The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 03.09.22
Live from Fort Myers, FL
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone
Chris Jericho joins us to start, and he’s pretty ashamed of himself for not living up to his word at the PPV, so tonight he’s going to pay his debt and shake Eddie’s hand. So Eddie comes out and admits that he was afraid before the show (and even shuts down a “What” chant!) and talks about going back to his hotel room and crying because he wanted to make the fans proud after losing so many big matches. And the lack of handshake isn’t an Eddie problem, it’s a Jericho problem. So Jericho admits that everything Eddie said was right and again asks for the handshake, and this time he gets it. So this brings out 2point0 and Garcia for an attack on them, and Santana & Ortiz make the save…but JERICHO TURNS ON THEM?!? WHAT THE FUCK? They completely got me with that one. And then Hager comes out all confused, and decides to side with Jericho for a horrific powerbomb of Kingston, off the apron and through a table. So now it’s the Jericho Appreciation Society of himself, Hager, and 2point0, which is certainly fitting for Chris. Man I can’t believe those two doofuses pulled themselves up from NXT castoffs to this.
Well that was quite the angle to open the show.
AEW World title: Hangman Page v. Dante Martin
Well this is certainly a random title match. Dante flips out of a wristlock to start and Page puts him down with a shoulderblock, but Dante gets a headscissors and dropkicks him into the corner. Dante beats on him with chops and tries a crossbody, but Page catches him and rolls into a fallaway slam to the apron before clotheslining him off as we take a break. Back with Dante making a comeback and booting Page off the apron before hitting a moonsault off the apron himself. Back in with a missile dropkick that Page catches and turns into a powerbomb for two. Page tries the buckshot and Dante dodges him, so Page tries a moonsault and Dante evades that as well, but he runs back into the ring and Hangman hits him with the lariat this time to finish at 7:47. Nice to see Hangman having a nice easy defense for once instead of an hour long war. **1/2 Afterwards, Tony joins him for an interview, and Page calls Dante back for some kudos. But then Adam Cole interrupts, disgusted with all the sportsmanship, and challenges Page to a six-man next week with whatever partners he wants.
Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley (and WILLIAM REGAL!) v. JD Drake & Anthony Henry
The jobbers are apparently “The Workhorsemen”, which is pretty clever. Moxley hits Drake with a corner clothesline and brings in Bryan for some violence in the form of kicks. Henry comes in and throws his own kicks, but Danielson isn’t impressed and gives it right back to him. Moxley comes in and beats the shit out of Henry in the corner while the fans chant “Thank you Regal” for uniting these two. I TOLD YOU IT WOULD BE AWESOME! Danielson with the bow and arrow, and Mox comes in to bite the guy in the face while he’s upside-down. That sucks for him. Henry flips away from a blind charge and comes back with a missile dropkick, allowing Drake to give it another shot. And Moxley promptly wipes him out with a lariat and dives onto Henry, while Danielson hits Drake with the running knee and KICKS HIS FUCKING HEAD IN before finishing with the Lebell Lock at 4:00. And Regal has his amazingly bemused look of pride on his face during all the violence. This may have been greater than the entire PPV put together. If they can recruit Hook they could probably end the war in Ukraine together. A million billion stars. And then Regal does an interview with Tony (“I see you haven’t found a decent tailor in all that time, either.”) talking about how he probably doesn’t have much time left, and then he gets all misty because Tony helped him out when he first came to America. So he was checked out of the industry but heard Bryan Danielson mentioning his name and decided to come back because his whole life is taking someone who wants to work hard and make them a better professional wrestler. So he saw Danielson and Moxley knocking the stuffing out of each other and thought it was time to unite them, and now they’re warning everyone else in the promotion to either step up or get stepped on. That spoke to everything I love about our so-called sport in one promo. THIS SHOW FUCKING RULES.
Meanwhile, Hangman has an awkward meeting with the Dark Order, because Jurassic Express already asked him to team up for the six-man. But it’s cool, because John Silver has a beard appointment anyway. Huge if true.
Wheeler Yuta v. Pac
We immediately take a break and return with Pac hitting a release german suplex, but Yuta blocks a blind charge and gets a bodypress for two. Pac takes him to the top for the brainbuster and finishes with the Brutalizer at 5:26. There wasn’t really enough outside of the commercial to rate.
Meanwhile, the Elite continue their squabbling while Cole desperately tries to avoid actually saying who his partners are going to be next week in order to prevent a confrontation. But then the Bucks decline the match, and Cole is like “Well, I was going to pick Bobby and Kyle anyway!” Kyle’s clueless reaction to this is great.
