The promise of a big announcement on this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite had many hyped for what was to come. We got plenty of matches as Blackpool Combat Club took on the team of Brock Anderson, Lee Moriarty, and Dante Martin, Hook made his debut against Anthony Henry, and Darby Allin faced Andrade El Idolo in a Coffin Match. There were two qualifiers for the men and women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament as Britt Baker returned after time away to face Danielle Kamela and Kyle O’Reilly took on Jungle Boy. Wardlow returned to action against The Butcher, Sammy Guevara had some things to say to the crowd, and Adam Cole looked to refocus after his recent loss. First up, CM Punk and Dustin Rhodes faced off in an old school showdown.

Quick Results

CM Punk defeated Dustin Rhodes via pinfall. ***

Blackpool Combat Club defeated Dante Martin, Lee Moriarty, and Brock Anderson via pinfall. ***½

Wardlow defeated The Butcher via pinfall. **

Kyle O’Reilly defeated Jungle Boy via pinfall. ****

Hook defeated Anthony Henry via submission. **

Britt Baker defeated Daniella Kamela via submission. ***

Darby Allin defeated Andrade El Idolo by closing the coffin. ***

The Matches

CM Punk vs Dustin Rhodes

Once again, the self-proclaimed best in the world opened up the show with a match against Dustin Rhodes. It was a fight that was filled with heart and some old school grappling, but it was also incredibly slow at times. At certain points, it looked messy and highlighted how both guys aren’t as quick or efficient as they used to be, and the ending was just plain ugly. Regardless, the match told a story about a guy who felt like he had something left to prove, as Dustin Rhodes looked to prove he still had it. They started by trading arm drags and feeling each other out, with neither one getting an advantage. Rhodes dived over Punk and then fell out of the ring, hurting his knee in the process. Punk was able to take advantage and worked on Rhodes’ knee with plenty of kicks. He imitated Rhodes’ Goldust persona before the veteran knocked Punk over the ropes. Although Punk tripped Rhodes on the apron, he fought back and wrenched Punk’s arm to send him face-first into the apron. Back in the ring, Rhodes delivered a back body drop and some clotheslines, then drove ten solid punches into Punk’s head in the corner. He continued the assault with a Code Red and his signature uppercut, then delivered a spinning slam for a two-count. Punk locked in a Figure Four, but Rhodes reversed into an Indian deathlock. Rhodes looked to be on the road to victory after a Cross Rhodes and a piledriver, but Punk kicked out. The American Dream was alive and well as Rhodes used his signature punches, but Punk picked him up on his shoulders and was about to nail GTS when Rhodes rolled off and Punk fell on him, hooking the leg to pick up the win. After the match, the two embraced in the ring before Punk walked off signalling for a belt around his waist. “Hangman” Adam Page walked out and the two squared up to each other on the ramp before Punk walked off. I’m not sure how much I care for this match happening. I’ve said it before, there’re tons of other guys who deserve a shot and will likely give us a better feud, but Punk is massively over with the fans so it could actually be fun.

Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta, & Jon Moxley) vs Dante Martin, Lee Moriarty, & Brock Anderson W/ Arn Anderson

Despite some impressive flourishes by Martin, Anderson, and Moriarty, Blackpool Combat Club worked well together to decimate the opposition. Both Martin and Anderson took turns to retaliate against Danielson and Moxley, but their aggression was just too much for them. Mox hit a half-and-half suplex on Anderson and dropped him on the top rope as Danielson drove his knee into the back of his head from the top turnbuckle. Danielson showed just why he’s the best in the business with a gorgeous butterfly suplex into a Jujigatame transition. Moriarty tagged in and landed boots to all members of BCC, followed by a capture suplex and Border City Stretch on Danielson. Moxley regained control with a bulldog choke on Martin, holding it in despite Moriarty trying to break it up. Mox, Danielson, and Yuta simultaneously beat the crap out of all three guys, with Mox picking up the win with a Paradigm Shift on Martin.

