Arcade Anarchy was the perfect platform to showcase the peak of the Best Friends and Miro/Sabian feud. 80s style arcade machines littered the floor. Surrounding the ring were iconic titles such as Whack-A-Mole, Mortal Kombat and Space Invaders. In what was seemingly an ode to the Baker/Rosa unsanctioned match, Chucky T even took a nasty powerbomb bump on LEGOs. Yes, you read that right…LEGOs.
AEW continues to get creative. By keeping the product ever-changing, an extremely fresh show is produced week in and week out. To add some additional spice into the hardcore matchup, Kris Statlander made a huge surprise return. About 8 months prior to Statlander’s injury, she feuded with Penelope Ford. Statlander’s return came from the inside of a Claw Prize Machine before bursting through the plexiglass and knocking Ford out. A sweet dose of revenge for Statlander, after spending the better part of a year on the shelf.
Trent also made an unexpected triumphant return. He was supposed to be out for a few more months, so hopefully he isn’t rushing the injury and rehabilitation. We all have seen this happen before to guys like Kurt Angle. During his wrestling career, the now retired Angle was out more than he should have been simply because he pushed off surgeries and rehabilitation, time and time again. With the Best Friends (Trent, Cassidy and Chucky T) finally reunited, Sabian and Miro better sleep with one eye open. The Best Friends will be salivating at the chance to capitalize on their win and continue gunning for the Bulgarian Brute.
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Christian Cage made his AEW in-ring debut, taking on his former TNA rival Frankie Kazarian. While Cage has largely been inactive the past 7 years, he performed admirably. His pacing was noticeably slower than Kazarian’s, but that was to be expected. The bout was entertaining and provided a great matchup to get Christian re-acclimated and shed some of his ring rust. Cage was ultimately victorious in his debut, puting Kazarian away with the “Killswitch”, formerly known as the Unprettier. While many expected him to win, this gave Frankie his first loss of the year making him 11-1. It will be interesting to see if Cage competes two weeks in a row, and if he does, who his next opponent will be. “Out.Work.Everyone.”
In a slightly unprecedented sequence of events, QT Marshall said he feels consistently slighted by the Nightmare Family, specifically Lee Johnson, Cody and Dustin Rhodes. In a show of respect to try and prevent the betrayal, Cody granted Marshall a match. However, QT became frustrated the longer the match went on because he struggled to keep up with Cody, despite being a gifted athlete.
With the buildup of QT’s storyline culminating in the peak of his match with Cody, QT did a full 180 and betrayed the Rhodes family. Not only was this backstabbing from someone they deeply trusted, but QT had also been secretly recruiting Nick Comoroto as well as a few of the younger guys involved in the faction. The Rhodes family doesn’t take kindly to betrayal, let alone from someone who they considered family. You can bet that Cody, Dustin and Double A will be out for blood in the coming weeks.
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Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers took on the Lucha Bros and Laredo Kid. Laredo has been a fantastic addition to the high-flying pair and complements their fast-paced style well. While this match featured the usual Good Brothers and Omega beatdown, following the One-Winged Angel victory, our beloved Rebel Jon Moxley took to the ring to take out the trash. This time was different however, as he wasn’t alone. Unfortunately, Kingston is incapacitated with a broken ankle, but The Young Bucks came to the rescue. Finally, The Young Bucks stood up to Omega’s bullshit. Matt and Nick finally said, “enough is enough,” after they were bystanders for weeks on end.
The Bucks and Mox cleared the ring and made a huge statement to Good Bros and Omega that the storm is coming and their domination of the talent in this brand is over. We will see the first bout featuring all six men when they collide at the upcoming Dynamite.
The newly formed Pinnacle was enjoying time in their “new” locker room backstage. MJF presented a gift to his team in the form of a personal stylist and an interior decorator. During the scene, MJF wants to get rid of the nasty bathroom located within the dressing room. However, when he goes to open the door, The Inner Circle in all of its glory is front and center. MJF quickly closes the door and says, “We gotta go!” and attempts to go out the front door, but Jake Hager is waiting to start the ambush.
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This was a backroom brawl like I’ve never seen before. Santana and Ortiz got their bloody revenge on Dax, Cash, and Tully, forcing Hardwood to get several stitches in the top of his head. Guevara went off on Shawn, Spears slamming his head in a door. This effectively knocked him out for the remainder of the segment. While this was happening, Hager and Wardlow had a collision of giants backstage towards the doctor and massage area. Hager put Wardlow through the massage table, which looked absolutely devastating. Back in the dressing room, Jericho and MJF continued their brawl. It ended with Jericho putting MJF headfirst through a Pepsi machine before saying, “The worst has yet to come.” At this point, you can’t help but feel scared for The Pinnacle.
The dynamic of comparing the two factions is very interesting because each person has a counterpart in the opposite faction: Guevara/Spears, Hager/Wardlow, Santana and Ortiz/FTR, and finally Jericho/MJF. While I was skeptical of Pinnacle’s demographic, it seems AEW has struck gold with this rivalry. This is also a great switch up from the MJF/Inner Circle storyline that got stale and dragged on a bit too long. With Double or Nothing less than two months away, who knows what storylines we will see develop and what friendships we may see crumble.