AEW Carnage (November 4, 2022) emanated from Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. The live broadcast featured the return of Mike Tyson, Orange Cassidy against Katsuyori Shibata in a dream match, the Full equipment PPV opponents for Chris Jericho, and much more.
Let’s start straight with a recap of the show followed by reactions.
Excalibur, Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone were commentators. Dasha Gonzalez handled ring announcer duties.
Mike Tyson was in the house as a special guest commentator for the opener.
AEW All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Katsuyori Shibata
A hype brief has been released for the NJPW talent explaining his comeback from a severe brain injury in 2017. It’s been a long road to recovery, and there’s no challenge that Shibata won’t face. The challenger received a special entry from AEW.
Cassidy took the action in Shibata on a suicide dive. Punches erupted on the floor. Back in the ring, Cassidy put her hands in her pockets. Shibata immediately took advantage for an out and a number four. OC reached the ropes for the break.
Later, Shibata took a page from Cassidy’s book to kick wimpy. OC was visibly annoyed, so he imitated Shibata to sit cross-legged. Shibata did the same. Cassidy unleashed weak slaps. Shibata didn’t have that nonsense and hit Cassidy with a hard slap.
For the finishing sequence, Cassidy connected on a superman punch, but Shibata didn’t fall. The challenger responded with a suplex. As Shibata ran the ropes, Cassidy stood up for another superman punch. This impact was enough to keep Shibata down for the three count. After the victory, Cassidy placed her sunglasses on Shibata’s face.
Orange Cassidy defeated Katsuyori Shibata.
Toni Storm wondered why Jaime Hayter became a bully. She never did anything wrong to Hayter personally. Storm blamed Dr. Britt Baker DMD for manipulation.
Both Claudio Castagnoli and Bryan Danielson want to try their luck against Chris Jericho for the ROH World Championship.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Jamie Hayter vs. Madison Rayne and Skye Blue
Rebel was in the front row. Blue started strong with a flying shoulder strap. The mean girls have taken over to isolate Blue. Hot tag to Rayne. The action broke out with moves all around. Rayne went for a crucifix bomb, but Hayter was too strong to fall. Hayter escaped and dropped Rayne with a ripcord lariat to win.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Jamie Hayter defeated Madison Rayne and Skye Blue.
Then Baker called Storm. The obligatory champion. Storm punched Rebel in the kiss and rammed Baker into the barricade. Storm and Hayter engaged in physics for a slobbery tease of their PPV battle. Storm locked in Cloverleaf submission. As Storm’s hands were busy on the hold, she couldn’t protect herself when Baker hit her with the title belt. Hayter stood to close the scene.
Chris Jericho has responded to the Blackpool Combat Club challenge. He decided to cast both Claudio and Danielson. Jericho thinks the BCC don’t like each other very much and they will fight during the game. Jericho also added Sammy Guevara for a quadruple, so they could team up on any BCC member left standing. Jericho hinted that Sammy’s job was to help him win. Sammy made an expression that portends trying to steal the title if an opportunity arises.
Ricky Starks made a promo in the ring. He knows people want to see him on TV. It’s because he delivers. Starks entered the World Title Elimination Tournament. He plans to leave Full equipment as candidate #1.
Sammy Guevara challenged Bryan Danielson to the best of 3 falls for dynamite. Sammy watched Danielson wrestle on television in his youth. He told himself that he would beat Danielson one day. Since Sammy hasn’t done the job yet, that means they have unfinished business. Sammy wants this stipulation to prove beyond doubt that he is better.
Mark Henry interviewed key event attendees. Prince Nana wondered if Wardlow and Samoa Joe were ready to walk through the gates of hell against the gates of agony. Wardlow cut Joe off from speaking. The TNT champ wasn’t there to talk. He’s more concerned with getting his hands on Will Hobbs. Wardlow challenged Hobbs to attack him a third time. Enough talk. Henry concluded with “It’s main event time!”
The bracket for the World Title Elimination Tournament has been revealed:
- Eddie Kingston vs. Ethan Page
- Bandido vs. Rush
- Lance Archer vs. Ricky Starks
- Brian Cage vs. Dante Martin
Bishop Kaun and Toa Liona vs. Wardlow and Samoa Joe
Prince Nana was in the front row. Wardlow started with rage in his strikes. When Joe entered, the doors of agony finally found an opening to isolate Joe. Hot tag in Wardlow to explode with German suplexes. Wardlow goozle slammed Kaun, but Liona broke cover. Joe knocked Liona out of the ring for a sleeper on the floor. Wardlow connected on his vicious wind-up lariat to Kaun. Nana jumped on the apron, so Wardlow hit her. Kaun went for a sneaky roll-up. Wardlow was expelled. The two powers exchanged strikes. Wardlow won this duel with a headbutt. Wardlow played four notes on the powerbomb symphony for the win.
Wardlow and Samoa Joe defeated Bishop Kaun and Toa Liona.
After the main event, Hobbs took the stage. Wardlow was in a fit of anger and pushed Joe out of his way. Joe didn’t appreciate this contact and stared at Wardlow as Wardlow watched Hobbs from afar.
Mike Tyson was the show stealer. His presence brought a magnetic atmosphere of grand spectacle and he did an excellent job of commentating. You could tell that Tyson prepared for his role. I was surprised he knew about Katsuyori Shibata. He provided insight and even knew the technical holds. I would love to see Tyson return as often as possible as a special guest commentator.
Orange Cassidy has played too many games for my taste. It’s what fans expect from Cassidy, so I can’t complain too much. I have to give people what they want. The match deserves credit for playing well with OC’s silly style. This allowed Shibata to shine by defeating Cassidy. As this was my first time watching Shibata wrestle, I cannot judge the quality of his performance based on a past comparison. Overall, Shibata felt like a special attraction and lived up to the aura. I appreciated the little things Shibata did as strategic maneuvers to inflict pain. I’ll happily take a second helping if Shibata returns to AEW.
The main event fight was a solid fight. Wardlow was a Kaun powerbombing beast like an accordion. If we get a Wardlow match then this finish is what we came to see. Wardlow’s subtle tease of Samoa Joe’s patience intrigued me greatly. Wardlow is lucky he didn’t notice. Joe was ready to kick like a wild animal if Wardlow made eye contact with him. It will be a doozy down the road. First, Wardlow vs. Will Hobbs will swing.
I didn’t like the matchmaking logic of this episode. Ricky Starks has declared his entry into the World Title eliminator tournament. If he’s allowed to do that, then what’s stopping QT Marshall from doing the same. Make it feel a bit special like a committee choosing the participants. Blackpool Combat Club acted as if they had the right to call the shots against the ROH World Champion. Chris Jericho has the shot as defending champion. Additionally, Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli have already lost to The Champion in the ROH title fights. At least Claudio can claim a rematch since losing the belt to Jericho. Danielson has no business, and Jericho should have told him to shut up.
Closing out with a few positives, Ricky Starks was absolute in his promo. He can certainly speak with style and charisma. I love how he set up his pose to make the crowd pop. I appreciate that AEW is running an intro package for Shibata with details about his return. It helped put the idea of the dream match into perspective. The brawl between Toni Storm and Jamie Hayter was a tasty tease for their upcoming clash. This excited me as expected.
This note received the Mike Tyson bump from me. His presence made him a staple of television while he was a commentator. The long fight was Cassidy vs. Shibata. As always with Cassidy, mileage will vary based on personal enjoyment. The rest of the show was standard fare for Carnage and made steps towards the PPV.
Share your thoughts on Carnage. How would you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?
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