The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 06.30.21
Live from Jacksonville, FL, one last time, with a full house again.
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho & Excalibur. Remember, JR, you’re hosting AEW Dynamite. That’s AEW. Not WWE.
The Young Bucks v. Eddie Kingston & Penta
Nick and Matt have now crossed into the Boogie Nights era of douchebag cred, sporting porn star mustaches to go with their awful fake tans and hair. Eddie quickly backslides Matt for two and gets a Gedo clutch for two, and we get a missile dropkick from Penta onto Matt’s crotch for two. So apparently they’re coming back to Jacksonville on August 4, which somewhat lessens the impact of this being the last show before they hit the road. Penta gets caught in the Buck corner and double-teamed by Leif and Marty, and they stop to thrust their hips suggestively before Matt gets two on Penta. Penta slides to the floor and catches Matt with a backbreaker out there, and then back in with a high cross on Nick to set up the hot tag to Eddie. Fisherman’s suplex on Nick gets two. Eddie takes out Matt on the floor with a suplex while Matt does a sarcastic sell to the camera, but Nick hits Kingston with a shot from the apron and the Bucks double-splash him to take over again. Back in, Nick gets two from all that. Nick puts the boots to him and gives us a little Macho Man as Jericho warns us that Lanny Poffo might show up and knock them all out. He’s CRAZY! Matt with the chinlock and they put the boots to Eddie, but that just pisses him off and he fires back with chops until the Bucks lay him out again. Kingston fights back again and tosses Matt while Nick tries to go to the top, and Eddie follows him up and smashes him with headbutts to set up the superplex and hot tag Penta. He runs wild with kicks and hits Matt with a tornado DDT, then sling blades Nick to get rid of him and a Code Red on Matt gets two. Penta keeps going and tries the piledriver, but Nick flies in with a rana and he’s still disrespecting the Macho Man. I hope someone drops a big elbow on his stupid mustache. But then Kingston and Penta double-team him with a german suplex and backstabber combo for two before Matt fights to the ramp with Eddie. Penta slugs it out with Nick and hits him with a superkick, then blocks Nick’s version before Nick hits him with a low blow with Rick Knox suspiciously looking the other way. The evidence is actually piling up over the past few months. Double team piledriver from the Bucks gets two. Kingston fights back again as The Two Yayhoos from Impact join us at ringside, but Cutler accidentally sprays Matt in the face and Kazarian cleans house on the outside. Penta dives onto everyone for good measure, and back in for the Penta Driver and backfist from Kingston to finish at 13:54, thus making them the #1 contenders. This was a hell of a deal to open the show with a chaotic finish and I imagine the actual title match will be even better. ****1/4
Meanwhile, Christian gives some advice to Jungle Boy about learning from losses. Well he’s the expert. Luchasaurus stops by and assures Cage that he’s got his back now too, because dinosaurs are very loyal. “Hey, you know I’m almost a quarter cosmocertatops on my mother’s side!” notes Christian. Yeah, Christian also knows about being a dinosaur. Man, someone is turning on someone here at some point.
The Men of the Year join Tony in the ring as Ethan Page is really drawing some quality heat now as a dickhead heel, and now he’s moving past beating Darby and his new goal is to cripple Darby. Man, if Darby hasn’t done that by himself yet, I don’t like HIS chances. So he promises to lock Darby in the coffin, but Sting shows up with the coffin, with Darby inside for the attack as he claws at Ethan’s eyes for a rather personal attack. So Ethan calls off the match for next week and changes it to Fyter Fest instead.
Chris Jericho shills his new book, which surprisingly no one sent me for review. Usually that stuff just shows up in my mailbox from PR companies.
Jungle Boy v. Jack Evans
Evans takes him down with a headscissors to start, but JB flips into a headlock and takes him down for two. They trade takedowns and Jungle Boy goes for the Snare Trap, but Evans makes the ropes. Jungle Boy misses a dropkick and Evans hits him with a kick into the corner, but JB comes back with a springboard wristlock and we take a break. Back with Evans to the top, but Jungle Boy flips out of a german suplex attempt and dropkicks him in the Tree of Woe, and then the Snare Trap finishes at 6:05. Most of the match was during the break but it was fine. ** Matt Hardy and his crew hit the ring, but Christian and the Jurassic Express save.
Meanwhile, MJF thinks that Jericho needs to just call it quits and admit when he’s been beaten by the better man, but he’s too dumb to quit. So next week, MJF lays out the stipulations required for Jericho to get one last match with him. And also, once he beats Sammy tonight, Sammy is going to have to go to his vlog and tell all his “Sammy simps” who the better man is.
Meanwhile, Andrade is going to make an example of Matt Sydal next week in Miami, although he can’t remember Matt’s last name.
Kenny Omega joins Tony in the ring with his own terrible facial hair, and he puts over the effort from Jungle Boy, but now he has no one left to challenge him for the title and thus he’s taking some time off and defending his other belts elsewhere. So this brings out the Dark Order to dispute the lack of challengers and Omega laughs off the idea of 5 getting a shot. But Uno has someone else in mind, although Kenny doesn’t think that person has the guts to face him. And no one else comes out, so maybe he’s right? Now is the time where they really make fans want to see it before delivering it, but they better pull the trigger now when it happens.
