The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.13.22
By Scott Keith on 13th July 2022
The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.13.22
Prime Day was a disappointment this year. I picked up the Batman 80th anniversary collection with 18 animated movies (included Mask of the Phantasm!) for $60 Canadian and some kind of Scooby Doo collection for $20, so that was fine. But the big score came from Walmart’s website, as they had Miro and Britt Baker’s figures on for $14 each on clearance and I had to snap those up.
Live from Savannah, GA
“Fyter Fest Night 1”
Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz & Tony Schiavone
TNT title: Wardlow v. Orange Cassidy
Best Friends have been granted manager licenses by their lawyer, Danhausen, and their strategy is simple: They’re going to cheat. A lot. Fair enough. Also, that belt looks DAMN GOOD around the waist of Wardlow, which is roughly 24% of making someone into a top level star. Orange wants the test of strength to start, but then puts his hands in his pockets instead. So Wardlow calmly pulls them out and then RIPS OFF THE POCKETS. Now that’s power. The straps come down, so Orange pulls them back up for him. I can only imagine the pre-match planning session that led to this match. Orange takes him down with a headscissors, but Wardlow cartwheels out and lands on his feet. So the Best Friends start their promised cheating, as Trent takes the ref and Chucky throws a CHAINSAW into the ring. Amazingly, this is too much cheating for the ref, who tosses them. I bet Tony Khan approved of that one. And TO BE FAIR, the chainsaw wasn’t running. For all the ref knew, there wasn’t even any gas in it. I think we’re all just overreacting here. Like, is this one of those nonsense “secret rules” like WWE has, where you don’t know about the “no chainsaws” rule until it happens? Can someone point me to the exact rule in the AEW rulebook that actually says you can’t bring a chainsaw to the ring? Pretty sure you can’t. Orange with the vicious kicks, but Wardlow sends him to the floor and Orange decides to run away since he no longer has a chainsaw. So Wardlow goes under the ring and finds a Danhausen, but he decides not to curse Wardlow. This gives Orange a chance to make a comeback and go for the Orange Punch, but Wardlow catches him and tosses him as we take a break. Back with Orange trying a bodypress and getting caught again, but he clips the knee and decides to work smarter, not harder. Wardlow tries the powerbomb and Orange reverses to the DDT, and then he does it again, but Wardlow still kicks out at one. Another punch misses and Wardlow pulls out the F10 and that gets two. Another powerbomb is blocked by Orange and he slugs away like crazy, and then reverses to a rana to put Wardlow on the floor. He runs Wardlow into the post for one more comeback and goes up with the diving DDT, but Wardlow catches him again, so Orange hits the stunner and an Orange Punch, and the Beach Break gets two. Another Orange Punch is caught with a powerbomb, however, and that gets the pin at 11:34. This should not have worked for a million different reasons but it was GREAT and realistically was Wardlow’s best ever singles match, I think. Really they had me at the chainsaw and the rest was just gravy. ****
Meanwhile, Pac defends the All-Atlantic title at RevPro against Shota Umino.
Chris Jericho joins us, and he notes that being friends with Eddie Kingston is a bigger curse than anything Danhausen can come up with. Also Jericho outs Kingston and Ruby Soho as a couple, I guess. Jericho reveals that he competed in the first ever barbed wire match in Canadian history at the tender of 22 but he LOVED it. Also Eddie is jealous of his movie star good looks. So next week it’s the PAINMAKER, who has never been defeated. Also, Jericho hints that there might be some blood next week. Huge if true.
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston and his friends yell about Chris Jericho.
