The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 10.09.19
But first, a piece of reader mail:
“To me, AEW’s appeal is simple. They don’t crap all over me and make me feel like a jerk for trying to enjoy their product.”
Live from Boston, MA
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
AEW tag team title tournament quarterfinals: The Young Bucks (1) v. Private Party (8)
Wait a sec, there’s only 7 teams in the tournament. How can Private Party be the #8 seed? BURIED. Anyway, having them be announced at a total combined weight of “24 ounces of vodka cranberry” made me legit laugh out loud. Nick works on Kassidy’s arm to start, but Nick takes him down with a headlock and tries superkicks, which all miss. The Bucks quickly trap Kassidy in the corner and hit a series of neckbreakers after using the POWER OF GUM to turn the tide. The Bucks take turns working the arm in their corner and try a double suplex, but Kassidy flips out of it and puts Matt on the floor. He fights off both Bucks and hits Matt with a quebrada, then flips back into the ring and makes the tag to Marq Quen. He hits both Bucks with dives of increasing difficulty one after another, but he gets invited to a SUPERKICK PARTY and that turns the tide. Matt flips out of the ring and takes Kassidy out with a running powerbomb WAY up the ramp, and the Bucks go to work on Quen in the ring. Double Sliced Bread gets two, and Nick gets a Sharpshooter, but Quen makes the ropes. Matt slugs away on Quen in the corner, but Nick tries a superkick and Quen catches the foot and swings it into Matt’s head. Matt charges and misses, but Quen dives for the tag and Nick yanks Kassidy off the apron with amazing timing. And Matt gets two on Quen as a result. Tremendous. JR lets us know that we should Google the Rock N Roll Express for more examples of great double-teaming. Come on, they were just on the New Japan show last week! Kassidy finally gets the hot tag and hits both Bucks with a rana while selling the back from the powerbomb outside. So Matt grabs his gear and hits him in the back in a nice touch, then hits him with the triple northern lights suplexes while Nick holds Quen back. And then Quen runs in and Matt hits them BOTH with a northern lights suplex! That was great. Matt with the buckle bomb into Nick’s high kick and we get a Sharpshooter on Kassidy while Nick takes care of Quen outside, but Kassidy fights to the ropes. And then Nick dives in with a facebuster to cut off the ropes, but Kassidy powers up AGAIN and makes the ropes. Quen makes a blind tag and the Bucks collide, allowing Kassidy to hit Matt with a reverse rana and they hit Nick with the Gin & Juice. Quen to the top with the shooting star press on Matt, but that only gets two. Quen gets all fired up and makes the comeback on Matt, but Matt flips him into the tombstone position for the Meltzer Driver. But then Kassidy takes out Nick and Quen cradles Matt for the pin and the massive upset at 13:44 to advance to the semi-finals. Well that was a shocking open to the show. I don’t know that I agree with not having the Bucks win the titles, but I’ll let it play out and see where it goes. Fantastic tag team wrestling here. ****1/2
Chris Jericho and his growing brood of lackies join us, and he of course takes credit for all the success of the first episode. So Jericho introduces his team: Sammy Guervara, Santana, Ortiz, and Jake Hager. Also, Jericho clarifies that “We the People” is a stupid idea from bad creative and now it’s dead and buried…and the crowd stops chanting it immediately! What a great way to stop that cold. So together they’re the Inner Circle. Good enough. Further, Jericho doesn’t like Cody or his family. And Dusty Rhodes was a JERK. Ouch. Also, Jericho is gonna beat the “everloving shit” out of Cody at the PPV, and then enjoy a “little bit of the bubbly.”
Probably not that one in particular.
Jimmy Havoc v. Darby Allin
Winner gets Jericho next week in a title match. Allin gets the quick cradle for two, but Havoc takes him down with a jackknife for two. Allin gets a running elbow in the corner and dropkicks him into the other corner, but Havoc bails to the apron and bites the fingers, then suplexes him onto the floor to take over. Back in, Havoc with some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION on the fingers and “works on the phalanges”. NOT THE PHALANGES! Havoc pounds away in the corner and catches Allin with a sleeper that he turns into a suplex, and Allin bails to escape. We take a break (and don’t get the picture in picture thing here in Canada) and return with Havoc hitting an elbow for two. Death valley driver into the corner gets two. Tiger Driver 98 gets two, but Allin makes the ropes and turns it into a crucifix for two. Havoc just stomps his face and sets up for the lariat, but Allin does his own finger biting and then hits a stunner and goes up with the coffin drop elbow to finish at 10:40. Definitely weaker than when they were taking crazy bumps on cracker barrels, but still hard work from both here because you could tell they wanted to show their stuff. ***1/4
Riho & Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Bea Priestly & Emi Sakura
Sakura catches a bodypress attempt and slams Riho for two, then throws her around by the hair while Excalibur makes some quality dad jokes. Romero special on Riho and it’s over to Priestly, who goads Dr. Britt into a fight on the floor and runs her into the railing. Britt fights back, but the heels double-team her with a suplex on the floor, and then Riho makes the save with a dive as we take a break. And we get the PIP for this one! Back in the ring, Britt and Riho hit running knees on Priestly in the corner, and Riho gets the 619 for two. Britt comes in and Beat pops to the top with a double stomp, and the heels team up with a double kick on Baker for two. Baker fights out of a suplex, but Bea gets a cradle backdrop suplex for two. That was NASTY. Riho has had enough and comes in to save, but walks into a high kick and gets taken out. Britt slugs it out with Priestly and gets a draping DDT for two, but Sakura saves that and then drags her partner back to the corner to get the tag. Double underhook backbreaker on Baker and she follows with a crossbody into the corner to set up a Vader bomb, and that gets two. Tony has such a real and nice human moment where he just goes “Is that called a Vader bomb now? That’s really cool.” Britt fights back a cutter and hits a swinging neckbreaker for two, and then finishes with a neck submission combined with a mandible claw for the submission at 8:46. This was another good, nice, enjoyable, hard-worked match that never insulted your intelligence at any point. *** Afterwards, Baker and Priestly get into a pullapart brawl to set up that program.
