The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 09.14.22
By Scott Keith on 14th September 2022
The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 09.14.22
Live from Albany, NY
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
AEW World title tournament semi-final: Jon Moxley v. Sammy Guevara
Sammy runs away to start, but Moxley takes him down with a headlock and they do the test of strength until Sammy beats him down in the corner. But then Mox puts him down with the lariat and they trade chops, which goes badly for Sammy. Sammy dumps him and hits him with a pair of dives before running him into the stairs as we take a break. Back with them fighting on the apron, and Moxley bulldogs him out there, but Sammy beats the count. Mox beats on him with clotheslines in the corner and they fight to the top, where Moxley brings him down with a superplex for two. Sammy tries a crab and Mox powers out of that, so Sammy hits him with the double springboard cutter for two. GTH, but Moxley reverses into the bulldog choke. He tries the lariat, but Sammy catches him with the Spanish Fly for two. Sammy goes up and Moxley brings him down with a german suplex for two. This brings out the ladies to interfere, and Tay kicks Moxley in the junk so that Sammy can cradle for two. Sammy goes up and misses a swanton and Moxley uses Yuta’s cradle for two. They slug it out, but Sammy hits him with a knee strike and tries another GTH, and then Moxley reverses that into the Death Rider for the pin at 13:38. Good opener. ***1/4
MJF joins us and he’s apparently not a fan of Albany, even while they try to cheer for him. Max clarifies that he’s not playing a character, but Moxley is. So MJF talks about reading Jon’s book and learning all about his troubled childhood and alcoholic demons (in between yelling at random fat boys in the front row), but Moxley is going to find out that MJF is the demon, and he can’t be slain. Well that certainly makes the Full Gear main event crystal clear. This brings out Stokely Hathaway and The Firm, which makes the first wrestling stable named after a Jimmy Page side hustle as far as I know. So Stokely tells the story about convincing MJF not to quit AEW so that he could get the AEW World title shot that he wanted. And his guys aren’t a stable, because they only work on retainer and go their separate ways when MJF doesn’t need them. So Stokely lays out the plans for each member and which title they all want, which is pretty cool of him. Reminded me of clipboard episodes of RAW where everyone lays out a series of matches and you know exactly who is challenging who. Whom? Whatever.
Meanwhile, Jungle Boy throws out an open challenge, and Jay Lethal accepts it.
Jungle Boy v. Jay Lethal
This Jungle Boy storyline is kind of weird, since apparently Christian is out for 8 months with a torn muscle, so what exactly is JB going to be doing for months while he’s gone? JB takes Jay down with the armdrag and Jay goes for the figure-four, but JB reverses to a pair of cradles for two and sends Jay to the floor. Satnam distracts him and we take a break as Lethal takes over. Back with a slugfest that Jungle Boy wins, but he goes for a brainbuster and his back gives out. Lethal tries the Injection, but Jungle Boy blocks him and gets the brainbuster for two. JB goes up and Lethal brings him down with a Russian legsweep for two. Another Lethal Injection is blocked, but he hits the Lethal combination this time and follows with a tope. Back in, Lethal drops the flying elbow for two. JB catches a kick and takes him down with the Snare Trap, but Sonjay takes the ref and Lethal rolls him up for two. Another Snare Trap, however, finishes at 10:37. I dunno, I wasn’t feeling this one, they had trouble gelling for some reason. It was fine though. **1/2
Meanwhile, LUIGI PRIMO is about to make his AEW debut, but Ethan Page takes him out with a superkick. I 100% claim credit for getting him on TV after tagging Tony Khan on Twitter with that idea. Anyway, Danhausen saves and will face Ethan Page on Rampage as a result. Seriously though, that’s really cool of Tony to recognize the meme and try to cash in as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Matt Hardy is unimpressed by Darby’s extreme antics, and challenges him to a match on Rampage to discover which of them is the most extreme.
Powerhouse Hobbs v. Matt DiMartino
Hobbs immediately spikes him with the spinebuster at 0:30. And then Hobbs, who somehow managed to bust open his lip doing a 30 second squash with one move, cuts a promo on Ricky Starks, which brings Starks out of the crowd for a brawl.
