Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Mercedes Mone debuts, Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow for the AEW World Championship, Willow Nightingale vs. Riho, Darby Allin vs. Jay White


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

AEW Dynamite Hits

Mercedes Mone’s debut: The presentation was top notch. The AEW production crew put together a big time entrance and Mone dressed like a star. Mercedes has never been a great talker, but her mic work was solid and her home market live crowd seemed more than satisfied.

Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow for the AEW World Championship: The brief match played to the strengths of both wrestlers. I was truly surprised by the lack of Undisputed Kingdom interference and the clean finish. Joe has gone from feeling like a guy who won the title because the previous champion was banged up to feeling like a dominant and deserving champion in short order. I’m curious to see what’s next for Wardlow after he took a clean loss. I like the way that Swerve Strickland came out afterward to immediately shift the focus back to him as the top contender.

Will Ospreay promo: Ospreay brings great energy to his promo segments. He did a solid job of building up his Dynasty pay-per-view match with Bryan Danielson, but it’s tough to buy into the hype of their match deciding who the best wrestler in the world from a storyline standpoint when Danielson just lost clean to Eddie Kingston at the last pay-per-view. Nevertheless, it’s an outstanding match on paper. I just hope that Ospreay talking about the Tiger Driver 91 doesn’t mean the match is going to be built around the dangerous move.

“The Elite” Kazuchika Okada, Matthew Jackson, and Nicholas Jackson vs. Eddie Kingston, Pac, and Penta El Zero Miedo: A soft Hit for the big spot fest match of the night. It was a hot match until the finish. Referee Rick Knox was made to look like an incompetent fool once again. This time he turned his attention to Matthew for no good reason while Nicholas delivered a low blow kick that left Kingston prone to Okada’s Rainmaker. Frustrating finish aside, the new Elite faction is off to a good start, and I got a kick out of Okada bullying Alex Marvez into singing happy birthday to Matthew.

Willow Nightingale vs. Riho: A Hit for the strong work of both wrestlers. While I’m happy to see the women headline Dynamite, the match felt out of place in the main event slot. The company was obviously well aware of when Mercedes Mone would debut and it’s a shame that they didn’t do more to set the table for her by building up the other female wrestlers before her arrival. This was a well worked match and the crowd was receptive, but had you told me even two weeks ago that this match was going to happen on an AEW show, I would have had it pegged for Collision, Rampage, or the usual women’s match throwaway slot on Dynamite. You have to start somewhere, but I don’t understand why AEW didn’t start sooner. Here’s hoping that the arrival of Mone will lead to bigger and better things for the overall women’s division. The post match angle with Mercedes saving Willow from an attack by Julia Hart and Skye Blue made for a good close to Mone’s big night. Does this mean Mercedes is going after the TBS Championship as opposed to the AEW World Championship?

Jay White vs. Darby Allin: What was your favorite Bang Bang Scissor Gang moment? For me, it was seeing this awful faction put out of its misery. I’d love to think that White winning this match means he’ll be featured as a singles act, but I suspect we’ll be seeing Bullet Club Gold feud with The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn over two sets of worthless six-man tag team titles. I’m not sure how much White gained from winning this match when Allin’s character was beat up, but it beat the alternative of White losing before Allin heads off to climb Mount Everest. Allin is leaving for the trip later this month and online outlets estimate that it takes between seven to nine weeks to scale the mountain, so I guess that explains why they went with the post match injury angle.

AEW Dynamite Misses

Hook and Chris Jericho vs. “Gates of Agony” Bishop Kaun and Toa Liona: The crowd was hot for everything and then the energy level plummeted for this match. Jericho continues to be a cold act. It’s time for the master of reinvention to come up with something fresh or to simply take some time away and let the fans miss him. Meanwhile, Kaun and Liona are a good young team. Unfortunately, they have taken too many losses on AEW television that viewers have no reason to take them seriously.


Readers Comments (2)

  1. Awesome. AEW gets rid of a self-absorbed, narcissistic, “its all about me” person in Punk, and now they just get another in Mone’.

  2. Feeding Wardlow to Joe doesnt make sense to me. It does more harm to Wardlow than it helps the already badass Joe. And it somehow makes UK faction look even worse.
    I will say, I ffw liberally on most Dynamite’s bc I’ve had my fill of limited storyline matches with 0 doubt in the outcome. But I’ve skipped way less the past 2 weeks

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