The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 06.22.22

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 06.22.22

Live from Milwaukee, WI

Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur

Bryan Danielson joins us to start, and someone in the front row has a sign that says “Gatorade should be thicker”.  I feel like that should be the punchline of those of those memes on Twitter where it says “Nobody:” and then that’s the punchline.  So Bryan takes the mic from Tony and he’s NOT GIVING IT BACK.  He promises us some excellent professional wrestling on Sunday, and then a bloody spectacle next week with Blood and Guts.  And Bryan was going to face Zack Sabre Jr and crush his trachea, but then things happened.  Specifically he’s not cleared to compete on either show, but he’s going to be fine and come back soon.  Also, he’s got a replacement, but he came out of the “bad guy tunnel” so he’s not gonna tell us until Sunday.  But this brings out ZSJ to yell at him.  This has gotta be setting up Cesaro as the guy, you’d have to think.

Meanwhile, Jon Moxley lays out all the crimes committed by the Jericho Appreciation Society, and lets Tanahashi know that Sunday is personal.

Orange Cassidy & Roppongi Vice v. Will Ospreay & Aussie Open

The heels do some double-teaming on Trent to start, but Orange comes in and frustrates Davis with the hands in the pockets and we get some triple shenanigans from the Best Chaos Friends.  Everyone heads to the floor and we get TRIPLE APRON BOMBS, which is THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING.  TIMES THREE.  We take a break and return with Trent hitting Fletcher with a suplex and making the hot tag to Orange, who hits Aussie Open with a double rana and takes Davis down with a rana.  Hurricane DDT for Fletcher and he invites Ospreay in, but the heels bail, so we get triple dives from the faces in response.  Back in, Ospreay gets triple teamed and Orange splashes him for two.  Ospreay blocks a DDT and hits Orange with a suplex, but Orange reverses that into the stunner in a crazy reversal.  Rocky comes in with a rana on Mark Davis and they trade chops, but Aussie Open gets a double team powerbomb for two. Rocky fights them off and Orange dives onto Davis, but Ospreay takes him out, and then RV double-teams Fletcher with a high knee combo.  Strong Zero is broken up by Ospreay and Davis gets a nasty piledriver on Trent for two.  Ospreay tries the Space Flying Tiger Drop on Orange, but he casually moves aside while Trent deals with Fletcher.  Back to Orange with the Orange Punch on Fletcher, and that finishes at 12:53.  I can confidently declare this our AEW Party Match for the week.  *** This brings out Khan On The Cobb to try for a beatdown, but FTR makes the save.

Meanwhile, Sonjay Dutt is so happy that he just ordered a bunch of new pencils, because Jay Lethal is about to have the ROH TV title vacated by Joe and given to him, or so he claims.  Maybe they can do another TOURNAMENT!

Christian Cage joins Tony in the ring to explain his actions from last week.  First up, we establish that Milwaukee is very rude, and then Christian explains that he was still pissed off that Jungle Boy eliminated him from the battle royale a year ago and he’s been plotting his revenge ever since.  So he buries the idiots on wrestling Twitter (obviously not the people on the Blog of Doom, he was clearly talking about those OTHER idiots, you know the ones), because he didn’t come back to help younger talent, he came back to make a shitload of money and have matches that they name PPVs after.  And Jungle Boy doesn’t have the killer instinct, and now he’s gotta get his own hands dirty and he hates that.  We get a clip of Christian offering Jungle Boy’s mom a chance to apologize to him for giving birth to her son, and Christian speculates that she’s a little sweet on him.  And he never wanted to be Jungle Boy’s father, which is a shame because Luke Perry is dead and he’s probably ashamed of his son.  This finally brings out Luchasaurus in a rage, but Christian reminds him “what happened to Marko” and wants to talk later.  HOLY COW WHERE HAS THIS GUY BEEN FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS?!?  He got the rude Milwaukee fans so worked up that there was a little kid in the front row chanting “Shut the f--- up” at him.  Christian has a point about this city being low class.

Meanwhile, the Young Bucks and Kyle are gonna superkick the Forbidden Door.

All Atlantic tournament qualifier:  Malakai Black v. Penta Oscura

The suspense for this is tempered somewhat due to us already knowing that Penta won’t be at the PPV.  Penta superkicks him out of the ring and hits a dive right away, but Black works on the back in the ring.  Penta fights back with a backstabber out of the corner for two and follows with a sling blade to put Black on the floor, but Malakai SWEEPS THE LEG on the apron and we take a break.  Back with Black working him over in the ring, but Penta takes him to the apron and they slug it out there.  Penta tries the package piledriver, but Black escapes into the ring, so Penta rolls into a cutter for two.  They head to the top and Black brings him down, but misses the double stomp as Penta bails to the floor.  So Black moonsaults him to the floor and then back in for another double foot stomp that hits this time, and that gets two.  Black goes up again and Penta cuts him off with the Fear Factor piledriver from the top, but Penta can’t cover, and Black is able to regroup and hit Black Mass for the pin at 10:00.  So it’s Miro v. Black v. Pac v. Ishii.  Not that they even bothered to cover how Ishii got into the match.  A very fun match where Black got to cut loose a bit more than usual.  ***1/2

