The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 01.20.21

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 01.20.21

Live from Jacksonville, FL

Your hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur and DOOMIE AWARD WINNING Tony Schiavone.

Unfortunately, TSN switched the show from TSN2 to TSN1 tonight because of basketball, so my DVR didn’t start recording it until I happened to check it 15 minutes into the show, just as Hangman Page was turning down the Dark Order’s offer and breaking everyone’s heart.

Meanwhile, Alex Marvez has words with LE CHAMPION and MJF, and MJF notes that Alex’s breath literally smells like rats having an orgy in a running microwave.  That’s pretty specific.

Darby Allin joins Tony in the ring after retaining his TNT title last week, and also Sting is here to congratulate him.  He wants to stress that he wasn’t there to steal Darby’s thunder, but Team Taz interrupts from the back and Taz accuses the babyfaces of CHEATING and fighting dirty.  So this seems to set up a street fight to settle things, probably at Beach Break.

Meanwhile, at the palatial estate of Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks stop by for a meeting of the Elite and we get an amazing oil painting of Kenny and Don in SLIGHTLY exaggerated muscle poses.  Kenny is sadly unable to attend the meeting, which is being held at his house, but Don wants to clear the air with them and sends Alex Marvez to “the Dungeon” to get rid of him.  Apparently it’s not what it sounds like.  Callis cuts them a cheque to get rid of the Bucks, but they note that Callis works for Impact and so they know the cheques aren’t any good anyway.

Cody Rhodes v. Pretty Peter Avalon

Apparently Avalon is no longer a librarian, but he’s on a winning streak now with his new Rick Rude deal.  Cody immediately lays out Pretty Peter, but Jade Cargill comes out to distract Cody and he stands there like a dummy yelling at her, allowing Avalon to attack the knee and take over.  They fight to the top and Avalon gets a superplex from there, but they fight to the floor and back in for a suplex from Peter that gets two.  Double clothesline and both guys are down and we take a break.  Back with Avalon missing a moonsault, but Cody tries a leapfrog and lands awkwardly before heading to the floor.  Avalon follows with a dive, but Cody gets the cutter back in the ring.  Cody with the figure-four, but Avalon reverses it as the announcers are thinking the same thing I am:  If Cody has a hurt knee, he’s dumb to use the move.  But then Cody reverses it back and Avalon taps out at 9:25.  This was awkward and way too long.  **

Meanwhile, FTR reveals that they’re back in the #1 contender spot, but the Jurassic Express stops by and Jungle Boy challenges Dax to a match NEXT WEEK.

Jon Moxley v. Nick Comoroto

Comoroto is a big boy with Bruiser Brody hair, looking reminiscent of Hercules, so he’ll probably get a look.  Comoroto gets a powerslam and chokes Moxley out in the corner, and follows with a running elbow in the corner and a backbreaker.  Mox slugs back, but Comoroto gets a tilt-a-whirl slam for two.  Nick misses a blind charge and hits the turnbuckles and Moxley beats on him with kicks, but can’t suplex Comoroto.  He keeps coming with a german suplex off the ropes instead, but Comoroto pops up and tries a fireman’s carry.  Moxley counters into a rear naked choke to finish at 4:00, however.  This was a fun little fight and Comoroto looks like he’s got some upside.  **1/4

Moxley does a promo afterwards, noting that Kenny Omega might have brought “his friends from Nashville” but that just gives him more limbs to break.  But all roads lead through him.

Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston faces Lance Archer next week, and Lance interrupts his backstage promo, joined by a feisty Jake Roberts.  That should be a hell of a match.

Meanwhile, Kenny Omega arrives at the building, and bumps into Don Callis, who is now sporting an eye injury, which may or may not have been caused by the Young Bucks earlier.

Matt Sydal & Top Flight v. Matt Hardy & Private Party

We get some wacky acrobatics from Top Flight on Quen to start, and Sydal flips in with a senton for two.  Quen is so shook that he takes off his tails and beats Sydal down.  Top Flight comes in for more double-teaming, but Big Money Matt nails Sydal from the apron to take over and Private Party take over again. We take a break and I’m actually watching live so I get to see them working Sydal over and Big Money hits a Snake Eyes for two.  Eyes of the Snake?  No, that’s a different character.  I should point out that there’s THREE major characters in AEW named Matt, with two of them in this match.  One of them needs to be renamed Garrison ASAP.  Private Party continues trapping Sydal in the corner and beating on him with elbows, really embracing the heel lifestyle at this point, but Sydal comes back with chops.  Kassidy takes him down with a chinlock, but Sydal comes back with an incredible rana onto both Party members at the same time.  Hot tag Darius Martin, who hits a Spanish Fly on Kassidy and dumps Big Money Matt for a dive.  Back in, Private Party tries the Silly String, Top Flight breaks it up and Dane rolls up Kassidy for two.  Top Flight with a double-team in the corner, but Kassidy reverses out and Big Money comes in with a Side Effect on both guys.  Sydal dives in from the top and Matt hits one on him as well, and covers all three guys for two.  That’s pretty ballin’, you have to give him that.  Quen comes in with an enzuigiri on Sydal for two.  Top Flight double-teams Quen and Dane gets a top rope rana for two.  They take Quen to the top, but Kassidy sneaks in and hits Dane with a chair to the ribs, and he LIKES IT, as Quen finishes with a shooting star press at 12:00.  You never forget the first time you successfully hit someone from behind with a chair and it works.  It’s a special time in every boy’s life.  I know they can’t win ‘em all, but Top Flight really needs to start winning some of them because they’re great.  And then Hardy’s Party beats Top Flight down again as they’re really into this heel deal now because they’re jealous of the new kids.  Evil is indeed fun and this is a good story being told.  ***

