The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.23.22
So my copy of Office 365 stopped working this afternoon, thanks to the supposed “lifetime” license that I bought from a guy on eBay 6 years ago, which suddenly stopped working because the guy running the company probably got arrested or whatever. Man, you just can’t trust anyone these days. So now I have to PAY for it, like some kind of common schnook. $11 a month Canadian for the Family plan! That’s almost one and a half Twitter checkmarks! Or it would be if Elon hadn’t screwed it up already so that no one could subscribe anymore. But enough about him, what about ME? So yeah, GoFundMe is being set up as we speak. Give until it hurts! I’ll even use some of the funds to investigate election malfeasance in Arizona. Honest.
Live from Chicago, IL, complete with updated intro and new champions.
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
William Regal joins us to start, already trolling the crowd by putting of MJF’s first appearance until next week. “Mr. Friedman doesn’t time to come to places like…where are we…Chicago?” So the crowd gives him a very uncouth chant, and Jon Moxley interrupts. This brings out Bryan Danielson to defend the honor of Mr. Regal, pointing out that they’ve all done bad things and Regal has a bad neck and shouldn’t be beaten up for his indiscretion. Plus, you know, Regal was the only person who could teach how to overcome his family’s demons. Meanwhile Regal and Mox are staring DAGGERS at each other, but Bryan keeps them apart until Moxley finally just tells Regal to run and never come back. I don’t see that happening as long as the romance with Excalibur remains unfulfilled, but Regal leaves for now anyway.
Meanwhile, speaking of relationships gone south, Keith Lee and Swerve meet up backstage and decide to talk.
All Atlantic title: Orange Cassidy v. Jake Hager
Orange Cassidy had promised to steal the purple hat in a Twitter post, which would make him worse than CM Punk. OH YEAH CHICAGO I WENT THERE. YA BURNT! Hager steals the sunglasses, so Orange delivers some MMA leg kicks and dodges a charging Jake, KNOCKING THE HAT OFF. Hager charges in a rage and lands on the floor, but Daniel Garcia saves the hat before Orange can don it for himself. Honestly I don’t think he could it off like Hager does anyway. Hager and the JAS take him out on the floor and reclaim the hat, and we take a break. Back with Hager knocking Cassidy off the apron, as Orange does a trust fall into the Best Friends and then hits Hager with a tope suicida and then dives onto the JAS. Back in, Hager catches him in a suplex, but Cassidy counters into a stunner and the tornado DDT for two. Hager blocks the Orange punch with a uranage for two and makes sure to reapply the hat, which sets up the anklelock. The purple hat increases the pain at least 0.05%. Maybe 0.055. Orange kicks the off, which somehow breaks the hold, and rolls him up for the pin to retain at 8:41. I gotta say, Jake Hager being a deadly fighter with a purple hat as an obvious weakness is a funny gimmick right out of a Punch-Out game. This was a lot of fun. *** But then QT and the Factory interrupt the hugs and seem like they’re going to challenge, but the lights go out and the House of Black returns and destroys both sides. Hilariously, the crowd cheers them like crazy for beating up the Best Friends, but when they also turn on the Factory, the crowd kind of boos them, before coming around to them again after destroying a bunch of prelim guys and security guards. This was all pretty awesome.
Meanwhile, at Full Gear, Jungle Boy beats his friend in a cage match and hopefully moves onto other things now.
World title eliminator tournament: Ethan Page v. Ricky Starks
Starks is taped up like a mummy so I’m GUESSING that Page will target the ribs. Just a hunch based on my years of fandom. And indeed, Page goes for the ribs right away and gets some cheapshots, but Starks beats him down in the corner. Page takes out the ribs again and then just punts him in the ribs while Starks is jumping out of the corner. Page throws more knees to the ribs, but Starks fights back with a spear and then retreats to the floor to take a breath. We take a break and return with Page continuing the beating, blocking a DDT attempt by dropping his ribs on the top rope. Ricky manages to fight him off and send him to the floor, but then he stupidly dives and Stokely pulls Page out of the way, leaving Starks to crash on the floor. Back in the ring, Starks brings him to the top rope and they slug it out, until Starks brings him down with a superplex. Starks with a neckbreaker and he gets the DDT on his second try at it, and that gets two. Starks goes for the finish, but Page powers out of it and powerslams him for two. Starks escapes the Edge and rolls him up for two, but Page hits him with kicks to the ribs, so Starks sucks it up and hits a pair of spears for the pin and the tournament win at 13:13. Good storyline to the tournament with Starks overcoming three giants and getting more beat up with every round for the big underdog babyface win. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Wardlow reflects on losing the TNT title and he’s pretty sure that he didn’t actually lose. Video evidence kind of disagrees with that one.
Meanwhile, Jade Cargill meets Bow Wow and it doesn’t go well. Then we hear from Jade and the returning Red Velvet, before Mark Sterling slides in and fires Kiera Hogan from the Baddies.
