Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-11-2021) – Friday Night Dynamite

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

We’re back with another episode of Dynamite and frankly I’m ready for these Friday shows to end.  Not because of anything to do with the show itself (though last week was PRETTY bad) but because it throws off my entire schedule!  I would have wrestling during the week and then the weekend for other stuff, but NOW everything is all crammed into two days!  We only have a few more weeks of this strange timeslot so I’ll grin and bear it, but they’re gonna have to put on a GREAT show to make up for last week’s and for making my weekends that much more stressful!  Let’s take a look!

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Christian Cage Vs. Angélico

So apparently Matt Hardy has a bug up his butt about Christian Cage tossing him out at the Casino Battle Royale, and so he’s hired Angélico from TH2 to have a match with him.  I mean I’m sure he was going to have a match with SOMEONE this week so I’m not sure why this particular matchup is so dastardly, but Angélico is one of those people on the roster like Joey Janela, The Varsity Blondes, and Penelope Ford who are around every once in a while and probably have had a bunch of matches on Dark or Elevation but REALLY should be getting more of a spotlight on Dynamite.  The guy definitely has a unique physique looking like the handsome brother of Slenderman (dude has some SERIOUSLY long limbs!) and he’s so good at giving us a kind of match we don’t see enough of at AEW which focuses on submissions instead of high spots or big guy brawling.  Every time Cage gets an advantage with a flashy strike or some sort of throw, Angélico is ready to cut him off and start working over his arm again until finally he has him in some sort of Arm Bar right in the middle of the ring!  Cage is desperately trying to fight back against Angélico’s move as the crowd chants PLEASE DON’T TAP, and he finally makes it to the ropes to break the hold but is far from out of the woods.  He makes a comeback with a reverse DDT, a Missile Drop Kick, and a Flying Headbutt, but none of it is able to keep Angélico down for a three count who himself is starting to lose steam after all these near falls.  He makes a big mistake by trying to match Cage’s style and goes for a spot on the ropes only to get kicked out of midair and eating another two count.  From there it’s mostly desperate flailing from the two of them which Christian proves to be the better one of the two and manages to finish off Angélico with the Kill Switch.  As soon as the bell rings, Angélico’s partner Jack Evans runs in to attack Cage which goes rather poorly all things considered as he’s tossed ut of the ring with little effort.  However, this does distract Cage long enough for Matt Hardy to sneak in from behind and land a Twist of Fate on him that leaves Cage dead in the middle of the ring.  Angélico and Hardy are about to kick him some more when Jungle Boy runs out from the back and chases off Hardy and his two flunkies; leaving Cage and Jungle Boy to celebrate this victory in the middle of the ring.  It was certainly a nice change of pace to start out with a match like this and I certainly hope it’s a sign that things are going to be MUCH better this week!

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Tony Schiavone is in the ring and announces a tag match next week; QT Marshall and Arron Solow against Cody Rhodes and partner of his choosing!  Who will it be?  Well it’s none other than BROCK ANDERSON!  Yeah, I don’t know him either, but apparently he’s Arn’s son and the three of them come out to talk about the match.  He’s fully aware that Brock has a leg up in this business simply because of who his dad is, but to his credit he does a decent job of selling the guy and out of ANYONE here he probably has the most authority to speak on being the son of a famous wrestler.  In fact, let’s think about this for a moment.  All the way back when AEW was just starting, I thought it was a bit strange that The Elite were positioned as Baby Faces at the company despite being executives and the authority figures at the company.  Since then most of The Elite have indeed gone Heel, but Cody is still out there trying to straddle that line between being a Baby Face despite being in storylines where he SHOULD be the Heel!  I mean his last match had him try and sell us on a jingoistic TEAM AMERICA storyline where his opponent was bad because he was British, and now he’s out here trying to sell Nepotism as not a boon to wrestlers but the greatest challenge thy will have to overcome.  With a little bit of tweaking they COULD have made QT a sympathetic character here, but when he comes out to challenge Cody on his nonsense the crowd is having none of it, so I guess he’s stuck as the heel for the time being.  Eh, he seems happy enough in the role even if his promos are a bit underwhelming with here being no exception as he challenges Cody to a Strap Match which will be further down the road.  He then takes off his belt and whips Arn with it which causes Brock to POUNCE on the dude and start throwing punches at him.  I’m not entirely convinced about Brock considering he hasn’t had a match on Dynamite yet and he just kinda showed up in leisure wear instead of coming out with fanfare and in his wrestling gear, but Cody has a knack for turning this kind of underwhelming storyline into something better once we get to the match itself and hopefully this will be no exception. 

