Super Wrestling: AEW – Full Gear 2021

Full Gear and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

The big show is finally here (no, not that one; he showed up months ago) and everyone is PUMPED!  Not only do we have a darn good slate of matches, including Bryan Danielson’s first PPV match at AEW, but we’ve got a possible title change on our hands as reigning champion Kenny Omega might just drop the belt to the upstart Hangman Adam Page!  It promises to be a night of great action, satisfying payoffs, and even a few tributes to legends (it’s the anniversary of Eddie Guerrero’s death so expect A LOT of Frog Splashes throughout) to make this a show to remember!  Does it live up to the hype and deliver on all its promises, or has the AEW train finally run out of steam!?  Let’s find out!!

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Before we even get into our Buy-In match, Tony Schiavone calls Dante Martin to the ring to discuss the offer Team Taz made to him on Friday’s Rampage.  Before he can answer though, The Acclaimed come down to the ring and Caster raps his own offer to Dante to join them instead!  Now this is starting to get interesting, not just because I think he’d be a very good addition to The Acclaimed (he absolutely would), but I’m starting to like this idea of every group at AEW wanting Dante Martin on their side and having to fight through each other to get him!  I can just picture Dante Martin sitting on a throne or on that Judy Bagwell forklift thing as he looks upon the wrestlers and managers fighting in the ring for his contract!  The Acclaimed though are trying to play it a bit cool and not look so desperate, as Anthony Bowens reiterates the offer while throwing in an implicit threat on top of it.  As enticing as the offer may be, Dante knocks them out of the ring and lands a Springboard Dive from the top rope to the floor which I think got the message across quite well and was a fun start to the Buy-In!

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Nyla Rose & Jamie Hayter Vs. Thunder Rosa & Hikaru Shida

Nyla is accompanied to the ring by Vickie Guerrero

All four of the women in this match are part of the TBS Tournament which begs the question as to why they don’t just DO another match of the tournament here, but I guess they want to draw it out as long as they can so they have these four try and show how awesome they are so that you get more invested in it, which… I mean I GUESS it works because everyone looks really good here!  Even Jamie Hayter, who hasn’t really had a killer match since she’s returned to AEW, manages to pull off some impressive moves like when she stops Shida from making it back to her corner with a German Suplex!

“So close, AND YET SO FAR!” “DARN YOU, BITTERSWEET IDIOMS!” *SMASH*
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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-10-2021)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

It’s the last Dynamite before Full Gear and AEW’s last chance to sell to us on their main show!  We of course have Rampage the night before, but with two hours of TV time, this is the show that will get the most done and tie up the most loose-ends!  Is it a satisfying Go Home show to give Full Gear the hype it needs, or are we just fumbling our way through this until we get to the other side and can start fresh?  Let’s find out!!

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Bryan Danielson Vs. Rocky Romero