Konosuke Takeshita v. Jon Moxley
I know they won’t, but it would be awesome to put Takeshita over here and make a new star in one night. They trade headlocks to start and then do this awesome exchange of shoulderblocks and neither goes down. Moxley takes him down with a headlock, but Takeshita fires back with a leg lariat and they do a chop battle. Mox puts him down with a lariat and follows with a piledriver for two. They fight to the apron and trade forearms, and Takeshita goes down as we take a break. Back with Moxley beating him down and hitting a suplex, as Takeshita is busted open, possibly with a chainsaw, I’m not sure because it happened during the break. Moxley puts the boots to him, but Takeshita fights back with an Ultimate Warrior shoulderblock and makes a comeback. Running boot in the corner and brainbuster gets two. Takeshita goes up and a frog splash hits knees, and Moxley goes to a chinlock. He switches that to a cross armbreaker, but Takeshita makes the ropes and takes him down with a rana. Mox bails and Takeshita hits him with a tope con hilo, and back in for another frog splash that gets two. Moxley grabs the sleeper, but Takeshita reverses to the Blue Thunder Bomb and that gets two. Moxley with the Paradigm Shift, but Takeshita escapes the Death Rider and hits a bridging german for two. Takeshita holds on and tries the straitjacket, but Mox headbutts out and hits the Death Rider, and then beats on him with elbows and sinks in the bulldog choke to finish at 13:45. This was so wild that people were booing Moxley by the end because they wanted Takeshita to win so badly. I know TK doesn’t do “beat the champ” booking and protects Moxley at all costs, but this was the time to put the kid over. Needless to say, this was awesome regardless. ****1/4
Meanwhile, the House of Black has spooky words for Darby Allin.
Luchasaurus v. Griff Garrison
Christian makes sure to note that Brian Pillman Sr. was average at best, even if others consider him a legend. Also Christian is annoyed because Griff looks like Jungle Boy, so Luchasaurus has to destroy him now. Luchasaurus drops Griff with a german suplex and sends him to the floor for a boot to the post. Back in for a pair of chokeslams and he finishes with the TAR PIT at 1:33. Not a fan of that name. Here’s a pitch for Tony: THE EXTINCTION EVENT. Anyway, he chokeslams both Varsity Dorks through the table afterwards. Christian reminding people that their father is dead every week can only be stretched so far before Jungle Boy actually needs to return and pay this off.
Meanwhile, the JAS has had just about enough of cages, shark or otherwise.
Meanwhile, Hangman Page and the Dark Order challenge the House of Black for Rampage.
Claudio Castagnoli v. Jake Hager
Dammit, it look me a decade to get used to not calling him “Claudio” in WWE and now I just want to type “Cesaro” all the time. Claudio goes right for the Swing, but Hager makes the ropes to avoid being Swung and bails to the floor. The crowd chants “We the People” for some wacky callbacks no one asked for. That was BAD CREATIVE, as Jericho put it on the second Dynamite. Back in, Claudio busts out a 619 for two. Hager comes back with a corner clothesline and they trade forearms, but Hager misses a blind charge and Claudio “knocks the stuffing out of him” with some forearms according to Mr. Regal, and bulldogs him for two. Claudio goes up and Hager crotches him and brings him down with a double leg slam and then tenderizes him with some body shots. Vader bomb gets two. We take a break and return with Hager throwing him around for two, but Claudio fires back with a spinning uppercut and they’re both out. They slug it out as Regal credits Claudio with ending his glorious career by jumping on his head. They head to the floor and Claudio hits him with a running uppercut on the railing, and back in for a crossbody that gets two. This sets up the GIANT SWING into the Sharpshooter while JR namedrops Don Leo Jonathan, who is definitely a guy who needs more historical love. The 2.0 geeks run in and distract Claudio and Hager hits a uranage for two. Hager tries the anklelock and can’t get it in, and Claudio reverses to a suplex and turns it into another Sharpshooter. But the JAS interferes again, so Claudio hits Hager with an uppercut and finishes with the Ricola Bomb at 11:34. Too much interference at the end but this gets a respectable 0.2 Haku on the Hoss Fight scale, I’d say. **3/4
Meanwhile, Hook won’t commit to a title match despite his undefeated record. At least there’s lots of choices for him. *************************17/18.
