Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-26-2021) – Saturday Night Dynamite

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

After several weeks in the Friday night timeslot which didn’t do much for ratings but hopefully got people ready to watch Rampage in a few months, we end this excursion away from Wednesdays with a big Saturday show that even has a AEW Title defense on it to really try and get people invested!  Does the Strange Schedule Shows end on a high note with a great match in the main event, or have they been away from Wednesday for too long and just can’t find the right rhythm for things until they get back to their familiar time?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Alex Marvez trying to get an interview with Sammy Guevara but instead he witnesses Sammy getting ambushed by Shawn Spears.  With last week’s attack and now this week, I’m starting to wonder if Alex Marvez is somehow behind it all!


Hangman Adam Page Vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

Taz joins the commentary team for this match

Hobbs has really started to come into his own the last few weeks, and this match is perhaps the best he’s had here at AEW so far!  He has a lot more energy these days, he projects a lot of personality beyond just being able to do a REALLY good sneer, and he’s started to grow a beard that looks really good on him!  Best of all, he comes off as SUCH a smart wrestler in this match and gives Page a run for his money in a very believable fashion!  Hobbs starts the match off with an early lead before Page starts fighting back, but as soon as he goes for the Buckshot, Hobbs rolls out of the ring as he saw it coming a mile away.  Page, unable to finish his big move, tries to follow Hobbs out of the ring and ends up getting tossed around for a bit while Hobbs works over his right arm to keep him from trying the Buckshot again!  This is all great wrestling and it’s telling a story while making Hobbs shine brightly!  He’s not explosive or giving us Baby Face pops, but he still stays pretty compelling in the way he intelligently takes Page apart and stunts his offense; to the point that Page honestly seems outclassed here!  In fact, he’s so good here that I’m not sure why the crowd starts booing him and saying YOU SUCK throughout!  It’s one thing to boo a devious heel, but this is just plain ol’ good wrestling and the opposite of sucking!  It’s no until Hobbs gets Page on his shoulders that things start to turn in the other direction as Page manages to wriggle out and shoves Hobbs into the post.  It takes a bit of time for Page to get his momentum going, but after a few boot shots to the face he starts running wild.  He pulls the ropes and Hobbs tumbles to the floor, he jumps over the ropes and hits Hobbs below, and he even lands a Moonsault on him after dragging him back into the ring.  The Moonsault only gets a two count so Hangman tries a German Suplex but Hobbs is too strong for to flip over and he retakes the advantage with a BIG knee to the stomach and slams him into the mat!  Page manages to survive this and  goes for a Deadeye but once again Hobbs isn’t going up for it and fights him off to land a cross body and get a two count.  It’s at this point that Starks and Hook come out with the FTW belt and Hobbs is actually happy to accept it, but Brian Cage runs out and smacks Ricky on the back of the head before taking the belt that is technically his and walking to the back.  Hangman goes for the Buckshot while everyone is distracted… AND HOBBS CATCHES HIM IN A SPINE BUSTER AND SMASHES HIM RIGHT DOWN TO EARTH!!  Somehow this was only a two count, but that was an impressive counter from Hobbs and I love it every time he busts out that Spine Buster!  The two get up and trade a few blows before Page gets the waist lock and FINALLY lands the German Suplex which softens up Hobbs enough for the Dead Eye which gets Page the pin and wins him the match!  Hobbs was so impressive that I kind of wanted him to go over, but this was still a great match!  AEW usually tries to start with something quick and explosive, but this was just as fun as a methodical and strategic war of attrition and I hope we see EVEN MORE of Powerhouse Hobbs in the near future!


We cut to the Young Bucks cutting a promo in the back looking their absolute best (what the heck is that earing chain Nick Jackson has clipped to his hat!?) and they basically start to bragging for several minutes while Brandon Cutler stands awkwardly in the background.  Every time he tries to get a word in edgewise they tell him to shut up which seems a bit mean, but then Nick Jackson starts squawking like a chicken and I just kinda lost all sense of the world at that point.  The Bucks are SO good at being jerk bags that I now want to see them on an episode of It’s Always Sunny!  Come on, they can do a sequel to the wrestling episode, right!?


Konnan Vs. Tully – Smack Talk of the Century!

