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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (June 29, 2022): Blood & Guts

AEW Dynamite (June 29, 2022) emanated from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI. The show featured Blood & Guts with teams captained by Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston, Orange Cassidy showing his strength, and Billy Gunn angry at his sons.

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

Blood & Guts

The next chapter of the war between Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston took place in the vaunted Blood & Guts format. Two rings were surrounded by a steel cage designed for utter chaos. Violence and blood were the order of the evening, and it was a fitting method to hash out the beef between the Wizard and the Mad King.

Jericho was joined by Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Daniel Garcia, Daddy Magic, and Cool Hand. Kingston’s crew consisted of Jon Moxley, Santana, Ortiz, Wheeler Yuta, and Claudio Castagnoli. Jim Ross was brought out for commentary. A hype package with comments from Dean Malenko and Ruby Soho played before the cage structure lowered. The big fight feel was radiating.

Rules dictated 1-on-1 for the first four minutes. Jericho’s team earned the one-man advantage, so new participants alternated every three minutes. Once all 12 men with inside the cage, victory would be determined by submission or surrender.

The Jericho Appreciation Society entered with flash wearing red fedoras, red mesh shirts, red suspenders, red leather pants, and red shoes. That’s sports entertainment.

Kingston’s squad entered wearing tattered rags. Well, not quite that bad, but there was no comparison in the style department.

Sammy and Claudio kicked off the match. Claudio absolutely dominated with power control. Garcia was the third man into the cage. There was no mistaking his sports entertainer personality while wearing a red durag. Despite being double-teamed Claudio still had the strength edge. The rest of the entrants played out in order as Wheeler Yuta, Jake Hager, Jon Moxley with a chair, Cool Hand, Ortiz, Daddy Magic with a chair, Santana with a table and a barbed wire bat, Jericho with Floyd the bat, and Kingston with a kendo stick.

Early highlights were William Regal frothing on commentary over Claudio and Hager battling as gladiators, Moxley stabbing Garcia with a fork for first blood, Moxley emptying a bag of shattered glass to piledrive Cool Hand, Moxley grabbing a glass shard to cut Hager’s head, and Moxley sticking wood skewers into Daddy magic’s head.

On the unfortunate side, it appeared that Santana tweaked his knee executing a uranage during his opening salvo. The injury must have been serious, because he pretty much sat on the apron for the rest of the match.

Upon Kingston’s entrance, the time came for a showdown with Jericho. Le Champion happened to be the only man standing at that moment. Kingston would not be denied his justice. He whacked away with the kendo stick as Jericho cowered in the corner.

The next big spot was a double powerbomb to Hager through a table.

That was followed by Moxley slamming Daddy Magic onto thumbtacks.

The first potential finish came from Moxley with a bulldog choke on Daddy Magic. Jericho squirted rubbing alcohol in Mox’s eyes for the save then landed a Judas Effect. Jericho had Moxley in danger after a knee to the cojones, a DDT onto tacks, and the Walls of Jericho submission. Kingston threw tacks in Jericho’s face for the save.

As if the fight wasn’t chaotic enough, it was time to increase the level of mayhem. Tay Conti was ringside for support. She beat up the referees to steal the key and open the door to release Jericho free. Ruby Soho ran down to brawl with Conti. The Wizard climbed to the top of the cage. Kingston gave chase and connected with a spinning backfist high above.

Kingston threatened to toss Jericho off the cage. Sammy climbed up to make the save. Unfortunately for the Spanish God, Kingston threw him instead crashing down onto a table.

Jericho and Kingston exchanged blows with Jericho gaining the edge for the Walls of Jericho. Claudio climbed up to save his teammate. Claudio then executed the giant swing on Jericho for the coolest visual of the match.

Daddy Magic was up top to even the odds, but it didn’t work out in favor of the Jericho Appreciation Society. Kingston locked in a stretch plum on Jericho, and Claudio cinched a Sharpshooter on Daddy Magic. Claudio earned the tap out from Daddy Magic to win the match.

