Cody Rhodes and Malakai Black squared off inside an AEW ring for the third time. After a dramatic match, the inaugural AEW TNT Champion emerged victorious.
Jim Cornette criticized the selling of Black's finisher by Cody Rhodes. Here's what he said on the Jim Cornette Drive-Thru podcast:
"Malakai Black hit a very pretty moonsault body block, and then Malakai Black pops up to his feet, and as does Cody Rhodes after he got planted with a moonsault body block, and grabbed Malakai Black for the Cross Rhodes for a two count. Suddenly, Malakai Black comes off the top with a great double foot stomp, and it looked safe too, it was very well done. Then he hit a German suplex, and then he hit his spinning kick he's been knocking everyone out with. Cody takes it and falls into the ropes so he can't be pinned but then, suddenly, Cody stood up and ran across the ring."
Cody hit a sequence of four moves leading up to the finish: a suicide dive, the Cody Cutter, Cross Rhodes, and a piledriver. This earned him the win.
Cornette said such a decisive victory means Malakai Black's scary aura in AEW is dented.
"Black hits his finish and Cody sells it for ten seconds, and then he's running again! They do this crazy sequence where they are just flipping and landing, and then Cody just hits 4 big moves and pins him flat in the middle. There's no question that Cody Rhodes just beat him. It made it look like you took a hammer and beat him into powder with move after move. When the babyface hits four uncontested finishers and pins him, that guy just got beat. I'm not scared of this guy anymore."
Jim Cornette pointed out other mistakes AEW made with Malakai Black vs. Cody Rhodes
Jim Cornette found several flaws in the match, most notably the spot that led to the commercial break where the former NXT Champion was outnumbered despite being the heel.
The former Midnight Express manager complimented both stars and stated that the match got off to a hot start before slowing down. He was particularly happy that Brandi Rhodes was nowhere to be seen.
"Then for their break spot, they did a deal where Malakai Black just goes and pulls a chair out from under the ring and slides it in the ring, and Cody grabs it. Then here comes Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson, so their break spot is the babyface has a chair and the heel is out there by himself barehanded. Shouldn't the babyface be in jeopardy? In this case Malakai Black's gonna get the s**t kicked out of him."
Just like every Cody Rhodes match, this, too, divided opinion. Whether Malakai Black is buried or not remains to be seen, but the storyline has been an intriguing and entertaining watch.
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