Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-30-2021)

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

The Pandemic is not over yet despite what many will have you believe, but as far the Wrestling business and other live events, it’s at a point where enough people are vaccinated that they can fill arenas without worrying about super spreader events; at least not to the degree of risk there was even a few months ago.  Because of that, AEW will be returning to the road with next week being their first show out of Daily’s Place in Jacksonville Florida since more or less the start of the pandemic.  Do they give us a fantastic sendoff to the city of Jacksonville for all it’s done to keep AEW afloat, or are they already half-way out the door and just threw something together?  Let’s find out!!

Before we start the opening match, Jericho comes out to a raucous rendition of Judas as he is joining the announce team for this show; mostly to call the Sammy/MJF match in the main event, but he’s always a fun presence whenever he shows up in the booth!

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Young Bucks Vs. Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero M – AEW Tag Title Qualifier Match

Penta is accompanied to the ring by Alex Abrahantes

AEW will rarely resemble WWE, and the few times it does it’s usually the GOOD parts like getting wrestlers from the past that people like and the occasional goofy celebrity spot.  This feud between The Bucks, Kingston, and Penta though resembles some of their worst tendencies which are its incessant 50/50 booking and running matchups into the ground as these two teams have been fighting back and forth since the PPV; longer if you count the fact that Kingston and Moxley were fighting with them before that!  To their credit though, the matches have been improving and The Bucks are only getting more fun in their utter contempt for good taste; case in point, the diseased rats they’ve glued to their face that they are calling facial hair with Nick in particular is sporting a very bushy Hogan-stache that seems to be drawing heat from the crowd all by itself.  Aside from that, it’s a pretty straightforward match with the Heels getting the heat and the Baby Faces breaking free to run wild.  Its good wrestling to be sure, but they aren’t doing anything I didn’t see the last few times they locked up; even the really cook stuff like Penta’s roll up into a DDT or when Kingston starts no selling a bunch of kicks feels like diminishing returns.  The best moment was probably the nearfall where Kingston throws Nick up onto the turnbuckle, Penta follows up with a kick, Kingston then lands a German Suplex, and Penta catches him into a Backbreaker.  The Bucks get a similar nearfall when they land The Lucha Bros own finisher (Fear Factor) onto Penta which Kingston breaks up at the last second, and this leads to The Good Brothers coming out to heckle Kingston and Penta as well as distract the ref while Cutler runs out for the cold spray spot.  Matt Jackson has Penta in position, but Penta comes up with the BRILLIANT tactic of… ducking, and instead Matt eats a bunch of cold spray to the face!  Frankie Kazarian runs out to take out Cutler which leaves Penta and Kingston to finish off matt Jackson with a Pile Driver and a back fist to get the pin and win the match; earning their chance to challenge for the Tag Team title!  If I hadn’t seen The Bucks versus Kingston and Penta for the last few weeks this would have hit a lot harder as the moves work was solid and the ending had a lot of fun spots to it; especially with Kazarian living up to his name as the Elite Hunter to just spoil The Bucks endless attempts to cheat.  This does set us up for yet another match between the two teams, but with the title being on the line it will hopefully bring enough gravitas to make it feel not as much like every other match we’ve seen so far from them.

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Christian Cage is in the back giving Jungle Boy a pep talk in perpetration for his match tonight and assures all of us that his loss to Kenny Omega was only a step in a much longer journey.  Luchasaurus the shows up to introduce himself to Cage and to thank him for having Jungle Boy’s back while he was away, he’s got Cage’s back now.  My concerns of Christian Cage possibly going Heel or betraying Jungle Boy based on his somewhat sinister promo last week are more or less addressed here as Cage doesn’t talk about EMBRACING THE DARKNESS or whatever, and a thumbs up from Luchasaurus is as good as gold in my book!

