By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Chris Jericho and Vanguard 1: Release the hounds!!! Hilarious. Bring on the Jericho and Vanguard 1 buddy cop movie.
Cody and Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara and Shawn Spears: A good television main event that featured four wrestlers who make up one side of the TNT Title bracket. Spears needed the win to mean something heading into the tournament after losing so many tag matches on Dark. Heck, one could question what his character has done to earn a spot in the tournament. Allin’s Coffin Drop from the pole in the host venue was innovative and cool. I really liked that Cody and Allin showed so much frustration over losing the match. It’s reactions like this that play nicely into the early claims by AEW officials that wins and losses matter.
Jon Moxley and Jake Hager video package: I felt indifferent about the upcoming Moxley vs. Hager match going into the show. I came out of this video package looking forward to the match. Mission accomplished. We need more of this in pro wrestling. The NWA did a tremendous job with their 10 Pounds of Gold series, and AEW has also done solid work with their “Road To” series and other video packages.
Kenny Omega vs. Trent: A strong opening match. It was so nice to see and hear a small group of wrestlers in the crowd area again, as it really adds to the atmosphere. The match filled a lot of time and yet it never felt like that was the purpose. I also like the way the time limit made the match more interesting with the finish occurring within the final minute. I will never understand Vince McMahon’s logic for doing away with time limits in WWE. As Jim Ross has stated, abandoning time limits took a tool out of the booker’s toolbox.
Lance Archer vs. Marko Stunt: The Jake Roberts promo that aired before the match was strong. The match featured great use of the undersized Stunt, who helped make Archer look like a monster. The post match move of “choke-tossing” Stunt over the barricade was great. Stunt should buy Orange Cassidy a drink for working so hard to catch him.
Hikaru Shida vs. Anna Jayy: A good showcase win for Shida. Jayy had a nice showing for an enhancement wrestler. Jayy has a good look and it’s hard to imagine that she won’t end up doing more in AEW. Meanwhile, Shida continues to stand out and appears to be being built up for a title shot against Nyla Rose.
AEW Dynamite Hits
Brodie Lee video: The ongoing Vince McMahon spoof is comical for viewers who are in on the joke. But I still can’t get past the idea of Lee treating his pledges poorly while on camera is the last thing a cult leader would want the world to see. I didn’t mind Lee powerbombing the losing Creeper because that could be spun as tough love. Speaking of which, it feels like the Dark Order should have a spokesman who attempts to frame Lee’s antics in a positive light.
Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall vs. Two Creepers: They filled some time with Rhodes and Marshall beating what I assume were a pair of locals dressed in Creeper masks. It’s understandable and even creative given the circumstances, but it’s still a soft Miss.