DARBY ALLIN (w/Sting) vs. BILLY GUNN (w/Gunn Club)- 5/10
Billy Gunn’s record is 43-6! And yet he is never even talked about on TV, never mind getting to wrestle on it. Excalibur said that this is “one of the best records in AEW.” If these records mean anything, then how the hell is a guy with such a great record never on TV, when someone like Cody or Jericho, who almost certainly have fewer wins and more losses, are all over the TV?
Jericho and Ricky Starks continue to be annoying on commentary (particularly Jericho). I don’t understand why we have to ruin the perfectly good Taz & Excalibur team with other, much worse commentators.
This was a fine use of Billy Gunn. I really wish they hadn’t had Billy kick out of that first Coffin Drop at zero (or at all), as it hurt the match for Darby to just get up (not selling his injured ribs which had been the story of the match) and go do another one right away.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine
Austin and Colten attacked Darby after the match. Sting took them out, but Billy took out his knee from behind and beat him down until Darby made the save.
TONY SCHIAVONE INTERVIEWS Q.T. MARSHALL- very good, but…
He called out CM Punk. That’s not me making a joke. He actually did that. Q.T. did a good job cutting a promo in which he pushed every single button Punk has to try to get Punk to accept this match, to the point where I would have no problem believing Punk would gladly accept the challenge to a match on Dynamite in Chicago next week… except it feels so transparent that this is happening as a set-up for MJF and pals to do something to Punk after the match that it makes the show feel a little too orchestrated. Honestly, I think the problem was doing this right after they the recap of the Punk/MJF segment. The proximity of the two (especially when AEW didn’t know what Q.T. was going to say) makes the booker’s hand feel a little too visible. I’d actually like it if they wound up revealing that MJF paid Q.T. to make this challenge to act as a set-up for whatever terrible thing MJF and pals will do to him.
INNER CIRCLE/JERICHO VIDEO PACKAGE/PROMO- decent
MEN OF THE YEAR PROMO- bad
They insist that the feud between them and the Inner Circle isn’t over, and that we haven’t seen the last of American Top Team. Drat. Lambert I love, but I’d be more than fine never seeing any of the others again.
TBS TITLE TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Red Velvet vs. Jade Cargill (w/Mark Sterling)- 4.5/10
There was an unfortunate botch where they mistimed their “counter the tope suicida with a punch” spot when Red Velvet laid herself out across the middle rope too early, so it looked like she just forgot to jump and ran into the rope like an idiot, and Jade punched her after. That had me rolling.
That roll-up they did out of Jade’s finisher also didn’t look so good, as I just didn’t believe that there was anywhere near enough pressure on Jade’s shoulders to stop her from getting up. Other than those two spots, this was a perfectly fine match. Jade dominated most of it, and won clean, showing herself to be both stronger and faster than Red Velvet at almost every turn.
THUNDER ROSA PROMO-fine
She wrestles Jamie Hayter on Wednesday in the TBS Title Tournament, and she doesn’t like Jamie very much.
TONY SCHIAVONE INTERVIEWS CM PUNK- good
He accepts Q.T. Marshall’s challenge… and uses Thanksgiving as a theme in the promo without making me hate him. A rare feat indeed.
MARK HENRY INTERVIEWS THE WRESTLERS IN THE MAIN EVENT (AND THEIR FRIENDS)- mostly great
Matt Jackson’s over the top BS brought down an otherwise great Adam Cole promo. Jungle Boy was good, other than his attempted shot at WWE (“the very first Bobby Fish match I saw, I won), which was also an unintentional at other promotions including ROH, PWG, NOAH, and most importantly, their international partner, NJPW. Oops. Christian was great.
I was quite entertained by the idea that Mark Henry and Christian can foresee possible interference in this match, but I guess Tony Khan is too stupid to do so, or else he would have barred people from ringside like he has in other matches where he thought there might be interference.
ADAM COLE & BOBBY FISH vs. JURASSIC EXPRESS- 7.5/10
There was some really great action here until the Bucks came out to tease interference. Christian came out with his chair to stop them. Fish wound up alone in the ring with Jungle Boy as Cole was on the ramp with the Bucks. Jungle Boy locked in the Snare Trap and Fish eventually tapped. Cole made no effort to come back and try to break the submission up. I really hated Cole abandoning Fish. It’s such a cliché thing to do, and not in a good way, and doubly so when you’ve spent so much time establishing that Cole and Fish are good friends.
This was a decent episode of Rampage.
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