Hangman Page v. Silas Young

Sigh.  Look, I have no problem if they want to bring in The Last Real Man for some shots or whatever, but we’re already mired in throwing everyone in New Japan into the mix for this PPV that’s struggling to gain traction and now we have yet another new character from ROH and this just isn’t the week for it.  Like, I know the name, but I couldn’t tell you much about him otherwise, and I’m pretty far into the “Hardcore wrestling fan” demographic that they’re aiming at right now. Maybe just put Max Caster in the spot or something.  Page with the wristlock to start and Silas flips out of it and gets a couple of reversals on the mat.  Page tosses him and they slug it out on the floor, where Hangman gets a lariat and follows with the moonsault as we take a break.  Back with Page in control, but Silas comes back with a backbreaker for two.  Silas with a fireman’s carry roll, but Page hits a german suplex and finishes with the buckshot lariat at 8:10.  Fans are still kind of turning on Hangman, match was OK but ran out of steam pretty quickly.  **1/2  Adam Cole interrupts the post-match with STORY TIME, but Jay White comes out and denies Adam Cole a title shot because he lost to Hangman.  Twice.  And it won’t be Hangman either. So White and Cole attack and beat the Hangman down, but OKADA is here to make the save and the heels run away.  So we STILL don’t know what the match is supposed to be on Sunday.  That’s a bit frustrating, especially for a show that’s supposed to be the super-hard sell for this PPV.

Meanwhile, Red Velvet is injured, so Stokely Hathaway is looking for a new Baddie.

Meanwhile, Athena and Statlander are excited to hear about the Baddie Search, but I suspect they’re being sarcastic.

Toni Storm v. Marina Shafir

JR is all “I know some fans are not a fan of her style” with regards to Shafir.  Yeah, that’s one way to put it.  Marina tries for the armbar and Storm makes the ropes right away.  Toni trips her up and gets a dropkick, but Shafir sweeps the leg and follows with a high kick before falling on her ass.  To the floor, where Nyla Rose interferes as we take a break.  Back with Shafir trying a chicken wing, but Storm headbutts out, so Shafir boots her to the floor and beats on her out there.  Back in the ring, Storm fights back with a german suplex and follows with the HIP ATTACK OF DEATH, then rolls her up for the pin at 7:24.  Woof.  Can we PLEASE get Marina Shafir off TV?  She moves like an LJN wrestling figure out there.  *1/4

Meanwhile, Darby and Sting have New Japan partners to face the Young Bucks and their New Japan partners at the PPV.

Excalibur clarifies that the IWGP title match is a four-way with Okada, White, Page and Cole.  Not a fan of that direction.  The whole PPV already feels like “throw a million people on the show for no reason” booking as it is.  The actual issue started with Hangman calling out Okada for the match we actually wanted to see and now there’s all this other s--- going on.  And there’s already multiple multi-man and trios matches on the show as it is.  I wanted it to be good, but it’s just a big mess of Excalibur yelling names at the screen and I don’t feel any buzz for it.  It’s just not a good card.

Chris Jericho & Lance Archer v. Jon Moxley & Hiroshi Tanahashi

Everyone brawls to start and Tanahashi dropkicks Archer’s knee, but Jericho beats on Tanahashi in the corner.  Over to Moxley, but the heels cut him off and Jericho catapults him under the bottom rope and Archer comes in with a Pounce as we take a break.  Back with Tanahashi making a comeback, but Jericho tries the Walls and Tana reverses for two.  Moxley dives onto Archer outside and Tanahashi tries the High Fly Flow and misses, allowing Jericho to get the Walls.  Moxley saves and they double-team Archer, and Tanahashi finishes with the High Fly Flow at 11:34.  I wasn’t really into this one.  **1/4  And then apparently we’re running 5 minutes short so Moxley and Tanahashi kind of stand there jawing at each other while Jericho brawls with Eddie Kingston at ringside to end the show.

The Christian interview was insanely hot but felt like it was in a different universe from the rest of the show, which was focused (sort of) on throwing together multiple multi-man matches that I don’t want to see.  This should have been the easiest layup this side of the WCW Invasion and instead we’re faced with a show where I seriously wouldn’t even order it if I wasn’t reviewing it.  I’m not intrigued by anything on it and the only result that even matters, in the main event, is ridiculously obvious.  The rest is like, who cares?  I’m sure it’ll be good wrestling, but I can get good wrestling already.  This is not what I want out of the product and Forbidden Door is a huge whiff already.  Throwing a million new people on the show with no build and then expecting me to pay $50 for a PPV featuring them is, frankly, a bit insulting.

Do better, AEW.