The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 12.28.22
By Scott Keith on 28th December 2022
The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 12.28.22
NEW YEAR’S SMASH!
Live from Denver, CO
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
Bryan Danielson v. Ethan Page
MJF manages to distract Bryan with “the only hot chick in all of Colorado”, allowing Ethan to attack in the corner right away. Page grabs a headlock and works on him with slams. Kind of like CM PUNK FULL BODYSLAMS. Could this mean Punk’s return is imminent? TUNE INTO NITRO TO FIND OUT. Bryan comes back with the backflip and clothesline and beats on Page with kicks, but Ethan fires back with chops and that turns into a battle. Danielson puts him down with a knee to the gut and ties him up with a surfboard before stomping the hamstrings and going to work on the leg. Page slugs him down and beats him down on the mat before adding another CM Punk full bodyslam. STOP TEASING US, ETHAN! They fight to the top and Bryan headbutts him down and follows with a missile dropkick, then knocks off Stokely’s trucker hat and hits Page with a tope suicida. But then he gets all distracted by Stokely’s bald head and Page attacks him on the outside as we take a break. Back in the ring, Bryan fights back with the kicks in the corner and takes him to the top for a rana. Bryan with the WWE Intellectual Property Kicks and he puts Page on the floor with a baseball slide, but Ethan slams him on the stairs, and back in with a cutter for two. Ethan takes him down and tries to kick his head in, but Bryan flips up and reverses to a DDT and head kick for two. Lebell Lock, but Page makes the ropes. Bryan goes up and they fight on top, but Page brings him down with a powerslam for two. This sets up the Ego’s Edge, but Bryan escapes and stomps his head in to set up a Regal Stretch for the submission at 16:34. See, this is right in Page’s wheelhouse, being the guy to believably challenge a top guy but not beat him, while delivering a really good match. This was quality professional wrestling! ****
Meanwhile, Wardlow is tired of all the words, and wants some action, so Samoa Joe runs in and hits him in the knee with a pipe. I mean, he ASKED…
Meanwhile, Hangman Page is still having trouble getting cleared and he’s pretty frustrated about it. The trainer thinks he might be ready for LA in two weeks, but he’s gotta stop getting himself all riled up whenever he hears Moxley’s name! That’s just like my dog every time a delivery guy knocks on the door. He doesn’t have a concussion, though, he’s just a dog and he’s kind of dumb.
Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli v. Top Flight
TF actually attacks the BCC to start and that goes badly for them, as Claudio drops Dante onto the railing and Moxley beats on Darius outside. Into the ring, Claudio beats on Darius with forearms in the corner, and Moxley punts him for two. Claudio deadlifts Darius with a slam and Moxley beats on him with chops in the corner and gives him a WHISKER BURN on the forehead. Nick Gage has nothing on this sick fuck. Darius finally fights him off and brings Dante in with a crossbody, and a standing moonsault gets two. But then Moxley drops him on his head with a backdrop driver and wraps him up for some elbows to slow him down again. So Darius comes in and clips the knee, and Top Flight goes to work on it as we take a break. Back with Darius twisting on the knee for two, but Moxley fights him off and makes the tag to Claudio. So Claudio beats on Dante with the corner forearms, and that just doesn’t stop, and then Claudio dropkicks him for two. Giant Swing on Darius, but Dante hops over his swinging brother and rolls up Claudio for two. They get rid of Moxley and double-team Claudio for two. They try a double suplex, but Claudio reverses and suplexes them both. Top Flight with a double team sequence of a superkick into a flatliner for two, and Moxley saves. Double superkick on Moxley, and then Dante dives onto Moxley outside and Darius hits a Spanish fly on Claudio for two. Backslide gets two. Claudio with the NEUTRALIZER on Darius for two and that’s a hot near fall. So Claudio has had enough of this and just beats on him with elbows, and then Moxley gets rid of Dante with a lariat for good measure. And then gives him a Death Rider on the floor, because hey, why not? Claudio continues beating on the helpless Darius, and then gives him one more forearm to finish at 14:00. BCC morphing into Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen from 1982 is kind of amazingly awesome. Pro wrestling is just terrific. ****
Meanwhile, Kip Sabian wants a chat with the Best Friends and Orange somehow gets talked into giving…Trent a shot at the All Atlantic title?
Hook v. Baylum Lynx
Hook beats on Lynx with the shots in the corner and tosses him around the ring, before sinking in the Redrum to finish at 1:00. Time to get something going with Hook. **************************1/2 This brings out Stokely and his gang, who calls Hook “the Southwest Airlines of AEW”. For those in Canada, this would be like calling someone “the Westjet of AEW”. Glad I could help. Jungle Jack takes out Moriarty before any attack can take place, but Hook starts some shit with Big Bill and ends up needing Jungle Jack to bail him out with a 2×4. They’ve got something with The Jungle Hookers and hopefully they don’t squander it like they did with Hook-Hausen.
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho is disgusted with Ricky Starks’s refusal of his generous offer last week because he’s a WIZARD.
Meanwhile, Renee is pretty disgusted with Swerve and whoever his new friends are. So Wheeler Yuta interrupts and he also loves violence, and he wants to FIGHT. ON RAMPAGE. THIS FRIDAY.
