By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 37)
Taped June 9 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired June 17, 2020 on TNT
The show began with a pan of the AEW stars in the crowd. Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone joined on commentary. Kenny Omega joined Hangman Page, QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes in the ring.
1. Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. The Natural Nightmares: Dustin and Kenny started the match. Omega attempted a One Winged Angel early on, but Dustin escaped. Kenny tagged Dustin with an accidental headbutt in the corner, who fired back with a hurracarrana. QT and Hangman tagged in, and QT hit a nice looking dropkick. Page fired back with a big boot, and then tagged Omega back into the match.
QT landed a vertical suplex on Omega, and tagged in Rhodes. Excalibur joined in on commentary during the match, but wasn’t present earlier. Dustin tossed Omega into the corner and landed an atomic drop. He then covered for a two count. QT tagged back in and hit a side Russian leg sweep for another two count. Britt Baker was passing notes to Tony Schiavone to read throughout the match about her bravery, and insulting Tony for his fashion choices.
QT remained in control with a chin lock, and then tagged in Dustin. After some quick tags from both teams, Hangman Page cleaned house on Natural Nightmares. He landed a big lariat on QT, and took out Dustin on the floor with a springboard clothesline. He then landed a sliding clothesline on a seated QT for a near fall. Omega then tagged back in and landed a forward roll slam followed by a moonsault for a near fall.
Page knocked Dustin from the apron again and landed another big boot on QT. Hangman hit the ropes again, but QT fired back with a springboard kick off the ropes. Dustin tagged in along with Omega. Dustin landed a manhattan drop and then knocked Page down on the apron. He then landed a powerslam on Omega and Page. Dustin took to the top rope and landed a dive that took out both Omega and Page. They retreated to the floor, where Dustin landed a Senton on them both.
QT then landed a QT special on Omega on the floor. He then tossed Omega back in the ring and landed an elbow from the top. Page prevented a pinfall, but got tossed out by QT. The match broke down as everyone ended up back in the ring, Omega took out Dustin, and QT took down Page with a Diamond Cutter. Allie decided to walk down at this point, which caused Marshall to get distracted. He missed a moonsault from the top to try and impress Allie.
Omega sent Dustin to the floor and they hit a double team German Suplex on Mashall, but Dustin scrambled in to break up the pin. Page sent Dustin to the outside again, and then he and Omega landed a powerbomb v-trigger combo on Marshall. He managed to kick out at 2. They then put him down for good with the Last Call and got the three count.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall at 13:45
After the match, Omega shook Dustin’s hand and Omega recovered. The announce team hyped the TNT Title defense against someone outside AEW. MJF will face Billy, Superbad Squad will face The Young Bucks, and Le Sex Gods vs. Best Friends. Up next is an appearance from Anna Jay…[c]
My Take: A good opener. QT and Dustin were clearly a few steps slower than Omega and Page, but they kept up fairly well here, and everybody executed their stuff well. The outcome was never in question, but the champions continue to notch up wins in the way to Fyter Fest.
We got a brief video for Anna Jay, who said her goal in the women’s division was to put on a show. She then made her entrance, and was followed by Abadon, who crawled to the ring and had a zombie gimmick.
2. Anna Jay vs. Abadon: Britt Baker passed a note to Schiavone that Abadon needs to find Jesus. She jumped Anna Jay with a double leg and landed some strikes. Jay fought back with some strikes of her own, but Abadon no sold them. She then landed a clothesline and choked Jay on the ropes. Abadon landed a step up hurracarrana on a seated Anna Jay and got the quick victory.
Abadon defeated Anna Jay at 1:41
After the match, the Dark Order made their entrance. Stu Grayson and Evil Uno presented Colt Cabana with an envelope at ringside. Brodie Lee nodded as Colt looked over the paperwork inside, presumably a contract. The other Dark Order members helped Anna Jay out of the ring and to the back…[c]
My Take: The Dark Order continues to be poorly explained, but I like the idea of expanded recruitment with more notable names. Anna Jay would give them a presence in the women’s division, though it would have been helpful to learn more about her before she got thrown into the role of a lost soul. Abadon has a gimmick that would probably be polarizing. I’m not a huge fan of horror characters personally, but I know others are.