I guess it’s time for another wrestling confession here, if my credibility wasn’t dubious enough, but I’ve never seen a Konnan match or know anything about him.  The few times I HAVE seen him have been his goofy cameos on AEW but this time it’s something very different as he’s out here to verbally spar with Tully.  As someone who really only watches Dynamite this feels completely out of nowhere as the goofy spot of him being a DJ in the Stadium Stampede match didn’t look like it’d lead to a mentor relationship with Proud N Powerful and I couldn’t tell you if there was some social media deal leading up to this.  Still, once Konnan gets going and tears down Tully for FTR’s shameless behavior, I can see why AEW wants this guy around as Proud N Powerful’s mouthpiece!  Sure, the sheep joke felt a bit tacky and I’m a bit iffy on HIM calling himself their father (if Proud N Powerful feel that way I’d rather hear it from THEM first), but he does a good job at getting to the heart of what a Baby Face Proud N Powerful should be and why Tully doesn’t get it when he and FTR try to compare themselves to Santana and Ortiz.  Tully is no slouch either though as he tells Konnan that he has no idea who he’s dealing with; that he’s going to have his one moment at AEW before FTR destroys Proud N Powerful and he’s gone forever.  Konnan is not fazed however and even has Proud N Powerful come out to back him up, but Tully is not scared by this turn of events as he directs Konnan to the big screen to show… THAT PROUD N POWER ARE LAID OUT IN THE BACK!  But wait, that means… the two who came out take off their face masks to reveal FTR!  With Tully’s direction, the two grab Konnan and give him a Spiked Pile Driver before the refs come out and keep him from taking ANY more damage!  The one thing I DO know about Konnan is that he’s had a few health issues recently, so hopefully this Pile Driver wasn’t over doing it for the guy. Other than that, this was a solid promo!  A bit out of nowhere as I had no idea Konnan had become Proud N Powerful’s advocate, but it went about as well as it could have even if it DID have a proper build up!


We’re technically starting the next match at this point as Daunte Martin is heading to the ring, but before he can finish his ring entrance, Vickie comes out to introduce Andrade and make a big announcement.  Before they can actually say what it is, Matt Sydal’s music hits and he and his bro just walk out and ignore the two.  Seriously, Andrade is getting punked out by the Sydals?  They’re good wrestlers, but they aren’t superstars here and we’re supposed to believe that Andrade is a game changer at AEW.  You know what will make us believe that?  GETTING ANDRADE IN THE RING!  I don’t know what this slow burn is about, but hopefully there’s a really good reason behind AEW not striking while the iron is hot.  Anyway…


Daunte Martin Vs. Matt Sydal

Matt Sydal is accompanied to the ring by Mike Sydal

Now that we got all THAT over with… if you thought the opener was a bit too methodical, THIS is the explosive high flying action you want to see!  Sydal maintains a pretty strong lead and is working over Daunte’s knees to try and ground him, but that doesn’t stop Daunte from getting a few impressive two counts; one when he grabs one of Sydals’ kicks and flips him over, one with a Springboard Moonsault, and this cool move where he flips right over Sydal and somehow turned it into a rollup.  Still, this is Sydal’s match to win and he gets his own near fall when the two of them race to the top turnbuckle and Sydal lands a Metorea.  Eventually though, it all comes down to that worked over knee as Daunte goes for something off the top ropes but Sydal moves and Daunte lands on his knee which allows Sydal to kick him in the face and land the Lightening Spiral to win the match which I think may be his first on Dynamite!  Daunte looked pretty green in his first Dynamite matches, but he’s really come into his own and put on quite a show here with Matt Sydal so hopefully they have plans for him down the road!


Jungle Boy is in the back talking about his upcoming match with Kenny Omega when Christian Cage comes in and just kinda takes it over while sounding like… a bad guy?  He’s not calling out Jungle Boy or getting in his face, he’s giving him advice but it’s… evil advice?  I don’t know, he tells him NOT to be happy and to instead be upset; that he should want to get back at Kenny Omega for underestimating him.  To me it sounds less like a wise elder passing wisdom to the younger generation and more like Emperor Palatine telling Anakin to cut that dude’s head off which is a direction they could certainly go in, but Cage has been a Baby Face since he got here so I doubt he’ll turn out to be an evil mastermind in a few months after having turned Jungle Boy TO THE DARK SIDE!


Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling announce that they have a ten percent off sale for AEW’s shop and there’s a HASHTAG JADE BRAND in the top left corner so you can tweet all about this ironic but not really marketing strategy!  Look, Cargill is good in the ring and Smart Mark Sterling has a lot of fun energy to him that would be invaluable for her matches and for feuds with other wrestlers, so I don’t know why we’re wasting all this time on this nonsense instead.


Alex Marvez is interviewing MJF, Wardlow, and Shawn Spears in the back which goes off the rails immediately as MJF takes over and is going up to eleven on obnoxious heel mode.  As usual MJF is a master at verbal douchebaggery, but he DOES go over the line a bit when he brings up Dean Malenko’s Parkinson’s disease.  To me, one of the golden rules of being a Heel is NEVER make light of someone’s medical conditions as its just tacky and mean spirited in a way that isn’t fun to watch.  Sure enough, the Inner Circle runs in to bash these fools who brawl and brawl and brawl all the way to the ring and continue the brawl in there.  Sammy eventually runs out once his music hits and chases everyone away with a chair which gets a huge pop from the crowd and cuts a promo on MJF where he calls him out for being a pompous jerk and promises to beat him on Wednesday.  I’m guessing MJF is going to win that match with the Dynamite Diamond Ring, but more importantly I believe this to be further evidence to my theory that Alex Marvez is no mere interviewer but an agent of chaos sowing discord wherever he goes!


Miro is in the back praying to God to give him the strength to CRUSH THAT PUNY MORTAL BRIAN PILLMAN JR in his title defense next week.  The bloodthirsty God fearing man is an interesting gimmick for Miro and kinda reminds me of Buff Mac from It’s Always Sunny (that’s two Sunny references so far today), and while Miro sells it well, it feels a bit limited ins cope.  I guess he doesn’t have to have a barn burner program with every dude who steps up to him, but it also seems like we’re gonna get this exact promo and build up for every title defense until they find someone who will take it off of him.  Pillman gets respond later in the show and has a much better promo that’s definitely more interesting (even if his deliver isn’t quite at Miro’s level) and it’s definitely a match I want to see!  Varsity Blondes are one of my favorite groups here and Pillman has been impressive every time we’ve seen him!


Ethan Page Vs. Bear Bronson

Page is accompanied to the ring by Scorpio Sky while Bronson is accompanied by Bear Boulder

I am not a fan of these two and frankly I don’t get them either.  Sure they’re two big guys, but there are A LOT of big guys out there who can work solid matches and these two just seem kinda sloppy; especially in that match between them and Jurassic Express which was an absolute mess!  On top of that, I don’t get their gimmick as they are called BEAR COUNTRY but they come out wearing Texas Chainsaw Massacre style skin-masks that are obvious rubber but still kinda gross looking and just makes it that much harder to get behind them.  Fortunately Bronson seems to be the one with a TINY bit of charisma and Ethan Page is a good wrestler in his own right so it’s fair to say that this is THE BEST Bear Country match even if it’s so far the least interesting one on this episode.  Page keeps underestimating Bronson at his own peril, going so far as to make a mocking bear growl at him, but Bronson ends up maintaining a strong advantage here with some big moves.  At one point Bronson goes for a Suicide Dive which seems like a bad idea for a man of his size, but Ethan page avoids being flattened when Scorpio Sky shoving him out of the way and taking the hit himself which seems like a serious Baby Face move but there’s not much time to contemplate it as Page sends the ref after Boulder and he and Sky toss Bronson into the ropes.  Things go back and forth for a bit with Bronson landing some more big moves and eating a Superplex from Page with neither man getting a definitive edge after Bronson’s initial flurry of offense.  Bronson then gets on the middle rope and Sky runs onto the apron to distract.  Bear Boulder drags him down and starts punching him, but the distraction has already occurred and Page manages to land a low blow on Bronson.  With Bronson incapacitated yet still on the ropes, Ethan actually gets him up for the Egos Edge and lands it which was genuinely impressive to see and it was just enough for him to get the pin.  It was fine which is better than I expected from Bear Country, but the Egos Edge was really the only thing that got my attention and it wasn’t quite enough to save the match.

