By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Christian Cage vs. Frankie Kazarian: I love that this wasn’t framed as business as usual for Cage in his first match back. He had to scratch and claw his way to a hard fought victory. Kazarian looked good in defeat, and it felt like a meaningful win for Cage. The broadcast team did their party by telling the story of Cage fighting from underneath possibly being caused by ring rust from his long layoff.
Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson vs. Penta El Zero Miedo, Rey Fenix, and Laredo Kid: The match looked fun on paper and delivered. It also benefitted from the matches that preceded it having different styles.
Miro and Kip Sabian vs. Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor in an Arcade Anarchy match: It was good to see Trent and Kris Statlander return. The garbage match brawl was fun. But more than anything, I’m happy this feud is over and Miro can finally move on to something more meaningful.
The Inner Circle attack The Pinnacle: A spirtied backstage brawl. The Inner Circle was so dominant that it felt like they got total revenge. And while that’s a bit concerning, Chris Jericho’s presumed involvement in the creative direction is enough for me to give the lopsided nature of this angle the benefit of the doubt.
Jon Moxley vs. Cezar Bononi: Moxley gave plenty of offense to Bononi and eventually came back to pick up the clean win. A win for Moxley that made Bononi look solid in defeat.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall in an exhibition match: The match portion was fine and effectively displayed that the frustration of Marshall building. It also served as a distraction that led to Marshall’s allies defecting from the Nightmare Family by attacking the other members. While it’s possible that this will be successful for everyone involved, I am underwhelmed by the Nightmare Nexus in the moment. I couldn’t name every member of the Nightmare Family off the top of my head if my life depended on it, and now they are asking us to care about a Nightmare Family civil war. As much as I love good factions in pro wrestling, just how many factions does one company need?
Hikaru Shida and Tay Conti vs. The Bunny and Nyla Rose: The match was fine aside from the silly spot where a group of wrestlers caught Shida and then had to stand there until Conti finally dove onto them and made them all fall over. My real issue was that Conti just scored what felt like a big upset win over Rose last week (even though Conti is somehow the top ranked contender in the women’s division), and they followed up by having The Bunny pin her in this match. I assume it will be rectified when she faces The Bunny next week, but why slow whatever momentum she gained just to set up another television match?