SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Chris Jericho-MJF Opening Segment – HIT
A charming little bit to open Dynamite coming off Chris Jericho and MJF’s losses at All Out. Both men complimented each other to their faces, but bad mouthed one another after they split a part. This isn’t the first meeting between the two and definitely not the last. An MJF-Jericho program is something that could do major business down the line.
•Lucha Bros. vs. Jurassic Express – MISS
Fine action with a nice win for Jungle Boy. The pin came off of miscommunication between the Lucha Brothers that resulted in Penta El Zero M hitting a Mexican Destroyer on Fenix leading to a roll up. Penta and Fenix shoved each other afterwards while Eddie Kingston persisted in trying to get them to stop fighting. Eventually the two shook hands then Kingston proclaimed that he was never eliminated from the Casino Battle Royal. There is some teasing of decision between Penta and Fenix which could lead to a match between the two down the line. Splitting them off into singles would benefit both in an already clustered tag team division that feels like it got what it wanted out of the pair last year in a feud with The Young Bucks. Going to singles competition would also mean fighting with more wrestlers for TV time. This was also not a great performance from Kingston. While I’ve largely enjoyed him in AEW, this mish-mash group with The Butcher and The Blade isn’t clicking. With Kingston winking at the camera, it seems he has ulterior motives than just helping these teams. I’m willing to see how this plays out, but thus far it hasn’t been the optimal presentation for anyone involved.
•Matt Hardy Promo – HIT
That is how you cut a babyface promo. After a horrific scare from a missed table spot at All Out, Matt Hardy came out to inform fans that he is going to make a full recovery. He acknowledged that fans were scared for him and that he’s not tough for what he did, but very lucky. Matt also had his wife and newborn child in the stands for support. Hardy ended the promo by saying that he would come back better and go for the AEW Championship. A clear and honest promo with something to look forward to in the future.
•Orange Cassidy vs. Angelico – HIT
Solid, but short action of Cassidy again showing he’s much more than a comedy wrestler. It’s unclear if he is moving away from the slow-motion tactics, but Cassidy’s spurts of action work well for the character. Afterwards, Santana and Ortiz came out to ambush Cassidy from behind before Best Friends made the save. Cassidy is a bigger star coming out of the program with Chris Jericho so being back in the corner of Best Friends will give a bit of a boost to their program.
•Miro Debut – HIT
After much speculation as to who would be the best man in Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford’s wedding, Miro (formerly known as Rusev) made his AEW debut. There were several others who came out before Miro that didn’t make much sense at all. But the main point of the segment was to debut Miro who alluded to his time in WWE and the false brass ring metaphor. He kept it short before stating his name is Miro and he’s all elite. Good debut for Miro and I think he doesn’t bring the baggage of being another “WWE guy.” Most fans viewed him as underutilized and he’s rebranded himself on Twitch with a new name and look. Being associated with Sabian is fine in the short term, but I think there is a desire from fans to see what he can do on his own.
•Hangman Page and Kenny Omega Promos – HIT
Two different tones from Kenny Omega and Hangman Page. Page is still sad and wants to continue to tag with Omega. He acknowledged that he bought into what FTR was telling him and thought they were like him. Omega said the success kept them together despite their conflicts. He also said that he thought it was time to move back to singles competition so that he can become what everyone wanted him to be, which was the main star of AEW. The direction of this story still isn’t clear, but just hearing from both of them give some exposition helps untangle this convoluted storyline. More sit-down interviews would be helpful across the board.
•Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss – HIT
Joey Janela wasn’t beat down like he was last week because he was back in the hardcore realm. Descent match showing a lot more of what both Janela and Sonny Kiss are capable of. After the match, Jericho said that he and Hager wanted to go after the tag team championship. The timing of this feels odd with the newly crowned champions already being heels. A heel vs. heel match-up could work with Jericho being more of a babyface. A new tag alliance between the two opens up more possibilities and allows for another star to rise into a spot which would have been occupied by Jericho in singles competition.
•MJF Promo – HIT
Coming off his failed campaign to take over AEW, MJF fired his entire campaign staff except for Wardlow. He threatened Wardlow while reminding him that he, not AEW, is the one who signs his checks. Wardlow held back his anger and submitted to MJF. Good tension building to an eventual Wardlow baby face turn.
•Jon Moxley and Lance Archer Promos – HIT
Great stuff from both guys. Moxley is always on point while Archer is playing up the monster role. It’s a logical program at this point and it keeps Moxley hot facing a fresh opponent who has been built back up over the past couple of months.
•FTR Promo – MISS
When I think of FTR, I think of an old school team serious tag team. Their promos didn’t strike the same tone. They celebrated their championship win by putting down the teams that surrounded ringside. Eventually they went down to ringside and were humiliated when Jungle Boy dumped ice on them. Other wrestlers went in the ring and ate pieces of cake while FTR retreated up the ramp. Not the right impression for FTR who have been built up for so long. They felt like mid-card fodder when they could be in serious contention to headline a pay-per-view.
•Ricky Starks Promo – HIT
Ricky Starks again came out dressed as Darby Allin. He mocked him for being hurt and said that next time he sees him, he will beat him relentlessly. I’m enjoying Starks in this heel role and I look forward to whenever he has his match with Allin.
•Tay Conti vs Nyla Rose – HIT
As Tay Conti loses, it becomes a reminder of when her friend, Anna Jay, asked her to join the Dark Order. The group of losers. Rose has been built back up and feels like a fresh opponent for Hikaru Shida since she paired up with Vicki Guerrero. It seems like their match may come sooner than the next pay-per-view.
•Dustin Rhodes vs. Brodie Lee – HIT
Great match to close out Dynamite. Dustin Rhodes is filled with pure joy during this chapter of his career. He carried Brodie Lee throughout who took a ton of damage before hitting a lariat for the win. After the match, Dark Order came to the ring and stood over Rhodes before Lee kicked him. The heat is being put on Lee leading to a big Cody return. Unfortunately, Cody’s return was not his big announcement after Dynamite. Instead, he’s a part of a new game show on TBS.