The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 09.22.21
“Dynamite Grand Slam”
LIVE from Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Excalibur & Jim Ross
Kenny Omega v. Bryan Danielson
Getting right to business I see. And the crowd is JACKED and going crazy before they even touch. And then they lock up and the crowd goes even crazier. Omega offers a clean break and then chops him, which will probably prove painful for him later. So Bryan gives him a high kick on the ropes and goes to work on the arm, but Kenny goes to the ropes and Bryan chops him to the floor. Back in, Omega shows off with a roll and gets another chop and they back off. Test of strength and Bryan goes to the wristlock and uses some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION to work on the arm and then beats on him in the corner with chops and kicks as the crowd alternates between “Yes” and “Woo”. Uh oh, WWE is gonna sue the crowd TWICE. Bryan dumps him to the floor and follows with a tope into the railing and then runs Kenny into the post for good measure. Back in, Bryan goes up with the flying knee to the arm and then beats on that further. Kenny chops out of that predicament and chokes him out in the corner. Omega with more chops while Callis gets into a discussion with the front row, but Bryan fights back with his own chops until Omega puts him down with a knee to the gut and then just puts the boots to him. Bryan fights back with more chops, but Omega gets the old thumb to the eyes, but Bryan escapes You Can’t Escape and comes back with the flip out of the corner and clothesline. Corner dropkick and they head to the top, where Bryan brings him down with a rana for two. Kenny snaps off his own rana to put Bryan on the floor, and he follows with the Terminator Dive. Back in, Danielson rolls him up for two and rolls into CATTLE MUTILATION, which we haven’t seen in a hot minute, but Omega quickly makes the ropes. Kenny bails to the ramp and Bryan follows with a flying knee to the face out there, setting up the WWE Intellectual Property Kicks until Kenny fires off a snapdragon onto the ramp. Bryan retreats to the apron, so Kenny charges down the ramp and hits a sick V-Trigger as we take a break. Back with Bryan collapsing in the ring, so Omega gives him a buckle bomb and Bryan goes flailing to the apron off that. Kenny goes up with a missile dropkick to the back, and that gets two. Bryan counters a snapdragon into a rollup for two, but Kenny hits him with an enzuigiri into the corner and follows with another knee to the neck. To the top, but Bryan blocks a top rope snapdragon and gets his own backdrop superplex as both guys are out. Bryan makes the comeback with kicks, but Kenny catches it and slugs him down. So Bryan fires back with his own punches, but Kenny hits him with a knee strike. Bryan catches the V-Trigger, however, and hits a capture suplex for two. Bryan goes up and Kenny cuts him off and brings him down with a dragon suplex for two. This sets up the V-Trigger and Kenny goes to finish, but Bryan turns that into the reverse rana and spikes him. Kenny shakes it off and tries another V-Trigger, but that misses and Bryan kicks him in the head and makes the comeback. Running knee is countered into a powerbomb, and Kenny gets a V-Trigger for two. Kenny goes up and misses the Phoenix Splash, and Bryan comes back with more kicks as they slug it out. Bryan with the stomps into the WWE Intellectual Property Lock, but Kenny makes the ropes right away. Bryan with the running knee in the corner, but Kenny hits his own and they’re both down with time running out. And they beat on each other with headbutts until time expires at 30:00. And the Elite runs out and superkicks Bryan, resulting in the Jurassic Express making the save and chasing them off. Damn, they did 30 minutes of this craziness and they didn’t even scratch the surface of the big reversals and near-falls! ****3/4 Plus they managed to set up the six-man for Rampage as well.
CM Punk joins us and he’s FIRED UP to be back in New York, and although everyone wants to see the angry CM Punk again, he’s happy to be here even though Team Taz put him through a table. But they didn’t finish the job and let him live, and now Hobbs goes to sleep on Rampage. OH YEAH.
MJF v. Brian Pillman Jr.
MJF offers a handshake and gets beat up for his troubles, and Pillman takes him down with armdrags and a backdrop. MJF tries to chop him and gets nowhere, and Pillman gets his own and then suckers MJF by putting his head down and faking MJF out. Finally MJF retreats to the corner and runs Pillman into the turnbuckle to take over. Brian gets a sunset flip for two and a backslide for two, but MJF takes him down with an armbar and we take a break. Back with MJF choking away in the corner, but Pillman gets a crossbody out of the corner and runs him into the turnbuckles before hitting a powerslam for two. MJF bails and hides behind Julia like a real man, and of course that allows him to take Pillman out with a cheapshot. MJF gets into it with Julia and Pillman dropkicks him and back in with Air Pillman, but he lands in the Salt of the Earth armbar and taps. You can tell Pillman is going up the ladder but this wasn’t his time yet. ***1/4
Meanwhile, Jericho and Hager have words for the Men of the Year leading up to Rampage. Also Jericho is going to “bite off Lambert’s nose like Haku in Japan and spit it into the fifth row.” Now that’s a threat.