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Tony and The Men Of The Year (Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky) are in the ring and we’re SUPPOSED to be having an interview but instead we get to hear the insistent booing of the crowd.  As I said last week, having crowds again is going to be something of an adjustment as I found myself annoyed that they wouldn’t just let the guys speak, but eventually they quiet down and Ethan Page reminds everyone that he’s kicked Darby’s butt all around Daily’s Place!  That’s not enough for Page however as he may be able to destroy him in every single match, but clearly that doesn’t get through to the guy which is why he wants a Coffin Match to destroy him mentally!  This is actually a pretty interesting idea and kind of the perfect use of a Coffin Match where Darby’s fearlessness and daredevil nerve are what keeps him a step ahead of everyone despite his small size.  If Ethan Page were to take that away from him by beating him in such a traumatic match, it would not only give him the win but possibly stop Darby’s momentum altogether!  A very devious plot if I do say so myself, though he’s probably being a bit TOO hopeful here considering Darby Allin already got thrown around in a body bag a few PPVs ago.  If THAT didn’t rob him of its guts, I doubt closing a door on a coffin is going to do it!  Case in point, Sting’s music hits and he comes out dragging a coffin that Darby leaps out of and starts going after the eyes of Page while Sting gives Sky a Scorpion Death Drop.  Allin eventually has to be dragged off of Page by security and Page gets back on the mic to screech at Darby for being a cheating jerk!  In fact, he’s so peeved that he… canceled the Coffin match?  Yeah, apparently Darby cannot touch Page until Fighter Fest, and if he does this then MAYBE they can have a match then which is a bit of an odd note to end such a strong segment on.  I’m guessing there was a scheduling issue and so they HAD to come up with a reason to push it back a bit, but I honestly find THIS to be more disruptive to Kayfabe than just announcing it was at a later date.  Aside from that, Ethan Page is really good at being an emotionally volatile heel and I’m interested to see where this angle is going even if it seems to be taking a left turn out of nowhere.

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Jungle Boy Vs. Jack Evans

This is basically a mirror to a match we got a few weeks ago where Christian Cage fought Angélico on behalf of Matt Hardy as Jungle Boy is here to face the other half of TH2 tonight.  Where they differ though is in the style of match as Angélico was more focused on submission based technical wrestling while Jack Evans is here to outclass Jungle Boy in high flying skills.  I mean there’s no doubt that Jungle Boy is good at flipping, but Jack Evans has been flipping for about as long as he’s been alive and it’s made clear right away as Evans keeps shutting Jungle Boy down at every turn.  Jungle Boy goes for the Snare Trap too early and Jack Evans is in the ropes before he can finish applying it, and there’s another spot where they run the ropes past each other several times before Jungle Boy finally goes for a Drop Kick that Evan scouts from a mile away; putting on the breaks so that Jungle Boy falls flat on his face.  Even with his ability to avoid damage however, Jack Evans can’t exactly match his opponent offensively and so Jungle Boy eventually manages to get some momentum going which puts Evans in a tough spot.  Jungle Boy is on the ropes and Jack Evans gets behind him to land a Spider German Suplex which LOOKS really cool but leaves Evans upside in the corner, so Jungle flips enough for him to land on his feet instead of on his back he immediately kicks Jack Evans in the face.  With Evans reeling from that counter, Jungle Boy locks him in the Snare Trap and Evans has no choice but to tap out; giving Jungle Boy the win which is apparently his fiftieth at the company.  They made a point to tell us that in the match but it would have been nice if that was an actual storyline instead of just a factoid they threw at us here.  Jungle Boy doesn’t have long to celebrate his victory however as all hell breaks loose when Hardy Family Office run out with Jurassic Express not far behind.  Jurassic Express and Jungle Boy are trying to fend off TH2 and Private Party while Cage and Hardy are left alone in the ring.  Cage has a strong advantage and even chokes Hardy out with his own jacket, but Jack Evans runs in to keep Cage busy while Hardy stumbles his way to the tunnel.  It was a solid match that advanced the Cage/Hardy storyline, and while no match announced YET, we’re definitely heading towards one sooner rather than later.

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MJF is in the back and cuts a promo; not on Sammy Guevara but on Jericho which seems like an odd thing to do considering who he’s SUPPOSED to be facing tonight.  He offers to give him a list of stipulations next week that, if Jericho can adhere to, he will give him one last match which is basically the same story as the one he had with Cody Rhodes.  Now sure, MJF eventually gets around to calling Sammy a loser by the end of this promo, but if we’re already moving on to the next story before we even know what the outcome of this match is then it can’t be that important, right?

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We cut to Andrade who’s being interviewed by Alex Abrahantes about the kerfuffle that occurred in last week’s show where Andrade came out in the middle of a match and was blown off by Matt Sydal.  Obviously this injustice cannot stand, so it will be Andrade Vs Matt Sydal on next week’s show, which… hey, whatever it takes to get that guy in the ring!

