By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Hangman Page reunites with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks: Don Callis drew Christian Cage level heat for his brief promo, which felt like it was cut off prematurely. Nevertheless, it set the table for the well received big reunion moment with Page helping Omega and the Bucks fight off the Blackpool Combat Club. Now that AEW has announced the Anarchy in the Arena match, they really need to slow down and remind viewers of the match details. I’ve heard multiple fans confuse the Anarchy match with the Stadium Stampede recently. AEW does great pay-per-view numbers, but the total number of buys is a small percentage of the Dynamite viewing audience. In other words, it’s not just enough to list the name of the match and assume everyone remembers it when most of the viewers didn’t even see the first match. Again, though, the reunion felt like a major moment and closed the show in a memorable manner.
Chris Jericho vs. Roderick Strong in a Falls Count Anywhere match: A fun match that brought back good WCW memories with a big brawl that started in the ring and ended up in the concourse and various other locations. The finish was clever in that Adam Cole and the rest of Jericho Appreciation Society were banned from the building, yet Strong got Jericho to chase him outside the building where Cole was waiting to attack.
Ricky Starks vs. Jay White: A well worked match with an understandable DQ finish given that both wrestlers need wins. It does beg the question of why these two were booked to feud with one another this early in White’s run. I’m curious to see if Starks and White move on to new opponents or if this finish will lead to a rematch.
Orange Cassidy and Darby Allin vs. Lee Moriarty and Big Bill: A good tag team opener. Moriarty and Bill work well together, but they lack on-air chemistry. Perhaps that will develop in time, but I was actually hoping that The Firm Deletion would lead to everyone involved in that faction going separate ways and that both men would move back into singles competition. Allin winning the match for his team was the right move. Someone really should explain the headlock takedown history between him and MJF. It’s a callback to the opening match of AEW Full Gear 2021, which I remember because I attended the show, but I’m guessing a lot of viewers either didn’t see it or have simply forgotten what transpired.
Ruby Soho and Toni Storm vs. Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida: The spray paint finish was a groaner, but the rest of the match was entertaining. Jamie Hayter’s injury gave the babyfaces a reason to be shorthanded against The Outcasts for once. I was surprised to see them go with Hayter vs. Storm at the pay-per-view rather than the six-woman tag match. I’m all for having a title match over a six-woman tag team match, but it felt like the storytelling was leading to a six-woman tag match rather than the title match.
Karen Jarrett debuts: Why not? Karen is a good talker and never struggles to get heat.
AEW Dynamite Misses
“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Rush: While this was an entertaining match, it felt counterproductive for Rush to dominate one of the wrestlers who will challenge for the AEW World Championship at Double Or Nothing. Furthermore, Perry had to hold Rush’s tights while getting the pin. Was that foreshadowing a heel turn or just an odd choice for a babyface heading into a title match?
Sammy Guevara: His squash win was fine. But his shift from being willing to take a dive for a big payday to suddenly acting like a nice guy babyface is baffling. Even Guevara’s home state fans seemed confused as to whether they were supposed to cheer him. On a side note, I really wish the four-way pay-per-view main event was an elimination match.
Tony Khan announcement: A mostly understandable Miss. I assume Khan was going to announce the return of CM Punk for the premiere edition of AEW Collision in Chicago. Obviously, things are on hold at the very least, leaving Khan to merely recap the Collision announcement and list some upcoming host cities. Ideally, Khan could have announced whether there’s going to be a brand split or how this will work, but perhaps even those details are up in the air until the Punk situation is resolved.
1, Karen Jarrett gets go-away heat. Not “good” heat.
2. The spray paint BS is definitely old now.
3. My friends and I knew the announcement was going to be about Collision, and it honestly felt like the news leaking out screwed up Tony’s plan to make that news announcement last night.
4. ALso agree that Tony needs to realize the real-life wife of Sammy has ruined him and his upward movement, and he IS a heel. He will not be cheered, accept in momentary events like last night.
The most shocking thing that you said was that you had friends.