Good day, readers! Prince Osborne here coming back to the blog with a new addition to my series “The Day After” where this historic entry coming from All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling joining forces altogether for a miraculous pay-per-view.
The Buy In:
Tag Team Match: Bishamon (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. The Factory (QT Marshall & Aaron Solow)
Bishamon def. The Factory (Hirooki Goto def. Aaron Solow by pinfall) at 8:54
A pretty good start to the show. This match had the pacing right and the offense felt ample considering QT’s team dominating NJPW Strong for a while. Goto & HASHI are a great duo, and they were welcomed so well here while QT enacts the egotistical heel very well alongside a nice talent in Solow.
Singles Match: Lance Archer vs. Nick Comoroto
Lance Archer def. Nick Comoroto by pinfall at 6:08
This was a fine powerhouse collision and gave a nice preview of Lance Archer’s much awaited NJPW return as a part of the G1 Climax. This match perfectly filled the foil of a filler contest. Comoroto did a decent work here bringing some level of intensity.
Tag Team Match: Swerve In Our Glory (Shane Strickland & Keith Lee) vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
Swerve In Our Glory def. Suzuki-gun (Keith Lee def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru by pinfall) at 12:06
This was a great fiery contest between four highly talented wrestlers. The chemistry was great while the rift between Swerve & Lee is now deflating after their undeniable synergy, and I hope it stays the same. Desperado & Kanemaru are a great dynamic duo that have great wrestling background, and this was a very good showcase for them. The long overdue showdown between Swerve in Our Glory & Team Taz is happening sooner and I hope it wraps things up for both sides on a positive note.
Eight Man Tag Team Match: LA Dojo (Alex Coughlin, Yuya Uemura, Kevin Knight & The DKC) vs. Acclaimed Gunn Club (Max Caster, Billy Gunn, Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn) w/Anthony Bowens
Acclaimed Gunn Club def. LA Dojo (Max Caster def. The DKC by pinfall) at 5:35
This was a pointless waste of time for LA Dojo who are extremely talented. Either the opponents should’ve been formidable to showcase more of those men or this match shouldn’t have happened firstly. Caster & Gunn Club are fun but half of them being left but becoming the winners however is a lame booking decision and makes The Dojo look like schmucks.
The Main Show:
Trios Match | Blood & Guts Advantage: Shota Umino, Eddie Kingston & Wheeler Yuta vs. Minoru Suzuki & The Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara) w/Tay Conti
Team Jericho def. Team Kingston (Chris Jericho def. Shota Umino by pinfall) at 18:59
A fantastic opener between these teams. All six had a great time to showcase their best with Umino & Yuta bringing their A-games while the other four were prominent as usual. Kingston is receiving huge response day after day and his interaction with Suzuki was stellar. Umino had a great first outing in the bigger stage of US while Jericho winning the match gave them the B&G advantage which is a herring for them to lose probably.
Three Way Tag Team Match | IWGP & ROH World Tag Team Championships: United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) (C) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) (C) vs. Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero)
FTR def. Roppongi Vice & United Empire (Dax Harwood def. Rocky Romero by pinfall) at 16:20
A great three-way tag that cemented FTR’s place even deeper as one of the best tag teams ever to step in and wrestle. The other two were great too but FTR’s wrestling ability and Dax’s untimely exit & return to the scene added more value to their win here. Their dream of winning the IWGP Tag Titles has come true, and an all-time classic run is upon us.
Four Way Match | AEW All-Atlantic Championship: PAC vs. Malakai Black vs. Clark Connors vs. Miro
PAC def. Clark Connors by submission at 15:05
Such a stellar collision for the inaugural second secondary championship. Connors came in as the last-minute replacement but stole the show certainly by giving his breakout performance in the big league in his first ever attempt. Miro ruthlessly dominated the first half while PAC & Black showed their aggression at prominent times and told their own story that’s left in the shadows. PAC stealing the right moment and becoming the inaugural champion is a fantastic move for a wrestler who was on the upper echelon since day one and his coronation as a champion right here is truly incredible.
