The AEW World Championship is on the line!
History will be made as as Jon Moxley takes on Jake Hager in a brutal No Holds Barred Empty Arena Match! Who comes out the baddest man in AEW?
- AEW TNT Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Lance Archer VS Colt Cabana; Archer wins and advances to the semifinals.
- Britt Baker VS Cassandra Golden; Baker wins.
- Sammy Guevara VS Suge D; Guevara wins.
- Chuck Taylor w/ Orange Cassidy VS Kip Sabian w/ Penelope Ford; Sabian wins.
- Shawn Spears VS Justin Law; Spears wins.
- AEW World Championship No Holds Barred Empty Arena Match: Jon Moxley VS Jake Hager; wins and
PLAY BY PLAY
AEW hears from Jake The Snake Roberts.
“When this whole thing came about, man, TNT coming up with this championship and wanting to put somebody out there in front,” The Snake feels it was made for them. And why is that? Because TNT would love Lance Archer out in front. You want to take someone to a party, take him to the party. When Archer comes in, he commands attention. Archer was made for this. In the minds of the Murderhawk and The Snake, the TNT Championship is “a bone.” Do you want to try and keep this dog from that bone? “Lance is going to enjoy this. Because each time he wins, he knows he’s going to be getting a little bit closer to what we want.”
As for Colt Cabana, The Snake has been watching for years. The Snake knows what Cabana is capable of. Cabana has some stuff, but he’s not near good enough. Archer is 275 pounds “of raw steel” and attitude, with a chip on his shoulder. Archer was pushed out of this country and forced to go to Japan to make a living. That pissed him off. Archer is back, and has something no one else here has: he’s an animal. Listen or regret it, it’s Cabana’s choice. #EverybodyDies, but is Cabana going to be the first?
Chris Jericho is back on AEW commentary!
And Le Champion is ready to call all the great action alongside Tony “Skee-A-Voan” as the TNT Championship Tournament continues! But also, don’t miss the special debut of “The Bubbly Bunch” later tonight.
Colt Cabana speaks.
“I’ve known what I’ve done in my career, where I’ve been, my past, the experiences that I’ve had.” Cabana came into AEW expecting to have an undefeated streak, to be someone that fans talk about being actually good. And so far, he’s done that. But there is a lower expectation on Cabana from those within the locker room, and maybe a segment of fans, that he is now blowing out of the water. Cabana knows he’s great, that he’s charismatic and goofy, but fans seem to like that.
Now, Lance Archer is in fact dominant. He dominated in Japan, so AEW wanted him, too. Archer is back in America, but Cabana was just as impressive in Asia. Cabana dominated in China, in Australia, India, Austria and all over Europe. Cabana’s track record is just as good. Archer is being put on a pedestal, but that’s the beauty of being the underdog. Cabana focuses fully on Archer, because Archer is “a big, bad dude.” Cabana has beaten big, bad dudes. The TNT Championship is the goal, and Cabana is focused fully on it. Cabana is gambling on himself to win it all. Will he hit the jackpot? Or will he bust in the opening round?
AEW TNT Championship Tournament Quarterfinals: Lance Archer VS Colt Cabana!
Jake The Snake already said his piece on this match up. Will the Murderhawk Monster make good on those words? Or can BOOM BOOM win that huge gamble he spoke of?
Before going in the ring, Archer goes around to swat Austin Gunn’s sign out of his hands. And then Archer DECKS whoever was at the end of the row! Everyone else is left speechless, but Cabana gets in Archer’s face. That didn’t go so well for Marko Stunt… And just like Marko, Archer pushes and DECKS Cabana! The bell rings and Archer finishes his entrance by taking off his jacket. Archer turns around and Cabana fires off forearms in return! But Cabana barely staggers Archer, and Archer ROCKS him right back! Archer eggs Cabana on, and Cabana dodges to throw leaping forearms! Cabana has Archer wobbling as he whips him corner to corner. Archer reverses, but Cabana goes up and under. Cabana CHOPS, but Archer just stands still. Cabana CHOPS again, but Archer roars.
Another forearm shot and Cabana runs to ropes. Archer runs him over with a shoulder! Archer runs at Cabana but Cabana dumps him to the apron. Cabana runs but Archer goes to boot. But Cabana stops short, to CHOP! Archer falls off the apron, but he avoids any slingshot attempt. Cabana waits for Archer in the ring, and the audience rallies up. Archer kicks at the railing to shut them up, then he gets in the ring. But Cabana slides out! Cabana watches Archer, and slides back in when Archer comes back out. Cabana is toying with Archer and it only angers the Murderhawk. Archer rushes in, Cabana dodges and CHOPS! Cabana throws forearms then wrenches, but Archer just grimaces. Archer swings punches but Cabana ducks under to wrench again.