Kingston was angry at Claudio for a moment, because his revenge to submit Jericho was not granted. Claudio ‘stole’ the win before that could happen. Cooler heads prevailed from Kingston to celebrate with his team on top of the cage.

Blood & Guts certainly delivered blood and guts. There was a lot to like and also a lot to pick apart depending on your preferences. It was a popcorn flick with one instance of violence after the next. The flow did well setting up numerous memorable moments. For example, the first time Kingston charged for Jericho was electric. I could have done without the garbage violence aspect. I’m not a fan of using objects that could murder an opponent, such as shards of broken glass. I prefer to watch Bryan Danielson’s stance of relying on his fists and skills to produce violence.

The closing stanza atop the cage was full of drama. I had an uneasy feeling the entire time when Jericho and Kingston were dueling. Nobody wants to see someone accidentally crash through the roof. That feeling was the type of tension that enhanced the senses and forced focus as a viewer. Sammy being tossed was clearly more on the stunt side, so that was easier to enjoy as it happened. Claudio’s giant swing gave me visions of horror at the idea of Jericho flying through the air, even though, it was one badass moment.

The finish wasn’t so satisfying, in my opinion. Not that I wanted Kingston to submit Jericho. They deserve their own singles match down the line as the final chapter. It’s more that the finish involved Claudio and Daddy Magic. Claudio is too new to be a defining player in this feud, and Daddy Magic is arguably the weakest participant with Cool Hand. Adding on top of that, they are trying to build a story between Claudio and Kingston without extinguishing the business at hand. The whole finish felt more of a building block rather than an emphatic period. I’d like to think Blood & Guts should be too big for that, but the first edition was also used as a way to further the story. I guess Blood & Guts is just supposed to be cotton candy, and that’s okay.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Orange Cassidy defeated Ethan Page. Cassidy entered to a new theme song, “Jane,” by Jefferson Starship.

Dan Lambert requested the referee eject Trent and Chuck Taylor from ringside due to not possessing a manager’s license. Those were the rules. Page overpowered Cassidy until the final rally. A stunner and tornado DDT set up for a Superman punch. Lambert hopped onto the apron as a distraction. OC took a sip of Lambert’s OJ, hit the Superman punch on Page, spit juice in Lambert’s face, and hit a second Superman punch on Page. Cassidy had been working for a body slam the entire match. He finally succeeded in the end with a body slam to win. The Best Friends returned to give the people what they want and hug Cassidy.

This was my first time experiencing Cassidy entering to his indie theme song, and my initial reaction is that the sound falls flat on the big stage. Too much crowd noise drowns out the beat. The song is a slow-starter, and there’s not enough time to get to the groove. As for the match, it told a story within itself. That’s a positive. Cassidy’s brand of wrestling is not my style. Instead of squeezing a dry orange, I’ll be moving on to the next item.

Christian Cage doubles down. Christian was asked by management to apologize for his comments toward the Perry family last week when ridiculing Jungle Boy. Christian was sorry. Sorry that their entire family isn’t dead. Well, except for mama Perry. Christian made the ‘call me’ hand signal to insinuate he wanted to shag.

Damn. Christian is a heat magnet. The Motor City sweathogs in attendance rained down boos, so job well down by Christian. Once again, Christian’s material was ruthless yet humorous. The funny jibes did not overshadow his lecherous behavior, and he remains a top villain.

To make this segment even more shocking, Christian introduced Luchasaurus to the ring to guide as coach.

Luchasaurus defeated Serpentico. Easy win with a headbutt, two wheelbarrow slam variations, and a Snare Trap nerve hold for the submission. Afterward, Christian ordered more pain, so the dino goozled Serpentico for a chokeslam on the floor.

Booooo! I can’t believe Luchasaurus would betray his buddy like that. The squash was effective with the storytelling of using the Snare Trap nerve hold to rub in Jungle Boy’s face. The promo and match are helping to build up a thunderous pop for when JB returns.

Danhausen & FTR defeated Max Caster & Gunn Club. Prior to the show, the Gunn Club issued a challenge for revenge on Danhausen. They allowed the very evil gremlin to pick his own partners.

