The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.21.21
“Fyter Fest, Night Two”
Live from Dallas, TX
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
Chair Match Where Only One Guy Can Use The Chair: Chris Jericho v. Shawn Spears
It’s the First Labour of Jericho, with the “u” in “Labour” because both guy are Canadian. Shawn brandishes his chair threateningly but Jericho knocks it away and throws forearms in the corner to take over. Spears comes back with chops but Jericho chases him with a clothesline and sends him into the railing a few times. Jericho stops to play cameraman while Aubrey looks on disapprovingly, but he gets cocky and runs into a chair to the head while trying his springboard dropkick on the apron. Spears slugs away on the mat and gets a suplex off the middle rope for two, then wraps Jericho’s arm around the post and smashes it with the chair. Blind charge misses and Jericho fights back with a double axehandle off the top and takes him to the top for a rana, but Spears hits him with a superkick for two. I like the crowd mockingly doing the “10” pose at Shawn while Jericho does the 10 punches in the corner. Jericho keeps coming with chops, but Spears catches him with a spinebuster for two. More chairs for Spears and he beats on Jericho while Aubrey has more disapproving glares. Reminds me of how Tommy Young used to interact with guys. Jericho takes him down to block a chairshot and puts him in the Walls, but Tully Blanchard takes the ref while Spears is tapping. This brings out Sammy to chase away the old guy, but Spears escapes the Walls with a chairshot and hits the death valley driver for two. So Shawn puts a chair in the corner and then tries a DVD on the chair, but Jericho sends him into his own chair, hits the Judas Effect, and that finishes at 11:01. A good match almost made great by a super-hot crowd. But not quite. ***1/4 So this prompts MJF to immediately storm down and complain that Jericho needed his “glorified young boy Sammy the Simp” to help him. So next week is a no DQ match against NICK GAGE? “I thought he was in jail!” notes Tony, in one of the few times you’ll hear that said on a mainstream wrestling program.
Meanwhile, Miro and his new TNT belt will be defending at Homecoming in two weeks, although we don’t know against who.
Doc Gallows v. Frankie Kazarian
Kazarian slugs away in the corner and dodges a charge to hit a missile dropkick, but Gallows puts him down with a big boot. Doc tosses him for a cheapshot from Karl Anderson and we take a break. Back with Gallows working a chinlock, but Kaz pulls the beard to escape and makes the comeback. Springboard legdrop gets two, but Karl gets involved and Kaz has to take him out, allowing Gallows to put him down with a high kick and tree slam for the pin at 6:33. Not much to this one. *1/2 This leads to a beatdown from the Good Brothers and a promo from the Kenny and Don show. Well, the Elite Hunter isn’t really living up to his name if he can’t even take out a yayhoo from Impact. Kenny has some trouble getting out his “the hunter has become the hunted” line, but Hangman Page comes out to make the save. Should have saved that line reading. So Page decides to go it alone and he gets beat down as well, but this time the Dark Order makes the save and Kenny runs away.
Meanwhile, Team Taz celebrates Ricky Starks’ FTW title win, but Brian Cage is fine with them celebrating next week in Charlotte because he loves celebrations.
Wheeler Yuta v. Darby Allin
Weird that they’re trying to get Yuta over as a babyface but having him facing other babyfaces. Darby immediately gets a crucifix for two and goes to work on the arm while one of Haku’s kids watches from the audience. Given the pedigree of the show, wouldn’t it make more sense to refer to him as “Meng”? Darby goes up and Yuta yanks him down onto the bad ribs and goes to an octopus hold, but Darby gets into the ropes to break. Yuta keeps coming with a german suplex and bridge for two, but he goes up and Darby crotches him and brings him down with a top rope superplex. This sets up an interesting staredown between Orange Cassidy and Sting at ringside as they exchange hellacious kicks, nearly crippling the aging Sting, but Darby tells them to knock it off and gets rolled up for a close two, and then goes up to finish Yuta with the coffin drop at 4:34. If Sting had shown that kind of intensity at Starrcade 97 he’d have saved WCW and probably still been WCW champion to this very day. But then the Blade, who is the opposite of wacky, pops out of the crowd and knocks out Orange with the brass knuckles and leaves him laying. Fun match but pretty short. **1/2
Meanwhile, we take a look at the Texas Death Match from WrestleKingdom, back when the world was different.
