The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 08.10.22
QUAKE BY THE LAKE!
Taped from Minneapolis, MN
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Taz, Tony Schiavone & Excalibur
Coffin match: Darby Allin v. Brody King
Darby dives out of the darkness during Brody’s entrance and beats on him with the thumbtack skateboard, busting him open like Jon Moxley on a day ending in Y. They head to the floor and Brody hurls him over the table and smashes the board, and that enrages Darby even more, as he runs King into the stairs to bust him open wider. Back in the ring, they fight to the top and Darby brings him down with a Code Red (very apropos in this case) and they head to the floor again. And Brody runs him into the railing and lays a beating on him to take over. Darby takes some absolutely sick bumps into the railing. Hopefully that kid from last week isn’t watching again because he’s probably crying seeing Brody flinging himself into the front row like a ragdoll. We take a break and return with Brody putting himself through a table on the floor, but the lights go out and the House of Black shows up to triple-team Darby and Brody cannonballs him through a table in the corner. But then Buddy goes to get the coffin, and of course Sting is waiting in it and kicks his ass. Complete with one eye painted black from his misting. So Malakai walks away from the fight to leave it even again, and Brody slams Darby on the stairs to further murder him. Brody teases a Ganso Bomb off the apron, but Darby wraps a chain around his fist and chokes Brody out from the apron, and Brody falls into the coffin and the lid shuts at 13:38 in a clever finish to keep Darby undefeated in coffin matches. They were having a hell of a match until all the Attitude Era silliness kind of killed the groove, but the finish was great. ****
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley wants to rename his title the “FYI” belt in the same spirit as the FTW belt. Honestly he’s been “interim” long enough now that they should probably drop the designation soon.
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho has his old Lionheart vest on and promises to channel Stu Hart and stretch the shit out of Moxley.
I’m gonna be honest, with the reveal of the Trios tournament bracket, I’m disappointed. Given how long we’ve waited for these, wasting a spot on “The Trustbusters” is nonsense. This reeks of rushed booking. Given another couple of weeks build you could throw the Factory and the Wingmen and a few other combinations in there, probably do matches on Dark and Elevation and everything. As the brackets are I’m not even really seeing a compelling finals. And no Undisputed Era? No Blackpool Combat Club? No Gunns? Eddie Kingston & Ortiz? I’m sure the matches will be good, but is anyone seriously thinking that the United Empire is a threat to win?
Andrade & Rush v. The Lucha Bros
Thankfully Penta is done cosplaying the Undertaker and is back to his usual gimmick. This is tornado rules and Penta trades chops with Rush to start and superkicks him out of the ring. They double-team Rush and go to finish, but Andrade dropkicks Fenix in mid-air and they slam Fenix onto his brother for two. The Lucha Bros get tossed and Rush and Andrade hit them with a double dive and we take a break. Back with the Luchas making a comeback and Penta hits Andrade with a backstabber for two. Fenix slams Penta onto Andrade for two, and then Fenix dives off Penta’s shoulders with a splash for two. Double superkicks put the heels on the floor and they hit their own stereo dives. Back in, Fenix tries a splash and hits Andrade’s knees, and that gets two. Sadly, he superkicks his own partner, but Rush recovers and dropkicks Penta into the corner. Andrade hits the double knees in the corner, but he gets wiped out and everyone is out. Penta takes Andrade to the apron for a Canadian destroyer on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, , but then tries the same on Rush and gets cut off by Andrade. Back in, the rudos double team Fenix and Rush ties Penta’s mask to the ropes. NOT THE DOUBLE KNOT! So Fenix has to fight alone and Rush hits him with the missile dropkick and a piledriver gets two, with Penta unmasking himself to save. Alex tries to throw a spare mask in, but Jose the Assistant takes him out and Andrade throws the mask into the crowd. And whoever gets it won’t throw it back! What a jerk. And Andrade finishes Fenix with the hammerlock DDT at 14:02. Just pure heel heat at the end with fans booing the dickhead heels mercilessly. This was some tremendous pro wrestling. ****1/4
Meanwhile, the Young Bucks head into the Dark Order dressing room to apologize to Hangman Page and make a pitch for the Trios tournament. THE HUNG BUCKS! However, Page points out that the Dark Order have had his back and so he’s bowing out of the tournament completely and seconding them instead. “Hey guys, I think Hangman might have been talking about me for your partner!” notes Brandon.
Luchasaurus v. Anthony Henry
Luchasaurus tosses Henry around to start and puts him down with a headbutt, then chokeslams him for the pin at 0:44. Sadly the presence of JD Drake at ringside couldn’t motivate his partner. But Christian interrupts backstage and the Jurassics head back and go after him, triggering a brawl.
Meanwhile, Julia Hart tries to tempt Miro, but only one woman can touch him, and it’s not her.
Meanwhile, the Factory promises to take care of Ricky Starks and tries to woo Powerhouse Hobbs.
Jay Lethal and his pals join us to brag about taking out Wardlow on Battle of the Belts. They’d better show video clips because no one was watching that show. They want another shot at the title, but Wardlow brings out FTR and they clear the ring. Well that was a lot of nothing.
