"Flight of the Valkyries" opened the show.
Bryan Danielson addresses Forbidden Door and Blood & Guts
This was a really strong promo overall, but I would've preferred they dropped the heel stuff at the end (Sabre's already a heel) and just hyped the show with an announcement.
Schiavone in the ring welcomed Danielson, and Danielson said he'd take the mic and not give it back. Danielson said this week is a great week to be an AEW fan, and by extension, a professional wrestling fan. He promised we'd see some excellent professional wrestling on Sunday, and a bloody spectacle in a week.
Danielson would have loved to be part of it. Chris Jericho even paid for Zack Sabre Jr. to challenge him, and Danielson wanted to prove that he was the best technical wrestler in the world. He's got some good news and bad news.
The bad news is that because of Jericho and crew's attack at Anarchy in the Arena, Danielson is not cleared to compete at Forbidden Door or Blood & Guts. However, Danielson can't wait to come back, because there's nobody in this ring who can wrestle like he can.
The good news is that Danielson has found the one person he trusts to take his place at Forbidden Door and Blood & Guts, but he's not going to tell us, and he's not going to tell Zack Sabre Jr. either.
Sabre's music played and he showed up on the ramp before jawing with Danielson.
Jon Moxley was backstage. He said the Jericho Appreciation Society would be locked in with dogs next week at Blood & Guts. In the meantime, he has to take on (and team with) Hiroshi Tanahashi, the greatest wrestler who ever lived. Tonight, it's just business, but on Sunday, it's personal, because when that bell rings, Moxley has no respect for anyone.
Orange Cassidy & Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero) defeated Will Ospreay & Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
Fletcher and Rocky started off, then Davis and Trent tagged in. Orange entered the match and did his hands-in-pockets schtick. His team dispatched the United Empire and went for dives, but the Empire recovered to take control out on the outside with simultaneous apron attacks.
After a commercial, Trent fought off both of Aussie Open to reach Orange for a tag. Orange "landed" his weak kicks, then hit a double hurricanrana before dispatching Aussie Open with an escalera and a tornado DDT. Orange and Roppongi Vice all took out the United Empire with dives.
A lazy elbow drop from Orange got two on Ospreay. Ospreay avoided the Orange Punch and reversed a DDT into his backflip enziguiri. Orange flipped around into a stunner. Davis and Rocky tagged in, with the big man downing Rocky with a big chop. Aussie Open hit a combination spinebuster for two.
We got a parade of big moves concluded with the Roppongi Vice double knees. Trent wanted Strong Zero, but Ospreay cut it off and Davis hit the lifting piledriver for a good near fall before Orange broke up the pin. Orange avoided Ospreay's Sasuke Special and Ospreay took a dive from Rocky.
Trent fought off both of Aussie Open once again and reached Orange for the tag. Orange connected with the Orange Punch on Davis for the win.
– After the match, IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan came out. United Empire outnumbered Orange's team, but then FTR came out to even the odds with no brawl.
Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, & Satnam Singh were backstage. Dutt was extremely excited, and said it was time to celebrate. Lethal was excited to be ROH TV champion, but Samoa Joe won't come back to work. Lethal demanded that Joe either fight or vacate.
Christian Cage speaks
This was one of the best AEW promos all year and probably the defining Christian moment since coming to the company -- and that includes his pay-per-view main event. Christian is completely re-invigorated as a heel.
Schiavone asked Christian to explain himself after attacking Jungle Boy last week. He was met with a chorus of boos and demanded that Milwaukee shut their mouths. Christian brought up that Jungle Boy eliminated him from the Casino Battle Royale last year, and that the crowd cheered when it happened. He thinks he deserves better -- not to mention that Jungle Boy cost him a bonus and a world title shot.
There was an extremely loud "shut the f**k up!" chant. He made fun of people tweeting like they know anything about the wrestling business. Christian said he saw potential in Jungle Boy and decided he'd hitch his wagon to him to just cash a check. Christian isn't here to elevate young talent, and he has advice for people like that: "Have a match that people actually remember."
Christian addressed Jungle Boy and said the one time he didn't give him pre-match advice, he lost the tag titles. Schiavone played footage of what Christian said to Jungle Boy's family: "You raised a piece of sh*t." Christian explained that he was giving Jungle Boy's mom a chance to apologize for giving birth to Jungle Boy. He thinks she was a little sweet on Christian.
"Jungle Boy: You may want a father figure, but your father's dead." Christian told Jungle Boy to enjoy his early retirement at 25. "Tarzan Boy" interrupted and Luchasaurus came out alone. He choked Christian, but Christian demanded that they talk. "Remember what happened to Marko? You're like a son to me." Luchasaurus relented, and Christian went in for a hug.
The Young Bucks and Kyle O'Reilly were backstage. The Bucks said things were right in the world now that they're champions again. Matt said they'd be on Forbidden Door. O'Reilly, however, is peeved at Sting's actions. Hikuleo and El Phantasmo will team with the Bucks against Sting and his cronies at Forbidden Door.
