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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (June 24, 2020): Chicken Cassidy

AEW Dynamite (June 24, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The go-home show for Fyter Fest (full card) featured big hype for the big title matches, Colt Cabana inching closer to joining in the Dark Order, Big Swole big upping Dr. Britt Baker DMD again, and Orange Cassidy being the butt of Chris Jericho’s jokes.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent live results and play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

The main event segment was a face-off with Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho. Jericho regaled us with a tale of how OC is the joke of AEW, much like, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” It is amusing at first, yet annoying the more often you hear it. Jericho compared that sentiment to how he feels about Cassidy’s gimmick. He did give credit to OC for doing something different to get over on his own. However, Cassidy made a mistake when he got in Le Champion’s face. If OC tries any of his bullshit offense, Jericho will beat him in 30 seconds at Fyter Fest.

Cassidy took the mic to reply. He teased speaking then placed the mic on the mat. OC proceeded to do his shin kick routine on Jericho. Le Champion responded by breaking OC’s sunglasses in half. Boom! Cassidy used a double leg to take Jericho to the mat for ground and pound.

The action spilled to the floor and up the stairs of the fan section. Jericho swung a camera crane into OC’s face. Cassidy had the last laugh as he ran down stairs for a Superman punch to knock Jericho through a table.

The overall excitement of that segment was cool. I was so hoping that Jericho would Judas Effect Cassidy after his shin mockery. My problem was that I just can’t get into believing Cassidy’s effectiveness. The takedown and the final Superman punch were neat. Everything in between from Cassidy looked weak. It also doesn’t help that I fully agree with Jericho about his chicken comparison.

Fyter Fest Championship Hype

Fyter Fest will feature four title fights: Hikaru Shida vs Penelope Ford for the Women’s Championship, Cody Rhodes vs Jake Hager for the TNT Championship, Hangman Page & Kenny Omega vs Best Friends for the Tag Team Championship, and Jon Moxley vs Brian Cage for the World Championship. All were hyped in varying manners.

Hikaru Shida had a match against Red Velvet. Penelope Ford was ringside in the fan section. The two shared heated words then Ford slapped Shida. The referee corralled Shida into the ring before any retaliation. Ding, ding, ding of the opening bell. Shida immediately charged to the center to strike with a running knee then a Falcon Arrow slam to win.

Shida turned her attention back to Ford. She punched Kip Sabian hard enough to knock one lens out of his sunglasses then engaged in fisticuffs with Ford. The two ladies had to be separated.

That segment was excellent all around. Ford was slimy with the cheap slap to make me root against her. Shida showed tremendous fire by squashing her opponent then kicking ass on the floor. I’m pumped for their match. Or more like I’m pumped to see Shida rain terror down on Ford.

To hype Cody Rhodes against Jake Hager, AEW went the route of a press conference. Arn Anderson and Cody answered a couple of questions. Cody’s main message was one of hope and believing in the American dream. Hager arrived fashionably tardy with his wife, Catalina. He had no time for questions and went straight into the staredown for public relations photographs. Hager put out his fist right aside Cody’s face. Cody kept his cool and laughed off the intimidation tactic. Hager exited, but Catalina came up to throw water into Cody’s face.

Dustin Rhodes had a conniption over this and was held back by Cody.

This segment fell a little flat for me. I like the positive spin of Cody’s message, but it didn’t excite me for the fight. The Nightmare Family’s reaction to the shenanigans for Team Hager was over-exaggerated for a cup of water. It’s not like acid or Private Party’s ‘not water’ was thrown into Cody’s face. It was simple mind games. Cody passed, but the rest failed. That said, it will be amusing when Brandi Rhodes inevitably gets involved in a skirmish with Catalina.

Next up was an interview package to promote Hangman Page & Kenny Omega versus Best Friends. This had comedic flavor with discussion about Hangman and Omega not being best friends, just the best.

This was a well done production with a decent hype job. Both teams put each other over so it will be a meaningful victory. Omega’s speech about them being the best was very convincing and sold me that they will retain.

I was disappointed when Jim Ross pushed the narrative of Hangman and Omega not getting along. I feel like that ship has sailed. It lost all momentum when Hangman was on hiatus due to the coronavirus. He returned to the Elite to defeat the Inner Circle in the Stadium Stampede. Hangman and Omega were all chummy in this promo. Time to move on and maybe revisit it if the Bucks challenge them again for the tag titles.