AEW Women’s title: Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Nyla Rose
Britt is of course crazy over as a babyface and they should probably stop fighting it. Also, Rebel this week. YOWZA. Nyla tries for a takedown and Britt reverses to a hammerlock on the mat and cranks on the arm, and a rollup gets two. Nyla comes back with a death valley driver and senton to take over and mocks Britt’s DMD gimmick, which is uncalled for. Rebel saves Britt from the guillotine and pulls Britt to safety, allowing Britt to run Nyla into the corner as we take a break. Back with Nyla hitting a backbreaker and sack of shit slam to take over, but Britt gets a backslide for two. Britt goes for the glove and gets distracted enough to allow Nyla to try for the chokeslam, but Britt rolls her into the Lockjaw and Rose immediately powers out and into a death valley driver for two. She goes up again for the guillotine knee, and that gets two. Baker reverses the powerbomb into the neckbreaker and hits her with a pair of superkicks for two. Nyla chokeslams her for two. Britt rolls into a sloppy crucifix for two and then does it again for two, and a pair of curb stomps get two. Nyla hits her with a forearm to the face to knock her down and that looked pretty snug, but Britt grabs the belt and pulls an Eddie Guerrero by tossing it to Nyla, only to have Nyla outsmart her and toss it back when the ref turns around. Beast Bomb gets two. Another one is countered into the Lockjaw and Nyla taps at 12:12. This was another one where the match was kind of a mess, to say the least, as they were sloppy and tripping over each other, but the crowd was so hot that it almost saved it and made it great. I feel like I need special new rating for that or something. ***1/4
Meanwhile, FTR and Santana & Ortiz have a face to face via Tony Schiavone, setting up their match next week at Fight for the Fallen. Santana shows us pictures of his mom, but Dax only cares about god, his family and professional wrestling, and they tease a brawl as we wrap it up. That one should be incredible.
Andrade El Idolo joins us and he’s got a surprise for everyone: Chavo Guerrero! He of course gets a huge reaction from Texas, but before he can put over Andrade, Death Triangle interrupts. Andrade makes his pitch to Fenix and Pentagon and then Chavo translates for Pac: Why aren’t their waists shiny enough? Why work for Pac when they can work for Andrade? Pac clarifies that they don’t work for Pac, they’re a family, obviously big Vin Diesel fans. Surprisingly, Penta and Fenix do NOT turn on Pac yet, but that’s gotta be coming. And then Andrade backs off from the fight as this kind of peters out.
Meanwhile, Christian and the Jurassic Express complain about Matt Hardy beating up Marko Stunt earlier in the evening. I don’t see the problem. But next week they meet in the ring to settle things.
Meanwhile, QT and the Factory are not going to pour out any more protein shakes on Alex Marvez, and in fact they’ll give Tony an apology next week.
Orange Cassidy v. The Blade
Orange pops in from behind and lays out the Blade, but Blade claims knee injury and hides in the corner. But of course he pops up and runs at Orange with a high knee, only for Orange to hit him with the stunner. They head to the top and Blade powerbombs him onto the top turnbuckle in a crazy bump to the floor, and we take a break. Back with Cassidy making the comeback from the apron and coming in with a flying bodypress and tornado DDT for two. This prompts a brawl between Kris Statlander and the Bunny, but Orange shoves Blade into his wife (“She dropped her ears!” notes Tony) and they head back into the ring. Blade drops him on the top rope and hits a tombstone for two, but Orange flips into the Beach Break and that gets two. Bunny takes the ref and we get another scrap with Statlander, but Blade gets the knuckles this time, only for Orange to finish him with the Orange Punch at 9:24. And then he grabs the brass knuckles, loads them up, and nails Blade with another Orange Punch to really destroy him. **1/2
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho brings THE PAINMAKER from Japan to AEW next week.
Next week: The show is LOADED like an all-dressed pizza, with Cody Rhodes v. Malakai Black, The Elite v. Dark Order, Hikuleo challenging for the IWGP US title, and Jurassic Express v. Hardy Family.
IWGP US title, Texas Death Match: Jon Moxley v. Lance Archer
They immediately brawl into the crowd and Archer hurls what I assume is a planted fan at Moxley in a crazy spot, and then back to ringside where they tear up the mats and Moxley lays him out with the DDT on the concrete and draws a nine count off that, busting him open in the process. It’s FORK TIME for Moxley as he stabs him in the face a little bit, but just a little bit. And we take a break. This is the one time when TSN’s violent content warning is very appropriate. Back with Archer punching a trash can lid back at Moxley’s head and they slug it out. Moxley hits him with a german suplex, but Archer puts him down with a big boot and smashes a garbage can into his head. Archer tries the Blackout on a pair of chairs, but Moxley hits him in the nuts to escape and then puts the chairs back to back, only for Archer to chokeslam him right on the spine. How do you even take that bump? He’s up at 8 and Archer boots him into the corner, but Moxley fights out with the lariat and Paradigm Shift, but Archer pops up and flips him off. So Moxley tenderizes his forehead with the fork and finds a barbed wire board under the ring to set up the spot from Japan onto the tables, but Archer pulls out the fork and pulverizes Moxley with it, then chokeslams him into the barbed wire and through the tables on the floor to win the US title at 12:54 and get his revenge. Hey, whoever it was throwing shade at Archer for being a loser in the NXT thread yesterday, you have been PROVEN WRONG. And then Hikuleo, who is GIGANTIC, comes out for the staredown to end the show. An absolutely insane main event to wrap up a pretty good show. ***1/2
This was a good-but-not-great show elevated to another level by an insanely hot crowd all the way through that made AEW seem like the major league promotion of the moment. Mostly a setup show for next week but Dallas LOVES AEW, apparently.