The SmarK Rant for AEW All Out 2020 – 09.05.20

The SmarK Rant for AEW All Out 2020 – 09.05.20

Live from Jacksonville, FL

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur

Tooth & Nail match:  Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Big Swole

So this is cinematic wrestling, as Swole shows up at Baker’s office (where Rebel is working the desk) but Baker appears to be gone.  But then Britt uses the old diploma to the head technique to attack and puts Swole in the chair for a molar extraction, which goes badly for her.  They head to the alley, where Rebel helps Britt out as they fight to the top of the golf cart, and Britt gets a DDT but can’t get Swole into the dumpster as planned.  And of course poor Rebel is the one who takes that bump instead.  Back into the office, where Britt gets a neckbreaker for two and drags Swole down the hall, but Swole boots her down for two.  Baker tries to literally use a power drill on Swole but punctures the chair instead, and then tries for a Novocain injection, but Swole directs that back into Britt’s leg.  Another diploma gets smashed in Rebel’s face, and then Swole puts her out with Nitrous Oxide to win at 6:30.  This was pretty wacky and not much else and probably would have better served on the pre-show.

The Young Bucks v. Jurassic Express

Jungle Boy trades takedowns with Matt, but Matt does not want any handshakes.  So they trade chops and Luchasaurus comes in with a high kick as the Jurassics clear the ring.  Back in, the Jurassics double-team Nick and Luchasaurus slugs away in the corner, but the Bucks trap him in the corner with double dropkicks and the bulldog into the dropkick for one.  Luchasaurus powerbombs Nick into Matt and it’s over to Jungle Boy, who sends Nick to the ramp but then springboards into Matt’s locomotion suplexes and they both end up on the floor.  And Matt finishes the suplexes out there!  That was pretty impressive.  Back in, Nick works the facelock on JB and hits a running knee as Matt gets two.  Nick springboards in with a double stomp and Jungle Boy fights back, but then Nick hits Luchasaurus with a superkick to cut off the hot tag and has an AMAZING sneer.  But then Luchasaurus gets the hot tag, and the Bucks cut him off with a double dropkick as well. Luchasaurus does the zombie dinosaur situp and chokeslams both Bucks before hitting Matt with a standing moonsault for two.  Nick trips up Luchasaurus, but JB hits Nick with a dive, and then Luchasaurus hits both Bucks with a moonsault to the floor.  Back in, Jungle Boy tries a rana, but Nick counters to a powerbomb on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING.  And then Matt goes out and kicks the crutch away from Marko Stunt before superkicking him.  Broken leg or not, I approve.  More double-teaming on Jungle Boy as they haul him into the ring for a draping senton that gets two.  BTE Trigger misses and JB tosses Nick and then hits Matt with a reverse rana and the Extinction Event for two.  Jungle Boy and Nick fight into the crowd, and Luchasaurus dives onto the crowd, but that leaves JB in the ring to get superkicked by Matt for two.  SUPERKICK PARTY gets two as JB won’t stay down.  So it’s another BTE Trigger and this finally finishes at 15:25.  Sneering heel Bucks are pretty awesome and this should have been the opener.  ****

Casino Battle Royale: 

