By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley and Lance Archer vs. Kenny Omega and Kenta in a Falls Count Anywhere match: A wild brawl that went all over the building and exceeded my high expectations. I was surprised to see Omega go over, albeit with help from Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. Perhaps it’s due to watching WWE for so many years, but I thought we might see the champion take a pinfall loss in the tag match to set up a title match. Dynamite was a solid show before the memorable main event really put it over the top.
Darby Allin vs. Joey Janela for the TNT Championship: A hot opening title match. There was no reason to expect a title change, but the hard work of both men quickly drew me in and overcame that handicap. Allin always seems to deliver, and this was Janela’s best Dynamite match to date. As much as both men are known for their wild free for all style matches, they took a more traditional approach and worked a strong match.
Chris Jericho and MJF vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens: As much as I disliked the angle that led to MJF’s rib injury (more on that later), MJF did a great job of playing it up. The Acclaimed struck me as heels when they challenged the Young Bucks for the tag titles. They were definitely the babyfaces in this match. Is that a permanent switch or just for one night due to the team they were facing? The post match angle with Sammy Guevara quitting the Inner Circle and then symbolically exiting through the babyface tunnel was well done. Guevara played a great cocky heel, but the early indications are that he may be even better as a babyface.
Thunder Rosa vs. Leyla Hirsch in an eliminator tournament match: A nice match to kick off the tournament. The women’s division was an early sore spot for AEW, but things have improved with some additions and because some of the regulars have had more time to develop. The U.S. side of the tournament feels like it’s happening at a good time and the wrestlers may be able to improve the perception of the women’s division.
Cody Rhodes and Lee Johnson vs. Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi: A really nice showcase win for Johnson, who showed good emotion after pinning Avalon to win his first match on Dynamite. I didn’t think much of this match on paper, but I ended up enjoying the way they used Cody’s star power to give Johnson a rub. I also agree with Jake Barnett, who wrote in his review that Johnson didn’t show much personality in his post match promo. Johnson is a work in progress, but he clearly has potential.
Pac vs. Ryan Nemeth: A nice showcase win for Pac. Nemeth got some offense in, but this was all about spotlighting Pac.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Sammy Guevara and MJF backstage angle: So Guevara called for the cameraman to stay in the room right in front of MJF, who for some reason felt the need to secretly record their conversation with his phone. As if that wasn’t strange enough, Guevara actually got made at MJF for recording him, even though he’s the one who called for the camera to be in the room. This made no sense whatsoever, and it’s a shame because I enjoyed the rest of their segments.