By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Darby Allin vs. Jungle Boy for the TNT Championship: A strong main event with a clean finish. It was fun to see two of AEW’s top young stars headlining the show, but AEW has to get better about making their big television main events feel important. Show us clips of the wrestlers preparing. Run video packages. Air promos. Do something to make the match feel special, which also gives viewers more incentive to stick around until the end of the show.
Hikaru Shida vs. Tay Conti for the AEW Women’s Championship: One of the best AEW Women’s Championship matches thus far. The women’s division was once a weak point for the company. Shida has been an anchor, the additions of Thunder Rosa and Serena Deeb helped, and now we’re starting to see Conti and Britt Baker really come into their own. While the AEW women’s division has a long way to go to be as good as the NXT women’s division, it’s encouraging to see real progress from the AEW crew.
Christian Cage vs. Powerhouse Hobbs: Cage sold a lot for Hobbs and made him look really good in defeat. Hobbs looks so much better in the singlet and seems to get better in the ring with each outing. The post match glance between Cage and Ricky Starks teased what should be a terrific match.
Ricky Starks vs. Hangman Page: There was no reason to believe that Page would lose while his character is on the rise, but they did a really good job of creating some believable near falls for Starks. This was another case of the loser gaining something in defeat. Page normally finishes off his opponents with the Buckshot Lariat, so it made Starks look good when Page had to dig deeper into his bag of tricks to defeat him.
Miro promo: It was encouraging to hear Miro talk about going after the AEW Championship or the TNT Championship. But now he needs to be booked to actually follow through on it. The worst thing AEW could do is sidetrack his character with a long, drawn out feud with Kip Sabian.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Trent vs. Penta El Zero Miedo: As much as I praise AEW for making some wrestlers look good in defeat, they tend to go overboard in trying to do that in nearly every non enhancement match. There’s no indication that AEW has big singles plans for Trent. If I’m mistaken about that then so be it, but if he is going to be a regular in the tag division with Chuck Taylor, then this really should have been a needed spotlight win for Penta, who should be positioned as a guy who can win clean rather than needing to cheat to win. On a side note, Alex Abrahantes is doing a fine job as Penta’s translator/manager. He didn’t make the rookie mistake of taking attention away from the match by spending all of his time heeling on the spectator wrestlers at ringside. He found a good balance between doing some of that while actually spending more time enhancing the match by reacting to the bigger spots that were occurring inside the ring.
Billy Gunn vs. QT Marshall: I’m actually pulling for Marshall to get over enough to justify his push, but it’s hard to take see him as a serious threat to Cody Rhodes when he needed so much help to beat Gunn at this point in his career. At this point, The Factory’s feud with The Nightmare Family feels like something that should be playing out on the Dark shows rather than on Dynamite.