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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
JUNE 11, 2021
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcers: Justin Roberts
-They showed The Pinnacle arriving at the arena, getting out of a limo. The announcers said this is the first time they’ve seen them since Double or Nothing. Ross said business is about to pick up.
-The Dynamite opening theme aired.
-Matt Hardy stood in the ring with Angelico and Jack Evans. Matt said Christian Cage has been jealous of him for so long because he’s made so much more money than him in this industry. He said Angelico was going to utilize his wisdom to end Christian’s wrestling career tonight. He said he will never financially recover from this.
(1) ANGELICO (w/Jack Evans, Matt Hardy) vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE
Christian took Angelico to the mat seconds into the match into a side headlock. Angelico quickly escaped. Good back and forth action for several minutes. Christian landed a diving headbutt for a near fall at 6:00. Ross suggested banning the diving headbutt after Schiavone noted it’s a dangerous move for both men. Later, Christian landed a flying European uppercut. Christian sold his left arm throughout the match, but managed to execute a Kill Switch for the win. He eyed Matt Hardy before hitting the move.
WINNER: Christian in 9:00.
-Jack Evans entered the ring right afterward and went after Christian. Christian knocked him out of the ring. Hardy then surprised Christian from behind with a Twist of Fate. Angelico lifted Hardy and he set up another move, but Jungle Boy made the save. Hardy and Angelico bailed out.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good opening match start to finish. Angelico has always seemed like a sleeper talent on the AEW roster just hanging out having good showings on Dark but never getting much of a chance on Dynamite. Hardy is a convincing shallow heel act right now. He’s better when he’s straight forward and sticking to timeless basics in terms of his character. The slime, money-obsessed, shallow, cheap shot artist act is a good role for him now.)
-The announcers hyped upcoming matches. [c]
-Excalibur hyped tickets for the four Wednesday Night Dynamites in July 7 in Miami Fla. (“Road Rager”), July 14 in Cedar Park, Tex. (“Fyter Fest 1”), July 21 in Garland, Tex. (“Fyter Fest 2”), and July 28 in Charlotte, N.C. (“Fight for the Fallen”).
-Schiavone stood mid-ring. He said next week would feature an AEW debut. He said next week Q.T. Marshall & Aaron Solow would face Cody and the debut of Brock Anderson, the son of Arn Anderson. (There was a brief heartbeat skip when he said Brock and paused before saying Anderson.) Cody made his ring entrance. Cody, Arn, and Brock entered the ring as Cody’s music played. Cody said Brock will show that he wasn’t born on third base, but he’ll steal home and go on to hit home runs. He said some fathers have set some ungodly standards, but if anyone can do it, Brock Anderson can do it. He said he did get beat last week by Anthony Ogogo.
Q.T. Marshall walked out and interrupted Cody. He said he beat Cody all by himself in the middle of the ring. He said he’s all by himself this week, too. He said enough with these vanity projects, second-generation nepotism. He asked Brock if he wanted pyro, too, “or maybe we just bring you right down from the ceiling.” He said he’s sick of it. He told the fans to keep their mouths shut.
He told Cody what makes Cody who he is is the fans. “No, not the IWC, the actual paying customer,” he said. He said when AEW goes back on the road, he wants a full house to see him whoop his ass. He entered the ring and said he means that literally, not metaphorically. He challenged him to a South Beach Strap Match. Cody yanked off his belt and said they could do it right now. Marshall took off his belt and whipped Arn in the back. Brock tackled Marshall and punched away at him. Five referees ran out to separate Brock from Marshall.
(Keller’s Analysis: Marshall, as usual, is about as bland as it gets, but this week he was bland in a way that made you want to see Cody kick his ass, so that’s probably a best case scenario for him. Brock didn’t leap off the page in any way, but he seemed affable. This actually felt like an old Memphis Wrestling angle with Tony Schiavone in the Lance Russell or Dave Brown role. And that’s not a bad thing.)