Brian Pillman Jr is pretty sure Miro is just a bully and a big Bulgarian bitch. That’s not gonna go well for him.
TNT title: Miro v. Brian Pillman Jr.
Pillman attacks to start and Miro tosses him out of the corner and then puts the boots to him. He follows with a suplex as Jericho clarifies that Miro lives in “Bulgaria-town” in Nashville. That’s a pretty specific part of the city. Miro sends Pillman to the floor as we take a break, and return with Brian hitting the springboard dropkick off the apron and a baseball slide to follow. “I know that move!” yells Jericho. They fight on the floor and Pillman comes in with Air Pillman for two and headfakes him into a superkick. Miro actually sells big, but then lays out Pillman with a roundhouse kick and puts out his lights with GAME OVER at 7:35. Good effort from Pillman but he was facing God’s Favorite Wrestler. **1/4
Meanwhile, Hangman Page yells at the Dark Order for challenging Kenny on his behalf, but they call him on his shit and insist that they still believe in him. I hate it when that happens.
Meanwhile, Taz is going through some stuff, and we appear to be down to Hook and Hobbs left, so on July 14 it’s Brian Cage v. Ricky Starks for the FTW title in order to figure their shit out.
Nyla Rose & Vickie Guerrero v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Rebel
Vickie gets in Rebel’s face to start and Britt lays her out, so Nyla beats on Rebel and hits a splash. Britt declines to tag in, which kind of ends any illusion about her being a babyface now, and Nyla keeps going with a legdrop on Rebel. So Vickie comes in and we take a break and return with more punishment from Nyla. Finally Britt gets a blind tag and hits Rose with a sling blade and loads up the glove, but Nyla chokeslams her and hits the guillotine knee for two. Vickie sends Nyla to the top to finish, but Britt shoves Vickie into Nyla and knocks her to the floor in a scary bump off the apron, and the Lockjaw finishes Vickie at 7:16. Well that was kind of an unexpected ending. And then Nyla powerbombs Britt through a table to get her heat back. None of this really worked for me, as it wasn’t horrible enough to be an entertaining trainwreck and just ended up being a 50/50 deal with no real idea who we’re supposed to be cheering for. *
Meanwhile, Hager, Santana and Ortiz cut a promo on FTR and Wardlow ahead of next week’s six-man match.
MJF v. Sammy Guevara
As expected, Sammy is over as a gigantic babyface here, although it’s funny that he’s introduced as “A Spanish God” and people cheer him unironically. They trade leapfrogs to start and Sammy struts his stuff, so MJF hits him in the throat. Sammy recovers with the GTH, but Maxwell blocks it and they do a pinfall reversal sequence and trade backslides for two and small packages for two before both pop up for the stalemate. Sammy declines a handshake and slugs away in the corner, but the ref pulls them apart and MJF goes to the eyes. Sammy goes up and MJF bails to the floor to escape, goading Sammy into a chase, but Sammy comes in with a springboard cutter for two. MJF sweeps the leg on the apron and sends Sammy into the railing to take over, and we take a break. Back with MJF putting the boots to him, but Sammy backdrops him on the floor. Back in, Sammy tries a springboard rana and MJF blocks it with a powerbomb for two. MJF takes him to the top, but Sammy brings him down with a Spanish Fly and they’re both down. Sammy comes back with an enzuigiri and takes him to the floor with a Cactus clothesline and then follows with a corkscrew dive, and back in with a destroyer for two. MJF stomps the arm out of the corner, however, and grabs a chair from ringside, which Sammy dropkicks into his face and sends him into the front row. And Sammy is insane so he follows with an incredible somersault dive into the crowd to take MJF out. Back in, Sammy goes up and MJF crotches him and brings him down with a top rope tombstone, which somehow only gets two. MJF seems to blow out his knee on the move, and Tony notes “sometimes he’ll fake an injury because he’s lowlife scum, but I think he’s really hurt for real here.” So MJF tries to pick up Sammy and his knee gives out twice, and Sammy cradles for two on a third try. So MJF just punches him in the knee to even things up, but he tries the Heatseeker and lands on his knee. Sammy rolls him up for two and follows with the GTH for two, but MJF is in the ropes. Sammy goes up to finish, but MJF begs for mercy, and Sammy does the 630 anyway and that gets two. This brings out Shawn Spears, but Jericho goes to stop him, and Wardlow shows up and takes out Chris while Spears gets his chair and lays out Sammy behind the ref’s back. And that gets the pin for MJF at 19:41. Felt like it was time to pull the trigger on Sammy, but I guess they’re going for the bigger match with Jericho. Still, what a bummer of a finish after an incredible match. ****1/4
And we get a video package to celebrate the end of the Covid era in Jacksonville to wrap it up as JR reminds us that there’s nothing like a live WWE Dynamite. Oh JR.
Wait, what was Andrade’s big surprise that he was hyping on Twitter today?
Anyway, fantastic opener and main event and the show flew by, but honestly it’s been two years, MJF can start doing some jobs.