The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.08.23
By Scott Keith on 8th November 2023
The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.08.23
Live from Portland, OR
Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Taz
MJF joins Tony, the “fat old prick”, to start, but Adam Cole pops in via Zoom call and again encourages Maxwell to take Joe’s deal. Also Daniel Garcia and 2.0 are offended at MJF looking past him, and Garcia promises that tonight he’s getting the pro wrestler. And Roderick is still accusing MJF of being the devil.
AEW World title: MJF v. Daniel Garcia
Thankfully we have a sizable and loud crowd tonight, who are very much behind MJF. They take it to the mat to start and Garcia wants to dance, but 2.0 gives him some strongly worded objections. So Max offers the handshake of sportsmanship but Daniel slaps it away, so Max thumbs him in the eye anyway. MJF works the arm and gets a nice armbar slam for two. We take a break and return with Garcia doing a one-armed dance before hitting double knees in the corner, into a brainbuster for two. Garcia with a backslide for two, but MJF reverses out of a piledriver, so he goes with a back suplex instead. Max dodges a blind charge and goes for the arm again with a shoulderbreaker and hammerlock DDT for two. Back to the arm and Max tries to hit a Panama Sunrise for ADAM, but Daniel cuts him off. He tries another piledriver but can’t get Max up because the arm is injured, so he does a one-armed version instead and that gets two. Dragon Tamer follows, but Max grabs the arm and armbars him for the submission at 10:40. A perfectly cromulent opener. ***. And this time Daniel is about to accept the handshake, but 2.0 sets him straight again for big heat.
Meanwhile, Mark Briscoe makes fun of Jay White’s beard and promises to whup him tonight.
Darby Allin & Sting v. THE OUTRUNNERS
Excalibur notes that the Outrunners have a “very supportive subset of fans” while they double-team Darby in the corner. I feel personally attacked by that. Also I don’t even know how Darby is surviving those shots to the ribs. Have you SEEN the guns on these men? It’s a good thing America has the 2nd amendment because they’d have to be banned otherwise. Turbo Floyd tries a suplex, but Sting comes in and gives him an ILLEGAL clothesline over the top rope. So Truth trips up Darby from the floor to even things up, and Sting somehow survives DOUBLE SPINNING FLEXES and then my dog distracts me so I don’t see what happens next but I assume the Outrunners must have won clean with something young, tan, and vascular, and retired Sting. I haven’t checked Cagematch yet but I assume this one shot to the top of Sting’s career and surpassed the Flair match as his greatest match ever.
Meanwhile, Toni Storm and Hikaru Shida sit down together in black and white, and Shida doesn’t even know what happened to make Toni this way.
Swerve Strickland v. Penta el Zero Miedo
Swerve goes for the mask to be a dick, and then takes him down with a rana and hits the middle rope elbow before stopping for a little dancing. Swerve beats on him with chops in the corner and goes to work on the arm with SMALL JOINT MANIPULATION, but Penta fights back with chops until Swerve stomps on his hand. And then we get TONGUE MANIPULATION on Penta, so Penta fights back with a backstabber to put Swerve on the floor. But Swerve hits him with a forearm to cut off a dive and drops him on the stairs. Penta fights back with a superkick out there and follows with a tope for a double down outside and we take a break. Back with a slugfest and they trade superkicks and lay each other out. Penta with a pair of sling blades and a powerslam for two. Penta backdrops him to the floor and follows with a destroyer on the apron, which is THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Back in with a double stomp for two. Penta tries a headscissors and Swerve flips him over and drops him into the corner (Nana: “Break his neck!”) and that gets two. Penta fights back, but Swerve hangs him on the apron and hits him with a double stomp to the floor in another crazy spot. Back in the ring, Swerve misses a 450 and Penta snaps the arm to set up Made in Japan for two. Swerve escapes the Fear Factor and Penta kicks him in the arm instead and tries again, but Swerve slips out and hits him with a death valley driver before doing his own arm snap! And he goes up with the Swerve Stomp to finish at 13:24. This was a BANGER, maybe even almost as good as the Outrunner match. ****1/4.
And then Hangman Page finally responds to having his home invaded, attacking Swerve with a chair and then putting him through a table with the Deadeye.
Meanwhile, Jay White and the Bang Bang Gang discuss Google Trends, and Jay accuses Max of Googling himself to improve the rankings.
Meanwhile, we get a video package for the street fight next week, which is bizarrely combined with a commercial for the new Yakuza game.
