By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Orange Cassidy vs. Luchasaurus vs. Rey Fenix for the AEW All-Atlantic Title: The match was laid out nicely in terms of making Luchasaurus look dominant before he was taken out by “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry. The story of Pac wanting Fenix to use the hammer must be leading to something, but I don’t expect it to play out before Full Gear given that the company is building to Death Triangle vs. The Elite. The post match angle with Katsuyori Shibata showing up just in time to be Cassidy’s dream opponent for Dynamite was surprisingly well received by the live crowd. It’s a move that plays to the super fans while also raising some questions about how he was medically cleared to work in AEW despite severe head trauma issues that have made NJPW officials reluctant to use him.
AEW World Champion Jon Moxley vs. Lee Moriarty in an eliminator match: A well worked match that left me with mixed feelings regarding Moxley working on television so frequently. AEW can lean into it and build him up as the most fighting champion in the business. On the other hand, there is something to be said for a world champion’s in-ring appearances being made to feel special and less routine. It was good to hear Ethan Page on commentary. He’s a strong talker who didn’t get to say much while he was aligned with Dan Lambert. I wasn’t sure if Page attacking Moxley was done to set up another eliminator match or if they are building up Page for the AEW Eliminator Tournament.
The Acclaimed’s Daddy Ass Birthday Bash: A soft Hit. Most of the humor didn’t hit with me, but live crowds are loving everything these guys do. The highlight was the jab about the DX anniversary, while a lot of the other humor was mildly amusing at best. The theme of this segment revolved around Billy Gunn’s birthday. In general, though, they need to be careful to avoid making Gunn feel more important than Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. On a side note, Rick Ross was great in the backstage segment with Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee. It was also cool to see NFL star Lamar Jackson sitting in the front row.
Chris Jericho vs. Colt Cabana for the ROH Title: A soft Hit. It wasn’t the smoothest match and the botched Chicago Skyline spot was frightening. That said, it was nice to see Cabana get a strong reaction from the live crowd following his long layoff from television. Is it just me or is the ROH Final Battle pay-per-view getting a longer build than any AEW pay-per-view has to date?
AEW Dynamite Misses
Samoa Joe vs. Brian Cage for the ROH TV Title: A decent match that should have meant more. AEW made a mistake when they rushed to Wardlow vs. Cage for the TNT Title, and they repeated it here by doing the same with Joe vs. Cage. Even just a few weeks of Cage being spotlighted with dominant squash wins would have made him seem like an intriguing challenger for either champion. We’ve seen Cage on AEW television just once since he lost to Wardlow, and even then he was on the losing side of a six-man tag team match. The post match angle with Powerhouse Hobbs attacking Wardlow was fine aside from the fact that it was the third time in the same show that a heel showed up on the side of the ring opposite the stage and attacked a babyface from behind.
Darby Allin vs. Jay Lethal: The match was Hit worthy aside from the oddball spot where the referee ejected Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh because Allin performed a suicide dive on Singh. Think about that for a moment. The Miss is for the post match mess that saw the imposter Sting reveal himself to be Cole Karter of The Factory. Carter has upside, but this was among the flattest reveals that I’ve ever seen. They followed that up with a polarizing debut of Jeff Jarrett, who used his Last Outlaw gimmick. Jarrett cut a good promo and he’s a solid opponent for Sting. But after listening to Jarrett’s promo, I came away fearful that the plan is for Jarrett to bring in names from TNA’s past for an invasion angle. No thank you.
Jade Cargill vs. Marina Shafir for the TBS Title: A chaotic mess of a segment with Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero talking on the stage while Cargill made quick work of Shafir. The story of Rose stealing the TBS Title belt is lousy. It would be so much better if they were building up Rose to look like a strong threat to Cargill, not as a pest thief who stole Cargill’s belt and car.
Has AEW officially abandoned its ranking system now? I for one like the idea of Moxley fighting so often on television because it fits his character, but the opponents he faces seem to be completely random.
Completely random? Moriarty is a member of the stable that attacked Mox and recently worked for his upcoming opponent.
Does not really matter who Moxley fights because I believe – I could be wrong there – that he never lost a SINGLE match on Dynamite.
You are wrong. He lost the title to Omega on Dynamite.
Who cares what stable attacked him? AEW prattled on about their ranking system being what would determine title matches and that was true for about 6 minutes of their existence.
No BS, I find it interesting to read the reviews of WWE shows and AEW shows, and for some, reasons are found to put a good match in the miss category and for some, reasons are found to put bad matches in the hits section.
IF you want to know how it works, go reread the past “hit list” comments.
The Hits aren’t all about match quality. So when I write that a match was Hit worthy in terms of quality, it’s acknowledging that it was a good match. That’s followed by an explanation for why the match landed in the Miss section, and it often has something to do with creative or if the crowd just didn’t get invested in the match for whatever reason. It’s really not that complicated. But you’ll just keep finding reasons to be bitter, Mike. How many years of angry emails and now comment section posts are we up to now?