The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 09.16.20
(OK, I gave Tommy a couple of hours for a head start…)
Live (taped?) from Jacksonville, FL for the next few months.
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
FTR v. Jurassic Express
The Bucks join us for a Superkick Party and take out the ref before FTR even makes their entrance and the announcers are SHOCKED. Come on, it’s just a referee. They toss their $5000 fine at Tony Khan on the way past gorilla, so at least they’re paid up. FTR double-teams Jungle Boy right away and works the arm, but JB takes Dax down for two. Over to Luchasaurus, who blocks a charge and kicks Dax down for two. The Jurassics double-team Dax in their corner and JB does a senton off Luchasaurus’ back for two, but walks into a NASTY back elbow to put him down in the heel corner. Cash comes in with a bow and arrow to stretch him on the mat and they put the boots to him to set up a snap suplex from Dax for two. Cash gets an abdominal stretch and they double-team him with a suplex/neckbreaker combo for two. JB fights back with a clothesline on Cash and makes the hot tag to the dinosaur, and he runs wild with clotheslines. He throws Wheeler into Harwood and chokeslams Cash to set up a standing moonsault for two. Blind charge misses, but Luchasaurus hits them with kicks anyway and Jungle Boy comes in with a sliding forearm to the back of Dax’s head for two. Dax tries a suplex but JB reverses for two. But then Dax suplexes him on his head and it’s back to Cash. Jungle Boy catches him with a cradle for two, and then catches Dax with a crucifix for two and a victory roll for two. He goes up with a crossbody, but Dax rolls through, and Jungle Boy rolls through again for two. Luchasaurus slugs it out with FTR, but Jungle Boy rolls up Dax for two and hits him with forearms. Dax tries a backslide and JB reverses to an inside cradle for two, but poor Luchasaurus accidentally dives into the front row and he’s done for. This leaves Jungle Boy alone as he gets a sunset flip on Dax for two, but Cash pulls them over and holds Dax on top for the pin at 12:19. Man they did everything possible to make Jungle Boy a star before that loss and this was a tremendous opener to the show. ***1/2
Meanwhile, someone has laid out Matt Hardy backstage, which Chris Jericho finds HILARIOUS. I’m sure he had nothing to do with it.
Frankie Kazarian v. Hangman Page
Page’s graphic remains the highlight of every show: “No Longer In a Tag Team”. Page’s broken-hearted regret for leaving the Elite is such a great slow burn storyline. Kenny Omega is doing commentary and once again stresses that should they fall into a tag title match, then so be it, but it’s no longer his focus. Kaz takes him down and works a cravat on the mat, which leads me to wonder what the HELL is with Page’s long tights here. Stick with the trunks, Hangman. Page and Kaz trade chops in the corner and Page gets a snap suplex for two, but Kaz slugs back as Page is having trouble getting his cowboy shit together. Finally he gets a clothesline on the apron to put Frankie on the floor and he follows with a dive as we take a break. Back with Page hitting him with clotheslines until Kaz goes down, but they slug it out with forearms until Kaz blocks a blind charge with a boot out of the corner. Page hits him with a fallaway slam and follows with a standing shooting star for two. Page misses another apron clothesline attempt, and Kaz spikes him with a DDT for two. They trade backslides and Frankie reverses into an Unprettier for two. They trade rollups and Page hits him with a sliding lariat and follows with a pumphandle into a death valley driver for two. Page wants the buckshot lariat, but Kaz reverses him into a cutter for two. Page catches him with a powerbomb for two. Another try at the buckshot, but Kaz slides under him and they slug it out on the floor. But Page rebounds with a lariat off the apron and they fight on the apron, where Page throws boots to fight him off and then finishes him off with the buckshot lariat at 13:33. WOW! I didn’t know Page had this kind of match in him, especially in 100 degree heat. Just a great hard-hitting, hard-worked effort. **** But then Kenny sneaks away from the commentary desk before Page can make any awkward conversations.
MJF v. Shawn Dean
MJF immediately takes him down with the armbar and taps him out at 0:10, so he’s got more time to cut his promo this week. So he accuses Moxley of CHEATING and demands that Justin Roberts announce him as undefeated. Or else. Apparently you need to be part of a stable to get ahead and he’s leaning in that direction, but either way he’s still better than us. I wonder if that’s setting up his dudebros coming over from MLW?
Meanwhile, Taz breaks down Ricky Starks and his finisher, although he’s a bit biased.
Eddie Kingston joins us with the Lucha Brothers, and wants to clarify that they’re not a stable or a faction like MJF is talking about, they’re a family. Of violence. So Butcher and Blade demonstrate by grabbing random geeks out of the crowd and beating them up. Eddie is hilarious doing commentary while they destroy the guys (“Hey, pink shirt, good night”) and that seems to sort out their issues from last week. But now Blade needs to get his house in order. Yeah I was wondering when they were going to address that whole weird Allie situation.
