The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 10.07.20
Live or taped(?) from Jacksonville, FL Who even knows anymore.
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
Everyone shares their memories and opinions on LE CHAMPION, in honor of his 30th anniversary in wrestling.
FTW World title: Brian Cage v. Will Hobbs
I like that Cage’s graphics are in orange to go along with his Team Taz status. They slug it out to start and trade shoulderblocks, and Hobbs gets a bodyblock for two. Hobbs slugs away in the corner, but Cage brings him out with an electric chair facebuster for two as Excalibur relates the heartbreaking backstory of Hobbs. Cage beats on him with shoulders in the corner and gets a rollup into a dropkick, but Cage fails to cover, so Taz yells at him from the commentary desk. “Hey Cage, GO FOR THE COVER! JR IS RIGHT!” Cage with a standing moonsault for two. Cage goes to the chinlock, but Hobbs fights out with a back suplex and comes back with clotheslines and a big shoulderblock. Hobbs with a powerslam for two, but he tries a powerbomb and Cage flips out of that. So Hobbs gets a sitout spinebuster for two instead. Cage then catches him with a crazy pumphandle facebuster, throwing this giant man around like a ragdoll. F5 gets two. Hobbs fights up, so Cage drops him with a german suplex, and then Hobbs gets one of his own and they clothesline each other for the double down. They slug it out and Hobbs hits the spinebuster for two. Apparently that’s the “Last Will and Testament”, which is a bit clunky for a finisher name. Hobbs goes up and misses a frog splash, and Cage finishes him off with the Drill Claw driver at 9:16 to retain. Pretty decent hoss fight here but it was kind of slow and plodding at times. **1/2 Afterwards, Taz offers him a chance to join Team Taz or ELSE. But then Darby Allin saves before any beatdowns can be served and chases them off with the skateboard. I almost thought Hobbs might turn on him there and take Taz up on the offer, but they can still go there.
Meanwhile, we get some celebrity endorsements of Jericho, including Slash, Dennis Miller, TANAHASHI (!) and some guy named Ted Irvine.
Meanwhile, Lance Archer reminds us that he already met Moxley at Wrestle Kingdom earlier this year and he’s ready to kick his ass again. Man that seems like a LIFETIME ago.
AEW World tag team titles: FTR v. The Hybrid 2
Evans quickly gets a rollup on Dax for two and TH2 double-team him in their corner as Angelico comes in with a flying bodypress and wraps him up on the mat with a leglock before Cash saves. At this point the champs decide to grab the belts and leave, but the TH2 hit them with dives to stop that. Back in, Evans gets two on Dax. Evans goes up and Cash crotches him while Tully takes the ref, and Dax goes to work on the leg. To the floor, and Dax drops the knee onto the railing in a nasty spot and FTR wraps the knee around the post and double-teams it. We take a break and return with Cash in control, and Dax runs in and positions himself between the babyfaces to cut off the tag. Love that stuff. Dax with the half-crab, but Evans makes the ropes and comes back with a sunset flip for two. Hot tag Angelico and he wraps up both FTR guys in a submission hold on the mat, but Tully assists them with making the ropes. Back to Evans for a flying double stomp on Cash that gets two. Angelico flips Evans onto Cash with a 450 for two, but Dax finally pulls Angelico out to take him out, and then FTR hits a pair of suplexes on Evans for two. Evans fights back but gets put on the top by Dax. He fights Dax off and tries a corkscrew legdrop, but COMPLETELY misses, barely grazing Dax’s face with his foot on the way down. That looked BAD. Cash takes out Angelico on the floor while Evans backslides Dax for two, but finally Harwood destroys him with a lariat and powerbombs him for two. Evans won’t stay down, so Dax puts him on the top rope for the POWERPLEX, and that finishes at 13:41 to retain. Jack Evans was certainly game tonight. ***1/2
Meanwhile, the Young Bucks are watching the match backstage, but then get paranoid that the cameraman is SPYING on them, and hit him with superkicks as a result. But they still feel really bad about it. This brings Best Friends out to the ring with shirts that insinuate that FTR are WEENIES, and they’ll get a title shot next week on the anniversary episode of Dynamite.
Meanwhile, MJF shares a story about Jericho and how much he respects him. And then we get words from Shaq, Gene Simmons, Don Callis, Lars Ulrich, and DDP. There is some impressive namedropping on this show.
Meanwhile, we take a look at the Brodie-Cody story thus far, and Arn Anderson is pretty worried about his man.
