By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley vs. Joey Janela: Moxley is clearly on the verge of challenging for the AEW Championship and thus he had to go over strong in this match. Even so, Janela was made to look good in defeat. I have booking some critiques this week, but they are doing a very nice job with the slow build to the Jericho vs. Moxley match.
Chris Jericho and the Jurassic Express: The usual heel fun from Jericho followed by a fun promo from Luchasaurus. I love the idea of Jungle Boy trying to last ten minutes with Jericho next week. It’s a throwback angle with a lot of fun possibilities.
Dustin Rhodes and The Young Bucks vs. Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz: A crowd pleasing spot fest to open the show with big dives and wild moves. The crowd ate this up and it was a hot way to open the night.
Cody promo: Cody continues to be the top babyface in the company and a big reason is that he continues to deliver on the mic. I’m still baffled by AEW’s decision to release MJF’s response to this promo online rather than airing it on Dynamite.
Trent vs. Rey Fenix: A Hit for a decent match. The presentation left a lot to be desired. The only thing we know about Trent is that he can’t use his WWE last name and he likes to hug Chuck Taylor once a match. Meanwhile, Fenix is racking up singles victories, but it remains to be seen whether they actually serve a real purpose given that he’s typically a tag team wrestler. It was disappointing that the post match exchange occurred during a split screen break.
Nyla Rose vs. Leva Bates: A simple squash win for Rose, who looks more confident than she did in some of her earlier AEW matches. The post match angle with Rose destroying Shanna and the referee mostly played out during the split screen break. Fortunately, we got to see the shot of “Adam Cole’s girlfriend” Britt Baker recreating her concerned look from NXT Takeover. It was good for a laugh, but it also seemed odd that she didn’t attempt to make the save.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Sound issues: This isn’t the first time that AEW sound has been a mess early in the show. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation, but it can’t keep happening when frustrated viewers have another option on Wednesday nights.
Pentagon Jr. vs. Christopher Daniels: A minor Miss. Rather than televise the awful Daniels entrance, why not give viewers a video package that recapped what led to this match? I’m not a fan of the SCU entrance under normal circumstances, but Daniels coming out singing and playing to the crowd felt out of place heading into a grudge match. The match was solid and Excalibur did a great job of covering for Daniels slipping while going for the Arabian moonsault, though it didn’t feel as intense as it should have given how revenge driven Daniels was supposed to be. It was disappointing that we didn’t get any follow-up from Scorpio Sky following his loss to Chris Jericho last week.
Hikaru Shida vs. Kris Statlander: A Hit worthy match for the in-ring portion, but the presentation of the women continues to be a flop for viewers who care about more than match quality. We need to know more about the female characters. Why does Statlander think she’s an alien? Who was the babyface? Who was the heel? Give us character building vignettes, sit-down interviews, pre-taped interviews, something, anything. We get that from Brandi Rhodes occasionally, but the post match angle with her discussing Nightmare Collective and having a female “fan” pledge felt way too similar to the Dark Order.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...