We start with Trent, Christopher Daniels, Jake Hager, The Blade and Rey Fenix.  They pair off with Hager and Blade beating on Daniels while Trent and Fenix slug it out, but Trent gets a DDT out of the corner and we get more dull battle royale stuff as the first 3:00 period expires.  Next in are Kazarian, Will Hobbs, Chucky, Santana and Ortiz.  So they take out Chucky before he makes it to the ring, but Trent hits them with a dive.  Hobbs manages to throw out the Blade at 4:50 and Hager tosses out Daniels.  Next group is Billy of the Gunn Club, Penta, Ricky Starks, Brian Cage and Darby Allin.  Cage throws Billy of the Gunn Club out right away while Allin runs wild and gets a huge reaction from the crowd.  Fenix gets thrown out to the stage at 7:28 and the Best Friends do the hug, but Chuck gets thrown out by LAX as a result.  Last group is Shawn Spears (who decides to take his time and do commentary first), Eddie Kingston, the Butcher, Sonny Kiss and Lance Archer.  Sonny actually manages to dump out Hager, but then Cage throws him out.  Santana charges Trent and gets dumped out, but Archer throws Trent out and then slugs Ortiz out as well.  And then the joker card is Matt Sydal (the former Evan Bourne), who immediately comes in with a shooting star press but slips on the top rope and lands on his head.  What a debut.  So they do more battle royale stuff and Kaz gets thrown out.  Cage runs wild and suplexes everyone, but clotheslines Starks by mistake and Darby dumps Starks at 15:05.  Starks throws a tantrum and runs Darby into the post, then finds a body bag and fills it with thumbtacks, as Cage zips Allin into the thumbtack-filled body bag and then powerbombs him over the top to eliminate him at 16:44. Sydal takes Spears to the apron and double-stomps him to the floor at 17:52.  Hobbs hits Sydal with a spinebuster to get some shine, but Archer lays him out with the pounce and we get the Cage v. Archer showdown.  Cage sets up Archer for a 619, but Hobbs pulls Cage to the apron and Archer dropkicks them both to the floor and out at 19:38.

Final four:  Butcher, Eddie Kingston, Lance Archer and Matt Sydal.  Butcher manages to take Archer down with a bodypress, but Archer dumps him at 20:23.  Sydal DDTs Kingston, but Archer spikes Sydal with the Blackout and gets rid of him at 20:58.  Archer charges Kingston on the apron and they fight on the apron, but Jake freaks out Kingston with the snake.  Butcher and Blade return and run interference, but Archer chokeslams Kingston onto them for the win at 21:56, setting him up as the next challenger for Moxley.  Makes sense, but the match was nothing special and Sydal literally fell flat on his face in his big debut.

Broken Rules match:  Matt Hardy v. Sammy Guevara

We start with Matt walking around the football field cutting a promo on Sammy, who shows up in the golf cart to give us a reversal on the meme this time.  Sammy immediately runs it into a wall and they brawl in the concourse, where Matt DDTs him on a table and grinds his face into the scissor lift.  They head up in the air on that and Matt tries a Side Effect, but Sammy takes him down and through the merch table for an ugly and terrifying bump onto the concrete.  Matt does indeed answer the count, but they stop the match at 3:43 because Matt is clearly unable to tell what day of the week it is and can barely stand up on his own power.  But then they head down to the ringside area and apparently the match is going to continue?  So yeah, Matt keeps beating on Sammy and they climb up a scaffold, at which point Sammy falls off through a crash pad and Matt wins for real.  Obviously they skipped a LOT of stuff and just went right to the finish, but they should have just stopped the damn match and resumed it on Dynamite or something.  I’m pretty sure people would have understood.  *

AEW Women’s title:  Hikaru Shida v. Thunder Rosa

They slug it out to start and Rosa takes her down and goes for the ankle, but Shida makes the ropes.  Rosa goes for the arm and slugs away with forearms, but Shida gets a rana and they both try a dropkick as we get a stalemate.  Rosa slugs away in the corner with chops and follows with a running double knee to the back for two.  Shida comes back with a backbreaker to put Rosa on the apron and follows with the kneelift out there, but she sets up a chair and Rosa dives off it first with a knee to foil Shida’s plan.  Rosa wraps her around the post to work on the back and follows with a boot to the head for two.  Rosa with an Oklahoma Stampede into a backbreaker for two.  Shida comes back with a sleeper, but Rosa reverses her for two and then rolls her into a pendulum submission.  Legdrop, but Shida tries to turn it into a stretch muffler, so Rosa kicks her down.  Rosa tries a high kick, but Shida catches the leg and tries the muffler again.  Rosa escapes that, so Shida puts her down with a high knee and follows with a suplex for two.  Knee strike gets two.  Rosa fights back with a shotgun dropkick to put Shida on the stage and they fight to the top rope out there.  Rosa takes her down and hits her with a death valley driver on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING.  Back in, that gets two.  Rosa with a wristlock, but Shida makes the ropes.  Rosa goes up and Shida brings her down with a superplex.  They fight to the stage again, where Shida hits her with the meteora and nearly knocks HER out, too.  Back in, they slug it out and trade knees, but Rosa gets a release german and Shida hits the falcon arrow for ONE.  Another try is reversed to a rollup by Rosa for two, but Shida rolls her into the stretch muffler and Rosa makes the ropes.  Rosa with the backstabber for two.  They slug it out again and Shida gets two.  Backbreaker gets two, and the running knee strike finishes at 16:57.  Quality pro wrestling action here.  ***3/4

