The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 02.10.21
Taped from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
TNT title: Darby Allin v. Joey Janela
They fight over the lockup to start and Joey DERIDES Darby’s lockup skills. Another try and Janela hits him with an elbow in the corner, but Darby comes back with a springboard dropkick and they head to the apron, where Janela suplexes him onto the apron, which as JR notes is THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Joey with a tope suicida and back in for two, and he slugs away with forearms in the corner, but Darby fires back, so Janela whips him into the turnbuckles for a Bret Hart bump that gets two. Joey goes to a chicken wing and bodyscissors on the mat while pulling on Darby’s mouth, but Darby elbows out, so Janela takes him down with a jawbreaker and follows with a double axehandle, but Darby tosses him and follows with his own tope into the railing. Back in, that gets two. Watching with my daughter this week, her observation is that it’s easy to tell who’s who because Janela has “BAD BOY” written in big letters on his butt. I of course point out that many wrestlers have things written on their butt, and that’s usually the easiest way to verify someone’s identity. Darby misses the Coffin Drop and Janela gets a superkick for two, but Darby takes him down by the arm and they slug it out. Janela wins that with a clothesline and goes for a tombstone, but Darby counters with a stunner and a jackknife for two. Janela bridges out, but Darby rolls him up for two. Janela with a piledriver for two. They fight to the top and Darby brings him down with a Code Red off the top for two. Darby with an STO and he goes up and hits the Coffin Drop this time, and that finishes at 9:51. The kid’s rating: 4.5 out of 5! Her favorite part was when they traded slaps. And people say I’m too easy on these guys! This was a legit great opener and they beat the shit out of each other as promised. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley is tired of KENTA’s crap and they’re gonna settle it for the US title on Feb 26, even if the heels “met on some kind of Bullet Club Facebook group or something”.
Meanwhile, Sammy Guevara stops by the Inner Circle dressing room for a word with MJF. ALONE. Except for the cameraman. Sammy makes ridiculous, paranoid accusations about MJF trying to take over the group for himself, if you can believe it! In fact, MJF thinks that Sammy is harboring hatred for Jericho and wants to take over the group himself, and then records him saying just that in a supreme dick move. So Sammy punches him in the nuts and smashes the phone. I feel like that’s gonna work out badly for Sammy for some reason.
Cody Rhodes & Lee Johnson v. Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi
Arn’s son Brock is in the front row and HOLY SHIT does he look like his dad. “His face belongs on a can of beef stew” notes JR and I can’t argue. Avalon works a headlock on Johnson and Bononi tags himself in for some punishment in the corner, but Johnson hits Avalon with a dropkick to chase him into the corner. Over to Cody, but Bononi hits him with a pumphandle slam and we take a break. Back with Cody hitting Avalon with something out of a fireman’s carry, and Lee Johnson gets a hot tag and hits Avalon with a neckbreaker. He follows with a dive onto Bononi outside, and a neckbreaker onto Avalon gets two. Bononi makes the save and stumbles around before slamming Johnson, but Lee rolls up Avalon for the pin at 6:28. Match was nothing special and neither is Johnson, but pushing new people is good. ** Also Bononi is the second person tonight with writing on his butt, but I can’t really make out what it says.
Meanwhile, the Good Brothers apologize the Young Bucks for screwing them last week, but explain that really they were trying to help the Bucks! Their heat is with Santana & Ortiz! So the Bucks make a match LAX next week for the titles, which the Good Brothers think is RATINGS GOLD! They want a “2 sweet” right there on camera, but the Bucks decline and want to go do it somewhere in the back later. Probably for legal reasons.
Meanwhile, Big Money Matt crashes Hangman’s interview backstage, and wants to take him drinking all night to celebrate their new partnership. So Page awkwardly bumps into the entire Dark Order on the way out and poor John Silver of course can’t get his words out. “Maybe I’ll catch you on the flip…STUPID!” Come on, these crazy kids have to work this out!
Pac v. Ryan Nemeth
Pac beats on him with kicks and then boots him in the face to put him on the floor, as our theme of wrestlers with writing on their butt continues with Nemeth’s “HUNK”. They fight to the floor and back in as Pac stomps him down, with a rare camera angle that allows you to see that the arena is literally empty and the crowd noise is all fake. They do a hell of a job with it, you have to give them that. Pac finishes stomping the shit out of him, hits him with the Black Arrow, and finishes with the Brutalizer at 4:08. A complete and total squash. *
Meanwhile, a wrestling wedding goes horribly wrong. In other news, sun comes up in the morning. So Miro and the happy couple do a promo promising to put Chuck and Orange in the hospital. Chuck thinks they should have known it was coming.
Meanwhile, MJF throws Sammy under the bus, protesting to Jericho that his ribs are probably broken from the vicious attack he suffered at the hands of maniacal Sammy Guevara.
Chris Jericho & MJF v. The Acclaimed
I will say, the Acclaimed are growing on me. Caster goes for MJF right away, and he immediately grabs his “injured” ribs and bails out of the ring, leaving Jericho to do the work. Caster hits Jericho with a shoulderblock and the Acclaimed double-team him in the corner, with Bowens hitting a slingshot elbowdrop for two. Back to MJF, and Bowens drops him with a face first slam for two. Tony thinks that they should test the rib injury by stomping on it for good measure, so they do, and Tony remains skeptical that MJF is legitimately in pain. But Jericho gets Caster into the heel corner for a beatdown as the Circle takes over with a double flapjack. We take a break and return with MJF working on Caster with an abdominal stretch, complete with classic cheating from Jericho. But of course Aubrey catches them and kicks the arm to break, and it’s hot tag Bowens. Dropkick for Jericho and he drops MF out of a torture rack, but he gets distracted by Ortiz and Jericho takes him out. He tries the Lionsault, but runs into Caster’s boombox and Bowens gets two. Bowens with a chokeslam and Caster comes in from the top, but Hager shoves him off and the Judas Effect finishes at 9:04. This was fun. **1/2 The Inner Circle celebration commences, but that brings out Sammy Guevara with his own music, and he’s here to tell Jericho that he’s DONE with the Inner Circle, as promised. Max doesn’t seem terribly broken up about it. Except for when Jericho is looking. Our “Butt writing” count is an amazing three for the match, with MJF, Caster and Bowens all putting writing on their shorts.
