Original Air Date: August 4, 2021
Event Date: August 4, 2021
(aired live on TNT & the FITE app)
Commentary: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, MJF (1)
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
“Dynamite” by No One Hero
The 5 Labours of Jericho: Chapter 3
“The Demo God” “Le Champion” Chris Jericho vs Juventud Geurrera
(referee: Aubrey Edwards; stipulation: Jericho must land a move off the top rope to win the match.)
Result: Chris Jericho wins via pinfall after a diving Judas Effect from the top rope
Very good match. The nostalgia was palpable as Juvi headed to the ring, headbanging on the stage and before he climbed the ropes to play to the crowd. It was clear Juvi was soaking in the atmosphere, and it was great to see. The match itself started a bit tentatively. Juvi put out some offense very quickly, but it seemed to take a minute or two for him to get in sync with Jericho. Once the two did get on in a rhythm though, this match was a lot of fun. Jericho and Juvi both took to the ropes quite a few times, and even though neither are cruiserweights anymore, they still put together a fast and fun match.
I especially enjoyed the finish of the match. Jericho clearly established the boundaries of the match’s stipulation throughout the bout with a couple of smart sequences, one in which Aubrey Edwards refused to count if Jericho didn’t come off the ropes just prior to going for the pin. Jericho hit one of his finishers, but realizing that he hadn’t come off the top rope, he improvised and actually improved the impact of the Judas Effect. Jericho is a veteran and one of the best ever in pro wrestling, but I love how these Labours of Jericho are forcing him, as a character, to be even smarter, stronger, and more cunning than ever. This is good storytelling.
After the match, Wardlow runs into the ring and attacks Jericho. Wardlow also attacks Juvi, hitting him with the F-10. Wardlow then hits Jericho with the Casualty of War. MJF has now gotten on the mic on the stage behind the ring, and he says Jericho’s opponent for Labour 4 is Wardlow. The stipulation is that MJF will be the special guest referee.
Dasha Gonzalez welcomes the Lucha Brothers and Alex Abrahantes. Pac was supposed to be with them, but his travel plans were all “mysteriously” canceled. ANdrade El Idolo and Chavo Guerrero Jr. walk up, and they want to know where their “thank yous” are for the limo last week. Chavo makes another offer for the Lucha Brothers to work for him and Andrade, but Fenix and Penta say, “no.”
Tony Schiavone is with Dark Order. Dark Order begins to talk about failing to earn a tag title match when Adam Page walks in to grab his drink. Dark Order wonders where Page has been, and Page apologizes for losing Dark Order a chance at the tag titles. Page says the problems he has with The Elite are his own, and he needs to take care of them himself. Dark Order protests, saying they’re friends and they have his back, but Page insists. Page tells Dark Order that for now, they’re done. Page walks away. Evil Uno tells the rest of Dark Order that they should respect Page’s wishes and give him some space.
Daniel Garcia & Matt Lee & Jeff Parker vs Darby Allin w/ Sting & Eddie Kingston & Jon Moxley
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)
Result: Darby Allin pins Daniel Garcia after the Coffin Drop
Good match. The trio of Allin, Kingston, and Moxley was dominant as expected, but their debuting opponents had some very nice teamwork that allowed them to control the match through a commercial break. Kingston got caught with a chop block, and Garcia, Lee, and Parker were able to keep Kingston down for a while with some quick tags. Moxley shifted the momentum completely back in his team’s favor after a while though, and the finish came quickly after that. This was fun, and it was a good introduction to Garcia, Lee, and Parker.
A look at the history of Brian Cage’s fallout with Team Taz.
The rest of the Elite watch as Karl Anderson spins a basketball on his finger. After that, Doc Gallows says that if Dark Order wants a shot at the Impact Tag Titles, they can have one. After all, it’s just going to end with a Magic Killer and a 1, 2, 3. The Young Bucks then say that there is no team left in AEW worthy of challenging them. Kenny Omega follows, gloating about how Adam Page lost last week. Like the Young Bucks, Omega intends to retire as AEW World Champion.
