By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Orange Cassidy vs. Bandido for the AEW International Title: The match actually fell a short of my admittedly high expectations, but it was still an entertaining title defense for Cassidy. This one felt more suspenseful than most because Bandido felt like a legitimate candidate to take the championship.
Kenny Omega and Konosuke Takeshita vs. The Butcher and The Blade: I enjoy Omega and Takeshita, but the hook of seeing them team together for the first time wasn’t enough to justify a spot in the main event. At least not when they worked against a team that hasn’t won a match on Dynamite in over two years. The Hit is actually for the post match angle that gave Takeshita a reason to want to fight the Blackpool Combat Club.
Dax Harwood vs. Jeff Jarrett: A good match between two veterans until the baffling finish. Sonjay Dutt and the other sidekicks were not allowed to accompany Jarrett to ringside and yet Dutt just walked out late in the match and didn’t even try to hide from the referee. I don’t get it. They seem to be setting up FTR defending against Jarrett and Jay Lethal. That’s fine for a television match, but it would be underwhelming as a pay-per-view match.
Adam Cole and Roderick Strong reunite: I hope it’s a short term reunion because Cole really needs to move away from the Undisputed Era once and for all. But it was fine for one night to have Strong help his old buddy beat up Chris Jericho’s job squad. I hate to include Daniel Garcia in that mix, but when is the last time he’s felt like more than just one of Jericho’s wacky henchmen?
AEW Dynamite Misses
Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara for a shot at the AEW World Championship: Between the bad finish to this match and the awful finish to last week’s main event, AEW actually managed to make me lose interest in the Four Pillars four-way match that is expected to headline the Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. I like the way they circled back with Allin and Jack Perry expressing regret over some of the things they said to one another the week before. Otherwise, the entire situation is a mess that hasn’t made anyone look good, including MJF, whose character sure is making some dumb heel moves that don’t live up to his diabolical devil billing.
Jade Cargill vs. Taya Valkyrie for the TBS Title: The match quality was fine, but the babyface came out of this looking bad. The stipulation was that Valkyrie couldn’t use her finisher, but she had to be reminded that she couldn’t use it and was then pinned seconds after releasing Cargill. I assume this leads to a pay-per-view match that will be built around Jaded vs. the Road To Valhalla, but the loss didn’t do Valkyrie any favors.
Jay White: AEW’s big free agent signing was once again limited to appearing in a forgettable video package. Worse yet, that video set up a tag team match for a Friday afternoon edition of AEW Rampage. Really? The start and stop approach to the Ricky Starks push is just as baffling.