AEW Dynamite Best and Worst Moments: MJF's In-Ring Return, Toni vs Mina, and More

Dynamite Results and highlights include Kazuchika Okada, Toni Storm, Mini Shirakawa, Hook, and Samoa Joe

Forbidden Door is right around the corner, and AEW certainly had that in mind with tonight's episode of Dynamite. Several additions and confirmations were revealed for the pay-per-view before the night was done, but what stuck out most about tonight's episode was the sheer variety it contained. Dynamite got things started with a thrilling showdown between MJF and Rush, and the show was able to retain that momentum with big moments for Toni Storm and Mina Shirakawa, Kazuchika Okada, and Willow Nightingale. AEW also delivered two fantastic matches that kicked the Owen Hart Foundation Tournaments into gear, and we're breaking down all the results, highlights, best moments, and worst moments of the night right here.

Best Moments

(Photo: AEW)

Zero Ring Rust for MJF: MJF and Rush got Dynamite off to a stellar start with a fantastic match, especially considering the fact that it was MJF's first match in the ring after being gone for around 6 months. There was no ring rust to speak of, and MJF picked right up where he left off. Rush was not about to be shown up either and looked like a true force to be reckoned with. The bad blood between the two only heightened an already captivating showdown, and the match set the tone for the rest of the night.

Okada's Shining Moment: Truth be told, I haven't been completely sold on the way Kazuchika Okada has been utilized as part of The Elite, but the last few appearances have started to really sway me, and tonight's moment was the best one yet. Okada leaning into more comedic and lighthearted moments have become gold, and tonight's moment was my favorite yet, as Okada's over-the-top apology segues into sarcasm, all capped off with what has become his b**** catchphrase. Consider me won over.

The Toni, Mariah, and Mina Effect: After an awkward start, the storyline involving Toni Storm, Mina Shirakawa, and Mariah May has really come into its own over the past few segments, especially as the jealousy between Toni and Mina rises to new heights. The back-and-forth vignettes were hilarious, but that led to a more intense face-off between the two stars on tonight's Dynamite. That intensity is welcome and pours some fuel onto the confrontation that the match absolutely needed. It appears we'll get a team-up with all three before the showdown too, giving one more opportunity to throw some additional fuel on that growing fire, and it should only make the Forbidden Door showdown that much better.

Worst Moments

(Photo: AEW)

Swerve and Ospreay's Uneven Face-Off: A face-off that should have been a slam dunk didn't quite hit that expected high bar, though it's not just on the talent involved. Swerve Strickland will battle Will Ospreay at Forbidden Door for the Title, which is a bit odd in itself since both are very much babyface Champions at the moment. Perhaps that's why these promos felt a bit off, as Swerve is going personal in a rather heelish promo relatively soon after fans rooted for him to take down Christian for doing the very same thing. Ospreay's promo also didn't quite hit the high bar of past ones, as it kind of stalled at points, though the Hit Row line was fantastic. There were high points in this exchange, but who to root for question is muddled, and overall both promos didn't quite click like we're used to from these two immense talents.


(Photo: AEW)

Samoa Joe and Hook for Life: The pairing of Hook and Samoa Joe has been a godsend, and has allowed Hook to still be himself and spotlight his strengths. Joe's ability to shift from mentor to destroyer on a dime is always compelling, especially when paired with someone who has the potential to master that same pivot in Hook. Backstage segments between the two are delightful, but they are also a true force in the ring. All in all, it's a win-win, and segments like this are a reminder of why.

Mark Briscoe and Kyle O'Reilly's Priceless Reactions: Speaking of win-win scenarios, Mark Briscoe being on the mic in any fashion has quickly become a highlight of Dynamite, especially when Kyle O'Reilly is nearby. The two were part of a previous segment where O'Reilly's shocked face couldn't help but make you laugh as Briscoe went off, and tonight the two delivered another fun segment. That said, the best moment was when Briscoe addressed a passing through Jack Perry, which couldn't help but break O'Reilly. These two are delightful together, and hopefully, we get to see even more of them together down the line.

Anna's Back: Anna Jay also made a welcome return to Dynamite, and it's nice to see her in the program with Mina, Toni, and Mariah. Jay has evolved so much over the course of her time in AEW, especially over the past few months, and it's great to see her back in the mix.

Willow's Fire: We also got a quick promo from Willow Nightingale before the show was over, and the new fiery Willow is the best Willow, especially when you throw in the bad blood that now exists between Willow and Kris Statlander.

Tonight's Results

  • MJF def. Rush
  • All Star 8-Man Tag Match: Mark Briscoe, Kyle O'Reilly, Orange Cassidy, and Dante Martin def. Kyle Fletcher, Roderick Strong, Konosuke Takeshita, and Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Title Eliminator Match: The Acclaimed def. The Young Bucks (C)
  • Women's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Semifinals Match: Kris Statlander def. Nyla Rose
  • Daniel Garcia def. Rhett Titus
  • Men's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Semifinals Match: Claudio Castagnoli def. Pac

Next Week's Dynamite

  • Swerve Strickland and Will Ospreay vs Gates of Agony
  • Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Jay White vs Rey Fenix
  • Trios Match: Saraya, Anna Jay, and Harley Cameron vs Mina Shirakawa, Mariah May, and Toni Storm

AEW Forbidden Door

  • AEW World Championship Match: Swerve Strickland (C) vs Will Ospreay (C)
  • AEW Women's World Championship Match: Toni Storm (C) vs Mina Shirakawa
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match: Jon Moxley (C) vs Tetsuya Naito
  • Title for Title Match: Mercedes Mone (AEW TBS Champion) vs Stephanie Vaquer (NJPW Strong Women's Champion)
  • MJF vs Hechicero
  • Orange Cassidy vs Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament Quarterfinal Match: Bryan Danielson vs Shingo Takagi

AEW Forbidden Door takes place on Sunday, June 30th.

What did you think of tonight's AEW Dynamite? You can talk all things wrestling with me on Threads and Twitter @mattaguilarcb!