By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Chris Jericho and Cody: It was a nice touch to put the Inner Circle in the luxury box for a couple of matches, as Jericho has to be good for ratings. I got a kick out of the group taunting Cody with airhorns during his promo, and that set the stage nicely for Dustin Rhodes, MJF, and Dallas Page coming out to even the numbers. The visual of the babyfaces (it’s so odd to use that label for MJF) going up the arena steps to go after the heels was great, and it was a nice touch to have MJF give Cody his scarf so he could break the window of the door the heels were hiding behind. Cody’s dig at WWE was fun and well received, and Jericho asking MJF “Who wears a scarf?” was hilarious. Jericho is making the most of the creative and promo freedom and is delivering some outstanding performances.
Private Party vs. Pentagon Jr. and Fenix in an AEW Tag Title tournament semifinal match: A hot opening tag match with the best young team in the business facing one of the elite teams in all of pro wrestling. It was cool to see AEW shake up the format by starting the show with both teams in the ring. There were some spots that looked contrived, but there were also sensational athleticism that more than made up for it. It was fun to hear a Pittsburgh crowd so rowdy from the start. I have nothing against the Steel City, but they’ve stood out to me as some of the flatter live crowds for WWE events, but that wasn’t an issue for AEW’s debut in the market.
Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky vs. The Dark Order in an AEW Tag Title tournament semifinal match: They had a tough act to follow with the match taking place right after the crazy opener, but both teams did a nice job and this was the Dark Order’s best showing in AEW to date (I didn’t miss The Creepers). The finals of the tournament should be very good, and it will be interesting to see if SCU and the Lucha Brothers can top the Private Party vs. Lucha Brothers match.
Kenny Omega vs. Joey Janela: It was refreshing to see Janela take a night off from the hardcore style. Janela got his share of offense, but they made the right call in putting over Omega strong.
The Young Bucks vs. Best Friends: Another quality tag match. It would have been tough to top the insanity of the opening match and this was the third tag match in 90 minutes, so the involvement of Orange Cassidy helped keep things fresh. I may have missed the broadcast team the only one who wasn’t sure what the Young Bucks were referring to when they told Santana and Ortiz that they accepted?
Britt Baker vs. Jamie Hayter: A minor Hit for a match that received an assist from the live crowd, which rallied behind hometown heroine Baker.
Wardlow vignette: A simple and arguably even generic workout vignette, but I enjoyed this more than the odd Lucha Underground style fighting video the company went with for his first vignette at All Out.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Jon Moxley vs. Pac: A soft Miss for a good main event that concluded with an unsatisfying draw finish. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for AEW using time limits and draws in key places, but I must question whether it’s a good idea to close the fourth show with a draw that ended an otherwise high energy night on a flat note. And where was the hype and fanfare? Jon Moxley vs. Pac is a big match that will keep viewers watching if it’s promoted, yet it was barely mentioned throughout the course of the show. There were no promos (really, one throwaway Moxley promo in four weeks?!?), no backstage shots of the wrestlers, and no video package to recap their storyline. I realize the match ended in a draw and perhaps they may not have wanted to go overboard with the hype. In general, AEW should make their television main events feel as big as possible. They could even keep track of the wrestler’s won/loss record in television and main event matches, as there’s a story to be told with wrestlers who thrive or struggle in the main event spotlight. And if they brand their television main events properly, there’s also a story to be told with younger wrestlers climbing the ranks and earning their first spot in a Dynamite main event.
Lack of promos: Did Brandi shove Jamie Hayter out of the way and look angry with Jenn Decker because no wrestlers other than Chris Jericho and her husband Cody are allowed to speak on AEW television? Okay, we’ve heard from a few other people, but I’m shocked that a company run by wrestlers who hung their hats on not using writers and letting wrestlers speak for themselves is not giving more wrestlers promo time.
I thought this was another really good show. Private Party vs. The Lucha Bros was incredible, and I hope they revisit that for a long fued. The Cody and Jericho stuff was fun, and I really liked the main event. The Brandi thing is also an interesting hook.
