By: Frank Hyden
AEW held their last PPV of the year and it featured some truly outstanding matches. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Kenny Omega beat “Hangman” Adam Page
I might have overhyped myself a bit for this match, though it was certainly really good. Everyone knew that Omega was going to win, but I don’t think that takes away from the match. This may not have been the Match of the Year but it was damn good. Omega wins the AEW Title Eliminator Tournament and will face AEW Champion Jon Moxley sometime in the future.
GOOD- Orange Cassidy beat John Silver
This was another match where you knew who was going to win, no way was Cassidy going to lose another big match especially to Silver, but that didn’t take away from the action. They went back and forth for a while before Cassidy put him away.
GOOD- Darby Allin beat Cody Rhodes to become the TNT Champion
Cody got his last name back after WWE canceled trademarks last week, including that one. I’m not really a fan of Allin’s gimmick, he just strikes me as a emo tryhard too concerned with looking “extreme”. I don’t want to criticize his work, though, I just don’t care for the character.He’s a nice worker, no question, and him and Rhodes had a good match. Allin won with a rollup before Team Taz interrupted. Will Hobbs made the save.
GOOD- Hikaru Shida beat Nyla Rose to retain her AEW Women’s Championship
The match was pretty good. It’s all about expectations, though. I figured they would have a nice match, which they did. I didn’t expect it to be as good as Omega-Page, which it wasn’t. But it was a good match. I fully expected Rose to win this one, though. She had recently aligned with Vickie Guerrero so I figured they would run her back as a monster heel again. I guess not.
GREAT- The Young Bucks beat FTR to win the AEW Tag Team Titles
These guys went crazy in this match, with so much action for so long that this entered the realm of Best Tag Team Matches of All-Time. I might be going a bit overboard there but this was awesome. I think they went damn near 30 minutes at an incredible pace. Wheeler went against FTR’s character and tried a 450 Splash but missed and got pinned after a Superkick. This was another match where you knew who was going to win ahead of time but that didn’t matter a single bit and actually might have encouraged some fans to want to see the match more.
GOOD/BAD- Matt Hardy beat Sammy Guevara in an Elite Deletion match
I don’t generally like these cinematic matches. I think you lose part of what makes wrestling interesting, which is the “one take” nature of it. I’m not a big fan of multiple camera angles and shots normally, but I know they want to get closeups and maybe better angles for moves and such. But that all feels fairly organic, though. It feels like it’s done and the cameras are just documenting it. These cinematic matches feel like a generic Hollywood action scene. Sometimes you can practically feel the director saying “Cut!”. Also, these matches are generally too silly for my tastes. I appreciate their effort but I’d rather not see another cinematic match again for a long time. I kind of think Guevara should have won, though maybe they have a plan they’re implementing?
GOOD- MJF beat Chris Jericho to join The Inner Circle
This match wasn’t great, but it was interesting as a heel vs. heel match. MJF did a Eddie Guerrero as he feigned being hit by Jericho’s bat when he really wasn’t and pinned Jericho as the ref was admonishing him. So now MJF and Wardlow can join The Inner Circle. I still think they screwed up by having MJF lose to Jon Moxley a few months ago but this is better than nothing.
GOOD- Jon Moxley beat Eddie Kingston in an “I Quit” match to retain the AEW Title
These guys went back and forth with a barbed wire bat and thumb tacks. They also had blood in the match, which elevated things. This had the feel of a good intense fight. Moxley retaining was expected but the level of brutality was appropriate given the buildup. Moxley wrapped some barbed wire around his arm before he applied the Bulldog Choke to Kingston, who finally surrendered. A special shoutout to referee Bryce Remsburg, who did a good job basically begging Kingston to give up at the end there. That made things feel even more impactful.
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