Cabana has the wristlock but Archer whips him to a corner. Cabana dodges and Archer runs into buckles. In comes the Big Apple, but it gets caught! To a full nelson SLAM! Cover, TWO! Archer is upset with the ref but Aubrey Edwards does not back down. Archer looms over Cabana before he stomp shim around. He toys with Cabana then chokes him on the ropes! The ref counts and Archer stops, but then he glares at her. Archer goes back to Cabana to bounce him off buckles. Cabana dodges the chop to give a CHOP! But Archer just steps into them! Cabana keeps trying but Archer catches the next one! Archer LARIATS Cabana down! Archer pulls Cabana’s arms then clubs away with crossface forearms. The audience still cheers for Cabana but Archer CHOPS Cabana in the corner!
Cabana grits his teeth as Archer throws heavy haymakers. Archer digs his knee in until the ref counts 4. Cabana crawls but Archer stomps him. Cabana throws hands but they don’t do a thing. Archer eggs Cabana on, then DECKS him! Archer drags Cabana to a drop zone then hits a spinning Vader Bomb! Cover, TWO! Archer argues the count but two is two. The audience still rallies for Cabana, but Archer goes out to go around the way. Archer DECKS Cabana on the apron and AEW goes to break.
AEW returns as Archer BOOTS Cabana down. Cabana drags himself up on Archer’s pants but Archer pushes him away. Archer slaps and toys with Cabana, and Cabana ROCKS Archer! Cabana kicks low, but Archer comes back with body shots. Archer CLOBBERS Cabana in the corner then lets him drop. Austin Gunn shouts, “Show some mercy!” but there’s no mercy in Archer’s dojo. Archer climbs up and leaps, but then FLOPS as Cabana gets clear! The audience rallies behind Cabana as he slowly gets up in the corner. Archer runs into boots! And then the elbow! Cabana runs and tilt-o-whirls to headscissor! Archer flounders, Cabana runs in, for the BIG APPLE! Archer is down, Cabana climbs up again. Cabana leaps, Archer rolls, but Cabana hops for the splash! Cover, TWO!
Cabana catches his breath as he has control. Cabana puts up his dukes and JABS! And JABS! Cabana jabs more but Archer starts laughing?! Archer choke grips Cabana! But Cabana breaks free, to flip, flop ‘n’ fly for the BIONIC ELBOW! Cabana runs but Archer goes perpendicular, for the DERAILER! Archer pounces but he’s not done with Cabana. He drags Cabana up, choke grips, and CHOKE SLAMS! But that’s still not enough for Archer. He watches Cabana rise in the corner. Archer runs corner to corner, but into an elbow! Cabana hops up but Archer ROCKS him with a right! Archer has Cabana up, for the BLACKOUT BOMB!! Cover, Archer wins!!
Winner: Lance Archer, by pinfall (advances to the TNT Championship Tournament semifinals)
One undefeated streak continues as the other falls! Archer continues on at 3-0 and heads for the next round! Will Archer become the undefeated inaugural TNT Champion?
AEW hears from Britt Baker.
Britt presents “The rules of being a role model.” Rule one: Always fight fair. This is a crucial component that isn’t always observed. Take last week, when her opponent, Hikaru Shida, resorted to “desperate, disgusting and dangerous” tactics. Britt felt the immediate burning in her head as blood poured from her broken nose. Yet she still valiantly fought through that. And she did it all without her “admiring, dedicated fans chanting and cheering” her on. It was all Britt’s own grit, passion and dedication to always be the face of the AEW Women’s Division. “So really, who’s the true winner here?” Will Baker be the big winner in her match tonight?
AEW World Championship predictions are made.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is up first. “Jon Moxley VS Jake Hager, what a fight. What a fight between two of the toughest men in pro-wrestling today.” Hager and Moxley are the epitome of what makes this business great. This is hard to predict, and Helwani is torn on this decision, but he has to give it to his fellow MMA guy, the All American from the University of Oklahoma, Daniel Jacob Hager Jr! The rising star in both sports has what it takes to take someone like Jon Moxley down. Hager is undefeated in the MMA cage, and Helwani is betting on him.
AEW announcer and ECW legend Taz says, “You know the deal. No Holds Barred. Empty Arena. We get it, we know it.” It’s time to knuckle up! Moxley can do that. Even if Moxley is training in MMA, he needs to keep this off the mat. Moxley needs to be careful of the legitimate mat man in Hager. Moxley can turn this into a brawl, and it’ll be a tough fight, but Taz is confident Moxley will come out the winner. Who are you predicting wins this first-time-ever match?