Cody Rhodes v. Malakai Black
The crowd is decidedly split here, despite Cody’s superhero outfit and hot wife at ringside. They slug it out and Cody wins that one, but Black SWEEPS THE LEG and chases Cody to the floor. This brings Brandi into the ring for a tranquilo battle, although she flips him off so I guess Black wins. Black wraps him up in an Octopus, but Cody dumps him to escape and hits the disaster kick onto the apron, which the crowd BOOS OUT OF THE BUILDING. Cody follows with a dive, but Black kicks him out of the air and we take a break. Back with Black sweeping the leg into a rollup for two, but Cody reverses for two. And then Black just hits him with Black Mass and Cody bumps to the floor like a ragdoll and he’s out. Back in, Black gets two, and the crowd boos Cody getting his foot on the ropes. Cody clips the knee and takes out the leg with a dragon screw through the ropes, and the crowd is UNHAPPY about this. Back in, Cody continues working on the knee and the crowd completely turns on him, but he charges and Black catches him with a slam. Cody tries Crossroads and Black kicks out of it, so Cody hits the Cody Cutter and Crossroads for two. Meanwhile Arn is freaking out and he slips on the apron, allowing Black to run Cody into him and we get some Nightmare Family drama off that. Back in, Cody slugs away in the corner and then hauls off and nails the ref, so Black spews BLACK MIST in his eyes and cradles for the pin at 11:51. Man this ended up being a pretty big disappointment as Cody came across as completely tone deaf to what the crowd wanted to see and the match was kind of a disaster as a result. **
Next week: Miro v. Sammy!
FTR v. Sting & Darby Allin
FTR double-teams Darby in the corner right away, but he slips away and brings in the big gun. So FTR double-teams Sting this time, but he cleans house on them and chases them out of the ring. Stinger Splash on Cash misses, however, and FTR goes to work on him again. Dax drops a leg for one, but he collides with Sting and we get the classic headbutt to the groin spot. Back to Darby and he runs wild with a double springboard senton, but he tries a dive onto the floor and gets caught and run into the apron. We take a break and return with Darby getting worked over in the corner again, but Darby fights them off and makes the hot tag to Sting, and a spinebuster on Dax gets two. FTR tries a spike piledriver, but Sting breaks it up and gets a crossbody on Dax for two. Cash necks Sting and Dax rolls him up for two off that. So then Dax gets cheeky with an Undertaker tribute before trying a tombstone, but Sting reverses out and it’s BONZO GONZO. Double Stinger Splash follows, but Dax wedges a chair in the corner, and Sting sends him into it and rolls him up for two. That was an incredible piece of business with the crowd, as Dax put the chair in the corner while Sting revved up the Stinger Splash, and the crowd was TERRIFIED for him, screaming “No! No!” while he’s getting ready. And then he stopped short, outsmarting the heels, and the crowd was all happy again because the babyface wasn’t a complete idiot. Sting with the Scorpion on Dax, but Cash goes to pull him out, and Darby breaks that up with a coffin drop, leaving Dax to submit at 10:03. Very fun match. ***1/4
AEW Women’s title: Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Ruby Soho
They criss-cross to start and Ruby hits her with a knee and chases her to the floor for support from the flunkies, so Ruby goes up and dives onto them. But Britt catches her from behind and follows with a neckbreaker off the apron and onto the floor as we take a break. Back with Britt hitting her with an elbow, but Ruby gets a backdrop driver, so Britt hits a superkick and they’re both down. They slug it out and Ruby wins that one, but Britt rolls into the Lockjaw and Ruby escapes that. Britt with the sling blade and she prepares the glove, but Ruby picks the ankle and catapults her into the corner. Ruby goes up with a senton for two, but Britt fights out of the corner and hits the neckbreaker and a superkick for two. Britt goes up and Ruby cuts her off, but Britt wraps her up with an Air Raid Crash off the top for two. They head to the floor and Britt throws kicks from the apron, and back in for the curb stomp, which gets two. Ruby rolls her up for two. Riot Kick on Britt and Rebel follows, but Hayter necks Ruby and allows Britt to get the Lockjaw for the win at 12:30. Ruby’s great but Britt should not have been losing the title yet, so this was the right result. ***
Man, this show was NO bullshit, laid out like a PPV and just straight wrestling all the way through. And aside from the Cody disaster it was pretty great and felt suitably epic. Big thumbs up for this one and hopefully Rampage follows suit.