The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 04.26.23
Live from Sunrise, FL
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
AEW International title: Orange Cassidy v. Bandido
Orange is confused by Bandido’s lucha ways and unsure how to deal with him, and they trade armdrag takedowns and fight to a stalemate. Bandido gives him the finger guns (PEW PEW!) but Orange holsters the guns in his own pockets. Orange puts him on the floor with a rana and tries a dive, but Bandido catches him and drops him on the railing, and back in for two. Bandido beats on him with kicks in the corner and takes him down for a stretch muffler while one guy in the front row cheers him on. Cassidy makes the ropes, so Bandido dropkicks him to the floor and follows with a tope con hilo as we take a break. Back with Bandido holding a delayed suplex, so delayed they should call it “Cody’s big title win”, but Orange reverses to his own suplex and they’re both down. Orange fights back with some horrific chops, but Bandido somehow survives it unscarred and hits him with a superkick. Orange bails to the apron and comes back in with a flying bodypress, and a Michinoku Driver gets two. Orange goes up again, but Bandido kicks him in the head to put him down again and then hits him with a deadlift superplex and a cutter for two. They fight to the top rope and Orange fights him off and tries a bodypress, but Bandido catches him for a one armed press slam and frog splash for two. Oh man now Chavo is gonna troll him on Twitter. Orange with the Mouse Trap for two, but Bandido reverses to his own for two using his LUCHA MAGIC. But then Orange hits the Orange Punch and Beach Break to finish at 15:25 and retain. I’ll take whatever Bandido on my TV that I can get, he’s just tremendous. ****1/4. And Orange apparently thinks so as well, presenting Bandido with a pair of glasses to show his appreciation for the great match.
Meanwhile, Adam Cole promises to call out Chris Jericho later tonight. And then Orange and his new friend Bandido stop by and decide that they don’t have much to add, and leave.
Meanwhile, Jungle Boy and Darby Allin try to bury the hatchet, but Darby can’t help being a dick.
Jeff Jarrett v. Dax Harwood
Bit of a continuity gaffe here, as they show highlights of the 8-man tag “from last Friday”, but Rampage actually aired on Saturday. No wonder this outlaw mudshow is only gonna draw 50,000 to Wembley Stadium with that kind of quality control. Sadly, all of Jarrett’s friends are sent back to the dressing room before they even have a chance to cheat and interfere. Jarrett gets a takedown and tries to strut in celebration, but Dax breaks that up and they trade headlocks on the mat. Jarrett tries to strut again but Dax cockblocks him again, so Jeff gets some slams and NOW IT’S STRUTTING TIME. Jarrett’s dorky celebration for getting to do his strut is just so great. I would not have had Jeff Jarrett reviving his career in 2023 on my bingo card. Dax beats on him with chops and hits a snap suplex and legdrop for two. The dynamic here with Dax Harwood The Serious Wrestler and Jeff Jarrett The Purveyor of Memphis Nonsense is what really sells it. They fight to the top and Jarrett fights him off as we take a break. Back with Dax escaping the figure-four and going for a Sharpshooter, but Jarrett escapes that, so Dax hits him with a diving headbutt for two. JJ with a Stroke, but Dax reverses to a backslide for two and piledriver for two. They fight to the floor and Dax beats on him out there, but he tries a missile dropkick into the ring and Jarrett catches him in a catapult into the corner for two. They trade rollups and Jarrett pokes him in the eye and tries a figure-four, but Dax rolls him up for two. That eyepoke was perfectly timed. Dax is trying so hard to be Lou Thesz and Jarrett is just doing every bit of Jerry Lawler shtick. And then Dax tries a suplex and Sonjay pops out from under the ring and trips Dax up for two. So Dax chases Dutt around the ring, and runs back into the ring and walks into the Stroke at 11:21. JARRETT WINS! And then he declares himself to be AEW tag team champion and won’t give the belt back to the ref. This was a lot of fun. ***1/2.
Meanwhile, Tony Khan announces the 2023 Owen Hart Cup, which will see the finals being held in Calgary on July 15. See, depending on how they play it, that at least should have some monster heat and make it seem super important.
Wardlow v. Local Enhancement Guy
Well you know how this goes. Afterwards, AA puts over Wardlow as “AEW’s dynasty” and his #1 draft pick. But he’s going to have to learn how to fight dirty, which brings out Christian and dinosaur for a staredown that goes nowhere. This was a lot of nothing that literally gave us no new information.
Meanwhile, MJF and Sammy annoy Renee with their affectionate friendship, as Sammy presents him with a matching leather vest, and MJF gives him a scarf. I bet poor Max Caster is all jealous now.
Meanwhile, RJ City is doing whatever and the BCC stops by the backstage area and clobbers him just to be assholes.
