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13 Ups & 1 Down From AEW Dynamite (Jun 3)

All hail the new "Baddest Man on the Planet."

Cody Jungle Boy
AEW

AEW flexed their storytelling muscles with a mighty fine episode of Dynamite last night, outdoing the previous week's shortcomings with an expansive, well-booked show perhaps low on headline-making moments, but heavy on effective matches, segments, and new developments.

Everybody that appeared on this show had something pushed forward. Whether it was the returning Lance Archer and Brodie Lee setting off in new directions after disappointing defeats or Taz and Jon Moxley heating things up on the microphone, nothing was static. AEW set the table for a promising pay-per-view arc in a fashion similar to Revolution's tremendous build, righting their television show's course after a tepid road to Double Or Nothing. It was encouraging and exciting in equal measure.

A show all about the small things saw Cody defend his TNT Championship against Jungle Boy, who won his main event opportunity in last week's battle royal. Elsewhere, there was another thunderous Brian Cage squash, FTR's first sitdown interview with Tony Schiavone, Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defending their tag straps, Britt Baker going full Britt Baker, and new turns for Matt Hardy, Private Party, Shawn Spears, and more.

This is what pro-wrestling television should be all about. Shows don't need to blow your head off every week, but they do need to tell effective stories, which is what Dynamite accomplished across the board.

Let's light the fuse...

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WhatCulture's big bad wrestling news baron. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.