By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Hangman Page vs. Pac vs. Andrade El Idolo vs. Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Matt Hardy in the Anniversary Casino Ladder Match: Page returning from paternity leave as The Joker was expected and a big hit with the live crowd. He was as over as anyone on the show. The finish to the match felt a little flat with Page and Moxley trading blows until Moxley got woozy and fell off the ladder, but it wasn’t enough to ruin the match by any means. And now we wait to see if the AEW Championship match at the Full Gear pay-per-view is Kenny Omega vs. Page, Omega vs. Bryan Danielson, or perhaps even Omega vs. Page vs. Danielson, which are all great options.
“The Super Elite” Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. Bryan Danielson, Christian Cage, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus: A fun spot-fest style opening match. They recovered quickly from the botched spot when Omega fell down as they were setting up for a big powerbomb. Cage being eliminated from the match due to injury gave the babyface trio an out for losing. The big spot, little selling nature of the match means this won’t be for everyone, but it was really good for this style of match.
Sammy Guevara vs. Bobby Fish for the TNT Championship: It was great to see that AEW announced the signing of Fish coming out of this show. AEW has a really good roster of talent, but Fish’s style helps fill an area of need for the company. He’s also proven that he’s versatile enough to work the spot-fest style matches given the times that he and Kyle O’Reilly worked with the Young Bucks in New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was a cool touch for Fish to enter to the old Red Dragon entrance theme, which also left me wondering what Kyle O’Reilly’s contract status is.
Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb: Where have these two been? Shida dropped the AEW Women’s Championship and has spent her time working AEW Dark and AEW Dark Elevation matches for some strange reason. They are two of the best that the women’s division has to offer and showed it again during this match. I really liked the way Deeb was booked to play the spoiler in what seemed destined to be a celebration of Shida picking up her fiftieth win. It will be interesting to see if Shida attains that milestone quickly or if she will continue to struggle to achieve it.
Darby Allin vs. Nick Comoroto: A good showcase win for Allin with a little boost from the broadcast team, which did their best to make it seem like Comoroto’s size presented a real challenge. The angle with the hooded men attacking Allin backstage was solid as it continue the build to Allin’s match with MJF. Given the announcement that Allin won’t be medically cleared for the match next week, I wonder if they will stretch this out so that it can be saved for the Full Gear pay-per-view. Either way, I also liked the sit-down interview that Jim Ross conducted with Allin. Say what you will about MJF heeling on Allin over his uncle dying in a drunk driving accident, but the story told last week and followed up on by Allin in this interview are adding layers to Darby’s character.
Dan Lambert and Chris Jericho: My flip flopping on Lambert segments continues. Lambert drew mega heat to the point that I don’t know if Jericho was embellishing when he said that he didn’t hear a word that Lambert said. The crowd was great throughout this segment, including when they sang the lyrics to “Judas” after the song stopped playing.
CM Punk promo: Another love fest promo with the nice touch of Punk giving the young Orange Cassidy fan his Jordan sneakers. Still, I couldn’t help but feel let down when Punk announced that he would be facing Daniel Garcia on AEW Rampage. Garcia is a very talented young wrestler with a bright future ahead of him and I’m sure they will have a strong match. And while I get that Punk wants to work with the younger AEW talent, he really needs to get in the ring with established names too. When fans envisioned Punk’s return to the ring, I guarantee you that the vast majority of them thought about him working dream matches rather than working with younger talent. I’m all for a combination of the two, but I’m anxious to see Punk start working with some of the bigger names.
AEW Dynamite Misses
None: A very good show from start to finish. The in-ring action was strong and AEW also found a good amount of time to set up or continue the build to upcoming matches. If there was a Miss, it would be the post show interview with Hangman Page that aired during the “Rhodes to the Top” reality show. There wasn’t much to it beyond Page dodging Tony Schiavone’s fair questions. But I still like the idea of giving viewers a hook to get them to at least sample the reality show.