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Which two teams would cash their tickets to the All Elite Wrestling Tag Team Championship bout at Fyter Fest?
It was a question the company set out to answer on Wednesday’s Dynamite.
Le Sex Gods battled Best Friends, and Hangman Page and Kenny Omega defended their gold against Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall. The winners will clash for the top prize in tag team wrestling at Fyter Fest on July 1 and 8.
Elsewhere on the card, TNT champion Cody put his gold on the line in an open challenge, MJF battled The Gunn Club’s Billy, and Anna Jay sought to climb the women’s rankings in her return to the squared circle.
What went down, who emerged victorious and how did it affect the company’s path to its next two-week-long extravaganza?
Find out now with this recap of the June 17 broadcast.
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The AEW Tag Team Championship Match kicked off this week’s show as Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defended against The Natural Nightmares, QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes. Brandi Rhodes accompanied the challengers to the squared circle.
A spirited exchange between Omega and Rhodes kicked off the match, during which the competitors bumped heads, leaving The Natural stunned. He shook it off and joined Marshall in some effective double-team maneuvers on Omega as they seized control of the match.
A hot tag to Page sparked a comeback for the champions as Hangman unleashed a sizable ass-whooping on both Rhodes and Marshall. As the action settled, Marshall caught Page with a kick and tagged a rejuvenated Rhodes back into the match.
Rhodes wiped the champions out with a cannonball from the apron, and Marshall followed up with the QT Special to Omega. Back in the ring, Omega answered with a snapdragon suplex, and Rhodes followed with a destroyer.
Marshall dropped Omega with the Diamond Cutter as Allie appeared to cheer Marshall on. Motivated, he scaled the roped for a moonsault but came up empty. Despite some resiliency on Marshall’s part, Omega and Page delivered The Last Call to pick up the win and successfully defend their title.
Page and Omega defeated Marshall and Rhodes
Rhodes really does not get credit for being as great as he is.
He suffered a pretty nasty, accidental collision with Omega early and was clearly dinged from it. He shook it off and was still the crispest worker of the bunch in this one. He is just as consistently good as there is in the business today, and much of that can be attributed to his understanding of his limitations at this point in his career as well as his willingness to evolve and grow as a worker.
The match was the standard strong in-ring performance from Omega and Page, while Marshall had the opportunity to shine as his on-screen relationship with Allie took center stage late.
It was just the right action-packed start to the show that fans have become accustomed to with AEW Dynamite.
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Anna Jay made her Dynamite return Wednesday, squaring off with Abadon, who was last seen squaring off with Hikaru Shida on AEW Dark a few months back.
The possessed demon of women’s wrestling relentlessly attacked from the opening bell and put Jay down with a step-up kick for the win in what the commentary team labeled an upset.
After the match, Brodie Lee and The Dark Order made their way on stage while Colt Cabana watched confusedly from ringside. While Stu Grayson and Evil Uno taunted Cabana and Private Party, the other Dark Order minions helped Jay from the ring while Lee seemingly invited her into the fold.
Abadon defeated Jay
Jay joining the Dark Order is an interesting storyline development, if only because the group is lacking a representative for the women’s division.
The only negative is that Jay’s story feels incredibly expedited.
Her debut, followed by a subsequent losing streak that gives way to her desperation to join a cult and be accepted, would have been better suited for weeks of storytelling rather than one loss to an unstoppable force like Abadon.
Speaking of whom, the enigmatic demon princess of the squared circle absolutely should be signed by AEW immediately. She is unlike any other female performer in the industry and would help bring AEW’s women’s division the uniqueness it could use as it continues to build its momentum.
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The egotistical MJF looked to continue building his star this week as he squared off with Hall of Fame tag team competitor, and one-third of The Gunn Club, Billy.
The former world tag team champion frustrated MJF early. Always alert and seeking an advantage, MJF delivered a chop block that earned him the upper-hand heading into and during the commercial break.
Too much trash talking allowed Billy to create some separation and mount a comeback.
MJF stalled Billy’s momentum and teased using his own Fameasser against him but Gunn fought back and dropped him with one instead. Wardlow tossed MJF the Dynamite Diamond Ring, attacked Billy’s sons at ringside, and watched as his charge delivered a loaded right hand to the face for the win.
After the match, Lucha Express jumped the guardrail and attacked MJF and Wardlow as the rivalry between those two sides continued.
MJF defeated Billy
MJF is a great heel and having to cheat his way to win is certainly an element of his character but…why did he have to use a ring to beat an aging veteran in Billy when he was able to simply outwrestle Jungle Boy back at Double or Nothing?
That aside, the idea of MJF and Jungle Boy continuing their rivalry after their superb match on PPV is majorly appealing. Sprinkle in Marko Stunt and the potential for a hoss war between Luchasaurus and Wardlow and you have a program the fans can eagerly get behind.
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Moments after Big Swole drove away with Dr. Britt Baker, essentially kidnapping her as their rivalry escalated, TNT champion Cody hit the ring for the latest entry of his open challenge series. As revealed by the commentary team early in the show, his defense on this night would be against someone outside of AEW.
Arn Anderson threw to a video package for Cody’s next opponent, former NWA world television champion, “Absolute” Ricky Starks. Arguably the hottest free agent in wrestling, Starks made his way to the ring for the most significant match of his young career.
Unphased by the moment, Starks took the fight to Cody, delivering a big leg drop on the apron and choking him in the ropes. Cody recovered and fought back against the newcomer, downing him for a two-count. He followed with an inverted vertical suplex for another near-fall as The Inner Circle’s Jake Hager watched intently on a television backstage.
