Upon the announcement of any match, I tend to ask the following questions:
- Who should win?
- What’s the purpose of this match?
- Is there a storyline reason to reassess my first two answers?
All else being equal, Toni Storm will win this match. Why? Because she lost clean to Thunder Rosa at Forbidden Door and needs her heat back by defeating a credible threat. Nyla Rose has somewhat settled into Lance Archer’s role where she’s like a gatekeeper for babyfaces trying to reach the top of the card. Is there any reason to doubt my assumptions? Looking back over the past weeks, this would seem to be an opportunity for Nyla to settle the score with Toni for hitting her in the head with Thunder Rosa’s World Title but unless a new storyline is spinning out of this match, I’m not expecting a Nyla Rose win.
Being that this is the main event, Mark Henry interviews Nyla & Toni. Nyla is with Marina Shafir. Nyla does a funny bit about “Let’s go to the weather map…” with Toni Storm. Says she’s the #1 Contender, which *checks notes* she is. Toni Storm vows to beat Nyla and then go back after Thunder Rosa and become AEW World Champion. So basically, this match functions as naming Thunder Rosa’s next match.
It’s Time For the Main Event!
The match starts out pretty even until Marina Shafir pulls the rope down as Toni Storm is running off the ropes and she falls out of the ring. With the referee distracted Marina gives her a hard kick to the stomach. Nyla comes to the floor to do some damage, whipping Storm into the steps and then body slamming her on the floor. I’m always looking for “the story” of the match. So when Nyla went to punch Storm against the ring post and Storm ducked sending Nyla’s arm into the ring post, I thought maybe that could be something but it didn’t get focussed on other than that spot. I guess it could serve to present Nyla as an unstoppable force?
Nyla made the best out of a rest hold during PIP by first grabbing Toni’s nose with an overhand grip and then fish hooking her mouth into moving like a ventriloquist dummy while talking for her. Good stuff.
Toni suckers Nyla into doing a Canon Ball which Toni dodges. Then Toni hits her Hip Attack on Nyla but mirroring Toni Storm vs Marina Shafir, it’s Marina this time that prevents Toni from pulling Nyla out of the corner for the pin. Toni would get a measure of revenge by delivering a double DDT from the apron to both Nyla & Marina on the floor.
It looked as though Chekhov’s
Gun Uncovered Turnbuckle Ring was being introduced to the match when Toni went for an Okada Roll out of the corner on Nyla but Nyla held onto the turnbuckle and ripped it off in the process but that never came into play again in this match.
Nyla setup Storm for the Diving Knee Drop but Storm pulled her head out of the way in time. For the finish, Storm has Nyla setup for the Pendulum DDT when she notices Shafir is on the apron. Rather than risking Shafir distracting Bryce Remsburg, Storm instead turns it into a Tornado DDT off the turnbuckle near Shafir, kicking her in the face and off the apron in the process, and then setting up the Pendulum DDT on Nyla for the win.
Shafir attacks Storm. Nyla joins in. Thunder Rosa races down (with music) for the save. Shafir comes out to meet her but TR ducks Shafir and runs into the ring to dropkick Nyla off Storm. In the end, the babyfaces stand tall in the ring. Excalibur drops the #ThunderStorm pun, though it’s unclear whether he’s referring to a match or a tag team. The babyfaces shake hands. I’m expecting Thunder Rosa & Toni Storm vs Nyla Rose & Marina Shafir next week.
I’m searching for what the story or theme of this match was. I suppose it was Marina Shafir continually injecting herself into the match, slowing Toni Storm’s momentum until the finish when Toni was able to take out Shafir right before the finish and win the match. What I wanted was more of a Nyla Rose vs Riho style match and given Storm’s history in Stardom I thought that’s maybe where we were going although I guess Toni much larger than Riho.
This match wasn’t as good as I had hoped, given all the parties involved (including Marina Shafir). And it sounds a bit spoiled to say this since all the action came off well, everything was executed well but Storm never felt in danger of losing.
Watch on YouTube
Catch the last ~5 minutes of this match on YouTube:
Toni Storm wins via pinfallToni Storm wins via pinfall
- Good execution of moves
- Nyla's personality rubbing off on Marina
- No obvious story or theme to the match
- No real tease of Nyla being able to win