Pre-Show: Sonny Kiss def. Peter Avalon
I know I'm far from the only one who isn't a fan of the librarian gimmick for Avalon and Leva Bates, but there's no doubt it receives genuine heat from crowds. Sure, it's probably "go away" heat, but we'll see how long AEW drags it out for. This was a perfectly fine match with Kiss getting a chance to show off his incredible athleticism. He had an impressive showing here and was the correct choice to go over.
Pre-Show: Shoko Nakajima and Bea Priestly def. Dr. Britt Baker and Riho
For a late-minute addition to the card, this was an absolute blast. There isn't any established bad blood between these four ladies, but from an in-ring standpoint, there was a ton of excellent action and they worked a frantic pace. I'm slightly surprised Baker and Riho didn't win simply because they have been positioned strongly so far in AEW, but it was a good win for Nakajima and Priestly, nonetheless.
Shawn Spears, MJF and Sammy Guevara def. Darby Allin, Jimmy Havoc and Joey Janela
I thought this was previously advertised for the pre-show, so either I was mistaken or it got bumped to the main card at some point. Nonetheless, this was an excellent opener with all six stars involved getting time to shine. I originally wasn't a fan of Spears and MJF teaming up after what happened at Fyter Fest with Cody, but they teased tension throughout and it was very entertaining. I loved Spears showing off an all-new side to his character and am looking forward to his eventual match with Cody. Meanwhile, Allin is a star on the rise and will be a breakout babyface for AEW, mark my words.
Brandi Rhodes def. Allie
It was strange how Brandi was looking for sympathy during the pre-match video package yet was obviously the heel here. This wasn't that memorable of a match and it didn't help that Awesome Kong coming down to ringside before the bout even began foreshadowed the finish. Hey, I guess it's better than the old distraction ending we see far too much of in WWE. Awesome Kong vs. Aja Kong is an intriguing matchup, but I fear it wouldn't live up to the lofty expectations fans have for it in 2019.
The Dark Order def. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus and Jack Evans & Angelico in a Three-Way Tag Team Match to Earn a Bye in the First Round of the AEW World Tag Team Championship Tournament
I've said it before and I'll say it again: AEW's tag team division is out of this world. This tag team title tournament is going to be a ton of fun if these first round bye matches have been any indication. Dark Order don't do much for me, personally, even if their finisher is awesome looking. Evans and Angelico are outstanding together, but Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus were far and away the most over pairing in this match. The people went nuts for them here. I had no idea Marko Stunt was a part of their act, so they probably could have clarified that ahead of time and explained why he's with them.
Adam Page def. Kip Sabian
This was one of the most predictable matches on the show and thus I wouldn't have had it go as long as it did. I suppose you could say the same about Kenny Omega vs. CIMA a little later on in the night, but at least that had history behind it. This, on the other hand, felt fairly random and was simply a solid match with Sabian scoring plenty of offense before eating defeat. Chris Jericho emerged afterward to bloody up Page, which was a well-done angle.
The Lucha Brothers def. SoCal Uncensored
You can pretty much take what I said at the beginning of my paragraph regarding the three-way tag and apply it here. AEW's tag team division is stacked beyond belief and the matches never cease to deliver. I'd argue the Lucha Bros are the best tag team in the world today and SCU aren't too far down that list, either. Granted, there wasn't much of a story told in this bout, but the crowd ate up everything they did and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Afterward, Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix challenged The Young Bucks to a Ladder match for the AAA World Tag Team Championship at All Out, which has all the makings of an instant classic.
Kenny Omega def. CIMA
Of everyone I've seen so far in AEW that I wasn't already familiar with, CIMA is among those I have been most impressed with. The six-man tag team match he had at Double or Nothing was very well wrestled, he had a quality contest with Christopher Daniels at Fyter Fest, and now he and Omega had one of the best bouts on this card. The only thing working against them was the predictability surrounding the outcome, but CIMA gained a ton in defeat. I was slightly surprised Jon Moxley was nowhere to be seen considering his matchup with Omega at All Out next month has been so heavily touted.
Chris Jericho and Adam Page Brawled
The show was running long by this point and thus this should have happened right after Page vs. Jericho. I'm actually not sure why it didn't, because it would have made way more sense for Jericho to say what he wanted to say right then and there. Regardless, this was the usual superb heel mic work from Jericho, who successfully turned the crowd against him. There has been a lot of hype for Jericho vs. Page at All Out and rightfully so seeing as how they'll be fighting to determine the first-ever AEW World Champion.
The Young Bucks def. The Brotherhood
Sometimes, it can be tough for "dream matches" to be as exceptional as you imagine them being, but I thought this lived up to the hype. Going over 30 minutes on a show that was nearing midnight was a questionable call, but everything else about this was engaging and on point. Putting two tandems in there with a drive to be the best results in a match that showcases tag team wrestling at its finest. I especially appreciated how it just wasn't all spots and how there was meaning and purpose behind everything they were doing. Coming off the announcement from earlier in the evening that'll be the Lucha Bros vs. Young Bucks for the AAA tag titles at All Out, Young Bucks winning here was logical. The post-match stuff closed out the event on a feel-good note.
First and foremost, this show had no business being over four hours long and nearly ending at midnight. I would have liked to see AEW take the "less is more" approach like they did with Fyter Fest. This definitely dragged after Omega vs. CIMA concluded. With it being a free charity, I don't have much room to complain, but I don't want to see anyone knocking WWE for the length of their pay-per-views going forward if AEW is going to be guilty of the exact same thing (no matter how tremendous the matches are). On the bright side, it was another above-average event from AEW. The in-ring action was top-notch yet again, and while nothing overly special happened, it was just a strong wrestling show with a hot crowd. You can't ask for much more than that.
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