The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 01.13.21
“New Year’s Smash – Night 2”
Taped from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
Man, Andy PG dropped me a line earlier today letting me know how great this Britt Baker deal is probably gonna be, so I’m excited to see it! Hope he’s not proven completely wrong!
Eddie Kingston v. Pac
The video package for this is really something else. Pac storms in with a shotgun dropkick that puts Eddie on the floor and then hits him with a dive right away and runs him into the railing. Back in, Pac puts the boots to Eddie’s face in the corner and then goes up with another shotgun dropkick. Excalibur notes that Pac’s recent quarantine “wasn’t the only time he had to sit out for an extended period of time.” SPICY. Pac continues whipping his ass, but Eddie fights back with a jumping knee off the middle rope and Bunny adds some eye rakes just to be that way. Eddie hits a capture suplex on the floor and then a neckbreaker gets two. Eddie chops away in the corner and chokes him out on the ropes, but Pac fights back and they slug it out. Pac lays in the kicks and hits a german suplex on the rebound and his chest is SWOLLEN from Eddie’s chops. So he pounds Kingston with chest kicks, but Eddie this the backfist and follows with a backdrop suplex for two. Pac fights back with a superplex for two and both guys are down, so Pac kicks him in the face more and then walks into a lariat that gets two for Kingston. Pac blocks a DDT and hits another shotgun dropkick, then goes up with the Black Arrow to finish at 9:35. This was a hell of a deal to open the show and they were beating the shit out of each other. **** Pac puts him in the Brutalizer afterwards and more warfare is teased, but Lance Archer comes out to break things up and apparently they’re back on the enemy side of their relationship again.
Chuck Taylor v. Miro
Chuckie T must triumph or be Miro’s young boy (or as Excalibur calls it, “his butler”) until the wedding of Kip Sabian, whenever that happens. Chuck attacks to start and chases him to the floor, then runs him into the railing and hits him with a dive. Miro fights back, but charges and hits the post, so Chuck comes off the apron with a diving stomp and then back in where Miro gives him a samoan drop and goes to work in the corner. Corner splash and leg lariat set up the thrust kick and Chuck is fucked. Game Over finishes at 3:22 and Chuck must buttle for Miro. Well this was basically what we all expected and less. *
Meanwhile, Private Party accuses Matt Hardy of being a MONEY GRABBING CARNY. Perish the thought. It’s their own fault for not reading the contracts! Matt has little sympathy for them and tells them to get back to work.
The Inner Circle joins us, and apparently you can now wear what Jericho does via the AEW store. I’m gonna pass, it’s probably infected with Covid germs. It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions, as MJF wants to strengthen bonds in the group. And fat people have to go. Ortiz wants to perfect his grandmother’s recipe and MJF questions why the crowd is booing food. Jericho wants to be tag team champions with MJF, but Santana is like “whoa whoa whoa”. And then Sammy calls Jericho a TAG TEAM SLUT after jumping from him to Hager to MJF and even SNOOP DOGG. So next week, it’s a three way match with Jericho & MJF v. Santana & Ortiz v. Sammy & Hager (“Sammy and Hager? That’s funny.” “Why’s that funny?” “Never mind.”) and that will decide the official tag team of the Inner Circle.
Meanwhile, the Dark Order have decided to be better people, starting next week when Hangman Page teams with them, and he promises to make his decision next week after the match. So Silver freaks out and starts celebrating while Page is still standing there. SMOOTH. They’re clearly complete babyfaces now.
Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers v. Danny Limelight, Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.
This was supposed to be the Bucks on the Elite side but Don Callis SWERVES us because business is business. Limelight holds his own against Omega for a bit, but Doc lays him out with a big boot, so the Blonds dropkick him to the floor. Pillman works on Kenny with chops and they work on Omega’s arm for a bit, but Limelight comes in and gets smashed. Karl sends him into the corner while Tony busts on the upcoming Impact PPV, and we take a break. Back with Limelight making a comeback with a rana on Omega and hits an enzuigiri, and it’s hot tag Griff. The Blonds hit a version of the Hart Attack on Anderson for two, but Kenny traps Griff in the corner and the Club triple-teams him for two. Karl with a running boot for two. Griff escapes the Gun Stun and brings Limelight back in for more shine, but he walks into a spinebuster and the Magic Killer finishes at 9:31. Way more competitive than you’d expect. **3/4 The “Elite” celebration brings out Jon Moxley for a shot at Kenny, but they beat him down and the Lucha Brothers make the save as we get an old fashioned bench clearing brawl until the Bucks finally talk Moxley off the ledge and calm him down. At which point the Lucha Bros superkick the Bucks and everyone brawls again.
