Good morning/afternoon/evening to you, dear reader. I come to this week’s review in another unique position from previous entries. This week, instead of watching AEW live as it aired on TNT, I was in Allston rehearsing with my blues trio called Brown Lasers. There was a scheduling conflict and while I normally don’t mind working around other people’s schedules, Dana mentioned in our Slack chat that Bash at the Beach was tonight. This was to fall on the night when AEW was to host its first BASH AT THE BEACH affair. Needless to say we had a wonderful practice and made a lot of progress on our new song (titled “I Suck”) but, not unlike Dana during a two day Wrestle Kingdom cycle, I have had to stay away from the internet as a whole. Not that I expected any real spoilers or surprises, but regardless, I really enjoy the initial viewing of these shows. I know that I’m stoked to see whatever happens with Mox but beyond that I just hope that these folks will do something interesting with their women’s division starting immediately. OK, it’s Thursday night and I got the DVR paused and ready to go. Let’s rock.
RIP Rocky Johnson. That is pretty classy and also would have been a missed opportunity had they not at least put the card up there.
Bash at the Beach totally opens with a babe in a bikini. Excellent. 4 way tag team turmoil. Best Friends vs. Hangman/Kenny vs. Proud and Powerful vs. Young Bucks. This is a number one contenders match for the tag titles, currently and unenthusiastically held by SCU. The commentary seems to be having a rocky start. Trent and Uncle Nicky start off and they have an impressive exchange, but Page and and Chuck go at it and it’s cool too. Kenny and Matt Jackson get tagged in and just as they go to wrestle each other PnP come flying in and heel the whole place up. The Buckeroos hit a bunch of their classic double team moves and it’s a great reminder of why these dudes were/are Elite. At one point Kenny gets tagged out and as he is getting out of the ring he tries to high five Page, who reluctantly complies. This match has been great and I just realized I’ve been watching it for minutes and haven’t written a thing. It’s odd that this is effectively three teams on one, as PnP is the only heel team in the match. Matt Jackson gets his ass kicked for a while by Santana and Ortiz and when he gets a chance to tag out it’s to Kenny or Hangman and Matt decidedly tagged Kenny and not Page. Hangman looks irked but he is a pro so it’s fine.
Kenny and Hangman do a wild set of combination standing moonsaults and flips from the top turnbuckle and hot diggity damn its f*cking awesome. HOLY SH*T, Trent suplexed Uncle Nick off the top rope outside the ring onto every single participant in the match (plus Orange Cassidy). There comes andincredible spot of a 4 on 4 suplex with the Elite vs. PnP and Best Friends, and Orange comes in and makes the difference. Chuckie T looks like APA Bradshaw again. Oh man, Omega and Page snuck out a f*cking win with a combo Buckshot and V Trigger on Chuck Taylor. That match hit fifth gear at least three times and it was awesome. Page and Kenny go walking up the ramp during the commercial break and Hangman does his spot where he steals people’s beers and drinks them. Ken takes it from him at one point and hands it to a fan so Page runs back down to ringside and steals another $13 beer and chugs it. This is clearly gonna become a problem as time goes on. I don’t really like an alcoholic angle but we’ll see. Sammy vs. Mox and that winner goes against the winner of Darby vs. Pac and the winner of that is #1 contender for Jericho’s title. Excellent, at least we have a f*cking purpose.
Time for Cody’s weekly sweet release. Very drawn out entrance for an EVP in a Miami Vice suit, but I would do exactly the same thing if I was remotely what he is. Cody is out for a promo to finally respond to MJF’s proposed stipulations. I can’t believe that the 10 lashes is really a part of that. The camera repeatedly pans across the bikini clad woman on a lifeguard chair. Cody is very good at talking but I do still find myself curious if I am actually a fan. Oh f*ck, he just told me that MJF was on the Rosie O’Donnell show when he was 7? I gotta find that sh*t. Cody accepts the steel cage match against Wardlow, accepts the stip to not touch MJF before the match, and he accepts the 10 lashes stipulation as well. What the f*ck. On live TV.
