By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Tag Team Battle Royal: It was nice to see teams like Top Flight and The Acclaimed stick around deep into the match. There were also several stories told through the process, furthering the dissent between the members of Inner Circle, and the on again off again conflict between former Bullet Club Members The Young Bucks and Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. The action was fast paced and lively, and I think Chris Jericho and MJF picking up the win secured what should be an interesting story told in the AEW Tag Title match at AEW Revolution. If there is anything to criticize in this match, it’s that they tried to fit too much into a short Battle Royal, and it reduced the impact of some of the story elements.
Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker: A Hit due to Rosa’s energy and offense. The booking gets them to a second match, perhaps in the AEW Women’s Championship Eliminator Tournament, but I think they have to commit to a clean finish in that match. The interference and subsequent finish of this one were a bit clunky.
Sting: A minor Hit for a brief unadvertised Sting appearance. He kept it short and sweet, and it worked out well because it wasn’t a big advertised promo. Last week in the Dot Net Weekly Audio Show, Jason Powell and I spoke about how AEW would improve the perception of Sting by using him more judiciously. This worked because it was unexpected and expectations were low.
Jon Moxley, Pac, and Rey Fenix vs. Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson: Easily the best match of the night, and some impressive individual performances from Pac and Rey Fenix. The action was brisk for the entire 15 minute match, with some convincing near falls down the stretch. The announce team and particularly Don Callis did a nice job of selling the idea that the team with history and chemistry had an advantage in this environment, and that ended up being paid off with the story told during the match.
KENTA appearance: This was a big moment that signaled the beginning of a potential AEW working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling. There are any number of booking possibilities that emerge, including a lot of potential talent sharing that core wrestling fans will be very excited about.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Show Pacing: This week’s show never let off the gas, and the result was a very busy episode that didn’t give viewers much of a chance to digest anything they had seen previously. I thought AEW had improved on this front in recent months, but this show felt like a slip into previous habits. Perhaps the themed show just had a bit too much content planned, but the result was Crash TV at times.
Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford wedding: The best part of this segment was James Mitchell and his campy humor, and second was Miro’s previous wrestling wedding PTSD. The characters of Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford just seemed to be along for the ride, and were just in the background for the most part. The lack of any suspense, or even a satisfying wedding angle, made this a chore to watch. Orange Cassidy being inside a cake furthers the angle, but this didn’t break any new ground for wrestling weddings, nor did it entertain enough to justify its existence.
Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston in a lumberjack match: A minor Miss due to the unsatisfying nature of matches that devolve into absolute chaos. The lumberjacks clashing with each other and the competitors in the match happened so rapidly and frequently that it distracted from the match. When it was over, there was a winner, but nothing really felt resolved.