The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.09.22
Live from Boston, MA
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
Keith Lee, Swerve Strickland & the Gunn Clubb v. The Acclaimed & FTR
Billy Gunn immediately attacks Swerve and gets himself thrown out of the match before the bell even rings, like when I went to an Ozzy concert and some guy charged the stage and got thrown out during Voivod’s opening set. You’ve gotta pick your spots! Dax catches Austin with a catapult into the corner to start and hits him with an atomic drop, allowing the faces to pinball him in their corner. Swerve comes in and puts the boots to Cash, but he comes back with a backbreaker. Caster comes in and tangles with Keith Lee, making the mistake of trading shots with him. But everyone comes in and we get four people throwing punches in the corners, but the babyfaces have communication issues and we take a break. Back with Dax hitting Austin with a back suplex, but Colton saves his brother. Bowens gets a hot tag and cleans house, then hits Colton with a Rough Rider for two. The Gunns double-team him with a Big Rig of their own for two. Everyone does the standoff and the ring is cleared as either TBS or TSN are having some really bad broadcast issues. Swerve and Lee manage to double-team Bowens without arguing about it, and then Swerve dives onto everyone with a corkscrew Plancha, and then Dax suplexes a Gunn onto the pile from the top rope. Back in the ring, Austin slugs away on Dax, but he takes Austin down with a Sharpshooter. Big Rig on Austin and Mic Drop on Colton finishes at 12:24. This seemed really fun but the feed kept breaking up and it was incredibly distracting at the end. Seemed about ***1/2 but I was having trouble following what was going on after the break.
Meanwhile, TSN seemingly cuts to the original TBS feed for the MJF interview on Pardon My Take so I guess the issues with the video and audio were on TSN’s end. Anyway, Max is tired of having the spotlight taken from him in all his previous attempts at taking it, like when a “neck tattoo” overshadowed his first crack at the big time. Good promo from MJF here but they really need to get into some hard sell stuff soon.
Meanwhile, Stokely is walking the streets and accuses MJF of committing the worst crime possible: DICK RIDING WITHOUT A LICENSE.
Full Gear Eliminator tournament round one: Ethan Page v. Eddie Kingston
Look, I like Ethan Page and I think he should be used more, but if he runs through this tournament and gets the World title shot then it’s a complete waste. They trade shots in the corner to start and Page dumps him and follows with a shoulderblock off the apron. Back in, Page beats on him with elbows and they head to the floor as we take a break. Back with Kingston hitting a suplex for two and the TBS graphic in the corner is gone again, so I’m assuming TSN is giving it another try. They trade forearms and Eddie gets a DDT for two off that. Exploder sets up the Stretch Plum, but Stokely takes the ref while Page is tapping. Ortiz gets rid of him, but Eddie is all distracted and Page puts him down with a high kick and then goes up to finish. Eddie cuts him off, but Page gently drops him on the top rope and brings him down with Ego’s Edge from the top to finish at 9:35 and advance. Another fun match. ***
Meanwhile, Rush offers Preston Vance the first title shot when he wins the tournament in exchange for joining his team, and makes it clear that the rest of the clowns in the Dark Order never will get a shot. Sounds like a fair deal, I’d take it.
TNT title: Wardlow v. Ari Daivari
Daivari makes the offer of giving Wardlow his butler in exchange for throwing the match. That’s also a pretty good deal. I’d like someone to do dishes for me and stuff! No one likes doing them. I mean, I can barely afford a weekly housekeeper on what TK is paying me. Anyway, Wardlow does not in fact take the deal, and pins Daivari with the Powerbomb Symphony at 1:40. This brings out Powerhouse Hobbs, but Samoa Joe gets triggered by Wardlow promising to take all the titles in AEW, and turns on his partner to break up Ward-Joe. Honestly they should just unify the TNT and TV titles, which would at least be a logical direction and get rid of an unneeded belt.
Meanwhile, Jade Cargill announces that she’s getting a title shot at Nyla Rose at Full Gear or defending against Nyla or whatever.
Tony Schiavone welcomes Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Saraya for their second try at a face to face interview, this time in the ring. Saraya announces that she’s 100% cleared to wrestle, but then this is the company that cleared Shibata after his brain literally exploded so I’d like another couple of opinions. Britt is pretty sure that Saraya is obsessed with her and wants to be Britt. And AEW doesn’t take walk-ins. And then Saraya throws a bunch of shade at Britt’s supposed easy ride via Tony Khan, and the crowd BOOS her for that. Good, because that’s a completely bullshit take. Britt carried the damn women’s division on her back for three years. And then she talks about being humiliated and battling drug addiction as this goes off the rails into weirdly uncomfortable territory, and it all kind of leaves Britt as the babyface with the crowd. And then Saraya hits her with the Ram-Paige DDT and the crowd mostly boos that too. Man this did not work at all like they were wanting.
