The SmarK Rant for AEW THURSDAY NIGHT Dynamite – 08.27.20
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & LE CHAMPION. And FANS! Even Jericho can’t help but smiling when they’re singing his song.
Tag Team Gauntlet #1: The Young Bucks v. QT Marshall & Dustin Rhodes
QT and Nick trade rollups to start, and Nick gets a backslide for two, but QT gets a sunset flip for two. Matt slingshots in with a sunset flip for two, but misses the superkick and it’s over to Dustin. They trade armdrags and Dustin does the “I’m winded” bit and calls off Matt, but then hits both Bucks with powerslams. QT comes in with a dropkick for two and the Nightmares double-team Matt in the corner. Nick gets the tag and they double-team Dustin with an alley-oop dropkick and get rid of QT, then hit Dustin with clotheslines in the corner for two. Dustin comes back with the Destroyer on Matt (“It’s not a Canadian Destroyer! He can’t even get across the border!”) and it’s over to QT while Jericho accuses the referee of being paid off by the Bucks. Well they are the Young BUCKS. Bucks set up to finish QT, but he cradles Matt for two. Nick hits him with an enzuigiri from the apron to block Sliced Bread, however, and they finish him off with the double knee strikes at 6:17. Decent opener. **1/2
Tag Team Gauntlet #2: The Young Bucks v. Best Friends
Chuck’s growing a beard and it’s not working for me. Chuck works Nick over in the corner right away and Trent gets two while Jericho questions if Chuck and Trent are ACTUALLY best friends? Well, yes. Nick fights off both Friends and moonsaults onto Trent outside, but that misses and Trent spears him out there. Back in, Trent hits the Yes Knee and Chuck gets two off that. Trent with a running knee into the corner for two. Jericho, by the way, is NEVER going to be on Being the Elite! People being all creative and making jokes and stuff, makes him SICK. Chuck whips Nick into the corner for two while Jericho clarifies that “I’ve got the pencil around here, if you know what I’m saying.” Trent teases a piledriver on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, but Nick reverses to a german suplex and makes the hot tag to Matt. DDT for Chuck and he sets up for a tombstone on Trent, but that’s reversed, so he comes off the top with a stunner on Trent for two instead. Locomotion northern lights suplexes, but Trent counters to a tornado DDT when they make it to the corner, and it’s back to Chuck. Chuck and Nick slug it out and Nick runs wild with kicks in the corner, but runs into a spinebuster from Chucky. And it’s time for BEST FRIENDS HUG, but they go for Strong Zero and Matt reverses to a rollup for two. Matt pulls Trent out on the apron and Nick hits him with a senton to the floor in a creative spot, and back in for a 450 from Nick that gets two. They set up for the Meltzer, but Hangman Page grabs Nick’s foot and Trent rolls up Matt for the pin at 10:00. Page seems pretty broken up about this, but we don’t get an explanation yet and he just walks off sadly. ***
Tag Team Gauntlet finals: FTR v. Best Friends
They start during the break and we return with FTR having jumped the Friends and further injured the knee of Chuck Taylor after he tweaked it against the Bucks. Chuck cradles Dax for two, but FTR hits the knee again and then Tully takes the ref while Cash gets rid of Trent from the apron. They messed up the timing there, as the ref was yelling at Tully before he was even doing anything, and stood there watching Chuck pinning Dax while not counting. FTR double-teams the knee in the corner, and Dax puts him in a kneebar and taps him out to win the title shot at 4:47. Well that was right to the point. I was pretty underwhelmed by the whole deal, to be honest. *1/2
Meanwhile, Darby Allin apparently saw someone else jumping off a bridge and decided to try it himself.
Lance Archer v. Sean Maluta
Maluta Is apparently another member of the Anoia family but that probably won’t help him here. Archer beats up some geek at ringside on the way to the ring and throws Maluta around, but Maluta tries to fight back and Archer stands there laughing at him. Archer hits him with a bunch of running elbows in the corner, then hits a GIANT chokeslam for two. To the top, and he brings Maluta down with the Blackout, and then slams his head into the mat a bunch of times and pins him at 2:55. Well that dude just get squashed.
After the break, Jake interviews his man about the upcoming Casino Battle Royale at All Out, but they get interrupted by Taz and his crew. Jake calls them “The Flintstones” and tells them to wear chicken suits to the match because they’re gonna get PLUCKED. Cage and Archer would be a pretty fun hoss fight, actually. But while they squabble, Darby Allin skates down to the ring and knocks Ricky Starks right out of his shoes before they brawl to the back.
Meanwhile, MJF now needs a walker to get to the ring because he’s in such pain, but he still has time to berate his employees.
Meanwhile, we get NWA Powerrr footage as we get a video package on Thunder Rosa. If Corgan is lending out champions they gotta get Aldis on TV here soon.
