AEW heads for new gold!
The TNT Championship Tournament begins and Cody and Shawn Spears are in the opening match! Who heads for the newest title in AEW?
- Lance Archer VS Alan Angels; Archer wins.
- Hikaru Shida VS Britt Baker; Shida wins.
- Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa VS Best Friends w/ Orange Cassidy; Best Friends win and keep their team name.
- Brodie Lee VS Lee Johnson; Brodie wins.
- AEW TNT Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Cody VS Shawn Spears; Cody wins and advances to the semifinals.
PLAY BY PLAY
Jake “The Snake” Roberts opens AEW.
“Tick-tock, tick-tock, here we are again, folks.” The Snake’s history is not his destiny. He asks us a simple question: Would you stand in front of a train? How about this? Would you jump out of a plane without a parachute? Would you stand in the ring against Lance Archer and think you’ve got a prayer of winning? All three scenarios end the same: you’re done. Quit playing games, quit making wishes. We all saw what happened to poor Marko Stunt. And it happened because no one else wanted it. Stunt thought he could prove he was a man. It’s better than to be thought a fool than to take action and erase all doubt. Marko Stunt is an idiot.
But Cody, please don’t let this slip away. The Snake says Cody might just lose. He almost expects Cody to lose, like a little mistake, so that he won’t have to face Archer. Is Cody a man or a mouse? Squeak up and tell us. Strong words from the living legend, but he perhaps has a point. Will Cody fight The Chair Man, fully knowing the Murderhawk awaits on the other side of the bracket?
Chris Jericho joins AEW commentary!
But please, Tony Schiavone, remember to address him as Le Champion!
Lance Archer VS Alan Angels!
Speaking of the Murderhawk, he’s back for more! He goes to the ring and annihilates his opponent on the way to posing in the corner! The bell rings as Archer takes off his jacket and the assault continues. Archer drags his opponent up to LARIAT him back down! Archer puts Angels in the corner and CHOPS! Angels flops down and everyone is stinging. Archer drags Angels up to CLUB him down! Archer toys with Angels before bringing him back up to whip. Angels ducks the boot to kick away at the leg and throw fast hands! Archer feeds off it, and then clamps on a choke grip! For a TOSS!! Archer goes corner to corner for a big back elbow! Angels flounders about but Archer drags him up, for the BLACK OUT BOMB!! Cover, Archer wins!
Winner: Lance Archer, by pinfall
Angels just went through hell as Archer gets his second win in AEW. Will Archer add three more wins to his record in the TNT Championship Tournament to grab that newest AEW title?
Hikaru Shida VS Britt Baker!
The Samurai is still #1 contender, but The Dentist is back in the ring. Will Britt pull the fangs from the fierce warrior? Or will she need to do some work on herself after tonight?
The bell rings and the two circle. Baker dodges the tie up and jokingly wants Shida to stay calm. They circle again and Baker again dodges to mule kick. But Shida rushes her and Baker scrambles for ropes. Baker plays it like she wasn’t startled, but Shida waits for her to return. Baker pushes Shida so Shida pushes back. The pushing continues but Shida swings a clothesline. Baker ducks it and grabs hair to bump Shida off buckles! Shida stops Baker short of 10, and grabs Baker’s wrist. Shida throws big forearms and whips. Baker holds ropes to deny the dropkick, then she bails out. Sammy Guevara and the wrestlers on that side of the ring cheer as Baker leads Shida on a cat ‘n’ mouse.
Shida keeps her cool as Baker gets in the ring first. The other side of the audience is on Shida’s side, but Baker stomps Shida the moment she’s back in the ring. Shida and Baker scrap and Baker gets Shida down for a stomp. Baker pulls on Shida’s hair then kicks her in the back. The ref reprimands Baker but Shida pulls hair, too! The ref reprimands them both but Shida has Baker in the corner. Shida lets up at 4 and Baker sits down in the corner. Baker kicks back then throws knees. Baker runs to Famouser leg drop! She even mocks Billy Gunn, who is ringside. Cover, TWO! Billy says he would’ve won off his.