AEW presents: Technique by Taz.
The ECW legend lends his vast knowledge to analyzing Jake Hager’s arm triangle hold. Using Hager’s AEW Revolution match with Dustin Rhodes as an example, both men are very tall. A standing arm triangle with the Gable grip allowed Hager to squeeze Dustin very tightly. Then modifying the grip slightly finished Dustin off. The “figure four grip” was also on display as Hager took on Chico Adams almost a month ago. Hager was able to get Chico down in the more common seated arm triangle. This is the “katakatami” hold. He did the same style in his Bellator matches and gets the same win.
But the biggest of all was doing it to Jon Moxley. That was AEW Dark on 3/31, but that means it was the same night Hager choked out Chico. On the mat with the arm under the chin and the Gable grip was the deadliest combination. Will Moxley be able to avoid it? And if not, can he survive it?
Britt Baker VS Cassandra Golden!
The Dentist claims to be the face of the AEW Women’s Division, but that face has a broken nose. It’s of note that Golden lost to Hikaru Shida, too, back in February. Will Baker stay even with Shida before she gets even?
Baker spots Shida among the audience and says she’s not over the broken nose. Baker goes to the ring, the bell rings, and she circles with Golden. They approach and Baker mule kicks Golden’s leg out. Baker smiles then SUPERKICKS Golden down! Anna Jayy is on the other side of the audience and she cheers Baker on. Baker watches Golden get to ropes and goes to the apron from that side. Baker poses with Golden for pictures, then chokes Golden on the ropes! The ref counts and Baker lets up at 4. Baker makes Golden bite the ropes like she did Yuka Sakazaki! And she STOMPS! Cover, Baker wins!
Winner: Britt Baker, by pinfall
What was that about fighting fair? Well, The Dentist doesn’t sweat technicalities. Will she break more teeth on the way to the top of the Women’s Division?
More AEW World Championship predictions are made!
Actor and comedian, as well as avid wrestling fan, Ron Funches speaks! “When it comes to the Empty Arena Match between Jon Moxley and Jake Hager, I’m predicting three things. It’s gonna be hard hitting, it’s gonna be violent, and your winner is gonna be… JEEOOOOOOOON… MOXLEY!”
Bellator MMA’s own Mike Goldberg wants us to know his good friend, the undefeated Hager is going No Holds Barred against Jon Moxley. They are not identical, because Mike says Hager puts a beating on Moxley to leave with the belt. But most of all, everyone stay safe, stay healthy, and stay ready because #HereWeGo!
A special anniversary is coming for AEW.
“We really put our pride on the line to try something new.” AEW Double or Nothing 2019 was filled with “the moments that created the memories that are simply unforgettable.” Saturday, May 23rd, Double or Nothing 2020 STILL HAPPENS! AEW keeps its promise to never let you down.
AEW presents: The Bubbly Bunch!
It’s the story, of The Inner Circle. Santana is on the phone, noting how these conversations seem to solve the world’s problems, but then they somehow forget them. He has some things he has to get off his chest. What is going on with the Jacksons? Matt is always holding Nick’s hand. How does Matt expect Nick to learn and get through life that way? And then Matt protects Nick so much that Matt ended up exactly like Nick: WRECKED. And then they’re going around like those people on 12 Fifth and Lennox. Ortiz knows who he means, right? Of course Ortiz knows who he means! That’s Carlos! But Ortiz challenges Santana on this. Nick is the Carlos, what with that “merch freak” stuff. And just look at how Nick’s been behaving after he got slammed with that garage door. “He’s trying to be like Sammy.”
Sammy has to agree there, as he pumps iron. Nick is jacking Sammy’s style. But so is Matt and the rest of them. And can you believe what Matt Hardy is saying about him? “Fake Latino?” Really? This from the guy who Sammy doesn’t even know what version of him we’re on. Maybe this is Version S, for Stupido. Sammy says that if he was in the ring with Hardy, he’d give him a bit of this. He shows the guys as he hits the heavy bag. Sammy counts in Spanish, but sticks on cinco for about seven times. That’s what Sammy would do to Hardy, and what Hager will do to Kenny!
Hager agrees, while he chills poolside with his kids. And Hager would punish Omega, then choke out the ENTIRE Elite in Blood & Guts. But more importantly, earmuffs kids. The kids cover their ears as Papa Hager vows to beat the SH*T out of Moxley to take the title. “Ain’t that right, Painmaker?” Jericho agrees. Because Hager is the only undefeated pro-wrestler AND MMA fighter in the world! Hager will box-ley the fat head of Moxley, and become the new AEW World Champion. Jericho has eggs over-easy, and asks how sexy Sammy is today. Sammy says he is “muy sexy.” And that’s no joke. But speaking of jokes, what do you call the idiot that’s been gone for weeks and likes horses? Hangman Page. Where has he been? Jericho wonders if “Cody Exotic” “took care of him” and fed Hangman to Pharaoh.
