The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 04.22.20
Taped from Hank Scorpio’s volcano fortress
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & LE CHAMPION
Cody Rhodes muses about life and the TNT title from his control center to start, and he’s dropping hot internet fire, wondering if he’s really “the three star general” and notes that AEW critics will “move the goalposts” again if the TNT title is a success. Come on, guys, just plug my website on the show already! I need the ad revenue!
TNT title tournament, round one: Darby Allin v. Sammy Guevara
Sammy hits Darby with a quebrada to interrupt his entrance, as Jericho is already ANGRY. He’s not “A” Spanish God, he’s THE Spanish God! Also, Shawn Spears has a sign complaining that Sammy owes him money, so Jericho suggests that Sammy kick his butt after he’s done with Darby. Sammy finds a ladder under the ring and puts it on the barricade, which Jericho notes is the whole reason for having barricades at a show with no people. Sammy puts him on the ladder and follows with a frog splash onto the ladder, and they’re both pretty much dead on the floor. And the bell hasn’t even rang yet! We take a break while Allin recovers, and return with the official start of the match. CLEVER. Sammy gets two right away while Darby maneuvers out of his entrance gear. Sammy beats on the ribs in the corner, and Jericho notes that this dominance is due to his mentoring, as he taught Sammy to “grind a man down, stomp on him, and kick him in the face.” They fight on the top rope, but Darby manages to rip off Sammy’s boot and anklelock him, and then he beats on the exposed foot while Jericho relates it to walking around a shoe store with one shoe and how disorienting that is. Sammy manages to fight back with an enzuigiri and hits a springboard cutter for two, as Darby is bleeding his own blood from somewhere. Sammy goes in for the kill, but Darby grabs him in a heel hook and cranks on it, as we see that his nose was busted open. So Sammy punches him in the nose to break the hold and they exchange elbow strikes, which Sammy wins with a spinning backfist to the nose. Sammy follows with a kick to the nose for two and we take a break. Back with Darby fighting back on the floor by tripping Sammy on the apron, but he follows with a dive and hits the railing. This gives Jericho another chance to bury that stupid PINEAPPLE PETE. Look at how stupid he looks just standing around! Back in, Sammy hits the 730 for two, as Darby is in the ropes. Jericho regales us with his perfect Spanish, as we learn that El Gato means “cat”. I thought it meant “Pat Tanaka”? Darby fights back, but Sammy catches him in the GTS, which Darby then reverses into the Last Supper leglock rollup for the pin at 10:41. That was a slick finish and a great fight. These kids have some chemistry. ***3/4
Meanwhile, Matt Hardy is disgusted by the Bubbly Bunch last week and Jericho spilling “the juice that was orange” on his counter. But perhaps Broken Matt is too intense for Jericho to deal with. So he switches to his other identity, the unkillable Matt Hardy, who does a normal promo about kicking the asses of the Inner Circle until he reaches Jericho. This was GREAT.
Tazz breaks down Kenny Omega’s big moves.
Kenny Omega v. Alan Angels
Jericho notes that he doesn’t care for Kenny’s pumpkin head, but he’s respects the hell out of him. But he’s still not the most famous person from Winnipeg. That’s Jericho. In case you were wondering. They do some chain wrestling and trade headlocks while Jericho complains that Deep South Wrestling never used Kenny properly. And then goes right back to insulting him again. Jericho notes that this is what the wrestling business calls a “warm up match” while Kenny beats on Angels, but Alan takes out the knee and gets some offense, but tries a senton and hits the knees. “You don’t want to put that one on your highlight reel” notes Jericho. Kenny beats on him in the corner, but Angels fires back with shoulders on him, so Kenny gets a lariat and Angels retreats to the floor. He pulls out the apron and when Kenny walks on it, Angels yanks it out like a magician doing the tablecloth trick and puts him down with spinkicks for two. Jericho points out that Angels actually has tights that say “Ingels”, but Kenny gets tired of this and fires off the snapdragon before destroying him with the V-Trigger for two. Kenny is amused by the kickout, and powerbombs him into another V-Trigger to finish him at 6:20. This was fun and Jericho was out of his mind great on commentary here. **1/2
Meanwhile, Scorpio Sky talks about life and his back injuries and talking to his dead mom. Next week: We pick it up again with the formation of SCU.