Caster rapped to the ring as only he can.

The surprise reveal was FTR stepping in. The bad guys isolated Danhausen leading to a hot tag for FTR to clean house with German suplexes. Danhausen reentered with momentum on his team’s side. Billy Gunn distracted the referee, so Anthony Bowens could rise from his wheelchair. Bowens tried to use his crutch as a foreign object, but it backfired when he accidentally clobbered Colten for Danhausen to pin.

After the match, the Gunn sons were upset and shoved the Acclaimed. Billy exploded to shove his own birth sons before embracing his favorite sons, Max and Anthony. The Ass Boys exited without Papa Ass.

Well, that segment had a high degree of unexpectedness. FTR was not on my list of Danhasuen associates. Bowens not needing a wheelchair was a nice swerve. Too bad they couldn’t save it for a moment with stakes. That’s not a knock on the story. There’s just nothing for them to wrestle for. Bring on the trios titles! Billy shoving his own sons was another surprising stroke. I’m not sure where this leads, however, I’m all in to find out. These are the kind of mid-card stories wrestling needs to elevate talent.

TBS Championship: Jade Cargill retained against Leila Grey. This match was set up as an open challenge issued late the night before. Kiera Hogan and Stokely Hathaway were ringside. Jade powered through her opponent. Grey scored some offense when Jade lost focus to showboat, but the champ quickly regrouped for a pump kick and Jaded to win.

There’s not much to discuss about the squash match. There’s a lot to discuss about the post-match shenanigans.

Jade demanded better competition. Hathaway chided Kris Statlander and Athena for being lazy. They had the opportunity to accept this open challenge, but they were nowhere to be found. Like clockwork, Statlander and Athena sprinted to the ring at the mention of their names. They cleaned house on the Baddies and held Jade to set up a teamwork attack. Hathaway was seen speaking in Grey’s ear. Grey shoved Athena off the turnbuckles for the Baddies to dish out pain. It appeared that Grey wanted to be the newest Baddie, but Jade wasn’t having it.

There were a lot of little things going on in that scene. Hathaway is someone you always have to keep an eye on to see when he’s scheming. Grey was there to shoot her shot twice. First with the title match and second with a Baddies audition. Even though Jade was put off, it sets the tone to expect the unexpected in the future with the Baddies recruitment process. The run-in from Statlander and Athena did well to keep them hot on the burner for individual showdowns with Jade.

Notes: Wardlow wants the TNT Championship from Scorpio Sky. The champ warned that it won’t be like fighting security guards. Wardlow was so confident that he invited every member of American Top Team to be ringside. He’ll beat them up and still win the title. Sky upped the stakes to a street fight. In my opinion, Wardlow is talking a little too big for his britches. He’s tough against mall cops, but his bravado may backfire against an army of trained martial artists. This might be setting up for Sky to retain.

Jay Lethal wants Samoa Joe to sign on the dotted line to defend the ROH TV title at the upcoming ROH PPV on July 23.

The Young Bucks reached the promise land as tag champs, but all their friends are injured. Even Brandon Cutler was missing. They had to hire an intern for the camera. The Bucks can’t find anyone in the locker room who can relate to them, except... The tag team belts. With the Forbidden Door still cracked open, the Bucks will wrestle Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi. If the NJPW stars win, they will earn a title shot. The big takeaway was Matt Jackson alluding to Hangman Page as their only pal left. Nick Jackson did not pick up Matt’s longing for the cowboy and shot right past it.


Stud of the Show: Claudio Castagnoli

Claudio had the best moment with the giant swing on top of the cage, and he also earned the win for Blood & Guts. In addition, Claudio was the strongest star in the bout. He was clearly a level above his opponents with power and technical savvy. That was the kind of performance to position Claudio as a world title contender.

Match of the Night: Blood & Guts

The main event was the focal point of the broadcast, and it produced chaos as advertised. It was a true spectacle in a good sense.

Grade: B

Half the show was the Blood & Guts main event, so the grade will depend heavily on one’s enjoyment of that contest. The first half of the show was a bit weak in matchmaking, however, it did well producing stories.

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