The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.20.20
Live (?) from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
The Inner Circle arrive in their limo, and have to explain the concept of a surprise to Alex Marvez, but it’ll be BAD for the Elite.
Jon Moxley v. 10
Mr. Brodie Lee does a promo before the match while getting catcalled by the “crowd”, and he wants to assure us that he’s no god, he’s just a man. I just want to confirm for everyone that I’m not a god either. Tony quips “OK, I was wrong, this is a cult” in a funny payoff to the speech. Moxley hits 10 with a high knee off the bell and beats him down to set up a drop suplex, and he follows with a beatdown in the corner. But he backs off to the apron to set up for something, and 10 puts him on the floor with a pump kick and then suplexes him onto the apron. It’s the HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Back in, 10 with a ripcord into a cutter (“We don’t say Ace Crusher on this show.”) and follows with a spinebuster, but Mox hits him with the Paradigm Shift out of nowhere and then spikes him with a piledriver, but doesn’t make the cover. And then an elevated Paradigm Shift finishes at 4:25. A complete squash of course. * So Moxley sets up 10’s arm to be Pillmanized and gives Brodie to the count of 10 to return his belt or else the kid’s arm gets broken. So Brodie pops up on the screen and notes that everyone has to make sacrifices, and see ya Saturday. And as promised, Moxley smashes a chair onto the guy’s arm and breaks it. Well that’s pretty cold on both sides.
MJF v. Marko Stunt
MJF offers a chance for Marko to slam him, but that doesn’t happen, and MJF throws him around with an overhead suplex and bullies him on the mat. This includes forcing him to pick his own nose, but luckily it doesn’t move to any approaching a Wet Willy. Marko tries a comeback and gets turned upside down with a lariat and choked out on the ropes by Wardlow. To the top and MJF cuts a promo on Jungle Boy up there, but Stunt comes back with a headscissors into the corner and throws dropkicks until MJF swats him down. Marko keeps coming with a shining wizard and gets MJF onto the floor before goading him into charging and hitting the stairs. Marko follows with a dive, but MJF just hits him with a disgusted forearm and then finishes him with a shoulderbreaker into the armbar at 5:58. Fine for what it was. ** MJF decides to give him a consolation prize of “letting one of his rats here in Jacksonville give him a kiss”, but then he remembers that no one would ever kiss him and hits him with the ring instead.
Verbal Debate: Arn Anderson v. Jake Roberts
Tony Schiavone is your moderator, as Jake points out that they never met in the ring before. Really? That’s crazy. Anyway, Jake notes that we haven’t seen Arn in months and he’s “looking thick”. Arn can see the evil permeating from Jake from across the table, because all along the snake was just a distraction and Jake was always the real evil. So Jake starts picking a fight, but Arn is all about decorum tonight. On Saturday, Mike Tyson will not only present the championship belt, but he has free reign to go wherever he wants in the arena. So is Jake gonna throw “that stupid snake” onto Iron Mike? Jake was kind of hoping that Brandi would present the belt so he can bump into her again. Arn clarifies that he’s still a vicious prick and deep down Jake is afraid of him. Because he’ll need all his DDP Yoga to be limber when Arn hits him with a spinebuster and shoves his head up his own ass. Well now I want to see Arn v. Jake too.
Meanwhile, Darby Allin is doing…whatever he’s doing.
Meanwhile, Pac reappears somewhere in the UK, and he’s got some very threatening words for Orange Cassidy.
Orange Cassidy v. Rey Fenix
Fenix tries the sneak attack kick from the tunnel but Orange non-chalantly moves out of the way and continues to the ring. Orange gets the hands in the pockets right away and takes Fenix down before dropkicking him out of the ring. Back in, Orange manages a rollup for two and they trade crucifixes, but Fenix is done messing around and hits him with a curb stomp. He tries a slingshot powerbomb, but Orange reverses to a Code Red (Code Orange?) for two. And then Fenix springboards in with a legdrop for two, and they fight to the floor as we take a break. Fenix beats him down in the corner, but tries a corner clothesline and Cassidy catches the arm and makes a comeback with PALM STRIKES and a superman punch to put Fenix on the floor. Orange with a tope and comes in with a flying bodypress and impressive tornado DDT for two. Orange goes up again and Fenix rolls into a uppercut to bring him down, but Orange hits a diving DDT off the top for two. They fight to the top again, where Orange uses the POWER OF THE POCKETS to block a superplex, but Fenix brings him down with a powerbomb anyway and gets two. Fenix with a corner elbow to set up a muscle buster, but Orange reverses to a cradle for two. Fenix tries the rolling cutter, but Orange reverses to an Air Raid Crash for two. This brings Kip Sabian to ringside with a ladder to watch the match, but Fenix hits a low blow and finishes with a cutter at 9:57. I don’t think Fenix needed the win particularly because everyone knows he’s awesome, but the match was great anyway. ***1/2 And then it turns into both a DONNYBROOK and a PIER SIX BRAWL at the same time, with all the guys in the ladder match getting into a big brawl and people hitting crazy dives on each other. And then the Best Friends help out and launch Orange onto everyone for the big finale.
