The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 04.07.21
Ehhhhhh…I’ll do NXT tomorrow morning. That’s why the good lord invented DVR and the WWE Network.
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
Hangman Page v. Max Caster
Caster gets a particularly spicy diss track on the way to the ring (with a hilarious punchline where he’s about to finish with “blow me” before Bowens panics and yells “WHOA WHOA!”), but Page lays out both Acclaimed and stomps Caster down in the corner and hits a fallaway slam. Caster comes back in the corner but Page boots him down again and follows with a senton for two. They head to the floor and Page slugs him down out there, but he stops to get yelled at by Bowens and Caster takes over in the ring. But then Page wallops him again and sends him to the floor for a pescado. But then he tries to wrap Caster around the post, and Bowens attacks with a suplex on the floor before sending Page in for two. Max goes to work on the arm, but Page fights out of a hammerlock and puts him down with a spinebuster. Page with a corner clothesline and exploder for two. Page goes up and Bowens puts the badmouth on him, allowing Caster to pop up with a superplex (after a couple of tries) and then put Page in an armbar. He goes up with a springboard and Page gets pissed and hits him with a clothesline, but Bowens throws in the speaker and the ref has to take that away. So that Caster finds a chain and knocks Page out, but it only gets two. Caster goes up and misses the flying elbow, but then Bowens interferes AGAIN and stops the Buckshot. So Page kicks his ass, finishes the Buckshot Lariat, and pins Caster at 10:09 to apparently become #1 contender to Kenny Omega. Still feels too early to go there but they’ve gonna have to do it sometime. Another good effort from Caster, despite a few botches, as he continues to make himself a star with every appearance. ***1/4
The Death Triangle joins Tony for an interview, but the Best Friends quickly interrupt and Orange Cassidy reminds us of the match with Pac at Revolution 2020, which feels like a lifetime ago. Pac thinks they’re here because they want a shot at the next tag team champs, and he tells them to get to stepping. At least I think he did, it’s Pac, who the fuck knows what he’s saying most of the time. But Trent just wants to make it known that the boys (and alien) are back in town. OK NOW DO A MATCH NEXT WEEK.
The Inner Circle joins us and now fans can actually sing along with Judas. And then TSN just cuts them off and goes to commercial! Anyway, Jericho apologizes for the bad stuff they’ve done in the past, and tells us the story of MJF: He brought his “jerkass friend” into the Inner Circle to keep him under his thumb, but they got outsmarted by him. But Jericho did “the scarf gimmick” first, and MJF is such a mark for himself that he runs to the back to see what the boys thought of his promos, so Jericho’s gonna call him a “Max” for himself from now on. Also, Tully Blanchard is a third-string Horsemen “somewhere between Arn Anderson and Paul Roma”. OUCH. Also he can’t tell the difference between Dax and Cash or Ax and Smash or whatever. Also Shawn Spears has an ugly haircut. Oh and on May 5 it’s Inner Circle v. Pinnacle in a BLOOD & GUTS match as they finally do that one. This was a Jericho promo for the AGES.
Meanwhile, Christian Cage is doing a promo and Taz stops by to offer the services of his team.
Jurassic Express v. Bear Country
Bear Country gets thrown out right away and the Jurassics hit them with dives, but Jungle Boy gets overpowered in the ring and the bears take over as we take a break. Back with Luchasaurus getting a hot tag and hitting them with kicks, but he goes up and Boulder catches him up there. They slug it out on top and Boulder gets a superplex for two, but JB dives in for a save. He hits Bronson with a DDT and Luchasaurus slams Boulder for two, but Bronson slams JB onto him to save. Luchasaurus gets trapped in the corner and the Bears give him a double cannonball for two in a unique spot. But then the babyfaces make the comeback and Luchasaurus chokeslams Bronson and finishes him with the standing moonsault at 8:05. JR diplomatically notes that the match was “bowling shoe ugly” which is of course his not-so-secret code for a botch-filled mess, and it sure was. It was fun I guess but WOOF, they were openly calling spots on camera and still missing them. ½*
Meanwhile, QT Marshall tells the story of Cody Rhodes, stuck behind “Ted Jr” in the Fed and having to paint his face but still getting called Dusty’s Kid, and calls him “bargain bin Sting” for some extra zing before finishing by calling him out as hanging out with “vanilla midgets” on the indie scene before coming to AEW. Who knew QT could promo?
THIS IS STING joins Tony, but Lance Archer and Jake Roberts immediately interrupt, and Lance is sick of his stop and start pushes and he’s gonna take it out on Sting. But Sting fully agrees with his frustration and he also doesn’t understand why Archer keeps disappearing for weeks at a time. And he’s like “So go take him to the top, Jake!” and they’ve got no answer for that and storm off. Ouch.
Meanwhile, Team Taz is still squabbling, but Taz wants them all on the same page because they’ve got a hot offer for Christian.
