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AEW Dynamite - June 30, 2021
by Samoa Rowe
From Daily's Place, presumably for the last time, as required by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just about every Dynamite has been held at Daily's Place since the March 18th 2020 episode, in which I astutely noted "Strap in, because this appears to be our new normal." Now, barring any setbacks from variations of the virus and bad choices by the public, AEW returns to the road with full capacity shows in arenas across the country. A few months ago, this venture made me nervous, but I've largely come around and feel optimistic that things are going to be okay. Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur are on the call, and there's about a thousand fans in attendance.
Chris Jericho joins commentary and gives the Jacksonville crowd the "Judas" sing-a-long they all paid for.
Penta El Zero Miedo and Eddie Kingston (with Alex Abrahantes) vs. AEW Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson, with Brandon Cutler)
The Bucks are cosplaying as 70's style hippies (or "p0rn stars" according to the announcers). The action starts with a 2 on 2 brawl, Penta superkicks Nick to the floor while Eddie looks for a quick backslide pin on Matt. Eddie and Penta do a vicious rendition of the Dudleyz' "wasssup" spot, which I'm sure is a not-so-subtle response to Bully Ray burying Kingston's dark promo from last week. The Bucks come back with a cannonball/enziguri combo on Penta. The Bucks celebrate with synchronized pelvic thrusts, but can't put Penta away. Penta hits Matt with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and then a high crossbody on Nick. Eddie storms in on a hot tag. Eddie hits Matt with an Exploder at ringside, but Nick ambushes with a brutal head kick. Eddie takes a good beating before he strands Nick on the top rope for many headbutts and then a superplex. Penta shows off his athletic moveset on a hot tag, nearly pinning Matt with a Code Red. Fans chant "That was 3!" Nick hits Penta with a flying rana, but Penta blocks the bulldog. Nick eats an exploder and backstabber, and Matt saves the match. Matt hits Kingston with a crossbody onto the ramp. Nick grabs the ref to save himself from Penta, hits a blind low blow, and they steal Lucha Bros' piledriver/double stomp, but Eddie flies in for a last second save. Eddie succumbs to a SUPERKICK PARTAY, but Penta back drops Nick. The Good Brothers interfere, Cutler accidentally sprays Matt in the face, Frankie Kazarian clotheslines Cutler, Penta dives onto Nick, and Fear Factor ends it at 13:54! Good opener, though kind of average as far as Bucks matches go. That overbooked finish will annoy some people, ***¼.
Winners: Eddie Kingston and Penta El Zero Miedo
Christian Cage gives Jungle Boy a pep talk. Christian is impressed that JB went toe to toe with the champion, and now has the chance to be the first AEW competitor to reach 50 wins. Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt wander in, and they're pretty defensive about Christian getting involved in their little club.
Tony Shiavone interviews Ethan Page (with Scorpio Sky) in the ring, and the fans HATE him now. He's on a mission to cripple Darby Allin. Things go off the rails when the fans start chanting "We can't hear you" while he rants. The lights go out and it starts snowing, which means IT'S STIIIIIIIIING. He wheels out a wooden coffin, while a spooky Darby video package plays. This time, Darby plays with a flame thrower. Back to Daily's Place, Darby leaps out of the coffin and charges to the ring with Sting. Sky takes a Death Drop while Darby tries to rip out Ethan's eyes. Ethan escapes and calls off their match at Road Rager, because now he's isn't 100%, maybe he'll give him another chance at Fyter Fest.
Jack Evans vs. Jungle Boy (with Jurassic Express)
JB is looking for his 50th victory. Jericho amusingly complains about the fans singing along "Tarzan Boy." This would be a great time to just let JB squash Evans in 3 minutes, but I predict this will be the routine 8 minute match with 4 minutes of commercials in the middle. Jungle Boy quickly looks for the Snare Trap, but Evans gets the ropes. Evans hits an awkward leaping kick to the chest, but JB answers with a flipping armdrag into a dropkick. Cue the commercials. They return with Jungle Boy making a comeback in front of a polite crowd. JB blocks Evans' super German attempt, and locks on the Snare Trap to win at 6:07. Glorified squash, but the fans are happy to sing again, *.
Winner: Jungle Boy
The Hardy Family Office attempt a postmatch beatdown, but Christian Cage cuts off Matt Hardy, and chokes with his own jacket. Matt and Christian are on a collision course, for old time's sake.
MJF talks to the camera about how he's so much smarter than Chris Jericho.
Andrade El Idolo is offended that Matt Sydal interrupted him last week and plans on making an example out of him in Miami.
Tony Shiavone hosts AEW World Champion Kenny Omega in the ring. Omega puts himself over for defeating the hottest up and coming star, Jungle Boy. He has beaten everyone worthwhile in AEW, so he's going to take some time off and focus on defending his other titles elsewhere. He's interrupted by Evil Uno and the Dark Order, who make an argument that Hangman Adam Page deserves a title shot. Omega doesn't think Hangman has the guts to face him and bids them adieu.
Brian Pillman Jr. talks to the camera about his TNT title match against Miro. Pillman doesn't share Miro's faith, choosing instead to believe in people who support him, like Griff Garrison. Pillman knows that Miro has a Messiah complex and vows to expose him as a Bulgarian b!tch.
