The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 03.03.21
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet v. Shaq & Jade Cargill
Man, I got so sick of waiting for the AEW figures to come to Canada that I finally broke down and ordered a Brandi Rhodes from Wish, and they sent me Red Velvet instead. Shaq wins a lockup with Cody to start, so Cody throws chops in the corner and that goes badly for him. Shaq uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS on him and follows with a backdrop and you gotta say, he looks like he’s having the time of his life out there. Finally Jade tags herself in and puts Velvet down with a pump kick that doesn’t really get the height she was looking for and she chokes away in the corner. At this point my daughter stops by and notes that Cody is “Frozone” based on his gear. That’s fair. Shaq has words with the Gunns at ringside and that turns into a random brawl before Velvet hits everyone with a moonsault that mostly misses. Back in, Jade takes her down with a figure-four, but Velvet reverses. So Jade goes out and finds a table, but then Velvet sets up a second table as they’re taking FOREVER setting up spots and don’t seem to know what to do between things. So it’s back to Shaq and Cody, as Shaq gets a kneelift and then powerbombs him. But Cody gets a slam for two. Velvet slugs it out with Jade, but walks into a spinebuster, and then Cody charges in and hits Shaq with a bodypress to put him through the tables. Jade is unsure of how to process this, and Velvet spears her for two. But then Jade finishes her with a KOD at 11:55. I still have no idea what the point of any of this was supposed to be. Jade lived up to her name because she looked completely green out there. Shaq was having fun but this was BAD. ½*
Meanwhile, Tony goes to check on Shaq’s ambulance, but he’s GONE. This is never followed up the rest of the night, by the way.
Rey Fenix & Pac v. John Skyler & D3
Death Triangle pounds Skyler with kicks and Fenix goes up for a ropewalk kick onto D3, and then Pac hits a 450 on Skyler before Fenix finishes him with a Rikishi Driver at 1:11. Well that was a squash.
Inner Circle Press Conference:
The first question: What do the tag team titles mean to Jericho? He of course mentions that he was tag team champions with “Dwayne Johnson and AEW’s own Paul Wight” but MJF is better than both! And then Conrad Thompson asks when Sammy is coming back, and MJF goes off on him and calls him “turkey tits” and sends him packing in a funny rant. Next up, a question about the Papa Buck attack, which gives MJF the chance to bury Nick’s thinning hair. Of course, we get an Eric Bischoff cameo, and he thinks that perhaps motivating the Bucks by attacking their dad was a STUPID IDEA. And indeed this brings out the Bucks, who go for the jugular by claiming that the Inner Circle’s fathers failed to teach them right. Also, Jericho would be “jerking the curtain at the Performance Center” without them. OH SNAP. And of course a brawl erupts, as “the two yay-hoos from Impact” join the fray and poor Santana and Ortiz get put through tables as a result.
Meanwhile, we get a video package about EXPLODING BARBED WIRE DEATH MATCHES, complete with a cameo from ATSUSHI ONITA! Oh fuck, he’s gonna want to come out of retirement again, isn’t he?
FTR & Tully Blanchard v. The Jurassic Express
Speaking of random cameos tonight, JJ Dillon is managing the heels tonight, which gets a big pop from me. Also Tully breaks out his classic US title belt from Starrcade 85. And FTR is rocking the 80s NWA World tag team title belts! And Tully starts with Marko and kicks the shit out of him in the corner to start! Jungle Boy cleans house with dropkicks and then hits FTR with german suplexes before taking Dax down with the STF, but Cash breaks it up, so JB takes him down with an STF on the floor while he taps like crazy. Meanwhile JJ gives Dax a SHOE and that gets a two count as the heels take over. Tully tosses him and teases a dive before deciding to strut instead as we take a break. Back with Jungle Boy coming back with a suplex on Dax, but Cash cuts off the tag and runs JB into the corner, but he misses a pump splash and it’s hot tag Luchasaurus. He runs wild and throws that little shit Marko onto Tully, but thankfully FTR sends Marko into the railing before Luchasaurus throws them both with a german suplex. Doing crazy shit to two people at once is never not awesome. JB comes in with a baseball slide on Cash, but he goes up in the FTR corner and gets caught with a POWERPLEX for two. And then Cash follows right into a german suplex for two. Dragon suplex gets two, but Marko breaks it up, so Tully hits HIM with a slingshot suplex! YEAH! Luchasaurus puts Tully down with a kick and the crowd BOOS him for it, so they team up with a double powerbomb on Cash instead. But then Jungle Boy tries a dive and hits a cameraman by mistake, and the guy hits Lucha with something to set up a triple spike piledriver to finish at 11:35. And of course, the mystery man unmasks as Shawn Spears, making his return while everyone flashes the four fingers and then Arn comes out and does likewise. And JJ stops by to cut a promo on Tony, who quips “You don’t get paid extra for that, you know” and gets a big laugh from the crowd. This was all awesome and made me smile many times. ***1/4
Paul Wight joins us to make his AEW debut, and he’s got a scoop: This Sunday AEW has hired a “Hall of Fame worthy talent” and the announcement will be made during the show. Hopefully not another ex-WWE castoff, I think we’re at our quota.
