The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 04.21.21
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
Ricky Starks v. Hangman Page (w/ “Poor Interview Etiquette” graphic)
They trade headlocks to start and Page hits him with a standing big boot and stomps him down in the corner. Starks bails to the apron and Page clotheslines him to the floor and follows with the pescado. Back in, a fallaway slam gets two. Starks necks him on the bottom rope to take over and goes to work on the neck with a forearm, but Page throws him with a german suplex and Starks BARELY lands on his feet to escape. Yikes. He comes back with a springboard attempt and Page clotheslines him out of the air and beats on him with forearms, and a brainbuster gets two. Starks dodges the sliding lariat and awkwardly hurks him up with a powerbomb for two. They fight to the top rope as they are having some troubles getting on the same page, and Hangman brings him down with a superplex and then rips him with a lariat for two. Buckshot Lariat misses and Starks takes him down for two, but he sets up the Rochambeau and Page manages to take him down with a bully choke and Starks taps at 8:58. This was pretty clunky. ** Speaking of clunky, Taz cuts a promo on Page to draw his attention, at which point punk kid Hook attacks and throws some pretty wussy stomps on Hangman. Maybe make contact next time. Brian Cage tries to run in as well, but the Dark Order saves.
Meanwhile, the Elite now have their own private trailer.
Penta El Zero Miero v. Trent
Alex Abrahantes is pretty hilarious in his increasingly supervillain-type role as Penta’s mouthpiece. They trade takedowns to start and throw chops, but Trent hits him with double knees to put him on the floor, but doesn’t get a chance to dive. But he regroups and gets it, and they head back in for a sling blade from Penta that gets two. Trent gets a swinging DDT, but Penta hits the destroyer and we take a break. This proves to be weird because TSN actually does go to the picture-in-picture for this (they sometimes do, sometimes don’t) but leave the commercial block completely black for the whole thing. Back with Penta beating on him in the corner and he hits a twisting suplex for two. They fight to the apron and Trent hits a piledriver on the HARDEST PART OF THE RING and follows with a spear on the floor. But then Alex talks shit about TRENT’S MAMA and that’s not gonna stand. Orange Cassidy comes in to stand up for Sue, but Penta superkicks him from behind and then finishes the distracted Trent with a package piledriver at 11:17. NOT COOL, Alex Abrahantes. **1/2
Meanwhile, JR chats with the Pinnacle, and Wardlow presents MJF with a brand new scarf to celebrate the season. And then MJF talks some shit about Chris Jericho and puts down his promo skills, declaring himself to be a mark for Jericho’s spot.
AEW Women’s title: Hikaru Shida v. Tay Conti
They trade chops and Tay grabs a headlock before taking her down with a series of running knees and she goes for a chickenwing, but Shida takes her to the apron and hits her with a running knee, and they fight to the floor, where Shida gets the brainbuster out there. Back in, Shida pounds on the back and wraps her up with a bow and arrow before switching to a camel clutch in some nice mat wrestling as we take a break. Back with Conti making a comeback with clotheslines and a judo throw. They trade kicks in the corner and Tay drapes her on the top rope and then jumps off her back and hits a senton for two. Shida comes back with a high knee and the Falcon Arrow for two. They fight to the top rope again and Shida drops her onto the top turnbuckle, knocking the wind out of her. Shida misses a kick and Conti rolls into her own pump kick to set up the Tay KO for two. She tries the DDTay, but Shida reverses to a Air Raid Crash for two. They slug it out and Shida this a backbreaker and follows with a spinning knee to finish at 12:21 to retain. DAMMIT. Strongly disagree with this decision, as they had the hot hand in Conti and now was the time to pull the trigger. They worked their asses off, though. ***1/2 But as expected, this brings out Dr. Britt Baker DMD, who declares herself the new #1 ranked contender with the help of a graphic. Well, if they’re not gonna pull the trigger on Conti, they should at least put it on Britt.