TNT Title, Dog Collar match: Mr. Brodie Lee v. Cody Rhodes
Amazingly, Greg Valentine is in the crowd and still looks the same. They’ve done a really impressive job of building up the big fight feel here, despite bringing Cody back prematurely to announce Jethro’s Got Talent and all. Cody immediately takes out poor John Silver, but that just allows Brodie to beat Cody down and get a slam. Elbowdrop gets two. Silver is immediately bleeding from Cody’s shot with the chain, which I’m sure will be a theme soon. Cody runs up and tries the springboard cutter, but Brodie yanks him down with the chain and Cody splats on the mat. They fight to the floor and Brodie drops him facefirst on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, before sitting Silver down on a chair and then hurling Cody into him. Poor Silver getting abused will never not be funny. Back in, Brodie with a DDT onto the chain and he sends John Silver to the back for being so useless, which gives Cody a chance to blade. Don’t have to ask HIM twice. Brodie rips at the cut and throws chops in the corner, but Cody goes low with the chain and hits a Russian legsweep with the chain to come back. Brodie bails to the floor, so Cody hits him with a tope, but then Brodie uses the chain to pull Cody into the railing a few times and really dish out the abuse. They fight on the apron, but Cody drops down and yanks Brodie into a cutter on the floor and we take a break. Back with replays of Cody hitting a package piledriver through a chair, and now Brodie is wearing the CRIMSON MASK. So Cody comes back and whips him with the chain, and his collar is actually coming loose. Cody uses the post to wrap up Brodie in a choke, but Brodie tosses him over the top and hangs him as they recreate the famous Valentine-Piper match. Back in, Brodie with the Truckstop slam for two. And then he WINGS a chair at Arn Anderson, but Arn hits Alex Reynolds with a spinebuster before Brodie takes him out. Cody rolls up Brodie for two and comes back with a beating in the corner, then chokes him out with the chain but can’t put him out. So Cody goes up with a moonsault for two, but Brodie fights back with boots. Crossroads gets ONE as Brodie gets all fired up, so Cody tries a Vertebreaker and Brodie escapes and superkicks him into a powerbomb on the chain for two. Back to the floor, but Cody yanks Brodie into the post and then goes up, but he stops to showboat and gets brought down with a superplex. Cody fights back again, but Brodie drops him on his head with a dragon suplex. Cody gets a Final Cut and then chokes Brodie out with the chain again, wrapping it around his face while elbowing him in the head, and another Crossroads finishes at 20:20 to give Cody his title back. Not quite up there with the Starrcade original but this was a hell of a brawl. ****1/4 And after his win, Cody declares that he’s not taking a dark path just because he dyed his hair, and he’s gonna be a babyface for the fans and he’s gonna defend his title next week at the anniversary show. So this brings out Orange Cassidy and there’s our title match.
More names announced for the World title tournament: Colt Cabana, Wardlow, and Hangman Page. We get words from Kenny Omega about this, and he’s always down for a tournament, and he’s impressed that “even tag team wrestlers like Hangman Page are entered”. And then he says Hangman’s name about 8 more times to show how much he doesn’t care about Tag Team Wrestler Hangman Page.
Big Swole v. Serena Deeb
I think that blowoff to the Swole-Baker feud was such a wet fart that they may have wasted how over Swole got. Swole wins a test of strength and takes Deeb down, but Deeb rolls her up for one. So Swole wraps her up and pounds the back, but Deeb puts her down with a clothesline out of the corner and Swole bails to the apron. Deeb hits with a neckbreaker in the ropes and we take a break. Back with them colliding in the corner for a double down, but they trade rollups for two. Swole comes back and hits the rolling elbow for the pin at 8:05. Swole has a great personality but she’s still a lot of nothing in the ring. *1/2
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley reminisces about dealing with Lance Archer, and Lance is gonna have to unstrap the title off his dead body to take it.
Next week: Moxley v. Archer! FTR v. Best Friends! Cody v. Orange Cassidy!
Meanwhile, we get words from Lance Storm, Kevin Smith, Eli Roth, Gabriel Igelias, Chavo Guerrero, Steel Panther, Ultimo Dragon and Paul Stanley.
Chris Jericho & Jake Hager v. Dr. Luther & Serpentico
Serpentico takes Jericho down with a flying headscissors and a rana, but Jericho swats him down and it’s over to Luther. They slug it out and Luther boots him down and follows with a clothesline and double underhook suplex, and we take a break. Back with Serpentico countering a backdrop into a DDT, and Luther cuts off the tag and clotheslines Jericho to the floor. Serpentico hits the Circle with a dive and then Luther goes up and does his own dive onto everyone. Back in, Luther goes up and hits Jericho with a flying kneedrop for two. Jericho tries a springboard and Luther counters him with a forearm, then goes up with a top rope bulldog after some shaky legs. Luther ducks the Judas and hits a german suplex, and Serpentico comes in with double knees off the top for two. Hager takes out Serpentico and Jericho calls for the bat, but Luther catches it and nails him with it, for two. And then Sammy takes the ref and finally Jericho hits the Judas Effect to finish him off at 9:15. Clearly Jericho wanted to go out of his way to give Luther as much as possible here. It was fine, even with Luther seemingly having nerves in the middle of the match and nearly falling off the top rope multiple times. **1/4 But then Jericho does his 30 year promo, and MJF interrupts and Wardlow has someone under a sheet. So MJF just wants to be part of the celebration and it’s GIFT O’CLOCK in Jacksonville. In this case, a clown named Clownico who brings Jericho a framed picture of MJF. So Jericho smashes the picture on the clown and hits him with the Judas Effect. Sadly, Jericho hates clowns and hates being interrupted, and we get a tease of some tension before they blow it off and we get the SNL ending, complete with fake credits, to end the show. You just know MJF v. Jericho is gonna be awesome when they finally do get there.
Dog collar match wins the day here, but the rest was a very entertaining show as usual that continues to build some long-term storylines. Next week should of course be EPIC and I’m greatly looking forward to it. Also it’s interesting how AEW played the Jericho celebration completely straight for the whole show, letting him have his moment without doing a goofy angle or having someone humiliate him.