-Pac and Penta El Zero Mieda made their ring entrance first. As Eddie Kingston came out, a soundbite aired with Eddie standing with Penta and Pac. As Eddie spoke, Pac looked off to the side. Eddie asked Pac if he heard him, and Pac turned and gave him a death stare before turning to leave.
-The Young Bucks and Brandon Cutler, with Don Callis, made their entrance next.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nick Jackson is one of the more amazing character transformations this year. He went from seeming checked out and disinterested most of this year to one of the leap-off-the-screen heels in terms of his obnoxious mannerisms and charisma. He just steals the scene from Matt, who’s also hilariously great at being a heel right now. They are an example, too, of what a big difference taking ring gear seriously can do for an act. It’s such an upgrade. They went from some of the most amateurish outdated “ironic wink-wink” gear to maybe having the best ring gear in the business right now. Their ring entrance is one of the highlights of pro wrestling each week right now. The body language and mannerisms of Nick when he entered the ring and looked over at his opponents was top shelf awesome heel work.)
(2) PAC & PENTA EL ZERO MIEDA & EDDIE KINGSTON vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson) & BRANDON CUTLER
When Ross asked what Cutler does and if he actually gets paid, Callis said he get paid with experience as an intern and is a hell of a massage therapist. Pac demanded Cutler tag in. Matt liked the idea and smirked, but then took a cheap shot at Pac. Pac blocked it and tossed him around the ring. Nick held up Cutler’s hand and Matt tagged him in. Cutler didn’t want to enter, but Matt yanked the top rope to send him into the ring via flip. Pac took it to Cutler.
Pac held Cutler’s legs as Penta tagged in and dropkicked his butt. The announcers debated what body part(s) or area got kicked. When Kingston tagged in Pac, they had an uneasy stare down for a few seconds. Pac threw Cutler into the corner with the Bucks and called for one of them to enter. Matt entered and Pac beat him up. Nick trash-talked him from the stage. Pac mocked the Bucks pose, then knocked Nick off the ring apron. Pac kicked away at Matt, but then Nick tripped Pac from ringside and yanked him to the floor. Pac backdropped a charging Cutler, but got kicked by Matt. They cut to a split-screen break with the Bucks in control of Pac in the ring. [c/ss]
Back from the break, the Bucks were still in control. Pac teased a comeback and Ross talked about how resilient Pac is both mentally and physically. Pac hesitated to tagging Kingston, but finally did. Kingston clobbered Cutler and the Bucks with punches. He gave Matt an overhead suplex, then caught Nick diving at him and turned it into an exploder. Eddie played to the crowd, then tagged in Penta. The Bucks mistakenly superkicked Cutler. Penta then beat up both Bucks until Cutler tripped him. Nick mistakenly kicked Cutler. Penta gave Nick a backstabber off the ring apron into the arms of Cutler. Penta then scored a near fall in the ring on Matt, with Cutler breaking up the cover. Excalibur noted they just passed the ten minute mark of a 20 minute time limit match.
Kingston no-sold a couple Nick strikes and then whipped him into the ropes. Nick ducked and nailed Eddie with a hard clothesline. Penta arm dragged Nick, who rolled to the floor. Penta then flip dove onto both Cutler and Nick at ringside. Pac landed his Black Arrow on Matt and then applied a Brutalizer. Nick kicked Pac to try to break it. Pac held on despite three stomps. Eddie then gave Nick a step-up enzuigiri. Eddie begged Pac to do stereo dives onto Nick and Cutler. Pac agreed. They landed it. Matt rolled up Pac from behind and yanked on his trunks for a near fall. Pac blocked a superkick and then threw his own kicks. Nick kicked Pac from behind. Matt then powerbombed Pac into the corner where Cutler and Nick kicked him. Matt tagged in Cutler, who springboard elbow dropped toward Pac. Pac moved. Eddie landed a spinning back-fist to Cutler and then Pac scored a three count.
