Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Kingston in a Barbed Wire Everywhere match, Christian Cage and Luchasaurus vs. The Varsity Blondes, Darby Allin vs. Brody King, Jon Moxley and Wheeler Yuta vs. Best Friends, Athena and Willow Nightingale vs. Jade Cargill and Kiera Hogan

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Dynamite Hits

Darby Allin vs. Brody King: The show peaked with this strong opening match. King looked like a monster badass by beating the hell out of his smaller opponent, while Allin showed the heart and reckless abandon that his character is known for. My guess is that the teases for Sting vs. Malakai Black end up leading to a six-man tag match with Miro, who walked out for a late staredown, will team with Allin and Sting to face the House of Black.

Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Kingston in a Barbed Wire Everywhere match: There was a time when a bloody barbed wire match would have appealed to me, but my tastes have changed and over the top hardcore matches are no longer for me. Having said that, the match delivered what was advertised. Well, aside from the silliness of the rest of Jericho Appreciation Society being unable to interfere due to being locked in a shark cage. I am already rolling my eyes at the thought of the company rolling out that gimmick for Shark Week 2023. But Jericho and Kingston worked hard, put their bodies through hell, and the live crowd ate it up. So while this wasn’t up my alley, it was good for its style and belongs in the Hit section.

Christian Cage and Luchasaurus vs. “The Varsity Blondes” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison: The match was perfect in terms of storytelling. Cage teased starting the match only to tag out. Luchasaurus did all of the dirty work by dominating Pillman and Garrison, and then Cage tagged in and got the pin for his team. This was spot on for Cage’s weasel character. The post match angle with Luchasaurus letting Jungle Boy past him to go after Cage was surprising. I can’t imagine that they are already putting Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus back together, so it will be interesting to see what comes next.

FTR promo: It’s a shame that we can’t get a proper build for FTR vs. The Briscoes, but Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler did their best to sell the match by themselves. Harwood’s promo about his daughter’s heart condition was moving and memorable.

Ricky Starks vs. Cole Karter for the FTW Title: A solid television match. Karter is young and has a bright future. That said, it was a bad look for AEW to book him so quickly after he was released by NXT for a “policy issue.” There are way too many title belts on AEW television, and I just can’t get excited about a belt that isn’t officially recognized by the company. But I am hopeful that Starks doing the open challenge bit will eventually lead to Hook stepping up and making a play for the title belt that his father introduced in ECW many years ago.

Jon Moxley and Wheeler Yuta vs. “Best Friends” Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor: A well worked match that spotlighted Yuta and his lingering issues with his former buddies. A lot of time has passed since Yuta left the Best Friends group to join Blackpool Combat Club, and a video package would have been helpful to remind viewers of the issues between the two sides. Oddly, Moxley felt like he was just along for the ride in this one since he doesn’t really have issues with Beretta or Taylor. Of course, Moxley brought star power to the match, so it likely held up well in the ratings.

Jade Cargill and Kiera Hogan vs. Athena and Willow Nightingale: A decent tag match. It’s sad that Athena has just sort of blended into the women’s roster and isn’t being showcased in a meaningful way. In fact, it feels like the company is positioning Kris Statlander as the bigger threat to Jade Cargill at this point, which begs the question of why they didn’t put Athena in the AEW Women’s Championship mix instead.

AEW Dynamite Misses

Mark Sterling’s petition: The campiness of Sterling collecting signatures to have Swerve Strickland fired because he’s not trustworthy is awful. Sterling is talented and he’s doing his best with this bit, but it’s a sports entertainment style concept that stands out in a negative way on AEW television. I won’t pretend to be familiar with Kevin Gates, but Sterling did a good job of heeling on him to set up the rapper punching out Tony Nese.

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Readers Comments (10)

  1. My eyes must be better than yours Jason, because to me it looked like to 60 year old men having a slapfest outside the VFW at closing time. Plus Jericho calls his spots constantly on camera. Hard to keep you in the moment with that gritty realism.

    • I have no doubt that your eyes are better than my strained eyes! Jericho’s chair shots were really soft and there were some other aspects that I disliked, but one look at Kingston’s back shows that they were working with at least some real barbed wire. But the live crowd loved it so while it wasn’t for me, I felt that they delivered what was advertised.

  2. I love AEW, but I think the barbed wire match was horrible. WAY too much stuff involved, such as showing the women outside the ring while the two actual participants are inside the ring and not on camera. The ending was botched horribly, too. I hope Tony learns to not think Jericho’s ideas about planning a match aren’t immediately brilliant moving forward……

  3. Five years from now the Jericho/Kingston match will be looked at as one of the worst main events in the history of Dynamite. Will there be something worse than that between now and then? Maybe, but this match will always make that top five rankings for the category. It was clear that by the end of the match both guys were disoriented and out of sync, and the extracurricular stuff quickly devolved into filler.

    Not sure where Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus is going but it would make no sense for the dinosaur to suddenly have a change of heart when his momentum at present has shot through the roof.

  4. TheGreatestOne July 21, 2022 @ 2:29 pm

    The barbed wire match was typically awful nonsense.

    None of the tag matches worked, but at least the Cage/Luchasauras/Jungle Boy thing is intriguing with the dinosaur making a Lex Luger like nonsensical switch.

    Athena is blending in because she’s example 423 of why WWE isn’t misusing people, it’s that there are a lot of indie darlings that suck. She’s a fat, stumpy botchfest of a spot wrestler and nothing else.

  5. Athena is a wrestler. Keep jerking off to your Best of Carmella DVD and let pro wrestling fans talk about pro wrestling.

  6. I’m surprised at the high number of hits. I felt this was one of the poorest episodes of Dynamite to date. The usual over booking and rushed stuff plus a really bad main event (and this is from someone who really really enjoys Kingston). The womens segments are death to me (as they are also on RAW and SDL). Even adding Hathaway into the mix doesn’t really help.

    Side note. Has there been ANY mention of Danielson lately. The longer he is gone the more concerning this becomes

  7. The problem with Jungle Boy’s return is that no matter how upset he should be he looked about as intimidating as Zack Morris from Saved By the Bell when coming towards the ring.

    Also I don’t believe that one paint-by-numbers choke slam should be enough to pin Pillman following a delay for the same move executed on Garrison and then the time it took for Christian to tag into the match and cover them; not with the kind of moves that all of these guys kick out of on a regular basis.

  8. TheGreatestOne July 21, 2022 @ 6:41 pm

    910k. Another consistent drop. Down 21% year over year.

    AEW draws a decent number every now and then and then they just bleed viewers until their next crazy thing that doesn’t live up to the hype.

  9. I just watched some of the Jericho/Kingston match and I stand by my previous comment that AEW produces some of the funniest television on the air.

    Funny shit, but it ain’t good wrestling.

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