The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 09.30.20
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Taz, Jim Ross & Excalibur
Ricky Starks v. Darby Allin
Starks gives him a slap to start, so Darby chases him into a guillotine and forces Starks to make the ropes. Darby does a nice monkey flip into an armbar combo, and Starks makes the ropes again. They fight for the suplex on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and Allin wins that one. Darby follows with a tope to run Starks into the railing, but this brings out Cage and Will Hobbs and they brawl to the back to keep things even. But Starks yanks Darby out to the floor and beats on him in the ring to take over. He whips Allin around the ring and takes him down for a half-crab, but Darby makes the ropes. Starks curb stomps him for two and then chops the back for good measure, but Darby fights back with the Code Red for two. They slug it out, but Allin maintains the wrist control and takes him down with another armbar, and then grabs the other arm and prevents him from grabbing the ropes. So Starks uses his head to get into the ropes and force the break instead. They trade MEAN GUY slaps and slug it out, and Darby flips into the stunner and follows with a springboard DDT, but Starks counters him with a spear out of the air for two. Starks takes him to the top rope and sets up for a Rochambeau up there, but Allin reverses out and hits him with the coffin drop for the pin at 10:00. Hell of an opener. ***1/2
Cody Rhodes joins us to update his injury status, and his injuries are healed but his mental scars might never heal. So he tells the tale of going to Hollywood and meeting all those important celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Jennifer Nettles, dropping names like a complete douchebag, and then teases saying “No” to the challenge and walking away, but then changes his answer to “No regrets, I accept” and makes the match for next week. Also, we learned why wrestlers actually shake hands all the time: It’s not because of respect, it’s because they need each other and there’s always two people on the marquee. Well now I’ve learned something. So then Mr. Brodie Lee comes out to confront Cody, bringing the Dark Order with him, but agents pull them apart, at which point Brandi hits the ring and dives onto the Dark Order. But then Anna Jay takes her out, and then Nyla Rose pops out of the crowd and interjects herself too. Pretty great crazy brawl here.
Meanwhile, Tony is interviewing FTR, and Dax bitches that “Dave Meltzer gives the Young Bucks all the stars” but it doesn’t translate into tag team champions. And then Matt Jackson comes out of NOWHERE and superkicks Tony in an amazing spot, while FTR complains that Matt ignored them. That was great.
AEW World tag team titles: FTR v. Kazarian & Scorpio Sky
Interesting that Scorpio is back with them after he went solo. I sense a great disturbance in the Force coming up here. Dax works a headlock on Kaz to start while Hangman joins us on commentary, pointing out that Kenny has been calling himself a singles guy, but has he had an actual singles match yet? NOPE. Sky comes in for a double-team on Dax, FTR bring him into their corner and he wisely backs off. Sky runs the ropes with Cash, but Cash dives like a soccer player right in front of where Daniels is standing, so the ref throws Daniels out. That’s some QUALITY heeling. Hangman asks him to bring another drink if he comes back. SCU double-team Dax with a double backdrop and put him on the floor before tossing Cash onto him, but Kazarian tries a baseball slide and misses. FTR chase him over to the other side of the ring, but they walk over right to where Sky is diving. Clever! But then Sky gets suckered by them and Dax lays him out on the floor as we take a break. By the way, to address a question I’ve had from US viewers before, when they go to picture-in-picture. TSN sometimes goes to it as well, but mostly they don’t, so I just skip over all the commercials either way to keep it consistent. Back with Kazarian in control on Dax with a rollup and he manages to catch Cash with a northern lights suplex while holding THAT, and it gets two. Fisherman’s suplex on Cash gets two. Dax comes in with a sunset flip off the top on Kazarian and a dropkick from Cash helps finish the move for two. They fight over the backslide and Kaz gets the tag to Sky, and a german suplex gets two. Dax puts him on the floor with forearms, but he comes back in with a crossbody on Dax for two. Stereo cutters on FTR get two. FTR double-teams Kaz with a Dax powerbomb into a dragon suplex from Cash for two, which was set up by Kaz colliding with Sky and knocking him off the apron. Uh oh, Rick Martel at WM5 alert! Kaz fights them off alone in the corner while Sky sells outside, but FTR sets up a Doomsday Device, which Kaz turns into a powerslam on Dax for two like the Steiners used to do. Sky comes in with a crossbody on Cash for two, and a crucifix for two. Rollup gets two. Tully tries to save his man, but Sky rolls him up for two. Cash bails to the ramp, but Sky suplexes him in, so Cash bails to the apron again. Sky with another suplex, but Tully hooks the leg for ANOTHER WM5 tribute and Cash gets the pin at 15:51 to retain. This stuff cannot be a coincidence. This was just non-stop action bell to bell. **** And no turn from Sky yet? OK, well I can wait.
Meanwhile, the announcers discover that there is an 8 man tournament coming up for a World title shot at Full Gear, and one of the competitors is Kenny Omega. Hangman is none too pleased about this and he storms off drunkenly.
