The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.02.22
Live from Baltimore, MD. I LOVE the lighting setup tonight, as it’s super bright like a Saturday Night’s Main Event again instead of the darkened arenas they’ve using for months.
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
Darby Allin v. Jay Lethal
Lethal attacks in the aisle and tosses Darby into the table, but Darby brings him into the ring and then takes him to the floor and runs Lethal into the railing. Back to the floor and Darby gets sent into the stairs and then Jay puts him under the railing and figure-fours him out there. Back in the ring, Lethal takes out the knee and suplexes Darby off the apron. Back with Lethal still in control with a wacky facebuster to set up the flying elbow, but Darby traps him in a crucifix for two and then hooks him in a sleeper. Lethal fights out of that, so Darby hits the stunner and goes up to finish, which prompts Lethal to bail to the floor. Darby dives onto him, but he hits Satnam Singh and just bounces off like a mosquito in a funny spot. And Sonjay gets ejected for that! What kind of bullshit refereeing is THAT? But then someone wearing a Sting costume attacks Darby with a bat to the taped ribs, and Lethal finishes with the Lethal Injection at 9:15. Unlike the Nitro I watched last night, the announcers know it’s not really Sting, and it’s actually Cole Karter in a “Who cares?” reveal. But then Sting’s music hits, and Jeff Jarrett makes his AEW debut and breaks a guitar on Darby. I really hope neither one of those is Tony Khan’s “something big” tonight. Jarrett cuts a bitter promo about how Sting is Darby’s biggest weakness and promises four body bags before he’s done. Did we REALLY need Jeff Jarrett back on TV again? **1/2
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley is pretty excited for Lee Moriarty getting a shot tonight, and although he likes Lee, he doesn’t think Lee is ready for the BCC yet.
Meanwhile, we get highlights of the Trios title final at All Out, but a mysterious force edits them out and replaces them with Death Triangle. Man don’t even get me started on people who hack websites!
World title eliminator match: Jon Moxley v. Lee Moriarty
William Regal actually enters through the crowd with Moxley, because he’s a man of the people who is 100% not turning on Moxley and hitting with the brass knuckles at Full Gear. They trade facelocks to start and Mox puts him down with a forearm and slugs away in the corner. Mox chokes him down, but Moriarty fires back with knees and sends Moxley into the post as we take a break. Back with Moriarty hitting a nice springboard clothesline and northern lights suplex for two. Lee with the head stomps of his own while the crowd gets all distracted by something going on in the background, and Moxley hits the lariat and tries for the Death Rider. Moriarty escapes that, so Moxley hits a cutter for two. They slug it out and Moriarty puts him down with a back suplex, but Mox pops up and hits his own. Moriarty also pops up and tries another one, but Moxley reverses him into an armbar. Moriarty reverses that into his stretch, but Moxley cradles for two and then finishes with the armbar at 10:14. The crowd was pretty distracted most of the way but they had a good match with some good reversals at the end. *** And then Ethan Page lays out Mox with a big boot to continue his push towards the Full Gear tournament.
Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker DMD no-shows the sit-down with Saraya, so Renee interviews Saraya alone. Renee asks the big question about Saraya’s medical situation, but Saraya dodges the question and ends the interview because she wants to consult one more doctor.
Meanwhile, William Regal thinks MJF has potential, but he still needs one more thing to be a full villain.
Daddy Ass Birthday Bash: Max promises to “make Swerve pay up like Elon Musk”. So $8 then I guess. Poor Billy Gunn has his hands all taped up and now he’s unable to scissor for medical reasons. So Bowens stops to scissor the camera man and Billy is all hurt and jealous. So Caster gives him birthday present #1: Foam scissor fingers! Next up, Max borrows a pair of paper scissors from the crowd for present #2. Finally, they present him with a “World’s Greatest Dad” trophy, despite Billy winning “Worst segment of all time” for the reverse battle royale in 2006. Bowens gets the inside reference of the week as he notes that he invited some friends to join them, but they were upset at Billy “missing the reunion” two weeks ago and so decided not to come. And then one more surprise gift, an official certificate of adoption, but before he can sign it to make it official, William Morrisey and the Gunn Clubb attacks, and FTR makes the save. And then they look pointedly at the AEW tag team titles before handing them back. This was all goofy fun.
Meanwhile, Dr. Britt Baker DMD gives her side of the interview, with Tony Schiavone conducting it, and demands a tag team to wrestle on Rampage.
