The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 12.04.19
Hey, I put up a poll on Thursday night and AEW won fair and square. You could have had NXT but BLAME YOURSELVES. I don’t owe you people an explanation!
Live from LE CHAMPAIGN, IL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
The Young Bucks & Dustin Rhodes v. Santana & Ortiz & Sammy Guevara
I love that Sammy’s graphic lists “Nickname given to him by Father Figure Chris Jericho”. Meanwhile P&P’s graphic is “Loaded sock is their weapon of choice.” Oddly, the graphic doesn’t say “Proud & Powerful” so I wonder if they’re backing off on that name? The Bucks triple team Sammy to start and the Bucks put Santana and Ortiz on the floor with double superkicks, and then it’s a SUPERKICK PARTY for Sammy, leading to Matt hitting the Inner Circle with a dive outside. What’s with the sound here again this week? The announcers are mixed really high and the crowd is really low. Last week the ring mic was all messed up. Time to get some better production guys. Back in the ring, Matt does an amazing double rolling northern lights on the heels, but tries it on all three and his back gives out. LAX double-teams Matt with a cannonball into a top rope senton from Sammy for two, and Matt is your Buck-in-peril. Santana with the delayed suplex and they do the gag where they pass Matt back and forth, but then Sammy of course fucks it up and Matt escapes with a superkick. Dustin comes in and cleans house for a bit, snapping off powerslams on LAX, but then he stops to catch his breath and suckers Sammy in for another powerslam. That’s a great spot. Dustin goes up with a crossbody on all three heels and follows with a Canadian Destroyer on Sammy for two. He goes for Shattered Nuts, but Ortiz ironically hits him in the grapefruits with the loaded sock behind the ref’s back, and Sammy follows with a 630 for two. Sammy misses a blind charge and Dustin makes the hot tag to Nick, who hits Sammy with a bulldog. Matt dives in with a spear out of nowhere, and the Bucks hit the combo springboard splash and moonsault for two. Ortiz bails to the floor and Nick tries a dive, but lands on his feet. And then Santana takes him out with his own dive, leaving Matt alone in the ring. LAX does a double powerbomb while Sammy dives off with double knees for two, but Dustin saves. Sammy decides now is a great time to vlog while going to the top rope, but the Bucks hit him with a double superkick on the way down. And then Dustin and Matt do stereo tombstones while Nick comes off the top with an assist, while landing on Sammy for the pin at 11:00. I’m constantly impressed how Dustin has reinvented himself again and fits in perfectly. **** And finally a big win for the Bucks!
Trent v. Rey Fenix
Trent puts him down with a shoulderblock, but Fenix pops up with a dropkick and immediately tries for the muscle buster. Trent reverses to the DudeBuster, but Fenix rolls him up for two. Trent throws some chops, but Fenix flips into a legsweep to take him down and gets a low dropkick for two. We take a break and return with Fenix going to the top, but Trent hits him with a kick on the way down. Trent suplexes him to the floor, but Fenix runs him into the barricade, so Trent bounces back with a spear. Back in, Trent gets a tornado DDT out of the corner for two. Fenix with a powerbomb for two and he goes up while Trent is caught in the ropes, and he runs the top rope for a kick to the head. But then Trent fires back with a lariat, and that gets two. They trade chops on the apron and Fenix pops up to the top rope and follows with a double stomp to the head. That takes some incredible coordination. Fenix goes up and takes too long, allowing Trent to get the knees up and come back with a running knee and a piledriver for two. Trent goes to finish, but walks into a cutter and Fenix hits a spinkick in the corner, and into the muscle buster to finish at 12:32. Fenix is a hell of a wrestler and Trent can at least keep up well. ***1/2
Cody Rhodes joins Tony for an interview, and DAMN that scar is nasty. And Tony is right to the point, asking him about MJF to get the focus on that feud. So Cody is feeling a bit alone right now, since his brother is off in a blood feud teaming with the Bucks and his wife is cutting people’s hair. So Cody is aware of who the Butcher and Blade are and even what their former names are (which makes exactly one person) and if they want a match, they can have it whenever they want and even pick his partner. Moving on to MJF, he calls him an “nWo version of Chris Jericho” and even accuses him of having a fake scarf! So he wants a match, and he offers up his truck, his watch and even his shoes! He’s like a country song. All he needs to do is lose his wife and his dog. So Justin Roberts brings in a briefcase of money, so Cody “slips off a hundo” to verify it, and hands it off to some kid at ringside to prove it’s real. Well it’s no Shane McMahon story but I guess that’s pretty cool of him. But despite all the bribery attempts, MJF doesn’t answer. I really wish Cody wouldn’t get sidetracked with the BUTCHER and the BLADE and the CANDLESTICK MAKER and all the other people who aren’t MJF. But I’m assuming they’re gonna have to stretch things out to February and they’ll need something for him in the meantime.
Meanwhile, Joey Janela has nowhere to sleep and thinks a hospital bed would be comfortable, so he’s challenging Moxley again tonight and Jon will have to kill him tonight to win. So Moxley stops in, quips “Kids”, and leaves. Ha!
Meanwhile, some doofus joins the Dark Order for REVENGE, but the fat guy from last week wants FRIENDSHIP and he’s rejected as a result. Let this be a lesson about why Friendship is not the best.
