The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 09.29.21
Live from Rochester, NY, home of Brodie Lee. Meanwhile the show is delayed in Canada so I’m in Belgium again tonight watching on Fite. I know I was already there for Rampage but not many people read that review so I’m using the gag again.
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur and CM Punk
Adam Cole (Bay Bay) v. Jungle Boy
Punk’s snarky “You’ve gotta time it right” before Cole’s “boom” is pretty great. They trade headlocks to start and Cole wins that battle, but JB slugs away on the ropes and gets his own headlock. So Cole gives him a cheapshot and slugs away in the corner, but Jungle Boy does the ropewalk into the flipping wristlock and sends Cole to the floor for a breather. Jungle chases and Cole catches him on the way back in the ring and then tosses him for a beating on the floor. Back in, Cole goes to a headlock again and puts Jungle Boy down with a back elbow before stopping to pose a few times. Jungle Boy fights back and dropkicks the knee before coming back with a lariat and they slug it out. This turns into a battle of kicks and JB gets a brainbuster while Punk clarifies that he has taken out a Lloyds of London insurance policy on himself and the desk, so no one is attacking him tonight. “Yeah I’ve heard about that racket” notes JR. Jungle Boy hangs Cole in the Tree of Woe and hits him with a low dropkick for two. JB goes for a fireman’s carry, but Cole rolls him into a cradle for two. Cole with a backstabber and ushigoroshi for two, but he does too much trashtalk and JB catches him with a reverse rana and sliding clothesline for two. Fisherman’s buster gets two. So now JB lays in the badmouth, allowing Cole to hit him with a superkick and put him on the floor. Jungle Boy recovers and tries a dive, but Cole catches him with a kick from the floor, so he regroups with a rana off the apron, taking Cole to the floor, but Cole gets a cheapshot and comes back in with the Panama Sunrise for two. Crowd thought it was OVER. Cole preps the shot, but it misses and JB gets the Snare Trap in the middle. Cole fights to the ropes, so Jungle Boy reapplies it and Cole kicks him off, then distracts the ref and goes low, setting up the BOOM for the pin at 13:38. Hell of an opener with two professional wrestlers wrestling professionally. There’s going to come a point sooner rather than later that they can’t fight the crowd on Adam Cole, though, because this man was born to be a top babyface in this company. **** This brings out the rest of the Elite as we take a break.
The Elite join us after the break, as Adam Cole brags about beating Jungle Boy all by himself, just like he said. Cutler tries to take the microphone and the Bucks tell him to shut up so that Kenny Omega can brag about his Myspace blowing up about last week’s match with Bryan Danielson. But Bryan couldn’t get the job done and THERE WILL BE NO REMATCH. Naturally this brings out Bryan, who is looking for a rematch despite Omega’s position on the subject, accusing him of having NO BALLS. Punk: “Well, that’s a t-shirt.” So instead, Bryan challenges anyone else in the Elite to a match on Rampage and Kenny is like “Why don’t we fight right now?” and Bryan says “OK” and then brings out his babyface friends, at which point the heels all run away like yellow gutless cowards. Also I expect a “Kenny No Balls” shirt to be for sale by the time this review is posted.
Meanwhile, Andrade antagonizes the Lucha Bros further, saying that he’s got some friends who can take their titles.
Dante Martin & Matt Sydal v. Cody Rhodes & Lee Johnson
And the Rochester crowd is immediately on the anti-Cody bandwagon, so it wasn’t just Arthur Ashe. Punk: “The fans seem a little bit conflicted.” Crowd: “CODY SUCKS!” Indeed. Apologies for not spotting the Homelander gear on Cody last week, especially with season 3 of the Boys dropping soon. Dante and Lee trade flips to start and Dante is just incredible as usual, and tempers flare as you non-Belgians take a break but us Belgians continue on. Cody and Sydal hit dives on each other and Johnson gets his own, and then Dante follows with some incredible hangtime from the top rope to the floor and then he lands on his feet! Back in the ring, Dante and Sydal get a double dropkick on Johnson for two. Dante with a somersault senton for two and Punk doesn’t even know what he’s watching here. Sydal wraps up Johnson with a submission hold as you sad Americans rejoin the action that us OUTRAGOUS Antwerpians got during the break. Cody comes in with a powerslam on Dante and he gets booed out of the building, but Dante takes him down with a rana and they slug it out. Cody takes out Sydal with a disaster kick and hits Dante with a Vertebreaker for two. Dante fights back with a double jump moonsault for two. Cody fights off the faces by himself and Lee Johnson tags himself in and sends Sydal to the floor, but Dante rolls him up for two. Johnson superkicks Dante and hits an ushigoroshi to finish at 7:48. Fun match. *** Afterwards, Tony comes in for an interview with the Nightmare Family, and Cody wants Malakai Black again, but Arn tells him to stop talking. So Arn lays down the law and tells him all the ways he screwed up, and notes that he’d step in and take the fight himself but he’s just too damn old. Arn also notes that if someone tries to carjack Cody, he lets them steal the car, but Arn pulls out his gun and splatters brains all over the car, and Cody is a LOSER and Arn is taking his Lee Johnson and going home. Well then. Who had “Arn make a carjacking metaphor and promises to pull out a gun and kill someone in cold blood” on their AEW Promo Bingo Card tonight?
