By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Mike Tyson and Chris Jericho: Tyson is always a hot mess during pro wrestling segments. He gets overly excited and has some strange reactions, but fortunately Jericho is a pro who was able to get what they needed to accomplish in before the show went off the air. And as much as this segment felt like it went off the rails, the fact of the matter is that Tyson is still a big get for AEW in terms of potential ratings and mainstream media attention. That said, AEW would be wise to tape Tyson’s segments in advance whenever possible.
Matt Hardy and The Young Bucks vs. Private Party and Joey Janela: A good six-man opening tag match. The Quen injury angle was a creative way to get Hardy and the other trio away from the ring to set up the angle involving the Bucks, Butcher & Blade, and FTR.
FTR debut: With the recent additions of Brodie Lee, Lance Archer, Brian Cage, etc., AEW is creating that feeling that you have to watch in order to see who will turn up next. That was such a key ingredient for the interest in the Monday Night Wars and it’s something AEW can do that WWE seems unlikely to do with NXT. Sure, WWE can have some Raw and Smackdown wrestlers appear on NXT television from time to time, but there’s a big difference between wrestlers hopping brands and wrestlers jumping to a new company. Likewise, the use of Tyson is something that NXT is unlikely to compete with. WWE has access to plenty of celebrities, but until they do something that proves otherwise, I’ll just assume that they are far more likely to book any celebrities they work with to appear on Raw or Smackdown. The actual angle between the Bucks and FTR was just a teaser of things to come and that’s all it needed to be. AEW could have been better about playing up the arrival of FTR throughout the rest of the night, as it did feel a bit lost by the end of the night.
Cody announces his weekly open challenge: This plays right into the idea of creating that feeling that anyone can show up from week to week. Most of the challengers will likely be from the AEW roster, but they can also bring in some known names for one-offs or even introduce new roster members via this approach. The key is that it gives viewers a hook to watch in order to see who the challenger will be from week to week.
Battle royal for the first shot at the TNT Championship: A solid battle royal with Jungle Boy winning to earn the first shot against Cody. The action was steady and the match didn’t overstay its welcome.
Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky vs. Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian for a shot at the AEW Tag Titles: I was legitimately surprised to see Havoc and Sabian go over to earn the title shot on next week’s show. I’m still not sure why Best Friends won the No. 1 contender match at the pay-per-view, yet Havoc and Sabian jump ahead of them in line by getting their title shot next week.
Brian Cage vs. Lee Johnson: The dominant squash match that it needed to be. Taz delivering his catchphrase for Cage was cool. Taz was a great promo during his in-ring career and I’m excited to see if he can transfer that to Cage. So far so good.
AEW Dynamite Misses
AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Christi Jaynes in a non-title match: A well worked match, but Jaynes received more offense than necessary. This should have been Shida’s night after winning the AEW Women’s Championship at the pay-per-view. Jaynes is impressive and could be a nice addition to the women’s roster, but viewers shouldn’t have come away from the match thinking more about her performance than the new women’s champion.