AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from June 18
Cody Rhodes' war with QT Marshall and The Factory continued Friday night on AEW Dynamite as The American Nightmare teamed with second-generation competitor Brock Anderson to battle Marshall and Aaron Solow.
Was the EVP of All Elite Wrestling able to score an all-important victory on the same day he and wife Brandi welcomed daughter Liberty Iris into the world, or did Marshall and Co. spoil Rhodes and Anderson's first time as a tag team?
Find out now with this recap of the June 18 episode.
Announced for Friday's show:
- MMA Rules Cage Fight: Jake Hager vs. Wardlow
- Frankie Kazarian, Penta El Zero Miedo and Eddie Kingston vs. Matt Jackson and The Good Brothers
- Orange Cassidy vs. Cezar Bononi
- Darby Allin vs. Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page
- Cody Rhodes and Brock Anderson vs. QT Marshall and Aaron Solow
- Julia Hart vs. Penelope Ford
- Jim Ross interviews Andrade El Idolo
Coverage begins at 10 p.m.
MMA Cage Fight: Jake Hager vs. Wardlow
The MMA Rules Cage Fight between The Inner Circle's Jake Hager and The Pinnacle's Wardlow kicked off Friday's episode of Dynamite. Presented like a UFC contest, it took place in an Octagon-style cage, complete with special instruction and a black referee shirt for official Aubrey Edwards.
Hager caught his opponent with a jab, then took him down with a double leg. Wardlow answered with a barrage of right hands and a Superman punch. The Oklahoman barely survived Round 1 upright as the bell rang.
After a break, Wardlow sought an armbar, and Hager answered with a triangle choke. Wardlow escaped that submission attempt, but Hager applied another choke. Wardlow fought out, but Hager dropped him with a uranage and applied the triangle again, this time for the victory via referee stoppage.
The Pinnacle attacked after the match, complete with MJF using his Salt of the Earth submission on Jericho, until Dean Malenko interrupted. MJF rocked him with a cheap shot before Sammy Guevara made the save and chased the heels off.
Hager defeated Wardlow via referee stoppage.
This respected MMA more than most presentations of the sport in wrestling have, but that doesn't mean it is something AEW should revisit frequently. If fans wanted to watch MMA, they would tune into UFC, Bellator or any other mixed martial arts product.
Hager and Wardlow worked a competent fight, with a quality finish that didn't hurt the latter, before all hell broke loose in the feud between Inner Circle and The Pinnacle that refuses to die. Kudos to the continued booking of Guevara as the star of the feud, though, as AEW follows through with its promise to promote the future of the business.
Handicap Match: Darby Allin vs. Men of the Year
A pre-taped promo from Taz laid down the challenge to Hangman Page for a match against Powerhouse Hobbs on next Saturday's special edition of Dynamite.
Back in Daily's Place, Men of The Year's Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page made their way to the ring for an advertised Handicap Match against Darby Allin.
AEW's face-painted antihero fired off with a flurry of offense, but it was only a matter of time before the heels cut him off and dominated the action, which they did throughout the commercial break. Allin channeled Sting, though, delivering a Scorpion Death Drop to create separation.
Allin zip-tied a distracted Page's feet together and sent him to the floor before executing a Coffin Drop on Sky. Darby rolled late, but the numbers game proved too much and Page put him away with the Ego's Edge.
Page and Sky defeated Allin
This was a great display of Allin's effectiveness as the gutsy underdog babyface.
Despite the beating he took throughout the match, he threw everything he had at the heels and nearly scored the upset, even outthinking them. The numbers disadvantage proved too much for him to overcome, and Sky and Page won, as they should have.
If there was one negative, it was the lack of purpose.
Why did this exist?
To prove that Allin needs Sting? That feels somewhat counterproductive given Allin is the long-term star here. Sure, it put over Allin's toughness, but we've known how relentless and resilient he is from the beginning.
To prove the heels can only win when they have a number's advantage or when The Stinger isn't around? That doesn't necessarily do Sky and Page any favors, either, even if they are the heels in this equation.
Give us something to go along with the strong story that played out within the match, AEW. Everyone involved deserves it.
Orange Cassidy vs. Cezar Bononi
Orange Cassidy battled Cezar Bononi, who was accompanied by his fellow Wingmen Peter Avalon, Ryan Nemeth and JD Drake. Best Friends' Chuck Taylor, Trent and Kris Statlander accompanied Freshly Squeezed.
Cassidy overcame repeated attempts at humiliation by The Wingmen at ringside, not to mention the strength and size advantage of Bononi, to rock the Brazilian with three Orange Punches and score the pinfall victory.
Cassidy defeated Bononi
The Wingmen are a great undercard heel faction and the perfect use of the talent involved. Don't be surprised if they are one of those acts that exceeds expectations from a popularity standpoint and, as a result, moves up the card.
Cassidy is a total star, and that last Orange Punch was on point. His faction with Best Friends and Statlander is great and helps with his overall presentation.
Not a terrible use of all involved by any means.
