The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 10.16.21
Two straight nights of AEW! It’s a Festivus miracle! Actually I almost had forgotten about this show because I was kind of struggling this evening to decide what I wanted to review tonight and then remembered it was on.
Live from Miami, FL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Excalibur & Jim Ross
CM Punk joins us to start, and it seems like “Cult of Personality” is all over rock radio again these days. Apparently he’s joining the announce team tonight.
Malakai Black v. Dante Martin
Lio Rush is now in Dante’s corner, or as Punk dubs him, “Bitcoin Barry”. Black takes Dante down with armdrags to start, but Dante flips out of it and dropkicks Black, only to walk into an elbow. Black misses a charge, but Dante tries a springboard and Black catches him for a powerbomb and takes him down with a half crab. Dante fights back, but Black hits him with a pair of kneecrushers and takes him down with a kneebar as the asshole Miami fans chant at Dante to tap. Dante tries to do another springboard, but that doesn’t work either, so he rolls up Black for two and then manages to hit a reverse rana. Black bails to the ramp and Dante hits him with a springboard dive out there and then back in for a missed moonsault. Black goes with the strikes, but Dante hits him with an enzuigiri, so Black drops him with a flying knee and a german suplex for two. Black takes him to the top rope, but Dante takes him down with a rana from the top rope and both guys are hurt from that. Dante gets his double jump moonsault and he’s way off on that one but Black is nice enough to sell it anyway and that gets two. But the knee is hurt, and Black snaps him into the half-crab and is unable to hold onto it due to his own injury. Dante tries another springboard, misses again, and Black Mass finishes him at 9:40 as Lio Rush is very disappointed in his new protégé. Dante looked pretty sloppy here but that kind of played into the story told of the match, where he tried all his flippy moves and kept missing them, allowing Black to pick him apart. ***
Meanwhile, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus are doing an interview with Tony, but the Elite storm the area and destroy them, powerbombing Luchasaurus through a table. Punk accuses them of wearing “fake J’s”. Them’s fighting words!
The Inner Circle joins us in the ring, and before we can even get a promo out of Santana, American Top Team interrupts. Dan Lambert wonders if there’s any other members of “The Inner Circle Jerk” because sometimes they need a fresh hand to change things up. That’s pretty clever for a dick joke. Jericho wants to know if Paige uses a “bitch” filter on her Instagram photos, and demands a 10 man tag match, but Lambert wants none of that unless Sammy agrees to their terms. Which he’ll reveal next week, because he’s sick of Miami. This was mostly a time-filler segment for this feud.
AAA tag team titles: The Lucha Bros v. Andrade’s Close Personal Friends, Los Super Ranas
Excalibur has never seen these particular luchadors compete in Mexico, although Punk thinks they look pretty familiar for some reason. In fact Punk is pretty sure it’s just FTR in silly green suits. “Does that fool you, Tony? Are you unsure of who that is?” Well given Tony’s history with Sting, I wouldn’t be shocked. The first mysterious green luchador goes for Fenix’s mask, but the Lucha Bros quickly rip off FTR’s masks to solve that Scooby Doo-level mystery. Punk’s detective work is impeccable here: “They didn’t do any flips.” And we take a break as the announcers laugh about how a chunk of the crowd was actually shocked at the reveal. “Well, they do sell alcohol here.” FTR double-teams Fenix in their corner and Cash works on the arm while Punk discusses the downside of working in a bodysuit instead of their usual gear. Dax and Fenix trade chops and FTR hits him with a double suplex onto the top rope, but Fenix springboards off Penta’s shoulders with a double dropkick on FTR back into the ring. They double-team FTR with the diving dropkick to the perineums of the heels, and that gets a double two count. FTR gets dumped and the Luchas hit them with double dives. Back in, they set up the piledriver on Dax, but Cash pulls out Penta and sends him into the table. Dax rolls up Fenix for two and grabs the tights, but Fenix comes back with the rebound kick, which draws Senor Tully into the ring to run interference. That allows Dax to hit Fenix with the AAA title and the brainbuster wins the AAA tag titles for FTR at 8:21. Guess they’re gonna have to learn to speak Spanish. ***1/4 This started out super wacky and then just got more and more awesome as it went.
Meanwhile, Lio Rush talks about how Dante failed tonight, but it’s about growing and money, and that’s why Lio is Dante’s new tag team partner. Dante appears to be unaware of that information.
Meanwhile, FTR flees to the parking lot, and Andrade pays off MJF for their services. “Do you want cheque, or cash?” “Um, BOTH.”
Wheeler Yuta v. Jon Moxley
Jon charges in and hits Yuta with a drop suplex and Paradigm Shift at 0:48. Well that’s a thing that happened.
Meanwhile, Serena Deeb is going full evil, but she gets attacked by who I assume is Hikaru Shida, because it was actually kind of hard to tell.
