The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite (and Dark)–10.16.19

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 10.16.19

Live from Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Tony, JR & Excalibur

Tag team title quarterfinals: Christopher Daniels & Kazarian v. The Best Friends

Sadly the Lucha Brothers attack SCU before they can even tell us how much they hate Philly, and Pentagon delivers the package piledriver on the ramp to Daniels and holy shit that looked nasty. Luckily Scorpio Sky makes the save, but Daniels gets taken out on a stretcher and Sky takes his place. He didn’t even have his wrists taped yet! What a cool touch. So Kazarian slugs away on Chucky in the corner to start, but the Best Friends double-team Kaz with a crucifix bomb into a cutter for two. Double piledriver gets two. Sky saves and they double-team him as well, and then Chucky pulls off Sky’s shoe and then BITES HIS TOES.

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Well all’s fair in love and tournaments. Trent takes Kazarian to the corner and chops him to set up a superplex, but Kaz fights him off. So Chucky puts Trent on his shoulders and that allows Trent to get a second superplex, for two. Noice. Finally Kaz rolls over and makes the hot tag to Sky, and everyone fights to the floor and unloads the high dives. Sky hits a dive on both guys and tosses his other shoe into the crowd, and they THROW IT BACK. Man Philly fans are mean. SCU with a double DDT on Trent for two. Sky with a back elbow on Trent and Kaz gets a springboard legdrop for two. The Best Friends manage to suplex Kaz to cut off his comeback, but then Sky cock-blocks the Best Friend Hug. What a jerk. Thankfully the second try works. Kazarian bails to the apron as JR puts over Trent’s headband. IT NEVER MOVES. Trent tries a piledriver on the apron, but Sky prevents that and Trent gets backdropped to the floor. Back in, SCU messes up a powerbomb/dropkick combo as Sky was way late on the dropkick, but that’s still enough to finish Trent at 10:02 to advance. Too bad the finish got botched but the rest of the match was top notch. ****

Santana & Ortiz v. Alex Reynolds & John Silver

Can we assume that Silver is…uh…long? The jobbers got some matching purple tights going at least, and they even get an entrance during the PIP commercial while we learn all about Dr. Ho up here in Canada. Still no formal name for the former LAX. Silver throws a high kick on Santana and gets killed as a result, and Ortiz comes in with a powerbomb and adds some boot rakes in the corner. Ortiz claws him and gives the scary wolf pose and then LAX finishes with a blockbuster into a powerbomb at 2:08 to end it, which is apparently the “Street Sweeper”. Glad to see someone get an actual squash win on this show.

Afterwards, LE CHAMPION appears on the Cody-Tron to put over his new team, and challenge the Young Bucks at Full Gear on their behalf.

Speaking of which, we get a video package about Cody and his quest to win the AEW title from LE CHAMPION. Apparently he works out in Buckhead, GA, which as we learned in the last Observer Flashback is the home of many sex shops owned by Van Hammer’s family. See, I aim to entertain AND educate!

AEW Women’s title: Riho v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD

Dr. Baker is still sporting a shiner from Bea Priestley. Britt takes her down with a pair of armdrags, but Riho takes her down with an awkward armdrag of her own. Britt takes her down and quickly goes for the LOCKJAW, which might be the most awesome finisher name ever, but Riho makes the ropes. They fight to the top and Riho gets a crossbody, which Riho rolls through for two. They fight over a suplex and Riho rolls her into a double stomp and follows with a running knee in the corner. She goes up and misses a flying stomp, allowing Britt to come back with a sling blade and TKO into a jawbreaker for two. She really needs to name something The Root Canal. Riho rolls her up for two and tries a small package, but Britt counters with a swinging neckbreaker for two. High kick gets a very close two. Riho with a northern lights suplex for two, and into a half crab, and a flying double stomp gets two. Double knee strike gets two. Blind charge misses, however, and Baker gets another neckbreaker to set up the LOCKJAW, but Riho won’t open her mouth and rolls Britt over for the pin to retain at 8:25. Well that’s one way to counter it. Not often you get psychology revolving around someone keeping their mouth closed. Nice little story here with Baker too focused on her submission move, which cost her the match. ***1/4 Riho is just crazy over with the teenage fanbase, too.

