AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 24
Just seven days before the most significant match of his career against Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship, Brian Cage sent a message loudly and clearly to the unhinged antihero in the form of an uncontested ass-whupping Wednesday night on Dynamite.
The Machine's latest conquest was hardly the only noteworthy event on this week's TNT broadcast.
Luchasaurus battled Wardlow in a Lumberjack Match, AEW women's champion Hikaru Shida was in action, FTR battled former AEW tag team champions SCU and we saw highlights of TNT champion Cody's Fyter Fest press conference.
A week after he gained a measure of revenge on Chris Jericho for an attack that left him bloodied and battered, Orange Cassidy came face-to-face with Le Champion before their much-anticipated bout.
What else went down on the explosive show and how did it affect the upcoming two-week extravaganza and the stars involved?
Find out with this recap of the June 24 show.
Lumberjack Match: Luchasaurus vs. Wardlow
A battle of hosses kicked off this week's show in the first Lumberjack Match in Dynamite history as Luchasaurus battled Wardlow.
Tasked with containing the war between the behemoths, even the lumberjacks appeared uninterested in getting in either man's way.
Wardlow dominated early, tossing around the massive, 275-pound masked babyface with reckless abandon. A T-bone suplex followed, as did a barrage of hard rights and lefts to the face. Luchasaurus answered with a big clothesline out of the corner and a standing moonsault press for a count of two.
Luchasaurus teased a chokeslam to the floor, but Wardlow fought out and delivered a massive superplex. The half-man, half-dinosaur caught the charging aggressor with a standing Spanish Fly from out of nowhere, turning the tide back in his favor.
The action broke down in the form of a brawl between the lumberjacks. Luchasaurus dumped Warlow off the stage and onto them all and followed up with a Shooting Star Press onto the pile of bodies on the floor.
With referee Rick Knox distracted, Warlow delivered a perfectly timed low blow and delivered the F10 for the win.
After the match, the issues between Jurassic Express, MJF and Wardlow continued until the lumberjacks rushed the ring to pull the teams apart.
Tony Schiavone announced on commentary that Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus will battle MJF and Wardlow at Fyter Fest.
Wardlow defeated Luchasarus
Nothing about this recreated the wheel, but it was still a damn fun brawl to start the show.
Luchasaurus and Wardlow are two massive big men who should not move with the ease that they do. They are perfect representations of the heavyweight division within AEW and have bright futures ahead of them.
As the emphasis for the aforementioned Fyter Fest match, this worked.
Wardlow scored the underhanded win but essentially left nothing settled. That neither team really got the upper hand leaves a certain level of uncertainty surrounding the winner. When fans do not know what to expect, any product is better.
Hikaru Shida vs. Red Velvet
A week before she defends the AEW Women's Championship on Night One of Fyter Fest, Hikaru Shida battled Red Velvet while No. 1 contender Penelope Ford watched from ringside.
The tense trash-talking between Shida and Ford at ringside lasted longer than the match, as Shida delivered a crushing running knee and Falcon Arrow for the pinfall victory.
After the match, Shida and Ford brawled on the arena floor, even leveling Kip Sabian and Ricky Starks in the process.
Shida defeated Velvet
The match was secondary to heating up the rivalry between Shida and Ford. In that regard, it worked.
Once the product of Ford scoring a win over Shida in a tag team match, it now has a bit more intensity behind it.
The feud needed that and the commentary to tout Ford as a legitimate threat to the gold, and it got both Wednesday night.
Fyter Fest Press Conference Featuring Cody and Jake Hager
The Fyter Fest press conference was originally intended to highlight the TNT Championship Match between Cody and Jake Hager, but it was only The American Nightmare and his team that showed up.
With questions from longtime Pro Wrestling Illustrated writers Liz Hunter and Matt Brock, the press conference saw Arn Anderson discuss Cody's desire to fight and defend his title, while Cody talked about the opportunity that AEW has provided.
Hager arrived on the scene with wife Catalina.
A brief photo op gave way to Catalina throwing a beverage in Cody's face before exiting with her husband.
So here's the thing: Cody is usually great at this sort of thing, so it is astonishing that this was as ineffective as it was.
Nothing that was said or done here made the audience want to see Cody vs. Hager any more (or less) than it did before. Considering this was the go-home angle ahead of their TNT title match at Fyter Fest, one that figures to feature prominently in advertising, it was incredibly cold.
It lacked the personal edge one has come to expect from Cody's feuds, and the absence of intensity was obvious.
Will the match be good, great even? Sure. Cody is too good in big spots for it not to be.