But the bottom line is this, Inner Circle. They will kick the crap out of The Elite at Blood & Guts, when they’re ready to have it, and when they do, they’ll have a little bit of the bubbly! Jericho’s dogs quietly watch as Jericho says bye to his guys. Jericho changes lines to talk to his assistant. HE STILL DOESN’T HAVE ANY TOILET PAPER!! Find him some!!
Sammy Guevara VS Suge D!
The Spanish God just showed what he’d do to DAMASCUS Hardy in the Bubbly Bunch, but will he be able to do the same to Sugar Dunkerton?
Suge naps on the ropes as Sammy makes his entrance. Sammy gives social distancing guideline approved greetings with the elbow bumps, but leaves the production crew hanging. The bell rings and the audience rallies up for Suge. Sammy asks Aubrey if Suge is serious with the pelvic dance. Suge and Sammy tie up, Sammy waistlocks and slams Suge down. Sammy floats all over then poses on Suge. Sammy then lounges on the ropes while Suge says, “Oh. You got jokes.” Suge and Sammy circle again and tie up. Sammy powers Suge to a corner but then headlocks out of the break. Suge tries to power out but Sammy holds tight. Suge gets the arm and wrenches to a wristlock. He powers up and breaks it down! The arm motion goes into Sammy, comes back, and then Suge CHOPS!
Suge runs to the corner, goes acrobatic, and arm-drags Sammy away! Sammy gets up and doesn’t get any of this. Suge dances around, but Sammy comes back with a KNEE! Sammy drags Suge to the apron and clubs away. Suge is stuck upside-down, so Sammy KICKS him down! Sammy drags Suge up to put back in the ring. Suge flounders up, Sammy reels him in, and Sammy suplexes. He manages to hold Suge up for ten then drops him down! Cover, TWO! Sammy has to applaud some respect, but then has Suge on the ropes. Sammy stands on Suge and chokes him, but lets up at 4. Suge flounders but Sammy kicks the rope to jam Suge’s throat! Sammy toys with Suge then hauls him up on the ropes. Suge resists so Sammy clubs away. Sammy fireman’s carries and does some squats. Jericho loves what he sees.
Sammy has the audience counting, and Samoan Drops after three squats. Cover, TWO! Sammy keeps his cool as he KNEES Suge back down. Suge drags himself up but Sammy chokes him on ropes again. Sammy CHOPS Suge, then whips. But Suge sits down to resist! Suge body shots and cradles Sammy, TWO! Sammy LARIATS Suge right down! Now Sammy gets frustrated as he circles Suge. Sammy stands on Suge with the Jericho pin, TWO! He drags Suge up to CHOP again! Sammy whips corner to corner hard, then runs in. Suge dodges and Sammy only gets buckles! Sammy runs back in but Suge sits down, and Sammy punches buckles! Suge CHOPS and headbutts and knees back! Suge hits a European Uppercut, then fires up.
Sammy fights off the scoop, goes perpendicular, and KNEES Suge again! Sammy drags Suge up, torture rack, FEAST YOUR EYES! He takes his time to cover, and he still wins!
Winner: Sammy Guevara, by pinfall
The Spanish God wants to speak and he is given the mic. “Light work, baby. Light work for a Spanish God.” Sammy says he can keep going. He could go one round, two rounds, or hell, the first round. Sammy says he has spoilers for what happens when he and Darby Allin meet in the TNT Championship Tournament. Spoilers: “Sammy Guevara beats the sh*t out of Darby Allin.” Jericho likes what he hears from his sexy sidekick. Sammy figures we should be given an example of how badly he’ll beat up “that face-painted weirdo.” He gives Suge Danielson Stomps! But then Darby rushes out and runs Sammy off! Will the undead daredevil make sure Sammy’s spoiler is completely wrong?
We have another round of AEW World Championship predictions!
“Big” John McCarthy of Bellator MMA speaks now. Jake Hager and Jon Moxley is a big match. Moxley’s a tough dude but Hager has been arm-triangaling everyone in both MMA and pro-wrestling, and that will happen again. Hager as AEW World Champion is happening, guaranteed.
AEW announcer Excalibur says that if this were a Steel Cage match, Hager would have a distinct advantage and wins. The MMA background, the amateur wrestling background and amazing pedigree all mean he’d out-wrestle Moxley. But this is not a Steel Cage. This is an empty arena and No Holds Barred. It can and will spill out of the ring like a Street Fight. Excalibur says Moxley has the advantage in that situation, and will retain his title.