Good god, during the commercial break pic-in-pic, MJF is seen walking around with a shirt on that says “I Banged DDP’s daughter.” What a total dickhead. I am starting to kinda hate him on a real level, though. I’m not sure if the plan is working or if it’s failing.
The Bash at the Beach set is essentially all that makes this BatB.
Joey Janela backstage promo and he addresses his weird sh*t with Penelope Ford and Kip Sabian, makes reference to how he got kicked in the balls and how it felt like he got kicked in the balls all year last year and how he plans to make this year better. I think I like Joey a lot.
Brandi, Mel and Luther come to the ring to some new Linkin Park theme song and Brandi looks shoot pissed and is saying very clearly that “I’m not even supposed to be in this match…I’m not even supposed to be out here!” I f*cking hate that Kris Statlander is billed as being from the Andromeda Galaxy. Her song doesn’t fit. As Hikaru Shida comes down to the ring, she is met by Luther and Brandi and Mel rushes Statlander and start laying a beating on her. I forgot to complain last week how Kris was talking to Brandi last week — she hasn’t spoken prior to that. Like, she would only BOOP up until that encounter with with Brandi and she was almost Stone Cold level of sh*t talking Brandi last week. It annoyed me.
This woman Mel is practically an amazon compared to the team of Shida and Stander. Once Mel softens Shida up a bit she tags in Brandi and doesn’t exactly strike me as an enthusiastic wrestler. She almost has a Britt Baker level of enthusiasm but without the real ring presence. She seems legitimately annoyed about being here. I just realized — if this is a Nightmare Collective match, where is Kong? Hasn’t she been what this whole thing was built on? Brandi thinks she gets a hot tag to beat up on Shida just as Hikaru tags in Statlander and Brandi does an almost Heenan level of chickensh*t heel begging to not get hit. Brandi’s punches and kicks look like sh*t but I do like watching her. Mel beats the crap out of both Statlander and Shida but KS pulls off her Styles Clash piledriver (it’s pretty cool) and Shida prevents Brandi from breaking up the pin and the match is over.
JR sets up a Dark Order video package and here we go with this. There is a setup for a Dr. Claw sort of character who is above Evil Uno. This guy who is making the presentation to the boss man claims that Page is on their radar for sure. I’m down.
Sammy G definitely has one of the best themes in AEW. He comes out blowing kisses to the bikini babe lifeguard and just after Justin Roberts announces him they cut to pic-in-pic. I just got a little bummed because there is no way Sammy is gonna do the cue card spot because he has a match but thankfully , NOPE, I’m wrong, here he goes. He cuts a funny promo on Mox. By the time they come back from commercial the crowd is chanting “MOXLEY, MOXLEY” and I can hear a weird moaning sound coming from the speakers..what the f*ck….oh, “the Champion”. There was just a four second cut in the audio that I think was covering some foul language. Moxley mostly just beats the sh*t out of Sammy, just about to hit him with the Paradigm Shift on the ring apron when Sam flips the script and gets the upper hand. Sammy looks like such a sh*thead when he does his spin into a pose and flexes and waves. The kid rules.
Just as JR refers to this as the “main event” (we are halfway through the episode) he says “we gotta cut to commercial…we will be right back” So many f*cking commercials. (Yikes there was just an accident in front of my house. A lady just rear ended a dude who was going to turn on the street across from me but I presume someone was distracted driving and didn’t notice a guy slowing down to make a right turn….bummer). Anyways, back to this match and Moxley just picked up a surprise win with a submission over The Spanish God! Well, now I can expect Mox vs. Pac next week for number one contenders match against Jericho for the title. That should be sick. Jericho’s music hits, the lights go out and when they come back on Mox is surrounded in the ring by PnP, Jericho and Big Hurt who proceed to decimate Moxley. Jericho f*cking whips Moxley with the title belt. Like, whips him. good grief. That’s gross. Inner Circle holds Mox and Jake Hager punts him right in the dick. What a low blow. Sammy slaps Mox in the face a few times, Jericho unscrews a spike from his f*cking punker jacket and then he stabs Moxley in the eye. When the refs come down to the ring, it showcases that Rick Knox has officiated all the matches because the crowd starts chanting “AU-BREY, AU-BREY!”. Mox is selling the eye wound like he is f*cking injured. The medical tech is taking a long time to examine Mox but he is selling like his eyeball got f*cking popped. The Inner Circle leaves as AEW, you guessed it, cuts to commercial.