WINNERS: Kingston & Pac & Penta in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really fun match in a lot of ways. The athleticism and highspots were a blast. The comedy with Cutler was just the right dose and played with just the right tone. The tension with Eddie and Pac that morphed into a reluctant but perhaps blossoming toleration of Eddie by Pac was well told. Matt and Nick’s mannerisms and bumps were excellent.)
-After the match, the Bucks attacked Pac, Eddie, and Penta. Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson joined in the attack. Frankie Kazarian made the save. Excalibur called Kazarian “the elite hunter.” Kaz cleared the ring of the Bucks, then at the encouragement of Kingston, charged at Cutler with a running clothesline.
-A video package aired on the Kenny Omega vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Pac match at Double or Nothing. [c]
-MJF led The Pinnacle to the ring – Tully Blanchard, Cash Wheeler, Dax Harwood, Shawn Spears, and Wardlow. Excalibur said they let the chance to end Inner Circle slip through their fingers. Dax said they missed an opportunity at Double or Nothing, but that match wasn’t designed for men like them. Dax said Santana & Ortiz earned their respect during Stadium Stampede. He said the four of them aren’t that different. He said they’re hard-nosed Carolina boys and Santana & Ortiz are street wise from the Bronx. He said they both came from nothing and adversity and made something of themselves, but he said Santana & Ortiz have lost their edge. He said that’s why they tried to end their careers. Dax said he has a family and he needs to fill up his bank account.
Cash said he doesn’t have a family, and that means he doesn’t give a shit about them. He said they’ve built their legacy, whereas Santana & Ortiz are content being a footnote in someone else’s legacy.
Spears stepped up and said Sammy Guevara had a moment of a lifetime at his expense. He said he got lucky, that’s all. He said that doesn’t make him a hero. He’s just a glorified indy wrestler. “This is what professionals look like,” he said. He got so worked up, Tully stepped up and calmed him down. Spears stepped back.
Wardlow addressed Jake Hager. He accused Hager of being obsessed with him. He said in every fight they have, he brings out the best in him. He said he has invited him to his comfort zone, knowing he can never beat him in this ring. He said next week, he’ll show he can beat him in a ring, a freezer, a football field, or an octagon. “When you’re standing across from me, you’re always in Wardlow’s world,” he said. “I accept.”
MJF said everyone in the ring is angry, but he’s tired. He said he’s tired of people telling him he has something to prove when the reality is he’s already the best. He said becoming the best so young, so far, that’s daunting. He said fans will never understand because they can’t relate because they’ll never be the best at anything.
MJF said he grew up idolizing Jericho. He said he watched every match and promo and read every book. He said in 2019, at the Double or Nothing rally, when he was done talking, there was Jericho power-walking past him. He said his heart was beating a million miles a minute because he knew he’d have the opportunity to work with him, tag with him, and wrestle him. He said it should have been a dream come true, but it wasn’t. He said it haunted him at night until he realized he had idolized a false god. He said it turned out Jericho was like everyone else, “not even remotely on my level.” He said he’s already defeated Jericho twice, so he has nothing to prove to Jericho or the fans. “Your match request is denied, bud,” he said.
He addressed Guevara next. He said he’s not surprised he let Jericho talk for him because he has the same speaking skills as Helen Keller. He told Guevara to keep his name out of his mouth “because I’m better than you and you know it.”
