AEW: Dynamite for June 24 pressed on in the face of an industry-wide scandal this week.
Some of the previously advertised matches required last-minute changes. And things were made yet more complicated. AEW Champion Jon Moxley self-quarantined after his wife (WWE’s Renee Young) tested positive for COVID-19.
The show must go on, though.
And with this week’s episode being the go-home show before the two-week Fyter Fest event, the pressure was on AEW: Dynamite to put on a solid two hours of wrestling action.
Let’s count down the hits and misses from this week’s AEW: Dynamite.
HIT – Lumberjack Match: Wardlow (w/ MJF) Vs. Luchasaurus (w/ Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy)
Okay, so apparently AEW’s not concerned with the allegations against Justin Roberts. Noticeable by his absence from the opening signature is one Sammy Guevara.
Anyway. Onto the fun stuff.
These guys tore it up. It was refreshing to see Wardlow actually get to work in the ring. And he put on a show on AEW: Dynamite. Tons of high-flying, and he was able to match Luchasaurus high-spot for high-spot.
After the lumberjacks failed to do their job on multiple occasions, Luchasaurus and Wardlow brawled up on the stage. Luchasaurus took a dive down onto Wardlow on the floor and – as JR helpfully mentions – is caught by a hoard of people.
Back in the ring, Wardlow scores with a low blow before hitting an F-10 for the pin.
That was really, really solid. And it sets up MJF and Wardlow against Jurassic Express at Fyter Fest.
HIT – “Meanwhile” Shennanigans
Between segments on AEW: Dynamite, Taz puts on his “color analyst” hat and gives an unbiased appraisal of Brian Cage’s chances at Fyter Fest.
I like that AEW doesn’t just ignore that Taz was a regular old commentator just three weeks ago.
Back to ringside, and Dr. Britt Baker is still sending Tony messages. As a medical professional, she wants Tony’s insight as to why Luchasaurus’s tongue is green.
NEAR MISS – Hikaru Shida Vs. Red Velvet
Okay, so Red Velvet apparently doesn’t fit into the plans for AEW: Dynamite in a particularly big way.
On the way to the ring, Shida gets heckled by her Fyter Fest opponent Penelope Ford. Even after taking some time to jaw-jack with her challenger, Shida still manages to beat Velvet with the Falcon Arrow in a little over 10 seconds.
After the match, Shida chases after Ford and beats the holy hell out of her and Sabian both.
This AEW: Dynamite segment did what it was supposed to do. But it almost made Shida look a little too strong, and it did no favors for Red Velvet.
The match at Fyter Fest should be good if they play their cards right, though.
MISS – TNT Championship Match “Press Conference”
Next on AEW: Dynamite is a “press conference” for the Cody vs. Jake Hager TNT Championship match at Fyter Fest.
There’s all of two reporters present for the press conference. You know, if you can’t make it look real, then don’t do it.
Cody cuts a promo with his “do the work” rhetoric, holding up Ricky Starks as an example of what’s possible in pro wrestling. Hager shows up fashionably late, takes no questions, and just wants to get the face-to-face photos taken.
Once the photographers do their business, Hager’s wife throws water in Cody’s face. Well, this was worth my time.
Again, only two people? It reminds me of the 1989 Batman movie where all the exterior scenes in Gotham City have, like, nine extras.
HIT – Mr. Brodie Lee & Colt Cabana Vs. Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela
Before the match on AEW: Dynamite, we get a pretape covering Sonny and Joey heading to a gas station and fighting off ruffians. Fun fact, I’ve never used the phrase “ruffians” before.
The match was really good, with Cabana and Lee working over Sonny while Joey waits for the hot tag. JR and the announcers repeatedly mention that Cabana isn’t officially part of the Dark Order. But the match tells a different story.
At the end of the match, Lee takes out Sonny, but he lets Cabana take the pinfall. Cabana gets a win, and Mr. Brodie Lee and the Dark Order’s philosophy starts to make a lot more sense to him. Smart, subtle storytelling from AEW: Dynamite.
After the match, Lance Archer comes out of nowhere and beats the crap out of Sonny and Joey. I was wondering if we were ever gonna see him after Double Or Nothing.
I dug this. Sonny and Joey work together well. It comes off a lot more natural than when WWE just throws two random singles wrestlers together. Great stuff.
HIT – SCU Vs. FTR
Let the battle of the tag teams of initials begin!
This AEW: Dynamite match was supposed to be FTR taking on the Natural Nightmares. But QT Marshall is also self-quarantining after exposure to COVID-19.
As replacement matches go, you could do worse.
This was absolutely fantastic. Daniels and Kazarian represent SCU, as AEW is finally getting serious with a singles push for Scorpio Sky. FTR picks up the win off of Not-The-Shatter-Machine in what might be the best TV match of the year so far.
