The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 08.04.21
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Excalibur and Jim Ross
Thankfully a bunch of people tipped me off on Twitter that TSN moved the show AGAIN, to TSN3 this time. So I was able to adjust my DVR in plenty of time.
Jericho’s Labours Chapter 3: Chris Jericho v. Juventud Guerrera
This time around, Jericho has to win with a top rope move. Simple enough. Juvy attacks to start and throws chops in the corner, and then comes off the top with a rana and a “flying” headscissors. Well the intent was there. Jericho bails and Juvy hits him with a dive to the floor and that’s pretty questionable as well. Well, age catches up to us all. Juvy goes up with a missile dropkick for two, but Jericho bumps him to the apron and knocks him to the floor and Guerrera was looking pretty hesitant on that one too. They fight on the floor and Jericho comes back in with a flying bodypress for two. Juvy hits him with kicks but Jericho puts him down with a forearm to the throat, and Juvy comes back with a superkick for two. Juvy counters a sunset flip with a seated kick for two and goes to an armbar, but he charges and misses. Jericho goes up with a double axehandle for two. Jericho gets a backbreaker but Aubrey reminds him that he needs to come off the top, so Jericho decides to rip at the mask instead. They fight to the top and Jericho blocks a rana and brings him down with the Walls, and apparently that counts as a top rope move, but Juvy makes the ropes. Juvy with a superkick for two. Jericho tries a powerbomb and Juvy reverses to a DDT and hits the Drunk Driver for two. Maybe he’s clean and sober now, I dunno. It’s been 22 years since I was able to make fun of him. Jericho hits the Judas Effect and Juvy is out, but he has to go to the top rope and hits a top rope Judas Effect, and that finishes at 9:49. I mean, this was extraordinarily good for two guys with a combined age nearing 100, you have to say. Juvy was rusty but he was working his ASS off trying to keep up. ***1/2 And with that Labour done with, Wardlow hits the ring and lays out both guys. So MJF announces the fourth Labour, who is of course Wardlow, and MJF will be the guest referee.
Meanwhile, Fenix and Penta are here this week, but Pac isn’t, and Andrade wants some thanks for the limo last week. The punchline with Penta going on a huge rant in Spanish and then Alex translating “Penta says…no.” is great stuff.
Meanwhile, Hangman Page apologizes to the Dark Order for costing them their tag title shot, but he’s got to fix things himself and it’s time they go their separate ways.
Daniel Garcia, Matt Lee & Jeff Parker v. Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston & Darby Allin
So Lee and Parker are “2.0”, the former Ever-Rise. The new kids triple team Darby to start, so Kingston comes in to a babyface pop that seems to surprise even him. So Eddie hits Lee with chops and beats him down in the corner and then distracts the ref while Moxley gets some abuse of his own, but Lee clips the knee on Kingston and we take a break. Back with Parker getting tossed by Eddie, and they get starstruck by Sting while Darby hits them with a dive in a funny spot. Back in the ring, Moxley gets a hot tag and destroys everyone, hits Garcia with the Paradigm Shift, and Allin drops the Coffin Drop on him to finish at 7:10. A fun, fast-paced match with a super-hot crowd. *** And then Kingston and Moxley mugging for the camera with Sting is also great. Who couldn’t smile watching this?
Meanwhile, Brian Cage never asked to be Team Taz and he doesn’t need them. The evidence thus far says otherwise.
Meanwhile, the Elite plays some basketball and the Good Brothers challenge the Dark Order to an Impact tag team title match on Dynamite next week. I should note that Gallows is wearing a very conspicuous robe this week. So the Young Bucks have no challengers and All Out has no main event.
Christian Cage v. The Blade
Christian attacks on the ramp and they fight into the ring, where Christian slugs him down and they head to the floor. Back in, Christian goes up while Leyla Hirsch takes care of the Bunny, so Christian hits an inverted DDT for two instead. Blade drops him on the top rope to take over and we take a break. Back with Blade putting the boots to him in the corner, but he charges and hits the post and Christian puts him on the floor and follows with a dive. Back in, they slug it out and Christian does the corner punches and chokes him out on the ropes. Sunset flip gets two. He goes for the Killswitch and Blade reverses out of that and hits a powerslam for two. Blade pulls off a turnbuckle and goes for the knuckles, but Christian spears him for the pin at 9:51. This was fine but did not scream “World title main eventer” to anyone. **1/2
Dr. Britt Baker DMD joins us looking for a new challenger, so Red Velvet interrupts and they quickly set up a title match at the Rampage debut show next week. And then Velvet attacks poor Rebel! That was uncalled for. Britt chokes her out with the crutch to put her in her place. This didn’t feel like a big deal for Rampage and I think Velvet is someone who was benefitting from no fans and is about to be exposed.
