SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Brian Cage vs. Lee Johnson – HIT: The combination of Brian Cage and Taz just clicks. Cage is a super athletic big man who slacks on the mic. When he’s motivated, Taz is one of the best talkers in the business. Cage erupted in this match tossing Lee Johnson like a rag doll. His fire and intensity creates a synergy with Moxley making the two feel like good opponents for each other at this point. Cage is another “B-level” contender to the AEW title, but it feels like he could become more than that sooner rather than later.
•Britt Baker Promo – HIT: I’m glad to see Britt Baker back on TV despite her broken tibia. She announced that she would be out of in-ring action until All Out, but now she can continue to develop her character. In this segment, she was rolled out to the stage in a wheelchair by who Britt refers to as Reba. Britt played up being delusional and accused the entire women’s division and Aubrey Edwards of being behind a conspiracy that led to her injury. Britt continues to be delightfully awful as the mean girl.
•Hikaru Shida vs. Christi Jaynes – MISS: I had hoped to see Hikaru Shida look more dominant in her first match as champion. At times, Christi Jaynes made Shida look foolish. To make Shida a success, she needs to start destroying opponents and getting over her offense. This match was largely forgettable, but not a good showing for the new champion.
•Cody Promo – HIT: Cody’s done it again. Another great promo following his win to become the inaugural TNT champion. He played up being the working man and despite his lineage how he has had to work for everything in his wrestling career. He admitted that he was the fourth wrestler Tony Khan contacted to be a major piece of his upstart wrestling company and he takes pride in not being the number 1 pick. To cap it off, he announced that he is going to defend the championship every week in an open challenge format. The prestige of the championship feels weakened by the frequency of defenses, but it could work to elevate those who hold it.
•SCU vs. Kip Sabian & Jimmy Havoc – MISS: Did I miss something as to why there is a match to determine who will face Kenny Omega and Hangman Page in a title match next week? Did Best Friends becoming the challengers at Double or Nothing mean nothing? Following a ranking system is difficult especially when you haven’t had access to your entire roster for months. The match itself was fine, but I question the pin on Scorpio Sky. A few weeks back, Sky had some vignettes to tell his story. Those haven’t made a return to Dynamite and Sky is in the same position.
•Battle Royal for TNT Championship Opportunity – MISS: How many times have we seen a battle royal where one entrant is attacked or hides only to reappear at the end of the match. This time it was Orange Cassidy who went one-on-one with Jungle Boy before he was tossed out. Not much to the match, but this makes Jungle Boy the first contender to Cody’s TNT Championship. Losing to MJF last Saturday then squeaking by Orange Cassidy doesn’t make him a strong challenger, but wrestling Cody will give him a spot to show what he’s capable of.
•Inner Circle Pep Rally with Mike Tyson – MISS: We could be getting a 49 year-old Chris Jericho vs. a 53 year-old Mike Tyson at some point in the future. Dynamite ended the show with a brawl between the retired boxing star and Jericho in a recreation of the angle with Steve Austin from 1998. Tyson coming fresh off of his training montage appearing to be in the best shape since his final boxing days came to play pro wrestler. Tyson appeared to be having fun, but the segment fell into cringe when he struggled to rip off his shirt and cartoonishly got in Jericho’s face. Tyson is a far cry from being the baddest man on the planet. We’ll see where it leads, but some major sports publicity would be considered a win. Before the brawl, Jericho led The Inner Circle in a pep rally following their Stadium Stampede loss. There were several parts that worked for me including Jake Hager’s poem and the Best Dad Joke trophy. I’m concerned about the direction of The Inner Circle putting their focus on being a comedy act, but it seems to be a hit with the fans during these uncertain times.