AEW HITS & MISSES 10/23: Cody confronts Jericho’s inner circle, Private Party vs. Lucha Bros., Omega vs. Janela, Moxley vs. Pac, Baker vs. Hayter, Young Bucks vs. Best Friends, more

By Joel Dehnel, PWTorch contributor


Private Party vs. Lucha Brothers – HIT: Another action packed match to kick off Dynamite. I think its a sound strategy every week to kick off the show with a high impact match like this. Private Party still looks a bit green, but they make up for it with their charisma and hardworking athletic style. The production crew noticeably missed quite a few moves by either not cutting quick enough or being stuck on a crowd shot. In the end, The Lucha Brothers were the right team to go over unless AEW wanted to push Private Party to the moon. I think it will mean much more down the line when Private Party gets the main spot light in the tag division when they’ve improved in the ring. For now, its smart to make their first champions a someone who could potentially main event a major show.

The Dark Order vs. SCU (Scorpio Sky & Kaz) – MISS: There were some scattered boos for The Dark Order, but they are clearly a step below when it comes to fan engagement. As a tag team, they are good wrestlers, but something hasn’t clicked with them going back to their debut. This was the right finish going with SCU to battle The Lucha Brothers for the tag championship. Scorpio Sky didn’t receive nearly as much of a star reaction as he did last week in Philadelphia. Although, SCU was the clear fan favorite. The action got derailed mid-way when The Inner Circle entered the arena bowl. Fans were distracted from the ring looking for their suite. Towards the end, the match recovered for a satisfying finish.

Kenny Omega vs. Joey Janela – HIT: We finally saw some footage of Omega’s AEW Dark match with Janela. In addition to that, we got a few clips of Omega winning the AAA Mega Championship. Of course, Omega looked spectacular in the ring doing a match that is more his style. The proper story was told with Omega dominating in a regular match, because Janela is a hardcore specialist. We still didn’t hear Omega talk, but AEW has made strides in positioning him as a winner. There’s still two weeks before Full Gear where we hopefully hear from Omega and/or Moxley.

Cody confrontation with The Inner Circle – HIT: Yet another in-ring interview with Tony Schiavone gets interupted. At some point I’d like to see a segment like that without any disruption. The segment as a whole worked and felt more organic. Cody came off as a major star and even took a jab at WWE with how there’s an invisible wall between the fans and ring. WWE has done segments like this before, but the key difference is that the fans reacted so positively and AEW pays attention to the smaller details. When Cody punched through the glass, it felt at least a little more believable because MJF tied his scarf around Cody’s fist. Jericho didn’t fight back and instead stood his ground while security broke them up and escorted Cody out of the building. They followed it up on commentary by saying Cody was being held at a campus facility.

The Young Bucks vs. Best Friends – HIT: I don’t think it’s possible for The Young Bucks to have a bad match. Very good action as always. Orange Cassidy got a big reaction whenever he was the focus. While Best Friends looked good, The Bucks had to get back to winning going into their pay-per-view match against Santana & Ortiz.

Britt Baker vs. Jamie Hayter – HIT: Did you know Dr. Britt Baker DMD is a dentist? Baker received a nice video package building up her homecoming, but I would like to hear more about her wrestling aspirations and goals more than how she spent 6 years to become a dentist. Baker played up the hometown narrative by coming to the ring with a Steelers inspired logo on her jacket and accompanied by the Steelers mascot. The crowd was really into her and she got the big reaction AEW had been hoping for. While the action with Jamie Hayter wasn’t particularly good, the match didn’t overstay its welcome and it served the purpose of getting over Baker as a star to her hometown.

Jon Moxley vs. Pac – HIT: The crowd was not happy about the time limit draw. Neither Pac nor Moxley could afford to take the clean loss at this point. It felt like Pac and Moxley held back from going all out to save for another match down the road. This finish works if it’s not overdone. Being the second draw in AEW, they’ve definitely hit their limit. The difference this time was that they were working against the TV cut-off which will happen again because there is no over-run. In theory, it’ll add drama to the match leading to a quick finish rather than being a hindrance.

RECOMMENDED… AEW HITS & MISSES 10/16: Cody video package hyping title match, Riho vs. Brit Baker, Chris Jericho vs. Darby Allin, Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt vs. Lucha Bros., Page & Omega vs. Pac & Mox

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