Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-10-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

We’re back with even more AEW goodness, though for whatever reason I’m just not feeling it going into this episode.  Last week we had the big main event that was built up in the week prior while this week’s match was just thrown out at the end of last week’s show.  I mean sure, the Orange Cassidy and Best Friends Vs. The Inner Circle match will be fun, but other than that I’m hard pressed for an episode that has less going on heading into it.  That said, hype is far from the most important part of a wrestling show and AEW has done far more with far less, so I’ve little doubt that this will be yet another outing from them.  Will this be yet another collection of solid matches to the week that much more bearable to get through?  Let’s find out!!

Before the first match begins we are informed that Jericho will be joining Jr, Tony, and Excalibur in the booth tonight.  Jericho doesn’t JUST walk to the booth and do commentary!  Dude comes out with his FULL entrance and theme music just to walk to the right and put on a headset.  THAT’S how you get a show started!  I know that JR has his own theme, but why doesn’t everyone else?  I’d LOVE to see what Excalibur’s entrance is like!

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FTR Vs. The Butcher & The Blade

The first showcase for the former Revival is something that fans have anticipated for months, so can they live up to those expectations?  Heck, it’s been a while since we’ve seen The Butcher and The Blade in action so you could argue they have as much to prove as FTR does, and thankfully both teams manage to bring their A-game here for a very satisfying opening bout.  I still don’t really GET The Revival the way that apparently everyone else does (I still don’t know which one is which), but they are a VERY good team here and pull off some impressive moves; especially this one part where one of them grabs Blade out of mid-air and slams him to the mat which looked brutal and a spot later where the bald one superplexes The Blade to the mat and is soon followed by the one with hair landing an elbow drop from the top rope.  There’s also a great bit of storytelling here where a lot of the big wigs at the company, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Jake Roberts, you could even count Jericho since he’s calling the match, have come out to see what happens.  Everyone wants to know what FTR are about and are hoping to recruit them to whatever faction they represent; whether they’ll join The Nightmare Family, help Lance Archer get another stab at the belts, or join The Inner Circle which frankly would be the BEST option.  I’d love to see Santana and Ortiz get super passive aggressive at them like a bad sitcom plot.  The match eventually comes to an end when FTR lands a Goodnight Express on The Butcher (kinda looks like a Jackhammer only with two people) which gets him out of the match and they immediately follow it up with a Mind Breaker (a pile driver thingy) onto The Blade for the win.  FTR are then being interviewed in the ring when The Young Bucks come out form the back.  They tell FTR how great the match was and they thank them for helping fight off The Butcher & The Blade two weeks ago.  However, they are a LITTLE bit salty that FTR has kind of been avoiding them up to that point and makes it clear that THEY are the best tag team at AEW and FTR can sit comfortably in second place.  It looks things are about to spark between them when The Butcher comes back and takes out The Bucks.  FTR tries to make the save but are overwhelmed by Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc who come out… for some reason, but are soon run off by Kenny Omega and Adam Page who come out to ACTUALLY make the save.  Once the heels are gone, the three teams are left to stare at each other; a teasing of things to come as these three times will no doubt clash in the near future.  In a company full of really great tag teams, I’m not convinced that they are at the TOP of the heap (especially with the Omega/Page Vs. Bucks match still fresh in my memory), but they’re gonna have lots of chances to prove themselves so perhaps I’ll change my tune soon enough.  In any case, this was a fun match and a solid introduction for these two.

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We cut to QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes, and Allie as they’re being interviewed by Tony Schiavone about QT and Dustin’s title match next week.  Wait, what!?  They’re getting a title match next week!?  Why the heck are they getting a title match when they haven’t even won a match on Dynamite yet!?  Heck, maybe they DID win a match and I just don’t remember because the two of them have barely been on TV and less so as a team!  Even worse than that bit of confusion is the presence of Allie whose been hanging out with QT Marshall in the stands for a few weeks now but has yet to be explained on Dynamite.  Did she break up with The Butcher & The Blade on Dark or something?  I mean it LOOKS to be the case considering she’s no longer The Bunny and that she didn’t come out for their entrance, but it’s been said that there’s been no official breakup yet (on Dynamite OR Dark) and this segment isn’t really explaining it either.  Basically Dustin and Brandi are considered she’s gonna break up the band as it were and turn on QT during their title match, but QT doesn’t buy it and is sticking by her girl thru thick and thin, so I guess we’ll get a more definitive answer of her status next week.  She could have just SAID SOMETHING during this segment, but no!  Stay silent now and tease the reveal later.  I’ve barely been aware of this angle until a few minutes ago and I already find it annoying, but let’s hope they have a real plan here and aren’t just jerking us around.

