The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 02.24.21
Taped from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur and Tony Schiavone
Jon Moxley v. Ryan Nemeth
Nemeth goes for a DDT right away and gets stuffed, and Jon smacks him upside the head before beating him down with crossfaces. Nemeth hits him in the throat to get a bit of offense, but Mox drops him with a backdrop suplex. Nemeth comes back with a shoulder in the corner and follows with a dropkick, but Moxley finishes him off with the Paradigm Shift at 2:48. Nice to see Mox getting a chance to destroy some enhancement talent lately without having to be generous about it. * And then he pulls a chair, turned backwards so you know he’s relatable to us young folks and he’s really speaking to us, and tells us all about EXPLODING BARBED WIRE DEATH MATCHES. He’s addicted to the blood sweat and tears and presumably exploding rings and pain and fire that comes with it. Just wait until his daughter hits puberty, THEN he’ll know pain. He’ll be WISHING for the peace of an exploding barbed wire death match because he can’t take another day of having someone roll her eyes at him in amazement that someone so stupid could possibly survive on their own for 45 years. I mean, so I’ve heard.
Meanwhile, let’s journey back to the previous violent confrontations between Moxley and Kenny Omega. I don’t know if anyone is doing a running count of how many times we hear EXPLODING BARBED WIRE DEATH MATCH on this show but there’s probably been a lot already.
Meanwhile, Rey Fenix and Lance Archer have words in advance of facing off tonight in a qualifying match for the Revolution ladder match. Rey lays the badmouth on him in Spanish, calling him the worst partner he’s ever had, and that naturally triggers a brawl.
Meanwhile, the Young Bucks and Old Bucks arrive and have a quick photo op at the truck.
The Varsity Blonds v. Brian Cage & Ricky Starks
Apparently Ricky Starks moved in on Bayley behind the back of his former tag team partner, which is like, good for him on one hand, but that’s gotta be a pretty egregious violation of the bro code. Pillman tosses Starks and follows with a baseball slide and then rolls him up for two in the ring. He tries Air Pillman and Ricky smacks him down, allowing Cage to powerbomb him into the post and bounce his hip off the stairs on the way down. OUCH. Sadly he didn’t yell out MY HOLE afterwards, but he probably wasn’t thinking of it in the moment. We take a break and return with Cage beating on Pillman, but Brian fights them off and makes the hot tag to Griff. Backdrop puts Cage on the floor and he follows with a dive, and back in for a facebuster on Starks for two. The Blonds hit a double-team dropkick/powerbomb combo for two, but Cage makes a blind tag and then WRECKS Pillman with a discus lariat and Drill Claw at 9:00. **1/4 And then we cut to wacky tag team partners Sting and Darby Allin out for a drive on the big screen, with Sting dragging Darby behind the car in a body bag like most friends do when they’re just hanging out. And then Sting joins us for real, carrying another body bag, which turns out to contain young Hook this time. Taz: “WHAT KIND OF SHIT IS THIS!?” And then Darby Allin rappels in from the rafters with his skateboard (NOT COOL, let’s maybe retire that bit forever, OK?) and the babyfaces kick the shit out of Team Taz and finally get the upper hand for once. This was a pretty damn great segment. Also a nice touch, they made sure to have people up in the upper decks where Darby was, so that the whole empty arena illusion isn’t ruined.
Meanwhile, Tony sits down with the newlyweds and their wacky friend Miro, and everyone is pretty upset about “that little walking Xanax” and Charles the Butler ruining the wedding. But Miro likes Charles and he’s welcome to come home to buttle for Miro and fold his laundry. Forgive but not forget. And then a stagehand brings a note from Orange and Chuck, “Will you wrestle us at Revolution, Y/N/Maybe Circle One”. Sadly, Miro chooses to spit the note at Tony instead. We’ll call that a solid Maybe.
Brandon Cutler v. Jake Hager
Cutler seems to be morphing into a dragon creature of some kind. Are we gonna have to find new pronouns for him now? Cutler tries a sunset flip and that goes badly for him, as Hager drops him with a wheelbarrow suplex a couple of times. Never try a sunset flip on Jake Hager! That’s just basic science. Hager beats on him in the corner and follows with a big boot to put him for the Hager Bomb. But he doesn’t cover, and Cutler fights back and gets him to the floor for a dive, but then springboards back in and gets caught and slammed. Hager finally just kills him with a lariat for the pin at 3:13. This brings out the rest of the Inner Circle for a further beatdown on Cutler, but the Bucks make the save and they want Jericho and MJF RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW. But they pop up on the big screen to answer, and they’ve got poor Papa Buck and he’s covered with some kind of red colored corn syrup on his face. That’s gonna take forever to wash out.
Meanwhile, we take a look at the SENSES SHATTERING feud between Cody and Shaq and whoever the women are and they can’t even put together a coherent storyline for it in the editing room.
