The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 10.26.22
I’m currently away at a work conference in Vancouver, trying to review this one in the hotel room on a Chromebook while watching on the Fite app, so there might be some challenges involved here. If stuff looks weird or whatever, just know I’m doing my best with what I’ve got. Also the Chromebook keyboard drives me a little nuts, especially the left Shift key.
Live from Norfolk, VA
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Taz & Excalibur
Chris Jericho & Daniel Garcia v. Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta
Claudio quickly hits Garcia with a backbreaker and beats on him with forearms, and Yuta comes in with a double boot. Garcia headbutts him and chops away on Yuta, but Wheeler gets a powerslam for two and the BCC do some stereo elbows until the JAS saves them. They brawl outside and Claudio gets two on Garcia, but Jericho comes in and trades forearms with Claudio until Hager trips him up and Jericho gets the springboard dropkick. Back in the ring, Jericho gets the enzuigiri and the JAS double-teams Claudio in the corner, but he fights back with a suplex. Garcia cuts off the tag and works on the back with knees before going to the chinlock, but Claudio powers out of that and comes back with a pop up forearm on Jericho. Hot tag Yuta and he runs wild on Jericho, and they hit a double-team DDT on Jericho for two. Claudio tries a springboard and lands in a codebreaker, which gets two. Yuta hits the goons outside with a dive while Jericho grabs the baseball bat, but Claudio cuts him off and then puts Garcia on his back for the GIANT SWING. Hager gets involved and Claudio wipes him out and then hits Parker on the way by before taking out Garcia as well, and back in for the Neutralizer on Jericho for the pin at 11:41. Man, they need to stop jobbing Jericho, they’re gonna kill his drawing power. I’M JOKING. Decent match with a mostly quiet crowd, but Claudio’s comeback at the end was awesome stuff. ***
Meanwhile, Bryan Danielson is feeling frustrated at everyone, although he’s got no problem with Sammy Guevara aside from his smug face and stupid vlog. And then Yuta stops by to clarify that he’s a grown man and Bryan can take up issues with him. Claudio is of course neutral and wants to sit down and discuss things.
Meanwhile, the Elite get erased from AEW via video editing. Hmm that feels like a sign of something.
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho issues an open challenge to any former ROH champion next week.
#1 Contender match: Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland v. FTR
Swerve works a headlock on Cash to start, and then stops to dance in celebration. Bit premature there. Over to Dax and Swerve gives him a cheapshot to the ribs, and then brings in Keith Lee to clean up. FTR tries the Big Rig on him, but that doesn’t go very well and Keith hits them both with a crossbody to send them to the floor. Cash fights back with chops in the corner, but Lee fires right back with his own to win that battle. Swerve comes in with a back elbow off the middle rope and Lee gets two, and then chops Cash down again. What the hell is going on with Wheeler’s shoulder, by the way? Is that a giant bruise on it, because if so OUCH. Or maybe it’s just a tattoo, it’s hard to tell on a tiny screen to be honest. Cash fights for the tag and Lee powers him back to the other corner and brings Swerve in, only for Cash to get the tag to Dax. They trade chops and Swerve gets a rollup for two. Dax with a small package for two. Swerve with a bodyblock and Dax rolls through for two. Dax with the rolling germans and Cash gets the dragon suplex for two. Lee comes in and they double-team Cash before Swerve takes out Dax on the floor, and the double powerbomb on Cash gets two. They set up the Swerve Stomp, but Cash takes out Lee with a rana and then Dax comes in with the slingshot powerbomb on Swerve to take him out. Lee pounces Dax and headbutts Cash before falling on top for two. Lee goes up and Cash cuts him off while Dax makes the blind tag and they try for the Powerplex. Cash kind of hits him on the back, so it only gets two. Swerve breaks it up, but the Big Rig on Lee gets two, as Swerve makes the save. Swerve goes low on Dax behind Lee’s back while the Gunns annoy Cash, and the Ground Zero finishes Dax at 15:16 to make Swerve and Lee the #1 contenders and finally end FTR’s months-long reign in that position. This one had some sloppiness but it got pretty awesome by the end. ***3/4
Meanwhile, Saraya and Britt Baker get into a yelling match, and Renee is having NONE OF THAT.
MJF joins Renee to a huge babyface reaction, and then does his Jon Moxley impression, threatening to “gargle your piss” while swaggering around like Mox. That was great. And with all due respect, Moxley is MID. Renee: “You can’t just say ‘With all due respect’ and then say something insulting.” MJF: “With all due respect, Renee, shut your mouth.” OK I laughed pretty hard at that one. So Maxwell discusses the Regal promo last week and promises that he won’t use the diamond ring at Full Gear and he’s going to win the title without it just to shove it down everyone’s throat. Stokely interrupts and he’s ready to take out Moxley on MJF’s behalf, but Max doesn’t want any help and in fact will fire the Firm if they interfere.
