The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.01.20
“Fyter Fest Night One”
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur, with special guest LE CHAMPION! Wearing “Don Cherry’s jacket” according to Jim Ross.
MJF & Wardlow v. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus
MJF’s pre-match promo is some fine heeling, as he tells Jungle Boy to go home and “count his daddy’s money” and notes that they’re in a ratings war and that’s the reason why they force him to wrestle Jungle Boy over and over. Also, his deliberately hideous ring gear is amazing, with even Jericho burying him for wearing something so ugly. Jungle Boy attacks to start, but he gets caught in the corner and double-teamed. Wardlow throws JB with a suplex, but Jungle fights out of the corner with an enzuigiri on Wardlow. MJF cuts of the tag and Jungle Boy escapes from that, but MJF takes the ref and no tag is allowed. “The chicks in bikinis are flipping out here!” notes Jericho. He doesn’t know where they came from or why they’re here, but they’re welcome to be there! The heels try a double suplex and JB flips out of it and makes the hot tag to Luchasaurus, who throws chops on both guys and hits MJF with a spinkick. Superkick for Wardlow and he follows with a leg sweep. They slug it out after a staredown and Wardlow puts him down with a drop suplex, but Luchasaurus gets a death valley driver and JB comes in hits MJF with a series of dives. Jericho calling the action EN ESPANOL is delightful. Wardlow heads off and takes out JB, but Luchasaurus hits Wardlow with a dive of his own. Back in, the Jurassics double-team MJF with a cutter for two, but Wardlow fires off a rana on Luchasaurus and sets up for the F10 on Jungle Boy. That’s reversed into a reverse rana, but Wardlow hits JB with a lariat to put him down again. MJF pokes Luchasaurus in the eye, but Lucha hits a powerbomb and MJF superkicks him on the way down and everyone is down. We get QUADRUPLE KIP-UPS and Jungle Boy hits MJF with a Canadian Destroyer (HAPPY CANADA DAY!) and they fight to the ramp where Wardlow tosses Marko at Jungle Boy on the floor. Back in the ring, MJF goes low on Luchasaurus and gets a rollup for two. Wardlow goes up with a swanton for two. MJF gets the diamond ring, but hits Wardlow by mistake, and Luchasaurus chokeslams him and follows with a standing moonsault for the pin at 11:02! So MJF remains unbeaten as a single, but the Jurassics got a BIG win here to kick off the show and it’s well deserved. All action here and a hell of an opener. ****
Next week: PUPPY BATTLE ROYALE! I expect NXT to counter with cats.
Meanwhile, Lance Archer and Joey Janela yell at each other at ringside in advance of their match next week.
AEW Women’s title: Hikaru Shida v. Penelope Ford
Tony catches up on some notes from Britt Baker during the introductions, and Aubrey sends Sabian back to the dressing room just in case. Shida dives in with the knee and tries to DO THE DEAL, but Ford escapes and rolls her up for two. They slug it out and Ford bails to the floor, but Shida hits her with a baseball slide and they fight out there. Ford sends her into the railing, but Shida comes back with the kneelift on the apron. Back in, Shida puts Ford on the top turnbuckles, but misses a charge and Penelope comes back with a handspring elbow and german suplex for two. We take a break and return with Ford putting the boots to her, and an inverted DDT gets two. They trade slaps while Jericho makes sure to bury Pineapple Pete during the Dark results. Ford tries another handspring, but Shida counters with a sleeper and turns it into a backbreaker, and then gets another backbreaker for two. Falcon Arrow, but Ford manages to reverse to a cradle for two. Shida hits a running knee in the corner and goes up with a dropkick, but that misses and Ford gets a stunner for two. Kip Sabian runs in again with the kendo stick, which allows Ford to get a rollup for two. Ford goes up and misses a moonsault by a mile, and Shida hits the running knees to the back and DOES THE DEAL for two. NOBODY KICKS OUT OF THE FALCON ARROW! Except for Ford. Twice. Another running knee strike finishes at 10:20 and Shida retains in a hard fought match. Yeah, they way over-delivered here. ***1/2
Technique by Taz: This week we’re looking at Jon Moxley and his Paradigm Shift DDT. Taz of course comes to the conclusion that he can’t hit the move on Brian Cage.
TNT Championship: Cody Rhodes v. Jake Hager
Cody is wearing an “American Nightmare” t-shirt that’s styled after the Great American Bash logo as a clear middle finger to WWE. They fight for the wristlock and Cody gets a knee off the ropes, but Hager takes him down and shoves him back into the corner. Cody tries a headlock and Hager powers him down and slugs away in the corner. Cody tries for an anklelock and Hager bails to escape, but Cody follows with a dive. Back in, Cody tries a crossbody, but Hager catches him, and Cody reverses out to a leglock. Cody with the figure-four, but Hager fights out of that and blocks a disaster kick with a double leg takedown. They head to the floor and Hager takes out “Wilfred Brimley” to Jericho’s delight as we take a break. Back with Cody making a comeback, but Hager tosses him. Arn prevents him from running Cody into the post, which allows Cody to do the deed himself. Back in, Hager grabs a sleeper, but Cody kicks off the ropes and gets two. Springboard cutter is the TSN TURNING POINT! (HAPPY CANADA DAY!) Cody makes the comeback with a powerslam for two. Cody charges and misses, and Hager gets the Hager Bomb for two. Hager biels him into the corner and tries another Hager Bomb, but Cody escapes and gets an inverted DDT for two. Cody goes up and Hager tosses him off the top for two. Jake goes for the anklelock, but Cody makes the ropes, so Catalina slaps him and Hager re-applies it. And then Dustin runs down and distracts Hager, who grabs the head-and-arm choke, but Cody takes him down with a cradle for the pin at 13:17 to retain. That’s a lot of interference for a supposed top babyface. Just saying. Hager lays out the ref afterwards, which is fine because he’s not a very good ref. I wasn’t super into the match but it was fine. ***
Meanwhile, Darby Allin is still not cleared, so he does some crazy skateboarding moves instead.
