The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 01.06.21
“New Year’s Smash – Night One”
First Dynamite of the year and obviously we’re all a bit distracted by today. I don’t expect a big viewership number for either show tonight.
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur, plus LE CHAMPION, apparently able to tear himself away from interviewing flat earth nuts for a week.
The Young Bucks & SCU v. The Acclaimed & The Hybrid 2
Truly the heel side are two teams that deserve each other’s company. SCU, meanwhile, are rocking new “Your rap is crap” shirts. Everyone immediately brawls at the bell and JR declares it a pier-six brawl, which seems premature to me. The Bucks double team Evans and then dump Angelico before Nick hits them both with a dive. Daniels tries his own, but Bowens trips him up and they go to work on him. The announcers, meanwhile, shill the new “Go Big Show”, which I’d watch but sadly it’s not available in Canada. Hold on, I’ve just been informed that it is, actually. Well, I’d still rather not. Meanwhile, Excalibur points out that it’s a new year, so the ratings have reset. THE GREAT RESET?!? The heels take turns hitting Daniels with moonsaults, and then Angelico rolls him into a submission hold and Chris has to make the ropes. He spins Bowens into a Blue Thunder bomb and makes the hot tag to Kazarian, who runs wild with a german suplex on Evans for two. Evans comes back with a standing moonsault for two, but Matt comes in and takes out all the heels. Evans bails to the ramp and Matt dives onto him, and then dives on Caster outside, into a spear on Angelico, and then back in for a tease of a moonsault, which he turns into a dive onto the heels on the floor instead. Chris Jericho is MARKING OUT over it, which is pretty funny. Risky Business on Bowens gets two and Kaz slingshots in with a DDT, which gets two for Matt. Nick and Kaz team up for a BTE Trigger on Bowens, which gets two, but TH2 double-team Matt with their wacky offense , but Evans tries a 630 and misses. Bucks with the SUPERKICK PARTY as Evans sells like a literal ragdoll, and they go for the Meltzer, which Evans reverses to a rollup for two. Second try, but Nick gets distracted by the heels, so Daniels steps in for the Best Meltzer Ever with Matt to finish at 10:00. Fun match! ***1/4 Afterwards, SCU lays out the storyline where they will break up the next time they lose a tag team match, which seems to set up a payoff of them getting a title shot against the Bucks in the long run.
Jon Moxley joins us and Jericho is still bitching about his car in a funny bit. So he’s been on the bad end of a bad deal lately, which I can certainly relate to as of late, but he’s not backing down because he’s got zero tolerance for shitty people. But he’s not gonna interfere in the title match tonight, but he’ll get even later.
Meanwhile, Orange and Chuck Taylor reveal that Trent is out 5 months with a torn bicep, which brings out Miro, who just wants to be his new Best Friend! So next week they’re having a match, and if Chuck loses, he’ll have to be a Young Boy for him until after the wedding. Well that could certainly be interpreted wrongly.
Jake Hager v. Wardlow
HOSS FIGHT time. They fight for the lockup to start while Jericho clarifies that they’re just working some stuff out of their system. Hager takes him down and Wardlow responds in kind, and they slug it out in the corner. They fight for the shoulderblock and fight to the floor, where they both go down as we take a break. Back with Wardlow beating on him with forearms in the corner and then hurls him around with suplexes while the announcers hype the rest of the show. Jericho: “LOOK AT THEM BEATING THE CRAP OUT OF EACH OTHER! WHO CARES ABOUT THE NEXT MATCH?” Wardlow misses a charge and Hager comes back with clotheslines in the corner and powerslams him for two. Hager Bomb misses, but he picks the ankle anyway. They fight to the apron this time and Wardlow shoulderblocks him into the railing and throws him around with another suplex for two. Wardlow goes up with a swanton for two, but Hager rolls him into a head and arm choke and Wardlow is in the ropes to break. They fight to the top and Hager chokes him again on the top rope, but Wardlow necks him to escape and hits the F10 for the pin at 10:21. Kind of surprised about that finish, actually. This way overdelivered and it was a tremendous “big men smashing into each other” match for what it was. **3/4
Meanwhile, Matt Hardy uses the power of Snoop Dogg to convince Private Party to sign contracts with him. A mere 30% is all he’s asking! And they can keep their Cameo. Jericho clarifies that it’s a great deal compared to what George South used to charge Matt back in the day.
TNT title weigh in: Darby Allin and Brian Cage weigh in before next week’s title match, and Darby debuts the new black strap TNT title belt after the red one was retired last week. Team Taz threatens some violence after being dicks the whole time, and once again Sting kills the lights and chases them off. They really need to find something for Sting to actually do pretty soon.
Meanwhile, MJF tries to talk Jake Hager off the ledge, but he’s just smashing some lockers and it’s cool.
