The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.05.21
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are JR, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means…BLOOD & GUTS.
Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa v. Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston
Sadly, Callis announces that Kenny Omega is unable to attend the event tonight, so Nakazawa will be performing alone. And then Omega of course attacks from the crowd anyway and the heels double-team Kingston in the ring while Moxley sells on the floor. Mox comes back and cleans house to send them to the floor, before following with a dive. Back in the ring, they take turns hitting Nak with knees in the corner, but he goes low on Kingston behind the ref’s back and chokes him out with the lanyard. They work Kingston over in the corner and Kenny hits the Kotoro Krusher for two, but he throws chops and Kingston no-sells them and hits his own until Kenny puts him down with an enzuigiri. Kingston fights him off and makes the hot tag to Moxley, who cuts off a fired up Nakazawa with a german suplex and piledriver for two. Moxley chokes out Nakazawa while Omega decides to walk out on the match, so they finish Nak off with a lariat and suplex combo at 7:57. Not much to this one. **1/4 The celebration is cut off by the Good Brothers and Young Bucks (“He’s dressed in someone’s shower curtain!”) for yet another Elite beatdown on the babyfaces. They REALLY REALLY REALLY need to actually go somewhere with this feud soon.
QT Marshall v. Cody Rhodes
Cody attacks to start and hits a delayed front suplex, but QT uses his own weight belt to take over. Cody gets a sunset flip out of the corner for two and slugs on QT before using a back rake on him. He goes up and QT brings him down with a superplex and follows with a german suplex as Cody retreats to the floor. Arn actually gets into a fight with QT and runs him into the post, and we take a break. Back with Arn banished to the dressing room as they slug it out and the announcers reminisce about all the previous Blood & Guts matches in a weird bit of revisionist history. Copyright law is so weird sometimes. So you can’t own the concept of the double cage submit or surrender match, but you can own the name. Cody misses the disaster kick and QT hits his own version of Crossroads for two. QT tries the Diamond Cutter, but Cody blocks it, so QT buckle bombs him and tries a tombstone instead. And they double-reverse that and Cody winds up with it for two. Crossroads gets two. Cody helps him up, but QT flips him off, so Cody puts him in the figure-four and QT taps at 11:48. Cody, meanwhile, was SMASHED in the eye at some point and is bleeding all over. Ended up a pretty decent match. *** And this brings out Anthony Ogogo for the LIVER PUNCH OF DOOM to put Cody down, and he buries Cody in the Union Jack for good measure. Dammit, the British are trying to invade US soil again, better make sure there’s a well-armed militia.
Meanwhile, Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky talk some shit about Darby and Sting up on a balcony, and this brings Darby charging out for an attack. This goes pretty badly for him and they throw him down the stairs for a sick bump. I’m assuming he was wearing elbow and kneepads under his clothes because otherwise he’s nuts.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Julia Hart
Britt pounds on her and hits the sling blade right away, then follows with an Air Raid Crash and Lockjaw to finish at 1:30.
Meanwhile, Taz breaks down Christian’s sloppy technique using the power of science.
The Varsity Blonds v. Jurassic Express v. SCU v. The Acclaimed
As always, the Acclaimed are delightful, as we learn that in 10 years “The Varsity Blonds will be on Dark Side of the Ring” in a pretty sick burn. Kaz rolls up Jungle Boy for two, but JB gets a backslide for two. They trade another pair of near-falls and everyone suddenly brawls as we take a break. Back with Daniels getting double-teamed in the Acclaimed corner, but he fights out with an STO on Bowens and Luchasaurus comes in and chokeslams the Blonds onto each other. He lays out the Acclaimed with the high kicks and JB gets a slam on Bowens for two, but Daniels saves. Pillman comes in with Air Pillman on JB for two, but JB gets a lariat and goes up. Kazarian cuts him off and rolls up Pillman for two, but Pillman gets his own rollup for two. And then SCU cuts him off and hits the Best Meltzer Ever to finish at 9:14. Pretty chaotic and not really much drama to it when they said that SCU had to win or they’d break up, plus they were already #1 contenders as of last week. **
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley has been wondering when Yuji Nagata will just stop getting back up again after getting dropped on his head. And we’ll apparently find out next week.
Meanwhile, Kenny Omega joins Tony Schiavone while Nakazawa carries all his belts. He’s not particularly excited about the Blood & Guts match, but next week Pac faces Orange Cassidy for the #1 contendership and the title shot at Double or Nothing. This brings out Orange, as Kenny mocks him and steals the shades in exchange for his valuable time. That is a WEIRD PPV main event if they go that route. And after ALL of that shit for weeks with Moxley and Kingston and a million beatdowns and bus crashes, it’s just a random #1 contender match between two guys that decides the World title match? And how come Hangman Page plummeted out of the top 5 after one loss last week? That hardly seems fair. And shouldn’t Brian Cage be in line for the title shot, then? This whole thing makes no sense to me.
