The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.15.20 (Fight for the Fallen)

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.15.20

“Fight for the Fallen 2020”

Live from Jacksonville, FL

Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz & Jim Ross

TNT title:  Cody Rhodes v. Sonny Kiss

Sonny has new gear and a cheerleader routine to go along with his entrance, although no Joey Janela with him.  Cody lays him out with a pump kick from jump street and adds a slingshot suplex that goes kind of limp.  Sonny tosses Cody to buy time and Cody skins the cat and hits a disaster kick for two, but Arn pulls him out and reads him the riot act for not taking this seriously enough.  And then Kiss attacks Cody from behind and runs him into the apron, and back in for a series of kicks.  Handspring is blocked by Cody with a full nelson, but Sonny does the splits to break free and comes back with a capture suplex.  Kiss with a rana out of the corner and he does a Matrix bridge into a headscissors, then hangs Cody in the corner and hits an axe kick to the midsection for two.  Cody tries a desperation Crossroads, but Sonny reverses it to his own for two.  Sonny goes up with a 450 for two while Arn is increasingly concerned.  Cody tosses him and Sonny skins the cat into a headscissors, but Cody dumps him to the ramp to counter and then follows with an Alabama Slam out there, which gets two in the ring.  Vertebreaker gets two.  They head to the top and Cody brings him in with a superplex for two.  Cody argues the count with Aubrey as his slow heel turn continues, and he counters a Kiss rollup into an crossface until Kiss makes the ropes.  Cody slugs away on the mat, getting more and more Bullet Club-ish as he pulls off the turnbuckle, but Kiss reverses him into the exposed steel for two and makes the comeback.  Kiss slugs away with forearms and a spinkick, but Cody wraps him up with the Crossroads to retain at 10:43.  Sonny Kiss continues to make the most of his Dynamite appearances here while Cody continues his slow burn.  ***1/2

FTR v. The Lucha Bros

Pentagon beats on Dax to start, but they trade chops in the corner and Penta gets a superkick to win that battle.  Fenix comes in for the double-team wheelbarrow splash, and that gets two. They fight for the suplex and Dax brings Fenix into the FTR corner for a double-team elbow with Wheeler, and that gets two.  Dax drops the leg and FTR continues cutting the ring in half, but Fenix escapes a suplex and brings Wheeler to the Lucha corner for some double-team kicks to put Cash on the floor.  And we take a break and return with Dax making a comeback with a snap suplex on both guys and a buckle bomb into a backdrop suplex on Fenix for two.  Luchas double-team Wheeler again and take turns with springboards onto him, and Penta gets two.  FTR comes back with a PowerPlex, but Fenix gets the knees up to block it.  But then Penta tries his own flying splash on Dax and he gets the knees up, and everyone is out.  They all slug it out and Penta heads to the apron with Cash and they trade suplex attempts before Wheeler hits him with a diving DDT to the floor.  And then Fenix hits Wheeler with a dive to the floor.  Back in, Fenix hits Dax with a pair of spin kicks, but Dax UNMASKS him and cradles him for the pin at 12:38.  This was hard fought but not really PPV quality or anything, with the match kind of lacking heat and a strong story.  ***1/4  Afterwards, the Bucks retrieve the truck keys for FTR and then Kenny brings out some beer as a make-good, but he gets it dumped on his head.  Well he had that coming after last week.

During the first two matches, Tully Blanchard was shown scouting in the crowd, which is a nice subtle hint that we may be seeing Cody and FTR doing the rumored Four Horsemen riff sooner or later.  Add in Hangman as your Barry Windham and it’s a nice fit, I think.

LE CHAMPION is here with the Inner Circle, explaining to us that he won the ratings war last week, specifically in the 18-49 demo.  He’s the DEMO GOD!  Man, they need to lay off on that stuff if they’re gonna be playing the victim card against NXT, although I guess Jericho being a troll about it is kind of the point.  Anyway, Orange Cassidy might have impressed Jericho, but there will be no rematch.  So they pour out an orange juice for Cassidy’s dead career, but Orange (slowly) interrupts from the crowd and Jericho accuses him of being an entitled sloth.  This earns Jericho the THUMBS DOWN from Orange, at which point the Inner Circle gets a giant orange juice bath, ruining Jericho’s $7000 jacket!  Not to mention the ring.  And then for the stinger, he demands a towel and someone hand him an Orange Cassidy beach towel.  Available now on!

The Jurassic Express v. The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega

