AEW Carnage (January 28, 2022) emanated from the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, OH. The Friday Championship show featured Jon Moxley bringing in the violence, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard sparring, Jade Cargill beefing up to defend the TBS Championship, and Jurassic Express rallying hard to retain the titles.
Let’s start straight with a recap of the show followed by reactions.
Excalibur, Taz, Ricky Starks and Chris Jericho were commentators. Justin Roberts handled ring announcer duties.
Jon Moxley vs. Anthony Bowens
Max Caster rapped about Moxley’s wife not calling him back, sending Mox back to India, Mox’s boring book, and Moxley’s rude mouth censorship.
When the Acclaimed entered the ring, Bowens asked referee Aubrey Edwards to keep an eye on Moxley, as he is crazy. Once Bowens had his back to the crowd, Moxley hit Caster then caught Bowens for a German suplex.
Moxley mangled Bowens early inside and outside the ring. Bowens gained momentum after pulling Mox into the ring post. Bowens focused on weakening the neck with daredevils and headbutts. Bowens hit a superplex driving Moxley to the mat.
Mox rallied by taking out Caster on a suicide dive. As he entered the ring, Bowens caught him for a twisted DDT through the ropes.
The fight broke out into heated punches. Moxley won the trade with a piledriver. Bowens continued to fight to connect on a rolling suplex.
Bowens dug into his bag of tricks, grabbing his boombox. Referee Edwards spied on the situation and took away the foreign object. It was a ruse for Caster to start a chain. Moxley was not fooled, however. He popped up for a cutter to Bowens and knocked Caster out of the ring. Moxley mowed Bowens with a lariat and finished with a paradigm shift.
Jon Moxley defeated Anthony Bowens.
Then cameras showed Bryan Danielson backstage watching the game with a smirk.
Nyla Rose isn’t done with Ruby Soho. They will meet again in a match on dynamite.
Andrade opened the door to Sting’s locker room to make a deal. He found the little boy Darby Allin sitting in a corner. Andrade asked where Allin’s boss was. Allin chuckled. Andrade handed over a contract to acquire Allin. Darby was amused that Andrade thought he was working for Sting. Allin respects Andrade’s talent as a wrestler, but this conversation was a waste of time. Money doesn’t mean much to Allin. Andrade can buy a lot of things but not Allin’s dignity. Allin pulled out a bat to send the message that it was time for them to leave. Andrade calmed the situation by saying he would talk to Allin’s boss.
FTR vs. Brock Anderson and Lee Johnson
Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson were at ringside to support their respective teams. Johnson was on fire early on with a slew of air attacks.
FTR took control through team tactics to isolate Johnson. Hot tag to Brock. BrockLee threw a bomb with a hose wrench, a catapult in a kick, DDT from Brock, and a spinning frog splash from Lee. Cash Wheeler was savvy enough to step on the ropes for a break from coverage.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The plot was so Arn and Tully would throw punches. Brock was out walking in Tully. Blanchard supported dad Anderson. Arn went wild with a big forearm kick to knock Tully on his keister.
For the beginning of the end, I think Dax Harwood took Brock out on the ground. I can’t be sure, because the cameras missed it. Lee fought slippery to scare FTR, but they caught him for a spike piledriver to win.
FTR defeated Brock Anderson and Lee Johnson.
Thunder Rosa and Mercedes Martinez continued their war of words, and they have an official date for the fight. It’s next week Carnage.
Serena Deeb had a mini run and roar edit with muscle flex as a statement to Hikaru Shida.
TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Julia Hart
Julia came to the ring pushing her jacket at Griff Garrison like a cheap valet. She still wore the eye patch for the title fight. Mark Sterling accompanied his client while wearing a neck brace.
Cargill ran through Hart and hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. The champ took a break from calisthenics with push-ups, sit-ups and a kip-up. Hart took advantage of the arrogance for a roll-up. Hart kept the pressure on with corner attacks. As she screamed with energy, Cargill lifted her to sit on his shoulders. Hart hit back for a hurricane. Cargill exploded out of the pinfall and blasted Hart with a pump kick. The Jaded Glam Slam took the win.
Jade Cargill defeated Julia Hart.
Mark Henry interviewed key event attendees. Matt Hardy talked about Private Party having the formula to beat Jurassic Express. Christian Cage didn’t place much importance on Hardy’s guardianship. Isiah Kassidy talked about a celebration, so Jungle Boy added that they went through all the HFO setups. This fight will be no different. Enough talk. Henry concluded with “It’s main event time!”
