The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 07.20.22
Still working on the website entanglements related to the sale that I was talking about yesterday, but as I noted in the comments, things are 90% under control, nothing to be concerned about. 87% at worst.
Live from Atlanta, GA for SHARK WEEK.
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Excalibur & Taz
Brody King v. Darby Allin
Brody just destroys him on the floor and tosses him into the railing, and back in where he no-sells a bodypress and then smashes him to the outside again repeatedly as we take a break. He’s like some kind of SHARK out there! We take a break and return with Darby taking of his belt and tying up Brody’s ankles to make a comeback, and then he hauls King to the floor and follows with a tope suicida, really putting the “suicida” in it. Back in the ring, Darby hits him with a corner splash, but Brody catches him in a sleeper and then hangs him in the Tree of Woe and puts the boots to him. Darby fights out with a Code Red for two and ties him up in a wacky reverse surfboard, but Brody cannonballs him into the corner to escape. Darby fights out and tries another stunner on the apron, but Brody chokes him out on the apron and drops him like on Rampage. Brody wisely opts to take the countout win, but Darby beats the count, so Brody finishes him off with the Ganso Bomb at 12:33. Ho-lee crap. This was an insane opener. ****1/4 Brody continues putting the beating on Darby until Sting comes out to save, but then the lights go out and Malakai Black appears and mists Sting, allowing a beatdown on him as well. But then Miro makes the save, wearing wacky dark glasses to hide one of his eyes, and he apparently hasn’t made his decision yet. This whole deal was a hell of an opener.
Meanwhile, Ricky Starks gets into a confrontation with Cole Carter, who I don’t recognize but Starks was making insider remarks about him so I assume he was an NXT guy?
Best Friends v. Wheeler Yuta & Jon Moxley
William Regal and Orange Cassidy join the commentary team and now I desperately want them to have some in-ring interaction before I die. Moxley and Trent trade takedowns to start and exchange chops, so Yuta comes in and gives it a go with Chucky. Chuck puts him down with a shoulderblock for two, but Yuta works a facelock. Meanwhile the commentary is amazing, as Excalibur asks Orange to clarify the training history of the Best Friends and he just blankly goes “Uh…OK?” Yuta hits Trent with strikes and an enzuigiri, but Trent drops him on his head with a suplex and beats him down with elbows on the ropes until finally Chuck has to pull him off. Yuta bails to the floor to escape, but Chuck emerges like a SHARK and runs him into the railing a few times as we take a break. Back with Moxley getting the hot tag and he immediately puts the beats on Trent and then tosses Chuck into the ringside table. Back in the ring, Trent dives at him and lands in a cutter for two. Chuck recovers with a piledriver out of the corner to take Mox out and then the Friends hit Yuta with more piledrivers, and Trent gets two. Trent and Yuta exchange forearms, but Trent puts him down with Strong Zero for two. Moxley saves and everyone is down, but Trent is up first and takes out Moxley again. Yuta goes it alone and jumps into a guillotine on Chuck while Mox takes Trent to the floor for a figure-four, and Yuta rolls up Chuck for the pin at 12:00. Damn, another hot match tonight. ***1/2
Chompy the Shark Week Mascot hypes up the crowd at the announce position and THAT’S gotta be leading to a payoff at the end of the show. Calling it now: Sammy Guevara is in the shark costume to help Jericho win.
Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland join us for their championship celebration, and HOLY CRAP IT’S KEVIN GATES in the front row! Yeah I don’t know who that is. Keith expresses his gratitude to Swerve and to the fans, but Tony Nese and Smart Mark Sterling interrupt and insult Kevin Gates. YOU LEAVE KEVIN GATES ALONE! And of course Sterling goes into the cake to pay off the segment.
Meanwhile, Silver and Reynolds do some wacky comedy with Butcher and Blade, and get beat up as a result, until Hangman makes the save.
Christian Cage & Luchasaurus v. The Varsity Blonds
Cage immediately defers to the dinosaur, who levels Pillman with a headbutt. Over to Griff, but Luchasaurus runs through them like a meteor through the dinosaurs and chokeslams them both. And Christian comes in and pins Pillman at 2:10. An impressive return to the ring for Christian! I should note that since they’re part of Warner Media, they could do crossovers where Christian goes to the DC Universe and points out that Superman’s father is dead, and so is Batman’s. But the heel celebration is interrupted by Jungle Boy, who is wielding a chair, and Luchasaurus steps aside and lets him chase Christian into the crowd in an interesting twist.
