The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 01.01.20
Hey, I spent New Year’s Day finally playing Far Cry 4 on the PS4 for the first time, which is a fun game so far but I can’t aim for shit on a console. That’s probably why I prefer the Rockstar auto-aim system. Anyway, I paid $10 for it, and it’s worth it so far.
To keep things fair, I’ll do NXT on Friday night when it goes live on the Network, to see if doing a current rant provides better results. To be honest, the revenue on the blog goes in the toilet every January when ad rates reset for the year, so now’s the time to experiment.
Live from Jacksonville, FL, and they’re back in the same building as Fight for the Fallen, which looks awesome.
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tazz & Excalibur
Cody Rhodes v. Darby Allin
Arn Anderson is of course now enforcing on behalf of Cody, which I’m sure won’t go south for the Rhodes family in the least. Cody elbows him down for one and starts on the wristlock, but Darby reverses into a rollup for one and they trade pinfall attempts off that. Cody stops for some advice from head coach Arn Anderson. That advice? “If you need to buy some time, complain about having your hair pulled. Works every time!” Cody blocks a springboard and tosses Allin, but Darby trips him up on the apron, which Tazz reminds us is THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Back in, Allin with a springboard elbow and he follows with a shoulderblock to the floor and runs Cody’s shoulder into the post to take over. Cody fights him off with a disaster kick on the apron, but Darby yanks on the arm again and goes to work on it in the ring. Cody suddenly takes him down with a figure-four, but Darby escapes that and dropkicks Cody shoulder-first into the corner for two. Darby with the Fujiwara armbar, but Cody contorts himself into the ropes, so Allin pulls off a turnbuckle in frustration. Cody tries to throw him out, but Allin lands on the ramp and flies back in with a bodypress, which Cody rolls through for two. Cody with the powerslam and he comes back with a pump kick and slugs away in the corner. Cody springboards into the Cody Cutter and recovers the arm a bit, and they head up for an inverted superplex that gets two for Cody. And we take a break. Over to PIP, as Cody gets another figure-four and Allin makes the ropes right away. They head to the ramp and Cody slams him out there, but they fight to the top on the way back in and Allin brings him down with a Code Red for two. And we return from the break with Allin hitting a stunner before going up again, but Cody bails to the ropes to escape. So Allin hits him with the Coffin Drop onto the apron anyway, which is pretty sick. Back in, tries another cutter and gets blocked, but reverses a stunner into Crossroads for two. Cody charges and hits Chekhov’s Turnbuckle, but Darby tries the Coffin Drop and Cody gets the knees up (with some coaching from AA) and then rolls him up for the pin at 17:20. Hell of a way to kick of the new year, with hard work from both and a great story. ****
Meanwhile, SCU has an interview interrupted by Sammy Guevara, who accuses Chris Daniels of not having it anymore, so Daniels offers him a chance to prove it next week and then smooshes his brand new phone.
AEW Women’s title: Riho v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Nyla Rose v. Shida
I’m a little confused because I thought Kris Statlander was the #1 contender and was supposed to be getting the title shot here. Like, Britt and Shida both lost leading up to this. Nyla attacks everyone to start, but Shida knees her down and hits a Shining Wizard for two. Riho cleans house for a bit, but Nyla pulls Shida out and starts setting up tables at ringside. Nyla brawls with Shida out there and Riho hits them both with a dive and we take a break. Back with Shida escaping a piledriver attempt from Nyla, but Nyla dumps her on the top rope and clears her out with a guilloline. She follows with a senton off the apron to put Shida through the table from earlier, but Riho double-stomps Rose on the apron and Baker brings Nyla into the ring with a draping DDT for two. She tries for the LOCKJAW, but Nyla powerbombs out of it for two. Riho comes back in with another double stomp on Rose for two, but Baker breaks it up and gets the neckbreaker on Riho for two. Shida recovers from the outside and comes back on the other three, suplexing Riho into Nyla and hitting a backbreaker on Britt for two. Rose lays everyone out again and goes up for a swanton, but that misses and Riho hits double knees for two. Shida then hits a pretty incredible Michinoku Driver on Rose for two, which was pretty clearly three. Baker with the legsweep into Lockjaw on Shida, but she reverses for two, and then Riho rolls up Baker for the pin at 10:52 to retain. Everything after the break was pretty incredibly paced and Shida in particular looked like a star. **** Nyla Rose lays out Riho again after the match in the name of sportsmanship and splashes her through a table, so I guess THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE. And then we clarify that NEXT week is the title defense against Statlander, which should probably be the title change thanks to the damage done by Nyla.
Meanwhile, Joey Janela has his promo interrupted by a sudden low blow from Penelope Ford. I hate it when that happens.
The Following Message Has Been Paid For By The Dark Order: Evil Uno recaps last week’s show-closing disaster.
