Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Swerve Strickland vs. Konosuke Takeshita, Will Ospreay vs. Katsuyori Shibata, two AEW Tag Team Title tournament quarterfinal matches


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

AEW Dynamite Hits

Will Ospreay vs. Katsuyori Shibata: The live crowd gave Ospreay the big star reaction. And it wasn’t just a first match on the show reaction, as there was a major difference in the way the fans popped for Ospreay compared to the fairly subdued reaction that Shibata received during his entrance. The broadcast team did a nice job of explaining that Shibata beat Ospreay in their previous meeting by dominating the ground game. The wrestlers took the banger approach to the match and it was entertaining, though I continue to feel like Ospreay should be featured in some showcase matches to really put over his moveset. Ospreay didn’t even get to establish the OsCutter as a big move on AEW television before Kyle Fletcher kicked out of it during the season premiere show and now Shibata kicked out of it in this match after just a one count.

Swerve Strickland vs. Konosuke Takeshita to become No. 1 contender to the AEW World Championship: A No. 1 contenders match featuring a wrestler who just lost clean at Revolution earlier this month (Swerve also lost that night, but he didn’t factor into the finish). That’s right up there with building a Dynasty match around finding out who the best wrestler in the world is when one of those wrestlers also lost clean at Revolution. Anyway, this was a strong match with the obvious outcome. Predictability isn’t a negative when it’s the correct approach to building up a challenger for a title match. Swerve is in a good place and has some momentum heading into his championship match with Samoa Joe. Conversely, Takeshita has lost a couple of high profile matches and needs a meaningful bounce back win. Heck, the entire Don Callis Family needs a boost. They also need to sort out the mess that is Will Ospreay still technically being a member of the faction.

Willow Nightingale vs. Kris Statlander vs. Skye Blue vs. Anna Jay in a four-way for a shot at the TBS Title at AEW Dynasty: A soft Hit for a solid match with the expected outcome.

AEW Dynamite Misses

“The Young Bucks” Matthew Jackson and Nicholas Jackson vs. “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy in an AEW Tag Team Title tournament quarterfinal match: The expected spot-fest style match with a clunky finish due to Nicholas slipping while going for the EVP Trigger (which I missed while covering the show live). The body of the match was Hit worthy despite some clunky moments, but it was deflating to see yet another match finish built around the incompetence of referee Rick Knox. At this point, they might as well just make him the heel referee of The Elite. I don’t want to see a heel referee, but it would be better than repeatedly booking the same referee to look like an oblivious moron who never faces any repercussions for being terrible at his job. In fact, I remember questioning whether Knox was a heel referee during the first year of Dynamite. The poor guy has been booked to look like a fool for five years. Why?

Orange Cassidy and Trent Beretta vs. Matt Taven and Mike Bennett in an AEW Tag Team Title tournament quarterfinal match: Rick Knox strikes again. The first two tournament real matches both ended due to the same referee missing things. What a terrible way to start a tournament. Can we just get a clean finish? I would complain about the ROH Tag Team Champions losing yet another match on AEW television if I actually cared about Ring of Honor. It’s much more troubling to me that AEW invested so much time in putting Undisputed Kingdom together only to book most of them like scrubs.

Mercedes Mone on commentary: Mercedes sitting in on commentary added a dose of star power, but her actual performance on commentary was lousy. She was vague in responding to every question the broadcast team asked her. I’m guessing it was by design, but it didn’t come off well. Mone has never been a great talker, but she shines in the ring. Her first AEW match can’t come soon enough because the verbal segments are cooling her off quickly.


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