Venue: Petersen Events Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Private Party vs. The Lucha Brothers
Opening Bell: 8:01:26
Final Bell: 8:13:57
Match Time: 12 Minutes, 31 Seconds
Result: Pentagon pinned Marc Quen following a Package Piledriver/Stomp
Marc Quen and Rey Fenix begin the match by showing off their athleticism and speed. Dueling chants for both teams grow louder before Fenix’s chop on Quen gets them wooing instead. Quen gets a few “Oh!’ reactions from the crowd on a flip to the outside onto Fenix, before heading back inside the squared circle to hit a 450 Splash from the top rope onto Pentagon.
The Brothers get their revenge, though, as Fenix hits a stomp off the top rope onto Quen’s back and Pentagon flies in for a stomp onto Quen’s private party area.
After getting beaten on for a bit, Quen manages to cartwheel his way out of trouble and into a blind tag by Isiah Kassidy. Private Party manages to turn things back into their favor with some innovative tandem maneuvers. Quen takes off his vest to show he’s ready to take things up a notch then heads to the top rope to hit a Shooting Star Press.
Fenix displays some innovative offense of his own hitting the members of the party with a leg drop/slam combo. Fenix shows his cat-like prowess, running across the top rope to nail Quen with a knee. Eventually, he heads to the top rope to hit a combination Stomp/Package Pile Driver on Quen, who is then pinned by Pentagon.
“Is there anybody hotter than Rey Fenix in pro wrestling?” – Jim Ross
This match felt like it should have been the finals of the tag team tournament, instead of the semis. It’s going to be hard for the winners of SCU/Dark Order to match what Private Party was able to bring to the table from an athletic and excitement standpoint. This was a great engaging opener full of action and spots that brought the fans to their feet.
A video package for
Dymatize Wardlow. It is revealed via hashtag that he is coming.
SCU VS. Dark Order
Opening Bell: 8:20:39
Final Bell: 8:34:44
Match Time: 14 Minutes, 5 Seconds
Result: Sky pinned Grayson following a knee by Kazarian
Stu Grayson and Frankie Kazarian start things off. A trio of arm drags by Kazarian early frustrates Grayson. Evil Uno enters the ring to calm him down and to get a cheap sucker punch on an unassuming Kazarian. Uno then tags in to further the assault, hitting a Flying Knee and some chops before tagging out to Grayson. Sky and Scorpio trade in and out a few times before Uno hits the highest impact move of the match, running Sky into the steel steps on the outside. Midway through, The Inner Circle led by AEW Champion Chris Jericho enters, which captures the crowd’s attention. A flurry by Kazarian ends in a double pin attempt on both members of The Dark Order following an O’Connor Roll on Uno and a Northern Lights Suplex to a charging Grayson, but they each break out at two.
The Dark Order regain momentum after Grayson suplexes Sky into Kazarian in the corner. Jim Ross flubs The Dark Order’s name. SCU regains the advantage after dueling cutters. Grayson shows impressive balance walking from the top rope off of a bridge of shoulders of Uno, Sky and ref Aubrey Edwards to hit a Hurricanrana onto Kazarian in the middle of the ring before seconds later doing a flip over the top rope onto him on the outside. Uno nearly gets a pinfall victory but Edwards was late seeing the pin. Kazarian hits two straight DDT’s, one to Grayson in the ring and the other to Uno on the apron before SCU picks up the win with a tandem finishing maneuver.
Kenny Omega vs. Joey Janela
Opening Bell: 8:40:13
Final Bell: 8:53:45
*Commercial Break: 8:44:56 -8:48:23
Match Time: 13 Minutes, 32 Seconds
Result: Omega pinned Janela following a One Winged Angel
Recap videos are shown of Janela’s match with Dean Ambrose from Fyter Fest and his unsanctioned match with Omega on the second episode of AEW Dark. A mutual respect handshake starts thing off. Omega works Janela’s wrist early before Janela goes flying over the top rope onto the apron. A series of kicks sends Joey to the outside where Kenny soon comes flying at him with a Pescado.
A shot of the VIP box of The Inner Circle, who Tony Schiavone incorrectly refers to as The Dark Order, features Sammy Guevara eating popcorn, Santana sipping some of the bubbly and Jericho shouting at Omega.
The action heads back into the ring where Janela gains the upper hand after dodging an Omega leap into the corner. A series of uppercuts and slaps echo throughout the arena. Ross tells the audience “Janela’s not very popular with the women in AEW because he’s got nicer hair than all of them.” The Bad Boy asks for the Pittsburgh crowd to show him some love before heading to the top rope to hit Kenny with a cross body on the outside.
Returning from the first non-picture in picture commercial break, Ross let’s us know Omega dominated throughout the break. More shots of Jericho in the VIP box before the attention returns to the ring where Janela gains the upper hand after delivering a German Suplex to Omega into the corner. He follows it up with an elbow from the top rope which led to a near fall. Omega reverses the momentum and nearly gets a pinfall of his own after dropping Janela face first onto the top turnbuckle and hitting him with a Snap Dragon Suplex and a Running Knee.
