By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston: The mic work between the champion and his pay-per-view challenger was excellent. They didn’t have to awkwardly force in catchphrases or recite lines from a script that was handed to them. This was two pros who know their characters, understand the history their characters share, and they both hit home runs while talking up the “I Quit” match for Full Gear.
Wardlow vs. Jungle Boy in an AEW Title Eliminator first-round tournament match: A good opening match with the right guy going over in terms of setting up a strong opponent for Hangman Page in round two. Most of the tournament matches felt predictable, but they still held my interest and were booked logically.
Kenny Omega vs. Sonny Kiss in an AEW Title Eliminator first-round tournament match: The most interesting tournament match thanks to Omega’s over the top introduction and entrance combined with his strange post match behavior. The Cleaner persona is back. I just hope that this is laid out in a way that will make sense for viewers who didn’t follow Omega’s career in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Penta El 0M vs. Rey Fenix in an AEW Title Eliminator first-round tournament match: I missed the Fenix injury spot during live coverage. He seemed to shake it off and performed some big moves afterward, so hopefully he’s okay. Putting that aside, the match was highly entertaining. It just didn’t have enough time to be as good as some of their past encounters, but hopefully AEW will eventually book an actual feud between the brothers complete with an actual breakup angle.
Hangman Page vs. Colt Cabana in an AEW Title Eliminator first-round tournament match: A solid match with Page going over strong. The post match scene with the Dark Order members showing concern for Cabana was interesting and left me wondering if this will lead to a big Brodie Lee meltdown on his pledges.
Britt Baker vs. KiLynn King: Another showcase win for Baker. It was odd seeing her ranked fifth in the women’s division despite having a losing record, so these squash style wins are also helpful in that regard.
AEW Dynamite Misses
The Chris Jericho and MJF musical number: AEW continued to borrow from pro wrestling’s past by having Jericho and MJF perform the same song and dance number that Mad Dog Vachon and The Crusher performed on AWA television back in 1978. Okay, so that never happened in the AWA. And if it were up to me, this would not have happened in AEW. There are plenty of fans who enjoyed it and that’s their prerogative. It’s clearly a segment that will be talked about for years to come. Personally, I enjoy pro wrestling the most when it’s a presented as a simulated sport, and this was not that. Basically, I’m taking the “to each his own” approach. That said, I can’t help but wonder how many of the fans who adored this segment would have felt differently had something similar been done on a WWE show.
The Young Bucks vs. Private Party vs. Alex Reynolds and John Silver vs. The Butcher and The Blade: This Miss is not so much about the match as it is the bizarre path that AEW has taken to get to the first Young Bucks vs. FTR match. It’s strange that the Bucks have been heelish in recent weeks, and it’s disappointing that they were randomly picked for a four-way to determine the number one contenders rather when they could have made up for their early AEW losses with some momentum building wins heading into the showdown match. Hopefully the match between the Bucks and FTR will live up to lofty expectations, but the road to it has been clunky.