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Hikaru Shida & Kris Statlander Vs. Penelope Ford & Nyla Rose

Ford is accompanied to the ring by Kip Sabian

Speaking of jerking us around, once again AEW is undermining its women’s division by running through the same matches over and over again.  It couldn’t have been than three weeks ago the last time we got these four women in a match with the only difference being who’s holding the belt; not that it seems to matter all that much!  Does Shida FEEL like the champion if she’s in these thrown together tag matches like this?  Do you see John Moxley teaming up with… I don’t know, Christopher Daniels to fight Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc?  Of course not!  He has his own storylines and challenges to worry about while Shida’s got nothing going on.  No rivalries, no challengers, not even much in regards to promos, just one big game of hot potato with the belt.  In any case, the match itself is fine; good even as Statalander, Ford, and Rose are getting better with each match they do so maybe that’s why they keep teaming these women up.  Shida superplexes Rose from the middle rope and Statlander follows up with an ax kick which looks goofy and over the top but in the good wrestling kind of way and not in the SHE CAN BARELY PULL IT OFF way which is certainly an improvement, and Nyla Rose’s big spot looked good and didn’t seem to get anyone KILLED which made it even better.  She drapes both Statlander and Shida on the top rope and does her brutal looking leg drop from the top rope onto both of them who flip over simultaneously in a way that looked terrifying for Nyla AND impressive for the two taking the shot.  The only part that looked a bit bad was when Statlander pulls Ford off the rope and it LOOKS like Ford’s chin smashes into the apron; though she didn’t miss a beat for the rest of the match so I’m guessing she wasn’t actually injured there.  Eventually there’s a spot where the ref is distracted by Sabian and Rose tosses Shida’s belt to Ford who then beans Shida across the face with it.  With the ref no longer distracted, Ford covers Shida and gets the pin for the unexpected if pretty meaningless win.  Heck, it PROBABLY would have been more impressive if they got ANYONE ELSE to team with Statlander since having Shida in it means her belt isn’t actually on the line so there’s not much of a point here; especially when we just have to wait until the end of the show to see an ACTUAL title match with stakes.  Regardless, there were some IMPRESSIVE moves here but the problem is the repetition as it gets harder and harder to care who wins these weekly bouts when we’re just gonna be back in the exact same spot a month from now.

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Darby Allin still isn’t cleared to wrestle but isn’t about to stop doing dangerous and reckless things, and HOLY CRAP; HE’S WITH TONY HAWK!  For like five minutes here, Darby Allin tries to do that skateboard drop from the top ropes thing that he might have botched at Double or Nothing, and face plants over and over again with Tony Hawk sitting on the sidelines and watching.  I LOVE those Tony Hawk games, so I certainly got a kick out of seeing him here; and shoot, I wish I could get Tony Hawk to watch ME fail at things, like writing reviews in a reasonable amount of time!

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We get another update from Britt Baker who’s getting a whole lot of airtime for someone who isn’t getting a match anytime soon.  I’m not sure what they’re building her up like this unless we’re doing some sort of wheelchair match, but something tells me AEW is too classy for something like that.  A Vince Ruso show, maybe; but not AEW.

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Best Friends & Orange Cassidy Vs. Proud N Powerful & Jake Hager

