The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.14.21

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.14.21

“Fyter Fest Night One”

Live from Cedar Park, TX

Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur

IWGP US title:  Jon Moxley v. Karl Anderson

Eddie attacks Doc Gallows with a pipe on the floor just to make sure he’s taken care of and they brawl into the crowd and disappear.  Karl boots Moxley out of the corner as the crowd is JAAAAAAAACKED and they slug it out with forearms as the crowd is going apeshit.  Mox wins that battle and then puts Anderson down with a headbutt and clotheslines him to the floor and runs him into the railing.  They fight for a suplex on the ramp and Anderson wins that, but Moxley continues dragging him around ringside and beating on him.  Back in, Anderson necks him on the top rope and dropkicks him to the floor, and back in for a spinebuster that gets two.  They fight to the top and Moxley rakes the back and bites him to set up a superplex.  I know everyone’s vaccinated now but I still wouldn’t be consuming human flesh yet.  Maybe once the Delta variant has been controlled.  Anderson fights back and tries the Gun Stun but Moxley reverses out, and they clothesline each other for the double down.  Moxley is up first with the sleeper, but Anderson comes back with a knee to the gut and gets an awkward powerslam neckbreaker for two.  A cutter off the ropes gets two.  Moxley tries for the DDT, but Anderson reverses to a cutter and Moxley rolls to the ropes to escape a pinfall.  He fights back with a corner clothesline, but walks into a Gun Stun and Karl gets two.  Anderson to the top for another Gun Stun, but Moxley catches him on the way down, clotheslines him, and finishes with the Paradigm Shift to retain at 9:41.  They were fired up by the crowd here and it got a bit sloppy as a result but it was a hard-hitting opener.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, Lance Archer lays down the challenge to Jon Moxley because he wants a rematch at the US title NEXT WEEK, in a Texas Death Match, since they’re in Texas and all.

Meanwhile, Andrade El Idolo chats with Alex and apparently he has permission from TK to “kick down the forbidden door” and challenge for titles everywhere.  But he wants the Death Triangle and Alex is the guy to deliver the message.

FTW World title:  Brian Cage v. Ricky Starks

Hopefully they cleared this defense with the FTW committee.  Cage slugs away on Starks to start and hits him with a press slam before whipping him into the corner and putting the boots to him.  Cage with a powerslam for two, but he misses a charge and we take a break.  Back with Ricky going for the belt, but Cage tosses him into the apron and Starks does a smooth slide on the mat and around the post before hitting a clothesline on the rebound.  Slick.  Back in, Starks dives on his back for a sleeper, but Cage beats on him in the corner to escape and then hits a pumphandle driver for two.  Starks tries a tornado DDT and Cage just LEVELS him with a superkick for two to block.  Starks retreats to the apron and Cage powers him in, but Ricky reverses to a LAST RIDE for two.  The crowd is turning Starks babyface as we speak thanks to that stuff.  Starks goes for the belt again, but Hobbs steals it back and Cage hits an F5 for two.  But then Hook takes the ref, Hobbs turns on Cage and nails him with the belt, and Starks spears him and gets the pin and the title at 9:40.  So I guess Cage is out of Team Taz, but the crowd was clearly Team Starks here and I don’t know if Cage as a babyface is going to fly right away.  HELL of a showing from Starks, despite his crippling neck injury.  ***1/2

Cody Rhodes joins us at the desk and complains that Malakai Black kicked Arn Anderson in the face last week when a phone call would have sufficed.  So Black pops up on the screen and tells a story about watching a man kill his prized horse so it could die with dignity.  And that’s what he did to Cody and Arn last week.  Cody gets all fired up over that, of course, so out go the lights and Black appears again and we’re so on the nose that Cody is literally in a white suit and Black’s in a black suit, and they slug it out as we take a break.  Where was this energy from Black in WWE?

Meanwhile, Santana and Ortiz jump Tully in the backstage area, but it’s a fake crowbar because they were taught to respect their elders.

Hangman Page joins Tony in the ring, and his graphic is “feeling weird” this week.  And you know he’s massively over in Texas.  So he’s about to issue a challenge for Kenny’s title, but the Elite interrupts and the Bucks and Omega are dressed in the most awesomely non-Texas pajama outfits.  So Matt Jackson bitches that Page left them for a bunch of losers, and also that Page is still drunk.  So Page takes them all on by himself and the Dark Order comes in to provide backup before Omega can hit Hangman from behind.  So Page wants a match TONIGHT IN THIS VERY RING and Omega pitches a 5-on-5 elimination match with the Dark Order v. The Elite.  And if Team Page wins, he gets a shot at the World title and the Dark Order get a shot at the tag titles.  But if they lose, no one gets a title shot at anyone.  The Dark Order seems unsure of that one, but Page is all over it.  Page is peaking again at exactly the right time.  However, this left me kind of confused because I thought they were inferring that this was happening tonight, but in fact it doesn’t happen and we never really get any firm indication of when it is happening.  Fight for the Fallen, I’m assuming?  It would have been grossly out of character for them to book a main event match on the fly like that anyway.

Meanwhile, Chris Jericho isn’t afraid of performing labors to get back at MJF, but Shawn Spears bursts in and hits him in the throat with a chair to shut him up.  So next week, match #1 is Jericho v. Spears in a chairs match, where only Spears can use the chair.  Well that seems unfair.

