It's Wednesday night, and you know what that means...
IWGP U.S. Title Match: Jon Moxley vs. Karl Anderson
Moxley comes out to a raucous scene and Eddie Kingston joins him.
Kingston pulls out a pipe and attacks Doc Gallows while the bell rings. Excalibur explains that this match is under NJPW rules. Anderson kicks Moxley with a thrust kick in the corner. Fists are exchanged in the center of the ring and Mox headbutts Karl out of the ring. Mox joins him and eats a suplex by Anderson for his troubles. Moxley lays some shots near the barricade and bites him in the head as they return to the ring. Cutter by Anderson on the ropes as he kicks Moxley off the apron. He greets Mox with a knee to the chest in the corner upon his return. Spinebuster by Anderson gets two. They go up to the top and Moxley hits the superplex. German suplex by Moxley, followed by the sleeper. Anderson with the slam for two.
Kick to the midsection and Anderson counters with a cutter. Clothesline countered into another cutter. Ripcord by Anderson is countered into a clothesline into a Paradigm Shift and Moxley retains. [**1/2] The match was a paint-by-numbers affair with the solid amount of comebacks by each competitors. The right result with no shenanigans.
Jake Roberts is talking with Lance Archer in the back and the Murderhawk Monster challenges Moxley to a rematch for the title he lost more than a year ago.
Alex Abranthes is with Andrade El Idolo who asks him a question. Where is the Death Triangle?
FTW Championship Match: Brian Cage vs. Ricky Starks
Starks enters the ring to a pop as the remaining members of Team Taz are already on the outside. Taz is on commentary.
Cage lays into Starks with a series of fists. Gorilla slam by Cage followed by a clothesline in the corner. Starks is favoring his injured neck as he avoids the charge and works the arm of Cage. Dropkick off the ropes by Starks as we go picture in picture. We return as Starks pops out of a two count. Cage hits a shoulderblock to knock Starks out of the ring. Cage joins him and Starks hits a beautiful baseball slide to counter with a clothesline. They return and Starks gets the rear choke but Cage charges in the corner. Tiger Driver by Cage gets two as Starks puts his foot on the ropes. Cage hits a thrust kick for two. They go up top and Starks powerbombs Cage for two.
Starks reaches for the FTW title and Hobbs says no. He walks right into a F5 by Cage for a two count. Hook distracts the ref and HOBBS HITS CAGE WITH THE FTW TITLE!
Spear by Starks and he pins Cage with the 1, 2, 3. [***] Great back and forth match with near falls and comeback spots. The right result and it will be interesting to see what Cage does from here.
Cody comes out from the Gorilla Position and calls out Malaki Black for the attack from last week. He goes into the ring and says he wants a fight. Black shows up on the screen with a smoky background. He says that it was time to put Cody out of his misery. The lights go out and there's Black when it comes back on. They fight and the refs break it up.
Alex Marvez is with Tully and apparently he doesn't see Santana and Ortiz waiting for him. They threaten to beat him up but say they respect their elders.
Tony Schiavone is in the ring with Hangman Adam Page. The Cowboy comes out a loud pop from the Texas crowd. He says that he is challenging Kenny Omega for the AEW World Title. Don Callis comes out with the Elite and says he's not that guy to win the title. Matt Jackson heads to the ring with mic in hand as Tony exits. Page clocks him and the Dark Order comes in to help. Omega challenges him and the cult group to a 5-on-5. Page says that when they win not only does he get the World Title shot the Dark Order gets a tag title shot as well. Callis advises Omega to accept the match, on one condition: if the faces lose, they don't get a single title shot.
Alex Marvez is with Chris Jericho, talking about the "5 Labors of Jericho." He says that Hercules did the same thing and won. Shawn Spears comes in and clocks Jericho with a chair. MJF joins him and says that next week he will face the Chairman, who can use a chair, and he can't.
Christian Cage vs. Matt Hardy
They lock up with the collar and elbow tie up. They spill to the outside and Hardy hits a draped rope DDT on Cage. Back in the ring, he gets a neckbreaker for two. We go picture in picture. As we return Hardy is taking control of the match. Cage counters the Twist of Fate and hits a clothesline for two. He goes up top and connects with the frog splash for two.
