The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.20.19
Live from Indianapolis, IN
Your hosts are Tony, JR & Excalibur
Nick Jackson v. Rey Fenix
It’s the rare singles match for the Young Bucks! Will he even know what to do without someone to tag? Nick puts him down with a shoulderblock but walks into a dropkick, then flips off the apron to avoid a 619. And then they trade some gymnastics on the floor and both guys try a dropkick on the way into the ring for the stalemate. Fenix hits him with a handspring into a headbutt, then does an amazing series of flips into an armdrag takedown that sends Nick to the floor. Nick responds with a spinkick to send Fenix to the floor, but he follows with a dive and misses, allowing Fenix to give him a cutter on the floor. Back in, Fenix with a swanton bomb for two. Nick fires back with high knee strikes in the corner, into a bulldog for two. As the announcers point out, he was looking to the corner for the tag and misses his chance to capitalize. Man, I was just joking about that, and they’re actually working it into the match! They head up and Nick snaps off a springboard rana from there, for two. They trade rollups and exchange kicks, but Fenix wins the SUPERKICK BATTLE and both guys are out. They head to the apron and Fenix walks the ropes into a rana that puts Nick on the floor, but Nick comes back with more kicks on the way in. And then Fenix just rolls into a cutter out of nowhere and gets two. Fenix is just an amazing pro wrestler. They fight to the apron and exchange kicks, and this time Nick deadlifts him with a german suplex on the apron, which I’ve heard is the hardest part of the ring. Back in, Nick slingshots into an X-Factor and then follows with a Canadian Destroyer for two. And into the Sharpshooter, but he can’t sink it in and Fenix makes the ropes. Fenix tries to springboard into something, but Nick catches him and rolls him up for two. Fenix escapes and superkicks Nick into a Muscle Buster for the pin at 11:58. An absolutely incredible opening match, although again, I wish the Elite would stop doing so many jobs! ****1/2 And then Nick offers the handshake of respect, but Fenix blows him off and leaves.
Dr. Britt Baker, DMD v. Hikaru Shida
They trade armdrags to start and Britt takes her down and goes for the Lockjaw early, but Shida rolls out of it. And we take a break for the PIP with the doctor in control, and a suplex gets two. Britt seems to have busted her nose open at some point here. Shida puts her on the top turnbuckle and follows with a running knee and they fight to the floor, where Shida finds a chair and launches off with a high knee. Back to the apron and Britt fights off a superplex and yanks Shida down by the arm, then makes the comeback with a sling blade for two. They fight to the apron and Britt brings her in with a draping DDT for two. Britt is clearly having trouble breathing due to the nose here, as the announcers also point out. Shida gets a high knee and they slug it out, but Shida gets a backbreaker for two. Shida with another knee for two, but Britt rolls into the LOCKJAW and Shida desperately makes the ropes. Britt follows with the neckbreaker for two, but Shida pokes the eyes and gets two. Falcon Arrow gets two. Shida with a running knee strike to finish at 9:54. Baker was all kinds of off her game here due to the nose injury, but they tried hard. **1/2
Meanwhile, the Dark Order have started recruiting via motivational videos. Finally we’re getting a backstory!
Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale: Hangman Page, Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Kip Sabian, Jimmy Havoc, Jungle Boy, Marko Stunt, Pentagon, Sonny Kiss, Joey Janela, MJF and Billy Gunn
I wasn’t aware he was still allowed to be Billy Gunn. Pentagon gets faked out by a fake Fenix who turns out to be Christopher Daniels, and Chucky tosses him right away. Sonny Kiss stops to twerk at Gunn, who of course loves asses, but MJF tosses Kiss and then everyone dogpiles Gunn. He throws them off like the Incredible Hulk and tosses Stunt and Havoc, but Jimmy brings a staple gun into the ring and gets his revenge on everyone left. Some people say living well is the best revenge, and some just use a staple gun. We take a break and return with Janela eliminated via Shawn Spears, and we get the KIP FIGHT in the corner between Gunn and Sabian. Gunn slugs away on everyone until Orange Cassidy can take no more and unleashes the vicious kicks on Gunn. Which are broken up by MJF, who tosses him out. Gunn points out that it’s TWICE now that he’s messed with Gunn’s deal, and a fameasser follows. Billy throws him out, but MJF hangs on until Wardlow comes out for the distraction and Hangman tosses Billy out. Chucky fights off three other guys but he goes to the apron and Sabian kicks him to the floor. Jungle Boy takes Sabian out with a rana off the apron, which leaves Jungle and Hangman, but MJF was still around and he pulls Jungle Boy out for the win at 9:52 to give us MJF v. Page for the ring next week. I wasn’t really down with Billy Gunn being booked like a combination of Hulk Hogan and Superman here, but to be fair he looked like a goddamned giant next to all the smaller guys in AEW and he was a big star 20 years ago.
