The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 12.18.19
Live from Deepinthehearta, TX
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
The Lucha Brothers v. Kenny Omega & Hangman Page
Kenny goes for the arm on Fenix, but he flips out of it and they trade reversals until Kenny dropkicks the knee. Omega hits the crusher and goes for the One Winged Angel, but Fenix escapes and brings Pentagon in. Over to Page, and of course Texas appreciates some cowboy shit. Pentagon gives him the mindgames and offers a free shot, so Page takes off his imaginary glove and throws some chops. Pentagon keeps giving attitude, so Page boots him down and Omega comes in for some double chops from the faces. This finally prompts Page to accept Kenny’s high five from last week, and Kenny puts them on the floor and follows with the Terminator dive. Back in, Page works on Penta, but gets sent to the apron and tripped up, and the Lucha Bros double-team him to take over. Page comes out of the corner with a lariat and makes a hot tag to Kenny, who runs wild with double axehandles, but misses the moonsault on Pentagon. Fenix puts him on the floor and this him with a tope suicida into the railing, and back in Pentagon gets two. Fenix springs off the ropes with a spinkick, but Kenny hits him with a powerbomb and knee strike, but Pentagon cuts off the tag and chokes Kenny out in the corner. Kenny finally flips out of the corner and makes the hot tag to Hangman, who hits Pentagon with a dive and then follows with one onto Fenix. Page dropkicks Pentagon and moonsaults off him onto Fenix for two. Fenix with an X-Factor for two and Pentagon drops Fenix onto Page for two. Penta goes up and Page brings him down with a fallaway slam, and it’s back to Omega. Page helps out with a lariat on Fenix, and Kenny hits Penta with a powerbomb for two. Pentagon with a sling blade on Kenny, but Page hits him with the lariat, and then Kenny hits Fenix with the snapdragon. Omega escapes the package piledriver, but Hangman accidentally hits him with a lariat and the Luchas finish him with the package piledriver at 17:51. Dammit, Hangman! This was a pretty great opener with all kinds of hard-hitting stiff shots and just “good wrestling” in the words of the announcers. **** Page and Omega get into a shoving match over this, but Pac interrupts from backstage, still looking for a rematch, and finds Michael Nakazawa in his dressing room, which probably won’t end well. So Kenny heads back to save, but the Luchas cut him off and attack him and they kind of wander around for the rest of the PIP commercial break.
Cody Rhodes & Darby Allin v. THE BUTCHER! AND THE BLADE! AND THE BUNNY!
If they’re putting “@braxtonsutter” in the graphic for the Blade, why not just call him Braxton “The Blade” Sutter? It’s weird, like a half-kayfabe thing. Darby starts with the Butcher and gets thrown around, but he comes back against Blade and puts him on the floor with armdrags. Over to Cody, who slugs away on Butcher while JR manages to confuse the heels despite, in his own words, “Blade having his name written right on his ass.” Cody gets low-bridged to the floor for the heat and they double-team him in the corner as we take a break. Back with Butcher working the arm and cutting off the ring, but Cody tosses the Blade and it’s hot tag Allin. Darby with a Code Red on Blade, but Butcher gets the blind tag and hits Allin with a backbreaker to set up a cloverleaf. Blade takes Cody while Butcher powerbombs Allin, but Darby reverses out and into the stunner. Back to Cody for Crossroads, but Bunny takes the ref. So Cody tosses the heels and teams up with Allin for stereo dives, although Darby nearly kills himself on a botched dive. Back in, Cody hits the Butcher with the disaster kick while Allin hits a coffin drop on Butcher outside. Cody finishes the Blade with a Cody Cutter at 10:23. Nowhere near as good as last week, as they didn’t really click in the same way and it was just kind of a normal TV match without much heat. Who would have thought that QT Marshall would upstage Darby Allin? **1/4
Awesome Kong v. Enhancement person
Kong wins with a spinning backfist and powerbomb at 0:30.
