The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.28.21
Well this next month is gonna suck. Can they just move to TBS a year early?
Speaking of sucking, the newest version of Word now bugs you to save your document after a few minutes if you choose to fly by the seat of your pants and work without saving until you’re finished writing it, like I tend to do. And it won’t leave you alone until you actually tell it that, no, you don’t want to save, and manually dismiss the dialogue box yourself. What if I don’t KNOW what to call my document 100 words into it, HUH? Maybe I don’t want to be tied down to that kind of commitment, OK? LEAVE ME ALONE, MOM! And yeah, I’m sure there’s some setting I can find by digging into the Options menu 17 levels deep, but maybe they could just leave shit alone since I’m paying $100 a year in theory for the program even though I get it free through work because of Microsoft training programs. BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT. Actually I think I kind of lost the point a bit. Whatever, it’s late.
LIVE from Jacksonville, FL and HOLY CRAP we have a crowd again. Well now we’ll start to find out what’s working and what’s not for real.
Your hosts are JR, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
Darby Allin v. Cesar Bononi
Darby goes for the arm but takes a few shots in the ribs and goes down while the crowd cheers him on LOUDLY. Bononi works the ribs in the corner and then slams him across the ring and onto the ramp, and then back into the ring for two. Cesar tries an inverted DDT, but Darby flips up into a sleeper and Bononi fights out of that. Darby fights back with a stunner out of the corner and a dropkick to set up the Coffin Drop at 4:20. Just a basic Darby match to pop the crowd. **1/4 Afterwards, Darby calls out Page and Sky because he doesn’t want to get jumped from behind, but they’re not “coming down in their fancies and fighting for free”. But then Bononi’s crew of jobbers attacks instead, and Page & Sky in fact break their word and attack, until the Dark Order makes the save and gets a big babyface pop for it.
Weigh-In: Anthony Ogogo v. Cody Rhodes
Paul Wight is your special host for this, and he promises NO SHENANIGANS. Oh, Paul, don’t make promises that your booker can’t keep. Cody brings his whole crew of students and hangers-on with him and then he strips down and weighs in at 218 while Wight struggles with the scale (“I couldn’t afford a digital scale, this was the best I could do”) and Ogogo is 219, so QT explains to the idiots in the crowd that this clearly means Ogogo is going to win. And they pose at each other and leave. Well that was a whole lot of nothing.
Meanwhile, we take a special look at last year’s Stadium Stampede and get predictions from various people.
Meanwhile, Christian Cage and Powerhouse Hobbs get into a brawl backstage until various officials break it up.
Hangman Page v. Joey Janela
Page grabs a headlock to start and controls with that, but Janela offers a handshake in the corner and then chops him instead. So Page fires back with his own and Joey goes flying into the corner, and Hangman gets a snap suplex for two. Page tosses him and tries a pescado, but Janela dodges him and does his own dive. Page catches him and gets the fallaway slam on the floor, and back in for two. Janela fights back, but Page hits him with a forearm and we take a break. Back with Janela and Page slugging it out on the apron, and Hangman hits a springboard clothesline and follows with that pescado from earlier. Back in, Janela escapes the lariat but walks into a spinebuster and Page gets two. Janela reverses the Deadeye into a rollup for two, but Page puts him down with a big boot before Janela suplexes him into the corner, mostly missing. Joey goes up with the flying elbow for two off that. Page comes back with a powerbomb, however, and kills him dead with the buckshot lariat at 9:44 and a face full of blood. Not sure where he busted open his head but that looked nasty. Fun match! *** Team Taz comes out for the showdown, but Page wonders if Brian Cage’s balls have shriveled up inside of his body yet and he’s smart enough not to turn his back this time.
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley want to win the belts from “Rod and Todd Flanders”.
