Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Final Jon Moxley and MJF segment before Full Gear, Ethan Page vs. Bandido in a semifinal tournament match, Claudio Castagnoli and Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara, Toni Storm vs. Anna Jay in an eliminator match, Anthony Bowens vs. Swerve Strickland

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

AEW Dynamite Hits

Swerve Strickland vs. Anthony Bowens: These two were capable of having a more competitive and dynamic match, but they did what was right for the story by having Strickland dominate Bowens and injure him heading into the AEW Tag Team Title match at Full Gear. Match quality matters, but Strickland and Bowens deserve credit for realizing that there are times when storytelling is more important.

Claudio Castagnoli and Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara: Conversely, this was a strong match that went lighter on storytelling than I anticipated. It landed in the Hit section because it was such a good match and there was just enough storytelling with Castagnoli forcing Jericho to submit just days before they all meet in a four-way for the ROH Championship. That said, I remain surprised that we didn’t see friction between the tag team partners, especially given the “little buddy” story that Jericho and Guevara recently told.

Ethan Page vs. Bandido in a semifinal AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament match: This tournament is officially a confusing mess. Page advanced to the finals of the tournament, and yet they haven’t even bothered to explain when the winner of Friday’s Ricky Starks vs. Lance Archer match will face Brian Cage in the semifinals. Anyway, I enjoyed the match between Page and Bandido, and it’s good to see Page getting a singles push. I wouldn’t have had Bandido in the tournament if he wasn’t going to win it or at least lose in a highly competitive final match, but it’s not like he can’t bounce back from this loss.

“Death Triangle” Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix vs. AR Fox, Dante Martin, and Darius Martin for the AEW Trios Titles: The big spot fest match of the night led to a post match angle that set up a spot fest for the ages with The Elite returning to challenge Death Triangle at Full Gear. I’m actually more interested in hearing what Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks have to say in their first promo than I am in their first match back. Even so, AEW took a good approach by having viewers pay for their return match while presumably leaving fans waiting to hear from the trio on next week’s Dynamite.

Toni Storm vs. Anna Jay in an eliminator match: A solid showcase match that went on a bit longer than it needed to. The post match angle with Jamie Hayter was lousy. Nothing happened. Hayter just entered the ring and exchanged words off-mic with Storm before shoving her and leaving the ring.

AEW Dynamite Misses

Britt Baker promo: Baker’s promo was well delivered and it would have been a Hit had she been working as a babyface. But Baker is the top heel in the women’s division and she’s working against a sympathetic figure in Saraya, who is returning to the ring after a five-year absence due to a severe neck injury. If ever there was a time for Baker to play a strong heel role, this was it. Rather, she worked in WWE related digs at Saraya last week and then made herself out to be the hero of the AEW women’s division this week. I didn’t care for the way Saraya downplayed Baker’s significance last week, but it’s not enough to justify Baker ditching her heel persona to deliver what came off as an insecure rebuttal that didn’t help sell the match.

Jon Moxley and MJF segment before Full Gear: This just didn’t connect as a strong go-home segment that would move viewers who were on the fence about ordering the pay-per-view. Moxley vs. MJF should feel like a big showdown match, but the focus has been on whether MJF is a babyface or a heel, and Moxley didn’t help the cause by outright saying that he doesn’t get what the fuss over MJF is all about while acting like MJF poses no threat to him. Meanwhile, MJF plowed through The Firm wrestlers with such ease that it made them look like bumbling idiots. Worse yet, it left me even more fearful that MJF’s domination and The Firm’s previous attack on him are part of a big silly swerve. Here’s hoping they have something much better in mind.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Considering the declining quality of Dynamite, now starting to be reflected in the ratings, I’m surprised you continue to give it so many hits compared to misses. I get that individual parts can sometimes be better than when they’re all put together as a whole show, but still. It really has to be addressed by the PW media at some point that TK is booking AEW into the ground.

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