The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.07.21
Live from Miami, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone
South Beach Strap Match: Cody Rhodes v. QT Marshall
Ugh, it’s “touch all four” rules. Cody chases QT to the ramp and brings him back in for a powerslam, and then blocks a moonsault attempt by whipping QT and he touches two corners. Aaron Solow gets involved and Dustin chases him away, but QT uses the distraction to go low and beat on Cody with the strap. Hopefully he whips the ugly neck tattoo off him. QT drags him around as they each touch three, but QT breaks up the momentum with a german suplex and puts Cody down again. They head to the floor and Cody yanks him into the post and we get some blood. Back in, Cody touches two and we get a weird moment where the lights go out and then come back on again with no payoff, which apparently was due to the weather. QT chokes him out in the corner and they fight to the top, where QT brings him down with a powerbomb and touches two but gets cut off again. So QT ties him up with the strap and gives him a Diamond Cutter out of the corner and touches three, but Cody blocks him and makes the comeback. Cody puts him down with a big boot and pump kick, but QT won’t stay down, so Cody gives him three Crossroads and touches all four to win at 10:35. Three’s only been one great strap match, and it was in 1996 and wasn’t this one. This was kind of slow and meandering. **1/4
Meanwhile, Shawn Spears cuts a promo on Sammy Guevara backstage, but Sammy tosses a chair at him to interrupt. I know they’re paired off for the team feud but it feels like such a step down for Sammy after the MJF match.
Kenny Omega joins Tony for an interview in the ring, but Don Callis hijacks the promo and again complains that Kenny has no one left to beat and no contenders. So the Dark Order interrupts and Evil Uno brushes off Kenny’s “weird uncle Don” and wants to know why Kenny keeps ignoring their friend. So then we get some trivia as Kenny wonders what the capital of Thailand is and then reveals that it’s Bangkok via a kick to the nuts. So the brawl is on, but Hangman Page hits the ring and lays out Kenny’s crew of doofuses before we get a great callback to the moment at Double or Nothing where he originally teased the Buckshot Lariat and kicked off their split. And then Kenny grabs his belt and runs away as the crowd goes nuts for Page. Now THAT’S what we’ve been waiting to see with crowds back.
Meanwhile, Jim Ross sits down with Darby Allin and Ethan Page, as Darby explains that Ethan is jealous because Darby made it to AEW before Ethan did. And Ethan agrees because he was destined to be a star and a little runt like Darby got to be one, and so next week they settle it in a coffin match.
FTR & Wardlow v. Santana, Ortiz & Jake Hager
Dax and Santana slug it out to start and trade clotheslines, but Santana hits him with two rolling suplexes and a german to win that battle. Ortiz comes in with a northern lights suplex for two, but Cash powerslams him for two and Wardlow gets a powerbomb for two. Dax tries a slingshot suplex, but Ortiz lands on his feet and comes back with a Liger bomb for two. Hager comes in and throws everyone around as FTR bumps off the apron like crazy and we take a break. Back with the Inner Circle triple-teaming Cash in the corner and Ortiz gets two, but Wardlow saves. So we get the showdown between the HOSSES and they slug it out until Hager rolls him into an anklelock, but FTR saves and hits the Big Rig to put Wardlow on top for the pin at 9:00. Konnan tries to get revenge for his guys, but Tully takes him out with a chop block as well. Felt like this one never really hit another gear. **1/2
Meanwhile, Karl Anderson is SICKENED by Jon Moxley ruining the IWGP US title, so next week he gets a shot at it. And we get all kinds of New Japan clips of him beating up on people that look sort of like AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura as a bonus.
STANDOFF: MJF v. Chris Jericho
I love they keep coming up with new phrases for the verbal battles between Jericho and MJF. So they sit down at a table and MJF thinks that Jericho’s desperation to get a rub from MJF is just SAD. So Jericho is willing to live up to any stipulation from MJF, up to and including having sex with MJF’s mother. AGAIN. But MJF has the LABORS OF HERCULES for Jericho to face, as Jericho has to beat all four members of the Pinnacle one after another with MJF’s stips in order to earn a match with MJF. So Jericho agrees to that, but MJF wants to shake on it, so Jericho gives him the handshake and then pulls him in for the Judas Effect.
Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker DMD complains about being forced to team with Rebel last week (with her all-natural makeup that doesn’t even need Rebel’s help) and thinks that Vickie got “blood money” from TK and maybe next week Dynamite can run from Saudi Arabia. Big “oooh” from the crowd on that one.
Andrade El Idolo v. Matt Sydal
Sydal gets a rollup for two right away, but Andrade hits a brainbuster and they fight to the top. Andrade brings him down and gets the double moonsault for two, but Sydal hits his own standing moonsault for two. They slug it out and Sydal kicks him down and goes to the top, but Andrade shoves him off and we take a break. Back with another slugfest and Sydal wraps him up with a crucifix for two, but Andrade hits him with a lariat and goes up to finish. Sydal cuts him off, so Andrade tries the diving stomp and Sydal escapes and gets the meteora for two. Andrade puts him down with running knees and finishes with the hammerlock DDT at 6:42. Not a super impressive debut for Andrade, who was basically doing the same WWE match he was doing on RAW, and Vickie adds nothing to the act. **1/2
Meanwhile, Christian Cage and Matt Hardy have been fighting for 23 years and will settle things next week.
