By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net Members are listening to my weekly, same night audio review of AEW Dynamite. They will also have access to the Dot Net Weekly audio show with Jake Barnett and I discussing all the news of what has been an insane week. Join us on our ad-free website and unlock all of our audio content via PWMembership.net.
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager in a No Holds Barred empty arena match for the AEW Title: A soft Hit for a physical match. It started slow and it was hard to adjust to the eery silence after the rest of the show had some wrestlers making noise at ringside. The match was a good display of what Moxley brings to the table in that he can brawl with the best of them, but he’s also incorporated more MMA into his matches. Hager struck me as uninterested in the post WWE matches I saw him work for multiple promotions, but motivation hasn’t been an issue for him in AEW. Jim Ross calling the match added to the big fight feel that the company established (more on that in a moment). Ultimately, though, it was a solid match that felt overhyped by Tony Khan, who labeled it “the most anticipated match in AEW Dynamite history” and added that it would “also be the most brutal and memorable match we’ve put on TV.”
The build to Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager: This deserves its own Hit. I felt ho-hum about the match when it was first announced. My interest level increased with the first video package a couple weeks ago, and it grew from there with the additional video packages on last week’s show. It didn’t end there. AEW did a great job within last night’s episode of continuing to build up the match with Ariel Helwani, Taz, Ron Funchess, Mike Goldberg, John McCarthy, Excalibur, Dan Soder, Sananta, Ortiz, and Josh Thomson, and Sammy Guevara all chiming in and offering predictions on the match. AEW did an outstanding job of building up this match and made it feel special to see an AEW Title match on Dynamite. I listed the match first, but I actually enjoyed the build more.
The Bubbly Bunch: A fun and creative bit with the Inner Circle members all chiming in from home. Sammy Guevara counting in Spanish gets the nod for my favorite clip.
Colt Cabana vs. Lance Archer in a TNT Title tournament quarterfinal match: This match was what it needed to be for both men. It was no surprise to see Archer go over strong and clean, but the match was laid out in a way that made Cabana look good for putting up a good fight.
Sammy Guevara vs. Suge D: I was actually hoping that this Suge D would get a little love with a competitive match. Nevertheless, it was a good showcase match for the always entertaining Guevara.
Britt Baker vs. Cassandra Golden: It was a really good night for Baker with the cheesy dentist office promo and her squash win over Golden. The repeated references to Baker being a legitimate dentist was eye rolling material when she was a babyface, but it works perfectly now that she is a heel.
Shawn Spears vs. Justin Law: This was clearly a squash match, but Spears acting cocky and nearly being pinned was a fun touch. Spears needed a bounce back win following his latest loss to Cody and he got it.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Chuck Taylor vs. Kip Sabian: A minor Miss. This matchup felt a bit random on paper. That’s understandable considering that the company was working with a skeleton crew. The match ultimately overstayed its welcome for this viewer and the finish with Penelope Ford interfering while the referee was distracted made the referee look bad more than anything. It’s hard enough to suspend disbelief that a referee wouldn’t hear in-ring commotion behind them under normal circumstances, but it’s impossible when there’s no crowd noise to drown out the ring noise.