AEW World tag team title: Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee v. The Lucha Bros
Penta immediately takes Swerve down and tries to break his arm, but Swerves slips out of that, so Fenix comes in with a rolling dropkick and a double team splash for two. They head to the top and Swerve takes him down with a rana. So Keith Lee comes in and chops Fenix down as we take a break. Back with Penta hitting Swerve with a backstabber out of the corner and hitting the Penta Driver, but Lee tosses Fenix onto them to break up the pin. Penta tries the Fear Factor, but Swerve escapes from that and it’s back to Lee, who beats them both down again. They try for the Swerve Stomp, but Penta saves, allowing Fenix to hit a Spanish Fly on Swerve, and Penta gives KEITH LEE a destroyer for two. They try to finish Lee, but Swerve saves and Lee finishes Penta with the powerslam at 8:32 to retain. This was fun but a bit short. *** And then the Acclaimed come out and cut the go-home promo for next week as I have to explain the complex and layered backstory for “OOOOOOOOOH Scissor Me, Daddy” shirts to my wife. I tried visual aids by doing the scissor thing but I think that just made it worse. Do other fanbases have to have these kinds of conversations with their loved ones, I wonder? Apparently I’m not allowed to buy one and/or wear it in public. Sorry, guys.
Meanwhile, Pac is doing a promo in whatever language he speaks, but Orange Cassidy lays him out and much like Ethan Page, he also wants a shot at the All Atlantic title.
Athena & Toni Storm v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Serena Deeb
Storm and Deeb trade takedowns to start, and Storm beats on her with chops in the corner. Athena comes in with a slingshot splash for two and gets a handspring elbow that didn’t look great, but Britt distracts her and the heels take over as we take a break. Back with Storm trying the hip attack on Britt, but Deeb pulls her out to save, so Toni takes them both out on the floor. Back in the ring, Deeb takes Athena down with a cross armbreaker, but Athena slams out of it and follows with the double knees. Storm comes in with a cross body, but Deeb rolls through into a half crab. Storm tries to power out, but Britt superkicks her to stop that. Britt runs Athena into the stairs to get rid of her. Rebel takes the ref and Deeb runs Storm into Britt’s outstretched chair, and that gets the pin at 8:54. Kind of a flat finish to a pretty decent match. **1/2 The heels go for a beatdown and Jamie Hayter teases making the save, but then turns on Storm and lays her out with the chair herself while still griping at Britt. This sets up a four-way Women’s title match for next week, although Athena doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near that if rankings are still a real thing we’re supposed to be paying attention to.
Meanwhile, Josh Woods is really mad at Wardlow, so naturally that leads to him getting a shot at the ROH TV title on Rampage against Samoa Joe. Do I have to draw you a diagram?
AEW World title semi-final: Chris Jericho v. Bryan Danielson
Bryan comes out throwing chops and kicks, beating Jericho into the corner and following with the kick in the corner. They trade chops and Danielson hits him with another corner dropkick, and then puts him on the floor and hits him with a flying knee off the apron. Danielson works the arm out there and comes back in with a missile dropkick and diving headbutt for two. Bryan works the arm and uses some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION, but Jericho tosses him and follows with the springboard to the floor. Back in, they trade more chops, but you can’t out-chop a Canadian due to science, so Jericho is able to fight him off and hit a bodyblock for the double down as we take a break. Back with Jericho hitting a top rope rana, but Danielson ducks the Judas and gets a german suplex for two. He turns that right into CATTLE MUTILATION, but Jericho manages to roll out of it. So Danielson beats on him with the elbows, and Jericho reverses into his own elbows and then we another chopfest. That gets NASTY, but Jericho catches him with the codebreaker and Danielson pops into the bu saiku knee before collapsing for the double down. They fight to the apron and Jericho suplexes him to the floor, resulting in Danielson landing on his ankle. So Jericho pulls off the boot and goes to work on his leg, wrapping it around the post a few times to set up the ringpost figure-four. Back in, Jericho clips the knee and follows with a knee crusher, but Danielson fights him off with elbows, so Jericho takes him down into the Walls. Danielson fights out of that, but Jericho pulls him away from the ropes and puts him in a spinning toehold instead. Danielson kicks out of that and rolls him up for two, but Jericho takes him down for a figure-four this time. So Danielson fights up and punches out of it, then takes Jericho down with the Lebell lock and pulls on his nose for good measure, and Jericho taps at 19;43. This one BLEW AWAY their PPV match, I thought. They were just beating the bejesus out of each other and letting it all hang out and it was awesome. ****1/2 So Moxley comes out to face off with Danielson and set up next week’s World title match.
This was definitely a table setting episode for next week’s show, but everything was good and it flew by, so this one is a thumbs up for me. And of course next week should be epic and will probably set up the PPV as well.