Trios Match: Dudes with Attitudes (Sting, Darby Allin & Shingo Takagi) vs. Bullet Club (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson & El Phantasmo) w/Hikuleo
Dudes with Attitudes def. Bullet Club (Shingo Takagi def. El Phantasmo by pinfall) at 13:01
This was a fun cooldown match that could’ve gone either way, but it went down as a very good outing for all six men. Bucks enjoyed their time reuniting with Bullet Club’s counterpart in El Phantasmo while Sting ruled the scene again with his unprecedented wildness and Shingo embraced the great work he does always. Sting & his team winning left a smile on the fans’ faces which is the purpose of this all-star bonkers of a brawl.
Singles Match | AEW Women’s World Championship: Thunder Rosa (C) vs. Toni Storm
Thunder Rosa def. Toni Storm by pinfall at 10:41
This was a very good physical battle irrespective of the underwhelming crowd reaction. Both delivered stiff exchanges and great looking technical moves outpowering each other on many occasions. The finish was out of nowhere but felt a bit anti climatic. Rosa’s reign has been very good, but it still needs that game changer of a match to reach the great level. However, from what was seen, a technically sound battle between two talented women.
Singles Match | IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (C) w/Aussie Open vs. Orange Cassidy
Will Ospreay def. Orange Cassidy by pinfall at 16:43
This was a spectacular match that was the best work of Cassidy in years. Ospreay elevated his status to another level among the US audience through this match as both men were tremendous in terms of action as well as the storytelling with a nice breeze of comical elements. Ospreay usually becomes inevitable during these high-stake matches, but Cassidy was explosive here which wasn’t seen ever since I started to watch him. Shibata appearing post-match drove me crazy like anything and him vs. Ospreay sounds excellent on paper and hope it bangs as expected.
Singles Match: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Claudio Castagnoli def. Zack Sabre Jr. by pinfall at 18:27
Stupendous chess game between two of the most calculative beasts of technicality in wrestling. Sabre’s manipulative massacre type of wrestling meshed extraordinarily with Claudio’s undeniable strength prowess all the time. Both had a fair share of exchanges that eventually made both as their best equivalents till date. It feels ecstatic to see Claudio in a place where he can easily thrive as a great asset of technical wresting and probably weasel his way to the promotion that put him on the upper radar of the map – Ring of Honor. This dynamite of a debut might be the ultimate trigger pull he wanted for years and prove the doubters wrong on becoming a mainstream sensation.
Four Way Match | IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Jay White (C) vs. Kazuchika Okada vs. “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Adam Cole
Jay White def. Adam Cole by pinfall at 21:00
The combatants didn’t even lay a finger on each other when the bell rang, and the fans chanted, “Holy Shit” indeed! That shows the electricity of the environment for this match. Irrespective of the on-off build to the place, all four men are equally talented to give a certified MOTN on any large-scale show. Okada being under these circumstances is a rare sight, but he excelled here as the MVP of the bout. Hangman almost pulled off the upsetting win with his aggressive performance while Cole & White were great as an alliance and better as rivals. White wasn’t seen much here which is the dynamic that multi-man matches offer. The ending might’ve been unplanned, but it doesn’t take anything away from the top-tier display of action these men orchestrated.
Singles Match | Interim AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Jon Moxley def. Hiroshi Tanahashi by pinfall at 18:16
Both waited for three long years, and they finally met on a huge ambiance with the stakes being so high. The ultimate endgame is a great seat-gripping contest as expected but the spill of blood by Moxley is something I never expected here. Unfortunately, it hurt this match’s morale in my view. That wasn’t really necessary here as him without that shedding & wrestling even more grittier and cleaner would’ve helped a lot. Tana was fantastic here as he brought the usual intensity that he tends to bring in all of his championship matches. Moxley’s win made more sense as he was overdue for a title run similar to the exceptional “carrying on his back” pandemic run in front of an alive fan base.
Overall Match Rating: 3.75/5
Overall Show Rating: 9/10
Match of the Night:
This was a grand success for both companies as the quality of matches ranged from very good to excellent irrespective of the dark cloud surrounding them, that is, injuries and lack of huge draws. Even the buy in had a nice set of bouts that amped the sold-out Chicago mates for the extravaganza. I do hope that this is an annual event where more of the dream matches & environments are created and witnessed. Until then, let us soak in the success of this blockbuster pay-per-view.
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