The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 08.17.22
“House of the Dragon”
Live from Charleston, WV
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Taz, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone
CM Punk joins us to start, and he’s offering the Hangman a rematch RIGHT NOW. But Hangman isn’t here, so no one comes out, and Punk quips that it’s not “cowboy shit, it’s coward shit” and buries Page for not apologizing to him. Also Jon Moxley is “the third best guy in his own group” (Crowd: Ooooooooh!) and then notes “it’s a recurring theme in his career”. (Crowd: OOOOOOOOOOOOOH!) Damn that was an ice cold shot. Also Eddie “is the second best Kingston he’s been in the ring with” and that draws another round of shocked gasps. And Jon Moxley isn’t even the “first Jon he’s gonna beat in Chicago” when it gets to All Out. Finally this is enough abuse for Moxley, who comes out while Punk does snow angels to amuse himself. So Moxley isn’t worried about the pipe bombs being dropped, especially when Punk’s mouth is writing cheques that his foot can’t cash. Most times he’s not even the best wrestler in catering! So Moxley is the heart and soul of AEW, but Punk is fine with that because he’s “the dollars and the cents”. Moxley accuses him of coming to AEW “because he ran out of money” and also ran out of fighting spirit. Punk doesn’t want to touch him because he’s afraid Moxley will bleed all over him, but Jon gets in his face and they get into a slugfest until security pulls them apart. The line about bleeding was a little too inside baseball but letting Punk run his mouth is always money.
Meanwhile, Powerhouse Hobbs is sick of protecting Ricky Starks, and now he’s breaking necks in addition to backs.
2/3 Falls: Bryan Danielson v. Daniel Garcia
Fittingly, Ricky Steamboat is the guest timekeeper for this one. They trade takedowns to start and each one gets a kneebar, but Garcia boots him into the corner to escape. We take a break and return with Bryan making a comeback with a corner dropkick and top rope rana, but Garcia reverses a sunset flip for two. Garcia suplexes him into a cross armbreaker, but Danielson reverses to a capture suplex for two while Jericho and Taz have a funny exchange about spelling “jujigitame”. WHAT IS THIS, A SPELLING BEE? Danielson dumps him with a dropkick, but he dives off the apron and gets caught by Garcia and suplexed on the floor. Back in the ring, Garcia pounds him with elbows and tries for the Dragon Tamer, but Danielson bridges out, so Garcia reverses him into a piledriver and wraps him up with a dragon suplex to finish the first fall at 9:32.
Garcia attacks him in the corner to start the second fall and hits him with a vicious chop as we take another break. TSN actually teases not going to break, but then we do. Boo. Back with Danielson bleeding and Garcia gets another dragon sleeper, but Bryan rolls him over for the pin at 15:36.
Third fall and Garcia misses a blind charge, allowing Danielson to beat on him with kicks and then throws elbows on the top rope to set up a german suplex off the top. Danielson follows with a missile dropkick to put Garcia on the floor and hits a tope suicida and smashes him into the post to work on the shoulder. They’re both out, but beat the count and we take a third break, returning with Garcia hitting a dropkick in the corner. And he follows with his own bu saiku knee for two. They slug it out with forearms and Garcia loses that battle, as Danielson just pummels him with elbows on the mat, but Garcia kicks his fucking head in. So Danielson returns that favor and then puts Garcia in the triangle before switching to the LeBell lock and then a crossface to finish at 26:00. What I saw of this was excellent, but a HUGE chunk of it took place during commercial breaks so it’s hard to 100% rate it. Seemed about ****1/4 to me, though, as they were beating the shit out of each other in the third fall particularly. Afterwards, Danielson offers respect, but Jericho leaves the announce desk and jumps Danielson until a conflicted Garcia pulls him off. The fans tell Garcia that he’s a “wrestler” and not a sports entertainer, but nothing is resolved yet.
Meanwhile, Swerve and Lee hang out with Private Party backstage, and the champs are nice enough to offer them a title shot despite only being #5.
Tony Nese is coming out for a match, but Jon Moxley storms out and destroys Nese and Mark Sterling before heading to the ring to cut a promo on CM Punk. He still wants a fight, and Punk comes out to answer, but security pulls them apart again.
Meanwhile, Jericho and 2.0 want to have a talk with Daniel Garcia next week, but Ricky Steamboat stops by and tells Jericho off. Angelo Parker tries to intimidate him, so Steamboat gives him a KARATE CHOP and takes him out.
The Gunn Clubb v. The Varsity Blonds
The Gunns get rid of Pillman and the Colt 45 finishes Griff at 0:33. Billy (wearing a DUTTON RANCH hat!) is much more proud of that effort, but Stokely Hathaway comes out and the kids turn on Billy and beat on him until the Acclaimed make the save. Obviously everyone involved didn’t learn any lessons the first time, because Bowens offers one more SCISSOR ME DADDY ASS and they’re reunited again. That’s a good reset.