Christian Cage vs The Blade w/ The Bunny
(referee: Rick Knox)
Result: Christian Cage wins via pinfall after a spear
Very good match. This was a straightforward, hard-fought match from both guys. They haven’t done enough to make me feel like The Blade is a credible threat against someone like Christian one on one, but the fight was still back-and-forth and a lot of fun. The Bunny tried to get involved early in the match, but she was chased away by Leyla Hirsch (whom The Bunny has a match against later tonight), and that left Christian and The Blade to fight with no further interference.
The rivalry between FTR and Santana & Ortiz is only getting more personal after last week’s match. Cash Wheeler suffered a gruesome injury to his arm after getting pushed off the ropes by Santana, and Dax Harwood is furious. Harwood says his partner nearly died, and FTR will be back for one more match to end this rivalry one and for all. Death couldn’t stop Wheeler, so what make Santana and Oritz think they can stop FTR?
In the ring, Tony Schiavone welcomes Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. (and Rebel). Just as Baker begins to talk, Red Velvet comes out to the ring. Red Velvet gets right to the point, saying she wants a part of D.M.D. Baker reminds Red Velvet of the quick beating Baker gave Velvet the last time they met in the ring. Red Velvet tells Baker that she’s a different person now, and she has seven straight wins (and she didn’t have to cheat to win them).
Baker tells Velvet that she is a very different wrestler now as well. She also agrees to giving Red Velvet a title shot, saying the match will happen on the debut of AEW Rampage taking place in Baker’s hometown of Pittsburgh. Rebel then takes a swing at Red Velvet with her crutch, but Red Velvet ducks. Baker takes adantage of the distraction and kicks Velvet in the knee, putting her down on the mat. After jamming Rebel’s crutch in Red Velvet’s throat, Baker leaves with Rebel.
Dasha Gonzalez is with Andrade El Idolo. Andrade is about to talk about being rejected by the Lucha Brothers when Chavo Guerrero interrupts. Chavo says the Lucha Bros. might not wnt to work with Andrade, but Chavo found someone who will: Fuego Del Sol. For Fuego’s first job, Chavo wants him to shine Andrade’s shoes. When Fuego refuses, Andrade throws Fuego into a steel door and beats him up. Chavo, using Fuego Del Sol as a visual aid, says that the Lucha Brothers will never be champions if they stay with Pac.
In the ring, Tony Schiavone welcomes Adam Page. Before Page says anything, The Elite walks out to the stage. Page says it’s good that they’re here, saying he’s needed to tell them something for a while. The Elite step into the ring. Kenny Omega assumes Page is about to ask to rejoin The Elite. He’s not though. Regardless, Omega calls Page a “try hard.” He also says Page doesn’t even fit in with the members of The Elite anymore. After all, The Elite doesn’t have losers in their group.
Page attacks Omega, and The Elite swarm Page. Page takes a Magic Killer from the Good Brothers which brings the Dark Order to the ring. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson hold the rest of Dark Order back in an attempt to honor Page’s wishes from earlier in the night. Dark Order walks away while Page takes a series of BTE Triggers back in the ring. Frankie Kazarian runs out to stop the beating, but Kazarian gets beaten up outside the ring. Omega then smashes Page in the head with the AEW World Title belt.
Dan Lambert (from American Top Team), the guy Lance Archer destroyed at a recent show, says he’s going to be at Dynamite next week. This time he’s bringing backup.
TNT Title Match
“Big Shotty” Lee Johnson w/ Dustin Rhodes vs Miro (TNT Champ)
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)
Result: Miro wins via Referee Stoppage with Game Over and retains the title in his fifth defense
Very good match. I think everyone expected Miro to dominate Lee Johnson, and even though that did happen quite a lot, Johnson built up some great offense late in the match that showed a ton of potential. Johnson’s early attempts at strikes did almost nothing to Miro, but Miro’s methodical pace allowed Johnson to start to string together some dives that had Miro reeling. Miro is a hard wrestler to get off of his feet, and it’s even more difficult to keep him down, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when Miro got back up and starting hitting Johnson with powerful moves. Still, this was an entertaining match that helped build Miro’s dominance while showing everyone the continued progress of Lee Johnson.
