s head by keeping his hands in his pockets and doing Orange Cassidy things.
(1:55) As much as I like Orange Cassidy’s character and find myself entertained by it, I tend to agree that Will Ospreay should’ve had a bigger spotlight on this card.
(1:55) Ospreay walks around ringside, and a fan in the front row specifically lowered his arm to pat him on the stomach. Umm… bro… what? Keep your fucking hands up, pervert.
(1:58) Speaking of perverts, Ospreay has Cassidy locked in an Abdominal Stretch, then puts his hand in Cassidy’s pocket. He rustles it around, basically fondling Cassidy’s inner thigh for a couple seconds, before pulling his hand out and flipping the crowd off.
(2:01) “He doesn’t care, King.” – Jim Ross, speaking to Taz and once again forgetting where he is and who he’s sitting next to.
(2:02) I love that Cassidy goes for his slow-motion Kawada Kicks, but after Ospreay no-sells them, it pisses Cassidy off, so he hits Ospreay with actual rapid-fire Kawada Kicks. Good spot.
(2:05) This has been a tale of two matches so far. The first half was all Will Ospreay, but it was also slow-paced, almost as if he wasn’t taking it seriously. The second half has been a lot more evenly matched. That might be saving things.
(2:08) We may have seen another botched pin by a Referee tonight. Yikes.
(2:09) Things have REALLY picked up here, leading to a Stormbreaker for the pin and the win for Ospreay. Rapid-fire counters, kick outs, and drama. Cassidy kicking out of a Hidden Blade was crazy. The crowd really bought into that being the finish. If the second-half pace would’ve been the pace of the whole match, that might have been the match of the night so far. As it is, I’ll give it 3.5 stars.
(2:12) HOLY SHIT. KATSUYORI SHIBATA IS HERE! Shibata comes out to save Cassidy from a three-on-one beatdown at the hands of Ospreay and Aussie Open. “Holy shit” chants at Shibata’s mere presence.
(2:14) The segment closes with Cassidy placing his sunglasses on Shibata’s face to a big pop. Wow.
(2:16) Next up, the newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club will take on Zack Sabre Jr. This was supposed to be Bryan Danielson vs ZSJ, so we’ll see if the mystery opponent can fill Danielson’s shoes.
(2:18) The rumors were right! CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI is the newest member of Blackpool Combat Club, and he is here to face ZSJ. This is a Dream Match all by itself, as these two haven’t shared a ring since 2009, when they faced each other in a 30-Minute Ironman Match for wXw in Germany.
(2:18) Man, BCC is insanely loaded right now.
(2:20) A vicious running forearm and a Neutralizer nearly won the match for Claudio in ten seconds. Wow. There’s no way ZSJ was going to lose a match that quickly, but they made that near fall very believable.
(2:24) ZSJ with some joint manipulation while his back is completely to the hard camera, so we missed almost all of it.
(2:28) With ZSJ hanging off of his body trying an arm submission on the outside, Claudio lifts him up, walks to the ring steps, walks UP the ring steps, then just throws ZSJ into the ring. Pound-for-pound, Claudio might be the strongest man in the history of wrestling. That was wild.
(2:32) Twice now, Claudio has gone for a Giant Swing, only for ZSJ to break free. The crowd is going to EXPLODE if Claudio finally gets to do it.
(2:33) Right away, Claudio gets to do the Swing, but he only gets six rotations because of all the arm work that ZSJ has done. Best of both worlds there. The crowd got to see the move, but it made perfect sense for Claudio not to be able to fully deliver it.
(2:34) There are 360 degrees in a full circle. Of those 360 degrees, I’m pretty sure Zack Sabre Jr. knows how to lock you in a submission attempt in 372 of them. He’s a machine. He can sink one in from anywhere.
(2:38) Ricola Bomb from Claudio picks up the win! Fantastic stuff here. Wrestlers with the style of ZSJ certainly aren’t for everyone, as he isn’t as “flashy” as some people can be, but he’s great at what he does. That was so much fun. His style worked well against Claudio’s power European game. 4.25 stars.
(2:42) Next up, the IWGP World Heavyweight Title is on the line, as Jay White defends against “Hangman” Adam Page, Adam Cole, and Kazuchika Okada in a Four-Way Match. This has everything needed to be fucking awesome.
(2:44) The crowd goes banana muffin for Okada’s entrance. Already an all-time great, it’s still rare to see him wrestle in the United States. That alone makes this a treat.
(2:48) Okada’s response dwarfed the responses for the other three men during the pre-match introduction.
