By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer in a No DQ match for the AEW Championship: The backstage brawling was an effective way to hook viewers on the main event throughout the course of the show. I love that the match started with Moxley hitting his finisher only to have the monster kick out of the pin attempt. Both men worked hard and this was a really entertaining brawl. I liked the match finish in that it gave Moxley a clean win, yet it protected Archer by making it seem like he was simply surprised rather than outright beaten. The post match angle with Eddie Kingston was solid. I assume it’s leading to Moxley beating Kingston in a rematch, but perhaps we need to look at the winner of the Pentagon vs. Rey Fenix tournament match as a long shot behind the obvious pick of the winner of a Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page match in the finals.
Cody vs. Orange Cassidy for the TNT Title: I wasn’t sure if this match was going to work. I was still wondering even a few minutes into the match simply because Cassidy’s comedic spots work much better with heel opponents. But this turned out to be a very good match once they got through with the hammy Dark Order ejection from ringside moment and Cassidy started working a more serious style. It’s unfortunate that the timekeeper was just a hair late, which made the referee stop counting just a hair before the bell rang to signify that time expired. All of that aside, Cody needs a feud he can sink his teeth into. I thought he would have that feud with Brodie Lee, but so far it’s been just a two match feud with Cody taking a break between matches. The open challenges are nice, the rematch with Cassidy should be solid, and the title match with Darby Allin at Full Gear should be top notch, but Cody is at his best when he can tell stories while in an actual program with the right opponent.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent for the AEW Tag Titles: A good tag title match that was dragged down by a weak finish. The referee taking cover and missing the belt shot finish was a groaner. Did they really need to protect Best Friends if they are moving into a mid-card feud with Miro and Kip Sabian? One thing working against this match and all FTR tag title matches is the feeling that they won’t drop the tag titles until they face the Young Bucks for the first time. Even so, this was an enjoyable tag team match until the bad finish. We’ll get into the video game thing later.
Hikaru Shida vs. Big Swole for the AEW Women’s Title: It wasn’t flawless, but it was passable, which is a step forward for Swole. On a side note, it would be nice to learn more about Shida’s personality during Dynamite. We basically know that she’s good in the ring and nothing more.
MJF and the Inner Circle: The gag with Sammy Guevara’s oversized jacket was laugh out loud funny. Bonus points to Sammy for flailing his arms while drowning in those long sleeves. MJF and Chris Jericho have great chemistry and I’m enjoying the build to what I assume will end up being a heated feud.
Britt Baker and Tony Schiavone: Does anyone know a good therapist? I think I enjoyed watching Schiavone have his chest waxed a little more than I should have.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Miro and Kip Sabian: Miro being pissed about the arcade game being destroyed during the tag title match did about as much for me as his lousy gamer persona does.
Drawing for next week’s four-way tag team match: I wasn’t big on the random drawing to determine which teams would be in next week’s four-way for a shot at the tag titles at Full Gear. As Jake Barnett noted in his live review, AEW uses rankings for their various divisions, so there was no reason for them to go with a random draw. Furthermore, I assumed the Young Bucks would be booked to win a series of matches to build momentum heading into their tag title shot against FTR. Only time will tell whether the Bucks are booked to go over, but they seem the most likely to win the four-way, as none of the other teams feel like strong pay-per-view opponents or threats to beat FTR.