The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 02.17.21

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 02.17.21

Live from Jacksonville, FL

Your hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone

Hangman Page & Big Money Matt Hardy v. The Hybrid 2

TH2 attacks Page to start, but he fights them off and suplexes them onto each other.  The babyfaces double-team Evans and Hangman gets the shooting star for two, but Angelico tags himself in and they double-team Matt with a double stomp off the top for two.  Evans necksnaps Hardy into a rollup from Angelico for two, but Matt fights back with a Side Effect and makes the hot tag to Hangman.  Spinebuster for Angelico and he follows with a corner clothesline and then dives onto Evans outside.  Angelico blocks a clothesline with a big boot, but Page suplexes him for two.  Page powerbombs Angelico and then catches a diving Evans with another powerbomb, but Matt tags himself in and then accidentally knocks Hangman off the apron, and TH2 double-teams Matt with a 450 from Evans that gets two.  But then Page flips back in with a double Buckshot and Matt spikes Angelico with the Twist of Fate at 7:04.  Angelico’s physics-defying sell of that finish was hilarious.  **3/4  Say, these guys need a team name!  Let’s see, Page loves BEER, and Matt loves MONEY…well, it’ll come to me I’m sure.  Anyway, Matt celebrates his 30% investment in Hangman after the match, but Page reveals his switcheroo at the bar and then brings out the Jaguars mascot as his legal counsel.  So it turns out that Matt signed a contract for a match with Page at the PPV, and if he loses then Page gets 100% of his earnings.  But then the Jaguar turns out to be a disguised Isiah Kassidy, and Matt offers TH2 “$3700” to attack, which is an oddly specific offer.  But luckily the Dark Order is around to make the save as we keep teasing that one out.  Really good opening segment that gives both guys something interesting to do at the PPV with actual monetary stakes.

Meanwhile, the Inner Circle complains about Sammy Guevara and MJF thinks that Sammy was just being paranoid, but Jericho calls him out on his bullshit because HE ACTUALLY WATCHES THE SHOW.  How about that?

Women’s title tournament:  Serena Deeb v. Riho

Deeb wins a takedown battle and they trade headlocks and then go to a test of strength.  Riho does an amazing bridge out of that and Deeb takes her down for two, but Riho goes to the heavily braced knee and gets a bodypress for two.  Riho tries the 619 but gets caught, and Deeb catapults her under the ropes as we take a break.  Back with Deeb working a chinlock, but Riho escapes and hits a dragon suplex and then pounds her with forearms in the corner.  Deeb fires back with her own, but Riho gets a headscissors into the corner and follows with a running knee for two.  Deeb tries a suplex but her knee gives out, and Riho goes up with a flying bodypress, but Deeb rolls through and now she starts working the knee to even things out.  She puts Riho in the corner for a dragon screw and follows with a neckbreaker for two.  Deeb tries for a submission, but Riho grabs the bad knee to break and takes her down for a 619 before going up with a double stomp to the back.  To the top again with another bodypress, and that gets two.  But Deeb catches her with a dragon screw in the ropes and turns into a stretch muffler, and Riho manages to cradle for two.  Northern lights gets two for Riho.  She goes up again with a coup de grace, and that gets two.  Knee strike misses and Deeb goes for the driver, but Riho rolls her up for two and they trade reversals off that until Riho gets one last Gedo clutch for the pin at 15:00.  Well that was quite the return for Riho!  ****

Meanwhile, Jade Cargill plays basketball with Shaq.  And yet we still haven’t actually seen her WRESTLE yet so I have no idea why I’m supposed to be excited to see this trainwreck.

Orange Cassidy v. Luther

Luther attacks at the bell while Serpentico takes out Chuck with a dive, and a powerbomb gets two.  To the apron, but Orange escapes a powerbomb and gets his own onto the floor, while Chuck takes out Serpentico with the Awful Waffle.  And the Orange Punch finishes Luther at 1:32.  Holy crap, Orange actually won in a SQUASH?

Team Taz joins us, and they’re gonna call out Sting before he can call them out.  Well at least that’s a change from the usual formula since Sting has called them out about four times now.  So Sting does indeed answer, and goes after Brian Cage, which proves to be a bad idea for him because he gets powerbombed.  I feel like maybe taking more powerbombs isn’t the best idea for Sting at this point in his career, but he’s a big boy.

Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston and his family cut a promo about Jon Moxley and how they never wanted Fenix…they wanted his brother.  Ouch.

Earlier today, Kenny Omega reads the Young Bucks’ book to a group of schoolchildren (“Are they in love?”) which has their 4-9 demographic going through the roof!  Unfortunately the kids hate Nakazawa and beat him up.  Damn kids.

