By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Scorpio Sky vs. Wardlow in a Street Fight for the TNT Title: The title change was a minor surprise if only because the street fight stipulation left me wondering if they would use outside interference to stretch out the program. Rather, Wardlow fought off the interference and scored a dominant Powerbomb Symphony style win over Sky to take the title. The confetti celebration was a nice touch that put the title change over in a big way.
Jon Moxley vs. Brody King for the Interim AEW World Championship: A good television main event. There was no mystery regarding the outcome and they really should have spent a week showcasing King in advance, but both wrestlers worked hard and closed the show with a quality match. The Moxley promo that aired early in the show was strong and did a nice job of setting the table for the main event.
Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Matt Hardy: As I mentioned last week, if the target of Cage’s hard-hitting lines don’t have a problem with his zingers, then neither do I. They are drawing tremendous heat from the live crowds and his promos have quickly become must see television.
Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn vs. Fuego Del Sol, Leon Ruffin, Bear Boulder, and Bear Bronson: Why is Ruffin It a thing? As if AEW doesn’t have enough factions, now there’s another undercard faction consisting of wrestlers who may or may not win on AEW’s online shows? Anyway, I like the angle with the Gunns turning on The Acclaimed. It felt rushed, but I really like the idea of The Acclaimed working as a babyface team. Caster and Bowens have been getting great crowd reactions as heels for a long time, and it will be fun to see how the crowds react to them now that they are supposed to cheer them. I’m also looking forward to hearing how Caster handles his pre-match raps now that he’s turned babyface.
Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm vs. Nyla Rose and Marina Shafir: A soft Hit for the solid match. I’m not sure why Storm’s character went from being hellbent on winning the AEW Women’s Championship to being content teaming with the AEW Women’s Champion. On a side note, AEW seems a little too excited about the Thunderstorm tag team name
AEW Dynamite Misses
Mark Sterling’s petition to have Swerve Strickland fired: There are plenty of things to borrow from WWE, but campy sports entertainment nonsense like this should nowhere near the list. Be a true alternative.
Dark Order: As much as I appreciate the company paying tribute to the late Brodie Lee in his hometown, they built up to a proclamation regarding the Dark Order and then just forgot about it once QT Marshall showed up. The Dark Order seems to shrink in numbers with each appearance. They did announce that the faction is here to stay, but at this point it feels like the group exists due to sentimentalism more than anything.
Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland vs. The Butcher and The Blade: A sloppy match with no enforcement of the tag team rules. Lee was clearly late to break up a pin and the live crowd let him know it. Even Lee and Strickland’s finisher looked rough, as Swerve didn’t execute his end of it well.
Rush vs. Penta Oscuro: The match had more good moments than bad, but the latest mask related finish involving Penta was a groaner. Does any wrestler lose more matches in the United States due to mask related issues? Did Rush really gain anything from winning like this? I also could have done without the amateur hour brawl between Jose and Alex Abrahantes.
Is it just me or did Wardlow cool off faster than my morning coffee in a snowstorm?
They really botched his honeymoon period after the MJF feud conclusion, especially with the stupid security guard segment and his explanation for not wanting to compete for the interim title, but part of that is due to his lack of being relatable with promo skills. His chatter and banter is just so vanilla right now and they have to try other things to compensate for it.
We’ll see how things go now that he has moved on to defending the TNT belt.
Umm….”cool off”? Apparently either you WANT to believe that or you didn’t have the volume on at the count of 3. The security guard idiocy aside, the dude is extremely popular. But, believe what you choose to.
>>There are plenty of things to borrow from WWE….<<
Yeah, Wardlow has already lost a ton of steam except with the fangirls who repeat everything Tiny Con and his minions tell them to on Twitter.
The fans want to elevate him but for now he has some weaknesses that need to be worked around in order to not sour the presentation. He development could go either way over the next few months from here.
The problem with developing Wardlow is he’s already 34 and has been wrestling for 8 years. There’s no real reason to think he will develop much more. They handled the initial tension and breakup with MJF extremely well (I’m guessing that was mostly MJF’s doing) but everything since then has been somewhere between mediocre and poor.
If they present him well, and emphasize his strengths, there’s still plenty that can be done with him that will draw ratings/money while being memorable enough to cash in on later.