The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 04.27.22
By Scott Keith on 27th April 2022
The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 04.27.22
Live from Philly, home of cheese steak.
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
Owen Hart Foundation qualifier: Dax Harwood v. Cash Wheeler
I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty upset about having to watch them face each other. Also they’re both rocking the Hart Foundation trunks in a combination of awesome tribute and vicious troll. They trade wristlocks to start and battle to a stalemate on the mat before sharing a sportsmanship handshake. They trade shoulderblocks and Dax grabs a sleeper, but Cash slams out of it and they fight to another stalemate on the mat before Cash takes him down with an armbar. So Dax gives him a thumb to the eye in the name of sportsmanship, and this prompts a shoving match, which has the crowd REALLY upset. So Cash hits him with a knee to the gut and beats on him with chops to take over before going to a chinlock. So Dax takes him to the top and brings him down with a superplex, but he goes up again and misses a diving headbutt. Cash dropkicks him to the floor and we take a break. Back with FTR trading suplexes, and they both try a crossbody and collide for a double down. They trade forearms, LIKE MEN, and Dax tries a piledriver, but Cash reverses out, so Dax rolls him up for two. Dax flips out of a backslide and tries the slingshot powerbomb, but Cash reverses to a rana for two. Dax gets a second slingshot powerbomb, for two this time. Dax misses a blind charge and Cash tries a victory roll, but Dax counters for two. Now there’s a classic Bret-Owen callout. Cash with a piledriver for two. Back to the top rope, but Cash trips up Dax and brings him down with a backdrop suplex, which Dax counters in mid-air for two. Another bodypress attempt, but they both land on the floor and Cash blows out his knee on the landing. Luckily they both beat the count. Back in the ring, Dax sees the knee and goes for the Sharpshooter, but he waits too long and Cash counters to a cradle, so Dax reverses that for the pin at 15:42. I feel betrayed even having to choose between them, but I’m glad Uncle Dax advanced here. And of course this RULED, a great mat wrestling match filled with all kinds of cool tributes to the Harts. ****
CM Punk joins us after the announcement of Hangman Page defending against him at Double or Nothing. He promises that everything up until now has just been a warmup for him, which “isn’t to disparage anyone except maybe Eddie Kingston”. Ouch. Also it’s kind of a neat touch that Kip Sabian is still at ringside with the box on his head, but they never call attention to it or point it out in any way, and probably won’t until it’s time for the big reveal. Unless they switch it to someone else underneath there for the payoff.
Meanwhile, Scorpio Sky clarifies that the Philly crowd is here to see him beat Sammy’s ass.
The Blackpool Combat Club v. QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solo
Wheeler Yuta gets the huge hometown reaction, complete with new music and graphics, and the BCC attacks to start to trigger a brawl. So Moxley beats on Solo and hits him with the drop suplex before brutalizing him with crossfaces a little bit and suplexing him for two. Yuta comes in and dropkicks Solo for two, but Comoroto backdrops him as we take a break. Back with Danielson beating on Solo with chops and then tossing him for a tope suicida, but the Factory manages to overwhelm them and get some offense on Danielson. So Yuta gets the hot tag, but Comoroto hurls him around the ring. Regal clarifies that Yuta needs this beating to learn how to escape it. So Wheeler counters with a guillotine and then turns that into a sleeper, but Nick powers him up onto his shoulders. So Yuta escapes that with elbows, and then rolls him over into a crucifix for the pin at 8:55. Quality violence here. ***
Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Jamie Hayter try to bully Toni Storm, but Ruby Soho stops by to even the odds and the heels storm off to catering.
Meanwhile, Jungle Boy is still a little salty about losing last week, although Christian notes that he just sounds like a loser, and it’ll never happen again, which prompts Team Taz to challenge them for a tag title match. The long simmering Christian turn is coming! He’s gonna fuck them over and it’s gonna be glorious.
Lance Archer v. Wardlow
MJF lets us know that Philly women use their personality as birth control. Huge if true. Wardlow has another entrance with handcuffs and no music, although there’s a cameraman with a mask and hat at ringside who looks conspicuously like a ringer of some sort. Archer dives onto Wardlow outside right away, but Wardlow hits him with a rana in the ring and beats on him with forearms in the corner before dumping him with a spinebuster. Archer escapes the powerbomb and tries the chokeslam, but Wardlow powers out and they clothesline each other for the double down. They trade forearms for the HOSS FIGHT and Archer goes up for the ropewalk moonsault, and a giant chokeslam gets two. This sets up the Blackout, but Wardlow reverses into a rollup for two. So Archer tries it again, but Wardlow escapes that with headbutts and follows with a swanton for two. Powerbomb Symphony time and that puts him out at 5:31. This was another lesson in the Wardlow push, as Wardlow selling for the heels is death but the crowd loves all the other stuff he does. They need to tweak it and keep the matches even shorter. Not the end of the world but the crowd really doesn’t want to see him out there putting in time. It was a quality slugfest but not what the crowd wanted, and that’s two weeks in a row where they’ve miscalculated with Wardlow. **1/2
The Jericho Appreciation Society joins us for a sitdown, but first they have words for the AEW Galaxy. No physicality tonight. So LAX is all pissed off and in mood for this crap tonight, and we get a crazy fired up promo from them, although they can’t touch the JAS or Eddie “will get fired from another company” according to Jericho, which draws some gasps from the crowd. But Jericho points out that they’re still 5-on-3 against Eddie’s team, which has gotta be setting up the last 2 members of the team for a Stadium Stampede deal. So Jericho talks about “putting out a hit” on them, which gets Kingston even more pissed off because they’d better be prepared to come for blood. This was all good wacky pro wrestling awesomeness.
