The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 02.16.22
Aw man, who gets to use to the middle entrance tunnel now?
Quick plug, as Dante Richardson, my friend and editor of Inside the Ropes Magazine, sent me a copy of the 2022 Wrestling Almanac, which is INSANE. You got all the events from this past year, plus every major event ever chronicled, and the major Halls of Fame detailed, all the TV results of every company in the past year, a listing of all the VHS tapes from Coliseum Video, Dave Meltzer’s five star ratings…it’s nuts. It’s like the old PWI Almanac but plugged into the Matrix or something. It’s even got NXT 2.0 results, and no one watches that show!
Live from Nashville, TN
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Excalibur & Jim Ross
CM Punk joins us in the ring to start, reminding us of the first time he told us about his straight edge lifestyle 20 years ago. And he’s not mad at MJF for beating him (twice) in Chicago, he’s actually proud. So he’s picking Revolution as his rematch with MJF. But a cage match won’t work because Wardlow can climb the cage and MJF can still run away. But if MJF wants to be Piper, then he’ll be Valentine and they’ll have a dog collar chain match. I sense some gory self-mutilation coming. So MJF comes out, and Punk produces the famous photo of himself and MJF, which was the greatest day of MJF’s life but to Punk it was just a Friday. And the mat is going to be stained with Maxwell’s blood. And for once MJF has no retort and just walks off.
Meanwhile, Tony interviews Jurassic Express, as we’re going to add two teams to a three-way tag team title match over the next couple of weeks. And Jungle Boy loves a good three-way!
Bryan Danielson v. Lee Moriarty
According to a sign, Bryan Danielson cries at the end of Old Yeller. Well he’s only human. Melissa Joan Hart is at ringside for this, which brings me to your Scott Fact of the Week: I went to high school in Edmonton with Michelle Beaudoin, who went on to star in Sabrina the Teenage Witch with her. Bryan beats on Lee for a bit and gets a stretch on the mat, but Lee chases him to the floor and then gets caught in the ropes on the way back in, allowing Bryan to beat on him with kicks and remind us that HE HAS UNTIL FIVE, REFEREE. And he adds a nasty kick to the face as we take a break. Back with the craziest f------ submission move I’ve ever seen, as they wrap each other up like crabs, and then trade shots while hanging upside-down before Bryan switches him to the Lebell lock and Lee makes the ropes. Bryan gives him some condescending kicks, but Moriarty suplexes him on his head and they trade forearms. Bryan just hammers him with those, but Lee gets a backslide for two, so Bryan slaps him. That just gets Moriarty fired up, and he catches Bryan’s kick and takes him down with a belly to belly suplex for two. He puts Danielson in a crossface, but Bryan rolls him over for two and then adds a suplex to drop Lee on his head again. The running knee wipes Moriarty out and it’s time to KICK HIS F------ HEAD IN and finish with the triangle at 9:15 while doing the muscle pose at 12:15. THIS F------ RULED. ****1/4
Afterwards he continues asking Moxley to join him in his quest for violence. So Moxley comes out and relates a story about doing an indie show against Bryan in Ohio a decade before and losing. So he’s into the idea of creating a dynasty of snapping arms and wrestling violence, but he wonders if maybe that offer is only because Bryan is scared of facing him. So he’s not saying yes…but he’s not saying no.
Meanwhile, Keith Lee is coming after the TNT title.
Face of the Revolution qualifier: Wardlow v. Max Caster
Max takes a shot at Nashville Hot Chicken, which draws bigger heat than attacking the local football squad. Bowens quickly distracts Wardlow and Caster gets some offense as we take a break, and return with Wardlow getting to the point and powerbombing Caster out of his headphones at 4:49. And then Bowens tries an attack and he gets walloped as well. Not really anything to rate, the whole match took place during the break.
Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker DMD will not abide any more losing from her crew. And she’s even got JOHN KREESE to provide motivational support! MY WORLDS ARE COLLIDING! Oh man someone better sweep the leg tonight!
Hangman Page joins Tony to discuss his match last week, but Adam Cole interrupts, making sure to bully Tony on the way in. So they discuss old times and troubles retaining friends, and Cole buries him as the guy always known as “the other Adam” and then offers a classy handshake on the way out. Which of course was just a ruse to allow reDRagon to attack and beat him down until Dark Order makes the save. And then 10 freaks out and beats up all the security geeks until they pull him off. That was weird, although the interview segment was great.
