The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.31.23
Live from San Diego, CA
Your hosts are Excalibur, Taz, Tony Schiavone & Bryan Danielson
The Blackpool Combat Club v. The Lucha Bros & Bandido
I’m gonna need Excalibur to explain Bandido’s getup tonight. The Mexicans put them on the floor with triple superkicks and try triple dives, but the BCC blocks it and VIOLENCE ensues on the floor. Back in the ring, Wheeler beats on Bandido while Bryan notes that Yuta was “doing neck bridges on the Red Rock for punishment” to atone for his performance last week. They fight over a suplex and Bandido gets a delayed suplex, so delayed they should call it CM Punk’s return, as Bandido makes it to an incredible count of 50 from the crowd. That gets two. “Do you think anyone is gonna slap Bandido in the face for that lackadaisical cover? BECAUSE THEY SHOULD!” Lucha Bros double-team Yuta, but Moxley comes in with a cutter on them, and everyone hits some big moves before Bandido misses a dive and gets piledriven on the floor as a result. And I’m watching on Fite tonight so we carry on through the break, as the BCC cuts off the ring and traps Bandido in the corner. Claudio works on Bandido with an armbar and puts him down with a clothesline and Moxley goes to a half-crab while Bryan invites Taz to train with them and Taz has to politely decline that one.
Bandido tries a sunset flip on Mox, but Moxley puts him down with a knee strike and stomps on his face a little bit. “We train in kicking people’s heads in,” Danielson clarifies. Back from the break with Moxley working a chinlock on Bandido and then he pounds Bandido with corner clotheslines, but misses a blind charge. Bandido fights back with a bodypress and it’s hot tag Fenix off that. Fenix hits them with superkicks and Penta comes in with a sling blade on Claudio into a DDT on Moxley. But Claudio puts him down with a lariat and they’re both down. Back to Bandido, and he slugs it out with Yuta, and hits a leg lariat and follows with a cutter. Flying splash gets two on Yuta while Bryan puts over the BCC training that improved his kickout over where it was a year ago. Bandido tries the 21 Plex but Moxley breaks it up, and Yuta gets the elbows on Bandido and finishes with the Seat Belt at 12:14. And Bryan is just so gosh darn proud of young Wheeler and has to go out and personally raise his hand to show it. Hell of an opener. ****.
Meanwhile, The Elite recover from Anarchy in the Arena backstage, and Matt Jackson never thought he’d reach the day when he tried to melt off the face of another man with an explosive sneaker, and yet here we are. But the Dark Order quickly interrupts, and they’re all offended that Hangman Page is hanging out with his new friends. Also Kenny Omega has left the country…but he’s not in Canada.
Bullet Club Gold join Tony for a word in the ring, and they want to remind us that Ricky Starks is still a loser who didn’t win the International title. Moving onto FTR, who are southern boys and are thus a little bit slow and sound dumb when they talk. Jay White is the last one to accuse people of talking funny. So FTR comes out to join us, and White thinks that FTR wants to join Bullet Club Gold! Huge if true. Apparently Dax just has to ask politely, but we know he’s never asking anything politely, and the Bang Bang Gang attacks before Dax can do anything to them first. So Ricky Starks hits the ring and demands a match with Jay White NEXT WEEK to finish things. If only we could believe that it would actually finish things. This was kind of all over the place but I assume White & Juice are the next tag team title challengers despite not winning any matches yet that I know of.
Tony Khan is here to announce another announcement about Collision! And the announcement is that the debut will feature CM Punk, and BOY HOWDY does that draw a mixed reaction from the crowd. Well that announcement wasn’t for them anyway.
Trent Beretta v. Big Bill v. Swerve Strickland
I’m still trying to fully absorb the amazing backstory of the “Big Bill” name that we learned from Double or Nothing. Trent quickly hits Swerve with a dive while Taz clarifies that video games are for kids and he’s an adult. “You play a golf game on your phone though” notes Excalibur. “Well of course.” Bill runs wild on both guys and puts Trent down with a big boot, and then beats on both guys on the floor and biels Swerve onto the ramp. Also what is going on with Bill’s pants this week? Did someone stick a bottle of water on his chair as a rib or something? Bill continues beating on both guys and boots Swerve off the apron, but Trent comes back and moonsaults Bill onto the floor. Swerve takes out Trent with a kick off the apron, but everyone fights to the top and Trent and Swerve bring Bill down with a superplex. Trent fires up, but walks into Bill’s Black Hole Slam, which gets two. Swerve kicks Bill down for two. Swerve stomp misses and Trent hits the flying knee and then follows with a piledriver for two. Bill trades chops with Trent on the apron and chokeslams him into the ring, but Swerve takes out Bill and then steals the pin on Trent at 8:58. This was OK but they never meshed very well. **1/2
Meanwhile, Kris Statlander returns at Double or Nothing and finally ends Jade’s title reign.
The Acclaimed join Renee for an interview, and Billy is saddened that he let his team down, but his team pumps him up again because they want gold again.
Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita join us and Don has some monster heat. He hopes the boos are for Kenny Omega and proclaims himself the real victim, which only makes the crowd even more nuclear. And maybe he lost a nephew, but he’s gained a son. Better than Rikidozan! Better than Inoki! Better than Maeda! Better than Muto! Better than Okada! And then Takeshita does an evil Japanese promo and promises to destroy the Elite and cut them out of AEW. OK now I’m gonna need to see Takeshita v. Okada at Forbidden Door.