Meanwhile, Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford announce their wedding, LIVE on Dynamite at some point, and he’ll announce his best man.  We also get some shade thrown as they plug their Twitch stream and we get an “Approved by All Elite Wrestling” graphic.  That’s pretty funny.

The Dark Order v. Matt Cardona, Scorpio Sky, QT Marshall & Dustin Rhodes

Dustin slugs it out with Brodie Lee, and the babyfaces double-team Uno in the corner and Scorpio gets a legsweep for two.  QT gets caught in the Order corner as Colt Cabana comes in and throws elbows, and Brodie throws QT into the corner for a Flair Flip, but he tries a handspring on Grayson and gets caught.  He fights back with a flatliner, but Uno cuts off the tag and bites the fingers to keep him in the ring.  QT dodges the Order and makes the hot tag to Cardona, who hits Cabana with a missile dropkick to set up the Broski Boot, which is now “The Reboot”.  Brodie Lee saves and yanks him out of the ring for a beating, then offers up Cardona to Colt for two.  Colt with a chinlock and Cardona fights out of that, but Grayson comes in with a kneedrop and slingshot senton for two.  Brodie comes in and beats on Cardona in the corner and Uno gets the brainbuster for two.  Cardona finally fights back and makes the hot tag to Dustin, who hits Grayson with a bulldog and a powerslam.  Destroyer on Cabana, but Lee cuts him off with a big boot.  So it’s over to Scorpio, but Anna Jay comes in and brawls with Brandi while Sky sends Lee to the floor.  TKO on Grayson gets two, but Uno makes the save.  Cardona comes in with Radio Silence on Grayson and Uno and then hits him with a dive, but walks into a powerbomb from Brodie.  QT tags himself in and dropkicks Brodie out, and then he hits Dark Order with a dive of his own.  Back in, he tries the cutter on Grayson, but Uno powerbombs him and Colt hits a flying splash on him for two.  Brodie wants the tag, so Colt gives way, and we get a showdown with Dustin.  And then Brodie lays him out right away and Colt goes up, but misses a moonsault and Dustin cradles for the pin at 15:10.  This probably won’t go well for Colt.  Felt like a lot of filler and it didn’t need to be on PPV, but it ended up pretty damn good overall.  ***  And indeed, Mr. Brodie Lee shows his true colors to Colt, giving him a verbal beatdown for the first time.

Meanwhile, we learn that Dustin Rhodes gets a shot at the TNT title on Dynamite.  Dustin as a fired up babyface is GREAT.

