By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa in an unsanctioned match: Wait, AEW had this match in the can for nearly a week, knew how great it was, and didn’t come up with a better way to showcase it throughout the episode? Baker is a terrific promo and we really should have heard from both women at some point. But that’s the only negative. The match was outstanding and turned out to be one of the company’s most memorable television main events. Rosa took off in the NWA and has been turning heads ever since. And something has really clicked with Baker over the last couple of months. She started to shine on the mic, and has shown major improvement in the ring. Baker is brimming with confidence and has emerged as the most well rounded act in a women’s division that seems to get better by the week.
The Pinnacle: MJF is one of the best talkers in the game and he made this faction introduction work. But viewers were still left wondering why MJF’s character went through all the trouble of joining the Inner Circle when he and his new faction could have just formed and attacked the Inner Circle at any time. It made for a nice swerve, but I was really hoping that they had a plan to fill that logic gap.
Jade Cargill vs. Dani Jordyn: A good showcase win for Cargill. The German suplex looked vicious and I’m hoping that Jordyn was just selling when she held her neck after the match.
Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, Marko Stunt, and Bear Country vs. Matt Hardy, Private Party, The Butcher, and The Blade: My favorite spot of the night was Bear Country tossing their partner Stunt over the top rope and onto a group of opponents who were at ringside. The match featured a mix of good athleticism and sloppiness. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was entertaining. The right team went over, as they need to put some heat on Hardy’s stable. The babyfaces also had an out due to infighting. Bear Country has potential, but we’ve learned nothing about their characters on Dynamite.
Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston vs. Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson: A fun match with Moxley and Kingston teaming together for the first time in AEW. The finish was too similar to the opening match with a wounded Moxley rolling up Anderson for the win. AEW needs to be cautious when it comes to how often Gallows and Anderson lose. They lost so many matches on WWE television that are still fresh in the mind of fans.
Sting, Darby Allin, Lance Archer, Jake Roberts, and Team Taz: AEW crammed a lot into this segment. There are times when that’s been a criticism, but it actually worked out nicely here. Allin wanting to be a fighting champion came off well, though perhaps there should have been some explanation as to why he hasn’t defended the title more often. Archer and Roberts were good in taunting the babyfaces. The big surprise was Cage telling Sting that he respects him, which upset the rest of his faction, and likely triggers a babyface turn unless this is a swerve.
Christian Cage promo: I don’t think Cage wowed anyone with his first comments in AEW, but it was a solid mission statement speech. It was encouraging to hear him say that he knows he needs to win matches in order to get an AEW Championship match, as last week’s angle made it seem like he was moving right into the top contender position.
Miro promo: It was encouraging that Miro’s character had no interest in teaming with Kip Sabian to face Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor again. Sure, we’re still getting the match, but it says the end is near for the feud and apparently the Miro and Sabian alliance.
Rey Fenix vs. Angelico: An entertaining match and a solid spotlight win for Fenix. I would enjoy seeing a longer match between the two at some point.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Cody Rhodes vs. Pentagon El Zero Miedo: I enjoyed everything about the match aside from the finish. I didn’t care for the way Cody just shot up after having his arm snapped to roll up and pin Pentagon. Why not go all in on Penta by giving him a win when Cody had such an obvious out? The post match angle with QT Marshall coming out long after the rest of the Nightmare Family made the save was a logical step in his split with the group and yet it felt like it took the focus away from Pentagon and Cody. All of that said, this was a really good edition of Dynamite.