Santana & Ortiz v. Private Party
Orange Cassidy heads out and takes a seat beside the commentary desk in order to annoy Jericho, but Le Champion has his chi going and he’s like water. Santana offers Kassidy a free shot, but they head to the floor and Kassidy hits them with a dive. Back in, Quen gets a pair of moonsaults and Kassidy follows with an enzuigiri for two. Santana fires back with chops on Kassidy, but the thugs double-team him with a DDT and Ortiz rolls him into a wacky submission hold on the mat. Ortiz chops him down and we take a break. Back with the Circle working Quen over with a Gory Special and then an abdominal stretch from Santana, but Quen rolls into a hot tag to Kassidy. Forearms for Santana and he necks Ortiz to put them on the floor, then follows with a corkscrew dive. Back in, Kassidy with a swanton for two and it’s BONZO GONZO, but Santana rolls into a cutter on Kassidy and they double-team Quen with a powerbomb and cannonball in the corner for two. They fight to the floor and Santana runs Kassidy into the railing, but Hardy steals the madball and Quen rolls up Santana for two. Another rollup gets two. They set up for the Street Sweeper on Quen, but he pulls down the bandana to blind Santana and the Gin & Juice finishes at 11:05. The ol’ bandana peel finish. Another fun match in a series of them tonight. ***1/4 Finally Jericho can take no more of Orange’s ignoring him and tosses a bottle of water at him, but a series of referees and geeks break it up before anything can happen.
Meanwhile, the Elite is tired of hearing about people who “deserve” a title shot, and they’ll put away the Best Friends just like everyone else.
Next week: Fyter Fest Part Two! And apparently the main event has now been delayed until July 15 due to Covid. So instead the main event is Private Party challenging the winner of the tag team title match.
Brian Cage and Taz join us, and they’re easy like Sunday morning about the title shot getting moved back. But they’re still pretty sure that Moxley is ducking them because he’s been tested twice at home and was negative both times. And because they “don’t run a sloppy shop” in AEW, he’d be tested again if he showed up next week. So what he’s really suffering from is “a case of the chicken shits”. Is that like salmonella? Well, I’m disappointed that we’re losing our main event next week, but you can’t argue with a pandemic.
AEW World tag team titles: Kenny Omega & Hangman Page v. Best Friends
The challengers get dropped off in a minivan by Trent’s mom in your epic entrance of the night. Kenny and Chuck trade takedowns and then Chuck gets an armdrag and we switch off. Trent slugs it out with Hangman and hits him with a backdrop driver, and Chuck comes in with a snap suplex for two. Page suplexes them onto each other and it’s back to Omega for a backbreaker on Trent for two. Omega hits the crusher on Trent and Page follows with a standing shooting star for two, while FTR join us by the desk to relax and enjoy the show. Omega slugs away on Trent in the corner and we take a break. Back with Page hitting a corner clothesline on Trent, but the Friends double-team Omega on the floor and Trent hits a dive. Back in, Page gets his own dive on Chucky and hits Trent with a lariat in the ring. Omega comes in with a missile dropkick to the back and a fisherman’s buster gets two. Chuck comes in with a piledriver on Kenny for two, but Kenny comes back with a snapdragon on Chuck and then one on Trent as well. Back to Page, who hits the Friends with a double corner clothesline, and Omega hits Trent with a knee to the back for two. This sets up the Last Call, but Trent ducks it and they hit Strong Zero on Page for two, as Omega saves. Chuck escapes the One Winged Angel with a powerbomb and they’re so tired that they can barely even hug. But Page tosses Chuck and tries the Deadeye on Trent, who reverses for a cradle for two. A second Deadeye gets two. Page with the Buckshot lariat and that’s enough to finish at 15:22. Afterwards, FTR offers the champs some beer, but Kenny DUMPS IT OUT. Now that’s a heel move right there. This appears to trigger a brawl, but the Bucks broker peace and we’re out. I gotta say, I was pretty disappointed by the main event. It never really got into second gear and was just kind of a match with a dead crowd, plus an uninspired finish. **1/2
Overall, a really good show, although it ran out of steam by the end, especially once Jericho left commentary. I’d say it mostly delivered what it promised after all the buildup, and hopefully they can maintain that momentum next week. Jericho v. Cassidy especially should be in the main event spot and is probably going to be EPIC.
And of course, HAPPY CANADA DAY!