Lance Archer def. Allen Angles
I loved the hell out of Archer's in-ring debut against Marko Stunt last week and this was equally effective. He came close to murdering Angles with his offense and his speed combined with his size will never not be impressive. I expect him to make short wok of Colt Cabana when they clash in the first round of the AEW TNT Championship Tournament. On a side note, Jake Roberts may not be able to appear in person at the moment, but it's awesome that he continues cutting promos in a pre-taped format.
Hikaru Shida def. Britt Baker
Baker hasn't had many memorable matches since coming to AEW, but this was easily her best bout to date as it was absolutely excellent. I'd say it's difficult for anyone to have a bad match with Shida, but Baker and Riho didn't exactly light the world on fire last year, so there was no guarantee that this was going to be good. Shida was terrific as usual while Baker looked like a badass in defeat with the blood streaming down her face. The wrestlers at ringside added to this as well. If Shida doesn't get a shot at the AEW Women's Championship soon, those power rankings are rigged.
Best Friends def. AEW World Tag Team Champion Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa
Omega and Nakazawa claimed to be a better pair of best friends than Trent and Chuck Taylor, which is how this match came to be (not to mention how Omega and Trent faced off in singles competition last week and Omega won). I assume the storyline with Omega and "Hangman" Adam Page has been put on hold for the time being because Page hasn't been on the show in weeks. Of course, Nakazawa lacks credibility, but having Omega as his partner obviously helped with that. This was a very fun match and I enjoyed the antics with Orange Cassidy getting involved down the stretch. It went a little long, but I'm not complaining. Best Friends with Trent pinning Nakazawa was the right call and everyone simultaneously hugging Cassidy afterward made for a cool moment.
Brodie Lee def. Lee Johnson
I'm still not digging Lee's obvious Vince McMahon impersonations, as I think he should establish his own identity and not base his character off his former boss. Other than that, he's been killing it in the ring and dominating all of his opponents as he should be. Keeping these matches short and sweet, like with Archer, is smart. I assume his first real opponent will be Christopher Daniels after what happened between the two when Lee debuted, but there has been no followup on that since.
Cody def. Shawn Spears in an AEW TNT Championship Quarterfinal Match
I dug the various various packages hyping up this match and their history, specifically their All Out encounter back in August. I don't think many people bought into the possibility of Spears winning, but I appreciated that they tried to give it a big fight feel, nonetheless. I'd put this on par with their All Out matchup, other than how it lacked drama because the outcome was never in doubt. I could have done without Spears kicking out of back-to-back Cross Rhodes, but on the whole, it was an entertaining main event.
Firstly, Chris Jericho and Tony Schiavone on commentary were far and away the best part about this entire episode. They were comedy gold and I hope they're a permanent pairing for the foreseeable future. Secondly, "Broken" Matt Hardy challenging Jericho to an Elite Deletion is incredibly exciting and I'm looking forward to seeing how it will measure up to Final Deletion and Ultimate Deletion. Thirdly, the countdown-style hype videos were Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager for the AEW World Championship next week very well done. Plus, the two squashes succeeded what they set out to do, the main event was well wrestled, the tag team affair was enjoyable and Baker vs. Shida stole the show. Even with no formal audience, AEW continues to deliver top-notch content week after week.
All #AskGSM Cruiserweight Classic Halftime Heat Hidden Gems Lists/Rankings Mae Young Classic Mixed Match Challenge News Opinion Previews Retro Reviews Reviews RJ's Two Cents Satire SummerSlam Recall Tribute To The Troops Worlds Collide WrestleMania Recall WWE Starrcade