Meanwhile, Wardlow is happy to let Luchasaurus have next.
The Gates of Agony v. Orange Cassidy & Darby Allin
The Gates attack to start and Toa hits Orange with an overhead suplex out of the corner, so it’s over to Darby. Darby slugs away on Toa, but gets wiped out and worked over in the corner. Darby tries a springboard and gets caught by Toa while Swerve joins us to observe. Darby tries to fight back and Toa hits him with a splash in the corner, but Darby necks him on the top. So Kaun yanks him down and smashes him into the railing a few times. Back in the ring, that gets two for Kaun. He slugs away on Darby and the Gates double-team him in the corner. Toa with a splash and Darby gets tossed. Back in, the Gates beat on him and Kaun gets a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle to set up a senton from Toa. Toa with a uranage for two. Darby fights back on them with chops and it’s hot tag Orange. Orange slowly runs wild and gets the DDT on Kaun for two, but walks into a samoan drop from Toa. The Gates hit him with a double clothesline for two, but Darby saves. Orange with a double rana on them and it’s back to Darby, who takes out Toa with a suicide dive outside. In the ring, Orange gets the stunner on Kaun, and Darby finishes him with the coffin drop at 11:13. This was a competent tag match but nothing special and mostly kind of dull. **1/2. This brings Swerve down to take advantage, but Sting returns because he’s having none of that and he stares the heels down.
Meanwhile, MJF is running out of challengers and would like some real competition. Maybe Tony Khan can announce some next week.
Tony Schiavone joins us for an interview with someone, but Hook comes out first. And before he can say anything, Preston Vance and Dralistico interrupt Hook’s interruption and attack so they can have TV time. But then Jack Perry saves and Jose the Assistant gets laid out by Hook as the Jungle Hookers reunite. Man I was thinking this was where Perry would turn on him, but that might be coming still.
Meanwhile, the Outcasts celebrate Toni Storm’s win and they’re pretty sure no one is worthy of even carrying Toni’s bags.
TBS title: Kris Statlander v. Nyla Rose
Kris slugs away in the corner and puts her down with a dropkick, but she can’t get a slam and Nyla gets one instead. Kris with a bodyscissors, but Nyla makes the ropes. They fight for a suplex and Nyla suplexes her into the corner as Taya watches jealously from the back. Nyla beats Kris down in the corner and chokes her out to set up a suplex for two. Nyla with a half-crab on Statlander’s bad knee, which the crowd boos. “Shut up, it’s called strategy!” She’s got a point. Nyla with a corner splash and lariat for two. She goes to a chinlock and then clips the bad knee again before going to a kneebar. Kris fights up and Nyla puts her down with a lariat for two. Kris fights up again with her own clotheslines and a running knee in the corner. Blue Thunder Bomb gets two. Nyla takes her to the floor for a cannonball off the apron and sends Statlander into the railing for another cannonball, which prompts Tony to call her Cannonball Jones. That’s a pretty good wrestling name actually. Back in, Nyla with a chokeslam for two. Statlander with a jawbreaker and she goes up with a 450, and that finishes at 8:05. Taya is UNIMPRESSED by this first defense. Well I’m much more impressed with this defense than I was with most of Jade’s. ***
Well Rampage sure looks like a hell of a deal this week, I’ll give it that.
Adam Cole & Dr. Britt Baker DMD v. Saraya & Chris Jericho
Man, for a long term couple, Britt and Cole just have no on-screen chemistry together. They come across like a couple of friends who like to hang out and play games in their spare time or something. Jericho beats on Cole with chops and they slug it out in the corner. Jericho goes with the old Jesse Ventura special and tosses Cole for a beating on the floor. Back in, it’s over to the women, and Britt slams Saraya, but gets tripped up by Jericho to allow Saraya to take over. She puts the boots to Britt and chokes away on the ropes, and a snap suplex gets two. Jericho pretends to tag in and gives Britt some trash talk, which prompts the Outcasts to hit the ring and beat on Britt. Shida saves and chases them off, and Britt rolls up Saraya for two. Over to Cole with a pretty cold hot tag, and Jericho immediately cuts him off with a Lionsault for two. Back to the women and Britt goes to the top, but Saraya cuts her off. Britt sends her down and Jericho tries to get in the way, but Britt hits them both with a splash for two. Cole comes in with the backstabber on Jericho, but the Panama Sunrise is countered with the Walls of Jericho to a giant babyface pop. Man this Jericho program is just doing miracles for Cole’s babyface run. Britt saves and puts Jericho in the Lockjaw. Yeah his girlfriend had to save him. Man this match is just hitting all the wrong notes. Cole sets up a superkick and Jericho counters with the codebreaker for two. Back to the women and Saraya quickly hits the Rampaige for two. Jericho grabs the bat, but walks into a superkick from Cole, who tags in legally and hits the Boom to finish at 13:13. This was another swing and another miss for this disaster of a feud. *1/4.
Started pretty strong with the tag match but the rest just felt like filler material and GOOD LORD they could not make Adam Cole look more weak as a babyface if they were trying. They need to get him away from Jericho immediately and find someone else for him to feud with.
Second skippable episode in a row by my watch.