“I love time limits. I love the fact it adds a sense of urgency to everything we do. Every sport we watch.” – Jim Ross
Janela hits a German Suplex before the two trade blows in the middle of the ring. The competitors are shown struggling to stand from exhaustion, which allows the fans to show their appreciation with a “This Is Awesome!” chant. After a vicious clothesline, Janela comes close to escaping with a victory. Omega rolls to the apron where Joey decides to go for broke by flipping onto him but Kenny moves out of the way just to avoid disaster which sends Janela bouncing off the apron with a chilling thud.
Goodbye and Goodnight — Omega hits the V-Trigger Knee and One Winged Angel to gain the victory. Though not as overtly violent as their chairs, ladders and tables-filled AEW Dark bout, this match managed to equal the level of intensity. Janela was able to show he’s more than just a weapons master. He can also get technical and go toe-to-toe with one of the best overall talents in pro wrestling.
Following a one-minute AEW Live video package promoting upcoming shows, Cody’s music hits and the commentary team tells the audience that there will be an in-ring interview between Schiavone and Cody following the commercial break.
The interview gets off to a rocky start as Jericho and the rest of The Inner Circle heckle nonstop with air horns.
Cody tells him “This isn’t like the other wrestling company we came from. This isn’t an invisible wall right here” before stepping through the ropes, threatening to come up to the box and take care of the heels and their horns himself.
The AEW champ laughs off the threats, calling Cody a coward and an entitled millennial little bitch. Cody steps to the outside before Jericho reminds him that his group—sans Jake Hager this week—holds a 4-on-1 advantage. Dustin Rhodes’ music hits, followed by MJF’s and DDP’s, who even the odds, whip the crowd into a frenzy and send Jericho and his crew retreating behind a locked glass door in their suite.
With the aid of MJF’s scarf wrapped around his knuckles, Cody fearlessly punches through the door and begins a brawl into the concession area. Multiple garbage cans, a Dipping Dots stand and a condiments station are some of the innocent casualties caught up in the destruction. Better late than never, the Petersen Center security personnel arrive to ward off Cody and his friends and escort them away as Jericho holds up his ticket to remind everyone he’s simply an innocent paying customer.
Young Bucks vs. The Best Friends
Opening Bell: 9:12:53
Final Bell: 9:25:00
Match Time: 12:07
*Commercial Break: 9:17:24 – 9:20:24 (Three Minutes)
Result: Matt Jackson pinned Trent Baretta following More Bang For Your Buck
Orange Cassidy finds his way into the ring delivering his own less than enthusiastic brand of Superkicks to both Nick and Matt Jackson. They return the favor by giving him a combination Superkick of their own sending Cassidy flying out of the ring. A brawl begins between all four competitors as the referee calls for the bell. Trent Baretta and Nick begin but soon Matt joins his brother in the ring to deliver a dual neckbreaker/backbreaker on Baretta. The Bucks taunt The Best Friends with a mid-ring hug. Baretta and Chuck Taylor show their displeasure by throwing Nick and Matt into the barricade before Baretta spears Matt and hits Nick with a Doomsday Knee.
Cassidy distracts Matt on the outside. “Very laconic and sloth-like is Orange Cassidy,” says Excalibur. Ross and Schiavone echo the sentiment with a sarcastic tone.
The show returns from commercial with Nick attempting and missing a 450 Splash onto Trent who hits a series of suplexes onto Nick. Taylor tags in and hits a few suplexes of his own. Trent hits the ring to hit a few more suplexes that leads to a big hug in the middle of the ring much to the appreciation of the crowd.
“They want hugs goddammit.” – Jim Ross
Orange Cassidy leaps off the top onto both Bucks on the outside. The Friends hit Strong Zero on Matt but Nick, in the nick of time, breaks up the pin.
Baretta hits a Doomsday Knee off the top onto Matt but somehow he lands on his feet and pelts Trent with a Superkick before being joined by Nick to Double Superkick Taylor.
“A Superkick Party breaking out here in Pittsburgh.” – Excalibur
Nick dives onto Trent Baretta and Orange Cassidy on the outside before The Bucks hit their tandem finisher More Bang For Your Buck on Taylor to pick up the pinfall win.
“Santana and Ortiz, we accept!” – Matt Jackson
Nothing special here. A basic, entertaining Young Bucks tag match.
A Video Package featuring Pittsburgh native Britt Baker
Britt Baker vs. Jamie Hayter
Opening Bell: 9:29:53
Final Bell: 9:38:26
*Commercial Break: 9:31:35 – 9:34:26 (Three Minutes, 49 Seconds)
Match Time: 8 Minutes, 33 Seconds
Result: Baker won via submission after applying the Lockjaw
A good ovation for Baker who was joined by the Pittsburgh Steelers mascot during her entrance. The early fire by Baker is extinguished by Hayter who suplexed Baker into the corner before throwing her to the outside. It wouldn’t be an AEW Dynamite show without a barricade spot.