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Hail To The King, Baby – Who Will Be Next To Stand Up To Kenny Omega!?

Tony Schiavone is in the ring and calls out Kenny Omega to brag once again about how great he his.  However, Kenny has beaten everyone at AEW which means that no one is left to challenge him, so while he may have a smile on his face as he says this, I can’t help but feel there might be a twinge of sadness there; like when Alexander wept for there were no more worlds to conqueror.  Well that’s not ENTIRELY true as he’s decided that he will take time away from here to focus on his OTHER belts at promotions that might be able to offer him a proper challenger, but before can finish cackling his way to the back, The Dark Order comes out and Evil Uno reminds Kenny that there is ONE person still out there that he hasn’t beaten since becoming champ.  If you couldn’t tell who they were talking about, the crowd starts chanting COWBOY S**T while Evil Uno coyly refers to Hangman Adam Page.  On my podcast I talked all about how the Hangman Adam Page storyline was one of the best that AEW had going for it and now it looks like the Dark Order is forcing it to come to a head to the consternation of Kenny Omega who actually makes a valid point here that there’s no way Page asked them to come out and speak on his behalf.  Not only that, he firmly believes that Hangman simply doesn’t have the guts to face him in the ring again after how badly he screwed up last year, and what works about this is that it is ONE HUNDRED percent true and is in fact confirmed by The Hangman himself later in the show when he angrily confronts The Dark Order.  I was actually not sure where The Dark Order was going to fall on this, if they were simply going to keep enabling Adam Page’s lack of ambition as long as he kept hanging out with them, but I’m so glad that they went this route with it; that The Dark Order ARE such good friends of Page that they see what his problem is and what he needs to do to overcome it!  I can’t wait to see where this is going next and especially that first confrontation between Kenny and Hangman where he either gets the guts and agrees to face him or continues to take it easy until something forces his hand!

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Miro Vs. Brian Pillman Jr – TNT Title Match

Pillman comes out strong, but it doesn’t take long for Miro to completely ground him and tear him apart piece by piece.

He gets the heat throughout the commercial break and starts hammering him over the chest while pinned to the ropes, but he’s clearly taking Pillman too lightly here who manages to drop down and take Miro’s head down with him; smashing his neck into the ropes and eating a Springboard Drop Kick that knocks him to the ground.  He keeps up the momentum and hits Miro with a Springboard Clothesline, but it only gets him a two count which is the closest he gets to the TNT Title.  Oh sure he tries to keep Miro down with a few kicks, but all it takes is one to the face to sap all his energy and leaving him as putty in Miro’s hands!  With one more kick and a bit of showboating, Miro is able to lock in the game over which Pillman fights valiantly against, but Miro pulls on his head until he’s on his back and Pillman passes out; forcing the ref to call the match and leaving Miro the TNT champion.  The reign of Miro continues unabated, but even if everyone is going to crumple like a paper cup in his mighty fist, I’m glad that the matches are still entertaining.  This isn’t going to make Pillman like last week’s match did for Jungle Boy, but Miro also didn’t bury this dude in the process despite his whole gimmick being an overwhelming force and I hope that The Varsity Blondes continue to get more time to shine on Dynamite.

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We cut to a very incomplete Team Taz where Taz himself admits that everything isn’t going so well for them.  Brian Cage and Ricky Starks are not there and this bad blood between them needs to end, so as a way to clear the air and get it all out of their system he has set up a match for the FTW title between Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in two weeks.  That’s pretty surprising as I figured Ricky Starks would be on the shelf for MUCH longer given his neck injury, but if he’s medically cleared then I guess there’s no reason beat around the bush.  All signs point to Brian Cage leaving the group, but whether it will be with his head held high and the FTW belt remains to be seen.

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Nyla Rose & Vickie Guerrero Vs. Britt Baker & Rebel (Not Reba)

I don’t know what to say about this.  No one was expecting anything GOOD from this match and to its credit it’s far from the worst thing they’ve put on TV.  Heck, as far as the work itself, it’s  competent enough even from Vickie and Rebel (Not Reba), but there’s just not much to the match which the crowd seems to grasp as well as they are cheering for Baker and Rebel (Not Reba) instead of the ostensible Baby Faces.  Perhaps it’s because most of this match is Nyla getting the heat on the latter as there’s a little bit of Vickie and Rebel (Not Reba) at the start but most of it is Nyla beating up on Rebel (Not Reba) until Baker comes in and eats a Choke Slam and that VERY scary Draping Knee Drop from Rose.  Rebel (Not Reba) breaks up the pin and for whatever reason Vickie wants a piece of Baker; something that is OBVIOUSLY a bad idea as Britt IMMEDIATELY puts her in the Lockjaw and taps her out to win the match.  Being the sore losers that they are, Nyla Rose then Power Bombs Baker through a table set up on the outside, so… yay for the Baby Faces?  I don’t know what this was supposed to accomplish honestly as Baker ended up getting more over than anyone despite being the Heel in this feud, and while it wasn’t an outright DISASTER as far as the work itself, I hope they don’t try to do something like this again.

