AEW's first PPV since their weekly television debut takes place at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland tonight.
Chris Jericho will defend the AEW World Championship against Cody, who has vowed to never challenge for the title again if he doesn’t defeat Jericho tonight. There will be three judges at ringside that will decide the winner if they reach a 60-minute time limit draw.
Kenny Omega will face Jon Moxley in what is being billed as a Lights Out match. In storyline, AEW has not sanctioned the match, thus there will be no rules and the match will not count in either man’s record.
Two other title matches are set for the show. Riho will defend the AEW Women’s Championship against her mentor and teacher Emi Sakura. SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) will defend the AEW Tag Team titles against Private Party and The Lucha Bros in a triple threat match.
Plus, The Young Bucks take on Santana & Ortiz, PAC and Hangman Page continue their feud, and Joey Janela faces Shawn Spears.
The main card starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time. There will also be a pre-show featuring Britt Baker vs. Bea Priestley starting at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Excalibur, Taz and Goldenboy were the announce team for The Buy In.
Dr. Britt Baker, DMD submitted Bea Priestly
Britt stormed the ring and was quick off the bat at the bell, but Bea did what she could do to slow her down, which included rolling out of the ring on multiple occasions. Bea's offense was built around kicks and stomps to the head, playing off the injury Britt got back at Fight For The Fallen.
Taz mentioned Britt having the flu and Cody tweeting about it earlier. Darby Allin was shown sitting at ringside for some reason. Bea worked over the back of Britt, which led to Britt being unable to lift her up for a bodyslam. Britt hit a Top Rope Brainbuster and tried to roll over do a second brainbuster, but she couldn't lift Bea. Bea locked on a face lock that Britt got to the bottom rope for, but when Britt rolled to the apron for a breather, Bea jumped off the top rope with a double stomp. Britt came back and paid tribute to her boyfriend Adam Cole and hit a Panama Sunrise/Canadian Destroyer, but only got a 2 count. Britt tried twice to get on the Lock Jaw and succeeded the third time for the tap out.
A good opener.
The lights went out and Awesome Kong has arrived. Kong came out with Brandi, while Bea was still in the ring and Bea lost her second fight of the evening. Kong hit the spinning back fist and then gave Brandi a knife before laying out Bea with an Implant Buster.
Brandi handed Kong the knife back and she used it to cut a chunk of Bea's hair off before adding it to a belt of trophies she was wearing.
Taz and Goldenboy tagged out to Jim Ross as the show began.
Santana & Ortiz (Proud & Powerful) defeated Young Bucks
The Rock & Roll Express was sitting ringside, playing off them being assaulted by Proud & Powerful 2 weeks ago. Young Bucks used that as inspiration early as they ran wild, including sending Ortiz over the guardrail and into the first row. Referee Rick Knox would not allow a Proud & Powerful tag when Santana tried tagging Ortiz's foot and then didn't allow their tag behind the referee's back. They stopped bothering with tags one point when Ortiz put Nick in a Boston Crab, Santana put Matt in a Gory Special and then simultaneously put Nick in a Camel Clutch. Rules of tag team wrestling or not, that was a cool visual.
Matt set up Santana for a moonsault, but instead did a beautiful dive over the post onto Ortiz on the floor. Minutes later Nick was running wild and ran down the apron to kick Ortiz, but Ortiz ducked and Nick kicked the ring post, which looked like it hurt as much as a few seconds later when he got tripped and landed face-first on the ring apron. Santana threw Matt into the Rock & Roll Express. Nick did do a hell of a job selling the leg. Nick took quite the beating before nearly doing the splits while doing a Superkick. Matt got the tag and hit a series of rolling Northern Lights Suplexes on both of P&P. Young Bucks did the Inzigiri/Power Bomb combo, which messed Nick up almost as much as Santana. Nick had to tag out again, so Ortiz ripped him down off the apron. P&P went for the Street Sweeper, but Matt was watching old Steiner Brothers-Beverly Brothers matches, as he caught his foe with a belly-to-belly suplex when he came off the top.
It was time for a Superkick Party and Nick, again, couldn't stay in the ring long and Matt wasn't able to get a good breather. Young Bucks went for a Meltzer Driver, but Nick collapsed on the mat before doing his half of the move. Matt set Nick on the top rope, but P&P laid out Matt and forced the tag. Nick spat his gum at Santana, but Santana showed what a sicko he was by putting it in his mouth. Matt went charging at Santana, but got a shoulder-full of ringpost instead. Santana and Ortiz then laid out Nick with The Street Sweeper for the surprising pin.