Orange Cassidy v. Jimmy Havoc
Havoc attacks and uses Orange’s jacket as a weapon against him, and Jericho is ALL ABOUT IT. HE’S IN THEIR MINDS, SKEEAVONE! Jimmy pulls up the t-shirt and chops him in the corner while the Best Friends hang out at ringside and Jericho disgustedly notes that they probably smell like Drakkar Noir. Havoc tosses Orange to the floor and crotches him on the railing and follows with a suplex onto the floor, then pounds him with chops on all the posts. Jericho loves this, but he hates Aubrey Edwards and everyone else. Back in, Havoc stomps the hand and chokes Orange out with his own arm, but he runs into a boot on a blind charge. But then he hits Orange with a death valley driver for two. But then he mocks Cassidy by shoving his hands back into his pockets, and at this point Orange “fires up like Popeye” and comes back with the dropkick and senton for two. They fight to the top, but Orange fights him off and hits a lazy splash for two. Tony wonders if he fell asleep on the top rope. They slug it out and Havoc’s strikes are a bit more intense, but Orange actually gets some fire and makes another comeback. Penelope Ford goes for the distraction, but she misses a rana off the top and Cassidy rolls up Havoc for the pin at 9:05. And then Havoc and Sabian team up and lay him out afterwards. Another super fun match in a series of them tonight. **1/2
Meanwhile, MJF updates us on his injury situation from his mansion. Sadly, on the episode of Dynamite a few weeks back, he suffered a horrific hangnail while gambling, and now he might need corrective surgery. But he’s still better than us.
Wardlow v. Lee Johnson
Wardlow immediately beats him down and catches him with a massive press slam into a powerslam, then drops him with a series of suplexes. Johnson escapes from another one and makes a comeback, but Wardlow just knees him in the face and follows with a helicopter slam for the pin at 2:32. That was quite the squash.
Meanwhile, a mysterious person seeks help from the Dark Order and Brodie Lee offers him a mask. Perhaps someone who was just released from another company?
Brodie Lee v. Justin Law
Brodie kills him with a superkick and a few suplexes, then hits the Truckstop slam and spinning lariat to finish at 1:39.
Meanwhile, the Best Friends are unable to legally fight Penelope, so they challenge Kip Sabian & Jimmy Havoc for next week. Plus Marko Stunt v. Brodie Lee and Cody v. Darby!
Meanwhile, it’s the Bubbly Bunch! Sammy is depressed, so Jericho suggests that everyone does the Flim Flam to cheer him up. Oh, and hand sanitizer. TRUE STORY: This is a parody of a TikTok thing and my kid is OBSESSED with TikTok and the stupid dance and she’s been doing it all day today. So truly this is a case where I actually get the damn joke for once.
TNT title tournament, round one: Dustin Rhodes v. Kip Sabian
Should Dustin fail to beat this guy, he retires tonight. They trade wristlocks and Dustin works the arm and throws chops in the corner, while Jericho points out that if Dustin is even questioning whether he can win here, then he’s already lost. That’s deep, man. Sabian gets an enzuigiri and rolls into a kick for two, then chokes him out on the ropes and gets two. And we take a break while Jericho explains the front facelock. Back with Sabian in control with a leglock. Dropkick gets two, but Dustin reverses for two. Kip works the leg in the corner and works an armbar, but Dustin slugs back and dodges a dropkick for two. Sabian with a lariat for two. Sabian with a chinlock, but Dustin fights out with a spinebuster. Kip stomps him down, but Penelope gets involved again and Brandi takes her out with a spear. Dustin with the Canadian Destroyer for the pin to advance at 13:13. Pretty weak and plodding main event to end a really fun show. **
This was fun! I had fun watching it, so maybe I was just in a bad place for last week’s show, I dunno. A good outing here and I’m looking forward to the Hardy Compound match between Broken Matt and LE CHAMPION.