We are live from Raleigh, North Carolina, where pyro and fireworks explode as Jim Ross welcomes us to the show.
Tony Schiavone and Excalibur join him on commentary to run down the scheduled lineup for tonight’s show as the camera pans the crowd, showing the enthusiastic fanbase in attendance for the program this evening.
Adam Cole … BAY-BAY!
The theme for Adam Cole hits and we are told by the commentary trio that we will be hearing from Adam Cole to kick off the show. Out he comes accompanied by Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, who are wearing new reDRagon t-shirts.
We see the trio settle in the ring as Cole’s theme peaks, where the crowd then joins him in doing the “Boom!” gesture. He enters the ring and then the fans join him in doing the “Adam Cole …BAY-BAY!” routine. He asks who is ready for story time with Adam Cole, and from the sounds of it, everyone in the arena is.
Cole starts by vowing 2022 will be a great year for himself. He points out that he’s never been pinned or submitted and remains undefeated in singles competition in AEW. As he continues to talk, we hear someone interrupt him, which is eventually revealed to be The Young Bucks. Out comes Matt and Nick Jackson, accompanied by Brandon Cutler.
Jackson talks about kicking COVID’s ass in two days. He sarcastically thanks them for the invite to be with them in the ring for this segment. He then invites himself and his brother to enter the ring. O’Reilly hops on the mic and says no one invited them. He says no one invited them in Jacksonville either, but that didn’t stop them.
The Young Bucks enters the ring and Fish and O’Reilly take turns taking shots at Nick and Matt Jackson, with the Bucks firing back as well. Cole tries to play peacemaker, pointing out other factions do what’s happening right now and they don’t, which is what makes them better. They use The Best Friends as an example of the other kind of faction.
The Elite Members Brawl With The Best Friends
On that note, The Best Friends theme hits and out comes Orange Cassidy along with Trent, Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta. They enter the ring as Cole tells someone in the back to cut off their awful theme music. He singles out the “Freshly Squeezed” one himself, but before he can say much of anything to Cassidy, he is tackled by him and a brawl breaks out.
Everyone except Cassidy and Cole filter out to the floor and continue brawling. In the ring, Cassidy is beating Cole down but when he stands up, he is hit with a cheap shot from behind which leads to Cole taking over.
Kris Statlander Enters The Picture, Britt Baker Takes Her Out
Before he can do much else, out comes Kris Statlander and she gets right in Cole’s face. From there, Cole’s real-life better-half, Dr. Britt Baker, sprints to the ring.
Baker takes out Statlander and then holds Cassidy while Cole blasts him with a big kick. The rest of the crew enters the ring and Cole calls for the double-cheek kiss, which The Young Bucks try to oblige, but they are cut off by Baker and it is instead the AEW Women’s Champion who gives Cole a smooch. Cole’s theme hits to end the segment.
Getting Ready For Tonight’s Featured Opening Contest
After this, a special video package airs to highlight the first match of the evening, which is coming up next. On that note, we see a quick look at the events leading up to the Wardlow vs. CM Punk match scheduled for tonight. We then shoot to a “Go Big Show” sneak peek before heading to our first commercial break of the evening.
CM Punk vs. Wardlow
The bell sounds to get this one off-and-running and we see Punk immediately head outside the ring in an attempt to get his hands on MJF, however Wardlow also hops down to the floor where he stands right in front of Friedman to block Punk from getting too close for comfort. Both guys head back in the ring and finally lock up.
We see Wardlow use his power and strength to control Punk early on, however a few moments later, Punk has Wardlow in the corner and begins firing away at him with punches. Wardlow doesn’t take too many before turning the tables and going back to work on Punk. The fans begin a defeaning “Let’s get Wardlow” and “CM Punk” dueling chant.
Wardlow whips Punk into the corner, where he comes right back out and peppers Wardlow with some leg kicks. He hoists Wardlow up with a GTS in mind, however Wardlow escapes out the back door and looks to get Punk up for his Symphony of Powerbombs. Punk too escapes out the back door and then slides out to the floor to re-group as Excalibur talks us into a mid-match commercial break as the action continues.
As we return from the break, we see Punk getting whipped into the corner — hard. Moments later he fires up for an offensive comeback. He gets the crowd going as he amps up and looks to get Wardlow softened up for his GTS finisher, however it isn’t long before the bigger, stronger Wardlow is back in control of the action. He ends up connecting on a big power-bomb on Punk. He follows up with a second, then a third, fourth and even a fifth.
