AEW: Dynamite knows how to bounce back.
Last week, AEW put on a subpar effort. At least compared to their usual standards.
But All Elite Wrestling was firing on all cylinders this week. With two weeks to go until the beginning of the two-night Fyter Fest event, AEW pulled out all the stops.
Great in-ring action and fantastic story.
In other words, AEW: Dynamite was back to normal for June 17.
HIT – AEW Tag Team Championship Match: ‘Hangman’ Page & Kenny Omega (C) Vs. Natural Nightmares (W/ Brandi Rhodes)
Kicking off the June 17 edition of AEW: Dynamite was a match guaranteed not to suck.
When you get ‘Hangman’ Page, Kenny Omega, and Dustin Rhodes in the same ring, you’re going to get an awesome match. Oh, and QT Marshall was there as well.
Actually, Marshall looked as good as he’s yet looked in AEW. The match also saw a funny running gag that ran throughout the show. Dr. Britt Baker has the Roles Royce pulled up beside the announce desk and keeps sending Tony Schiavone updates. Among them, Tony’s green tie is ugly.
The Nightmares come out without Allie, giving me false hope that they’re done with the Allie/Brandi/Nightmares angle. And sure enough, the finish is Allie coming out and not distracting QT but totally getting blamed for distracting QT. Marshall walks into a Last Call, and Page and Omega retain.
Solid match, great opener for AEW: Dynamite. June 17 was only going to get crazier for AEW.
HIT – Abadon Vs. Anna Jay
June 17 was an AEW: Dynamite like any other. Before the match, we got an inspiring video about Anna Jay. She talks about how hard she’s been training and how she just can’t wait to entertain the fans.
And then her opponent came out.
Abadon, who looks to be a wrestling ghoulish zombie monster – thing – crawls to the ring. Like something out of a horror flick, and somebody who could probably have some fun with the Fiend. Dr. Baker puts it best in her message to Tony: “This girl needs Jesus.”
And Abadon absolutely destroys Anna Jay with a huricanrana. This could be a turning point for the women’s division. I know, I’ve said that before. But this is actually something different. Hopefully AEW doesn’t brush it off as just a gimmick and lets her play with the character.
After the match, the Dark Order helps Anna Jay out of the ring. And while they’re out, they hand a contract to Colt Cabana.
I say this almost every week. AEW: Dynamite spins stories out of wrestling matches perfectly.
MISS – MJF Vs. Billy
Everyone mark June 17 as the night Billy Gunn wrestled without his full name. He’s just Billy now. Man, he hasn’t just been Billy since WWE was tone deaf to the messages it was sending its audience. Wait.
Anyway, this AEW: Dynamite sucked. Billy came out with his son, Austin, and did Superman-type power stuff, and MJF ran away like the coward he plays to perfection. But none of this gelled. It doesn’t help that Billy can’t, you know, move.
The finish came when Wardlow beat up Austin at ringside and slipped MJF the Diamond Dozen ring. Billy gets clocked, and MJF picks up the pin. Boy, we haven’t seen that finish on AEW: Dynamite a bazillion times.
After the match, MJF stops by the Jurassic Express to trash talk Jungle Boy, resulting in the Express, Wardlow, and MJF getting into a pull-apart. See, that I would like to see. You’re telling me the only way we could get those pieces together is having MJF fight a senior citizen?
HIT – Dr. Britt Baker Promo
C’mon, AEW: Dynamite. Wash the taste of last week’s Britt Baker promo out.
Tony catches up with Dr. Baker in the back of the Roles Royce. And he announces that Penelope Ford gets a title shot against Shida at Fyter Fest. Britt’s face just falls apart, and it’s great.
Dr. Baker declares herself and Tony on a friendship timeout and demands that Rebel drive away angrily. But Big Swole is behind the wheel, and she does her best Undertaker impression: “Where to, DOCTOR?!”
This was great, and hopefully we’ll get a blowoff match when Baker is ready to go.
HIT – TNT Championship Match: Cody (C, W/ Arn Anderson) Vs. Ricky Starks
Okay, I have to ask. They’ve been talking through all of AEW: Dynamite that Cody handpicked his opponent from outside AEW. Is it really an open challenge if the champion is choosing his challengers?
Before the match, Cody cuts a promo and openly wonders if he’s even still part of the Elite. He even ponders whether he’s still part of the Nightmare Family. Nice. Heel turn imminent. Star Trek mirror universe goatee not confirmed. He turns the promo over to Arn, who tells him he can beat Jake Hager – but not today.
So the coach introduces Cody’s opponent, and it’s Ricky Starks, most recently from NWA Powerrr. Hopefully AEW gets him to put pen to paper, because that’d be an incredible coup for them.
