Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Swerve Strickland vs. RVD and Hangman Page vs. Toa Liona in Dealer’s Choice matches, Jon Moxley vs. Jeff Hardy, Taya Valkyrie vs. Deonna Purrazzo


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

AEW Dynamite Hits

Swerve Strickland vs. Rob Van Dam in a Dealer’s Choice hardcore match: The main event left me with mixed feelings. It’s a Hit for performance, as this was the best RVD has looked in as long as I can remember. I just don’t know if he should have been so competitive against the fastest rising star in the company. Swerve ultimately won, but it didn’t feel like he was the star of the match. I was pleasantly surprised when Swerve and Hangman Page agreed to meet next week to determine the No. 1 contender to the AEW World Championship. I continue to wonder if they are working toward a three-way, but Swerve vs. Page is probably the biggest rematch that AEW can offer and they slotted it properly on next week’s loaded show.

Hangman Page vs. Toa Liona in a Dealer’s Choice match: A good performance for Liona before Page went over clean. But what does it mean? We see so many young wrestlers work competitive matches with the top talent and it rarely seems to lead to anything. Will they get behind Liona coming out of this match or will he be back in throwaway six-man tag matches on the Ring of Honor show? On a side note, I don’t care how much of a reaction it received from the live crowd, I cringed when Liona popped right up after taking the Deadeye. Certain moves should be protected. At the very least, moments like that should be saved for big showdown matches, not used to get an easy pop during a match that most people won’t remember two weeks from now.

ROH TV Champion Kyle Fletcher vs. Chris Jericho in a non-title match: Fletcher is another guy who looks highly competitive against top name opponents and yet no one is actually surprised when he loses. AEW’s formula of having young wrestlers look good in defeat is simply used too often. The follow-up is always the key and in most cases they just continue to repeat the formula with younger wrestlers by having them continue to work competitive matches rather than actually elevating them.

Jon Moxley vs. Jeff Hardy: A solid opening match. Hardy had one of his better outings, and his refusal to shake hands with Moxley afterward continued to point toward a heel turn. Moxley needs an actual storyline. Watching him win random matches with no stated goal beyond his love of fighting just isn’t enough to keep things interesting for long.

Wardlow vs. Komander: A soft Hit for Wardlow’s latest spotlight win. Most importantly, here’s hoping that Wardlow avoided a serious knee injury. He seemed to think he did when he took to social media last night, but it seemed like a situation where they won’t know the extent of the damage until he undergoes an MRI exam. Here’s hoping that it provides good news.

AEW Dynamite Misses

Bang Bang Scissor Gang: A nothing happening segment. I continue to hope that this merger is temporary and that it will lead to the teams meeting to unify the AEW Trios and ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles. I also hope the unification match ends with a double pin and the company just gets rid of both sets of titles, but I digress.

Deonna Purrazzo vs. Taya Valkyrie: Toni Storm is fun, but her presence on commentary overshadows everything that is happening inside the ring. It’s also making life difficult for her babyface opponents because Storm is slotted as a heel, yet the fans enjoy her act too much to boo her. Oh, I couldn’t care less about Storm and Purrazzo having matching tattoos.

CMLL crew: AEW has plenty of great luchadores under contract, yet most are booked poorly that that the company feels the need to bring in more lucha talent from their partners in Mexico when they run in border states. Remember when it felt special to see El Hijo del Viking? I don’t believe he’s under an AEW deal, but now he’s just a guy who doesn’t factor into the finish of random four-way matches. The post match angle that followed Moxley beating Hardy was a groaner. Moxley mixed it up with the CMLL wrestlers and then Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Christopher Daniels, and Matt Sydal randomly made the save. I’m also baffled by the early lineup for AEW Collision. AEW’s Saturday night show finally avoids football and pro wrestling competition, yet the biggest match on the show thus far features Bryan Danielson working against a luchador that the bulk of the audience is unfamiliar with. Sure, they’ll have a great match. Danielson always does. But the company really should have come up with a match more likely to actually attract viewers.


Readers Comments (4)

  1. Wow, “hits” about the AEW show all have something negative added….what a shock! Almost like I predicted it because it happens in EVERY “hits” article and review of any AEW show.

    • Derp! Same shit, different week. Find a fanboy site that will tell you how wonderful everything is if you can’t handle constructive criticism about your favorite promotion, Angry Mike.

    • Would you rather those be “Misses” with something positive added? I thought he was kind. It was a bunch of limited storyline matches with 100% obvious outcomes. Plus a stupid segment with BC/Acclaimed. Could the entrance/entrance music be any more lackluster for Cole’s crew?

  2. Collison is in my hometown this weekend for the first time and they announced two predictable matches, one with a Luchador from cmll that we know nothing about. It’s like they don’t even try anymore. Why would I buy tickets? It’s just disrespectful and disappointing.

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