After the Symphony of Power-bombs, he goes for the cover with his boot on Punk’s chest like he has done to everyone else, while Schiavone predicts Punk is about to suffer his first defeat in AEW singles competition. Instead, MJF hops on the apron and yells “No! No! No!” to Wardlow. He tells him this isn’t over with yet. He gives him some orders and we see Wardlow oblige, as he hoists Punk up for a sixth powerbomb. It connects and then MJF yells for him to do it again.
Wardlow picks a nearly lifeless Punk up and hits with a seventh powerbomb in a row. MJF taunts the fans, asking them what happened to their favorite wrestler. He then tells Wardlow to give him one more. The camera shows Punk looking badly beaten under the bottom rope. Wardlow exits the ring and walks around to get hold of Punk. MJF ends up stopping him because he has a better idea. He clears off the timekeepers table and tells him to powerbomb him through it. He does.
MJF then enters the ring and poses like he accomplished something, which of course elicits a ton of boos from the crowd. We see the match official Aubrey Edwards and some other AEW officials and ringside doctor checking on him. Punk begins crawling to make it back to the ring, where Wardlow has returned. The crowd cheers him on and Punk manages to roll back into the ring just after the count of nine. MJF yells at him not to pin him, but to powerbomb him again, pointing out that’s what he pays him for.
Punk ends up surprising him by getting an inside cradle on an unsuspecting Wardlow as he was distracted by MJF bossing him around. 1-2-3. Punk steals the victory and rolls out to the floor where he crashes to the mat at ringside with nothing left in him.
Winner: CM Punk
Once the match wraps up, as Punk remains lifeless on the floor at ringside, we see MJF re-enter the ring and scold Wardlow for never being able to win the big one. He sticks his finger in Wardlow’s chest one-time too many and Wardlow snatches MJF’s hand and contemplates tearing it off until Shawn Spears runs down to the ring.
“The Chairman of AEW” pleads with Wardlow not to do it and ends up helping to keep the peace enough that Wardlow doesn’t bite the hand that feeds him. The Pinnacle trio end up heading to the back as we head to another commercial break.
Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Dante Martin
When we return from the break, Taz joins the commentary trio to call our next match, as it features a member of his Team Taz stable. We see Powerhouse Hobbs in the ring with FTW Champion Ricky Starks in his corner on the floor.
Dante Martin will be Hobbs’ opponent in this match, as he charges down the ramp and goes right to work on Hobbs. This match, which was set up last week and promoted with a brief post-match angle on the AEW Battle of the Belts special event after the Ricky Starks vs. Matt Sydal match for the FTW title, gets off to a fiery start.
The bell then sounds and we’re now officially off-and-running with our second bout of the evening. We see Martin faring well early on, however it isn’t long before Hobbs is absolutely dominating what quickly becomes a one-sided pummeling from the much larger Hobbs.
Taz sings Hobbs’ praises as Starks looks extra confident at ringside cheering Hobbs on. Hobbs continues to handle Martin with ease as Taz continues to talk like the outcome in this one is already inevitable.
Martin finally starts to show signs of life as he slugs away at Hobbs enough to get back to his feet. He doesn’t remain there long, as Hobbs beats him back down to the ground and eventually goes for the cover. Martin ends up kicking out before the count of three to keep this match alive.
Starks gets involved just as we head to a mid-match commercial break. Excalibur exclaims, “God damnit Ricky Starks!” just as we fade into a commercial break.
When we return from the break, we see Martin fire up for an offensive comeback. He starts hitting high spots, including a twisting top-rope dive onto Hobbs on the floor.
Back in the ring, Martin continues his comeback and connects with another high spot. Hobbs ends up cutting him off in his tracks and levels him. With both guys down, we see Starks hop on the apron to get involved again, but he doesn’t because Jay Lethal appears from behind him and yanks him off the apron.
Hobbs, distracted by this, turns around and gets caught with the double hop top-rope finisher from Martin for the pin fall victory. Taz flips out on commentary, as does Hobbs and Starks, but nevertheless, it goes down as a win for Martin thanks to Lethal evening the odds.
Winner: Dante Martin
Eddie Kingston Interrupts Chris Jericho & The Inner Circle
We shoot backstage where Alex Marvez is standing by with the PWI faction of 2021 — The Inner Circle. Chris Jericho is joined by the whole gang tonight and he talks about their big 2021 for a bit until he is interrupted by Eddie Kingston.
Kingston gets in Jericho’s face and essentially asks him how does he like being the one to get interrupted for a change. He talks a bunch of trash until finally one member of the Proud ‘N’ Powerdul duo of Santana & Ortiz loses his cool and walks off after making a quick remark. The rest of the Inner Circle does the same.