This match was fantastic. After last week’s AEW: Dynamite saw Marq Quen openly not understand the concept of selling, this was a reminder of what the open challenge should be. Lots of stiff hits, solid mat work, high flying. As good a match as you can possibly get on free TV.
I feel like the match should’ve been a few minutes longer, but this was awesome, solid stuff.
HIT – Superbad Squad (W/ Penelope Ford) Vs. Young Bucks
Havoc and Sabian have been tearing it up on AEW: Dynamite lately. During the prematch checks, the ref finds a pair of pliers in Havoc’s tights. You’re a weird guy, Jimmy Havoc.
Early in the match, the Bucks dump the Squad to the floor, so Butcher and Blade jump up on the apron and talk trash at the Bucks.
Both teams put on a good show, with Matt selling the rib injury and Nick working hard to get the hot tag. During the festivities, Sabian takes a punch to the side of the head and starts bleeding out of the ear. Like, REALLY bleeding. I thought his brain was gonna leak out.
Near the end of the match, the Bucks have Havoc set up for the Indytaker, but FTR shows up to hold off Butcher and Blade. The distraction allows Havoc to sneak in a roll-up for two. With the Squad looking like they might run away with it, the Bucks pull a Superkick Party out, and that causes Sabian to basically piledrive Havoc. Young Bucks take the win and wait, WHAT? That was a really, really cool finish.
With Superbad Squad indisposed, Butcher and Blade run in and attack the Bucks. Leaving FTR and the Bucks to team up to take out the heels.
To recap. Superbad Squad looks strong against the Young Bucks. Butcher and Blade stay in the mix with FTR, and that – in turn – keeps the Bucks in the mix with FTR.
Storytelling, thy name is AEW: Dynamite.
HIT – PROMO-MANIA!
June 17 continues a recent AEW: Dynamite trend. Spending about 10-15 minutes ahead of the main event to basically run a gauntlet of promos.
Taz and the AEW Champion, Jon Moxley, exchange pretaped promos to put over the title match with Moxley and Brian Cage at Fyter Fest. All the credit in the world to AEW for making their last two world title bouts seem like a big deal. Moxley vs. Brodie Lee at Double Or Nothing should’ve been a nothing match. And it wound up stealing the show.
Now we’ve got Cage all but walking into a title shot and – in the span of less than a month – seeming like a legitimate world title contender. Also, Cage apparently hangs out under bridges in his wrestling gear. This is a weird business.
Meanwhile on AEW: Dynamite, it seems Big Swole has left Britt Baker laying in a dumpster. Rebel tries to help her out, but she took so long that Baker fires her. This elates Rebel, because now she’s free of Baker. As soon as Baker realizes this brings Rebel joy, she declares her rehired.
HIT – Le Sex Gods Vs. Best Friends (Best Friends’ Fyter Fest Title Shot On The Line)
The AEW: Dynamite main event starts with a big bang, and we get a two-on-two slugfest from the jump.
Finally. I’ve been waiting for what feels like forever for AEW to get back to treating Best Friends like a big deal.
Sammy and Jericho ham it up, and everybody puts on their A-game.
After bashing Trent with Jericho’s bat, Sammy hits the shooting star press, but it only gets two. Following the near-fall, the cameraman trips Sammy, who winds up walking into Strong Zero. Best Friends get the pin, and they retain their shot at Page and Omega at Fyter Fest.
But wait a minute. That’s no cameraman. IT’S ORANGE CASSIDY! Remember how awesome Cassidy was when he tried against PAC at Revolution? Yeah, that times a billion in this post-match fight between Jericho and Cassidy.
The Orange One hits a Superman Punch and keeps putting the beating to Jericho, running the Inner Circle off. Jericho vs. Cassidy at Fyter Fest is gonna rule all.
Talk about a return to form. AEW: Dynamite fizzled out last week. On June 17, they put on one of their best episodes to date.
When the only segment that doesn’t really land is the MJF match? You know you’ve got an incredible show.
Fyter Fest is shaping up to be everything the two-night WrestleMania wasn’t, and AEW continues to be the best pro wrestling in North America.
AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights on TNT at 8 PM/ET.
Feature image provided by All Elite Wrestling.
'AEW: Dynamite' - June 17, 2020
- Orange Cassidy got made.
- If Cody DOES turn heel, the build has been beautifully subtle
- Abadon is gonna be a star, Big Swole stuck it to Dr. Baker - the women killed it this week
- The tag team championships are the most over title in the company; that's different, and that's great
- Billy Gunn should not pro wrestle on television or anywhere humans can see him
- Nobody cares about whatever is happening with the Nightmare Family and Allie.