Meanwhile, FTR stops by to clarify that Marko Stunt is a loser who adds nothing to the act, so next week he’ll face Dax to settle things.
Cody Rhodes v. Matt Sydal
Cody is being managed by Snoop tonight and they immediately botch a flying armdrag spot and then head to the ramp, where Sydal hits him with double knees and manages to hurt himself. In kayfabe, I’m assuming. Back in, Cody skins the cat and Sydal dropkicks him back out, where poor Serpentico gets laid out. Back in, Sydal gets a bodypress, but Cody rolls into a scorpion deathlock and Sydal makes the ropes. And we take a break while Cody works the leg. Back with Cody in control, but he misses a moonsault and Sydal goes up with the shooting star press, which also misses. Cody with an inverted DDT for two as they seemingly botch another spot, and Sydal spins him into a crossface before Cody takes him to the floor with a Cactus clothesline. Back in, Cody with the disaster kick for two. They fight for a suplex and Sydal pops up with a rana for two and follows with a neckbreaker for two. Cody comes back with the Crossroads, twice, and that finishes at 10:09. And then Luther and Serpentico immediately charge in for some revenge for earlier in the match, and the babyfaces team up to take them out and set up Snoop to do a “flying” “splash” on Serpentico. This was a tad self-indulgent but you gotta play the game and make that cross-promotional cheddar. Match was a bit sloppy but overall was fine. **1/2
AEW Women’s title: Hikaru Shida v. Abadon
Abadon attacks on the stage and gets laid out with the kendo stick as a result, but she does the zombie sit up and they head into the ring. Shida gets a seated dropkick and tries the running knee, but Abadon bites the leg to block that. They fight on the floor and Abadon hauls her under the ring while we take a break, but then they change their mind and stay with it as Abadon gets two in the ring. And then they take a break after all and return with Shida splashing her on the floor and then ramming her head into the railing and then brings her back in with a superplex. Abadon does the Bray Wyatt bridge and gets a clothesline for two, but Shida rolls her up for two. And then a running knee gets the pin at 7:05. Well this was a pretty different type of match for Shida. **
Meanwhile, Tay Conti has finally joined the Dark Order for real, and she gets a shot at Serena Deeb’s NWA title next week.
AEW World title: Kenny Omega v. Rey Fenix
They take it to the mat and trade leglocks to start while Jericho goes off on all the pretender Canadian wrestling cities like VANCOUVER. WHO’S FROM VANCOUVER?! Such disrespect to Sgt. Al Tomko. Kenny sends him to the floor, but Fenix evades the dive and gets his own before beating on him outside. Back in, Kenny gets a swinging DDT, but Fenix lands on his feet and dropkicks him into the corner. So Kenny chops him right out to the floor and sends him into the railing, but Fenix just leaps over it and comes back at him with the cutter. And then Kenny turns THAT into the snapdragon on the floor and that’s gotta suck. Kenny follows with a backdrop suplex onto the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and then drops him onto the railing for good measure. Back in, Kenny gets a backbreaker and goes to work on it, but Fenix fights back with chops until Kenny puts him down. Back to work on the back, but Fenix gets a springboard headbutt and then hits a springboard dropkick out of the corner to put Kenny on the floor and follows with a dive into the railing. He nearly cleared the railing and flew into the front row with that one. Back in, Fenix gets the most insane backflip into a german suplex ever and drops Kenny ON HIS HEAD with it. Kenny retreats to the apron and Fenix dives onto him with a double stomp to the back as we take a break. Back with Fenix trying another springboard, but Kenny counters him with a knee and powerbombs him for two. V-Trigger gets two. Another one sets up the Angel, but Fenix reverses it into a rana, and then gets distracted by Callis and Omega chokes him out on the apron. But Fenix comes back in with a cutter for two and keeps it coming with a Rikishi Driver for two. Fenix goes up with a little Eddie tribute to set up a frog splash, but Kenny gets the knees up and then catches a moonsault attempt and drops him with the Tiger Driver and a V-Trigger for two. One Winged Angel finishes at 17:07. Yeah they brought some fire. ****1/4 Kenny and Don go to finish him off (while the Butcher and Blade take care of the Death Triangle on the big screen) but Moxley makes the save with his barbed wire bat. And then Anderson & Gallows hit the ring and lay out Moxley while sporting the Impact tag team titles and THEY DON’T EVEN GO HERE. Moxley gets brutalized with his own bat, but Griff & Pillman try to make the save and get nowhere, only for the Young Bucks to join the fray and then reluctantly take part in a Bullet Club reunion as everyone is apparently 2 Sweet while Jericho excitedly declares “They’re doing the hand thing to show they’re all together!”
Well that was quite the ending. Crowd was a bit subdued, as usual for the live shows, but this was a fun two hours and the main event delivered.