Jericho tells him that he’s going to be in Sammy Guevara’s corner tonight for his Interim TNT Title defense against Daniel Garcia. He says if he wants to be down there, too, he can. He says if Kingston gets involved he might just kick his ass. He then says GFO, which confuses Kingston. (It stands for Go F*ck Yourself, by the way).
MJF Says Fans Get The Match They Want — Next Week!
We shoot back inside the RNC Arena where MJF emerges from the entrance tunnel. He says he doesn’t care if anyone is mad that he is interrupting this show. He addresses CM Punk and claims he got a fluke win and whether he won or loss he still got power-bombed to hell.
MJF says next week there’s no more running or hiding. He says he’s gonna give all these people the match they have been wanting. He says next week it will be CM Punk versus …. Shawn Spears. His music hits as he exits and the fans boo.
Britt Baker & Adam Cole Call Out Kris Statlander & Orange Cassidy
Now we shoot backstage where Adam Cole is joined by The Young Bucks and reDRagon. They tell Brandon Cutler to start rolling the camera. He does and Cole says he’s been beating up The Best Friends to the point that it’s getting embarassing.
He goes on to say that Kris Statlander has gotten involved and thinks she can do so without getting scathed. With that said, Dr. Britt Baker walks up and joins them. She officially issues a challenge for a mixed tag match for next week where it will be herself and Cole against Statlander and Orange Cassidy.
Adam Page Wants A New Challenger And He Might Have Found One
We head back inside the arena where we hear the familiar sounds of “Hangman” Adam Page’s theme song. The AEW World Champion emerges and heads to the ring as Excalibur and the rest of the commentary team sing his praises.
Page talks about pouring enough blood, sweat and tears to keep hold of the AEW World Championship. He says he spent 90 minutes in the ring with one of the best in the world in Bryan Danielson. He says 90 minutes isn’t enough, though.
“Hangman” says he’s ready for a new challenger. With that said, we hear Dan Lambert come out with a microphone. He brings up other famous “Cowboys” in wrestling like “Cowboy” Bill Watts. Page calls Lambert a walking Facebook profile.
Lambert rants about Page for a bit, but also gives him some credit for not taking the Cody route but instead actually earning his place in the company and the title around his waist. Page says he’s heard enough and if he wants Scorpio Sky or Ethan Page to get a shot, they can have it.
Instead, Lambert keeps talking and walking closer to the ring. Page wants to fight so he tells Lambert to shut up and get in the ring. Lambert says he’s not going to and begins retreating to the back. He ends up stopping when the theme music of Lance Archer plays.
“The Murderhawk Monster” makes his way to the ring. Lambert begs him off and tells him he’s in the ring with the world champion and not to miss his opportunity. Archer grabs a hold of Lambert but ends up shoving him aside and taking Page’s head off with a big lariat.
Archer ends up beating him down. He then sets up a chair in the ring and hits him with his Blackout finisher onto it. He leaves the champ laying as the commentators talk us through highlights of what just transpired.
In Four Horsemen Country, A Match Is Made For Next Week
We shoot backstage where Arn Anderson is standing by with his son Brock Anderson and Lee Johnson. The trio are confronted by FTR and Tully Blanchard. Anderson talks about this being Horsemen country and then they are challenged by FTR. Anderson and Johnson like the sounds of it and they accept. Tully and Arn shake hands and then we head to a commercial break.
Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb
As we return from the break, we hear the familiar sounds of the former AEW Women’s Champion and out comes Hikaru Shida. Shida doesn’t make it too far down the ramp before she is attacked from behind.
We see it is Serena Deeb who took out Shida’s already weakened knee with a kendo stick. She hits her a few more times, focusing on the knee. Excalibur explains that she was already attacked at the knee in her TBS women’s title tournament loss and Deeb is adding to that injury ahead of tonight’s latest chapter of the ongoing rivalry between these two.
Once at ringside, Deeb rolls into the ring and gloats as Shida clutches her already injured knee, which we see is already taped up. Shida demands that the referee ring the bell, insisting that she still competes here tonight.
As soon as the bell sounds, Deeb goes right to work on Shida’s knee. She gets her down and beats away at her knee. She tears the knee pad off and then slams her knee into the mat repeatedly. She ends up getting her one-leg submission finisher on her. She yanks back with all she’s got and while Shida didn’t give up, referee Paul Turner calls it anyways.
Winner: Serena Deeb
After The Match: The Assault Continues …
Shida smacks and yells at Turner while holding her knee and struggling to get up after the match. Deeb ends up comnig back in the ring with her kendo stick and swings it at the doctor and ref to get them away from Shida. She then repeatedly blasts Shida’s injured knee with the kendo stick. A bunch of officials hit the scene to restrain her.
