AEW frenzy (November 25, 2022) emanated from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. The Black Friday afternoon show featured ten heels in the Dark Order, Claudio Castagnoli risking his status as a professional wrestler for a shot at the ROH World Championship, FTR defending the ROH Tag Titles against Top Flight, and much more.
Let’s jump right in with a summary of the show followed by feedback.
Excalibur, Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone were on commentary. Ian Riccaponi joined the team in the ROH title match. Ring announcer duties were taken over by Justin Roberts.
ROH World Tag Team Championship: FTR(c) vs. Top Flight
Top Flight used their speed to thwart FTR. Heroes often fought defensively. FTR relied on toughness to create chances. Dax Harwood smashed a slingshot powerbomb on Dante Martin, then Cash Wheeler flew out for a splash. Darius Martin swept the mound to break up the pin. Top Flight quickly rebounded for a DDT from Darius to Harwood, then Dante landed a flying splash. Wheeler tackled Darius to the mound to break up the pin.
The match split into moves all around. The standing Spanish fly from Darius to Wheeler, from Harwood to Darius, and then Dante goes on a series of exercises on Harewood. With Darius still out, Dante played cat and mouse jumping over the FTR as Gummi Bear drinking Gummiberry juice. FTR caught him at the end for Big Rig to win.
I defeated FTR Top Flight.
Afterwards, the Gunns appeared on stage with a huge bag of popcorn to get FTR’s attention.
Narrated by Will Hobbs, the book of Hobbes will roam the streets of Oakland on his journey. Just as everyone took everything that meant something to him, he will take everything that meant something to you.
Chris Jericho was surrounded by the entire Jericho Society gloating about Ocho. Claudio Castagnoli stops short of asking for another title shot. Access is denied by Le Champion. Daddy Magic entered with an idea. Claudio used to be a great sports artist and would make an excellent addition to JAS. This suggestion made Jericho’s nipples hard. If Claudio loses, he joins JAS. Claudio accepted the terms. While Claudio thinks he will be a huge asset to JAS, he thinks he is a better professional wrestler. The championship match will be the main event of ROH The last fight PPV on 10 December.
Tony Storm was solemn thinking of her Full lunge Loss. She is proud of Jamie Hayter, but she can’t look at herself in the mirror if she won like that through cheating. Storm broke her face after losing the Women’s Championship, and she will break her face again if that’s what it takes to win it back.
Darby Allen vs. Anthony Henry
Sting and JD Drake were at ringside. Allen and Henry had a deep acquaintance through matches in the Indies. Henry used that to his advantage to counter in time for Allen’s signature offense to gain the upper hand. Henry also had Drake outside to get physical help. After Drake blasted Allen with an uppercut, Sting chased Drake down for a heavy clothesline and threw him into the barricade.
Henry hit a superplex and rolled onto the mat for a second suplex. Allen’s response to Scorpion’s death drop. Allen finished with the Coffin Drop for the win.
Darby Allen defeated Anthony Henry.
Athena was stopped for punching referee Aubrey Edwards. The fallen goddess responded to the punishment and made a wistful apology. Athena turned her attention to Mercedes Martinez. It’s time for her to appear. When will Martinez defend the ROH World Women’s Championship? Athena is a game.
Hikaru Shida vs. Queen Aminata
Bunny and Penelope Ford entered the stage just before the opening bell. Aminata took advantage of the distraction to attack. Shida quickly recovered from his falcon arrow’s crushing blow and Katana’s knee attack for victory. Bunny and Ford walked out once Shida won.
Hikaru Shida defeated Queen Aminata.
Mark Henry interviewed the main event participants. 10 was missing and the Dark Order did not know his whereabouts. It doesn’t matter, the annoyance from Los Ingobernables ends tonight. News flash, spot. Blade is ready to kick ass. The Dark Order is invited to the ass-kicking party, echoed by Butcher. Rash is tired of the chatter. He is ready to fight. Enough talking. Henry concluded, “It’s time for the main event!”
Dax Harwood was grateful to step into the ring with the best wrestlers in the singles action this year. He called his shot for another challenge. Harwood is booked for Bryan Danielson dynamite.
Rush, Butcher, Blade vs. John Silver, Alex Reynolds, & 10
Bunny and Jose the assistant were at ringside. 10 was nowhere to be seen. The Dark Order grappled at a disadvantage, but they didn’t back down. Unfortunately, the numbers game was too much. As the Dark Order grew stronger, Los Ingobernables worked smarter to regain control.