Page grabs the mic and tries to cut a promo on Darby but he’s constantly interrupted by the crowd who want to shout him down.  More matches to come as Ethan Page wants to not just BEAT Darby but DESTROY him.  He calls for a Coffin Match which was certainly unexpected.  Sure he’s talked about the history they’ve had, but usually someone has to be REALLY angry for them to want a Coffin Match, and so far Page has come out on top!  He and Sky beat Darby, so why does he still have a bug up his butt about it?  They’ve got a few weeks to sell us on it, and if nothing else we know that Darby will do whatever it takes and break any number of bones to make the match work.


Baker and Rebel (Not Reba) are in the back making fun of Vickie for challenging them to a match on Wednesday and then we cut to Vickie and Nyla who say nuh-uh.  Can’t say they’re doing a lot to sell me on the match what with Baker and Rebel (Not Reba) burying it a week before it happens, but maybe AEW is thinking that if they lower expectations SO LOW they can then blow us out of the water when it’s not as bad as that!  Admittedly that sounds like TNA logic, but that’s all I’m really getting out of this very strange build.


Kris Statlander Vs. The Bunny

Statlander is accompanied to the ring by Orange Cassidy while The Bunny is accompanied by the Blade

Much like last week, this is another women’s match that I’m really hoping will be good; not just because Kris Statlander is one of my favorite women in the division, but because The Bunny had a REAL bad match with Red Velvet a few weeks ago on an episode where everything seemed to have gone wrong.  This is definitely better than that one, but it’s still sadly lacking a bit as neither wrestler knocks it out of the park.  It becomes clear early on that The Bunny doesn’t stand a chance as Statlander gets a LOT of offense in from the get go.  At one point she puts Bunny on the corner but she escapes by pulling Statlander’s hair… who then starts trying to do a handstand on the turnbuckle?  Well OF COURSE The Bunny kicks her in the face and she tumbles to the outside, and I’m just not sure what she was trying to accomplish.  Perhaps it was just to set up The Bunny to get the heat for a while but it’s not a particularly long match and she gets the wind knocked out of her with a Power Slam fairly quickly.  It goes back and forth for a bit with Statlander staying ahead and she goes up the turnbuckle for a move but Bunny runs behind and manages to land a German Suplex from the middle rope.  That was a pretty good spot but she only gets a two count for it and is now getting desperate.  The Blade sees this and gets on the apron to argue with Ref Aubrey while Bunny puts on a pair of brass knuckles that he tossed into the ring.  Orange Cassidy roles in, takes the knux, and rolls back out; therefore fulfilling his obligation to make the crowd pop at least once per episode!  While The Bunny stands in the middle of the ring totally miffed by this, Statlander grabs her and land the Big Bang Theory to get the pin and win the match.  As I said it was better than the Red Velvet match, but I’m not feeling these recent matches in the Women’s division as it feels like we’ve taken a step backwards from the high point we were at just a few weeks ago.

The Blade runs in to bash Cassidy over the head while he and Statlander celebrate and he gets backup from TH2 for some reason.  He’s supposed to be part of Hardy Family Office so I expected Private Party, but perhaps they were too busy counting Matt’s money to make it to the ring.  In any case, Statlander has disappeared completely which leaves Cassidy completely defenseless as The Blade retrieves his brass knuckles and lands a right hook right on his jaw which has Cassidy falls like a sack of potatoes.  I’m up for a Blade/Cassidy match, but it’s a little odd that the women who were INVOLVED in the match are just in the wind as soon as these guys hit the ring.  You couldn’t at least have The Bunny throw a few cackles in there?


We cut to the back where Tony is interviewing QT Marshall about his upcoming Strap Match with Cody.  Admittedly it was a bit funny when he begged Hollywood to cast him in a geeky superhero movie so he’d get the heck out of his hair, but I think QT would be better served to not be so much of the face of his group and to assume more of an Arn Anderson type role where he’s helping the wrestlers win their matches only he does so in an EVIL way!  I guess he’s too good of a wrestler to NOT use and you can’t have a match without a buildup, but his promos just come off as pretty whiney and I’d rather just hear more from Cody or even his own students instead.


Speaking of whiny, Penta and Kingston are ranting in the back about The Bucks and how much better they are than them.  See, THEY’RE only winners in the “technical” sense because they won wrestling matches while Penta and Kingston are better at… real fighting I guess?  I mean sure, The Bucks have cheated their way to most of their wins lately, but they’ve also had MULTIPLE shots at this and failed each time!  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, I need more friends at ringside!


