I wasn't planning on watching this one live... but between the fact that I now have an IPTV service where I can watch for free and the impending debut of Edge, I figured "why not?".
I think I may have taken MJF vs. The Righteous a bit more seriously if I had any idea who The Righteous were. But even if Adam Cole had been healthy.. is this really the best use of your World Champion? Just makes him feel "less than" for no real reason. Unless.... is MJF going to be on the show again later on?
Eddie Kingston vs. Katsuyori Shibata was a hard-fought match but something just didn't click for me. Kingston is at his best when he's in a grudge match; here, he was just defending his dual championships. I didn't love the finish, either.
Kris Statlander vs. Julia Hart had its moments, but definitely wasn't a classic. Statlander deserves better competition, and even with Brodie King in her corner, Hart didn't seem like the strongest challenger. I did like the double-tombstone finish.
The Gunns vs. The Lucha Bros vs. Orange Cassidy & Hook vs. The Young Bucks was every bit as exciting as one would have expected. Tons of great double-teams throughout and quick tags. I didn't want this one to end as quickly as did, but no complaints. Easily my favorite match so far.
Hangman Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland had a weird vibe to it, and not just because Swerve was in his hometown. There were a couple of spots in there where it would have made sense to put Swerve over (especially when there was the doctor stoppage) and build him up to the next level. The foreign object spot could have worked as well. But instead, they focused on how much it took to put Page away, which I think was unnecessary. It was a good match, but could have been better.
Ricky Starks vs. Wheeler Yuta felt like an extended squash, which is unfortunate because I think Yuta has a great future ahead of him. I'm also still confused as to who the heel was supposed to be in this program.
Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Sabre Jr. was the definition of "shut up and take my money." Only I didn't pay any money for the show. But still. Just an incredible, super hard-hitting back and forth match that only got better as it progressed. Easily a Match of the Year candidate, and then some. If Danielson doesn't get an AEW World Title run before he hangs it up for good... we're doing something wrong here.
Okay... that Last Supper portrait of The Don Callis Family? Pretty freaking awesome.
Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi vs. Sammy Guevara, Will Ospreay and Konosuke Takeshita was really just a lot to fit into one match. It was a decent match, but felt like overkill this late on the show. I'd rather see at least some of these one-on-one issues get resolved before resorting to the trios route. I get why they had the Callis family win.... and it's definitely going to be a huge deal when Omega or Jericho finally get the win back.
FTR vs. Aussie Open was fast-paced and had a decent rhythm to it... but I feel as though the match will be forgotten about by next week. Given the hour that this went on, I think it could have been a five minute match and no one would have truly minded. No knock against either team, but just felt too long for such a packed show. FTR desperately needs to get into a serious feud with another top team to give them a bit more oomph.
Darby Allin vs. Christian Cage was a hell of a fun and entertaining match, and surprisingly worthy of its main event status.... but it was obviously created as a backdrop for something bigger. Fun sidenote: who would have thought five years ago that either Edge or Christian would be not only wrestling again but in a primary role? Did NOT see the Nick Wayne swerve coming (and I'm usually pretty good at that).
AEW doesn't always book the debuts of WWE guys well.... but I have to say this one was done perfectly. Who cares if it was telegraphed? The music, the appearance, the mini-swerve... Adam Copeland is ready to add another chapter to his career, and I'm definitely here for it.
Overall, a very good (but LONG) PPV, and one I'm glad I caught live.