Nyla Rose v. Leva Bates
Rose hits a big boot and hangs Leva on the top rope for a flying knee to the head. Peter Avalon comes in to try and help, but Rose beats on him and then no-sells a devastating book to the head from Leva. Double chokeslam and the powerbomb finishes Bates at 1:32. Still doesn’t feel like Nyla is going anywhere and they already have a better monster in Awesome Kong. Nyla continues the beating but Shanna makes the save and gets destroyed as well. They need to pare down the women’s division in the worst way because they need to get a couple of people over bigger before adding these tertiary characters who have nothing to do.
Chris Jericho joins us, and he’s sold over 10,000 bottles of THE BUBBLY, but he’s being forced to wrestle one more time this year. And he’s got a LIST. But lists are so 2016, so instead he’s got a “Lexicon of Le Champion”, listing all the people he will not be fighting. And much like the armbars of legend, Moxley’s name comes up about a dozen times, amongst such luminaries as “Uncle Buck”, “Kenny Shields”, “Allen Jones” and the fat guy in the fifth row with the popcorn bucket. Kenny Shields in particular is a deep cut for Canadian classic rock fans. So the Jurassic Express interrupts, but Jericho won’t fight dinosaurs or little children either, so they’re out of luck. Luchasaurus points out that he’s got a Masters in history, and dinosaurs have been “marginalized for 65 million years”. I bet Jim Cornette hates dinosaurs, too. Probably makes jokes about how they died from meteors or some shit. So Jericho promises that Jungle Boy can’t last 10 minutes with him, and that prompts a brawl to set up a match two weeks from here. Hopefully Jericho works his magic again and makes a star out of Jungle Boy there, too. They could do worse than ripping of the Lawler-Flair angle from Memphis if it’s a 10 minute challenge, for example.
Kris Statlander v. Hikaru Shida
Apparently Statlander is an actual alien from Andromeda now or some such. They trade some stuff to start and we take a break, returning with Statlander trying an electric chair on the apron before getting kicked to the floor. Shida hits her with a knee strike off the apron. Back in, Shida goes up with a missile dropkick for two. Statlander tries a backbreaker and Shida reverses into an armbar, but they’re too close to the ropes. Statlander comes back with an enzuigiri and a lariat, then follows with the electric chair drop into an ax kick for two. Shida gets a cradle for two and a running knee strike for two, but Statlander comes back with a high kick. Shida gets a high knee, but Statlander gets a powerbomb for two and then finishes with the cradle piledriver at 8:44. ** But before this can mean anything, Kong and Brandi come out. And now they’re ANOTHER heel faction, the “Nightmare Collective”, and they want Statlander as a part of their team. But first, some crazy chick in the front row pledges as this whole thing dies a death. They need to stop with the factions. It’s becoming like when ROH had all the stupid factions and sub-factions like the Age of the Fall and you needed a literal scorecard to keep track.
Christopher Daniels v. Pentagon Jr.
Daniels attacks on the ramp, but is unable to piledrive him out there. Penta superkicks him back to the ring and clotheslines him in to start the match officially. Daniels gets a weak spear and pounds away, but Penta hangs him in the corner and hits the diving stomp as we take a break. Back with Penta beating on him with kicks in the corner, but Daniels counters a springboard into a flatliner. Penta with a sling blade for two as they really seem to be on different pages here. Penta with a backstabber for two, but Daniels rolls him into a lariat and they fight to the apron. Daniels escapes a Destroyer and superkicks Pentagon, but then tries a moonsault and just misses it completely, slipping on the ropes or something and flopping like a fish. Back in, Daniels hits the Angels Wings, but Fenix comes out and takes the ref while the mic stand gets involved. So Daniels grabs that, but Pentagon goes low and finishes with the package piledriver at 10:10. Boy, this went HORRIBLY off the rails for some reason. They just never meshed at all. *1/2
Meanwhile, the BUTCHER and the BLADE and the BUNNY are yet another heel faction. Collect them all! We REALLY do not need another midcard tag team.
Joey Janela v. Jon Moxley
They do some wrestling to start and Janela gets a clothesline before they trade chops and Moxley gives him a corner clothesline. To the ramp, where Joey hits him with a double axehandle, but Mox puts him down with the lariat. Back in, Moxley drops an elbow for two and surfboards him before taking him down with an STF. Joey bites free and Moxley bails, allowing Joey to follow him out and send him into the railing. Back in, Moxley gets a drop suplex for two and works the count. Back to the ramp as Janela comes back with a tornado DDT out there, and then follows with a tope suicida. Back in, they slug it out and Janela gets a superkick, but Moxley puts him down with a lariat and then Joey hits a german suplex into the turnbuckles and Moxley bails to escape him. So we get a unique camera angle where you only see Moxley looking in terror at Janela, who comes flying in off-frame with a dive and smashes Moxley through a table. Points for artistic merit but I’d rather see the dive. They fight back to the top and Moxley drops him on the top turnbuckle and finishes with the Paradigm Shift at 9:28. This was about what was expected. ***1/4 And then Jericho and the Inner Circle come out of the crowd and pose to continue setting up their program as we’re out.
I really loved the opener, but there’s definitely signs of concern with all the meandering heel factions and sub-feuds. This was another fairly weak episode, but hopefully they get some focus back after the Christmas break.