By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley and Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in a tornado tag team match: The match felt rushed, but it was entertaining while it lasted. It’s a shame that the smoke on the stage prevented them from getting a good shot of the Coffin Drop that Allin performed on the heels to kick things off. The finish was vicious and hopefully AEW has filled its quota for using thumbtacks this year. Perhaps the best part of the match was Allin staring at Moxley’s title belt afterward, which was followed by the announcement of their title match next week.
Cody vs. Warhorse for the TNT Championship: I want to go to a Steel Panther concert with War Horse and Eric Bugenhagen. Anyway, this was a decent match and I continue to enjoy seeing fresh faces on AEW television. They told a simple story with Cody targeting the knee of War Horse and eventually exploiting the damage to win via the figure four leg lock. The post match angle with Matt Cardona (f/k/a Zack Ryder) saving Cody from a Dark Order attack was a nice surprise. Will Cardona be a true friend to Cody or perhaps the tag team partner that Shawn Spears has been looking for?
MJF’s State of AEW address: The political speech approach was unexpected fun. MJF included a lot of insider comments that didn’t feel particularly necessary, but the overall promo worked due to his sensational delivery. As much as I enjoy MJF’s work, he feels like a soft pay-per-view title match challenger at the moment. But with a month before All Out, Wardlow at his side, and another great talker in Moxley on the other side, I’m betting that AEW can create a big match feel by Labor Day weekend.
AEW Dynamite Misses
The Inner Circle vs. Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, Orange Cassidy, and Best Friends: This looked a lot more fun on paper than it turned out to be. It wasn’t bad, it was just underwhelming. Matt Hardy costing Sammy Guevara the match was obviously done to set up a match between them, but it felt like that could have been accomplished in a way that didn’t make the finish of the match feel meaningless.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson for the AEW Tag Titles: This was the best match on the show, but the presentation left a lot to be desired. This was the tag team champions defending their titles against the unbeaten No. 1 contenders in a company that takes pride in tag team wrestling and yet it just didn’t feel important. There was too much of the focus was on what was happening at the broadcast table with Brodie Lee and Colt Cabana, and Uno and Grayson never came off like serious threats to take the titles. On the bright side, the storytelling with Page during this episode was fun. From the whiskey shots during the FTR contract signing segment to attacking Uno and Grayson before Omega even got to the ring, Page continues to be a compelling character.
AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Diamante in a non-title match: I appreciated the pre-match vignette on Diamante. Unfortunately, the actual match was rough. Diamante really added something to the LAX act during her limited time with the group in Impact Wrestling. She’s had a couple of forgettable matches, but I hope she sticks around and gets a chance to improve on AEW Dark.