Tag team title tournament, quarterfinals: Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt v. Pentagon & Fenix

Sadly, Luchasaurus is out with a leg injury, so we get the lesser Jurassic Express. Pentagon offers Marko a free shot, so Marko bites the fingers and hits a rana off Perry’s shoulders. Fenix comes in with a superkick, but Marko gets a crazy tornado DDT and Jungle Jack follows with a dive to the floor. Back in, Jungle powerbombs Marko onto Pentagon for two, but Pentagon has had enough messing around and superkicks both guys to take over. Fenix comes in with some chops and flings Perry across the ring with a flying armdrag, and then puts him on the floor and hits him with a twisting dive. Marko tries to save and Penta gets a pumphandle slam on him for two. Meanwhile, Fenix destroys Perry on the floor and runs him into the stairs, and we take a break. It’s PIP and Pentagon ties up Marko in the ropes and chops him to death while we get the millionth commercial with the dude who’s obsessed with hotel room bookings via Trivago. Do you get that doofus in the US? Meanwhile, Pentagon does an amazing one-handed press slam on Stunt and carries him around the ring before slamming him. Marko makes a comeback while Pentagon basically laughs him off and Fenix slaps him around from the floor. Marko dodges a charge and gets a sunset flip into a knee strike, and it’s hot tag Jungle Boy. Inverted powerslam on Fenix and Marko follows with a 450 and a standing shooting star gets two. Pentagon breaks up the comeback with a Destroyer and they trap Marko and double-team him, as Pentagon swings him around the ring by the hair and BREAKS THE ARM. The Package Piledriver inevitably finishes at 11:34. They pretty much have to win the tournament now, you’d think. I will say, if you’re gonna murder the Jurassic Geeks, then it should have been a lot shorter. Pardon the pun. I’d call it about as good as it was going to be, but it never really worked. **1/4

Pac & Jon Moxley v. Kenny Omega & Hangman Page

Omega and Mox slug it out in the corner to start and Mox pounds him on the mat, but Pac tags himself in and hits Page with an enzuigiri to put him on the floor. Kenny hits him with the Krusher, but Mox clobbers him from the apron and chokes away in the corner. Apparently Dynamite is taping in Champaign IL on December 4, and if Jericho isn’t LE CHAMPION for that show, there is no justice in the world. Moxley with a knee to the gut, but Omega suplexes him and Page comes in to clean house. Pescado on Pac and flying clothesline on Mox gets two. Moxley escapes the Deadeye, but Page goes up for a moonsault and Moxley shoves him off for a terrifying bump onto the apron. He his the floor and Pac follows with a corkscrew dive as we take a PIP break. This gives me a chance to muse about how Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” has been endlessly bastardized by car commercials and inspirational trailers, which completely misses the point of the song as a giant “fuck you” from Lindsay Buckingham to Stevie Nicks as he accuses her of being a streetwalking ho. Also, things I learned from YouTube that relate to the stupid commercials: The Energizer Bunny was designed and is maintained by Grant Imahara from Mythbusters. And he’s also R2-D2. Anyway, back with Moxley clotheslining Page to set up a cloverleaf, but Kenny makes the save. Page tries his lariat, but Moxley ducks it, so Page regroups and hits a second try. Hot tag Omega and the You Can’t Escape moonsault gets two. Dragon suplex for Moxley and then for Pac as well, and back to Moxley for good measure. Pac bails and Kenny hits him with the Terminator dive, but Moxley hits him with his own dive, and then Page moonsaults the heels to finish things off. Back in, Kenny and Page double on Pac with elbows in the corner, into a Kenny powerbomb, into a Hangman shooting star for two. Mox recovers with a Bossman slam on Page, but Omega hits him with a knee. And then Pac slingshots in with a cutter on Omega out of nowhere, so Page dumps HIM and follows with a dive to drive him into the railing. So this leaves Omega v. Mox in the ring and they do the big showdown and slug it out, throwing bombs on each other until Mox flips him over with a lariat. And then both guys grab their trusty barbed wire weapons from opposite sides of the ring and even the ref is like “Screw it, I’m outta here”, but Pac steals away both weapons and gets rid of them so they don’t get DQ’d. Moxley is having none of that attitude, and DDTs his own partner to punctuate it before walking out on him, which leaves Pac alone with the Elite. Buckshot Lariat and V-Trigger knee set up the Deadeye piledriver to finish the murder of Pac at 15:00. So Pac is the smartest guy, but ultimately costs himself the match because his partner is nuts and thus he loses nothing by taking the pinfall. Also, as noted by Tony, this was an “ass kicking match” that had the crowd going nuts by the end. I love me some tag team wrestling and this STOLE THE DAMN SHOW. ****1/2 Also, Kenny really needs to start winning, but good on him for letting Page have the pinfall here, which I’m assuming sets up another Page-Pac match at the PPV to go with the Omega-Moxley match.