Jericho showed up on the big screen with a baseball bat. He said MJF bested them with another soliloquy. He said he can brag about it with his little buddies as he walks home. The camera turned and then Sammy began smashing the windshield of The Pinnacle’s limo. Jericho bashed the door. Santana & Ortiz spray-painted it. Santana punctured the wheel, then they went back to bashing it with bat and sledgehammer. MJF threw a fit and said it’s illegal. They cut to Hager who was driving a forklift. He charged at the limo full speed and punctured the limo. He then lifted the limo. Jericho said they better call an Uber. Guevara said he’ll face MJF any day of the week. As they rode off on the fork lift, they gave Pinnacle middle fingers.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was a nice limo. That was an expensive angle! That was way past surface-level damage. Really good segment all around. The Pinnacle were rattled and rationalizing their loss. They set up their future matches. MJF made the Jericho singles match more elusive and thus a bigger deal when it does happen.) [c]
-Darby, with Sting by his side, said he’s not replacing Sting. He said he wants a handicapped match against Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page. He told Sting to stay home next week. Sting tried to counter him. Darby said he’s not stupid. He said he got the win at Double or Nothing, and he wants to prove to both of them that he’s better than them. Sting said he is who he is because he’s Darby, not because of him. He said he won the TNT Title without him. Darby told Sting all he wants is him to stay home. Sting gave in and agreed. He offered a fist bump. Darby said he respects Sting. He then fist-bumped him back.
-Ross said Darby just made a very dangerous decision. Excalibur said those are the types of decisions that made him who he is.
(Keller’s Analysis: That first hour was a major comeback hour for Dynamite after last week’s weak showing.)
-A vignette aired with Evil Uno talking about what Brodie Lee meant to him. He said he looked up to him and he wants to make him proud. He said he wants to bring the TNT Championship back to Dark Order. He told Miro he’ll find out just how devious he can be.
(3) MIRO vs. EVIL UNO (w/Dark Order) – TNT Title match
Ross said since Miro got serious and got away from Kip Sabian, he has been a force in the business. Schiavone agreed and touted his intensity from the first second he appears on the stage until after the bell rings. Miro took Uno to the mat and applied a front chancery. He body slammed Uno and then gloated a bit. Miro no-sold two Uno chops and charged at him. Uno side-stepped him and Miro dropped to the floor. Miro was fuming and dragged Uno to ringside. He swung at Uno, but Uno ducked and then Miro’s hand hit the post. Uno flip dove onto Miro at ringside.
Back in the ring Uno caught Miro with two boots, but Miro overhead tossed him to the mat and then caught his breath as they cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Miro methodically beat up Uno during the break. Stu Grayson and Alan Angels ran to ringside and gave him a pep talk. Ross said it’s a longshot, but it only takes three seconds for Uno to upset Miro. Miro clotheslined Grayson over the barricade. He went after Angels, but Angles retreated.
Miro returned to the ring, but Uno caught him with a jawbreaker. Uno splashed Miro in the corner, then took him down with a boot. Excalibur said it was a Brodie Lee style big boot. He climbed to the top rope and landed a senton. Miro kicked out at one. Dark Order came back onto the ramp and cheered on Uno including Negative One (Brodie Lee’s son). Miro countered Uno and rolled him up for a near fall. Uno shoved Miro into the exposed turnbuckle; Miro removed it earlier in the match. Uno then scored a dramatic near fall on Miro. Uno landed a discus lariat, but Miro brushed it off and took Uno down hard with a forearm. He looked over at Dark Order, then put Uno in his finisher and got the tapout.
WINNER: Miro in 9:00 to retain the TNT Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was on the higher end of what could have been achieved with these two. Entertaining. This is a version of Miro who can be top level and also get booed by fans. No sense of humor, not cute clever comments; just badass and mean.)
-A video package aired on Andrade El Idolo, with a tagline: “Face of Latinos.” Excalibur said next week Ross will sit down with Andrade for an exclusive interview
-Schiavone stood mid-ring and talked about the Saturday, June 26 Kenny Omega vs. Jungle Boy match for the AEW Title. He introduced Omega. Omega walked out with Don Callis. Callis yanked the mic away from Schiavone mid-sentence. Callis said if Jungle Boy overcame 20 men, they overcame an AEW conspiracy that reaches to the highest level. He said it was a “con job of epic proportions” trying to take the title off of Omega. He congratulated JB for the win, but he’s like the band that sings his entrance song, Baltimora, “a one-hit wonder.”