Chris Jericho v. Isiah Kassidy
Man, once Jericho does turn babyface, that Judas singalong deal is gonna be HUGE. Huger. Jericho slaps him around to show him who’s the Demo God, but Kassidy gets fired up and takes him down and then hits a rana and La Majastral for two. So JR notes that the move is also called an Oklahoma Roll and Danny Hodge used to do it, which I don’t think is true at all. Isn’t the Oklahoma roll more of a deal where you hook the guy like a Perfectplex and then roll him over into a pin that way? I am pretty sure that La Majastral/Dandino was only imported from Mexico in the late 80s when guys like Liger started using it. Jericho puts him down with a forearm to take over, but Kassidy slingshots him to the floor and follows with a baseball slide that misses. But then Jericho gets into the face of Dr. Luther for some reason and Luther wallops him. We take a break and return with Jericho beating on the back and hitting a suplex, but he misses a blind charge and hits the corner, allowing Kassidy to make a comeback. Stunner gets two. Kassidy throws chops and hits another stunner, but that gets two. Jericho tries the Lionsault and that misses, and Kassidy hits his own for two. Kassidy hits his own Codebreaker for two, but then tries a springboard and KABOOM, the Judas Effect finishes at 11:43. And then the Inner Circle gets into a brawl with Luther and Serpentico to set up a totally random feud. Great showing from Kassidy here. ***
Meanwhile, Miro and Kip Sabian are planning the bachelor party at an arcade, but Miro is having trouble hitting his inspiration until a random cameo from BILLY MITCHELL puts this over the top in nerd heaven.
Orange Cassidy v. 10
Before the match, the Best Friends bump into FTR, who deride their standing in the tag team division, but Orange calls them weenies and makes them flinch. 10 steals the sunglasses and presents them to the delightful John Silver, which distracts Cassidy long enough for 10 to hit an End of Days for two. 10 with the delayed suplex for two. He sticks Orange’s hands in his pockets to mock him, but Orange fires back, so 10 gets a spinebuster and then boots Orange off the apron. So then the Dark Order geek squad does a Best Friends hug, complete with camera zoom, but this is TOO MUCH for Cassidy and he hits them with a dive. Back in, swinging DDT and he follows with the Orange Punch and finishes with the Air Raid Crash at 3:33. Good to see him getting another win already but they to get him off TV for a while so he’s not overexposed. **
Meanwhile, MJF stops by the Inner Circle’s sanctum with GIFTS. Which he unwraps for Jericho and presents everyone with personalized jackets. Except Sammy, because someone screwed up and forgot him. Jericho again asks MJF if he wants to join the Inner Circle. But MJF wants to know if Jericho wants him to join the Inner Circle and they go around with that routine before having some more mutual admiration but settling nothing. Sammy: “What a los –” Jericho: “Ssh, ssh, perhaps he’s not.” Oh man, poor dumb Sammy is already roadkill and doesn’t even realize it yet.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Red Velvet
Baker takes her down with a wristlock right away and goes to a double underhook on the mat and cradles for two. Taz: “Team Taz has got a whole free dental care gimmick going on here because of Dr. Baker!” That’s a great deal. Baker hits her with forearms, but Velvet comes back with a leg lariat and a bulldog for two. Britt takes her down with a short clothesline as JR notes that “normally wrestling dentists are ugly, but not Dr. Baker.” Is there really that much of a precedent for wrestling dentists past Dr. Isaac Yankem and the guy who invented the mandible claw? Britt gets a sling blade, but Velvet rolls her up for two. So Britt hits a superkick and the swinging neckbreaker, and then curb stomps her to finish at 4:40. And then Britt rolls her into the Lockjaw for good measure (after waiting for a glove from Rebel). *1/2
Next week: Brian Cage defends the FTW title against Will Hobbs! Jericho & Hager v. Luther & Serpentico! Mr. Brodie Lee v. Cody for the TNT title in a dog collar match!
Eddie Kingston joins us to introduce Jon Moxley’s challenger tonight, but first he wants to bitch at Bryce Remsberg for calling him out last week despite the lack of a submission to the choke. Moxley comes out to save the ref from any further abuse, and we get…
AEW World title: Jon Moxley v. The Butcher
Butcher lays him out from behind and goes to work on the back with forearms and follows with a clothesline and kneedrop. Butcher chokes him out on the ropes and the Kingston Trio lay the badmouth on him as we take a break. Back with Butcher working the knee, but Moxley fights back with a neckbreaker and a PK for two. Mox goes for the armbreaker, but Butcher just powers out and slugs him down. British Bulldog powerslam gets two, and Butcher goes to a half-crab before Moxley escapes that. Butcher continues pounding on the knee to set up a horse collar this time, but Mox escapes from that and bails to the floor. Butcher goes after him, but Moxley suckers him in and sends him into the railing to buy some time and space. Back in, Moxley makes the comeback with forearms, but can’t run on the bad knee in a nice touch, and Butcher hits him with a crossbody for two. Mox tries a german, but the knee gives out again and Butcher hits him with a uranage for two. Legdrop gets two. Taz notes that Kingston is carrying around a white towel at ringside and advises him to put it in his pocket, just in case. Moxley comes back again and goes for the armbar, but Butcher reverses him into a kneebar. Mox powers out of that and follows with a piledriver for two. They fight to the top, but Moxley falls off again and Butcher hits him with a crossbody for two. Butcher stomps him down, but Moxley suddenly counters into the DDT and turns it into the bulldog choke to finish at 14:15. I’m surprised they didn’t do some kind of wacky finish with Kingston accidentally throwing in the towel to setup another title match. Just a solid hoss fight here as Moxley continues his gimmick of taking punishment from a variety of people and figuring out a way to win. Big props to the Butcher for getting put into this position and working his ass off. ***1/2
Tremendous show this week with a hot crowd and great stuff up and down the show. The only weak point would probably be the women’s match and maybe the Orange Cassidy squash, but that first hour was just balls to the wall greatness and they were still setting up stuff for the future at the same time.