Isaiah Kassidy v. Hangman Page
Page’s graphic lets us know that he “Made some new friends” this week. Well that’s nice. Kassidy attacks and Page slugs him down in the corner and puts the boots to him. Blockbuster suplex puts Kassidy on the floor, but he fights back with chops in the ring until Page blasts him with a lariat out of the corner. Kassidy’s bug-eyed sell is pretty funny. Page misses a charge and Kassidy goes to the middle rope, but Page boots him on the way down and puts him on the floor, and then follows with a dive to wipe him out on the floor. Kassidy hasn’t quite enough yet, so Hangman puts him on the railing and clotheslines him into the crowd and then hauls him back out again. Page is about to powerbomb him through a table, but TH2 takes the ref and Marc Quen goes after Page’s arm. This results in the Dark Order coming out and having Big Money Matt sent back to the dressing room, but Kassidy continues working on the arm in the ring. We take a break and return with Page fighting out of an armbar, but Kassidy backdrops him to the apron. So Page necks him on the ropes and uses the positive power of John Silver to fight his way back in with a rolling elbow for two. Kassidy comes back with an enzuigiri, but Page catches him with a death valley driver and follows with a corner clothesline. Sliding lariat misses and Kassidy tries a DDT, but Page reverses to a brainbuster for two. Page tries a clothesline, but Kassidy catches him with a poison rana for two and then takes him down with a cross armbreaker in a mostly smooth transition. It’s a little rough but I appreciate the effort. Kassidy charges and gets sent to the apron, but Page tries a springboard and Kassidy yanks the arm on the ropes in a nice counter. But then he springboards in and lands in Page’s arms, and the Deadeye finishes at 13:27. I don’t know where this came from, but it was GREAT. ***3/4 Afterwards, a butthurt Big Money Matt complains that Page chose the Dark Order over him and his 30% cut, so he kidnaps Five and throws him through the table to get some revenge. Well now he’s just gonna drive Page into the arms of the Dark Order!
Meanwhile, Kenny Omega is showing off his mad metal-working skills backstage, building the MOXLEY EXTERMINATION CHAMBER because sometimes you’ve just gotta do it with your own two hands. Hopefully they have someone a bit more qualified to rig the explosives, though.
Meanwhile, we reach the finals of the Japanese side of the women’s tournament.
Women’s tournament semi-finals: Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Nyla Rose
Baker grabs a headlock and hangs onto that, but Rose escapes with a slam, so Britt and Rebel take a break so they can blow off steam in the crowd. Back in, Britt catches Nyla with a cheapshot, but Nyla hits a samoan drop and chokes her out in the corner. She teases a cannonball, but Rebel pulls Britt out of the way to avoid another broken limb. So Nyla hits a press slam instead and Britt bails to the floor and suckers Rose in for a shot to the post. We take a break and return with Britt hitting a suplex, but Nyla puts her down with clotheslines. Poor Rebel gets involved and Nyla gives her a uranage on the apron and then slams Baker for two. Britt escapes a powerbomb attempt, but stops to show off her glove and gets chokeslammed. Nyla gives Rebel a cannonball, but that allows Britt use her assistant’s noble sacrifice to roll Nyla into a Lockjaw attempt. Nyla powers out of that for two, but Britt cradles her for two. Britt hits her with superkicks and a crucifix bomb into the Lockjaw, but Nyla fights out of that and then hits the powerbomb for two. She tries a tombstone, but Britt escapes that, so Nyla hits another powerbomb to finish at 12:21. I’m pretty surprised that Rose went over the red hot Britt Baker here, but I’m assuming that means Riho goes over in the other semi to set up a rematch between them. Hell of a match here. ***1/2
Meanwhile, we get some words from Jurassic Express and FTR.
Lance Archer v. Rey Fenix
Winner of this qualifies for the ladder match at the PPV. Archer beats on Fenix in the corner to counter his flying, but he charges and lands on the floor, and Fenix follows with a dive and nearly goes flying over the railing in the process. Rey goes to the top and Jake trips him up to the ramp, but Fenix dives over Jake and hits Archer on the floor. This man is insane. They slug it out by the railing and Fenix gets the worst of that, and we take a break. Back with Archer continuing to beat him down in the ring, and they trade chops before Fenix tries a springboard from the apron and gets CLOCKED with a clothesline out there. Archer continues hurling him around ringside as Fenix takes crazy bumps into the railing, and Archer hits him with a cannonball for fun. Like literally for fun, he’s all smiles about it. Back in, Archer gets a suplex that tosses Fenix into the corner and sets up the Blackout, but Fenix fights out of that and springboards onto him with a double stomp to finally put Archer down. Fenix tries a slam and that’s not happening, so Archer hits him with a german suplex and then follows with the ropewalk moonsault for two. Archer clubbers on him in the ropes, but Fenix fights back with more chops and they slug it out, until Archer whips him into the corner and follows with a running elbow. Fenix dodges another one and fights back with his own kicks and his own ropewalk into a kick, and that gets two. Fenix rolls into the cutter for two, but he goes up and Archer cuts him off with a fisherman’s buster for two. To the top, and Fenix brings him down with a Spanish Fly for two. Lance Archer should not be able to do that bump. Fenix charges, but Archer counters with the Pounce and then hits him with a buckle bomb and chokeslam for two. Blackout finishes at 17:37 and WE’RE DESPERATELY OUT OF TIME, FANS! This was incredible and Rey Fenix is a freak of nature and seemingly incapable of ever having a match that’s not awesome. ****1/2
Well this turned into a hell of a show! Some fun squashes in the first hour and then three great matches in a row to close things out as the build to Revolution continues.
Next week: It’s Shaq. Just accept it.