By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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AEW Dynamite Hits
Cody vs. Brodie Lee for the TNT Championship: The title change wasn’t shocking, but Lee dominating the match and going over as strong as he did was. It’s rare to see a top wrestler in any company destroyed by an opponent the way that Cody was in this match. I love it. Seemingly dominant champions lose in real sports and it should happen in pro wrestling from time to time. I’m still not sold on Dark Order, but Lee’s win and the big beatdown at the end of the show definitely gave the group a needed boost.
FTR vs. Private Party: I have been looking forward to seeing this match since FTR arrived in AEW. Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy are very talented, but they can learn a lot from working with Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood. If you’re looking for the big spot match from Private Party, this wasn’t it. FTR cut the ring in half and isolated Quen for a good portion of the match, which helped limit Private Party’s flash spots to make them mean more. Quen and Kassidy have tremendous athleticism and all the tools to become a great tag team. The more they work with FTR, they closer they will get to reaching that level. On a side note, I love the idea of Tully Blanchard serving a the manager for FTR. Blanchard has shined whenever he’s opened his mouth in AEW so far and hopefully we’ll be hearing a lot more from him.
Jon Moxley and MJF promos: The usual strong promo from the AEW Champion. Moxley put over MJF and even signed off on the possibility that MJF will be the man to lead the company for 25 years before saying that it won’t start at All Out. The MJF followup worked for me in terms of the delivery (and with Nina comically flashing her forced smile in the background). I’m still not sold on Moxley destroying MJF last week and MJF wearing a neck brace this week being great ways to sell their pay-per-view match even if they do add the stipulation that the Paradigm Shift finisher is banned. Yet while the build still feels flawed, I still enjoyed these segments.
Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy: Jericho did a nice job of sounding sincere while congratulating Cassidy on the win, challenging him to a rematch, and then flipping the switch back into heel mode once he got what he wanted. The Mimosa Mayhem match sounds sports entertainment silly. But Jericho has more than earned my trust when it comes to his feel for this sort of thing.
Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. Alex Reynolds, John Silver, and Alan “Five Angels: There was zero sense of mystery regarding the outcome of this match and that’s okay. Omega and the Young Bucks bring enough star power with AEW viewers that it’s fine for them to have a showcase match. Plus, it turned out to be a quality match. Omega continuing to show a more heelish and aggressive side continues to be compelling.
Darby Allin vs. Will Hobbs: A good showcase win for Allin. The post match angle with Ricky Starks dressed like Allin was well done. Starks made it work, particularly when he delivered the promo while kneeling over Allin following Brian Cage’s attack. Starks has delivered variations of his slick talker promos, but this was the first time that I’ve seen him show off this level of intensity on either Dynamite or NWA Powerrr.
Thunder Rosa challenges Hikaru Shida: Speaking of the NWA, it was a nice surprise to see the promotion’s women’s champion appear on Dynamite. AEW has a shortage of meaningful challengers for its women’s champion, and the NWA hasn’t run any shows during the pandemic. Rosa fills a void for AEW and gets a chance to work. It’s good to see the companies working together in what seems like a win/win situation.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Dustin Rhodes, QT Marshall, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy vs. Pentagon Jr., Rey Fenix, The Butcher, and The Blade: There were some sloppy moments such as Butcher failing to catch Jungle Boy during a suicide dive, which was followed by Luchasaurus throwing a kick at The Blade that clearly missed. We’ve definitely seen better from each of these teams. The match served a purpose in terms of setting up the bickering between the heel teams. This led to the best part of the segment with smooth talking Eddie Kingston bringing the heel teams together.
Diamante and Ivelisse vs. Allie and Brandi in the AEW Deadly Draw women’s tag team tournament final: The tournament will not be remembered for stellar in-ring performances, but they did save the best match for last. Still, the overall tournament rates as a Miss. The presentation with Madusa, Shaul Guerrero, and Veda Scott’s involvement was nicely done. Ultimately, though, it didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose beyond establishing Diamante and Ivelisse as a tag team in a company that clearly isn’t ready to launch a women’s tag team division.
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...