The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 03.25.20
Live from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Cody Rhodes & Kenny Omega. Thankfully Jim Ross is staying home, it seems like.
Cody Rhodes v. Jimmy Havoc
No wrestlers at ringside this week, but they are backstage and clearly engaged in illegal gambling. Havoc works a headlock and gets a rolling cradle for one, then takes Cody down with an armdrag and goes to work on the arm. Cody with a sunset flip out of the corner for two, but Jimmy reverses to his own for two. Havoc chokes away in the corner and slugs Cody down, but he walks into the Cody Cutter. Cody gets the figure-four, but Havoc counters by pulling on Cody’s ear and raking the face. That’s the exact opposite of social distancing.
They brawl to the floor and fight up the ramp, where Havoc keeps violating Cody’s personal face space by pulling on his tongue. Back in the ring, Havoc armdrags Cody into the turnbuckles and then follows with a suplex into them. Havoc keeps stomping the arm as Tony is mystified as to who is cheering for who in the back, but then concludes it’s probably just based on who they have money on. Back to the ramp and Cody suplexes him onto the top rope and then charges out of the tunnel with a lariat back into the ring. Drop suplex and he throws Brandi the belt because she’s the only person in the crowd tonight, but he tries another Cody Cutter and lands in an armbar. He makes the ropes to break and tries the Cross Roads, but Havoc takes him down for another armbar and some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION. Cody makes the ropes again to break. Havoc with a nice ripcord lariat for two, but he goes up and gets crotched by Cody, who brings him down with a reverse superplex and the Cross Roads times two to finish at 10:38. Entertaining match with hard work from both guys. ***
Meanwhile, Jake Roberts pops up on the Khan-Tron and has words on behalf of Lance Archer, apparently bitter because Cody and the Elite were putting together AEW and no one called him! Or Lance.
Back from the break, Cody “doesn’t want to be a whiny ass babyface”, but promises that Lance Archer can debut on next week’s Dynamite, since he has no body of work in the US to speak of and needs to prove himself.
Meanwhile, Darby Allin has met and known some Superbad people and doesn’t think Kip Sabian matches up to them. Plus he burns a table with effigies of the Inner Circle on them. So there’s that.
Kip Sabian v. Darby Allin
Cody points out that Darby might have a bunch in common with a young Sting. I’d say Darby is way better at this stage of his career than Sting was, actually. Darby grabs a headlock while Cody and Tony posit whether Colt Cabana “has a little thing-ski” for Penelope Ford. Well, I mean…who wouldn’t? Kip goes to his own headlock, but Darby escapes with a flying springboard armdrag and Kip bails for some words with Penelope. Darby charges and hits the railing, and we take a break. Back with Sabian working the back for two before tossing Darby to the floor again for a cheapshot from Penelope. Back in, Sabian misses a blind charge and Allin dropkicks him into the corner, into the Stundog Millionaire for two. Sabian takes him to the corner, however, and wraps him around the post to keep working on the back, but he misses a springboard kick and hits the floor. Darby tries a dive but Sabian puts Ford in the way and then runs away. So Allin follows him to the other side of the ring with the dive while Cody makes Bill Watts references. Sabian uses Ford’s interference again and hits the Time Turner draping neckbreaker for two. Sabian with a GTS, but Allin wraps him up with a leglock cradle for the pin at 10:08. Unfortunately Allin’s act loses a lot without a crowd. **1/2
Jake Hager v. Chico Adams
Hager quickly runs the geek into the post and follows with a Vader Bomb, but he misses a charge and Adams makes a brief comeback before walking into the slam and arm triangle at 1:07. But then Moxley comes out, has words for him, and hits the Paradigm Shift to trigger a brief tussle. After the break, Moxley promises that Hager is getting carted out on a stretcher, or he’ll die trying.
Last week: Brodie Lee debuts as the Exalted One and lays out SCU. And then we get a video package where he makes the Dark Order geeks watch him eat dinner and punishes them for sneezing. That had to be a rib.
Brodie Lee v. QT Marshall
Lee destroys QT with elbows in the corner and rolls him right into a suplex before pounding the neck with elbows. QT slugs back and follows with an enzuigiri, but walks into the Truckstop slam before finishing with the discus lariat at 3:00 after a Sister Abigail tease. The gear is still questionable but this was an impressive squash to start him out.
