For the first time in eighteen years, professional wrestling comes back to TNT. AEW make their television debut in front of 14,129 fans at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. The inaugural AEW Women’s Champion will be crowned and the main event will feature the AEW Champion, Chris Jericho, teaming up with L.A.X. as they take on Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, known collectively as The Elite.
The show opens up with fireworks before going to the three man commentary booth of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur.
We next see graphics for the night’s matches which leads into a video package of the show’s opening contest, Cody versus Sammy Guevara. The package speaks of Guevara as an up-and-comer with a lot of potential. Guevara believes Cody is overlooking him and is already onto his AEW Championship match against Chris Jericho at Full Gear. Cody assures that’s not his intention but that he surely doesn’t want to be upset by Guevara on the opening night.
Cody makes his entrance coming through the floor with Brandi by his side. Pyro goes off while the two make their way to the ring to a roaring ovation from the fans. Guevara is out next with an arrogant swagger that sees him getting booed immediately.
Cody def. Sammy Guevara @ 11:50 via Small Package
The match starts with them locking up but quickly turns to Guevara showboating with flipping over Cody’s shoulder tackles, causing Cody to bail to the floor and regroup. Guevara takes that time to get in Brandi’s face who is cheering on her husband which bring Cody back in the ring. Cody takes control by grinding Guevara down with a side headlock takeover but Guevara gets to his feet and sends Cody off to the ropes where Guevara connects with a slap across the face.
Cody catches Guevara running in and puts him down with a powerslam before transitioning into a figure four leg lock. Guevara finds the ropes but Cody stays on him and chops Guevara into the corner. Cody eats a spin kick, hits the ropes and fires back with a springboard cutter for a two count. Guevara gets botted off the apron but pulls Brandi between he and Cody when Cody comes in with a dive, laying his wife out.
After sending Cody into the rails, Guevara brings him back inside and looks for a moonsault off the top rope. Cody moves but Guevara lands on his feet and looks for the standing variety. Cody again moves but Guevara manages a standing shooting star press for two. Tripping Guevara over the second rope, Cody distracts the referee so that Brandi can slap Guevara and Cody follows with a Disaster Kick but only manages a two count.
Cody sets up for Din’s Fire but Guevara escapes so Cody heads to the top where Guevara leads from the mat to the top rope and catches Cody with a Spanish fly for a near fall. Guevara climbs to the top, comes off with a shooting star press but Cody gets his knees up and cradles Guevara for the three count.
Tony Schiavone comes out from commentary to announce Cody’s win but before he can do that, Cody gives him a hug. Guevara pulls Cody from Schiavone and stares him down before offering a handshake. Cody accepts but with Cody’s back turned, Jericho comes from behind with an attack. Jericho beats Cody down while Guevara shrugs and walks off.
After the commercial break, Brandon Cutler makes his way to the ring and Excalibur puts him over as some who came into the business with The Young Bucks but retired early in his career to start a family. Now he’s back looking to find a home in AEW.
MJF makes his way out from the back and runs down the fans as slobs before turning his attention to Cutler.
MJF def. Brandon Culter @ 2:55 via Armbar
After faking out the referee by saying Cutler is pulling his hair, MJF takes control but gets caught with a slingshot yoshitonic. MJF gains the advantage with an eye rake, throws Cutler into the ring post and traps the arm before slamming Cutler shoulder first onto the mat. Cutler holds onto the ropes to block an Irish whip and sidesteps MJF’s attack, sending him crashing to the floor.
Cutler follows him out with a dive and stays on top of MJF with a ground and pound before sending him back inside. He climbs to the top but slips off the turnbuckle, chases after MJF who pulls the referee between them and kicks out the knee of Cutler before applying the armbar to force the submission.
Second commercial break ends and we see both Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. They promote their new movie which they say stars Chris Jericho. Jack Evans and Angelico make their way out and run down Smith and Mewes who point out that Evans and Angelico have yet to win a match in AEW. Private Party come out to protect Smith and Mewes before anything physical can happen.
A graphic showing the bracket for the tag team tournament is displayed on the screen before jumping to a video package from SCU.
SCU are shown in front of the White House as Scorpio Sky impersonates President Obama with Daniels and Kazarian as his secret service. They throw to the trio on top of the ramp where Sky says any combination of the three can win the tournament but says they picked the experience in Daniels and Kazarian to represent the trio.
Fenix and Pentagon Jr., the Lucha Brothers, come out and the two team trade their signature calls which leads into a pull apart brawl.
Jim Ross announces 14,129 fans are in attendance.
Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks are shown backstage getting ready for their match and the camera slides to Jericho with L.A.X. telling the team this is the most important match in AEW history.
A graphic for Niya Rose and Riho is shown followed by Hangman Page versus PAC which is the next match.
Page comes out first, wearing black chaps over his trunks. PAC is out next and Excalibur makes mention of his two year undefeated streak that recently came to an end.
The last match between these two ended with PAC being disqualified after hitting the referee low.
PAC def. Hangman Page @ 13:00 via Brutalizer
The match begins after the commercial and the two start off by trading forearms. PAC cuts off Page’s flurry with a pair of rolling midkicks and they trade pump kicks before Page turns PAC inside out with a lariat. PAC bails to the floor but Page follows him out, sends him into the rails and lands a dive before bringing PAC back inside. PAC again cuts him off but Page recovers quickly with a fall-away slam and standing shooting star press.
