Original Air Date: April 28, 2021
Event Date: April 22, 2021
(aired on TNT & the FITE app)
Commentary: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Taz (1), Don Callis (2)
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
“Dynamite” by No One Hero
“Hangman” Adam Page vs “The Machine” Brian Cage (FTW Champ)
(referee: Paul Turner)
Result: Brian Cage wins via pinfall after the Drill Claw
Very good match, and a very good night for Brian Cage. Adam Page has been on a roll lately, racking up wins with dominant performances and holding on to the #1 spot in the rankings for a few weeks. Knowing that, Taz had the entirety of Team Taz attack Adam Page before this match began. Dark Order came out to chase Hook, Starks, and Hobbs away, but the damage was already done (including a powerbomb on Page by Cage onto the stage). Page started the match despite being at an incredible physical disadvantage. This could have been a setup for a triumphant comeback, but Cage made sure that didn’t happen. Cage utterly dominated Page, attacking him nearly non-stop with power move after power move. Page started to mount a couple of comebacks, but his efforts fell short. The match itself was also fairly short. I found this a bit surprising given Page’s recent run, and I also found it quite intriguing. Not only does this catapult Cage into possible title contention, but it also sets up Page to get some sweet, sweet revenge in what is sure to be a very fun rematch.
Outside the Venue
The Young Bucks, The Good Brothers, Don Callis, and Kenny Omega are hanging out together in a limousine. Callis is pleased about all the gold his group has (including Omega’s newly-won Impact World Championship), but Omega is pissed off. Omega is pissed about Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston wrecking their trailer last week. The Elite won’t be intimidated though. Omega is not afraid. Everyone then jumps as they hear a car horn. Michael Nakazawa, in the driver’s seat, apologizes for accidentally hitting the horn. Regaining his composure, Omega then says that he understands that Kingston wants to get his hands on members of The Elite, but tonight he’s going to have to go through Nakazawa.
AEW Tag Title Eliminator Match
Matt & Mike Sydal vs The Young Bucks (AEW Tag Champs) w/ Don Callis, Brandon Cutler
(referee: Rick Knox)
Result: Nick Jackson pins Mike Sydal after the BTE Trigger (and a Johnny Cage low blow from Matt Jackson)
Very good match. While it wasn’t as competitive as I might have hoped for, it was still fun to watch. The Young Bucks continued to go way over the top with their obnoxious heel tactics, and they set out to embarrass the Sydal brothers. For the most part, that’s just what the Young Bucks did. The Sydals started to mount a few comebacks here and there, but the Bucks made this match look easy, and they made it look like the Sydals were way beneath them.
After the match, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian comes out to the stage. Kaz says there have been a lot of changes lately, but SCU’s vow to break up if they get defeated as a team remains the same. SCU now stand undefeated since that vow, and they represent the biggest threat to the Young Bucks tag team titles. Daniels is furious. He was looking forward to facing his friends in a tag match, but all he sees in front of him right now are a couple of “bitches.” SCU will make AEW a better place when they take the Bucks’ titles away from them.
Jade Cargill talks about managers wanting to sign her, but she says they’re going to have to impress her if they want her as their client.
“Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy w/ Trent? vs Penta El Zero Miedo w/ Alex Abrahantes
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)
Result: Orange Cassidy wins via pinfall after the Orange Punch (with a microphone in his hand)
Great match. Penta and Cassidy started with a bit of a comedy segment where they both attempted to do their early-match gimmicks (Penta removing his glove and Cassidy putting his hands in his pockets). After That was over, the match got serious in a hurry. Cassidy started getting aggressive early in the match, and Penta did the same. This was a fast and very fun match with Penta tending to get the better of many of their exchanges. Cassidy was getting beat up quite a lot, but he would find ways to get in some shots of his own here and there. Alex Abrahantes ended up getting involved late in the match, but with Trent at ringside as well, the distractions and shenanigans evened themselves out.
Earlier today, Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. talked with Tony Schiavone about attaining the top spot in the women’s rankings. Baker thinks it’s time to remind everyone why she is the face of the women’s division.
