The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 03.01.23
Live from San Francisco, CA
Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz & Tony Schiavone
All Atlantic title: Orange Cassidy v. Big Bill
Orange wisely stays away to start and leads Bill in a high speed chase around the ring just to be annoying, and then tries a sunset flip back in the ring. Bill blocks that, so Orange tries to spin into a DDT and Bill puts him down with a sideslam and corner splash to take over. Bill whips him to the apron and puts him on the floor with a big boot. Bill retrieves the timekeeper’s table and tries to put Orange through it, but he fights back and then loses and goes through anyway. We take a break and return with Big Bill getting a big suplex and he follows with a full nelson.
Bill tries the big boot and Orange goes limp to escape. So an annoyed Bill heads outside and beats up Danhausen, but this is where Orange draws the line and he saves with a tope. Orange with the Orange Punch on the floor and a dropkick into the stairs. Back in, Orange tries another punch but gets caught, so he hits the stunner instead and follows with the DDT. Another Orange Punch won’t put him down, so he goes to the top for a flying punch to finish at 12:24. This ended up a good David v. Goliath story and another case of Orange having to adjust his offense to figure someone out. ***1/4.
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley is already bleeding in his backstage promo this week. And Hangman Page might be a great wrestler and a great man, but he’s not the same animal as Moxley.
The Elite join us for something, but before we can rock out to Kansas, the lights go out and House of Black mugs them and steals the Trios titles.
Face of the Revolution ladder match: Konosuke Takeshita v. Kommander v Eddie Kingston v. Action Andretti v. Sammy Guevara v. AR Fox v. Ortiz v. Powerhouse Hobbs
Ortiz and Kingston immediately have beef on the floor, and Andretti dives on Sammy, so Kommander is like “Why not?” and dives onto Fox. Back in the ring, Sammy nails Fox with a ladder, but Kommander ropewalks into a dropkick on Andretti. And then Hobbs lays him out and clears the ring before hurling Fox into a ladder in the corner. Sammy tries to stop him but then thinks better of it, but Takeshita wants a piece. They have a HOSS FIGHT and Takeshita hits him with a deadlift german, before Sammy knocks him out of the ring and then we get a series of dives, building up to Kommander doing a damn ropewalk from one side of the ring to the other and diving onto the pile. Holy SHIT. We take a break after that and return with Hobbs slamming Fox onto a ladder bridge, leaving Sammy to climb for the golden hemorrhoid donut, but Andretti brings him down with a rana onto the ladder bridge. Kommander climbs next and Takeshita brings him down with a Blue Thunder Bomb from the ladder and makes the climb, but then Andretti dives in and saves. This brings Daniel Garcia out to interfere and take out both guys. So Sammy sets up a giant ladder on the floor and puts Andretti through another ladder with a swanton. Garcia drags Sammy’s lifeless body up the ladder, but Takeshita takes him out. And then Hobbs takes out that ladder, makes the climb, and wins the donut at 13:44. And thankfully there’s four referees to steady the ladder while he’s standing on the top of it looking terrified. Can’t blame him. So this was quite the spectacle. If you like spectacular car crash matches, this was up there with the car crashiest. For whatever reason, Eddie and Ortiz literally disappeared 30 seconds into the match and never returned. ****. I mean, good for Hobbs, but didn’t we already have a three-way feud with Hobbs, Samoa Joe and Wardlow in the first place? Over the TNT title? Was I dreaming that?
Meanwhile, the Best Friends are apparently not medically cleared for the battle royale tonight, so Danhausen & Orange Cassidy will take their place thanks to peer pressure from Danhausen.
Chris Jericho v. Peter Avalon
Pretty Peter immediately attacks and then tosses Jericho out and hits him with a dive before running him into the stairs. Back in the ring, he beats on Jericho in the corner and gets a cross body for two. Tornado DDT gets two. But then he walks into the codebreaker and gets pinned at 2:14. So Ricky Starks hits the ring to save Avalon from a Floyd beatdown, but IT’S A TRAP and the JAS beats him up. Pretty standard stuff here.
Meanwhile, Hangman Page does his promo on Jon Moxley from what appears to be a barn.
Christian Cage joins us for an interview, making friends in San Fran as usual. Apparently Jungle Boy doesn’t appreciate winning titles in the same way Christian does, so he doesn’t deserve to ever be a singles champion. So Christian is challenging him to a fight on the PPV after going to the “Your father is dead” well again, but the lights go out and we get a video with Jungle Boy apparently digging Christian’s grave.