Orange Cassidy is going to be on TV EVERY week for the foreseeable future because he’s proven to be a ratings draw time and time again, and while I don’t think he’s overstayed his welcome I’m not exactly as IN LOVE with this match as I figure I should be.  Cassidy’s great as always, Hagar’s a monster, and the two tag teams are great as always, but I’m just feeling kinda meh about it.  It’s a pretty short bout as well so maybe they approached it as more of a time-filler than a blowout exhibition, and as always with The Inner Circle it’s all about the post-match shenanigans.  Orange Cassidy takes a cannonball in the corner from Santana and Ortiz who then set him up for the Street Sweeper but Chuck comes in at the last second to shove Santana off the top rope.  In the confusion, Orange Cassidy manages to roll Ortiz over and gets the pin which sets everyone off; including Jericho who leaves the announcers booth to start beating up The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy with Floyd the Bat.  Then The Inner Circle fills a gym bag with twenty pounds of oranges and proceeds to, as Excalibur puts it, beat Orange Cassidy to a bloody pulp.  I know I just said that we’re gonna see Orange Cassidy every week for the foreseeable future, but perhaps AEW is worried about over-exposing him and this is their attempt to dampen that concern by taking him off for a week or two.  I’m not sure what they’re building up to here because if it’s just another match at Fyter Fest then I’ll be pretty disappointed, but hopefully they have something a bit more creative in mind with this just being the start of an Elite/Inner Circle style feud that’ll build in the coming weeks and maybe even months.

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When we come back from commercial, Tony Schiavone is attempting to interview The Gunn Club when MJF grabs the mic and whines to the audience in his usual compelling manner.  He’s furious that Jungle Boy got a chance at the title before he did just because he, you know… WON THE BATTLE ROYAL.  I mean to be fair, Dustin and QT are getting a title shot without doing anything and Marq Quen is getting one tonight with doing even less, so it’s not like he COULDN’T have gotten a shot at the belt yet.  Regardless, Billy Gunn is tired of this kid screaming about how much better he is than everyone else, and after a very intense exchange of words, Wardlow steps in to stare down Billy in what should be an… interesting match if that’s the direction they’re going in.

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Colt Cabana Vs. Sammy Guevara

So Colt’s inability to make his mark at AEW has become a storyline of its own as he has yet to get his big win despite being incredibly talented, and The Dark Order has been circling around him like vultures to a dying animal.  Fortunately if you need a quick impressive win, there are few as good at giving it to someone as Sammy Guevara.  As has been said many times, the dude is so talented at being a punchable douchebag with phenomenal in ring experience that you can do almost anything to him and come off looking like a champ.  He’ll sell for you, he’ll give you a solid amount of offense to fend off, and he’ll ultimately get in his own way making you look like the true professional.  And that’s not to say that Colt Cabana is a slouch here resting on the skills of his opponent.  The guy’s got charm and charisma with a physique not to dissimilar to a He-Man action figure (the Big E Bod as I like to call it), and clearly they have more in mind here than just a few quick wins for the guy.  For one thing, he actually LOSES the match which actually isn’t THAT unexpected considering the direction this story was going in, and he still looks pretty good despite the defeat which was due to little more than a surprise rollup from Sammy. After the match the ENTIRE Dark Order comes out, and yes this includes Evil Uno and Stu Grayson who I have been waiting to see for WEEKS now!  Sadly they don’t do much as Brodie Lee simply extends a hand to Colt Cabana to help him back on his feet before they all just leave.  Colt Cabana, thinking long and hard on it… follow after him.  The Dark Order certainly need some muscle behind them and it’s not like Colt Cabana is one of your top guys getting stuck with a mid-card crew, but I’m not sure I would have chosen him for this.  Personally I’d have gone with someone like Peter Avalon who’s a GENUINE loser on the roster and then as soon as he joins he starts winning matches.  We already know Colt Cabana is great so I’m not sure what him joining THE DARK ORDER is gonna do to benefit him, but hopefully the story unfolds in an interesting way and I’ll be eating these words soon enough.

Sammy gets on the mic and calls Cabana a loser before grabbing the mic and telling the world he’s the greatest wrestler in the world which is not ENTIRELY inaccurate, but he doesn’t get far into his self-congratulatory spiel before Matt Hardy comes out.  This is regular Matt Hardy who actually agrees with Sammy about being so great, but he advises him to leave The Inner Circle if he wants to realize his true potential.  Sammy of course doesn’t take this very well, especially since he hit him with a golf cart only a few weeks ago, and starts yelling at Hardy who then turns into his other personas and chasing Sammy out of the ring with a series of DELETES.  It feels like we’re ramping up pretty quickly to Sammy’s defection from The Inner Circle which certainly FEELS like a bad idea considering how successful the group has been and I can only hope they know what they’re doing with this.

