The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 03.10.21
Nothing more satisfying than having a pre-wrestling afternoon nap and getting woken up by your stupid dog sneezing in your face because he wants a walk. So relaxing.
Also, how messed up is it that the AEW figures are all sold out on AEWShop.com, but you can buy T-SHIRTS with pictures of the figures on them? Are they trolling me now? I JUST WANT A HANGMAN PAGE ACTION FIGURE, DAMMIT!
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
Rey Fenix v. Matt Jackson
Is Fenix wearing a Sexy Star t-shirt? Feels like he’s backing the wrong horse with that one. Matt works the arm and the crowd is pretty split, but Fenix dropkicks him down as SCU watches on, apparently the #1 ranked tag team now. I guess they should have threatened retirement months ago. Fenix hits Matt with chops and the flipping wristlock off the ropes, but Matt bails to the floor and Fenix fakes the dive and then hits him with a rana off the apron instead. Back in, Fenix hits a springboard bodyblock to put Matt back on the floor, and then hits him with another dive all in one motion. Back in, Fenix with a sleeper on the mat, but Matt rolls him over for two and uses the ropes to break. So Fenix takes him to the corner and beats on him with chops, but they head up the ropes and Fenix tries a rana, which Matt counters with a powerbomb for two. Back to the floor, where Matt runs him into the apron to work the back and then slingshots in with a senton for two. Matt goes to work on the back with a rear chinlock but Fenix fights up, so Matt reverses him into a flapjack for two. Matt with a powerbomb attempt that turns into the Sharpshooter, but Fenix quickly makes the ropes. Matt continues pounding on the back, but Fenix pops up with a spinkick in the corner and then FLIES up the ropes for a missile dropkick, but he tries a lift and can’t get him up because of his back. But he can still roll into the cutter and both guys are down off that. Fenix recovers first with a spinning Gory Special and that gets two, but Matt bails to the ramp to escape. Fenix tries a suplex back in and Matt fights him off and evades the ropewalk kick before coming back in with a destroyer. Fenix bails to escape, so Matt follows him out for another one on the floor, which would end his career if this was 1985 but here it’s just a countout tease. And in fact Pac tosses his own partner back in, so Matt comes off the top with the flying elbow for two. Geez, he only took a destroyer on the floor, man up. Matt with another Sharpshooter in the middle, but Fenix makes the ropes and then fights off another attempt. Fenix tries a baseball slide, but Pac pulls Nick into the line of fire to take him out, so Matt heads out and superkicks Pac in retribution. Bet he slapped his thigh as well, the jerk. Back in, Matt with another pair of superkicks, but Fenix pops up with his own kick and both guys are down again. Fenix’s timing is like something out of a video game. They slug it out and cross legs trying kicks, but Matt tries a tombstone and Fenix reverses to a Fire Thunder Driver to finish at 14:20. Fenix was just out of his mind great here. ***3/4
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston and Moxley are here with the BIG EXPLANATION. Eddie explains that he had a panic attack and flashed back to a prison experience. Eddie is pretty sure Omega thinks he’s the Joker and Impact Wrestling paid for the bombs, which came in a crate that said “ACME” on it. Moxley did get a cool t-shirt out of it, though, as well as his drinking buddy back. Although Eddie could have come out a LITTLE bit earlier, but he’s still glad Eddie didn’t get blown up or whatever.
Cody Rhodes squashes some guy in 43 seconds with the figure-four and I didn’t even catch the name. Anyway, Tony joins us for an interview after that workout, but Penta quickly interrupts from the Spanish announce position and cuts a promo though the new Spanish-translating interview guy. If Cody is the Prince of Pro Wrestling, then Penta is the Lord of Lucha Libre! Also Penta reveals that Cody was lucky that Penta didn’t hurt his bad shoulder so badly that he would be unable to pick up his new baby. SICK BURN! That’s some quality trash talk from Penta, baby.
Meanwhile, Chucky T and Orange Cassidy are hanging out in an arcade, and Chuck offers ONE MORE MATCH with Miro and Sabian, and if they lose, Chuck will be Miro’s butler forever. But it’ll be a VIDEO GAME LUMBERJACK MATCH, with arcade machines around ringside so that they can smash Miro’s head into them.
This is Sting joins Tony to chat about the street fight, but Lance Archer interrupts and he’s back to being a dick again. Well that’s a program that I wasn’t expecting.
Ethan Page v. Lee Johnson
QT brushes off his breakup with Dustin in the pre-match promo, so I’m sure everything is fine. Page slugs him down, but Johnson gets a dropkick and they fight over a suplex before Page elbows him down. Page knocks him down with a tackle and we take a break and return with Page working the back. They fight to the top and Page slams him off the top and dives down with a cutter for two. Johnson tries to come back with a leapfrog, but lands badly on his knee and seems to blow it out. So Ethan kicks him in the face and sends him to the floor, where QT seems less than sympathetic. Back in, Page with the Ego’s Edge to finish at 7:44. This was a good showcase for Page but nothing out of the ordinary as a match. **1/4 Afterwards, QT walks out on Big Shotty and Dustin has to save him from further punishment.
Meanwhile, Hangman has used his winnings to buy a new lawnmower, which he uses to drive the Dark Order for ice cream. But not 5, because there’s a weight limit. Glad to see money hasn’t affected his commitment to safety protocols.