Omega said he knows his job as champion is to sell the match and portray JB as some sort of legit contender. “Guess what? I can’t bring myself to say anything disparaging about you, Jungle Boy.” He said when he looks at his underwear model-esque body, he sees a little bit of young Kenny Omega. “In fact, I quite respect you,” he said. He said some day he might be champion, but something is missing. He asked Callis to say what JB is missing.
Callis said JB has everything other than the guts to get in the ring with him. JB’s music interrupted and he walked onto the stage. The crowd sang his song as he walked out.
Kenny chuckled when he entered the ring. Omega said he’s surprised because he’s never known JB to be a promo guy or to have the confidence to step in front of the champion. He said he knows he has nothing to say because he doesn’t have the guts. He asked if he’s going to engage with the greatest promo in all of pro wrestling live on television. Callis asked who is better on the mic than him. Callis yelled, “Nobody!” Omega told JB he has five seconds to say what he has to say, because he’s getting a little frazzled and a little pissed off. JB grabbed the mic and said, “Man, you talk way too much.” He shoved Omega away. Omega swung the mic at him. When Omega charged at him, JB took it to him. Omega yanked off his suit jacket and beat on JB.
JB ducked under Omega and went for a snare trap. The Young Bucks ran out. JB rolled to the floor. The Bucks taunted JB as JB looked up at them from ringside.
(Keller’s Analysis: Omega looked like he put a little thought into his outfit this week, although his suit still seems something less than tailored or expensive. I like the idea of JB being a man of few words, but I think there’s a better promo in him than they’re giving him a chance to give, or he’s willing to try.)
-They went backstage to Mark Sterling and Jade Cargill. Sterling said the monetization plan is in effect and revenue is already up 43 percent across the board. He said now that he’s on the team, they’ve stripped away the hangers on. He’s said Jade has a family to feed with expensive tastes, and they’ll be sure she’s a household name across all media. Jade said the first thing they need to capitalize on is her catch phrase. He said they get residuals every time anyone says it. She then said, “Because I’m that bitch.” [c]
-A promo aired with Sky and Ethan. Sky said they gave Darby an opportunity to get a partner who wouldn’t do all the work for him, but he’s a sensitive child who couldn’t even do that right. He said he’s seen him do a lot of dumb things like jumping off buildings and setting himself on fire, but this is the dumbest. Ethan said actions have consequences. He asked if he understands the mental consequence of dealing with them. He said they will pin him in the ring, and bit by bit they will chop him down and raise themselves to the next level. “It’s only up from here for the Men of the Year,” Ethan said. Sky laughed and said it’s a good catchphrase. Sky snapped his fingers and the promo ended.
(4) LANCE ARCHER (w/Jake Roberts) vs. CHANDLER HOPKINS
Archer destroyed his opponent as soon as he got to the ring. He gave him a high one-armed slam and the Black Out for the win.
WINNER: Archer in 1:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a good way to present Archer. All business, all destruction, and a fast exit. Mission accomplished.)
-Backstage, Nick Nemeth offered Orange Cassidy a makeover. He said he’s the worst dressed wrestler in AEW. Peter Avalon said he has two options. They can rearrange his wardrobe or, added Cezar Bononi, they can rearrange his face. J.D. Drake smiled.
(5) “LEGIT” LEYLA HIRSH vs. “NATIVE BEAST” NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Rose slammed Hirsh in the opening seconds, but Hirch countered her into a cross arm breaker. Rose reached the ropes to force a break. Schiavone hyped Adam Page & 10 vs. Powerhouse Hobbs & Brain Cage. Hirsh dove through the ropes at Rose a minute in, but Rose caught her and shoved her back-first into the ringside barricade. When Hirsh went for another armbar at ringside, Rose swung her into the ringside barricade. Ross said she was rag-dolled. Excalibur plugged the new AEW Pride t-shirt with proceeds going to charity. Back in the ring, Rose landed a leg drop and scored a two count. They cut to a partial split-screen break. [c/ss]
Hirsh made a comeback after the break and scored a two count. Hirsh landed a moonsault and went for a cover, but Rose grabbed the rope. Hirsh stomped on Rose’s arm, but kept selling a sore arm. She went for a cross arm-breaker mid-ring. Rose powered Hirsh into the air and slammed her hard. She headbutted Hirsh and then delivered a Beast Bomb off the second rope for the win.