Meanwhile, Thunder Storm do some bonding, but Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter know how to handle catastrophic weather events: Sandbags. OK then. Was that like some kind of inside shot at Rosa?
Serena Deeb v. Anna Jay
Deeb takes her down with a headlock and Anna hits a flatliner, but misses a blind charge. Deeb rolls her into a submission on the mat, but Anna reverses to the Queenslayer, and Deeb necks her on the top rope to break. Neckbreaker gets two. We take a break and return with Anna suplexing her for two. Another try at the sleeper, but Deeb reverses to a Gedo clutch for two this time. Deeb with a backslide that ends up turning into a spinning hold to make Anna dizzy instead, and a powerbomb gets two. Deeb with a rollup for two, but Jay comes back with kicks. So Deeb takes out the leg to negate that, but Anna gets the Queenslayer on a third try. Serena reverses to the Serenity Lock and Anna taps at 8:00. Mercedes Martinez makes the save for Anna because I guess they have to try to make people care about this ROH thing, but I want to make clear that I ordered the PPV for literally one match only and it ain’t this one. Match was OK. **1/4
Meanwhile, Stokely Hathaway is for the Baddies the same way that the Wu Tang is for the children. I don’t know what that means but it sounds great. Also it seems that Jade doesn’t actually want Leila Grey around as a Baddie as I continue to be confused about why I care.
Meanwhile, Anna and Tay end their friendship in a sea of catty remarks.
AEW World tag team title: The Young Bucks v. Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee v. Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks
Matt tries a headlock on Lee and gets nowhere with it, so he tries some kung fu instead and that goes even worse for him. Over to Swerve, who trades flips with Nick and they battle to a flip stalemate on the floor. Back in, Nick takes him down with an armdrag and we get a wacky double ropewalk with Ricky Starks and Nick (“Hey! What are you doing?” “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”) and both of them get dropped right on the ol’ yambags. Matt decides to go after Keith and he gets double-teamed by Lee and Hobbs. Matt manages to fight off Lee and Swerve and puts Lee on the floor, but Starks tags himself in and they double-team Swerve as we take a break. Back with Lee running wild and tossing Starks into the Bucks, but he goes for a dive and Team Taz trips him up and hauls him out. Nick tries his dive, but Keith catches him and powerbombs him into his brother on the apron. Back in, Hobbs comes in for the epic hoss showdown and puts Lee down with a bodypress. They fight to the top and Hobbs brings him down for a frog splash that gets two. Nick tries a victory roll on Hobbs, but Starks walks the ropes and takes him down with a cutter off Hobbs’ shoulders, and that gets two. Swerve runs wild on Matt with a backbreaker into a lariat but it’s a SUPERKICK PARTY. Keith Lee politely declines the invitation to the party, but another one puts him on the floor. And then the Bucks turn on Starks and Hobbs and lay them out as well and the ref gets knocked out. Matt grabs a belt and Starks superkicks hit away from him, but Swerve superkicks him and gets the belt…and thinks about turning on Keith Lee with it. But then Matt goes low on him and hits him with the belt for two, taking the decision away from him. BTE Trigger for Swerve gets two, as Starks saves. Meltzer Driver is caught by Keith and he lays waste to the Bucks, setting up the double-team stomp for two. Hobbs saves and destroys everyone with spinebusters and holy shit this match is awesome. Starks tries to finish Swerve and he escapes, but a spear gets two. Keith steals Matt’s shoe and knocks him out of the ring, then suplexes Hobbs over the top, but Starks hits Lee from behind. So Swerve dives off Lee and hits the pile outside, leaving Lee to pounce Starks and then dives onto everyone. Swerve with the stomp on Starks and THEY WIN THE TITLES AT 18:07?! WHAAAAAAAAT?! Shut down the tag team division, we’re not topping this one any time soon. ****3/4 If I had to bet on a potential title change I’d have put money on Team Taz getting them, but honestly good for Keith and Swerve, they’ve earned it.
This show was a BANGER. I give it a THUMBS UP. 4 chainsaws out of 4.