The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 06.15.22
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Live from St. Louis, MO
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur
Hair v. Hair: Chris Jericho v. Ortiz
They slug it out right away and Ortiz clotheslines him for two, sending Jericho to the floor. They brawl out there and Ortiz puts him in the barber chair for 10 punches, and back in for a shotgun dropkick that gets two. They fight to the top and Jericho tries a rana, but Ortiz powerbombs him awkwardly and goes up for a flying splash that gets two. We take a break and return with them trading chops, and Ortiz gets a discus lariat and makes the comeback. He slugs away in the corner and hits a cutter for two, but Jericho reverses a suplex into the Walls. Ortiz cradles for two and follows with a DDT for two. Ortiz tries a moonsault and misses, and Jericho hits the codebreaker for two. Ortiz with a backslide for two, but he tries a rana and Jericho reverses it into the Walls again. Ortiz makes the ropes, which triggers a brawl on the floor between the two crews. This allows Eddie Kingston to run in and hit Jericho with the backfist and Ortiz gets a heart-stopping two count. Next, Hager takes the ref, but this time Fuego del Sol runs in, and turns on Ortiz, knocking him out with the baseball bat to put Jericho on top for the pin at 12:00. But then “Fuego” reveals himself to be Sammy Guevara, in his latest dick move, and Ortiz cuts his own hair off to show he’s a man of his word. Not exactly a technical classic but they worked hard and the ending was some huge drama. ***1/4
Meanwhile, the People’s Court lays out the case between Wardlow and Smart Mark Sterling.
20-on-1 Elimination gauntlet: Wardlow v. The Plantiffs
Wardlow knocks some of the geeks off the apron right away, which apparently eliminates them, and then sends a few more out and powerbombs one of the geeks onto the pile. Then he chokes out one guy while pinning the other, and then stacks up four guys at once and pins them. More poewrbombs and he stacks up another three and pins them. And one last thrashing results in five guys getting stacked up and pinned, and it’s CASE DISMISSED. Man the American legal system is weird compared to Canada. Wardlow goes after Sterling next, but Dan Lambert sends Matt Hughes and Tyrone Woodley in to save. So Wardlow talks them down and powerbombs Sterling instead on behalf of hard working mid-westerners. Man, Matt Hughes isn’t looking ready to kick anyone’s ass right now anyway.
Dax Harwood v. Will Ospreay
I mean, people have given me a hard time for still loving Will Ospreay, but he’s sure looking like less of a predator by comparison after what we learned today. They trade wristlocks to start and Ospreay snaps off a rana and goes to an armbar. Uncle Dax fights back with chops in the corner and a backdrop for two. Dax with a headlock, but Ospreay fights out and they head to the apron and trade chops. Dax takes an awkward bump to the floor, with the intention being that he crotches himself on the ring skirt, but that didn’t really hit well. Ospreay dropkicks him into the stairs anyway and we take a break. Back with Dax hitting rolling germans for a huge pop. Ospreay tries to go to the top and Dax suplexes him off there, but then Dax goes up and misses a splash. Ospreay follows with a 450 for two. Ospreay goes up again but Dax was ACTING and pops up to slug it out with him. To the top, but Ospreay counters a superplex with a crossbody for two, and Dax rolls through for two. Ospreay with a powerbomb, but Dax rolls into it for two. Dax bails to the floor and Ospreay hits him with a dive. Back in, he clips the knee for two, but Dax blocks the Ozcutter and tries the powerbomb. Ospreay flips out of that and tries a victory roll, but Dax hits the slingshot powerbomb for two. They trade headbutts and forearms and Ospreay hits him with a high kick, but Dax levels him with a lariat. Another one is reversed into a powerbomb from Ospreay for two, and the Ozcutter gets two. Dax is stunned, so the Hidden Blade finishes at 14:15. Unbelievable TV match. ****1/2 The United Empire comes in for a beatdown, but Roppongi Vice saves, only to get beaten down themselves. And this brings out the return of Orange Cassidy, setting up the REAL dream match for Forbidden Door. Seems like it’s going to be a 10 man tag at the PPV out of this, which is fine. And then later we learn it’s Orange Cassidy v. Ospreay for the US title instead, which is much better.
Face to Face: Jon Moxley v. Hiroshi Tanahashi
The crowd chants “Holy shit” just from them standing in the same ring, so I’m sure the PPV match is gonna have some heat. My wife notes that Tanahashi’s hair is looking dry and burned out here and I can’t even believe what I’m hearing. She’s not the woman I thought I married! So Moxley lays it all on the line for him, because he’s the best professional wrestler in the world and he plays for keeps. And Tanahashi is going to call him “Ace” at the end. Bold move, Cotton. But then Jericho and Sammy interrupt and he’s gonna burn Moxley’s face because HE’S A WIZARD. So Tanahashi tells him to shut up, and Jericho sends the goons in for the beatdown. So at the PPV it’s Jericho, Sammy and Suzuki-Gun against Eddie Kingston and his crew of some sort, I think? I kind of lost track of what Jericho was talking about there. I’m sure Excalibur will yell it at 100 MPH later in the show.