(2:50) The bell rings and the crowd comes to their feet. Big-fight feel here, as it should be.
(2:52) Cole and White lift Page up for a Vertical Suplex on the ramp, and they’re clearly struggling to hold him up. That is going to do nothing to stop the “Adam Cole needs to add some muscle” talk that is all over social media these days.
(2:54) Cole and White are definitely trying to work together as a team, of sorts, to take Page and Okada out of the match. Makes sense to me.
(2:57) Page attempts a Moonsault, only to get kicked SMOOTH IN THE FUCKING FACE by Cole. He’s so good at that spot, hitting his opponents with an insane level of accuracy every single time.
(2:58) Diving crossbody over the guardrail by Okada, taking both Cole and White out.
(3:01) THE MEGAPOWERS EXPLODE! After hitting each other with a “too sweet” hand gesture, Cole “turns” on White by hitting him with a Backstabber. Pretty fitting, no?
(3:03) Other than Thunder Rosa vs Toni Storm, every match I’ve been able to watch tonight has had at least one “this is awesome” chant. That’s a good sign for the show and how it will be remembered.
(3:04) White kicks out of a pin attempt by Page at 2.99999, but instead of an emphatic kick out like you usually see, he slowly lifted his shoulder up off the mat, showing exhaustion. Great touch.
(3:06) Our first “fight forever” chant of the night.
(3:07) Beautiful series of counters and reversals by Okada and Page there.
(3:09) This match has been everything I wanted it to be so far. I had high expectations, but I’m very happy with this already.
(3:10) Did I just jinx it? Bit of a clunky ending there, as Jay White got a pin on Cole out of nowhere. It surprised everyone, and it also looks like Cole might be hurt. Seems like it was called on the fly when it was noticed Cole might be injured. As soon as the match ended, Doc entered the ring and started tending to him. Either way, that was so good. So, so good. 4.5 stars, even with a clunky ending.
(3:13) During a highlight package of the match, it was announced that Cole was able to get up and leave the ring under his own power. Good.
(3:15) Main event time. Jon Moxley vs Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim AEW World Title.
(3:17) Entering from the crowd, Mox may have knocked over the same kid I mentioned during the All-Atlantic Title match. At the very least, the kid may have been hit by the barricade being moved for Moxley’s entrance. In a nice touch, though, Mox patted the kid on the head and said something to him.
(3:23) “Come on, motherfucker!” – Moxley, trying to get Tanahashi to hit him harder. Hey, whatever floats your boat, bro.
(3:26) Moxley rakes his fingernails across Tanahashi’s back. Who do you think you are, Mox? Hulk Hogan?
(3:26) The crowd is distracted by something happening off-camera. Something is happening in the audience. A “you fucked up” chant breaks out, followed by lots of applause. They’re still watching whatever is going on, instead of watching the match.
(3:28) According to those in attendance, the distraction was due to two fans fighting each other and then being ejected. I can’t even imagine the type of doofuses that were involved in that fight.
(3:29) “Get the fuck out of my way!” – Moxley, to the cameraman, in an attempt to, sure enough, get him the fuck out of the way.
(3:31) I love that both men are trying to make this more of their style of match. Tanahashi is trying to do more technical stuff, and Moxley is trying to turn this into a brawl.
(3:33) Moxley has been busted open and is already bleeding a ton. Poor Renee. Again.
(3:35) Mox is an absolute mess.
(3:36) After kicking out of a High Fly Flow, Mox floats over into a Bulldog Choke attempt. Very well done.
(3:39) Death Rider gets the pin and the win for Moxley. That was a lot of fun. I’ll give that 4 stars. A really good show overall. At some point down the road, we’ll be getting CM Punk vs Jon Moxley to crown an undisputed AEW World Champion.
(3:41) Because Chris Jericho has to ruin more things with his bullshit, he and Daniel Garcia run out and attack both Moxley and Tanahashi as they’re about to shake hands in the middle of the ring.
(3:43) This is a stupid ass television brawl, with the participants in the Blood & Guts Match all running out to brawl with each other. Get the fuck out of here with this shit. The crowd didn’t even react to much of anything until Claudio Castagnoli came out.
(3:45) We go off the air with Eddie Kingston yelling at Moxley and Castagnoli. OMG HE HATES THEM BOTH! HOW WILL THEY COEXIST ON WEDNESDAY?!?
Well, I’m sorry about that 15-ish minute stretch where my satellite feed was down, but we were able to get through it together. As always, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you in my usual Wednesday spot.