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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (June 30, 2021): Stars of today

AEW on TNT’s Twitter

AEW Dynamite (June 30, 2021) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured MJF and Sammy Guevara proving they are stars of today, the Elite having a prickly day at the office, and Miro fulfilling his destiny as TNT Champion.

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

Marvelous main event

MJF and Sammy Guevara tore the house down in the main event of the evening. For a rivalry that has potential to last decades, their first singles encounter set a high standard to meet.

The bout kicked off with a rousing back and forth of counter tactics and one-upmanship. Neither got an edge in the exciting stalemate. MJF offered a handshake. Guevara wasn’t falling for any tricks, so he punched MJF in the face. During a pummeling in the corner, MJF used the referee intervention as an opportunity to thumb Guevara in the eye.

The action started cooking when Guevara connected on a double springboard cutter. MJF gained control by tossing Guevara into the guardrail. The contact left Sammy’s knee tender. MJF used tricky tactics to maintain momentum, like biting fingers and lifting the apron skirt to trap Guevara. MJF also countered a springboard attack into a Liger bomb.

Guevara dug deep to rally with a Spanish Fly off the middle rope, a corkscrew plancha down to the floor, and a springboard Cuban Destroyer. MJF grabbed a chair, but he held it in front of his face like a dummy for Guevara to land a dropkick to the steel. The impact knocked MJF over the barricade. Guevara pursued his prey with an amazing flying cannonball from the ring across the aisle over the barricade to land on MJF.

Guevara tried to end it with a 630 senton, however, MJF was savvy enough to lean into the ropes. That knocked Guevara off balance and ripe for the picking on a vicious jumping tombstone piledriver. Guevara was knocked silly. MJF hurt his knee and could not make a tight pin. The inefficient cover left room for the Spanish God to kick out.

MJF tried to continue, but his knee was too weak to execute maneuvers. That bought enough recovery time for Guevara to sneak an inside cradle, which MJF escaped on a two count. Guevara took advantage of his injured opponent for the GTH knee strike finisher. Guevara was sloppy on the pin and MJF’s feet were in the ropes to break the three count. Guevara went full-steam ahead for a 630 senton landing on a wide-eyed MJF. That wasn’t enough to keep the Pinnacle’s leader down.

At that moment, Shawn Spears entered the scene. Chris Jericho left the commentary table to even the odds. That turned out to be a trap with Wardlow attacking Le Champion from behind. Wardlow demanded the attention of the referee as he tossed Jericho off the stage. That’s when Spears whacked Guevara with a chair. Spears made a facial expression of sexual ecstasy. All MJF had to do was lay his arm over Guevara’s body for the 1, 2, 3.

Damn, that was a fun fight. The action had me on the edge of my seat from the start. The high spots were outstanding, and the bout had an excellent flow building to a tense climax. One of the talking points going in was how both are the future of the business. With this match, both men showed they are stars of today.

MJF’s knee injury was an interesting twist to add drama. As a viewer, I wasn’t a fan of the outside interference ruining an impressive contest. I rarely am. However, the finish made a lot of sense in execution. MJF was barely able to continue at that moment with his damaged knee. In that regard, it was an intelligent move for the Pinnacle to interfere. The shenanigans were also effective in building anticipation for a rematch. With both the injury and the interference, you can’t say one way or the other who is the better man between MJF and Guevara. I can’t wait to find out in a rematch.

Earlier in the show, MJF claimed he has outsmarted, outwrestled, and outclassed Jericho. Le Champion doesn’t know when to walk away. Jericho has turned into a joke. MJF wondered how low Jericho will go, so he plans to offer a set of stipulations to the Inner Circle leader in exchange for one final match. When MJF wins that one, then Jericho will have to leave him alone for good. The stipulations will be revealed next week.

The Elite

It was a stormy night for the Elite. The Young Bucks’ cheating backfired, and Kenny Omega may have a date with a former friend as his next world title challenger.

The Young Bucks opened the show in competition against Eddie Kingston & Pentagon. The stipulation was that a win earns a future tag title shot for King & Penta.

The Bucks worked to cut the ring off to isolate an opponent. Pentagon received the hot tag moment to almost finish Matt Jackson on a corkscrew Code Red. It sure seemed like referee Rick Knox’s hand tapped the mat full on the third count, but he judged that Matt kicked out in time. The crowd chanted that it was bad call from the referee.