MJF joins us for the contract signing with Moxley, who gets a gigantic reaction from the socially distanced crowd. MJF lampshades the usual contract signing angles by noting that “10 times out of 10” they end in physicality but that’s not gonna happen here. Because he’s not an animal. So Moxley should practice social distancing, kind of like Jon’s hairline. MJF promises that he’s gonna take “crazy Jon Moxley” apart like a brain surgeon and he’s not gonna fall for Moxley’s plan and leave the ring. Because Moxley grew up watching Sandman, New Jack, Onita and other “hot garbage” like that. Meanwhile, he studied Buddy Rogers and Tully Blanchard. So maybe if he’s not man enough to win without the Paradigm Shift, he should go home and “tell his hot little wife” that MJF is single. Mox gets all fired up and MJF’s lawyer threatens to sue for a variety of reasons, but Moxley clarifies that he’s actually excited by the idea of not using the finisher, because that just makes him get creative and think of new limbs to break. So he signs it and the heels freak out because Moxley is such an idiot, but Jon reveals that he added a match with the lawyer next week. Thankfully, the table was not broken at the end, and this was a tremendously entertaining interview.
Meanwhile, Santana & Ortiz apologize for NOTHING.
The Lucha Bros & The Butcher & The Blade v. Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela & Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.
Griff quickly runs wild on Blade with an elbow in the corner, but things break loose and the Luchas hit everyone with dives. They double-team Griff on the floor, and back in Sonny Kiss gets some shine with a rana on Blade and the handspring slap. He does the back bridge too many times, however, and Blade tries to suplex him, but Janela comes in for the double-team on Blade. Joey misses a blind charge and the heels clear the ring and we take a break. Back with Janela fighting back and making the hot tag to Kiss, who hits Fenix with the axe kick. But then Sonny goes up and splats and Fenix tries the ropewalk, only to have Janela trip him up and hit a death valley driver on the apron. But then Pentagon hits Joey with a package piledriver on the apron to get rid of him. Over to Pillman, but the heels quickly double-team him and finish him with the package piledriver at 8:00. The babyfaces got a ton of offense here and obviously they like all four guys. **1/2 Obviously Pillman was doing the job because he’s still MLW, but they gotta get him out of that deal and put him on TV every week. And then Eddie Kingston enters his whole stable into the Casino Battle Royale at the PPV.
The Dark Order joins us with a coffin for Cody’s funeral, and Stu Grayson is so happy that he bought TWO lawnmowers! So they reveal 10 in the coffin, complete with neck tattoo, and Mr. Brodie Lee summons Tony over for his victory promo. The open challenge is OVER. No more TV time for all the little indie wrestlers. The Dark Order chants “You Deserve It” so he tells them to shut up and introduces Anna Jay as “99”, then slaps John Silver around for being too excited. But then Dustin and QT storm the ring and attack, and that goes badly for them. Next up Scorpio Sky tries it, but Anna distracts him and Brodie lays him out and leaves. But then Matt Cardona finally comes out and helps save the day as they chase the Dark Order geeks away.
Meanwhile, The Young Bucks want to know what the hell is up with Page, and call him nothing but a DRUNK and then kick him out of the Elite.
Big Swole v. Penelope Ford, Rebel & Dr. Britt Baker
Baker is still in a wheelchair so she’s just cheerleading tonight. Ford attacks Swole and rolls her up for two, but Swole gets a pretty vicious headbutt, so Ford takes her to the corner for the handspring elbow. Rebel decides to go to the top rope, but she’s too scared, so Swole brings her down with a rana and then goes to beat up Kip Sabian outside. Ford lays out Swole from behind and brings her back in, and Rebel actually hits the moonsault and gets two. Britt gives Rebel a crutch to use as a weapon, but of course that misses and Swole pins Penelope at 3:00. So Swole finally gets Britt at the PPV. They’ve gotta stop putting Rebel in the ring. This was really bad. DUD
Next week: Chris Jericho v. Joey Janela! Young Bucks & Jurassic Express v. Private Party & SCU!
The Dark Order stops by ringside and recruits Taya Conte.
Tables match: Sammy Guevara v. Matt Hardy
Matt storms the ring and chokes out Sammy, but Sammy tries a tornado DDT and they fight to the floor off that. We take a break and return with Matt trying an elbow off the apron and putting himself through a table, but that doesn’t count because you have to put your opponent through. Sammy is a bloody mess somehow and they head back into the ring, where Matt gives him a Twist of Fate using a chair and we are rapidly running out of TV time. So Matt finds a specially painted “DELETED” table under the ring and sets up in the ring, with the chair set up underneath it, but Matt is unable to get to the top rope, and Sammy suplexes him through the table to win at 5:45. Felt like most of this one took place during the break. *1/2 And then Orange Cassidy bursts through the back of the set and attacks Jericho for a pull-apart brawl to end the show as we build to the MIMOSA MASSACRE!
Couple of notable things happened this week, but once again the live shows from Daily’s Place feel like the crowd is dead and it’s only when they pre-tape and sweeten the audio that they really seem to take off. This was an OK show, with a really good MJF-Moxley contract signing angle that showed how over both guys are, but everything felt a little lacking tonight. Also they’re nuts if they’re gonna turn Hangman heel, even though him and FTR would be a pretty badass unit.