The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 10.14.20

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 10.14.20

Live from Jacksonville, FL

Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur

AEW World tag team titles:  FTR v. Best Friends

Cash puts Chucky down with the shoulderblock and FTR works the arm, but Chuck takes Dax down with armdrags and Best Friends double-team him.  Trent kicks him down for two and goes to his own armbar, but Dax gets a cheapshot in the corner to escape and they trade chops.  Dax tries the slingshot suplex, but Trent escapes from that and fights them off by himself until Cash drops him on the top rope.  Cash with a backdrop suplex for two and FTR goes to work on Trent with the double-teams.  Cash puts the boots to him, but Trent fights back from the apron until they send him to the floor to cut him off.  Back in, Trent goes for the tag, but Dax picks the ankle and hauls him back to the corner for more abuse.  Cash goes to a neck vice, but Trent fights out of that and comes back with a clothesline.  But then Dax gets in between the babyfaces and cuts off the tag again.  Trent tries to go up, but Dax brings him down with a back superplex and both guys are down.  Cash comes in for two off that, but goes up and tries a pump splash, which hits knee.  This finally sets up the hot tag to Chuck, who clotheslines them both to the floor and follows with the tope.  Back in, Chuck with the Falcon Arrow, but Dax kicks out.  Chucky with a suplex and Tully trips him up from outside, and Dax falls on top for two, allowing FTR to double-team him again.  But then Trent breaks it up and Chuck gets a sunset flip on Cash for two.  Back to Trent for the half-and-half and running knee from Trent, and that gets two.  Dax takes out Chuck from the apron just to be a dick, while Trent slugs away on Cash until he runs into a lariat.  Dax in with an alley-oop into a powerbomb for two. Backdrop driver gets two.  Dax takes Trent to the top, but Trent fights them off, only to get crotched.  Dax tries another backdrop suplex off the top, but Trent falls on top for two.  Tornado DDT on Cash, but Dax hits Trent with his own DDT for two.  They set up for the spike piledriver, but Best Friends switch it to Strong Zero on Dax instead, and that gets two.  Chuck takes Cash to the floor and tries a falcon arrow out there, which would surely kill him, but Cash reverses to a brainbuster.  They fight into the crowd and Trent goes into the arcade cabinet (now there’s a sentence you don’t type every day), which has Kip Sabian pretty upset.  Not enough to do anything himself, of course, but he does send Penelope back to the dressing room for backup.  Back in the ring, FTR sets up to finish Trent, but Chuck breaks it up and then ducks a belt shot from Cash.  But he tries a rollup and can’t duck a SECOND shot from the belt, and that finishes at 16:37.  Nice little tribute to the New Age Outlaws and their usual finish, although I don’t know that’s what they were specifically going for.  A solid and enjoyable opener.  ***1/4  But then the Friends stop to console each other, and Miro runs out and destroys them as revenge for breaking the arcade cabinet.  To be fair, those things tend to be expensive and pretty nice.

Miro & Kip Sabian v. Sean Maluda & Lee Johnson

Miro tosses Maluda out and just MURDERS him on the floor, tossing him into the railing and smashing him like the Hulk.  Back in, Miro gets rid of Johnson, smashes Maluda some more, and then lets Kip hit a flying splash on him before finishing with the GAME OVER at 2:00.  That’s a much better name than the Accolade.  And then Kip cuts a fired up promo about his smashed arcade board.  YOU DON’T BREAK MIRO’S SHIT.

Meanwhile, Lance Archer beats the hell out of Jon Moxley backstage.

MJF joins us with his HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT, but first he brings out the Inner Circle and their sweet matching jackets.  Sammy finally has his, but it’s a bit off in the sizing.  MJF puts over Jericho’s amazing body and luscious hair (although he doesn’t want to make it weird) and Chris even lets him touch it!  But then Max gets down to business:  They’re both huge draws, and he’s the RATINGS RULER.  Yeah I don’t see that one getting over.  So then they talk Animal Planet, as Max goes into weird metaphors again and declares that they’re both predators.  And then after a few tries, he finally comes out with it and asks to join the Inner Circle, kinda sorta maybe.  But Ortiz doesn’t want MJF, so Jericho puts off the decision until next week, when they can meet one-on-one…for a STEAK DINNER.  OH SHIT IT’S ON NOW!  These two are great together.

Meanwhile, Dr. Britt and Tony go for a massage together, while Tony interviews her.  “ARE YOU NAKED?!”

