By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer in a Texas DeathMatch for the IWGP U.S. Championship: A wild match that lived up to the stipulation. I enjoyed the intensity and most of the physicality, but I really could have done without Moxley being slammed onto the backs of two chairs. My spine hurt just from watching that spot, so I can’t imagine how he feels today. This was the big win that Archer needed. He’d lost his highest profile matches in AEW, so this was the signature win that he needed.
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Spears: A fun opening match with a receptive live crowd. MJF was a blast on guest commentary. I got a kick out of his line that the Five Labours of Jericho should not be confused with Jericho being in labor despite Jericho’s physique. Jericho presumably deserves a lot of credit, as there are not a lot of guys in his position who would allow themselves to be the butt of that type of joke. The post match announcement of Nick Gage being Jericho’s second labour was a jaw-dropper. I mistakenly assumed that The Pinnacle members would each face Jericho in these matches, but I never would have pegged Gage for this spot even if I knew it would consist of non Pinnacle wrestlers.
Darby Allin vs. Wheeler Yuta: The highlight of the match was Sting starting the battle of light leg kicks with Orange Cassidy at ringside. That’s not meant to take anything away from the match, but it was pretty damn funny. Allin entering the match with his ribs wrapped provided a reason for the match to be as competitive as it was before he went over.
Orange Cassidy vs. The Blade: A solid payoff to their television feud. It definitely hasn’t been my favorite feud on Dynamite, but a simple mid-card television program is fine and helps the more meaningful segments stand out. Hopefully Cassidy can move into something more meaningful.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Andrade El Idolo, Chavo Guerrero, Death Triangle segment: A needlessly long and difficult to follow segment. I don’t know where this is going, but like the idea of Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix joining Andrade. Pac has always struck me as a loner character and I’ve never really understood why he aligned with Penta and Fenix in the first place aside from AEW going overboard with factions. Chavo seems like a better fight with Andrade than Vickie Guerrero was, but he’s never wowed me with his mic skills. It will be interesting to see how he does in this role.
Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s Championship: A disappointing match with a lot of clunky moments. Both women have improved since the early days of AEW, but this was a rough outing.
Doc Gallows vs. Frankie Kazarian: Several Kazarian attacks on The Elite members led to this match, so it felt flat that he ended up losing to a guy who has been booked to come off as one of Kenny Omega’s henchmen in two companies. Granted, there was a lot of help from Karl Anderson, so perhaps this is leading to Kazarian teaming with someone to go against the Good Brothers. Hangman Page making the save means he could eventually be that guy, but Kazarian wasn’t really involved in the post match angle. And I wholeheartedly agree with Jake Barnett, who wrote in his live review that as the star, Page should be saving the Dark Order members from attacks, not the other way around in most cases.
The biggest miss for me was the production of the main event. The camera was focussed on both men whilst they were blading which is just bizarre.