Miro joins us and he’s got a date with destiny next week when he faces Darby Allin for the TNT title. The man who doesn’t mind dying faces the man who doesn’t mind killing him! That’s a hell of a tagline.
BLOOD & GUTS: MJF, FTR, Wardlow & Shawn Spears v. Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, Jake Hager & Sammy Guevara
The Pinnacle are wearing matching white outfits, while the Inner Circle are in prison gear (compete with Jericho hailing from “Smoky Mountain Penetentiary”) and this crowd is JACKED. Sammy starts with Dax Harwood and dives over the ring to attack before backflipping into a dropkick. Dax cuts him off with a spinebuster, but he goes for a pin and Sammy comes back and runs him into the ringpost camera in a neat spot. They fight onto the top rope and slug it out up there, but Dax goes down and hurts his knee. Sammy runs him into the cage on the apron, and follows with a springboard cutter as Shawn Spears is next in at 4:00. Spears hits Sammy with a Sky High powerbomb and beats on him while Dax is wearing the CRIMSON MASK and Ortiz is in at 5:41 to make the save. He runs the chair into Spears’s throat and tosses it Dax’s head, while Sammy manages to hit a Spanish Fly on Spears while standing on the ropes between the rings. Cash Wheeler is next at 7:37 and he beats on the babyfaces, with FTR hitting a double-team brainbuster on Ortiz to put him down. Cash gets a Gory Special on Ortiz and smashes him into the cage while Spears puts Sammy in a Sharpshooter, but Santana comes in at 9:20 and cleans house as we take a break. Santana gets tossed into the cage in PIP and Ortiz fights off FTR in the corner, and Wardlow is in at 11:35. The Inner Circle all stops to go after him and he smashes them all, but Hager is in at 13:20 and he smashes all the Pinnacle guys in turn. Hager Bomb on Cash and he anklelocks Spears, but that draws the attention of Wardlow for that showdown. They fight to the apron and slug it out against the cage, as MJF is last in for the heels at 15:10. And of course he lets everyone else do the work while yelling at Jericho. Cash is an absolutely bloody mess as Jericho enters the match at 17:00 to begin the Match Beyond portion. So everyone does the West Side Story standoff and then charges in for the brawl, as Jericho reveals that he brought Floyd with him. Spears tries to climb out of the cage and Jericho uses the supports to choke him out, and we take another break. During PIP, Jericho uses Floyd the bat to beat on the Pinnacle while the ring mat gets torn up in the Pinnacle corner of the ring and Spears disassembles the bolt in one of the other corners. FTR try for stereo piledrivers on the exposed wood, but the babyfaces reverse and deliver their own piledrivers on the wood with help from Sammy. They hang Spears in the Tree of Woe and Sammy hits the coast to coast dropkick, while Jericho uses the turnbuckle bolt to lay out MJF. And Santana uses a fork on MJF and you KNOW that you didn’t have to ask him twice to bleed all over. Wardlow actually makes a comeback, slamming through a bunch of Circle guys, but Ortiz just clobbers him with a chair and Hager lays him out with a lariat as we take a third break. Tully manages to unlock the door as MJF escapes the cage and climbs to the roof to recover, while Jericho follows him up and puts him in the Walls of Jericho, but MJF hits him in the nuts to break. MJF comes back with the armbar on top of the cage, but Jericho won’t give up, so MJF smashes the arm into the cage and reapplies it. Still no tap, so he loads up the diamond ring, knocks Jericho out with it, and then threatens to throw Jericho off the top of the cage unless the Circle surrenders. So Sammy gives up at 34:02 to give the Pinnacle the win, and then MJF shoves him off anyway into an obvious crash pad covered with fake looking “steel”. And then they show replays of the bump and the crowd boos it out of the building because it looks so fake. So I really enjoyed all the blood and violence that the WWE versions of the match were lacking, as it felt like there was real stakes and real hatred involved, down to Tony Schiavone calling MJF “a piece of shit” while they were on top of the cage. But the match itself was too long with too many comebacks by the Inner Circle, and the finish was all focused on Chris and MJF with everyone else literally disappearing off screen. They had an amazing buildup, but all the commercials killed the flow for me at times, and then they just couldn’t stick the landing and come up with a great finish here, and it’s too bad. ****
I’d call this is the very definition of a one match show, as literally the entire first hour was filler leading up to the Blood & Guts main event. Whether or not the show worked is entirely dependent on how you felt about that match, I’d guess, but for me the match ended up as a disappointment despite flirting with excellence most of the way.