Starks delivered a big top-rope superplex and followed with a high crossbody that sent both competitors to the floor. A slugfest gave way to a big spear that de-cleated the champion and earned a two-count.
A series of near-falls culminated with The American Nightmare drilling Starks with Cross Rhodes for the win.
Cody defeated Starks
This merely whetted the appetite of the AEW fans, making them want to see more of Starks in an AEW ring. That is the ultimate compliment for a wrestler working his first match on cable television. He did not appear overwhelmed or taken aback by the moment and the result was a solid match with one of the standard-bearers in AEW.
Had the match had more of a story to it, or more time for the competitors to flesh out what they wanted to do, it likely would have been even better.
As it stands, this was a great introduction to a young star one can only hope catches on with the company (or elsewhere) so that he can grow, evolve and build his star in the industry.
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Two weeks after challenging Hangman Page and Kenny Omega for the AEW tag titles, Superbad Squad’s Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc sought to rebuild momentum by battling the self-proclaimed best team in the world, The Young Bucks.
Matt and Nick Jackson’s early onslaught came to a screeching halt as Butcher and Blade hopped the guardrail and exchanged words with their budding rivals, allowing Sabian and Havoc to wrestle control of the match away and isolate Matt.
Butcher and Blade continued to stick their noses in the match until FTR’s Cash Wilder and Dax Harwood evened things up at ringside.
A hot tag to Nick brought the Bucks back into the match as the fearless competitor soared through the air, wiping Havoc out at ringside and immediately applying the Sharpshooter to Sabian. Havoc threatened to use a mallet, allowing Penelope Ford to sneak in a shot to Jackson’s back with a sign.
The Superbad Squad continued their effective tandem offense but could not put the opposition away.
The Bucks fired off a series of their own, including Risky Business, but earned only a count of two. Havoc recovered and earned a two-count off a schoolboy. As the action broke down, the Bucks weathered the storm and picked up the win with a double-knee strike to the face of Sabian.
After the match, a brawl between the Bucks, Superbad Squad, Butcher and Blade, and FTR broke out with the two babyface teams (and philosophical rivals) standing tall.
The Young Bucks defeated Sabian and Havoc
This worked for a few reasons, not the least of which was the manner in which Havoc and Sabian were elevated. The team continues to improve with every passing week, a testament to their chemistry and work ethic, but also AEW’s willingness to allow them to find themselves as a team.
After months of floating around Dynamite and Dark, trying to find their place on the show, they have emerged as this legitimate threat to the tag titles and a great addition to the heel side of things in a loaded tag division.
The Bucks were excellent here, with Matt selling his rib injury and Nick just exploding into the match like a buzzsaw, tearing through the competition and throwing caution to the wind while doing so.
The story of Butcher and Blade trying to get involved and throw the Bucks off their game, while FTR’s appearance seemingly negated them, was a nice way to keep all four of these teams intertwined for what will probably be some multi-man tag match at Fyter Fest.
Given the work of the teams to this point, that could very well steal the show at that event.
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Moments after Britt Baker vowed revenge on Big Swole for leaving her in a dumpster, Matt Hardy joined the commentary team for the night’s main event: a No. 1 Contenders Match pitting Le Sex Gods’ Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara against Best Friends’ Chuck Taylor and Trent for the right to challenge Hangman Page and Kenny Omega for the AEW Tag Team Championship at Fyter Fest.
Fueled by revenge from the vicious, brutal and bloody attack The Inner Circle perpetrated on Orange Cassidy a week ago, Best Friends wasted little time taking the fight to the opposition.
The heels survived the early barrage and slowed the pace, downing Taylor and working him over in their corner of the ring. Taylor created separation, though, and tagged Trent in. The immensely underrated competitor erupted with an onslaught of offense that had both Le Champion and The Spanish God reeling until Jericho caught him with an undetected bat shot to the knee.
Back from the break, the heels continued their control of the match, working over Trent and stopping for a photo op in the process.
Taylor tagged back into the match and unloaded on the competition, popping Guevara up and bringing him down with a powerbomb. Trent joined in for Soul Food but Jericho broke up a hug. He countered a tornado DDT by Trent into the Liontamer, but the babyface made it to the ropes to break the hold.
As the action broke down late, and Jericho brawled around ringside with Taylor, Guevara blasted Trent with the baseball bat and uncorked a Shooting Star Press. Trent kicked out, benefited from a trip-up by the cameraman on Guevara and picked up the win.
After the match, the cameraman revealed himself to be Orange Cassidy. The King of Sloth Style confronted Jericho and took him down, showing the most fire and ferocity that we have ever witnessed from him. He blasted Jericho with a Superman Punch and stood tall to close out the show.
Best Friends defeated Le Sex Gods
The match was a really fun, energetic main event that packed a ton of action into its 15 minutes.
Best Friends winning and paying off their month-long march to the titles was absolutely the right move, while the screwiness of Cassidy’s interference provided the emphasis for what should be a fantastical and hugely entertaining match with Jericho at Fyter Fest.
Cassidy breaking out of his shell and unleashing an ass-kicking on Jericho is exactly what fans needed to see out of that character after last week and suddenly, there is a ton of intrigue as to exactly which version of Freshly Squeezed we will see come July 1 and 8.
It was the perfect angle to close the show on and one that will, at least conceptually, attract viewers to next week’s go-home broadcast.