Sonic Bad Guys as well as Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
I couldn’t tell you if these books have been a huge success for IDW, but the fact that we’re on our second mini-series primarily focusing on original characters and NOT Sonic himself is probably a good sign that they’re at least hitting some reasonable targets. Still not enough to get a full blown second series running, but I guess these things take time and I frankly don’t need the extra work on my end just yet. For now, let’s stick with what we’ve got which is yet another issue of their Bad Guys mini-series primarily focusing on that enigmatic and smug jerk Dr. Starline. What exactly does he have planned now that he’s got a crew to do his bidding, and how soon before it all blows up in his face? Let’s find out!!
Following their very clever and VERY cool escape from prison (i.e. walking away from an explosion), Dr. Starline and his new allies are going full force against one of Eggman’s strongholds. Well… MOST of them do as Starline sits on the sidelines and smugly pats himself on the back for how genius his plan is; said plan being to get back into Eggman’s good graces AFTER wrecking all his stuff and freeing his sworn enemies! This particular phase of the plan, as explained to us in a flash back, is to steal something called Power Cores which were APPARENTLY in Sonic Heroes. I vaguely remember that each character could get a minor upgrade in some way, but I don’t recall it involving floating color coated balls. In any case, Starline manages to sell his scheme to his current compatriots; albeit with more than a little slight-of-hand.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
Another week means another two hours of AEW wrestling goodness! Well actually it’s THREE hours, but I’m still not caught up on Dark which is proving to be more and more of a problem as angles and storylines that affect Dynamite play out on that show. Look, I’m a busy man! I can’t be watching more wrestling AND keep up my absurdly tight schedule of a wrestling recap and a Sonic comic every week! In any case, Does AEW have a fantastic night of Dynamite action in store for us or are they still finding their path after the big blow offs from the PPV? Let’s find out!!
Young Bucks Vs. Top Flight (Darius Martin & Duante Martin) – AEW Tag Team Title Match
They aren’t exactly taking my advice of vacating the titles while Matt Jackson heals his leg, but at least they took a week off to give them a bit of rest before jumping right into a match mere days after their thirty or so minute bout with FTR. Now it seems like they might be going the Cody route and use the title as a chance to bring up some new talent with Top Flight getting not just a chance at the titles but also an extended video package explaining their backstory and why they want to wrestle in AEW. Now it sounds like they have in fact signed with AEW which is a good thing for all involved; not just because it means a return on investment on all this TV time they’re giving them, but Top Flight seem to be a PHENOMENAL team! A little green to be sure, but they put on a heck of a performance here against The Bucks. Back when The Bucks were facing off with The Lucha Bros during those early PPVs, I was of the opinion that they were too spot heavy and didn’t tell a story or had any weight to it. I don’t know if I’d feel the same way watching them again, but I definitely got that feeling watching this match with Top Flight. They have spot on physicality and their gymnastic skills rival that of The Bucks, but you can tell which team is following a script and which one’s leading the show. After an early flurry of flips and spins from Top Flight, The Bucks work to ground Top Flight with big moves and submissions, but the fresh young go getters prove to be more resilient than they expected and make a valiant rally to even things. This is where they show a bit more of their technical side instead of just their flips and kicks which is solid but still could use some fine tuning, though perhaps the most impressive and devastating spot being a Hurricanrana onto Matt Jackson that takes him from the turnbuckle to flat on the mat for a two count. What they do have down though (Duante in particular) is selling as the Bucks regain control and just tear these two apart. Darius keeps getting swatted off the apron over and over again which leaves Duante in the middle against both Bucks who basically turn him into a crash test dummy. A spear from Matt, an Assisted Sliced Bread off the top rope, and finally he eats a BTE trigger before getting pinned by Nick Jackson. The Hybrid 2 for whatever reason start attacking Top Flight as soon as the match is over, but they get chased off by The Bucks rather quickly. I guess I don’t mind that they’re building up a feud here so that Top Flight doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, but it does kind of come out of nowhere and Top Flight are not the ones who look good by the end of it. Still, it was a really fun and really impressive match from Top Flight with a good amount of help from The Bucks. It definitely feels like there’s room for Top Flight to grow and I’m very interested to see where they go from here.
Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
Yes, I’m falling behind on these and not getting them out as soon as I should, but let’s see if I can successfully change the subject by pointing out that this is the first issue of the Sonic the Hedgehog series that does NOT have Ian Flynn listed with a writing credit! Very few people have made as big an impact on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise as this man has considering his tireless efforts on the comic book series (more or less picking up after the LAST guy who had such a big impact who we don’t particularly like to talk about anymore), and while he’s not done with Sonic by a LONG shot (he’s writing the Sonic Bad Guys series concurrent with this one), it’s a bit bittersweet to see an issue that doesn’t have his name on it. Still, a change in voice can also be what this series needs as I’ve said on numerous occasions (probably to the chagrin of Mr. Flynn if he ever in a million years read one of these recaps) that the Zombot arc went on for way too long and that these globally devastating threats often left the characters floundering for development and focus. Will things be different with the new writer Evan Stanley on board, or are the problems with this series not easily fixed by just giving the pen to someone else? Let’s find out!!
Things have settled down a bit after Sonic gave an epic butt-kicking to Eggman’s giant robot in the last issue, so with this small bit of time before the NEXT world conquering threat makes itself know some of Sonic’s friends have decided to try and fix Omega who is just a robo-head at this point but is still in pretty good spirits all things considered. Rouge managed to get the blueprints for Omega so that Tails can build him a brand new body, but there are two complications; Eggman’s blueprints are encoded so they’ll have to find a way to translate them, and even with the blueprints they don’t have the materials needed. I’m not sure why they can’t just give him a DIFFERENT robot body as Eggman had no problem sticking his head on the giant robot, but in any case the team (which also consists of Sonic and Amy) has to spilt up to take on these two challenges. Sonic knows of an abandoned Eggman facility that could have the answers they need so he’ll take Tails there, but before we go further I just have to ask, why are there SO many abandoned Eggman facilities!? Starline just took one over as his base of operations in the first issue of Sonic Bad Guys, they were finding these things throughout the entire Zombot and Return of Eggman arcs, you’d think at some point that The Furry World Government would either claim them for themselves or blow them up to make sure they can’t be used against them again! Well in any case, that’s just one part of the plan which means that it’s up to Amy and Rogue to find new parts for Omega. Rogue has a lead on some guy name Clutch in a place called White Park Zone; the former of which is a new character but the latter is apparently a stage from Sonic 4 Episode 2 which I haven’t played yet. They never did finish that trilogy, did they? I guess that puts it right up there with Half-Life 2 Episode 3 as far as episodic games that never got finished, though I doubt as many people are broken up about the Sonic one not seeing the light of day.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re just a few days out from Full Gear which means it’s been a VERY busy week here what with three shows in a seven day period of time. The time after a PPV is usually a good time to cleanse the pallet and begin things anew as the major storylines up to this point had gotten definitive payoffs on Saturday. With a clean slate to work from, what new stories will AEW start to tell and will they be as good as the ones we have just closed the book on? Let’s find out!!
Team Taz comes out to announce that Brian Cage will be wrestling RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW, but before we can get on with the carnage, Taz calls out to Darby Allin (the new TNT champion) up in the cheap seats and advises him to not interfere or else he’ll be turned into a bloody smear on the ground. He then starts talking smack to the visibly nonplussed Darby Allin about how he’s a TRUE wrestler and has no respect for the legends that came before. Cage’s opponent on the other hand, is a WONDERFUL athlete and a genuine challenger for Brian Cage, and that challenger is…
Brian Cage Vs. Matt Sydal
Kind of a random note here, but I have never seen Sydal wrestle anywhere else but here, and do you know who he reminds me of? Dolph Ziggler. They KIND of have similar faces and they both seem to have a retro cornball thing going on, but while I GENUINELY love Ziggler and think he’s a fine wrestler, Sydal is pretty amazing and I’m a little bit surprised at just how good this match is! I figured it would just be another squash match to give Brian Cage an edge in wherever his story goes next, but was a fun competitive match between two guys with vastly different skill sets while still managing to work together seamlessly. Sydal’s Achilles heel seems to be his ego as he takes every opportunity to mug to the crowd, and against another opponent that would probably be fine… but he’s up against THE MACHINE Brian Cage who is not easy to take down and is VERY quick to get back up. After an initial flurry from Sydal, Cage takes firm control of this match and tosses Cage around the ring which under normal circumstances would be the end of Sydal, but he manages to tough out of it and gives Cage a run for his money. Cage goes for some sort of move off the ropes but Sydal manages to reverse it into a Powerbomb and follows up with a Meteora. Instead of pressing the advantage with a few moves on the ground though, Sydal goes back to the top rope which gives