LE CHAMPION joins us and he’s got a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT. Although he’s very apologetic about last week’s tantrum, he has trouble getting out the word “sorry”, so Hager says it on his behalf. The big announcement is that there’s a celebration on his behalf next week on Dynamite, in Chicago, where they have a hockey team and TWO baseball teams. It’s gonna be great! There’s gonna be clowns and maybe an aquarium, he doesn’t even know. He bids us all adieu, but SCU interrupts and damn, Scorpio Sky’s DMs are blowing up! His high school crush Melanie Parsons called him and now they’re going out next week! Jericho tries for the burn with “I’ve seen Melanie and she’s gained a lot of weight since high school”, but Scorpio likes big butts, so that’s OK. Chris thinks it’s “cuter than Baby Yoda” that Sky thinks he won fair and square. That’s bullshit, nothing is cuter than Baby Yoda. So Jericho freaks out and wants a match with Sky sometime, but Daniels is all “We need one or two months to prepare” and Jericho flips out and demands the match NEXT WEEK just to screw with him. And then SCU tries to make sure it’s not for the title, because that’s too much to handle, so Jericho DEMANDS that it’s a title match, just to screw with him. So now Scorpio is stuck with a title match next week thanks to some reverse psychology, at which point SCU reveals that they’ve played LE CHAMPION and the brawl is on. SCU gets beat down by the Inner Circle, but the Jurassic Express comes out one by one to save and we get a Luchasaurus v. Jake Hager staredown that threatens to blow the roof off the place until Hager walks away from it. Whatever they’re paying, they should probably triple it because this was another classic segment anchored by LE CHAMPION’s brilliance.
Luchasaurus v. Peter Avalon
Avalon talks some shit, and it’s tail whip, flapjack, goodbye at 0:30.
Private Party v. Proud & Powerful
Santana takes Kassidy down for some trashtalk and we take a break right away and return with Quen getting double-teamed by LAX. Santana with a legsweep off the middle rope into a DDT from Ortiz, and Santana adds a german suplex for two. Santana gets a backbreaker and follows with a very delayed suplex, where he actually passes Quen off to Ortiz in a spot I’ve never seen before. And then Ortiz tags out and passes Quen back to Santana again! Back to Ortiz, who finally brings him down with a falcon arrow for two. Ortiz strips off the tails in a punk move and puts Quen in a Boston crab, which leads to Santana joining in with a camel clutch at the same time. And we take another break in the PIP this time, as P&P get a Demolition legdrop in the corner and Ortiz gets a northern lights suplex for two. Back to the corner with a bearhug on Quen, but he rolls out of it and makes the hot tag to Kassidy. Rana for Ortiz and he runs wild with kicks on both guys and hits Santana with a quebrada, then springboards in with a Code Red on Ortiz for two, as I think Santana was supposed to pull out the ref or something and they missed their cue. That looked bad and then it kind of falls apart as everyone tries to figure out where to go next. Quen’s back is injured outside, so P&P double-team Kassidy in their corner and Ortiz gets a cutter for two. Santana retrieves the SOCK OF DOOM, but Nick Jackson runs in and steals it, allowing them to hit the Gin and Juice on Santana for the pin at 15:12. Sammy Guevara comes out for the attack on Nick (while vlogging) but Dustin Rhodes makes the save and chases them off. Match was OK but the ref botch was really bad and really threw off the match. ***
Meanwhile, Kenny Omega is working out and trying to figure out the root of his problems, and he’s pretty sure that losing to Pac at All Out started his issues. So next week, his path to redemption begins. But first, he DOUBLES THE WEIGHT on his bench attempt. But just on the one side. Holy shit, I think there might be 10 or even 15 pounds on there!
Darby Allin v. Jon Moxley
They brawl before the bell and Allin immediately goes up to the top once the get in the ring, but he just bounces off Moxley and then Jon dropkicks him into the corner. Moxley hurls him around the ring and we take a PIP break while he stomps on Allin in the corner. A spinning backbreaker gets two. Allin fights back and gets put down with a knee, and Moxley puts him in the cloverleaf as we return. He turns that into an STF, but Darby makes the ropes and fights back with an elbow out of the corner. Allin tries a bodypress and they collide on the ropes and tumble to the floor, where Allin sends him into the stairs. They fight on the apron and Darby dropkicks him to the floor with the crowd split for both guys. They fight to the top and Allin steps on his fingers, but Moxley slams him down to the mat and then follows with a drop suplex. Back to the floor, but Allin barrels into him with a somersault tope and then brings a personalized Moxley body bag into the ring. So Moxley kills him dead with a lariat and stuffs him into the body bag, then stomps the crap out of him. And the crowd actually boos the ref letting him out of the bag! Allin manages to fight back with a stunner, but walks into a spinning slam from Moxley. Paradigm Shift is reversed into a rollup for two, however. Code Red gets two. Allin goes up with the Coffin Drop, but lands in a rear naked choke, and then rolls over for two. Back to the top as Allin keeps going to the fingers, but Moxley bites the face and then MURDERS him with a Paradigm Shift DDT off the top for the pin at 11:20. This was a hell of a fight in the main event and made both guys look like stars. ****
Although fun show, although the battle royale didn’t do much for me (film at 11, I know) and the Private Party match ended up kind of a mess. But the Jericho segment is again an instant classic, and next week should be HUGE. Bigger than Billy Gunn! And that’s big.