Kenny Omega Vs. Jungle Boy

Omega is accompanied to the ring by The Good Brothers and Don Callis while Jungle Boy is accompanied by Jurassic Express

One of the things people have complained about in recent weeks is the over reliance of interference; especially in big title matches like this.  We saw it at the AEW PPV, we saw it WWE’s Hell in a Cell, and I’m pretty sure Kenny’s recent match at TNA had some chicanery going on as well, so the ref makes a good call here by having The Good Brothers and Jurassic Express ejected from the match before it even begins.  Callis however manages to slip away since he’s on the commentary team, but even he stays out of this match in what has to be the cleanest Title Match ever with a Heel champion!  The two start the match with some basic stuff with Kenny twisting the arm and slapping Jungle Boy across the head, but the kid is no slouch and soon twists the arm in his favor.  He eventually escapes, but Kenny’s usual repertoire of big moves are doing Kenny no favors as Jungle Boy scouts them all from a mile away so Kenny has to fight a much scrappier and harder style than his usual shtick.  Jungle Boy ends up getting some good moves in (Brain Buster, DDT, a bunch of dives to the outside) that take quite a bit out of Kenny, and he eventually locks in the Snare Trap on him right in the middle of the ring.  It’s at that point that The Good Brothers come out and are ready to interfere, but Jurassic Express AND Kazarian come out to bash them over the head and chase them to the back!  Kazarian’s Elite Hunter gimmick is starting to grow on me as he’s more or less doing the most fair and noble thing just to be a jerk to The Elites, and frankly all the Baby Faces should hire him to back them up in all of THEIR matches!  Heck, I’m sure Penta and Kingston are gonna need his help sooner rather than later if he they ever want to beat The Bucks!  In any case, Kenny is left alone in the ring with this submission on him, but the guy is the champ for a reason and he makes it to the ropes to break up the lock.  The two are exhausted and just stand there throwing punches at each other until Kenny starts bashing him with the V-Triggers which turn the tide in his favor.  Feeling confident, Kenny puts Jungle Boy up for the One Winged Angel but he wriggles out and rolls him into a pin for a two count.  However as Kenny kicks out he flips over in such a way that Jungle Boy IMMEDIATELY locks in the snare trap!  This looks to be trouble for the champ, but Kenny pulls Jungle Boy’s hair to get out of it which is the only cheating in the entire match and the ref was looking RIGHT AT HIM when he did it and didn’t disqualify him, so I’d hardly even count it as such.  After all, if the ref doesn’t care then why should I?  Kenny’s reign of terror continues as he drops Jungle Boy face first onto the top turnbuckle which looked REALLY brutal, and he hits him with a few more V-Triggers to get him nice and softened up.  He gets Jungle Boy on his shoulders, finally lands the One Winged Angel, and gets the pin to win the match and retain his title.  He’s not done with the kid yet however as he plans no bashing him with the World Title belt, but Christian Cage comes out to chase him away and keep Jungle Boy safe.  Unfortunately for him though, he’s quickly followed by Hardy Family Office who start attacking him, and then The Bucks come out to Super Kick him in the face.  I guess we’ve got a new Super Faction with HFO joining The Elite as the episode comes to an end with all of them standing tall in the middle of the ring while Christian Cage and Jungle Boy are laid out and on the mat.


This was MOSTLY a good episode which is mostly due to how phenomenal some of the matches were, but what kept me from truly LOVING it were the promos; none of which except for the Konnan/Tully confrontation were particularly compelling and some of which, like the Jade Cargill one, were outright annoying.  The seeds of future storylines are being planted and I’m certainly interested where stuff like Cage and Hardy as well as Cassidy and The Blade end up going, but I’m sold more on the concept of the match than anything they are specifically telling us about it.  As I said though, the matches were EXCELLENT this week with Hobbs in particularly proving himself to be an absolute star, so the future is bright for AEW; especially now that we’re going back to Wednesdays.  Is it an auspicious sign for Rampage though that things never really clicked or were firing on all cylinders in what will soon be their time slot?  Perhaps not, especially with them only having an hour to fill instead of two, but whatever happens with that we’ll at least have Dynamite on Wednesdays which so far has been more than enough wrestling for me each week!

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