By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Chris Jericho and MJF: This was the most important promo in MJF’s young career and he delivered. MJF used good heel logic while explaining why he turned on Cody and drew great heat in the process. The verbal exchange between Jericho and MJF that followed was highly entertaining. The Dynamite debut of Wardlow as the heater for MJF was unexpected and well done. I assume the MJF and Wardlow pairing means MJF won’t be joining the Inner Circle. I like that call, as there’s no reason to make the heel faction overly bloated, and MJF is too good of a talker to be cast in a sidekick role where he would struggle get to mic time.
Pac vs. Hangman Page: I was surprised when Page won the pay-per-view match because I assumed they were building up his character’s frustration with the goal of turning him for that teased Kenny Omega program. And perhaps that is the direction and that’s why he lost the television match. Pac seems to be building up the type of record that would warrant a title shot. It’s an odd heel vs. heel dynamic, though I think they are just the right promo away from the respected Pac being cheered by the fans.
Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara for the AEW Tag Titles: A good match with the pleasant surprise of Sky scoring a clean pin over the AEW Champion. I’ve said for weeks that I’d like to see Sky move into the singles division while Kazarian and Christopher Daniels work the tag team matches and hopefully that’s the plan. If Sky is moving into the singles division, hopefully that needlessly long SCU introduction doesn’t come with him.
Santana and Ortiz brawl with the Young Bucks: The best part of the big brawl was actually the hilarious shot of Orange Cassidy striking his pose when the bathroom door opened. That said, it was a good brawl that put heat on the heels. The only concern was Matt Jackson selling back pain after taking the bump through the stage. I don’t think I can take another year of Matt occasionally selling a back injury after seeing him do it for so long in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Jon Moxley vs. Michael Nakazawa: I was not a fan of the match, but it was wise to spotlight it with the still shots at the beginning of the show to make those who didn’t order the pay-per-view feel like they missed something special. The actual match between Moxley and Nakazawa was exactly what it should have been with Moxley winning quickly and decisively, and it’s always a good thing to put a mic in Moxley’s hand.
Darby Allin vs. Shawn Spears vs. Peter Avalon: The match felt completely random, but it served its purpose in that it gave Allin a win and gave him the platform to take up Moxley on his challenge. Will this be a toned down match on TNT given that Tony Khan has already stated that they won’t be able to deliver the death matches they’ve had on pay-per-view? If so, amen.
The Dark Order vs. Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt: Anyone bitching about Stunt being too small to work with heavyweights should stop and listen to the reaction he received from this live crowd. Stunt is a fun act and while I get that he won’t be for everyone, the crowd reactions suggest that there are more than enough supporters to justify his role. I’m still not sold on the Dark Order presentation with The Creepers, but they served as good fall guys for the returning Luchasaurus.
Nyla Rose vs. Dani Jordan: A quick and decisive win for Rose, who disappeared from Dynamite after losing the AEW Women’s Championship match.
AEW Dynamite Misses
None: AEW created more time for the wrestlers to talk, which was a welcome change from the all action and no talk style shows they went with in past weeks. They have a lot of talent to establish and thus mic work is necessary regardless of how much the “wrestling, wrestling, and nothing but wrestling” crowd protests.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Jake Barnett on a Dot Net Weekly combo show discussing the concept of two nights for major events, AEW Dynamite and NXT discussion, early WWE Royal Rumble winner possibilities, the XFL, NJPW Wrestle Kingdom, and much more...