The Elite Showed Solidarity
I really, really liked how Cody didn't ignore the COVID-19 outbreak and instead tied it into his promo about how The Elite must come together to fight a common threat in Inner Circle. Kenny Omega didn't hestitate to bring up his differences with Cody from over the years, and "Hangman" Adam Page looking hesitant before agreeing to team with them next week in Blood and Guts was a nice touch. This was the perfect way to kick off the show and got me hyped for the high-stakes main event.
The Lucha Brothers def. Best Friends
These teams were going to work well together regardless, but having wrestlers sit ringside as the crowd was smart and added to the atmosphere. This was a blast as expected even without fans in the building. The Lucha Brothers haven't won an important match on their own in ages, so it was crucial that they went over here and I'm glad they did. Best Friends challenging them to a parking lot brawl next week was great because that's the type of stuff they should be doing more of without anyone in attendance.
Hikaru Shida def. Penelope Ford, Riho and Kris Statlander in a Four-Way Match
I feel like we see way too many multi-woman matches in AEW. I realize they want to give all the ladies as much exposure as possible, but they need to get back to showcasing individual talents. Shida is a star and I was happy she won here. Despite getting pinned by Nyla Rose last week, she makes the most sense to challenge for the AEW Women's Championship next. This was a fine four-way even if it didn't have the best pacing. Colt Cabana getting into it with Kip Sabian afterward should set up a future match between the two, possibly on Dark.
Jurassic Express def. The Butcher and The Blade
I applaud the effort of everyone involved, but this was pretty rough. Although I don't care much about their characters, The Butcher and The Blade have had some quality matches in the past. However, this was not one of them. It doesn't help that there wasn't much of a reason for this match to be happening aside from Jurassic Express losing to Butcher and Blade last week on Dynamite. On the bright side, Jurassic Express won to get back on track.
The Dark Order Attacked SCU
It's a damn shame this show had to be moved to Daily's Place because Brodie Lee being revealed as The Exalted One in front of his hometown in Rochester, NY would have been amazing. That said, this segment was well done. I was holding out hope that it would be "Broken" Matt Hardy, but Lee is a solid second choice. We'll see how strong his promo skills are, but at least the reveal lived up to the hype and wasn't someone disappointing. Lee is a perfect fit for AEW.
Inner Circle (Jake Hager, Santana and Ortiz) def. The Elite (Matt Jackson, Cody and AEW World Tag Team Champion "Hangman" ADam Page) to Earn the Advantage in Blood and Guts
It was pretty obvious coming in that the heels were going to win and earn the advantage, but it was still a solid main event. Needless to say, it would have been a lot better with a hot crowd, but they made the most of the situation. It started slow, but once they picked up the pace down the stretch, it turned into a terrific match. As Inner Circle gloated about having the advantage in Blood and Guts, a drone (Vanguard 1!) flew over the ring, a piano started playing, and Matt Hardy was introduced as The Elite's fourth mystery man. That was a hell of a way to end the evening.
I'm sure AEW has been paying attention to what WWE has been doing with their empty arena shows at the Performance Center and decided to improve upon what they did wrong. I thought having some of the wrestlers sitting ringside throughout the night was better than nothing and they relied on more than just recaps and replays of old content. The video packages were smart, and while the matches weren't as exciting as they normally are due to the lack of live audience, they put forth a fantastic effort and delivered a memorable show. The arrivals of Lee and Hardy were excellently executed and left viewers looking forward to what's next.
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