AEW Dynamite (June 1, 2022) emanated from The Forum in Los Angeles, CA. The fallout to Double or Nothing featured CM Punk welcoming a challenger from NJPW, MJF shooting a fiery promo, and Blood & Guts on the horizon.
Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
CM Punk answers Forbidden Door
CM Punk was riding high as new AEW world champion. As such, duties include hyping the next PPV. AEW crosses over with NJPW for the Forbidden Door show on June 26. Punk needed a challenger for the main event. But first, he had business to attend to in the ring.
Punk teamed with FTR for trios action against Max Caster and the Gunn Club. Platinum Max spit some rhymes, but the real joy was brought by Anthony Bowens scissoring with daddy Billy.
Punk and FTR were too much to handle in the ring. Punk gave Cash Wheeler a boost to fly over the ropes onto Colten and Caster. Punk landed a flying elbow drop on Austin. That’s when papa Billy created a distraction on the apron. Austin attempted to capitalize with a Fameasser, but Punk countered into a powerbomb toss onto father Gunn. Punk and FTR finished Austin with a GTS and Big Rig combo for victory.
Afterward, Punk wondered aloud who was next. NJPW superstar Hiroshi Tanahashi walked out on stage.
Tanahashi’s résumé includes numerous championships in NJPW. He has held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship eight times. That seems like a fantastic challenge for the Best in the World. For those unfamiliar with Tanahashi, I have been informed that this is a very big deal. Punk versus Tanahashi is not official yet despite all signs pointing that way.
Over to the trios match, that was a fun bout to watch. Even though the result was obvious, they made it easy to get lost in the moment. FTR worked well to pop the crowd for the first tag to Punk. Bowens was amusing when using his crutch for a cheapshot while seated in his wheelchair. I was impressed by the Gunn sons. Their game has really improved over the months. Austin and Colten aren’t much of a threat yet, but their personalities fit right in alongside the major star power of Punk and FTR.
As for Hangman Page’s worries about Punk being evil, there were zero hints of that on this episode. Punk soaked in the cheers and leaped off stage into the arms of fans. The partnership between Punk and FTR was explained as mutual respect after Punk wrestled Harwood in a singles contest. Punk’s promo was babyface style talking about mistakes as learning moments and having work to do as champion.
MJF wants his money
One of the more intriguing developments over Double or Nothing weekend was the mystery of MJF. On the PPV, he was squashed by Wardlow in a powerbomb symphony. Away from the PPV, there were rumors that MJF was fed up with his contract status and contemplated a no-show to make a statement. Whatever the real story was, AEW turned it into a promo segment during Dynamite.
MJF was angry about the lack of respect he receives. More specifically, MJF was upset about not receiving more money in a bigger contract. He felt that he outperformed his current salary, and that Tony Khan should pony up the cash that he deserves. MJF claimed to be capable of carrying the company. He is the only person that makes the viewers feel, and he doesn’t have to do a bunch of bullshit in the ring to achieve that. MJF didn’t even want to be in AEW anymore. His diatribe climaxed calling Khan a f’ing mark with a request to be fired.
There’s a lot to unpack in that promo. The emotion and delivery were excellent. MJF was right. I did feel that promo. He made logical points for a disgruntled employee. I like how MJF didn’t accept the fan cheers. When they started to be supportive, he cut them down to size with insults. MJF stayed true to MJF.
From a story perspective, MJF’s promo fell flat for me. I’m not a fan of breaking the wall to make wins and losses unimportant. I also think it is missing something to root for. Why do I care if a rich jerk wants more money? MJF’s direct ire is toward Khan. On Khan’s side, why should I root for him? I think most will agree that MJF should get a pay raise. Either Khan gives in and looks bad, or he refuses and looks bad. The problem with that is no AEW fans are clamoring to boo TK. On top of that, I’m not seeing the big picture how this can be settled in the ring.
All in all, the bottom line is positive in that MJF has my attention to see how this story shakes out.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
Miro returned to defeat Johnny Elite. Johnny had an open challenge. Miro accepted with an interesting promo as the Redeemer. His neck of sand is fixed, but his heart is broken. Miro plans to redeem the bastards, punks, cowards, and pagans of AEW. Those good deeds will bring him back to the kingdom of heaven, where he can find his god and take what is his.
Miro proceeded to punish Johnny. Mr. Elite rallied but missed a leaping attack. Miro crushed him with a pump kick and Game Over camel clutch.
Miro didn’t miss a beat with his promos. He kept along the same lines as the Redeemer. I like that his neck is now fixed. Last we saw Miro, his neck was presented as an Achilles’ heel. The gameplan was out on how to defeat him. With that behind him, Miro can move onward and upward. Johnny’s fighting spirit was exciting. He pushed Miro back by using movement to create openings. When Johnny got too fancy, he paid the price. That Game Over finisher was a doozy of a visual as Miro bent Johnny in half.
Blood & Guts! The Jericho Appreciation Society flapped their gums about winning Anarchy in the Arena. Eddie Kingston came out flanked by a seething William Regal. Kingston wanted a rematch in Blood & Guts. Jericho laughed it off, so Kingston ran toward the ring. He was beat up by Jake Hager, Daddy Magic, and Cool Hand. That left Jericho unprotected for Ortiz to hit him with a madball. Ortiz then cut a lock of Jericho’s hair. That enraged the Wizard to the point of accepting the match as long as he gets Ortiz in hair versus hair.
