We finally made it. It has felt like a lifetime since we got an AEW PPV in front of a full building that wasn't Daily's Place in Jacksonville Florida. It has been a year and a half in fact since Revolution 2020. AEW have made terrific strides throughout the Pandemic in front of nobody but the heart and soul of this company is the crowd and everyone knows that. The wrestlers are glad to have the fans back and the fans are glad to finally be getting the opportunity to show up for them in person. The final AEW event in this bulk of 3 major shows filmed from the Now Arena in Chicago, Illinois, and the tickets for tonight were on the resale market for $2,000 dollars so I expect this to be the biggest show AEW have ever done and so do the paying public in Chicago. Without further ado, lets get into the action!
Matt Hardy starts us off with Chuck Taylor to begin the match but Matt wants Orange so pushes him into the corner. Cassidy refuses to tag in so in comes Wheeler Yuta but the same thing happens. Orange does tag in this time but Luchasaurus tags himself in immediately so Matt backs off and tags in Jack. Now we get some wrestling as Luchasaurus takes control early on. This one goes back and forth a little bit before it breaks down with multiple men in the ring all the time. These things are to be expected in any 10 man tag match and it's almost impossible to keep track of the legal man. Luckily that's not my job. We get our first near fall when Wheeler Yuta almost gets the 3 count on Angelico before Jack Evans breaks it up. Private Party then hit a Gin and Juice on Yuta before Orange Cassidy breaks it up and then runs wild with his hands in his pockets taking out Angelico and Private Party before Matt Hardy hits him with a twist of fate. We end up with Jack Evans slugging it out with Jungle Boy with both men on their partner's shoulders. Jurassic Express clear house before Jungle boy submits Angelico with the Snare Trap and the crowd get to sing Tarzan boy to start the show. An excellent opener to get us going with the right result.
After the match the winners are celebrating until HFO regroups and attacks and we get the return from injury of The Butcher. He destroys Orange Cassidy before the HFO try to cut his hair. The babyface locker room then empties with anyone who doesn't have a match tonight coming out to stop Orange Cassidy getting a trim before we get a Best Friends hug with everyone in the ring. Good match for what it was.
We're doing the usual thing of running down the card before the Buy In ends when that annoying voice hits the microphone and Dan Lambert is in the crowd (in a private box)flanked by Andrei Arlovski, Junior Dos Santos and Jorge Masvidal as well as the Men of the Year and they call out someone to get their ass kicked tonight. Wonder who that could be?! Apparently it's whoever Dan Lambert sets them on. During the promo, we find out that Scorpio Sky has signed a 5 year contract extension. Excellent news.
.@AmericanTopTeam's #DanLambert is here in a skybox with @junior_cigano, @GamebredFighter, @andreiarlovski & #MenOfTheYear @ScorpioSky & @OfficialEGO and they are putting all of #AEW on notice.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 5, 2021
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Didn't see this one opening the show but it makes sense because I think this match will be great. Eddie comes out in his brand new Redeem Deez Nuts shirt (Buy it for me please) before Miro comes out looking like an absolute monster. Both men square off in the middle of the ring and the crowd is well and truly on Eddie's side. Miro looks to get the Game Over early but Eddie avoids it and Miro bails out the ring. The crowd now start a "Fuck him up Eddie" chant and Kingston obliges, chopping Miro in the corner and then hitting and Exploder. Miro heads to the outside again and this time Eddie follows but Miro gets the upper hand when their on the outside, capped off with a massive powerslam. Miro then runs Eddie's spine into the ringposts before rolling him back in but Eddie kicks out at one.
Miro remains in control though, no matter what offence Eddie manages to muster but Eddie continues to not even give Miro a two count. Miro locks on a chokehold but Eddie fights out of it before he gets hit with a huge kick. Eddie manages to get an Enziguiri out of the corner and despite getting punched when he went for a Tope, manages to hit a Suplex when Miro returns to the ring. We get a brief double down before Miro returns to his feet first and we get a striking contest between the two men which Eddie manages to get the better of. He hits two backdrops for a close two count before Miro has to duck out of the ring to avoid the spinning backfist but Eddie hits an Elbow Tope to stay in control and then hits a Fisherman Suplex for another two count. This match is really building to the crescendo nicely as we get to the 10 minute mark
Miro regains control and manages to hit a big German Suplex before he goes for the Game Over but Eddie gets to the bottom rope. During the Suplex, Eddie ripped off the turnbuckle pad trying to hold on and that comes back to bite him as Eddie hits the DDT out of nowhere and he's got the 3 but the referee is too busy trying to fix the turnbuckle pad and can't get down quick enough. Miro gets to his feet and Eddie goes for a piledriver but can't lift him and ends up trying to push Miro into the uncovered turnbuckle but the referee stands in the way and stops him. Miro hits the low blow and the referee cant see it before pinning Eddie off the running kick. Excellent match to start us off.