Miro © vs. Brian Pillman Jr. (with Griff Garrison and Julia Hart)
Miro is sporting updated music and is now branded as "The Redeemer." This feels dangerously close to Seth Rollins' floundering gimmick. Pillman throws many punches, but stumbles into a back drop. Miro smashes the lower back to prepare Game Over. Miro hits an overhead fallaway slam to send us to commercials. They return with Miro having his way, but Pillman hangs hi on the ropes and then hits a springboard dropkick. Pillman hits a wild dropkick to ringside, taking a rough landing, and pops up to continue his assault. Springboard clothesline by Pillman only gets 1. Pillman fakes a springboard, and Miro misses a thrust kick. Pillman hits a superkick, but Miro blocks a second attempt and hits his own roundhouse kicks. Miro locks on Game Over to win at 7:36. Pillman's comeback was inspired enough to elevate this above glorified squash, but there were a few moments that felt more like excusable botches than what they'd intended to do, **.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Miro
Hangman Adam Page is irate with the Dark Order for challenging Kenny Omega on his behalf. Colt Cabana thinks Page is scared of failure and needs to get back up on his horse. John Silver assures him that they've got his back. Alex Reynolds adds that this is Hangman's time, and they leave him to think it over with a beer. I liked this, it's refreshing to see pro wrestlers who act like human beings.
Taz talks up Hook and Powerhouse Hobbs, who have been pushed aside by the ongoing drama between Ricky Starks and Brian Cage. Taz announces Cage vs. Starks for Fyter Fest, so they can get it out of the way and move onwards.
Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero vs. AEW Women's Champion Dr. Britt Baker and Rebel (not Reba)
I've been expecting a bait and switch since this was announced, but nope, Vickie is actually wrestling. She trades shoves with Rebel, Nyla helps out and snapmares Rebel off her back. Nyla splashes Rebel and throws her into Britt's corner to dare a tag. Britt cowardly backs off, allowing Rebel to get worked over. They return from the commercial with Nyla and Rebel still engaged in a really one sided singles match. Britt gets a hot tag and hits a neckbreaker to "DMD" chants. Britt blocks the Beast Bomb and goes for the glove, but turns around for Nyla's chokeslam. Rose hits the draping flying knee, but Rebel saves the match. Vickie tags in and gets shoved into Nyla, and quickly taps to the Lockjaw at 7:09. Kind of a baffling match from a booking standpoint, and pretty bad outside of the Nyla/Britt exchange, *½.
Winners: Britt Baker and Rebel
Nyla powerbombs Britt through a table. I've been seeing a lot of whining on social media about AEW "booking themselves into a corner" with Nyla vs. Britt, but it's pretty clear that Baker is the babyface in this scenario.
Jake Hager, Santana, and Ortiz are angry about what the Pinnacle did to Dean Malenko and want another match. They're bringing Konnan with them to Miami.
MJF vs. Sammy Guevara
MJF stalls for time, so Sammy mocks him with a relaxation pose. MJF returns and steps over Sammy for some Nature Boy struts. Sammy leap frogs and returns the favor. Sammy uses his agility to block many attacks before taking a thrust to the throat. MJF blocks the GTH, Sammy blocks Salt of the Earth, and they wrestle to a stalemate. The fans give them a standing ovation. Sammy goes on offense but MJF rolls away from a 630 senton. Sammy hits a springboard cutter for 2. MJF recovers by armdragging Sammy knee-first into the barricade. They return from commercials with MJF working a chinlock. Sammy clubs free and they brawl at ringside. Sammy springboards into MJF's Liger Bomb! Sammy recovers with a middle rope Spanish Fly! Sammy strings together a series of quick attacks and nails corkscrew plancha to massive crowd approval. Sammy hits a springboard Canadian Destroyer but MJF kicks out! Fans chant "This is awesome!" MJF double stomps the wrist and hangs Guevara on the ropes before fretching a chair. Guevara dropkicks the chair into MJF's face, knocking him over the rails. Sammy hits a flying senton into the crowd! Sammy hauls MJF back to avoid a countout, but gets tripped on the top rope. MJF delivers a SUPER TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER but GUEVARA KICKS OUT! MJF appears to suffer a serious knee injury and they take a breather. Guevara's inside cradle gets 2. MJF cuts Sammy down by the bad knee, Sammy blocks the Heatseeker, MJF blocks a sunset flip, but Guevara reverses into a roll-up. Sammy hits GTH, but MJF gets a flukey rope break. Sammy hits a 630 senton, despite MJF's plea for mercy, but only gets 2! Shawn Spears arrives to ruin the mood, Jericho tries to cut him off but gets tossed off the stage by Wardlow. Spears smashes a chair over Sammy's skull, and MJF gets the pin at 20:27. This was firing on all cylinder before the screwjob finish. I'm not too bothered, because this was a great match in it's own right, and sets up many big matches for the next month, ****.
We're treated to a rather wonderful video montage of the Daily's Place pandemic era of AEW. They certainly made the best of a tough situation, and while I'm glad it's over, I'm also happy that I stuck with them throughout.
Final Thoughts: Good show, it's nice to see AEW gaining some momentum as they return to the road.
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