The Young Bucks & Adam Cole (Bay Bay) v. Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds & John Silver
They quickly triple-team Silver on the ramp, but he escapes a powerbomb with a rana and Alex hits the Bucks with a flying bodypress. Into the ring, the Dark Order triple-teams Nick with clotheslines in the corner and they triple-dropkick Cole to chase him out of the ring. Silver throws Nick around and then suddenly runs wild on the Elite outside the ring before walking into a shot from Matt Jackson. Alex also tries cleaning house, but he dives and Adam Cole superkicks him in mid-air to stop that. Back in the ring, the Bucks double-team Silver with a double dropkick for two. Cole comes in to congratulate himself a bit and we take a break as Nick continues beating on Silver and working on the arm. Matt comes in with a double stomp to the elbow and cuts off a comeback with a thumb to the eye and the Bucks stomp him down in the corner. Cole with a suplex for two. Silver fights back on Matt with kicks, but can’t get a suplex going. So Nick comes in and calls for a brainbuster, but Silver suplexes both Bucks and makes the hot tag to Uno. He blocks a superkick from Nick and steals the shoe, then also steals the sock and channels Mick Foley to a big pop. The Bucks break up that party and then try the SuperCliq spot, but Silver and Reynolds kiss Cole instead and he’s HORRIFIED in a funny spot. Dark Order cleans house and triple-teams Cole into Uno’s finisher, but the Bucks make the save. Bucks dump Silver and Uno and Nick dives onto them, leaving Cole and Reynolds to trade kicks. Reynolds loses that, but he rolls up Cole for two. But then the Bucks join the SUPERKICK PARTY and the Panana Sunrise and BTE Trigger finish him at 10:45. This would be our weekly “party match”. *** But then Jungle Boy hits the ring and goes after Cole, settling for beating on Cutler with a chair instead.
Meanwhile, Cody Rhodes goes back to basics with Arn Anderson, doing some training with the Nightmare Family as they all take out their frustrations on him. But Arn tries to motivate him further by focusing him on Malakai Black. This has gotta be setting up Arn to turn on him. He literally warned him by showing Cody a picture of himself turning on Dusty.
MJF joins us to insult Miami and issues an open challenge to Darby Allin, who isn’t here tonight. So he orders Wardlow to haul a ref to the ring and demands a countout victory over Darby. But then at 9, the lights go out and Sting hits the ring. Whew, dodged a screwjob finish there. So MJF throws Wardlow under the bus and runs away, leaving him to take a bat from Sting.
Meanwhile, Tony chats with Anna Jay, but Dr. Britt Baker DMD interrupts and points out the Dark Order are losers. “They literally just lost!” This of course triggers a catfight.
Kiera Hogan v. Penelope Ford
Punk asks the question we’ve all been wondering: Is Kiera Hogan related to Ben Hogan the golfer or Paul Hogan the actor? Coincidentally, I’m watching on Fite from Austria tonight! Ford misses a running boot and Kiera (no relation) takes her down with a neckbreaker for two. Ford clotheslines her on the ropes as we take a break, and sadly I have to keep watching on Fite because this match is pretty questionable thus far. They fight on the floor and Ford chokes her out on the railing while the announcers wonder where Ford is storing the brass knuckles. Punk: “It’s in a pocket. If you know what I mean.” They all agree to just let that one go. Back in, Ford chokes her out on the ropes and adds a snap suplex while JR reminisces about refereeing in the early 70s. I was busy being born in the early 70s. Ford goes up and Hogan brings her down as we return from the break, and Hogan gets a superplex. They slug it out and Kiera makes a comeback, but Penelope gets a neckbreaker and then Hogan gets her own for two. What is going on with this match? They’re all over the place. Ford with a handspring into a cutter and the Mutalock finishes at 7:40. * And then Ruby Soho hits the ring for some revenge, but Bunny saves.
Meanwhile, Miro is unable to go home to his hot wife, having displeased his vengeful god. He was given a body of granite and a neck of sand! WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? So he’s going to be TNT champion again, or GOD IS GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM FROM HIM. I’ve got Miro at -150 in that battle if we’re taking bets.
Hangman Page joins Tony in the ring to discuss the various definitions of “cowboy shit”, like getting his confidence back and taking time off to spend with his newborn child.
Bobby Fish v. Bryan Danielson
They fight for the lockup to start and Fish beats on him with knees and then takes him down and pounds him with kicks for two. Bryan ties him up on the mat and reminds the ref that he HAS UNTIL FIVE, but Fish takes him into the corner to escape. Bryan flips over him in the corner, but Fish counters the running clothesline with a high kick for two. Bryan dumps him and follows with a dive while Punk stumbles over calling him “Daniel Bryan” by accident. Uh oh, call the lawyers. Bryan sends him into the post, but misses a kick and hits the post instead as we take a break. Bryan beats the count at 9 and Fish works the leg while telling off the front row. Back in, Fish works him over in the corner and gets a running knee, then beats him down further. Bobby kicks out the leg and a sliding lariat gets two. Bobby with a half crab, but Bryan reverses to an anklelock and a german suplex to follow. Bryan makes the comeback, but Fish kicks out his leg some more. So Bryan dragon-screws the knee and wraps it around the post a few times. Back in, he takes out the knee again, but Fish catches a kick and drops him on his head with a suplex for two. They fight to the top and slug it out, where Fish brings him down with a falcon arrow for two, into a kneebar in a slick transition. So they trade shots to the face from there and Bryan wins that one before going to his own heel hook, which finishes at 12:45. The finish was kind of out of nowhere but that’s the point with using real submission moves in these matches. These were two professional wrestlers wrestling professionally. ***1/4
Nothing blowaway this week as the show was mostly about keeping time while they’re transplanted to Saturday. It was mostly fine and fun but felt inessential overall.