Suddenly, Evil Uno and -1 come out on stage and wave 10 in to run towards the ring. The masked man went up to Rush. Words seem to have been exchanged. Rush raised his fist in the air Ingobernables style, then turned 10 to the silver clothesline. Boos rained down.
Evil Uno rushed into the ring, but was stopped by Butcher and Blade. Rush hit a Bulls Horns kicker in the corner for the silver win.
Rush, Butcher, and Blade defeated John Silver, Alex Reynolds, and 10.
The consequences were grim. Rush Reynolds sent to the discus from 10. Same for Evil Uno. Rush and a 10 double choke knocked Reynolds off the apron through a table. -1 He was on stage in disbelief. 10 He went up, and took off his mask, and threw it at his feet, and laughed at the tears of the child.
News flash, spot. (I love that line from Blade.) 10 is now an official heel. and an abandoned runaway, bottomless tramp. He will fit in perfectly with Los Ingobernables.
It is difficult for me to judge the effectiveness of the heel turn. I’ve never cared much for the Dark Order, except for when the Hangman Page was involved. They definitely deserve a spot in AEW for their depth of quality roster. It’s just that I was never really invested in rooting for their success. When I turned 10, I didn’t experience any emotional reaction.
Having said that, I realize that all of the items were in place. Drama 10 missing, jubilation when he arrived, then perverted bastard turn. 10 cemented his decision by punching Crews after the match. There was no hesitation about his choice. 10 It was all in Join Rush. If there was any doubt, he put a 10 that tortured through -1. This association is well known in AEW lore. Mr. Brodie Lee picked 10 for the Dark Order, becoming a 10-1 favorite wrestler. This amounted to Ein-1 spitting in and taking a dump on his father’s grave. For any fans who love the Dark Order deeply, I can imagine this turn of events as truly unsettling.
The Gunns had the right stance on FTR vs. Top Flight, even if Ass Boy was sarcastic. Grab the popcorn and enjoy the excitement. The sportsmanship and creativity of Top Flight always amaze. FTR handled the meat and potatoes with heaping spoonfuls of gravy. FTR took this match to show Top Flight as the future of their tag team division. mission accomplished. Top Flight shone in defeat.
It’s Sting! His participation in the Darby Allen match was interesting. The match itself highlights a common conundrum in AEW. The business was strong. The problem is that Henry is relatively unknown, and he’s taken Allen to the extreme. The story about past history in standalone matches makes sense, but should be referenced in the hype pack. Explaining this angle in the commentary is not good enough to invest in the match. AEW has done the same scenario many times over the years and has yet to achieve the perfect mix. It’s often the difference between relevant content and great content.
I mixed in the condition of the ROH World Championship. The PPV match is going to be good, and that’s a positive. The stipulation seems hokey, though it fits with the realm of sports entertainment and also justifies Claudio getting another shot without deserving it. The clause gains steam by playing into the idea of the Blackpool Combat Club’s uncertain future after William Regal passes Jon Moxley for the MJF. This leaves Claudio’s future in AEW a mystery. Joining JAS could be the next step in his career. If that happens, then I hope Claudio embraces him to be the sports entertainer he was born to be. I’m not interested in any of the things that servant/slaves do actions against their will to test their loyalty.
As for Claudio being the one to ultimately knock out Jericho, this choice feels frustrated by JAS versus BCC fatigue. Jericho might run out of opponents for the ROH Champion, so this would wrap up the storyline in a neat little package. However, I love Ocho’s story and want to see it continue for as long as possible.
The best part of this promotional segment was that Jericho’s nipples got hard at Daddy Magic’s proposal. This must be the ultimate compliment to Daddy Magic. You can see the reaction of other JAS members.
Thumbs up for the Hobbes vignette book. I enjoy these kinds of outdoor scenes that really flavor the broadcast, not to mention the character of the wrestlers. I think this was intended as a general message, but Hobbes can still think of Wardlaw and Samoa Joe. At the mention of a higher being, it made me wonder about Meru. If Mero ever came back to clash with Hobbs, it would be a great fight.
For the women’s division, the scenes with Toni Storm and Athena were good to keep them on screen and boost their motivation. Shida took care of business, and it’s nice to see a potential feud develop against Bunny and Penelope Ford. More activity for the division is always a plus.
Normal frenzy Quality. This particular episode had a little more story development than usual. The score can swing high or low depending on how personally invested the viewer is in the tale being told with a heel spin 10.
Share your thoughts about frenzy. How do you rate it? What are your favorite moments from the show?
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