All Elite Wrestling (AEW) held its first PPV of 2023. It was a great show. It was filled with fun matches and lots of blood. Headlined by two matches. Jon Moxley vs Adam “Hangman” Page in a Texas Deathmatch and the 60-minute Ironmatch for the AEW World Championship as Maxwell Jacob Friedman takes on Bryan Danielson.
Chris Jericho vs Ricky Starks
In what is likely the final match of this feud, Ricky Starks picked up the victory over Chris Jericho. Jericho employed numerous tactics to take out Ricky Starks. First was Sammy Guevara. However, before Sammy could make it to the ring, Action Andretti attacked him from the front. (How he did not see him, I will never know.) Jericho used a baseball bat, making contact with Starks to set up for Judas Effect before Starks blocked the spinning elbow strike. Starks then hit his finisher Roshambo, pinning Jericho. Overall it was a decent match to open the show. It is hopefully the final match of the feud because it has been stale for a while. Jericho feuds just do not do it for me. They all seem to overstay their welcome. Jericho’s feuds have so much overbooking when it comes to the matches that this was a nice change of pace from most Jericho matches.
Jungle Boy Jack Perry vs Christian Cage
The first of the multiple brutal matches of the night. Saw the son of Luke Perry, Jungle Boy Jack Perry versus Christian Cage. The blow-off to a feud from what feels like a year ago at this point, after Cage was sidelined with a torn tricep for almost 9 months. In what was promoted as a no holds barred match before transforming into a “Final Burial” meaning the wrestler has to place the other in a coffin to win the match. This match was the start of the brutality that would be on display tonight. Perry took a nasty bump, landing on the edge of the ringside stairs, back first. Followed up by belt lashes against the damaged back of Perry. Before the brawl made its way up to the coffin. Perry begins his comeback topped off with a “Perc Angle” dive before Cage is able to regain control with a kick to the groin. The two continue to battle, both attempting to choke the other with a shovel. Perry came out on top before smashing a chair against Cage’s head (the seat of the chair hitting Cage in the back of the head had to hurt so much.) Before Perry dragged Christian’s body to the coffin to win the match. Overall, great match, not a second match of the night kind of match, but knowing what is coming up, it made sense. I do like that Perry’s sister and mother are always in the crowd for his matches, but please stop cutting to them cameraman, I do not need to see them every time.
AEW World Trios Championship Match
The Elite (c) vs the House of Black.
Kenny Omega (Elite) opened the match against Buddy Matthews(HoB), displaying some chain wrestling before turning into a brawl. Brody King (HoB) tries choking out Nick Jackson(Elite) before receiving a superkick from Matt Jackson(Elite). The manager Julia Hart (HoB) gets involved, tripping Matt Jackson, jumping up on the apron, and trying to help Malakai Black (HoB), but received a running knee strike instead. Omega proceed to shrug his shoulders after hitting Hart (which got a laugh from me.) The House of Black surrounded Omega before the Jackson brothers save Omega, leaving Malakai alone in the ring. The Jacksons attempt their “Meltzer Driver” before Mathews intercepts Nick Jackson with a brutal knee strike, thus leaving Matt Jackson the only member left standing, before taking Dante’s Inferno to end the match, crowning the House of Black as the new Trios Champions. Overall, great match. Fast-paced action that causes time to fly by while watching. Nice to see the House of Black back on track after Malakai Black’s break from wrestling.
AEW Women’s World Championship
Jamie Hayter (c) vs Saraya vs Ruby Soho
Numerous cool moments, such as Saraya power bombing Hayter when Hayter was trying to superplex Soho creating an avalanche powerbomb superplex. The best moment of the match was Hayter trying to hit a ripcord lariat/clothesline on Soho, but Soho dodged, resulting in a leveling of Saraya from the lariat. The match ends with a crucifix pin from Hayter onto Soho. Overall the match was fine. Soho is left in shock after the defeat. However, the fallout of the match is where the worst part starts. Saraya and her ally Toni Storm begin a beat down on Hayter and her associate Britt Baker. Soho tosses Saraya and Storm out of the ring before swerving Hayter and Baker and aligning with Saraya and Storm, forming a group of outsiders. This is awful. A story that is a rehash of cringe from old TNA, which was terrible back then. I love Toni Storm, Jamie Hayter, Ruby Soho, and Britt Baker. All have top-of-division potential wasted on a terrible storyline.