The finish broke down into cheating. Nick Jackson grabbed the ref to shield his view from a mule kick low blow to Pentagon. The Bucks tried to add insult to injury by using the Lucha Bros’ flying stomp package piledriver finisher on Penta. Thankfully, Kingston made the save on the cover.

The Good Brothers arrived on the scene. Chaos broke out. Brandon Cutler tried to spray aerosol into Pentagon’s eyes, but Cutler inadvertently blinded Matt instead.

Frankie Kazarian ran in to bash Cutler. Pentagon took out the Good Brothers with a tope con hilo. Back in the ring, Pentagon crushed Matt with a package piledriver. Kingston unloaded a spinning backfist for Penta to pick up the winning pin. Kingston & Pentagon earned a title shot for next week.

It’s about time that the cheaters are eating a little bit of comeuppance. Kaz has become the great neutralizer to prevent shenanigans as best he can. The ball should be back in the Elite’s court to figure a counter tactic to Kaz. Or, perhaps the Bucks decide to prove they are the best tag team in the world by winning the match clean. I hope they follow Kenny Omega’s lead in how he defeated Jungle Boy. Rules were bent, but the champ succeeded on his own in the end.

On the bright side for the Bucks, they sported glorious new mustaches.

Kenny Omega also had a new facial hair look with the chin shaved out of his beard. He plans to take time off from AEW since there are no worthy title challengers at the moment. Evil Uno and the Dark Order came out to mention #1 ranked Hangman Page. Omega doesn’t think Hangman has the guts to face him, let alone Hangman believing in himself to become world champion. Omega bid the Dark Order adieu in an awkward exit to leave them looking like doofuses.

Later backstage, Hangman yelled at the Dark Order for speaking on his behalf. They told him not to be scared of failure. If he loses, just get back on the horse. Win or lose, the Dark Order is here for him. Alex Reynolds left the parting message that Hangman has waited long enough. It is the cowboy’s time.

The seeds have been planted to reignite the dynamite for one of AEW’s hottest angles. Omega versus Hangman for the AEW World Championship is something fans have been clamoring for ever since Omega defeated Hangman in the #1 contender final at Full Gear. It seems like that wish will coming true. The question is when. Omega might actually take a lighter AEW schedule to maintain good health for upcoming title fights outside the promotion. Omega has a date to defend the Impact World Championship against Sami Callihan at Slammiversary on July 17 and a date to defend the AAA Megacampeonato against Andrade at Triplemania XXIX on August 14.

TNT Championship

Miro’s latest victim was Brian Pillman Jr. The TNT Championship was on the line. Pillman hyped the bout by claiming it became personal when Miro attacked Griff Garrison. Pillman scoffed at Miro acting like a bully. He is going to show everyone that Miro is just a big Bulgarian bitch.

Unfortunately for Pillman, he had trouble backing up those words in the ring. He was nimble early, but it was only a matter of time before Miro put hands on him. The champ dominated the action with strikes, suplexes, and a fallaway slam.

Pillman found his window for a rally when Miro stalled to taunt the crowd after 9 chops. On the 10th chop, Pillman pulled Miro’s neck into the ropes. A springboard dropkick sent Miro to the floor. Pillman followed with a basement dropkick through the ropes. The challenger connected on a flying clothesline, but the champion kicked out at 1.

Pillman continued his assault with superkicks. Miro caught the third one to drop Pillman with a roundhouse kick. A jumping thrust kick softened Pillman enough to cinch in the Game Over camel clutch submission. Pillman refused to quit, so Miro bent backward to transition for a rear naked choke putting Pillman to sleep.

Decent match. The contest was fairly basic in story with three chapters. Miro was in control, Pillman came back, then Miro extinguished the heat for victory. Miro’s power game is always enjoyable. Pillman’s rally had a nice babyface pop to it.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

No match for you. The Men of the Year discussed Ethan Page’s coffin match challenge for Darby Allin. Page’s goal is to mentally cripple and exterminate Allin. Lights out. Lights on. It’s Sting! The Icon dragged a coffin to the ring. A vignette played of Allin burning a coffin with a flamethrower. Allin then popped out of the coffin on stage to attack Page. Sting took care of Scorpio Sky with a Scorpion Death Drop. Allin had extra long nails to gouge Page’s eyes.