Jurassic Express Wants Any Top 5 Team … And They’ve Found One
Backstage, Tony Schiavone is standing by with Christian Cage and the new AEW World Tag-Team Champions Jurassic Express. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy are proudly holding their newly won tag titles when Jungle Boy reveals that they fought hard to win the titles and they will fight even harder to keep them.
Jungle Boy goes on to say that they will take on any top five team that wants a shot. With that said, up walks The Dark Order duo. They talk about being ranked in the top five and a match ends up getting made.
Matt Hardy vs. Penta El Zero Miedo
The bell sounds and we’re off-and-running with this one. Penta and Hardy start things off by not fighting each other, but instead fighting for crowd support. Penta leads the fans in a chant in his favor while Hardy leads his hometown fans in a “DELETE!” chant to respond each time. This goes back-and-forth so many times that the commentary crew brings up how this one only has a 20-minute time-limit.
Finally they start mixing it up and getting after it, and as Penta establishes the early offensive control, we are led into a mid-match, picture-in-picture commercial break as the match continues. As we return from the break, we see the action in progress in the ring with Hardy in control.
Hardy takes Penta up to the top-rope and climbs up after him. Penta escapes and returns to the mat and then sweeps Hardy’s legs out from under him. Hardy falls back in a modified tree of woe from the middle rope. Penta climbs back up and leaps off, connecting with a double stomp on the way down for a close near fall.
From there, the two battle out to the ring apron outside of the ring-ropes. Penta looks for a big spot there, however Hardy counters and connects with a side effect on what Jim Ross points out is the hardest part of the ring. Back in the ring, Penta ends up fighting back into the lead and hits his Fear Factor finisher for the pin fall victory.
Winner: Penta El Zero Miedo
Brody King Has Arrived As Member Of The House Of Black
Once the match wraps up, we hear Alex Abrahantes translate a message from Penta El Zero Miedo regarding Malakai Black. He goes to say something else but the lights in the arena go out.
When the lights come back on, Malakai Black emerges and hits the ring. A brawl ensues between himself and Penta. Out comes Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. and The Varsity Blondes help Penta in beating down Malakai as Julia Hart is shown on the apron still wearing an eye patch and shouting.
Black sits up and Jim Ross accidentally refers to him by his old WWE name of Aleister Black. The lights go out again and when they come back on, we see Brody King standing in the ring. He ends up cleaning house of everyone and then he and Malakai head to the back as the commentators question if he is the new member of the House of Black.
Kris Statlander & Leyla Hirsch Argue
We shoot backstage where Kris Statlander is standing by with Tony Schiavone. She is asked about the mixed tag match made earlier tonight with herself and Orange Cassidy taking on Adam Cole and Britt Baker. She talks briefly about it until Leyla Hirsch interrupts her.
Hirsch is critical of Statlander for not being focused on the match they already have scheduled for this Friday on Rampage. Statlander fires back with her thoughts and then Red Velvet tells them to get along if they want any chance of winning on Friday. They agree to do that and we head back in the arena for our next match.
The Acclaimed vs. Beer Country
With that said, the theme for The Acclaimed hits and out comes Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Caster does his freestyle diss rap as the duo make their way to the ring, where their opponents are already waiting for them.
The duo of Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder — collectively known as Bear Country — are introduced. Bear Boulder starts things off and we see The Acclaimed jump into the early offensive lead as we head into a mid-match commercial break.
When we return, we see Bear Boulder looking for the tag when we return and after Bronson squashes Bowens, he does just that. The commentary team marvels at the large Boulder as he starts to take on both members of The Acclaimed by himself.
He looks for a double chokeslam but they fight out of it and each hit the ropes only to walk right into a double flatliner. He tags in Bronson again who goes to the top-rope. They look for the Bear-Bone finisher as Boulder hoists his own partner on his shoulders, however they don’t connect with it.
The Acclaimed hit some double-team spots to return to the offensive lead. Bronson nearly fights back in control but behind the refs back, The Acclaimed use some sneaky tactics to pull off the win with a Mic Drop. With the win, The Acclaimed will remain in the number one spot in the tag-team rankings in AEW.
Winners: The Acclaimed
Sting & Darby Allin Gain Some Revenge On The Acclaimed
We watch The Acclaimed head up the ramp to go to back to the locker room after the win, however they stop when the lights in the building go out. When they come back on, we see Sting emerge with his trademark baseball bat.