Cage enough time to roll out of the way. Fortunately Sydal manages to avoid a Powerbomb from Cage and keeps up the offensive but just can’t put Cage away no matter how many kicks and flips he does. Perhaps the most impressive moment is when Cage goes for a Powerbomb and Sydal somehow flips it into a Hurricanrana into a pin, and yet it’s STILL not enough to put Cage away! Despite putting up a valiant fight, it’s not Sydal’s night to win as he once again goes for a move from the top rope but Cage grabs him out of mid-air and drops him into a Drillclaw; pinning Sydal and winning the match. As soon as the match is over, Ricky Starks grabs the mic to proclaim his intentions of challenging Darby Allin for the TNT title because he is now finally ranked and he and his team will DESTROY anyone who dares to get in the way of his path to glory! Considering the promo that came before it and how much Taz is pumping up his two boys for greatness it would have been the perfect time to have a squash match to make Cage look as strong as possible, but instead he had a great match with Sydal and still looked great by the end of it. Team Taz’s story got derailed a bit by Lance Archer getting COVID, but it looks like things are back on track and I can only hope they have big plans for not just these three but for Will Hobbs as well! He’s still owed that six man tag match, right?
Sonic Bad Guys as well as Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America
So it looks like the Tangle & Whisper mini-series worked out for IDW because now we’re getting a story arc all about Dr. Starline and his cohorts, and you know what? Heck yeah! HECK YEAH I SAY! IDW has done a REALLY good job with its original characters in this series and Dr. Starline is no exception, so a mini-series where we learn more about him and see him act maniacal is something that I can definitely get behind! Is this the start of a great chapter in the Sonic IDW canon, or will starring in his own issue prove too great a task for the not so good doctor? Let’s find out!!
The issue begins with Dr. Starline; gone from Eggman’s good graces and without his Warp Topaz, but no less determined to prove himself in the eyes of his idol. Sure he admits that Eggman is an arrogant fool who betrayed him, but the guy is just so darn good at making robots and putting his face on things that it’s impossible to truly hate him! Speaking of which, Starline’s first step in his master comeback is take over one of Eggman’s abandoned facilities full of robots and things with his face on it, and while he may not be able to fast travel across the world map, he’s still got a few tools in his inventory!
All Elite Wrestling is owned by Tony Khan and Shahid Khan
From the beginning AEW has promised that at some point in the future they would have an official video game for us all to enjoy so that we can stop trying to recreate the roster in WWE 2K19 or in Fire Pro Wrestling World. Now, just over a year after they debuted on TNT, we are finally getting the first pieces of information regarding their plans for the world of gamers in this video presentation they uploaded to YouTube! Let’s take a look!!
Before anything got announced, they made sure to make this as fun as possible with the whole thing a mock Steve Jobs presentation. Well-trodden territory to be sure, but it was still fun to see and there were some decent jokes throughout like the bit where they showed a mock-up of a supposed early version of the game.
Hey, Kenny can have ALL the goofy sketches he wants, as long as they have something worth showing us! So what was ultimately revealed; besides of course a new AEW Games T-Shirt for the website?
AEW Wrestling Game developed by Yuke’s (Console)
The first and biggest announcement is that AEW is making a wrestling game with developer Yuke’s who have made… well basically ALL of the WWE games since the early 2000s. Say what you will about some of the changes throughout the series (especially when Publishing rights switched from THQ to 2K), but there were some real gems there and you couldn’t ask for a more experienced developer to bring this new project to life! The footage that they showed, which Kenny assured us multiple times is VERY early, doesn’t show us much more than the art style being used and that it will be a 3D wrestling game as opposed to something more like Fire Pro Wrestling which uses sprites. Aesthetically it looks comparable to the recently released WWE Battlegrounds, but there’s a lot more to look forward to here than in that game. First and foremost, it’s a proper wrestling game released by a veteran developer instead of something slapped together because 2K lost all confidence with consumers after its terrible 2K20 WWE game; the first game by the way released after they got rid of Yuke’s. Reception on Battlegrounds hasn’t been AWFUL, but the end product was ultimately quite shallow which we can only hope won’t be the case with Yuke’s heading up development. I mean they certainly won’t have the budgeting and resources that WWE and 2K gave them, but good studios can do more with less as long as they have a better environment to work in. No release date has been announced, nor should there be at this stage and we can only hope AEW doesn’t make the same mistake that WWE did by making this a yearly franchise and putting the developers through the ringer to get it done. The biggest news however is that the game will include inter-gender matches which hasn’t been a feature in the WWE games since SmackDown Vs. Raw 2009 and is something that Kenny himself has been a big proponent of given his participation in the company’s only inter-gender match last year during the Jericho cruise. I couldn’t tell you if that will be a BIG motivation for people to buy this game, but it’ll certainly help with some fans.