My only gripes would be the Dark Order gimmick just isn’t a good one, and I’d like to start seeing more of some women other than Britt Baker. They’re seperating Penelope Ford and Joey, I assume, which I wish they wouldn’t. I’d like to see Ford and Bea both get more tv time, though. They’re both immensely talented. It’s week 4 however, so I’m trying to remain patient.
Man, I love Chris Jericho. He has an incredible ability to make crowds love him and hate him at the same time.
Another mediocre spotfest show with zero selling because they’ve got almost nobody who knows how to work a wrestling match. It’s all so repetitive and boring.
Repetitive and boring, eh? Ironic, from the man who posts basically the same thing over and over again on every article that mentions AEW.
The VAST majority of people obviously agree with me. Ratings are already below TNA levels from their peak. AEW didn’t even have a peak. It’s just flippy midgets who can’t work taking turns doing moves until they stop.
“The VAST majority of people obviously agree with me.”
No, they really don’t. Maybe try actually talking to people within the wrestling community sometime instead of your imaginary friends.
“Ratings are already below TNA levels from their peak.”
Are you really comparing a company that just had their 4th show to a company that’s been around for over a decade years? How much exactly is Vince paying you to write this drivel?
The ratings have gone DOWN every single week. They’re down over 400k already. The building wasn’t a sellout last night. The bloom is off the rose. They’re dead in the water already.
Just because you keep repeating something it doesn’t make it true. You say the “VAST majority” agree with you, and yet most of the comments I’ve seen about AEW have been positive. What is really amusing though is how you cherry pick ratings statistics to suit your opinions though. Saying AEW’s ratings are below “peak” TNA is like slamming a new restaurant because they’re not out selling McDonald’s out of the gate. It takes time to build something. If you want to dive into statistics though, AEW is consistently a top rated show on Wednesday nights, and does well in the typical target age demos for a wrestling audience.
TNA is hardly McDonald’s in a comparison. McDonald’s is the #1 fast food place and TNA was nevr close to #1. A third rate fast food place like Arby’s or Rally’s would be a better comparison.
Comments mean nothing, RATINGS do. And the ratings are tanking every single week. Just because you’re an AEW pole smoker that doesn’t mean objective standards can’t be applied. AEW is a mediocre, at best, in ring product and the rest of the show is crap.
Objective standards? For real? AEW just rated the 4th most watched cable broadcast on Wednesday night, behind 2 NBA openers! Did they lose some viewers? Sure. Is that “tanking” though? Hardly. Fourth out of how ever many cable show there are is a great finish for something that’s been around a month.
Did the Young Bucks spurn you for an autograph or a selfie some time, Write This Way?
Break out the aloe, Write This Way lmaooooo
I gotta disagree about the draw finish. I think it works because it’ll get people more excited about Pac and Moxley’s eventual next match. I don’t think it’s something AEW should do all the time, but I think here it’s fine especially since neither guy really needed the loss. NJPW does this occasionally and it works, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for AEW as long as it’s used sparingly.
I thought this show was incredible. I’d literally have to nitpick for stuff I don’t like…
– The Dark Order gimmick isn’t really working
– Cody punching through the glass was cringe
– I’m just burnt out on Cody being the centre of attention in general, like a 2010 John Cena. Last week he got a huge video package, this week he got rare promo time… lot’s of other people on the roster need time for character development but instead all eyes are on Cody
Other than that, I somewhat agree that there’s not enough promo time (see above rant), but it’s hard to argue that the in-ring action is pretty darn great.
Pockets appeared, can’t wait for cornette’s podcast
The in ring action is the worst part of the product by a mile. There are 4-5 guys who can actually work in the whole company. The rest are just flippy midgets who take turns doing stupid moves that carry no consequence until one of them is finally pinned.
They’ve lost nearly 50% of their debut audience because the product is complete crap.
Once again you’re just creating your own bullshit statistics. It must suck being so miserable that nobody wants to touch your pee pee.