Matt Hardy v. Christian Cage

They fight over the lockup to start and go to the floor like that, but Cage slips out and yanks Matt off the apron and into the railing.  And Christian is feeling frisky tonight so he goes to the top and dives onto Matt for good measure.  Back in, the inverted DDT gets two.  Christian slugs away in the corner, but Matt pulls him to the apron and drops him onto the stairs with a DDT in kind of a crazy spot for two old people.  Back in, Matt with a neckbreaker for two.  Matt catapults him under the ropes and we take a break.  Back with Christian choking him out on the ropes and coming back with a spear for two, and he necks Matt on the top rope and goes up with a frog splash for two.  They slug it out in the corner and Matt brings him down with a superplex, and that gets two.  Cage reverses to a cradle for two and goes for the Killswitch, but Matt messes with the ref and goes low on Christian, then hits the Twist of Fate for two.  They head to the floor and Matt puts Cage in a double arm submission called The Leech, and then decides to take the countout win, but Cage sprints in at 9 and hits the Killswitch for the pin at 13:00.  Damn the old fogies can still make it happen.  ***1/2  The Hardy Family tries for the attack, but the Jurassic Express saves to no doubt set up a six-man right away.

Meanwhile, Miro tells us a story about a man, who is probably himself, I’m not sure, who made a personal comeback and won a title on the way to destroying everyone and becoming God’s favorite champion.  I mean, really, he could be talking about a lot of people.

Dr. Britt Baker DMD joins Tony and she is just ungodly over.  She’s not afraid of tables or any other furniture because eventually the blood stops and the wounds heal and she’s still a bad bitch.  Also Vickie Guerrero is lucky because she can coast on her last name forever but Nyla needs the title to be relevant.  OUCH.  And then Nyla and Vickie reply from backstage to set up next week’s title match.

Meanwhile, Jon Moxley accepts the challenge from Lance Archer for next week.

Wheeler Yuta v. Sammy Guevara

Yuta is a new guy trained by the Best Friends, apparently.  Sammy quickly chases him to the floor and stops to pose, but then hits Yuta with the standing shooting star for two. To the top, but the shooting star press hits knees and Yuta comes back with a middle rope dropkick and follows with a german suplex.  Yuta pops to the top with a flying splash for one but Sammy makes the comeback with a backdrop and enzuigiri in the corner.  Springboard cutter and GTH finish at 3:44.  Sammy needed a dominant win to stay hot and this was certainly one of those.  Basically a squash.

Meanwhile, QT Marshall denies being “buried by Cody’s golden shovel” and dumps some protein shake on Tony’s head to prove his point.

Penelope Ford v. Yuka Sakazaki

Yuka takes her down with a headlock and goes up to flip out of Ford’s path, before dropkicking her to the floor.  Ford takes too long, so Yuka cannonballs her off the middle rope and back in for two.  Ford chokes her out on the ropes and we take a break, and we return with Yuka coming back with a brainbuster.  Sliding knee gets two.  Diving elbow gets two. Ford gets a pair of pump kicks for two, but Yuka gets an airplane spin into a cutter to put her down, and goes up with a springboard splash for the pin at 7:05.  Nothing really wrong with it, just a decent match to bring Sakazaki back.  **

Next week:  Nyla Rose v. Britt Baker!  Jericho v. Spears!  Moxley v. Archer!  Orange Cassidy v. The Blade!

Coffin Match:  Darby Allin v. Ethan Page

Darby charges in with an elbow in the corner and reveals that he’s wearing a steel plate on his back and hits a senton using that.  They fight to the floor and Darby sends him into the railing, but Scorpio pops out of the coffin and hurls Darby into the stairs for a crazy bump.  So this brings out Sting to a massive pop and he takes care of Sky because he’s in no mood for his nonsense.  Meanwhile Ethan undoes a turnbuckle bolt while Sting drops Sky onto the railing crotch-first, while Darby and Page fight into the crowd themselves.  We take a break while they do the brawl outside, and return with the ring in pieces and the stairs in the ring.  Page drops Darby on the stairs and just blasts him with a shoulderblock.  He uses the turnbuckle hook to choke Darby with his necklace and goes for the coffin, but Darby FISH-HOOKS him with the bolt and dropkicks the stairs into him, putting Page into the coffin.  Page pulls him in as well and they slug it out there, so Darby bites his fingers and Page launches him to the floor in annoyance.  Back in, Page takes Darby up the stairs, but Darby reverses to a stunner off the stairs and goes to the top.  Page brings him down and hits a crazy, sick, Razor’s Edge off the top and onto the stairs.  They fight to the coffin again, but Darby bites the cut on Page’s head and gouges the eyes to escape, and then grabs his skateboard and rides it onto Page’s back before shutting the lid to win at 11:48.  These guys are both giant stars, particularly Darby, but Page is making the most of this every week.  ****  And apparently winning wasn’t enough, so Darby hits a coffin drop onto the coffin for one last bit of punishment for good measure.

NOW THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKIN’ BOUT.  One of the best episodes of the year as they come out swinging for the fences with fans back, with lots of big happenings and great matches, plus more stuff set up for weeks to come.  This is the show I love.