Full Gear and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan
For months we have been waiting for this day to arrive, and now that it’s here I’m not sure how to even feel about it. TRUMP LOST THE ELECTION!! Oh yeah, and we’ve got an AEW PPV to watch, BUT TRUMP ISN’T GOING TO GET A SECOND TERM!! Frankly the world being saved from the brink of everlasting doom is a big break for this show as even I probably wouldn’t have felt up to watching it if facing four more years of this chaos had become a reality, but aside from it being the big event to occur mere hours after this country realized it could breathe easy again, does AEW have a solid lineup of great matches to justify being on of the four big shows of the year, or is their last PPV of 2020 going to be the last big disappointment of what is already the worst year in recent memory? Let’s find out!! And as always, we start with the Buy In match!
Serena Deeb Vs. Allysin Kay – NWA Women’s Title Match (Buy In)
The issues with AEW’s women’s division have been well documented and I’ll have PLENTY more to say when we get to the match that ACTUALLY pertains to this company, but the NWA talent coming in and trying to liven things up has been a net positive for AEW and hopefully for NWA as well. Thunder Rosa may not have knocked it out of the park EVERY time (her PPV match with Shida wasn’t all that great), she brought life and vitality to the division that was stuck doing nothing for months. Now we’ve got another Serena Deeb title defense after her match against Leyla Hirsch two weeks ago was such a bright spot on the show, but can Allysin Kay hold a candle to her? Perhaps not, but Kay is still VERY impressive with a great look and a huge advantage in regards to her height. It’s practically a Monster Match where the Baby Face has to overcome an overwhelming force and Kay plays the part quite well with a suite of big moves that she unleashes on Deeb. You’ve got your Powerbombs, your Spine Busters, there’s even a point where she just throws Deeb into the air and she lands her neck on the top rope!
The match IS a bit on the slow side though as they do a lot of holds throughout, and Deeb doesn’t come off as good once she starts in on her counterattack but I think that has more to do with Kay’s selling than anything else. In fact, while I have checked and she’s been wrestling for over a decade, Kay came off as a bit green to me with Deeb carrying a lot of the match for her. Kay has the height and the power to do the big moves, but it’s up to Deeb to sell them and to keep the rest of the match on track with Kay’s shortcomings being highlighted whenever she’s the one who has to start doing the carrying. Perhaps I’m over analyzing things as it IS one of the better matches the division has had in some time so let’s give them a bit of slack here on the Buy In. Deeb’s entire strategy is to try and get Kay in her Serenity Lock as she’s unlikely to keep her down long enough for a three count so in between throws and bombs from Kay she keeps trying to roll her up into the submission hold. What eventually gives her the advantage though is when Deeb lands a Dragon Screw on Kay while she’s in the ropes which messes up her knee and leaves her vulnerable for a Face Plant. For whatever reason she tries to go for a pin despite Kay still being right next to the ropes and of course she does a rope break, but then Deeb drags her away and THEN does the Serenity Lock which Kay taps to. I’m not sure why they did that spot between landing the Face Plant and putting on the submission, but in any case Deeb is still the NWA women’s champion… BUT FOR HOW LONG!? As soon as the match ends, Thunder Rosa’s music hits and she comes out to menace Deeb; clearly indicating that she wants a rematch sooner rather than later. It was a decent match, but still felt a bit clunky at points as Kay seemed a TINY bit lost from time to time and that weird spot at the end where Deeb should have gone right into the submission, but I still had a good time watching it. And with that, we head straight for the PPV!
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
I don’t know about you, but I’ve barely gotten ANY sleep this week and this whole “wrestling” thing feels a bit small and inconsequential given what’s going on in the US right now. Hopefully by the time we get to the PPV on Saturday the votes will be tallied and we can all focus on fun things again, but there’s no doubt that AEW has a big uphill battle here with this Go Home show leading into Full Gear. Do they manage to put on something memorable despite the world being laser focused on politics this week, or will it get lost in the shuffle like everything else? Let’s find out!!