Romero is accompanied to the ring by Best Friends and Orange Cassidy

Before we get into any of this, I want it to be clear that I’ve never seen a Rocky Romero fight and I have no idea what Chaos is; nor do I fully understand what Orange Cassidy’s role in it is.  I’m glad that AEW is working well with a bunch of companies and that we get Forbidden Door matches like this every once in a while, but I’m a guy who covers this show pretty consistently and even I felt a bit out of the loop on this.  Perhaps I’m overstating the case, but AEW already has a problem with their YouTube shows intermingling with Dynamite and Rampage, and adding New Japan stuff to that mix isn’t the best idea unless they REALLY take the time to go into it.  In any case, this is pretty much just a warm-up match for Danielson to get ready for his fight against Miro at the PPV, and unlike the Omega match that opened on the last Dynamite, I think this did a solid job of building him up and getting fans excited to see what happens on the big show.  For the most part, it’s a submission battle as both go back and forth trying to get some leverage with Romero focusing almost exclusively on the arm.  He proves to be a wily competitor as Danielson has some big moves to show off and gets some serious damage in, but there’s always the threat that Romero will grab the arm out of nowhere and try to break it such as when Danielson lands an Elbow Drop on the dude’s leg and ends up having to scramble his way to the ropes as Rocky locks in the Cross Arm Breaker.  At one point Danielson is tossed through the ropes and ends up face to face with Cassidy who puts his hands in his pockets; effectively distracting Danielson as Romero charges from the ring and lands a Suicide Dive.  This gives Rocky an opening for a few good moves and to crush Danielson’s arm some more, but they both end up pretty worn down by German Suplexes, Hurricanrana, and a whole lot of punches and kicks in the middle of the ring.  Eventually, the two start trading submissions and Romero gets the full extension of the Cross Arm Breaker, but he doesn’t get him to tap as Danielson forces Romero to break up his hold by pinning his shoulders and getting a two-count.  Danielson is still in this manages to stop a Sliced Bread attempt in its tracks which leaves Rocky on the ground, and he eats a bunch of stomps from Danielson who goes in for the LaBelle Lock.  He can’t quite get the move on as Romero is fighting back, but he swiftly switches tactics and locks in the Tequila Sunrise which is finally enough to get Romero to tap out.  It was an old-school bout between two guys who know how to work that kind of match, and while it was perhaps a BIT too competitive for Danielson who’s going into a big match on the PPV; it still worked better than the Omega match.  Romero is a guest of the show and guests are usually portrayed to be VERY tough, and the stakes in Danielson’s match aren’t as high as in Omega’s.  Frankly, I’m about as interested in seeing Danielson go up against Cassidy as I would Omega or Hangman Adam Page, so I think I might be pulling just a LITTLE bit more for Miro to win the tournament at Full Gear!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-03-2021)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

We’re back with another week of AEW action and I think I’m finally getting back into the swing of things with the very relaxing week away from wrestling followed by the lurch of three episodes of the darn thing back to back to back!  We’re only a few weeks away from Full Gear and the card is starting to get stacked, but can they put this PPV over the finish line with only a few episodes left to go?  Let’s find out!!

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Kenny Omega Vs. Alan Angels

Omega is accompanied to the ring by Michael Nakazawa

I mean hey, Omega and Angels DID have a great match back before the Heel turn, so starting the show with a rematch sounds like a good idea to me; especially since Full Gear is less than two full weeks away and Omega is fighting in the main event!  Angels hits a Dropkick the moment the bell rings and tries to overwhelm Omega as quickly as possible, but he only gets a few shots in the corner before Kenny kicks him away and is in control of the match.  Omega gets the heat for a bit as Angels is putty in his hands, but instead of this being a quick squash match Angels proves to be competitive as he fights off a lot of Omega’s big moves like the Snap Dragon, and he even dodges a V-Trigger which causes Kenny to bounce off the ropes like a cartoon character and leads to a rollup two count for Angels.  The comeback from Angels doesn’t stop there as he moves to the apron and dodges another charge from Kenny who goes tumbling to the outside, and he follows up with a Suicide Dive.  He gets some solid offense in on the outside, throws Omega back in, and lands a Diving Cross Body for yet another near fall.  Angels makes his biggest mistake here as he goes back up top to land a Frog Splash which Kenny gest the knees up for, and Kenny is back in control of this match.  He doesn’t lose the advantage again for the rest of the match, but he does have a surprisingly hard time finishing off Angels.  A Buckle Bomb and Sit Out Powerbomb combo only gets a two count, a One Winged Angel attempt is reversed into a rollup, and even when he lands the V-Trigger, he doesn’t get the win because he did a half-hearted pin attempt.  It’s not until he follows up with two more V-Triggers and gives him a SERIOUS pin that he finally keeps him down for the three count and wins the match.  Omega is upset about this and has Nakazawa get him a chair so he can put Angels through it with a One Winged Angel.  Since The Dark Order didn’t accompany him to the ring and since the ref CAN’T DO ANYTHING TO STOP THIS, Hangman Adam Page comes to the rescue and takes out Nakazawa on his way down to the ring.  Omega threatens Hangman with the chair, but Alan Angels wrestles it out of his grasp and Hangman goes for the Buckshot Lariat.  Omega dodges and scampers up the ring while Hangman cuts a promo about how he’s gonna win at Full Gear.  When Omega first faced Alan Angels, there was some backlash because it was this guy out of nowhere hanging with a superstar like Kenny, and some felt it was dragging Omega down.  I didn’t agree in the slightest back then but PERHAPS there’s a tiny bit of merit to it here as I don’t think this is the time to give Kenny a tough match.  He’s weeks away from a PPV match against Hangman which is the blow-off to a years’ long feud, and to me that should feel as BIG and EPIC as possible.  Instead, Kenny has felt like a bit of a joke the last few weeks as the new guys like Danielson are already putting into question his status as the best wrestler at AEW.  I mean look, MJF also has a match on the PPV and HE didn’t have a drag-out match with whatever his name was a week ago!  Perhaps AEW has some plans for Angels or they just feel that you can’t open the show with a squash match, and while I will concede that the action itself was VERY good for both guys, I still don’t think this is exactly what Kenny needed at this specific moment in time.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-16-2021)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