ROH World title: Chris Jericho v. Colt Cabana
Well there’s probably a message here for someone. Colt grabs a headlock to start and slugs away, then rolls up Jericho out of the corner for two. Jericho bails for advice from his purple-hatted friend Jake, and they fight out there and then head back in to the top rope. And then something goes wrong and they both flop to the floor as we take a break. Back with Colt hitting a middle rope splash for two, but he goes up and Jericho drops him right on the old yambag. Jericho tries an electric chair and Colt reverses to a victory roll for two, and then reverses the Walls into a cradle for two. Flip Flop and Fly is countered with an eyepoke, but Colt gets his reverse crab and Jericho has to power out of that. Colt with the superman pin for two, but the JAS breaks it up, so Colt moonsaults them on the floor. Back in, Jericho hits a codebreaker for the pin to retain at 9:25. Not a great match but Cabana was a nice surprise challenger who could eat the pin without getting hurt. **1/2 Speaking of getting hurt, Jericho goes after Ian Riccaboni at the desk and breaks his glasses, but Claudio and Bryan Danielson save and we get a big brawl with the BCC v. JAS out of that.
Meanwhile, Death Triangle plot Rey Fenix’s plan to become a double champion tonight, and Pac tells him to bring the hammer with him. TRUST HIM.
All Atlantic title: Orange Cassidy v. Luchasaurus v. Rey Fenix
I think it’s really telling how many kids are dressed up like Cassidy in the crowd, because wrestling has been lacking someone to appeal to the really young generation and Orange seems to be that guy. Hooking the next generation young is the key to the playing the long game. Orange gets rid of Luchasaurus and hits Fenix with the kicks, but Rey takes him down with a spinning armdrag. Orange reverses another one into a DDT for two and they’re at a stalemate. Luchasaurus returns and runs over both guys and then puts them down with a double clothesline as we take a break. Back with Orange trying the stunner, but that doesn’t work, so he teams up with Fenix for an Orange punch to put him on the floor instead. Orange and Fenix team up with topes, but Luchasaurus catches them and chokeslams Fenix through the table. Orange chases him up the ramp and tries an Orange punch, but Luchasaurus catches it and tries to chokeslam Orange through another table. Thankfully Jungle Jack Perry saves and puts Luchasaurus through the table instead, taking him out of the match. Back in the ring, Pac runs out and presents Fenix with his personal ringbell hammer to finish the job, but Fenix wants no help. So they trade rollups for two, and Orange Punch finishes at 10:00. Pac goes for an attack with the hammer afterwards, but Katsuyori Shibata makes a very unexpected save, and Orange offers him a shot at the title on Rampage in exchange. Well that’s gonna be an interesting match. This one was something of a trainwreck. *1/2
Meanwhile, Swerve hangs out with famous recording artist Rick Ross and drinks some bubbly, but Keith Lee is feeling snubbed by Swerve and accuses Swerve of doing bad stuff lately. Famous recording artist Rick Ross is SHOCKED AND APPALLED at these baseless accusations, and he only wants positive thoughts. So they toast some champagne instead. Well that’s nice.
TBS title: Jade Cargill v. Marina Shafir
Jade beats on Marina in the corner while Nyla and Vickie come out and do commentary for the arena until Jade gets all distracted and nearly gets counted out. Back in the ring, Jade fights off a kneebar and then quickly puts her away with the Jaded at 2:12. This was all one big pile of bad. DUD
Meanwhile, it’s dark times for the House of Black, as they hold some kind of funeral for Malakai Black, and the rumors of his departure appear to be greatly exaggerated. Hopefully he’s not a zombie. I don’t think AEW has medical coverage for that.
Meanwhile, we learn that Jamie Hayter is finally getting her shot at the World title at Full Gear.
ROH TV title: Samoa Joe v. Brian Cage
They trade shoulderblocks and Cage goes down first,and Joe fires away in the corner with the punches. Enzuigiri in the corner and he drops an elbow for two. Prince Nana gets involved and Joe goes after him, so Cage hits Joe with a dropkick to take over and beats on him in the corner. Cage chokes him out on the ropes and follows with a clothesline, then deadlifts him with a german suplex as we take a break. Back with Cage hitting a toe con hilo on the floor, and back in for some posing. Rick Rude would approve. Joe comes back with the senton for two and a powerslam out of the corner gets two. Cage superkicks him into a 619 and then goes up with a flying elbow for two. Cage with a pumphandle driver for two, but he goes for the lariat and Joe counters with the choke. Cage suplexes out of that and hits the discus lariat for two. Joe reverses a slam into the choke, however, and that finishes at 11:30. A very entertaining hoss fight, but these ROH matches in the main event are DEATH for the crowd. ***1/4 And then speaking of the death for the crowd, we get yet another Embassy beatdown, but Wardlow saves. Powerhouse Hobbs pops out again and lays him out to end the show.
I don’t want to be overly dramatic about it but this was probably one of the worst Dynamites of the year, with nothing I’d call a really good match and one match in particular that was one of the worst they’ve ever done outside of the pandemic era. And, you know, JEFF JARRETT as a big surprise. Not a good week for AEW so far.