So far on, The Young Bucks have retained their AEW Tag Championships and Adam Page defeated Brian Cage in a strong opening bout. Jungle Boy has also earned himself a shot at the world title after winning the Casino Royale battle royale.
The crowd is arguably the highlight so far — this is the first AEW show to take place in front of a capacity crowd since the beginning of the pandemic.
Still to come is the AEW Championship match between Kenny Omega, Pac and Orange Kassidy, plus the second Stadium Stampede.
Check back to this page, as I’ll be updating as the show progresses with results and analysis.
Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker
The highly anticipated Women’s Championship match is up next. The crowd is very hot for this.
Miro makes Lancer Archer pass out
Miro retained his TNT Championship after a big-man bout against Lance Archer. It started with a bang, with Archer hitting a super impressive moonsault on Miro, and ended with Miro making pass out to the Game Over choke.
The match saw interference from Jake Roberts, who ran in with a sack allegedly carrying a snake. Miro hits Jake and tosses the bag into the back. Miro goes for a pump kick on Jake but is intercepted by Archer, who pumps him with a Chokeslam. After some more back and forth, Miro made Archer pass out.
Rating: 2.5 stars. Good action, but nothing particularly memorable outside of the explosive opening moments. The interference is getting tiresome too, as each match has featured it in some form thus far.
Cody Rhodes pins Anthony Ogogo
This was Anthony Ogogo’s third and longest match yet, a real showcase of what he can — and can’t — do. Ogogo did extremely well for his level of experience, as there was nothing egregious nor any glaring mistakes. After a good (but not great) bout, Cody Rhodes pinned Ogogo with a Vertebreaker.
Ogogo’s style is difficult to translate into pro wrestling. He’s a boxer, and Cody sold gut shots — that look identical to punches you see in every other match — like it was a real boxing match. And while Ogogo didn’t make any glaring mistakes — at least to my eyes as a viewer — there were sequences that were obviously laid out, and which looked rehersed. Still, he’s obviously a great athlete and is likely to be a great wrestler in the coming years.
Rating: 3 stars. Depending on what’s in Cody’s future, the decision to win is questionable. It wouldn’t hurt him to lose, and it arguably could have made Ogogo. Still, Ogogo came off as a worthy competitor here. Although, it should be noted, that Cody was less over with the crowd than Jungle Boy, Adam Page and Eddie Kingston.
Jungle Boy wins Casino Battle Royale
The rules of the Casino Battle Royale are slightly confusing. It’s a battle royale in which entrants join a suit at a time, and each suit has 5 men attached to it. Five men start, and as each suit joins at three minute intervals another five join, after all suits have joined. Then a Joker comes in at the end.
The final four were Christian Cage (who entered at number one), Matt Hardy (who was being helped by Private Party), Lio Rush (The Joker) and Jungle Boy. In essence it was a final six, since Private Party were in the ring alongside Hardy for Hardy’s entire tenure in the match.
After a huge flurry by Rush, Private Party and Hardy eliminate him. Jungle Boy and Christian work together to take out Private Party, and then Christian eliminates Hardy. The final two are Christian and Jungle Boy. They have a really good back-and-forth on the ringside apron, with Christian teasing a Killswitch and Jungle Boy evading elimination with impressive athletics. Ultimately, Jungle Boy flips out Christian to win.
Rating: 2.75 stars. Good, but chaotic. It was hard for me to keep up with everything going on — but not just me, as the announcers were often confused. Matt Hardy essentially being three people, as no disqualifications allowed Private Party to be by his side at all times, was also a drag. But it got better and better as the crowd got thinner and thinner.
All’s well that ends well though, and the right man won. The crowd was bananas for Jungle Boy.
Young Bucks vs. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston
The highly anticipated tag title match is up next. Moxley and Eddie Kingston come in first, and the match kicks off as they ambush Nick and Matt Jackson as the Bucks are doing their muscle-man posing entrance.
Lots of chants for Kingston, a big moment for him since this is the first time he’s performed in front of a full AEW crowd. Once the ambush ends and the match starts, it’s The Bucks beating down Kingston and his injured leg before Moxley gets the tag in for a round of heat for himself.
Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows briefly interfered, but Kingston took out Gallows and Elite Hunter Kizarian jumped in to scare off Anderson to the back. As the ref was seeing off the riff raff, Matt Jackson sprayed Moxley in the eyes with miscallenous aeresol spray. The Bucks then hit a Meltzer Driver on the outside for a near countout — a move that busts open Moxley.
That whole sequence wasn’t a false finish so much as a heat spot. It’s a bit OTT for a heat spot for me, but it works — the crowd rallies behind Moxley. After the Bucks cut him off, he eventually fights them off and tags in Eddie and the crowd goes wild. It’s a red herring though, as while he’s chopping one Buck in the corner Eddie gets caught with a superkick to the leg from another Buck.
Several false finishes. Mox and Kingston hit a Doomsday Device — Moxley with a pair of sneakers on his hands as he lands the clotheslin — for a two. Later, Moxley hits his big DDT on Nick but the pin gets broken up by Matt. We then get a Superkick Party, with The Bucks blitzing Moxley with a barrage of superkicks — but he kicks out at 1. They then take him out with more Superkicks, and then take out Kingston with the same.
Four — four — BTE Triggers on Moxley scores The Young Bucks the pin.
Rating: 3 stars. This is a hard one to rate. To me, there was too much silly stuff. Moxley gets sprayed in the face with an aerosol can, but is only blinded for about 30 seconds. He gets killed with superkicks but kicks out at 1. He’s immune to a BTE Trigger, so they have to beat him with four. It’s just too hard to suspend disbelief.
That said, the crowd loved it — so maybe it’s just me.
Adam Page pins Brian Cage
The main show opens with Page versus Cage. The crowd is very hot for Page — having crowds back rules
These two worked hard to light up the crowd. Moments after it kicked off, Cage chucked Page from a powerbomb position into the turnbuckle. Later, he suplexed Page from middle rope onto the entrance ramp — which didn’t look like it had tonnes of give. But apart from the spots, these two just worked very, very well. Lots of smooth sequences, and the back-and-forth counters at the end worked to a hot finish.
Page got the win with a Buckshot Lariat after interference from Team Taz members Ricky Starks and Hook backfired. Starks and Hook tried to help Cage, but Cage rebuffed them — and was caught with the Lariat and pinned. Huge pop for the 1-2-3.
Rating: 3.75 stars. Super starter, and the crowd was super into Page — although the interference at the end was a bit wacky, it looks to progress a Team Taz breakout for Cage.
Buy-In Preshow results
Serena Deeb retained her NWA Women’s Championship in the preshow match by beating Riho.
After a very strong preshow bout, Deeb made Riho tap out with a Serenity Lock.