Having the week away from wrestling certainly helped me relax and refocus, but then having three hours of shows back to back is perhaps balancing out the calm I gained from being away for a bit.  Still, this is AEW and even if their schedule can be a bit intense, especially when I’m working on so many other things recently, their shows do tend to be some of the more entertaining things I see all week.  Is this yet another fun show from AEW to lift my spirits, or can I already feel the burnout creeping back in?  Let’s find out!!

CM Punk starts the show with his entrance as he’s joining the commentary team once again.  The crowd isn’t sick of it yet, so why fix what isn’t broken?  It’s not like he’s resting on his laurels as he IS having matches pretty regularly, but coming out for the entrance is definitely gonna help his longevity and the crowd is more than happy to see it!

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Dante Martin Vs. Malaki Black

Dante Martin is accompanied to the ring by Lio Rush

Malaki Black has been quite an interesting person to watch these past few weeks as he’s run through the Baby Faces of the company with obviously heelish intent, but the crowd refuses to boo for him and instead seem to WANT him to destroy everyone in his path.  AEW has at least reacted to this by adding shades of gray to Cody’s character in response to the crowd turning on him, but they seem to be staying with the course as Dante is yet another Baby Face for this guy to trounce.  Then again, he’s got Lio Rush in his corner who is serving up some serious Heel vibes, so perhaps they were already anticipating the crowd turning on Dante and are giving him a manager to ease the transition.  What matters most however is the match which is another solid showing from both Martin and Black.  Martin continues to show off his high flying skills, but his lack of power leaves him VERY vulnerable to Black’s devastating offense.  He manages to hold his own in so far as keeping at arms-length of Black, but there’s no path to winning if he can’t get any moves in and so every time he tries to land a hit it’s either countered or shaken off by Black who favors grounding him with submission moves for most of this match.   Dante does eventually find his groove and gets a few good moves in against Black, starting with a Reverse Hurricanrana that’s followed by a Springboard Senton.  He then tries to follow up with a Double Jump Moonsault, but Black dodges and starts slugging away at him.  To everyone’s surprise, Dante manages to land an Enziguri during this strike exchange and it manages to stagger Black.  Not to be underestimated however, Black quickly recovers and lands a Middle Rope Meteora that’s followed by a Roundhouse Kick and a German Suplex combo that was EASILY the highlight of the match, but Dante somehow managed to kick out of it!  To teach this kid a lesson about staying down when beaten, he drags Dante up to the corner for a Superplex, but Dante fights back and lands Top Rope Hurricanrana which SHOULD be the start of his comeback but Dante’s knee has taken A LOT of abuse this match between the submission from Black and his own wrestling style that it’s finally giving out and he’s not able to capitalize on his spectacular moves.  Black manages to kick out of a slow cover from Dante after finally landing that Double Jump Moonsault and quickly reverses it into a Single Leg Boston Crab.  However, this is where things get kinda weird as Black lets go of Dante to start clutching his stomach.  Excalibur thinks it’s rib problems, CM Punk thinks the DARKNESS WITHIN HIM is melting his insides, but either way, it allows Dante to try a Springboard Stomp to finish the match.  Black, whose stomach problems aren’t so bad that he doesn’t see what’s happening, dodges the move and hits Dante with a Roundhouse Kick which is finally enough to get the pin and win the match.  I can’t say that I liked the ending as Malaki being nearly undone by an unforeseen bout of indigestion was not how I would have built to the climax, but it was still a solid match between two great workers at the company!  I don’t get the sense that the crowd is turning on Dante the way they did Cody so perhaps Black hasn’t gone FULL Fiend yet, but I’m still curious what Lio Rush’s role in all of this is going to be as he didn’t even try to interfere in the match.  Maybe he saw what happened to Chavo and decided against being that kind of manager; at least for the time being!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (10-15-2021)