Jon Moxley, Darby Allin & Eddie Kingston v. Bear Country & Anthony Green
Darby quickly rolls up Green for two, and Kingston comes in and beats on him with some chops and a knee to the gut. Over to Moxley, but the Bears double-team him and Bronson gets a senton for two. So Boulder puts Bronson on his shoulder and threatens a splash from there, but Kingston breaks it up and he’s throwing suplexes. Moxley gets a german on Boulder and Darby takes out Bear Country with a dive, and Green goes after Moxley and Kingston. And bounces off them harmlessly in a funny spot. And they finish off Green at 3:30. ** And then Sting kicks the guy’s ass for good measure.
Meanwhile, Ruby Soho is not yet done with Dr. Britt Baker DMD.
The Hardy Family Office v. The Dark Order & Orange Cassidy
So this is a sixteen man tag and you’d think Dark Order could get their shit together on Brodie Lee night. But immediately they fall apart, as Five unmasks and HOLY SHIT IT’S ALAN ANGELS! Oh wait we knew that already. So Butcher and Blade double-team him with a Rockerplex for two, and Private Party double-teams him for two, so it’s over to Orange. Jack Evans quickly lays him out and it’s a giant brawl as non-Belgians, of which I’m not one, go to a break. Meanwhile us Belgians see Kassidy hitting Orange with a pair of suplexes for two and a new guy named George comes in with a delayed suplex, introduced like a new character on NXT 2.0. Grayson gets a tag and throws Kassidy around to trigger his girlish scream, but the HFO works Grayson over in the corner, but Alex Reynolds and Uno double-team Angelico before colliding. Orange tags himself in with the World’s Laziest Splash for two. And that prompts Uno and Grayson to walk out on the match, at which point everyone brawls. But then Negative One and Amanda come out and put Uno and Grayson in their place, at which point they rally and the Dark Order gets together and plows through everyone, leading to Silver demolishing the Hardys and then the Dark Order destroys that George guy and pins him at 7:55. Match wasn’t any good but it was a feel good finish. **
Meanwhile, Lio Rush is now LBO Lio because he’s a businessman. Didn’t he just retire?
Meanwhile, FTR is now rejuvenated and refocused, and that’s bad news for everyone else.
Dan Lambert joins us for his weekly crazy old man rant, and none of the junior jock riders in the audience will ever again swing on the balls of Jericho! This inspires a “shut the fuck up” chant from the crowd, so you know he’s hitting a nerve. Also the Men of the Year do a promo but they’re not topping Lambert.
Meanwhile, Hikaru Shida returns from the dead and she’ll face Serena Deeb next week.
Penelope Ford & the Bunny v. Anna Jay & Tay Conti
Tay Jay now having matching gear in case they couldn’t be any more adorable. They double-team Bunny in their corner to start, but Ford makes the save, so Tay takes her down with wristlocks. Tay misses a charge and hits the floor, allowing the HFO to take over as we take a break. When I say “we” I mean “you”. I’m still watching. FOR BELGIUM! Ford chokes out Jay for two and Bunny comes in with some back rakes, as Punk compares her to Dick Butkus. Didn’t we already see DA BEARS tonight? Ford with the handspring elbow and Bunny gets a running elbow in the corner for two. I bet you’re all jealous of me for watching all this exciting action. That and the waffles. Anna comes back with a DDT on Bunny, sort of, and makes the hot tag to Tay as we, by which I mean “you”, return from the break. Tay runs wild and gets a crossbody on Ford, and a double suplex gets two for Jay. Ford hits Jay with a stunner and a lungblower, but that only gets two. Or as we say in Belgium, “two”. I think. I’m not really sure what language we speak, if I’m being honest. Tay lays out Bunny with the TayKO on the floor, however, and Jay finishes Ford with the choke sleeper at 6:50. And then Negative One comes in to celebrate with them. Punk: “He’s a smart kid!” Kind of a dull match. *1/2
Meanwhile, it’s a three-way between Nyla, Jade and Thunder Rosa on Rampage.