They go back into the corner and Hardy hits the superplex for two. Cage goes for the Killswitch and Hardy distracts the ref while hitting Cage with a low blow. Twist of Fate gets two. They go back outside and locks in the Leech. Cage beats the 10 count and hits the Killswitch for the three count. [**] As a wrestling match goes, what it lacked in thrills it was a solid synopsis of telling a story. Cage knew of Hardy's counters and their history showed in this match.
Afterwards the HFO shows up, only for Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus to arrive.
We get a video package of Miro on his rise to being the TNT Champion.
Tony Schiavone is in the ring with Dr. Britt Baker as she prepares for next week's match against Nyla Rose. Baker comes out a huge pop. She calls out Nyla and says that yes she's beaten her but she's too special to lose this time. Rose and Vicki Guerrero respond, saying they will beat her next week.
Moxley says that Archer is impossible to stop, but he will try next week in a Texas Deathmatch.
Wheeler Yuta vs. Sammy Guevara
Sammy comes out to a HUGE pop being back in Texas. They lock up and Yuta gets the shoulderblock. Sammy hits the dropkick and poses. Slam by Guevara followed by the shooting star press for two. He goes for the SSP again but Yuta blocks with the knees. Back elbow charge in the corner, followed by the dropkick. Sammy with the arm drag into the elbow. German suplex release by Yuta. Up top and he hits the splash for one. Sammy no sells the punches and returns with chops. Back drop by Sammy, who charges into the corner and hits an enzuguri. Cutter from the corner into the GTH for the three count. [**1/2] Great spots by both wrestlers, wouldn't mind seeing a longer match between these two.
Tony Schiavone with the Nightmare Factory, who's upset about last week's loss. He pours chocolate sauce over Tony, but at least he didn't grab the mic in the interview.
Penelope Ford vs. Yuka Sakazaki
Yuka gets a series of hip tosses on Ford and hits her with the boot. Chants of 'Let's Go Yuka' through the crowd as she gets the dropkick on Ford. Yuka comes off the middle rope to hit the cannonball. Back in the ring Ford kicks the knee of Yuka and gets the leg lock as we go picture in picture.
We come back and Yuka hits the top rope crossbody for the victory. [**] Solid match with the right result.
Coffin Match: Darby Allin vs. 'All Ego' Ethan Page
Before the match we get some independents come out with a coffin and lay it by the ring.
Allin comes in and charges after Page, who sends Sky to the back. Darby is wearing a metal plate on his back as he hits a coffin drop elbow. Suicida through the middle ropes on the outside. Sky somehow shows up in the coffin and attacks Darby, but here comes Sting to break it up, throwing Sky over the barricade. Splash misses by Sting but he hits Sky with a trash can. Meanwhile Page unhooks one of the turnbuckles and throws Allin into it. Reverse by Allin as he throws Page over the barricade. We go picture in picture.
We're back and we see during the break Page slams Allin into the steps. They're in the ring and the steel ring steps are there as well. Page slams him into the steps. He shoulderblocks Darby's charge and grabs the turnbuckle's hook. He hooks it to the chain of Darby's neck as he takes him down. Page mocks Darby and prepares to throw him in the coffin but Darby breaks it up and hooks Page in the teeth. Dropkick of the steel steps onto Page and he falls in the coffin but it doesn't lock up. They both are in the coffin and they battle with fists. Slam by Darby onto the apron. Page slaps Darby with the palm of his hand. Darby bites Page but is flipped over. Page is now showing color. Back in the ring, Page takes him onto the steel steps but Darby hits the stunner. He goes up top and Page meets him there, going for the Ego's Edge onto the steel steps. They go on the apron and Darby grabs the eyes and bits him again. He grabs his skateboard and jumps on Page's spine. Page falls in the coffin and Darby closes the lid to win. [****] An excellent main event and I liked the use of the coffin as more than just an ending point.
Darby goes up top and celebrates. He drags the coffin and decides to go up top...COFFIN DROP ELBOW ONTO THE COFFIN!