By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Bryan Danielson vs. Alan “5” Angels: Sadistic heel Danielson continues to be a pleasure to watch. He gave Angels a nice run of offense before making good on his threat to stop his head in. Danielson’s post match promo was equally fun with his jabs at the Atlanta crowd and then refusing to share the ring with “this joke” John Silver.
CM Punk vs. Lee Moriarty: I wasn’t a fan of Punk going as long as he did with QT Marshall last week, but I really enjoyed this competitive match. Whereas I don’t believe last week’s match changed the way anyone looks at Marshall, Moriarty definitely gained something in defeat with his strong performance against Punk. And while I may not like it in each case, AEW has been consistent in telling the story that while Punk is winning his matches, he has to scratch and claw his way to victory. The post match insult fest between Punk and MJF was a fine followup to last week’s tremendous segment.
Ruby Soho vs. Kris Statlander in a TBS Title tournament match: A well worked match with some good drama down the stretch. Soho went a little overboard in selling the shock of Statlander kicking out at one point. Even so, Ruby continues to shine and has quickly become one of the top babyfaces in the women’s division.
Darby Allin and Sting vs. Billy and Colten Gunn: This was a fun television match. It’s still a treat to see Sting work the occasional match. Allin continues to make me question his sanity with some of his daredevil spots, but the guy is a blast to watch even without those questionable moments where he puts his health at risk. Now about that AEW testing policy…
Wardlow vs. AC Adams: A good showcase win for the badass Wardlow character. It’s a nice added touch to put some heat on Shawn Spears by having him take cheap shots at Wardlow’s opponents while they are down and out after the matches.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Cody Rhodes vs. Andrade El Idolo in an Atlanta Street Fight: Fortunately, I couldn’t smell the burnt flesh through the television, but I sure could make out the smell of desperation. While it’s understandable that Rhodes wanted to do something big in his hometown, this was needlessly dangerous and over the top. Perhaps there is a time to take a chance like this when a feud has reached its climax, but that wasn’t it. The finish didn’t even make sense. Jake Barnett pointed out on Twitter that it looked like Andrade put Cody through the table with Sliced Bread No. 2 and yet it was Cody who scored the pin. One can only assume that Andrade wanted nothing to do with going through the flaming table. Who could blame him? I’ve gone back and forth as to whether Cody is stubbornly insisting that he remain a babyface even though the majority of fans have already made up their minds or if he’s one step ahead of everyone in that he’s stretching this out and toying with us while having every intention of turning heel. This week, I’m back to guessing that he is sincere about this wannabe John Cena edict that he’ll never turn. It’s not doing him any favors, and it’s going to make it really difficult for the heels he works with to actually get heat. It will be a shame if he is sincere about this because I think he and Brandi Rhodes would be a blast as heels, and a heel Cody could help elevate some of AEW’s young babyfaces.