FTR pulled out pretty much every move in their arsenal. And SCU was the perfect team to put them over as the real deal.
There was never any doubt that FTR made the right choice, and this AEW: Dynamite match made it academic.
After the match, Butcher and Blade threaten to smash up FTR’s truck, but IT’S A TRAP! FTR turns around and finds the Lucha Bros. standing behind them. Butcher and Blade challenge FTR to an 8-man tag at Fyter Fest: Lucha Bros. and Butcher & Blade Vs. FTR and the Young Bucks.
FTR accepts, and get beaten down by the Luchas before the Young Bucks run in to make the save. The AEW: Dynamite segment ends with the heels stealing the truck. This is gonna be great.
HIT – More “Meanwhile” Shenanigans
Meanwhile on AEW: Dynamite, Omega and Page ponder whether they are, in fact, better friends than the Best Friends. Um. You guys remember Revolution, right?
Like, Omega did watch that match at some point in the last four months, right? Because it ended with Page talking himself out of murdering his partner with the Buckshot.
Also meanwhile on AEW: Dynamite, we get a look at the card for Fyter Fest, week one.
Yet more meanwhiler, Mr. Brodie Lee offers Cabana another tag team match: Cabana and Lee Vs. SCU. Okay, that could be a cool match, too. I genuinely dig where they’re going with this. Slow burn all the way.
Finally meanwhile on AEW: Dynamite, Dr. Baker keeps trash-talking Big Swole from her plexiglass-covered golf cart. So Big Swole dumps garbage on her from above. Baker’s the consummate professional heel. She just keeps talking smack, and she keeps taking her comeuppance.
NEAR MISS – Brian Cage Vs. Joe Cruz
Okay, AEW: Dynamite is starting to run out of jobbers for their big guys.
Brian Cage enters the ring and murders Cruz in a little over a minute with the Drill Claw.
I get that they can’t do an angle with Moxley. But they could do more than a squash match. For what this accomplished, they could’ve just done another promo under an overpass like last week’s AEW: Dynamite.
You want your monsters to look strong, but there’s other ways.
After the match, Taz saves the segment and unleashes a promo on Moxley. He notes Mox’s absence, and speaks directly to the AEW Champion through the camera.
Taz is an excellent mouthpiece for Cage. Keep these two together and they can – as they did this week – save an otherwise unimpressive AEW: Dynamite segment.
NEAR MISS – Matt Hardy Vs. Santana
Matt is ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy this week on AEW: Dynamite.
Santana is a last minute replacement for Sammy Guevera, because – well.
There was nothing wrong with this match, but it doesn’t have the build-up AEW had been setting up between Matt and Guevara. During the match, I laughed out loud on noticing that Dr. Baker is still at ringside. Still in her plexiglass cage, still covered in trash, and still sending Tony angry notes.
Nice reference to Santana learning from Jericho, as he pulls out a Lionsault.
Weak finish, as Matt wins on a roll-up. Not the best AEW: Dynamite match, but considering they had to throw it together last minute, it was decent.
HIT – Jericho/Orange Cassidy Promo
So. This was awesome.
AEW: Dynamite knows how to reward our patience. It’s been a while since we’ve had a really, REALLY great Jericho promo.
Jericho laments that Orange Cassidy is so popular, even claiming that he called Tony Khan to ask why Cassidy was hired. Le Champion brags that he’ll beat Cassidy in 30 seconds, especially if Cassidy does his usual “kick me in the shin bullsh*t.” So Cassidy comes does that kick-me-in-the-shin bullsh*t.
A Pier 6 breaks out, and they fight into the crowd. The brawl ends with Cassidy hitting a Superman Punch on Jericho through a table.
This was fantastic. AEW isn’t just tolerating Cassidy’s popularity, they’re willing to make something out of it.
So, last week’s AEW: Dynamite was among the best episodes of the show ever. It was naturally gonna be a tough show to top.
AEW didn’t quite come to the level of last week, but this was a really good go-home before Fyter Fest kicks off next week.
Among the matches on next week’s first night: Page and Omega vs. Best Friends for the tag titles, Cody vs. Hager for the TNT title, and Shida vs. Ford for the women’s title.
This week’s AEW: Dynamite may not have been the greatest. But it was exactly what it needed to be.
AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights at 8 PM/ET on TNT.
Feature image courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.
'AEW: Dynamite' - June 24, 2020
- SCU vs. FTR was amazing
- Jericho is making Orange Cassidy an even bigger deal than he already is
- The slow burn with Mr. Brodie Lee seducing Colt Cabana
- Wardlow and Luchasaurus tore it up
- The "Press Conference" was super lame, despite Cody's impassioned promo
- Brian Cage can't keep squashing jobbers forever