In the ring, Tony Schiavone welcomes The Pinnacle for the Blood & Guts Parley who come out with personal security. The Inner Circle comes out next, and they have fireworks and security guys on motorcycles.
With both factions in the ring, Schiavone explains the rules of Blood & Guts: it’s a War-Games-style match with two men starting one on one for five minutes, then each team will alternate adding members at two-minute intervals until everyone is in, then first “submission or surrender” wins. Schiavone is about to toss a coin to decide who will get the first advantage in the match, but Shawn Spears slaps the coin out of his hand. Spears says The Pinnacle should get the advantage since they were coerced into the match, and he then focuses his anger on Sammy Guevara. Guevara responds by calling Spears a failure in AEW, and a failure where he used to work. May 5th, Spears and The Pinnacle will fail again. Guevara says The Pinnacle can have the advantage, and Guevara will face every single member himself. Schiavone then confirms that The Pinnacle will have the advantage in Blood & Guts.
Cash Wheeler addresses Santana and Ortiz, begging them not to bring the “soft” version of their team that has been around for the past few months. Dax Harwood talks about Santana and Ortiz’s family, telling them to say goodbye to their kids before heading out for Blood & Guts. Santana is pissed, but he says he’s going to let his hands to the talking on May 5th.
MJF wants everyone to act like gentlemen. As a gentleman, MJF thanks Chris Jericho. He thanks Jericho for being the top draw in AEW in the beginning and creating the top faction in pro wrestling with the Inner Circle. Jericho must be under tremendous pressure with the weight of AEW on his shoulders. He must be incredibly tired. MJF is going to take the pressure off of Jericho by taking his spot at the top of AEW, and he’s going to thank Jericho once again after he does it.
Jericho thinks MJF is a “little prick.” Does MJF think he can have someone’s spot just because he wants it? Or because he’s entitled to it? MJF has to earn it, just like Jericho earned his spot through years of learning respect and gaining experience all around the world. A good place to start earning respect is by beating Jericho and the Inner Circle, but MJF and The Pinnacle won’t be doing that at Blood & Guts. The Inner Circle is a true family, something that The Pinnacle hasn’t attained yet, and MJF is going to have to kill the members of the Inner Circle to make them surrender.
Michael Nakazawa is in the ring, waiting for Eddie Kingston. Kingston comes out, but he’s not interesting fighting Nakazawa. Kingston calls out Omega. Omega and Callis come out to the stage, and Omega tells Kingston that Kingston doesn’t make the rules. Kingston might want Omega for orchestrating the breaking of his ankle, but Omega is giving Kingston his goon, Nakazawa, instead.
With Kingston distracted by Omega, Nakazawa hits Kingston in the back with a laptop. Kingston quickly recovers, and he puts Nakazawa down with an exploder suplex and a spinning backfist. Kingston tells Omega that he’s going to break Nakazawa’s ankle if Omega doesn’t get in the ring. Omega says Nakazawa knew what he was signing up for, so Kingston can go ahead and do it. Besides, Omega has more goons.
Omega calls for Brandon Cutler to come out, but Cutler stumbles and falls as he comes out through the tunnel. Right behind Cutler is Jon Moxley. Moxley throws Omega into the ring and puts Omega in a sleeper hold. Kingston puts Omega’s ankle in a chair, and he demands that Don Callis give him and Moxley a tag match. Callis offers Kingston whatever he wants to release Omega. Moxley says he and Kingston want a match with Omega and Nakazawa, and Callis quickly agrees. That match will happen next week.
During a picture-in-picture commercial break, Sammy Guevara has some cards talking about being the man to start Blood & Guts for his team and being the first man with Pinnacle blood on his hands.
With Tony Schiavone, Taz talks about Brian Cage becoming the number one contender after beating Adam Page tonight. He also calls over Christian Cage, telling Christian that he’s going to have to face another member of Team Taz after defeating Hobbs last week. Christian says Taz used to be one of the baddest men in the business, but now he’s leeching off of the members of Team Taz to bask in their reflected glory. Christian is still one of the best though, so Taz can send every member of Team Taz. Christian will beat them all, and he’ll show them that they are better off without Taz.
