The feud between The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle continues on tonight's AEW Dynamite.
Jake Hager of The Inner Circle takes on The Pinnacle's Wardlow in an MMA rules cage fight Hager holds a real-life MMA record of 3-0 with a no contest.
Penta El Zero Miedo, Eddie Kingston and Frankie Kazarian will face Matt Jackson, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson in a trios match.
Darby Allin will take on Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page in a handicap match.
Arn Anderson's son, Brock Anderson, makes his official in-ring debut on tonight's show. He will team with Cody Rhodes against QT Marshall and Aaron Solow of The Factory.
Orange Cassidy will be in singles action, taking on Cezar Bononi of The Wingmen.
Penelope Ford will take on Julia Hart in a women's division contest.
A sit-down interview with Andrade El Idolo conducted by Jim Ross has also been advertised.
Our live coverage begins at 10 p.m. Eastern time.
Taz joined commentary for the opener.
MMA Cage Fight: Jake Hager (w/ Chris Jericho) defeated Wardlow (w/ Shawn Spears)
I loved this. It was completely unique and felt like a really big deal. Both men put in great performances.
This was a three-round fight with five minute rounds. Each fighter had a corner man. Fighters could only win by knockout or submission. It looked legit, octagon and all.
Neither man touched for the first minute. Wardlow pushed Hager against the cage. Hager went for a couple quick shots and landed two low kicks. He went for a double leg takedown but Wardlow gutwrenched him out with a quick throw. Hager came back and took Wardlow down, but released the hold and challenged Wardlow to fight.
Hager landed a second takedown and went for ground and pound, but Wardlow rolled out of it to separate. Wardlow caught another low kick and rocked Hager with a right hand before dumping him in the middle of the octagon. Hager escaped and both stood back up. They traded strikes, with Wardlow getting the advantage and landing a Superman punch. With the clock winding down, Wardlow tried to put Hager away, but round 1 ended before the stoppage.
The two men recovered with their corner men before the bell rang for round 2. Hager avoided a running knee and applied a waistlock, but Wardlow fought out with a wristlock, taking Hager down. Wardlow had the full mount and hit hammerfists before going for an armbar. Hager rolled through on the armbar and landed elbow stikes to Wardlow's midsection before going for an armbar of his own.
Hager had a triangle applied, but Wardlow was just able to lift Hager up enough to break it. Hager transitioned into a standing ankle lock. Wardlow rocked Hager with an up kick and powerbombed him into the cage before hitting a running hurricanrana. Wardlow speared Hager down, but Hager countered into the head and arm choke. Wardlow slipped out before Hager fought out of a fireman's carry and took Wardlow down with a uranage. He kept the head and arm choke applied as Wardlow flipped off Jericho, eventually passing out for the referee stoppage.
– After the night, Spears attacked Hager. Jericho got involved, leading to an all-out brawl, before MJF ran out and attacked Jericho's injured elbow with the Salt of the Earth. AEW official Dean Malenko ran out to stop the fight, but was decked by MJF. Sammy Guevara's music played and he ran out, chasing MJF to the back.
Frankie Kazarian, Eddie Kingston, and Penta El Zero Miedo were backstage. Kazarian said tonight was all about vengeance. He's hungry for revenge and thirsty for retribution. Kingston told his opponents to pray to their gods. Penta said "Cero miedo."
Team Taz (sans Brian Cage) was backstage. Taz said Starks' disagreement with Cage needs to stop. Hobbs was upset because he was left alone last week. Taz challenged Hangman Page to take on Hobbs one on one next week.
2-on-1 handicap match: Men of the Year (Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky) defeated Darby Allin
Page started off. Allin outwrestled him with his quickness, forcing him to tag in Sky, who Allin rolled up quickly for a two count. Allin fought off both opponentus until Page caught a Coffin Drop, allowing Sky to take him down with a forearm smash. Allin arm-dragged his opponents into each other and took them down with a Coffin Drop. Page tagged in and leveled Allin with a shoulder tackle.
It looked like Page was going to toss Allin into the front row like at Double or Nothing, but Allin slapped on a sleeper. Page threw Allin into the corners as the Men of the Year took control ahead of the break. Once back, they hit repeated backbreakers on Allin until Allin surprised Page with a small package for two. Allin countered a backbreaker with a Scorpion Death Drop.