As Bowens and Caster are distracted by that, out comes Darby Allin and he levels them with his trademark skateboard. Sting follows up with some shots with his bat as they beat the number one ranked duo back to the ring.
Once in the ring, Sting hits his Scorpion Death Drop and Allin heads to the top-rope for his Coffin Drop. The music hits again as the crowd pops and they soak in the love as we are led into a special message from PAC.
“The Bastard” PAC With An Update
A special video package airs showing “The Bastard” PAC talking about having yet another setback.
He talks in an ominous and cryptic fashion and then we return inside the RNC Arena where the commentary trio reacts to his message before running down some announced matches for Friday’s Rampage and next week’s Dynamite.
We then head to a commercial break ahead of tonight’s main event, where the Interim TNT Championship will be on-the-line.
Matt Hardy Needs A Change, Andrade El Idolo Proposes An Offer
When we return from the break, we immediately shoot backstage where Tony Schiavone is standing by with Matt Hardy. Hardy, accompanied by Private Party and other members of The Hardy Family Office, talks about needing to make a change.
He continues to talk when up walks Andrade El Idolo. He tells Hardy to calm down. He then talks about liking money and says he has an offer to propose to Hardy. Hardy says not here and tells him they can go talk somewhere else about it now. They walk off to end the segment.
Interim TNT Championship
Daniel Garcia vs. Sammy Guevara (C)
After the bell sounds to get this one started, we see things get going quickly. Guevara fires away at Garcia, but it isn’t long before Garcia takes the offensive lead. The commentators talk about the hard-hitting style of Garcia as he takes it to Guevara.
Garcia hits Guevara with an open-handed slap, which Guevara responds to by slapping him right back. Guevara hits the ropes to build up a head of steam and then launches himself out and onto Garcia on the floor.
Once back in the ring, we see Garcia jump back into the offensive lead. As he does, the commentators talk us into a mid-match, picture-in-picture commercial break as the match continues.
As we settle back in from the break, we see Guevara holding onto a side head lock on Garcia. The commentators talk about this being an excellent, hard-hitting main event. Guevara blasts Garcia with some downward elbows, which would be illegal in the UFC — but not in AEW!
Guevara goes to head to the top rope but Garcia notices this in time and rolls out to the floor. In the end, it didn’t help him any, as Guevara called a live audible and launches himself out to the floor where he flips and lands on Garcia. The fans pop huge and then break out into a loud “Holy sh*t!” chant.
We see Chris Jericho walk over to the two and give some words of encouragement to “The Spanish God” of the Inner Circle. He then leads the fans in a “Sammy! Sammy!” chant as he rolls Garcia back into the ring. He climbs to the top-rope but Garcia pops up and knocks him down. He then hits a back-drop driver for a close near fall to shift the offensive momentum in his favor again.
Eddie Kingston is shown yelling “Don’t get mad, homie!” as the action resumes. We see Garcia continue to dominate the offense as he locks Guevara in a dangerous looking submission. He yanks back on the leg of Guevara and the commentators talk like this could be Garcia’s big moment.
Instead, Guevara escapes and starts to take over. He connects with a Cross-Rhodes after making a face into the camera to send a message to the TNT Champion.
He goes for the cover after hitting it but Garcia kicks out to keep this one going. Now we see Garcia start to take off into the offensive lead again. He takes Guevara down with a big spot but Guevara pops back up and blasts him with a roundhouse kick. Both guys are down now. Team 2point0 hits the ringside area and they take out Chris Jericho.
Back in the ring, Guevara blasts Garcia with a knee strike. He hoists him up for the GTH but he notices one of the Team 2point0 guys on the apron. He knocks him down but turns around into a prepared Garcia. He counters Garcia’s move and runs him into the other Team 2point0 member on the opposing side of the ring and then connects with the GTH to pull off the win in one hell of a main event tonight.
With the win, Sammy Guevara retains the Interim TNT title.
Winner and STILL Interim TNT Champion: Sammy Guevara
After The Match: All Hell Breaks Loose …
David Crockett enters the ring to present Guevara with the title he just retained, but quickly exits as Team 2point0 hits the ring and ambushes Guevara from behind.
The beatdown continues until Chris Jericho hits the ring with Floyd the baseball bat and cleans house. Eddie Kingston gets in the ring and gets in Jericho’s face, yelling at him and calling him selfish.
The fans chant “Eddie! Eddie!” as they continue to jaw at each other. Guevara’s theme hits again and the commentators thank us for tuning in before wrapping up this week’s show and taking us off the air. That’s how this week’s show ends. Thanks for joining us!
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