The Inner Circle joins Tony in the ring, although there’s no Mike Tyson this time. We get some wackiness with Jake Hager throwing out straws, which the Pinnacle is going to be eating through shortly, and Sammy translates that into Spanish. Santana clarifies that waiting for backup before attacking is called BITCH MOVES where they come from. Jericho does some improvised showtunes about MJF and next week the factions are going to talk on PARLER. I thought that shithole app was banned? Oh wait, he was talking about something else, never mind. Anyway, hell of a promo from Jericho, and next week we learn the rules for BLOOD & GUTS.
Billy Gunn v. QT Marshall
Gunn attacks QT’s goons at the tunnel and chases QT to the ring for a suplex onto the apron. Back in for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and QT bails to the floor and hides behind his crew, so Billy runs him into the railing, triggering a brawl between the Gunn Club and the Factory. I sense a six-man next week. Back in, QT takes over on Billy with forearms and follows with a piledriver for two. QT slugs away, but makes the mistake of offering a crotch chop, and that allows Billy to make the comeback. QT escapes the Fameasser, but Billy blocks the diamond cutter. But then they head to the ramp and Anthony Ogogo runs down, delivers the GUT SHOT OF DOOM, and QT finishes with the diamond cutter at 5:16. Seemed like standard Dark fare. *1/2 A beatdown seems imminent, but Dustin Rhodes makes the save and breaks a balsa wood chair over the head of Nick Comorodo in what had to be a tribute to his father.
Meanwhile, the Elite hang out in their trailer and they’re doing the usual evil promo, but Jon Moxley interrupts by ramming them in his pickup truck, but they escape out the back door before Eddie and Jon can beat them up and steal their sneakers. This feud is dragging on FOREVER and going nowhere.
Christian Cage v. Powerhouse Hobbs
Christian chases him to the floor to start, but Hobbs tosses him into the front row and chokes him out with the railing as we take a break. Back with Hobbs hurling him around the ring, but Christian slugs back and comes off the middle rope with a forearm for two. Hobbs catches him with a spinebuster for two, however. Cage comes back and gets a frog splash for two, but Hobbs gets a hip attack in the corner for two. Christian with a sleeper, but Hobbs flips him onto his shoulder and slams him into the corner, which Christian reverses into the Killswitch at 10:34 to finish. Solid action here that kept Hobbs strong. **1/2
NEXT WEEK: Penta v. Orange! Kris Statlander v. Penelope Ford! The Young Bucks to the Sydals! The Nightmare Family v. The Factory! Brian Cage v. Hangman Page!
Meanwhile, various managers pitch for Jade Cargill, but she doesn’t need one.
AEW TNT title: Darby Allin v. Jungle Boy
They trade takedowns to start and JB gets a crucifix for two and goes to the arm, but he goes for the STF and Darby makes the ropes. They fight to the floor and go flying into the crowd in a crazy bump over the railing, and we take a break. Back with JB suplexing Darby into the corner for two, and a tiger suplex gets two. Darby flips into the stunner for two and hits JB with running elbows in the corner, but Jungle gets the knees up and hits a backcracker, putting Darby on the floor in the process. JB follows with a pair of topes and a somersault plancha. They fight on the apron and Darby chokes him out on the ropes and hits a coffin drop onto the apron for another crazy bump. Luchasaurus gives JB a pep talk and gets him back into the ring, but that draws Sting over for some harsh words, as they slug it out and fight to the back. Back in the ring, Jungle Boy comes back with an STO into a brainbuster, and a running elbow gets two. This sets up the Snare Trap, but Darby makes the ropes, so Jungle Boy wraps him up in a Romero Special and goes back to the Snare Trap again, which forces Darby to claw the eyes to escape this time. Little bit heelish there. JB with a sunset flip, but Darby rolls him up with the Last Supper for the pin to retain at 14:50. Hell of a title match to end the show as Darby has been delivering in this position. **** And this brings out the Scorpio/Ethan Page team for a beatdown attempt, but Lance Archer and Sting make the save to set up something else down the line.
Another hot, easy to watch, show this week with a couple of great title matches. Can’t ask for much more than that, although what exactly the focus of the Kenny Omega storyline is supposed to be continues to elude me. Kind of weird as well that he’s fighting for two World titles in about a week on Impact’s PPV and they literally never even mention it here. But the rest certainly has direction, so that’s fine.