Meanwhile, Chavo Guerrero has finally found someone to work for Andrade: El Fuego del Sol. But the job is to shine Andrade’s shoes, and that goes badly for him.
Hangman Page joins Tony in the ring and Tony wants some clarification for what’s going on. So the Elite interrupts and Kenny accuses him of wanting to rejoin the Elite after leaving the Dark Order, and notes that they don’t have any losers in the group, at which point Page attacks and the Elite beat him down. The Dark Order tries to save but Uno and Grayson send them back because Page wanted to do it alone, so the Bucks hit him with three BTE Triggers and put him out. Kazarian tries to save and he gets beaten down as well, and then Omega gives Page one last look at the AEW World title before knocking him out with it. This certainly didn’t seem like a segment that was about finding a different challenger.
Meanwhile, Dan Lambert does a promo where he promises to do another “truth telling” interview next week, and he’s bringing backup.
TNT title: Miro v. Lee Johnson
Lee tries to attack and that doesn’t go well for him, as Miro no-sells everything and catches a bodypress attempt, turning it into a slam. He tries the Game Over and Johnson flails to the floor like a COWARD and we take a break. Big Shotty? More like Big CHICKEN. Back with Miro continuing to destroy him, but Johnson fights back with a DDT and slugs away to put Miro on the floor. He follows with dives and comes back in with a crossbody that barely even gets one. Miro tries a german suplex and Johnson lands on his feet and keeps fighting with superkicks, finally putting Miro down with a sixth one. Johnson goes up with a frog splash for two, but Miro has had ENOUGH and finishes him off with the Game Over at 9:32. This was a good effort for the young guy. **3/4
Meanwhile, Christian chats with Tony about his win tonight and he’s in a good mood now that he’s #1 contender. And he’s going to stir up shit next week for the Elite.
The Bunny v. Legit Leyla Hirsch
They slug it out with forearms to start and Bunny retreats to the floor, so Leyla hits her with a dive while the Best Friends watch her back. I guess Wheeler Yuta is playing the part of Trent for the time being. Back in, Hirsch goes for the arm, but Bunny escapes with a backstabber and then dropkicks her into the railing. We get a cameo from Kamille, who would probably be a big star if they put her on TV here, and we take a break. Back with big girls down, but they slug it out and Leyla hits her with suplexes and a mule kick in the corner for two. She turns it right into a cross armbreaker, but Bunny rolls out of it. Leyla goes up with a moonsault that misses pretty badly, and Bunny gets a death valley driver for two. Leyla reverses into another cross armbreaker and taps her out at 8:17 to earn a shot at the NWA Women’s title, I presume at the Empowerrr PPV later this month. Kind of a style clash. **1/4 So Kamille does indeed come into the ring afterwards, looking GIGANTIC next to Hirsch, to set up the challenge.
Meanwhile, Jade Cargill is back from doing whatever she’s been up to, and she’ll be on Elevation next week.
Next week: Nyla Rose v. Kris Statlander! The Good Brothers v. Uno & Grayson for the Impact tag team titles! Jericho’s third labour!
Malakai Black v. Cody Rhodes
Black offers a clean break and then fires off with a leg kick instead and immediately picks the ankle and goes to a kneebar. Cody tries to reverse to a figure-four and Black rakes the eyes and hits him with kicks and then SWEEPS THE LEG…
…before going to a half-crab and holding it for a full count from the ref while Cody makes the ropes. Cody tries a Crossroads and Black kicks out of that from underneath, barely even registering it, and then Cody goes up and Black literally kicks him backwards and through the timekeeper table in an amazing bump. Cody is literally taking an asskicking here. Cody beats the count, but Black hits him with the Black Mass kick and pins him at 4:40 with ONE FOOT. NOW THAT IS HOW YOU DO THAT. Boom, top guy MADE. So then Tony goes to talk to the broken and destroyed Cody, who does what is basically a retirement promo, saying that it’s time for someone new to carry the banner for AEW while he attends to his outside interests. But before he can leave his boots in the ring and depart, Black returns with a crutch and lays him out to end the show.
Hey, the time was right for Cody to put over Black and he did it in a big way. They’re still kind of treading water on the tag titles and World title, but this was a hot show with a hot crowd and a lot of fun to watch.