AEW Rampage is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

My week-long vacation from all things wrestling has come to an end, and I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things!  Fortunately, they’re starting us off easy with a straightforward episode of Rampage followed by a Saturday Night Dynamite which should be a lot of fun!  Is this the perfect appetizer before digging back into AEW wrestling goodness, or are they just filling us up with bread?  Let’s find out!!

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CM Punk Vs. Matt Sydal

The only story we got leading up to this is that Lio Rush SOMEHOW got Tony Khan to approve this match as I guess some sort of test or perhaps as a power play on Matt Sydal, but none of that plays into this and the whole thing comes off as more of an exhibition more than anything else; especially after the mutual respect they have for each other is established by the handshake that starts the match.  It’s a pretty straightforward technical wrestling match since there aren’t that many high spots or flashy moves, but between the holds, tests of strengths, and submissions, they do throw in a few flips, twists, and impressive feats of coordination to spice things up.  Sydal gets the upper hand with some creative submissions and leaping strikes, but Punk has the strength advantage and manages to land a few Body Slams to knock the wind out of him.  The crowd then starts demanding a third one and Punk goes for it, but Sydal reverses into an Arm Drag followed by a Sliding Kick to turn things in his favor.  He flips over Punk and transitions from a Cross Face into some sort of Superman Pin that gets him a two count and he presses the advantage further with a bunch of leg kicks and a Back Arch on Punk’s knee which he continues to work over throughout the match.  All this damage they are doing to each other is not enough to put either away and it’s clear that someone’s either gonna have to land a finisher or a REALLY painful move to bring this to an end.  Punk does manage to land that third Body Slam on Sydal which he does on the apron and he throws Sydal back into the ring to land a Slingshot Senton, but even this isn’t enough and only gets a two count for Punk.  Intent on getting the GTS but not sure that Sydal is properly softened up for it, he instead hangs him in the Tree of Woe to land a few kicks.  However, the big Drop Kick (which is pretty much the only thing you can do with a Tree of Woe) is avoided by Sydal and his AMAZING ab muscles, and he manages to pull himself up onto the turnbuckle.  The two of them trade blows up there for a bit before landing simultaneous punches that send them both tumbling off the apron and to the floor.  If that wasn’t enough to make Punk start questioning his choices in life, Sydal continuing to work the knee over with a few more submissions might seal the deal, but he manages to escape with an Anaconda Vice that is broken up when Sydal makes it to the ropes.  Punk wants to put this thing away before Sydal can cause any more damage so he goes for the Pepsi Twist AND the GTS only for Sydal to dodge both of them and land a big kick to the head.  With Punk reeling from that, Sydal finally manages to land his finisher the Lightening Spiral and goes for the pin… BUT PUNK KICKS OUT!  The one thing both guys were going for was not enough to put Punk away and Sydal now has to get desperate if he wants to win the match.  He goes to the top rope but Punk rolls away, so instead he jumps at him to pull him down for the Crucifix pin.  Probably not the best move to go for however as Punk manages to catch him and he’s in JUST the right position for the GTS which Punk lands and gets the pin to win the match.  It was pretty good for what it was.  Perhaps a little bit plain by AEW standards, but a perfectly fine way to open the show and I’m glad that Punk isn’t trying to put on five star matches week in and week out.  They’re already gonna have enough trouble keeping Danielson from doing that and risk burning himself out, so they don’t need Punk doing it too!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-06-2021)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

