The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite #100 – 09.01.21
Live from Chicago IL, home of Frank and his wacky kids. Maybe they’ll do a run-in tonight and get up to some crazy shenanigans! Except for Fiona, who the hell knows where she went.
Your hosts are Excalibur, Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone
Santana & Ortiz v. FTR
No Konnan tonight, as he’s apparently hanging out with Bestia 666 and Mecha Wolf in the NWA now. FTR is repping the classic Midnight Express trunks tonight, I’m assuming in tribute to Bobby Eaton. Dax takes Santana down and works a headlock, but Santana puts him down with a shoulder and they get into a chop fight, but FTR wants to brawl and Santana & Ortiz dump them to the floor and follow with stereo dives, although to be TECHNICAL, Santana went over the top and Ortiz went through the ropes. They follow with a cannonball into the railing to continue beating on FTR, and back in for an armbar from Ortiz on Dax. Cash clobbers Ortiz from behind, however, and runs him into the post to take over, going to work on the arm off that. Seated dropkick gets two and Dax comes in and just stomps on the arm like Ole Anderson before going to an armbar and cranking on that. This allows Cash the chance to pull of a turnbuckle pad behind the ref’s back, but Santana prevents any direct damage to Ortiz’s arm. Cash cuts off a tag and physically imposes himself between Ortiz and the corner, but Ortiz fights back and makes the hot tag to Santana. He runs wild and hits Dax with the rolling suplexes to set up the frog splash, and that gets two. Double suplex on Dax and they hit him with a double team cutter into a german suplex from Ortiz, and that gets two. Cash saves and Ortiz runs Dax into Santana and rolls him up for two, but Dax hits Ortiz with a brainbuster for two. They try a double suplex on Ortiz, but Santana spears Cash and Ortiz rolls him up for two. Santana & Ortiz hit Cash with a double team suplex for two in their corner, but Cash fights out with a Gory Bomb on Ortiz for two. FTR sets up the POWERPLEX on Ortiz, but Santana trips up Cash to stop that portion of it. Cash dives off Santana in the corner and misses, but FTR regroups with the Big Rig on Ortiz for two as Santana dives onto the pile to save. Ortiz reverses a suplex from Cash and Santana rolls in with a cutter, into a lungblower from Ortiz, and they finish with the double suplex at 13:32 to get some revenge. Hell of an opener. ****
Meanwhile, 2.0 and their “son” Daniel Garcia are excited to take away the Punk-Allin match because Garcia is going to put Darby out of wrestling on Rampage. I’m not their chances to make good on that one.
CM Punk joins us and he’s still glad to feel the love and he’s going to enjoy it while it lasts, because he hasn’t wrestled in seven years and he’s nervous about the PPV. But then 2.0 and Garcia hit the ring and interrupt the promo, laying out Punk and putting the boots to him until Darby and Sting make the save and the three babyfaces team up to destroy the geeks yet again, finishing with a GTS from Punk and a staredown with Darby. So Sting pays his respect (while Punk goes “Hold on!” and then throws out the 2.0 goof like a sack of garbage in a funny moment) and announces that he’s not going to be at ringside for the All Out match. This was tremendous.
Meanwhile, MJF sits down with Tony, and compares Chris Jericho to Muhammad Ali, but not in the nice way.
Orange Cassidy v. Jack Evans
Matt Hardy attacks Orange in the corner and gets himself DELETED by the ref, and Jack Evans immediately hits the spinning kick to take over. Handspring elbow in the corner and a snap suplex follow and Jack beats on Orange with kicks, but Orange tosses him and hits a dive, and back in with a crossbody for two. Michinoku Driver gets two. Orange lays in the kicks with extra brutality, but Evans somehow survives it and they do a wacky go-behind battle. Orange runs him into the corner and goes up again, but Evans cuts him off and we take a break. And we return with Matt Hardy running in for a DISQUALIFICATION at 5:48?!? What company is this? That’s only the second one in the history of the company, so you know it’s a special night. The whole Hardy clan comes in for a beatdown, but Jurassic Express makes the save. Nothing much to the match. **1/4
UPDATE: Apparently Orange got the pin during the commercial break? The announcers were completely unclear about that if so. Either way, the finish sucked.
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston and Miro throw shade at each other and that should be a pretty awesome slugfest.
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley is going for Kojima’s scalp. Good to know.
Chris Jericho joins JR in the ring and he does a speech where he reflects on his history and kind of says goodbye in case he needs to, but then gets all fired up and lets us know that MJF is going to have to break every bone in his body to get rid of him, and he’s pretty sure MJF doesn’t have the balls to do that.
Meanwhile, Darby Allin is offended that he’s first on Punk’s list when in fact he should have been LAST on the list, so now he’s going to win or die trying.