This segment was good silly and cheesy silly at the same time. Jericho’s hypocritical audacity made me laugh by wondering what kind of man burns another man. Certainly not a wizard with a fireball. Jericho being goaded into Blood & Guts because Ortiz cut his hair was a stretch too much. I do like that we’ll get a hair versus hair match. That should be quality sports entertainment. Jericho once again suckered his foes into his specialty.
Young Bucks, reDRagon, & Hikuleo defeated Matt Hardy, Darby Allin, Christian Cage, & Jurassic Express. The high-octane ten-man action was all over the place. In the end, the Bucks erupted for superkick parties and pinned Jungle Boy on a Meltzer Driver. Afterward, Hardy tried to console JB, but Christian Cage got in the way to make sure only he could mentor his pupil.
The action was fast and furious with tons of highlights. Sometimes things can be too jumbled with that many participants, however, this bout was the good standard of what you would expect from the talent involved. Everyone had their moments to shine.
I’m not a fan of Jungle Boy eating the pin. At first, I thought it was a way to hot shot the Bucks into a tag title match for their hometown crowd on Rampage. I could understand that and accept it. When it was announced that the Bucks would wrestle the Lucha Bros on Rampage, that made me sour on Jungle Boy’s loss. Pinning champions should be rare.
Wardlow defeated JD Drake. Two powerbombs sealed the deal in a quick match. Afterward, Wardlow was interrupted by Mark Sterling, Esq. serving a class action lawsuit on behalf of innocent security guards Wardlow has tormented with pain. Wardlow’s response was to powerbomb the man that handed him the envelope.
Wardlow is ranked #1. He won’t be losing any time soon. CM Punk and Scorpio Sky are both establishing their title runs. That makes Sterling a good foil to buy time until AEW is ready to put Wardlow in the championship picture. I’m curious who Sterling will recruit to fight this battle. If Tony Nese can’t hang with Hook, then I doubt he would be effective against Wardlow.
Toni Storm & Ruby Soho defeated Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Jamie Hayter. Soho connected on the No Future kick. Baker kicked out and went for the Lockjaw. Soho blocked. Roll-ups were exchanged. Soho landed a stiff knee leading to Destination Unknown to win.
Very good match. It was rugged and crafty. I appreciate a clean finish for this contest. Reba was there on the outside but barely noticeable. I’m surprised Baker ate the pin. That added a nice touch of unpredictability down the stretch. The question is if Soho will be satisfied by finally beating the DMD in a match. It wasn’t singles, but it may have to do.
Jon Moxley defeated Daniel Garcia. Garcia struck with a headbutt to bust open Mox’s forehead stitches. Blood gushed. In the end, Jericho ran down from commentary as a distraction. Eddie Kingston joined him for a fight on the floor. During that hullabaloo, Mox countered a roll-up with a knee strike and a Paradigm Shift to win. Afterward, Moxley gladly joined Kingston’s team for Blood & Guts on June 29.
Moxley and Garcia had one heck a duel. The flow was on point with good chemistry. The back and forth of hammering elbows is a strong detail to display familiarity of tactics. When Garcia hit the piledriver, I was hoping AEW would pull the trigger on the upset to give Garcia a feather in his sports entertainer hat. Moxley’s counter to the sharpshooter was sweet. Garcia wrenched back too far, so Mox grabbed his neck. Moxley and Garcia feel like a pair that could fight forever as a main event feud once Garcia’s status increases.
A straight-up team rematch for Blood & Guts doesn’t enthuse me that much on paper. I know I’ll be excited the day of though. Topping Anarchy in the Arena is a tough task. The way Moxley joined Kingston’s team made me wonder if there will be a little variety for Blood & Guts. Will circumstances require Kingston to assemble a team of killers? Bringing in a little fresh blood could make the rematch more intriguing.
Notes: Vince Vaughn and Macaulay Culkin were both shown on camera as fans.
Samoa Joe was attacked by Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh backstage at Double or Nothing. They used a chair to damage Joe’s shoulder and arm.
Whether as a tag team or singles, we will bask in the glory of Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland.
Athena came to AEW for the great competition in the women’s division. All streaks are made to be broken, and she will break Jade Cargill’s winning streak as TBS champion. Jade interrupted with the Baddies and publicist Stokely Hathaway. Anna Jay and Kris Statlander evened the odds. Officials intervened to prevent fisticuffs.
.@AthenaPalmer_FG gets her warm welcome to #AEW interrupted by TBS Champion @Jade_Cargill, the Baddies and new publicist #StokelyHathaway! It’s #AEWDynamite LIVE on @TBSNetwork! pic.twitter.com/NHjwDxCGv7— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 2, 2022
Scorpio Sky sees Dante Martin’s potential for the future. Potential won’t be enough in the TNT title match on Rampage. Martin begged to differ. He aims to prove he’s better than Sky right now.
Stud of the Show: Miro
The Redeemer returned with a sharp promo and a sharper victory.
Match of the Night: Jon Moxley vs. Daniel Garcia
Violence, pain, and torture.
I’m leaning heavily on the entertainment factor this week. There were surprises, intriguing story developments, and enjoyable wrestling action. The energy was electric throughout Dynamite.
Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?