By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Nick Jackson vs. Rey Fenix: A hell of a match to kick off the show. This match looked like a blast on paper and somehow overdelivered. The athleticism was off the charts. I love that Fenix left Jackson hanging when offered a handshake. This was a treat to watch and the best singles match of the loaded night.
Jon Moxley vs. Darby Allin: The main event was another strong match with some innovative moments. It was a good showing for Allin despite the fact that Moxley went over. The super Paradigm Shift from the ropes was insane. I’m actually thankful that this match was booked for television rather than pay-per-view, as I can’t even imagine what type of madness they would have come up with.
Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, and Scorpio Sky: As I mentioned in my members’ exclusive audio show last night, Jericho channeled the great Arthur Fonzarelli, who famously struggled to admit that he was wrong (look him up, kids). Jericho was a terrific goofball who fell right into the reverse psychology trap that the SCU set for him by granting Sky a title match next week. Scorpio held up his end of the comedy well and then flipped the switch perfectly when he pulled in Jericho for the serious closing line. The Inner Circle attack of the SCU trio that followed was well done and the entire segment left me looking forward to what should be a very good title match. The Jurassic Express involvement made the segment feel overbooked, but the live crowd was game and interested in seeing Hager vs. Luchasaurus.
Santana and Ortiz vs. Private Party: A good match despite the botched pin spot that left the broadcast team scrambling to cover by saying the referee’s leg was pulled and eventually that the legal man wasn’t in the ring. That spot was unfortunate because the match was done in tribute to late wrestler/trainer Matt Travis, and it was obvious that it meant a lot to both teams. Fortunately, they regrouped and came through with a match that both teams can be proud of. The Private Party finisher is a thing of beauty.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal: A minor Miss. It was nice to see Billy Gunn, who was well received by the live crowd, but it didn’t send the right message to have the WWE legend work over so many of the smaller by comparison AEW regulars. I’m usually not a fan of stopping a battle royal when they get down to two entrants. In this case, it actually worked out nicely with MJF drawing strong heat for eliminating Jungle Boy even though it was easy to see coming a mile away.
Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida: A minor Miss. They were put in the unenviable position of following the hot opening match. And while this match had its moments, it never fully clicked and I’m still not sure who the creative forces wanted the fans to rally behind.
Kenny Omega promo: It continues to feel like the story being told is for everyone who followed Omega’s career prior to AEW without much regard for newcomers. Fans who have only seen him in AEW must be wondering what all the fuss is about (it’s warranted, stay tuned). Omega is acting like he’s snapped, but he’s doing it in such a quirky, cutesy way that it’s just not working for me.