BROOMFIELD, Colo. – For the third time in the company’s history, All Elite Wrestling graced the presence of wrestling fans in the Denver Metro Area. This third time, however, was not the charm.
After 17 years of service, the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield is closing its doors following last night’s AEW Dynamite & Rampage taping. On May 23, the Broomfield City Council voted unanimously to terminate its contract with PEAK Entertainment, the company running the facility. It was announced that operations would cease by September 30.
Opening in 2006, the arena first hosted AEW for Dynamite back on March 4, 2020 – a little over a week before the COVID-19 pandemic garnered a nationwide shutdown. All Elite Wrestling came back to the 1st Bank Center in late December 2022 for its second Dynamite and first Rampage taping for New Year’s Smash.
AEW now has the distinction of closing out its go-to venue for the Denver metro area.
AEW INTERNATIONAL TITLE MATCH: Rey Fenix (c) def. Jeff Jarrett
This bout had all your typical heel interference tactics from Jarrett’s crew of Jay Lethal, Karen Jarrett, Satnam Singh, and Sonjay Dutt. It was a quick and dirty opening match that had its moments, but Fenix looked legitimately hobbled about halfway through. Jarrett hit The Stroke (which Fenix sold wonderfully), but Double J only got the two-count on the pinning attempt. Fenix then rolled up Jarrett after a figure four leglock attempt to get the win. The ending was predictable, but was enjoyable for what it was. Also, at age 56, Jarrett’s heel work is still spot on.
AEW INTERNATIONAL TITLE #1 CONTENDERS MATCH: Nick Jackson def. Brain Cage and Claudio Castagnoli
A triple-threat change of pace, seeing one-half of the Young Bucks in singles competition (we’ll get to Matt later on). Nick’s high-flying antics were balanced out fairly well by the hulking Cage and lean, mean, Swiss fighting machine Claudio. Jackson’s 450 Splash on Cage (plus Claudio’s big swing, also on Cage) were key highlights. After Claudio’s Ricola Bomb on Cage, Jackson swooped in with a hurricanrana on Castagnoli, knocking him out of the ring before pinning Cage for a shot at Rey Fenix for the AEW International Title.
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FOUR-WAY MATCH: Orange Cassidy def. Austin Gunn & Matt Jackson & Penta El Zero Miedo
With a four-way tag team match set for WrestleDream this coming weekend, Wednesday had one contestant from each of those teams represented in this match. Consistent action (as well as plenty of Canadian Destroyers) was the theme of this match, as each of the four competitors brought out the agility to keep this one at a frenetic pace. Jackson’s Northern Lights Suplex on both Gunn and Penta was an impressive and notable feat in the match. After superkicks aplenty, an Orange Punch to the elder Jackson sealed the victory for Cassidy.
MAIN EVENT: Julia Hart def. Willow Nightingale
Hart was accompanied to the ring by Brody King, who Nightingale was not afraid to stand toe-to-toe with outside the ring at one point in this match. Willow executed some quality power moves on Hart throughout, showcasing her agility with a smooth cartwheel before attacking Hart in the corner. A Nightingale pounce to counter an athletic Hart handspring shifted momentum, but a dodged somersault in the corner led to Hart’s victory after a perfectly executed moonsault press from the top rope.
MATCH CONTRACT SIGNING: Hangman Adam Page and Swerve Strickland
Swerve teased on X that the contract signing was going to be “PRIME TIME”, hinting at a possible appearance by University of Colorado football head coach Deion Sanders.
“Contract signing tonight will be PRIME TIME”
— The Realest Swerve Strickland (@swerveconfident) September 27, 2023
Alas, the contract signing was your standard affair: table in the middle of the ring, Renee Paquette facilitating the segment, and both wrestlers having a chance to tear the other down with their respective promos. The words were set aside when Strickland landed a slap across Page’s face, causing Hangman to respond with a stab of the pen in Swerve’s hand as he was signing the contract. Security separated the two, and the Broomfield crowd did not see the camera cut to Jay White getting beat down in the back by men dressed head-to-toe in black with Devil masks on similar to what MJF wears.
Sammy Guevara once again addressed the AEW fans after Don Callis came out with Takeshita. The heat for Callis is NUCLEAR, per usual; I could barely hear what he was saying over the chorus of boos…Christian Cage and Darby Allin sat down between Jim Ross for a pre-taped interview, with Cage claiming Allin hides behind his face paint. Allin then splashed water on himself to wash the paint away, asking if he thinks he hides behind it now…MJF and Adam Cole addressed the crowd regarding the ROH Tag Team Title Match against The Righteous at WrestleDream. Cole stated that he would need surgery and could not compete, to which MJF replied that he’d defend the belts in a handicap match…Jay White then came out after Cole departed, challenging MJF for his AEW World Title. The two exchanged scathing promos before White ducked out of any physicality between the two.
EULOGY FOR THE 1ST BANK CENTER
Again, the 1st Bank Center hosted All Elite Wrestling for its last event on Wednesday night. It’s hard to believe that a 6,500-seat arena in the Denver area would be torn down after only 17 years of usage, but Broomfield was losing money hand over fist after every year of operation. Built as a venue that would showcase a little less than 200 events a year, the total number of annual events maxed out at 33 in 2016. The final year of 2023 held just 10 events from January to the end of September.
Former sports tenants of the arena include the CHL’s Rocky Mountain Rage and NBADL’s Colorado 14ers (both 2006-09) and the Denver Roller Dolls (2010-present).
The 1st Bank Center is slated to be torn down in Spring 2024.
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