AEW World Tag Team Championship: Jurassic Express (c) vs. Private Party
Andrade was in the skybox watching his AHFO tag team. The Ass Boys were front row to watch the action. They distracted Jurassic Express and Private Party jumped in to take advantage.
Private Party hit their Gin & Juice finisher on Jungle Boy just after the opening bell. JB kicked the blanket. Jungle Boy used his sneaky speed to break free for a Luchasaurus hot tag. Private Party left the ring to stop the dino from destroying the shop.
Luchasaurus chased after them, so Matt Hardy hit his leg with a chair. Private Party grabbed the assist to damage the big man’s leg. Luchasaurus dug deep to walk towards its corner as Private Party dangled from its legs like anchors. The dino was inches away from Jungle Boy, but Private Party prevented the tag. Luchasaurus shot for clotheslines then reached for its partner. Jungle Boy knocked Private Party out of the ring. He followed for a pair of suicide dives and an overturned cannonball.
Jungle Boy was on Marq Quen’s shoulders for a tag team attack, but Luchasaurus saved his boy to place JB on his shoulders. Luchasaurus kicked Quen in the chest. Kassidy took off for a flying crossbody, but JB countered for knocking down Luchasaurus’ shoulder slam.
The game turned into chaos. Private Party has again opted for Gin & Juice. This time Jungle Boy replied for a destroyer. JB trapped Quen in the Snare Trap. Quen made the save on a shooting star press.
Jurassic Express found its groove for a pop-up kick and teamwork bomb. JB pinned Quen to keep tag titles.
Jurassic Express defeated Private Party.
Immediately after the victory, the Gunn Club rushed to the ring to attack the champions. The Ass Boys cut off Luchasaurus’ knee. Billy Gunn took care of Christian. Austin Gunn hit Jungle Boy in the head with the title belt. Colten Gunn joined his brother for a double belt shot to the head of Luchasaurus. The Gunn Club stood to close the show.
The main event tag title fight was fire. The in-ring story got off to a good start with Private Party hitting their finisher from the opening bell. This seeded doubt throughout the game for Jurassic Express to keep their gold. Matt Hardy’s oversight paid off with strategic advice and the Luchasaurus knee attack. It was cleverly done how Private Party avoided the fury of the dino’s hot tags. It’s Luchasaurus’ bread and butter to make the crowd pop. The entire contest was built to provide an exciting time for Jurassic Express to overcome adversity and prevail. They had me on the edge of my seat all along.
The pre-game interview was a hoot with all the ass talk. This match might as well have been for the unofficial Ass Pounding Championship. It is normal for the Ass Boys to stand while holding the Ass Pounding Belts.
Jon Moxley is the perfect opening act for Carnage. His name is a major draw and his intense physique sets the tone for the show. It leaves a great taste in the mouth ready for the next fight. Anthony Bowens shone again in a match with a big star. I enjoyed how the contest went. Moxley beat Bowens early because it started with a sneak attack. Once Bowens regained his senses, he took control with some shady tactics and cool moves. The fan favorite overcame the odds to win in the end. Simple recipe well executed.
FTR and BrockLee complemented each other well as opponents. FTR agreed to be rapscalions, while Brock Anderson and Lee Johnson upped their game as youngsters to give FTR a run for their money. The match kicked off with a fun subplot of Dax Harwood pretending to be the son Arn Anderson never had. When Dax confronted Brock, they fought to a stalemate as clones of Arn. Johnson was the star of the game with a ton of flashy diving. Best of all, Arn hitting Tully was exceptional. It put a huge smile on my face.
Jade Cargill continues to be money. His presence exudes power, and his performance flows from it. Julia Hart was pretty much a random challenger, so this match was all about featuring Cargill. The champion made good use of her strengths. The pump kick had a nice landing touch on Hart’s blind side.
Andrade’s promo with Darby Allin was hilarious. I love this ridiculous story. I’m also thrilled that we have a date for Thunder Rosa against Mercedes Martinez. All the little teases from the previous weeks have been met with huge anticipation. I’m not sure what was going on with the Serena Deeb thumbnail, but I’m still intrigued by a practice edit. TRAINING ASSEMBLY!
It was one of those shows in my entertainment alley with physics in the first match, a legends skirmish in the second fight, Jade powerhousing in the third, and a wild and woolly main event setting up a future matchup. None of the results came as a surprise. It didn’t matter though, as the action was engaging.
Share your thoughts on Carnage. How would you rate it? Who stole the show?