Private Party v. Chris Jericho & Jake Hager
Private Party dodges the heels and sends them to the floor before following with stereo dives, and Kassidy pounds on Hager back in the ring. Double suplex on Hager gets two for Quen. Jericho comes in and pounds him with chops as JR argues that perhaps it was Private Party who attacked Matt Hardy. Well that’s just silly. Hager works Quen over in the corner with body shots and puts him on the floor, but Marc comes back with a missile dropkick and makes the hot tag to Kassidy. Quebrada gets two on Jericho and he tries a springboard move, but Hager uses the baseball bat to turn the tide as we take a break. Back with Hager working on Kassidy with a sleeper, but he makes the hot tag to Quen and he runs wild with an atomic drop on Jericho, followed with a tope con hilo on Hager. Private Party double-teams Jericho with a double foot stomp into a neckbreaker for two. Hager tries to save and collides with Jericho, allowing Kassidy to hit a rana on the Demo god for two. However, Kassidy’s back is hurt and he can’t keep him down. Kassidy slugs away with forearms and he ducks the Judas Effect and gets a rollup for two, and follows with a stunner, but he can’t make the cover. And then Jericho hits him with the Judas Effect and puts him away at 13:00. I like that Kassidy was selling it with a twitching arm for extra effect. Jericho puts him in the Walls for good measure, but Quen saves with a Pele kick. Another solid tag team match this week. ***1/4
NWA World Women’s title: Thunder Rosa v. Ivelisse
Rosa misses a blind charge and gets booted in the corner, but comes back with a Gory Special as we take a break. Back with Rosa working the leg and hitting a clothesline in the corner, setting up a shotgun dropkick on the ropes for two. Meanwhile they hype up the special one hour Late Night Dynamite, which not gonna lie, sounds awful. But it’s just an extra thing so whatever. Rosa puts Ivelisse off the ropes but she lands on her feet, so Rosa hits her with a death valley driver for two. Ivelisse rolls into a head kick for two, but Rosa boots her and goes for the death valley driver again. Ivelisse spins out of that, so Rosa spikes her with the tombstone and gets the pin to retain at 8:52. Diamante comes in for the beatdown, but Shida makes the save and returns the belt to Rosa. **1/2
Meanwhile, Kip Sabian and his best man Miro are working out and planning the BEST BACHELOR PARTY EVER. What a weird spot for Rusev to debut in.
Lance Archer joins us, beating up some guy from the audience on the way to the ring, and he’s looking for tag team partners for next week. So Jake invites Team Taz to step up, which Taz is into. Moxley comes out to survey the situation, but Cage and Starks jump him and lay him out, until Will Hobbs of all people makes the save with a chair. Hey, they’re taking a shot with him, good for them. Moxley endorses Hobbs as his partner and also invites Darby Allin to join them next week, and we’ve got our main event.
Next week: Moxley, Hobbs & Allin v. Lance Archer & Team Taz! Mr. Brodie Lee defends the TNT title against Orange Cassidy! Shida & Thunder Rosa v. Diamante & Ivelisse!
Parking Lot Fight: Santana & Ortiz v. Best Friends
Santana and Ortiz are painted for war like Dead Presidents, which is an amazing visual. The “ring” is a circle of cars, and they start throwing each other into the cars right away. Chuck sends Santana into a side mirror while Trent puts Ortiz in the trunk and drops a senton onto him. That’s nuts. They continue slugging out and plunder from the back of a truck gets used, but Santana has a baton stashed in the wheel well of a car and uses that to lay out the Friends. Trent takes a catapult under the tailgate of a truck, but Chuck makes a comeback and runs Ortiz into some trash cans. They fight on top of the car and Ortiz suplexes Chuck on the roof, with Santana following with a splash onto the roof for two. Ortiz grabs the baton again and hits Trent in the ribs, but Trent escapes a powerbomb and spears Ortiz through a door, drawing a nasty cut on Ortiz’s arm. Santana attacks Chuck and beats him down on the hood of the car, but Chuck gets a suplex onto the hood and both guys are down. Trent tries a DDT on Ortiz, but that’s blocked, so Chuck runs Ortiz into a car instead. A railing gets put on the car and Chuck suplexes Ortiz onto that. Trent beats on the bloody forehead of Santana, but he goes after Ortiz on the roof of the car and gets powerbombed on the roof in a crazy spot. And then LAX powerbombs Trent through the windshield in an even more psychotic spot. HOW DO YOU LEARN TO FALL THROUGH A DAMN WINDSHIELD? Chuck grabs a bat and goes it alone, fighting off both heels, but Santana backdrops him onto a trash can and Ortiz beats him down with a piece of board while Trent bleeds all over the concrete. Santana puts Chuck against the car and just beats him down mercilessly, and then grabs the bat and takes a run at him, only for Orange Cassidy to pop out of the trunk and clean house with a steel chain assisted Orange Punch. This allows Chuck to piledrive Santana on the hood of a car, and Trent finishes Ortiz with Strong Zero on the flatbed of a truck at 13:10. And then Sue arrives in the minivan, collects her boys, and flips off the Inner Circle before riding into the sunset. Good luck to anything topping this spectacle for a long time. ****1/2
This was one HELL of a show this week, and if it wasn’t live then the crowd sweetening was so much more effective in making the crowd sound hot and into the whole show. THUMBS UP.