Surprise debuts, great matches and personal confrontations highlighted Road Rager
By: Gavin Axelrod
All Elite Wrestling (AEW) is back on the road and its first stop was July 7 in Miami, FLA for Road Rager. It marked AEW’s first live event outside of Jacksonville since early 2020.
Wednesday’s card was absolutely stacked. Andrade El Idolo made his in-ring debut, Cody defeated QT Marshall in a South Beach Strap Match and the AEW Tag Team Titles were defended in the main event.
Elsewhere on the show Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander defeated The Bunny and The Blade, Karl Anderson challenged Jon Moxley to a match next week for the IWGP United States Title and Jim Ross sat down with Darby Allin and Ethan Page ahead of their coffin match next week.
As always Gavin Axelrod and Joseph Casciaro have you covered on all things, Dynamite, especially as it heads back on the road!
The good, the bad and the ugly
Kenny Omega and Don Callis had to get AEW’s fans up to speed with a history lesson. They ran down Omega’s opponents all the way from Jon Moxley to Jungle Boy.
However, just when things seemed to be getting interesting Dark Order interrupted. Evil Uno asked Callis why they kept saying that Omega had nobody left to challenge when his friend Adam Page was the number one ranked challenger.
Before Uno could get an answer, Omega grabbed the microphone, taunted him and then delivered a low blow to the Dark Order’s spokesman. With Uno lying in the ring, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows came down to the ring to attack Dark Order.
As things got out of control the familiar sound of western music filled the arena and ‘Hangman’ Adam Page made a beeline to the ring. Page cleaned house by attacking Anderson and Gallows.
The crowd was electric as Page then came face to face with Omega. It was a great callback to their moment at Revolution 2020 when Page looked as though he was going to deliver a buckshot lariat to Omega.
On Wednesday though, Page calmly stepped through the ropes and met his former tag team partner in the ring. But, before anything else could happen more shenanigans ensued and Omega and his lackeys fled the ring.
Ladies and gentlemen, this marquee storyline almost three years in the making is going full steam ahead
Inner circle vs Pinnacle continues
Wardlow, Dax Hardwood and Cash Wheeler were victorious over Jake Hager, Santana and Ortiz. However, they needed a dusty finish to get there.
On an average card, this probably would have been match of the night. It was a fast-paced contest where no second was wasted.
As you’ll see in this breakdown though, Road Rager was filled with so many surprises this great contest probably won’t get the love it deserves. However, the feud between FTR and Sanata and Ortiz is far, far from over.
Jericho and MJF face-off
The grudge match between Chris Jericho and MJF is nearly upon us. Before these two step in the ring, Jericho must run a gauntlet through a series of stipulations created by his opponent.
MJF stated Wednesday that karma would haunt Jericho and in order for the two of them to meet in the ring, he’d have to go through a similar series of matches like Jon Moxley did in 2020. For reference, Moxley had to beat the entire Inner Circle to get the match he wanted.
Jericho had no issues with this though and even exclaimed that he’d do anything to fight MJF and would even sleep with his opponent's mother -- again! This sparked quite the creative chant from the crowd and was a true highlight of the show.
The two men sealed their deal with a handshake before Jericho smoothly transitioned MJF into position for the Judas Effect rolling elbow.
Andrade vs Sydal
Andrade El Idolo finally made his in-ring debut Wednesday and he didn’t disappoint. He oozed charisma as he walked to the ring in a tearaway blazer and black skull mask.
He was flanked by Vickie Guerro and what appeared to be a personal assistant. Before the match began, he took a moment to bask in the positive reception the Miami faithful gave him.
Inside the ring El Idolo didn’t disappoint either. It looks like he’ll be using a hybrid style of cruiserweight-esque moves with powerful strikes, kicks and clotheslines mixed in.
Andrade won a competitive match using his patented Hammerlock DDT to put Sydal away. After Wednesday the only way for AEW’s newest star to go is straight to the top.
A shocking debut
(Video via @AEW on Twitter)
The internet ruins a lot of shocking moments in wrestling these days, but that wasn’t the case Wednesday. As Arn Anderson stood in the ring to address the Nightmare Family’s next steps, the lights faded to black and a man who many thought had become a ghost emerged from the shadows.
When the lights came back on, the crowd erupted in cheers of shock and confusion. Tommy End (formerly Aliester Black in WWE) stood in the ring, draped in a black suit and delivered a roundhouse kick to Anderson.
Cody Rhodes hit the ring, conveniently dressed in a white suit, to try and make the save, but was also on the receiving end of a kick from End. The commentary team was also in a frenzy and Excalibur explained how this man was once Tommy End, but the person standing in the ring had now taken up the moniker of Malaki Black.
Looks like we didn’t need 90-days to find out who Cody’s next feud would be with!
The main event of Wednesday’s show was a car crash of epic proportions. It had everything from table spots, to thumbtack spots and ref bumps. In the end though it was The Young Bucks who narrowly escaped with their belts by defeating Kingston and Penta El Zero M.
During the match, Eddie Kingston actually made Matt Jackson tap. However, Nick Jackson landed a 450 splash on the referee and there was nobody to end the contest.
Since this happened, it seems like Kingston and Penta have unfinished business with the Jackson brothers. Commentary even teased that in a regular tag team match, the challengers would’ve become the champions.
Additionally, this match saw Frankie Kazarian’s crusade to hunt The Elite continued, as he helped out Kingston and Penta big time by taking out Anderson, Gallows and Brandon Cutler. However, on Wednesday night Kazarian could only do so much before The Young Bucks stuffed Kingston’s mouth with thumb tacks and hit him with a BTE Trigger to end the show.
Next week: It’s Fyter Fest Night One in Texas and the IWGP United States Championship is on the line, Darby Allin faces Ethan Page in a coffin match and more!