Jericho continues on despite his orange juice soaking, doing color commentary for this match while sticky from juice.  Thankfully they had a chance to change the ring mat during the break.  Jericho clarifies that now there will be a rematch with Orange, and he’s never doing Being the Elite despite them asking every week.  Nick and Jungle Boy trade wristlock takedowns and Nick hits him with a spinkick and springboards in with the facebuster, but JB blocks it and lands on his feet in a cool spot.  Meanwhile, “Unlicensed Bartender” Adam Page is watching from his stool backstage.  Marko comes in and Kenny offers him some jazz hands of peace, but Marko slugs away and Kenny chops him in response.  Marko gets a headscissors to put Kenny down, finally prompting Kenny to remove his stylish Street Fighter x AEW shirt (available now on!) and it’s over to Matt and Luchasaurus.  Jericho thinks Luchasaurus is EXAGGERATING about being 65 million years old.  Indeed, he doesn’t look a day over 62 million.  Marko takes Matt to the floor with a rana and stops to floss, but Nick kicks him in the head and everyone piles up for the Terminator Dive from Kenny.  That looked a bit contrived.  We take a break and return with Jungle Boy hitting Nick with a rana off the apron, and then hits Matt with a swinging DDT into the ring.  Luchasaurus come in and hits the Elite with kicks, then chokeslams Nick into a standing moonsault for two.  Back at the bar, FTR stops by to drink with Page, since he’s unlikely to dump beer out when offered.  Kenny hits Luchasaurus with a V-Trigger, but he no-sells it, so Kenny hits him with a snapdragon and then follows with one for all the Jurassics.  But then JB & Luchasaurus launch Marko at Omega with a rana and Lucha gets two.  Everyone fights on the floor, but the Bucks hit the stereo superkicks on the dinosaur and the Elite does a triple powerbomb for two.  Marko goes up and slugs it out with Nick, and Jungle Boy bounces in with a rana off the top on Nick, followed by a 450 on Marko that gets two.  The Jurassics get tossed to the ramp, and regroup with an incredible Marko Stunt destroyer on Matt, as he launches himself off Luchasaurus’s shoulders while Matt is standing on the top rope!  Everyone is out, so Kenny sets up Marko for the V-Trigger and Luchasaurus tries to block.  But Kenny hits him with the V-Trigger anyway and finishes with the One Winged Angel at 14:12.  This gets an extra star for Jericho quoting MOTHERFUCKING FIREHOUSE on the finish.  You’ve gotta be a fan of a very specific era of music there and I’m exactly the target audience.  And then Kenny gets some extra shots on the Jurassics, with the Cleaner perhaps peaking through again.  ***1/2

Meanwhile, Hikaru Shida is open to taking on any challengers that are willing.

The Nightmare Sisters (Brandi Rhodes & Ally) v. Kenzie Page & MJ Jenkins

The deal is now that Ally and Brandi are reluctant teammates who are working together on for the Nightmare Family.  Jericho is now reading notes from Britt Baker in place of Tony.  Brandi takes Page into the corner with an elbow and Ally comes in with a seated clothesline on her.  Brandi makes a blind tag and superkicks Page, then hits a sling blade while Page tags out to Jenkins.  Ally bulldogs her and Brandi adds a spear.  Ally comes in with the inverted DDT and that finishes at 1:58.  Well it’s something for them to do.  ½*  Kenzie Page continues to look good for someone that young and green in this role.

Nyla Rose joins us to introduce her new manager, who of course is Vickie Guerrero.  I knew they couldn’t resist getting her on TV.  I feel like we’ve got enough managers and it’s getting a little silly now.

Next week:  Ivelisse debuts!  MJF squashes someone!  Young Bucks v. Butcher & Blade!  Jurassic Express v. Hager & Jericho!

AEW World title:  Jon Moxley v. Brian Cage

The announcers do clarify that the FTW title is not officially recognized by AEW, even though it was defended on Dark this week.  Cage attacks in the corner and clotheslines Moxley, then counters an armbar attempt with a Razor Ramon Sack of Shit slam.  Elbow and high kick in the corner, but Mox comes back with a missile dropkick (“Johnny Smith-like dropkick!” declares Jericho for another deep cut reference) and Mox goes to work on the arm.  Cross armbreaker is countered with a backdrop suplex and they fight on the apron, but Mox takes out the arm again and sends him into the post.  Cage stops for advice from Taz, but Moxley hits him with a dive and tries for the arm again.  Cage sends him into the railing, however, and beats on him out there, but Mox wraps his arm around a railing and kicks it to continue that damage.  Mox puts the railing on the apron and tries for the DDT, but Cage reverses to a german suplex and drops him on it as we take a break.  Back in, Cage goes to a camel clutch, but Mox fights out of it and hits the floor to escape.  He sets up a chair, but Cage follows him out and suplexes him through the chair while Jericho makes sure to wish harm on Pineapple Pete at ringside.  Back in, Moxley gets a small package for two and a rollup for two, but walks into a powerslam.  Cage goes up and misses a moonsault, so Moxley hits him with a pair of knees to the head and the lariat.  Cage fires back with his own knees, but Moxley hits the Paradigm Shift for two.  They fight to the top and Moxley brings him down with a superplex for two, and then rolls right into a kimura on Cage.  Cage powerbombs him into the turnbuckles to break that up, and then deadlifts him into a superplex from the apron to set up the Drillclaw.  Moxley reverses to a rollup and gets another try at the armbar, but Cage locks the hands to block it.  Moxley hangs on while Cage tries to slam out of it, and then turns it into the full armbar while flipping off Taz.  Cage won’t tap, so Taz throws in the towel at 13:45 and Moxley retains.  Cage attacks him afterwards and the lights go out, which brings Darby Allin out with a skateboard off the top to make the save.  Really good match with a simple story here, as Moxley went after the bad arm and stayed focused on it for the whole match.  However, I know I shouldn’t complain about getting clean finishes all of the time, but if there was EVER a time to pull out a double countout or indecisive non-finish, this was it.  Way too soon to beat Cage after all the buildup.  ***3/4

Anyway, although the crowd was a bit more quiet and subdued tonight, this show still flies by even though it took me about 4 hours to watch it for various reasons unrelated to the show.  Regardless, everything tonight was really good, and although this wasn’t up there with last week’s Fyter Fest show, this was a really enjoyable two hours where everything tends to make sense and leads to logical outcomes.