AEW Dynamite 5/31 opens with a massive trios match, Blackpool Combat Club defeating The Lucha Brothers and Bandido. Fresh off their win on Sunday, Danielson heavily puts over Wheeler Yuta who coincidentally takes center stage throughout the match. He seemed to be the legal man 90% of the bout, with Mox and Claudio running interference.
It’s pretty clear Danielson and Yuta are going places. Yuta, over a year ago, was a completely different wrestler. He’s transformed into something great.
Backstage: The Elite are still nursing their wounds as Dark Order rolls up, and seems to have some beef with Hangman. Alex Marvez tries to find out what’s going on with Kenny Omega who is thought to have left and gone back to Canada. However, Hangman says Marvez is wrong, Omega ISN’T in Canada…
In the ring: Jay White and Juice Robinson mess around with Tony Schiavone, and demand FTR come to the ring. FTR obliges but Bullet Club Gold opt for mental games, followed by a cheap shot by Juice Robinson, striking Dax in the face with a roll of coins! I haven’t seen that since 1992!
Big announcement: Tony Khan announces what we’ve all been waiting for, the first episode of AEW Collision will feature… CM PUNK!
There you have it folks, the rumors are rumor no more, CM Punk returns to AEW. Imagine this, Punk, Miro, Samoa Joe, and Thunder Rosa all on one program. Pipe Bombs gonna be dropped!
FTR eventually facing Bullet Club Gold will be a great match. Starks feels like the warm up for it, but if the feud is done right, everyone will benefit.
Swerve Strickland defeats Trent Barretta and Big Bill in a Triple Threat. This felt so random, but random is good and the result was a great match. I was surprised at how well Big Bill did, even the live crowd put him over. Swerve gets the win after Big Bill throws Trent down hard with a massive chokeslam, but Swerve nails an incredible double stomp on a STANDING Bill, knocking him to the apron and floor. He then scurries into the ring and wraps up Trent for the pin and wins. Great match. Very fun to watch.
Recaps of Double or Nothing air. Hype for Kris Statlander
The Acclaimed come out and lament the Trios loss at Double or Nothing, with Billy Gunn taking responsibility for the loss. However, Bowens and Caster say that his time is not up yet, and it’s time for Daddy Ass to hold gold once again.
For a moment, I thought we were getting a heel turn with the over-hyped love for Billy Gunn. Perhaps the heel turn is yet to come…
Tony Schiavone reluctantly brings out Don Callis and Konoske Takeshita
Gotta love a hot crowd. Callis, rightfully earned the nuclear-level uber heat the live crowd threw at him. The boos would not stop in the slightest. They only got louder the longer he spoke, and blew up when Takeshita took the mic. In short, they promise to end The Elite, and more importantly, end Kenny Omega.
Kudos to AEW with this creation. Callis is universally hated, however events at Double or Nothing amped it to insane levels. They took someone we all thought would be an ultimate babyface, and ripped out our guts with the turn.
This segment was a work of art.
Orange Cassidy and Darby Allin somehow defeated Gates of Agony
On paper there was no way they should have won, but it’s Darby and Cassidy who both manage to pull off some crazy stuff. Another fun and enjoyable match, with an outcome which I couldn’t help but smile for.
At first I wasn’t sure where this was going, but then Swerve and Brian Cage hit the ring to hurt the winners, but were driven off by a returning Sting! I imagine this will inevitably lead to Orange Cassidy defending the AEW International Championship against Swerve Strickland. We’ll get some more tag team and trios matches to include String to hype it up.
Tonight has been a solid show thus far, and it helps that the live crowd is on fire and definitely an improvement from the corpse-like Vegas audience Sunday night.
Hook comes out to be interviewed, but is immediately interrupted by Jose the Assistant (but is he still an assistant?) with Preston Vance and Dralistico who attack the FTW Champion, but immediately driven off by a chair-swinging “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry. I don’t know what’s with me, but I thought this would have been another opportunity for a dramatic heel turn if Perry were to waffle Hook with a chair, but no, not happening tonight. Instead, we get a Jungle Hook reunion.
Now, it’s clear. Quickly giving the losing pillars something to do immediately to avoid being forgotten about.
Pre-taped promo from MJF following his win, taunting AEW fans and the locker room, admonishing everyone for a lack of competition and running out of challengers.
Really? I’d like to see MJF versus:
Penta El Zero M
I’m sure MJF could win most, if not all of these, except for Eddie Kingston. I will die on that hill. Eddie Kingston should have been AEW Champion.
Kris Statlander defeats Nyla Rose
Statlander wasn’t losing, but it was still a good full return match. The real story is a pouty Taya Valkyrie watching on the monitor.
There aren’t many challengers for both the AEW Women’s Championship and the TBS Championship due to lack of star power and a plague of injuries. I’m hopeful in the next few months we get some more returns and new wrestlers to be legit challengers.
Before the main event, we get some MASSIVE announcements for both Rampage and Dynamite – Emi Sakura challenges NJPW Strong Women’s Champion Willow Nightingale for the championship, next up is Action Andretti challenging Zack Sabre Jr. for the NJPW Television Championship, Shibata will defend the ROH Pure Championship against Lee Moriarty, and the AAA Mega Championship is on the line as El Hijo Del Vikingo defends against both Komander and Dralistico in a triple threat match! Then, announced for Dynamite, Swerve Strickland will challenge Orange Cassidy for the AEW International Championship!
AEW Dynamite 5/31 Main Event: Dr. Britt Baker, DMD and Adam Cole defeat Saraya and Chris Jericho
Man, I don’t know what’s happening here, but these Cole/Jericho matches just aren’t clicking. Dr. Baker had a few neat spots, mostly putting additional hurt and shame on Jericho. In the end, Saraya is ineffective, and Jericho falls prey to double-team tactics and a running knee ultimately ends the threat. Sorry A-E-Dub, but going from an Unsanctioned match to a mixed tag, both won by Cole feels a bit backwards. An Unsanctioned match should have been the exclamation point on the feud. Hopefully this is the end, but I fear it isn’t.
Excluding the main event, Dynamite was a solid show. The confirmation of CM Punk will likely send ticket sales skyrocketing, and now Rampage is looking like a championship program. One has to wonder how Rampage will fare once Collision begins in a few weeks.
AEW Dynamite 5/31 is now streaming on the TBS app and on demand via your local cable operator.