The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.03.23
Dedicated to the legend of the tilda bang and a huge influence on my own writing style, DEAN~! Rasmussen. Hopefully he gets well soon.
Live from Baltimore, MD
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
Orange Cassidy, Bandido, Adam Cole (Bay Bay) & Roderick Strong v. Jake Hager, Daniel Garcia, Daddy Magic & Angelo Parker
Chris Jericho decides to go for master class trolling by wearing the Britt Baker black eye shirt, probably also prompting more sales of the shirt as well. Strong slugs it out with Garcia to start, and Adam Cole comes in and puts the boots to him in the corner and then boots Parker in the face as well. Apparently he’s in a mood tonight. Over to Bandido, who powerslams Parker, and we get a Mexican standoff and PIER SIX BRAWL. They all fight on the floor, and Orange is left in the ring with Hager. Jake takes him to the floor and runs him into the post, but Bandido runs wild with a dive as they all continue the chaotic brawl. Back in the ring, Bandido gets a delayed suplex, so delayed they should call it the Bruins’ next Stanley Cup appearance, and we take a break. Back with Orange getting worked over in the JAS corner while Garcia…dances? I guess? Orange fights back, but Daddy Magic cuts him off with an atomic drop, and Orange gets the stunner and makes the hot tag to Strong. He runs wild with kicks on Hager and an Angle slam for two. 2.0 tries to DDT him, but he fights them off and it’s back to Orange again, and Garcia immediately cuts him off with the Dragon slayer. Cole breaks that up and we’re BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, as Orange hits the Beach Break on Garcia for two. Orange slugs it out with Garcia and throws the bombs, but Garcia walks away and the babyfaces dive onto him. That leaves Parker in the ring with Cole and Strong, and Cool Hand gets double-teamed and BOOMED at 14:25. And then Cole sprints over to the announce table and jumps Jericho for a further brawl before security pulls them apart. This was a fun and chaotic brawl. ***1/2.
Meanwhile, Darby Allin and Jungle Boy are ready for Showtime tonight.
Back from the break, Britt stops by to smack Jericho around as well.
Meanwhile, Bryan Danielson and the BCC think that Bret Hart is pretty egotistical to think that no one will ever be a better wrestler than him, and next week Moxley is going to permanently scar Kenny Omega in a steel cage match. Bryan suddenly talking shit about the Hitman is…interesting. We know that Bret doesn’t like people talking about him without responding.
Saraya v. Willow Nightingale
Willow beats on Saraya with chops in the corner, but misses a charge and Saraya sends her to the floor for a beating from the Outcasts. We take a break and return with Willow getting a cradle for two, but Saraya hits the Paige Turner for two. Willow comes back with a death valley driver, but Storm takes the ref and Ruby runs in, allowing Saraya to hit the Ram-Paige to finish at 6:43. This was a lot of feathers and not much chicken. *1/2. They go for the beatdown on Willow, but then Hikaru Shida returns…and seemingly joins up with the Outcasts. However, this ruse was also a ruse, as she’s actually with Britt and Jamie Hayter, and it’s the Outcasts who get spraypainted this time. Ok there we go, actual storyline progression in this thing, I’ll take it.
Meanwhile, the House of Black issues an Open House challenge stip to their titles, as now there’s no rope breaks and a 20 count out of the ring if you’re challenging for their Trios titles.
Tres de Mayo Trios Battle Royale:
So glad that Tony Khan actually spells BATTLE ROYALE correctly. It means a lot to me. Sadly, Daddy Ass is unable to scissor Bowens before everyone attacks and the match is on. So we’re got the Lucha Bros & VIkingo, Acclaimed & Daddy Ass, Dark Order, QTV, Butcher & Blade & Sabian, and the Varsity Jobbers. Daivari is first out at 1:00 and Uno, who I heard was backstage at Impact for some reason, is out at 1:30. Tony Nese gets stomped off the apron by Fenix at 2:15, and Vikingo puts Woods on the floor with a rana at 2:30 to eliminate the Varsity Geeks for good. Alex Reynolds bails to the apron and QT sends him into the railing to eliminate him at 3:20, but the Lucha Bros eliminate QT and Solo at 3:33. And then Hobbs goes nuts and puts the Lucha Bros out by himself at 3:58. Vikingo tries to avenge his team, but Hobbs tosses out Vikingo at 4:20 and they’re gone. Hobbs takes out Daddy Ass next and cheerfully no-sells the Acclaimed’s offense, but they dodge him and Hobbs lands on the floor at 4:54. So we’ve got the Acclaimed and Sabin’s team and John Silver by himself left alive. Caster gets thrown out by Blade at 5:35, and Blade scissors Butcher to celebrate. That sounds dangerous actually. Silver with a delayed supex on Blade, so delayed they should call it AEW’s streaming service, but Blade recovers and tosses Silver out at 7:00 to eliminate the Dark Order. So this leaves the full B&B team against Bowens & Daddy Ass. Blade with a stunner on Billy and Butcher follows with a lariat, but they can’t throw him out and Bowens makes a comeback. He tosses Blade out at 8:28 and slugs away on Sabian and Butcher, and then hangs on to prevent elimination. All the scissoring strengthened his grip, you see. So Billy and Bowens hit stereo fameassers, toss the heels out, and win the match at 9:28. So I guess they’re the next challengers for the House of Black, which is a fine direction for them. This was just the right length and they got out before they wore out the welcome.