Meanwhile, Tony chats with FTR, and Tully is tired of FTR not being the champions and spending time with their family, so they fire him. You cannot say stuff is not happening on this episode.
The Andrade Hardy Family Office joins us in the ring, as Matt is sorry for being such an asshole lately and wants a decision from his family on whether he should stay or go. And then Private Party also turns on him, leading to a 5-on-1 beatdown until Mr. Stink and Little Boy Darby make the save. They also get beat down, but of course Jeffrey Nero Hardy (complete with Hardy Boyz music!) makes the save and reunites the team.
Meanwhile, Swerve Strickland gets his first interruption, from Tony Nese, and since they’re used to “wrestling on Friday nights” we get a challenge for Rampage.
Wardlow joins Tony to talk about how it’s time to fulfill his own dreams. And he’s still under contract to MJF, but he just doesn’t give a damn. So he’s no longer a member of the Pinnacle or Max’s bodyguard. Hell of a babyface promo here.
Meanwhile, Keith Lee and QT Marshall have an unlikely interaction, as QT pledges his help with Team Taz, which Keith laughs off.
AEW World tag team titles: Jurassic Express v. The Acclaimed
Caster’s “Wanna see you go down like gas prices” it’s the “Funny because it’s true” line of the week. It cost me $80 to fill up my car tonight! And that was Costco’s prices! The champs double-team Caster in the corner while the Ass Boyz heckle from ringside, but Bowens pulls out Jungle Boy and hits him with a rolling elbow on the floor. And then they do the hand thing and make it weird again as we take a break. Back with Jungle Boy hitting them with a dive as Luchasaurus runs wild and makes the comeback, moonsaulting Caster for two. Jungle Boy beats on Bowens with elbows, but he gets superkicked and Caster hits the Mic Drop elbow for two. Bowens goes for the boombox, but Luchasaurus grabs it, so Caster dropkicks it into his face and the Acclaimed hits a double powerbomb on JB for two. Bowens takes the ref and Caster grabs the chain, but Christian sticks his nose into it and saves, allowing the Jurassics to hit a Doomsday Device on Bowens to retain at 10:00. I don’t know, I might have rolled the dice and switched it there, but Acclaimed still has lots of time to work towards it. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Jade issues another open challenge for next week so she can go 30-0.
Legit Leyla Hirsch v. Thunder Rosa
Leyla takes Rosa down and they trade hammerlocks on the mat, but Rosa gets armdrags and dropkicks her into the corner. We take a break and return with Rosa making a comeback with a dropkick on the ropes and northern lights suplex for two. Hirsch gets a german suplex out of the corner and goes up, but Rosa cuts her off with a superplex. And she hangs on and turns it into a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for two. Leyla heads out and looks for a weapon, but Red Velvet cuts her off, and Thunder finishes with the Thunder Driver at 9:07 to advance to the title match next week. And as it turns out, it’s a cage match. Match was a bit clunky but OK. **1/4
Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker DMD thinks it’s kind of bullshit that Rosa is getting another title shot.
TNT title: Sammy Guevara v. Scorpio Sky
They slug it out to start and Sammy hits an inverted dropkick to the gut, chasing Sky to the floor. Sammy runs him into the railing a few times and superkicks him onto a table, but he goes up and misses a 450, smashing himself through the table. This brings Tay Conti out to check on him. THE FOURTH WALL IS BREAKING. Speaking of breaking, we take a break and return with Sammy fighting through the rib injury, as Paige Van Zant gets into Tay’s face at ringside. Sky with a backbreaker for two and he goes to a rear chinlock while kneeling on the ribs, but Sammy rolls him up for two. He comes back with the springboard cutter, and that gets two. Look, to the guy with the “Free Cain” sign all episode, first up you’re spelling it wrong, and second he’s already a Libertarian anyway. Tay gives Ethan Page the business outside, but Paige runs her into the stairs, distracting Sammy long enough for Scorpio to hit the TKO and WIN THE TITLE at 11:34?! And then the Top Team goons lay out Tay and Sammy and Paige signs her contract on Tay’s ass while Scorpio celebrates with the belts to end the show. Once he went through that table you knew what the outcome had to be, but I’m shocked they actually pulled the trigger on it. ***
Well THIS ONE is gonna have some stuff for people to talk about, I bet. This was an all-timer for sure. It started with a big shocking angle and then just got crazier and crazier for two hours straight.