Blood & Guts
May 5, 2021
Watch: TNT & FITE
Meet Our Reviewers
Sean Sedor: For Sean, finally seeing Blood and Guts in Jacksonville is a bit of a bitter pill, since he had a ticket for the show in New Jersey that was originally supposed to host the Blood and Guts match. With that being said, he’s still very excited for this show, and is looking forward to The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle tearing each other apart! You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994, and you can check out his YouTube channel (just search his name) for some F1 video game content.
Griffin Peltier: Griffin is here to see some blood and some guts! It’s a GLEAT day. You can follow him on Twitter @Hollywd12.
Suit Williams: Suit Williams is optimistic for this one, especially since he’s booked his flight to Jacksonville for Double or Nothing. He’s ready to see the return of a true blue WarGames match. @SuitWilliams on Twitter, and hear him talk about it on the Smark Sports podcast.
Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston def. Kenny Omega & MT Nakazawa
Sean: We got a parental discretion warning right off the top, which was pretty cool to see. After Nakazawa came out, Don Callas gave him an intro comparing him to the likes of Okada and Ibushi. Callis then proclaimed that Nakazawa would wrestle the match by himself, but of course, this was a ruse, as Omega jumped Moxley and Kingston from behind with the AEW World Title.
We also saw right off the bat that the two rings were already set up, so all of the other bouts on this card would be taking place in the two-ring setup. The babyfaces start to fight back after the initial ambush, but a low blow from Nakazawa gave control to Omega’s side. That didn’t last long, however, as Mox and Kingston soon turned the tide as Omega ultimately Nakazawa high and dry. This was never going to be an in-ring classic by any means, and it wasn’t, but it served its purpose well enough. Pretty much the exact finish we all expected. The Young Bucks come out following the match to distract Moxley and Kingston, which leads to a four-on-two attack by The Elite on the babyfaces when The Good Brothers show up. Omega then returns and (with help from his friends) hits Kingston with the One-Winged Angel. **3/4
Griffin: “Japanese Wrestling Icon” Nakazawa was fed to the wolves by Callis and crew until Kenny Omega blindsided Kingston and Moxley! Nakazawa, that dastardly intern, hit Eddie right in his Kingstons to give the advantage to the heels. The in-ring action was fine and it really highlighted both Mox and Kingston as credible challengers for Omega and The Elite in this feud, but the match felt like a house show match at times – especially when Nakazawa got any form of offense in. Omega walked out on the match that led to the destruction of Nak. This went too long for what it was. **1/2
Suit: They teased Omega leaving Nakazawa to fight for himself, but Omega jumped Mox and Kingston from behind. What followed was a solid enough tag match, with Omega working over Kingston until he made the hot tag to Moxley. Nakazawa got predictably killed by the faces, with Omega really bailing on him in the end. Mox and Kingston won, but the rest of the Bullet Club came in and left them laying. A fine angle to get the World Champ and his stable over, just in time for his new challenger to be announced later tonight. **
Cody Rhodes def. QT Marshall
Sean: Marshall comes out with the rest of The Factory, along with his own weight belt. Cody jumps QT straight away, and we’re off. Cody tried to use his weight belt, but the referee took it from him, which allowed QT to take off his weight belt to use as a weapon. Shortly thereafter, QT rolled to the floor, and that set up a spot where Arn Anderson got ejected from ringside after attacking QT. I guess since this is a personal grudge, the rules are a little relaxed. Both men go down from a double crossbody as we come back from commercial, and QT ends up showing some ass (literally) during a Cody sunset flip attempt. Not sure if that was necessary, but we got a more serious moment shortly thereafter when QT nearly had the match won after hitting Cross Rhodes. Cody himself nearly wins right after that following a tombstone that was set up by a very cool reversal sequence. QT managed to kick out of the Cross Rhodes, but Cody (who had received a cut above his right eye) followed up with a Figure Four and got QT to tap. A very enjoyable match between these two. There was some really solid back and forth in the closing stretch, and QT got his comeuppance. While QT did lose this match, The Factory got the last laugh in the aftermath, as Anthony Ogogo attacked Cody, and draped him in the Union Jack Flag. It certainly seems like Ogogo is in line for a big-time singles match against one of AEW’s top stars. That’ll be a big test for him. ***1/2
This was followed by a segment that featured Darby Allin brawling with Ethan Page (who buried EVOLVE in his promo while also bringing up his history with Darby) and Scorpio Sky in the rafters. That concluded with Darby taking a bad tumble down a flight of concrete stairs courtesy of the heels. You can always count on Darby to do something crazy on Dynamite.