Chuck Taylor w/ Orange Cassidy VS Kip Sabian w/ Penelope Ford!
The Best Friends have been on a good roll, but so has the Superbad super couple. Will the Kentucky Gentleman wreck Kip’s momentum towards the TNT Championship Tournament?
The bell rings and Chuckie circles with Kip. They tie up, Chuckie wrenches to a wristlock, but Kip rolls and handsprings to reverse. Kip wrenches but Chuckie rolls and wrenches to a hammerlock. Chuckie headlocks to the takeover but Kip headscissors. Chuckie pops out and both men back off while the audience cheers. Kip and Chuckie circle again, and Kip gets the waistlock. Chuckie drop toeholds and facelocks. Kip fights his way up and pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Chuckie brings Kip to a knee to get a headlock, but Kip powers out. Chuckie runs Kip over with a shoulder then things speed up. Kip hurdles but his arm-drag is turned into a takedown, to a Half Crab! Chuckie sits down but Kip crawls to the ropebreak! Chuckie lets go and Kip regroups with Penelope.
Kip catches his breath and goes around the way. Chuckie pursues and Kip leads him on a cat ‘n’ mouse back into the ring. Kip springboards to enziguri Chuckie down! Kip stomps Chuckie over and over but the ref backs him off. Chuckie gets up but Kip haymakers him to a corner. Kip wrenches and whips Chuckie corner to corner, then runs in. Chuckie knees back! Chuckie grins and gives an Orange Cassidy style thumbs up. He then brings Kip around and scoops for a slam. Chuckie runs to drop an elbow! Cover, TWO! Chuckie stops smiling for a moment as he looms over Kip. He brings Kip up and CHOPS him in the corner! And again! Chuckie goes corner to corner but Kip puts him on the apron. Kip triangle jumps but he fakes Chuckie out to knee him down. Kip runs but Chuckie dodges to kick back.
Chuckie brings Kip to the apron, X-Plex to the edge! And then Chuckie waves to the cameras. Chuckie brings Kip around to pose for cameras. Thumbs up. Chuckie pushes Kip back into the ring while Jimmy Havoc shouts at him. Cover, TWO! Chuckie has Kip in the drop zone and he goes up, for a moonsault! But it FLOPS as Kip moves! Kip springboards to missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Kip keeps on Chuckie with stomps then brings him up. Kip whips Chuckie to a corner, then runs in for a EuroUpper. He whips the other way for an enziguri! Then a roll to Penalty Kick! Cover, TWO! Kip drags Chuckie up to throw him out. He distracts the ref so Penelope can stomp Chuckie! Kip taunts Cassidy to keep the ref distracts, and Penelope clubs away on Chuckie’s back!
Penelope puts Chuckie in for Kip to cover, TWO! Kip grows frustrated but he jams his knee into Chuckie’s back. Kip stretches the arms, digs his knee in more, and then has the arm surfboard. The audience rallies up for Chuckie as he fights up. Chuckie mule kicks free then throws forearms. Kip kicks low then hoists Chuckie up top. Kip climbs up behind Chuckie and wants the full nelson. Chuckie resists, fights back with elbows, and sends Kip down! Kip’s in the drop zone, Chuckie stands up, and MOONSAULTS! Kip moves again but Chuckie lands on his feet! Chuckie fireman’s carries Kip for a MICHINOKU DRIVER! But both men are down, and the audience rallies up. Cassidy is “fired up” with them as he coaches Chuckie on.
Chuckie rises and throws punches as well as kicks! He CHOPS Kip then brings him around. Kip slips out of the suplex to club Chuckie then run. But Chuckie pops him up for the BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Kip survives and Chuckie can’t believe it. The audience rallies up again and Chuckie heads to a corner. Chuckie climbs up top and calls for the QUADRUPLE moonsault?! Chuckie leaps, but has to roll through as Kip moves. Kip pops Chuckie up for a KNEE! Then the DISCUS! Cover, TWO!! Chuckie survives but Kip drags him up and drapes him on the ropes, for the swinging neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Chuckie still lives! Kip hammers away from all sides out of frustration. Chuckie crawls to the corner and Kip goes corner to corner. Chuckie puts Kip on the apron but Kip bumps Chuckie off buckles.
