By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho: Moxley delivered a strong promo to set the stage for his AEW Title match with Jericho at the AEW Revolution pay-per-view. It’s not that Moxley said anything we haven’t heard before, it’s about the intensity and swagger he delivered his words with. It was fun to listen to so many fans singing along with Jericho’s entrance music only to immediately shift to booing him loudly once it stopped playing. Jericho was his usual smug heel self in his rebuttal promo. I liked the way Moxley brought his home state crowd into it by saying the fans had his back, and it was classic Moxley to bring the fight to the Inner Circle and their goons despite being outnumbered.
Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz vs. Darby Allin and Private Party: An action packed six-man tag team main event. There were some good near falls for the babyfaces, but there was no reason for the heel trio to lose this match. Jericho’s match with Moxley is set, so this wasn’t a place to have one of the babyfaces beat him to create the need for a television match. In fact, Jericho should go into the title match looking strong, especially if they are going with a title change. The babyfaces looking so competitive with the strong heel team was more than enough on this night. The post match angle with Sammy Guevara slamming Allin’s throat onto his own skateboard was a good way to set up a promising feud between them. Moxley doing his best baseball bat Sting to send the heels scurrying was a solid Nitro-like close to the show.
The Young Bucks vs. The Butcher and The Blade: MJF did a really good job on color commentary and gave a better verbal boost to The Butcher and The Blade than anyone else has to date. The match itself was well worked and the Bucks don’t get enough credit for adjusting their in-ring style to play to the strengths of their opponents. Butcher and Blade would benefit from some some squash matches to establish their offensive moves.
Britt Baker: It’s nice to actually hear from someone in the women’s division (more on that later). Beyond that, Baker has done a nice job of heeling on Tony Schiavone and now Jim Ross over the last two weeks. And while it may seem odd for her to target the broadcast team rather than another wrestler, both men are far more popular than any of AEW’s babyface female wrestlers, though she did work in a jab at AEW Champion Riho’s infrequent appearances. As such, it appears the creative approach is to use the popularity of the broadcast team to get Baker heat while presumably building her up for a title match against Riho.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Cody vs. Kip Sabian: This felt overbooked. The idea of Arn Anderson carrying a play sheet to ringside like an offensive coordinator in football was an eye roller. This was followed by Anderson having a baseball manager style argument with the referee and that wasn’t any better. The more I see Cody and Arn together, the more I’m convinced that Arn is an unnecessary addition to Cody’s strong act. I love Anderson and maybe there’s a storyline at play that will help this alliance make sense over the long run, but it sure seems like Anderson could do a lot more good if he were aligned with someone who actually needs him. The spot with Joey Janela popping up between Sabian and Penelope Ford when they went for a kiss made for a cute visual, but it also felt way too convenient. All of this took away from a match that didn’t need so many distractions.
Nyla Rose vs. Big Swole: Another week, another rough women’s match. Is there any long term planning taking place with the women? This felt like a battle of powerhouses that could have been built up to mean something rather than coming off as the obligatory Dynamite women’s match of the week. What’s worse is that we’ve learned so little about the female wrestlers because we’ve heard so little from anyone other than Brandi Rhodes and now Britt Baker.
Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky vs. Jack Evans and Angelico: If good in-ring work is enough then you probably saw this as a Hit. But listen to the live crowd sit in near silence when Evans and Angelico made their entrance. They are a talented team who have received no character development. I get that AEW has a lot of talented tag teams, but beating Evans and Angelico feels only slightly more meaningful than an established team beating local enhancement wrestlers.