Griffin: This started hot but then slowed down significantly after they did a spot where Bryce took away Cody’s weight belt but watched QT use his own weight belt right afterwards. I guess it is illegal for Cody to use a belt but it’s not illegal for QT for reasons. Arn Anderson was ejected from ringside after blatantly interfering which was apparently not a DQ either. The action peaked with a cool tombstone reversal sequence and some Cross Rhodes but Cody ultimately won with a Figure Four. Cody got accidental blood and looked really cool having blood gushing while he applied more pressure on the leglock. ***1/2
Suit: Note that the first half-hour of this show has had Omega, Moxley, and Cody in matches, the first time all three have wrestled on Dynamite since AEW started running unopposed. I believe that’s called “strategery.” These two had a good grudge match, complete with accidental blood from Cody. QT got his closest nearfall with a Cross Rhodes of his own, but Cody got the win with a Figure Four. JR did a good job of connecting this to the exhibition match that started this feud, where Cody wouldn’t fully apply the figure four to protect his friend. Post match, Anthony Ogogo walked into the ring and dropped Cody with a body shot. Good stuff, and sets up the real match with the real stars, Cody vs. Ogogo. ***1/2
Suit: TNT Champion Darby Allin attacked Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky during their interview. They eventually got a hold of Darby and threw him down some stairs. A typical Wednesday for Darby. The angle was live, and the crowd was very hot for it.
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. def. Julia Hart
Sean: You may not know this (I certainly didn’t until I found out on Twitter), but apparently Julia Hart was used as one of the “fans” in the ringside KFC skit during the Good Brothers/Viking Raiders match from TLC 2019. Weird trivia note, but there you go. Anyway, Britt Baker put away poor Julia Hart very quickly, as this mainly served as another win for Baker on the road to her title bout with Hikaru Shida at Double Or Nothing. N/R
Griffin: As a Canadian, I must hate all Harts who are not part of our perfect and totally not problematic Hart family. I am happy Britt squashed her! SQUASH
Suit: Julia Hart is a Nightmare Factory graduate, no relation to Bret or Nattie though. A Britt squash, getting her on the show as her title match was announced earlier for Double or Nothing. N/R
AEW World Tag Team Championship Eliminator
SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) def. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus), The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster), Varsity Blonds (Griff Garrison & Brain Pillman Jr.)
Sean: The winners of this match will get a shot at the AEW World Tag Team Titles next week on Dynamite. All four of these teams are in the top five in the tag team rankings, which is a very nice detail. These four teams had a very entertaining four-way tag. Lots of action from start to finish, and everyone involved got chances to shine. SCU got the win with the Best Meltzer Ever, in a result that was pretty much a foregone conclusion. I’ve got no real complaints about this one, and The Young Bucks vs. SCU next week should be a good one. ***1/2
Griffin: Give Max Caster all the belts. While I could see what they were trying to do in this match with some fast-paced action, something didn’t click for me. Everybody got some shine but the match felt like it was going in slow motion at points. We had a few good moments where Jungle Boy looked like a future star – which he is – but it wasn’t enough to bring it to the next gear. The moves were cool but the end was telegraphed from the beginning. Fine match, nothing memorable. ***
Suit: “Varsity Blonds you’re a temporary thing, in ten years you’ll be on Dark Side of the Ring!” Great line from Max Caster in his diss. This was a lot of MOVES, but the finish was never in doubt considering SCU’s promo last week against the Young Bucks. SCU gets the win with the Best Meltzer Ever, their version of the Young Bucks Meltzer Driver. A solid match getting us to the Title vs. Career match next week. ***
Kenny Omega Promo
Suit: Kenny Omega comes out with Tony Schiavone to learn of his challenger for Double or Nothing. That man will be…the winner of next week’s top contender match, #2 PAC vs. #1 Orange Cassidy. Omega is very dismissive of Orange Cassidy, even laughing in Cassidy’s face. He blows Cassidy off, saying he’ll see him in 10 years when he grows up.
Suit: Miro comes out after the break, and says that next week, he’s got a TNT Title match against Darby Allin. It comes with the added stipulation that if Darby cannot compete (for example, if he got thrown down some stairs), he forfeits the title. Miro closes by saying, “We’ll see what happens when a guy who doesn’t mind dying meets the man who doesn’t mind killing him!” Great stuff from Miro, and another match on next week’s stacked card.
BLOOD & GUTS Match
Pinnacle (MJF, Wardlow, Shawn Spears, Cash Wheeler, and Dax Harwood) def. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz)
Sean: Before this match began, we got a series of promos (first with Kenny Omega and Orange Cassidy, and then with Miro) settling up a number of matches for next week and the Double Or Nothing PPV. I can definitely see this being a critique of the show (and the Omega promo did go long for sure), but at the same time, I present this counterargument: The one common critique of the NXT WarGames matches is that they’re entirely too long. Plus, the classic WarGames bouts weren’t these super long bouts either, so I wasn’t bothered by this starting at close to 9:20 or so.