Moxley and Kojima start off with a big old striking exchange and Kojima ends up on top after an even battle. He goes for the Lariat early but Mox avoids it to the outside. Kojima follows him outside but that's Moxley's area and he ends up back on top by hitting the ring to hit a Tope Suicida. Moxley stays on top back inside the ropes and begins to work over the hand of his opponent whilst beating him down. Kojima turns the tide and hits a bunch of chops in the corner before he manages to hit the elbow drop for a two count. Mox manages to reverse another Lariat attempt but Kojima gets back on top. Both men end up fighting on the top rope and exchange bites to the forehead before Kojima hits a fantastic superplex.
Moxley is a hard man to keep down though because even after getting dropped on his head twice in a row, he's back on top and locking a submission in when they return to the ring. Kojima gets a two count with a brainbuster but the Mox manages to hit a German Suplex and you genuinely can't tell who's coming out of this one with the victory. Mox gets hit with a Koji Cutter but Kojima has no energy to capitalise on it. Both men get to their feet and we go back to the strike battle we had at the beginning with both men not looking steady at all. Kojima manages to kick out of Mox's rebounding Lariat and gets to the ropes when he is locked in a Bulldog choke from Moxley but he can't get out of two Paradigm Shifts and Moxley gets the win.
After the match, a familiar tune hits and out comes Minoru Suzuki! Murder Grandpa is in AEW. Oh my god! He squares off in the ring with Moxley and takes off his top. He's ready to go from the moment he comes out. The two begin exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring and the crowd are eating it up. Suzuki manages to lock in a choke and then drops Mox with a Piledriver. I never saw that coming!
This one starts really even with no woman able to get more than two moves in before their opponent counters. Britt finally gets control with a Fishermans Neckbreaker from the top rope and she stays on top of Statlander. Every time Kris manages to get any offence in, Britt manages to get control again with a fantastic counter or some nice mat wrestling. This pattern continues throughout the early part of the match. Things seem to turn in the challengers favour as she hits a superplex and then gets to her feet off the doubledown. Britt avoids the Area 451 and tries to put the lockjaw on but Statlander muscles out of it and gives her a fantastic facebuster from the electric chair position.
The match moves outside and Kris misses a moonsault before Britt hits her with the kerb stomp. The referee looks like he's about to count her out until Orange Cassidy screams at her and she gets back into the ring. You read that right. No time to consider what we just saw though. Kris looks to lock on the Spider Crab but Britt fights out and stomps her down in the corner. Britt then teased Adam Cole all over again by hitting a "Pittsburgh Sunrise". Statlander kicks out but Britt hits the Stomp again. Statlander kicks out again but then the Lockjaw finally gets put on and Statlander is done. Britt retains in an excellent match. 3/3 for bangers so far.
Marvez is asked if he caused the travel issues for PAC and it would seem, using my LA Noire detective skills, that is definitely the case. Chavo discusses Lucha Bros joining Andrade followed by Andrade saying he's going to win on Rampage Friday.
.@AndradeElIdolo promises he had nothing to do with @BASTARDPAC's travel issues and is ready for their match on #AEWRampage this Friday on TNT.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 6, 2021
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Lucha Bros get a live performance of their theme music to the ring and I really think tonight might be their big night as their entrance is absolutely spectacular. The Young Bucks make their entrance which is much less spectacular unless you focus solely on Nick Jackson's facial hair. We get Don Callis on commentary and both teams appear to have one man on the outside of the cage. The Bucks immediately try to climb out of the cage but that means nothing in this match and the Lucha Bros immediately take control of this one. Their offence is fast paced and impactful and with Tornado rules, it's all over the place. The crowd are firmly behind the Lucha Brothers here. The Young Bucks manage to regain the control though and now it's their turn to beat down their opponents. Matt Jackson pulls a chain out of nowhere and begins to choke Fenix with it. Fenix manages to turn the tide when Matt lifts him for a powerbomb though and now the momentum has shifted again. Not for long though as we get about 4 insane reversals before Penta hits a Made In Japan for a two count.
