The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 03.02.22
Yes, Revolution is this weekend, so if you’re ordering it on Fite.TV, follow the link above to send a few bucks my way and help out the blog!
Also, if you need to create a FREE account on Fite.TV, use my link to get $10 in credit towards a PPV as well! https://www.fite.tv/invite/wwkgzk1
I got my Danhausen shirt from ShopAEW today so hopefully I won’t be cursed. I like that you can order the extra-long version for ridiculously tall people like myself, too!
Live from Jacksonville, FL
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
Tony Khan joins us to start for the Big Announcement, which is that he has now BOUGHT RING OF HONOR. And there’s no Shane, just him. What’s a “Shane”? Oh I’m sure we’ll be discussing this one for a while starting tomorrow morning. Anyway, 20 years ago, Bryan Danielson was in the first main event against Christopher Daniels, so they’re having a rematch.
Christopher Daniels v. Bryan Danielson
They trade takedowns to start and Daniels gives him some posing, which probably won’t end well for him. Bryan goes after the arm and wrenches the shoulder into a pinning combo for two, but Daniels puts him on the floor with a leg lariat and follows with the moonsault to the floor. Back in, Daniels tries a bodypress and Danielson kicks him out of the air and puts the boots to him. Danielson drops knees on him to work the back and turns it into a bow and arrow, but Daniels makes the ropes. They trade chops and Daniels catches him with a Blue Thunder bomb and STO. Iconoclasm gets two, but Danielson comes back with a german suplex and goes to Crazy Eyes Land before hitting a running knee in the corner. And then he beats the hell out of Daniels for a superplex, but Daniels fights him off and hits a crossbody, which Danielson rolls through for two. They trade rollups for two and slug it out, with Danielson winning that one with an elbow strike that gets two. He goes up but takes too long and Daniels tries another Iconoclasm, but Danielson fights him off and then blocks a rana attempt. Daniels keeps coming with the BME, but Danielson suckers him into the triangle and puts his lights out at 11:14. Pretty good for a 51 year old guy. ***1/2 And then Danielson notes that they ended matches in ROH with a handshake, he’s not in ROH, so he kicks Daniels’ head in because he just loves violence. And then Moxley is gonna get more of the same at the PPV according to him, which of course brings out Moxley to dispute this. Moxley offers him a chance to take his shot since there’s a million people watching, but Bryan decides to walk away and wait for the PPV.
Meanwhile, Darby Allin and Sting are ready for a TNT title match on Friday. They say it’s a triple threat match but don’t elaborate on who the third person is, but I’m sure Excalibur will run it down later in an excited voice.
Casino Battle Royale: FTR v. Top Flight
Yes, Darius Martin is finally back after getting left in the dust by his brother. Dante and Darius clean house to start and double-team Dax, but The Acclaimed are next in with yet another giant babyface pop. Also “Y’all are less popular than Glen Jacobs’ tweets” is an amazing payoff line. And their rap uses up the entire 90 second period, as the Dark Order are next in with 10 and 5. Dark Order goes after Dante and double-teams him, but not much else going on. Butcher and Blade are next as the ring starts to fill up, and Angels gets hurled to the stage at 5:10. The Varsity Blonds are next as we take a break. Back with the Bears getting thrown out at 9:04 and Santana & Ortiz into the match. Max Caster gets tossed at 9:20. Next up is the Best Friends, and Bowens tosses out Griff at 10:33 to eliminate the Blonds. More Dark Order next with Uno and Grayson, as Stu goes on a rampage right away and 10 boots out the Blade at 11:24. Dark Order triple-teams Butcher and Grayson tosses him out at 11:54. FTR regroups and lays out a bunch of people as the Young Bucks are next and we take another break. Back with the Gunn Club joining the match, but everyone gangs up and gets rid of them at 17:14. Peter Avalon and his glorious hair is also wandering around the ring now. Brock Anderson & Lee Johnson, better known as BROCK-LEE, are next into the match and Brock gets his spinebuster on Bowens, but Bowens regroups and puts 10 out at 18:42. Chucky goes out at 18:50 as well. Peter Avalon and his beautiful hair, plus Nick Nemeth, are out at 19:10. 2point0 are the last team into the match as Stu Grayson is tossed out as well. Matt skins the cat and clotheslines Brock out at 20:19, and Lee Johnson follows him out. Top Flight finally gets rid of Bowens at 20:42. Trent and Uno fight on the apron in a bad idea for all concerned, but DANHAUSEN appears from under the ring and curses Uno, allowing Trent to put him out at 21:50. Uno is evil, but Danhausen is VERY evil. Santana and Ortiz get rid of 2.0 at 22:34, but FTR dumps them in turn and fans don’t like that. Trent is out at 22:45, leaving us with the Bucks, Top Flight and FTR as the contenders. So the Bucks step aside and watch the other two slug it out, and Dante takes Cash out with a rana and both are out at 23:55. Dax tries the slingshot powerbomb on Matt Jackson, but he reverses out and they slug it out on the apron, resulting in a SUPERKICK PARTY to put Dax out at 24:35 with inadvertent help from reDragon. So that leaves Darius alone with the Bucks and he gives it a try, hitting Matt with a Spanish fly, but Cutler saves Nick. Darius throws him out on a second try, leaving Matt, and they do an awesome series of near-eliminations before slugging it out on the apron, but Matt kicks him in the nuts with his Diors and then waves goodbye before finishing him off with the superkick at 27:72 to advance to the tag title match. This was INCREDIBLE compared to last week’s version, non-stop action with real stakes and a hot crowd. ****1/4
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho does a promo on Eddie Kingston in advance of the PPV, but Santana and Ortiz stop by and share a fist bump to apparently mend fences.