Meanwhile, MJF and Wardlow give the other Inner Circle guys a peptalk.  He’s not a SOCIOPATH.

Penelope Ford v. Leyla Hirsch

Miro debuts his new butler, Charles Taylor, who is looking rather more dapper than usual.  Leyla takes Ford down and goes after the leg on the mat, but Sabian trips her up and Leyla gets beat up on the floor as we take a break.  Back in, Ford gets the handspring elbow in the corner and chokes her out.  They slug it out and Leyla makes the comeback with a knee to the face and a deadlift german suplex, and double knees in the corner get two.  Leyla goes up and gets yanked down, but Ford misses an axe kick in the corner and Leyla goes up and dives onto Kip and the butler.  That proves to be a mistake as Ford hits her with a kick on the way back in and Kip holds Hirsch down for the pin.  Afterwards, Miro brings his man Charles into the ring and kicks Leyla out (“Don’t boo me, yes I said get out of the ring!”), then orders Charles to declare Miro his new best friend, right to Orange Cassidy’s face.  And since he’s a Kentucky gentleman, he has to abide by the deal and does it.  And then poor Orange does the Charlie Brown walk back to the dressing room.  Miro is delightful as always and the match was solid.  **1/2

Meanwhile, Kenny Omega and his Good Brothers assault Penta backstage, using Kenny’s beautiful new cowboy boots.

NEXT WEEK:  Eddie Kingston v. Lance Archer!  Cody responds to Shaq!  Dax Harwood v. Jungle Boy!  Young Bucks & Good Brothers v. Dark Order!

Inner Circle Tag Team Challenge:  Chris Jericho & MJF v. Santana & Ortiz v. Sammy/Hager

Amazingly, the real Sammy Hagar records an inset promo to hype up his new namesake team.  You have to love that they’re taking a one-off goofy joke and completely leaning into it like that.  Sammy starts with MJF, but he tags Jericho in to be a dick about it.  So Sammy trades wristlocks with Jericho and they slug it out as LES SEX GODS EXPLODE.  Sammy dropkicks him and clotheslines him to the floor before teasing a dive and showing off instead.  Back in, Jericho tries a dropkick and Sammy catapults him into a shot from Hager, which gets two.  Santana and Ortiz work Hager over in the corner and hit a double suplex, but Jericho tags himself in to save and chops Ortiz down.  Santana comes in with a senton for two and we take a break.  Back with Jericho throwing chops on Sammy and he hits a suplex for two, but Sammy fights back with chops and they collide for a double down.  Finally this brings in MJF but now Hager runs wild on him and hits a spear.  Sammy slingshots in with a cutter on MJF and he makes a fired up babyface comeback, clotheslining Jericho to the floor for a dive, and then Santana and Ortiz hit stereo dives of their own and Sammy gets another dive on MJF.  Back in, Sammy goes up and gets caught by a kick from Santana, but he recovers with a Spanish Fly off the top and that gets two.  Jericho threatens Hager with the bat and gets booted in the face for his troubles, and then MJF grabs his ring and Hager cuts HIM off too.  He hits Ortiz with a clothesline and Sammy follows with a standing shooting star for two, but MJF saves and powerbombs Sammy.  Jericho with the Lionsault for two.  Santana and Ortiz save and hit Jericho with a double slam for two, but Jericho puts Ortiz down with a codebreaker for two.  Hager gets another tag and cleans house, hitting the pump splash on MJF into a senton from Sammy for two.  Sammy with the GTH on Jericho, but he tries one on MJF and Wardlow knocks him over and MJF gets the pin with a handful of tights at 13:10.  This was a WILD main event and Sammy Guevara is just an amazing top level babyface waiting to happen any day now.  ***1/2

Well, once again the crowd reactions are annoyingly muted on the live shows but there was a lot of fun stuff here.  And then whatever the hell Cody Rhodes is doing with his life.