The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 08.24.22
Live from Cleveland, OH
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Taz, Excalibur & Tony Schiavone
Chris Jericho joins us to start so he can have a discussion and free exchange of ideas with Daniel Garcia, and the fans once again inform Daniel that he’s a wrestler. So Jericho decides to be the bigger man and offers Daniel the chance to apologize for his actions. That’s really cool of him. Garcia expresses how hurt he was by Jericho interfering in his moment with Bryan Danielson, and that brings out Danielson to show more respect to Garcia again. Garcia doesn’t want to make any decisions between his mentor and his hero and he shoves Jericho and leaves while the crowd chants “You deserve it” in a funny moment. So Jericho is all puff-tailed cat now and gets in Bryan’s face, which leads to a challenge for All Out so Jericho can be Lionheart again, and he’s gonna choke out Danielson for another two months. And we get a sneak attack from Jake Hager to punctuate it. It’s the battle for the soul of Daniel Garcia! Who says they don’t have stakes in wrestling anymore?
Jay Lethal v. Dax Harwood
Another week with FTR ranked #1 and still no title shot for them. Lethal doesn’t even need his crew at ringside for this one, apparently. They trade takedowns to start and fight to a stalemate, and then trade wristlocks, which allows Lethal to dropkick him on the mat. They trade chops and really lay them in, and Dax backdrops him out of the corner and hits a chop so hard that he HURTS HIS OWN HAND. He slugs away in the corner, but Jay takes him down with a legsweep as we take a break. Back with Dax throwing german suplexes and they slug it out until Lethal tries the figure-four and Dax makes the ropes. Lethal Combination gets two. They head to the apron and trade more chops, but Lethal takes out the knee and follows with a tope suicida. Back in, Jay with a figure-four, but Dax quickly makes the ropes and reverses into the Sharpshooter. Lethal reverses that into the figure-four, but Dax cradles for two. Lethal tries the Injection, but Dax catches him with the slingshot powerbomb for two. Lethal with a dragon screw, but Dax blocks it with a rollup for two and then rolls him into the Sharpshooter. But then Sonjay does in fact return, and collides with Dax for two. Dax with a rollup of his own for two. Bodypress gets two. Holy cow, he USED THE ROPES! They slug it out and Dax rolls him up again for two, but Lethal grabs the tights for the pin at 12:25. ***1/2 And then Sonjay reveals that All Out is actually going to be Jay Lethal and the Motor City Machine Guns facing FTR and Wardlow. That’s a weird twist in the storyline. Like, I can see using Satnam to set up a singles match with Wardlow, but what do the Machine Guns have to do with anything?
Meanwhile, Thunder Rosa is forced to step down as Women’s champion due to injury, so All Out will be a four-way match for an interim champion.
Colten Gunn v. Billy Gunn
The pop for the Acclaimed gets bigger every week, although Caster referencing “calling a talent meeting” is way too inside baseball for anyone who doesn’t subscribe to Fightful Select on Patreon. They trade takedowns and we take a break. We return with Colten missing a charge and Billy slugs away in the corner and beats down his own son. But then Stokely knocks out the Acclaimed with the boombox and Colten goes low on Billy and finishes with the Colt 45 at 6:20. This was no good. ½* Gunn Clubb beatdown follows, but Swerve & Lee make the save. Hopefully they find something for the tag team champions by the time we get to the PPV (checks notes)…next week.
Meanwhile, Death Triangle clarifies that they’re not going to kill the United Empire…they’re going to MURDER them. I don’t really see the distinction but maybe the words mean different things in whatever language Pac is speaking.
Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Kilynn King
Britt slugs her into the corner, but King fights back, so Britt takes her into the turnbuckle while the crowd opines that Pittsburgh sucks. Well we know Bret Hart isn’t a fan. Britt with a crucifix for two and they slug it out, but King rolls her up and hits a high kick and german suplex. Full nelson slam gets two, but Britt superkicks her and follows with the stomp. And the Lockjaw finishes at 3:54. King got a couple of shine spots but this was never in doubt. *1/2 So Britt points out that she wrestled her entire title reign with a broken wrist and calls out Toni Storm, but a beatdown follows and Hikaru Shida makes the save. I don’t really get the need for a four-way match there. If the plan is to put the title on either Britt or Storm, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just do a singles match, since that’s the biggest match you can do.