We begin the episode with Dasha interviewing Jericho (flanked by Jake Hager and Santana) who spends a good few minutes praising Jake Hager for his win at Bellator last week which hey, good for him! It was certainly better than in his last match where he punched a dude in the groin and it got called a No Contest, but before Jericho can finish singing his praises, MJF comes in and interrupts them to tell him how much he appreciates the opportunity he’s been given. Jericho, not too happy about being interrupted, doesn’t share this enthusiasm and in fact claims that MJF lacks something vital to be part of The Inner Circle; a Killer Instinct. The same Killer Instinct that got Jake fifteen stiches in a fight he ended up winning and earned Santana his reputation as a ruthless fighter in the world of wrestling. MJF? Well until he proves otherwise, Jericho believes he’s just soft, and that’s just not going to work for them. MJF doesn’t like any of these accusations and storms off; leaving Jericho to head to the announcers desk as he’ll be calling matches all night. I kind of wish they’d also let Santana and Hager get sit at the desk too, but too many heels running the show and with Eric Bischoff having JUST shown up last week, people might start getting flashbacks to Souled Out and nobody wants that.
Sammy Guevara & Ortiz Vs. MJF & Wardlow
Okay, quick question. Perhaps I’m just hearing things, but they played the Inner Circle’s theme song here for Ortiz and Sammy’s entrance… and doesn’t it kind of sound like a knock off NWO theme? I don’t recall ever hearing it before as they always used Jericho’s song Judas, and it just reminded me of that; especially when it starts with a deep voiced dude saying THE INNER CIRCLE which is not unlike how the NWO’s theme starts. In any case (before I go on any OTHER weird tangents), let’s talk about the match itself. More than any other story line for this upcoming PPV, including the Moxley match, the tag titles, and ESPECIALLY Sammy’s feud with Matt Hardy, the unrest within The Inner Circle brought about by MJF’s attempts to join them has been rather compelling so far and this match being the first flare up of this tension means it will certainly have consequences for the story on Saturday and going forward. Now this might be a tag match, but for the most part it’s really all about Sammy and MJF with Wardlow and Ortiz being there to give the other two an opportunity to strut their stuff. Sammy in particular looks VERY good here with an early hot tag that has him overcoming both Wardlow and MJF with relative ease. The guy has had a ROUGH time of it the last few months with controversies, botches, and injuries overshadowing everything else, but his performance here is a strong first step for him to regain his clout as one of wrestling’s rising young stars. MJF looks good here as well, but for most of the match he’s fighting with the upper hand and isn’t really pushing himself. He’s has had his share of rough matches, but by design he’s never really excelled at that as he gets desperate way to quickly and resorts to cheap tricks at the slightest hint of a disadvantage, which goes towards Jericho’s assessment of him being soft. He’s not to be discounted however even if he starts to waiver under pressure, and once it’s Sammy and MJF alone in the ring, the both of them start to work out their frustrations on each other in an excellent display of acrobatic violence. Sammy ends up proving himself here as he actually manages to get the advantage and nearly gets a pin on MJF, and even though Wardlow breaks it up its clear that Sammy might just be the better fighter. Ortiz gets back in the ring after dealing with Wardlow on the outside and him and Sammy get MJF on the turnbuckle. They are setting up a tandem Superplex, but Wardlow comes in and suplexes all three of them with his mighty muscles, and the best part of this is MJF’s over the top selling as he seems to have taken the brunt of the damage while Wardlow poses for the audience. All of this is fun and it does a good job of setting up the important dynamics between these wrestlers, but sadly things start to go off the rails at the end. Sammy seems poised to win this if he can just get back himself and MJF back into the ring, but then Matt Hardy attacks him with a chair and not even a minute later MJF gets Ortiz into his Salt of the Earth arm bar where he taps out almost immediately. MJF and Wardlow win the match and start heading for the back, but then MJF breaks off and sprints towards Jericho at the announce table; spearing him in his seat and having to be dragged away by Wardlow as Jericho gingerly gets up and smiles at his assailant. Perhaps this man DOES have a Killer Instinct and Jericho will be surprised at what happens on Saturday! The ending drags the match down considerably for me, but I liked the performances of everyone involved and MJF proves once again just how good he is at playing a character while also putting on a great wrestling match. Presumably he’s going to win on Saturday or some other shenanigans will ensue as I doubt they’re going to drop this storyline with a clean Jericho victory, and I can only hope a long convoluted character drama already set up for all five (soon to be six!) members of the Inner Circle; like Shakespeare but with more chair shots!
