By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Chris Jericho vs. Wheeler Yuta for a shot at the Interim AEW World Title: A really well worked main event. There was no reason to think that Jericho was going to lose the match since they actually set up his title match before they backtracked and had Yuta challenge him to put up his title shot in this match. Ideally, they would have booked this match for a shot at the title first, but I’m guessing they wanted to move tickets and/or generate some buzz for next week’s television show. Either way, Jericho got a quality win going into the match, and he used his old Liontamer finish, leaning into Moxley saying that he wants to face the Lionheart version of Jericho.
Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm vs. Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter: A physical battle between four of the best wrestlers on the AEW women’s roster. It was encouraging to see the match during the first hour rather than being positioned in the second hour slot that’s typically reserved for most of the women’s matches on Dynamite. The finish creates friction between Rosa and Storm, and it felt like a big win for Hayter, which could also create some friction between her and Baker’s character.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jay Lethal: A crowd pleasing Cassidy style match with a post match angle to set up Lethal with a shot at the TNT Championship for the Battle of the Belts show. Cassidy was also protected in the form of a leg injury, though he’s over enough that I don’t even think he needed to be.
Christian Cage vs. Matt Hardy: The veterans worked hard and put together a quality match. Cage continues to shine as a heel. The backstage attempted vehicular manslaughter angle prior to the match felt needlessly over the top. The mic work has made the feud feel personal enough that the car angle felt hokey rather than gritty. The post match angle with Jungle Boy chasing off Cage was another example of Cage running away when confronted, which adds to his heat. It’s worth nothing that Luchasaurus is still in his black gear and he still hasn’t done anything physical to Cage. In other words, I don’t think he really turn babyface again. Rather, I continue to assume that he’s going to stab Jungle Boy in the back at a key moment in the feud.
Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ren Jones: An enhancement win for the impressive Hobbs. I like that they doubled down on Hobbs getting the better of Ricky Starks by having him leave Starks lying with a spinebuster in the post match angle rather than drift right into 50/50 territory. I remain curious to see what will happen in this feud involving two rising stars who both need wins.
“The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Austin Gunn vs. “Gunn Club” Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn in a Dumpster Match: My least favorite match of the night and yet it still ended up in the Hit section. It was a change of pace from the rest of the show, and The Acclaimed continue to be over everywhere they go. The dumpster failing to cooperate was for a few awkward moments, but they eventually got it to go off the stage as intended. It was frightening when the dumpster landed upside down, but I have no idea wether the Gunns were even inside the dumpster at that point.
AEW Dynamite Misses
None: We had a Miss-free edition of Raw on Monday and now a Miss-free edition of Dynamite on Wednesday. Much like Raw, this episode of Dynamite was not a home run episode. It was a quality show with good storytelling, and everything felt like it served a purpose. Here’s hoping that the creative change in WWE will continue to bring out the best in both companies. It was encouraging to see AEW use some brief recap videos. I’ve harped on the company for the pacing of the show and for not doing enough to refresh the memories of viewers or to help others catch up on what they missed. AEW improved in both areas this week and hopefully this will stick going forward.
So AEW is now being commended for being more like WWE. It was only a matter of time. WWE is the standard of how you present pro wrestling to a national audience.
When it comes to the production side of things, of course WWE is the gold standard. It doesn’t mean everything they do is perfect (shaking cameras, too many jump cuts, going overboard with recap count at times), but anyone who claims that WWE isn’t the gold standard when it comes to production is delusional. And I’ve been consistent in saying/writing that AEW should have more video recaps, just as I have praised Impact for starting most of their shows with a recap of what happened the previous week. This isn’t some new revelation. It’s common sense. Not wrestling fan watches every show. Not every viewer who watches most shows is going to remember everything that happened the previous week. Make it easier for them or you’re just playing to the diehards, which is a mistake that AEW has made IMO.
>The backstage attempted vehicular manslaughter angle prior to the match felt needlessly over the top<<
Geez,I agree 1,000%. I am worried that it seems AEW is dabbling into "sports entertainment", despite the fact that it's concentration on "pro wrestling" more than "sports entertainment" is WHY it's gotten as popular as it has.
“It was frightening when the dumpster landed upside down, but I have no idea wether the Gunns were even inside the dumpster at that point”
I’m pretty sure that there was some kind of a trap door for them to use before the dumpster was pushed off the stage. Yes you could see some shoes when it tipped upside down but that was probably a prop of some kind.
I really hope this means that Hayter can get out from under the thumb of Baker.
A McMahon mention in Caster’s rap was inevitable, but it was actually pretty tame in the end. Slightly disappointing!
>>Here’s hoping that the creative change in WWE will continue to bring out the best in both companies.<<
Purty sure the creative change in WWE had no affect on what AEW has done, which common sense would prove considering the change just happened a week ago, but I get what you are trying to suggest and why.