By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Brodie Lee vs. Dustin Rhodes for the TNT Championship: I was surprised to see such a competitive match given the way that Lee destroyed Cody to take the title. No complaints. This was highly entertaining while it lasted. Dustin continues to amaze by working at such a high level at age 51. On a side note, it was strange to see the Cody talent show announcement afterward. AEW framed it as the announcement taking place after Dynamite, which is an indication that the network wanted the plug.
Pentagon El 0M and Rey Fenix vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus: There were some rocky moments, but Jungle Boy continues to be booked to look resilient by kicking out of big finishing moves and this felt like a strong win for him. The post match pushing and shoving between Penta and Fenix had me hopeful that we’d see the brothers split to embark on a singles feud. And maybe they will get there eventually, but in this case it was the set up for the latest Eddie Kingston promo.
Matt Hardy speech: A well delivered speech rather than a pro wrestling style promo. It was good to see Hardy looking healthy coming out of the big scare on Saturday night, and it was nice to see his wife Reby in attendance. She was understandably upset and not afraid to let the world know it via social media on Saturday night. Hopefully this is a sign that the situation has improved. I appreciated that this was a straight forward speech rather than big angle. When it comes to the way the situation was handled, regardless of what AEW officials said publicly, one can only hope that they learned from this and will be better if future incidents occur.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page interviews: A couple of compelling sit-down interviews. We didn’t get any major storyline developments aside from the fact that Page wants to team up again while Omega is ready to move to the singles division, but I found myself hanging on their every word.
Orange Cassidy vs. Angelico: A nice spotlight match for Cassidy coming off his win over Chris Jericho at the pay-per-view. The post match angle to set up next week’s parking lot brawl was decent. I still don’t find the gag with Trent’s mom to be as cute as they do. With only a small number of fans in attendance, it’s hard to tell whether it’s something that has clicked with the fans.
MJF and Wardlow: MJF ditching his campaign gimmick was a positive step. I am disappointed that we never got smiling Nina delivering a Guilfoyle speech, and I’m honestly surprised that MJF didn’t protest the results of the election, er, match, given that Moxley illegally used the Paradigm Shift. MJF holding Wardlow’s employment over his head was a needed detail that explains why Wardlow has to tolerate MJF’s abuse. I’m hoping it was just a baby step forward rather than a sign that the split is coming soon.
Miro arrives: Introducing Miro as the best man for Kip Sabian was odd, but we’ll see where it goes. Miro’s anti-WWE promo was reminiscent of countless WWE castoffs first promos in TNA. Ultimately, Miro’s AEW debut worked because it was Miro’s AEW debut, not because it was a good angle or an original promo. Count me among those who are anxious to see whether AEW can find a way to capitalize on Miro’s charisma and charm in a way that makes him a main event star.
Nyla Rose vs. Tay Conti: A showcase for Rose, who appears to be moving back into a title feud with Hikaru Shida based on the brief post match angle. I like the signing of Conti, who was showing signs of improvement in NXT prior to her release during the pandemic. The ongoing issue that AEW faces with Conti and others who still need seasoning is that they won’t get it working one day week, which is the AEW schedule even in normal times.
Chris Jericho and Jake Hager vs. Sonny Kiss and Joey Janela in a No DQ match: The right team went over. I’m not really sure why Jericho and Hager are moving into the crowded tag division, especially when fellow heels FTR are holding the tag titles. My best guess is that they are going to work with Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy. On a side note, the Jericho and MJF opening was a fun skit. I’m not sure when AEW will get to Jericho vs. MJF, but it should be a lot of fun when the time comes.
AEW Dynamite Misses
The FTR celebration: A flat segment. Tully Blanchard continues to shine on the mic. Dash Harwood and Cash Wheeler were fresh off winning the AEW Tag Titles, yet this felt like a campy WWE style celebration that made them look like goofballs rather than strong world champions.