FTR def. Best Friends, The Young Bucks and The Natural Nightmares in an AEW World Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Gauntlet Match
This played out in predictable fashion, but I don't mean that as a bad thing whatsoever. Young Bucks needed to beat Natural Nightmares and their mini-match was decent, Young Bucks vs. Best Friends was fun and featured the expected finish with Adam Page costing Young Bucks the victory, and then FTR vs. Best Friends was quality tag team wrestling. The outcome was never in doubt, but FTR vs. Page and Kenny Omega for the AEW World Tag Team Championship should be money. Thankfully, AEW didn't give away Young Bucks vs. FTR and instead cemented Page's split from The Elite courtesy of Young Bucks. I thought that was made official months ago, but apparently not. Either way, it's an interesting development worth keeping an eye on.
Lance Archer def. Sean Maluta; Darby Allin Attacked Ricky Starks
It kills me that AEW has done virtually nothing with Archer since his loss to Cody at Double or Nothing three months ago. Truth be told, the company should have had him squash Cody to win the AEW TNT Championship at the pay-per-view the same way Brodie Lee did last week. Nonetheless, this was a short and sweet showcase for Archer ahead of his involvement in the 21-man Casino Battle Royale (another one?!) at All Out. His interaction with Brian Cage afterward was a nice tease for what we might (and hopefully will) get during the bout, and Allin's brawl with Starks was well done. I just wish they were going one-on-one at the event instead of taking part in the Casino Battle Royale.
AEW World Champion Jon Moxley and MJF Signed the Contract for Their AEW World Championship Match at All Out
I'd long been waiting for these two to verbally spar with each other and that was exactly what we got here. The best part is that as entertaining as this was, they could always do better, and thus I'm hoping for some last-minute mic work after Moxley dismantles MJF's "lawyer" next week on Dynamite. Both guys cut strong promos and got me excited for their upcoming encounter. MJF is just the perfect asshole and Moxley was terrific, too. I'm glad Moxley kept it serious and straightforward instead of getting too cute with his material as he's been known to do at times. Give me more of these men on the mic, please.
The Lucha Brothers, The Butcher and The Blade def. Brian Pillman Jr., Griff Garrison, Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss
I'm all in on Eddie Kingston managing The Lucha Brothers, but not so much Butcher and Blade. I don't care about them either way, but they were better with The Bunny (a.k.a. Allie) in my opinion. Nonetheless, this was a perfectly fine eight-man tag team match with the win for the heels designed to get them back on track following last week's loss. Ivelisse and Diamante joining their group eventually would be cool, too.
The Natural Nightmares, Scorpio Sky and Matt Cardona Attacked The Dark Order
I didn't notice it the first time, but I saw on Twitter that Dark Order were apparently mimicking a meme while carrying the coffin onto the stage, so that earns instant brownie points from me. The rest of this segment was strange. I was happy to see the group show some more personality for a change (like what we get from John Silver on Being The Elite), but their brawl with The Natural Nightmares, Sky and Cardona did nothing for me. I can understand The Natural Nightmares wanting to get revenge for last week's show-ending angle and Cardona is a friend of Cody's, but why the hell was Sky out there? That eight-man tag team match that was made official for All Out would be better off on an episode of Dynamite. Nothing about that on paper stands out as special in the slightest.
Big Swole def. Penelope Ford, Reba and Britt Baker in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match
Man, this whole feud has seriously sucked. Some of the stuff Swole and Baker have done has been solid, but the actual in-ring component of this rivalry has been terrible. Look no further than this below-average match. Ford and Swole did what they could, but Reba is hot garbage. Honestly, everyone was off their game here. With the win, Swole now has the chance to face Baker in any matchup she wants, presumably at All Out. Then again, I thought they were saving Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara as well as Best Friends vs. Santana and Ortiz for the pay-per-view too, so who knows.
Sammy Guevara def. Matt Hardy in a Tables Match; Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho Brawled
I would have cut out the crap with Swole, Ford, Reba and Baker from this show all together to give this match more time, or just space out the matches better because this was way too rushed. Most of it consisted of a commercial break, but at least what we got from them was good. I applaud them for bringing the intensity and doing what they could in the time they were allotted, but this really should have been saved for All Out. Guevara winning was the right call as he hasn't scored an important singles victory in a while and he's obviously an up-and-comer who can benefit from it. Plus, Cassidy tackling Jericho out of nowhere was a hot way to go off the air.
The show started out strong with that excellently-executed Gauntlet match followed by the quick squash and the contract signing, but AEW lost me with the eight-man tag, the Dark Order segment and that atrocious women's matchup. They tried to recover with the main event, but I was disappointed by how short it was. On the bright side, the hype for All Out was there, that Thunder Rosa vs. Hikaru Shida video package was phenomenal, and fans being welcomed back into the building for the first time since March definitely enhanced the atmosphere. The card has some serious potential on paper and I'm looking forward to it.