Meanwhile, the Ass Boys are tired of the Acclaimed, so Austin challenges Max Caster for Rampage…IN A RAP BATTLE. Oh this is gonna be amazing.
FTW title: Ricky Starks v. Cole Karter
Ricky gets a big babyface reaction here and beats on Karter in the corner to start. He follows with a lariat , but Cole slugs back and gets booed heartily. Crossbody follows and he clotheslines Starks to the floor as we take a break. Back with the crowd continuing to boo Karter as he elbows Starks for two. Starks tries a spear and Cole ducks him and hits a fireman’s carry into a cutter, but he goes up and misses a 450, and this time Starks spears him to finish at 6:00. I don’t know what the crowd had against Karter but they sure didn’t like him. ** But then Starks decides he wants another challenger right now, tonight in this very ring, which brings out Danhausen to answer him. But Starks clarifies that he meant NEXT WEEK, not tonight. He’s got some neck issues he needs to work out first.
Meanwhile, Athena and Statlander are joined by Willow tonight in their neverending feud with Jade Cargill.
FTR joins Tony for an interview in advance of the ROH PPV, and they’re still getting used to the crowd cheering them. And then Uncle Dax tells a story about his 8 year old daughter overcoming a hole in her heart through hard work, just to make himself into an even bigger babyface. He’s gonna fight like an eight year old girl! That’s tremendous.
Meanwhile, Jay Lethal and his crew are interrupted by Christopher Daniels, who will be in the ring on Rampage if they want a piece of him.
Jade Cargill & Keira Hogan v. Athena & Willow Nightingale
Athena and Hogan trade armdrags to start, and Willow comes in to show off her power. Running splash gets two. Willow slams Athena onto Hogan for two and the heels bail, so Willow heads to the apron and hits them with a somersault, setting up Athena for her own dive as we take a break. Back with Willow hitting a spinebuster on Kiera for two, but Jade saves. We get a slugfest with Jade and Athena, and Jade wins that battle and follows with the fallaway slam. Athena pops up with a meteora and it looks like she knocked the wind out of Jade, because the ref sends Jade to the floor immediately. Jade does recover and sends Athena into the stairs, however. Back in the ring, Willow manages a rollup on Jade for two, but Jaded finishes at 8:43. Kind of messy but fine overall. **1/2 These babyfaces are some of the worst ever, however. Just complete geeks who never win.
Meanwhile, Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter interrupt Thunderstorm.
Oh, and in case you were worried about not having enough titles, apparently now the ROH Six-Man titles have been resurrected and will be defended at the PPV. Yes, we’ve been waiting patiently for literally years for AEW to introduce Trios titles and they go and randomly introduce some on RING OF HONOR instead. I don’t even know what to do anymore.
Barbed Wire Everywhere: Chris Jericho v. Eddie Kingston
Even the SHARKS are wrapped in barbed wire! In things I never thought I’d see, Beef Wellington gets namedropped in Jericho’s graphic, having lost the first ever barbed wire match in Canada to Jericho. Eddie attacks and uses the barbed wire wrapped microphone to lay out Jericho and bust him open right away. But Jericho grabs the barbed wire bell and fights back, only for Eddie to drop him into more barbed wire and choke him out in the ring. They fight to the top and Jericho brings him down with a rana onto a barbed wire table. Eddie runs him into barbed wire on the ropes and drops him crotch-first onto the barbed wire. They fight to the apron and Eddie suplexes him off and through a barbed wire table on the floor. This brings out Tay Conti to brawl with Ruby Soho at ringside, but Anna Jay intervenes and then turns on Ruby and lowers the shark cage. But then Tay can’t undo the lock, so the geeks just squeeze through the bars and go attack Kingston in the ring. The Combat Club makes the save and Ortiz lays out Jericho with the madball, and Eddie gets two. Jericho with a codebreaker for two and he beats on Eddie with a barbed wire chair, but he misses a Lionsault and Eddie hits the backfist for two. So next he gets more barbed wire and puts Jericho in the stretch plum with that, but Sammy Guevara makes the save and the Judas Effect finishes at 13:35. But then Eddie tosses him into more barbed wire to I guess get his revenge. This was absolute trash, overbooked freakshow garbage with no redeeming qualities. They didn’t even adhere to their own stipulations with the stupid shark cage! DUD
First hour was a burnburner, but the second hour was kind of a nosedive leading to one of the worst AEW main events I can remember.