By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Darby Allin vs. Matt Hardy in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the TNT Championship: Dynamite offered something for everyone this week. The TNT Title match was the wild hardcore style brawl, the opening match was a crazy spot-fest tag match, and Chris Jericho and Dax Harwood worked more of a traditional style. Allin and Hardy was a fun show closing match, and the big Coffin Drop spot was insane, yet executed flawlessly.
The Young Bucks vs. Pac and Rey Fenix for the AEW Tag Titles: A hot opening tag match that was given way more time than I anticipated, which is a positive. My only complaint is that I wish this match could have come at a time when the Young Bucks weren’t trying to establish their heel personas. Under normal circumstances, Pac and Fenix would feel like major threats to win the tag titles. But it was tough to buy into the possibility of a title change given the circumstances. And while I get the idea of opening the first unopposed show with a hot match, I would like to see AEW move some of their big spot fest style matches out of the opening slot and into the main event. It wasn’t an issue this week, but there are too many times when the opening match ends and I find myself feeling numb to some of the bigger spots in similar style matches that follow. All of that said, I enjoyed the match and I like the Bucks as heels even though they took such a lousy storyline path to get to this point.
Chris Jericho vs. Dax Harwood with Mike Tyson as ringside enforcer: Jericho and Harwood worked well together. Tyson did his part with the big knockout punch/forearm on Cash Wheeler at ringside shortly before the finish. While I would normally question the idea of a heel holding a baseball bat backing down from an unarmed man, let the record show that if I had loaded weapons in each hand and Tyson was standing in front of me with one fist clenched, I would politely drop both weapons and beg for mercy. Call me a coward, but I watched Tyson’s peak years and saw him absolutely destroy some excellent fighters.
Jade Cargill vs. Red Velvet: A nice match. Velvet showed good fire and has upside, but Jade is the star in making. While they had the benefit of this being a taped show and thus there’s a chance that there was some editing, what we saw of the match was impressive. Both women showed improvement over their solid performances in the mixed tag match with Shaquille O’Neal and Cody Rhodes.
Anthony Agogo vs. Cole Karter: This was a fine way to establish Agogo’s punching power, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed that we didn’t get a better feel for where he’s at in his in-ring development.
Kris Statlander vs. Amber Nova: An all out squash win for Statlander in her return from injury. I like that she kept the silly fun boop, yet acted like a fun-loving human otherwise. Hopefully she’s moving on from the alien silliness.
Overall show: AEW delivered a strong episode to start the new era where they no longer have direct competition from NXT on Wednesday nights. There are still too many faction and too many people crammed into each episode, but this was one of the stronger editions of Dynamite in recent memory.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Sting: We’re getting too much of a good thing. Sting’s appearances should feel special. Rather, they feel predictable at this point. It feels like he’s interviewed by Tony Schiavone or getting involved in Darby Allin’s matches every week. Less is more with special attraction Sting. On the flip side, for all the hype that the Paul Wight signing was given, it’s crazy that he never appears on Dynamite.