We were live again from Daily’s Place, a great looking, distinctive venue I must say, for this week’s exciting edition of AEW Dynamite on TNT (or ITV if like me you reside in the UK). We’re well onto the build-up trail now for Fyter Fest, being held over two days on the 1st and 8th July on TNT. What surprises and new feuds would tonight instigate? Let’s get to the ring and find out in my AEW Dynamite June 10th review!
FTR vs. The Butcher & The Blade
Chris Jericho came out to guest on commentary and was a blast as usual – he even managed to have a pop at JR when FTR actually tagged in like, you know, a normal tag team! (I’m with JR here. If you want your tag division to follow Lucha tag rules, that’s fine, but make sure you make it clear that those are the AEW tag rules, so that everybody knows).
FTR made a strong first impression, driving into Daly’s Place in their pick up truck and marching to the ring like they meant business. Which, of course, if you’ve been following their story, you know they do.
I liked that Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Shawn Spears, Jake Roberts and Lance Archer were all shown a few times in the crowd, playing close attention to FTR, with Arn and Tully even taking notes. There’s lots of different angles and stories they can tell off the back of this, and the association with Tully and Arn (my favourite tag team of all time, by the way) paints a very clear picture.
The match itself proved to make for a strong in-ring debut for FTR, who confidently beat down The Butcher and The Blade without jobbing them out. Butcher and Blade, in fact, made a good heel foil, cutting the ring in two old-school style and causing extra damage behind the ref’s back.
FTR were crisp and confident in their moveset. Wheeler lured Butcher in by pretending he was injured, rolling him up instead for a near-fall. Wheeler also countered a leap frog from Blade with a pretty impressive power slam, something I can’t recall seeing before.
In the end, a ‘Goodnight Express’ (formerly ‘Shatter Machine’) took out The Butcher, leaving Blade to fall victim to a spike piledriver for the 1-2-3.
Post-Match Bucks Confusion!
After the match, Tony Schivone entered the ring to get FTR’s comments. FTR puts AEW over as the pinnacle of tag team wrestling, only to be interrupted by The Young Bucks, who thank them for their intervention two weeks ago but they didn’t introduce themselves. Matt Jackson, pulling some heelish faces, says the Bucks are the team that have carried tag team wrestling on their backs for the last decade.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like The Bucks, I don’t think they’re the best in the world (for me, that’s the Lucha Brothers), but yes, they’re great. But I don’t understand how I’m supposed to cheer for the Bucks when they’re acting so damn heelish. It was the same at Full Gear against Page and Omega. Page is being set up as the one to turn heel against The Elite, and yet I wouldn’t blame him if he did turn, would cheer him even, because the way The Bucks are presenting themselves is in an arrogant, cocky way (I’m not talking about them outside of the ring, obviously). Maybe everyone’s a tweener and it really doesn’t matter? I don’t know anymore. I’m old.
The segment ended with Butcher and Blade attacking the Bucks, Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian attacking FTR and Omega and Page coming out to chase the heels away, leading to a Mexican standoff between The Elite and FTR.
Going back to my points about the Bucks, I will say that whatever I think about the characterisation of the Bucks currently, when these teams finally lock up, it is going to be fabulous. I can’t wait!
Backstage, QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes are asked about their shot next week at tag champions Kenny Omega and Adam Page. Brandi is there, as is Allie (I’m assuming the Bunny gimmick has been dropped?), wearing a ‘Nightmare Family’ jacket given to her by her man. QT. Brandi tells her she’s not family and Dustin says she’s not going to be at ringside next week. Which immediately means she’ll be involved in the outcome of the match. Could we see a QT heel turn? Tune in next week to find out.
AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida and Kris Stratlander vs. Nyla Rose and Penelope Ford
The two teams brawled to get things off to a quick start, with Stratlander moving out of the way and Nyla spearing Ford by mistake. A missed top rope leap put the advantage in the heel’s court, though, and despite a great handspring elbow from Ford, the pace slowed right down as Nyla went on the offensive, utilising a combo of generic power moves and rest holds.
Things picked up when Shida and Ford tagged in, with Shida hitting a cool running knee outside the ring and a missile dropkick. Ford arguably had the move of the night, hitting a knee to Stratlander’s head to counter a suplex and swinging it into a DDT. Nyla also had an amazing moment, hanging both opponents over the top rope and hitting them with a massive jumping knee from the top rope.
In the end, Kip Sabian distracted the ref by grabbing Stratlander’s foot, allowing Nyla to slide the belt in the ring for Ford to crack Shida in the head for the pin.
A good match that dipped a little when Nyla had control, it still was a positive outing for a women’s division that has taken a lot of criticism over the last twelve months.
Darby and The Dentist
We get two vignettes next. The first shows Darby Allin, who says he’s ‘not been cleared’ to wrestle, with legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, who coaches Allin on how to skateboard down a ladder. Darby takes some nasty bumps in the process, I guess to demonstrate how indestructible he is. I don’t know what’s next for Darby, but needs to come out on top of a major feud. If ever the company had a real star in the making, it’s Darby.
Meanwhile, we get another vignette from Britt Baker, who tells us its easy to be a role model, being who she is. She’s sick of Big Swole’s hard luck stories. Meanwhile, Baker’s assistant helps Baker with her wheelchair weight pulling, unknown to Baker, by carrying the weight for Baker behind her so Baker feels its easy.
After a bad start, Baker has become a strong heel, getting genuine heat from the audience and being quite comical with it. Her eventual match with Swole should be pretty enjoyable when it occurs.
Santana, Ortiz and Jake Hager vs. Best Friends and Orange Cassidy
This was a match designed just for its climatic angle, but within that it was entertaining.