Meanwhile, Arn Anderson joins Tony for an interview, but the lights go out again, and this time we get the debut of Malachi Black (nee Aleister) and he wallops Arn and then Cody Rhodes with the Fade to Black kick. And then I learn that this was actually possible due to a wacky clerical error from WWE, as they forgot to switch his NXT contracted 30 day no compete clause to a main roster 90 day one, so he was actually free and clear this past Friday. I bet someone gonna get fired for that one.
Earlier tonight, Ricky Starks brings his own security to the ring (because he’s still not medically cleared and his neck hurts) and next week he’s gonna win the FTW title from Brian Cage next week, but the “W” is going to stand for “wife”. Specifically Cage’s wife.
The Bunny & The Blade v. Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander
Bunny makes a go at Orange, so he immediately unleashes the vicious kicks on her in a horrific beating, and Blade is forced to save his wife from permanent damage. Blade with a powerslam, but Orange hits the stunner and the women come in and slug it out. Bunny gets a kneelift, but Statlander powerslams her and chops away in the corner. Delayed suplex follows, but she misses a senton and Blade trips up Kris to allow Bunny to take over as we take a break. Back with Statlander making a comeback with a Michinoku driver for two. Statlander goes up, but Blade distracts her and Bunny brings her down with a german suplex. Over to the Blade, but Orange is on the floor and so Kris evades Blade for a bit and Orange comes back in with the flying DDT for two. To the top, but Bunny shoves him off, so Statlander goes up instead and hits Blade with a 450 of her own and Orange gets two on Blade off that. Bunny saves and Blade finds another set of knucks and lays out Cassidy, but Statlander tags herself in with Orange out cold, which forces in Bunny, and Statlander piledrivers her for the pin at 8:36. That’s a clever finish to take advantage of the “no mixing” rules. Nothing great as a match but it was a fun little story told. **1/2
Meanwhile, Jungle Boy gets a trophy for 50 wins, which sadly isn’t smashed by any heels.
Meanwhile, Tony goes to interview the American Top Team guys at ringside, but their manager Dan Lambert grabs the mic and goes into the ring for this amazing promo about how AEW sucks and he’d rather be watching Florida wrestling in the 70s because AEW sucks so much, but he manages to put over everyone in the promotion at the same time, and it’s hilarious stuff that ends with Lance Archer hitting the ring and laying him out with the Blackout while Lambert’s team laughs about it to somewhat undermine it.
AEW World tag team title, street fight: The Young Bucks v. Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero Miedo
The Bucks are real “roughnecks” tonight according to Callis because they’re in jeans, but of course it’s the douchiest possible cut-off jean shorts like Stevie Richards. They brawl to the floor and the challengers go after poor Cutler and then hit the Bucks with double superkicks and a chair-assisted dropkick from Penta onto Nick’s crotch. Tables are set up and Kingston tears up the table in the ring and tries to superplex Matt onto the wreckage, but ends up getting powerbombed onto it himself instead. But then Penta puts Matt through a table at ringside with a destroyer, which is nuts. And we take a break off that and return with Nick hitting Eddie with a senton onto a garbage can for two. This prompts Callis to wonder if there’s anyone tougher than Nick Jackson in AEW, from the mean streets of Rancho Cucamonga. Bucks double-team Penta into a northern lights suplex from Matt and then the Bucks double-team Kingston in the corner, but Penta breaks it up and Eddie suplexes Matt and sets up the choke. Nick decides to 450 the ref to make sure Matt can’t tap, and with the ref out we’re joined by the Good Brothers for a further beatdown on Kingston. Penta saves with a dive and Cutler tries to spray Penta in the face, but Kazarian puts him through a table while Kingston gets the backfist on Matt for two and Nick takes out THAT ref to save. Gallows and Anderson take out Kazarian with a Magic Killer on the floor, but now Kingston pulls out the tacks, so Matt tosses them in Eddie’s face and Penta throws a trash can at Matt to counter THAT. Penta and Nick fight on the top and that ends with Nick brings him down with a rana into the tacks for two as Kingston makes a desperate save. Eddie tries to fight off the Bucks by himself, but SUPERKICK PARTY ends that rally and Nick shoves tacks in his MOUTH and superkicks him for the pin at 14:25. And then Xzibit was like “Yo dawg I heard you like crazy shit in your wrestling so I put ALL THE CRAZY SHIT in your wrestling” to this one. Like this was just completely nuts, stuffed with every smoke and mirrors booking trick and wacky run-in imaginable in 15:00. Was it GOOD? I don’t think so, but it certainly wasn’t boring. ***1/4
I actually thought the crowd was a lot more subdued than I was expecting for their first show on the road again, but then this wasn’t really a blowaway show outside of the shocking Tommy End appearance and usual over the top nuttiness from the Bucks. It was fun and entertaining most of the way and DEFINITELY not boring outside of the strap match, but not my favorite episode of the year by any stretch.