Sammy Guevara v. Darby Allin
MJF stops by the announce desk with He’s Better Than Your Dill Pickles, which are kosher, but Taz wants to avoid the sodium at his age. Darby works a headlock on Sammy to start, but Sammy flips out of it, so Darby headlocks him down again. Sammy fights up and Darby takes him down with a wristlock and then goes back to the headlock while MJF makes it clear that Sammy is going to lay down at Double or Nothing and he won’t get paid unless it happens. They trade backslide attempts but Darby reverses him into a Sharpshooter and Sammy makes the ropes. And then Sammy spits on him and puts him on the floor with a high knee and sends him into the post. Meanwhile MJF and Taz go on a wacky run about Dean Malenko breaking Taz’s neck while Darby chokes out Sammy on the ropes. So Sammy hits him right in the yam bag and follows with a moonsault to the floor as we take a break. Back with Darby trying a suicide dive, but Sammy catches him with a cutter on the way down. Sammy gets a table and they fight over that on the floor, but Tay Melo distracts Darby with her feminine wiles and Sammy hits him with a superplex for two. Back to the floor and Sammy puts Darby on the table and hits him with a 630 to break it. Back in, Darby manages to fight back with a shotgun dropkick to set up the coffin drop, but MJF gives Darby the skateboard while Sammy plays dead, and the ref calls for the DQ at 13:00. Well obviously we know that crap finish won’t stand. So the heels go to beat Darby down, but Jungle Boy makes the save while MJF and Sammy celebrate rigging the main event of a wrestling PPV. Well I never! MJF notes that Darby can go back to the midcard, while “using his tears to play with himself while listening to My Chemical Romance”. But then Tony interrupts with news from TK: Sammy has indeed won his spot in the main event, but next week MJF & Sammy have to face Darby & Jungle Boy in a tag match, and if the babyfaces win, it’s a four-way. Much like Cody Rhodes, the babyfaces had to face adversity and then FINISH THE STORY. We’ve learned so much from HHH’s booking lessons, but Sammy & MJF have taught us that the most important thing is the friends we made along the way. ***
Meanwhile, MJF and Sammy storm out of the building, but MJF’s giant Humvee is sadly full and thus Sammy has to find his own ride.
Adam Cole (Bay Bay) joins us, looking for Chris Jericho. So Jericho appears on the Khan Tron, accusing Cole of being a coward who did nothing to save his own girlfriend when she was being beaten up. And the JAS comes out for the beatdown, but new friends Orange Cassidy and Bandido make the save before falling victim to the numbers. But then this brings out Roderick Strong to make the save by himself and reunite with Cole. I was not expecting that one. Well hopefully we can get Kyle back in time for the Canada tour and maybe scrape up whatever change in the couch they need to pay for Bobby Fish for a couple of shows.
QTV: Things aren’t going well for QT and his gang, and Hobbs isn’t happy with him. So it’s time for Plan B.
TBS title: Jade Cargill v. Taya Valkyrie
Jade slugs away in the corner, but Taya clotheslines her out of the corner and slugs away on the mat. Taya teases Road to Valhalla right away, but that would be a DQ and she has to let it go. Taya boots Jade to the floor and teases a dive, but Jade slams her onto the floor and we take a break. Back with Taya slugging away on Jade, and a Blue Thunder Bomb gets two. They fight to the top and Jade brings her down with a superplex and follows with a destroyer for two. Super obvious who was doing all the work on that one. She tries Jaded and Taya reverses out and hits a double stomp for two. She tries another Valhalla, but remembers the DQ stip again and then lets it go, and Jade gets a cheap rollup to retain at 8:43. Taya was trying for something here and they just didn’t click at all. Fans weren’t really into Taya as a challenger either. *1/2
Meanwhile, Britt and Jamie are coming for the Outcasts.
Kenny Omega & Konosuke Takeshita v. The Butcher & The Blade
Kenny and Takeshita double-team Blade in the corner and Kenny gets a moonsault to set up Takeshita for a senton for two. Kenny with a rana to put Blade on the floor, but Sabian trips him up on the Terminator Dive and then adds a moonsault of his own as we take a break. Back with Kenny hitting the face crusher on Blade and making a hot tag to Takeshita. He comes in with a bodypress on Butcher for two and the Warrior clothesline to set up a running boot in the corner. Brainbuster gets two. Butcher cuts him off and hits a backbreaker into a Blade knee strike for two. Omega saves the double-team finisher and Takeshita powerbombs Butcher for two. Omega takes out Blade with a dive while Takeshita finishes Butcher with a running knee at 9:22. So good to see Takeshita finally get to win although the match wasn’t anything special and seemed super-rushed. **1/2. And then Bryan Danielson declares that Takeshita training with the Elite is a ticket to being their young boy, washing them in the showers like Nakazawa and Brandon Cutler apparently do. He seems to know a lot about what happens in their showers. Kind of weird. So the BCC hits the ring and threatens to use the screwdriver again, but Omega gets it, and Takeshita talks him out of using it. So then Bryan pretends to offer Takeshita a spot and then turns on him and jams the screwdriver in his head to end the show.
The Pillars stuff is still mostly death and kind of a predictable drag, but I thought the rest of the show was really fun and a good rebound after last week. It’s gonna get slaughtered by the basketballs, though.