Baker rains down right hands on Shida! Baker drags Shida up into the corner to choke! The ref reprimands and Baker lets up at 4. But Baker chokes Shida with a foot while arguing with the ref. Baker runs side to side for a boot wash! She drags Shida to a cover, TWO! Billy Gunn and his side cheer Shida on but Baker puts Shida on the ropes. Baker chokes Shida until the ref counts 4. Baker motorcycle stretches and boots Shida into ropes! Then she goes out to the apron to SUPERKICK Shida back in! Baker sits with Shida like they’re good friends, and she smiles at the camera. Baker tells Schiavone to say the AEW Women’s Divisoin belongs to her. But she turns around into Shida’s kick!
Shida fires up as she lets the hair down. She whips Baker but Baker reverses and sends Shida into railing! Baker runs in but into a boot! Shida flapjacks Baker along the railing, then has the others hold Baker there! Shida runs for a BIG knee lift! Jericho protests on commentary but Shida drags Baker up for a suplex to the floor! Shida has the audience fired up as AEW goes to break.
AEW returns and Shida takes aim. She drags Baker up for a suplex! Cover, TWO! Shida roars in frustration but she won’t let up. Shida runs but Baker ducks the Shining Wizard to roll her up! TWO in to a triangle hold! Shida thrashes Baker but Baker moves around. Baker reaches and gets the ropebreak! Shida lets go quick and drags Baker up. She whips but Baker reverses to reel her in. Shida fights the DDT but Baker dodges to SLING BLADE! Baker has Shida up, butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO!! Shida survives and Baker grimaces. Baker gets up and stomps Shida back down. She kicks at Shida then stomps her down. Baker drags Shida up, has an arm, and hits a Russian Leg Sweep! Into the Rings of Saturn! She wants the jaw but Shida gets the ropebreak with a foot!
Shida and Baker reset but Baker brings Shida up. Shida throws a haymaker but Baker gives it back! We have a brawl as Shida hits again. Baker checks her teeth but throws another hand. Shida clubs Baker so Baker fires off a flurry! Baker steps back, but Shida enziguris! Baker SUPERKICKS! Both women flounder about, and Baker has a bloody nose! Baker still spins Shida but Shida slips out to spin Baker! Shida suplexes, for the FALCON ARROW! Cover, but Baker rolls it back! TWO, but Baker rolls Shida around! Rings of Saturn! She takes one of the ref’s gloves, but Shida rolls the hold to a cover! TWO and SHINING WIZARD!! Baker is dazed and bloody but Shida keeps on her. Baker blocks the suplex and spins through to swinging fisherman! Cover, TWO!!
Shida is up, but Baker SUPERKICKS! Baker drags Shida back up, grinning through her bloody nose! Baker puts Shida on the ropes and makes her bite the cable! She wants to give her the same treatment as Yuka Sakazaki, but Shida evades! Shida dumps Baker out but Baker stays on the apron. Baker and Shida brawl with the ropes between them. Shida throws a heavy elbow then drags Baker up to the top rope! Baker blocks the suplex to rake the eyes! And a SUPERKICK to the legs sends Shida down! Baker climbs up but Shida joins her! The two fight up top but Shida fireman’s carries! SUPER BACKBREAKER on the buckles! Shida drags Baker back in, and runs, to SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Shida wins!!
Winner: Hikaru Shida, by pinfall
A brutal battle between two of the top women in AEW! But in the end, Shida stays the #1 contender! Is it only a matter of when, not if, Shida gets to battle Nyla Rose for the Women’s World Championship?
AEW shares footage from earlier today.
Kenny Omega talks with Michael Nakazawa about tonight’s match card. They’re teaming up after about seven years. They were a great team back in DDT Pro. But they need a team name for tonight. Any ideas? Nakazawa says the Best Friends. No, that’s Trent and Chuckie T. They’re very popular, so you can’t just take their name. Yeah but that’s what they are. They’re best friends, Omega is an EVP, he can do something about it. Omega gets what he’s saying, and will look into it. But then, Orange Cassidy walks out of a closet? The Sloth opens the door to the trailer, and in walk THE Best Friends! Trent and Chuck Taylor heard what they said. These two think they’re better best friends? They want to take their name?! Their livelihood?! Trent and Chuckie have FAMILIES, Kenny!
Omega and Nakazawa explain it is a misunderstanding. But then The Best Friends put their tag name on the line! A normal match now has high stakes for one side. Omega blames Nakazawa for this. But the match is what it is, who will be THE Best Friends of AEW?
It’s the AEW Rankings Report!