Cody Rhodes and Brock Anderson vs. QT Marshall and Aaron Solow
Backstage, Kenny Omega and The Elite failed to totally beat down Jungle Boy ahead of Kenny Omega's world title match on next week's show, while Matt Hardy offered Christian Cage a check to go away and retire, to which Captain Charisma scoffed.
Young Brock Anderson made his way to the ring for his first match on television, joining Cody Rhodes for a tag team showdown with QT Marshall and Aaron Solow.
Anderson fired off on the opponents, showing the trademark snap on his offense that was such a hallmark of father Arn's arsenal. Inexperience reared its head, though, and the heels took advantage heading into the break.
Rhodes finally tagged in and took the fight to Solow, relentlessly unloading on the young competitor and folding Marshall up with a Canadian Destroyer. As the action broke down, Anderson outwrestled Solow and scored the win with a quick jack-knife rollup to the delight of his dad. Father and son embraced after the match to put an exclamation point on the moment.
Rhodes and Anderson defeated Solow and Marshall
Rhodes, Solow, and Marshall did exactly what they had to in order to tell the desired story and put Anderson in the position to both star and succeed in his first match. This was excellently executed, even if there wasn't much to the match itself.
What this needed most was the emotional post-match between Brock and Arn, which was interrupted by the commentary team throwing to a Lance Archer video package and JR's sit-down interview with Andrade El Idolo that told us nothing we didn't already know, outside of a teased surprise from him and Vickie Guerrero.
AEW missed the moment in the name of jam-packing the show to the seams, something it must improve upon moving forward.
One thing WWE has always understood the significance of is the power of moments. To get them, you have to let things breathe rather than throwing to vignettes and video packages, thus missing out on what makes things truly memorable.
Considering how prone to the dramatic and theatrical Cody is, for better or worse, it is somewhat surprising that the company does not have a better grasp on how to really capture moments.
Julia Hart vs. Penelope Ford
Penelope Ford returned to in-ring action this week, battling Julia Hart in singles competition. The Varsity Blonds' Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison accompanied Hart for the potentially momentous occasion.
Ford survived the athleticism of Hart early and delivered a big double knee to the midsection on the ring apron. Hart recovered and fought back after the break, even avoiding a moonsault from Ford, but she fell prey to a submission as her more experienced opponent picked up the win.
After the match, TNT champion Miro appeared, citing the unfairness of the numbers game against Ford. He flattened Garrison, only for Pillman to fire away at him. Referees attempted to separate the competitors but the fight continued...right into a pre-taped promo featuring Dr. Britt Baker DMD.
Vickie Guerrero interrupted the women's champion's interview and revealed that, per Tony Khan, she will team with Nyla Rose to battle Baker and her sidekick, Rebel.
Ford defeated Hart
Ford looked great here, really getting to show off her in-ring skill set in what was essentially an extended squash. She was intense, aggressive and showed no mercy as she beat down her 19-year-old opponent en route to victory.
Unfortunately, as has been the theme throughout the course of the show, her win was immediately overshadowed by Miro's appearance and his impending feud with Pillman. That match will be damn fun and benefits Pillman's quest for stardom as a second-generation star, but it did a great disservice to the women who just worked seconds prior.
By the time the commentary team threw to the Baker promo, it was almost as if Ford's victory was a total afterthought. And for what? Guerrero's announcement of a tag match in a segment that could have been saved for AEW's social media accounts?
Six-Man Tag Team Match
The seriously cool mixtape of a team of Eddie Kingston, Penta El Zero Miedo and "Elite Hunter" Frankie Kazarian battled The Young Bucks' Matt Jackson and The Good Brothers' Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows in a blockbuster six-man tag team main event.
The heels absorbed the early onslaught from the babyfaces to cut down Kingston and work him over on the floor during the commercial break. The defiant Kingston dared his opponents to bring the fight. When they did, he fired up, created separation and tagged Kazarian into the match. The Elite Hunter worked over the opposition, and a tag to Penta continued the late babyface roll.
Penta delivered Fear Factor to Jackson, Kingston followed with a backdrop driver, and Kazarian added Angel's Wings, but Gallows broke up the pin. The heels delivered their own trio of offense, only for Penta to kick out.
The action broke down and Nick Jackson appeared from out of nowhere, spraying Penta in the face with aerosol spray, and Anderson scored the win with a super cutter.
Jackson and The Good Brothers defeated Penta, Kingston and Kazarian
How much more would it have meant to Kazarian, in his first major match as the newly dubbed "Elite Hunter," for him to pick up the win here? Instead, the Elite picked up the win and stands tall to close out Dynamite.
It is a pattern that Dynamite has found itself in since the Young Bucks turned heel. While it's great to have a hot heel act, and babyface fans want to see them get some revenge, it all negates itself if fans feel as though the payoff is never coming.
Eventually, the babyfaces have to get the ultimate victory or it becomes a weekly exercise in sameness and repetition. Ask Triple H circa 2003.
While The Elite isn't quite in danger of that yet, AEW should start paying close attention to just how frequently the heels are left standing to close out these shows.
Otherwise, this was every great six-man tag we have seen out of these players before, with a particularly impressive showing from the always excellent Penta.