PAC interrupts a Tony Schiavone interview segment and calls out Kenny Omega, and Kenny indeed tries a sneak attack with the Good Brothers, but the Lucha Brothers chase off the Brothers. Kenny tries a One Winged Angel on Pac, but Orange Cassidy interrupts and presents his shredded document, and then hits Omega with an Orange Punch and poses with the belt to set up the title match on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Jade Cargill finally chooses Mark Sterling as her representation, and Matt Hardy is not happy about it. But Sterling only gets paid when she wins, whereas Matt Hardy wanted 30% up front.
Jade Cargill v. Kilynn King
At 11-3, shouldn’t King be in line for a title shot now? They fight over a knucklelock to start and Jade boots her down and then blocks a crossbody and slams her. We take a break and return with Jade beating her up some more and hitting the Jaded slam for the pin at 5:39. Most of the match happened during the break so there’s not much to rate here.
Meanwhile, Lance Archer wants to make sure Miro retains his title tonight so that he can win it on Sunday.
TNT title: Miro v. Dante Martin
The sympathetic crowd chants “Miro’s gonna kill you” and then Miro obliges and beats the hell out of Dante in the corner. Miro drops him with a suplex and kicks him in the back, and then trolls the crowd who are chanting “one more time” by denying them. Dante fights back and throws kicks from the apron and moonsaults in for two. Miro tosses him to the ramp, but Dante lands on his feet and comes in with a dropkick for one. Miro has had enough and hits Dante with a brainbuster, superkick, and it’s GAME OVER at 2:55. And then Jake Roberts, fresh off lying all over Dark Side of the Ring, interrupts the celebration and brings out Lance Archer, telling Miro to shut the fuck up, and they get into a brawl before refs pull them apart.
Hikaru Shida joins us in the ring to celebrate her one year anniversary as champion, and Tony presents her with a newer, golder, and most importantly BIGGER World title belt just in time for her to lose it on Sunday. Britt Baker interrupts and promises to be the face of a new era of DMD instead of 316.
Evil Uno & Stu Grayson v. Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page
Uno and Sky trade wristlocks to start and then Stu comes in and runs to the corner for a surprise DDT on Page on the apron. They take Page to the corner and double-team him with a sideslam/elbow combo, and Page bails to the apron and calls time. Grayson hits a dive and tries a springboard, but Sky trips him up and comes back in with a cutter as we take a break. Back with Stu and Sky slugging it out, but Grayson hits a uranage and backflip kick and makes the hot tag to Uno. Rana on Page and he bites Sky to set up a flatliner, and then suplexes Page into Sky in the corner with some MK flair. Stu with a 450 on Page for two off that. They set up the Fatality, but Scorpio makes the save and takes Grayson down with a heel hook while Page finishes Uno with the Razor’s edge at 8:41. Great showing from the Dark Order here. *** Darby Allin brings out an army of geeks in Sting masks and the heels fight them off, but then one of them turns out to be Sting and he no-sells them and chases them off. I bet Tony thought they were all Sting.
Eric Bischoff hosts a celebration of the Inner Circle, 25 years to the day after introducing the nWo to Nitro. And man, that crowd has been waiting a LONG time to be able to finally sing “Judas” and Jericho seems so happy to hear it. So Eric shows off a greatest hits video and all the Circle members do fired up babyface promos (with Santana again being a hidden gem at it) and Jericho talks about how they’re bad motherfu (“Shut your mouth, Chris!”) and how it’s like being 1987 Guns N Roses when they’re together. But then MJF appears on the video wall with a beaten Dean Malenko chained to the goalpost in the stadium, and of course IT’S A TRAP as the Pinnacle attacks and we end up with Santana and Ortiz getting piledriven off the stands and through a pair of tables for the go-home angle.
Hot take: This show is SO MUCH BETTER with a crowd. Setting aside my feelings on Florida and crowds being allowed again at this point, this was a hot, entertaining show even without any particular feature segments or great matches, and it flew by and did the work in setting up the PPV. Big thumbs up this week.