Kip triangle springboards but Chuckie denies the DDT, to give Kip SOLE FOOD! Chuckie runs but Penelope stands in his way. Penelope uses her “feminine wiles” to distract, and Kip kicks Chuckie low! Kip gets a kiss from Penelope, then goes after Chuckie. But then Cassidy gets up to take off the jacket! The Sloth feels flirtatious right now, but Chuckie kicks Kip low. But then Jimmy Havoc goes after Cassidy!? FISHERMAN BUSTER! And while the ref is distracted, Penelope flies in with a huricanrana! Kip rolls Chuckie and bridges, Kip wins!
Winner: Kip Sabian, by pinfall
The Superbad stable grows stronger with Havoc on their side! Will the Superbad super friends make things worse for the rest of AEW?
One more round of AEW World Championship predictions!
Actor, comedian and host of Sirius XM’s The Bonfire, Dan Soder, gives his pick. He’s loving AEW Dynamite, especially the creativity with no audience. He’s excited to see this Empty Arena No Holds Barred match. Soder says Moxley wins to defeat another member of The Inner Circle.
But the Inner Circle’s own Ortiz finds it funny. Moxley thinks he has the advantage in No Holds Barred just because he made a career out of extreme matches. Moxley is sadly mistaken! It just means no one will be there to hold Hager back and keeping him from breaking EVERY bone in Moxley’s body! Hager will make sure Moxley can’t even walk out of the arena! The title comes back to The Inner Circle, where it belongs! Sammy adds his own prediction. It’s what should’ve happened long ago. Moxley is gonna get his ass beat by the undefeated and unstoppable Jake Hager!
Shawn Spears VS Justin Law!
The Chair Man is out of the TNT Championship Tournament after losing to the American Nightmare. But he rebounded against Billy Gun on AEW Dark. Will Spears get back ahead against the new to AEW wrestler?
The bell rings and Spears laughs at Law. Spears and Law circle as Spears looks Law over. They tie up, Spears waistlocks then spins Law to snapmare him with some snap to it! Law gets up and circles with Spears again. They tie up, go around, Spears waistlocks again to then wrench to a wristlock. Law reverses but Spears snapmares him again! Law gets up but Spears says he’ll give the guy a fighting chance. Spears kneels and then lets Law get in starting position. They go, and Law rolls Spears over fast! Cover, TWO!! Spears realizes how close that was, and Law waistlocks fast again! Spears backs Law into a corner and elbows back hard. He’s mad at Aubrey but stomps away on Law. Spears CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS and stomps! Spears reels Law in to LARIAT! Law’s chest is bright red already!
Spears looms over Law and brings him up by his hair. He fireman’s carries Law and hits the C4!! Cover, Spears wins!
Winner: Shawn Spears, by pinfall
He didn’t even break a sweat or take off his shirt. Spears still wants to reach #PERFECT10N, but is he at least taking steps towards title opportunities?
Next week, AEW Dynamite wraps up the quarterfinals!
The opening round of the TNT Championship Tournament will be finished after next Wednesday! Darby Allin VS Sammy Guevara and Kip Sabian VS Dustin Rhodes happen on the same night! Who moves on to face Cody and who moves on to face Lance Archer?
But that’s not all, as Jimmy Havoc takes on Orange Cassidy because of what happened tonight. Will Havoc spike Freshly Squeezed again? And both Brodie Lee and Kenny Omega return to the ring as we head further into Spring!
The last AEW World Championship predictions come in!
Bellator MMA’s Josh Thomson says his boy, Jake Hager, will walk right through Jon Moxley! Side choke arm-triangle, 30 seconds, new AEW World Champion. And the Inner Circle’s Santana puts it this way: Hager is not only an absolute animal in an MMA cage, not only is he an absolute monster in a pro-wrestling ring, but he is UNDEFEATED in BOTH! Hager is hungrier, nastier and in the best shape of his life. He is going in with the mission of taking back the AEW World Championship for the Inner Circle. Will that happen? We finally see, after the break.
AEW World Championship No Holds Barred Empty Arena Match: Jon Moxley VS Jake Hager!
Many people have said many things in the build to this match, including the two men involved. But it isn’t about what you say in a fight, it’s about what you do. Who does endure the most punishment? Who does deal out the most damage? And who does come away with both title and a 2020 undefeated streak?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this intense and historic match begins!
The two men circle, feel out the grapple, but also keep their distance. Moxley avoids the punches to go for the waist. Hager blocks but they end up in a corner. Hager turns things around to dig into Moxley now, but Moxley stays up. They separate since no progress is made, and go again. Hager shoots in but Moxley turns Hager into the corner. Moxley wants the leg and brings Hager out for a takedown! Moxley goes in but Hager guards with body scissors. Hager and Moxley fight for control but separate again. They circle, approach, and clinch. Hager facelocks and rolls Moxley but Moxley gets up. Moxley slips out to go for a Fujiwara! Hager fights that off but Moxley gets on top to try for the armbar. They end up in the ropes and Hager stands up to ROCK Moxley with a hammering right!