I wish I could describe this match move for move but that would end up at about 2,000 words because there's so much going on. The Young Bucks manage to get control and get a close two count with a assisted 360 senton and another with the double team 360 Senton/Dropkick/Piledriver combination. The Lucha Brothers look to get back on top before we get a double low blow from the Jacksons. A two count off the More Bang for Your Buck follows before the Young Bucks begin ripping at the Lucha Brothers masks. Fenix gets lawn darted into the cage wall and then Cutler chucks a bag into the ring from the outside. Matt Jackson pulls out the famous shoe covered in thumb tacks. Matt Jackson looks to hit Fenix but Penta dives in front of it so he eats the tacks instead and Penta is bleeding everywhere. Nick then drives Penta face first into the tacked shoe before superkicking him from behind. They go for the BTE trigger on Penta but Fenix stands up so they dispose of him with a poisonrana before hitting the BTE trigger but Fenix saves the match by breaking up the pin. He then runs absolutely wild before stealing the tacked shoe and attacking both Bucks before he gets a two count with a Black Fire Driver.
This match is breathless. Penta and Matt hit apron package piledrivers on the younger brothers before they go at it in the ring. Penta ends up hitting an Avalanche Canadian Destroyer but can't get to the pin. All four men are down in the ring. All four men end up chopping each other. then superkicking each other in a circle. Eventually Fenix manages to take control and Lucha Bros hit the double team Fear Factor on Nick but Matt breaks it up. That's when we get really crazy. Fenix climbs to the top to try and hit the Fear Factor from there but Nick kicks Penta and climbs up. Fenix stops him and the hits the crossbody from the top before we get a Fear Factor and a 3 count. NEW CHAMPIONS! And Match Of The Year for 2021 for me. Holy shit. I am exhausted.
Clubs is drawn first, We get Hikaru Shida, Skye Blue, Emi Sakura, The Bunny and Abadon to fight start off this one. We get the usual Battle Royale fighting before Abadon removes Skye Blue. But that doesn't last long as Bunny dumps her over the top too as we get reduced to three. We get Diamonds next as Anna Jay, Kiera Hogan, Kilynn King, Diamante & Nyla Rose into the action. Sakura and Shida continue to battle between each other and Shida manages to eliminate her whilst Nyla Rose boots out Kiera Hogan and Kilynn King in quick succesion before Shida becomes her target. Nyla appears to have teamed up with Diamante as they attack the Bunny and Anna Jay but that alliance doesn't last long. It's just these 4 women left as we get Hearts and out comes Thunder Rosa, Penelope Ford, Riho, Jamie Hayter and Big Swole into the match.
Jamie Hayter removes Riho, Big Swole eliminates Diamante before Jamie Hayter dumps her out too. Penelope and Bunny are teaming up on Anna Jay while Thunder Rosa is beating up both Jamie Hayter and Nyla Rose at the same time as the Spades is drawn and Tay Conti comes in, followed by Red Velvet, Leyla Hirsch, Jade Cargill and Rebel. Rebel gets taken out by Red Velvet before Anna Jay eliminates Bunny and Penelope eliminates Anna. Jade literally throws out Leyla Hirsch and now the field is thinning out. Seven women left but the entire crowd know who they want to be the final entrant as we get Ruby Soho shouts and they are not let down as out comes the joker. She looks so happy to be in AEW.
Jade Cargill eliminates Jamie Hayter before she does the same to Red Velvet but Nyla Rose gets the jump on her and Jade gets eliminated. Tay then gets rid of Penelope before Nyla gets her out and the final three are Nyla, Ruby and Thunder Rosa. Nyla takes control of both women in the ring until Thunder Rosa hits her with the low bridge and then dropkicks her from the apron to leave us with Rosa vs. Ruby for a title shot. I have to say, this has been the best Casino Battle Royale to date. Much more organised than any before it. The two women start a striking battle in the middle of the ring and its an even battle. Ruby throws Rosa to the Apron but Rosa drags her out with her. Both women look close to elimination but Ruby wins it with a Gamengiri.