Philly Street Fight: Serena Deeb v. Hikaru Shida
FINALLY we get a blowoff of this thing after what feels like months. Shida’s street fight attire is something. Shida sets up a chair on the floor and dives off the apron, but Deeb uses the chair to hit Shida in the knee, and back in for a kneebreaker on the chair, which looks SICK. Back with Deeb sending Shida into the chair again before retrieving a bag of powder from the floor to blind Shida. Well at least it wasn’t thumbtacks. Deeb tries the Deeb-tox but Shida escapes and then grabs a kendo stick and swings wildly, still blinded. Hopefully she won’t wear an eyepatch for six months while working Dark matches like Julia Hart. Luckily she’s able to rinse out her eyes and comes back with a dropkick on the floor and more kendo sticking in the ring. I know the kendo stick is her thing, but they’ve been beaten into the ground by WWE’s hardcore matches and it just comes off as lame here. Deeb hits her in the knee with the chair again and goes up, but Shida gets her own chairshot and brings her down with the falcon arrow for two. Shida chokes her out, but Deeb rolls her over for two. Deeb-tox on the chair gets two. Serenity Lock follows and Shida tries for the ropes, but it’s a street fight. So Deeb pulls her back and smashes the knee on the chair some more, and then hooks her in a Cloverleaf and Shida taps at 11:41. And Thunder Rosa is watching backstage to set up Deeb as the next challenger, so thankfully the whole thing actually went somewhere at least. This didn’t have the over the top violence of the other women’s street fights but it was pretty good and the finish made sense. ***
Meanwhile, MJF has his next challenge for Wardlow, which is apparently going to be Big Cass in a cameo that literally no one asked for.
The House of Black tries to unmask Fuego del Sol, but Count Chocula Abrahantes interrupts them and reintroduces Pac and Fenix to complete the Death Triangle again, and they kick the shit out of the Blacks as I once wonder why they don’t just introduce the Trios titles that they’ve been teasing us with for years now. Also I should note that Alex is in fact dressing like a normal person again, so maybe the Acclaimed’s barbs cut a little too close to home for him on Elevation.
Meanwhile, Swerve and Darby get ready to face off in the tournament qualifier on Rampage.
The Undisputed Elite v. The Varsity Blonds, Brock Anderson, Dante Martin & Lee Johnson
Dante fights off the Elite to start and Kyle O’Reilly gets caught in the babyface corner and double-teamed. So the Bucks come in and clear out the Blonds, but Dante dropkicks everyone out and we get some dives as we take a break. Back with Lee getting superkicked as now the heels clear the ring to set up their dives. And Lee gets destroyed with the BTE Trigger and the Boom at 6:24. Most of the match took place during the break but this was basically a squash and there wasn’t enough to rate fairly.
Meanwhile, LAX gets laid out in the parking lot and Eddie takes a fireball from Jericho. DAMN YOU, INVENTOR OF NITROCELLULOSE, WHOEVER YOU ARE!
TNT title, ladder match: Sammy Guevara v. Scorpio Sky
They’re definitely leaning into the Sammy-Tay crowd reactions now. They slug it out in the aisle to start and Sky runs Sammy into the railing and grabs the giant ladder from the ramp and runs it into Sammy’s head. Sammy fights back with a german suplex on the ramp and continues to be a complete d-bag, and he makes the first climb in the ring. Scorpio brings him down and pops to the top, but Sammy brings him down with a legsweep. Sammy goes up and comes off the ladder with a corkscrew dive that misses completely and nearly goes horribly wrong, and we take a break. Back with Sammy on a second ladder, but he dives off and Sky catches him with the cutter off the first ladder. And then he finds a barbed wire ladder under the ring, which has to be a first. That can’t be comfortable to climb! How can that even pass safety standards on a work site? Sammy hits him with a Spanish fly on the barbed wire, and then Tay kicks Dan Lambert in the nuts, which triggers a fight with Paige Van Zant and a double slugfest. And of course the heels win that and engage in more of their gross affections and young love and all that crap. Sky hits him with the Flatliner, but Tay and Paige get involved again and everyone climbs up the ladder for a four way fight up there before the women fall off and knock each other out. So Sammy flips him off, but Sky bites the finger and goes for the belt, and Sammy saves. This leaves Sammy free to grab the belt, but Sky tips him off and into the barbed wire, and then climbs up for the crazy crowd reaction, improbably regaining the title at 13:37 to a giant babyface pop. Sammy was definitely jacked up by the corkscrew dive that missed early on and most of the match was smoke and mirrors while the refs made sure he didn’t have a concussion, but it certainly wasn’t boring. It wasn’t GREAT either, but they worked hard and covered as best they could and it was at entertaining at least. ***1/4 I am at the very least relieved that there was in fact a point to Scorpio dropping the title so fast to Sammy and now hopefully he can get a better reign out of it. Or maybe they’ll continue to hot potato the belt some more with another match because honestly they both could carry it for a while.
Really fun show this week with a molten Philly crowd, and Rampage looks loaded, so my verdict is that pro wrestling is fun and FTR is the best and I’ll keep watching it for a while longer.