The match started weird, but picked up in the middle and ended as a tremendous match. The Young Bucks were the #3 ranked tag team going into the match, so undoubtedly that will change.
Sammy Guevara came out to celebrate with his Inner Circle stable mates and handed Santana & Ortiz a sock full of baseballs. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson hopped the guardrail to make the save. Morton hit the slowest Canadian Destroyer ever, but did hit a decent Suicide Dive. The crowd died at the finish and were more excited for the aftermath of the Morton and Gibson run-in than they were for the actual run-in.
Hangman Page pinned Pac
A completely different match from the bell. This was more of a brawl than the opener and stood out in front of a crowd that just saw that crazy opener. The fans chanted “Cowboy Shit”, which Hangman took a second to acknowledge and that was all Pac needed. Pac used kicks to the face and stomps that Page sold really well. Page was begging for more as Pac hit pump kick after pump kick in the corner. Well Pac may be a Bastard, but he's a nice enough guy to give Page what he was asking for.
Pac glared at the crowd as he set up for the Phoenix Splash, and like with Page earlier, it gave his opponent just enough time to recover. Page hit a really nice Spinebuster for a near fall. Page hit a slam on the ring apron (which is the hardest part of the ring) and an Orihara Moonsault before hitting his own running boot to the face. Pac rolled outside and played possum and when Page went for his next attack Pac cut him off and hit a brainbuster on the conveniently placed chair at ringside. Page barely got in by the count of 10 and continued to beg Pac for more kicks and Pac continued to acquiesce.
Pac went up top for the Black Arrow, but Page cut him off and hit a top rope Fallaway Slam. He kept going for a Buckshot Lariat and Pac kept avoiding it. Pac turned The Dead Eye into The Brutalizer, but Page collapsed into the ropes, causing a break. Pac missed a Black Arrow, but ducked another Buckshot. They ran near the ref and Page caught an attempted Pac low blow and picked up the win with the Dead Eye.
A better overall match than the opener, but that match was more spectacular.
Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard) pinned Joey Janela
This couldn't follow the last two matches, but they did what they could. The first big move saw Janela run down the apron, but get power slammed for his efforts. The fans were into it, even though they didn't have much of a reason to care for this match. Spears ripped off the turnbuckle pad and tie the tag rope around Janela's hair. If nothing else that is a unique move. Joey lost a bit of hair when he ripped his head out of the knot. Shawn Spears locked on the Sharpshooter, 22 years to the day after the Montreal Screwjob and Earl Hebner is the referee. These coincidences were ignored by JR and Excalibur and Earl did not claim a phantom submission. Janela made the ropes and got a brief flurry that included a flipping dive to the floor. Janela hit a Northern Lariat and then stomped on Spears' face. Tully jumped on the apron for a distraction, which worked. Spears took off a corner pad, which distracted Earl long enough for Spears and Tully to hit a Spike Piledriver on Janela on the floor. Spears then hit the C-4 in the ring for the win.
Goldenboy interviewed Kip Sabian backstage. Sabian said when he joined the company he was going to go straight down the middle, but saw everyone forming their own cliques, so he formed one with TH2. He introduced Penelope Ford as his valet. For more information on Kip Sabian and The Hybrid2, check out yesterday's bonus AEW Dark report.
AEW World Tag Team Champions Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky defeated Lucha Brothers and Private Party
The fans booed referee Rick Knox. After that opener I want to boo him too. Lucha Brothers got the best of Private Party early. Somehow Scorpio Sky was distracting the referee long enough for Fenix and Pentagon to hit superkicks on both Marq Quen and Isaiah Kassidy. Kassidy was a little off a few times on his moves, including sitting on Pentagon's face when hitting a legdrop. Fenix hit a springboard Missile Dropkick to Quen.
The Lucha Brothers did a great job of making sure they were always in the ring and always available for a fresh tag, while making sure that the other wrestler in the ring couldn't tag out to their own partner. We got the big dive spot and when Scorpio went for his, Fenix ran down the ropes and kicked his head off. Fenix then did a Triple Springboard Twisting Planch onto the pile. I'm not even sure he meant to do that, but he did and it was spectacular. Fenix wasn't done yet as he ran down the ramp leading to the ring, ran up the ropes and did another twisting dive into the ring. Quen hit one of the most beautiful Shooting Star Presses you'll ever see. Gin & Juice got broken up and Kazarian pinned Kassidy after an S-C-U-Later.
Fenix was the star of stars in this match and Marq Quen continued proving why he's going to be a huge star one day.
