The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.11.20
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
New opening for the show! New graphics and look! Always nice to change things up after a year.
Brian Cage v. Matt Sydal
Taz cuts a promo on new TNT champion Darby Allin beforehand, as Allin is brooding in the nosebleeds as usual. Sydal uses some fast kicks to go after Cage, but he gets clotheslined into the corner and Cage beats on him with chops there. Cage with an overhead suplex, but Sydal throws more kicks, so Cage puts him down with a backbreaker again while JR questions Taz about what exactly his problem with Cody Rhodes is. Taz goes with “he thinks he invented pro wrestling”, but come on, the neck tattoo is RIGHT THERE! Cage hits him with another clothesline and presses Sydal into a fallaway slam for two before putting him in a surfboard. Cage tries a rana and Sydal turns it into a powerbomb as Cage bails to the ramp, and Sydal follows with the double knees from the top out there. Cage tries a powerbomb and Sydal escapes that and keeps coming with the kicks, for two. Standing moonsault gets two. Sydal continues chopping him down with kicks and escapes a pumphandle slam, then hits a spinkick and head kick to stagger Cage, but Cage lays him out with a lariat and tries for the Drill Claw, but Sydal reverses that to a rollup for two. Sydal goes up with a bodypress, but Cage catches him in mid-air and puts him away with the Drill Claw at 7:47. What a finish! Taz’s “YEAH BUDDY!” on commentary was a great real moment too. Classic David v. Goliath here. ***1/4
So afterwards, Ricky Starks is coming after the TNT title and they’ll be coming after the contenders to the belt in order, since Starks is ranked #5 and needs to get rid of four contenders ahead of him.
Cody Rhodes joins us in his Col. Sanders suit, and although he’s not seeking a rematch with Darby Allin, he’s got his sights on MJF to get revenge there. So he’s interrupted by a woman apparently named Jane Cargill, whom I do not recognize. But although Cody calls himself a “giant killer”, she knows a real giant…Shaq. So this brings out Brandi to cut a hilarious promo on her, doing everything but calling her a “raggedy ass ho” before Jerry Lynn comes out to break them up. This gives Cage a chance to go after Cody, but Darby manages to get down the 17 flights of stairs in time and makes the save. Man, if Shaq is the big gamechanging surprise that Tony Khan has been teasing, that’s kind of sad. Because he’d be about as much of a game-changer as Mike Tyson was for them.
Meanwhile, at Full Gear, Hangman and Omega put on an opener that I definitely underrated at ***1/2. I watched it again and it’s more like ****1/4.
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley is ready for Kenny Omega’s challenge whenever that happens, which turns out to be December 2 on Dynamite.
Bunkhouse Match: The Butcher & The Blade v. The Natural Nightmares
Thankfully we get hay and saddles at ringside for the full experience. Dustin fights with Butcher on the floor and Dustin suplexes him onto an open chair, and they set up a table before Blade hits QT with a guitar. Dustin finds a bullrope under the ring and chokes Blade out with it, but Butcher saves with a chair-assisted crossbody while QT is wearing the CRIMSON MASK. Dustin gets handcuffed to the corner while we take a break, and return with QT getting assaulted on the floor. Dustin manages to escape the cuffs and fights them off with a ladder, then fights with Butcher to the top of the ramp area and bulldogs him into a crash pad after a fire extinguisher spray from QT. Meanwhile, Blade has also bladed and QT drops an elbow on him from the top of the ladder, and that gets two. Dustin and Butcher make their way back in, and Dustin gets a Code Red, but Blade saves with a chain while Bunny throws chairs into the ring for them. Butcher and Blade hit Dustin with their double-team neckbreaker into the chairs and that gets two as QT saves with a trash can lid. QT steals the chain from Butcher and hits a Diamond Cutter with it, but Blade goes low and then accidentally puts Bunny through a table after charging QT. And he’s pretty distracted by that, so QT finishes him with the Diamond Cutter at 13:00. Well there’s your blood & guts for the week. Just a fun messy throwback brawl. ***1/4
Meanwhile, Matt Hardy lets Sammy know that beating him was apparently a gift, and he should not squander it. I’m pretty sure Sammy will do OK for himself.
Inner Circle Induction Ceremony! Jericho’s got a podium and everything so you know it’s important. Sammy is not here (even though Chris told him about it in the hospital) and MJF joins us, thinking back to when he started in this business, FIVE YEARS AGO, with only a small loan of one million dollars from his father. I’m assuming that’s a Jared Kuschner dig. So he reads us a poem, “which my homies in Proud & Powerful will really dig”, but Ortiz in fact does not dig it. MJF doesn’t even know who Drake is! So Jericho has to make peace and put over MJF as the new hotness, and tells Ortiz to make it work. However, happier times are ahead, as it’s also time to celebrate Jericho’s birthday, because next week they’re going to Vegas! That will likely be awesome.