Once All Ego escaped, he canceled the coffin match. He claimed that Allin tried to injure him intentionally, since Allin knows he can’t beat him at 100%. Page will only go through with the contest if Allin signs a contract not to touch him for one week before the fight.

This was a creative segment to push back the coffin match. It seemed like a pretty straightforward yes or no situation, but leave it to Allin to make it weird. I mean that in an interesting way. The idea of Allin using claws came out of nowhere, although, it completely fits with his personality. It also gives a sense to expect something absolutely crazy once the coffin match finally happens.

Jungle Boy defeated Jack Evans. The finish unfolded when JB flipped out of a super German suplex. Evans was trapped in the tree of woe, so Jungle Boy freed him with a dropkick to the face. That paved the way for the Snare Trap submission victory. Jungle Boy is the first to 50 career wins in AEW.

Energetic match. Both men offered flash and substance. I enjoy how Jungle Boy’s game is evolving with a variety of setups for the Snare Trap. That adds a nice element of surprise as a viewer.

There were also a pair of promos revolving around this match. Prior to the bout, Christian Cage spoke positively of Jungle Boy’s effort against Kenny Omega. Luchasaurus thanked Christian for watching JB’s back in his absence. Now, the dino will watch Christian’s back. As for Hardy, he enlisted Evans for the fight just to hurt Jungle Boy. Nobody sticks their nose in Hardy’s business without paying the price.

Since Evans didn’t get the job done, Hardy and Private Party came to the ring after the match. Christian ran in to tussle with Hardy and stand tall in the end.

Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Reba defeated Nyla Rose & Vickie Guerrero. Baker refused to face the Native Beast at first. Once the dentist aided with illegal contact from the outside, she officially entered the fray. Baker chopped Nyla down with kicks then got her Lockjaw glove ready. Baker turned around only to be goozled for a chokeslam. Nyla then landed her patented flying knee drop to Baker draped over the ropes. Reba made the save on the pin. Vickie tagged in and Nyla climbed the turnbuckles. Baker shoved Vickie into the corner knocking Nyla down. Baker promptly took advantage of the situation to secure the Lockjaw victory on Vickie. After the match, Nyla powerbombed Baker through a table.

The parts with Baker and Nyla were entertaining enough. The parts with Vickie and Reba were not. I’m not interested in wasting time on matches with people who aren’t wrestlers, or, in the case of Reba, pretend they aren’t wrestlers. I do have to admit that seeing Vickie in the Lockjaw was pretty funny as punishment for all her devious behavior over the years. The final table spot was badass. Baker is going to be in a rough spot trying to slay the beast. I didn’t see anything from this outing to convince me that Baker can defeat Nyla clean. Good thing the dentist has a knack for cheating.

Notes: Andrade will debut in the ring next week. El Idolo plans to make an example of Matt Sydal for interrupting him last week.

Team Taz is tired of the trifling between Ricky Starks and Brian Cage. That relationship has had a toxic effect on the whole squad. Taz booked a match to settle their differences. Brian Cage will defend the FTW title against a medically cleared Starks on July 14. Good job by Taz taking charge to provide a solution.

Jake Hager, Santana, & Ortiz were booked to wrestle FTR & Wardlow next week. Konnan and Tully Blanchard will be ringside. The Inner Circle cut a promo about kicking Pinnacle ass.

The show closed with a tribute video to AEW’s time in Jacksonville during the pandemic. AEW hits the road starting next week in Miami, FL.

Stud of the Show: Sammy Guevara

To use a new phrase I learned, Guevara showed up and showed out. He made a superstar impression in rising to the moment. MJF was a quality dance partner. I would have given the honor to him as the winner, but he cheated. Plus, Guevara’s dive over the railing was super awesome.

Dud of the Show: Jim Ross

I’m more relaxed about Good ol’ JR’s foibles than others, but he made quite the blunder as the show was going off the air. When Ross hyped tickets for sale, he said, “There is nothing in your life that will top seeing a live WWE Dynamite.” This is one of those mistakes that he can’t allow himself to make anymore.

Grade: B+

AEW delivered two weeks in a row on a great main event. The rest was solid programming with entertaining matches and promos as a stepping stone to advance the story.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?

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