January 18th, 2023
Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA
Commentary: Excalibur, Taz & Tony Schiavone
In Memory of Jay Briscoe
The show started with an In Memory of Jamin Pugh (Jay Briscoe) graphic.
AEW All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Jay Lethal
Jay Lethal (wearing a Briscoe armband) came out by himself as it was stated that Jeff Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh were ordered to stay in the back, and if they got involved Dutt would get fired. Jarrett, Dutt & Singh then made their way down from the crowd and kicked fans out of their seats in the front row. Right away, Lethal goes for the Figure Four, but Orange Cassidy reverses for a two-count. Lethal knocks Cassidy to the outside, as Dutt had to hold Jarrett back from interfering. Danhausen appeared from behind dressed as an usher and asked to see their tickets before escorting them out. The Best Friends then appeared and sat down right beside them. Lethal stayed in control and tossed Cassidy right into the ring post as Danhausen now appeared in the corner of Cassidy. Excalibur brought up the passing of Jay Briscoe on commentary and said they would touch more on that soon. Lethal kept going to the top rope, as Cassidy would roll out of the way to avoid it before Lethal finally jumped down just for Cassidy to put his boot up. Cassidy followed with a cross body, Stundog Millionaire, and a spinning DDT for a two count. Lethal comes back with Lethal Combination, but Cassidy dodges the Lethal Injection and goes for the Orange Punch. Lethal catches him and hits the Lethal Injection, just for Cassidy to roll to the outside. Chuck Taylor dumps his popcorn on Dutt, as the referee goes to stop Dutt. Jarrett tries to hand the guitar to Lethal, but Danhausen grabs it and runs away with it. Back inside, Cassidy hits the Orange Punch for the pin.
Winner: Orange Cassidy by pinfall at 9:07, to retain
Satnam Singh enters the ring and goes to chokeslam Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta, but Sonjay Dutt runs in to stop him, so he doesn’t get fired. Dutt then stops Jeff Jarrett from using his guitar on Cassidy. Cassidy follows this with his kicks to Dutt, but they are able to get him out of the ring before Cassidy can finish. Cassidy eats the popcorn.
Top Flight (Dante Martin & Darius Martin) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) (w/ Brandon Cutler)
The Young Bucks both wearing armbands that say Jay with a heart, as Dante Martin and Nick Jackson start the match in this brothers vs. brothers tag match, which seems perfect for this type of show. The match picks up rather quickly with all four men coming in and hitting offense including a backstabber from Nick to Dante in the corner as we head to picture-in-picture.
When we come back, Matt Jackson has Dante cornered, as Nick knocks down Darius Martin as Dante was trying to make the tag. It should be noted that the Bucks are 2-0 against Top Flight, as they hit Risky Business for a two on Dante, from Nick before he tags out to Matt. Dante is able to fight them off and make the hot tag to Darius who goes right after Matt, hitting him with a diving crossbody for a two. Nick is able to finally stop the flurry of Darius hitting him with a superkick before tagging in Matt. Top Flight starts double-teaming Matt, before Dante takes out Nick on the outside with a moonsault. They follow with the Nose Dive/Power Bomb combo to Matt, but Nick is able to break up the pin at the last second. Nick takes out Darius with Destroyer, but he kicks out at two. The Young Bucks hit Darius with the Doomsday Device in tribute to Jay Briscoe, but Dante breaks up the pin. Dante tries to dive onto the Bucks on the outside, but they stop him with a superkick. The Bucks follow with a BTE Trigger, but they are able to dodge it as Darius rolls up Nick for the pin.
Winners: Top Flight (Dante Martin & Darius Martin) by pinfall at 12:11
Two Words For Ya: Family Therapy
We were supposed to hear from The Acclaimed, but The Gunns walked out to the ring instead in a serious mood after what happened to them on Rampage. The crowd boos them, as Colten Gunn tells them to be quiet as they are the best tag team in the world. Austin Gunn says The Acclaimed embarrassed them last week, but they are the ones who made The Acclaimed popular, champions and even gave them their dad. The Acclaimed come out, as Austin calls for the music to be cut off right away to stop Max Caster from saying his rhyme. Max Caster asks for the music again and says how they only got a job because of their dad, calls them the Ass Boys, a Hunter Biden line, before having his last line censored (something about bullshitters). They get into the ring and start brawling with them, but Billy Gunn separates all four of them. Billy says he’s sick and tired of this and tells Acclaimed to start acting like tag champs. Billy says next week they will sit down and hash it all out, before saying he has two words; family therapy.