TNT title:  Cody Rhodes v. Orange Cassidy

So after a couple of weeks down the dark path, Cody is back to blond again.  Orange refuses to lock up, which annoys Cody, and then teases it before putting his hands in his pockets.  So Cody knocks the glasses off him, and that finally prompts a lockup, which Orange wins.  Cody goes behind and takes him down, but Orange goes back to the pockets and fights him off, and this time a frustrated Cody takes him down with a headlock.  Orange counters him into a rollup for two and then another one for two, but Cody gets mad again and hits him with a gourdbuster.  We take a break and return with Cody in control, but Orange fights back with the shin kicks, and then superkicks Cody for real to the floor and follows with a dive.  The Dark Order distracts everyone at ringside, so the ref tosses them all out.  Even Anna Jay?  YOU MONSTER.  Back in, Orange tries a bodypress and Cody rolls through into Crossroads, but Orange reverses for two.  Orange with the stunner, but Cody hits a cutter and they’re both down.  They slug it out, but Cody dropkicks the knee and goes to work on it.  Cody tries the figure-four and that doesn’t work, so he hits the disaster kick instead for two.  Cody with a half crab, but he can’t hang onto it, so Orange cradles for two.  Cody puts him down with a clothesline for two and stops to do some pushups, so Orange crawls to the corner to escape.  Cody keeps working on the leg and they fight to the top, where Cody brings him down with a reverse suplex for two.  Orange comes back again with the diving DDT for two and the Michinoku Driver for two.  Cody takes him down for the figure-four and Orange fights for the reversal as they head to the apron, and Orange hits him with the Air Raid Crash on the HARDEST PART OF THE RING.  Back in, that gets two, and a rollup gets two, but he tries the Orange Punch and Cody reverses to the Crossroads, and then Orange reverses to the Air Raid Crash for two.  Orange finally gets fired up with the time limit nearing, and he suckers Cody in for the rollup, but time expires at two and Cody retains at 20:00.  Orange needs wins, not more close calls.  This felt like them getting out of a match they shouldn’t have booked if they didn’t want to deliver a finish.  **1/2  This one REALLY sucked the energy out of the show for me.

Meanwhile, Archer is trying to do a promo backstage, but Jon Moxley attacks him to get his revenge.

Matt Hardy and his family declare that he’s 100% healthy and cleared to return, but Sammy Guevara pops up on the screen to reveal that he was the mystery attacker and he’s still holding a grudge.

FTR host a blind draw for a four-way next week to determine #1 contenders, and we get Private Party, Silver & Reynolds, Butcher & Blade, and the Young Bucks.  Tony’s disgusted reading of the last one is great.  The Bucks clarify that they’re not here to superkick Tony, but they are going to superkick everyone else.  And do so.

AEW Women’s title:  Hikaru Shida v. Big Swole

They trade headlocks to start and Swole goes for the arm, but Shida takes her down.  Swole grabs a sleeper and rolls her up for two, and they trade armdrags and kip ups.  Shida sends her to the apron and hits the kneelift out there, and we take a break.  Back with them fighting on the top rope, but Swole tries a sunset bomb to bring her down and somehow misses that.  So Swole hits a cutter instead, for two.  Swole tries the elbow, but Shida counters with a german suplex for two.  Knee strike and Falcon Arrow get two.  Swole hits the Dirty Dancing elbow, but Shida lands in the ropes and it only gets two.  Shida recovers with her own elbow, hits a pair of running knees, and retains the title at 9:00.  Swole looked WAY out of her pay grade here and missed some stuff, but it was OK.  **1/2

Next week:  The World title tournament begins!  Jericho and MJF have steak dinner!  And then in 2 weeks, Cody puts the title up against Orange again.  If they do the right finish for that one, that makes this week a lot more forgivable.

Meanwhile, Shawn Spears really hates Scorpio Sky.

AEW World title:  Jon Moxley v. Lance Archer

Mox charges in with the Paradigm Shift right away, but it only gets two.  They fight to the floor and brawl out there, and Archer gets the best of that.  Back in for a slugfest, but Archer sends him out again and follows with a senton from the apron as we take a break.  Back with Moxley going to the top, but Lance catches him and they trade forearms until Moxley hits him with a german suplex and comes back with a pair of clotheslines.  Moxley loads up the ring with chairs and puts Archer down with one of them, but Archer drops him on a chair for two.  Moxley grabs the leg and hooks the anklelock, but Archer pulls himself out of the ring to break because it’s no-DQ.  Moxley tries a dive, but runs into a garbage can.  They fight to the apron and Archer tries to put Jon through a table, but Moxley reverses to a DDT and puts him through the table instead.  Back in, Moxley hits another Paradigm Shift for two, and then turns into the bulldog choke, but Archer powers out of it.  Moxley rolls him up for two, but Archer gets his own DDT and then chokeslams Mox into the corner, which sets up the Blackout for two, and then Moxley rolls him over with a crucifix for the pin at 13:00 to retain.  ***  Eddie Kingston sends the Lucha Brothers out to attack Archer for some reason, which merely annoys him.  So then Eddie offers Mox congratulations and puts him over, and then lays him out with the backfist and chokes him out, which I guess sets up the main event of Full Gear as we’re out.  I love Eddie Kingston but that’s not really a match I’d be into spending $50 to watch.  Using Archer to set up Kingston is a pretty bad play.

Gotta say, for the big one year anniversary show, this was a pretty significant disappointment.  No really great matches and some questionable booking choices kind of dragged this one down for me.