Jon Moxley vs Adam “Hangman” Page
I love deathmatches, and this one did not disappoint. It starts with hard-hitting action before devolving into who can stab who the most. Moxley introduces the barbed wire, but Hangman is the first to attack with it, raking it over the head of Moxley, and cutting him open. A stumble from Hangman causes Moxley to take control back before introducing a sharpened fork. Moxley repeatedly stabbed Page, causing blood to spray everywhere, covering both men and the canvas below. Next, was a chair wrapped in barbed wire, which saw Hangman thrown into it head first, leaving a print of blood and a chunk of his blood-soaked hair. The usage of barbed wire was the king of the match, rakes with the barbed wire across the face and back, barbed wire wrapped boards which Moxley and Hangman both fell onto, sinking the weight of their bodies into the sharp wire. The match ends with Hangman hitting his signature springboard lariat, pushing Moxley to the ropes before Hangman hangs him with a chain forcing Moxley to tap. This match was awesome. Not for the faint of heart, but for people who want violence and blood, this was phenomenal.
Samoa Joe (c) vs Wardlow
This match is a skip for me. It was not two big meaty men slapping meat. It was a match designed to give a break to the audience. Wardlow looks too bland and did not look very strong compared to his usual matches. Wardlow won by submission of Samoa Joe.
AEW Tag Team Championships
Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Match
This match would be anarchy to try and describe. Overall it was a fun match. The Gunn Club ultimately came out on top. The only negative for it was the ending which caused the building to deflate. So silent you could hear a pin drop in the arena. It was then saved by the return of FTR. FTR has been off television for a while with rumors that they are leaving and heading to WWE after their contract expires.
AEW World Championship
60-minute Ironman Match
MJF(c) vs Bryan Danielson
The match starts slow as they have another 55 minutes to go. MJF leaves the ring, paces around the ringside, throwing water in a kid’s face (the biggest laugh of the night.) Danielson is focusing on MJF’s leg, while MJF is focusing on Danielson’s arm. The first pinfall is scored by Danielson around 25 minutes into the match after a running knee. 1-0 Danielson. MJF responded with a low blow on Danielson, resulting in a disqualification. 2-0 Danielson. MJF then scored two pinfalls off of Danielson after the low blow. 2-2 Tie. The next big moment comes from MJF as he jumps from the top rope to the outside, putting Danielson through the ring announcer’s table. MJF left Danielson out looking for a count-out point. However, Bryan made it into the ring before the 10 count could be completed. MJF responded with a tombstone piledriver on the rubble of the table, and a piledriver in the ring for his third fall. 3-2 MJF. Danielson begins to battle back in the last 15 minutes of the match. Danielson hits a flying headbutt, which busts MJF wide open with blood gushing down his face. Danielson locks in the regal stretch causing MJF to tap with 10 minutes left. 3-3 Tie. The two exchange holds until the 5-minute mark when a second wind hits both wrestlers. MJF hits another piledriver then a super tombstone piledriver off of the top rope. Danielson locks in a single leg lock before MJF taps as the timer hits 0. The match is ruled a draw. MJF retains. However, the match is ordered to continue and is now sudden death. MJF tries to cheat, using the belt and a thick diamond ring but fails as Danielson locks him in a single leg lock submission. MJF makes it to the rope, breaking the hold, and starts tapping causing Danielson to believe he won, letting MJF go. MJF grabs an oxygen tank from underneath the ring and dings Danielson in the head. MJF locks in Danielson’s LeBell lock to submit Danielson for the final fall. This match was the best of the night. It was 65 minutes long, but it felt like 15 minutes. A perfect way to cap off a night of good matches.