Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Swerve Strickland vs. Daniel Garcia, The Undisputed Kingdom, Orange Cassidy vs. Dante Martin for the AEW International Title, Darby Allin vs. Konosuke Takeshita


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

AEW Dynamite Hits

Konosuke Takeshita vs. Darby Allin: While the lack of hype and presentation were baffling, this was my favorite match of the night. It was the first notable thing the company has done with Takeshita since he beat Kenny Omega twice. Takeshita really needed this win and now the creative forces can’t make the mistake of thinking he can just go back to standing around while Don Callis talks. Allin is teflon. He’s so over with the fans that a single loss isn’t going to hurt him one bit.

The Patriarchy: Another strong performance from Cage. I love the slow build to Killswitch finally snapping. The longer they can stretch this out without it overstaying its welcome, the more impactful it will be when he finally snaps on Cage and reverts to being Luchasaurus. Shayna Wayne hasn’t found her groove on the mic just yet, but I think she’ll get there with more reps. She reminds me of early heel Vickie Guerrero, who was far from polished and yet that actually played a part in her becoming the woman that the fans loved to hate.

Orange Cassidy vs. Dante Martin for the AEW International Title: The usual quality Cassidy title defense. There was no reason to view Martin as a threat to win the championship given that he spends most of his time teaming with his brother and/or his water bottle crushing brother from another mother. Even so, they came through with a good match and the Cassidy character continues to be over with the fans. It felt like the Private Party return should have been a standalone segment rather than being wedged in after the match was over.

Swerve Strickland vs. Daniel Garcia: A soft Hit for a quality match despite the rough table spot. I considered giving this an “in the middle” because it didn’t feel like the right main event to open the new year with. Garcia is coming off a single win performance in the Continental Classic and has Matt Menard playing his personal color commentator for some odd reason. As high as I am on Garcia’s upside, his presentation has been mid-card at best. If all goes well, there will come a time when a rematch will feel like a strong Dynamite main event, but we’re just not there yet. Swerve is the rising star of the company and perhaps his involvement will be enough to carry this segment from a ratings standpoint. The post match angle with Hangman Page was a pretty standard pull apart brawl, but I’m happy that Page’s character isn’t content with just moving on given the intensity of their program.

Deonna Purrazzo debuts: This wasn’t the big debut that fans were hoping for, but Purrazzo is still a nice addition to the women’s roster. It felt like she did everything there was to do in Impact Wrestling and needed a change of scenery. Here’s hoping that there’s a real plan to feature her prominently so that she doesn’t slip into Rampage and Ring of Honor obscurity.

Mariah May vs. Queen Aminata: The match was more competitive than one would expect given that all of the focus was on May’s debut beforehand. Even so, Aminata looked good in defeat and May still shined in the end. The match was pushing it, but the debut of Purrazzo really overshadowed May’s debut after all the weeks of buildup.

AEW Dynamite Misses

Trent Beretta vs. El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Bryan Keith vs. Brian Cage in a four-way for a shot at the Continental Crown Championship: Going with this match to determine the first challenger lowered the prestige of the new championship. That’s not a knock against anyone involved in the match. Rather, it’s a shot at the randomness of these four wrestlers somehow being the first four in line to earn a title shot. Beretta winning felt flat. Yes, he is good in the ring, but he’s just not a guy that the fans view as a threat to win a singles championship. While he will likely have a quality match with Kingston, having a mid-card guy who spends most of his time working tag team matches be the first challenger for a new championship really sends the wrong message.

The Undisputed Kingdom promo: What an awful name. Adam Cole did about as good of a job as anyone could do with the material he had to work with and I’m happy they finally paid off The Devil saga. But they are in a really rough spot with the faction’s target MJF sidelined (they really, really, really want everyone to believe that MJF is out of the company) and the faction leader still injured. The rest of the faction really needs to shine. Wardlow’s entire motivation for being in the group was MJF, so I have a bad feeling that it’s back powerbomb symphony squash matches for him. Roderick Strong is a comedy figure. Matt Taven feels like the guy who could step up and be positioned as Cole’s righthand man, but he’s stuck defending the ROH Tag Team Titles, which are back to feeling worthless again now that MJF and Cole are no longer the champions.


Readers Comments (2)

  1. Yet again, EVERY “hit” in the AEW column has a “but” in the comment. Of course.

  2. Maybe if AEW would do better he wouldn’t have to add caveats.

    Also, lol, you’re here being a useless twat saying Jason is nothing but negative, but in his AEW recap that other tool “Rich” was complaining about how Jason says nothing but good things about AEW every single time. Obviously both of you clowns can’t be correct, so the reality is that Jason praises what he likes, and criticizes what he takes issue with. The real issue isn’t Jason not being “fir”, it’s just that you’re an AEW fanboy who considers ANY criticism as being too negative(unless it involves black men), while Rich is the sort who thinks anyone who praises anything AEW does is the same kind of dick riding fanboy you are.

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