MJF made his entrance with Wardlow. Billy then made his entrance with Austin and Colton Gunn.
3. MJF vs. Billy: MJF bailed to the outside to strategize. He then tried to do an arm twist, but Billy stood there unmoved. He then grabbed MJF and threw him with a hip toss. MJF got back in the match with an eye poke. Billy regrouped and shoved MJF around before hitting a big boot. MJF quickly gave up and walked to the back in frustration. Billy followed and carried him back to the ring like a child. Billy set him in the ring, and MJF hung him on the top rope.
Billy no sold again, and then stood behind a gloating MJF. Billy went for a rocker dropper, but MJF replied with two chop blocks. He then landed repeated strikes to Billy’s knees…[c]
MJF controlled the action during the break, focusing on Billy’s left leg. He fired back as the show returned with a tilt a whirl slam, but missed a running knee in the corner. MJF then applied a calf crusher, but had to break the hold when Aubrey noticed him grabbing the ropes for leverage.
MJF argued with the ref. Billy went for a chokeslam, but MJF kicked him in the knee. He then went for a Rocker Dropper, but Billy reversed and landed one of his own. Wardlow tossed MJF the Dynamite Diamond Ring behind Billy’s back. Warlow then knocked down Austin Gunn. Billy tossed Wardlow into the barricade on the outside, but got caught with loaded right hand by MJF as he returned to the ring. MJF covered for the win.
MJF defeated Billy at 10:11
After the match, a brawl broke out at ringside between Jurrasic Express, MJF, and Wardlow. The collective AEW roster and ref crew tried to separate them. Backstage, Le Sex Gods had an interview with Marvez. He asked them why they beat down Orange Cassidy last week. Jericho said Marvez had a fat head, and he juiced Orange Cassidy because he had the audacity to interrupt the Inner Circle Twice. Guevara said they beat the pulp out of Cassidy last week, and they would defeat Best Friends tonight to become number one’s contenders for the AEW Tag Titles.
In the arena, Schiavone told Britt Baker that Penelope Ford was getting a title shot against Hikaru Shida. Baker freaked out and told him that they were on a friendship timeout, and demanded that Reba drive her away. It was then revealed that Big Swole was driving the truck her chair was in, and she took off towards an unknown destination. Cody made his ring entrance for the TNT Title defense…[c]
My Take: A fairly basic match between MJF and Billy. It ended with MJF keeping his heat, but it doesn’t feel like AEW is really capitalizing on it properly. The Big Swole reveal was entertaining, and Jericho hopefully got out all of the AEW Orange Juice puns for the rest of the decade.
Cody was in the ring and said it was time for the open challenge. He then took a moment to question if he was in the elite anymore, or if the Nightmare Family was really a family, because none of his entourage were out there with him aside from Arn. AA then took the microphone and said that sometimes you need to listen to the voice of reason inside of his head. Arn said that he thinks Cody can beat Hager, and Cody knows he can beat Hager, but in this industry timing is everything and now might not be the right time.
Arn then changed directions to tonight’s challenge, and said that it’s a tough challenge that he can hone his skills with. We then saw a brief video on Ricky Starks, who spoke about being an NWA TV Champion, and said his grit and determination will carry him to the next level. He said he’s got his boots tied tight, and he was ready to take Cody to his limits.
4. Cody vs. Ricky Starks: Both men traded holds and reversals early on. Cody landed a kick to the gut, and Starks responded with a slap to the face. Things heated up with a fist fight breaking out, and Cody got the better of it and landed a clothesline. Cody then landed a kick that force Starks to retreat to the outside. Cody splashed him on the floor.
