By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara in a TNT Title tournament quarterfinal match: The show peaked with this opening match. The pre match attack by Guevara was well done and set up Allin working from underneath. The blood was accidental, but it added to the feel of this being a fight. Allin is a babyface star, and Guevara continues to shine. It would have been easy for Guevara to be lost in the shuffle while surrounded by bigger names in the Inner Circle, but he’s shined more than anyone in the group aside from leader Chris Jericho.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jimmy Havoc: This looked like a potential odd mix of styles on paper with comedic Cassidy facing death match Havoc, but they found the right balance by having Havoc dominate the majority of the offense before Cassidy came back to get the win.
Wardlow vs. Lee Johnson: A dominant squash match win for Wardlow. This is exactly what it needed to be.
Brodie Lee vs. Justin Law: A good squash win for Lee and I enjoyed the staredown with Marko Stunt to set up next week’s match. Lee’s video with Preston Vance was a step in the right direction. Lee was more believable as a cult leader and seemed less concerned with his ongoing Vince McMahon spoof.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Dustin Rhodes vs. Kip Sabian in a TNT Title tournament quarterfinal match: I applaud the effort to give this match more juice via Rhodes vowing to retire if he lost, but it just wasn’t enough. Sabian is talented, but he just hasn’t been built up to feel meaningful in AEW. The finish was also awkward with Penelope Ford entering the ring and appearing to run the ropes for no other reason than to take a spear from Brandi Rhodes. The spot that followed with Rhodes tapping the head of a distracted Sabian and then hitting him with his finisher was underwhelming.
Kenny Omega vs. Alan Angels: Perhaps it’s because there were two other squash matches on the show, but it felt like Omega gave up too much offense in this match. Omega has shown flashes of what made him so damn great in New Japan Pro Wrestling, but he just hasn’t been the mega star that many of us assumed he would be for AEW thus far.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...