The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.27.20
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
The Inner Circle convenes outside in the parking lot to start, trying to figure out how to recoup the money spent on all the boxes of “Stadium Stampede Champions” shirts that they bought from Carlos. Ortiz: “WHOA, CARLOS IS HERE? MAN, THAT’S A LOT OF SHIRTS!” Man Ortiz is a hidden gem.
Matt Hardy & The Young Bucks v. Joey Janela & Private Party
So in the pre-match promo, Matt Hardy rewinds back to early 90s OMEGA Matt in celebration of teaming with the Bucks of Youth for the first time. The Bucks double-team Quen in the corner to start and Nick hits both Party guys with a crossbody. Joey comes in and gets double-teamed as well, while the announcers discuss how the Hardy Boyz influenced the career of the Young Bucks, much like David Crockett influenced Tony Schiavone. Nick hits Janela with a tope, but he lands in a death valley driver onto the floor, and Janela gets two off that. Kassidy tries an abdominal stretch, but they fight to the floor and JR takes a shot at other shows with wrestlers behind plexiglass. Nick gets dumped into the “crowd” after accidentally superkicking the Blade and rescued by Matt, and comes back in with a destroyer on Kassidy. Over to Matt Hardy, who hits Kassidy with a Side Effect for two. Kassidy escapes the Twist of Fate, but Hardy gets a double DDT on both Party guys and Joey. He stacks them up in the middle of the ring and moonsaults all three at the same time, for two. Matt Jackson comes in and pounds on Kassidy, but Joey hits the Bucks with a missile dropkick to put them on the floor. Private Party follows with a double dive onto them, but Quen apparently hurts his knee on the landing. Back in, the Bucks and Hardy put Kassidy away with More Bang For Your Buck at 9:03. Just a bunch of stuff. **1/2 Man, hopefully this isn’t another cursed week where a bunch of people get hurt. Broken Matt helps Quen to the back for a nice touch, but then Butcher and Blade attack in retribution for the earlier superkick. However, this brings out THE REVIVAL to make the save, now called FTR, and they hit Butcher with a spike piledriver before staring down the Bucks and leaving. Well that set some stuff up.
Jon Moxley joins us to do commentary for…
Brian Cage v. Lee Johnson
Cage just HURLS Lee across the ring and then hurls him in the other direction with a release german suplex. Cage powerbombs him and then turns it into a buckle bomb before finishing him with a Steiner Screwdriver at 1:13. Now THAT was a squash. Afterwards, Taz cuts a promo on Moxley about Fyter Fest, where Cage is challenging for the title, and he even gifts Cage his catchphrase!
Dr. Britt Baker DMD joins Tony for an update on her knee, with a new “Roll Model” chair of wheels, as she presents RULE OF BEING A ROLE MODEL #3: Don’t hurt the role model. In fact, the knee injury was a CONSPIRACY against her, probably in the works since AEW started. Maybe even before. Statlander: “You being an alien is a crock of shit. CONSPIRATOR.” Also, Nyla and Shida are both CONSPIRATORS. So she presents a very professional board detailing the evidence, which you know is legit because all the photos are connected by strings. And the evil brains behind the entire operation? AUBREY EDWARDS. She’s there every time Britt gets injured! Except for the broken nose, but “she was somewhere”. This would have been amazing with a crowd.
Meanwhile the Inner Circle talk with Alex Marvez in advance of their pep rally later tonight, but Orange Cassidy wanders into the scene and interrupts Jericho’s angry rant. This apparently will go badly for him later.
Christi Jaynes v. Hikaru Shida
Jaynes escapes from a lockup and does some dancing, so Shida decides to join in and Jaynes kicks her in the knee in a funny spot. Jaynes gets a springboard wristlock, but Shida wins a battle of hairpulls and hits her with a running knee in the corner. She follows with a kneelift on the apron, and back in for a backbreaker before going to a camel clutch and following with a suplex for two. Shida goes up, but Jaynes runs up with an enzuigiri and then rolls into a sunset flip and head kick for two. Quebrada misses and Shida hits her with a pair of knees for two. Falcon Arrow finishes at 5:20. Christi Jaynes looks like a STAR. Hopefully they keep featuring her. My daughter’s review of the match: “Are they wrestling or fighting like a couple of 11 year old girls? Also I knew she’d win.” Harsh critic. But then she’s 9. I thought it was pretty good though. **3/4
Cody joins Tony with his inaugural TNT championship, and he’s here to talk about Tom Brady. And it’s not because he’s from the Northeast, since he’s “not welcome back in Connecticut”. Anyway, although he was only the fourth call that Tony Khan made when AEW was formed, he’s not bitter. So now he’s issuing an open challenge to anyone, every week. Cody was being pretty heelish here in a subtle way, especially the bit about “I wasn’t even the second or third person called”. Which is probably good since he’s much better as a heel. Also QT Marshall getting distracted by the Bunny at ringside was a cute running gag.
