It’s time for another AEW pay per view and that should be a good thing. The company has done very well with these over the years and there is no reason to think this one won’t be great as well. There are a few matches which could go on last and almost everything on the card could wind up being good. AEW has done a rather nice job of hyping up the show and now they have a chance to make it actually work. Let’s get to it.
Buy-In: Best Friends/Jurassic Express vs. Hardy Family Office
This is a bonus match after everything else was thrown off by Pac vs. Andrade El Idolo being called off. The Hardy Family Office is one of the more bottom of the barrel stables but Hardy has some name value and the team itself could be worse. That being said, this is there for one reason and one reason only: to get the fans singing along with Jungle Boy’s entrance in a cool moment to start the show.
Hardy wants revenge:I’ll go with the good guys here as there is no reason for Hardy and company to win. The team is a bunch of losers for the most part and the fans love most of the Best Friends/Jurassic Express. Let these guys go out there, have their ten or so minutes and pop the crowd to get things going. It isn’t going to take much to fire up a Chicago AEW crowd, but this is a logical way to go.
Women’s Title: Britt Baker(c) vs. Kris Statlander
We’ll go with what should be one of the easier ones to start the main card. I like both of these women and AEW has done a good job of making Statlander feel like a threat. Statlander comes off like a monster who could run Baker over but odds are Baker will have Rebel and Jamie Hayter with them. This is one where it is all going to come down to execution, because I don’t think the ending is in doubt.
The alien wants the title:Of course Baker retains here as there is no reason for her not to. Baker is easily the biggest star in the women’s division and there is no reason she should be dropping the title anytime soon. Statlander is more or less the challenger of the month and she will be just fine in that role. Let them go out there, do their thing and give us some false finishes before Baker retains. It isn’t a complicated one here.
TNT Title: Miro(c) vs. Eddie Kingston
This one has been all about the promos in the build up but then we are going to get to see these two hit each other a lot and really hard. Miro has been on another planet since going into the Redeemer deal and Kingston might still be the best talker in wrestling today. They aren’t going to reinvent the wheel here, but they are going to have quite the smash mouth match you know they can haven.
I think they’re serious:Miro retains here too, as it is going to be a huge moment when he finally wins the thing. The good thing about Kingston is he barely ever needs to win a match to stay over because his talking is just that solid. These guys are going to beat each other up for a bit and then Miro will win. That’s a fine use of pay per view time and this match has had me interested since it was first announced.
Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima
This is the latest Forbidden Door match as I continue to try and figure out what exactly is forbidden about the whole thing. Moxley seems disappointed in having to face Kojima, but there is a good chance that this is going to set up another big Moxley match, likely at a New Japan event, down the road. Kojima is a legend and looked rather nice in his quick trip to Impact recently, but this is a bit different.
Come in and play:Of course Moxley wins here, as there is no reason for him not to. Moxley is one of the top stars in AEW and a win over another legend is only going to boost him up. I’m not sure where this story is going or how many new eyes it is bringing in to AEW, but Kojima is certainly a big enough name that beating him is still going to matter. Now just stop saying Forbidden Door over and over and we could get somewhere positive.
Casino Battle Royal
AEW continues to be obsessed with the gambling theme. Anyway, this is the now traditional (well, for them anyway) battle royal with twenty regular entrants coming out in groups of five, plus one Joker. The winner gets a future Women’s Title shot, but the fun part is trying to figure out who the Joker is going to be. There is a name out there who makes sense, but there needs to be a winner too.
I think we have a new contender:For the winner, I’ll go with Tay Conti, as she has been built up rather strong over the last few weeks. I know the logical answer is probably Thunder Rosa, but she isn’t going to need a special battle royal to get a title shot. As for the Joker, the best bet is probably on Ruby Soho (Riott), but there is always the chance of a curve ball in the form of the IInspiration (the IIconics). So yeah, Conti wins and Soho is the Joker in what could be a cool use of both.
Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall
Now we get to this match and I’m sure people are going to have some thoughts. Wight being brought in was a pretty nice surprise, but then he basically disappeared from TV and went to a commentary spot. That’s all well and good, but now that he is getting back in the ring….it’s just the Big Show and he’s against a midcard guy. What is this feud supposed to be and why is Billy Gunn getting involved too?
Don’t anger a monster:Anyway, of course Wight wins here, because otherwise it’s quite the waste of time. Marshall isn’t going to be a big deal in AEW no matter how much they put him around Cody Rhodes (or possibly Gunn) and I would hope they wouldn’t waste a win over a legend on him. This will be perfectly fine if it’s Wight knocking Marshall silly in about two minutes, but if the show goes long and starts to drag, this is what is going to get blamed more than anything else.
Chris Jericho vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
I’m not sure what to think of this match, as having Jericho (whose career is on the line) win would make a lot of the stuff he’s done with MJF seem a bit worthless. MJF is going to be fine no matter what he does but this Jericho feud needs to wrap up already. It has been going on for a very long time now and MJF has already beaten him three times. This needs to be MJF’s big win, but that might almost be a big surprise at this point.
I think he seems ready:I’ll go with the hope and pick MJF, because there is little reason for Jericho to win this match. Jericho is going on tour with Fozzy and might be missing some shows (including the post All Out show). MJF needs to have the big definitive win, though I can’t imagine they are going to have Jericho lose and go to commentary full time. MJF should win here, though I’m kind of scared that he won’t.
Tag Team Titles: Young Bucks(c) vs. Lucha Bros
This is in a cage and that could make things interesting. The big story here is the idea that the rest of the Elite won’t be able to interfere and help the Bucks, but at the end of the day, it’s the Bucks. You’re only going to be able to get so far against the Bucks, so I’m curious to see how far this is going to have to go. The Bucks have held the titles for longer than any team in history and I’m almost scared to see what it takes to get the titles off of them.
Lock them up:For the sake of my sanity, I’ll say the Lucha Bros win here, though I’m not completely certain. The silver lining is that even if the Bucks win here, Grand Slam is coming up in two and a half weeks in New York and Santana and Ortiz could be lurking. I think/hope the Bros win here as there is no reason to keep the titles on the Bucks any longer. They have run through everyone and it is time for them to finally (and I do mean FINALLY) drop the titles to someone else for a change.
AEW World Title: Kenny Omega(c) vs. Christian Cage
Now this is going to be interesting as AEW has been put into a weird place with the World Title. Omega has held it for a good while, but he is already being overshadowed by Punk. If Daniel Bryan is the next one in, Omega is going to take another backseat on top of that. I know the idea seems to be that it’s Hangman Page’s title to win, but that might be going a long way with the other names on the roster.
The serious champion:That being said, Cage isn’t taking the title off of Omega so this should be a hard fought win for Omega, with roughly 73 people getting involved. Omega almost needs the win to get back on track after losing the Impact wrestling World Title to Cage back in August and this title means way more anyway. This should be Omega winning so he can move on to the bigger names.
Darby Allin vs. CM Punk
As much as the traditionalist in me thinks that the World Title should be going on last, come on. This is the match that the show has been built around and there is almost no reason to put anything else on last. Punk’s return to Chicago for Rampage was maybe the best moment ever in AEW and now we have him in the ring for the first time in seven and a half years in the same city. How could this not headline?
Welcome home:In addition to headlining, Punk wins here too, as he needs it more. Yes Punk is a much bigger name and far more established than Allin, but ultimately, Punk needs to show that he can still do it. If he just comes back in and loses, how much of an impact does he have when someone else beats him? Allin gets a lot out of being the guy Punk asked to face first, but Punk goes over here to reestablish himself.
AEW has billed this up as the biggest show they have ever had. I’m not sure if that is going to be the case (though it could be) but it does feel more like a traditional wrestling show. That is a good thing, as AEW sometimes goes a bit too big with some of the things they are doing. They have a solid card here and multiple matches with stipulations or something on the line which could headline the show. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have here and that is a good thing indeed.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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