Meanwhile, Vanguard-1 checks in on Nick Jackson at Rancho Cucamonga and estimates him at 61.9% recovery.
AAA Mega Championship: Kenny Omega v. Sammy Guevara
Sammy has a series of posters in chairs at ringside, acting as his fan club and cheering section. Brandi’s graphic this week: “She Mad As Hell”. Sammy takes him down and does a little posing on the mat before going to a facelock. They trade wristlocks and Sammy dropkicks him to the floor before giving us another pose. Back in, Sammy gets a low dropkick while Cody MOCKS Tony’s choice of Sisko as the best Trek captain. (“He was only a COMMANDER! He didn’t get to be captain until they got the Defiant!”) and they trade chops on the floor. Sammy stops for some advice from the Brandi poster and then makes out with it as we thankfully take a break. Back with Sammy continuing to put the moves on the real Brandi, so Kenny hits him with a suplex and tosses him into the stairs. Back in, Kenny goes up with a flying bodypress for two. Sammy comes back with a rollup into an armbar, but Kenny quickly makes the ropes. Sammy goes to work on the broken hand, but Kenny fires back with chops to set up You Can’t Escape. Sammy bites the hand to escape, then kicks the hand and goes to work on it again. Kenny elbows out of a hold, but Sammy slugs him down into the corner and we take another break. Back with them slugging it out until Kenny boots him into the corner and then smashes him down with running axehandles. That gets two. They fight over the snapdragon and Sammy reverses out with a double stomp for two. Kenny backdrops him to the apron, but Sammy springboards back in with a cutter and Kenny bails to the floor to escape. Sammy follows with a dive and I would be remiss in not pointing out the running gag where they keep cutting back to the dressing room, with Dascha Gonzalez screaming with every move because she’s deep into money on one of the guys. Back in and they fight over a rana, but Sammy gets a Spanish Fly for two. At this point Cody learns from Chris Daniels on the headset that the mystery Star Trek captain drawing is Chris Pine’s Kirk. “Bleh, that’s KELVIN era, not even prime.” Kenny comes back with a V-Trigger, but Sammy bites the hand again, so Kenny just knees him right in the beautiful face and follows with the snapdragon. Sammy actually lands on his feet and comes back with the burning hammer into the knee, but Kenny hits another V-Trigger and piledriver for two. Sammy flips him off, so Kenny hits another V-Trigger and finishes him with the One Winged Angel at 23:27 to retain. Even without a crowd this was still a hell of a deal. ****
Chris Jericho joins us for the main event interview, as the camera man does the honors of singing Jericho’s theme song this time while Jericho films him. “Is he using the Britney Spears mic?” Cody snarks while Jericho does his promo. So Jericho is offering Matt Hardy the chance to join the Inner Circle, which brings Vanguard-1 down to the ring. So Jericho cuts a promo on the drone. “You’re a piece of SHIT, Vanguard!” But he still respects the drone and offers him a chance to join the Inner Circle. He’ll be smoking the finest of mechanical cigars! But the drone turns on Jericho and leaves, at which point Matt Hardy appears in the stands and somehow teleports from place to place. Jericho is very impressed and Matt clarifies that he’s MAGIC and cannot allow Jericho to ruin the paradise of AEW. Also, he’s Damascus and over 3000 years old. Jericho understands reinvention, but he thinks that inside it’s still the same Matt Hardy from 25 years ago. Matt thinks Jericho is still “the hole of the ass” and they do a wacky Elite/DELETE bit even though Jericho points out that there’s no one to chant DELETE with him. Hardy begs to differ and points out all the essences in the building, such as Abraham Lincoln in 15C. But then Matt slugs Jericho down, so Sammy Guevara attacks and Cody & Kenny make the save with chairs as we’re out.
I……….dunno about that last segment. It started very different and funny, but then just kind of meandered around and lost effectiveness the longer it went. But hey, it was definitely something different.
Rest of the show was good, but really lost something without having even the wrestlers from last week at ringside, unfortunately. But it entertained me for two hours and that’s all I ask at the moment.