The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 02.01.23
Hopefully the site will be back in working order again by the time you’re reading this.
Live from Dayton, OH
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
Jon Moxley v. Hangman Page
They immediately brawl into the crowd and Moxley gives him a figure-four on the floor, so Hangman breaks by spritzing beer at him. This is vicious. Moxley brings him to ringside and tries to Pillmanize him outside, but Page hucks the chair Moxley’s face to escape and then suplexes him onto the chair for good measure. Into the ring as the bell finally rings, and they slug it out until Page goes down, and Moxley goes after the knee with a leglock, forcing Page to make the ropes. And yes, Moxley is bleeding again. Page comes back with a chop in the corner, and they fight to the apron and trade piledriver attempts, before Page sends him into the post and we take a break. Back with Moxley making a comeback with a cutter and they slug it out and fight to the top, where Moxley brings him down with a suplex and beats on him with the elbows before switching to the bulldog choke. Hangman threatens to escape, so Moxley stomps him and they fight to the floor off that, which turns into a lariat battle before Moxley charges and Hangman puts him through the ringside table. Back in the ring, Page catches him with a lariat and follows with the Deadeye for two, and Moxley throws his own nasty lariat for two. They slug it out more and Page gets a superkick and puts him down with a fisherman’s buster into a small package for two. Buckshot Lariat is ducked by Moxley, but Hangman reverses him into a tombstone, setting up another Buckshot for an incredible near fall. But then Page gets cocky and tries to take out Moxley with his own bulldog choke, so Moxley counters him into a cradle for the pin at 16:33. An absolutely incredible opener as they beat the hell out of each other and still left the door open for more matches. ****1/2
Meanwhile, Saraya interrupts a Bunny challenge to Jamie Hayter with a beating on Britt Baker backstage.
The Acclaimed v. TRUTH MAGNUM & TURBO FLOYD
Oh man, the sensations of Dark Elevation are already hitting the big time, and the Acclaimed savages their 80s look in the rap. If loving these guys is wrong I don’t want to ever be right. They quickly get destroyed with the Mic Drop at 1:21, but to be fair they were mocking the scissoring and that’s never a good idea. So then the Gunns hit the ring and demand a title shot, but the Acclaimed take a survey and the crowd doesn’t want to see that, so request denied. But then Daddy Ass has had enough of this crap and walks out on them all, which prompts Austin to tell him to “go drown his sorrows in the bottom of a pill bottle”. OUCH. But then Billy does give them the tag team title shot so they can prove themselves, which has the Acclaimed very confused.
Meanwhile, Jungle Boy promises that he’ll be a champion again soon…by himself.
Konosuke Takeshita v. Brian Cage
Takeshita immediately hits a dive on Cage, but Cage pulls him off the apron and powerbombs him into the post. Back in, a sliding dropkick gets two. They exchange forearms and Takeshita catches him with the Blue Thunder Bomb for two, but he misses a blind charge and runs into the corner knee first. Cage suplexes him in from the apron as we take a break. Back with Takeshita coming back with a lariat and german suplex for two. Takeshita tries the high knee and Cage catches him and powerbombs him into the buckle, only for Takeshita to fire back with his own powerbomb for two. They trade elbows and Cage absorbs that and puts him down with a backdrop driver and discus lariat for two. Takeshita with a brainbuster, but Cage pops up and HE WANTS MORE. So Takeshita gives him a second brainbuster, and that gets two. Cage superkicks him and hits a TKO, but they fight to the top and Takeshita brings him down with a superplex and finishes with the high knee at 10:08. TAKESHITA WINS ON TV! FINALLY! Also is it me or Takeshita using a sped-up version of the WCW Monday Nitro theme? Anyway this was a BANGER as they worked together perfectly. ***1/2
Meanwhile, the Jericho Appreciation Society explains their new match concept: The Guevara-Garcia Gauntlet, which means that Ricky Starks has to beat both 2.0 geeks and then beat either Sammy or Daniel in order to earn the shot at Jericho.
Meanwhile, The Elite get ready to shoot some hoops and Nick does the “first take” free throw shot ala Mr. Perfect, but the weird Ethan Page/Matt Hardy/Isiah Kassidy trio interrupt in the gym and issue a challenge for Rampage. Don Callis is very excited about the NFT possibilities, which makes him the last person in the universe left still excited by NFTs.
