Editor's Note: You can watch tonight's episode here.
The Big News: Father and son stood victorious at show's end when Billy & Austin Gunn teamed up for the first time on AEW television and picked up the win over Shawn Spears & Peter Avalon.
Excalibur and legendary Memphis announcer Dave Brown opened the show and ran down the matches we're in store for before pitching it to Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez.
Schiavone and Gonzalez previewed our opening segment, then we were magically whisked away to it.
All of the Memphis legends AEW was honoring were standing in the ring as things got started. Justin Roberts did a nice introduction for each person and they stepped up front for an acknowledgment.
Those acknowledged were Jimmy Valiant, Kevin Lawler (for his brother Brian Christopher), Dave Brown, Shane Russell (for his father Lance), Austin Idol, Doug Gilbert (for himself, his father Tommy, and his brother Eddie), The Rock & Roll Express, and Lanny Poffo (for himself, his father Angelo, and his brother Macho Man Randy Savage).
Savage and The Rock & Roll's got the biggest reaction and then AEW did a 10-bell tribute to those who had passed away. Too bad this wasn't on Dynamite as this was an excellent tribute and well worth going out of your way to see.
Darby Allin defeated Brandon Cutler
Excalibur spent the early part of the match using Dave Brown to respond to critics of AEW by comparing some of the wackiness to the wackiness of Memphis. The one name Brown brought up was Flex Kavana, who would move on to become someone you guys may have heard of, The Rock.
Cutler hit a moonsault press and landed by crashing his knees on the top of Allin's head. I had immediate flashbacks to DJZ and Jesse Sorensen from a TNA pay-per-view almost 10 years ago, but thankfully Allin was back up seconds later and seemed to be okay.
Cutler took most of the match, using his superior size to bully around Allin. Dave Brown said Allin may have been looking ahead to his match with PAC on Dynamite. Allin did hit a Code Red, but Cutler went for a springboard move. Allin sidestepped him, dropped him with a stunner, and hit a Coffin Drop for the win.
Nyla Rose vs. Shanna never got started
Rose was headed to the ring for this grudge match. On multiple occasions in the past month, she has powerbombed Shanna through a table and Shanna was not happy with this. Shanna ran down and attacked Rose on the ramp.
They fought around ringside with Rose constantly trying to powerbomb Shanna outside of the ring. Rose set up a table outside the ring, but Shanna speared her through the ropes and they both crashed through the table.
Security and referees came down and carried them to the back. They both would occasionally make a half-hearted attempt to go after the other one, but they lived to fight another day.
Suddenly we found ourselves backstage where Alex Marvez was attempting to interview Shanna. Shanna attempted to speak, but was attacked by Rose.
Rose threw some set pieces onto Shanna and then turned to the camera to cut a promo. Unfortunately for Rose, the same thing happened to her, as Shanna attacked her. This was when security ran in to break things up.
I think Shanna has a complaint to be made. Every time Rose attacked her, no one tried to break it up. As soon as Shanna made a move on Rose, security and referees ran in and stopped her both times.
The Gunn Club (Austin & Billy Gunn) defeated Shawn Spears & Peter Avalon (w/ Tully Blanchard and Leva Bates)
Despite the match not airing at all, the match with the Gunn Club defeating Spears & Preston Vance does count towards their respective records.
Austin Gunn led the crowd into asking Billy to do his shtick. It might be walking the line of copyright infringement. Avalon did his usual cheap heat promo, this time saying that the food at Jerry Lawler's restaurant was so bad that if you eat there you would die on the toilet like Elvis. He then called Austin “Ass Boy."
There's no better way to phrase this. Spears found himself on his knees -- eye-to-eye with Billy's crotch -- after a brief back and forth. He then proceeded to stare at it until Billy told him to suck it.
Austin looked fine for someone so early into his career. He was green, obviously, but he held his own. He wasn't on offense for long, but it was obvious what he did wasn't as crisp as the others.
Austin sold forever and then made the hot tag to Billy. Billy ran wild, but Austin blind tagged himself in and hit the Famouser on Avalon for a two count. Finally, father and son picked up the win with a combination Cobra Clutch slam and Swanton Bomb.
Final Thoughts: The matches were your typical Dark fare. Nothing to write home about. However, the Memphis tribute was a very good opening 15 minutes to the show and -- again -- you should go watch it.