FTW title: Hook v. Matt Hardy
Hook quickly takes Matt down with a leglock, and given how brittle Matt’s bones are at his age, that might throw out a hip. Matt makes the ropes and the Stokely crew gets some cheapshots on Hook, allowing Matt to take over. Back in the ring, Hook with a t-bone suplex out of the corner, but Matt drops him in the corner with Snake Eyes and Side Effect for two. Ethan Page uses Stokely’s cast for two, but Hook reverses a Twist of Fate into a choke for the win at 4:33. This was kind of a disaster, to say the least. Matt barely could move out there and Hook isn’t the kind of worker who can get around that limitation just yet. 1/2*. So next week, it’s Hook v. Stokely Hathaway.
Toni Storm v. Riho
Toni tosses Riho around the ring and gets a tackle for two, but Riho bridges out and dodges a dropkick. Riho with a snap suplex for two, but Saraya makes a nuisance of herself and Storm attacks. Riho gets the double stomp for two and goes to a crossface, but Storm makes the ropes and puts her on the floor with the hip attack. So this brings out Jamie and Britt because this match isn’t particularly going anywhere, and we take a break. Back with Riho making the comeback and she dodges Toni and then dives onto her outside. Back in for the diving stomp and a northern lights suplex for two. Riho goes up, but Toni blocks and then dropkicks her into the other corner before hitting the hip attack for two. But then Toni gets all distracted with Britt and Riho rolls her up for the pin at 10:14. This took forever to get going and wasn’t particularly good even when it did. And yeah, distraction finish, great. **. This all leads to a three-way brawl with Hayter, Ruby Soho and Saraya.
Meanwhile, Dustin and Keith Lee challenge Swerve to a tag team match on Rampage.
Casino Battle Royale:
We’ve got the Dark Order and Blackpool Combat Club as the first teams, and they brawl on the floor before the official bell as we take a break. Back with Rush & Preston Vance as #3, and Rush trades chops with Claudio. The Lucha Bros are #4 and go after Team Rush with superkicks and everyone is kind of slugging it out aimlessly. Rush and Claudio try to get Penta out, but Fenix saves. Aussie Open are #5, and Dark Order double-teams Yuta and sends him to the apron before Aussie Open saves. And BCC pulls Dark Order out at 5:54 for the first elimination. We take a break and return with Top Flight at #6. They put Claudio to the apron and dropkick Daddy Magic out as I guess we missed 2.0 during the break. Taven & Bennett are #8 as there are WAY too many in there. The ring is overcrowded and needs to be cleared out. Nese & Daivari randomly run out and attack the Lucha Bros, although I don’t think they’re in the match. This allows Rush to throw out Penta to eliminate them. Dante manages to get Vance out, and Darius dropkicks Rush off the apron and out of the match. So I guess this is it and there’s no FTR? OK then. Aussie Open gets Top Flight to the apron, but they fight back, only to get tossed out. But then Orange Cassidy & Danhausen are out and it’s been WAY more than 60 seconds between teams,and Orange throws out Angelo to finish off 2.0. And then there’s another team already 20 seconds later, with the Butcher and the Blade. This is a huge mess. Aussie Open goes after Maria and that ends with them and the Kingdom all out. Dark Order distracts the BCC and Yuta gets thrown out by Orange and then so does Claudio, leaving Butcher and Blade against Orange & Danhausen. The heels double-team Orange and send him to the apron, but Danhausen pushes them out to win the match at 18:56. That’s a…weird choice for a winner. They’ve got 8 million teams and a thrown together Orange & Danhausen ends up in the title match? Anyway, last week’s battle royale was way better, as this got overstuffed with guys way too quickly and didn’t feel like it had much drama as a result.
Bryan Danielson joins us and we’ve got like 4 minutes of airtime left, and MJF quickly interrupts, so Bryan does the money promo on him and tells him that if he doesn’t fight for his life for the entire 60 minutes, he’s going to get his fucking head kicked in.
Holy crap this show was all over the damn place. The ladder match was a spectacular trainwreck, but the entire second hour was mostly just a trainwreck, period. Letting Cocaine Bear book the go home show was probably not a great idea.