Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: MJF returns, Swerve Strickland vs. Roderick Strong for the AEW World Championship, Saraya vs. Mariah May

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

AEW Dynamite Hits

Swerve Strickland vs. Roderick Strong for the AEW World Championship: A good television main event with quality ring work from both wrestlers. They took an odd path to giving Strong a title shot, but the end result of Swerve successfully defending his title in a clean win worked out nicely. The highlight of the night occurred after the match when the older woman at ringside joined Prince Nana in doing his dance.

MJF’s return: More good than bad. While good for an easy cheer, MJF’s joke about marijuana in Colorado felt dated, and the way he mocked Kazuchika Okada’s physique was counterproductive. But MJF was the most over act on the show and his return has given AEW a nice dose of star power. The pull apart brawl with Rush was solid and sets up an interesting match that would not have been anywhere near the top of my expected MJF return matches.

Rey Fenix vs. Jay Lethal vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Kyle O’Reilly for a shot at the AEW International Championship: Good action through the match, which was the latest example of pro wrestling’s bad trend of lazily booking four-way matches for title shots. Fenix felt like the likely winner through the process of elimination. Lethal was clearly in the match to take the loss, Cassidy is tied up in a feud with Trent Beretta, and O’Reilly just had a shot at the title on Collision. By the way, I laughed at Cassidy selling the Kris Statlander’s punch more than he sold a recent tombstone piledriver on the ring steps.

Mark Briscoe vs. Brian Cage in a qualifier for the TNT Title ladder match at Forbidden Door: Briscoe remains one of the lost likable mid-card acts in the company while Cage continued his streak of losing singles matches to the stars.

Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta vs. Magnus, Volador Jr., Rugido, and Esfinge: The live crowd loved this match. And while there was good action from bell to bell, there was no mystery regarding the outcome of the latest match of this lopsided feud between the Blackpool Combat Club and CMLL wrestlers. What’s the point of bringing in so many CMLL wrestlers just to have them lose repeatedly when AEW has an overstuffed roster and not enough reps to go around? On the bright side, it was a nice idea to have Yuta get the win for his team in his first match back after a long injury layoff.

Saraya vs. Mariah May: The only unexpected match outcome of the night. The fact that it was a clean finish was even more surprising. Saraya had one of her better AEW matches. Unfortunately for her, the win was completely overshadowed by the antics of Toni Storm and Mina Shirakawa afterward.

Bryan Danielson promo: Danielson expressing his disappointment with key losses in his last year as a full-time wrestler only to then deliver a mission statement about winning the Owen Hart Cup tournament was a good start. Now we need to hear seven more compelling promos from wrestlers who feel like realistic threats to win the tournament for a shot at the AEW World Championship at AEW All In. In other words, it’s time for AEW to have a loaded tournament given that the prize is for a title shot at the company’s biggest event of the year. AEW has had a lot of tournaments, but they’ve never gone with a loaded bracket. If not now, when?

AEW Dynamite Misses

Chris Jericho’s Learning Tree: It’s so bad it’s good or it’s so bad that they want Jericho to go away depending on your perspective. The only thing I enjoyed about these skits was Bryan Keith telling Angelo Parker that his baby better respect Jericho. How does Big Bill benefit from (keeping his terrible name and) just parroting Jericho’s act?

The Elite and Tony Khan: We learned last week that the Young Bucks have enough power that they were able to strip Adam Copeland of the TNT Title, but not enough power to give Jack Perry the title. We learned this week that the Bucks have the power to cancel a segment if someone badmouths them. Can anyone explain why the EVPs have any power aside from having ironclad contracts now that Tony Khan’s character is back and should be able to reverse all of their rulings? The performances of the Bucks have improved, but it’s tough to watch a storyline that asks viewers to turn off their brains off and ignore so many obvious questions.


Readers Comments (6)

  1. Roddy Piper was one of my ALL time faves. He was brilliant for years. But his time in WCW (and end of career in WWE) was all kinds of awful

    I’ve always really enjoyed Jehrico but he is there now. His look is bad. He’s lost his fastball and he is dragging people down with him. Chris. It’s time.

  2. YET another “hit” column where just about every one of the hits all have a mandatory negatively slanted comment, yet again totally different from the RAW hit list earlier in the week (even in a “soft” hit comment).

    Now, cue the snarky comment in order to totally avoid that yet AGAIN its fact….

    • Maybe if take the AEW dick out of your mouth long enough to tell Tony to quit doing shit worthy of criticism, then Jason won’t criticize it?

  3. I give Jason credit for managing to give anything on last nights show a hit. Even MJF was slightly off his usually solid promo game. Who on earth is excited for his feud with RUSH??

    The title match was meaningless (sure Strong was going to be world champ)

    Endless qualification matches with tired competitors. Danielson declaring for yet another tournament or some other meaningless activity.

    A six man no one cares about with wrestlers only hard core fans even know. Bad women’s segments. The insufferable EVP saga and the truly dead Jehrico bits…

    This was a bad show by any standard. So Jason gets credit for finding any hits at all, soft or otherwise

  4. I must be the only person getting a kick out of Jericho’s new thing. I wouldn’t pull the plug on it yet. I’m curious where he wants to go with it.

    • I’ve also been enjoying it. I might be wrong but I think “The Learning Tree” character is his impression of Tony Kahn . Everything is obnoxiously positive, he’s always smiling constantly saying “thanks guys” . Giving out hugs to everyone. Like you I’m interested to see where this goes.

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