Meanwhile, the Acclaimed challenge Swerve & Keith Lee for All Out. Still early for a title switch I think but that get the Acclaimed over bigger.
AEW World title: CM Punk v. Jon Moxley
They lock up in the corner and Mox beats him down and then Punk accidentally KICKS THE LEG OUT OF HIS (own) LEG and then shrieks in pain. Mox with the lariat and he beats on him with elbows and then yanks on the foot and hits the Death Rider, TWICE, and pins Punk to unify the titles at 3:12! Well holy shit. Can’t argue with the match quality Mox has been pumping out, so I approve of this move. And I was just thinking how cool it would be to tease an epic and then have Moxley demolish him, and that’s just what we got.
Meanwhile, Christian is disgusted at having to face Jungle Boy at All Out, but he’ll still do it. I gotta say, I still don’t understand the point of Luchasaurus turning for two weeks and then switching back. It puts way more heat on the heel to have the dinosaur as backup and it was an interesting character turn for him.
Ricky Starks joins us and he’s pretty upset at losing his BFF Powerhouse Hobbs. So they shall fight at All Out.
Meanwhile, Mox apologizes because that’s not how the match was supposed to go, apparently. He’s not just some guy, he’s THE guy, and 2022 is his time. But we still don’t have a main event for the PPV.
So on Rampage, the Dark Order faces the House of Black in the Trios tournament, but now it’s Silver & Reynolds and a mystery partner instead of Evil Uno / 10, which I’m guessing is Hangman Page?
Trios title quarterfinals: Death Triangle v. Will Ospreay & Aussie Open
Fenix trades flips with Ospreay to start as they do an amazing gymnastic sequence and battle to a stalemate. Everyone comes in for the slugfest and Fenix takes out Aussie Open with a double stunner, and we get triple dives from Death Triangle. Back in, the Lucha Bros double team Ospreay for two and Pac beats on him with chops, and Fenix gets a dropkick for two as we take a break. Back with Ospreay hitting them with a Sky Twister Press to the floor, which is a hell of a hook coming back from break. Back in the ring, Ospreay with a corner dropkick on Fenix for two, and the Aussies double-team Fenix for two. They work him over as it slows down a lot, but Fenix makes his own comeback with a double wristlock takedown and it’s over to Penta. He cleans house with sling blades and hits an awkward crucifix bomb on Fletcher. Ospreay puts him down with a hangspring kick, however, and Fletcher gets a slam for two off that as we take another break. Back with Pac getting a hot tag now and hitting Ospreay with a german suplex, but Ospreay blocks a second one. So Fenix ropewalks into a kick and Pac hits his second suplex for two. Luchas and Aussies slug it out and then we get an incredible spot where both Ospreay and Pac do double poison ranas on the teams, setting up a showdown. Ospreay with the Ozcutter and they’re both down. They fight to the top and Pac brings him down with the brainbuster and we take a THIRD break. Back with Fenix hitting Ospreay with a rana, but he lands on his feet, so Penta puts him down with a cutter. Pac goes up with the Black Arrow, but Ospreay gets the knees up for two. Stormbreaker, but Pac reverses for two and everyone hits the big bombs. Pac with a DDT on Ospreay and he goes up again, but Aussie Open saves. So Pac climbs on the ringpost and dives onto them. Finally Pac goes after the guy in the box, but it’s not Kip Sabian, and the real Kip attacks Pac to finally pay that off. Back in the ring, Mark Davis beats on Fenix with a lariat and they triple-team Fenix with an Ozcutter for the pin to advance at 25:29. Wasn’t expecting that result, but next week will be a hell of a main event at least. This was a little chaotic to say the least but still a lot of fun. ****1/4
Well this one certainly has some stuff to discuss. I think it was cool to do a surprise title change, but I’m still not seeing any kind of viable PPV main event next week, unless they just say “fuck it” and do the Trios title as the main event? At any rate, this show was definitely not boring and absolutely flew by.