The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 04.01.20
Live (?) from an Undisclosed Location in Florida. We think. Kind of looks like a warehouse.
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Cody Rhodes & his dog. We also have some wrestlers outside the ring again, but well back from the action and spaced far apart this time.
Trent v. Kenny Omega
They trade headlocks to start and Kenny wins that battle, but Trent pops up with a double knee and works the back with kicks. They slug it out and Kenny gets his own kicks to the back and then chokes him out in the corner and stomps him down. Well, everyone’s stressed right now. Trent sends Kenny to the floor with a double stomp and follows with a moonsault, and we get a group hug from the Best Friends, so Kenny hits them all with a tope. Kenny asks for his OWN hug and Orange is about to oblige, but Chucky pulls him away at the last minute. I will say, having people at ringside to make noise and then having one of them be Orange Cassidy is kind of counterproductive. Back, Kenny with a backbreaker (“He put a little STANK on it,” notes Cody) and he follows with another one for two. Kenny pounds the back with a double axehandle and follows with a backdrop to continue on the back. He whips Trent into the turnbuckles, but Trent stomps the broken hand and goes after it as apparently the claws are coming out. Trent pounds him with knees in the corner and continues stomping on the broken hand until Kenny bails to escape. Audrey’s facials reacting to the punishment are tremendous and really help to sell it. Trent keeps beating on the hand outside on the apron, but Kenny suplexes him off the apron and onto the floor. They fight into the “crowd” as Kenny whips him into the railing and onto what appears to be the artificial turf of a golf dome. Back in, Kenny tries the moonsault, but Trent escapes with a tornado DDT and follows with a running elbow into the corner and into a sliding german suplex off the ropes. That was pretty cool. We take a break and return with Kenny making a comeback with chops, but Trent cuts him off with a half nelson suplex. Kenny fires back with a knee strike, but Trent reverses a powerbomb into a piledriver for two. Kenny tries a snapdragon but Trent reverses out to another tornado DDT, but Kenny reverses THAT to a snapdragon. They trade elbows on the ropes, but Trent hits him with a lariat and Kenny pops up with a powerbomb into a V-Trigger. Trent escapes to the apron and they fight over a suplex out there, but Kenny backdrops him into the ring. Kenny goes up and Trent pops up there and suplexes Kenny down, then follows with a Daniel Bryan knee for two. Kenny gets another knee strike and follows with the One Winged Angel at 19:11 to finish. Hell of an opener. ****
Last week, Matt Hardy confronts Chris Jericho with MAGIC.
Hikaru Shida v. Anna Jayy
Say what you will about AEW, but they know where to find good looking blonds with nice butts. Maybe Tony Khan is hoarding them like toilet paper. Jayy does a hair whip on Shida to start, which only annoys Shida, but a dropkick misses and Jayy puts her down. Shida comes back with a tilt a whirl backbreaker and throws a knee on the apron, but goes to gripe at Dr. Britt Baker DMD, which allows Jayy to make a comeback. Back kick and she follows with a neckbreaker for two. Shida misses a kick and Jayy gets a backslide for two and a rollup for two, but Shida reverses the pin into a triangle attempt before Jayy makes the ropes. Shida with a suplex for two and she follows with a knee to the neck and a falcon arrow for the pin at 4:57. Cody calling Britt “Tony’s mirror universe wife” got a pop from me. This was good and I’d like to see more of Anna Jayy. **1/2
Last month, in the long long ago when crowds were a thing, the Inner Circle powerbombs Moxley through a table to make a point. We get dueling promos from Moxley and Jericho to build up their likely rematch whenever that happens. Moxley has ridden the roads with Jake Hager and listened to the Jerky Boys for hours (Oh man I can relate to THAT) and he’s also aware that Jake can choke him out at will. But hey, he likes to live dangerously. Jericho clarifies that he has a rematch clause but he wants Jake to win the title first because that will put Moxley in his place. And in fact they will meet in two weeks in a No Holds Barred match.
Lance Archer v. Marko Stunt
We get a pretty awesome pre-taped promo from Jake before the match to point out that Cody is still a coward and his wife wears the pants. Archer clotheslines some poor geek at ringside on the way in and then beats the hell out of Marko in the corner. He even offers Marko some free shots and then absolutely clobbers him and chokes him out on the ropes. He HURLS Stunt across the ring with a suplex and then jams a knee on his neck and throws him around again. Stunt runs out of the ring to escape but walks into a chokeslam. Marko escapes that and comes back with an enzuigiri, but then Archer just kills him dead with a pounce and a chokeslam for two before picking him up. Crucifix slam finishes at 3:50. Well that was exactly what it needed to be. You’d think he would be done with Marko, but nope, he chokeslams him into the crowd of three people and nearly kills him. Well at least he landed on the turf.
