Tonight we will see the start of the AEW TNT Championship tournament. It begins with a first-round match between Cody and Shawn Spears. This is a rematch of sorts of their encounter at last year’s All Out event. The show opens with a promo from Jake Roberts. Jake Roberts asks if “you would sit on train tracks waiting for the train to come barrelling down”. He goes on to talk about Marko Stunt and his match with Lance Archer from last week. Jake addresses Cody to ask if he’s a man or a mouse. Tony Schiavone and Chris Jericho are on commentary, they rundown who Lance Archer is as he comes to the ring.
‘Murderhawk Monster’ Lance Archer vs Alan Angles
Lance Archer comes out to the Ring and immediately shoulder blocks Alan Angles. Archer picks up Angles and hits him with a clothesline before choking him in the corner. Chris Jericho comments on his history of beating up everyone in his time in New Japan. Alan gets a few shots in but this doesn’t have any effect on Archer as he goes back to throw him across the ring. Archer hits the blackout allowing him to get the pin for the 3 count.
Winner: Lance Archer
Tony and Chris run down tonight’s card including Dr Britt Baker vs Hikaru Shida. They hype the appearance of Matt Hardy and promise a special look at next week’s empty arena match for the AEW title between Jon Moxley and Jake Hager. The show tonight will also have Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa vs Best Friends. They also run down that tonight will see the first quarter-final of the TNT title tournament match between Shawn Spears and Cody.
Britt Baker vs Hikaru Shida
Chris Jericho touched on Hikaru Shida’s recent record of 7 wins in her last 8 matches. Britt Baker makes her way down to the ring as the number 4 ranked competitor in the woman’s division. Hikaru Shida comes down as the number 1 ranked competitor.
Britt ducks under Shida and hits a quick kick before backing off from Shida. The two women shove each other before Britt grabs onto Shida’s hair and hitting her into the corner. Shida hits some forearm shots on Baker. Baker runs to the outside causing Shida to give chase. Britt runs back in and takes advantage when Shida enters the ring. This leads to some more hair pulling and Shida momentarily backing Britt into the corner. Britt kicks Shida in the gut to retake control and hit a running facebuster. Baker continues to have control of the match until she leaves the ring to tell Tony this is her division.
Shida gets in some offense in leading to knee to the face on Baker.
At this point, Baker finds herself hung up on the barricade. Shida hits a suplex on Baker for a 2 count then runs for a knee which is countered into a pin attempt. Baker’s pin attempt leads to Shida getting a triangle armbar forcing Britt to find the ropes to keep the match alive. This leads to Britt ducking a clothesline and hitting a sling blade and a butterfly suplex. Baker attempts her finish but Shida is too close to the ropes the two get up and exchange shots. Britt starts bleeding after this exchange she still gets her finish partially locked in in the middle of the ring. Shida is able to roll through forcing a break the two continue to fight until Britt goes to the top rope.
Britt is on the top rope when Shida runs up and they exchange blows until Shida can hit a backbreaker on to the ring post when Britt crawls into the ring Shida hits her running knee for the 3 count.
Winner Hikaru Shida
We cut to Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa sitting in the trailer discussing their name. Nakazawa wants to call the team Best Friends Orange Cassidy hears everything and the Best Friends come in. Trent of Best Friends is unhappy and puts the team’s name on the line.
A look at Jon Moxley v Jake Hager
Jon says this fight will be ugly and they’re not in it to put smiles on faces. The two men talk about why they want to be champion Jake talks about wanting it to pay more. Hager’s wife talks about their home is for winners. Moxley talks about liking smashing skulls and liking the feeling that gives him. Hager promises to hit Moxley harder than he’s ever been hit. Jon talks about Hager being a monster and experiencing being in the ankle lock seconds after hitting his DDT. Moxley promises to defend the title with his life.
Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa vs Best Friends Chuck Taylor & Trent
Kenny Omega and Chuck Taylor lock-up to get us underway Omega hits a shoulder tackle and runs into two arm drags from Chuck. Chuck tags in Trent, Kenny Backs off to tag in Nakazawa. Trent and Michael’s exchange chops Nakazawa applies the baby oil to make Trent’s chops ineffective. The commentary team point out that Omega and Nakazawa were a team in Japan known as the mini-skirt police. Omega gets some shots on Trent allowing Nakazawa to pull his legs through the ring post.