Pentagon and Fenix attacked SCU after the match. The lights went out and when they came back on someone was dressed as Pentagon in the ring with the real Pentagon. Literally everyone knew who it was and no one was surprised when Chris Daniels hit an STO on Pentagon and an Angel's Wings on Fenix before taking his mask off. They were still happy to see him. It still makes me wonder why he bothered.
I should point out that despite the wonkiness of the refereeing earlier, they have been doing a better job this week at enforcing actual tag team rules and there's been a lot less of a free for all. It's not perfect, but it's a definite improvement.
AEW Women's Champion Riho pinned Emi Sakura
Both ladies looked near tears at the bell. Sakura used her size to bully the champ once the bell rang. At one point Riho was on the apron and Sakura used a running cross bodyblock, which sent Riho crashing onto the pretty black mats. Riho hit the corner double stomp, which looked contrived when Alberto Del Rio did it and looks contrived now. Sakura used a rolling Mexican Surfboard, which was the first time I ever saw such a move. The fans got into it, chanting for Riho, which encouraged her to make a comeback. Sakura cut her back off with a series of back breakers. Instead of hitting a Vader Bomb, she came down with a double stomp.
Riho took several hard chops and decided enough was enough and fired up. Riho tried to get up a head of steam, but Emi grabbed her, hit a Backdrop Driver and a Torture Rack Drop, but Riho got he foot on the ropes. They sped up to an astounding degree as Sakura kept going for the La Magistral cradle that she won on Wednesday with, but Riho stayed away and got the win with a roll up of her own.
Probably the best AEW women's match so far.
We got two hours left with two matches to go.
AEW World Champion Chris Jericho (w/Jake Hager) defeated Cody (w/MJF) when MJF threw in the towel when Cody was trapped in the Liontamer and having his head stomped on
The stipulations are if the match goes the 60-minute time limit, it will be decided by three judges. If Cody doesn't win the title, he can never challenge for the title again. The three judges are Dean Malenko, Arn Anderson and The Great Muta. Jericho did not have the goth facepaint he has had for most of his post-WWE matches.
The match started slow. If they're not going an hour, they're going close. Jericho confronted Dean Malenko at ringside and Malenko glared him down. A lot of chain wrestling early with Cody working on Jericho's right arm, which is the arm he throws the Judas Effect with. The first big move of the match saw Jericho standing on the ramp and Cody going for a Suicide Dive, but Jericho moved and Cody landed face-first on the ramp, which busted him open hardway. Dr. Sampson ran over to tend to him and try to heal the cut and the match continued.
I am assuming the Maryland State Athletic Commission doesn't still stop matches due to blood, as Cody was bleeding a gusher, but Dr. Sampson was able to close it. MJF went after Jericho at one point, which did allow Hager to deliver some punishment to Cody as well. 13 minutes in Cody went for a moonsault, but got absolutely nothing but canvas. Cody got his knees up on a Lionsault and hit a Diamond Cutter for a near fall. Cody hit the Bithycle Kick and a Disaster Kick, but Jericho rolled out of the ring to prevent Cody from sustaining this momentum. Jericho went over to intimidate Cody's Mom, Michelle, at ringside, so Michelle slapped Jericho and Cody speared him into the barricade. Cody hit an Alabama Slam, which Excalibur couldn't name and, for once, JR got to be superior in that regard. Excalibur did remember a few minutes later.
Cody whooed before putting on the Figure Four, despite his dad using that move. Hager broke it up with a punch to the face behind Aubrey Edwards' back and then did it more blatantly, so the ref threw him out. MJF mocked Hager, so Hager kicked him in the groin like this was Bellator. While Aubrey made sure Hager left, Jericho laid Cody out with a belt shot. He took so long to make the cover that Cody kicked out. Cody blocked the Judas Effect and hit Cross Rhodes, which everyone bought as the finish, but wasn't.
24 minutes in, Cody hit the Flip, Flop and Fly with a Bionic Elbow, which the fans bought, but not as much as the Cross Rhodes. Either way Jericho kicked out. Jericho countered a Disaster Kick into a Codebreaker for another 2 count. Jericho took off his weight belt and whipped Cody with it. Aubrey allowed it for a few shots and then got rid of it. Jericho blocked the Hurricarana and locked on the Liontamer. Cody got out of it and Jericho confronted Aubrey, who shoved Jericho into a small package. It still didn't work. Jericho locked on the Liontamer and this time began stomping on Cody's head. MJF, seeing this and not wanting his best friend to go through anything more, threw the towel in for a submission.
The fans were legitimately shocked for this finish. There was some light booing, but mostly shock since everyone was convinced this was Cody's night and was ready to start the coronation.