The Butcher vs Wardlow

Before the match began, MJF appeared high in the rafters with Shawn Spears and said that Wardlow is a nobody like the fans, and wouldn’t be coming out to any music. Wardlow walked out with security surrounding him and the handcuffs still on until he stepped into the ring. The Butcher managed to get in some headbutts after biting Wardlow’s forehead. He tossed some chairs into the ring, but the ref sent them straight back to the outside. They brawled outside the ring, with Butcher sending Wardlow into the guard rail and the ring post. Back inside the ring, Butcher hit a powerbomb for a one-count. Wardlow then landed four powerbombs in succession before picking up the win. After the match, Wardlow was handcuffed and escorted to the back. Despite being treated like a criminal, Wardlow seemed pretty happy. I guess he knows just how much he’s getting inside MJF’s head.

The Own Hart Foundation Men’s Tournament Qualifier Match: Kyle O’Reilly vs Jungle Boy

This one was easily the match of the night, with both guys getting a chance to showcase their natural ability in the squared circle. As soon as the match started, Jungle Boy and O’Reilly locked knuckles and countered one another’s moves on the mat. Jungle Boy went for his signature top rope arm drag, but O’Reilly countered with an armbar. O’Reilly hit a high knee and some double underhook transitions before locking in a body scissors. He continued the assault with some elbow strikes and body kicks, and a selection of various submissions. Jungle Boy fought back with a Tope Suicida and a lariat outside the ring. Back inside the ring, he landed a springboard DDT and a Front Chancery. Jungle Boy was able to trap O’Reilly in the Tree of Woe to land some stomps and a sliding dropkick. After some great reversals on the mat, Jungle Boy locked in the Snare Trap, but O’Reilly got to the ropes. O’Reilly hit a superplex and a flying knee of the top turnbuckle to pick up the win. It was good to see O’Reilly pick up a clean win, especially against Jungle Boy. He deserves some recognition, especially as a singles competitor because he was one of the best in NXT.

Hook vs Anthony Henry

The cold-hearted, handsome devil made his Dynamite debut and wiped the floor with Henry. He locked in a half-Boston crab and hit a lariat to the back of his head before ending it with Redrum. After the match, Danhausen appeared and challenged Hook to a match. I kind of don’t want these guys to fight each other, but it’ll be cool to see Danhausen back in a ring. Obviously, Hook will destroy him, though.

The Owen Hart Foundation Women’s Tournament Qualifier Match: Danielle Kamela vs Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.

it was so good to see Baker back, and the pop she received in her hometown was amazing. She was accompanied to the ring by Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although Kamela was impressive in the early stages, Baker showed just why she’s one of the best AEW has to offer. Following some aggressive strikes from Kamela, Baker unleashed a flurry of offence. She hit an elbow strike and some forearms before dropping Kamela with a sling blade. After a superkick and a neckbreaker, Baker stomped Kamela and used a Steelers’ glove to end the match with Lockjaw. Following her win, she talked about the women’s division being a disaster in her absence. She talked trash about Ruby Soho, Toni Storm, and Jade Cargill before calling herself the Baddest bitch on the block.

Coffin Match: Andrade El Idolo W/ Jose vs Darby Allin

This feud has been going on for some time, and it feels as though it’s run its course. The match itself was a bit flat, especially as they had an amazing encounter recently on AEW Dynamite. It didn’t take long for Mark Quen and The Blade to interfere, but thankfully Sting was in the audience and he helped even the odds. Things escalated when he dived off the railings deep into the audience on the entirety of the A.F.O. Allin and Andrade headed back to ringside where El Idolo launched Allin into the guard rail. He continued the assault in the ring by whipping Allin into a chair lodged between the turnbuckles. After Andrade missed a running boot in the corner, Allin hit a Code Red. The action escalated outside where Allin landed a Coffin Drop, but Andrade caught him and hit a German suplex. He tried to close the coffin lid on Allin but failed to do so. Up near the top of the ramp, Andrade landed a suplex and then threw Allin onto a metal grate. Andrade dragged Allin to ringside and launched him into the steps, then picked him up and walked onto the apron. Just as he was about to slam him into the coffin, Allin hit a stunner, followed by a bullet Tope Suicida to send them both into the coffin. Jose ran out, but Allin slammed him into the coffin lid that had tons of thumbtacks stuck onto it. Allin then closed the lid to pick up the win. After the match, The Hardys stood on the ramp and did the ‘delete’ action.

The Promos

Earlier today, Wardlow was shown arriving backstage where he was greeted by Mark Sterling and a bunch of security guards. Sterling reeled off a load of rules, but Wardlow just smiled it off. Sterling ordered security to handcuff him, but he just laughed and said, “oink-oink, bitch,” which most definitely made me smile.