Meanwhile, Brodie Lee give a corporate peptalk to the Dark Order, but someone dares to yawn in front of him. “Nothing in the world is open! There is no reason for you to yawn in my presence!” That’s gotta be a Vince thing too.
Dark Order #8 & #9 v. Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall
QT still has the mask given to him last week, but he turns it down and attacks 8 to start. Dustin comes in and works the arm. QT with a senton for two, but 9 hits him with a cheapshot from the apron and work QT over in the corner. QT comes back with a backbreaker and a suplex on whichever geek, and it’s back to Dustin to clean house. Bulldog and powerslam and the Dark Order runs away. Dustin hits one of them with the senton off the apron and QT adds his own dive. Back in for a double team powerbomb for the pin at 4:11. This felt it should have been a Dark match. Just an OK squash. *1/2
Chris Jericho cuts a promo from his pool at his palatial compound, scoring some quality burns on the Elite, but still tries to negotiate with Vanguard-1 and even offers it a shirt. But then Vanguard turns on him and leaves, so Jericho RELEASES THE HOUNDS. Sadly, even this vicious pack of wild dogs is unable to take down the drone. Jericho cutting a promo on a drone remains hilarious.
Meanwhile, the Young Bucks talk about the attack on Nick while working out in their private ring.
Cody Rhodes & Darby Allin v. Sammy Guevara & Shawn Spears
Shawn Spears wants Cody to start and they fight for the lockup in the corner until Spears grabs a headlock. Cody puts him down with a big boot, so he tags to Sammy, but he’s busy vlogging and has to tag out again. Hey, website maintenance is important. I can relate. Sammy goes for a word with Brandi and she steals his phone, allowing Darby to run him into the railing in the process. Back in, Darby flips into a dropkick on Spears, and the faces pinball Sammy in their corner. The heels bail and the faces hit them with stereo dives and we take a break. Back with Darby getting worked over in the corner, but he comes back with a rollup on Spears and Sammy hits him with a knee strike to take him out. They fight on the floor and back in for a snap suplex from Sammy for two and he jumps on Darby’s shoulder with a double stomp. So then we get BETTING as both guys throw in cash as they compete with stalling suplexes on Allin. Spears holds up for 10, so they sweeten the pot and Sammy does it for 15 seconds. Then Spears bets 20 seconds, and Allin rolls him up for two. Spears hits him with a slingshot suplex, but Sammy tries a shooting star and Darby counters with a slam and makes the hot tag to Cody. Powerslam on Sammy gets two. Cody Cutter gets two. Brandi is the lucky recipient of the weight belt as Cody makes the comeback. Crossroads on Sammy and Darby hits Spears with a dive, while Cody gets beat up by the heels in the “crowd”, complete with Britt Baker gleefully using her shoe as a weapon. Honestly, who uses a shoe? We take another break and return with Cody continuing to take his beating in the heel corner. Spears with the punches in the corner, but Cody slugs back and hits a moonsault to set up the hot tag to Darby. Missile dropkick on both heels and he comes back with running elbows and a springboard elbow. The heels collide and Spears puts Sammy on the floor, so Darby hits them both with dives. But Spears catches him and runs him into the railing and then hangs him on top of it. Sammy with a missile dropkick off the apron, and back in Spears hits Cody with a death valley driver. But then Allin climbs the pole and hits the heels with a Coffin Drop. Well work with what you got. Back in, Cody hits Sammy with an inverted superplex, but Spears hits Cody with a frog splash. Spears grabs a chair, but Darby steals it, so Spears rolls him up for the pin at 20:43. But then a disgusted Allin turns on Cody and lays him out, possibly setting up a semi-final match in the TNT tournament. Match went a little long, to say the least, and didn’t have much interesting going on overall. ***
Overall, kind of a blah episode, although at least they have a direction with the build to Moxley v. Hager and Jericho v. Hardy (or Vanguard, not sure). Really, this one felt like an extended episode of Dark and was just a pleasant way to pass a couple of hours rather than anything that felt unmissable.