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Sammy and Jericho might be busy this evening, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the Inner Circle can’t cut a promo!  We’ve got Hager, Santana, and Ortiz hanging out next to a staircase and Hager starts this off going to ELEVEN; punching the concrete wall and screaming his head off as he tells FTR and Wardlow that they’re gonna kick their butts in next week’s show!  I mean if this feud is going to continue, at least they still have some energy behind it!  Speaking of the feud…

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MJF Vs. Sammy Guevara

Now I may be a bit tired of the Inner Circle/Pinnacle feud, but this match crackles like lightening!  From the opening seconds where MJF is a complete jerk mocking Sammy through his entrance to the first few minutes where the two are operating at such a high level of skill that the crowd alternates between rapt attention and thunderous applause, this thing starts off with an ENORMOUS bang!  The two start going back and forth barely touching each other as they bob, weave, reverse, counter, and faint their way through a dozen nearfalls with neither one of them landing more than a punch or two.  It’s not until Sammy lands a Springboard Cutter that any significant damage is taken from either one of them, and when MJF whips Guevara into the barricade is when this turns from a spectacle of athleticism into a down and dirty fight!  MJF gets the heat through the commercial but Sammy starts to mount something of a comeback though some big moves like a Middle Rope Spanish Fly that and a Springboard Canadian Destroyer; all of which start the THIS IS AWESOME chants from the crowd.  If there’s one spot that doesn’t work and sags the match for a TINY bit, it’s when MJF goes to get a chair and is carrying it RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE in a way that telegraphs Sammy kicking it into him.  That was a bit corny and there are a few moves like the Senton off the top rope into MJF who is on the other side of the barricade that felt a bit TOO risky for my liking.  The worst of that has to be the Middle Rope Tombstone Pile Driver from MJF; a move that could have easily KILLED Sammy but it seems that he’s okay.  Sammy somehow manages to kick out at two and it looks like MJF’s knee got messed up because of it, so it ended up kind of backfiring for him as he keeps trying for moves on the barely moving Sammy but his knee keeps getting in the way.  Sammy manages to get up and land the GTH, but MJF is in the ropes so the pin didn’t count, and a 630 Senton off the top rope is kicked out at two as MJF absolutely refuses to give the people the win they want for Sammy.  It’s at this point that Shawn Spears comes out from the back for clearly nefarious reasons and Jericho leaves the announce table to try and stop him.  HOWEVER, Warldow comes from behind and throws Jericho off the stage, and in the confusion Spears gets a chair and bashes Sammy over the head with it.  MJF just barely gets his arm over Sammy and the ref counts the pin; giving MJF the win to the utter disappointment of the crowd.  The episode ends with MJF and The Pinnacle standing tall over an unconscious Sammy with all the pumped up bravado he can muster!

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Well the Wingmen weren’t on it so I can’t call it THE BEST SHOW EVER, but this was a pretty spectacular way to end the shows at Daily’s Place before hitting the road!  Sure it didn’t have the AEW Title Belt on the line like Saturday’s show, but the matches on display here were truly excellent with Miro having a solid title defense, The Bucks losing to Kingston and Penta in a satisfying way, and the AMAZING main event that is one of the best matches that either guy has had at AEW!  Sure the Nyla Rose match was a mess as we all expected it to be, but there was a lot to like about this show and the storylines are moving forward in interesting ways which gives us plenty to look forward to!  I don’t think AEW has announced any shows close to where I live but I’ll gladly see them live if they ever decide to come around.  Until then, it’ll be interesting to see how things will change as we return to crowds and start visiting different stadiums.  Daily’s Place did a lot for AEW and gave it an identity that we may miss, but the world is a big place and what really matters at AEW will still be there even if the building doesn’t stay the same!

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