By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Cody and Lance Archer brawl: The segment got off to a rough start with Cody revving the engine of his truck only to lightly tap the makeshift barricade. This was more lukewarm than Stone Cold. Fortunately, the actual brawl between Cody and Archer was really good. It felt a bit strange that Cody didn’t make a play to get at Roberts, who put the snake on his wife and delivered the misogynist promo. Even so, the Archer and Roberts paring has been excellent thus far and I’m really looking forward to the finals of the TNT Title tournament. The announcement of Mike “Cold Stone” Tyson presenting the belt to the winner is a cool bonus.
Brodie Lee vs. Christopher Daniels: A solid showcase win for Lee that gave Daniels a respectable amount of offense. Jon Moxley’s post match assault on the Dark Order underlings was well done. Moxley has been awesome since he left WWE and gained more freedom, and it’s hard to imagine that Lee won’t be out to prove something in his first major match since leaving WWE. In other words, don’t sleep on the AEW Championship at the pay-per-view.
Chuck Taylor and Trent vs. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy: A solid match between two babyface teams that featured outside interference from multiple heels to set up future matches. Orange Cassidy going to the stage just in time to be hit with a flying kick from Rey Fenix felt way too convenient, but the rest of this was well done.
Hikaru Shida vs. Penelope Ford vs. Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander: As much as I would prefer to see traditional singles matches in the women’s division, this was a well worked four-way. There were a few clunky moments, but it was one of the better big multi-woman matches we’ve seen in AEW. Shida going over was logical given that she’s been the No. 1 contender in the rankings, and I like the way that they also set up a pay-per-view match between Baker and Statlander. Will Ford and Kip Sabian ever become more than a couple that makes out and interferes in each other’s matches? They are a talented couple, but we just haven’t learned much about their personalities.
MJF vs. Lee Johnson: A nice squash win for MJF, who looked like he had no trouble finding a place to work out during the stay at home lockdown. Wait, we can do more than just sit on our asses and watch Netflix while quarantined?
AEW Dynamite Misses
Matt Hardy and Kenny Omega vs. Santana and Ortiz: From an in-ring work standpoint, this match was certainly Hit worthy. My frustration is with the way Santana and Ortiz continue to be cast as comedic underlings. I loved LAX in Impact Wrestling because there was always a sense of danger with them regardless of whether they were babyfaces or heels. There’s no denying that Santana and Ortiz are entertaining in the Inner Circle, but I really hope they get their edge back and start to be pushed like one of the elite teams in the industry.
Chris Jericho vs. Pineapple Pete: A minor Miss. I was hoping that Suge D would get a big boost in defeat, but the match didn’t last long enough for him to deliver a memorable performance. Pete’s pre-match promo consisted of him taking issue with Jericho referring to him as Pineapple Pete, then saying life has been great since Jericho called him Pineapple Pete, and finally stating that the time for insults is over. So does he like being called Pineapple Pete or not? This felt like a chance for Suge D to connect with the audience, but it didn’t really happen in his promo or during the match.
Vanguard 1 destroyed: Chris Jericho is a heartless bastard. March 12 should become a national holiday so that we can all mourn this tragic loss while also remembering the greatness of Vanguard 1. Do we get a Vanguard 2 or will Hardy save the original’s “AI” and give him a new body?