Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Kenny Omega and The Elite, Adam Copeland vs. Buddy Matthews for the TNT Title, Chris Jericho vs. Katsuyori Shibata for the FTW Title, Serena Deeb vs. Mariah May

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

AEW Dynamite Hits

Kenny Omega and The Elite: Omega has never come off like more of a star in AEW than he did during this show closing segment. He dressed the part and delivered his best AEW promo to date. Omega spoke with confidence while also showing vulnerability as he recalled how his bout with diverticulitis scared him. Omega was cool and relatable as he set the table perfectly for the attack by Jack Perry, Kazuchika Okada, and the Young Bucks. I love that a simple chair jab to the gut that pro wrestling fans have seen a million times was able to off as a heinous act thanks to the way it was set up.

Swerve Strickland and Christian Cage: It’s hard to imagine there were many people who predicted that Cage would get the AEW World Championship match at AEW Double Or Nothing. Cage losing the TNT Championship in his last match would normally eliminate him from the discussion, but the Young Bucks taking storyline control and awarding him the match makes it perfectly logical. It doesn’t address the issue that Tony Khan should be able to reverse any decisions made by the Bucks, but I think most viewers will ignore that aspect and go along for the ride.

The Young Bucks take control of the show: Matthew Jackson has really stepped up his promo game. Nicholas is doing solid work as well, but Matthew typically carries their verbal segments and it comes off like he’s gaining confidence by the week. The concept of heel authority figures was run into the ground and I still have some concern that AEW could go too far with this, but they found the right balance on night one. The Bucks cut Tony Khan’s feed, gave Christian a title shot, and banned Stokely Hathaway and Kris Statlander from ringside during Willow Nightingale’s match on Rampage. The heels abused their power without it overshadowing everything else on the show.

Chris Jericho vs. Katsuyori Shibata for the FTW Title: A highly entertaining comedic hardcore match. The spot with Shibata having a trashcan over his head while slowly walking toward Jericho, who then begged off in the corner was a riot. I’m still not sure whether the Learning Tree persona will click long term, but it’s good to see the master of reinvention shake things up again after the Lionheart persona fizzled. If nothing else comes from the alliance, I pray that the Jericho character will come up with a better name for Big Bill.

Samoa Joe vs. Isiah Kassidy: Joe went over clean and strong. This was exactly what it needed to be in Joe’s first match back since losing the AEW World Championship. The live crowd was very quiet during the first match, so it’s telling that they came to life with numerous chants for Joe.

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brian Cage: Another logical bounce back match. Castagnoli lost to Swerve Strickland on Collision and isn’t far removed from another high profile television loss to Will Ospreay, so it was smart to give him a showcase win.

Serena Deeb vs. Mariah May: More of an in the middle than a Hit or a Miss for a match that felt too competitive if the goal was to make Deeb feel like a threat to beat Toni Storm at Double Or Nothing. It will be interesting to see if blending the over the top Storm character with the dry Deeb character will work.

AEW Dynamite Misses

Adam Copeland vs. Buddy Matthews for the TNT Title: While the match felt like it went longer than it needed to, it was still Hit worthy from a quality standpoint. But the live crowd was extremely quiet throughout the body of the match, in part because I don’t think anyone thought the third man in the House of Black was going to beat Copeland. The biggest reason this landed in the Miss section was the return of the magical black mist nonsense. The idea that this mist somehow makes people evil is just not my style.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. The long term story is building to Toni vs Mariah. That is likely why Deeb vs May was as competitive as it was I assume.

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