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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
JUNE 1, 2022
LOS ANGELES, CA. AT THE KIA FORUM
AIRED LIVE ON TBS
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-Jim Ross introduced the show as cameras panned the audience. He touted the 15,000 sellout.
-C.M. Punk made his ring entrance. He was all smiles and interacted with fans in the front row. He then kneeled with his AEW Title belt on the ramp. He was joined by Dax and Cash, who wore their ROH Tag Team Titles. (Belts for everybody!) Excalibur talked about this being the California debut for AEW.
(1) C.M. PUNK & FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs. MAX CASTER (w/Anthony Bowens) & GUNN CLUB (Austin & Colten Gunn w/Billy Gunn)
Caster was having a field day with L.A. references. He said FTR have to ride Punk’s coattails to get on Dynamite. Schiavone called the Gunns “The Dumbass Boys.” Bowens, pushed to the ring in a wheel chair, tried to get an “Ass Boys!” chant going. Instead, fans loudly chanted “C.M. Punk!” The graphic said, “We’ll Hear from MJF” later, plus Wardlow vs. J.D. Drake, and Daniel Garcia vs. Jon Moxley. Fans popped when Punk tagged in a few minutes in against Caster. Ross said he liked that Punk didn’t arrive in AEW and brag that he was going to become world champion. [c/ss]
(They cut to a split screen break and it included a Anthony Bowens, who is gay, talking about how much it meant to be accepted for who he is in pro wrestling by his colleagues.)
Punk clotheslined Austin and then landed a top rope elbowdrop. Billy stood on the ring apron as Punk signaled for the GTS. Punk stopped in his tracks and walked over to Billy and dared him to punch him. Austin rolled up Punk for a two count. When he went for the Fameasser, Punk tossed him into Billy, knocking Billy off the ring apron. Punk hit the GTS and FTR hit the Big Rig for the win. Ross said aspects of the match were “bowling shoe ugly, but I loved every minute of it.”
WINNERS: Punk & FTR in 13:00.
-As Punk’s music played, he stayed in the ring with FTR. His music stopped. He held up the belt as fans chanted “C.M. Punk!” Ross said it’s a beautiful belt. He added, “Strap.” Punk said he’s never done drugs, but he imagines this is how it feels. He said he wouldn’t be there if his road to success wasn’t littered with mistakes, but he learned from them. He said he’s going to get better. He said you can call him what you want, “but you’ve got to call me the champ.” Dax said what Punk hasn’t done, he’s done. He said it does feel that good. He said pro wrestling means the world to him. He talked about his wife and baby girl. He said those are the only two things that mean more to him than pro wrestling. He said if you’re from a different company or this same company, come on out. He called “Finlay” specifically. Punk said he’s standing in the ring with two of the best pro wrestlers and they have a PPV to sell. “Forbidden Door, show me who you’ve got!” Out came Hiroshi Tanahashi. Ross touted him and said this is one for the ages. “How can you miss this?” Excalibur touted his accomplishments in New Japan. Ross said he reminds him of how he felt when he saw the young Sting in WCW because he is invigorating and gives off such energy.
-They went to Excalibur, Ross, and Schiavone on camera. They continued to talk about Punk vs. Tanahashi at Forbidden Door. Schiavone said Punk will be on his home turf. Excalibur hyped Johnny Elite’s open challenge tonight to face anyone. Also, the Jericho Appreciation Society will react to their Arena Anarchy match, Athena (formerly Ember Moon) will speak with Schiavone, Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter vs. Tomi Storm & Ruyvy Soho, Danny Garcia vs. Moxley, and J.D. Drake vs. Wardlow, and Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus & Christian Cage & Darby Allin & Matt Hardy vs. Young Bucks & Red Dragon & Hikuleo. [c]
-MJF made his ring entrance to his theme. Fans booed. He looked like he’d been crying. Excalibur said Double or Nothing will be a night he never forgets. Ross said he was overwhelmed by a bigger, stronger man. He said he didn’t think anyone could have beat Wardlow that night. MJF entered the ring, mic in hand. He said he’s in a lot of pain after what happened Sunday, but the fans want to hear him talk. He said, “But this is Max Friedman talking.” He said there are a lot of important executives there to watch his boss’s product, “and it’d be a real shame if something bad happened. I wouldn’t want to embarrass you, man.” He said he’s been trying to speak to him and hash things out for quite some time. “Well, guess what? Too little, too late,” he said. He said when this company first started, it was All Friends Wrestling. He said he had to write his own ticket. He said he created moment after moment and he still gets no respect. He said nobody is on his level. He said everything he touches turns to gold and there is nothing he can’t do. He said every time he comes out there, he is not expected to hit home runs, he’s expected to hit grand slams “and I do that shit on a weekly basis.”