Women’s tournament final: Nyla Rose v. Ryo Mizunami
They slug it out to start and Nyla wins that battle, but she tries a powerbomb and Ryo backdrops out of it. She gets the chops in the corner, but Nyla puts her down and hits a senton for two as we take a break. Back with Nyla hitting a slam, but she goes up and misses a senton, which allows Ryo to spear her off the apron. Nyla heads back to the ring, but Ryo legdrops her on the apron and Rose beats the count at 9. So Ryo hits her with a legdrop on way in for two. They slug it out again and Nyla wins that with a forearm shot, and a death valley driver gets two. Nyla puts her on the top rope for the guillotine knee, and that gets two. Ryo fights back with an exploder suplex and goes up, but Nyla cuts her off with a superplex for two. Ryo hits her with a german suplex and a spear, however, and goes up with a legdrop for the pin at 12:49 to win the tournament. Pretty decent hoss fight but I don’t care about the upcoming title match in the least. ***
This is Sting joins Tony for his weekly interview, but Ricky Starks quickly interrupts and doesn’t feel like Sting is actually an icon. So Sting kicks his ass and puts him in a Scorpion Deathlock, at which point Team Taz hits the ring and beats him down. Cage tries another powerbomb, but Darby Allin makes the save and they team up to chase Cage off as well.
10 v. Max Caster
Caster brings the FIRE in his rap, referencing Ron Garvin taking the fireball in the face in 1987 and then threatening to beat up Minus 1. This kid’s got something. 10 works a headlock to start and gets a bodypress for two, but he tries a piledriver and Caster squirms out of that. 10 pounds away in the corner and clotheslines him to the floor, but he charges and hits the post as we take a break. Back with 10 making a comeback in the ring with clotheslines and a spinebuster, and a slingshot spear gets two. Caster takes him down with an armdrag into a wristlock, but 10 makes the ropes, so Max hits him with a brainbuster and goes up for a flying elbow that misses. 10 with a powerbomb out of the corner for two, but Caster drops him on the ropes and Jack Evans pops out of the ring and hits 10 with the boombox, putting Caster on top for the pin at 8:34 to advance to the ladder match on the PPV. And Evans makes $4200 cash from Big Money Matt for that one! **
Meanwhile, Miro now has no choice but to hurt Chucky T and everyone who is tired of him playing games are about to get their wish.
John Silver & Hangman Page v. Big Money Matt Hardy & Marc Quen
Not sure what happened to the advertised 10 man. The heels double-team Silver to start and Hardy tries a sleeper, but Hangman gets a blind tag and almost clotheslines Silver by mistake thanks to Hardy’s machinations. Page beats on Quen in the corner and we take a break and return with Silver getting laid out on the floor as Team Hardy goes to work on him in the corner. Matt goes up for the yodeling legdrop, but Silver hits him with a kick on the way down and then follows with a shiranui and makes the hot tag to Hangman. Page hits Quen with a spinebuster, but Hardy runs away, so Page hits him with the dive and then follows with a death valley driver on Quen in the ring. Matt declines a tag from his partner, so Quen dropkicks Page’s knee and now Matt wants in. Neckbreaker sets up the Twist of Fate, but Page reverses to a back suplex and Silver comes in with a spear and backslides Matt into the kicks. Brainbuster gets two. Quen necks him, however, and Matt hits Silver with a backdrop driver to set up Quen for a missile dropkick. But Page comes in with the powerbomb and Buckshot Lariat to finish at 11:05 while Hardy decides to leave again. But then Matt lays out Page and beats on him, and the Dark Order saves before all the teams from the upcoming battle royale storm in and we do the big brawl to end the show. Match was messy as fuck and didn’t really feel like it went anywhere, but I’m looking forward to the Page-Hardy match at the PPV. *1/2
The FTR match was the clear highlight of the week, and the rest was a good, breezy PPV hard sell show that didn’t have anything I’d call must-see otherwise. If anything the Shaq match was slightly less of a trainwreck than I wanted. Also there was decidedly not much hard sell for the EXPLODING BARBED WIRE DEATH MATCH here on the go-home show, but I guess that one kind of sells itself.
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