Renee Paquette is backstage with ‘Hangman’ Adam Page and asks Page how he’s feeling. Page says physically he is fine, as Renee told him that Jon Moxley was pushed to be a better self. Page says he understands the nature of wrestling, and was put to sleep but he knocked him out cold to beat him, and if Moxley has something else to say, he can say it to his face and he’ll gladly do it again. Renee asks what Page would like to do next, as Page says he needs to mend some fences that should have been mended a long time ago but doesn’t clarify what he’s talking about. Page asks Renee how Moxley is feeling, but Renee says he’ll dust himself off. Page goes to tell Renee to tell him something, but changes his mind.
Jake Hager (w/ Matt Menard & Angelo Parker) vs. Ricky Starks
The Jericho Appreciation Society came out to ‘Judas’ before Chris Jericho went and joined commentary. Right away they go to fight, as Jake Hager corners Ricky Starks before going to put on his hat. Starks takes the hat away and puts it on, before walking the ropes. Starks knocks Hager to the outside, where Hager catches him and tosses him into the ringpost, before hitting him with a boot. Hager puts his hat back, tosses Starks into the barricade as they go to picture-in-picture.
When we come back, we see a table set up on the outside that Hager tries to powerbomb Starks on top of, but he’s able to get out. Starks tosses Angelo Parker into the table and knocks down Matt Menard, before hitting Hager with a spring crossbody. Starks puts his boot up on a Hager Bomb attempt, before hitting a DDT for a two-count. Menard and Parker get on the apron, as Hager takes out Parker by accident giving Starks the opportunity to hit the spear on Hager for the pin.
Winner: Ricky Starks by pinfall at 6:23
Daniel Garcia, Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara run into the ring, but Starks escapes into the crowd.
We see highlights of Adam Cole’s return last week with comments from Cole about how he felt and how the crowd didn’t disappoint one bit with their reaction. Cole says he will run anybody over who stands in his way to the top. We see a very quick shot of MJF watching on in disgust.
Le Sex Gods or Garciacho
When we come back from break, Tony Schiavone is with Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia & Sammy Guevara. Jericho is furious at Ricky Starks but says he requested a tag team match for next week for Guevara & Jericho vs. Action Andretti & Ricky Starks. Garcia says he wants to be his tag team partner instead, and Guevara said he can have his spot if he beats Andretti on Friday. Guevara gives Garcia new gear, as Jericho says no matter the team, Starks’ lucky streak will end.
Bryan Danielson vs. Bandido
Another match that seems perfect for tonight, with both former ROH World Champions wearing armbands for Jay Briscoe. They shake hands as the crowd chants for Bandido. They both play with the crowd a bit before Bandido is able to plant Bryan Danielson down and puts on the Romero Special, just for Danielson to easily escape out and tries to put one on himself. The crowd boos Danielson, as they are fully behind Bandido tonight. Bandido applies a wild looking stretch on Danielson, who just powers out using his neck (yes) to a big reaction. Commentary mentions how Danielson looked up to Mexican luchador Blue Panther, as Bandido hits a tope and a tope con giro on Danielson as they go to picture-in-picture.
When we come back, Bandido takes control by driving Danielson face first into the mat. They go to trade chops and uppercuts, before Danielson corners Bandido with kicks. Bandido lifts Danielson up in a vertical suplex, but doesn’t hold him up too long. Bandido goes for a frog splash, but Danielson puts his knees up and puts on the LeBell Lock, transitioning into an arm bar, but Bandido is able to put his foot on the bottom rope. Danielson starts hitting his kicks, but Bandido blocks the last one and hits Danielson with a knee strike. Danielson counters out of the 21 Plex, knocks Bandido down, and rolls him up for a two count, before they both go for more drop toeholds and roll-ups. Danielson knocks Bandido to the outside where he hits him with a jumping knee. Back inside, they head to the top rope where Bandido hits the avalanche fall away slam, before hitting the 21 Plex that Danielson kicks out of. They trade kicks, before Danielson counters a brainbuster but Bandido is able to power him up. Danielson rolls out and hits the Busaiku Knee and pins Bandido.