CM Punk joins us, and now he’s wondering if HE’S the bad guy. So he doesn’t think that MJF was lying about all that stuff last week, but he does know that “Hurt people hurt people.” Whoa. Deep. So he invites MJF out and talks about he poured alcohol down the throat of an alcoholic (HINT HINT) and dumped the ashes from an urn onto someone. So Punk has decided he’s trying to be the good guy and offers Max a handshake, but MJF goes in for the hug instead and I guess that wraps that storyline up! And then of course, MJF kicks him right in the nuts and lays him out with the Heatseeker before revealing a t-shirt with the famous photo on it, and then lays him out with the ring to set up a beatdown from the Pinnacle. Punk is just gushing blood all over the place while they choke him out with the dog collar, and MJF of course reveals that he was lying about all of it and he’s been the villain all along. Good old fashioned pro wrestling blood and guts here.
Meanwhile, Keith Lee is trying to another promo, but Team Taz interrupts again and gives him a heads up that they’re going to beat him.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Jamie Hayter v. Thunder Rosa & Mercedes Martinez
The babyfaces attack to start and send Hayter to the floor, but Britt manages to fight off Mercedes and elbows her down for two. Hayter comes in and has a power match with Mercedes, and Rosa comes in and puts the boots to Hayter, but Rebel interferes with an amazing camera angle, and the heels take over as we take a break. Back with Mercedes fighting off both heels, but they manage to double-team her into a Britt superkick for two. Another superkick and Britt tries the Lockjaw, but Mercedes escapes and it’s back to Rosa again. She slugs it out with Britt while Rebel and Hayter have a conversation at ringside, and Rosa gets a death valley driver for two. Not sure what their extended discussion was about but normally you’d do that off-camera. Everyone is brawling and Rosa finishes Britt with the Thunder Fire Driver at 8:55. I don’t feel like that helped to build up the PPV match and it wasn’t particularly good, as they were all over the place and the match never really had any kind of flow to it. I’m wondering if Hayter got hurt at some point and the match got all messed up as a result? **
Meanwhile, Kris Statlander and Leyla Hirsch do more promos on each other. I thought we were done with that one, actually.
Wardlow v. Cezar Bononi
And it’s another immediate powerbomb symphony at 0:45. Spears brings his chair in, but Wardlow puts a stop to that and stares him down. Feels like this show is losing momentum after the awesome tag team battle royale that no one could follow.
And they’re putting Hook on the PRE-SHOW? How is anyone supposed to follow THAT?
Meanwhile, the House of Black does another spooky promo.
Meanwhile, MJF has great news for Wardlow: If he wins the TNT title, he can keep the title. Wardlow smarts off to him in response, so Max smacks him and again threatens to put Wardlow out on the street.
Hangman Page, John Silver & Alex Reynolds v. Adam Cole & reDRagon
The Dark Order are matching purple and black cowboys, which is just great. Cole declines to face Hangman and lets Fish start the match, so Page puts him down with a big boot and beats on him in the corner. reDRagon try to double-team him, but Page suplexes Kyle onto Fish and brings in Silver. The Dark Order double-teams O’Reilly and Reynolds gets a dropkick for two. O’Reilly puts him down with a kick combo and Adam Cole finally comes in and goes to work on Alex. The heels trap him in the corner, but Reynolds manages to make the tag to Hangman, and he quickly gets caught from behind by Fish and taken down. So now Cole comes in , but Page blocks the Panama Sunrise and they trade near-falls. Cole tries the Boom and misses, but Page fails to hit the Buckshot as well and we take a break. Back with Cole working a headlock on Silver, and he hits the neckbreaker for two. They take out Reynolds and O’Reilly comes in with an armbar attempt, but Silver fights out and brings Page back in. And Cole stays away, so Hangman beats on Fish and O’Reilly instead and powerbombs Kyle for two. Cole decides to come in and they slug it out with a PIER SIX BRAWL, but Cole takes out Silver with the neckbreaker before Page takes Cole out with a lariat. Reynolds runs wild on Cole with running boots, but the BOOM finishes him at 12:45. Page goes after Cole again, but reDRagon takes him out and tapes his arms to the ropes so they can torture Silver and Reynolds, and that’s where we leave it before the PPV. This was a good match but I’m not buying Cole as having any kind of chance whatsoever. He’s just generic heel 2A at this point, sorry. ***
The first hour was off the charts great, but I think it fell off a lot after the battle royale and ultimately didn’t do much to make me more excited for the PPV. But I mean, holy shit, Tony Khan buys ROH and is about to make it into his own NXT? How do you top that anyway?