In the ring, Starks tripped Cody into the ropes ribs first. Cody struggled to get his air. Starks jawed with Arn and sent up and knee to the ribs with Cody draped on the ropes, but Arn shoved Cody out of position. Cody fired back with some chops, but Starks put him down quickly with a kick. There appeared to be a miscommunication in the corner as both men collided awkwardly. Cody regrouped and landed a powerslam. He then took his belt off and tossed it to the floor.
Starks had Crossrhodes scouted and avoided it. Cody then grabbed Starks for a vertical suplex, but pancaked him down onto his chest. Cody took to the top, but Starks met him there and landed a Superplex. Cody and Starks then spilled to the outside, where Cody pumped himself up. Hager was shown observing as Cody and Starks traded punches. Cody tried for a Disaster Kick, but Starks avoided it and landed a spear for a near fall.
Starks then grabbed a double underhook, but Cody turned it into a pinning predicament. We then saw a series of reversals for near falls. Cody managed to pull Starks into position and executed CrossRhodes for the win.
Cody defeated Ricky Starks at 8:36
After the match, Cody shook Starks hand and then he and Arn exited the ring…[c]
My Take: A very entertaining match. Starks got in plenty of offense, and looked tough in defeat. He could be a nice addition to AEW if they spent some time further developing his character. He was a standout in the NWA and would fit in nicely on Dynamite. Cody’s mention of being a separate entity from the Elite and Nightmare Family seems to indicate he could be setting up a future where he goes his own way.
The Superbad Squad made their entrance, followed by the Young Bucks.
5. The Young Bucks vs. Superbad Squad (Jimmy Jacobs and Kip Sabian): Matt and Jimmy Havoc started the match. Havoc tried to go after Matt’s ribs, but Matt quickly tagged Nick for some double team offense. They landed a double team clothesline on Sabian, and then a dropkick on Havoc. They then splashed both Havoc and Sabian on the outside. Butcher and Blade talked trash at the Bucks from ringside.
Sabian and Nick Jackson got back in the ring as the legal men. It didn’t last as Havoc tagged in quickly. Nick controlled Havoc while Matt landed a baseball slide on Sabian. He then hit a flipping neckbreaker on Havoc. Butcher and Blade interfered briefly, which allowed Havoc to hit Matt with a slippery when wet safety sign in the ribs. He covered Matt for a two count. Both heels then took turns isolating Matt Jackson in their corner…[c]
Havoc remained in control and sent Nick to the outside on the ramp. Butcher and Blade approached Matt on the floor, but FTR showed up and they backed off. Sabian tagged in and punted a seated Matt Jackson. Havoc took an eternity to exit the ring, which JR pointed out. We saw some quick tags from Superbad Squad. Havoc poked Matt in the eye behind the ref’s back and rolled him up for a two count.
Matt blocked a hurracarrana from the top rope from Sabian and landed a jumping powerbomb. He then made a hot tag to Nick, who cleaned house with a series of kicks. He then landed a bulldog and clothesline combination, and a series of facebusters. He then splashed Havoc on the outside and applied a sharpshooter to Sabian.
Kip tried to crawl to the corner, but Matt landed an elbow drop to his back. Havoc distracted the referee, which allowed Penelope Ford to hit Nick in the back with that Slippery when Wet sign. Sabian then landed a splash from the top, but only got a near fall on the lazy cover. Sabian ended up bleeding when he came up, but from where wasn’t clear. His chest was covered in blood.
We got some good teamwork from the Bucks, but they struggled to put Havoc away. They set up for the Meltzer Driver, but they were delayed by Butcher and Blade. Havoc recovered and tossed Nick to the outside. Sabian landed a Double Stomp on Matt from the top, but Nick broke up the pin. After a bit of chaos, Matt and Nick placed Havoc in Sabian’s hands, and then kicked his legs out from under him to deliver a tombstone. They then delivered a kamigoye to Sabian and covered for the win.