AEW World tag team titles:  The Young Bucks v. Santana & Ortiz

According to the graphic this is the first ever shot at the tag titles for Santana & Ortiz, which is kind of crazy.  Nick and Santana trade armdrags and then Matt comes in for the double-teaming, but then LAX catch Nick with a double-team backbreaker to take over.  MJF tries to interfere and gets thrown out along with the entire Inner Circle, but that allows the heels to work on Nick in the corner.  We take a break and return with the beating continuing, but Nick fights them off and superkicks Ortiz to make the hot tag to Matt.  Rana on Santana and he slugs away on the mat, and gets a stunner on Santana for two.  Nick flips Santana off the top into a powerbomb from Matt for two, but Ortiz breaks up More Bang For Your Buck and Santana hits Nick with a top rope falcon arrow for two.  They hit Nick with a double-team neckbreaker and Ortiz swings into a submission hold on the mat in a slick sequence, but Matt breaks it up with a flying elbow.  They trade a double superplex on Nick, but the Bucks turn it into a Doomsday Device on Santana and then hit him with double superkick for two.  BTE trigger misses, however, and the Bucks collide at the knee, allowing LAX to hit Nick with the Street Sweeper for two.  They powerbomb Matt into the crowd to get rid of him, but Nick catches Ortiz with an inside cradle for the pin to retain at 13:20 while he’s busy yelling about how he’s the best.  See that’d be irony.  This was wall to wall action.  ****1/4  And then the Inner Circle beatdown is on while Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers watch in shocked attention backstage, unsure of how to handle their best friends being attacked by a bunch of people.  Yeah, that’s a real head-scratcher.  And then Jericho goes after Papa Buck at ringside, perhaps because he’s the only person in the area older than he is, while the Good Brothers slowly come out and make the save in laconic fashion.

Gender Reveal party:  It’s a girl.  I feel like Cody might be making this show about himself a bit too much at this point.

FTR v. Matt & Mike Sydal

I didn’t even know there was a Mike Sydal. Mike gets beat up by FTR for a bit, but Matt comes in and works on Dax with leg kicks and Mike comes in again with a double stomp off the top.  He tries a monkey flip, but Cash hits him with a german suplex out of the corner for two.  We take a break and return with Matt running wild with knees after the hot tag, and Mike moonsaults them on the floor.  Back in, Matt gets two on Dax off that.  Rollup gets two, but Wheeler SMASHES Matt with an uppercut from the floor to break it up.  Matt keeps fighting them off by himself, but Dax powerbombs him and Cash hits a dragon suplex for two.  Matt with a rollup on Cash for two, but Mike tags himself in again and moonsaults Wheeler for two, missing most of it.  Matt goes up and gets crotched by Dax, and FTR finishes Mike with the Big Rig at 8:28.  Not that they need another tag team but the Sydals looked really good here.  *** FTR goes to cut off Mike’s greasy hair afterwards, but the lights go out and the Jurassic Express teleport into the ring and make the save.  Or at least Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus make the save while Marko Stunt is useless as ever.

Meanwhile, Moxley is sick of hearing about Eddie Kingston and all the people he hates, and he’s gonna break KENTA’s neck on February 26, and then regain the AEW World title at the PPV.  Quite the month for him.

Eddie Kingston, The Butcher & The Blade v. Jon Moxley, Lance Archer & Rey Fenix

Big brawl to start and they all go around ringside, before heading into the ring as B&B double-team Moxley and Butcher gets a legdrop for two.  Blade with a powerslam for two, but Moxley gets a neckbreaker and brings Archer in, as he no-sells Blade’s stuff and throws him into the corner and goes up with the ropewalk forearm as we take a break.  Back with the heels working on Archer in the corner (while Eddie Kingston hangs onto Archer’s boot) and then Eddie comes in and beats on Archer with headbutts in the corner.  Finally Archer has had enough and fights off all three by himself with a bodypress, and it’s hot tag Fenix.  And he flies ALL OVER and hits the rolling cutter on Butcher to set up a frog splash for two.  Then it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and everyone is laid out, until it’s down to Moxley and Kingston.  They slug it out and trade strikes, but Fenix superkicks Kingston and Moxley puts him in the bulldog choke until Blade breaks it up.  Archer chokeslams Fenix onto Butcher & Blade outside and then follows with his own dive onto everyone, and it’s down to Mox v. Eddie again in the ring.  Eddie hits him with the backfist, but Moxley finishes him off with a lariat and the Paradigm Shift at 12:33.  This was some good chaotic violent fun.  ***1/2  And then the Good Brothers head down for a beatdown while Kenny Omega in his douchiest outfit comes out to announce the match for Revolution.  And since Kenny wants to put him down once and for all, it’s gonna be an EXPLODING BARBED WIRE DEATH MATCH.  Well that’s gonna be a thing.

Hell of a show this week, as they break the recent curse of the live shows dying and put on a super hot two hours that flew by as usual.