The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 03.16.22
“St. Patrick’s Day Slam”
Live from San Antonio, TX
Your hosts are Excalibur, Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone
Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish v. Hangman Page, Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus
I feel like the heels have the advantage here on St. Patrick’s Day, since Kyle O’Reilly has the Irish heritage, and Adam Cole is one of the little people. Cole beats on Jungle Boy right away, but JB gets the ropewalk wristlock and a rana, but the heels isolate Luchasaurus on the floor and triple-team him. Back in the ring, Fish goes to a chinlock and Kyle beats on him with forearms in the corner. They continue beating on him, but Luchasaurus fights them off and makes a hot tag to Hangman, who cleans house and dives onto them TWICE. Back in for a powerbomb on Fish that gets two. He tries for the lariat, but Fish bails to regroup, so Jungle Boy hits them with another dive. Back in the ring, the faces split up the heels on the floor and then do a triple moonsault at the same time for your crazy spot of the night. Jungle Boy gets tripped up in the heel corner, however, and reDRagon double-teams him with a flying knee for two as we take a break. Back with Luchasaurus getting another hot tag and throwing them around with chokeslams and a double moonsault on reDRagon for two. Back to Hangman with the Deadeye on Fish and it’s PANDEMONIUM BREAKING LOOSE, leading to a nutty double Doomsday Device by Jungle Boy. JB goes 2-on-1 with reDRagon, but Adam Cole catches him with the Boom and pins him at 14:00. Wacky and fast-paced craziness. I guess we’re getting more Adam Cole whether we want it or not. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Team Taz throws a challenge Keith Lee’s way for Rampage.
Meanwhile, Kris Statlander does her makeup.
Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley v. Wheeler Yuta & Chucky Taylor
William Regal joins us on commentary, which gives us the unique dynamic of Excalibur trying to explain the concept of Danhausen to him. Moxley with a suplex on Yuta to start, for two, and he throws chops in the corner. Over to Bryan for some violence, and Moxley rakes the back and puts the boots to him. Regal clarifies that he was hoping for both guys to punch him right in the mouth at Revolution, because that’s what he expects of them. Danielson smashes the wrist and adds more vicious kicks, but Yuta finally escapes the beating and brings Chuck in. They torture him in the corner as well and Moxley takes him to the top rope for a superplex, which gets two. Moxley with a hammerlock as we take a break, and return with Chuck hitting a knee out of the corner. Yuta gets the hot tag and hits Mox with an atomic drop and bodyblock in the corner, but Moxley kills him with a lariat. Yuta escapes the DDT and hits a german suplex for two before making a comeback in the corner. But then Moxley cuts him off again and Danielson comes in for the Hart Attack for two. Chuck hauls Mox to the floor and tries a piledriver, but Moxley DDTs him and I’m assuming that’s the end of Chuck’s night. Regal offers some advice: “If you bite a man’s nose off he will do as you wish.” Danielson pounds on Yuta with kicks, but the kid won’t stay down, so Moxley drops him with a Saito suplex and Danielson adds a capture suplex for two. The crowd actually gets on Yuta’s side for this show of guts, but Danielson kicks his head in, and Moxley finishes him with the bulldog choke at 12:00. Now that was some quality violence. And then after the beating, Wheeler Yuta declines to go back with the Best Friends and chooses to throw his lot in with the purveyors of violence instead. So Regal hauls off and smacks him one, sending him on his way. *** I’m thinking Yuta will be back for more.
Meanwhile, FTR talks about firing Tully Blanchard last week, but the Young Bucks stop by and have the balls to criticize Dax’s Miracle Violence Connection t-shirt. YOU SHUT YOUR HOOKER MOUTH.
Meanwhile, the Acclaimed are busy cutting a promo on Keith Lee for Rampage, but Team Taz interrupts and wants to take credit. So then Swerve interrupts their interruption and wants Ricky Starks. “Isn’t that guy a rapper?” asks Anthony Bowens.
The Chris Jericho Appreciation Society meets for the first time, as Jericho airs his grievances and plays victim, then goes for the big heat by noting that he’s not a pro wrestler, he’s a SPORTS ENTERTAINER. And then Daniel Garcia teases dissention before jumping on that train too. So Jericho tells the story of paying for Daniel Garcia’s surgery after a car accident, and bringing 2point0 into the company when they were fired by WWE. And also 2point0 is a bad name from bad creative and they won’t use that name anymore. The heat for Jericho here was unreal.