Kip Sabian & Jimmy Havoc v. SCU
The heels attack and toss Sky while the announcers clarify that the winner of this gets a shot at the champs next week, and Best Friends get a shot at the eventual champions at Fyter Fest. Whenever that ends up happening. Sky comes back in with a backbreaker on Sabian for two and Kazarian adds a leg lariat for two. Over to Havoc, but Kaz takes him down and works the arm, and a dropkick to the back gets two. Sky boots Havoc from the apron and Kaz hits a german suplex for two. The Brits take over as Sabian catapults Kaz into an EYEPOKE OF DOOM from Havoc and that’s pretty funny. Sabian gets a back elbow for two and beats on Kaz in the corner and we take a break. Back with Sabian holding a chinlock, but Kazarian rolls over both guys and makes the hot tag to Sky. Springboard cutter into the dragon sleeper on Sabian, but Havoc comes in with a death valley driver into a diving foot stomp from Sabian for two. Sabian goes after Kaz as well and gets nailed for his troubles, and Kaz comes in with a swinging DDT on Havoc for two. Slingshot cutter gets two and they toss Sabian, but Penelope breaks up SCU Later and Havoc finishes Sky with a Michinoku Driver at 11:48. I really like Havoc & Sabian as a tag team and they’ll probably bring it against the Elite next week. This was a solid match as well. **3/4
Meanwhile, MJF and Wardlow are starting to suspect that “someone” doesn’t like them, since MJF is undefeated for more than a year and has never had a title shot. And when it’s down to the final two with just them, Wardlow knows what to do. “But…” notes Wardlow, at which point MJF snaps and then acts like he was just kissing.
TNT title opportunity battle royal:
Orange Cassidy doesn’t even make it to the ring before Santana & Ortiz lay him out. We’ve got quite the roll call of AEW Dark midcarders here, including Jurassic Express, MJF, Wardlow, Dr. Luther, Sonny Kiss, Billy Gunn, Colt Cabana, the Librarian and Chris Daniels. Wardlow tosses Luther with a chokeslam to the floor and then Sonny Kiss, and then it’s the usual half-assed battle royal stuff with guys punching and kicking. Colt gets thrown out by Billy Gunn, at which point the Dark Order offers him a recruitment poster. Hey, if I was thrown out by Billy Gunn I’d think it over as well. We take a break and return with Brandon Cutler eliminated, which is sad because I didn’t even know he was in the match. Marko manages to take Daniels out with a rana to the floor, but then Wardlow throws Marko out like a sack of crap. Luchasaurus slugs it out with Wardlow, but MJF clips the dinosaur. Gunn and dinosaur slug it out, but Wardlow dumps them both out. This leaves MJF, Wardlow and Jungle Boy. But then Orange Cassidy finally revives and joins the match, and MJF tries to hit him with the ring and punches out Wardlow instead. MJF gets dumped by JB and then JB and Orange team up to dump Wardlow, giving us the very unlikely Jungle Boy v. Orange finale. They trade skin the cat teases and Orange hits Jungle with a pair of superman punches, but he tries to throw Jungle Boy out, and gets caught with a headscissors and taken out at 10:50 to give Jungle Boy the win and title shot. Good, he desperately needed to win something soon. This was a very throwaway battle royal, though.
Next week: Cody v. Jungle Boy! Kenny & Hangman v. Sabian & Havoc! Chris Jericho in action!
Inner Circle Pep Rally:
Vickie Guerrero handles introductions, and of course doesn’t need a microphone. “Get Your Earplugs Ready” as noted by her graphic. Anyway, there’s quite the spread of refreshments on the table in the ring, including a plate of meat and cheese with like 4 slices of pepperoni. So Jericho throws “Stadium Stampede Champions” shirts to everyone in the crowd in order to get rid of them, but they all get thrown back. Sammy is more happy that everyone participated so he got them all TROPHIES. “King of Dad Jokes” because it’s a pandemic and it’s hard to find trophies. Santana gives out his own gifts, (discount Timberland boots for Hager, Vicks Vaporub for Sammy, and a picture of Marc Anthony for Jericho). Jake got them all a handwritten poem, where he rhymes “the best-la” with “run them over with my Tesla” before going into a psychotic break where he threatens to stalk all the Elite members to their homes and kill them. But even with all these great gifts, Jericho still wants Mike Tyson because of what happened in 2010 “on a Monday night”. This brings out Mike and his posse, including Vitor Belfort and Henry Cejudo, and Jericho offers him a chance apologize before a knockout results. So this turns into a shoving match and a giant brawl erupts before they get split up. Well that definitely gives Jericho something to do for the next little while.
Another pleasant and entertaining show, with a big debut for FTR and a big angle with Mike Tyson at the end. Plus lots of stuff set up for the future, as usual.