AEW makes their Los Angeles debut with tonight's live Dynamite from the Kia Forum.
"Cult of Personality" opened the show. I should note that Anthony Bowens is an unbelievable hype man for his team and the live crowd.
CM Punk & FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) defeated Max Caster & The Gunn Club (Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn) (w/ Billy Gunn & Anthony Bowens)
During a commercial break, there was an excellent and heartfelt promo from Bowens about Pride Month. Once back, Punk was given the hot tag -- he slipped on the springboard in the way in but was able to take down the Gunn Club on his own before assisting Cash on a dive.
After the match, Punk said he's never done drugs in his life, but he imagines this is what it feels like. He said there's still lots to do, and he has to keep getting better. You can call him a lot of things, but you have to call him "the champ."
Dax said that professional wrestling means the world to him, and his family (in attendance) is the only thing that means more. These ROH tag titles are everything, and it doesn't matter if anyone from this company -- or any other company -- wants them.
Punk turned his attention to Forbidden Door, demanding that whoever he's got for the show come on out.
"Go Ace!" sounded and the all-time great Hiroshi Tanahashi of New Japan Pro Wrestling made his entrance. He pointed at Punk, who posed with the AEW World Championship.
This reviewer's thoughts: There's a lot to talk about here. Obviously the MJF-TK "issues" have been turned into a work. MJF was sensational in this segment, getting the crowd behind him after no-showing a fan-sign last week. But the part about being the only "safe" wrestler and talking about how he's "good in the ring" was awful WCW-level "it's a work" stuff that completely undermines the structure of a wrestling show. If they keep this up and drop that, this could be an all-time angle.
MJF came out and said he was in a lot of pain after Sunday. He said he's here to talk, but as "Max Friedman." He teased embarrassing Tony Khan and AEW in front of Warner Media executives and said he wouldn't sit down and meet with TK.
When AEW started, it was "All Friends Wrestling." Everyone was invited but MJF, even though everything he touches turns to gold. He said nobody's capable of carrying the company on his back like he has for months. He insulted the fans, essentially calling them "fickle." He said the boys in the back are part of the problem too.
MJF called the fans "uneducated marks" and said "you don't know shit." He said he's the only "safe" wrestler, which doesn't make sense, because wrestling is fake. He's the "best." He called himself the top minute-to-minute draw in AEW, and yet TK won't open his pocketbook to pay the guy who's been there since day one.
He asked if he were an ex-WWE guy, whether he'd get the big payday. He demanded that Tony Khan fire him and cursed loudly (it was beeped) before the screen went black and it cut to commercial, as if it was unscripted
This was billed as Johnny issuing an open challenge to anyone in the AEW locker room. A Miro video promo aired, saying he'd come after everyone who separated him from his gold. "The Redeemer is back."
Miro defeated Johnny Elite
Miro immediately took it to Johnny, beating him down in the corner. He continued to dominate through a break.
Johnny hit a shining wizard and climbed the ropes, but Miro avoided the dive and hit his signature kick. Game Over followed for the submission.
Jericho Appreciation Society promo
A great video package recapped Anarchy in the Arena.
The live crowd got a near-full rendition of "Judas" before Jericho cut it off. He was out there with Hager and 2point0, but Garcia was absent ahead of his match with Jon Moxley.
Parker spoke first, saying they dominated Anarchy in the Arena and demanded that the crowd appreciate them. Menard, forehead full of stitches, said nobody does it better. Jericho said the crowd didn't deserve to sing "Judas" tonight -- they deserve the Jericho Appreciation Society.
Jericho said winning that match wasn't without a price, going through and listing all his trials and tribulations throughout the match. He questioned Eddie Kingston and Bryan Danielson's humanity for their actions. He said sports entertainers always win against pro wrestlers.
Eddie Kingston interrupted with William Regal behind him. None of his friends are there, but he's fine with fighting them all right here. He offered Regal a chance to say where he wants to fight them, and Regal obliged: "Blood & Guts!"
Kingston ran down to the ring but was immediately beaten down by the J.A.S. Ortiz appeared behind Jericho and beat him down with a sack before cutting off some of Jericho's hair.
At Double or Nothing, Samoa Joe was interviewed backstage, but Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh showed up and wrapped a chair around his already-injured shoulder before sending him into a steel structure.
Adam Cole joined commentary.
The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson), reDRagon (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish), & Hikuleo (w/ Brandon Cutler) defeated Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Christian Cage, Darby Allin, & Matt Hardy
This was a super fun all-action tag match that sets up a tag title match.
We got a parade of big moves finished off with a superkick party from the Bucks. reDRagon hit the High Low on Christian as the Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver on Jungle Boy for the win.
Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee were backstage. Swerve had an entourage of people with him, saying he was "on his mogul stuff" right now. Lee said gold would be theirs soon.
Schiavone welcomed her to AEW. Athena talked about confronting Jade Cargill. Even though Jade's undefeated, all streaks were meant to be broken, and she plans on breaking hers. Athena started going through her nicknames but was interrupted by Jade, the Baddies, and Stokely Hathaway.
Hathaway said it was a shame that Athena interrupted them at Double or Nothing. She said Jade is a "queen" and a "goddess," as well as the TBS champion. Jade said the title shot wasn't happening.
Kiera Hogan stepped up and exchanged words with Athena as Anna Jay and Kris Statlander stepped up to back her up. Hathaway demanded security separate them.
Wardlow came out with no security detail per the stipulation from Double or Nothing. He also has a remixed theme.
Wardlow defeated JD Drake
Wardlow leveled Drake with a lariat before planting him on a slam. The Powerbomb Symphony (only two powerbombs this week) followed for the squash win.
– After the match, Schiavone was about to interview Wardlow, but Smart Mark Sterling came out flanked by security. He served Wardlow with a class action lawsuit on behalf of the security workers. Wardlow powerbombed one anyway.
Dan Lambert and American Top Team were backstage. They said Dante Martin has potential, but it won't be enough for him to win the TNT Championship. Dante walked up and challenged Sky for Rampage.
Ruby Soho & Toni Storm defeated Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. & Jamie Hayter
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Down
Baker hit a swinging neckbreaker on Soho. Miscommunication between Hayter and Baker led to Soho hitting Destination Unknown for the win, pinning Baker.
– Hayter attacked Soho with the Owen Hart Cup belt after the match.
Battle of the Belts was announced for August 5th from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Jon Moxley defeated Daniel Garcia
This was an excellent hard-hitting affair, better than their first match at the First Dance last year.
Moxley had the upper hand early on, beating Garcia down. Garcia would try to fire back with strikes, but Moxley had the power and stamina advantage. Moxley went for the Paradigm Shift, but Garcia drove him out of the ring and sent him into the steel steps and kicked them into Moxley's leg. Moxley's forehead was opened up after being cut on Sunday.
Jericho ran down to the ring to distract Moxley, but Moxley hit the Paradigm Shift and applied the Bulldog Choke for the win as Eddie Kingston ran out to take care of Jericho.
– After the match, Moxley said he wanted Blood and Guts. Jericho vs. Ortiz was announced for AEW Road Rager in two weeks, and Blood and Guts was confirmed for four weeks away on June 29. The show signed off four minutes past the hour.
Final Thoughts: Thumbs Up