What could have been an opportunity to really drum up anticipation and excitement for the bout fell flat, a sentiment not typically associated with AEW.
Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss vs. Brodie Lee and Colt Cabana
As Brodie Lee continues to recruit Colt Cabana for The Dark Order, The Exalted One teamed with Boom Boom to battle the upstart team of Sonny Kiss and “Bad Boy” Joey Janela in tag team action.
Early, impressive tag team chemistry from Janela and Kiss was offset by a huge boot by Lee that turned Janela inside out. A cheap shot from John Silver and Alex Reynolds put the babyface tandem on the defensive heading into the break.
Back from the timeout, Janela and Kiss soared through the air and wiped out the competition on the floor. In the ring, Kiss delivered a big 450 splash to Cabana that may have earned his team the win had it not been for the last-second save from Lee.
As Kiss and Janela continued to roll, Reynolds and Silver again got involved, saving Cabana. Kiss responded by wiping them out at ringside and ate a big boot to the face for his trouble. Back in the ring, Lee delivered a discus lariat that turned Janela inside out and allowed Cabana to score the win.
After the match, a happy and relieved Cabana celebrated until Lance Archer arrived on the scene and obliterated Kiss and Janela.
Lee and Cabana defeated Kiss and Janela
This was a really fun, high-energy match that highlighted the new team of Kiss and Janela while putting over the idea that Brodie Lee can deliver the one thing Cabana has been missing: wins. Even if it was messy at times.
Kiss and Janela looked great and have already managed to develop some incredible tag team chemistry. They were on the same page more times than not and appeared to motivate each other. Cabana and Lee were equally as great, selling for the opposition and giving the impression that the improbably upset may occur.
Given the wealth of tag teams in the division, it is unlikely Janela and Kiss will make the jump right away but with some seasoning and continued storytelling, they could be one of the more enjoyable acts to watch as the weeks and months go by.
Archer arriving to beat them up after the match feels beneath him. Given how hot he started his AEW run, it is disappointing to see him kind of wandering aimlessly so early on. With that said, his return here could provide just the spark he needs to build momentum in post-Fyter Fest AEW.
SCU vs. FTR
SCU's Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian battled FTR's Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler in tag team action, the latter team seeking to build on its early momentum and enter the tag title conversation in AEW. The match was originally slated to see FTR battling The Natural Nightmares' QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes, but Jim Ross on commentary said Marshall was exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms and opted not to travel.
An early slugfest between the teams gave way to both teams crashing and burning on the floor entering the commercial break.
During the break, Daniels and Kazarian worked over Wheeler with expert precision and perfect tag team timing, looking to remind fans and competitors alike of their experience and excellence as a tandem.
FTR mounted a comeback after the timeout, with Harwood delivering a slingshot suplex that prompted the commentary team to discuss the possibility of Tully Blanchard recruiting the team. Kazarian answered, delivering a backstabber that sent Wheeler into a kick from Daniels and then into a Killswitch for a near-fall.
FTR recovered and delivered a Veg-O-Matic on Daniels for a near-fall, the resilient veteran evading defeat at the very last second. More near-falls ensued before FTR finally managed to put away its opponents with the Goodnight Express, pinning Daniels to improve its win-loss record to 2-0.
After the match, Harwood cut a promo congratulating The Young Bucks for "graduating from the kiddy table." The sound of FTR's truck engine revving revealed The Butcher and The Blade had commandeered the vehicle.
The Blade issued a challenge for an Eight-Man Tag Team Match for Fyter Fest that would see FTR and The Young Bucks battle Butcher, Blade and the returning Lucha Bros. Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix brawled with Harwood and Wheeler before Matt and Nick Jackson made the save.
FTR defeated SCU
As if the tag team division in AEW had not already been the best part of the company over the last two months, Pentagon and Fenix come along to remind everyone that it can always get better.
Before The Lucha Bros made their return, FTR and SCU had a really strong wrestling match that reminded fans of Harwood and Wheeler's excellence, as well as the timelessness of Kazarian and Daniels. Those two seasoned veterans can hang with anyone today, and both look credible and make their opponents look even better.
The idea of FTR and the Bucks teaming up is a potentially combustible one that should make for some fun little storytelling points in the aforementioned Eight-Man Tag Team Match at Fyter Fest. While they will be the focal point of the match and Fenix and Pentagon will be their same, explosive selves, it is The Butcher and The Blade that have the potential to make the most of the opportunity.