Meanwhile, the Jericho Appreciation Society (also not in the Trios tournament) are prepping the celebration for tonight. And some random woman doesn’t think that Daniel Garcia is the Dragon Slayer, so Anna Jay CHOKES HER OUT. I’m 100% sold on this gimmick.
Ricky Starks v. Aaron Solo
Slugfest to start and Starks hits him with a backdrop, but Cole trips him up and gets ejected as a result. Well he should be used to that by now. See, I made a joke about him getting fired and moved on, that’s how you do it. Solo beats on Ricky in the corner, but he slugs back and hits a tornado DDT and spear to finish at 2:13. Starks makes a surprisingly great babyface. Nothing to the match, barely a squash. * Comoroto hits the ring, apparently cosplaying Tony D’Angelo in a weird flex that should probably flatter Tony more than anything, but Starks fights him off and escapes into the crowd.
Meanwhile, Billy Gunn is pretty disappointed in his offspring, but Stokely Hathaway offers his business card to them. And they’ve got a match against Danhausen and “the big bearded fellow” on Rampage to make it up to Billy.
Meanwhile, The Trustbusters interrupt the Best Friends. Oh great, Harland is getting work again. I don’t consider that one a good signing on their part. I think they should have made him go work the indies and prove himself first.
TBS title: Jade Cargill v. Madison Rayne
Madison dodges a charge to start and hits Jade with a missile dropkick to put her on the floor. She follows with a rana on Jade out there, but Kiera distracts her and Jade comes back with a spear as we take a break. Back with Jade hitting a delayed suplex for two, so delayed they should call it “Batgirl”, and that gets two. Rayne with a neckbreaker and she goes up with a really bad blockbuster, which gets two. Madison with a DDT for two, and Jade boots Kiera off the apron by mistake and Rayne rolls her up for two. But then Jade finishes with Jaded at 7:48. Not good. They were OK before the break but then completely went off the rails, with Jade having to sell extensively for Rayne in bizarre psychology for someone that’s supposed to be a heel. *1/2 And then Athena comes out of the crowd to attack and carry on that stupid storyline. Maybe she can win a match for a change and not look like a complete dork.
Meanwhile, Tony announces that Kris Statlander is injured, so Toni Storm is #1 contender to Thunder Rosa again. When has she even won a singles match lately?
Also apparently Tay Conti is now Tay Melo. That was kind of random.
AEW Interim World title: Jon Moxley v. “Lionheart” Chris Jericho
Jericho uses some armdrags to throw off Moxley to start and counters out of a headlock. They slug it out and trade takedowns, and Jericho ties him up in a wacky submission and then rips out Jon’s earring, which draws blood at only 4:20 into the match as we take a break. Back with Moxley, and I know this is going to shock you, bleeding all over the ring, as Jericho hits a backbreaker and puts him down with a clothesline and Lionsault for two. Moxley switches to a cross armbreaker, but Jericho reverses him into a surfboard. They trade german suplexes and Jericho hits him with clotheslines in the corner and gets a rana for two. Jericho takes him to the corner for a ringpost figure-four, but Moxley gets a crossface. This is such a weird psychology, with Jericho trying to do scientific wrestling and Moxley just doing his usual “bleed all over” brawling stuff while they randomly exchange submissions without really building to anything. Jericho with the Walls of Jericho as we take another break, and return with Moxley fighting out of it after 3:00 of commercials. Moxley gets to the apron and Jericho tries the springboard dropkick, but that misses and he hits the floor. So Moxley follows with a double axehandle to the floor, but he goes to the top and lands in a codebreaker. Jericho gets two from that. So next he undoes a pair of turnbuckles and gets the bat from Sammy Guevara, as somehow Aubrey misses all that and Jericho gets two. Moxley with a small package for two. Moxley with the choke, but Jericho runs him into the exposed turnbuckle and hits the Judas Effect for two, making Moxley the first person to ever kick out of it. They should have saved that for something bigger. Jericho grabs the belt, but Moxley runs him into the buckle and gets the choke again, which Jericho reverses to the Liontamer this time. And now Jericho is bleeding all over the place, but Moxley reverses out and chokes him out again at 22:36 to retain. I don’t want to bust on the match or anything because they worked hard obviously, but this double juice on a weekly basis nonsense has gotta stop. It’s too much. I wasn’t feeling this one and there wasn’t really any particular storyline to the match I could find, although the crowd was super hot for it. *** This all prompts a brawl between the Jericho Appreciation Society and the Blackpool Combat Club with the babyfaces somehow getting outmanned, but CM Punk finally returns and takes care of business. Well he needs the money after getting conned out of like $200,000 in comics by Danhausen. And we get the staredown with Moxley to finally set up the main event of All Out, given there’s three weeks until the show and all.
I really enjoyed the first hour, not so much the second hour. But holy cow they need a direction for a lot of stuff in a hurry because using the TRUSTBUSTERS in two different matches on Rampage is not gonna help that show gain viewers. Like what the hell is FTR actually supposed to be doing, anyway? They’ve been #1 contenders for like 20 straight weeks with no direction apparent, and I’m not even exaggerating.
This was a mixed bag of a show for me.