First, the Tag Team Division: At #5, it’s The Best Friends! Trent Baretta pushed Kenny Omega in their 1v1 match last week, and now they put their nickname on the line! At #4, two-thirds of Death Triangle, it’s the Lucha Brothers! Rey Fenix and Pentagon stay strong even while PAC is away. At #3, the inaugural AEW World Tag Team Champions, it’s Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky of SoCal Uncensored, SCU! At #2, though recovering to 100% health, it’s Nick and Matt Jackson, the Young Bucks! And at #1, to the delight of “Mr. Brodie” Lee, it’s the Dark Order’s Evil Uno and Stu Grayson! Will this devious duo be the ones to reach the current champions, Kenny Omega and Hangman Page?
Next, the Women’s Division. At #5, the original champion, Riho! Currently at #4 but coming off a loss tonight, it’s Britt Baker. At #3, the Magical Girl, Yuka Sakazaki! At #2, the Galaxy’s Greatest Alien, Kris Statlander! And especially after that big win over Baker tonight, #1 is Hikaru Shida! Will this stay the way it is on the way to a shot at the Native Beast?
And lastly, the Men’s Singles Division. At #5, fueled by his hunger for vengeance, it’s Darby Allin! At #4 it is the AEW World Tag Team and AAA Mega Champion, Kenny Omega! Will he stay that way against Best Friends tonight? At #3, it is the American Nightmare, Cody! Will he be headed towards the TNT Championship? Dropping to #2, it is Le Champion, Chris Jericho! Because the undefeated Jake Hager IS the #1 contender! The Big Hurt and the Maniac will settle their score as contender takes on champion in a NO HOLDS BARRED title match! Will Hager go from #1 to THE ONE in AEW?
AEW profiles the coming World Championship match.
Jon Moxley knows that neither he nor Hager are in “the business of putting smiles on people’s faces.” This is going to be an ugly, violent fight. Because next week, these two fighters go all out for the top prize. Hager doesn’t want to be champion for the love of the sport. He wants to be champion because it pays more. Moxley feels fans don’t understand the kind of pain one must endure to vanquish someone like Hager. But Empty Arena or not, we’ll see it. Two of AEW’s fiercest fight in Moxley’s first defense that is also AEW’s first Empty Arena No Holds Bared match.
Mrs. Catalina Hager says they are a “house of winners.” If Jake doesn’t come home the winner, then he doesn’t come home. That’s their motto: work hard, play hard, win or don’t even bother. Jake appreciates his wife sacrificing for his sake of stepping into the cage or the wrestling ring. Moxley meanwhile faced the best and proved he’s the best. He is not ashamed to say that he likes dealing damage. AEW Revolution was Moxley’s biggest win so far when he dethroned Chris Jericho. But Hager was waiting in the shadows. Hager knew Moxley’s reign wasn’t going to last, but even he is surprised he’ll be the one to end it. Timing is everything in combat sports, and this is Hager’s time. Hager’s in the best shape of his life, and that dates back to his college days.
“None of this was supposed to happen.” Hager was set to have a Bellator fight on May 9th. He has been in fight camp since February, so now, just a week away from No Holds Barred, Hager promises us this: fans will see Jon Moxley get hit harder than he has ever been hit before. Hager is putting in more time than anyone ever. No one has done MMA and pro-wrestling at the same time quite like Hager. He is THE crossover fighter success. Once he wins the AEW World Championship, Bellator follows. It is no secret as to why he is in the Inner Circle and AEW: he’s money. The undefeated fighter is perhaps the most unique opponent for Moxley.
Moxley admits that when Hager got up from the Paradigm Shift, a move Moxley has perfected and used to drop “just about everybody in this business with,” it was like a monster movie. It humbled Moxley, but it will not scare Moxley. No Holds Barred changes the game. Hager vows to be a dual champion across two companies. They don’t get paid by the hour, so whether it is three minutes or thirty, “it is going to be hell.” No one wakes up thinking they can do both MMA and pro-wrestling, so Hager succeeding at it is amazing. Moxley promises we will hear and see every second of hell both men are going to go through. But who comes out the other side as THE top fighter in AEW?
AEW profiles the TNT Championship Tournament.