After a picture in picture commercial break, the two trade blows in a “Yay, Boo” spot. Hayter dominates Baker for a few minutes before the hometown girl hits a Superkick, Ace Crusher, Swinging Neckbreaker and another Superkick before applying the Lockjaw to gain the submission victory.
A recap video is shown of the brawl between Cody’s crew and The Inner Circle.
Backstage, Jen Decker attempts to get a post-match interview with Jamie Hayter, but unfortunately Brandi Rhodes comes unexpectedly flying in to take out Hayter. Brandi then angrily points at Decker’s forehead as she stares back in horrified confusion.
Jon Moxley vs. PAC
Opening Bell: 1:46:59
Final Bell: 9:59:08
*Commercial Break: 9:49:10 -9:51: 11 (Two Minutes, One Second)
Match Time: 12:09
Result: TV Time Limit Draw
Moxley’s entrance is interrupted by PAC who comes charging out of the tunnel with a chair. The Bastard tests out the strength of the barricades by throwing Moxley into them multiple times. The refs ask Moxley if he’s OK to continue but he disregards their concern, heading into the ring to start the match. PAC shows no mercy for his dazed challenger going at him with a litany of strikes and kicks.
While getting slapped around on the apron, Moxley somehow was able to pull out a neck-crunching Bulldog onto the apron to stun PAC and buy some recovery time. A clothesline, that as Ross said “turned Pac inside out,” pulls the tide into Mox’s favor. He stays on the prowl with a Tope Suicida, a Black Hole and a Running Knee before getting a near fall pin attempt.
Moxley breaking out a Cloverleaf hold stuns Schiavone who admits to not seeing that move since the days of Dean Malenko in WCW.
PAC manages to crotch Moxley on the top rope before running up and hitting an Avalanche Falcon Arrow. The four, three and two minutes remaining warnings add to the urgency of the finishing sequence, thus why Jim Ross told us how much he loves time limits earlier. Sensing time is running out, PAC hits a 450 Splash off the Apron onto Moxley on the outside before throwing him into the ring and attempting and missing a Red Arrow.
As the one minute remaining message comes bellowing over the loudspeaker, Moxley manages to hit a Death Valley Driver…7, 6, 5…The ref begins his count, but PAC kicks out as time expires much to the chagrin of a crowd that isn’t afraid to voice its displeasure.
Moxley taking out his frustrations by giving the ref a Death Valley Driver helps quell the frustration of the fans momentarily.
“Time limit my ass,” Moxley angrily utters as the screen fades to dark.
Hats off to the fans in attendance. That was an electric crowd tonight which showed appreciation for everything except the finish of the main event, which is perfectly understandable given the unfulfilling nature of a time limit draw finish. It was a hard to swallow ending to a show that actually flowed rather smoothly.
Private Party/Lucha Brothers and Omega/Janela both delivered on the hype and they were clearly the two standout matches of the night. Moxley/Pac could have been a little bit better if it was more of a fair fight and not just Moxley slowly overcoming a prematch attack for the first half of the match. The time limit draw is understandable, but it was also a bit of a buzzkill to what had turned out to be a pretty hot match by the end.
SCU/Dark Order and Young Bucks/Best Friends were both fine but nothing memorable.
Britt Baker had her best performance of her AEW career in front of her hometown crowd thanks in large part to an impressive effort by Jamie Hayter.
The brawl in the concession stand between Cody’s crew and the Inner Circle was a good fun little change of pace segment in the middle of the show.
Though there wasn’t the advancement of a lot of storylines and feuds this week, overall, it was a hot crowd, good action and solid wrestling on display. It was an entertaining show that flowed well and left little to complain about besides the time limit draw, which given the standing of both Moxley and PAC right now isn’t even all that surprising.
The only real bone to pick would be Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone mocking Excalibur every time he got a little too technical sounding in his commentary. The two old veterans don’t seem to share the same enthusiasm for having an encyclopedia-esque knowledge of moves and background information of the competitors, so it seems there’s a bit of a rift there in the dynamic developing between him and them. They openly mocked Excalibur a few times tonight, which didn’t seem called for. The guy’s just doing his homework and trying to call a match the best way he sees fit. The sarcastic one-upmanship isn’t needed.
Total Commercial Breaks: Nine (Five Picture in Picture)
Total Amount of Commercial Time: 27 Minutes, 35 Seconds
1) (PIP) 8:24:43 – 8:27:33 (Two Minutes and 50 Seconds)
2) (PIP) 8:35:10 – 8:37:35 ( Two Minutes, 25 Seconds)
3) 8:44:56 -8:48:23 (Three Minutes, Four Seconds)
4) 8:56:52 -8:59:55 (Three Minutes, Three Seconds)
5) (PIP) 9:08:02 – 9:10:52 (Two Minutes, 50 Seconds)
6) 9:17:24 – 9:20:24 (Three Minutes)
7) (PIP) 9:31:35 – 9:34:26 (Three Minutes, 49 Seconds)
8) 9:41:10 – 9:44: 41 (Three Minutes, 31 Seconds)
9) (PIP) 9:49:10 -9:51: 11 (Two Minutes, One Second)