Meanwhile, Sammy confronts MJF for lying about the car last week. But MJF has had chronic back pain from carrying the company and needed the legroom. So Sammy immediately forgives him and does the promo on his behalf, because Max is so emotionally drained right now, and Max reminds him of his promise to lay down in the title match and then quickly changes the subject before they hug it out. This act is tremendous and hopefully they keep running with it because they fell into something special with these two.
Meanwhile, Don Callis does Kenny’s promo for him about next week’s cage match, and calls Moxley a narcissistic sociopath. Talk about the pot scalling the kettle a narcissist.
Wardlow v. eh who cares
Wardlow does the usual and then demands better competition, namely Luchasaurus. So Christian and his dinosaur come out to answer the challenge, but Christian hates Baltimore and won’t do it tonight, and also he clarifies that he’s the one getting the title shot, not Luchasaurus.
Meanwhile, Jeff Jarrett and his crew stop by the Briscoe farm and learn the ways of the redneck. Jeff Jarrett even gets ready to sing a song that shares the same title as “With My Baby Tonight” but is no doubt legally distinct from a melodic and lyrical standpoint. But then Papa Briscoe stops by to interrupt the rural mirthmaking and warns Mark to “watch out for the idiot in the coveralls down there.” Mark: “WHICH ONE?” Oh man I howled at this, especially Sonjay dancing the hoedown in the background. These guys are people who understand exactly what their role is and how to execute it. Whole show justified right here.
ROCK HARD Juice Robinson v. Ricky Starks
Well we finally get this blowoff. They brawl on the floor and Juice runs him into the railing and slams him on the floor. Starks slams him off the stairs and we take a break and return with Starks making a comeback in the ring with a DDT for two. Juice cradles for two, but Starks hits him with a brainbuster and goes up, missing a splash in the process. Juice hits him with a cannonball in the corner and hits him with a rana from the top, then follows with a lariat for two. Juice goes to finish and Ricky rolls him up for two and hits the spear and Rochambeau to finish at 9:38. This was a fine TV match. **1/2. Afterwards, Jay White goes for the beatdown, but Starks fights him off and the heels retreat because they both suck.
Four Pillars match: Sammy Guevara & MJF v. Jungle Boy & Darby Allin
Perry takes Sammy down with the wristlock and dropkicks him into the corner for emotional support from MJF. Max comes in and Darby cradles for two and then grabs a headlock and gets two off that. I love that they keep calling back to that finish. Max bails and hugs it out with Sammy, and then back in for some complaining about some alleged cheating from Jack Perry. Darby takes MJF down for two and goes back to the headlock, but Sammy gets a cheapshot from the apron and Max clobbers Darby to take over. Sammy chokes Darby out with the scarf, but he gets caught, and Darby does his own choking on the heels behind the ref’s back. I’m not a huge fan of doing all this schtick in a match that’s supposed to be a super important World title deal. We take a break and return with Darby fighting for the tag, and Jungle Boy comes in with a double crossbody and makes the comeback. He runs wild with dives on the heels, but he runs out of gas and Darby hits the final one. Back in, Perry with a tiger driver for two. Jack goes up and Sammy brings him down with the Spanish Fly for two. Sammy goes up and MJF tries to slam him onto Perry, but that misses and Darby comes in with the Code Red on Sammy. Another one on MJF is reversed to a powerbomb, which gets two. Jungle Boy with the Snare Trap on MJF, but Sammy makes the save and tosses him. So MJF calls for a dive but then lets Sammy do the work himself, and back in for a DDT from MJF on Perry that gets two. Sammy with a senton on Perry, but MJF steals the pin for two. MJF with the powerbomb and Sammy tags himself in and gets two on that. So then MJF finally turns on Sammy, and the babyfaces finish Sammy at 15:54 to make the PPV main event a four-way. Well that was entirely predictable. I mean, this was FINE, I guess, but this so does not feel like a big time main event that I want to spend $60 to see. ***1/2.
A very fun show, especially the chicken farm, but man that main event has such a feeling of “thing we’re gonna do to fill time before we get to the real program”. I’m sure the match will be great but obviously the BCC v. Elite feud is the real draw of Double or Nothing.