By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Darby Allin vs. Miro for the TNT Championship: A great main event. Allin was beaten up from being thrown down the steps last week, and then they doubled down by having Miro brutally attack him before the opening bell. So Allin was given two outs for losing and I would argue that his character gained something in defeat despite losing the title by putting up a hell of a fight. Meanwhile, Miro is finally back in the badass heel role that he played so well early in his WWE run. No more Rusev Day, Best Man, or video games. Sure, Rusev Day was catchy and had its moments, but this is the real money version of the Miro character. The only thing I didn’t care for was the needlessly crowded post match scene with Sting, Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky, The Dark Order, Lance Archer, and Jake Roberts all coming out. The image of Rusev holding the TNT Championship would have been a great way to go off the air, and AEW could have saved the Archer confrontation for next week.
Jon Moxley vs. Yuji Nagata for the IWGP U.S. Championship: We now interrupt your regularly scheduled Jon Moxley storyline for this IWGP U.S. Championship match. No complaints, as this turned out to be a highly entertaining match. Nagata can still go and this was even more fun than anticipated. It’s great to see the relationship between AEW and NJPW growing, and I can’t wait to see what will happen once the world gets back to normal.
The Young Bucks vs. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian for the AEW Tag Titles: A very good match with Daniels bleeding heavily and becoming even more sympathetic as a result. The storyline is that Daniels and Kazarian vowed to split up as a tag team if they lost another match. As such, I’m surprised that they didn’t give them more time coming out of the match, but I wonder if there’s either another storyline twist coming or if they will get a big sendoff to their team and possibly’s Daniels’ in-ring career on next week’s show.
Cody Rhodes promo: A polarizing promo based on some of the online reaction that I’ve read. Ultimately, it worked for me because he did a nice job of bringing up some hot button issues without actually taking sides. The emotion that Rhodes showed while speaking about his daughter really put this over the top. That said it is strange that he’s playing the patriotic card for a feud with an Englishman. I’m surprised that he didn’t save the American Dream monicker for an eventual match with Miro.
Thunder Rosa vs. Jazmin Allure: A basic squash win for Rosa. One can only assume that the idea is to keep Rosa strong so that she can be first in line for a shot at the AEW Women’s Championship coming out of Double or Nothing. My guess is that Britt Baker takes the title at the pay-per-view and then resumes her blood feud with Rosa.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Pac vs. Orange Cassidy for a shot at the AEW World Championship: I didn’t realize that Cassidy was injured while reviewing the show last night. So while the match ended up being understandably underwhelming and therefore in the Miss section, AEW actually deserves a lot of credit for the way they called an audible by having Kenny Omega come out and hit Pac with the title belt to set up the double knockout finish. It’s not ideal to have a champion and his manager be the only people who didn’t see the Triple Threat possibility coming out of the match as I pointed out last night, yet given the circumstances they did a really nice job of getting to the finish they needed.
Chris Jericho returns: AEW went with the big stunt bump to close the Blood and Guts match. And while it was hard to suspend disbelief while watching Jericho land in a heavily padded area, it still felt premature to bring him back for this segment. I also can’t say that the return of the Stadium Stampede match excites me. They did a great job with the cinematic match last year, but it was also at a time when there were no fans in attendance and companies needed to think outside the box more than ever. AEW will be playing to a full house for the first time since the pandemic started at Double or Nothing, so it seems odd to ask those fans to watch the big screen. My biggest concern is that the heated faction feud will take a comedic twist for the football themed match, but obviously we’ll have to see where it goes.