The Young Bucks defeated Superbad Squad at 15:22
After the match, Butcher and Blade entered and beat down the Bucks. FTR intervened and it turned into a pissing contest. We saw some Superkicks and a Goodnight Express, and then both the Bucks and FTR hit a spike piledriver on The Butcher and Jimmy Havoc. We then saw a video promo from Taz and Brian Cage. Taz said he was furious with Moxley for interrupting his relaxation last week by shouting outside of their trailer, and told him that he stole his shtick he started 20 years ago. Taz said if Moxley wanted to be miserable so bad, he and Cage would be happy to help him out. Cage said he wished Fyter Fest was today, and he and Taz agreed it would by Drillclaws everywhere and a new AEW Champion…[c]
My Take: I think we know why Taz is doing most of the talking. The Tag Match was too long, and the finish was pretty indieriffic with making an opponent Tombstone his partner. I liked the post match contest between The Bucks and FTR, but it took way too long to get there.
We got a video package from Moxley, where he said he would drag Brian Cage to deep water, and he wouldn’t survive. Next week, Colt Cabana and Brodie Lee will take on Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela, Warlow will face Luchasaurus, and the Natural Nightmares will take on FTR. The announce team then threw to Reba, who found Britt Baker in a dumpster. She fired Reba, but immediately rehired her when she decided to just walk off. She then berated her for being in the bathroom when the Rolls Royce was stolen. She then demanded Tony Schiavone show up, and then told Big Swole she would get her if it was the last thing she ever does. Baker told Reba to get her out of the dumpster, and sent her after some help.
Matt Hardy joined at the commentary table, followed by Le Sex Gods making their ring entrance…[c]
My Take: I like that AEW is finding things for Britt Baker to do with her time off…but why does just about every AEW heel act bend towards goofy comedy?
Best Friends made their entrance.
6. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent) vs. Le Sex Gods (Chris Jericho vs. Sammy Guevara) in a #1 Contender’s Match: The match went to the outside right away as both teams brawled. Chuck landed Sliced Bread on Sammy as the match returned to the ring. He covered Sammy for a two count. Jericho tagged into the match and landed some strikes. Chuck tossed him into the corner, but ate an elbow from Jericho as he charged in. Jericho took control of Chuck and stomped him in the corner. Sammy tagged in and landed a dropkick, and made a cocky cover for a two count.
Sammy applied a chinlock and tagged in Jericho. Chuck landed some strikes, but Jericho put him down with a dropkick. On commentary, Matt Hardy spoke about his match with Sammy Guevara next week, and said Sammy could choose which version of Matt Hardy he faces? Chuck made a tag to Trent, who entered the match and took out both Guevara and Jericho. Jericho grabbed his baseball bat Floyd. Sammy landed a high knee on Trent, but he quickly recovered and landed a Saito Suplex.
Trent tried to splash Jericho on the outside, but got a shot with the bat to the ribs instead. Jericho continued to press the attack on the floor…[c]
Jericho continued to control Trent in the ring. He landed a hard clothesline for a near fall. Jericho then landed some knee lifts, and a tossed Trent ribs first onto the top rope. He covered again, but only got a two count. Guevara tagged into the match, and Trent put him down quickly with a double stomp. Taylor made a hot tag, and knocked Jericho from the apron. He then landed a Falcon Arrow on Sammy for a near fall. Chuck climbed to the top, and landed on his feet on a moonsault attempt. He then landed a sitout powerbomb on Guevara, but Jericho broke up the pin.
Chuck and Trent hit a double team Sole Food and Suplex combination. They went for a hug, but Jericho broke it up. Guevara splashed Chuck on the outside, and Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho on Trent. He reached the ropes, but Jericho thought he won the match. He turned around into a clothesline from Trent. Jericho made a tag to Guevara, who ran in and landed a kick on Trent. He then climbed up top, but Trent crotched him on the top rope.