AEW World tag team titles:  Kenny Omega & Hangman Page v. FTR

The jacket game of FTR is ON POINT.  Hangman is so down in the dumps right now that his graphic reads “I Don’t Care What the Graphic Says Anymore”.  Hey man, I’m having a rough year, too.  I feel ya.  The crowd is PUMPED for this one, and the champs nearly come to blows right away.  They regroup and lay out FTR with stereo boots and then double-team Wheeler with chops.  Page offers the high five and they get it together and work Cash over in the corner.  Hangman with a snap suplex for two and Kenny comes in with a springboard axehandle to the back as they hold Wheeler in the corner, and Kenny gets the crusher into Page’s shooting star press for two.  Unlike Sydal he doesn’t land on his face.  FTR double-teams Page and they wrap him around the post for some abuse, however, and Dax drops a leg for two.  FTR works him over in the corner with an exploding gutbuster that gets two.  Dax grabs a bearhug on the mat to continue working on the ribs, and we get the abdominal stretch and cheating behind the ref’s back.  Page with an inside cradle for two, but of course the ref is busy and misses most of it.  FTR sends Hangman to the floor and tries to beat on him, but Page fights back with a lariat and makes the tag to Omega.  Kenny runs wild with Polish hammers and gets a moonsault on Wheeler for two.  Kenny clears the ring with dropkicks and hits them with the Terminator dive, and back in for a missile dropkick on Wheeler for two.  Back in, we get a sweet double-team with a powerbomb from Dax into a german suplex from Wheeler for two.  Kenny fights them off with knees and brings Hangman back in, and the champs double-team FTR with a german suplex on Dax and powerbomb on Wheeler into a knee strike from Kenny for two.  They set up the Last Call, but Harwood trips up Kenny to stop that.  Wheeler tries a superplex and Kenny blocks that, but Wheeler takes the ref and allows Dax to get a cheapshot.  They all fight in the corner, but FTR hits the POWERPLEX for two.  Page breaks up the Shatter Machine, but Dax hits Omega with a brainbuster.  Kenny fights back with a reverse rana on Wheeler and the Tiger Driver gets two.  Kenny with the V-Trigger on Wheeler, but he misses a second one and hits the turnbuckle.  So FTR goes to work on the knee and Dax gets the inverted figure-four, forcing Kenny to make the ropes.  Dax goes back to the knee and Omega bails to regroup, allowing Hangman a chance to give him some moral support.  Well that’s nice.  Back in, FTR continues working him over in the corner using their patented tag rope, but Kenny fights back with a snapdragon on them both.  Dax cuts off the tag, but he charges and hits the post and it’s the hot tag to Hangman.  Springboard clothesline on Harwood and he catches Wheeler with the fallaway slam and dives onto Dax.  Back in, FTR double-teams him again, however, and hit stereo diving headbutts for two.  Kenny comes in and slugs it out on the apron with Harwood, but Wheeler catches him with an electric chair into Dax’s bulldog to the floor, ala the Steiner Brothers.  Back in, FTR continues double-teaming Hangman and they hit a double-team bulldog on HIM, for two.  They try another one, but Kenny breaks it up, and Page hits Wheeler with a top rope blockbuster suplex for two.  Incredible!  This sets up the Last Call again, but it misses, and Kenny hits Page with the V-Trigger by mistake.  Wheeler clips the knee to take out Omega, but Page is OUT and the spike piledriver gets two.  So they hit it again, and this time Kenny can’t save in time and FTR wins the tag team titles at 29:19.  It was time to change the titles and they were the right team to win it.  ****1/2  And then they crack open a beer for Hangman to thank him for all his “help”.  JR is disgusted at the generic beer.  And then a frustrated Kenny grabs the little table from ringside, threatening to take it out on Page, but then changes his mind as Hangman collapses in pain and Kenny walks away.  And he meets the Bucks in the backstage, telling them “it’s time for a CLEAN break” before leaving.  Man they can STILL go a whole bunch of ways with this story and it remains the best thing in wrestling right now.

