By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net Members hear my same night audio review of AEW Dynamite every week. Join us on our ad-free website via PWMembership.net.
AEW Dynamite Hits
Cody vs. Shawn Spears in a TNT Title tournament quarterfinal match: A good television main event and start to the TNT Title tournament. Everything continues to point to Cody vs. Lance Archer in the finals based on what feels like strong foreshadowing, but we’ll see if there’s a swerve or two along the way.
Tony Schiavone and Chris Jericho: Jericho was a riot on commentary and Schiavone was his usual down-home and likable self. Schiavone seems much more immersed in the AEW product than he was with MLW’s product during his run on MLW Fusion. I’m used to unintentionally zoning out a lot of what WWE broadcast team members say because it’s rarely insightful or entertaining, but the exact opposite was true in this case. I actually rewound the show a few times to catch Jericho’s lines.
Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager hype: I love that AEW announced this match well in advance and has spent the last two weeks running video features to properly promote it. It should feel special when viewers get to see a world title match on television and AEW has done their best to make it feel that way. I could have done without Hager talking about how he wanted to win the title for family and others who support him and not due to ego. It would be a nice thing to say as a babyface or even when promoting an MMA fight, but it’s simply too endearing for a pro wrestling heel. That said, the video packages that started last week have done a great job of setting the table for the match and increasing my own interest level.
Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker: A good match that built nicely to the finish. Shida continues to get the big boost, and Baker has been good enough on the mic that she can take the loss and get her heat back the next time she delivers a promo. Speaking of which, I love that she cut her post match promo covered in blood. It’s a shame she got hurt, but it was smart to take advantage of it.
Brodie Lee vs. Lee Johnson: This was a good night for Lee, who had a strong squash win over Johnson. Lee scolded a couple of Creepers for their attire, but he also praised one for dressing appropriately and rewarded him in some way. I continue to feel it’s important for a cult leader character to have some type of magnetism or qualities that make it believable that weak minded individuals would buy into his bullshit. We didn’t see any of that in his past vignettes, so this was a step in the right direction.
Lance Archer vs. Alan Angels: The cold open with Jake Roberts delivering his latest promo about Cody was cool. The actual match was a simple squash match, which is exactly what Archer should be doing at this point in his run.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa vs. Chuck Taylor and Trent: This was surely a polarizing match. I don’t mind a little comedy in pro wrestling, but this felt like a step back for Omega. I can’t shake the feeling that Jon Moxley left WWE in part to escape taking part in corny comedy segments, whereas Omega left New Japan Pro Wrestling and now he can’t seem to get enough of taking part in hokey comedy segments.