The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.10.21
Housekeeping note first! Someone was asking about the Fite affiliate link for ordering the Full Gear PPV, and here it is:
I should also note that if you’re outside of the North American region, you can sign up for AEW Plus on Fite for $5 a month, and get all the PPVs for $20 each instead of $60 or whatever they charge nowadays. I actually subscribe to it for the times when I’m traveling through the European regions, as I often do on Friday nights and occasionally Wednesdays. Here’s the link for that:
On with the show…
Live from Indianapolis, IN
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone
Bryan Danielson v. Rocky Romero
This is a very random opening of the Forbidden Door, but there’s definitely history in New Japan between them. Bryan takes him down with a wristlock to start and then takes him down and beats on the legs with kicks before switching to an armbar. Rocky quickly makes the ropes to escape that. Rocky hits him with elbows in the corner, but Bryan flips out of there and Romero dumps to the floor. Orange Cassidy provides distraction with the hands in pockets, as intimidating as he ever gets, and Rocky hits Bryan with a dive and goes to work on the arm in the ring. They trade chops in the corner and Bryan goes nuclear with the kicks to win that one and then into the Romero Special. Rocky fights out and makes the ropes to escape, and comes back with a tornado DDT. Bryan heads to the apron and they slug it out there, but Rocky hits him with a missile dropkick to put him on the floor. He follows with a rana off the stairs, and back in with a shiranui for two. Danielson fires back with an elbow and german suplex for two. Bryan takes him to the top for a superplex, but Rocky counters into a bodypress for two and then holds on with a cross armbreaker. Bryan slams out of that and they slug it out until Rocky suddenly takes him down with an armbar. Bryan reverses to a calf crusher, but Rocky goes back to the armbar, and Bryan reverses to an anklelock. Rocky reverses THAT to the armbar again, so Bryan slams out of it and kicks him in the head. Rocky tries the sliced bread in the corner, but Bryan takes him down and curb stomps him and then puts him away with a tequila sunrise at 10:56. This was a fascinating technical match. ***3/4
The Inner Circle joins Tony in the ring, but American Top Team attacks them in the aisle before they make it to the ring. The epic beatdown results, with Junior Dos Santos in particular looking like he’s having a ball, and then we get the image of Dan Lambert teaming up with his guys to powerbomb Jericho through a table, and then Ethan Page promises that the match on Saturday will end with Lambert pinning Jericho. And to prove it, Dan puts Jericho in the Walls of Jericho and he “taps”. The touch of Dan yelling about “Championship Wrestling from Florida 1975!” while doing it is awesome nerd fodder.
Thunder Rosa, Anna Jay & Tay Conti v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD, Rebel & Jamie Hayter
Oh man, Anna and Tay in matching tiny shorts is like an unfair cheat code. The babyfaces work on Rebel in the corner because Britt wants no part of them, but Britt and Jamie haul Anna to the floor and put the beats on her as we take a break. Back with Anna coming back with a suplex on Britt and it’s hot tag Tay Conti, who runs wild and hits all three heels with pump kicks in the corners. TayKO on Hayter gets two (with quite the camera angle) but Britt comes in and superkicks Anna and everyone is out. Rosa hits Hayter with a dive to the floor and Tay finishes Rebel with the DDTay at 6:22. Tay was FIRED UP here, although Anna Jay has looked really hesitant since coming back from the injury. However, the clear MVP is Jamie Hayter because DAYUM. *1/2
Jungle Boy v. Anthony Bowens
Max Caster’s rap about Jungle Boy and his girlfriend is so classy that he nearly breaks up Aubrey before she pulls it together. They trade takedown attempts to start and Bowens slugs him down, but JB pounds him in the corner and then Bowens returns fire with his own chops. Jungle Boy takes him down with the flipping wristlock and dropkicks him before adding more chops in the corner. Blind charge misses and Max Caster makes a nuisance of himself as usual, and we take a break. Back with Jungle Boy slugging back and dropkicking the knee, setting up the lariat. Bowens fires back with a superkick and sideslam for two. Jungle Boy takes care of Caster outside, but Bowens catches him with a draping DDT on the way back in, and that gets two. Bowens tries a chokeslam, but JB reverses to the Snare Trap and Bowens taps at 10:00. This was shockingly awesome. ***1/4 And then Bobby Fish sprints out of the back and takes out Jungle Boy’s knee from behind while he’s celebrating, destroying him until Christian and Luchasaurus make the save. Wait, how can a Christian and a dinosaur co-exist?