MIMOSA MAYHEM:  Orange Cassidy v. Chris Jericho

There’s a couple of small pools of mimosa at ringside, which isn’t quite the “80 gallons” promised in the buildup but it does like a giant nacho cheese dip so that’s that.  I wonder if they had Groundskeeper Willie water down that orange drink to make enough for the match?  Jericho hits the codebreaker right away for two and follows with a backdrop suplex, then tries to catapult Orange into the mimosa and can’t pull it off.  So he throws the table at Orange and breaks a cocktail tray on his head.  Orange sends him to the floor and follows with a flying bodypress off the platform, then whips Jericho through the railing and they fight to the other mimosa vat.  Orange tries a rana, but Jericho catches him and threatens a powerbomb into the mimosa before hitting one through a table instead.  Jericho with the springboard dropkick to tease another trip to the mimosa and they head back in, where Orange comes back with the stunner, but Jericho turns him into the Walls.  Orange makes the ropes, but there’s no breaks, so he grabs a glass of mimosa and throws it in Jericho’s face for two.  Orange makes the comeback with the superman punch and throws Jericho out, but he fails to submerge LE CHAMPION in LE CHAMPAGNE.  Jericho tries to slam him into the drink, but Orange fights back with a top rope rana and tornado DDT for two.  Orange goes up again and lands in a codebreaker, and that gets two.  Jericho decides to go with a Splash Mountain into the mimosa for his big finish, but Orange escapes and hits the superman punch to put Jericho into the drink for the win at 15:10.  Well you knew Jericho was going into the pool win or lose.  Match was kind of a disaster, as they somehow made a battle to dump your opponent into 80 gallons of booze into a boring slog.  It wasn’t BAD, but it was way too high on the card for what it was.  **

Now I’m really craving some Tang for some reason.

AEW World title:  Jon Moxley v. MJF

MJF takes him down with a headlock and lets us know that he can do this all day.  But then Moxley spares us from that by slamming out of it, so MJF grabs another one.  “Sorry folks, you’re getting wrestling tonight!”  Good to know.  Moxley chops him down and they head to the floor, but MJF wants no part of that because that’s what the fans would like to see.  So Moxley outsmarts him and hits him with a dive, then crotches him on the railing and hits him with a clothesline.  We get some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION as Mox tries to break the fingers, and MJF screams for the ref, while the ref clarifies that he can’t help out on the floor.  Back in, MJF tries a Crossroads, but Mox reverses into a sleeper and MJF rolls him over for two and then goes to a cross armbreaker.  They head to the apron and Mox tries a suplex, but he gets distracted by Wardlow and MJF takes out the arm as a result.  Back in, MJF works the arm for two and goes to a top wristlock, then chokes him out in the corner.  Moxley fights back with chops, but MJF rakes the eyes and whips him into the corner for two.  They fight outside as MJF decries Jon’s supposed hardcoreness, but that just makes Moxley mad and he catapults MJF into the post for the inevitable five alarm blade.  I guess he heard masks were required and misinterpreted that as “crimson mask”.  Moxley with an X-Plex for two and MJF bails, so Jon follows him out with a black hole slam on the floor.  Back in, Moxley with the Gotch piledriver for two.  We get some biting in the corner and they fight to the top, but MJF double-stomps the arm to take it out again.  They slug it out, but MJF kicks out the knee and hits a superkick, and then Moxley fires up with a german suplex into a lariat for two.  MJF spits blood at him, so Mox gets pissed off and tries the Paradigm Shift, only for the ref to remind him that it’s illegal.  So MJF takes him down with the Fujiwara armbar, but Mox makes the ropes.  MJF hits his Heatseeker piledriver, but that gets two.  Another try at it, but Mox turns it into an Air Raid Crash for two.  They slug it out from their knees and Mox just blitzes him with strikes, but MJF hides behind the ref and thumbs the eye into a backslide for two.  Moxley tries the sleeper as MJF reopens his cut, but MJF goes low and cradles for two.   The Doublecross gets two.  Wardlow takes the ref and throws the ring in, but Moxley hits the Paradigm Shift with the ref distracted for the pin at 23:49.  And now MJF can cry foul and get a rematch, thus staying protected despite eating the clean pinfall.  Good ending to an uneven show.  ***3/4

So I’d definitely call this the weakest PPV of the Dynamite era and certainly longer than it needed to be.  But the main event delivered, as did the tag title match and the Bucks match, so I feel like I got my money’s worth out of it.  Thumbs up.