We get an old school Jericho countdown before we get the reveal of Jericho's last match and out comes MJF. Ngl, he got me. But we get a live guitar rendition of Judas from the Fozzy guitarist to play him down to the ring but the crowd are drowned out by it until the chorus. Both men are evenly matched to start this one off but MJF gains control when he reverses a Walls of Jericho attempt. The match leaves the ring, and Jericho now gains control back as we're told there are no rules in this match so no DQ. Jericho then picks up a bollard and chucks it into MJF's face to force that point home. MJF turns the tables though when Chris goes for a baseball dropkick an MJF catches him in the ring apron.
Back in the ring, Max starts to work over the left arm of Jericho. Jericho gets a few flurrys of offence but it always ends up coming back to Chris' arm. Eventually Jericho gets hit with a heatseeker on the apron and he begins to get counted out. She gets to 8 and JEricho hasn't moved. He stirs at 9 and manages to get up before 10. MJF goes out of his comfort zone to hit a moonsault but misses and Jericho then Powerbombs him into the edge of the ring apron. We head back into the ring and get a striking match but Jericho begins to get some damage done to Max's lower back. MJF then stuns Jericho with a Codebreaker from the top rope and gets a close two count but his back is really hurting him. Jericho tries a Walls of Jericho but can't get it again so instead hits a Lionsault. Jericho beats MJF up in the corner but when he goes for the Hurricanrana, he gets countered with a Powerbomb. MJF can't go for the pin though because of his back and when he does get there, it's just a two.
Both men are absolutely spent at this point but out comes Wardlow but Rock Hard Jake Hager intercepts and in the kerfuffle, MJF hits Jericho with his own baseball bat. MJF screams goodbye Jericho and hits the Judas effect for the pin but Jericho gets his foot on the ropes and Paul Turner tells Aubrey to restart the match because he saw the foot hit the rope. The match restarts and Jericho rolls MJF up for a two but then MJF locks on the Salt of the Earth Arm Bar. Jericho holds on and rolls MJF up again before getting him into a Walls of Jericho and MJF has to tap. Jericho saves his career! The Inner Circle come out to celebrate with him and we get a really good feel good moment as victory is snatched from the jaws of defeat.
Oh my god. It's finally here! CM Punk in a wrestling ring. Wrestling. In AEW. This is what dreams are made for. Darby gets one own artistic entrance videos to lead him in as he jumps from a helicopter. CM Punk comes out in tights and gets the heroes welcome everyone expected. Darby Allin remains sat in the corner as is customary but Punk sits cross legged in the ring and stares him down.The bell rings and it's official, CM Punk is a wrestler again. Both men lock up and Punk sends Darby to the canvas with a shoulder tackle to win the first exchange. He gets a welcome back chant as we get a moment to take in just how big this before they lock up again and this time Darby gets the control with a Hammerlock. When Punk escapes we get a fantastic exchange and Punk looks as good as ever as he almost catches Darby with a GTS early. Darby leaves the ring to regain his composure.
CM Punk gets the advantage when he Irish Whips Darby into the corner and he goes between the ropes into the ring post at full pace. When Darby gets back into the ring and Punk begins to punish him, hitting suplex's and putting Darby in uncomfortable submission holds. Darby tries to fight back but Punk hits him with the Kitchen Sink to stop him in his tracks. Punk goes back to keeping Darby grounded with submission/rest holds and CM Punk is dominating the pace and direction of this one until Darby catches him with the Stunner. Darby hits a Coffin Splash of the middle rope and then gets a two count with a Magistral pin. Punk tries for a GTS but Darby finds another roll up pin for a two before he hits Punk with the Red Alert for another two. A lovely sequence of backslides then ends with Punk hitting the GTS but Darby falls out of the ring and could the chance to win have eluded CM Punk?
Punk punishes Darby when he gets back into the ring an then calls for the GTS. He picks Darby up but he's deadweight. When punk hoists him up though, Darby fights up with elbows and then hits his Tope which is the best in wrestling. Darby climbs to the top rope and hits a 360 Senton onto Punk on the outside before looking for the Coffin drop but Punk sits up and laughs as Darby misses. Darby rolls Punk up and nearly gets him before Punk goes for another GTS and Darby escapes into his Last Supper pin. Punk escapes at 2.9 before hitting a leg lariat before the GTS puts away Darby Allin for 3 and CM Punk breaks down in the ring with emotion.