ALL-ATLANTIC tournament: Miro v. Ethan Page
Page runs away to start and catches Miro with an attack on the way in before going to the arm and working on that. Miro fights back on him and runs him into the corner as we take a break. Back with Miro sending Page to the apron and they fight to the floor, where Miro gets run into the stairs. Back in, Page with a flying shoulderblock for two. He’s no Butch Reed but it looked nice. Cutter gets two. But then he makes the mistake of telling Miro to pray to him, and Miro destroys him and finishes with GAME OVER at 9:30. This was fine but felt kind of lacking in heat compared to the rest of the show so far. **
Meanwhile, Matt Sydal and Dante Martin are ready for Dante’s match with Moxley on Rampage. I kind of wish they’d just do something with Dante instead of waiting around for Darius to get healthy all the time, but they probably don’t want to break up.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Toni Storm
Storm chases Britt to the floor and they fight out there, but Britt sends her into the post. Storm fights back and comes in with a flying bodypress for two, but Hayter and Rebel get involved and Thunder Rosa chases them off as we take a break. Back with Britt trying a corner clothesline, but Toni takes her down with a tornado DDT and then hits another one off the apron and to the floor. Back in, Toni gets a german suplex to set up the FLYING ASS OF DOOM and Britt also appears to be knocked loopy. But then the ref pushes Storm away, and Britt cradles for two and hits the neckbreaker for two. That was a cute spot. Storm escapes the Lockjaw and hits a piledriver to finish at 7:37. This was pretty sloppy, as usual for them. **
Meanwhile, Jade Cargill has an open challenge for Rampage via Stokely Hathaway, and Willow Nightingale pops in to accept. “I love the afro! I had one back in the day too!”
Hangman Page joins us, and the more Yellowstone and 1883 I watch, the more I’m into him. Cowboys RULE. Except Jimmy, he’s kind of a doofus. Anyway, Hangman points out that he challenged Okada last week, but didn’t take into account that Okada might not be champion anymore. So Adam Cole interrupts, offering congratulations to his good friend Jay White and he’s pretty sure he’s the one getting the title shot. So Cole promises that Okada won’t even be at Forbidden Door, and Jay White sneaks in and puts Hangman out with the Blade Runner. But then he lets us know that Hangman isn’t getting a title shot, and neither is Adam Cole. Not having to watch Jay White wrestle is fine by me.
AEW World tag team title, ladder match: The Jurassic Express v. The Young Bucks
Wait, wasn’t there supposed to be a third team in there? No? Never mind then. Luchasaurus cleans house and goes for a ladder, but Matt dropkicks it back in his face. In the ring, Jungle Boy and Nick Jackson trade ladder spots and JB takes him down with a rana, but Matt stops him from climbing. Nick slugs him down and goes for the belts, but Luchasaurus saves. The Express double-teams Nick, but the Bucks dump Luchasaurus and set up a ladder in the corner. Jungle Boy runs up for a DDT, but Matt hits him with the rolling northern lights into the ladder. They try for a suplex onto a table at ringside, but Luchasaurus saves and JB puts Matt through the table with a rana. And then Nick powerbombs Jungle Boy through another table and puts Luchasaurus onto a third table before putting him through with a 450 and we take a break. Back with Jungle Boy fighting off the Bucks, but he takes a superkick and hits the floor. Luchasaurus cleans house with chokeslams and hits the Bucks with a moonsault to the floor. Back in, he climbs for the belts with Matt on his shoulders, but everyone fights on the top of two ladders and poor Luchasaurus gets slammed onto another ladder by the Bucks to stop him. And then Matt puts him through yet another table with a flying elbow. Back in, more climbing as Jungle Boy fights off both Bucks again, but they try a BTE Trigger on top of the ladder and everyone falls over. This leaves Luchasaurus alone for the climb, but the Bucks push HIM over through a comically high stack of tables on the floor. BTE Trigger for Jungle Boy, and the Bucks climb up and regain the titles at 14:56. It was time to switch them anyway. This was a complete car crash stunt show without much in between the table spots, and your enjoyment will vary based on how much you like those, I suppose. I thought it was too many feathers and not enough chickens, as Kim Mitchell once said so eloquently. But things are a tad chaotic at the moment so it’s hard to blame anyone. *** And then FINALLY, Christian reveals his double-secret plan and turns on the Jungle Boy to end the show.
I thought the first hour was great, but no one was going to top Dax v. Ospreay and things kind of petered out from there for me.