The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.18.20
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
The Young Bucks v. Top Flight (Darius & Daunte Martin)
The pre-match video package for Top Flight reveals that they “grew up watching the Bucks and Motor City Machine Guns”, which just makes me feel old as fuck. Nick battles Darius to a stalemate to start and then the Martins double-team Matt with stereo kicks for two. Daunte gets a corner clothesline and hits him with a slingshot senton, and Matt bails as Top Flight showboats with a tease of a dive. Back in, Daunte dodges a Matt superkick, but can’t dodge Nick’s. That puts him on the floor and Matt follows with a baseball slide. The Bucks double-team him in the corner and Matt gets the Sharpshooter, but Darius breaks it up. So Matt puts Darius in the corner and then powerbombs Daunte into him in a cool spot. Bucks double-team Daunte with a flying double stomp and Nick rolls into a backstabber on Darius for an encore. Darius manages to tag in, however, and beats on Matt to set up a standing Spanish Fly, and then the Bucks hit the floor and Top Flight follows with a pair of dives onto them. Excalibur brings up Private Party upsetting the Bucks as the #8 seed in the tag team tournament again, which is once again even more insulting to Private Party because it was only a 7 team tournament! Top Flight double-teams Matt and Daunte goes up, but misses a senton and the Bucks go to work on him with a powerbomb/shiranui combo off the top for two. Darius makes the save there, so the Bucks toss him out and try More Bang For Your Buck, but Daunte counters with a crucifix on Matt for two. So the Bucks finish him with the BTE Trigger at 9:04. The kids made a good show of it, but they were running out of stuff at that point and it was the right time to go home. *** And then Evans and Angelico run out and put the boots to Top Flight to set up what I assume is a Dark feud.
Meanwhile, the Inner Circle hits Vegas, and MJF gets into a drinking contest with Jericho and that goes pretty badly. Who knew 100 proof wood grain alcohol Everclear shots were a BAD idea? And then Konnan shows up and takes them on a magical smoky limo ride. And then Wardlow and Hager take turns beating up geeks in the bar to compete as Alpha bodyguards.
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley tells us a story about his scary dad, who always assured him that he’s the good guy, and he’s got “a pregnant wife at home”. WAIT WHAT? Why wasn’t I informed? At the end of this they throw to some kind of AEW documentary trailer, which we do not get in Canada, as instead it’s a plumbing commercial or something.
Orange Cassidy v. Kip Sabian
Kip counters the pockets with a headlock takedown, but Orange gets his own and they trade armbars before Sabian takes him down with a headscissors for two. Kip tries a drop toehold, so Orange puts his hands in his pockets to escape, which has a salty JR calling a “Brisco-esque reversal”. Orange dumps him and follows with a dive, but stops to joke with Penelope with a high five and gets caught by Sabian. Back in for a lungblower that gets two for Kip. We take a break and return with Orange making a comeback, but he goes up for the diving DDT and gets blocked. Orange goes to the apron and runs Kip into the turnbuckles, then hits his diving DDT for two. They fight over a suplex and Sabian gets a brainbuster for two. He tries a draping DDT and Orange counters to a rollup for two, but Kip hits him with a knee to the face and tries the DDT again. And then Cassidy reverses that to the Mousetrap and gets the pin at 11:14. Miro immediately storms in and wipes out Cassidy before the Best Friends make the save, which of course sets up more stuff down the line. **1/2
Contract Signing: Kenny Omega joins us to sign for his match with Jon Moxley (and as predicted, he has already added “Wrestling Observer Hall of Famer” to his entrance), but Moxley has been laid out by a mysterious force in the back and is unable to sign. So Kenny is happy to sign his end of the contract.
Meanwhile, back in Vegas, Chris Jericho welcomes ELVIS to the Inner Circle, and then everyone wakes up some hours later in a scene vaguely reminiscent of a movie trilogy you may have heard of. Sammy has three wives! Chickens are everywhere! And there’s a midget baby.
