By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
“FTR” Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood vs. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson for the ROH and AAA Tag Titles: A terrific main event. It’s hard not to compare this match to the FTR vs. Briscoes match from Friday’s Supercard of Honor. I preferred FTR vs. The Briscoes, but both matches were outstanding and I wouldn’t argue with anyone who preferred FTR vs. The Bucks. As much as I was leery of FTR’s babyface turn after seeing them work as heels for so long, it’s turned out to be a a fantastic move and the fans are clearly behind them. More than anything, I hope we don’t have to needlessly wait another 18 months to get another match with these teams.
Adam Cole vs. Christian Cage: A strong opening match. Cole had to go over while en route to his AEW Championship rematch, but there were some believable near falls along the way. On a half-serious note, Cole’s matches have so many near falls that it’s actually comical to watch him act shocked when he doesn’t get a pin, as he should be more than used to his opponents kicking out by now. Anyway, Cage showing backstage frustration seems to indicate that his heel turn is finally coming and he can be more than a high profile replacement for Marko Stunt. Finally, Hangman Page showed good fire after the match while informing Cole that they will meet in a Texas Death Match, even if it is way too soon to go back to that gimmick match.
Samoa Joe vs. Max Caster in a men’s Owen Hart Cup tournament qualifier: The dominant win that it needed to be. The Acclaimed duo lose too many matches, but they maintain their heat through Caster’s raps. I just hope that their time is coming soon because they are getting star reactions that the company should lean into. The post match angle with Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt heeling on Joe from the backstage area was well done. Lethal is a better talker as a heel, and I like his chemistry with Dutt. More than anything, it’s great to see Joe back in the ring again.
Shawn Dean vs. Shawn Spears: You had to know that this was the match when Wardlow would arrive and destroy some security guards. And that’s a good thing because AEW is able to book Spears or MJF in less than marquee matches and fans who have been following the story should remain engaged while waiting for Wardlow to arrive. Dean stealing the win because of Spears being distracted was a nice touch.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy vs. The Butcher and The Blade in a tables match: The eliminated wrestlers stayed at ringside and continued to fight while the broadcast team explained that no one could stop them because there were no disqualifications in a tables match. So why even bother making this an elimination match? And it’s already time to pull back on Jeff Hardy doing Swanton Bombs off the top of ladders. A big spot like that should be saved for a key moment and yet we’ve already seen him do it twice in the one month he’s been with AEW.
Hikaru Shida vs. Julia Hart in a women’s Owen Hart Cup tournament qualifier: Just how long does it take for Malakai Black’s mist to transform a person? Anyway, Hart is in the same spot as a number of the NXT wrestlers in that she is improving and simply needs more reps before her ring work is actually ready for prime time. Shida and Serena Deeb are starting to remind me of Peter Griffin and The Chicken, only I still look forward to the animated fights. I like Shida and Deeb, but it’s time for the blowoff match.
Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti: It’s great that they’ve found happiness together in their personal lives, but they are downright awful together as on-camera babyfaces.
I always feel there is something to Adam Cole I am missing. Bland character work, bland cookie-cutter matches.. he’s just so generic. But wildly popular. Weird.
Adam Cole is the Young Bucks without the high spots.
Did you see the very tepid reaction Sammy and Tay got when Sammy’s music hit? From that hot crowd? They’ve already killed off so much of Sammy’s popularity.
Part of it is his entrance music and the whole “bay,bay” thing.
Adam Cole seems like a guy who can do all the moves well, but he just lacks the size to be a convincing wrestler.
Keith Lee could use a manager.
Julia Hart’s slow turn could simply be seen as someone who went through something traumatic and is still trying to process it.
Btw,why did the commentators act shocked by her attitude when it’s been happening for a while now? Do they not watch their own product?