Meanwhile, Sammy blows off Marvez and leaves the building.
Meanwhile, Hangman is REALLY drunk and telling stories, while Matt dumps out his drinks in a funny bit and then puts a contract in front of Page, but Matt stops to tell the camera a secret and Page switches contracts behind his back and signs it.
This Is Sting joins Tony as the announcers point out that it’s a “chilly night” in Jacksonville. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED. A quick check of the weather shows that it’s SIXTEEN DEGREES CELSIUS tonight in Jacksonville, which by the way is literally summer weather here. When it’s that warm here we literally turn on the A/C. As I type this it’s -31C here with a wind chill factor of -42C. And I had to walk my stupid dog tonight on top of it. DO NOT TALK TO ME ABOUT “CHILLY NIGHTS”. Anyway, that aside, Team Taz quickly interrupts Sting’s interview and reveals that they’ve put Darby Allin in a body bag in the parking lot, and drag him off on the back of their truck. Sounds like a normal night for Darby.
Meanwhile, on the golf course, Alex Marvez interrupts Kenny Omega in the sand trapAnd then we get the amazing (and subtle!) visual background gag of Don Callis cheating by putting the ball in the hole while Omega does a deadpan interview with Marvez. And then they leave Marvez stranded there! Tremendous.
AEW Women’s title tournament: Leyla Hirsch v. Thunder Rosa
Rosa wins a grappling battle, and you KNOW that she has writing on her butt and we all should give it the attention it deserves. Leyla also is part of the butt writing club, giving us our first match with both people as members. Hirsch gets her own takedown and grapples on the mat before going to a wristlock, then she springboards off the ropes with a rana to put her on the floor and follows with a tope. Back in, she jumps into an armbar, but Rosa escapes that and gets a neckbreaker from the apron to take over as we take a break. Back with Rosa hitting the shotgun dropkick in the corner for two, but Hirsch hits her with german suplexes and follows with a bodypress for two. She goes up with a moonsault but hits the knees, then recovers with her own knees to the head for two. She tries another moonsault, but misses again, and Rosa boots her down for two. Rosa tries the finisher, but Leyla rolls her into a triangle, so Rosa slams out of it, and the Michinoku Driver gets the pin at 9:05. A fine match. **1/2
This Monday: The Japanese half of the tournament begins on the YouTubes!
Meanwhile, Jungle Boy has words for FTR. Bad words!
Lights out, No Holds Barred: Kenny Omega & KENTA v. Jon Moxley & Lance Archer
Sadly this match ends our streak for the night, as no one has anything written on their butt. Unless we’re counting KENTA’s logo. KENTA lays out Moxley with the magic briefcase right away and then beats on Archer as well, but Lance needs more than that. So Kenny hits him with the Kotoro Krusher and the heels go stomp on Moxley but can’t get along. So they hash it out while beating on Moxley with kicks in the corner, but Archer makes the save and the babyfaces team up with corner clotheslines. Archer tries a powerbomb on Kenny, but he reverses to a rana and they hit the floor. This leaves KENTA and Moxley to slug it out, which is fine with Mox, but Omega comes in with a trash can and nails Moxley. He follows with a moonsault of the can onto Moxley and KENTA dropkicks it into Jon’s face for two. But they all fight to the floor and we take a break. Back with them fighting in the crowd as KENTA hits Peter Avalon with a GTS, but Archer chokeslams Omega into the heart shaped bed for two. Moxley beats on KENTA with kicks for two and they battle up the stairs and into the back, where they find the kitchen and Excalibur struggles to describe a “steel kitchen surface”. “It’s called a table” notes JR. KENTA with a DDT on the table for two and they potato each other. I mean literally. And then we go back and do a replay of some of the previous bumps, which I guess allows an edit, and return with Omega fighting with Moxley at ringside. Moxley finds a kendo stick under the ring and dishes out some shots with that, but he comes off the top and lands on a V-Trigger from Omega. Meanwhile, KENTA and Archer return and slug it out on the entrance ramp, but Archer tries a powerbomb onto the announce table and KENTA escapes that and then dives right into a double stomp onto Moxley on the floor in one motion. What an amazing spot. Back in the ring, Archer wants some of Kenny and catches the kendo stick before smashing it, then hits Omega with a chokeslam. Ropewalk into the moonsault gets two. The Good Brothers break up the Blackout and Archer takes them out, but walks into the Gunstun. And then Jake gets involved and they go after HIM as well, but then Moxley saves with a barbed wire bat before walking into GO TO SLEEP. But then Archer takes out both heels, before they both kick him in the nuts and the Good Brothers hit the Magic Killer on him. V-Trigger and an insane One Winged Angel on LANCE ARCHER (with the help of the Good Brothers) finishes at 20:04. This was fucking nuts, the kind of insane Attitude Era brawl that they do better than just about any other promotion at the moment. ****1/2
Man, this one didn’t look like much going in, but this was a GREAT episode. Once again, aside from Cody Rhodes and whatever he’s supposed to be doing right now.