Meanwhile, the Best Friends take a moment to introduce ORANGE CASSIDY in the audience, who gives them an enthusiastic thumbs up. Well, as enthusiastic as he ever gets.
Shawn Spears v. Jon Moxley
Uncle Tully is at ringside for Spears and Pac is on commentary to bitch about Moxley. Mox slugs away in the corner to start and drops an elbow for two while the crowd goes nuts for him. Spears comes back with chops, but Mox elbows him down and Spears bails to the floor. So Mox follows and runs him into the railing with a knee to the back, but this allows Tully to get his cheapshot in. Mox shrugs it off and hits an elbow off the apron, but Spears necksnaps him on the way in and Tully REALLY gets his shit in, running Moxley into the stairs. Tully recreating himself as JJ Dillon is brilliant on his part. Spears pounds away on the stairs and Tully cheerleads because he’s still great, and then Spears takes Moxley into the railing with a death valley driver in a crazy spot. We take a break on the picture-in-picture and Mox beats the count back in, but Spears drops a knee on him and gets an elbow for two. They trade chops (which admittedly loses something with no sound and Canadian Tire commercials in the foreground) and they fight to the floor again as Spears gives him the dreaded water spit. Back in the ring, Mox slugs back, but walks into a short powerbomb for two. Spears with a half crab and he tosses Moxley for a dive, but then Moxley comes right back with his own dive. Back in the ring and they slug it out again, with sound this time, but Mox won’t stay down and pops up with a lariat. Spears reverses Dirty Deeds into an ushigoroshi for two. Spears offers a 10 for his efforts, but Mox hits the Dirty Deeds/Death Rider/whatever for the pin at 12:00. Good hard fight here from both. ***1/4 Afterwards, Kenny Omega wanders out with a barbed wire broom and I don’t even know how that would work, but offers Moxley a barbed wire baseball bat to make it an even fight. But then Pac lays out Omega from behind with a chair to the back of the head, delaying the barbed wire showdown for another week.
Dustin Rhodes & Hangman Page v. Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara
I like Dustin’s “Brain Stew” homage music, actually. Tony actually echoes what I was about to type, saying that Page reminds him of Barry Windham in this team dynamic. Which is neat because Dustin and Barry were the student-mentor back in 1992, and now the relationship is reversed with Dustin in the veteran role and a new blond guy in assless chaps. Unsurprisingly, the heels already have “Inner Circle” t-shirts made. Dustin goes after Jericho immediately and beats him down on the floor and into the post. Sammy tries to save and Dustin nails him with an uppercut as well, and hits him with a lariat back in the ring. Page comes in with a corner clothesline and blockbuster, then rolls right into a pescado onto Jericho in the same motion. Back in, he gets a pumphandle slam for two. Dustin whips Sammy into the corner and the faces work the arm, into a Dustin atomic drop that sets up a Page shooting star press for two. Page goes up and Sammy cuts him off with a high kick and drops Page onto the top rope to bring him down, and that gets two. We take a full screen break this time and return with Jericho in control of Page as he chokes Page on the ropes, but he misses a charge and hurts his own knee. Guevara cuts off the tag and gets two on Page before going to a chinlock, but Page quickly powers up with a backdrop suplex and hits Jericho with forearms until walking into an elbow. Lionsault hits knee, however, and Page goes for the tag again, but Sammy flies in and blocks it. So Page hits him with the discus lariat and it’s HOT TAG Dustin and he puts the beats on Guevara. Atomic drop for both heels and he goes up with a crossbody on both and dumps Guevara, allowing Page to hit him with a massive moonsault to the floor. Jake Hager destroys him with a shoulderblock, however, while Dustin fights alone in the ring. Code Red on Jericho gets two and he sets up for Shattered Nuts, but Hager runs in behind the ref’s back to break it up. Jericho with the Judas Effect and that’s all at 12:31. Little too much of Hager the Heater but this was another solid outing. ***1/4 And the beatdown on Dustin commences, but Page grabs a chair and chases Hager away. Jericho and Guevara continue the beatdown, but the lights go out and Cody appears and can’t even get his nice suit off before LAX jumps him. And then MJF runs in with a chair and gets offered a spot with the heels, but chooses Cody and turns on them instead. So Jericho lays him out with the codebreaker and finally the Young Bucks even things up and Jericho retreats to end the show, only to run into a skateboarding Darby Allin for one last stinger. Good old school angle to establish the sides clearly and set up stuff for later.
Gosh I adore this show. It’s an easy watch that flies by and just makes you happy to be a fan, and never makes you feel stupid for watching. And I shall continue to do so.