Falls Count Anywhere: The Elite v. Death Triangle
We join things backstage right away as they fight in the hallway and Penta is swinging garbage cans everywhere. Pac suplexes Kenny onto a pile of pallets and then moonsaults off some risers onto the Young Bucks. Matt slams Fenix through a table, however, and Nick puts Pac on a rolling box and Matt superkicks him for two. And then Nick comes off the risers with a somersault senton and puts Penta through another table for two. Everyone fights back into the arena and Fenix ends up on the Khan-Tron for a tornillo dive onto the Bucks. But then Kenny comes flying out of nowhere with a V-Trigger to take Fenix out. Kenny and Pac trade suplex attempts and Pac gets the german for two on the ramp, but Matt hits Pac with the locomotion northern lights, DOWN THE RAMP. Oh and Nick goes flying over everyone and onto Fenix for good measure as we take a break. Back with Death Triangle working on Kenny with a garbage can in the old Oscar the Grouch spot for two. Kenny fights them off and Nick comes in from the void and makes a comeback on Penta, and Matt hits a destroyer on Penta, setting up a series of big moves that ends with Kenny hitting Pac with the snapdragon. Next up it’s Pac who is the Grouch in the can, which checks out, and Kenny V-Triggers the can and powerbombs Pac on the can for two. Penta breaks up the One Winged Angel and the Luchas hit Kenny with a Fear Factor on the floor for two, but the Bucks save. Back in the ring, Fenix takes out both Bucks and hits Nick with a cutter, and then dives onto Kenny and Nakazawa outside in the same movement. So then the Bucks backdrop Penta on the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING, and hit the Meltzer Driver on the floor for two. Back in the ring, Pac boots Matt down and goes up with the Black Arrow, but that misses and Nick hurls a chair at his head, and the BTE Trigger on Penta gets two. Bucks go to finish Pac, but he escapes the Meltzer and rolls up Matt for two, and into the Brutalizer. Meanwhile, Kenny hits Fenix with a One Winged Angel off a balcony and through a table for the pin, evening it up at 3 each while Matt taps out to the Brutalizer a bit later. Yo dawg I heard you love crazy Attitude era brawl shit, so I gave you all the crazy Attitude era brawl shit. *****
This has been quite the show so far.
Meanwhile, the Acclaimed give Lethal & Jarrett quite the lyrical beatdown. Too much to unpack but it was pretty great, accusing Jarrett of being a thieving carny and mocking Jay Lethal for having to imitate Macho Man to get over and “being champion of ROH during the bad years”.
Tay Melo & Anna Jay v. Ruby Soho & Willow Nightingale
Willow takes Tay down and offers some butt wiggles to start, and it’s over to Ruby, who takes Anna down and slugs away on the mat. Over to Willow, who happily helps with the double-team on Anna for two. Willow with a corner splash and a splash for two. But then Tay provides distraction and Anna clips Willow to take over. We take a break and return with Willow fighting out of a full nelson from Anna, but the mean girls continue working her over in the corner for two. Willow fights back with a clothesline on Anna and it’s hot tag Ruby, as she slugs away on Tay and gets the riot kick for two. Willow tries to save and Tay lays her out with a pump kick and everyone is out. And then it kind of completely falls apart and everyone literally falls on top of each other, leaving Ruby and Tay to slug it out. Feels like they had the peak a few minutes before and they’re way past it now. Anna takes out Willow on the floor and grabs a chair, but Aubrey puts a stop to that, while Tay gets another chair and boots it into Ruby’s face to finish at 12:28. I wouldn’t call it BAD but they had a good 7:00 match going and then went way too long for what they were going for. *1/2
Meanwhile, the Gunns leave in the middle of the show because they’ve got reservations and plans and stuff.
Next week: Ricky Starks v. Chris Jericho! And we’ve actually got a loaded show on Rampage for once!
Ooooo, I like the sneaky preview of the new color scheme and look for Dynamite next week!
TNT title: Samoa Joe v. Wardlow
Wardlow’s knee is still a problem, but he storms out anyway and hits Joe with a spinebuster and slugs away on the mat. Wardlow with a corner clothesline, but Joe catches him with the uranage and beats on him with chops. Wardlow puts him down with a clothesline and beats on him in the corner, but Joe takes out the knee again as we take a break. Back with Joe continuing to beat on the knee and then pounding him with chops in the corner, but Wardlow fights him off and hits a swanton, although he’s unable to cover due to his leg. They slug it out and Wardlow hits him with a german suplex and corner clothesline, setting up a Whisper in the Wind for two. Joe ducks the lariat and tries the choke, but Wardlow fights him off and hits the lariat for two. But then Joe SWEEPS THE LEG and seems to set up for a corner DDT, but Wardlow powerbombs him out of the corner. This sets up the Powerbomb Symphony, but the knees gives out and Joe takes out the knee again and hooks in the choke for good this time at 12:10. Kind of surprised they’re still going all in on Joe like this, but this was a big time hoss fight. ***1/2 Joe seems to offer him a moment of respect, but then lays him out with the belt again anyway. And then grabs a pair of scissors and goes for the MAN BUN. This is a new low for Wardlow. So this brings out Darby Allin, who hits Joe with the skateboard and stakes the next claim to the TNT title to end the show.
The women’s match wasn’t much but the rest was a home run episode with a super hot crowd that felt like the old days of Dynamite. I think I’m even excited for Rampage this week!