Page muscles PAC to his shoulders who slides off and sends Page to the apron where he stomps the head before landing a springboard moonsault off the second rope to the floor. PAC brings Page back inside and jaw jacks with the fans for a minute and then hits a springboard 450 splash. He goes to the top again but Page rolls to the opposite corner so PAC follows him with a dropkick and climbs back to the top.
Pages cuts PAC off with a thrust kick and climbs to the second where he hits another fall-away slam followed by a corner dropkick and flapjack for a two count. Page waits for PAC to regroup which gets him dropped over the turnbuckle fast first and sent to the floor. PAC brings Page back inside, hits a shotgun dropkick off the top rope and chokes Page over the second rope.
Page fires off a slap, hits a spinebuster and wants the Dead Eye but PAC gets the ropes and positions himself to the apron in hopes for another springboard attack. Page cuts off the attack with a forearm followed by a powerbomb for two. PAC bails but Page follows with a moonsault off the second turnbuckle to the floor, sends PAC back in but PAC grabs the referee and kicks Page low with the referee turned and hits a Black Arrow off the top to Page’s back before finishing him with the Brutalizer.
A video package plays for the next PPV, AEW Full Gear, scheduled to take place November 9th and will featured both Chris Jericho versus Cody and Kenny Omega versus Jon Moxley.
Britt Baker come out to the commentary booth for the upcoming AEW Women’s Championship match.
Both Nyla Rose and Riho make their entrance before heading to commercial break.
AEW Women’s Championship
Riho def. Nyla Rose @ 13:25 via Running Double Knees
The match starts with Rose charging in, Riho ducking the attack and landing a pair of dropkicks. Riho’s Irish whip is countered but she manages to catch Rose in a headscissors. Rose regroups and shoulders Riho down, follows up with a splash but Riho bridges out of the pin at two. With Rose sit down, Riho comes in for a stomp but Rose bucks her off and locks in an STF.
After managing to find the ropes, Riho finds herself positioned in a delayed vertical suplex which she also finds a way out of and slides into a waistlock. Rose sends her off but gets caught with a running knee that takes her to the floor. Riho comes off the top rope with a crossbody that Rose catches and slams Riho into the barricade. Rose then pulls chairs out from under the ring, looks for a somersault senton off the apron onto Riho on the pile of hairs but comes up empty.
Riho climbs up to the apron and delivers a double stomp, sends Rose in and hits a second stomp off the top to the back of Rose and locks in a crossface. Rose rolls out of the crossface but Riho stays on her with knees to the corner and a roll through cassadora double stomp. Riho wants the crucifix driver, Rose puts on the brakes and backdrops on top of Riho.
Rose sets up for a powerbomb, Riho rolls out into a leg capture pin attempt for two before getting caught with a death valley driver from Rose for a two count of her own. Riho cuts Rose off on the top rope and brings her down with a northern lights suplex but still only manages a two count. Rose evades one knee strike, takes a second to the back of her head and is finished with a pair of knees to the face.
Michael Nakazawa comes out to announce Riho’s victory in Japanese but gets attacked from behind by Rose who hits him with a powerbomb. She turns her attention to Riho which brings out Kenny Omega to stop the attack.
Another promotional video for Full Gear plays.
The Elite make their way to the ring before we head to commercial.
Next out is L.A.X. followed by Chris Jericho.
Chris Jericho & L.A.X. def. Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks @ 12:30 via Jericho Judas Effects on Matt Jackson
Big Elite chant to start the match. Omega and Santana are set to square off but Omega points to Jericho who proceeds to tag in for a second, doesn’t engage and tags back out to Santana. Omega has no issue with Santana, planting him with a kotaro crusher and nullifying the sneak attack from Ortiz. Jericho then runs in and puts the brakes on Omega’s hurricanana but the Bucks superkick Omega free.
Getting into the Terminator pose and setting up for the dive, Omega is attacked by Jon Moxley who runs in from the crowd. The two brawl through the fans and to the backstage area where Omega finds a mop and channels his former cleaner gimmick before getting dropped with a Death Rider through a glass table, leading to a commercial.
They come back and it’s L.A.X. double teaming Matt Jackson. Jericho tries to get in on the action but eats the knees on a lionsault and Matt fires off locomotion northern lights suplexes before getting the tag to his brother Nick. Coming in hot, Nick kicks everyone around the apron and lands a corkscrew moonsault off the top turnbuckle to the floor.
The Young Bucks set up for the Meltzer Driver when Jericho rushes I and catches Nick on the way down with a codebreaker and finishes Matt with the Judas Effect to take the win.
They continue the beatdown after the match leading to Cody running in for the save but Guevara makes his way out and kicks Cody low. This brings Cody’s brother Dustin out who once again cleans house but only until a surprise appearance from Jake Hagar. He then cleans house, bumps chests with L.A.X. and Guevara before powerbombing Dustin through a table. Hagar and Santana hold Cody up for Jericho to deliver a Judas Effect and we go off the air with the group celebrating.
This was a homerun of a first episode. If you wanted competition, you got it because everything about this stands toe-to-toe with the WWE has to offer. From the production to the talent, there’s very little different you can point to right now. The key will be AEW’s continuity. WWE’s main problem is that their stories aren’t cohesive. AEW has set up a nice foundation so far but it’ll be up to them to stay consistent with their stories, production and in ring. They should be riding high right now because they knocked this out of the park but let’s see where they go from here.
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