Cody says that “this is something that Warner Media really wanted.” How different is that in wrestling? That in itself is representative of what AEW is for pro-wrestling. Cody feels that he is fortunate to be included, but it is because he kept working, kept winning and kept in the top five singles competitor rankings. But that goes for everyone. Shawn Spears says that everyone in AEW wants to go to the top. But the problem is that there is X amount of guys, X amount of time and X amount of spots. One by one, Spears will pick them all off.
It is rather storybook that while Cody can no longer compete for the World Championship, that he is included in this new title’s tournament. Spears isn’t worried about facing Cody in the first round. They’ve both waited eight months for a rematch from All Out last August. Cody has the scar from that chair shot to remind him every day. But Spears has been doing this to Cody since OVW. Why did Spears do it? He doesn’t have to explain himself, other than it was for the right reasons. And that he’d do it again in a heartbeat. Spears wants his redemption in this rematch, and it’ll be for a prize. Cody has has a 15-year overnight success, but Spears builds one match at a time. Spears will make history and that can never be taken from him. Does that happen for the Chair Man here tonight?
Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa VS Best Friends w/ Orange Cassidy!
Hangman Page is Omega’s normal tag partner, and only they can put up the AEW World Tag titles. However, a different title has been put up tonight: the title of Best Friends! Will Trent and Chuckie T defend that honor with everything they have? Or will the Best Bout Machine and the oil master take it all away?
The teams sort out and Spears is in the audience. He still wants tag team #PERFECT10N on the side, so he’s barking at Nakazawa not to use that oil. Omega and Trent jaw at each other, both men remembering that showdown just last week. But Chuckie steps up to start with Omega at the bell. The two circle and tie up. They go around, Chuck puts Omega on the ropes but Omega breaks free. Chuck backs off and the two circle again. They tie up, Omega wristlocks and wrenches the arm. Omega cranks back but Chuckie standing switches before the hammerlock. Omega pries free to wrench out and headlock. Chuckie powers out but Omega runs him over! Things speed up, Chuckie hurdles and arm-drags! And again!
Chuckie has Omega in the armlock and the audience applauds. Omega gets up but Chuckie wrenches. Tag to Trent and Trent climbs to drop ax handles. Trent wrenches the arm but Omega gets free. Nakazawa tags in and the audience fires up. Spears wants to be impressed and Nakazawa ties up with Trent. Trent puts Nakazawa on the ropes but Nakazawa turns it around. Nakazawa lets up, to CHOP Trent! Trent stares Nakazawa down to CHOP back! Nakazawa oils up! Trent chops but it slips off! And again! The oil is a shield against chops! Tag to Omega and they drag Trent up. Nakazawa scoops slams Trent down and “We Can Do It!” They stomp Trent then strike their police poses. Chuckie T runs in but Nakazawa atomic drops and then Omega Manhattan drops him.
Nakazawa throws Chuckie T down and Omega runs, for a Kotaru Krusher on Nakazawa? It slams Nakazawa’s head into Chuckie’s T! Chuckie bails out and Omega drags Trent up into the corner. Omega clubs away on Trent’s back but the ref counts. He lets up at 4 but comes back for more stomps. Omega spins Trent around and Nakazawa pulls Trent to the post! Nakazawa grabs the legs and shouts, “Nova Train!” He starts running and pulls Trent into the post! Trent endures the torture while AEW goes to break.
AEW returns and Omega drags Trent up. Tag to Nakazawa and he runs at Chuckie T. Chuckie backs off but Nakazawa clubs Trent on the back. Nakazawa hoists Trent onto the top rope to saddle him. He oils up the ropes, to give Trent the ol’ “Hentai Slide!” It still burns. Nakazawa then bounces Trent up and off and hits an atomic drop! Cover, TWO! Spears does not understand the oil obsession. Nakazawa stomps Trent and tags in Omega. The audience rallies for Trent as Omega brings him up. Omega throws elbows to the back and clubs him down. Omega runs to drop an elbow then covers, ONE! Trent sits up but Omega is on him with a chinlock. The audience rallies again and Trent fights his way up. Trent elbows and body shots free, then runs, but Omega follows. Trent LARIATS Omega down!
