By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
MJF’s Re-Bar Mitzvah: As much as pro wrestling fans love great matches, segments such as this one set the table and increase interest in those great matches. The Four Pillars of the company meeting in the ring was cool. Three of these four guys haven’t been asked to take part in long talking segments, and two of the three held up their end well. I could have done without the needless inside references from Sammy Guevara, who also felt a bit out of place. Guevara certainly has the talent to be in this mix, but it’s tough to buy a guy playing second fiddle in a faction named after another man as an actual threat to win the world championship. Even so, there was far more good than bad. Jack Perry did a fine job, but it was Darby Allin who truly shined with his mic work, along with the always entertaining MJF.
House of Black vs. The Elite vs. Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and Daniel Garcia for the AEW Trios Titles: A crowd pleasing main event until the finish that had the champions retaining, meaning neither team headed up by a hometown hero went over. This was a wild spot fest and yet it was easier to follow than I thought it would be with nine wrestlers involved. All of that said, I can’t help but wonder if this would have been a better experience for the live crowd had Jericho and Omega been featured in singles matches. AEW is clearly all in on the trios division, and the Blackpool Combat Club look like they might be added to the mix. The show closing angle with The Elite coming to the defense of Hangman Page served as a nice hook for next week. On a side note, congratulations to Jericho for having the street he grew up on renamed after him. I also loved the shot of Jericho’s 78 year-old father Ted Irvine singing along to “Judas” with the rest of the crowd.
Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuga vs. Hangman Page, Evil Uno, and Stu Grayson A hot match. As much as I’ve rolled my eyes at the Dark Order faction, it was fun to see the Uno and Grayson reunion. They had some believable near falls and looked good in defeat.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jeff Jarrett for the AEW International Title:: The overbooked match didn’t do a lot for me. The important thing is that they had the majority of the fans standing down the stretch, which shows that it worked for the live crowd.
Jade Cargill vs. Nicole Matthews for the TBS Title: The actual match was just another quick squash win for Cargill, but the post match debut of Taya Valkyrie went well. I’m happy they took this approach as opposed to having Valkyrie debut as an open challenge loser. It makes much more sense to build to a Cargill vs. Valkyrie match.
AEW Dynamite Misses
QTV: The TMZ TV spoof fell flat. It was tolerable as a one-off given that it played on TMZ picking up the story of Wardlow’s rental car being broken into. But AEW has actually been doing teasers for QTV for some time now, which left me fearing that it could be a regular bit. Powerhouse Hobbs looked really out of place and showed no chemistry with anyone involved. While it’s possible that will improve in time, my early take is that Hobbs would have been better off on his own.