The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 01.19.22
Live from Washington, DC
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
Jon Moxley joins us to start, decidedly not entered into the Royal Rumble next week. Jon gives us a surprise unbleeped F-bomb thanks to a heckler, and then the crowd goes SILENT and lets him talk, as he talks about carrying scars and how nobody’s perfect. But he doesn’t run from his demons, he beats the shit out of them. So if anyone thinks they can put him through more hell than he’s already been through (and he wouldn’t recommend it), then come and get him because he’s thirsty and all he drinks is blood. Well he’s on the right show for it, according to WWE press releases.
Meanwhile, MJF offers an apology to Wardlow here on his birthday, but he has to dock Wardlow’s pay to teach him a lesson. And then Spears is going to show Wardlow how to get the job done later tonight.
Adam Cole (Bay Bay) & Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander
Britt immediately runs away from Statlander and forces the tag, and then Cole does the same to further annoy Orange. So he unleashes the kicks on Britt in a horrifying show of man on woman violence that not doubt has WWE brass clutching their pearls, until Britt somehow escapes it by stepping on his foot. Statlander sneaks in and betas on Britt, but Orange comes in with a flying bodypress on Cole and hits a tornado DDT to send him to the floor. Statlander with a delayed suplex on Britt while Orange does laps. They end up on the apron and Orange blatantly calls a spot on camera, as if you listen closely you can hear him say “Statlander, double team move!” and then they both do dives off the apron. Well Orange sort. But then they hug and get jumped by the heels as we take a break. Back with Statlander and Baker both tagging in, as Kris hits a backbreaker and Blue Thunder bomb for two. Britt gets a backslide for two, but Kris powers her up, so Britt gets a neckbreaker. Back to the men as Orange slugs it out with Cole, but Cole superkicks him and follows with an enzuigiri. Orange with the stunner, but Britt tags herself in and hits the curb stomp on Orange. Statlander hits a Michinoku driver on Britt for two and goes up, but Cole protects his woman with his own body, and Statlander hits them both with the 450 anyway. Orange with the Beach Break on Cole for two off that. Cole bails to the ramp and suckers Orange into a dive attempt, and that goes badly for Cassidy. Statlander saves Orange by throwing him back in the ring, but Britt gets rid of her with a Canadian destroyer on the ramp, and Cole hits the Panama Sunrise on Orange for two. So once again that poor timekeeper table gets hauled out to ringside, but Orange accidentally knocks Britt through it, and Cole is PISSED. So unsurprisingly, Cole goes low on him and finishes with the Boom at 14:31. Hard to blame him, really. This was a crazy entertaining opener. ***1/2
Meanwhile, the Inner Circle chat about Eddie Kingston, but Santana & Ortiz stand up for their friend and point out that Jericho hasn’t really had their back lately. Jericho does not, in fact, feel them.
Meanwhile, Adam Cole is still upset about his lady going through a table, so next week he’s going to DESTROY Orange Cassidy next week in a Lights Out match. That’s really clever because it doesn’t count on the record, so Orange can get his win back without affecting Cole’s perfect record.
CM Punk v. Shawn Spears
And after all the entrances and MJF coming out to do commentary, Punk hits the GTS and pins Spears in 7 seconds, which is frankly about 2 seconds more than he deserved. And then Maxwell tries the sneak attack, but Punk gets his hands on the scarf, only for MJF to run away. So you’ll note that it took Punk 20 minutes and surviving death to beat Wardlow, but Spears was a complete joke, which makes Wardlow look like an even bigger star.
Meanwhile, Billy Gunn confronts Christian on the loading dock, looking for a title shot, but Christian notes that Billy always lost the big one, so he needs to make a statement first. So the Gunn Club attacks Christian and runs him into the steel doors.
Cody Rhodes joins us, presumably taking a break from training for the Rumble, and talks about CM Punk’s pipe bomb promo and how it inspired his career, which prompts one section of the crowd to chant “Shut the fuck up” and then another section to boo that first section. Cody Rhodes has a WEIRD relationship with the fanbase, man. So he notes that he did all of the stuff that CM Punk promised to do, and that’s why he won’t turn heel. Also, he’s the one who built the Forbidden Door, and reDRagon “passed hiptoss class with flying colors” and now they’re tangling with the Young Bucks. Also they don’t rename people like “Gunner McGuillicuddy or whatever his name is” but anyone who calls themselves “Brody” has some balls. Also there’s two TNT belts, and a big ladder in the ring, so you know what you do when there’s two title belts. JR: “They’re talking about a ladder match!” Thanks for mansplaining that one, Jim. I was confused by Cody standing on the giant ladder. Thought it might have been setting up a bra and panties match or something. Well this was definitely a Cody promo. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing anymore but it was 100% a Cody promo.