WINNER: Rose in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: No mention of Vickie being aligned with Andrade, so maybe they’ve dropped that already. If so, good decision unless Vickie can drop the tired “excuse me” WWE comedy mid-card persona.)
-Schiavone interviewed Britt Baker and Reba backstage. She said she was furious that Rose ruined her celebration last week, but then she realized she looked good flipping burgers and she should stick with that as her career going forward. She said she’s made the title and she’s making a whole new era.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not sure the best feud for Baker, who’s still playing a trash-talking arrogant heel, is against Rose who also appears to be a heel. The promo here was straight forward and good. It wasn’t trying to leap off the screen or be super-memorable, and that’s just fine. It established her personality and built up her feud in a basic, effective, efficient way. More of that in AEW would be welcome.)
-The announcers hyped Darby vs. Sky & Ethan, The Bucks & Good Brothers vs. Kaz & Kingston & Penta & Pac, Cassidy vs. Bononi, Wardlow vs. Hager, Cody & Brock Anderson vs. Marshall & Solow, plus Ross’s interview with Andrade. [c]
(6) POWERHOUSE HOBBS & BRIAN CAGE vs. “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE & DARK ORDER’S “10” PRESTON VANCE
Taz joined in on commentary. He said things are “A-okay” in Team Taz when Excalibur asked. Excalibur said Page announced that he and his wife are expecting their first child this fall. Hangman and Cage had a series of fast-paced back-and-forth slick exchanges in the opening two minutes. It settled into Hobbs beating on 10 for a while. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
After the break, 10 avoided Cage and kicked him into his corner. Hobbs tagged in, but Page managed to also tag in seconds later. Hobbs brushed off a Hangman clothesline. Cage caught Hangman at ringside, but Hangman sent Cage into the ringpost. He then landed a moonsault press on Hobbs in the ring. Hobbs came back with a crossbody on Hangman for a near fall, broken up by 10. Cage hit 10 with a 619. Hangman clotheslined him off the ring apron as he celebrated. Hangman took Hobbs down with a clothesline, then tagged in 10.
Four-way action broke out. Hobbs and Cage landed a high-low on 10 for a believable near fall. Taz’s son entered the ring. With the ref distracted, Ricky Starks threw the FTW belt to Cage. Cage threw it out of the ring. Starks yelled at Cage on the ring apron. He slapped Cage. Taz said Cage deserves that because he should have used the belt. Cage chased Starks to the back. In the ring, Hobbs landed a spinebuster on 10, but Hangman broke up the cover. Hobbs threw Hangman out of the ring, then turned back to 10. Hobbs gave 10 a shove into the ropes, but 10 gave him a cutter. Hangman then caught Hobbs with Buckshot lariat, after which 10 made the cover and scored the pin.
WINNERS: Hangman & 10 in 11:00.
-Afterward, Page celebrated with Dark Order on the stage and drank a beer.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good main event tag. Hangman continues to be that likable, hard-working, straight-forward, charismatic babyface. They’re keeping it simple with him now, and it’s a lot better than when he was a stumbling drunk. The Cage babyface turn seems either complete near completion. I’m curious if the are looking to match him against Miro or Omega after he finishes up settling the score with Team Taz.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A start to finish very good episode of Dynamite. It wasn’t a maintenance show, but it wasn’t a hotshot show either. It was what Dynamite ideally would be seven out of eight weeks. Everyone was utilized well, there were strong performances in the ring and on the mic. Nothing was corny or meta or insider or excessive. They kept things simple and let the talent of the wrestlers in the ring and on the mic carry the show without overthinking everything or trying to reinvent anything. There also seemed to be some course-correcting on a few things from last week, which was one of the worst Dynamite episodes of AEW’s run on TNT.