Kenny Omega joins us during what is supposed to be Christian’s time, along with Don Callis and the Those Two Yayhoos From Impact. Anderson is rocking a “This Is My Gimmick Shirt” t-shirt in case you need Christmas present ideas for your family. Callis declares Kenny to be KING OF THE DEATHMATCH after everything went exactly to plan at the PPV. Taking away the fans’ joy makes them happy and Moxley and Kingston looked like idiots, so it was win-win for them. Kenny thinks it’s hilarious that Kingston was “dry humping” his childhood friend while sparklers went off, and that brings Eddie out for words. Don points out that he had to fire Kingston from Impact because he always found a way to screw things up, but he’s a nice guy so he’s gonna give him 10 seconds to leave. Complete with a countdown timer on the screen, which prompts Kenny to dive onto the mat and asks for Callis to “69 him” and save him. And of course Eddie takes his shot at Omega and the beatdown commences, but Moxley makes the save and everyone brawls at ringside. This brings out Christian Cage, which is probably how they should have debuted him in the first place, and Callis saves Omega from taking an Unprettier. So I guess that’s our World title direction. Cage’s involvement here felt pretty flat but Omega and Callis riffing on Kingston was hilarious. Bringing in Cage and immediately pushing him to the top at age 47 is not a particularly positive direction, though and is starting to veer too much into WHAT’S [X] DOING IN THE IMPACT ZONE! territory.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD, Nyla Rose & Maki Itoh v. Hikaru Shida, Thunder Rosa & Ryo Mizunami
Everyone brawls to start, except for Itoh, who finishes singing her entrance song on the ramp first in a show-stealing moment. Itoh slugs away on Shida in the corner after demanding to know who the cutest is, but flips a double bird and Shida throws her by the fingers. Ryo comes in with the chops in the corner, which still isn’t getting over in the US, and Thunder Rosa beats on Nyla with kicks as her shorts become increasingly tiny with every passing week. We take a break and return with Shida suplexing Mizunami onto Britt in the corner, which gets two. The ring gets cleared and Rosa works on Baker in the corner, and then dives onto everyone with a corkscrew plancha. Back in, Itoh hits Rosa with a DDT for two, and Rebel (not Reba) comes in with the crutch and gets chased out again. This allows Rosa to hit Itoh with the piledriver for the pin at 7:57. Just the right length for what they were trying to do, and Itoh immediately got over as a big star. **1/2 And then Baker lays out Rosa again and puts her in the Lockjaw to continue that program.
Meanwhile, Matt has been reflecting a lot and he’s decided that he needs to bring more money in, but he’s still got more than enough money to add Butcher and Blade to the team and destroy the Dark Order. Private Party isn’t particularly thrilled with the idea.
TNT title: Darby Allin v. Scorpio Sky
They fight for the lockup to start and trade rollups before Sky gets frustrated and backs off. Sky takes him to the mat and rides him down there, but Darby reverses him to the floor and both try dives and evade each other. Back in, Darby rolls his ankle on the way in and Scorpio goes to work on him with forearms for two. Sky gives him a HUGE backbreaker and uses that as a submission hold, and we take a break. Back with Darby getting a cradle for two, but Sky slugs him down. Darby comes back with the stunner for two and a Code Red for two. Scorpio charges and hits boot, but puts Darby down with his own boot and hits him with rolling germans, finishing with one into the turnbuckles. Darby dumps him and follows with a dive, but Scorpio counters him with a cutter on the floor to lay him out. Back in, that gets two. Brainbuster gets two. They fight to the top and Darby tries the coffin drop, but Sky counters him into a powerbomb for two. TKO is reversed by Darby into a cradle for the pin at 13:22 to retain, however. Darby gives him some respect afterwards, but Scorpio wants none of it and takes him down with a heel hook before having a Bob Backlund moment while pondering his hands. A very solid match for Sky here. ***
Next week: Moxley & Kingston v. Those Two Yayhoos from Impact! Britt Baker v. Thunder Rosa! Cody Rhodes v. Penta!
Inner Circle War Council: Chris Jericho thinks it’s time to add a new member to the group, but MJF thinks maybe it’s time to let someone go instead. This brings out Sammy Guevara in his new role as babyface, and he brings a video with him for Jericho to watch, as he secretly filmed MJF telling the others that it’s time to cut Jericho out of the group. And so MJF sicks the troops on Jericho, but that doesn’t go well for him as now his plan has been exposed once and for all. And Jericho fires MJF and reveals that it was a ruse with Sammy all along. But MJF cowers in the corner, and then reveals he built his OWN group of thugs, which turns out to be FTR, Wardlow and Shawn Spears, and they destroy the newly babyface Inner Circle guys in an epic beatdown. Complete with Jericho getting busted open by the diamond ring and knocked out with his own baseball bat. And then Wardlow powerbombs him off the stage for the exclamation point. What a fantastic ending, going with the old school heavy heat to take the obvious angle in a direction that I was completely not expecting, but still makes perfect sense. And the Inner Circle has been slowly getting turned babyface by the fans for a while now, so Jericho can do the aging gunslinger routine for that and probably knock it out of the park.
Not their strongest effort, but they put the work in here, setting up a whole bunch of stuff for the future and hitting a home run with the new MJF faction immediately getting established as top heels. The jury’s out on Christian as the next World title program, though.