The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.06.20
LIVE from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The crowd is PACKED at ringside. By Covid Nightmare-times standards. Hey, here in Saskatchewan we’re beginning the process of opening up again, so I can only assume Florida also has things under control thanks to sensible social distancing and strong leadership. Also, it’s not WWE, so it’s fine.
Anyway, the arena is open air, so it immediately feels so much more open and so much less claustrophobic than the stuff from the past few weeks. What a breath of fresh air, pardon the pun.
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur.
Joey Janela v. Cody Rhodes
Cody grabs a headlock to start and rolls him up for two, but Joey gets a sunset flip for two and they reverse off that for some near-falls. We get the chop battle and Cody head-fakes and chops him on the BACK. Ouch. Cody with a delayed suplex for two, but Joey rakes the back and throws forearms to take over. Joey throws elbows in the corner, but Cody counters with an attempt at Crossroads and Joey drops him on the middle rope to escape. Backdrop suplex gets two. Joey goes to a bodyscissors and Cody fights out of that as they fight to the floor. Joey runs him into the railing but Cody fights up to the ramp, so Joey charges from the entrance tunnel and gets clotheslined on the ropes as a result. Cody hits him with a disaster kick to the floor and then follows with a moonsault off the stage, and he makes the comeback in the ring. They trade superkicks and Cody goes down first, so Joey goes up with the Macho Elbow for two. They fight to the top and Cody brings him down with a reverse suplex for two. Cody makes the comeback and Hikaru Shida catches the weight belt, and a powerslam gets two. Cody tries another disaster kick, but Joey catches him in mid-air with a german suplex and then hits a running lariat. Unfortunately he decides not to cover, but he instead goes up for a moonsault that misses and Cody hits him with a Cody Cutter for two. They slug it out while the “crowd” does the boo/yay gag, but Cody suckers him into the Crossroads to finish at 13:25. Good, fun match to start the show. ***1/4
Nyla Rose v. Kenzie Paige
Nyla is VERY MEAN to Tony Schiavone before the match, and not like the good-natured mean of Britt Baker. Nyla throws Paige around to start, but she fights back before Nyla wipes her out with a lariat and throws her with a suplex. Nyla goes up with a swanton to finish, but picks her up at two. Three powerbombs finish at 2:12. I don’t know if they have a factory of cute blondes with nice butts that allows them to keep churning them out or what. Paige looked OK getting squashed. *
Meanwhile, MJF thinks it’s “cool” that a bunch of “younger talent” are claiming to be the next big thing at age 30. Also, he’s sick of insecure critics comparing him to all-time legends even though he’s only 24 and he’s gonna be better than Piper or Flair or Rock. And he’s back next week, injury-free!
Meanwhile, Shawn Spears is pretty sure that if HIS brother was getting destroyed by Lance Archer, he’d do something to stop it, although Cody chose not to.
Tony Schiavone has words with MJF and Shawn Spears, and MJF is tired of watching his peers “play wrestling” (although not Spears, he’s great…wink) and he’s back next week. And he’s so recovered that he’s actually “over-healed”. But Tony informs him that he’s signed to face Jungle Boy at the PPV, and we get a spit take.
Frankie Kazarian v. Jon Moxley
This is a non-title match, which is a term we can say on this show because it’s not run by an insane old man. Kaz takes him down and into a headlock to start, but Mox reverses into a hammerlock and then takes him over with a wristlock and stomps the arm to break. They slug it out and Moxley takes him down with a hammerlock again, but Kazarian goes back to the headlock on the mat. They trade chops in the corner, but Kaz grounds him with the headlock again to retain control. Moxley escapes with a backbreaker for two and works him over in the corner to set up another backbreaker for two. They slug it out and Kazarian gets a leg lariat and tries the headlock again, but Moxley dumps him to the ramp this time and we take a break. Back with Moxley smoking him with a high knee to put him on the floor again, but he tries a dive and Kazarian superkicks him on the way down. Back in with a springboard dropkick from Kaz, into a slingshot DDT for two. Moxley fights back with a german suplex, but Kaz gets a backstabber to set up an Unprettier for two. They slug it out with forearms and Kazarian takes him down with a heel hook, but Moxley fights out of it and they slug it out again. Moxley wins that battle and hits the lariat while JR declares him to be TOUGHER THAN A TWO DOLLAR STEAK, the highest honor he can bestow. Kaz reverses him into a rollup for two and suplexes him into the corner, but he goes up early and Mox follows him up. They head down again and trade rollups, but Moxley finishes him with the Paradigm Shift at 16:37. ***1/2 And then the Dark Order storm in for the beatdown, so I’m guessing Brodie Lee is getting the title shot at the PPV. The guy who is apparently Number 10 gets a bunch of offense, so hopefully he slipped Shawn Spears a ten spot for the rights at least. And indeed, Brodie comes out and cuts a promo on Moxley about how Mox has the belt and he wants it. Good enough, Brodie Lee can afford a loss in the main event.
