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AEW Dynamite - June 7, 2023

by Doc Allen

Orange Cassidy

Live from Colorado Springs, Colorado. WrestleTix estimates attendance at just under 3,000. Our hosts are Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Shiavone.

AEW International Championship:
Orange Cassidy © vs. Swerve Strickland (with The Embassy)

The All-Atlantic Championship got rebranded during my hiatus, and now seems to be repositioned as a proper secondary championship, rather than an odd touring belt. The backstory is that Cassidy is getting progressively more injured due to frequent title defenses, but he's still able to hold his own against Swerve with his hands in pockets. Cassidy outwrestles Swerve and dumps him to ringside. OC foolishly runs into a chop and gets tossed into the guard rail. Swerve uses the ring post to injure Cassidy's hand to neutralize the Orange Punch. Cassidy answers with a headscissors to ringside and sprints into a diving crossbody. Swerve punches the face, but Cassidy counters a top rope move resulting in them bouncing off the turnbuckles. Back from commercials, Cassidy forges a comeback despite a lower back injury. Swerve counters with a sudden Flatliner. Cassidy uses sloth strikes to lure Swerve in for a tornado DDT for a good nearfall. Swerve answers with a DVD onto the ring frame. Cassidy inches away from a possible double stomp and nails a desperation leaping DDT onto the floor! Cassidy sells significant back pain but hits a second leaping DDT for a very good false finish. Cassidy's head scissors takedown gets another close 2, he knocks Swerve into Prince Nana, and nails an Orange Punch and Beach Break, but SWERVE KICKS OUT! Cassidy dives into Swerve's reverse suplex on the floor! Fans chant "AEW!" Swerve mule kicks the face and hits the diving foot stomp but CASSIDY KICKS OUT! Fans chant “Fight Forever” but Cassidy reverses a roll-up for the lucky win at 15:48! This was a clever match, as 90% of it was booked like Cassidy was going to put up a heroic effort but come up short, but then he managed to survive Swerve's finishers. Epic TV match, ****.
Winner and still AEW International Champion: Orange Cassidy

The Embassy return to put the boots to Cassidy, which sets up the dramatic lights out rescue by Sting and Darby Allin.

Video package explaining why Jay White vs. Ricky Starks warrants a main event slot tonight.

Bryan Danielson challenges Kazuchika Okada to a match at Forbidden Door via video promo in the desert.

The Blackpool Combat Club (ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli, Jon Moxley, and Wheeler Yuta) vs. CHAOS (Rocky Romero, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor)

Bryan Danielson sits in on commentary and plays heel talking trash about Okada. CHAOS meet the BCC with flying chairs and Beretta brings Yuta in with a step up vertical suplex. Chuck hits a piledriver, but Claudio breaks the pin. Chuck briefly gets trapped, but his CHAOS friends interfere to save him and have a group hug. Moxley recovers with a cutter on Chuck and give the BCC control heading into commercials. They return with Yuta serving Chuck a German suplex. Chuck powers into a hot tag anyway, and Trent runs wild with chops. Rocky tags himself in for a high crossbody and Moxley, which leads to a breakdown. Claudio survives a double stomp to the spine. Moxley tries a Neutralizer, but it's reverses into a double stomp combo for a cool nearfall. Moxley blocks Romero's Sliced Bread, but gets stuck in a cross armbreaker. Meanwhile, Trent moonsaults into Claudi's uppercut. Yuta assists Moxley into setting up a double submission finish at 8:41. Yuta loses his temper and keeps delivering MMA elbows after the bell. Really just an extended squash, albeit with some cool stunts thrown in, **¼.
Winners: The Blackpool Combat Club

The Young Bucks and Hangman Adam Page talk to the camera to challenge the Blackpool Combat Club to a match next week.

Video package making Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay at Forbidden Door seem like the biggest deal ever.

AEW World Champion MJF graces us with his presence. He mused with offing himself rather than come to Colorado, the most boring place in the world. There's no competition for him in AEW, but Adam Cole arrives to disagree. MJF is excited about Cole stepping up, because even though ROH sucked, he looked up to Cole as a kid. Those days are over though, because now Adam Cole is a Panama "Gameboy" who plays video games online like a virgin. He's so frail, he makes crack whores jealous. MJF also heard a nasty rumor that Cole jumped to AEW because Vince McMahon didn't see top-guy potential in him. He thought Vince had lost his marbles, but now that he's looking at him in the eyes, maybe Vince was right. Cole finally takes a mic and compares MJF to a toxic social media troll. MJF can't keep a girl and is also a world class douchebag. He suggests they go have a pissing contest to see who's Maxwell and who isn't. Cole feels like he has the locker room's respect, while no one respects poor Max. Fans chant “no respect!” MJF thinks that's a lot of tough talk from “Keith Lee's manager.” That's a helluva dirt sheet reference right there. Cole plays the “Yo a coward” card and MJF agrees to face him (but who knows when and where). Decent feud-starter here.

