By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Kenny Omega vs. Jungle Boy for the AEW Championship: A strong main event. I did not expect a Jungle Boy win, but they did a good job of building in some believable near falls. It was also a nice touch to show Jungle Boy’s family in the front row repeatedly, as it presumably led some viewers to think that there was a chance that he would get the upset win. The post match angle felt unnecessary. I was curious to see what Christian would do because they seem to be planting seeds for him to turn on Jungle Boy at some point, but it turned out to be more about continuing Christian’s feud with the Hardy Family Office. Why pull the focus from the AEW Championship players to what instead feels like a mid-card feud?
Hangman Page vs. Powerhouse Hobbs: This looked like a fun matchup on paper and it actually exceeded my expectations. Page’s Buckshot Lariat attempt into a spinebuster counter from Hobbs led to a really good late near fall. It’s a shame that there was a production hiccup with cameras cutting during that sequence. We see so many distraction finishes these days so it felt like Page was on the verge of losing due to being caught up by the latest drama involving Ricky Starks and Brian Cage, which continues to be entertaining. I also enjoyed the commentary during the match with Jim Ross and Taz talking about the similarities between Hobbs and the late Butch Reed. It’s an accurate comparison and the type of conversation about the past that is unlikely to be heard on a WWE show these days.
Konnan and Tully Blanchard: Konnan’s line about Blanchard needing to learn Spanish so he can communicate with his grandkids was a gem. The angle with FTR dressing up like Santana and Ortiz was well done. Perhaps I was too consumed with the bombs that Konnan dropped to notice that it was actually FTR initially. Either way, it worked like a charm and I am really looking forward to Santana and Ortiz vs. FTR. On a side note, now that AEW and Impact Wrestling are working together, what’s stopping AEW from getting the rights to the LAX name and logo, which is so much better than Proud and Powerful?
Dante Martin vs. Matt Sydal: A good match between a pair of babyfaces. Martin was given an out for losing the match via his injured knee and had some very impressive offense along the way. Sydal looked good and got the win, but Martin actually gained more from the match in defeat.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Ethan Page vs. Bear Bronson: There was nothing wrong with the actual match. The Ego’s Edge finish was really impressive and the match was well worked. My issue is that I watch Dynamite every week and still don’t feel like I know anything about Bear Country. And if two dudes walk to the ring wearing bear masks and clearly have some type of obsession with bears, it really feels like viewers should know why.
Kris Statlander vs. The Bunny: A solid match, but it involved two characters that lack storyline direction. The Bunny implied on the AEW Unrestricted podcast that she’s modeled her character off of Sheri Moon’s characters from Rob Zombie’s horror movies. Bunny’s homage seems to start and end with her skipping and then looking into the camera and tilting her head. Meanwhile, I’m happy that AEW has pulled back on Statlander’s alien gimmick, but they have yet to establish who she is without it.