Meanwhile, the Factory gets their payoff from Jay Lethal, but Orange Cassidy interrupts and challenges Lee Johnson to a match on Rampage. And then we get a weird cut with Orange and Danhausen disappearing, before Trent challenges Lethal to a match tonight which was already announced earlier.
Jay Lethal v. Trent Beretta
Lethal clips the knee on the ramp and beats on Trent’s leg on the stairs. Into the ring, Trent fights back with a suplex and slugs away on the ropes, but Lethal takes out the knee again and sends him to the floor. Danhausen and Chuck join us at ringside as we take a break. Back with Lethal missing something off the top and Trent makes the comeback with a pair of suplexes. Lethal goes back to the knee, but they fight to the top and Trent brings him down with a half and half suplex from the top. Sonjay takes the ref to break up Strong Zero, but then Satnam destroys poor Danhausen and the Lethal Injection finishes at 7:18. **1/2 And then Jeff Jarrett graces us with his presence again and throws out another challenge to Sting and Darby Allin, and then goes after a stage manager for trying to wrap up the promo. That makes the stage manager a babyface in my book.
Meanwhile, Jack Perry is going to be on Rampage to explain what he’s doing at Full Gear.
Jon Moxley joins us and talks about how he met William Regal when he was young and full of piss and vinegar, and picking a fight didn’t go well for him. Moxley has known the devil and MJF is no devil. This was OK but it still feels like they kind of peaked too early with the Regal stuff and now they’re just cruising to the PPV.
The Elite are presumably coming back at Full Gear.
Jamie Hayter v. Skye Blue
Skye brings Toni Storm with her and attacks at the bell, but Jamie takes her to the floor and they fight out there. Back in, Skye gets a running knee on the ropes, but Hayter cuts her off with an exploder as we take a break. Back with Skye fighting off Britt and Rebel and getting booed for it, and a flying bodypress on Hayter gets two. Code Red gets two. They slug it out and Hayter chokes her out in the corner and then finishes with the lariat at 6:50. This wasn’t great and the crowd reaction made it awkward, with everyone wanting to cheer Hayter while they booked Skye as the underdog babyface.
Meanwhile, Lance Archer takes out Ricky Starks backstage, so I’m assuming he’s out of the tournament and he’s getting replaced.
2 out of 3 falls: Bryan Danielson v. Sammy Guevara
Sammy puts Danielson on the floor with a dropkick, but tries a dive and runs into a forearm from the floor, and Bryan comes back in with a missile dropkick. Sammy bails and Bryan teases his own dive, but Tay gets in the way, allowing Sammy to smash a chair into his head, drawing the DQ at 2:12.
Second fall and Sammy beats on Danielson with the microphone at ringside and we take a break. Back with Danielson bleeding, and Sammy hits a GTH for the pin at 7:02.
Third fall and we have BREAKING NEWS: Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett face Sting and Darby at Full Gear. Please tell me they have a “Double Jay” t-shirt ready for that team. Meanwhile Sammy and Bryan fight to the top and Sammy nearly slips and goes flying to the floor, but Danielson sends him down and follows with a diving headbutt. That misses and Sammy crossfaces him, but Bryan makes the ropes. He fights back with headbutts and Sammy tries a springboard out of the corner, but lands on Danielson’s knee and we take another break. Back with them slugging it out, but Bryan suplexes him onto the top turnbuckle for a wacky bump from Sammy, and Bryan hangs him in the Tree of Woe and dropkicks him in the face. Bryan goes up and Sammy dropkicks him to the floor and follows with a shooting star out there, which mostly misses and appeared to clip Bryan in the head with a knee. Back in, Bryan catches him with the LeBell lock, but Sammy makes the ropes. Bryan with the kicks, but Sammy hits him with a high knee and goes for the GTH. Bryan reverses out to a reverse rana, but Sammy counters the bu saiku knee into a Boston Crab and Bryan has to make the ropes. Another GTH, but Bryan escapes and hits another bu saiku knee. But then he goes to kick Sammy’s head in and Sammy counters with a DDT. He goes up and misses a swanton, and Bryan beats on him with the elbows and then switches to the LeBell Lock, and Sammy gives it up at 21:00. Nice to see Danielson being a team player and taking the win for the team there. The first two falls were basically meaningless but the last one was incredible and was one of the best TV matches of the year. ****1/2
A fun show, although much like the last PPV they don’t feel like they have a lot of momentum going into the show and they’re just kind of throwing stuff out there to fill time. Regardless, the opener and main event more than justified watching this one and it was a really good show as a result.