Kris Statlander & Hikaru Shida v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Nyla Rose
Big scruffle to start and the babyfaces double-team Nyla in the corner, but she hits Statlander with a pounce and chokes her out in the corner. Nyla drops the leg and we take a break as Britt doesn’t want to tag in, but we return with the faces double-teaming Nyla in the corner. Shida hits Britt with a running knee on the apron and follows with a suplex for two. We get some heel miscommunication as Nyla accidentally splashes the doctor in the corner, and Statlander gets two. Statlander with a Michinoku driver for two, but Nyla tags herself in and goes up top. Kris brings her down with an electric chair and Shida hits a missile dropkick and knee strike for two. Nyla slugs it out with Shida, and then hits her with a clothesline while Britt gets her knee worked on. Nyla and Shida do a horrible attempt at a bridge spot, but Nyla finishes with the powerbomb at 8:49. Man this show has been heel-heavy tonight. I don’t know what happened here, perhaps it was related to Baker hurting her knee, but this COMPLETELY fell apart and turned into a total shitshow by the end. DUD Nyla in particular looked really bad and didn’t seem to be able to hit any of her spots properly. And then Nyla sets up a table , but Statlander runs interference and Shida hits Nyla with a terrifying superplex and puts her through the table. Man that looked like a bad idea. This was all terrible.
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley is ready to drop Brodie Lee on his head at the PPV, leaving him with nothing but “three dudes in a gimp mask” to console him.
SHAWN SPEARS NEWS UDPATE! WITH SHAWN SPEARS!
Breaking news, as Dustin has decided to retire, which is of course Cody’s fault. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but “swallowing pills has never been a problem” for Dustin. OUCH. But then Shawn realizes he doesn’t have a match for the PPV, so he challenges the retired Dustin and declares himself the winner by default. And then afterwards the announcers clarify that Dustin is not retired, and they’re having a match.
Matt Hardy v. Sammy Guevara
The conflict here is of course kind of a cliché trope, the old “babyface emerges from an ice chest and tries to run heel over with a golf cart, leading to the to the death of an innocent drone” thing we’ve seen a million times before. Matt smacks him down in the corner and takes him to the floor for a beating there. Back in, Sammy manages to counter the Twist of Fate in mid-move and hits Matt with a head kick and that was pretty badass. Sammy gets an enzuigiri in the corner, but Matt gets an inverted DDT for two. Matt tries a Razor’s Edge, but Sammy reverses him into a rana to put him on the floor. And he follows with a dive that mostly misses but still looks impressive. They take a break and return with Matt running him into the turnbuckles to set up a lariat, and the Side Effect gets two. Sammy gets a suplex for two, but Matt gets the Twist of Fate and Sammy bails to the floor to escape. Back in, that gets two. Sammy fights back with a knee strike and superkick for two. Sammy goes up and misses the shooting star, and Matt hits another Twist of Fate for two. So Matt pulls off the boot and bites the toes, and Sammy hits him with another knee for two. And then he springboards in with a cutter for two. Sammy goes up again, but the one-shoe shooting star misses and Matt finishes with a third Twist of Fate at 12:23. At least a babyface won tonight, but Matt is pretty limited in the ring at this point, to say the least, and this felt like something off AEW Dark. *1/2 And then we cut to the stadium, where the Inner Circle are about to finish off Kenny Omega, but the Bucks of Youth return to make the save and everyone brawls, at which point Hangman Page makes an awesome entrance, running the length of the field to hit a lariat and chase off the Circle to end the show.
I found this one pretty weak. Didn’t really do much to make me want to buy the show on Saturday, either, as most of the stuff had already peaked last week and didn’t need further buildup. But Hangman has been sorely missed on these shows and I’m glad to see him back. Otherwise, this week’s show was firmly a miss.