By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley vs. Rush for the Interim AEW World Championship: A good high energy, hard hitting opening match. It was hard to buy into the idea of Rush winning, but Moxley gave him a lot of offense and made him look really good in defeat. Moxley also made the post match angle with Chris Jericho by calling for the Lionheart version of Jericho and telling him to keep the Jericho Appreciation Society at home. Here’s hoping that AEW cements that as a stipulation by barring the faction members from ringside.
Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia: A big upset win for Garcia. He got some help from Jake Hager that actually felt unnecessary. With Bryan coming back from a head injury, they easily could have done the finish in a way that put Garcia over clean while playing up the fact that Bryan was coming back from injury. But it was still a cool move to use Bryan’s star power to elevate Garcia. No one seemed happier than Chris Jericho’s character. I suspect that will eventually change once Garcia starts to rack up more wins and takes attention away from Jericho. Of course, Garcia could also be used to help turn Jericho babyface again at some point if they want to move in that direction.
Ricky Starks vs. Hook for the FTW Championship: I enjoyed the match and Hook is the perfect person to hold the FTW Championship on multiple levels. But as much as I enjoy a good surprise, I have to question the logic of giving this away with no build. The post match angle was well done with Starks showing respect to Hook with a fist bump, which led to his fiery promo and the surprise attack by Powerhouse Hobbs. I never would have given the Hook win away without a strong build, but I definitely enjoyed all of this. The looming Starks vs. Hobbs feud looks fun on paper. The tricky part is that both wrestlers need wins and deserve to be elevated. That’s rarely worked out when WWE wrestlers in similar positions were pitted against one another. Of course, this isn’t WWE, so we’ll see how it goes.
Sammy Guevara vs. Dante Martin: A fun spot-fest style match. Martin seemed to be struggling with a knee injury late in the match and he took the springboard cutter awkwardly. Hopefully it’s nothing major. On a side note, the addition of Skye Blue in Martin’s corner added nothing. Blue has not been properly introduced on AEW television. Sure, she’s won some online matches, but I don’t believe she’s won a match on Dynamite or Rampage before. There was also nothing about her attire that made her feel like a rising star who belonged on the show.
Jungle Boy and Christian Cage: Jungle Boy showed good fire early on and then it felt like he started to cool down the longer this segment went. It was good to hear Jungle Boy fire back at Cage in the same personal manner that Cage has gone after him. Both men are doing a really good job of making this feud feel intense and personal. Luchasaurus hanging around Jungle Boy still feels temporary. Is Jungle Boy color blind? I think there’s a reason that Luchasaurus is still wearing his darker gear.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Swerve Strickland vs. Tony Nese and Mark Sterling in a handicap match: Please let this be the end of Strickland feuding with Sterling over that stupid petition. Josh Woods attacking Keith Lee was interesting. Woods really started to click with me once ROH reintroduced the pure rules division. Are they setting up a singles match with Lee? Will Woods team with Nese or does he have another tag team partner who hasn’t been introduced?
Thunder Rosa vs. Miyu Yamashita for the AEW Women’s Championship: It will be interesting to see how this match performs in the ratings. It was an enjoyable match, but it’s not like Yamashita has been featured prominently on AEW television. For a company that seems to focus so heavily on the minute by minute ratings, I’m surprised they didn’t put this match on Rampage instead. If it works, great, but the television ratings for the shows that led up to the Forbidden Door event seemed to indicate that a lot of viewers tune out when they are presented with international talent that they are not familiar with.
No follow-up to ROH Death Before Dishonor: I did not expect AEW Dynamite to be filled with ROH related angles coming out of the pay-per-view. Still, it was disappointing that they didn’t make a big fuss over how well the event came off or spotlight the notable players. Where was new ROH Champion Claudio Castagnoli? FTR and The Briscoes tore the house down on Saturday, and I can’t believe they didn’t at least have FTR on the show to keep their momentum going.