I think I might be feeling Wrestling Burnout again as I haven’t been too excited about the last few weeks of Dynamite despite the reception being quite strong from everyone else.  I mean I COULD just have the most accurate opinion out of anyone else who covers these shows, but chances are I just need to give it a bit of time and to see the right matches for me to get back into the groove of things.  Will this episode manage to jumpstart my enthusiasm for AEW, or will I remain a sourpuss for a while longer?  Let’s find out!!

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Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, Christian Cage, and Bryan Danielson Vs. Adam Cole, The Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega – 8 Man Tag match

As much of a marquee match as this is, I’m always skeptical of throwing THIS many people in the ring as it’s either gonna have a lot of people doing nothing on the corners or descend into utter chaos.  In this match they manage to do both, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  For most of this match, it’s the Jungle Boy show as he spends most of the time in the ring and does a fair job fending off The Bucks and Cole.  Even when he tags someone in its usually to do a tandem move before the new guy tags out and puts Jungle Boy back in.  This works for a bit as Jungle Boy and Christian Cage bury Adam Cole under a flurry of offense, but Jungle Boy perhaps overstays his welcome once Nick Jackson tries the distraction on the apron which allows Cole to land a big kick and start the heat.  This is also the only time we see Kenny Omega in the ring during the first three-quarters of the match as he tags in to pick at the bones of Jungle Boy, before tagging back out a moment later while the Baby Faces can do nothing but watch him strut.  Jungle Boy eventually manages to fight off both Bucks and gets the tag to Danielson who goes after the legal man Matt Jackson with his Chops and Yes Kicks, and as soon as he simply LOOKS towards the Heels’ corner, Omega runs off like a scared chicken.  Danielson’s run is brief however as he tags in Luchasaurus who gets a HUGE pop from the crowd and keeps the pressure on Matt Jackson.  It’s not long before he tags in Jungle Boy, but in flagrant disregard of the rules they ALL hit the ring and knock the Heels off the apron so that all four can land corner splashes on Matt Jackson; ending with a Tail Whip/Face Buster combo from Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus that would have gotten the pin if the Heels didn’t break it up.  Now that all eight guys are in the ring, they just start hammering each other until Christian takes a Melzer Driver outside the ring.  With Cage out of the match and Jungle Boy taking a lot of damage from all four of them, it’s time for Danielson to get the Hot Tag and Jungle Boy is struggling to get to the corner.  The Bucks go for an Assisted Suplex on Jungle Boy, but this proves to be just the opportunity he’s looking for as he fights against the move and turns it into Stereo DDTs.  Omega tags in to try and stop him but is too late to stop Jungle Boy from tagging in Danielson and both are alone in the ring for the first time since their match at Grand Slam.  The crowd pops for it and they only get louder as the two start exchanging strikes!  Omega gets the best of it with a kick, but Danielson quickly recovers and starts landing his big moves on him.  Corner Splashes, Chop/Kicks, a top rope Hurricanrana, and even a Diving Headbutt all hit their target, but Danielson only gets a two count because the Bucks run in and break up the pin.  More chaos as everyone runs in until the ring is cleared and Danielson goes for the Tiger Driver followed by the Cattle Mutilation which also ends up getting broken up by The Bucks; this time from a Senton by Matt Jackson.  Danielson tags in Luchasaurus who cleans house in a VERY impressive and over the top manner; so much so that he gets ALL four of The Elite into the corners of the ring and starts doing splashes on each of them.  The one who escapes is Adam Cole who gets a kick and goes for a Panama Sunrise, but he is caught by Luchasaurus in one hand while Kenny gets caught in the other.   He tosses them both down which cues even MORE chaos as all seven remaining guys hit a bunch of moves, but it all leads to Luchasaurus eating a Low Blow and rolling out the ring while Jungle Boy eats a Panama Sunrise.  Danielson is up next and tries to fend off all four (which he REALLY shouldn’t NEED to do if the ref is paying attention), but is eventually overwhelmed and eats a Triple Super Kick.  He rolls out and Jungle Boy is the legal man who ends up eating a FOUR person Superkick Party and it’s finally enough to keep him down for the three count.  It was definitely a good match considering just how many moves they managed to fit in there, but for me, it was too chaotic.  I think the magic number for a tag team match is three, and once you get higher than that things start to get too long and the story gets lost in the shuffle of bodies; like the wrestling equivalent of too many cooks in the kitchen.  I’m sure everyone here will continue to have great matches with each other in the coming weeks, but I’d rather they be smaller matches spread over a longer period of time instead of trying to get everyone in the ring as soon and as often as possible.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-18-2021)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT

We’ back with another week of AEW action, and not only are we one week closer to the All Out PPV, it’s the first Dynamite since the premier episode of Rampage and all the fallout that came from that! Can AEW prove they can manage three hours of television without things getting spread too thin or storylines getting too big and sprawling? Let’s find out!!

We begin with episode with Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston who have some sort of announcement to make. Of course, being wrestlers, they can’t just simply do that and are gonna go through their full entrances in the crowd before saying a word; little do they realize that that’s what THEY are expecting! Who are THEY? Why, none other than 2.0 and Daniel Garcia who bash the two of them with pipes in the middle of the crowd and run to the ring to call out Darby and Sting who oblige the request, and so we begin…

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Sting & Darby Allin Vs. 2.0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) – Texas Tornado Tag Match

2.0 is accompanied to the ring by Daniel Garcia

The former Ever Rise going from NXT castoffs to big TV stars in just a few short weeks on AEW, going so far as to beat up the former champ and one of the most over guys at the company, will no doubt a thorn in WWE’s side for months on end, especially with the latest batch of releases from the company, but regardless of that, both Matt and Jeff have proven themselves to be great additions to AEW and their association with Daniel Garcia has been one of the better things about the last two weeks of the show. As for the match itself, they keep it short and sweet with a lot of selling from the Heels and a lot of big Baby Face spots for Sting. Also, I guess the TEXAS part of this means No DQ because the bell has barely rung before they take things to the top of the stadium to duke it out there with Daniel Garcia backing up 2.0. The Baby Faces aren’t running away with this however as they do eat a bunch of offense from 2.0, particularly this one spot where 2.0 basically threw Darby up into the top part of an entrance way (google says it’s called a jamb) and then falls back down to Earth onto his back which frankly isn’t the WORST bump I’ve seen Darby Allin take. However, they eventually get the upper hand and make their way to ring while a freshly recovered Kingston drags Daniel Garcia away to presumably take a beating for his part in all this. There are a few more rough spots that the Baby Faces take like when Darby is Suplexed into his skateboard (wheels up) and when Sting eats a Powerbomb into a table, but the Baby Faces are resilient and Sting basically No Sells the table spot to the utter dismay of 2.0. Sting lands a Double Scorpion Death Drop on the two of them and THEN puts them both in a Scorpion Death Lock; both of whom tap out immediately; winning the match and once again putting 2.0 right in their place! It was definitely a fun opening match, and while I still don’t LOVE everything that Darby is willing to do in the ring, this was comparatively a less intensive match and the sheer power of THE ICON STING at the end of the match got the crowd in a great mood for the rest of the show!

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