MJF joins us, putting over the four pillars of the company: Jungle Boy, who he beat. Sammy Guevara, who he beat. Darby Allin…whatever. Ha. And then there’s himself, without whom AEW ain’t shit. So now he wants a title shot, because Tony Khan is in the top 2 Khans in pro wrestling and they’re good friends. And if Tony can’t deliver, he’s got Bruce Prichard on speed dial. Punk: “Everyone’s got Bruce on speed dial, that’s nothing to brag about!” So this brings out Darby Allin, the “school shooter mime on a skateboard” and MJF isn’t a fan. But being a #2 guy isn’t bad. Just ask Sting. So Darby invites him to leave as he keeps promising, and points out that he’s the only one to win a championship. MJF tells a story about Darby getting into a car accident with his drunk uncle, which is why he’s straight edge now. MJF notes that it’s a travesty, because the wrong man died. Well that’s harsh. Darby won’t bite on the hook, so MJF decides to retreat.
TNT title: Miro v. Sammy Guevara
Sammy charges in and misses, and Miro clobbers him down and puts the boots to him. Miro with a suplex and he beats on Sammy with elbows while JR rants about people wearing jewelry in matches. OK boomer sooner. Sammy fights up and Miro elbows him down for two while Punk trashes the Pennsylvania hockey teams. When he’s right he’s right. And so Miro destroys the chain, as predicted by JR, but that fires up Sammy and he takes Miro to the floor with a bodypress. They fight on the floor and Sammy sends him into the stairs to continue the brawl and back in for a shooting star that Miro just catches and that looked UGLY for Sammy. He throws Sammy with an overhead suplex and we take a break. Is what I’d be saying if I wasn’t in Belgium. But I am, so instead we continue on with Miro stalling for time while the ref checks on Sammy and an apparent knee injury, and he appears to be OK after a while. The crowd wants Lana, meanwhile. Well, half of them do. So Miro stalls for more time on Sammy’s behalf until Sammy attacks him, so I guess the leg is OK. They fight on the floor and Miro runs him into the post, and that gets two. Miro with a chinlock as the rest of the non-Belgium world rejoins the show, and Miro gets another suplex to flatten Sammy again. Miro just clobbers him with a clothesline and the crowd is right into that, but he charges and Sammy hits him with a Spanish fly out of nowhere and makes the comeback. Sammy throws strikes to Miro’s face, and Miro gets frustrated and charges, running himself into the post. He bails to the floor and Sammy dives over the post with a senton, and back in for a splash that misses. Miro gets a spinning uranage for two off that. Miro has had enough of this kid and sets up to finish, but he misses the kick and Sammy fights back again with knees in the corner. Sammy goes up and Miro slugs him down, but Sammy fights him off and comes off the top with a cutter. Sammy tries the GTH, but Miro lays him out with the Machka kick for two. Miro wants to finish, but Sammy rolls out of the ring, so Miro loses his shit and rips off the turnbuckle pads. This brings out Fuego Del Sol, but Miro quickly deals with him, only for Sammy to run Miro into the exposed steel and hit a tornado DDT. And Miro is staggered, so the GTH sets up the 630 senton, and Sammy wins the title and ends the undefeated streak at 13:43. That was a weird finish, as it looked like Sammy hit Miro’s knees with the move. Glad to see them finally pull the trigger on Guevara, although this was kind of a weird style clash that didn’t work great and Sammy’s seeming knee issue didn’t help. **1/2
Coming up on Rampage: Danielson v. Nick Jackson! Hair v. Hair! Nyla v. Thunder Rosa v. Jade Cargill! We’ll see which European country I make my fall residence in for that one.
This show certainly had some ups and downs. I loved the opener and Dante Martin continues to steal the show but there wasn’t a lot of meat on the bones in the middle here. It’ll probably only beat RAW by 0.10 in the demo. Maybe 0.15, but I don’t want to set expectations unreasonably high.
Good night from Belgium!