It’s Thursday, you know what that means. My review of AEW Dynamite… in about 5 minutes.
There’s been too much New Japan and Ring of Honor on my AEW TV as of late, detracting from the AEW stars and storylines I love. Thankfully this episode kicked off focusing on their own talent in a big way, Wardlow vs Scorpio Sky for the TNT title…
…with a load of MMA guys in Sky’s corner. Will someone just shut the Forbidden Door already, were you raised in a barn?
It’s ok, though, when they’re just used as Wardlow fodder.
This was the best he’s looked since the whole MJF situation derailed his momentum at Double or Nothing. He took out all of American Top Team, hit a beautiful top rope swanton bomb, and played the powerbomb symphony to become the new TNT champion.
AEW gave him the full confetti treatment, and I’m excited for both him and the title to get reset.
Objectively the best heel in wrestling Christian ‘Turtleneck’ Cage then teased the answer to the biggest mystery in the company right now: why has Luchasaurus suddenly turned evil and sided with him?
In a smart way to stretch out the intrigue, we didn’t get an answer because Matt Hardy interrupted, saying Jungle Boy was actually his friend too and he didn’t deserve what Christian did to him. Which set up:
Christian’s incredibly inappropriate line of the week!
He said Matt’s talking such nonsense, he’s starting to think his brother was the sober one.
It was a hell of a line that popped me huge. It offended me in such a great way. But I also probably need to do some self-reflection: considering the recency of Jeff’s arrest, with him in rehab right now, I’m struggling to see how this wasn’t irresponsible? Making fun of Jungle Boy’s dead dad is one thing, that happened two years ago and I’m assuming was totally signed off on by JB himself. But I can’t see how, in good conscience, you could check Jeff was ok with this line, considering where he’s at in his life right now. If this was said in WWE, I’m pretty sure we’d all be incredibly heavily critical of it.
That said, oh my god the heat!
.@MATTHARDYBRAND and @Christian4Peeps are not holding back on their words at all. Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on @TBSNetwork right now! pic.twitter.com/0KnRnOhX27
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 7, 2022
They brawled and Luchasaurus chokeslammed Matt through the timekeeper’s table.
Following Butcher and the Blade dumping Strickland out of last Friday’s Battle Royal, Swerve in our Glory took them on in a tag match which meant…
Oh my. Oh god. Yes. YES! We got a Keith Lee vs Butcher showdown! Oh Butcher.
Unfortunately it wasn’t really played up like the usual epic hoss fights in AEW. The match was smartly booked, furthering the tension between Swerve and Lee just enough – with Lee accidentally pouncing his tag partner, but making two saves later on. Showing Lee has gone above and beyond to make up for an honest mistake. Whereas Swerve has never really apologised for intentionally eliminating Lee at the Battle Royal.
There was the compulsory Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs promo afterwards, but it got a new wrinkle: AEW Tag Team Champions the Young Bucks challenging them both to a three way title match next week… pretty much the same match that both teams lost to Jurassic Express several months ago. Which the crowd recognised, by loudly chanting for FTR instead.
I’m assuming this is the start of a storyline where the Bucks are dodging Dax and Cash, by making matches they know they can win.
Rather than be a feud ender, Blood and Guts actually appears to be a feud continuer. Daniel Garcia will take on Wheeler Yuta for the Pure title at the ROH PPV, Claudio and Jake Hager set up a match for next week, and Eddie Kingston is still angry with Chris Jericho.
After congratulating his team, even Claudio because he’s matured, Eddie called out Jericho.
.@IAmJericho sends a devastating message to @MadKing1981, as Kingston started to address the crowd here in Rochester, NY. #AEWDynamite is LIVE on @TBSNetwork! pic.twitter.com/XU3HlHCpT8
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 7, 2022
Jericho interrupted with what appeared to be a photo shoot for the JAS debut album cover, where Tay Conti slammed Ruby Soho’s arm in a car door.
I would’ve really liked this if Ruby didn’t awkwardly put her own arm in harm’s way, where she whimpered while standing up, putting her hand directly in the door frame. Someone should’ve been holding it there. The JAS goofily running off after undermined the seriousness, and it never cut back to Eddie’s reaction, who’s rage is the whole point of the angle.
Eddie’s character direction was the most exciting thing in AEW at the end of last week’s show. Here it felt like it went right back into autopilot.
In Brodie Lee’s hometown, the Dark Order came out to announce the six of them are forever, and they’re starting a new chapter. QT Marshall interrupted to rag on -1, which got an awesome appearance from Hangman Page to help beat QT up – where -1 said he’ll pin him when he’s 18.
It was a really sweet moment, but not one that gave me any confidence in the Dark Order. They’ve barely even been an afterthought on TV, so much so that two of them have intentionally left the company.
Jim Ross joined the commentary booth for the second hour, which is proving to be an effective change to the show structure.
RUSH pulled off Penta’s mask to steal a victory in their lucha feud. Both guys are incredible charismatic.
Someone the Ass Boys taking Max Caster’s microphone before he could start rapping got more genuine heat than Christian making fun of Jeff Hardy’s drunk driving. Let me hear the offensive things so I can get offended about them!
Interesting developments after the bell between the #GunnClub and #TheAcclaimed here on #AEWDynamite LIVE on @TBSNetwork! pic.twitter.com/ZfWOPbsmRi
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 7, 2022
This got mega heat for the ensuing Ass Boys and Acclaimed vs Bear Country, Leon Ruff and Fuego Del Sol, which ended in a brawl between the victorious Caster, Bowens and Gunns.
Shockingly, after last week, Billy Gunn decided – with some degree of conflict – that blood is thicker than water. He heartbreakingly denied Bowens’ scissor request and hit a fameasser, cementing The Acclaimed as babyfaces.
This was always the direction, and they’ve executed it great. But damn, I’m going to miss them all as an act together.
I actually forgot women were part of this promotion. Next up was a fun tag match of Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm’s Thunder Storm team beating Nyla Rose and Marina Shafir.
FTR challenged the Briscoes for a ROH tag title rematch. Yes please.
And the main event saw an interim AEW World Title match of Jon Moxley vs Brody King.
This was exactly what it needed to be. Moxley’s a hardcore brawler, but Brody’s a big bastard and he had several great spots slapping down Mox’s offence with power. Including one in the adbreak that had a chop so hard, we got this camera angle with Mox’s boots upside down on the ropes.
Mox choked Brody out in the end to retain in a solid main event. I thought now would’ve been a good time to give Mox some actual title direction – like Malakai Black coming out for a staredown, setting up a Blackpool Combat Club vs House of Black storyline. Instead, the show just went off air.
What did you think of Dynamite? Let me know in the comments.
I love AEW’s focus on AEW again. We saw a TNT title change, that Christian line and a faction break up on this episode. There are plenty of great matches to look forward to for next week, but I do feel AEW is missing that major storyline that’s hooking me in every Wednesday.
This week’s AEW is a solid 84%.
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