AEW continued to honor Brodie Lee’s legacy last Wednesday. “Dynamite” kicked off with a birthday celebration for his son Negative One. Brodie Lee Jr. joined The Dark Order on stage and got some cake. Lee Jr. will be officially signed to the promotion when he becomes of legal working age. For now, he is staying under the watchful eye of many of his fathers’ friends, all the while learning the ropes of the industry.
Luther and his partner Serpentico cut the celebration short when they began to bad-mouth the late Brodie Lee Sr. Dark Order and the newly-formed Chaos Project immediately went at it. In true old-western fashion, Hangman Adam Page came to the rescue and dismantled the party-poopers.
Right away, it seemed like The Dark Order would be gaining a new elite member. But as many wrestling fans know all too well, we don’t often get what we want when we want it.
Hangman agreed to give his decision post-match after teaming up with buddies John Silver and Alex Reynolds, as well as “Boom Boom” Cabana. They took on Hybrid II members Angelico and Jack Evans, as well as the aforementioned Luther and Serpentico. The main focus of the bout was to see how Hangman’s chemistry with Silver and Reynolds has developed. And while Hangman seems to be enjoying his temporary membership, he ultimately rejected the offer. Next week, we may see Dark Order turn on Page as they typically don’t take criticism or rejection well.
We have to give Sting props for showing up every week since his monumental return at the end of 2020. Other than his little speech segments feuding with Team Taz and being the mentor of TNT Champion Darby Allin, however, he really hasn’t done a whole lot. My loaded question is this: when will we see Sting return the ring and show us the ol’ Stinger Splash? AEW shouldn’t hold off too long. Many are expecting big things from the legendary performer. I would hate to see this long-awaited return dwindle down to an uneventful outcome.
Cody Rhodes, being the executive vice president of AEW, definitely has a sense of pride and accomplishment for what the promotion has achieved so far. What doesn’t come with a sense of pride was low to mid carder “Pretty” Peter Avalon taking Cody to town. Avalon had control of almost the entire match. Jade Cargill’s interruption didn’t help Rhodes’s focus either.
After Avalon had been giving it to Cody, Rhodes got “Pretty” Peter into a figure-four leglock. However, it wasn’t this devastating maneuver that made Avalon tap. It was Cody’s attempt o slap Peter back that did him in. Avalon is so afraid of getting slapped that he covers his face and taps just to avoid the physical contact to his face. It really just didn’t make any sense. Quite frankly, it made Cody look very bad. This Jade Cargill storyline better go somewhere soon.
Jon Moxley was back in action again this week, Nightmare Family protégé Nick Comoroto. QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes are training Comoroto. This must mean that the company sees a potential bright future for the young but very large competitor. He was no match for Mox’s sleeper hold though. Mox put him away and it looked like the former AEW Champion was just warming up. Moxley cut another scathing promo about Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers, saying how the numbers game doesn’t scare him. In fact, it will only make the climb up the mountain all that sweeter.
One of the more exciting matches of the evening pitted Private Party against Top Flight. The matches with these talents are always on another level. The amount of creativity they bring into each and every bout is truly a spectacle.
It was great to see Top Flight take some pages out of Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas’s playbook that they grew up watching. They used the leapfrog back-splash finishing maneuver that Haas and Benjamin made famous back in 2003.
After last week’s tease, Private Party finally transitioned to full-fledged heels after Isiah Kassidy hit one of the Top Flight members with a chair shot. Marq Quen, who typically had been resistant to those types of tactics, garnered a sick, twisted smile and hit his Shooting Star Press finisher with grace for the win. This marks an important episode as Private Party can start to develop their characters and not only shine in the ring, but on the microphone as well.
The most hard-hitting match of the night was “Legit” Layla Hirsch taking on Penelope Ford. Hirsch really got to showcase her wrestling prowess with a rock-solid submission game, endurance and a tough persona to top it off. The numbers game eventually got her. While she lost to Ford, Hirsch absolutely killed that performance and she is definitely on my radar going forward.
This match was also where we got our first look at the full-fledged butler “Charles” Taylor. He accompanied Ford, alongside her fiancé Kip Sabian and Miro. I’ll certainly agree that it was humiliating enough. Miro even went so far as to force Taylor to tell Orange Cassidy that he isn’t his best friend anymore, and that Miro now is. Cringeworthy, but still has my attention and emotions will absolutely boil over at Bash at the Beach in two weeks.
The Inner Circle main evented with their tag team challenge. The winner would be declared the official tag-team of the faction and be allowed to compete for the tag-team titles. Santana and Ortiz should have won if this was an actual wrestling contest and based purely off skill. AEW originally brought the two in to be a flagship tag team.
Sammy Guevara and Hager looked a hell of a lot better than Jericho and MJF did. Jericho even struggled to hit his iconic Lionsault. You would think that instead of prolonging this MJF crap, Santana and Ortiz would take the win and they could build more storyline off that, but no. We got the expected victors of MJF and Jericho, which won’t go over well with the rest of the faction.
I’m still waiting for the dream match of MJF versus Sammy. But for now, we will have to suffer through another week of the same old Inner Circle nonsense. Perhaps Bash at the Beach will be the opportunity for new ground to be broken and bring some energy back into the Inner Circle members.