This will be the first time I review a match I was actually at live! I waste there in the Target Center in Minneapolis for Quake By The Lake with my partner who was blown away to see Jade Cargill live. Her presence alone is a spectacle.
Madison Rayne is someone who I’m still learning about but she’s obviously a veteran after you just watch her for a minute. I’m really intrigued by what her “final form” is going to be in AEW. I feel like her character is in a “honeymoon phase”, spouting a lot of comments about how happy she is to be in AEW, touting the talent of the women’s division and that as the “Head Coach”, she looks forward to teaching the younger women the ropes… It just feels inevitable that there’s going to be an “edge” to this “Head Coach” moniker. So I’ll be watching closely. BTW, I don’t know if this is a hockey thing or all sports but my hockey-brain wants to start referring to Head Coach Madison Rayne as “HCMR”.
The match opens with Jade and Madison jaw jacking in the middle of the ring. Madison gets shoved to the ground but quickly gets up to get in Jade’s face. Jade responds by kissing the short Rayne on the forehead and then tapping her on the head. Great patter.
I have to figure one of the biggest challenges when booking pro wrestling and agenting the match is when the fans actually want to cheer for the heel. This is becoming the case more and more with Jade Cargill. So to start this match, you had Jade building heat by dominating the babyface, Rayne, early. But being their live, it almost felt more akin to Jon Moxley vs Wheeler Yuta where you have Jade Cargill playing the roll of Moxley just punishing Madison who keeps proving she can take the abuse. I’m not sure if this was the intention but regardless, for those of us who aren’t as familiar with HCMR, it was a decent showcase for her.
After a two-count on a stalling suplex from Jade, we get a shot of Kiera Hogan arguing with Leila Grey, who’s sitting in the Baddies section. It’s funny because I was only mere feet away but I guess because I was so focused on the action, I just happened to look over and realize, “Hey! There’s Leila Grey! And she’s got Sierra and Heather Reckless (they had matches on Dark) as Baddies as well!” I did not, for a second, recognize Athena.
In the ring, Madison and Jade are exchanging blows. Madison hits a step-up Enziguri and then a Hanging Neck Breaker. She go to the middle rope and hits a Flipping Neck Breaker which Taz says “she didn’t get all of it”. Cargill kicks out of a pin attempt at two.
I felt like this the story of this match really played out beautifully through in the final three minutes. Madison puts Jade into a Front Chancery and then puts her knees up on Jade’s quads, so that her body weight increases the force on the chokehold. Jade, however, counters this using her power, filling Madison up looking to throw her off but Rayne instead uses her guile to turn this into Pendulum DDT. Having seen Toni Storm win big matches in AEW with this move, I really bit on the pinfall and breathed a sigh of relief when Jade kicked out.
Kiera Hogan then gets on the apron to distract Madison. Madison, again, shows her experience by grabbing Kiera then getting out of the way when Jade comes in from behind as she ends up Pump Kicking Hogan off the apron. Madison uses this momentary discombobulation of Jade to roll her up for a pin. Two.
Jade gets up, dodges a kick from Rayne and then Pump Kicks her to the mat. She then picks up Madison and sets her up for Jaded but Madison reverses and goes behind for the Cross Rayne. As she spins Jade in the move though, Jade powers through, spinning Madison into the Jaded which this time she hits for the win. 36-0.
I had just the sign for this occasion which Jade Cargill gave me props for. That was a pretty huge thrill for me personally.
A good story of experience vs power gets told in the end. I really liked how they didn’t just have Madison countering Jade but we get the moment of Jade thinking she had countered Madison’s Front Chancery only to have that countered into a Pendulum DDT. And in the end it’s Jade who counters Madison’s counter for the win.
Post match, pseudo-Baddie Athena runs in and attacks Jade from behind, really socking Jade in the mouth with a right punch. Fuck, I cannot wait for this match, presumably at All Out.
Watch the Highlights on YouTube
Jade Cargill wins via pinfallJade Cargill wins via pinfall
- Excellent physical storytelling
- Maybe a couple crossed signals in move execution