The Inner Circle came out with the bubbly to celebrate. MJF had a look of anger on his face. Cody looked like he wasn't sure what to think. MJF began crying and apologized to Cody. The fans chanted “You fucked up” as Cody regained his composure. Cody picked MJF up off the mat...AND MJF KICKED HIM IN THE GROIN! After months of teasing it, MJF finally turned heel despite arguably doing the right thing and throwing the towel in earlier. The fans booed him out of the building as MJF kicked dirt on Cody's fallen body and walked away.
A fan was caught on camera throwing a large drink at MJF. This was a 5+ star match and angle.
Jon Moxley pinned Kenny Omega in a Lights Out Match
I have been watching wrestling for 28 years and I have been working for F4WOnline.com/WrestlingObserver.com since 2010 and I can honestly say no match has ever made me so numb and made me want to abandon it as much as this match did. This was a barbaric display and left me completely desensitized. I can honestly say I wish I turned the show off after the Cody-Jericho match. I understand there is an audience for everything and a lot of you guys probably enjoyed this. I did not.
We did not get any “believe it or not” scientific wrestling to start the match and Omega quickly threw Mox over the guardrail and did a running dropkick over the guardrail onto the floor. Not quite as painful looking as when Samoa Joe did a running dropkick on the steps to Sting that time, but bad enough. Omega did a dive off a barrier onto Mox and then tried to do a dive off the guardrail, but Moxley shoved him off and onto the floor. Moxley pulled out the barbed wire bat and punctured the back of Omega with it. Kenny did block Jon's attempts at pushing it into his face. While I am not a fan of these matches, I do admire the creativity of things like Omega going for a Dragon Suplex and Moxley breaking it by rubbing the barbed wire bat into Omega's bicep. Kenny pulled out both a table and a barbed wire broom. Omega used it to “sweep” Moxley's back. He swept Moxley's back with a broom covered in barbed wire. You probably aren't surprised to find out that Moxley was bleeding pretty good here, even if it did clot up later.
Trash cans were being destroyed all night, as both men took some hard can shots to the head and Omega did a moonsault while holding a can. Next up in the list of weapons was a board covered in mouse traps. Omega took a release suplex into them. Next up was a long length of chains. Omega took a sidewalk slam and then a Rude Awakening into them. Omega kicked out at 1 and it was sold that Omega was desperately kicking out quickly and Moxley knew that. Mox then used the chains to rip at Omega's mouth and yank his head back.
Next up was either an ice pick or a screwdriver that got stuck in the top turnbuckle pad when Omega moved out of the way of an attack. Omega hit a pair of Snap Dragon Suplexes to get out of what appeared to be an attempted hanging. Omega then countered an attempted hanging with a hanging of his own. Omega being a nice guy did let Moxley go before he passed out. Omega hit the Terminator Dive onto Moxley and through a table that was set up at the beginning of the match and forgotten about. Moxley went under the ring and pulled out a bag of broken glass. Now I really do think Kenny was watching 2008 TNA and channeling his inner-Abyss. However this was allegedly the same glass from the table Moxley put Omega through back on October 2. Omega gave Moxley a Lo-Down on the glass for a 2 count. Referee Paul Turner got glass stuck in his hand. Omega dragged Moxley back first through the glass and put on a Sharpshooter and Moxley had to crawl back through the broken glass to get to the ropes.
Omega began shoving glass into Moxley's mouth, but took a German Suplex into the glass, but then hit a pair of V-Triggers to Mox, who rolled out of the ring and crawled up the ramp. Omega grabbed the long forgotten screwdriver and jammed it into Moxley's head. No submission. Omega demanded that Hangman Page and the Young Bucks “bring it”. They didn't want to, but eventually acquiesced. They brought out a bed of barbed wire, which Excalibur called a barbed wire spiderweb. Omega teased a One Winged Angel and they teased some other things, but finally Moxley gave him a suplex off the ramp and into it.
This is just disgusting.
No less than 12 people helped pull them out. Omega hit him with some production equipment and then gave Moxley a V-Trigger through a set piece. Somehow the blood is incredibly minimal on both men. I don't even know how. They made it back to the ring, after all that, Moxley hit a Paradigm Shift onto the long forgotten glass for a 2 count. Moxley pulled back the canvas and the padding underneath, leaving just the boards. Omega backdropped out of a Gotch-style Piledriver and hit a V-Trigger and his own Paradigm Shift and the match isn't over yet.
Omega missed a Phoenix Splash and kicked out. Finally Moxley hit an elevated Paradigm Shift for the pin.
If I never see another AEW Lights Out match it will be too soon.