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Death Triangle (Pac & Penta El Zero M) and Eddie Kingston Vs. The Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler

Now normally an alliance as shaky as that between Kingston and Death Triangle would spell doom for them; especially against a much more cohesive team.  That’s SORT OF the story they’re telling here, but The Bucks are unusually bumbling this time and frankly can’t hold a candle to the offense that Pac, Penta, and Eddie dish out.  On top of that, Pac and Penta are VERY liberal with the low blows and nut shots which the ref doesn’t seem to have a problem with as Brandon Cutler is writhing on the floor cradling his lower bits while trying to crawl to the other corner of the ring, and I’m starting to wonder who the REAL bad guys are!  Now of course there is a revenge angle to all this as Cutler DID screw Penta and Pac out of a win last week and The Bucks are still unlikable jerks even when they’re acting like total clowns, but it feels a bit backwards to have these guys so dominate despite not working together very well.  Cutler eventually gets to his corner and tags in Matt who swiftly gets knocked down by Pac, and when Nick Jackson tries to jump in after Pac mocks their pose, he trips on the ropes and falls flat on his face before getting thrown out by Pac.  It takes a drop kick from Matt while Pac is dealing with both Nick and Brandon for The Bucks to finally start getting some heat as the commercial break starts and the match gets a lot more interesting from there.  Pac is in bad shape after the beat down and needs to get back to his corner, so when Matt is on the middle rope and holding Pac to land a Swinging DDT, Pac summons every ounce of power he has left to redirect Matt’s momentum and just toss him away which gives him the chance to make it back to his corner and begrudgingly tag in Eddie Kingston!  That spot was more satisfying than the five minutes of nut shots earlier and it only gets better from there!  Pac throws The Bucks all over the ring before tagging in Penta who runs wild and lands this amazing roll up into a Canadian Destoryer that was incredibly impressive, but he can’t seal the deal as a pin attempt is broken up by Cutler.  Things go back and forth for a while with both sides throwing out some amazing moves until the Bucks have Pac isolated in the ring and take him out with a Buckle Bomb/ Enziguri combination.  Cutler is tagged in to finish him off with a flying Springboard Elbow which Pac rolls away from at the last second leaving Cutler to crash and burn, and Kingston puts the final nail in the coffin of Cutler with a backfist that lays him out dead.  Pac quickly roll back to start the pin and Cutler stays down for the three count; winning the match for Pac, Penta, and Kingston.  Not to take this defeat lying down, The Bucks start Superkicking everyone in sight with Gallows and Anderson running out to add to the carnage.  Frankie Kazarian then makes a B-Line to the ring to even the odds and The Elite end up scurrying away with their tail between their legs!  I think it was perhaps a bit too soon for THIS match as the Baby Faces really shouldn’t be THIS antagonistic towards each other and still get the win, especially against the Tag Team champs, but it did manage to get VERY exciting in the second half with all six dudes showing what they do best; ESPECIALLY Cutler who does a fantastic job playing a stooge and selling his opponents moves!  The feud appears to be continuing with Gallows and Anderson getting in the mix so perhaps the Baby Faces will be losing soon to cement why they need to actually work together and I think that will end up being the better match even if this one was still entertaining.

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The Pinnacle Saving Face – How Will They Explain Their Loss At Stadium Stampede!?

