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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (June 3, 2020): Bloody fun

AEW Dynamite (June 3, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured Hangman Page & Kenny Omega putting the tag titles on the line, Jon Moxley and Brian Cage stoking the fire for their championship feud, and Cody Rhodes having a bloody good time defending his TNT gold.

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

Bloody fun

The main event was Cody Rhodes first defense of the TNT Championship. Jungle Boy stood at the front of the line for weekly open challengers. I was expecting a serious new-age technical showdown similar to Jungle Boy versus MJF at Double or Nothing. That is not what we got. Instead, the contest was a bloody spectacle of fun.

In a match of babyfaces, Cody leaned slightly heel with his intensity. Jungle Boy fought back with a springboard tornado DDT and a suicide dive. Jungle Boy charged ahead for a second consecutive leap to the outside, but Cody caught him and tossed him over the guardrail onto the Gunn Club.

The fight continued on the floor. Cody made me laugh out loud when he headbutted the wall. Jungle Boy became distracted by MJF. When the camera eventually panned back to Cody, there was a second laugh out loud moment when he was a bloody mess.

Jungle Boy took advantage by peppering Cody’s cut with fists. Cody was not fazed as he hit a sweet delayed vertical superplex.

The blood wasn’t the only the fantastic shenanigan in store. Cody and Jungle Boy also crashed through a table. The wood had been placed there earlier in the bout by Cody.

Cody didn’t want the match to end on a count-out, so he rolled Jungle Boy back into the ring. That was almost a monumentous mistake. Jungle Boy sprang up for a roll-up. Cody kicked out then immediately finished the fight with a vicious Cross Rhodes to retain the TNT Championship.

That match was not pretty, but it sure was fun. That must be what Cody meant when he said last week that the fun was just beginning. I fear for Cody’s health if he plans to bleed every single week. I’m sure Brandi would prefer his dashing forehead not be scarred up.

Cody speaks a lot about the TNT Championship raising the stock of his legacy. I don’t know how many consecutive title defenses he can withstand if each week is this physical. If Cody can keep it up, then this run of matches could end up being his lasting legacy in the ring when we look back at his career. He worked his keister off to guarantee viewers will tune in the following week. I sure am excited to see what gameplan Cody has in store for his next challenger in Marq Quen.

Machine vs Shark

Brian Cage came out to make another statement to World Champion Jon Moxley. It came through the sanctioned beatdown of Shawn Dean. Cage blitzed Dean with big suplexes, a buckle bomb, and a Drill Claw piledriver to win. With Taz by Cage’s side, it was a nice touch to include more suplexes into the Machine’s offense. Little details like that enhance the impact of their relationship.

Afterward, Taz got on the mic to express his unhappiness about Jon Moxley’s snickering last week. This isn’t a game. Cage is going to kick the living shit out of the champ.

Enter Mox on the scene.

He was smiling last week, because Cage’s level of intensity and aggression makes him happy for the fight. That’s why Moxley is in the wrestling business. Moxley warned that he is no ordinary fellow. Cage will be swimming with a different breed of shark. Moxley parted by saying not to waste his time with intimidation tactics.

This was nice progression toward the big fight feel needed for their championship bout at Fyter Fest, which will take place over two weeks on July 1 and July 8 on TNT. I was already eager for the fisticuffs. Now, I’m getting hot for the story. After the war between Moxley and Mr. Brodie Lee at Double or Nothing, I’m convinced that Moxley truly is excited for the challenge. When Moxley said it would take all night long to beat him, it made me wonder if we’ll be getting some sort of Iron Man stipulation. That would be in Moxley’s favor as he could wear down the Swolverine. Those muscles aren’t designed for marathons.

And still...

In the opening match, Hangman Page & Kenny Omega successfully defended the Tag Team Championship against Jimmy Havoc & Kip Sabian. Penelope Ford was ringside, but she was ejected early after Hangman caught her flying hurricanrana attempt in the ring and showed referee Rick Knox.

The Superbad Death Squad brought their A game in this big match with quick tags to control the action. Havoc used eye gouges and fish hooks to slow down the champs. They even hit their finishing teamwork sequence of a running DVD into the corner, flying stomp, then fisherman’s DDT, but that couldn’t put the champs away. In the end, Hangman and Omega showed heart to roar back and win via tandem offense of a V-Trigger and Buckshot Lariat combo smash. Hangman pinned Havoc for victory.

This bout was a good showcase for both teams. Hangman and Omega got into the groove with no miscommunication. It seems like the awkward partnership portion of their story is over for now. The Superbad Death Squad established themselves as a team to be reckoned with. Going into the bout, I had a hard time imagining them as credible champs. If Havoc and Sabian maintain the high quality of these performances, then future gold could be coming their way one day.

Baddest Orange on the planet

Chris Jericho sought payback against Colt Cabana for getting in his way of knocking out Mike Tyson. Le Champion displayed his boxing prowess early with quick hands on a variety of punches high and low. Cabana was actually the better wrestler in this bout. He had the majority of momentum. Jake Hager had to interfere on Jericho’s behalf to slow Cabana down. Cabana was close to winning a couple times, but he hastily bounced out of the corner to eat a Judas Effect handing Jericho the win.

In the aftermath, Jericho called out “Iron” Mike Tyson. He wanted to fight the baddest man on the planet right then. The way it was stalling, you knew someone was going to answer that call eventually. That someone was Orange Cassidy.

OC stuffed Le Champion’s hands in his belt then dodged attempted attacks to retreat into the arms of the Best Friends.

