Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: MJF vs. Daniel Garcia for the AEW World Championship, Samoa Joe vs. Keith Lee for the ROH TV Title, Swerve Strickland vs. Penta El Zero Miedo, Julia Hart vs. Red Velvet


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Dynamite Hits

Swerve Strickland vs. Penta El Zero Miedo: The best match of the night and a good clean win for Strickland. The logic of having Hangman Page barred from ringside while Swerve went unpunished for breaking into the Page family home was baffling. But Page showed really good fire when he attacked Swerve after the match. It came off well, but I was a little surprised that they didn’t wait to have Page get his hands on Swerve until their match at Full Gear.

Samoa Joe vs. Keith Lee for the ROH TV Title: An enjoyable big man battle with a clean choke out victory for Joe. As if that wasn’t enough, Joe relinquished the ROH TV Title. There was nothing stopping Joe’s character from going after the AEW World Championship while still being the ROH TV Champion, but I’m all for pulling the ROH title belts from AEW television. I’d be fine with turning ROH becoming a true developmental brand or just completely doing away with the brand.

Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, and the Young Bucks: A good backstage verbal exchange that created more tension between the two sides. Omega went from being caught in the middle to telling off the Bucks in a believable manner while using some of the lingo that critics of the Bucks use to describe them. I went from rolling my eyes at yet another story of infighting amongst The Elite members to now looking forward to the Full Gear match that stemmed from the bickering.

MJF vs. Daniel Garcia for the AEW World Championship: It was good to see the champion defend his title successfully on television while going over clean and decisively. Garcia’s character has been lost ever since he teased leaving the Jericho Appreciation Society only to return to the faction. Garcia really needs to get away from Angelo Parker and Matt Menard and become his own man. It seems like that’s where this is going and hopefully Garcia can regain the momentum he had before the JAS return and the introduction of his overused dance.

Jay White vs. Mark Briscoe for White’s shot at the AEW World Championship at AEW Full Gear: The idea of White agreeing to put his title shot on the line while not asking for anything in return from Briscoe was absurd. It came off like AEW’s creative forces didn’t see this as a suitable television main event and tried to give it a boost, yet never bothered to put the work in to actually sell the added stipulation. Despite that, White and Briscoe delivered a quality match and White went over clean, which is absolutely the right move heading into his title match at Full Gear.

Julia Hart vs. Red Velvet: A solid match. I was hoping that Velvet would return without the doing some of the silly antics related to her awkward food inspired name, but it was good to see her again following her long injury layoff. The post match angle was a big bag of nothing with Kris Statlander Skye Blue, and Willow Nightingale coming out and not actually doing anything. It also included one of the most idiotic decisions made by a wrestling character this week when Hart decided to lean in and examine Blue’s mouth for mist. Isn’t that the last thing a person should do if they fear having mist sprayed in their eyes? If nothing else, I suppose I should be happy that Velvet did not introduce red mist after Blue recently used blue mist. AEW women’s division would improve instantly if there was an edict that the wrestlers could no longer use spray paint or mind altering mist.

Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn vs. “The Bollywood Boyz” Gurv and Harv: A quick squash match win for the Gunns and there’s nothing wrong with that. I like the Bollywood Boyz and I’m sure these teams could have produced a good match with more time, but I’m all for spotlighting the team that is actually signed to the company.

Sting and Darby Allin vs. “The Outrunners” Truth Magnum and Turbo Floyd: A simple three-minute squash win for Sting and Allin. Given AEW’s history, I assumed that there would be a post match angle of some kind, but they actually delivered a brief match and moved on. That said, I hope Sting’s remaining matches and appearances on his road to retirement will feel more meaningful than this match did.

AEW Dynamite Misses

None: Although there were aspects of the show that I didn’t care for as noted above, this was the most encouraging episode of Dynamite in months. Every match ended with a clean finish. They finally moved the Devil Mask storyline forward as opposed to just showing the obligatory shot of the masked figure for a few seconds. And while nothing is official, I came away hopeful that they are pulling the ROH title belts from the show. It’s also been a positive that the meaningful Full Gear matches have been given solid builds and most of the card was announced earlier than past events. They even pulled back on Excalibur going into auctioneer mode while announcing 55 matches that no one will remember for three upcoming television shows and a pay-per-view. Here’s hoping that this episode is a sign of real change and is not just an aberration.


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