By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley vs. Tomohiro Ishii: A fun follow-up to their 2019 match in the NJPW G1 Climax tournament. While I’m never a fan of headbutts, I do enjoy the strong style that was on display in this match. I like the way they incorporated Eddie Kingston into the match without having him play into the finish. The shot of Kingston and Claudio Castagnoli staring daggers through one another was well done. But I continue to feel like they need to do a better job of explaining why there’s so much friction between the two. Moxley mentioning that it goes back ten years to the niche Chikara promotion just isn’t enough. If there’s not a good backstory, then there’s no reason they can’t make one up.
Jack Perry promo: A good first outing for Perry as a heel. There’s plenty of room for improvement, but he seemed more natural as a heel than he did as a babyface. Perry referenced his girlfriend Anna Jay without mentioning her by name. It will be interesting to see if she ends up joining his act and escapes her dead end spot in the tired Jericho Appreciation Society.
Orange Cassidy, El Hijo del Vikingo, and Keith Lee vs. Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard, and Angelo Parker: A solid six-man tag match with zero mystery regarding the outcome. I rewatched the spot where Vikingo performed a flip dive onto Lee on the floor and spotted Menard and Parker fleeing. I didn’t see Menard and Parker when I covered the show live and it confused me, but they were there when Vikingo started his dive, meaning the spot was logical and actually set up the next sequence nicely.
Ruby Soho vs. Alexia Nicole: An in the middle segment. The company was put in a tough spot when they had to pull the advertised Soho vs. Britt Baker match due Baker’s illness. I’m surprised they didn’t come up with a better make good than a simple squash, but they kept it brief and Soho’s post match promo was fine.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Sting and Darby Allin vs. “Painmaker” Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara in a tornado tag match: The work in the match was certainly better than the mess of a six-man tag team match these four took part in at Forbidden Door. But who actually thought it was a good idea to have a 64 year-old man jump from a ladder in the ring and attempt to put Sammy Guevara through two tables on the floor? I respect the heart and desire, but the fans are more than content to watch him perform the greatest hits. After all, Sting didn’t even do these stunts during his prime years. Tony Khan needs to step in and save Sting from himself.
Hangman Page and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. John Silver, Alex Reynolds, and Evil Uno: Once again, the in-ring work was not the problem. Page and The Elite are positioned as the top babyfaces on Dynamite, yet they are disliked by the cool heel faction and now by Page’s jealous nerdy friends. Konosuke Takeshita turned on them. Don Callis turned on them. At some point, it starts to feel like maybe there’s a reason why so many characters (and CM Punk in real life) dislike The Elite and Page. It doesn’t help that Matt tried to brush off the Dark Order trio like they were beneath him. There were some boo birds for the Bucks last night. Hamilton is a long way from Chicago. It’s only one crowd and it was a vocal minority, but the Bucks need to start presenting themselves in a way that will nip this in the bud.
No brackets for the blind eliminator tournament: I honestly can’t remember a tournament that’s been presented as poorly as this one. They started by telling viewers the name of the tournament without offering any explanation of how it worked. Last week, they drew two names that just happened to be the AEW World Champion and his top challenger, yet it wasn’t even explained why either man would even be interested in entering a tournament with the goal of earning a tag team title match. And then the company advertised that the brackets for the tournament would be unveiled this week, yet they only revealed two more teams. I was never a fan of the Lethal Lottery format because it was typically booked so horribly in WCW. I’m still hoping that AEW will get it right, but they are off to a really bad start.