Meanwhile, Brandi Rhodes responds to Jake Roberts’ shit-talking over the past few weeks, and she reminds him that it’s not 1991 anymore and if he slaps a woman, she slaps back. Her mother advised her a long time ago: “Don’t fuck with people you don’t know”. And Jake doesn’t know her, so he should probably keep her name out of his “dirty old mouth”. SPICY. Nothing a few good slaps from Jake Roberts won’t take care of.
Lance Archer v. QT Marshall
Jake is back at ringside, but he’s got a mask. So by wrestling logic, we shouldn’t know who he is now. Archer smacks some ringside geek around like Jake slapping Elizabeth and then goes to work on QT and chokes him out on the ropes. Meanwhile one of my cats paws at my phone and resets my stopwatch three or four times. Not related, but I just wanted to share my annoyance. We take a break with QT in trouble and return with him getting murdered further and booted off the apron. This allows Britt to hit QT with her shoe, but Brandi throws the shoe away, and QT still manages to fight back with a handspring enzuigiri. Corner clothesline follows and he manages to hit a suplex before going to the top, but Lance shakes it off and POUNCES him. Blackout looks to finish, but he picks QT up and finishes with the claw instead at 7:57. But then Brandi pays for throwing away an expensive piece of footwear, as Britt attacks her on the floor and then Archer throws her in and Jake drapes his (literal) snake all over her. Been a few years since we had a good snake draping! Also, Brandi kind of dared them to do it. I mean, Jake once did an interview where he bragged about winning the gold medal in baby seal clubbing! Really, anyone who even competed in that isn’t someone to mess with. **
Meanwhile, Taz offers Darby Allin some training and advice, but Darby storms off in a huff.
Street Fight: Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara v. Kenny Omega & Broken Matt Hardy
Amazingly, they actually pay off the Pineapple Pete running joke by having Pete take a shot at Jericho on the way by. And they’re wrestling next week! Man if they had a real crowd for it, Pete would get over HUGE. Big brawl to start and Jericho runs Omega into the stairs. Hardy hits Sammy with a powerbomb in the ring and Omega tries You Can’t Escape, but Sammy gets the knees up. Meanwhile, Jericho runs Hardy into the tunnel and they fight to the back, but Jericho returns as the SEX GODS double-team Omega. Double suplex and Sammy breakdances into the posing before more beating down on Omega. Kenny fights back and runs into an elbow, but Matt returns in his Hardy Boy gear and comes back with Side Effects on both Sex Gods and a Twist of Fate on Jericho for two. Omega with a snapdragon on Sammy, so Jericho grabs a baseball bat and goes to work on Kenny with that. Sammy goes up and misses a shooting star press, and Kenny hits the V-Trigger. Kenny sets up a table and Matt gets a ladder to deliver a flying splash for two, but Hager pulls out the ref. Kenny dives onto him and Hager drops him on the apron as a result. And we take a break. Back with Jericho brawling with Hardy in the back, as Jericho gets shoved in the ice machine but then throws a bag of it at Matt. Then the Inner Circle literally puts him on ice, shoving him into the cooler and shutting the doors. Kenny tries to save but gets double-teamed by LE SEX GODS as they bounce garbage cans off his head and send him into the ATM. It actually pays out for Sammy in a funny spot, but Kenny runs him into the pillar and then powerbombs him into the steel door and runs Hager into Sammy. Jericho runs a cart into Omega while Pineapple Pete documents everything on his phone. And he wonders why Jericho hates him so much? Jericho suplexes Kenny onto a railing and beats on him with a cone, but Matt Hardy somehow manages to change gear again and emerges from the ice as Broken Matt again. So he steals a golf cart and runs Jericho down with it in a comeback you don’t see every day, and then they wait until Sammy checks on his partner and run him over, too. Luckily there happens to be another table set up by a scissor lift and Omega puts Jericho down and rides the lift up, then moonsaults everyone. So they head to the practice field and Kenny sets up the One Winged Angel, but Santana and Ortiz return to live TV and make the save, then powerbomb Matt through the table. This leaves Kenny alone and Jericho powerbombs him onto the roof of the cart and hits the Judas Effect for the pin at 20:25. This was a fun and wacky callback to the Attitude Era once it went to the back, and exactly the kind of thing that works well in this new era of “cinematic wrestling”. ***1/2
Man, even having that little bit of a crowd spread through the open air arena helped the atmosphere a ton. This felt like the closest thing to normal we’ve had in a while and I’m glad I came back after a week off.