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
With just one more show before Full Gear and Dynamite has done a good job so far of building up the matches for the show. If it wasn’t so simple you’d almost call it a stroke of brilliance that they came up with the World Title Tournament to drive the story between Adam Page and Kenny Omega, and with that as well as the Tag Title match, they’ve got the solid backbone needed to make a show feel important and the rest of the card has been built up with interesting feuds like Kingston and Moxley… as well as less interesting ones like Matt and Sammy. In any case, does this show present a bunch of fun matches for us to enjoy while also building up to the big show that’s right around the corner!? Let’s find out!!
Well actually before that, this will be the last thing I post before the election of 2020 is over and done with, so if ANYONE reading this the day I post it hasn’t done so yet, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS SACRED, VOTE FOR JOE BIDEN! He won’t fix everything (no politician ever will on their own), but we need to do our part to fix the problems that this country is facing, and step one is getting the SCROTUS booted out of office; kicking and screaming if necessary. Alright, NOW let’s find out!!
We begin the episode with Dasha in the back trying to interview Wardlow, but the big guy can’t get a word in edgewise as MJF talks for him and ASSURES Dasha that Wardlow winning the tournament would mean that MJF wins the tournament and that any title Wardlow wins will be MJF’s title by right of whatever weird contract they have. Seems like Wardlow is consistently getting the short end of the stick here, but we ARE in the middle of a pandemic and a job is a job I suppose. Sammy interrupts MJF and things get heated as Sammy makes it crystal clear how little he cares for the smarmy jerk, but MJF is not easily intimidated and the two agree to disagree; at least for the time being. MJF doesn’t have time for this anyway! He’s got a match to watch!
Wardlow Vs. Hangman Adam Page – AEW World Title Tournament Semi-Final
Wardlow is accompanied to the ring by MJF
The big event of the last few weeks has been the tournament to determine the number one contender for the AEW World Title, and so we waste no time getting back to it. Hangman is also not wasting any time because a half second before the bell rings, he runs towards Wardlow and lands a drop kick right as the match begins. Wardlow then takes Adam Page apart for a bit, but he doesn’t have the size advantage here that he did against Jungle Boy which means he’s going to have to step up his game. A spear outside of the ring to Page does the job pretty well which gives Wardlow a change to gain some heat, but there’s almost no mystery as to who’s going to win this match considering that Kenny Omega is on the other side of the bracket. Then again, it’d be a good twist to have Wardlow win and somehow get the belt! Heck, they just planted the seed with MJF’s interview that started the show, so why not give it a shot? As for the match itself, it’s pretty good! I wouldn’t say it’s significantly better than his match against Jungleboy, but that was already a solid show opener and the same is true here. Wardlow goes for some sort of move while Page is on the top rope, but while he smugly tries to pander to the audience, Page grabs Wardlow’s arm, falls back behind the ropes, and starts cranking on it. This is the turning point for the match as Wardlow is unable to get his momentum back and finally loses all of it with an attempted dive from the top rope that misses Page by a mile. They start trading strikes and clotheslines to no avail so Wardlow lands a kick and transitions into a German Suplex which Page manages to flip out of and the two end up tumbling outside the ring. After a few more spots including a Moonsault from the top rope to the ground, Page goes they start trading finishes to bring this match to a close. Hangman goes for the Buckshot Lariat and misses which allows Wardlow to take him down with a lariat of his own. Wardlow only gets a two count so he lands the F10, but before he can capitalize with another pin attempt, Page rolls out of the ring. THEN things get scary as Wardlow is on the middle rope with Page on his shoulders, but Page fights out of it and they both fall back; landing hard on the mat below. Thank goodness Wardlow wasn’t on the top rope or less there would have been a CRATER in the middle of the ring, but he’s now in no condition to fight back and so Page finally lands not one but TWO Buckshot Lariats to get the three count and advance to the finals of the tournament. It wasn’t particularly memorable is perhaps the worst you can say about the match, but both guys did their job and it was a very good way to open the show!