AEW World title: Chris Jericho v. Darby Allin

Allin has his body covered in “Champ” graffiti so at least you know his head is in the right place. Also, this is a street fight, which I’m assuming would favor the skater punk. Darby attacks Jericho to start and clotheslines him to the floor, then follows with a dive after head-faking him. Back in, Jericho punts him right in the bubblies, and adds the chops in the corner before following with a clothesline to the back of the head in the other corner. Allin fights back with a Code Red for two, but Jericho puts him down with a clothesline and then hurls him out of the ring via the ringpost as we take a break. Back with Jericho beating on Darby with a kendo stick, but he goes to the top and Allin hits him on way down and gets a crucifix for two. Allin beats on him with the stick and gets a rollup for two, into an armbar attempt, but Jericho takes him down into the Walls and Darby makes the ropes. The ref calls for the break, despite the street fight, and Allin goes up with a flying bodypress for two. Jericho with the codebreaker for two and he grabs a chair and wears him out with that, but Darby fights him off with a stunner for two. Jericho takes him down with the Walls again and really cranks on it, but Allin gets to the ropes again and the ref calls for the break again. Crowd: “It’s a street fight!” They make a good point. So Jericho finds a roll of tape from under the ring and hogties Allin, and the poor guy bumps all over the ring with his hands behind his back. Jericho pounds away in the corner, but Allin manages a no-handed moonsault press for two. Jericho bails and Allin gives him the dive with no hands. Well, he’s no Orange Cassidy. Back in, Allin goes up and hits a senton for two, still with his hands behind his back. Jericho finally just clubs him down and grabs the skateboard, then powerbombs Allin onto it for two. Tony: “That kid hasn’t had enough! Give him more!” So Jericho grabs the chair again, but Allin dropkicks it in his face and goes up one more time, at which point Jake Hager runs in and knocks him off, and the Walls finish at 15:41 to retain. And then the Inner Circle comes out with a LITTLE BIT OF THE BUBBLY to celebrate beating a 22 year old kid with no hands because Jericho is a dick and our hero. This was quite the deal and probably the damnedest thing I’ll see all week. ***3/4

This was fixing to be the weakest episode around the time of the Jurassic Midgets, but DAMN did the main events turn the show around and made into a strong thumbs up this week.

And now, BONUS COVERAGE. Since I don’t really want to do the entire AEW Dark episode but everyone wants the one match, I figured I’d add it on as a reward for having to wait until this morning for this review…

Non-sanctioned lights out match: Kenny Omega v. Joey Janela

Oddly, although the TNT broadcast of Dynamite is in full 60 FPS and looks amazing, this is shot in a much lower resolution at 24 FPS, and looks like Smackdown on FOX. That’s not a good thing. The idea is that Kenny is trying to find his hardcore side to prepare for Jon Moxley, and he immediately stomps Janela down in the corner and adds the chops. Joey fires back with his own chops and puts him on the floor with a rana and then follows with a dive. Chairs get brought in early and he finds a ladder for some reason, but Omega comes back while Janela tries to stack up the chairs. So Joey just throws a chair at his face. Because why not. Omega bulldogs Joey on the chairs and tosses him for the dive, but he hits his knee on the railing on the way down. So Kenny shakes it off and runs Janela into the stairs, and we get the first table of the match. Back in the ring, Kenny goes up with a missile dropkick to the back for two. You Can’t Escape the moonsault for two. Janela proves you also can’t escape chairshots to the back, but Omega gets the dragon suplex and then takes Joey to the apron and wants it out there. Joey escapes, but Omega gets it on a second try and Janela is DED. Crazy. Kenny tries a One Winged Angel off the stairs, but Janela desperately escapes that and suplexes Kenny off there and down to the floor.

Janela sets up a table bridge onto the stairs and they head back in, where Janela whips him into a ladder to hurt the arm. Omega gets his own whip into the ladder and then Janela suplexes him onto the ladder for two. They slug it out with forearms and Kenny adds the knee strike, but Joey keeps coming at him and counters a V-Trigger with a lariat into a brainbuster for two. They fight to the top rope and tumble back to the mat, then Janela tries a legsweep onto his table bridge and Omega fights him off. At this point JR concedes that some might call this “bowling shoe ugly” but it’s still physical. We’re certainly into a long dead zone for the match, that’s for sure. Janela sets up a table in the ring and puts Kenny on it, then goes on top of the ladder and does his Eddie Guerrero frog splash off it. Which misses, of course. Omega powerbombs him into the turnbuckle and that gets two. V-Trigger sets up the One Winged Angel, but Janela escapes that again, so Omega pulls out a Moxley rebound lariat and a Dirty Deeds for two. Cheeky. Another is escaped by Janela and he tosses Kenny over the top and then through the table bridge, which was needlessly stupid because the table was legs-up. “You killed Kenny!” notes Boston. Back in, Janela with a double foot stomp off the top for two. Janela wedges a chair into the corner, and they slug it out, but Janela sits him down in a chair and pump kicks him into the corner. Four chairs get set up in rows in the corner and they fight over a superplex, and of course Janela gets slammed spine-first onto the upright chairs. How do you even take that bump? Janela stupidly leans up against the chair in the corner, and Kenny V-Triggers him into it, and finishes with a One Winged Angel onto another chair at 26:32. I dunno, man. This was just uncomfortable at times with the sick bumps onto the chairs for no reason. Also, way too long because they could have easily chopped out the middle 10 minutes and had just as good of a match. Many times “leave them wanting more” is the best way to go. Call it ***1/2 but not an overwhelming recommendation or anything.