Cassidy showing up was worth a chuckle. I may be in the minority, but I really hope OC isn’t involved in the ring with Mike Tyson, as a tag partner for example. One criticism of the skirmish between Tyson and Jericho last week has been it felt too much like a joke. I don’t agree, but adding OC as a main player would negatively change my mind. If Cassidy stays on the outside as a cornerman to prevent Inner Circle interference, that could be entertaining without dragging down the ridiculous into the absurd.

Keeping up with Cabana, he was later approached by Mr. Brodie Lee. Colt has the skills to hang with the best, but he can’t seem to get to the next level to win. Mr. Brodie explained that growth is how you respond to losing. He can help Cabana with that. Mr. Brodie’s aide handed a water bottle to Colt.

After they left, Cabana brushed them off but did seem interested in the advice. He then took a sip from the water bottle. I think we need a check up with Cabana to make sure that liquid wasn’t drugged. I don’t trust the Dark Order. Poor Colt may be tied up in a basement somewhere right now with his eyes pinned open as propaganda plays.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Black glove. After Tully Blanchard’s scathing speech to Shawn Spears earlier this week, Blanchard regrouped as a manager and presented Spears with a missing piece to the puzzle. It was one black glove.

Um, okay. That was odd. Spears just doesn’t have that vibe of toughness. I don’t know how a black glove is going to change that. Is it loaded in the knuckles? Maybe I’m misreading Spears’ reaction at the very end, but he doesn’t look pleased deep in his eyes. He was excited at first but then realized it is just another cheesy gimmick. Gimmicks aren’t going to change the man inside. Either way, Spears should show character growth in the coming weeks.

Murderhawk Monster. Lance Archer beat up a jabroni luchador in some construction pit. He is ready to torture and kill people.

That was a very effective way to re-establish Archer as a monster. I’m scared for his next opponent. I love the appearance of a random masked man. It reminded me how luchadores were part of everyday society in Lucha Underground.

Mentor Hardy. Matt Hardy approached Private Party with the goal of giving back to the industry as a veteran. He sees potential in Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen. The duo proposed a Hardy Party. Matt liked the idea. He exited and ran into Sammy Guevara in the hallway on his scooter. Hardy was positive to Sammy with a show of respect.

I don’t think this signals an end to Damascus Hardy, but it does seem like turning to the next chapter for Hardy in AEW after vanquishing the Inner Circle. If that is the case, then I like how AEW wrapped up one story to transition into the next.

Nyla Rose defeated Big Swole. Power vs speed. Swole did well working Nyla down, but Nyla was too savvy. She countered Swole’s Dirty Dancing ripcord into a spinebuster powerbomb to win.

This match benefit both ladies. Nyla got back on the winning track. Despite the loss, Swole looked tougher in the ring. I’ve been critical in the past about her strikes looking soft. Not so this time. The visual effectiveness of the blows were on point to make me believe Swole was laying lumber.

FTR. Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler had a sitdown chat with Tony Schiavone. They explained that FTR is a way of life. The duo laughed at the idea of wrestling the Young Bucks. That’s not a dream match. They decided to protect the Bucks last week, so the Jacksons can’t offer any health excuses after they lose to FTR. Blade and Butcher came down the stair to throw a fit, so FTR proposed they settle it in the ring.

FTR looked cool last week. This week, they came across as shlubs. FTR displayed poor posture and uncomfortable body language while seated. These early appearances do matter to establish themselves with new viewers. They will get another chance to impress next week in the ring against Blade and Butcher.

Notes: FTR sat in the stands to observe Hangman & Omega in action. Allie was seen in the fan section sweet talking QT Marshall once again. Darby Allin is out of action due to doctor’s orders. Life is one big joke, and Allin will get the last laugh on Cage and Taz.

Stud of the Night: Dr. Britt Baker DMD

For the second week in a row, the stud honors goes to Baker. She began her rehabilitation with a stupendous montage.

I love montages, and that one was hilarious. You can feel the inspiration oozing out of Tony Schiavone.

Baker was also in attendance seated in a fabulous chariot. Only a true role model would make that sacrifice for the AEW faithful.

Baker completed the trifecta of entertainment by almost running over Big Swole. Baker’s assistant, Reba, put the pedal to the metal in reverse to smash hard into the security barrier.

Baker was on screen for a total of about two minutes tonight, and she stole the show. Outstanding.

Dud of the Night: Lack of focus

There were two particular instances during Dynamite when wrestlers inexplicably lost their focus during title matches. One spot was Jungle Boy taking a pause to argue with MJF. In hindsight, that was set up to give time for Cody to bleed after headbutting the wall. It made Jungle Boy look like a doofus though. This was the biggest match of his career, and he wasted a prime opportunity to capitalize on a woozy Cody. Get your head in the game, Jungle Boy.

The other spot that annoyed me during the tag team title contest was Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc wasting precious time after a field goal head kick. I enjoy that spot on its own, but that wasn’t the place for it. This was their big opportunity and they were monkeying around when they had dominant momentum. Keep that stuff for the lesser matches.

To drive this point home, the Best Friends often hugged right when they were close to winning and it cost them victories. During their current win streak, they usually take care of business first then hug later. Jungle Boy and the Superbad Death Squad could learn a thing or two from Trent and Chuck Taylor.

Grade: B+

This was a very solid episode. The wrestling was action-packed and there were a variety of promos to advance storylines. I really enjoy the intermingling of the roster into so many different feuds. One thing I didn’t care for in this particular episode was the increase of recaps. Being that the show was taped and it is during a pandemic, I’ll give them a pass on that one. I hope it doesn’t become a pattern. The biggest positive overall is the momentum created for tuning into next week.

Share your thoughts about this episode of Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show? How many weeks in a row can Cody keep the same pace? Did the promos from Moxley and Taz get you more interested in Mox’s title defense against Cage?

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