Page reached Sky for a tag, then Allin "tagged himself" in, running wild on Sky. He hit a Code Red, but Page broke up the pin and planted him with a uranage. Allin ziptied Page's feet together and sent him to the floor before rolling Sky up for repeated near falls. The over-the-top stunner followed. Allin then hit the Coffin Drop, but Page pulled Allin out of the ring.
Outside the ring, Page cut the ziptie from around his legs and sent Allin into the ring post. He tagged into the match and propped Allin up for a superplex, but Allin bit his way out of it, sending Page to the mat. Sky pulled out Allin's legs and Page hit the Ego's Edge for the win.
A short video promo from the Wingmen aired before the match. Apparently Orange left them "on read."
Orange Cassidy (w/ Best Friends) defeated Cezar Bononi (w/ The Wingmen)
Not sure what this was supposed to be.
Bononi attacked before the bell, then tossed Orange across the ring. Out on the floor, Nemeth sprayed Orange with self-tanner. Back in the ring, Orange briefly got control, but Bononi sent Orange back to the floor, where the Wingmen put a jacket on him.
Orange tripped Bononi running the ropes, sending him to the floor, but the Wingmen caught a dive. Statlander distracted the referee while the Best Friends assisted Orange on a dive, taking out the Wingmen. Bononi caught the diving DDT, but Orange turned it into a stunner and a rolling DDT. Orange took out Nemeth and Drake with the Orange Punch before doing the same to Bononi for the win.
Jungle Boy was about to be interviewed by Alex Marvez, but Omega, Callis, and Nakazawa rolled up in a golf cart. Omega was without his expensive clothes and championships because Jungle Boy embarrassed him last week. He's giving Jungle Boy a chance to make up for it with two knuckle sandwiches, trying to goad Jungle Boy into a fight. Jungle Boy said he'd prefer to beat Omega next week.
Omega offered a free punch, set up to do so, but Nakazawa attacked him with a laptop and Omega beat him up. Omega and Callis then escaped on a golf cart, leaving Nakazawa behind.
Matt Hardy and the Hardy Family Office were interviewed by Alex Marvez about Christian Cage. Hardy said Christian was in violation of a contract, and that's why Hardy keeps attacking him. Christian showed up trying to fight, but HFO pushed him int oa storage area and locked him in. Hardy gave Christian an out, telling him to retire by giving him a retirement check. He said if Christian keeps coming after him, he'll end his career.
Cody Rhodes & Brock Anderson (w/ Arn Anderson) defeated The Factory (QT Marshall & Aaron Solow) (w/ Nick Comoroto)
This was a lot of fun and gave the debuting Brock a Dynamite win. Brock looked really solid considering his experience level.
Brock and Solow started off. Brock avoided a swing and backed himself into the wrong corner, getting some coaching from Cody for his trouble. Solow taunted Brock but was taken down, leading to more chain wrestling. Marshall tagged in, but Cody wanted in as well, so Marshall escaped back to the floor. Cody took him out with a suicide dive but Solow was the legal man, gaining control after a stomp.
Cody fought out of the corner and tagged in Brock, who hit repeated shoulder strikes in the corner. He dispatched Solow with a gutwrench, but Marshall took him down with a double-A spinebuster ahead of the break. Brock reached Cody for the hot tag after the break, but Solow had the official distracted, allowing the Factory to hit a double team neckbreaker for two.
Marshall went for Cross Rhodes on Brock, who countered into a DDT. Cody got the hot tag and ran wild on Solow, hitting the Oklahoma Stampede and a flying headscissor. He locked Solow in the Figure Four, but Solow was at the ropes. They fought up top, but Marshall got involved, so Cody hit him with a destroyer. Solow rocked Cody with a cyclone kick, but Brock broke up the pin.
Brock tagged back in and helped Cody hit a step-up forearm before jackknifing Solow for the pin and win.
Lance Archer and Jake Roberts cut a promo. Roberts said they were going to wait and pounce like a tiger, but Archer doesn't know how to do that. Archer was pacing impatiently in the background, cutting off the promo early.