The Waiting Room with Dr. Britt Baker debuts on Dynamite with Cody Rhodes! But first, everyone check under your seats for a big surprise from Britt! And she’s lying. Britt rightly wonders who Cody’s “guy” is: Sting, Shaq or Snoop? He apparently needs to make a choice, and hopefully a better one “than the one on his neck”. But before Cody can talk about his new show, Jade does a run-in and cuts a brutal promo on Cody, at which point Brandi’s non-union Mexican equivalent Red Velvet comes out to slap her to continue the feud that NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT and then Thunder Rosa pops on the screen and announces a match against Britt at Beach Break. This was a pretty god-awful debut for the segment on national TV.
FTR v. Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt
As promised, Tony Khan has bought the rights to “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora for Jungle Boy, so you know they’re going all in on him pretty soon. Dax beats on Marko in the corner and hits him with a snap suplex, and then Cash comes in and continues with more of the same. Marko tries a moonsault and Cash catches him, but Jungle Boy comes in and the Express double-teams FTR and chases them out of the ring. Jungle Boy follows with a quebrada and we take a break. Back with FTR working Marko in the corner and Wheeler gets a spinebuster for two. Dax drops an elbow for two and Cash wraps him up in a Gory Special, but Marko fights free and makes the hot tag to Jungle Boy. JB runs wild and hits FTR with lariats, and a backstabber on Dax gets two. Harwood goes up and JB brings him down with a rana and adds a brainbuster on Cash. Mark comes in with a senton on Dax for two, but Dax hits him with a lariat to lay him out. Marko fights back with a low blow and Sliced Bread for two, but Dax sends him to the floor on the kickout. This allows Tully to run him into the post and the Shatter Machine finishes at 12:15. This might be called the Big Rig now in tribute to Brodie, which is cool of them if so. This was no good, as I don’t buy anything Marko does in there because it doesn’t look like it hurts and it was just impossible to build any momentum for the match as a result. *1/2 Realistically it’s not Marko’s fault for being so small but I can’t buy him as any kind of threat.
NWA Women’s title: Serena Deeb v. Tay Conti
I continue to not understand the business relationship here and why we need two women’s titles in a promotion that can barely string together one storyline for them. However, I do understand Tay Conti’s booty shorts and appreciate them immensely. Conti quickly wraps her up in an abdominal stretch, but Deeb hiptosses her into a rollup for two. Conti goes for a heel hook and ties up Deeb on the mat, and then hits her with a judo throw. Deeb fights back and Conti gets a triangle, but Deeb escapes that and they trade rollups for two. Conti puts her down with a pump kick and Deeb lands on the floor, and we take a break. Back with Conti getting a stunner for two and she tries a submission hold on the mat, but Deeb reverses to a stretch muffler and Tay makes the ropes. Deeb with a gutbuster for two and they fight to the top rope, where Deeb gets a Gory Special on top, but Tay escapes that and hits another pump kick. Backslide, but Deeb finishes with a Gotch piledriver at 8:45. They had pretty good chemistry and Conti continues to improve dramatically in AEW. **1/2
TNT title: Darby Allin v. Brian Cage
Darby chases him to the floor right away and tries a dive, but Cage catches him like he’s nothing and suplexes him on the floor. Back in, he lays out Darby with a short arm clothesline and then tosses him through the table at ringside, busting him open. Darby gets slammed back into the ring and thrown into the corner, but he gets up so Cage tosses him into another corner and we take a break. Back with Cage powerbombing him repeatedly in a crazy spot, but Darby flips him off, so Cage powerbombs him on the ramp as JR busts out a “STOP THE DAMN MATCH!” Was that his first official AEW one? Cage deadlifts him back into the ring with a suplex, but that only gets two. So Cage pulls the stairs over to the middle of the ringside area and tries to slam Allin onto them, but Darby bites Cage’s hand to put him onto the stairs and follows with a Coffin Drop onto them. Back in, Darby makes a comeback and bites Cage’s head to set up the stunner, and then uses his belt to tie up Cage’s feet and hits a Code Red for two. Shotgun dropkick gets two. Cage throws him to the top rope on the kickout and Ricky Starks gets involved, but Sting appears via magic and finally does something, knocking Starks out. And Cage tries to suplex Darby off the top, but Darby reverses to a crucifix for the pin at 13:00 to retain. Good David v. Goliath match here thanks to Darby hurling himself around like a ragdoll, and I’m glad they’re finally going somewhere with Sting. ***1/4
Kind of an up and down episode, but a couple of really good matches, especially the opener, leave this one a pretty good effort. But WHY AM I SUPPOSED TO CARE ABOUT JADE CARGILL?!?