SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Cody vs. Eddie Kingston – HIT
What a promo from Eddie Kingston. In Kingston’s 18 year career, this was the biggest platform he’s performed on. Known for his promo skills, Kingston brought the realism and authenticity on the mic before squaring off against Cody. The two went on to have hard hitting back and forth that’ll be remembered as one of the high points in Cody’s weekly TNT open challenges. At one point, Kingston used tacks which felt different because AEW has been conservative as to not exhaust different weapons. Cody came out with the win with attention drawn to Kingston’s agony of defeat. The reaction to Kingston’s appearance was overwhelmingly positive to finally see a non compromised Kingston in a major promotion. In 17 minutes of TV, Kingston was one of the most compelling characters AEW have featured. He’d be a tremendous addition to the promotion’s wealth of talkers.
•MJF vs. Griff Garrison – HIT
Griff Garrison is a new name to Dynamite only viewers, but he’s made several appearances on Dark and Being The Elite. MJF bullied Garrison before the match claiming he was undefeated which Garrison disputed. MJF destroyed Garrison throughout before getting the pin. MJF appears to be laying out his case for a future title shot by claiming he’s never been pinned or submitted. He’s a heel who can beat down lesser opponents, but you can’t wait to see him “get his” when he faces someone higher up the card.
•Taz Promo – HIT
Taz came out and explained his decision to throw in the towel for Cage. He said it was purely a business decision to protect Cage because he isn’t wired to tap. Taz was logical while remaining a heel. Cage seemed far more engaged during the segment. Darby Allin interrupted, but was attacked by Ricky Starks. Allin took a hard hit before being powerbombed in the ring. Moxley came out for the save setting up a tag match for next week. I wasn’t sure where Ricky Starks was going to fit into the roster, but I’m an advocate for managers working with multiple wrestlers.
•The Butcher & The Blade vs. The Young Bucks – HIT
No disqualification stipulations almost always end up being the same kind of match. Whether it’s called a Street Fight, Extreme Rules, or No Hold Barred. These teams put in the effort to make the Fall Count Anywhere stipulation something creative and memorable. The match began in a kitchen area of Daily’s Place where The Butcher and The Blade were chopping up some meat. They brawled throughout the venue before bringing the action to the ring. The Bucks got a double pin victory after Matt and Nick jumped off separate parts of the staging area through two tables. The Bucks needed a satisfying victory and this match did it.
•Ivelisse vs. Diamante – MISS
Ivelisse and Diamante wrestled a faster pace slugging style than we’re used to seeing in the woman’s division. They had a fine match, but neither were able to stand out other than the change in style. Both are individually talented and will bring something different to the division, but there wasn’t much to their match.
•Hangman Page vs. Five – MISS
You would think with Hangman’s placing on the card, he would ravage someone named after a number. Five (formerly Alan Angels) got in a substantial amount of offense before Hangman could secure the win. This was an opportunity for Hangman to get an emphatic win before the post match angle. AEW has too often allowed lesser opponents to get in offense to the point where it does incremental damage to the bigger stars. In the post match, Dark Order attacked Hangman before FTR came out for the save. Kenny Omega came out too little too late. FTR continues to cause a rift in The Elite as they have their eyes set on the tag team championship.
•Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy – HIT
Jungle Boy shined again in the main event spot. He continues to add to his arsenal with several athletic moves. A good match all around leading to the return of Sammy Guevara. Guevara disguised himself as Serpentico attacking Jurassic Express before Orange Cassidy and Best Friends made the save. I like most fans am happy to see Guevara return to the ring, but there was something unsettling about how it was handled. Guevara was suspended over a month ago for making a comment on a podcast joking about rape with Sasha Banks. AEW took swift and strong action to correct the situation, but never publicly announced the length of the suspension. I don’t believe a suspended wrestler should be rewarded with a surprise return that gives them a boost going forward. It’s far from the worst way they could have handled it, but certainly not a good look.