TNT title: Darby Allin v. JD Drake
Sting immediately chases off the other members of Team Jobber while Darby dives onto Drake, but JD takes over as we take a break. Back with Drake hurling Allin into the ropes on the floor and nailing him with a forearm on the rebound, and that’s pretty cool. Drake misses a cannonball and hits the railing, allowing Darby to dive onto Drake and Bononi. Back in, Darby goes up and Drake crotches him and hangs him in the Tree of Woe and follows with a pump splash for two. JD goes up again and misses a moonsault, allowing Darby to come back with the Code Red and Coffin Drop at 9:15 to finish. Eh, I don’t need to see Darby fighting from underneath against Some Guy in every match. He’s the secondary champion, he can run through some people from time to time. **1/4 And then, of course, Matt Hardy’s group attacks afterwards and tries to throw him off the stage or whatever, but Sting makes the save. Guys, we’ve had a nice break from heel groups attacking after the bell for the first hour, let’s give it a rest for the whole week, PLEASE?
Meanwhile, Jericho is doing another promo, but the Pinnacle attacks and drags him out to the ring for another heel beatdown as everyone gets in their shots in retribution for Jericho’s catty interview earlier. And we cut to the back, where the Inner Circle have to break through a door to escape the dressing room, but first Mike Tyson comes out to clear the ring and apparently he’s made amends with Jericho. And poor Shawn Spears gets beat up by Tyson before the Circle finishes storming out to make the save and chase off the Pinnacle.
Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Rebel ask Tony Khan for a championship match, as even though she’s #4 she’s pretty sure that shots are supposed to be based on star power, t-shirt sales and demographics.
The Bunny v. Tay Conti
Bunny attacks and chokes Conti on the ropes, but Tay hits her with a capture suplex and delivers a pump kick in the corner to put her out of the ring. Bunny trips her up on the apron, however, and follows with a suplex on the floor, and then dropkicks her into the railing as the ladies are bringing some fire here. We take a break and return with Tay missing a running knee in the corner, and Bunny gets two as Hikaru Shida joins us at ringside to cheer Tay on. Tay escapes the inverted DDT and hits the Tay-KO for two, but Bunny necks her on the top rope and then goes to start a fight with Shida before stealing the kendo stick and hitting Tay with that. She goes to the top to finish, but Shida steals the stick and Tay brings her down with a superplex that nearly hits Aubrey, and the DDTay finishes at 7:17. They were bringing the HEAT here and Tay is on a crazy run right now. ***
Next week: Darby Allin v. Matt Hardy for the TNT title! Young Bucks v. Rey Fenix & Pac! Anthony Ogogo debuts! Red Velvet v. Jade Cargill!
Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers v. The Young Bucks & Jon Moxley
I’m sure this will be great but then they need to take a break from trios main events for a while. Matt trades lockups with Kenny to start and then Nick works the arm and takes him down with a rana to put him on the floor. Man, Kenny’s creepy cupping marks on his back are not appealing. His back must be pretty messed, but maybe wear a t-shirt. The Bucks and Mox clear the ring and we take a break, returning with Moxley suplexing everyone until Anderson necks him on the top rope. Gallows lays out Moxley and drops an elbow for two off that. Gallows with kicks in the corner, but Mox fights back with a neckbreaker and makes the tag to Nick Jackson. Nick dodges charging Good Brothers and goes up with the double stomp on Doc’s back and flows into a backstabber on Karl, but walks into a spinebuster. Over to Matt, who headfakes Omega and hits him with a DDT, but Omega plays dead and Matt won’t superkick him. So Kenny slaps him around and Matt slugs away on him and then has no problem superkicking Anderson. Kenny catches Matt with the snapdragon when his back is turned and set up the V-Trigger, but walks into Moxley’s lariat and Matt gets a piledriver on Kenny for two. Matt checks on Kenny but the Bucks still hit him with More Bang for Your Buck, but Anderson saves at two. Nick dives onto the Good Brothers outside and the Bucks set up the BTE Trigger on Omega, but Matt changes his mind and won’t do it. I’m as annoyed as Moxley right now, who finally just tags himself in because he’s sick of this shit too. So he hits the Paradigm Shift, twice, and then chokes Kenny out, but the Bucks turn on him and lay him out with superkicks, followed by a Magic Killer to give Omega the pin at 17:00. And then they turn on Moxley again to make sure before AGAIN reuniting the Bullet Club. I’m really over this whole storyline and whatever the Bucks are doing with it, and it doesn’t make me mad at them, I’m just annoyed and frustrated and that’s not good. Also, this match was a big disappointment. **1/4
The first hour was FIRE, but they ran out of steam quickly here and I’m just sick of the Bucks and the storyline where you apparently need 15 years of backstory to properly understand the motivations. The FTR storyline was confusing and shitty, and so is this one, and it’s just needlessly confusing things even more as they keep going round and round with the same Bullet Club/Elite drama. Tony Khan needs to get his shit together and right the ship here and start building to something on top.