By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Adam Copeland and Christian Cage: An enjoyable final segment with Copeland making the pitch to reunite with Cage, who then told him to go f— himself. It did feel like Copeland should have called out Cage for some of the awful things his character has done and made it seem like that’s not the Cage he knows and turned this into offering him a shot at redemption. Nevertheless, Copeland’s first promo went well and I’m so much more invested in a Copeland vs. Cage program than I ever thought I would be in 2023.
Rey Fenix vs. Nick Jackson for the AEW International Championship: A very good match between two of the best wrestlers who work the more acrobatic style. Fenix going over was logical given that he just won the title, although I wonder if he’ll drop it right back to Jon Moxley next week since he wasn’t supposed to win the championship in the first place.
Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho vs. Konosuke Takeshita and Kyle Fletcher: A good tag match followed by Powerhouse Hobbs attacking the babyfaces and joining the Callis Family. Hobbs needed something better than the mediocre Book of Hobbs gimmick that never seemed to go anywhere. Meanwhile, for a guy who beat Omega in back to back matches, Takeshita is coming off as a minion for Callis as opposed to being a rising star.
Toni Storm vs. Skye Blue: This was all about showcasing Storm’s “Timeless” persona, which continues to be a lot of fun. But what was up with Blue’s lifeless entrance?
Wardlow vs. Griff Garrison: It was good to see Wardlow back after a long absence. He came off as heelish by not acknowledging the fans before or after the match. In fact, it looked like he pulled his arm away in an aggressive manner when a fan tried to make contact with him. I wonder if he’s now a heel and they are working toward a rematch with MJF. After all, Wardlow destroyed him in a dominant squash match at Double Or Nothing 2022 and it’s felt odd that he hasn’t shown any interest in going after the AEW World Championship since MJF won the title.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Billy Gunn and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens vs. The Butcher, The Blade, and Kip Sabian for the AEW Trios Titles: The ring work was fine. The issue with the match is that they didn’t do anything to make the title match feel important. In fact, Excalibur was busy plugging future matches while they were building to the finish. It’s hard enough to care about the trios titles as it is, but they make it impossible when the title matches are treated like background fodder.
Adam Cole and Roderick Strong video: Forget the technical issues, this was just a bad video. I get that they are going for laughs, but the idea that Cole would move the furniture with a broken ankle because Matt Taven and Mike Bennett don’t have his interior design talent was a turn your brain off moment.
MJF and Max Caster: This was a bizarre segment that made one-half of the more popular acts in AEW come off like a creepy stalker. This is apparently based on something from social media, but they have to know that fans who don’t follow their every move online were left in the dark. Was this the start of moving Caster into a devil mask suspect role? Speaking of which, the lack of follow-up to last week’s cliffhanger angle was a major disappointment. Also, the MJF and Bullet Club Gold angle was fine. It’s cool to see AEW advertise a pay-per-view title match this far out, but White stealing the belt didn’t do much for me.