Powerhouse Hobbs v. Brian Cage
They fight on the floor before the bell and Cage runs him into the railing before Hook gets all up in his area and allows Hobbs to take over in the ring. Hobbs bowls him over and we take a break. Back with Hobbs trying a powerbomb, but Cage reverses him into a Flatliner and makes the comeback. Cage with superkicks and an exploder to set up a german suplex out of the corner for two. Hobbs escapes the Drill Claw and hits a spinebuster for two. Cage fights back with a knee into an F5 and then he deadlifts Hobbs with a suplex from the apron, but Hook takes the ref and Ricky Starks runs in and knocks out Cage with the FTW title, allowing Hobbs to hit an Emerald Frosion for the pin at 8:13. Not a fan of the gaga in the finishes tonight and this was pretty plodding. *1/2
Meanwhile, Malakai Black promises to put coins on Brock Anderson’s eyes so he can pay the ferryman when he goes to Hades. That’s very generous of him! I’m assuming Chiron doesn’t take Apple Pay?
QT Marshall and his goons call out Paul Wight, so Paul comes out and beats everyone up, before the Gunn Clubb also heads out to save, giving us the epic AEW reunion of the Show-Gunns. But then Billy betrays his old partner already, turning on him with a chairshot to the bad hip, leaving Wight for dead before walking out. And then QT gives Paul a Diamond Cutter afterwards for good measure. Billy and his goofy sons needed something different so I approve of this heel turn, even if newborn babies who have never watched wrestling before were predicting it by the time Billy was standing there ominously holding a chair for like 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker DMD announces that Rebel and Jamie Hayter have been added to the Casino Battle Royale on Sunday, and then she drops some HOT NEWZ: A free agent has just signed a long-term deal with AEW so that ratings will be high for years…herself. Hmm. Thought maybe that might be referring to someone else.
Tay Conti v. Penelope Ford
Tay dives onto Ford and Bunny right away and starts tossing Ford around with judo throws. Backbreaker gets two and she swings Ford into a knee strike and a pump kick gets two. Tay goes up and Ford brings her down as we take a break. Back with Ford missing the handspring elbow, and Tay pops up with a crossbody and makes the comeback. Spinning slam gets two. Ford tries a Guardian deathlock, but Tay reverses to a calf crusher as we’ve gone way past the peak here. Tay comes back again with three pump kicks in the corner, but Ford reverses out to a lungblower for two. Bunny gets involved, but it backfires and Tay rolls up Ford for the pin at 8:57. And then ANNA JAY returns from injury to prevent a further heel beatdown, and she’ll be at the PPV. Great to see her back, but this match ran way long and had too many twists and turns. **
Meanwhile, Thunder Rosa gets into a quick brawl with Nyla Rose to further set up the battle royale.
The Young Bucks & The Good Brothers v. The Jurassic Express & The Lucha Bros
Luchasaurus and Gallows slug it out to start and Doc goes to work on him in the corner. Over to the Bucks and Luchas and they all try superkicks and have a stalemate, and we take a break. Back with Jungle Boy fighting off the Elite in the corner, but he gets a hot tag to Fenix and Rey runs wild with kicks and does an amazing springboard flip into a wristlock takedown on Nick. Fenix with a death valley driver and Penta comes in with the double stomp on Nick’s crotch for two. Nick comes back with his own armdrag and Matt assists with superkicks to put the Luchas down. Luchasaurus comes in and hits Anderson with a german suplex in the corner and the babyfaces do some crazy double-teaming, but Cutler sprays in Fenix’s face and the Magic Killer gets two. The Bucks try the BTE Trigger on Fenix, but that misses and they collide knees, and Fenix comes back with the cutter on them and tries a double crossbody. The Bucks catch him and finish with the Meltzer Driver at 9:22, however. Well this certainly wasn’t boring but didn’t feel like it ever got to the levels of their best stuff. *** This brings out Kenny Omega with black hair and he directs traffic while the Elite destroys the babyfaces. Christian Cage tries to make the save, but he gets beaten down as well and they lower the cage for a further beating while the babyfaces storm the ring and try to save, unsuccessfully. And we get the extended heavy heat beatdown of the babyfaces to end the show.
Well that was certainly a downer of an ending. The heels win the match clean and then destroy the babyfaces pretty thoroughly, to the point where the Lucha Bros pretty much have to be winning the tag team titles, you’d think. I thought the first hour was excellent but it kind of went downhill from there, especially with the bad finishes, and in particular the women’s match dragged for me. Mostly in a thumbs in the middle show but they did a great job of doing the hard sell on the PPV. Except for Moxley v. Kojima, which honestly is a waste of a PPV slot at this point since there’s no backstory and no one cares. Not a complete writeoff like last week, but it feels like they’re losing a bit of momentum going into the PPV for some reason.