He said “all the other boys can settle for being great,” but he has to be perfect. He said he’s the only guy capable of carrying the company on his back, which he has done for months. He said it’s funny that he hears boos, but he also hears clapping. He asked where they were this whole weekend when they were calling him “an unprofessional piece of shit.” He said the boys are in the back are the problem too. He said they want his spot, and they can have it because he doesn’t want to be there anymore. He called the fans “uneducated marks.” He said they sit there on their phones, tweeting their opinions like they’re worth a damn. “Let me explain something to you people,” he said. “Your opinions suck. Your opinions change on the drop of a dime.” He said they claim he is great in the ring, but they didn’t used to say that. He said they don’t respect him because he’s not chasing star ratings or pretending to watch New Japan and dropping people on their heads. “I’m the best in the world because I’m the only guy who makes you feel. Unlike all those boys, I don’t have to do a bunch of bullshit to get you there. I am a generational talent, and you people consistently take me for granted. It’s not just you, it’s the big man in the back, too.”
He said he doesn’t want you to know that he’s the second-biggest minute-for-minute draw. “Ask Stat Boy Tony in the back, see what he’s got to say,” he said. “But don’t ask him to reach into his pockets to pay the man who’s been busting his ass for you since day one. Make sure he hoards all that money so he can give it to all the ex-WWE guys he keeps bringing in who can’t lace my boots.” He’s shouting and frothing at the mouth at this point. He asked if Tony Khan would treat him better if he was an ex-WWE guy. He said MJF has a position of power in a wrestling company, but he should be behind the guard rail with all of them. He said he doesn’t want to wait until 2024, so he told Khan to fire him. He yelled at a fan and said, “Shut your mouth.” He yelled, “You f—ing mark. Fire me!” Or something along those lines. He was bleeped and then they cut away.
(Keller’s Analysis: This was always one of the possible results of whatever was going on the last couple months with MJF projecting bitterness about wanting a new deal. Whatever went on this weekend between MJF and Tony Khan, it led to MJF drawing what is surely a big rating in that moment – and Tony loves those, and MJF is proud of those. That, brother, is a shoot. There will be people who know MJF well who think MJF planted seeds for this for months, and there are also people who know him well who will swear this promo was a release valve on how disrespected he’s felt most of this year. Either way, there were wrestlers in the locker room who swear everything he does is an elaborate work and others who truly believe he was hurt and frustrated with Tony’s lack of paying him near what the ex-WWE wrestlers who were signed were paid and this is just parlaying that into a TV storyline. Getting jobbed out to Wardlow on Sunday hardly felt like a “gigantic payoff” that validates some sort of silly elaborate worked shoot. This promo felt like MJF and Tony Khan trying to make the best of the situation and trying to turn it into a rating. The next move will be more interesting, because this feels like MJF will be off TV for a while, and they might even play up the idea that MJF was supposed to say everything he said until the end where he then took things one step too far and Tony paid a price for trusting him too much with a live mic. Worked shoots aren’t as good as well told stories that make total sense, so we’ll see what they have in mind, but it might take a while for this to play out enough to be evaluated fully.) [c]
-They went to the announcers on camera ignored what MJF just said before he was cut off and shifted to hyping Forbidden Door.
-Johnny Elite made his ring entrance.
-Miro appeared on the screen and said it’s been a long time. He said he has decided to return to AEW to help his fellow man, the bastards, the punks, the cowboys, and the pagans and he will redeem them. He said his neck is now fixed, but it’s his heart that is now broken. He said he doesn’t want to come home, he wants to take their homes, and The Redeemer is back. Ross said that is bad news for a lot of people.
(2) JOHNNY ELITE vs. MIRO
Miro stomped away at Johnny. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Johnny made a comeback, but it was cut off quickly and then Miro tapped him out with his finisher.
WINNER: Miro in 7:00.
-Excalibur threw to a video package on Arena Anarchy.
-Chris Jericho, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, and Jake Hager walked out. Menard screeched about proving who they were on Sunday. Jericho took the mic and said they wanted to sing, but they don’t deserve it tonight. He said winning that match came with a price. He asked, “What kind of a man burns another man?” Jericho said, hypocritically complaining about Eddie Kingston. When he talked about Bryan Danielson saying he was going to kick his head in, fans began chanting “Yes!” Jericho said Sports Entertainers always beat Pro Wrestlers. They were interrupted by Eddie Kingston’s music.
Kingston and William Regal walked out. Kingston yelled, “Cut the music!” He said he wants to fight all of them right now. Regal shouted, “Blood & Guts!” The announcers talked about that match, the two-ring cage match that used to be known as War Games. Jericho said he’s not getting Blood & Guts. Santana, Ortiz, and Hager beat up Kingston at ringside. Ortiz, though, showed up in the ring behind Jericho and whipped him with a loaded sock. He then snipped off some of Jericho’s hair. Ortiz and Kingston laughed at ringside. Jericho yelled that his hair is worth more than their entire existence. He then agreed to a Blood & Guts match as long as he gets a Jericho vs. Ortiz “hair vs. hair” match first. He said he will shave him and burn him. “Why? Because I’m a wizard!” he said. [c]
(2) JUNGLE BOY & LUCHASAURUS & CHRISTIAN CAGE & DARBY ALLIN & MATT HARDY vs. RED DRAGON (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) & THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson w/Brandon Cutler) & HIKULEO
Cole was on commentary. They cut to a mid-match split-screen break. [c/ss]
Late in the match, the Bucks threw a series of superkicks and set up a BTE Trigger on Jungle Boy. Hardy broke that up. Fish and O’Reilly hit a high-low on Hardy. The Bucks then finished JB with a Meltzer Driver.