AEW All-Atlantic Championship qualifier: Malakai Black defeated Penta Oscuro (w/ Alex Abrahantes)
They went right at each other right away, with Penta landing a thrust kick. He countered a Black dive and soared over the top with a tope con giro. Back inside, Penta hit a backstabber for two but he appeared to hurt his back on the dive. He followed it up with a sling blade. Black baited Penta to the floor and tripped him up on the apron, allowing him to take control.
Once back, they jockeyed for position on the apron. Penta wanted the Penta Driver, but Black fought out. Penta avoided a heel kick and hit an enzuguiri followed by a rolling cutter for two. Another rapid fire exchange ended with an Orihara moonsault from Black followed by a top-rope double stomp for two.
Black climbed the ropes, but Penta cut him off with a kick and hit an avalanche Fear Factor. He took a long time to make the cover, however, allowng Black to get his foot on the ropes. Penta tried to follow it up, but his back gave out, allowing Black to hit the heel kick for the win.
– After the match, PAC came out to face off with Black. A Miro video promo interrupted, saying he'd send everyone to meet their maker. The match will be PAC vs. Miro vs. Malakai Black vs. Tomohiro Ishii.
A Wardlow video promo aired. He wants the TNT Championship, and said when Scorpio Sky was healed and ready, he'd welcome him into Wardlow's world.
Adam Cole joined commentary.
Hangman Page defeated Silas Young
They performed a chain wrestling sequence to start. Page hit the first strike with a couple hard chops, then Young returned fire. Page sent Young to the floor and landed an Orihara moonsault before the break. During commercial, Young briefly took control, but once back, Page started a comeback by hitting a superplex.
Page hit the fallaway slam and kipped up. A lariat sent Young to the floor, where Page landed a plancha. Back inside, Page hit a diving clothesline for two. Young returned fire with a backbreaker into a lariat for two. He followed it up with his corner moonsault, but Page avoided it and hit a German before nailing the Buckshot Lariat for the win.
– Cole cut off Page's music right after the match and called for "story time with Adam Cole," but IWGP World Heavyweight Champion "Switchblade" Jay White's music interrupted. Switchblade said he's been giving Forbidden Door a lot of thought. He said Cole couldn't be the challenger at Forbidden Door, because he lost to Page twice.
Switchblade faced off with Page in the ring and said it wouldn't be him either. They brawled, and Cole got involved. Page got in position for the Buckshot, but Cole low blowed him and the two Bullet Club members beat Page down. Cole grabbed the title and teased smashing Switchblade with it, but instead set up Page for it.
Then the coin dropped, and Kazuchika Okada emerged. Okada fought off Switchblade and Cole, allowing him and Page to stand tall. He was about to hit the Rainmaker on Switchblade, but the champ avoided it. Okada's music played to end the segment.
Jade Cargill, Stokeley Hathaway, and Kiera Hogan were backstage. Hogan said Red Velvet was out of action. Stoke said they were looking for a new Baddie, and Jade said they had to be a "top-notch bitch."
After a commercial, Kris Statlander and Athena pretended to be excited about the opportunity to be a Baddie. They then said nobody could get in their way.
William Regal joined commentary.
Jon Moxley & Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Chris Jericho & Lance Archer (w/ Sammy Guevara & Tay Conti)
Super fun, star-studded main event.
Tanahashi and Moxley attacked before the bell. Moxley and Jericho brawled on the floor as Tanahashi and Archer faced off in the ring. Archer hit a full nelson bomb and tagged in Jericho. Tanahashi regained control and tagged in Moxley, who laid in elbows and bit at Jericho's face.
They brawled outside, but upon re-entry, Guevara tripped up Moxley, allowing Jericho and Archer to take him out. Jericho sent Moxley flying with a Pounce as they beat him down through a commercial break.
Once back, Moxley got the knees up on a Jericho Lionsault attempt and reached Tanahashi for the hot tag. Tanahashi took down both opponents with running elbows, then the springing crossbody allowed for some air guitar. Tanahashi kept up the attack with a flipping senton for two.
Jericho briefly got the upper hand and went for the Walls, but Tanahashi fought out. Jericho was able to hit a Codebreaker, but Moxley broke up the pin and then took out Archer with a tope suicida. Tanahashi avoided the Judas Effect and hit a Codebreaker of his own before hitting a standing High Fly Flow. Jericho rolled through and locked on the Walls, forcing Tanahashi to escape.
A parade of big moves was concluded with a sling blade from Tanahashi. Moxley and Archer tagged in. They traded big-time strikes until Moxley fought out of a Blackout attempt and hit a snap Paradigm Shift. Tanahashi tagged in and hit the High Fly Flow for the win.
– After the match, Eddie Kingston and Wheeler YUTA ran out and brawled with Jericho and Guevara. Minoru Suzuki emerged and beat down YUTA, but then Shota Umino ran out to get involved. Officials ran out to get some order as the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society entered the fray. Santana and Ortiz were the last ones out for this massive all-out brawl.
The whole time, Moxley and Tanahashi just stared each other down in the ring, focused and ignoring the brawl.
Final Thoughts: Thumbs Up