Tony Schiavone informs Christian Cage that he is the new #1 Contender. Christian is, of course, pleased. Schiavone also asks Christian if he plans to watch Leyla Hirsch’s back after the help she gave him with The Bunny earlier, but Christian says Hirsch already has friends to watch her back. She has Best Friends.
Getting back to being #1 Contender, Christian reminds everyone that he came to AEW to win championships. Christian will be at Dynamite and Rampage next week, and he’s been known to stir up some controversy. He’s good at it too. Or rather, he’s better than good. He’s elite.
NWA Women’s Title Eliminator Match
The Bunny w/ The Blade, Private Party, The Hybrid2, Jora Johl vs “Legit” Leyla Hirsch w/ Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Kris Statlander, Wheeler Yuta
(referee: Rick Knox)
Result: Leyla Hirsch wins via submission with a cross arm breaker and will face Kamille for the NWA Women’s World Championship
Very good match. Hirsch started strong, but The Bunny got an early advantage with some shenanigans outside the ring. Hirsch was able to regain control shortly after the fight got back into the ring, and from that point on The Bunny just had to do her best to keep some distance from Hirsch. Hirsch’s aerial attacks didn’t work too well tonight, but her tenacious hunt for the cross arm breaker had The Bunny playing so much defense that The Bunny could barely get any offense. This was a good match, and it benefited from the mass of people at ringside never actually getting involved in the proceedings.
After the match, the NWA Women’s World Champion, Kamille, enters the ring. Kamille holds her title up as she stares down at Leyla Hirsch.
Mark Sterling says Jade Cargill hasn’t been wrestling because the two of them have been busy building #JadeBrand. Now they are back, and Jade is ready to wrestle. In fact, she has a match next week on Dark: Elevation.
Malakai Black vs “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes w/ Dustin Rhodes
(referee: Paul Turner)
Result: Malakai Black wins via pinfall after Black Mass (and after kicking Cody off the top rope and through a table on the floor)
Very good match. This was short, but the action was great and the story involved was surprising. Cody came ready for a fight, but Black’s kicks hobbled Cody early. Cody struggled to regain any sort of control after a kick to the inside of his left leg. WIth Cody slowed, Black was able to land a kick on Cody while The American Nightmare was climbing to the top rope. That kick sent Cody through a table on the floor, and the match was essentially over after that. Black landed another kick in the ring, and the match was over. Black made a very strong statement in this match, and it felt like a very big deal.
After the match, Malakai Black walks away as Cody struggles to get back to his feet. Tony Schiavone enters the ring and asks Cody if he’s okay. Still kind of loopy, Cody talks about how legacy is a funny thing. His first goal in wrestling was to win the title that was taken from his father. Goals change though. He met The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, and people laughed when they said they were going to be a revolution. But now they’ve set the table, and they are destination viewing. Cody loves his friends, and he will forever be tethered to them.
Cody considers Daily’s Place the AEW Amphitheater. There is no better place than here, and no better time than now, to say that he loves the fans so very much. Cody puts the mic down and begins to remove his boots, but Malaki Black returns and hits Cody in the back with a crutch. Black picks up one of Cody’s boots and smiles.
This was a good show. There seemed to be whole lot of videos throughout the night, especially later in the show, so that did give the episode the feeling of somewhat of a buildup show rather than a big event. Regardless, there were some big moments tonight, the main event being one of the biggest. Also, the Adam Page/Dark Order/Elite stuff continues to be enthralling, and adding Christian Cage to the mix just by virtue of being the new #1 contender for Omega’s title is an added layer of complexity.
Match of the Night
Malakai Black vs Cody Rhodes
It might have been the shortest match of the night, but the action and story combined to create an extremely memorable moment.