The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 08.16.23
By Scott Keith on 16th August 2023
The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 08.16.23
“Fight For the Fallen”.
Sponsored by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre game? Sure why not.
Live from Nashville, TN
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
AEW International title: Orange Cassidy v. Wheeler Yuta
This is a battle for the honor of SUE’S MINI-VAN. Orange goes for the Orange Punch right away and Wheeler takes him down to counter, and they slug it out. Both guys are down, but Yuta puts him on the floor and follows with a dive. Orange with a suplex on the floor, and Yuta comes back with a piledriver on the ramp to take over. That’s kind of a heavy move for a transition. Back in the ring, Orange hits the Beach Break for two and we take a break. Back with Yuta biting the hand to prevent the punch, but Orange dropkicks him off the apron and hits him with a tope. Back in the ring, Orange goes up and Yuta cuts him off with a superplex and follows with a flying splash for two. Yuta tries a head stomp and Orange rolls him up for two and comes back with a Michinoku Driver for two. Tornado DDT follows, but the BCC joins us at ringside, so Orange hits a Paradigm Shift and follows with the Orange Punch. However, Orange hurts his hand and Yuta gets the Seatbelt for two, only for Orange to cradle for the pin at 11:47 to retain. Typically good match from these two. ***1/2. This prompts a BCC beatdown, but the Best Friends save and then the Lucha Bros also hit the ring for a three-way brawl, which is quickly joined by the returning Eddie Kingston. And this sets up a 6-on-6 Stadium Stampede challenge apparently. Hey, Wembley Stadium would be the place to do it.
Meanwhile, JR sits down with Kenny Omega in Daily’s Place, and Kenny talks about getting groomed for wrestling by Don Callis and how Takeshita has taken his place. But then Don comes out to confront Kenny, and the Bang Bang Gang show up and help Takeshita lay him out. Later on, Hangman does a promo from outside the hospital, noting that Juice Robinson should have at least yelled “Roadhouse” before starting. So now it’s Kenny, Hangman & Kota Ibushi v. Takeshita, Jay and Juice at Wembley.
Don Callis joins us in the ring to get Jericho’s answer. So after thinking about it for a week, Jericho decides that he doesn’t join factions, he creates them. But he still answers YES because he wants to spite the JAS. Don wants to go drink and beat up rednecks to celebrate, but then Jericho notices that Callis has a painting that he didn’t unveil. Don glosses over it, but Jericho reveals that it’s a painting of Callis holding Jericho’s severed head, apparently thinking he would decline the offer. So finally confronted, Callis calls him out for his massive ego and throws Jericho under the bus, calling him a narcissistic egomaniac who’s too stupid to join the Callis Family. Don finally snaps and slaps Jericho, and that brings Will Ospreay out as the real new member of the Family, laying out Jericho with a chair to set up another Wembley match. And of course the painting gets broken on Jericho’s head. Good thing he wasn’t wearing a baseball cap. And Sammy Guevara makes the save.
Next week: Jack Perry promises to retire the FTW title on Dynamite.
The Gates of Agony v. Darby Allin & Nick Wayne
Aubrey’s hair bun game is strong this week. The Gates attack during the entrance, but Nick Wayne runs wild on the floor before getting tossed into the railing. We take a break and return with Nick escaping a double-team, making the hot tag to Darby. Crucifix on Kaun gets two. Gates cut him off with a Demolition elbow for two. They fight to the apron and Darby hits Toa with a necksnap and Wayne adds a rana to the floor. And the Coffin Drop finishes Kaun at 6:30. This basically all took place during the break. **. Swerve and Fox come in for the attack, but Sting pops up on the KhanTron with his new movie, starring Prince Nana, as he freaks out Nana and chases him off. Well that didn’t work.
Meanwhile, Better Than You Bay Bay decide to learn about Aussie Open by going to Outback Steakhouse to research. Unfortunately the Bloomin’ Onion gets into Max’s head and now he doesn’t know how to prepare. Adam suggests watching the Crocodile Dundee movies instead, but Max has been studying kangaroo fighting. So they plant a crocodile backstage and practice their double clothesline, which earns them a yelling from Tony Khan. This was all very wacky but they’re carrying the company right now so they gotta lean into it while they can.
