It didn’t take long for there to be blood in AEW’s first ever Blood and Guts match. The crowd was only halfway done singing along with “Judas” as Inner Circle entered in their Dead Presidents-inspired prison jump suits when you could see blood trickling down the side of Jake Hager’s face.
Shortly after Dax Harwood and Sammy Guevara entered the two rings-one-cage environment, The Pinnacle man was wearing a crimson mask. That was nothing compared to what his FTR partner Cash Wheeler looked like a short time later, though.
Before the bell rang for The Match Beyond (when all ten men are in the ring, and winning by submission or surrender becomes possible), we got a hoss fight between Hager and Wardlow, and lots of impressive action...
Once respective faction leaders Chris Jericho and MJF entered, all hell broke loose. This was a star-making performance for Guevara. He got several chances to strut his stuff, and perhaps none were more impressive than this one:
Wardlow also got plenty of shine, fighting back when his entire team was down. It took the entire Inner Circle, and a chair shot to the head, to put him down.
On a split screen during a commercial break (an unfortunate side effect of this happening on television rather than PPV - and an early sign of some production issues), Tully Blanchard opened the cage. MJF escaped to the roof, and Jericho followed. The protege escaped the Walls with a low blow, but couldn’t get Le Champeon to quit when he locked in his Salt of the Earth armbar.
Action continued in the rings below, but the story stayed up top. MJF pulled out his Dynamite Diamond Ring to bust Jericho open, then he threatened to throw him off the cage if his teammates didn’t surrender. They did, because babyfaces.
Then the victorious Pinnacle leader threw him off anyway, because heel. MJF also emphatically gave Jericho the “thank you” the veteran said he wanted after his dastardly act.
It has to be noted, while this wasn’t “Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch dud” bad, the production on the finish wasn’t ideal. After the announcers claimed the stage was concrete, we saw Jericho land on a cardboard-covered crash pad.
This was made worse by camera angles that ensured we saw every detail, and the fact the timing was such that we got three minutes of those shots before the show went off the air.
Still, it was a fun War Games-style match, and the ending did make sense for the story they were telling.
Let us know what you think, and get catch up on everything that happened on Dynamite tonight here.