This is that team's first major match of this kind. They have been utilized inconsistently and could firmly entrench themselves in the tag team division with a strong performance. They already impressed against FTR two weeks ago. Another similar showing could be the spark they need in order to move up the ranks and earn the attention of AEW officials and fans alike.
Brian Cage vs. Jon Cruz
Jon Cruz made his AEW Dynamite debut Wednesday.
He squared off with "The Machine" Brian Cage, just one week before the Casino Ladder Match winner challenges for the AEW Championship against Jon Moxley at Fyter Fest.
He did not last long, falling victim to the Drill Claw as Cage continued his winning ways with the company.
After the match, Taz taunted Moxley, who was off the card for the night after being exposed to someone who had COVID-19. "You are sitting on your ass at home with some bulls--t excuse!" he exclaimed. "It's good you're not here because that [points to Cage] is unsafe."
Cage decimated Cruz
This was great. Not for the quality of the match or because it was anything different than what we have seen from Cage to this point, but because Taz was so damn good on the mic.
The former ECW champion believed every word that came out of his mouth, and it resonated, leaving the audience believing that Cage is the most credible challenge to Moxley's title reign and a very legitimate threat to send the antihero of AEW home without his gold at the end of Fyter Fest.
Kudos to the Human Suplex Machine for putting over his charge as convincingly as he has to this point and AEW management for booking Cage so entertainingly and effectively to this point.
Matt Hardy vs. Santana
The Inner Circle's Santana looked to make a name for himself in singles competition, wrestling a rare one-on-one match against "Broken" Matt Hardy.
The fight spilled to the floor, where Hardy ground his opponent's face into the ring post. A brief distraction by Ortiz, though, allowed Santana to score a big kick to the face of Hardy and seize control of the bout. Santana continued his assault throughout the break, driving his knee in the face of Hardy.
Back from the commercial, Hardy tried to fight back into the match, but Santana executed consecutive escapes and downed his opponent again.
Hardy finally managed to create separation and mount his comeback, slamming Santana's head into the turnbuckles and flattening him with the Side Effect.
A well-timed distraction by Ortiz nearly cost Hardy the win, but the future Hall of Famer countered a roll-up into the win. After the match, the sore losers attacked Hardy, battering him and finishing with the Street Sweeper.
Private Party made the save, clearing Santana and Ortiz from the ring before checking on Hardy.
Hardy defeated Santana
The match was fine for what it was, and it was nice to see Santana get some exposure in a singles match, if only because that was an opportunity afforded to Ortiz a few months back.
The effort was certainly there on both sides, but Santana certainly turned it up a notch.
If the intention was to enhance Hardy's place in the singles ranking with the win, this was fine. If not, one has to wonder why Santana could not have been given the win to put over the idea of the heels having the two-on-one advantage.
Especially since they essentially no-sold everything and executed a two-on-one post-match beatdown anyway.
Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho Come Face-to-Face
Ahead of their encounter at Fyter Fest, Chris Jericho came face-to-face with Orange Cassidy in the main event segment of Wednesday's.
Le Champion equated Cassidy to the chicken-crossing-the-road joke: It's stupid the more you hear it. He relived asking Cody, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Tony Khan why they hired Orange Cassidy.
He said people love Cassidy because they are lazy and slackers and do not have what it takes to make it to the top. He warned his Fyter Fest opponent, saying if Cassidy tries the shin-kick offense, he will knock him out and beat him in three seconds.
He vowed the Orange Cassidy experience would be over and that he would "run out of juice."
Cassidy teased talking and then kicked at Jericho's shins, almost daring him to do something about it. He also turned his back on Le Champion in the ultimate sign of disrespect. Jericho answered, taking the sunglasses off Cassidy and breaking them into pieces.
A fight between the two broke out, spilling into the arena at Daily's Place. They fought into the stands, exchanging several blows before Jericho blasted him with the camera rig.
Cassidy recovered and, despite a bloodied head, sent Jericho through a table to close out the show.
Take the hottest act in the company, program him with the most recognizable star and let them beat the unholy hell out of each other in the closing segment of the go-home episode of Dynamite.
It is a formula that worked to tremendous effect this week as Cassidy and Jericho upped the intensity and made fans want to see their match in two weeks as part of Fyter Fest Night Two.
The brawling was on-point, and the physicality in the strikes, particularly, was great.
Cassidy standing, blood staining his white shirt while he looked on, seemingly unfazed by the entire ordeal, made for a hell of a show-closing segment.
Hopefully, the match can live up to everything Cassidy and Jericho have accomplished to this point with their feud.