It’s the feud that will not die as The Inner Circle got to say their piece last week and now The Pinnacle are here to respond.  It’s exactly what you would expect it to be as everyone takes turn tearing down The Inner Circle despite them being the winners at Stadium Stampede, and we even get confirmation that Wardlow will face Jake Hager in an MMA match (a work within a shoot style I guess?), but what stood out the most to me in this segment is MJF who just seems tired.  He has the bravado and the slick way with words that he always does, but his character just seems to be over Jericho and doesn’t feel that he has anything else to prove.  That doesn’t sit well with The Inner Circle however who show up on the Titantron and wreck The Pinnacle’s limousine, but even that doesn’t seem to enrage MJF as it does exasperate him.  I mean look, if this feud is going to continue I think it’s going to lead to some good matches for sure, but I’m kinda with MJF here and wouldn’t mind if it got pushed a bit towards the mid-card and didn’t take too much time or oxygen from everything else that’s going on.

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We get a video of Sting and Darby Allin responding to Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page’s challenge… and I don’t think they could have found a way to get me LESS interested in seeing the match.  Darby agrees to not have Sting be his tag team partner, but as far as getting someone else?  Nah, he’s just gonna make it a handicap match.  He’ll go in alone and take both of them on for… what reason?  I have no idea and naturally Sting is against this; as are Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page frankly when we hear from them later in the show.  Oh, they’ll beat the crap out of the dude, but it kinda sucks the fun out of it when the Baby Face makes it THAT easy for the Heels.  A few weeks ago he attacked them both from behind and ended up being thrown down concrete stairs which was one of the saddest spots I’ve seen on Dynamite, and yet here he is willing to just throw himself at the two of them to just take an unholy butt whopping.  I mean look, I like Darby Allin and he has had some great matches, but I officially do not care what happens in that match.  Yes, it’s all a show and Darby’s not ACTUALLY going to get hurt fighting off both Page and Sky (at most he’ll probably do something that hurts himself), but if you want me to believe in the Kayfabe reality of this show then my conclusion is that Darby is a fool and I don’t want to see a fool do something foolish even if he does somehow find a way to come out on top.  It’s like the Shida match against Rebel a few weeks back.  The Baby Face isn’t overcoming adversity; they are being easily manipulated by bad faith actors and I don’t feel that anything is going to get accomplished by this.

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Miro Vs. Evil Uno – TNT Title Match

As I’ve said before, I was VERY negative on The Dark Order when they first showed up on the PPVs, but once they started making those fun recruitment videos and started teasing The Exalted One, it all started to click and they are one of my favorite factions in all of wrestling!  Uno in particular probably doesn’t get enough credit for his role as the one who holds the group together and his particular fighting style is a delight to watch even if you KNOW that Miro is just gonna kill him!  Heck, the only reason Uno ISN’T dead within the first ten seconds of the match is because Miro is going EASY on him in his own particularly brutal way.  He could probably just throw the guy in a Game Over and get him to tap or throw him around the ring enough times with his giant bulging muscles, but the dude is not using a SINGLE ounce of energy that he doesn’t need to which gives Uno something of a fighting chance.  Even at one percent power though Miro is too much for Uno to take on directly so he outsmarts him!  First he pulls down the ropes so that Miro charges right over to the floor then and then he dodges a punch from Miro that sends his fist right into the steel post.  This brief hope spot doesn’t last any longer than that however as Miro stops him right in his tracks with a suplex and spends the next few minutes toying with him.  Stu Grayson and Alan Angels come out to try and cheer Uno on but even THAT does little to halt Miro’s momentum and they end up paying for it when Miro send Grayson over the guardrail and chases Angels off to the back.  In the process though, Miro rips off one of the turnbuckles in a fit of rage and Uno actually manages to land a few moves that end with Miro going face first into the exposed metal.  Sadly it only gets a two count for Uno and Miro immediately puts him into the Game Over to get the tap from Uno and win the match.  It wasn’t anything more than it needed to be with Miro just notching another win for his run as TNT champion, but I still wish that The Dark Order had more to do than just act like the fun loving goofballs all the time.  All I’m saying is that back when they were Heel, they at least had some ambition!