Meanwhile, we get the video package for Hangman and Omega, as Kenny notes he never loses big matches, and Hangman ALWAYS loses big matches.
Meanwhile, Adam Cole introduces the Young Bucks to Bobby Fish, but Matt is like “We already know Bobby Fish! You don’t have to introduce us.” Also, there are no disputes in this era. So it’s Jungle Boy v. Bobby Fish on Rampage.
Last week, CM Punk calls Eddie Kingston a BUM and the entire audience gasps like he accused the guy of being a pedophile or something.
Wheeler Yuta v. Wardlow
Poor Yuta quickly takes four powerbombs and he’s dead, and then Wardlow finishes with the knee in the corner at 2:22 for good measure. A complete squash. And then Matt Hardy and his crew hit the ring and destroy Orange and Chucky as well, complete with a chair-assisted Twist of Fate on Orange.
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston and CM Punk get into a near-brawl in the parking lot before everyone splits them up.
Dante Martin & Lio Rush v. Lee Moriarty & Matt Sydal
Dante flips out of a wristlock and they trade legsweeps and rollups for two. Dante picks the ankle and cradles for two, but Lee reverses to his own cradle for two and they’re at a stalemate. So it’s over to Rush and Sydal, and Lio runs away until Sydal catches him with a kick. But then Lio does an amazing dodge-and-weave escape and hits a snap rana while we take a break. Back with Dante hitting a missile dropkick, but Lio comes in and Moriarty runs wild on him and hits a powerbomb for two. Rush then manages to clean house on both guys with some amazing dodges and kicks before sending them both to the floor and hitting both with topes. Back in, he hits Moriarty with a spinning unprettier for two and goes to the top, but Sydal brings him down with a rana and then Moriarty slams Dante off the top for two. Lio takes Lee down with more kicks and Dante hits the double moonsault to finish at 10:18. This was incredible because you’re expecting Lio Rush to be a blowhard manager who can’t back it up, and then he goes in there and outshines everyone in an awesome match. And they made a great team, and Lio even made sure to set up Dante to get the win! ****
Pac v. Dax Harwood
They fight for the lockup to start and trade wristlocks before fighting to a stalemate. Man, between the knee brace and shoulder tape, Dax is more machine than man at this point. They have words and Dax hits him with a clothesline. But then he talks too much shit and Pac pounds him with chops before they slug it out with forearms. Pac hits him with a german suplex and clotheslines him to the floor and then follows with a dive as we take a break. Back with them fighting on the top rope before Pac brings him down with a top rope brainbuster and that gets two. Pac with a corner boot and he goes up with the missile dropkick to the back. He sets up the Black Arrow, but Dax rolls to the corner to escape, so Pac kicks him in the face AGAIN. But this time Tully trips him up from the floor and Dax hits a brainbuster for two. Pac fights back with a superkick and goes up to finish, but Dax brings him down with a backdrop superplex. Pac fights back with a german suplex, but Dax gets a lariat and slingshot powerbomb for two. I’ve been waiting forever for someone to make that a finisher. They trade forearms and Pac gets a backslide for two and switches to the Brutalizer, and Dax taps out immediately at 14:10. And with the match over, Cash Wheeler is free to come in for the sneak attack and they beat Pac down, at which point the lights go out and the Andrade/Black team appears and continues the abuse. This brings out the Lucha Bros and Cody Rhodes to make the save. Goddamn this has just been a show full of great matches. ***3/4
Main Event Contract signing:
Both the Elite and Dark Order have been kicked out of the building in advance of this. Kenny talks about how the Elite always picked up Hangman when he was moping around, and then Page goes LOW by noting that Kenny had another tag team partner who Kenny could never match up to, either. Kenny just wants to be able to shake Page’s hand one last time and does so, but then the cameraman blindsides Hangman and unmasks as Don Callis, and they bust him open and Kenny signs the contract in Hangman’s blood to end the show. Hangman is so going to kick his ass on Saturday and I’m there for it.
Well this was a shockingly great show, to say the least! They didn’t really have much announced going in and it WAY overdelivered in just about every match aside from the disappointing six-woman match. And we’re all pretty damn exciting for Full Gear so this was a home run by that standard.