The rallying continues as Billy and Austin Gunn lead the cheers. Hot tags to Chuckie and Nakazawa! The Kentucky Gentleman rallies on the Miniskirt Police! Chuckie throws forearms on Nakazawa then on Omega. Omega kicks back then regroups with Nakazawa. They whip Chuckie corner to corner, then Nakazawa whips Omega in. Chuckie goes up over, then drop toeholds Nakazawa into Omega’s Best Bout Machine! Nakazawa staggers up but Trent clotheslines him out! The Best Friends DOUBLE PESCADO! They take down Omega and Nakazawa, and Orange Cassidy rolls in! They all HUG- NO! Omega and Nakazawa take Trent and Chuckie out! Nakazawa and Omega go for the hug, but Cassidy moves out of the way. Shame on you, Sloth.
But then Trent and Chuckie attack! They throw Omega out and double whip Nakazawa. Nakazawa breaks the line but misses the flying lariats! Chuckie and Trent surround Nakazawa, but he sprays them in the face with the oil! Cassidy gets back in but his sunglasses block the oil. Nakazawa takes the glasses and throw them away! But Cassidy has a spare pair! Cassidy dodges Nakazawa to DIVE onto Omega! Trent is on Nakazawa with the TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO!! Nakazawa flounders to the corner and Trent runs in for a big back elbow! Trent runs but Nakazawa dodges to SPEAR! Both men are down but the audience rallies. Hot tags to Omega and Chuckie T!
Omega rallies now but Trent dodges the Polish hammer. Trent whips but misses in the corner. Omega puts Trent on the ropes but Chuckie makes a save. Chuckie whips but Omega counters to a fireman’s carry. “YOU! CAN’T! ESCAPE!” Rolling senton for Chuckie, draping BACK STABBER for Trent! Chuckie flounders up, into the full nelson! Trent runs in but Omega lets Chuckie go to SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX Trent! Omega fires up, runs at Chuckie, but gets a Sexy Knee! Trent runs for the PSYCHO KNEE! Best Friends fire up and bring Omega up, pop-up POWERBOMB! Cover, but Nakazawa breaks it! Chuckie stomps Nakazawa out of the ring then tags Trent in. The audience is fired up as Trent brings Omega up. Alabama lift but Omega powers out! Omega BUCKLE BOMBS Trent!
Nakazawa grabs Chuckie for a SUPER OLYMPIC SLAM!! Spears loves it but Cassidy panics! Tag to Nakazawa and Omega drags Trent to an Electric Chair. MINISKIRT DOOMSDAY! Cover, but Chuckie breaks it in time! Omega clubs Chuckie and throws him out. Nakazawa brings down his jockstrap!! The Ultimate Venom is prepared, but Trent blocks it! Trent kicks low, but misses the clothesline! THE ULTIMATE VENOM CLAW! “He’s gonna puuuke!” V-TRIGGER!! ULTIMATE VENOM SLAM!! Cover, but Chuckie gets in to break it! Omega throws Chuck back out and Nakazawa stalks Trent. Nakazawa wristlock ripcords Trent, but Trent escapes! Trent sends the Ultimate Venom into Omega!! Trent spins Nakazawa around as Chuckie drags Omega out of the ring. Best Friends combine, SOLE FOOD HALF ‘N’ HALF!! Cover, Omega breaks it!!
Chuckie chases Omega out and clubs him around the corner. Trent drags Nakazawa up and hits an AWFUL WAFFLE! Cover, TWO?!? Nakazawa survives but Chuckie whips Omega into the railing! Trent Alabama lifts and Chuckie is up top. STRONG ZERO!! Cover, Best Friends win!!
Winners: Best Friends, by pinfall (still called “Best Friends” in AEW)
The name stays! But everyone hugs it out because there’s no hard feelings. Will Trent & Chuck Taylor head up those tag team rankings to challenge Omega and Hangman in the near future?
AEW hears from Mr. Brodie Lee.
The Exalted One pulls up in his Mercedes and looks at his minions. Do these gentlemen understand that perception is reality? Yes? Then why are two of them dressed the way they are, and the third is in a nice suit and tie? Brodie sends them out into the world, so what does the world think of them looking like this? They look like “them.” What do they think is the perception when they walk through an airport like this? Power? Wealth? No. Look at yourselves, then look at this guy here. Brodie Lee is here to make every single life he touches extraordinary. Do they understand that?
