AEW: Dynamite has been off-and-on with live broadcasts.
Every other week, AEW has gone live; on the off-weeks, they go taped. But it’s been an unusual balance.
Sometimes the canned shows feel like a big deal while the live episodes fall flat. And sometimes it’s the other way around.
AEW: Dynamite returned live this week with the two-night Fyter Fest event in July in its sights.
Let’s count down the hits and misses from this week’s AEW: Dynamite.
HIT – FTR Vs. Butcher & The Blade
Oh hey, I remember tag team wrestling!
After years of anticipation and weeks of build-up, FTR made their in-ring debut on AEW: Dynamite.
For the better part of five years, FTR has been under the thumb of Vinnie Mac’s House of Beef. Fitting that they would make their debut against a similarly-old-school team in the form of the Butcher & the Blade.
This was as solid a match as you’d expect. I can only imagine the level of excitement Jim Cornette probably had watching it. Just straight, old-school tag-team wrestling.
FTR picked up the win off of not-the-Shatter-Machine (that’s gonna need a name, Tony Khan & Company).
Great match, and a fitting AEW: Dynamite debut for FTR.
HIT – After The Match
Tony Schiavone enters the ring to interview FTR but quickly gets interrupted by the Young Bucks.
Nick and Matt introduce themselves and declare that they’ve been carrying tag team wrestling “solely on our backs” for the last 15 years. Jim Cornette’s credibility just rolled over in its grave.
Before it can turn into an AEW: Dynamite throw-down between two teams that (from all indications) legit dislike each other, Butcher & Blade jump the Bucks from behind. Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian run out to lay in some shots, which in turn brings out Hangman Page and Kenny Omega.
Omega helps even the odds and chase off the heels. Hangman sips on his whiskey. Because Hangman gonna do how Hangman do. Shoutout to Page’s endless assortment of bad cowboy shirts. And to his ability to somehow pull them off.
This was a great example of what AEW: Dynamite does best. Keep the big story (Bucks vs. FTR) front-and-center, but build some smaller ones out of it.
MISS – Nightmare Family Feud
This AEW: Dynamite segment comes out of the most thinly-developed story AEW has going for it right now.
Why is it every time they put Brandi Rhodes in a story of any kind, it turns out to be something like this? In this case, the relationship between the Bunny and QT Marshall.
Dustin and Brandi tell QT that the Natural Nightmares have a shot at the tag titles on next week’s AEW: Dynamite. And they need QT to have his head in the game.
Bunny rolls her eyes a lot, and so do I, because I’m not sure why I’m supposed to care about any of this.
HIT – Hikaru Shida & Kris Statlander Vs. Penelope Ford & Nyla Rose
Okay, AEW might actually be getting somewhere with its women’s division.
Nyla didn’t hurt anybody, Statlander and Shida didn’t commit any egregious botches, and Ford looked like a million bucks.
In fact, Ford came out of the match looking like a bona fide star. And an old-school heel.
Statlander and Shida have learned to work together like the back of their hands after multiple outings on AEW: Dynamite. But near the end of the match, Kip Sabian distracted Shida on the outside, giving Nyla on the other side the chance to toss Ford the women’s title belt.
Ford clocked the champion over the head, hit a fisherman’s suplex, and picked up the pin for her team.
Great women’s wrestling. Not necessarily on the level of what we saw at NXT TakeOver: In Your House a few days ago. But really solid, entertaining women’s tag action on AEW: Dynamite.
NEAR MISS – Darby Allin Promo
We get another Darby Allin AEW: Dynamite vignette.
He says he’s still not medically-cleared to wrestle. But apparently he does get to hang out with Tony Hawk. Wow, nice grab, AEW.
The skateboarding legend does, however, declare Darby medically fit to try to do skateboard tricks off the top of a ladder.
That’s kind of the same thing, right?
No real point to this beyond AEW saying, “Look, we know Tony Hawk!” I’m all for celebrity involvement being minimal. But this took minimalist to a whole other level.
MISS – Dr. Britt Baker Promo
The Roll Model’s convalescence continues on AEW: Dynamite.
Dr. Baker says that she’s tired of Big Swole talking about her struggles.
But nobody had any sympathy for her rehab struggles or for the microbiology final she didn’t study for. “Aced it.”
Um. Okay, I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I feel about this. You can’t open last week’s AEW: Dynamite with a BLM promo and follow up with Baker using white privilege as a heel tactic.
Seems a little tone-deaf. And something I’d expect from the guys up north.
MISS – Inner Circle Vs. Best Friends & Orange Cassidy
It’s been a hundred years. I get it, he’s from Oklahoma, too. You don’t have to tell me every week on AEW: Dynamite that Hager’s “the real deal, folks,” JR.
There was nothing inherently wrong with this match, they just didn’t do anything to make it seem special.
Best Friends already have a tag title shot at Fyter Fest in July. And the Inner Circle, while not exactly floundering, don’t have a whole lot going on at the moment.