Death Triangle v. The Elite
Oh my, apparently Chicago did not take Kenny’s advice and get over the CM Punk thing. Omega and Fenix do a handshake of respect, but Kenny lays him out and the Elite clean house to start and then they all put the boots to Fenix. Matt hits Penta with an apron powerbomb while Omega powerbombs Fenix for two. The Bucks take out Penta on the floor and Kenny tries the Terminator dive, but Fenix cuts him off with a cutter and then hits everyone with the spinning dive. Back in, the Death Triangle triple-teams Kenny while the crowd sings Sami Zayn’s song for some reason. Matt moonsaults Penta and Fenix, however, and Pac slugs it out with Kenny in the ring until Kenny hits the facebuster for two. We take a break with the crowd continuing to be salty about something I can’t quite put my finger on. Anyway, we return with Kenny biting Pac’s arm, which I feel like is a reference to SOMETHING but I’m having trouble putting the pieces together. It’s kind of vague and open to interpretation. Penta gets a hot tag and cleans house with backbreakers, before Fenix does an incredible rana on Nick Jackson after springboard off Matt. Pac comes in and beats on Omega with knees, but Kenny hits the V-Trigger and snapdragon from behind. The Bucks take out the Triangle and the Elite puts the boots to Pac to set up a triple superkick to the broken nose, for two. The Bucks take out the Lucha Bros again and Omega hits Pac with the V-Trigger, but Pac escapes the One Winged Angel, so Kenny hits the Go 2 Sleep for two instead. Oh man, that’s the famous finishing move of KENTA! I wonder if he’s coming back in soon? Pac manages to cradle Matt for two and the Luchas fight back with their own dives on the Elite, but Matt goes low on Pac and then gets his own bell hammer from Cutler. But then Penta also has a hammer, knocks out Matt, and Pac falls on top for the pin at 15:00 to go up 2-0 in the series. This was not as great as the PPV match, but it was pretty fucking great, and the crowd was WILD for whatever reason. Hopefully there’s more information in this week’s WON to explain why. ****1/2
Renee Paquette announces that Thunder Rosa ain’t coming back, so she’s forfeiting the AEW Women’s title and thus Jamie Hayter is no longer Interim. Jamie and the Britt crew join us, and Britt immediately takes over the promo. Well she didn’t get over by talking anyway.
Anna Jay & Tay Melo v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Jamie Hayter v. Skye Blue & Willow Nightingale
One guess who’s doing the job here. Jamie takes Tay down with a headlock to start and works on that. Tay-Jay tries a double-team, but Jamie suplexes them both and hits Tay with a snap suplex for two. Over to Britt, who chokes Tay out in the corner and cradles for two. Sling blade gets two and Tony is pretty sure that Britt is happy for Hayter, 100%, and not at all jealous. Well that’s settled. Over to Willow, who runs wild on the JAS, and they hit a double-team splash on Jay for two. But then Willow gets tossed and run into the railing as we take a break. Back with Anna getting double-teamed in the DMD corner while struggling with a wardrobe malfunction, but Skye and Tay get into a kick battle before Skye hits the Code Blue for two. But Britt breaks it up and curb stomps her for the pin at 8:10. Oh hey I was right, how about that. Also Excalibur clarifies that Toni Storm’s title reign is also now official retroactively. I mean, for one, no one cares about Storm, but that’s also kind of a big middle finger to Rosa so I’m assuming that relationship must have ended badly. This was a match. *1/2
Meanwhile, Top Flight reveal that FTR is a dream match for them, and they’d like a shot at the Top Guys on Rampage for the ROH titles.
The Acclaimed join us for their victory rap. And Anthony Bowens is all healed up, and so is Daddy Ass! But professional buzzkill Jeff Jarrett interrupts, prompting the crowd to point out that TNA sucks, but Billy cuts off the screen and we get the scissoring as scheduled. Good lord if they’re programming these guys with Double J they might as well just take the belts off them right now and move them back to Dark Elevation because that’s how much heat they’ll have left.
ROH World title: Chris Jericho v. Tomohiro Ishii
Flipping off Ishii probably isn’t a great strategy, and this triggers a SLAPFIGHT, which is legally distinct from whatever Dana White is going to be promoting. Ishii boots him to the floor, but Jericho returns for more punishment as they trade forearms this time. Ishii gets a backdrop suplex, but misses his lariat and they’re at a stalemate. The announcers discuss the international celebrations of American Thanksgiving in the meantime. On behalf of Canada, I just have one question: Green bean casserole? Don’t you have anything better to do with a can of mushroom soup, you freaks? They trade chops and we take a break and return with them continuing to trade chops, as I hope they haven’t been chopping for all three minutes but Jericho’s horrifying bloody chest says they might have been. Not much makes me cringe these days but that made me audibly gasp. Ishii clotheslines him out of the corner, but Jericho gets his own corner clothesline and beats him down in the corner. They get all FIRED UP and no sell each other’s lariats, but Ishii clubs him down with an elbow strike to block the springboard dropkick. So Jericho DDTs him on the apron in a terrifying spot and they both hit the floor. Back in, they trade german suplexes and Ishii won’t stay down, so Jericho hits the Lionsault for one and Ishii just pops up again. Codebreaker gets two. Ishii blocks the Judas and headbutts him down, and the sliding lariat gets two. Ishii powers out of the Walls and hits his own codebreaker, then smashes Jericho with a lariat for two. Jericho escapes the brainbuster and reverses into the Walls, but Ishii just can’t be broken, so Jericho turns it into the Liontamer and bends his neck until he taps at 16:15. Oh my god this match. ****1/2 And then Jericho continues to go after Ian Riccaboni, but Claudio makes the save and lays him out to end the show. Kind of odd that they beat Claudio at the PPV if they’re reheating him as the next challenger again, but the match should be great at least.
So yeah, this was all right. It had a beat and I could dance to it. Dare I say pretty good? Wouldn’t want anyone to think I was overrating AEW and being all biased or anything. Some might say one of the best episodes of the year, but being that I am fair and balanced in my reviewing, I will leave others to make that judgment for themselves.