Winner: Bryan Danielson by pinfall at 17:54
The Monster Behind the Mask
We cut to MJF in the back where he says fans are claiming he’s not worthy of his position in this company. MJF says they must have forgotten how he became world champion and he takes this personally. He calls the fans fickle for all the moments he gave them. MJF says Danielson has only dealt with ‘Masked Max’ but Danielson doesn’t want his Max’s mask to slip off. Danielson might think he’s a dragon, but a dragon isn’t ready for the monster behind the mask. I wonder if he was talking about MLW’s Mads Krugger.
We cut to Saraya, Toni Storm, and Hikaru Shida where Saraya is mad at Shida for tossing in the kendo stick. Storm throws an underhanded comment on Shida being homegrown talent before telling Shida to stay in the back for Storm’s match against Willow Nightingale tonight.
Use Your Anger
We find out that next week Bryan Danielson will take on Brian Cage. We go to Renee Paquette backstage with Cage & Prince Nana as MJF walks in and hands Cage an envelope of money. MJF says he doesn’t care if he wins or loses, but he cares about him breaking Danielson’s arm. Cage says he can work that out before MJF slaps him. Cage goes to grab MJF, but Nana tells him to think about the money. MJF says there is no greater motivator than anger, and next week, he should use it.
Toni Storm (w/ Saraya) vs. Willow Nightingale
Willow Nightingale starts the match in control, as Toni Storms whips her just for Willow to do an impressive cartwheel. Willow goes to shake Storm’s hand, but Storm smacks her down and knocks her off the apron with a hip attack. Storm goes to attack Willow, as Hikaru Shida heads down to the ring with the kendo stick.
When we come back, Willow is able to power out of a full nelson and splashes Storm in the corners before knocking her down with a kick, before hitting a spinebuster for a two. Storm dodges a cannonball, and hits a hip attack and a DDT off the ropes for a two count. Willow comes back with a pounce, knocking Storm to the corner where she hits a cannonball for a two count. Saraya gets on the apron, as Storm rolls up Willow, using the tights for the pin.
Winner: Toni Storm by pinfall at 7:13
Saraya and Storm continue to attack Willow after the match before Ruby Soho runs out for the save.
- Daniel Garcia vs. Action Andretti
- We hear from Eddie Kingston
- Brian Cage vs. Willie Mack
- Jade Cargill & Leila Grey in action
- Ethan Page vs. Jack Perry
We hear from Ethan Page and Stokely Hathaway who are angry about losing to JungleHook, and no more fun and games before their match on Rampage.
- Brian Cage vs. Bryan Danielson
- More matches to be announced on Rampage
It Means MJF is An Asshole
We go to Konosuke Takeshita backstage as Renee Paquette asks him how he feels after his match with Bryan Danielson last week. Takeshita says that Danielson is his hero and he learned so much, before calling out MJF by calling him an asshole.
AEW TNT Championship: Darby Allin (c) (w/ Sting) vs. KUSHIDA (w/ Kevin Knight & The DKC)
KUSHIDA came out with LA Dojo representation in Kevin Knight & The DKC. They start the match trying to take each other down on the mat, before quickly transitioning to the outside where they smash each other into the barricade. KUSHIDA continues by working on Darby Allin’s arm. Allin is able to block a kick from KUSHIDA, and hits the Code Red for a two count before going after his arm showing a bit of injury. DKC and Knight try to comfort KUSHIDA on the outside, before Allin takes them out with a cannonball. KUSHIDA was able to get out of the way and knocked Allin down on the mat with a cross armbreaker as they went to break.
When we come back, KUSHIDA is in control hitting a cross body and a Pele kick, but Allin comes back with a Scorpion Death Drop. We got a Power Slap ad on the lower third that it’s coming up next, but no acknowledgement from commentary about it. KUSHIDA knocks Allin to the outside and takes Allin down with a diving knee strike as Allin starts screaming saying his shoulder is hurt. They start fighting on the apron before knocking each other down to the floor. Allin places KUSHIDA on a chair, heads to the top rope and tries a shotgun dropkick, just for KUSHIDA to grab him and puts on an armbar. They head inside and to the top rope, where KUSHIDA hits a Spanish Fly while holding onto Allin’s arm, before going right into the hoverboard lock. Knight & DKC give Sting the white towel and tell him to toss it in for Allin, but Sting tosses it to the crowd. Allin escapes out and puts on the Last Supper pin for the win.
Winner: Darby Allin by pinfall at 13:39, to retain
They shake hands after the match, as KUSHIDA asks for another chance down the line as Excalibur ends the show saying we are thinking of you, Jay Briscoe, and that he is their hearts and minds.