Anyway, The Pinnacle came out all in white, so you knew right away that they’re going to all bleed at some point in this match. Sammy Guevara starts off with Dax Harwood, and Guevara goes right after Dax. I should also add that The Inner Circle are all wearing matching black jumpsuits. Guevara and Dax have a fun five minute exchange that ends with Dax getting busted open. Spears is the first to enter and he brings in his chair. He levels Sammy with it, and he’s busted open. Ortiz comes in with his own chair (Proud ‘n’ Powerful are in their Dead Presidents warpaint). This leads to a crazy spot where Sammy hits a Spanish Fly after he and Spears were balanced on the ropes. Cash Wheeler gives the edge to Pinnacle once again and he just cleans house. Ortiz takes a nasty fall in between the ring and the cage after a Gory Special into the side of the cage.
Santana meets a similar fate as his partner when he gets tossed into the cage following his entrance. The Inner Circle unsuccessfully tries to take on Wardlow three-on-one before Hager comes in and cleans house on The Pinnacle. This sets up Hager confronting Wardlow and they get into a brawl. MJF is the final entrant for The Pinnacle as the blood has already left big stains on the canvas. Jericho comes in and the two teams brawl after a standoff. Spears is nearly choked out by Jericho in one of the trusses, while The Pinnacle starts to tear up the canvas.
We come back from commercial break, and FTR get laid out with a pair of piledrivers on the exposed ring boards. Guevara then hits a HUGE Coast-To-Coast on Spears with a chair (so returning the favor from The Pinnacle’s debut). The Forks then come out as MJF’s face is covered with blood. Following another commercial break (they were the worst part, but it’s on TV so it’s kinda unavoidable), Jericho and MJF are on top of the cage after Tully unlocked the door with the key. The match ended with The Inner Circle surrendered when MJF threatened to throw Jericho off the cage….but then MJF just tossed Jericho off the cage anyway on a very obvious crash pad. Spots like that (falls onto crash pads I mean) are always tough, I feel, in terms of properly disguising the obvious pad that’s there. As a whole, I would say this was pretty great for the most part, but the three separate commercial breaks as well as the ending took away from it. Obviously, it was meant to be a big moment for MJF, but I’m not sure it came off with the sort of impact that they were hoping for. It wasn’t the same level of dud that the Revolution ending was, but it definitely had that feeling of being a weak way to close out the show. While everyone worked their asses off, it definitely lost some steam before MJF and Jericho went to the roof. I guess Jericho is going to be out for a long time, so we’ll see where that goes. Definitely more in line with the tradition of the WarGames matches of old (especially when compared to the NXT version), but far from perfect. ****1/2
Griffin: Now this is how you do a WarGames match! Sean has you covered with the meat and potatoes of the match but I’m going to give you my post-match reaction. All ten men walk out of this looking like stars and some of the toughest sons of bitches in wrestling. Santana and Ortiz add another notch in their belt for being the best gimmick match tag team in the company. FTR looked amazing with their crimson masks and their constant nods to old-school WCW. Sammy Guevara is a future World champion in AEW and is a real highlight reel! Jake Hager played his part well and was a great foil for Wardlow – who was a force to be reckoned with! Chris Jericho was a great veteran force that helped put this over the edge. The real star, however, was MJF. He’s such a hateable guy that this electric crowd wanted to see him get his ass kicked from pillar to post. He went deep with his blade and looked like an absolute mess. I loved the idea of the finish with MJF threatening to throw Jericho off the cage… but then post-match MJF threw him off anyway and the landing was a dud. It looked like Jericho landed on a mattress on the stage and the camerawork didn’t help it. Overall, this was a great WarGames match and helped build it as a staple gimmick match for the promotion but the finish did not help it. ****1/2
Suit: The atmosphere for this one is off the freaking charts, Jacksonville is ready for Blood and Guts! FTR Bald and Guevara start, and Bald bleeds before the first five minutes are up. They’ve already got the two hallmarks of a War Games match, a roof on the cage and blood. Once all ten men got in, it had already been complete carnage. Both members of FTR, Guevara, MJF all have crimson masks. Inner Circle had complete control until Tully stole the key to the cage and let MJF out. Jericho followed him to the top of the cage and they brawled to the top. MJF got the Dynamite Diamond Ring and busted Jericho open with it. This is HEAT. Schiavone called MJF a no-good piece of shit as MJF threatened to throw Jericho off the top. Guevara surrendered, giving the Pinnacle the win. So of course, MJF threw him off the cage anyway. Great stuff all around here. There was a little dead time after all ten guys were in, but what this accomplished was worth it. MJF survives the war, and looks like a megastar in doing so. ****1/4