Brandon Cutler was filming Adam Cole, reDRagon, and The Young Bucks backstage. Matt and Nick were very quiet as O’Reilly pointed out how all of them had lost recently. He said they need to live up to their name, the Undisputed Elite. Cole then said as a team they can’t be stopped, before issuing an open challenge 10-man tag match next week. With the big announcement tonight from Tony Kahn, I can see The Young Bucks reverting back to the good guys along with Omega and Hangman because they sure seem annoyed with Cole and reDRagon.

A video package aired with Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh, and Sonjay Dutt talking trash about Samoa Joe. Joe also appeared in the video cut in with footage from last week, where he said that they didn’t understand what kind of man he was. After the ending from last week’s Dynamite, it was smart letting the fans cool off from Joe’s beat down. I just want Joe to beat the crap out of all three of them.

Tony Schiavone welcomed Tony Khan for his big announcement. Khan welcomed the President of NJPW Takami Ohbari, and then went to make the big announcement. As he was about to speak, Adam Cole appeared on the video screen and did it for him. It was announced that on June 26 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, NJPW and AEW would host Forbidden Door. Cole then said he would battle Tomohiro Ishii in an Owen Hart Foundation Tournament qualifier next week, then introduced a guest of his own. Jay White’s music hit and he said the last time a big event like this was announced, he single-handedly sold-out Madison Square Garden. He said it wasn’t about NJPW or AEW, it was about the Undisputed Elite and Bullet Club because it’s still their era. Honestly, I can’t tell you how cool this news is. My two favourite promotions joining forces for what could potentially be a PPV of the year contender. I just hope it’s booked right.

Jade Cargill was backstage with Kiera Hogan, Red Velvet, and Mark Sterling. They talked trash about Marina Shafir as Cargill said, “see you Friday, bitch.” For the love of all things holy, please stop with this baddie section crap. As much as enjoy Cargill in the ring, I want Shafir to pick up the victory and shut her up for good.

Thankfully we didn’t have to hear from the Jericho Appreciation Society tonight. Eddie Kingston did cut another snappy promo, though, where he talked about his match with Garcia this Friday on Rampage. He told Jericho to watch because everything he’ll do to Garcia is meant for him. He ended by saying you reap what you sow, but he doesn’t sow, he only reaps.

Alex Marvez was backstage with MJF and Shawn Spears. MJF offered Jake “The Snake” Roberts some money, and after Roberts cut an intense promo, Lance Archer interrupted and said he didn’t need money, he just wanted to fight Wardlow.

Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian were backstage. Kazarian had just said he wanted a shot at Sammy Guevara for the TNT Championship when Sky asked if he could get his rematch first. Kazarian looked frustrated but said he’s always had Sky’s back, and he always will. It was nice seeing SCU back together, if only for a little while.

A video package aired celebrating Thunder Rosa’s victory over Nyla Rose.

Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti stood in the ring as the fans booed them both. He said he loved Conti and he loved the fans, but he also heard the fans that didn’t. Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, and Dan Lambert interrupted. Sky took a pop at Guevara, but as the champ responded, Adam Page shouted at him and said no one came here to hear Guevara talk. Lambert stepped up and said Guevara threw everything away because he couldn’t keep his tongue out of Conti’s mouth, to which she kissed Guevara in a disgusting fashion. I can’t work out if she knows how to be a great heel, or whether she is just naturally awful as a performer. Lambert then said he should send Sky and Page to the ring to give him a pounding that only Conti could dream about. Sky wanted a rematch which was made official for next week in a Ladder Match, but Guevara said he’d only do it if they could have a mixed tag match in the weeks to come. Lambert agreed as they walked off. It’s not a surprise the fans have turned on Sammy and Tay so quickly because of how obnoxious they are. I don’t believe they thought it would happen, but props to Guevara for embracing the heat.

Brody King, Buddy Matthews, and Malakai Black appeared in another promo. There seems to be no real direction for these three at the moment, and it kind of bums me out.

Serena Deeb and Hikaru Shida featured in a video promo where it was announced they’d face each other in a Philly Street Fight next week on Dynamite.

Match of the Night: Kyle O’Reilly vs Jungle Boy

Best in Show: Darby Allin

Overall Rating: ***

All pictures and videos courtesy of AEW

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