SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•MJF & Wardlow vs. Sammy Guevara & Ortiz – HIT
Sammy Guevara was incredible. He showed off his athleticism and potential as a future babyface. He took it to MJF who ultimately got the win. At one point, Matt Hardy threw a chair at Guevara that didn’t result in a disqualification. In the post-match, MJF attacked Chris Jericho at the announce table. A refreshing continuation of this feud that didn’t end in singing or insider references.
•Miro vs. Trent – HIT
The best presentation of Miro in AEW yet. A decisive win for Miro over Trent. If he continues to be a bulldozing force over a controller smashing raging gaming, he could be more than a midcarder in AEW. There is still a lot of work to do to reframe him and rid him of being seen as a retread of the Rusev character, but this was a step in the right direction.
•Kenny Omega and Hangman Page Promos – MISS
Neither Kenny Omega nor Hangman Page are all that likeable at this point. Omega doesn’t seem to know who he is and Page has slipped back into being a sad cowboy.
•Team Taz Promo – HIT
Taz has a point, Team Taz should be on Full Gear. Ricky Starks, Cage, and Taz are great as a unit. They’re currently positioned in the mid-card, but they are ascending quickly with the mic performances by Starks. He feels like and up and coming dressing like The Rock from his late 90’s run. Taz said they would be making an appearance at Full Gear even though they don’t have a match. They spoke about Darby Allin and Cody which makes it seem like they could be involved.
•The Young Bucks vs. Private Party – HIT
As you’d expect from these teams, a solid athletic match. The Bucks continue to be put in an awkward position where they have acted like heels, but are now being positioned as babyfaces against FTR. This match continued to add to that confusion by being a face vs. face match-up. In the post-match, FTR attacked The Bucks and attempted to further unjust Matt Jackson’s knee before Hangman Page came out for the save followed by Kenny Omega. The Elite appeared to all be on the same page despite having their conflicts just a weeks ago. Calling the story convoluted is an understatement, but this match and segment tried to steer the audience in a clearer direction.
•Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston Promo – HOMERUN
Fantastic segment. That’s how you sell a match. They had their first title match together on TV, but were still able to make this one of the biggest matches going into Full Gear. With a line-up that is possibly the best they’ve had on paper, this has stood several notches above the rest. It may not be the most athletic spectacle, but the emotion and investment will be what makes it great. The intensity and restraint they had in this segment makes fans want to see it more. There’s nothing funny or cute about the feud. It’s about having a fight and seeing who the better man is.
•Pac Promo – HIT
Pac hasn’t been seen in AEW since the beginning of the pandemic. In this package, he appears to be going crazy sitting across the ocean as he watches everyone in AEW. I’m sure that he is actually driving himself insane being unable to wrestle for months. With the voice over from Eddie Kingston, it seems that The Death Triangle with Penta El Zero M and Fenix isn’t dead. There is a travel ban in place, but a return at Full Gear or Dynamite would give a major boost to the heel roster.
•Nyla Rose vs. Red Velvet – HIT
A fine match establishing Nyla Rose as the contender against Hikaru Shida. Rose has made infrequent appearances on Dynamite since aligning with Vicki Guerrero. In this match, Red Velvet got in some offense before getting destroyed. In the post-match, Guerrero antagonized Shida at ringside which prompted a scuffle with Rose. It’s not the strongest women’s match going into Full Gear, but it’s a match that has worked in the past and Shida has been a good opponent for Rose.
•Cody & Gunn Club vs. Dark Order – HIT
Light on star for the main event with the exception of Cody. AEW seemingly waived the white flag with all the other content on TV for the night. They made the most of it by giving a showcase debut to the son of Billy, Austin Gunn. Gunn was green, but came out on top with a credible win. The show closed with Cody cutting a promo on Darby Allin who sat in the rafters a la Sting. He spoke about being the ace of AEW. He told Darby he’s not the ace. An interesting way of tying in the terminology commonly associated with Hiroshi Tanahashi in New Japan and applying it to Cody. He’s been the heart and soul of the promotion and now it’s being integrated into his character. It suits him well and can give Cody an identity going forward.