WINNERS: Bucks & Red Dragon & Hikuleo in 12:00.
-Tag team title match highlights aired from Double or Nothing.
-Lexi Nair interviewed Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee backstage.
-Schiavone interviewed Athena on the stage. She said it’s no secret why she’s in AEW. She said the one wrestler in particular she wants is Jade Cargill. She said all streaks were made to be broken, and she’ll be the one to break hers. She said she can say whatever she wants, but she is the alpha. Jade Cargill interrupted and said, “Tony, cut the shit” She walked out with Keira Hogan, Red Velvet, and Stokely Hathaway. Jade got in her face. She introduced “the best talker in the game.” Stokely Hathaway then said as Jade’s publicist, it’s his duty to tell her that Jade is a queen and the TBS Champion. Kris Statlander and Anna Jay came out to stand next to Athena.
-Excalibur hyped that Wardlow would be up next in his first match officially part of AEW.
(3) WARDLOW vs. J.D. DRAKE
Wardlow came out to his entrance theme. Drake chopped Wardlow at the start, then gloated. Wardlow wound up and clotheslined him. He followed up with a spear in the corner. Ross said Drake “is no pushover.” Wardlow sidewalk slammed Drake and then powerbombed him for the win.
WINNER: Wardlow in 1:00.
-Schiavone entered the ring to interview Wardlow. “Smart” Mark Sterling interrupted and said, “Hold on, hold on, hold on a second!” He came out with about eight of the security guys. He said he must be tickled pink about beating up all of those security guys. Wardlow told the security guy who handed him an envelope, “This dude doesn’t watch the product.” As Wardlow opened the envelope, Sterling said he’s being sued by the American Arena Security Professionals. He said he is representing them and he’ll see him in court. Wardlow powerbombed the security guy as Sterling yelled, “He has a family! No!” Wardlow ripped up the lawsuit paperwork and shoved it in the guy’s mouth.
-Lexi interviewed Dan Lambert, Scorpio Sky, and Ethan Page. Lambert said Dante Martin has a lot of potential, and at his best, he might some day be as good as Ethan. Sky said he wants him to enjoy his California vacation because on Friday he’ll get his ass handed to him by the face of TNT. Dante walked up to him and said he thinks he’s better than him right now and on Rampage, he’ll prove it.
(4) RUBY SOHO & TONI STORM vs. BRITT BAKER & JAMIE HAYTER (w/Rebel)
Britt Baker made her entrance first along with Jamie Hayter and Rebel. Baker had the Owen Hart belt with her. (Belts for everyone!) They cut to an early split-screen break. [css]
In the end, Ruby finished Baker with Destination Unknown. After the match, Hayter hit Soho and Storm with the Owen Cup belt.
WINNERS: Soho & Storm in 9:00. [c]
-They showed Vince Vaugn and Macaulay Culkin in the crowd. “Ohh, he’s home alone!” said Regal, very self-satisfied. He asked Jericho how he’ll look with a bald head.
(5) DANIEL GARCIA vs. JON MOXLEY
Garcia put up a fight and bloodied Moxley’s forehead. They cut to a split-screen break with Garcia in control. [c/ss]
During the break, Garcia licked blood off his hand. Moxley’s face was covered in blood. Jericho said Moxley is bleeding so heavily because Garcia busted up the stitches Moxley got on Sunday. Moxley dropped Garcia onto the ringside steps. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” Jericho said this is why a Blood & Guts match has to happen. Excalibur tried to plug Rampage matches. Jericho said “Who cares about Friday? Let’s talk about what’s happening right now!” Moxley took over control and landed downward elbow strikes on Garcia. Garcia reversed position and threw some downward elbow strikes himself. Moxley countered into a cross armbreaker. Garcia countered into a submission attempt. Moxley crawled to the bottom rope to force a break. Garcia went for a small package, but Moxley countered. Moxley then landed a backdrop driver. Garcia returned fire and then hit a piledriver for a near fall. He then put Mox in a sharpshooter mid-ring. Mox countered into a bulldog choke attempt. Garcia leveraged Mox’s shoulders down. Mox released the hold. Garcia knocked Mox to the floor. They tumbled onto the ringside table. Schiavone said they were in overtime as the show went past the 10 p.m. ET hour. Jericho saw enough and ran to ringside. Mox stared at him. Garcia hit him from behind, but Mox hit a quick Paradigm Shift into a bulldog choke for the win.
WINNER: Moxley in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was one hell of an intense match. Garcia always has those. He’s really good. Moxley gave him a lot there.)