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After that we get a Joey Janela promo where he’s commiserating his lot in life; going from the main event of the AEW PPVs to being just another mid-carder used to fill in space here and there.  The video is well shot with some clever visual tricks here and there, but seems a bit on the dour side for a guy as vibrant as Joey Janela.  Still, it ends with Sonny Kiss showing up in a sports car and giving Joey Janela a ride to wherever and it’s always great to see him when he shows up.  Hopefully they’ll be teaming up for something and this isn’t just killing time between matches.

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Jon Moxley’s Angry – What’s Got the AEW Champion So Upset!?

I should probably try and catch up with Dark at some point considering more and more stuff seems to be happening on there.  Jon Moxley had his first Dark match as AEW Champion on last night’s show and he’s coming into the arena today all huffy and full of piss and vinegar.  Despite his rather cool demeanor last week, he’s now in the parking lot and VERY perturbed by Taz’s promos as well as his constant badgering of his integrity.  In the middle of his rant, Taz comes out and matches him word for word, intensity with intensity, and it’s actually pretty great to see the two of them verbally spar like that.  It gets interrupted however by an ACTUAL spar as Brian Cage comes from behind and tackles Moxley before smashing him over a car half a dozen times to show how ruthless he is and how badly he’s gonna beat Moxley at Fyter Fest.  I’m guessing it’s just a coincidence that Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream did basically the same car spots on Sunday’s NXT PPV, but the timing of this is certainly… interesting if nothing else.

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We’ve got one more promo before the match which is Cody talking about how important the title is and how great Marq Quen is.  I’m not sure why Marq Quen didn’t get any time on the promo to talk himself which is frankly another reason to believe this was just thrown together, but I’m sure we’ll still get a good main event.

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Cody Vs. Marq Quen – TNT Championship Match

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

The story of these TNT title defense matches seems to be that Cody MIGHT be turning heel soon.  The guy has definitely employed some mean tactics these past two weeks against overwhelming babyface opponents; especially here where he smashes Quen’s ankle into the ring post which I’m pretty sure took Kevin Owens out for like six months a few years back.  Quen definitely puts up a fight and has a much more acrobatic style that Cody isn’t easily able to compensate for and even gives up a few close near-falls to the guy throughout the match which I guess could justify why he worked the ankle in such a brutal way but it’s definitely a rougher Cody than we’ve seen before.  Eventually Quen goes for a Shooting Star Press but Cody manages to get out of the way and immediately puts an ankle lock on the bad ankle which he eventually has to tap out to; giving Cody yet another win under his belt as TNT Champion.  He helps Quen back up and they hug it out, but I’m keeping an eye on Cody regardless!

After Quen leaves for the back, Hager comes out and stares down Cody.  It looks like they’re setting up an honorable bout next week between the two, but no!  Hager can’t just ask for a match; he has to bash Arn Anderson in the face and attack Cody in the process; taking the belt and holding it up to make his intentions that much clearer!  It doesn’t take long though for Private Party and Matt Hardy to come out and drive Hagar away just long enough for the rest of The Inner Circle to come out and turn it into a huge brawl.  I don’t know, I kind of wish they’d have just stuck with the stare down ending instead of having a brawl like this as it makes it a bit too much of a THING instead of just another challenge for the belt.  The Inner Circle have their fingers in a lot of pies right now, so letting Hagar do his own thing for a week would have been fine without dragging his entire crew into it.  Cody gets on the mic once The Inner Circle is driven back and tells Hagar he’ll get his title shot at Fyter Fest which I guess is why they felt the need to balloon this segment the way they did, and the episode comes to an end with both sides glaring daggers into each other’s hearts.

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Gotta say, I’m a bit underwhelmed by this episode.  Maybe it’s just me, but things are falling a bit into predicable and not terribly exciting patterns.  All of the mid card-guys are just kind of sad, The Inner Circle is spread pretty thin, and I’m just not feeling too excited about anything they’re setting up.  I’m glad that Evil Uno and Stu Grayson are back, but I wish they had actually DONE something instead of walked to the ramp and walk back out.  MJF is great as always but I’m not sure if going after fifty-six year old Billy Gunn is the best use of his time right now.  Matt Hardy is… there, and he’s fun and all, but I’m not sure where he’s going or if this thing he has with Private Party is going to stick.  It hasn’t exactly been the best week all around (did any of YOU force yourself to sit thru The Last Days of American Crime?) and this episode kind of reflected that for me.  Hopefully things will get better soon, and not just my preferred wrestling show; but only time will tell.

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