Orange Cassidy gets the pin for the babyfaces on AEW: Dynamite. After the match, Jericho rushes the ring and beats the Orange one down with a literal sack of oranges, drawing some pulp-free blood.
Seems like a long way to go to build toward the likely Orange vs. Jericho match. But you gotta fill the weeks in the interim with something. That in and of itself is a problem, though. Your filler content should never feel like filler content.
HIT – MJF Promo
Tony tries to interview Billy Gunn and sons, but MJF interrupts.
MJF whines about how he’s undefeated and has been ranked number one for two weeks. “But Jungle Boy Jabroni” gets a title shot before me?”
Billy interjects, so MJF tells him to mind his own business and get another one of his sons a job.
MJF calls in Wardlow. Well, that would be a match I have no interest in seeing. Still, any AEW: Dynamite segment with MJF is a winner.
It’s a rule of nature.
HIT – Colt Cabana Vs. Sammy Guevara
We get a quick recap of the Dark Order trying to recruit Cabana on last week’s AEW: Dynamite.
And then the match itself was pretty darn good.
Guevara proved why he’s one of wrestling’s fastest-rising stars, and Cabana was able to hang. On the way to the ring, Cabana tosses Guevara’s scooter off the stage. So naturally Guevara goes to check on it like it’s a friend having a heart attack.
I love Sammy Guevara.
Cabana goes for a move off the top rope but slips. That gives Guevara the opening to hit the GTS for the win. Damn, that’s cold. After the match, Brodie Lee comes out to help Cabana to his feet before promptly leaving. Cabana gives it some thought and follows the Order backstage.
After the after the match, Matt Hardy tries to tell Guevara that hanging around the Inner Circle is just gonna get him in trouble. Thanks, Uncle Matt! Then Matt does a schizo thing, running through all his personalities.
A lot to unpack here, but it’s another solid example of AEW: Dynamite spinning off multiple stories out of a single match.
So next week, it’ll be Billy Gunn vs. MJF. Okay, I was wrong on that one. Also, the tag title match is hyped. And I guess the Bunny is back to being Allie, according to the graphic. Um.
HIT – Joey Janela Pretape
Next on AEW: Dynamite we get Joey Janela in a bar lamenting his slide down the AEW card.
He points out that he main evented against Jon Moxley just a year ago.
As he’s crossing the street, Sonny Kiss picks him up and gives him a ride, and we get a cliffhanger “To be continued” ending.
I mean, I don’t know where they’re going with this. I’m just glad they’re going somewhere, because Janela and Kiss are both super talented and need more TV time on AEW: Dynamite.
HIT – Moxley/Cage Segment
Alex Marvez catches the AEW Champion, Jon Moxley, walking through the parking lot. Seriously, does Mox just hang out in parking lots? He never seems to be coming from or going to anywhere. Always in a parking lot. What’s up with that?
Mox says he’s livid and ready to destroy Brian Cage at Fyter Fest. Naturally, this draws Cage and Taz – who also apparently enjoy the aesthetic and scenery of a good parking lot – and they jump the champ.
Cage tosses Moxley into a car windshield. Short, sweet, to the point. Makes Cage seem like a genuine threat to Moxley’s title.
MISS – TNT Championship Match: Cody (C) Vs Marq Quen
This was not the best match in the world.
Marq Quen looked great, and he got more than his share of TV exposure on AEW: Dynamite. It was a big deal, but it also made the challenger look like kind of a dope.
He’s supposed to be working on a bum ankle, and he’s out there wrestling every WCW cruiserweight match ever, all rolled into one. The match was solid, and Cody helped make his challenger look great. But it just didn’t cohere into anything.
Quen misses a shooting star press, and Cody locks in an ankle lock for the win. After the match, Jake Hager comes out and declares himself the next challenger for the TNT Championship. Hager hits a spinebuster on Cody, drawing Matt Hardy and Isaiah Kassidy out to make the save.
Just a bit of a mess to close out AEW: Dynamite.
So this week’s AEW: Dynamite was the very definition of “hit and miss.”
In fact, it might’ve been the weakest AEW: Dynamite yet from a storytelling perspective.
Most of the wrestling was really good, but enough of it was shoddy to raise an eyebrow. And some of the booking was a little off.
Everybody’s entitled to have an off week. It’s just surprising for a show as reliable as AEW: Dynamite.
AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights on TNT at 8 PM/ET.
Feature image provided by AEW.
'AEW: Dynamite' - June 10, 2020
- Building to FTR vs Bucks has "epic" written all over it
- The women had another solid outing
- Cage made his challenge to Moxley real
- Hardy and Guevara could be a really great feud
- Cody vs Quen fell flat
- The tone-deaf wording of the Britt Baker promo
- Seriously, when did Bunny become Allie again?
- Overbooking the road to Jericho vs Cassidy