By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
CM Punk and MJF: MJF was great with his insult promo. And nobody makes an unimpressed face better than Punk, who then responded with his scathing promo, which included the blistering jab that MJF “is just a less famous Miz.” MJF came back had with the great line that “PG” Punk might as well be preaching Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect. Just as I previously praised Chris Jericho during his feud with MJF, I give Punk a lot of credit for allowing MJF to grill him with some insults that other wrestlers of his standing may have vetoed. Much like Jericho, Punk showed that he can dish it out and take it. AEW has delivered a pair of terrific show-opening verbal exchanges over the last two weeks.
Bryan Danielson vs. Colt Cabana: This is exactly what it needed to be. Cabana had his crowd-pleasing hope sequence, but Danielson ultimately dominated and beat him clean in Chicago. Danielson’s post match verbal exchange with Hangman Page was really good and the brief physicality between them was just right in terms of giving viewers a taste without giving them too much.
Cody Rhodes, Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix vs. Malakai Black, Andrade El Idolo, Dax Harwood, and Cash Wheeler: A good, action packed main event. I would not have complained if they had made this an elimination match, but I can’t say that I’m surprised they avoided the whole Survivor Series style approach. Cody is a bright guy. And while intelligent stars have had some blind spots when it comes to their own presentation over the years, I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea that he doesn’t know that making a grand entrance after his three partners came out together is douchey. So while I reserve the right to change my mind, my guess this week is that Cody is a step ahead of us and wants the fans to react the way they are.
Thunder Rosa vs. Jamie Hayter in a TBS Title tournament match: A well worked match with the usual good intensity from Rosa. I could have done without the interference behind referee Rick Knox, who once again came off like an idiot, this time for inexplicably not realizing that something was happening maybe two steps behind him. Hayter getting upset and shoving Britt Baker afterward is a welcome development. We still don’t know much about the Hayter character and it feels like she’s a bit wasted in Baker’s act.
Billy Gunn and Austin Gunn vs. Bear Country: A soft Hit for a quick win for the father and son duo with some help from Colten Gunn at ringside. I can’t say that I’m fired up about Darby Allin and Sting feuding with the Gunns, but it could be a decent television feud if it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Speaking of which…
AEW Dynamite Misses
CM Punk vs. QT Marshall: This match felt needlessly long. It seemed like they wanted to play into MJF calling out Punk for struggling to beat inferior talent, but this would have been the right spot for a fired up Punk to respond with a quick and decisive win. If shorting the Chicago fans was of any concern, perhaps they could have booked Punk in a more competitive dark match.
Raisins in Stuffing: I like raisins. I love stuffing. They just don’t belong together regardless of how much my late stepfather would disagree. Pumpkin pie? Pecan pie? Whatever your preferences are, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.