By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Orange Cassidy vs. Penta El Zero Miedo for the AEW International Championship: It was a huge night for Cassidy in that he survived this match with his championship and then cut a serious promo. While it’s fair to say that Cassidy’s promo contradicted his slacker persona, I saw it as the evolution of the character. It packed a punch when he said the title belt is the most important thing in the world to him. Cassidy remains one of the most over acts in AEW and adding quality mic, even if it’s only at key moments, will help him maintain his popularity.
Eddie Kingston vs. Wheeler Yuta for the NJPW Strong Openweight Title: The physical match was really enjoyable even if the outcome never felt like it was in question. The post match angle with Claudio Castagnoli ignoring Kingston is a holdover from what they’ve done in Ring of Honor. In fact, it left me wondering if this was meant to playing into something that will play out on ROH rather than on AEW television.
Adam Cole, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, and Roderick Strong: The heels did a nice job of laying out their reasons for being frustrated with Cole. I was high on the idea that everything leading up to All In was part of Cole’s plan to return on MJF and take his title. Now that they’ve gone in a different direction, it will be interesting to see how long they can stretch this out and what the actual end game is.
Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara: A good verbal exchange that showcased the issues between the two heading into their run as a tag team. The problem is that neither wrestler is all that likable. I am baffled by Jericho’s character at this point. Jericho seemed to be going babyface when Don Callis turned on him, but he continues to say heelish things. I wish this was one of those times where I could chalk it up to Jericho’s desire to keep people guessing, but it’s simply confusing and not all that compelling.
Jon Moxley vs. Komander: This match was ultimately what it needed to be. Komander arguably got more offense than he should have, but the match didn’t overstay its welcome and Moxley went over clean and decisively. Not every match needs to go 15 minutes and be filled with back and forth near falls.
Kris Statlander, Hikaru Shida, and Britt Baker vs. Emi Sakua, Nyla Rose, and Marina Shafir: A random six-woman tag match that felt like the weekly quota filler. On the bright side, they established some friction between Shida and Baker, and the post match angle featured a push for Statlander’s title defense against Ruby Soho.
AEW Dynamite Misses
AEW All Out: The show did an effective job of setting up some of the All Out matches. The real problem is that All Out looks weak on paper. It doesn’t mean it won’t be filled with some great wrestling, but it’s an underwhelming card filled with too many secondary promotion title matches and nothing that stands out as main event worthy.