Hager is an absolute beast and I love watching him. Here, he threw Orange to the stage right at the start, rag dolling him, then dominated the Best Friends with hard hitting offense and a Vader Bomb that Jericho rechristened “The Hager Bomb”.
In fact, The Inner Circle dominated throughout, with the Best Friends only managing brief flurries of offence. It was only when Cassidy was tagged in, quietly seething at having had Ortiz snatch his trademark sunglasses, that the faces began to make their presence felt, with Cassidy using unexpected speed to roll out of moves and hit a suicide dive and a double hurricanrana on Ortiz and Santana. The surprise finish came when Cassidy got a roll up on Ortiz for the pin.
Afterwards, Jericho came running in with a bat and the faces took a pasting. Then Jericho went under the ring and took out a ‘twenty pound’ bag of oranges and cracked an already-bleeding Cassidy with it, before the rest of the Circle squeezed the juice over his battered, prone body.
The orange attack could have been really corny, with it being a pun on Cassidy’s name, but it worked, primarily through Jericho’s commitment to it and Cassidy’s just-right selling making him look extremely vulnerable. I wouldn’t have thought it, once upon a time, but I’m really looking forward to Cassidy getting his hands on Jericho!
“A Great White Shark In A Sea of Minnows”
Tony Schivone tried to get a word with the Gunn Club when MJF intervened, pointing out that he is the glass ceiling in the company, the Great White in a sea of minnows, the number one listed athlete in AEW’s men’s rankings for three week’s straight, only to for Jungle Boy to get a shot at the TNT title before him.
Billy Gunn tries to interrupt, leading to MJF insulting Billy’s “scumbag” sons and Wardlow having to back a furious Billy down. MJF is just a heat machine, he could insult a lump of wood and cause upset. Brilliant.
Sammy Guevara vs. Colt Cabana
The story leading into this one was that both men had been on a losing streak, but The Dark Order had been trying to recruitment Cabana on the back of his losses.
This was a nice enough match, but more notable were the post-match antics that furthered stories for both men.
After Cabana lost after a stumble on the top rope led to Guevara taking advantage, the entire Dark Order came out so that Brodie Lee could pull Cabana back up to his feet, the Order then leaving and Cabana following shortly after. Do I think Cabana will join the Order? I think we’re more likely to see him and a certain Mr Lee tangle up in the future.
Sammy them demanded his music be put back on, but Matt Hardy appeared instead, telling Sammy that he was like a young Matt and is the future of AEW, but to be so he needs to rid himself of Jericho. Sammy decided to insult Matt instead, bringing ‘Broken Matt’ out to harangue Sammy and chase him out of the ring whilst lost in a ‘DELETE!!” chant. This could be quite a smart move, as a passing of the torch match could do a lot to elevate Sammy if done correctly.
Meanwhile, we see an intriguing Joey Janela vignette, where Joey bemoans the fact that 6 months ago, he was headlining against Moxley and now he’s lost his direction. He’s at a bar drinking and walking the street when Sonny Kiss pulls up in his car and offer Joey a ride. ‘To be continued’ reads the caption…
Moxley Gets the Message
Alex Marvez is the car park for Moxley’s arrival and boy, is he p****d! He’s sick of hearing Taz run his mouth, saying Brian Cage is going to take his title. Mox says he doesn’t like anybody AEW thinking that they could beat him. He makes him more dangerous.
Taz interrupts for the distraction, as Brian Cage appears from behind and decimates Moxley, slamming around the car park, into fences and onto the hood of a car. He goes to power bomb Mox on the concrete but Taz says no, Mox has got the message. Cage thinks for a second…and the power bombs mox onto the back window of the car, shattering the glass!
Now he’s got the message.
This was a great segment that excellently put across the bad blood between the two men and didn’t overstay its welcome. Their match has got fire written all over it.
TNT Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Marc Quen
Pre-match we get a nice sports-like video with Cody putting over the importance of his open challenges for the TNT title, and the challenge of younger, stronger opponents like Jungle Boy and Marc Quen stepping up.
This was a really good little match, which showed some strong psychology: Quen flummoxed Cody with his speed, but Cody quickly grounded Quen using his experience. Quen looked really good throughout and Cody sold well for him. I do think Quen has a bright future, although we’ve not heard too much of him on the mic.
Part way through Quen exacerbated the knee injury that he has played up on TV before, giving Cody the advantage as he systematically worked on Quen’s knee, smashing into the ring post. It was the veteran tasting blood, but Quen wouldn’t stay down, hitting Cody with some fast and furious offense, including a 450 splash from the top to the ramp in an insane moment.
The finish came when Quen missed a shooting star press, Cody grabbing the injured leg of Quen as he landed, and quickly clamped on an ankle lock, pressing on the ankle with his foot for extra pressure and the tap out.
Post-match, Jake Hager came out and attacked Arn Anderson, provoking Cody into a fight. Hager started to demolish Cody, bringing out Private Party and Matt Hardy with chairs to chase Hager off.
Instead, the Inner Circle, sans Jericho, came out and a massive brawl ensued.
This was a nice touch, as Sammy paired off with Matt, Hager with Cody and Private Party with Proud and Powerful, setting up three different big matches with one single brawl. As the Circle retreated, Cody took the mic and said he knows Hager wants a title shot. Well, that’s exactly what he’s got – at Fyter Fest!
Fade to black.
This was a solid, entertaining edition of Dynamite, progressing big feuds and storylines, and setting up new ones. MJF shone on the mic as always, as did Moxley. Brian Cage looked like a genuine machine. Orange Cassidy earned the fan’s sympathy (he had it anyway, but now people really want him to smash Jericho) and Mark Quen showed that he really does have a bright future.
Oh, and then there was the little matter of the in-ring debut of FTR…
A really fun show. Thumbs up!