Meanwhile, the Young Bucks continue bitching at Kenny Omega about his team with Chris Jericho. So Matt thinks they should have a tag team match at Full Gear to settle things. And they FINALLY remember the tag title shot owned by the Bucks, which will be on the line, up against the Golden Jets ending their team if they lose. Well the reunited Elite sure didn’t last long.
ROH TV title: Samoa Joe v. Keith Lee
Finally the Meat Division returns! Joe works a headlock to start and they run into each other before Keith chops him in the corner. Joe chops back and slugs away in the corner to put him down, but Lee comes back with the crossbody and we take a break. Back with Lee pounding meat in the corner, but Joe puts him down with a kneebreaker. Joe goes to work on the knee and puts him down with a dragon screw, but Lee catches him on the senton and hits him with a german suplex. Lee with a powerbomb to counter a dropkick, and that gets two. Joe takes him down with the choke, however, and Keith passes out at 11:37. Didn’t quite live up to the Meat expectations but it was a good hoss fight. ***. And then Joe officially vacates the TV title so he can go after MJF’s World title instead! Whoa.
Meanwhile, Orange Cassidy still needs to beat Jon Moxley in order to feel like the real International champion.
The Gunns v. The Bollywood Boyz
310 to Yuma finishes at 0:40. And then the Gunns do a pretty damn good promo, as MJF and potential new partner Samoa Joe look on.
Meanwhile, Jon Moxley has to beat the piss out of Orange Cassidy, because otherwise what kind of an example would he be setting for Wheeler Yuta?
Julia Hart v. Red Velvet
Man Red Velvet seems like such a relic of another era for AEW. Red takes Julia down with armdrags and we get dueling splits. Red slugs away in the corner, but Julia drops her on the top turnbuckle and we take a break. Back with Velvet making a comeback with a heel kick and a standing moonsault for two. To the top for an Iconoclasm for two. Julia superkicks her as Red’s giant knee brace seems to be falling apart, and she quickly goes home with the moonsault at 9:02. Not a lot of heat overall but Julia remains super over and that was a pretty moonsault. **1/2 Afterwards, Skye Blue ocmes out for a potential mist-off, but Kris Statlander breaks it up before any deadly liquids can be sprayed.
Meanwhile, RJ City introduces the newest signing from Stardom: Mariah May. And she might be a Toni Storm groupie. Now when people ask if AEW is committed to doing a second women’s match per week over the course of their six hours of programming, we can finally be assured they’re closer than ever!
Jay White v. Mark Briscoe
Mark threatens some REDNECK KUNG FU and grabs a headlock to start, then chases Jay to the floor. Back in, Jay takes him down with headlocks of his own, but Mark slams out of that. Suplex gets two. To the top for the REDNECK KUNG FU, which sends Jay flying to the floor, and Mark follows with the Cactus elbow off the apron. Back in the ring, Mark fights off the Gunns, but walks into a DDT. Back to the floor, as Jay suddenly develops a crippling knee injury and the Bang Bang Gang attacks behind the ref’s back as we take a break. Back with Mark fighting back with a missile dropkick and he offers Jay some free shots, and they unload on each other. Mark gets the best of that and puts him down with a forearm and a neckbreaker for two. Mark escapes a uranage and puts White down with a brainbuster for two. Jay bails to the apron and takes out the knee, but Mark gets a death valley driver and goes up for the Froggy Bow, which gets two. Jay comes back with the Kiwi Krusher, as requested by Juice, which gets two. Mark fights back again, but Jay clips the knee and tries the Blade Runner. Mark counters with an exploder and makes the comeback with a lariat out of the corner. Jay escapes the Jay Driller and goes back to the knee before hitting a brainbuster for two. Blade Runner again, but Mark fights out with kung fu and then falls victim to a sleeper suplex. White with an implant DDT, however, and the Blade Runner finishes him off at 14:35. Man I would not have beaten Mark Briscoe here in his big comeback. This probably should have been where you pull out a DQ finish once in a blue moon. Hell of a main event though. ****. So this brings out MJF to go after his belt again, but the Bullet Club runs away. Max does the go-home promo on Jay White, but then the lights go out we cut to the Devil and his gang attacking the Acclaimed in the dressing room and throwing Bowens through a window. Wait a minute…broken glass…could this mean that that STEVE AUSTIN IS ALL ELITE?!? Huge if true.
Anyway, this was a TOP SHELF Dynamite this week that flew by and felt like the old days again. More of this, please.