By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Pac and Rey Fenix vs. The Butcher and The Blade: I didn’t expect to see this match in the main event slot, but it worked. Butcher & Blade are a good team that desperately needed a signature win to elevate them to the extent that they stopped feeling out of place in television main events. While they didn’t beat one of the established tag teams, beating Pac and Fenix is still a big deal. The post match angle with Lance Archer was unexpected and left me wondering what the purpose was.
Hikaru Shida vs. Anna Jay for the AEW Women’s Championship: AEW did a nice job of settling the table for this match with a good video package that helped viewers get to know Jay’s character while establishing Shida’s knee injury. Speaking of which, it came off like Shida forgot to sell her knee injury while performing her running knee finisher at the end, but I enjoyed the bulk of the match. Working with Shida is a big help, but Jay continues to impress despite her limited experience.
Hangman Page vs. John Silver: A strong opening match with Page getting the expected win while Silver looked good again in defeat. AEW might have something going with Silver. I wonder if he will need to leave the Dark Order and turn babyface in order for the company to get the most out of his fun personality. The post match angle with Evil Uno making a Dark Order pitch to Page made sense given the character’s gloomy, boozy outlook on life makes him a logical target for recruitment. I loved the way Uno spun the actions of The Elite not allowing Page to leave the faction as the true cult behavior.
Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega: “My dad would probably beat the shit out of your dad.” Omega delivering that response to last week’s Jon Moxley promo about his father was hilarious. It was Omega’s best mic moment in AEW thus far and I like the way he’s starting to dress and act the part of a headliner again. Moxley scoring a measure of revenge for being attacked backstage last week was fun. It’s worth nothing that we still don’t know that Omega was responsible, so we’ll see where that goes.
“Top Flight” Darius Martin and Daunte Martin vs. “The Hybrid 2” Jack Evans and Angelico: An entertaining tag match. As good as the Martin brothers are now, just imagine how good they will be in a few years. It’s between two losses in two weeks for the Martins, but they have looked very good in both matches. I wonder if the approach is for AEW to do a longer build to the duo finally getting their breakthrough victory.
Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Lee Johnson: A good showcase for Hobbs, who was given the new name and an improved singlet look.
Taz and Cody: As much as I would prefer that the EVPs never would have acknowledged their behind the scenes roles on the television show, this isn’t the first time they’ve gone there. With that in mind, this was a compelling segment. Taz was good on the mic and it was fun to see him apply his finishing hold again after all these years. There’s no reason to think the masses will buy this as a shoot, but I don’t believe AEW is asking them to. Fans also know the matches and other promos are not shoots and they are still willing to suspend their disbelief, so perhaps it works the same way for this type of angle in modern times.
Chris Jericho and Jake Hager vs. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian: A solid match. It was strange that there was a lot of hype online and from the broadcast team about this being the first time Jericho and Daniels faced off in the ring, yet most of their work together occurred during a picture-in-picture commercial break. I wonder if the plan for next week’s battle royal is to have Sammy Guevara win MJF’s Dynamite Diamond Ring to drive even more of a wedge between them.
Matt Hardy promo: With the Elite Deletion behind him, it looks like Hardy is reinventing himself again. It will be fun to see where this arrogant character goes from here.
AEW Dynamite Misses
None: And not just because it’s Thanksgiving. Okay, so the Best Friends brawl with Kip Sabian and Miro didn’t do much for me, but it was too brief to be Miss material. Overall, this was an enjoyable two-hour show and next week’s Dynamite looks great on paper with the big Moxley vs. Omega match leading the way.