When they return from commercial they are STILL loading Moxley out of the ring. My goodness Tony, JR and Excalibur should be ashamed of themselves for their apparel tonight. JR cuts to Jericho backstage who cuts a promo on Moxley for turning down his offer.
Butcher, Blade and Bun Bun come down to virtually no reaction and, while looking very very cool to me, I don’t get it or give much of a sh*t as the weeks wear on. I get that MJF hired them. so, that’s it? Then MJF comes to the ring with his DDP shirt….whatever.
QT Marshall has one of the better songs in AEW, which says basically nothing. Dustin has truly one of the worst wrestling themes currently. Ooh, I HAD to say that. Here comes DDP, one of those people I have just never ever liked.
We have a small list of people who just can’t get over in our PTW crew. Natalya is the top of the heap, Randy Orton had been on the list for years but he won me over these past few years, but DDP is practically top of the list for me. I appreciate his work and his program and positivity but I just don’t like him. I hate his music. He is so difficult to listen to. I do not have any enthusiasm for this match at all. I like the Jason Statham look of The Blade and I think The Butcher looks like a badass 80s guy and The Bunny is a babe, but give me more info. Three simultaneous factions with essentially the same vibe is a little tough to get into. MJF might somehow be turning on the assh*le charm a little too much. Earlier in the broadcast they showed DDP f*cking hyping himself up for the match and he was very vascular and looking very lean but shredded, but as he is out here now he looks like a mid 60 year old guy and when he eventually gets his tag it is just so depressing to see an old guy just lay this team to waste. Dustin hits his Canadian Destroyer for the week on MJF. For some reason, DDP does a dive from the top rope to the outside of the ring and as I am still processing that that happened, MJF rolls up Cutie Marshall for the win.
SCU try to cut a promo backstage but they are interrupted by Scott Hall circa 98 aka Hangman Adam Page who is hammered at this point in the night. I don’t know. Omega comes to his rescue but Chris Daniels seems annoyed at having had a drink spilled on his stupid shirt. SCU is stupid as a babyface team.
Pac has a pretty good theme song in a company full of sh*tty songs. Darby has the real Seattle sounding song. “And his opponent, skating his way to the ring from Seattle Washington…” Ski-a-vone just referred to Darby as a bit of a “phenom” in AEW and he is met with silence from JR, I think possibly citing a loyalty to Undertaker. Darby and Pac start off quick and they seem to have a sort of chemistry with each other which is very cool. There is a lot of high flying flippy sh*t in and out of the ring but it just takes a little bit before Pac has a very physical upper hand on Darby. Pac countered a hurricanrana by swinging Darby, in a power bomb position, sideways into the steel steps. There’s at least 50 lbs between these two guys, very apparent as Pac powerbombs Darby straight onto those steel steps. Jeez man. Allin’s arms are welted and bleeding from the beating that Pac has inflicted on him. Darby directly hits a Coffin Drop off the top turnbuckle to the outside of the ring! Darby hits a flipping stunner into a Canadian Destroyer called a Code Red and Pac just barely kicks out. Pac hit Allin with a severe Clothesline from Hell. Black Arrow onto Darby Allin and obviously the Bastard gets his match with Moxley to decide who gets a match on Jericho. Pac tells Schiavone how he…
Well, at that moment, I shoot fell asleep. I think that says something about the show that I was watching combined with my snack intake as well as my general interest in what was happening. I felt completely underwhelmed by the Bash at the Beach theme and it made me feel like maybe I don’t actually remember it as well as I thought I did, but I guess that’s part of the problem with using a name like Bash or WarGames or whatever….if it’s not just like the original, it stands the chance of falling short. Well, I’m obviously on the hook for next week’s episode that will be live from the Jericho Rock n Wrestling Rager at Sea and whatever it may be is what it will be. I sure do hope that it doesn’t look like sh*t at the very least.
Wrestling rules. F*ck the world. Party hard.