Bryan Danielson v. Timothy Thatcher
Thatcher immediately does some SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION on Danielson’s arm and attached digits, but Bryan takes him down and works the leg before turning him into a bow and arrow. Thatcher viciously stomps the bad arm to escape that and then lifts Danielson off the mat with a kimura attempt and has this tremendously deranged look while doing it. Danielson makes the ropes and we take a break. Back with Timothy beating on him with forearms, and he follows with a hammerlock suplex that gets two. Danielson comes back with the kicks and a backslide, and another head kick gets two. Danielson throws the hammer elbows, but Thatcher goes to the fingers again and the ref gets bumped while Danielson tries to break free. This brings MJF out with his ring, but Takeshita dives out of the crowd and chases MJF off. Meanwhile, Thatcher takes Bryan down with the armbar, but Danielson makes the ropes. Thatcher with a suplex onto the shoulder, but Bryan fires back with a german suplex and finishes with the bu saiku knee at 13:41. Goddamn what a show this is. **** Thatcher is just so different and unique from everyone else in the promotion and I hope they keep him around to have more of these matches.
Meanwhile, MJF and Takeshita continue their fight backstage until security geeks break them up, and then Renee stops by and announces a match for next week to settle their beef.
Meanwhile, MJF has a big case of money for Rush if he can get the job done against Bryan Danielson, and then another 5 of them on top of that once it’s done. Funny bit as Rush does a lengthy promo in Spanish on MJF ad then Jose translates as “We have a deal”, which MJF calls out as bullshit. Well, we know Rush doesn’t like doing jobs.
TBS title: Jade Cargill v. Red Velvet
Velvet attacks to start, but Jade puts her down with an elbow, so Velvet tosses her and dropkicks her while Jade is getting her hair fixed. Back in the ring, Velvet gets a rollup for two, but Jade puts her down with a wheelbarrow suplex for two. Jade drops an elbow and we take a break. Back with Red coming back with a lungblower, but Jade puts her down with the pump kick for two. This brings out Kiera to take out Leila Grey, while Velvet gets her spinkick finisher for two. Velvet with an armbar, but Jade powers up and finishes with Jaded at 7:10. She just keeps clearing out the division over and over with no payoff in sight. *1/2
Meanwhile, Britt accuses Ruby Soho of sending Saraya and Toni Storm after her earlier.
TNT title, No Holds Barred: Darby Allin v. Samoa Joe
Darby has a hoodie covered in thumbtacks, although in Saskatchewan we call it a bunny hug covered in thumbtacks and no I’m not even making that up. Anyway, that sucks for Joe, but it only makes him slightly madder and he rips it off Darby and beats him down in the corner to punish him. But then he finds a table under the ring and Darby does a tope into the table, knocking Joe over. So Joe sends Darby into the stairs with the damnedest bump you’ll ever see, as Darby skips over the stairs and into the crowd like a stone on the water, and they fight up into the arena. Oh and Joe drops Darby onto the railing in another insane spot as we take a break. Back with Joe continuing to murderize Darby and put the boots to him. Darby fights back with chops in the corner, so Joe puts him down with the uranage for two. Joe beats him down with chops and boots him to the floor, and it’s back to that table again now that Darby is unable to use himself as a guided missile. Joe goes for the choke and Darby escapes with a jawbreaker, so Joe just chucks him over the top rope like he’s Duke Droese taking out the trash. Back in the ring, Joe sets up the chairs back to back and slams Darby on those in the most terrifying spot in wrestling. And that’s not enough for him so he tries a powerbomb, but Darby punches him in the bloodied nose and hits a Code Red for two. He follows with a bag of powder in the face and the stunner, and it’s back to the BUNNY HUG OF DOOM, as he puts it on and hits a coffin drop with that for two. So now Darby runs out and manages to cut up the ties on the canvas and pull out the padding. But then he dives at Joe and puts himself through the table outside. And then Joe powerbombs him onto the thumbtacks, but Darby digs his thumbs into Joe’s eyes to break free from the choke. He beats on Joe with a chair to put him on the exposed wood, but Joe blocks the coffin drop and brings Darby down with a Muscle Buster onto the wood to finish at 16:17 and regain the TNT title. I mean, what a hell do you even say about this one? ****3/4 But before Joe can celebrate, Wardlow returns with his fancy new haircut and Joe retreats while Wardlow beats up security geeks.
Holy shit what a show. Wrestling is just awesome right now, man.