Meanwhile, Anna Jay has accepted Jade’s open challenge for the TBS title, and she might have to wrap barbed wire around her arm again if need be.
The Kings of the Black Throne v. The Varsity Blonds
Excalibur’s description of King’s accolades is a bit weird, as he notes that Brody was a former ROH tag team champion, and he’s a current PWG tag team champion…with Malakai Black. Personally I’d have just said that they’re the current PWG tag team champions, but Excalibur is the pro. The Blonds try to double-team Brody and don’t do well at it, and then Pillman tries Air Pillman and can’t do it because he’s too spooked now. Now that’s a cool callback. So the Blonds have words on the floor, and Brody runs Griff into the stairs. Back in, the Kings destroy Pillman and finish him with a double-team powerslam at 1:54. Yeah that was a beating. And then Pac appears on the screen, still blinded, but he’s got tarot cards and revenge on his mind.
Meanwhile, Lance Archer and his management team want the next shot at Hangman.
Meanwhile, Rappongi Vice hijack the Young Bucks’ camera setup and throw out the challenge to the Bucks for a reunion on Rampage.
Frankie Kazarian v. Lance Archer
Archer now has Jake and Dan Lambert with him, which continues to leave Lambert looking nervous. Kazarian dropkicks the knee, but Archer levels him with a forearm. At this point I’d like to call out the sign in the crowd that says “Splitgate > Halo”, which is quite the hill to die on. I’m not an FPS guy anyway but I’ve always considered Halo to be pretty overrated. Archer beats on Kaz until he bails to the floor, and we take a break. Back with Archer continuing the beating in the corner and choking him out on the ropes. Frankie fights back with a missile dropkick and the springboard legdrop for one, but Archer hits him with the chokeslam, follows with the Helicoaster, and finishes with the Blackout at 10:00. This was…not good. Plodding and heatless. * And then Dan Lambert does his usual promo, but Archer interrupts because he’s had enough of cowboy shit and decides to just send a message by chokeslamming Kazarian on a chair. This brings out Hangman to save and they get into a slugfest, but Page takes off his boot for a shot on Archer, only for Archer to catch the buckshot lariat. So Page hits him with forearms and sends him out to win the battle for now. The post-match was 100x better than the match.
Meanwhile, Dante Martin joins up with Matt Sydal and Lee Moriarty to make sure he has backup against Team Taz.
Meanwhile, Tony tries to talk with Kris Statlander while she recovers from earlier, but Leyla Hirsch interrupts and finally snaps, putting a beating on Red Velvet and then putting Statlander in an armbar.
Serena Deeb v. Skye Blue
Deeb takes her down and sends her to the apron, then guillotines her on the ropes and follows with a neckbreaker. Deeb with a catapult under the ropes and the neckbreaker, which sets up the Deeb-Tox and Serenity Lock at 2:45. This provides a good illustration of why female wrestlers wear flesh colored tights to prevent wardrobe malfunctions.
Meanwhile, Ethan Page takes up Jon Moxley on his blood drinking challenge for Rampage. We also get New Japan footage of the Bucks and Rappongi Vice to build up that match.
Meanwhile, Matt Hardy announces that he’s sold 51% of the Family to Andrade, so it’s now the AHFO, which has Butcher and Blade less than thrilled.
Meanwhile, The Acclaimed present another viral video before the main event.
The Acclaimed v. Sting & Darby Allin
Caster manages to namedrop both “gory self mutilation” and “have Sting looking worse than at Starrcade 97” for your sick burn of the week. Our rapping rapscallions destroy Darby before the bell, wrapping a chair around his head and running him into the post while Tony still has trouble coming to terms with Starrcade 97. So Sting decides to go it alone and throws out Bowens for a trip to the stairs, and back in for the Stinger Splash on Caster. Bowens pulls off the turnbuckle, however, and Sting knocks himself out as Bowens gets two and we take a break. Back with Sting coming back with a Scorpion Deathlock on Caster, but Bowens breaks it up. Sting heads to the floor, so Bowens lays him out with the boombox, at which point Darby reappears from the crowd and cleans house. Code Red on Caster gets two. Darby with corner splashes and a guillotine on Caster, but Acclaimed double-team him into a flying elbow from Caster that gets two. Sting makes the save and sends them to the ramp, and then dives off with a splash off the ramp onto Caster. Back in the ring, Darby hits the stunner on Bowens and hits the coffin drop to finish at 9:26. Sting’s still rolling in his 60s but this was kind of a trainwreck and had a shocking lack of heat. **
Well, I really liked the opener, but that’s about all I got for this week. But at least no one changed their name to a Nazi U-Boat commander so there’s that.