Matt Hardy now owns Ethan Page's contract after a big win at Revolution. Jeff Hardy is happy to have Ethan on the team. Matt orders Ethan to apologize to Isiah Kassidy for injuring him and shake his hand. Matt has confidence that he can mold Ethan into a better man.

Tornado Tag Match:
FTW Champion Hook and Jungle Boy Jack Perry vs. Jalistico and Preston Vance

The heels jump the babyfaces during entrances, setting the tone for a wild brawl. Jalistico chokes Jungle Boy in the ring while Hook pummels Vance in the crowd. Jungle Boy shifts the momentum by trying to remove Jalistico's mask. Back from commercials, Hook wraps a chain around his fist and smashes it into Vance's face. Vance is busted open and blocks Jungle Boy's dive, but Jalistico assists with a dive of his own. Hook blocks a double suplex through a table and suplexes Jalistico on the floor. Vance drops Hook with a discus lariat. Vance chokes Hook with a chain, but Jungle Boy assists with a chair shot. Hook suplexes Vance off the apron and through the tables! Jungle Boy DDTs Jalistico onto a chair, but Jose the Assistant interrupts the cover. Hook puts Jose into the Red Rum, while Jungle Boy finishes Jalistico with the Snare Trap at 8:53. Another glorified squash, but a highly entertaining one, **¼.
Winners: Jungle Boy and Hook

Tony Khan announces Jay White, Juice Robinson, and Samoa Joe vs. FTR and CM Punk as the first main event for Collision. That seems fitting, since rumor has it that CM Punk will be leading creative for Collision.

Konosuke Takeshita (with Don Callis) vs. Damon Ace

Takeshita is EVIL now, having turned heel at Double or Nothing. Hopefully this means he gets to win his matches now. He takes control from the opening bell, now wrestling with Methodical Heel Offense. Takeshita hits a mean closed fist to the back of the head and finishes with a running knee strike at 1:30. Serviceable squash that serves to redefine Takeshita.
Winner: Konosuke Takeshita

Don Callis grabs a mic but the crowd's boos drown him out. Don shouts over them to take claim for all of Kenny Omega's success. Takeshita just stands there looking evil. This seems like a downgrade for Takeshita, but if this opens the door for him to get a proper push, I'll reserve judgment.

TBS Championship:
Kris Statlander © vs. Anna Jay (with Matt Menard)

Statlander ended Jade Cargill's 500+ day reign as TBS Champion at Double or Nothing, and has the wind in her sails. Some chain wrestling leads to Statlander hitting a side slam and flexing her muscles. Jay plays defense and lures Statlander into Menard, but Kris blocks a Penalty Kick. Shoulder tackle by Statlander gets 2. Roundhouse kick by Jay gives her the upper hand just in time for some commercials. They return with Statlander in firm control, with Taya Valkyrie angrily watching backstage. Menard's distraction allows Jay to throw Statlander from the top rope and hit an emerald fusion for 2. Statlander blocks the Queenslayer and dishes out a mean lariat. Menard distracts again, allowing Jay to properly lock on the Queenslayer. Statlander powers into a snapmare and finishes with a Tombstone Piledriver at 8:28. Another glorified squash match, but Statlander gets put over just fine, **.
Winner and still TBS Champion: Kris Statlander

AEW Women's Champion Toni Storm (with Ruby Soho) dismisses the threat of the four-way #1 contenders match taking place on Rampage, because Storm is the greatest champion ever.

Adam Cole vs. MJF will happen next week on Dynamite.Holy hot-shot!

Ricky Starks vs. Jay White

FTR and Juice Robinson have been banned from ringside, but I look forward to seeing what wacky excuse they come up with for them to get involved anyway. Starks meets White on the ramp for a brawl. Starks enjoys the early advantage, but loses his focus looking for weapons under the ring. He settles for the ring steps, but stops because White snuck up the ramp;. Starks pursues and directs White to the ring, but White returns fire with clubbing offense. White returns the steps to it's proper position but turns around for a Starks suplex. Back from commercials, White controls the action with methodical chopping offense. White blocks a tornado DDT and dishes out a mean superplex. Starks blocks the Blade Runner and nails a running clothesline. Tornado DDT by Starks gets 2. White counters into a brutal uranage for 2. They exchange chops until White blocks a spear with a knee ot the head. Starks tries again and hits a proper spear. Starks hits Roshambo, but the ref gets knocked out in the process. The Gunn Club run in to drop Starks and leave him vulnerable to White's Blade Runner to win at 14:01. Cheap finish aside, these guys have some serious chemistry, I wonder how a proper longform match between these two would turn out, ***.
Winner: Jay White

Juice Robinson arrives to celebrate with White.

Final Thoughts: After a hot opener, this settled into a pretty solid, if unspectacular maintenance episode of Dynamite. This was my first complete wrestling event since February, so I enjoyed it more than you probably would. Cassidy/Strickland is worth a serious look, but you could probably feel okay skipping the rest.

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