Meanwhile, Wardlow has to defend the TNT title against Matt Taven on Rampage. Lucky him.
Sammy Guevara v. Bryan Danielson
Sammy hits the springboard cutter immediately for two and then goes for the GTH to follow up, but Danielson lands on his feet and takes him down for the Romero Special. He turns it into a bow and arrow and beats on Sammy with knees for good measure, before adding some chops in the corner. Sammy fights back with his own strikes but Bryan barely flinches from those and takes him down again before going after the arm. Bryan dropkicks him to the floor and follows with a dive, but Sammy hits him with a knee on the way down and follows with a moonsault press. Back in, Sammy slugs away after some cheapshots from Tay and hits a snap suplex for two. Sammy with a dropkick in the corner while Regal quips that he’s approaching his 36th anniversary and “wishes it was tomorrow because then he’d cancel it”. Excalibur: “Am I the only one who loves my wife?” Sammy beats on Danielson with kicks, but he absorbs them and bitchslaps Sammy before beating on him with chops and kicks in the corner. Sammy hits the floor and Danielson gives him a tope suicida, and back in with the missile dropkick to set up the Yes kicks. Sammy catches him with a spanish fly for two and goes up, but Danielson cuts him off, so Sammy backflips onto his feet and then goes up on the other corner with a double moonsault, which also misses. Danielson takes him down with the Lebell lock, but Sammy manages to roll over and make the ropes. Back to the top, and Sammy hits the top rope Spanish Fly for two. Bryan with a poison rana to come back, and he follows with the bu saiku knee and KICKS HIS HEAD IN to set up the triangle to finish at 15:00. Yeah this was pretty great. ****
Meanwhile, Rey Fenix thinks he deserves a shot at the All Atlantic title, but Christian and his dinosaur disagree. Orange wanders in and offers them a three way match next week, apparently.
Riho v. Jamie Hayter
Hayter tries a backbreaker to start and Riho takes her down with a headscissors out of that and sends her to the floor, then follows with a dive out there. Hayter slams her on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and a snap suplex gets two. Another one gets two. That was a pretty hot suplex for whatever reason. Hayter chokes out Riho in the corner and then tosses her for some abuse from Britt and back in for two. Riho fights back with a cartwheel to escape a lariat and takes Hayter down with the rollup into the double stomp. Northern lights suplex gets two. Crossbody is rolled through and Hayter drops her with a brainbuster for two. Hayter tries a back suplex and Riho counters out and they have a weird landing, with Riho kind of landing on Hayter’s head on the way down. Britt interferes again, but Riho gets a Code Red for two. Diving stomp misses and Hayter hits the backbreaker, but Riho gets a dragon suplex for two. Rollup gets two. And finally Hayter hits her with the lariat for the pin at 11:00. They had some issues with this one, but I’m glad to see Hayter finally getting a strong win on her own. **1/2
Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston is betting on Jon Moxley tonight, and everyone else should leave him alone.
Man this week’s Rampage lineup is sure…something.
Meanwhile, Darby Allin talks about how Sting has been gone for a month, because he wants to prove himself alone.
AEW World title: Jon Moxley v. Penta El Zero
They trade chops to start and throw down, but Penta escapes the lariat and sends Moxley out for a dive. They fight out there and Penta gets a suplex on the floor and then adds some chops against the post. But then of course he misses one and hits the steel post, allowing Moxley to take over again back in the ring. Penta with a backstabber for two, however. Moxley suplexes him into the corner and slugs away, but Penta gets a sling blade for two. Moxley with the cutter and a piledriver for two. Moxley with a crossface and he tries for the bulldog choke, but Penta undoes his own mask to escape and reverses to an armbar attempt. Mox rolls out that, so Penta snaps the arm for two. They head to the floor and Penta calls for a destroyer on the stairs, but Mox reverses to a DDT instead. Back in, lariat gets two. Mox goes up and Penta brings him down and follows with the double stomp and Fear Factor for two. Mox snaps off the Paradigm Shift, however, and finishes with the Death Rider at 12:20 to retain. ***1/2 This brings out the Firm for the beatdown on Moxley, just like MJF warned them NOT to do, and it turns out that the BCC is locked into their own room and can’t make the save. So this brings out a conflicted MJF, who agonizes about it and then decides to come out and fire the Firm. So the Firm turns on him for a further heel beatdown and we end with both MJF and Moxley laid out and beaten down.
The ending was a bit too much heavy heat, especially with a crowd that was pretty subdued all night, but the show zipped by and we had damn fine matches tonight. And hopefully soon the Elite again.