Pac v. The Blade
They hit the floor right away and Pac runs him into the railing, and then back in for a missile dropkick from Pac. But he stops for a word with the Butcher and Blade hits him with a baseball slide and returns the trip to the railing to take over. Back in, Blade drops him on the top rope and throws him to the apron, but Pac springs back in with a DDT and pounds him with kicks. The Bunny trips him up and Butcher gets a cheapshot from the floor, which allows Blade to hit a Doctorbomb for two. We take a break and return as they slug it out, and Pac hits him with a pump kick in the corner and follows with a superkick, but Blade powerslams him for two. They fight to the top and Pac brings him down with a superplex, but Butcher interferes and Blade gets a rollup with a handful of tights for two. Pac boots him down again, however, and finishes with a shooting star press into the Brutalizer at 11:31. Pac was definitely showing some ring rust here, looking very tentative most of the way. But still good. **1/2 Eddie Kingston sends Butcher in for a beatdown before Pac can even do his post-match promo, but Rey Fenix makes the save and then gets beat down himself. But this brings out Penta, who has to choose between his brother and his bestie Eddie, and he goes with the Death Triangle which would obviously set up a six-man.
Meanwhile, the electrifying Jade attacks Brandi and hurts her arm. But how will Brandi continue her wrestling career now?
NWA Women’s title: Serena Deeb v. Thunder Rosa
I’m still not entirely clear on what the relationship with Corgan and AEW is and why the NWA title gets defended on AEW TV more than the AEW title does. Rosa takes her down with a camel clutch and they reverse off a facelock before Deeb rolls her up for two. They do more mat wrestling as Deeb works a headlock, but they slug it out and Rosa slams her to set up a senton for two. Rosa goes to the apron, but gets caught with a dragon screw on the way in and Deeb takes over as we take a break. Back with Rosa hitting a corner clothesline and slugging away in the corner, and a shotgun dropkick on the ropes follows. Butterfly suplex gets two. Rosa goes to the apron and Deeb hits her with a neckbreaker, but Rosa tries for a death valley driver on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and Deeb escapes for a spear out there instead. That gets two. Back in, they trade kicks and Rosa gets a german suplex and follows with a missile dropkick to put Deeb on the floor, but Rebel runs interference as Dr. Britt Baker lays out Thunder Rosa behind the ref’s back, and Deeb powerbombs her for two. Rosa rolls her up for two and they trade more rollups, but Deeb counters into a submission hold on the mat and Rosa rolls out of it with a double stomp. Deeb tries another submission, but Rosa reverses for two and they slug it out with forearms. Rosa hits a backfist and gets a Gory Bomb for two, but Deeb rolls her up for two. They fight for a backslide and Rosa flips out of it, but Deeb hits a package powerbomb to finish and retain the title at 13:25. Damn, this ended up being a HELL of a match after teasing a shitty screwjob finish. ***3/4 And Britt Baker tries for another attack on Rosa, but they brawl into the crowd and the refs have to break it up.
Meanwhile, the ever-hyped John Silver announces that Anna Jay gets a title shot at Hikaru Shida next week.
Darby Allin & Cody Rhodes v. Ricky Starks & Brian Cage
Starks trades hammerlocks with Allin, but loses that battle and hides in the ropes to escape. So they trade slaps and Starks goes down off that. Over to Cody as Taz buries him on commentary (“Big Cage coming in, as well as Big Ego”) and Cody gets a dropkick and dodges a charging Cage to hit a moonsault for two. This brings Taz down to ringside to advise his men, and we take a break. Back with AA having been ejected during the break, as Cage throws Cody around and Starks takes out Darby to prevent a tag. Starks stomps Cody down in the corner and goes to a neck vice, but Cody backdrops out of it. Hot tag Allin and he rolls up Starks for two, but he tries a suplex and we get a wacky spot with Cage suplexing both guys at the same time to break it up. Cody takes out Cage, but Starks spears him, and then Allin dropkicks Starks into the corner. Cage tries a powerbomb on Darby, but he reverses into a Code Red for two. Starks tries a Crossroads on Darby, but Cody breaks that up, and then Cage hits a lariat on Cody. He goes after Darby and they head to the top, but Darby fights him off, so Starks trips him up and Cage boots Darby down to set up a top rope Drill Claw for the pin at 11:45. So that obviously sets up a title match for Cage. Team Taz goes with the beatdown on the babyfaces, but Will Hobbs makes the save as usual and then finally turns on Cody and knocks him out with the FTW title to join Team Taz. How about that, they spent weeks saying that Taz was recruiting him and then paid it off by having Taz successfully recruit him. What a crazy concept. Match was good but a little rushed, I’d say. **3/4
A very fun show this week, which if anything could be criticized for having too many heel beadown segments. But clearly they’re all setting up stuff that’s paying off with matches that make sense, so I can’t hate on that too much. The women’s match is the surprise show-stealer of the night for me.