Meanwhile, Jim Ross sits down with Jungle Boy for a quick interview before…
10 minute challenge: Chris Jericho v. Jungle Boy
Jungle Boy with the rollup for two and he springboards into the armdrag, but Jericho quickly takes him down for the Walls and Jungle reverses into a rana for two. Jericho drops him on the top rope and follows with a codebreaker. Another one gets two, but Jericho picks him up and tosses him for some abuse from Jake Hager. Marko Stunt tries to help and gets CLOBBERED, so Gurl Hebner kicks all the seconds out of the match. Back in the ring, Jungle Boy gets a cradle for two, but Jericho lays him out with a kick to the ribs and goes to work on him again. JB charges and lands on the apron, but Jericho misses his springboard dropkick and JB follows with three dives to make the comeback. Back in, a diving DDT from the middle rope gets two. Backstabber gets two. Jericho hits him with a back elbow, but misses a Lionsault, and Jungle Boy hits his own for two. And then Jericho turns him inside out with a clothesline, which gets two for Jericho. LE CHAMPION chokes him out with time running out, but JB fights back, so Jericho powerbombs him into the Walls with 1:00 left. Jericho drags him away from the ropes and sits down on it with 30 seconds left, and time runs out at 10:00. So Jericho freaks out and demands another 5:00 to finish him off, apparently a fan of Memphis, I see. He slaps Jungle Boy around and tosses him over the top, but JB skins the cat and pops into the rana for two. Crucifix gets two. And finally, Jericho has had enough and grabs his belt to end the match. This was exactly what it needed to be. ***
Tony Schiavone goes for the followup interview with Jericho, and Jericho denies ever agreeing to the match and then moves onto Moxley while explaining the definition of “mansion” to Texas (in English and Spanish). Jericho offers Moxley a huge surprise on New Year’s if he accepts the offer to join the Inner Circle and even slips in a reference to Stampede with “In the meantime and in between time”. Felt like he blew off Jungle Boy pretty quickly after the match, but they’ve got a lot of time until the next PPV anyway.
Meanwhile, SCU has an interview interrupted by the Lucha Brothers, but Chris Daniels gets spooked and walks off.
Kris Statlander v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD
Winner gets a shot at Riho on January 1. Statlander cartwheels around her to start and, uh, boops her nose on a takedown attempt, which is apparently how her alien species communicates. Britt tries for the Lockjaw but Statlander reverses to a rollup for two, and Baker gets a crucifix for two. Britt with a neckbreaker and she goes to a neck vice as we take a break. Back with Britt trying for the Lockjaw again, but Statlander hits her with a running knee on the apron and follows with a missile dropkick for two. Baker rolls her up for two, but Statelander gets a cradle for one. Britt comes back with a sling blade for two, but Statlander gives her a lariat while the Dark Order has apparently bought promo time during the match. They fight to the top and Statlander brings him down with a superplex and then follows with a Michinoku Driver. They slug it out and Baker gets a neckbreaker and counters a lariat into the Lockjaw. Statlander powers her up to escape and hurks her into the cradle tombstone for the pin at 9:11. Statlander’s got something and Baker looked green and awkward as ever, but it worked overall. *** This brings out Brandi Rhodes, who just wants to know if Kris is with them or against them. Apparently the answer is no, so Brandi uses the HIGH HEEL OF DOOM and leaves with her team. They’ve gotta get Brandi off TV. This storyline is death.
Meanwhile, Shawn Spears sees money in the tag team division, so Tully promises that they’ll find someone for him.
AEW World tag team title: SCU v. The Young Bucks
SCU quickly double-teams Nick, but Matt tags in and dropkicks both SCU and then sends Sky out of the ring. Matt with the buckle bomb into Nick’s enzuigiri, but Kazarian comes back with the backstabber on Matt while Sky takes out Nick on the floor. Back in the ring, Nick comes in and throws kicks on both guys and bulldogs Sky into the clothesline on Kaz, and then does the amazing springboard rana on Sky as Matt flies in with the Macho Elbow for two. SCU bails to regroup and Nick hits them with the corkscrew dive as we take a break. Back with Kazarian making a comeback and clotheslining both Bucks to the floor. Sky follows with a tope con hilo, and back in for a tornado DDT from Kaz that gets two. Sky with the TKO, but Matt escapes from it and gets the spear to set up the hot tag to Nick. Sky catches him coming in with the cutter and into the dragon sleeper, and then Kaz does the same thing on Matt. But Matt powers Kaz out of the move and throws him onto Sky to break it up. Matt and Kaz slug it out, but Matt flips him into tombstone position. Sky manages to get a tag from there and Kaz DDTs Nick on the apron, but Matt cradles Sky for two. Sky comes back with a TKO on Matt and they finish with SCU Later at 10:20. Huh. I was really hoping for the title change here as the big finish. Match was worked at a million miles per hour as expected, and it was, as the kids say, a banger. Although the finish felt a bit abrupt and seemed to take the wind out of the fans. ****1/4 And then the Dark Order (complete with new members Alex Reynolds and John Silver from last week) hit the ring and attack everyone, with Cody, Dustin and Omega all trying to save and getting overwhelmed. That was a pretty flat way to end the show, as I’ve been intrigued by the Dark Order vignettes but I still don’t buy them as any kind of particular threat. Was anyone else waiting for Daniels to reveal himself as one of the new leaders of the Dark Order, though? Just me?
Still, this was a super-fun show that BLAZED by, although the Trump impeachment circus will probably lead to both shows getting destroyed in the ratings.