MJF & Adam Cole join us (after MJF expels some Nashville Hot Chicken before the break). Adam talks about how he’s going to do whatever he needs to in order to win the title, and then MJF tells the story of contacting Cody Rhodes and getting to open up the original All In. And although he lost, he fought from the midcard and went on to win the AEW World title, and just because Adam is his bud, he’s not laying down in Wembley. Fair enough. And they do the catchphrase battle, but before they can hug it out again, Aussie Open attacks, but manage to run away before taking the DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE. But then when Max has his back turned, Adam sets up for the superkick, until Max turns around and they hug it out again. They’ve gotta keep this thing going somehow because it’s one of the hottest storylines they’ve ever had.
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho challenges Ospreay for All In. HE’S GONNA MAKE HIM BLEED HIS OWN BLOOD.
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE DEATH MATCH: Jeff Jarrett v. Jeff Hardy
My god, finally after literally minutes of buildup, we get the only blowoff for this feud that can be justified. Thankfully they don’t even bother with a video package to explain the backstory or reasoning because it would just delay the action after all of the time we’ve waited already. So Jeff wanders backstage for some reason and Jarrett attacks him there, but Matt and his crew fight off Satnam Singh and dump fake blood on JJ. So then Jeff and Karen wander down a suspiciously empty and poorly lit corridor and we take a break. Back with Hardy jumping onto the heels as they head back to the arena, and now smoke is coming from under the ring. Guess RVD is still under contract. Into the ring and the Hardy Party crew all team up on Jarrett and put him on a table, and Hardy hits a swanton for two as now the Jarrett crew saves. JJ grabs his guitar and Hardy steals it and hits him with it, but now Leatherface does a run-in and turns on the heels and chases off Karen. But then Lethal hits Hardy with a hammer and Jeff Jarrett gets the pin at 10:45. “Well that was something” notes Taz. I’ll take his word for it. I thought this was a huge disappointment and probably one of the biggest misfires in AEW history, based on all the wacky stuff they could have done with it. Ultimately none of it went anywhere, and there was barely even a match there. DUD
The Bunny v. Dr. Britt Baker DMD
Britt quickly takes her down and tries for the Lockjaw, but Bunny makes the ropes to escape and reverses for two. Bunny with a kneelift and tries for the finish, but Britt escapes and slugs back. Bunny with a choke on the ropes as we take a break. Back with Britt making a comeback with the neckbreaker for two. Penelope steals the white glove and Bunny comes back with a superkick, but Britt stomps Bunny for the pin at 8:00. Holy shit I don’t know what’s with Britt since she came back last time but she’s looked sloppy as hell in just about every match she’s had. *1/2. So after the whole “tournament” we ended up with exactly the four-way women’s match that they could have just announced in the first place.
Odd that they run down the card for the All In but don’t talk about the CM Punk v. Samoa Joe match that they announced on Collision.
The Acclaimed v. Local Nashville Enhancement Talent
Sadly we don’t get the match, as the lights go out and the House of Black appears and lays out the Acclaimed.
The Young Bucks v. The Gunns
The Bucks rather rudely interrupt the awesome Gunns entrance and superkick them. Into the ring and the Bucks double-team Colten and suplex Austin onto him. Bucks with the punches in the corner and they dropkick the Gunns out of the ring to set up Nick’s dive, but the Gunns take over with a cheapshot and we take a break. Back with Matt dumping both of the Gunns and it’s hot tag Nick as he runs wild with the usual stuff. BTE Trigger on Austin, but Colten breaks it up. Bucks with the Meltzer attempt on him, but Austin saves that and they hit 310 to Yuma on Matt. Nick saves at two. Austin rolls up Matt for two, but Nick rolls them over and holds the ropes for the pin at 9:44. Not great but they were going a million miles an hour with time running down so it certainly wasn’t dull. ***1/4. And then the Bang Bang Gang hits the ring and FTR saves and we’re out.
Man, when CM Punk talked about wanting to differentiate Collision from Dynamite, it’s like Tony Khan said “Hold my beer”, because this was a BIZARRE episode of television filled with some of the most dramatic tonal whiplashes seen since the days of Vince Russo. Anything that can follow one of the great PPV buildup segments of all time with…whatever that Texas Chainsaw match was…is definitely not boring. I’m just gonna hang up and leave everyone discuss it now and I’m sure it’ll be perfectly civil and reasoned.