Trent v. Jon Moxley
Mammoth reaction for Orange Cassidy here, which makes sense given how they love citrus fruits in Florida. Mox works a headlock, but Trent fires away with chops and hits a running double knee to take over. Moxley sends him to the ramp with a forearm and then follows with a suplex onto the top rope, and we take a break. Back with Moxley beating on him outside and sending him into the railing, but Trent fires back with a spear on the floor and they head back in to slug it out. Trent with the half suplex and Mox bails to escape, so Trent hits him with a dive and follows with a tornado DDT back in the ring for two. They trade near-falls and Trent gets a lariat for two, but now Orange Cassidy freshly squeezes himself into the match and offers a vicious hands in pockets taunt. Moxley gets all flummoxed and Trent hits him from behind with a knee strike and a piledriver for two. They head to the apron and Trent tries a dive, but Mox catches him with the DDT on the ramp, and back in for the Paradigm Shift to finish at 11:00. Another super hot match, all action start to finish. ***1/2
Afterwards, Sammy Guevara heads down to celebrate 2020 with Moxley, and LE CHAMPION makes another sales pitch from the Khan-Tron. This time, Jericho is offering 49% of Inner Circle LLC, AND a new Ford GT just for Moxley! With registration and insurance! It’s a pretty sweet car, I’d take the deal if I was him. Plus Jericho wants to pull Cody’s stupid pink tie out of his ass, tie up the Young Bucks in a bow, and then make Kenny Omega “look as stupid as everyone who lives in Jacksonville”. That’s pretty stupid. If Jericho was throwing in a mystery box, that’d be an unbeatable deal. So Moxley promises to give his answer, next week (Crowd: BOOOOOO!) when he can do so in person. It’s called building suspense, Jacksonville!
Dustin Rhodes v. Sammy Guevara
We went to a bar tonight for Wednesday Wings, and the bartender was wearing a pretty sweet Goldust shirt. There you go, another slice of my thrilling life shared. Dustin attacks while Sammy is filming himself and beats him around the ring before clotheslining him to the floor. He follows with a somersault off the apron, and back in for an appearance from Jake Hager to distract Dustin and allow Sammy to attack from behind. Dustin fights him off with a powerslam on the floor, but he gets all distracted by Hager again and Sammy hits a baseball slide and we take a break. Come on, do we need a break in EVERY match? Back with Sammy holding a chinlock, but Dustin escapes with a rollup for two. Sammy kicks him down for two, but goes up and misses a shooting star, allowing Dustin to make the comeback. Dustin with clotheslines and the atomic drop sets up a spinebuster for two. Sammy comes back with the enzuigiri and a standing shooting star for two. They fight to the apron and Dustin hits a Canadian Destroyer on the APRON, but then goes after Hager again instead of covering and backdrops Sammy onto him. Back in, he sets up for the Shattered Nuts, but the ref (literally) cock blocks him. And then Hager runs in behind the ref’s back, hits a low blow, and Sammy gets the pin at 11:30. Kind of a shit finish but it certainly fits the character of the heels. Dustin Rhodes is like some kind of amazing fountain of youth, though. ***
Meanwhile, Private Party have their private party interrupted by Hangman Page, who just walks behind the bar like he owns the place. PARTY FOUL. Especially his flowery cowboy shirt. So Adam offers to kick both their asses if they don’t like it.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman joins us to discuss the Cody situation, and offers a match at Revolution, but only if Cody refrains from touching him before then. Also, he must first face Wardlow in a cage match, and then Cody shall receive ten lashes from MJF’s belt to finally earn the match with MJF. I was hoping for something a little more epic from MJF here, but he’s still an incredible promo.
The Lucha Bros & Pac v. Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks
Kenny catches the glove from Pentagon and gives him a GLOVE SLAP, BABY GLOVE SLAP to start, and they trade chops off that, but Pac hits Kenny with a cheapshot from the apron. Omega manages to dropkick both Luchas at the same time and tries the One Winged Angel on Fenix, but can’t finish. Over to Nick, who rolls into a sunset flip on Fenix for two and dropkicks him to the floor. But Fenix comes back with his own rolling dropkick to put Nick on the floor, and the Bucks double-team him out there. Back in, they trade high kicks for the double down, but both pop up at the same time and we take a break. Back with Pac hitting a flying dive onto Omega outside, but Omega fights them off and gets a hot tag to Nick. Nick with a bulldog on Pac and Matt comes in with a rolling Canadian Destroyer, and then the Bucks team up with stereo Destroyers from the apron on the Luchas. Back to Omega, who offers Pac a free shot at his chin and they slug it out with forearms. They trade german suplexes and Kenny powerbombs him for two, but Penta saves. Penta takes out both Bucks with sling blades and a backstabber on Omega, but Kenny escapes the package piledriver and the Bucks regroup with double superkicks on Pentagon to put him on the floor. Fenix hits Omega with a cutter, however, and Pac goes up with the Black Arrow for two as the Bucks dive in to save at the last second. Pac with the Brutalizer on Omega while the Luchas tackle the Bucks, but Matt fights them off and saves. Fenix springboards in with a kick, but Kenny hits him with a high kick in mid-air and the One Winged Angel finishes at 12:51. And the Elite celebrates to end the show while Hangman Page hangs back and enjoys his stolen drink instead. Nutso main event. ****1/4
Now THIS is more like it after the mis-step of the last show. Just non-stop action (except for all the ad breaks) start to finish and a minimum of the Dark Order, plus stuff set up for next week.