Oli Davis Reviews AEW Dynamite ‘Blood & Guts’ – June 29, 2022

Oli Davis Reviews AEW Dynamite ‘Blood & Guts’ – June 29, 2022 AEW

We’re back, baby! I think I’ve figured out why I haven’t loved AEW as much recently: Japan. It’s Japan’s fault! All these Japanese wrestlers coming over and taking my fellow Americans’ jobs.

This was a return of AEW focusing on AEW-specific storylines again, which, watching unfold week to week, I find far more rewarding. Especially when the booking and character work is so good.

This Blood and Guts special felt almost as big as Sunday’s Forbidden Door at times, with AEW doing their first show in Detroit, Michigan with a super hot crowd 13,000 strong. The best part of the new market being how close they were to Canada.

I’m with you Christian, please date my mum.

This was a show of two halves, both excellent in their own way. The first half was AEW’s midcard getting to breathe for the first time in a month, which kicked off with Orange Cassidy vs Ethan Page.

This saw the debut of Cassidy’s new music, Jane by Jefferson Starship – the song he used on the indies. Presumably because a young Cassidy was on that album’s cover. I prefer Where Is My Mind?

Dan Lambert got the Best Friends ejected from ringside, which allowed Cassidy and Page to effectively tell a simple story. Ethan is super strong, Cassidy isn’t – teasing hitting a body slam for the entire match.

That, and Lambert’s continued interference, built perfectly to the same end point: Cassidy spraying Lambert’s orange juice in his face, getting rid of the manager, then hitting a body slam to win.

Christian’s promo was so good last week, all AEW had to announce to draw viewers for this show was: ‘Christian Cage speaks again’. But how do you top saying you’re glad a guy’s dad is dead? By saying you wish his whole family was dead of course! But maybe not your mum, because Christian Cage wants to sex her.

Christian said yes, he had requested a match, but it’s not for him. It’s for his new student: Luchasaurus Rex! Everyone’s favourite childhood dinosaur friend then came out in evil form, with pulsating fire pyro, twisted new music and a much darker look. He then squashed Serpentico (sorry about that winning streak), making him tap in a nerve hold variation of Jungle Boy’s Snare Trap.


This was excellent, and keeps this story one of the best in the company. Either Luchasaurus is AEW’s new heel monster, which is a fantastic way to push him as a singles star, or he sides with Jungle Boy when he returns, which will be an awesome moment.

Scorpio Sky challenged Wardlow to a TNT title street fight next week. Expect all of American Top Team to interfere.

Danhausen revealed his partners to be FTR against Max Caster and the Ass Boys, with Dax walking past him like ‘I’m just going to pretend this dude isn’t dressed like a clown’. The match was super fun, which saw Anthony Bowens reveal he isn’t wheelchair bound anymore to a huge pop, but his interference cost his team the match. Afterwards, Daddy Ass sided with The Acclaimed when the Ass Boys showed frustration.

And Jade Cargill squashed local wrestler Leila Grey, taking her winning streak to 34. Athena and Kris Statlander ran down for a brawl afterwards, but Grey helped Cargill, trying to join the Baddies. This feud feels like it’s stuck on a treadmill.

And someone accidentally left the Forbidden Door open and forgot to take Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi home. They’ll take on the Young Bucks this Friday. The Bucks pointed out how all their friends are injured right now… maybe finally setting up a path to Hangman Page.

And then came the second hour of the show, one entirely devoted to the violence of Blood and Guts.

Jim Ross came out for the main event. After enjoying Excalibur, Taz and Kevin Kelly so much on Sunday, I like this slow transitioning of JR out of the regular team – saving him for the big matches.

The production tricks continued, with AEW playing an awesome hype package for the main event, not just putting over the dastardly Blood and Guts Don’t Call It War Games stipulation, but also the characters and story involved. Showing Ruby Soho describing her friend Eddie Kingston directly improved a spot in the match later on. AEW should do video packages like this so much more.

The JAS somehow managed to look both stupid and cool, dressed like A Clockwork Orange themed night at a fetish club. They cut a coherent presence compared to the disparate entrances of their opponents, which is definitely thematically intended given the low key tension between a lot of the babyface frenemies.

The Blood and Guts match itself was terrific, so much better than last year’s first installment. The rowdy crowd helped significantly, but this also felt like a better lay out – bravely not really using the man disadvantage babyface in peril spot too much.

There were so many awesome moments. Former Real American partners Jake Hager and Claudio Castignoli coming face to face. Angelo Parker darting around the ring to avoid the Blackpool Combat Club. Angelo Parker somehow being draped upside down outside the cage all of a sudden! Broken glass and thumbtacks everywhere. Kingston and Jericho being the final two entrants to have a fiery standoff.

The only unfortunate part was Santana seemingly getting injured almost as soon as he came in, putting him out for the whole match really.

The final chapter of the match heightened all that drama even more, literally, with Kingston chasing Jericho to the top of the cage – which included that foreshadowing payoff when Ruby Soho took out Tay Conti at ringside for helping Jericho escape.

Kingston grinned manically after throwing Sammy Guevarra off the top of the cage through some tables below, without a crash pad in sight. And then it came down to Eddie vs Kingston – the blood feud that started this all.

Until it didn’t.

Claudio had climbed up to help Eddie, as Jericho had him locked in the Walls. In possibly the match’s scariest spot, Claudio then did the Swing on Jericho on the top of the cage.

Eddie locked in the Stretch Plum on Jericho, ready to win the match and have ultimate revenge, but Claudio had put Daddy Magic in the Sharpshooter at the same time. And Daddy Magic tapped first. Jericho didn’t submit. Eddie didn’t get revenge. The months long blood feud was won by the lowest tiered JAS member tapping out to a guy who only showed up on Sunday.

If you felt this finish was underwhelming, I totally understand. That’s the point of it. But please let me explain why this is one of the best anticlimactic endings I’ve ever seen.


Blackpool Combat Club won the match. Claudio was the late-in-the-day saviour that helped them do it. But for Eddie, it was never about Blackpool Combat Club beating the JAS – which is what Claudio did. It was about Eddie murdering Chris Jericho.

Eddie needed this revenge. It was the poison he could drink to put quell this part of his emotional fury, for a bit. But Claudio, this guy who just showed up, this guy he has a very complicated distrustful history with, took that moment from him.

Which is why Kingston looked so upset while he teammates celebrated around him on top of the cage. Going into this match, I thought we could see the babyfaces implode because of Kingston’s madness. I thought we might even see Claudio turn on them. What AEW delivered was far beyond either of those options in terms of character complexity. They’ve somehow made Eddie a different kind of bitter. A self-destructive, hateful kind of bitter. And it’s going to be let out on Claudio very soon.

What did you think of AEW Blood and Guts? Let me know in the comments.

A fantastic crowd, a very fun first half, and an excellent Blood and Guts match, with a perfectly executed character beat from my favourite wrestler. This was a flawless show, and, for me, the joint best episode of the year at 97%.

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2 years ago by Oli Davis


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