Meanwhile, Jay Lethal and his crew challenge FTR & Wardlow to a trios match at All Out, thus robbing us of our dream of FTR unifying all the belts there. IF YOU WANTED TO DO A TRIOS MATCH THEN WHY NOT HAVE THEM IN THE TRIOS TOURNAMENT?!?
Meanwhile, Death Triangle has words for Will Ospreay, although who the hell knows what Pac is saying. I heard something about Cleveland, though.
Jungle Boy joins us and he’s got more horrible stuff to say about Christian, who is a coward, so Christian comes out to reply (while burying the crowd) and offers a return to his fatherly love, but Jungle Boy teases accepting and then attacks Christian again. They fight to the floor and Christian runs him into the railing and clarifies that he hates Jungle Boy and think he’s a piece of crap. So Jungle Boy puts his arm on the stairs and stomps it, before the useless security guys finally break it up.
Meanwhile, FTR and Wardlow are the Pinnacle again, and Dax challenges Jay Lethal to a singles match next week. That six-man doesn’t feel like a PPV match, it feels like a TV match at best.
Toni Storm v. Kilynn King
King gets a rollup for two, but Storm goes to a headlock and King reverses to her own. King takes her down, but misses a knee strike, then recovers with a diving knee off the middle rope. They head to the floor and Storm tries a tornado DDT out there, but King runs her into the railing as we take a break. Back with Storm hitting a fisherman’s suplex for two. Kilynn with a spinebuster for two. Storm with a german suplex to set up the HIP ATTACK OF DEATH, and a DDT finishes at 6:42. Decent match, although another one where most of it took place during the break. **1/2
Meanwhile, we actually get a video package for the Jersey Shore dork before he gets squashed by Hook.
And next week it’s…um…the unification match between Moxley and Punk?! Well that’s one way to get over a million again, I guess, but they better have a hell of a main event in reserve for All Out.
Trios tournament quarter-final: Andrade, Rush & Dragon Lee v. The Young Bucks & KENNY OMEGA
Notably, Don Callis is still with him, so this might not go the way that the Bucks want. Also he’s all covered up and has a giant brace on his shoulder, another hint that all is not what it seems. The Bucks double-team Dragon Lee to start and Kenny comes in to work the arm and then slugs away in the corner. But then he goes for You Can’t Escape and he can’t quite finish it, but laughs it off. Uh huh. The Bucks double-team Lee again, however, and Kenny comes in for some chops, but Dragon hits him in the arm and finally tags out to Andrade. Jose the Assistant allows Rush to attack Kenny from behind and they take over as we take a break. Back with Matt Jackson making a comeback on Dragon Lee with the rolling suplexes, and then we a triple vertical suplex spot from the Elite to put the heels on the floor. Nick hits them with a dive, and back in Kenny gets a backbreaker on Dragon and Matt drops a flying elbow for two. We take another break and return with Matt making the hot tag to Kenny, and he runs wild on Rush and Andrade with snapdragons. But he hurts his own ribs and has to tag out to the Bucks again for a Superkick Party, and they double-team Dragon Lee in the corner to take over again. Another superkick party on Lee gets two. The Bucks dive onto the heels outside, setting up Kenny for the Terminator dive, but Dragon Lee kicks him in the shoulder to break it up. Kenny tries it again and the knee gives out this time, and Rush and Andrade pull him to the floor and stand him up on the railing like a target. And Dragon Lee hits him with his own dive into the crowd, and back in for two. Andrade with the double moonsault for two. Hammerlock DDT gets two, with Matt barely able to save. Kenny hits a V-Trigger on Lee and tries the One Winged Angel, barely hitting it to finish at 22:47 and advance. This was fascinating, filled with layers to peel back like an onion. We know Kenny was real life hurt for months, but is he still hurt for real or was it all an act here? Was he actually ready in storyline or did the Bucks pressure him and appeal to his ego so he’d come back too soon? It made for a fascinating tension to the match that you don’t normally get with the Bucks, where it’s not the best match, but it’s deliberately bad at points as a part of the story. I can appreciate that. ****
Well this was literally a two match show if we’re not counting the pair of squashes, but they both delivered. Once again, though, WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too many commercial breaks during the matches, though, which especially hurt the 2/3 falls match for me. We don’t need to be taking 3:00 break in a 5:00 women’s match, for example. It’s becoming a real problem with the flow of the show and it was particularly obnoxious this week.
And I guess next week we unify the World titles? Talk about hotshotting, but I guess TK is living the Attitude Era cosplay this year, so it fits, bro.