When it gets laborious, when it becomes a sacrifice, that means you’re looking at the exit ramp, not the highway. The next sign reads “unlimited power, unlimited success.” Do they understand that? Then get your act together and show him that they want it. As for the well-dressed Creeper, Mr. Brodie gives him a special opportunity. They walk inside the arena, leaving the other two out of the loop.
Backstage interview with Britt Baker.
The Dentist is able to smile despite the loss and the bloody nose that finally stopped bleeding. Does she feel Shida lived up to the #1 rank she holds? Nope! Being #1 means being a leader and a role model! Shida played dirty, because just look at Baker! Baker lost so much blood in that match! Shida is the dirtiest wrestler in AEW, but she is lucky nothing happened to Baker’s teeth. But Baker could still fix them herself, because duh, she’s a dentist.
AEW continues the profile of Moxley VS Hager.
“As AEW’s only crossover athlete from the MMA world, Hager’s submission game has already demonstrated its dominance in the AEW ring.” His arm-triangle put away Dustin Rhodes at AEW Revolution, and smothered Moxley in the attack on AEW Dark. Hager has been a champion all his life. Either you want it or you just let it pass by. He is disciplined, trained and knowledgeable. Catalina is confident this title match will be a walk in the park. A big part of Hager wants to be AEW World Champion. But not for fame or ego, but to provide for those who supported him. Hager will take care of his family, because his beautiful wife deserves it.
Moxley knows he is up against a man who could end his career in a snap. But he promises that they will beat the absolute hell out of each other. It will not be for the faint of heart. Hager is a winner, and winners are champions. The Inner Circle have been instrumental in Hager reaching this point. They have taught him so much, because each one brings something different to the group. It was all something Hager needed, and we will see it all play out starting with No Holds Barred. But the question is: does Hager have what it takes to dig down deeper than Moxley? An Empty Arena will not stop both undefeated men in this collision course.
No one is more suited for this fight than them. Hager promises Moxley walks in champion but doesn’t walk out, period. Moxley promises that signing up for a match with him, “there’s no running, there’s no hiding.” No judges, no score cards, no way out! You go through Moxley or lose! Hager says reality will settle in for Moxley, and that reality is spelled H-A-G-E-R. Hager promises that the AEW World Championship will be much better off, and will have instant legitimacy with him. But Moxley says this isn’t ego or emotion. This is a decision to say, “in no uncertain terms, ‘I am going to f*** you up.’” Who wins and who survives the most brutal battle for the title yet?
AEW hears from DAMASCUS Matt Hardy.
“Welcome to my humble abode. Welcome to the Hardy Compound!” Hardy is here to respond to “Le Hole of the Ass” Chris Jericho. Jericho sat in his “tub that is hot” wearing leather pants. And he insulted The Elite. But let us take a look at the Circle Internal. The Spanish God, Sammy Guevara “is a false god!” And probably a fake Latino! Does he even speak Spanish? Then Proud ‘n’ Powerful are more like Loud ‘n’ Devourable! Hardy loves Puerto Rican food, he cannot wait to CHOMP on Santana and Ortiz. Then the Big Man, Jake Hager. Hager is very smart, as we saw tonight, but Jericho has brainwashed him! He is Jakenstein, minus the two bolts in the neck!
Damascus knows that the Circle Internal thinks it will take over AEW, but he will not and cannot allow it! Jericho tried to recruit Vanguard 1? NEVER! Vanguard, bring the shirt! Wait, that isn’t the shirt Jericho gave him. Why, it has Hardy’s WONDERFUL~ new design on it. But where is the Inner Circle shirt? “It’s fiya.” Whatever does he mean by that? Oh, a dumpster fire. Literally! It’s on fire in the trash. That is what will happen to the Circle Internal! Hardy and the Elite shall DELETE them~! So Hardy has a special offer. Come to the Hardy Compound and face him in the ELITE DELETION~!! Will Le Hole of the Ass accept this unique challenge with Blood & Guts still waiting?
Brodie Lee VS Lee Johnson!
The Exalted One defeated QT Marshall in his first AEW match a couple weeks ago. But QT Marshall beat Lee Johnson on AEW Dark. Then what chance is there for Lee Johnson to defeat Mr. Brodie this week?