Moxley gets up quick but both he and Hager catch their breath. They circle again, Hager shoots in but Moxley counters by getting Hager’s leg. Hager stays standing, but then Moxley trips the other leg. Hager moves around but Moxley slips out from under. Moxley wants the leg but Hager fights back. The legs get tangled up but Hager gets an ankle! Moxley hurries to ropes, and Hager lets off. This may be No Holds Barred, but Hager seems willing to fight this like a normal match at this point. Moxley gets up again and the two circle again. Moxley tries for the arm but Hager blocks. Hager backs Moxley into a corner then KNEES away! Hager bumps Moxley off buckles but Moxley CHOPS back! Moxley CHOPS more and more, then climbs up to rain down elbows in the corner!
Moxley wrenches Hager’s arm and wants the Kimura! Hager rolls so Moxley shifts to a leg, for an STF! Hager fights the crossface portion off, so Moxley goes after the arm. Moxley gets the facelock but Hager slips out fast to get a rear mount. Hager wants a sleeper but Moxley curls up to defend himself. So Hager KNEES Moxley’s ribs! Moxley sputters but Hager stomps him into the corner! Hager is going after the ribs as he digs his heels in. He stomps a mudhole into Moxley, but Moxley gets up to SLAP Hager! Hager and Moxley start brawling with haymakers and forearms! Hager whips but Moxley reverses to knee low! Moxley throws Hager out of the ring, and Hager crashes into barriers! Now we’re seeing the No Holds Barred as Moxley PESCADOS! To an ARMBAR!
The ref says this will only count inside the ring, but Moxley wants to deal damage. Hager moves around, digs his knee into Moxley, then hammers away! Moxley lets Hager’s arm go, and AEW goes to break.
AEW returns and Moxley throws Hager into railing. Hager kicks back and then throws Moxley into the railing. Hager catches his breath but walks into Moxley’s kick! Moxley rakes eyes then tosses Hager over the railing! Moxley hops over them and drags Hager up. He whips Hager into hard paneling, then stalks up behind him. Moxley reels Hager in for a Gotch hold but Hager back drops him off! Moxley hits hard on the bare concrete floor but he refuses to quit. So Hager drags Moxley up and things move to the stands. Hager clubs Moxley on the stair railing then KICKS him in the chin! Moxley leans over on the railing, and Hager says, “This is OUR show!” The Inner Circle, that is. Hager ROCKS Moxley with a right and Moxley staggers along the front row.
Moxley throws chairs at Hager but to little effect. Moxley throws forearms and elbows and knees! He puts Hager’s legs through the railing to add onto the FIGURE FOUR! Hager shouts and writhes, but he refuses to quit! Moxley doesn’t let up on the “gruesome bastard,” but Hager pries free of the hold. Hager hobbles away but Moxley clobbers him from behind. Moxley CHOPS Hager, and again, and again! He throws elbows and CHOPS over and over. Hager hobbles back towards ringside, but Moxley headlocks and brings him around the way. Moxley cranks on Hager’s head, then whips. But Hager reverses and sends Moxley crashing back into railing! Hager drags Moxley up to scoop and SNAKE EYES off heavier railing! Hager again digs his knee into Moxley’s chest, but Moxley shouts, “SCREW YOU!”
Moxley gasps and sputters as Hager lets up with the knee. Hager hauls Moxley up to throw him over the railing towards the ring. Hager whips Moxley into steel steps! Moxley crashes hard shoulder first, and Hager stares into the camera. Hager soaks up the heat coming from the at-home audiences before he puts Moxley in the ring. Moxley gets to a corner but Hager heads over. Moxley gets right up to clothesline, but Hager stays standing! Hager knees Moxley, bumps him off buckles, then whips him hard into buckles! Moxley is in the drop zone, but he gets clear of the Hager Bomb! Moxley KNEES Hager down! Both men are exhausted and down on the mat, but this match still continues. They both slowly rise, and they start brawling again!
Moxly forearms, Hager forearms back, repeat. Hager knees but Moxley fires off fast hands! Moxley elbows from all sides but Hager knees again! Hager gut wrenches to the POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Hager is close but AEW goes to break.
AEW returns again and Hager has Moxley in a corner. Hager talks trash right to Moxley’s face, then runs side to side for a BIG corner clothesline! He goes the other way and again corner clotheslines! Then again to the right! Hager reels Moxley in, Moxley dodges the lariat to give a LARIAT! But the bad arm is hurting from it now! Moxley fights through that pain to drag Hager up and in. Moxley wants the Gotch again but Hager trips Moxley up. Hager has the Ankle Lock but not for long as Moxley cradle counters! TWO, and Moxley waistlocks. Hager elbows free then elbows again. Hager hops up, leaps, but into a kick! DDT! But Moxley is slow to the cover, and Hager grabs him in the ARM TRIANGLE! Hager squeezes tight but Moxley endures.