Meanwhile, a gun-shy Alex Marvez interviews the Young Bucks backstage, but no superkicks are forthcoming. So the Bucks are looking for fresh opponents, and that apparently is a team from Instagram called Top Flight, who get a title shot next week.
Shawn Spears v. Scorpio Sky
They trade chops to start and Spears whips him into the corner, but Sky comes out with a big boot and they fight to the floor off that. Spears tries to run away and walks into a clothesline from Sky, but comes back with a belly to belly from the top on the way back in as we take a break. Back with Spears trying his C4, but Sky escapes that and hits him with a dive to the floor. Back in, Sky with a cutter for two. Back to the floor and they both run up the stairs, but Spears gets a superkick and then drops Sky with a sideslam onto the stairs. Tony makes sure to note that steel is very abrasive to the skin. I feel like that was just for me. Back in, Sky tries the TKO, but Spears rolls out, so Sky turns into the Scorpio Deathlock and Spears makes the ropes. Tully leaves the metal slug for Shawn in the corner and distracts Scorpio long enough for Shawn to load up the glove and finish with the KO punch at 9:19. This was fine. **1/4
Meanwhile, Kenny Omega has run away from an interview with Dasha. Alex Marvez finds him in the parking lot, and Kenny promises that the Cleaner is ready to return, but for now he’s busy and has things to do.
Tay Conti v. Red Velvet
Brandi is still in a bad mood after tonight’s opener and doesn’t play along with Velvet’s entrance bit. Velvet gets a rollup into a bridge for one and they trade armdrags, and Velvet gets a standing moonsault for two while JR notes that he “called a tournament Tay Conti participated in”. That would be the original Mae Young Classic, of course. Tay puts her down with a pair of kicks for two and we take a break. During THIS match? Back with Velvet coming back with the bulldog and double knees on the ropes and Conti is either concussed or TERRIBLE at selling because she’s barely registering anything. Velvet gets a stunner for two, but Anna Jay throws a chair into Tay, which is turned down. So Velvet hits her with a leg lariat for two. But Red can’t finish, so Tay puts her down with a pump kick and finishes with a Gory Special into a knee at 7:41. Tay Conti is some top flight eye candy but this was NO GOOD. ½*
Meanwhile, Sammy finally shows up, as apparently MJF sent him an e-mail to show up the beach, which he did. But then Max claims that there was a SECOND e-mail telling him to come to the arena instead, which Sammy did not receive.
Next week: Kip Sabian v. Orange Cassidy! Young Bucks v. Top Flight! Cody Rhodes & Darby Allin v. Team Taz! The Inner Circle goes to Vegas!
Penta el Zero Miedo v. Rey Fenix
They trade kicks to start and both guys are down, and they trade rollups for two as Tony points out to Eddie Kingston that the Lucha Bros were united when Eddie came in and now they’re fighting each other. Eddie doesn’t take any responsibility for that. Fenix puts Penta on the floor with a rana, but he charges and gets backdropped by his brother. Penta also tries a dive of his own and gets dropkicked, but then catches him with a standing cloverleaf and tears up the mask to be a dick. Penta hits him with a superkick and continues tearing up the mask while Eddie continues not taking any responsibility and doesn’t care if they fight, as long as they follow him. That sounds like an eerily familiar leadership philosophy. We take a break and return with Fenix hitting a rana into a rollup for two, and a cutter gets two. And then Fenix rips up Penta’s mask and they slug it out while tearing each other’s masks, and Penta gets an inverted somersault DDT for two. He tries another one and Fenix reverses him out to the floor and follows with a crazy spinning dive. Back in, Fenix gets a swanton for two and they fight to the apron, where Penta gets a superkick and PENTA DRIVER on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. And then he follows with a destroyer onto the floor from the apron, but he doesn’t want it yet. So back in, another Penta Driver finishes at 12:24. Eddie: “Fight forever! That’s what you marks do, right?” So Eddie heads out and puts over Penta while booting Fenix out of the ring, but PAC returns and he’s probably not happy about the Death Triangle getting treated like this. So Pac and Kingston threaten a brawl while refs keep them apart, and we’re out. Hell of a main event. ****
I don’t know what earth-shaking surprise Tony Khan was referring to, but this was still a great show and a great followup to the PPV, aside from the hella-awkward Cody v. Shaq’s personal assistant segment at the beginning and whatever the women’s match was supposed to be.