The bell rings and Johnson leaps at Brodie, but the dropkick is swatted away! Brodie then clobbers Johnson with a back elbow! Brodie waits for Johnson to stand before he BOOTS Johnson down! The Exalted One spots Marko Stunt among the audience and stares him down. He then goes back to Johnson to drag him to the ropes. Brodie wants Stunt to see the senton atomico! He drags Johnson to the corner to club away on Johnson’s back! Brodie goes corner to corner to back elbow Johnson into buckles! And then a HUGE Half ‘n’ Half suplex! Johnson flounders but Brodie drags him up into the SCRAPBUSTER! Brodie doesn’t stop, he brings Johnson up for the DISCUS! Cover, Brodie Lee wins!
Winner: Brodie Lee, by pinfall
NO CHANCE! That’s what Johnson got. Does anyone else in AEW stand a chance of surviving The Exalted One and his new Dark Order?
AEW TNT Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Cody VS Shawn Spears!
The American Nightmare and The Chair Man went all out at All Out in Chicago, but nothing is every truly settled in professional wrestling. Each man had a Horseman behind them back then, but now it’s just 1v1 with a path to the newest title in AEW on the line. Who sets the tone for the entire tournament with this opening match?
The bell rings and Spears is wary of Cody. They circle and tie up, then go around the ring. Cody puts Spears in a corner but Spears fights out. Cody headlocks to the takeover and cover, ONE. Spears rolls to a cover, ONE! They stand up, Cody shifts to a facelock but Spears gets the ropebreak. Spears slips out to the apron and Cody gives him space. Spears returns and the two go again. Cody wants a leg but Spears stays clear. They tie up, Spears waistlocks, but Cody pries free. Cody goes for the reversal but Spears knees low then CHOPS Cody to a corner. Spears CHOPS Cody more but Cody grits his teeth. Spears whips Cody corner to corner but Cody goes up and sunset flips! TWO and Cody sweeps to thee leg lock. Spears pushes Cody away and bails out of the ring.
Spears calls for a time-out but there’s no such thing in wrestling. He goes around the way but the Gunn Club gets rowdy. Spears storms off to search under the ring. He finds a chair! And tosses it into the ring! Cody goes to fetch the chair but Spears sneaks in! Cody hurdles over and then follows, to springboard for the NIGHTMARE CUTTER! Cover, TWO! Cody tires again, TWO! Cody goes after an arm and wrenches Spears to a suplex, and gourd buster! Cover, TWO! Cody tries again, TWO! Cody keeps his cool while Spears tries to catch his breath. He stomps Spears then drags him up for another wrench. Cody brings Spears around but Spears cradle counters, TWO! Spears waistlocks but Cody hooks a leg for a trip! Cody Penalty Kicks but Spears ducks it to roll Cody up! TWO, and Cody throws hands!
Cody has Spears in a corner and whips him corner to corner. Spears reverses, Cody goes up and over and BOOTS Spears down! Cover, TWO! Cody tries again with a full mount, TWO! Jericho says the “fancy pansty, artsy fartsy BS” won’t win. Cody stomps Spears down then climbs up top. Flashbacks to the cage match, and the MOONSAULT FLOPS! Spears drags himself up and drags Cody into a PILEDRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Cody survives and goes out to the apron. Spears follows and brings Cody around to club him down. Spears brings Cody to the ramp, for a neckbreaker! Both men are writhing as AEW goes to break.
AEW returns and Cody brawls with Spears. Spears clubs and CHOPS Cody, then whips him corner to corner hard! Cody bounces off buckles and hits the mat, but the audience is rallying. Spears stalks Cody out of the ring and SUPERKICKS him at the ramp! Spears brings some railing over and takes off the cloth! He pulls the railing apart to prop just the grate up against the apron. Spears goes after Cody but Cody throws hands back! Cody brings Spears over to bump off the apron. And again! Cody sees Spears’ railing ramp and brings him over. Spears blocks the suplex to GIVE the suplex to the grate! Brandi hurries over to check on her husband, but “This is Awesome” for the audience! Cody is somehow okay to continue but Spears is on him.
Spears puts Cody in the ring and pushes the grate aside. Spears covers, TWO! The Chair Man grows a little frustrated but he drags Cody up for a scoop slam. Spears goes to a corner and springboards, to frog splash onto knees! Both men are down and the audience fires up! Cody rises but Spears follows. Cody throws a BIG haymaker! Spears dodges the next but not the kitchen sink knee! Spears runs at Cody but Cody goes up to send Spears into buckles! Cody hits the spinning powerslam! Cover, TWO! Both men are down, but Cody takes off the weight belt! Cody LASHES Spears with it! Then tosses it to the Gunn Club as a free souvenir. Cody brings Spears up, but no Beautiful Disaster! POP-UP BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Both men are still in it as AEW goes to one more break!