Penelope Ford w/ Kip Sabian vs Kris Statlander w/ Orange Cassidy
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)
Result: Kris Statlander wins via pinfall after the Big Bang Theory
Very good match. This has some nice back and forth to it with Ford getting in some good moves, but the match was really just a continuation of Statlander reestablishing herself after her return from injury. I’d be interested to see if this feud develops into anything further considering it easily could given everything that happened at Arcade Anarchy.
Dark Order’s 10 talks about what it would mean to him to be the person to bring the TNT Title back to the Dark Order.
Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solow & QT Marshall w/ Anthony Ogogo vs Billy Gunn & Lee Johnson & Dustin Rhodes
(referee: Paul Turner)
Result: QT Marshall pins Lee Johnson after a punch to the gut from Anthony Ogogo
Pretty good match. With tempers flaring, the action was a bit chaotic. The fight did settle down somewhat, but there was still a lot going on for most of this match. I enjoyed the segment when Lee Johnson finally got to be legal in the ring, but the emphasis on putting over Anthony Ogogo’s gut-punch put a quick and okay end to this match.
After the match, Nick Comoroto smashes Dustin Rhodes in the head with a cowbell on the rope Dustin has been carrying around. Comoroto, Solow, and Ogogo head down the tunnel towards the back, briefly leaving Marshall alone on the stage. Austin and Colten Gunn run out and attack QT Marshall. Marshall takes a mild beating before The Factory returns to help him, and Marshall slips away, heading away from the ring through the crowd.
Marshall heads to the parking lot where the Nightmare Express bus is (that The Factory arrived in), but Cody Rhodes is waiting for Marshall inside the bus. Cody attacks Marshall, and Marshall tries to escape by climbing on top of the bus. Cody puts Marshall in a figure four on top of the bus as Aubrey Edwards yells at him to stop. Cody leaves Marshall in pain on top of the bus as the segment ends.
Kip Sabian goes to talk to Miro, but Miro just attacks Sabian. Miro tells Sabian it’s time to pay his dues before slamming Sabian’s arm in a door. Miro then tells Sabian that he forgives Sabian.
TNT Title Match
Dark Order’s 10 w/ Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, Alan Angels, Colt Cabana vs Darby Allin (TNT Champ) w/ Sting
(referee: Rick Knox)
Result: Darby Allin wins via pinfall by pinning 10 while in a full nelson, and Allin retains the title in his 9th defense
Very good match. 10 didn’t completely dominate Allin alike a lot of other guys who are much bigger than Allin usually do, but 10 did hit a good amount of powerful moves on the TNT Champion. Allin endured as he always does, and he looked for openings to hit timely and effective counters. Dark Order approached 10 and Allin while they were both down at ringside late in the match, and Sting was there to make sure Dark Order didn’t touch anyone. With everyone distracted, Ethan Page ran out and slammed Allin into the ring post. 10 was unsure of whether he should capitalize on the interference, and by the time he decided what to do, Allin was already on his way to recovering from the illegal attack. The match ended with a questionable pinfall (Rick Knox was out of position and it looked the far shoulder was off the mat), but overall I enjoyed the match.
After the match, 10 offers his hand to Darby Allin to help him stand up. Allin stands, and he takes 10’s “Brodie” arm band. Allin holds up the arm band before handing it back to 10. Dark Order leaves the ring area. With Allin and Sting alone in the ring, Ethan Page comes back and distracts them by climbing up to the ring apron. Scorpio Sky runs in and chop blocks Sting. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky attack Darby Allin ad Sting until Lance Archer (with Jake Roberts) and 10 run out to the ring to chase Page and Sky away.
This was a fun show. Adam Page losing to Brian Cage was probably the most interesting thing on this episode, and otherwise, AEW is continuing to build up their ongoing stories. This was definitely a show building towards the future, and for that I thought it was good.
Match of the Night
Orange Cassidy vs Penta El Zero Miedo
This was the most fun and competitive match for me tonight. Cage versus Page is likely the most memorable match from tonight, but it was too one-sided or me to pick it as the best of the night.