Omega drags Trent to the corner and tags in Nakazawa, Nakazawa sits Trent on the top rope and drags him across the ropes. Nakazawa tags Omega back in Trent is able to hit a clothesline to buy some time. Trent tags in Chuck Taylor who gets in some offense and allows Best Friends to gain control. Orange Cassidy gets in the ring and waits for the best friends to hug. The Best Friends are dragged out of the ring. At this point, Omega and Nakazawa go in for the hug with Orange Cassidy. Orange steps out of the way allowing Best Friends to go on the offense again.
Nakazawa hits a spear to slow things down before tagging Omega into the match. Kenny hits some offense and sets Trent on the second rope. Omega hits chuck with a rolling senton and then a backstabber on Trent. Kenny hits some snapdragon suplexes. Chuck catches Kenny with knees to the face and Trent hits a running knee.
Omega turns things around by hitting a buckle bomb before tagging Nakazawa. Nakazawa hits the venom arm a few times and accidentally catches Kenny with one. This mistake would prove costly allowing Best Friends to gain control and spike Nakazawa on the mat for the 3 count.
Winners: Best Friends
Brodi Lee airs another video package where he has members of the Dark Order lined up. He gives 2 members in tracksuits a verbal telling off. Brodi takes the member wearing a shirt and ties away promising an opportunity.
Matt Hardy speaks to us from the Hardy compound he goes on to speak of the circle internal. He proclaims Sammy Guevara as a false god and calls proud ad powerful loud and devourable. He calls Vanguard 1 down to bring him the shirt that Chris Jericho gave him last week. Vanguard has burnt the shirt and instead brings down Matt Hardy’s new shirt. Matt proclaims he will delete Chris Jericho. He invites Jericho to the compound for an elite deletion.
Lee Johnson vs The Exalted One Brodi Lee
Brodi brushes Lee’s dropkick before hitting a shoulder tackle and boot. He then hits a senton from the outside of the ring. Brodi beats up on Lee’s back before hitting a spinning slam. The Exalted one then picks lee up and hits his spinning discus lariat.
Winner: Brodi Lee
We get a special look at the first-round match in the TNT Championship tournament.
They show highlights of Spears and Cody’s last meeting at All out last year.
TNT Championship Tournament
Cody V Shawn Spears
Spears and Cody lock up in their quarterfinals match of the TNT Championship Tournament. Cody snaps Shawn into a headlock. Shawn Spears gets in some chops. The match slows a bit from here as Spears heads to the outside and grabs a chair to throw in the ring. Cody hits a cutter from the second rope. The two men exchange some shots Cody gets a sequence of covers each resulting in 2 counts. Cody misses his moonsault allowing Spears to hit a piledriver for a 2 count of his own. This allows spears to get in some shots at Cody including a neck breaker on the outside.
Cody and Shawn Spears exchange blows before Cody is sent flying into the turnbuckle. Spears suplexes Cody onto the guard rail he set up moments previously. Cody counters Spears frog splash by getting his knees up. He then hits Shawn with his Weight belt before missing the disaster kick.
Cody hits a dive to the outside on Spears as Spears was in the process of pulling a table out from under the ring of the TNT Championship Tournament.
The table is set up by Cody and Cody gets some shots off on Spears. Spears rolls back in the ring and catches Cody with a superplex from the top. Both men are visibly gassed at this point. Spears starts undoing the turnbuckle before Brand interrupts him. Cody attempts the Cross Rhodes but is unsuccessful Spears ducks his clothesline and Cody nearly knocks Brandi off the apron.
Spears capitalists on the opportunity and dumps Cody outside through the table. There is uncertainty from the commentary team as to whether Cody can continue. Cody just gets back in the ring at the referees’ 9 count. Spears attempts the C4 driver but Cody counters into 2 Cross Rhodes. Spears just kicks out but Cody gets the figure 4 leg lock in winning by pinfall as spears couldn’t keep his shoulders up.
With the win, Cody advances to the semi-finals of the TNT Championship Tournament.