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Kenny Omega and Don Callis come out to the ring, and I’ll be honest I’m a bit disappointed!  We were promised a conspiracy to keep Kenny down and yet I still don’t know what they are alleging to have happened!  There was a teaser earlier in the show where they had clips with fake subtitles, but they just come out here to whinge for a few minutes about how no one likes them which doesn’t sound like much of a conspiracy to me.  They switch topics to Jungle Boy who Kenny most certainly respects but the fact is that the kid is just not ready because he doesn’t have the GUTS to be the champ!  Jungle boy comes out to confront them over this baseless accusation and Kenny verbally DESTROYS this guy for like two full minutes with Jungle Boy not moving an inch!  Instead he takes the mic once Omega needs a second to catch his breath and tells him that he talks too much, which cuts deeper than anything Kenny had said to Jungle Boy in his screaming rant!  Not about to take this disrespect lying down, Kenny starts clawing at him and bashes the kid to the ground before Jungle Boy sweeps the leg and tries to put him in the Snare Trap!  Fortunately for Omega, The Bucks run out and chase Jungle Boy out of the ring; stopping the savage assault in its tracks but leaving a very ominous cloud over Kenny’s upcoming title defense!  He’s probably right that Jungle Boy is not ready for the top spot yet (certainly not while Kenny is doing his Belt Collector gimmick), but it should be an absolute barn burner of a match!

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Mark Sterling is in the back with his newest client Jade Cargill and explains just how good a job he’s done at improving her contract and opening up opportunities for more revenue in various ventures!  Okay… I mean I’m still glad that Sterling is with Cargill as her manager, but I’d like them to be setting up matches instead of telling us how rich they are.

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Lance Archer Vs. Chandler Hopkins

Archer is accompanied to the ring by Jake Roberts

Archer is so fired up going into this match that Hopkins doesn’t even get a TITLE CARD!  He’s already got the jobber entrance, but Archer attacks him so quickly that they can’t even show his name on screen before he’s half dead and questioning his life choices.  The only reason I know his name at all is because the announcers bothered to say it twice in the fifty-eight seconds it takes for Archer to wreck this kid and finish him off with the Blackhole Slam.  I don’t know if there are any plans for Archer considering how often he’s positioned as a big scary guy who doesn’t win the big matches, but at least squash matches like this help to keep him hot for whoever else needs to slay a formidable beast at this company.

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We cut to the back where we get a promo from none other than The Wingmen who are making fun of Orange Cassidy’s outfit and offer to give him a makeover!  If he refuses, Cezar Bononi promises to CRUSH HIS FACE!  I absolutely LOVE The Wingmen as a team of affable losers and I cannot WAIT to see what Orange Cassidy does to Bononi if he accepts their challenge!  Heck, I’d be stoked to see what would happen if he agreed to the makeover!

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Nyla Rose Vs. Leyla Hirsch

Nyla is accompanied to the ring by Vickie Guerrero

Leyla Hirsch is one of the best women they have in this division which is why I’m not overly thrilled that her first appearance on Dynamite in I don’t even know how long is for what is essentially a squash match so that Rose can get the shine back on her before her Title match against Britt Baker.  Hirsch at least gets off to a strong start with lots of punches, an Arm Breaker, and a Shotgun Dropkick that sends Nyla out of the ring, but her follow up Suicide Dive is when things turn in Nyla’s favor as she catches Leyla and throws her into the apron.  Rose gets the heat for quite a while after that and even pulls out the Trap Squeeze which was delightfully old school, but Leyla manages a German Suplex on Nyla which was VERY impressive to see and got a sizable pop from the crowd!  She follows up with a Jumping Knee Strike and a Moonsault, but unfortunately they are too close to the ropes and Nyla breaks the pin by grabbing it.  Not deterred however, she puts Nyla in an Arm Bar who just picks her up and basically Choke Slams her into the mat.  Nyla then drapes Leyla over the ropes and is about to go for her very scary Diving Knee Drop, but Hirsch recovers and tries to knock her off the ropes.  Her tenacity is to be lauded, but she just doesn’t have the strength to drag Rose off the turnbuckle and ends up eating an Avalanche Beast Bomb for her troubles which gives Nyla the pin and wins her the match.  I guess a match like this against someone awesome like Leyla Hirsch is better than the same match with a Nobody, but I still want to see Hirsch do more than this!  Frankly she should be the one getting a title shot against Baker instead of Rose, but perhaps there are plans for her to get a shot once Baker establishes herself as the champ with a few wins first.  Speaking of whom!