Andrade El Idolo sit-down interview with Jim Ross
Andrade said he chose AEW because there are many stars, but he's a superstar. JR talked about the championships in AEW, and Andrade said that they're his next step. He's working with Vickie Guerrero because she's experienced and she is a Guerrero, so they have a great connection -- but we have to wait, because they have a surprise.
Hangman Page was with the Dark Order. He accepted Hobbs' challenge for next week and was asked about the world title match next week, but he brushed it off and hyped up the Dark Order members – most notably, John Silver is back soon. He gave a toast to Evil Uno.
Penelope Ford defeated Julia Hart (w/ Varsity Blonds)
They performed chain wrestling at the start. Ford used acrobatics to escape a headscissors before dropping Hart with a shoulder tackle. Hart came back with a dropkick and a running crossbody, but Ford tripped Hart up and hit a springboard knee drop into the commercial break.
Back from break, they traded strikes. Ford avoided a corner clothesline, but Hart rolled Ford up. Ford rolled out and took Hart down with a clothesline. She caught a kick and slapped Hart before hitting a fireman's carry gutbuster. Hart rolled out of the way of a moonsault. Ford avoided a split leg drop and locked on an Indian deathlock, leading to the submission.
– After the match, Miro came out and asked Ford where Kip Sabian is. He mocked Ford by telling the Blonds to leave before attacking them. He and Pillman got into a scrap before being separated by officials.
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. and Rebel were backstage with Schiavone, but Vickie Guerrero interrupted. She's not happy because she wants the championship around Nyla Rose's waist. Baker and Rebel blew it off, but Baker and Rebel vs. Rose and Guerrero was sanctioned for next week.
Next week's Dynamite lineup (Saturday 06/26):
- Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. & Rebel vs. Nyla Rose & Vickie Guerrero
- TNT Championship: Miro vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
- Hangman Page vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
- AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Jungle Boy
For Wednesday 06/30:
- MJF vs. Sammy Guevara
A video package contrasting FTR and Santana & Ortiz aired. They both have fought to get to where they are today. It's difficult to recap but this was really good, pointing out how the two teams are both very similar and deeply different.
Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling announced a partnership with a Toronto hotel, where Cargill's opponents can stay when she knocks them out. Their discount code is "THATBITCH." Sterling advertised Cargill for all of AEW's programming, including Rampage, because she's "that bitch."
Callis joined commentary. Nick Jackson was conspicuously absent.
Matt Jackson & Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) defeated Eddie Kingston, Penta El Zero Miedo, & Frankie Kazarian
Kazarian attacked at the bell. He rolled up Anderson for a quick two before downing him with a clothesline. Jackson got involved, but Penta fought everyone off and tagged in Kingston for a double team. Jackson avoided the spinning back fist and tagged Gallows in. The match broke down into a free-for-all with everyone brawling on the floor. A running crossbody from Jackson took out Kingston ahead of the commercial.
The Elite took control during the break, beating down Kingston in their corner. Kingston shrugged off some right hands from Jackson and peppered him with chops. An overhead belly-to-belly suplex allowed Kingston to reach Kazarian for the hot tag.
Kazarian ran wild on everyone, taking out all three members of the Elite. A springboard leg drop on Anderson got two. Kazarian countered a spinebuster and locked on a crossface chicken wing, but Gallows broke it up, allowing Anderson to hit the spinebuster.
Penta tagged in and took out Jackson with a backbreaker before hitting a tope con giro on both Good Brothers. A floating DDT got two. Kingston tagged in and Jackson was the victim of a parade of offense in the corner. Penta hit the Fear Factor, Kingston hit the Backdrop Driver, and Kazarian hit the Angel's Wings, but Gallows broke up the pin.
A thrust kick from Penta to Anderson got two. Anderson fought out of Fear Factor and hit a neckbreaker before tagging in Gallows. The Good Brothers hit an assisted neckbreaker and Jackson hit a top-rope elbow drop for two. Kazarian broke up the Magic Killer and we got a parade of big moves, leaving Anderson and Penta in the ring.
Penta hit a backstabber and went to the top rope, but Nick Jackson ran out and sprayed Penta with aerosol. Anderson hit a top-rope Stun Gun for the win.