The final championship fight to hype was Jon Moxley against Brian Cage. It began with, “Technique by Taz,” as Taz broke down Cage’s potpourri of power moveset and Drill Claw finisher. Moxley was supposed to wrestle, but he was sidelined due to coronavirus exposure, which may have been from his wife, Renee Young. Mox was part of a video package instead.

Cage took Moxley’s place in the ring to destroy Jon Cruz. A Drill Claw ended that quick match. Taz grabbed a mic to mock Mox for missing the show.

It is unfortunate that Moxley could not be present. Cage’s aggression and Taz’s passion more than made up for it. They made clear that it will be a war. We know Moxley won’t back down from anyone. I’m crossing my fingers that he will be cleared to go at Fyter Fest. I think it has match-of-the-year potential.

Colt Cabana to join the Dark Order?

Mr. Brodie Lee invited Colt Cabana to tag together as a taste of what Cabana could expect if he joins the Dark Order. They were flanked by cronies Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Their opponents were Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela.

Kiss and Janela were too quick for Mr. Brodie and Cabana. They controlled much of the pace with athletic maneuvers. Mr. Brodie had crushing moments of power. Cabana was kind of a chump. He wrestled with low energy. Cabana had to be saved several times from potential pinfalls.

In the end, the Dark Order paid dividends for Cabana. Reynolds and Silver pushed Cabana out of the way and sacrificed themselves to take a flying crossbody from Kiss. Janela attacked Mr. Brodie with a suicide dive, but the Exalted One kind of countered to ram Janela into the barricade. Back in the ring, Mr. Brodie pulverized Janela with a discus lariat. Mr. Brodie handed the win on a platter to a weary Cabana. Colt pinned Joey for the 1, 2, 3. Cabana flashed a big grin on his face after finally winning a match.

That was a unique wrinkle to recruit Cabana. He was somewhat oafish on this evening and the Dark Order worked hard to save him from harm. I’m wondering how Cabana will feel after studying the film. Sure, he got the win, but will he be satisfied at being handed a lame body to pin? I’m curious how Cabana’s pride will react.

Later in a backstage interview, Cabana was still hesitant to join the Dark Order, even though, he was on cloud nine of success. Mr. Brodie requested one more time to show Cabana the value of his organization. Mr. Brodie booked them and Stu Grayson into a trios bout against SCU at Fyter Fest. Cabana was not too keen on wrestling his friends, but he did like winning. No commitment was given from Colt.

That was a nice wraparound back to SCU as Dark Order’s foes. Christopher Daniels and SCU were the primary agitators of the Dark Order prior to the coronavirus throwing a monkey wrench into storylines. Cabana backed SCU in that fight. Now, Mr. Brodie is trying to turn Cabana against SCU. That is a Machiavellian plot from Mr. Brodie.

One last note about that tag bout. Afterward, Lance Archer attacked Kiss, because Archer is a Murderhawk Monster. Janela threw a chair at Archer, but he walked right through it to boot Janela in the face. Archer vs Janela was announced for Fyter Fest.

Big Trash

Dr. Britt Baker DMD returned from last week’s dumpster diving to her parked position close to best bud Tony Schiavone. The pulley system was in affect to deliver notes. Baker likes Taz and Cage so much that she wants to offer them free dental work. She also put the entire Inner Circle on a family plan. Her piña colada stand wasn’t erected yet, but she did have appletinis to consume.

As protection against potential harm, Baker was surrounded by plexiglass and flanked by Reba and a security person. That didn’t turn out so well when Baker called Big Swole the biggest piece of trash on the AEW roster. Baker vowed revenge.

Big Swole confronted Baker, who felt secure in her plexiglass temple. Swole walked around the back and up to the roof of the Role’s Royce to empty a trashcan atop Baker’s head.

The role model of comedy scored again. Baker was very amusing with her sass and comeuppance. Swole is making a name for herself, but it’s at the expense of an injured person. I think Baker needs to beat some respect into Swole when she returns.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Lumberjack Match: Wardlow defeated Luchasaurus. This bout was two powerful forces colliding while also displaying their twinkle-toed agility for wrestlers of their size. The move I was most impressed by was Wardlow’s jumping headscissors takeover. Top spots were a superplex from Wardlow, MJF’s war machine tossing Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt onto the lumberjacks, and Luchasaurus with a shooting star press off the side stage onto everyone below. In the end, Luchasaurus chokeslammed Wardlow. MJF hopped on the apron as a distraction, so Jungle Boy speared him through the ropes.