If you were wondering, yes, CM Punk can still go. Sting comes out after Punk has celebrated for a while and he shakes Punks hand. Both men then go to check on Darby and he pulls himself up. We then get a handshake between Punk and Darby and I hope this means an alliance.
The Factory back up QT had brought to ringside tries to attack before the bell but that fails and the bell rings. Wight hits a headbutt and then chops QT multiple times in the corner. QT does manage to get Paul Wight down with some well placed dropkicks but Wight kicks out so hard that QT gets dumped to the outside. Paul Wight fights off Comoroto and Solo and Chokeslams QT for the win. This match was everything it had to be. A nice way to calm down between the main events. I'm ready for this title match now.
He tells Dustin he wants to him to be mad so he can take advantage of that anger on Wednesday and then reminds him how bad he beat up Cody in graphic detail and tells him it's time to pay the boatmans toll.
Kenny goes for a V Trigger straight away but Christian avoids and almost gets the killswitch as this one starts hot. Kenny hits a Hurricanrana on Christian before we head to the outside as Christian hits a dive off the top rope. Kenny throws Christian into the ring steps and takes over. Callis distracts the ref as Kenny pulls out a table over Christian before hitting a double foot stomp onto it, breaking it over Cage's prone body. Omega and Callis then put a table up and Omega tries to put Christian through it but Christian reverses the suplex and returns it to the ring but Omega takes control again soon after.
Kenny gets Christian to the top turnbuckle and after a little back and forth, Omega pushes him to the outside. Kenny almost botches a moonsault from the barricade but then hits a twisting one instead to show off. AEW have so many wrestlers who can lay claim to the Best in the World moniker and Kenny is most certainly one of those. Kenny returns Christian to the ring and has control for a whie until Christian gets advantage in the corner and hits Omega with multiple strikes. Cage hits a reverse DDT for a close two count and you really can't take your eyes off this one as you feel it building. Christian gets another two count with the swinging DDT but after that Omega takes control and hits a big V trigger followed by a Snapdragon suplex. Then he does it again and Kenny is punishing the neck of his opponent. A third is followed by a second V trigger and Christian holds on to the bottom rope to keep himself from being pinned. Both men head to the apron and Omega tries to suplex Christian through the table but Christian escapes multiple times before he spears Kenny through the table.
Both men return to the ring at 8 and Cage explodes with a spear to Omega's back and one to his front but can only keep Kenny down for two. Both men are physically damaged here and this fight has been exactly that. Kenny hits a ripcord V Trigger and goes for Tiger Driver 98 but Christian gets out of it and locks in the Texas Clover Leaf. Callis calls out the Good Brothers but they're foiled by Christian and then an errant Omega V Trigger and both men tease finishers before Christian does hit the Killswitch but only gets a two. Christian hoists Omega to the top rope for an Avalanche Killswitch but Omega gauges the eyes for the Avalanche One Winged Angel instead to retain his title! Excellent match and I think Christian could definitely claim himself to be in the Best in the world conversation.
The Bucks head out to celebrate with the rest of The Elite. But celebrating isn't all they want to do as they begin to beat up Christian. Out comes Jurassic Express but they're disposed of easily and now Omega picks up the microphone and tells the crowd he's the best in the world and there's nobody left in this company to face him. Then the lights go out and Cole makes his AEW debut! He walks down to the ring and the crowd give him the Adam Cole Bay Bay chant but he superkicks Jungle Boy and joins the Elite. We then get the Bucks kissing Adam's cheek. Adam then gets on the mic and says the Elite is the most dominant faction and ain't no chance in hell of anyone stopping them. Kenny Omega goes to sign off when we hear a familiar Flight of The Valkyries intro.
Then out walks Bryan Fucking Danielson and I'm basically on the floor at this point. He enters the ring and stands with Jurassic Express and Christian opposite Adam Cole, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. The faces clear the ring and Bryan Danielson hits the running knee on Nick Jackson to send the crowd crazy with Yes Chants. Holy shit. What a night.
This might be recency bias but I think I just saw the best PPV I've ever seen in my entire life. Oh my god. I need to lay down. See you tomorrow for Dark. Follow me @0r4n93_C4551dy. AEW has just changed the game.