Moxley moves around, reaches, and gets the ropes. Hager ignores the ropebreak call, but again this is No Holds Barred. But then Moxley starts biting Hager! Hager has no choice but to let go there, and is furious. He kicks Moxley around then throws haymakers. Moxley eggs Hager on so Hager DECKS him! Moxley flops out of the ring but Hager pursues. Hager grabs a chair from the timekeeper’s area, and brings it over to Moxley. He JAMS Moxley in the ribs! And digs them into the ribs, to then knee the chair for an extra impact. Moxley clutches his ribs but glares up at Hager. Hager drags Moxley up and into the ring, and brings the chair, too. Hager wedges the chair in the corner, then goes back to Moxley. He scoops Moxley and aims, but Moxley slips out!
Moxley runs in but Hager avoids him. Hager waistlocks then full nelsons, but Moxley arm-drags out. Moxley runs but Hager sends him into the chair! Moxley is down and Hager covers, TWO! Hager can’t believe it, but AEW takes one more break.
AEW returns once more, and Hager digs his knee into Moxley’s ribs again. Hager takes the chair from the corner, and SMASHES Moxley’s leg! He goes after the foot with an ANKLE LOCK! Moxley endures as Hager cranks on the foot. Moxley dares Hager to break his ankle, because he’s not losing the match! Hager keeps Moxley from ropes, but Moxley still fights towards them. Moxley rolls and throws Hager out of the ring! Hager hurries back in, into a PARADIGM SHIFT! And Moxley holds Hager down with body scissors, for the GUILLOTINE! Hager fights his way up and lifts Moxley with him! Hager pries free but Moxley hops down, and they brawl again! Moxley, Hager, forearm for forearm, then CHOPS mixed in. Hager throws haymakers but Moxley throws elbows from all sides.
Moxley runs, into a BIG forearm. Hager runs, KNEES LOW! The low blow knee wouldn’t matter anyway, it’s No Holds Barred. Hager stalks after Moxley, but Moxley throws the chair into Hager’s face! Moxley sets the chair down, and gives Hager PARADIGM SHIFT ON THE CHAIR! Cover, Moxley wins!!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall (still AEW World Champion)
The undefeated Hager is undefeated no more! Moxley survives his battle with The Big Hurt and still has Big Platinum around his waist. Is The Maniac through with The Inner Circle? Is there someone else waiting in the wings to take the title? Or is 2020 the Year of the MOX?
A really good episode here, though mostly with filler “tune-up” matches. Naturally, Sammy Guevara, Britt Baker and Shawn Spears were going to win against their opponents tonight, but there was still good stuff in each of those matches. Baker had a good promo from the “dentist’s office,” and her again using the rope stomp is good continuity in her character. Sammy had a good post-match promo, and of course he runs away from Darby Allin. Spears is keeping himself afloat since the world crisis literally put a hold on the #SearchForSpears. But if he keeps winning, Spears can definitely be seen as a contender for the TNT Championship once its been won. Archer VS Cabana was great stuff, but of course Archer wins to head for the finals against Cody.
Havoc joining Sabian is a nice development. Another story on hold is Havoc VS Luther, but to be honest, I wasn’t really feeling that one because I just don’t get Luther. If Luther was built better in AEW by now, maybe. But Havoc being pals with Sabian and possibly being a tag team could be interesting. The Bubbly Bunch was pretty cheesy, but Hager and Jericho had the best parts in the whole thing. I like the odd detail that Jericho is bad at making his own breakfast. Jericho was great again on commentary with Schiavone, he’s gonna be a part I miss when the world can function normally again.
Hager and Moxley had a really good match, but I feel like AEW again has their referees misunderstanding things. No Holds Barred means No Disqualifications with no count outs. This is like when Aubrey kept telling Jericho to do ropebreaks in the Street Fight. Just let the stuff on the ropes happen and then the ref checks on the person after. I feel like we could’ve gotten one less prediction segment by lumping the Inner Circle together at the same time or something. And in the end, the Inner Circle and the Bellator guys were wrong. Moxley is making quite the AEW run fighting from an apparent underdog situation, perfect of an action movie hero. I’m not sure who Moxley faces next, with Sammy in the TNT Championship and many wrestlers unavailable because of pandemic lockdowns. Maybe MJF can at least start beef with promos?
My Score: 8.9/10