By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Bryan Danielson vs. Ethan Page: A hot opening match. It’s encouraging that Page has been featured more prominently in recent weeks. It was no surprise to see him lose to Danielson, who seems to be next in line for an AEW World Championship match. The match was laid out in a way that made Page look strong in defeat. Hopefully Page will be given a meaningful bounce back win on Dynamite and avoid slipping into YouTube match obscurity.
Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow for the TNT Title: They told a story with Samoa Joe striking Wardlow’s knee with a pipe early in the show. It made the outcome feel predictable, yet it also gave Wardlow an out for losing and created a reason for the feud to continue. The post match angle with Joe cutting off Wardlow’s ponytail added good heat to the feud. Darby Allin showing up and hitting Joe with the skateboard felt unnecessary and took away from Joe’s big heat moment, though I do look forward to the TNT Title match between Joe and Allin that was teased.
Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli vs. “Top Flight” Darius Martin and Dante Martin: A strong tag team match. Much like the opening match, the Top Flight duo gained something in defeat. Top Flight is a great young team. The Martins have a ton of talent and can execute some dazzling moves, but they really need to improve their mic work, selling, and facial expressions. I wonder if the lack of facial expressions is a product of the brothers wearing masks when they were coming up on the independent scene. Regardless, here’s hoping they will cue up some Ricky Morton matches and learn from the tag team selling master.
The Acclaimed’s video on Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal: Fun and hard hitting. Max Caster didn’t pull any punches.
“Death Triangle” Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix vs. “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson in a Falls Count Anywhere match in the sixth match of the best of seven series: All action, very little selling, and no stupid hammers. I wish these teams sold more, but I’ve been so turned off by some of the finishes during this series that I’m willing to look past it simply because no one used a hammer. For that matter, the live crowd was totally invested and on their feet for a good portion of the match. The finish seemed off in that it seemed like Matt should have tapped sooner rather than waiting so long after Omega scored the pin at ringside. Nevertheless, the all-action style was over big with the crowd and hopefully these teams saved their best for last in the ladder match finale in two weeks.
Hook vs. Balum Lynx for the FTW Title: A soft Hit for the usual dominant win for Hook. The post match angle with “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry saving Hook from Big Bill and Lee Moriarty moved us closer to the inevitable tag team match.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Ruby Soho and Willow Nightingale vs. Anna Jay and Tay Melo: The match fell apart down the stretch. Melo couldn’t clear the chair from the ring quickly enough to avoid making the referee look foolish, and the finish was poorly executed. Ideally, AEW would have trimmed a couple of minutes from one of the matches to make time for Jamie Hayter to discuss last week’s main event win over Hikauru Shida. They had one of the best women’s matches in AEW television history and the follow-up should have occurred on Dynamite rather than on the Friday night B-Show.
“For that matter, the live crowd was totally invested and on their feet for a good portion of the match.”
The people that are willing to go to AEW shows will eat shit and smile all the way through it, but the TV audience tunes out in massive numbers during anything involving these 6 pathetic midgets.
Don’t have the quarter hours for this week yet, but last week (match 5) saw 122,000 people turn the show off and not come back to it.
The funniest part about Wednesday night is WWE ran 2 house shows that both outdrew Dynamite by a few thousand in live attendance.