By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
The Inner Circle’s War Council: It felt like it was time for a significant change with the Inner Circle. I was actually looking forward to MJF leading the group in a feud against Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara. Instead, it appears the Inner Circle were turned babyface by MJF’s new faction that includes FTR, Shawn Spears, and Wardlow. There were a couple of clunky moments during the big brawl, but I like the new faction and we still got a big development with the Inner Circle babyface turn.
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston’s explanation for the dud at AEW Revolution: Cool conquers all. Well, maybe not all, but I suspect that it was enough to make most viewers forgive and forget the involvement of Moxley and Kingston in the pyro dud. I also enjoyed the way that Callis and Omega framed it. But the truth is that no one blamed the wrestlers or Callis to begin with. It was wise to have the wrestlers address the pyro dud from AEW Revolution, but I still feel that Tony Khan could have handled the situation better in his post show media call. Why not just acknowledge that it didn’t go off as planned and make it clear to pay-per-view buyers that he was just as disappointed as they were?
Darby Allin vs. Scorpio Sky for the TNT Championship: A well worked match that apparently cemented the Sky heel turn. I didn’t care for the foreshadowing of Sky suddenly acting obnoxious when he sat in on commentary last week. It would have been more of an attention grabber had he had gone into this match as a straight-laced babyface and turned out of the blue out of frustration after losing the match.
Rey Fenix vs. Matt Jackson: A kick ass match to open the show. AEW hasn’t run the gimmick of tag team champions losing singles match to their next challengers into the ground, so I had no problem with that approach being used in this match.
Cody Rhodes and Penta El Zier Miedo: A solid angle. I liked the work of Alex Abrahantes as Penta’s interpreter. He came off like he took heelish enjoyment in repeating Penta’s insults, but he didn’t steal the spotlight in any way. It is interesting that Penta is apparently going to enter a singles feud while his brother and Pac are teaming together. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but I am curious to know why Pac isn’t feuding with Cody while the established tag team of Penta and Fenix challenge for the tag titles.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Ethan Page vs. Lee Johnson: The Miss had nothing to do with the wrestlers. TNT had audio issues that started just before the introductions and continued throughout the match. AEW did the right thing by releasing the match on YouTube, but there’s no telling how many Dynamite viewers will actually seek out the match. The post match angle was easy enough to follow, as Dustin Rhodes took issue with QT Marshall not stepping in once Page started taking post match liberties with Johnson. I just wish that AEW had given viewers more incentive to care about the Nightmare Family even half as much as Cody seems to based on the tattoo on his neck.
Hikaru Shida, Ryo Mizunami, and Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker, Nyla Rose, and Maki Itoh: Itoh singing while the others were brawling during her entrance was comical, but those mic shots she hit Shida with were as light than a feather. The actual match was underwhelming. I assume that Itoh taking the pin means that her AEW stay will be brief.
Maki Itoh is welcome on my tv anytime. Nothing wrong with comic relief.
“AEW hasn’t run the gimmick of tag team champions losing singles match to their next challengers into the ground, so I had no problem with that approach being used in this match.”
Also, Fenix is an established singles wrestler so it makes logical sense he would win in the singles match. I wish that logic, and also the idea of experience as a tag team means something when taking on two thrown together singles wrestlers, was utilised more often in wrestling.