TNT title: Scorpio Sky v. Wardlow
Dan Lambert wearing the interim TNT title is an amazing troll job. Scorpio tries a headlock and gets nowhere with that, so he slugs away in the corner instead and that just gets Wardlow angrier. Sky bails and hides behind Paige VanZant, which allows him to hit Wardlow with a baseball slide as we take a break. Back with Sky beating on him in the corner, but Wardlow comes back with an overhead suplex. Sky escapes a powerbomb and tries a TKO, but Wardlow chokeslams him and starts the powerbombing. Dan Lambert takes the ref after four of them and Sky bails to the floor to escape, but Shawn Spears wanders down to run interference, allowing MJF to run Wardlow into the post and Sky gets the cheap win at 9:21. And then we get the heel beatdown from Top Team and MJF, leading to MJF knocking him out with the ring. Not a fan of this, first because the booking was straight out of the lazy WWE playbook with all the interference, and second because it seriously cheapens the whole “Face of the Revolution” concept when the winner of the brass ring jobs to the champion both times. Like, there was a whole lot of ways that they could have gone with the booking and it was pretty much the worst one. **
The Hardys v. Private Party
Matt beats on Quen to start and it quickly turns into a donnybrook, and Jeff comes in for the huge pop and they double-team Kassidy with the Whisper in the Wind. The crowd is so loud for Jeff that you can’t even hear the announcers. Jeff with a hiptoss on Quen for two and Matt comes in for the double wheelbarrow suplex for two. Private Party double-teams Matt with their own version the Hardy stuff, but Kassidy goes up and Matt tries to bring him down with Splash Mountain before Quen saves. We take a break and return with Quen putting Matt on the floor with a dropkick and following with a dive, and back in for two. Footstomp-neckbreaker combo gets two. Kassidy mock’s Jeff dance to piss off the crowd, so Matt spears him and makes the hot tag, which blows the roof off the arena. Jeff with the legsweep for two and he goes up, but Quen brings him down to set up Gin and Juice. Matt breaks that up and puts Kassidy down, and Jeff gets a flying splash for two. Kassidy escapes the Twist of Fate and tries the Silly String, but the Hardys hit a double Twist on them, and Jeff finishes with the swanton at 12:20. This is EXACTLY the kind of thing they need to attract casual female viewers and Attitude Era babies, I’d bet. And the match was exactly what it needed to be, with the Hardys doing all the nostalgia stuff and building to Jeff’s hot tag. ***
Meanwhile, Rampage looks like a whole lot of nothing again. Red Velvet v. Leyla Hirsch?
Cage match, AEW Women’s title: Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Thunder Rosa
Aw, Britt’s tribute to Scott Hall is pretty great. Britt immediately tries to run away and gets pulled back by Rosa, so they slug it out in the corner. Rosa puts the boots to her and runs her into the cage, but Britt comes back and slams her before they fight to the floor and Rosa gets sent into the cage. Britt engages in some GORY SELF-MUTILATION as we take a break. Back with Britt bringing chairs into the ring, but Rosa returns fire and she’s apparently bleeding now too. Rosa with the stunner here on 3/16 and she follows with the corner dropkick for two. Rosa tries the Thunder Driver, but Britt escapes and superkicks the ref by mistake, sending him to the floor as Rosa gets the Driver for the visual pinfall. She goes up, but Britt beats on her with chairs and makes a pile of them, setting up an Air Raid Crash onto the chair pile. That looked like it sucked. So Aubrey comes in as the second ref and that gets two. Britt sets up more chairs in the corner in a complex stack, but they fight on the top rope and Britt takes a terrifying bump on her spine, which gets two. So now Britt finds the thumbtacks under the ring and they fight over those, with Rosa taking a backdrop into them for two. Britt tries the Lockjaw, but Rosa bites the gloved hand to fight it and then smashes Britt’s hand into the tacks before hitting a powerbomb on them. So they fight on the floor and Britt gets another chairshot, but Rosa hits the Thunder Driver back in the ring, on the tacks, and gets the pin and the title at 17:17 to finally win the feud. Britt desperately needs a new direction to keep from getting any more stale, so that’s a good call, but again they have to do the blood and the thumbtacks and the chairs and th ref bumps, when we just had a bunch of it on the PPV. It’s too much and this wasn’t a particularly good match underneath all the smoke and mirrors, although it had great heat. **3/4
The first two matches were pretty great, but for me, the Wardlow match really left a bad taste in my mouth and the show never recovered.