By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Riho vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s Title: This was so much better than the match they had to determine the first AEW Women’s Champion. Rose continues to improve and Riho is at her best while showing heart in underdog situations. I like the title change. I was surprised when Rose didn’t become the first women’s champion, but she seems more ready for the run now than she would have been then. I was fine with the split screen commercial shot of Rose blowing off a Tony Khan hug and big timing the other women backstage, but including Kenny Omega in this felt a little too inside baseball if the idea was to play up his backstage role. And this was more about his on-air relationship with Riho, then it simply felt unnecessary.
Jon Moxley vs. Santana: A good television main event that showed Moxley continuing to plow through the Inner Circle members heading into his match with their leader Chris Jericho at AEW Revolution. Here’s hoping they will move on from Moxley wearing the eye patch now that the eye for an eye match was over. It was one thing when the patch came off in Japan over the weekend, but there was a point in this match were viewers could clearly see that there’s nothing wrong with his eye. Santana’s sit-down interview with Jim Ross was really good television and yet it felt like it occurred at the wrong time. Santana’s legitimate story about his father made him feel sympathetic despite the fact that he was facing Moxley later in the show. On the bright side, he once again showed off his strong mic skills. AEW would be wise to find a way to slot Santana and Ortiz as babyfaces when the time is right. They are a money team and I believe they both have the ability to be high level singles wrestlers somewhere down the road.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky for the AEW Tag Titles: The usual hot opening match on Dynamite. The finish was awkward with Omega’s foot under the ropes when the referee started his count and then Kazarian clearly lifting his shoulder prior to the three count. Omega’s foot being under the ropes was just a case of positioning and that will happen, but I couldn’t tell if Kazarian putting his shoulder up was intentional to give his team an out or to set up the need for a rematch.
Jeff Cobb announcement: I have mixed feelings on having Chris Jericho simply announce that Cobb will appear next week before he appeared at the end of the night. This could have been played up as a surprise that paid off at the end of the night, as I believe Cobb is well known enough amongst the AEW fan base that most would have felt satisfied with the payoff, and those unfamiliar with him would have still been intrigued due to his look and size. Nevertheless, Cobb is a nice addition and he needs a fresh start following a run with ROH that peaked early with him winning the ROH TV Title and then fell off a cliff.
Britt Baker: Baker’s heat seeking promos have quickly become something to look forward to on a weekly basis.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Dustin Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara: It was a Hit for Dustin in that he went over strong in his beloved Texas, but it was a Miss for Guevara, who shouldn’t have lost so decisively right after Darby Allin challenged him to a match at the pay-per-view. There’s no reason Dustin couldn’t have beaten someone else before doing an the angle with Jake Hager that set up their Revolution match. I’m a big believer in saving pest heel Guevara’s losses for key moments and this didn’t feel like one of those times. But that was one of my only grips about the most consistently strong episode of Dynamite to date. There have been weeks when I’ve enjoyed Dynamite slightly more than NXT, and several weeks where I felt that NXT was simply the better show. This was the first time that I felt Dynamite was significantly better than NXT from start to finish.