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AEW Dynamite
June 24, 2020

by Samoa Rowe

AEW Dynamite

From a mostly empty Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida. COVID-19 cases are spiking in the great state of Florida at record rates, so I wouldn't be surprised if these Dynamite tapings are once again in jeopardy. Jon Moxley and QT Marshall have been yanked from the show due to having been exposed to people who tested positive with the virus, so the Coronavirus Era is far from finished. I am extremely concerned about the health and safety of everyone involved. Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur are calling the action.

Lumberjack Match:
The Wardlow (with MJF) vs. Luchasaurus (with Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt)

It's not often that Dynamite kicks off with a legit heavyweight match. Best Friends are dressed like actual lumberjacks, LOL. Wardlow quickly tosses Luchasaurus, and the babyface lumberjacks leave them alone. Wardlow sends Luchasaurus into the heel side for a proper beating. Luchasaurus' comeback flurry is cut off by Wardlow's suplex. Wardlow takes over by messing with his opponent's mask and delivering Methodical Heel Offense. Luchasaurus comes back with some fancy foot work and a standing moonsault for 2. Luchsaurus looks for a top rope chokeslam but Wardlow counters with a superplex. Wardlow then busts out a HURRICANRANA! Luchasaurus answers with a Spanish Fly Trap. Wardlow fires back with a jackhammer slam on the stage, and throws Jungle Boy into the heel lumberjacks. Stunt saves his friend with a dive. Meanwhile, Wardlow and Luchasaurus brawl further onto the stage. Brandon Cutler is the only lumberjack who tries to bring them back and Wardlow tosses him off the stage. Stunt interferes again and gets military press slammed onto the field. Luchasaurus tosses Wardlow and then delivers a Shooting Star Press off the stage! Back to the ring Luchasaurus hits a chokeslam, but MJF distracts the ref, so Jungle Boy spears him off the apron. Wardlow takes advantage with a low blow and slams Luchasaurus to win at about 10:45. They were having a perfectly good big man match up until things broke into chaos with the interference and cool stunt bumps, **¾.
Winner: The Wardlow

The brawling continues well after the bell. MJF and Wardlow back off while they can.

Technique with Taz. He puts over Brian Cage's moveset and in-ring psychology over a highlights package.

Dr. Britt Baker passes a note to Tony Shiavone, and he's still in a friendship timeout for not helping when she was abducted by Big Swole and tossed into a dumpster. Her "Roles Royce" ride has been upgrade with a plexiglass shield and she's sipping a green martini.

AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Red Velvet

Shida is irritated by Penelope Ford's presence at ringside and has to be held back from attacking with her kendo stick. Shida takes a break to beat Velvet with a Falcon Arrow at 0:13 and then charges past Kip Sabian to attack Ford. They have a pull apart brawl and I'm digging this angle.
Winner: HIkaru Shida

We are treated to pretaped footage of a TNT Championship press conference. Cody and company are ready for questions, but Jake Hager is MIA. Arn Anderson makes the case that Hager is a tough bad-ass, but his timing isn't right because this is Cody's time. Cody says that the TNT Championship has given him hope and allows him to enjoy being a professional wrestler. Jake Hager and Mrs. Hager casually arrive, hand-in-hand. The belt is hoisted and they pose together, at least until Cody slaps Hager's fist away. Mrs. Hager throws her wine into Cody's face, so you know Brandi will be kicking her ass at some point. This was all fine, nothing groundbreaking, but solid build for a featured match on a free PPV.

Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela drive around town at night. They stop for gas, and a mob attacks Kiss while Janela goes shopping. Janela makes the timely save, and a cinematic action scene breaks out as they beat up the gang. Kiss says he could get used to this, and they take off.

Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss vs. Colt Cabana and Mr. Brodie Lee (with The Dark Order)

Kiss outmaneuvers Lee early on, hitting a head scissors to set up a back handspring slap, but Lee fires back with uppercuts. Janela tags and runs into Lee's block. Cabana seems unsure of himself as he tags in, and Janela and Kiss double team him with a bulldog into a Last Chancery. Lee makes the save, and Dark Order minions cheap shot Kiss on the apron. Colt is oblivious as he takes control of Kiss in time for a commercial. Back from break, Janela is enjoying himself as he flips Lee the birds and hits Colt with a DVD. Janela and Kiss hit consecutive top rope moonsaults. Janela's Frog Splash and Kiss' 450 splash on Colt needs a save from Lee. Kiss boots Lee away, but misses the Doomsday Clothesline when Colt rolls Janela up for 2. Kiss looks ready to finish Cabana when the Dark Order goons pull him to safety, so he hits a moonsault to ringside, where Lee is waiting for a lariat. Janela dives into Lee, but takes the brunt of the landing, and Lee hits a discus lariat and serves him up for Cabana's pinfall at 9:08. This was solid, Kiss and Janela got to showcase their chemistry, and they're telling an ambitious story with Colt being courted by the Dark Order, **½.
Winners: Colt Cabana and Mr. Brodie Lee

Lance Archer randomly attacks Sonny Kiss after the match. Janela tries to save his friend with a chair, and Archer drops him with a big boot. Jake Roberts pleads with Archer to back off.

Last night on Dark, Tully Blanchard helped Shawn Spears beat Pineapple Pete by passing him a steel plate for a loaded punch.

SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler)

FTR blow off Britt Baker's overly friendly wave, so she angrily writes something down for Tony to read later. FTR continue to wrestle like two guys with something to prove, and they aggressively pummel Kazarian. Daniels helps with a blind tag and dropkick on Wheeler. Darwood interferes and it leads to a shoving contest and brawl. They all tumble over the ropes (and Darwood appears to be in awful pain) and they head to break. I love the table that's been set so far. SCU control the action throughout the picture-in-picture break. FTR muscle into a comeback, knocking SCU into one each other. They trade rapid pin attempts and Daniels desperately nails an STO. Kazarian and Wheeler duke it out like desperate men, and Kazarian spins into a clothesline. Backstabber by Kazarian and Unprettier. Wheeler blocks a tandem Codebreaker and hoists Daniels for Harwood's guillotine leg drop! Daniels counters a superplex for a good nearfall. SCU hit Harwood with a Neckbreaker/Powerbomb combo for only 2. Angels Wings by Daniels, but Wheeler breaks the pin. Match continues to break down until FTR catch Daniels with the Good Night Express to win at 12:35! This was a physically exhausting salute to tag team wrestling, ***½.
Winners: FTR

FTR take the mic. They feel they weren't welcome additions to the AEW roster, but that's okay, because they're the baddest guys here. Now that FTR are here, the Young Bucks have graduated from the kiddie table and are eating with the big boys. The Butcher and Blade interrupt on FTR's ride. Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr. sneak in for an ambush and brawl. They put Wheeler down with the Package Piledriver/Double Stomp, and then get chased out by the Young Bucks. This sets up an eight man tag at Fyter Fest, as Butcher and Blade and Lucha Bros. take off in FTR's antique truck.

Video package with talking heads and hard rock music to make the Tag Team Championship match between Kenny Omega and Hangman Page and Best Friends feel like a big deal. I'm not quite buying it, even though it'll probably be good. It's fine for a free on TV PPV.

AEW World Champion Jon Moxley says that under different circumstances, he would like a guy like Brian Cage, who threw him through a car window.

Brian Cage (with Taz) vs. Joe Cruz

Cage goes right to work tossing around the poor jobber. Cage powerbombs Cruz off the stage back into the ring. Cage finishes with his special piledriver to win at 1:25. Good squash.
Winner: Brian Cage

Taz grabs the mic and mocks Jon Moxley for not being there. Taz pretends to look through the camera to see Moxley sitting on his ass on the couch, unlike Cage, who came to work. Taz calls Moxley's exposure to COVID-19 "a bullsh!t excuse" and makes the case that Cage is more unsafe than the virus. Yeesh.

Colt Cabana admits to Brodie Lee that it felt good to win. Lee says they all suffer losses, but what's important is how you react. Lee wants one more opportunity to show Colt what the Dark Order has to offer him, and they'll face SCU at Fyter Fest.

Britt Baker interrupts the Fyter Fest rundown to sent Tony another note on a clothespin. Tony reads a message calling Big Swole the biggest piece of trash on the roster, and Britt vows revenge. Big Swole arrives for a rebuttal, but she can't get through the plexiglass, to which Britt pretends is soundproof. Big Swole is smarter than the average bear and climbs on top of the Roles Royce and dumps a trash can all over the good doctor, and Britt sells it amazingly.

Santana (with Ortiz) vs. Broken Matt Hardy (with Neo1)

Neo1 is Matt's new drone, after the untimely passing of Vanguard1. Santana is seeking a slice of payback after the embarrassing Inner Circle loss in Stadium Stampede. Matt forces Santana's head into the ring post, in an attempt to "awaken" him. Ortiz grabs the leg to allow Santana's running dropkick. That sets us up for a commercial. They return just in time for Matt's comeback, as he ducks an enziguri. They have a mild miscue regarding the Side Effect, and Santana steals the move for a nearfall. Santana headbutts Matt off the second rope, but then misses a diving headbutt. Hardy wins a slugfest and builds some steam with a clothesline for 2. Side Effect by Hardy only gets 1. Second Side Effect gets 2. Third Side Effect gets 2.5. Hardy is moving gingerly as he hits an inverted DDT, but Ortiz interrupts the count. Santana hits a sitout powerbomb, but Hardy reverses the pin for the win at 10:54. This kind of stunk, as they didn't seem to have any chemistry working together, and the action was kind of shiftless, *½.
Winner: Matt Hardy

Santana and Ortiz put Hardy down with the Street Sweeper. Private Party runs in for the save, and I guess we have another Fyter Fest match to look forward to.

It's time for the Main Event confrontation between Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho. Le Champion starts with the old "Why did the chicken cross the road?" line. It's a mildly amusing joke, but the more you hear it, the more you realize how annoying and dumb it is, kind of like OC. The more Jericho sees OC the more annoying he becomes and the more pissed Jericho gets. Jericho says he considers OC to be an embarrassment to the business, but Tony Khan hired him because people love him. Jericho is forced to give OC credit for getting over by being himself, but fans only love him because they can relate to being lazy slackers. Jericho says OC had better be his best self at Fyter Fest, because any of that fake shin kicking will result in a legit ass-kicking. OC will run out of juice at Fyter Fest. OC grabs the mic but lays it down. OC defiantly hits his lazy shin kicks that Jericho had just been complaining about. Jericho pulls the shades off OC's face and destroys them, which sparks a violent outburst from Cassidy! OC unloads wild punches and they head into the stands for a hockey fight. Jericho slams a camera crane into OC's face and pulls him onto some more production equipment. OC escapes and pulls Jericho face-first onto a metal rail. OC runs down some steps and superman punches Jericho through a table! A bloody OC gets some new shades and looks like such a bad-ass while standing tall.

Final Thoughts: Aside from Orange Cassidy, FTR, and Britt Baker, everything about this Dynamite was simply okay. Given the circumstances, I don't think AEW can afford to just be okay. The good news is that Fyter Fest starts next week, and it should be very good.

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