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We cut to Tony  who is interviewing Baker about Nyla Rose and for some reason they are in a stairwell which seems a bit odd for a champ to be hanging out in, but then again this is ALSO the champion who decided to celebrate her win with a pile of cheese burgers.  Speaking of burgers, Nyla can stay mad at her for winning the champ because Baker is above it (she most certainly is not) and in her short time has already done more with the championship than Nyla ever did!  It’s still unclear when the title match will be but we are definitely moving closer and closer to it.

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Hangman Adam Page & Ten The Creeper Vs. Brian Cage Vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

Taz joins the commentary team for this match

It’s not often that we see this many big dudes in one match, but it’s even less often that Adam Page is comparatively the small guy!  The main event last week was pretty much the saving grace of a very underwhelming episode, but this one is even better than that with all four these guys not just throwing themselves at each other but also showing us what big guys can ACTUALLY do in the ring when they want to do more than just rely on their size (*cough* Braun Strowman *cough*).  There’s not much of a story to the match itself aside from BAM, SMASH, and CRUNCH, but we do get a bit more insight into Cage who, despite his taciturn promos, seems to be a bit of a showboat as he takes his sweet time turning Ten into lunch meat instead of getting the job done.  It’s an interesting angle to build for the guy if he DOES turn Baby Face because it gives him something he’ll have to overcome other than turning away from Team Taz and coming out of the other entrance tunnel for his matches.  Speaking of his impending turn, Ricky Starks and Hook come out about halfway through the match to observe things and when things start looking good for Cage and Hobbs, Hook jumps onto the apron to distract the easily diverted ref while Starks tosses Cage the FTW belt to bash Ten over the head with while Hobbs holds him in place.  Being the honorable fighter that Cage is, he tosses the belt away and REFUSES to take part in this chicanery which frankly makes sense as considering he didn’t NEED to hit Ten as he and Hobbs were in total control of the match, but this is not about winning the match; at least not to Starks.  This was about showing loyalty to Team Taz and to Starks himself, and what does Cage do?  He throws it RIGHT back in his face!  Cage and Starks start to argue which leads to Starks slapping him across the face in what has to be one of the WORST decisions any human being has ever made, and he starts scurring to the back while Cage follows closely behind.  Now I know that Cage is positioned as the good guy in this scenario and that Starks CERTAINLY has it coming, but let’s not forget that Cage just left Hobbs ALL ALONE in the ring to fend off both Hangman Adam Page and Ten all by his lonesome!  If Cage really IS going Baby Face then he still has a few things to learn and sadly Hobbs bears the brunt of this and eats a Cutter from Ten before a Buckshot Lariat from Page which is enough to keep him down for the three count and get the win for Page and Ten.  We don’t know what happened to Ricky Starks when Brian Cage eventually caught up to him, but the jubilation inside the ring is clear as The Dark Order comes out and shares a beer with Adam Page as the episode comes to an end!

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This was a SIGNIFICANTLY better episode than last week which is a relief because a lot of that episode felt completely amateurish and not what we should expect from Dynamite.  Whatever it was that led to that episode being such a mess seems to have been resolved in time for this episode and we got quite a few fun matches out of it; the best of which definitely being the main event where four big dudes just smashed into each other while also telling the story of a team tearing itself apart!  Friday nights have not been the MOST fun time for me to watch AEW but they can still make it worthwhile with enough great matches and solid promos, and while I wouldn’t say this was a HOME RUN show as the Rose/Hirsch match didn’t do much for me and I’m a bit tired of the Inner Circle/Pinnacle feud, it was enough to keep me from holding the new timeslot against them!

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