AEW returns once more, and Spears is outside the ring. Spears brings out a TABLE from underneath! Spears grins but Cody DIVES! Direct hit at the ramp! Cody pumps himself up as he hobbles over. Cody brings the table the rest of the way out and sets it up! The ref reprimands Cody as he positions it, and he goes after Spears. Spears pushes Cody away and they go around the way. Cody clubs Spears and has Suge D hold him in place! Cody CHOPS and punches and puts Spears in the ring! Spears flounders, Cody climbs, but Spears gets up to SUPER ARM-DRAG! Both men are down and Jericho shouts for Spears! Spears rises up and heads for a corner. The ref checks on Cody, and Spears pulls off the crossbar pad! Brandi gets on the apron to stop him but Spears sees the table is near.
But before Spears can do anything to Brandi, Cody goes after him! Cody drags Spears into dragon sleeper but Spears slips out! Spears dodges Cody and Cody almost knocks Brandi off the apron!! Brandi gets clear but Spears gets Cody in the fireman’s carry! Cody holds ropes but Spears uses that to his advantage!! C4 THROUGH THE TABLE!! Cody crash lands and the audience loses its mind! The ref checks on Cody but somehow he’s still in this! Jericho loves this. The ring count climbs and Brandi tries to revive Cody. The count passes 5 and then 7! Cody rises, stumbles, but gets in at 9.5!! Spears can’t believe it and is losing his cool! Jericho shouts to take advantage instead!
Spears grits his teeth and glares at Cody. Cody crawls but Spears drags him up. Spears SLAPS Cody so Cody SLAPS back! But Spears fireman’s carry, only for Cody to slip out, and hit CROSS RHODES!! And then ANOTHER CROSS RHODES!! Cover, TWO!?! Spears survives and even Jericho is shocked! But that’s the “Canadian tenacity.” But Cody pulls Spears’ knee pads off and locks on the FIGURE FOUR!! Spears screams in pain, weakly flails as Cody cranks back, and it’s a cover!! Cody WINS!
Winner: Cody, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
Has anyone ever won with a pin from a Figure Four? Cody does it here tonight, and is now one step closer to history! But will it be Sammy Guevara or Darby Allin meeting him in the semifinals?
Another great episode for AEW as the Spring begins. For one, Jericho was amazing on commentary the entire night. I’m surprised they didn’t give him a segment to answer Matt Hardy’s Deletion challenge. We’re obviously getting that match, and I can’t wait to see it. Jake The Snake gives a great opening promo to then lead into Archer having another great squash match. Cody VS Spears was an incredible main event, and I really liked the creativity in that finish. If Jericho has never seen a Figure Four pinfall victory, then you know it hasn’t happened. Archer VS Cody is almost too obvious of a finals match for the TNT Championship, but the build is making it worth it.
We got great hype videos for everything, too. I would’ve cut out a few of those retorts in the second part of the Moxley-Hager hype, but everything was great. That match next week is going to be insane, and could probably just be a huge chunk of the second hour. Forty minutes, and that’s even with commercials. We probably got the best Women’s Match ever and it wasn’t even for the title. Baker earned a lot of points with me for embracing that bloody nose and then even giving a great interview promo after. I would love if Shida found a way to beat Nyla, and then Shida VS Baker was the next feud up.
Omega and Nakazawa VS Best Friends was a great tag match for coming outta nowhere. But naturally, Best Friends win to keep that name. They’ll move up in the rankings but not with a title match just yet. I was surprised to see AEW gave the rankings already as part of the show. You could tell it was already recorded with tomorrow’s YouTube upload in mind, but it’s nice that they wanted to include it here. And lastly, Brodie Lee of course won again. His vignette reprimanding the casually dressed Creepers was good, as it’s another subtle reference to Vince McMahon. But I’m waiting for when he gets that attitude with Evil Uno and Stu Grayson and takes them down a peg. Then we’ll see if they’ll accept The Exalted One’s way of doing things.
My Score: 9.3/10