Chris Jericho & Jake Hager v. Santana & Ortiz
Before the match, Eddie Kingston comes out to join LAX to a GIANT reaction from the crowd. Jericho slugs it out with Santana to start, and Santana hits him with a corner splash and follows with chops and a dropkick off the middle rope to the back. That gets two. Ortiz comes in for the double-team and that gets two. Fisherman’s suplex gets two. Jericho faceplants him for two and it’s over to Hager, who hits the Hagerbomb in the corner for two. We take a break and return with Santana getting double-teamed, but he backdrops Hager to the floor and fights back on Jericho. Jericho tries the Lionsault and Ortiz grabs the ropes to block him, allowing Santana to hit a Russian legsweep for two. Street Sweeper gets two. Jericho reverses Santana into the Liontamer, but Santana makes the ropes with encouragement from Eddie, so Jericho dropkicks Eddie off the apron like a complete dick. And Santana lays out Jericho with a lariat and pins him at 10:52. Pretty hot match. ***1/4 And then Jericho throws a tantrum and goes after Eddie Kingston like an even bigger dick, and they brawl until they’re pulled apart.
Meanwhile, Adam Cole continues trying to unite the Bucks and reDRagon, but professional jealousy rears its ugly head. “Guys, you all have beautiful children!” And then they both walk off and Cole literally has to decide which way to go and can’t.
No DQ match: Mercedes Martinez v. Thunder Rosa
Kreese is at ringside, although the lying graphic says that his name is “Martin Kove”. Typical of him. Rosa and her Beatrix Kiddo gear attack with a chair to start and they slug it out, before Rosa runs her into the post. Rosa whips her into the railing and it just falls over, as Mercedes takes a flat back bump dead on the concrete. Ouch. They head up the aisle and Rosa does a very dangerous looking dive off the seats as we take a break. Back with Rosa continuing the beating on Martinez with a trashcan dropkick to the head, but she goes up and Mercedes brings her down with a german suplex that folds her in half. Mercedes goes up with a flying elbow that’s more of a flopping elbow because she slipped, but it still gets two. Mercedes piles up chairs in the middle, but Rosa hits a crucifix bomb to escape and then finishes with the Thunder Driver on the chairs at 9:31. Well this was pretty crazy. ***1/2 They offer up respect afterwards, which I’m sure will annoy Britt, and indeed she comes out afterwards and gets advice from Kreese on how to deal with it. Unsurprisingly, he thinks they finish Rosa off because Mercedes is weak. And indeed, they offer Mercedes the chance to finish Rosa with a lead pipe and she takes too long, so Jamie Hayter turns on her and lays her out. DAMN YOU KREESE! I swear if they bring in Johnny Lawrence to coach Rosa my head will explode with awesomeness.
Meanwhile, some doofus from New Zealand wants us to breathe with him. Apparently we get to watch him wrestle Trent on Rampage. Aren’t the show’s ratings struggling enough on Fridays without Jay White dragging them down? Is the douchebag demo worth that much to them?
TNT title: Sammy Guevara v. Darby Allin
We get a handshake to start and the crowd is TORN. Darby grabs a headlock and they take it to the mat and trade hammerlocks before Darby dropkicks him into the corner. They head to the top and Sammy gets a nice upkick from the mat and then brings Darby down with a fireman’s carry into a slam on the top rope that bumps Darby to the floor. Yikes. Sammy with a guillotine senton on the ropes and we take a break. Back with Darby working on the knee after Sammy misses a moonsault, and he hangs Sammy in the Tree of Woe and stretches the leg out. Back to the top, where Sammy brings him down with a Spanish Fly for two. Sammy teases something cheeky, but Darby takes him down with a figure-four, so Sammy flips him off and they trade slaps until Darby breaks the hold. Sammy charges and hits the corner with his knee, but he comes back with the GTH, and Darby blocks that and gets the cradle for two. Stunner and Sammy goes flying to the floor off that, but Darby tries a tope and Sammy catches him on the way down with a cutter on the floor. Back in, Sammy tries a senton on the apron, but that misses and goes badly for him. This allows Darby to set up the Coffin Drop, but Sammy is on his stomach and Jose the Assistant comes out to provide distraction. Sting gets rid of him, but Andrade takes out Darby with his IPAD OF DOOM (does Applecare cover that?) and Sammy recovers and finishes with the GTH at 14:20. But Andrade lays out Sammy as well (and the tablet is still working!) and steals the TNT belts to end the show. ****
Now THIS was a great show start to finish! Not to mention an insanely hot crowd all night. HOT LIKE NASHVILLE CHICKEN. The PPV build goes into overdrive now and there’s all kinds of feuds set up with intriguing directions they could go in.