Wardlow capitalized with a low blow then F-10 to win. Afterward, MJF and Wardlow brawled with Jurassic Express. A tag match was made for Fyter Fest. MJF & Wardlow versus Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus.

Overall, this match felt like a transition to the Fyter Fest matchup rather than it’s own story. This bout was entertaining, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. This was more of a fancy fight than a war machine against a dinosaur. There were planned spots aplenty that took the focus away from the intensity of the big man battle. I’m hoping we get a rematch soon down the line where these two unload on each other. My appetite for a hoss fight remains hungry.

FTR defeated SCU. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian represented SCU. FTR was announced as, “Literally driving to the ring from Asheville, North Carolina,” when they arrived in their classic black truck. SCU almost scored the victory after a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo then Angel’s Wings by CD, but Cash Wheeler made the save on the pinfall. A short while later, FTR executed their Good Night Express facebreaker combo to win.

Solid bout. After two matches in AEW for FTR, I’m not buying them as the best tag team. They do good work, however, they haven’t displayed much domination yet to backup their boisterous claims. I’ll put my money on Hangman & Omega as the top team in AEW. They are champs for a reason. Jim Ross would likely disagree with me after his comment about FTR having chemistry rather than two dudes put together. I feel like it was supposed to be a shot at WWE, but it also threw AEW’s own tag champs under the bus. And yes, I’m still annoyed that the Young Bucks are the measuring stick for the best tag team in AEW.

Return of the Lucha Bros. After FTR’s win, they grabbed the mic to gab about the absolute baddest team in AEW. All of a sudden, Blade and Butcher had commandeered FTR’s black truck. B&B challenged FTR to an 8-man tag at Fyter Fest. While that was happening, Fenix and Pentagon snuck into the ring behind FTR. B&B wanted them and the Lucha Bros against FTR and the Young Bucks. The masked brothers attacked FTR with a flying stomp package piledriver. The Bucks eventually made their way out to prevent more damage to FTR. All four villains zoomed away in FTR’s truck.

Three cheers for the return of the Lucha Bros. That was a very unexpected surprise and a good story audible after Jimmy Havoc was suspended. Out of these four squads, Fenix and Pentagon are the ones I want to root for. I’m hoping they make fools of FTR.

Matt Hardy defeated Santana. Broken Damascus Hardy was the chosen version by the fans to compete. He was joined by Neo 1 (the evolution of Vanguard’s spirit). Ortiz was ringside for Santana. Hardy tweaked his knee early, and it affected him throughout. Despite that, he still pulled out the win by reversing a Michinoku Driver into a roll-up. Afterward, Santana & Ortiz pummeled Hardy with a madball sock and their Street Sweeper finisher. Private Party eventually made the save, but it was already too late. Santana & Ortiz will wrestle Private Party at Fyter Fest.

Notes: A vignette aired for the tag team backstory of Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela. I already wrote about the extended cut (here) of the duo beating up dudes at a gas station. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend watching. The full clip is better than what was shown on Dynamite.

Highlights were shown of Shawn Spears loading his black glove to cheat in a win on Dark. Allie held an, “I miss my QT,” sign in the fan section. QT Marshall had to skip the show for precautionary reasons due after being exposed to someone with the coronavirus.

Stud of the Show: Brian Cage

I loved Cage’s powerbomb toss from the entrance ramp over the ropes into the ring.

That is a move I definitely want to see him attempt on Jon Moxley.

Dud of the Show: Private Party

Private Party took their sweet time coming to save Matt Hardy. There wasn’t much point after Hardy was crushed by a Street Sweeper from Santana & Ortiz. Excalibur tried to salvage the moment on commentary by claiming the locker rooms were extremely far away. That might be a valid excuse, but it was still a bad look on camera. Double bad since Private Party should have been nearby anyway in anticipation that Ortiz would cause a ruckus.

Grade: B

This go-home episode had good effort, however, some things weren’t to my personal preference. I wanted more hoss with Wardlow and Luchasaurus. I wasn’t convinced by Orange Cassidy’s offense. Cody’s press conference was kind of awkward. On the positive, this show did well to set the mood for Fyter Fest.

Share your thoughts about this episode of Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show? Did the go-home pump you up for Fyter Fest?

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