By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page contract signing for the AEW Title match at Full Gear: This was my favorite heel Omega performance in AEW. He was confident and manipulative throughout his monologue, and he never showed the quirky side of the character that typically turns me off. Don Callis dressing up as the cameraman and hitting Page with the camera was really well done, and I love the final moments with Omega signing the contract with Page’s blood. Contract signings may be overdone in pro wrestling, but this one was very well done.
Pac vs. Dax Harwood: A hell of a match. Perhaps the most impressive moment of the match was Pac performing the avalanche brainbuster. While most regular brainbusters look like suplexes these days, Pac actually made a top rope brainbuster look good while, most importantly, executing it in a manner that didn’t put Harwood at risk.
Bryan Danielson vs. Rocky Romero: A terrific wrestling match involving two great workers. Danielson continues to shine against a variety of opponents in AEW, and I’m really looking forward to seeing his tournament finals match with Miro at Full Gear. Speaking of which, Miro is doing the best mic work of his career. His current persona is fantastic, and his repeated references to his wife sure seem to be setting the table for Lana’s arrival in AEW.
Lio Rush and Dante Martin vs. Matt Sydal and Lee Moriarty: Great action from start to finish. Rush was especially impressive even though all four men had a good outing. With so many smaller wrestlers on the roster, I continue to wonder if AEW will add a cruiserweight championship at some point. Granted, they’re not afraid to have smaller wrestlers challenge for their heavyweight championships, but a cruiserweight title would give a lot of the smaller wrestlers a more realistic goal. Plus, it would be nice to see an American company book a cruiserweight division properly rather than treat it as pre-show fodder at best.
Jungle Boy vs. Anthony Bowens: A nice match. While Jungle Boy went over and put in another good performance, it was a really good outing for Bowens, who continues to impress in the ring. The post match attack by Bobby Fish was strong, and the backstage angle revealing that Adam Cole put him up to it was a cool tough given their history in Undisputed Era.
Dan Lambert’s crew attacks The Inner Circle: A good final heat segment with Lambert putting Jericho in his own finisher while Scorpio Sky simulated Jericho tapping out. Lambert rivals MJF for most heat in the company and the fans should be hot for the possibility of seeing him get put in his place at Full Gear.
Wardlow vs. Wheeler Yuta: A dominant squash match win for Wardlow. It was one of the few things on Dynamite that didn’t seem to set up something for Full Gear, but it’s also possible that they wanted to spotlight Wardlow because they intend to have him play a part in the MJF vs. Darby Allin match. Either way, Wardlow looked like a badass by plowing through Yuta.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter, and Rebel vs. Tay Conti, Thunder Rosa, and Anna Jay: AEW failed to sell me on the idea that Conti could beat Baker for the AEW Women’s Championship on Saturday. Conti and Anna Jay wearing the same colors made them look like a tag team, and Thunder Rosa making the final entrance cemented the vibe that she was the real star of their team. The broadcast team claiming that Baker seemed fearful of Conti because she didn’t stop her from performing her finisher on Rebel just wasn’t enough. It’s a shame because Conti has stepped up her game in AEW and has earned her spot the title match.
Cody Rhodes enters through the crowd to save Pac: A Miss in the moment. If Rhodes is turning heel, then running in from the concourse for no good reason is perfect, as it was an eye rolling moment that defied all logic. But if he’s sincere in his desire to remain a babyface, then he has to know that making a special entrance for a run-in contributes to the fans turning on his character. While it’s probably best to limit his mic time if they are sincerely attempting to turn the fans in his favor, his promos have a must see feel to them because it’s fascinating to watch him attempt to win over the fans (or even to make everyone think that he’s trying to win over the fans).