Chuck entered and gave Trent an assist with a SuperPlex, but Jericho broke up the pin. Jericho managed to rake the eyes of Trent, and Sammy rolled him up with the tights for a near fall. On the outside, Chuck grabbed a chair, but the referee pulled it away. In the ring, Sammy hit Trent in the gut with Floyd and landed a shooting star press, but Trent kicked out. Sammy went for the GTH, but Trent slipped out. Sammy got hung up near the ring apron by the cameraman Orange Cassidy. Trent then put Guevara away with a Dudebuster.
Best Friends defeated Le Sex Gods at 15:43
After the match, Orange Cassidy revealed himself as the cameraman, and tackled Jericho with a double leg. He landed some punches, and then repeated the process when Jericho scrambled to his feet. He then landed a Superman Punch, and stared down Jericho as he rolled out of the ring. Tony Schiavone then announced that Tony Khan told him he has signed Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy for Fyter Fest.
My Take: This was an enjoyable main event, but it’s hard to overstate how the lack of reaction for the big reveal at the end of the match took away from the experience of watching it. I think the angle would have played out much better in front of a crowd, because the announce team just wasn’t enough to get across that Orange Cassidy had flipped a switch and beat down Jericho. Overall, this was a very wrestling heavy episode of Dynamite, and I think it abandoned some of the balance with story development outside the ring that AEW had found since we started these live shows without crowds. The quick announcement at the end of the show of Orange Cassidy vs. Chris Jericho was a perfect example of something feeling a bit rushed. I would have rather seen them shave a few minutes off the main event match, and give time for Jericho to setup the match with a promo.
“Page sent Dustin to the outside again, and then he and Omega landed a powerbomb v-trigger combo on Marshall. He managed to kick out at 2.”
AEW in a nutshell. Too many clearly match ending moves don’t end matches. Oh, and Cody keeps putting himself over everyone.
“The Tag Match was too long, and the finish was pretty indieriffic with making an opponent Tombstone his partner.”
“I like that AEW is finding things for Britt Baker to do with her time off…but why does just about every AEW heel act bend towards goofy comedy?”
They don’t know what they’re doing. They’re Meltzer marks who know nothing about doing wrestling that actually draws crowds or money, and they think that 563 stupid flippy moves per match and “comedy” that constantly winks at the audience is good.
This is nothing but a Japanese comedy fed like DDT with a billionaire’s kid putting money behind it.
In a lot of ways, this is an accurate assessment, but I’m 49. I’m a 35-year fan. This feels more like wrestling than the current product WWE has.
I don’t know if you’re a WWE fan or not, but in my opinion, their product is the worst it has been in any of my time as a fan, dating back to 1985. I’ve never seen it so bad — not creatively, not in-ring, not at all. That is a long, long time.
It’s so hard to believe that the people who are turning out the Undertaker: The Last Ride miniseries are the same people who we get Raw and Smackdown from every week.
Raw and Smackdown are atrocious 85-90% of the time. AEW is, unfortunately, WWE lite despite the claims that they were going to be a “sports-based” presentation.
The only semi-decent thing from the two big companies is NXT, and it feels like a mid tier territory in the 70s and 80s instead of a Georgia or Mid Atlantic.
Outside of a match or two here or there (AJ vs Bryan was really good for WWE and Cody vs Dustin is the best match I’ve seen in 10+ years), there’s just not much to care about at all. Corbin’s NWA was doing well, and gaining momentum, but COVID-19 killed that. MLW has its moments, and is probably the best overall product on the weeks they’re not going down the garbage match rabbit hole.
All I want is guys who look like they can kick ass that can cut convincing promos and have matches that look like competitive fights. Instead, everything is breakneck speed with no selling and no consequences to any of the moves. It’s all tiny little flippy nobodies who can’t work a real match to save their lives. Meltzer will keep giving them 6 stars and the overall pro wrestling fanbase will continue to shrink to a size smaller than anything in the last century. There’s nothing out there for fans of good pro wrestling.